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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/260

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

patron (according to Lichtenstein and Driesen) had gardens, cages and fish-ponds constructed in Mauritia. Manget further tells us that Count Maurice called himself the disciple of Marcgrave, and as we shall see later, in his hours of leisure took a considerable part in working up these collections.

In his collecting tours, Marcgrave seems to have pretty thoroughly explored the northeastern part of Brazil, particularly those regions embraced in the present states of Pernambuco, Parahyba and Eio Grande do Norte. How many of these exploratory journeys Marcgrave made is not known, but that he made at least three is certain and for this reason. It seems that from the time of leaving Holland he kept a journal, and that this journal for the years 1638, 1639 and 1640 fell into the hands of the unknown writer in Manget. This man expressly says that the journal for these trips was written up day by day and that he had it in his possession. What became of the journals for the other three and one half years (1641-1644) he did not know.

The first of these journeys was undertaken on June 21, 1639, and lasted for thirty-nine or forty days. The second, begun on October 20, 1640, lasted twenty days. The third and shortest covered the time from December 8 to December 19, 1640. How many other explorations Marcgrave made can not be said, but, even if there were no other extended ones, there was no lack of opportunities for studying natural history, since he had but to go outside the city or camp to find himself surrounded by plants and animals new and hitherto unknown to the scientific world.

It must not be supposed, however, that, because the jungle could be reached in a short distance from the camps, it was easy to see, much less to collect, the animals found therein. All explorers and naturalists in the wilds of Brazil have strongly emphasized the fact that one may travel hours and even days through the forests without ever seeing or even hearing bird or beast. This is, of course, due to the very dense vegetation and to the fact that most of the forest dwellers are likewise tree-top dwellers and are found high up in and on the tops of the trees. The wonder is that Marcgrave, in the wild and unsettled condition of the country and with his limited knowledge of the habits of the animals he sought, should have amassed such valuable material. That he let slip no opportunity to add to his collections and to his observations will be shown later, and it is probable that, having become acclimated and having laid the foundation of an acquaintance with the fauna and flora of Brazil, the years 1641-44 witnessed far more scientific activity on his part than the preceding three years.

At last the time came (May, 1644) when, his work having been brought to a stop by the preparations of his chief to return to Holland, he determined to go home also. Concerning this matter the unknown