PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID
IN HIS YOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD
IN THE SHIP "BEAGLE"
THE " BEAGLE " LAID ASHORE AT THE MOUTH OF THE SANTA CRUZ
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
rtat Name of
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW IN HIS VOYAGE
ROUND THE WORLD IN THE
design of this book can be stated in a few words,
namely, to interest children in the study of natural his-
tory, and of physical and political geography.
I. It would be hard to find a child indifferent to stories
about animals. The number of books, both systematic and
unsystematic, to which this fact has given rise is very large ;
but the enormous progress in zoological science has been
fatal to the survival of most of them. Children of a prior
generation had their curiosity about the brute creation sat-
isfied by White's Selbome and Bewick's Quadrupeds; and
the former classic is even now reprinted in popular editions,
with illustrations which may and do attract the young. But
adults, and even scholars, alone can enjoy Selborne to the
full; while not merely is the Quadrupeds out of print and
difficult to procure, but its text is too antiquated to be use-
fully put before a child. Its incomparable illustrations de-
serve a perpetual lease of life. The first section of the pres-
ent compilation, entitled "Animals," though written more
10 FOR PARENTS.
than forty years ago, will, it is confidently believed, be as
fresh and trustworthy forty years hence as it is now.
The compiler has thought it an advantage to connect
stories about a great variety of animals with one person, and
he an observer of such credibility and authority that little
if anything that was learned of him would have to be un-
learned. Mr. Darwin is, of course, pre-eminently such an ob-
server. On the other hand, by carefully connecting these
stories also with the places on the earth's surface where the
animals were studied, a correct notion will be had of the
distribution of the animal kingdom, with a corresponding
insight into the geography of the globe in its broadest sense.
Finally, by placing these stories first in order, the attention
of the youngest readers is assured. No artificial grouping
has been attempted.
II. Scarcely inferior in interest to tales of animals are
accounts of strange peoples and customs, particularly of sav-
age and barbarous life. The section entitled " Man," there-
fore, should not disappoint the youthful reader.
III. Closely allied with the foregoing are the contents of
the section entitled (for want of a better designation) " Ge-
ography," which consists partly of descriptions of cities, the
habitations of man, partly of descriptions of rivers, moun-
tains, valleys, plains, and other physical features of the coun-
tries visited by Mr. Darwin.
IV. Finally, in the section styled " Nature " will be found
some account of the grander terrestrial processes and phe-
FOR PARENTS. 11
nomena, with other matters which a strict classification might
have placed in the preceding section, but which were inten-
tionally reserved till the last, as being least easy to compre-
hend. But experience may show that, on the whole, this is
far from being the least interesting of the four.
From what has been said, it will be perceived that, if the
attempted gradation has been successful, this book recom-
mends itself to every member of a household, from the
youngest to the oldest. A child may safely be left to read
as far as he is interested, or as far as he can understand with
facility, in the certainty that each year afterward he will
push his explorations a little further, till the end has been
reached and the whole is within his grasp. Meantime, par-
ents can read aloud selected passages even in advance of
the child's progress. Nor does the compiler seem to him-
self to overrate his collection of excerpts w r hen he suggests
its use as a graded reader in schools. Its capacity for rhe-
torical exercise will be found greater than might have been
expected, and those who have been led to believe Mr. Darwin
a materialist will discover here eloquent expression of human
sympathies as broad as those immortalized by the old Eo-
man comedian " Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto."
Some liberties have been taken with the original text.
Notices of the same animal, or place, or nationality, or phe-
nomenon, in different parts of the narrative, have been gath-
ered together and pieced where necessary; and (always after
much hesitation) a more simple word or phrase has occasion-
12 FOR PARENTS.
ally been substituted for a less simple. But the amount of
these additions and alterations is relatively so slight that it
is true to say that Mr. Darwin speaks throughout. A few
of the illustrations are borrowed from the original narrative
and from its sister reports; but by far the greater number
have been derived from other sources, and all with a view
to conveying correct information. The maps interspersed
with the text or placed at the end of the volume contain
every significant geographical name mentioned in the text.
After all, it is hoped that every one who here learns for
the first time a small portion of " what Mr. Darwin saw,"
on his memorable first journey abroad, will sooner or later
betake himself to the delightful and ever wonderful una-
bridged report of the most momentous voyage round the
world since Columbus.
NEW YORK, October 1, 1879.
TWEKYBODY has eyes, but, as you know, some people
are blind ; and many of those who are not blind wear
glasses, and cannot see without them. But even those whose
eyes are good and strong do not all see alike. In a roomful
of people, you would be sure to see your father and mother;
and if all the rest were strangers to you, you would probably
not notice a good many of them. Or if you were just learn-
ing to read, and were shown a printed page, you would see
the words you know how to spell, and would pay very lit-
tle attention to most of the others. If we should go search-
ing for spring flowers, I, who know what anemones and
hepaticas are like, should find more than you who had never
seen them before. And if our walk was among woods, some
would come home remembering only that they had seen
trees; others, that they had seen pines and oaks; and I
alone, perhaps, that I had seen birches and ash -trees too.
And again, if our excursion was by roads you had never
travelled before, some of you could next time go the same
way without my showing yon, while others would feel lost
at the first turn.
*.. & Str*ther,,-N. T.
So those see best who know the most, or who naturally
take notice of new things. Now Charles Darwin, about
FOR CHILDREN. 17
whom I am going to tell you presently, is one of the best
seers that ever lived, partly because he had learned so well
what to look for, and partly because nothing escaped his
eyes. Before he himself travelled, he read a great many
books of travel, and he seemed to remember at the right
time just what it was useful for him to remember. But
before that, he had trained himself, with the aid of the mi-
croscope, to observe little things; and people have not yet
got over their astonishment at learning how many important
things he thus saw which they had never seen, or had seen
without thinking them of any consequence. And now all
the world looks at things differently from what it used to
before he showed it how. How he saw things you will
partly see by reading the following pages, taken from his
account of the voyage of the Beagle.
Charles Darwin (whose full name is Charles Robert Dar-
win) was born at Shrewsbury, a famous town in Shropshire,
England, February 12, 1809. His father was Dr. Robert
Waring Darwin ; his grandfather Dr. Erasmus Darwin, also
a distinguished naturalist. His mother's father was Josiah
Wedgwood, the celebrated manufacturer of pottery, some
of which goes by his name. Mr. Darwin was educated, first
at Shrewsbury, then at the University of Edinburgh, and
finally at Christ's College, Cambridge. The end of his
schooling was in 1831. Then Captain Fitzroy invited him
to join the Beagle as naturalist, and he sailed from Devon-
port, England, December 27, 1831, not to return till October
22, 1836. The object of the expedition was principally "to
complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, com-
menced under Captain King in 1826 to 1830, and to survey
THE KINGDOM OF .3ESOP.
the shores of Chili, Peru, and of some islands in the Pacific,"
besides sailing round the world. The first Christmas -day
spent away from England (1832) was at St. Martin's Cove,
FOR CHILDREN. 19
near Cape Horn; the second (1833), at Port Desire, in Pat-
agonia; the third (1834), in a wild harbor in the peninsula
of Tres Montes, also in Patagonia; the fourth and last (1835),
at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The map facing page
17 will show you the course of the expedition.
Before beginning to read "What Mr. Darwin Saw," try
how good a seer you are by counting the various animals
shown in the wood-engraving on the opposite page, by the
great Thomas Bewick.
PREFACE FOR PARENTS Page 9
PREFACE FOR CHILDREN . 13
The Horse Page 29
The Mule 33
The Ox 34
The Dog ........ 37
The Monkey 38
The Guanaco 41
The Puma 44
The Jaguar 46
The Bizcacha 48
The Seal - . . 50
The Whale 52
The Porpoise ........ 53
The Lizard 56
The Tortoise . 60
The Casarita . '
Tame Birds on Desert Islands
The Crab .
The Savage ....... 92
The Fuegian 93
The Patagonian 104
The Indian of the Pampas . .105
The Negro Ill
The Gaucho .116
The La Platan 124
The Uruguayan 125
The Chileno 128
The Spaniard 132
The Tahitian 135
The Australian Negro . . . .138
Uruguay Page 143
River Parana 144
Plate River 146
La Plata 146
The Pampas 149
Tierra del Fuego 151
Chiloe . .153
Valparaiso Page 1 54
New South Wales . 164
The Kauri Pine 171
The Beech 172
The Kelp 172
Fossil Trees , .178
An Old Sea-bed . ... . .182
Hibernation of Animals . . .195
The Ocean 196
Lagoon Islands 197
INDEX OF NOTABLE PERSONS 205
GENERAL INDEX . 219
1. CHARLES DARWIN Frontispiece
2. THE "BEAGLE" BEACHED AT THE MOUTH OF THE SANTA CRUZ Vignette
3. THE KINGDOM OF ^Esor (AFTER BEWICK) 18
4. ANCIENT GREEK HORSE-RACE 30
5. THRESHING GRAIN WITH HORSES IN ARMENIA (AsiA MINOR) ... 31
6. FOSSIL REMAINS OF A MEGATHERIUM 32
7. FOSSIL REMAINS OF AN ELEPHANT 32
8. GAUCHOS BRANDING CATTLE ON AN ESTANCIA 35
9. SHEPHERD-DOG 37
10. MONKEY WITH PREHENSILE TAIL 38
11. TOUCANS 41
12. GUANACO (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) 42
13. PUMA .45
14. JAGUAR 46
15. CAPIBARA 46
16. AUSTRALIAN BOWER BIRD 49
17. SEAL 51
18. TERN 51
19. GULL 51
20. SEA-LION (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) 52
21. PHOSPHORESCENT SEA 55
22. CACTUS GROWTH IN THE DESERTS OF UTAH 59
23. TORTOISE 61
24. CUTTLE-FISH 64
25. CORMORANT 65
26. CONDOR 67
27. SKELETON OF AN OSTRICH .72
28. ST. PAUL'S ROCKS 75
29. NODDY 76
30. FLYING-FISH 77
31. HEAD OF A FLY-CATCHER 78
32. TURTLE-DOVE 78
33. "EARTH" OF THE Fox 79
34. WILD GOOSE 80
35. OWL 80
36. GRASSHOPPER 81
37. LOCUSTS 82
38. ARMY OF ANTS .83
39. WASP AND SPIDER 85
40. SPIDER 86
41. ROBBER-CRAB 87
42. LION IN HIS DESERT (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) 92
43. RHINOCEROS (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) 93
44. NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN WINNEBAGO (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) . . 95
45. SOUTH AFRICAN KAFFIR 97
46. AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES 98
47. FUEGIAN FEAST 100
48. SOUTH SEA ISLANDERS 103
49. BUSHMEN OF SOUTH AFRICA 104
50. LENGUA INDIANS (PLATE RIVER BASIN) 106
51. SOLDIERS OF GENERAL ROSAS 107
52. POST ON THE PAMPAS 112
53. PERNAMBUCO 114
54. GAUCHO 117
55. NOT TO BE THROWN .119
56. USE OF LAZO AND BOLAS 122
57. AGOUTI 124
58. ESTANCIERO 127
59. TANATERO ORE-CARRIER 131
60. TAMARIND-TREE AT POINT VENUS, TAHITI, SOCIETY ISLANDS . . .133
61. NATIVE BAMBOO HOUSE, TAHITI 136
62. FIRE BY FRICTION . . ..-. . . .137
63. BANANA LEAVES AND FRUIT-STALK. . .... . . '. . . .137
64. BANANA BLOSSOM 138
65. AUSTRALIAN NEGRO . 139
ILL US TEA TIONS. 25
66. KANGAROO 139
67. AUSTRALIAN "CORROBERY" 140
68. OLIVE BRANCH 143
69. MONTEVIDEO, FROM THE SEA 144
70. MONTEVIDEO, LOOKING TOWARD THE HARBOR 146
71. OX-CART OF THE PAMPAS 148
72. MOUNTAINS AND GLACIERS IN MAGELLAN STRAIT 152
73. CUSTOMS GUARD-HOUSE, VALPARAISO, CHILE 154
74. PLAZA DE LA CONSTITUCION, SANTA CRUZ 155
75. PEAK OF TENERIFFE 156
76. ORANGE-GROVES 157
77. LIMA 161
78. FRUIT OF THE BREAD-FRUIT TREE 163
79. AVENUE OF PALMS, BOTANIC GARDENS, Rio 164
80. TAHITIAN COAST SCENERY 165
81. CAPE TOWN, CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) . . . 166
82. EUCALYPTUS-TREE, OR BLUE-GUM (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) . . . .167
83. MANGO FRUIT . 171
84. CHRISTMAS HARBOR, KERGUELEN LAND 173
85. STAR-FISH ' 175
86. USPALLATA PASS 180
87. CAPE FROWARD (PATAGONIA), STRAIT OF MAGELLAN 182
88. ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ 189
89. ROBINSON CRUSOE 190
90. ALBATROSS 197
91. VIEW OF AN ATOLL 199
92. COCOA-NUT PALM (FROM A PHOTOGRAPH) 200
93. CORAL ARCHITECTS 202
94. POLYP 203
95. GROWTH OF CORAL ON A MOUNTAIN SLOWLY SUBSIDING .... 204
96. JOHN JAMES AUDUBON 206
97. ADMIRAL JOHN BYRON 208
98. CAPTAIN JAMES COOK 209
99. KARAKAKOOA BAY, THE SCENE OF CAPTAIN COOK'S DEATH . . . 210
100. CAPTAIN WILLIAM DAMPIER .... .212
MAPS AND CHARTS.
I. ENGLAND AND WALES 14
II. COURSE OF THE "BEAGLE" 16
III. BAY OF Rio DE JANEIRO , .... 39
IV. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS 57
V. CANARY ISLANDS 155
VI. LIMA AND CALLAO 162
VII. ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ 189
VIII. KEELING ISLAND 198
IX. EASTERN HEMISPHERE 229
X. WESTERN HEMISPHERE 231
XL CHILE, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION, URUGUAY 233
XII. PATAGONIA, TIERRA DEL FUEGO 235
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
T ONCE crossed the River Santa Lucia near its mouth,
-*- and was surprised to observe how easily our horses, al-
though not used to swim, passed over a width of at least
six hundred yards. On mentioning this at Montevideo, I
was told that a vessel containing some mountebanks and
their horses being wrecked in the Plata, one horse swam seven
miles to the shore. In the course of the day I was amused
by the skill with which a Gaucho forced a restive horse to
swim a river. He stripped off all his clothes, and, jumping on
its back, rode into the water till it was out of its depth ; then,
slipping off over the crupper, he caught hold of the tail, and
as often as the horse turned round the man frightened it
back by splashing water in its face. As soon as the horse
touched the bottom on the other side, the man pulled him-
self on, and was firmly seated, bridle in hand, before the
horse gained the bank. A naked man on a naked horse is
a fine spectacle; I had no idea how well the two animals
suited each other. The tail of a horse is a very useful ap-
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW
pendage : I have passed a river in a boat with four people
in it, which was ferried across in the same way as the Gau-
cho. If a man and horse have to cross a broad river, the
A NAKED MAN ON A NAKED HORSE. (ANCIENT GREEK HORSE-RACE.)
best plan is for the man to catch hold of the pommel or
mane, and help himself with the other arm.
We were delayed crossing the Kio Colorado by some
immense troops of mares, which were swimming the river in
order to follow a division of troops into the interior. A
more ludicrous spectacle I never beheld than the hundreds
and hundreds of heads, all directed one way, with pointed
ears and distended nostrils, appearing just above the water,
like a great shoal of some amphibious animal. Mares' flesh
is the only food which the soldiers have when on an expe-
dition. This gives them a great facility of movement, for
the distance to which horses can be driven over these plains
is quite surprising. I have been assured that an unloaded
horse can travel a hundred miles a day for many days suc-
At an estancia (grazing farm) near Las Vacas large num-
bers of mares are weekly slaughtered for the sake of their
hides, although worth only five paper dollars apiece. It
seems at first strange that it can answer to kill mares for
THE HORSE. 31
such a trifle; but as it is thought ridiculous in this country
ever to break in or ride a mare, they are of no value except
for breeding. The only thing for which I ever saw mares
used was to tread out wheat from the ear; for which pur-
pose they were driven round a circular enclosure, where the
wheat-sheaves were strewed.
It is a marvellous fact that in South America a native
horse should have lived and disappeared, to be succeeded
in after-ages by the countless herds descended from the few
introduced with the Spanish colonists ! As the remains of
elephants, mastodons, horses, and hollow -horned ruminants
are found on both sides of Behring's Straits and on the
plains of Siberia, we are led to look to the north-western
side of North America as the former point of communication
between the Old and the so-called New World. And as so
many species, both living and extinct, of these same genera
THRESHING CORN WITH HORSES IN ARMENIA.
inhabit and have inhabited the Old World, it seems most
probable that the North American elephants, mastodons,
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
FOSSIL REMAINS OF A MEGATHERIUM.
horses, and hollow-horned ruminants migrated, on land since
submerged near Behring's Straits, from Siberia into North
America, and thence, on land since submerged in the West
FOSSIL REMAINS OF AN ELEPHANT.
THE MULE. 33
Indies, into South America, where for a time they mingled
with the forms characteristic of that southern continent, and
have since become extinct.
The horse was first landed at Buenos Ayres in 1537, and
the colony being then for a time deserted, the horse ran
wild. In 1580, only forty-three years afterward, we hear of
them at the Strait of Magellan !
WHEN about half-way up the Portillo Pass, we met a
large party with seventy loaded mules. It was interesting
to hear the wild cries of the muleteers, and to watch the
long descending string of the animals; they appeared so
diminutive, there being nothing but the bleak mountains
with which they could be compared. The madrina (or
godmother) is a most important personage: she is an old,
steady mare, with a little bell round her neck; and wher-
ever she goes, the mules, like good children, follow her. The
affection of these animals for their madrinas saves infinite
trouble. If several large troops are turned into one field to
graze, in the morning the muleteers have only to lead the
madrinas a little apart, and tinkle their bells ; and, although
there may be two or three hundred together, each mule im-
mediately knows the bell of its own madrina, and comes to
her. It is nearly impossible to lose an old mule; for if
detained for several hours by force, she will, by the power of
smell, like a dog, track out her companions (or rather the
madrina, for, according to the muleteer, she is the chief ob-
34 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
ject of affection. I believe I am right, however, in saying
that any animal with a bell will serve as a madrina). In a
troop, each animal carries, on a level road, a cargo weighing
four hundred and sixteen pounds, but in a mountainous coun-
try one hundred pounds less; yet with what delicate, slim
limbs, without any proportional bulk of muscle, these animals
support so great a burden ! The mule always appears to me
a most surprising animal. That the offspring of the horse
and the ass should possess more reason, memory, obstinacy,
social affection, powers of muscular endurance, and length
of life, than either of its parents, seems to indicate that art
has here outdone nature.
THE chief trouble with an estancia (grazing farm) is
driving the cattle twice a week to a central spot, in order
to make them tame and to count them. This latter opera-
tion would be thought difficult where there are ten or fif-
teen thousand head together. It is managed on the princi-
ple that the cattle invariably divide themselves into little
troops (tropillas) of from forty to a hundred. Each troop
is recognized by a few peculiarly marked animals, and its
number is known ; so that, one being lost out of ten thou-
sand, it is perceived by its absence from one of the tropi-
llas. During a stormy night the cattle all mingle together,
but the next morning the tropillas separate as before; so
that each animal must know its fellow out of ten thousand
THE DOG. 37
WHEN riding, it is a common thing to meet a large
flock of sheep guarded by one or two dogs, at the distance
of some miles from any house or man. I often wondered
how so firm a friendship had been established. The method
of education consists in separating the puppy, while very
young, from its mother, and in accustoming it to its future
companions. A ewe is held three or four times a day for
the little thing to suck, and a nest of wool is made for it in
the sheep -pen; at no time is it allowed to associate with
other dogs, or with the children of the family. From this
education, it has no wish to leave the flock ; and just as an-
other dog will defend its master, man, so will these the sheep.
It is amusing to observe, when approaching a flock, how the
dog immediately advances barking, and the sheep all close
in his rear, as if round the oldest ram. These dogs are also
easily taught to bring home the flock at a certain hour
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
in the evening. Their most troublesome fault, when young,
is their desire of playing with the sheep ; for in their sport
they sometimes gallop the poor things most unmercifully.
The shepherd-dog comes to the house every day for some
meat, and as soon as it is given him he skulks away, as if
ashamed of himself. On these occasions the house-dogs are
very tyrannical, and the least of them will attack and pur-
sue the stranger. The minute, however, the latter has reached
the flock, he turns round and begins to bark, and then all
the house-dogs take very quickly to their heels. In a sim-
ilar manner, a whole pack of the hungry wild dogs will
scarcely ever venture to attack a flock guarded by even
one of these faithful shepherds. In this case the shepiierd-
dog seems to regard the sheep as its fellow -brethren, and
thus gains confidence ;
and the wild dogs,
though knowing that
the individual sheep are
not dogs, but are good
to eat, yet, when seeing
them in a flock with a
shepherd - dog at their
head, partly consent to
regard them as he does.
MONKEY WITH PREHENSILE TAIL.
DUEING my stay at
Rio de Janeiro I resided
RIO DE JANEIRO
in a cottage at Botafogo Bay. An old Portuguese priest
took me out to hunt with him. The sport consisted in
turning into the cov-
er a few dogs, and
then patiently wait-
ing to fire at any
animal which might
appear. My com-
panion, the day be-
fore, had shot two
large bearded mon-
keys. These animals
have prehensile tails,
the extremity of
which, even after
death, can support
the whole weight
of the body. One
of them thus remained fast to a branch, and it was neces-
sary to cut down a large tree to procure it. This was
soon done, and down came tree and monkey with an awful
crash. Our day's sport, besides the monkey, was confined to
some small green parrots and a few toucans.
THE guanaco, or wild llama, is the characteristic quadru-
ped of the plains of Patagonia; it is the South American
representative of the camel of the East. It is an elegant
42 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
animal in a state of nature, with a long slender neck and
fine legs. It is very common over the whole of the tem-
perate parts of the continent, as far south as the islands
near Cape Horn. It generally lives in small herds of from
half a dozen to thirty 'in each ; but on the banks of the
Santa Cruz we saw one herd which must have contained
at least five hundred.
They are generally wild and extremely wary. The
sportsman frequently receives the first notice of their pres-
ence by hearing from a long distance their peculiar shrill
neighing note of alarm. If he then looks attentively, he
will probably see the herd standing in a line on the side
of some distant hill. On approaching nearer, a few more
squeals are given, and off they set at an apparently slow,
but really quick canter, along some narrow beaten track to
a neighboring hill. If, however, by chance he abruptly
meets a single animal, or several together, they will gener-
THE GUANACO. 43
ally stand motionless and intently gaze at him ; then per-
haps move on a few yards, turn round, and look again.
What is the cause of this difference in their shyness? Do
they mistake a man in the distance for their chief enemy,
the puma? or does curiosity overcome their timidity? That
they are curious is certain ; for if a person lies on the ground,
and plays strange antics, such as throwing up his feet in
the air, they will almost always approach by degrees to ex-
amine him. It was a trick repeatedly practised by our
sportsmen with success, and it had, moreover, the advantage
of allowing several shots to be fired, which were all taken
as parts of the performance. On the mountains of Tierra
del Fuego I have more than once seen a guanaco, on being
approached, not only neigh and squeal, but prance and leap
about in the most ridiculous manner, apparently in defiance,
as a challenge. These animals are very easily tamed, and
I have seen some thus kept in Patagonia near a house,
though not under any restraint. They are in this state
very bold, and readily attack a man by striking him be-
hind with both knees. The wild guanacos, however, have
no idea of defence; even a single dog will secure one of
these large animals till the huntsman can come up. In
many of their habits they are like sheep in a flock. Thus,
when they see men approaching in several directions on
horseback, they soon become bewildered, and know not which
way to run. This greatly favors the Indian mode of hunt-
ing, for they are thus easily driven to a central point and
The guanacos readily take to the water; several times
44 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
at Port Valdes they were seen swimming from island to
island. Byron, in his voyage, says he saw them drinking
salt water. Some of our officers likewise saw a herd ap-
parently drinking the briny fluid from a salina (salt-marsh)
near Cape Blanco. I imagine that, in several parts of the
country, if they do not drink salt water they drink none
at all. In the middle of the day they frequently roll in
the dust, in saucer-shaped hollows. Herds sometimes seem
to set out on exploring parties. At Bahia Blanca, where,
within thirty miles of the coast, these animals are extremely
infrequent, I one day saw the track of thirty or forty, which
had come in a direct line to a muddy salt-water creek. They
then must have perceived that they were approaching the
sea, for they had wheeled with the regularity of cavalry,
and had returned back in as straight a line as they had
advanced. The guanacos, like sheep, always follow the same
The puma, with the condor and other carrion-hawks in
its train, follows and preys upon these animals. On the
banks of the Santa Cruz the footsteps of the purna were to
be seen almost everywhere; and the remains of several gua-
nacos, with their necks dislocated and bones broken, showed
how they had met their death.
THE puma, or South American lion (Felis concolor),
is not uncommon in Chile. This animal has a wide geo-
graphical range, being found from the equatorial forests,
throughout the deserts of Patagonia, as far south as the
damp and cold latitudes (fifty-three to fifty-four degrees) of
Tierra del Fuego. I have seen its footsteps in the cordillera
of Central Chile, at an elevation of at least ten thousand feet.
In La Plata the puma preys chiefly on deer, ostriches, bizca-
chas, and other small quadrupeds; it there seldom attacks
cattle or horses, and most rarely man. In Chile, however, it
destroys many young horses and cattle, owing probably to
the scarcity of other quadrupeds. I heard, likewise, of two
men and a woman who
had been thus killed. It
is said that the puma al-
ways kills its prey by
springing on the shoul-
ders, and then drawing
back the head with one
of its paws until the ver-
tebrae break. The puma,
after eating its fill, cov-
ers the carcass with many
large bushes, and lies down to watch it. This habit is often
the cause of its being discovered ; for the condors, wheel-
ing in the air, every now and then descend to share in the
feast, and, being angrily driven away, rise all together on the
wing. The Chilean then knows there is a lion watching his
prey; the word is given, and men and dogs hurry to the
The flesh of the puma is in great esteem, resembling veal
not a little both in color, taste, and flavor.
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
THE wooded banks of the great rivers appear to be the
favorite haunts of the jaguar; but south of the Plata, I was
told they frequented the reeds
bordering lakes : wherever they
are, they seem to require wa-
ter. Their common prey is the
capibara, or water-hog, so that
it is generally said, where ca-
pibaras are numerous there is
little danger from the jaguar.
Falconer states that near the
southern side of the mouth of
the Plata there are many jag-
uars, and that they chiefly live
on fish. This account I have
heard repeated. On the Parana they have killed many
wood-cutters, and have even entered vessels at night. When
the floods drive these animals from the islands they are most
dangerous. I was told that,
a few years since, a very large
one found its way into a cliurch
at Santa Fe: two priests, en-
tering one after the other, were
killed, and a third, who came
to see what was the matter,
escaped with difficulty. The beast was destroyed by being
shot from a corner of the building which was unroofed.
THE JAGUAR. 47
They commit, also, at these times, great ravages among cattle
and horses. It is said that they kill their prey by breaking
their necks. If driven from the carcass, they seldom return
to it. The jaguar is a noisy animal, roaring much by night,
and especially before bad weather.
One day, when hunting on the banks of the Uruguay,
I was shown certain trees to which these animals constantly
resort, for the purpose, as it is said, of sharpening their claws.
I saw three well-known trees; in front, the bark was worn
smooth, as if by the breast of the animal, and on each side
there were deep scratches, or rather grooves, nearly a yard
in length. The scars were of different ages. A common
mode of finding out whether a jaguar is in the neighborhood,
is to examine one of these trees. I imagine this habit of
the jaguar is exactly similar to one which may any day be
seen in the common cat, as with outstretched legs and un-
covered claws it scrapes the leg of a chair; and I have
heard of young fruit-trees in an orchard in England having
been thus much injured. Some such habit must also be com-
mon to the puma, for on the bare, hard soil of Patagonia, I
have frequently seen scores so deep that no other animal
could have made them. The object of this practice is, I be-
lieve, to tear off the ragged points of their claws, and not, as
the Gauchos think, to sharpen them. The jaguar is killed,
without much difficulty, by the aid of dogs baying and driv-
ing him up a tree, where he is despatched with bullets.
The Gauchos differ in their opinion whether the jaguar
is good eating, but are unanimous in saying that puma is
48 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
THE bizcacha of the pampas (South American prairies)
somewhat resembles the large rabbit, but with bigger gnaw-
ing teeth and a long tail. It is a curious circumstance in
its geographical distribution that it has never been seen,
fortunately for the inhabitants of Banda Oriental, to the
eastward of the Kiver Uruguay ; yet in this province there
are plains which appear admirably adapted to its habits.
The Uruguay has formed an insuperable obstacle to its mi-
gration, although the broader barrier of the Parana has been
passed, and the bizcacha is common in Entre Rios, the prov-
ince between these two great rivers. Near Buenos Ayres
these animals are exceedingly common. Their favorite re-
sort appears to be those parts of the plain which, during
one half of the year, are covered with giant thistles in place
of all other plants. The Gauchos declare that it lives on
roots which, from the great strength of its gnawing-teeth,
and the kind of places frequented by it, seems probable. In
the evening the bizcachas come out in numbers, and quietly
sit at the mouths of their burrows on their haunches. At
such times they are very tame. They run very awkwardly,
and, when running out of danger, from their uplifted tails
and short front legs, much resemble great rats. Their flesh,
when cooked, is very white and good, but it is seldom used.
The bizcacha has one very singular habit, namely, drag-
ging every hard object to the mouth of its burrow: around
each group of holes many bones of cattle, stones, thistle-
stalks, hard lumps of earth, dry dung, etc., are collected into
an irregular heap, which frequently amounts to as much as
a wheelbarrow would contain. I was told, and can believe
it, that a gentleman, when riding on a dark night, dropped
his watch ; he returned in the morning, and by searching
THE AUSTRALIAN BOWER BIRD.
the neighborhood of every bizcacha hole on the line of
road, he soon found it, as he expected. This habit of pick-
ing up whatever may be lying on the ground anywhere near
its habitation, must cost much trouble. For what pur-
pose it is done I am quite unable to guess: it cannot be
50 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
for defence, because the rubbish is chiefly placed above the
mouth of the burrow, which enters the ground at a very
small slope. No doubt there must be some good reason,
but the inhabitants of the country are quite ignorant of it.
The only fact which I know like it is the habit of an ex-
traordinary Australian bird (the Calodera maculata), which
makes an elegant vaulted passage of twigs for playing in,
and which collects near the spot land and sea shells, bones,
and the feathers of birds, especially brightly -colored ones.
Mr. Gould tells ine that the natives, when they lose any
hard object, search these playing passages; and he has
known a tobacco-pipe thus recovered.
I ACCOMPANIED the captain of the Beagle in a boat to
the head of a deep creek in the Chorios Archipelago. On
the way the number of seals that we saw was quite aston-
ishing: every bit of flat rock, and parts of the beach, were
covered with them. They appeared to be of a loving dis-
position, and lay huddled together, fast asleep, like so many
pigs; but even pigs would have been ashamed of their dirt,
and of the foul smell which came from them. Each herd
was watched by the patient but ill-boding eyes of the tur-
key-buzzard. This disgusting bird, with its bald scarlet
head, formed to wallow in putridity, is very common on the
west coast of South America, and their attendance on the
seals shows on what they rely for their food. We found
the water (probably only that of the surface) nearly fresh :
THE SEAL THE TERN THE GULL.
this was caused by the number of torrents which, in the
form of cascades, came tumbling over the bold granite nioun-
tains into the sea. The fresh water attracts the fish, and
these bring many terns, gulls, and two kinds of cormorant.
52 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO- '
We saw, also, a pair of the beautiful black- necked swans,
and several small sea-otters, the fur of which is held in such
high estimation. In returning, we were again amused by
the impetuous manner in which the heap of seals, old and
young, tumbled into the water as the boat passed. They did
not remain long under water, but, rising, followed us with
outstretched necks, expressing great wonder and curiosity.
THE fact of the Beagle Channel being an arm of the sea
was made plain by several huge whales spouting in different
directions. On one occasion I saw two of these monsters,
probably male and female, slowly swimming, one after the
other, within less than a stone's throw of the shore, over
THE PORPOISE. 53
which the beech -tree extended its branches. At another
time, off the east coast of Tierra del Fuego, we saw a grand
sight in several spermaceti whales jumping upright, quite
out of the water, with the exception of their tail-fins. As
they fell down sideways they splashed the water high up,
and the sound re-echoed like a distant broadside.
ON the morning of July 5th, 1832, we got under way,
and stood out of the splendid harbor of Rio de Janeiro. In
our passage to the Plata we saw nothing particular, except-
ing on one day a great shoal of porpoises, many hundreds in
number. The whole sea was in places furrowed by them ;
and a most extraordinary spectacle was presented, as hun-
dreds, proceeding together by jumps, in which their whole
bodies were exposed, thus cut the water. When the ship
was running nine knots an hour these animals could cross
and recross the bows w r ith the greatest ease, and then dash
away right ahead. As soon as W 7 e entered the estuary of
the Plata the weather was very unsettled. One dark night
we were surrounded by numerous seals and penguins, which
made such strange noises that the officer on watch reported
he could hear the cattle bellowing on shore. On a second
night we witnessed a splendid scene of natural fireworks;
the mast-head and yard-arm ends shone with St. Elmo's
light, and the form of the vane could almost be traced, as
if it had been rubbed with phosphorus. The sea w r as so
highly luminous that the tracks of the penguins were mark-
54 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
ed by a fiery wake, and the darkness of the sky was mo-
mentarily illuminated by the most vivid lightning.
THE Amllyrh/yncuS) a remarkable kind of lizard, is con-
fined to the Galapagos (or Turtle) archipelago. There are
two species, resembling each other in general form, one being
a land, and the other a water species. The latter is ex-
tremely common on all the islands throughout the group,
and lives altogether on the rocky sea-beaches, being never
found (at least I never saw one) even ten yards in -shore.
It is a hideous-looking creature, of a dirty black color, stupid,
and sluggish in its movements. The usual length of a full-
grown one is about a yard, but there are some even four
feet long. Their tails are flattened sideways, and all four
feet are partially webbed ; and they are occasionally seen
some hundred yards from the shore, swimming about. Yet,
strange to say, when frightened they will not enter the wa-
ter. Hence, it is easy to drive these lizards down to any
little point overhanging the sea, where they will sooner allow
a person to catch hold of their tails than jump into the
water. They do not seem to have any notion of biting;
but when much frightened they squirt a drop of fluid from
each nostril. Several times I threw one as far as I could
into a deep pool left by the retreating tide; but it always
returned in a straight line to the spot where I stood. It
swam near the bottom, with a very graceful and rapid move-
ment, and occasionally helped itself over the uneven ground
A PHOSPHORESCENT SEA.
THE LIZARD. 57
with its feet. As soon as it arrived near the edge, but being
still under water, it tried to conceal itself in the tufts of sea-
weed, or it entered some crevice. As soon as it thought the
danger was past, it crawled out on the dry rocks, and shuf-
fled away as quickly as it could. I several times caught this
Harrington 1. fffpCliatham 1.
same lizard by driving it down to a point, and though hav-
ing such perfect powers of diving and swimming, nothing
would induce it to enter the water; and, as often as I threw
it in, it returned in the manner I have just described. Per-
haps this apparent stupidity may be explained by the fact
58 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
that this reptile has no enemy whatever on shore, whereas
at sea it must often fall a prey to the numerous sharks.
Hence, probably, a fixed and hereditary instinct that the
shore is its place of safety ; so that whatever the danger may
be, there it takes refuge.
We will now turn to the land species of Amblyrliyncus,
with a round tail and toes without a web. Some of these
lizards inhabit the high and damp parts of the islands, but
they are much more numerous in the lower and barren dis-
tricts near the coast. I cannot give a more forcible -proof of
their numbers than by stating that, when we were left at
James Island, we could not for some time find a spot free
from their burrows on which to pitch our single tent. Like
their brothers, the sea-kind, they are ugly animals, of a yel-
lowish orange beneath, and of a brownish -red color above.
When making its burrow, this animal works by turns the
opposite sides of its body. One front leg for a short time
scratches up the soil and throws it toward the hind foot,
which is well placed so as to heave it beyond the mouth of
the hole. That side of the body being tired, the other takes
up the task, and so on alternately. I watched one for a
long time, till half its body was buried ; I then walked up
and pulled it by the tail; at this it was greatly astonished,
and soon shuffled up to see what was the matter, and then
stared me in the face, as much as to say, "What made you
pull my tail ?"
They feed by day, and do not wander far from their bur-
rows; if frightened, they rush to them with a most awkward
gait. When attentively watching any one, they curl their
tails, and, raising themselves on their front legs, nod their
heads up and down, and try to look very fierce; but in real-
ity they are not at all so; if one just stamps on the ground,
down go their tails, and off they shuffle as quickly as they
CACTUS GROWTH IN THE DESERTS OF UTAH.
can. I have often seen small fly-eating lizards, when watch-
ing anything, nod their heads in precisely the same manner,
but I do not at all know for what purpose. If this Amlly-
rJiyncus is held and plagued with a stick, it will bite it very
60 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
severely; but I caught many by the tail, and they never
tried to bite me. If two are placed on the ground and held
together, they will fight, and bite each other till blood is
drawn. The little birds know how harmless these creatures
are: I have seen one of the thick-billed finches picking at
one end of a piece of cactus while a lizard was eating at the
other end ; and afterward the little bird, with the utmost in-
difference, hopped on the back of the reptile. I opened the
stomachs of several, and found them full of vegetable fibres
and leaves of different trees, especially of an acacia. To ob-
tain the acacia-leaves they crawl up the low, stunted trees;
and it is not uncommon to see a pair quietly browsing, while
seated on a branch several feet above the ground.
IN the woods on Charles Island there are many wild
pigs and goats, but the chief article of animal food is sup-
plied by the tortoises. Their numbers have, of course, been
greatly reduced, but the people yet count on two days' hunt-
ing giving them food for the rest of the week. It is said
that formerly single vessels have taken away as many as
seven hundred, and that the ship's company of a frigate some
years since brought down, in one day, two hundred tortoises
to the beach. Some grow to an immense size : Mr. Lawson,
an Englishman, and vice-governor of the colony, told us that
he had seen several so large that it required six or eight
men to lift them from the ground, and that some had yielded
as much as two hundred pounds of meat. The old males
are the largest, the females rarely growing to so great a size :
the male can readily be distinguished from the female by
the greater length of its tail. The tortoises which live on
those islands where there is no water, or in the lower and
dry parts of the other islands, feed chiefly on the juicy cactus.
They are very fond of water, drinking large quantities, and
wallowing in the mud. The larger islands alone have springs,
and these are always situated toward the central parts, and at
a considerable height.
The tortoises, therefore,
which inhabit the low-
er districts, are obliged,
when thirsty, to travel
from a long distance.
Hence, broad and well-
beaten paths branch
off in every direction
from the wells down to
the sea-coast; and the
Spaniards, by following them up, first discovered the water-
ing-places. When I landed at Chatham Island I could not
imagine what animal travelled so methodically along well-
chosen tracks. Near the springs it was a curious spectacle
to behold many of these huge creatures one set eagerly
travelling onward with outstretched necks, and another set
returning, after having drunk their fill. When the tortoise
arrives at the spring he buries his head in the water above
his eyes, and greedily swallows great mouthfuls, at the rate
of about ten in a minute. The inhabitants say each animal
62 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
stays three or four days in the neighborhood of the water,
and then returns to the lower country; but they differed as
to the frequency of these visits, which probably depends on
the nature of the food on which the animal has lived. It is,
however, certain that tortoises can subsist even on those isl-
ands where there is no other water than what falls during
a few rainy days in the year. I believe it is well ascertained
that the bladder of the frog acts as a reservoir for the moist-
ure necessary to its existence: such seems to be the case
with the tortoise.
The tortoises, when purposely moving toward any point,
travel by night and day, and arrive at their journey's end
much sooner than would be expected. The inhabitants, from
observing marked individuals, consider that they travel a
distance of about eight miles in two or three days. One
large tortoise which I watched, walked at the rate of sixty
yards in ten minutes that is, three hundred and sixty yards
in the hour, or four miles a day, allowing a little time for it
to eat on the road. They were at this time (October) laying
their eggs. The female, where the soil is sandy, deposits
them together, and covers them up with sand ; but where
the ground is rocky she drops them about in any hole. The
young tortoises, as soon as they are hatched, fall a prey in
great numbers to the carrion-feeding buzzard. The old ones
seem generally to die from accidents, as from falling down
precipices; at least, several of the inhabitants told me that
they had never found one dead without some evident cause.
The inhabitants believe that these animals are absolutely
deaf; certainly they do not overhear a person walking close
THE TOAD. 63
behind them. I was always amused, when overtaking one
of these great monsters, as it was quietly pacing along, to
see how suddenly, the instant I passed, it would draw in its
head and legs, and, uttering a deep hiss, fall to the ground
with a heavy sound, as if struck dead. I frequently got on
their backs, and then giving a few raps on the hinder part
of their shells, they would rise up and walk away; but "I
found it very difficult to keep my balance. In order to se-
cure the tortoises, it is not enough to turn them over like
turtle, for they are often able to get on their legs again.
NEAR Bahia Blanca I found but one little toad, which
was most singular from its color. If we imagine, first, that
it had been steeped in the blackest ink, and then, when
dry, allowed to crawl over a board freshly painted with the
brightest vermilion, so as to color the soles of its feet and
parts of its stomach, a good idea of its appearance will be
gained. Instead of going about by night, as other toads do,
and living in damp and dark recesses, it crawls during the
heat of the day about the dry sand-hillocks and arid plains,
where not a single drop of water can be found. It must
necessarily depend on the dew for its moisture ; and this,
probably, is absorbed by the skin. At Maldonaclo I found
one in a situation nearly as dry as at Bahia Blanca, arid,
thinking to give it a great treat, carried it to a pool of wa-
ter ; not only was the little animal unable to swim, but, I
think, without help it would soon have been drowned.
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
CAPE DE VERD ISLANDS.
I WAS much interested, on several occasions, at the Cape
de Verd Islands, by watching the habits of an Octopus, or
cuttle - fish. Although
common in the pools of
water left by the retir-
ing tide, these animals
were not easily- caught.
By means of their long
arms and suckers they
could drag their bodies
into very narrow crev-
ices; and, when thus
fixed, it required great
force to remove them. At other times they darted tail
first, with the rapidity of an arrow, from one side of the
pool to the other, at the same instant discoloring the wa-
ter with a dark chestnut - brown ink. These animals also
escape detection by a very extraordinary, chameleon like
power of changing their color. They appear to vary their
tints according to the nature of the ground over which they
pass : when in deep water their general shade was brown-
ish purple, but when placed on the land, or in shallow water,
this dark tint changed into one of a yellowish green. I was
much amused by the various arts to escape detection used
by one individual, which seemed fully aware that I was
watching it. Remaining for a time motionless, it would then
stealthily advance an inch or two, like a cat after a mouse,
THE CORMORANT THE PENGUIN.
sometimes changing its color ; it thus proceeded till, having
gained a deeper part, it darted away, leaving a dusky train
of ink to hide the hole into which it had crawled. While
looking for marine animals, with my head about two feet
above the rocky shore, I was more than once saluted by a
jet of water, accompanied by a slight grating noise. At first
I could not think what it was, but afterward I found out
that it was this cuttle-fish, which, though concealed in a hole,
thus often led me to its discovery. From the difficulty which
these animals have in carrying their heads, they cannot crawl
with ease when placed on the ground.
THE CORMORANT THE PENGUIN.
ONE day, in the Falkland islands, I observed a cormorant
playing with a fish which it had caught. Eight times suc-
cessively the bird let its prey
go, then dived after it, and al-
though in deep water, brought
it each time to the surface. In
the Zoological Gardens I have
seen the otter treat a fish in the
same manner, much as a cat does
a mouse : I do not know of any
other instance where Dame Nat-
ure seems so intentionally cruel.
Another day, having placed my-
self between a penguin (Apten-
odytes demersa) and the water,
66 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
I was much amused by watching its habits. It was a brave
bird, and till reaching the sea it regularly fought and drove
me backward. Nothing less than heavy blows w r ould have
stopped him ; every inch he gained he firmly kept, standing
close before me, erect and determined, while all the time roll-
ing his head from side to side, in a very odd manner, as if
he could only see distinctly out of the lower front part of
each eye. This bird is commonly called the jackass-penguin,
from its habit, while on shore, of throwing its head back-
ward, and making a loud, strange noise, very like the bray-
ing of an ass ; but while at sea, and undisturbed, its note is
very deep and solemn, and is often heard in the night-time.
In diving, its little wings are used as fins; but on the land,
as front legs. When crawling, on four legs as it were,
through the tussocks or on the side of a grassy cliff, it
moves so very quickly that it might easily be mistaken for
a quadruped. When at sea and fishing, it comes to the
surface for the purpose of breathing with such a spring,
and dives again so instantaneously, that I defy any one at
first sight to be sure that it was not a fish leaping for sport.
THIS day (April 27th, 1834) I shot a condor. It meas-
ured, from tip to tip of the wings, eight and a half feet, and
from beak to tail, four feet. This bird is known to have a
wide geographical range, being found on the west coast of
South America, from the Strait of Magellan along the Cordi-
llera as far as eight degrees north of the equator. A line
of cliff near the mouth of the Santa Cruz is frequented by
these birds ; and about eighty miles up the river, where the
sides of the valley are formed by steep basaltic precipices, the
condor reappears. From these facts it seems that the condors
require perpendicular cliffs. In Chile they haunt, during the
greater part of the year, the lower country, near the shores
of the Pacific, and at night several roost together in one
tree; but in the early
part of the summer they
retire to the most inac-
cessible parts of the in-
ner Cordillera, there to
breed in peace. I. was
told by the country peo-
ple in Chile that the
condor makes no sort of
nest, but in the months
of November and De-
cember lays two large
white eggs on a shelf
of bare rock. It is said
that the young condors cannot fly for an entire year; and,
long after they are able, they continue to roost by night and
hunt by day with their parents. The old birds generally
live in pairs; but among the inland basaltic cliffs of the
Santa Cruz I found a spot where scores must usually haunt.
On coming suddenly to the brow of the precipice, it was a
grand spectacle to see between twenty and thirty of these
great birds start heavily from their resting-place and w^heel
68 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
away in majestic circles. Having gorged themselves with
carrion on the plains below, they retire to these favorite
ledges to digest their food. In this part of the country
they live altogether on the guanacos which have died a
natural death, or, as more commonly happens, have been
killed by the pumas. I believe, from what I saw in Pat-
agonia, that they do not, on ordinary occasions, extend their
daily excursions to any great distance from their regular
The condors may oftentimes be seen at a great height,
soaring over a certain spot in the most graceful circles. On
some occasions I am sure that they do this only for pleasure ;
but on others, the Chileno countryman tells you that they
are watching a dying animal, or the puma devouring its prey.
If the condors glide down, and then suddenly all rise togeth-
er, the Chileno knows that it is the puma, which, watching
the carcass, has sprung out to drive away the robbers. Be-
sides feeding on carrion, the condors frequently attack young
goats and lambs; and the shepherd -dogs are trained, when-
ever the birds pass over, to run out, and, looking upward, to
bark violently. The Chilenos destroy and catch numbers.
Two methods are used : one is to place a carcass on a level
piece of ground within an enclosure of sticks, having an open-
ing, and, when the condors are gorged, to gallop up on horse-
back to the entrance, and thus enclose them; for when this
bird has not space to run, it cannot give its body sufficient
momentum to rise from the ground. The second method is
to mark the trees in which, frequently to the number of five
or six together, they roost, and then at night to climb up and
THE CONDOR. 69
noose them. They are such heavy sleepers, as I have myself
witnessed, that this is not a difficult task. At Valparaiso I
have seen a living condor sold for sixpence, but the common
price is eight or ten shillings. In a garden, at the same place,
between twenty and thirty were kept alive.
When an animal is killed in the country, it is well known
that the condors, like other carrion-vultures, soon learn of it,,
and congregate in a manner not yet explained. In most
cases, too, the birds have discovered their prey and picked
the skeleton clean before the flesh is in the least degree
tainted. Remembering the experiments of Mr. Audubon on
the little smelling powers of carrion -hawks, I tried, in the
above-mentioned garden, the following experiment : the con-
dors were tied, each by a rope, in a long row at the bottom
of a wall, and having folded up a piece of meat in white pa-
per, I walked backward and forward, carrying it in my hand
at the distance of about three yards from them, but no notice
whatever was taken. I then threw it on the ground, within
one yard of an old male bird ; he looked at it for a moment
with attention, but then regarded it no more. With a stick
I pushed it closer and closer, until at last he touched it with
his beak; the paper was then instantly torn off with fury,
and at the same moment every bird in the long row began
struggling and flapping its wings. Under the same circum-
stances it would have been quite impossible to have deceived
Often, when lying down to rest on the open plains, on
looking upward I have seen carrion -hawks sailing through
the air at a great height. Where the country is level, I do
70 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
not believe a space of the heavens of more than fifteen de-
grees above the horizon is commonly viewed with any atten-
tion by a person, either walking or on horseback. If such
be the case, and the vulture is on the wing at a height of
between three and four thousand feet, before it could come
within the range of vision its distance in a straight line from
the beholder's eye would be rather more than two British
miles. Might it not thus readily be overlooked? When an
animal is killed by the sportsman in a lonely valley, may he
not all the while be watched from above by the sharp-sight-
ed bird ? And will not the manner of its descent proclaim
throughout the district to the whole family of carrion-feeders
that their prey is at hand ?
When the condors are wheeling in a flock round and
round any spot, their flight is beautiful. Except when rising
from the ground, I do not recollect ever having seen one of
these birds flap its wings. Near Lima, I watched several
for nearly half an hour, without once taking off my eyes:
they moved in large curves, sweeping in circles, descending
and ascending without giving a single flap. As they glided
close over my head, I intently watched from an oblique posi-
tion the outlines of the separate and great terminal feathers
of eacli wing ; and these separate feathers, if there had been
i the least vibratory movement, would have appeared as if
blended together; but they were seen distinct against the
blue sky. The head and neck were moved frequently, and
apparently with great force; and the outstretched wings
seemed to form the fulcrum on which the movements of the
neck, body, and tail acted. If the bird wished to descend,
THE OSTRICH. 71
the wings were for a moment collapsed ; and when again ex-
panded with an altered inclination, the momentum gained
by the rapid descent seemed to urge the bird upward with
the even and steady movement of a paper kite. It is truly
wonderful and beautiful to see so great a bird, hour after
hour, without any apparent exertion, wheeling and gliding
over mountain and river.
ON the fine plains of turf in Banda Oriental we saw
many ostriches (Struthio rlied). Some of the flocks con-
tained as many as twenty or thirty birds. These, when
standing on any little height and seen against the clear
sky, presented a very noble appearance. I never met with
such tame ostriches in any other part of the country: it
was easy to gallop up within a short distance of them ; but
then, expanding their wings, they made all sail before the
wind, and soon left the horse astern.
The ostrich is the largest of the birds which are com-
mon on the wild plains of Northern Patagonia. It lives on
vegetable matter, such as roots and grass; but at Bahia
Blanca I have repeatedly seen three or four come down at
low water to the extensive mud-banks, which are then dry,
for the sake, as the Gauchos say, of feeding on small fish.
Although the ostrich in its habits is so shy, wary, and sol-
itary, and although so fleet in its pace, it is caught without
much difficulty by the Indian or Gaucho armed with the
bolas (two round stones, covered with leather, and united
72 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
by a thin plaited thong about eight feet long). When sev-
eral horsemen appear in a semicircle, the bird becomes con-
founded, and does not know which way to escape. They
generally prefer running against the wind, yet at the first
start they expand their wings, and like a vessel make all sail.
On one fine hot day I saw several ostriches enter a bed of tall
rushes, where they squatted concealed till quite closely ap-
proached. It is not general-
ly known that ostriches read-
ily take to the water. Mr.
King informs me that at
the Bay of San Bias, and at
Port Valdes, in Patagonia,
he saw these birds swim-
ming several times from isl-
and to island. They ran
into the water, both when
driven down to a point,
and likewise of their own
accord when not frighten-
ed ; the distance crossed was
SKELETON OF AN OSTRICH. ^^ ^ hundred ^^
When swimming, very little of their bodies appears above
water; their necks are stretched a little forward, and their
progress is slow. On two occasions I saw some ostriches
swimming across the Santa Cruz River, where its course was
about four hundred yards wide and the stream rapid. Cap-
tain Sturt, when descending the Murrumbidgee, in Australia,
saw two emus in the act of swimming.
THE OSTRICH. 73
The inhabitants of the country can readily tell, even at
a distance, the cock bird from the hen. The former is larger,
and darker colored, and has a bigger head. The ostrich (I
believe, the cock) utters a singular deep-toned, hissing note ;
when I first heard it, standing in the midst of some sand-hil-
locks, I thought it was made by some wild beast, for it is a
sound that one cannot tell whence it comes or from how far
distant. When we were at Bahia Blanca, in the months of
September and October, the eggs, in extraordinary numbers,
were found all over the country. They lie either scattered
and single (in which case they are never hatched, and are
called by the Spaniards huachos), or they are collected to-
gether into a shallow excavation, which forms the nest. Out
of the four nests which I saw, three contained twenty -two
eggs sach, and the fourth twenty- seven. Each of these is
said to equal in weight eleven hen eggs; so that we ob-
tained from this last nest as much food as two hundred
and ninety-seven hen eggs would have given. The Gauchos
all agree in saying that there is no reason to doubt that
the male bird alone hatches the eggs, and for some time
afterward accompanies the young. The cock, when on the
nest, lies very close; I have myself almost ridden over one.
At such times they are said to be occasionally fierce and
even dangerous, and to have been known to attack a man
on horseback, trying to kick and leap on him. My informer
pointed out to me an old man whom he had seen much
terrified by one chasing him. I observe, in Burchell's trav-
els in South Africa, that he remarks, " Having killed a male
ostrich, and the feathers being dirty, it was said by the Hot-
74 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
tentots to be a nest bird." I understand that the male emu
in the London Zoological Gardens takes charge of the nest:
this habit, therefore, is common to the family.
THE casarita (little housebuilder) as the Spaniards call
it, from its resemblance to the casara (housebuilder or oven-
bird), makes its nest at the bottom of a narrow cylindrical
hole, which is said to extend horizontally to nearly six feet
under ground. Several of the country people told me that
when boys they had attempted to dig out the nest, but had
scarcely ever succeeded in getting to the end of the passage.
The bird chooses any low bank of firm sandy soil by the
side of a road or stream. Here (at Bahia Blanca) the walls
round the houses are built of hardened mud, and I noticed
that one, which enclosed a court - yard where I lodged, was
bored through by round holes in a score of places. On ask-
ing the owner the cause of this, he bitterly complained of
the little casarita, several of which I afterward observed at
work. It is rather curious to find how unable these birds
must be to get any idea of thickness, for although they were
constantly flitting over the low wall, they kept on vainly
boring through it, thinking it an excellent bank for their
nests. I do not doubt that each bird, as often as it came
to daylight on the opposite side, was greatly surprised at
the marvellous fact.
TAME BIRDS ON DESERT ISLANDS.
TAME BIRDS ON DESERT ISLANDS.
WE found, on St. Paul's Rocks, only two kinds of birds
the booby and the noddy. The former is a species of gan-
net, and the latter a tern. Both are of a tame and stupid
disposition, and are so unused to visitors that I could have
ST. PAUL'S ROCKS.
killed any number of them with my geological hammer. The
booby lays her eggs on the bare rock; but the tern makes a
very simple nest with sea-w T eed. By the side of many of
these nests a small flying-fish was placed, which, I suppose,
had been brought by the male bird for its partner. It was
amusing to watch how quickly a large and active crab, which
inhabits the crevices of the rocks, stole the fish from the side
76 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
of the nest as soon as we had disturbed the parent birds.
Sir W. Symonds, one of the few persons who have landed
here, informs me that he saw the crabs dragging even the
young birds out of their nests and devouring them.
Extreme tameness is common to all the land-birds in the
Galapagos Islands, namely, to the mocking - thrushes, the
finches, wrens, tyrant fly-catchers, the dove, and carrion -buz-
zard. All of them often approached sufficiently near to be
killed with a switch, and sometimes, as I myself tried, with
a cap or hat. A gun is here almost superfluous; for with
the muzzle I pushed a hawk off the branch of a tree. One
day, while lying down, a mocking- thrush alighted on the
edge of a pitcher, made of the shell of a tortoise, which I
TAME BIRDS ON DESERT ISLANDS.
held in my baud, and began very quietly to sip the water;
it allowed me to lift it from the ground while seated on the
vessel. I often tried, and very nearly succeeded, in catching
these birds by their legs. Formerly the birds appear to
have been even tamer than at present. Cowley (in the year
1684) says that the "turtle-doves were so tame that they
would often alight upon our hats and arms, so as that we
could take them alive: they not fearing man until such time
as some of our company did fire at them, whereby they were
rendered more shy." Dampier, also, in the same year, says
that a man in a morning's walk might kill six or seven dozen
of these doves. At present, although certainly very tame,
they do not alight on people's arms, nor do they suffer them-
selves to be killed in such large numbers. It is surprising
that they have not become wilder, for these islands durin^
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
HEAD OF A FLY-CATCHER.
the last hundred and fifty years have been frequently vis-
ited by buccaneers and whalers, and the sailors, wandering
through the woods in
search of tortoises, al-
ways take cruel de-
light in knocking
down the little birds.
In Charles Island,
which had then been
settled about six
years, I saw a boy
sitting by a well with
a switch in his hand,
with which he killed the doves and finches as they came to
drink. He had already got a little heap of them for his
dinner, and he said that he had constantly been in the habit
of waiting by this well for the same purpose. It would
seem that the birds of this archipelago, not having as yet
learned that man is a more dangerous animal than the tor-
toise or the lizard (Ambly-
rliyncus), disregard him, just
as in England shy birds,
such as magpies, do not
mind the cows and horses
grazing in the fields.
The Falkland Islands of-
fer a second instance of birds
with a similar disposition. As the birds are so tame there,
where foxes, hawks, and owls occur, we may infer that the
TAME BIRDS ON DESERT ISLANDS.
absence of all beasts of prey at the Galapagos is not the
cause of their tameness here. The upland geese at the Falk-
lands show, by the precaution they take in building on the
islets, that they are aware of their danger from the foxes;
" EAKTH " OF THE FOX.
but this does not make them wild toward man. In the
Falklands, the sportsman may sometimes kill more of the
upland geese in one day than he can carry home; whereas
in Tierra del Fuego, where the same species has for ages past
been persecuted by the wild inhabitants, it is nearly as diffi-
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
cult to kill one as it is in England to shoot the common
wild goose. In the time of
Pernety (1763) all the birds
at the Falklands appear to
have been much tamer than"
at present, and about as tame
as they now are at the Gala-
pagos. Even formerly, when
all the birds were so tame,
it was impossible, by Perne-
ty's account, to kill the black-
necked swan a bird of pas-
sage, which probably brought
with it the wisdom learned in foreign countries.
From these several facts we may, I think, conclude that
there is no way of accounting for the wildness of birds to-
ward man except as an
inherited habit. Com-
paratively few young
birds, in any one year,
have been injured by
man in England, yet al-
most all, even nestlings,
are afraid of him. On
the other hand, many
individual birds, both at
the Galapagos and at
the Falklands, have been
pursued and injured by
THE GRASSHOPPER THE LOCUST.
man, but yet have not learned a wholesome dread of him.
From these facts, too, we may guess what havoc the intro-
duction of any new beast of prey must cause in a country
before the instincts of the native inhabitants have become
adapted to the stranger's craft or poweiv
THE most remarkable instance I have known of an insect
being caught far from the
land, w T as that of a large
which flew on board
when the Beagle was to
windward of the Cape
de Verd Islands, aiid
when the nearest point
of land not directly op-
posed to the trade-wind
was Cape Blanco, on the coast of Africa, three hundred and
seventy miles distant.
SHORTLY before we arrived at Luxan (province of Men-'
doza, La Plata) we observed to the south a ragged cloud, of
a dark reddish -brown color. At first we thought that it
was smoke from some great fire on the plains; but we soon
found that it Was a swarm of locusts. They were flying
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
northward ; and, with the aid of a light breeze, they overtook
us at a rate of ten or fifteen miles an hour. The main body
filled the air from a height of twenty feet to that, as it ap-
peared, of two or three thousand above the ground ; " and the
sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many
horses running to battle ;" or rather, I should say, like a
strong breeze passing through the rigging of a ship. They
were not so thick together but that they could escape a stick
waved backward and forward. The poor cottagers in vain
attempted, by lighting fires, by shouts, and by waving
branches, to ward off the attack. When the locusts alighted
they were more numerous than the leaves in the field, and
the surface became reddish instead of green. Locusts are not
an uncommon pest in this country ; already, during this sea-
son, several smaller swarms had come up from the south,
where, as apparently in all other parts of the world, th'ey are
bred in the deserts.
A SMALL dark -colored ant sometimes migrates in great
numbers. One day, at Bahia, my attention was drawn by
observing many spiders, cockroaches, and other insects, and
some lizards, rushing in the greatest agitation across a bare
AN ARMY OF ANTS.
84 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
piece of ground. A little way behind, every stalk and leaf
was blackened by a small ant. The swarm having crossed
the bare space, divided itself and descended an old wall.
By this means many insects were fairly enclosed ; and the
efforts which the poor little creatures made to extricate
themselves from such a death were wonderful. When the
ants came to the road they changed their course, and in
narrow files reascended the wall. When I placed a small
stone so as to intercept one of the lines, the whole body at-
tacked it, and then immediately retired. Shortly afterward
another body came to the charge, and again having failed
to make any impression, this line of march was entirely
given up. By going an inch round the file might have
avoided the stone, and this doubtless would have happened
if it had been there in the beginning ; but having been at-
tacked, the lion-hearted little warriors scorned the idea of
I WAS much interested one day by watching, in the neigh-
borhood of Rio, a deadly contest between a Pepsis and a
large spider of the genus Lycosa. The wasp made a sud-
den dash at its prey, and then flew away : the spider was
evidently wounded, for, trying to escape, it rolled down a
little slope, but had still strength enough to crawl into a
thick tuft of grass. The wasp soon returned, and seemed
surprised at not finding its victim at once. It then com-
menced as regular a hunt as ever hound did after fox; mak-
/~C-'. X\'C. ; v.
ing short half- circuits, and
all the time rapidly vibrat-
ing its wings and antennae.
The spider, though well hid-
den, was soon discovered;
and the wasp, evidently still
afraid of its jaws, inflicted
two stings on the under side
of its thorax. At last, care-
fully examining with its an-
tennae the now motionless
spider, it proceeded to drag
away the body. But I stopped both tyrant and prey.
WASP AND SPIDER.
IT is well known that most British spiders, when a large
insect is caught in their webs, try to cut the lines and set
free their prey, to save their nets from being entirely spoiled.
I once, however, saw, in a hot -house in Shropshire, a large
female wasp caught in the irregular web of a very small
spider, and this spider, instead of cutting the web, most per-
severingly continued to entangle the body, and especially
the wings, of its prey. The wasp at first aimed in vain re-
peated thrusts with its sting at its little antagonist. Pity-
ing the wasp, after allowing it to struggle for more than
an hour, I killed it and put it back into the web. The
spider soon returned; and an hour afterward I was much
surprised to find it with its jaws buried in the opening
86 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
through which the sting is thrust out by the living wasp.
I drove the spider away two or three times, but for the
THE SPIDER (Lycosa gyrophora}.
next twenty-four hours I always found it again sucking at
the same place. It became much swollen by the juices of
its prey, which was many times larger than itself.
THERE is found on Keeling Island a crab which lives
on the cocoa-nuts: it is very common on all parts of the
THE CRAB. 89
dry land, and grows to a monstrous size. The front pair of
legs end in very strong and heavy pincers, and the last pair
are fitted with others weaker and much narrower. It would
at first be thought quite impossible for a crab to open a
strong cocoa-nut covered with the husk; but Mr. Liesk as-
sures me that he has repeatedly seen this done. The crab
begins by tearing the husk, fibre by fibre, and always from
that end under which the three eye-holes are situated; when
this is completed, the crab commences hammering with its
heavy claws on one of the eye-holes till an opening is made.
Then, turning round its body, by the aid of its narrow pin-
cers behind it draws out the white meat. I think this is
as curious a case of instinct as I ever heard of, and likewise
of adaptation in structure between two objects apparently
so unconnected by nature as a crab and a cocoa-nut tree.
These crabs inhabit deep burrows, which they hollow out
beneath the roots of trees, and where they accumulate sur-
prising quantities of the picked fibres of the cocoa-nut husk,
on which they rest as on a bed. They are very good to eat ;
moreover, under the tail of the larger ones there is a great
mass of fat, which, when melted, sometimes yields as much
as a quart bottle full of clear oil. To show the wonderful
strength of the front pair of pincers, I may mention that
Captain Moresby shut one up in a strong tin box, which had
held biscuits, the lid being secured with wire; but the crab
turned down the edges and escaped. In turning down the
edges it actually punched many small holes quite through
"OERHAPS nothing is more certain to create astonishment
than the first sight, in his native haunt, of a barbarian
of man in his lowest and most savage state. One's mind
hurries back over past centuries, and then asks, Could our
forefathers have been men like these? men whose very
THE LION IN HIS DESERT.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
signs and expressions are less intelligible to us than those
of the domesticated animals; men who do not possess the
instinct of those ani-
mals, nor yet appear
to boast of human rea-
son, or at least of arts
which result from that
reason. I do not be-
lieve it is possible to
describe or paint the
savage and civilized
man. It is the differ-
ence between a wild
and a tame animal (only greater, because in man there is a
greater power of improvement) ; and part of the interest in
beholding a savage is the same which would make every
one desire to see the lion in his desert, the tiger tearing his
prey in the jungle, or the rhinoceros wandering over the
wild plains of Africa.
THE Fuegians of Good Success Bay are a very different
race from the stunted, miserable wretches farther westward ;
and they seem closely related to the famous Patagonians
of the Strait of Magellan. Their only garment consists of
a mantle made of guanaco skin, with the wool outside. This
they wear just thrown over their shoulders, leaving their
94 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
persons as often exposed as covered. Their skin is of a
dirty coppery-red color. Their chief spokesman, an old man,
had a fillet of white feathers tied round his head, which
partly confined his black, coarse, and entangled hair. His
face was crossed by two broad bars : one, painted bright red,
reached from ear to ear, and included the upper lip ; the oth-
er, white like chalk, stretched above the first so that even
his eyelids were thus colored. His two companions, younger
and powerful men, about six feet high, were ornamented by
streaks of black powder, made of charcoal. The party alto-
gether closely resembled the devils which come on the stage
in plays like " Der Freischiitz."
Their very attitudes were abject, and the expression of
their countenances distrustful, surprised, and startled. After
we had presented them with some scarlet cloth, which they
immediately tied round their necks, they became good friends.
This was shown by the old man patting our breasts and mak-
ing a chuckling kind of noise, as people do when feeding
chickens. I walked with the old man, and this demonstra-
tion of friendship was repeated several times, ending in three
hard slaps, which were given me on the breast and back at
the same time. He then bared his bosom for me to return
the compliment, which being done, he seemed highly pleased.
The language of these people, according to our notions,
scarcely deserves to be called articulate. Captain Cook has
compared it to a man clearing his throat; but certainly no
European ever cleared his throat with so many hoarse, gut-
tural and clicking sounds. They are excellent mimics : as
often as we coughed, or yawned, or made any odd motion,
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
they immediately imitated us. Some of our party began to
squint and look awry ; but one of the young Fuegians (whose
whole face was painted black, excepting a white band across
his eyes) succeeded in making far more hideous grimaces.
They could repeat with perfect correctness each word in any
sentence we addressed them, and they remembered such
words for some time. Yet we Europeans all know how
difficult it is to distinguish apart the sounds in a foreign
NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN (WJLNNEBAGO).
language. Which of us, for instance, could follow an Amer-
ican Indian through a sentence of more than three words?
All savages seem to have, to an uncommon degree, this power
of mimicry: I was told, almost in the same words, of the
same laughable habit among the South African Kaffirs ; the
Australians, likewise, have long been notorious for being able
to imitate and describe the gait of any man so that he may
be recognized. How can this faculty be explained? Does
it come from the more practised habits of perception and
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
keener senses common to all men in a savage state, as com-
pared with those long civilized?
The inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, living chiefly upon
shell-fish, are obliged constantly to change their place of resi-
dence; but they return at intervals to the same spots, as is
evident from the piles of old shells, which must often amount
to many tons in weight. These heaps can be recognized at
a long distance by the bright green color of certain plants
which always grow on them. Among these are the wild
celery and scurvy-grass, two very serviceable plants, the use
of which has not been discovered by the natives. The Fue-
gian wigwam resembles, in size and dimensions, a hay-cock.
A SOUTH AFRICAN KAFFIU.
THE FUEGIAN. 99
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
It consists merely of a few broken branches stuck in the
ground, and very rudely thatched on one side with a few
tufts of grass and rushes. The whole cannot be the work
of an hour, and it is only used for a few days. On the west
coast, however, the wigwams are rather better, for they are
covered with seal-skins.
While going one day on shore near Wollastou Island, we
pulled alongside a canoe with six Fuegians. These were the
most abject and miserable creatures I anywhere beheld. On
the east coast the natives, as we have seen, have guanaco
cloaks, and on the west they possess seal -skins. Among
these central tribes the men generally have an otter-skin, or
some small scrap, about as large as a pocket-handkerchief,
which is barely sufficient to cover their backs as low down
as their loins. It is laced across the breast by strings, and,
according as the wind blows, it is shifted from side to side.
But these Fuegians in the canoe were quite naked, and even
one full-grown woman was absolutely so. It was raining
heavily, and the fresh water, together with the spray, trickled
down her body. In another harbor, not far distant, a woman
who was suckling a newly-born child came one day alongside
the vessel, and remained there, out of mere curiosity, while
the sleet fell and thawed on her naked bosom and on the
skin of her naked baby ! These poor wretches were stunted
in their growth, their hideous faces bedaubed with white
paint, their skins filthy and greasy, their hair entangled, their
voices discordant, and their gestures violent. Viewing such
men, one can hardly make one's self believe that they are
fellow -creatures, and inhabitants of the same world. We
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
often try to imagine what pleasure in life some of the lower
animals can enjoy : how much more reasonably the same
question may be asked concerning these barbarians ! At
night five or six human beings, naked, and scarcely protected
from the wind and rain of this tempestuous climate, sleep on
the wet ground, coiled up like animals. Whenever it is low
A FUEGIAN FKAST.
water winter or summer, night or day they must rise to
pick shell- fish from the rocks; and the women either dive
to collect sea-eggs or sit patiently in their canoes, and with
a baited hair-line, without any hook, jerk out little fish. If
a seal is killed, or the floating carcass of a putrid whale dis-
covered, it is a feast; and such miserable food is assisted by
a few tasteless berries and fungi.
THE FUEGIAN. 101
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
They often suffer from famine : I heard Mr. Low, a seal-
ing-master very well acquainted with the natives of this coun-
try, give a curious account of the state of a party of one hun-
dred and fifty natives on the west coast, who were very thin,
and in great distress. A succession of gales prevented the
women from getting shell-fish on the rocks, and they could
not go out in their canoes to catch seal. A small party of
these men one morning set out on a four days' journey for
food ; on their return Low went to meet them, and found
them excessively tired each man carrying a great square
piece of putrid whale's -blubber, with a hole in the mid-
dle, through which he put his head, as the Gauchos do
through their ponchos or cloaks. As soon as the blubber
was brought into a wigwam an old man cut off the slices,
and, muttering over them, broiled them for a minute, and
distributed them to the famished party, who, during this
time, preserved a profound silence. Mr. Low believes that
whenever a whale is cast on shore the natives bury large
pieces of it in the sand as a resource in time of famine. The
different tribes, when at war, are cannibals; and it is cer-
tainly true that, when pressed in winter by hunger, they kill
and devour their old women before they kill their dogs. A
boy, being asked by Mr. Low why they did this, answered :
"Doggies catch otters, old women no."
Few, if any, of the natives in the Beagle Channel could
ever have seen a white man ; certainly nothing could exceed
their astonishment at the sight of our four boats. Fires were
lighted on every point (hence the name of Tierra del Fuego,
or the land of fire), both to attract our attention and to
102 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
spread far and wide the news. Some of the men ran for
miles along the shore. I shall never forget how wild and
savage one group appeared : suddenly four or five men came
to the edge of an overhanging cliff; they were absolutely
naked, and their long hair streamed about their faces. They
held rough staves in their hands, and, springing from the
ground, waved their arms round their heads, and sent forth
the most hideous yells. At dinner-time we landed among a
party of Fuegians. At first they were not inclined to be
friendly, for, until Captain Fitz Roy pulled in ahead of the
other boats, they kept their slings in their hands. We soon,
however, delighted them by trifling presents, such as tying
red tape round their heads. They liked our biscuit : but one
of the savages touched with his finger some of the meat, pre-
served in tin cases, which I was eating, and feeling it soft and
cold, he showed as much disgust at it as I should have done
at putrid blubber. It was as easy to please as it was hard
to satisfy these savages. Young and old, men and children,
never ceased repeating the word " Yammerschooner," which
means " give me," and pointing to almost every object, one
after the other, even to the buttons on our coats. At night
we slept close to the junction of Ponsonby Sound with the
Beagle Channel. A small family of Fuegians, who were liv-
ing in the cove, were quiet and inoffensive, and soon joined
our party round a blazing fire. We were well clothed, and,
though sitting close to the fire, were far from too warm ; yet
these naked savages, though farther off, were observed, to our
great surprise, to be streaming with perspiration from such a
roasting. They seemed, however, very well pleased, and all
joined in the chorus of the seamen's songs; but the way in
which they were always behindhand was very ludicrous.
I believe that man, in this extreme part of South America,
exists in a lower state of improvement than in any other
part of the world. The South Sea Islanders, of the two races
inhabiting the Pacific, are comparatively civilized. The Es-
' r'"' 1 I \ \* \\w\\
SOUTH SEA ISLANDERS.
kimo, in his underground hut, enjoys some of the comforts
of life, and in his canoe, when fully equipped, shows much
skill. Some of the tribes of Southern Africa, prowling about
in search of roots, and living hid on the wild and parched
plains, are wretched enough. The Australian, in the sim-
plicity of the arts of life, comes nearest the Fuegian ; he can,
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
BUSHMEN OF SOUTH AFRICA.
however, boast of his boomerang, his spear and thro wing-
stick ; his mode of climbing trees, of tracking animals, and of
hunting. But although the Australian may be superior in
acquirements, it by no means follows that he is likewise su-
perior in mental capacity. Indeed, from what I saw of the
Fuegians, and from what I have read of the Australians, I
should think the opposite w r as true.
AT Cape Gregory the famous so-called gigantic Patago-
nians gave us a hearty reception. Their height appears
THE INDIAN OF THE PAMPAS. 105
greater than it really is, from their large guanaco mantles,
their long flowing hair, and general figure : on an average
their height is about six feet, with some men taller, and only
a few shorter ; and the women are also tall. Altogether they
are certainly the tallest race that we anywhere saw. In feat-
ures they strikingly resemble the more northern Indians
whom I saw with Rosas, but they have a wilder and more
formidable appearance: their faces were much painted with
red and black, and one man was ringed and dotted with
white, like a Fuegian. Captain Fitz Roy offered to take any
three of them on board, and all seemed determined to be of
the three: it was long before we could clear the boat. At
last we got on board with our three giants, who dined with
the captain and behaved quite like gentlemen, helping them-
selves with knives, forks, and spoons : nothing was so much
relished as sugar. The tribe spend the greater part of the
year here, but in summer they hunt along the foot of the
Cordillera; sometimes they travel as far as the Rio Negro,
seven hundred and fifty miles to the north. They are well
stocked with horses, each man having, according to Mr. Low,
six or seven, and all the women, and even the children, their
one own horse. Mr. Low informs me that a neighboring tribe
of foot-Indians is now (1834) changing into horse-Indians.
THE INDIAN OF THE PAMPAS.
WE stayed two days at the Colorado, near the encamp-
ment of General Rosas. My chief amusement was watching
the Indian families, as they came to buy little articles at the
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
rancho where we stayed. It w r as supposed that General
Eosas had about six hundred Indian allies. The men were
LENGUA INDIANS (BASIN OF THE PLATE RIVER).
a tall, fine race, yet it was afterward easy to see in the Fue-
gian savage the same countenance made hideous by cold,
want of food, and less civilization. Among the young wom-
en, or chinas, some deserve to be called even beautiful. Their
hair was coarse, but bright and black, and they wore it in
two plaits, hanging down to the waist. They had a high
color, and eyes that glistened with brilliancy. Their legs,
feet, and arms were small, and elegantly formed ; their ankles,
and sometimes their waists, were ornamented by broad brace-
lets of blue beads. Nothing could be more interesting than
some of the family groups. A mother with one or two
THE INDIAN OF THE PAMPAS.
daughters would often come to our rancho mounted upon
the same horse. They ride like men, but with their knees
tucked up higher; a habit which comes, perhaps, of their
being accustomed, when travelling, to ride the loaded horses.
The duty of the women is to load and unload the horses; to
make the tents for the night; in short, to be, like the wives
of all savages, useful slaves. The men fight, hunt, take care
of the horses, and make the riding-gear. One of their chief
in-door occupations is to knock two stones together till they
become round, in order to make the bolas. With this im-
portant weapon the Indian catches his game, and also his
SOLDIERS OF GENERAL 11OSAS.
horse, which roams free over the plain. In fighting, his first
attempt is to throw down his enemy's horse with the bolas,
108 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
and when entangled by the fall, to kill him with his pike
(chuzd). If the bolas only catch the neck or body of an
animal, they are often carried away and lost. As the mak-
ing of the stones round is the labor of two days, the manu-
facture of the balls is a very common employment. Several
of the men and women had their faces painted red, but I nev-
er saw the horizontal bands which are so common among the
Fuegians. Their chief pride consists in having everything
made of silver. I have seen a cacique with his spurs, stir-
rups, handle of his knife, and bridle, made of this metal.
The headstall and reins, being of wire, were not thicker than
whip-cord ; and to see a fiery steed wheeling about under the
command of so light a chain gave to the horsemanship a re-
markable character of elegance.
The chief Indians always have one or two picked horses,
which they keep ready for any urgent occasion. When the
troops of General Rosas first arrived at Cholechel they found
there a tribe of Indians, of whom they killed twenty or thirty.
The cacique escaped in a manner which astonished every one.
He sprang upon an old white horse, taking with him his lit-
tle son. The horse had neither saddle nor bridle. To avoid
the shots, the Indian rode in the peculiar manner of his na-
tion, namely, with an arm round the horse's neck, and one
leg only on its back. Thus hanging on one side, he was seen
patting the horse's head, and talking to him. The pursuers
made every effort in the chase ; the commandant three times
changed his horse; but all in vain. The old Indian father
and his son escaped and were free. What a fine picture one
can form in one's mind the naked, bronze-like figure of the
THE INDIAN OF THE PAMPAS. 109
old man, with his little boy, riding like Mazeppa on the
white horse, thus leaving far behind him the host of pursuers !
In a battle at the small Salinas a tribe, consisting of about
one hundred and ten Indians, men, women, and children, were
nearly all taken or killed. Four men ran away together.
They were pursued : one was killed, and the other three were
taken alive. They turned out to be messengers from a large
body of Indians, united in the common cause of defence, near
the Cordillera. The tribe to which they had been sent was
on the point of holding a grand council ; the feast of mare's
flesh was ready, and the dance prepared : in the morning the
messengers were to have returned to the Cordillera. They
were remarkably fine men, very fair, above six feet high, and
all under thirty years of age. The three survivors, of course,
possessed very valuable information, and to extort this they
were placed in a line. The two first, being questioned, an-
swered, " No se " (I do not know), and were one after the
other shot. The third also said " No se ;" adding, " Fire ! I
am a man, and can die!" Not one syllable would they
breathe to injure the united cause of their country.
