Chapter XII

Central Chile


Valparaiso
Excursion to the Foot of the Andes
Structure of the Land
Ascend the Bell of Quillota
Shattered Masses of Greenstone
Immense Valleys
Mines
State of Miners
Santiago
Hot-baths of Cauquenes
Gold-mines
Grinding-mills
Perforated Stones
Habits of the Puma
El Turco and Tapacolo
Humming-birds


JULY 23rd.—The Beagle anchored late at night in the bay of Valparaiso, the chief seaport of Chile. When morning came, everything appeared delightful. After Tierra del Fuego, the climate felt quite delicious—the atmosphere so dry, and the heavens so clear and blue with the sun shining brightly, that all nature seemed sparkling with life. The view from the anchorage is very pretty. The town is built at the very foot of a range of hills, about 1600 feet high, and rather steep. From its position, it consists of one long, straggling street, which runs parallel to the beach, and wherever a ravine comes down, the houses are piled up on each side of it. The rounded hills, being only partially protected by a very scanty vegetation, are worn into numberless little gullies, which expose a singularly bright red soil. From this cause, and from the low whitewashed houses with tile roofs, the view reminded me of St. Cruz in Teneriffe. In a north-westerly direction there are some fine glimpses of the Andes: but these mountains appear much grander when viewed from the neighbouring hills: the great distance at which they are situated can then more readily be perceived. The volcano of Aconcagua is particularly magnificent. This huge and irregularly conical mass has an elevation greater than that of Chimborazo; for, from measurements made by the officers in the Beagle, its height is no less than 23,000 feet. The Cordillera, however, viewed from this point, owe the greater part of their beauty to the atmosphere through which they are seen. When the sun was setting in the Pacific, it was admirable to watch how clearly their rugged outlines could be distinguished, yet how varied and how delicate were the shades of their colour.

I had the good fortune to find living here Mr. Richard Corfield, an old schoolfellow and friend, to whose hospitality and kindness I was greatly indebted, in having afforded me a most pleasant residence during the Beagle's stay in Chile. The immediate neighbourhood of Valparaiso is not very productive to the naturalist. During the long summer the wind blows steadily from the southward, and a little off shore, so that rain never falls; during the three winter months, however, it is sufficiently abundant. The vegetation in consequence is very scanty: except in some deep valleys, there are no trees, and only a little grass and a few low bushes are scattered over the less steep parts of the hills. When we reflect, that at the distance of 350 miles to the south, this side of the Andes is completely hidden by one impenetrable forest, the contrast is very remarkable. I took several long walks while collecting objects of natural history. The country is pleasant for exercise. There are many very beautiful flowers; and, as in most other dry climates, the plants and shrubs possess strong and peculiar odours—even one's clothes by brushing through them became scented. I did not cease from wonder at finding each succeeding day as fine as the foregoing. What a difference does climate make in the enjoyment of life! How opposite are the sensations when viewing black mountains half enveloped in clouds, and seeing another range through the light blue haze of a fine day! The one for a time may be very sublime; the other is all gaiety and happy life.

August 14th.—I set out on a riding excursion, for the purpose of geologizing the basal parts of the Andes, which alone at this time of the year are not shut up by the winter snow. Our first day's ride was northward along the sea-coast. After dark we reached the Hacienda of Quintero, the estate which formerly belonged to Lord Cochrane. My object in coming here was to see the great beds of shells, which stand some yards above the level of the sea, and are burnt for lime. The proofs of the elevation of this whole line of coast are unequivocal: at the height of a few hundred feet old-looking shells are numerous, and I found some at 1300 feet. These shells either lie loose on the surface, or are embedded in a reddish-black vegetable mould. I was much surprised to find under the microscope that this vegetable mould is really marine mud, full of minute particles of organic bodies.

15th.—We returned towards the valley of Quillota. The country was exceedingly pleasant; just such as poets would call pastoral: green open lawns, separated by small valleys with rivulets, and the cottages, we may suppose of the shepherds scattered on the hill-sides. We were obliged to cross the ridge of the Chilicauquen. At its base there were many fine evergreen forest-trees, but these flourished only in the ravines, where there was running water. Any person who had seen only the country near Valparaiso, would never have imagined that there had been such picturesque spots in Chile. As soon as we reached the brow of the Sierra, the valley of Quillota was immediately under our feet. The prospect was one of remarkable artificial luxuriance. The valley is very broad and quite flat, and is thus easily irrigated in all parts. The little square gardens are crowded with orange and olive trees, and every sort of vegetable. On each side huge bare mountains rise, and this from the contrast renders the patchwork valley the more pleasing. Whoever called "Valparaiso" the "Valley of Paradise," must have been thinking of Quillota. We crossed over to the Hacienda de San Isidro, situated at the very foot of the Bell Mountain.

Chile, as may be seen in the maps, is a narrow strip of land between the Cordillera and the Pacific; and this strip is itself traversed by several mountain-lines, which in this part run parallel to the great range. Between these outer lines and the main Cordillera, a succession of level basins, generally opening into each other by narrow passages, extend far to the southward: in these, the principal towns are situated, as San Felipe, Santiago, San Fernando. These basins or plains, together with the transverse flat valleys (like that of Quillota) which connect them with the coast, I have no doubt are the bottoms of ancient inlets and deep bays, such as at the present day intersect every part of Tierra del Fuego and the western coast. Chile must formerly have resembled the latter country in the configuration of its land and water. The resemblance was occasionally shown strikingly when a level fog-bank covered, as with a mantle, all the lower parts of the country: the white vapour curling into the ravines, beautifully represented little coves and bays; and here and there a solitary hillock peeping up, showed that it had formerly stood there as an islet. The contrast of these flat valleys and basins with the irregular mountains, gave the scenery a character which to me was new and very interesting.

From the natural slope to seaward of these plains, they are very easily irrigated, and in consequence singularly fertile. Without this process the land would produce scarcely anything, for during the whole summer the sky is cloudless. The mountains and hills are dotted over with bushes and low trees, and excepting these the vegetation is very scanty. Each landowner in the valley possesses a certain portion of hill-country, where his half-wild cattle, in considerable numbers, manage to find sufficient pasture. Once every year there is a grand "rodeo," when all the cattle are driven down, counted, and marked, and a certain number separated to be fattened in the irrigated fields. Wheat is extensively cultivated, and a good deal of Indian corn: a kind of bean is, however, the staple article of food for the common labourers. The orchards produce an overflowing abundance of peaches figs, and grapes. With all these advantages, the inhabitants of the country ought to be much more prosperous than they are.

16th.—The mayor-domo of the Hacienda was good enough to give me a guide and fresh horses; and in the morning we set out to ascend the Campana, or Bell Mountain, which is 6400 feet high. The paths were very bad, but both the geology and scenery amply repaid the trouble. We reached by the evening, a spring called the Agua del Guanaco, which is situated at a great height. This must be an old name, for it is very many years since a guanaco drank its waters. During the ascent I noticed that nothing but bushes grew on the northern slope, whilst on the southern slope there was a bamboo about fifteen feet high. In a few places there were palms, and I was surprised to see one at an elevation of at least 4500 feet. These palms are, for their family, ugly trees. Their stem is very large, and of a curious form, being thicker in the middle than at the base or top. They are excessively numerous in some parts of Chile, and valuable on account of a sort of treacle made from the sap. On one estate near Petorca they tried to count them, but failed, after having numbered several hundred thousand. Every year in the early spring, in August, very many are cut down, and when the trunk is lying on the ground, the crown of leaves is lopped off. The sap then immediately begins to flow from the upper end, and continues so doing for some months: it is, however, necessary that a thin slice should be shaved off from that end every morning, so as to expose a fresh surface. A good tree will give ninety gallons, and all this must have been contained in the vessels of the apparently dry trunk. It is said that the sap flows much more quickly on those days when the sun is powerful; and likewise, that it is absolutely necessary to take care, in cutting down the tree, that it should fall with its head upwards on the side of the hill; for if it falls down the slope, scarcely any sap will flow; although in that case one would have thought that the action would have been aided, instead of checked, by the force of gravity. The sap is concentrated by boiling, and is then called treacle, which it very much resembles in taste.

We unsaddled our horses near the spring, and prepared to pass the night. The evening was fine, and the atmosphere so clear, that the masts of the vessels at anchor in the bay of Valparaiso, although no less than twenty-six geographical miles distant, could be distinguished clearly as little black streaks. A ship doubling the point under sail, appeared as a bright white speck. Anson expresses much surprise, in his voyage, at the distance at which his vessels were discovered from the coast; but he did not sufficiently allow for the height of the land, and the great transparency of the air.

The setting of the sun was glorious; the valleys being black whilst the snowy peaks of the Andes yet retained a ruby tint. When it was dark, we made a fire beneath a little arbour of bamboos, fried our charqui (or dried slips of beef), took our mate, and were quite comfortable. There is an inexpressible charm in thus living in the open air. The evening was calm and still;—the shrill noise of the mountain bizcacha, and the faint cry of a goatsucker, were occasionally to be heard. Besides these, few birds, or even insects, frequent these dry, parched mountains.

August 17th.—In the morning we climbed up the rough mass of greenstone which crowns the summit. This rock, as frequently happens, was much shattered and broken into huge angular fragments. I observed, however, one remarkable circumstance, namely, that many of the surfaces presented every degree of freshness some appearing as if broken the day before, whilst on others lichens had either just become, or had long grown, attached. I so fully believed that this was owing to the frequent earthquakes, that I felt inclined to hurry from below each loose pile. As one might very easily be deceived in a fact of this kind, I doubted its accuracy, until ascending Mount Wellington, in Van Diemen's Land, where earthquakes do not occur; and there I saw the summit of the mountain similarly composed and similarly shattered, but all the blocks appeared as if they had been hurled into their present position thousands of years ago.

We spent the day on the summit, and I never enjoyed one more thoroughly. Chile, bounded by the Andes and the Pacific, was seen as in a map. The pleasure from the scenery, in itself beautiful, was heightened by the many reflections which arose from the mere view of the Campana range with its lesser parallel ones, and of the broad valley of Quillota directly intersecting them. Who can avoid wondering at the force which has upheaved these mountains, and even more so at the countless ages which it must have required to have broken through, removed, and levelled whole masses of them? It is well in this case to call to mind the vast shingle and sedimentary beds of Patagonia, which, if heaped on the Cordillera, would increase its height by so many thousand feet. When in that country, I wondered how any mountain-chain could have supplied such masses, and not have been utterly obliterated. We must not now reverse the wonder, and doubt whether all-powerful time can grind down mountains—even the gigantic Cordillera—into-gravel and mud.

The appearance of the Andes was different from that which I had expected. The lower line of the snow was of course horizontal, and to this line the even summits of the range seemed quite parallel. Only at long intervals, a group of points or a single cone showed where a volcano had existed, or does now exist. Hence the range resembled a great solid wall, surmounted here and there by a tower, and making a most perfect barrier to the country.

Almost every part of the hill had been drilled by attempts to open gold-mines: the rage for mining has left scarcely a spot in Chile unexamined. I spent the evening as before, talking round the fire with my two companions. The Guasos of Chile, who correspond to the Gauchos of the Pampas, are, however, a very different set of beings. Chile is the more civilized of the two countries, and the inhabitants, in consequence, have lost much individual character. Gradations in rank are much more strongly marked: the Guaso does not by any means consider every man his equal; and I was quite surprised to find that my companions did not like to eat at the same time with myself. This feeling of inequality is a necessary consequence of the existence of an aristocracy of wealth. It is said that some few of the greater landowners possess from five to ten thousand pounds sterling per annum: an inequality of riches which I believe is not met with in any of the cattle-breeding countries eastward of the Andes. A traveller does not here meet that unbounded hospitality which refuses all payment, but yet is so kindly offered that no scruples can be raised in accepting it. Almost every house in Chile will receive you for the night, but a trifle is expected to be given in the morning; even a rich man will accept two or three shillings. The Gaucho, although he may be a cutthroat, is a gentleman; the Guaso is in few respects better, but at the same time a vulgar, ordinary fellow. The two men, although employed much in the same manner, are different in their habits and attire; and the peculiarities of each are universal in their respective countries. The Gaucho seems part of his horse, and scorns to exert himself except when on his back: the Guaso may be hired to work as a labourer in the fields. The former lives entirely on animal food; the latter almost wholly on vegetable. We do not here see the white boots, the broad drawers and scarlet chilipa; the picturesque costume of the Pampas. Here, common trousers are protected by black and green worsted leggings. The poncho, however, is common to both. The chief pride of the Guaso lies in his spurs, which are absurdly large. I measured one which was six inches in the diameter of the rowel, and the rowel itself contained upwards of thirty points. The stirrups are on the same scale, each consisting of a square, carved block of wood, hollowed out, yet weighing three or four pounds. The Guaso is perhaps more expert with the lazo than the Gaucho; but, from the nature of the country, he does not know the use of the bolas.

August 18th.—We descended the mountain, and passed some beautiful little spots, with rivulets and fine trees. Having slept at the same hacienda as before, we rode during the two succeeding days up the valley, and passed through Quillota, which is more like a collection of nursery-gardens than a town. The orchards were beautiful, presenting one mass of peach-blossoms. I saw, also, in one or two places the date-palm; it is a most stately tree; and I should think a group of them in their native Asiatic or African deserts must be superb. We passed likewise San Felipe, a pretty straggling town like Quillota. The valley in this part expands into one of those great bays or plains, reaching to the foot of the Cordillera, which have been mentioned as forming so curious a part of the scenery of Chile. In the evening we reached the mines of Jajuel, situated in a ravine at the flank of the great chain. I stayed here five days. My host the superintendent of the mine, was a shrewd but rather ignorant Cornish miner. He had married a Spanish woman, and did not mean to return home; but his admiration for the mines of Cornwall remained unbounded. Amongst many other questions, he asked me, "Now that George Rex is dead, how many more of the family of Rexes are yet alive?" This Rex certainly must be a relation of the great author Finis, who wrote all books!

