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Author: Orton, James, 1830-1877
Title: The Andes and the Amazon Across the Continent of South America
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): quito; napo; andes; ecuador; para; santa rosa; indians; species; south america; valley; river
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Title: The Andes and the Amazon
       Across the Continent of South America

Author: James Orton

Release Date: September 8, 2006 [EBook #19209]

Language: English

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[Transcriber's note: The accentuation and spelling of the original
has been retained. This may at times seem variable: e.g., manati and
manati. Greek transliterations appear between + signs. This symbol:
[=o], which appears once to represent the letter o with a line above it.
Italics are indicated by under-scores, as in this example: _NEW YORK:_.
The illustrations are viewable in the XHTML version.]

[Illustration: PALMS ON THE MIDDLE AMAZON.]




                          THE

                  ANDES AND THE AMAZON:

                           OR,

          ACROSS THE CONTINENT OF SOUTH AMERICA.

                  By JAMES ORTON, M.A.

 PROFESSOR OF NATURAL HISTORY IN VASSAR COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.,
                   AND CORRESPONDING
    MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES, PHILADELPHIA.

  _WITH A NEW MAP OF EQUATORIAL AMERICA AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS._

                      _NEW YORK:_
             HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
                   FRANKLIN SQUARE
                         1870.

    Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
                   HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
             Southern District of New York.

            *       *       *       *       *

                         TO

           CHARLES DARWIN, M.A., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S.,

                WHOSE PROFOUND RESEARCHES
    HAVE THROWN SO MUCH LIGHT UPON EVERY DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE,
                         AND
     WHOSE CHARMING "VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE" HAS SO PLEASANTLY
        ASSOCIATED HIS NAME WITH OUR SOUTHERN CONTINENT,
   THESE SKETCHES OF THE ANDES AND THE AMAZON ARE, BY PERMISSION,
                  MOST RESPECTFULLY
                      Dedicated.

           *       *       *       *       *

     "Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my 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 Terra del Fuego, where Death and Decay
     prevail. Both are temples 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."--DARWIN'S _Journal_, p. 503.




PREFACE.


This volume is one result of a scientific expedition to the equatorial
Andes and the river Amazon. The expedition was made under the auspices
of the Smithsonian Institution, and consisted of the following gentlemen
besides the writer: Colonel Staunton, of Ingham University, Leroy, N.Y.;
F.S. Williams, Esq., of Albany, N.Y.; and Messrs. P.V. Myers and A.
Bushnell, of Williams College. We sailed from New York July 1, 1867;
and, after crossing the Isthmus of Panama and touching at Paita, Peru,
our general route was from Guayaquil to Quito, over the Eastern
Cordillera; thence over the Western Cordillera, and through the forest
on foot to Napo; down the Rio Napo by canoe to Pebas, on the Maranon;
and thence by steamer to Para.[1]

[Footnote 1: Another division, consisting of Messrs. H.M. Myers, R.H.
Forbes, and W. Gilbert, of Williams College, proceeded to Venezuela, and
after exploring the vicinity of Lake Valencia, the two former traversed
the Ilanos to Pao, descended the Apure and ascended the Orinoco to
Yavita, crossed the portage of Pimichin (a low, level tract, nine miles
wide, separating the waters of the Orinoco from those of the Amazon),
and descended the Negro to Manaos, making a voyage by canoe of over 2000
miles through a little-known but deeply-interesting region. A narrative
of this expedition will soon be given to the public.]

Nearly the entire region traversed by the expedition is strangely
misrepresented by the most recent geographical works. On the Andes of
Ecuador we have little besides the travels of Humboldt; on the Napo,
nothing; while the Maranon is less known to North Americans than the
Nile.

Many of the following pages first appeared in the New York _Evening
Post_. The author has also published "Physical Observations on the Andes
and the Amazon" and "Geological Notes on the Ecuadorian Andes" in the
_American Journal of Science_, an article on the great earthquake of
1868 in the Rochester _Democrat_, and a paper _On the Valley of the
Amazon_ read before the American Association at Salem. These papers have
been revised and extended, though the popular form has been retained. It
has been the effort of the writer to present a condensed but faithful
picture of the physical aspect, the resources, and the inhabitants of
this vast country, which is destined to become an important field for
commercial enterprise. For detailed descriptions of the collections in
natural history, the scientific reader is referred to the various
reports of the following gentlemen, to whom the specimens were committed
by the Smithsonian Institution:

Volcanic Rocks                  Dr. T. Sterry Hunt, F.R.S., Montreal.

Plants                          Dr. Asa Gray, Cambridge.

Land and Fresh-water Shells.    M. Crosse, Paris,
                                and Thomas Bland, Esq., New York.

Marine Shells                   Rev. Dr. E.R. Beadle, Philadelphia.

Fossil Shells                   W.M. Gabb, Esq., Philadelphia.

Hemiptera                       Prof. P.R. Uhler, Baltimore.

Orthoptera                      S.H. Scudder, Esq., Boston.

Hymenoptera and Nocturnal Lepidoptera    Dr. A.S. Packard, Jr., Salem.

Diurnal Lepidoptera             Tryon Reakirt, Esq., Philadelphia.

Coleoptera                      George D. Smith, Esq., Boston.

Phalangia and Pedipalpi         Dr. H.C. Wood, Jr., Philadelphia.

Fishes                          Dr. Theodore Gill, Washington.

Reptiles                        Prof. E.D. Cope, Philadelphia.

Birds                           John Cassin, Esq.,[2] Philadelphia.

Bats                            Dr. H. Allen, Philadelphia.

Mammalian Fossils               Dr. Joseph Leidy, Philadelphia.

[Footnote 2: This eminent ornithologist died in the midst of his
examination. Mr. George N. Lawrence, of New York, has identified the
remainder, including all the hummers.]

Many of the type specimens are deposited in the museums of the
Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science,
the Boston Society of Natural History, the Peabody Academy of Science,
and Vassar College; but the bulk of the collection was purchased by
Ingham University, Leroy, New York.

The Map of Equatorial America was drawn with great care after original
observations and the surveys of Humboldt and Wisse on the Andes, and of
Azevedo, Castlenau, and Bates on the Amazon.[3] The names of Indian
tribes are in small capitals. Most of the illustrations are after
photographs or drawings made on the ground, and can be relied upon. The
portrait of Humboldt, which is for the first time presented to the
public, was photographed from the original painting in the possession of
Sr. Aguirre, Quito. Unlike the usual portrait--an old man, in
Berlin--this presents him as a young man in Prussian uniform, traveling
on the Andes.

[Footnote 3: We have retained the common orthography of this word,
though _Amazons_, used by Bates, is doubtless more correct, as more akin
to the Brazilian name _Amazonas_.]

We desire to express our grateful acknowledgments to the Smithsonian
Institution, Hon. William H. Seward, and Hon. James A. Garfield, of
Washington; to Cyrus W. Field, Esq., and William Pitt Palmer, Esq., of
New York; to C.P. Williams, Esq., of Albany; to Rev. J.C. Fletcher, now
United States Consul at Oporto; to Chaplain Jones, of Philadelphia; to
Dr. William Jameson, of the University of Quito; to J.F. Reeve, Esq.,
and Captain Lee, of Guayaquil; to the Pacific Mail Steamship, Panama
Railroad, and South Pacific Steam Navigation companies; to the officers
of the Peruvian and Brazilian steamers on the Amazon; and to the eminent
naturalists who have examined the results of the expedition.

NOTE.--Osculati has alone preceded us, so far as we can learn, in
obtaining a vocabulary of Zaparo words; but, as his work is not to be
found in this country, we have not had the pleasure of making a
comparison.




INTRODUCTION

BY

REV. J.C. FLETCHER,

AUTHOR OF "BRAZIL AND BRAZILIANS."


In this day of many voyages, in the Old World and the New, it is
refreshing to find an untrodden path. Central Africa has been more fully
explored than that region of Equatorial America which lies in the midst
of the Western Andes and upon the slopes of these mountain monarchs
which look toward the Atlantic. In this century one can almost count
upon his hand the travelers who have written of their journeys in this
unknown region. Our own Herndon and Gibbon descended--the one the
Peruvian and the other the Bolivian waters--the affluents of the Amazon,
beginning their voyage where the streams were mere channels for canoes,
and finishing it where the great river appears a fresh-water ocean. Mr.
Church, the artist, made the sketches for his famous "Heart of the
Andes" where the headwaters of the Amazon are rivulets. But no one whose
language is the English has journeyed down and described the voyage from
the _plateaux_ of Ecuador to the Atlantic Ocean until Professor Orton
and his party accomplished this feat in 1868. Yet it was over this very
route that the King of Waters (as the Amazon is called by the
aborigines) was originally discovered. The _auri sacra fames_, which in
1541 urged the adventurous Gonzalo Pizarro to hunt for the fabled city
of _El Dorado_ in the depths of the South American forests, led to the
descent of the great river by Orellana, a knight of Truxillo. The fabled
women-warriors were said to have been seen in this notable voyage, and
hence the name of the river _Amazon_, a name which in Spanish and
Portuguese is in the plural. It was not until nearly one hundred years
after Orellana was in his grave that a voyage of discovery ascended the
river. In 1637 Pedro Teixeira started from Para with an expedition of
nearly two thousand (all but seventy of whom were natives), and with
varied experiences, by water and by land, the explorer in eight months
reached the city of Quito, where he was received with distinguished
honor. Two hundred years ago the result of this expedition was
published.

The Amazon was from that time, at rare intervals, the highway of Spanish
and Portuguese priests and friars, who thus went to their distant
charges among the Indians. In 1745 the French academician De la
Condamine descended from Quito to Para, and gave the most accurate idea
of the great valley which we had until the first quarter of this
century.

The narrow policy of Spain and Portugal was most unfruitful in its
results to South America. A jealous eye guarded that great region, of
which it can be so well said there are

                "Realms unknown and blooming wilds,
    And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude,
    Where the sun smiles and seasons teem in vain."

Now, the making known to the world of any portion of these "fruitful
deserts" is performing a service for the world. This Professor Orton
has done. His interesting and valuable volume hardly needs any
introduction or commendation, for its intrinsic merit will exact the
approbation of every reader. Scientific men, and tourists who seek for
new routes of travel, will appreciate it at once; and I trust that the
time is near at hand when our mercantile men, by the perusal of such a
work, will see how wide a field lies before them for future commercial
enterprise. This portion of the tropics abounds in natural resources
which only need the stimulus of capital to draw them forth to the light;
to create among the natives a desire for articles of civilization in
exchange for the crude productions of the forest; and to stimulate
emigration to a healthy region of perpetual summer.

It seems as if Providence were opening the way for a great change in the
Valley of the Amazon. That immense region drained by the great river is
as large as all the United States east of the States of California and
Oregon and the Territory of Washington, and yet it has been so secluded,
mainly by the old monopolistic policy of Portugal, that that vast space
has not a population equal to the single city of Rio de Janeiro or of
Brooklyn. Two million five hundred thousand square miles are drained by
the Amazon. Three fourths of Brazil, one half of Bolivia, two thirds of
Peru, three fourths of Ecuador, and a portion of Venezuela are watered
by this river. Riches, mineral and vegetable, of inexhaustible supply
have been here locked up for centuries. Brazil held the key, but it was
not until under the rule of their present constitutional monarch, Don
Pedro II., that the Brazilians awoke to the necessity of opening this
glorious region. Steamers were introduced in 1853, subsidized by the
government. But it is to a young Brazilian statesman, Sr. A.C. Tavares
Bastos, that belongs the credit of having agitated, in the press and in
the national parliament, the opening of the Amazon, until public
opinion, thus acted upon, produced the desired result. On another
occasion, in May, 1868, I gave several indices of a more enlightened
policy in Brazil, and stated that the opening of the Amazon, which
occurred on the 7th of September, 1867, and by which the great river is
free to the flags of all nations, from the Atlantic to Peru, and the
abrogation of the monopoly of the coast-trade from the Amazon to the Rio
Grande do Sul, whereby 4000 miles of Brazilian sea-coast are open to the
vessels of every country, can not fail not only to develop the resources
of Brazil, but will prove of great benefit to the bordering
Hispano-American republics and to the maritime nations of the earth. The
opening of the Amazon is the most significant indication that the leaven
of the narrow monopolistic Portuguese conservatism has at last worked
out. Portugal would not allow Humboldt to enter the Amazon Valley in
Brazil. The result of the new policy is beyond the most sanguine
expectation. The exports and imports for Para for October and November,
1867, were double those of 1866. This is but the beginning. Soon it will
be found that it is cheaper for Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and New Granada,
east of the Andes, to receive their goods from, and to export their
India-rubber, cinchona, etc., to the United States and Europe, _via_ the
great water highway which discharges into the Atlantic, than by the
long, circuitous route of Cape Horn or the trans-Isthmian route of
Panama.




CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

Guayaquil.--First and Last Impressions.--Climate.--Commerce.--The
Malecon.--Glimpse of the Andes.--Scenes on the Guayas.--Bodegas.--Mounted
for Quito.--La Mena.--A Tropical Forest......Page 25

CHAPTER II.

Our Tambo.--Ascending the Andes.--Camino Real.--Magnificent Views.
--Guaranda.--Cinchona.--The
Summit.--Chimborazo.--Over the Andes.--Chuquipoyo
the Wretched.--Ambato.--A Stupid City.--Cotopaxi.--The
Vale of Machachi.--Arrival at Quito......40

CHAPTER III.

Early History of Quito.--Its Splendor under the Incas.--Crushed by Spain.
--Dying now.--Situation.--Altitude.--Streets.--Buildings......56

CHAPTER IV.

Population of Quito.--Dress.--Manners.--Character.--Commerce.--Agriculture.
--Manufactures.--Arts.--Education.--Amusements.--Quito
Ladies......68

CHAPTER V.

Ecuador.--Extent.--Government.--Religion.--A Protestant Cemetery in
Quito.--Climate.--Regularity of Tropical Nature.
--Diseases on the Highlands......85

CHAPTER VI.

Astronomic Virtues of Quito.--Flora and Fauna of the Valley of Quito.
--Primeval Inhabitants of the Andes.--Quichua Indians......97

CHAPTER VII.

Geological History of South America.--Rise of the Andes.--Creation of the
Amazon.--Characteristic Features of the Continent.--Andean Chain.--The
Equatorial Volcanoes......114

CHAPTER VIII.

The Volcanoes of Ecuador.--Western Cordillera.--Chimborazo.--Iliniza.
--Corazon.--Pichincha.--Descent into its Crater.      Page 127

CHAPTER IX.

The Volcanoes of Ecuador.--Eastern Cordillera.--Imbabura.--Cayambi.--Antisana.
--Cotopaxi.--Llanganati.--Tunguragua.--Altar.--Saugai......143

CHAPTER X.

The Valley of Quito.--Riobamba.--A Bed of "Fossil Giants."--Chillo Hacienda.
--Otovalo and Ibarra.--The Great Earthquake of 1868......152

CHAPTER XI.

"The Province of the Orient," or the Wild Napo Country.--The Napos, Zaparos,
and Jivaros Indians.--Preparations to cross the Continent......164

CHAPTER XII.

Departure from Quito.--Itulcachi.--A Night in a Bread-tray.--Crossing the
Cordillera.--Guamani.--Papallacta.--Domiciled at the Governor's.--An
Indian Aristides.--Our Peon Train.--In the Wilderness......177

CHAPTER XIII.

Baeza.--The Forest.--Crossing the Cosanga.--Curi-urcu.--Archidona.--Appearance,
Customs, and Belief of the Natives.--Napo and Napo River......187

CHAPTER XIV.

Afloat on the Napo.--Down the Rapids.--Santa Rosa and its mulish Alcalde.
--Pratt on Discipline.--Forest Music.--Coca.--Our Craft and Crew.--Storm
on the Napo......200

CHAPTER XV.

Sea-Cows and Turtles' Eggs.--The Forest.--Peccaries.--Indian Tribes on
the Lower Napo.--Anacondas and Howling Monkeys.--Insect Pests.--Battle
with Ants.--Barometric Anomaly.--First View of the Amazon.--Pebas......215

CHAPTER XVI.

Down the Amazon.--Steam on the Great River.--Loreto.--San Antonio.--Tabatinga.
--Brazilian Steamers.--Scenery on the Amazon.--Tocantins.--Fonte
Boa.--Ega.--Rio Negro.--Manaos......230

CHAPTER XVII.

Down the Amazon.--Serpa.--Villa Nova.--Obidos.--Santarem.--A Colony
of Southerners.--Monte Alegre.--Porto do Moz.--Leaving the Amazon.
--Breves.--Para River.--The City of Para.--Legislation and Currency.
--Religion and Education.--Nonpareil Climate.      Page 247

CHAPTER XVIII.

The River Amazon.--Its Source and Magnitude.--Tributaries and Tints.--Volume
and Current.--Rise and Fall.--Navigation.--Expeditions on the
Great River......264

CHAPTER XIX.

The Valley of the Amazon.--Its Physical Geography.--Geology.--Climate.
--Vegetation......280

CHAPTER XX.

Life within the Great River.--Fishes.--Alligators.--Turtles.--Porpoises
and Manatis......295

CHAPTER XXI.

Life around the Great River.--Insects.--Reptiles.--Birds.--Mammals......300

CHAPTER XXII.

Life around the Great River.--Origin of the Red Man.--General Characteristics
of the Amazonian Indians.--Their Languages, Costumes, and Habitations.
--Principal Tribes.--Mixed Breeds.--Brazilians and Brazil......315

CHAPTER XXIII.

How to Travel in South America.--Routes.--Expenses.--Outfit.--Precautions.
--Dangers......325

CHAPTER XXIV.

In Memoriam......334




APPENDICES


APPENDIX A

Barometrical Measurements across South America      Page 338

APPENDIX B

Vocabularies from the Quichua, Zaparo, Yagua, and Campas Languages      340

APPENDIX C

Commerce of the Amazon      344

ADDENDA      349

INDEX      349




ILLUSTRATIONS


Palms on the Middle Amazon      _Frontispiece_
Cathedral of Guayaquil      Page 27
Equipped for the Andes      37
Ascending the Andes      42
Quito from the North      61
Water-carriers      62
Street in Quito      63
Capitol at Quito      66
Indian Dwellings      78
Washerwomen      83
Ecclesiastics      88
Profiles of Ecuadorian Volcanoes      123
Crater of Pichincha      135
Humboldt in 1802      156
Ibarra      158
Napo Peon      184
Autograph of an Indian      185
Papaya-tree      202
Trapiche, or Sugar-mill      208
Our Craft on the Napo      211
Hunting Turtle-eggs      217
A Howler      223
Kitchen on the Amazon      238
Natives on the Middle Amazon      241
A Siesta      244
Santarem      250
Para      255
Fruit-peddlers      259
Igarape, or Canoe-path      265
Coca-plant      293
Iguana      305
Toucans      307
Brazilian Hummers      Page 309
Capybara      310
Jaguar      311
Native Comb      317
Colonel Staunton      _To face page_ 334
Map of Equatorial America      _End._




THE ANDES AND THE AMAZON.




CHAPTER I.

     Guayaquil.--First and Last Impressions.--Climate.--Commerce.--The
     Malecon.--Glimpse of the Andes.--Scenes on the
     Guayas.--Bodegas.--Mounted for Quito.--La Mona.--A Tropical Forest.


Late in the evening of the 19th of July, 1867, the steamer "Favorita"
dropped anchor in front of the city of Guayaquil. The first view
awakened visions of Oriental splendor. Before us was the Malecon,
stretching along the river, two miles in length--at once the most
beautiful and the most busy street in the emporium of Ecuador. In the
centre rose the Government House, with its quaint old tower, bearing
aloft the city clock. On either hand were long rows of massive,
apparently marble, three-storied buildings, each occupying an entire
square, and as elegant as they were massive. Each story was blessed with
a balcony, the upper one hung with canvas curtains now rolled up, the
other protruding over the sidewalk to form a lengthened arcade like that
of the Rue de Rivoli in imperial Paris. In this lower story were the gay
shops of Guayaquil, filled with the prints, and silks, and fancy
articles of England and France. As this is the promenade street as well
as the Broadway of commerce, crowds of Ecuadorians, who never do
business in the evening, leisurely paced the magnificent arcade; hatless
ladies sparkling with fire-flies[4] instead of diamonds, and far more
brilliant than koh-i-noors, swept the pavement with their long trains;
martial music floated on the gentle breeze from the barracks or some
festive hall, and a thousand gas-lights along the levee and in the city,
doubling their number by reflection from the river, betokened wealth and
civilization.

[Footnote 4: The _Pyrophorus noctilucus_, or "cucujo," found also in
Mexico and the West Indies. It resembles our large spring-beetle. The
light proceeds from two eye-like spots on the thorax and from the
segments underneath. It feeds on the sugar-cane. On the Upper Amazon we
found the _P. clarus_, _P. pellucens_, and _P. tuberculatus_.
At Bahia, on the opposite coast, Darwin found _P. luminosus_, the most common
luminous insect.]

We landed in the morning to find our vision a dissolving view in the
light of the rising sun. The princely mansions turned out to be hollow
squares of wood-work, plastered within and without, and roofed with red
tiles. Even the "squares" were only distant approximations; not a right
angle could we find in our hotel. All the edifices are built (very
properly in this climate) to admit air instead of excluding it, and the
architects have wonderfully succeeded; but with the air is wafted many
an odor not so pleasing as the spicy breezes from Ceylon's isle. The
cathedral is of elegant design. Its photograph is more imposing than
Notre Dame, and a Latin inscription tells us that it is the Gate of
Heaven. But a near approach reveals a shabby structure, and the pewless
interior is made hideous by paintings and images which certainly must be
caricatures. A few genuine works of art imported from Italy alone
relieve the mind of the visitor. Excepting a few houses on the Malecon,
and not excepting the cathedral, the majority of the buildings have a
tumble-down appearance, which is not altogether due to the frequent
earthquakes which have troubled this city; while the habitations in the
outskirts are exceedingly primitive, floored and walled with split cane
and thatched with leaves, the first story occupied by domestic animals
and the second by their owners. The city is quite regularly laid out,
the main streets running parallel to the river. A few streets are
rudely paved, many are shockingly filthy, and all of them yield grass to
the delight of stray donkeys and goats. A number of mule-carts, half a
dozen carriages, one omnibus, and a hand-car on the Malecon, sum up the
wheeled vehicles of Guayaquil. The population is twenty-two thousand,
the same for thirty years past. Of these, about twenty are from the
United States, and perhaps twenty-five can command $100,000. No
foreigner has had reason to complain that Guayaquilians lacked the
virtues of politeness and hospitality. The ladies dress in excellent
taste, and are proverbial for their beauty. Spanish, Indian, and Negro
blood mingle in the lower classes. The city supports two small papers,
_Los Andes_ and _La Patria_, but they are usually issued about ten days
behind date. The hourly cry of the night-watchman is quite as musical as
that of the muezzin in Constantinople. At eleven o'clock, for example,
they sing "_Ave Maria purissima! los once han dedo, noche clara y
serena. Viva la Patria!_"

[Illustration: Cathedral of Guayaquil.]

The full name of the city is Santiago de Guayaquil.[5] It is so called,
first, because the conquest of the province was finished on the 25th of
July (the day of St. James), 1533; and, secondly, after Guayas, a
feudatory cacique of Atahuallpa. It was created a city by Charles V.,
October 6, 1535. It has suffered much in its subsequent history by fires
and earthquakes, pirates and pestilence. It is situated on the right
bank of the River Guayas, sixty miles from the ocean, and but a few feet
above its level. Though the most western city in South America, it is
only two degrees west of the longitude of Washington, and it is the same
distance below the equator--Orion sailing directly overhead, and the
Southern Cross taking the place of the Great Dipper. The mean annual
temperature, according to our observations, is 83 deg.. There are two
seasons, the wet, or _invierno_, and the dry, or _verano_. The _verano_
is called the summer, although astronomically it is winter; it begins in
June and terminates in November.[6] The heavy rains come on about
Christmas. March is the rainiest month in the year, and July the
coldest. It is at the close of the _invierno_ (May) that fevers most
abound. The climate of Guayaquil during the dry season is nearly
perfect. At daybreak there is a cool easterly breeze; at sunrise a brief
lull, and then a gentle variable wind; at 3 P.M. a southwest wind, at
first in gusts, then in a sustained current; at sunset the same softened
down to a gentle breeze, increasing about _7_ P.M., and dying away about
3 A.M. Notwithstanding heaps of filth and green-mantled pools,
sufficient to start a pestilence if transported to New York, the city
is usually healthy, due in great part, no doubt, to countless flocks of
buzzards which greedily wait upon decay. These carrion-hawks enjoy the
protection of law, a heavy fine being imposed for wantonly killing
one.[7] It is during the rainy season that this port earns the
reputation of being one of the most pestiferous spots on the globe. The
air is then hot and oppressive, reminding the geologist of the steaming
atmosphere in the carboniferous period; the surrounding plains are
flooded with water, and the roads, even some of the streets of the city,
become impassable; intolerable musquitoes, huge cockroaches, disgusting
centipedes, venomous scorpions, and still more deadly serpents, keep the
human species circumspect, and fevers and dysenteries do the work of
death.

[Footnote 5: The ancient name was _Culenta_.]

[Footnote 6: The continuity of the dry season is broken by a rainy fit
commencing a few days after the autumnal equinox, and called _el
Cordonazo de San Francisco_. "Throughout South America (observes Mr.
Spruce) the periodical alternations of dry and rainy weather are laid to
the account of those saints whose 'days' coincide nearly with the epochs
of change. But if the weather be rainy when it ought to be fair, or if
the rains of winter be heavier than ordinary, the blame is invariably
laid on the moon."]

[Footnote 7: The turkey-buzzard, the "John Crow" of the West Indies, is
not a social bird, though a score are often seen together: each comes
and goes by himself.]

The Guayas is the largest river on the Pacific coast; and Guayaquil
monopolizes the commerce of Ecuador, for it is the only port. Esmeraldas
and Peylon are not to be mentioned. Through its custom-house passes
nearly every import and export. The green banks of the Guayas, covered
with an exuberant growth, are in strong contrast with the sterile coast
of Peru, and the possession of Guayaquil has been a coveted prize since
the days of Pizarro. Few spots between the tropics can vie with this
lowland in richness and vigor of vegetation. Immense quantities of
cacao--second only to that of Caracas--are produced, though but a
fraction is gathered, owing to the scarcity of laborers, so many
Ecuadorians have been exiled or killed in senseless revolutions. Twenty
million pounds are annually exported, chiefly to Spain; and two million
pounds of excellent coffee, which often finds its way into New York
under the name of "pure Java." There are three or four kinds of
indigenous cacao on this coast, all richly deserving the generic title
_Theobroma_, or "food for the gods." The best grows in Esmeraldas, as it
contains the largest amount of oil and has the most pleasant flavor. But
very little of it is exported, because it rots in about six months. The
_cacao de arriba_, from up the River Guayas, is the best to export, as
it keeps two years without damage. Next in order is the _cacao de
abajo_, from down the river, as Machala, Santa Rosa, Balao, and Manabi,
below Guayaquil. A still richer nut is the mountain cacao, but it is
never cultivated. It is small and white, and almost pure oil. This oil,
called cacao-butter, is used by the natives for burns, sores, and many
cutaneous diseases. Cacao contributes more to the commerce of the
republic than any other production of its soil. The flowers and fruit
grow directly out of the trunk and branches. "A more striking example
(says Humboldt) of the expansive powers of life could hardly be met with
in organic nature." The fruit is yellowish-red, and of oblong shape, and
the seeds (from which chocolate is prepared) are enveloped in a mass of
white pulp. The tree resembles our lilac in size and shape, and yields
three crops a year--in March, June, and September. Spain is the largest
consumer of cacao. The Mexican _chocolalt_ is the origin of our word
chocolate. Tucker gives the following comparative analysis of unshelled
beans from Guayaquil and Caracas:

                     Guayaquil.    Caracas.

Theobromine            0.63         0.55
Cacao-red              4.56         6.18
Cacao-butter          36.38        35.08
Gluten                 2.96         3.21
Starch                 0.53         0.62
Gum                    1.58         1.19
Extractive matter      3.44         6.22
Humic acid             8.57         9.28
Cellulose             30.50        28.66
Ash                    3.03         2.91
Water                  6.20         5.58
                      -----        -----
                      98.38        99.48

The coffee-tree is about eight feet high, and has dark green leaves,
white blossoms, and green, red, and purple berries at the same time.
Each tree yields on an average two pounds annually.

The other chief articles of exportation are hides, cotton, "Panama
hats," manufactured at Indian villages on the coast, cinchona bark,
caucho, tobacco, orchilla weed, sarsaparilla, and tamarinds.[8] The hats
are usually made of the "Toquilla" (_Carludovica palmata_), an
arborescent plant about five feet high, resembling the palm. The leaf,
which is a yard long, is plaited like a fan, and is borne on a
three-cornered stalk. It is cut while young, the stiff parallel veins
removed, then slit into shreds by whipping it, and immersed in boiling
water, and finally bleached in the sun. The same "straw" is used in the
interior. The "Mocora," which grows like a cocoa-nut tree, with a very
smooth, hard, thorny bark, is rarely used, as it is difficult to work.
The leaves are from eight to twelve feet in length, so that the "straws"
will finish a hat without splicing. Such hats require two or three
months, and bring sometimes $150; but they will last a lifetime. They
can be packed away in a vest pocket, and they can be turned inside out
and worn, the inside surface being as smooth and well finished as the
outside. "Toquilla" hats are whiter than the "mocora."

[Footnote 8: In 1867 there were exported to Europe of cacao, 197,260
quintals; cotton, 10,247 do.; caucho, 8911 do.; sarsaparilla, 149 do.;
orchilla, 10,247 packages; quinine, 5000 do.; tobacco, 2000 do.; coffee,
1611 do.; tamarinds, 65 bbls.; sides of leather, 22,514; hats, 8397.]

The exports from Guayaquil bear no proportion to the capabilities of the
country; Ecuador has no excuse for being bankrupt. Most of the imports
are of English origin; lard comes from the United States, and flour from
Chile.

The Malecon and river present a lively scene all the year round; the
rest of the city appears deserted in comparison. The British steamers
from Panama and Payta arrive weekly; Yankee steam-boats make regular
trips up and down the Guayas and its tributaries; half a dozen sailing
vessels, principally French, are usually lying in the stream, which is
here six fathoms deep; and hundreds of canoes are gliding to and fro.
But the _balsas_ are the most original, and, therefore, the most
attractive sight. These are rafts made of light balsa wood, so buoyant
as to be used in coasting voyages. They were invented by the old
Peruvians, and are the homes of a literally floating population. By
these and the smaller craft are brought to the mole of the Malecon,
besides articles for exportation, a boundless variety of
fruits--pine-apples (whose quality has made Guayaquil famous), oranges,
lemons, limes, plantains, bananas, cocoa-nuts, alligator pears, papayas,
mangos, guavas, melons, etc.; many an undescribed species of fish known
only to the epicure, and barrels or jars of water from a distant point
up the river, out of the reach of the tide and the city sewers. Ice is
frequently brought from Chimborazo, and sold for $1 per pound. A flag
hoisted at a favorite cafe announces that snow has arrived from the
mountains, and that ice-cream can be had. The market, held every morning
by the river side, is an animated scene. The strife of the half-naked
fishmongers, the cry of the swarthy fruit-dealers--"Pinas!" "Naranjas!"
etc., and the song of the itinerant dulce-peddler--"Tamales!" mingled
with the bray of the water-bearing donkeys as they trot through the
town, never fail to arrest the attention of every traveler.

But there is another sight more attractive still--one worth a long
voyage, for Nature nowhere else repeats the picture. From the balconies
of Guayaquil can be seen on a clear day the long, towering range of the
Andes. We may forget all the incidents in our subsequent journey, but
the impression produced by that glorious view is unfading. The sun had
nearly touched the Pacific when the clouds, which for days had wrapped
the Cordilleras[9] in misty robes, suddenly rose like a curtain. There
stood, in inconceivable grandeur, one of the stupendous products of the
last great revolution of the earth's crust, as a geologist would say,
but, in the language of history, the lofty home of the Incas, made
illustrious by the sword of Pizarro and the pen of Prescott. On the
right a sea of hills rose higher and higher, till they culminated in the
purple mountains of Assuay. Far to the left, one hundred miles
northeasterly, the peerless Chimborazo lifted its untrodden and
unapproachable summit above its fellows--an imposing background to
lesser mountains and stately forests. The great dome reflected
dazzlingly the last blushes of the west, its crown of snow fringed with
black lines, which were the steep and sharp edges of precipitous rocks.
It was interesting to watch the mellowing tints on the summit as the
shadows crept upward: gold, vermilion, violet, purple, were followed by
a momentary "glory;" then darkness covered the earth, and a host of
stars, "trembling with excess of light," burst suddenly into view over
the peaks of the Andes.

[Footnote 9: _Cordillera_ (pronounced Cor-de-yer-ra), literally a long
ridge, is usually applied to a longitudinal subdivision of the Andes, as
the east and west cordilleras inclosing the valley of Quito; _Sierra_
(from the Spanish for saw or Arabic _sehrah_, an uncultivated tract) is
a jagged spur of the Andes; _Cerro_, "a hog-backed hill." _Paramo_ (a
desert) is the treeless, uninhabited, uncultivated rolling steppes just
below the snow-limit.]

Bidding "adios" to our Guayaquilian friends, we took passage in one of
Captain Lee's little steamers to Bodegas, seventy miles up the river.
The Ecuadorian government, strange to say, does not patronize these
steamers, but carries the Quito mail in a canoe. The Guayas is a
sluggish stream, its turbid waters starting from the slope of the
Andes, and flowing through a low, level tract, covered with varied forms
of vegetable life. Forests of the broad-leaved plantain and banana line
the banks. The fruit is the most common article of food in equatorial
America, and is eaten raw, roasted, baked, boiled, and fried. It grows
on a succulent stem formed of sheath-like leaf-stalks rolled over one
another, and terminating in enormous light green, glossy blades nearly
ten feet long by two feet wide, so delicate that the slightest wind will
tear them transversely. Each tree (vulgarly called "the tree of
paradise") produces fruit but once, and then dies. A single bunch often
weighs 60 or 70 pounds; and Humboldt calculated that 33 pounds of wheat
and 99 pounds of potatoes require the same space of ground as will
produce 4000 pounds of bananas. They really save more labor than steam,
giving the greatest amount of food from a given piece of ground with the
least labor. They are always found where the palm is; but their original
home is the foot of the Himalayas. The banana (by some botanists
considered a different species from the plantain) is about four inches
long, and cylindrical, and is eaten raw. The plantain is twice as large
and prismatic, and uncooked is unhealthy. There is another variety,
_platanos de Otaheite_, which resembles the banana in size and quality,
but is prismatic.

A belt of jungle and impenetrable brushwood intervenes, and then cacao
and coffee plantations, vast in extent, arrest the eye. Passing these,
the steamer brings you alongside of broad fields covered with the low,
prickly pine-apple plant; the air is fragrant with a rich perfume wafted
from a neighboring grove of oranges and lemons; the mango spreads its
dense, splendid foliage, and bears a golden fruit, which, though praised
by many, tastes to us like a mixture of tow and turpentine; the exotic
bread-tree waves its fig-like leaves and pendent fruit; while high over
all the beautiful cocoa-palm lifts its crown of glory.[10] Animal life
does not compare with this luxuriant growth. The steamer-bound traveler
may see a few monkeys, a group of _gallinazos_, and many brilliant,
though songless birds; but the chief representative is the lazy, ugly
alligator. Large numbers of these monsters may be seen on the mud-bank
basking in the hot sun, or asleep with their mouths wide open.

[Footnote 10: The mango of Asia is superior in size and flavor to that
of America. It is eaten largely in Brazil by negroes and cattle. The
cocoa-palm is also of Asiatic origin, and is most abundant in Ceylon. It
has a swollen stem when young, but becomes straight and tall when
mature. The flowers burst into a long plume of soft, cream-colored
blossoms. It is worthy of remembrance that the most beautiful forms of
vegetation in the tropics are at the same time most useful to man.]

Eight hours after leaving the Malecon we arrived at Bodegas, a little
village of two thousand souls, rejoicing in the synonym of Babahoyo.
This has been a place of deposit for the interior from the earliest
times. In the rainy season the whole site is flooded, and only the upper
stories are habitable. Cock-fighting seems to be the chief amusement. We
breakfasted with the governor, a portly gentleman who kept a little
dry-goods store. His excellency, without waiting for a formal
introduction, and with a cordiality and courtesy almost confined to the
Latin nations, received us into his own house, and honored us with a
seat at his private table, spread with the choicest viands of his
kingdom, serving them himself with a grace to which we can not do
justice. Much as we find to condemn in tropical society, we can not
forget the kindness of these simple-hearted people. Though we may
portray, in the coming pages, many faults and failings according to a
New York standard, we wish it to be understood that there is another
side to the picture; that there are virtues on the Andes to which the
North is well-nigh a stranger. "How many times (says an American
resident of ten years) I have arrived at a miserable hut in the heart
of the mountains, tired and hungry, after traveling all day without any
other companion than the arriero, to receive a warm-hearted welcome, the
best, perhaps the only chair or hammock offered to me, the fattest
chicken in the yard killed on my account, and more than once they have
compelled me by force to take the only good bed, because I must be
tired, and should have a good night's rest. A man may travel from one
end of the Andes to the other, depending altogether on the good people
he meets."

At Bodegas travelers take to mules or horses for the mountains, hiring
one set for Guaranda and another at that village for Quito; muleteers
seldom allow their animals to pass from one altitude to the other. These
_arrieros_, or muleteers, form a very important class in Ecuador. Their
little caravans are the only baggage and express trains in the republic;
there is not a single regularly established public conveyance in the
land. The _arrieros_ and their servants (_peons_) are Indians or
half-breeds. They wear a straw or felt hat, a poncho striped like an
Arab's blanket, and cotton breeches ending at the knees. For food they
carry a bag of parched corn, another bag of roasted barley-meal
(_mashka_), and a few red peppers. The beasts are thin, decrepit jades,
which threaten to give out the first day; yet they must carry you
halfway up the Andes. The distance to the capital is nearly two hundred
miles. The time required is usually eight or nine days; but officials
often travel it in four.

[Illustration: Equipped for the Andes.]

We left Bodegas at noon. It was impossible to start the muleteer a
moment earlier, though he had promised to be ready at seven. Patience is
a necessary qualification in a South American traveler. In our company
were a Jesuit priest, with three attendants, going to Riobamba, and a
young Quito merchant, with his mother--the mother of only twenty-five
children. This merchant had traveled in the United States, and could not
help contrasting the thrift and enterprise of our country with the
beggary and laziness of his own, adding, with a show of sincerity, "I am
sorry I have Spanish blood in my veins." The suburbs of Bodegas reminded
us of the outskirts of Cairo; but the road soon entered a broad savannah
instead of a sandy desert. At 3 P.M. we passed through La Mona, a
village of twenty-five bamboo huts, all on stilts, for in the rainy
season the whole town is under water. Signs of indolence and neglect
were every where visible. Idle men, with an uncertain mixture of
European, Negro, and Indian blood; sad-looking Quichua women, carrying a
naked infant or a red water-jar on the back; black hogs and lean poultry
wandering at will into the houses--such is the picture of the motley
life in the inland villages. Strange was the contrast between human
poverty and natural wealth. We were on the borders of a virgin forest,
and the overpowering beauty of the vegetation soon erased all memory of
the squalor and lifelessness of La Mona. Our road--a mere path, suddenly
entered this seemingly impenetrable forest, where the branches crossed
overhead, producing a delightful shade. The curious forms of tropical
life were all attractive to one who had recently rambled over the
comparatively bleak hills of New England. Delight is a weak term to
express the feelings of a naturalist who for the first time wanders in a
South American forest. The superb banana, the great charm of equatorial
vegetation, tossed out luxuriantly its glossy green leaves, eight feet
in length; the slender but graceful bamboo shot heavenward, straight as
an arrow; and many species of palm bore aloft their feathery heads,
inexpressibly light and elegant. On the branches of the independent
trees sat tufts of parasites, many of them orchids, which are here
epiphytal; and countless creeping plants, whose long flexible stems
entwined snake-like around the trunks, or formed gigantic loops and
coils among the limbs. Beneath this world of foliage above, thick beds
of mimosae covered the ground, and a boundless variety of ferns attracted
the eye by their beautiful patterns.[11] It is easy to specify the
individual objects of admiration in these grand scenes, but it is not
possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder,
astonishment, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind. This road to
the Andes is a paradise to the contemplative man. "There is something in
a tropical forest (says Bates) akin to the ocean in its effects on the
mind. Man feels so completely his insignificance, and the vastness of
nature." The German traveler Burmeister observes that "the contemplation
of a Brazilian forest produced on him a painful impression, on account
of the vegetation displaying a spirit of restless selfishness, eager
emulation, and craftiness." He thought the softness, earnestness, and
repose of European woodland scenery were far more pleasing, and that
these formed one of the causes of the superior moral character of
European nations. Live and let live is certainly not the maxim taught in
these tropical forests, and it is equally clear that selfishness is not
wanting among the people. Here, in view of so much competition among
organized beings, is the spot to study Darwin's "Origin of Species." We
have thought that the vegetation under the equator was a fitter emblem
of the human world than the forests of our temperate zone. There is here
no set time for decay and death, but we stand amid the living and the
dead; flowers and leaves are falling, while fresh ones are budding into
life. Then, too, the numerous parasitic plants, making use of their
neighbors as instruments for their own advancement, not inaptly
represent a certain human class.

[Footnote 11: Ferns constitute one sixth of the flora of South America;
Spruce counted 140 species within the space of three square miles. Their
limits of growth are 500 and 7000 feet above the sea.]




CHAPTER II.

     Our Tambo.--Ascending the Andes.--Camino Real.--Magnificent
     Views.--Guaranda.--Cinchona.--The Summit.--Chimborazo.--Over the
     Andes.--Chuquipoyo the Wretched.--Ambato.--A Stupid
     City.--Cotopaxi.--The Vale of Machachi.--Arrival at Quito.


We reached Savaneta at 5 P.M. This little village of hardly twenty
houses becomes the Bodegas, or place of deposit for the mountains six
months in the year, for in the _invierno_ the roads are flooded, and
canoes take the place of mules from Savaneta to Babahoyo. Even in the
dry season the dampness of this wilderness is so great that the
traveler's sugar and chocolate are melted into one, and envelopes seal
themselves. We put up at a _tambo_, or wayside inn, a simple two-storied
bamboo hovel, thatched with plantain leaves without and plastered with
cobwebs within, yet a palace compared with what sheltered us afterward.
The only habitable part was the second story, which was reached by a
couple of notched bamboo sticks. A hammock, two earthen kettles, two
plates, and a few calabashes constituted the household furniture. The
dormitory was well ventilated, for two sides were open. Our lodging,
however, cost us nothing; travelers only pay for _yerba_ for their
beasts. Though this has been the royal road to Quito for three
centuries, there is but one _posada_ between Guayaquil and Ambato, a
distance of one hundred and fifty miles; travelers must carry their own
bedding and provisions.

[Illustration: Ascending the Andes.]

Leaving Savaneta at dawn, and breakfasting at a wayside hut owned by an
old negro, we struck about noon the Rio Charriguajaco, dashing down the
mountains in hot haste for the Guayas. It was refreshing to look upon
living waters for the first time since leaving the hills of our
native country. Fording this stream we know not how many times, and
winding through the dense forest in narrow paths often blockaded by
laden donkeys that doggedly disputed the passage, we soon found
ourselves slowly creeping up the Andes. We frequently met mountaineers
on their way to Bodegas with loads of potatoes, peas, barley, fowls,
eggs, etc. They are generally accompanied by their wives or daughters,
who ride like the men, but with the knees tucked up higher. On the
slippery tracks which traverse this western slope, bulls are often used
as beasts of burden, the cloven hoofs enabling them to descend with
great security. But mules are better than horses or asses. "That a
hybrid (muses Darwin) 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."

Toward evening the ascent became rapid and the road horrible beyond
conception, growing narrower and rougher as we advanced. Indeed, our way
had long since ceased to be a road. In the dense forest, where sunshine
never comes, rocks, mud, and fallen trees in rapid alternation
macadamize the path, save where it turns up the bed of a babbling brook.
In the comparatively level tracts, the equable step of the beasts has
worn the soil into deep transverse ridges, called _camellones_, from
their resemblance to the humps on a camel's back. In the precipitous
parts the road is only a gully worn by the transit of men and beasts for
ages, aided by torrents of water in the rainy season. As we ascend, this
changes to a rocky staircase, so strait that one must throw up his legs
to save them from being crushed, and so steep that horse and rider run
the risk of turning a somersault. It is fearful to meet in a narrow
defile, or where the road winds around the edge of a precipice, a drove
of reckless donkeys and mules descending the mountain, urged on by the
cries and lashes of the muleteers behind. Yet this has been the highway
of Ecuadorian commerce for three hundred years. In vain we tried to
reach the little village of Camino Real on the crest of the ridge; but
the night was advancing rapidly, and crawling up such a road by
starlight was not a little dangerous. So we put up at a miserable tambo,
Pogyos by name. It was a mud hut of the rudest kind, windowless and
unfloored; very clean, if it had been left to nature, but man and beast
had rendered it intolerably filthy. Our hostess, a Quichua woman, with
tattered garments, and hair disheveled and standing up as if
electrified, set a kettle on three stones, and, making a fire under it,
prepared for us a calabash of chicken and _locro_. _Locro_, the national
dish in the mountains, is in plain English simply potato soup. Sitting
on the ground, we partook of this refreshment by the aid of fingers and
wooden spoons, enticing our appetites by the reflection that potato soup
would support life. The unkempt Indian by our side, grinning in
conscious pride over her successful cookery, did not aid us in this
matter. Fire is used in Ecuador solely for culinary purposes, not for
warmth. It is made at no particular spot on the mud floor, and there is
no particular orifice for the exit of the smoke save the chinks in the
wall. There is not a chimney in the whole republic. As the spare room in
the establishment belonged to the women, we gentlemen slept on the
ground outside, or on beds made of round poles. The night was piercingly
cold. The wished-for morning came at last, and long before the sun
looked over the mountains we were on our march. It was the same terrible
road, running zigzag, or "quingo" fashion, up to Camino Real, where it
was suddenly converted into a royal highway.

We were now fairly out of the swamps of the lowlands, and, though under
the equator, out of the tropics too. The fresh mountain breeze and the
chilly mists announced a change of climate.[12] Fevers and dysenteries,
snakes and musquitoes, the plantain and the palm, we had left behind.
Camino Real is a huddle of eight or ten dwellings perched on the summit
of a sierra a thousand feet higher than the top of Mount Washington. The
views from this stand-point compensate for all past troubles. The wild
chaos of mountains on every side, broken by profound ravines, the heaps
of ruins piled up during the lapse of geologic ages, the intense azure
of the sky, and the kingly condor majestically wheeling around the still
higher pinnacles, make up a picture rarely to be seen. Westward, the
mountains tumble down into hills and spread out into plains, which, in
the far distant horizon, dip into the great Pacific. The setting sun
turns the ocean into a sheet of liquid fire. Long columns of purple
light shoot up to the zenith, and as the last point of the sun sinks
beneath the horizon, the stars rush out in full splendor; for at the
equator day gives place to night with only an hour and twenty minutes of
twilight. The mountains are Alpine, yet grander than the Alps; not so
ragged as the granite peaks of Switzerland, but with rounder heads. The
prospect down this occidental slope is diversified by deep valleys,
lands-lides, and flowering trees. Magnificent are the views eastward,

    "Where Andes, giant of the western star,
    Looks from his throne of clouds o'er half the world."

[Footnote 12: The altitude of 7000 feet is the usual limit of the
rain-line on the west slope of the Andes. The condensation which
produces rain takes place at the equator two or three times higher than
in our latitude.]

The majestic dome of Chimborazo was entirely uncovered of clouds, and
presented a most splendid spectacle. There it stood, its snow-white
summit, unsullied by the foot of man, towering up twice as high as Etna.
For many years it received the homage of the world as the highest point
in America; but now the Aconcagua of Chile claims the palm. Still, what
a panorama from the top of Chimborazo, could one reach it, for the eye
would command ten thousand square miles!

Our road gently winds down the sierra, giving us at every turn sublime
ideas of what nature can do in tossing up the thin crust of our globe.
But sublimity is at a discount here--there is too much of it. Suddenly
we are looking down into the enchanting valley of Chimbo. This romantic
and secluded spot is one of those forgotten corners of the earth which,
barricaded against the march of civilization by almost impassable
mountains, and inhabited by a thriftless race, has been left far behind
in the progress of mankind. Distance lends enchantment to the view. We
are reminded of the pastoral vales of New England. Wheat takes the place
of the sugar-cane, barley of cacao, potatoes of plantains, and turnips
of oranges. Bamboo sheds have given way to neatly whitewashed villages,
and the fields are fenced with rows of aloe. But, drawing nearer, we
find the habitations are in reality miserable mud hovels, without
windows, and tenanted by vermin and ragged poverty. There are herds of
cattle and fields of grain; yet we shall not find a quart of milk or a
loaf of bread for sale. The descent into the valley is very precipitous,
and, after a rain, alarmingly slippery. Mules, drawing their legs
together, slide down with startling velocity, and follow the windings
with marvelous dexterity.

We arrived at Guaranda at 5 P.M. on the third day after leaving Bodegas.
This is a desolate town of two thousand souls, dwelling in low
dilapidated huts made of the most common building material in the
Andes--_adobe_, or sun-dried blocks of mud mingled with straw.[13]

[Footnote 13: From _adoub_, an Egyptian word still used by the Copts;
carried by the Moors to Spain, thence to America; and from America the
word has gone to the Sandwich Islands.]

The streets are rudely paved, and pitch to the centre, to form an
aqueduct, like the streets of old Sychar. The inhabitants are in happy
ignorance of the outside world. They pass the day without a thought of
work, standing on the Plaza, or in front of some public office, staring
vacantly into space, or gossiping. A cockfight will soonest rouse them
from their lethargy. They seem to have no purpose in life but to keep
warm under their ponchos and to eat when they are hungry. Guaranda is a
healthy locality, lying in a deep valley on the west bank of the Chimbo,
at an elevation, according to our barometer, of 8840 feet, and having a
mean temperature slightly less than that of Quito. It is a place of
importance, inasmuch as it is the resting-place before ascending or
after descending the still loftier ranges, and much more because it is
the capital of the region which yields the invaluable _cinchona_, or
Peruvian bark.[14] This tree is indigenous to the Andes, where it is
found on the western slope between the altitudes of two thousand and
nine thousand feet, the species richest in alkaloids occupying the
higher elevations, where the air is moist. Dr. Weddell enumerates
twenty-one species, seven of which are now found in Ecuador, but the
only one of value is the the _C. succirubra_ (the _calisaya_ has run
out), and this is now nearly extinct, as the trees have been destroyed
to obtain the bark. This species is a beautiful tree, having large,
broadly oval, deep green, shining leaves, white, fragrant flowers, and
red bark, and sometimes, though rarely, attains the height of sixty
feet. A tree five feet in circumference will yield fifteen hundred
pounds of green bark, or eight hundred of the dry. The roots contain the
most alkaloid, though the branches are usually barked for commerce. The
true cinchona barks, containing quinine, quinidine, and cinchonine, are
distinguished from the false by their splintery-fibrous texture, the
latter being pre-eminently corky. The cascarilleros begin to hunt for
bark in August. Dr. Taylor, of Riobamba, found one tree which gave $3600
worth of quinine. The general yield is from three to five pounds to a
quintal of bark. The tree has been successfully transplanted to the
United States, and particularly to India, where there are now over a
million of plants. It was introduced into India by Markham in 1861. The
bark is said to be stronger than that from Ecuador, yielding twice as
much alkaloid, or eleven per cent. The quinine of commerce will
doubtless come hereafter from the slopes of the Himalayas instead of the
Andes. In 1867 only five thousand pounds of bark were exported from
Guayaquil. The Indians use the bark of another tree, the _Maravilla_,
which is said to yield a much stronger alkaloid than cinchona. It grows
near Pallatanga.

[Footnote 14: This celebrated febrifuge was first taken to Europe about
the middle of the seventeenth century, and was named after the Countess
of Chinchon, who had been cured of intermittent fever at Lima.
Afterward, when Cardinal de Lugo spread the knowledge of the remedy
through France, and recommended it to Cardinal Mazarin, it received the
name of _Jesuits' Bark_. The French chemists, Pelletier and Caverton,
discovered quinine in 1820.]

We left Guaranda at 5 A.M. by the light of Venus and Orion, having
exchanged our horses for the sure-footed mule. It was a romantic ride.
From a neighboring stand-point Church took one of his celebrated views
of "The Heart of the Andes." But the road, as aforetime, was a mere
furrow, made and kept by the tread of beasts. For a long distance the
track runs over the projecting and jagged edges of steeply-inclined
strata of slate, which nobody has had the energy to smooth down. At many
places on the road side were human skulls, set in niches in the bank,
telling tales of suffering in their ghastly silence; while here and
there a narrow passage was blocked up by the skeleton or carcass of a
beast that had borne its last burden. At nine o'clock we came out on a
narrow, grassy ridge called the Ensillada, or Saddleback, where there
were three straw huts, with roofs resting on the ground, and there we
breakfasted on _locro_. During our stay the Indians killed a pig, and
before the creature was fairly dead dry grass was heaped upon it and set
on fire. This is the ordinary method of removing the bristles.

Still ascending, we lose sight of the valley of the Chimbo, and find
ourselves in a wilderness of crags and treeless mountains clothed with
the long, dreary-looking paramo grass called _paja_. But we are face to
face with "the monarch of the Andes," and we shall have its company the
rest of the day. The snowy dome is flooded with the golden light of
heaven; delicate clouds of softest hues float around its breast; while,
far below, its feet are wrapped in the baser mists of earth. We attained
the summit of the pass at 11 A.M. All travelers strive to reach it early
in the morning, for in the afternoon it is swept by violent winds which
render it uncomfortable, if not dangerous. This part of the road is
called the "Arenal," from the sand and gravel which cover it. It is
about a league in length, and crosses the side of Chimborazo at an
elevation of more than fourteen thousand feet. Chimborazo stands on the
left of the traveler. How tantalizing its summit! It appears so easy of
access; and yet many a valiant philosopher, from Humboldt down, has
panted for the glory and failed. The depth of the snow and numerous
precipices are the chief obstacles; but the excessively rarefied air is
another hinderance. Even in crossing the Arenal, a native of the
lowlands complains of violent headache, a propensity to vomit, and a
difficulty of breathing. The Arenal is often swept by snow-storms; and
history has it that some of the Spanish conquerors were here frozen to
death. The pale yellow gravel is considered by some geologists as the
moraine of a glacier. It is spread out like a broad gravel walk, so
that, without exaggeration, one of the best roads in Ecuador has been
made by Nature's hand on the crest of the Andes.

It was interesting to trace the different hypsometrical zones by the
change of vegetation from Bodegas to this lofty spot. The laws of the
decrease of heat are plainly written on the rapid slopes of the
Cordilleras. On the hot, steaming lowlands of the coast reign bananas
and palms. As these thin out, tree-ferns take their place. Losing these,
we found the cinchona bedewed by the cool clouds of Guaranda; and last
of all, among the trees, the polylepis. The twisted, gnarled trunk of
this tree, as well as its size and silvery foliage, reminded us of the
olive, but the bark resembles that of the birch. It reaches the greatest
elevation of any tree on the globe. Then followed shrubby fuchsia,
calceolaria, eupatoria, and red and purple gentians; around and on the
Arenal, a uniform mantle of monocotyledonous plants, with scattered
tufts of valeriana, viola, and geranium, all with rigid leaves in the
characteristic rosettes of super-alpine vegetation; and on the
porphyritic and trachytic sides of Chimborazo, lichens alone. Snow then
covers the last effort of vegetable life.[15] The change in the
architecture of the houses indicated, likewise, a change of altitude.
The open bamboo huts, shingled with banana leaves, were followed by
warmer _adobe_ houses, and these, in turn, by the straw hovels of the
mountain-top, made entirely of the long, wiry grass of the paramos.

[Footnote 15: According to Sir J. Hooker, among the flowers which adorn
the slopes of the Himalayas, rhododendrons occupy the most prominent
place, and primroses next. There are no orchids, neither red gentians,
but blue. Organic life ceases 3000 feet lower than on the Andes; yet it
is affirmed that flowering plants occur at the height of 18,460 feet,
which is equivalent to the summit of Chimborazo in point of temperature!
The polylepis (_P. racemosa_) is one of the _Sanguisorbaceae_; in Quichua
it is _Sachaquinoa_.]

Leaving the Arenal, we rapidly descended by the usual style of
road--stone stairs. But down we went, as all the goods for Quito, "the
grand capital," have done since the Spanish Conquest. The old road from
Beirut to Damascus is royal in comparison. The general aspect of the
eastern slope is that of a gray, barren waste, overgrown with _paja_;
but now and then we crossed deep gulleys, whose sides were lined with
mosses and sprinkled with calceolarias, lupines, etc. In our descent we
had before us the magnificent Valley of Quito, and beyond it the eastern
Cordillera. Below us was Riobamba, and far away to the right the deep
gorge of the Pastassa. Nevertheless, this is one of the loneliest rides
earth can furnish. Not a tree nor human habitation is in sight. Icy
rivulets and mule-trains are the only moving objects on this melancholy
heath. Even "Drake's Plantation Bitters," painted on the volcanic cliffs
of Chimborazo, would be a relief.

At last we reached our rude accommodations for the night. It was a
solitary mud tambo, glorying in the euphonious name of Chuquipoyo. The
court-yard was a sea of mud and manure, for this is the halting-place
for all the caravans between Quito and the coast. Our room was a horrid
hole, dark, dirty, damp, and cold, without a window or a fire. There was
one old rickety bedstead, but as that belonged to the lady in our party,
the rest betook themselves to benches, table, and floor. We filled our
stomachs with an unpalatable potato soup containing cheese and eggs, and
laid down--to wait for the morning. Grass is the only fuel here; but
this is not the chief reason why it is so difficult to make good tea or
cook potatoes at this wretched tambo. Water boils at 190 deg., or before it
is fairly hot: it is well the potatoes are small. The muleteers slept
with their beasts outside, though the night was fearfully cold, for
Chuquipoyo lies on the frigid side of Chimborazo, at an elevation of
over twelve thousand feet above the sea. As Johnson said to Boswell,
"This is a dolorous place."

Gladly we left this cheerless tambo, though a cold, heavy mist was
falling as we rode northward, over the seemingly endless paramo of
Sanancajas. Here, as throughout the highlands of Ecuador, ditches are
used for fences; so that, should the traveler wander from the path, he
finds himself stopped by an impassable gulf. In two hours and a half we
reached Mocha, a lifeless pueblo under the shadow of Carguairazo. Slowly
descending from our high altitude, we gradually entered a more congenial
climate--the zone of wheat and barley, till, finally, signs of an
eternal spring were all around us--ripening corn on one side, and
blossoming peas on the other.

Late in the afternoon the road led us through a sandy, sterile tract,
till suddenly we came in sight of Ambato, beautifully situated in a deep
ravine, eight thousand five hundred and fifty feet above the Pacific.
The city ranks next to Quito in beauty. It is certainly an oasis, the
green foliage of its numerous shade-trees and orchards contrasting with
the barren hills around. It is two degrees warmer than Quito, and is
famous for its fruit and fine climate. It is the Lynn of Ecuador, the
chief articles of manufacture being boots and shoes--cheap, but of poor
quality. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1698. The houses are built
of sun-dried brick, and whitewashed. The streets, with gutters in the
centre, are at right angles, and paved, and adorned with numerous
cypress-looking trees, called _sauce_, a species of willow. The Plaza,
which contains a useful if not ornamental fountain, presents a lively
scene on Sunday, the great market-day. The inn is a fair specimen of a
public house in Spanish America. Around the court-yard, where the beasts
are fed, are three or four rooms to let. They are ventilated only when
opened for travelers. The floor is of brick, but alive with fleas; the
walls are plastered, but veiled with cobwebs. The furniture, of
primitive make and covered with dust, consists of a chair or two, a
table, and a bed of boards covered with a thin straw mat. There is not a
hotel in Ecuador where sheets and towels are furnished. The landlords
are seldom seen; the entire management of the concern is left to a
slovenly Indian boy, who is both cook and hostler. No amount of bribery
will secure a meal in less than two hours. Ten years ago there was not a
posada in the country; now there is entertainment for man and beast at
Guayaquil, Guaranda, Mocha, Ambato, Tacunga, Machachi, and Quito.
Riobamba has a billiard saloon, but no inn.

Leaving Ambato, we breakfasted at Cunchebamba, an Indian village of half
a dozen straw huts. Thence the road for a long distance winds through
vast deposits of volcanic _debris_, the only sign of vegetation being
hedges of aloe and cactus. Arid hills and dreary plains, covered with
plutonic rocks and pumice dust, tell us we are approaching the most
terrible volcano on the earth. Crossing the sources of the Pastassa, we
entered Latacunga,[16] situated on a beautiful plain at the foot of
Cotopaxi, seven hundred feet higher than Ambato. Its average temperature
is 59 deg.. The population, chiefly Indians, numbers about fifteen thousand.
It is the dullest city in Ecuador, without the show of enterprise or
business. Not even grass grows in the streets--the usual sign of life in
the Spanish towns. It is also one of the filthiest; and though it has
been many times thoroughly shaken by earthquakes, and buried under
showers of volcanic dust, it is still the paradise of fleas, which have
survived every revolution. Ida Pfeiffer says that, after a night's rest
in Latacunga, she awoke with her skin marked all over with red spots, as
if from an eruptive disease. We can certify that we have been tattoed
without the night's rest. The town has a most stupid and forlorn aspect.
Half of it is in ruins. It was four times destroyed between 1698 and
1797. In 1756 the Jesuit church was thrown down, though its walls were
five feet thick. The houses are of one story, and built of pumice,
widely different from the palaces and temples which are said to have
stood here in the palmy days of the Incas. Cotopaxi stands threateningly
near, and its rumbling thunder is the source of constant alarm.

[Footnote 16: This is shortened in parlance to Tacunga. The full name,
according to La Condamine, is _Llacta-cunga_, _llacta_ meaning country,
and _cunga_, neck.]

From Latacunga to Quito there is a very fine carriage road, the result
of one man's administration--Senor G. Garcia Moreno. For many miles it
passes over an uncultivated plateau, strewn with volcanic fragments. The
farms are confined to the slopes of the Cordilleras, and, as every where
else, the tumbling haciendas indicate the increasing poverty of the
owner. Superstition and indolence go hand in hand. On a great rock
rising out of the sandy plain they show a print of the foot of St.
Bartholomew, who alighted here on a visit--surely to the volcanoes, as
it was long before the red man had found this valley. Abreast of
Cotopaxi the road cuts through high hills of fine pumice
inter-stratified with black earth, and rapidly ascends till it reaches
Tiupullo, eleven thousand five hundred feet above the sea. This high
ridge,[17] stretching across the valley from Cotopaxi to Iliniza, is a
part of the great water-shed of the continent--the waters on the
southern slope flowing through the Pastassa and Amazon to the Atlantic,
those on the north finding their way to the Pacific by the Rio
Esmeraldas. At this bleak place we breakfasted on punch and guinea-pig.

[Footnote 17: Sometimes called _Chisinche_.]

As soon as we began to descend, the glittering cone of Cotopaxi, and the
gloomy plain it has so often devastated, passed out of view, and before
us was a green valley exceedingly rich and well cultivated, girt by a
wall of mountains, the towers of which were the peaks of Corazon and
Ruminagui. Loathsome lepers by the wayside alone disturbed the pleasing
impression. Three hours more of travel brought us to the straggling
village of Machachi, standing in the centre of the beautiful plain, at
an altitude of nine thousand nine hundred feet. Nature designed this
spot for a home of plenty and comfort, but the habitations of the
wretched proprietors are windowless adobe hovels, thatched with dried
grass, and notorious for their filth.

We must needs make one more ascent, for the ridge of Tambillo hides the
goal of our journey. The moment we reached the summit, views
unparalleled in the Andes or any where else met our astonished vision
whithersoever we looked. Far away to the south stretched the two
Cordilleras, till they were lost in the mist which enshrouded Chimborazo
and Tunguragua. Turning to the north, we beheld the city of Quito at our
feet, and Pichincha and Antisana standing like gallant sentinels on
either side of the proud capital. Beautiful were the towering mountains,
and almost as delightful now are the memories of that hour. A broad,
well-traveled road, gentlemen on horseback clad in rich ponchos, droves
of Indians bowed under their heavy burdens, and long lines of laden
donkeys hurrying to and fro, indicate our approach to a great city.
Winding with the road through green pastures and fields of ripening
grain, and crossing the Machangara by an elegant bridge, we enter the
city of the Incas.




CHAPTER III.

     Early History of Quito.--Its Splendor under the Incas.--Crushed by
     Spain.--Dying now.--Situation.--Altitude.--Streets.--Buildings.


Quito is better known than Ecuador. Its primeval history, however, is
lost in obscurity. In the language of Prescott, "the mists of fable have
settled as darkly round its history as round that of any nation, ancient
or modern, in the Old World." Founded, nobody knows when, by the kings
of the Quitus, it was conquered about the year 1000 by a more civilized
race, the Cara nation, who added to it by conquest and alliance. The
fame of the region excited the cupidity of the Incas of Peru, and during
the reign of Cacha (1475), Huayna-Capac the Great moved his army from
Cuzco, and by the celebrated battle of Hatuntaqui, in which Cacha was
killed, Quito was added to the realm of the Incas. Huayna-Capac made
Quito his residence, and reigned there thirty-eight years--the most
brilliant epoch in the annals of the city. At his death his kingdom was
divided, one son, Atahuallpa,[18] reigning in Quito, and Huascar at
Cuzco. Civil war ensued, in which the latter was defeated, and
Atahuallpa was chosen Inca of the whole empire, 1532. During this war
Pizarro arrived at Tumbez. Every body knows what followed. Strangled at
Caxamarca, the body of Atahuallpa was carried to Quito, the city of his
birth, in compliance with his dying wish, and buried there with imposing
obsequies. Refounded by Benalcazar in 1534, Quito was created an
imperial city by Charles V. seven years later. It formed part of Peru
till 1710; then of Santa Fe till 1722; and again of Peru till its
independence. The power of Spain in South America was destroyed at the
battle of Ayacucho, Dec. 9, 1824. In 1830 Venezuela separated from
Colombia, and Ecuador followed the same year. The first Congress was
held in Riobamba; but Quito has ever since been the political focus. The
first president was General Flores.

[Footnote 18: The son of his Quito love. The name was first written
_Atauhuallpa_, meaning fortunate in war; after the fratricide, he was
called _Atahuallpa_, or game-cock. He was the Boabdil of this occidental
Granada. He is called traitor by Peruvian writers, and is not admitted
by them into the list of their Incas.]

Under the diadem of the Incas, Quito assumed a magnificence which it
never saw before and has not displayed since. It was the worthy
metropolis of a vast empire stretching from the equator to the desert of
Atacama, and walled in by the grandest group of mountains in the world.
On this lofty site, which amid the Alps would be buried in an avalanche
of snow, but within the tropics enjoys an eternal spring, palaces more
beautiful than the Alhambra were erected, glittering with the gold and
emerald of the Andes. But all this splendor passed away with the sceptre
of Atahuallpa. Where the pavilion of the Inca stood is now a gloomy
convent, and a wheat-field takes the place of the Temple of the Sun.

The colonial history of this favored spot is as lifeless as the history
of Sahara. Not a single event occurred of which even Spain can be proud;
not a monument was raised which reflects any credit upon the mother
country. Every thing was prescribed by law, and all law emanated from a
tribunal five thousand miles distant. There was no relation of private
life with which the government did not interfere: what the colonist
should plant and what trade he should follow; where he should buy and
where he should sell; how much he should import and export; and where
and when he should marry, were regulated by the "Council of the Indies"
and the Inquisition. In the words of a native writer, "The great
majority of the people knew nothing of sciences, events, or men. Their
religion consisted of outward observances, and an imperfect knowledge of
the papal bulls; their morality, in asceticism and devotion to their
king; their philosophy, in the subtleties of Aristotle; their history,
in the history of the mother country; their geography, in the maps of
Spanish America and of Spain; their press, in what sufficed to print
bill-heads and blank forms; their commerce, in an insignificant coasting
trade; their ambition and highest aspirations, in titles of nobility;
their amusements, in bull-fights. The arrival of a mail was an event of
great moment, and with ringing of bells was received the _cajon de
Espana_ which announced the health of the sovereigns. Thus, while Europe
was passing through the stormy times of Louis XIV.; while the
philosophical writings of the illustrious men of those times found their
way into the remotest corners of the globe; while the English colonies
of North America conquered their independence; while the Old World was
drenched in blood to propagate the ideas which the French Revolution had
proclaimed, the Presidency of Quito, walled in by its immense
cordilleras and the ocean, and ruled by monkish ignorance and bigotry,
knew as little of men and events as we now know of men and events in the
moon."[19]

[Footnote 19: _Geografia de la Republica del Ecuador, por Dr.
Villavicencio._ This work abounds with erroneous and exaggerated
statements, but it is nevertheless a valuable contribution to Ecuadorian
literature.]

From an iron despotism which existed for three centuries, Quito passed
to a state of unbridled licentiousness. Without any political experience
whatever, the people attempted to lay the foundation of a new system of
government and society. With head and hearts perverted by monkish
superstition and Spanish tyranny, yet set on fire by the French
Revolution, what did they know of liberty! Endless civil wars have
followed independence. "Political ambition," says a late United States
minister, "personal jealousies, impracticable theories, official
venality, reckless disregard of individual rights and legal obligations,
foolish meddling and empirical legislation, and an absolute want of
political morality, form the principal features of their republican
history."[20] To-day they tread on the dust of an ancient race whose
government was in every respect a most complete contrast to their own.

[Footnote 20: _Four Years among Spanish Americans, by Hon. F.
Hassaurek_: a truthful work, to which we refer the reader for details,
especially concerning Ecuadorian life and manners.]

At the foot of volcanic Pichincha, only five hours' travel from its
smoking crater, lies "the city above the clouds," "the navel of the
world," "magnificent Quito." On the north is the plain of Rumibamba, the
battle-field where Gonzalo Pizarro routed the first viceroy of Peru, and
the scene, two centuries later, of the nobler achievements of La
Condamine, which made it the classic ground of astronomy. On the
southern edge of the city rises Panecillo, reminding one of Mount Tabor
by its symmetrical form, and over-looking the beautiful and well-watered
plain of Turubamba. On the east flows the Rio Machangara, and just
beyond it stand the Puengasi hills hiding the Chillo valley, while the
weary sun goes early to rest behind the towering peaks of Pichincha. So
encircled is this sequestered spot, the traveler, approaching by the
Guayaquil road, sees only a part of it, and is disappointed; and even
when standing on Panecillo, with the entire city spread out before him,
he is not wholly satisfied. Buried between treeless, sombre sierras, and
isolated from the rest of the world by impassable roads and gigantic
Cordilleras, Quito appears to us of the commercial nineteenth century as
useless as the old feudal towns perched on the mountains of Middle
Europe. Not a chimney rises above the red-tiled roofs, telling of
homely hearths beneath. No busy hum greets the ear; there are bugles
instead of spindles, and jingling church bells in place of rattling
carriages. The wandering eye does not look for a railroad or a
telegraph, for even the highways, such as they are, seem deserted, and,
save the music made for soldiers and saints, all is silent. The very
mountains, too, with their snow-mantled heads, and their sides scarred
by volcanic eruptions and ruptured by earthquake shocks, have a
melancholy look. In the words of a great artist, "They look like a world
from which not only the human, but the spiritual presences had perished,
and the last of the archangels, building the great Andes for their
monuments, had laid themselves down to eternal rest, each in his
snow-white shroud."

But let us enter. Passing the ruined chapel "Del Senor del buen pasaje,"
and crossing by a substantial stone bridge the little Machangara
hastening to pay tribute to the Pacific, we leave behind us the dirty,
dilapidated suburbs of the capital. Soon we cross another bridge--the
Bridge of Buzzards--spanning a deep ravine, and gallop through the Plaza
de Santo Domingo. Very different are the sights and sounds from the stir
and style of Central Park. The scene has a semi-oriental cast--half
Indian, half Egyptian, as if this were the confluence of the Maranon and
Nile. Groups of men--not crowds, for there is plenty of elbow-room in
Ecuador--in gay ponchos stand chatting in front of little shops, or lean
against the wall to enjoy the sunshine; beggars in rags or sackcloth
stretch forth their leprous hands for charity; monks in white, and
canons in black, walk in the shade of immense hats; shoeless soldiers
saunter to and fro; Indians from the mountains in every variety of
costume cluster around heaps of vegetables for sale; women in red,
brown, and blue frocks are peddling oranges and alligator pears, or
bearing huge burdens on their heads; children, guiltless of clothing,
and obtuse donkeys, wander whithersoever they will; and water-carriers,
filling their jars at the fountain, start off on a dog-trot.

[Illustration: Quito, from the North.]

We cross the Plaza diagonally, pass down the Calle de San Fernando, up
the Calle del Algodon, and through the busy Calle del Correo, till we
reach the _Casa Frances_, opposite the mansion of the late General
Flores. This is our hotel--owned by a Frenchman, but kept by an Indian.
We ride under the low archway, bowing with ill grace, like all
republicans unaccustomed to royalty, tie our beasts in the court-yard,
ascend to our spacious quarters on the second floor, and, ordering
coffee, seat ourselves in the beautiful balcony to talk of Quito and
Quitonians.

[Illustration: Water-carriers.]

Quito, though not the highest city on the globe, is two thousand feet
higher than the Hospice of Great St. Bernard on the Alps, which is the
only permanent place of abode in Europe above six thousand five hundred
feet. When Mr. Hassaurek was appointed United States Minister to
Ecuador, he thanked Mr. Lincoln for conferring upon him the _highest_
gift in his power. The mean result of our numerous observations with
Green's standard barometer places the Grand Plaza nine thousand five
hundred and twenty feet above the sea, or fifty feet lower than the
calculation of Humboldt. Water boils at 194 deg..5. Cuzco and Potosi may
surpass it in altitude, but there is not a city in the world which can
show at once such a genial climate, such magnificent views, and such a
checkered history. It is unique likewise in its latitude, lying only
fifteen miles below the equator; no other capital comes within three
hundred miles of the equinoctial line.

[Illustration: Street in Quito.]

Whatever may have been the plan of Quito in the days of Huayna-Capac, it
is evident that the Spanish founders were guided more by the spurs of
Pichincha than by astronomy. The streets make an angle of forty-five
degrees with the meridian, so that not a single public building faces
any one of the four cardinal points of the compass. Two deep ravines
come down the mountain, and traverse the city from west to east. They
are mostly covered by arches, on which the houses rest; but where they
are open, they disclose as fit representatives of the place of torment
as the Valley of Hinnom. The outline of the city is as irregular as its
surface. It incloses one square mile. Twenty streets, all of them
straiter than the apostolic one in Damascus, cross one another very
nearly at right angles. None of them are too wide, and the walks are
painfully narrow; but, thanks to Garcia Moreno, they are well paved. The
inequality of the site, and its elevation above the Machangara, render
the drainage perfect.[21] The streets are dimly lighted by tallow
candles, every householder being obliged to hang out a lantern at 7
P.M., unless there is moonshine. The candles, however, usually expire
about ten o'clock. There are three "squares"--Plaza Mayor, Plaza de San
Francisco, and Plaza de Santo Domingo. The first is three hundred feet
square, and adorned with trees and flowers; the others are dusty and
unpaved, being used as market-places, where Indians and donkeys most do
congregate. All the plazas have fountains fed with pure water from
Pichincha.

[Footnote 21: The following quotation, however, is true to the letter,
and will apply equally well to Guayaquil and to Madrid--the mother of
them both: "There is another want still more embarrassing in Quito than
the want of hotels--it is the want of water-closets and privies, which
are not considered as necessary fixtures of private residences. Men,
women, and children, of all ages and colors, may be seen in the middle
of the street, in broad daylight, making privies of the most public
thoroughfares; and while thus engaged, they will stare into the faces of
passers-by with a shamelessness that beggars description."--_Hassaurek_.]

Few buildings can boast of architectural beauty, yet Quito looks
palatial to the traveler who has just emerged from the dense forest on
the coast, "crossing bridgeless rivers, floundering over bottomless
roads, and ascending and descending immense mountains." He is astonished
to find such elegant edifices and such a proud aristocracy in this lofty
lap of the Andes. The Indian habitations which girdle the city have no
more architectural pretensions than an Arab dwelling. They are low mud
hovels, the scene within and without of dirt and disorder.

As we approach the Grand Plaza, the centre of the city, the buildings
increase in size, style, and finish. The ordinary material is adobe, not
only because it is cheap, but also because it best resists earthquake
shocks. Fear of a _terremoto_ has likewise led to a massiveness in
construction which is slightly ludicrous when we see the poverty which
it protects; the walls are often two or three feet thick. The ground
floor is occupied by servants, whose rooms--small enough to be called
niches--surround the paved court-yard, which is entered from the street
by a broad doorway. Within this court is sometimes a fountain or
flower-plot. Around it are arches or pillars supporting a gallery, which
is the passage-way to the apartments of the second story. All the rooms
are floored with large square bricks. With few exceptions, the only
windows are folding glass doors leading to balconies overhanging the
pavement. The tiled roofs project far over into the street, and from
these project still farther uncouth water-spouts, such as used to be
seen in Rio Janeiro, but have now been banished to the antiquarian
museum. Only three or four private residences rise above two stories.
The shops are small affairs--akin to the cupboards of Damascene
merchants; half a dozen modern ladies can keep out any more customers.
The door serves as entrance, exit, window, and show-case. The finest
structures cluster around the plazas. Here are the public buildings,
some of them dating back to the times of Philip II. They are modeled
after the old Spanish style; there is scarcely a fragment of Gothic
architecture. They are built of large brick, or a dark volcanic stone
from Pichincha.

[Illustration: Palacio de Gobierno--Capitol.]

The Government House, which serves at once as "White House" and Capitol,
is an imposing edifice fronting the Grand Plaza, and adorned with a fine
colonnade. On its right rises the cathedral; on the left stands the
unpretending palace of the nuncio. The former would be called beautiful
were it kept in repair; it has a splendid marble porch, and a terrace
with carved stone balustrade. The view above was taken from this
terrace. The finest facade is presented by the old Jesuit church, which
has an elaborate front of porphyry. The Church of San Francisco, built
by the treasures of Atahuallpa, discovered by an Indian named Catuna, is
the richest. It is surmounted by two lofty towers, and the interior is a
perfect blaze of gilding. The monastery attached to it is one of the
largest in the world, but the greater part of it is in ruins, and one of
the wings is used as a barrack. Those unsightly, unadorned convents,
which cling to every church save the cathedral, have neutralized nearly
all architectural effect.




CHAPTER IV.

     Population of
     Quito.--Dress.--Manners.--Character.--Commerce.--Agriculture.
     --Manufactures.--Arts.--Education.--Amusements.--Quito Ladies.


Quitonians claim for their capital eighty thousand inhabitants; but when
we consider that one fourth of the city is covered with ecclesiastical
buildings, and that the dwelling-houses are but two stories high, we see
that there is not room for more than half that number. From thirty
thousand to forty thousand is the estimate of the venerable Dr. Jameson,
who has resided here for a generation.[22] Census taking is as difficult
as in Constantinople; the people hide themselves to escape taxation. The
women far outnumber the men. The white population--a stiff aristocracy
of eight thousand souls--is of Spanish descent, but not more than half a
dozen can boast of pure blood. The coarse black hair, prominent
cheek-bones, and low foreheads, reveal an Indian alliance. This is the
governing class; from its ranks come those uneasy politicians who make
laws for other people to obey, and hatch revolutions when a rival party
is in power. They are blessed with fair mental capacity, quick
perception, and uncommon civility; but they lack education and industry,
energy and perseverance. Their wealth, which is not great, consists
mainly in _haciendas_, yielding grain, cotton, and cattle. The Aguirre
family is one of the noblest and wealthiest in the city; their mansion
is on the Grand Plaza, facing the Capitol. The pure Indians of Quito
number perhaps 10,000; not all those seen in the city are citizens, as
many _serranos_, or mountaineers, come in to sell produce. They are the
serfs that do the drudgery of the republic; they are the tillers of the
soil, and beasts of burden. Many sell themselves for money in advance,
and then are ever kept in debt. Excepting a few Zambos (the children of
Indians and Negroes), and a very few foreigners and Negroes, the
remainder, constituting the bulk of the population, are Cholos--the
offspring of whites and Indians. They are not strictly half-breeds, for
the Indian element stands out most prominent. Though a mixed race, they
are far superior to their progenitors in enterprise and intelligence.
They are the soldiers, artisans, and tradesmen who keep up the only
signs of life in Quito. "I know not the reason," says Darwin, "but men
of such origin seldom have a good expression of countenance." This may
be true on the pampas, but Quito, where there is every imaginable
mixture of Indian and Spaniard, is wonderfully free from ugly features.
It may be owing to the more peaceful and civilized history of this
mountain city.

[Footnote 22: Spanish rhetoric is given to exaggeration. "All their
geese are swans." A Peruvian assured us that Cuzco contained 200,000
souls. It is, in fact, about as large as Quito; Gibbon says 20,000.]

As to dress, black is the color of etiquette, but is not so national as
in Madrid. The upper class follow _la mode de Paris_, gentlemen adding
the classic cloak of Old Spain. This modern toga fits an Ecuadorian
admirably; it favors habits of inactivity, preventing the arms from
doing any thing, and covers a multitude of sins, especially pride and
poverty. The _poncho_, so peculiar to the West Coast and to the Gauchos
of Buenos Ayres, is a piece of cloth of divers colors, with a slit in
the centre, through which the head is passed. It is the only variable
article of the wardrobe. It is an excellent riding habit, and is made of
heavy woolen for mountain travel, and of silk or cotton for warmer
altitudes. No gentleman will be seen walking in the streets of Quito
under a poncho. Hence citizens are divided into men with ponchos, and
gentlemen with cloaks. The panuelon is the most essential article of
female gear. It answers to the mantilla of the mother country, though it
is not worn so gracefully as on the banks of the Tagus. Andean ladies
are not troubled with the distressing fluctuations in the style of hats;
a bonnet in Quito is as much out of place as a turban in New York. When
the daughter of our late minister resident appeared in the cathedral
with one, the innovation was the subject of severe remark. The Spanish
hair is the glory of the sex. It is thick and black (red, being a
rarity, is considered a beauty), and is braided in two long tresses. A
silk dress, satin shoes, and fancy jewelry complete the visible attire
of the belles of Quito.

The ordinary costume of the Indians and Cholos consists of a coarse
cotton shirt and drawers, and silk, cotton, or woolen poncho of native
manufacture, the females adding a short petticoat, generally of a light
blue or "butter-nut" color, belted around the waist with a figured
woolen belt woven by themselves. The head, arms, legs, and feet are
often bare, but, by those who can afford it, the head is covered with a
straw or white felt broad-brim, and the feet protected by sandals,
called _alpargates_, made of the fibres of the aloe. They are very fond
of bracelets and necklaces. Infants are usually swathed from neck to
feet with a broad strip of cloth, so that they look like live mummies.

Quitonians put us to shame by their unequaled courtesy, cordiality, and
good-nature, and are not far below the grave and decorous Castilian in
dignified politeness.[23]

[Footnote 23: "I must express my admiration at the natural politeness of
almost every Chileno. We met, near Mendoza, 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
companions 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 have shown such feeling politeness to a poor
and miserable object of a degraded race?"--_Darwin's Naturalist's
Voyage._]

Rudeness, which some Northerners fancy is a proof of equality and
independence, we never met with, and duels and street quarrels are
almost unknown. We detected none of the touchy sensitiveness of the
punctilious Spanish _hidalgos_. Their compliments and promises are
without end; and, made in the magnificent and ceremonious language of
Spain,[24] are overwhelming to a stranger. Thus a fair Quitonian sends
by her servant the following message to another lady: "Go to the
Senorita Fulana de Tal, and tell her that she is my heart and the dear
little friend of my soul; tell her that I am dying for not having seen
her, and ask her why she does not come to see me; tell her that I have
been waiting for her more than a week, and that I send her my best
respects and considerations; and ask her how she is, and how her husband
is, and how her children are, and whether they are all well in the
family; and tell her she is my little love, and ask her whether she will
be kind enough to send me that pattern which she promised me the other
day."[25] This highly important message the servant delivers like a
parrot, not omitting a single compliment, but rather adding thereto.

[Footnote 24: The Spanish tongue is the manly son of the Latin, as the
Italian is the fair daughter; a language in which, as Charles V. said,
"God ought alone to be addressed in prayer." It is spoken in America
with an Andalusian rather than Toledan pronunciation.]

[Footnote 25: We are indebted to Mr. Hassaurek for this capital
illustration. Every lady, married or unmarried, is addressed _Senorita_,
or Miss.]

A newly-arrived foreigner is covered with promises: houses, horses,
servants, yea, every thing is at his disposal. But, alas! the traveler
soon finds that this ceremony of words does not extend to deeds. He is
never expected to call for the services so pompously proffered. So long
as he stays in Quito he will not lose sight of the contrast between big
promise and beggarly performance. This outward civility, however, is not
hypocritical; it is mere mechanical prattle; the speaker does not expect
to be taken at his word. The love of superlatives and the want of good
faith may be considered as prominent characteristics. "The readiness
with which they break a promise or an agreement (wrote Colonel Hall
forty years ago) can only be equaled by the sophistical ingenuity with
which they defend themselves for having done so." The Quitonians, who
are sensible of their shortcomings, have this standing apology: "Our
vices we owe to Spain; our virtues to ourselves."[26]

[Footnote 26: "When speaking of these countries, the manner in which
they have been brought up by their unnatural parent, Spain, should
always be borne in mind. On the whole, perhaps, more credit is due for
what has been done, than blame for that which may be
deficient."--_Darwin's Journal of Researches_, p. 158.]

Such is the mutual distrust, partnerships are almost unknown; we do not
remember a single commercial firm, save a few made up of brothers, or
father and son. With this moral debility is joined the procrastinating
spirit of the oriental. _Manana_ (to-morrow), like the _Boukra_ of the
Arabs, is the universal winding up of promises. And very often, if one
promises a thing to-morrow, he means the day after that. It is
impossible to start a man into prompt compliance; he will not commence a
piece of work when you wish nor when he promises. No amount of cajolery,
bribery, or threats will induce a Quitonian to do any thing or be any
where in season. If there were a railroad in Ecuador, every body would
be too late for the first train. There are only one or two watch-tinkers
in the great city, and, as may be inferred, very few watches are in
running order. As a consequence, the people have very little idea of
time. But this is not the sole reason for their dilatoriness; they are
indifferent. Nobody seems to want to make money (though all are in sad
need of it); nobody is in a hurry; nobody is busy save the tailors, who
manifest a commendable diligence. Contempt for labor, a Spanish
inheritance, and lack of energy, are traits which stand out in _alto
relievo_.

One can form his own judgment of the spiritless people from the single
statement which we have from Dr. Jameson, that during the last forty
years not ten Quitonians have visited the grand crater of Pichincha,
though it is possible to ride horseback to its very edge. Plenty of
gentlemen by profession walk the streets and cathedral terrace, proud as
a Roman senator under his toga, yet not ashamed to beg a cup of coffee
at the door of a more fortunate fellow-citizen. Society is in a constant
struggle between ostentation and want.

Nature has done more for Ecuador than for Ecuadorians. She laid out this
beautiful valley for an Elysian field; "de Quito al Cielo" (from Quito
to Heaven) is not an empty adage; and it is painful to look upon
tottering walls and impassable roads, upon neglected fields and an idle
population--poor as poverty in the lap of boundless natural wealth. The
only really live man in the republic is the president, Senor G. Garcia
Moreno, a man of wide views and great energy, standing in these respects
head and shoulders above his fellow-citizens. Quito and Quito Valley owe
nearly all their improvements to this one man.

It is easy to say what would be the industry of a people who spend much
of their time repeating traditions of treasures buried by the Incas, and
stories of gold deposits in the mountains. Of commerce there is scarcely
enough to deserve the name. Quito is an ecclesiastical city, and is
nearly supported by Guayaquil. Without capital, without energy, without
business habits, Quitonians never embark in grand commercial schemes
and industrial enterprises. There is not a highway for commerce in any
direction, only a natural path (called by the innocent natives a road),
which rises to the altitude of fourteen thousand feet, by which the
beasts of burden pick their way over the Cordillera. And this is open
only six months in the year. Should a box designed for Quito arrive at
Guayaquil at the beginning of the rainy season, it must tarry half a
year till _Nature_ makes the road passable.

The unstable condition of the country does not encourage great
undertakings; all business is periodically paralyzed by revolution.
Merchants generally buy their goods in Lima, to which city and Guayaquil
the fabrics of England and France are brought by foreigners in foreign
ships. The shops of Quito, as we have remarked, are very small, without
windows, and with only one wooden door. The door is double, and is
fastened by a ponderous padlock. They are open from 7 A.M. till sunset,
excepting between nine and ten and between three and four, when the
stores are closed for breakfast and dinner; the merchants never trusting
their clerks, even when they have any, which is not usually the case.
They have no fixed price, but get what they can. The majority know
nothing of wholesale, and refuse to sell by the quantity, fearing a
cheat. An Indian woman will sell you a real's worth of oranges any
number of times, but she would object to parting with a dollar's
worth--her arithmetic can not comprehend it.

In the _portals_ or arcades of the Aguirre mansion and the nuncio's
palace are the stalls of the haberdashers. Articles are not wrapped in
paper; customers must get them home the best way they can. Ladies of the
higher class seldom go out shopping, but send for samples. It is
considered disgraceful to either sex to be seen carrying any thing
through the streets of Quito. The common people buy only for immediate
wants--a dose of medicine, or a handful of potatoes at a time. Nearly
all liquids, kerosene as well as wine, are sold by the bottle.

There was no bank in Quito in 1867, but an attempt has just been made to
establish one. The paper money of Guayaquil is often at nine per cent.
discount in the capital. The currency is silver adulterated with one
third of copper. The smallest coin, the cale, is worth about two and a
half cents. Above that are medios (five cents), reals (ten cents), two,
four, and eight reals. Eight reals make a soft dollar ($0 80); ten
reals, a hard dollar ($1 00). There is no copper coin--oranges and
loaves of bread are sometimes used to make change; and nearly all the
gold in circulation are New Granada _condors_ and Peruvian _onzas_. Many
of the silver pieces have large holes cut in the centre, so that they
resemble rings. Government set the example (and the people followed) on
the plea that it would prevent the exportation of coin. The plan has
succeeded, for it does not pass out of the valley.

Nearly the only sign of progress is the late introduction of the grape
and silk-worm; and these give so much promise of success that the
threadbare nobility have already begun to count their coming fortunes.
Husbandry is more pastoral than agricultural. Thousands of cattle are
raised on the paramos, but almost wholly for beef. "A dislike to milk
(observes Humboldt), or at least the absence of its use before the
arrival of Europeans, was, generally speaking, a feature common to all
nations of the New Continent, as likewise to the inhabitants of China."
Some cheese (mostly unpressed curd) and a little butter are made, but in
the patriarchal style. Only one American churn is in operation; the
people insist upon first boiling the milk and then stirring with a
spoon. Custom is omnipotent here, and its effects hereditary. Milking is
done at any hour of the day, or whenever milk is wanted. The operation
is a formidable one to these bull-fighting people. Stopping at a
hacienda near Pelileo for a drink of milk, we were eye-witness of a
comical sight. A mild-looking cow was driven up to the door; the woman,
evidently the bravest member of the household, seized the beast by the
horns; a boy tied the hind legs with a long rope, and held on to one end
of it at a respectful distance; while the father, with outstretched
arms, milked into a calabash.

Agricultural machinery is not in use. The first threshing-machine Quito
ever saw was made in 1867 by some California miners, but it remained
unsold when we last saw it. The spade is not known; the nearest approach
to it is a crowbar flattened at one end. Hoes are clumsy and awkward.
Yankee plows are bought more as curiosities than for use. Many a crooked
stick is seen scratching the land, as in Egypt, which the cattle drag by
their horns. Sometimes a number of sharp-nosed hogs are tied together
and let into a field, and driven from place to place till the whole is
rooted up. Corn is planted by making holes in the ground with a stick,
and dropping in the seed. The soil and climate of Ecuador, so infinitely
varied, offer a home to almost every useful plant. The productions of
either India could be naturalized on the lowlands, while the highlands
would welcome the grains and fruits of Europe. But intertropical people
do not subdue nature like the civilized men of the North; they only pick
up a livelihood.

Spanish Americans, like Castilians on the banks of the Tagus, have a
singular antipathy to trees. When Garcia Moreno made a park of the dusty
Plaza Mayor, he was ridiculed, even threatened. To plant a fruit or
shade tree (a thing of foresight and forethought for others) in a land
where people live for self, and from hand to mouth, is considered
downright folly in theory and practice. A large portion of the valley,
left treeless, is becoming less favorable for cultivation.

Yet, as it is, the traveler is charmed by the emerald verdure of the
coast, and by "evergreen Quito"--more beautiful than the hanging gardens
of Babylon--suspended far above the ordinary elevation of the clouds. In
the San Francisco market we find wheat, barley, maize, beans, peas,
potatoes, cabbages, beets, salads, pine-apples, chirimoyas, guavas,
oranges, lemons, pears, quinces, peaches, apricots, melons, and
strawberries--the last all the year round. Most of these are exotics;
the early discoverers found not a cereal grain of the Old World, not an
orange or apple, no sugar-cane or strawberries.[27]

[Footnote 27: The vase is still shown in which Father Rixi brought the
first wheat from Europe. It was sown in what is now the San Francisco
Plaza, the chief market-place of the city.]

There is but little manufacturing industry in the interior of Ecuador,
but much more than on the coast. The chief articles manufactured are
straw hats, shoes, baskets, carpets, embroidery, tape, thread, ponchos,
coarse woolen and cotton cloth, saddles, sandals, soap, sugar, cigars,
aguardiente, powder, sweetmeats, carved images, paints, and pottery.
Wines, crockery, glassware, cutlery, silks, and fine cloth are imported.
There are three cotton mills in the country; one in Chillo (established
by Senors Aguirre in 1842), another in Otovalo (built by Senor Parija in
1859), and a third in Cuenca (1861). The machinery of the Chillo factory
came from England; that of Otovalo from Patterson, N.J. The latter was
utterly destroyed in the late great earthquake, and the proprietor
killed. The cotton is inferior to that of New Orleans; it is not "fat,"
as mechanics say; the seeds yield only two per cent. of oil. But it is
whiter than American cotton, though coarse, and can be used only for
very ordinary fabrics. The average length is five eighths of an inch.
One pod will produce on an average three pennyweights. The mills of
Chillo and Otovalo consume 425,000 pounds annually. The first sugar-mill
was erected by the Aguirres in 1840 at Nanegal.

[Illustration: Indian Dwellings.]

Quito is more than a century behind this age of steam and lightning. To
form an adequate idea of the mechanic and fine arts in that "city of the
kings," we must transport ourselves to the Saxon period of European
civilization. Both the material and the construction of the houses would
craze Sir Christopher Wren. With fine quarries close at hand, they must
build with mud mixed with stones, or plastered on wattles, like the
Druses of Mount Lebanon. Living on the equatorial line and on the
meridian so accurately measured by the highest mathematics of France and
Spain, Quitonians must needs leave out every right angle or straight
line in the walls, and every square beam and rafter. Except on the grand
road from Quito to Ambato, commenced by President Moreno, there is not a
wheel-barrow to be seen; paving-stones, lime, brick, and dirt, are
usually carried on human backs. Saint Crispin never had the fortitude to
do penance in the shoes of Quito, and the huge nails which enter into
the hoofs of the quadrupedants remind one of the Cyclops. There are not
six carts in Quito. If you wish to move, you must coax a dozen Indians,
who care little for your money or your threats. Horse-hire, peonage, and
most mechanical work must be paid for in advance. Carriages--antique
vehicles, of which there are two or three in the city--are drawn by
mules. The first was introduced by Senor Aguirre so late as 1859, and he
was fined by the police for the privilege of riding in it. Quitonians
are not a traveling people, and they are painfully ignorant of their own
country. The most enterprising merchant ignores every thing but Quito
and the road to Guayaquil.

We can not praise the musical talent of Spanish Americans; their
intonation is too nasal, while in their jumpings and chirpings they take
after the grasshopper. A resident Englishman, who has traveled in many
countries, and sings the songs of nearly every nation, told us he could
not remember one of Ecuador. Pianos they have brought over the mountains
at great expense; but they are more at home with the guitar. The
embroidery and lace, wood carving and portrait painting of Quito, are
commendable; but the grandeur of the Andes, like the beauty of the Alps,
was never sketched by a native.

Ecuador boasts of one University and eleven colleges; yet the people are
not educated. Literature, science, philosophy, law, medicine, are only
names. Nearly all young gentlemen are doctors of something; but their
education is strangely dwarfed, defective, and distorted; and their
knowledge, such as they have, is without power, as it is without
practice. The University of Quito has two hundred and eighty-five
students, of whom thirty-five are pursuing law, and eighteen medicine.
There are eleven professors. They receive no fees from the students, but
an annual salary of $300. The library contains eleven thousand volumes,
nearly all old Latin, Spanish, and French works. The cabinet is a bushel
of stones cast into one corner of a lumber-room, covered with dust, and
crying out in vain for a man in the University to name them. The College
of Tacunga has forty-five students; a fine chemical and philosophical
apparatus, but no one to handle it; and a set of rocks from Europe, but
only a handful from Ecuador. The College of Riobamba has four
professors, and one hundred and twenty students. In the common schools,
the pupils study in concert aloud, Arab fashion. There are four papers
in the republic; two in Guayaquil, one in Cuenca, and one in Quito. _El
Nacional_, of the capital, is an official organ, not a newspaper; it
contains fourteen duodecimo pages, and is published occasionally by the
Minister of the Interior. Like the _Gazeta_ of Madrid, it is one of the
greatest satires ever deliberately published by any people on itself.
There is likewise but one paper in Cuzco, _El Triumfo del Pueblo_.

The amusements of Quito are few, and not very amusing. Indo-Castilian
blood runs too slowly for merry-making. There are no operas or concerts,
no theatres or lectures, no museums or menageries. For dramas they have
revolutions; for menageries, bull-baitings. A bull-bait is not a
bull-fight. There is no coliseum or amphitheatre; no _matador_ gives the
scientific death-wound. Unlike their fraternity in the ring of Seville,
where they are doomed to die, the animals are only doomed to be
pothered; they are "scotched, not killed." They are teased and tormented
by yelling crowds, barking dogs, brass bands, red ponchos, tail-pulling,
fire-crackers, wooden lances, and such like. The Plaza de Toros is the
Plaza de San Francisco. This sport is reserved for the most notable
days in the calendar: Christmas, New Year's, Inauguration-day, and
Independence-day--the 10th of August.

Cock-fights come next in popularity, and are _bona fide_ fights. Often
the roosters are so heroic that both leave their blood in the arena, and
never crow again. Little knives are fastened to the natural spurs, with
which the fowls cut each other up frightfully. The interesting scene
takes place on Sundays and Thursdays, near the Church of Santa Catalina,
and is regulated by a municipal tribunal. The admission fee of five
cents, and the tax of two per cent. on bets, yield the city a monthly
revenue of $100.

Other pastimes are carnivals and masquerades. Carnival is observed by
pelting one another with eggs and sprinkling with water. Whoever
invented this prelude to Lent should be canonized. Masquerades occur
during the holidays, when all classes, in disguise or fancy dress, get
up a little fun at each other's expense. The monotony of social life is
more frequently disturbed by fashionable funerals than by these
amusements; and, as the principal families are inter-related, the rules
of condolence keep the best part of society in mourning, and the best
pianos and guitars silent for at least six months in the year.

A word about the ladies of Quito. We concur in the remark of our
minister, Mr. Hassaurek, that "their natural dignity, gracefulness, and
politeness, their entire self-possession, their elegant but unaffected
bearing, and the choiceness of their language, would enable them to make
a creditable appearance in any foreign drawing-room." Their natural
talents are of a high order; but we must add that the senoras are
uneducated, and are incapable of either great vices or great virtues.
Their minds, like the soil of their native country, are fertile, but
uncultivated; and their hearts, like the climate, are of a mean
temperature. Prayer-books and French novels (imported, as wanted, for
there is not a book-store in the city) are the alpha and the omega of
their literature; Paris is considered the centre of civilization. They
are comely, but not beautiful; Venus has given her girdle of fascination
to few. Sensible of this, they paint.

Holinski gives his impressions by contrasting the fair Quitonians with
the fairer Guayaquilians: "Les yeux vifs et ardent, le pied fine et
mignon, les teintes chaudes et dorees" distinguish the latter. In the
ladies of the high capital there is nothing of this: "Les yeux ne
lancent pas de flammes, le pied est sans gentillesse, l'epiderme ne
reflete pas les rayons du soleil." The ladies on the coast take all
possible pains to preserve the small size of the foot; a large foot is
held in horror. Von Tschudi once overheard some ladies extolling in high
terms the beauty of an English lady; all their praise, however, ending
with this exclamation, "But what a foot! Good heavens! it is like a
great boat!" Gibbon is continually talking of beautiful senoras and
senoritas on the Andes; surely the lieutenant is in sport.[28]

[Footnote 28: "The young ladies of Cuzco are, in general, very
beautiful, with regular features, fresh olive complexions, bright eyes
full of intelligence, furnished with long lashes, and masses of black
hair plaited in two tails."--_Markham_.]

The ladies of Quito give few entertainments for lack of ready money.
They spend much of their time in needle-work and gossip, sitting like
Turkish sultanas on divans or the floor. They do not rise at your
entrance or departure. They converse in a very loud, unmusical voice. We
never detected bashfulness in the street or parlor. They go to mass
every morning, and make visits of etiquette on Sundays. They take more
interest in political than in domestic affairs. Dust and cobwebs are
unmistakable signs of indifference. Brooms are rarities; such as exist
are besoms made of split stick. Since our return, we have sent to a
Quitonian gentleman, by request, a package of broom-corn seed, which, we
trust, will be the forerunner of a harvest of brooms and cleaner floors
in the high city. Not only the lords, but also the ladies, are
inveterate smokers. Little mats are used for spittoons.

[Illustration: Washerwomen.]

Perhaps Quitonian ladies have too many Indian servants about them to
keep tidy; seven or eight is the average number for a family. These are
married, and occupy the ground floor, which swarms with nude children.
They are cheap, thievish, lazy, and filthy. No class, pure-blood or
half-breed, is given to ablution, though there are two public baths in
the city. Washerwomen repair to the Machangara, where they beat the
dirty linen of Quito over the smooth rocks. We remember but two or
three table-cloths which entirely covered the table, and only one which
was clean. There are but two daily meals; one does not feel the need of
more; they are partaken at nine and three, or an hour earlier than in
Guayaquil. When two unwashed, uncombed cooks bend over a charcoal fire,
which is fanned by a third unkempt individual, and all three blinded by
smoke (for there is no chimney), so that it is not their fault if
capillaries and something worse are mingled with the stew, with onions
to right of them, onions to left of them, onions in front of them, and
_achote_ already in the pot in spite of your repeated anathemas and
expostulations--_achote_, the same red coloring matter which the wild
Indians use for painting their bodies and dyeing their cloth--and with
several aboriginal wee ones romping about the kitchen, keen must be the
appetite that will take hold with alacrity as the dishes are brought on
by the most slovenly waiter imagination can body forth.[29] The aim of
Ecuadorian cookery is to eradicate all natural flavor; you wouldn't know
you were eating chicken except by the bones. Even coffee and chocolate
somehow lose their fine Guayaquilian aroma in this high altitude, and
the very pies are stuffed with onions. But the beef, minus the garlic,
is most excellent, and the _dulce_ unapproachable.

[Footnote 29: We noticed at Riobamba a custom which formerly prevailed
also at Quito. As soon as the guests have finished, and before they have
risen, the Indian waiter kneels devoutly down beside the table, and
offers thanks in a very solemn, touching tone.]




CHAPTER V.

     Ecuador.--Extent.--Government.--Religion.--A Protestant Cemetery in
     Quito.--Climate.--Regularity of Tropical Nature.--Diseases on the
     Highlands.


The republic of Ecuador looks like a wedge driven into the continent
between the Maranon and the Putumayo. It has 1200 miles of Pacific
coast, and an area of about two hundred thousand square miles, including
the Galapagos Islands. Peru, however, claims the oriental half, drawing
her northern boundary from Tumbez through Canelos and Archidona; and she
is entitled to much of it, for she has established a regular line of
steamers on the Maranon, while the Quito government has not developed an
acre east of the Andes. Ecuador is hung between and upon two
cordilleras, which naturally divide it into three parts: the western
slope, the Quitonian valley, and the Napo region. The fluvial system is
mainly made up of the Napo, Pastassa, and Santiago, tributaries of the
Maranon, and the Mira, Esmeraldas, and Guayaquil, flowing westward into
the Pacific. There are no lakes proper, but the natives enumerate
fifty-five lagunes, the largest of which, Capucuy, is not over five
miles long.

Villavicencio tells the world that his country has a total population of
1,308,042. But Dr. Jameson believes it does not exceed 700,000. The
government is based on the Constitution of 1845, amended in 1853. The
president is chosen by a plurality of votes, holds his office for four
years, and has a salary of $12,000. He can not be re-elected,[30] nor
can he exercise his functions more than twenty-five miles from the
capital. But the law is often set aside by those in power. During the
administration of Garcia Moreno, prominent citizens were shot or
banished by his order, without trial by jury. To every plea for mercy
the stern president replied, that as he could not save the country
according to the Constitution, he should govern it according to his own
views of public necessity.

[Footnote 30: Since this was written, Garcia Moreno has been re-elected
to the presidency and the Constitution revised.]

Congress assembles on the 15th of September every other year, and
consists of eighteen senators and thirty representatives. The chambers
are small, and literally barren of ornament. The members sit in two rows
facing each other, have no desks, and give an affirmative vote by a
silent bow. Politics has less to do with principles and parties than
with personalities. Often it has a financial aspect; and the natural
expression on learning of a revolution is, "Somebody is out of money."
The party in feathers its nest as fast as possible; there is scarcely a
public officer who is not open to bribery. The party out plots a
premature resurrection to power by the ladders of corruption, slander,
and revolution.[31] Revolution has so rapidly followed revolution that
history has ceased to count them; and it may be said of them what Milton
wrote of the wars of the Saxon Heptarchy, "that they are not more worthy
of being recorded than the skirmishes of crows and kites." The Grand
Plaza, the heart where all the great arteries of circulation meet and
diverge, is where the high tides of Quito affairs ebb and flow.

[Footnote 31: Government has more than once paid its debts by
repudiation. Congress lately voted to pay only seven per cent. of the
claims against the state which are dated prior to a certain year. Among
the sufferers is the venerable Dr. Jameson, a distinguished foreigner,
who has served this country faithfully for forty years, first as
assayer, then as director of the mint, and always by his scientific
position.]

The Supreme Court consists of five judges. Criminal cases only are tried
by jury; and an attorney is not permitted to question a witness. There
are no penitentiaries: second-class criminals are made to work for the
public, while political offenders are banished to the banks of the Napo,
or to Peru. Here, as in no other country, every man's house is his
castle. No search-warrants are allowed; a policeman can be shot dead on
the threshold. The person and property of a foreigner are safe; and no
native in the employ of a foreigner can be taken by the government for
military purposes. All, except pure Indians, can vote if over
twenty-one, and can read and write. A man's signature is without value
if it lacks his flourish--a custom of Spanish origin.

The permanent army consists of two regiments. The soldiers are mostly
half-breeds, and are generally followed by their wives. They are poorly
paid; and as they are impressed into the service, they carry out the
principle by helping themselves wherever they go. In marching, they have
a quicker step than Northern soldiers. The chief expenditure of the
republic is for the army, about $500,000; the next is for the payment of
the national debt, $360,000. The foreign debt is L1,470,374. Ecuadorians
claim a revenue of a million and a half, of which one half is from the
custom-house, and one fiftieth from the post-office.

One would suppose that the people who breathe this high atmosphere, and
enjoy this delightful climate, and are surrounded by all that is truly
grand and beautiful, would have some corresponding virtues. But we find
that Nature, here as every where, has mingled base and noble elements.
The lofty mountains, bearing in their steadfastness the seal of their
appointed symbol--"God's righteousness is like the great
mountains"--look down upon one of the lowest and most corrupt forms of
republican government on earth;[32] their snowy summits preach sermons
on purity to Quitonian society, but in vain; and the great thoughts of
God written all over the Andes are unable to lift this proud capital out
of the mud and mire of mediaeval ignorance and superstition. The
established religion is the narrowest and most intolerant form of
Romanism. Mountains usually have a more elevating, religious influence
than monotonous plains. The Olympian mythology of the Greek was far
superior to the beastly worship on the banks of the Nile. And yet at the
very feet of glorious Chimborazo and Pichincha we see a nation bowing
down to little images of the rudest sculpture with a devotion that
reminds us of the Middle Ages.

[Footnote 32: Asking the late Chilian minister for his view of the rank
of the different South American states, he gave us this order: Chile,
Brazil, Argentine Republic, Venezuela, New Granada, Central America,
Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador.]

[Illustration: Ecclesiastics.]

The belief is called _La Fe_, or the only true one. The oath of a
Protestant is not regarded in courts of law. One fourth of Quito is
covered by convents and churches. The convents alone number fifty-seven,
and are very extensive, sometimes spreading over eight or nine acres.
The Church revenue amounts to $800,000. There are more than four hundred
priests, monks, and nuns in the capital. The native ecclesiastics are
notorious for their ignorance and immorality. "It is a very common thing
(says Dr. Terry) for a curate to have a whole flock of orphan nephews
and nieces, the children of an imaginary brother." There is one
ex-president who has the reputation of tying a spur on the leg of a
game-cock better even than a curate. The imported Jesuits are the most
intelligent and influential clergy. They control the universities and
colleges, and education generally. Active and intellectual, though not
learned, they have infused new life into the fat indolence of the
Spanish system. Men of this world rather than the next, they have
adopted a purely mundane policy, abjured the gloomy cowl, raised
gorgeous temples, and say, "He that cometh unto us shall in no wise lose
heaven." Their chief merit, however, is the discovery of the turkey and
quinine.

The Protestant in Quito is annoyed by an everlasting jingling of bells
and blowing of bugles night and day. The latter are blown every third
hour. The bells are struck by boys, not rung. A bishop, returning from a
visit to London, was asked if there were any good bells in England.
"Very fine," he replied, "but there is not a man there who knows how to
ring them." Foreign machinery is sprinkled with holy water to neutralize
the inherent heresy; but a miller, for example, will charge more for his
flour after the baptism.

Lotteries are countenanced by both Church and State, and in turn help
support them; we saw one "grand scheme" carried out on the cathedral
terrace and defended by bayonets.

At half past nine in the morning all Quito is on its knees, as the great
bell of the cathedral announces the elevation of the Host. The effect is
astonishing. Riders stop their horses; foot-passengers drop down on the
pavement; the cook lets go her dishes and the writer his pen; the
merchant lays aside his measure and the artisan his tool; the
half-uttered oath (_carajo_!) dies on the lips of the Cholo; the arm of
the cruel Zambo, unmercifully beating his donkey, is paralyzed; and the
smart repartee of the lively donna is cut short. The solemn stillness
lasts for a minute, when the bell tolls again, and all rise to work or
play. Holidays are frequent. Processions led by a crucifix or wooden
image are attractive sights in this dull city, simply because little
else is going on. Occasionally a girl richly dressed to represent the
humble mother of God is drawn about in a carriage, and once a year the
figures of the Virgin belonging to different churches are borne with
much pomp to the Plaza, where they bow to each other like automatons.

"This is a bad country to live in, and a worse one to die in," said Dr.
Jameson. But times have changed, even in fossil Quito. Through the
efforts of our late minister, Hon. W.T. Coggeshall, the bigoted
government has at last consented to inclose a quarter of an acre outside
the city for the subterranean burial of heretics. The cemetery is on the
edge of the beautiful plain of Inaquito, and on the right of the road
leading to Guapolo. "What a shame," said a Quitonian lady of position,
"that there should be a place to throw Protestant dogs!"

On St. Nathaniel's day died Colonel Phineas Staunton, Vice-Chancellor of
Ingham University, New York. An artist by profession, and one of very
high order, Colonel Staunton joined our expedition to sketch the glories
of the Andes, but he fell a victim to the scourge of the lowlands one
week after his arrival in Quito. We buried him at noon-day[33] in the
new cemetery, "wherein was never man laid," and by the act consecrated
the ground. Peace to his ashes; honor to his memory. That 8th of
September, 1867, was a new day in the annals of Quito. On that day the
imperial city beheld, for the first time in three centuries, the decent
burial of a Protestant in a Protestant cemetery. Somewhere, mingled with
the ashes of Pichincha, is the dust of Atahuallpa, who was buried in his
beloved Quito at his own request after his murder in Caxamarca. But
dearer to us is that solitary grave; the earth is yet fresh that covers
the remains of one of nature's noblemen.

[Footnote 33: This was a new thing under the sun. Quitonians "bury at
dead of night, with lanterns dimly burning." The dirges sung as the
procession winds through the streets are extremely plaintive, and are
the most touching specimens of Ecuadorian music. The corpse, especially
of a child, is often carried in a chair in a sitting posture. The
wealthy class wall up their dead in niches on the side of Pichincha,
hypothetically till the resurrection, but really for two years, when,
unless an additional payment is made, the bones are thrown into a common
pit and the coffin burnt. To prevent this, a few who can afford it
embalm the deceased. One of the most distinguished citizens of Quito
keeps his mummified father at his hacienda, and annually dresses him up
in a new suit of clothes!]

Turn we now to a more delightful topic than the politics and religion of
Quito. The climate is perfect. Fair Italy, with her classic prestige and
ready access, will long be the land of promise to travelers expatriated
in search of health. But if ever the ancients had reached this Andean
valley, they would have located here the Elysian Fields, or the seat of
"the blessed, the happy, and long-lived" of Anacreon.[34] No torrid heat
enervates the inhabitant of this favored spot; no icy breezes send him
shivering to the fire. Nobody is sun-struck; nobody's buds are nipped by
the frost. Stoves and chimneys, starvation and epidemics, are unknown.
It is never either spring, summer, or autumn, but each day is a
combination of all three. The mean annual temperature of Quito is 58 deg..8,
the same as Madrid, or as the month of May in Paris. The average range
in twenty-four hours is about 10 deg.. The coldest hour is 6 A.M.; the
warmest between 2 and 3 P.M. The extremes in a year are 45 deg. and 70 deg.;
those of Moscow are-38 deg. and 89 deg.. It is a prevalent opinion that since
the great earthquake of 1797 the temperature has been lower. "It was
suddenly reduced (says the _Encycl. Metropolitana_) from 66 deg. or 68 deg. to
40 deg. or 45 deg."--a manifest error. The natives say that since the
_terremote_ of 1859 the seasons have not commenced so regularly, nor are
they so well defined; there are more rainy days in summer than before.
It remains to be seen whether the late convulsion has affected the
climate.

[Footnote 34: In the mountain-town of Caxamarca, farther south, there
were living in 1792 seven persons aged 114, 117, 121, 131, 132, 141, and
147. One of them, when he died, left behind him eight hundred living
descendants to mourn his loss. We confess, however, that we saw very few
old persons in Quito. Foreigners outlive the natives, because they live
a more regular and temperate life.]

The mean diurnal variation of the barometer is only .084. So regular is
the oscillation, as likewise the variations of the magnetic needle, that
the hour may be known within fifteen minutes by the barometer or
compass. Such is the clock-like order of Nature under the equator, that
even the rains, the most irregular of all meteorological phenomena in
temperate zones, tell approximately the hour of the day. The winds, too,
have an orderly march--the ebb and flow of an aerial ocean. No wonder
watch-tinkers can not live where all the forces in nature keep time.
Nobody talks about the weather; conversation begins with benedictions or
compliments.

The greatest variations of the thermometer occur in autumn, and the
greatest quantity of rain falls in April.[35] While on the western side
of the Andes, south of the equator, the dry season extends from June to
January, on the eastern side of the Cordillera the seasons are reversed,
the rain lasting from March to November. The climate of the central
valley is modified by this opposition of seasons on either side of it,
as also by the proximity of snowy peaks. Nine such peaks stand around
Quito within a circle of thirty miles. The prevailing winds in summer
are from the northeast; in the winter the southwest predominate.

[Footnote 35:

The mean annual fall of rain at Quito is 70 inches.
     "     "     "       "      Charleston is 45.9 inches.
     "     "     "       "      New York is 42.23     "
     "     "     "       "      Albany is 40.93       "
     "     "     "       "      Montreal is 36        "
     "     "     "       "      Madrid is 10.         "

]

There are only three small drug-stores in the great city of Quito. The
serpent is used as the badge of apothecary art. Physicians have no
offices, nor do they, as a general rule, call upon their patients. When
an invalid is not able to go to the doctor, he is expected to die.
Yellow fever, cholera, and consumption are unknown; while intermittent
fevers, dysentery, and liver complaints, so prevalent on the coast, are
uncommon. The ordinary diseases are catarrhal affections and typhoid
fever. Cases of inflammation of the lungs are rare; more coughing may be
heard during a Sunday service in a New England meeting-house than in six
months in Quito. The diseases to which the monks of St. Bernard are
liable are pulmonary, and the greater number become asthmatic. Asthma is
also common in Quito, while phthisis increases as we descend to the sea.
Individuals are often seen with a handkerchief about the jaws, or bits
of plaster on the temples; these are afflicted with headache or
toothache, resulting from a gratified passion for sweetmeats, common to
all ages and classes. Digestive disorders are somewhat frequent
(contrary to the theory in Europe), but they spring from improper food
and sedentary habits. The _cuisine_ of the country does not tempt the
stomach to repletion, and the climate is decidedly peptic. So the
typhoid fever of Quito is due to filth, poor diet, and want of
ventilation. Corpulency, especially among the men, is astonishingly
rare.

According to Dr. Lombard, mountain districts favor the development of
diseases of the heart; and contagious diseases are not arrested by the
atmosphere of lofty regions. This is true in Quito. But while nervous
diseases are rare in the inhabited highlands of Europe, in Quito they
are common. Sleep is said to be more tranquil and refreshing, and the
circulation more regular at high altitudes; but our experience does not
sustain this. Goitre is quite common among the mountains. It is a sign
of constitutional weakness, for the children of goitred parents are
usually deaf and dumb, and the succeeding generation idiots.
Boussingault thinks it is owing to the lack of atmospheric air in the
water; but why is it nearly confined to the women? In the southern
provinces about Cuenca, cutaneous affections are quite frequent. In the
highlands generally, scrofulous diseases are more common than in the
plains. There are three hospitals for lepers; one at Cuenca with two
hundred patients, one at Quito with one hundred and twelve patients, and
one at Ambato. Near Riobamba is a community of dwarfs.

D'Orbigny made a _post-mortem_ examination of some Indians from the
highest regions, and found the lungs of extraordinary dimensions, the
cells larger and more in number. Hence the unnatural proportion of the
trunk, which is plainly out of harmony with the extremities. The
expanded chest of the mountaineers is evidently the result of larger
inspirations to secure the requisite amount of oxygen, which is much
less in a given space at Quito than on the coast. This is an instance,
observes Prichard, of long-continued habit, and the result of external
agencies modifying the structure of the body, and with it the state of
the most important functions of life. We tried the experiment of burning
a candle one hour at Guayaquil, and another part of the same candle for
the same period at Quito. Temperature at Guayaquil, 80 deg.; at Quito, 62 deg..
The loss at Guayaquil was 140 grains; at Quito, 114, or 26 grains less
at the elevation of 9500 feet. Acoustics will also illustrate the
thinness of the air. M. Godin found (1745) that a nine-pounder could not
be heard at the distance of 121,537 feet; and that an eight-pounder at
Paris, at the distance of 102,664 feet, was louder than a nine-pounder
at Quito at the distance of 67,240 feet.

According to Dr. Archibald Smith, the power of muscular exertion in a
native of the coast is greatly increased by living at the height of
10,000 feet. But it is also asserted by observing travelers that dogs
and bulls lose their combativeness at 12,000 feet, and that hence there
can never be a good bull-fight or dog-fight on the Sierras. This is
literally true: the dogs seem to partake of the tameness of their
masters. Cats do not flourish at all in high altitudes; and probably the
lion, transplanted from the low jungle to the table-lands, would lose
much of his ferocity. Still, cock-fights seem to prosper; and the battle
of Pichincha was fought on an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet. Bolivar
and the Spaniards, also, fought like tigers on the high plain of
Junin.[36]

[Footnote 36: Gibbon states that the temperature of the blood of a young
bull in Cuzco was 100 deg.; air, 57 deg.. At the base of the Andes a similar
experiment resulted in 101 deg. for the blood, air 78 deg.. The lieutenant
jocosely adds: "The Spaniards have forced the hog so high up on the
Andes that he suffers every time he raises his bristles, and dies out of
place."--Puna has been attributed to the presence of arsenical vapor.]

The sickness felt by some travelers at great elevations--violent
headache and disposition to vomit--is called _veta_; and the difficulty
of breathing from the rarity of the air is termed _puna_. Gerard
complained of severe headache and depression of spirits at the height of
15,000 feet on the Himalayas; Dr. Barry, in ascending Mont Blanc (15,700
feet), speaks of great thirst, great dryness and constriction of skin,
loss of appetite, difficult breathing, tendency to syncope, and utter
indifference. Baron Mueller, in his ascent of Orizava (17,800 feet),
found great difficulty in breathing, and experienced the sensation of a
red-hot iron searing his lungs, and agonizing pains in the chest,
followed by fainting-fits and torrents of blood from his mouth;
Humboldt, in scaling Chimborazo, suffered from nausea akin to
sea-sickness, and a flow of blood from the nose and lips; while Herndon,
on the slope of Puy-puy (15,700 feet), said he thought his heart would
break from his breast with its violent agitation. Though ascending the
Andes to the height of 16,000 feet, and running up the last few rods, we
experienced nothing of this except a temporary difficulty in
respiration. We were exhilarated rather than depressed. The experience
of Darwin on the Portillo ridge (14,000 feet) was only "a slight
tightness across the head and chest." "There was some imagination even
in this (he adds); for, upon finding fossil shells on the highest ridge,
I entirely forgot the puna in my delight." De Saussure says truly: "The
strength is repaired as speedily as it has been exhausted. Merely a
cessation of movement for three or four minutes, without even seating
one's self, seems to restore the strength so perfectly that, on resuming
progress, one feels able to climb at a single stretch to the very peak
of the mountain."




CHAPTER VI.

     Astronomic Virtues of Quito.--Flora and Fauna of the Valley of
     Quito.--Primeval Inhabitants of the Andes.--Quichua Indians.


Quito, with a position unparalleled for astronomical purposes, has no
observatory. The largest telescope in the city is about five feet long,
but the astute professor of natural philosophy in the Jesuit College who
has charge of it had not the most distant idea that an eclipse of the
sun would occur on the 29th of August, and an eclipse of the moon
fifteen days later. In ancient days this "holy city" had within it the
Pillar of the Sun, which cast no shadow at noon, and a temple was built
for the god of light. The title of the sovereign Inca was the Child of
the Sun; but there was very little knowledge of astronomy, for, being
the national religion, it was beyond the reach of scientific
speculation.

The atmosphere of Quito is of transparent clearness. Humboldt saw the
poncho of a horseman with the naked eye at a horizontal distance of
ninety thousand feet. The sky is of a dark indigo color; the azure is
less blended with white because of the extreme dryness of the air. The
stars stand out with uncommon brilliancy, and the dark openings between
them the great German compared to "tubes through which we look into the
remotest depths of space." It is true at Quito, as Humboldt noticed at
Cumana, that the stars do not twinkle when they are more than fifteen
degrees high; "the soft planetary light" of the stars overhead is not
mere rhetoric.

Living under the equatorial line, Quitonians enjoy the peculiar
privilege of beholding the stars of both hemispheres, the guiding stars
of Ursa Major as well as the Magellanic Clouds and Southern Cross, not
omitting that black spot near the latter, "the unappropriated region in
the skies reserved by Manager Bingham for deposed American presidents."

The zodiacal light here appears in all its glory. This strange
phenomenon has long puzzled philosophers, and they are still divided. It
is generally considered to be produced by a continuous zone of
infinitesimal asteroids. The majority place this zone beyond the orbit
of the earth, and concentric with the sun. But Rev. George Jones, of
Philadelphia, who has spent several years in observing this light,
including eight months in Quito, considers it geocentric, and possibly
situated between the earth and its satellite. At New York only a short
pyramidal light, and this only at certain seasons, is to be seen; but
here, an arch twenty degrees wide, and of considerable intensity, shoots
up to the zenith, and Mr. Jones affirms that a complete arch is visible
at midnight when the ecliptic is at right angles to the spectator's
horizon. We have not been so fortunate as to see it pass the zenith; and
Professor Barnard contends that it never does pass. We may remark that
the main part of the zodiacal light shifts to the south side of the
celestial equator as we cross the line. To us the most magnificent sight
in the tropical heavens is the "Milky Way," especially near Sobieski's
Shield, where it is very luminous. We observed that this starry tract
divided at [Greek: a] Centauri, as Herschel says, and not at [Greek: b],
as many maps and globes have it. The brightest stars in the southern
hemisphere follow the direction of a great circle passing through
[Greek: e] Orionis and [Greek: a] Crucis.

Another thing which arrests the attention of the traveler is the
comparatively well-defined boundary-line between day and night. The
twilight at Quito lasts only an hour and a half; on the coast it is
still shorter. Nor is there any "harvest moon," the satellite rising
with nearly equal intervals of forty-eight minutes.

From the stars we step down to the floral kingdom on the Andes, using as
our ladder of descent the following sentence from Humboldt, at the age
of seventy-five: "If I might be allowed to abandon myself to the
recollections of my own distant travels, I would instance among the most
striking scenes of nature the calm sublimity of a tropical night, when
the stars--not sparkling, as in our Northern skies--shed their soft and
planetary light over the gently heaving ocean; or I would recall the
deep valleys of the Cordilleras, where the tall and slender palms pierce
the leafy veil around them, and wave on high their feathery and
arrow-like branches."

Father Velasco praises Ecuador as "the noblest portion of the New
World." Nature has doubtless gifted it with capabilities unsurpassed by
those of any other country. Situated on the equinoctial line, and
embracing within its limits some of the highest as well as lowest dry
land on the globe, it presents every grade of climate, from the
perpetual summer on the coast and in the Orient to the everlasting
winter of the Andean summits, while the high plateau between the
Cordilleras enjoys an eternal spring. The vegetable productions are
consequently most varied and prolific. Tropical, temperate, and arctic
fruits and flowers are here found in profusion, or could be successfully
cultivated. As the Ecuadorian sees all the constellations of the
firmament, so Nature surrounds him with representatives of every family
of plants. There are places where the eye may embrace an entire zone,
for it may look up to a barley-field and potato-patch, and down to the
sugar-cane and pine-apple.

Confining our attention to the Quito Valley, we remark that the whole
region from Pichincha to Chimborazo is as treeless as Palestine. The
densest forest is near Banos. The most common tree is the "Aliso"
(_Betula acuminata_). Walnut is the best timber. There are no pines or
oaks.[37] The slopes of the mountains, between twelve and fifteen
thousand feet, are clothed with a shrub peculiar to the high altitudes
of the Andes, called _Chuquiragua_. This is a very valuable shrub; the
twigs are used for fuel, and the yellow buds as a febrifuge. The
castor-oil-tree grows naturally by the road side, sometimes to the
height of twelve feet.

[Footnote 37: On the Himalayas are oaks, birches, pines, chestnuts,
maples, junipers, and willows; no tree-ferns, bamboos, or palms.]

A very useful as well as the most ordinary plant in the valley is the
American aloe, or "Century Plant."[38] It is the largest of all herbs.
Not naturally social, it imparts a melancholy character to the landscape
as it rises solitary out of the arid plain. Most of the roads are fenced
with aloe hedges. While the majority of tropical trees have naked stems
with a crown of leaves on the top, the aloe reverses this, and looks
like a great chandelier as its tall peduncle, bearing greenish-yellow
flowers, rises out of a graceful cluster of long, thick, fleshy leaves.
When cultivated, the aloe flowers in much less time than a century; but,
exhausted by the efflorescence, it soon dies. Nearly every part serves
some purpose; the broad leaves are used by the poorer class instead of
paper in writing, or for thatching their huts; sirup flows out of the
leaves when tapped, and, as they contain much alkali, a soap (which
lathers with salt water as well as fresh) is also manufactured from
them; the flowers make excellent pickles; the flower-stalk is used in
building; the pith of the stem is used by barbers for sharpening razors;
the fibres of the leaves and the roots are woven into sandals and sacks;
and the sharp spines are used as needles. A species of yucca, resembling
the aloe, but with more slender leaves and of a lighter green, yields
the hemp of Ecuador.

[Footnote 38: The _Agava Americana_ of botanists, _cabulla_ of
Ecuadorians, _maguey_ of Venezuelans, and _metl_ of Mexicans. It is an
interesting fact, brought to light by the researches of Carl Neuman,
that the Chinese in the fifth century passed over to America by way of
the Aleutian Islands, and penetrated as far south as Mexico, which they
called the land of _fusung_, that being the celestial name of the aloe.
Terzozomoc, the high-priest of the ancient Mexicans, gave aloe leaves,
inscribed with sacred characters, to persons who had to journey among
the volcanoes, to protect them from injury.]

The "crack fruit" of Quito, and, in fact, of South America, is the
chirimoya.[39] Its taste is a happy mixture of sweetness and acidity.
Hanke calls it "a masterwork of Nature," and Markham pronounces it "a
spiritualized strawberry." It grows on a tree about fifteen feet high,
having a broad, flat top, and very fragrant flowers. The ripe fruit,
often attaining in Peru the weight of sixteen pounds, has a thick green
skin, and a snow-white pulp containing about seventy black seeds. Other
pomological productions are alligator pears, guavas, guayavas,
granadillas, cherries (a small black variety), peaches (very poor),
pears (equally bad), plums, quinces, lemons, oranges (not native),
blackberries, and strawberries (large, but flavorless).[40] The
cultivation of the grape has just commenced. Of vegetables there are
onions (in cookery, "the first, and last, and midst, and without end"),
beets, carrots, asparagus, lettuce, cabbages, turnips, tomatoes
(indigenous, but inferior to ours), potatoes (also indigenous, but much
smaller than their descendants),[41] red peppers, peas (always picked
ripe, while green ones are imported from France!), beans, melons,
squashes, and mushrooms. The last are eaten to a limited extent; Terra
del Fuego, says Darwin, is the only country in the world where a
cryptogamic plant affords a staple article of food.

[Footnote 39: Bollaert derives the name from _chiri_ (cold) and _muhu_
(seed).]

