Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/643

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625
LITERARY NOTICES.

be much more striking if this complicated, cross-reference catalogue arrangement had been dispensed with.

Although the information conveyed is local, the accounts of the habits of the birds contain many new and valuable facts, stated in a way to inspire confidence in the reader. Mr. Minot's style, though often somewhat crude, and showing marked defects, is pleasant and strong. He has paid particular attention to the notes and songs of birds, and describes their music felicitously. Evidently he has had a sharp eye upon them everywhere, and under all sorts of circumstances, for his delineations abound in minute touches, which show close observation.

The Andes and the Amazon; or, Across the Continent of South America. By James Orton, A. M. Third edition, revised and enlarged, containing Notes of a Second Journey across the Continent from Para to Lima and Lake Titicaca. With two Maps and numerous Illustrations. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1876. Price, $3.

In popular interest and in general scientific value this volume by Prof. Orton will occupy a favorable position among the many excellent books of South American travel that have appeared since the great work of Darwin in 1835, and to whom the volume before us is fittingly dedicated.

The account of the first journey, made in 1867, was published soon after, and was favorably received. The route on that occasion was from Guayaquil to Para, at the mouth of the Amazon, by way of Quito.

The second journey was made in 1873, and commenced where the first one terminated.

By aid of two excellent maps, the route of the traveler can be followed from Para up the Amazon, thence through forests, and over horrible roads upon the eastern slope of the Andes, to the great plateau and city of Cajámarca, "the most beautiful plain in all the Andes." The city is 9,400 feet above the Pacific. In it are the remains of Atahuallpa's palace and other memorials of the struggles of the Peruvians with the Spaniards.

"Two days from Cajámarca, the party shouted for joy at the sight and sound of a locomotive," a sign that their hardships were over. The Andes of Peru are being traversed by roads grander than those of the Aztecs.

Having arrived at the Pacific coast, a half-hour's ride by rail took the travelers to the city of Lima. Arriving at Mollendo, a new village, "with the ocean on one side and a vast desert on the other," Prof. Orton took the train for Lake Titicaca, a distance of 325 miles. He was the first passenger over the newly-finished road to the lake from the Pacific. The route is over deserts and apparent solitudes, on which look down some of the snowy giants of the Andes 18,000 feet high. At 107 miles the train stopped at Arequipa, a city in a valley of green verdure; and, finally, at Puno, an Indian village, 12,547 feet above the ocean. Before reaching it the waters of Lake Titicaca were seen.

The highest point on the route was 14,660 feet, where snow lay on the hills, and where there was no sound of life. "So profound was the stillness that the buzzing of an insect would have been painful."

"I gazed," says the author, "rapt in thought, upon the lake, brimful of history. Its surface, at a height of 12,493 feet, lies level with the tops of lofty mountains, and it has an area of 2,500 square miles."

Everywhere around it are monuments of a civilization which has passed away.

Of the railroads of Peru, the Oroya, which was being built, will attain at its greatest elevation a height of 15,645 feet above the level of the sea.

The geology and natural history of the Amazon region-and the Andes, their resources and inhabitants, make several chapters of great interest. Besides two maps, the volume contains 80 illustrations.

Science Lectures at South Kensington: 1. "Photography," by Captain Abney. 2. "Sound and Music," by Dr. Stone. 3. "Kinematic Models," by Prof. Kennedy. Manchester Science Lectures for the People: 1. "What the Earth is composed of," by Prof. Roscoe. Macmillan & Co.

These are all excellent addresses by able men, and as popular as the nature of the subjects will allow. They are illustrated, and on good paper, and the publishers furnish them at 20 cents apiece.