Letter (WCP155.155)


Parkstone, Dorset.

Nov. 21st. 1891

My dear Will

We were very glad to hear that your accident has not been bad as it might have been, & that you are getting well and able to go to College again. Pray be careful and do not read too much at night till your eye gets strong again. You have not told us whether you had glass in both eyes, as you said that when the glass was taken out of one eye you could not see out of the other or open it. Explain this when you write next. I had a paper yesterday from California (Stockton) with a par. in it that, the day before [2] John Wallace, the pioneer Surveyor, had fallen off a balcony, 8 feet, & broken his arm in two pieces. That was exactly a week before your accident. I hope to have a letter soon to say how he has got over it. Eight feet is a great fall for a man 73 years old, and I am afraid he may never quite get over it.

I & Monk have been working out at the pond & bog the last 3 weeks, about 2 days a week. I had a large load of clay from Jennings’ & a load of fine bog peat from the water-works, & a load of bricks, and a sack of cement. We have made the sides of the pond brick, cemented; the bottom clay. There are three projecting pockets built out to grow water plants in, and somewhere about the centre a [3] fountain. I expect we shall finish it tomorrow & then let the water in & see if it leaks! The bog is also lined with clay & filled with fibry blog peat and earth mixed, and the overflow from the pond runs into the bog. The earth out of both has been made into a bank between the pond & the border on the road side.

About the drawing instruments I am doubtful exactly what to get you. I have got Stanley’s Catalogue, who is one of the best makers, and I enclose you the pages contg the drawing instruments. Some of them have a beam-compass beads in them, — which we have somewhere, here, unless you have them with you. I thought the cases I have marked A. & B would be about what you be most useful [4] for you, but you can have any case fitted with any instruments at a proportional cost. So if you liked to have the larger case, like those marked C or D (in pencil) with only what instruments are now most necessary, you could add afterwards other instruments as you required them, & would have room for them in the case.

It will be best for you to consult some of your professors or teachers, and then go to Stanley’s yourself and see these cases, and let me know exactly what would be best. I do not mind going to five or even six guineas for you to have really good and useful instruments.

The steam will still force the water to overflow in the cistern & wet the ceiling of your room, so we are going to have a steam pipe straight up to the roof.

Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Please cite as “WCP155,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 12 April 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP155