Countries visited during the voyage of h. M. S beagle bound the world



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x CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XII. CHAPTER XVII. Valparaiso—Excursion to the Foot of the Andes Galapagos Archipelago—The whole group vol. —.Structure of the Land-Ascend the Bell of came—Number of craters—Leafless bushes— Quillota—Shattered Masses of Greenstone— £olony at Charles Island—James Islands-Immense Vallevs—Mines—State of Miners Salt-lake in. crater—Natural History of the —Santiago—Hot-baths of Cauquenes—Gold- group—Ornithology, curious fmches-Rep-mines—Grinding-mills—Perforated Stones tiles—Great tortoises, habits of—Marine li-—Habits of the Puma-El Turco and Tapa- fard» f^s on sea-weed—Terrestrial lizard, colo—Humming-birds 252 burrowing habits, herbivorous-Importance of reptiles in the Archipelago—Fish, shells, CHAPTER XIII. insects — Botany—American type of organi-~ .. „ , . . tj . -n • zation—Differences in the species or races on Clnloe —General Aspect-Boat Excursion-- different islands-Tameness of the birds-Jauve Indians-Oastro-ramelox-Ascend ^ f an acquired instinct, 372 San Pedro—Chonos Archipelago—Peninsula ' x»^r>T> v-^ttt of Tres Montes — Granitic Range— Boat- CHAFlliJi XV 111. wrecked Sailors—Low's Harbour—Wild Po- Pass through the Low Archipelago—Tahiti— tato — Formation of Peat — Myopotamus, Aspect—Vegetation on the Mountains—View Otter and Mice—Cheucau and Barking-bird of Eimeo—Excursion into the Interior—Pro-—Opetiorhynchus—Singular Character of Or- found Ravines—Succession of Waterfalls— nithology—Petrels 273 Number of wild useful Plants—Temperance of the Inhabitants—Their moral state—Par-CHAPTER XIV. liament convened—New Zealand—Bay of San Cailos, Chiloe-Osorno in eruption, con- Islands-Hippahs—Excursion to Waimate— temporaneously with Aconcagua and Cose- Missionary ^stabhshment-English ^eeds guina—Hide to Cucao—Impenetrable forests $™ ru.n wild—Waioimo-Funeral of a New —Valdivia-Indians-Eartfiquake-Concep- ¿ealand Woman—Sail for Australia 402 cion—Great earthquake—Rocks fissured— CHAPTER XIX. Appearance of the former towns-Thesea Sydney—Excursion to Bathurst-Aspect of the black and boiimg-Direction of the -vibra- Woods-Party of Natives-Gradual extinctions-Stones twisted round-Great Wave— tion of the Aborigines—Infection generated Permanent elevation of the land—Area of b associated men in health—Blue Moun-volcamc phenomena—Die connexion be- tains—View of the grand gulf-like Valleys— tween the eleyatory and^eruptive forces- Tlaeir origin and formation-Bathurst, gene-Cause of earthquakes-Slow elevation of ral civility of the lower orders-State of So-Mountain-chains 291 ciety—Van Diemen's Land—Hobart Town CHAPTER XV —Aborigines all banished—Mount Wellington—King George's Sound—Cheerless aspect Valparaiso—Portillo pass—Sagacity of mules— of the Country—Bald Head, calcareous casts Mountain torrents—Mines, how discovered of branches of trees—Party of Natives—Leave —Proofs of the gradual elevation of the Cor- Australia 431 dillera—Effect of snow on rocks —Geological CHAPTER XX. structure of the two main ranges—Their dis- rr ,. T., , o. , * „ , tinct origin and upheaval-Great subsidence K^lm- «land-Singular appearance-Scanty —Red snow-Winds—Pinnacles of snow- Flora-Transport of Seeds-Birds and Insects