[Footnote 40: Dr. Jameson has found the following species of _Rubus_ in
the valley of Quito: _macrocarpus_, _stipularis_, _glabratus_,
_compactus_, _glaucus_, _rosaeflorus_, _loxensis_, _urticaefolius_,
_floribundus_, and _nubigenus_. The common strawberry, _Fragaria
vesca_, grows in the valley, as also the _Chilensis_.]

[Footnote 41: Lieutenant Gilliss praises the potatoes of Peru, but we
saw no specimens in Ecuador worthy of note. The "Irish potato" is a
native of the Andes. It was unknown to the early Mexicans. It grows as
far south on this continent as lat. 50 deg.. The Spaniards carried the
potato to Europe from Quito early in the sixteenth century. From Spain
it traveled to Italy, Belgium, and Germany. Sir Walter Raleigh imported
some from Virginia in 1586, and planted them on his estate near Cork,
Ireland. It is raised in Asiatic countries only where Europeans have
settled, and for their consumption. It is successfully grown in
Australia and New Zealand, where there is no native esculent farinaceous
root. Von Tschudi says there is no word in Quichua for potato. It is
called _papa_ by the Napos.]

The most important grains are barley, red wheat, and corn, with short
ears, and elongated kernels of divers colors. Near the coast three crops
of corn a year are obtained; at Quito it is of slower growth, but
fuller. The sugar-cane is grown sparingly in the valley, but chiefly on
the Pacific coast. Its home is Polynesia. Quito consumes about one
hundred and fifty barrels of flour daily. The best sells for four
dollars a quintal. The common fodder for cattle is alfalfa, an imported
lucerne. There is no clover except a wild, worthless, three-leaved
species (_Trifolium amabile_). Nearly all in the above list are
cultivated for home consumption only, and many valuable fruits and
vegetables which would grow well are unknown to Quitonians. As Bates
says of the Brazilians, the incorrigible nonchalance and laziness of the
people alone prevent them from surrounding themselves with all the
luxuries of a temperate as well as tropical country.

It would be an endless task to speak of the flowers. It must suffice to
state that a _Synopsis Plantarum AEquatoriensium_, the life-work of the
venerable Professor Jameson, of the University of Quito, has just been
published by the tardy government. Botanists will find in these two
small volumes many new species unknown to American science, and others
more correctly described by one who has dwelt forty years among the
Andes. The last zone of vegetation nearest the snow-line consists
chiefly of yellow-flowering _Compositae_. In fact, this family includes
one fourth of the plants in the immediate vicinity of Quito. The next
most numerous family is the _Labiatae_, and then follow _Leguminosae_ and
_Gentians_. Although the _Rosaceae_ is represented, there is not one
species of the genus _Rosa_ not even in the whole southern hemisphere.
The magnificent _Befaria_, found in the lower part of the valley, is
called "the Rose of the Andes." Fuchsias may be considered
characteristic of South America, since they are so numerous; only one or
two kinds occur in any other part of the world. Flowers are found in
Quito all the year round, but the most favorable months are December and
May. Yellow is the predominating color. The higher the altitude, the
brighter the hues of any given species. Thus the _Gentiana sedifolia_ is
a small, light blue flower in the lowlands, but on the Assuay it has
bright blue petals three times as large and sensitive. This accords with
Herschel's statement: "The chemical rays of the spectrum are powerfully
absorbed in passing through the atmosphere, and the effect of their
greater abundance aloft is shown in the superior brilliancy of color in
the flowers of Alpine regions."

America is plainly the continent of vegetation; and wherever the
vegetable element predominates, the animal is subordinated. We must not
look, therefore, for a large amount or variety of animal life in the
Ecuadorian forests. Time was when colossal megatheroids, mastodons, and
glyptodons browsed on the foliage of the Andes and the Amazon; but now
the terrestrial mammals of this tropical region are few and diminutive.
They are likewise old-fashioned, inferior in type as well as bulk to
those of the eastern hemisphere, for America was a finished continent
long before Europe. "It seems most probable (says Darwin) that the North
American elephants, mastodons, horse, 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
Indies, into South America, where for a time they mingled with the forms
characteristic of that southern continent, and have since become
extinct."[42] The rise of the Mexican table-land split up the New World
into two well-defined zoological provinces. A few species, as the puma,
peccari, and opossum, have crossed the barrier; but South America is
characterized by possessing a family of monkeys, the llama, tapir, many
peculiar rodents, and several genera of edentates.

[Footnote 42: _Journal of Researches_, p. 132.]

The tapir, the largest native quadruped, is sometimes found on the
mountains, but never descends into the Quito Valley. A link between the
elephant and hog, its true home is in the lowlands. The tapir and
peccari (also found on the Andean slopes) are the only indigenous
pachyderms in South America, while the llama[43] and deer (both
abounding in the valley) are the only native ruminants; there is not one
native hollow-horned ruminant on the continent. The llama is the only
native domesticated animal; indeed, South America never furnished any
other animal serviceable to man: the horse, ox, hog, and sheep (two,
four, and six-horned), are importations. Of these animals, which
rendered such important aid in the early civilization of Asia and
Europe, the genera even were unknown in South America four centuries
ago; and to-day pure Indians with difficulty acquire a taste for beef,
mutton, and pork. The llama is still used as a beast of burden; but it
seldom carries a quintal more than twelve miles a day. The black bear of
the Andes ascends as high as Mont Blanc, and is rarely found below three
thousand five hundred feet. The puma, or maneless American lion, has an
immense range, both in latitude and altitude, being found from Oregon to
the Straits of Magellan, and nearly up to the limit of eternal snow. It
is as cowardly as the jaguar of the lowlands is ferocious. It is a very
silent animal, uttering no cry even when wounded. Its flesh, which is
very white, and remarkably like veal in taste, is eaten in Patagonia.
Squirrels, hares, bats (a small species), opossums, and a large
guinea-pig (_Cuye del Monte_), are found in the neighborhood of Quito.

[Footnote 43: The llama, or "mountain-camel" is a beautiful animal, with
long, slender neck and fine legs, a graceful carriage, pointed ears,
soft, restless eyes, and quivering lips. It has a gentle disposition;
but when angry it will spit, and when hurt will shed tears. We have seen
specimens entirely white; but it is generally dark brown, with patches
of white. It requires very little food and drink. Since the introduction
of horses, asses, and mules, the rearing of llamas has decreased. They
are more common in Peru. The llama, guanaco, alpaca, and vicuna were
"the four sheep of the Incas:" the first clothing the common people, the
second the nobles, the third the royal governors, the fourth the Incas.
The price of sheep's wool in Quito was formerly four cents a pound; it
is now twelve.]

As only about sixty species of birds are common to North and South
America, the traveler from the United States recognizes few ornithic
forms in the Valley of Quito. Save the hummers, beautiful plumage is
rare, as well as fine songsters. But the moment we descend the Eastern
Cordillera into the interior of the continent, we find the feathered
race in robes of richest colors. The exact cause of this brilliant
coloring in the tropics is still a problem. It can not be owing to
greater light and heat, for the birds of the Galapagos Islands, directly
under the equator, are dull.[44]

[Footnote 44: Mr. Gould, however, holds that the difference of
coloration is due to the different degrees of exposure to the sun's
rays, the brilliantly-colored species being inhabitants of the edges of
the forest. Birds from Ucayali, in the centre of the continent, are far
more splendid than those which represent them in countries nearer the
sea, owing to the clearer atmosphere inland. But it is a fact, at least
exceptional to this theory, that the "Cock of the Rock" (Rupicola) on
the western side of the Andes (Esmeraldas) is of a richer, deeper color
than the same species on the eastern slope (Napo). In keeping with Mr.
Gould's theory is the statement by Mr. Bates, that the most gaudy
butterflies (the males) flutter in the sunshine.]

The males, both of birds and butterflies, are the most gaudily dressed.
In the highlands the most prominent birds are the condor and the
humming-bird. These two extremes in size are found side by side on the
summit of Pichincha. The condor appears in its glory among the mountains
of Quito. Its ordinary haunt is at the height of Etna. No other living
creature can remove at pleasure to so great a distance from the earth;
and it seems to fly and respire as easily under the low barometric
pressure of thirteen inches as at the sea-shore. It can dart in an
instant from the dome of Chimborazo to the sultry coast of the Pacific.
It has not the kingly port of the eagle, and is a cowardly robber: a
true vulture, it prefers the relish of putrescence and the flavor of
death. It makes no nest, but lays two eggs on a jutting ledge of some
precipice, and fiercely defends them. The usual spread of wings is nine
feet. It does not live in pairs like the eagle, but feeds in flocks like
its loathsome relative, the buzzard. It is said to live forty days
without food in captivity, but at liberty it is very voracious. The
usual method of capture is to kill an old mare (better than horse, the
natives say), and allow the bird to gorge himself, when he becomes so
sluggish as to be easily lassoed. It is such a heavy sleeper, it is
possible to take it from its roost. The evidences in favor of and
against its acute smelling powers are singularly balanced. For reasons
unknown, the condor does not range north of Darien, though it extends
its empire through clouds and storms to the Straits of Magellan. In the
Inca language it was called _cuntur_, and was anciently an object of
worship. The condor, gallinazo, turkey-buzzard, and caracara eagle (says
Darwin) "in their habits well supply the place of our carrion crows,
magpies, and ravens--a tribe of birds widely distributed over the rest
of the world, but entirely absent in South America." The condor appears
on the gold coins of New Granada and Chile. Of _Trochilidae_ there are
hosts. The valley swarms with these "winged jewels" of varied hues, from
the emerald green of Pichincha to the white of Chimborazo. They build
long, purse-like nests by weaving together fine vegetable fibres and
lichens, and thickly lining them with silk-cotton. In this delicate
cradle, suspended from a branch, the female lays two eggs, which are
hatched in about twelve days. The eggs are invariably white, with one
exception, those of a species on the Upper Amazon, which are spotted.
The young have much shorter bills than their parents. The humming-bird
is exclusively American: the nearest form in the Old World is the
nectarinia, or sunbird. Other birds most commonly seen in the valley
are: _Cyanocitta turcosa_ (Jay), _Poecilothraupis atrierissa_,
_Pheuticus chrysogaster_, _Chlorospingus superciliaris_, _Buthraupis
chloronata_, _Tanagra Darwini_, _Dubusia selysia_, _Buarremon
latinuchus_, and _B. assimilis_. The only geese in the valley are a few
imported from Europe by Senor Aguirre, of Chillo, and these refuse to
propagate.

Reptiles are so rare in the highlands the class can hardly be said to be
represented. During a residence of nearly three months in the Quito
Valley we saw but one snake.[45] Nevertheless, we find the following
sentence in such a respectable book as Bohn's Hand-book of Modern
Geography: "The inhabitants of Quito are dreadfully tormented by
reptiles, which it is scarcely possible to keep out of the beds!" Of
frogs there are not enough to get up a choir, and of fishes there is
but one solitary species, about a finger long.[46] The entomology of
Quito is also brief, much to the satisfaction of travelers from the
insectiferous coast. Musquitoes and bedbugs do not seem to enjoy life at
such an altitude, and jiggers[47] and flies are rare. Fleas, however,
have the hardihood to exist and bite in the summer months, and if you
attend an Indian fair you will be likely to feel something "gently o'er
you creeping." But fleas and lice are the only blood-thirsty animals, so
that the great Valley of Quito is an almost painless paradise. Of
beetles and butterflies there are a few species, the latter belonging
for the most part to the familiar North American genera _Pyrameis_ and
_Colias_. At Vinces, on the coast, we found the pretty brown butterfly,
_Anartia Jatrophae_, which ranges from Texas to Brazil. A light-colored
coleopter is eaten roasted by the inhabitants. The cochineal is raised
in the southern part of the valley, particularly in Guananda, at the
foot of Tunguragua, where the small, flat-leaved cactus (_Opuntia
tuna_), on which, the insect feeds, is extensively cultivated. The male
is winged, but the female is stationary, fixed to the cactus, and is of
a dark brown color. It takes seventy thousand to make a pound, which is
sold in the valley for from sixty cents to $3. The best cochineal comes
from Teneriffe, where it was introduced from Honduras in 1835. The
silk-worm is destined to work a revolution in the finances of Ecuador;
Quito silk gained a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition. No bees are
hived in the republic; the people seem to be content with treacle. The
Italian species would undoubtedly thrive here. The bees of Ecuador, like
all the bees of the New World, are inferior to those of the Old World.
Their cells are not perfectly hexagonal, and their stings are
undeveloped. They are seldom seen feeding on flowers. Mollusca in the
Quito Valley are not great in number or variety. They belong principally
to the genera _Bulimus_, _Cyclostoma_, and _Helix_. The first is as
characteristic of the Southern Continent as _Helix_ of the North and
_Achatina_ of Africa.

[Footnote 45: _Herpetodryas carinatus_, which we observed also at
Guayaquil and on the Maranon. We procured two or three species from the
natives, and several new forms from Pallatanga, on the west slope.]

[Footnote 46: _Antelopus laevis_ at Ambato, and _A. longirostris_, a new
species from Antisana Hacienda, were the only frogs noticed. The little
fish is _Pimelodes cyclopum_ (prenadilla of the Spaniards, _imba_ of the
Indians), the same that was thrown out in the eruptions of Imbabura and
Caraguairazo.]

[Footnote 47: The jigger, chigoe, or nigua (_Pulex penetrans_ of
science) is a microscopic flea, that buries itself under the skin and
lays a myriad eggs; the result is a painful tumor. Jiggers are almost
confined to sandy places.]

From the animal creation we mount by a short step to the imbruted
Indian. When and by whom the Andes were first peopled is a period of
darkness that lies beyond the domain of history. But geology and
archaeology are combining to prove that Sorata and Chimborazo have looked
down upon a civilization far more ancient than that of the Incas, and
perhaps coeval with the flint-flakes of Cornwall, and the shell-mounds
of Denmark. On the shores of Lake Titicaca are extensive ruins which
antedate the advent of Manco Capac, and may be as venerable as the
lake-dwellings of Geneva. Wilson has traced six terraces in going up
from the sea through the province of Esmeraldas toward Quito; and
underneath the living forest, which is older than the Spanish invasion,
many gold, copper, and stone vestiges of a lost population were found.
In all cases these relics are situated below high-tide mark, in a bed of
marine sediment, from which he infers that this part of the country
formerly stood higher above the sea. If this be true, vast must be the
antiquity of these remains, for the upheaval and subsidence of the coast
is exceedingly slow.

Philology can aid us little in determining the relations of the primeval
Quitonians, for their language is nearly obscured by changes introduced
by the Caras, and afterward by the Incas, who decreed that the Quichua,
the language of elegance and fashion three hundred years ago, should be
the universal tongue throughout the empire.[48] Quichua is to-day spoken
from the equator to 28 deg. S. (except by the Aymara people), or by nearly a
million and a half. We found it used, corrupted, however, by Spanish, at
the month of the Napo. There are five dialects, of which the purest is
spoken in Cuzco, and the most impure in Quito. The Indians of the
northern valley are descendants of the ancient Quitus, modified by Cara
and Peruvian blood. They have changed little since the invasion of
Pizarro. They remember their glory under the Incas, and when they steal
any thing from a white man, they say they are not guilty of theft, as
they are only taking what originally belonged to them. Some see in their
sacred care of Incarial relics a lingering hope to regain their
political life. We noticed that the pure mountaineers, without a trace
of Spanish adulteration, wore a black poncho underneath, and we were
informed by one well acquainted with their customs that this was in
mourning for the Inca. We attended an Indian masquerade dance at
Machachi, which seemed to have an historical meaning. It was performed
in full view of that romantic mountain which bears the name of the last
captain of Atahuallpa. There is a tradition that after the death of his
chief, Ruminagui burned the capital, and, retiring with his followers to
this cordillera, threw himself from the precipice. The masquerade at
Machachi was evidently intended to keep alive the memory of the Incas.
Three Indians, fantastically adorned with embroidered garments, plumed
head-dresses, and gold and silver tinsel, representing Atahuallpa and
his generals, danced to music of the rudest kind, one individual
pounding on a drum and blowing on a pipe at the same time. Before them
went three clowns, or _diablos_, with masks, fit caricatures of the
Spaniards. Like all other Indian feasts, this ended in getting gradually
and completely drunk. During the ceremony a troop of horsemen, gayly
dressed, and headed by one in regimentals with a cocked hat, galloped
twice around the Plaza, throwing oranges at the people; after which
there was a bull-bait.

[Footnote 48: "History (says Prescott) furnishes few examples of more
absolute authority than such a revolution in the language of an empire
at the bidding of a master." The pronunciation of Quichua requires a
harsh, explosive utterance. Gibbon says the sound of it to him resembled
Welsh or Irish; that of Aymara, English. The letters _b_, _d_, _f_, _g_,
and _o_ are wanting in the ancient tongue of Quito; _p_ was afterward
changed to _b_, _t_ to _d_, _v_ to _f_, _c_ to _g_, and _u_ to _o_: thus
Chim-pu-razu is now Chimborazo. A few words bear a striking analogy to
corresponding Sanscrit words; as _Ynti_, the Inca for sun, and _Indra_,
the Hindoo god of the heavens.]

The features of the Quichuans have a peculiar cast, which resembles, in
D'Orbigny's opinion, no other American but the Mexican, and some
ethnologists trace a striking similarity to the natives of Van Diemen's
Land. They have an oblong head (longitudinally), somewhat compressed at
the sides and occiput; short and very slightly arched forehead;
prominent, long, aquiline nose, with large nostrils; large mouth, but
not thick lips; beautiful enduring teeth; short chin, but not receding;
cheek-bones not prominent; eyes horizontal, and never large; eyebrows
long; thick, straight, coarse, yet soft jet black hair; little or no
beard; a long, broad, deep, highly-arched chest; small hands and feet;
short stature, seldom reaching five feet, and the women still shorter; a
mulatto color (olive-brown says D'Orbigny, bronze says Humboldt), and a
sad, serious expression. Their broad chests and square shoulders remind
one of the gorilla; but we find that, unlike the anthropoid ape, they
have very weak arms; their strength lies in their backs and legs. They
have shrewdness and penetration, but lack independence and force. We
never heard one sing.[49] Always submissive to your face, taking off
his hat as he passes, and muttering, "Blessed be the altar of God," he
is nevertheless very slow to perform. Soured by long ill treatment, he
will hardly do any thing unless he is compelled. And he will do nothing
well unless he is treated as a slave. Treat him kindly, and you make him
a thief; whip him, and he will rise up to thank you and he your humble
servant. A certain curate could never trust his Indian to carry
important letters until he had given him twenty-five lashes. Servile and
timid, superstitious and indolent, the Quichuans have not half the
spirit of our North American Indians. It has passed into a proverb that
"the Indian lives without shame, eats without repugnance, and dies
without fear." Abject as they are, however, they are not wholly without
wit. By a secret telegraph system, they will communicate between Quito
and Riobamba in one hour. When there was a battle in Pasto, the Indians
of Riobamba knew of it two hours after, though eighty leagues distant.

[Footnote 49: Their favorite musical instrument is the _rondador_, a
number of reeds of different lengths tied in a row. The "plaintive
national songs" which Markham heard at Cuzco are not sung in Ecuador.]

The civilization of South America three centuries ago was nearly
confined to this Andean family, though they had attained only to the
bronze period. In the milder character of their ancient religion and
gentleness of disposition they are strongly distinguished from the
nations that encircled the vale of Anahuac, the centre of civilization
on the northern continent. But little of this former glory is now
apparent. The Incas reached an astronomical knowledge which astonished
the Spaniards, but the Quichuans of to-day count vaguely by moons and
rains. Great is the contrast between the architecture of this century
and that in the days of Huayna-Capac. There are few Incarial relics,
however, in the Valley of Quito, for the Incas ruled there only half a
century. The chief monuments are the tolas or mounds (mostly at
Cuenca), containing earthen vessels and bronze hatchets and earrings;
the _Inga-pirrca_, or oval fortress, and the _Intihuaicu_, or temple of
the sun, near Canar; the _Inga-chungana_, a massive stone resembling a
sofa, where the Inca reposed to enjoy the delightful prospect over the
Valley of Gulan; and remnants of causeways and roads.




CHAPTER VII.

     Geological History of South America.--Rise of the Andes.--Creation
     of the Amazon.--Characteristic Features of the Continent.--Andean
     Chain.--The Equatorial Volcanoes.


Three cycles ago an island rose from the sea where now expands the vast
continent of South America. It was the culminating point of the
highlands of Guiana. For ages this granite peak was the solo
representative of dry land in our hemisphere south of the Canada hills.
In process of time, a cluster of islands rose above the thermal waters.
They were the small beginnings of the future mountains of Brazil,
holding in their laps the diamonds which now sparkle in the crown of Dom
Pedro II. Long protracted eons elapsed without adding a page to the
geology of South America. The Creator seems to have been busy elsewhere.
Decorating the north with the gorgeous flora of the carboniferous
period, till, in the language of Hugh Miller, "to distant planets our
earth must have shone with a green and delicate ray," he rubbed the
picture out, and ushered in the hideous reptilian age, when monstrous
saurians, footed, paddled, and winged, were the lords of this lower
world. All the great mountain chains were at this time slumbering
beneath the ocean. The city of New York was sure of its site; but huge
dinotheria wallowed in the mire where now stand the palaces of Paris,
London, and Vienna.

At length the morning breaks upon the last day of creation, and the fiat
goes forth that the proud waves of the Pacific, which have so long
washed the table-lands of Guiana and Brazil, shall be stayed. Far away
toward the setting sun the white surf beats in long lines of foam
against a low, winding archipelago--the western outline of the coming
continent. Fierce is the fight for the mastery between sea and land,
between the denuding power of the waves and the volcanic forces
underneath. But slowly--very slowly, yet surely--rises the long chain of
islands by a double process; the submarine crust of the earth is
cooling, and the rocks are folded up as it shrivels, while the molten
material within, pressed out through the crevices, overflows and helps
to build up the sea-defiant wall. A man's life would be too short to
count even the centuries consumed in this operation. The coast of Peru
has risen eighty feet since it felt the tread of Pizarro: supposing the
Andes to have risen at this rate uniformly and without interruption,
seventy thousand years must have elapsed before they reached their
present altitude. But when we consider that, in fact, it was an
intermittent movement--alternate upheaval and subsidence--we must add an
unknown number of millennia.

Three times the Andes sank hundreds of feet beneath the ocean level, and
again were slowly brought up to their present height. The suns of
uncounted ages have risen and set upon these sculptured forms, though
geologically recent, casting the same line of shadows century after
century. A long succession of brute races roamed over the mountains and
plains of South America, and died out ages ere man was created. In those
pre-Adamite times, long before the Incas ruled, the mastodon and
megatherium, the horse and the tapir, dwelt in the high valley of Quito;
yet all these passed away before the arrival of the aborigines: the wild
horses now feeding on the pampas of Buenos Ayres were imported from
Europe three hundred and thirty-three years ago.[50]

[Footnote 50: At Paita, the most western point of South America, there
is a raised beach three hundred feet high. The basal slate and sandstone
rocks, dipping S. of E., are covered by conglomerate, sand, and a
gypseous formation, containing shells of living species. Additional to
those described by D'Orbigny we found here _Cerithium laeviuscula_,
_Ostrea gallus_, and _Ampullina Ortoni_, as determined by W.M. Gabb,
Esq., of Philadelphia. Darwin found shells in Chile 1300 feet above the
sea, covered with marine mud. President Loomis, of Lewisburg University,
Pa., informs the writer, that in 1853, after nearly a day's ride from
Iquique, he came to a former sea-beach. "It furnished abundant specimens
of _Patellae_ and other shells, still perfect, and identical with others
that I had that morning obtained at Iquique with the living animal
inhabiting them." This beach is elevated 2500 feet above the Pacific.
The same observer says that near Potosi there is one uninterrupted mass
of lava, having a columnar structure, not less than one hundred miles in
length, fifty miles wide, and eight hundred feet thick. It overlies a
bed of saliferous sandstone which has been worked for salt. Fifty feet
within a mine, and in the undisturbed rock which forms its roof, the
doctor found fragments of dicotyledonous trees with the bark on,
undecomposed, uncharred, and fibrous.]

And now the Andes[51] stand complete in their present gigantic
proportions, one of the grandest and most symmetrical mountain chains in
the world. Starting from the Land of Fire, it stretches northward and
mounts upward until it enters the Isthmus of Panama, where it bows
gracefully to either ocean, but soon resumes, under another name, its
former majesty, and loses its magnificence only where the trappers chase
the fur-bearing animals over the Arctic plains. Nowhere else does Nature
present such a continuous and lofty chain of mountains, unbroken for
eight thousand miles, save where it is rent asunder by the Magellanic
Straits, and proudly tossing up a thousand pinnacles into the region of
eternal snow. Nowhere in the Old World do we see a single well-defined
mountain chain, only a broad belt of mountainous country traversing the
heart of the continent.

[Footnote 51: The name Andes is often derived from _anta_, an old
Peruvian word signifying metal. But Humboldt says: "There are no means
of interpreting it by connecting it with any signification or idea; if
such connection exist, it is buried in the obscurity of the past."
According to Col. Tod, the northern Hindoos apply the name Andes to the
Himalayan Mountains.]

The moment the Andes arose, the great continental valley of the Amazon
was sketched out and moulded in its lap. The tidal waves of the Atlantic
were dashing against the Cordilleras, and a legion of rivulets were
busily plowing up the sides into deep ravines; the sediment produced by
this incessant wear and tear was carried eastward, and spread out
stratum by stratum, till the shallow sea between the Andes and the
islands of Guiana and Brazil was filled up with sand and clay. Huge
glaciers (thinks Agassiz), afterward descending, moved over the inclined
plane, and ground the loose rock to powder.[52] Eddies and currents,
throwing up sand-banks as they do now, gradually defined the limits of
the tributary streams, and directed them into one main trunk, which
worked for itself a wide, deep bed, capable of containing its
accumulated flood. Then and thus was created the Amazon.

[Footnote 52: On this point see Chapter XVII.]

In South America Nature has framed her works on a gigantic scale. Where
else combined do we see such a series of towering mountains, such a
volume of river-water, and such wide-spreading plains? We have no proper
conception of Andine grandeur till we learn that the top of the tallest
mountain in North America is nearly a mile beneath the untrodden dome of
Chimborazo; nor any just view of the vast dimensions of the Amazonian
Valley till we find that all the United States could be packed in it
without touching its boundaries; nor any adequate idea of the Amazon
itself till we ascertain that it drains a million square miles more than
the Mississippi.

South America is a triangular continent, with its axis, the Andes, not
central, as in Europe, but lying on its extreme western edge, and in
harmony with the well-known law that the highest mountains and the
grandest volcanoes face the broadest ocean. The highlands of Brazil and
Guiana have neither volcanic nor snow-clad peaks.[53] Like all the dry
land which first appeared, these primitive mountains on the Atlantic
border trend east and west. The result of this position is a triple
river system--the Orinoco, Amazon, and La Plata, draining three immense
plains--the llanos of Venezuela, the sylvas of Brazil, and the pampas of
the Argentine Republic. The continuity and extent of these vast
depressions are more remarkable even than the height and length of the
mountain chains.[54]

[Footnote 53: "The interior plateau of Brazil (says Dr. Lund) is
composed of horizontal strata of the transition period, which are
nowhere covered with the secondary or tertiary formations." The highest
point in Brazil is 5755 feet. Darwin speaks of "some ancient submarine
volcanic rocks (in the province of La Plata) worth mentioning, from
their rarity on this eastern side of the continent." With the exception
of the coast of Venezuela, the eastern system is little exposed to
earthquakes.]

[Footnote 54: These three plains constitute four fifths of all South
America east of the Andes. The west slope of the Ecuadorian Andes is
about 275 feet per mile; on the east it is 125 feet.]

Such are the characteristic features of South America; they are not
repeated in any other continent.[55] Not one feature could be changed
without destroying those peculiarities of soil and climate which so
remarkably distinguish South America. Its position on the equator places
it in the path of the vapory trade winds, which continually sweep over
it westward till they strike the Andes, which, like a great condenser,
roll a thousand streams eastward again to feed the mighty Amazon. So
effectual is that barrier, not a drop of moisture passes it, and the
trade wind is not felt again on the Pacific till you are one hundred
and fifty miles from the coast. Were the Andes on the Atlantic side,
South America would be turned into a vast Sahara. As it is, the interest
which attaches to this continent, save a few relics of the Incas, is
exclusively that of pure nature. Nowhere does Nature affect us more
deeply with the feeling of her grandeur; nowhere does she exhibit wilder
freaks or more startling contrasts; nowhere do we find such a theatre
for the free development of vegetable and animal life.

[Footnote 55: There is, however, a striking coincidence between the
mountain and river systems of the northern and southern continents of
this hemisphere. Thus,

The Andes represent the Rocky Mountains,
 "  Highland of Guiana represent the Canadian Mountains.
 "     "        Brazil     "         Appalachian  "
 "              Amazon     "         Saskatchewan.
 "              La Plata   "         Mississippi.
 "              Orinoco    "         Mackenzie.

]

The long and lofty chain of the Andes is certainly one of the grandest
results of the plications and uplifts of the earth's crust. While the
waves of the Pacific, from Panama to Patagonia, submissively kiss the
feet of the Andes, and the showers that swell the Amazon fall within
sight of the mariner on that peaceful ocean, the Rocky Mountains are
situated five hundred miles from the sea. The space west of the Andes
does not contain 20,000 square leagues, while the country east of it
equals 424,600. While the compact Andes have an average width of only
sixty miles,[56] the straggling mountain system beyond the Mississippi
has the breadth of the Empire State; but the mean elevation of the
latter would scarcely reach the bottom of the Quito Valley. The
mountains of Asia may surpass the Cordilleras in height, but, situated
beyond the tropics, and destitute of volcanoes, they do not present that
inexhaustible variety of phenomena which characterizes the latter. The
outbursts of porphyry and trachytic domes, so characteristic of the high
crests of the Cordilleras, impart a physiognomy quite distinct from that
presented by the mountains of Europe. The Andes offer, in the least
space, the greatest possible variety of impressions.[57] There is near
Huanca, Peru, a coal-bed lifted up to the enormous height of 14,700
feet, and on the side of Chimborazo there is a salt spring 13,000 feet
above the sea. Marine shells have not been found in Europe above the
summit of the Pyrenees, or 11,700 feet; but the Andes can show some a
thousand feet higher. A strange sight, to see shells once crawling on
the bottom of the ocean now resting at an elevation twice the height of
Mount Washington!

[Footnote 56: The width of the chain south of the equator varies with
that of the continent.]

[Footnote 57: "No mountains which I have seen in Hungary, Saxony, or the
Pyrenees are as irregular as the Andes, or broken into such alternate
substances, manifesting such prodigious revolutions of nature."--_Helms_.
"More sublime than the Alps by their _ensemble_, the Andes lack those
curious and charming details of which Nature has been so lavish in the
old continent."--_Holinski_.]

Beneath the Southern Cross, out of a sea perpetually swept by fearful
gales, rise the rocky hills of Terra del Fuego. It is the starting-point
of that granite chain which winds around the earth in a majestic curve,
first northwesterly to the Arctic Sea, thence by the Aleutian and
Japanese Isles to Asia, crossing the Old World southwesterly from China
to South Africa.

Skirting the bleak shores of Patagonia in a single narrow sierra, the
Andes enter Chile, rising higher and higher till they culminate in the
gigantic porphyritic peak of Aconcagua. At the boundary-line of Bolivia,
the chain, which has so far followed a precise meridional direction,
turns to the northwest, and, at the same time, separates into two
Cordilleras, inclosing the great table-land of Desaguadero. This
wonderful valley, the Thibet of the New World, has four times the area
of New York State, and five times the elevation of the Catskill Mountain
House. At one end of the valley, perched above the clouds, is silvery
Potosi, the highest city in the world; at the other stands the once
golden capital of Cuzco. Between them is Lake Titicaca[58] (probably an
ancient crater), within which is an island celebrated as the cradle of
the strange empire of Peru, which, though crushed by Pizarro in its
budding civilization, ranks as the most extraordinary and extensive
empire in the annals of American history. The Cordillera, of which
Sahama, Sorata, and Illimani are the pinnacles, so completely inclose
this high valley that not a drop of water can escape except by
evaporation. At the silver mines of Pasco the Andes throw off a third
cordillera, and with this triple arrangement and a lower altitude, enter
the republic of Ecuador. There they resume the double line, and surpass
their former magnificence. Twenty volcanoes, presided over by the
princely Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, rise out of a sublime congregation of
mountains surrounding the famous valley of Quito. In New Granada there
is a final and unique display of Andine grandeur: the Cordilleras
combine just above the equator into one dizzy ridge, and then spread out
like a fan, or, rather, like the graceful branches of the palm. One
sierra bends to the east, holding in its lap the city of Bogota, and,
rolling off a thousand streams to swell the Orinoco, terminates in the
beautiful mountains of Caracas; the central range culminates in the
volcanic Tolima,[59] but is soon lost in the Caribbean Sea; the western
chain turns to the left, humbling itself as it threads the narrow
isthmus, and expands into the level table-land of Mexico. You may cross
Mexico from ocean to ocean in a carriage, but no wheeled vehicle ever
crossed South America.

[Footnote 58: This lake is the largest fresh-water accumulation in South
America. It has diminished within the historic period. Its surface is
12,795 feet above the Pacific, or higher than the highest peaks of the
Pyrenees.]

[Footnote 59: This is the loftiest summit of the Andes in the northern
hemisphere, being 18,200 feet. It is also remarkable for being situated
farther from the sea (120 miles) than any other active volcano.]

[Illustration: Profiles of Ecuadorian Volcanoes

10,000 ft. Chimborazo.

10,000 ft. Cotopaxi.

10,000 ft. Caraguairazo.

10,000 ft. Pichincha.

]

We will now speak more particularly of the Andes of the equator. The
mountain chain is built up of granite, gneissoid, and schistose rocks,
often in vertical position, and capped with trachyte and porphyry.[60]
Large masses of _solid_ rock are rarely seen; every thing is cracked,
calcined, or triturated. While in Bolivia the Eastern Cordillera shows a
succession of sharp, ragged peaks, in contrast with the conical summits
of the Cordillera of the coast, there is no such distinction in the
Andes of the equator.[61] The Eastern Cordillera has a greater mean
height, and it displays more volcanic activity. Twenty volcanic
mountains surround the valley, of which twelve are in the oriental
chain. Three of the twenty are now active (Cotopaxi, Sangai, and
Pichincha), and five others are known to have erupted since the Conquest
(Chiles, Imbabura, Guamani, Tunguragua, and Quirotoa). The truncated
cone of Cotopaxi, the jagged, Alpine crest of ruined Altar, and the dome
of Chimborazo, are the representative forms of the volcanic summits. The
extinct volcanoes usually have double domes or peaks, while the active
peaks are slender cones. Antisana and Cayambi are fashioned after
Chimborazo, though the latter is table-topped rather than convex;
Caraguairazo, Quirotoa, Iliniza, Sincholagua, Ruminagui, and Corazon,
resemble Altar; Tunguragua, Sangai, Llanganati, Cotocachi, Chiles, and
Imbabura, imitate Cotopaxi; Pichincha, Atacatzo, and Guamani are
irregular. The Ecuadorian volcanoes have rarely ejected liquid lava, but
chiefly water, mud, ashes, and fragments of trachyte and porphyry.
Cotopaxi alone produces pure, foam-like pumice, and glossy,
translucent obsidian.[62] The paucity of quartz, and the absence of
basalt, are remarkable. Some of the porphyroids are conglomerate, but
the majority are true porphyries, having a homogeneous base. Dr. T.
Sterry Hunt calls them porphyroid trachytes. They have a black, rarely
reddish, vitreous, or impalpable base, approaching obsidian, with a
specific gravity of 2.59 in pure specimens, and holding crystals or
crystalline grains of glassy feldspar, and sometimes of pyroxene and
hematite. They differ from the Old World porphyries in containing no
quartz, and seldom mica.[63] D'Orbigny considers the porphyries of the
Andes to have been ejected at the close of the cretaceous period, and
formed the first relief of the Cordillera. The prevalence of trachyte
shows that the products have cooled under feeble pressure.

[Footnote 60: "As a general rule, whenever the mass of mountains rises
much above the limit of perpetual snow, the primitive rocks disappear,
and the summits are trachyte or trappean porphyry."--_Humboldt_. In
general, "the great Cordilleras are formed of innumerable varieties of
granites, gneiss, schists, hornblende, chloritic slates, porphyries,
etc., and these rocks alternate with each other in meridional bands,
which in the ridges frequently present the appearance of a radiated or
fan-shaped structure, and under the plains are more or less
vertical."--_Evan Hopkins, F.G.S_.]

[Footnote 61: Von Tschudi makes the incorrect statement that "throughout
the whole extent of South America there is not a single instance of the
Western Cordillera being intersected by a river." Witness the
Esmeraldas.]

[Footnote 62: It is a singular fact that true trachyte, pumice, and
obsidian are wanting in the volcanic Galapagos Islands, only 700 miles
west of Pichincha.]

[Footnote 63: As many of the crystals are partly fused, or have round
angles, the porphyries were probably formed by the melting of a
crystalline rock, the base becoming fused into a homogeneous material,
while the less fusible crystals remain imbedded.--_Dr. Hunt_.]

From the deluges of water lately thrown out have resulted deep furrows
in the sides; and from the prevalence of the east wind, which is always
met by the traveler on the crest of either Cordillera, there is a
greater accumulation of ashes, and less snow on the west slope. Cotopaxi
is a fine example of this. In Pichincha, Altar, and Ruminagua, however,
the western wall is lowest, apparently broken down.[64] There is no
synchronism in the eruptions of Cotopaxi and Pichincha. These volcanoes
must have independent reservoirs, for the former is 3000 feet higher
than the latter, and only thirty miles distant. The reputed eruptions of
Pichincha are dated 1534, 1539, 1566, 1575, 1588, and 1660; that of 1534
resting on the assertions of Checa, Garcilazo, and Herrera, indorsed by
Humboldt. Excepting the traditional eruption in 1534, which probably is
confounded with that of Pichincha, Cotopaxi did not open till 1742; then
followed the eruptions of 1743, 1744, 1746, 1766, 1768, 1803, 1851, and
1855. We must mention, however, that, since the recent awakening of
Pichincha, Cotopaxi has been unusually silent. There is also a
remarkable coincidence (which may not be wholly accidental) in the
renewed activity of Pichincha, and the great eruption of Mauna Loa, both
occurring in March, 1868. It is generally believed by the natives that
Cotopaxi and Tunguragua are sympathetic.

[Footnote 64: In the Galapagos volcanoes the south wall is lowest, while
the craters in Mexico and Sandwich Islands are lowest on the northeast.]

There are fifty-one volcanoes in the Andean chain. Of these, twenty
girdle the Valley of Quito, three active, five dormant, and twelve
extinct.[65] Besides these are numerous mountain peaks not properly
volcanic. Nowhere on the face of the earth is there such a grand
assemblage of mountains. Twenty-two summits are covered with perpetual
snow, and fifty are over ten thousand feet high.[66]

[Footnote 65: The altitudes of the most important Ecuadorian volcanoes
are:

WESTERN CHAIN.
_Chimborazo_, 21,420 feet (Humboldt).
_Caraguairazo_, 19,183 feet (Humboldt).
  It is variously estimated from 15,673
  feet to 19,720 feet; 18,000 feet is
  not far from the truth.
_Iliniza_, 17,370 feet (Wisse); 16,300
  (Hall).
_Cotocachi_, 16,440 feet (Humboldt);
  16,409 (Wisse).
_Pichincha_, 15,922 feet (Humboldt);
  15,827 (Orton).

EASTERN CHAIN.
_Cayambi_, 19,648 feet (Humboldt);
  19,358 (Wisse).
_Antisana_, 19,148 feet (Humboldt);
  19,279 (Wisse).
_Cotopaxi_, 18,880 feet (Humboldt);
  18,862 (Wisse).
_Altar_, 17,400 feet.
_Sangai_, 17,120 feet (Wisse).
_Tunguragua_, 16,579 feet (Humboldt).
_Sincholagua_, 16,434 feet (Humboldt).

]

[Footnote 66: The snow limit at the equator is 15,800 feet. No living
creature, save the condor, passes this limit; naked rocks, fogs, and
eternal snows mark the reign of uninterrupted solitude. The following is
the approximate limit of perpetual snow in different latitudes:

 0 deg.          15,800 feet.
27 deg.          18,800  "
33 deg.          12,780  "
40 deg.           8,300 feet.
54 deg.           3,700  "
70 deg.           3,300  "

The limit appears to descend more rapidly going south of the equator
than in going north.]

All of these would be visible from a single stand-point--the summit of
Cotopaxi. The lofty peaks shoot up with so much method as almost to
provoke the theory that the Incas, in the zenith of their power, planted
them as signal monuments along the royal road to Cuzco. The eastern
series is called the _Cordillera real_, because along its flank are the
remnants of the splendid highway which once connected Quito and the
Peruvian capital.[67] It can also boast of such tremendous volcanoes as
Cotopaxi and Sangai. The Western Cordillera contains but one active
volcano; but then it can point to peerless Chimborazo and the deep
crater of Pichincha. These twenty volcanic mountains rise within a space
only two hundred miles long and thirty miles wide. It makes one tremble
to think of the awful crevice over which they are placed.[68]

[Footnote 67: We traveled over a portion of this ancient road in going
from Riobamba to Cajabamba. It is well paved with cut blocks of dark
porphyry. It is not graded, but partakes of the irregularity of the
country. Designed, not for carriages, but for troops and llamas, there
are steps when the ascent is steep.]

[Footnote 68: Grand as the Andes are, how insignificant in a general
view! How slightly they cause our globe to differ from a perfect sphere!
Cotopaxi constitutes only 1/1100 of the earth's radius; and on a globe
six feet in diameter, Chimborazo would be represented by a grain of sand
less than 1/20 of an inch in thickness.]




CHAPTER VIII.

     The Volcanoes of Ecuador.--Western
     Cordillera.--Chimborazo.--Iliniza.--Corazon.--Pichincha.--Descent
     into its Crater.


Coming up from Peru through the cinchona forests of Loja, and over the
barren hills of Assuay, the traveler reaches Riobamba, seated on the
threshold of magnificence--like Damascus, an oasis in a sandy plain,
but, unlike the Queen of the East, surrounded with a splendid retinue of
snowy peaks that look like icebergs floating in a sea of clouds.

On our left is the most sublime spectacle in the New World. It is a
majestic pile of snow, its clear outline on the deep blue sky describing
the profile of a lion in repose. At noon the vertical sun, and the
profusion of light reflected from the glittering surface, will not allow
a shadow to be cast on any part, so that you can easily fancy the figure
is cut out of a mountain of spotless marble. This is Chimborazo--yet not
the whole of it--you see but a third of the great giant. His feet are as
eternally green as his head is everlastingly white; but they are far
away beneath the bananas and cocoa-palms of the Pacific coast.

Rousseau was disappointed when he first saw the sea; and the first
glimpse of Niagara often fails to meet one's expectations. But
Chimborazo is sure of a worshiper the moment its overwhelming grandeur
breaks upon the traveler. You feel that you are in the presence-chamber
of the monarch of the Andes. There is sublimity in his kingly look, of
which the ocean might be proud.

    "All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
    Gathers around this summit, as if to show
    How earth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below."

Well do we remember our disappointment as we stood before that wonder of
the world--St. Peter's. We mounted the pyramid of steps and looked up,
but were not overcome by the magnificence. We read in our guide-book
that the edifice covers eight acres, and to the tip-top of the cross is
almost five hundred feet; that it took three hundred and fifty years and
twelve successive artists to finish it, and an expenditure of
$50,000,000, and now costs $30,000 per annum to keep it in repair; still
we did not appreciate its greatness. We pushed aside the curtain and
walked in--walked a day's journey across the transept and up and down
the everlasting nave, and yet continued heterodox. We tried hard to
believe it was very vast and sublime, and knew we ought to feel its
grandeur, but somehow we did not. Then we sat down by the Holy of
Holies, and there we were startled into a better judgment by the
astounding fact that the Cathedral of St. Paul--the largest edifice in
Great Britain--could stand upright, spire, dome, body, and all, inside
of St. Peter's! that the letters of the inscription which run around the
_base_ of the dome, though apparently but an inch, are in reality six
feet high! Then, for the first time, the scales fell from our eyes; the
giant building began to grow; higher and higher still it rose, longer
and deeper it expanded, yet in perfect proportions; the colossal
structure, now a living temple, put on its beautiful garments and the
robe of majesty. And that dome! the longer we looked at it the vaster it
grew, till finally it seemed to be a temple not made with hands; the
spacious canopy became the firmament; the mosaic figures of cherubim and
seraphim were endowed with life; and as we fixed our eyes on the zenith
where the Almighty is represented in glory, we thought we had the vision
of Stephen. Long we gazed upward into this heaven of man's creation, and
gazed again till we were lost in wonder.

But the traveler needs no such steps to lift him up to the grand
conception of the divine Architect as he beholds the great white dome of
Chimborazo. It looks lofty from the very first. Now and then an expanse
of thin, sky-like vapor would cut the mountain in twain, and the dome,
islanded in the deep blue of the upper regions, seemed to belong more to
heaven than to earth. We knew that Chimborazo was more than twice the
altitude of Etna. We could almost see the great Humboldt struggling up
the mountain's side till he looked like a black speck moving over the
mighty white, but giving up in despair four thousand feet below the
summit. We see the intrepid Bolivar mounting still higher; but the hero
of Spanish-American independence returns a defeated man. Last of all
comes the philosophic Boussingault, and attains the prodigious elevation
of nineteen thousand six hundred feet--the highest point reached by man
without the aid of a balloon; but the dome remains unsullied by his
foot. Yet none of these facts increase our admiration. The mountain has
a tongue which speaks louder than all mathematical calculations.

There must be something singularly sublime about Chimborazo, for the
spectator at Riobamba is already nine thousand feet high, and the
mountain is not so elevated above him as Mont Blanc above the vale of
Chamouni, when, in reality, that culminating point of Europe would not
reach up even to the snow-limit of Chimborazo by two thousand feet.[69]
It is only while sailing on the Pacific that one sees Chimborazo in its
complete proportions. Its very magnitude diminishes the impression of
awe and wonder, for the Andes on which it rests are heaved to such a
vast altitude above the sea, that the relative elevation of its summit
becomes reduced by comparison with the surrounding mountains. Its
altitude is 21,420 feet, or forty-five times the height of Strasburg
Cathedral; or, to state it otherwise, the fall of one pound from the top
of Chimborazo would raise the temperature of water 30 deg.. One fourth of
this is perpetually covered with snow, so that its ancient name,
Chimpurazu--the mountain of snow--is very appropriate.[70] It is a
stirring thought that this mountain, now mantled with snow, once gleamed
with volcanic fires. There is a hot spring on the north side, and an
immense amount of debris covers the slope below the snow-limit,
consisting chiefly of fine-grained, iron-stained trachyte and coarse
porphyroid gray trachyte; very rarely a dark vitreous trachyte.
Chimborazo is very likely not a solid mountain: trachytic volcanoes are
supposed to be full of cavities. Bouguer found it made the plumb-line
deviate 7" or 8".

[Footnote 69: But Chimborazo is steeper than the Alp-king; and steepness
is a quality more quickly appreciated than mere massiveness. "Mont Blanc
(says a writer in _Frazer's Magazine_) is scarcely admired, because he
is built with a certain regard to stability; but the apparently reckless
architecture of the Matterhorn brings the traveler fairly on his knees,
with a respect akin to that felt for the leaning tower of Pisa, or the
soaring pinnacles of Antwerp."]

[Footnote 70: "White Mountain" is the natural and almost uniform name of
the highest mountains in all countries: thus Himalaya, Mont Blanc,
Hocmus, Sierra Nevada, Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Lebanon, White Mountains of
United States, Chimborazo, and Illimani.]

The valleys which furrow the flank of Chimborazo are in keeping with its
colossal size. Narrower, but deeper than those of the Alps, the mind
swoons and sinks in the effort to comprehend their grim majesty. The
mountain appears to have been broken to pieces like so much thin crust,
and the strata thrown on their vertical edges, revealing deep, dark
chasms, that seem to lead to the confines of the lower world. The
deepest valley in Europe, that of the Ordesa in the Pyrenees, is 3200
feet deep; but here are rents in the side of Chimborazo in which
Vesuvius could be put away out of sight. As you look down into the
fathomless fissure, you see a white fleck rising out of the gulf, and
expanding as it mounts, till the wings of the condor, fifteen feet in
spread, glitter in the sun as the proud bird fearlessly wheels over the
dizzy chasm, and then, ascending above your head, sails over the dome of
Chimborazo.[71] Could the condor speak, what a glowing description could
he give of the landscape beneath him when his horizon is a thousand
miles in diameter. If

    "Twelve fair counties saw the blaze from Malvern's lonely height,"

what must be the panorama from a height fifteen times higher!

[Footnote 71: Humboldt's statement that the condor flies higher than
Chimborazo has been questioned; but we have seen numbers hovering at
least a thousand feet above the summit of Pichincha. Baron Mueller, in
his ascent of Orizaba, saw two falcons flying at the height of full
18,000 feet; Dr. Hooker found crows and ravens on the Himalayas at
16,500 feet; and flocks of wild geese are said to fly over the peak of
Kintschinghow, 22,756 feet.]

Chimborazo was long supposed to be the tallest mountain on the globe,
but its supremacy has been supplanted by Mount Everest in Asia, and
Aconcagua in Chile.[72] In mountain gloom and glory, however, it still
stands unrivaled. The Alps have the avalanche, "the thunderbolt of
snow," and the glaciers, those icy Niagaras so beautiful and grand. Here
they are wanting.[73] The monarch of the Andes sits motionless in calm
serenity and unbroken silence. The silence is absolute and actually
oppressive. The road from Guayaquil to Quito crosses Chimborazo at the
elevation of fourteen thousand feet. Save the rush of the trade wind in
the afternoon, as it sweeps over the Andes, not a sound is audible; not
the hum of an insect, nor the chirp of a bird, nor the roar of the puma,
nor the music of running waters. Mid-ocean is never so silent. You can
almost hear the globe turning on its axis. There was a time when the
monarch deigned to speak, and spoke with a voice of thunder, for the
lava on its sides is an evidence of volcanic activity. But ever since
the morning stars sang together over man's creation, Chimbo has sat in
sullen silence, satisfied to look "from his throne of clouds o'er half
the world." There is something very suggestive in this silence of
Chimborazo. It was once full of noise and fury; it is now a _completed_
mountain, and thunders no more. How silent was Jesus, a completed
character! The reason we are so noisy is that we are so full of wants;
we are _unfinished_ characters. Had we perfect fullness of all things,
the beatitude of being without a want, we should lapse into the eternal
silence of God.

[Footnote 72: Mount Everest is 29,000 feet, and Aconcagua 23,200.
Schlagintweit enumerates thirteen Himalayan summits over 25,000 feet,
and forty-six above 20,000. We have little confidence in the estimates
of the Bolivian mountains. Chimborazo has nearly the same latitude and
altitude as the loftiest peak in Africa, Kilima Njaro.]

[Footnote 73: Humboldt ascribes the absence of glaciers in the Andes to
the extreme steepness of the sides, and the excessive dryness of the
air. Dr. Loomis, above quoted, mentions indications of glacial
action--moraines, and polished and striated rocks--on the crest of the
Cordillera, between Peru and Bolivia, lat. 21 deg. S.]

Chimborazo is a leader of a long train of ambitious crags and peaks; but
as he who comes after the king must not expect to be noticed, we will
only take a glimpse of these lesser lights as we pass up the Western
Cordillera, and then down the Eastern.

The first after leaving the monarch is Caraguairazo. The Indians call it
"the wife of Chimborazo." They are separated only by a very narrow
valley. One hundred and seventy years ago the top of this mountain fell
in, and torrents of mud flowed out containing multitudes of fishes. It
is now over seventeen thousand feet high, and is one of the most Alpine
of the Quitonian volcanoes, having sharp pinnacles instead of the smooth
trachytic domes--usually double domes--so characteristic of the Andean
summits. And now we pass in rapid succession numerous picturesque
mountains, some of them extinct volcanoes, as Iliniza, presenting two
pyramidal peaks, the highest seventeen thousand feet above the sea, and
Corazon, so named from its heart-shaped summit, till we reach Pichincha,
whose smoking crater is only five miles distant in a straight line from
the city of Quito, or eleven by the traveled route.

The crown of this mountain presents three groups of rocky peaks. The
most westerly one is called Rucu-Pichincha, and alone manifests
activity. To the northeast of Rucu is Guagua-Pichincha, a ruined flue of
the same fiery furnace; and between the two is Cundur-guachana.[74]
Pichincha is the only volcano in Ecuador which has not a true
cone-crater. Some violent eruption beyond the reach of history or
tradition has formed an enormous funnel-shaped basin 2500 feet deep,[75]
1500 in diameter at the bottom, and expanding upward to a width of three
fourths of a mile. It is the _deepest_ crater on the globe. That of
Kilauea is 600 feet; Orizaba, 500; Etna, 300; Hecla, 100. Vesuvius is a
portable furnace in comparison. The abyss is girt with a ragged wall of
dark trachyte, which rises on the inside at various angles between 45 deg.
and perpendicularity. As we know of but one American besides the members
of our expedition (Mr. Farrand, a photographer) who has succeeded in
entering the crater of this interesting volcano, we will give a brief
sketch of our visit.

[Footnote 74: Pichincha, in the Inca language, signifies "the boiling
mountain;" Rucu means old; Guagua, young; and Cundur-guachana, the
condor's nest.]

[Footnote 75: More accurately, 2527 feet; Wisse and Moreno made it
2460.]

[Illustration: Crater of Pichincha.]

Leaving Quito in the afternoon by the old arched gateway at the foot of
Panecillo, and crossing a spur of the mountain, we stopped for the night
at the Jesuit hacienda, situated in the beautiful valley of Lloa, but
nearly ruined by the earthquake of 1859. On the damp walls of this
monastery, perched 10,268 feet above the ocean, we found several old
paintings, among them a copy of the _Visitation_ by Rubens. The sunset
views in this heart of the Andes were surpassingly beautiful. Mounting
our horses at break of day, and taking an Indian guide, we ascended
rapidly, by a narrow and difficult path, through the forest that belts
the volcano, up to the height of 12,000 feet, emerging gradually into a
thicket of stunted bushes, and then entered the dreary paramo. Splendid
was the view of the Eastern Cordillera. At least six dazzling white
volcanoes were in sight just across the Valley of Quito, among them
table-topped Cayambi, majestic Antisana, and princely Cotopaxi, whose
tapering summit is a mile above the clouds. Toiling upward, we reached
the base of the cone, where vegetation ceased entirely; and, tying our
horses to some huge rocks that had fallen from the mural cliff above,
started off on hands and feet for the crater. The cone is deeply covered
with sand and cinders for about two hundred feet, and the sides are
inclined at an angle of about 35 deg.. At ten o'clock we reached the brim of
the crater, and the great gulf burst suddenly into view. We can never
forget the impression made upon us by the sight. We speak of many things
here below as awful, but that word has its full meaning when carried to
the top of Pichincha. There you see a frightful opening in the earth's
crust nearly a mile in width and half a mile deep, and from the dark
abyss comes rolling up a cloud of sulphurous vapors. Monte Somma in the
time of Strabo was a miniature; but this crater is on the top of a
mountain four times the height of the Italian volcano. Imagination finds
it difficult to conceive a spectacle of more fearful grandeur or such
solemn magnificence. It well accords with Milton's picture of the
bottomless pit. The united effect of the silence and solitude of the
place, the great depth of the cavity, the dark precipitous sides, and
the column of smoke standing over an unseen crevice, was to us more
impressive than thundering Cotopaxi or fiery Vesuvius. Humboldt,
after standing on this same brink, exclaimed, "I have never beheld a
grander or more remarkable picture than that presented by this volcano;"
and La Condamine compared it to "the Chaos of the poets." Below us are
the smouldering fires which may any moment spring forth into a
conflagration; around us are black, ragged cliffs--fit boundary for this
gateway to the infernal regions. They look as if they had just been
dragged up from the central furnace of the earth. Life seems to have
fled in terror from the vicinity; even lichens, the children of the bare
rocks, refuse to clothe the scathed and beetling crags. For some
moments, made mute by the dreadful sight, we stood like statues on the
rim of the mighty caldron, with our eyes riveted on the abyss below,
lost in contemplating that which can not be described. The panorama from
this lofty summit is more pleasing, but equally sublime. Toward the
rising sun is the long range of the Eastern Cordillera, hiding from our
view the great valley of the Amazon. To right and left are the peaks of
another procession of august mountains from Cotocachi to Chimborazo. We
are surrounded by the great patriarchs of the Andes, and their speaker,
Cotopaxi, ever and anon sends his muttering voice over the land. The
view westward is like looking down from a balloon. Those parallel ridges
of the mountain chain, dropping one behind the other, are the gigantic
staircase by which the ice-crowned Chimborazo steps down to the sea. A
white sea of clouds covers the peaceful Pacific and the lower parts of
the coast. But the vapory ocean, curling into the ravines, beautifully
represents little coves and bays, leaving islands and promontories like
a true ocean on a broken shore. We seem raised above the earth, which
lies like an opened map below us; we can look down on the upper surface
of the clouds, and, were it night, down too upon the lightnings.

The crater of Pichincha has a sharp, serrated edge, which, happily for
Quito, is broken down on the west side, so that in the next eruption the
volcano will doubtless pour its contents into the wilds of Esmeraldas.
The highest pinnacle is 15,827 feet; so that the mountain just enters
the region of perpetual winter. Water boils at 185 deg.. The summit is
generally bare, though snow is always found in the clefts of the rocks.
It is not compact or crystalline, but resembles a conglomerate of little
hailstones.[76] Out of the mingled snow and pumice-dust rise a few
delicate flowers, particularly the violet _Sida Pichinchensis_, the same
which we had observed on the side of Chimborazo. Think of gay flowers a
thousand feet higher than the top of Mont Blanc!

[Footnote 76: The snow on the top of Mont Blanc is like dry dust; in
Lapland, in open places, it consists of hexagonal crystals, and is
called by the inhabitants "sand-snow." The French and Spanish
mathematicians, Bouguer, La Condamine, and Ulloa, in their story of
ascending Pichincha, give a long and dreadful account of their
sufferings from cold and rarefied air: "whilst eating, every one was
obliged to keep his plate over a chafing-dish of coals, to prevent his
food from freezing." The traveler nowadays finds only a chilling wind.
This rise of temperature, coupled with the fact that La Condamine
(1745), Humboldt (1802), Boussingault (1831), and Wisse (1863) give to
Quito a decreasing altitude, inclines us to believe, with Boussingault,
that the Andes are sinking. Since the activity of the volcano in 1868,
the summit has been so warm that the snow has totally disappeared.
Ice-cream has in consequence risen in price in Quito, as snow must be
brought from Sincholagua, four days' journey.]

The first to reach the brink of the crater were the French Academicians
in 1742. Sixty years after, Humboldt stood on the summit. But it was not
till 1844 that any one dared to enter the crater. This was accomplished
by Garcia Moreno, now President of Ecuador, and Sebastian Wisse, a
French engineer. Humboldt pronounced the bottom of the crater
"inaccessible, from its great depth and precipitous descent." We found
it accessible, but exceedingly perilous. The moment we prepared to
descend our guide ran away. We went on without him, but when halfway
down were stopped by a precipice.

On the 22d of October, 1867, we returned to Pichincha with another
guide, and entered the crater by a different route. Manuel, our Indian,
led us to the south side, and over the brink we went. We were not long
in realizing the danger of the undertaking. Here the snow concealed an
ugly fissure or covered a treacherous rock (for nearly all the rocks are
crumbling); there we must cross a mass of loose sand moving like a
glacier down the almost vertical side of the crater; and on every hand
rocks were giving way, and, gathering momentum at each revolution, went
thundering down, leaping over precipices, and jostling other rocks,
which joined in the race, till they all struck the bottom with a deep
rumbling sound, shivered like so many bombshells into a thousand pieces,
and telling us what would be our fate it we made a single misstep. We
followed our Indian in single file, keeping close together, that the
stones set free by those in the rear might not dash those below from
their feet; feeling our way with the greatest caution, clinging with our
hands to snow, sand, rock, tufts of grass, or any thing that would hold
for a moment; now leaping over a chasm, now letting ourselves down from
rock to rock; at times paralyzed with fear, and always with death
staring us in the face; thus we scrambled for two hours and a half, till
we reached the bottom of the crater.

Here we found a deeply-furrowed plain, strewn with ragged rocks, and
containing a few patches of vegetation, with half a dozen species of
flowers. In the centre is an irregular heap of stones, two hundred and
sixty feet high by eight hundred in diameter. This is the cone of
eruption--its sides and summit covered with an imposing group of vents,
seventy in number, all lined with sulphur and exhaling steam, black
smoke, and sulphurous gas. The temperature of the vapor just within the
fumarole is 184 deg., water boiling beside it at 189 deg.. The central vent, or
chimney, gives forth a sound like the violent bubbling of boiling water.
As we sat on this fiery mount, surrounded by a circular rampart of
rocks, and looked up at the immense towers of dark dolerite which ran up
almost vertically to the height of twenty-five hundred feet above us,
musing over the tremendous force which fashioned this awful
amphitheatre--spacious enough for all the gods of Tartarus to hold high
carnival--the clouds which hung in the thin air around the crest of the
crater pealed forth thunder after thunder, which, reverberating from
precipice to precipice, were answered by the crash of rocks let loose by
the storm, till the whole mountain seemed to tremble like a leaf. Such
acoustics, mingled with the flash of lightning and the smell of
brimstone, made us believe that we had fairly got into the realm of
Pluto. It is the spot where Dante's _Inferno_ ought to be read.

Finishing our observations, and warming our dinner over the steaming
crevices, we prepared to ascend. The escape from this horrid hole was
more perilous than the entrance, and on reaching the top we sang, with
grateful hearts, to the tune of "Old Hundred,"

     "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."

We doubt whether that famous tune and glorious doxology were ever sung
so near to heaven.

The second line,

     "Praise him all creatures here below,"

had a strange meaning fifteen thousand feet high.

There have been five eruptions of Pichincha since the Conquest. The last
was in 1660; that of 1566 covered Quito three feet deep with ashes and
stones, while boiling water and bitumen descended in torrents. In 1867
the column of smoke did not rise above the crest of the crater, but the
volcano has lately been showing signs of activity, such as it has not
exhibited since the last grand eruption two centuries ago. On the 19th
of March, 1868, detonations were audible at Quito, and three days after
there were more thunderings, with a great column of vapor visible from
Chillo, twelve miles to the east. These phenomena were accompanied by an
unusual fall of rain. Since the great earthquake of August 16th,
Pichincha has continued to send forth dense columns of black smoke, and
so much fine sand that it is not possible to reach the crater. The solid
products of Pichincha since the Conquest have been chiefly pumice,
coarse-grained and granular trachyte, and reddish porphyroid trachyte.
The roads leading to Quito cut through hills of pumice-dust. On the
plain of Inaquito and in the valley of Esmeraldas are vast erratic
blocks of trachyte, some containing twenty-five cubic yards, having
sharp angles, and in some cases a polished, unstriated surface. M. Wisse
does not consider them to have been thrown out of Pichincha, as La
Condamine and others have judged. It is true, as he says, that they
could not have come out of the present cone at a less angle than 45 deg.,
for they would have hit the sides of the high rocky rampart and rolled
back again; and at a higher angle they would not have reached their
present location. But we see no reason why they could not be the upper
portion of the solid trachyte cone blown into the air at the great
eruption which cleared out this enormous crater. There is a _rumipamba_,
or "field of stones," around each of the Quitonian volcanoes.

Leaving Pichincha, we travel northward along the battlemented Andes,
passing by the conical mountains of Yana-urcu and Cotocachi. Yana-urcu,
or "black mountain," is a mass of calcined rocks. Cotocachi (from
_cota_? and _cachi_, salt) is always snow-clad. On its side is Cuycocha,
one of the highest lakes in the world (10,200 feet), and formed by the
subsidence of a part of the volcano.




CHAPTER IX.

     The Volcanoes of Ecuador.--Eastern
     Cordillera.--Imbabura.--Cayambi.--Antisana.--Cotopaxi.--Llanganati.
     --Tunguragua.--Altar.--Sangai.


Near the once busy city of Otovalo, utterly destroyed in the late
earthquake, the two Cordilleras join, and, turning to the right, we go
down the eastern range. The first in order is Imbabura,[77] which poured
forth a large quantity of mud, with thousands of fishes, seven years
before the similar eruption of Caraguairazo. At its feet is the
beautiful lake of San Pablo, five miles in circumference, and very deep.
It contains the little black fish (_Pimelodes cyclopum_) already
referred to as the only species in the valley, and the same that was
cast out by Imbabura and Caraguairazo. Next comes the square-topped
Cayambi--the loftiest mountain in this Cordillera, being nineteen
thousand five hundred feet. It stands exactly on the equator, a colossal
monument placed by the hand of Nature to mark the grand division of the
globe. It is the only snowy spot, says Humboldt, which is crossed by the
equator. Beautiful is the view of Cayambi from Quito, as its enormous
mass of snow and ice glows with crimson splendor in the farewell rays of
the setting sun. No painter's brush could do justice to the prismatic
tints which hover around the higher peaks. But this flood of glory is
soon followed by the pure whiteness of death. "Like a gigantic ghost
shrouded in sepulchral sheets, the mountain now hovers in the background
of the landscape, towering ghastly through the twilight until darkness
closes upon the scene."

[Footnote 77: From _imba_ (fish), and _bura_, to produce. Its name can
not be older than 1691, unless the mountain made similar eruptions
before. It has frequently ejected water.]

Ten miles farther south is the bare-headed Guamani range, over which
passes the road to the wild Napo country.[78] The view from the crest is
magnificent; but, like every grand panorama, eludes description. As we
look eastward over the beginnings of the mighty forest which stretches
unbroken to the Atlantic, the vast ridges, trending north and south, and
decreasing in height as they increase in distance, seem like the waves
of a great ocean rolling toward the mountains.

[Footnote 78: The culminating point of Guamani is _Sara-urcu_, a volcano
which threw out a vast quantity of ashes in 1843 and 1856.]

Near by stands Antisana in his snowy robe. This volcano ranks next to
Chimborazo in dignity. It has a double dome, and an elevation of 19,000
feet. Snow of Dian purity covers it for over 3000 feet; but, judging
from the enormous streams of lava on its sides, it must have been a
fierce volcano in ages past. The lava streams are worthy of the great
mountain from which they flowed. One of them (called "Volcan d'Ansango")
is ten miles long and five hundred feet deep, with an average slope of
15 deg.. It is a magnificent sight, as seen from the surrounding paramo--a
stream of dark, ragged rocks coming down out of the clouds and snows
which cover the summit. The representative products of Antisana are a
black, cellular, vitreous trachyte, a fine-grained, tough porphyroid
trachyte, and a coarse reddish porphyroid trachyte. An eruption, as late
as 1590, is recorded in _Johnston's Phys. Atlas_. Humboldt saw smoke
issuing from several openings in March, 1802.

We ascended this volcano to the height of sixteen thousand feet. On its
side is the celebrated hacienda of Antisana, which, more than sixty
years ago, sheltered the great Humboldt from the sleet and rain and
blast of this lofty region. It was a welcome refuge to us, for we had
well nigh perished with cold on the dreary paramo. It is one of the
highest human habitations in the world, being thirteen thousand three
hundred feet above the sea, or a thousand feet higher than the Peak of
Teneriffe.[79] The mean temperature is the same as that of Quebec, so
that thirteen thousand feet in elevation at the equator is equal to 47 deg.
in latitude.[80] Here is an extensive corral, inclosing thousands of
cattle, owned by a rheumatic old gentleman, Senor Valdevieso, who
supplies the beef-market of Quito.[81] A desire for beef has alone
brought man and his beast to this chilly altitude. It is difficult to
get a quart of milk, and impossible to find a pound of butter at this
hacienda. The predominant colors of the cattle are red and black. They
feed on the wild paramo grass, and the beef is not only remarkably
cheap, but superior in quality. The lasso is used in catching the
animals, but not so skillfully as by the Gauchos of Rio Plata. It is a
singular fact that cattle have followed men over the whole earth, from
the coast of Africa to the highlands of Antisana. The same species is
attacked by crocodiles and condors.

[Footnote 79: M. d'Abbadie professes to have visited a village in
Abyssinia (Arquiage) which is 12,450 feet above the sea. Potosi stands
13,500 feet.]

[Footnote 80: This agrees with Humboldt's calculation that a difference
of elevation of 278 feet produces the same effect on the annual
temperature as a change of one degree of latitude. According to the
experiments of Captain Pullen, the minimum temperature of the great
depths of the ocean 35 deg., and it commences soon after passing 12,000
feet.]

[Footnote 81: The great depots of cattle in Ecuador are at the two
extremes of elevation, the lowlands of St. Elena and the highlands of
Antisana. On the slope of Cayambi is another extensive cattle estate.]

The atmospheric pressure is here so small that they frequently bleed at
the nose and mouth when hunted. We have already given our experience in
ascending high altitudes. We may add that while the pulse of
Boussingault beat 106 pulsations at the height of 18,600 feet on
Chimborazo, ours was 87 at 16,000 feet on Antisana. De Saussure says
that a draught of liquor which would inebriate in the lowlands no
longer has that effect on Mont Blanc. This appears to be true on the
Andes; indeed, there is very little drunkenness in Quito. So the higher
we perch our inebriate asylums, the better for the patients.

Near the hacienda is a little lake called Mica, on which we found a
species of grebe, with wings so short it could not fly. Its legs, also,
seem fitted only for paddling, and it goes ashore only to lay its eggs.
It peeps like a gosling. Associated with them were penguins (in
appearance); they were so shy we could not secure one. The query is, How
came they there? Was this a centre of creation, or were the fowls
upheaved with the Andes? They could not have flown or walked to this
lofty lake, and there are no water-courses leading to it; it is
surrounded with a dry, rolling waste, where only the condor lives. We
turn to Darwin for an answer.[82]

[Footnote 82: The grebe is considered by Messrs. Cassin and Lawrence to
be the _Podiceps occipitalis_, Lisson (_P. calipareus et Chilensis_ of
Garnot), which occurs in large flocks on the coast of Chile and in the
Straits of Magellan. It is quite different from the _P. micropterus_ of
Lake Titicaca. At Morococha, Peru, 15,600 feet above the sea, Herndon
found snipes and ducks.]

The ragged Sincholagua[83] and romantic Ruminagui follow Antisana, and
then we find ourselves looking up at the most beautiful and most
terrible of volcanoes. This is the far-famed Cotopaxi, or more properly
Cutu-pacsi, meaning "a brilliant mass." Humboldt calls it the most
regular and most picturesque of volcanic cones. It looks like a huge
truncated cone rising out of the Valley of Quito, its sides deeply
furrowed by the rivers of mud and water which have so often flowed out.
The cone itself is about six thousand feet high. The east side is
covered with snow, but the west is nearly bare, owing to the trade
winds, which, sweeping across the continent, carry the ashes westward.
Cotopaxi is the loftiest of active volcanoes, though its grand eruptions
are a century apart, according to the general rule that the higher a
volcano the less frequent its eruptions, but all the more terrible when
they do occur. Imagine Vesuvius on the summit of Mont Blanc, and you
have the altitude of Cotopaxi.

[Footnote 83: In Brigham's _Notes on the Volcanic Phenomena of the
Hawaiian Islands_, this volcano is put down as active, but there has
been no eruption in the memory of man. Its lithology is represented in
our collection by porous, gray, granular trachyte, fine-grained, compact
trachyte, and dark porphyroid trachyte. The derivation of Sincholagua is
unknown, Ruminagui means the face of a rock, Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, and
Ruminagui, and Cotopaxi, Pichincha, and Guamani, form equilateral
triangles.]

The top just reaches the middle point of density in the atmosphere, for
at the height of three miles and a half the air below will balance that
above. The crater has never been seen by man; the steepness of the sides
and the depth of the ashes covering them render it inaccessible. The
valiant Col. Hall tried it with scaling ladders, only to fail. The
telescope reveals a parapet of scoria on the brim, as on Teneriffe.
Humboldt's sketch of the volcano, so universally copied, is overdrawn.
It makes the slope about 50 deg., while in truth it is nearer 30 deg.. The
apical angle is 122 deg. 30'.[84]

[Footnote 84: MM. Zurcher and Margalli make the slope 55 deg.! and Guzman,
69 deg. 30'!! The slope of Mauna Loa is 6 deg. 30'; of Etna, 9 deg.; of Teneriffe,
12 deg. 30'; of Vesuvius, 35 deg.. While cinder-cones may have an angle of 40 deg.,
lava-cones seldom exceed 10 deg..]

Cotopaxi is slumbering now; or, as Mr. Coan says of Hilo, it is "in a
state of solemn and thoughtful suspense." The only signs of life are the
deep rumbling thunders and a cloud of smoke lazily issuing from the
crater.[85] Sometimes at night the smoke looks like a pillar of fire,
and fine ashes and sand often fall around the base, to the great
annoyance of the farmers. On the south side is a huge rock of porphyry,
called the Inca's Head. Tradition has it that this was the original
summit of the volcano, torn off and hurled down by an eruption on the
very day Atahuallpa was murdered by Pizarro. The last great eruption
occurred in 1803, though so late as 1855 it tossed out stones, water,
and sand. Heaps of ruins, piled up during the lapse of ages, are
scattered for miles around the mountain, among them great boulders
twenty feet square. In one place (Quinchevar) the accumulation is 600
feet deep. Between Cotopaxi and Sincholagua are numerous conical hills
covering the paramo, reminding one of the mud volcanoes of Jorullo.

[Footnote 85: Even this has now (August, 1869) ceased, save an
occasional grumble, and the Tacungans are trembling with fear of another
eruption.]

Pumice and trachyte are the most common rocks around this mountain, and
these are augitic or porphyroid. Obsidian also occurs, though not on the
immediate flank, but farther down near Chillo. In plowing, thousands of
pieces as large as "flints" are turned up. The natives know nothing
about their origin or use; the large specimens were anciently polished
and used for mirror. But Cotopaxi is the great pumice-producing volcano.
The new road up the valley cuts through a lofty hill formed by the
successive eruptions; the section, presenting alternate layers of mud,
ashes, and pumice, is a written history of the volcano.[86] The cone
itself is evidently composed of similar beds super-imposed, and holding
fragments of porphyry and trachyte. What is Vesuvius, four thousand feet
high, to Cotopaxi, belching forth fire from a crater fifteen thousand
feet higher, and shooting its contents three thousand feet above its
snow-bound summit, with a voice of thunder heard six hundred miles!

[Footnote 86: Compare the following sections:

COTOPAXI (near Tiupullo).
Soil                                        1 ft. 0 in.
Fine yellow pumice                          5  "  0  "
Compact black ashes, with seams of pumice  10  "  0  "
Fine yellow pumice                          1  "  6  "
Compact black ashes                        12  "  0  "
Fine yellow pumice                          2  "  0  "
Compact black ashes, with seams of pumice.

VESUVIUS (at Pompeii).
Soil                                        3 ft. 0 in.
Brown incoherent tuff                       1  "  6  "
Small scoriae and white lapilli              0  "  3  "
Brown earthy tuff                           4  "  9  "
Whitish lapilli                             0  "  1  "
Gray solid tuff                             0  "  3  "
Pumice and white lapilli                    0  "  3  "

]

Leaving this terrible "safety-valve" to the imprisoned fires under our
feet, we travel along the wooded flanks and savage valleys of the
Llanganati Mountains, whose lofty blue ridge is here and there pointed
with snow.[87] It is universally believed that the Incas buried an
immense quantity of gold in an artificial lake on the sides of this
mountain during the Spanish invasion, and many an adventurous expedition
has been made for it. The inhabitants will tell you of one Valverde, a
Spaniard, who, from being very poor, had suddenly become very rich,
which was attributed to his having married an Indian girl whose father
showed him where the treasure was hidden, and accompanied him on various
occasions to bring away portions of it; and that Valverde returned to
Spain, and on his death-bed bequeathed the secret of his riches to the
king. But since Padre Longo suddenly disappeared while leading an
expedition, the timid Ecuadorians have been content with their
poverty.[88]

[Footnote 87: Immediately south of Cotopaxi, the Cordillera consists of
paramos sown with lakes and morasses, and is rarely covered with snow.
Llanganati is probably from _llanga_, to touch: they touch the sources
of nearly all the Ecuadorian rivers.]

[Footnote 88: The story is doubtless due to the fact that the eastern
streams, which issue from the foot of this cordillera, are auriferous.]

And now we have reached the perfect cone of Tunguragua, the rival of
Cotopaxi in symmetry and beauty.[89] It stands 16,500 feet above the
Pacific, its upper part covered with a splendid robe of snow, while the
sugar-cane grows in the romantic town of Banos, 10,000 feet below the
summit. A cataract, 1500 feet high, comes down at three bounds from the
edge of the snow to the warm valley beneath; and at Banos a hot
ferruginous spring and a stream of ice-water flow out of the volcano
side by side. Here, too, the fierce youth of the Pastassa, born on the
pumice slopes of Cotopaxi, dashes through a deep tortuous chasm and down
a precipice in hot haste, as if conscious of the long distance before it
ere it reaches the Amazon and the ocean. Tunguragua was once a
formidable mountain, for we discovered a great stream of lava reaching
from the clouds around the summit to the orange-groves in the valley,
and blocking up the rivers which tumble over it in beautiful cascades.
It has been silent since 1780; but it can afford to rest, for then its
activity lasted seven years.[90]

[Footnote 89: From Tunguri, the ankle-joint, alluding to its apical
angle. It is a little steeper than Cotopaxi, having a slope of 38 deg..]

[Footnote 90: Spruce asserts that he saw smoke issuing from the western
edge in 1857; and Dr. Terry says that in 1832 smoke ascended almost
always from the summit. Dr. Taylor, of Riobamba, informs the writer that
smoke is now almost constantly visible. The characteristic rock is a
black vitreous trachyte resembling pitchstone, but anhydrous.]

Close by rises beautiful Altar, a thousand feet higher. The Indians call
it Capac-urcu, or the "Chief." They say it once overtopped Chimborazo;
but, after a violent eruption, which continued eight years, the walls
fell in. Its craggy crest is still more Alpine than Caraguairazo; eight
snowy peaks shoot up like needles into the sky, and surround an altar to
whose elevated purity no mortal offering will ever attain. The trachyte
which once formed the summit of this mountain is now spread in fragments
over the plain of Riobamba.

Leaving this broken-down volcano, but still the most picturesque in the
Andes, we travel over the rough and rugged range of Cubillin, till our
attention is arrested by terrific explosions like a naval broadside, and
a column of smoke that seems to come from the furnace of the Cyclops. It
is Sangai, the most active volcano on the globe. From its unapproachable
crater, three miles high, it sends forth a constant stream of fire,
water, mud, and ashes.[91]

[Footnote 91: La Condamine (1742) adds "sulphur and bitumen."]

No intermission has been noticed since the Spaniards first saw it three
hundred years ago. Stromboli is the only volcano that will compare with
it. Its ashes are almost always falling on the city of Guayaquil, one
hundred miles distant, and its explosions, generally occurring every
hour or two, are sometimes heard in that city. Wisse, in 1849, counted
267 explosions in one hour.

We have now completed the series. What an array of snow-clad peaks wall
in the narrow Valley of Quito--Nature's Gothic spires to this her
glorious temple! If ever there was a time when all these volcanoes were
active in concert, this secluded vale must have witnessed the most
splendid pyrotechnics conceivable. Imagine fifty mountains as high as
Etna, three of them with smoking craters, standing along the road
between New York and Washington, and you will have some idea of the ride
down this gigantic colonnade from Quito to Riobamba. If, as Ruskin says,
the elements of beauty are in proportion to the increase of mountainous
character, Ecuador is artistically beautiful to a high degree.

Here, amid these Plutonic peaks, are the energies of volcanic action
best studied. The constancy of the volcanic fires is a striking fact.
First we have the deluges of submarine lavas, which were poured out long
before the Andes lifted their heads above the waters; then alternate
porphyritic strata, feldspathic streams, and gypseous exhalations; then,
at a later day, floods of basaltic lava; next the old tertiary
eruptions; and, lastly, the vast accumulations of boulders, gravel,
ashes, pumice, and mud of the present day, spread over the Valley of
Quito and the west slope of the Cordilleras to an unknown depth beneath
the sea. The incessant eruptions of Sangai, and the frequent
earthquakes, show that the subterranean energy which heaved the Andes is
not yet expended.




CHAPTER X.

     The Valley of Quito.--Riobamba.--A Bed of "Fossil Giants."--Chillo
     Hacienda.--Otovalo and Ibarra.--The Great Earthquake of 1868.


The Valley of Quito has about the same size and shape as the basin of
Salt Lake, but it is five thousand feet higher.[92] The two cordilleras
inclosing it are tied by the mountain-knots of Assuay and Chisinchi, so
that the valley is subdivided into three basins, those of Cuenca,
Ambato, and Quito proper, which increase in beauty and altitude as we
travel north. There are several subordinate transversal dikes and some
longitudinal ridges, but all the basins lie parallel to the axes of the
cordilleras--a characteristic feature of the Andes. The deep valleys on
the outside flanks are evidently valleys of erosion, but the basins
between the cordilleras were created with them.

[Footnote 92: Compare the table-lands in the Old World:

Thibet            11,500 feet.
South Africa       6,000   "
Mysore (India)     2,880   "
Spain              2,240   "
Bavaria            1,770   "

]

The first is fifty miles long. It contains the cities of Loja and
Cuenca,[93] the former distinguished for its cinchona forests, the
latter for Inca graves and mines of precious metals. The middle basin
(130 miles in length) is covered with vast quantities of volcanic
debris, the outpourings of Cotopaxi, Tunguragua, and Altar, on one side,
and of Chimborazo and Caraguairazo on the other. Nothing relieves the
barrenness of the landscape but hedges of century plant, cactus, and
wild heliotrope, which border the roads. Whirlwinds of sand are often
seen moving over the plain. The mean temperature is 61 deg..5. Here exist,
we can not say thrive, the cities of Riobamba, Ambato, and Tacunga,
already noticed. Riobamba,[94] properly Rayobamba, the plain of
lightning, was founded at the beginning of this century, or shortly
after the destruction of the old city. Excepting the ecclesiastical
buildings, the houses are of one story, built of stone plastered with
mud, sometimes of adobe or bamboo, and the windows are grated like those
of a prison. As in all Spanish-American towns, the main church fronts
the great Plaza where the weekly fairs are held. Save on fair-day, the
city is lifeless. Nothing is exported to the coast except a few eggs and
fowls, lard and potatoes. Such is the power of habit, an Indian will
take a hen to Bodegas and sell it for four reals (50 cents) when he
could get three for it in Riobamba, and six on the road. Another
instance of this dogged adherence to custom was related to us by Dr.
Taylor: The Indians were accustomed to bring the curate of a certain
village a bundle of alfalfa every day. A new curate, having no use for
so much, ordered them not to bring any more. He was besieged by five
hundred of his wild parishioners, and had he not been a powerful man,
they would have killed him. They told him they were accustomed to bring
the curate that much of alfalfa, and should continue.

[Footnote 93: The altitude of Loja is 6768 feet; of Cuenca, 8640 feet.]

[Footnote 94: According to Villavicencio, _Rio_ (or _Rie_) is Quichua
for road; _bamba_ is plain.]

Old Riobamba (Cajabamba) is situated twelve miles to the west. This has
been the scene of some of the most terrible paroxysms that over shook
the Andes. In 1797 a part of Mount Cicalfa was thrown down, crushing the
city at its foot; hills arose where valleys existed; rivers
disappeared, and others took their places; and the very site of the
city was rent asunder. The surviving inhabitants could not tell where
their houses had stood, and property was so mingled that litigation
followed the earthquake. Judging from the numerous sculptured columns
lying broken and prostrate throughout the valley, the city must have had
a magnificence now unknown in Ecuador. Around a coat of arms (evidently
Spanish) we read these words: _Malo mori quam fedari_, "I would rather
die than be disgraced." In the spring of 1868 another convulsion caused
a lake to disappear and a mountain to take its place.

Near Punin, seven miles southwest of Riobamba, we discovered in a deep
ravine numerous fossil bones, belonging chiefly to the mastodon, and
extinct species of the horse, deer, and llama. They were imbedded in the
middle of an unstratified cliff, four hundred feet high, of very compact
silt or trachytic clay, free from stones, and resting on a hard
quartzoze sandstone. In the bed of the stream which runs through the
ravine (charged with nitrate of soda) are some igneous rocks. The bones
were drifted to this spot and deposited (many of them in a broken state)
in horizontal layers along with recent shells. We have, then, this
remarkable fact, that this high valley was tenanted by elephantine
quadrupeds, all of which passed away before the arrival of the human
species, and yet while the land, and probably the sea also, were peopled
with their present molluscan inhabitants. This confirms the statement of
Mr. Lyell, that the longevity of mammalian species is much inferior to
that of the testacea. It is interesting to speculate on the probable
climate and the character of the vegetation in this high valley when
these extinct mammifers lived. The great pachyderm would have no
difficulty in thriving at the present day at Quito, on the score of
temperature or altitude. The mammoth once flourished in Siberia; and
Gibbon met an elephant on the high table-lands of Bolivia that had
walked over the Cordillera at the pass of Antarangua, sixteen thousand
feet above the sea. Darwin thinks that the climate of the Cordilleras
has changed since the pleistocene period. "It is a marvelous fact in the
history of mammalia (says this naturalist) 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."

The high ridge of Chisinchi, stretching across the great plateau from
Cotopaxi to Iliniza, separates the evergreen Valley of Quito from the
arid and melancholy valleys of Cuenca and Ambato. It rolls out like a
rich carpet of emerald verdure between the towering mountains of
Pichincha and Antisana, Cotacachi and Cayambi. This was the centre of
the most ancient native civilization after that of Titicaca. Here, while
the darkness of the Middle Ages was settling over Europe, dwelt the
Quitus, whose origin is lost in the mists of fable. Then, while Peter
the Hermit was leading his fanatic host against the Saracens, the Cara
nation waged a more successful crusade, and supplanted the Quitus. Here,
too, in the bloody days of Pizarro, reigned, and was buried, the last of
the Incas, ill-fated Atahuallpa. To him, indeed, it was a more
delightful spot than the vale of Vilcamayu--the paradise of Peru.

The Puengasi Hills, running through the valley from north to south,
partially divide the capital and its vicinity from the charming Valley
of Chillo, spread out at the foot of Antisana. Here is the venerable
hacienda of Chillo, where Humboldt and Bonpland resided for some time.
It is owned by the Aguirres, who are grand-nephews of Don Carlos
Montufar, the companion of the famous travelers. The hacienda contains
two valuable paintings--an original "Crucifixion" by Titian, and a
portrait of the great German from life, as he appeared in 1803. This
latter relic interested us exceedingly, and, through the kindness of Sr.
Aguirre, we were allowed to photograph it. It represents Humboldt in his
prime, a traveler on the Andes, dressed after the court-fashion of
Berlin; very different from the usual portrait--an old man in his
library, his head, thinly covered with gray hair, resting on his bosom.

[Illustration: Humboldt in 1802.]

Thirty miles north of Quito, near the volcanic Imbabura, is the ruined
city of Otovalo, a thousand feet lower than the capital. It was well
built, and contained 7000 inhabitants. Quichua was the prevailing
language. Its chief trade was in saddles, ponchos, straw hats, and
fruit. Here was the cotton factory, or _quinta_, of Sr. Pareja. Three
miles from Otovalo was the enterprising Indian village of Cotocachi, at
the mountain of the same name. It was noted for its hand-loom products.
A heap of ruins now marks the locality. It is a doomed spot, suffering
more than any other town in 1859.

Four miles northwest of Otovalo was the city of Ibarra, picturesquely
seated on a plain 2000 feet lower than Quito, and surrounded with
orchards and gardens. It numbered nearly 10,000 souls. It was not a
commercial place, but the residence of landed proprietors. The
neighborhood produced cotton, sugar, and fruit. A league distant was
Carranqui, the birthplace of Atahuallpa. And, finally, the great valley
fitly terminates in the plain of Atuntaqui,[95] where the decisive
battle was fought which ushered in the reign of the Incas.

[Illustration: Ibarra.]

[Footnote 95: Atuntaqui received its name from the big drum which was
kept here in the days of Huayna-Capac, to give the war-signal.]

This northern province of Imbabura was the focus of the late terrible
earthquake. At half past one on Sunday morning, August 16, 1868, with
scarcely a premonitory sign (save a slight trembling at 3 P.M. the
previous day), there was an upheaving of the ground, and then one
tremendous shock and rocking of the earth, lasting one minute. In that
brief moment the rich and flourishing province became a wilderness, and
"Misericordia!" went up, like tho sound of many waters, from ten
villages and cities. Otovalo, Ibarra, Cotocachi, and Atantaqui are
heaps of ruins. At Otovalo 6000 perished. After the first shock, not a
wall a yard high remained. Houses, in some instances, seemed to have
been cut from their foundation, and thrown ten feet distant. The large
stone fountain in the Plaza was thrown many yards. The cotton factory,
which was built on the edge of a ravine, was by one stroke reduced to
fragments. Such was the force of the concussion, the looms smashed each
other, the carding-machines were thrown on their sides, and the roof,
with part of the machinery, was found in the river below. The proprietor
was killed. Throughout this whole region roads were broken up, and vast
chasms created crossing the country in all directions. One is 2000 yards
long, 500 yards broad, and 80 yards deep. Large fissures were opened on
the sides of Cotocachi and Imbabura, from which issued immense torrents
of water, mud, and bituminous substances, carrying away and drowning
hundreds of cattle. A caravan of mules going to Chillo with cotton-bales
was found four days after grazing on a narrow strip of land, on each
side of which was a fearful chasm, while the muleteers were killed.

At Quito comparatively little damage was done. Fifteen lives were lost,
and the churches, convents, and many private houses are in a state of
dilapidation. Domes and arches, which are much used because of the
scarcity of timber, were first to fall.

In the fierceness of the shock, and the extent of the territory shaken,
the earthquake of August, 1868, is without a parallel in the New World.
The destruction of life (50,000 officially reported in Ecuador alone)
has not been equaled in any other earthquake during this century. The
tremor was felt over four republics, and from the Andes to the Sandwich
Islands. The water-wave was felt on the coast of New Zealand sixteen
hours after it had set a United States gunboat, on the sand-hills of
Arica. In some respects it is surpassed only by the Lisbon earthquake,
which reached from Sweden to the West Indies, and from Barbary to
Scotland. The loss of property seems to have been greatest in Peru, and
the loss of life greatest in Ecuador. The commotion seemed to be most
violent along the Western Cordillera, though it was felt even on the
Napo.

There are few places where the crust of our planet is long at rest.
Brazil, Egypt, Russia, and Greenland are comparatively free from
earthquakes. But had we delicate instruments scattered throughout the
world, upheaval and subsidence would doubtless be detected in every part
of the so-called _terra firma_. The sea, and not the land, is the true
image of stability.

    "Time writes no wrinkle on thy azure brow:
    Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now."

Earthquakes have occurred in every period of geological history, and are
independent of latitude. The first well-known earthquake came in the
year 63, and shattered Pompeii and Herculaneum sixteen years before they
were overwhelmed by the first recorded eruption of Vesuvius. The most
celebrated earthquake, and perhaps the most terrible manifestation of
force during the human period, was in 1755. The shock, which seemed to
originate in the bed of the Atlantic, pervaded one twelfth of the
earth's surface. Unhappy Lisbon stood in its path.

An earthquake is a vertical vibration, having an undulatory progression.
An example of the simple bounding movement occurred in 1797, when the
city of Riobamba, in the Quito Valley, was buried under part of a
mountain shaken down by the violent concussion, and men were tossed
several hundred feet. We saw one massive structure which had nearly
turned a somersault. The ordinary vibrations seldom exceed two feet in
height. The wave-movement has a rate of from twenty to thirty miles a
minute, depending on the elasticity of the rock and the elevations on
the surface. When two undulations cross each other, a rotatory or
twisting motion is produced. The waves are generally transmitted along
the lines of primary mountain chains, which are doubtless seated on a
fracture. The Lisbon waves moved from southwest to northeast, or
parallel to the mountain system of the Old World; those of the United
States, in 1843, ran parallel to the volcanic chain in Mexico. In South
America they roll along the Andes. That of 1797 left its tracks along a
westerly line from Tunguragua through Pelileo and Guano. It is a little
singular, that while the late trembling at Quito seemed to come from the
north, the great shock in Peru preceded that in Ecuador by three days.
Though the origin of earthquakes is deep-seated, the oscillation is
mostly superficial, as deep mines are little disturbed. The most damage
is done where the sedimentary plains abut against the hard, upturned
strata of the mountains. The shock is usually brief. That of Caracas
lasted fifty seconds, that of Lisbon six minutes; but Humboldt witnessed
one in South America which continued a quarter of an hour.

Several hypotheses have been advanced to account for earthquakes. Rogers
ascribes them to billowy pulsations in the molten matter upon which the
flexible crust of the earth floats. Mallet thinks they may be viewed as
an uncompleted effort to establish a volcano. Dana holds that they are
occasioned by the folding up of the rocks in the slow process of cooling
and consequent contraction of the earth's crust. In this process there
would occur enormous fractures to relieve the tension; tilted strata
would slip, and caverns give way. All this no doubt takes place; but the
sudden, paroxysmal heavings incline us to refer the cause to the same
eruptive impulse which makes Vesuvius and Cotopaxi discharge pent-up
subterranean vapor and gas. The most destructive earthquakes occur when
the overlying rocks do not break and give vent to the imprisoned gas.
There is some connection between volcanoes and earthquakes; the former
are, to a certain extent, "safety-valves." The column of smoke from the
volcano of Pasto suddenly disappeared just before the great earthquake
at Riobamba. In the spring of 1868 Pichincha and Cotopaxi showed signs
of increasing activity, but in the summer became quiet again. Cotocachi
and Sangai, 200 miles apart, were awaked simultaneously; the former,
silent for centuries, sent forth dense masses of earth and volcanic
matter to a distance of many miles, covering thousands of acres; the
latter thundered every half hour instead of hourly, as before. Still,
the greatest earthquakes do not occur in the vicinity of active
volcanoes. Lisbon and Lima (where, on an average, forty-five shocks
occur annually, and two fearful ones in a century) are far distant from
any volcanic vent; likewise Northern India, South Africa, Scotland, and
the United States.

An earthquake is beyond the reach of calculation. Professor Perrey, of
Dijon, France, is endeavoring to prove that there is a periodicity in
earthquakes, synchronous with that in the tides of the ocean, the
greatest number occurring at the time of new and full moon.[96] If this
theory be sustained, we must admit the existence of a vast subterranean
sea of lava. But all this is problematical. Earthquakes appear
independently of the geology of a country, though the rate of undulation
is modified by the mineral structure. Earthquake waves seem to move more
rapidly through the comparatively undisturbed beds of the Mississippi
Valley than through the contorted strata of Europe. Meteorology is
unable to indicate a coming earthquake, for there is no sure prophecy in
sultry weather, sirocco wind, and leaden sky. The Lisbon shock came
without a warning. Sudden changes of the weather, however, often occur
after an earthquake. Since the great convulsion of 1797 the climate of
the Valley of Quito is said to be much colder. A heavy rain often
follows a violent earthquake in Peru.

[Footnote 96: Professor Quinby, of the University of Rochester, has, at
our request, calculated the position of the moon at the late earthquake:
"August 16th, 1868, 1 A.M., the moon was on meridian 137 deg. 21' east of
that of Quito, or 42 deg. 30' past the lower meridian of Quito, assuming the
longitude of Quito west of Greenwich to be 79 deg., which it is very nearly.
This is but little after the vertex of the tidal wave should have passed
the meridian of Quito, on the supposition that the interior of the earth
is a liquid mass. The age of the moon at that time was 27.36 days,
_i.e._, it was only about two days before new moon." At the time of the
earthquake, 8 A.M., March 22, 1859, the moon was on meridian 25 deg. 48'
east of that of Quito, and was 17.6 days old. Shocks have since
occurred, March 20th at 3 A.M., and April 10th at 8 A.M., 1869.]

No amount of familiarity with earthquakes enables one to laugh during
the shock, or even at the subterranean thunders which sound like the
clanking of chains in the realm of Pluto. All animated nature is
terror-stricken. The horse trembles in his stall; the cow moans a low,
melancholy tune; the dog sends forth an unearthly yell; sparrows drop
from the trees as if dead; crocodiles leave the trembling bed of the
river and run with loud cries into the forest; and man himself becomes
bewildered and loses all capacity. When the earth rocks beneath our feet
(the motion resembling, in the words of Darwin, "that felt by a person
skating over thin ice which bends under the weight of his body"),
something besides giddiness is produced. We feel our utter
insignificance in the presence of a mysterious power that shakes the
Andes like a reed. But more: there is an awful sensation of insecurity.
"A moment (says Humboldt) destroys the illusion of a whole life: our
deceptive faith in the repose of nature vanishes, and we feel
transported, as it were, into a region of unknown destructive forces." A
judgment day seems impending, and each moment is an age when one stands
on a world convulsed.




CHAPTER XI.

     "The Province of the Orient," or the Wild Napo Country.--The Napos,
     Zaparos, and Jivaros Indians.--Preparations to cross the Continent.


On the eastern slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, between the Maranon and
its tributary the Putumayo, lies the Napo country. This almost unknown
region has the area of New York and New England together. The government
of Quito, by a sonorous decree in 1854, baptized it "La Provincia del
Oriente." Peru likewise claims it, but neither republic has done any
thing to colonize it. A dense primeval forest, broken only by the
rivers, covers the whole territory, and is the home of wild races
untouched by civilization.[97] There is not a road in the whole
province. A footpath, open only in the dry season, and barely passable
then, connects Quito and the Rio Napo. Congress lately promised to put
Canelos in communication with the capital; but the largest villages in
this vast and fertile region--Archidona, Canelos, and Macas--still
remain isolated from the outer world.[98] Ecuador once appointed a
functionary under the high-sounding title of "Governor of the Orient,"
with a salary of $700; but now the Indians are not troubled with any
higher official than an alcalde.

[Footnote 97: The boundary-line between Ecuador and Peru is about as
indefinite as the eastern limit of Bolivia, Brazilians claiming "as far
west as the cattle of the empire roam."]

[Footnote 98: Quito might be made more accessible on the Atlantic than
on the Pacific side. But Ecuadorians dote on Guayaquil, and refuse to
connect themselves directly with the great nations of the East. We
believe there is a glorious future for Quito, when it will once more
become a city of palaces. But it will not come until a road through the
wilderness and a steamer on the Napo open a short communication with the
wealth of Amazonia and the enterprise of Europe.]

The country is very thinly inhabited. The chief tribes are the
semi-Christianized Napos (sometimes called Quijos), dwelling on the
north bank of the Napo; the peaceful but uncivilized Zaparos, living
between the Napo and Pastassa, and the warlike Jivaros, spread over the
unexplored region between the Pastassa and Santiago.

These oriental tribes would probably be assigned by D'Orbigny to the
Antisian branch of the Alpine races of South America. Dwelling amid the
darkness of primeval forests, and on the gloomy banks of mountain
torrents, they have acquired modifications of character, physical and
moral, which distinguish them from the natives of the high and open
regions, or the steaming lowlands of the Amazon. In color, however, they
do not appear to us to be entitled to the name of "white men;" they
approach nearer to the bronze complexion of the Quichuans than the
yellow cast of the Brazilians. We see no evidence of that "bleaching
process" resulting from a life under the dense canopy of foliage of
which the learned French naturalist speaks, neither did we perceive the
force of his statement that the color of the South American bears a very
decided relation to the humidity of the atmosphere.

The features of the Napo Indians are Quichuan, especially the low
forehead, squarely-built face, and dull expression; but in stature they
exceed the mountaineers. From a skull in our possession we take the
following measurements, adding for comparison the dimensions of an
ancient Peruvian cranium in Dr. Morton's collection:

                                 Napo.              Peruvian.

Longitudinal diameter            6-1/2   in.         6.1 in.
Parietal        "                5-3/8   "           6.  "
Frontal         "                4       "           4.7 "
Vertical        "                4-1/2   "           5.5 "
Capacity                        83-1/64 cub. in.    83 cub. in.
Facial angle                    70 deg.                 81 deg.

From this it will be seen that the capacity of this individual Napo is 8
cubic inches greater than the average bulk (75 cubic inches) of the old
Peruvians; a trifle less than the average North American (84); 10 cubic
inches less than the European (94); and the same as the average
Polynesian and native African. He has a rounded head, somewhat prominent
vertex, not an excessive protuberance of brain behind--a line through
the meatus dividing it into very nearly equal parts; but a narrow front
as viewed from above, small vertical diameter, quadrangular orbits,
vertical teeth, and low facial angle. These characters place him between
the Toltecan and the more barbarous tribes of the New World.

The Napos are nominally subject to the Ecuadorian government, which is
represented by three or four petty alcaldes; but the Jesuit
missionaries, who have established a bishopric and three curacies,
generally control affairs--spiritual, political, and commercial. The
Indians of each village annually elect one of their number governor, who
serves without salary, and whose only show of authority is a
silver-headed cane about four feet long. He is attended by half a dozen
"justices," whose duty it is to supply the curate, alcalde, and any
traveling _blanco_ who may happen to be in town with daily food at a
reasonable rate.

The religion of the Napos is a mixture of Paganism and Christianity. In
common with all the other orient tribes, they believe in good and evil
principles, and in metempsychosis. They swear in the name of the devil.
They bury their dead horizontally, in a coffin made of a part of a
canoe, with a lid of bamboo. They are very kind to the aged. Monogamy is
the rule: the usual age of wedlock is sixteen or seventeen. The parents
negotiate the marriage, and the curate's fee is one castellano ($3.50).
When a person dies they hold an Irish "wake" over the body, and then
take the widow to the river and wash her. They have seven semi-religious
feasts in a year. To us they appeared to be nothing more than
meaningless drunken frolics. Attired in their best, with head-dresses
consisting of a circlet of short, richly-colored feathers from the
breast of the toucan, surmounted with the long tail-feathers of the
macaw, and with necklaces of beads, seeds, and monkeys' teeth, they keep
up a constant monotonous tapping on little drums, and trot around a
circle like dogs on a treadmill, stopping only to drink chicha. This is
kept up for three weeks, when they all start off, with wives and
children, for the forest to hunt monkeys for meat.

Chicha, the favorite drink of all the Andean Indians, is here brewed
from yuca, not from corn and barley as in the Quito Valley. So true is
it, as Humboldt remarks, that almost every where man finds means of
preparing some kind of beverage from the vegetable kingdom. The
Chilotans, Darwin informs us, make chicha from a species of _Bromelia_.
In every zone, too, we find nations in a low degree of civilization
living almost exclusively upon a single animal or plant. Thus the
Laplander has his reindeer, the Esquimaux his seal, the Sandwich
Islander his tara-root, the Malay his sago-palm, the Napo Indian his
yuca.

Yuca is the staple food in this region. It is more commonly roasted, but
is sometimes ground into flour. The manufacture of chicha is primitive,
and not a little disgusting. A "bee," usually old women, sit around a
wooden trough; each one takes a mouthful of yuca root, and, masticating
it, throws it into the trough. The mass is then transferred to large
earthen jars containing water, and left to ferment. The liquor is
slightly acid, but not intoxicating unless taken in excess. This is done
on feast-days, when the poor Indian keeps his stomach so constantly
distended for weeks that the abdominal protrusion is not only
unsightly, but alarming to a stranger. Chicha-drinking is a part of the
worship of these simple aborigines. They seem to think that the more
happy they make themselves while paying their devotions to the Creator,
the better he is satisfied. The Jesuits have found it impossible to
change this method of praise. Here, as among all rude nations, an
ancient custom is one half the religion. In eating meat (usually monkey,
sea-cow, and peccari), we observed that they did not tear or bite it,
but, putting one end of a long piece in the mouth, cut off what they
could not get in, as Darwin noticed among the Fuegians. They keep no
domestic animals except fowls.

As to dress, they make use of a coarse cotton cloth, called _lienzo_,
woven by the more enlightened Indians of Quito, dyeing it a dull brown
by means of achote juice. The men wear a strip of this around the loins,
and the women a short skirt. On feast-days, or when musquitoes are
thick, the men add a little poncho and pantaloons. They do not properly
tattoo, but color the skin with achote or anatto. This substance, which
serves so many purposes in this part of the world, is the red powder
which covers the seeds contained in the prickly bur of the _Bixa
orellana_. The pigment is an article of commerce on the Amazon, and is
exported to Europe, where it is used for coloring butter, cheese, and
varnish. They have no fixed pattern; each paints to suit his fancy.
Usually, however, they draw horizontal bands from the month to the ears,
and across the forehead; we never saw curved lines in which higher
savages, like the Tahitians, tattoo.

The Napos have the provoking apathy of all the New World aborigines. As
Humboldt observed of another tribe, "their poverty, stoicism, and
uncultivated state render them so rich and so free from wants of every
kind, that neither money nor other presents will induce them to turn
three steps out of their ways." They maintain a passive dignity in their
bearing not seen in the proudest pope or emperor. They seldom laugh or
smile, even under the inspiration of chicha, and months of intercourse
with them did not discover to us the power of song, though Villavicencio
says they do sometimes intone fragments of prose in their festival
orgies. They manifest little curiosity, and little power of mimicry, in
which wild men generally excel the civilized.[99] The old Spartans were
never so laconic. In conversation each says all he has to say in three
or four words till his companion speaks, when he replies in the same
curt, ejaculatory style. A long sentence, or a number of sentences at
one time, we do not remember of hearing from the lips of a Napo
Indian.[100]

[Footnote 99: All savages appear to possess to an uncommon degree the
power of mimicry.--_Darwin_.]

[Footnote 100: Gibbon observes of his Indian paddlers on the Marmore:
"They talk very little; they silently pull along as though they were
sleeping, but their eyes are wandering all the time in every
direction."]

The women do most of the work, while their lazy lords drink up the
chicha and swing in their hammocks, or possibly do a little
hunting.[101] They catch fish with bone hooks, seines, spears, and by
poisoning the water with _barbasco_.[102] This last method is quite
common throughout equatorial America. Mashing the root, they throw it
into the quiet coves of the river, when almost immediately the fish rise
to the surface, first the little fry and then the larger specimens. The
poison seems to stupefy rather than kill, for we observed that some
individuals behaved in a most lively manner shortly after they were
caught. The Indians drink the water with impunity.

[Footnote 101: Some of these feminines, however, have a method of
retaliation which happily does not exist further north. They render
their husbands idiotic by giving them an infusion of _floripondio_, and
then choose another consort. We saw a sad example of this near Riobamba,
and heard of one husband who, after being thus treated, unconsciously
served his wife and her new man like a slave. _Floripondio_ is the seed
of the _Datura sanguinea_, which is allied to the poisonous _stramonium_
used by the priests of Apollo at Delphi to produce their frantic
ravings.]

[Footnote 102: _Jacquinia armillaris_, an evergreen bush. The Indians on
the Tapajos use a poisonous liana called _timbo_ (_Paullinia pinnata_).]

The Napos are not brave; their chief weapons for hunting are spears of
chonta wood, and blowpipes (_bodaqueras_) made of a small palm having a
pith, which, when removed, leaves a polished bore, or of two separate
lengths of wood, each scooped out with patient labor and considerable
skill by means of the incisor teeth of a rodent. The whole is smeared
with black wax, a mouth-piece fitted to the larger end, and a sight made
of bone imbedded in the wax. Through this tube, about ten feet long,
they blow slender arrows cut from the leaf-stalks of a palm. These are
winged with a tuft of silk-cotton (common cotton would be too heavy),
and poisoned with _urari_, of which we shall speak hereafter. This
noiseless gun is universally used on the Upper Amazon.[103]

[Footnote 103: It is there called _zarabatana_ or _gravatana_; by the
Peruvians _pucuna_. It corresponds to the _sumpitan_ of Borneo. It is
difficult to recognize the use of the blow-gun, but the natives will
kill at the distance of 150 feet. One which we brought home sent the
slender arrow through the panel of a door.]

The Zaparos in physiognomy somewhat resemble the Chinese, having a
middle stature, round face, small eyes set angularly, and a broad, flat
nose. Their language is of simple construction, but nasal and guttural.
They have no words for numbers above three, but show their fingers;
above ten they know nothing. They take to themselves single names, not
double. They reckon time by moons and the ripening of certain fruits.
Their name for God is Piatzo, but we could not learn that it conveyed
any distinct idea. They believe the evil spirit, "Mungia," is a black
spectre dwelling in the woods. They think the souls of the good and
brave enter beautiful birds and feed on delicious fruits, while cowardly
souls become dirty reptiles. Polygamy is common. They bury in the
sitting posture, with the hammock of the deceased wrapped around him.
The very old men are buried with the mouth downward. They make use of a
narcotic drink called _Ayahuasca_, which produces effects similar to
those of opium. The Zaparos are pacific and hospitable, but there is
little social life among them; they never cluster into large villages,
but inhabit isolated ranchos. Nomadic in their habits, they wander along
the banks of the Napo, between the Andes and the Maranon. They
manufacture, from the twisted fibre of the chambiri-palm,[104] most of
the twine and hammocks seen in Eastern Ecuador. Their government is
patriarchal.

[Footnote 104: This thorny palm is called _tucum_ in Brazil. The fibres
of the budding top are used. A woman will twist a hundred yards of twine
a day, and make a living by selling hammocks for twenty-five cents a
piece.]

The Jivaros, or "Red Indians" _par excellence_, are the most numerous
and the most spirited of the oriental tribes. They are brave and
resentful, yet hospitable and industrious. While the Napos and Zaparos
live in rude, often temporary huts of split bamboo, the warlike Jivaros
erect houses of hard wood with strong doors. Blood relations live
together on the communal principle, the women keeping the rear half of
the house, which is divided by a partition. Many Jivaros approach the
Caucasian type, the beard and lighter skin hinting a percentage of
Spanish blood; for this tribe was never conquered by the Incas, nor did
it brook Spanish avarice and cruelty, but in one terrible conflict
(1599) the intruder was swept out of existence. The wives of the El
Dorado adventurers spent the rest of their days in the harems of the
Jivaros. These Indians have the singular custom and art of compressing
the heads of their notable captives; taking off the skin entire and
drying it over a small mould, they have a hideous mummy which preserves
all the features of the original face, but on a reduced scale."[105]
They also braid the long black hair of their foes into girdles, which
they wear as mementoes of their prowess. They use chonta-lances with
triangular points, notched and poisoned, and shields of wood or hide.
They have a telegraphic system which enables them to concentrate their
forces quickly in time of war; large drums are placed on the tops of the
hills, and a certain number of strokes, repeated along the line, rapidly
convey intelligence to the most distant habitation.

[Footnote 105: Bates (ii., 132) speaks of a similar custom among the
ancient Mundurucus: "They used to sever the head with knives made of
broad bamboo, and then, after taking out the brain and fleshy parts,
soak it in bitter vegetable oils, and expose it several days over the
smoke of a fire, or in the sun."]

An odd custom prevails among these wild Indians when an addition is made
to the family circle. The woman goes into the woods alone, and on her
return washes herself and new-born babe in the river; then the husband
immediately takes to his bed for eight days, during which time the wife
serves him on the choicest dainties she can procure.[106] They have also
the unique practice of exchanging wives. The Jivaro speech is sonorous
and energetic. They do not use salt; so that they distinguish the Napo
tribes as the "Indians who eat salt." The chief articles manufactured by
them are cotton goods and blowpipes. They trade mostly at Canelos and
Macas, generally purchasing iron implements, such as hatchets and
knives.

[Footnote 106: A like custom existed among some Brazilian and Guiana
tribes. It also prevailed to some extent among the ancient Cantabrians
and Corsicans, the Congos and Tartars, and in the Southern French
provinces.]

Canelos consists of about seventy families of Quichua-speaking Indians,
and lies on the south bank of the Bobonaza. A trail connects it with
Banos, at the foot of Tunguragua. Canelos was founded in 1536, and
derives its name from its situation in the Canela, or American cinnamon
forest. The bark of the tree has the flavor of the Ceylon aromatic;
but, according to Dr. Taylor, it is cassia. Macas, in the days of
Spanish adventure a prosperous city under the name of "Sevilla de Oro,"
is now a cluster of huts on the banks of the Upano. Its trade is in
tobacco, vanilla, canela, wax, and copal. The Spaniards took the trouble
to transplant some genuine cinnamon-trees from Ceylon to this locality,
and they flourished for a time.

On the 30th of October we left Quito on our march across the continent,
by the way of the Napo wilderness. The preparations for our departure,
however, commenced long before that date. To leave Quito in any
direction is the work of time. But to plunge into that _terra incognita_
"el Oriente," where for weeks, perhaps months, we should be lost to the
civilized world and cut off from all resources, east or west, demanded
more calculation and providence than a voyage round the world.

We were as long preparing for our journey to the Amazon as in making it.
In the first place, not a man in Quito could give us a single item of
information on the most important and dangerous part of our route.
Quitonians are not guilty of knowing any thing about trans-Andine
affairs or "oriental" geography. From a few petty traders who had, to
the amazement of their fellow-citizens, traversed the forest and reached
the banks of the Napo, we gleaned some information which was of service.
But on the passage down the Napo from Santa Rosa to the Maranon, a
distance of over five hundred miles, nobody had any thing to say except
the delightful intelligence that in all probability, if we escaped the
fever, we would be murdered by the savages. The information we received
was about as definite and reliable as Herndon obtained respecting any
tributary to the Lower Amazon: "It runs a long way up: it has rapids;
savages live upon its banks; every thing grows there." From M. Gillette,
a Swiss gentleman trading at Para in Moyabamba hats, we learned about
the movements of the Peruvian steamer on the Maranon; but how long it
would take us to cross the mountains and the forest, and descend the
river, we must find out by trial.

The commissary department was of primal importance. As, from all we
could learn, we could not depend upon obtaining supplies from the
Indians or with our guns,[107] it was necessary to take provisions to
last till we should reach the Maranon. But how long we should be in the
forest and on the river, or what allowance to make for probable delays,
it was impossible to prophesy. The utmost caution and forethought were
therefore needed, for to die of starvation in the wilderness was, for
all practical purposes, equivalent to falling into the hands of
cannibals. As it turned out, however, we made a most fortunate hit, for
on arriving at Pebas--the first village on the Maranon--we found we had
just enough solid food left to have one grand jubilee dinner.

[Footnote 107: The scarcity of game is well illustrated by the fate of
Pizarro and his comrades. In returning from their expedition to the Napo
country, they nearly perished with hunger, living on lizards, dogs,
horses, saddles, sword-belts, etc., and reached Quito looking more like
spectres than men.]

For the benefit of future travelers, and for the curiosity of others, we
give the bill of fare we provided for this journey--stomachs, five;
time, forty-two days:

Flour           100 lbs.
Corn meal        27  "
Pea flour        30  "
Mashka           47  "
Crackers        100  "
Rice             50  "
Sugar            90  "
Chocolate        25  "
Dried meat[108]  47  "
Salt             10  "
Lard             10  "
Cream tartar   1-1/2 "
Soda              1  "
Tea               2  "
Ham              10  "
Tamarinds         9  "
Eggs            170.
Anisado      pts. 5.

[Footnote 108: "Jerked beef," as it is called in South America, consists
of thin strips cut off the carcass after skinning and dried in the sun.
The butchers do not distinguish between sirloin and round.]

To this we added by purchase from the Indians a few chickens and eggs,
five gallons of sirup, and a peck of rice; and on the river we helped
ourselves to a little wild game, as fish, peccari, deer, and turtles'
eggs. But these made only a drop in the commissary bucket; had we
depended upon finding provisions on the road, we must have perished from
sheer hunger. Game, in the dry season, is exceedingly scarce. Our
provisions were packed in kerosene cans, a part of which were soldered
up to keep out moisture (for the Valley of the Napo is a steaming
vapor-bath) and to keep out the hands of Indians. More than once have
these treacherous yet indispensable guides robbed the white man of his
food, and then left him to his fate; we lost not a pound by theft. A
four-gallon keg of aguardiente,[109] from which we dealt out half a gill
daily to each man, kept our Indians in good humor.

[Footnote 109: This is the rum of the Andes, corresponding to the
_cashaca_ of Brazil. It is distilled from sugar-cane. When
double-distilled and flavored with anise, it is called _anisado_.]

As we must ascend to the cold altitude of fifteen thousand feet, and
then descend to the hot Valley of the Amazon, we were obliged to carry
both woolen and cotton garments, besides rubber ponchos to shield them
from the rain by day, and to form the first substratum of our bed at
night. Two suits were needed in our long travel afoot through the
forest; one kept dry for the nightly bivouac, the other for day service.
At the close of each day's journey we doffed every thread of our wearing
apparel, and donned the reserved suit, for we were daily drenched either
from the heavens above or by crossing swollen rivers and seas of mud.
Then, too, as boots would not answer for such kind of travel, we must
take _alpargates_, a native sandal made of the aloe fibre, and of these
not a few, for a pair would hardly hold together two days. Two bales of
_lienzo_, besides knives, fish-hooks, thread, beads, looking-glasses,
and other trinkets, were also needed; for the Napo Indians must be paid
in such currency. There _lienzo_, not gold and silver, is the cry. On
this we made a small but lawful profit, paying in Quito eighteen cents
per yard, and charging on the river twenty-five.

An extensive culinary apparatus, guns and ammunition, taxidermal and
medicinal chests, physical instruments, including a photographic
establishment, rope, macheta, axe, saw, nails, candles, matches, and a
thousand _et caetera_, completed our outfit. Among the essential _et
caetera_ were generous passports and mandatory letters from the President
of Ecuador and the Peruvian Charge d'Affaires, addressed to all
authorities on the Napo and the Maranon. They were obligingly procured
for us by Senor Hurtado, the Chilian minister (then acting for the
United States), through the influence of a communication from our own
government, and were of great value to the expedition.[110]

[Footnote 110: The following is a copy of the President's order:

     REPUBLICA DEL ECUADOR

Ministeria de Estado        }             Quito a 18 de Octubre,}
en el Despacho del Interior.}             de 1807.              }

     APERTORIA.

     A las autoridades del transito hasta el Napo, i a los demas
     empleados civiles i militares de la provincia del Oriente:

     El Sor. James Orton, ciudadano de los EE. UU. de America, profesor
     de la Universidad de Rochester en Nueva-York, i jefe de una
     comision cientifica del Instituto de Smithsonian de Washington, va
     a la provincia de Oriente con el objeto de esplorarla en
     cumplimiento de su encargo. S.E. el Presidenta de la Republica
     ordena a U.U. presten al espresado Sor. Orton i su comitiva cuantas
     consideraciones merecen sus personas, i los ausilios i co-operacion
     que necesiten para verificar su viaje i hacer sus estudios i
     observaciones.

     Dios gue. a U.U.

     R. CARVAJAL.

]




CHAPTER XII.

     Departure from Quito.--Itulcachi.--A Night in a
     Bread-tray.--Crossing the
     Cordillera.--Guamani.--Papallacta.--Domiciled at the
     Governor's.--An Indian Aristides.--Our Peon Train.--In the
     Wilderness.


Forty miles east-southeast of Quito, on the eastern slope of the Eastern
Cordillera, and on the western edge of the great forest, is the Indian
village of Papallacta. From the capital to this point there is a path
just passable for horses; but thence to the Napo travelers must take to
their feet. Through the intervention of the curate of Papallacta, who
has great influence over his wild people, but who has wit enough to
reside in Quito instead of his parish, we engaged the Indian governor to
send over thirteen beasts and three peons to carry our party and baggage
to Papallacta. Wednesday morning the quadrupeds were at the door of our
hotel, five of them _bestias de silla_. These horses, judging by size,
color, shape, and bony prominences, were of five different species. The
saddles, likewise, differed from one another, and from any thing we had
ever seen or desired to see. One of them was so narrow and deep none of
us could get into it; so, filling up the cavity with blankets, we took
turns in riding on the summit. By noon, October 30th, we had seen our
Andean collections in the hands of arrieros bound for Guayaquil, whence
they were to be shipped by way of Panama to Washington, and our baggage
train for Napo headed toward the rising sun. So, mounting our jades, we
defiled across the Grand Plaza and through the street of St. Augustine,
and down the Carniceria to the Alameda, amid the _vivas_ and _adeos_ of
our Quitonian friends, who turned out to see the largest expedition
that ever left the city for the wild Napo country since the days of
Pizarro. Few there were who expected to hear of our safe arrival on the
shores of the Atlantic.

Crossing the magnificent plain of Inaquito, we reached in an hour the
romantic village of Guapulo. Here is an elegant stone church dedicated
to the Virgin of Guadaloupe, to which the faithful make an annual
pilgrimage. Thence the road led us through the valley of the
Guaillabamba (a tributary to the Esmeraldas), here and there blessed
with signs of intelligent life--a mud hut, and little green fields of
cane and alfalfa, and dotted with trees of wild cherry and myrtle, but
having that air of sadness and death-like repose so inseparable from a
Quitonian landscape. The greater part of this day's ride was over a
rolling country so barren and dreary it was almost repulsive. What a
pity the sun shines on so much useless territory!

Just before sunset we arrived at Itulcachi, a great cattle estate at the
foot of the eastern chain of mountains. The hacienda had seen better
days, and was poorly fitted to entertain man or beast. The major-domo,
however, managed to make some small potato soup, and find us shelter for
the night. In the room allotted us there were three immense
kneading-troughs and two bread-boards to match, for a grist-mill and
bakery were connected with the establishment. In default of beds, we
made use of this furniture. Five wiser men have slept in better berths,
but few have slept more soundly than we did in the bread-trays of
Itulcachi.

The following day we advanced five miles to Tablon, an Indian hamlet on
the mountain side. Here we waited over night for our cargo train, which
had loitered on the road. This was the only spot in South America where
we found milk to our stomachs' content; Itulcachi, with its herds of
cattle, did not yield a drop. Our dormitory was a mud hovel, without an
aperture for light or ventilation, and in this dark hole we all slept on
a heap of barley. Splendid was the view westward from Tablon. Below us
were the beautiful valleys of Chillo and Puembo, separated by the
isolated mountain of Ilalo; around them, in an imposing semicircle,
stood Cayambi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Corazon, Iliniza, Ruminagui,
Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, and Antisana. As the sun went down in his glory
behind the western range, the rocky head of Pichincha stood out in bold
relief, and cast a long shadow over the plain. At this halting-place we
made the mortifying discovery that the bare-legged Indian who had
trotted by our side as a guide and body-servant, and whom we had ordered
about with all the indifference of a surly slaveholder, was none other
than his Excellency Eugenio Mancheno, governor of Papallacta! After this
we were more respectful.

The next morning, our baggage having come up, we pushed up the mountain
through a grand ravine, and over metamorphic rocks standing on their
edges with a wavy strike, till we reached a polylepis grove, 12,000 feet
above the sea. We lunched under the wide-spreading branches of these
gnarled and twisted trees, which reminded us of the patriarchal olives
in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then, ascending over the monotonous
paramo, we stood at the elevation of 15,000 feet on the narrow summit of
the Guamani ridge. Some priest had been before us and planted a cross by
the roadside, to guide and bless the traveler on his way.

Of the magnificent prospect eastward, over the beginning of the
Amazonian Valley, which this lofty point commands, we have already
spoken. There was a wild grandeur in the scene--mountain behind
mountain, with deep intervening valleys, all covered with one thick,
unbroken mass of foliage. A tiny brook, the child of everlasting snows
still higher up, murmured at our feet, as if to tell us that we were on
the Atlantic slope, and then dashed into the great forest, to lose
itself in the mighty Amazon, and be buried with it in the same ocean
grave. The trade-wind, too, came rushing by us fresh from that sea of
commerce which laves the shores of two worlds. Guamani gave us also our
finest view of Antisana, its snow-white dome rising out of a wilderness
of mountains, and presenting on the north side a profile of the human
face divine.

And now we rapidly descended by a steep, narrow path, and over paramo
and bog, to a little tambo, where we had the luxury of sleeping on a bed
of straw. Here we made the acquaintance of two Indians from the Napo,
who were on the way to Quito with the mail--probably half a dozen
letters. A strip of cloth around the loins, and a short cape just
covering the shoulders, were all their habiliments. We noticed that they
never sat down, though a bench was close by them; they would squat for
an hour at a time. The day following we took our last horseback ride in
South America. It was short, but horrible. Through quagmire and swamp,
and down a flight of rocky stairs, in striking imitation of General
Putnam's famous ride--over rocks, too, made wondrously slippery by a
pitiless rain, but which our unshod Indian horses descended with great
dexterity, only one beast and his rider taking a somerset--thus we
traveled two hours, reaching Papallacta at 11 A.M.

We put up at the governor's. This edifice, the best in town, had sides
of upright poles stuccoed with mud, a thatched roof, and ground floor,
on which, between three stones, a fire was built for cookery and
comfort. Three or four earthen kettles, and as many calabashes and
wooden spoons, were the sum total of kitchen utensils. A large flat
stone, with another smaller one to rub over it, was the mill for
grinding corn; and we were astonished to see how quickly our hostess
reduced the grains to an impalpable meal. The only thing that looked
like a bed was a stiff rawhide thrown over a series of round poles
running lengthwise. This primitive couch, and likewise the whole house,
the obsequious governor gave up to us, insisting upon sleeping with his
wife and little ones outside, though the nights were cold and
uncomfortable. Parents and children were of the earth, earthy--unwashed,
uncombed, and disgustingly filthy. We found the governor one day taking
lice for his lunch. Sitting behind his little boy, he picked out the
little parasites with his nails, and crushed them between his teeth with
a look of satisfaction. Eating lice is an old Indian custom, and
universal in the Andes. In Inca times it was considered an infallible
remedy against sore eyes. We have seen half a dozen women sitting on the
ground in a row, picking out vermin from each other's heads. We thought
the arrangement was a little unfair, for the first in the series had no
lice to eat, and the animals were left to roam undisturbed in the
capillary forest of the last.

Papallacta is a village of thirty dwellings, situated in a deep valley
on the north slope of Antisana, nearly surrounded by an amphitheatre of
sandstone and basaltic precipices. Here, too, is the terminus of the
fourth great lava stream from the volcano; it is not mentioned by
Humboldt. Papallacta is a thousand feet higher than Quito, yet
vegetation is more tropical. Its name signifies "the potato country,"
but not a potato could we find here. Though Mancheno was governor, he
was not really the greatest man in Papallacta. This was Carlos
Caguatijo; he was the ruling man, for he could read, write, and speak
Spanish, while the governor knew nothing but Quichua. Carlos, moreover,
was a good man; he had an honest, Quaker-like air about him, and his
face reminded us of George Washington's. In all his transactions we
noticed no attempt to prevaricate or deceive; what he promised he
performed to the letter. It was refreshing to meet one such upright soul
in Ecuador, though we found him not of Caucasian blood, nor dwelling
under the tiled roofs of the proud capital. The old man was the
spiritual father of Papallacta, and, in the absence of the curate,
officiated in the little church. With him, therefore, and not with our
host the governor, we negotiated for peons to take us through the
wilderness.

The journey from Papallacta to the Napo occupied us thirteen days,
including four days of rest. It was performed on foot, for the "road" is
a trail. But the untraveled reader can have little idea of a trail in a
tropical forest: fording bridgeless rivers, wading through interminable
bogs, fens, marshes, quagmires, and swamps, and cutting one's way
through dense vegetation, must be done to be understood. Half the year
there is no intercourse between Quito and its Oriental province, for the
incessant heavy rains of summer swell every rivulet into a furious
torrent, and the path is overgrown and rendered impassable even by an
Indian. The only time for travel is between November and April, for
then, though it rains nearly every day, the clouds drop down in showers,
not floods. But even then the traveler must sometimes wait two or three
weeks beside a swollen river in imminent danger of starving, and
throughout the journey entertain the comforting prospect that his
Indians may eat up his provisions to lighten their load, or suddenly
desert him as they did Dr. Jameson. There are other routes across South
America much more feasible than the one we chose; these will be
described in Chapter XXIII. But they all yield in interest to this
passage along the equatorial line, and especially in the line of
history. Who has not heard of Gonzalo Pizarro and his fatal yet famous
expedition into "the land of cinnamon?" How he was led farther and
farther into the wilderness by the glittering illusions of an El
Dorado,[111] till the faithless Orellana, deserting him, floated down
the Napo and made the magnificent discovery of the mighty Amazon.
Gonzalo, "who was held to be the best lancer that ever went to these
countries--and all confess that he never showed his back to the
enemy"--returned to Quito with a few survivors to tell a tale of almost
unparalleled suffering. A century elapsed (1530-1637) before any one
ascended from Para to Quito by way of the Rio Napo; this was
accomplished by Pedro Teixeira.

[Illustration: Napo Peon.]

[Footnote 111: The king of this fabulous land was said to wear a
magnificent attire fragrant with a costly gum, and sprinkled with gold
dust. His palace was of porphyry and alabaster, and his throne of
ivory.]

An Indian will carry three arrobas (seventy-five pounds) besides his own
provisions, his provisions for the journey consisting of about
twenty-five pounds of roasted corn and barley-meal. The trunk or bundle
is bound to his back by withes, which pass across the forehead and
chest; a poncho or a handful of leaves protects the bare back from
chafing. All our luggage (amounting to nearly fifteen hundred pounds)
was divided and packed to suit this method of transportation, so that we
required twenty Indians. So many, however, of the right kind--for they
must be athletic young men to endure the fatigues of such a
journey--could not be furnished by the little village of Papallacta, so
we were obliged to wait a few days till more Indians could be summoned
from a neighboring town. When these arrived, the little world of
Papallacta, men, women, and children, assembled in front of the
governor's house, while Don Carlos sat by our side on a raised seat by
the doorway. A long parley ensued, resulting in this: that we should pay
one hundred Ecuadorian dollars for the transfer of our baggage to
Archidona; while Carlos solemnly promised for the young men that they
should start the next morning, that they should arrive at Archidona
within a stipulated time, and that they should not depend upon us for an
ounce of food. The powerful influence of the curate, which we had
secured, and the proclamation from the president, which Carlos read
aloud in the ears of all the people, together with the authoritative
charge of Carlos himself, had the desired effect; not a transportation
company in the United States ever kept its engagement more faithfully
than did these twenty peons--and this, too, though we paid them in
advance, according to the custom of the country. Upon a blanket spread
at our feet the money was counted out, and Carlos slowly distributed it
with a grave and reverend air, to every Indian five dollars.[112]

[Footnote 112: We give below the autograph of this wisest man in all the
Oriente: "Recibio del Senor James Orton la suma de centos (100) pesos
por vente (20) peones hasta Archidona.

[Illustration: reproduction of a signature is here]

"Papallacta, 4 Nov., 1867."]

