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never-ending roll. Heavy falls of snow often
accompany these storms, and the condition of
travellers crossing the passes during one of
them is most distressing. Unable to advance
or to retreat, they halt, and wait in momentary
fear of being hurled over the mountain
sides. Blinded by snow and by the vivid
flashes, they dare not proceed; the ledges
also are, perhaps, so narrow, that if they
would they could not turn the mule round to
retrace their steps. In such a position as
this, men have been compelled to remain
during many hours in places where the
thermometer falls every night in the year
below freezing point, and where the most
intense darknesswhilst it fails to hide the
real dangersconjures up imaginary ones,
which multiply all the horrors of the scene.

There are some portions of Upper Peru
which are yet comparatively unknown to
Europeans. This is especially the case with
that part of it which has declared itself an
independent republic, under the name of
Bolivia. Though possessing a coast town on
the Pacific of considerable extent, with
several good harbours, yet its singular formation
precludes much intercourse with other
countries. Between the Andes and the sea is
a broad belt of barren desert; a sand plain
in continual motion. This is traversed by a
few small rivers, which, though very shallow,
and often dry during the summer months,
render the strips of soil through which they
pass extremely fruitful. Beyond this desert,
the most inaccessible chain in the Andes
rises and forbids approach to the fair country
enclosed within. On the summit of this chain
is the celebrated mountain Potosi, now nearly
exhausted of its treasures; the town is situated
in a district wholly destitute of vegetation.
Passing from the Ceno de Pasco through the
town of Larma, we enter the valley of Janja,
and shortly find ourselves in a country
presenting a strange contrast to the one we
have just left. A succession of the most
fertile valleys in the world. As the ascent
of the mountain commences from the low
country, the sandy desert disappears. A rich
coat of lucerne spreads over the sheltered
hollows. Vines and olives appear in the vales.
The sugar cane, the banana, the guava, and
numberless tropical fruits, flourish. At the
height of eight, and sometimes ten thousand
feet, Los Valles of Bolivia are covered
with the most luxurious vegetation. Forest
trees of gigantic size are thickly spread over the
mountains. The cereals, which live a sickly
life down by the sea, appear in these lofty
valleys in full vigour: including maize,
quinna, rice, barley, with occasional patches
of wheat, though of this last the chief supply
is imported out of Chili. Rich esculents
and fruits unknown in other countries
are in abundance. Amongst the former
are yuca, mandive, and camotes; whilst
the delicious cherrimoya reigns supreme
over them all.

The valleys of Upper Peru, of Bolivia, and
of the province of Salta in La Plata, are rich
in the most valuable products. Exclusive of
mineralswhich include gold, silver, copper,
and lead,—we have coffee, chocolate, tobacco,
cotton, indigo, cochineal, sarsaparilla,
logwood, and an infinity of similar productions.
Cattle are numerous; mules and horses
abundant. And, above all, the men are noted
for their generosity and hospitality, and the
women for their grace and beauty.

What a contrast between these glorious
valleysin which Rasselas might well have
livedand the rugged heights of the silver
city, Ceno Pasco: its dirty streets and
half-savage people, its unhealthy mines and
blackened smelting-furnaces, its bare rocks
and scrubby patches of brown herbage affording
a scanty subsistence to its flocks of shaggy
llamas.

It is a charm to travellers among the
Andes, that within their limits these vast
mountains enclose every climate. Within
the range of one degree of latitude, we may
sit and burn under a palm-tree, or lie down
upon a bed of Alpine moss.

         THE BABBLETON BOOK CLUB.

IF you knew the parish of Babbleton, you
would say that it was the last place in the
world where books were likely to be found.
A large marsh, swamp, or bog, composed of
alternate masses of spongy turf and mud, and
varied by an occasional ditch, an extensive
gravel-pit, and some dry chalk roads, flanked
by rough chalk stone walls, apparently
constructed for the purpose of allowing people to
get over them, were the physico-geological
features of the district. The domestic
architecture varied between chalk and plaster
houses, guiltless of straight lines, and heavy
wooden barns decorated with the remains of
rats, owls, kites and other natural enemies to
agriculture, or to popular prejudices. Smock-frocks
and fur caps formed the prevailing
costume of the people; dull eyes, with large
mouths and noses the most common physiognomy.
General harmlessness, except when
beer circulated with too great freedom; and
a sort of indefinite, scarcely-know-why respect
for the neighbouring gentry, were the moral
characteristics.

Babbleton was a pretty place, nevertheless,
in summer, when the grass and moss gained
strength, and the swamp was dried up. There
were quite enough trees to decorate the lanes,
and shrubs enough to set off even the rudest
cottage. If you did not think of the privations
the poor people suffered when coals
were dear and most wanted, when the chill,
damp, rainy days passed by unrelieved by a
glimpse of sunshine, and when even gutta
percha would hardly have inspired
confidence for half an hour's walk: if you could
look at Babbleton, when the sun was gleaming
in the blue sky, and the tender green

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