Dry and clear atmosphere-Electricity7 ^ms, a£? ñow,mg ? f ~ 5 3 ? Pampas-Zoology of the opposite sides of the df+d Coral-Stones transported m tiie roots Andes - Locusta - Great bugs-Mendoza- ®f tr,ees .7" Gr^\ Cr^ "", Sti,ngin5 Corals -Uspallata Pass-Silicified trees buried as Coral-eating Iish-Coral Formations- La-tíiey grew-Incas Bridge-Badness of the pon Islams or Atolls-Depth at which reel-passes exaggerated - Cumbre - Casuchas- building Cora s can live-Vast Areas inter-Valparaiso 313 spersed with low Coral Islands—Subsidence ^ ' of their foundations—Barrier Reefs—Fring CHAPTER XVI. ing Reefs—Conversion of Fringing Reefs into „ . , A., ^.^i, ., Barrier Reefs, and into Atolls—Evidence of Coast-road t0> Coquimbo—Great loads earned changes in Level—Breaches in Barrier Reefs by the miners—Coquimbo—Earthquake- —Maldiva Atolls; their peculiar structure— Step-formed terraces—Absence of recent de- Dead and submerged Reefs—Areas of subsi-posits-Contemporaneousness of the Tertiary denceand elevation—Distribution^Voléanos formations-Excursion up the valiey-Road -Subsidence slow, and vast in amount 452 to Guaseo—Deserts—Valley of Copiapó— Rain and earthquakes—Hydrophobia—The CHAPTER XXI. Despoblado—Indian Ruins—Probable change Mauritius, beautiful appearance of—Great cra-of climate—River-bed arched by an eartn- teriform ring of Mountains—Hindoos—St quake—Cold gales of wind—Noises from a Helena—History of the changes in the vepe-hill — Iquique — Salt alluvium —■ Nitrate of tation—Cause of the extinction of land-shells soda—Lima—Unhealthy country-—Ruins of —Ascension—Variation in the imported rats Callao, overthrown by an earthquake—Recent —Volcanic Bombs—Beds of infusoria—Bahia subsidence—Elevated shells on San Lorenzo, —Brazil—Splendour of tropical scenery—Per-their decomposition—Plain with embedded nambuco—Singular Reef—Slavery-^rReturn shells and fragments of pottery—Antiquity to England—Retrospect on our voyage.. 483 of the Indian Race 337 Index 507

J 0 ü R N A I,

CHAPTER I.

Porto Praya—Ribeira Grande—Atmospheric Dust with Infusoria—Habite of a Sea-slug and Cuttle-fish—St. Paul's Bocks, non-volcanic—Singular incrustations—Insects the first Colonists of Islands—Fernando Noronha —Bahia—Burnished Rocks—Habits of a Diodon—Pelagic Confervee and Infusoria—Causes of discoloured Sea.

ST. JAGO—CAPE DE VERB ISLANDS.

After having been twice driven back by heavy south-western gales, Her Majesty's ship Beagle, a ten-gun brig, under the command of Captain. Fitz Roy, R.N., sailed from Devonport on the 27th of December, 1831. The object of the expedition was to complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, commenced under Captain King in 1826.to 1830—to survey the shores of Chile, Peru, and of some islands in the Pacific—and to carry a chain of chronometrical measurements round the World. On the 6th of January we reached Teneriffe, but were prevented landing, by fears of our bringing the cholera: the next morning we saw the sun rise behind the rugged outline of the Grand Canary island, and suddenly illumine the Peak of Teneriffe, whilst the lower parts were veiled in fleecy clouds. This was the first of many delightful days never to be forgotten. On the 16th of January, 1832, we anchored at Porto Praya, in St. Jago, the chief island of the Cape de Verd archipelago.

The neighbourhood of Porto Praya, viewed from the sea5 wears a desolate aspect. The volcanic fires of a past age, and the scorching heat of a tropical sun, have in most places rendered the soil unfit for vegetation. The country rises in successive

2 ST. JAGO—CAPE DE VERD ISLANDS, [chap. i.

steps of table-land, interspersed with some truncate conical hills, and the horizon is bounded by an irregular chain of more lofty mountains. The scene, as beheld through the hazy atmosphere of this climate, is one of great interest; if, indeed, a person, fresh from sea, and who has just walked, for the first time, in a grove of cocoa-nut il'ee?j can /be a judge of anything but his own happiness. The island would generally be considered as very uninteresting; but to any one accustomed only to an English landscape, the novel aspect of an utterly sterile land possesses a grandeur which more vegetation might spoil. A single green leaf can scarcely be discovered over wide tracts of the lava plains ; yet flocks of goats, together with a few cows, contrive to exist. It rains very seldom, but during a short portion of the year heavy torrents fall, and immediately afterwards a light vegetation springs out of every crevice. This soon withers; and upon such naturally formed hay the animals live. It had not now rained for an entire year. When the island was discovered, the immediate neighbourhood of Porto Praya was clothed with trees,* the reckless destruction of which has caused here, as at St. Helena, and at some of the Canary islands, almost entire sterility. The broad, flat-bottomed valleys, many of which serve during a few days only in the season as watercourses, are clothed with thickets of leafless bushes. Few living creatures inhabit these valleys. The commonest bird is a kingfisher (Dacelo Iagoensis), which tamely sits on the branches of the castor-oil plant, and thence darts on grasshoppers and lizards. It is brightly coloured, but not so beautiful as the European species: in its flight, manners, and place of habitation, which is generally in the driest valley, there is also a wide difference.

One day, two of the officers and myself rode to Ribeira Grande, a village a few miles eastward of Porto Praya. Until we reached the valley of St. Martin, the country presented its usual dull brown appearance; but here, a very small rill of water produces a most refreshing margin of luxuriant vegetation. In the course of an hour we arrived at Bibeira Grande, and were surprised at the sight of a large ruined fort and cathedral. This little town, before its harbour was filled up, was the principal

* I state this on the authority of Dr. E. Didfenbach, in his German translation of the first edition of this Journal.

1832.J RIBEIRA GRANDEST. DOMINGO. 3

place in the island: it now presents a melancholy, but very picturesque appearance. Having procured a black Padre for a guide, and a Spaniard who had served in the Peninsular war as an interpreter, we visited a collection of buildings, of which an ancient church formed the principal part. It is here the governors and captain-generals of the islands have been buried. Some of the tombstones recorded dates of the sixteenth century.* The heraldic ornaments were the only things in this retired place that reminded us of Europe. The church or. chapel formed one side of a quadrangle, in the middle of which a large clamp of bananas were growing. On another side was a hospital, containing about a dozen miserable-looking inmates.

We returned to the Venda to eat our dinners. A considerable number of men, women, and children, all as black as jet, collected to watch us. Our companions were extremely merry; and everything we said or did was followed by their hearty laughter. Before leaving the town we visited the cathedral. It does not appear so rich as the smaller church, but boasts of a little organ, which sent forth singularly inharmonious cries. We presented the black priest with a few shillings, and the Spaniard, patting him on the head, said, with much candour, he thought his colour made no great difference. We then returned, as fast as the ponies would go, to Porto Praya.

Another day we rode to the village of St. Domingo, situated near the centre of the island. On a small plain which we crossed, a few stunted acacias were growing; their tops had been bent by the steady trade-wind, in a singular manner—some of them even at right angles to their trunks. The direction of the branches was exactly -N.E. by 1ST., and S.W. by S., and these natural vanes must indicate the prevailing direction of the force of the trade-wind. The travelling had made so little impression on the barren soil, that we here missed our track, and took that to Fuentes. This we did not find out till we arrived there ; and we were afterwards glad of our mistake. Fuentes is a pretty village, with a small stream ; and everything appeared to prosper well, excepting, indeed, that which ought to do so most—its

* The Cape de Verd Islands were discovered in 1449. There was a tombstone of a bishop with the date of 1571; and a crest of a hand and. dagger, dated 1497.

4 ST. JAGO—CAPE DE VERD ISLANDS. [ciiaf. i.

inhabitants. The black children, completely naked, and looking very wretched, were carrying bundles of firewood half as big as their own bodies.

Near Fuentes we saw a large flock of guinea-fowl—probably fifty or sixty in number. They were extremely wary, and could not be approached. They avoided us, like partridges on a rainy -day in September, running with their heads cocked up ; and if pursued, they readily took to the wing.

The scenery of St. Domingo possesses a beauty totally unexpected, from the prevalent gloomy character of the rest of the island. The village is situated-at the bottom of a valley, bounded by lofty and jagged walls of stratified lava. The black rocks afford a most striking contrast with the bright green vegetation, which follows the banks of a little stream of clear water. It happened to be a grand feast-day, and the village was* full of people. On our return we overtook a party of about twenty young black girls, dressed in excellent taste; their black skins and snow-white linen being set off by coloured turbans and large shawls. As soon as we approached near, they suddenly all turned round, and covering the path with their shawls, sung with great energy a wild song, beating time with their hands upon their legs. We threw them some vintéms, which were received with screams of laughter, and we left them redoubling the noise of their song.

One morning the view was singularly clear; the distant mountains being projected with the sharpest outline, on a heavy bank of dark blue clouds. Judging from the appearance, and from similar cases in England, I supposed that the air was saturated with moisture. The fact, however, turned out quite the contrary. The hygrometer gave a difference of 29'6 degrees, between the temperature of the air, and the point at which dew was precipitated. This difference was nearly double that which I had observed on the previous mornings. This unusual degree of atmospheric dryness was accompanied by continual flashes of lightning. Is it not an uncommon case, thus to find a remarkable degree of aerial transparency with such a state of weather ?