Tuesday morning, November 5th, the peons promptly shouldered their
burdens, and we, shod with _alpargates_, and with Alpine staff in hand
(more needed here than in Switzerland), followed after, leaving the
governor to sleep inside his mansion, and to eat his lice unmolested. On
a little grassy knoll just outside the town our train halted for a
moment--the Indians to take their fill of chicha, and bid their friends
good-by, and we to call the roll and take an inventory. Our leader was
Isiro, a bright, intelligent, finely-featured, stalwart Indian. He could
speak Spanish, and his comrades acknowledged his superiority with marked
deference. Ten women and children followed us for two days, to relieve
the men of their burdens. Their assistance was not needed in the latter
part of the journey, for our keen appetites rapidly lightened the
provision cans. Starting again, we plunged at once into the forest,
taking a northeasterly course along the left bank of a tributary to the
Coca. The ups and downs of this day's travel of twelve miles were
foreshadowings of what might come in our "views afoot" in South America.
We encamped at a spot the Indians called Maspa. Herndon says: "The
(Peruvian) Indians take no account of time or distance; they stop when
they get tired, and arrive when God pleases."[113] But our Napo
companions measured distance by hours quite accurately, and they always
traveled as far as we were willing to follow. In ten minutes they built
us a booth for the night; driving two crotchets into the ground, they
joined them with a ridge-pole, against which they inclined a number of
sticks for rafters. These they covered with palm-leaves, so adroitly put
together that our roof was generally rain-proof. After ablution and an
entire change of garments, we built a fire, using for fuel a green tree
called _sindicaspi_ (meaning the wood that burns), a special provision
in these damp forests where every thing is dripping with moisture. The
fall of a full-grown tree under the strokes of a Yankee axe was a marvel
in the eyes of our Indians. Our second day's journey was far more
difficult than the first, the path winding up steep mountains and down
into grand ravines, for we were crossing the outlying spurs of the
Eastern Cordillera. Every where the track was slippery with mud, and
often we sank two feet into the mire. How devoutly we did wish that the
Ecuadorian Congress was compelled to travel this horrid road once a
year! At 10 o'clock we reached a lone habitation called Guila, where
wooden bowls are made for the Quito market. Here we procured a fresh
Indian to take the place of one of our peons who had given out under his
burden. We advanced this day sixteen miles in ten hours, sleeping under
an old bamboo hut beside a babbling brook bearing the euphonious name of
Pachamama.

[Footnote 113: "Distance is frequently estimated by the time that a man
will occupy in taking a chew of coca," or 37-1/2 minutes.--_Herndon_.]




CHAPTER XIII.

     Baeza.--The Forest.--Crossing the
     Cosanga.--Curi-urcu.--Archidona.--Appearance, Customs, and Belief
     of the Natives.--Napo and Napo River.


Eight hours' hard travel from Pachamama brought us to Baeza. This
"Antigua Ciudad," as Villavicencio calls it, was founded in 1552 by Don
Egilio Ramirez Davalos, and named after the quite different spot where
Scipio the Younger routed Asdrubal a thousand years before. It consists
of two habitations, the residence of two families of Tumbaco Indians,
situated in a clearing of the forest on the summit of a high ridge
running along the right bank of the Coca. This point, about one hundred
miles east of Quito, is important in the little traffic of the Oriente.
All Indian trains from the capital to the province pass through Baeza,
where the trail divides; one branch passing on easterly to San Jose, and
thence down through Abila and Loreto to Santa Rosa; the other leading to
the Napo through Archidona. Here we rested one day, taking possession of
one half of the larger hut--a mere stockade with a palm-leaf roof,
without chairs, chimney, or fire-place, except any place on the floor.
We swung our hammocks, while our Indians stretched themselves on the
ground beneath us. The island of Juan Fernandez is not a more isolated
spot than Baeza. A dense forest, impenetrable save by the trails,
stretches away on every side to the Andes and to the Atlantic, and
northerly and southerly along the slope of the entire mountain chain.
The forest is such an entangled mass of the living and the fallen, it is
difficult to say which is the predominant spirit--life or death. It is
the cemetery, as well as the birthplace, of a world of vegetation. The
trees are more lofty than on the Lower Amazon, and straight as an
arrow, but we saw none of remarkable size. A perpetual mist seems to
hang on the branches, and the dense foliage forms dark, lofty vaults,
which the sunlight never enters. The soil and air are always cool, and
never dry. Every thing is penetrated with dampness. All our watches
stopped, and remained immovable till we reached Para. It is this
constant and excessive humidity which renders it so difficult to
transport provisions or prepare an herbarium. The pending branches of
moss are so saturated with moisture that sometimes the branches are
broken off to the peril of the passing traveler. Yet the climate is
healthy. The stillness and gloom are almost painful; the firing of a gun
wakes a dull echo, and any unlooked-for noise is startling. Scarce a
bird or a flower is to be seen in these sombre shades. Nearly the only
signs of animal life visible thus far were insects, mostly butterflies,
fire-flies, and beetles. The only quadruped seen on our journey to the
Napo was a long-tailed marten caught by the Indians. The silence is
almost perfect; its chief interruption is the crashing fall of some old
patriarch of the forest, overcome by the embrace of loving parasites
that twine themselves about the trunk or sit upon the branches. The most
striking singularity in these tropical woods is the host of lianas or
air-roots of epiphytous plants, which hang down from the lofty boughs,
straight as plumb-lines, some singly, others in clusters; some reaching
half way to the ground, others touching it and striking their rootlets
into the earth. We found lianas over one hundred feet long. Sometimes a
toppling tree is caught in the graceful arms of looping _sipos_, and
held for years by this natural cable. It is these dead trunks, standing
like skeletons, which give a character of solemnity to these primeval
woods. The wildest disorder is seen along the mountain torrents, where
the trees, prostrated by the undermining current, lie mingled with huge
stones brought down by the force of the water. In many places the crowns
of stately monarchs standing on the bank interlock and form a sylvan
arch over the river.

We left Baeza by the southerly trail for Archidona. From Papallacta we
had traveled east, or parallel to the streams which flow down from the
mountains. We were now to cross them (and their name is legion), as also
the intervening ridges; so that our previous journey was nothing to that
which followed. Sometimes we were climbing up an almost vertical ascent,
then descending into a deep, dark ravine, to ford a furious river; while
on the lowlands the path seemed lost in a jungle of bamboos, till our
Indian "bushwhackers" opened a passage with their machetas, and we crept
under a low arcade of foliage. This day we enjoyed something unusual in
our forest trail--a distant view. The path brought us to the verge of a
mountain, whence we could look down on the savage valley of the Cosanga
and upward to the dazzling dome of Antisana; it was our farewell view of
that glorious volcano. At the distance of twelve miles from Baeza we
reached the banks of the Rio Cosanga, camping at a spot called
Chiniplaya. This is the river so much dreaded by Indians and whites
traversing the Napo wilderness. It is fearfully rapid--a very Tigris
from its source to its junction with the Coca. The large, smooth
boulders strewn along its bed show its power. Here, sixty miles from its
origin in the glaciers of Antisana, it is seventy-five feet wide, but in
the wet season it is one hundred yards. The day following we threaded
our difficult way, a _via dolorosa_, fifteen miles up the left bank of
the Cosanga, where we crossed and camped on the opposite side. The
Indians had thrown a log over the deepest part of the river, and the
rest we forded without much danger; but that very night the rain raised
the river to such a magnitude that the little bridge was carried off.
Had we been one day later, we might have waited a week on the other side
of the impassable gulf. Between this point where we forded and
Chiniplaya, fifteen miles below, the barometer indicated a fall of five
hundred feet. The roar of the rushing waters is like that of the sea. In
the beautiful language of Darwin (_Journal_, p. 316): "The sound spoke
eloquently to the geologist; the thousands and thousands of stones,
which, striking against each other, made the one dull, uniform sound,
were all hurrying in one direction. It was like thinking on time, when
the minute that now glides past is irrecoverable. So was it with these
stones. The ocean is their eternity, and each note of that wild music
told of one more step toward their destiny."

On account of the heavy rain and the sickness of a peon, whom finally we
were obliged to leave behind, we rested one day; but on the morrow we
traveled fourteen miles, crossing the lofty Guacamayo ridge,[114]
fording at much risk the deep Cochachimbamba, and camping at a spot (the
Indians have a name for almost any locality in the forest) called
Guayusapugaru. The next day we must have advanced twenty miles, besides
crossing the furious Hondachi. This river was very much swollen by the
rains, and it was only by the aid of a rope that we made the passage.
One stout Indian was carried down stream, but soon recovered himself.

[Footnote 114: Humboldt speaks of this as an active volcano, "from which
detonations are heard almost daily." We heard nothing. It is possible
that he meant Guamani.]

As we had lowered our altitude since leaving Papallacta seven thousand
feet, the climate was much warmer, and vegetation more prolific. Nowhere
else between the Andes and the Atlantic did we notice such a majestic
forest. The tree-ferns, ennobled by the tropical sun and soil, have a
palm-like appearance, but with rougher stems and a usual height of fifty
feet. Plants akin to our "scouring rush" rise twenty-five feet. We saw
to-day the "water tree," or _huadhuas_ of the natives, a kind of bamboo,
which sometimes yields between the joints two quarts of clear,
taste-less water. Late in the evening we reached an old rancho called
_Curi-urcu_ ("the mountain of gold"); but we had traveled so far ahead
of our cargo-train we did not see it again till the next morning. We
were obliged, therefore, to sleep on the ground in our wet clothes, and
put up with hard commons--half parched corn, which our Indian guides
gave us, and unleavened cakes or flour-paste baked on the coals. Thence,
after a short day's journey of ten miles, we arrived at Archidona, by a
path, however, that was slippery with a soft yellow clay. We were a
sorry-looking company, soaked by incessant rains, exhausted by
perspiration, plastered with mud, tattered, and torn; but we were kindly
met by the Jesuit bishop, who took us to his own habitation, where one
Indian washed our feet, and another prepared a most refreshing drink of
_guayusa_ tea. We then took up our quarters at the Government House,
opposite the bishop's, sojourning several days on account of our swollen
feet, and also on account of a swollen river which ran between us and
the Napo. Here we made a valuable collection of birds, lizards, fishes,
and butterflies.

Archidona is situated in a beautiful plain on the high northern bank of
the Misagualli, two thousand feet above the Atlantic. The site is a
cleared spot in the heart of an almost boundless forest; and it was a
relief, not easily conceived, to emerge from beneath the dense leafy
canopy into this open space and look up to the sky and to the snowy
Andes. The climate is uniform and delightful, the mean annual
temperature being seventy-seven degrees. Sand-flies, however, resembling
our "punkies," abound; and the natives are constantly slapping their
naked sides, eating the little pests as the Papallactans do their
lice.[115] Archidona is the largest village in the Napo country,
containing about five hundred souls. The houses are of split bamboo and
palm-thatch, often hid in a plantation of yuca and plantain. The central
and most important structure is the little church; its rude belfry,
portico, chancel, images, and other attempts at ornament remind us of
the fitting words of Mrs. Agassiz, that "there is something touching in
the idea that these poor, uneducated people of the forest have cared to
build themselves a temple with their own hands, lavishing upon it such
ideas of beauty and taste as they have, and bringing at least their best
to their humble altar." Founded by Davalos in 1560, Archidona has been a
missionary station for two hundred years. The people are child-like and
docile, but the bishop confessed there was no intellectual advance.
Every morning and evening, at the tinkling of a little bell, all
Archidona assembled in the open porch, where the bishop taught them to
sing and pray. It was a novel sight to see these children of the forest
coming out of the woods on all sides and running up to the temple--for
these natives, whenever they move, almost invariably go on a run. The
men are tall and slim and of a dark red color, and their legs are bent
backward at the knees. The governor was the only portly individual we
saw. The women are short, with high shoulders, and are very timid; they
seldom stand erect, and with the knees bent forward they run sneakingly
to church. Their eyes have a characteristic, soft, drooping look. They
carry their babes generally on the hip; not on the back, as in Quito.
The men are hatless, shirtless, and shoeless; their only garments are
short drawers, about six inches long, and little ponchos, both of
lienzo, dyed a dark purple with achote--the red seeds of the bixa, which
the cooks of Quito use to color their soups. All paint their bodies with
the same pigment. The women wear a frock reaching from the waist to the
knees; it is nothing more than a yard or two of lienzo wound around the
body. The Archidonians are the most Christianized of all the Napo
Indians, but they can not be called religious. Their rites (they can
hardly be said to have a creed) are the _a_, _b_, _c_, of Romanism,
mingled with some strange notions--the relics of a lost paganism. They
are very superstitious, and believe, as before remarked, in the
transmigration of souls. Maniacs they think are possessed by an evil
demon, and therefore are treated with great cruelty. Negroes (of whom a
few specimens have come up the Napo from Brazil) are held to be under
the ban of the Almighty, and their color is ascribed to the singeing
which they got in the flames of hell. They do not believe in disease;
but, like the Mundurucus on the Tapajos, say that death is always caused
by the sorceries of an enemy. They usually bury in the church or in the
tambo of the deceased. Celibacy and polygamy, homicide and suicide, are
rare.

[Footnote 115: The Chasuta Indians, Herndon says, eat musquitoes that
they catch on their bodies with the idea of restoring the blood which
the insect has abstracted.]

The only sign of industry in Archidona is the manufacture of pita thread
from the aloe. It is exported to Quito on human backs. The inhabitants
also collect copal at the headwaters of the Hondachi, and use it for
illumination. It can be bought in Archidona for three or four cents a
pound. The gum exudes from a lofty leguminous tree having an oak-like
bark. It resembles the anime of Madagascar rather than the copal of
India, which flows from an entirely different tree. Guayusa, or "Napo
tea," is another and celebrated production of Archidona. It is the large
leaf of a tall shrub growing wild. An infusion of guayusa, like the
_mate_ of Paraguay (which belongs to the same genus _Ilex_), is so
refreshing it supplies for a long time the place of food. The Indians
will go to Quito on this beverage alone, its virtues being similar to
those of _coca_, on the strength of which the posts of the Incas used to
travel incredible distances. It is by no means, however, such a
stimulant. It is a singular fact, observes Dr. Jameson, that tea,
coffee, cacao, mate, and guayusa contain the same alkaloid caffeine. The
last, however, contains only one fifteenth as much of the active
principle as tea, and no volatile oil. Herndon found guayusa on the
Ucayali.

At Archidona we took a new set of peons for Napo, as the Papallactans do
not travel farther. The distance is sixteen miles, and the path is
comparatively good, though it crosses two rivers, the Misagualli and
Tena. On this journey we found the only serpent seen since leaving
Quito. This solitary specimen was sluggish and harmless, but exceedingly
beautiful. It was the _Amphisboena fuliginosa_, or "slow-worm." It
lives in the chambers of the Saueba ants. We met a procession of these
ants, each carrying a circular piece of a leaf vertically over its head.
These insects are peculiar to tropical America, and are much dreaded in
Brazil, where they soon despoil valuable trees of their foliage. They
cut the leaves with their scissor-like jaws, and use them to thatch the
domes at the entrance of their subterranean dwellings.

At Napo we took possession of the governor's house. Each village in the
Napo province was obliged to build an edifice of split bamboo for that
dignitary; and, as he no longer exists, they are left unoccupied. They
generally stand on the highest and best site in the town, and are a
god-send to travelers. Immediately on our arrival, the Indian governor
and his staff of justices called to see what we wanted, and during our
stay supplied us with chickens, eggs, plantains, yucas, and fuel. His
excellency would always come, silver-headed cane in hand, though the
justices had only six eggs or a single fowl to bring us. The alcalde
also paid us his respects. He is an old blanco (as the whites are
called), doing a little traffic in gold dust, lienzo, and pita, but is
the highest representative of Ecuador in the Napo country. Here, too, we
met, to our great delight, Mr. George Edwards, a native of Connecticut,
who has settled himself, probably for life, in the depths of this
wilderness. He was equally rejoiced to see the face and hear the speech
of a countryman. His industry and upright character have won for him the
respect and good-will of the Indians, and he is favorably known in
Quito. The government has given him a tract of land on the Yusupino, two
miles west of Napo village. Here he is cultivating vanilla, of which he
has now three thousand plants, and also his patience, for six years
elapse after transplanting before a pod appears. He has been so long in
the country (thirteen years) his English would now and then run off into
Spanish or Quichua.

Napo is prettily situated on the left bank of the Rio Napo, a dense
forest inclosing it on every side. The maximum number of inhabitants is
eighty families; but many of these are in town only in festival seasons.
It was well for us that we reached the Napo during the feasts; otherwise
we might not have found men enough to man our canoes down the river.
There are three or four blancos, petty merchants, who follow the old
Spanish practice of compulsory sales, forcing the Indians to take
lienzo, knives, beads, etc., at exorbitant prices, and making them pay
in gold dust and pita. This kind of commerce is known under the name of
_repartos_. It is hard to find an Indian whose gold or whose labor is
not claimed by the blancos. The present and possible productions of this
region are: bananas, plantains, yucas,[116] yams, sweet potatoes, rice,
beans, corn, lemons, oranges, chirimoyas, anonas (a similar fruit to the
preceding), pine-apples, palm cabbages, guavas, guayavas, castor-oil
beans, coffee, cacao, cinnamon, India-rubber, vanilla (two kinds),[117]
chonta-palm nuts, sarsaparilla, contrayerva (a mint), tobacco (of
superior quality), and guayusa; of woods, balsam, red wood, Brazil wood,
palo de cruz, palo de sangre, ramo caspi, quilla caspi, guayacan (or
"holy wood," being much used for images), ivory palm, a kind of ebony,
cedar, and aguana (the last two used for making canoes); of dyewoods,
sarne (dark red), tinta (blue), terriri, and quito (black); of gums,
estoraque (a balsam) and copal, besides a black beeswax, the production
of a small (Trigona) bee, that builds its comb in the ground; of
manufactures, pita, hammocks, twine, calabashes, aguardiente (from the
plantain), chicha (from the yuca),[118] sugar and molasses (from the
cane, which grows luxuriantly), and manati-lard; of minerals, gold dust.
The gold, in minute spangles, is washed down by the rivers at flood
time, chiefly from the Llanganati Mountains. The articles desired in
exchange are lienzo, thread, needles, axes, hoes, knives, fish-hooks,
rings, medals, crosses, beads, mirrors, salt, and poison. Quito nearly
monopolizes the trade; though a few canoes go down the Napo to the
Maranon after salt and poison. The salt comes from near Chasuta, on the
Huallaga;[119] the _urari_ from the Ticuna Indians. It takes about
twenty days to paddle down to the Maranon, and three months to pole up.
The Napo is navigable for a flat-bottomed steamer as far as Santa
Rosa,[120] and it is a wonder that Anglo-Saxon enterprise has not put
one upon these waters. The profits would be great, as soon as commercial
relations with the various tribes were established.[121] Four yards of
coarse cotton cloth, for example, will exchange for one hundred pounds
of sarsaparilla. _Urari_ is sold at Napo for its weight in silver. By a
decree of the Ecuadorian Congress, there will be no duty on foreign
goods entering the Napo for twenty years. The Napo region, under proper
cultivation, would yield the most valuable productions of either
hemisphere in profusion. But agriculture is unknown; there is no word
for plow. The natives spend most of their time in idleness, or feasting
and hunting. Their weapons are blow-guns and wooden spears; our guns
they call by a word which signifies "thunder and lightning." Laying up
for the future or for commerce is foreign to their ideas. The houses are
all built of bamboo tied together with lianas, and shingled with leaves
of the sunipanga palm. The Indians are peaceful, good-natured, and idle.
They seldom steal any thing but food. Their only stimulants are chicha,
guayusa, and tobacco. This last they roll up in plantain leaves and
smoke, or snuff an infusion of it through the nose from the upper bill
of a toucan. "The Peruvians (says Prescott, quoting Garcilasso) differ
from every other Indian nation to whom tobacco was known by using it
only for medicinal purposes in the form of snuff." There is no bread on
the Napo; the nearest approach to flour is yuca starch. There are no
clocks or watches; time is measured by the position of the sun. The mean
temperature at Napo village is about one degree warmer than that of
Archidona. Its altitude above the sea is 1450 feet. The nights are cool,
and there are no musquitoes; but sand-flies are innumerable. Jiggers
also have been seen. There are no well-defined wet and dry seasons; but
the most rain falls in May, June, and July. The lightning, Edwards
informed us, seldom strikes. Dysentery, fevers, and rheumatism are the
prevailing diseases; and we saw one case of goitre. But the climate is
considered salubrious. Few twins are born; and there are fewer children
than in Archidona--a difference ascribed by some to the exposure of the
Napo people in gold washing; by others to the greater quantity of
guayusa drunk by the Archidonians.

[Footnote 116: Sometimes called _yuca dulce_, or sweet yuca, to
distinguish it from the _yuca brava_, or wild yuca, the mandioca of the
Amazon, from which farina is made. The yuca is the beet-like root of a
little tree about ten feet high. It is a good substitute for potatoes
and bread.]

[Footnote 117: Vanilla belongs to the orchid family, and is the only
member which possesses any economical value. It is a graceful climber
and has a pretty star-like flower.]

[Footnote 118: In Peru, the liquor made from yuca is called _masato_.]

[Footnote 119: Rock-salt is found on both sides of the Andes. "The
general character of the geology of these countries would rather lead to
the opinion that its origin is in some way connected with volcanic heat
at the bottom of the sea."--Darwin's _Observations_, pt. iii., p. 235.]

[Footnote 120: "The Napo (Herndon was told) is very full of sand-banks,
and twenty days from its mouth (or near the confluence of the Curaray)
the men have to get overboard and drag the canoes!"--_Report_, p. 229.]

[Footnote 121: The chief difficulty throughout the Upper Amazon is in
getting the Indians to concentrate along the bank. But honorable dealing
would accomplish this in time.]

The Napo is the largest river in the republic. From its source in the
oriental defiles of Cotopaxi and Sincholagua to its embouchure at the
Maranon, its length is not far from eight hundred miles, or about twice
that of the Susquehanna.[122] From Napo village to the mouth of the
river our barometer showed a fall of a thousand feet. At Napo the
current is six miles an hour; between Napo and Santa Rosa there are
rapids; and between Santa Rosa and the Maranon the rate is not less than
four miles an hour. At Napo the breadth is about forty yards; at Coca
the main channel is fifteen hundred feet wide; and at Camindo it is a
full Spanish mile. Below Coca the river throws out numerous canals,
which, isolating portions of the forest-clad lowlands, create numerous
picturesque islands. Around and between them the river winds, usually
making one bend in every league. The tall trees covering them are bound
together by creeping plants into a thick jungle, the home of capybaras
and the lair of the jaguar. The islands, entirely alluvial, are
periodically flooded, and undergo a constant round of decay and
renovation. Indeed, the whole river annually changes its channel, so
that navigation is somewhat difficult. The Indians, on coming to a fork,
were frequently at a loss to know which was the main channel. Then, too,
the river is full of snags and _plaias_, or low, shelving sand-banks,
rising just above the water-level--the resort of turtles during the egg
season. It was interesting to trace the bed of the river as we floated
down; on the rapid slope of the Cordilleras rushing over or rolling
along huge boulders, which farther on were rapidly reduced in size,
till, in time, boulders were broken into pebbles, pebbles turned into
sand, and sand reduced to impalpable mud.[123] The _plaias_ are not
auriferous. Below Coca there is a wilderness of lagunes, all connected
with the river, the undisturbed retreat of innumerable water-fowl. The
only spot on the Napo where the underlying rocks are exposed is near
Napo village. There it is a dark slate, gently dipping east. Farther
west, in fact, throughout this side of the Andes, the prevailing rock is
mica-schist. But the entire Napo country is covered with an alluvial
bed, on the average ten feet thick.

[Footnote 122: Its actual source is the Rio del Valle, which runs
northward through the Valle Vicioso. Its longest tributary, the Curaray,
rises only a few miles to the south in the Cordillera de los Mulatos.
The two rivers run side by side 4 deg. of longitude before meeting. Coca,
the northern branch, originates in the flanks of Cayambi. The Napo and
its branches are represented incorrectly in every map we have examined.
The Aguarico is confounded with the Santa Maria and made too long, and
the Curaray is represented too far above the mouth of the Napo. There
are no settlements between Coca and Camindo.]

[Footnote 123: From specimens of sand which we obtained at different
points in descending the river, we find that at Coca it contains 17.5
per cent. of pure quartz grains, the rest being colored dark with
augite: at the mouth of the Napo there is 50 per cent. of pure quartz,
the other half being light-colored and feldspathic.]




CHAPTER XIV.

     Afloat on the Napo.--Down the Rapids.--Santa Rosa and its mulish
     Alcalde.--Pratt on Discipline.--Forest Music.--Coca.--Our Craft and
     Crew.--Storm on the Napo.


We embarked November 20th on our voyage down the river. It is no easy
matter to hire or cajole the Indians for any service. Out of feast-time
they are out of town, and during the festival they are loth to leave, or
are so full of chicha they do not know what they want. We first woke up
the indolent alcalde by showing him the President's order, and then used
him to entice or to compel (we know not his motive power) eight Indians,
including the governor, to take us to Santa Rosa. We paid them about
twenty-four yards of lienzo, the usual currency here. They furnished
three canoes, two for baggage and one covered with a palm-leaf awning
for ourselves. The canoes were of red cedar, and flat-bottomed; the
paddles had oval blades, to which short, quick strokes were given
perpendicularly to the water entering and leaving. But there was little
need of paddling on this trip.

The Napo starts off in furious haste, for the fall between Napo village
and Santa Rosa, a distance of eighty miles, is three hundred and fifty
feet. We were about seven hours in the voyage down, and it takes seven
days to pole back. The passage of the rapids is dangerous to all but an
Indian. As Wallace says of a spot on the Rio Negro, you are bewildered
by the conflicting motions of the water. Whirling and boiling eddies
burst as if from some subaqueous explosion; down currents are on one
side of the canoe, and an up current on the other; now a cross stream
at the bows and a diagonal one at the stern, with a foaming Scylla on
your right and a whirling Charybdis on the left. But our nervousness
gave way to admiration as our popero, or pilot, the sedate governor,
gave the canoe a sheer with the swoop of his long paddle, turning it
gracefully around the corner of a rock against which it seemed we must
be dashed, and we felt like joining in the wild scream of the Indians as
our little craft shot like an arrow past the danger and down the rapids,
and danced on the waters below.

In four hours we were abreast the little village of Aguano; on the
opposite bank we could see the tambos of the gold washers. At 5 P.M. we
reached the deserted site of Old Santa Rosa, the village having been
removed a few years ago on account of its unhealthy location. It is now
overgrown with sour orange and calabash trees, the latter bearing large
fruit shells so useful to the Indians in making pilches or cups. In
pitch darkness and in a drizzling rain we arrived at New Santa Rosa, and
swung our hammocks in the Government House.

Santa Rosa, once the prosperous capital of the Provincia del Oriente,
now contains about two hundred men, women, and children. The town is
pleasantly situated on the left bank of the river, about fifteen feet
above the water level. A little bamboo church, open only when the
missionary from Archidona makes his annual visit, stood near our
quarters. The Indians were keeping one of their seven feasts in a hut
near by, and their drumming was the last thing we heard as we turned
into our hammocks, and the first in the morning. The alcalde, Pablo
Sandoval, is the only white inhabitant, and he is an Indian in every
respect save speech and color. His habitation is one of the largest
structures on the Napo; the posts are of chonta-palm, the sides and roof
of the usual material--split bamboo and palm leaves. It is embowered in
a magnificent grove of plantains and papayas. In the spacious vestibule
is a bench, on which the Indian governor and his staff seat themselves
every morning to confer with the alcalde. In one corner stands a table
(the only one we remember seeing on the Napo); on the opposite side are
heaped up jars, pots, kettles, hunting and fishing implements, paddles,
bows and arrows. Between the posts swing two chambiri hammocks. From
Santa Rosa to Para the hammock answers for chair, sofa, _tete-a-tete_,
and bed. When a stranger enters, he is invited to sit in a hammock; and
at Santa Rosa we were always presented with a cup of guayusa; in Brazil
with a cup of coffee. Sandoval wore nothing but shirt and pantaloons;
the dignity of the barefooted functionary was confined to his Spanish
blood. He had lived long among the Zaparos; and from him, his daughter,
and a Zaparo servant, we obtained much valuable information respecting
that wild and little-known tribe.

[Illustration: Papaya-tree.]

At Santa Rosa we procured Indians and canoes for the Maranon. This was
not easily done. The Indians seemed reluctant to quit their feasts and
go on such a long voyage, and the alcalde was unwilling they should go,
and manufactured a host of lies and excuses. He declared there was but
one large canoe in town, and that we must send to Suno for another, and
for men to man it. There were indeed few Indians in Santa Rosa, for
while we were disputing a largo number went off with shoutings down the
river, to spend weeks in the forest hunting monkeys.[124] It was a
stirring sight to see these untamed red men in the depths of the Napo
wilderness starting on a monkey crusade; but it was still more stirring
to think of paddling our own canoe down to Brazil. After some time lost
in word-fighting, we tried the virtues of authority. We presented the
president's order, which commanded all civil and military powers on the
Napo to aid, and not to hinder, the expedition; then we put into his
hand an official letter from the alcalde of Napo (to whom Pablo was
subordinate), which, with a flourish of dignified Spanish, threatened
Santa Rosa with the doom of Sodom and Gomorrah if any impediment was
placed in our way.

[Footnote 124: Monkeys form an article of food throughout tropical
America. The meat is tough, but keeps longer than any other in that
climate. The Indians told Gibbon that "the tail is the most delicate
part when the hair is properly singed."]

To all this Edwards, who had kindly accompanied us down the river thus
far, added, with frightful gestures, that he purposed to report him to
the Quito government. After this bombardment Sandoval was another man,
and the two canoes and four Indians we wanted were forthcoming. We had
to wait, however, two days for the Indians to prepare their chicha for
the journey and to cover the canoes with palm awnings. The price of a
canoe for the Maranon is twenty-five varas of lienzo, and the same for
each Indian. Unfortunately we had only fifty varas left; but, through
the influence of the now good-natured alcalde, we induced the Indians to
take the balance in coin. After many delays, we put our baggage into
one canoe, and ourselves into the other, and pushed off into the rapid
current of the Napo. We had three styles of valediction on leaving. Our
Indian quartet, after several last drinks of chicha, bade their friends
farewell by clasping hands, one kissing the joined hands, and then the
other. Sandoval muttered _adios_ in reply to ours, meaning, no doubt,
good riddance, while we shouted a hearty good-bye to Edwards as he
pushed his way up stream to continue his lonely but chosen Indian life
on the banks of the Yusupino.

The Napo at Santa Rosa runs at least five miles an hour, and we were
soon picking our way--now drifting, now paddling--through a labyrinth of
islands and snags. The Indians, so accustomed to brutal violence from
the hands of the whites, had begged of us, before our departure, that we
would not beat them. But shortly after we left, one of them, who was
literally filled with chicha, dropped his paddle and tumbled into a heap
at the bottom of the canoe, dead drunk. Pratt, our gigantic Mississippi
boatman, whom we had engaged at Quito as captain and cook down the
river, and who was an awful Goliath in the eyes of the red-skins, seized
the fellow and gave him a terrible shaking, the like of which was never
seen or heard of in all Napo. At once the liquor left the muddled brain
of the astonished culprit, and, taking his paddle, he became from that
hour the best of the crew. This was the only case of discipline on the
voyage. Always obsequious, they obeyed us with fear and trembling. None
of them could speak Spanish, so we had provided ourselves with a
vocabulary of Quichua. But some English words, like the imperative
_paddle_! were more effective than the tongue of the Incas. Indeed, when
we mixed up our Quichua with a little Anglo-Saxon, they evidently
thought the latter was a terrible anathema, for they sprang to their
places without delay.

In seven hours we arrived at Suno, a collection of half a dozen palm
booths, five feet high, the miserable owners of which do a little
fishing and gold-washing. They gave us possession of their largest hut,
in which they had been roasting a sea-cow, and the stench was
intolerable. Nevertheless, one of our number bravely threw down his
blanket within, and went to sleep; two swung their hammocks between the
trees, and the rest slept in the canoe. Here, for the first time since
leaving Guayaquil, we were tormented by musquitoes. Bats were also quite
numerous, but none of them were blood-thirsty; and we may add that
nowhere in South America were we troubled by those diabolical imps of
imaginative travelers, the leaf-nosed species. So far as our experience
goes, we can say, with Bates, that the vampire, so common on the Amazon,
is the most harmless of all bats. It has, however, a most hideous
physiognomy. A full-grown specimen will measure twenty-eight inches in
expanse of wing. Bates found two species on the Amazon--one black, the
other of a ruddy line, and both fruit-eaters.

The nocturnal music of these forests is made by crickets and tree-toads.
The voice of the latter sounds like the cracking of wood. Occasionally
frogs, owls, and goat-suckers croak, hoot, and wail. Between midnight
and 3 A.M. almost perfect silence reigns. At early dawn the animal
creation awakes with a scream. Pre-eminent are the discordant cries of
monkeys and macaws. As the sun rises higher, one musician after another
seeks the forest shade, and the morning concert ends at noon. In the
heat of the day there is an all-pervading rustling sound, caused by the
fluttering of myriad insects and the gliding of lizards and snakes. At
sunset parrots and monkeys resume their chatter for a season, and then
give way to the noiseless flight of innumerable bats chasing the
hawk-moth and beetle. There is scarcely a sound in a tropical forest
which is joyous and cheering. The birds are usually silent; those that
have voices utter a plaintive song, or hoarse, shrill cry. Our
door-yards are far more melodious on a May morning. The most common
birds on the Napo are macaws, parrots, toucans, and ciganas. The
parrots, like the majority in South America, are of the green type. The
toucan, peculiar to the New World, and distinguished by its enormous
bill, is a quarrelsome, imperious bird. It is clumsy in flight, but
nimble in leaping from limb to limb. It hops on the ground like a robin,
and makes a shrill yelping--_pia-po-o-co_. Ecuadorians call it the
_predicador_, or preacher, because it wags its head like a priest, and
seems to say, "God gave it you." The feathers of the breast are of most
brilliant yellow, orange, and rose colors, and the robes of the royal
dames of Europe in the sixteenth century were trimmed with them. The
cigana or "gypsy" (in Peru called "chansu") resembles a pheasant. The
flesh has a musky odor, and it is for this reason, perhaps, that they
exist in such numbers throughout the country. The Indians never eat
them. In no country as in the Amazonian Valley is there such a variety
of insects; nowhere do we find species of larger size or greater beauty.
It is the richest locality for butterflies; Bates found twelve hundred
species in Brazil alone, or three times as many as in all Europe. The
splendid metallic-blue, and the yellow and transparent-winged, are very
abundant on the Napo; some rise high in the air; others, living in
societies, look like fluttering clouds. Moths are comparatively rare.
The most conspicuous beetle on the river is a magnificent green species
(_Chrysophora chrysochlora_), always found arboreal, like the majority
of tropical coleopters; they look like emerald gems clinging to the
branches. There are two kinds of bees, the black and yellow, which the
Napos name respectively _cushillo mishke_ (monkey honey) and _sara
mishke_ (corn honey). It is singular these Indians have no term for
bees, but call them honey, and distinguish them by their color. The
black species is said to make the most honey, and the yellow the best.
The quadrupeds of the Oriente are few and far between in the dry season.
Not a sloth nor armadillo did we see. But when the rains descend the
wilderness is a menagerie of tigers and tapirs, pumas and bears, while a
host of reptiles, led by the gigantic boa, creep forth from their
hiding-places. The most ferocious carnivores are found in the mountains,
and the most venomous serpents haunt the lowlands. Darwin says that we
ought not to expect any closer similarity between the organic beings on
the opposite sides of the Andes than on the opposite shores of the
ocean. We will remark that we obtained a peccari, a number of birds not
accustomed to high flights, and five reptilian species, on the Pacific
slope, identical with species found on the Napo.

Breakfasting on fried yucas, roasted plantains, fish, and guayusa, we
set sail, arriving at Coca at 2 P.M. This little village, the last we
shall see till we come within sight of the Amazon, is beautifully
located on the right bank, twenty-five feet above the river, and
opposite the confluence of the Rio Coca. Though founded twenty years
ago, it contains only five or six bamboo huts, a government-house,
church, alcalde's residence, and a _trapiche_ for the manufacture of
aguardiente and sirup from the cane.[125] The alcalde was a worthless
blanco, who spent most of his time swinging in a hammock slung between
the posts of his veranda, and playing with a tame parrot when not drunk
or asleep. This spot is memorable in history. Pizarro having reached it
from Quito by way of Baeza and the Coca, halted and built a raft or
canoe (Prescott says a brig), in which Orellana was sent down the river
to reconnoitre, but who never returned. Up to this point the Napo has an
easterly course; but after receiving the Coca, it turns to the
southeast. We remained here two days to construct a more comfortable
craft for our voyage to the Amazon, a distance of at least five hundred
miles. The canoe is the only means of navigation known to the Indians.
But the idea of spending fifteen days cooped, cribbed, and cramped in a
narrow canoe, exposed to a tropical sun and furious rains, was
intolerable.

[Illustration: Trapiche.]

[Footnote 125: The _trapiche_ or sugar-mill of the Andes is a rude
affair. The cane is pressed between cogged wooden cylinders worked by
bullocks, and the juice is received in troughs made of hollowed logs.]

Our Santa Rosa canoes were about thirty feet long. These were placed
about five feet apart and parallel, and then firmly secured by bamboo
joists. Over these we spread a flooring of split bamboo, and planted
four stout chonta sticks to support a palm-thatched roof. A rudder (a
novel idea to our red-skinned companions), and a box of sand in the
stern of one of the boats for a fire-place, completed our rig. The
alcalde, with a hiccough, declared we would be forever going down the
river in such a huge craft, and the Indians smiled ominously. But when
our gallant ship left Coca obediently to the helm, and at the rate of
six miles an hour when paddles and current worked together, they shouted
"_bueno_!" Our trunks and provision-cans were arranged along the two
sides of the platform, so that we had abundance of from for exercise by
day and for sleeping under musquito-tents at night. A little canoe,
which we bought of the alcalde, floated alongside for a tender, and was
very serviceable in hunting, gathering fuel, etc. In the
"forecastle"--the bows of the large canoes which projected beyond our
cabin--sat three Indians to paddle. The fourth, who was the governor of
Santa Rosa, we honored with the post of steersman; and he was always to
be seen on the poop behind the kitchen, standing bolt upright, on the
alert and on the lookout. On approaching any human habitation, the
Indians blew horns to indicate that they came as friends. These horns
must have come from Brazil, as there are no bovines on the Napo.
Whenever they enter an unknown lagune they blow their horns also to
charm the _yacu-mama_, or mother-of-waters, as they call the imaginary
serpent.

At different points down the river they deposited pots of chicha for
use on their return. The mass breeds worms so rapidly, however, as
Edwards informed us, that after the lapse of a month or two it is a
jumble of yuca scraps and writhing articulates. But the owner of the
heap coolly separates the animal from the vegetable, adds a little
water, and drinks his chicha without ceremony. During leisure hours the
Indians busied themselves plaiting palm leaves into ornaments for their
arms and heads. Not a note did they whistle or sing. Yet they were
always in good humor, and during the whole voyage we did not see the
slightest approach to a quarrel. At no time did we have the least fear
of treachery or violence.

The Napos are not savages. Their goodness, however, as Bates says of the
Cucama tribe, consists more in the absence of active bad qualities than
in the possession of good ones. Of an apathetic temperament and dull
imagination, we could not stir them into admiration or enthusiasm by any
scientific wonder; the utmost manifestation of surprise was a cluck with
the tongue.[126] Upon presenting the governor with a vest, he
immediately cut off the buttons, and, dividing the cloth into four
parts, shared it with his fellows.[127] When it rained they invariably
took off their ponchos, but in all our intercourse with these wild men
we never noticed the slightest breach of modesty. They strictly
maintained a decent arrangement of such apparel as they possessed. A
canoe containing a young Indian, his bride, and our governor's wife and
babe, accompanied us down to the Maranon. They were going after a load
of salt for Sandoval. The girl was a graceful paddler, and had some
well-founded pretensions to beauty. Her coarse, black hair was simply
combed back, not braided into plaits as commonly done by the Andean
women. All, both male and female, painted their faces with achote to
keep off the sand-flies.

[Illustration: Our Craft on the Napo.]

[Footnote 126: Bates says the Mundurucus express surprise by making a
clicking sound with their teeth, and Darwin observes that the Fuegians
have the habit of making a chuckling noise when pleased.]

[Footnote 127: The like perfect equality exists among the Fuegian
tribes. "A piece of cloth given to one is torn into shreds and
distributed, and no one individual becomes richer than
another."--_Darwin_.]

Pratt managed the helm (the governor could not work the Yankee notion)
and the kitchen. At Santa Rosa we had added to our Quito stock of
provisions some manati-lard (bottled up in a joint of a bamboo) and
sirup, and at Coca we took in three fowls, a bag of rice, and a bunch of
bananas. So we fared sumptuously every day. We left Coca on Thanksgiving
Day, November 28th, and to imitate our distant friends, we sacrificed an
extra meal--fricasseed chicken, jerked beef, boiled yucas, bananas,
oranges, lemonade, and guayusa. Favored by a powerful current and the
rhythmic paddling of our Santa Rosans, we made this day sixty miles; but
our average daily run was fifty miles. The winds (doubtless the trades)
were almost unchangeably from the east; but an occasional puff would
come from the northwest, when we relieved our paddlers by hoisting a
blanket for a sail. Six o'clock was our usual hour of departure, and ten
or twelve hours our traveling time, always tying up at a plaia or
island, of which there are hosts in the Napo, but never to the main
land, for fear of unfriendly Indians and the still more unwelcome tiger.
Our crew encamped at a respectful though hailing distance.

On the second day from Coca we were caught in a squall, and to save our
roof we ran ashore. Nearly every afternoon we were treated to a shower,
accompanied by a strong wind, but seldom by thunder and lightning,
though at Coca we had a brilliant thunder-storm at night. They always
came after a uniform fashion and at a regular hour, so that we learned
when to expect them. About noon the eastern horizon would become
suddenly black, and when this had spread to the zenith we heard the
rush of a mighty wind sweeping through the forest, and the crash of
falling trees, and then down fell the deluge. The Indians have a saying
that "the path of the sun is the path of the storm." These storm-clouds
moved rapidly, for in half an hour all was quiet on the Napo. At Quito,
two hundred miles west, the usual afternoon shower occurs two hours
later. To-day we enjoyed our last glimpse of the Andes. Far away across
the great forest we had traversed we could see the beautiful cone of
Cotopaxi and the flat top of Cayambi standing out in proud pre-eminence.
Long will it be ere we forget this farewell view of the magnificent
Cordillera.




CHAPTER XV.

     Sea-Cows and Turtles' Eggs.--The Forest.--Peccaries.--Indian Tribes
     on the Lower Napo.--Anacondas and Howling Monkeys.--Insect
     Pests.--Battle with Ants.--Barometric Anomaly.--First View of the
     Amazon,--Pebas.


The thirtieth of November was an exciting day on the monotonous Napo. We
fell in with numerous sea-cows sporting in the middle of the stream.
They were greatly disturbed by the sight of our huge craft, and, lifting
their ugly heads high out of the water, gave a peculiar snort, as if in
defiance, but always dived out of sight when fired upon. The sea-cow is
called _vaca marina_ by the Spaniards, _peixe boy_ by the Brazilians,
and _manati_ in the West Indies. It has no bovine feature except in its
upper lip. The head and skin remind one of a large seal. In many
respects it may be likened to a hippopotamus without tusks or legs. It
has a semicircular flat tail, and behind the head are two oval fins,
beneath which are the breasts, which yield a white milk. The flesh
resembles pork, with a disagreeable, fishy flavor.

To-day we anchored at several plaias to hunt turtles' eggs. Our Indians
were very expert in finding the nests. Guided approximately by the
tracks of the _tortugas_, as the turtles are called, they thrust a stick
into the sand, and wherever it went down easily they immediately
commenced digging with their hands, and invariably "struck" eggs. In
four nests, whose contents we counted, there were one hundred and
thirty-two, one hundred and fourteen, one hundred and twelve, and
ninety-seven; but we have heard of one hundred and sixty eggs in a
single nest. The turtles lay in the night, and in pits about two feet
deep, which they excavate with their broad, webbed paws. The eggs are
about an inch and a half in diameter, having a thin, leathery shell, a
very oily yolk, and a white which does not coagulate. The Indians ate
them uncooked. We used them chiefly in making corn griddles.

Here, as throughout its whole course, the Napo runs between two walls of
evergreen verdure. On either hand are low clay banks (no rocks are
visible), and from these the forest rises to a uniform height of seventy
or eighty feet. It has a more cheerful aspect than the sombre, silent
wilderness of Baeza. Old aristocrats of the woods are overrun by a gay
democracy of creepers and climbers, which interlace the entire forest,
and, descending to take root again, appear like the shrouds and stays of
a line-of-battle ship. Monkeys gambol on this wild rigging, and mingle
their chatter with the screams of the parrot. Trees as lofty as our oaks
are covered with flowers as beautiful as our lilies. Here are orchids of
softest tints;[128] flowering ferns, fifty feet high; the graceful
bamboo and wild banana; while high over all countless species of palm
wave their nodding plumes. Art could not arrange these beautiful forms
so harmoniously as nature has done.

[Footnote 128: Some orchid is in flower all the year round. The finest
species is the _odontoglossum_, having long, chocolate-colored petals,
margined with yellow. "Such is their number and variety (wrote Humboldt)
that the entire life of a painter would be too short to delineate all
the magnificent Orchideae which adorn the recesses of the deep valleys of
the Peruvian Andes." For many curious facts respecting the structure of
these flowers, see Darwin's _Fertilization of Orchids_.]

[Illustration: Hunting Turtles' Eggs]

The tropics, moreover, are strangers to the uniformity of association
seen in temperate climes. We have so many social plants that we speak of
a forest of oaks, and pines, and birches; but there variety is the law.
Individuals of the same species are seldom seen growing together.
Every tree is surrounded by strangers that seemingly prefer its room
to its company; and, such is the struggle for possession of the soil, it
is difficult to tell to which stem the different leaves and flowers
belong. The peculiar charm of a tropical forest is increased by the
mystery of its impenetrable thicket. Within that dense, matted
shrubbery, and behind that phalanx of trees, the imagination of the
traveler sees all manner of four-footed beasts and creeping things.
Tropical vegetation is of fresher verdure, more luxuriant and succulent,
and adorned with larger and more shining leaves than the vegetation of
the north. The leaves are not shed periodically--a character common, not
only to the equator, but also to the whole southern hemisphere. Yet
there is a variety of tints, though not autumnal. The leaves put on
their best attire while budding instead of falling--passing, as they
come to maturity, through different shades of red, brown, and green. The
majority of tropical trees bear small flowers. The most conspicuous
trees are the palms, to which the prize of beauty has been given by the
concurrent voice of all ages. The earliest civilization of mankind
belonged to countries bordering on the region of palms. South America,
the continent of mingled heat and moisture, excels the rest of the world
in the number and perfection of her palms. They are mostly of the
feathery and fan-like species; the latter are inferior in rank to the
former. The peculiarly majestic character of the palm is given not only
by their lofty stems, but also in a very high degree by the form and
arrangement of their leaves. How diverse, yet equally graceful, are the
aspiring branches of the jagua and the drooping foliage of the cocoa,
the shuttlecock-shaped crowns of the ubussu and the plumes of the
jupati, forty feet in length. The inflorescence always springs from the
top of the trunk, and the male flowers are generally yellowish. Unlike
the oak, all species of which have similar fruit, there is a vast
difference in the fruits of the palm: compare the triangular cocoa-nut,
the peach-like date, and grape-like assai. The silk-cotton tree is the
rival of the palm in dignity; it has a white bark and a lofty flat
crown. Among the loveliest children of Flora we must include the mimosa,
with its delicately pinnated foliage, so endowed with sensibility that
it seems to have stepped out of the bounds of vegetable life. The
bamboo, the king of grasses, forms a distinctive feature in the
landscape of the Napo, frequently rising eighty feet in length, though
not in height, for the fronds curve downward. Fancy the airy grace of
our meadow grasses united with the lordly growth of the poplar, and you
have a faint idea of bamboo beauty.

The first day of winter (how strangely that sounds under a vertical
sun!) was Sunday; but it was folly to attempt to rest where punkies were
as thick as atoms, so we floated on. It was only by keeping in mid-river
and moving rapidly enough to create a breeze through our cabin, that
life was made tolerable. A little after noon we were again obliged to
tie up for a storm. Not a human being nor a habitation have we seen
since leaving Coca; and to-day nothing is visible but the river, with
its islands, and plains, and the green palisades--the edges of the
boundless forest. Not a hill over one hundred feet high are we destined
to see till we reach Obidos, fifteen hundred miles eastward. Were it not
for the wealth of vegetation--all new to trans-tropical eyes--and the
concerts of monkeys and macaws, oppressively lonely would be the sail
down the Napo between its uninhabited shores. But we believe the day,
though distant, will come when its banks will be busy with life. Toward
evening three or four canoes pulled out from the shore and came
alongside. They were filled with the lowest class of Indians we have
seen in South America. The women were nearly nude; the man (there was
only one) had on a sleeveless frock reaching to the knees, made from the
bark of a tree called _llanchama_. All were destitute of eyebrows; their
hair was parted in the middle, and their teeth and lips were dyed black.
They had rude pottery, peccari meat, and wooden lances to sell. Like all
the Napo Indians, they had a weakness for beads, and they wore necklaces
of tiger and monkey teeth. They were stupid rather than brutal, and
probably belonged to a degraded tribe of the great Zaparo family. With
Darwin, "one's mind hurries back over past centuries, and then asks,
could our progenitors have been men like these?--men whose very signs
and expressions are less intelligible to us than those of the
domesticated animals; men who do not possess the instinct of those
animals, nor yet appear to boast of human reason, or, at least, of arts
consequent on that reason. I do not believe it is possible to describe
or paint the difference between savage and civilized man. It is the
difference between a wild and tame animal; and part of the interest in
beholding a savage is the same which would lead every one to 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."

On the morrow our falcon-eyed Indians whispered "_cuche_" long before we
saw any thing.[129] Williams went ashore and came upon a herd of
peccaries, killing two. The peccari is a pugnacious, fearless animal. It
is not frightened by the noise of fire-arms, and when wounded is a
dangerous foe; but captured when young, it is easily tamed. It has a
higher back than the domestic hog, and cleanlier habits; an odoriferous
gland on the loins, and three-toed hind feet. We preserved the skins for
science and a ham for the table; the rest we gave to our crew and
fellow-voyagers, who devoured every thing, even the viscera. They sat
up late that night, around their camp-fire, cooking peccari meat: part
they parboiled in a pot, and some they roasted, skewered on sticks which
slanted over the flames; the rest they cured with smoke, for lack of
salt. The meat, though rank, is palatable, but not equal to macaw, which
we served up the next day.[130]

[Footnote 129: In the Quichua of Quito the peccari is called _saino_.]

[Footnote 130: The Uaupes on the Napo, according to Wallace, will not
eat peccari meat. "Meat putrifies in this climate (of the Tapajos) in
less than twenty-four hours, and salting is of no use unless the pieces
are cut in thin slices and dried immediately in the sun."--_Bates_.]

We had now passed the mouth of the Aguarico, leaving behind us the
Christian Quitus and the peaceful Zaparos. Henceforth the right bank of
the Napo is inhabited by the Mazanes and Iquitos; while on the left are
the wilder Santa Marias, Anguteros, Oritos, and Orejones. The Orejones,
or "Big Ears," enlarge those appendages to such an extent that they are
said to lie down on one ear and cover themselves with the other. This
practice is now going out of fashion. These Indians received their name,
Orejones, or Oregones, from the Spaniards, on account of this singular
custom of inserting disks of wood in the ears to enlarge them; the like
practice prevailed among the tribes on the Columbia River, Oregon. They
trade in hammocks, poisons, and provisions. The Anguteros, or Putumayos,
have a bad reputation. They are reported to have killed and robbed
sarsaparilla traders coming up stream. Nevertheless, we kept watch only
one night during the voyage, though we always anchored to an island, and
between Coca and the Amazon we did not see twenty-five men. Equally rare
were the savage brutes--not a jaguar showed himself, and only one
anaconda. The anaconda, or water-boa (_Eunectes murinus_[131]), is
larger and more formidable than the boa-constrictor which lives on the
land. It has a hideous appearance, broad in the middle, and tapering
abruptly at both ends. We did not learn from the natives that anacondas
over twenty feet long had been seen on the Napo, but specimens twice
that size are found on the Amazon. Land boas do not often exceed fifteen
feet in length.

[Footnote 131: The specific name was strangely given for its habit, when
young, of darting upon mice. Anaconda is a Ceylonese word.]

[Illustration: A Howler.]

Gangs of the large howling monkeys often entertained us with their
terrific, unearthly yells, which, in the truthful language of Bates,
"increased tenfold the feeling of inhospitable wildness which the forest
is calculated to inspire." They are of a maroon color (the males wear a
long red beard), and have under the jaw a bony goitre--an expansion of
the os hyoides--by means of which they produce their loud, rolling
noise. They set up an unusual chorus whenever they saw us, scampering to
the tops of the highest trees, the dams carrying the young upon their
backs. They are the only monkeys which the natives have not been able to
tame. Vast numbers of screaming parrots and macaws flew over our heads,
always going in pairs and at a great height. Groups of "gypsy-birds"
were perched on the trees overhanging the river, and black ducks,
cormorants, and white cranes floated on the water or stalked along the
plaias.

But one form of life superabounded. From the rising of the sun to the
going down thereof clouds of ubiquitous sand-flies filled our cabin,
save when the wind was high. As soon as the sand-flies ceased, myriads
of musquitoes began their work of torture, without much preparatory
piping, and kept it up all night.[132] These pests were occasionally
relieved or assisted by piums--minute flies that alight unnoticed, and
squatting close to the skin, suck their fill of blood, leaving dark
spots and a disagreeable irritation. Our hands were nearly black with
their punctures. We also made the acquaintance of the montuca, a large
black fly whose horny lancets make a gash in the flesh, painless but
blood-letting. All these insects are most abundant in the latter part of
the rainy season, when the Maranon is almost uninhabitable. The
apostrophe of Midshipman Wilberforce was prompted by sufferings which we
can fully appreciate: "Ye greedy animals! I am ashamed of you. Can not
you once forego your dinner, and feast your mind with the poetry of the
landscape?" Right welcome was the usual afternoon squall, which sent
these pests "kiting" over the stern.

[Footnote 132: Sand-flies are called by the natives _musquitoes_, and
what we call musquitoes they call _sancudos_.]

On Wednesday we fell in with a petty sarsaparilla trader, with two
canoes, bound for the Maranon. He was sick with fever. Sarsaparilla
(written _salsaparrilha_ in Brazil, and meaning "bramble vine") is the
root of a prickly, climbing plant found throughout the whole Amazonian
forest, but chiefly on dry, rocky ground. On the morning of the seventh
day from Coca we passed the mouth of the Curaray, the largest tributary
of the Napo. It rises on the slopes of the Llanganati mountains, and is
considered auriferous. It is probably derived from _curi_, gold. Seeing
a hut on the banks, we sent an Indian to purchase provisions; he
returned with a few yucas and eggs. The day following we were attacked
from a new quarter. Stopping to escape a storm, a party went ashore to
cut down a tree of which we desired a section. It fell with its top in
the river, just above our craft; when lo! to our consternation, down
came countless hosts of ants (_Ecitons_). Myriads were, of course, swept
down stream, but myriads more crawled up the sides of our canoes, and in
one minute after the tree fell our whole establishment, from hold to
roof, was swarming with ants. We gave one look of despair at each other,
our provisions and collections, and then commenced a war of
extermination. It was a battle for life. The ants, whose nest we had so
suddenly immersed in the Napo, refused to quit their new lodgings. As we
were loosely dressed, the tenacious little creatures hid themselves
under our clothing, and when plucked off would leave their heads and
jaws sticking in the skin. At last the deck was cleared by means of
boots, slippers, and towels; but, had the ants persevered, they might
have taken possession of the boat.

To-day we saw a high bank (called in Quichua _pucaurcu_, or red hill)
consisting of fine laminated clays of many colors--red, orange, yellow,
gray, black, and white. This is the beginning of that vast deposit which
covers the whole Amazonian Valley. It rests upon a bed of lignite, or
bituminous shale, and a coarse, iron-cemented conglomerate. The latter
is not visible on the Napo, but crops out particularly at Obidos and
Para. The Indians prepare their paints from these colored clays.

Our Santa Rosans seemed to have little tact in fishing; still their
spears and our hooks gathered not a few representatives of ichthyic life
in the Napo. The species most common belong to the genus _Pimelodus_,
or catfish tribe. Below tho Curaray the sand bars yielded turtles' eggs
of a different kind from those found above, the _tracaja_. They were
smaller and oval, and buried only six or eight inches deep, thirty in a
nest.

December 9.--Passed early this morning the mouth of the Mazan; four huts
at the junction. To-day we noticed the anomaly first observed by
Herndon. From Papallacta to the Curaray the rise of the mercury was
regular, but on the lower Napo there were great fluctuations. At one
time both barometer and boiling apparatus, with which we made daily and
simultaneous observations, unanimously declared that our canoes were
gliding up stream, though we were descending at the rate of five miles
an hour. The temperature is decidedly lower and the winds are stronger
as we near the Amazon.

December 10.--Our last day on the Napo. In celebration of the event we
killed a fine young doe as it was crossing the river. It closely
resembled the Virginia deer. At 9 A.M. the Indians shouted in their
quiet way--"_Maranon_!" It was as thrilling as _Thalatta_ to Xenophon's
soldiers. We were not expecting to reach it till night, being deceived
by Villavicencio's map, which, in common with all others, locates the
Curaray and Mazan too far to the north. We halted for an hour at
Camindo, a little fishing hamlet claimed by Peru, and then hastened to
get our first sight of the Amazon. With emotions we can not express, we
gazed upon this ocean-stream. The march of the great river in its silent
grandeur is sublime. In its untamed might it rolls through the
wilderness with a stately, solemn air, showing its awful power in
cutting away the banks, tearing down trees, and building up islands in a
day. Down the river we can look till the sky and water meet as on the
sea, while the forest on either hand dwindles in the perspective to a
long black line. Between these even walls of ever-living green the
resistless current hurries out of Peru, sweeps past the imperial guns of
Tabatinga into Brazil, and plows its way visibly two hundred miles into
the Atlantic.

At a small island standing where the Napo pays tribute to the monarch of
rivers, mingling its waters with the Huallaga and Ucayali, which have
already come down from the Peruvian Andes, we bade adieu to our captain
and cook, who, in the little canoe, paddled his way westward to seek his
fortune in Iquitus. At this point the Maranon (for so the natives call
the Upper Amazon) does not appear very much broader than the Napo; but
its depth is far greater, and there are few sand-bars.[133] The water is
always of a turbid yellow; while the Napo, though muddy during our
voyage, is usually clear. The forest, moreover, on the banks of the
Maranon, is not so striking as on the tributary. The palms are not so
numerous, and the uniform height of the trees gives a monotonous,
sea-like horizon.

[Footnote 133: Herndon makes the mouth of the Napo 150 yards broad, and
the soundings six or seven fathoms. This is not a fair representation;
for the Napo, like all the other tributaries, empties its waters by
several mouths. At Camindo, five miles above the confluence, the Napo is
certainly a mile wide.]

We arrived at Pebas December 12, ten hours after leaving the mouth of
the Napo, and a month and a half from Quito. The first individual we met
addressed us in good English, and proved to be Mr. Hauxwell of birds and
insects, who has resided thirty years on the Amazon. His house, the
largest and best in town, though but a roofed stockade, was generously
placed at our disposal, and the fatted calf--an immense turtle--was
immediately killed. To us, after the transit of the Andes and the
dangers and hardships of the wilderness and the river, it seemed as if
we had reached the end of our journey, though we were over two thousand
miles from the Atlantic. Pebas is situated on a high clay bluff beside
the Ambiyacu, a mile above its entrance into the Maranon. Excepting Mr.
Hauxwell, the Peruvian governor, and two or three other whites, the
inhabitants are Indians of the Orejones and Yagua tribes. The
exportations are hammocks, sarsaparilla, palo de cruz, and urari. Palo
de cruz is the very hard, dark-colored wood of a small leguminous tree
bearing large pink flowers. Urari is the poison used by all the
Amazonian Indians; it is made by the Ticunas on the Putumayo, by boiling
to a jelly the juices of certain roots and herbs, chiefly of the
_Strychnos toxifera_, though it does not contain any trace of
strychnine. Tipped with urari, the needle-like arrow used in blow-guns
will kill an ox in twenty minutes and a monkey in ten. "We have reason
to congratulate ourselves (wrote the facetious Sidney Smith) that our
method of terminating disputes is by sword and pistol, and not by these
medicated pins." But the poison appears to be harmless to man and other
salt-eating animals, salt being an antidote.[134] We were not troubled
with sand-flies after leaving the plaias of the Napo, but the musquitoes
at Pebas were supernumerary. Perhaps, however, it was a special
gathering on our account, for the natives have a notion that just before
the arrival of a foreigner the musquitoes come in great numbers.

[Footnote 134: Urari is mentioned by Raleigh. Humboldt was the first to
take any considerable quantity to Europe. The experiments of Virchau and
Muenster make it probable that it does not belong to the class of tetanic
poisons, but that its particular effect is to take away the power of
voluntary muscular movement, while the involuntary functions of the
heart and intestines still continue. See _Ann. de Chim. et de Phys._, t.
xxxix., 1828, p. 24; and Schoemberg's _Reisen in Britisch Guiana_, th.
i., s. 441. The frightful poison, _tieute_ of India, is prepared from a
Java species of _strychnos_.]

Many of the Indians are disfigured by dark blotches on the skin, the
effect of a cutaneous disease very prevalent in Central Amazonia. Here
we first noticed the singular habit among the children of eating clay.
This habit is not confined to the Otomacs on the Oronoco, nor to Indians
altogether; for negroes and whites have the same propensity--Mr.
Hauxwell found it impossible to restrain his own children. Bates
ascribes the morbid craving to the meagre diet. This may be true to some
extent, but it is certainly strange that the extraordinary desire to
swallow earth (chiefly unctuous clays) is found only in the tropics,
where vegetation is so rank and fruit so abundant.




CHAPTER XVI.

     Down the Amazon.--Steam on the Great River.--Loreto.--San
     Antonio.--Tabatinga.--Brazilian Steamers.--Scenery on the
     Amazon.--Tocantins.--Fonte Boa.--Ega.--Rio Negro.--Manaos.


We left Pebas for Tabatinga in the Peruvian steamer "Morona," Captain
Raygado. Going up to Jerusalem by railroad, or ascending the Nile by a
screw whisking the sacred waters, is not so startling as the sight of a
steamer in the heart of South America. There is such a contrast between
the primeval wildness of the country and the people and this triumph of
civilized life; and one looks forward to the dazzling future of this
great valley, when the ships of all nations will crowd the network of
rivers for the gold and perfumes, the gems and woods of this western
Ophir. The natives call the steamer the "devil's boat," or "big canoe;"
but they manifest little curiosity. Our Napo Indians were evidently
afraid of it, and stood afar off. The first steamers that broke the deep
solitude of the Maranon were the "Huallaga" and "Tirado," brought out in
1853 by Dr. Whittemore, for Peru. They were built in New York, of
Georgia pine, costing Peru $75,000, and reflected no credit on the
United States; they lie rotting near Nauta. Peru has now two iron
steamers of London make--the "Morona" and "Pastassa"--besides two
smaller craft for exploring the tributaries. These steamers are for
government service, but three more are building in England with
passenger accommodations. The "Morona" has a tonnage of five hundred,
and an engine of one hundred and fifty horse-power. The engineers are
English, and the cook is a Chinaman. She makes monthly trips between
Yurimaguas, on the Huallaga River, and Tabatinga, on the Brazilian
frontier. Her rate down stream is eighteen miles an hour, and from
eleven to twelve against the current. These steamers do not pay expenses
at present; but they preserve the authority of Peru on the Maranon, and
supply with material the government works at Iquitos. They also do a
little commerce, taking down sarsaparilla and Moyabamba hats, and
bringing up English dry-goods. There were not half a dozen passengers on
board.

The only towns of any consequence west of Pebas are Iquitos, Nauta, and
Yurimaguas. Peru claims them--in fact, all the villages on the Maranon.
Iquitos is the most thriving town on the Upper Amazon. It is situated on
an elevated plain on the left bank of the river, sixty miles above the
mouth of the Napo. In Herndon's time it was "a fishing village of 227
inhabitants;" it now contains 2000. Here are the government iron-works,
carried on by English mechanics. In 1867 there were six engineers, two
iron-molders, two brass-molders, two coppersmiths, three blacksmiths,
three pattern-makers, two boiler-makers, five shipwrights, three
sawyers, besides bricklayers, brick-makers, carpenters, coopers, etc.;
in all forty-two. All the coal for the furnaces is brought from
England--the lignite on the banks of the Maranon is unfit for the
purpose. A floating dock for vessels of a thousand tons has just been
built. Nauta lies on the north bank of the Maranon, opposite the
entrance of the Ucayali. Its inhabitants, about 1000, trade in fish,
sarsaparilla, and wax from Ucayali. Yurimaguas is the port of Moyabamba,
a city of 10,000 souls, six days' travel southwest. This vast eastern
slope, lying on the branches of the Maranon, is called the Montana of
Peru. It is a region of inexhaustible fertility, and would yield ample
returns to energy and capital. The villages are open to foreign
commerce, free of duty; but at present the voice of civilized man is
seldom heard, save on the main fluvial highway between Moyabamba and the
Brazilian frontier. The Portuguese are the most adventurous traders. The
value of imports to Peru by the Amazonian steamers during 1867 was
$324,533; of exports, $267,748.

