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A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

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This Ebook was produced by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.

A WOMAN'S JOURNEY ROUND THE WORLD, from Vienna to Brazil, Chili,
Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, and Asia Minor.


An unabridged translation from the German.


I have been called, in many of the public journals, a "professed
tourist;" but I am sorry to say that I have no title to the
appellation in its usual sense. On the one hand I possess too
little wit and humour to render my writings amusing; and, on the
other, too little knowledge to judge rightly of what I have gone
through. The only gift to which I can lay claim is that of
narrating in a simple manner the different scenes in which I have
played a part, and the different objects I have beheld; if I ever
pronounce an opinion, I do so merely on my own personal experience.

Many will perhaps believe that I undertook so long a journey from
vanity. I can only say in answer to this--whoever thinks so should
make such a trip himself, in order to gain the conviction, that
nothing but a natural wish for travel, a boundless desire of
acquiring knowledge, could ever enable a person to overcome the
hardships, privations, and dangers to which I have been exposed.

In exactly the same manner as the artist feels an invincible desire
to paint, and the poet to give free course to his thoughts, so was I
hurried away with an unconquerable wish to see the world. In my
youth I dreamed of travelling--in my old age I find amusement in
reflecting on what I have beheld.

The public received very favourably my plain unvarnished account of
"A Voyage to the Holy Land, and to Iceland and Scandinavia."
Emboldened by their kindness, I once more step forward with the
journal of my last and most considerable voyage, and I shall feel
content if the narration of my adventures procures for my readers
only a portion of the immense fund of pleasure derived from the
voyage by


Vienna, March 16, 1850.

With the hope that we may forward the views of the authoress, and be
the means of exciting the public attention to her position and
wants, we append the following statement by Mr. A. Petermann, which
appeared in the Athenaeum of the 6th of December, 1851:

"Madame Pfeiffer came to London last April, with the intention of
undertaking a fresh journey; her love of travelling appearing not
only unabated, but even augmented by the success of her journey
round the world. She had planned, as her fourth undertaking, a
journey to some of those portions of the globe which she had not yet
visited--namely, Australia and the islands of the Asiatic
Archipelago; intending to proceed thither by the usual route round
the Cape. Her purpose was, however, changed while in London. The
recently discovered Lake Ngami, in Southern Africa, and the
interesting region to the north, towards the equator--the reflection
how successfully she had travelled among savage tribes, where armed
men hesitated to penetrate, how well she had borne alike the cold of
Iceland and the heat of Babylonia--and lastly, the suggestion that
she might be destined to raise the veil from some of the totally
unknown portions of the interior of Africa--made her determine on
stopping at the Cape, and trying to proceed thence, if possible,
northwards into the equatorial regions of the African Continent.

"Madame Pfeiffer left for the Cape, on the 22nd of May last, in a
sailing vessel--her usual mode of travelling by sea, steamboats
being too expensive. She arrived safely at Cape Town on the 11th of
August, as I learned from a letter which I received from her last
week, dated the 20th of August. From that letter the following are

"'The impression which this place (Cape Town) made on me, was not an
agreeable one. The mountains surrounding the town are bare, the
town itself (London being still fresh in my recollection) resembles
a village. The houses are of only one story, with terraces instead
of roofs. From the deck of the vessel a single tree was visible,
standing on a hill. In short, on my arrival I was at once much
disappointed, and this disappointment rather increases than
otherwise. In the town the European mode of living is entirely
prevalent--more so than in any other place abroad that I have seen.
I have made a good many inquiries as to travelling into the
interior; and have been, throughout, assured that the natives are
everywhere kindly disposed to travellers, and that as a woman I
should be able to penetrate much farther than a man,--and I have
been strongly advised to undertake a journey as far as the unknown
lakes, and even beyond. Still, with all these splendid prospects
and hopes, I fear I shall travel less in this country than in any
other. Here, the first thing you are told is, that you must
purchase waggons, oxen, horses, asses,--hire expensive guides, etc.,
etc. How far should I reach in this way with my 100 pounds
sterling? I will give you an example of the charges in this
country:--for the carriage of my little luggage to my lodgings I had
to pay 10s. 6d.! I had previously landed in what I thought the most
expensive places in the world--London, Calcutta, Canton, etc.--had
everywhere a much greater distance to go from the vessel to my
lodgings, and nowhere had I paid half of what they charged me here.
Board and lodging I have also found very dear. Fortunately, I have
been very kindly received into the house of Mr. Thaewitzer, the
Hamburgh consul, where I live, very agreeably, but do not much
advance the object which brought me here. I shall, in the course of
the month, undertake a short journey with some Dutch boers to Klein
Williams; and I fear that this will form the beginning and the end
of my travels in this country.'