Generally the atmosphere is hazy; and this is caused by the falling of impalpably fine dust, which was found to have slightly

1832.] ATMOSPHERIC DUST WITH INFUSORIA. 5

injured the astronomical instruments. The morning before we anchored at Porto Pray a, I collected a little packet of this brown-coloured fine dust, which appeared to have been filtered from the wind by the gauze of the vane at the mast-head. Mr. Lyell has also given me four packets of dust which fell on a vessel a few hundred miles northward of these islands. Professor Ehrenberg* finds that this dust consists in great part of infusoria with siliceous shields, and of the siliceous tissue of plants. In five little packets which I sent him, he has ascertained no less than sixty-seven different organic forms! The infusoria, with the exception of two marine species, are all inhabitants of freshwater. I have found no less than fifteen different accounts of dust having fallen on vessels when far out in the Atlantic. From the direction of the wind whenever it has fallen, and from its having always fallen during those months when the harmattari is known to raise clouds of dust high into the atmosphere, we may feel sure that it all comes from Africa. It is, however, a very singular fact, that, although Professor Ehrenberg knows many species of infusoria peculiar to Africa, he finds none of these in the dust which I sent him : on the other hand, he finds in it two species which hitherto he knows as living only in South América^ The dust falls in such quantities as to dirty everything on board, and to hurt people's eyes; vessels even have run on shore owing to the obscurity of the atmosphere. It has often fallen on ships when several hundred, and even more than a thousand miles from the coast of Africa, and at points sixteen hundred miles distant in a north and south direction. In some dust which was collected on a vessel three hundred miles from the land, I was much surprised to find particles of stone above the thousandth of an inch square, mixed with finer matter. After this fact one need not be surprised at the diffusion of the far lighter and smaller sporules of cryptogamic plants.

The geology of this island is the most interesting part of its natural history. On entering the harbour, a perfectly horizontal white band in the face of the sea cliff, may be seen running for

* I must take this opportunity of acknowledging the great kindness wifli which, this illustrious naturalist lias examined many of my specimens. I have sent (June, 1845) a full account of the falling of this dust to the Geological Society.

6 ST. JAGO—CAPE DE VERB ISLANDS. [chap. i.

some miles along the coast, and at the height of about forty-five feet above the water. Upon examination, this white stratum is found to consist of calcareous matter, with numerous shells embedded, most or all of which now exist on the neighbouring coast. It rests on ancient volcanic rocks, and has been covered by a stream of basalt, which must have entered the sea when the white shelly bed was lying at the bottom. It is interesting to trace the changes, produced by the heat of the overlying lava, on the friable mass, which in parts has been converted into a crystalline limestone, and in other parts into a compact spotted stone. Where the lime has been caught up by the scoriaceous fragments of the lower surface of the stream, it is converted into groups of beautifully radiated fibres resembling arragonite. The beds of lava rise in. successive gently-sloping plains, towards the interior, whence the deluges of melted stone have originally proceeded. Within historical times, no signs of volcanic activity have, I believe, been manifested in any part of St. Jago. Even the form of a crater can but rarely be discovered on the summits of the many red cindery hills; yet the more recent streams can be distinguished on the coast, forming lines of cliffs of less height, but stretching out in advance of those belonging to an older series : the height of the cliffs thus affording a rude measure of the age of the streams.

During our stay, I observed the habits of some marine animals. A large Aplysia is very common. This sea-slug is about five inches long; and is of a dirty yellowish colour, veined with purple. On each side of the lower surface, or foot, there is a broad membrane, which ap'pears sometimes to act as a ventilator, in causing a current of water to flow over the dorsal branchise or lungs. It feeds on the delicate sea-weeds which grow among the stones in muddy and shallow water; and I found in its stomach several small pebbles, as in the gizzard of a bird. This slug, when disturbed, emits a very fine purplish-red fluid, which stains the water for the space of a foot around. Besides this means of defence, an acrid secretion, which is spread over its body, causes a sharp, stinging sensation, similar to that produced by the Physalia, or Portuguese man-of-war.

