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AUTHOR OF "THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES,”
3 Dedicate this Book,
AS A TOKEN OF PERSONAL ESTEEM AND FRIENDSHIP,
TO EXPRESS MY DEEP ADMIRATION
Kis Genins and his Works.
readers will naturally ask why I have delayed writing this book for six years after my return; and I feel bound to give them full satisfaction on this point.
When I reached England in the spring of 1862, I found myself surrounded by a room full of packing-cases, containing the collections that I had from time to time sent home for my private use. These comprised nearly three thousand bird-skins, of about a thousand species; and at least twenty thousand beetles and butterflies, of about seven thousand species; besides some quadrupeds and landshells. A large proportion of these I had not seen for years; and in my then weak state of health, the unpacking, sorting, and arranging of such a mass of specimens occupied a long time.
I very soon decided that, until I had done something toward naming and describing the most important groups in my collection, and had worked out some of the more interesting problems of variation and geographical distribution, of which I had had glimpses while collecting them, I would not attempt to publish my travels. I could, indeed, at once have printed my notes and journals, leaving all reference to questions of natural history for a future work; but I felt that this would be as unsatisfactory to myself, as it would be disappointing to my friends, and uninstructive to the public.
Since my return, up to this date, I have published eighteen papers, in the Transactions or Proceedings of the Linnæan Zoological and Entomological Societies, describing or cataloguing portions of my collections; besides twelve others in various scientific periodicals, on more general subjects connected with them.
Nearly two thousand of my Coleoptera, and many hundreds of my butterflies, have been already described by various eminent naturalists, British and foreign; but a much larger number remains undescribed. Among those to whom science is most indebted for this laborious work, I must name Mr. F. P. Pascoe, late President of the Entomological Society of London, who has almost completed the classification and description of my large collection of Longicorn beetles (now in his possession), comprising more than a thousand species, of