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REESE LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

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for t/ieMiluratist's .///'/ /// y.

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PICCADILLY

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THE

NATURALIST'S LIBRARY.

EDITED BY

SIR WILLIAM JARDINE, BART.

F.R.S.E., F.L.S., ETC. ETC.

VOL. XIX.

DOGS, VOL. II. BY LIEUT.- COL. CHARLES HAMILTON SMITH,

K.H. AND K.W., F.R. AND L.S., PRESIDENT OF THE DEVON AND CORNWALL NAT. HIST. SOC., ETC. ETC.

CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY.

UBRARf G

CONTENTS

THE SECOND VOLUME.

PAGE

MEMOIR OF DON FELIX D'^ZARA . . 17

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS . . . .77

', . »-

* -. - »- V

SUB-GENUS CANIS . . . . ,77 The Feral Dogs.

Canes feri . . . . .118

Feral Dog of Natolia . . . .118

Feral Dog of Russia . . . .119 Feral Dog of St. Domingo.

Canis Haitensis. Plate I. . . .120 The Familiar Dogs.

Canis familiares . . . .124

THE WOLF DOGS. The Siberian Dog.

Canis Sibericus . . .' . .125

The Esquimaux Dog.

Canis Borealis. Plate II. ... 127

The Iceland Dog.

Canis Islandicus . . 130

CONTENTS.

The Hare-Indian Dog. PAGE

Canis lagopus . . . . .131 The Newfoundland Dog, original Breed.

Canis Terra Novce. Plate III. . . .132 The Nootka Dog.

Canis laniger nolis . » . 1 34 The Alco

Canis Alco. Plate IV . . . .135 The Shepherd's, or Sheep-dog.

Canis domesticus. Plate V. . 1 37

The Great Wolf-dog , . . .139

The Calabrian Dog . . . . .140 The Alpine, or Great St. Bernard Dog. Plate VI. . 141 The Pomeranian Dog.

Canis Pomeranus « . . .147

THE WATCH-DOGS.

Canes laniarii . . . . .148

The Turkman Watch-dog . . . .150 The Boar-hound of Germany.

Canis Suillus. Plate VII. . . .151 The Danish Dog.

Canis glaucus . . . . .152 The Matin Dog.

Canis laniarius . . . . .153 The Drover, or Cattle-dog of Cuba and Terra Firma 154

The Techichi of Mexico. Plate IV. . .156

The Black Wolf-dog of the Florida Indians . 1 56 Dog of the North American Indians. Plate VIII. . 1 59

THE GREYHOUNDS.

Canes venatici . . . . .160

The Brinjaree Dog . . . . .168

Bedouin Greyhound of Akaba. Plate IX. . 168

Greyhound of various Egyptian Monuments . .169 The Russian and Tahtar Breeds.

Gunis hirsutus » . * » 169

CONTENTS.

The Scottish Greyhound

PAGE

170

The Irish Greyhound.

Cants Hibernicus .....

173

The Grecian Greyhound.

Cants Grains

175

The Turkish Greyhound ....

175

The Egyptian Greyhound ....

176

The Italian Greyhound.

176

The British Greyhound.

Cants leporarius. Plate X.

177

The Lurcher.

Cants vertagus

178

The Egyptian Street-dog .

179

THE HOUNDS.

Canes sagaces ....

182

The Oriental Hound. Plate XI.

183

The Blood-hound.

Cants sanguinarius. Plate XXXI. Fig. 2.

186

The Talbot ......

188

The Old Southern Hound ....

188

The Staff-hound. Plate XXXI. Fig. 1. .

189

The Fox-hound. Plate XII.

190

The Harrier-hound .....

191

The Beagle ......

191

The Dalmatian, or Coach-dog. Plate XIII.

193

The Parent of the Modem Coach-dog. Plate XIV.

194 194

The Pointer.

Cants avicularis .

195

The Setter.

Cants Index. Plates XV. and XV.*

197

The Spaniel.

Cants extraritts .....

198

The Springer. Plate XVI. . . . .

199

CONTENTS.

PAGE

King Charles's Spaniel. Plate VI. . .200

The Cocker. Plate XV. . . . .200

The Blenheim, or Marlborough . . .200

The Maltese Dog . . . . . 200 The Water-dog.

