Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent During the Years 1799-1804, Volume 4

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Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1825 - Natural history
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Page 211 - Its branches appear dead and dried; but when the trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet and nourishing milk. It is at the rising of the sun that this vegetable fountain is most abundant.
Page 343 - I do not remember having ever received from the discharge of a large Leyden jar, a more dreadful shock than that which I experienced by imprudently placing both my feet on a gymnotus just taken out of the water. I was affected the rest of the day with a violent pain in the knees, and in almost every joint.
Page 207 - The viscosity of this milk alone renders it a little disagreeable. The negroes and the free people who work in the plantations drink it, dipping into it their bread of maize or cassava. The...
Page 538 - May not these sounds of an organ then, which are heard when a person sleeps upon the rock, his ear in contact with the stone, be the effect of a current of air, that issues out through the crevices ? Does not the impulse of the air against the elastic spangles of mica, that intercept the crevices, contribute to modify the sounds ? May we not admit, that' the ancient inhabitants of Egypt, in passing incessantly up and down the Nile, had made the same observation on some rock of the Thebaid ; and that...
Page 448 - They attach great importance to certain forms of the body ; and a mother would be accused of culpable indifference toward her children, if she did not employ artificial means, to shape the calf of the leg after the fashion of the country.
Page 537 - It is witchcraft,' said our young Indian pilot. We never ourselves heard these mysterious sounds either at Carichana Vieja or in the upper Orinoco ; but from information given us by witnesses worthy of belief, the existence of a phenomenon that seems to depend on a certain state of the atmosphere cannot be denied. The shelves of rock are full of very narrow and deep crevices. They are heated during the day to about 50°. I often found their temperature at the surface during the night at 39°, the...
Page 337 - ... the storm by which they are overtaken. They are driven back by the Indians into the middle of the water; but a small number succeed in eluding the active vigilance of the fishermen. These regain the shore, stumbling at every step, and stretch themselves on the sand, exhausted with fatigue, and their limbs benumbed by the electric shocks of the gymnoti.
Page 339 - ... animals endowed with electromotive organs, the effects of which are sensible to man, are not found in the air, but in a fluid that is a conductor of electricity. The gymnotus is the largest of electrical fishes. I measured some, that were from five feet to five feet three inches long; and the Indians assert, that they have seen still longer. We found, that a fish of three feet ten inches long, weighed twelve pounds. The transverse diameter of the body, without reckoning the anal fin, which is...
Page 16 - It being impossible to inter so many thousand corpses, half-buried under the ruins, commissaries were appointed to burn the bodies: and for this purpose funeral piles were erected between the heaps of ruins. This ceremony lasted several days. Amid so many public calamities, the people devoted themselves to those religious duties, which they thought were the most fitted to appease the wrath of Heaven.
Page 474 - We were shown large shells of turtles, emptied by the jaguar-tigers. These animals follow the arraus toward the beaches, where the laying of the eggs is to take place. They surprise them on the sand ; and, in order to devour them at their ease, turn them in such a manner that the under shell is uppermost. In this situation the turtles cannot- rise ; and as the jaguar turns many more than he can eat in one night, the Indians often avail themselves of his cunning and malignant avidity. When we reflect...

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