I was much interested, on several occasions, by watching the habits of an Octopus, or cuttle-fish. Although common in the

1832.] HABITS OF A CUTTLE-FISH. 7

pools of water left by the retiring tide, these animals were not easily caught. By means of their long arms and suckers, they could drag their bodies into very narrow crevices; and when thus fixed, it required great force to remove them. At other times they darted tail first, with the rapidity of an arrow, from one side of the pool to the other, at the same instant discolouring the water with a dark chestnut-brown ink. These animals also escape detection by a very extraordinary, chameleon-like power of changing their colour. They appear to vary their tints according to the nature of the ground over which they pass: when in deep water, their general shade was brownish purple, but when placed on the land, or in shallow water, this dark tint changed into one of a yellowish green. The colour, examined more carefully, was a French grey, with numerous minute spots of bright yellow: the former of these varied in intensity; the latter entirely disappeared and appeared again by turns. These changes were effected in such a manner, that clouds, varying in tint between a hyacinth red and a chestnut brown,* were continually passing over the body. Any part, being subjected to a slight shock oí galvanism, became almost black: a similar effect, but in a less degree, was produced by scratching the skin with a needle. These clouds, or blushes as they may be called, are said to be produced by the alternate expansion and contraction of minute vesicles containing variously coloured fluids.*)*

This cuttle-fish displayed its chameleon-like power both during the act of swimming and whilst remaining stationary at the bottom. I was much amused by the various arts to escape detection used by one individual, which seemed fully aware that I was watching it. Remaining for a time motionless, it would then stealthily advance an inch or two, like a cat after a mouse; sometimes changing its colour: it thus proceeded, till having gained a deeper part, it darted away, leaving a dusky train of ink to hide the hole into which it had crawled.

While looking for marine animals, with my head about two feet above the rocky shore, I was more than once saluted by a jet of water, accompanied by a slight grating noise. At first I could not think what it was, but afterwards I found out that it was

* So named according to Patrick Symes's nomenclature. f See Encyclop. of Aflat, and Physiol*, article Cephalopoda.

ST. PAUL'S ROCKS. [chap. i.

this cuttle-fish, which, though concealed in a hole; thus often led me to its discovery. That it possesses the power of ejecting water there is no doubt, and it appeared tome that it could certainly take good aim by directing the tube or siphon on the under side of its body. From the difficulty which these animals have in carrying their heads, they cannot crawl with ease when placed on the ground. I observed that one which I kept in the cabin was slightly phosphorescent in the dark.

St. > Paul's E-ocks.—In crossing the Atlantic we hove-to, during the morning of February 16th, close to the island of St. Paul's. This cluster of rocks is situated in 0° 58' north latitude, and 29° 15'west longitude. It is 540 miles distant from the coast of America, and 350 from the island of Fernando Noronha. The highest point is only fifty feet above the level of the sea, and the entire circumference is under three-quarters of a mile. This small point rises abruptly out of the depths of the ocean. Its mineralogical constitution is not simple; in some parts the rock is of a cherty, in others of a felspathic nature, including thin veins of serpentine. It is a remarkable fact, that all the many small islands, lying far from any continent, in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans, with the exception of the Seychelles and this little point of rock, are, I believe, composed either of coral or of erupted matter. The volcanic nature of these oceanic islands is evidently an extension of that law, and the effect of those same causes, whether chemical or mechanical, from which it results that a vast majority of the volcanoes now in action stand either near sea-coasts or as islands in the midst of the sea.

The rocks of St. Paul appear from a distance of a brilliantly white colour. This is partly owing to the dung of a vast multitude of seafowl, and partly to a coating of a hard glossy substance with a pearly lustre, which is intimately united to the surface of the rocks. This, when examined with a lens, is found to consist of numerous exceedingly thin layers, its total thickness being about the tenth of an inch. It contains much animal matter, and its origin, no doubt, is due to the action of the rain or spray on the birds' dung. Below some small masses of guano at Ascension, and on the Abrolhos Islets, I found certain stalac-titic branching bodies, formed apparently in the same manner as

1832.] SINGULAR INCRUSTATIONS. 9

the thin white coating on these rocks. The branching bodies so closely resembled in general appearance certain nulliporse (a family of hard calcareous sea-plants), that in lately looking hastily over my collection I did not perceive the difference. The globular extremities of the branches are of a pearly texture, like the enamel of teeth, but so hard as just to scratch plate-glass. I may here mention, that on a part of the coast of Ascension, where there is a vast accumulation of shelly sand, an incrustation is deposited on the tidal rocks, by the water of the sea, resembling, as represented in the woodcut, certain cryptogamic plants (Mar-ehantioe) often seen on damp walls. The surface of the fronds is


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