A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.
[1] “We found many little clefts, which cannot properly be called vallies, where a few shrubs of different species sprang up in a thin layer of swampy soil, being defended against the violence of storms, and exposed to the genial influence of reverberated sun-beams.  The rock, of which the whole island consisted, is a coarse granite, composed of feld-spath, quartz, and black mica or glimmer.  This rock is in most places entirely naked, without the smallest vegetable particle; but wherever the rains, or melted snows, have washed together some little rubbish, and other particles in decay, it is covered with a coating of minute plants, in growth like mosses, which, forming a kind of turf, about an inch or more in thickness, very easily slip away under the foot, having no firm hold on the rock.  In sheltered places a few other plants thrive among these mossy species, and these at last form a sufficient quantity of soil for the nutriment of shrubs.  Here we found the species which affords what has been called Winter’s Bark; but in this unfriendly situation it was only a shrub about ten feet high, crooked and shapeless.  Barren as these rocks appeared, yet almost every plant which we gathered on them was new to us, and some species were remarkable for the beauty of their flowers, or their smell.”—­G.F.
[2] Mr G.F. has given a pretty minute description of the country around this sound, and its annual and vegetable productions; but for a reason afterwards stated by Captain Cook, there seems little inducement to copy from it.  Those who think otherwise, but who, perhaps, are very few in number, will have recourse to that gentleman’s narrative.—­E.
[3] The reader who is not satisfied with the picture now given of these wretched and disgusting beings, may turn to the abstract of Bougainville’s Voyage, quoted in the preceding volume of this collection, which surely ought to suffice.—­E.
[4] In the cavities and crevices of the huge piles of rocks, forming Terra del Fuego and Staten-land, so very like each other, where a little moisture is preserved by its situation, and where from the continued friction of the loose pieces of rocks, washed and hurried down the steep sides of the rocky masses, a few minute particles form a kind of sand; there in the stagnant water gradually spring up a few algaceous plants from seeds carried thither on the feet, plumage, and bills of birds; these plants form at the end of each season a few atoms of mould which yearly increases; the birds, the sea, or the wind carries from a neighbouring isle, the seeds of some of the mossy plants to this little mould, and they vegetate in it daring the proper season.  Though these plants be not absolute mosses, they are however nearly related to them in their habit.  We reckon among them the IXIA pumila; a new plant which we called DONATIA; a small MELANTHIUM; a minute OXALIS and CALENDULA; another little dioicous plant, called by
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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