Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 4 June 1902.
Re. wells and cesspools; progress of building work (at Broadstone); problems with his eyesight, occulists prescription for new glasses to correct double vision; woods being planted with wildflowers; Conveyance (of Broadstone property) now signed and land paid for.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Murphy, Will
Transcription date: July 8, 2011
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
June 4th. 1902
My dear Violet
I snatch a spare moment to answer some of your queries. A Well sh[oul]d never want cleaning out, & will not unless dirt is thrown into it or soaks into it; and it either case it is not the well wants cleaning but the contamination wants stopping.
If the overflow of the cesspool is at least 30 or 40 yards from the well, & if it goes into a ditch so that it can run away there is no harm and you are saved the expense & inconvenience of frequent emptyings. But in the Spring & Summer all the sewage should be used in the garden to the fruit trees and vegetables, & for this you want a sewage pump, for [] the gardener’s use. It will cost I believe £. 2... £ 3.
As you are not on a high road & will only have two or three carts, or horses, or men & women, or children, past a day why should you want to shut yourselves in.? Wait a bit & see if it is not pleasant to see someone pass now & then!
The house is going on all right so far and I hope before end of this month the roof will be quite finished, tiles & all; & then will come the inside finishing work, which I shall be left to do my own way I suppose as none of you propose anything definite. If you will send me on paper what you would like your bedroom done, & decide with Ma which is to be yours, I will try & carry out your wishes. [] The views from the balcony will be grand!
I went to Bournemouth yesterday to see a new oculist -- a regular specialist, as my eyes were getting rather bad -- I see everything double now across the room, & even in a railway carriage; and even single eyed I cannot see distinctly. He made a thorough exam[i]n[ation]. & advised me to have new glasses -- My eyes are now different foci, & my right eye, which is the best, requires no. 6 instead of no. 8, which I have always used. The left eye not only looks away from the other horizontally but also vertically, seeing objects below the right. So I am to have no 6 for right eye, & the left eye with ground glass, so as to admit light but to see nothing. This prevents any strain to the eyes and allows the best eye to see [] distinctly. I was rather afraid I had got incipient cataract in my left, but he says there is nothing serious the matter & that I need have no fear of blindness coming on. Also that a slight operation, partially cutting the muscle, would bring back the double vision horizontally, but the vertical error could not be altered except by a prism. So I am to try the new glasses first, for out of doors, using my old ones in the house.
Our woods are now fine with the full leaf out -- the west wood being almost too dark for any thing to grow in it. We are inoculating with wild flowers as fast as we can.
To day the lawyer came for me to sign the Conveyance, & the land is now paid for and all our own!
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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