The Work from which the present Volume is translated consists of extracts from the Author's Journal, accompanied by his recollections and observations. The absence of chronological arrangement will be sufficiently accounted for, when it is explained that the zoological investigations for which the journey was undertaken frequently required the Author to make repeated visits to one particular place or district, or to remain for a considerable time within the narrow circuit of a few miles; and sometimes to travel rapidly over vast tracts of country. Disclaiming any intention of making one of those travelling romances, with which the tourist literature of the day is overstocked, the Author has confined himself to a plain description of facts and things as they came within the sphere of his own observation. But though Dr. Tschudi lays claim to no merit beyond the truthfulness of his narrative, yet the reader will no doubt readily concede to him the merit of extensive information, and happy descriptive talent. His pictures of Nature, especially those relating to the animal world, are frequently imbued with much of the charm of thought and style which characterizes the writings of Buffon.
st. Heavy clouds obscured the long-looked-for island, and its picturesque shore could only be seen, when, at intervals, the wind dispersed the dark atmospheric veil. We had no sooner cast anchor than several boats came alongside rowed by Indians, who offered us potatoes, cabbage, fish, and water, in exchange for tobacco. Only those who have been long at sea can form an idea of the gratification which fresh provisions, especially vegetables, afford to the weary voyager. In a couple of hours, the harbor-master came on board to examine the ship, the cargo, &c., and to give us permission to go ashore. The long-boat being got out, and well manned, we stepped into it, and were conveyed to the harbor. The Bay of San Carlos being shallow, large ships, or vessels, heavily laden, are obliged to go three English miles or more from the landing-place before they can anchor. Our boat was gaily decorated and newly painted; but this was mere outside show, for it was in a very unsound condition. During our passage through
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