"From these extracts it will be seen that the resolute lady has at
her command but very slender means for the performance of her
journeys. The sum of 100 pounds, which was granted to her by the
Austrian government, forms the whole of her funds. Private
resources she has none. It took her twenty years to save enough
money to perform her first journey!--namely, that to the Holy Land.
While in London, she received scarcely any encouragement; and her
works were not appreciated by the public, or indeed known, till she
had left this country. It is to be regretted that the want of a
little pecuniary assistance should deter the enterprising lady from
carrying out her projected journey in Southern Africa. Though not a
scientific traveller, she is a faithful recorder of what she sees
and hears; and she is prepared to note the bearings and distances of
the journey, make meteorological observations, and keep a careful
diary--so that the results of her projected journey would perhaps be
of as much interest as those of other travellers of greater




























On the first of May, 1846, I left Vienna, and, with the exception of
slight stoppages at Prague, Dresden, and Leipsic, proceeded directly
to Hamburgh, there to embark for the Brazils. In Prague I had the
pleasure of meeting Count Berchthold, who had accompanied me during
a portion of my journey in the East. He informed me that he should
like to be my companion in the voyage to the Brazils, and I promised
to wait for him in Hamburgh.

I had a second most interesting meeting on the steamer from Prague
to Dresden, namely, with the widow of Professor Mikan. In the year
1817, this lady had, on the occasion of the marriage of the Austrian
Princess Leopaldine with Don Pedro I., followed her husband to the
Brazils, and afterwards made with him a scientific journey into the
interior of the country.

I had often heard this lady's name mentioned, and my joy at making
her personal acquaintance was very great. In the kindest and most
amiable manner she communicated to me the results of her long
experience, and added advice and rules of conduct, which proved
afterwards highly useful.

I arrived in Hamburgh on the 12th of May; and, as early as the 13th,
might have embarked on board a fine fast-sailing brig, which,
besides, was christened the "Ida," like myself. With a heavy heart
I saw this fine vessel set sail. I was obliged to remain behind, as
I had promised my travelling companion to await his arrival. Week
after week elapsed, with nothing but the fact of my staying with my
relatives to lighten the dreariness of suspense; at last, about the
middle of June, the Count came, and shortly afterwards we found a
vessel--a Danish brig, the "Caroline," Captain Bock, bound for Rio

I had now before me a long voyage, which could not be made under two
months at the least, and which, possibly, might last three or four.
Luckily I had already lived for a considerable period on board
sailing vessels during my former travels, and was therefore
acquainted with their arrangements, which are very different from
those of steamers. On board a steamer everything is agreeable and
luxurious; the vessel pursues her rapid course independent of the
wind, and the passengers enjoy good and fresh provisions, spacious
cabins, and excellent society.

In sailing vessels all this is very different, as, with the
exception of the large East Indiamen, they are not fitted up for
passengers. In them the cargo is looked upon as the principal
thing, and in the eyes of the crew passengers are a troublesome
addition, whose comfort is generally very little studied. The
captain is the only person who takes any interest in them, since a
third or even the half of the passage-money falls to his share.

