PREFACE  pp. iii-iv


By Alfred Russel Wallace

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An earnest desire to visit a tropical country, to behold the luxuriance of animal and vegetable life said to exist there, and to see with my own eyes all those wonders which I had so much delighted to read of in the narratives of travellers, were the motives that induced me to break through the trammels of business and the ties of home, and start for

“Some far land where endless summer reigns.”

My attention was directed to Pará and the Amazon by Mr. Edwards's little book, ‘A Voyage up the Amazon,’ and I decided upon going there, both on account of its easiness of access and the little that was known of it compared with most other parts of South America.

I proposed to pay my expenses by making collections in Natural History, and I have been enabled to do so; and the pleasures I have found in the contemplation of the strange and beautiful objects continually met with, and the deep interest arising from the study in their native wilds of the varied races of mankind, have been such as to determine my continuing in the pursuit I have entered upon, and to cause me to look forward with pleasure to again visiting the wild and luxuriant scenery and the sparkling life of the tropics.

In the following pages I have given a narrative of my journeys and of the impressions excited at the time.