• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: Introduction
 Chapter II: Voyage from Corunna...
 Chapter III: Island of Tenerif...
 Chapter IV: Passage from Teneriffe...
 Chapter V: Cumana
 Chapter VI: Residence at Cuman...
 Chapter VII: Missions of the...
 Chapter VIII: Excurson continued,...
 Chapter IX: Indians fo Neo-And...
 Chapter X: Residence at Cumana
 Chapter XI: Voyage from Cumana...
 Chapter XII: City of Caraccas and...
 Chapter XIII: Earthquakes...
 Chapter XIV: Journey from Caraccas...
 Chapter XV: Journey across the...
 Chapter XVI: Voyage down the Rio...
 Chapter XVII: Voyage up the...
 Chapter XVIII: Voyage up the Orinoco...
 Chapter XIX: Route from Esmeralda...
 Chapter XX: Journey across the...
 Chapter XXI: Passage to Havana,...
 Chapter XXII: Voyage from Cuba...
 Chapter XXIII: Brief account of...
 Chapter XXIV: Description of New-Spain...
 Chapter XXV: Statistical account...
 Chapter XXVI: Mines of New-Spa...
 Chapter XXVII: Passage from Vera...
 Chapter XXVIII: Journey to...














Group Title: Harper's family library ;, no. 59
Title: The travels and researches of Alexander von Humboldt
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025508/00001
 Material Information
Title: The travels and researches of Alexander von Humboldt being a condensed narrative of his journeys in the equinoctial regions of America, and in Asiatic Russia : together with analyses of his more important investigations
Series Title: Harper's family library
Physical Description: 367 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill., map ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859
Macgillivray, William, 1796-1852
Publisher: Harper
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1842
 Subjects
Subject: Scientific expeditions   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- South America   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Mexico   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by W. Macgillivray. With a map of the Orinoco and engravings.
General Note: Added t.p. engraved.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025508
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000587267
oclc - 13210223
notis - ADB5967

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Preface
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Table of Contents
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Chapter I: Introduction
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Chapter II: Voyage from Corunna to Teneriffe
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Chapter III: Island of Teneriffe
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Chapter IV: Passage from Teneriffe to Cumana
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Chapter V: Cumana
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Chapter VI: Residence at Cumana
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Chapter VII: Missions of the Chaymas
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Chapter VIII: Excurson continued, and return to Cumana
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Chapter IX: Indians fo Neo-Andalusia
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Chapter X: Residence at Cumana
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Chapter XI: Voyage from Cumana to Guayra
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Chapter XII: City of Caraccas and surrounding district
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Chapter XIII: Earthquakes of Caraccas
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Chapter XIV: Journey from Caraccas to the Lake of Valencia
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    Chapter XV: Journey across the Llanos, from Aragua to San Fernando
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Chapter XVI: Voyage down the Rio Apure
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183-184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Chapter XVII: Voyage up the Orinoco
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
    Chapter XVIII: Voyage up the Orinoco continued
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
    Chapter XIX: Route from Esmeralda to Angrostura
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
    Chapter XX: Journey across the Llanos to New-Barcelona
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Chapter XXI: Passage to Havana, and residence in Cuba
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
    Chapter XXII: Voyage from Cuba to Carthagena
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    Chapter XXIII: Brief account of the journey from Carthagena to Quite and Mexico
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
    Chapter XXIV: Description of New-Spain or Mexico
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
    Chapter XXV: Statistical account of New-Spain continued
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
    Chapter XXVI: Mines of New-Spain
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
    Chapter XXVII: Passage from Vera Cruz to Cuba and Philadelphia, and voyage to Europe
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
    Chapter XXVIII: Journey to Asia
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
Full Text


TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES
OF

BARON HUMBOLDT.


NEfW-YORK:

HARPER & BROTHERS, 82 CLIFF-ST.








THE


TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES


OF


ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT;


BEING

I CONDENSED NARRATIVE OF HIS JOURNEYS IN THE
EQUINOCTIAL REGIONS OF AMERICA, AND IN
ASIATIC RUSSIA:--TOGETHER WITH
ANALYSES OF HIS MORE IMPORT-
ANT INVESTIGATIONS.



BY W. \ ..LLIYRAP.M., .
C o Dn r a to r ..t 1 i P i .. t' : .: '. ,rr ,' i(' E .i .. r.*r h M e t ."p f
tl.- r l ** : _. r l l ?i l 'i^ *., S ti



I TH A MAP OF HE cOldN-JC'ljv ANk NGRATIgaGi







NEW YORK:

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
82 CLIFF STREET.





'.y '[3




PREFACE.
; '


THE celebrity which Baron Humboldt enjoys, and
which he has earned by a life of laborious investiga-
tion and perilous enterprise, renders his name fami-
liar to every person whose attention has been drawn
to political statistics or natural philosophy. In the
estimation of the learned no author of the present
day occupies a higher place among those who have
enlarged the boundaries of human knowledge. To
every one, accordingly, whose aim is the general cul-
tivation of the mental faculties, his works are recom-
mended by the splendid pictures of scenery which
they contain, the diversified information which they
afford respecting objects of universal interest, and
the graceful attractions with which he has succeeded
in investing the majesty of science.
These considerations have induced the publishers
to offer a condensed account of his Travels and Re-
searches, such as, without excluding subjects even
of laboured investigation, might yet chiefly embrace
those which are best suited to the purposes of the
general reader. The public taste has of late years
gradually inclined towards objects of useful know-
ledge,-works of imagination have in a great mea-


4793/





6 PREFACE.
sure given place to those occupied with descriptions
of nature, physical or moral,-and the phenomena
of the material world now afford entertainment to
many who in former times would have sought for it
at a different source. Romantic incidents, perilous
adventures, the struggles of conflicting armies, and
vivid delineations of national manners and individ-
ual character, naturally excite a lively interest in
every bosom, whatever may be the age or sex; but,
surely, the great facts of creative power and wis-
dom, as exhibited in regions of the globe of which
they have no personal knowledge, are not less cal-
culated to fix the attention of all reflecting minds.
The magnificent vegetation of the tropical regions,
displaying forests of gigantic trees, interspersed with
the varied foliage of innumerable shrubs, and adorned
with festoons of climbing and odoriferous plants;
the elevated table-lands of the Andes, crowned by
volcanic cones whose summits shoot high into the
region of perennial snow; the earthquakes that have
desolated populous and fertile countries; the vast
expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, with its circling cur-
rents; and the varied aspect of the heavens in those
distant lands,-are subjects suited to the taste of
every individual who is capable of contemplating the
wonderful machinery of the universe.
It is unnecessary here to present an analysis of
the labours of the illustrious philosopher whose foot-
steps are traced in this volume. Suffice it to observe,
that some notices respecting his early life introduce
the reader to an acquaintance with his character and
motives, as the adventurous traveller, who, crossing


S,^





PREFACE 7
the Atlantic, traversed the ridges and plains of Vene-
zuela, ascended the Orinoco to its junction with the
Amazon, sailed down the former river to the capital
f Guiana, and after examining the island of Cuba,
nounted by the valley of the Magdalena to the ele
vated platforms of the Andes, explored the majestic
solitudes of the great cordilleras of Quito, navigated
the margin of the Pacific Ocean, and wandered over
the extensive and interesting provinces of New-
Spain, whence he made his way back by the United
States to Europe. The publication of the important
results of this journey was not completed when he
undertook another to Asiatic Russia and the coni-
fines of China, from which he has but lately re-
turned.
From the various works which he has given to the
world have been derived the chief materials of this
narrative; and, when additional particulars were
wanted, application was made to M. de Humboldt
himself, who kindly pointed out the sources whence
the desired information might be obtained. The
life of a man of letters, he justly observed, ought
to be sought for in his books; and for this reason
little has been said respecting his occupations during
the intervals of repose which have succeeded .his
perilous journeys.
It is only necessary further to apprize the reader,
that the several measurements, the indications of the
thermometer, and the value of articles of industry
or commerce, which in the original volumes are ex-
pressed according to French, Spanish, and Russian
usage, have been reduced to English equivalents.






8 PREFACE.
Finally, the publishers, confident that this abridged
account of the travels of Humboldt will prove bene-
ficial in diffusing a knowledge of the researches of
that eminent naturalist, and in leading to the study
of those phenomena which present themselves daily
to the eye, send it forth with a hope that its reception
will be as favourable and extensive as that bestowed
upon its predecessors.
EDINBURGH, October, 1832.














CONTENTS.





CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTION.
Birth and Education of Humboldt-His early Occupations-He resolves
to visit Africa-Is disappointed in his Views, and goes to Madrid,
where he is introduced to the King, and obtains Permission to visit
the Spanish Colonies-Observations made on the Journey through
Spain-Geological Constitution of the Country between Madrid ani
Corunna-Climate-Ancient Submersion of the Shores of the Medi-
terranean-Reception at Corunna, and Preparations for the Voyage to
South America............................................ Page 15

CHAPTER II.
VOYAGE FROM CORUNNA TO TENERIFFE.
Departure from Corunna-Currents of the Atlantic Ocean-Marine Ani-
mals-Falling Stars-Swallows-Canary Islands-Lancerota-Fucus
vitifolius-Causes of the Green Colour of Plants-La Graciosa-
Stratified Basalt alternating with Marl-Hyalite-Quartz Sand-
Remarks on the Distance at which Mountains are visible at Sea, and
the Causes by which it is modified- Landing at Teneriffe......... 22

CHAtTER III.
ISLAND OF TENERIFFE.
Santa Cruz-Villa de la Laguna--Guanches-Present Inhabitants of
Teneriffe-Climate-Scenery of the Coast-Orotava-Dragon-tree-
Ascent of the Peak-Its Geological Character-Eruptions-Zones of
Vegetation--Fires of St.John.................................. 35

CHAPTER IV.
PASSAGE FROM TENERIFFE TO CUMANA.
Departure from Santa Cruz-Floating Seaweeds-Flying-fish-Stars-
Malignant Fever-Island of Tobago-Death of a Passenger-Island
of Coche-Port of Cumana-Observations made during the Voyage;
Temperature of the Air; Temperature of the Sea; Hygrometrical
5tate of the Air ; Colour of the Sky and Ocean ...... .... ....... 47
B






CONTENTS.


CHAPTER V.
CUMANA.
Landing at Cumana-Introduction to the Governor-State of the Sick-
Description of the Country and City of Cumana-Mode of Bathing in
the Manzanares-Port of Cumana-Earthquakes; Their Periodicity;
Connexion with the State of the Atmosphere; Gaseous Emanations;
Subterranean Noises; Propagation of Shocks; Connexion between
those of Cumana and the West Indies; and general Phenomena... 59

CHAPTER VI.
RESIDENCE AT CUMANA.
Lunar Halo-African Slaves-Excursion to the Peninsula of Araya
Geological Constitution of the Country-Salt-works of Araya-Indians
and Mulattoes--Pearl-fishery-.Maniquarez-Mexican Deer--Spring
of Naphtha .................... ............................. 68

CHAPTER VII.
MISSIONS OF THE CHAYMAS.
Excursion to the Missions of the Chayma Indians-Remarks on Cul-
tivation-The Impossible-Aspect of the Vegetation-San Fernando-
Account of a Man who suckled a Child-Cumanacoa-Cultivation of
Tobacco-Igneous Exhalations-Jaguars-Mountain of Cocollar--
Turimiquiri-Missions of San Antonio and Guanaguana.......... 73

CHAPTER VII.
EXCURSION CONTINUED, AND RETURN TO CUMANA.
Convent of Caripe-Cave of Guacharo, inhabited by Nocturnal Birds-
Purgatory-Forest Scenery-Howling Monkeys-Vera Cruz--Carlaco
-Intermittent Fevers-Cocoa-trees-Passage across the Gulfof Carl-
aco to Cu na............. ......................... .......... 86

CHAPTER IX.
INDIANS OF NEW-ANDALUSIA.
Physical Constitution and Manners of the Chaymas-Their Languages
-American Races. ..................... ................... 9

CHAPTER X.
RESIDENCE AT CUMANA.
Residence at .Cumana-Attack of a Zambo-Eclipse of the Sun-
Extraordinary Atmospherical Phenomena-Shocks of an Earthquake
-Luminous Muteors........................................ 104






CONTSENT'Y 11

CHAPTER XI.
VOYAGE FROM CUMANA TO GUAYRA.
Passage from Cumana to La Guayra-Phosphorescence of the. Sea
Groupof the Caraccas and Chimanas-Port of New-Barcelona-La
Guayra-Yellow Fever-Coast and Cape Blanco-Road from La
Guayra to Caraccas......................................... 110

CHAPTER XII.
CITY OF CARACCAS AND SURROUNDING DISTRICT.
City of Caraccas-General View of Venezuela-Population-Climate-
Character of the Inhabitants of Caraccas-Ascent of the Silla-Geo-
logical Nature of the District, and the Mines................... 123

CHAPTER XIII.
EARTHQUAKES OF CARACCA8.
Extensive Connexion of Earthquakes-Eruption of the Volcano of St.
Vincent's-Earthquake of the 26th March, 812-'-Destruction of the
City-Ten Thousand of the Inhabitants killed-Consternation of the
Survivors-Extent of the Commotions....................... 135

CHAPTER XIV.
JOURNEY FROM CARACCAS TO THE LAKE OF VALENCIA.,
Departure from Caraccas-LaBuenavista-Valleys of San Pedroandthe
Tuy-Manterola-Zamang-tree-Valleys of Aragua-Lake of Valencia
-Diminution of its Waters-Hot Springs-Jaguar-New-Valencia-
Thermal Waters of La Trinchera-Porto Cabello-Cow-tree-Cocoa-
plantations-General View of the Littoral District of Venezuela.. 142

CHAPTER XV.
JOURNEY ACROSS THE LLANOS FROM ARAGUA TO SAN
FERNANDO.
Mountains between the Valleys of Aragua and the Llanos-TheirGeologi
cal Constitution-The Llanos of Caraccas-Route ovtr the Savanna
to the Rio Apure-Cattle and Deer-Vegetation-Calabozo-Gymnoti
or Electric Eels-Indian Girl-Alligators and Boas-Arrival at San
Fernandode Apure........................................ 160

CHAPTER XVL
VOYAGE DOWN THE RIO APURE
San Fernando-Commencement of the Rainy Season-Progress of At-
mospherical Phenomena-Cetaceous Animals-Voyage down the Rio
Apure-Vegetation and Wild Animals-Crocodiles, Chiguires, and






1] CONTENTS.

Jaguars-Don Ignacio and Donna Isabella-Water-fowl-Nocturnal
Howlings in the Forest-Caribe-fish-Adventure with a Jaguar-Ma-
natees-Mouth of the Rio Apure......................... .... 174

CHAPTER XVII.
VOYAGE UP THE ORINOCO.
Ascent of the Orinoco-Port of Encaramada-Traditions of a universal
Deluge-Gathering of Turtles' Eggs-Two Species described-Mode
of collecting the Eggs and of manufacturing the Oil-Probable Num-
ber of these Animals on the Orinoco-Decorations of the Indians-
Encampment of Pararuma-Height of the Inundations of the Ori-
noco-Rapids of Tabage...................................... 189

CHAPTER XVIII.
VOYAGE, UP THE ORINOCO CONTINUED.
Mission of Atures-Epidemic Fevers-Black Crust of Granitic Rocks--
Causes of Depopulation of the Missions-Falls of Apures-Scenery-
Anecdote of a Jaguar-Domestic Animals-Wild Man of the Woods
-Mlosquitoes and other poisonous Insects-Mission and Cataracts of
Maypures-Scenery-Inhabitants-Spice-trees-San Fernando deAta-
bipo-San Baltasar-The' Mother's Rock-Vegetation-Dolphins-
San Antonio de Javita-Indians-Elastic Gum-Serpents-Portage of
the Pimichin-Arrival at the Rio Negro, a Branch of the Amazon-
Ascent of the Casiquiare ............................ -... 206

CHAPTER XIX.
ROUTE FROM ESMERALDA TO ANGOSTURA.
Mission of Esmeralda-Curare Poison -Indians Duida Mountain-
Descent of the Orinoco-Cave of Ataruipe-Raudalito of Carucari-
Mission of Uruana-Character of the Otomaes-Clay eaten by the Na-
tives-Arrival at Angostura-The Travellers attacked by Fever-Fe-
rocity of the Crocodiles...................................... 234

CHAPTER XX.
JOURNEY ACROSS THE LLANOS TO NEW-BARCELONA.
Departure from Angostura-Village of Cari-Natives-New-Barcelona.
Hot Springs-Crocodiles-Passage to Cumana ................. 248

CHAPTER XXI.
PASSAGE TO HAVANA, AND RESIDENCE IN CUBA.
Passage from New-Barcelona to Havana-Description of the latter-Ex
tent of Chba-Geological Constitution-Vegetation-Climate--Popula






CONTENTS. 13

tion-Agriculture-Exports-Preparations forjoining Captain Baudin's
Expedition-Journey to Batabano, and Voyage to Trinidad de Cuba 215

CHAPTER XXII.
VOYAGE FROM CUBA TO CARTHAGENA.
Passage from Trinidad of Cuba to Carthagena-Description of the latter
-Village of Turbaco--Air-volcanoes-Preparations for ascending the
Rio Magdalena ..... ....... .......................... 266

CHAPTER XXIII.
BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE JOURNEY FROM CARTHAGENA TO
QUITO AND MEXICO.
Ascent of the Rio Magdalena-Santa Fe de Bogota-Cataract of Tequen-
dama-Natural Bridges of Icononzo-Passage of Quindiu-Cargueros
-Popayan-Quito-Cotopaxi and Chimborazo-Route from Quito to
Lima-Guayaquil-Mexico-Guaxunaxuato-Volcano of Jorullo-Pyra-
midofOholula ............................................. 279

CHAPTER XXIV.
DESCRIPTION OF NEW-SPAIN OR MEXICO.
General Description of New-Spain or Mexico-Cordilleras-Climates
-Mines-Rivers- Lakes-Soil-Volcanoes-Harbours-Population-
Provinces-Valley of Mexico, and Description of the Capital-Inunda-
tions, and Works undertaken for the Purpose of preventing them.. 297

CHAPTER XXV.
STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF NEW-SPAIN CONTINUED.
Agriculture of Mexico-Banana, Manioc, and Maize-Cereal Plants-
Nutritive Roots and Vegetables-Agave Americana-Colonial Com-
modities-Cattle, and Animal Productions.................... 2 312

CHAPTER XXVI.
MINES OF NEW-SPAIN.
Mining Districts-Metaltiferous Veins and Beds-Geological Relations
of the Ores-Produce of the Mines-Recapitulation............ 338

CHAPTER XXVII.

PASSAGE FROM VERA CRUZ TO CUBA AND PHILADELPHIA,
AND VOYAGE TO EUROPE.
Departure from Mexico-Passage to Havana and Philadelphia-Return
to Europe-Results of the Journeys in America................. 347







14 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXVIIL
JOURNEY TO ASIA.
Brief Account of Humboldt's Journey to Asia, with a Sketch of the Four
great Chains of Mountains which intersect the central Part of that
Continent.................................. .................. 35






ENGRAVINGS.

VIssrTT--Basaltic Rocks and Cascade of Regla.
Dragon-tree of Orotava.................................... Page 42
Humboldt's Route on the Orinoco............. ................. 112
Jaguar, or American Tiger...................... ........... .. 183
Air-volcanoes of Turbaco...................................... 274
Costumes of the Indians of Mechoacan. ................... ..... 9 5















TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES

OF

BARON HUMBOLDT.



CHAPTER I.

Introduction.
Blrth and Education of Humboldt-His early Occupations-He resolves
to visit Africa-Is disappointed in his Views, and goes to Madrid,
where he is introduced to the King, and obtains Permission to visit
tile Spanish Colonies-Observations made on the Journey througL
Spain-Geological Constitution of the Country between Madrid and
Corunna-Climate-Ancient Submersion of the Shores of the Medi-
terranean-Reception at Corunna, and Preparations for the Voyage to
South America.

WITH the name of Humboldt we associate all that
is interesting in the physical sciences. No travel-
ler who has visited remote regions of the globe, for
the purpose of observing the varied phenomena of
nature, has added so much- 'i our stock of positive
knowledge: While the navigator has explored the
coasts of unknown lands, discovered islands and
shores, marked the depths of the sea, estimated the
force of currents, and noted the more obvious traits
in the aspect of the countries at which he has
touched; while the zoologist has investigated the
multiplied forms of animal life, the botanist the di-
versified vegetation, the geologist the structure and





16 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.
relations of the rocky masses of which the exterior
of the earth is composed; and while each has thus
contributed to the illustration of the wonderful con-
stitution of our planet, the distinguished traveller
whose discoveries form the subject of this volume
stands alone as uniting in himself a knowledge of all
these sciences. Geography, meteorology, magnet-
ism, the distribution of heat, the various depart-
ments of natural history, together with the affinities
of races and languages, the history of nations, the
political constitution of countries, statistics, com-
merce, and agriculture,-all have received accumu-
lated and valuable additions from the exercise of his
rare talents. The narrative of no traveller, there-
fore, could be more interesting to the man of varied
information. But as from a work like that of which
the present volume constitutes a part subjects strictly
scientific must be excluded, unless when they can
be treated in a manner intelligible to the public at
large, it may here be stated, that many of the inves-
tigations of which we present the results must be
traced in the voluminous works which the author
himself has published. At the same time enough
will be given to gratify the scientific reader; and
while the narrative of personal adventure, the diver-
sified phenomena of the physical world, the condi-
tion of societies, and the numerous other subjects
discussed, will afford amusement and instruction, let
it-be remembered that truths faithfully extracted
from the book of nature are alone calculated to en-
large the sphere of mental vision; and that, while
fanciful description is more apt to mislead than to
direct the footsteps of the student, there is reflected
from the actual examination of the material universe
a light which never fails to conduct the mind at once
to sure knowledge and to pious sentiment.
Frederick Henry Alexander Von Humboldt was
born at Berlin, on the 14th of September, 1769. He
received his academic education at Gbttingen and





BIRTH AND EDUCATION OF HUMIBOLDT. 17
Frankfort on the Oder. In 1790 he visited Holland
and England in company with Messrs. George Fors-
ter and Van Geuns, and in the same year published
his first work, entitled Observations on the Basalts
of the Rhine." In 1791 he went to Freyberg to re-
ceive the instructions of the celebrated Werner, the
founder of geological science. The results of some
of his observations in the mines of that district
were published in 1793, under the title of Specimen
Flore Fribergensis Subterranee.
Having been appointed assessor of the Council of
Mines at Berlin in 1792, and afterward director-
general of the mines of the principalities of Bareith
and Anspach in Franconia, he directed his efforts to
the formation of public establishments in these dis-
tricts; but in 1795 he resigned his office with the
view of travelling, and visited part of Italy. His
active and comprehensive mind engaged in the study
of all the physical sciences; but the discoveries of
Galvani seem at this period to have more particularly
attracted his attention. The results of his experi-
ments on animal electricity were published in 1796,
with notes by Professor Blumenbach. In 1795 he
had gone to Vienna, where he remained some time,
ardently engaged in the study of a fine collection of
exotic plants in that city. He travelled through
several cantons of Salzburg and Styria with the
celebrated Von Buch, but was prevented by the war
which then raged in Italy from extending his journey
to that country, whither he was anxious to proceed
for the purpose of examining the volcanic districts
of Naples and Sicily. Accompanied by his brother
William Von Humboldt and Mr. Fischer, he then
visited Paris, where he formed an acquaintance with
M. AimB Bonpland, a pupil of the School of Medicine
and Garden of Plants, who, afterward becoming his
associate in travel, has greatly distinguished himself
by his numerous discoveries in botany.
Humboldt, from his earliest youth, had cherished





18 JOURNEY TO SPAIN.
an ardent desire to travel into distant regions little
known to Europeans; and having at the age of
eighteen resolved to visit the New Continent, he
prepared himself by examining some of the most
interesting parts of Europe, that he might be enabled
to compare the geological structure of these two
portions of the globe, and acquire a practical ac-
quaintance with the instruments best adapted for
aiding him in his observations. Fortunate in pos-
sessing ample pecuniary resources, he did not expe-
rience the privations which have disconcerted the
plans and retarded the progress of many eminent
individuals; but, not the less subject to unforeseen
vicissitudes, he had to undergo several disappoint-
ments that thwarted the schemes which, like all
men of ardent mind, he had indulged himself in
forming. Meeting with a person passionately fond
of the fine arts, and anxious to visit Upper Egypt, he
resolved to accompany him to that interesting coun-
try; but political events interfered, and forced him
to abandon the project. The knowledge of the
monuments of the more ancient nations of the Old
World, which he acquired at this period, was sub-
sequently of great use to him.in his researches in
the New Continent. An expedition of discovery to
the southern hemisphere, under the direction of
Captain Baudin, then preparing in France, and with
which MM. Michaux and Bonpland were to be asso-
ciated as naturalists, held out to him the hope of
gratifying his desire of exploring unknown regions.
But.the war which broke out in Germany and Italy
compelled the government to withdraw the funds
allotted to this enterprise. Becoming acquainted
with a Swedish consul who happened-to pass through
Paris, with the view of embarking at Marseilles on
a mission to Algiers, he resolved to embrace the
opportunity thus offered of visiting Africa, in order
to examine the lofty chain of miounrt.,nii in the em-
pire of Morocco, and ultimately to join the body6i6





GEOLOGYY AND CLIMATE OF SPAIN. 19
scientific men attached to the French army in Egypt.
Accompanied by his friend Bonpland, he therefore
betook himself to Marseilles, where he waited for
two months the arrival of the frigate which was to
convey the consul to his destination. At length,
learning that this vessel had been injured by a
storm, he resolved to pass the winter in Spain, in
hopes of finding another the following spring.
On his way to Madrid, he determined the geo-
graphical position of several important parts, and
ascertained the height of the central plain of Castile.
In March, 1799, he was presented at the court of
Aranjuez, and graciously received by the king, to
whom he explained the motives which induced him
to undertake a voyage to the New Continent. Be-
.,g seconded in his application by the representa-
tions of an enlightened minister, Don Mariano Lms
de Urquijo, he to his great joy obtained leave to visit
and explore, without impediment or restriction, all
the Spanish territories in America. The impatience
of the travellers to take advantage of the permission
thus granted did not allow them to bestow much
time upon preparations; and about the middle of
May they left Madrid, crossed part of Old Castile,
Leon, and Galicia, and betook themselves to Co-
runna, whence they were to sail for the island of
Cuba.
According to the observations made by our travel-
lers, the interior of Spain consists of an elevated
table-land, formed of secondary deposiotes,-sBiad-
stone, gypsum, rock-salt, and Jura limestone. The
climate of the Castiles is much colder than that of
Toulon and Genoa, its mean temperature scarcely
rising to 590 of Fahrenheit's thermometer. The
central plain is surrounded by a low and narrow belt,
in several parts of which the fan-palm, the date, the
sugar-cane, the banana, and many plants common to
Spain and the north of Africa vegetate, without suf-
fering from the severity of the winter. In the space





20 ARRIVAL AT CORUNNA.
included between the parallels of thirty-six and forty
degrees of north latitude the mean temperature
ranges from 62.60 to 68-20 Fahrenheit, and by a con-
currence of favourable circumstances this section
has become the principal seat of industry and intel-
lectual cultivation.
Ascending from the shores of the Mediterranean,
towards the elevated plains of La Mancha and the
Castiles, one imagines thathe sees far inland, in the
extended precipices, the ancient coast of the Penin-
sula; a circumstance which brings to mind the tra-
ditions of the Samothracians and certain historical
testimonies, according to which the bursting of the
waters through the Dardanelles, while it enlarged the
basin of the Mediterranean, overwhelmed the south-
ern part of Europe. The high central plain just de-
scribed would, it may be presumed, resist the effects
of the inundation until the escape of the waters by
the strait formed between the Pillars of Hercules,
had gradually lowered the level of the Mediterra-
nean, and thereby once more laid bare Upper Egypt
on the one hand, and on the other, the fertile valleys
of Tarragon, Valentia, and Murcia.
From Astorgato Corunna the mountains gradually
rise, the secondary strata disappear by degrees, and
the transition rocks which succeed announce the prox-
imftyof primitive formations. Large mountains of
Sgraywacke andgraywv:, I,:.-- I.'l- pr ': -t lI m-.: I .
In the vicinity of the latter town are granitic sum-
mits which extend to Cape Ortegal, and which
might seem, with those of Brittany and Cornwall, to
have once formed a chain of mountains that has
been broken up and submersed.. This rock is char-
acterized by large and beautiful cr; -j.!- ~Iof FrIpar,
and contains tin-ore, which is worked with much
labour and little profit by the Galicians.
On arriving at Corunna, they found the port block-
aded by the English, for the purpose of interrupting
the communication between the mother-country





TEMPERATURE OF THE SEA. Z~
and the American colonies. The principal secre-
tary of state had recommended them to Don Rafael
Clavigo, recently appointed director-general of the
maritime posts, who neglected nothing that could
render their residence agreeable, and advised them
to embark on board the corvette Pizarro bound for
Havana and Mexico. Instructions were given for
the safe disposal of the instruments, and the captain
was ordered to stop at Teneriffe so long as should
be found necessary to enable the travellers to visit
the port of Orotava and ascend the Peak.
During the few days of their detention, they occu-
pied themselves in preparing the plants which they
had collected and in making sundry observations.
Crossing to Ferrol they made some interesting ex-
periments on the temperature of the sea and the
decrease of heat in the successive strata of the
water. The thermometer on the bank and near it
was from 540 to 55-90, while in deep water it stood
at 590 or 59-50, the air being 550. The fact that the
proximity of a sand-bank is indicated by a rapid
descent of the temperature of the sea at its surface
is of great importance for the safety of navigators;
for, although the use of the thermometer ought not
to supersede that of the lead, variations of tempera-
ture indicative of danger may be perceived by it long
before the vessel reaches the shoal. A heavy swell
from the north-west rendered it impossible to con-
tinue their experiments. It was produced by a storm
at sea, and obliged the English vessels to retire from
the coast,-a circumstance which induced our trav-
ellers speedily to embark their instruments and bag-
gage, although they were prevented from sailing by
a high westerly wind, that continued for several days.





22 DEPARTURE FROM CORUNNA.


CHAPTER II.

Voyage from Corunna to Teneriffe.
Departure from Corunna-Currents of the Atlantic Ocean-Marine Ani
mals-Falling Stars-Swallows-Canary Islands-Lancerota-Fucua
vitifolius-Causes of the Green Colour of Plants-La Graciosa--
Stratified Basalt alternating with Marl-Hyalite-Quartz Sand-
Remarks on the Distance at which Mountains are visible at Sea, and
the Causes by which it is modified-Landing at Teneriffe.

THE wind having come round to the north-east,
the Pizarro set sail on the afternoon of the 5th-of
June, 1799, and after working out of the narrow pas-
sage passed the Tower of Hercules, or lighthouse
of Corunna, at half-past six. Towards evening the
wind increased, and the sea ran high. They directed
their course to the north-west, for the purpose of
avoiding the English frigates which were cruising
off the coast, and about nine spied the fire of a fish-
ing-hut at Lisarga, which was the last object they
beheld in the west of Europe. As they advanced,
the light mingled itself with the stars which rose on
the horizon. Our eyes," says Humboldt, "re-
.mained involuntarily fixed upon it. Such impres-
sions do not fade from the memory of those who
have undertaken long voyages at an age when the
emotions of the heart are in full force. How many
recollections are awakened in the imagination by a
luminous point which in the middle of a dark night,
appearing at intervals above the agitated waves,
marks the shore of one's native land!"
They were obliged to run under courses, and pro-
ceeded at the rate of ten knots, although the vessel
was not a fast sailer. At six in the morning she
rolled so much that the fore topgallant-mast was
carried away. On the 7th they were in the latitude





EQUINOCTIAL CURRENT. Z

of Cape Finisterre, the group of granitic rocks on
which, named the Sierra de Torinona, is visible at
sea to the distance of 59 uiik.- On the 8th, at sun-
set, they discovered from h.- mast-head an English
convoy; and to avoid them they altered their course
during the night. On the 9th they began to feel the
effects of the great current which flows from the
Azores towards the Straits of Gibraltar and the
Canaries. Its direction was at first east-by-south;
but nearer the inlet it became due east, and its force
was such as, between 370 and 300 lat., sometimes to
carry the vessel in twenty-four hours from 21 to 30
miles eastward.
Between the tropics, especially from the coast of
Senegal to the Caribbean Sea, there is a stream that
always flows from east to west, and which is named
the Equinoctial Current. Its mean rapidity may be
estimated at ten or i o. ii Il-ll in twenty-four
hours.. This movement of the waters, which is also
observed in the Pacific Ocean, having a direction
.contrary to that of the earth's rotation, is supposed
to be connected with the latter only in so far as it
changes into trade-winds those aerial currents from
the poles, which, in the lower regions of the atmo-
sphere, carry the cold air of the high latitudes to-
wards the equator; and it is to the general impulse
which these winds give to the surface of the ocean.
that the phenomenon in question is to be attributed.
This current. carriesthe waters of the Atlantic
towards the Mosquito and Honduras coasts, from
which they move northwards, and passing into the
Gulf of Mexico follow the bendings of the shore
from Vera Cruz to the mouth of the Rio del Norte,
and from thence to the mouths of the Mississippi
and the shoals at the southerneextremity of Florida.
After performing this circuit, it again directs itself
northward, rushing with great impetuosity through
the Straits of Bahama. At the end of these nar-
rows, in the parallel of Cape Canaveral, the flow.



ilk-




24 GULF-STREAM.
which rushes onward like a torrent, sometimes at
the rate of five miles an hour, runs to the north-east.
STtsiWelocity diminishes and its breadth enlarges as it
proceeds northward. Between Cape Biscayo and
the Bank of Bahama the width is only 52 milp.
while inh 28j0 of lat. it is 59; and in the p-r.tall -.i'
Charleston, opposite Cape Henlopen, it is from 138
to 173 miles, the rapidity being from three to five
milp- an hour where the stream is narrow, and only
ni,. intk-: as it advances towards the north. To the
east.of Boston and in the meridian of Halifax the
current is nearly 276 miles broad. Here it suddenly
turns towards the east; its western margin touching
the extremity of the great bank of Newfoundland.
From this to the Azores it continues to flow to the
E. and E.S.E., still retaining part of the impulse
which it had received nearly 1150 miles distant in
the Straits of Tlorida. In the meridian of the Isles
of Corvo and Flores, the most western of the Azores,
it is..not less than '."':* ,,;ii s in.breadth. From the
A 7norc it directs itself towards the Straits of Gib-
r.iirtr, thi. island of Madeira, and the Canary Isles.
To the south of Madeira we can distinctly follow its
motion to the S.E. and S.S.E., 1. ::,t i., o:! I the shores
of Africa, betweenCapes Cantin and Bojador. Cape
Blanco, which, next to Cape Verd, farther to the
south, is the most prominent part of that coast,
seems again to influence the direction of the stream;
~_andtlinl hiis parallel it : -x,. ith the great equinoc-
tial current as already described.
In this manner the waters of the Atlantic, between
the parallels of 110 and 430, are carried round in a
c o l in u ,i whirlpool, whichHumboldt calculates must
take two years -and ten months to perform its cir-
cuit of 13,118 miles. This great current is named
the Gulf-stream. Off the coast of Newfoundland a
branch separates from it, and runs from S.W. to
N.E. towards the coasts of Europe.
From Corunna to 360 of latitude, our travellers had





MARINE ANIMALS-MEDDUSA. 25

< scarcely seen any other animals than terns (or sea-
swallows) and a few dolphins; but on the 11th June
they entered a zone in which the whole sea was
covered with prodigious quantity of medusa. The
vessel was -almost becalmed; but the molusca ad-
vanced towards the south-east with a rapidity equal
to four times that of the current, and continued to
pass nearly three-quarters of an hour, after which
only a few scattered individuals were seen. Among
these animals they recognized the Medusa aurita of
Baster, the M. pelagica of Bosc, and a third approach-
ing in its characters to the M. hysocella, which is dis-
tinguished by its yellowish-brown colour, and by
having its tentacula longer than the body. Several
of them were four inches in diameter, and the bright
reflection from their bodies contrasted pleasantly
with the azure tint of the sea.
On the morning of the 13th June, in lat. 340 33',
they observed large quantities of the Dagysa notata,
of which several had been seen among the medusae,
and which consist of little transparent gelatinous
sacs, extending to 14 lines, with a diameter of 2 or
3, and open at both ends. These cylinders are lon-
gitudinally agglutinated like the cells of a honey-
comb, and form strings from si& to' eight inches in
length. They ol.,. I i, : : arl'r :r b.ec; i.i d -rk thai
none of the 1i r..e, ,.;, oimedusa wch i th- h.-i
collected eii-.,r: ..1 Igi ii unless they wv.-r ldrd-:tv.'
shaken. ,Wheriia very irritable individual is placed
on a tin pilte,'and the latter ,i struckwith apiece of
metaf!'tn vibrations of the tir g a lrie-ir to make
the aminal shine. Sometimee, son p.j'v rrizil m:-
dusa,* the phosphorescence appears at the moment
when the chain closes, although the exciters are not
in direct contact with the body of the subject. The
fingers, after touching it, remain luminous for two
or three minutes. Wood, on being rubbed with a
meddsa, becomes luminous, and after the phospho-
rescence has ceased, it may be rekindled by passing
C





26 FALLING STARS.
the dry hand over it; but when the light is a second
time extinguished it cannot be reproduced.
S Between the island of Madeira and the coast of
SAfrica they were struck by the prodigious quantity
of falling stars, which continued to increase as they
advanced southward. These meteors, Humboldt
remarks, are more common and more luminous in
certain regions of the earth than in others. He
has nowhere seen them more frequent than in the'
vicinity of the volcanoes of Quito and in that part
of the South Sea which washes the shores of Gua-
timala. According to the observations of Benzen-
berg and Brandes, many falling stars noticed in Eu-
rope were only 63,950 yards, or a little more than 36
iile-1, high; and one was measured, the elevation
of which did not exceed 29,843 yards, or about 17
miles. In warm climates, and especially between
the tropics, they often leave behind them a train
Which remainsluminous fortwelve or fifteen seconds.
At other times they seem to burst, and separate
into a number of sparks. They are generally much
.lower than in the north of Europe. These meteors
can be observed only when the sky is clear; and
perhaps none has ever been seen beneath a cloud.
Acc-.,rdjin,.l t :,- ,,..l--r: .ri-.- ~!.fM. Arago, they usu-
aiil flrbii.w t,,- s*.I. ...];rI- it', several hours; and
Si1I thi- ,;~,- tvh n .: .1rcr:,l 1: that dfthe wind.
',Vr', n the voyagers were l38irpiles 't the east of
M, "adeira, a common swallow (Hirundor'litiea& perched
c-ton the Ip-'il. .ii.-.-1 l ;_.i .- : aught. W hat could
induj'.: ,'b.r.s, .j. r',. .r t' I r, to fly sbfaratthis
season,'an l..d c'aim`'v-,-Jt ?r.' In the expeditin of
Entrecasteaux, a swallow was also seen at f h.-'l-.
S tance of 207 miles off Cape Blanco; but this hap-
pened about the end of October, and M. Labillar-
diere imagined that it had newly arrived from
Europe.,
The Pizarro had been ordered to touch at Lan-
cerota, one of the Canaries, to ascertain whether the




ISLAND OF LANCEROTA. 27
harbour of Santa Cruz in Teneriffe was blockaded
-by the English;t and on the 16th, in the afternoon,
the seamen discovered land, which proved to be
that island. As they advanced they saw first the
island of Forr~f'l-tiiui famous for the number of.
camels reared upon it, and soon after the smaller
one of Lobos. Spending part of the night on deck,
the naturalists viewed the volcanic summits of Lan-
cerota illumined by the moon, and enjoyed the beau-
tiful serenity of the atmosphere. After a time, great
black clouds, rising behind the, volcano, shrouded at
intervals the moon and the constellation of Scorpio.
They observed lights carried about on the shore,
probi.ly By jfishernmen, and having been employed
occasionally during their passage in reading some
of the old Spanish voyages, these moving fires re-
called to their imagination those seen on the island
of Guanahani on the memorable night of the dis-
covery of the New World.
In passing through the archipelago of small isl-
ands situated to the north of Lancerota, they were
struck by the configuration of the coasts, which re-
sembled the banks of the Rhine near Bonn. It is a
remarlkable circumstance, our author observes, that,
while the forms of animals and plants exhibit the
greatest diversity in different climates, the rocky
masses present the same appearances in bt lirrin-
slh- r.-. In the Canary Isles, as in Auvergne, in the
Mlitllgebirg:-, in Bohemia, in Mexico, and on the
banks of the Ganges, the trap formation displays a
symmetrical arrangement of the "mountains, ex-
hibiting truncated cones and graduated platforms.
The whole western part of Lancerota announces
the character of a country recently deranged by vol..
c-nic. nit ion, %v\ery-part being black, arid, and des-
titte ,o," -so. The Abb6 Viera relates that in 1730
more than half of the island changed its appearance.
The great volcano ravaged the most fertile and best-
c ilti vaied district, and entirely destroyed nine vil.





