« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the rich prairies and forests of the southern continent. Our traveller sailed into the Demerara river in the beginning of 1841. The sudden change of scenery after the long sea-voyage burst upon him beautifully, awfully, unspeakably. He says, "In our homely, still, romantic vales, we are not familiar with this mysterious charm of tropical climates. The luxury of plants, the fresh green foliage of the trees is unknown us; even the most talented poet would in vain attempt to give any other description than a mere outline, as the most glowing language cannot inspire the mind of the reader with those feelings by which a man is overpowered while enjoying such a glorious sight. I can give but a faint idea and an imperfect sketch of this scenery. When after sunset the almost overpowering fragrance of the opposite gardens penetrated our windows, when at night each leaf of this waving sea of dark green whispered to me: 'stranger remember us when far distant,' when thousands of brilliant insects of every hue and color traversed the air, still I missed the friendly twilight of my home." Georgetown is a hospitable city of 23,000 inhabitants. The author makes some very striking remarks about the emancipation of slaves, which took place not long before his arrival, the consequences of which were so evident at that time. He speaks of the cotton-plantations, the sugar-fields, giving a minute report of their production. The trial of using European laborers was a failure, the traveller found but a few of those Portuguese and Germans left who were brought over to Guiana some years before. Sickness, fevers of all kinds prevail at all seasons, and make sad havoc among foreigners. He was several times attacked himself by fever, and it seems as if no one could enjoy the beauties of such a bountiful nature without endangering his life. Most frightful is the yellow fever; it was raging at his second visit to Charlestown, and he found the city almost deserted. Those whom the sickness had spared had left for more healthy places; none of the lovely girls, of whom he speaks in the highest terms, were seen then. Not less dangerous is the so called dry cholic, which like all the other diseases, except cholera, causes death much sooner in that climate than in our own. All seem to
be cholera there. The interior of Guiana abounds in wild beasts, snakes, and venomous insects; our traveller himself experienced their attacks. The rivers abound in alligators of the length of 12 to 16 feet. An Indian one day shot a large one, and as it appeared to be dead, he drew it to the shore by the assistance of his companions. They were about to cut it up when suddenly it arose, and throwing aside the men, ran off at full speed. At another time, an Indian killed a young one with an arrow, but he had scarcely time to escape, the mother of the young alligator attacking the murderer of her dearest with such a suddden rage. Other alligators joined her with a deafening howl, and the smooth water became a roaring sea by the incessant striking of their tails. The snakes are much to be dreaded, as they are concealed under thickets of underbrush. We find excellent descriptions of "the rattlesnake," of "the trigonocephalus atrox," of "the bushmaster," of "the parrot-snake," (cophias bilineatus,) and many others which he met. The aborigines possess many remedies against their bites, almost every village having its own. Among the insects the most frightful was the sand-flea, which enters the great toe right under the nail, laying its eggs there. At first a burning pain is felt, a blue spot appears, and a small bag of the size of a pea, contains hundreds of eggs. They can only be removed by a knife, and travellers, in order to avoid the consequences of their bite, must carefully examine their feet every morning. "The bête rouge” selects the softer parts of the body for its bites, producing corrosive ulcers. Mosquitos and ants are not less troublesome. Stung once by an ant, after a few hours the traveller fell down senseless; he was carried to an Indian hut, and was saved by the Indian after much suffering. The author relates a great deal of "the atta cephalotes," a kind of ants, the habits of which are interesting in the highest degree. They form a well regulated state, each doing its own work for the advantage of the commonwealth. The reader follows all these descriptions and stories with the greatest interest; the riding up the banks of the Essequibo river, the dangers and hardships he met there are of such a kind that nobody will lay aside the book without confessing how much it has delighted him.
ERRATA IN OCTOBER NUMBER.
Page 363, in the foot note, insert in second line, 'mighty' before 'mine.' In fourth line insert 'homes and' before haunts.' Page 365, first column, line 9th, for appeared' read appears.' Same page and column, in the Traveller's Vision, first verse, second line, after the word 'outstretched,' read "my.' (Bedouins is to be pronounced as a dissylable, Bed-weens; it is sometimes spelt Bedaweens.) Second verse of same poem, second line, insert a comma after 'beneath.' Same page, second column, sixth line from foot, omit and. Page 366, in poem 'Nebo,' second verse, fifth line, for in,' read on.' Same page, third verse, in first and fifth lines, for their,' read there.' Same page. fourth verse, first line, for Their,' read There.' Page 367, first column, seventh verse, third line, for tannin,' read 'tannen.' Same page, tenth verse, third line, for 'pastime,' read 'portion.' Same page, second column, last verse but two, first line, for were,' read once.' Page 368, first column, fourth line, for displays,' read 'display.' Same page, same column. fourth verse, second line, for sands,' read 'mists.' Same page, second column, fourth verse, last line, for 'in,' read on.' Same page, same column, fifth verse, third line, for southern,' read 'southward.' Page 369, second column, twenty-third and twenty-fifth lines, for 'breakest,' read brakest.' Page 371, second column, sixteenth line from foot, omit word 'political.' Page 372, first column, eighth line, for 'our,' read one.' Same page, seccad column, last verse but two, fourth line, after nine,' insert a comma.