Letter (WCP4.4)


Parkstone, Dorset

Nov. 9th. 1890

My dear Willie

I have ordered the two books you want, of Macmillan, & they will be sent to you at the College. You will get them probably on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The storm did us no harm except stopping work on the home a little. This week we have made a good deal of change if not very much progress. The cesspool was emptied partially, on Wednesday night & has now been closed up again after the new drains were put in. The gentleman who superintended the building of the house, then Jennings’ Manager, has been here & explained all about the drainage. When the railway bridge was built it the embankment cut off the [2] drainage of the little valley in which our house stands, & he laid a drain to carry off the surface water into the ditch on the side of the station yard. The Railway Company also drained the water in the cutting to the same place so they are sure not to stop it up and have no right to do so. That was before the house was built. When it was built all the rain water and the sink water was taken into this drain, — and the cesspool made for the closet only, but there is an overflow from the cesspool into the water-drain and this is the reason it has gone on nine years & ever wanted emptying and it might have gone on nine more years longer and no one would have known and or objected. It is a large cesspool, and it was [3] almost all water in it, so that the solid matter all dissolves and goes off in the overflow. The roof at the back is now finished tiling, but the plumber’s work is not quite finished. The front wall of new drawing room is broken down and the new wall half built up so we are quite open. Next week I hope that will be finished & then there will only be inside work. A new man has come to do all the inside water-pipes, bath, lavatory, & a nice intelligent man who seems to understand his business thoroughly. The roof over your balcony looks very sorry, the posts are not up yet.

When I sent the fee for the year’s session £15 I asked for a Programme & your registration. Mr. Dove sent it with [4] a letter asking me to send 6 in stamps for it. I have not done so as I had never been asked for anything before. Will you ask Meldola1 or Professor Thompson2 if this is an authorized charge, & if so give him (Mr. Dove) the 6 stamps which I enclose. I think they ought to just — "price 6." on the Programme, if even those who pay the College fees may not have a copy free.

Mr. Sharpe3 is a trifle better, and I hope he may recover, but it is still uncertain, & will be very slow any how. His illness is simply a result of neglecting a wetting, & the subsequent cold. I suppose you have not begun differential calculus yet. Do practice it a little at home so as not to forget what you have learnt. Mind & give us some more "days’ work—."

Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace. [signature]

Meldola, Raphael (1849-1915). British chemist and entomologist.
Thompson, Silvanus Phillips (1851-1916 ). Principal of the City and Guilds Technical College, London.
Sharpe, J.W. (-). Old friend and neighbour of ARW in Godalming and an assistant master at Charterhouse School.

Please cite as “WCP4,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 25 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP4