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south-west coast of the island of Waigiou, at the north-west extremity of New Guinea. How I came here would be too long to tell, the details I send to my mother and refer you to her. While hon. members are shooting partridges I am shooting, or trying to shoot, birds of paradise-red at that, as our friend Morris Haggar would say. But enough of this nonsense. I meant to write you of matters more worthy of a naturalist's pen. I have been reading of late two books of the highest interest, but of most diverse characters, and I wish to recommend their perusal to you if you have time for anything but work or politics. They are Dr. Leon Dufour's 'Histoire de la Prostitution’and Darwin's' Origin of Species.' If there is an English translation of the first, pray get it. Every student of men and morals should read it, and if many who talk glibly of putting down the social evil' were first to devote a few days to its study, they would be both much better qualified to give an opinion and much more diffident of their capacity to deal with it. The work is truly a history, and a great one, and reveals pictures of human nature more wild and incredible than the pen of the romancist ever dared to delineate. I doubt if many classical scholars have an idea of what were really the habits and daily life of the Romans as here delineated. Again I say, read it.
"The other book you may have heard of and perhaps read, but it is not one perusal which will enable any man to appreciate it. I have read it through five or six times, each time with increasing admiration. It will live as long as the *Principia' of Newton. It shows that nature is, as I before remarked to you, a study that yields to none in grandeur and immensity. The cycles of astronomy or even the periods of geology will alone enable us to appreciate the vast depths of time we have to contemplate in the endeavour to understand the slow growth of life upon the earth. The most intricate effects of the law of gravitation, the mutual disturbances of all the bodies of the solar system, are simplicity itself compared with the intricate relations and complicated struggle which have determined what forms of life shall exist and in what proportions. Mr. Darwin has given the world a new science, and his name should, in my opinion, stand above that of every philosopher of ancient or modern times. The force of admiration can no further go!!!”
“ On board steamer from Ternate to Timor, January 2, 1861. “I have come home safe to Ternate and left it again. For two months I was stupefied with my year's letters, accounts, papers, magazines, and books, in addition to the manipulation, cleaning, arranging, comparing, and packing for safe transmission to the other side of the world of about 16,000 specimens of insects, birds, and shells. This has been interiningled with the troubles of preparing for new voyages, laying in stores, hiring men, paying or refusing to pay their debts, running after them when they try to run away, going to the town with lists of articles absolutely necessary for the voyage, and finding that none of them could be had for love or money, conceiving impossible substitutes and not being able to get them either,-and all this coming upon me when I am craving repose from the fatigues and privations of an unusually dangerous and miserable voyage, and you may imagine that I have not been in any great humour for letterwriting.
"I think I may promise you that in eighteen months, more or less, we may meet again, if nothing unforeseen occurs.
“ A. R. W."
Just before leaving Ternate I also wrote to Bates, chiefly about the “Origin of Species” and some of my results on geographicai distribution.
“Ternate, December 24, 1860. “DEAR BATES,
* Many thanks for your long and interesting letter. I have myself suffered much in the same way as you describe, and I think more severely. The kind of tædium vite you mention I also occasionally experience here. I impute it to a too monotonous existence.
“I know not how, or to whom, to express fully my admiration of Darwin's book. To him it would seem flattery, to others self-praise; but I do honestly believe that with however much patience I had worked and experimented on the subject, I could never have approached the completeness of his book, its vast accumulation of evidence, its overwhelming argument, and its admirable tone and spirit. I really feel thankful that it has not been left to me to give the theory to the world. Mr. Darwin has created a new science and a new philosophy; and I believe that never has such a complete illustration of a
a new branch of human knowledge been due to the labours and researches of a single man.
Never have such vast masses of widely scattered and hitherto quite unconnected facts been combined into a system and brought to bear upon the establishment of such a grand and new and simple philosophy.
"I am surprised at your joining the north and south banks of the lower Amazon into one region. Did you not find a sufficiency of distinct species at Obydos and Barra to separate them from Villa Nova and Santarem? I am now convinced that insects, on the whole, do not give such true indications of zoological geography as birds and mammals, because, first, they have such immensely greater means of dispersal across rivers and seas; second, because they are so much more influenced by surrounding circumstances; and third, because the species seem to change more quickly, and therefore disguise a comparatively recent identity. Thus the insects of adjacent regions, though originally distinct, may become rapidly amalgamated, or portions of the same region may come to be inhabited by very distinct insect-faunas owing to differences of soil, climate, etc. This is strikingly shown here, where the insect-fauna from Malacca to New Guinea has a very large amount of characteristic uniformity, while Australia, from its distinct climate and vegetation, shows a wide difference. I am inclined to think, therefore, that a preliminary study of, first, the mammals, and then the birds, is indispensable to a correct understanding of the geographical and physical changes on which the present insect-distribution depends."
“ In a day or two I leave for Timor, where, if I am lucky in finding a good locality, I expect some fine and interesting insects."
I reached Delli, the chief place in the Portuguese part of the island, on January 12, 1861, and stayed there about three months and a half. I lived with an Englishman, Captain Hart, who had a coffee plantation about a mile out of the town; and there was also another Englishman, Mr. Geach, a mining engineer, who had come out to open copper mines for the Portuguese Government, but as no copper ore could be found, he was waiting for an opportunity to return to Singapore. They were both very pleasant people, and I enjoyed myself while there, though the collecting was but poor, owing to the excessive aridity of the climate and the absence of forests. I obtained, however, some rare birds and a few very rare and beautiful butterflies by the side of a stream in a little rocky valley shaded by a few fine trees and bushes. Of beetles, however, there were absolutely none worth collecting.
Leaving Timor at the end of April, I went by the Dutch mail steamer to Cajeli in Bouru, the last of the Molucca Islands which I visited. Here I stayed two months, but was again disappointed, since the country was almost as unproductive as Ceram. For miles round the town there were only low hills covered with coarse grass and scattered trees, less productive of insects than a bare moor in England. Some patches of wood here and there and the fruit trees around the town produced a few birds of peculiar species. I went to a place about twenty miles off, where there was some forest, and remained there most of my time; but insects were still very scarce, and birds almost equally so. I obtained, however, about a dozen quite new species of birds and others which were very rare, together with a small collection of beetles; and then, about the end of June, took the mail
These ideas were thoroughly worked out in my book on “The Geographical Distribution of Animals,” published in 1876.
steamer by Ternate and Menado to Sourabaya, the chief town in eastern Java.
I stayed here about a month, spending most of the time at the foot of the celebrated mount Arjuna; but the season was too dry, and both birds and insects very scarce. I therefore went on to Batavia and thence to Buitenzorg and to the Pangerango mountain, over ten thousand feet high. At a station about four thousand feet above sea-level, where the main road passes through some virgin forest, I stayed some weeks, and made a tolerable collection of birds and butterflies, though the season was here as much too wet as East Java was too dry. I next went to Palembang in Sumatra, which I reached by way of Banka on November 8. Here the country was mostly flooded, and I had to go up the river some distance to where a military road starts for the interior and across the mountains to Bencoolen. On this road, about seventy miles from Palembang, I came to a place called Lobo Raman, surrounded with some fine virgin forest and near the centre of East Sumatra. Here, and at another station on the road, I stayed about a month, and obtained a few very interesting birds and butterflies; but it was the height of the wet season, and all insects were scarce. I therefore returned to Palembang and Banka, and thence to Singapore, on my way home. While waiting here for the mail steamer, two living specimens of the smaller paradise bird (Paradisea papuana) were brought to Singapore by a trader, and I went to see them. They were in a large cage about five or six feet square, and seemed in good health, but the price asked for them was enormous, as they are so seldom brought, and the rich Chinese merchants or rich natives in Calcutta are always ready to purchase them. As they had never been seen alive in Europe I determined to take the risk and at once secured them, and with some difficulty succeeded in bringing them home in safety, where they lived in the Zoological Gardens for one and two years respectively.
While living in the wilds of Sumatra I wrote two letters, to my friends Bates and Silk, which, being the last I wrote before reaching home, may be of interest as showing what