From H. W. Bates 24 January 1863
10 Hollis place | Prince of Wales road | N.W.
Jan 24 1863
My Dear Mr Darwin
Although I cannot supply you with any information on the subject you mention I think it well to write saying that the day before receiving your last on repeating your enquiry to Mr Wallace he said he had certainly noticed Melastomæ in the Malay Archipelago to be frequented by small Hymenoptera.1 Neither he nor I could think of watching where & how bees found the fluid.
I cannot think of any one on the Amazons likely to know what is a Melastoma: there is however a Pará gentleman (now in England) who lives in the forest when at home & could pursue the enquiry if he knew the plants; him I have written to so probably you will hear from him.2 He knows the reward is purely honorary.
We had a pretty little Darwinian discussion at last meeting of Zoological: an impartial auditor must have thought the Darwinians had the best of it3
Yours sincerely | H W Bates
P.S. I have committed the folly of getting married & as lady & self have both a strong desire to live in or near London,4 I am going to try hard to get employment to add to my small independent income sufficient to live here & devote all time to science
First vol. of book nearly finished printing.5 All illustrations done but 3 or 4 & the map which require 4 or 5 days more. M.S. finished except a few lines to the last & toughest discussion & preface.6 I am told 1250 copies to be struck off but do not know if this be correct. The illustrations are extremely beautiful I have watched over nearly all & some of them are quite in an original style for books of travel7
Wallace noticed that melastomads in Malay archipelago were visited by small Hymenoptera.
Darwinism discussed at the last meeting of the Zoological Society. The Darwinians had the best of it.
HWB has committed the "folly" of marriage [to Sarah Ann Mason, 15 Jan 1863].
Printing of vol. 1 [of Naturalist on the river Amazons] is nearly finished.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3941,” accessed on 25 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3941