28 COLOUR OF MARINE PLANTS.

lages. Its eruptions were preceded by an earth-
quake, and violent shocks continued to be felt for
several years,-a phenomenon of rare occurrence,
the agitation of the ground usually ceasing after a
disengagement of lava or other volcanic products.
The summit of the great crater is rounded, and its
absolute height does not appear to he much above
1918 feet. The island of Lancerota was formerly
named Titeroigotra, and at the time of the arrival
of the Spaniards its inhabitants were more civilized
than the other Canarians, living in houses built of
hewn stone, while the Guanches of Teneriffe resided
in caves. There'was then a very singular'institu-
"fion ii the island. The women had several hus-
bands, each of whom enjoyed the prerogative be-
longing to the head of a family in succession, the
others remaining for the time in the capacity of
common domestics.*
The occurrence, between the islands of Alegranza
and Montana Clara of a singular marine production,
with light-green leaves, which was brought up by
the lead from a great depth, affords our author, in
his narrative, an opportunity of stating some inter-
esting facts respecting the colouring of plants. This
seaweed, growing at the bottom of the ocean at a
depth of 205 feet, had its vine-shaped leaves as
green as those of our graminese. According to Bou-
guer's experiments, light is weakened after a passage
of 192 feet, in the proportion of 1 to 1477'8. At the
depth of 205 this fucus could only have had light
A similar practice is stated by Mr. Fraser in his Journal of a Tour
through the Himala Mountains," p. 206, to occur in several of the hill
provinces of India. "It is usual all over the country for the future hus-
band to purchase his wife from her parents; and the sum thus paid
varies of course with the rank of the purchaser. The difficulty of rais-
ing this sum, and the alleged expense of maintaining women, may in
part account for, if it cannot excuse, most disgusting usage, which is
universal over the country. Three or four or more brothers marry and
cohabit with one woman, who is the wife of all. They are unable to
raise the requisite sum individually, and thus club their shares, and buy
this one common spouse."






LA GRACIOBA. 29
equal to half of that supplied by a candle seen at
the distance of a foot.. The germs of several of
the liliacea, the embryo of the mallows and other
families, the branches of some subterranean plants,
and vegetable t l ;ll-.ri:.1 into mines in which the
air contains hylr,:, l *-. a great qli jtity ,:i azote,
become green without light. From these facts one
might be induced to think that the existence of car-
buret of iron, which gives the green colour to the
parenchmay of plants, is not dependent upon the
presence of the solar rays only. Turner and many
other botanists are of opinion that most of the sea-
weeds which we find floating on the ocean, and which
in certain parts of the Atlantic present the appear-
ance of a vast inundated meadow, grow originally
at the bottom of the sea, and are torn off by the
waves. If this opinion be correct, the family of
marine algae presents great difficulties to those physi-
ologists who persist in thinking that, in all cases,
the absence of light must produce blanching.
The captain, having mistaken a basaltic rock for
a castle, saluted it, and sent one of the officers to
inquire if the English were cruising in those parts.
Our travellers took advantage of the boat to examine
the land, which they had regarded as a prolongation
of the coasts of Lancerota, but which turned out to
be the small island of La Graciosa. "Nothin i ,"
says Humboldt, "can express the emotion a natu-
ralist feels when for the first time he lands in a place
whichis not European. The attention is fixed upon
so many objects, that one can hardly give an ac-
count of the impressions which he receives. At
every step he imagines that he finds a new produc-
t:'nI, Iand in the midst of this agitation he often does
not recognize those which are most common in our
botanical gardens. and museums." A fisherman,
who, ihai in' been frightened by the firing, had fled
from them, biut whom the sailors overtook, stated
that no 'vessels had been seen for several weeks






30 BASALT ALTERNATING WITH MARL.
The rocks of this small island were of basalt and
marl, destitute of trees or shrubs, in most places
without a trace of soil, and but scantily crusted with
lichens.
The basalts are not columnar, but arranged in
strata from 10 to 16 inches thick, and incline to the
north-west at an angle of 80 degrees, alirt-riaiini
with marl. Some of these strata are compact, and
containlarge crystals of foliated olivine, often porous,
with oblong cavities, from two to eight lines in di-
ameter, which are coated with calcedony, and en-
close fragments of compact basalt. The marl,which
alternates more than a hundred times with the trap,
is of a yellowish colour, extremely friable, very
tenacious internally, and often divided into regular
prisms like those of basalt. It contains much lime,
and effervesces strongly with- muriatic acid. The
travellers had not time to reach the summit of ahill,
the base of which was formed of clay, with layers
of basalt resting on it, precisely as in the Schneiben-
berger Huegel of Saxony. These rocks were cov-
ered with hyalite, of which they procured several
fine specimens, leaving masses eight or tel inches
square untouched.
On the shore there were two kinds of sand, the
one..black and basaltic, the c:.iIr. white and quartzy.
Exposed to the sun's rays the thermometer rose in
the former to 124-2, and in the latter to 1040; while
in the shade the temperature of the air was 81.50,
being 140 higher than the sea air. The quartzy sand
contains fragments of felspar. Pieces of granite
have been observed at Teneriffe; and the island of
Gomera, according to M. Broussonet, contains a nu-
cleus- of mica-slate. From these facts Humboldt
infers that in the Canaries, as in the Andes of Quito,
in Auvergne, Greece, and most parts of the globe,
the subterranean fires have made their way through
primitive rocks.
Having re-embarked, they hoisted sail, and en-





ROCA DEL OESTE. 31
deavoured to get out again by the strait which sep-
arates Alegranza from Montana Clara; but, the wind
having fallen, the currents drove them close upon a
rock marked in old charts by the name of Infierno,
and in modern ones under that of Roca del Oeste,-
a basaltic mass which has i,.ri.'l' Il. been raised by
volcanic agency. Tacking during the night between
Montana Clara and this islet, they were several
times in great danger among shelves towards which
they were drawn by the motion of the water; but
the wind freshening in the morning, they succeeded
in passing the channel, and sailed along the coasts
of Lancerota, Lobos, and Forteventura.
The haziness of the atmosphere prevented them
from seeing the Peak of Teneriffe during the whole
of their passage from Lancerota; but our traveller,
in his narrative, states the following interesting cir-
cumstances relative to the distance at which moun-
tains may be seen. If the height of the Peak, he
says, is 12,182 feet, as indicated by the last trigono-
metrical measurement of Borda; its summit ought
to be visible at the distance of 148 miles, supposing
fiheeye at the level of the ocean, and the refraction
equal to 0-079 of the distance. Navigators who fre-
quent these latitudes find that the peaks of Teneriffe
and the Azores are sometimes observed at very great
distances, while at other times they cannot be seen
when the interval is considerably less, although the
sky is clear. Such circumstances are of importance
to navigators, who, in returning to Europe, impa-
tiently wait for a sight of these mountains to rectify
their longitude. The constitution of the atmosphere
has a great influence on the visibility of distant ob-
jects, the transparency of the air being much in-
creased when a certain quantity of water is uni-
formly diffused through it.
It is not surprising that the Peak of Teneriffe
should be less frequently visible at a great distance
than the tops of the Andes, not being like them in-





92 DISTANCE AT WHICH MOUNTAINS
vested with perpetual snow. The Sugar-loaf which
constitutes the summit of the former no doubt re-
flects a great degree of light, on account of the white
colour of the pumice with which it is covered; but
its height does not form a twentieth part of the total
elevation, and the sides of the volcano are coated
with blocks of dark-coloured lava, or with luxuriant
vegetation, the masses of which reflect little light,
the leaves of the trees being separated by shadows
of greater extent than the illuminated parts.
Hence the Peak of Teneriffe is to be referred to
the class of mountains which are seen at great dis-
tances only in what Bouguer calls a negative man-
ner, or because they intercept the light transmitted
from the extreme limits of the atmosphere; and we
perceive their existence only by means of the dif-
ference of intensity that subsists between the light
which surrounds them, and that reflected by the par-
ticles of air placed between the object of vision and
the observer. In receding from Teneriffe, the Sugar-
loaf is long seen in a positive manner, as it reflects
a' hitish light, and detaches itself clearly from the
sky; but as this terminal cone is only 512 feet high,
by O-56 ini breadth at its summit, it has been ques-
tioned whether it can be visible beyond the distance
of 1:3I m lie-. If it be admitted that the mean breadth
of th. Siigir-.i,.l is 6391 feet, it will still subtend, at
the distance now named, an angle of more than three
minutes, which is 'eniju1 h to render it visible; and
were the height of the cone greatly to exceed its
basis, the angle might be still less, and the mass yet
make an impression on our organs; for it has been
proved by micrometrical observations, that the limit
of vision is one minute only when the dimensions
of objects are the same in all directions.
As the visibility of an object, which detaches it-
self from the sky of a brown colour, depends on the
quantities of light the eye meets in two lines, of
which one ends at the mountain and the other is





MAY BE SEEN AT SEA. 33
prolonged to the surface of the aerial ocean, it fol-
lows that the farther we remove from the object
the less also becomes the difference between the
light of the surrounding atmosphere and that of the
strata of air placed before the mountain. For this
reason, when summits of low elevation begin to ap-
pear above the horizon, they are of a darker tint
than those more elevated ones which we discover at
'%-r *r>n-:it ,h- t-inor In like manner, the i i-!,litv
of mountains which are only negatively perceived
does not depend solely upon the state of the low
regions of the air, to which our meteorological ob-
servations are confined, but also upon its transpa-
rency and physical constitution in the most elevated
parts; for the image is more distinctly detached,
the more intense the aerial light which comes from
the limits of the atmosphere has originally been, or
the less it has lost in its passage. This in a certain
degree accounts for the circumstance that the Peak
is m.jrnm.trun-l visible and sometimes invisible to
navigators who are equally distant from it, when
the state of the thermometer and hygrometer is pre-
cisely the same in the lower stratum of air. It is
even probable that the chance of perceiving this
volcano would not be greater were the cone equal,
as in Vesuvius, toa fourth part of the whole height.
The ashes spread upon its surface do not reflect so
much light as the snow with which the summits of
the Andes are covered; but, on the contrary, make
the mountain, when seen from a great distance, be-
come more obscurely detached, and assume a brown
tint. They contribute, as it were, to equalize the
portions of aerial light, the variable difference of
which renders the object more or less distinctly vis-
ible. Bare calcareous mountains, summits covered
with granitic sand, and the elevated savannas of the
Andes, which are of a bright yellow colour, are more
clearly seen at small distances than objects that are
neeived only in a negative manner; but theory






34 SANTA CRUZ.
points out a limit beyond which the latter are more
distinctly detached from the azure vault of the sky.
The aerial light projected on the tops of hills in-
creases the visibility of those which are seen posi-
tix ely, but diminishes that of such as are detached
with a brown colour. Bouguer, proceeding on theo-
retical data, has found that mountains which are seen
negatively cannot be perceived at distances exceed-
ing 121 miles; but experience goes against this con-
clusion. The Peak of Teneriffc has often been ob-
served a-tlth6'distiface of 124, 131, and even 138
miles; and the summit of Mowna-Roa in the Sand-
wichi Isles, which is probably 16,000 feet high, has
been seen, at period i it 'w. d-~ 'titii e of snow,
skirting the horizon from a distance of 183 miles.
This is the most striking example yet known of the
visibility of high land, and is the more remarkable
that the object was negatively seen.
The atmosphere continuing hazy, the navigators
did not discover the island of Grand Canary, not-
withstanding its height, until the evening of the 18th
June. On the following day they saw the point of
Naga, but the Peak of Teneriffe still remained in-
visible. After repeatedly sounding, on account of the
thickness of the mist, they anchored in the road of
Santa Cruz, when at the 1i1_.1.-,' 1ii -i began to salute
the place the fog instantaneously dispersed, and the
Peak of Teyde, illuminated by the first rays of the
sun, appeared in a break above the clouds. Our
travellers betook themselves to the bow of the ves-
sel to enjoy the majestic spectacle, when, at the very
moment, four English ships were seen close astern.
The anchor was immediately got up, and the Pizarro
stood in as close as possible, to place herself under
tho-eprotection of the fort.
While waiting the governor's permission to land,
Humboldt employed the time in making observations
for determining the longitude of the mole of Santa
Cruz and the dip of the needle. ,.-rthIou.d' chro





SANTA CRUZ OF TENERIFFE. d0

nometer gave 180 33' 10", the accuracy of which re-
seill, lrthou:gh differing from the longitude assigned
by Cook and others, was afterward confirmed by
Krusenstern, who found that port 160 12' 45" west
of Greenwich, jnll. '.:i-, .~u.-iii 18 33' west of
Paris. The dip of the magnetic needle was 620 24',
although it varied considerably in diff.' r.nt place
along the shore. After undergoing the fatigue of
answering the numberless questions proposed by
persons who visited them on board, our travellers
were at length permitted to land.




CHAPTER III.

Island of Teneriffe.
Santa Cruz-Villa de la Laguna--Guanehes-Present Inhabitants of
Teneriffe-Clinate--Seenery of the Coast-Orotava-Dragon-tree-
Ascent of the Peak-Its Geological Character-Eruptions-Zones of
Vegetation-Fires of St. John.

SANTA CRUZ, the Anaja of the Guanches, which is
a neat town, with a population of 8000 persons, may
be considered as a great caravansera situated on the
road to America and India, and has consequently
been often described. The recommendations of the
court of Madrid procured for our travellers the most
satisfactory reception in the Canaries. The cap-
tain-general gave permission to examine the island,
and Colonel Armiaga, who commanded a regiment
of infantry, extended his hospitality to them, and
showed the most polite attention. 'In his garden
they admired the banana, the papaw, and other plants
cultivated in the open air, which they had before
seen only in hothouses.
In the evening they made a botanical excursion





86 VILLA DE LA LAGUNA.

towards the fort of Passo Alto, along the basaltic
rocks which close the promontory of Naga, but had
little success, as the drought and dust had in a
manner destroyed the vegetation. The Cacalia
kleinia, Euphorbia canariensis, and other succulent
plants, which derive their nourishment more from
the air than from the soil, reminded them by their
aspect that the Canaries belong to Africa, and evtn
to the most arid part of that continent.
The captain of the Pizarro, having app.rizi-l fli.ii
that, on account of the blockade by the Eingi ii,
they ought not to reckon upon a longer stay than
four or five days, they hastened to set out for the
port of Orotava, where they might find guides for
the ascent of the Peak; and on the 20th, before
sunrise, they were on the way to Villa de la Laguna,
which is 2238 feet higher lii th- port of Santa
Cruz. The road to this pl.:.. is .-. the right of a
torrent, which, in the rainy season, forms beautiful
falls. Ncar the tf...i\ they met with some white
camel?, t.-mplor dl ui transporting merchandise.
Thi-e- animals, as well as horses, were introduced
into the Canary Islands in the fifteenth century
by the Norman conquerors, and were unknown to
the Guanches. Camels are more abundant in Lan-
cerota and Forteventura, which are nearer the con-
tinent, than at Teneriffe, where they very seldom
propagate.
The hill on which the Villa de la Laguna 'stands
belongs to the series of basaltic mountains which
forms a girdle around the Peak, and is independent
of the newer volcanic rocks. The basalt on which
the travellers walked was blackish-brown, compact,
and partially decomposed. They found in it horn-
blende, olivine, and transparent pyroxene, with la-
mellar fracture, of an olive-green tint, and often
crystallized in six-sided prisms. The rock of La-
guna is not columnar, but divided into thin beds, in-
clined at an angle of from 300 to 480, and has no




VILLA DE L. LAGUNA. 37
appearance of having been formed by a current of
lava from the Peak. Some arborescent Euphorbiae,
Oacalia kleinia, and Cacti, were the only plants ob-
served on these parched acclivities. The mules
slipped at every step on the inclined surfaces of the
rock although traces of an old road were observ-
able, which, with the numerous other indications that
occur in these colonies, afford evidence of the ac-
tivity displayed by the Spanish nation in the six-
teenth century.
The heat of Santa Cruz, which is suffocating, is
in a great measure to be attributed to the reverbera-
tion of the rocks in its vicinity; but as the travellers
approached Laguna they became sensible of a very
pleasant diminution of temperature. In fact, the
,perpetual coolness which exists here renders it a
delightful residence. It is situated in a small plain,
surrounded by gardens, and commanded by a hill
crowned with the laurel, the myrtle, and the arbutus.
The rain, in collecting, forms from time to time a
kind of large pool or marsh, which has induced
travellers to describe the capital'":lf T.n-rnri; as
situated on the margin of a lake. The town, which
was deprived of its opulence in consequence of the
port of Garachico having been destroyed by the
lateral eruptions of the volcano, has only 9000 in-
1,itl1....;, of which about 400 are monks. It is sur-
r.-i,,,il by numerous windmills for corn. Hum-
Doldt observes that the cereal grasses were known
to the original inhabitants, and that parched barley-
flour and goats' milk formed their principal meals.
This food tends to show that they were connected
with the nations of the old continent, perhaps even
with those of the Caucasian race, and not with the
inhabitants of the New World, who, previous to the
arrival of the Europeans among them, had no know-
ledge of grain, milk, or cheese.
The Canary Islands wer- ,rrji,,:llv inhabited by
a 'i" pir famed for their -.Jll t j-ur.-, and known by





38 GUANCHES.
the name of Guaanches. They have now entirely
"di-.'pp-:'ard under the oppre_ -iiln of a more power-
ful and more enlightened race, which, assuming the
superiority supposed to be sanctioned by civilization
and the profession of the Christian faith, disposed
of the natives in a manner little accordant with the
character of a true follower of the Cross. The
archipelago of the Canaries was divided into small
states hostile to each other; and in the fifteenth
century the Spaniards and Portuguese made voy-
ages to these islands for slaves, as the Europeans
have latterly been accustomed to do to the coast of
Guinea. One Guanche then became the property
of another, who sold him to the dealers; while
. m:ny, rather than become slaves, killed their chil-
dren and themselves. The natives had been greatly
reduced in this manner, when Alonzo de Lugo com-
pleted their subjugation. The residue of that un-
happy people perished by a terrible pestilence, which
was supposed to have originated from the bodies
left exposed by the Spaniards after the battle of La-
guna. At the present day no individual of pure
blood exists in these islands, where all that remains
of the aborigines are certain mummies, reduced to
an extraorlli:iry degree of desiccation, and found
in tlne --pi.:lchr.l caverns which are cut in the rock
on the eastern slope of the Peak. These skeletons
contain remains of aromatic plants, especially the
Chenopodium ambrosioides, and are often decorated
with small laces, to which are suspended little cakes
of baked earth.
T.he people who succeeded the Guanches were de-
scended from the Spaniards and Normans. The
present inhabitants are described by our author as
being of a moral and religious character, but of a
roving and enterprising disposition, and less indus-
trious at home than abroad. The population in 1790
was 174,000. The produce of the several islands
consists chiefly of wheat, barley, maize, potatoes,





CLIMATE OF TENERIFFE. 39
wine, a great variety of fruits, sugar, and other ar-
ticles of food; but the lower orders are frequently
obliged to have recourse to the roots of a species
of fern. The principal objects of commerce are
wine, brandy, archil (a kind of lichen used as a die),
and soda.
TI'i.ieriff- hs been praised for the salubrity of its
chria- Trh-- ground of the Canary Islands rises
gradually to a great height, and presents, on a small
scale, the temperature of every zone, from the in-
tense heat of Africa to the cold of the alpine re-
gions; so that a person may have the benefit of
whatever climate best suits his temperament or dis-
ease. A similar variety exists as to the vegetation;
and no country seemed to our travellers more fitted
to dissipate melancholy, and restore peace to an
agitated mind, than Teneriffe and Madeira, where
the natural beauty of the situation and the salu-
brity of the air conspire to quiet the anxieties of
the spirit, and invigorate the body, while the feel-
ings are not harassed by the revolting sight of
slavery, which exists in almost all the European
colonies.
In winter the climate of Laguna is excessively
f'.-:\, and the inhabitants often complain of cold,
altlth.ili snow never falls. The lowest height at
SVir.h i occurs annually in Teneriffe has not been
ascertained; but it has been seen in a place lying
above Esperanza de la Laguna, close to the town
of that name, in the gardens of which the breadfruit-
tree (Artocarpus incisa), introduced by M. Broussonet,
has been naturalized. In connexion with this sub-
ject, Humboldt remarks, t'iat in hot countries the
plants are so vigorous that they can bear a greater
degree of frost than might be expected, provided it
be of short duration. The banana is cultivated in
Cuba, in places where the lhrni':.mjit-r sometimes
descends to very near the freezing-point; and in
Spain and Italy, orange and date-trees do not perish,





