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mit is nearly 13,200 feet above the sea ume than is borne to the sea by the level, and when, after passing the moun lake-like Potomac. tain valley of Tunyan, 3,000 feet in The climate of Chile, influenced by depth, the traveler, faint with the diffi. its situation between the mountains and culty of respiration at these heights, the sea, is peculiar. At its northern reaches the second summit, and looks extremity, the desert of Atacama lies through the Portillo,* at the distant under the southern border of the tradeocean-like pampas of Buenos Ayres, winds, which, chilled in rising over the he has attained the elevation of 14,475 Andes, condeuse their moisture in feet. For the “puna," or weakness heavy rains to nourish the forests, and and lassitude caused by exertion in the feed the huge rivers of the Atlantic thin atmosphere of these great alti- slope, and then come down the western tudes, onions and garlic are recommend declivities, so dry as to absorb, instead ed as remedies; though it is quaintly of shedding moisture. Here, and in mentioned that Dr. Darwin found no the neighboring districts of Peru, rain thing so efficacious in removing it as the scarcely ever falls, and the mode of discovery of fossil shells at the eleva- building adopted is such that a rainy tion of more than 13,000 feet above day will bring down more houses than their parent ocean.
an earthquake. In the valley leading to the Portillo As we go southward and come under pass are beds of pure white gypsum, the influence of the return current, which are estimated (unless the printer which, outside the tropics, sets from has added a superfluous cipher) at 2,000 the westward to counterbalance the infeet in thickness.
tertropical flow of the trade-winds, and The less used passes of Come-Ca- brings the evaporation from the Pacific vallo, (literally " eat-horse,”) and Dona to the continent, the rains commence Ana, are at heights of 14,500 and and increase, so that while in the north14,900 feet, so that the lower indenta ern part of Chile, there are, on an avertions of this chain are as high as the age, but fourteen rainy days in the loftiest peaks of European moun year, there are in the southern districts tains.
forty. But even in central Chile the Few cross the range in the south of rains descend only in the winter months Chile. There are at least two passes of May, June, July, and August, while those of the Planchon and the Antuco— during the summer, vegetation almost at elevations of only about 6,500 feet; disappears; the hills become brown, but east of the mountains the Pehuen- and little efficient cultivation is practiches scour the pampas, and travelers cable save by irrigation. The olive prefer the danger and difficulty of the flourishes, and the grape yields good higher northern passes to the risk of wine, but the sugar-cane and many encountering these fierce savages. other tropical plants do not succeed, for Among the mountains are many
want of continuous moisture. In lolakes, shut in the basins of upheaved calities where this can be supplied, the rock. They are in many instances ac native fruit-trees and a great variety cessible only with difficulty ; are fed of shrubs are evergreen, but Lombardy by mountain torrents, and give birth to poplars and other introduced trees reother streams which roar through rapid- tain their deciduous habits. It seems ly descending gorges and valleys to strange to read of their yellow leaves ward the ocean.
falling in May, and their boughs reAs might be expected, the rivers of maining bare during June and July ; Chile are short, turbulent, and rarely but this is only one of the features of this navigable. The largest, the Biobio, is land, the reverse of our own country, navigable for boats only from forty to not only in its position relatively to the fifty miles. These streams, though not equator, but to the continent and ocean. large in appearance, discharge great Maize is raised to some extent, barley quantities of water; and it is be succeeds well, and rye was introduced lieved that the Mapocho, at Santiago, for the purpose of distillation; but although but thirty yards in width, pours though the yield of grain was good, its through its sloping bed a greater vol cultivation was abandoned because the
* This opening of the ridge is but just wide enough for a loaded mule to pass ; hence its name, portillo," a little door.
Chilenos preferred their own aguardi- and comforts of the people. Out of less ente, and would not take kindly to than 45,000 births, more than 10,000 were whiskyWheat is a great staple, and illegitimate, and to the large mortality Chile flour was for a long time almost among children, arising from the neglect the sole supply of California.
and insufficient care incident to such a At Santiago there fell, in the brief state of things, are to be added the rainy season in 1850, fifty-six inches of effects of scrofulous diseases, which are rain, and in 1851, thirty-nine inches; the secondary results of vicious habits, quantities quite equal to the rain-fall and of privations arising from that indistributed through twelve months in dolence which often inflicts on the apNew York. Lightning, though fre- parently favored population of mild quent in the Andes, is so rare in the climates a degree of poverty and want valley that a sharp thunder-shower unknown among the industrious sons causes almost as much consternation as of the north. Lieut. Gilliss gives, in an earthquake.
several places, unpleasant accounts of Still further southward, the number of the character and domestic life of the rainy days in winter and the constant lower classes of the people, and reprehumidity of the seasons increase, as is sents the condition of the peon laborers shown by the fact, that while Central as practically not less servile and deChile has scarcely a tree, except the pendent than that of the negroes of our exotic species planted along the water own south; while they have not that legal courses, the southern provinces possess claim on their masters for support and valuable forests of tall and heavy timber. protection which, with the latter, forms Here there have been observed 156 rainy some counterpoise to the weight of their days in the year, and this region would unfortunate position. probably well reward steady cultivation; The attention of Lieut. Gilliss and but it yet remains, in great proportion, his associates was given with much in the possession of warlike Araucanian care to the earthquakes, so common on Indians.
the southern Pacific coast; but we do Still beyond, the cold, wet, and tem not perceive that the report affords pestuous climate of Cape Horn and the much information in regard to them Straits of Magellan, has long been pro
that is new. The establishment of a verbial.
telegraph line, between Santiago and Beautiful atmospheric effects delight Valparaiso, enabled observers to prove the visitor to this mountain land. At that, at least in one instance, the shock Santiago there is often a season of warm, was precisely simultaneous at these two hazy weather, like an Indian summer, points, though upwards of sixty miles but it occurs not in November, but asunder. This is the first satisfactory in their autumn, about the last of observation of the kind; for all previous March or first of April. Most remark- observations of time, in which dependable are the sunset hues, which Lieut. ence was placed on clocks at remote Gilliss describes as flitting over the points, were not to be relied on at all. snowy Cordillera, after the plains are A large amount of details in relation in shadow; successive tints of violet, to earthquakes is given, embracing acpurple, and rosy pink, creeping up the counts of the more severe convulsions white slopes, and forming a picture to since 1570. That of 1835 appears, so which no words can render justice." far as the southern provinces were con
Yet, bright as are its skies, soft its cerned, to have been one of the most breezes, and delightful its temperature, terrible. The towns of Concepcion and free from the fierce heats of the tropics Talcahuano were destroyed, not more and the frosts of winter, the climate by the earthquake itself than by the of Chile is not regarded by Lieut. huge waves, which rolled in from the Gilliss as favorable to longevity. Few ocean at intervals for hours after, sweepaged men are met with, and from the ing ships 200 yards inland, overturning census returns of 1854 the population and removing from their places twentyappears, during six years, to have in- four pound cannon, and dragging back, creased only three per cent., or from in their seaward reflux, everything that 1,393,000 to 1,435,000. Probably other was movable. On this occasion the island than climatic causes contribute to this of Santa Maria, seven miles in length, effect, for the report before us gives but was upheaved, bodily, to an averago an unfavorable picture of the morals height of nine feet, together with the
bottom of the sea around, so that in of domestic disturbance and civil war, places where, in 1834, there had been we bave not room to speak. It seems thirty feet depth of water, subsequent a very ungracious feature in a report soundings showed but twenty-one. The made and published in such an official island of Mocha, seventy or eighty miles manner, to describe with what must be distant, was, at the same time, raised regarded as disapprobation any of the about two feet. The celebrated Juan social, civil, or religious custoins or Fernandez, 360 miles from the coast, transactions of a sister republic, with was violently shaken, and a volcano which we have been on friendly terms, burst forth through 300 feet of water, and which received and aided the exat a distance of a mile from its shore. pedition with the utmost kindness and
In connection with such sudden and attention. Lieut. Gilliss seems to have violent changes of level, which seem the anticipated such a view of portions of effect of the same forces which, in past his volume, and deprecates it in an epochs, raised the Andes themselves “apologetic conclusion," on the last from the sea, Lieut. Gilliss suggests page. Yet, it seems to us, that this that others may be going on impercep- government document should have left tibly, such as geologists know to have untouched, or very slightly referred to, been for centuries raising the coast of topics so delicate, especially if not Scandinavia. His meridian circle, stand- strictly embraced within the natural and ing on stone blocks, which rested im- legitimate scope of a scientific publicamediately on the rock of Santa Lucia, tion; and that their omission would bave showed, for many months, a distinct and been one step well taken in retrenchalmost uniform change of position, as if ment of the unnecessarily cumbrous diits eastern support was constantly rising, mensions of the work. or the whole hill slowly tilting over to The chapters devoted to journeys the westward. * Such changes have through the provinces, and that from been suspected in parts of England, and New York to Panama, and thence we remember reading, some yeurs since, by the Peruvian coast, would furnish of surveys made and monuments accu many quotations and facts of interest, rately fixed in the southern counties, but we must refer our readers tu the by future inspection of which the book, which, by the “liberality of slightest fluctuations could be detected Congress," has been widely distributed. in the rocky foundations of that reputed They will also find in it a valuable inass "fast-anchored isle."
of statistics of a commercial character, We have seen it stated that the aver in relation to products, exports and age annual number of earthquake shocks imports, mines, harbors, etc., etc.; and at Lima is forty-five, though no dis- will have reason to admire the energy astrous convulsion has occurred there and ability which was able, during the for a very long time. The present report brief intervals of engrossing scieutifio gives the number occuring at Santiago duties, to gather so great and so various during twenty-eight months as sixty a mass of general information. nine, and twice as many were noticed The second voluine is, as we have during the same period of time in the said, chiefly occupied with papers on northern province of Coquimbo. Most antiquarian and scientific sulijects. That of these were comparatively trifling, on ludian reinains, by Mr. Ewbank, deserious damage being caused in but few scribes and figures a great variety of instances. It has been thought that relics, which, however, are almost excluthey occur more frequently in autumn sively Peruvian, very few of them being than at other seasons, but it is not estab- from Chile. Among the latter are copper lished that any connection exists be axes and chisels, and a copper knife of tween the changes of our atmosphere crescent shape with a handle attached and these movernents of the solid crust to its centre, very like the kind in use of our earth.
in every saddler's shop, or to others Of the long accounts given of the found among the collections of Egyptigovernment, church, and society in an antiquities. It is interesting to notice Chile, and of the presidential election the unitorinity in shape of tools which of 1851, and its unhappy consequences human ingenuity has contrived for its
* This movement went on regularly through seven or eight months of the year, but appeared to be interrupled during the winter, when the instrument remained nearly stationary.
own assistance, through such remote armor was at one time supposed to have periods and regions.
covered the megatherium. These copper tools are not hardened Lieut. Phelps contributes an interto any considerable degree, as their esting account of the habits of the proprietors seem to have valued highly guanaco, one of the peculiar family the power of sharpening them by thin of quadrupeds to which the cama and ning the edge with a hammer, a method alpaca belong, and which, like the arwhich shortened the otherwise long and madilloes, had among the lost races of tedious process of abrading them ou a the ante-human epoch a gigantic reprewhetstone.
sentative in the "macrauchenia." Mr. Among the Peruvian relics are many Phelps hunted the guanacoes among vessels of earthenware, showing the pro their native mountain heights, and seems ficiency which the aboriginal tribes had to have found this chase a larger made in the art of the potter ; others kind of deer-stalking, the animal being carved from wood; baskets, fragments so shy and vigilant as to perceive and of textile fabrics, bodkins, needles, and fly from the hunter while yet at two other bumble household property, buried miles distance. He, however, succeeded long ago in the graves with their dusky in shooting them, though their propenowners. A collection of Peruvian an sity to buund over the nearest precitiquities, examined by Mr. Ewbank in pice, when struck by the bullet, made Brazil, has furnished inost of the illus their recovery often difficult or impostrations, not only of stone and earth- sible. en, but metallic objects-ornaments, Mr. Cassin's article on the birds is small tools, and industrial implements, illustrated by handsomne colored plates, weapons, official batons or sceptres, partly executed by the new chromoty pio and small statuettes, fabricated of cop process. Though many of the Chilian per, bronze, gold, and silver. All these, birds differ very widely from those of with innumerable relics of similar char our northern temperate zone, there still acter, by which so much has been learn occur, among the wading and swimming ed of the conditions of art at remote kinds, some of the identical species periods in all quarters of the world, we known in Pennsylvania and New Engowe to that alinost universal supersti- land, while among others we notice that tion (if we are at liberty to call it by striking similarity in general appearance that name), which led to the burial, with which often occurs in species which are the lost friend, of the articles most useful reasonably regarded as having sprung to or prized by him during life.
from entirely different origins. This The paper contributed by Mr. Baird, apparently indicates (if we may use of the Smithsonian Institution, is occu such an expression in reference to the pied with the numerous specimens of inscrutable creative agency) a tendency the mammalia of Chile, collected by in nature to produce closely similar Lieut. Gilliss, and to a list of all the forms in remote regions, in a manner species yet known from that country. analogous to that in which the palæontoThe existence of the “ panther" of our logist finds similar forms to bave been northern forests through South Ameri- produced and reproduced at remote ca, where it is well known under the epochs. name of “puma" and "cougar," is a Facts of this nature strike us with remarkable instance of the wide diffu- especial interest, if viewed in connecsion of a single species. Among the tion with the disputes which prevail more interesting quadrupeds noticed, are respecting the unchangeable character an opossum, alınost as small as a mouse of species, and the unity or diversity of and as downy as a flying squirrel; the similar races.
