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shades it, which affords a gentle dew to such an extent as to supersede rain. The vapors which a tropical sun exhales from the ocean, rise in a dense fog, and form an awning over the city. At early dawn this aqueous covering conceals the nearest objects, but this gradually ascends as the sun climbs the heavens, till by the meridian beam it becomes entirely dispersed, and leaves unconcealed the deep blue sky. But, as the sun declines, this mass of vapor resumes its place. The gentle breeze from the ocean, during the night, wafts the vapor toward the mountain, which supplies the place of those which the mid-day sun had dispersed. Excepting some bright days in the midst of summer, and a few wrapped in fog in the depth of winter, these alternations of sunshine and cloud are regular as the returns of day and night. But so mild is this climate at Lima, that it is a rare occurrence for the mercury to rise above 810 in the heat of summer, or to sink beneath 50° in the most severe weather in winter. The fact that rain has never fallen on the west side of the Andes, between 6 and 23° south latitude, is a phenomenon not undeserving attention. The reason of this has been sought in the electrical relations between the mountain and valleys, but may probably be found in other causes. The aqueous vapors constantly rising from the ocean, immediately after formation, are urged toward the mountains by the prevailing winds in that direction, and, instead of bursting into rain, the clouds undergo a sort of leakage; as they float so low, that the minute particles of mist do not fall far enough to form distinct drops. The copious evaporation from the Pacific wafted to the Andes occasions those overwhelming rains that fall on that mountain in such amazing profusion. To this cause may be referred the magnitude of those greatest rivers on the globe, that roll from the eastern foot of the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, through the medium of the air, the Pacific waters find their way over the great Cordilleras into the Atlantic.
Bolivia, that higher part of the ancient kingdom of the Incas, in its prominent features resembles Lower Peru. It is situated between 14 and 24° south latitude, and extends from the Pacific Ocean almost seven hundred miles in an eastern direction. This interesting section of the new world is traversed by the Andes through its whole extent. On the west it is bathed by the Pacific wave, and on the east by the head waters of the Amazon and La Plata. These great rivers, whose head waters rise within a few miles of each other in this republic, pour their copious waters into the Atlantic at points separated by more than two thousand miles. The former empties itself under the burning sun of the equator, and the latter under the bright sky of Buenos Ayres. The great Cordilleras extend in two ranges through this territory. The eastern ridge is much loftier than the western. Its summits are enrobed with the snows of a perpetual winter. The western range is more irregular, less continuous, and nowhere the seat of undissolving winter. From the highest points of the eastern range to the Pacific shores are the greatest imaginable diversity of climates; all, from the icy mountains of Greenland to the unending summer of Africa, are here to be found. The well-watered valleys, which lie sufficiently low, like those in Chili and Peru, are decorated by the unfading bloom of a perennial spring. Next to these are the table-lands, whose climate corresponds to that of the temperate Between these and the permanent seats of winter, are those
elevations on which the sun-beams fall too feebly for the support of vegetable life, and yet too strongly to allow the winter frost to remain undissolved through the summer. But though these mountains are unproductive as a naked rock of every vegetable substance, they are often the depositories of the richest mineral stores. Exclusive of the exhaustless mines of Potosi, there are others scattered over every part of this mountainous region, in which are found gold, silver, copper, and iron ores; so that, in its metalic treasure, both as to abundance and variety, this region is unrivalled by any other on the face of the globe. There is not, in all Bolivia, so important a point as Potosi. The city is less than 20° south latitude from the equator, and more than thirteen thousand feet above the level of the ocean. This farfamed mining city is situated on the great post-road from Buenos Ayres to Lima, more than sixteen hundred miles from the former, and not less than twelve hundred from the latter. The great metalic mountain which stands frowning over the city exhibits appearances that distinguish no other one in the new world. Its form is conic; its summit is more than sixteen thousand feet above the ocean. Its colors are bright and varied; green, red, yellow, and blue are all distinctly visible, and often melting away into each other, they present the most interesting and curious aspect. Though the city lies more than a mile from the mountain, that stupendous mass seems threatening every moment to overwhelm it. On the heights above the city are thirty artificial lakes, whose waters give motion to more than one hundred ore mills, and furnish the city with a copious supply. In this great metalic pile, more than two thousand mines have been opened. In prosperous times, more than four millions of dollars have been annually extracted from it. The very sight of this mountain of treasure crowds the mind with many great events of the last three centuries. The stream of silver which it has poured forth for ages has acted upon the four quarters of the globe. It has awakened enterprise, rewarded diligence, and disseminated knowledge; it has filled cities with monuments of art-marshalled armies on the field of death-and sunk fleets, in contention for its treasure. These mines, which have administered to the luxury and sensuality of millions, have been the dungeon and grave of almost a whole nation of enslaved natives, and have filled the lovely valleys of Peru with the tears and wailings of widows and orphans. The great elevation of this mountain places it above the fogs and clouds which hover over the lower sections of the Cordilleras, and places it under a brighter sky than canopies any other inhabited portion of the globe. Indeed, it would be difficult finding another city in the old or new world, which has the altitude of Potosi; though this is three thousand feet lower than the mountain in question. Such is the cold state of the air in this very zone of eternal summer, that this is one wide region of perfect sterility. Nothing, excepting a little green moss, vegetates within twelve miles of the city; not a tree is seen to spread its branches, a shrub to unfold its foliage, or a spire of grass to refresh the eye over all these naked heights. The scene here is peculiarly striking; the night opens to the view the starry host shining with a superior brightness, and kindles up a kind of mellow daylight over this unclouded region. The naked, barren, cheerless surface forms an affecting contrast to the gayety of the celestial aspect.
