Letter (WCP218.218)



Corfe View,



My dear Violet

I do not think it at all likely that any one can borrow animals from the zoo. whether "helephant[sic]" or "edgehog[sic]". They sell when they have plenty, but are not likely to be overrun with hedgehogs even if they have one. The best place for animals is in St. Andrew’s Street running from Oxford Street to Charing Cross. If you took a bus to Tottenham Court Road, it is only about 5 minutes walk (a policeman will direct you) and there are lots of shops where they sell birds, fish, tortoises, "& other hinsects[sic]" — & may have hedgehogs. If not you might go on to Covent Garden Market & enquire among the cheap flower-dealers outside, — but I sh[oul]d. think there is not much demand for hedgehogs & they would have to be ordered. [2] To get one stuffed would be perhaps even more difficult as of course they do not sell lend Museum specimens. Who had our stuffed one at Godalming? Did not Will give or sell it or exchange it to Vassall or Hayward? Another time get your specimens before you prepare your lesson. If2 you buy a hedgehog & cannot keep it in London, put it in a box and send it me by parcel post. I will give you what it costs.

If you send the pattern-doll to Ma she will make the dresses.

Poor Will has had an accident. It was last Friday week but we only heard of it on Thursday Friday last. His experiment in Chem.[istry] Lab.[oratory] busted, & glass flew into his eyes. He has been in a dark room for a week, but they seem to say he will get over it in a week or two more, but I have written to the doctor who is attending him & shall probably hear tomorrow morning. He sent us a Postcard though is not allowed to read or write, as one eye is bandaged & I expect much inflamed. I enclose his P.[ost]card. [3] If you can spare time you had better go and see him.

The rain is too awful for flowers. I cannot get Sunday Lecture tickets at St. George’s Hall. The back seats I think are cheap, only 6d — or 2d — ?

I have finished reading — "Why does Man Exist?" It is the most wonderful book I ever read, and, on the whole, the most satisfactory, — It is full of information on the physiology of animals & plants, but it also discusses and explains the nature of life, & personality, and free will, & the reason of evil, the organ of morality and the relations of man, god, & the universe, in a way that has never been equalled[sic]. It is so logical and so clear, that you (or "I") can’t help believing it, though it is so tremendously original, and in some parts startling enough [4] to take your breath away! You will have to read it in the holidays, — but it takes a lot of reading. Lloyd Morgan is nothing to it

Bye the bye — what is your lesson? Is it "criterion" or "cristian[sic]" or "criticism" or "cristerin[sic]" or "criterium", — or what! Neither Ma nor I can make it out. I return the word for you to translate and to serve as a study in "cryptography" or unintelligible writing! [an extract from Violet’s letter is pasted here and reads "give a critism[sic] lesson on"]

There is nothing specially interesting in the Reviews this month. I went to Sevenoaks on Saturday & staid[sic] till Tuesday! with the Swinton’s They will be glad to have you from Sat.[urday] to Mon.[day] whenever you like. It is the most beautiful bit of country I have ever seen!

Your affect.[ionat]e Pa. | Alfred R Wallace [signature]

Text in unknown hand reads "Bork. Why does Man Exsist[sic]." in pencil at the top left of page 1
The block of text from "If" to "costs" is written vertically up the left margin of page 2

Please cite as “WCP218,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 29 June 2022, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP218