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The most noted mineral springs are those of Apoquindo, Colina, Cauquenes, Panimávida, Cato, Soco, and Doña Ana; the principal constituents of which are chloride of calcium, chloride of sodium, chloride of magnesium, and sulphates of soda and lime, with occasional traces of iron and alumina. About seventy-five miles east south-east of Chillan are found hot sulphur springs, almost up to the line of perpetual snow on the Nevada de Chillan. They are much frequented, and are reputed to possess extraordinary medicinal virtues, particularly the last, for constitutional diseases and shattered nature.
The hydrographic system of Chili, although deficient and scarce in the north, owing to the dryness of the atmosphere and the comparative depression of the Andes, is very powerful and widely spread, particularly in the region of the south not yet explored. The lakes are numerous, but few of them are very large. With the exception of a few salt ponds or coves near the coast, they are bodies of fresh water, accumulated in the valleys high up in the central range of the Andes. The largest is Llanquihue, at the foot of the Andes, in the proyince of Valdivia; it is nearly triangular, thirty miles long, and twenty-two miles in its greatest width. Near it, and lying in the same plain, are Todos los Santos, or Esmeralda, so called on account of its green, transparent, and beautiful water, eighteen miles long and six miles wide, and Rupanco, twenty-four miles long and four miles broad. Puychué, a short distance north, is a trifle larger; and some ten or twelve miles further north is Ranco, a very irregular shaped lake, thirty-two miles long and eighteen broad. Immediately east of Valdivia are five small lakes, which form the head waters of the Valdivia river; near latitude 39° is Villa Rica or Llauquen, which covers more than one hundred square miles. In the province of Concepcion there are two lakes -Guilletué, with a surface of about_fifty square miles, lying high up in the Andes, and La Laja, celebrated for its picturesque scenery, and for the beautiful fall, a miniature Niagara, at its outlet, a short distance below.North of these there are no lakes deserving the name, but small bodies of water, the product of the melting snows drained into extinct craters, covering a surface of from three to twenty square miles, diversify the rugged scenery of the rough granite masses of the Andes.
The rivers of Chili are all of inconsiderable length, rising in the Andes, and finding their way by numerous waterfalls and rapids to the Pacific. When swollen by the melting of the mountain snows,' they discharge large quantities of water, and no inconsiderable quantity of alluvium, gravel, and even the debris of rocks into the Pacific, and almost all of them have, in consequence, considerable bars at their mouths. The following are the principal rivers : The Biobio rises in an extinct volcano in the extreme east of the Andes, lat. 38° 15', and takes a general north-west direction, receiving three considerable affluents -the Laja, Duqueco, and Bergara—and after a course of nearly two hundred and twenty miles, discharges its waters into the Pacific, in latitude 36° 50'. Like the other rivers of the country, it has a sand bar at its mouth, which prevents vessels of any considerable draught of water from ascending it. Inside the bar there is water enough for large shipping. A canal has been projected from the bay of Talcahuano into the river above the bar to obviate this difficulty. The river is navigable as far as Nacimiento, nearly one hundred miles, and maintains a steamer, which plies regularly between Concepcion and Nacimiento. The Maule rises in the Andes, in latitude 35° 10' south, and has a nearly due west course of about one hundred and fifty miles; it is navigable for small craft about seventy miles. The Valdivia rises in Lake Guanegué, in latitude 39° 45', and has a west south-west course; its length is about one hundred miles, and it is navigable for fifty miles. The Imperial rises in the Andes by several sources, in the vicinity of the parallel of 38° 30'; its course is south-west and west; its length about one hundred and fifty miles, of which about thirty are navigable. The Tolten rises in Lake Villa Rica, lat. 30° 57 south; its course is nearly due west; its length is about sixty miles; it is navigable, but not navigated, on account of the barbarous Indians on its banks. Thu Bueno flows from two principal sources, in two lakes of the Andes, lat. 40° 50' and 40° 40'; it has a course of about one hundred and ten miles, of which twenty are navigable. The other considerable streams, none of which, however, are navigable, are the Maypu, the Rapel, the Itata, the Aconcagua, the Mataquito, the Limari, the Coquimbo, the Huasco, and the Copiapó. The last, though at times a considerable stream, is often dry in summer.
COAST AND ISLANDS.
There are but few good harbors on the coast of Chili, though in the multitude of its small bays and indentations there are several roadsteads where, in fair weather, vessels may lie at anchor in safety. The best harbor is that of Talcahuano, in the bay of the same name, which is well protected, and with ample depth of water and room sufficient for the accommodation of the largest fleet. Coquimbo is the next harbor in point of safety. It is well sheltered on the west, south, and east, and as there are no tempestuous winds from the north, it is sufficiently secure. Close by it is a small land-locked harbor, Port Herradura, well adapted for repairing ships.