40 SCENERY.
'dthouTii the cold may be two degrees below zero,
Tre growing in a fetile EsLI are rr mark, by cul-
tivators to be less delicate, and less affected by
changes of temperature, than those planted in land
that affords little nutriment.
From Laguna to the port of Orotava" and the
western coast of Teneriffe the route is at first over
a hilly country, covered by a black.argillaceous soil.
The subjacent rock is concealed by layers of ferru-
ginous earth; but in some of the ravines are seen
columnar basalts, with recent conglomerates, re-
sembling volcanic tufas lying over them, which con-
tain fragments of the former, and also, as is asserted,
marine petrifactions. This delightful country, of
'xvli.ch tran-urllr of all nations speak with enthu-
siasm, is entered by the valley of Tacoronte, and pre-
sents scenes of unrivalled beauty. The seashore is
ornamented with palms of the date and cocoa spe-
cies. Farther up, groups of musae and dragon-trees
present themselves. The declivities are covered
with vines. Orange-trees, myrtles, and cypresses
surround the chapels that have been raised on the
i, tle hills. 'The lands are separated by enclosures
formed of the agave and cactus. Multitudes of
cryptogamic plants, especially ferns, cover the walls
In winter, while the volcano is wrapped in snow,
there is continued spring in this beautiful district;
and in summer, towards evening;-the- eia-breez-:s
diffuse a gentle coolness over it: Frori Tegu.-ilte
and Tacoronte to the village of San Juan de la Ram-
bla, the coast is cultivated like a garden, and might
be compared to the neighbourhood of Capua or Va-
lentia; but the western part of Teneriffe is much
more beautiful, on account of the proximity of the
Peak, the sight of which has a most imposing effect,
and excites the imagination to penetrate into the
mysterious source of volcanic action. For thou-
sands of years no light has been observed at the
-m-noit of the mountain, and yet eun'juous 1 iteral





DURASNO-OROTAVA. 41
eruptions, the last of which happened in 1798, prove
-theta'ctivity bf a fire Which is far from being extinct.
There is, besides, something melancholy in the sight
of a crater placed in the midst of a fertile and highly-
cultivated country.
Pursuing their course to the port of Orotava, the
travellers passed the beautiful hamlets of Matanza
and Vittoria (slaughter and victory),-names which
occur together in all the Spanish colonies, and pre-
sent a disagreeable contrast to the feelings of peace
and quiet which these countries inspire. On their
way r i.: n- ii;.- a botanic garden at Durasno, where
they I':.i.ii MI Le Gros, the French vice-consul, who
subsequently served as an excellent guide to the
Peak. The idea of forming such an establishment
at Teneriffe originated with the Marquis de Nava,
who thought that the Canary Islands afford the mdst
suitable place for naturalizing the plants of the East
and West Indies, previous to their introduction to
Europe. They arrived very late at the port, and
next niorning commenced their journey to the Peak,
accompanied by M. Le Gros, M. Lalande, secretary
of the French consulate at Santa Cruz, the English
gardener of Durasno, and a number of guides.
O .:.t :., the Taoro of I-,. i.-inim i-, is situated
on a very steep declivity, and has a pleasant aspect
when viewed from a distance, although the houses,
when seen at hand, have; gl, ,.my~,'appearance. One
of the most remarkable objects in this place is the
dragon-tree in the garden of M. Fla.inii. oC which
an engraving is here presented, and which our
tr-, r.l.: : ;r,,,1,ud I, be about 60 feet high, with a cir-
( r -11'.: .:,,". l, 4. feet near the roots. The trunk
divides into a great number of branches, which rise
it rh~ form of a candelabrum, and are terminated by
inI!'r f leaves. This tree is said to have been re-
yered by the Guanches as the ash of Epli r-i. was
by the Greeks;' and in 1402, at the time of the first
expedition of Bethencour, was as large and as hollow
D






42 DRAGON-TREE OF OROT'AV-.


i-'- -1 1


*. -


Dragun-niee 01 (IIoava.
as our travellers found it. As the species is of very
slow growth, the age of this individual must be great.
It is singular thaL the dragon-tree should have been
cultivated in these islands at so early a period, it
- being a nati'.: i- i.ii., and nowhere occurring on
the African :. ..Ini ..II
,Leaving Orotava they passed by a narrow and
stony path through a .:' n.iuiiu wood of chestnuts to
a place covered with brambles, laurels, and arbores-
cent heaths, where, under a solitary pine, known by
the name of Pino del Dornajito, they procured a
supply of water. 'From this place to the crater they
continued to ascend without crossing a single valley,
passing over several regions distinguished by their
Peculiar vegetation, and rested during part of the
night in a very elevated position, where they suffered





ASCENT OF THE PEAK. 43
severely from the cold. Ab~iut three in the morn-
il tl:-y bL :,lil to climb ri:. $. '.! l', or small
t.-riniin.J cone, .,. i!'- .1.ii I0;,hr of fir-torches, and ex-
amined -un l l.hil.rrr II-'k -..;,II.: orcave,whence
m10e tov I I:..:i i' aire -Iuppli, 1 I ice throughout
the summer.
In the twilight they observed a phenomenon not
unusual on high mountains,-a stratum of white
clouds spread out beneath, c(:,.:,: ,iu 1i.- face of the
ocean, and presenting the appearance of a vast plain
covered with snow. Soon afterward another very
curious sight occurred, namely, the semblance of
small rockets thrown into the air, and which they
at first imagined to be a certain indication of some
new eruption of the great volcano of Lancerota.
But the illusion soon ceased, and they found that the
luminous points were only the im''-e- of strlrs m"'-
.iified and refracted 1., th.: 1 p,:..'i-. Tr,:, I. ii.: i,, J
motionless at intervals, then rose perpendicularly,
descended sidewise, and returned to their original
position. _After three hours' march over an ex-
tremely rugged tract, the travellers reached a small
plain, called La Rambleta, from the centre of which
rises the Piton or Sugar-loaf. The slope of this
cone, covered with volcanic ashes and pumice, is so
steep that it would have been almost impossible to
reach the summit, had they not ascended by.an old
current of lava, which had in some measure resisted
the action of the atmosphere.
On attaining the top of this steep they found the
crater surrounded by a wall of compact lava, in
which, however, there-was a breach affording a pas-
sage to the bottom of the funnel or caldera, the
greatest diameter of which at the mouth seemed to
.be 320 feet. There were no-large openings in the
crater; but aqueous vapours were emitted by some
of the crevices, in which heat was perceptible. In
fact, the volcano has not been active at the summit
for thousands of years, its eruptions having been






44 PEAK OF TENERIFFE.

from the sides, and the depth of the crater is only
about 106 feet. After examining the objects that
presented themselves in this elevated spot, and en-
joying the vast prospect, the travellers commenced
their descent,.and towards evening reached the port
of Orotava.
,_ThePeak of Teneriffe forms a pyramidal mass,
having a circumference at the base of more than
115,110 yards, and a height of 12,176 feet.* Two-
thirds of the mass are covered with vegetation, the
remaining part being steril, and occupying about
ten square leagues of surface. The cone is very
small in proportion to the size of the mountain, it
having a height of only 537 feet, or of the whole.
The lower part of the island is composed of basalt
and other igneous rocks of ancient formation, and is
separated from the more recent lavas, and the pro-
ducts of the present volcano, by strata of tufa, puz-
zolana, and clay. The first that occur in ascending
the Peak are of a black colour, altered by decom-
Fi.., ,i.,i, and sometimes porous. Their basis is
.wacke, and has usually an irregular, but sometimes
a corchoidal fracture. They are divided into very
thin layers, and contain olivine, magnetic iron, and
augite. On the first elevated plain, that of Retama,
the basaltic deposits disappear beneath heaps of
ashes and pumice. Beyond this are lavas, with
a basis of pitch-stone and obsidian, of a blackish-
brown, or deep olive-green colour, and containing
Various measurements have been made of the height of the Peak of
Teneriffe; but Humboldt, alter enumerating fourteen, states that the fol
lowing alone can be considered as deserving of confidence:
Borda's, by trigonometry ........1905 loises.
Borda's, by the barometer.......1976
Lamanou's, by the same........ 902
Cordier's, by the same...........1920
The average of these four observations makes the height 1926 toises;
but if the barometric measurement of Borda be rejected, as liable to ob.
sections particularly stated by our author, the mean of the remaining
measurement is 1909 toises, or 12,208 English feet. It is seen above,
that the height adopted by Humboldt is 1904 toises, or 12,176 English
feet.





VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS. 45
crystals of felspar,.which are seldom vitreous. In
ithe middle of the Malpays, or second platform, are
found, among the glassy kinds, blocks of greenish-
gray clinkstone or .rpl-- r,- 1 Obi'-i, ,-i f sev-
eral varieties is Ex. : ii'.,l' d,'iinIlit i1, Peak,
as well as pumii.,-. trl- I .t,-: r L ,li. i ., ii .: raliy of a
white colour; and the crater contains an enormous
quantity of sulphur.
The oldest written testimony in regard to the ac-
tivity of the volcano dates at the beginning of the
sixteenth century, and is contained in the narrative
of.Aloysio C 1.1 mi-l. h.'. w'ho landed in the Canaries
in 1505. In I -', Il.46n, and 1677, eruptions took
place in the Isle of Palma; and on the 31st Decem-
ber, 1704, the Peak of Teneriffe exhibited a lateral
burst, preceded by tremendous earthquakes. On
the 5th January, 1705, another opening occurred, the
lavas produced by which filled the whole valley of
Fasnia. This aperture closed on the 13th January;
but on the 2d February, a third formed in the Can-
nada de Arafo, the stream from which divided into
three currents. On the 5th May, 1706, another
eruption supervened, which destroyed the populous
and opulent city of Garachico. In 1730, on the 1st
September, the island of Lancerota was violently
convulsed; and on the 9th June, 1798, the Peak
emitted a great quantity of matter, which continued
to run three months and six days.
The islandof Teneriffe presents five zones of vege-
tation, arranged in stages one above another, and
occupying a perpendicular height of 3730 yards.
S1. The Region of Vines f extends from the shores to
an elevation varying front 430 to 640 yards, and is
the only part carefully cul vated. It exhibits vari-
ous species of arborescent Euphorbiae, Mesembryan-
thema, the Cacalia kleinia, the Draccena, and other
plants, whose naked and tortuous trunks, succulent
leaves, and bluish-green tints, constitute features
distinctive of the vegetation of Africa. In this





46 ZONES OF VEGETATION.
zone are raised lh~i- ,,te-I r-,: ti: p1 iiatn, ti, : UL'ar-
cane, the Indian-fig, the arum colocasia, the olive,
the fruit trees of Europe, the vine, and wheat.
2. The I 'P ..rI -els is that which forms the
woody par ,.! T..-. irl'.-, where the surface of the
ground is always verdant, being plentifully watered
by springs. F..ut- 1,iii,. of laurel, an oak, a wild
olive, two -1.'.:j ','I ,iin-tree, the arbutus calli-
carpa, and other evergreens, adorn this zone. The
trunks are covered by the ivy of the Canaries, and
various twining shrubs, and the woods are filled with
numerous species of fern. The hypericum, and
other showy plants, enrich with their beautiful flow-
ers the verdant carpet of moss and grass.
3. Tl.h Region of Pines,which commences .t tlle
height of 1920 yards, and has a breadth of 850, is
characterized by a vast forest of trees, resembling
the S.,'.i ri.r. Fi, ,. mrn -1. with juniper.
4. The'- '.iiti zone is remarkable chiefly for the
profusion of retama, a species of broom, which
forms oases in the midst of a wide sea of ashes. It
grows to the height of nine or ten feet, is ornamented
with fragrant flowers, and furnishes food to the
goats; which have run wild on th,- PCk from time
immemorial.
5 The fifth zone i- ile .:. .,. .. the Grasses, in
Sl ii1 -nh ..,,r,. species 0o t r!,-.: -iij ly a; scanty cover-
ing to the heaps of pumice, obsidian, and lava. A
few cryptogamic plants are observed higher; but
the summit is entirely destitute of vegetation.
Tlii-. ti,. whole island may be considered as a
forest of laurels, arbutuses, and pines, of which the
external margin only has been in some measure
cleared, while the central part consists of a rocky
and steril soil, unfit even for pasturage.
The following day was passed by our travellers in
visiting the neighbourhood of Orotava, and enjoy-
ing an agreeable company at Mr. Cologan's. On
the-eve of St. John, they were present at apastoral





DEPARTURE FROM SANTA CRUZ. 47
fete in the garden of Mr. Little, who had reduced to
cultivation a hill covered with volcanic substances,
from which there is a magnificent view of the Peak,
the villages along the coast, and the isle of Palna.
Early in the evening the volcano suddenly exhibited
a most extraordinary spectacle, the shepherds hav-
ing, in conformity to ancient custom, lighted the
fires of St. John; the scattered masses of which,
with the columns of smoke driven by the wind,
formed a fine contrast to the deep verdure of the
woods that covered the sides of the mountain, while
the silence of nature was broken at intervals by the
shouts of joy which came from afar.




CHAPTER IV.

Passage from Teneriffe to Cumana.
Departure from Santa Cruz-Floating Scawcoda-Flying-fish-Stare-
Malignant Fever-Island of Tobago-Death of a Passenger-Island
of Coche-Port of Cumana-Observations made during the Voyage;
Temperature of the Air; Temperatnre of the Sea; Hygrometrical
State of the Air ; Colour of the Sky and Ocean.

HA rIN sailed from Santa Cruz on the evening of
the 25th of June, with a strong wind from the north-
east, our travellers soon lost sight of the Canary
Islands, the mountains of which were covered with
reddish vapour, the Peak alone appearing at intervals
in the breaks. The passage from Teneriffe to Cu-
mana was performed in twenty days, the distance
being 3106 miles.
The wind gradually subsided as they retired from
the African coast. Short calms of several hours
occasionally took place, which were regularly inter-
rupted by slight squalls, accompanied by masses of
dark clouds, emitting a few lar-e drops of rain, but





48 FLOATING SEAWEEDS.
w; .. til:iit .thunder. To the north of the Cape Verd
Isl Ini < they met with large patches of floating sea-
weed (Fucus natans), which grows on submarine
rocks, from the equator to forty degrees of latitude
on either side. These scattered plants, however,
must not be confounded with the vast beds, said
by Columbus to r. .,r iblr extensive meadows, and
which inspired i it,: rr:'r the crew of the Santa
Maria. From a comparison of numerous journals,
it appears that there are two such fields of seaweed
in the Atlantic. The largest occurs a little to the
west of the meridian of Fayal, one of the Azores,
between 250 and 360 of 11titude. The temperature
of the ocean there is betwi.:n 1 0o and 680; and
ithe ~ I ,. -i winds, which blow sometimes with
impetuosity, drive floating islands of those weeds
into low latitudes, as far as -1,. ['..r !l:- I.f -240 and
even200. Vessels returning it: Eur.pi, ',.iii Monte
Viae or the Cape of Good Hope, pass through this
marine meadow, which the. Spanish pilots consider
as 1 \i.. half. wsi between .the West Indies and the
('aniai Th.: other section is not so well known,
and occupies a smaller space between lat. 220 and
2C.' of N., two hundred and seventy-six miles east-
ward of the Bahama Islands.
Although a species of seaweed, the Laminaria py-
r'f: :of Lamouroux, has been observed with stems
t50 il.-:t in 1.nr tii, ..ni alt h...i- the -1:r_ l, 1 :1 these
pi.;it- -:; exceedingly rapid, it is vet certain that in
those seas the fuci are not fixed to the bottom, but
float in detached parcels at the surface. In this
state, vegetation, it is obvious, cannot continue longer
than in the branch of a tree separated from the
trunk; and it may therefore be supposed, that float-
ing masses of these weeds occurring for ages in the
i :runr- p :. i:'n, owe their origin to submarine rocks
which continually supply what has been carried off
by the equinoctial currents. But the causes by
which these plants are detached are not yet suffi-





FLYING-FISH. 49
ciently known, although the author just named has
shown that fuci in general separate with great facil-
ity after the period of fructification.
Beyond 220 of latitude they found th,: surface of
the sea covered with flying-fish (Exocetus volitans),
which.sprang.into the air to a height of twelve,.fif-
teen, and even eighteen feet, and -,.rn,-tun. fell on
the deck. The great size of the swimming-bladder
inl .hi:- .e ainillds, 1..; I .: t":r-tl Ird- Ilir length of their
:,,..y, iy s _~~lI as -iI l I' p1 -::.,'al fins, enable
them to traverse in the air a space of twenty-four
feet, horizontal distance, before falling again into the
water. They are incessantly pursued by dolphins
while under the surface, and when flying are attacked
by frigate-birds, and other predatory species. Yet
it does not seem ilt tIJri leap into the atmosphere
merely to avoid their enemies; for, like swallows,
they move by thousands in a right line, and always in
a direction opposite to that of the waves. The air
contained in the swimming-bladder had been sup-
posed to be pure oxygen; but Humboldt found it to
consist of ninety-four parts of azote, four of oxygen,
and two of carbonic acid.
On the 1st July they met with the wreck of a ves-
sel, and on the 3d and 4th crossed that part of the
ocean where the charts indicate the bank of the
Maal-Stroom,.which, however, is of very doubtful
existence. As they approached this imaginary whirl-
pool, they observed no other motion in the waters
than that produced by a current bearing to the north-
west.
From the time when they entered the torrid zone
(the 27th June), they never ceased to admire the
nocturnal beauty of the southern sky, which grad-
ually disclosed new constellations to their view.
"One experiences an indescribable sensation," says
Humboldt, when, as he approaches the equator, and
especially in passing from the one hemisphere to the
other, he sees the stars with which he has been fa-
E





50 MALIGNANT FEVER ON BOARD.
miliar from infancy gradually approach the horizon,
and finally disappear. Nothing impresses more
vividly on the mind of the traveller the vast dis-
tance to which he has been removed from his native
country than the sight of a new firmament. The
grouping of the larger stars, the scattered nebule
rivalling in r -ir thli milk,--.i,. and spaces re-
-markable for iih-ir.- tr-I,- i1. rki,,- --. givethesouth-
ern heavens a peculiar aspect. The sight even
strikes the imagination of those who, although igno-
rant of astronomy, find pleasure in contemplating
the celestial vault, as one admires a fine landscape
or a majestic site. Without being a botanist, the
traveller knows the torrid zone by the mere sight of
its vegetation; and without the possession of astro-
nomical knowledge, perceives that he is not in Eu-
rope, when he sees rising in the horizon the great
constellation of the ship. -or'the phosphorescent
clouds of MR. i I.!. In the equino6tial regions, the
earth, the sky, and all their garniture assume an
exotic character."
The intprtropical seas being usually smooth, and.
the '.----..1 L,.-in spelledd by the gentle breezes of
the trade-wind, the passage from the Cape Verd
Islands to Cumana was as pleasant as could be de-
sired; but as they approached the West Indies a
malignant fever disclosed itself on board. The ship
Was very much encumbered between decks, and from
the time they passed the tropic the thermometer
stood from 930 to 96-80. Two sailors, several pas-
sfiigers, two negroes from the coast of Guinea, and
amulatto child were attacked. .in ;L:.i:, :i t Gali1cii
surgeon ordere,- il bl.- ,li .. to oT t m.- tr i t,:'It dJid
con 1.pti:.,i of t1i. h.:..:.l ," i.ut little exertionhadbeen
made in attempting to diminish the danger of infec-
tion, and there was not .an ounce of bark on board.
A sailor, who had been on the _,,. ini r.C expiring, re-
covered his health in a singular manner. His ham-
mock havingbeen so hung that the sacrament could




TOBAGO-BOCCA DEL DRAGO. 51
not be administered to him, 1.- was removed to an
airy place near the I i.: li y ,-and left there, his
death being expected every moment. The transi-
tion from a hot and stagnant to a fresher and purer
atmosphere gradually restored him, and his recovery
furnished the doctor with an additional proof of the
necessity of bleeding and evacuation,-a treatment
of which the fatal effects soon became perceptible.
On the 13th, early in the morning, very highland
was seen. The wind blew hard, the sea was rough,
large drops of rain fell at intervals, and there was
' :i i.'i.: '- 11 i. of stormy weather; Considerable
doubt existed as to the latitude and longitude, which
was however removed by observations made by our
travellers, and the appearance of the island of To-
S.... TI; tr.: island is a heap of rocks, the daz-
zling whiteness of which forms an agreeable contrast
with the verdure of the scattered tufts of trees upon
it. The mountains are crowned with very tall
opuntis, which alone are enough to apprize the nav-
igator that he has arrived on an American coast.
After doubling the north cape of Tobago and the
point of St. Giles, they discovered from the mast-
head what they regarded as a hostile squadron;
which, however, turned out to be only a group of
rocks. Crossing the shoal which joins the former
island to Grenada, they found that, although the
colour of the sea was not visibly changed, the ther-
. li'r'ite-r indicated a temperature several degrees
.,~.,i. ih .i that of the neighboring parts. The
wind diminished after sunset, and the clouds dis-
persed as the moon reached the zenith. Numerous
falling-stars were seen on this and the following
nights.
On the 14th, at sunrise, they were in sight of the
Bocca del Drago. m!I distinguished the island of
Chacachacarreo. When seventeen miles distant from
the coast, they experienced, near Punta de la Baca,
the effect of a current which drew the ship southward.





