did not think it worth the postage; it shall now go with a box of specimens. Shortly after arriving here I set out on a geological excursion, and had a very pleasant ramble about the base of the Andes. The whole country appears composed of breccias (and I imagine slates) which universally have been modified and oftentimes completely altered by the action of fire. The varieties of porphyry thus produced are endless, but nowhere have I yet met with rocks which have flowed in a stream; dykes of greenstone are very numerous. Modern volcanic action is entirely shut up in the very central parts (which cannot now be reached on account of the snow) of the Cordilleras. In the south of the R. Maypu I examined the Tertiary plains, already partially described by M. Gay. (5/3. "Rapport fait a l'Academie Royale des Sciences, sur les Travaux Geologiques de M. Gay," by Alex. Brongniart ("Ann. Sci. Nat." Volume XXVIII., page 394, 1833.) The fossil shells appear to me to be far more different from the recent ones than in the great Patagonian formation; it will be curious if an Eocene and Miocene (recent there is abundance of) could be proved to exist in S. America as well as in Europe. I have been much interested by finding abundance of recent shells at an elevation of 1,300 feet; the country in many places is scattered over with shells but these are all littoral ones. So that I suppose the 1,300 feet elevation must be owing to a succession of small elevations such as in 1822. With these certain proofs of the recent residence of the ocean over all the lower parts of Chili, the outline of every view and the form of each valley possesses a high interest. Has the action of running water or the sea formed this deep ravine? was a question which often arose in my mind and generally was answered by finding a bed of recent shells at the bottom. I have not sufficient arguments, but I do not believe that more than a small fraction of the height of the Andes has been formed within the Tertiary period. The conclusion of my excursion was very unfortunate, I became unwell and could hardly reach this place. I have been in bed for the last month, but am now rapidly getting well. I had hoped during this time to have made a good collection of insects but it has been impossible: I regret the less because Chiloe fairly swarms with collectors; there are more naturalists in the country, than carpenters or shoemakers or any other honest trade.

In my letter from the Falkland Islands I said I had fears about a box with a Megatherium. I have since heard from B. Ayres that it went to Liverpool by the brig "Basingwaithe." If you have not received it, it is I think worth taking some trouble about. In October two casks and a jar were sent by H.M.S. "Samarang" via Portsmouth. I have no doubt you have received them. With this letter I send a good many bird skins; in the same box with them, there is a paper parcel containing pill boxes with insects. The other pill boxes require no particular care. You will see in two of these boxes some dried Planariae (terrestrial), the only method I have found of preserving them (they are exceedingly brittle). By examining the white species I understand some little of the internal structure. There are two small parcels of seeds. There are some plants which I hope may interest you, or at least those from Patagonia where I collected every one in flower. There is a bottle clumsily but I think securely corked containing water and gas from the hot baths of Cauquenes seated at foot of Andes and long celebrated for medicinal properties. I took pains in filling and securing both water and gas. If you can find any one who likes to analyze them, I should think it would be worth the trouble. I have not time at present to copy my few observations about the locality, etc., etc., [of] these springs. Will you tell me how the Arachnidae which I have sent home, for instance those from Rio, appear to be preserved. I have doubts whether it is worth while collecting them.

Charles Darwin

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