Of the eight provinces into which the department of Potosi is
divided, several of those more southern, though almost destitute of mines, are rich in their agricultural resources. The intendency of Charcus, stretching along the noble Pilcomayo and its fertilizing branches, is clothed with verdure, and shaded with forests on their banks, and covered with fruits, and grains, and animals in the interior. But the most abundant in vegetable productions of all the departments in this republic, is that of Cochabamba. This forms an oblong tract, extending more than five hundred miles from east to west, and less than one-fifth of that distance toward the other cardinal points. Its western limit reaches to the snowy summits of the Andes; and from the base of this mountain it has a gentle declivity, till it becomes lost in the boundless plain extending eastward. This fertile region is abundantly watered by the southern head branches of the Amazon. There is no variety of climate or soil found in the new world which is not possessed by this narrow strip. On the mountain, winter holds its uninterrupted sway; on its broad sides, spring returns to bloom in every vegetable beauty; on the plain, the gayety of summer and the harvest of autumn are in delightful and unceasing succession. Here the fecundity of nature is displayed in all its richness and beauty; herbs and plants cover the surface with their prodigious plenitude; shrubs and trees, of the sweetest odor, perfume the air with their perpetual fragrance; grains, vines, olive groves, and fruits of both zones are here produced of the finest relish and of the most nutricious qualities; and so rich and abundant is its pasturage, that its name, in the language of the aboriginal inhabitants, implies "good grass." But in all this region, where vegetable nature lives in such unwithering bloom, scarcely a valuable mineral is deposited. The department of La Paz is, in its most prominent features, in perfect contrast to this. Its near approach to the Andes leaves it under the chilling frown of that wintry mountain. Sterility, nakedness, and gloom are, therefore, the appalling objects which are everywhere prominent. Its capital, of the same name, is situated thirty miles from the far-famed mount, Illumani, whose volcanic fires appear, even at that distance, during the night, to kindle a large section of the heavens into flame. Nor is the view of much less interest, furnished by the green sides of this moun tain smiling in perennial spring, in contrast with its snow-capped summit. This department is bounded on the west by the beautiful lake Titicaca, more than two hundred miles in circumference. The department of Santa Cruz is watered by the Rio Grande and the other head branches of the majestic Mamore. Its western province enjoys a delightful climate, and possesses great agricultural resources. Its capital is situated in a most enchanting valley, more than twenty miles in extent. Moxos and Chiquitos are intendencies of great territorial extent, but sprinkled over with a very sparse population. Both the climate and productions of these intendencies resemble those of the East Indies. Here are the half yearly alternations of wet and dry seasons, and a corresponding climate, which, so near the equator, can never be friendly to the human constitution. Here is a great abun. dance of wild honey, which, to the natives, has been an object of attention from time immemorial. Here is the silk-worm; and the mulberry, on which it feeds, is indigenous, and so numerous as to be a common tree of the forest. Here are the sweet smelling cinnamon groves, that perfume the lower regions of the air with their odor,
Bolivia, which was formerly Upper Peru, is divided into twenty-eight provinces, over the most of which a very sparse population is scattered, as the whole republic contains not more than one million two hundred thousand, more than one-half of which are Indians. Peru is divided into eight intendencies, and subdivided into fifty-nine provinces. It has eight populous cities, and not less than fourteen hundred and sixty small villages. The entire population of this extensive territory scarcely amounts to two millions, one million of which, at least, are the aboriginal inhabitants. North of this ancient seat of Peruvian empire lies the great republic of Colombia. This extensive section of South America forms the northern limit of the southern half of the new world. Almost two-thirds of this equatorial region lies north of the line. On the north it is bounded by Guatimala and the Caribbean Sea, on the east by Dutch Guiana and Atlantic Ocean, and the Brazilian empire; on the south by Brazil and Peru; and on the west its shores are washed by the great Pacific. This republic embraces that extensive territory which once formed Caraccas, Quito, and New Granada, and reaches more than 110 north of the equator, and almost 7° south of that line. Among the great physical features of this country are the vast mountains and plains into which much of it is divided. In the eastern section, near the Oronoco, are spread out immense and fertile plains, whose harvests may yet feed nations; and in the western part are found some of the loftiest mountains that arise on the whole chain of the Andes. Nor is there any scenery in the wildest regions of South America more grand than that in which this part of it abounds. The greatest altitude of the Andes in Colombia is under the