Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, [none given] to Thomas Sims [none given] on [?February] .
Re. Sims's business, engraving technique; eagerness for departure to the East; sore [foot]; description of Singapore street scene and mixture of nationalities including Kling (Chettiar) tradesmen.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Bevan, Deniz
Transcription date: March 13, 2012
Scrutiny: 13/04/2012 - Brunnen, Claire; 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Your note about the Engraving was very interesting. I hope you may make it succeed & keep it secret. You & Fanny talk of my coming back for a trifling sore as if I was within an omnibus ride of Conduit St[reet]. I am now perfectly well, & only waiting to go Eastward. The far East is to me what the far West is to the Americans. They talk much of California [] where I hope to arrive some day. I quite enjoy being a few days at Singapore now. The scene is at once so familiar & strange. The half naked chinese coolies, the neat shop keepers, the clean feet and long tailed merchants, all as busy & full of business as any Londoners. Then the handsome Klings[?] who always ask double what they take & with whom it is most amusing to Bargain. The crowd of boatmen at the Ferry, a [] dozen begging & disputing for a farthing fare, the Americans[,] the Malays & the Portuguese make up a scene doubly interesting to me now that I know something about them & can talk to them in the general language of the place. The streets of Singapore on a fine day are as crowded & busy as Tottenham Court road, & from the variety of nations & occupations far more interesting. I am more convinced than ever that no one can appreciate a new [] country in a short visit. After 2 years in the country I only now begin to understand Singapore & to marvel at the life & bustle[,] the varied occupations & strange population, which on a spot which so short a time ago was an uninhabited jungle. A volume might be written on Singapore without exhausting its singularities -- "The Roving[?] Englishman’s" is the pen that should do it.
Yours affectionately | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
T. Sims Esq[uire].
1. The date "[FEB1856]" is written in pencil in an unknown hand
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