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DISINTEGRATION OF ROCKS.
alternations of moisture and dryness which must occur where, during a great part of the year, the hills are covered with fog in the morning and exposed to the sun in the afternoon.
In connection with this subject I may remark that, in countries where the rainfall is very slight or altogether deficient, we are apt to be misled by the appearance of the surface, and to much overrate the real amount of disintegration. In the drier parts of the Mediterranean region, especially in Egypt, as well as in Peru and Chili, we constantly see rocky slopes covered with fine débris which represent the accumulated work of many centuries, remaining in situ because there is no agency at work to remove it, while in countries where the slopes are frequently exposed to the action of running water fresh surfaces are subjected to the action of the atmosphere, and the comminuted materials are carried to a distance to form alluvial flats, to fill up lakes, or ultimately to reach the sea-coast. A somewhat similar remark may be made with regard to rock surfaces habitually covered with snow and very rarely exposed to heavy rain. I have often observed in the Alps and Pyrenees that, when the snow disappears during the short summer of the higher regions, we generally find the surface covered with small fragments of the underlying rock, not removed by the slow percolation of water during the melting of the snow. The same phenomenon long ago attracted the attention of Darwin during his short excursion across the passes of the Chilian Andes.
I regretted much that my very short stay at Lima left me no time to visit the places where these curious
appearances may be observed ; but I trust that they may engage the attention of some future traveller more competent than myself to thoroughly investigate them.
The morning of the 29th of April, my last day in Peru, was fully employed in needful preparations. As is usual in South America, I was troubled by the dilatory habits of the natives. The passport, which was promised in the morning, and without which, as I was told, I should not be allowed to depart, was not forthcoming until late in the afternoon; and at length I went, after bidding farewell to my travelling companions and to some new friends, by the four-o'clock train to Callao, too late to have any time for visiting the surroundings of that curious place. The Ayacucho steamer of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company had already left her moorings, and lay in the outer harbour. Having hurried on board rather after the hour named for departure, I found that my haste was quite superfluous, as we were not under way till long after dark, about nine p.m.
I quitted Lima full of the interest and enjoyment of my brief visit, but full also of the sense of depression necessarily caused by the condition of a country whose future prospects are so dark. The ruinous war, and the occupation of the best part of Peru by a foreign army, are far from being the heaviest of her misfortunes. It may even be that they afford the best chance for her recovery. The immediate prospect is that of a feeble military despotism, tempered by anarchy. It seems possible that amongst the classes hitherto wealthy, and now reduced to comparative
DARK FUTURE OF PERƯ.
want, men of a type superior to the ordinary political adventurer may come forward ; some strong man, with resolute will and clear insight, may possibly arise, and re-establish order in the midst of a moral chaos; but of such a deliverance there is as yet no promise. Conversing with men of very different opinions, I was unable to hear of any man whose name inspired confidence. Some such feeling had existed with regard to the President Pardo, but when he was assassinated no serious attempt was made to detect and punish his murderers. The only opinion which appeared to obtain general assent was that the worst of the adventurers who have been the curse of Peru was the late dictator Pierola.
One thing, at least, appears certain : if Peru is to be rescued from anarchy and corruption, it must be through the influence of a single will—by a virtual, if not a formal, autocracy. To believe that in such a condition of society as exists here progress can be accomplished by representative institutions seems to me as gross a superstition as the belief in the divine right of kings.
Voyage from Callao to Valparaiso-Arica-Tocopilla-Scenery
of the moon-Caldera-Aspect of North Chili—British Pacific squadron-Coquimbo- Arrival at ValparaisoClimate and vegetation of Central Chili-Railway journey to Santiago-Aspect of the city-Grand position of Santiago —Dr. Philippi—Excursion to Cerro St. Cristobal-Don B. Vicuña Mackenna-Remarkable trees—Excursion to the baths of Cauquenes—The first rains-Captive condorsReturn to Santiago—Glorious sunset.
THE voyage from Callao to Valparaiso was accomplished under conditions as favourable to the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers as that from Panama to Callao. The Ayacucho is a larger ship than the Islay, but built on a nearly similar plan, and except towards the end of the voyage, when we took on board a detachment of Chilian soldiers returning to Valparaiso, we had no inconvenience from overcrowding. I was very fully occupied in the endeavour to preserve and put away in good condition the rather large collections made during my stay in Peru. Notwithstanding the character of the climate, I found the usual difficulty felt at sea in getting my paper thoroughly dry, and for several days the work was unceasing. It had the effect of preventing my going
RAILWAY TO BOLHTARLIE JENDE
ashore at two or three places which at the time appeared to me uninteresting, but which I afterwards regretted not to have visited.
By daylight on the morning of April 30 we were off Tambo de Mora, a small place near the mouth of the river Canete, which, at some seasons, is said to bring down a large volume of water from the Cordillera. After a very short stay we went on to Pisco, a more considerable place, but unattractive as seen from the sea, surrounded by sandy barren flats. It is, however, of some commercial importance, being connected by railway with Yca, the chief town of this part of Peru; and we remained in the roads about three hours, pursuing our voyage in the evening.
Our course on May I lay rather far from land, this being the only day during the voyage on which we did not touch at one or more ports.
Under ordinary circumstances all the coast steamers call at Mollendo, the terminus of the railway leading to Arequipa, and thence to the highlands of southern Peru and the frontier of Bolivia. Arequipa being at this time occupied by a Peruvian force, and communication with the interior being therefore irregular and difficult, Mollendo was touched only on alternate voyages of the Pacific steamers.
I was impressed by the case of a Bolivian family on board which seemed to involve great hardship. An elderly father, with the manners and bearing of an educated gentleman, had taken a numerous family, chiefly young girls, with several servants, to Europe, to visit Spanish relations, and was now on his way to return to La Paz. The choice lay for him between