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structure and development of the lower forms of animal life. From that time I always looked up to Huxley as being immeasurably superior to myself in scientific knowledge, and supposed him to be much older than I was. Many years afterwards I was surprised to find that he was really younger.
About this time I read before the same Society a few notes on the species of monkeys I had observed on the Amazon, either wild or in a state of captivity, with the particular object of pointing out their peculiarities of distribution. As with butterflies and many birds, I found that both the Amazon and the Rio Negro formed the limit to the range of several species. The rare monkey, Lagothrix Humboldti, inhabits the district between the Rio Negro and the Andes, but is quite unknown to the east of that river. A spider-monkey (Ateles paniscus) is found in the Guiana district up to the Rio Negro, but not beyond it. The shorttailed Brachiurus Couxiu has the same range, while distinct species are found in the Upper Amazon and the Upper Rio Negro. The two species of sloth-monkeys (Pithecia) are found one to the north, the other to the south of the Upper Amazon. In several other cases also, as well as with the beautiful trumpeters among birds, the great rivers are found to form the dividing lines between quite distinct species. Four great divisions of eastern equatorial America, which may be termed those of Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, are thus distinctly marked out by the Amazon and its great northern and southern tributaries—the Rio Negro and the Madeira river; and it seems easy to account for this if we look upon the vast central plains of South America, so little elevated above the sea-level, as having been formerly a gulf or great inland sea which has been gradually filled up by alluvial deposits from the surrounding highlands, and to have been all stocked with forms of life from the three great land-masses of the continent. These would be diversely modified by the different conditions of each of these areas, and as the intervening seas became formed into alluvial plains drained by a great river, that river would naturally
form the dividing line between distinct but closely allied species.
It was in the autumn of 1853 that I made my first visit to Switzerland with my friend Mr. George Silk. On our way from London to Dover we had for companion in our compartment a stout, good-humoured American, a New-England manufacturer, going to Paris on business for the first time. He asked us if we could recommend him a good kafe. On telling him we didn't know what a kafe was, he said, “Why, a hotel or eating-house, to be sure; the French call it kafe.'” So we told him where we were going for the night, and he went with us. The next day we went on by diligence to Geneva, where we stayed a day, and then walked with our knapsacks to Chamouni; but the heat was so intense that we stayed at a small inn on the way for the night. We walked up to the Flegere to see the grand view of the Aiguilles and Mont Blanc, and the next day joined a party to Montanvert, the Mer de Glace, and the Jardin, having a guide to take care of us. The day was magnificent; we saw the sights of the glacier, its crevasses and ice-tables, and when passing round the precipice of the Couvercle above the ice-fall of the Talefre glacier, there were masses of cloud below us which partially rolled away, revealing the wonderful ice-pinnacles brilliantly illuminated by the afternoon sun, and affording a spectacle the grandeur and sublimity of which I have never since seen equalled. Only a portion of our party reached the Jardin, where I made a hasty collection of the flowers, and by the time we got back to the hotel, having made the steep descent from Montanvert in the dark, we were all pretty well exhausted.
The next day I and my friend walked over the Tete Noir to Martigny. From here we took a chaise to Leuk, and then walked up to Leukerbad and hired a porter to carry our knapsacks up the Gemmi Pass, in order that we might enjoy the ascent of that wonderful mountain road. Before reaching the top snow began to fall, and we reached the little inn on the summit in a snow-storm. It was crowded, and we had to sleep on the floor. Next day we walked down to Thun, whence we returned home vid Strasburg and Paris. Although I enjoyed this my first visit to snowy mountains and glaciers, I had not at that time sufficient knowledge to fully appreciate them. The three visits I have since made have filled me with a deeper sense of the grandeur and the exquisite scenery of the Alps. My increased general knowledge of geology, and especially of the glacial theory, have added greatly to my enjoyment of the great physical features of the country; while my continually growing interest in botany and in the cultivation of plants has invested every detail of meadow and forest, rock and alp, with beauties and delights which were almost absent from my early visit. The appreciation of nature grows with years, and I feel to-day more deeply than ever its mystery and its charms.
During my constant attendance at the meetings of the Zoological and Entomological Societies, and visits to the insect and bird departments of the British Museum, I had obtained sufficient information to satisfy me that the very finest field for an exploring and collecting naturalist was to be found in the great Malayan Archipelago, of which just sufficient was known to prove its wonderful richness, while no part of it, with the one exception of the island of Java, had been well explored as regards its natural history. Sir James Brooke had recently become Rajah of Sarawak, while the numerous Dutch settlements in Celebes and the Moluccas offered great facilities for a traveller. So far as known also, the country was generally healthy, and I determined that it would be much better for me to go to such a new country than to return to the Amazon, where Bates had already been successfully collecting for five years, and where I knew there was a good bird-collector who had been long at work in the upper part of the river towards the Andes.
As the journey to the East was an expensive one, I was advised to try and get a free passage in some Government ship. Through my paper on the Rio Negro, I had made the acquaintance of Sir Roderick Murchison, then President of