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Chapter One. Pepé, The Sleeper. No landscape on the Biscayan coast, presents a more imposing and picturesque aspect than the little village of Elanchovi. Lying within an amphitheatre of cliffs, whose crests rise above the roofs of the houses, the port is protected from the surge of the sea by a handsome little jetty of chiselled stone; while the single street of which the village is composed, commencing at the inner end of the mole,... more...

Chapter One. The Squatter’s Clearing. The white-headed eagle, soaring above the spray of a Tennessean forest, looks down upon the clearing of the squatter. To the eye of the bird it is alone visible; and though but a spot in the midst of that immense green sea, it is conspicuous by the colour of the trees that stand over it. They stand, but grow not: the girdling ring around their stems has deprived them of their sap; the ivory bill of... more...

Souvenirs. Land of the nopal and maguey—home of Moctezuma and Malinché!—I cannot wring thy memories from my heart! Years may roll on, hand wax weak, and heart grow old, but never till both are cold can I forget thee! I would not; for thee would I remember. Not for all the world would I bathe my soul in the waters of Lethe. Blessed be memory for thy sake! Bright land of Anahuac! my spirit mounts upon the aerial wings of Fancy,... more...

On the Karoo. A vast plain, seemingly bounded but by the horizon; treeless, save where a solitary cameel-doorn (Note 1) spreads its feathered leaves, or a clump of arborescent aloes, mingled with rigid-stemmed euphorbias, breaks the continuity of its outline. These types of desert vegetation but proclaim its sterility, which is further evinced by tufts of whiteish withered grass, growing thinly between them. Over it three waggons are moving;... more...

Prologue. During one of many journeyings through the remote provinces of the Mexican republic, it was my fortune to encounter an old revolutionary officer, in the person of Captain Castaños. From time to time as we travelled together, he was good enough to give me an account of some of the more noted actions of the prolonged and sanguinary war of the Independence; and, among other narratives, one which especially interested me was the... more...


The Wild West. Unroll the world’s map, and look upon the great northern continent of America. Away to the wild west, away toward the setting sun, away beyond many a far meridian, let your eyes wander. Rest them where golden rivers rise among peaks that carry the eternal snow. Rest them there. You are looking upon a land whose features are un-furrowed by human hands, still bearing the marks of the Almighty mould, as upon the morning of... more...

The Land of Anahuac. Away over the dark, wild waves of the rolling Atlantic—away beyond the summer islands of the Western Ind—lies a lovely land. Its surface-aspect carries the hue of the emerald; its sky is sapphire; its sun is a globe of gold. It is the land of Anahuac! The tourist turns his face to the Orient—the poet sings the gone glories of Greece—the painter elaborates the hackneyed pictures of Apennine and... more...

Chapter One. The Father of Waters. Father of Waters! I worship thy mighty stream! As the Hindoo by the shores of his sacred river, I kneel upon thy banks, and pour forth my soul in wild adoration! Far different are the springs of our devotion. To him, the waters of his yellow Ganges are the symbols of a superstitious awe, commingled with dark fears for the mystic future; to me, thy golden wares are the souvenirs of joy, binding the present to... more...

Chapter One. The Plant-Hunter. “A Plant-Hunter! what is that? “We have heard of fox-hunters, of deer-hunters, of bear and buffalo-hunters, of lion-hunters, and of ‘boy-hunters;’ of a plant-hunter never. “Stay! Truffles are plants. Dogs are used in finding them; and the collector of these is termed a truffle-hunter. Perhaps this is what the Captain means?” No, my boy reader. Something very different from... more...

The Albatross. The “vulture of the sea,” borne upon broad wing, and wandering over the wide Atlantic, suddenly suspends his flight to look down upon an object that has attracted his attention. It is a raft, with a disc not much larger than a dining-table, constructed out of two small spars of a ship,—the dolphin-striker and spritsail yard,—with two broad planks and some narrower ones lashed crosswise, and over all two or... more...