In two hours and a half we arrive at Maucallacta, or "Old Town," an
Indian village on the right bank of the river. Here our passports were
vised by the Peruvian governor, and the steamer wooded up. One of the
hands on the "Morona" was Manuel Medina, a mameluco, who was employed by
Bates and Agassiz in their explorations. We left at noon of the
following day, and anchored for the night off Caballococha, for the
Peruvian steamers run only in the daytime. Caballococha, or
"Horse-lake," is a Ticuna town, situated on a level tract of light loam,
closely surrounded by the dense forest, and beside a cano of clear water
leading to a pretty lake. Ecuador claims this town, and likewise all the
settlements on the Maranon; but her learned geographer, Villavicencio,
with characteristic ignorance of the country, has located it on the
_north_ bank of the river!

We passed in the afternoon the little tug "Napo," having on board
Admiral Tucker, the rebel, who, with some associates, is exploring the
tributaries of the Upper Amazon for the Peruvian government. They had
just returned from a voyage of two hundred and fifty miles up the
Javari. One of the party had a tame tiger-cat in his arms. We arrived at
Loreto early the next morning. This village of twenty houses and a
church is prettily situated on the left bank, with a green slope in
front. It is the most easterly town of Peru on the Amazon. Here resides
Mr. Wilkens, the Brazilian consul, of German birth, but North American
education. The inhabitants are Peruvians, Portuguese, Negroes, and
Ticuna Indians. The musquitoes hold high carnival at this place. In two
hours we were at San Antonio, a military post on the Peruvian frontier,
commanded by a French engineer, Manuel Charon, who also studied in the
United States. One large building, and a flag-staff on a high bluff of
red clay, were all that was visible of San Antonio; but the "Morona"
brought down a gang of Indians (impressed, no doubt) to build a fort for
twenty guns. The site is in dispute, a Brazilian claiming it as private
property. The white barracks of Tabatinga, the first fortress in Brazil,
are in plain sight, the voyage consuming but twenty minutes. Between San
Antonio and Tabatinga is a ravine, on either side of which is a white
pole, marking the limits of the republic and the empire.

Tabatinga has long been a military post, but, excepting the government
buildings, there are not a dozen houses. Numerous Indians, however, of
the Ticuna tribe, dwell in the neighboring forest. The commandante was O
Illustrissimo Senor Tenente Aristides Juste Mavignier, a tall, thin,
stooping officer, dressed in brown linen. He received us with great
civility, and tendered a house and servant during our stay in port. We
preferred, however, to accept the hospitalities of the "Morona" till the
arrival of the Brazilian steamer. Senor Mavignier was commandante of
Manaos when visited by Agassiz, and presented the Professor with a
hundred varieties of wood. With the like courtesy, he gave us a
collection of reptiles, all of them rare, and many of them new species.
He showed us also a live raposa, or wild dog, peculiar to the Amazon,
but seldom seen. Tabatinga stands on an eminence of yellow clay, and is
defended by twelve guns. The river in front is quite narrow, only about
half a mile wide. Here our passports, which had been signed at
Maucallacta and Loreto, were indorsed by the commandante. They were
afterward examined at Ega, Manaos, and Para. The mean temperature of
Tabatinga we found to be 82 deg..[135] Some rubber and salt fish are
exported, but nothing of consequence is cultivated. Grapes, the people
say, grow well, but are destroyed by the ants. The only fruit-trees we
noticed were the mamai (in Spanish, papaya), araca, and abio. The
papaw-tree bears male and female flowers on different trees, and hence
receives the name of _papaya_ or _mamai_, according to one's view of the
pre-eminence of the sex. The juice of this tree is used by the ladies of
the West Indies as a cosmetic, and by the butchers to render the
toughest meat tender. The fruit is melon-shaped, and of an orange-yellow
color. Vauquelin discovered in it _fibrine_, till lately supposed to be
confined to the animal kingdom.

[Footnote 135: According to Lieutenant Azevedo, the latitude of
Tabatinga is 4 deg. 14' 30"; longitude, 70 deg. 2' 24"; magnetic variation, 6 deg.
35' 10" N.E.]

The Peruvian steamers connect at Tabatinga with the Brazilian line.
There are eight imperial steamers on the Amazon: the "Icamiaba," running
between Tabatinga and Manaos; the "Tapajos" and "Belem," plying between
Manaos and Para; the "Inca" and "Manaos," between Obidos and Para;
besides two steamers on the Tocantins, one between Para and Chares, and
projected lines for the Negro, Tapajos, and Madeira. The captains get a
small salary, but the perquisites are large, as they have a percentage
on the freight. One captain pocketed in one year $9000.

We embarked, December 12, on the "Icamiaba," which promptly arrived at
Tabatinga. The commander, formerly a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy,
and for twelve years a popular officer on the Upper Amazon, was a
polished gentleman, but rigid disciplinarian. As an example of
Brazilian etiquette, we give his full address from one of our letters of
introduction:

              "Ilmo. Sr. Capn. de Fragata
          Nuno Alvez Pereira de Mello Cardozo,
               Digno Commandante de Vapor
                       Icamiaba."

The "Icamiaba" was an iron boat of four hundred and fifty tons, with two
engines of fifty horse-power each. The engineer was an Austrian, yet the
captain gave his orders in English, though neither could speak the
language. The saloon, with berths for twenty-five passengers, was above
deck, and open at both ends for ventilation. The passengers, however,
usually swung their hammocks on the upper deck, which was covered by an
awning. This was a delightfully breezy and commanding position; and
though every part of the steamer was in perfect order, this was
scrupulously neat. Here the table was spread with every tropical luxury,
and attentively served by young men in spotless attire. Happy the
traveler who sits at the table of Commandante Cardozo. The refreshment
hours were: Coffee as soon as the passengers turned out of their
hammocks, and sometimes before; breakfast at ten, dinner at five, and
tea at eight. Live bullocks, fowls, and turtles were kept on board, so
that of fresh meat, particularly beef (the first we had tasted since
leaving Quito), there was no lack. At breakfast we counted nine
different courses of meat. The Peruvian steamers are limited to turtle
and salt fish. Rice and farina are extensively used in Brazil, but we
saw very little tapioca. Farina is the flour of the country, and is
eaten in hard, dry grains; it will not keep in any other form. It can
not be very nutritious, as it contains little gluten. All bread and
butter are imported from the United States and England. The captains of
Brazilian steamers are their own stewards; and in the midst of other
business in port, they stop to negotiate for a chicken, or a dozen
eggs, with an Indian or Negro. The "Icamiaba" left Tabatinga with only
three first-class passengers, besides our own party. On no Amazon
steamer did we meet with a lady passenger. Madame Godin, who came down
the river from the Andes, and Mrs. Agassiz, who ascended to Tabatinga,
were among the few ladies who have seen these upper waters. But how
differently they traveled! one on a raft, the other on the beautiful
"Icamiaba."

Between Tabatinga and Teffe, a distance of five hundred miles, is
perhaps the most uncivilized part of the main river. Ascending, we find
improvements multiply as we near the mountains of Peru; descending, we
see the march of civilization in the budding cities and expanding
commerce culminating at Grand Para. The scenery from the deck of an
Amazonian steamer, if described, appears monotonous. A vast volume of
smooth, yellow water, floating trees and beds of aquatic grass, low,
linear-shaped, wooded islets, a dark, even forest--the shores of a
boundless sea of verdure, and a cloudless sky occasionally obscured by
flocks of parrots: these are the general features. No busy towns are
seen along the banks of the Middle Amazon; only here and there a palm
hut or semi-Indian village half buried in the wilderness. We agree with
Darwin (speaking of the Plata), that "a wide expanse of muddy water has
neither grandeur nor beauty." The real grandeur, however, of a great
river like this is derived from reflecting upon its prospective
commercial importance and its immense drainage. A lover of nature,
moreover, can never tire of gazing at the picturesque grouping and
variety of trees, with their mantles of creeping plants; while a little
imagination can see in the alligators, ganoid fishes, sea-cows, and tall
gray herons, the ichthyosaurus, holoptychius, dinotherium, and
brontozoum of ancient days. Here and there the river is bordered with
low alluvial deposits covered with feathery-topped arrow-grass and
amphibious vegetation; but generally the banks are about ten feet high
and magnificently wooded; they are abrupt, and land-slides are frequent.

A few minutes after leaving Tabatinga we passed the mouth of the Javari,
which forms the natural boundary between Peru and Brazil. Henceforth the
river loses the name of Maranon, and is called Solimoens, or, more
commonly, simply Amazon. We were ten hours in reaching San Paulo, a
wretched Ticuna village of five hundred souls, built on a grassy
table-land nearly one hundred feet high. Steps have been cut in the
slippery clay bluff to facilitate the ascent. Swamps lie back of the
town, rendering it unhealthy. "On damp nights (says the Naturalist on
the Amazon) the chorus of frogs and toads which swarm in weedy
back-yards creates such a bewildering uproar that it is impossible to
carry on a conversation in doors except by shouting."

In ten hours more we had passed the Putumayo and entered the Tunantins,
a sluggish, dark-colored tributary emptying into the Amazon about two
hundred miles below the Javari.[136] On the bank of white earth, which
strongly contrasts with the tinted stream, is a dilapidated hamlet of
twenty-five hovels, built of bamboo plastered with mud and whitewashed.
We saw but one two-storied house; and all have ground-floors and
double-thatched roofs. The inhabitants are semi-civilized Shumana and
Passe Indians and half-breeds; but in the gloomy forest which hugs the
town live the wild Caishanas. The atmosphere is close and steaming, but
not hot, the mercury at noon standing at 83 deg.. The place is alive with
insects and birds. The nights on the Amazon were invariably cool; on
the Lower Amazon, cold, so that we required a heavy blanket.

[Footnote 136: Herndon says (p. 241), "the Tunantins is about fifty
yards broad, and seems deep with a considerable current."]

[Illustration: Kitchen on the Amazon.]

Taking on board wood, beeves, turtles, salt fish, and water-melons, we
left at half past 2 P.M. The Brazilian steamers run all night, and with
no slackening of speed. At one o'clock we were awakened by a cry from
the watch, "Stop her!" And immediately after there was a crash; but it
was only the breaking of crockery caused by the sudden stoppage. The
night was fearfully dark, and for aught we knew the steamer was running
headlong into the forest. Fortunately there was no collision, and in a
few minutes we were again on our way, arriving at Fonte Boa at 4 A.M.
This little village stands in a palm grove, on a high bank of
ochre-colored sandy clay, beside a slue of sluggish black water, eight
miles from the Amazon.[137] The inhabitants, about three hundred, are
ignorant, lazy mamelucos. They dress like the majority of the
semi-civilized people on the Amazon: the men content with shirt and
pantaloons, the women wearing cotton or gauze chemises and calico
petticoats. Fonte Boa is a museum for the naturalist, but the
headquarters of musquitoes, small but persistent. Taking in a large
quantity of turtle-oil, the "Icamiaba" turned down the cano, but almost
immediately ran aground, and we were two hours getting off. These yearly
shifting shoals in the Amazon can not be laid down in charts, and the
most experienced pilots often run foul of them. In twelve hours we
entered the Teffe, a tributary from the Bolivian mountains. Just before
reaching the Great River it expands into a beautiful lake, with a white,
sandy beach. On a grassy slope, stretching out into the lake, with a
harbor on each side of it, lies the city of Ega. A hundred palm-thatched
cottages of mud and tiled frame houses, each with an inclosed orchard of
orange, lemon, banana, and guava trees, surround a rude church, marked
by a huge wooden crucifix on the green before it, instead of a steeple.
Cacao, assai, and pupunha palms rise above the town, adding greatly to
its beauty; while back of all, on the summit of the green slope, begins
the picturesque forest, pathless, save here and there a faint hunter's
track leading to the untrodden interior. The sheep and cattle grazing on
the lawn, a rare sight in Alto Amazonas, gives a peaceful and inviting
aspect to the scene. The inhabitants, numbering about twelve hundred,
are made up of pure Indians, half-castes, negroes, mulattoes, and
whites. Ega (also called Teffe) is the largest and most thriving town
between Manaos and Iquitos, a distance of twelve hundred miles. It is
also one of the oldest settlements on the river, having been founded
during the English revolution, or nearly two centuries ago. Tupi is the
common idiom. The productions of the country are cacao, sarsaparilla,
Brazil nuts, bast for caulking vessels, copaiba balsam, India-rubber,
salt fish, turtle-oil, manati, grass hammocks, and tiles. Bates
calculates the value of the annual exports at nearly forty thousand
dollars. The "Icamiaba" calls here twice a month; besides which there
are small schooners which occupy about five months in the round trip
between Ega and Para. "The place is healthy (writes the charming
Naturalist on the Amazon), and almost free from insect pests; perpetual
verdure surrounds it; the soil is of marvelous fertility, even for
Brazil; the endless rivers and labyrinths of channels teem with fish and
turtle; a fleet of steamers might anchor at any season of the year in
the lake, which has uninterrupted water communication straight to the
Atlantic. What a future is in store for the sleepy little tropical
village!" Here Bates pursued butterflies for four years and a half, and
Agassiz fished for six months.

[Footnote 137: Smyth says the town gets its name from the clearness of
the water; but Herndon found it muddy, and, to our eyes, it was dark as
the Negro.]

[Illustration: Natives on the Middle Amazon.]

Ega is the half-way point across the continent, but its exact altitude
above the sea is unknown. Herndon's boiling apparatus gave two thousand
feet, and, what is worse, the lieutenant believed it. Our barometer made
it one hundred feet; but as our instrument, though perfect in itself,
behaved _very_ strangely on the Middle Amazon, we do not rely on the
calculation. The true height is not far from one hundred and twenty-five
feet, or one fifth the elevation of the middle point in the North
American continent.[138] Taking on board salt fish, turtle-oil, and
tiles, we left Ega two hours after midnight, reaching Coary at noon.
The Amazon began to look more like a lake than a river, having a width
of four or five miles. Floating gulls and rolling porpoises remind one
of the sea. Coary is a huddle of fifteen houses, six of them plastered
without, whitewashed, and tiled. It is situated on a lake of the same
name--the expanded outlet of a small river whose waters are dark brown,
and whose banks are low and covered with bushes. Here we took in turtles
and turtle-oil, Brazil nuts and cocoa-nuts, rubber, salt fish, and wood;
and, six hours after leaving, more fish and rubber were received at
Cudaja. Cudaja is a lonely spot on the edge of an extensive system of
back-waters and lakes, running through a dense unexplored forest
inhabited by Mura savages.

[Footnote 138: For a discussion of the barometric perturbations on the
Amazon, see _American Journal of Science_ for Sept., 1868.]

At three in the afternoon of Christmas, seventy-four hours' running time
from Tabatinga, we entered the Rio Negro. Strong is the contrast between
its black-dyed waters and the yellow Amazon. The line separating the two
rivers is sharply drawn, the waters meeting, not mingling. Circular
patches of the dark waters of the Negro are seen floating like oil amid
the turbid waters of the Amazon. The sluggish tributary seems to be
dammed up by the impetuous monarch. The banks of the latter are low,
ragged, perpendicular beds of clay, covered with a bright green foliage;
the Negro is fringed with sandy beaches, with hills in the background
clothed with a sombre, monotonous forest containing few palms or
leguminous trees. Musquitoes, piums, and montucas never trouble the
traveler on the inky stream. When seen in a tumbler, the water of the
Negro is clear, but of a light-red color; due, undoubtedly, to vegetable
matter. The visible mouth of the river at this season of the year
(December) is three miles wide, but from main-land to main-land it can
not be less than twenty.

[Illustration: A Siesta.]

In forty minutes after leaving the Amazon we arrived at Manaos. This
important city lies on the left bank of the Negro, ten miles from its
mouth and twenty feet above high-water level. The site is very uneven,
and consists of ferruginous sandstone. There was originally a fort here,
erected by the Portuguese to protect their slave-hunting expeditions
among the Indians on the river--hence the ancient name of Barra. On the
old map of Father Fritz (1707) the spot is named _Taromas_. Since 1852
it has been called Manaos, after the most warlike tribe. Some of the
houses are two-storied, but the majority are low adobe structures, white
and yellow washed, floored and roofed with tiles, and having green doors
and shutters. Every room is furnished with hooks for hanging hammocks.
We did not see a bed between Quito and New York except on the steamers.
The population, numbering two thousand,[139] is a mongrel
set--Brazilians, Portuguese, Italians, Jews, Negroes, and Indians, with
divers crosses between them. Laziness is the prominent characteristic. A
gentleman offered an Indian passing his door twenty-five cents if he
would bring him a pitcher of water from the river, only a few rods
distant. He declined. "But I will give you fifty cents." Whereupon the
half-clothed, penniless aboriginal replied: "I will give you a dollar to
bring me some."[140] While every inch of the soil is of exuberant
fertility, there is always a scarcity of food. It is the dearest spot on
the Amazon. Most of the essentials and all of the luxuries come from
Liverpool, Lisbon, and New York. Agriculture is at a discount on the
Amazon. Brazilians will not work; European immigrants are traders;
nothing can be done with Indians; and negroes are few in number, the
slave-trade being abolished, emancipation begun, and the Paraguayan war
not ended. A laboring class will ever be a desideratum in this tropical
country. With a healthy climate,[141] and a situation at the juncture
of two great navigable rivers, Manaos is destined to become the St.
Louis of South America. In commercial advantages it is hardly to be
surpassed by any other city in the world, having water communication
with two thirds of the continent, and also with the Atlantic. It is now
the principal station for the Brazilian line of steamers. Here all goods
for a higher or lower point are reshipped. The chief articles of export
are coffee (of superior quality), sarsaparilla, Brazil nuts, piassaba,
and fish. The Negro at this point is really five or six miles wide, but
the opposite shore is masked by low islands, so that it appears to be
but a mile and a half.

[Footnote 139: Official returns for 1848 give 3614; Bates (1850) reckons
3000.]

[Footnote 140: Darwin met a similar specimen in Banda Oriental: "I asked
two men why they did not work. One gravely said the days were too long;
the other that he was too poor."]

[Footnote 141: It is, however, one of the warmest spots on the river.
The average temperature, according to Azevedo and Pinto, is only 79.7 deg.;
but the highest point readied on the Amazon in 1862 (87.3 deg.) was at
Manaos, and the extraordinary height of 95 deg. has been noted there.]

The country around Manaos is quite romantic for the Amazonian Valley.
The land is undulating and furrowed by ravines, and the vegetation
covering it is marvelously rich and diversified. In the forest, two
miles from the city, there is a natural curiosity celebrated by all
travelers from Spix and Martius down. A rivulet coming out of the
wilderness falls over a ledge of red sandstone ten feet high and fifty
feet broad, forming a beautiful cascade. The water is cool, and of a
deep orange color. The foundation of a fine stone cathedral was laid in
Manaos fourteen years ago, but this generation is not likely to witness
the dedication. Life in this Amazonian city is dull enough: commerce is
not brisk, and society is stiff; balls are about the only amusements. On
Sunday (the holiday) every body who can afford it comes out in Paris
fashions. There are carts, hut no coaches. We called upon the President
at his "Palace"--an odd term for a two-storied, whitewashed edifice. His
excellency received us with less formality and more cordiality than we
expected to find in the solemn officials of the empire. The first glance
at the reception-room, with the four chairs for visitors set in two
lines at right angles to the chair of state, promised cold etiquette;
but he addressed us with considerable familiarity and evident good-will.
We found, however, that his authority was quite limited, for a written
order which he gave us for a subordinate did not receive the slightest
consideration. At the house of a Jew named Levy we met a party of
Southerners, Captains Mallory, Jones, Sandedge, and Winn, commanded by
Dr. Dowsing, who, since "the late onpleasantness," as Nasby calls it,
have determined to settle in this country. The government grants them
twenty square leagues of land on any tributary, on condition that they
will colonize it. They were about to start for the Rio Branco on an
exploring tour.




CHAPTER XVII.

     Down the Amazon.--Serpa.--Villa Nova.--Obidos.--Santarem.--A Colony
     of Southerners.--Monte Alegre.--Porto do Moz.--Leaving the
     Amazon.--Breves.--Para River.--The City of Para.--Legislation and
     Currency.--Religion and Education.--Nonpareil Climate.


At 10 P.M. we left Manaos in the "Tapajos," an iron steamer of seven
hundred tons. We missed the snow-white cleanliness and rigid regularity
of the "Icamiaba," and Captain Jose Antunes Rodrigues de Oliveira
Catramby was quite a contrast to Lieutenant Nuno. There were only five
first-class passengers besides ourselves (and four of these were
"dead-heads"), though there were accommodations for sixty-four. Between
Manaos and Para, a distance of one thousand miles, there were fourteen
additions. Passing the mouth of the Madeira, the largest tributary to
the Amazon, we anchored thirty miles below at Serpa, after nine hours'
sailing. Serpa is a village of ninety houses, built on a high bank of
variegated clay, whence its Indian name, _Ita-coatiara_, or painted
rock. It was the most animated place we had seen on the river. The town
is irregularly laid out and overrun with weeds, but there is a busy tile
factory, and the port was full of canoes, montarias, and cubertas. The
African element in the population began to show itself prominently here,
and increased in importance as we neared Para. The Negroes are very
ebony, and are employed as stevedores. The Indians are well-featured,
and wear a long gown of bark-cloth reaching to the knees.

Taking on board rubber and salt fish, the "Tapajos" steamed down stream,
passing the perpendicular pink-clay cliffs of Cararaucu, arriving in
ten hours at Villa Nova,[142] one hundred and fifty miles below Serpa.
Villa Nova is a straggling village of mud huts standing on a
conglomerate bank. The trade is chiefly in rubber, copaiba, and fish.
The location is healthy, and in many respects is one of the most
desirable places on the river. Here the Amazon begins to narrow, being
scarcely three miles wide; but the channel, which has a rocky bed, is
very deep. One hundred miles from Villa Nova is Obidos, airily situated
on a bluff of pink and yellow clay one hundred feet above the river. The
clay rests on a white calcareous earth, and this on red sandstone. It is
a picturesque, substantially-built town, with a population, mostly
white, engaged in raising cacao and cattle. Cacao is the most valuable
product on the Amazon below Villa Nova. The soil is fertile, and the
surrounding forest is alive with monkeys, birds, and insects, and
abounds with precious woods and fruits. Obidos is blessed with a church,
a school, and a weekly newspaper, and is defended by thirty-two guns.
This is the Thermopylae of the Amazon, the great river contracting to a
strait not a mile in width, through which it rushes with tremendous
velocity. The depth is forty fathoms, and the current 2.4 feet per
second. As Bates remarks, however, the river valley is not contracted to
this breadth, the southern shore not being continental land, but a low
alluvial tract subject to inundation. Back of Obidos is an eminence
which has been named _Mount Agassiz_ in honor of the Naturalist. There
is no mountain between it and Cotopaxi save the spurs from the Eastern
Cordillera. Five miles above the town is the mouth of the Trombetas,
where Orellana had his celebrated fight with the fabulous Amazons.

[Footnote 142: Otherwise called, on Brazilian maps, Villa Bella da
Imperatriz.]

[Illustration: Santarem.]

Adding to her cargo wood, hides, horses, and Paraguayan prisoners
(short, athletic men), the "Tapajos" sailed for Santarem. The river
scenery below Obidos loses its wild and solitary character, and is
relieved with scattered habitations, factories, and cacao plantations.
We arrived at Santarem in seven hours from Obidos, a distance of fifty
miles. This city, the largest on the Amazon save Para, stands on a
pretty slope at the mouth of the Rio Tapajos, and five hundred miles
from the sea.[143] It mainly consists of three long-rows of whitewashed,
tiled houses, girt with green gardens. The citizens, made up of
Brazilians, Portuguese, mulattoes, and blacks, number about two thousand
five hundred. The surrounding country, which is an undulating campo,
with patches of wood, is sparsely inhabited by Tapajocos. Cattle estates
and cacao plantations are the great investments, but the soil is poor.
Considerable sarsaparilla of superior quality, rubber, copaiba, Brazil
nuts, and farina come down the Tapajos. The climate is delightful, the
trade-winds tempering the heat and driving away all insect pests.
Leprosy is somewhat common among the poorer class. At Santarem is one of
the largest colonies which migrated from the disaffected Gulf States for
Brazil. One hundred and sixty Southerners pitched their tents here. Many
of them, however, were soon disgusted with the country, and, if we are
to believe reports, the country was disgusted with them. On the 1st of
January, 1868, only seventy-five remained. The colony does not fairly
represent the United States, being made up in great part of the "roughs"
of Mobile. A few are contented and are doing well. Amazonia will be
indebted to them for some valuable ideas. Bates says: "Butter-making is
unknown in this country; the milk, I was told, was too poor." But these
Anglo-Saxon immigrants have no difficulty in making butter. Santarem
sends to Para for sugar; but the cavaliers of Alabama are proving that
the sugar-cane grows better than in Louisiana, attaining the height of
twenty feet, and that it will yield for ten or twelve years without
transplanting or cultivation. It is not, however, so sweet or juicy as
the Southern cane. Some of the colonists are making tapioca and cashaca
or Brazilian rum; others have gone into the pork business; while one,
Dr. Jones, expects to realize a fortune burning lime. Here we met the
rebel ex-General Dobbins, who had been prospecting on the Tapajos River,
but had not yet located himself.

[Footnote 143: Herndon makes Santarem 460 miles from the Negro, and 650
from the sea. Bates calls it 400 miles from the Atlantic, and nearly 50
from Obidos.]

Below Santarem the Amazon vastly increases in width; at one point the
southern shore was invisible from the steamer. The waves often run very
high. At 10 A.M., eight hours from Santarem, we entered the romantic
port of Monte Alegre. The road from the river to the village, just
visible inland, runs through a pretty dell. Back of the village, beyond
a low, swampy flat, rise the table-topped blue hills of Almeyrim. It was
an exhilarating sight and a great relief to gaze upon a mountain range
from three hundred to one thousand feet high, the greatest elevations
along the Amazon east of the Andes. Agassiz considers these singular
mountains the remnants of a plain which once filled the whole valley of
the Amazon; but Bates believes them to be the southern terminus of the
high land of Guiana. Their geological constitution--a pebbly
sandstone--favors the Professor's theory. The range extends ninety miles
along the north bank of the river, the western limit at Monte Alegre
bearing the local name of Serra Erere. Mount Agassiz, at Obidos, is a
spur of the same table-land. The Amazon is here about five miles wide,
the southern shore being low, uninhabited, and covered with coarse
grass. Five schooners were anchored in the harbor of Monte Alegre, a
sign of considerable trade for the Amazon. The place exports cattle,
cacao, rubber, and fish.

In four hours we reached Prayinha, a dilapidated village of forty
houses, situated on a low, sandy beach. The chief occupation is the
manufacture of turtle-oil. In ten hours more we were taking in wood at
Porto do Moz, situated just within the mouth of the Xingu, the last
great tributary to the Amazon. Dismal was our farewell sail on the great
river. With the highlands came foul weather. We were treated to frequent
and furious showers, accompanied by a violent wind, and the atmosphere
was filled with smoke caused by numerous fires in the forest. Where the
Xingu comes in, the Amazon is ten miles wide, but it is soon divided by
a series of islands, the first of which is Grand Island. Twenty miles
below Porto do Moz is Gurupa, where we took in rubber. The village,
nearly as inanimate as Pompeii, consists of one street, half deserted,
built on an isolated site. Forty miles below Gurupa we left the Amazon
proper, turning to the right down a narrow channel leading into the
river Para. The forest became more luxuriant, the palms especially
increasing in number and beauty. At one place there was a forest of
palms, a singularity, for trees of the same order are seldom associated.
The forest, densely packed and gloomy, stands on very low, flat banks of
hard river mud. Scarcely a sign of animal life was visible; but, as we
progressed, dusky faces peered out of the woods; little shanties
belonging to the _seringeros_, or rubber-makers, here and there broke
the solitude, and occasionally a large group of half-clad natives
greeted us from the shore. A labyrinth of channels connects the Amazon
with the Para; the steamers usually take the Tajapuru. This natural
canal is of great depth, and from fifty to one hundred yards in width;
so that, hemmed in by two green walls, eighty feet-high, we seemed to
be sailing through a deep gorge; in some places it was so narrow it was
nearly overarched by the foliage. One hundred and twenty-five miles from
Gurupa is Breves, a busy little town on the southwest corner of the
great island of Marajo. The inhabitants, mostly Portuguese, are engaged
in the rubber trade; the Indians in the vicinity manufacture fancy
earthen-ware and painted cuyas or calabashes.

Soon after leaving Breves we entered the Para River, which suddenly
begins with the enormous width of eight miles. It is, however, shallow,
and contains numerous shoals and islands. It is properly an estuary,
immense volumes of fresh water flowing into it from the south. The tides
are felt through its entire length of one hundred and sixty miles, but
the water is only slightly brackish. It has a dingy orange-brown color.
A narrow blue line on our left, miles away, was all that was visible, at
times, of the island of Marajo; and as we passed the broad mouth of the
Tocantins, we were struck with the magnificent sea-like expanse, for
there was scarcely a point of mainland to be seen.

[Illustration: Para.]

At 4 P.M., eighteen hours from Breves, we entered the peaceful bay of
Goajara, and anchored in front of the city of Para. Beautiful was the
view of the city from the harbor in the rays of the declining sun. The
towering spires and cupolas, the palatial government buildings, the long
row of tall warehouses facing a fleet of schooners, ships, and steamers,
and pretty white villas in the suburbs, nestling in luxuriant gardens,
were to us, who had just come down the Andes from mediaeval Quito, the
_ultima thule_ of civilization. We seemed to have stepped at once from
the Amazon to New York or London. We might, indeed, say _ne plus ultra_
in one respect--we had crossed the continent, and Para was the terminus
of our wanderings, the end of romantic adventures, of privations and
perils. We were kindly met on the pier by Mr. James Henderson, an
elderly Scotchman, whom a long residence in Para, a bottomless fund of
information, and a readiness to serve an Anglo-Saxon, have made an
invaluable cicerone. We shot through the devious, narrow streets to the
Hotel Diana, where we made our toilet, for our habiliments, too, had
reached their _ultima thule_. As La Condamine said on his arrival at
Quito: "_Je me trouvai hors d'etat de paroitre en public avec decence_."

The same year which saw Shakspeare carried to his grave beside the Avon
witnessed the founding of Para, or, speaking more respectfully, of Santa
Maria de Belem do Gram Para. The city stands on a low elbow of land
formed by the junction of the rivers Guama and Para, seventy-five miles
from the ocean. The great forest comes close up to the suburbs; and, in
fact, vegetation is so rapid the city fathers have a hard struggle to
keep the jungle out of the streets. The river in front is twenty miles
wide, but the vast expanse is broken by numerous islets. Ships of any
size will float within, one hundred and fifty yards of the shore. All
passengers and goods are landed by boats at the custom-house wharf. The
city is regularly laid out, there are several public squares, and many
of the streets, especially in the commercial part, are well paved.
Magnificent avenues, lined with silk-cotton trees, cocoa-palms, and
almonds, lead out to beautiful _rocinhas_, or country residences, of one
story, but having spacious verandas. The President's house, built in the
Italian style, whose marble staircase is a wonder to Brazil; the six
large churches, including the cathedral, after patterns from Lisbon; the
post-office, custom-house, and convent-looking warehouses on the
mole--these are the most prominent buildings. The architecture is
superior to that of Quito. The houses, generally two-storied, are
tiled, plastered, and whitewashed or painted; the popular colors are
red, yellow, and blue. A few have porcelain facing. The majority have
elegant balconies and glass windows, but not all the old projecting
lattice casements have disappeared. Some of the buildings bear the marks
of the cannonading in the Revolution of 1835. Instead of bedrooms and
beds, the largest apartments and verandahs have hooks in the wall for
hammocks. A carpeted, cushioned room is seldom seen, and is out of place
in the tropics. Coaches and gas are supplanting ox-carts and candles.
There are two hotels, but scant accommodations for travelers. Beef is
almost the only meat used; the fish are poor and dear; the oysters are
horrible. Bananas, oranges, and coffee are the best native productions
on the table.

[Illustration: Fruit Peddlers.]

The population of Para is thirty-five thousand, or double what it was
when Wallace and Bates entered it twenty years ago. It is the largest
city on the largest river in the world, and the capital of a province
ten times the size of New York State. The enterprising, wealthy class
consists of Portuguese and pure Brazilians, with a few English, Germans,
French, and North Americans. The multitude is an amalgamation of
Portuguese, Indian, and Negro. The diversity of races, and the mingled
dialects of the Amazon and Europe, make an attractive street scene. Side
by side we see the corpulent Brazilian planter, the swarthy Portuguese
trader, the merry Negro porter, and the apathetic Indian boatman. Some
of the more recent offspring are dressed _a la Adam_ before the fall;
numbers wear only a shirt or skirt; the negro girls who go about the
streets with trays of sweetmeats on their heads are loosely yet prettily
dressed in pure white, with massive gilded chains and earrings; but the
middle and upper classes generally follow Paris fashions. The mechanic
arts are in the hands of free Negroes and Indians, mulattoes and
mamelucos.[144] Commerce is carried on almost exclusively by Portuguese
and other foreigners. Dry-goods come chiefly from England and France;
groceries from Portugal; flour and hardware from the United States. The
principal exports are rubber, cacao, coffee,[145] sugar, cotton, Brazil
nuts, sarsaparilla, vanilla, farina, copaiba, tobacco, rum, hides, fish,
parrots, and monkeys.[146] Para exceeds in the number of its indigenous
commodities any other port in the world, but the trade at present is
insignificant when we consider the vast extent and resources of the
country. The city can never have a rival at the mouth of the Amazon, and
is destined to become a great emporium. But Brazilian legislation stands
in the way. Heavy import duties are charged--from 35 to 45 per cent.;
and on the 1st of January, 1868, it was ordered that 15 per cent. must
be paid in English gold. The consequence has been that gold has risen
from 28 to 30 above par, creating an additional tax. Exportation is
equally discouraging. There is a duty of nine per cent. to be paid at
the custom-house, and seven per cent. more at the consulado. But this
is not the sum total. Those who live outside of the province of Para,
say above Obidos, must first pay an import of thirteen per cent. to get
their produce into Para. For example: up the river crude rubber can be
bought for twenty-five cents a pound; the trader pays twenty-five cents
an arroba (thirty-two pounds) for transportation to Para from Santarem,
exclusive of canoe hire and shipping; thirteen per cent. duty in
entering Para, ten per cent. to the commission merchant, and sixteen per
cent. more as export tax; making a total loss on labor of about fifty
per cent. Brazil abounds with the most valuable woods in the world, but
is prevented from competing with other nations by this system of
self-strangulation. In 1867 the import duty on timber was twelve per
cent. Though situated on the edge of a boundless forest, Para consumes
large quantities of North American pine. There is not a grist-mill on
the Amazon, and only two or three saw-mills. A dozen boards of red cedar
(a very common timber) costs 60$000 per thousand (about thirty dollars)
at Santarem. There is no duty on goods going to Peru. The current money,
besides foreign gold, consists of copper coins and imperial treasury
notes. The basis of calculation is the imaginary _rey_, equivalent to
half a mill. The coins in use are the vintem (twenty reys), answering to
our cent, the half vintem, and double vintem. The currency has so
fluctuated in value that many of the pieces have been restamped. Fifty
vintems make a _milrey_, expressed thus: 1$000. This is the smallest
paper issue. Unfortunately, the notes may suddenly fall below par. As a
great many counterfeits made in Portugal are in circulation, the
government recalls the issue which has been counterfeited, notifying
holders, by the provincial papers, that all such bills must be exchanged
for a new issue within six months. Those not brought in at the end of
that period lose ten per cent. of their value, and ten per cent. for
each following month, until the value of the note is _nil_. The result
has been that many persons trading up the river have lost heavily, and
now demand hard money. Change is very scarce in Para.

[Footnote 144: We are inclined to doubt the assertion of Mansfield that
Paraguay is the only country in eastern South America with an
industrious peasantry.]

[Footnote 145: Brazil yields more than one half the quantity of coffee
consumed by the world. That of Ceara is the best.]

[Footnote 146: In January, 1868, the current prices were as follows:

Refined Sugar, per arroba $3 00
Rice                       1 40
Cacao                      3 20
Coffee                     3 50
Farina                       75
Tapioca                    3 00
Pure rubber               11 50
Plassaba cord              6 50
Tobacco                    1 50
Sarsparilla               11 50

The Brazilian arroba is seven pounds heavier than the Spanish.]

The province of Para is governed by a president chosen at Rio, and every
four years sends representatives to the Imperial Parliament. The
Constitution of Brazil is very liberal; every householder, without
distinction of race or color, has a vote, and may work his way up to
high position. There are two drawbacks--the want of intelligence and
virtue in the people, and the immense staff of officials employed to
administer the government. There are also many formalities which are not
only useless, but a hinderance to prosperity. Thus, the internal trade
of a province carried on by Brazilian subjects is not exempt from the
passport system. A foreigner finds as much trouble in getting his
passport _en regle_ in Para as in Vienna. The religion of Para is
Romish, and not so tolerant as in Rio. We arrived during _festa_. (When
did a traveler enter a Portuguese town on any other than a feast day?)
That night was made hideous with rockets, fire-crackers, cannon, and
bells. "Music, noise, and fireworks," says Wallace, "are the three
essentials to please a Brazilian populace." The most celebrated shrine
in Northern Brazil is Our Lady of Nazareth. The little chapel stands
about a mile out of the city, and is now rebuilding for the third time.
The image is a doll about the size of a girl ten years old, wearing a
silver crown and a dress of blue silk glittering with golden stars.
Hosts of miracles are attributed to Our Lady, and we were shown votive
offerings and models of legs, arms, heads, etc., etc., the grateful _in
memoriam_ of wonderful cures, besides a boat whose crew were saved by
invoking the protection of Mary. The facilities for education are
improving. There are several seminaries in Para, of which the chief is
the _Lyceo da Capital_. Too many youths, however, as in Quito, are
satisfied with a little rhetoric and law. The city supports four
newspapers.

Paraenses may well be proud of their delightful climate. Wallace says
the thermometer ranges from 74 deg. to 87 deg.; our observation made the mean
annual temperature 80.2 deg.. The mean daily temperature does not vary more
than two or three degrees. The climate is more equable than that of any
other observed part of the New World.[147] The greatest heat is reached
at two o'clock, but it is never so oppressive as in New York. The
greater the heat, the stronger the sea-breeze; and in three hundred out
of three hundred and sixty-five days, the air is farther cooled by an
afternoon shower. The rainiest month is April; the dryest, October or
November. Lying in the delta of a great river, in the middle of the
tropics, and half surrounded by swamps, its salubrity is remarkable. We
readily excuse the proverb, "_Quem vai para Para para_" ("He who goes to
Para stops there"); and we might have made it good, had we not been
tempted by the magnificent steamer "South America," which came up from
Rio on the way to New York. On the moonlit night of the 7th of January,
when the ice-king had thrown his white robes over the North, we turned
our backs upon the glimmering lights of Para, and noiselessly as a canoe
glided down the great river. As the sun rose for the last time to us
upon the land of perpetual verdure, our gallant ship was plowing the
mottled waters on the edge of the ocean--mingled yellow patches of the
Amazon and dark streaks from the Para floating on the Atlantic green.
Far behind us we could see the breakers dashing against the Braganza
Banks; a moment after Cape Magoary dropped beneath the horizon, and with
it South America vanished from our view.

[Footnote 147: "The traveler, in going from the equator toward the
tropics, is less struck by the decrease of the mean annual temperature
than by the unequal distribution of heat in different parts of the
year."--_Humboldt_. The great German fixes the mean temperature of the
equator at 81.5 deg.; Brewster, at 82.8 deg.; Kirwan, 83.9 deg.; Atkinson, 84.5 deg..]




CHAPTER XVIII.

     The River Amazon.--Its Source and Magnitude.--Tributaries and
     Tints.--Volume and Current.--Rise and
     Fall.--Navigation.--Expeditions on the Great River.


Near the silver mines of Cerro Pasco, in the little Lake of Lauricocha,
just below the limit of perpetual winter, rises the "King of
Waters."[148] For the first five hundred miles it flows northerly, in a
continuous series of cataracts and rapids, through a deep valley between
the parallel Cordilleras of Peru. Upon reaching the frontier of Ecuador,
it turns to the right, and runs easterly two thousand five hundred miles
across the great equatorial plain of the continent.[149] No other river
flows in the same latitude, and retains, therefore, the same climatic
conditions for so great a distance. The breadth of the Amazon, also, is
well proportioned to its extraordinary length. At Tabatinga, two
thousand miles above its mouth, it is a mile and a half wide; at the
entrance of the Madeira, it is three miles; below Santarem, it is ten;
and if the Para be considered a part of the great river, it fronts the
Atlantic one hundred and eighty miles. Brazilians proudly call it the
Mediterranean of the New World. Its vast expanse, presenting below
Teffe magnificent reaches, with blank horizons, and forming a barrier
between different species of animals; its system of back channels,
joining the tributaries, and linking a series of lagunes too many ever
to be named; its network of navigable waters stretching over one third
of the continent; its oceanic fauna--porpoises and manatis, gulls and
frigate-birds--remind the traveler of a great inland sea, with endless
ramifications, rather than a river. The side-channels through the
forest, called by the Indians _igarapes_, or canoe-paths, are one of the
characteristic features of the Amazon.[150] They often run to a great
distance parallel to the great river, and intersecting the tributaries,
so that one can go from Santarem a thousand miles up the Amazon without
once entering it. These natural highways will be of immense advantage
for inter-communication.

[Illustration: Igarape, or Canoe-path.]

[Footnote 148: Herndon gives, for the altitude of Cerro Pasco, 13,802
feet; Rivero, 14,279. The lieutenant thus describes his first view from
the rough hills surrounding this birthplace of the greatest of rivers:
"I can compare it to nothing so fitly as looking from the broken and
ragged edges of a volcano into the crater beneath."]

[Footnote 149: From Lauricocha to its mouth, the Amazon, following the
main curves, is 2740 miles long, as estimated by Bates; in a straight
line, 2050; from Para to the head of the Ucayali, 3000. From north to
south the tributaries stretch 1720 miles.]

[Footnote 150: _Igarape_ is sometimes limited to a creek filled with
back-water; _paranamirim_ is the proper term for a narrow arm of the
main river; and _furos_ are the diminutive mouths of the tributaries.]

But extraordinary as is this network of natural canals, the tributaries
of the Amazon are still more wonderful. They are so numerous they appear
on the map like a thousand ribbons streaming from a main mast, and many
of the obscure affluents, though large as the Hudson, are unknown to
geography. From three degrees north to twenty degrees south, every river
that flows down the eastern slope of the Andes is a contributor--as
though all the rivers between Mexico and Mount Hooker united their
waters in the Mississippi. While the great river of the northern
continent drains an area of one million two hundred thousand square
miles, the Amazon (not including the Tocantins) is spread over a million
more, or over a surface equal to two thirds of all Europe. Let us
journey around the grand trunk and take a glimpse of the main branches.

The first we meet in going up the left bank is the Rio Negro. It rises
in the Sierra Tunuhy, an isolated mountain group in the llanos of
Colombia, and enters the Amazon at Manaos, a thousand miles from the
sea. The upper part, down to the parallel of one degree north, has a
very rapid current; at San Gabriel are the first rapids in ascending;
between San Gabriel and Barcellos the rate is not over two or three
miles per hour; between Barcellos and Manaos it is a deep but sluggish
river, and in the annual rise of the Amazon its waters are stagnant for
several hundred miles up, or actually flow back. Its extreme length is
twelve hundred miles, and its greatest breadth is at Barcellos, where it
is twelve or fifteen miles. Excepting this middle section, the usual
breadth of the Negro below the equatorial line is about one mile. It is
joined to the Orinoco by the navigable Cassiquiari,[151] a natural canal
three fourths of a mile wide, and a portage of only two hours divides
the head of its tributary, the Branco, from the Essequibo of Guiana. The
Negro yields to commerce coffee, cacao, farina, sarsaparilla, Brazil
nuts, pitch, piassaba, and valuable woods. The commerce of Brazil with
Venezuela by the Rio Negro amounted in 1867 to $22,000, of which $9000
was the value of imports. The principal villages above Manaos are San
Miguel and Moroa (which contain about fifty dwellings each), Tireguin,
Barcellos, Toma, San Carlos, Coana, San Gabriel, and Santa Isabel.

[Footnote 151: The Cassiquiari belongs indifferently to both river
systems, the level being so complete at one point between them as to
obliterate the line of water-shed.--_Herschel_.]

The next great affluent is the Japura. It rises in the mountains of New
Granada, and, flowing southeasterly a thousand miles, enters the Amazon
opposite Ega, five hundred miles above Manaos. Its principal mouth is
three hundred feet wide, but it has a host of distributing channels, the
extremes of which are two hundred miles apart. Its current is only three
quarters of a mile an hour, and it has been ascended by canoes five
hundred miles. A natural canal like the Cassiquiari is said to connect
it with the Orinoco. The products of the Japura are sarsaparilla,
copaiba, rubber, cacao, farina, Brazil nuts, moira-piranga--a hard,
fine-grained wood of a rich, cherry-red color--and carajuru, a brilliant
scarlet dye.

Parallel to the Japura is the Putumayo or Issa. Its source is the Lake
of San Pablo, at the foot of the volcano of Pasto; its mouth, as given
by Herndon, is half a mile broad, and its current two and three fourths
miles an hour.

Farther west are the Napo and Pastassa, starting from the volcanoes of
Quito. The former is nearly seven hundred miles long, navigable five
hundred. The latter is an unnavigable torrent. One of its branches, the
Topo, is one continued rapid; "of those who have fallen into it, only
one has come out alive." Another, the Patate, rises near Iliniza, runs
through the plain to a little south of Cotopaxi, receives all streams
flowing from the eastern side of the western Cordillera from Iliniza to
Chimborazo, and unites near Tunguragua with the Chambo, which rises near
Sangai. Castelnau and Bates saw pumice floating on the Amazon; it was
probably brought from Cotopaxi by the Pastassa.

Crossing the Maranon, and going eastward, we first pass the Huallaga, a
rapid river of the size of the Cumberland, coming down the Peruvian
Andes from an altitude of eight thousand six hundred feet, and entering
the great river nearly opposite the Pastassa. Its mouth is a mile wide,
and for a hundred miles up its average depth is three fathoms. In July,
August, and September the steamers are not able to ascend to Yurimaguas.
Canoe navigation begins at Tinga Maria, three hundred miles from Lima.
The fertile plain through which the river flows is very attractive to an
agriculturist. Cotton is gathered six months after sowing, and rice in
five months. At Tarapoto a large amount of cotton-cloth is woven for
export.

The next great tributary from the south is the Ucayali. This magnificent
stream originates near ancient Cuzco, and has a fall of .87 of a foot
per mile, and a length nearly equal to that of the Negro. For two
hundred and fifty miles above its mouth it averages half a mile in
width, and has a current of three miles an hour. At Sarayacu it is
twenty feet deep. The Ucayali is navigable for at least seven hundred
miles. The "Morona," a steamer of five hundred tons, has been up to the
entrance of the Pachitea in the dry season, a distance of six hundred
miles, and in the wet season ascended that branch to Mayro. A small
Peruvian steamer has recently ascended the Tambo to within sixty miles
of Fort Ramon, or seven hundred and seventy-three miles from Nauta.

Leaving the Ucayali, we pass by six rivers rising in the unknown lands
of Northern Bolivia: the Javari, navigable by steam for two hundred and
fifty miles; the sluggish Jutahi, half a mile broad and four hundred
miles long; the Jurua, four times the size of our Connecticut, and
navigable nearly its entire length; the unhealthy, little-known Teffe
and Coary; and the Purus, a deep, slow river, over a thousand miles
long, and open to navigation half way to its source. Soldan and Pinto
claim to have ascended the Javari, in a steamer, about one thousand
miles, and it is said Chandlers went up the Purus one thousand eight
hundred miles. The Teffe is narrow, with a strong current. Of all these
six rivers, the Purus is the most important. It is probably the
Amaru-mayu, or "serpent-river," of the Incas, and its affluents enjoy
the privilege of draining the waters of those beautiful Andes which
formed the eastern boundary of the empire of Manco Capac, and
fertilizing the romantic valley of Paucar-tambo, or "Inn of the Flowery
Meadow." The banks of this noble stream are now held by the untamable
Chunchos; but the steam-whistle will accomplish what the rifle can not.
The Purus communicates with the Madeira, proving the absence of rapids
and of intervening mountains.

Sixty miles below the confluence of the Negro, the mighty Madeira, the
largest tributary of the Amazon, blends its milky waters with the turbid
king of rivers. It is about two thousand miles in length; one branch,
the Beni, rising near Lake Titicaca, drains the fertile valleys of
Yungus and Apollo, rich in cinchona, chocolate, and gold; the Marmore
springs from the vicinity of Chuquisaca, within fifteen miles of a
source of the Paraguay, traversing the territory of the brave and
intelligent Moxos; while the Itinez washes down the gold and diamonds of
Matto Grosso. Were it not for the cascade four hundred and eighty miles
from its mouth, large vessels might sail from the Amazon into the very
heart of Bolivia. When full, it has a three-mile current, and at its
junction with the Amazon it is two miles wide and sixty-six feet deep.
Five hundred miles from its mouth it is a mile wide and one hundred feet
deep. It contains numerous islands, and runs in a comparatively straight
course. It received its name from the vast quantity of drift-wood often
seen floating down. The value of Brazilian commerce with Bolivia by the
Madeira was, in 1867, $43,000.[152]

[Footnote 152: In the map of Friar Fritz, published in 1707, the Madeira
is one of the most insignificant of the tributaries, and the Ucayali and
Putumayo are the largest.]

At Santarem the Amazon receives another great tributary, the Tapajos (or
Rio Preto, as the Portuguese call it), a thousand miles long, and, for
the last eighty miles, from four to twelve miles in breadth. It rises
amid the glittering mines of Matto Grosso, only twenty miles from the
headwaters of the Rio Plata, and flows rapidly down through a
magnificent hilly country to the last cataract, which is one hundred and
sixty miles above Santarem, and is the end of navigation to sailing
vessels. Thence to the Amazon it has little current and no great depth.
From Santarem to Diamantino it is about twenty-six days' travel. Large
quantities of sarsaparilla, rubber, tonka beans, mandioca, and guarana
are brought down this river.

Parallel to the Tapajos, and about two hundred miles distant, flows the
Xingu. It rises in the heart of the empire, has the length of the Ohio
and Monongahela, and can be navigated one hundred and fifty miles. This
is the last great tributary of the Amazon proper; if, however, we
consider the Para as only one of the outlets of the great river, we may
then add to the list the grand Tocantins.[153] This splendid river has
its source in the rich province of Minas (the source, also, of the San
Francisco and Uruguay), not six hundred miles from Rio Janeiro--a region
possessing the finest climate in Brazil, and yielding diamonds and
rubies, the sapphire, topaz and opal, gold, silver, and petroleum. The
Tocantins is sixteen hundred miles long, and ten miles broad at its
mouth; but, unfortunately, rapids commence one hundred and twenty miles
above Cameta. The Araguaia, its main branch, is, according to Castelnau,
one mile wide, with a current of three fourths of a mile an hour.

[Footnote 153: We are inclined to hold, with Bates and others, that the
Para River is not, strictly speaking, one of the mouths of the Amazon.
"It is made to appear so on many of the maps in common use, because the
channels which connect it with the main river are there given much
broader than they are in reality, conveying the impression that a large
body of water finds an outlet from the main river into the Para. It is
doubtful, however, if there be any considerable stream of water flowing
constantly downward through these channels. There is a great contrast in
general appearance between the Para and the main Amazon. In the former
the flow of the tide always creates a strong current upward, while in
the Amazon the turbid flow of the mighty stream overpowers all tides,
and produces a constant downward current. The color of the water is
different; that of the Para being of a dingy orange-brown, while the
Amazon has an ochreous or yellowish-clay tint. The forests on their
banks have a different aspect. On the Para, the infinitely diversified
trees seem to rise directly out of the water, the forest-frontage is
covered with greenery, and wears a placid aspect; while the shores of
the main Amazon are encumbered with fallen trunks, and are fringed with
a belt of broad-leaved grasses."--_Naturalist on the Amazon_, i., p.
3-5.]

Here are six tributaries, all of them superior to any river in Europe,
outside of Russia, save the Danube, and ten times greater than any
stream on the west slope of the Andes. While the Arkansas joins the
Mississippi four hundred miles above New Orleans, the Madeira, of equal
length, enters the Amazon nine hundred miles from Para. But, vast as are
these tributary streams, they seem to make no impression on the Amazon;
they are lost like brooks in the ocean. Our ideas of the magnitude of
the great river are wonderfully increased when we see the Madeira coming
down two thousand miles, yet its enormous contribution imperceptible
half way across the giant river; or the dark waters of the Negro
creeping along the shore, and becoming undistinguishable five miles from
its mouth. Though the Amazon carries a larger amount of sediment than
any other river, it has no true delta, the archipelago in its mouth
(for, like our own St. Lawrence, it has its Bay of a Thousand Isles) not
being an alluvial formation, but having a rocky base. The great island
of Marajo, in physical configuration, resembles the mainland of Guiana.
The deltoid outlet is confined to the tributaries, nearly all of them,
like "the disembogning Nile," emptying themselves by innumerable
embouchures. To several tributaries the Amazon gives water before it
receives their tribute. Thus, by ascending the Negro sixty miles, we
have the singular spectacle of water pouring in from the Amazon through
the Guariba Channel.

The waters of this great river system are of divers tints. The Amazon,
as it leaps from the Andes, and as far down as the Ucayali, is blue,
passing into a clear olive-green; likewise the Pastassa, Huallaga,
Tapajos, Xingu, and Tocantins. Below the Ucayali it is of a pale,
yellowish olive; the Madeira,[154] Purus, Jurua, Jutahi, Javari,
Ucayali, Napo, Ica, and Japura are of similar color. The Negro, Coary,
and Teffe are black. Humboldt observes that "a cooler atmosphere, fewer
musquitoes, greater salubrity, and absence of crocodiles, as also of
fish, mark the region of these black rivers." This is not altogether
true. The Amazon throughout is healthy, being swept by the trade-winds.
The branches, which are not so constantly refreshed by the ocean
breezes, are occasionally malarious; the "white-water" tributaries,
except when they have a slack current in the dry season, have the best
reputation, while intermittent fevers are nearly confined to the
dark-colored streams. Much of the sickness on these tropical waters,
however, is due to exposure and want of proper food rather than to the
climate. The river system of South America will favorably compare, in
point of salubrity, with the river system of its continental
neighbor.[155]

[Footnote 154: The Madeira has often a milky color which it receives
from the white clay along its banks.]

[Footnote 155: The average temperature of the water in the Lower Amazon
is 81 deg., that of the air being a little less. The temperature of the
Huallaga at Yurimaguas was 75 deg. when the air was 88 deg. in the shade; in
another experiment both the river and air were 80 deg.. The Maranon at
Iquitos was 79 deg. when the air was 90 deg.. At the mouth of the Jurua, Herndon
found both water and air 82 deg.. In the tropics the difference between the
temperature of the water and air is proportionally less than in high
latitudes.]

As we might expect, the volume of the Amazon is beyond all parallel.
Half a million cubic feet of water pour through the narrows of Obidos
every second, and fresh water may be taken up from the Atlantic far out
of sight of land. The fall of the main easterly trunk of the Amazon is
about six and a half inches per mile, equivalent to a slope of 21'--the
same as that of the Nile, and one third that of the Mississippi. Below
Jaen there are thirty cataracts and rapids; at the Pongo de Manseriche,
at the altitude of 1164 feet (according to Humboldt), it bids adieu to
mountain scenery. Between Tabatinga and the ocean the average current is
three miles an hour. It diminishes toward Para, and is every where at a
minimum in the dry season; but it always has the "swing" of an ocean
current.

Though not so rapid as the Mississippi, the Amazon is deeper. There are
seven fathoms of water at Nauta (2200 miles from the Atlantic), eleven
at Tabatinga, and twenty-seven on the average below Mandaos.[156]

[Footnote 156: The assertion of the _Ency. Metropolitana_, that "its
current has great violence and rapidity, and its depth is unfathomable,"
must be received with some allowance.]

The Amazon and its branches are subject to an annual rise of great
regularity. It does not take place simultaneously over the whole river,
but there is a succession of freshets. At the foot of the Andes the rise
commences in January; at Ega it begins about the end of February.
Coinciding with this contribution from the west, the October rains on
the highlands of Bolivia and Brazil swell the southern tributaries,
whose accumulated floods reach the main stream in February; and the
latter, unable to discharge the avalanche of waters, inundates a vast
area, and even crowds up the northern tributaries. As the Madeira,
Tapajos, and Purus subside, the Negro, fed by the spring rains in Guiana
and Venezuela, presses downward till the central stream rolls back the
now sluggish affluents from the south. There is, therefore, a rhythmical
correspondence in the rise and fall of the arms of the Amazon, so that
this great fresh-water sea sways alternately north and south; while the
onward swell in the grand trunk is a progressive undulation eastward. As
the Cambridge Professor well says: "In this oceanic river the tidal
action has an annual instead of a daily ebb and flow; it obeys a larger
orb, and is ruled by the sun and not the moon." As the southern
affluents have the greatest volume, the Amazon receives its largest
accession after the sun has been in the southern hemisphere. The rise is
gradual, increasing to one foot per day. One lowland after another sinks
beneath the flood; the forest stands up to its middle in the water, and
shady dells are transformed into navigable creeks.[157] Swarms of
turtles leave the river for the inland lakes; flocks of wading birds
migrate to the banks of the Negro and Orinoco to enjoy the cloudless sky
of the dry season; alligators swim where a short time before the jaguar
lay in wait for the tapir; and the natives, unable to fish, huddle in
their villages to spend the "winter of their discontent." The Lower
Amazon is at its minimum in September or October. The rise above this
lowest level is between seven and eight fathoms. If we consider the
average width of the Amazon two miles, we shall have a surface of at
least five thousand square miles raised fifty feet by the inundation. An
extraordinary freshet is expected every sixth year.

[Footnote 157: The flooded lands are called _gapos_.]

The Atlantic tide is perceptible at Obidos, four hundred and fifty miles
above Para, and Bates observed it up the Tapajos, five hundred and
thirty miles distant. The tide, however, does not flow up; there is only
a rising and falling of the waters--the momentary check of the great
river in its conflict with the ocean. The "bore," or _piroroco_, is a
colossal wave at spring tide, rising suddenly along the whole width of
the Amazon to a height of twelve or fifteen feet, and then collapsing
with a frightful roar.

The Amazon presents an unparalleled extent of water communication. So
many and far reaching are its tributaries, it touches every country on
the continent except Chile and Patagonia. South America is well nigh
quartered by its river system: the Amazon starts within sixty miles of
the Pacific; the Tapajos and Madeira reach down to the La Plata; while
the Negro mingles its waters with those of the Orinoco. The tributaries
also communicate with each other by intersecting canals, so numerous
that central Amazonia is truly a cluster of islands. Wagons and
railroads will be out of the question for ages hence in this aquatic
basin. No other river runs in so deep a channel to so great a distance.
For two thousand miles from its month there are not less than seven
fathoms of water. Not a fall interrupts navigation on the main stream
for two thousand five hundred miles; and it so happens that while the
current is ever east (for even the ocean can not send up its tide
against it), there is a constant trade-wind westward, so that navigation
up or down has always something in its favor. As a general rule, the
breeze is not so strong during the rise of the river. There are at least
six thousand miles of navigation for large vessels. It was lately said
that the Mississippi carries more vessels in a month, and the
Yang-tse-Kiang in a day, than the Amazon all the year round. But this is
no longer true. Steamers already ascend regularly to the port of
Moyabamba, which is less than twenty days' travel from the Pacific
coast. The Amazon was opened to the world September 7, 1867; and the
time can not be far distant when the exhaustless wealth of the great
valley--its timber, fruit, medicinal plants, gums, and dye-stuffs--will
be emptied by this great highway into the commercial lap of the
Atlantic; when crowded steamers will plow all these waters--yellow,
black, and blue--and the sloths and alligators, monkeys and jaguars,
toucans and turtles, will have a bad time of it.

Officially free to the world, the great river is, however, for the
present practically closed to foreign shipping, as it is difficult to
compete with the Brazilian steamers. For, by the contract which lasts
till 1877, the company is allowed an annual subsidy of $4,000,000, which
has since been increased by 250 milreys per voyage. In 1867 the steamers
and sailing vessels on the Amazon were divided as follows, though it
must be remembered that few of the foreign ships, excepting Portuguese,
ascended beyond Para:

Nationality.     No.    Tonnage
United States    37     39,901-1/2
Brazil           49     28,639
England          52     13,276-1/2
Portugal         24      7,871
France           18      5,344
Prussia           4        889-1/2
Holland           3        538
Denmark           2        525
Holstein          3        498
Norway            1        135
Spain             1         90

The vessels carrying the stars and stripes exported from Para to the
value of 3,235,073$950, or eight times the amount carried by Brazilian
craft, and 50,000 milreys more than England. While, therefore, the
Imperial Company has the monopoly of trade on the Amazon, our ships
distribute one third of the products to the world. The United States is
the natural commercial partner with Brazil; for not only is New York the
half-way house between Para and Liverpool, but a chip thrown into the
sea at the mouth of the Amazon will float close by Cape Hatteras. The
official value of exports from Para in 1867 was 9,926,912$557, or about
five millions of dollars, an increase of one million over 1866.

The early expeditions into the Valley of the Amazon, in search of the
"Gilded King," are the most romantic episodes in the history of Spanish
discovery. To the wild wanderings of these worshipers of gold succeeded
the more earnest explorations of the Jesuits, those pioneers of
geographical knowledge. Pinzon discovered the mouth of the river in
1500; but Orellana, who came down the Napo in 1541, was the first to
navigate its waters. Twenty years later Aguirre descended from Cuzco; in
1637, Texeira ascended to Quito by the Napo; Cabrera descended from Peru
in 1639; Juan de Palacios by the Napo in 1725; La Condamine from Jaen in
1744, and Madame Godin by the Pastassa in 1769. The principal travelers
who preceded us in crossing the continent this century were Mawe (1828),
Poeppig (1831), Smyth (1834), Von Tschudi (1845), Castelnau (1846),
Herndon and Gibbon (1851), and Marcoy (1867), who came down through
Peru, and a Spanish commission (Almagro, Spada, Martinez, and Isern),
who made the Napo transit in 1865. To Spix and Martius (1820), Bates and
Wallace (1848-1857), Azevedo and Pinto (1862-1864), and Agassiz (1865),
the world is indebted for the most scientific surveys of the river in
Brazil.

Such is the Amazon, the mightiest river in the world, rising amid the
loftiest volcanoes on the globe, and flowing through a forest
unparalleled in extent. "It only wants (wrote Father Acuna), in order to
surpass the Ganges, Euphrates, and the Nile in felicity, that its source
should be in Paradise." As if one name were not sufficient for its
grandeur, it has three appellations: Maranon, Solimoens, and Amazon; the
first applied to the part in Peru, the second to the portion between
Tabatinga and Manaos, and the third to all below the Rio Negro.[158] We
have no proper conception of the vast dimensions of the thousand-armed
river till we sail for weeks over its broad bosom, beholding it
sweeping disdainfully by the great Madeira as if its contribution was of
no account, discharging into the sea one hundred thousand cubic feet of
water per second more than our Mississippi, rolling its turbid waves
thousands of miles exactly as it pleases,--plowing a new channel every
year, with tributaries twenty miles wide, and an island in its mouth
twice the size of Massachusetts.

[Footnote 158: The upper part of the Maranon, from its source to Jaen,
is sometimes called the Tunguragua. Solimoens is now seldom heard; but,
instead, Middle Amazon, or simply Amazon. The term Alto Amazonas or High
Amazon is also applied to all above the Negro. Maranon, says Velasco,
derives its name from the circumstance that a soldier, sent by Pizarro
to discover the sources of the Rio Piura, having beheld the mighty
stream from the neighborhood of Jaen, and, astonished to behold a sea of
fresh water, exclaimed, _"Hac mare an non?"_ Orellana's pretended fight
with a nation of female warriors gave rise to the Portuguese name of the
river, Amazonas (anglicized Amazon), after the mythical women in
Cappadocia, who are said to have burnt off their right breasts that they
might use the bow and javelin with more skill and force, and hence their
name, [Greek: Amazones] from [Greek: a] and [Greek: mazos]. Orellana's
story probably grew out of the fact that the men wear long tunics, part
the hair in the middle, and, in certain tribes, alone wear ornaments.
Some derive the name from the Indian word _amassona_, boat-destroyer.
The old name, Orellana, after the discoverer, is obsolete, as also the
Indian term Parana-tinga, or King of Waters. In ordinary conversation it
is designated as _the_ river, in distinction from its tributaries. "In
all parts of the world (says Hamboldt), the largest rivers are called by
those who dwell on their banks, _The River_, without any distinct and
peculiar appellation."]




CHAPTER XIX.

     The Valley of the Amazon.--Its Physical
     Geography.--Geology.--Climate.--Vegetation.


From the Atlantic shore to the foot of the Andes, and from the Orinoco
to the Paraguay, stretches the great Valley of the Amazon. In this vast
area the United States might be packed without touching its boundaries.
It could contain the basins of the Mississippi, the Danube, the Nile,
and the Hoang-Ho. It is girt on three sides by a wall of mountains: on
the north are the highlands of Guiana and Venezuela; on the west stand
the Andes; on the south rise the table-lands of Matto Grosso. The valley
begins at such an altitude, that on the western edge vegetation differs
as much from the vegetation at Para, though in the same latitude, as the
flora of Canada from the flora of the West Indies.

