Sent by Herbert Edward Wallace, Barra de Rio Negro to Richard Spruce [none given] on 15 March ?1850.
Letter from Edward Wallace (Herbert Edward) to R Spruce, from Barra, 15 Mar 1850?, re. arrival at and living conditions in Barra, including a doggerel verse.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Knott, Peter
Transcription date: June 12, 2012
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
A Lodge is gained at last - here we are in a Barra!! --
"Here we work with Net and Trigger
By the famous river Nigger" (Watertown)
oer whose mid-night waters never is heard the hum of the sanguinary Barapana [?] --, where "sleep which knits up the ravelled sleeve of care" hath no intruder -- by the by talking of sleep reminds me of "redes"4. All the "redes" in Barra possess a title -- why ? -- Because they’re Barra-nets. This you may think far fetched, well ! -- I will own ‘tis rather distant -- [] perhaps you would like one a little nearer -- good -- As we left "Obydos"5 remarking the woody acclivity on our right the following sublime comparative similitude burst forth spontaneously "Why is this hill, like a dead body running ? -- Because says I -- but no you must really try to guess it; however I will enclose the answer to refer to in case of failure. -- "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" this ancient and philosophical saying was brought to bear one afternoon, it being at tolerable warm day and my coat was off [] being just returned from the chase with the gun upon my shoulder and the bag of shot by my side -- perspiring dreadfully and wringing wet -- it being about 4 bells -- which there was no watermellon [sic] to be had at any price. --
"I’ll tax my invention says I
As I open’d the Portibelli
Some treacle I poured into a flagon
Added water and found it was --
With best wishes for your health and success, and kind remembrance to Mr King6 and Santarem7 friends,
I remain | Yours Respectfully | Edward Wallace8
[] Because it’s a copse sloping away
Mr R. Spruce9
1. "[WPI/3/21]" in pencil in an unknown hand in the top right corner of the page.
2. Barra, also known as Bahia, is a municipality in the state of Bahia, Brazil.
3. "1851 ?" in pencil in an unknown hand.
4. "redes" is a Portuguese word meaning "nets’.
5. Òbidos is a town in the state of Pará in Brazil.
6. Robert King was Richard Spruce’s assistant.
7. Santarém is a city in the state of Pará in Brazil.
8. Herbert Edward Wallace (1829-1851), ARW’s younger brother.
9. The addressee’s name is written upside-down in the middle of the page. Richard Spruce (1817-1893) was a botanist.
Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.