During my stay at Bahia Blanca, while waiting for the
Beagle, an account came that a small party, forming one of
the postas on the line to Buenos Ayres, had been found all
murdered. The next day three hundred men arrived from
the Colorado, a large portion of whom were Indians, and
passed the night here. In the morning they started for the
scene of the murder, with orders to follow the rastro or track,
even if it led them to Chile. One glance at the rastro tells
these people a whole history. Supposing they examine the
110 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
track of a thousand horses, they will soon guess the number
of mounted ones by seeing how many have cantered ; by the
depth of the other impressions, whether any horses were
loaded with cargoes; by the irregularity of the footsteps,
how far tired ; by the manner in which the food has been
cooked, whether the pursued travelled in haste ; by the gen-
eral appearance, how long it has been since they passed.
They consider a rastro ten days or a fortnight old quite re-
cent enough to be hunted out.
In journeying from the Rio Negro to the Colorado we
came in sight of a famous tree, which the Indians reverence
as the altar of Walleechu. It stands on a high part of the
plain, and hence is a landmark visible at a great distance.
As soon as a tribe of Indians come in sight of it they offer
their adorations by loud shouts. The tree itself is low, much
branched, and thorny: just above the root it has a diameter
of about three feet. It stands by itself, without any neigh-
bor, and was indeed the first tree we saw ; afterward we met
with a few others of the same kind, but they were far from
common. Being winter, the tree had no leaves, but in their
place numberless threads, by which the various offerings, such
as cigars, bread, meat, pieces of cloth, etc., had been hung
upon it. Poor Indians, not having anything better, only
pull a thread out of their ponchos and fasten it to the tree.
Richer Indians are accustomed to pour spirits and mate (tea)
into a certain hole, and likewise to smoke upward, thinking
thus to afford all possible gratification to Walleechu. To
complete the scene, the tree was surrounded by the bleached
bones of horses which had been slaughtered as sacrifices.
THE NEGRO. Ill
All Indians, of every age and sex, make their offerings ; they
then think that their horses will not tire, and that they them-
selves shall be prosperous. The Gaucho who told me this
said that, in the time of peace, he had witnessed this scene,
and that he and others used to wait till the Indians had
passed by, for the sake of stealing from Walleechu the offer-
ings. The Gauchos think that the Indians consider the tree
as the god himself; but it seems far more probable that they
regard it as his altar.
WE determined to pass the night at one of the post-
houses, a day's ride from Bahia Blanca. This posta was com-
manded by a negro lieutenant, born in Africa; and, to his
credit be it said, there was not a ranch o between the Colo-
rado and Buenos Ayres in nearly such neat order as his. He
had a little room for strangers, and a small corral for the
horses, all made of sticks and reeds ; he had also dug a ditch
round his house as a defence, in case of being attacked. This
would, however, have been of little avail if the Indians had
come; but his chief comfort seemed to rest in the thought
of selling his life dearly. A short time before, a body of
Indians had travelled past in the night ; if they had known
of the posta, our black friend and his four soldiers would
assuredly have been slaughtered. I did not anywhere meet
a more civil and obliging man than this negro; it was there-
fore the more painful to see that he would not sit down and
eat with us.
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
While in Brazil, not far from Itacaia, we passed under
one of the massive, bare, and steep hills of granite which are
so common in this country. This spot is notorious from
having been, for a long time, the residence of some runaway
slaves, who, by cultivating a little ground near the top, con-
trived to eke out a living. At length they were discovered,
A POST ON THE PAMPAS.
and a party of soldiers being sent, the whole were seized,
with the exception of one old woman, who, sooner than again
be led into slavery, dashed herself to pieces from the summit
of the mountain. In a Roman matron this would have been
called the noble love of freedom ; in a poor negress it is mere
THE NEGRO. 113
During our stay at an estate on the river Macahe, I was
very near being an eye-witness to one of those atrocious acts
which can only take place in a slave country. Owing to a
quarrel and a lawsuit, the owner was on the point of taking
all the women and children from the male slaves, and selling
them separately at the public auction at Rio. Self-interest,
and not any feeling of pity, prevented this act. Indeed, I
do not believe the inhumanity of separating thirty families,
who had lived together for many years, ever occurred to the
owner. Yet I will pledge myself that in humanity and good
feeling he was better than the common run of men. It may
be said there is no limit to the blindness of interest and self-
ish habit. I may mention one very trifling incident which,
at the time, struck me more forcibly than any story of cruelty.
I was crossing a ferry with a negro who was uncommonly
stupid. In endeavoring to make him understand, I talked
loud and made signs, in doing which I passed my hand near
his face. He, I suppose, thought I was in a passion and was
going to strike him, for instantly, with a frightened look and
half-shut eyes, he dropped his hands. I shall never forget
my feelings of surprise, disgust, and shame at seeing a great
powerful man afraid even to ward off a blow, directed, as he
thought, at his face. This man had been trained to a degra-
dation lower than the slavery of the most helpless animal.
On the 19th of August, 1836, we finally left the shores of
Brazil. I thank God I shall never again visit a slave country.
To this day, if I hear a distant scream, it recalls with pain-
ful vividness my feelings when, passing a house near Pernam-
buco, I heard the most pitiable moans, and could not but
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
suspect that some poor slave was being tortured, yet knew
that I was as powerless as a child even to remonstrate. I
suspected that these moans were from a tortured slave, for I
was told that this was the case in another instance. Near
Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady who kept
screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have
stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily
and hourly, was reviled, beaten, and persecuted enough to
break the spirit of the lowest animal. I have seen a little
boy, six or seven years old, struck thrice with a horsewhip
(before I could interfere) on his naked head, for having hand-
ed me a glass of water not quite clean. I saw his father
THE NEGRO. 115
tremble at a mere glance from his master's eye. These latter
cruelties were witnessed by me in a Spanish colony, in which
it has always been said that slaves are better treated than
by the Portuguese, English, or other European nations. I
will not even allude to the many heart -sickening atrocities
which I heard of on good authority ; nor would I have men-
tioned the above revolting details, had I not met with sev-
eral people so blinded by the natural gayety of the negro as
to speak of slavery as a tolerable evil. Such people have
generally visited at the houses of the upper classes, where
the domestic slaves are usually well treated and they have
not, like myself, lived among the lower classes. Such in-
quirers will ask slaves about their condition : they forget that
the slave must indeed be dull who does not calculate on the
chance of his answer reaching his master's ears.
It is argued that self-interest will prevent excessive cru-
elty; as if self-interest protected our domestic animals, which
are far less likely than degraded slaves to stir up the rage
of their savage masters. One day, riding in the Pampas with
a very respectable planter (estanciero), my horse, being tired,
lagged behind. The man often shouted to me to spur him.
When I remonstrated that it was a pity, for the horse was
quite exhausted, he cried out, "Why not? Never mind; spur
him it is my horse." I had then some difficulty in making
him understand that it was for the horse's sake, and not on
his account, that I did not choose to use my spurs. He ex-
claimed, with a look of great surprise, "Ah, Don Carlos, que
cosa !" (what an idea). It was clear that such an idea had
never before entered his head.
116 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
Those who look tenderly at the slave-owner, and with a
cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves in the
position of the latter. What a cheerless picture, with not
even a hope of change ! Picture to yourself the chance, ever
hanging over you, of your wife and little children being torn
from you and sold to the highest bidder! And these deeds
are done and excused by men who profess to love their neigh-
bors as themselves who believe in God, and pray that his
will be done on earth ! It makes one's blood boil, yet heart
tremble, to think that we Englishmen, and our American de-
scendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and
are so guilty: but it is a consolation to reflect that we, at
least, have made a greater sacrifice than was ever made by
any nation to expiate our sin.*
AT Las Minas we stopped overnight at a pulperia, or
drinking-shop. During the evening a great number of Gau-
chos came in to drink spirits and smoke cigars. Their ap-
pearance is very striking: they are generally tall and hand-
some, but with a proud and dissolute expression of counte-
nance. They often wear their mustaches, and long black
hair curling down their backs. With their bright -colored
garments, great spurs clanking about their heels, and knives
stuck as daggers (and often so used) at their waists, they
* Slavery was finally abolished in the British West Indies in 1834-1838;
in the United States by the civil war of 1861-1865.
look a different race of men from what might be expected
from their name of Gauchos, or simple countrymen. Their
politeness is excessive; they never drink their spirits with-
out expecting you to taste it ; but, while making their ex-
ceedingly graceful bow, they seem quite as ready, if occasion
offered, to cut your throat.
The Gauchos are well known to be perfect riders. The
idea of being thrown, let the horse do what it likes, never
enters their head. Their test of a good rider is a man who
can manage an untamed colt, or who, if his horse falls, alights
on his own feet, or can perform other such exploits. I have
heard of a man betting that he would throw his horse down
118 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
CHILE AND PERU.
twenty times, and that nineteen times he would not fall him-
self. I recollect seeing a Gaucho riding a very stubborn
horse, which three times in succession reared so high as to
fall backward with great violence. The man judged with
uncommon coolness the proper moment for slipping off not
an instant before or after the right time and as soon as the
horse got up the man jumped on his back, and at last they
started at a gallop. The Gaucho never appears to exert any
muscular force. I was one day watching a good rider, as we
were galloping along at a rapid pace, and thought to myself,
" Surely, if the horse starts, you appear so careless on your
seat, you must fall." At this moment a male ostrich sprung
from its nest right beneath the horse's nose. The young
colt bounded on one side like a stag; but as for the man,
all that could be said was that he started and took fright
with his horse. I was surprised to hear the Gauchos, who
have from infancy almost lived on horseback, say that they
always suffered from stiffness when, not having ridden for
some time, they first began again. One of them told me that,
having been confined for three months by illness, he went
out hunting wild cattle, and, in consequence, for the next
ten days his thighs were so stiff that he was obliged to lie
in bed. This shows that the Gauchos must really exert
much muscular effort in riding.
In Chile and Peru more pains are taken with the mouth
of the horse than in La Plata, evidently because of the more
intricate nature of the country. In Chile a horse is not con-
sidered perfectly broken till he can be brought up standing,
in the midst of his full speed, on any particular spot for
instance, on a cloak thrown on the ground : or, again, he will
charge a wall, and rearing, scrape the surface with his hoofs.
I have seen an animal bounding with spirit, yet merely rein-
ed by a forefinger and thumb, taken at full gallop across a
court-yard, then made to wheel round the post of a veranda
with great speed, but at so equal a distance that the rider,
with outstretched arm, all the w 7 hile kept one finger rub-
bing the post; then making a demivolt in the air, with
the man's other arm outstretched in a like manner, he wheel-
ed round, with astonishing force, in an opposite direction.
NOT TO BE THROWN.
Such a horse is well broken : and although this at first
may appear useless, it is far otherwise. It is only carrying
to perfection a daily necessity. When a bullock is checked
120 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
and caught by the lazo, it will sometimes gallop round and
round in a circle; and the horse, being alarmed at the great
strain, if not well broken, will not readily turn like the pivot
of a wheel. In consequence, many men have been killed;
for if the lazo once takes a twist round a man's body, it will
instantly, from the power of the two opposed animals, al-
most cut him in twain. A man on horseback, having thrown
his lazo round the horns of a beast, can drag it anywhere
he chooses. The animal, ploughing up the ground with
outstretched legs, in vain efforts to resist the force, gener-
ally dashes at full speed to one side; but the horse, im-
mediately turning to receive the shock, stands so firmly that
the bullock is almost thrown down, and it is surprising that
their necks are not broken. The struggle is not, however,
one of fair strength, since the horse's girth is matched against
the bullock's extended neck. In a similar manner a man
can hold the wildest horse, if caught with the lazo just be-
hind the ears.
The lazo is a very strong, but thin, well-plaited rope, made
of raw hide. One end is attached to the broad surcingle
which fastens together the complicated gear of the recado, or
saddle used in the Pampas; at the other end is a small ring
of iron or brass, by which a noose can be formed. The Gau-
cho, when he is going to use the lazo, keeps a small coil in
his bridle-hand, and in the other holds the running noose,
which is made very large, generally having a diameter of
about eight feet. This he whirls round his head, and by
the dexterous movement of his wrist keeps the noose open ;
then, throwing it, he causes it to fall on any particular spot
THE GAUCHO. 121
he chooses. The lazo, when not used, is tied up in a small
coil to the after part of the recado.
The bolas, or balls, are of two kinds. The simplest, which
are chiefly used for catching ostriches, consist of two round
stones, covered with leather, and united by a thin plaited
thong about eight feet long. The other kind differs only in
having three balls united by the thong to a common centre.
The Gaucho holds the smallest of the three in his hand, and
whirls the other two round and round his head ; then, tak-
ing aim, sends them like chain-shot whirling through the air.
The balls no sooner strike any object than, winding round
it, they cross each other, and become firmly hitched. The
size and weight of the balls vary, according to the purpose
for which they are made : when of stone, although not larger
than an English apple, they are sent with such force as some-
times to break the legs even of a horse. I have seen the
balls made of wood, and as large as a turnip, for the sake of
catching these animals without injuring them. The balls are
sometimes made of iron, and these can be hurled to the great-
The main difficulty in using either lazo or bolas is to ride
so well as to be able at full speed, and while suddenly turn-
ing about, to whirl them so steadily round the head as to
take aim: on foot, any person would soon learn the art.
One day, as I was amusing myself by galloping and whirl-
ing the balls round my head, by accident the free one struck
a bush, and its revolving motion being thus destroyed, it im-
mediately fell to the ground, and like magic caught one hind
leg of my horse ; the other ball was then jerked out of my
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
baud, and the horse fairly secured. Luckily he was an old
practised animal, and knew what it meant, otherwise he
USE OF LAZO AND SOLAS.
would probably have kicked till he had thrown himself
down. The Gauchos roared with laughter; they cried out
that they had seen every sort of animal caught, but had never
before seen a man caught by himself.
About two leagues beyond the curious tree of Walleechu
we halted for the night. At this instant an unfortunate cow
THE GAUCHO. 123
was spied by the lynx-eyed Gauchos, who set off in full chase,
and in a few minutes dragged her in with their lazos and
slaughtered her. We here had the four necessaries of life in
the open plain (en el campo) pasture for the horses, water
(only a muddy puddle), meat, and firewood. The Gauchos
were in high spirits at finding all these luxuries, and we soon
set to work at the poor cow. This was the first night which
I passed under the open sky, with the saddle -gear for my
bed. There is high enjoyment in the independence of the
Gaucho life to be able at any moment to pull up your horse
and say, "Here we will pass the night." The death -like
stillness of the plain, the dogs keeping watch, the gypsy group
of Gauchos making their beds round the fire, have left in my
mind a strongly-marked picture of this first night, which will
never be forgotten.
At Tapulquen we were able to buy some biscuit. I had
now been several days without tasting anything beside meat.
I did not at all dislike this new diet, but I felt as if it would
only have agreed with me with hard exercise. I have heard
that patients in England, to whom an exclusively animal
diet has been prescribed, have hardly been able to endure
it, even to save their lives; yet the Gauchos in the Pampas,
for months together, touch nothing but beef. But they eat,
I observe, a very large proportion of fat, and they particularly
dislike dry meat, such as that of the agouti. It is, perhaps,
on account of their meat diet that the Gauchos, like other
flesh-eating animals, can long go without food. I was told
of some troops who, of their own accord, pursued a party of
Indians for three days, without eating or drinking.
124 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
One night in the Falkland Islands we slept on the neck
of land at the head of Choiseul Sound, which forms the south-
west peninsula. The valley
was pretty well sheltered from
the cold wind ; but there was
very little brushwood for fuel.
The Gauchos, however, soon
found what, to my great sur-
prise, made nearly as hot a fire as coals ; this was the skele-
ton of a bullock lately killed, from which the flesh had been
picked by the carrion-hawks. They told me that in winter
they often killed a beast, cleaned the flesh from the bones
with their knives, and then with these same bones roasted
the meat for their supper.
THE LA PLATAN.
AT Santa Fe I was confined for two days to my bed by
a headache. A good-natured old woman, who attended me,
wished me to try many odd remedies. A common practice
is to bind an orange-leaf or a bit of black plaster to each tem-
ple; and a still more general plan is to split a bean into
halves, moisten them, and place one on each temple, where
they will easily stick. It is not thought proper ever to re-
move the bean or plaster, but to let them drop off; and
sometimes, if a man with patches on his head is asked what
is the matter, he will answer, "I had a headache the day be-
THE URUGUAYAN. 125
the first night out from Maldonado we slept at a re-
tired little country-house, and there I soon found out that I
owned two or three articles, especially a pocket compass,
which created unbounded astonishment. In every house I
was asked to show the compass, and by its aid, together with
a map, to point out the direction of various places. It ex-
cited the liveliest admiration that I, a perfect stranger, should
know the road (for direction and road mean the same thing
in this open country) to places where I had never been. At
one house a young woman, who was ill in bed, sent to beg
me to come and show her the compass. If their surprise
was great, mine was greater to find such ignorance among
people owning thousands of cattle, and estancias of great
extent. It can only be explained by the circumstance that
this retired part of the country is seldom visited by foreign-
ers. I was asked whether the earth or sun moved ; whether
it was hotter or colder to the north ; where Spain was, and
many other such questions. The greater number of the in-
habitants had an indistinct idea that England, London, and
North America were different names for the same place; but
the better informed well knew that London and North Amer-
ica were separate countries, close together, and that England
was a large town in London ! I carried with me some pro-
methean matches, which I lighted by biting ; it was thought
so wonderful that a man should strike fire with his teeth
that it was usual to collect the whole family to see it. I was
once offered a dollar for a single one ! Washing my face in
126 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
the morning caused much speculation at the village of Las
Minas. A superior tradesman closely cross -questioned me
about so singular a practice, and likewise why, on board ship,
we wore our beards (for he had heard from my guide that
we did so). He eyed me with much suspicion. It is the
general custom in this country to ask for a night's lodging
at the first convenient house. The astonishment at the com-
pass and my other feats in jugglery was a certain advantage
to me, as with that, and the long stories my guides told of
my breaking stones, knowing venomous from harmless snakes,
collecting insects, etc., I repaid them for their hospitality. I
am writing as if I had been among the inhabitants of Cen-
tral Africa. Banda Oriental would not be flattered by the
comparison, but such were my feelings at the time.
On the road toward Mercedes, on the Rio Negro, we asked
leave to sleep at an estancia at which we happened to arrive.
It was a very large estate, being ten leagues square ; and
the owner is one of the greatest land-owners in the country.
His nephew had charge of it, and with him there was a cap-
tain in the army, who the other day ran away from Buenos
Ayres. Considering their station, their conversation was
rather amusing. They expressed, as was usual, unbounded
astonishment at the globe being round, and could scarcely
believe that a hole would, if deep enough, come out on the
other side. They had, however, heard of a country where
there were six months of light and six of darkness, and where
the inhabitants were very tall and thin ! They were curious
about the price and condition of horses and cattle in England.
Upon finding that we did not catch our animals with the
lazo, they cried out: "Ah, then, you use nothing but the
bolas !" The idea of an enclosed country was quite new to
them. The captain at last said he had one question to ask
me, which he should be very much obliged if I would answer
with all truth : it was, " Whether the ladies of Buenos Ayres
were not the handsomest in the world." I replied, " Charm-
AN ESTANCIERO (PLANTER).
ingly so." He added, " I have one other question : Do ladies
in any other part of the world wear such large combs ?" I
solemnly assured him that they did not. They were abso-
lutely delighted. The captain exclaimed, "Look there! a
man who has seen half the world says it is the case ; we al-
ways thought so, but now we know it." My excellent judg-
ment in combs and beauty procured me a most hospitable
128 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
reception. The captain forced me to take his bed, and
would sleep on his recado.
At Mercedes I asked two men w^hy they did not work.
One gravely said the days were too long; the other, that he
was too poor. The number of horses and the abundance of
food are the destruction of all industry. Moreover, there are
so many feast-days : and again, nothing can succeed unless it
be begun when the moon is on the increase ; so that half the
month is lost from these two causes.
Both at Colonia and in other places I noticed a very
general interest in the approaching election for President.
The inhabitants do not require much education in their rep-
resentatives. I heard some men discussing the merits of
those for Colonia, and it was said that, " although they were
not men of business, they could all sign their names." With
this they seemed to think every reasonable man ought to be
I MUST express my admiration at the natural politeness
of almost every Chileno. I may mention an incident with
which I was at the time much pleased : We met near Men-
doza a little and very fat negress riding astride on a mule.
She had a goitre so enormous that it was scarcely possible
to avoid gazing at her for a moment; but my two compan-
ions (Chilians) almost instantly, by way of apology, made
the common salute of the country by taking off their hats.
Where would one of the lower or higher classes in Europe
THE CHILENO. 129
have shown such feeling politeness to a poor and miserable
object of a degraded race ?
My geological examination of the country generally
caused a good deal of surprise among the Chilenos: it was
long before they could be convinced that I was not hunting
for mines. This was sometimes troublesome. I found the
readiest way of explaining rny employment was to ask them
how it was that they themselves were not curious concerning
earthquakes and volcanoes? why some springs were hot
and others cold? why there were mountains in Chile and
not a hill in La Plata? These bare questions at once satis-
fied and silenced the greater number; some, however (like a
few in England who are a century behind), thought that all
such inquiries were useless and impious, and that it was
quite sufficient that God had thus made the mountains.
The Chilian miners are a peculiar race of men in their
habits. Living for weeks together in the most desolate spots,
when they descend to the villages on feast-days there is no
excess or extravagance into which they do not run. They
sometimes gain a considerable sum, and then, like sailors with
prize-money, they try how soon they can contrive to squander
it. They drink excessively, buy quantities of clothes, and in
a few days return penniless to their miserable abodes, there
to work harder than beasts of burden. This thoughtlessness,
as with sailors, is evidently the result of a similar mode of
life. Their daily food is found for them, and they acquire
no habits of carefulness ; moreover, temptation and the means
of yielding to it are placed in their power at the same time.
On the other hand, in Cornwall, and some other parts of
130 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
England, where the system of selling part of the vein is fol-
lowed, the miners are obliged to act and think for themselves,
and are therefore a singularly intelligent and well-behaved
set of men.
The dress of the Chilian miner is peculiar and rather pic-
turesque. He wears a very long shirt of some dark-colored
baize, with a leathern apron, the whole being fastened round
his waist by a bright -colored sash. His trousers are very
broad, and his small cap of scarlet cloth is made to fit the
head closely. We met a party of these miners in full cos-
tume, carrying the body of one of their companions to be
buried. They marched at a very quick trot, four men sup-
porting the corpse. One set having run as hard as they
could for about two hundred yards, were relieved by four
others, who had previously dashed ahead on horseback.
Thus they proceeded, encouraging each other by wild cries.
Altogether the scene formed a most strange funeral.
Captain Head has described the wonderful load which
the "apires" truly beasts of burden carry up from the
deepest mines. I confess I thought the account exaggerated,
so that I was glad to take an opportunity of weighing one
of the loads, \vhich I picked out by hazard. It required con-
siderable exertion on my part, when standing directly over
it, to lift it from the ground. The load was considered un-
der weight when found to be one hundred and ninety-seven
pounds. The apire had carried this up eighty perpendicular
yards part of the way by a steep passage, but the greater
part up notched poles, placed in a zigzag line up the shaft.
According to rule, the apire is not allowed to halt for breath
unless the mine is six hundred feet deep. The average load
is considered as rather more than two hundred pounds, and
I have been assured that one
of three hundred pounds, by
way of a trial, had been brought
up from the deepest mine. At
this time the apires were bring-
ing up the usual load twelve
times in the day that is, twen-
ty-four hundred pounds from
eighty yards deep; and they
were employed in the intervals
in breaking and picking ore.
These men, excepting from
accidents, are healthy, and ap-
pear cheerful. Their bodies are
not very muscular. They rarely
eat meat once a week, and nev-
er oftener. Although knowing
that their labor w r as not forced,
it was nevertheless quite re-
volting to see the state in which they reached the mouth
of the mine their bodies bent forward, their legs bowed,
their muscles quivering, the perspiration streaming from their
faces over their breasts, their nostrils distended, the corners of
their mouths forcibly drawn back, and the expulsion of their
breath most laborious. After staggering to the pile of ore,
they emptied the carpaclio ; in two or three seconds recov-
ering their breath, they wiped the sw r eat from their brows,
TANATERO OKE CARRIER.
132 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
and, apparently quite fresh, descended the mine again at a
quick pace. This seems to me a wonderful instance of the
amount of labor which habit, for it can be nothing else, will
enable a man to endure.
ONE day, while we were at the gold-mines of Yaquil, a
German collector in natural history, of the name of Renous,
called, and nearly at the same time an old Spanish lawyer.
I was amused at being told the conversation which took place
between them. Renous speaks Spanish so well that the old
lawyer mistook him for a Chilian. Renous, alluding to me,
asked him what he thought of the King of England sending
out a collector to their country, to pick up lizards and beetles,
and to break stones. The old gentleman thought seriously
for some time, and then said, "It is not well hay un gato
encerrado aqui (there is a cat shut up here). No man is so
rich as to send out people to pick up such rubbish. I do
not like it. If one of us were to go and do such things in
England, do not you think the King of England would very
soon send us out of his country ?" And this old gentleman,
from his profession, belongs to the better informed and more
intelligent classes ! Renous himself, two or three years be-
fore, left in a house at San Fernando some caterpillars, under
charge of a girl to feed, that they might turn into butterflies.
This was rumored through the town, and at last the priests
and the governor consulted together, and agreed it must be
some heresy. So, when Renous returned, he was arrested.
THE TAHITI AN. 135
The captain with whom we descended the river Parana
was an old Spaniard, and had been many years in South
America. He professed a great liking for the English, but
stoutly maintained that the battle of Trafalgar was merely
won by the Spanish captains having been all bought over,
and that the only really gallant action on either side was
performed by the Spanish admiral. It struck me as rather
characteristic that this man should prefer his countrymen
being thought the worst of traitors, rather than unskilful or
AT Tahiti I was pleased with nothing so much as with
the inhabitants. There is a mildness in the expression of
their countenances which at once banishes the idea of a sav-
age, and an intelligence which shows that they are advanc-
ing in civilization. The common people, when working, keep
the upper part of their bodies quite naked ; and it is then
that the Tahitians are seen to advantage. They are very
tall, broad-shouldered, athletic, and well-proportioned. It has
been remarked that it requires little habit to make a dark
skin more pleasing arid natural to the eye of a European
than his own color. A white man, bathing by the side of
a Tahitian, w T as like a plant bleached by the gardener's art
compared with a fine dark green one, growing vigorously in
the open fields. Most of the men are tattooed, and the orna-
ments follow the curves of the body so gracefully that they
have a very elegant effect. One common pattern, varying in
136 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
its details, is somewhat like the crown of a palm-tree. It
springs from the central line of the back, and gracefully curls
round both sides. Many of the elder people had their feet
covered with small figures, so placed as to resemble a sock.