These mines are of copper, and the ore is all shipped to Swansea, to be smelted. Hence the mines have an aspect singularly quiet, as compared to those in England: here no smoke, furnaces, or great steam-engines, disturb the solitude of the surrounding mountains.

The Chilian government, or rather the old Spanish law, encourages by every method the searching for mines. The discoverer may work a mine on any ground, by paying five shillings; and before paying this he may try, even in the garden of another man, for twenty days.

It is now well known that the Chilian method of mining is the cheapest. My host says that the two principal improvements introduced by foreigners have been, first, reducing by previous roasting the copper pyrites—which, being the common ore in Cornwall, the English miners were astounded on their arrival to find thrown away as useless: secondly, stamping and washing the scoriae from the old furnaces—by which process particles of metal are recovered in abundance. I have actually seen mules carrying to the coast, for transportation to England, a cargo of such cinders. But the first case is much the most curious. The Chilian miners were so convinced that copper pyrites contained not a particle of copper, that they laughed at the Englishmen for their ignorance, who laughed in turn, and bought their richest veins for a few dollars. It is very odd that, in a country where mining had been extensively carried on for many years, so simple a process as gently roasting the ore to expel the sulphur previous to smelting it, had never been discovered. A few improvements have likewise been introduced in some of the simple machinery; but even to the present day, water is removed from some mines by men carrying it up the shaft in leathern bags!

The labouring men work very hard. They have little time allowed for their meals, and during summer and winter they begin when it is light, and leave off at dark. They are paid one pound sterling a month, and their food is given them: this for breakfast consists of sixteen figs and two small loaves of bread; for dinner, boiled beans; for supper, broken roasted wheat grain. They scarcely ever taste meat; as, with the twelve pounds per annum, they have to clothe themselves, and support their families. The miners who work in the mine itself have twenty-five shillings per month, and are allowed a little charqui. But these men come down from their bleak habitations only once in every fortnight or three weeks.

During my stay here I thoroughly enjoyed scrambling about these huge mountains. The geology, as might have been expected, was very interesting. The shattered and baked rocks, traversed by innumerable dykes of greenstone, showed what commotions had formerly taken place. The scenery was much the same as that near the Bell of Quillota—dry barren mountains, dotted at intervals by bushes with a scanty foliage. The cactuses, or rather opuntias were here very numerous. I measured one of a spherical figure, which, including the spines, was six feet and four inches in circumference. The height of the common cylindrical, branching kind, is from twelve to fifteen feet, and the girth (with spines) of the branches between three and four feet.

A heavy fall of snow on the mountains prevented me during the last two days, from making some interesting excursions. I attempted to reach a lake which the inhabitants, from some unaccountable reason, believe to be an arm of the sea. During a very dry season, it was proposed to attempt cutting a channel from it for the sake of the water, but the padre, after a consultation, declared it was too dangerous, as all Chile would be inundated, if, as generally supposed, the lake was connected with the Pacific. We ascended to a great height, but becoming involved in the snow-drifts failed in reaching this wonderful lake, and had some difficulty in returning. I thought we should have lost our horses; for there was no means of guessing how deep the drifts were, and the animals, when led, could only move by jumping. The black sky showed that a fresh snow-storm was gathering, and we therefore were not a little glad when we escaped. By the time we reached the base the storm commenced, and it was lucky for us that this did not happen three hours earlier in the day.

August 26th.—We left Jajuel and again crossed the basin of San Felipe. The day was truly Chilian: glaringly bright, and the atmosphere quite clear. The thick and uniform covering of newly fallen snow rendered the view of the volcano of Aconcagua and the main chain quite glorious. We were now on the road to Santiago, the capital of Chile. We crossed the Cerro del Talguen, and slept at a little rancho. The host, talking about the state of Chile as compared to other countries, was very humble: "Some see with two eyes, and some with one, but for my part I do not think that Chile sees with any."

August 27th.—After crossing many low hills we descended into the small land-locked plain of Guitron. In the basins, such as this one, which are elevated from one thousand to two thousand feet above the sea, two species of acacia, which are stunted in their forms, and stand wide apart from each other, grow in large numbers. These trees are never found near the sea-coast; and this gives another characteristic feature to the scenery of these basins. We crossed a low ridge which separates Guitron from the great plain on which Santiago stands. The view was here pre-eminently striking: the dead level surface, covered in parts by woods of acacia, and with the city in the distance, abutting horizontally against the base of the Andes, whose snowy peaks were bright with the evening sun. At the first glance of this view, it was quite evident that the plain represented the extent of a former inland sea. As soon as we gained the level road we pushed our horses into a gallop, and reached the city before it was dark.

I stayed a week in Santiago, and enjoyed myself very much. In the morning I rode to various places on the plain, and in the evening dined with several of the English merchants, whose hospitality at this place is well known. A never-failing source of pleasure was to ascend the little hillock of rock (St. Lucia) which projects in the middle of the city. The scenery certainly is most striking, and, as I have said, very peculiar. I am informed that this same character is common to the cities on the great Mexican platform. Of the town I have nothing to say in detail: it is not so fine or so large as Buenos Ayres, but is built after the same model. I arrived here by a circuit to the north; so I resolved to return to Valparaiso by a rather longer excursion to the south of the direct road.

September 5th.—By the middle of the day we arrived at one of the suspension bridges, made of hide, which cross the Maypu, a large turbulent river a few leagues southward of Santiago. These bridges are very poor affairs. The road, following the curvature of the suspending ropes, is made of bundles of sticks placed close together. It was full of holes, and oscillated rather fearfully, even with the weight of a man leading his horse. In the evening we reached a comfortable farm-house, where there were several very pretty senoritas. They were much horrified at my having entered one of their churches out of mere curiosity. They asked me, "Why do you not become a Christian—for our religion is certain?" I assured them I was a sort of Christian; but they would not hear of it—appealing to my own words, "Do not your padres, your very bishops, marry?" The absurdity of a bishop having a wife particularly struck them: they scarcely knew whether to be most amused or horror-struck at such an enormity.

6th.—We proceeded due south, and slept at Rancagua. The road passed over the level but narrow plain, bounded on one side by lofty hills, and on the other by the Cordillera. The next day we turned up the valley of the Rio Cachapual, in which the hot-baths of Cauquenes, long celebrated for their medicinal properties, are situated. The suspension bridges, in the less frequented parts, are generally taken down during the winter when the rivers are low. Such was the case in this valley, and we were therefore obliged to cross the stream on horseback. This is rather disagreeable, for the foaming water, though not deep, rushes so quickly over the bed of large rounded stones, that one's head becomes quite confused, and it is difficult even to perceive whether the horse is moving onward or standing still. In summer, when the snow melts, the torrents are quite impassable; their strength and fury are then extremely great, as might be plainly seen by the marks which they had left. We reached the baths in the evening, and stayed there five days, being confined the two last by heavy rain. The buildings consist of a square of miserable little hovels, each with a single table and bench. They are situated in a narrow deep valley just without the central Cordillera. It is a quiet, solitary spot, with a good deal of wild beauty.

