Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/764

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

principle is an element of advance toward social perfection. The progress may be largely external, and change of heart does not always accompany conformity to rule; nevertheless, long-continued habit is almost sure to produce change in men's conception of life.

 

DARWIN ON THE FUEGIANS AND PATAGONIANS.[1]

HAVING now finished with Patagonia and the Falkland Islands, I will describe our first arrival in Tierra del Fuego. A little after noon we doubled Cape St. Diego and entered the famous Strait of Le Maire. We kept close to the Fuegian shore, but the outline of the rugged, inhospitable Staten-land was visible amid the clouds. In the afternoon we anchored in the Bay of Good Success. While entering we were saluted in a manner becoming the inhabitants of this savage land. A group of Fuegians, partly concealed by the entangled forest, were perched on a wild point overhanging the sea; and, as we passed by, they sprang up and waving their tattered cloaks sent forth a loud and sonorous shout. The savages followed the ship, and just before dark we saw their fire, and again heard their wild cry. The harbor consists of a fine piece of water half surrounded by low, rounded mountains of clay-slate, which are covered to the water's edge by one dense, gloomy forest. A single glance at the landscape was sufficient to show me how widely different it was from anything I had ever beheld. At night it blew a gale of wind, and heavy squalls from the mountains swept past us. It would have been a bad time out at sea, and we, as well as others, may call this Good Success Bay.

In the morning the captain sent a party to communicate with the Fuegians. When we came within hail, one of the four natives who were present advanced to receive us, and began to shout most vehemently, wishing to direct us where to land. When we were on shore the party looked rather alarmed, but continued talking and making gestures with great rapidity. It was without exception the most curious and interesting spectacle I ever beheld: I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement. The chief spokesman was old, and appeared to be the head of the family; the three others were powerful young men, about six feet high. The women and children had been sent

  1. From advance sheets of a new edition, illustrated by R. T. Pritchett, of Darwin's "Journal of Researches" made during the voyage round the world of H. M. S. Beagle, in preparation by D. Appleton & Co.