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A CLEVER book of travels, over ground comparatively untrodden, is in these days a welcome rarity. No dearth is there of vapid narratives by deluded persons, who, having leisure to travel, think they must also have wit to write with these we have long been surfeited, and heartily grateful do we feel to the man who strikes out a new track, follows it observantly, and gives to the world, in pleasant and instructive form, the result of his observations. Such a traveller we have had the good fortune to meet with, and now present to our readers.
We take it that no portion of the globe's surface, of equal extent, and comprising an equal number of civilized, or at least semi-civilized, states, is less known to the mass of Europeans than the continent of South America. Too distant and dangerous for the silken tourist, to whom steamboats and dressing-cases are indispensable, it does not possess, in a political point of view, that kind of importance which might induce governments to stimulate its exploration. As a nest of mushroom republics, continually fighting with each other and revolutionizing themselves-a land where throatcutting is a popular pastime, and earthquakes, fevers more or less yellow, and vermin rather more than
less venomous, are amongst the indigenous comforts of the soil-it is notorious, and has been pretty generally avoided. Braving these dangers and disagreeables, a German of high reputation as a naturalist and man of letters, has devoted four years of a life valuable to science to a residence and travels in the most interesting district of South America; the ancient empire of the Incas, the scene of the conquests and cruelties of Francisco Pizarro.
"The scientific results of my travels," says Dr Tschudi in his brief preface,
66 are recorded partly in my Investigation of the Fauna Peruana t and partly in appropriate periodicals: the following volumes are an attempt to satisfy the claim which an enlightened public may justly make on the man who visits a country in reality but little known."
We congratulate the doctor on the good success of his attempt. The public, whether of Germany or of any other country into whose language his book may be translated, will be difficult indeed if they desire a better account of Peru than he has given them.
Bound for the port of Callao, the ship Edmond, in which Dr Tschudi sailed from Havre-de-Grace, was
Peru. Reiseskizzen aus den Jahren 1838-1842. St Gall: 1846.
Von J. J. VON TSCHUDI.
Untersuchungen über die Fauna Peruana. St Gall: 1846.
VOL. LX. NO. CCCLXIX.