52 MALIGNANT FEVER.
Heaving the lead, they found from 230 to 275 feet,
with a bottom of very fine green clay,-a depth
much less than, according to Dampier's rule, might
have been expected in the vicinity of a shore formed
of very elevated and perpendicular mountains.
The disease which had broken out on board the
Pizarro made rapid progress from the time they ap-
proached the coast. The thermometer kept steady
at night li ti win i71 60 and.73-40, and during the day
Srdse to b-tiwrE-n ;5 -:' and 8060. The determination
to the head, the extreme dryness of the skin, the
prostration of strength, and all the other symptoms
became more alarming; but it was hoped that the
sick would recover as soon as they were landed on
the island of St. Margaret, or at the port of Cumana,
both celebrated for their great salubrity. This hope,
however, was not entirely realized, for one of the
passengers fell a victim to the distemper. He was
an Asturian, nineteen years of age, the only son of
a poor widow. Various circumstances combined to
render the death.of this young man affecting. He
was of an exceedingly gentle disposition, bore the
marks of great sensibility, and had left his native
land against his inclination, with the view of earn-
ing an independence and assisting his reluctant
mother, under the protection of arich relation, who
resided in the island of Cuba. From the commence-
ment of his illness he had fallen into a lethargic
state, interrupted by accessions of delirium, and on
the third day expired. Another Asturian, who was
still younger, did not leave the bed of his dying
friend for a moment, and yet escaped the disease.
He had intended to accompany his countryman to
Cuba, to be introduced by him to the house of his
relative, on whom all their hopes rested; and it was
" distressing to see his deep sorrow, and to hear him
curse the fatal counsels which had thrown him into
a foreign climate, where he found himself alone and
destitute.





MALIGNANT FEVER. Oa
"We were assembled on the deck," says our elo-
quent author, absorbed in melancholy reflections.
It was no longer doubtful that the fever which pre-
vailed on board had of late assumed a fatal character.
Our eyes were fixed on a mountainous and desert
coast, on which the moon shone at intervals through
the clouds. The sea, gently agitated, glowed with
a feeble phosphoric light; No sound came on the
ear save the monotonous cry of some large seabirds,
that seemed to be seeking the shore. A deep calm
reigned in these solitary places ; but this calm of ex-
ternal nature accorded ill with the painful feelings
which agitated us. About eight the death-bell was
slowly tolled. At tihi dI.i.:lII signal the sailors
ceased from their work, and threw themselves on
ra,'-, k,:--s to offer up a short prayer; an affecting
ceremony, which, while it recalls the times when
the primitive Christians considered themselves as
members of the same family, seems to unite men by
the.feeling of a common evil. In the course of the
night the body of the Asturian was brought upon
deck, and the priest prevailed upon them not to
throwit into the sea till after sunrise, in order that
he might render to it the last rites, in conformity to
the practice of the Romish church. There was not
an individual on board who did not feel for the fate
of this young man, whom we had seen a few days
before full of cheerfulness and health."
The passengers who had not been affected by the
disease resolved to leave, the ship at the first place
where she should touch, and there wait the arrival
of another packet to convey them to Cuba and
Mexico. Our travellers also thought it prudent to
land at Cumana, more especially as they wished not
to visit New Spain until they had remained for some
time on the coasts of Venezuela and Paria, and ex-
amined the beautiful plants of which Bose and Bre-
demeyer collected specimens on their voyage to
Terra Firma, and which Humboldt had seen in the





04 ISLAND OF COCHE.

S.gardens of Schonbrunn and Vienna. This resolution
had a happy influence upon the direction of their
journey, as will subsequently be seen, and perhaps
was the occasion of securing for them the health
which they enjoyed during a long residence in the
equinoctial regions. They were by this means for-
tunate enough to pass the time when a European
recently landed runs the greatest danger of being
affected by the yellow fever, in the hot but very dry
climate of Cumana, a city celebrated for its salubrity.
As the coast of Paria stretches to the west, in the
form of perpendicular cliffs of no great height, tley
were long without perceiving the bold shores of the
island of St. Margaret, where they intended to stop
for the purpose of obtaining information respecting
the English cruisers. Towards eleven in the morn
ing of the 15th, they observed a very low islet cov-
ered with sand, and destitute of any trace of culture
or habitation. Cactuses rose here and there from a
scanty soil, which seemed to have an undulating mo-
tion, in consequence of the extraordinary refraction
the solar rays undergo in passing through the stra-
tum of air in contact with a strongly-heated surface.
The deserts and sandy shores of all countries pre-
ient'this-appearance. The aspect of this place not
corresponding with the ideas which they had formed
of the island of Margaretta, alhd the greatest per-
plexity existing as to their position and course, they
cast anchor in shallow water, and were visited by
some Guayquerias in two canoes, constructed each
of the single trunk of a tree. These Indians, who
were of a coppery colour, and very tall, informed
them that they had kept too far south, that the low
islet near which they were at anchor was the island
of Coche, and that Spanish vessels coming from Eu-
rope usually passed to the northward of it. The
master of one of the canoes offered to remain on
board as coasting pilot, and towards evening the
captain set sail.




COAST OF NEW-ANDALUSIA. 55
On the 16th they beheld a verdant coast of pictu-
resque appearance; the mountains of New-Anda-
lu-i'i bundid.i the southern horizon, and the city of
C(.ini.jja ri i u castle 4.1'i'l.-red .I,.:..,g groups of
trees. They anchored in the port about nine in the
morning, wlhei the sick crawled -on-deck to enjoy
thie sight. The river was bordered with cocoa-
trees more than sixty feet high,-the plain was cov-
ered with tufts of cassias, capers, and arborescent
mimosas, while the pinnated leaves of the palms
were conspicuous on the azure of a sky unsullied
by the least trace of vapour. A dazzling light was
spread along the white hills clothed with cylindrical
cactuses, and over the smooth sea, the shores of
which were peopled by pelicans, egrets, and flamin-
goes. E' ,rv thinr nnnonneed the magnificenceof
nature :1 ll th olll, -,- ._, ,-1 .. ..
Before to:'.'.ri-iyij,; 'oir I'. rn-.1 friends to the
city of Cumana, we may here take a glance of the
physical observations made by them during the
voyage, and which refer to the temperature of the
air and sea, and other subjects of general interest.
Temperature of the Air.-In the basin of the
northern Atlantic Ocean, between the coasts of Eu-
rope, Africa, and America, the temperature of the
atmosphere exhibits a very slow increase. From
Corunna to the Canary Islands, the thermometer,
observed at noon and in the shade, gradually rose
from 500 to 640, and from Teneriffe to Cumana from
640 to 7'T. The maximum of heat observed during
the voyage did not exceed 79-9.
The extreme slowness with which the tempera-
ture increases during a voyage from Spain to South
Am-ri-ca. i highly favourable to the health of Eu-
r. ,,: o i.. s it gradually prepares them for the intense
heat which they have to experience. It is in a
great iin-.j-,r- atliL .Lt il., to it.- .por-s. of the
water, hu.ri-it .. bv. : the ini.-taiii of th,- air and
waves, itgetri.r .-ili the property possessed by





56 TEMPERATURE DURING THE VOYAGE.
transparent liquids of absorbing very little light at
their surface. On comparing the numerous obser
nations made by navigators, we are surprised to see
that in the torrid zone, in either hemisphere, they
have not found the thermometer to rise in the open
sea above 930; while in corresponding latitudes
on the continents of Asia and Africa, it attains a
much greater elevation. The difference between
the temperature of the day and inL is ;-io less
than on land.
Temperature of the Sea.-From Corunna to the
mouth of the Tagus, the temperature of the sea
varied little (between 590 and 60-80), but from lat.
390 to 100 N., the increase was rapid and generally
uniform (from 590 to 78 40), although inequalities
occurred, probably caused by currents. It is very
remarkable that there is a great uniformity in the
maximum of heat everywhere in the equinoctial
waters. This maximum, which varies from 820 to
4 -2-, pi.,,"- iht ihe ocean is in general warmer
i-!:l ir f ntTi'. p .!''- in direct contact with it, and
of which the mean temperature near the equator is
from 78-80 to 80-60.
Hygrometrical State of the Air.-During the whole
of the voyage, the apparent humidity of the atmo-
sphere indicated by the hygrometer underwent a sen-
sible increase. In July, in lat. 130 and 140 N.,
Saussure's hygrometer marked at sea from 880 to
-920, in perfectly clear weather, the thermometer
being at 75-20. On the banks of the Lake of Ge-
neva the mean humidity of the same month is only
800, the average heat being 66-20. On reducing
these observations to a uniform temperature, we find
tlh: tf1 real humidity in the eTinoctiil basin of the
All iitI,, Ocean is to that of '!.: I'inin|i-r months at
Geneva as 12 to 7. This astonishing degree of
moisture in the air accounts to a great extent for the
vigorous vegetation which presents itself on the





COLOUR OF THE SKY. 57
coasts of South America, where so little rain falls
throughout the year.
Intensity of the Colour of the Sky and Ocean.-
From the coasts of Spain and Africa to those of
South America, the azure colour of the sky increased
from 130 to 230 of Saussure's cyanometer. From
the 8th to the 12th of July, in lat. 12'0 and 140 N.,
the sky, although free of vapour, was of an extra-
ordinary paleness, the instrument indicating only 160
or 170, although on the preceding days it had been at
220. The tint of the sky is generally deeper in the
tl:irr.i i.n7e rn1 in rl high latitudes, and in the same
pI ir :l r i, !'jl it: r at sea than on land. The latter
circumstance may be attributed to the quantity of
aqueous vapour which is continually rising towards
the higher regions of the air from the surface of the
sea. From the zenith to the horizon, there is in all
latitudes a diminution of intensity, which follows
nearly an arithmetical progression, and depends upon
the moisture suspended in the atmosphere. If the
cyanometer indicate this accumulation of vapour in
the more elevated portion of the air, the seaman
possesses a simpler method of judging of the state
of its lower regions, by observing the colour and
figure of the solar disk at its rising and setting. In
the torrid zone, where meteorological phenomena
follow each other with great regularity, the prog-
nostics are more to be depended upon than in north-
ern regions. .Great paleness of the setting sun, and
an extraordinary -disfiguration of its disk, almost
certainly plr-e',- a storm; and yet one can hardly
conceive how th r condition of the lower strata of
the air, which is announced in this manner, can be
so intimately connected with those atmospherical
changes that take place within the space of a few
hours..
Mariners are accustomed to observe the appear-
ances of the sky more carefully than landsmen, and
among the numerous meteorological rules which





58 COLOUR OF THE OCEAN.

pilots transmit to each other, several evince great
sagacity. Prognostics are also in general less un-
certain on the ocean, and especially in the equinoc-
tial parts of it, than on land, where the inequalities
of the ground interrupt the regularity of their mani-
festation.
Iumboldt also applied the cyanometer to measure
the colour of the sea. In fine calm weather, tlhe
tint was found to be equal to 330, 380, sometimes
even 440 of the instrument, although the sky was
very pale, and scarcely attained 140 or 150. When,
instead of directing the apparatus to a great extent
of open sea, the observer fixes his eyes on a small
part of its surface viewed through a narrow aper-
ture, the water appears of a rich ultramarine colour.
Towards evening again, when the edge of the waves,
as the sun shines upon them, is of an emerald-green,
the surface of the shaded side reflects a purple hue.
Nothing is more striking than the rapid changes
which the colour of the sea undergoes under a clear
sky, in the midst of the ocean and in deep water,
~ when it may be seen passing from indigo-blue to the
deepest green, and from this to slate-gray. The
blue is almost independent of the reflection of the
atmosphere. The intertropical seas are in genera,
of a deeper and purer tint than in high latitudes, and
the ocean often remains blue, when, in fine weather,
more than four-fifths of the sky are covered with
light and scattered clouds of a white colour.





LANDING AT CUMANA.


CHAPTER V.

Cumana.
Landing at Cumana-Introduction to the Governor-State of the Sick-
Description of tie Country and City of Cumana-Mode of Bathing in
the Manzanares-Port of Cumana-Earthquakes; Their Periodicity;
Connexion with the State of the Atmosphere; Ga:s-:... En, .'--. --;
Subterranean Noises; Propagation of Shocks; Cf....n ,.n i..,:s *,.n
those of Cumana and the West Indies; and general Phenomena.

THE city of Cumana, the capital of New-Andalu-
sia, is a mile distant from the landing-place, and in
proceeding towards it our travellers crossed a large
sandy plain, which separates the suburb inhabited
by the Guayqueria Indians from the seashore. The
excessive heat of the atmosphere was increased by
the reflection of the sun's rays from a naked soil,
the -1,. Ii.:'imt. r immersed in which rose to 99'9'.
In tih Iii l.- pi".', of salt water it remained at 86'90,
while the surface of the sea in the port generally
ranges from 77-4 to 79-30. The first plant gathered
by them was the Avicennia tomentosa, which is re-
markable for occurring also on the Malabar coast,
and belongs to the small number that live in society,
like the heaths of Europe, and are seen in the torrid
zone only on the shores of the ocean and the ele-
vated platforms of the Andes.
Crossing the Indian suburb, the streets of which
were very neat, they were conducted by the captain
of the Pizarro to the governor of the province, Don
Vicente Emparan, who received them with frank-
ness; expressed his satisfaction at the resolution
which they had taken of remaining for some time
in New-Andalusia; showed them cottons died with
iiati e p l.lts, and Ifriiiu,1r.e made of indigenouswood;
a ,n Iiurprj'ied tlh-il "Tll questions indicative of






60 CUMANA.
scientific attainments. On disembarking their in-
struments, they had the pleasure of finding that none
of them had been damaged. They hired a spacious
house in a situation favourable for astronomical
observations, in which they enjoyed an agreeable
coolness when the breeze arose, the windows being
Without glass, or ,-.i the paper panes which are
'often substituted f.' r, i t Cumana.
The pfas-.1''''i. all left the vessel. Those who
aid le ti. n :it i.I-.-d by the fever recovered so very
slowly, that some were seen a month after who,
notwithstanding the care bestowed upon them by
their countrymen, were still in a state of extreme
debility,- Tih 1..:.-p1;i i;r,' of it'- inhabitants of the
Spaiii.h c,.lo,,i.- i- .,.llh that it-. p .:.-t stranger is
'"sre X!' rI-.:- inl. the I:ndest treatment. Among
the sick landed here was a negro, who soon fell into
a state of insanity and died; which fact our author
mentions, as a proof that persons born in the torrid
zone are liable to suffer from the heat of the tropics
after having resided in temperate climates. This
individual, who was a robust young man, was a native
of Guinea, but had lived for some years on the ele-
vated plain of Castile.
The soil around Cumana is composed of gypsum
and calcareous breccia, and is supposed at a remote
period to have been covered by the sea. The neigh-
bourhood of the city is remarkable for the woods
of cactus which are spread over the arid lands.
Some of these plants were thirty or forty feet high,
covered with lichens, and divided into branches in
the form of a candelabrum. When the large species
grow in groups they form a thicket, which, while it
is almost impenetrable, is extremely dangerous on
account of Ihe poisonous serpents that frequent it.
The fortress of St. Antonio, which is.built on a
calcareous hill, commands the town, and forms a pic-
turesque object to vessels entering the port. On the
south-western slope of the same rock are the ruins





BATHING IN THE RIVER. 61
of the castle of St. Mary, from the site of which
there is a fine view of the gulf, together with the
island of Margaretta and the small isles of Caraccas,
Picuita, and Boracha, which present the most singu-
lar appearances from the effect of mirage.
The city of Cumana, properly speaking, occupies
the groii.id th.:t I,- between the castle of St. An-
tonio and the small rivers Manzanares and Santa
Catalina. Itha 1. ,,. ii'-,ikable'..,l1.];.-. on account
:f [ll.:, violent ,rlhiq- l i:. to" wIn-i it is subject.
Trhi -iburbs are almost as populous as the town it-
self, and are three in number: namely, Serritos, St.
Francis, and that of the Guayquerias. The latter is
inhabited by a tribe of civilized Indians, who, for
up', r.l of a century, have adopted the Castilian
language. The whole population in 1802 was about
eighteen or nineteen thousand.
The plains which surround the city have a parched
ant dusty aspect. The hill on which the fort of St.
Antonio stands is also bare, and composed of calca-
reous breccia, containing marine shells. Southward,
in the distance, is avast curtain of inaccessible moun-
tains, also of limestone. These ridges are covered by
majestic forests, extending along the sloping ground
at their base to an open plain in the neighbourhood of
Cumana, ithlr, ;i which the river Manzanares winds
its way to the sea, fringed with mimosas, erythrinas,
ceibas, and other trees of gigantic growth.
This river, the temperature of which in the season
of the floods descends as low as 71.60, when that of
the air is as high as 910, is an inestimable benefit to
the inhabitants; all of whom, even the women of
the most opulent families, learn to swim. The mode
of bathing is various. Our travellers frequented
every evening a very respectable society in the
suburb of the Guayquerias. In the beautiful moon-
light chairs were placed in the water, on which were
seated the ladies and gentlemen, lightly clothed.
The family and the strangers passed several, hours






62 EARTHQUAKE$.
in the river, smoking cigars and chatting on the
usual subjects of conversation, such as the extreme
drought, the abundance of rain in the neighboring
districts, and the female luxury which prevails in
Caraccas and Havana. The company were not
disturbed by the bavas, *.r ;mall i ,...::.JLil i, whichh
are only three or four feet long, aini are lin ex-
tremely rare. Humboldt and his companions did
not meet with any of them in the Manzanares; but
they saw plenty of dolphins, which sometimes as-
cended the river at night, and frightened the bathers
by spouting water from their nostrils.
The port of Cumana is capable of receiving all
the navies of Europe; and the whole of the Gulf of
Cariaco, which is forty-two miles long, and from
seven to nine miles broad, affords excellent anchor-
age. The hurricanes of the West Indies are never
experienced on these coasts, where the sea is con-
stantly smooth, or only slightly agitated by an east-
erly wind. The sky is often bright along the shores,
while stormy clouds are seen to gather among the
mountains. Thus, as at the foot of the Andes, on the
western side of the continent, the extremes of clear
weather and fogs, of drought and heavy rain, of ab-
solute nakedness and perpetual verdure, present
themselves on the coasts of New-Andalusia.
The same analogy exists as to earthquakes, which
are frequent and violent at Cumana. It is a gene-
rally received opinion that the Gulf of Cariaco owed
its existence to a rent of the continent, the remem-
brance of which was fresh in the minds of the na-
tives at the time of Columbus's third voyage. In
1530 the coasts of Paria and Cumana were agitated
by shocks; and towards the end of the sixteenth
century, earthquakes and inundations very often oc-
curred. On the 21st October, 1766, the city of Cu-
mana was entirely destroyed in the space of a few
minutes. The ( Ii ofip. i. i in several parts of the
province, and emitted sulphureous waters. During





GENERAL REMARKS ON EARTHQUAKES. 63

,the.years 1766 and 1767 il-, inhabitants encamped
in the streets, and they litd i. t begin to rebuild their
houses until the earthquakes took place only once
in four weeks. These commotions had been pre-
ceded by a drought of fifteen months, and were ac-
companied and followed by torrents of rain, which'
swelled the rivers.
On the 14th December, 1797, more than four-fifths
of the city were again entirely destroyed. Previous
to this the shocks had been horizontal oscillations;
but the shaking now felt was that of an elevation
of the ground, and was attended by a subterraneous
noise, like the explosion of a mine at a great depth.
The most violent concussion, however, was pre-
ceded by a slight undulating motion, so that the in-
habitants had time to escape into the streets; and
only a few perished, who had betaken themselves
for safety to the churches. Half an hour before the
catastrophe, a strong smell of sulphur was expe-
rienced near the hill of the convent of St. Francis;
and on the same spot an internal noise, which seemed
to pass from S.E. to N.W.,washeardloudest. Flames
appeared on the banks of the Manzanares and in the
Gulf of Cariaco. In describing this frightful con-
vulsion of nature, our author enters upon general
views respecting earthquakes, of which a very brief
account may be here given.
The great earthquakes which interrupt the long
series of small shocks do not appear to have any
stated times at Cumana, as they have occurred at
intervals of eighty, of a hundred, and sometimes
even of less than thirty years; whereas, on the
coasts of Peru,-at Lima, for example,-there is,
without doubt, a certain degree of regularity in the
periodical devastations thereby occasioned.
It has long been believed at Cumana, Acapulco,
and Lima, that there exists a perceptible relation
between earthquakes and the state of the atmosphere
which precedes these phenomena. On the coasts





