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LOW TEMPERATURE OF THE COAST.

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this coast was a continual subject of jesting comment; and on more than one occasion the “Tropics” were emphatically declared to be “humbugs.” It is certain that for thirty-six hours before reaching Callao the shaded thermometer never reached 70°, and stood at noon, with a clear sky and a brisk southerly breeze, no higher than 68°,

CHAPTER II.

Arrival at Callao—Quarantine–The war between Chili and

Peru-Aspect of Lima-General Lynch-Andean railway to Chicla—Valley of the Rimac-Puente Infernillo—Chicla - Mountain-sickness—Flora of the Temperate zone of the Andes—Excursion to the higher region—Climate of the Cordillera-Remarks on the Andean flora-Return to Lima—Visit to a sugar-plantation-Condition of Peru Prospect of anarchy.

THE steam-whistle, sounding about daybreak on April 15, announced that we were again wrapped in fog. As the Islay advanced at half speed the fog lightened without clearing, until about nine a.m. we made the island of San Lorenzo, and, as the haze finally melted away into bright sunshine, found ourselves half an hour later in the harbour of Callao. The moment was exciting for those who, like myself, approached as strangers the shore which had in our childhood seemed so strange, so adventure-fraught, so distant. Already someone had pointed out the towers of the Cathedral of Lima, with the Cordillera apparently so near that the mountains must begin outside the gates. All stood on deck prepared to land—some already looking forward to luncheon in the city of Pizarro—and waiting only for the usual

IN QUARANTINE AT CALLAO.

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formalities of the visit of the sanidad. At length the officials came, and, after the usual parley over the ship's side, it became apparent that the visit was no mere formality. At last the ominous word quarantine was heard, received at first with mere incredulity, as something too absurd, but at last taking the consistence of a stern fact. Since the outbreak of yellow fever among the troops at Truxillo, the Chilian authorities have naturally become nervously anxious to protect the occupying army from this danger, and every precaution is put in force. Under these circumstances, a ship coming from Guayaquil was naturally an object of suspicion. There certainly was not at the time any epidemic fever at that place; but, if reports be true, sporadic cases are not unfrequent, and that city is rarely, if ever, quite free from malignant zymotic disease. At last the discussion was closed, by a definite order that we should repair to the quarantine ground under the lee of the island of San Lorenzo.

Up to this time we had scarcely given attention to the scene immediately surrounding us; yet the harbour, of Callao is at any time an interesting sight, and at this moment its aspect was peculiarly expressive. Although the Chilian forces had before this time become absolute masters of the entire seaboard of Peru, and there was no reason to apprehend any renewal of the struggle by sea, the memorials of the desperate encounters which marked the earlier phase of the war were here still fresh. Near the shore in several different directions were the wrecks of ships which had sunk while the captors were endeavouring to bring them into harbour, the masts sticking up idly

above water and doing the duty of buoys. Still afloat, though looking terribly battered and scarcely seaworthy, was that remarkable little ship, the Huascar, looking a mere pigmy beside the warships in the harbour from which the Chilian, American, French, and Italian flags were flying, England being for the moment unrepresented.

The naval war between Chili and Peru was conducted at such a distance from Europe, and its causes were so little understood, that it excited but feeble interest. Even the circumstance that, in an encounter brought about by the incompetence and rashness of a British commander, the pigmy Peruvian force was able with impunity to inflict an affront on the national flag, scarcely excited in England more than momentary surprise. Nevertheless the story of the war, which yet awaits an impartial chronicler, * abounds with dramatic incident. The record is ennobled by acts of heroic bravery on both sides, while at the same time it suggests matter for serious consideration to the professional

The important part which small fast ships, carrying one or two heavy guns only, may play in the altered conditions of naval warfare has been often pointed out, but has been practically illustrated only in the war between Chili and Peru. It does not seem as if the importance of the lesson had been yet fully appreciated by those responsible for the naval administration of the great European powers.

For the remainder of the day, and during the whole * The only detailed account of the operations that I have seen is in a work entitled, “Histoire de la Guerre du Pacifique,” by Don Diego Barros Arana. Paris : 1881. It appears to be fairly accurate as to facts, but coloured by very decided Chilian sympathies.

seaman.

BLACK PELICANS.

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of the 16th, we lay at anchor about half a mile from the shore of the island of San Lorenzo, a bare rough hill, mainly formed, it would seem, of volcanic rock overlaid in places by beds of very modern formation. All naturalists are familiar with the evidence adduced by Darwin, proving the considerable elevation of the island and the adjacent mainland since the period of the Incas, as well as Tschudi's arguments going to show that in more recent times there has been a period of subsidence.

Of the objects near at hand the most interesting were the large black pelicans which in great numbers frequent the bay or harbour of Callao, attracted, no doubt, by the offal abundantly supplied from the town and the shipping. Seemingly indefatigable and insatiable, these birds continued for hours to circle in long sweeping curves over the water, swooping down on any object that attracted their appetite. The body appears to be somewhat slighter than that of the white pelican of the East, but the breadth of wing and length of the neck are about the same. When on the wing the plumage appears to be black, but in truth it is of a dark bluish slate colour.

Our detention in quarantine might have been prolonged but for the fortunate circumstance that the contents of the mail-bags carried by the Islay were at this moment the object of anxious curiosity to the Chilian authorities, and to the representatives of foreign powers. The position of affairs was already sufficiently critical, and the attitude recently assumed by the Government of the United States had added a new element of uncertainty to the existing difficulties.

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