This fashion, however, is partly gone by. The women are
tattooed in the same manner as the men, and very commonly
NATIVE BAMBOO HOUSE, TAHITI, SOCIETY ISLANDS.
on their fingers. They are far inferior, in every respect, to
On a short excursion into the mountains our line of march
was the valley of Tia-auru, down which a river flows into
the sea by Point Venus. We bivouacked for the night on
a flat little spot on the bank of one of the streams into which
the river divided itself at its head. The Tahitians, in a few
minutes, built us an excellent house, and then proceeded to
make a fire and cook our evening meal. A light was pro-
cured by rubbing a blunt-
pointed stick in a groove
made in another, as if in
order to deepen it, until by
the friction the dust was
ignited. A peculiarly white
and very light wood is alone
used for this purpose. The
fire was produced in a few
seconds; but, to a person
who does not understand
the art, it requires, as I
found, the greatest exertion ;
but at last, to my great pride,
FIKK BY FK1CT1ON.
BANANA LEAVES AND FRUIT-STALK.
I succeeded in igniting the
dust. The Gaucho in
the Pampas uses a dif-
ferent method : taking
an elastic stick, about
eighteen inches long, he
presses one end on his
breast, and the other
pointed end into a hole
in a piece of wood, and
then rapidly turns the
curved part, like a car-
penter's centre-bit. The
Tahitians, having made
a small fire of sticks,
placed a score of stones,
138 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
of about the size of cricket-balls, on the burning wood. In
about ten minutes the sticks were consumed, and the stones
Lot. They had previously folded up
in small parcels of leaves pieces of
beef, fish, ripe and unripe bananas,
and the tops of the wild arum. These
green parcels were laid in a layer be-
tween two layers of the hot stones,
and the whole then covered up with
earth, so that no smoke or steam could
escape. In about a quarter of an hour the whole was most
deliciously cooked. The choice green parcels were now laid
on a cloth of banana leaves, and with a cocoa-nut shell we
drank the cool water of the running stream; and thus we
enjoyed our rustic meal.
THE AUSTRALIAN NEGRO.
A LARGE tribe of natives, called the White Cockatoo men,
happened to pay a visit to the settlement at King George's
Sound while we were there. These men, as well as those of
the tribe belonging to the Sound, being tempted by the offer
of some tubs of rice and sugar, were persuaded to hold a
"corrobery," or great dancing -party. As soon as it grew
dark, small fires were lighted and the men commenced their
toilet, which consisted in painting themselves white in spots
and lines. As soon as all was ready, large fires were kept
blazing, round which the women and children were collected
as spectators. The Cockatoo and King George's men formed
THE AUSTRALIAN NEGRO.
two distinct parties, and generally danced in answer to each
other. The dancing con-
sisted in their running,
either sideways or in
Indian file, into an open
space, and stamping the
ground with great force
as they marched togeth-
er. Their heavy foot-
steps were accompanied
by a kind of grunt, by
beating their clubs and
spears together, and by
various other gesticulations, such as extending their arms and
wriggling their bodies. It was a most rude, barbarous scene,
and, to our ideas, with-
out any sort of mean-
ing; but we observed
that the black women
and children watched
it with the greatest
pleasure. Perhaps these
dances originally repre-
sented actions, such as
wars and victories.
There was one called
the Emu dance, in
which each man ex-
KANGAROO. tended his arm in a
140 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
bent manner, like the neck of that bird. In another dance,
one man imitated the movements of a kangaroo grazing in
the woods, while a second crawled up and pretended to spear
him. When both tribes mingled in the dance the ground
trembled with the heaviness of their steps, and the air re-
sounded with their wild cries. Every one appeared in high
spirits; and the group of nearly naked figures, viewed by the
light of the blazing fires, all moving in hideous harmony,
formed a perfect display of a festival among the lowest bar-
barians. In Tierra del Fuego we had beheld many curious
scenes in savage life, but never, I think, one where the na-
tives were in such high spirits and so perfectly at their ease.
After the dancing was over, the whole party formed a great
circle on the ground, and the boiled rice and sugar was dis-
tributed, to the delight of all.
AUSTRALIAN' " CORROBRRY."
general and almost entire absence of trees in Banda
Oriental (or Uruguay) is remarkable. Some of the
rocky hills are partly covered by thickets, and on the banks
of the larger streams,
especially to the north
of Las Minas, willow-
trees are not uncom-
mon. Near the Arroyo
Tapes I heard of a
wood of palms; and
one of these trees, of
considerable size, I saw
near the Pan de Azu-
car (Sugar-Loaf), in lat-
itude thirty -five de-
grees. These, and the
trees planted by the
Spaniards, offer the
only exceptions to the general scarcity of wood. Among the
introduced kinds may be enumerated poplars, olives, peach,
and other fruit-trees: the peaches succeed so well that they
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
afford the main supply of
firewood to the city of Bue-
nos Ayres. Extremely lev-
el countries, such as the
Pampas, seldom appear fa-
vorable to the growth of
THE Parana is full of isl-
ands, which undergo a con-
stant round of decay and
renovation. In the memory
of the master of our balandra
(one -masted vessel) several
large ones had disappeared,
and others again had been
formed and protected by
vegetation. They are com-
posed of muddy sand, with-
out even the smallest peb-
ble, and were then about
four feet above the level of
the river ; but during the
periodical floods they are
overflowed. They all have
one character: numerous
willow and a few other trees
RIVER PARANA. 145
are bound together by a great variety of creeping plants,
thus forming a thick jungle. These thickets afford a retreat
for capybaras and jaguars. The fear of the latter animal
quite destroyed all pleasure in scrambling through the woods.
On every island there were tracks. In the evening the mos-
quitoes were very troublesome. I exposed my hand for five
minutes, and it was soon black with them ; I do not suppose
that there could have been less than fifty, all busy sucking.
Some leagues below Rosario the western shore of the
Parana is bounded by perpendicular cliffs, which extend in
a long line to below San Nicolas; hence it more resembles
a sea -coast than that of a fresh -water river. It is a great
drawback to the scenery of the Parana that, from the soft
nature of its banks, the water is very muddy. The Uru-
guay, flowing through a granitic country, is much clearer;
and, where the two channels unite at the head of the Plata,
the waters may for a long distance be distinguished by their
black and red colors. We met during our descent very few
vessels. One of the best gifts of nature, in so grand a chan-
nel of communication, seems here wilfully thrown away a
river in which ships might navigate from a temperate coun-
try as surprisingly abundant in certain productions as des-
titute of others, to another possessing a tropical climate and
a soil which, according to the best of judges, M. Bonpland,
is perhaps unequalled in fertility in any part of the world.
How different would have been the aspect of this river if
English colonists had by good -fortune first sailed up the
Plata! What noble towns would now have occupied its
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
THE PLATE RIVER.
HAVING been delayed for nearly a fortnight in Buenos
Ay res, I was glad to escape on board a packet bound for
THE CITY OF MONTEVIDEO, LOOKING TOWARD THE 1IAKBOK.
Montevideo. Our passage was a very long and tedious one.
The Plata looks like a noble estuary on the map, but is in
truth a poor affair. A wide expanse of muddy water has
neither grandeur nor beauty. At one time of the clay the
two shores, both of which are extremely low, could just be
distinguished from the deck.
IN the evening of September 27, 1833, I set out from
Buenos Ayres for Sante Fe, situated nearly three hundred
LA PLATA. 147
English miles distant, on the banks of the Parana. The roads
in the neighborhood of the city, after the rainy weather, were
extraordinarily bad. I should never have thought it possi-
ble for a bullock wagon to have crawled along; as it was,
they scarcely went at the rate of a mile an hour, and a man
was kept ahead to select the best line for making the at-
tempt. The bullocks were terribly jaded : it is a great mis-
take to suppose that, with improved roads and a quickened
rate of travelling, the sufferings of the animals increase in
the same proportion. We passed a train of wagons and a
troop of beasts on their road to Mendoza. The distance is
about five hundred and eighty geographical miles, and the
journey is generally performed in fifty days. These wagons
are very long and narrow, and thatched w^ith reeds; they
have only two wheels, the diameter of which is in some cases
as much as ten feet. Each is drawn by six bullocks, which
are urged on by a goad at least twenty feet long; this is
hung from within the roof: for the wheel bullocks a smaller
one is kept; and for the middle pair a point projects at
right angles from the middle of the long one. The whole
apparatus looked like some implement of war.
At San Nicolas I first saw the noble river of the Parana.
At the foot of the cliff on which the town stands some large
vessels were at anchor. Before arriving at Rosario we crossed
the Saladillo, a stream of fine, clear, running water, but too
salty to drink. Rosario is a large town built on a dead level
plain, which forms a cliff about sixty feet high over the Pa-
rana. The river here is very broad, with many islands, which
are low and wooded, as is also the opposite shore. The view
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
would resemble that of a great lake if it were not for the
linear- shaped islets, which alone give the idea of running
water. The cliffs are the most picturesque part ; sometimes
they are absolutely perpendicular, and of a red color; at
other times in large broken masses, covered with cacti and
For many leagues north and south of San Nicolas and
OX-CART OF THE PAMPAS.
Rosario the country is really level. Scarcely anything which
travellers have written about its extreme flatness can be con-
sidered as exaggeration. Yet I could never find a spot
where, by slowly turning round, objects were not seen at
greater distances in some directions than in others; and this
THE PAMPAS. 149
manifestly proves inequality in the plain. At sea, if a per-
son's eye is six feet above the surface of the water, his hori-
zon is two miles and four-fifths distant. In like manner, the
more level the plain, the more nearly does the horizon ap-
proach within these narrow limits ; and this, in my opinion,
entirely destroys that grandeur which one would have imag-
ined that a vast level plain would have possessed.
THE view from the post of Ctifre, in Banda Oriental, was
pleasing: an undulating green surface, with distant glimpses
of the Plata. I find that I look at this province with very
different eyes from what I did upon my first arrival. I recol-
lect I then thought it singularly level; but now (November,
1833), after galloping over the Pampas, my only surprise is,
what could have induced me ever to have called it level.
The country is a series of undulations, in themselves, perhaps,
not absolutely great, but, as compared to the plains of Santa Fe,
real mountains. From these unevennesses there is an abun-
dance of small rivulets, and the turf is green and luxuriant.
The number of the animal remains imbedded in the
grand estuary deposit which forms the Pampas, and covers
the granitic rocks of Banda Oriental, must be extraordinarily
great. I believe a straight line drawn in any direction
through the Pampas would cut through some skeleton or
bones. Besides those which I found, during my short ex-
cursions, I heard of many others, and the origin of such names
as "The stream of the animal," "The hill of the giant," is ob-
150 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
vious. At other times I heard of the marvellous property
of certain rivers, which had the power of changing small
bones into large; or, as some maintained, the bones them-
selves grew. As far as I am aware, not one of these animals
perished, as was formerly supposed, in the marshes or river
beds of the present land, but their bones have been exposed
by streams cutting through the watery deposit in which they
were originally imbedded. We may conclude that the whole
area of the Pampas is one wide sepulchre of extinct gigantic
In calling up images of the past, I find that the plains of
Patagonia frequently cross before my eyes; yet these plains
are pronounced by everybody wretched and useless. With-
out habitations, without water, without trees, without moun-
tains, they support merely a few dwarf plants. Why then
have these arid wastes taken so firm a hold on my memory,
and not on mine alone? Why have not the still more level,
the greener and more fertile Pampas, which are more ser-
viceable to mankind, produced an equal impression ? I can
scarcely analyze these feelings, but it must be partly owing
to the free scope given to the imagination. The plains of
Patagonia are boundless, for they are scarcely passable, and
hence unknown ; they bear the stamp of having lasted, as
they are now, for ages, and there appears no limit to their
duration through future time. If, as the ancients supposed,
the fiat earth was surrounded by an impassable breadth of
water, or by deserts heated to an unbearable excess, who
would not look at these lost boundaries to man's knowledge
with deep but vague sensations ?
T I ERR A DEL FUEGO. 151
SOUTH AMERICA. ~
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO may be described as a mountainous
land, partly sunk in the sea, so that deep inlets and bays
occupy the place where valleys should exist. The mountain
sides, except on the exposed western coast, are covered from
the water's edge upward by one great forest. The trees
reach to an elevation of between one thousand and fifteen
hundred feet, and are succeeded by a band of peat with tiny
alpine plants ; and this again is succeeded by the line of per-
petual snow. To find an acre of level land in any part of
the country is most rare. I recollect only one little flat piece
near Port Famine, and another of rather larger extent near
Goeree Road. In both places, and everywhere else, the sur-
face is covered by a thick bed of swampy peat. Even within
the forest the ground is hidden by a mass of slowly rotting
vegetable matter, which, from being soaked with water, yields
to the foot. The trees all belong to one kind, the Fagus
betuloidcs. This beech keeps its leaves throughout the year,
but its foliage is of a peculiar brownish green color, with a
tinge of yellow. As the whole landscape is thus colored, it
has a sombre, dull appearance ; nor is it often enlivened by
the rays of the sun.
On the morning of the 28th of January, 1833, Captain
Fitz Roy determined to proceed with two boats to survey
the western parts of Beagle Channel. The day, to our as-
tonishment, was overpoweringly hot, so that our skins were
scorched. With this beautiful weather the view in the mid-
die of the channel was very remarkable. Looking toward
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
either hand, no object interrupted the perspective of this long
canal between the mountains. We sailed on till it was dark,
and then pitched our tents in a quiet creek on a beach of
pebbles, where, in our blanket-bags, we passed a most com-
fortable night. Early in the morning of the next day we
MOUNTAINS AND GLACIERS IX MAGELLAN STRAITS.
reached the point where the Beagle Channel divides into
two arms, and we entered the northern one. The scenery
here becomes even grander than before. The lofty moun-
tains on the north side, forming the granite axis or backbone
of the country, boldly rise to a height of between three and
four thousand feet, with one peak above six thousand feet.
They are covered by a wide mantle of perpetual snow, and
numerous cascades pour their waters through the woods into
the narrow channel below. In many parts magnificent gla-
ciers extend from the mountain side to the water's edge. It
is scarcely possible to imagine anything more beautiful than
the beryl -like blue of these glaciers, especially in contrast
with the dead white of the upper expanse of snow. The
fragments which had fallen from the glacier into the water
were floating away, and the channel with its icebergs pre-
sented, for the space of a mile, a miniature likeness of the
The boats being hauled on shore at our dinner-hour, we
were admiring from the distance of half a mile a perpendicu-
lar cliff of ice, and were wishing that some more fragments
would fall. At last down came a mass with a roaring noise,
and immediately we saw the smooth outline of a wave trav-
elling toward us. The men ran down as quickly as they
could to the boats, for the chance of their being dashed to
pieces was evident. One of the seamen just caught hold of
the bows as the curling breaker reached it: he was knocked
over and over, but not hurt, and the boats, though thrice
lifted on high and let fall again, received no damage. This
was most fortunate for us, for we were a hundred miles dis-
tant from the ship, and we should have been left without
provisions or fire-arms.
EARLY on Sunday morning, November 30, 1834, we reach-
ed Castro, the ancient capital of Chiloe, but now a most for-
lorn and deserted place. The usual quadrangular arrange-
ment of Spanish towns could be traced, but the streets and
plaza (public square) were coated with fine green tuif, on
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
which sheep were browsing. The church, which stands in
the middle, is entirely built of plank, and has a picturesque
and venerable appearance. The poverty of the place may be
imagined from the fact that, although containing some hun-
dreds of inhabitants, one of our party was unable anywhere
to purchase either a pound of sugar or an ordinary knife.
No person possessed either a watch or a clock; and an old
man, who was supposed to have a good idea of time, was
employed to strike the church bell by guess. The arrival of
our boats was a rare event in this quiet, retired corner of the
world ; and nearly all the inhabitants came down to the
beach to see us pitch our tents.
THE Beagle anchored late at night (July 23, 1834) in the
bay of Valparaiso, the chief seaport of Chile. When morn-
CUSTOMS GUARD-HOUSE, VALPARAISO, CHILE.
GKAJT CAJI A
17 Longitude West 16 from Greenwich 15
ing came, everything appeared delightful. After Tierra del
Fuego the climate felt quite delicious the atmosphere so
dry, and the heavens so clear and blue, with the sun shining
brightly, that all nature seemed sparkling with life. The
view from the anchorage is very pretty. The town is built
PLAZA DE LA CONSTITUCION, SANTA CRUZ.
at the foot of a range of hills, about sixteen hundred feet
high, and rather steep. From its position it consists of one
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
long straggling street, which runs parallel to the beach, and
wherever a ravine comes down the houses are piled up on
each side of it. The rounded hills, being only partially pro-
tected by a very scanty vegetation, are worn into numberless
little gullies, which expose a singularly bright red soil. From
this cause, and from the low whitewashed houses with tile
PEAK OF TENE1UFFE.
roofs, the view reminded me of Santa Cruz in Teneriffe. In
a north-easterly direction there are some fine glimpses of
the Andes, but these mountains appear much grander when
viewed from the neighboring hills: the great distance at
which they are situated can then more readily be perceived.
The volcano of Aconcagua is particularly magnificent; its
height is no less than twenty-three thousand feet
WHOEVER called Valparaiso the " Valley of Paradise n
must have been thinking of Quillota. Any one who had
seen only the country near Valparaiso would never have im-
agined that there had been such picturesque spots in Chile.
As soon as we reached the brow of the sierra the valley of
Quillota was immediately under our feet: very broad and
quite flat, and easily irrigated in all parts. The little square
gardens are crowded with orange and olive trees, and every
sort of vegetable. On each side huge bare mountains rise, and
the contrast renders the patchwork valley the more pleasing.
158 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
VALDIVIA is situated about ten miles from the coast, on
the low banks of a stream, and is so completely buried in a
wood of apple-trees that the streets are merely paths in an
orchard. I have never seen any country where apple-trees
appeared to thrive so well as in this damp part of South
America : on the borders of the roads there were many young
trees, evidently self-sown. In the island of Chiloe the in-
habitants have a marvellously short method of making an
orchard. At the lower part of almost every branch small
conical brown wrinkled points project ; these are always
ready to change into roots, as may sometimes be seen where
any mud has been accidentally splashed against the tree. A
branch as thick as a man's thigh is chosen in the early spring,
and is cut off just beneath a group of these points ; all the
smaller branches are lopped off, and it is then placed about
two feet deep in the ground. During the next summer the
stump throws out long shoots, and sometimes even bears
fruit. I was shown one which had produced as * many as
twenty-three apples, but this was thought very unusual. In
the third season the stump is changed (as I have myself seen)
into a well-wooded tree, loaded with fruit. An old man near
Valdivia gave us an account of the several useful things he
manufactured from his apples. After making cider, and like-
wise wine, he extracted from the leavings a white and finely-
flavored spirit ; by another process he procured a sweet trea-
cle, or, as he called it, honey. His children and pigs seemed
almost to live, during this season of the year, in his orchard.
CHILE. LIMA. 159
CHILE AND PERU.
CHILE, as may be seen in the maps, is a narrow strip of
land between the Cordillera and the Pacific ; and this strip is
itself traversed by several mountain -lines, which, near Quil-
lota, run parallel to the great range. Between these outer
lines and the main Cordillera a succession of level basins,
generally opening into each other by narrow passages, extend
far to the southward : in these the principal towns are situ-
ated, as San Felipe, Santiago, San Fernando. These basins
or plains, together with the flat cross -valleys (like that of
Quillota) which connect them with the coast, I have no doubt
are the bottoms of ancient inlets and deep bays, such as at
the present day intersect every part of Tierra del Fuego and
the western coast. The resemblance of Chile to the latter
country was occasionally shown strikingly when a level fog-
bank covered, as with a mantle, all the lower parts of the
country ; the white vapor curling into the ravines beautifully
represented little coves and bays, and here and there a soli-
tary hillock peeping up, showed that it had formerly stood
there as an islet.
LIMA stands on a plain in a valley formed during the
gradual retreat of the sea. It is seven miles from Callao,
and five hundred feet higher; but, from the slope being
very gradual, the road appears absolutely level, so that when
at Lima it is difficult to believe one has ascended even one
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
hundred feet. Steep barren hills rise like islands from the
plain, which is divided by straight mud-walls into large green
fields. In these scarcely a tree grows excepting a few wil-
lows, and an occasional clump of bananas and oranges. Lima,
the " City of the Kings," must formerly have been a splen-
did town. The extraordinary number of churches gives it,
even at the present day, a peculiar and striking character,
especially when viewed from a short distance.
One day I went out with some merchants to hunt in the
immediate vicinity of the city. Our sport was very poor,
but I had an opportunity of seeing the ruins of one of the
ancient Indian villages, with its mound, like a natural hill,
in the centre. The remains of houses, enclosures, irrigating
streams, and burial-mounds, scattered over this plain, cannot
fail to give one a high idea of the condition and number of
the ancient population. When their earthenware, woollen
clothes, utensils of elegant forms (cut out of the hardest
rocks), tools of copper, ornaments of precious stones, palaces,
and water -works are considered, it is impossible not to re-
spect the considerable advance made by them in the arts of
A CORAL reef encircles the entire line of coast of Tahiti.
Within the reef there is an expanse of smooth water, like
that of a lake, where the canoes of
the natives can ply with safety, and
where ships anchor. The lowland,
which comes down to the beach of
coral -sand, is covered with the most
beautiful productions of the intertrop-
ical regions. In the midst of bana-
nas, orange, cocoa-nut, and bread-fruit-
trees, spots are cleared where yams,
sweet potatoes, the sugar-cane and pine-
apple are cultivated. Even the brush-
-, . . FRUIT OF THE BREAD-FRUIT-
wood is an imported fruit-tree, namely, TREE.
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
OF PALMS IN THR BOTANIC
GARDENS AT RIO.
the guava, which from its
abundance has become as
noxious as a weed. In
Brazil I have often admired
the varied beauty of the
bananas, palms, and orange-
trees contrasted together ;
and here we also have the
bread-fruit, conspicuous from
its large, glossy, and deeply
digitated leaf. The little
winding paths, cool from
the surrounding shade, led
to the scattered houses, the
owners of which everywhere
gave us a cheerful and most
hospitable reception. In the
case of these beautiful woods,
the knowledge of their high
productiveness no doubt en-
ters largely into the feeling
NEW SOUTH WALES.
ITS extreme uniformity is the most remarkable feature
in the landscape of the greater part of New South Wales.
Everywhere we have an open woodland, the ground being
partially covered with a very thin pasture, with little ap-
NEW SOUTH WALES.
pearance of verdure. The trees nearly all belong to one
family, and mostly have their leaves placed in an upright
instead of, as in Europe, in a nearly horizontal position :
the foliage is scanty, and of a peculiar pale green tint, with-
out any gloss; hence the woods appear light and shadow-
less. This, although a loss of comfort to the traveller under
the scorching rays of summer, is of importance to the farmer,
as it allows grass to grow where it otherwise would not.
The leaves are not shed periodically ; and this appears to be
TAHITI AN COAST SCENERY.
the case in the entire southern hemisphere, namely, South
America, Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope. The in-
habitants of this hemisphere and of the intertropical regions
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
thus lose, perhaps, one of the most glorious (though to our
eyes common) spectacles in the world the first bursting into
full foliage of the leafless tree. They may, however, say that
CAPE TOWN, CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
we pay clearly for this by having the land covered with mere
naked skeletons for so many months. This is too true; but
our senses thus gain a keen relish for the exquisite green of
the spring, which the eyes of those living within the tropics,
sated during the long year with the gorgeous productions of
those glowing climates, can never experience. The greater
number of the trees, with the exception of some of the blue-
gums, do not attain a large size; but they grow tall and
tolerably straight, and stand well apart. The bark of some
of the Eucalypti falls annually, or hangs dead in long shreds,
which swing about in the wind, and give to the woods a deso-
NEW SOUTH WALES.
late and untidy appearance. I cannot imagine a more com-
plete contrast, in every respect, than between the forests of
Valdivia or Chiloe and the woods of Australia.
West of the Blue Mountains the woodland is generally
so open that a person on horseback can gallop through it.
It is traversed by a few flat-bottomed valleys, which are
green and free from trees: in such spots the scenery was
pretty like that of a park. In the whole country I scarcely
168 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
saw a place without the marks of a fire; whether these had
been more or less recent whether the stumps were more or
less black was the greatest change which varied the uni-
formity, so wearisome to the traveller's eye. In these woods
there are not many birds. I saw, however, some large flocks
of the white cockatoo feeding in a cornfield, and a few of the
most beautiful parrots; crows like our English jackdaws were
not uncommon, and another bird something like the magpie.
A MONG the scenes which are deeply impressed on ray
"* mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests,
undefaced by the hand of man whether those of Brazil,
where the powers of Life are predominant, or those of Tierra
del Fuego, where Death and Decay prevail. Both are tem-
ples filled with the varied productions of the God of Nature.
No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel
that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body.
In tropical forests, when quietly walking along the shady
pathways, and admiring each successive view, I wished to
find language to express my ideas. Epithet after epithet
was found too weak to convey to those who have not vis-
ited the intertropical regions the sensation of delight which
the mind experiences. The land is one great, wild, untidy,
luxuriant hot -house, made by Nature for herself, but taken
possession of by man, who has studded it with gay houses
and formal gardens. How great would be the desire in every
admirer of nature to behold, if such were possible, the scenery
of another planet ! Yet to every person in Europe it may be
truly said that, at the distance of only a few degrees from
his native soil, the glories of another world are opened to
THE KAURI PINE.
him. In my last walk I stopped again and again to gaze
on these beauties, and endeavored to fix in my mind forever
an impression which, at the time, I knew
must sooner or later fail. The form of the
orange -tree, the cocoa-nut, the palm, the
mango, the tree-fern, the banana, will re-
main clear and separate; but the thousand
beauties which unite these into one perfect
scene must fade away.
THE KAURI PINE.
AT Waimate, in New Zealand, two mis-
sionary gentlemen walked with me to part
of a neighboring forest, to show me the
famous kauri pine. I measured one of these
noble trees and found it thirty -one feet
in circumference above the roots. There
was another close by, which I did not see, thirty-three feet ;
and I heard of one no less than forty feet. These trees are
remarkable for their smooth cylindrical boles, which run up
to a height of sixty, and even ninety, feet, with a nearly
equal diameter, and without a single branch. The crown
of branches at the top is out of all proportion small to the
trunk ; and the leaves are likewise small compared with
the branches. The forest was here almost composed of the
kauri, and the largest trees stood up like gigantic columns
172 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
~ TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
THE central part of Tierra del Fuego, where the clay-slate
formation occurs, is most favorable to the growth of trees ; on
the outer coast the poorer granitic soil, and a situation more
exposed to the violent w T inds, do not allow of their attaining
any great size. Near Port Famine I have seen more large
trees than anywhere else: I measured a winterVbark which
was four feet six inches in girth, and several of the beech
were as much as thirteen feet. Captain King also mentions
a beech which was seven feet in diameter seventeen feet
above the roots.