The mineral springs of Cauquenes burst forth on a line of dislocation, crossing a mass of stratified rock, the whole of which betrays the action of heat. A considerable quantity of gas is continually escaping from the same orifices with the water. Though the springs are only a few yards apart, they have very different temperature; and this appears to be the result of an unequal mixture of cold water: for those with the lowest temperature have scarcely any mineral taste. After the great earthquake of 1822 the springs ceased, and the water did not return for nearly a year. They were also much affected by the earthquake of 1835; the temperature being suddenly changed from 118 to 92 degs. [1] It seems probable that mineral waters rising deep from the bowels of the earth, would always be more deranged by subterranean disturbances than those nearer the surface. The man who had charge of the baths assured me that in summer the water is hotter and more plentiful than in winter. The former circumstance I should have expected, from the less mixture, during the dry season, of cold water; but the latter statement appears very strange and contradictory. The periodical increase during the summer, when rain never falls, can, I think, only be accounted for by the melting of the snow: yet the mountains which are covered by snow during that season, are three or four leagues distant from the springs. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of my informer, who, having lived on the spot for several years, ought to be well acquainted with the circumstance,—which, if true, certainly is very curious: for we must suppose that the snow-water, being conducted through porous strata to the regions of heat, is again thrown up to the surface by the line of dislocated and injected rocks at Cauquenes; and the regularity of the phenomenon would seem to indicate that in this district heated rock occurred at a depth not very great.

One day I rode up the valley to the farthest inhabited spot. Shortly above that point, the Cachapual divides into two deep tremendous ravines, which penetrate directly into the great range. I scrambled up a peaked mountain, probably more than six thousand feet high. Here, as indeed everywhere else, scenes of the highest interest presented themselves. It was by one of these ravines, that Pincheira entered Chile and ravaged the neighbouring country. This is the same man whose attack on an estancia at the Rio Negro I have described. He was a renegade half-caste Spaniard, who collected a great body of Indians together and established himself by a stream in the Pampas, which place none of the forces sent after him could ever discover. From this point he used to sally forth, and crossing the Cordillera by passes hitherto unattempted, he ravaged the farm-houses and drove the cattle to his secret rendezvous. Pincheira was a capital horseman, and he made all around him equally good, for he invariably shot any one who hesitated to follow him. It was against this man, and other wandering Indian tribes, that Rosas waged the war of extermination.

September 13th.—We left the baths of Cauquenes, and, rejoining the main road, slept at the Rio Clara. From this place we rode to the town of San Fernando. Before arriving there, the last land-locked basin had expanded into a great plain, which extended so far to the south, that the snowy summits of the more distant Andes were seen as if above the horizon of the sea. San Fernando is forty leagues from Santiago; and it was my farthest point southward; for we here turned at right angles towards the coast. We slept at the gold-mines of Yaquil, which are worked by Mr. Nixon, an American gentleman, to whose kindness I was much indebted during the four days I stayed at his house. The next morning we rode to the mines, which are situated at the distance of some leagues, near the summit of a lofty hill. On the way we had a glimpse of the lake Tagua-tagua, celebrated for its floating islands, which have been described by M. Gay. [2] They are composed of the stalks of various dead plants intertwined together, and on the surface of which other living ones take root. Their form is generally circular, and their thickness from four to six feet, of which the greater part is immersed in the water. As the wind blows, they pass from one side of the lake to the other, and often carry cattle and horses as passengers.

When we arrived at the mine, I was struck by the pale appearance of many of the men, and inquired from Mr. Nixon respecting their condition. The mine is 450 feet deep, and each man brings up about 200 pounds weight of stone. With this load they have to climb up the alternate notches cut in the trunks of trees, placed in a zigzag line up the shaft. Even beardless young men, eighteen and twenty years old, with little muscular development of their bodies (they are quite naked excepting drawers) ascend with this great load from nearly the same depth. A strong man, who is not accustomed to this labour, perspires most profusely, with merely carrying up his own body. With this very severe labour, they live entirely on boiled beans and bread. They would prefer having bread alone; but their masters, finding that they cannot work so hard upon this, treat them like horses, and make them eat the beans. Their pay is here rather more than at the mines of Jajuel, being from 24 to 28 shillings per month. They leave the mine only once in three weeks; when they stay with their families for two days. One of the rules of this mine sounds very harsh, but answers pretty well for the master. The only method of stealing gold is to secrete pieces of the ore, and take them out as occasion may offer. Whenever the major-domo finds a lump thus hidden, its full value is stopped out of the wages of all the men; who thus, without they all combine, are obliged to keep watch over each other.

When the ore is brought to the mill, it is ground into an impalpable powder; the process of washing removes all the lighter particles, and amalgamation finally secures the gold-dust. The washing, when described, sounds a very simple process; but it is beautiful to see how the exact adaptation of the current of water to the specific gravity of the gold, so easily separates the powdered matrix from the metal. The mud which passes from the mills is collected into pools, where it subsides, and every now and then is cleared out, and thrown into a common heap. A great deal of chemical action then commences, salts of various kinds effloresce on the surface, and the mass becomes hard. After having been left for a year or two, and then rewashed, it yields gold; and this process may be repeated even six or seven times; but the gold each time becomes less in quantity, and the intervals required (as the inhabitants say, to generate the metal) are longer. There can be no doubt that the chemical action, already mentioned, each time liberates fresh gold from some combination. The discovery of a method to effect this before the first grinding would without doubt raise the value of gold-ores many fold.

It is curious to find how the minute particles of gold, being scattered about and not corroding, at last accumulate in some quantity. A short time since a few miners, being out of work, obtained permission to scrape the ground round the house and mills; they washed the earth thus got together, and so procured thirty dollars' worth of gold. This is an exact counterpart of what takes place in nature. Mountains suffer degradation and wear away, and with them the metallic veins which they contain. The hardest rock is worn into impalpable mud, the ordinary metals oxidate, and both are removed; but gold, platina, and a few others are nearly indestructible, and from their weight, sinking to the bottom, are left behind. After whole mountains have passed through this grinding mill, and have been washed by the hand of nature, the residue becomes metalliferous, and man finds it worth his while to complete the task of separation.

Bad as the above treatment of the miners appears, it is gladly accepted of by them; for the condition of the labouring agriculturists is much worse. Their wages are lower, and they live almost exclusively on beans. This poverty must be chiefly owing to the feudal-like system on which the land is tilled: the landowner gives a small plot of ground to the labourer for building on and cultivating, and in return has his services (or those of a proxy) for every day of his life, without any wages. Until a father has a grown-up son, who can by his labour pay the rent, there is no one, except on occasional days, to take care of his own patch of ground. Hence extreme poverty is very common among the labouring classes in this country.

There are some old Indian ruins in this neighbourhood, and I was shown one of the perforated stones, which Molina mentions as being found in many places in considerable numbers. They are of a circular flattened form, from five to six inches in diameter, with a hole passing quite through the centre. It has generally been supposed that they were used as heads to clubs, although their form does not appear at all well adapted for that purpose. Burchell [3] states that some of the tribes in Southern Africa dig up roots by the aid of a stick pointed at one end, the force and weight of which are increased by a round stone with a hole in it, into which the other end is firmly wedged. It appears probable that the Indians of Chile formerly used some such rude agricultural instrument.

One day, a German collector in natural history, of the name of Renous, called, and nearly at the same time an old Spanish lawyer. I was amused at being told the conversation which took place between them. Renous speaks Spanish so well, that the old lawyer mistook him for a Chilian. Renous alluding to me, asked him what he thought of the King of England sending out a collector to their country, to pick up lizards and beetles, and to break stones? The old gentleman thought seriously for some time, and then said, "It is not well,—hay un gato encerrado aqui (there is a cat shut up here). No man is so rich as to send out people to pick up such rubbish. I do not like it: if one of us were to go and do such things in England, do not you think the King of England would very soon send us out of his country?" And this old gentleman, from his profession, belongs to the better informed and more intelligent classes! Renous himself, two or three years before, left in a house at San Fernando some caterpillars, under charge of a girl to feed, that they might turn into butterflies. This was rumoured through the town, and at last the padres and governor consulted together, and agreed it must be some heresy. Accordingly, when Renous returned, he was arrested.

September 19th.—We left Yaquil, and followed the flat valley, formed like that of Quillota, in which the Rio Tinderidica flows. Even at these few miles south of Santiago the climate is much damper; in consequence there are fine tracts of pasturage, which are not irrigated. (20th.) We followed this valley till it expanded into a great plain, which reaches from the sea to the mountains west of Rancagua. We shortly lost all trees and even bushes; so that the inhabitants are nearly as badly off for firewood as those in the Pampas. Never having heard of these plains, I was much surprised at meeting with such scenery in Chile. The plains belong to more than one series of different elevations, and they are traversed by broad flat-bottomed valleys; both of which circumstances, as in Patagonia, bespeak the action of the sea on gently rising land. In the steep cliffs bordering these valleys, there are some large caves, which no doubt were originally formed by the waves: one of these is celebrated under the name of Cueva del Obispo; having formerly been consecrated. During the day I felt very unwell, and from that time till the end of October did not recover.

September 22nd.—We continued to pass over green plains without a tree. The next day we arrived at a house near Navedad, on the sea-coast, where a rich Haciendero gave us lodgings. I stayed here the two ensuing days, and although very unwell, managed to collect from the tertiary formation some marine shells.

24th.—Our course was now directed towards Valparaiso, which with great difficulty I reached on the 27th, and was there confined to my bed till the end of October. During this time I was an inmate in Mr. Corfield's house, whose kindness to me I do not know how to express.

I will here add a few observations on some of the animals and birds of Chile. The Puma, or South American Lion, is not uncommon. This animal has a wide geographical range; being found from the equatorial forests, throughout the deserts of Patagonia as far south as the damp and cold latitudes (53 to 54 degs.) of Tierra del Fuego. I have seen its footsteps in the Cordillera of central Chile, at an elevation of at least 10,000 feet. In La Plata the puma preys chiefly on deer, ostriches, bizcacha, and other small quadrupeds; it there seldom attacks cattle or horses, and most rarely man. In Chile, however, it destroys many young horses and cattle, owing probably to the scarcity of other quadrupeds: I heard, likewise, of two men and a woman who had been thus killed. It is asserted that the puma always kills its prey by springing on the shoulders, and then drawing back the head with one of its paws, until the vertebrae break: I have seen in Patagonia the skeletons of guanacos, with their necks thus dislocated.

The puma, after eating its fill, covers the carcass with many large bushes, and lies down to watch it. This habit is often the cause of its being discovered; for the condors wheeling in the air every now and then descend to partake of the feast, and being angrily driven away, rise all together on the wing. The Chileno Guaso then knows there is a lion watching his prey—the word is given—and men and dogs hurry to the chase. Sir F. Head says that a Gaucho in the pampas, upon merely seeing some condors wheeling in the air, cried "A lion!" I could never myself meet with any one who pretended to such powers of discrimination. It is asserted that, if a puma has once been betrayed by thus watching the carcass, and has then been hunted, it never resumes this habit; but that, having gorged itself, it wanders far away. The puma is easily killed. In an open country, it is first entangled with the bolas, then lazoed, and dragged along the ground till rendered insensible. At Tandeel (south of the plata), I was told that within three months one hundred were thus destroyed. In Chile they are generally driven up bushes or trees, and are then either shot, or baited to death by dogs. The dogs employed in this chase belong to a particular breed, called Leoneros: they are weak, slight animals, like long-legged terriers, but are born with a particular instinct for this sport. The puma is described as being very crafty: when pursued, it often returns on its former track, and then suddenly making a spring on one side, waits there till the dogs have passed by. It is a very silent animal, uttering no cry even when wounded, and only rarely during the breeding season.

Of birds, two species of the genus Pteroptochos (megapodius and albicollis of Kittlitz) are perhaps the most conspicuous. The former, called by the Chilenos "el Turco," is as large as a fieldfare, to which bird it has some alliance; but its legs are much longer, tail shorter, and beak stronger: its colour is a reddish brown. The Turco is not uncommon. It lives on the ground, sheltered among the thickets which are scattered over the dry and sterile hills. With its tail erect, and stilt-like legs, it may be seen every now and then popping from one bush to another with uncommon quickness. It really requires little imagination to believe that the bird is ashamed of itself, and is aware of its most ridiculous figure. On first seeing it, one is tempted to exclaim, "A vilely stuffed specimen has escaped from some museum, and has come to life again!" It cannot be made to take flight without the greatest trouble, nor does it run, but only hops. The various loud cries which it utters when concealed amongst the bushes, are as strange as its appearance. It is said to build its nest in a deep hole beneath the ground. I dissected several specimens: the gizzard, which was very muscular, contained beetles, vegetable fibres, and pebbles. From this character, from the length of its legs, scratching feet, membranous covering to the nostrils, short and arched wings, this bird seems in a certain degree to connect the thrushes with the gallinaceous order.

