RIO DE JANEIRO.
for visiting Brazil—Voyage from England—Arrival at Rio de Janeiro—
Description of the City—Its Environs—Geological Character of its
Neighbourhood — Its Climate—Its Inhabitants — State of Slavery in
Brazil—General good treatment of Slaves—Different Mixed Races—Excursion
to the Mountains surrounding the Capital—Its Botanical Garden — Museum
of Natural History.
much of my leisure time, during the course of a medical education, to
the study of Natural History generally, but more particularly to
Botany; and my mind being excited by the glowing descriptions which
Humboldt and other travellers have
given of the beauty and variety of the natural productions of tropical
countries, the magnificence of their mountain scenery, and the splendour of their skies, an ardent desire seized me to travel in such regions.
early patron and teacher in Botany, Sir William J. Hooker, then
professor of that science in the University of Glasgow, aware of my
wishes, strongly recommended a voyage to some part of South America;
and Brazil was fixed on as the best field for my researches, as the
vegetable productions of that immense empire