THEEE is one marine production which, from its impor-
tance, is worthy of a particular history; it is the kelp (or
Macrocystis pyrifera). This plant grows on every rock, from
low r -water mark to a great depth, both on the outer coast of
Tierra del Fuego and within the channels. I believe, during
the voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, not one rock near
the surface was discovered which was not buoyed by this
floating weed. The good service it thus affords to vessels
navigating near this stormy land is evident ; and it certainly
has saved many a one from being wrecked. I know few things
more surprising than to see this plant growing and flourish-
ing amidst those great breakers of the western ocean, which
no mass of rock, let it be ever so hard, can long resist. The
stem is round, slimy, and smooth, and seldom has a diameter
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
of so much as an inch. A few taken together are sufficiently
strong to support the weight of the large loose stones to
CHRISTMAS HARBOR, KKRGUKLEX LAND.
which, ill the inland channels, they grow attached ; and yet
some of these stones were so heavy that, when drawn to the
surface, they could scarcely be lifted into a boat by one. per-
174 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
son. Captain Cook, in his second voyage, says that this plant,
at Kerguelen Land, rises from a greater depth than twenty-
four fathoms; "and as it does not grow in a perpendicular
direction, but makes a very acute angle with the bottom, and
much of it afterward spreads many fathoms on the surface of
the sea, I am well warranted to say that some of it grows
to the length of sixty fathoms and upward." I do not sup-
pose the stem of any other plant attains so great a length as
three hundred and sixty feet, as stated by Captain Cook.
Captain Fitz Roy, moreover, found it growing up from the
greater depth of forty-five fathoms. The beds of this sea-
weed, even when not of sreat breadth, make excellent natu-
/ O '
ral floating breakwaters. It is quite curious to see, in an ex-
posed harbor, how soon the waves from the open sea, as they
travel through the straggling stems r sink in height and pass
into smooth water.
The number of living creatures whose ^existence intimate-
ly depends on the kelp is wonderful. A great volume might
be written describing the inhabitants of one of these beds
of sea- weed. Almost all the leaves, excepting those that
float on the surface, are so thickly incrusted with corallines
as to be of a white color. On shaking the great entangled
roots, a pile of small fish, shells, cuttle-fish, crabs, sea -eggs,
star-fish, etc., all fall out together. Often as I went back to
a branch of the kelp, I never failed to discover animals of
new and curious structures. I can only compare these great
water forests of the southern hemisphere with the land for-
ests in the intertropical regions. Yet, if in any country a
forest was destroyed, I do not believe nearly so many species
TIERRA DEL FUEGO.
of animals would perish as would here from the destruction
of the kelp. Amidst
the leaves of this
plant numerous spe-
cies of fish live
which nowhere else
could find food or
shelter ; with their
and other fishing
birds, the otters,
seals and porpoises
would soon perish
also; and lastly, the
Fuegian savage, the miserable lord of this miserable land,
would redouble his cannibal feast, decrease in numbers, and
perhaps cease to exist.
I WAS frequently surprised, in the scenery of Tierra del
Fuego, at the little apparent elevation of mountains really
lofty. I suspect it is owing to a cause which would not at
first be imagined, namely, that the whole mass, from the sum-
mit to the water's edge, is generally in full view. I remem-
ber having seen a mountain first from the Beagle Channel,
where the whole sweep from the summit to the base was full
in view, and then from Ponsonby Sound, across several sue-
176 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO,
cessive ridges; and it was curious to observe, in the latter
case, as each fresh ridge afforded fresh means of judging of
the distance, how the mountain rose in height.
Mount Sarmiento is one of the highest in Tierra del
Fuego, having an altitude of six thousand eight hundred feet.
Its base, for about an eighth of its total height, is clothed by
dusky woods, and above this a field of snow extends to the
summit. These vast piles of snow, which never melt, and
seem destined to last as long as the world holds together,
present a noble and even sublime spectacle. Several glaciers
descended in a winding course from the upper great expanse
of snow to the sea-coast : they may be likened to great frozen
Niagaras, and perhaps these cataracts of blue ice are full as
beautiful as the moving ones of water.
As the snow-line is so low in Tierra del Fuego, we might
have expected that many of the glaciers would have reached
the sea. Nevertheless I was astonished when I first saw a
range, only from three to four thousand feet in height, with
every valley filled with streams of ice descending to the sea-
coast. Almost every arm of the sea which penetrates to the
inner higher chain, not only in Tierra del Fuego but on the
coast for six hundred and fifty miles northward, is terminated
by " tremendous and astonishing glaciers," as described by
one of the officers of the survey. Great masses of ice fre-
quently fall from these icy cliffs, and the crash re-echoes, like
the broadside of a man-of-war, through the lonely channels.
It is known that earthquakes frequently cause masses of
earth to fall from sea-cliffs; how terrific, then, would be the
effect of a severe shock (and such do occur here) on a body
like a glacier, already in motion and traversed by fissures !
I can readily believe that the water would be fairly beaten
back out of the deepest channel, and then, returning with an
overwhelming force, would whirl about huge masses of rock
like so much chaff. In Eyre's Sound, in a (south) latitude
corresponding with that of Paris, there are immense glaciers,
and yet the loftiest neighboring mountain is only six thou-
sand two hundred feet high. In this sound about fifty ice-
bergs were seen at one time floating outward, and one of
them must have been at least one hundred and sixty-eight
feet in total height. Some of the icebergs were loaded with
blocks, of no inconsiderable size, of granite and other rocks,
different from the clay -slate of the surrounding mountains.
The glacier farthest from the Pole, surveyed during the voy-
ages of the Adventure and Beagle, is in latitude 46 50', in
the Gulf of Penas. It is fifteen miles long, and in one part
seven broad, and descends to the sea-coast.
From the east coast of the island of Chiloe, on a splen-
didly clear day (November 26, 1834), we saw the volcano of
Osorno spouting out volumes of smoke. This most beautiful
mountain, formed like a perfect cone, and white with snow,
stands out in front of the Cordillera. Another great volcano,
with a saddle-shaped summit, also emitted from its immense
crater little jets of steam. Afterward we saw the lofty-peak-
ed Corcovado (Hunchback) well deserving the name of
"famous" (elfamoso Corcovado). Thus we beheld, from one
point of view, three great active volcanoes, each about seven
thousand feet high. In addition to this, far to the south,
there were other lofty cones covered with snow, which, al-
178 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
though not known to be active, must be in their origin vol-
canic. The line of the Andes is not, in this neighborhood,
nearly so elevated as in Chile; neither does it appear to
form so perfect a barrier between the regions of the earth.
This great range, although running in a straight north and
south line, always appeared more or less curved.
IN the central part of the Uspallata range, at an eleva-
tion of about seven thousand feet, I observed on a bare
slope some snow-white projecting columns. These were pet-
rified fir-trees, abruptly broken off, the upright stumps pro-
jecting a few feet above the ground. The trunks, some fifty
in number, measured from three to five feet each in circum-
ference. They stood a little way apart from each other, but
the whole formed one group. I confess I was at first so
much astonished that I could scarcely believe the marvellous
story which this scene at once unfolded. I saw the spot
where a cluster of fine trees once waved their branches on
the shores of the Atlantic, when that ocean (now driven back
seven hundred miles) came to the foot of the Andes. I saw
that they had sprung from a volcanic soil, which had been
raised above the level of the sea, and that afterward this
dry land, with its upright trees, had been let down into the
depths of the ocean. In these depths the formerly dry land
was covered by beds of sediment, and these again by enor-
mous streams of submarine lava one such mass attaining
the thickness of a thousand feet ; and these deluges of molten
FOSSIL TREES. 181
stone and watery deposits five times alternately had been
spread out. The ocean which received such thick masses
must have been profoundly deep; but again the subterra-
nean forces exerted themselves, and I now beheld the bed
of that ocean forming a chain of mountains more than seven
thousand feet in height. Nor had those opposing forces been
idle which are always at work wearing down the surface of
the land: the great piles of strata had been cut through by
many wide valleys, and the trees, now changed into silex,
were exposed projecting from the volcanic soil (now changed
into rock), whence formerly, in a green and budding state,
they had raised their lofty heads. Now all is utterly irre-
claimable and desert; even the lichen cannot cling to the
stony casts of former trees. Vast and scarcely comprehensi-
ble as such changes must ever appear, yet they have all oc-
curred within a period which is recent when compared with
the history of the Cordillera; and the Cordillera itself is ab-
solutely modern as compared with many of the fossiliferous
strata of Europe and America.
In the valley of Copiapo, in northern Chile, I stayed two
days collecting fossil shells and wood. Great prostrate silici-
fied trunks of trees were extraordinarily numerous. I meas-
ured one which was fifteen feet in circumference. How sur-
prising it is that every atom of the woody matter in this
great cylinder should have been removed, and replaced by
silex so perfectly that each vessel and pore is preserved!
These trees all belonged to the fir-tribe. It was amusing to
hear the inhabitants discussing the nature of the fossil shells
which I collected, almost in the same terms as were used a
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
century ago in Europe, namely, whether or not they had
been thus "born by nature/'
AN OLD SEA-BED.
THE landscape has a uniform character from the Strait
of Magellan along the whole eastern coast of Patagonia to
the Rio Colorado; and it appears that the same kind of
country extends inland from this river in a sweeping line
CAPE FROWARD (PATAGONIA), STRAIT OF MAGELLAN.
as far as San Luis, and perhaps even farther north. To the
eastward of this curved line lies the basin of the compara-
tively damp and green plains of Buenos Ayres. The sterile
plains of Mendoza and Patagonia consist of a bed of shingle,
worn smooth, and accumulated by the waves of the sea;
EARTH Q UAKES. 183
while the Pampas, covered by thistles, clover and grass, have
been formed by the ancient estuary mud of the Plata.
THIS day (Febuary 20, 1835) has been memorable, in the
annals of Valdivia, for the most severe earthquake experi-
enced by the oldest inhabitant. I happened to be on shore,
and was lying down in the wood to rest myself. It came
on suddenly, and lasted two minutes, but the time appeared
much longer. The rocking of the ground was very sensible.
There was no difficulty in standing upright, but the motion
made me almost giddy; it was something like the move-
ment of a vessel in a cross-ripple, or still more like that felt
by a person skating over thin ice, which bends under the
weight of his body.
A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associa-
tions : the earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved be-
neath our feet like a thin crust over a fluid ; one second of
time has created in the mind a strange idea of insecurity
which hours of reflection would not have produced. In the
forest, as a breeze moved the trees, I felt only the earth trem-
ble, but saw no other effect. Captain Fitz Roy and some
officers were at the town during the shock, and there the
scene was more striking ; for although the houses, from being
built of wood, did not fall, they were violently shaken, and
the boards creaked and rattled together. The people rushed
out-of-doors in the greatest alarm. The tides were very cu-
riously affected. The great shock took place at the time of
184 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
low-water, and an old woman who was on the beach told me
that the water flowed very quickly (but not in great waves)
to high-\vater mark, and then as quickly returned to its prop-
er level ; this was also evident by the line of wet sand.
On the fourth of March we entered the harbor of Con-
cepcion. While the ship was beating up to the anchorage
I landed on the island of Quinquina. The mayor-domo of
the estate quickly rode down to tell me the terrible news of
the great earthquake of the 20th: "That not a house in
Concepcion or Talcahuano (the port) was standing; that
seventy villages were destroyed; and that a great wave had
almost washed away the ruins of Talcahuano." Of this lat-
ter statement I soon saw abundant proofs, the whole coast
being strewed over with timber and furniture, as if a thou-
sand ships had been wrecked. Besides chairs, tables, book-
shelves, etc., in great numbers, there were several roofs of
cottages, which had been transported almost whole. The
storehouses at Talcahuano had been burst open, and great
bags of cotton, yerba, and other valuable merchandise, were
scattered on the shore. During my walk around the island
I observed that numerous fragments of rock, which, from the
marine productions adhering to them, must recently have
been lying in deep water, had been cast up high on the
beach ; one of these was six feet long, three broad and thick.
I believe this convulsion has done more to lessen the size
of the island of Quinquina than the ordinary wear-and-tear
of the sea and weather during the course of a whole century.
The next day I landed at Talcahuano, and afterward
rode to Concepcion. Both towns presented the most awful
yet interesting spectacle I ever beheld. To the person who
had formerly known them it might possibly have been still
more impressive; for the ruins were so mingled together,
and the whole scene possessed so little the air of a habita-
ble place, that it was scarcely possible to imagine its former
condition. The earthquake commenced at half -past eleven %
o'clock in the forenoon. If it had happened in the middle
of the night the greater number of the inhabitants (which
in this one province amounts to many thousands) must have
perished, instead of less than a hundred : as it was, the in-
variable practice of running out of doors at the first trem-
bling of the ground, alone saved them. In Concepcion each
house, or row of houses, stood by itself, a heap or line of
ruins; but in Talcahuano, owing to the great wave, little
more than one layer of bricks, tiles, and timber, with here
and there part of a wall left standing, could be distinguished.
From this circumstance Concepcion, although not so com-
pletely desolated, was a more terrible, and, if I may so call
it, picturesque sight. The first shock was very sudden. The
mayor- domo at Quinquina told me that the first notice he
received of it was finding both the horse he rode and himself
rolling together on the ground. Rising up, he was again
thrown down. He also told me that some cows which were
standing on the steep side of the island were rolled into the
sea. The great wave caused the destruction of many cattle ;
on one low island, near the head of the bay, seventy animals
were washed off and drowned. Innumerable small trem-
blings followed the great earthquake, and within the first
twelve days no less than three hundred were counted.
186 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
After viewing Concepcion, I cannot understand how the
greater number of inhabitants escaped unhurt. The houses
in many parts fell outward, thus forming in the middle of
the streets little hillocks of brickwork and rubbish. Mr.
Rouse, the English consul, told us that he was at breakfast
when the first movement warned him to run out. He had
scarcely reached the middle of the court-yard when one side
of his house came thundering down. He had presence of
mind to remember that if he once got on the top of that part
which had already fallen, he would be safe. Not being able,
from the motion of the ground, to stand, he crawled upon
his hands and knees; and no sooner had he ascended this
little eminence than the other side of the house fell in, the
great beams sweeping close in front of his head. With his
eyes blinded, and his mouth choked with the cloud of dust
which darkened the sky, at last he gained the street. As
shock followed shock, at the interval of a few minutes, no
one dared approach the shattered ruins, and no one knew
whether his dearest friends and relations w^ere not perishing
from the want of help. Those who had saved any property
were obliged to keep a constant watch, for thieves prowled
about, and, at each little trembling of the ground, with one
hand they beat their breasts and cried mercy (miser icordia),
and then with the other filched what they could from the
I'uins ! The thatched roofs fell over the fires, and flames burst
forth in all parts. Hundreds knew themselves ruined, and
few had the means of providing food for the day. Generally
speaking, arched door -ways or windows stood much better
than any other parts of buildings. Nevertheless, a poor lame
old man, who had been in the habit, during trifling shocks,
of crawling to a certain door-way, was this time crushed to
Shortly after the shock a great wave was seen from the
distance of three or four miles, approaching in the middle of
the bay with a smooth outline; but along the shore it tore
up cottages and trees as it swept onward with irresistible
force. At the head of the bay it broke in a fearful line of
white breakers, which rushed up to a height of twenty-three
vertical feet above the highest spring-tides. Their force must
have been prodigious, for at the fort a cannon with its car-
riage, estimated at four tons in weight, was moved fifteen
feet inward. A schooner was left in the midst of the ruins,
two hundred yards from the beach. The first wave was fol-
lowed by two others, which in their retreat carried away a
vast wreck of floating objects. In one part of the bay a ship
was pitched high and dry on shore, was carried off, again
driven on shore, and again carried off. In another part, two
large vessels anchored near together were whirled about, and
their cables were thrice wound round each other: though
anchored at a depth of thirty -six feet, they were for some
minutes aground. The great wave must have travelled
slowly, for the inhabitants of Talcahuano had time to run
up the hills behind the town ; and some sailors pulled out
seaward, trusting successfully to their boat riding securely
over the swell if they could reach it before it broke. One
old woman, with a little boy four or five years old, ran into
a boat, but there was nobody to row it out the boat was
consequently dashed against an anchor and cut in twain ; the
188 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
old woman was drowned, but the child was picked up some
hours afterward clinging to the wreck. Pools of salt-water
were still standing amidst the ruins of the houses ; and chil-
dren, making boats with old tables and chairs, appeared as
happy as their parents were miserable. It was, however,
exceedingly interesting to observe how much more active
and cheerful all appeared than could have been expected.
Mr. Rouse, and a large party whom he kindly took under
his protection, lived for the first week in a garden beneath
some apple-trees. At first they were as merry as if it had
been a picnic ; but soon afterward heavy rain caused much
discomfort, for they were absolutely without shelter.
The common people, in Talcahuano thought that the
earthquake was caused by some old Indian women who, two
years ago, being offended, stopped the volcano of Antuco.
This silly belief is curious, because it shows that experience
has taught them to observe that there exists a relation be-
tween the suppressed action of the volcanoes and the trem-
bling of the ground; and particularly because in this in-
stance, according to Captain Fitz Roy, there is reason to be-
lieve that Antuco was noway affected. The island of Juan
Fernandez, three hundred and sixty miles to the north-west,
was, at the time of the great shock of the 20th, violently
shaken, so that the trees beat against each other, and a vol-
cano burst forth under water close to the shore. These facts
are remarkable, because this island, during the earthquake of
1751, was then also affected more violently than other places
at an equal distance from Concepcion, and this seems to
show some subterranean connection between these two points.
Chiloe, about three hundred and forty miles southward of
Concepcion, appears to have been shaken more strongly than
ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ (ROBINSON CRUSOE'S).
the intermediate district of Valdivia, where the volcano of
Villarica was noway affected, while in the Cordillera in front
of Chiloe two of the volcanoes burst forth at the same in-
stant in violent action. These two volcanoes and some
neighboring ones continued for a long time in eruption, and
ten months afterward were again influenced by an earth-
quake at Concepcion. Some men, cutting wood near the
base of one of these volcanoes, did not perceive the shock of
the 20th, although the whole surrounding province was then
MAP OF THE ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
trembling. Here we have an eruption relieving and taking
the place of an earthquake, as would have happened at Con-
cepcion, according to the belief of the common people, if the
volcano of Antuco had not been closed by witchcraft. Two
years and three-quarters afterward Valdivia and Chiloe were
again shaken, more violently than on the 20th, and an isl-
and in the Chonos Archi-
pelago was permanently
raised more than eight
feet. We may, therefore,
confidently come to the
conclusion that the forces
which, slowly and by lit-
tle starts, uplift conti-
nents, and those which
at successive periods pour
forth volcanic matter from
open orifices, are the same.
It is remarkable that while Talcahuano and Callao (near
Lima), both situated at the head of large shallow bays, have
suffered during every severe earthquake from great waves,
Valparaiso, seated close to the edge of profoundly deep water,
has never been overwhelmed, though so often shaken by the
I have not attempted to give any detailed description
of the appearance of Concepcion, for I feel that it is quite
impossible to convey the mingled feelings which I experi-
enced. Several of the officers visited it before me, but their
strongest language failed to give a just idea of the scene of
EARTH Q UAKES. 191
desolation. It is a bitter and humiliating thing to see works
which have cost man so much time and labor overthrown in
one minute; yet compassion for the inhabitants was almost
instantly banished by the surprise in seeing a state of things
produced in a moment of time which one was accustomed
to attribute to a succession of ages. In my opinion, we have
scarcely beheld, since leaving England, any sight so deeply
Earthquakes alone are sufficient to destroy the prosperity
of any country. If beneath England the now inert subter-
ranean forces should exert those powers which most assured-
ly in former geological ages they have exerted, how complete-
ly would the entire condition of the country be changed !
What would become of the lofty houses, thickly packed
cities, great manufactories, the beautiful public and private
edifices ? If the new period of disturbance were first to com-
mence by some great earthquake in the dead of the night,
how terrific would be the carnage ! England would at once
become bankrupt; all papers, records, and accounts would
from that moment be lost. Government being unable to
collect the taxes, and failing to maintain its authority, the
hand of violence and rapine would remain uncontrolled. In
every large town famine would go forth, pestilence and death
following in its train !
On the 14th of May we reached Coquimbo, and in the
evening Captain Fitz Roy and myself were dining with Mr.
Edwards, an English resident, when a short earthquake hap-
pened. I heard the forthcoming rumble; but, from the
screams of the ladies, the running of the servants, and the
192 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
rush of several of the gentlemen to the doorway, 1 could not
distinguish the motion. Some of the women afterward were
crying with terror, and one gentleman said he should not be
able to sleep all night, or if he did, it would only be to dream
of falling houses. The father of this person had lately lost
all his property at Talcahuano, and he himself had only just
escaped a falling roof at Valparaiso, in 1822. He mentioned
a curious coincidence which then happened : he was playing
at cards, when a German, one of the party, got up, and said
he would never sit in a room in these countries with the
door shut, as, owing to his having done so, he had nearly
lost his life at Copiapo. Accordingly he opened the door,
and no sooner had he done this than he cried out, " Here it
comes again !" and the famous shock commenced. The whole
party escaped. The danger in an earthquake is not from
the time lost in opening a door, but from the chance of its
being jammed by the movement of the walls.
It is impossible to be much surprised at the fear which
natives and old residents, though some of them known to be
men of great command of mind, so generally experience
during earthquakes. I think, however, this excess of panic
may be partly attributed to a want of habit in governing
their fear, as it is not a feeling they are ashamed of. Indeed,
the natives do not like to see a person indifferent. I heard
of two Englishmen who, sleeping in the open air during a
smart shock, knowing that there was no danger, did not rise.
The natives cried out indignantly, " Look at those heretics ;
they will not even get out of their beds !"
As we travelled north, along the coast from Valparaiso,
(May, 1835), the country became more and more barren. In
the valleys there was scarcely water enough for any irriga-
tion, and the intermediate land was quite bare, not support-
ing even goats. In the spring, after the winter showers, a
thin pasture rapidly springs up, and cattle are then driven
down from the Cordillera to graze for a short time. It is
curious to observe how the seeds of the grass and other
plants seem to accommodate themselves, as if by habit, to
the quantity of rain which falls on different parts of this
coast. One shower far northward at Copiapo produces as
great an effect on the vegetation as two at Guasco, and as
three or four in the Conchalee district. At Valparaiso a
winter so dry as greatly to injure the pasture would, at Gu-
asco, produce the most unusual abundance. At Conchalee,
which is only sixty-seven miles north of Valparaiso, rain is
not expected until the end of May ; whereas, at Valparaiso,
some generally falls early in April.
On the morning of the 17th of May, at Coquimbo, it
rained lightly, the first time this year, for about five hours.
The farmers, who plant corn near the sea -coast, where the
atmosphere is moister, taking advantage of this shower, would
break up the ground; after a second, they would put the
seed in ; and if a third shower should fall, they would reap
a good harvest in the spring. It was interesting to watch
the effect of this trifling amount of moisture. Twelve hours
afterward the ground appeared as dry as ever; yet after an
194 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
interval of ten days all the hills were faintly tinged with
green patches, the grass being sparingly scattered in hair-like
fibres a full inch in length. Before this shower every part
of the surface was bare as on a high-road. The epithets " bar-
ren" and "sterile" are certainly applicable to northern Chile,
yet even here there are not many spaces of two hundred
yards square where some little bush, cactus, or lichen may
not be discovered by careful examination ; and in the soil
seeds lie dormant, ready to spring up during the first rainy
In the valley of Copiapo the small quantity of cultivated
land does not so much depend on inequalities of level and
consequent unfitness for inigation, as on the small supply
of water. The river this year was remarkably full : high
up in the valley it reached to the horses' bellies, and was
about fifteen yards wide, and rapid ; lower down it becomes
smaller and smaller, and is generally quite lost, as happened
during one period of thirty years, so that not a drop entered
the sea. The inhabitants watch a storm over the Cordillera
with great interest, as one good fall of snow provides them
with water for the ensuing year. This is of infinitely more
consequence than rain in the lower country. Eain, as often
as it falls which is about once in every two or three years-
is a great advantage, because the cattle and mules can for
some time afterward find a little pasture on the mountains.
But without snow on the Andes, desolation extends through-
out the valley. It is on record that three times nearly all
the inhabitants have been obliged to emigrate to the south.
This year there was plenty of water, and every man irrigated
HIBERNATION OF ANIMALS. 195
ARGENTINE REPUBLIC AND URUGUAY.
his ground as much as he chose; but it has frequently been
necessary to post soldiers at the sluices, to see that each estate
took only its proper allowance during so many hours in the
HIBERNATION OF ANIMALS.
WHEN we first arrived at Bahia Blanca, September 7th,
1832, we thought nature had granted scarcely a living crea-
ture to this sandy and dry country. By digging, however, in
the ground, several insects, large spiders, and lizards were
found in a half-torpid state. On the 15th, a few animals be-
gan to appear, and by the 18th (three days from the equi-
nox), everything announced the commencement of spring.
The plains were ornamented by the flowers of a pink wood-
sorrel, wild pease, and geraniums ; and the birds began to lay
their eggs. Numerous insects were crawling slowly about;
w r hile the lizard tribe, the constant inhabitants of a sandy
soil, darted about in every direction. During the first eleven
days, while nature was dormant, the average temperature was
51; and in the middle of the day the thermometer seldom
ranged above 55. On the eleven succeeding days, in which
all living things became so animated, the average was 58,
and the range in the middle of the day between 60 and 70.
Here, then, an increase of seven degrees in the average tem-
perature, but a greater one of extreme heat, was sufficient to
awaken the functions of life. At Montevideo, from which we
had just before sailed, in the twenty-three days included be-
tween the 26th of July and the 19th of August, the average
196 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
temperature was 58.4, the average hottest day being 65.5,
and the coldest 46. The lowest point to which the thermom-
eter fell was 41.5, and occasionally in the middle of the day
it rose to 69 or 70. Yet with this high temperature, almost
every beetle, several genera of spiders, snails, and land-shells,
toads and lizards, were all lying torpid beneath stones. But
we have seen that at Bahia Blanca, which is four degrees
southward, and therefore has a climate only a very little
colder, this same temperature, with a rather less extreme
heat, was sufficient to awake all orders of animated beings.
This shows how nicely the arousing of hibernating animals
is governed by the usual climate of the district, and not by
the absolute heat.
WHAT are the boasted glories of the illimitable ocean?
A tedious waste, a desert of water, as the Arabian calls it.
No doubt there are some delightful scenes: a moonlight
night, with the clear heavens and the dark glittering sea,
and the white sails filled by the soft air of a gently-blow-
ing trade-wind ; a dead calm, with the heaving surface pol-
ished like a mirror, and all still except the occasional flap-
ping of the canvas. It is well once to behold a squall with
its rising arch and coming fury, or the heavy gale of wind
and mountainous waves. I confess, however, my imagination
had painted something more grand, more terrific in the full-
grown storm. It is an incomparably finer spectacle when
beheld on shore, where the waving trees, the wild flight of
THE PACIFIC AND INDIAN OCEANS.
the birds, the dark shadows and bright lights, the rushing
of the torrents, all proclaim the strife of the unloosed ele-
ments. At sea the al-
batross and little petrel
fly as if the storm were
their proper sphere, the
water rises and sinks
as if fulfilling its usual
task ; the ship alone and
its inhabitants seem the
objects of wrath. On a
forlorn and weather-beat-
en coast the scene is in-
deed different, but the feelings partake more of horror than
of wild delight.