The second species (or P. albicollis) is allied to the first in its general form. It is called Tapacolo, or "cover your posterior;" and well does the shameless little bird deserve its name; for it carries its tail more than erect, that is, inclined backwards towards its head. It is very common, and frequents the bottoms of hedge-rows, and the bushes scattered over the barren hills, where scarcely another bird can exist. In its general manner of feeding, of quickly hopping out of the thickets and back again, in its desire of concealment, unwillingness to take flight, and nidification, it bears a close resemblance to the Turco; but its appearance is not quite so ridiculous. The Tapacolo is very crafty: when frightened by any person, it will remain motionless at the bottom of a bush, and will then, after a little while, try with much address to crawl away on the opposite side. It is also an active bird, and continually making a noise: these noises are various and strangely odd; some are like the cooing of doves, others like the bubbling of water, and many defy all similes. The country people say it changes its cry five times in the year—according to some change of season, I suppose. [4]

Two species of humming-birds are common; Trochilus forficatus is found over a space of 2500 miles on the west coast, from the hot dry country of Lima, to the forests of Tierra del Fuego—where it may be seen flitting about in snow-storms. In the wooded island of Chiloe, which has an extremely humid climate, this little bird, skipping from side to side amidst the dripping foliage, is perhaps more abundant than almost any other kind. I opened the stomachs of several specimens, shot in different parts of the continent, and in all, remains of insects were as numerous as in the stomach of a creeper. When this species migrates in the summer southward, it is replaced by the arrival of another species coming from the north. This second kind (Trochilus gigas) is a very large bird for the delicate family to which it belongs: when on the wing its appearance is singular. Like others of the genus, it moves from place to place with a rapidity which may be compared to that of Syrphus amongst flies, and Sphinx among moths; but whilst hovering over a flower, it flaps its wings with a very slow and powerful movement, totally different from that vibratory one common to most of the species, which produces the humming noise. I never saw any other bird where the force of its wings appeared (as in a butterfly) so powerful in proportion to the weight of its body. When hovering by a flower, its tail is constantly expanded and shut like a fan, the body being kept in a nearly vertical position. This action appears to steady and support the bird, between the slow movements of its wings. Although flying from flower to flower in search of food, its stomach generally contained abundant remains of insects, which I suspect are much more the object of its search than honey. The note of this species, like that of nearly the whole family, is extremely shrill.


[1] Caldeleugh, in Philosoph. Transact. for 1836.

[2] Annales des Sciences Naturelles, March, 1833. M. Gay, a zealous and able naturalist, was then occupied in studying every branch of natural history throughout the kingdom of Chile.

[3] Burchess's Travels, vol. ii. p. 45.

[4] It is a remarkable fact, that Molina, though describing in detail all the birds and animals of Chile, never once mentions this genus, the species of which are so common, and so remarkable in their habits. Was he at a loss how to classify them, and did he consequently think that silence was the more prudent course? It is one more instance of the frequency of omissions by authors, on those very subjects where it might have been least expected.

Годы решений

Освальд Шпенглер : Годы решений / Пер. с нем. В. В. Афанасьева; Общая редакция А.В. Михайловского.- М.: СКИМЕНЪ, 2006.- 240с.- (Серия «В поисках утраченного»)

Введение Едва ли кто-то так же страстно, как я, ждал свершения национального переворота этого года (1933). Уже с первых дней я ненавидел грязную революцию 1918 года как измену неполноценной части нашего народа по отношению к другой его части - сильной, нерастраченной, воскресшей в 1914 году, которая могла и хотела иметь будущее. Все, что я написал после этого о политике, было направлено против сил, окопавшихся с помощью наших врагов на вершине нашей нищеты и несчастий для того, чтобы лишить нас будущего. Каждая строка должна была способствовать их падению, и я надеюсь, что так оно и произошло. Что-то должно было наступить в какой-либо форме для того, чтобы освободить глубочайшие инстинкты нашей крови от этого давления, если уж нам выпало участвовать в грядущих решениях мировой истории, а не быть лишь ее жертвами. Большая игра мировой политики еще не завершена. Самые высокие ставки еще не сделаны. Для любого живущего народа речь идет о его величии или уничтожении. Но события этого года дают нам надежду на то, что этот вопрос для нас еще не решен, что мы когда-нибудь вновь - как во времена Бисмарка - станем субъектом, а не только объектом истории. Мы живем в титанические десятилетия. Титанические - значит страшные и несчастные. Величие и счастье не пара, и у нас нет выбора. Никто из ныне живущих где-либо в этом мире не станет счастливым, но многие смогут по собственной воле пройти путь своей жизни в величии или ничтожестве. Однако тот, кто ищет только комфорта, не заслуживает права присутствовать при этом. Часто тот, кто действует, видит недалеко. Он движется без осознания подлинной цели.

Короли подплава в море червонных валетов

Ковалев, Э. А.: М., ЗАО Центрполиграф, 2006

Книга продолжает изданную под названием «Рыцари глубин» хронику рождения и становления подводного плавания в России. Хронологические рамки повествования охватывают период с конца 1917 по июнь 1941 г. Материал основывается на сведениях, отобранных из фондов РГА ВМФ, ЦВМА, ЦВМБ, а также из газетных и журнальных статей. Первые три части книги характеризуют времена Гражданской войны, восстановления подводного плавания страны и его дальнейшего развития. Рассказывается о попытках утверждения новой военно-морской доктрины, строительстве подводных кораблей новых типов, подготовке подводников в условиях надвигающейся войны. Четвертая часть книги содержит краткие биографические сведения о первых советских командирах подводных лодок. Даже поверхностное знакомство с представленными сведениями позволит читателю понять, почему в 1941 г. страна оказалась не готовой в том числе и к войне на море. В Приложении читатель найдет необходимые справки.

Lower Paleolithic reconstructions

Reconstructions of Lower Paleolithic daily life

From some 2.6 million to 300 000 years before present. The dating of the period beginning is rather floating. A new discovery may change it a great deal. It was too much time ago, fossils, artifacts of the period are more like scarce and their interpretations often seem to be confusing. The World is populated by the ancestors of humans, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos. In a way, the split among these may be considered to be the mark of the true beginning of the Lower Paleolithic as a part of human history. It is then that the participants first stepped forward. Presumable early tools are not exemplary enough. Even if being eponymous. It is not exactly clear if they were real tools. And using objects is not an exclusive characteristic of humanity anyway. The use of objects was a purely instinctive practice for many and many hundreds of years. It did not have any principle difference from other animal activities and did not make Homos of Lower and most probably of Middle Paleolithic human in the proper sense of the word. Australopithecus and Homo habilis are typical for the earlier part. Later various subspecies of Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, coexisting much of the period. Occasional use of fire. Later possibly even control of fire.

