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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 176

  This does not mean that there are not such foes. Outside of the clearings, and of the beaten tracks of travel, they teem. There are ticks, poisonous ants, wasps—of which some species are really serious menaces—biting flies and gnats. I merely mean that, unlike so many other tropical regions, this particular region is, from the standpoint of the settler and the ordinary traveller, relatively free from insect pests, and a pleasant place of residence. The original explorer, and to an only less degree the hardworking field naturalist or big-game hunter, have to face these pests, just as they have to face countless risks, hardships, and difficulties. This is inherent in their several professions or avocations. Many regions in the United States where life is now absolutely comfortable and easygoing offered most formidable problems to the first explorers a century or two ago. We must not fall into the foolish error of thinking that the first explorers need not suffer terrible hardships, merely because the ordinary travellers, and even the settlers who come after them, do not have to endure such danger, privation, and wearing fatigue—although the first among the genuine settlers also have to undergo exceedingly trying experiences. The early explorers and adventurers make fairly well-beaten trails; but it is incumbent on them neither to boast of their own experiences nor to misjudge the efforts of the pioneers because, thanks to these very efforts, their own lines fall in pleasant places. The ordinary traveller, who never goes off the beaten route and who on this beaten route is carried by others, without himself doing