It is necessary to sail over the Pacific to comprehend its
immensity. Moving quickly onward for weeks together, we
meet with nothing but the same blue, profoundly deep ocean.
Even within the archipelagoes the islands are mere specks,
and far distant one from the other. Accustomed to look at
maps drawn on a small scale, where dots, shading, and names
are crowded together, we do not rightly judge how infinite-
ly small the proportion of dry land is to the water of this
ON the first of April, 1836, we arrived in view of the
Keeling or Cocos Islands, situated in the Indian Ocean, and
WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
about six hundred miles distant from the coast of Sumatra.
This is one of the lagoon
islands (or atolls) of cor-
al formation. Its rincr-
formed reef is surmount-
ed in the greater part
of its length by narrow
islets. On the north-
ern or leeward side there
is an opening through
which vessels can pass
to the anchorage within
the shallow, clear, and
still water of the lagoon,
which, resting in its great-
er part on white sand, is, when illumined by a vertical sun,
of the most vivid green.
On the 6th I accompanied Captain Fitz Koy to an island
at the head of the lagoon. The channel was exceedingly in-
tricate, winding through fields of delicately branched corals.
When we arrived at the head, we crossed a narrow islet,
and found a great surf breaking on the windward coast. I
can hardly explain the reason, but there is to my mind much
grandeur in the view of the outer shores of these lagoon
islands. There is a simplicity in the barrier-like beach, the
margin of green bushes and tall cocoa-nuts, the solid flat of
dead coral-rock, strewed here and there with great loose frag-
ments, and the line of furious breakers, all rounding away
toward either hand. The ocean, throwing its waters over
the broad reef, appears an invincible, all-powerful enemy ; yet
we see it resisted and even conquered by means which at
first seem most weak and inefficient. It is not that the ocean
spares the rock of coral: the great fragments scattered over
the reef, and heaped on the beach, whence the tall cocoa-nut
springs, plainly bespeak the unrelenting power of the waves.
Nor are any periods of repose granted. The long swell
caused by the gentle but steady action of the trade-wind,
always blowing in one direction over a wide area, causes
breakers almost equalling in force those during a gale of
wind in the temperate regions, and which never cease to rage.
It is impossible to behold these waves without feeling a con-
VIEW OF AX ATOLL.
viction that an island, though built of the hardest rock, let
it be porphyry, granite, or quartz, would ultimately yield, and
be demolished by such an irresistible power. Yet these low,
insignificant coral islets stand and are victorious; for here
another power, as an antagonist, takes part in the contest.
200 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
The living polyps separate the atoms of carbonate of lime,
one by one, from the foaming breakers, and unite them into
a symmetrical structure. Let the hurricane tear up its thou-
sand huge fragments; yet what will that tell against the ac-
cumulated labor of myriads of architects at work night and
day, month after month ? Thus do we see the soft and gelati-
nous body of a polypus, through the agency of the vital laws,
conquering the great mechanical power of the waves of an
ocean which neither the art of man nor the inanimate works
of nature could successfully resist.
A few miles north of Keeling there is another small atoll,
the lagoon of which is nearly filled up with coral mud. Cap-
LAGOON ISLANDS. 203
tain Ross found embedded in the conglomerate on the outer
coast a well -moulded fragment of greenstone, rather larger
than a man's head. He and the men with him were so much
surprised at this that they brought it away and preserved
it as a curiosity. The occurrence of this one stone, where
every other particle of matter is of lime, certainly is very
puzzling. The island has scarcely ever been visited, nor is
it probable that a ship had been wrecked there. From the
absence of any better explanation, I came to the conclusion
that it must have become entangled in the
roots of some large tree ; when, however,
I considered the great distance from the
nearest land, the combination of chances
against a stone thus being entangled, the
tree washed into the sea, floated so far,
then landed safely, and the stone finally
so embedded as to allow of its discov-
ery, I was almost afraid of imagining a means of transport
apparently so improbable. It was, therefore, with great in-
terest that I found Chamisso, the justly distinguished nat-
uralist who accompanied Kotzebue, stating that the inhabi-
tants of the Radack Archipelago (a group of lagoon islands
in the midst of the Pacific) obtained stones for sharpening
their instruments by searching the roots of trees which are
cast upon the beach. It will be evident that this must have
happened several times, since laws have been established that
such stones belong to the chief, and a punishment is inflicted
on any one who attempts to steal them.
In the morning of April 12th we stood out of the lagoon
204 WHAT MR. DARWIN SAW.
on our passage to the Isle of France. I am glad we have vis-
ited these islands: such formations surely rank high among
the wonderful objects of this world. Captain Fitz Roy found
no bottom with a line seven thousand two hundred feet in
length, at the distance of only two thousand two hundred
GROWTH OF CORAL OX A MOUNTAIN SLOWLY SUBSIDING.
yards from the shore ; hence this island forms a lofty sub-
marine mountain, with sides steeper even than those of the
most abrupt volcanic cone. The saucer - shaped summit is
nearly ten miles across; and every single atom, from the
least particle to the largest fragment of rock in this great
pile (which, however, is small compared with very many la-
goon islands), bears the stamp of having been subjected to
organic arrangement. We feel surprised when travellers tell
us of the vast dimensions of the Pyramids and other great
ruins; but how utterly insignificant are the greatest of these
when compared to these mountains of stone, accumulated by
the agency of various minute and tender animals ! This is
a wonder which does not at first strike the eye of the body,
but, after reflection, the eye of reason.
OF NAMES OF NOTABLE PERSONS MEN-
TIONED IN THE FOREGOING PAGES.
JOHN J. AUDUBON.
OF NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED IN THE FORE-
V minium, JOHN JAMES. (Page 69.) An American ornithologist ,
born of French parents in Louisiana, May 4th, 1780 ; died in New
York city, January 27th, 1851. His great work, "The Birds of
America," began to be published in 1826, and was thirteen years
in reaching completion. He himself furnished the colored draw-
ings from which the copperplates, upward of four hundred in num-
ber, were engraved. Some of these plates are exhibited at the Xew
York Museum of Natural History in Central Park. His account of
the carrion-crows or black vultures, to which Mr. Darwin refers, is
given in Audubon's "Ornithological Biography" (vol. ii., p. 33), pub-
lished in 1831-49.
Bonpland, AIME. (Page 145.) A French botanist; born
at La Rochelle, August 22d, 1773; died May 4th, 1858, at Santa
Anna, in the Argentine Province of Corrientes. He accompanied
Ilumboldt in his journey to South America in 1799. In 1816 he
went again to that country, and lived by turns in La Plata (now the
Argentine Confederation), Uruguay, Paraguay (at first as a prisoner
of war), and Brazil. He was unwilling to return to Europe.
Burchell, WILLIAM J. (Page 73.) An English traveller. His
" Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa " was published in Lon-
don in 1822-24.
Byron, JOHN. (Page 44.) An English naval commander; born
November 8th, 1723; died April 10th, 1786 : the grandfather of Lord
ADMIRAL JOHN BYKON.
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED.
Byron, the poet. He accompanied Anson in his voyage round the
world, leaving England in September, 1740. In May, 1741, he was
shipwrecked on the west coast of Patagonia. The great hardships
which he suffered in consequence of this he afterward related in his
''Narrative of the Honorable John Byron (Commodore in a late Ex-
pedition Round the World), containing an Account of the great Dis-
tresses suffered by Himself and his Companions on the Coast of Pat-
agonia, from the year 1740 till their Arrival in England, 1746 " (Lon-
don, 1768). The " late expedition " referred to in this title took place
Chamisso, ADELBERT. (Page 203.) A poet arid naturalist;
born of French parentage at Boncourt, in Champagne, France, Jan-
uary 27th, 1781 ; died in Berlin, August 21st, 1838. At an early age
he removed with his parents to Berlin, where he was educated, and en-
tered the Prussian mil-
itary service. His writ-
ings, consequently, were
in German. In 1815-18
he accompanied Kotze-
bue in the Romanoff
expedition round the
world, and besides fur-
nishing part of the
Report which appeared
in 1821, wrote a sepa-
rate account, first pub-
lished in 1836-39. He
is best known to English
readers as the author
of the remarkable story
called u Peter Schle-
mihl" the man who
parted with his shadow.
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK.
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED.
Cook, JAMES. (Pp. 94, 174.) An English navigator ; born October
27th, 1728, in Yorkshire; killed by the Sandwich Islanders February
14th, 1779. As master of the sloop Mercury he assisted in the tak-
ing of Quebec by Wolfe, in 1759. His first voyage to the southern
hemisphere was in the employ of the Government, beginning in 1768.
He visited Tahiti and New Zealand, and explored the east coast of
Australia, as Dampier had done the west. He returned to England
KARAKAKOOA BAY, THE SCENE OF CAPTAIN COOK'S DEATH.
in 1771, and was sent out the following year, in command of the
Resolution, in search of the Antarctic continent. On this voyage
he discovered New Caledonia, and returned to England in 1775.
Captain Cook's third voyage was undertaken in 1776, for the sake
of a reward offered by Parliament to the discoverer of a northern
passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He discovered the Sand-
wich Islands in January, 1778, afterward explored Bearing Strait, and
on sailing homeward stopped again at the islands. The natives of
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED. 211
Hawaii showed themselves unfriendly, and a quarrel having arisen
during a landing, they fell upon Cook and his men, and the great
captain was slain. The Journal of Captain Cook's second voyage
(the one referred to by Mr. Darwin) was published in London in
177T; the Journal of the last voyage, in 1781.
Cowley, Captain. (Page 77.) An English navigator, who, as
did also Captain William Dampier, accompanied Captain John Cooke
in a voyage round the world in 1683-84. In the year first named
Cowley happened to be in Virginia, and was prevailed upon by Cooke
to go as sailing-master of his ship Revenge, on a trading voyage to
Hayti. Cooke, however, was really a buccaneer, and the story was
only a pretence. They sailed, then, August 23d, 1683, for the South
Seas, by way of the African coast (where they captured a new and
better-armed ship, to which they transferred themselves and the name
of their old ship), Brazil, the Falkland Islands, Tierra del Fuego, the
island of Juan Fernandez, the Lobos Islands west of Peru, Panama,
and the Galapagos (i. e., Turtle) Islands, which were sighted May 31st,
1684. A month later Cooke died, and, in September, Cowley left the
Revenge to sail the Nicholas, another pirate ship, with which they had
kept company after rounding Cape Horn. His course now lay to the
Asiatic coast and archipelago. At Timor, in December, 1685, Cowley
quitted the Nicholas and went to Batavia, where, in the following
March, he embarked for Holland, and reached London October 12th,
1686. This account of him will be found in Robert Kerr's " General
History and Collection of Voyages and Travels" (Edinburgh, 1814).'
Dampier, WILLIAM. (Page 77.) An English navigator ; born
1652, in Somersetshire ; the year of his death is unknown, but it was
later than 1711. He had a most adventurous life on sea and on land
in both hemispheres. In July, 1682, after a season of buccaneering,
he arrived in Virginia, and in the following year fell in with Captain
John Cooke, a native of St. Kitts, in the West Indies, and joined him
(with less compunction than did Captain Cowley) in his piratical ex-
pedition. He remained by the Revenge w r hen Cowley left it, and
212 NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED.
cruised about the Pacific, both on the American coast and in the East
Indies, till May 4th, 1688, when, wearying of his wretched mode of
life, he abandoned it at the Nicobar Islands and arrived at Atcheen,
CAPTAIN WILLIAM DAMP1EK.
in Sumatra, in June. He afterward went to Tonquin, and returned
to Atcheen in April, 1689. On January 25th, 1691, he set sail for
England, and reached London September 16th, after an absence of
twelve and a half years. He told his marvellous story in a book
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED. 213
called a " New Voyage Round the World," published in London in
1697. Being then taken into the English service, and put in com-
mand of the Roebuck^ he sailed in 1699, on behalf of the Government,
to the Southern Ocean, exploring the coasts of Australia and New
Guinea, and discovering many unknown lands. On his homeward
voyage he was shipwrecked on Ascension Island in February, 1701,
but reached London the same year and again told his story in a book.
He made at least two more voyages with Captain William Funnell,
1703-05, and with Captains Woods Rogers and Stephen Courtney,
1708-11 for the plundering of Spanish ships in the South Sea. On
the latter voyage Alexander Selkirk (the original Robinson Crusoe)
w r as found on the island of Juan Fernandez arid taken on board as
one of the mates.
Falconer, RICHARD. (Page 46.) An English navigator; au-
thor of a work describing his " Voyages, Dangerous Adventures, and
Imminent Escapes " (London, 1724).
Fitz Roy, ROBERT. (Pp. 102, 105, 151, 174, 183, 188, 191, 198,
204.) An English navigator and meteorologist ; born July 5th, 1805 ;
died April 30th, 1865. He entered the navy in 1819, arid in 1828 was
associated with Captain King in an exploring expedition to the coasts
of Patagonia and Chile. In 1831 he commanded the Beagle in the
expedition round the world which Mr. Darwin accompanied as nat-
uralist. The results of both these voyages were published under the
title, "Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of H.M.SS. Adventure
and Beagle, 1826-1836" (London, 1839). Captain Fitz Roy was after-
ward Governor of New Zealand. His last years were devoted to me-
teorological study and observations.
Gould, JOHN. (Page 50.) An English ornithologist ; born
September 14th, 1804, at Lyme-Regis, in Dorsetshire, England, and
still living (1879). His first published work, "A Century of Birds
from the Himalaya Mountains," appeared in 1832 ; his second, " The
Birds of Europe," in 1832-37. The next two years were spent in
travels in Australia, which led to two other important publications,
214 NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED.
"The Mammals of Australia" (1845), and "The Birds of Australia"
(1848-1869). He is also the author of a "Hand-book to the Birds of
Australia" (1865), and "The Birds of Great Britain" (1862-1873).
Mr. Gould contributed the chapter on birds in the zoological report
of the voyage of the Beagle.
Head, FKANCIS BOND. (Page 130.) A British officer ; born near
Rochester, Kent, England, in 1793 ; died July, 1869. While an army
captain he went to South America in 1825, as agent of a mining as-
sociation, and in 1826 published " Rough Notes taken during some
Rapid Journeys across the Pampas and among the Andes," of which
Mr. Darwin praises the "spirit and accuracy." In 1836 he was Lieu-
tenant-Governor of Canada.
Kin;;. PHILIP PAKKEK. (Pp. 72, 172.) A British naval com-
mander; born in the island of Norfolk, South Pacific Ocean, in
1793. In 1817-22 he was engaged in completing the survey of the
west coast of Australia. In 1826 he commanded the expedition sent
out to explore the coasts of South America, his ship being the Ad-
venture. His survey and that of the Beagle were published together.
(See Fitz Roy, above.)
Kotzcbue, OTTO VON. (Page 203.) Born at Reval, in Russia,
of German parents, in 1787; died there in 1846. He accompanied
Admiral von Krusenstern in his voyage around the world in 1803-6,
and in 1815-18, in the ship Rurick, again made the voyage as chief,
accompanied by Chamisso (see above) and others. Out of this came
his "Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Behring's Straits,
for the purpose of Exploring a Northeast Passage" (London, 1821).
He made a third and last voyage in 1823-26, of which he gave an
account in his " New Voyage Around the World " (London, 1830).
Pernety, ANTOINE JOSEPH. (Page 80.) Born at Roanne, France,
in 1716; died in 1801. He was for some time librarian of Frederic the
Great. His "Voyage to the Falkland Islands" was published in 1769.
Rosas, JUAN MANUEL DE. (Pp. 105, 106, 108.) Born in La Plata
in 1793. He was brought up a Gaucho on the plains, and became of
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED. 215
so mucli importance that in 1829 he was elected Governor of the
country (Argentine Confederation). Mr. Darwin met him in 1833,
on the Rio Colorado, when he was conducting in person the war
against the Indians. He says :
" General Rosas intimated a wish to see me ; a circumstance which
I was afterward very glad of. He is a man of an extraordinary char-
acter, and has a most predominant influence in the country, which it
seems probable he will use to its prosperity and advancement. [' This
prophecy has turned out miserably wrong,' adds Mr. Darwin, in 1845.]
He is said to be the owner of seventy-four square leagues of land, and
to have about three hundred thousand head of cattle. His estates are
admirably managed, and are far more productive of corn than those
of others. He first gained his celebrity by his laws for his own es-
tancias, and by disciplining several hundred men so as to resist with
success the attacks of the Indians. There are many stories current
about the rigid manner in which his laws were enforced. One of
these was that no man, on penalty of being put into the stocks, should
carry his knife on a Sunday. This being the principal day for gam-
bling and drinking, many quarrels arose, which, from the general man-
ner of fighting with the knife, often proved fatal. One Sunday the
Governor came in great form to pay the estancia a visit, and General
Kosas, in his hurry, walked out to receive him, with his knife as usual
stuck in his belt. The steward touched his arm, and reminded him
of the law ; upon which, turning to the Governor, he said he was ex-
tremely sorry, but that he must go into the stocks, and that, till let
out, he possessed no power, even in his own house. After a little
time the steward was persuaded to open the stocks and to let him
out ; but no sooner was this done than he turned to the steward and
said, * You now have broken the laws, so you must take my place in
the stocks.' Such actions as these delighted the Gauchos, who all
possess high notions of their own equality and dignity.
"General Rosas is also a perfect horseman an accomplishment
of no small consequence in a country where an assembled army
216 NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED.
elected its general by the following trial : a troop of unbroken horses
being driven into a corral, were let out through a gate -way above
which was a crossbar; it was agreed whoever should drop from the
bar on one of these wild animals, as it rushed out, and should be able,
without saddle or bridle, not only to ride it, but also to bring it back
to the door of the corral, should be their general. The person who
succeeded was accordingly elected, and doubtless made a fit general
for such an army. This extraordinary feat has also been performed
"By these means, and by conforming to the dress and habits of the
Gauchos, he has obtained an unbounded popularity in the country,
and, in consequence, a despotic power. I was assured by an English
merchant that a man who had murdered another, when arrested and
questioned concerning his motive, answered, c He spoke disrespectfully
of General Rosas, so I killed him.' At the end of a week the mur-
derer was at liberty. This, doubtless, was the act of the general's
party, and not of the general himself. [But subsequent events
showed that it might well have been the general's act.]
"In conversation he is enthusiastic, sensible, and very grave. His
gravity is carried to a high pitch. I heard one of his mad buffoons
(for he keeps two, like the barons of old) relate the following anec-
dote : ' I wanted very much to hear a certain piece of music, so I
went to the general two or three times to ask him; he said to me,
" Go about your business, for I am engaged." I went a second time.
He said, " If you come again I will punish you." A third time I
asked, and he laughed. I rushed out of the tent, but it was too late.
He ordered two soldiers to catch and stake me. I begged by all the
saints in heaven he would let me off but it would not do; when
the general laughs he spares neither madman nor sound.' The poor
flighty gentleman looked quite dolorous at the very recollection of
the staking. This is a very severe punishment : four posts are driven
into the ground, and the man is extended by his arms and legs hori-
zontally, and then left to stretch for several hours. The idea is evi-
NAMES OF PERSONS MENTIONED. 217
dently taken from the usual method of drying hides. My interview
passed away without a smile, and I obtained a passport and order for
the Government post-horses, and this he gave me in the most obliging
and ready manner."
In 1835 Rosas made himself dictator, and a more terrible ruler
never cursed a nation. A picture of life at the capital, while this
tyrant was feared as much as he was hated and flattered, may be
found in the interesting work called " Life in the Argentine Repub-
lic in the Days of the Tyrants," by D. F. Sarmiento, afterward Pres-
ident of the Republic, which was translated by Mrs. Horace Mann,
and published in New York in 1868. This work was written some
years before the downfall of the dictator, and only partly relates to
him. " The Reign of Rosas; or, South American Sketches,"-by E. C.
Fernau,was published in London in 1877. Rosas was defeated in bat-
tle by General Urquiza in 1852, and spent the remainder of his days
in exile, dying in England in March, 1877.
Sturt 5 CHARLES. (Page 72.) An English officer, captain of the
39th Regiment ; born ; died June 16th, 1869, at Cheltenham,
England. In 1828-31 he explored the great basin of the Murray
River in south-eastern Australia, of which the Murrumbidgee is a
tributary. In 1844-46 he penetrated nearly to the centre of the con-
tinent. Of these journeys he gave an account in " Two Expeditions
into the Interior of Southern Australia" (London, 1833), and "Nar-
rative of an Exploration into Central Australia " (London, 1849).
Symonds, WILLIAM. (Page 76.) An English rear-admiral and
naval architect ; born 1782 ; died 1856.
V The pronunciation of the more difficult FOKKIGN NAMES is indicated in parentheses (a as in fate ;
f as in equal; I as iu like; o as in tone; oo as in food). When not indicated, the chief thing to remem-
ber is, that a generally sounds as in father, e like a in fate, i like e in equal, u like oo in food.
Span. = Spanish ; Port. = Portuguese ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Dan. = Danish ; Eng. =
Atlantic Ocean once at eastern foot of the
Atoll, a circular coral island, 198, 200.
Australia, the great island continent of the
ACACIA, a tree browsed on by lizards, 60.
Aconca'gua, one of the highest peaks of the
Andes, east of Valparaiso, 156.
Acry'dium, a kind of grasshopper, 81.
Adventure, Captain King's ship, in his survey
of Patagonia, 172,177, 214.
Africa, 81, 126.
Agouti (pron. ah-goo'ty), a rodent of the Pam-
pas, about the size of a rabbit, 123, 124.
Amblyrhyn'cus, a kind of lizard, found only
in the Galapagos Islands the name means
" blunt-nosed "56, 58, 59, 78.
America, fossil-bearing rocks of, 181.
Andes, the great mountain range (Cordilleras)
of South America, 156, 178 ; snow and wa-
ter supply, 194.
Ant, migrating, 83 ; enclosing prey, 84 ; at-
tacks an obstacle, 84.
Antti'co, a volcano in south-eastern Chile, 188,
Apire (Span, pron., ah-pe'ra), a name given to
the Chilian miner, 130, 131.
Apple-tree, mode of propagating in Chiloe,
products in Chile, 158.
Aptenody'tes demer'sa, the jackass penguin,
Arched openings resisting earthquakes, 186.
Arroyo Tapes (Span, pron., ar-roy'o tah-pdce'\
a small stream ("Tapes brook") in Uru-
Southern Hemisphere, 50, 165.
Australian, native, 50; mimicry, 95; arts, 103;
capacity inferior to that of Ftiegian, 104.
BAHIA (Span, pron., bah-e'ah\ a sea-port of
eastern Brazil the word means "bay"
Bahia Blanca ("white bay"), on the south
coast of the Argentine Confederation, 44,
63, 71, 73, 74, 109, 111 ; hibernation of an-
imals, 195, 196.
Balan'dra, a small sloop, 144.
Bananas, 162-164, 171 ; Tahitian mode of
Banda Oriental (Span, pron., ban'dah or-e-en-
tahl'\ also known as Uruguay, a Spanish-
American republic adjoining Brazil on the
south the name means "eastern league"
48, 71, 126 ; trees and treelessness, 143 ;
comparative hilliness, 149 ; fossil remains,
Beagle, the ship commanded by Captain Fitz
Roy, in which Mr. Darwin made the voyage
round the world, 17, 172, 177, 213, 214.
Beagle Channel, a Y-shaped arm of the sea on
the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego, 52,
101, 102 ; scenery, 151, 152, 175 ; glaciers,
Beech-tree overhanging deep water, 53, 151 ;
large size, 172.
Behring's Straits (Dan. pron., bd'ring\ sepa-
rating Asia and North America ; it is about
thirty-six miles broad, 31, 32.
Bizcacha (Span, pron., bitk-kah'tchaK), a rab-
bit-like animal, prey of the puma, 45 ; home
on the Pampas, range, food, flesh good, col-
lections about its burrow, 48.
Blue-gum tree, 16G.
Bolas ("balls"), with which Gauchos catch
ostriches and cattle, 71, 121 ; made and
used by Indians, 107, 108 ; catch Mr. Dar-
win's horse, 121.
Bones used as fuel, 124.
Booby, a stupid and tarne bird, 75.
Boomerang, an Australian missile, 104.
Botafo'go Bay, in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro,
Bower bird, Australian, 49, 50.
Brazil, the largest country in South America,
settled by the Portuguese, 112, 113 ; fruit-
bearing trees, 164 ; primeval forests, 170.
Bread-fruit, 163, 164.
Buenos Ay res (Span, pron., boo-en'oce ah'e-
ress), the capital of the Argentine Confed-
eration the name means "fine air" 33,
48, 109, 126, 127, 144, 146; plains, 182.
Bullock wagon of the Pampas, 147, 148.
CACIQUE (Span, pron., kath-e'kd\ an Indian
Cactus, 59 ; food of lizards, 60 ; of tortoises,
61 ; on the Parana, 148 ; in Chile, 194.
Callao (Span, pron., kal-yah'o), port of Lima,
159 ; liability to earthquake waves, 190.
Camping out, on the Pampas, 123; in Tahiti,
Cannibalism of Fuegians, 101, 175.
Cape Blanco, on the east coast of Patagonia
the name means "white " 44.
, also a cape on the west coast of
Northern Africa, 81.
Cape de Verd Islands, west of Northern Afri-
ca, in the Atlantic Ocean the name means
"green" 64, 81.
Cape Gregory, in Patagonia, on Magellan
Cape Horn, the most southern point in South
America, on the last island of the Fuegian
Archipelago, so named in 1616 by its dis-
coverer, Schouten, in honor of his Dutcli
birthplace (Hoorn), 42.
Cape of Good Hope, the southern extremity
of Africa, 165.
Capi'bara, or capy'bara, a water-hog, prey of
the jaguar, 46, 145.
Carbonate of lime, a substance manufactured
from sea-water by shell-fish and coral in-
Carpacho (Span, pron., kar-patch'o), an ore-
sack, in Mexico called tanate (tah-nah'td),
Casara (Span, pron., kas-sah'ra), "house-
builder," or oven-bird, 74.
Casarita (Span, pron., kas-sah-re 'tah\ "little
'house-builder, "makes deep holes for nests ,
has no idea of thickness, 74.
Castro, the capital of Chiloe, 153.
Casts of trees; remains of trunks in which
the vegetable fibres have been replaced by
tiny particles of stone without altering the
Cat, jaguar scratches like a, 47.
Caterpillars, turning them into butterflies a
Charles Island, one of the Galapagos group,
Chatham Island, the easternmost of the Gala-
pagos group, 61.
Chile (Span, pron., tcht'la), a Spanish- Amer-
ican republic on the Pacific coast of South
America, 44, 45, 67, 109, 118, 129, 154; a
raised coast, 159 ; mountains, 178 ; fossil
shells and wood, 181 ; barrenness in north,
Chileno (Span, pron., tche-ld'no), an inhabi-
tant of Chile, trap for condors, 68 ; po-
liteness, 128; wonder at the naturalist, 121);
superstition about volcanoes, 188 ; miners'
improvidence, 129, funeral procession, 130,
heavy loads, 130, endurance, 131.
Chiloe (Span, pron., tche-lo-d'), a large island
south of Chile, 153 ; abundant apple-trees.
