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Information on astronomy and the death of Bates

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                                       Parkstone, Dorset.
                                    Feb[ruar]y. 21st. 1892

My dear Violet,

I enclose a rough diagram showing why Venus & Jupiter were in conjunction. It happens in a little less than every two years, I think. If you drew the orbits out on a larger scale & marked the position of each planet each month, you would see exactly how often. Of course Venus appears to move backwards & forwards during its revolution inside our orbit.

You have I suppose heard that poor Mr. Bates is dead. He was 2 years younger than I am but being weakened by constant indoor London life the influenza was too much for him.     

I have found one small collecting box. Is it any use to you now? It is about 5 inches x 3 inches.     

I have got rid of my cough at last & shall begin gardening again next week. The chess games still go on slowly. I think I shall win one & lose one. I have been playing also with Miss West and Mr. Pocock. Also Mr Linton from Bournemouth, who is the best player of the lot. Mrs. Besant came here for a couple of hours last Tuesday morning & Mr & Mrs. Sharpe came over to meet her. Ma & Mrs. Sharpe had been to her lecture on Monday at Bournemouth, & Ma & Miss Webb went again to Poole on Tuesday. We did not get much out of her as Mr. Sharpe was doing his metaphysical fair most of the time.

Let us know how you liked Hamlet. This is supposed to be a much grander play than Henry VIII.       

Must shut up as Ma is going to post.
         Your affectionate Papa
[signed]    Alfred R. Wallace.

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