An example of this kind coypou, that beaver-like, aquatic animal, may be found in the close resemblance of whose skins are so important an article our golden-winged woodpecker to the of trade under the name of “nutria" red-quilled species of the Cape of Good fur; and that rare armadillo, the chlamy Hope ; where two species, which a carephorus, one example of that remarkable less observer might deem to be accifamily of mailed quadrupeds peculiar to dental varieties, caused by climate or the South American continent, where other circumstances, are proved, by the are found the fossil bones and plates of impossibility of their transmission or a gigantic predecessor, whose length migration across wide oceans, and the Cuvier estimated at ten feet, and whose impassable torrid zone, to be of radically
distinct character. The reader, who belong to less conspicuous, but not less can look over the immense and almost able laborers in the same field. unrivaled ornithological collection of Dr. Wyman's article is a brief dethe Philadelphia Academy of Natural scription of some mastodon bones from Sciences, will find an hundred illustra Southern Chile, belonging to different tions of the same fact. Among those species from those known in the United conspicuous in Mr. Cassin's memoir are States. the large blackbird, so like our own Mr. Conrad describes and figures some large grakle, the smaller species almost fossil shells, whose interest is very the counterpart of our red-wing, except great on account of the position of their that his gay epaulette is of gold instead localities. Some, of Oolitic or Jurassic of crimson, and the sturnella, scarcely age, are from the Cordillera de Dona differing from our familiar meadow lark, Ana, at the height of 13,400 feet above but with a breast of red instead of the sea, and furnish certain evidence yellow.
that since the secondary geological Mr. Girard, also of the Smithsonian, epoch, when they died and were buried, dea vith the reptiles and crustacea. this part of the Andes has een raised No lover ever yet made his sonnet to by more than one half of its present his mistress's eyebrow with the devotion enormous elevation. Probably, when and minuteness with which a thorough those rocks were forming, and includherpetologist scans the surocular, post- ing the relics of the living forms of their frontal, subgular, or symphyseal scales parent ocean-long after the silurian and plates of snakes. If the reader regions of our northern states had would be amused by two quarto pages risen above the sea, long after the Pennof detailed description of a single lizard, sylvania coal measures and the ridgy without a word of its habits or manner Alleghanies had been crumpled into of life; or entertained with five pages their present distorted and folded form, about the form and arrangement of the and after the sea-beach bird-tracks had maxillipes, caudal paddles, chela, rostra, hardened in the red sandstones of the and antennæ of the little crustaceous Connecticut Valley—this huge mounwretch, called, for want of a shorter tain chain only showed above the waves name, Rhyncocinectes, let him borrow a line of peaks and ridges forming a long Vol. II. of this report, and sit down series of mountain islands. cheerfully to it. We suspect, however, Other shells, found on the line of the that he, with us, would be better pleased Copiapo rail-road, at the elevation of 420 with some book of natural history, deals feet above tide, are identical with species ing more with the complete living form now living in the Pacific. This part of and its habits than with minute struc the Chilian coast must, therefore, have tural details, and the changing arrange been raised at least 420 feet since the ments of system and nomenclature. existence of the fauna, now inhabiting Nevertheless, let justice be done to the its bordering waters. The researches patient investigator of the driest anato of Dr. Darwin, and other previous exmy. His laborious accumulation of facts plorers, have shown yet more remarkain natural science, is like the collection ble facts, proving that this enormous and arrangement of medals and inscrip- chain, and the broad continental plains tions, and half interpreted alphabets to the eastward of it, have, during the and hieroglyphics. By-and-by, when latter periods of geological history, unthe series of observations is nearly dergone oscillations of elevation and complete, will arise the man of wide depression of astonishing extent. views, the combiner and generalizer, to Before closing this necessarily brief sweep the whole army of facts into and imperfect sketch, we should mentheir disciplined array; and the story tion the liberal and enlightened course is told, the world listens, and learns in of the Chilian government in supporta few words the great results of life- ing extensive scientific researches on its times of toil. This facile or fortunate soil, and in its efforts for the education employer of others' observations, this of its people. The work of M. Gay, eventual interpreter into popular form, published by the state, comprises, in of truths before scattered and hidden addition to five volumes of political and in technical books, is, like a command- civil history and two of documents, ing officer, too apt to concentrate on eight volumes of zoology and nine of himself the laurels which in great share botany, illustrated by 350 elegantly en