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topics of the day. In the garden surrounding her house were a number of orange trees in full bearing, and, amongst other exotics, the largest tree of Eucalyptus globulus that I have yet seen, though planted, as the old lady assured me, only twenty years before.

It was announced that the return steamer was due at two p.m. on June 27, so I arranged, in the language of this region, to go for an excursion to the camp as early as possible in the morning. In company with a young Englishman to whom Dr. French had introduced me, I started in a carriage, and, after passing through the belt of gardens and fields surrounding the town, soon reached a rather wide stream running between muddy banks. I now understood why all the vehicles here are hung upon such extremely high wheels. The horses take to the water as easily as if they were amphibious, and we got across the stream without taking in water, but not without a severe tug to get the carriage through the deep mud. We next approached a large saladero; but I had no curiosity to see the process of slaughter, nor the various stages by which a live animal is speedily converted into human food. We made a circuit round the saladero and the adjoining enclosures, and before long reached the open country.

The general aspect reminded me of what I have seen at the corresponding season in the less inhabited parts of Northern Africa, especially near Tunis, although the plants, as might be expected, are not only different, but in great part belong to different natural families. Open spaces covered with herbaceous vegetation alternate with patches of low bushes, mostly FLORA OF THE CAMP.


evergreen, and here and there with shrubs under ten feet in height; but there was nothing deserving to be called a tree. The indigenous trees of this region seem to be confined to the banks and islands of the great rivers. Among the bushes were four species of Baccharis, a Composite genus characteristic of South America, three species of Solanum, a Lycium, etc. But the commonest bush, which extends from the Tropic of Capricorn to Patagonia, is Duvaua dependens, with crooked branches beset with stout thorns, which has no near ally among European plants. I found several plants still in flower—two or three pretty species of the mallow tribe, a Buddleia, an Oxalis, and a Verbena (V. phlogifolia), nearly allied to the ornamental species of our gardens.

I returned to the town just in time to have all in readiness for the steamer, which arrived punctually at two o'clock, and, after bidding farewell to Dr. French, embarked with the impression that life in a country town on the Uruguay is very much like life in a country town anywhere in Europe-somewhat dull, but not devoid of interest to one who is content to feel that he has been of some use to fellow-creatures.

The weather had become brighter, and we were spared the annoyance of waiting at night for the clearing of the fog. We held on our course down the stream, and at sunrise were again at anchor opposite to the city of Buenos Ayres, now for the first time become visible. Seen in the bright morning light, it presented a somewhat imposing aspect, as befits the most populous and important port of the South American continent. The advance of the Argentine Confederation has been so rapid since public tranquillity has been assured that the returns of a few years ago are doubtless considerably below the truth. Those of the five years from 1870 to 1874 show a yearly average of about ten millions sterling of imports, and nearly seven and a half millions of exports ; but these figures, especially the latter, should now be much increased. Of the whole commercial movement more than eighty per cent. belongs to Buenos Ayres, and the extension of railways must further increase its supremacy.

I went to the Hotel de Provence, a French establishment fairly well kept, and, after confinement in the little den on board the river steamer, enjoyed the novel sense of occupying a spacious room.

A good part of the day was spent in wandering about the town. It is built on the regular chess-board plan, with quadras of equal dimensions. The streets are narrow and ill-paved, most of them traversed by tramcars, which are the only convenient vehicles; but the whole place is pervaded by an air of activity which seems strange in Spanish America, reminding one rather of the towns of the United States.

I was directed to an exhibition of the natural products and manufactures of the states * of the Argentine Confederation, which appeared to make a creditable show, but of which I felt myself to be no competent judge. I was chiefly interested by the large collections of native woods from Corrientes and the mountain regions of Tucuman, Salta, and the adjoining states.

* The term provinces, commonly applied to the federated States, is misleading, and should be laid aside.



We know at present very little as to the extent of the Argentine forests, and still less as to the proportion in which the more valuable species are distributed ; but it is obvious that in these forests there exist important sources of wealth, which, however, must require good management for their future development. Many of the largest and most valuable trees belong to the family of Leguminose, and may be found to rival in importance those of Guiana.

Speaking of the forests of the northern states, the late Professor Lorentz writes that they are exclusively confined to the eastern slopes of the mountains on which the winds from the Atlantic deposit their moisture, while the western slopes remain dry and bare of trees. He dwells on the need for an efficient forest law, as the result of the carelessness of the sparse population is that in the neighbourhood of inhabited places much valuable timber is ruthlessly destroyed. It may be feared that, under a constitution which, for such purposes, leaves practical autonomy to fourteen different states, it may be very difficult to obtain the enactment of an efficient law, and still more difficult to secure its enforcement.

The chief architectural boast of Buenos Ayres is the Plaza Mayor, one side of which is occupied by the cathedral, a very large pile in the modern Spanish style, which is not likely to serve as a model for imitation. The day being a festa, there was a ceremony in the afternoon, which attracted a crowd of the female population. The great church was ablaze with thousands—literally thousands of wax candles, and the entire pavement was covered with


costly carpets of the most gaudy colours. The behaviour of the congregation did not convey to a stranger the impression of religious feeling. It is doubtful, however, to what extent we are right in applying in such matters the standard derived from a different race and different modes of feeling. A severer style of worship would have no attractions for a people who thirst for satisfaction to the eye and ear; and they would certainly not be the better, in their present condition of progress, if the scepticism of the age were to close this avenue of escape from the sordid cares of daily life.

On June 29, my second day at Buenos Ayres, I made a short excursion to the Boca, on the shore of the Rio de la Plata, only about three miles from the city. I had an illustration of the careless way in which, from want of sympathy or want of imagination, most people give directions to strangers. Being informed that the tramcars plying to La Boca were to be found in a certain street, I proceeded thither to look out for a vehicle going in the right direction. After a few minutes a vehicle appeared, coming from La Boca. After ten minutes more a second arrived from the same direction, and after ten minutes more a third, but not one in the opposite sense. At last I went into the shop of a German chemist near at hand, when the mystery was explained. The cars enter the town by one street, make a short circuit, and return by a different street.

The Boca does not offer much to interest a stranger. I could have fancied myself somewhere in the outskirts of Leghorn, so frequent were the familiar sounds

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