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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Brazil is familiar with French romantic literature, especially the works of Voltaire and Rousseau are read, and with such diligence that several patriotic authors were forced to speak out against this galomania. The phenomenon is even more extraordinary, because the political and mercantile relations of the Lusitanian people are linked to England, so a closer appreciation of British literature would be expected. Even in English book translations, Portuguese literature is not as rich as French literature. German poetry and language are entirely unknown to Brazilians; It is rare to meet Gessner or a Klopstock, which here is only known through the French interpretation. The aforementioned influences of French culture have not yet expelled the mother tongue from the highest society; With the exception of the court and its circle, English and French languages are learned only by men, and therefore little spoken at social gatherings. The beautiful sex, though included in the general transformation that court transplantation has produced, and is now becoming more visible in the theater and on the streets, still retains more or less the same position, which Barrow quoted in his apologetic description in the book. year 1792.

Baron von Langsdorff

Mr. von Langsdorff's hospitable home was, for the many Europeans living in Rio de Janeiro, a pleasant meeting place at night. There was a continually happy and lively conversation, which was further enhanced by the charm of the housekeeper's musical talent and the Neukomm contest. Such a gathering of naturalists or friends of nature, as happened at the time of our stay, had never met here before. The exchange of communications about experiences and observations, which provided us all with the richness and uniqueness of nature, was doubly enchanted by the mildness of the environment.

Mr. von Langsdorff lived in a small cottage on the hillside, which extends southwest of the city, and enjoyed the fragrant grove of Brazil, with a magnificent view of the city and part of the bay. Nothing can compare to the beauty of this place when, after the hot hours of the day, light breezes cool the embalmed air with the scents of the nearby woods. This pleasure becomes even more vivid as soon as night falls, when in the distance the shining mirror of the sea extends, and the quiet city lights up little by little. One who has not experienced the charm of moonlight in the stillness of the night in these fortunate latitudes will not be able to give a correct description of the high sensations which such a wonderful nature awakens in the soul of the beholder. A delicate, transparent fog hangs over the whole region; the moon

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