Диагностируя диктаторов

Карл Густав Юнг : Диагностируя диктаторов : Аналитическая психология: прошлое и настоящее / К.Г.Юнг, Э. Cэмюэлс, В.Одайник, Дж. Хаббэк. Сост. В.В. Зеленский, А.М. Руткевич. М.: Мартис, 1995

Октябрь 1938 г. Запоминающийся интеллигентный и неутомимый X. Р. Никербокер был одним из лучших американских иностранных корреспондентов. Родился в Техасе в 1899 г.; в 1923 г. в Мюнхене, где он изучал психиатрию, во время пивного путча Гитлера переключился на журналистику, в дальнейшем большая часть его карьеры связана с Берлином. Но он также печатал материалы о Советском Союзе (премия Пулитцера 1931 г.), итало-эфиопской войне, гражданской войне в Испании, японо-китайской войне, присоединении Австрии, Мюнхенском соглашении. Он писал репортажи о битве за Британию, о войне в Тихом океане: погиб в 1949 г. в Бомбее в авиационной катастрофе. Никербокер посетил Юнга в Кюснахте в октябре 1938 г., приехав непосредственно из Праги, где оказался свидетелем распада Чехословакии. Это интервью, одно из самых продолжительных, которое дал Юнг, было опубликовано в «Херст Интернейшенл-Космополитен» за январь 1939 г. и в несколько измененном виде вошло в книгу Никербокера «Завтра Гитлер?» (1941). В основу настоящей публикации положена статья из «Kocмополитен», из которой исключили всякий иной материал, кроме вопросов и ответов. В этом же выпуске журнала был помещен биографический очерк о Юнге, написанный Элизабет Шепли Серджент. Эти статьи из «Космополитен» сделали имя Юнга известным в США. Никербокер: Что произойдет, если Гитлера, Муссолини и Сталина, всех вместе, закрыть на замок, выделив для них на неделю буханку хлеба и кувшин воды? Кто-то получит все или они разделят хлеб и воду? Юнг: Я сомневаюсь, что они поделятся.

Cueva de las Manos

Cueva de las Manos. Some time between 11 000 and 7 500 BC.

The Cueva de las Manos in Patagonia (Argentina), a cave or a series of caves, is best known for its assemblage of cave art executed between 11 000 and 7 500 BC. The name of «Cueva de las Manos» stands for «Cave of Hands» in Spanish. It comes from its most famous images - numerous paintings of hands, left ones predominantly. The images of hands are negative painted or stencilled. There are also depictions of animals, such as guanacos (Lama guanicoe), rheas, still commonly found in the region, geometric shapes, zigzag patterns, representations of the sun and hunting scenes like naturalistic portrayals of a variety of hunting techniques, including the use of bolas.

Апокалипсис нашего времени

Розанов, В.В. 1917-1918

№ 1 К читателю Мною с 15 ноября будут печататься двухнедельные или ежемесячные выпуски под общим заголовком: "Апокалипсис нашего времени". Заглавие, не требующее объяснении, ввиду событий, носящих не мнимо апокалипсический характер, но действительно апокалипсический характер. Нет сомнения, что глубокий фундамент всего теперь происходящего заключается в том, что в европейском (всем, — и в том числе русском) человечестве образовались колоссальные пустоты от былого христианства; и в эти пустóты проваливается все: троны, классы, сословия, труд, богатства. Всё потрясено, все потрясены. Все гибнут, всё гибнет. Но все это проваливается в пустоту души, которая лишилась древнего содержания. Выпуски будут выходить маленькими книжками. Склад в книжном магазине М. С. Елова, Сергиев Посад, Московск. губ. Рассыпанное царство Филарет Святитель Московский был последний (не единственный ли?) великий иерарх Церкви Русской... "Был крестный ход в Москве. И вот все прошли, — архиереи, митрофорные иереи, купцы, народ; пронесли иконы, пронесли кресты, пронесли хоругви. Все кончилось, почти... И вот поодаль от последнего народа шел он. Это был Филарет". Так рассказывал мне один старый человек. И прибавил, указывая от полу — на крошечный рост Филарета: — "И я всех забыл, все забыл: и как вижу сейчас — только его одного". Как и я "все забыл" в Московском университете. Но помню его глубокомысленную подпись под своим портретом в актовой зале. Слова, выговоры его были разительны. Советы мудры (императору, властям).

«Шнелльботы». Германские торпедные катера Второй мировой войны

Морозов, М. Э.: М., АОЗТ редакция журнала «Моделист-конструктор», 1999

Британский историк Питер Смит, известный своими исследованиями боевых действий в Ла-Манше и южной части Северного моря, написал о «шнелльботах», что «к концу войны они оставались единственной силой, не подчинившейся британскому господству на море». Не оставляет сомнения, что в лице «шнелльбота» немецким конструкторам удалось создать отличный боевой корабль. Как ни странно, этому способствовал отказ от высоких скоростных показателей, и, как следствие, возможность оснастить катера дизельными двигателями. Такое решение положительно сказалось на улучшении живучести «москитов». Ни один из них не погиб от случайного возгорания, что нередко происходило в английском и американском флотах. Увеличенное водоизмещение позволило сделать конструкцию катеров весьма устойчивой к боевым повреждениям. Скользящий таранный удар эсминца, подрыв на мине или попадание 2-3 снарядов калибра свыше 100-мм не приводили, как правило, к неизбежной гибели катера (например, 15 марта 1942 года S-105 пришел своим ходом в базу, получив около 80 пробоин от осколков, пуль и снарядов малокалиберных пушек), хотя часто «шнелльботы» приходилось уничтожать из-за условий тактической обстановки. Еще одной особенностью, резко вы­делявшей «шнелльботы» из ряда тор­педных катеров других стран, стала ог­ромная по тем временам дальность плавания - до 800-900 миль 30-узловым ходом (М. Уитли в своей работе «Deutsche Seestreitkraefte 1939-1945» называет даже большую цифру-870 миль 39-узловым ходом, во что, однако, трудно поверить). Фактически германское командование даже не могло ее пол­ностью реализовать из-за большого риска использовать катера в светлое время суток, особенно со второй половины войны. Значительный радиус действия, несвойственные катерам того времени вытянутые круглоскулые обводы и внушительные размеры, по мнению многих, ставили германские торпедные катера в один ряд с миноносцами. С этим можно согласиться с той лишь оговоркой, что всетаки «шнелльботы» оставались торпедными, а не торпедно-артиллерийскими кораблями. Спектр решаемых ими задач был намного уже, чем у миноносцев Второй мировой войны. Проводя аналогию с современной классификацией «ракетный катер» - «малый ракетный корабль», «шнелльботы» правильнее считать малыми торпедными кораблями. Удачной оказалась и конструкция корпуса. Полубак со встроенными тор­педными аппаратами улучшал мореходные качества - «шнелльботы» сохраняли возможность использовать оружие при волнении до 4-5 баллов, а малая высота борта и рубки весьма существенно уменьшали силуэт. В проведенных англичанами после войны сравнительных испытаниях германских и британских катеров выяснилось, что в ночных условиях «немец» визуально замечал противника раньше. Большие нарекания вызывало оружие самообороны - артиллерия. Не имея возможности строить параллельно с торпедными катерами их артиллерийские аналоги, как это делали англичане, немцы с конца 1941 года начали проигрывать «москитам» противника. Позднейшие попытки усилить огневую мощь «шнелльботов» до некоторой степени сократили это отставание, но полностью ликвидировать его не удалось. По части оснащения техническими средствами обнаружения германские катера также серьезно отставали от своих противников. За всю войну они так и не получили более-менее удовлетворительного малогабаритного радара. С появлением станции радиотехнической разведки «Наксос» немцы лишили врага преимущества внезапности, однако не решили проблему обнаружения целей. Таким образом, несмотря на определенные недостатки, в целом германские торпедные катера не только соответствовали предъявляемым требованиям, но и по праву считались одними из лучших представителей своего класса времен Второй мировой войны. Морская коллекция.

