T HE BRAZIL which General Caxias had restored to peace was an Empire geographically as well as politically. Its eighteen provinces had an area about equal to the

present United States of America. This was broken into numerous physiographic units, each with its own climatic characteristics, even though most of the country lay within the torrid zone. In the northwest was the vast basin of the Amazon River, where excessive rainfall made the air steam with moisture under the direct rays of the sun. Here was unconquered jungle, the paradise of the naturalist who semi-occasionally penetrated its outer fringe. The closely-set, bewildering variety of palms and hardwood trees, the bamboos, ceibas, mimosas, tillandsias, bignonias, arborescent ferns, and countless other kinds of vegetation were spangled with orchids and other parasites and were bound together by creepers and by twisted, interlacing lianas. In places the traveler had to cut his way through the walls of living green.