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UNITEKTY

CALIF:

PREFACE.

A TOUR round the South American continent, which was completed in so short a time as five months, may not appear to deserve any special record ; yet I am led to hope that this little book may serve to induce others to visit a region so abounding in sources of enjoyment and interest. There is no part of the world where, in the same short space of time, a traveller can view so many varied and impressive aspects of nature; while he whose attention is mainly given to the progress and development of the social condition of mankind will find in the condition of the numerous states of the continent, and the manners and habits of the many different races that inhabit it, abundant material to engage his attention and excite

his interest.

Although, as the title implies, the aim of my journey was mainly directed to the new aspects of nature, organic and inorganic, which South America superabundantly presents to the stranger, I have not thought it without interest to give in these pages the

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impressions as to the social and political condition of the different regions which I visited, suggested to an unprejudiced visitor by the daily incidents of a traveller's life.

Those who may be tempted to undertake a tour in South America will find that by a judicious choice of route, according to the seasoni selected for travelling, they may visit all the accessible parts of the continent with perfect ease, and with no more risk of injury to health, or of bodily discomfort, than they incur in a summer excursion in Europe. The chief precaution to be observed is to make the visit to Brazil fall in the cool and dry season, extending from mid-May to September. It may also be well to mention that, while the cost of passage and expenses on board, for a journey of about 18,400 miles by sea, somewhat exceeded £170, my expenses during about ten weeks on land, without any attempt at economy, did not exceed £100.

The reader may regard as superfluous the rather frequent references to the meteorology of the various parts of the continent which I was able to visit. But, if he will consider the importance of the two main elements--temperature and moisture-in regulating the development of organic life in past epochs, and the influence which they now exercise on the character of the human population, he will admit that a student of nature could not fail to make them the objects of frequent attention, the more especially as many erroneous impressions as to the climate of various parts

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