Went out collecting & took the direction of the Botanic Garden; I soon came to one of the salt water lakes or bays by which the surrounding country is often penetrated. Many of the views were exceedingly beautiful; yet in tropical scenery, the entire newness, & therefore absence of all associations, which in my own case (& I believe in others) are unconsciously much more frequent than I ever thought, requires the mind to be wrought to a high pitch, & then assuredly no delight can be greater; otherwise your reason tells you it is beautiful but the feelings do not correspond. I often ask myself why can I not calmly enjoy this; I might answer myself by also asking, what is there that can bring the delightful ideas of rural quiet & retirement, what that can call back the recollection of childhood & times past, where all that was unpleasant is forgotten; until ideas, in their effects similar to them, are raised, in vain may we look amidst the glories of this almost new world for quiet contemplation.
The Captain called in the evening & says the Beagle sails tomorrow. We also today heard the bad news that three of the party, who went up in the Cutter to Macucu for snipe shooting, are taken seriously ill with Fevers. There is reason to fear that others were to day beginning to feel the bad effects of their excursion. The first case occurred 4 days after the arrival of the party on board on the 2nd. A boat from the Warspite started yesterday for the same purpose. I very nearly succeeded in joining it; my good star presided over me when I failed. Four of us belonging to the Beagle are now living here. Earl, who is unwell & suffers agonies from the Rheumatism. The serjeant of Marines, who is recovering from a long illness, & Miss Fuegia Basket, who daily increases in every direction except height.