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for sunsets of extraordinary brilliancy are remote from active volcanoes. So far as South America is concerned, it may, on the other hand, be remarked that if volcanic action be an efficient cause, it is present at many points of the continent as well as in Central America, while brilliant sunsets are, so far as I know, of rare occurrence except in Chili.
Baths of Apoquinto-Slopes of the Cordillera-Excursion to
Santa Rosa de los Andes and the valley of Aconcagua-
HAVING devoted the day following my return to Santiago to botanical work, chiefly in the herbarium of Dr. Philippi, I started on the following morning in company with his son, Professor Friedrich Philippi, for an excursion up the slopes of the mountain range nearest the city. My companion had kindly sent forward in advance his servant with horses, and we engaged a hackney coach to convey us to the Baths of Apoquinto, where a warm mineral spring bursts out at the very base of the mountain. The common carriages throughout South America are heavy lumbering vehicles, and the road, though nearly level, was deep in volcanic sand; but the horses are excellent, and, in spite of several halts to collect a few
BATHS ON APOQUINTO.
plants yet in flower, we accomplished the distance of nine miles in little over an hour.
The establishment at Apoquinto is on a small scale and somewhat rustic in character, but it had been recently taken by an Englishman, and now supplies fair accommodation, which would be prized by a naturalist who should be fortunate enough to visit Chili at a favourable season. We mounted our horses without delay, and at once commenced the ascent, gentle for a short way, but soon becoming so steep that it was more convenient to dismount at several places. Under the experienced guidance of my companion, I found more interesting plants still in flower or fruit than I had ventured to expect at this
I here for the first time found a species of Mulinum, one of a large group of umbelliferous plants characteristic of the Chilian flora, and nearly all confined to South America. The leaves in the commonest species are divided into a few stiff pointed segments, reminding one somewhat of the Echinophora of the Mediterranean shores, once erroneously supposed to be a native of England.
I was especially struck on this day with the extraordinary variety of odours, pleasant or the reverse, that are exhaled by the native plants of Chili. As commonly happens in dry countries, a large proportion of the native plants contain resinous gums, each of which emits some peculiar and penetrating smell. I had already observed this elsewhere in the country, but, perhaps owing to the great variety of the vegetation on these slopes, the recollections of the day are indelibly associated with those of the im
pressions on the olfactory nerve.
If there be persons in whom such impressions are sufficiently distinct to be accurately recalled by an effort of the memory, I can imagine that in some countries the nose might afford a valuable help to the botanical collector. To judge, however, from personal experience, I should say that of all the senses that of smell is the one which supplies the least accurate impressions, and those least capable of certain recognition.
We reached a place where a small stream from the upper part of the mountain springs in a little waterfall from a cleft in the rocks, and which is known as the Salto de San Ramon. This is probably about four thousand feet above the sea-level, and between us and the lower limit of the snow which covered the higher slopes there stretched a rather steep acclivity, covered, like the ground around us, with bushes and small shrubby plants. A few small trees (chiefly Kageneckia) grew near the Salto, but higher up scarce any were to seen. Professor Philippi, who is well acquainted with the ground, thought that little, if anything, would be added to our collections by continuing the ascent, so we devoted the spare time to examining the ground in our immediate neighbourhood, thus adding a few species not before seen.
In summer, however, an active botanist, starting early from Apoquinto, who did not object to an ascent of six or seven thousand feet, would reach the zone of Alpine vegetation, and be sure to collect many of the curious plants of this region of the Andes.
May 22 and the following day were fully occupied in Santiago. Among other agreeable acquaintances,
THE CUMULATIVE VOTE IN CHILI.
I called upon Don F. Balmacedo, then minister for foreign affairs, and now President of the Republic, who favoured me with a letter of introduction to the governor of the Chilian settlement in the Straits of Magellan. I also enjoyed an interesting conversation with Dr. Taforo, then designated by the Chilian Government for the vacant archbishopric of Santiago. Some canonical objections appear to have created difficulties at Rome, and the see, as I believe, remains vacant.
I found in Dr. Taforò an agreeable and wellinformed gentleman, who appeared to hold enlightened views, and to be free from many of the prejudices which the Spanish clergy have inherited from the dark period of ecclesiastical tyranny and absolute royalty. With regard to the Chilian clergy in general, I derived a favourable impression from the testimony of my various acquaintances. At all events, they appear to be respected by the mass of the population, whereas in Peru they are regarded with dislike and contempt by all classes alike.
Among the various claims of the Chilian republic to be regarded with interest by the student of political progress, I must note the fact that it has for some time successfully adopted a system of suffrage which is supposed to be too complex for the people of our country. In political elections for representatives the mode of voting is, I believe, very nearly the same as that known amongst us as the Hare system ; while in municipal elections the cumulative vote is adopted, each voter having as many votes as there are candidates to be elected, and being allowed to give as many