Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
"A Voyage Round the World" (S182: 1871)
This is the gossiping journal of a young companion of the Duc de Penthièvre, son of the Prince de Joinville, often amusing and spirited, but of little permanent value. We have the usual exaggerations of a novice in the tropics. At Batavia he speaks of "this torrid temperature of 104° in the shade," a degree of heat never experienced by the present writer during many years' residence in those regions. The author's scientific attainments may be estimated by his account of his visit to the Melbourne Museum, when he makes Prof. MacCoy speak in this fashion:-- "The stratum of alluvial soil covering the crust of primitive rocks, which formed round the earth while it was still in a liquid and incandescent state, possesses the same specific type of animal life that characterises the ancient strata of Wales, Sweden, and North America. Then come soils identical with those of these countries, schist and fossil rocks; thus Canada, Scotland, and the province of Victoria have all passed through the same form of existence at this remote period." The countries described are Australia, Java, Siam, and Canton, and the whole journey occupied about six months.
A. R. W.