64 EARTHQUAKES.
of New-Andalusia the people become uneasy when,
in excessively hot weather and after long drought,
the breeze suddenly ceases, and the sky, clear atthe
zenith, presents the appearance of a reddish vapour
near the horizon. But these prognostics are very
uncertain, and the dreaded evil has arrived in all
kinds of weather.
Under the tropics the regularity of the horary va-
riations of the barometer is not disturbed on the days
when violent shocks occur. In like manner, in the
temperate zone the aurora borealis does not always
modify the variations of the needle, or the intensity
of the magnetic forces.
When the earth is open and agitated, gaseous
emanations occasionally escape in places consider-
ably remote from unextinguished volcanoes. At
Cumana, flames and sulphureous vapours. spring
from the arid soil, while in other parts of the same
province it thro.:i out water and petroleum. At
Siobamba, a muddy inflammable mass called moya
issues from crevices which close again, and forms
elevated heaps. Flames and smoke were also seen
to proceed from the rocks of Alvidras, near Lisbon,
during the earthquake of 1755, by which that city
was ravaged. But in the greater number of earth-
quakes it is probable that no elastic fluids escape
from the ground, and when gases are evolved, they
more frequently accompany or follow than precede
the shocks.
The subterranean noise which so frequently at-
tends earthquakes, is generally not proportionate to
the strength of the shocks. At Cumana it always
precedes them; while at Quito, and for some time
past at Caraccas and in the West India islands, a
noise like the discharge of a battery was heard long
after the agitation had ceased. The rolling of thun-
der in the bowels of the earth, which continues for
months, without being accompanied by the least
shaking, is a very remarkable phenomenon





EARTHQUAKES. -65
In all countries subject to earthquakes, the point
at which the effects are greatest is considered as
the source or focus of the shocks. We forget that
the rapidity with which the undulations are propa-
gated to great distances, even across the basin of
the ocean, proves the centre of action to be very re-
mote from the earth's surface. Hence it is clear
h',t rt.rt h'r jio.lI' .r- not restricted to certain species
ti' r-. ks, -,I ii.,ni.: naturalists assert, but pervade all;
although sometimes, in the same rock, the upper
strata seem to form an insuperable obstacle to the
propagation of the motion. It is curious also, that
in a district of small extent certain formations in-
terrupt the shocks. Thus, at Cumana, before the
-:,t i .-,i'phi:. of 197, the earthquakes were felt only
;I''Ig IL hI- .u tIil, in or calcareous coast of the Gulf
of Cariaco, as far as the town of that name, while
in the peninsula of Araya, and at the village of Man-
iquarez, the ground was not agitated. At present,
however, the peninsula is as liable to earthquakes
as the district around Cumana.
SIn New-Andalusia, as in Chili and Peru, the shocks
follow the line of the shore, and extend but. little
into the interior,-a circumstance which indicates
an intimate connexion between the causes that pro-
duce earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. If the
land along the coasts is most agitated because it is
generally lowest, why should not the shocks be
equally strong in the savannas, which are only a
few yards above the level of the sea ?
The earthquakes of Cumana are connected with
those of the West Indies, and are even suspectedto
have some relation to the volcanic phenomena of
the Andes. On the 4th November, 179'7, thi- prov-
ince of Quito underwent so violent a c.ri.in .:.t .: iithat
40,000 persons were destroyed; and at the same
period shocks were experienced ini th-E stern An-
tilles, followed by an eruption of the volcano of
Guadaloupe, in the end of September, 1798. On the
F





66 CUMANA.
14th December the great concussion took place at
Cumana.
It has long been remarked that earthquakes ex-
tend their effects to much greater distances than
volcanoes; and it is probable, as has just been men-
tioned, that the causes which produce the former
have an intimate connexion with the latter. When
seated within the verge of a burning crater, one feels
the motion of the ground several seconds before
each partial eruption. The phenomena of earth-
quakes seem strongly to indicate the action of elastic
fluids endeavouring to force their way into the at-
mosphere. On the shores of the South Sea the
con, i,-:, is almost instantaneously communicated
fr.- : h.!i to the Gulf of Guayaquil, over a space
of 2.070 miles. The shocks also appear to be so
much the stronger the more distant the country is
from active volcanoes; and a province is more
agitated the smaller the number of funnels by which
the subterranean cavities communicate with the
open air.




CHAPTER VI.

Residence at Cumana.

Lunar Halo--African Slaves-Excursion to the Peninsula of Araya-
Geological Constitution of the Country-Salt-works of Araya-Indians
and Mulattoes-Pearl-fishery--Maniquarez-Mexican Deer--Spring
of Naphtha.

THE occupations of our travellers were much dis-
turbed during the first weeks of their abode at Cu-
mana by the intrusion of persons desirous of ex-
amining their astronomical and other instruments.
They however determined the latitude of the great
square to be 100 27' 52", and its longitude 660 30' 2".





LUNAR, HALOES-AFRICAN SLAVES 67

On the 17th of August ahalo of the moon attracted
the attention of the inhabitants, who viewed it as
the presage of a violent earthquake.. C' i.:.:aic :i -
cles of this kind, Humboldt remarks, ar : nii ri r ,.-r
in the northern than in the southern countries of Eu-
rope. They are seen more especially when the sky
is clear and the weather settled. In the torrid zone
ilh v appear almost every night,'; :id often in the
-ph ., of a few minutes- disappear several times.
Between the latitude of 150 N. and the equator he
has seen small haloes around the planet Venus, but
never observed any in connexion with the fixed stars.
While the halo was seen at Cumana, the hygrome-
ter indicated great humidity, although the atmo-
sphere was perfectly transparent. It consisted of
two circles; a larger, of a whitish colour, and 440
in diameter, and a smaller, displaying all the tints
of the rainbow, and 10 43' in diameter. The intei
mediate space was of the deepest azure.
Part of the great square is surrounded with ar-
cades, over which is a long wooden gallery, where
slaves imported from the coast of Africa are sold.
These were young men from fifteen to twenty years
of age. Every morning cocoanut oil was given
them, with which they rubbed their skin, to render it
glossy. Tlih prr.:,!n who came to purchase them
examined ir-er ie. rit, as we do those of horses, to
judge of their age and health. Yet the Spanish
laws, according to our author, have never favoured
the trade in African slaves, the number of whom in
1800 did not exceed 6000 in the two pro hl,:- of
Cu mana and B Wr,:cl.,r:. while the whole popiJlation
was estimated at 110,000.
The first excursion which our travellers made was
to the peninsula of Araya. They embarked on the
Manzanares, near the Indian suburb, about two in
the morning of the 19th August. The night was
delightfully cool. Swarms of shining insects (Elater
noctilucus) sparkled in the air along the banks of the





68 EXCURSION TO ARAXA.
river.. As the boat descended the stream, they ob-
served a company of negroes dancing to the music
of the guitar by the light of bonfires,-a practice
which they prefer to mere relaxation or sleep, on
their days of rest.
The bark in which they passed the Gulf of Cari-
aco was commodious, and large skins of the jaguar
were spread for their repose during the night. The
cold, however, prevented i1-nl from sleeping, al-
ithlr:'ih, a they were surprised to find, th- ther-
mometer was as high a V 71-20. The circumstance
that i, Iwarm country a degree of cold which would
be productive of no inconvenience to the inhabitant
of a temperate climate, excites a disagreeable feel-
ine, is worthy of tI,- attention of plihy-.i l.i-ts.
Shenirl Rii BiguLr e-i.:h tj heI summit n" P-el' in the
island of Martinico, he trembled with cold, although
the-heat was above 70-7 and in heavy showers
at Cumana, when the thermometer indicates the
same temperature, the inhabitants make bitter com-
plaints.
S About eight in the morning they landed at the
._point-Qf Araya. iw: r the- niiw -\alturk,. which are
situated in a plain de--itut,- of vegetation. From
this spot are seen the islet of Cubagua, the lofty
hills of Margaretta, the ruins of the castle of St.
Jago, the Cerro de la Vela, and the limestone ridge
of the Bi:r.,iatiii, bounding the horizon towards the
South. H-re salt is procured by.diggingbrine-pits
inl the clJiv' soil, which is impregnated with mu-
riate of soda. In 19: and 1800 the consumption
of this article in the provinces of Cumana and Bar-
celona amounted to 9000 or 10,000 fanegas, each
16 arrobas, or 405Tlbs. avoirdupois. Of this quan-
tity the *alt-w,:.. of Araya yield.only about a
I i rdi part; the rest being obtained from sea-water
in the Morro of Barcelona, at Pozuelos, at Piritu,
and in the Golfo Triste.
In order, to un.l. r;ian] the geological relations ot





PENINSULA OF ARAYA. 69
th'i sliorroui clay, it is necessary to fIluow our
nuttlhjr i,1 his e-xpjosiion of lie nature of thF ne:igh-
bouring country. Three great parallel chains of
mountains extend from east to west. The two
most northerly, which are primitive, con,.ti ttut~ the
cordilleras of the island of Margaretta, as well as
of Araya. The most southerly, the cordillera.of
Bergantin and Cocollar, is secondary, although more
elevated than the others. The two former have
been separated by the sea, and the islets of Coche
arid Cubagua are supposed to be remnants of the
submersed land. The Gulf of Cariaco divides the
chains ofA raya and Cocollar, which were connected,
to the east of the town of Cariaco, between the
lakes ofCampoma and Putaquao, by a kind of dike.
This,barrier, which had the name of Cerro de Mea-
pire, prevented in remote times the waters of the
Gulf of Cariaco from uniting with those of the Gulf
of Paria.
The western slope of the peninsula of Araya and
the plains on which rises the castle of St. Antony
are covered with recent deposites of sandstone, clay,
and gypsum. Near Manifuarez, a conglomerate
with calcareous cement rests on the mica-slate;
while on the opposite side, near Punta Delgada, it is
superimposed on a compact bluish-gray limestone,
containing a few organic remains,- traversed by
small veins of calcareous spar, and analogous to that
of the Alps.
The -.silirous clay i. i-nera.lly or a s.moke-gT-ra
col'o r, earth,\ and I'ri:bI, .'ut en'lo"- ru,-ss ol" a
dark-brown: tint and more solid texture. Selenite
and fibrous gypsum are disseminated in it. Scarcely
any shells are to be seen, ,lithoPir'h the aldj-cent
roeks8contain abundance of ;hin. The iiniriait- of
soda is not discoverable by the naked eye ; but when
a mass is sprinkled with rainwater and exposed to
the sun, it appears in large crystals. In the marsh
to the east of the castle of St. Jago, which receives





70 SALT-WORKS OF ARAYA.
only rainwater, crystallized and very pure muriate
of soda forms, after great droughts, in masses of
large size. The new salt-works of Araya have five
very extensive reservoirs .iII a depth of eight
inches, and are supplied p. wril with seawater and
partly with rain. The evaporation is so rapid that
salt is collected in eighteen or twenty days after
they are filled ;' and it-is freer from earthy niu: t'' s
and sulphates than that of Europe, although manu.
factured with less care.
After examining these works, they departed at
the decline of day, and proceeded towards an Indian
Cabin some miles distant. Night overtook them in
a narrow path between a range of perpendicular
rocks and the sea. Arriving at the foot of the old
castle of Araya, which stands on a bare and arid
mountain, and is crowned, with agave, columnar
cactus, and prickly mimosas, they were desirous of
stopping to admire the majestic spectacle, and ob-
serve the setting of the planet Venus; but their
guide, who was parched with thirst, earnestly urged
them to return, and hoped to work on their fears by
continually warning them of jaguars and rattle-
snakes. They at length yielded to his solicitations;
but after proceeding three-quarters of an hour along
a shore covered by the tide they were joined by the
negro that carried their provisions, who led them
through a wood of nopals to the hut of an Indian,
where they were received with cordial hospitality.
The several classes of natives in this district live by
catching fish, part of which they carry to Cumana.
The wealth of the inhabitants consists chiefly of
goats, which are of a very large size, and brownish-
yellow colour. They are marked like the mules,
and roam at large.
Among the mulattoes, whose hovels surrounded
the salt-lake near which they had passed the night,
they found an indigent Spanish cobbler, whoreceived
them with an air of gravity and importance. After





PEARL-FISHERIES. 71
amusing them with a display of his knowledge, he
drew from a leather bag a few very small peals,
which he forced them to accept, enjoining them to
note on their tablets, that a poor shoemaker of
Araya, but a white man, and of noble Castilian de-
scent, was enabled to give them what on the other
side of the sea would be sought for as a thing of
great value."
The pearl-shell (Avicula margaritifera) is abundant
on the shoals which extend from Cape Paria to the
Cape of Vela. Margarita, Cubagua, Coche, Punta
Araya, and the mouth of the Rio la Hacha were as
celebratd in the sixteenth century for them as the
Persian Gulf was among the ancients. At the be-
ginning of the conquest the island of Coche alone
furnished 1500 marks (1029 troy pounds) monthly.
The portion which the king's officers drew from the
produce of the pearls amounted to 34061. 5s.; and
it would appear that up to 1530 the value of these
sent to Europe amounted, at a yearly average, to
more than 130,0001. Towards the end of the six-
teenth century, this fishery duninished rapidly; and,
according to Laet, had been long given up in 1683.
The artificial imitations, and the great diminution
of the shells, rendered it less lucrative. At present,
the Gulf of Panama and the mouth of the Rio de la
Hacha are the only parts of South America in which
this branch of industry is continued.
On the morning of the 20th, a young Indian con-
ducted the travellers over Barigon and Caney to the
village of Maniquarez. The thermometer kept as
hl'h as 78"50, and lb-,l.re tir ~r guide had travelled a
Ie1gu.:- h.- rriqu -:ti-y sat down to rest himself, and
expressed a desire to repose under the shade of a
tamarind-tree until night should approach. Hum-
boldtexplains the circumstance, that the natives
complain more of lassitude under an intense heat
than Europeans not inured to it, by a reference to





72 GEOLOGICAL PHENOMENA.
their listless disposition, and their not being excited
by the same stimulus.
In crossing the arid hills of Cape Cirial, they per-
ceived a strong smell of petrl,:l'-im, the wind. blow-
ing from the side where the springs of that sub-
stance occur. Near the village of Maniquarez, they
found the mica-slate cropping out from below the
secondary rocks. It was of a silvery white, con-
tained garnets, and was traversed by small layers
of quart z. Foim a detached block of this last, found
on the s h'io:'., i I-y separated a fragment of cyanite,
the only specimen of that mineral seen by them in
South America.
A rude manufacture of pottery is carried on at
that hamlet by the Indian women. Thei:i : is i pro-
duced by the decomposition of mica-slate, and is of
a.reddish colour. The natives,'being unacquainted
with the use of ovens, place twigs around the ves-
sels, and bake them in the open air.
IAt the same place they met with some Creoles
who had been hunting small deer in the uninhabited
islet of Cubagua, where they are very abundant.
These creatures are of a brownish-red hue, spotted
with white, and of the latter colour beneath. They
belong to the species named by naturalists Cervus
Mexicanus.
SIn the estimation of the n Iit ie-, the most curious
production of the coast of Araya is what they call
;h- ,.:-stone. They consider it as both a stone and
an animal, and assert that when it is found in the
sand it is motionless; whereas on a polished surface,
as an earthen plate, it moves when stimulated, by
lemon-juice. When introduced into the eye it ex-
pels every other substance that may have accident-
ally insinuated itself. The people offered these
stones to the travellers by hundreds, and wished to
put sand into their eyes, that they might try the
power of this wondrous remedy; which, however,





EXCURSION TO SAN FERNANDO. 73

\i-- !]l:hli else than the operculum of a small

Near Cape de la Brea, at the distance of eighty
feet from the shore, is a small stream of naphtha,
the produce of which covers the sea to a great ex-
tent. It is a singular circumstance that this spring
issues from mica-slate, all others that are known
belonging to secondary deposits.
After examining the neighbourhood of Mani-
quarez, the adventurers embarked at night in a small
fishing-boat, so leaky that a person was constantly.
employed in baling out the water with a calabash
and arrived in safety at Cumana.





CHAPTER VII.

Missions of the Chaymas.
Excursion to the Missions of the Chayma Indians-Remarks on Cul-
tivation-The finpossible-Aspect of the Vegetation-San Fernando-
Account of a Man who suckled a Child-Cumanacoa-Cultivation of
T.'., -.-T..-.- F .i ;.-.. -Ti.uars-Mountain of Cocollar-
l Ihi n,-i .r-i-M ........ I .i ,j \, u..... .iand Guahaguana.

ON the 4th of September, at an early hour, our
travellers commenced an excursion to the missionary
stations of the Chayma Indians, and to the lofty
mountains which traverse New-Andalusia. The
morning was deliciously cool; and from the summit
of the hill of San Francisco they ,-nior.ycd in ilie lo:rt
twilight an extensive view of the sea, the adjacent
plain, and the distant peaks. After walking two
hours they arrived at the foot of the chain, where
they found different rocks, together with a new and
more luxuriant vegetation. 'The\ obs-rved.thatthe
latter was more brilliant wherever the limestone was
G





74 STATE OF CULTIVATION.
.covered by a quartzy sandstone,-a circumstance
which probably depends not so much on the nature
of the soil as on its greater humidity; the thin layers
of slate-clay, which the latter contains, preventing
the water from filtering into the crevices of the
former. In those moist places they always dis-
covered appearances of cultivation, huts inhabited
by pii -tfizl. -, and placed in the. centre of small en-
Sclosures, containing papaws, plantains, sugar-canes,
and maize. In Europe, the wheat, barley, and other
kinds of grain cover vast spaces of ground, and, in
general, wherever the inhabitants live upon corn, the
cultivated lands are not separated from each other
by the intervention of large wastes; but in the tor-
rid zone, where the fertility of the soil is propor-
tionate to the heat and humidity of the air, and where
man has appropriated plants that yield earlier and
more abundant crops, an immense population finds
ample subsistence on a narrow space. The scat-
tered disposition of the huts in the midst of the forest
indicates to the traveller the fecundity of nature.
In so mild and uniform a climate the only urgent
want of man is that of food; and in the midst of
abundance his intellectual faculties receive less im-
provement than in colder regions, where his neces-
sities are numerous and diversified. While in Eu-
rope we judge of the inhabitants of a country by the
extent of laboured ground; in the warmest parts of
South America populous -provinces seem to the
traveller almost deserted, because a very small ex-
tent of soil is sufficient for the maintenance of a
family. The insulated state in which the natives
thus live prevents any rapid progress of civilization,
although it develops the sentiments of independence
and liberty.
As the travellers penetrated into the forests the
barometer indicated the progressive elevation of the
land. About ir, iiri in the afternoon they halted on
a small fl'.t, where a few houses had been erected





THIE IMPOSSIBLE. 75
near a spring, the water of wbi;:h thi found de-
liciofs." Its temperature was -2 5:, 1u hi that of
the air was 83-70. From the top of a sandstone-hill
in the vicinity they had a splendid view of the sea
and part of the coast, while in the intervening space
the tops of the trees, intermixed with flowery lianas,
formed a vast carpet of deep verdure. As they ad-
vanced towardsthe south-west the soil became dry
and loose. They ascended a group of rather high
mountains, destitute of vegetation, and having steep
declivities. This ridge is named the Impossible, it
being imagined that in case of invasion it might
afford a safe retreat to the inhabitants of Cumana.
The prospect was finer and more extensive than
from the fountain above mentioned.
They arrived on the summit only a little before.
dusk. The setting of the sun was accompanied by
a very rapid diminution of temperature, the ther-
mometer suddenly falling from 77-40 to 70'-3,
i !ho,-Mii the air was calm. They passed the night
in a house at which there was a military post of eight
men, commanded by a Spanish sergeant. When,
after the capture of Trinidad by the English in 1797,
Cumana was threatened, many of the people fled
to Cumanacoa, leaving the more valuable of their
property in sheds constructed on this ridge. The
solitude of the place reminded Humboldt of the
nights which he had passed on the top of St. Gothard.
Several parts of the surrounding forests were burn-
ing, and the reddish flames arising amid clouds of
smoke, presented a most impressive spectacle. The
shepherds set fire to the woods for the purpose of
improving the pasturage, though conflagrations are
often caused by the negligence of the wandering
Indians. The number of old trees on the road from
Cumana to Cumanacoa has been greatly reduced by
these accidents; and in several parts of the province
flt. dilyness has ,wr.- ,tl. owing.both to the dimi-
Iit,:,Oi of the forests and the frequency of earth-
quakes which produce crevices in the soil