Местечковые страсти в чеченских горах

Великая оболганная война-2. Нам не за что каяться! Сборник. Ред.-сост. А. Дюков: М., Яуза, Эксмо, 2008

Аннотация издательства: Наши враги - и внешние, и внутренние - покушаются на самое святое - на народную память о Великой Отечественной войне. Нас пытаются лишить Великой Победы. Вторя геббельсовской пропаганде, псевдоисторики внушают нам, что Победа-де была достигнута «слишком дорогой ценой», что она якобы обернулась «порабощением Восточной Европы», что солдаты Красной Армии будто бы «изнасиловали Германию», а советских граждан, переживших немецкую оккупацию, чуть ли не поголовно сослали в Сибирь. Враги приравнивают Советский Союз к нацистскому Рейху, советских солдат - к фашистским карателям. И вот уже от нашей страны требуют «платить и каяться», советскую символику запрещают наравне с нацистской, а памятники воинам-освободителям в Восточной Европе под угрозой сноса... Но нам не за что каяться! Эта книга - отповедь клеветникам, опровержение самых грязных, самых лживых мифов о Великой Отечественной войне, распространяемых врагами России.

Конституция (Основной закон) Союза Советских Социалистических Республик - 1977 год

Конституция (Основной закон) Союза Советских Социалистических Республик. Принята на внеочередной седьмой сессии Верховного Совета СССР девятого созыва 7 октября 1977 года

Великая Октябрьская социалистическая революция, совершенная рабочими и крестьянами России под руководством Коммунистической партии во главе с В. И. Лениным, свергла власть капиталистов и помещиков, разбила оковы угнетения, установила диктатуру пролетариата и создала Советское государство - государство нового типа, основное орудие защиты революционных завоеваний, строительства социализма и коммунизма. Начался всемирно-исторический поворот человечества от капитализма к социализму. Одержав победу в гражданской войне, отразив империалистическую интервенцию, Советская власть осуществила глубочайшие социально-экономические преобразования, навсегда покончила с эксплуатацией человека человеком, с классовыми антагонизмами и национальной враждой. Объединение советских республик в Союз ССР преумножило силы и возможности народов страны в строительстве социализма. Утвердились общественная собственность на средства производства, подлинная демократия для трудящихся масс. Впервые в истории человечества было создано социалистическое общество. Ярким проявлением силы социализма стал немеркнущий подвиг советского народа, его Вооруженных Сил, одержавших историческую победу в Великой Отечественной войне. Эта победа укрепила авторитет и международные позиции СССР, открыла новые благоприятные возможности для роста сил социализма, национального освобождения, демократии и мира во всем мире. Продолжая свою созидательную деятельность, трудящиеся Советского Союза обеспечили быстрое и всестороннее развитие страны, совершенствование социалистического строя. Упрочились союз рабочего класса, колхозного крестьянства и народной интеллигенции, дружба наций и народностей СССР.

Воспоминания кавказского офицера

Торнау Ф.Ф.: Москва, Дружба народов, 1996

Торнау Федор Федорович (1810-1890) — барон, Генерального штаба полковник. Представитель рода, происходившего из Померании и ведшего начало с половины XV века, учился в Благородном пансионе при Царскосельском лицее, после чего поступил на военную службу и участвовал в войне 1828 г. против турок, в "польской кампании" 1831, в сражениях на Кавказе и др. В течение двух лет Торнау находился в плену у кабардинцев. С 1856 (по 1873) служил русским военным агентом в Вене и состоял членом военно-ученого комитета. Известен Торнау также как автор ряда мемуарных произведений ("Воспоминания кавказского офицера", "Воспоминания о кампании 1829 года в европейской Турции", "От Вены до Карлсбада" и т.д.). Сведения о Торнау имеются в "Энциклопедическом словаре" Ф.Брокгауза и И.Ефрона (т.33-а, 1901, стр.639), в журнале "Русская старина" (1890, книга седьмая), в книге Д.Языкова "Обзор жизни и трудов русских писателей и писательниц" (вып.10, М., 1907, стр.76). Данный вариант воспоминаний Ф.Ф. Торнау — журнальный, весьма усечёный. Что касается книги полностью, то первое издание — Ф. Ф. Торнау "Воспоминания кавказского офицера". — М., 1865; последнее — Ф.Ф. Торнау. Воспоминания кавказского офицера. — М.: АИРО-ХХ, 2000 (368 с.).

The voyage of the Beagle

Charles Darwin, 1839

Preface I have stated in the preface to the first Edition of this work, and in the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, that it was in consequence of a wish expressed by Captain Fitz Roy, of having some scientific person on board, accompanied by an offer from him of giving up part of his own accommodations, that I volunteered my services, which received, through the kindness of the hydrographer, Captain Beaufort, the sanction of the Lords of the Admiralty. As I feel that the opportunities which I enjoyed of studying the Natural History of the different countries we visited, have been wholly due to Captain Fitz Roy, I hope I may here be permitted to repeat my expression of gratitude to him; and to add that, during the five years we were together, I received from him the most cordial friendship and steady assistance. Both to Captain Fitz Roy and to all the Officers of the Beagle [1] I shall ever feel most thankful for the undeviating kindness with which I was treated during our long voyage. This volume contains, in the form of a Journal, a history of our voyage, and a sketch of those observations in Natural History and Geology, which I think will possess some interest for the general reader. I have in this edition largely condensed and corrected some parts, and have added a little to others, in order to render the volume more fitted for popular reading; but I trust that naturalists will remember, that they must refer for details to the larger publications which comprise the scientific results of the Expedition.

The Effects of a Global Thermonuclear War

Wm. Robert Johnston: Last updated 18 August 2003

4th edition: escalation in 1988 By Wm. Robert Johnston. Last updated 18 August 2003. Introduction The following is an approximate description of the effects of a global nuclear war. For the purposes of illustration it is assumed that a war resulted in mid-1988 from military conflict between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. This is in some ways a worst-case scenario (total numbers of strategic warheads deployed by the superpowers peaked about this time; the scenario implies a greater level of military readiness; and impact on global climate and crop yields are greatest for a war in August). Some details, such as the time of attack, the events leading to war, and the winds affecting fallout patterns, are only meant to be illustrative. This applies also to the global geopolitical aftermath, which represents the author's efforts at intelligent speculation. There is much public misconception concerning the physical effects of nuclear war--some of it motivated by politics. Certainly the predictions described here are uncertain: for example, casualty figures in the U.S. are accurate perhaps to within 30% for the first few days, but the number of survivors in the U.S. after one year could differ from these figures by as much as a factor of four. Nonetheless, there is no reasonable basis for expecting results radically different from this description--for example, there is no scientific basis for expecting the extinction of the human species. Note that the most severe predictions concerning nuclear winter have now been evaluated and discounted by most of the scientific community. Sources supplying the basis for this description include the U.S.