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ON reaching London in the spring of 1862 I went to live with my brother-in-law, Mr. Thomas Sims, and my sister Mrs. Sims, who had a photographic business in Westbourne Grove. Here, in a large empty room at the top of the house, I brought together all the collections which I had reserved for myself and which my agent, Mr. Stevens, had taken care of for me. I found myself surrounded by a quantity of packing-cases and store-boxes, the contents of many of which I had not seen for five or six years, and to the examination and study of which I looked forward with intense interest.

From my first arrival in the East I had determined to keep a complete set of certain groups from every island or distinct locality which I visited for my own study on my return home, as I felt sure they would afford me very valuable materials for working out the geographical distribution of animals in the archipelago, and also throw light on various other problems. These various sets of specimens were sent home regularly with the duplicates for sale, but either packed separately or so distinctly marked "Private" that they could be easily put aside till my return home. The groups thus reserved were the birds, butterflies, beetles, and land-shells, and they amounted roughly to about three thousand bird skins of about a thousand species, and, perhaps, twenty thousand beetles and butterflies of about seven thousand species.



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As I reached home in a very weak state of health, and could not work long at a time without rest, my first step was to purchase the largest and most comfortable easy-chair I could find in the neighbourhood, and then engage a carpenter to fit up one side of the room with movable deal shelves, and to make a long deal table, supported on trestles, on which I could unpack and assort my specimens. In order to classify and preserve my bird skins I obtained from a manufacturer about a gross of cardboard boxes of three sizes, which, when duly labelled with the name of the genus or family, and arranged in proper order upon the shelves, enabled me to find any species without difficulty. For the next month I was fully occupied in the unpacking and arranging of my collections, while I usually attended the evening meetings of the Zoological, Entomological, and Linnean Societies, where I met many old friends and made several new ones, and greatly enjoyed the society of people interested in the subjects that now had almost become the business of my life.

As soon as I began to study my birds I had to pay frequent visits to the bird-room of the British Museum, then in charge of Mr. George Robert Gray, who had described many of my discoveries as I sent them home, and also to the library of the Zoological Society to consult the works of the older ornithologists. In this way the time passed rapidly, and I became so interested in my various occupations, and saw so many opportunities for useful and instructive papers on various groups of my birds and insects, that I came to the conclusion to devote myself for some years to this work, and to put off the writing of a book on my travels till I could embody in it all the more generally interesting results derived from the detailed study of certain portions of my collections. This delay turned out very well, as I was thereby enabled to make my book not merely the journal of a traveller, but also a fairly complete sketch of the whole of the great Malayan Archipelago from the point of view of the philosophic naturalist. The result has been that it long continued to be the most popular of my books, and that even now,

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