76 VEGETATION OF NEW-ANDAL6I1A.
Leaving the Impossible on the 5th before sunrise,
they descended by a very narrow path bordering on
precipices. The summit of the ridge was of quartzy
sandstone, beneath which the alpine limestone re-
appeared. The 'strata being generally inclined to
the south, numerous springs gush out on that side,
and in the rainy season form torrents which fall in
cascades, shaded by the hura, the cuspa, and the
trunpet-tree. The cuspa, which is common in the
neighbourhood of Cumana, had long been used for
carpenter-work, but has of late attracted notice as a
powerful tonic or febrifuge.
Emerging from the ravine which opens at the
foot of the mountain, they entered a dense forest,
traversed by numerous small rivers, which were
easily forded. They observed that the leaves of the
cecropia were more or less silvery according as the
soil was dry or marshy, and specimens occurred in
which they were entirely green on both sides. The
roots of these shrubs were concealed beneath tufts
of dorstenia, a plant which thrives only in shady and
moist places. In the midst of the forest they found
ppapaws and orange-trees bearing excellent fruit,
-which they conjectured to be the remains of some
Indian plantations, as ih these countries they are
no more indigenous than the banana, the maize, the
manioc, and the many other useful plants whose
native country is unknown, although they have ac-
companied man in, his migrations from the most re-
mote periods.
'" When a traveller newly arrived from Europe,"
says Humboldt, "penetrates for the first time into
the forests of South America, nature presents herself
to his view in an unexpected aspect: the objects by
which he is surrounded bear but a faint resemblance
to the pictures drawn by celebrated writers on the
banks of the Mississippi, in Florida, and in other
temperate regions of the New World. He per-
ceives at every step that he is not upon the verge,





FOREST BIRDS. .77
but in the centre of the torrid zone,-not in one of
the West India islands, but upon a vast continent,
where the mountains, the rivers, the mass of vege-
tation, and every thing else are gigantic. If he be
sensible to the beauties of rural scenery, he finds it
difficult to account to himself for the diversified
feelings which he experiences: he is unable to de-
termine what most excites his admiration; whether
the solemn silence of the wilderness, or the indi-
vidual beauty and contrast of the forms, or the vigour
and freshness of vegetable life, that characterize the.
climate of the tropics. It might be said that the
earth, overloaded with plants, does not leave them
room enough for growth. The trunks of the trees
are everywhere covered with a thick carpet of ver-
dure; and were the orchidea and the plants of the
genera piper and pothos, which grow upon a single
courbaril or American fig-tree, transferred to the
ground, they would cover a large space. By this
singular denseness of vegetation, the forests, like
the rocks and mountains, enlarge the domain of or-
ganic nature. The same lianas which creep along
the ground rise to the tops of the trees, and pass
from the one to the other at a height of more than
a hundred feet. In consequence of this intermixture
of parasitic plants, the botanist is often led to con-
found the flowers, fruits, and foliage which belong
to different species."
The philosophers walked for some hours under
the shade of these arches, which scarcely admitted
an occasional glimpse of the clear blue sky, and for
the first time admired the pendulous nests of the
orioles, which mingled their warblings with the cries
of the parrots and macaws. The latter fly only in
pairs, while the former are seen in flocks of several
hundreds. At the distance of about a league, from
the village of San Fernando, they issued from the
woods, and entered an open country, covered with
aquatic plants from eight to ten feet high; there
G2





Y7 SAN FERNANDO.
being no meadows or pastures in the lower parts of
the torrid zone, as in Europe. The road was bor-
dered with a kind of bamboo, rising more than forty
feet. These plants, according to Humboldt, are less
common in America than is usually supposed, al-
though they form dense woods in New-Grenada and
Quito, and occur abundantly on the western slope of
the Andes.
They now entered San Fernando, which is situ-
ated in a narrow plain, and bounded by limestone
rocks. This was the first missionary station they
saw in America. The houses of the Chayma In-
dians were built of clay, strengthened by lianas, and
the streets were straight, and intersected each other
at right angles. The great square in the centre of
the village contains the church, the house of the
missionary, and another, destined for the accommo-
dation of travellers, which bears the pompous name
of the king's house (Casa del Rey). These royal
residences occur in all the Spanish settlements, and
are of the greatest benefit in countries where there
are no inns.
They had been recommended to the friars who
superintend the missions of the Chaymas, by their
syndic at Cumana, and the superior, a corpulent and
jolly old capuchin, received them with kindness.
This respectable personage, seated the greater part
of the day in an arm-chair, complained bitterly of
the indolence of his countrymen. He considered
"the pursuits of the travellers as useless, smiled at
the sight of their instruments and dried plants, and
maintained that of all the enjoyments of life, with-
out excepting sleep, none could be compared with
the pleasure of eating good beef.
This mission was founded about the end of the
seventeenth century, near the junction of the Man-
zanares and Lucasperez; but, in consequence of a
fire, was removed to its present situation. The num-
ber of families now amounted to a hundred, and as the





FRANCISCO LOZANO-CUMANACOA. 79
head of the establishment observed, the custom of
marrying at a very early age contributes greatly to
the rapid increase of population.
In the village of Arenas, which is inhabited by
Indians of the same race as those of San Fernando,
there lived a labourer, Francisco Lozano, who had
suckled a child. Iti mr..iH.-r happening to be sick,
lie took it, and in order to quiet it, pressed it to his
breast, when the stimulus imparted by the sucking
of the child caused a flow of milk. The travellers
saw the certificate drawn up on the spot to attest
this remarkable fact, of which several eyewitnesses
were still living. The man was not at Arenas during
their stay at the mission, but afterward visited them
at Cumana, accompanied by his son, when M. Bon-
pland examined his breasts, and found them wrinkled,
like those of women who have nursed. He was
not an Indian, but a white descended from European
parents. Alexander Benedictus relates a similar
case of an inhabitant of Syria, and other authors
have given examples of the same nature.
Returning towards Cumana, they entered the small
town of Cumanacoa, situated in a naked and almost
circular plain, surrounded by lofty mountains, and
containing about two thousand three hundred inhabit-
ants. The houses were low and slight, and with very
few e'x.:.- p.ii,:, i. !u; 1 of wood. The travellers were
surpri-,: J tI. l.i i-~ column of mercuryin the ba-
rometpr canrcely 7-3 lines shorter than on the coast.
Ti, i,..|1. in which the town is erected is not more
than 665 feet above the level of the sea, and only
seven leagues from Cumana; but the climate is
much colder than inthe latter place, where it scarcely
ever rains ; whereas at Cumanacoa there are seven
months of severe weather. It was during the winter
season that our travellers visited the missions. A
dense fog covered the sky every night; the ther-
mometer varied from 64-80 to 680; and Deluc's hy-
grometer indicated 850 At ten in the morning the






0U TOBACCO.
thermometer did not rise above 69-80, but from noon
to three o'clock attained the height of from 78-80 to
8060. About two, large black clouds regularly
formed, and poured down torrents of rain, accom-
panied by thunder. At five the rain ceased, and the
sun reappeared; but at eight or nine the fog again
commenced. In consequence of the humidity, the
vegetation, although not very diversified, is remark-
able for its freshness. The soil is highly fertile;
but the most valuable production of the district is
tobacco, the cultivation of which, in the province of
Cumana, is nearly confined to this valley.
Next to the tobacco of Cuba and the Rio Negro,
that grown here is the most aromatic. The seed is
sown in the beginning of September, and the coty-
ledons appear on the eighth day. The young plants
are then covered with large leaves to protect them
from the sun. A month or two after, they are trans-
ferred to a rich and well-prepared soil, and disposed
in rows, three or four feet distant from each. other.
The whole is carefully weeded, and the principal
stalk is several times '*'':p.:.], until the leaves art
mature, when they are g il -r-.l. They are then
suspended by threads of the Agave Americana, and
their ribs taken out; after which they are twisted
The cultivation of tobacco was a royal monopoly,
and employed about 1500 persons., Indigo is also
raised in the valley of Cumanacoa.
This singular plain appeared to be the bed of an
ancient lake. The surrounding mountains are all
Ir.' .:'t':' i, and the soil contains pebbles and bivalve
I. bh. ii. On of the gaps in the range, they were in-
formed, was inhabited by jaguars, which passed the
day in caves, and roamed about the plantations at
qight. The preceding year one of them had de-
vouid a horse belonging to a farm in the neighbour-
hood. The groans of the dying animal awoke the
slaves, who went out armed with lances and large





JAGUARS-SEARCH FOR A GOLD MINE. 81
knives, with which they despatched the tiger after a
vigorous resistance.
From two caverns in thb; ravine there at times
issue flames, which .iltin,.i th- adjacent mountains,
and are seen to a great distance at night. The phe-
nomenon was accompanied by a long-continued sub-
terraneous noise at the time of the last earthquake.
A first attempt to penetrate into this pass was ren-
dered unsuccessful, by the strength of the vegeta-
tion and the intertwining of lianas and thorny plants;
but the inhabitants becoming interested in the re-
searches of the travellers, and being desirous to
know what the German miner thought of the gold
ore which they imagined to exist in it, cleared a path
through the woods. On entering the ravine, they
found traces of jaguars; and the Indians returned for
some small dogs upon which they knew these ani-
mals would spring in preference to attacking a man.
The rocks that bound it are perpendicular, and what
geologists term alpine limestone. The excursion
was rendered hazardous by the nature of the ground;
but they at length reached the pretended gold mine,
which was merely an excavation in a bed of black
marl containing iron pyrites, a substance which the
guides insisted was no other than the precious
metal.
They continued to penetrate into the crevice, and
after undergoing great fatigue, reached a wall of
rock, which, rising perpendicularly to the height of
5116 feet, presented two inaccessible caverns inhab-
ited by nocturnal birds. Halting at the foot of one
of the caves from which flames had been seen to
issue, they listened to the remarks of the natives
respecting the probability of an increase in the fre-
quency of the agitations to which New-Andalusia
had so often been subjected. The cause of the lu-
minous exhalations, however, they were unable to
ascertain.
On4the 12th, they continued their jOuIrIit) to the
G





82 VIEW FROM THE COCOLLAR.
convent of Caripe, the principal station of the Chay-
ma missions, choosing, instead of the direct road,
the line of the mountains Cocollar and Turimiquiri.
At the Hato de Cocollar, a solitary farm situated on
a small elevated plain, they rested for some time,
and had the good fortune to enjoy at once a delight-
ful climate and the hospitality of the proprietor.
From this elevated point, as far as the eye could
r.- D.1., they saw only naked savannas. :ni.iii.l r;
the neighboring valleys they found I i ,.:.|' -.:..i
tered trees, and a profusion of beautiful flowers.
The upper part of the mountain was destitute of
wood, though covered with gramineous plants'-a
circumstance which Humboldt attributes more to
the custom of burning the forests than to the eleva-
tion of the ground, which is not sufficient to prevent
the growth of trees.
Their host, Don Mathias Yturburi, a native of
Biscay, had visited the New World with an expedi-
tion, the object of which was to form establishments
for procuring timber for the Spanish navy. But
these natives of a colder climate were unable to sup-
port the fatigue of so laborious an occupation, the
heat, and the effect of noxious vapours. Destruc-
tive fevers carried off most of the party, when this
individual withdrew from the coast, and settling on
the Cocollar, became the undisturbed possessor of
five leagues of savannas, among which he enjoyed
independence and health.
Nothing," says Humboldt, can be compared to
the impression of the majestic tranquillity left on
the mind by the view of the firmament in this soli-
tary place. Following with the eye, at evening-
tide, those meadows which stretch along the hori-
zon, and the gently-undulated plain covered with
plants, we thought we saw in the distance, as in the
deserts of the Orinoco, the surface of the ocean
supporting the starry vault of heaven. The tree
under which we were seated, the luminous insects






SIERRA DE LOS TAGERES. bd
that vaulted in the air, and the constellations which
shone in the south seemed to tell us that we were
far from our native land. In the midst of this exotic
nature, when the bell of a cow, or the lowing of a
bull was heard from the bottom of a valley, the re-
membrance of our country was suddenly awakened
by the sounds. They were like distant voices, that
came from beyond the ocean, and by the magic of
which we were transported from the one hemi-
sphere to the other. Strange mobility of the human
imagination, the never-failing source of our enjoy-
ments and griefs !"
In the cool of the morning they commenced the
ascent of Turimiquiri, the summit of the Cocollar,
which, with the Brigantine, forms a mass of moun-
tains, formerly named by the natives the Sierra de
los Tageres. They travelled part of the way on
horses, which are left to roam at large in these
wilds, though some of them have been trained to the
saddle. Stopping at a spring which issued from a
bed of quartzy sandstone, they found its tempera-
ture to be 69-80. To the height of 4476 feet, this
mountain, like those in its vicinity, was covered
with gramineous plants. The pastures became less
rich in proportion to the elevation, and wherever the
scattered rocks afforded a shade lichens and mosses
occurred. The summit is 4521 feet above the level
of the sea. The view from it was extensive and
highly picturesque: chains of mountains running
from east to west enclosed longitudinal valleys,
which were intersected at right angles by number-
less ravines. The distant peninsula of Araya formed
a dark streak on a glittering sea, and the more dis-
tant rocks of Cape Macanao rose amid the waters
like an immense rampart.
On the 14th September, they descended the Co-
collar in the direction of San Antonio, where was
also a mission. After passing over savannas strewed
with blocks of limestone, succeeded by a dense





84 GUANAGUANA AND SAN ANTONIO.
forest and two very steep ridges,, they came to a
beautiful valley, about twenty miles in length, in
which are situated the missions of San Antonio and
Guanaguana. Stopping at the former only to open
the barometer and take a few altitudes of the sun,
they forded the rivers Colorado and Guarapiche, and
proceeding along a level and narrow road covered
with thick mud, amid torrents of rain, reached in the
evening the latter of these stations, where they
were cordially received by the missionary. This
S.village had existed only thirty years on the spot
whfch it then occupied, having been transferred
from a place more to the south. Humboldt remarks,
that the facility with which the Indians remove their
dwellings is astonishing, there being several small
Sl: n s in South America which have thrice changed
their situation in less than half a century. These
compulsory migrations are not unfrequently caused
by the caprice of an ecclesiastic; and as the houses
are constructed of clay, reeds, and palm-leaves, a
hamlet shifts its position like a camp.
T he :iiii- ,n of S..I .i ,t:.i,-. had :i ~m:t 1 (1mi. 1I
v th \.o lou .: r-, bi lt o' brick and (rn. rn.--ijl,, v.1 th
Doric columns, the wonder of the country; but that
of Guanaguana possessed as yet no place of worship,
although a spacious house had been built for the
padre, the terraced roof of which was ornamented
with numerous chimneys like turrets, and which, he
informed the travellers, had been erected for no
other purpose than to remind him of his native coun-
-tryI. The Ir.Ji-ir. I:,ii;.- cotton. The machines
by which they separate the wool from'the seeds are
of very simple construction, consisting of wooden
cylinders of very small diameter, made to revolve
by a treadle. Maize is the article on which they
priri~: ,lI. l. ori. l food; and when it happens
to '."e ,l-ri.;i bh a protracted drought, they be-
take themselves to the surrounding forest, where
they find subsistence in succulent plants, cabbage-





VALLEY OF CARIPE. 85
palms, fern-roots, and the produce of various
trees.
Proceedingtowards the valley of Caripe, the travel-
lers passed a limestone ridge which separates it from
that of Guanaguana,-an undertaking which they
found rather difficult, the path being in several parts
only fourteen-or fifteen inches broad, and the slopes
being covered with very slippery turf. When they
had reached the summit, an interesting spectacle pre-
sented itself to their view, consisting of the vast
savannas of Maturin and Rio Tigre, the Peak of
'urimiquiri, and a multitude of parallel hills resem-
bling the waves of a troubled ocean.
Descending tI-. height by a winding path, they
entered a voody country, where the ground was
covered by moss and a species of Drosera. As they
approached the convent of Caripe, the forests grew
more dense, and the power of vegetation increased.
The calcareous strata became thinner, forming grad-
uated terraces, while the stone itself assumed a white
colour, with a smooth or imperfectly conchoidal
fracture. This rock Humboldt considers as anal-
ogous to the Jura deposits. He found the level of
the i lle-y l'OCaripe 1279 feet higher than that of
Guanaguana. Although the former is only sepa-
rated from the latter by a narrow ridge, it affords a
complete contrast to it, being deliciously cool and
salubrious, while the other is remarkable for its
great heat.





CONVENT OF CARIPE


CHAPTER VIII.

Excursion continued, and Return to Cumana.
Convent of Caripe--Cave of Guacharo, inhabited by Nocturnal Birds-
Purgatory--Forest Scenery-HowlingMonkeys-Vera Cruz--Cariace
-Intermittent Fevers--Cocoa-trees-Passage across the Gulfof Cari-
aco to Cumana.

ARRIVING at the hospital of the Arragonese Capu-
chins, which was backed by an enormous wall of
rocks of resplendent whiteness, covered with a luxu-
riant vegetation, our'travellers were hospitably re-
ceived by the monks. The superior was absent;
but having heard of their intention to visit the place,
he had provided for them whatever could serve to
render their abode agreeable. The inner court, sur-
rounded by a portico, they found highly convenient
for setting up their instruments and making observa-
tions. In the convent they found a numerous so-
cicti-. ,: In-, ,,i.- r, of old and infirm missionaries, who
.,-.,ig t, for health in the salubrious air of the moun-
tains of Caripe, and younger ones newly arrived
from Spain. Although the inmates of this estab-
lishment knewthat Humboldt was a Protestant, they
manifested no mark of distrust, nor proposed any
indiscreet question, to diminish the value of the be-
nevolence which they exercised with so much libe-
rality. Even the light of science had in some de-
gree extended to this obscure place; for in the library
of the superior they found among other books the
Trait6 d'Electricit6, by the Abb6 Nollet; and one of
the monks had brought with him a Spanish transla-
tion of Chaptal's Treatise on Chymistry.
The height of this monastery above the sea is
nearly the same as that of Caraccas, and the





CAVE -OF GUACHARO. 87
inhabited parts of the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.
The.thermometer was between 60-80 and 630 at mid-
night, between 66-20 and 680 in the morning, and
only 69'80 or 72-50 about one o'clock. The mean
temperature, inferred from that of the month of Sep-
tember, appears to be 65-30. This degree of heat
is sufficient to develop the productions of the torrid
zone, although much inferior to that of the plains
of Cumana. Water exposed in vessels of porous
clay cools during the night as low as 55-40. The
mild climate and rarefied air of this place have been
found highly favourable to the cultivation of coffee,
which was introduced into the'province by the pre-
fect of the Capuchins, an active and enlightened
man. In the garden of the community were many
i. i;inTrv i .-. t I1..1. maize, the sugar-cane, and.five

The greatest curiosity in this beautiful and salu-
brious district is a cavern inhabited by nocturnalbirds,
the fat of which is employed in the missions for
dressing food. It is named the Cave of Guacharo,
and is situated in a valley three leagues distant from
the convent.
On the 18th of September our travellers, accom-
panied by most of the monks and some of the Indians,
set out for this aviary, following for an hour and a
half a narrow path, leading across a fine plain cov-
ered with beautiful turf; then, turning westward
along a small river which issues from the cave, they
proceeded, during three-quarters of an hour, some-
times walking in the water, sometimes on a slippery
and miry soil, between the torrent and a wall of
rocks, until they arrived at the foot of the lofty
mountain of Guacharo. Here. the torrent ran in a
d(-.,: ,, i. and they went on uni-- ri pr!.: -.:!rn
chIr, i I prevented them from -m-I,.: ,1i .-ky,
until at the last turning they came suddenly upon
the immense opening of the recess, which is eighty-
five feet broad and seventy-seven feet-high. The





:.8a8 GUACHARQ.
entrance is towards the south, and is formed in the
vertical face of a rock, covered with trees of gigantic
height, intermixed with numerous species of singular
and beautiful plants, some of which hang in festoons
over the vault. This luxuriant vegetation is not
confined to the exterior of the cave, but appears
even in the vestibule, where the travellers were as-
tonished to see heliconias nineteen feet in height,
palms, and arborescent arums. Theyhad advanced
about four hundred and sixty feet before it became
necessary to light their torches, when they heard *
from afar the hoarse screams of the birds.
SThe guacharo is the size of a domestic fowl, and
has somewhat the appearance of a vulture, with a
mouth like that of agoatsucker. It forms a distinct
genus in the order Passeres, differing from that just
named in having a stronger beak, furnished with two
denticulations, though in its manners it bears an af-
finity to it as well as to the alpine crow. Its plu-
mage is dark bluish-gray, minutely streaked and
spotted with deep brown; the head, wings, and tail
being marked with white spots bordered with black.
The extent of the wings is three feet and a half. It
lives on fruits, but quits the cave only in the even-
ing. The shrill and piercing cries of these birds,
assembled in multitudes, are said to form a harsh
and disagreeable noise, somewhat resembling that
of a rookery. The nests, which the guides showed
by means of torches fastened to a long pole, were
placed in funnel-shaped holes in the roof. The
noise increased as they advanced, the animals being
frightened by the numerous lights.
About midsummer every year the Indians, armed
with poles, enter the cave, and destroy the greater
part of the nests. Several thousands of young birds
are thus killed, and the old ones hover around, utter-
ing frightful cries. Those which are secured in this
manner are opened on the spot, to obtain the fat
which exists abundantly in their abdomen, and which