The space, too, is so confined, that you can hardly turn yourself
round in the sleeping cabins, while it is quite impossible to stand
upright in the berths. Besides this, the motion of a sailing vessel
is much stronger than that of a steamer; on the latter, however,
many affirm that the eternal vibration, and the disagreeable odour
of the oil and coals, are totally insupportable. For my own part, I
never found this to be the case; it certainly is unpleasant, but
much easier to bear than the many inconveniences always existing on
board a sailing vessel. The passenger is there a complete slave to
every whim or caprice of the captain, who is an absolute sovereign
and holds uncontrolled sway over everything. Even the food depends
upon his generosity, and although it is generally not absolutely
bad, in the best instances, it is not equal to that on board a

The following form the ordinary diet: tea and coffee without milk,
bacon and junk, soup made with pease or cabbage, potatoes, hard
dumplings, salted cod, and ship-biscuit. On rare occasions, ham,
eggs, fish, pancakes, or even skinny fowls, are served out. It is
very seldom, in small ships, that bread can be procured.

To render the living more palatable, especially on a long voyage,
passengers would do well to take with them a few additions to the
ship's fare. The most suitable are: portable soup and captain's
biscuit--both of which should be kept in tin canisters to preserve
them from mouldiness and insects--a good quantity of eggs, which,
when the vessel is bound for a southern climate, should first be
dipped in strong lime-water or packed in coal-dust; rice, potatoes,
sugar, butter, and all the ingredients for making sangaree and
potato-salad, the former being very strengthening and the latter
very cooling. I would strongly recommend those who have children
with them to take a goat as well.

As regards wine, passengers should take especial care to ask the
captain whether this is included in the passage-money, otherwise it
will have to be purchased from him at a very high rate.

There are also other objects which must not be forgotten, and above
all a mattress, bolster, and counterpane, as the berths are
generally unfurnished. These can be purchased very cheaply in any
seaport town.

Besides this, it is likewise advisable to take a stock of coloured
linen. The office of washerwoman is filled by a sailor, so that it
may easily be imagined that the linen does not return from the wash
in the best possible condition.

When the sailors are employed in shifting the sails, great care must
be taken to avoid injury by the falling of any of the ropes. But
all these inconveniences are comparatively trifling; the greatest
amount of annoyance begins towards the end of the voyage. The
captain's mistress is his ship. At sea he allows her to wear an
easy neglige, but in port she must appear in full dress. Not a sign
of the long voyage, of the storms, of the glowing heat she has
suffered, must be visible. Then begins an incessant hammering,
planing, and sawing; every flaw, every crack or injury is made good,
and, to wind up, the whole vessel is painted afresh. The worst of
all, however, is the hammering when the cracks in the deck are being
repaired and filled up with pitch. This is almost unbearable.

But enough of annoyances. I have described them merely to prepare,
in some degree, those who have never been to sea. Persons residing
in sea-port towns do not, perhaps, stand in need of this, for they
hear these matters mentioned every day; but such is not the case
with us poor souls, who have lived all our lives in inland cities.
Very often we hardly know how a steamer or a sailing vessel looks,
much less the mode of life on board them. I speak from experience,
and know too well what I myself suffered on my first voyage, simply
because, not having been warned beforehand, I took nothing with me
save a small stock of linen and clothes.

At present I will proceed with the progress of my voyage. We
embarked on the evening of the 28th of June, and weighed anchor
before daybreak of the 29th. The voyage did not commence in any
very encouraging manner; we had very little, in fact almost no wind
at all, and compared to us every pedestrian appeared to be running a
race: we made the nine miles to Blankenese in seven hours.

Luckily the slow rate at which we proceeded was not so disagreeable,
as, at first, for a considerable period we beheld the magnificent
port, and afterwards could admire, on the Holstein side, the
beautiful country houses of the rich Hamburghers, situated upon
charming eminences and surrounded by lovely gardens. The opposite
side, belonging to Hanover, is as flat and monotonous as the other
is beautiful. About here the Elbe, in many places, is from three to
four miles broad.

Before reaching Blankenese the ships take in their stock of water
from the Elbe. This water, although of a dirty and thick
appearance, is said to possess the valuable quality of resisting
putridity for years.

We did not reach Gluckstadt (37 miles from Hamburgh) before the
morning of the 30th. As there was not now a breath of wind, we were
entirely at the mercy of the stream, and began drifting back. The
captain, therefore, ordered the men to cast anchor, and profited by
the leisure thus forced upon him to have the chests and boxes made
fast on the deck and in the hold. We idlers had permission granted
us to land and visit the town, in which, however, we found but
little to admire.