The harbor of Valparaiso is the most important on the Chilian coast, in the extent of its commerce, though, from its openness to northerly winds and the peculiar form of the bay, accidents to shipping are not uncommon. Caldera, in the bay of the same name, from which the largest ex ports from the silver and copper mines are shipped; Constitucion, within the mouth of the river Maule, an indifferent harbor, owing to the bar of the river at its entrance, but opening into a fertile region; Valdivia, an excellent harbor for small vessels; and San Carlos, on the is land of Chiloé, lat. 41° 51', are the other principal harbors on the coast.
Before the pending war with Spain, Chili had only nine ports open to direct foreign trade, but now she has fiftyfive. The Spaniards have consequently done a great service to the world. They have, it may be said, discovered with their big ships no less than fifty new ports unknown before to geographers and merchants.
The ports which were known before the war are the fol-, lowing: Caldera, Coquimbo, Huasco, Valparaiso, Constitucion, Tomé, Talcahuano, Coronel, Valdivia and Ancud.
The remaining forty-five now thrown open to the world, free of all custom house duties, are Chacao, Castro, Melipulli,
Calbuco, Rio Bueno, Carampangue, Lebu, Colcura, Lota,
The most important, and indeed the only ones of much intrinsic value to the republic are those of Chiloé and its archipelago. Possessed of a healthy though moist climate, a soil of extraordinary fertility, and with no elevation above 2,600 feet, a temperature in which ice does not form, and frost and snow are exceedingly rare, Chiloé may well be called the garden of the Pacific. It yields fine crops of wheat, barley, and potatoes every year, and the domestic animals propagate rapidly, and contribute largely to the commerce of the island. The potato is indigenous here, and by cultivation has reached a high degree of excellence. The inhabitants are amiable and hospitable, but, owing in part, probably, to the beneficence of nature in providing them a support with but little labor, they are inclined to indolence. The principal islands of the archipelago are San Pedro, Lilchuapu, Caylin, Tanqui, Lemuy, Quehuy, &c., &c. There are in all more than one hundred of these islands, of which twenty are settled, and have good harbors. These all abound in seals, otters, and shell-fish, and are well supplied with wood and water. Southward of these are the Guaytecas group and Huafo, similar in their general character. On the coast above Chiloé are several smaller islands, the principal of which are Mocha, lat. 38° 23'; Santa Maria, lat. 37° 3'; and Quiriquina, in the mouth of Concepcion Bay.
The most renowned of all the Chilian islands is the group rendered immortal in connection with De Foe's “Robinson Crusoe,” Juan Fernandez. Aside from the fictitious interest thus bestowed upon them, these inconsiderable islands (for there are two principal and several smaller ones) have played a conspicuous part in the history of the South Pacific. First discovered by Juan Fernandez, in 1563,, they were abandoned in a short time by the colonists, who left their goats and fruit trees. Subsequently, they became a favorite resort for pirates and buccaneers, and afforded to Lord Anson for three months, a refuge where his crew might recover from the scurvy, and his vessels be refitted. They were visited by Ulloa in 1741, and in 1751 an attempt was again made for their colonization by the Spanish, Government An attempt twice repeated during the present century by the Chilian republic has not been quite successful.
BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY.
The vegetable and animal kingdom of Chili present a singular contrast, the latter being very deficient. There are, consequently, no magnificent wild beasts in the country. No lions, tigers, leopards; neither the small, ferocious reptiles which are the curse of most South American countries. It has been observed that Chili, being the healthiest country in the South, is precisely the one which produces most medicinal plants, and, at the same time, is free of all venomous animals or reptiles.
The potato is an aboriginal of Chili, as well as a very delicious kind of bean, called by the aborigines porotos, and a great many kinds of sago roots are found wild, particularly on the banks of the Biobio. A very sweet kind of juice called chuño is made out of this fruit.
Many of the forest trees are of great value for building and ornamental purposes. The araucaria, a species of pine, the alerce, a cypress, with a dark rich heart-wood, the roble, tiqui, mañu, muermo, and mayten are all valuable and durable woods. The coligue, a species of bamboo, is in very considerable demand for thatching roofs.
The animals of Chili are not as numerous as those of the countries east of the Andes. The mammals are comparatively few. M. Gay, an eminent French naturalist, enumerates seven species of cheiroptera, mostly of the bat tribe; twelve species of carnivora, embracing four of the cat tribe, three foxes, one weasel, two polecats, the nutria and the otter; six species of the phocido, embracing the seal and his congeners; one marsupial, the didelphys elegans, peculiar to Chili: twelve genera and twenty-five species of rodents, of which twelve belong to the mouse family; the