4th June 1832

[Darwin's longest Journal entry since the Beagle left Plymouth last December... he IS pleased to see the ship again]

Rio de Janeiro
Got up at 4 oclock to go out hunting: the person who keeps the hounds is a priest & dean. — the pack only consisted of five dogs, their names, Trumpeta, Mimosa, Clariena, Dorena & Champaigna; the huntsman is a black man & performed the other offices of body servant & Clerk. The padre is a very rich man & a great favourite of the last queens; we got to his country house at 5 oclock & found with him another brother priest. — It was very curious to see the miserable manner such men could live in; one sort of shed where dogs, black men & themselves appeared to live together; & the whole place dirty & out of order. — At about seven we arrived at our hunting ground, & put up the horses at a small farm house situated in the middle of the woods. — The hunting consists in all the dogs being turned into the forest & each separately pursues its own game. — The hunters with guns station themselves in the places most likely for the animals, such as small deer & pachas (like guinea pigs) to pass by. — And in the intervals they shoot parrots & Toucans &c.. — I soon found this very stupid & began to hunt my own peculiar game. — The wood contained by far the largest trees I have yet seen, — the average I should think was double of what I have before seen, being about 6 feet in circumference, of course as before there are many larger & smaller trees. — Perhaps in consequence of the greater size this one was much less impenetrable than the generality & might easily be traversed in all directions. — The eldest son of the farmer accompanied us & was a good specimen of the country Brazilian youths. — His dress consisted of a tattered shirt, pair of trowsers, & wooden slippers (in keeping on which he showed most singular dexterity) & no hat & long hair. — He carried with him an old fashioned gun & an enormous knife. — As They use the latter for killing animals & as they walk along incessantly continue cutting the branches so as to improve old & make new paths. — This practice is universal, & in consequence of the habit of carrying the knife, many murders take place. — It is not at all necessary for them to approach the person as they can throw the knife to a great distance with force & precision. — The day before this young man had shot 2 large bearded monkeys & had left another dead in the tree: these monkeys have prehensile tails, which when dead by the very tip will support the whole weight of the animal. — He took with him a mulatto with an axe & to my surprise proceeded in order to get the monkey, to cut down an enormous tree; they soon affected this & as it fell with an awful crash it tore up the earth & broke other trees & itself. — We joined our party, whom we found shooting beautiful little green parrots; the young Brazilian soon signalized himself by his hawks eye & steady hand. — We then eat our dinner & drank wine in the true Don Quixote fashion out of a bag of goats skin. — After a score of profound bows & with our hands to our hearts repeating "Monte, Monte, obligado", we took leave of the two hospitable & intelligent padres proceeded home. — I found on my table a letter from Shrewsbury dated March 12th. —

I also found King, who had arrived late the evening before in the Beagle. — He brought the calamitous news of the death of three of our ship-mates. — They were the three of the Macacu party who were ill with fever when the Beagle sailed from Rio. — 1st Morgan, an extraordinary powerful man & excellent seaman; he was a very brave man & had performed some curious feats, he put a whole party of Portugeese to flight, who had molested the party; he pitched an armed sentinel into the sea at St Jago; & formerly he was one of the boarders in that most gallant action against the Slaver the Black Joke. — 2d Boy Jones one of the most promising boys in the ship & had been promised but the day before his illness, promotion. — These were the only two of the sailors who were with the Cutter, & picked for their excellence. — And lastly, poor little Musters; who three days before his illness heard of his Mothers death. Morgan was taken ill 4 days after arriving on board & died near the Abrolhos, where he was lowered into the sea after divisions on Sunday — for several days he was violently delirious & talked about the party. — Boy Jones died two days after arriving at Bahia, & Musters two days after that. — They were both for a long time insensible or nearly so. — They were both buried in the English burial ground at Bahia; where in the lonely spot are also two other midshipmen. The other five of the party were all slightly attacked; none of them for more than a day or two. — Macacu has been latterly especially notorious for fevers: how mysterious & how terrible is their power. It is remarkable that in almost every case, the fever appears to come on several days after returning into the pure atmosphere. — I could quote numbers of such cases: is it the sudden change of life, the better & more stimulating food, which determines the period?- Humboldt & Bonpland, after living for months in the forests, as soon as they returned to the coast, both were seized by violent fevers.

The Beagle made a very good passage up; being only 5 days, she passed a few miles inside of the Abrolhos. — A French corvette sailed 8 days before & promised our Captain to have dinner ready for him on his arrival at Bahia; as it turned out the case was reversed; such is the advantage of a good knowledge of the winds & coast. — She staid a week at Bahia. — And 12 days back to Rio; she would have been some days shorter on the passage, had she not been becalmed at Cape Frio.

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