158, 167; prospect, 177; earthquakes, 189,
China (Span, pron., tchenah), a young In-
dian woman, 106.
Choiseul Sound (Fr. pron., shwah-zurl'\ on the
east side of the largest of the Falkland Isl-
Cholechel (Span, pron., tcho-ld-tchel), an isl-
and in the Rio Negro, La Plata, 108.
Chonos Archipelago (Span, pron., tcho'noce),
on the west coast of Patagonia, 50 ; earth-
Chuzo (Span, pron., tchooth'o), a pike, 108.
Cockroaches surrounded by ants, 83.
Cocoa-nut, 138, 163, 171, 198, 199; opened
and stripped by crabs, 89.
Cocos Islands (see Keeling), 86, etc.
Colonia, a town in south-western Uruguay,
Combs of ladies of Buenos Ayres, 127.
Concepcion (Span, pron., kon-thepth-e-on'}, a
town near the west coast of Chile, destroy-
ed by earthquake, 184-1 86 ; connection with
Juan Fernandez, 188, with Chiloe, 189, 190.
Conchalee (in the Spanish form, Conchali), a
town on the west coast of Chile, rainfall,
Condor, a carrion bird, preys on the guanaco,
44 ; on goats and lambs, 68 ; plunders the
puma, 45 ; size and range, 66 ; lives on
steep cliffs, roosts on trees, egg-laying, 67 ;
how caught, 68 ; poor sense of smell, 69 ;
sharp sight, mode of flying, 70.
Conglomerate, a mass of rock particles, 203.
Copiapd, a town of northern Chile, fossil shells
and wood, 181 ; earthquake, 192 ; rainfall,
193 ; irrigation, 194.
Coquimbo (Span, pron., ko-kem'bo), a north-
ern seaport of Chile, earthquake, 191;
Coral reef of Tahiti, 163, of Keeling Island,
198; resistance to breakers, 199.
Coralline, a marine plant, 174.
Corcova'do ("hunchback "), a volcano in the
southern extremity of Chile, 177.
Cordillera (Span, pron., kor-del-yer'ah\ a
mountain chain in the foregoing pages gen-
erally the same as the Andes 45, 66, 67,
105, 109, 159.
Cormorant, 51 ; playing with its prey, 65 ; de-
pendent on kelp, 175.
Cornwall, the south-western extremity of Eng-
Corral', a yard or enclosure, 111.
Corrobery, Australian dancing- party, 138, 140
Crab, plunders the noddy's nest, 75, 76 ; on
Keeling Island, lives on cocoa-nuts, 86-89,
in burrows, 89 ; yields oil, strong pincers,
89; found in kelp, 174.
Cufre (Span, pron., kodfra), a post in Uru-
Cuttle-fish, means of hiding, change of color,
64 ; walks with difficulty, 64 ; inhabits the
DARWIN, Charles, sketch of the life of, 17.
Deer, the prey of the purna, 45.
Demivolt, a mode of raising up his forelegs
to which a horse is trained, 119.
Der Freischiitz (Ger. pron., derr frl'shets
nearly), "the free - shooter " name of an
opera by the German composer C. M. von
Weber, first performed in 1822 94.
Dog, shepherd -dog's training, 37; cowardly
at the house, brave with the flock, 38 ; drives
off condors, 68 ; Fuegian dog not eaten till
old women are, 101.
EARTHQUAKE, of February 20, 1835, 183-192 ;
of 1751, 188; of 1837, 190; of 1822, 192;
effect on land and sea, 183 ; in upheaving,
184, 190; moral effect, 183, 186, 191, 192;
relation to volcanic eruptions, 188; subter-
ranean connections, 188, 189.
Edwards, Mr., an English resident of Co-
quimbo in 1835, 191.
Elephant, fossil remains in South America, 31,
El famo'so Corcova'do (Span.), "the famous
Hunchback" called "famous" to distin-
guish it from other mountains having the
same name, as, for instance, the Corcovado
in the vicinity of Rio 177.
Emu, good swimmer, 72 ; male hatches the
eggs, 74 ; Emu dance among Australian ne-
En el cainpo (Span.) "on the open plain"
England, magpies in, 78 ; wild geese, 80 ; cat-
tle-keeping, 126 ; probable effect of an earth-
Entre Rios (Span, pron., en'trd re'oce), a
South American country lying, as its name
signifies, "between rivers, "namely, the Pa-
rana and the Uruguay, 48.
Eskimo, compared with Fuegian, 103.
Estancia (Span, pron., es-tanth'e-ah\ a graz-
ing farm, estate, plantation, 30, 34, 125.
Estanciero (Span, pron., es-tanth-e-er o~), a
planter, 115, 127.
Eucalyp'tus, a species of Australian tree, blue-
gum, etc., 166, 167.
Europe, fossil-bearing rocks of, 181.
Eyre's Sound, west coast of Patagonia, 177.
FAGUS betuloi'des, a kind of beech, 151.
Falkland Islands, east of the southern end of
Patagonia, 65, 78-80, 124.
Feast-days and idleness, 1 28 ; extravagance,
Finch, 60, 76 ; tameness, 78.
Fire procured by Tahitians and Gauchos, 137.
Fir-trees, petrified, 178, 1 8 1 .
Flying-fish, food of noddy, 75, 78.
Forests in the tropics, 1 70 ; petrified, 178, 181.
Fossil remains in the arctic regions, 31 ; of the
Pampas, 149 ; shells and wood in Chile, 181 .
Fox, 78, 79.
Fuegians of Good Success Bay, 93; painted
skins, 94, 10/3 ; mimicry, 94 ; shell - heaps,
wigwams, 98 ; on the south coast, naked-
ness, 99 ; food, 100 ; famine, blubber-eating,
cannibalism, 101, 176; signal -fires, 101;
easy perspiration, 102 ; lowest of mankind,
103; of superior capacity to Australians,
104 ; dependence on kelp, 175.
GALAPAGOS Islands (Span, pron., gah-lah'-
pah-goce), west of Ecuador, remarkable for
the differences between their animal species
and those of the main-land ; they got their
name from the great number of "turtles"
found on them, 50, 76, 79, 80.
Gaucho (Span, pron., gah-oo'tcho\ a general
name for the inhabitant of the Pampas,
"countryman," fierce appearance, 116;
meat diet, 123 ; opinion of jaguar meat, 47 ;
steals Indian offerings, 111 ; forcing a horse
to swim, 29 ; horsemanship, 117-119 ; use
of lazo, 120; of bolas, 71, 121 ; night camp,
123, 124 ; mode of kindling a fire, 137.
Glaciers, in Beagle Channel, 1 52, 153 ; on
Mount Sarmiento, 176 ; in Eyre's Sound
and Gulf of Penas, 177.
Goeree Road (Eng. pron., go-re'}, a roadstead
on the south coast of Tierra del Fuego, south
of Lennox Island "goeree" means in Dutch
"good road" or " good anchorage " 151.
Goitre, a diseased swelling of the neck, 128.
Goldmines of Chile, 132.
Good Success Bay, in the south-eastern ex-
tremity of Tierra del Fuego, 93.
Goose, upland, tame, 79 ; wild, 80.
Granite country furnishes clear water, 145 ;
not favorable to trees, 172 ; granite blocks
on icebergs, 177.
Grasshoppers blown out to sea, 81.
Greenstone carried to a lime coral-reef, 203.
Guanaco (Span, pron., goo-ah-nah'ko), or wild
llama, the South American camel, 41 :
range, 42 ; curiosity, bold when tame, good
swimmer, 43 ; drinks salt-water, travels in
straight lines, prey of puma and birds, 44,
68 ; skin for clothing, 93, 99, 105.
Guasco, a town of northern Chile, rainfall.
Gulf of Penas (Span, pron., pan y ass), west
coast of Patagonia, 177.
Hay un gato encerrado aqui (Span, pron., ah'f
oon gah'to en-ther-rah' do ah-ke'} "there
is a cat shut up here" there is some mys-
tery about it, 132.
Hibernation, passing the winter in a torpid
state, 195, 196.
Horse, good swimmer, 29, 30 ; mares killed for
food and hides, 30, used to tread out wheat,
31 ; fossil horse in South America, 31 ;
horse introduced by Europeans, 33 ; feats
of training in Chile, 118, 119; struggle
with lassoed bullock, 120; entangled in
Hottentots, inhabitants of South Africa, 73.
Huuchos (Span, pron., oo-ak' tchoce), a name
given to unhatched ostrich eggs, 73.
ICEBERGS in Eyre's Sound, 177.
Indian, North American, 95 ; South Ameri-
can, 105; fine-looking, 106; work of men
and women, manufacture and use of bolas,
71, 107, 108 ; silver riding gear, horseman-
ship, 108; heroism, following a trail, 109;
tree altar, 110 ; ancient remains near Lima,
Indian file, single file, or one behind another,
Indian Ocean, 197.
Irrigation in Chile, 194, 195.
Isle of France, in the Indian Ocean, east of
Itacaia(Port. pron., e-tah-kah'-e-ah), a village
in Brazil, east of Rio, 112.
JACKASS penguin, 65, 66.
Jaguar, or American tiger, haunts great riv-
ers, 46, 145 ; prey, attacks man in vessels
and houses, 46 ; mode of killing, noisy hab-
its, tree-scratching, flesh eaten, 47.
James Island, one of the larger of the Gala-
pagos Islands, 58.
Juan Fernandez (Span, pron., hoo-an' fer-nan'-
deth), an island west of Chile, inhabited by
a Scotch solitary, Alexander Selkirk, whose
life here is supposed to have suggested to
Defoe the story of Robinson Crusoe ; con-
nection with Concepcion shown by earth-
KAFFIRS, of South Africa, mimicry, 95.
Kangaroo dance of Australian negroes, 140.
Kauri pine (pronounced kow'ry\ the Dammara
Keeling (or Co'cos) Islands, a coral group in
the Indian Ocean, south-west of Sumatra,
86, 197, 198, 200.
Kelp, 172; strength, 173; great length, use
as a breakwater, swarming with animal life,
Kerguelen Land (Eng. pron., kery'-e-len),
an island in the southern part of the Indian
King George's Sound, in the south-western
part of Australia, 138 ; natives, 138.
LAGOON Islands, 197-204 ; mode of forma-
Land, rising and sinking of, 1 78, 181 , 190, 204.
La Plata (Span, pron., lah plah'tah\ the old
name of the present Spanish -American
Argentine Republic or Confederation, the
second largest country, after Brazil, in South
America; it is also the name of the riv-
er and estuary into which flow the Pa-
rana, Uruguay, and other great rivers (see
Plata) ; for this whole river system it is oc-
casionally used in the head-lines of the fore-
going pages, 45, 81, 118, 129, 146 ; flatness,
La Platan medical superstitions, 124.
Las Minas (Span, pron., lass me'nass), a town
in the southern part of Uruguay the name
means "the mines" 116, 126, 143.
Las Vacas (Span, pron., lass vah'kass), a
town in Uruguay the name means "the
Lawson, Mr., an English vice-governor of the
Ecuadorian penal colony in the Galapagos
Lazo (Span, pron., lath'o), a long slip-noose,
120, 121, 123.
Lichen, 181, 194.
Liesk, Mr., an English resident of Keeling
Island, formerly a ship's-mate, 89.
Lima (Span, pron., le'mah), the capital of
Peru, 70, 159, 161, 190; Indian remains,
Lizard, of the Galapagos, 56 ; dislike to wa-
ter, 57; burrow -making, 58; cowardice,
59 ; not feared by birds, food, 60 ; com-
mon lizard, surrounded by ants, 83; hiber-
nation, 195, 196.
Llama (Span, pron., 1-yah'maK), the South
American camel (see Guanaco), 41, etc.
Locust, bred in deserts, 81 ; swarm like a cloud,
81 ; speed of flight, height from ground,
noise, 82 ; driven off by cottagers, 83.
London, the chief city of England, 74.
Low, Captain, a sealing-master in Patagonian
waters, 101. 105.
Luxan or Lujan (Span, pron., loo-hahn"), a
town on the western border of the Argen-
tine Republic, 81.
Lyco'sa, a kind of spider, 84.
MAOAHE (Port, pron., mah-kah-a), a river in
south-eastern Brazil, north of Cape Frio, 11 3.
Macrocys'tis pyri'fera (kelp), ] 72.
Madrina (Span, pron., mah-drenali), the bell-
mule (or bell-leader) of a troop of mules,
Magellan Strait, separating Patagonia and
the island of Tierra del Fuego, 33, 66, 93,
Maldonado (Span, pron., mal-do-nah'do\ a
seaport town of Uruguay, 63, 125.
Mares (see Horse).
Mastodon, an extinct animal resembling the el-
ephant, fossil remains in South America, 31.
Mate (Span, pron., mah'ta), a South Ameri-
can shrub used for tea, 110.
Mayor -domo (Span, pron., mah-jor-dom'o), a
superintendent, 184, 185.
Mazeppa, a Pole, born 1644, died 1709, was,
for a punishment, bound to a wild horse's
back, which was then set loose, 109.
Meat diet of Gauchos, 123; of Chilian miners,
Mendoza (Span, pron., men-do' -thah), a west-
ern town and province of the Argentine Re-
public, 81, 147 ; plains, 182.
Mercedes (Span, pron., rner-thd' dace\ a town
in western Uruguay, 126, 128.
Mimosa tree, 148.
Miners of Chile, 129-132.
Misericor'dia(Span.) "mercy," "have mer-
Mocking-thrush, 76 ; tameness, 77.
Monkey, with prehensile tail, 38 ; bearded, 4 1 .
Montevideo (Span, pron., mon^-td-ve-dd'o), the
capital of Uruguay the name means "pros-
pect hill" 29 ; hibernation of animals, 195.
Moresby, Captain, 89.
Mountains of Tierra del Fuego, 175, 176.
Mount Sarmiento, in Tierra del Fuego, 176.
Mule, knows its leader, follows a scent, 33;
endurance, superior to its parents, 34.
Murrumbidgee River, in New South Wales,
Australia, a tributary of the Murray River,
NEGRO lieutenant under Rosas, 111; negro
woman's heroism, 112; a degraded slave,
113; cruel treatment of slaves, 113-116;
negress with a goitre, 128.
New South Wales, an eastern division of Aus-
tralia, 165; peculiar trees, 165-167.
New Zealand, a group of islands in the South
Pacific Ocean, belonging to Great Britain,
Noddy, a stupid and tame bird, 75.
North America, some of its animals derived
from Asia, 31, 32.
Niagara, the most famous falls in the United
No se (Span, pron., no so) "I don't know"
OCEAN bed raised into mountains, 181; into
plains, 182; ocean prospect tedious, 196;
ocean vastness, 197.
Octo'pus, the cuttle-fish, so called from its
" eight feet " or arms, 64.
Olive, 143, 157.
Orange-tree, 157, 162, 163, 164, 171.
Os.orno, a volcano in the southern part of Chile,
Ostrich, range, food, how caught, 71, 72 :
good swimmer, 72 ; cock-bird larger, note,
sits on the nest, 73 ; attacks man, num-
bers and weight of eggs, 73 ; prey of puma,
Otter (see Sea-otter).
Owl, 78, 80.
Ox-cart of the Pampas, 147, 148,
Ox knows its own troop, 34.
PACIFIC Ocean, vastness, 197 ; lagoon isl-
Palm, U3, 164, 171, 200.
Pampas, South American plains or prairies,
home of the bizcacha, 48 ; Indian inhabi-
tants, 105 ; Gaucho, 120, 123; unfavorable
to growth of trees, 144 ; not absolutely flat,
148; fossil remains, 149; mud formation, 183.
Pan de Azucar (Span. pron.,pahn da ath-oo-
kar) "sugar-loaf" a prominent landmark
on the south coast of Uruguay, 143.
Parana (Span, pron., pah-rah-nah'), one of the
chief tributaries of the river Plate, 46, 48,
135; broad, 147; full of islands, 144; mud-
dy, a neglected highway, 145.
Paris, the chief city of France, 177.
Patagonia, the southernmost country of South
America, so named by Magellan on ac-
count of the supposed "big feet " (patagon)
of the native inhabitants, 41, 43, 45, 47, 71,
72; impressive plains, 150, 182.
Patagonian, like some of the Fuegians, 93 ;
like northern Indians, 105 ; height, painted
skin, behavior at table, stock of horses, 105.
Peach-trees used for firewood, 143.
Peat in Tierra del Fuego, 151.
Penguin, noise, 53 ; bravery, 66.
Pepsis, a kind of wasp, 84.
Pernambuco (Port, pron., perr-nam-boo' fco),
a seaport of Eastern Brazil, 113.
Peru (Span. pron.,^a-roo'), a Spanish-Ameri-
can republic on the Pacific coast of South
Petrified trees, 178, 181.
Phosphorescent sea, 53, 54.
Plata (Span, pron., plah'tah), the Plate river
and estuary, separating Uruguay and the
Argentine Confederation the Spanish
word, like Argentine and our English plate,
means "silver" 29, 46, 53, 145; a muddy
expanse, 146, 183.
Plaza (Span, pron., plath'-afi), the Spanish
name for an open square in the heart of a
town in Italian, piazza (pe-at'sa), 153.
Point Venus, Tahiti so called because Cap-
tain Cook observed there the transit of the
planet Venus, June 3, 1769136.
Polyp, the coral insect, 200, 203.
Poncho (Span, pron., pon'tcho), a blanket with
a hole in the middle, through which the
wearer puts his head, 101.
Ponsonby Sound, between Hoste and Nava-
rin Islands, which form the south coast of
Beagle Channel, 102, 175.
Porphyry, a hard rock, often of a green color,
Porpoise, mode of swimming, outstrips a ship,
53 ; feeds among the kelp, 175.
Port Famine, in Patagonia, on the Strait of
Magellan, at the point where the letter a of
Famine is printed on the map, 151, 172.
Portillo Pass (Span, pron., por-tel'yo), a route
over the Andes between Chile and the Ar-
gentine Republic the name means a "gap"
or "gate" 33.
Port Valdes (Span, pron., val-ddce'), a station
on the east coast of Patagonia, 44, 72.
Posta, a post-station, 109, 111.
Promethean matches, consisting of a roll of
paper treated with sugar and chlorate of
potash, and a small cell containing sulphuric
acid when the cell was broken the acid set
fire to the composition 125.
Pulperia (Span, pron., pool-per-e'ah), a drink-
Puma, or South American lion, range and
prey, 44, 45 ; mode of killing, 45 ; drives
off condor, 45, 68 ; flesh like veal, 45, 47.
Pyramids of Egypt, 204.
QUE cosa (Span, pron., kay kos'sah) "what
an idea" 115.
Quillota (Span, pron., kel-yo'tah\ a town of
Chile, south-east of Valparaiso, 157, 159.
Quinquina (Span, pron., ke-re-ke nah), an isl-
and on the west coast of Chile, affected by
earthquake, 184, 185.
RADVCK Archipelago, lagoon islands in the
North Pacific, near the equator, 203.
Rain, scanty fall in northern Chile, 193 ; effect
on vegetation, 193, 194.
Rancho (Span, pron., ran'tcho), a half-way
Rastro, a track or trail, 109, 110.
Recado (Span, pron., rd-kah'do), saddle of the
Pampas, 120, 128.
Renous, a German naturalist suspected of
Rio Colorado (Span, pron., re'o ko-lor-ah' do),
a river of the Argentine Confederation the
name means "red river" 30, 105, 110,
Rio de Janeiro (Port, pron., re'o da zhah-nd'e-
ro\ or simply Rio, the capital of Brazil, and
bay of the same name, which means "river
of January, "38, 53, 84, 113, 114.
Rio Negro (Span, pron., re'o nd'gro'), a river
formerly the southern boundary of the Ar-
gentine Republic the name means "black
river" 105, 110.
also, a river of Uruguay, 126.
Rosario (Span, pron., ros-sar'e-o\ a La Platan
town on the Parana the name means a
"rosary" 145, 147, 148.
Ross, Captain, an English colonist of Keeling
Rouse, Mr., an English consul at Concepcion
in 1835, 186, 188.
Ruminants, animals that chew again what
they have swallowed, as cattle do. 31, 32.
ST. ELMO'S light, 53.
St. Paul's Rocks, islands in the middle of the
Atlantic, nearly on the equator, 75.
Saladillo (Span, pron., sah-lah-dil'lyo'), the
" little Salado " (or [hide] salting stream), a
small western tributary of the Parana, 147.
Salina (Span, pron., sah-lenah), a salt-marsh,
Salinas, a salt-marsh region near Bahia Blan-
San Bias Bay, the southernmost in the Ar-
gentine Republic, 72.
San Felipe (Span. pron.,/a7e>a) "St. Phil-
ip " an inland town of Chile, 159.
San Fernando, an inland town of Central
Chile, 132, 159.
San Luis, a town in the central part of the
Argentine Republic, 182.
San Nicolas, a La Platan town on the Pa-
rana, 145, 147, 148.
Santa Cruz (Span, pron., krooth), a river of
Patagonia the name means "holy cross"
42, 44, 67, 72.
also, the chief town in the island
ofTeneriffe, 155, 156.
Santa Fe (Span, pron., fa), a town in the Ar-
gentine Confederation the name means
" holy faith "46, 124, 146 ; plains, 149.
Santa Lucia (Span, pron., loo-the'aK), a river
of Uruguay, 29.
Savage man, 92 ; mimicry, 95 ; keen senses,
Sea-bed become dry land, 181, 182.
Sea-eggs, 100, 174.
Seal, piggish habits, 50 ; noise, 53 ; skin for
wigwam covers, 99 ; flesh for food, 100.
Sea -otter, 52; plays with fish, 65; skin for
Shell-heaps of Fuegians, 98.
Shingle, sea-shore gravel, 182.
Shropshire, also called Salop, a western coun-
tv of England, where Mr. Darwin was born,
Siberia, the northernmost country of Asia, 31,
Silex, flint, 181.
Snails hibernating, 196.
Snow-line in Tierra del Fuego, 151, 176.
South Africa, ostriches in, 73 ; Kaffirs, 95 ;
root-eating tribes, 103.
South America, extinction of the horse in,
31 ; range of the condor in, 66.
South Sea Islanders, Pacific Ocean, 103.
Spain, the south-western peninsula of Europe,
Spaniard, cruelty to slaves and animals, 115 ;
ignorance of natural history, 132; prefers
traitors to cowards, 135.
Spider, surrounded by ants, 83 ; killed by a
wasp, 84 ; kills a wasp, 85; hibernation, 195,
Star-fish, 174, 175.
Strata, layers, 181.
Stru'thio rhea, the American ostrich, 71.
Sumatra, a large island on the equator, south
of Asia, 198.
Superstition about earthquakes, 1 88, 1 90.
Swan, black-necked, 52, 80.
TAHITI, the principal one of the Society Isl-
ands in the South Pacific, 135 ; valley of
Tia-auru, 136; coral reef, vegetable pro-
Tahitian, mildness, tattooed, 133 ; women in-
ferior, 136 ; fire-making, 137 ; cooking, 138.
Talcahuano (Span, pron., tal-kah-hwah'no), a
seaport of Chile, destroyed by earthquake,
184, 185, 187, 188, 192; liability to great
Tapulquen (Span, pron., tah-pool-kdn'\ a town
in the south-eastern part of the Argentine
Tattooing in Tahiti, 135, 136.
Teneriffe, the largest of the Canary Islands,
Tern, 51, 75.
Tia-auru, a valley of Tahiti, 136.
Tierra del Fuego (Span, pron., te-er'ra del
foo-ago\ a large island south of Patagonia,
called "land of fire" by Magellan on ac-
count of the native bonfires on the coast.
43, 45, 53, 79, 98, 101, 155 ; mountainous
and peaty, 151 ; full of bays and inlets, 159 ;
forests, 170, 172; mountains and glaciers,
Tides, affected by earthquakes, 183-185, 187;
on shallow coasts, 190.
Toad, black with red belly, in hot desert, un-
able to swim, 63 ; hibernation, 196.
Tortoise, of Galapagos Islands, vast numbers
and size, 60 ; difference between the sexes,
food, long journeys for drink, 61, 62 ; pow-
er to go without water, rate of travel, egg-
laying, old age, deafness, 62 ; carrying a
Trade-wind, a steady wind blowing from north-
east or south-east toward the equator, 199.
Trafalgar', a cape on the south-western coast
of Spain, off which the British fleet under
Nelson defeated the French and Spanish,
Oct. 21, 1805, 136.
Trees of Australia, 165-167 ; of the Tropics,
170; petrified, 178, 181.
Tropilla (Span, pron., tro-pel'yah\ a little
Turkey-buzzard, companion of seals, 50; feeds
on young tortoises, 62.
Turtle-dove, tameness,' 77, 78.
Tyrant fly-catcher, 76.
URUGUAY (Span, pron., oo-roo-gwah'e), a
country of South America (see Banda Ori-
ental), 48, etc. ; also the name of the river
which forms its western boundary, 47 r 48;
Uruguayan, astonishment at compass and
matches, ignorance of geography, 125-
127; wonder at face -washing and beard-
growing, 126 ; indolence, requirements of
legislative representatives, 128.
Uspallata range and pass (Span, pron., oos-
pal-yah' taK), on the western border of the
Argentine Confederation, 178.
VALDIVIA, a southern port of Chile, 158, 167;
earthquake of 1835, 183, 189; of 1837, 190.
Valparaiso (Span, pron,, val-par-ah-eso\ the
principal seaport of Chile the name means
"paradise valley" 69,154; immunity
from earthquake waves, 190; earthquake
of 1822, 192; rainfall, 193.
Villarica (Span, pron., vel-yah-re kah}, a vol-
cano in the south-eastern part of Chile, 189.
Volcano of Aconcagua, 156 ; Osorno, Corco-
vado, 177; Antuco, 188, 190; Villarica,
189 ; volcanic soil in western La Plata, 178.
WAIMATE, a town in the north-western part
of New Zealand, on New Ulster Island, 171.
Walleechu, an Indian name for a sacred tree
in the southern part of the Argentine He-
public, 110, 111, 122.
Wasp, hunts down a spider, 84; caught by
Water-hog (see Capibara).
West Indies, the archipelago between North
and South America Columbus's first dis-
Whale, spermaceti, sporting, 53 ; blubber eat-
en by Fuegians, 100, 101.
White Cockatoo, 168.
White Cockatoo men, an Australian tribe,
Wild arum, 138.
Wild celery, 98.
Wild pease, 195.
Winter 's-bark, 172.
Wollaston Island, south of Tierra del Fnego, 99.
Wood sorrel, 195.
Yammerschooner, a begging word of the Fu-
Yaquil (Span. pron^jah-kel'^ a gold-mining
town of Chile, just west of San Fernando,
Yerba (Span, pron., jer'-bah), a South Ameri-
can tea, also called mate, 110, 184.
CHILE, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION, URUGUAY.
t Str,,kr,. K. T.
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Contemporary Art in Europe.
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The Poets and Poetry of Scotland :
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Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution ;
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The Geographical Distribution of Animals.
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The First Century of the Republic.
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