Canis aquaticus. Plate XX. . . .201

The Little Barbet . . . . .202

The Griffin Dog . . . . .202 The Lion Dog ..... 202

THE CUR DOGS.

Canes domesticii . . . . .202 The Terrier.

Canis terrarius. Vignette, and in Plates XVII.,

XVIII. and XVIII.* . . . .205

The Saufinder, or Boarsearcher . . .207

The Lapland Cur . . . . .208 The Pariah Dog ..... 209

, xThePoeDog ... .210

The New Zealand Dog . » . .211

The Patagonian Dog . . . .213

The Tierra del Fuego Dog . . .214

THE MASTIFFS.

Canes urcani . . . . .216

The Mastiff of Tibet. Plate XIX. . . . 224

The English Mastiff . . . .224

The Cuba Mastiff . . , . .226 The Bull-dog.

Canis Anglicus. Plate XX. . . .227

The Bull- Terrier . . . .230

The Pug Dog . . . . .230

The Roquet ...... 231

The Little Danish Dog.

Canis variegatus . . + .231

The Artois Mongrel . . . . .231

The Alicant Dog . . . . .231

CONTENTS.

SUB-GENUS III. VULPES. PAGE

THE FOXES . . . . 232

The Arctic Fox.

Vulpes lagopus ..... 236 The Sooty Fox.

Vulpes fuliginosus ..... 239 The Coal Fox.

Vulpes alopex. Plate XXI. . . . 240

The Brant Fox . . . . .241

The Nepal Fox.

Vulpes Hodgsonii . t . . .241

The Common Fox.

Vulpes vulgaris .... The Norway Common Fox . The Cross-Fox of Europe.

Vulpes crucigera . . t. . .244

The Roman Fox.

Vulpes melanogaster . . . 245

The Black Fox ..... 245 The Himalaya Fox.

Vulpes Himalaicus .... 246

The Indian Fox ..... 247 The Syrian Fox.

Vulpes tkaleb. Plate XXI.* . . .247

The Egyptian Fox.

Vulpes Niloticus. Plate XXL* . . .248

The Foxes of America .... 249

The Red Fox.

Vulpes fulvus ..... 250 The Cross- Fox of America.

Vulpes decussatus. Plate XXII. . .251

The Silver Fox.

Vulpes argentatus ... . . . 253

The Little Fox.

C.velong . . . . . 253

The Tri-coloured Fox.

Vulpes cinereo argenteus* Plate XXIII. . . 254

CONTENTS.

The Grey Fox. PA OB

Yulpes cinereus. Plate XXII.* . . 256

The Brant Fox . . . . .257

SUB-GENUS IV. AGRIODUS .... 258 Lalande's Zerda.

Agriodus auritus. Plate XXIII.* . . 260

SUBGENUS V. LYCAON . . . .261

Lycaon venaticus.

Hycena venatica. Plate XXIV. . . .266

Lycaon pictus.

Canis pictus . . . . . 268

GENUS II. HY^NA ..... 269 The Spotted Hyaena.

H. crocuta. Plate XXV. . . . .274

The Striped Hyaena. The Hyama of Atbara . . . .276

Hycena vulgaris. Plate XXVI. . . . 276

The Hyaena of Persia and India . . .277

The Naked Hyaena of the Deserts of Nubia.

Hycena vulgaris. Plate XXVII. . . .278

The Brown Hyaena.

Hycena fusca. Plate XXVIII. . . . 278

The Strand Hyaena.

H.villosa. Plate XXIX. . . 279

GENUS III. PROTELES . . . .281

The Proteles Lalandii.

Viverra hyanoides. Plate XXX. . . 282

SYNOPSIS ...... 287

Portrait of AZARA ..... 2 Vignette Title-page .....

In all Thirty-eight Plates in this Volume,.

MEMOIR

DON FELIX D'AZARA.

THE circumstance of not the slightest sketch of the illustrious subject of our present Memoir having hitherto appeared in the English tongue, affords sufficient inducement for our endeavouring to pre- sent a short account of his life for the gratification of our readers. Other considerations, however, scarcely less powerful, also influence us. Though the name of Azara must be familiar to many, the circumstances of his chequered and honourable his- tory are known but to few. He was a Spanish soldier, who, from a variety of incidents, was long detained in the deepest recesses of the South Ame- rican provinces ; and whilst there, actively employed in the public service of his country, he most merito- riously improved his singular opportunities, and, self- taught, earned that reputation as a Naturalist for which he is so distinguished. Some account, there- fore, of his eventful life, and his interesting writings, can scarcely fail to ^ieet with a welcome reception.