INTERIOR OF THE CAVE. 89
is subsequently melted in clay vessels over fires of
brushwood. This subs'.i:n, is :-riuiri., tii-_;pJ-
rent, destitute of smell, a'.i ;-.:p- *i ;.: l ,: *ilr -,i h-
out becoming rancid. At the convent of Caripe it
was used in the kitchen of the monks, and our trav-
ellers never found that it communicated any dis-
agreeable smell or taste to the food.
The guacharoes would have been long ago de-
stroyed, had not the superstitious dread of the In-
-(dians prevented them from penetrating far into the
tavern. It also appears, that birds of the same
species dwell in other inaccessible places in the
1ne,-iihbourh.,r:,,, and that the great cave is repeopled
by colors from them. The hard and dry fruits
which are found in the crops arid gizzards of the
young ones are considered as an excellent remedy
; ;ii, i.i trnutr-,ri. fevers, and r uil irly -,:.it to Ca-
r 'iio :arii .:il-r p irts of th, 1:,'wv r dJiutril:ti where
such diseases prevail.
The.tj.nIell-er followed the banks of the small
river which issues from the cavern as far as the
mounds of calcareous incrustations permitted them,
and afterward descended into its bed. The cave
preserved the same direction, breadth, and height
as at its entrance, to -11h di-.tjcr- 1554 feet. The
rn:ri,:, aliwiig a belief that the souls of their an-
cestors inhabit its deep recesses, the Indians who
accompanied our travellers could hardlybe persuaded
to venture into it. Shooting at random in the dark,
they obtained two specimens of the guacharo. Hav-
ing proceeded to a certain distance, they came to a.
mass of stalactite, beyond which the cave became
narrower, although it retained its original direction.
Here the rivulet had deposited a blackish mould re-
i: i.ine i ti1 i observed at Muggendorf in Franconia.
The seeds which the birds carry to their young
spring up wherever they are dropped into it; and M.
Humboldt and his friend were astonished to find
blanched stalks that had attained a height of two'feet.
H





90 DESCENT OF THE BRIGANTINE.
As the missionaries were unable to persuade the
Indians to advance farther, the party returned. The
river, sparkling amid the foliage of the trees, seemed
like a distant picture, to which the mouth of the cave
formed a frame. Having sat down at the entrance
to enjoy a little needful repose, they partook of a
repast which the missionaries had prepared, and in
due time returned to the convent.
The days which our travellers passed at this reli-
gious house glided hastily and pleasantly past. From
morning to night they traversed the forests and
mountains collecting plants; and when the rains
prevented them 'from making distant excursions,
they visited the huts of the Indians; returning to the
good monks only when the sound of the *ell called
them to the solace of the refectory. Sometimes
also they followed them to the church, to witness
the religious instruction given to the Indians; which
was found a difficult task, owing to the imperfect
knowledge of the Spanish language possessed by
the latter. Thp evenin~-e were employed in taking
notes, drying ;lil -1, ,iI sketching those that ap-
peared new.
The natural beauties of this interesting valley
engaged them so much, that they were long in per-
ceiving the embarrassment felt by their kind enter-
tainers, who had now but a very slender store of
wine and bread. At length, on the 22d September,
they departed, followed by four mules carrying their
instruments and plants. The descent of the rugged
chain of the Brigantine and Cocollar, which is about
4400 feet in height, is \, .-,.,] ;. difficult. The
missionaries have given the name of Purgatory to
an extremely steep and slippery declivity at the base
of a sandstone rock, in passing which the mules,
drawing their bihrl le_- under their bodies, slide down
at a venture. Fi.v:, r I., point they saw towards the
left the great peak of Guacharo, which presented a
very picturesque appearance; and soon after entered





VEGETATION AND ANIMALS. U1
a dense forest, through which they descended for
seven hours in a kind of ravine, the path being
formed of steps from two to three feet high, over
which the mules leaped like wild goats. The creoles
have sufficient confidence in these animals toremain
in ihir :ii i Iji-, during this dangerous passage;, but
our travellers preferred walking.
The forest was exceedingly dense, and consisted
of trees of stupendous size. The guides pointed
jtf i.'.~i, whose height exceeded 130 feet, while the
J, ,,i.: r of many of the curucays and hymendas
was mo, ii 1i i.ii- yards. Next to these, the plants
which most attracted their notice were the dragon's-
olood (Croton ..: 7. .., the purple juice of which
flowed along ii.- i li,.l. bark, various species of
palms, and arborescent ferns of large size. The old
trunks of some of the latter were covered with a
carbonaceous powder, having a metallic lustre like
graphite.
As they descended the mountain the tree-ferns
diminished, while the number of palms increased.
L. ... i*-..l butterflies (nymphales) became more
common, and every thing showed that they were
approaching the coast. The weather was cloudy,
thi- ,:r nioppresive, and the howling of the monkeys
gave iPi-.i. I ..... i' a coming thunder-storm. These
creatures, the arguatoes, resemble a young bear, and
are about three feet long from the top of the head to
the root of the tail. The fur is tufty and reddish-
brown, the face blackish-blue, with a bare and
wrinkled skin, and the tail long and prehensile.
While engaged in observing a troop of them cross
the road upon the horizontal branches of the trees,
the travellers met a company of naked Indians pro-
ceeding towards the mountains of Caripe. The
men were armed with bows and arrows, and the
women, heavily laden, brought up the rear. They
marched in silence, with their eyes fixed on the
ground. Our philosophers, oppressed with the in-





92 CATUARO.
creasing heat, and faint with fatigue, endeavoured to
learn from 1ih-ii i i distance of the missionary con-
vent of VT:r, 'r i:, where they intended to pass
the night; but little information could be obtained
on account of their imperfect knowledge of the Span-
ish language.
Continuing to descend amid scattered blocks, they
iunxpectedly found themselves at the end of the
forest, when they entered a savanna,, the verdure
of which had been renewed by the winter rains.
Here they had a splendid view of the .Sierra del
Guacharo, the northern declivity of which presented
.an almost perpendicular wall, exceeding 3200 feet in
height,:and ,:- iir;i. covered with vegetation. The
ground before them consisted of several level spaces,
lying above each other like vast steps. The mission
of Vera Cruz, which is situated in the middle of it,
they reached in the evening, and next day continued
their journey towards the Gulf of Cariaco.
Proceeding on their way, they entered another
forest, and reached the station of Catuaro, situated
in a very wild spot, where they lodged at the house
of the priest. Their host was a doctor of divinity,
a Ihin little man, of petulant vivacity, who talked
c'jritiIiiI-,ly of a lawsuit in which he was engaged
with the superior of his convent, and wished to know
what Humboldt thought of free-will and the souls of
animals. At this place they met with -1.- .':,rn: :i,-,r
of the district, an amiable person, who'. g.- th.-.n
three Indians to assist in cutting a way through the
forest, the lianas and intertwining branches having
obstructed the narrow lanes. The little missionary,
however, insisted on accompanying them to Cariaco,
and contrived to render the road extremely tedious
by his observations on the necessity of the slave-
trade, the innate wickedness of blacks, and the ben-
efit which they derived from being reduced to-
bondage by Christians.
The road which they followed through the forest





CARIACO--INTERMITTENT FEVER. 13
of Catuaro resembled that of the preceding day.
The clay, which filled the path ,rd rl -il-r' I it ex-
cessively slippery, was produced i-y l I.- r. ,:'f sanid-
stone and slate-clay which cross the calcareous
strata. "At -rar.i-h, after a fatiguing march, they
reached the town of Cariaco, on the coast, where
lI-:,- I',,und a k, :I i- 'rt *.-f ihei inhabitants c.:-iitii.-l
-... th.- :r -: iJ.:'-. i I, hi iit,,I-it., fever. The low situa-
tion of the place, as well as of the surrounding dis-
trict, the great heat and moisture, and the stagnant
marshes generated during the rainy season, are
supposed to be the causes of this disease, which
often assumes a malignant character, and is accom-
panited with dysentery. Men of colour, and espe-
cially creole negroes, resist the influence of the cli-
mate much better than any other race. It is gen-
erally observed, however, that the mortality is less
than might be supposed; for although intermittent
fevers, wii,: i,,h-v -Tt ,.:i the same individual several
years in -. ...- ,-,:.ii, .,II: r and weaken the constitu-
tion, they do not usually cause death. It is remark-
able that the natives believe the air to have become
more vitiated in proportion as a larger extent of land
has been cultivated; but the miasmata from the
marshes, and the exhalations from the mangroves,
avicennie, and other astringent plants growing on
the borders of the sea, are probably the real causes
of the i.l -h Ill, iiict-. of the coasts.
In 1800 the town of Cariaco contained more than
6000 inhabitants, who were actively employed in the
cultivation of cotton, the produce of which ex-
ceeded 10,000 quintals (9057 lbs. avoirdupois). The
capsules, after the separation of the wool, were
carefully burnt, as they were thought to occasion
noxious exhalations when thrown into the river.
Cacao and sugar were also raised to a considerable
extent.
As our travellers were not sufficiently inured to
the climate, they considered it prudent to leave Cari-





V4 GULF OF CARIACO.
aco as expeditiously as possible on account of the
fever. Embarking early in the morning, they pro-
ceeded westward along the river of Carenicuar,
which flows through a deep marshy soil covered
with gardens and plantations of cotton. The Indian
% :ronic i were washing their linen with the i uit of
the parapara (Sapindus saponaria). Contrary winds,
accompanied with heavy rain and thunder, rendered
the voyage disagreeable; more especially as the
canoe was narrow and overloaded with raw sugar,
plantains, cocoanuts, and passengers. Swarms of
flamingoes, egrets, and cormorants were flying to-
wards the shore, while the alcatras, a large species
of pelican, less affected by the weather, continued
fishing in the bay. The general depth of the sea is
from 288 to 320 f, -t ; but at the eastern extremity
of the gulf it is only from nineteen to twenty-five
feet for an extent of -evcntPPn miles, and there is
a sandbank which at !,: .ico,.-r, resembles a small
island. They crossed the part where the hot springs
rush from the bottom of theeocean; but it being high
W. iter the (h i.n: of temperature was not very per=
Sceptible. The contrary winds continuing, they were
forced to land at Pericautral, a small farm on the
south side of the gulf. The coast, although cov-
ered by a beautiful vegetation, was almost destitute
of human labour, and scarcely po- -.,- .--.1 -*- i r:i hin-
dred inhabitants. The cocoa-trc.: H- i,: I.,,-i.p.1I
object of cnltivition. This palm thrives best in the
j Ie :! t- .ir i:h-,! -, i I ih., sea, and like the sugar-cane, the
Splantain, the mammee-apple, and the alligator-pear,
may be watered either with fresh or salt water. In
other parts of America it is generally nourished
around farm-houses; but along the Gulf of Cariaco
it forms real plantations, and at Cumana they talk
of a hacienda de coco, as they do of a hacienda de
canna, or de cacao. In moist and fertile ground it
begins to. bear abundantly the fourth year; but in
i dry soils it does not produce fruit until the tenth.





RETURN TO CUMANA. 95
Its duration does not generally exceed ninety or a
hiindred years; at which period its mean height is
about eighty feet. Throughout this coast a cocoa-
tree supplies annually about a hundred nuts, which
yield eight flascoes of oil. The fiasco is sold for
about sixteen pence. A great quantity is made at
Cumana, and Humboldt frequently witnessed the
arrival there of canoes containing 3000 nuts. The
oil, which is clear and destitute of smell, is well
adapted for burning.
After sunset they left the farm of Pericautral, and
at three in the morning reached the mouth of the
Manzanares, after passing a very indifferent night in
a narrow and deeply-laden canoe. Having been for
several weeks accustomed to mountain scenery,
gloomy forests, and rainy weather, they were struck
by the barrenness of the soil, the clearness of rihe
sky, and the mass of reflected light by which rhe.
neighbourhood of Cumana is characterized. At sun-
rise they saw the zamuro vultures (Vultur aura),
perched on the cocoa-trees in large flocks. These
birds go to roost long before night, and do not quit
their place of repose until after the heat of the solar
rays is felt. The same idleness, as it were, is in-
dulged by the trees with pinnate leaves, such as the
mimosas and tamarinds, which close these organs
half an hour before the sun goes down, and unfold
them in the morning only after he has been some
time visible. In our climates theleguminous plants
op.- Ii h. r leaves during the morning twilight. Hum-
boldt seems to think that the humidity deposited
upon the parenchyma by the refrigeration of the
foliage, which is the effect of the nocturnal radia-
tion, prevents the action of the first rays of the sun
upon them.





NATIVE RACES.


CHAPTER IX.

Indians of New-Andalusia.
Physical Constitution and Manners of the Chaymas-Their Lan-
guages-American Races.
IT is the custom of HuniTr ..l.]t. in his Journey to
ihE E io!'.": I il Region," to stand still after an ex-
cursion, reflect, and present this readers the result
of his inquiries on any subject tiii has fixed his at-
tention. For example, on concluding the narrative
of his visit to the C~'-i ni, missions, he -ives a gen-
eral account of the aborigines of N ,.-Al lt-ia,. ul
which an abridgment is here offered.
The north-eastern part of equinoctial America,
Terra Firma, and the shores of r It Orinoco, resem-
ble, in the. multiplicity of the tribes by which they
are inhabited, the defiles of Caucasus, the mountains
of Hindookho, and the northern extremity of Asia,
beyond the Tunaooses and the Tartars of the mouth
of the Lena. T 'I' barbarism which prevails in these
various reg-i:._n i' p-rhlnp? leP owing to an original
absence of,.,i l0lz jlil Ithlri :to the effects of a long
debasement; and if every thing connected with the
first population of a continent were known, we should
probably find that savages are merely tribes banished
from society and driven into the forests. At the
commencement of the conquest of America, the na-
tives were collected into large bodies only on the
ridge of the Cordilleras and the coast opposite to
Asia, while the vast savannas, and the great plains
covered by forests and intersected by rivers, pre-
sented wandering tribes, separated by differences of
language and manners.
In New-Andalusia, Cumana, and New-Barcelona,





WILD AND CIVILIZED INDIANS. 97
the aborigines still form fully one-half of the scanty
population. Their number may be about 60,000, of
which 24,000 inhabit the first of these provinces.
This amount appears large when we refer to the
hunting tribes of North America, but seems the re-
verse when we look to those districts of New-Spain
where agriculture has been followed for more than
eight centuries. Thus, the intendancy of Oaxaca,
which forms part of the old Mexican empire, and
which is one-third smaller than the two provinces
of Cumana and Barcelona, contains more than 400,000
of the original race. The Indians of Cumana do not
all live assembled in the missions, some being found
dispersed in the neighbourhood of towns along the
coasts. The stations of the Arragonese Capuchins
contain 15,000, almost all of the Chayma tribe. The
villages, however, are less crowded than in the
province of Barcelona, their indigenous population
being only between five and six hundred; whereas,
more to the west, in the establishments of the Fran-
ciscans of Piritoo, there are towns of 2000 or 3000
inhabitants. Besides the 60,000 natives of the.prov
inces of Cumana and Barcelona, there are some
thousands of Guaraounoes who have preserved their
independence in the islands at the mouth of the
Orinoco. Ex\c:-rptirr._ a few families there areno wild
Indians in New-Andalusia.
The term wild or savage Humboldt says he uses
with regret, because it implies a difference of cultiva-
tion which does not always exist between the re-
duced or civilized Indian, living in the missions, and
the free or independent Indian. In the forests of
South America there are tribes which dwell in vil
lages, rear plantains, cassava, and cotton, and are
scarcely more barbarous than those in the religious
establishments, who have been taught to make the
sign of the Cross. It is an error to consider all the
free natives as wandering hunters; for agriculture
existed on the continent long before the arrival of





98 PROGRESS OF THE MISSIONS.
the Europeans, and still exists between the Orinoco
and the Amazons, in districts to which they have
never penetrated. The system of the missions has
produced an attachment to landed property, a fixed
residence, and a taste for quiet life ; but the baptized
Indian is often as little- a Christian as his heathen
brother is an idolater,-both discovering a marked
indifference for religious opinions, and a tendency to
worship nature.
There is no reason to believe that in the Spanish
colonies the number of Indians has diminished since
the conquest. There are still more than six mil-
lions of the copper-coloured race in both Americas;
and although tribes and languages have been de-
stroyed or blended in those colonies, the natives
have in fact continued to increase. In the temperate
zone the contact of Europeans with the indigenous
population becomes fatal to the latter; but in South
America the result is different, and there they do
not dread the approach of the whites. In the former
case a vast extent of country is required by the In-
dians, because they live by hunting; but in the latter
a small piece of ground suffices to afford subsistence
for a family.
In these provinces the Europeans advance slowly;
and the religious orders have founded establishments
between the regions inhabited by them and those
possessed by the independent Indians. The mis-
sions have no doubt encroached on the liberty of the
natives, but they have generally been favourable to
the increase of the population. A- tip- preachers
advance into the interior i, planters invade their
territory, ti'. whites and thI- castes of mixed breed
s-tlt. 1 -r..'ng the Indians, the missions become Span-
i-i I il-. i. and finally the old inhabitants lose their
original manners and language. In lh; way civili-
zation advances from the coasts towards the centre
of the continent.
New-Andalusia and Barcelona contain more than





CHARACTER OF THE INDIANS. Y9
fourteentribes of Tli i ;. Those of the former are
the Chaymas, Guayquerias, Pariagotoes, Quaquas,
Aruacas, Caribs, and Guaraounoes ; and those.of the
latter, the Cumanagatoes, Palenkas, Caribs, Piritoos,
Tomoozas, Topocuares, Chacopatas, and Guarivas.
,The precise number of the Guaraounoes, who live
in huts elevated on trees at the mouth of the Ori-
noco, is not known. There are two thousand Guay-
querias in the suburbs of Cumana and the peninsula
of Araya. Of the other tribes the Chaymas of the
mountains of Caripe, the Caribs of New-Barcelona,
and the Cumanagatoes of the missions of Piritoo,
are the most numerous. The language of the
Guaraounoes, and that of the Caribs, Cumanagatoes,
and Chaymas, are the most general, and seem to
belong to the same stock.
It I. 1r i the Indians attached to the missions are
all agriculturists, cultivate the same plants, build
their huts in the same manner, and lead the same
kind of life, -yet the shades by which the several
tribes are distinguished remain unchanged. There
are few of these villages in which the families do
not belong to different tribes, and speak different
languages. The missionaries have, indeed, pro-
hibited the use of various practices and ceremonies,
and have destroyed many superstitions; but they
have not been able to alter the essential character
common to all the American races, from Hudson's
Bay to the st'r il of Magellan. The instructed In-
dian, more secure of subsistence than the untamed
native, and less exposed to the fury of hostile neigh-
bours or-of the elements, leads a more monotonous
life, possesses the mildness of character which
arises from the love of repose, and assumes a sedate
and mysterious air; but the sphere of his ideas has
received little enlargement, and the expression of
melancholywhich his countenance exhibits is merely
the result of indolence.
The Chaymas, of whom more than fifteen thousand





100 THE CHAYMAS.
inhabit the Spanish villages, and who border on the
Cumanagatoes towards the west, the Guaraounoes
towards the east, and the Caribs towards the south,
occupy part of the elevated mountains of the Co-
collar and Guacharo, as also the banks of the Gua-
rapiche, Rio Colorado, Areo, and the Cano of Caripe.
The first attempt to reduce them to subjectionwas
made in the middle'of the seventeenth century, by
Father Francisco of Pamplona, a person of great
zeal and intrepidity. The mission subsequently
formed i,,i,.:..a n < :.. rl :F.1le suffered greatly in 1681,
1697, an.l I'i., t!i:.in l- invasions of the Caribs;
while during six years subsequently to 1730, the
population was. diminished by the ravages of the
small-pox.
The Chaymas are Xil-_, lly of low stature, their
ordinary height being -,hi:'t five feet two inches;
but their figures are broad and muscular. The colour
of the skin is a dull brown, inclining to red. The
Expression of the countenance is sedate and some-
what gloomy; the forehead is small and retiring;
the eyes sunk, very long and black, but not so small
or oblique as in the Mongolian race; the eyebrows
.sl-ir'lr, iwr.i!y straight, and black or dark-brown,
and the eyelids furnished with very long lashes;
the cheek-bones are usually high, the hair straight,
the beard almost entirely wanting, as in the same
people, from whom, however, they differ essentially
in having the nose pretty long. The mouth is
wide, the lips broad but not prominent, the chin ex-
,tremely short and round, and the jaws remarkable
for their strength. The teeth are white and sound,
the toothache being a disease with which they are
seldom afflicted. The hands are small and slender,
while the feet are large, and the toes possessed of
an extraordinary mobility. They have so strong a
family look, that on entering a hut it is c li -n i u it,
among grown-up persons, to distinguish the father
from the son. This is attributable to the circum-




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs