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of snow.

me, for

enough for one mule. The mercury in the barometer being below the scale, we had to cut away the brass casing in front, and mark the height of the column on the inside of the case with a pen-knife.

June 2.-Got off at half-past ten. Road tolerably good, and not very precipitous. At twelve we arrived on a level with the lowest line

We were marking the barometer, when a traveller rode up, who proved to be an old schoolmate of mine, whom I had not seen, or even heard of, since we were boys. The meeting at this place was an extraordinary and very agreeable occurrence. It was also fortunate for

my friend was head machinist at the mines of Morococha, and gave us a note to the administrator, which secured us a hospitable reception and an interesting day or two. Without this we should have been compelled to pass on, for pasturage here is very scant, and the people of the mines have to pay a high price for their barley straw, and are not willing to give it to every stray traveller. At 2 p. m. we arrived at the highest point of the road, called the pass of Antarangra, or copper rock. (The pass of the Piedra Parada, or standing rock, which passes by the mines of Yauli, crosses a few miles to our right.) Some scattering mosses lay on a hill-side above us; but Gibbon and I spurred our panting and trembling mules to the summit of the hill, and had nothing around us but snow, granite, and dark gray porphyry.

I was disappointed in the view from this place. The peaks of the Cordillera that were above us looked low, and presented the appearance of a hilly country, at home, on a winter-day; while the contrast between the snowy hills and the bright green of lower ranges, together with the view of the placid little lakes which lie so snug and still in their midst, gave an air of quiet beauty to the scene very distinct from the savage and desolate grandeur I had expected.

Gibbon, with the camera lucida, sketched the Cordillera. pended a box of matches in boiling the snow for the atmospheric pressure; and poor Richards lay shivering on the ground, enveloped in our pillons, a martyr to the veta.

Veta is the sickness caused by the rarity of the atmosphere at these great elevations. The Indians called it veta, or vein, because they believe it is caused by veins of metal diffusing around a poisonous infection. It is a remarkable thing, that, although this affection must be caused by absence of atmospheric pressure, yet in no case except this, (and Richards was ill before,) that I have known or read of, was it felt at the greatest elevation, but always at a point below this—sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other. The affection displays itself in a violent headache, with the veins of the head swollen and turgid, a difficulty of

1 ex


respiration, and cold extremities. The smell of garlic is said to alleviate the symptoms; and the arrieros generally anoint their cattle over the eyes, and on the forehead, with an unguent made of tallow, garlic, and wild marjoram, as a preventive, before attempting the ascent. I did not observe that our animals were affected, though they trembled and breathed hard, which, I think, was attributable to the steepness of the hill up which we rode. The barometer stood at 16.730, indicating an elevation of sixteen thousand and forty-four feet. Water boiled at 182o.5; temperature of the air, 43o.

The road hence is cut along the flank of the mountain, at whose base lies a pretty little lake. The hacienda of morococha is situated on the banks of a second, which communicates with it; and this again pours its waters, by a small and gentle stream, into a third, below. These are, respectively, Huacracocha, or Horn lake; Morococha, or Painted lake, from the variety of colors which its placid surface reflects from the red, green, and yellow of the surrounding mountains; and Huascacocha, or Rope lake.

Though not yet sixty miles from the sea, we had crossed the great "divide” which separates the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Pacific. The last steps of our mules had made a striking change in our geographical relations; so suddenly and so quickly had we been cut off from all connexion with the Pacific, and placed upon waters that rippled and sparkled joyously as they danced by our feet to join the glad waves of the ocean that wash the shores of our own dear land. They whispered to me of home, and my heart went along with them. I thought of Maury, with his researches concerning the currents of the sea; and, recollecting the close physical connexion pointed out by him as existing between these—the waters of the Amazon and those of our own majestic Mississippi—I musingly dropped a bit of green moss, plucked from the hill-side, upon the bosom of the placid lake of Morococha, and as it floated along I followed it, in imagination, down through the luxurious climes, the beautiful skies, and enchanting scenery of the tropics, to the mouth of the great river; thence across the Carribbean sea, through the Yucatan pass, into the Gulf of Mexico; thence along the Gulf-stream; and so out upon the ocean, off the shores of the “Land of Flowers.” Here I fancied it might meet with the silent little messengers cast by the hands of sympathizing friends and countrymen high upon the head-waters of the Mississippi, or away in the “Far West," upon the distant fountains of the Missouri.

It was, indeed, but a bit of moss floating on the water; but as I mused, fancy, awakened and stimulated by surrounding circumstances,



had already converted it into a skiff manned by fairies, and bound upon a mission of high import, bearing messages of peace and good-will, telling of commerce and navigation, of settlement and civilization, of religious and political liberty, from the “King of Rivers” to the “Father of Waters;" and, possibly, meeting in the Florida pass, and “ speaking" through a trumpet louder than the tempest spirits sent down by the Naiads of Lake Itaska, with greetings to Morococha.

I was now, for the first time, fairly in the field of my operations I had been sent to explore the Valley of the Amazon, to sound its streams, and to report as to their navigability. I was commanded to examine its fields, its forests, and its rivers, that I might gauge their capabilities, active and dormant, for trade and commerce with the states of Christendom, and make known to the spirit and enterprise of the

age the resources which lie in concealment there, waiting for the touch of civilization and the breath of the steam engine to give them animation, life, and palpable existence.

Before us lay this immense field, dressed in the robes of everlasting summer, and embracing an area of thousands upon thousands of square miles on which the footfall of civilized man had never been heard. Behind us towered, in forbidding grandeur, the crests and peaked summits of the Andes, clad in the garb of eternal winter. The contrast was striking, and the field inviting. But who were the laborers ? Gibbon and I. We were all. The rest were not even gleaners. But it was well. The expedition had been planned and arranged at home with admirable judgment and consummate sagacity; for, had it been on a grand scale, commensurate with its importance, or even larger than it was, it would have broken down with its own weight. Though the waters where I stood were bound on their


to meet the streams of our Northern Hemisphere, and to bring, for all the practical purposes of commerce and navigation, the mouth of the Amazon and the mouth of the Mississippi into one, and place it before our own doors, yet, from the head of navigation on one stream to the head of navigation on the other, the distance to be sailed could not be less than ten thousand miles. Vast, many, and great, doubtless, are the varieties of climates, soils, and productions within such a range. The importance to the world of settlement, cultivation, and commerce in the Valley of the Amazon, cannot be over-estimated. With the climates of India, and of all the habitable portions of the earth, piled one above the other in quick succession, tillage and good husbandry here would transfer the productions of the East to this magnificent


river basin, and place them within a few days' easy sail of Europe and the United States.

Only a few miles back we had first entered the famous mining district of Peru. A large portion of the silver which constitutes the circulation of the world was dug from the range of mountains upon

which we are standing; and most of it came from that slope of them which is drained off into the Amazon. Is it possible for commerce and navigation up and down this majestic water-course and its beautiful tributaries to turn the flow of this silver stream from its western course to the Pacific, and conduct it with steamers down the Amazon to the United States, there to balance the stream of gold with which we are likely to be flooded from California and Australia?

Questions which I could not answer, and reflections which I could not keep back, crowded upon me. Oppressed with their weight, and the magnitude of the task before me, I turned slowly and sadly away, secretly lamenting my own want of ability, and sincerely regretting that the duty before me had not been assigned to abler and better hands.

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