18 MEMOIR OF

DON FELIX D'AZARA was born at Barbunales, near Balbastro, in the province of Aragon, in Spain, on the 18th of May, in the year 1746. His parents, Alexander d'Azara and Marie de Perera, spent a rural life, on their own property, far removed from the more agitating scenes of the world, contented and happy in their retirement. They had two sons, whose early education they superintended, ere they sent them to the neighbouring seminaries ; whence they were speedily called to engage in public life, where, in their several departments, they both ac- quired very considerable honour and distinction.

Don Felix first studied in the university of Hu- esca, and was then sent to the military academy of Barcelona. During the course of his education, he scarcely revisited his paternal roof. A few days previous to his birth, his brother, Don Joseph Nico- las, who was then fifteen years of age, had been sent to the university of Salamanca. Thus the brothers never met till the year 1765, when Don Nicolas having obtained, through the influence of the minister, Ricardos, the situation of Agent of the king to the court of Rome in certain ecclesiastical matters, passed through Barcelona, and first saw, and scarcely more than saw, his brother. They were then again separated for the long period of thirty-five years.

A year before this interview, at the age of eighteen, Don Felix had commenced his military career, and had been appointed cadet (that is, a gentleman volunteer, acting as a common soldier, to learn the

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 19

art of war) in the Galician regiment of infantry, on the 1st September, 1764. On the 3d November, 1 767, he was gazetted ensign in the engineer corps ; and on the 28th September, 1775, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

It was when holding this rank, that he bore a part in the Spanish attack upon Algiers. Among the first of those who disembarked, he was struck by a large ball of copper, and was left as dead upon the spot. The attentions, however, ol a friend, and the boldness of a sailor, who extracted the ball with his knife, revived him ; but he afterwards experienced no common degree of suffering, and ere long the third part of one of his ribs was extracted. Five years elapsed before the wound was healed, and five years later it again broke out in America, when an addi- tional portion of the rib was discharged. On the 5th of February, 1 776, he attained the rank of captain.

The following year, the courts of Spain and Portugal, which were always at war concerning the limits of their respective possessions in South America, having fixed the basis of a treaty, which was speedily afterwards ratified, commissioners were appointed by both parties, to determine on the spot the limits of the two countries, conformably to the conditions of the treaty. " Being at St. Se- bastian," says Don Felix, " in 1781, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel of engineers, I received, du- ring the night, an order from the General, to set off immediately for Lisbon, there to present myself to our ambassador. I set bff at daybreak, with-

20 MEMOIR OP

out my books or baggage, and arrived safely at my destination. The ambassador informed me I was now to be despatched to South America, with Joseph Verela and two other officers, engaged in the same commission, and concerning the particulars of which the viceroy of Buenos Ayres would inform us. To this last city we were to proceed without delay, and we embarked immediately in a Portu- guese vessel, being at war with England, and arrived safely at Rio Janeiro. I took out with me a de- spatch which was to be opened under the line, and which informed me that the king had conferred on me the rank of captain in the navy, it being judged right that all the commissioners should be marine officers/' From Rio Janeiro they again speedily embarked for Monte Video, where they met with the viceroy, and received their particular instructions. In conjunction with the Portuguese commissioners, they were to fix, in terms of the preliminary treaty of peace of 1777? the line of demarcation of the respective parties, from the sea, not far from the mouth of La Plata, to beyond the junction of the Quapore and Mamore, where they together form the Madera, a tributary of the mighty Amazon, a stretch from about the thirty-fifth to the eleventh degree of south latitude. This immense line of frontier was divided into five parts; Verela was appointed to the two southern, whilst the next two were assigned to Azara.

" After this," says Azara, " the viceroy sent me alone to the great river San Pedro, a distance not

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 21

much short of five hundred miles, to the capital of the province of the same name, that I might con- cert, with the Portuguese general, the best method of commencing and conducting our labours. After having performed this service, on the very night of my return to the Plata, I was ordered to set off as soon as possible to Assumption, the capital of Paraguay, to make the necessary preparations for the Portuguese commissioners. The Spanish engi- neers soon completed the task assigned to them ; but as the Portuguese, by the strict execution of the treaty, would have been obliged to abandon the districts which they occupied, they sought every occasion to delay as long as possible the termination of their labours, and to elude the terms of their en- gagement/' In all this, instead of being checked, they were decidedly assisted by the carelessness and culpable connivance of the Spanish governors. All this placed Don Felix in a very distressing position, in which, however, he was determined not passively to succumb, and if he could not employ himself usefully in one way, he resolved to do so in another. " Becoming now," says he, " acquainted with their artifices, and perceiving that instead of promoting the settlement of the limits, their object was to pro^ long the operation indefinitely, by all kinds of delays, by appeals to Europe, and by the most groundless and ridiculous pretexts, I bethought me how I might best improve the long delays which were in this way occasioned; and conceiving that the viceroys would neither grant me their permission

22 MEMOIR OF

nor their help, in the fear that I should abuse their condescendence, I resolved to follow out my own scheme, and to take the whole responsibility upon myself; personally meeting also all the attendant expenses, and travelling without their leave, while at the same time I did not for a moment lose sight of the grand object with which I was intrusted.

The scheme to which Azara here alludes, and which he determined if possible to execute, was nothing else than a complete delineation and de- scription of the vast Spanish dominions in the cen- tral parts of South America, comprehending a region of about fifteen hundred miles in length and about nine hundred in breadth. True, he had now attained the meridian of his days, and nearly twenty years had been spent in the varied duties of a soldier's life; he had acquired a more than usual share of rank and distinction, and on this he might have satisfactorily reposed, contented with the consci- entious discharge of that honourable commission with which he was intrusted. But views so limited were wholly alien to his tastes and disposition. Placed in a continent so much unknown to science, and where his curiosity was every day provoked by some new wonder, he could not remain at rest, nor allow the occasion to escape without attempt- ing to improve it. Deeply conscious of his want of preliminary qualifications, he yet determined to do what he could; and his history affords a fine example of what a person of ordinary educa- tion and intelligence may achieve, by dint of steadi-

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 23

ness and perseverance. His plan, which was laid upon a broad basis, seems to have been devised with great wisdom, as it was executed with much success. The special duty on which he was en- gaged, naturally qualified him for geographical in- vestigations', and his first object, in addition to his labour on the boundaries, was to ascertain with all possible accuracy the geographical relations of those vast regions which he had occasion to traverse, and which were nearly unknown. With this laborious undertaking, he associated others scarcely less ex- tensive. The physical and moral condition of the inhabitants, including the native Indians, the de- scendants of the Spanish conquerors, and the mixed breeds, in their varied social and political relations, was scarcely a less interesting inquiry. To these he added historical investigations of the public records of the countries, and a critical examination, on the spot, of the popular accounts. And, finally, he de- termined to survey the whole range of animated nature, including the quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects of the continent, which alone has obtained for him a distinguished name as a Zoolo- gist ; while he did not forget the kindred branches of meteorology, geology, and botany. These were wide fields, over which the best educated modern naturalists could scarcely venture to expatiate, but which Azara, unprepared as he was, determined to cultivate as best he could. In these various pur- suits, he has been classed with the Baron de Hum- boldt; and the comparison is the more creditable.

24 MEMOIR OF

when we consider his different circumstances and education. " Amidst the memorable events,0 says Walckenaer, " which distinguish the history of the beginning of the nineteenth century, the peaceable annals of science will not forget the sudden revolu- tion which has been effected in our knowledge of South America, and the names of Humboldt and Azara will be placed at the head of this interesting recital." For twenty years he was engaged in these varied and noble pursuits, and to the results of his labours we must now bespeak attention. Though we may be able to produce but little concerning Azara's personal history, yet if it be true that the handiwork of the painter and sculptor may be ap- pealed to as their memorials, surely with not less justice we may direct attention to the patient in- quiries and matured thoughts of the busy student of Nature's works, and maintain that in them " he has weaved for himself the wreath of his glory."

