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day without getting a new one. At Malacca and Singapore I collected about 160 species, at Sarawak 290, but as only about fifty from the former places occurred at the latter, my Longicorns must now reach about 400 species. . . . As to size, I have only about thirty species which exceed an inch in length, the majority being from one half to three quarters of an inch, while a considerable number are two or three lines only. I see you say you must have near 500 species of Longicorns; but I do not know if this refers to Ega only, or to your whole South American collections.
"The Geodephaga, always rare in the tropics, we must expect to be still more so in a level forest country so near the equator, yet I have found more species than I anticipatedas nearly as I can reckon, a hundred-twenty-four being Cicindelidæ (tiger beetles) of various groups.
“Lamellicorns are very scarce, about one hundred and forty species in all, of which twenty-five are Cetoniidæ, all rare, and about the same number of Lucanidæ. Elaters are rather plentiful, but with few exceptions small and obscure. I have one hundred and forty species, one nearly three inches long, and several of one and a half inch. The Buprestidæ are exceedingly beautiful, but the larger and finer species are very rare. I have one hundred and ten species, of which half are under one-third of an inch long, though one, Catoxantha bicolor, is two and a half inches. Two genera of Cleridæ are rather abundant, others rare ; but I have obtained about fifty species, which, compared with the very few previously known, is very satisfactory. Of the remaining groups, in which I took less interest, I have not accurately noted the number of species.
"The individual abundance of beetles is not, however, so large as the number of species would indicate. I hardly collect on an average more than fifty beetles a day, in which number there will be from thirty to forty species. Often, in fact, twenty or thirty beetles are as much as I can scrape together, even when giving my whole attention to them, for butterflies are too scarce to distract it. Of the other orders, of insects, I have no accurate notes; the species, however, of
all united (excluding Lepidoptera) about equal those of the beetles. I found one place only where I could collect moths, and have obtained altogether about one thousand species, mostly of small or average size. My total number of species of insects, therefore, I reckon at about six thousand, and of specimens collected about thirty thousand. From these data I think you will be able to form a pretty good judgment of the comparative entomological riches of the two countries. The matter, however, will not be definitely settled till I have visited Celebes, the Moluccas, etc., which I hope to find as much superior to the western group of islands as the Upper is to the Lower Amazon.
“In other branches of Natural History I have as yet done little. The birds of Malacca and Borneo, though beautiful, are too well known to be worth collecting largely. With the orang-utans I was successful, obtaining fifteen skins and skeletons, and proving, I think, the existence of two species, hitherto a disputed question. The forests here are scarcely to be distinguished from those of Brazil, except by the frequent presence of the various species of Calamus (Rattan palms) and the Pandani (Screw pines), and by the rarity of those Leguminous trees with finely divided foliage, which are so frequent in the Amazonian forests. The people and their customs I hardly like as well as those of Brazil, but the comparatively new settlements of Singapore and Sarawak are not quite comparable with the older towns of the Amazon. Here provisions and labour are dear, and travelling is both tedious and expensive. Servants' wages are high, and the customs of the country do not permit you to live in the freeand-easy style of Brazil.
"I must tell you that the fruits of the East are a delusion. Never have I seen a place where fruits are more scarce and poor than at Singapore. In Malacca and Sarawak they are more abundant, but there is nothing to make up for the deficiency of oranges, which are so poor and sour that they would hardly be eaten even in England. There are only two good fruits, the mangosteen and the durian. The first is a VOL. I.
very delicate juicy fruit, but hardly worthy of the high place that has been given it; the latter, however, is a wonderful fruit, quite unique of its kind, and worth coming to the Malay Archipelago to enjoy ; it is totally unlike every other fruit. A thick glutinous, almond-flavoured custard is the only thing it can be compared to, but which it far surpasses. These two fruits, however, can only be had for about two months in the year, and everywhere, except far into the interior, they are dear. The plantains and bananas even are poor, like the worst sorts in South America.
“May roth.—The ship for which I have been waiting nearly three months is in at last, and in about a week I hope to be off for Macassar. The monsoon, however, is against us, and we shall probably have a long passage, perhaps forty days. Celebes is quite as unknown as was the Upper Amazon before your visit to it, perhaps even more so. In the British Museum catalogues of Cetoniidæ, Buprestidæ, Longicorns, and Papilionidæ, not a single specimen is recorded from Celebes, and very few from the Moluccas; but the fine large species described by the old naturalists, some of which have recently been obtained by Madame Reiffer, give promise of what systematic collection may produce."
Before giving a general sketch of my life and work in less known parts of the Archipelago, I must refer to an article I wrote while in Sarawak, which formed my first contribution to the great question of the origin of species. It was written during the wet season, while I was staying in a little house at the mouth of the Sarawak river, at the foot of the Santubong mountain. I was quite alone, with one Malay boy as cook, and during the evenings and wet days I had nothing to do but to look over my books and ponder over the problem which was rarely absent from my thoughts. Having always been interested in the geographical distribution of animals and plants, having studied Swainson and Humboldt, and having now myself a vivid impression of the fundamental differences between the Eastern and Western tropics ; and
having also read through such books as Bonaparte's “Conspectus," already referred to, and several catalogues of insects and reptiles in the British Museum (which I almost knew by heart), giving a mass of facts as to the distribution of animals over the whole world, it occurred to me that these facts had never been properly utilized as indications of the way in which species had come into existence. The great work of Lyell had furnished me with the main features of the succession of species in time, and by combining the two I thought that some valuable conclusions might be reached. I accordingly put my facts and ideas on paper, and the result seeming to me to be of some importance, I sent it to The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, in which it appeared in the following September (1855). Its title was “On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species," which law was briefly stated (at the end) as follows: “Every species has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a pre-existing closely-allied species.” This clearly pointed to some kind of evolution. It suggested the when and the where of its occurrence, and that it could only be through natural generation, as was also suggested in the “Vestiges”; but the how was still a secret only to be penetrated some years later.
Soon after this article appeared, Mr. Stevens wrote me that he had heard several naturalists express regret that I was "theorizing," when what we had to do was to collect more facts. After this, I had in a letter to Darwin expressed surprise that no notice appeared to have been taken of my paper, to which he replied that both Sir Charles Lyell and Mr. Edward Blyth, two very good men, specially called his attention to it. I was, however, rewarded later, when in Huxley's chapter, “On the Reception of the Origin of Species,” contributed to the “Life and Letters,” he referred to this paper as—“his powerful essay," adding-—"On reading it afresh I have been astonished to recollect how small was the impression it made" (vol. ii. p. 185). The article is reprinted in my “Natural Selection and Tropical Nature.”
CELEBES, THE MOLUCCAS, NEW GUINEA, TIMOR,
JAVA, AND SUMATRA
HAVING been unable to find a vessel direct to Macassar, I took passage to Lombok, whence I was assured I should easily reach my destination. By this delay, which seemed to me at the time a misfortune, I was enabled to make some very interesting collections in Bali and Lombok, two islands which I should otherwise never have seen. I was thus enabled to determine the exact boundary between two of the primary zoological regions, the Oriental and the Australian, and also to see the only existing remnant of the Hindu race and religion, and of the old civilization which had erected the wonderful ruined temples in Java centuries before the Mohammedan invasion of the archipelago.
After two months and a half in Lombok, I found a passage to Macassar, which I reached the beginning of September, and lived there nearly three months, when I left for the Aru Islands in a native prau. The country around Macassar greatly disappointed me, as it was perfectly flat and all cultivated as rice fields, the only sign of woods being the palms and fruit trees in the suburbs of Macassar and others marking the sites of native villages. I had letters to a Dutch merchant who spoke English as well as Malay and the Bugis language of Celebes, and who was quite friendly with the native rajah of the adjacent territory. Through his good offices I was enabled to stay at a native village about eight miles inland, where there were some patches