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To Professor Louis Agassiz.

Boston, U. S. A., January 14, 1866.
my dear Agassiz,—You have written me three interesting and important letters from Brazil, and I have answered neither of them, partly from good reasons, partly from poor; neither worth remembering now. But I think I have done exactly what you meant I should do; I have used them in every way I could for the benefit of the Museum, and of your present expedition. Out of them, mainly, I have made two reports, which I suppose will be published this winter, and which I hope you will find substantially right.

But this is all. We have all agreed that it was better not to go into the newspapers at present; but rather to leave the account of your doings and their results to come out from higher and more authentic sources, or what will ultimately be best, from yourself. . . . .

There is, however, one matter about which it seems especially important to write to you now. By your last letter to me, dated Manaos, 23d November, as well as from other letters I have seen, it is apparent that you would like to stay longer in Brazil; probably another season. It does not surprise me. You are, besides many other things higher and better, a collector. You are a passionate collector. I have seen and known many such, but I never saw one who was satisfied with what he had gathered. There is, however, somewhere, a natural and necessary limit to everything human, and it is clearly the part of wisdom to discover betimes where that limit is fixed, lest we should make serious mistakes in what is most important for the ordering of our lives; I mean, if it is in a matter which really concerns our well-being and success.

At the present moment, and in relation to your present plans, there seem to be two points of this sort, in which you and your friends are alike deeply interested. The first relates to the care and preservation of the specimens you may collect, and which must, most of them, perish or lose their value if not cared for in good season and efficiently. Before you went to South America there were twice as many specimens in your possession as could be properly arranged in the present building. You bade me say so in one of the Reports of the Committee on the Museum, and it was said accordingly, and remains now of record. Since you left us vast numbers of other specimens have been received, by way of exchange and donation, from Europe and all parts of the world; and there seems, from your letters, to be no end to those you are sending from Brazil. We do not believe that it will be possible

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