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

Page 177

anything or risking anything, does not need to show much more initiative and intelligence than an express package. He does nothing; others do all the work, show all the forethought, take all the risk—and are entitled to all the credit. He and his valise are carried in practically the same fashion; and for each the achievement stands about on the same plane. If this kind of traveller is a writer, he can of course do admirable work, work of the highest value; but the value comes because he is a writer and observer, not because of any particular credit that attaches to him as a traveller. We all recognize this truth as far as highly civilized regions are concerned: when Bryce writes of the American commonwealth, or Lowell of European legislative assemblies, our admiration is for the insight and thought of the observer,and we are not concerned with his travels. When a man travels across Arizona in a Pullman car, we do not think of him as having performed a feat bearing even the most remote resemblance to the feats of the first explorers of those waterless wastes; whatever admiration we feel in connection with his trip is reserved for the traffic-superintendent, engineer, fireman, and brakeman. But as regards the less-known continents, such as South America, we sometimes fail to remember these obvious truths. There yet remains plenty of exploring work to be done in South America, as hard, as dangerous, and almost as important as any that has already been done; work such as has recently been done, or is now being done, by men and women such as Haseman, Farrabee, and Miss Snethlage. The collecting naturalists who go into the wilds and do first-class work encounter every kind of risk and