We may here at once enumerate the works pub- lished by Azara, which are more remarkable for their importance than their number. The first were two works, in his native tongue, on the natural history of the Spanish provinces in South Ame- rica, the former, in two volumes, on the Mammalia ; and the latter, in three, devoted to Ornithology. Several years afterwards, he published his other work, somewhat more miscellaneous perhaps, but still more important, under the title of Voyages dans I'Amerique Meridional^ in which are included his investigations on the climate of those regions, and

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 25

the other interesting topics before enumerated. This work, which was published in French, was accom- panied by a valuable atlas, of twenty-five plates, containing the maps illustrative of his geographical labours, and the plans of towns, rivers, and har- bours, the result of his statistical inquiries ; as also a considerable number of admirable plates of those animals and birds which were least known. This work was superintended by his brother Nicolas, at that time ambassador from the court of Madrid to that of France, and by the well known naturalist "Walckenaer, who seems to have performed his part of the task with great fidelity and care. To these volumes he subjoined the Natural History of the Province of Cochabamba, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, drawn up by the German naturalist Tadeo Haenk; and which contained much new and important matter.

We must now trace our author's footsteps in those various investigations and labours, the results of which are contained in his writings ; and though the outline we can give of these productions must be slight, and our exposition too much like bringing a brick whereby to display the character of the edi- fice, yet it will at once appear that Azara was no common man, and that having been placed in ex- tremely favourable circumstances, he improved them far beyond what could have been supposed possible.

On the important mission w^hich was the occasion of his long residence in these regions, we wrill not dwell longer than to say, that notwithstanding all

26 MEMOIR OF

the vexatious obstacles and delays which were from time to time thrown in his way, yet in the long run he so completely succeeded in establishing his cha- racter as a faithful and efficient public officer, that on his return to his native land, he was honoured with new and still more marked proofs of the high estimation in which he was held by the supreme government of his country.

Azara's zeal in improving the geography of the provinces must not be passed over in so cursory a manner. From the extreme jealousy of both the Spanish and Portuguese governments, this impor- tant department was in an exceedingly imperfect state; and such investigations as had been made, were concealed with as much care as if the safety of the state depended upon such concealment. Thus the great map of South America, which was prepared in Madrid in the year 1775, remained long unpub- lished, and was scarcely ever allowed to be seen ; and certain maps which the celebrated d'Anville prepared at Paris, were wrested from his hands before they were finished. Hence the best maps of the time abounded with errors, and were very far indeed from offering any thing like an exact representation of these countries.

Perfectly acquainted with these circumstances, Azara writes, " The principal object of my long and repeated journies was to prepare an exact map of the provinces. This lay in my department, and I possessed the necessary instruments. Accordingly, I never travelled without two excellent reflecting

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 27

telescopes of Halley, and an artificial horizon. Wher- ever I was, even in the camp, I took the latitude every day at noon, and every night, by means of the sun and stars. My compass was furnished with sights, and I often verified the variation by compar- ing the azimuth with the results of my calculations and solar observations. To render my chart more exact, and to adjust the meridians to that of Paris ; I made many observations of the immersion and emersion of Jupiter's satellites, of solar eclipses, and of the occultation of the stars by the moon, at Monte Video, Buenos Ayres, Corrientes, and As- sumption, and it was according to these results that I fixed my degrees of longitude."

The extent of these surveys was prodigious. In regard to the geographical investigations, on which we are now more especially dwelling, they ex- tended, as already mentioned, to about fifteen hun- dred miles by nine hundred; and in respect to some other of his inquiries, they reached over a much wider range. In his chapter on climate, he remarks, " These limits include a very irregular surface, whose geographic limit alone extends seven hundred and twenty leagues, with a mean breadth of two hundred, an extent nearly equal to the whole of Europe. I have not myself traversed the whole of this last space, but the information I have pro- cured may be depended on/' We are not, however, to contemplate him as working single-handed. His rank and appointments enabled him to avail himself of the services of many associates and officers of in-

28 MEMOIR OF

ferior rank, and these he turned to the best advan- tage. It is interesting to observe how anxious he invariably was to assign to all and every one of these, by name, their full share in the final result.

The method in which Azara carried on these de- tails was as follows. He supplied himself with considerable quantities of brandy, glass beads, rib- bons, knives, and other trifles, to conciliate the good-will of the Savages, as they are called. His personal baggage consisted of a few clothes, a little coffee and salt, and, for his followers, a little to- bacco and Paraguay plant. His suite had nothing more than what they carried upon their persons. They were, however, accompanied by a great num- ber of horses, as they required to be well mounted : they had also a number of large dogs. The party rose an hour before sunrise, and breakfasted. They then collected their horses, which had often wan- dered to a distance ; and releasing the one they had employed for the last twenty -four hours, every man selected a new one. They then set off on their route two hours after sunrise. As there were no traces of roads in these wild countries, the guide, who was most to be trusted, and who was kept solitary, that his attention might not be distracted, led the way by about three hundred paces. He was fol- lowed by the relay horses, and the body of the party brought up the rear. In this fashion they continued, without stopping, till two hours before sunset. "When among hostile tribes, the order of march was somewhat altered. The party then

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 29

advanced only during the night, scouts were sent forward to reconnoitre the route ; two patroles went in advance on each side of the party, all of whom maintained their own places, and had their arms ready. Notwithstanding these precautions, M. Azara was often attacked, and frequently lost several of his men.

In halting, the neighbourhood of a stream was generally preferred. Two parties were then imme- diately despatched; the one to procure wood for fuel ; the other, wild cows, for provender, or tame, if more at hand. Failing these, frequently the arma- dillo was found in quantity sufficient to supply their wants ; and when this could not be procured, they resorted to their stock of rolled strips of beef, dried in the sun, according to the fashion of the country.

Previous to bivouacking, it was always necessary to take precautions against the numerous serpents which abounded. This was done by causing the horses, crowded within the space, to tread down every thing under their feet. From this operation the reptiles attempted to escape, and many were destroyed ; whilst frequently some of the horses were bitten, and fell victims to the poison. The only couch of the travellers was the earth, covered with an ox-hide. During the night, every one kept his horse as near him as possible, that he might escape from the attack of wild beasts, or other ene- mies, whose approach was always announced by their watchful dogs. When, as often happened, they halted for a longer stay in these wilds, the

30 MEMOIR OF

whole party erected small booths, such as are com- mon in the country, and which will be subsequently described.

But we must not dwell longer on this branch our author's labours. The result may be seen, at a glance, in the atlas, where we find five great maps, in which are delineated the provinces of Buenos Ayres, Paraguay, Chiquitos, Matogroso, and Cu- yaba, together with minute plans of the cities of Assumption and Buenos Ayres, of the harbour of Monte Video and other ports, and of many of the settlements throughout the different parts of the continent.

The several chapters on the climate and winds, on the soil, the rivers and harbours, and the mine- rals, as being somewhat foreign to our work, may be passed with slight notice. The climate, in such an extent of country, is of course various. Upon the whole it is damp, by which is meant that much rain falls ; and yet it is very healthy. " No coun- try/' Azara writes, " can be more healthy; even the neighbourhood of marshes and inundated dis- tricts, which are common, in no degree injures the general health." Azara himself, during his whole residence, was not a day sick. Thunder storms are very frequent, " Ten times, I should say, more frequent than in Spain. Many were killed in Para- guay by lightning, during my stay ; and during a single storm, within the limits of the town of Buenos- Ayres, thirty-seven thunderbolts fell, and nineteen persons were destroyed."

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 31

Under the head of minerals, an account is given of what would now universally be regarded as a meteoric stone, but the true character of which, at the time, was quite unknown. In bulk, it was cal- culated to contain about 470 cubic feet. The first of these stones which attracted particular attention, as elsewhere noticed in the Naturalist's Library, was discovered nearly at the antipodes, and was brought into notoriety by the eminent Pallas. The mass before us shortly after attracted attention. Some notice was taken of it in the 78th volume of the Philosophical Transactions, and its constitution was examined by Proust in the Journal de Physique for 1799. Azara's account of the immense rivers which drain these countries is peculiarly ample and inte- resting. The waterfalls bear their full share. We shall allude only to his notice of the one on the Parana, which afterwards, changing its name, be- comes La Plata. Near the fall the river is very deep, and is 12,600 feet across. Suddenly the breadth is reduced to the space of 180 feet, and in these circumstances the whole mass precipitates itself with irresistible fury. It falls 52 feet, in a plane inclined at an angle of 50 degrees with the horizon. Azara compares this fall with the others he describes in South America, and with that of Niagara. All the others, he says, are inferior, as to the quantity of water to Niagara, and to this of the Parana. But none of them can be compared with this last, if we consider that it does not pre- cipitate itself, like the Niagara, in a simple and

32 .. MEMOIR OF

nearly uniform cascade, in its extent of 2226 feet, but in the form of a single and enormous prism, full and solid, reaching 180 feet in all its dimen- sions.

There are no parts of Azara's works more valu- able in themselves, and none, we believe, will be more generally esteemed, than those which bear on the history of man. We allude not only to his historical researches and criticisms, properly so called, descriptive of the conduct of the early Spa- nish settlers and rulers, and of the unfortunate natives, though these must ever be highly appre- ciated ; nor do we refer to his statistical statements, and to his accounts of the famous settlements of the aborigines, made at one time by the Jesuits, and at another by the civil government, and which will continue, as they have done, to command a very general attention ; but we apply our remark chiefly to his laborious investigations concerning the natu- ral history of man, especially of the native races, with their physical and moral character, their cir- cumstances, habits, powers, manners, &c. Few were ever placed in fairer fields for investigation, and few ever cultivated them with more assiduity and success. Some of the tribes of central America appear to have sunk nearly as far down the scale of human wretchedness and ignorance as is possible, and of these, as well as the less degraded, we have here the laborious observations of a most acute observer. These several inquiries occupy nearly the whole of the second volume of his French work :

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 33

in advancing to which, we regret it is necessary to stop for an instant, and allude to an attack upon its character which, as we conceive, has been most unjustly made.

Mr. Southey, in his " History of Brazil," when making the freest use of our author's work on the very different provinces of Paraguay and Buenos Ayres, not unfrequently introduces such statements as the following . " What Azara says on the sub- ject is to be received with great suspicion." " Azara repeats a silly charge against the Jesuits, which he wishes to make the reader believe, though he evi- dently does not, and certainly could not believe himself; but it came in aid of one of his theories, and therefore he would not lose it." " Azara says so and so," " but this I have no doubt is false." (Vol. ii. 336, 343, 351.) Language such as this (reflecting far more on the individual who uses it than on him to whom it is applied), unsupported by the slightest proof, so far as we have observed, in any part of Mr. Southey's massy tomes, merits, in our opinion, severe censure. We shall meet these grave charges, for the present, by merely quoting a few sentences from Azara's works (written of course with- out any particular reference to the Poet Laureate), which very much bear the stamp of sincerity and truth. In writing to his French editor, he says, " I de- rive a particular satisfaction from labouring at this work, animated not by the aim and ambition which frequently stimulates authors, viz. the desire of im- mortalizing themselves, but simply by the pleasure

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I derive from the thoughts of being useful/' Again, " I have already forgotten all my sufferings in the forests ; and I shall be abundantly recompensed, if these sufferings can be rendered subservient to the information of the public." And once more. u I have invariably endeavoured to avoid every thing approaching to romance, that is, to be occupied more with words than things. I have been careful to exaggerate alike neither the largeness, nor the smallness, nor the scarcity of objects ; and always to employ the most suitable expression, according to the real character, such as I myself have seen, and such as I verily believe it to be." ( Voy. i. xlix. Iv. 27.) Many instances, we may add, of this integrity and simplicity of purpose occur through- out every part of our author's works. It is an easy matter for a hasty and popular writer to throw out disparaging insinuations ; which, from their loose- ness and generality, it is somewhat difficult to rebut. This is not the place to undertake a formal de- fence of our author ; but other occasions, and other champions, will probably not be wanting ; and we conclude by remarking, that in no instance have we noticed that our author belies his explicit profes- sions of fairness and sincerity ; and we therefore trust that none will be misled by these hasty charges, but will judge for themselves, from the original docu- ments, and will repudiate insinuations which filch from Azara his fair fame, in a manner which is not more injurious than unjust.

