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Collecting insects in Singapore

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                                 Bukit Tima, Singapore
                                            May 28th. 1854
My Dear Mother

I send you a few lines through G.[eorge] S.[Silk] as I thought you would like to hear from me. I am very comfortable here living with a Roman Catholic Missionary a Frenchman who speaks Chinese Malay & English. I & Charles go into the jungle every day for insects we have seen no tigers in fact they are getting scarcer every day as the jungle is more cleared away. I shall probably stay here another month & then go to Borneo. I send by this mail a small box of insects for Mr Stevens. I think a very valuable one & I hope it will go safely. I expected a letter from you by the last mail but received only two Athenaeums of March 18. & 25. Did not you send the 11th. & April 2nd.-

I expect to receive some invoice of the good[s] I sent by the "Eliza Thornton" Did not you receive any? Tell Thomas I wish he would send me a copy of each of the pictures he took of me in the next letter. Address as before. I hope there is plenty of business. I do not think there is a daguerreotypist in Singapore but it would not I think answer for long as living is very expensive I saw a report of Mr. Wilson's paper at the Geolog. Soc. in the Athenaeum. Is he gone yet? Send John's letters or a copy of them to me.

The forest here is very similar to that of S. America - Palms are very numerous but they are generally small & hardly spiny. There are more of the large & majestic species so abundant on the Amazon. I am so busy with insects now that I have no time for any[thing] else. I send now about a thousand beetles to Mr Stevens, & I have as many other insects still on hand which will form part of my next & principal consignment.

Singapore is very rich in beetles & before I leave I think I shall have a most beautiful collection - I will tell you how my day is now occupied. Get up at half past 5. Bath & coffee. Sit down to arrange & put away my insects of the day before, & set them safe out to dry. Charles mending nets, filling pincushions & getting ready for the day. Breakfast at 8. Out to the jungle at 9. We have to walk up a steep hill to get to it & always arrived ripping with perspiration. Then we wander about till two or three generally returning with about 50 - 60 beetles some very rare & beautiful Bathe, change clothes & sit down to kill & pin insects. Charles d[itt]o. with his bugs & wasps, I do not trust him yet with beetles. Dinner at 4. Then work again till six. Coffee - Read - if very numerous work at insects till 8-9 then to bed -
Adieu with love to all 
Your affectionate Son
[signed]        Alfred R Wallace.


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