equator, where the cone of Chimborazo rises to the amazing height of almost twenty-two thousand feet. In this republic the Andes divides itself into three parallel ranges; the middle one is the most elevated of the three, and sends up some of its highest peaks into the region of eternal frost. Chimborazo, Pichincha, Illimassa, Antisana, and Cotopaxi, are among the loftiest of these: towering up, they ascend higher than terrestrial things, and seem to repose above the war of elements, in the bright and untroubled regions of the air. The intense glitter of their white summits contrasts beautifully with the deep blue of the surrounding firmament. Some of the heights along the Caribbean Sea form several of the most tremendous preci. pices found on the globe. Viewing them from some of the points that overlook them, the traveler instinctively shrinks back with dread from the hideous gulf that yawns beneath him. In the southern section of this republic lies the lofty plain of Quito, elevated more than nine thousand feet above the level of the ocean. On the right of this plain rise some of those proud summits on which the very savage has gazed with awe. On the left are several others, whose invisible peaks are the dwelling places of the clouds. Six of these airy heights that overlook this valley are distinguished from the rest by their greater elevation. The lowest of these is more than fifteen thousand feet above the common level, and the highest towers up into the heavens more than twenty thousand feet. But here, under the fervid sun of the torrid zone, these summits are mantled in the snows of a thousand winters; but while their surface is chained in the frost of ages, their interior is often convulsed by imprisoned fires.
Near Tulcan, the Cordillera divides itself into two chains, between
which lies the high valley of Pastos, and beyond this valley it divides again into three ridges, the most western of which runs parallel to the Pacific shores till it loses itself in the isthmus of Panama. The eastern ridge forms the table lands on which stands the city of Santa Fe, not less than eight thousand feet above the level of the ocean. Between these ranges of the Andes nature has spread out some of the loftiest plains in the world. Some of the most fertile of these, embracing mil. lions of acres, are alive with flocks and herds, which fatten on their rich pasture, and wander over them without a fence to limit their range, or a frost to wither their pasture. The immense valleys of the Oronoco, of the Magdalena, and some of the finest of the Amazon, are embraced in this most favored section of the globe. From the base of the vast eastern range of the Andes gush those numerous streams which unite to swell the powerful Oronoco. At the south of the Paramo Mountains, also, there are spread out spacious and lovely valleys. So rich and beautiful a portion of the earth, lying under the smile of perennial spring, could never have been designed to remain without ministering to the wants of our race. This future garden of the new world, watered as it is by the great Amazon and its numberless tributaries, must ultimately be loaded with rich harvests and crowded with a dense population. Indeed, the whole valley, through which this peerless stream winds its way, possesses natural resources to which those of no other valley in the old or new world will bear comparison. This stream which, in numerous branches, emanates from the auriferous mountains of Peru, and rolls over four thousand miles in its way to the Atlantic, passes almost this whole distance through a world of perpetual verdure. This vast valley, which in a coming age may give laws to the new world, is decorated in the bloom of successive fruits and flowers that never fade. Most of it is still covered by primeval forests, interspersed with groves of spices and cinnamon, so that the very air is sweetened by the delicious exuberance of organic nature. So enchanting are the sylvan scenes in this valley, that the mind which strongly feels the beauty of picturesque nature, is at a loss to define the occasion of the varied emotions of which it is conscious. Here is the individual beauty of vegetable perfection-the striking contrast of the most slender and delicate, to the most large and lofty of the vegetable kingdom; here are that amazing vigor and: unfading freshness which characterize the life-giving climate of the tropics; and here is that deep silence which reigns through these wide solitudes, never broken but by the music of the feathered tribes. Travelers through this remarkable valley have assured us, that no picture which language could draw would furnish adequate ideas of the vigor and plenitude in which nature here lives; that an ocular view alone could do this. M. Humboldt, who ever avoids exaggeration, made a tour through this section in the beginning of this century. He speaks of the astonishing manner in which vegetation overflows the whole surface-of its plenitude being so great as not to leave for itself sufficient room for natural expansion of the vines that creep over the ground, ascend the loftiest trees, cover their trunks, and extending from tree to tree form a beautiful arcade more than a hundred feet above the head of the spectator of the extent of this leafy awning being such, that one may wander under it for hours without obtaining a glance at the dark blue sky, so perfectly is it shaded by this enlargement of organic