We consider that Azara has conducted the whole

DON FELIX D'AZARA. 35

of his investigations into these matters with great judgment. He thus introduces them to the notice of his readers. "Though man, and especially savage man, is an incomprehensible being,' who writes not, speaks but little, and expresses himself in an un- known tongue, destitute of many words and ex- pressions, and though he occupies himself mainly with those trifling matters which his urgent wants require, yet as he occupies the principal and most interesting place in the description of a country, I shall here supply some of the observations I have made upon a number of Indian nations,* whether free or savage, and who are not, and never have been, under subjection to the Spanish or any other yoke. I shall not, however, dilate too much, lest I prove tedious, or resemble those, who after having seen half a dozen Indians upon the coast, supply a far more particular description than it would be possible for themselves to do. Besides I like not conjectures, but facts ; and I am not master of the talents and acquirements of many."

Many of our readers will here be reminded of Principal Kobertson's very elaborate discussion on this very subject, in his History of America, in which he applies his remarks to both continents, and even other portions of the globe. Our author's

* We see here a name still prevalent, derived from a very erroneous opinion. As in the time of Columbus the American continents were considered as a part of India, the inhabitants were naturally designated Indians, and the aborigines have scarcely yet received another name.

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observations are in this respect a contrast, as he strictly confines himself to what he had himself seen ; and it is to be observed, that many of his remarks but ill quadrate with the ingenious speculations of the distinguished historian.

Azara uses the word nation not in its usual ac- ceptation, but in that sense to which, as is well known, it has often been applied to the native in- habitants of America.* " Before giving," says he, " a particular description of each nation, I must notice that I shall designate nation every association of Indians which regards itself as forming a single and distinct people, and which has the same principles, forms, manners, and tongue. I shall attach little importance to the mere numbers which form it, because national character does not consist in this circumstance. When I say that the language of one nation differs from that of another, it is to be understood that the difference is at least as great as between the English or German and the Spanish, so that there is not a single word which precisely resembles the other. They are universally very poor, and have no alliances the one with the other."

Our author supplies a distinct description of be- tween thirty and forty of these nations; among whom, although there are some features in common, yet there are also very remarkable differences. TVe shall supply a somewhat ample specimen of the manner in which he executes this part of his task,

* See Robertson's America, vol. ii. p. 129.

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and shall begin with an epitomized account of the Charruas.

" The Charruas constitute an Indian nation, with a distinct language, different from all the others, and so guttural that our language cannot give the sound of its syllables. At the time of the conquest it was migratory, inhabiting the north bank of the La Plata, from Maldonado to the river Uraguay, and extending thirty leagues northwards. * * * These Charruas killed J. Diaz de Solis, the discoverer of La Plata. His death led to a bloody war, which con- tinues to the present day, and which has occasioned an immense loss of life. The Spaniards very soon endeavoured to confine these people within their own territory ; and with this view erected buildings and a fort in the colony of Sacrament, then a town on the river San Juan, and another on the St. Salvador but the Charruas destroyed these, and would never allow any one to settle in their territories, till Monte Video was founded in 1724. Since that time the savages have been insensibly forced northwards, but not without many bloody encounters. Those which remain continue to wage war with fire and sword, with the greatest obstinacy. They will not listen to any terms of peace, and moreover attack not only the neighbouring tribes, but also the Portu- guese. When I travelled in this country, these Indians often attacked my party though a hundred strong, and killed many.

" Their mean height is greater than that of the Spaniards, and is more uniform. They are agile,

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erect, and well-proportioned ; and never too short nor too thin, nor ill made. They carry their heads erect; their forehead and whole physiognomy are open, indicative of their pride and ferocity. They never cut their hair, nor does it become grey, ex- cept partially, and when they have reached the age of eighty years. The men tie it in a knot ; the women wear it long and without any kind of dress- ing. These latter have no kind of ornaments or finery. The males are distinguished by what they consider ornamental, viz. the Barbote. A few days after birth, the mother, pinching up the lower lip, horizontally pierces the two folds, from one side to the other, a little above the root of the teeth, and introduces a small piece of wood five inches long, and somewhat thicker than most of our pencils. It is never removed during life. This characteristic of the male sex is not confined to this nation, but is almost universal among the others.* I cannot con- ceive what kind of dwellings these people had when, previous to the conquest, they could procure the hides neither of oxen nor horses. Now they are very simple. From the nearest tree they cut down three or four green boughs ; these they bend, insert- ing the two ends into the ground : over three or four arches, not far from each other, they extend