The greater part of the region drained by the Amazon, however, is not a
valley proper, but an extensive plain. From the mouth of the Napo to the
ocean, a distance of eighteen hundred miles in a straight line, the
slope is one foot in five miles.[159] At Coca, on the Napo, the altitude
is 850 feet, according to our observations; at Tinga Maria. on the
Huallaga, it is 2200 according to Herndon; at the junction of the Negro
with the Cassiquiari, it is 400 according to Wallace; at the mouth of
the Marmore, it is 800 according to Gibbon; at the Pongo de Manseriche,
below all rapids, it is 1160 according to Humboldt; and at the junction
of Araguaia with the Tocantins, it is 200 according to Castelnau. These
barometrical measurements represent the basin of the Amazon as a shallow
trough lying parallel to the equator, the southern side having double
the inclination of the northern, and the whole gently sloping eastward.
Farthermore, the channel of the great river is not in the centre of the
basin, but lies to the north of it: thus, the hills of Almeyrim rise
directly from the river, while the first falls on the Tocantins, Xingu,
and Tapajos are nearly two hundred miles above their mouths; the rapids
of San Gabriel, on the Negro, are one hundred and seventy-five miles
from the Amazon, while the first obstruction to the navigation of the
Madeira is a hundred miles farther from the great river.

[Footnote 159: Professor Agassiz gives the average slope as hardly more
than a foot in ten miles, which is based on the farther assertion that
the distance from Tabatinga to the sea-shore is more than 2000 miles in
a straight line. The distance is not 1600, or exactly 1500, from
Para.--See _A Journey in Brazil_, p. 349.]

Of the creation of this valley we have already spoken. No region on the
face of the globe of equal extent has such a monotonous geology. Around
the rim of the basin are the outcroppings of a cretaceous deposit; this
rests on the hidden mezozoic and palaeozoic strata which form the ribs of
the Andes. Above it, covering the whole basin from New Granada to the
Argentine Republic,[160] are the following formations: first, a
stratified accumulation of sand; second, a series of laminated clays, of
divers colors, without a pebble; third, a fine, compact sandstone;
fourth, a coarse, porous sandstone, so ferruginous as to resemble bog
iron-ore. This last was, originally, a thousand feet in thickness, but
was worn down, _perhaps_, in some sudden escape of the pent-up waters
of the valley. The table-topped hills of Almeyrim are almost the sole
relics.[161] Finally, over the undulating surface of the denuded
sandstone an ochraceous, unstratified sandy clay was deposited.

[Footnote 160: Messrs. Myers and Forbes found this red clay on the
Negro, most abundantly near Barcellos; also in small quantities on the
Orinoco above Maipures. The officers of the "Morona" assured us that the
same formation was traceable far up the Ucayali and Huallaga. This clay
from the Amazon, as examined microscopically by Prof. H. James Clark,
contains fragments of gasteropod shells and bivalve casts. The red earth
of the Pampas, according to Ehrenberg, contains eight fresh-water to one
salt-water animalcule.]

[Footnote 161: "On the South American coast, where tertiary and
supra-tertiary beds have been extensively elevated, I repeatedly noticed
that the uppermost beds were formed of coarser materials than the lower;
this appears to indicate that, as the sea becomes shallower, the force
of the waves or currents increased."--Darwin's _Observations_, pt. ii.,
131. "Nowhere in the Pampas is there any appearance of much superficial
denudation."--Pt. iii., 100.]

It is a question to what period this great accumulation is to be
assigned. Humboldt called it "Old Red Sandstone;" Martius pronounced it
"New Red;" Agassiz says "Drift"--the glacial deposit brought down from
the Andes and worked over by the melting of the ice which transported
it.[162] The Professor farther declares that "these deposits are
fresh-water deposits; they show no sign of a marine origin; no
sea-shells nor remains of any marine animal have as yet been found
throughout their whole extent; tertiary deposits have never been
observed in any part of the Amazonian basin." This was true up to 1867.
Neither Bates, Wallace, nor Agassiz found any marine fossil on the banks
of the great river. But there is danger in building a theory on negative
evidence. These explorers ascended no farther than Tabatinga. Two
hundred miles west of that fort is the little Peruvian village of Pebas,
at the confluence of the Ambiyacu. We came down the Napo and Maranon,
and stopped at this place. Here we discovered a fossiliferous bed
intercalated between the variegated clays so peculiar to the Amazon. _It
was crowded with marine tertiary shells!_ This was Pebas _vs_.
Cambridge. It was unmistakable proof that the formation was not drift,
but tertiary; not of fresh, but salt water origin. The species, as
determined by W.M. Gabb, Esq., of Philadelphia, are: _Neritina pupa,
Turbonilla minuscula_, _Mesalia Ortoni_, _Tellina Amazonenis_, _Pachydon
obliqua_, and _P. tenua_.[163] All of these are new forms excepting the
first, and the last is a new genus. It is a singular fact that the
_Neritina_ is now living in the West India waters, and the species found
at Pebas retains its peculiar markings. So that we have some ground for
the supposition that not many years ago there was a connection between
the Caribbean Sea and the Upper Amazon; in other words, that Guiana has
only very lately ceased to be an island. There is no mountain range on
the water-shed between the Orinoco and the Negro and Japura, but the
three rivers are linked by natural canals.[164] Interstratified with the
clay deposit are seams of a highly bituminous lignite; we traced it from
near the mouth of the Curaray on the Rio Napo to Loreto on the Maranon,
a distance of about four hundred miles. It occurs also at Iquitos. This
is farther testimony against the glacial theory of the formation of the
Amazonian Valley. The paucity of shells in such a vast deposit is not
astonishing. It is as remarkable in the similar accumulation of reddish
argillaceous earth, called "Pampean mud," which overspreads the Rio
Plata region.[165] Some of the Pampa shells, like those at Pebas, are
proper to brackish water, and occur only on the highest banks. The
Pampean formation is believed by Mr. Darwin to be an estuary or delta
deposit. We will mention, in this connection, that silicified wood is
found at the head waters of the Napo; the Indians use it instead of
flint (which does not occur there) in striking a light. Darwin found
silicified trees on the same slope of the Andes as the Uspallata Pass.

[Footnote 162: _A Journey in Brazil_, p. 250, 411, 424. Again, in his
Lecture before the Lowell Institute, 1866: "These deposits could not
have been made by the sea, nor in a large lake, as they contain no
marine nor fresh-water fossils."]

[Footnote 163: These interesting fossils are figured and described in
the _Am. Journal of Conchology_.]

[Footnote 164: "The whole basin between the Orinoco and the Amazon is
composed of granite and gneiss, slightly covered with debris. There is a
total absence of sedimentary rocks. The surface is often bare and
destitute of soil, the undulations being only a few feet above or below
a straight line."--Evan Hopkins, in _Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc_., vol. vi.]

[Footnote 165: See Darwin on the absence of extensive modern
conchiferous deposits in South America, _Geological Observations_, pt.
iii., ch. v.]

The climatology of the Valley of the Amazon is as simple as its physical
geography. There is no circle of the seasons as with us--nature moves in
a straight line. The daily order of the weather is uniform for months.
There is very little difference between the dry and hot seasons; the
former, lasting from July to December, is varied with showers, and the
latter, from January to June, with sunny days, while the daily
temperature is the same within two or three degrees throughout the year.
On the water-shed between the Orinoco and Negro it rains throughout the
year, but most water falls between May and November, the coolest season
in that region. On the Middle Negro the wet season extends from June 1st
to December 1st, and is the most sultry time.

Comparatively few insects, birds, or beasts are to be seen in summer;
but it is the harvest-time of the inhabitants, who spend the glorious
weather rambling over the plaias and beaches, fishing and
turtle-hunting. The middle of September is the midsummer of the valley.
The rainy season, or winter, is ushered in by violent thunder-storms
from the west. It is then that the woods are eloquent with buzzing
insects, shrill cicadas, screaming parrots, chattering monkeys, and
roaring jaguars. The greatest activity of animal and vegetable life is
in June and July. The heaviest rains fall in April, May, and June.
Scarcely ever is there a continuous rain for twenty-four hours.
Castelnau witnessed at Pebas a fall of not less than thirty inches in a
single storm. The greatest amount noticed in New York during the whole
month of September was 12.2 inches. The humidity of the atmosphere, as
likewise the luxuriance of vegetation and the abundance and beauty of
animal forms, increases from the Atlantic to the Andes. At the foot of
the Andes, Poeppig found that the most refined sugar in a few days
dissolved into sirup, and the best gunpowder became liquid even when
inclosed in canisters. So we found the Napo steaming with vapor. Fogs,
however, are rarely seen on the Amazon.

The animals and plants are not all simultaneously affected by the change
of seasons. The trees retain their verdure through the dry _vera[=o]_,
and have no set time for renewing their foliage. There are a few trees,
like Mongruba, which drop their leaves at particular seasons; but they
are so few in number they create the impression of a few dead leaves in
a thick-growing forest. Leaves are falling and flowers drooping all the
year round. Each species, and, in some cases, each individual, has its
own particular autumn and spring. There is no hibernation nor aestivation
(except by land shells); birds have not one uniform time for
nidification; and moulting extends from February to May.

Amazonia, though equatorially situated, has a temperate climate. It is
cooler than Guinea or Guiana. This is owing to the constant evaporation
from so much submerged land, and the ceaseless trade winds. The mean
annual temperature of the air is about 81 deg..[166] The nights are always
cool. There are no sudden changes, and no fiery "dog days." Venereal and
cutaneous affections are found among the people; but they spring from an
irregular life. A traveler on the slow black tributaries may take the
tertiana, but only after weeks of exposure. Yellow fever and cholera
seldom ascend the river above Para; and on the Middle Amazon there are
neither endemics nor epidemics, though the trades are feebly felt
there, and the air is stagnant and sultry. According to Bates, swampy
and weedy places on the Amazon are generally more healthy than dry ones.
Whatever exceptions be taken to the branches, the main river is
certainly as healthy as the Mississippi: the rapid current of the water
and the continual movement of the air maintaining its salubrity. The few
English residents (Messrs. Hislop, Jeffreys, and Hauxwell), who have
lived here thirty or forty years, are as fresh and florid as if they had
never left their native country. The native women preserve their beauty
until late in life. Great is the contrast between the gloomy winters and
dusty summers, the chilly springs and frosty autumns of the temperate
zone, and the perennial beauty of the equator! No traveler on the Amazon
would exchange what Wallace calls "the magic half-hour after sunset" for
the long gray twilight of the north. "The man accustomed to this climate
(wrote Herndon) is ever unwilling to give it up for a more bracing one."

[Footnote 166: Agassiz calls the average temperature 84 deg., which, it
seems to us, is too high. The mean between the temperatures of Para,
Manaos, and Tabatinga is 80.7 deg..]

The mineral kingdom is represented only by sand, clay, and loam. The
solid rock (except the sandstone already mentioned) begins above the
falls on the tributaries. The precious gems and metals are confined to
the still higher lands of Goyaz, Matto Grosso, and the slopes of the
Andes. The soil on the Lower Amazon is sandy; on the Solimoens and
Maranon it is a stiff loam or vegetable mould, in many places twenty
feet deep.

Both in botany and zoology, South America is a natural and
strongly-marked division, quite as distinct from North America as from
the Old World; and as there are no transverse barriers, there is a
remarkable unity in the character of the vegetation. No spot on the
globe contains so much vegetable matter as the Valley of the Amazon.
From the grassy steppes of Venezuela to the treeless Pampas of Buenos
Ayres, expands a sea of verdure, in which we may draw a circle of eleven
hundred miles in diameter, which shall include an ever green, unbroken
forest. There is a most bewildering diversity of grand and beautiful
trees--a wild, unconquered race of vegetable giants, draped, festooned,
corded, matted, and ribboned with climbing and creeping plants, woody
and succulent, in endless variety. The exuberance of nature displayed in
these million square acres of tangled, impenetrable forest offers a bar
to civilization nearly as great as its sterility in the African deserts.
A _macheta_ is a necessary predecessor: the moment you land (and it is
often difficult to get a footing on the bank), you are confronted by a
wall of vegetation. Lithe lianas, starred with flowers, coil up the
stately trees, and then hang down like strung jewels; they can be
counted only by myriads, yet they are mere superfluities. The dense dome
of green overhead is supported by crowded columns, often branchless for
eighty feet. The reckless competition among both small and great adds to
the solemnity and gloom of a tropical forest. Individual struggles with
individual, and species with species, to monopolize the air, light, and
soil. In the effort to spread their roots, some of the weaker sort,
unable to find a footing, climb a powerful neighbor, and let their roots
dangle in the air; while many a full-grown tree has been lifted up, as
it were, in the strife, and now stands on the ends of its stilt-like
roots, so that a man may walk upright between the roots and under the
trunk.[167]

[Footnote 167: Buttress roots are not peculiar to any one species, but
common to most of the large trees in the crowded forest, where the
lateral growth of the roots is made difficult by the multitude of
rivals. The Paxiuba, or big-bellied palm, is a fine example.]

The mass of the forest on the banks of the great river is composed of
palms (about thirty species[168]), leguminous or pod-bearing trees,
colossal nut-trees, broad-leaved Musaceae or bananas, and giant grasses.
The most prominent palms are the architectural Pupunha, or "peach-palm,"
with spiny stems, drooping, deep green leaves, and bunches of mealy,
nutritious fruit; the slender Assai, with a graceful head of delicate
green plumes; the Ubussu, with mammoth, undivided fronds; the stiff,
serrated-leaved Bussu, and gigantic Miriti. One of the noblest trees of
the forest is the Massaranduba, or "cow-tree" (_Brosimum
galactodendron_), often rising one hundred and fifty feet. It is a hard,
fine-grained, durable timber, and has a red bark, and leathery, fig-like
foliage. The milk has the consistency of cream, and may be used for tea,
coffee, or custards. It hardens by exposure, so as to resemble
gutta-percha. Another interesting tree, and one which yields the chief
article of export, is the Caucho, or India-rubber tree[169] (_Siphonia
Brasiliensis_), growing in the lowlands of the Amazon for eighteen
hundred miles above Para. It has an erect, tall trunk, from forty to
eighty feet high, a smooth, gray bark, and thick, glossy leaves. The
milk resembles thick, yellow cream, and is colored by a dense smoke
obtained by burning palm-nuts. It is gathered between August and
December. A man can collect six pounds a day, though this is rarely
done. It is frequently adulterated with sand. The tree belongs to the
same apetalous family as our castor-oil and the mandioca; while the tree
which furnishes the caoutchouc of the East Indies and Africa is a
species of Ficus, and yields an inferior article to the rubber of
America. Other characteristic trees are the Mongruba, one of the few
which shed their foliage before the new leaf-buds expand; the giant
Samauema, or silk-cotton tree (called _huimba_ in Peru); the Calabash, or
_cuieira_, whose gourd-like fruit furnishes the cups used throughout the
Amazon; the Itauba, or stone-wood, furnishing ship-timber as durable as
teak; the red and white Cedar, used for canoes (not coniferous like the
northern evergreen, but allied to the mahogany); the Jacaranda, or
rose-wood, resembling our locust; Palo de sangre, one of the most
valuable woods on the river; Huacapu, a very common timber; Capirona,
used as fuel on the steamers; and Tauari, a heavy, close-grained wood,
the bark of which splits into thin leaves, much used in making
cigarettes. The Piassaba, a palm yielding a fibre extensively
manufactured into cables and ropes, and exported to foreign countries
for brushes and brooms, being singularly elastic, strong, and more
durable than hemp; and the Moira-pinima, or "tortoise-shell wood," the
most beautiful wood in all Amazonia, if not in the world, grow on the
Upper Rio Negro. A small willow represents the great catkin family.

[Footnote 168: Von Martius, in his great work on the Brazilian Palms,
enumerates in all 582 species.]

[Footnote 169: The Portuguese and Brazilians call it _seringa_, or
syringe, in which form it is still used extensively, injections forming
a great feature in the popular system of cures. The tree mentioned above
yields most of the rubber of commerce, and is considered distinct from
the species in Guiana, _S. elastica;_ while the rubber from the Upper
Amazon and Rio Negro comes from the _S. lutea_ and _S. brevifolia_.
Agassiz puts milk-weed in the same family!]

The valley is as remarkable for the abundance, variety, and value of its
timber as for any thing else. Within an area of half a mile square,
Agassiz counted one hundred and seventeen different kinds of woods, many
of them eminently fitted, by their hardness, tints, and beautiful grain,
for the finest cabinet-work. Enough palo de sangre or moira-pinima is
doubtless wasted annually to veneer all the palaces of Europe.

While most of our fruits belong to the rose family, those of the Amazon
come from the myrtle tribe. The delicious flavor, for which our fruits
are indebted to centuries of cultivation, is wanting in many of the
torrid productions. We prefer the sweetness of Pomona in temperate
climes to her savage beauty in the sunny south. It is a curious fact,
noticed by Herndon, that nearly all the valuable fruits of the valley
are inclosed in hard shells or acid pulps. They also reach a larger
size in advancing westward. The common Brazil nut is the product of one
of the tallest trees in the forest (_Bertholletia excelsa_). The fruit
is a hard, round shell, resembling a common ball, which contains from
twenty to twenty-four nuts. Eighteen months are required for the bud to
reach maturity. This tree, says Humboldt, offers the most remarkable
example of high organic development. Akin to it is the Sapucaya or
"chickens' nuts" (_Lecythis sapucaya_), whose capsule has a natural lid,
and is called "monkey's drinking-cup." The nuts, about a dozen in
number, are of irregular shape and much richer than the preceding. But
they do not find their way to market, because they drop out of the
capsule as soon as ripe, and are devoured by peccaries and monkeys. The
most luscious fruit on the Amazon is the atta of Santarem. It has the
color, taste, and size of the chirimoya; but the rind, which incloses a
rich, custardly pulp, frosted with sugar, is scaled. Next in rank are
the melting pine-apples of Para, and the golden papayas, fully equal to
those on the western coast. This is the original home of the cacao. It
grows abundantly in the forests of the upper river, and particularly on
the banks of the Madeira. The wild nut is smaller but more oily than the
cultivated. The Amazon is destined to supply the world with the bulk of
chocolate. The aromatic tonka beans (Cumaru) used in flavoring snuff,
and the Brazilian nutmegs (Puxiri), inferior to the Ceylon, grow on
lofty trees on the Negro and Lower Amazon. The Guarana beans are the
seeds of a trailing plant; from these the Mauhes prepare the great
medicine, on the Amazon, for diarrhoea and intermittent fevers. Its
active principle, caffeine, is more abundant than in any other
substance, amounting to 5.07 per cent.; while black tea contains only
2.13. Coffee, rice, tobacco, and sugar-cane are grown to a limited
extent. Rio Negro coffee, if put into the market, would probably
eclipse that of Ceara, the best Brazilian. Wild rice grows abundantly on
the banks of the rivers and lakes. The cultivated grain is said to yield
forty fold. Most of the tobacco comes down from the Maranon and Madeira.
It is put up in slender rolls from three to six feet long, tapering at
each end, and wound with palm fibre. The sugar-cane is an exotic from
Southeastern Asia, but grows well. The first sugar made in the New World
was by the Dutch in the island of St. Thomas, 1610. Farina is the
principal farinaceous production of Brazil. The mandioca or cassava
(_Manihot utilissima_) from which it is made is supposed to be
indigenous, though it is not found wild. It does not grow at a higher
altitude than 2000 feet. Life and death are blended in the plant, yet
every part is useful. The cattle eat the leaves and stalks, while the
roots are ground into pulp, which, when pressed and baked, forms farina,
the bread of all classes. The juice is a deadly poison: thirty-five
drops were sufficient to kill, in six minutes, a negro convicted of
murder; but it deposits a fine sediment of pure starch that is the
well-known tapioca; and the juice, when fermented and boiled, forms a
drink. On the upper waters grow the celebrated coca, a shrub with small,
light-green leaves, having a bitter, aromatic taste. The powdered
leaves, mixed with lime, form _ypadu_. This is to Peruvians what opium
is to the Turk, betel to the Malay, and tobacco to the Yankee. Thirty
million pounds are annually consumed in South America. It is not,
however, an opiate, but a powerful stimulant. With it the Indian will
perform prodigies of labor, traveling days without fatigue or food. Von
Tschudi considers its moderate consumption wholesome, and instances the
fact that one coca-chewer attained the good old age of one hundred and
thirty years; but when used to excess it leads to idiocy. The signs of
intemperance are an uncertain step, sallow complexion, black-rimmed,
deeply-sunken eyes, trembling lips, incoherent speech, and stolid
apathy. Coca played an important part in the religious rights of the
Incas, and divine honors were paid to it. Even to-day the miners of Peru
throw a quid of coca against the hard veins of ore, affirming that it
renders them more easily worked; and the Indians sometimes put coca in
the mouth of the dead to insure them a welcome in the other world. The
alkaloid cocaine was discovered by Woehler.

Flowers are nearly confined to the edges of the dense forest, the banks
of the rivers and lagunes. There are a greater number of species under
the equator, but we have brighter colors in the temperate zone. "There
is grandeur and sublimity in the tropical forest (wrote Wallace, after
four years of observation), but little of beauty or brilliancy of
color." Perhaps the finest example of inflorescence in the world is seen
in the _Victoria Regia_, the magnificent water-lily discovered by
Schoemberg in 1837. It inhabits the tranquil waters of the shallow lakes
which border the Amazon. The leaves are from fifteen to eighteen feet in
circumference, and will bear up a child twelve years old; the upper part
is dark, glossy green, the under side violet or crimson. The flowers are
a foot in diameter, at first pure white, passing, in twenty-four hours,
through successive hues from rose to bright red. This queen of
water-plants was dedicated to the Queen whose empire is never at once
shrouded in night.

[Illustration: Coca-plant.]




CHAPTER XX.

     Life within the Great
     River.--Fishes.--Alligators.--Turtles.--Porpoises and Manatis.


The Amazon is a crowded aquarium, holding representatives of every
zoological class--infusoria, hydras, fresh-water shells (chiefly
Ampullaria, Melania, and Unios), aquatic beetles (belonging mostly to
new genera), fishes, reptiles, water birds, and cetaceans. The abundance
and variety of fishes are extraordinary; so also are the species. This
great river is a peculiar ichthyic province, and each part has its
characteristics. According to Agassiz, the whole river, as well as its
tributaries, is broken up into numerous distinct fauna.[170] The
_pirarucu_, or "redfish" (the _Sudis gigas_ of science), is at once the
largest, most common, and most useful fish. The Peruvian Indians call it
_payshi_. It is a powerful fish, often measuring eight feet in length
and five in girth, clad in an ornamental coat-of-mail, its large scales
being margined with bright red. It ranges from Peru to Para. It is
usually taken by the arrow or spear. Salted and dried, the meat will
keep for a year, and forms, with farina, the staple food on the Amazon.
The hard, rough tongue is used as a grater. Other fishes most frequently
seen are the prettily-spotted catfish, Pescada, Piranha, Acara, which
carries its young in its mouth, and a long, slender needle-fish. There
are ganoids in the river, but no sturgeons proper. Pickerel, perch, and
trout are also wanting. The sting-ray represents the shark family. As a
whole, the fishes of the Amazon have a marine character peculiarly their
own.

[Footnote 170: We await the Professor's examination of his "more than
80,000 specimens" before we give the number of new species.]

The reptilian inhabitants of this inland sea are introduced by numerous
batrachians, water-snakes (_Heliops_), and anacondas. But alligators
bear the palm for ugliness, size, and strength. In summer the main river
swarms with them; in the wet season they retreat to the interior lakes
and flooded forests. It was for this reason that we did not see an
alligator on the Napo. At low water they are found above the entrance of
the Curaray. About Obidos, where many of the pools dry up in the fine
months, the alligator buries itself in the mud, and sleeps till the
rainy season returns. "It is scarcely exaggerating to say (writes Bates)
that the waters of the Solimoens are as well stocked with large
alligators in the dry season as a ditch in England is in summer with
tadpoles." There are three or four species in the Amazon. The largest,
the Jacare-uassu of the natives, attains a length of twenty feet. The
Jacare-tinga is a smaller kind (only five feet long when full grown),
and has the long, slender muzzle of the extinct teleosaurus. The South
American alligators are smaller than the crocodiles of the Nile or
Ganges, and they are also inferior in rank. The head of the Jacare-uassu
(the ordinary species) is broad, while the gavial of India has a long,
narrow muzzle, and that of the Egyptian lizard is oblong. The dentition
differs: while in the Old World saurian the teeth interlock, so that the
two jaws are brought close together, the teeth in the upper jaw of the
Amazonian cayman pass by the lower series outside of them. The latter
has therefore much less power. It has a ventral cuirass as well as
dorsal, and it is web-footed, while the crocodile has the toes
free--another mark of inferiority. Sluggish on land, the alligator is
very agile in its element. It never attacks man when on his guard, but
it is cunning enough to know when it may do this with safety. It lays
its eggs (about twenty) some distance from the river bank, covering them
with leaves and sticks. They are larger than those of Guayaquil, or
about four inches long, of an elliptical shape, with a rough, calcareous
shell. Negro venders sell them cooked in the streets of Para.

Turtles are, perhaps, the most important product of the Amazon, not
excepting the pirarucu. The largest and most abundant species is the
Tortaruga grande. It measures, when full grown, nearly three feet in
length and two in breadth, and has an oval, smooth, dark-colored shell.
Every house has a little pond (called _currul_) in the back yard to hold
a stock of turtles through the wet season. It furnishes the best meat on
the Upper Amazon. We found it very tender, palatable, and wholesome; but
Bates, who was obliged to live on it for years, says it is very cloying.
Every part of the creature is turned to account. The entrails are made
into soup; sausages are made of the stomach; steaks are cut from the
breast; and the rest is roasted in the shell.[171] The turtle lays its
eggs (generally between midnight and dawn) on the central and highest
part of the plaias, or about a hundred feet from the shore. The Indians
say it will lay only where itself was hatched out. With its hind
flippers it digs a hole two or three feet deep, and deposits from eighty
to one hundred and sixty eggs (Gibbon says from one hundred and fifty to
two hundred). These are covered with sand, and the next comer makes
another deposit on the top, and so on until the pit is full. Egg-laying
comes earlier on the Amazon than on the Napo, taking place in August and
September. The tracaja, a smaller species, lays in July and August; its
eggs are smaller and oval, but richer than those of the great turtles.

[Footnote 171: The natives have this notion about the land-tortoise,
that by throwing it three times over the head, the liver (the best part)
will be enlarged.]

The mammoth tortoise of the Galapagos lays an egg very similar in size
and shape to that of the Tortaruga, but a month later, or in October.
The hunting of turtle eggs is a great business on the Amazon. They are
used chiefly in manufacturing oil (manteca) for illumination. Thrown
into a canoe, they are broken and beaten up by human feet; water is then
poured in, and the floating oil is skimmed off, purified over the fire
in copper kettles, and finally put up in three-gallon earthen jars for
the market. The turtles are caught for the table as they return to the
river after laying their eggs. To secure them, it suffices to turn them
over on their backs. The turtles certainly have a hard time of it. The
alligators and large fishes swallow the young ones by hundreds; jaguars
pounce upon the full-grown specimens as they crawl over the plaias, and
vultures and ibises attend the feast. But man is their most formidable
foe. The destruction of turtle life is incredible. It is calculated that
fifty millions of eggs are annually destroyed. Thousands of those that
escape capture in the egg period are collected as soon as hatched and
devoured, "the remains of yolk in their entrails being considered a
great delicacy." An unknown number of full-grown turtles are eaten by
the natives on the banks of the Maranon and Solimoens and their
tributaries, while every steamer, schooner, and little craft that
descends the Amazon is laden with turtles for the tables of Manaos,
Santarem, and Para. When we consider, also, that all the mature turtles
taken are females, we wonder that the race is not well-nigh extinct.
They are, in fact, rapidly decreasing in numbers. A large turtle which
twenty years ago could be bought for fifty cents, now commands three
dollars. One would suppose that the males, being unmolested, would far
outnumber the other sex, but Bates says "they are immensely less
numerous than the females." The male turtles, or _Capitaris_, "are
distinguishable by their much smaller size, more circular shape, and the
greater length and thickness of their tails." Near the Tapajos we met a
third species, called _Mata-mata_. It has a deeply-keeled carapax,
beautifully bossed, and a hideous triangular head, having curious,
lobed, fleshy appendages, and nostrils prolonged into a tube. It is
supposed to have great virtues as a remedy for rheumatism. But the most
noticeable feature of the Amazonian fauna, as Agassiz has remarked, is
the abundance of cetaceans through its whole extent. From the brackish
estuary of Para to the clear, cool waters at the base of the Andes,
these clumsy refugees from the ocean may be seen gamboling and blowing
as in their native element. Four different kinds of porpoises have been
seen. A black species lives in the Bay of Marajo. In the Middle Amazon
are two distinct porpoises, one flesh-colored;[172] and in the upper
tributaries is the _Inia Boliviensis_, resembling, but specifically
different from the sea-dolphin and the soosoo of the Ganges. "It was
several years (says the Naturalist on the Amazon) before I could induce
a fisherman to harpoon dolphins (_Boutos_) for me as specimens, for no
one ever kills these animals voluntarily; the superstitious people
believe that blindness would result from the use of the oil in lamps."
The herbivorous manati (already mentioned, Chap. XV.) is found
throughout the great river. It differs slightly from the Atlantic
species. It rarely measures over twelve feet in length. It is taken by
the harpoon or nets of chambiri twine. Both Herndon and Gibbon mention
seals as occurring in the Peruvian tributaries; but we saw none, neither
did Bates, Agassiz, or Edwards. They probably meant the manati.

[Footnote 172: _Dephinus pallidus_. Bates observed this species at Villa
Nova; we saw it at Coary, 500 miles west; and Herndon found it in the
Huallaga.]




CHAPTER XXI.

     Life around the Great River.--Insects.--Reptiles.--Birds.--Mammals.


The forest of the Amazon is less full of life than the river. Beasts,
birds, and reptiles are exceedingly scarce; still there is, in fact, a
great variety, but they are widely scattered and very shy. In the
animal, as in the vegetable kingdom, diversity is the law; there is a
great paucity of individuals compared with the species.[173] Insects are
rare in the dense forest; they are almost confined to the more open
country along the banks of the rivers. Ants are perhaps the most
numerous. There is one species over an inch long. But the most
prominent, by their immense numbers, are the dreaded sauebas. Well-beaten
paths branch off in every direction through the forest, on which broad
columns may be seen marching to and fro, each bearing vertically a
circular piece of leaf. Unfortunately they prefer cultivated trees,
especially the coffee and orange. They are also given to plundering
provisions; in a single night they will carry off bushels of farina.
They are of a light red color, with powerful jaws. In every formicarium
or ant colony there are three sets of individuals--males, females, and
workers; but the sauebas have the singularity of possessing three classes
of workers. The light-colored mounds often met in the forest, sometimes
measuring forty feet in diameter by two feet in height, are the domes
which overlie the entrances to the vast subterranean galleries of the
saueba ants. These ants are eaten by the Rio Negro Indians, and esteemed
a luxury; while the Tapajos tribes use them to season their mandioca
sauce. Akin to the vegetable-feeding sauebas are the carnivorous ecitons,
or foraging ants, of which Bates found ten distinct species. They hunt
for prey in large organized armies, almost every species having its own
special manner of marching and hunting. Fortunately the ecitons choose
the thickest part of the forest. The fire-ant is the great plague on the
Tapajos. It is small, and of a shiny reddish color; but its sting is
very painful, and it disputes every fragment of food with the
inhabitants. All eatables and hammocks have to be hung by cords smeared
with copaiba balsam.

[Footnote 173: Amazonia is divided into four distinct zoological
districts: those of Ecuador, Peru, Guiana, and Brazil; the limits being
the Amazon, Madeira, and Negro. The species found on one side of these
rivers are seldom found on the other.]

The traveler on the Amazon frequently meets with conical hillocks of
compact earth, from three to five feet high, from which radiate narrow
covered galleries or arcades. The architects of these wonderful
structures are the termites, or "white ants," so called, though they
belong to a higher order of insects, widely differing from the true
ants. The only thing in common is the principle of division of labor.
The termite neuters are subdivided into two classes, soldiers and
workers, both wingless and blind. Their great enemy is the ant-eater;
but it is a singular fact, noticed by Bates, that the soldiers only
attach themselves to the long worm-like tongue of this animal, so that
the workers, on whom the prosperity of the termitarum depends, are saved
by the self-sacrifice of the fighting caste. The office of the termites
in the tropics seems to be to hasten the decomposition of decaying
vegetation. But they also work their way into houses, trunks, wardrobes,
and libraries. "It is principally owing to their destructiveness" (wrote
Humboldt) "that it is so rare to find papers in tropical America older
than fifty or sixty years."

Dragon-flies are conspicuous specimens of insect life on the Amazon. The
largest and most brilliant kinds are found by the shady brooks and
creeks in the recesses of the forest, some of them with green or crimson
bodies seven inches long, and their elegant lace-like wings tipped with
white or yellow. Still more noticeable are the butterflies. There is a
vast number of genera and species, and great beauty of dress, unequaled
in the temperate zone. Some idea of the diversity is conveyed by the
fact mentioned by Mr. Bates that about 700 species are found within an
hour's walk of Para, and 550 at Ega; while the total number found in the
British Islands does not exceed 66, and the whole of Europe supports
only 300. After a shower in the dry season the butterflies appear in
fluttering clouds (for they live in societies), white, yellow, red,
green, purple, black, and blue, many of them bordered with metallic
lines and spots of a silvery or golden lustre. The sulphur-yellow and
orange-colored kinds predominate. A colossal morpho, seven and a half
inches in expanse, and visible a quarter of a mile off, frequents the
shady glades; splendid swallow-tailed papilios, green, rose, or
velvety-black, are seen only in the thickets; while the _Hetaira
esmeralda_, with transparent wings, having one spot of a violet hue, as
it flies over the dead leaves in the dense forest looks "like a
wandering petal of a flower." Very abundant is the _Heliconius_, which
plays such an important figure, by its variations, in Wallace's theory
of the origin of species. On the Maranon we found _Callidryas eubule_, a
yellow butterfly common in Florida. The most brilliant butterflies are
found on the Middle Amazon, out of reach of the strong trade winds. The
males far outnumber the other sex, are more richly colored, and
generally lead a sunshiny life.

The females are of dull hues, and spend their lives in the gloomy
shadows of the forest. Caterpillars and nocturnal moths are rare.

There are no true hive-bees (_Apides_) in South America,[174] but
instead there are about one hundred and fifty species of bees (mostly
social _Moliponas_), smaller than the European, stingless, and
constructing oblong cells. Their colonies are much larger than those of
the honey-bee. The _Trigona_ occurs on the Napo. Unlike the _Melipona_,
it is not confined to the New World. A large sooty-black Bombus
represents our humble-bee. Shrill cicadas, blood-thirsty mantucas,
piums, punkies, and musquitoes are always associated in the traveler's
memory with the glorious river. Of the last there are several kinds.
"The forest musquito belongs to a different species from that of the
town, being much larger and having transparent wings. It is a little
cloud that one carries about his person every step on a woodland ramble,
and their hum is so loud that it prevents one hearing well the notes of
birds. The town musquito has opaque, speckled wings, a less severe
sting, and a silent way of going to work. The inhabitants ought to be
thankful the big noisy fellows never come out of the forest" (Bates,
ii., 386). There are few musquitoes below Ega; above that point a
musquito net is indispensable. Beetles abound, particularly in shady
places, and are of all sizes, from that of a pin's head to several
inches in length. The most noticeable are the gigantic _Megalosoma_ and
_Enema_, armed with horns. Very few are carnivorous. "This is the more
remarkable," observes Darwin, "when compared to the case of carnivorous
quadrupeds, which are so abundant in hot countries." Very few are
terrestrial, even the carnivorous species being found clinging to
branches and leaves. In going from the pole to the equator we find that
insect life increases in the same proportion as vegetable life. There is
not a single beetle on Melville Island; eleven species are found in
Greenland; in England, 2500; in Brazil, 8000. Here lives the king of
spiders, the _Mygale Blondii_, a monstrous hairy fellow, five inches
long, of a brown color, with yellowish lines along its stout legs. Its
abode is a slanting subterranean gallery about two feet in length, the
sides of which are beautifully lined with silk. Other spiders barricade
the walks in the forest with invisible threads; some build nests in the
trees and attack birds; others again spin a closely-woven web,
resembling fine muslin, under the thatched roofs of the houses.

[Footnote 174: The honey-bee of Europe was introduced into South America
in 1845.]

Of land vertebrates, lizards are the first to attract the attention of
the traveler on the equator. Great in number and variety, they are met
every where--crawling up the walls of buildings, scampering over the
hot, dusty roads, gliding through the forest. They stand up on their
legs, carry their tails cocked up in the air, and run with the activity
of a warm-blooded animal. It is almost impossible to catch them. Some of
them are far from being the unpleasant-looking animals many people
imagine; but in their coats of many colors, green, gray, brown, and
yellow, they may be pronounced beautiful. Others, however, have a
repulsive aspect, and are a yard in length. The iguana, peculiar to the
New World tropics, is covered with minute green scales handed with brown
(though it changes its color like the chameleon), and has a serrated
back and gular pouch. It grows to the length of five feet, and is
arboreal. Its white flesh, and its oblong, oily eggs, arc considered
great delicacies. We heard of a lady who kept one as a pet. Frogs and
toads, the chief musicians in the Amazonian forest, are of all sizes,
from an inch to a foot in diameter. The _Bufo gigas_ is of a dull gray
color, and is covered with warts. Tree-frogs (_Hyla_) are very
abundant; they do not occur on the Andes or on the Pacific coast. Their
quack-quack, drum-drum, hoo-hoo, is one of our pleasant memories of
South America. Of snakes there is no lack; and yet they are not so
numerous as imagination would make them. There are one hundred and fifty
species in South America, or one half as many, on the same area, as in
the East Indies. The diabolical family is led by the boa, while the rear
is brought up by the Amphisbaenas, or "double-headed snakes," which
progress equally well with either end forward, so that it is difficult
to make head or tail of them. The majority are harmless. The deadly
coral is found on both sides of the Andes, and wherever there is a cacao
plantation. One of the most beautiful specimens of the venomous kind is
a new species (_Elaps imperator_, Cope), which we discovered on the
Maranon. It has a slender body more than two feet in length, with black
and red bands margined with yellow, and a black and yellow head, with
permanently erect fangs.

[Illustration: Iguana.]

We have already mentioned the most common birds. Probably, says Wallace,
no country in the world contains a greater variety of birds than the
Amazonian Valley. But the number does not equal the expectations of the
traveler; he may ramble a whole day without meeting one. The rarity,
however, is more apparent than real; we forget, for the moment, the
vastness of their dwelling-place. The birds of the country, moreover,
are gregarious, so that a locality may be deserted and silent at one
time and swarming with them at another. Parrots and toucans are the most
characteristic groups. To the former belong true parrots, parroquets,
and macaws. The first are rarely seen walking, but are rapid flyers and
expert climbers. On the trees they are social as monkeys, but in flight
they always go in pairs. The parroquets go in flocks. The Hyacinthine
macaw (the Araruna of the natives) is one of the finest and rarest
species of the parrot family. It is found only on the south side of the
Amazon. The macaw was considered sacred by the Maya Indians of Yucatan,
and dedicated to the sun. The Quichuans call it guacamayo, guaca meaning
sacred. Of toucans there are many species; the largest is the toco, with
a beak shaped like a banana; the most beautiful are the curb-crested, or
Beauharnais toucans, and the _P. flavirostris_, whose breast is adorned
with broad belts of red, crimson, and black. "Wherefore such a beak?"
every naturalist has asked; but the toucan still wags his head, as much
as to say, "you can not tell." There must be some other reason than
adaptation. Birds of the same habits are found beside it--the ibis,
pigeon, spoonbill, and toucan are seen feeding together. "How
astonishing are the freaks and fancies of Nature! (wrote the funny
Sidney Smith). To what purpose, we say, is a bird placed in the woods of
Cayenne with a bill a yard long, making a noise like a puppy-dog, and
laying eggs in hollow trees? The toucan, to be sure, might retort, to
what purpose are certain foolish, prating members of Parliament created,
pestering the House of Commons with their ignorance and folly, and
impeding the business of the country? There is no end to such questions;
so we will not enter into the metaphysics of the toucan."

[Illustration: Toucans.]

On the flooded islands of the Negro and Upper Amazon is found the rare
and curious umbrella bird, black as a crow, and decorated with a crest
of hairy plumes and a long lobe suspended from the neck, covered with
glossy blue feathers. This latter appendage is connected with the vocal
organs, and assists the bird in producing its deep, loud, and lengthy
fluty note. There are three species. Another rare bird is the Uruponga,
or Campanero, in English the tolling-bell bird, found only on the
borders of Guiana. It is of the size of our jay, of a pure white color,
with a black tubercle on the upper side of the bill. "Orpheus himself
(says Waterton) would drop his lute to listen to him, so sweet, so
novel, and romantic is the toll of the pretty, snow-white Campanero."
"The Campanero may be heard three miles! (echoes Sidney Smith). This
single little bird being more powerful than the belfry of a cathedral
ringing for a new dean! It is impossible to contradict a gentleman who
has been in the forests of Cayenne, but we are determined, as soon as a
Campanero is brought to England, to make him toll in a public place, and
have the distance measured."[175] But the most remarkable songster of
the Amazonian forest is the Realejo, or organ-bird. Its notes are as
musical as the flageolet. It is the only songster, says Bates, which
makes any impression on the natives. Besides those are the Jacamars,
peculiar to equatorial America, stupid, but of the most beautiful
golden, bronze, and steel colors; sulky Trogons, with glossy green backs
and rose-colored breasts; long-toed Jacanas, half wader, half fowl; the
rich, velvety purple and black _Rhamphocoelus Jacapa_, having an immense
range from Archidona to Para; the gallinaceous yet arboreal Ciganas;
scarlet ibises, smaller, but more beautiful than their sacred cousins of
the Nile; stilted flamingoes, whose awkwardness is atoned for by their
brilliant red plumage; glossy black Mutums, or curassow turkeys; ghostly
storks, white egrets, ash-colored herons, black ducks, barbets,
kingfishers, sandpipers, gulls, plovers, woodpeckers, oreoles; tanagers,
essentially a South American family, and, excepting three or four
species, found only east of the Andes; wagtails, finches, thrushes,
doves, and hummers. The last, "by western Indians _living sunbeams_
named," are few, and not to be compared with the swarms in the Andean
valleys. The birds of the Amazon have no uniform time for breeding. The
majority, however, build their nests between September and New Year's,
and rarely lay more than two eggs.

[Footnote 175: Review of Waterton's _Wanderings in South America_.]

[Illustration: Brazilian Hummers.]

[Illustration: Capybara]

Amazonia, like Australia, is poor in terrestrial mammals, and the
species are of small size. Nearly the only game a hunter can depend upon
for food, besides toucans and macaws, is peccari. One species of tapir,
to represent the elephants and rhinoceroses of the Old World; three
small species of deer, taking the places of deer, antelopes, buffaloes,
sheep, and goats of the other continent; three species of large Felidae;
one peccari, and a wild dog, with opossums, ant-eaters, armadilloes,
sloths, squirrels (the only rodents which approach ours),[176]
capybaras, pacas, agoutis, and monkeys, comprise all the quadrupeds of
equatorial America. The last two are the most numerous. Marsupial rats
take the place of the insectivorous mammals. Of ant-eaters, there are at
least four distinct species; but they are scattered sparingly, and are
seldom found on the low flooded lands. Four or five species of
armadillo inhabit the valley. These little nocturnal burrowing edentates
are the puny representatives of the gigantic Glyptodon of Pleistocene
times, and the sloths are the dwindling shadows of the lordly
Megatherium. There are two species of three-toed sloths--one inhabiting
the swampy lowlands, the other confined to the terra-firma land. They
lead a lonely life, never in groups, harmless and frugal as a hermit.
They have four stomachs, but not the long intestines of ruminating
animals. They feed chiefly on the leaves of the trumpet-tree
(_Cecropia_), resembling our horse-chestnut. The natives, both Indian
and Brazilian, hold the common opinion that the sloth is the type of
laziness. The capybara or ronsoco, the largest of living rodents, is
quite common on the river side. It is gregarious and amphibious, and
resembles a mammoth guinea-pig. Pacas and agoutis are most abundant in
the lowlands, and are nocturnal. These semi-hoofed rodents, like the
Toxodon of old, approach the Pachyderms. The tapir, or gran-bestia, as
it is called, is a characteristic quadruped of South America. It is a
clumsy-looking animal, with a tough hide of an iron-gray color, covered
with a coat of short coarse hair. Its flesh is dry, but very palatable.
It has a less powerful proboscis than the Malay species. M. Roulin
distinguishes another species from the mountains, which more nearly
resembles the Asiatic. The tapir, like the condor, for an unknown
reason, is not found north of 8 deg. N., though it wanders as far south as
40 deg.. We met but one species of peccari, the white-lipped (_D.
labiatus_). It is much larger than the "Mexican hog," and, too
thick-headed to understand danger, is a formidable antagonist. The
raposa is seen only on the Middle Amazon, and very rarely there. It has
a long tapering muzzle, small ears, bushy tail, and grayish hair. It
takes to the water, for the one we saw at Tabatinga was caught while
crossing the Amazon. Fawn-colored pumas, spotted jaguars, black tigers,
tiger-cats--all members of the graceful feline family--inhabit all parts
of the valley, but are seldom seen. The puma, or panther, is more common
on the Pacific side of the Andes. The jaguar[177] is the fiercest and
most powerful animal in South America. It is marked like the
leopard--roses of black spots on a yellowish ground; but they are
angular instead of rounded, and have a central dot. There are also
several black streaks across the breast, which easily distinguish it
from its transatlantic representative. It is also longer than the
leopard; indeed, Humboldt says he saw a jaguar "whose length surpassed
that of any of the tigers of India which he had seen in the collections
of Europe." The jaguar frequents the borders of the rivers and lagunes,
and its common prey is the capybara. It fears the peccari. The night air
is alive with bats of many species, the most prominent one being the
_Dysopes perotis_, which measures two feet from tip to tip of the wings.
If these Cheiropters are as impish as they look, and as blood-thirsty as
some travelers report, it is singular that Bates and Waterton, though
residing for years in the country, and ourselves, though sleeping for
months unprotected, were unmolested.

[Footnote 176: Large rats abound on the Marnanon, but they are not
American.]

[Footnote 177: The Tupi word for dog is _yaguara_, and for wolf,
_yagua-men_, or old dog.]

[Illustration: Jaguar.]

About forty species of monkeys, or one half of the New World forms,
inhabit the Valley of the Amazon. Wallace, in a residence of four years,
saw twenty-one species--seven with prehensile and fourteen with
non-prehensile tails. They all differ from the apes of the other
hemisphere. While those of Africa and Asia (Europe has only one) have
opposable thumbs on the fore feet as well as hind, uniformly ten molar
teeth in each jaw, as in man, and generally cheek-pouches and naked
collosities, the American monkeys arc destitute of the two latter
characteristics. None of them are terrestrial, like the baboon; all
(save the marmosets) have twenty-four molars; the thumbs of the
fore-hands are not habitually opposed to the fingers (one genus, Ateles,
"the imperfect," is thumbless altogether); the nostrils open on the
sides of the nose instead of beneath it, as in the gorilla, and the
majority have long prehensile tails. They are inferior in rank to the
anthropoids of the Old World, though superior to the lemurs of
Madagascar. They are usually grouped in two families--Marmosets and
Cebidre. The former are restless, timid, squirrel-like lilliputs (one
species is only seven inches long), with tails not prehensile--in the
case of the scarlet-faced, nearly wanting. The Barigudos, or gluttons
(_Lagothrix_), are the largest of American monkeys, but are not so tall
as the Coaitas. They are found west of Manaos. They have more human
features than the other monkeys, and, with their woolly gray fur,
resemble an old negro. There are three kinds of howlers (_Mycetes_)--the
red or mono-colorado of Humboldt, the black, and the _M. beelzebub_,
found only near Para. The forest is full of these surly, untamable
guaribas, as the natives call them. They are gifted with a voice of
tremendous power and volume, with which they make night and day hideous.
They represent the baboons of the Old World in disposition and facial
angle (30 deg.), and the gibbons in their yells and gregarious habits.[178]
The Sapajous (_Cebus_) are distributed throughout Brazil, and have the
reputation of being the most mischievous monkeys in the country. On the
west coast of South America there are at least three or four species of
monkeys, among them a black howler and a _Cebus capucinus_. The Coitas,
or spider-monkeys, are the highest of American quadrumana. They are
slender-legged, sluggish, and thumbless, with a most perfectly
prehensile tail, terminating in a naked palm, which answers for a fifth
hand. The Indians say they walk under the limbs like the sloth. They are
the most common pets in Brazil, but they refuse to breed in captivity.
Both Coitas and Barigudos are much persecuted for their flesh, which is
highly esteemed by the Indians.

[Footnote 178: Ruetimeyer has found a fossil howler in the Swiss
Jura--middle cocene.]

Mr. Bates has called our attention to the arboreal character of a large
share of the animals in the Amazonian forest. All the monkeys and bats
are climbers, and live in the trees. Nearly all the carnivores are
feline, and are therefore tree-mounters, though they lead a terrestrial
life. The plantigrade Cercoleptes has a long tail, and is entirely
arboreal. Of the edentates, the sloth can do nothing on the ground. The
gallinaceous birds, as the cigana and curassow--the pheasant and turkey
of the Amazon--perch on the trees, while the great number of arboreal
frogs and beetles is an additional proof of the adaptation of the fauna
to a forest region. Even the epiphytous plants sitting on the branches
suggest this arboreal feature in animal life.




CHAPTER XXII.

     Life around the Great River.--Origin of the Red Man.--General
     Characteristics of the Amazonian Indians.--Their Languages,
     Costumes, and Habitations.--Principal Tribes.--Mixed
     Breeds.--Brazilians and Brazil.


We come now to the genus Homo. Man makes a very insignificant figure in
the vast solitudes of the Amazon. Between Manaos and Para, the most
densely-peopled part of the valley, there is only one man to every four
square miles; and the native race takes a low place in the scale of
humanity. As the western continent is geologically more primitive than
the eastern, and as the brute creation is also inferior in rank, so the
American man, in point of progress, seems to stand in the rear of the
Old World races. Both the geology and zoology of the continent were
arrested in their development. Vegetable life alone has been favored.
"The aboriginal American (wrote Von Martius) is at once in the
incapacity of infancy and unpliancy of old age; he unites the opposite
poles of intellectual life."[179]

[Footnote 179: "I think I discover in the Americans (said Humboldt) the
descendants of a rare which, early separated from the rest of mankind,
has followed up for a series of years a peculiar road in the unfolding
of its intellectual faculties and its tendency toward civilization." The
South American Indian seems to have a natural aptitude for the arts of
civilized life not found in the red men of our continent.]

We will not touch the debatable ground of the red man's origin, nor
inquire whether he is the last remains of a people once high in
civilization. But we are tempted to express the full belief that
tropical America is not his "centre of creation." He is not the true
child of the tropics; and he lives as a stranger, far less fitted for
its climate than the Negro or Caucasian. Yet a little while, and the
race will be as extinct as the Dodo. He has not the supple organization
of the European, enabling him to accommodate himself to diverse
conditions. Among the Andean tribes there are seldom over five children,
generally but one, in a family; and Bates, speaking of Brazilian
Indians, says "their fecundity is of a low degree, and it is very rare
to find a family having so many as four children."[180]

[Footnote 180: We do not infer, however, from this fact alone, that the
race is exotic, for the Negroes of Central Africa multiply very slowly.]

While it is probable that Mexico was peopled from the north, it is very
certain that the Tupi and Guarani, the long-headed hordes that occupied
eastern South America, came up from the south, moving from the Paraguay
to the banks of the Orinoco. From the Tupi nation (perhaps a branch of
the Guarani) sprung the multitudinous tribes now dwelling in the vast
valley of the Amazon. In such a country--unbroken by a mountain, uniform
in climate--we need not look for great diversity. The general characters
are these: skin of a brown color, with yellowish tinge, often nearly the
tint of mahogany; thick, straight, black hair; black, horizontal eyes;
low forehead, somewhat compensated by its breadth; beardless; of the
middle height, but thick-set; broad, muscular chest; small hands and
feet; incurious; unambitious; impassive; undemonstrative; with a dull
imagination and little superstition; with no definite idea of a Supreme
Being, few tribes having a name for God, though one for the "Demon;"
with no belief in a future state; and, excepting civility, with virtues
all negative. The semi-civilized along the Lower Amazon, called
_Tupuyos_, seem to have lost (in the language of Wallace) the good
qualities of savage life, and gained only the vices of civilization.

There are several hundred different tribes in Amazonia, each having a
different language; even the scattered members of the same tribe can not
understand each other.[181] This segregation of dialects is due in great
part to the inflexibility of Indian character, and his isolated and
narrow round of thought and life. When and where the Babel existed,
whence the many branches of the great Tupi family separated, we know
not. We only know that though different in words, these languages have
the same grammatical construction. In more than one respect the polyglot
American is antipodal to the Chinese. The language of the former is
richest in words, that of the latter the poorest. The preposition
follows the noun, and the verb ends the sentence. Ancient Tupi is the
basis of the Lingoa Geral, the inter-tribal tongue on the Middle Amazon.
The semi-civilized Ticunas, Mundurucus, etc., have one costume--the men
in trowsers and white cotton shirts, the women in calico petticoats,
with short, loose chemises, and their hair held in a knot on the top of
the head by a comb, usually of foreign make, but sometimes made of
bamboo splinters. The wild tribes north and south go nearly or quite
nude, while those on the western tributaries wear cotton or bark togas
or ponchos. The habitations are generally a frame-work of poles,
thatched with palm-leaves; the walls sometimes latticed and plastered
with mud, and the furniture chiefly hammocks and earthen vessels.

[Illustration: Native Comb.]

[Footnote 181: Authors compute in South America from 280 to 700
languages (Abbe Royo said 2000), of which four fifths are composed of
idioms radically distinct.]

The Mundurucus are the most numerous and warlike tribe in Amazonia. They
inhabit both banks of the Tapajos, and can muster, it is said, 2000
fighting men. They are friendly to the whites, and industrious, selling
to traders large quantities of farina, sarsaparilla, rubber, and tonka
beans. Their houses are conical or quadrangular huts, sometimes open
sheds, and generally contain many families. According to Wallace, the
Mundurucus are the only perfectly tattooed nation in South America. It
takes at least ten years to complete the tattooing of the whole person.
The skin is pricked with spines, and then the soot from burning pitch
rubbed in. Their neighbors, the Pararauates, are intractable, wandering
savages, roaming through the forest and sleeping in hammocks slung to
the trees. They have delicately-formed hands and feet, an oval face, and
glistening black eyes. On the west side of the Tapajos, near Villa Nova,
are the Mauhes, an agricultural tribe, well formed, and of a mild
disposition. On the Lower Madeira are the houseless, formidable Araras,
who paint their chins red with achote (anatto), and usually have a black
tattooed streak on each side of the face. They have long made the
navigation of the great tributary hazardous. Above them dwell the
Parentintins, light colored and finely featured, but nude and savage. In
the labyrinth of lakes and channels at the mouth of the Madeira live the
lazy, brutal Muras, the most degraded tribe on the Amazon. They have a
darker skin than their neighbors, an extraordinary breadth of chest,
muscular arms, short legs, protuberant abdomens, a thin beard, and a
bold, restless expression. They pierce the lips, and wear peccari tusks
in them in time of war. The Indians on the Purus live generally on the
communal principle, and are unwarlike and indolent. The Puru-purus bury
in sandy beaches, go naked, and have one wife.

On the great northwest tributary of the Rio Negro, the Uacaiari, there
are numerous tribes, collectively known as the Uaupes. They have
permanent abodes, in shape a parallelogram, with a semicircle at one
end, and of a size to contain several families, sometimes a whole tribe.
One of them, Wallace informs us, was 115 feet long by 75 broad, and
about 30 high. The walls are bullet-proof. Partitions of palm-leaves
divide it into apartments for families, the chief occupying the
semicircular end. The men alone wear clothes and ornaments, but both
sexes paint their bodies with red, black, and yellow colors in regular
patterns. The men have a little beard, which they pull out, as also the
eyebrows, and allow the hair to grow unshorn, tying it behind with a
cord and wearing a comb; while the women cut theirs and wear no comb.
They are an agricultural people--peaceable, ingenious, apathetic,
diffident, and bashful.

The Catauishes inhabit the banks of the Teffe. They perforate the lips,
and wear rows of sticks in the holes. At the mouth of the Jurua are the
uncivilized, but tall, noble-looking Marauas. They pierce the ears and
lips, and insert sticks. They live in separate families, and have no
common chief. Above them live the treacherous Arauas.[182] On the
opposite side of the Amazon are the nearly extinct Passes and Juris, the
finest tribes in central South America. They are peaceable and
industrious, and have always been friendly to the whites. The Passes are
a slenderly-built, light-colored, dignified, superior race,
distinguished by a large square tattooed patch in the middle of the
face. The Juris tattoo in a circle round the mouth. Near by are the
Uaenambeus, or "Humming-birds," distinguished by a small blue mark on
the upper lip. Higher up the Japura is the large cannibal tribe of
Miranhas, living in isolated families; and on the Tocantins dwell the
low Caishanas, who kill their first-born children. Along the left bank
of the Amazon, from Loreto to Japura, are the scattered houses and
villages of the Tucunas. This is an extensive tribe, leading a settled
agricultural life, each horde having a chief and a "medicine-man," or
priest of their superstitions. They are good-natured and ingenious,
excelling most of the other tribes in the manufacture of pottery; but
they are idle and debauched, naked except in the villages, and tattooed
in numbers of short, straight lines on the face. The Marubos, on the
Javari, have a dark complexion and a slight beard; and on the west side
of the same river roam the Majeronas--fierce, hostile, light colored,
bearded cannibals. In the vicinity of Pebas dwell the inoffensive
Yaguas. The shape of the head (but not their vacant expression) is well
represented by Catlin's portrait of "Black Hawk," a Sauk chief. They are
quite free from the encumbrance of dress, the men wearing a girdle of
fibrous bark around the loins, with bunches looking like a mop hanging
down in front and rear, and similar bunches hung around the neck and
arms. The women tie a strip of brown cotton cloth about the hips. They
paint the whole body with achote.[183] They sometimes live in
communities. One large structure, with Gothic roof, is used in common;
on the inside of which, around the walls, are built family
sleeping-rooms. The Yaguas are given to drinking and dancing. They are
said to bury their dead inside the house of the deceased, and then set
fire to it; but this conflicts with their communal life. Perhaps, with
the other tribes on the Japura, Ica, and Napo, they are fragments of
the great Omagua nation; but the languages have no resemblance. Of the
Oriente Indians we have already spoken. The tall, finely-built Cucamas
near Nauta are shrewd, hard-working canoe-men, notorious for the
singular desire of acquiring property; and the Yameos, a white tribe,
wander across the Maranon as far as Sarayacu. On the Ucayali are
numerous vagabond tribes, living for the most part in their canoes and
temporary huts. They are all lazy and faithless, using their wives
(polygamy is common) as slaves. Infanticide is practiced, _i.e._,
deformed children they put out of the way, saying they belong to the
devil. They worship nothing. They bury their dead in a canoe or earthen
jar under the house (which is vacated forever), and throw away his
property.[184] The common costume is a long gown, called _cushma_, of
closely-twilled cotton, woven by the women. Their weapons are two-edged
battle-axes of hard wood, as palo de sangre, and bows and arrows. The
arrows, five or six feet long, are made from the flower-stalk of the
arrow-grass (_Gynerium_), the head pointed with the flinty chonta and
tipped with bone, often anointed with poison. At the base two rows of
feathers are spirally arranged, showing the Indian's knowledge of the
rifle principle. When they have fixed abodes several families live
together under one roof, with no division separating the women, as among
the Red Indians on the Pastassa. The roof is not over ten feet from the
ground. The Piros are the highest tribe; they have but one wife. The
Conibos are an agricultural people, yet cannibals, stretching from the
Upper Ucayali to the sources of the Purus. They are a fair-looking,
athletic people, and, like the Shipibos, of ten wear a piece of money
under the lip. The Campas are the most numerous and warlike.[185] They
are little known, as travelers give them a wide berth. Herndon fancied
they were the descendants of the Inca race. They are said to be
cannibals, and from the specimen we saw we should judge them uncommonly
sharp. He was averse to telling us any thing about his tribe, but turned
our questions with an equivocal repartee and a laugh. The Cashibos, on
the Pachitea, is another cannibal tribe. They are light colored and
bearded. The dwarfish, filthy Rimos alone of the Ucayali Indians tattoo,
though not so perfectly as the Mundurucus, using black and blue colors.
The other tribes simply paint. It was among these wild Indians on the
Ucayali that the Franciscan friars labored so long and zealously, and
with a success far greater and more lasting than that which attended any
other missionary enterprise in the valley.

[Footnote 182: Near the sources of this river Castlenau locates the
Canamas and Uginas; the former dwarfs, the latter having tails a palm
and a half long--a hybrid from an Indian and Barigudo monkey.]

[Footnote 183: Query: Is the name Yagua (blood) derived from the
practice of coloring the body red?]

[Footnote 184: Compare the ancient burial custom on the Andes: "On the
decease of the Inca his palaces are abandoned: all his treasures, except
those that were employed in his obsequies, his furniture and apparel,
were suffered to remain as he left them, and his mansions, save one,
were closed up forever."--_Prescott_.]

[Footnote 185: The women circumcise themselves, and a man will not marry
a woman who is not circumcised. They perform the singular rite upon
arriving at the age of puberty, and have a great feast at the time.
Other tribes flog and imprison their daughters when they reach
womanhood.]

The remaining inhabitants of the Amazon are mixed-breeds, Negroes, and
whites. The amalgamations form the greater part of the population of the
large towns. Von Tschudi gives a catalogue of twenty-three hybrids in
Peru, and there are undoubtedly as many, or more, in Brazil. The most
common are Mamelucos (offspring of white with Indian), Mulattoes (from
white and Negro), Cafuzos or Zambos (from Indian and Negro), Curibocos
(from Cafuzo and Indian); and Xibaros (from Cafuzo and Negro). "To
define their characteristics correctly," says Von Tschudi, "would be
impossible, for their minds partake of the mixture of their blood. As a
general rule, it may be said that they unite in themselves all the
faults without any of the virtues of their progenitors. As men they are
generally inferior to the pure races, and as members of society they are
the worst class of citizens." Yet they display considerable talent and
enterprise, as in Quito; a proof that mental degeneracy does not
necessarily result from the mixture of white with Indian blood. "There
is, however," confesses Bates, after ten years' experience, "a
considerable number of superlatively lazy, tricky, and sensual
characters among the half-castes, both in rural places and in the
towns." Our observations do not support the opinion that the result of
amalgamation is "a vague compound, lacking character and expression."
The moral part is perhaps deteriorated; but in tact and enterprise they
often excel their progenitors.

Negroes are to be seen only on the Lower Amazon. By the new act of
emancipation, such as are slaves continue so, but their children are
free. Negroes born in the country are called creoles.

Of the white population, save a handful of English, French, and German,
the Portuguese immigrants are the most enterprising men on the river.
They are willing to work, trade, or do any thing to turn a penny. Those
who acquire a fortune generally retire to Lisbon. The Brazilians proper
are the descendants of the men who declared themselves "free and
independent" of the mother country. Few of them are of pure Caucasian
descent, for the immigration from Portugal for many years has been
almost exclusively of the male sex. "It is generally considered bad
taste in Brazil to boast purity of descent" (Bates, i, 241). Brazilians
are stiff and formal, yet courteous and lively, communicative and
hospitable, well-bred and intelligent. They are not ambitious, but
content to live and enjoy what nature spontaneously offers. The most a
Brazilian wants is farina and coffee, a hammock and cigar. Brazilian
ladies have led a dreary life of constraint and silence, without
education or society, the husband making a nun of his wife after the old
bigoted Portuguese notion; but during the last twenty years the doors
have been opened. Brazil attained her independence in 1823; Brazilian
women in 1848.

Here, in this virgin valley, where every plant is an evergreen,
possessing the most agreeable and enjoyable climate in the world, with a
brilliant atmosphere, rivaled only by that of Quito, and with no changes
of seasons--here we may locate the paradise of the lazy. Life may be
maintained with as little labor as in the Garden of Eden. Perhaps no
country in the world is capable of yielding so large a return for
agriculture. Nature, evidently designing this land as the home of a
great nation, has heaped up her bounties of every description--fruits of
richest flavors, woods of finest grain, dyes of gayest colors, and drugs
of rarest virtues; and left no sirocco or earthquake to disturb its
people. Providence, moreover, has given the present emperor a wise and
understanding heart; and the government is a happy blending of imperial
dignity and republican freedom. White, Negro, half-caste, and Indian may
be seen sitting side by side on the jury-bench. Certainly "the nation
can not be a despicable one whose best men are able to work themselves
up to positions of trust and influence."

God bless the Empire of the South!




CHAPTER XXIII.

     How to Travel in South
     America.--Routes.--Expenses.--Outfit.--Precautions.--Dangers.


The most vague and incorrect notions prevail in respect to traveling in
South America. The sources of trustworthy and desirable information are
very meagre. Murray has not yet published a "Hand-book for the Andes;"
routes, methods, and expenses of travel are almost unknown; and the
imagination depicts vampires and scorpions, tigers and anacondas, wild
Indians and fevers without end, impassable rivers and inaccessible
mountains as the portion of the tourist. The following statements, which
can be depended upon, may therefore be acceptable to those who
contemplate a trip on the Andes and the Amazon.

The shortest, cheapest, most feasible, and least interesting route
across the continent is from Valparaiso to Buenos Ayres. The breadth of
South America is here only eight hundred miles. By railroad from
Valparaiso to the foot of the Andes; thence a short mule-ride by the
Uspallata Pass (altitude 12,000 feet), under the shadow of Aconcagua to
Mendoza; thence by coach across the pampas to the Rio Plata. The
Portillo Pass (traversed by Darwin) is nearer, but more lofty and
dangerous.

