« EelmineJätka »
Author of “THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGo,” “THE GEographical Distribution of ANIMALs,”
[The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved.]
LAND of the Sun where joyous green-robed Spring
Sweet changing Seasons ! Winter cold and stern,
PRE FA C E.
THE luxuriance and beauty of Tropical Nature is a well-worn theme, and there is little new to say about it. The traveller and the naturalist have combined to praise, and not unfrequently to exaggerate the charms of tropical life—its heat and light, its superb vegetable forms, its brilliant tints of flower and bird and insect. Each strange and beautiful object has been described in detail; and both the scenery and the natural phenomena of the tropics have been depicted by master hands and with glowing colours. But, so far as I am aware, no one has yet attempted to give a general view of the phenomena which are essentially tropical, or to determine the causes and conditions of those phenomena. The local has not been separated from the general, the accidental from the essential ; and, as a natural result, many erroneous ideas have become current as to what are really the characteristics of the tropical as distinguished from the