Bolivia offers the difficult path of Gibbon: From the coast to
Cochabamba; thence down the Marmore and Madeira. There are three routes
through Peru: First, from Lima to Mayro, by way of Cerro Pasco and
Huanaco, by mule, ten days; thence down the Pachitea, by canoe, six
days; thence down the Ucayali to Iquitos, by steamer, six days
(forty-five hours' running time). When the road from Lima to Mayro is
finished the passage will be shortened four days. No snow is met in
crossing the Andes in summer, but in winter it is very deep. Second
(Herndon's route), from Lima to Tinga Maria, by way of Huanaco, by mule,
fifteen days, distance three hundred miles (the passage is difficult in
the rainy season); thence by canoe fifteen days down the Huallaga to
Yurimaguas. Third and best, by mule from Truxillo to Caximarca, five
days (note the magnificent ruins); thence to Chachapoyas, seven days
(here are pre-Incarial relics); thence to Moyabamba, eight days; thence
on foot to Balsa Puerto, four days; thence by canoe to Yurimaguas, two
days. Price of a mule from Truxillo to Moyabamba is $30; canoe-hire,
$10. The Peruvian steamers arrive at Yurimaguas the fifth of every month
and leave the seventh; reach Nauta the ninth and Iquitos the tenth;
leave Iquitos the sixteenth and arrive at Tabatinga the nineteenth, to
connect with the Brazilian line. Going up, they leave Tabatinga the
twenty-first and arrive at Iquitos the twenty-fourth, stopping six days.
Running time from Yurimaguas to Tabatinga, forty-eight hours; fare, $70,
gold; third-class, $17. La Condamine's route, _via_ Loxa and the
Maranon, is difficult; and Md. Godin's, _via_ the Pastassa, is perilous
on account of rapids and savages. The transit by the Napo we will now
give in detail.

Six hundred dollars in gold will be amply sufficient for a first-class
passage from New York to New York across the continent of South America,
making no allowance for stoppages. For necessary expenses in Ecuador,
take a draft on London, which will sell to advantage in Guayaquil; so
will Mexican dollars. American gold should be taken for expenses on the
Amazon in Brazil; at Para it commands a premium. On the Maranon it is
below par; Peruvian gold should therefore be bought at Guayaquil for
that part of the route. Also French _medios_, or quarter francs; they
will be very useful every where on the route, especially on the Upper
Amazon, where change is scarce. Fifty dollars' worth will not be too
many; for, as the Scotchman said of sixpences, "they are canny little
dogs, and often do the work of shillings." Take a passport for Brazil.
Leave behind your delicacies and superfluities of clothing; woolen
clothes will be serviceable throughout. A trunk for mountain travel
should not exceed 24 by 15 by 15 inches--smaller the better. Take a
rubber air-pillow and mattress: there is no bed between Guayaquil and
Para. A hammock for the Amazon can be bought on the Napo.

The Pacific Mail steamships, which leave New York on the first and
sixteenth of each month, connect at Panama without delay with the
British Steam Navigation line on the South Pacific. Fare, first-class,
from New York to Guayaquil, by way of Panama and Paita, $215, gold;
second-class, $128. Time to Panama, eight days; to Paita, four days; to
Guayaquil, one day. A coasting steamer leaves Panama for Guayaquil the
thirteenth of each month. There are two so-called hotels in Guayaquil.
"Los tres Mosqueteros," kept by Sr. Gonzales, is the best. Take a front
room ($1 per day), and board at the Fonda Italiana or La Santa Rosa ($1
per day). Here complete your outfit for the mountains: saddle, with
strong girth and crupper; saddle-bags, saddle-cover, sweat-cloth, and
bridle ($40, paper), woolen poncho ($9), rubber poncho ($4), blanket
($6), leggins, native spurs and stirrups, knife, fork, spoon, tea-pot,
chocolate (tea, pure and cheap, should be purchased at Panama), candles,
matches, soap, towels, and tarpaulin for wrapping up baggage. Convert
your draft into paper, _quantum sufficit_ for Guayaquil; the rest into
silver.

Besides this outer outfit, an inner one is needed--of patience without
stint. You will soon learn that it is one thing to plan and quite
another to execute. "To get out of the inn is one half of the journey"
is very appropriately a Spanish proverb. Spaniards do nothing
_d'appressado_ (in a hurry), but every thing _manana_ (to-morrow). You
will find fondas, horses, and roads divided into the bad, the worse, and
the worst, and bad is the best. But fret not thyself. "Serenity of
mind," wrote Humboldt, "almost the first requisite for an undertaking in
inhospitable regions, passionate love for some class of scientific
labor, and a pure feeling for the enjoyment which nature in her freedom
is ready to impart, are elements which, when they meet together in an
individual, insure the attainment of valuable results from a great and
important journey."

The journey to Quito must be made between May and November; in the rainy
season the roads are impassable. From Guayaquil to Bodegas by Yankee
steamer; fare, $2; time, eight hours. At Bodegas hire beasts at the
_Consignacion_ for Guaranda; price for riding and cargo beasts, $4 each.
No extras for the _arriero_. A mule will carry two hundred and fifty
pounds. Buy bread at Bodegas and Guaranda. The Indians on the road are
very loth to sell any thing; buy a fowl, therefore, at the first
opportunity, or you will have to live on dirty potato soup, and be glad
of that. At the tambos, or wayside inns, you pay only for _yerba_
(fodder). Never unsaddle your beast till it is cool; an Indian will even
leave the bridle on for a time. To Guaranda, three full days. There take
mules (safer than horses in climbing the mountains) for Quito; $6 25,
silver, per beast; time, five days. Be sure to leave Guaranda by 4 a.m.,
for in the afternoon Chimborazo is swept by furious winds. Also start
with a full stomach; you will get nothing for two days. Drink sparingly
of the snow-water which dashes down the mountain. You will be tempted
to curse Chuquipoyo; but thank heaven it is no worse.

There are two hotels in Quito, French and American; the former has the
better location, the latter the better rooms. Best front room,
furnished, half a dollar a day; cheaper by the month. Meals (two),
twenty-five cents each. The beef is excellent, but the _cuisine_--oh,
onions! "God sends the meat, and the evil one cooks." You can hire a
professional male cook (Indian) for $5 a month, but you can't teach him
any thing. Fish is not to be had in Quito. Gibbon speaks of having some
in Cuzco, but does not tell us where it came from.[186] Price of best
flour, $3 60 per quintal; butter, thirty cents a pound; beef, $1 an
arroba (twenty-five pounds); refined sugar, $3 50 an arroba; brown sugar
(_rapidura_),[187] five cents a pound; cigars, from six to sixteen for a
dime; cigarettes, five cents a hundred. Horse hire, from fifty cents to
$1 per day. If you are to remain some time, buy a beast: a good mule
costs $40; an ordinary horse, $50. The Post-office Department is a
swindle. If you "pay through" you will find on your arrival home that
your letters have been paid at both ends. Ask our consul at Guayaquil to
forward them.

[Footnote 186: The Guayaquil market is well supplied with fish of a fair
quality. Usually the fish of warm tropical waters are poor, but the cold
"Humboldt current," which passes along the west coast of Ecuador,
renders them as edible as those of temperate zones.]

[Footnote 187: Called _chancaca_ in Peru. In flavor it is very nearly
equal to maple-sugar.]

The necessary preparations for the Napo journey have been given in a
previous chapter (Chap. XI). We might add to the list a few cans of
preserved milk from New York, for you will not see a drop between the
Andes and the Atlantic. Fail not to take plenty of lienzo; you must have
it to pay the Indians, and any surplus can be sold to advantage. A bale
of thirty varas costs about five dollars. Rely not at all on game; a
champion sharpshooter could not live by his rifle. Santa Rosa and Coca
will be represented to you as small New Yorks; but you will do well if
you can buy a chicken between them.

From Quito to Papallacta, two days and a half; riding beast, $2 silver,
and $1 20 for each cargo of three arrobas. At Papallacta hire Indians
for Archidona; each carries three arrobas, and wants $5 silver in
advance. You take to your feet; time, nine days, including one day of
rest at Baeza. At Archidona you take a new set of peons for Napo at
twenty-five cents apiece; time, one day. From Napo down the river to
Santa Rosa, one day. You give two and a half varas of lienzo to each
Indian, and the same for the canoe. From Santa Rosa to Pebas, on the
Maranon, fifteen days; cost of an Indian, twenty-five varas; ditto for a
canoe. We advise you to stop at Coca and rig up a raft or craft of some
kind; we ascribe our uninterrupted good health to the length and breadth
of our accommodations. The Peruvian steamer from the west arrives at
Pebas on the sixteenth of each month; fare to Tabatinga, $15 gold; time,
four days; running time, eleven hours. Brazilian steamer leaves
Tabatinga the twentieth of each month; fare to Manaos, $44 44 gold;
time, five days; distance, one thousand miles. From Manaos to Para, $55
55 gold; time, six days; distance, one thousand miles. The Brazilian
steamers make semi-monthly trips. We found two hotels in Para--the
"Italiana," dear and poor; the "Diana," unpretending but comfortable.
Charges at the latter for room and board, $2 a day. The best time for
traveling on the Amazon is between July and December. The United States
and Brazilian steamships on their homeward voyage call at Para the
seventh of each month; fare to New York, $150 gold (the same as down the
whole length of the Amazon); second class, $75; time, fourteen days;
distance by way of St. Thomas, 1610 + 1400 miles. Steamer for Rio the
ninth of each month; fare, $125; time, twelve days; distance, 2190
miles. Fare from Rio to New York, $200. Fare by sailing vessel from Para
to New York, from $50 to $75; time, three weeks. A British steamer from
Rio stops at Para and Lisbon.

A word about health. First, take one grain of common-sense daily; do as
the natives do, keep out of the noon-day sun, and make haste slowly.
Secondly, take with you quinine in two-grain pills, and begin to take
them before leaving New York, as the great African traveler, Du Chaillu,
recommended us. As preventive against the intermittent fevers on the
lowlands and rivers, nothing is better than Dr. Copeland's celebrated
pills--quinine, twelve grains; camphor, twelve grains; cayenne pepper,
twelve grains. Mix with mucilage, and divide into twelve pills: take one
every night or morning as required. On the Amazon carry guarana. Woolen
socks are recommended by those who have had much experience of tropical
fevers. Never bathe when the air is moist; avoid a chill; a native will
not bathe till the sun is well up. Rub yourself with _aguardiente_
(native rum) after a bath, and always when caught in a shower. Freely
exercise in Quito to ward off liver complaints. Drink little water;
coffee or chocolate is better, and tea is best. Avoid spirits with
fruit, and fruit after dinner. The sickliest time in Guayaquil is at the
breaking up of the rainy season.

As to dangers: First, from the people. Traveling is as safe in Ecuador
as in New York, and safer than in Missouri. There are no Spanish
banditti, though some places, as Chambo, near Riobamba, bear a bad name.
It is not wise to tempt a penniless footpad by a show of gold; but no
more so in Ecuador than any where. We have traveled from Guayaquil to
Damascus, but have never had occasion to use a weapon in self-defense;
and only once for offense, when we threatened to demolish an Arab sheik
with an umbrella. Secondly, from brutes. Some travelers would have us
infer that it is impossible to stir in South America without being
"affectionately entwined by a serpent, or sprung upon by a jaguar, or
bitten by a rattlesnake; jiggers in every sand-heap and scorpions under
every stone" (_Edinburgh Review_, xliii, 310). Padre Vernazza speaks of
meeting a serpent two yards in diameter! But you will be disappointed at
the paucity of animal life. We were two months on the Andes (August and
September) before we saw a live snake. They are plentiful in the wet
season in cacao plantations; but the majority are harmless. Dr. Russel,
who particularly studied the reptiles of India, found that out of
forty-three species which he examined not more than seven had poisonous
fangs; and Sir E. Tennent, after a long residence in Ceylon, declared he
had never heard of the death of an European by the bite of a snake. It
is true, however, that the number and proportion of the venomous species
are greater in South America than in any other part of the world; but it
is some consolation to know that, zoologically, they are inferior in
rank to the harmless ones; "and certainly," adds Sidney Smith, "a snake
that feels fourteen or fifteen stone stamping on his tail has little
time for reflection, and may be allowed to be poisonous." If bitten,
apply ammonia externally immediately, and take five drops in water
internally; it is an almost certain antidote. The discomforts and
dangers arising from the animal creation are no greater than one would
meet in traveling overland from New York to New Orleans.

Finally, of one thing the tourist in South America may be assured--that
dear to him, as it is to us, will be the remembrance of those romantic
rides over the Cordilleras amid the wild magnificence of nature, the
adventurous walk through the primeval forest, the exciting canoe-life on
the Napo, and the long, monotonous sail on the waters of the Great
River.




CHAPTER XXIV.

IN MEMORIAM.

    "A life that all the Muses decked
      With gifts of grace that might express
      All comprehensive tenderness,
    All-subtilizing intellect."--TENNYSON.


On the east of the city of Quito is a beautiful and extensive plain, so
level that it is literally a _table-land_. It is the classic ground of
the astronomy of the eighteenth century: here the French and Spanish
academicians made their celebrated measurement of a meridian of the
earth. As you stand on the edge of this plain just without the city, you
see the dazzling summit of Cayambi looking down from the north; on your
left are the picturesque defiles of Pichincha; on your right the slopes
of Antisana. Close by you, standing between the city and the plain, is a
high white wall inclosing a little plot, like the city above, "four
square." You are reminded by its shape, and also by its position
relative to Quito and Pichincha, of that other sacred inclosure just
outside the walls of Jerusalem and at the foot of Olivet, the Garden of
Gethsemane. This is the Protestant Cemetery.

[Illustration: P. Staunton]

Through the efforts of our late representative--now also numbered with
the dead--this place was assigned by the government for the interment of
foreigners who do not die in the Romish faith. And there we buried our
fellow-traveler, COLONEL PHINEAS STAUNTON, the artist of the expedition,
and Vice-Chancellor of Ingham University, New York. On the 8th of
September, 1867, we bore him through the streets of Quito to this
quiet resting-place, without parade and in solemn silence--just as we
believe his unobtrusive spirit would have desired, and just as his
Savior was carried from the cross to the sepulchre. No splendid hearse
or nodding plumes; no long procession, save the unheard tread of the
angels; no requiem, save the unheard harps of the seraphs. We gave him a
Protestant Christian burial, such as Quito never saw. In this corner of
nature's vast cathedral, the secluded shrine of grandeur and beauty not
found in Westminster Abbey, we left him. We parted with him on the mount
which is to be the scene of his transfiguration.

It would be difficult for an artist to find a grave whose surroundings
are so akin to his feelings. He lies in the lofty lap of the Andes, and
snow-white pinnacles stand around him on every side, just as we imagine
the mountains are around the city of God. We think we hear him saying,
as Fanny Kemble Butler said of another burial-ground: "I will not rise
to trouble any one if they will let me sleep here. I will only ask to be
permitted, once in a while, to raise my head and look out upon this
glorious scene." No dark and dismal fogs gather at evening about that
spot. It lies nearer to heaven than any other Protestant cemetery in the
world. "It is good (says Beecher) to have our mortal remains go upward
for their burial, and catch the earliest sounds of that trumpet which
shall raise the dead." And the day is coming when that precious vein of
gold that now lies in the bosom of the mighty Andes shall leave its
rocky bed and shine in seven-fold purity. Indeed, the artist is already
in that higher studio among the mountains of Beulah.

A simple sculptured obelisk of sorrow stands over the dust of Colonel
Staunton: his most fitting monument is his own life-work. He was the
very painter Humboldt longed for in his writings--"the artist, who,
studying in nature's great hot-house bounded by the tropics, should add
a new and more magnificent kingdom of nature to art." Colonel Staunton,
true and lovely in his own character, was ever seeking in nature for
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are pure, and now was
about to add whatsoever things are grand. He was a _Christian_ artist,
in sympathy with such men as Raphael and Leonardo de Vinci. "The
habitual choice of sacred subjects (says Ruskin) implies that the
painter has a natural disposition to dwell on the highest thoughts of
which humanity is capable." No shallow or false person could have
conceived his _Ascension_. Only the highest qualities of the intellect
and heart--a soul already half ascended--could have given such ethereal
lightness to those "two men in white apparel." Only the pure in heart
see God. As we revisit in imagination the spot where he sleeps so well,
we behold, in the calm sublimity of the mountains that surround his
grave, an image of the undisturbed repose of his spirit on the Rock of
Ages.




APPENDICES.

APPENDIX A.


BAROMETRICAL MEASUREMENTS ACROSS SOUTH AMERICA.[188]


[Footnote 188: First published in the _American Journal of Science_ for
September, 1868, to which the reader is referred for other physical
observations. The barometric anomaly, noticed particularly on the Lower
Amazon, was also observed by Herndon, Castelnau, Chandlers, Spruce, and
Wallace.]

+----------+---------+----------+-------+----------+-----------+---------------+
|Locality. |Altitude.|Barometer.|Boiling|Regnault's|Difference.|Other          |
|          |         |          | Point.|  Equiv.  |           |Estimates.     |
+----------+---------+----------+-------+----------+-----------+---------------+
|          |         |          |    deg.   |          |           |               |
|Pacific   |       0 |    29.930| 212.01|          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|  Ocean   |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 29.904;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 29.867.       |
|Guayaquil |       10|    29.899| 211.95|    29.831|      -.008|_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 211.8 deg. |
|Guaranda  |    8,840|    21.976|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 8872;  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Hall, 8928.   |
|Arenal    |   14,250|    18.123|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 13,917;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Hall, 14,268. |
|Mocha     |   10,900|    20.393|       |          |           |               |
|Ambato    |    8,490|    22.241|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 8541;  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 8787.         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 22.218.       |
|Tacunga   |    9,181|    21.693|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 9180;  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9384.         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.700.       |
|Tiupullo  |   11,662|    19.858|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 11,702.|
|Machachi  |    9,900|    21.212|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 9823.  |
|Quito     |    9,520|    21.530|  195.8|    21.485|      -.045|_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | La Condamine, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9596;         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Humboldt,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9570; Caldas, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 8947;         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9567; Aguilar,|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9496; Visse,  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9307; Bureau  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | des Longs.,   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9540;         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Tramblay's    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | _Ann._,       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9538;         |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson, 9513.|
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | La Condamine, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.404;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Humboldt,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.403;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Aguilar,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.465;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.566.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 195.6 deg.;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Tramblay,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 184.18 deg..      |
|Panecillo |   10,101|    21.043|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Humboldt,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 10,244;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Aguilar,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 10,135.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 21.207.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 194.7 deg. |
|Pichincha,|   15,827|    17.038|  184.5|    17.030|      -.008|_Alt._ of      |
|  top     |         |          |       |          |           | La Condamine, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 15,606;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Humboldt,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 15,922;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 15,676; Visse,|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 16,200; Hall, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 15,380;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 15,704.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 16.942.|
|Pichincha,|   13,300|          |  189.2|    18.672|           |_Alt._ of      |
|   crater |         |          |       |          |           | Visse and     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Moreno,       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 18,600.       |
|Antisana  |   13,300|    18.583|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|  H.      |         |          |       |          |           | Humboldt,     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 13,465;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 13,356.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Aguirre,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 18.573;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Jameson,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 18.630.       |
|On        |   16,000|    16.782|       |          |           |               |
|  Antisana|         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Pinatura  |   10,410|    20.791|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 10,348.       |
|Padregal  |   11,860|    19.817|       |          |           |               |
|On        |   12,690|    19.004|       |          |           |               |
|  Cotopaxi|         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Riobamba  |    9,200|    21.705|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Visse, 9157;  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Boussingault, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 9413.         |
|Cajabamba |   10,918|    20.512|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | La Condamine, |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 11,000.       |
|Itulcachi |    8,885|    22.006|       |          |           |               |
|Tablon    |   10,516|    20.800|       |          |           |               |
|Papallacta|   10,511|    20.803|  193.8|    20.598|      -.205|               |
|Guila     |    8,622|    22.206|       |          |           |               |
|Pachamama |    7,920|    22.751|       |          |           |               |
|Baeza     |    6,625|    23.793|       |          |           |               |
|Cochachim-|    4,252|    25.832|       |          |           |               |
|  bamba   |         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Curi-urcu |    3,247|    26.746|    deg.   |          |           |               |
|Archidona |    2,115|    27.816| 209.00|    28.180|      +.364|               |
|Napo      |    1,450|    28.419| 209.4 |    28.407|      -.012|               |
|Santa Rosa|    1,100|    28.814| 210.4 |    28.982|      +.168|               |
|Coca      |      858|    29.022| 210.65|    29.127|      +.105|               |
|Mouth of  |      586|    29.321| 211.00|    29.331|      +.010|               |
| the River|         |          |       |          |           |               |
|  Aguarico|         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Do. River |      500|    29.408|  210.8|    29.215|      -.193|               |
|   Curaray|         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Do. River |      385|    29.526|  211.4|    29.566|      +.040|_Alt._ at      |
|  Napo    |         |          |       |          |           | Nauta, by     |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Castelnau,    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 365.          |
|Pebas     |      345|    29.510|  211.1|    29.390|      -.120|_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon, 537. |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 211.1 deg..       |
|Loreto    |         |          |  211.4|    29.566|           |               |
|San       |      256|    29.655|       |          |           |               |
|  Antonio |         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Tabatinga |      255|    29.656|  211.5|    29.625|      -.041|_Alt._ of Spix |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | and Martius,  |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 670;          |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 150;   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Agassiz, 200. |
|Tunantins |     138?|    29.770|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 124.   |
|Ega       |     100?|    29.813|  211.9|    29.862|      +.049|_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon, 2052;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 120.   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 208.2 deg..       |
|Manaos    |     199?|    29.705|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon, 1475;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Castelnau,    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 293; Spix and |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Martius, 556; |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 92.    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 209.3 deg.;       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Gibbon,       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 210.87 deg.;      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Wallace,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 212 deg..5.       |
|Serpa     |     158?|    29.752|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | and Pinto, 84.|
|Obidos    |      114|    29.802|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | and Pinto, 58;|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Agassiz, 45.  |
|Santarem  |      107|    29.808|  211.5|    29.625|      -.183|_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon, 846; |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 50.    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 210.5 deg..       |
|Mount     |       83|    29.834|       |          |           |               |
|  Alegre  |         |          |       |          |           |               |
|Gurupa    |       38|    29.890|       |          |           |_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | and Pinto, 42.|
|Para      |       15|    29.889| 211.95|    29.891|      +.002|_Alt._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon, 320; |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Azevedo and   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Pinto, 35;    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Dewey, 35.    |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_Bar._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 29.708; Dewey,|
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 29.941; Orton |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | (reduced to   |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | level of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | river),       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 29.914.       |
|          |         |          |       |          |           |_B.P._ of      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | Herndon,      |
|          |         |          |       |          |           | 211.5 deg..       |
|Atlantic  |       -2|    29.932| 212.16|          |           |_Bar._ of Dewey|
|  Ocean   |         |          |       |          |           | 29.977.       |
+----------+---------+----------+-------+----------+-----------+---------------+




APPENDIX B.

VOCABULARIES FROM THE QUICHUA, ZAPARO, YAGUA, AND CAMPAS LANGUAGES.

[SPANISH PRONUNCIATION]


_English.                Quichua.             Zaparo.        Yagua._

Father,                   Yaya,                Apochojo,      Yen.
Mother,                   Mama,                Anno,          Nihua.
Son
 (said by father),        Churi,               Niato,         Poen.
Son
 (said by mother),        Cari huahua,         Tauqu,         Poen.
Daughter
 (said by father),        Ushushi,             Coniat _or_ cuniato.
Daughter
 (said by mother),        Huarmi huahua,       Itum.
Own father,               Quiquin yaya,        Cuqu mano.
Own mother,               Quiquin mama,        La cuano.
Step-father,              La yaya,             Tama quira.
Step-mother,              La mama,             Tama quira (mama?).
Own son,                  Quiquin churi,       Ia cuniana.
Step-son,                 Quipai churi,        Saquina cuniana.
Elder son
 (said by father),        Cura
                        (_or_ naupa)
                          churi,               Cuniapira.
Elder son
 (said by mother),        Cura
                        (_or_ naupa)
                          huahua,              Cuniapira.
Younger son
 (said by mother),        Sullca
                        (_or_ quipa)
                         churi,                Nunoe.
Younger daughter
 (said by father),        Sullca
                        (or quipa) ushushi,    Nunoe cuniato.
Only son
 (said by father),        Zapalla
                        (_or_ zapai)
                          churi,               Noqui cunian, Tiqui rai (huahua).
Only son
 (said by mother),        Zapalla
                           (_or_ zapai)
                          cari huahua,   Noqui tauco cunian, Tiqui rai (huahua).
Grandson,                 Cari huahuay,        Cuajenano.
Granddaughter,            Huarmi huahuay.
Great-grandson,           Cari villca,         Cuajenano.
Great-great-grandson,     Cari chupullu.
Grandfather,              Hatun yaya,          Quirraito piatzo,   Yen.
Grandmother,              Hatun mama,          Quitraito ocuaje.
Great-grandfather,        Machui yaya,         Quirishepui.
Great-grandmother,        Paya (or apa)        Para.
                             mama,
Great-great-grandfather,  Apusqui (or          Piatzo.
                             apunche) yaya,
Ancestors,                Apusqui cuna,        Idasipoa.
Brother (said by male),   Hauauqui,            Cuquihuno,         Rai taire.
Brother (said by female), Turi,                Cuauno,            Rai puipuin.
Sister (said by male),    Pani,                Cuirimato,         Rai popo.
Sister (said by female),  Nana,                Taqui,             Rai taire tu.
Elder brother,            Curac huauqui,       Irishia cuquino.
Younger brother,          Sullca huauqui,      Noqui.
Cousin (said by male),    Chispa huauqui,      Cuanerano,         Primoine.
Cousin (said by female),  Chispa pani,         Cuanerano,         Primaine.
Second cousin,            Cailla chispa        Cuanerano
                            huauqui,            (or cuarama,
                                                relation).
Third cousin,             Caru chispa          Cuanerano (or
                            huauqui,            cuarama,
                                                relation).
Uncle (father's brother), Yayapac huauqui      Tauco.
                            (or hachi),[189]
Uncle (mother's brother), Mamapac (or caca)    Cuanoro.
                            turi,
Aunt (father's sister),   Ypa (on Maranon,     Cuiquina.
                            tiaine),
Aunt (mother's sister),   Mamapac nana,        Cuano cuino.
Father-in-Law,            Cacay (of male);
                            quihuachi (of
                            female).
Mother-in-law,            Quihuac (of male);
                            quihuachi (of
                            female).
Son-in-Law,               Masha,               Acamia,            Quiria.
Daughter-in-law,          Kachun,              Cuari rano.
Brother-in-law,           Masani               Cuajinojono.
                            (or catay),
Sister-in-law,            Ypa (or kachun
                            pura).
God-son,                  Churi cashcai
                       (_or_ chascai), (_Not used_).
God-father,               Shutichic
                       (_or_ shutishca) yaya,
                                               Na achiatano.
God-mother,               Shutichic
                       (_or_ shutishca) mama,
                                               Noaichozano.
Relation, Aillu,          Cuarama,             (_Same as brother_).
Husband, Cusa,            Cuiran,              Rai-huano.
Wife, Huarmi,             Cuirichan,           Rai-huatura.
Widower,                  Huaccha cari,        Machicho.
Widow,                    Huaccha huarmi,      Machicho.
Twins,                    Yshcai huachashca
                       (_or_ huachac).    Sarro.
Hand,                     Maqui,               Cuichoac.          Samutu.
Foot,                     Chaqui,              Cuinoca,           Nimutu.
Fingers,                  Maqui palca,         Canasu,        (_No terms for
                                                                  Toes, Chaqui
                                                                  palca, Cuinoca
                                                                  canasu.
                                                                  fingers and
                                                                  toes_).
Thumb, (_No separate terms Cumacana. for thumb and big toe_).
Nails,                    Silhu,               Anahuacha.
God,                      Apunchi-yaya
                       (_God our Father_),     Piatzo,            Tupana.
One,                      Shuc
                           (_or_ Shug),        Noqui,             Tiqui.
Two,                      Ishcay,              Ammasaniqui,       Nanoijoi.
Three,                    Quinsa,              Imucu maraqui
                                            (_above three they
                                             have no names, but show
                                             their fingers; do not count
                                             above ten_).         Momuhi.
Four,                     Chuscu,              Nanunjuia.
Five,                     Pishca                                  Tanaijo.
                           (_or_ pitchca),
Six,                      Socta,                                  Tiqui nihate.
Seven,                    Canchis,                                Nanoujaiate.
Eight,                    Pusac
                           (_or_ pusag),                          Momunhuaiate.
Nine,                     Iscun,                                  Nanauyuia-ate.
Ten,                      Chunga,                                 Nanjui.
                                                                 (_Go no
                                                                  higher._)
Eleven,                   Chunga shug.
Twelve,                   Chunga ishcay, _etc._
Twenty,                   Ishcay-chunga.
Twenty-one,               Ishcay-chunga shug, _etc._
Thirty,                   Quinsa chunga.
One hundred,              Pachac (_or_ patzag).
One thousand,             Guaranga.
Ten thousand, (_Would be_ chunga-guaranga; _but they never go
  over 1000_).
Ordinal numbers, (Niqui _is joined to the number:_ e.g., _first is_
  shug niqui: _second_, ishcay niqui).

[Footnote 189: Qu'ichua on Maranon, tiuiut.]

(_The Conibos count by twos. Thus, one is_ avicho; _two_, raboi.
_Above two, so many twos, as four is_ raboi-raboi; _and six_,
raboi-raboi-raboi. _Ten is expressed by spreading both hands, and twenty
by bringing fingers and toes together. Thus the Caribs. Decimal
numeration is found among all the American aborigines, ancient and
modern, juxtaposition usually designating multiplication._)

       *       *       *       *       *

CAMPAS WORDS.

Mother,          Ina.   | Nose,  Aquiry.      | Leg,          Aitse.
Brother (said           | Mouth, Apa-anti.    | Belly,        Amutse.
 by male),       Incho. | Hand,  Naco.        | Wrist,        Acu.
Brother (said           | Foot,  Aitse-cunida.| Knee,         Airitu.
 by female),     Iga    | Lips,  Achira.      | Ankle,        Atunque.
Sister (said by         | Teeth, Aiqui.       | Nails,        Achite.
 by male),       Incho. | Hair,  Quisti.      | Fly,          Chimboque.
Head,            Aitu.  | Neck,  Aquince.     | Musquito,     Chitu.
Eyes,            Oqui.  | Arm,   Acu.         | Armadillo     Picha.

Curasson,  Choichites.| Rope,  Piaminita.
Turtle,    Tuta.      | Twine, Quiritari.
Monkey,    Tsepe.     | Maize, Chinque.
Cocoa,     Quinbito.  | One,   Paniro.
Clay,      Quipatei.  | Two,   Pitini.
Shirt,     Papani.    | Three, Pariotohuay.
Fire,      Pamari.    | Four,  Pariopatota.
Hammock,   Quio-ots.  | Five,  Pariotohuaygae.

(_My informant on numerals, a boy, though quite intelligent, could go no
farther; but the tribe undoubtedly count ten._)




APPENDIX C.

COMMERCE OF THE AMAZON.


I.--VALUE OF PRODUCTS EXPORTED FROM DIFFERENT TOWNS ON THE AMAZON BY THE
IMPERIAL STEAMERS IN 1867.[190]

[Footnote 190: This Table is taken from the _Relatoria da Companhia de
Navegacao e Commercio do Amazonas_, and includes only the commerce by
the Brazilian steamers and the staple products. The vast amount carried
by sailing craft and by Peruvian steamers on the Maranon is unknown to
us. The number of passengers transported by the steamers in 1867 was
13,886; receipts from passage, $75,744; from freight, $210,654. In the
reduction, the milrey has been taken at 50 cts. U.S. currency, which was
the rate very nearly in 1867. The alquiere (alq.)--.988 of a bushel;
arr. = arroba of 32 lbs.]

--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
Products.     |Cameta.|Braves.|Macapa.|Gurupa.|Porto  |Prainha.|
              |       |       |       |       |do Moz.|        |
--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
Brazil Nuts.  | ....  |   $600|   $400|   $290|    $10|   $16  |
Cacao.        |$44,054|  1,615|  6,429|  1,345|    257|$1,677  |
Cattle.       | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | 1,575  |
Coffee.       | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Copaiba.      | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Cotton, raw.  | ....  | ....  |    100|     90| ....  | ....   |
Dried Meat.   | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  |   145  |
Farina.       | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Guarana.      | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Hides.        |  138  |    800|  3,302|    858|    271|   152  |
Horses.       | ....  |     75|    600| ....  | ....  |   375  |
India-rubber. |123,460|128,440|306,880| 85,110| 85,780| 1,430  |
Piassaba.     | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Pirarucu.     | ....  |     10|     20| ....  |    200| 1,805  |
Sasparilla.   | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  |    60  |
Tallow.       | ....  |     12|    212| ....  | ....  |    60  |
Tobacco.      | ....  |     50| ....  |     25| ....  |    25  |
Tonka Beans.  | ....  | ....  | ....  |     43| ....  | ....   |
Turtles.      | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Turtle-oil.   | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+

--------------+-------+---------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
Products.     |Mt.    |Santarum.|Obidos.|Villa  |Serpa. |Manaos.|Cudajaz.|
              |Alegre.|         |       |Nova.  |       |       |        |
--------------+-------+---------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
Brazil Nuts.  | ....  | $1,334  | $6,938| $2,564| $6,886|$15,010|$1,442  |
Cacao.        | $86   |$69,111  |172,421| 28,907| 34,462| 38,802| 1,945  |
Cattle.       | 600   |    550  |     25| ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Coffee.       | ....  |     56  |     33|      7| ....  |    172| ....   |
Copaiba.      | ....  |     18  |  1,422|  4,383|  8,651|  5,175|   132  |
Cotton, raw.  | ....  | ....    | ....  | ....  |    103|    293| ....   |
Dried Meat.   | ....  |  2,744  | 15,699|    167| ....  | ....  | ....   |
Farina.       | ....  | ....    | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....  | ....   |
Guarana.      | ....  |  1,620  |    750| 24,240| 14,550|     60| ....   |
Hides.        | ....  |  2,426  |  4,087|  5,787|  6,290|  2,103| ....   |
Horses.       |3,225  |  3,975  |  2,100| ....  | ....  |    300| ....   |
India-rubber. | ....  | 22,670  |  8,640| 20,100|209,400|219,340|30,468  |
Piassaba.     | ....  | ....    | ....  | ....  | ....  |  7,612| ....   |
Pirarucu.     |  525  | 18,902  | 31,525| 40,827| 21,025| 79,055| 8,273  |
Sasparilla.   | ....  |  2,376  |  1,392|    108|    372| 33,708|   207  |
Tallow.       | ....  |    200  |  1,484|  1,368|  4,164|     16| ....   |
Tobacco.      | ....  | ....    | ....  |    225|  1,187|    237| ....   |
Tonka Beans.  | ....  | ....    |    120|  1,070|      5|      9| ....   |
Turtles.      | ....  | ....    |     70| ....  |      2|     76|   136  |
Turtle-oil.   | ....  | ....    |    100| ....  |      5|  8,220|   216  |
--------------+-------+---------+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+

--------------+------+-----+-----+----------+------+----------+
Products.     |Coary.|Ega. |Fonte|Touantina.|S.    |Tabatluga.|
              |      |     |Boa. |          |Paulo.|          |
--------------+------+-----+-----+----------+------+----------+
Brazil Nuts.  | $498 | $325| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Cacao.        |5,192 |4,907| $957|   $365   |  $310|   $227   |
Cattle.       | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Coffee.       | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... |     25   |
Copaiba.      | .... |1,559|  123| ....     | .... | ....     |
Cotton, raw.  | .... | ....|    1|      6   | .... |    232   |
Dried Meat.   | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Farina.       |   80 |   37|   15|    105   |    10| ....     |
Guarana.      | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Hides.        | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Horses.       | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
India-rubber. |7,644 |6,808|5,460|  2,252   |9,155 | 15,054   |
Piassaba.     | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Pirarucu.     |5,944 |6,205|7,572|  6,768   |2,018 |    920   |
Sasparilla.   |  943 |5,163|4,876|  5,209   |2,334 |  3,703   |
Tallow.       | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Tobacco.      |   48 |  300| ....| ....     |   12 |    360   |
Tonka Beans.  | .... | ....| ....| ....     | .... | ....     |
Turtles.      |   39 |   33|   10|     50   |    3 |      3   |
Turtle-oil.   |2,382 |3,123|1,693|  1,646   |  298 |    335   |
--------------+------+-----+-----+----------+------+----------+

--------------+-------------+------+---------+
Products.     |Quantity.    |Mean  |Total    |
              |             |Price.|Value.   |
--------------+-------------+------+---------+
Brazil Nuts.  | 18,397 alq. | $2.00|  $35,794|
Cacao.        |314,327 arr. |  3.00|  942,981|
Cattle.       |    110      | 25.00|    2,750|
Coffee.       |     79 arr. |  3.70|      292|
Copaiba.      | 72,030 lbs. |   .30|    2,160|
Cotton, raw.  |    653 arr. |  1.25|      816|
Dried Meat.   |  6,821  "   |  2.75|   18,757|
Farina.       |     90 alq. |  2.50|      247|
Guarana.      |  1,374 arr. | 30.00|   41,220|
Hides.        | 11,871      |  2.00|   23,742|
Horses.       |    142      | 75.00|   10,650|
India-rubber. |128,955 arr. | 10.00|1,289,550|
Piassaba.     |  7,612  "   |  1.00|    7,612|
Pirarucu.     | 94,316  "   |  2.50|  235,790|
Sasparilla.   |  5,119  "   | 11.80|   60,442|
Tallow.       |  1,893  "   |  4.00|    7,572|
Tobacco.      |    205  "   | 12.23|    2,525|
Tonka Beans.  |    260  "   |  4.80|    1,248|
Turtles.      |    331      |  1.80|      596|
Turtle-oil.   |  3,762 j'rs.|  4.75|   17,760|
--------------+-------------+------+---------+

II. ARTICLES EXPORTED FROM PARA TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1860.

Annatto                  lbs.    64,832
Balsam Copaiba             "     89,670
Cacao                      "    145,888
Copper, old                "      1,171
Hides, wet                 "    616,172
   "   dry                 "      4,503
Nuts, Brazil               "     23,582
  "     "   unshelled      "     19,481
Piassaba                 lbs.     3,488
Rubber, fine               "  2,394,656
  "     mixed              "     69,120
  "     coarse             "    420,000
Skins, Deer                "     64,406
Tapioca                    "    118,080
Tonka Beans                "     18,298

III. ARTICLES IMPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES TO PARA IN 1860.

Axes                      dozens,        1,826
Candles                    boxes,          594
Chairs                    dozens,          333
Codfish                    drums,        1,943
Clocks                    number,          660
Combs                     dozens,        7,353
Domestics                package,        2,370
Drugs                       "              435
Flour                    barrels,       16,755
Fire-crackers              boxes,        1,800
Gunny-bags                number,       13,000
Gunpowder                   kegs,        2,150
Hams                     tierces,           38
Hardware                packages,          201
Hats, Palm-leaf            cases,          506
Knives                    dozens,        2,195
Lard                    packages,        2,709
Lumber                      feet,       75,955
Nails                       kegs,          588
Matches                    cases,          174
Oars                      number,          592
Pepper                      bags,          190
Rosin                    barrels,        1,556
Rubber and other Shoes     pairs,        3,398
Shooks (box)              number,       16,428
Soap                       boxes,        6,891
Specie, in Gold          dollars,      113,827
Straw Paper                reams,       12,903
Soda-biscuit         12-lb. tins,        5,954
Saltpetre                   kegs,           95
Tea                       chests,          235
Tea                        boxes,          533
Tar and Pitch            barrels,          329
Tobacco                    boxes,          257
Twine, Cotton             pounds,       13,322
Tortoise-shell              "              299-1/2

IV. DUTIES ON PRINCIPAL IMPORTS FROM UNITED STATES AT PARA.

Axes and Hatchets              30 reys per pound.
Biscuit, Soda                 400       "  arroba.
Brooms                        600       "  dozen.
Chairs, cane-seat           1,000       "  article.
  "        rocking          3,000       "    "
  "    "           extra    6,000       "    "
Cinnamon, Ceylon              500       "  pound.
Combs, rubber                 600       "    "
  "         ivory           2,000       "    "
Cotton Goods                   90       "  sq. vara.
  "      "  colored twills    150       "    "
Candles                       240          pound.
Cigars                      1,200       "    "
Cordage                        50       "    "
Dirks, ordinary             6,000       "  article.
   "   extra               12,000       "    "
Flour                         150       "  arroba.
Hats, Palm-leaf.              180       "  article.
Hams                           70       "  pound.
Homoeopathic Medicine       300       "  ounce.
Knives                        250       "  article.
Lard                        1,500
Matting, India                240       "  pound.
Nails, to two inches           40       "    "
   "     over   "              20       "    "
Padlocks, brass               250       "    "
 "  iron                      180       "    "
Pearl Barley                  400       "  arroba.
Pepper, India                  70       "  pound.
Plows                        free.
Pork                          600       "  arroba.
Powder                        200       "  pound.
Paper, Straw                   30       "    "
Pilot Bread                   150       "  arroba.
Roman Cement                   50       "    "
Rosin                       1,200
Sieves, iron wire              30       "  pound.
  "     brass                  50       "    "
Shoes, Rubber                 400       "    "
Store Trucks                  900       "  article.
Shooks, boxes                 400       "  arroba.
Soap, Yellow                   30       "  pound.
Scales, simple                120       "    "
Tar and Pitch                 200       "  arroba.
Tortoise-shell              2,500       "  pound.
Tea                           450       "    "
Twine, Cotton                 300       "    "
Trunks, 2 to 4 palms        2,700       "  article.
   "    over 4   "          3,600       "    "
Tobacco, chewing            4,800       "  arroba.
   "     cut                9,600       "  arroba.

This Tariff went into operation February 23, 1861.




ADDENDA.


_Orchilla_, page 29.--This valuable lichen comes chiefly from Tumbez. It
is not found on the rocks, like the orchilla of the Old World, but grows
on various trees. The foliage of a tree disappears when the orchilla
commences. The sea air is indispensable to its production, as it is
found only near the coast.

_Religious Intolerance_, p. 91.--The expression "Protestant dogs" has
since been publicly repeated by a priest in a sermon, who told the
people to confess, or they would be treated in a similar way. It called
forth a remonstrance from Mr. Hamilton, the British Minister, directed
to the archbishop, declaring such conduct inhuman and unchristian. The
Pope's Nuncio left Quito for good in July, 1869.

_Fish in the Quito Valley_, p. 107.--Dr. Gill informs me that the true
name of this little fish is _Cyclopium Humboldtii_, Swainson. It belongs
to the sub-family Trachelypterinae, under Siluridae.

_Hummers' Nests_, p. 108.--They are not always of a lengthened form, as
the text would imply, but are sometimes quite shallow. They are
invariably lined with the softest vegetable materials and covered with
moss. The nests are not as compact as those of our Northern hummer, and,
so far as we observed, are never shingled with flat lichens.

_Humboldt in 1802_, p. 156.--He spent five months in the valley of
Quito.

_Pebas Fossils_, p. 282.--In a letter to the author, Mr. Darwin says:
"Your discovery of marine shells high up the Amazon possesses _extreme_
interest, not only in itself, but as one more most striking instance how
rash it is to assert that any deposit is not a marine formation because
it does not contain fossils. As for myself, I never believed for a
moment in Agassiz's idea of the origin of the Amazonian formation."
Agassiz "candidly confesses (Lyell's _Principles_, i., 468) that he
failed to discover any of those proofs which we are accustomed to
regard, even in temperate latitudes, as essential for the establishment
of the former existence of glaciers where they are now no more. No
glaciated pebbles, or far-transported angular blocks with polished and
striated sides; no extensive surface of rock, smooth, and traversed by
rectilinear furrows, were observed." The fossiliferous bed at Pebas is
as plainly _in situ_ as the Medina sandstone at Genesee Falls.

_Tropical Flowers_, p. 292.--"During twelve years spent amid the
grandest tropical vegetation, I have seen nothing comparable to the
effect produced on our landscapes by gorse, broom, heather, wild
hyacinths, hawthorns, purple orchises, and buttercups."--Wallace's
_Malay Archipelago_.

_Coca-plant_, p. 293.--The engraving conveys the impression that the
leaves are parallel-veined; but the coca is a dicotyledon, with the
under surface of the leaf strongly marked with veins, of which two, in
addition to the midrib, run parallel with the margin.

_Pedrero_, Map.--This town on the Rio Negro is also written _Pedreira_.




INDEX.


Adobe dwellings, page 46.

Agassiz, Mount, 250.
  Prof., on the geology of the Amazonian valley, 280, 282, 347.

Agriculture on the Amazon, 243.
    Andes, 75.

Aground on the Amazon, 239.

Aguano, 201.

Aguardiente, 175.

Alcalde's house, 202.

Alligators, 35, 296.

Almeyrim Hills, 252.

Aloe, American, 100.

Alpargates, 70.

Altar, volcano of, 150.

Amazon River, annual rise, 274.
    birds on, 306.
    cetaceans, 299.
    climate, 273, 284.
    commerce, 277.
    current, 273.
    delta, 272.
    depth, 274.
    etymology, 278.
    expeditions, 277.
    first view of, 226.
    fishes, 295.
    foreign vessels on, 276.
    insects, 300.
    life within, 295.
    magnitude, 264, 272, 278.
    natural canals, 265.
    navigation, 276.
    reptiles, 296.
    scenery, 236.
    source, 264.
    tints, 272.
    tributaries, 266, 271.
    volume, 273.
  Valley, 280.
    creation of, 117.
    forest, 287.
    fruits, 289.
    geology, 281, 347.
    minerals, 286.
    slope, 280.
    soil, 286.
    trees, 289.
    zoology, 284.

Amazonian Indians, 316.

Ambato, 52, 153.

America, the continent of vegetation, 103.

America, South, geology of, 114.

Amphisboena, 194.

Amusements in Quito, 80.

Anacondas, 222.

Andean chain, 119.

Andes, as a geological boundary, 207.
  birds on the, 105, 146.
  equipped for the, 37.
  first sight of the, 33.
  heart of the, 48.
  last view of the, 214.
  of Ecuador, 121.
  reptiles on the, 107.
  rise of the, 115.
  sinking of the, 138.
  summit of the, 49, 134.
  valleys of the, 130.
  views from the, 45, 134, 141.

Anguteros Indians, 222.

Animal life, dearth of, 188.

Animals on the Napo, 207.

Antisana, volcano of, 144, 180.
  hacienda, 144.

Ants, battle with, 225.
  on the Amazon, 300.
  on the Napo, 194.

Apothecaries in Quito, 93.

Archidona, 191.

Architecture in Quito, 78.

Arenal, 49.

Armadillo, 310.

Army of Ecuador, 87.

Arrieros, 36.

Arrows, Indian, 321.

Arts in Quito, 78.

Ascending the Andes, 43, 96, 144.

Astronomy on the Andes, 97.

Atahuallpa, 56.

Atmosphere of Quito, 97.


Baeza, 187.

Balsas, 32.

Bamboos on the Napo, 220.

Banana, 34.

Banos, 149.

Barometric measurements, 337.
  anomaly, 241, 226.
  variations at Quito, 92.

Barra, 243.

Bartholomew, St., 54.

Bats, 205, 312.

Bears, 105.

Bed, Andean, 181.

Bees on the Amazon, 303.
  of Quito, 108.
  on the Napo, 207.

Beetles on the Amazon, 303.
  on the Napo, 206.

Bells of Quito, 89.

"Big-ear" Indians, 222.

Birds on the Amazon, 306.
  coloration of, in the tropics, 105.
  moulting of, 285.
  of South America, 105.

Blow-guns, 170.

Boa-constrictor, 223.

Bodegas, 35.

Botany of South America, 286.

Brazilian etiquette, 235, 246.
  frontier, 233.
  steamers, 234.

Brazilians, 323.

Brazil-nut trees, 290.

Bread-tree, 34.

Breves, 254.

Buildings, Andean, 46.

Bull-baits, 80.

Burial Customs, 91, 321.
  at Quito, 91.

Butter, 251.

Butterflies on the Amazon, 302.
  on the Napo, 206.

Buzzards, 29.


Caballococha, 232.

Cacao, 30, 290.

Cajabamba, 153.

Calabash-tree, 289.

Camino Real, 45.

Camellones, 43.

Camindo on the Napo, 226.

Campas Indians, 322.

Canelos, 172.

Canoe-life on the Napo, 213.

Canoe-paths, 265.

Canoes on the Napo, 200.

Capybara, 310.

Caraguairazo, 132.

Carnival, 81.

Carranqui, 157.

Cassiquiari Canal, 267.

Cathedral of Guayaquil, 26.
  of Quito, 66.

Cattle on the Andes, 145.

Caucho-tree, 288.

Cayambi, 143.

Cedar on the Amazon, 289.

Cemetery, Protestant, 91.

Century-plant, 100.

Cerro, 33.

Cetaceans in the Amazon, 299.

Chicha, 167, 210.

Chillo hacienda, 155.

Chimbo, Valley of, 46.

Chimborazo, 33, 44, 49, 127.

Chimneys, absence of, 44.

Chirimoya, 101.

Chuquipoyo, 51.

Chuquiragua, 100.

Cigana, 206, 308.

Cinchona, 47.

Cinnamon, American, 172.

Circumcision, 322.

Civility, Ecuadorian, 35, 71.

Civilization on the Amazon, 236.

Clay-eating, 229.
  formation of the Amazon, 225.

Climate of Guayaquil, 28.
  of Quito, 91.
  of the Amazon, 238, 251.

Coary, River, 242, 269.

Coca-chewing, 291, 348.

Coca village, 207.

Cochineal, 108.

Cock-fighting, 35, 80.

Cocoa-palm, 35.

Coffee, 31, 259, 290.

Colleges of Ecuador, 79.

Combativeness on the Andes, 95.

Commerce on the Amazon, 342.

Compressed heads, 171.

Compulsory commerce, 195.

Condor, 106, 131.

Cones of volcanoes, 122.

Conibos Indians, 321.

Cookery in Quito, 44, 84.

Copal-gum, 193.

Cordillera, 33, 126.

Cosanga River, 189.

Costumes of Amazonian Indians, 239, 241.

Cotocachi, village, 154.
  volcano, 142.

Cotopaxi, 55, 146.
  eruptions of, 125.

Cotton-mills, 77, 155.

Cow-tree, 288.

Craft on the Napo, 209.

Craters, deep, 133.

Crocodiles, 296.

Cudaja, 242.

Cuenca, 152.

Cunchebamba, 53.

Curaray River, 224.

Curassow, 308.

Curi-urcu, 191.

Currency of Para, 260.
  Quito, 75.

Cuzco ladies, 82.


Dangers in South America, 331.

Darwin on the geology of the Pampas, 282.

Darwin on the geology of the Amazon, 347.

Debt of Ecuador, 87.

Deer on the Napo, 226.
  fossil, 154.

Descent into Pichincha, 139.

Discipline on the Napo, 204.

Diseases on the Andes, 93, 331.

Dogs on the Andes, 95.

Dolphins, 299.

Dragon-flies, 302.

Dress in Quito, 69.

Drunkenness at Quito, 146.


Earthquake at Ibarra, 157.
  at Riobamba, 153.
  effect of, on climate, 91.
  experience of, 163.
  theories of, 161.

Eastern Cordillera, 179.

Eciton ants, 301.

Ecuador, army, 87.
  Congress, 86.
  debt, 87.
  extent, 85.
  flora and fauna, 103.
  government, 86.
  population, 85.
  religion, 89.
  repudiation, 86.
  revenue, 87.
  revolutions, 86.
  supreme court, 87.
  volcanoes, 122, 148.

Ecuadorian cooking, 44, 84.

Education on the Andes, 79.

Edwards, George, 195.

Ega, 239.

Eggs of the alligator, 297.
  of the turtle, 297.

El Dorado, 183.

Elephant at high altitudes, 155.

Equator, mean temperature, 262.

Expenses of travel, 327.


Farina, 235, 291.

Ferns, tree, 38.

Fever remedies, 331.

Fire-flies, 25.

Fish in the Napo, 226.
  in Quito Valley, 107, 347.
  in the tropics, 329.

Fishes ejected from volcanoes 107, 132, 143.
  of the Amazon, 295.

Fishing with barbasco, 169.

Flamingoes, 308.

Flowers on the Amazon, 292, 347.
  on the Andes, 50, 102, 136.

Fonte Boa, 239.

Forest on the Napo, 216, 219.
  trail, 182, 186.
  tropical, 36, 38, 287.

Fossil bones on the Andes, 154.

Fossils in the Amazon Valley, 282, 347.

Frogs in Quito Valley, 107.
  of the Amazon, 304.

Fruits of Quito, 101.
  on the Amazon, 289.


Galapagos Islands, 105, 124.

Gentians, 103.

Geology of South America, 114.
  of the Amazon Valley, 225, 347.

Glacial theory of Agassiz, 282, 347.

Glaciers, absence of, 131.

Glimpse of the Andes, 33.

Goitre, 94.

Gold on the Napo, 196.

Grapes on the Amazon, 234.

Grebe on the Andes, 146.

Guacamayo Mountain, 190.

Guamani, 144, 179.

Guapulo, 178.

Guarani race, 316.

Guarana, 290.

Guaranda, 46.

Guayaquil, city and people, 25.
  climate, 28.
  commerce, 29.
  history, 28.
  market, 30.

Guayas River, scenes on, 32.

Guayusa tea, 193.

Gurupa, 253.

Gypsy-birds, 223.


Hammocks, 202.

Hats of Guayaquil, 31.

Hatuntaqui, battle of, 56, 154.

Hauxwell, Mr., 227, 229.

Health in the tropics, 331.
  on the Andes, 93.

Heart of the Andes, 48.

High altitudes, experience at, 96, 142.

Himalayas, vegetation on, 50, 100.

Horns, blowing of, 209.

Horses, extinct species of, 154.
  for the Andes, 36.

Hospitality, Ecuadorian, 35, 71.

Hotels, Andean, 40, 53.
  in Guayaquil, 328.
  in Quito, 329.

Howling monkeys, 223, 313.

Huallaga River, 266.

Humboldt, 136, 156, 348.

Hummers in Quito, 107, 347.
  on the Amazon, 307.

Hybrids, 43.

Hypsometric zones, 50.


Ibarra, 157.

Ibis, 308.

Ida Pfeiffer, 53.

Iguana, 304.

Imbabura, 143, 154.

Immorality of priests, 89.

Incarial relics, 109, 112, 124.

Incas in Quito, 56.

Indian character, 153, 203, 243.
  dwellings, 78.
  peons, 36, 183.
  savages, 221.
  villages, 237.

Indians, Amazonian, 315.
  Andean, 69, 109, 111.
  as travelers, 186.

India-rubber-tree, 288.

In memoriam, 334.

Insect pests, 224.

Insects, Amazon, 206, 300.
  in Quito, 108.

Iquitos, 231.

Itulcachi, 178.


Jacamars, 308.

Jacanas, 308.

Jacapas, 308.

Jaguars, 311.

Japura River, 267, 320.

Javari River, 269, 320.

Jesuits, 89, 321.

Jiggers, 108.

Jivaros Indians, 165, 171.

Juris Indians, 319.

Jurua River, 269, 319.

Jutahi River, 269.


Lady travelers on the Amazon, 236.

La Mona, 38.

Lauguage of Ecuador, 71.

Latacunga, 53.

Lava, absence of, 122.
  streams, 144.

Lepers, 55, 94.

Lianas, 188.

Lice-eating, 181.

Life within the Amazon, 295.
  around the Amazon, 300.

Lignite on the Amazon, 225, 283.

Lion, American, 105.

Living on the Amazon, 235.

Lizards of the Amazon, 304.

Llama, 104.
  fossil, 154.

Llanganati Mountains, 149.

Locro, 44.

Loja, 152.

Longevity on the Andes, 92.

Loreto, 232.

Lotteries in Quito, 90.

Lungs of mountaineers, 95.

Lyell on the Valley of the Amazon, 347.


Macaws, 306.

Machachi, 55.

Madeira River, 269.

Mamai, 234.

Mamelucos, 239.

Mammals on the Amazon, 309.

Manaos, 243.

Manati, 215, 299.

Mandioca, 291.

Mango, 34.

Manufactures of Quito, 77.

Maranon River, 227.
  steamers, 230.

Maravilla, 48.

Market of Quito, 77.

Mashka, 36.

Maspa, 186.

Masquerade, Indian, 110.

Mastodon, Andean, 154.

Mata-mata turtle, 299.

Maucallacta, 232.

Mauhes Indians, 318.

Mazan River, 226.

Meat, preservation of, 222.

Merchants of Quito, 74.

Mica Lake, 146.

Milk on the Andes, 179.

Milky Way at Quito, 98.

Mixed races, 68, 322.

Mocha, 52.

Mongruba-tree, 288.

Monkey meat, 203.

Monkeys, 223, 313.

Montana of Peru, 231.

Monte Alegre, 252.

Montuca flies, 224.

Moreno, President, 54, 86, 138.

Mountaineers, 43, 69, 95.

Mountains on the Amazon, 252.

Moyabamba, 231.

Mules, 43.

Muleteers, 36.

Mundurucus Indians, 318.

Muras Indians, 318.

Music in the forest, 205.

Musquitoes, 224, 228, 303.


Napo country, 164.
  diseases, 198.
  fish, 226.
  Indians, 165, 197, 180, 210.
  journey, 174.
  navigation, 197, 209.
  productions, 196.
  rapids, 200.
  river, 197, 199, 227, 268.
  scenery, 216, 220.
  tea, 193.
  turtles, 226.
  village, 194.
  wilderness, 188, 191.

Nauta, 231.

Negroes on the Amazon, 247, 323.

Negro River, 242, 266, 319.

Newspapers in Ecuador, 27, 80.

Nocturnal music, 205.


Obidos, 248.

Obsidian, 124, 148.

Orchids, 216.

Orchilla, 347.

Orejones, 222.

Orellana's expedition, 183, 207.

Organ-bird, 308.

Oriente, 164.

Otovalo, 157.

Outfit for travel, 327.


Paita, raised beach at, 115.

Paja, or Paramo grass, 49.

Palms, cocoa, 35.
  on the Amazon, 287.
  on the Napo, 219.

Palo de cruz, 228.

Pampas, geology of, 282.

Panama hats, 31.

Panuelon, 69.

Papallacta, 177, 181.

Papaya-tree, 202, 234.

Para City, buildings, 257.
  climate, 262.
  commerce, 259.
  currency, 260.
  government, 261.
  people, 258.
  view of, 254.

Para River, 254, 271.

Paramo, 33.

Parrots, 206, 306.

Passes Indians, 319.

Pastassa River, 150, 268.

Pebas, 227.
  fossils, 282, 347.

Peccaries, 221, 310.

Peons, 36, 183.

Peruvian bark, 47.
  steamers, 230.

Pfeiffer, Ida, 53.

Piassaba palm, 289.

Pichincha volcano, 124, 133, 140.

Pigs, mode of dressing, 49.

Pirarucu fish, 295.

Piums, 224.

Pizarro at Coca, 183, 207.

Plantain, 34.

Poison antidote, 332.

Politeness, Ecuadorian, 35, 71.

Politics in Quito, 86.

Polylepis-trees, 50, 179.

Poncho, 69.

Porphyroid trachytes, 124.

Porpoises, 299.

Porto do Moz, 253.

Potatoes on the Andes, 101.

Potato soup, 44, 50.

Prayinha, 253.

President's order, 176.

Priests of Quito, 89.

Protestant cemetery, 90, 334.

Puma, 105.

Pumice, 148.
  on the Amazon, 268.

Puna, 96.

Purus Indians, 318.
  River, 269.


Quadrupeds on the Amazon, 309.

Quartz, paucity of, 122.

Quito agriculture, 75.
  amusements, 80.
  architecture, 78.
  arts, 78.
  atmosphere, 96.
  bells, 89.
  birds, 106.
  bull-baits, 80, 94.
  butterflies, 108.
  capital, 66.
  carnival, 81.
  climate, 91.
  cock-fights, 81.
  cookery, 84.
  currency, 75.
  diseases, 93.
  dress, 69.
  drunkenness, 142.
  education, 79.
  fashions, 70.
  fish, 108.
  flour, 98, 101.
  history, 56, 152.
  insects, 108.
  ladies, 70, 81.
  manufactures, 77.
  market, 77.
  masquerades, 81.
  merchants, 74.
  newspapers, 80.
  politics, 86.
  population, 68.
  potatoes, 101.
  prices, 329.
  Protestant cemetery, 90.
  religion, 87.
  reptiles, 107.
  scenery, 178.
  servants, 83.
  situation, 55, 59, 62.
  streets and buildings, 64, 65.
  street scene, 60.
  suburbs, 55, 59.
  under the Incas, 56.
  under the Spaniards, 57.
  Valley, 51, 55, 73, 149, 152.
    archaeology of, 109, 112.

Quitonians, character of the, 71, 86.
  primeval, 109.


Rain-fall at Quito, 93.
   line on the Andes, 45.

Raposa, 233, 311.

Regularity of nature, 92.

Religion of Ecuador, 87.

Religious intolerance, 91, 347.

Reptiles at Quito, 107.
  on the Amazon, 296.

Revenue of Ecuador, 87.

Ride down the Andes, 180.

Rimos Indians, 322.

Riobamba, 150, 153.

River systems of South America, 118, 275.

Roads on the Andes, 43, 53, 74.

Rodents on the Amazon, 309.

Romanism on the Andes, 88.

Rose of the Andes, 101.

Routes across South America, 325.

Ruminagui, 146.


Salt on the Andes, 193.

San Antonio, 233.

Sand-flies, 224.

Sangai volcano, 150.

San Paulo, 237.

Santarem, 251.

Santa Rosa, 201.

Sapucaya nut, 290.

Sarsaparilla, 224.

Saueba ants, 194, 300.

Savages on the Napo, 221.

Savaneta, 40.

Scenery on the Amazon, 253.

Sea-cows, 215.

Serpa, 247.

Shells in Quito Valley, 109.
  in the Amazon Valley, 293.

Sierra, 33.

Silk-cotton-tree, 220, 289.

Sincholagua, 146.

Sloths, 310.

Slow-worm on the Napo, 194.

Snakes, scarcity of, 195, 332.

Snakes on the Amazon, 305.

Snow at high altitudes, 138.
  limit in the Andes, 125.

Soil in the Amazon Valley, 286.

Solimoens, 237.

South America, geology of, 114.
  American fauna and flora, 103.
  American Indians, 315.

Southerners on the Amazon, 246, 251.

Spanish character, 328.

Spanish language, 71.

Spanish Republicanism, 58.

Spiders on the Amazon, 304.

Stars at Quito, 97.

Staunton, Col., burial of, 91, 334.

Steam on the Amazon, 230, 234, 330.

Storm on the Napo, 213.

Sugar on the Amazon, 252.
  on the Andes, 329

Sugar-cane on the Amanzon, 291.

Suno, 205.

Superstition, 54.


Tabatinga, 233.

Table-lands of the Old World, 152.

Tablon, 178.

Tacunga, 53

Tambillo ridge, 55.

Tambo on the mountains, 40.

Tapajos River, 270.

Tapir, 104, 310.

Teffe River, 269.

Temperature, correspondence of altitude and latitude as to, 145.

Termite ants, 301.

Thermometer, variations of, 92.

Tide on the Amazon, 275.

Timber on the Amazon, 289.

Tiupullo, 54.

Toads of the Amazon, 304.

Tobacco on the Amazon, 291.
  use of, by the Napos, 197.

Tocantins River, 271.

Tolling-bell bird, 307.

Tortoise-shell wood, 289.

Toucan, 206, 306.

Trade wind, 118.

Trail in the forest, 182.

Trapiche, 207.

Traveling in South America, 325.

Trees in Quito Valley, 100.
  on the Amazon, 288.

Trogon, 308.

Tropical flowers, 292, 347.
  forest, 287.

Tropical vegetation, 34, 38, 188, 190, 219.

Tucuna Indians, 320.

Tucker, Admiral, 232.

Tunantins, 237.

Tunguragua volcano, 149.

Tupi race, 316.

Turtles in the Amazon, 297.
  in the Napo, 215, 220.


Uaupes Indians, 319.

Ucayali Indians, 321.
  River, 268.

Umbrella bird, 307.

Upper Amazon towns, 231.

Urari poison, 228.


Valediction on the Napo, 204.

Valley of the Amazon, 280.
  of the Andes, 130.
  of the Chimbo, 46.
  of Quito, 51, 55, 73, 149, 151, 155.

Vanilla on the Napo, 196.

Vegetation in the tropics 34, 38.
  on the Amazon, 287.
  zones of, on the Andes, 50.

Verdure on the Amazon, 285.


Veta, 96.

Victoria Regia, 292.

Views from the Andes, 45.

Villa Nora, 248.

Vocabularies Indian, 339.

Volcanoes of Ecuador, 122, 125, 151.


Washerwomen of Quito, 83.

Water-beetles, 295.
  carriers, 61.

Water-shed of the Atlantic and Pacific, 54.

Water-snakes, 296.

Wayside inn. 40.

White ants, 301.

Wisse, M., descent into Pichincha, 138.

Wool, Andean, 104.


Xingu River, 271.


Yagua Indians, 320.

Yana-urcu, 142.

Ypadu, 291.

Yuca, 167.

Yurimaguas, 231.


Zaparo Indians, 165, 170.

Zodiacal light, 98.

Zones of vegetation, 50.

Zoology of the Napo, 206.

Zoology of South America, 286.

Zoological provinces of Amazonia, 300.


THE END.





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