There were eight passengers on board. The four cabin places were
taken by Count B--, myself, and two young people who hoped to make
their fortune sooner in the Brazils than in Europe. The price of a
passage in the first cabin was 100 dollars (20 pounds 16s. 8d.), and
in the steerage 50 dollars (10 pounds 8s. 4d.).

In the steerage, besides two worthy tradesmen, was a poor old woman
who was going, in compliance with the wish of her only son, who had
settled in the Brazils, to join him there, and a married woman whose
husband had been working as a tailor for the last six years in Rio
Janeiro. People soon become acquainted on board ship, and generally
endeavour to agree as well as possible, in order to render the
monotony of a long voyage at all supportable.

On the 1st of July we again set sail in rather stormy weather. We
made a few miles, but were soon obliged to cast anchor once more.
The Elbe is here so wide, that we could hardly see its banks, and
the swell so strong, that sea-sickness began to manifest itself
among our company. On the 2nd of July, we again attempted to weigh
anchor, but with no better success than the day before. Towards
evening we saw some dolphins, called also _tummler_, or tumblers, as
well as several gulls, which announced to us that we were fast
nearing the sea.

A great many vessels passed quickly by us. Ah! they could turn to
account the storm and wind which swelled out their sails, and drove
them rapidly towards the neighbouring port. We grudged them their
good fortune; and perhaps we had to thank this specimen of Christian
love on our part, that on the 3rd of July, we had not got further
than Cuxhaven, seventy-four miles from Hamburgh.

The 4th of July was a beautifully fine day, for those who could
remain quietly on shore; but for those on board ship it was bad
enough, as there was not the slightest breath of wind stirring. To
get rid of our lamentations, the captain launched out in praises of
the charming little town, and had us conveyed to land. We visited
the town, as well as the bathing establishment and the lighthouse,
and afterwards actually proceeded as far as a place called the
"Bush," where, as we were told, we should find a great abundance of
strawberries. After wandering about, over fields and meadows, for a
good hour in the glowing heat, we found the Bush, it is true, but
instead of strawberries, discovered only frogs and adders there.

We now proceeded into the scanty wood, where we saw about twenty
tents erected. A bustling landlord came up, and offering us some
glasses of bad milk, said that every year a fair is held in the Bush
for three weeks, or rather, on three successive Sundays, for during
the week days the booths are closed. The landlady also came
tripping towards us, and invited us, in a very friendly manner, to
spend the next Sunday with them. She assured us that we should
"amuse ourselves charmingly;" that we elder members of the company
should find entertainment in the wonderful performances of the
tumblers and jugglers, and the younger gentlemen find spruce young
girls for partners in the dance.

We expressed ourselves much pleased at this invitation, promised to
be sure to come, and then extended our walk to Ritzebuttel, where we
admired a small castle and a miniature park.

5th July. Nothing is so changeable as the weather: yesterday we
were revelling in sunshine, and today we were surrounded by a thick,
dark fog; and yet this, bad as it was, we found more agreeable than
the fine weather of the day before, for a slight breeze sprang up,
and at nine o'clock in the morning, we heard the rattling of the
capstan, as the anchor was being weighed. In consequence of this,
the young people were obliged to give up the idea of an excursion to
the Bush, and defer all dancing with pretty girls until their
arrival in another hemisphere, for it was fated that they should not
set foot in Europe again.

The transition from the Elbe to the North Sea is scarcely
perceptible, as the Elbe is not divided into different channels, but
is eight or ten miles broad at its mouth. It almost forms a small
sea of itself, and has even the green hue of one. We were,
consequently, very much surprised, on hearing the captain exclaim,
in a joyful tone, "We are out of the river at last." We imagined
that we had long since been sailing upon the wide ocean.

In the afternoon, we bore in sight of the island of Heligoland,
which belongs to the English, and presented really a magical
appearance, as it rose out from the sea. It is a barren, colossal
rock; and had I not learned, from one of the newest works on
geography, that it was peopled by about 2,500 souls, I should have
supposed the whole island to have been uninhabited. On three sides,
the cliffs rise so precipitously from the waves, that all access is

We sailed by the place at a considerable distance, and saw only the
towers of the church and lighthouse, in addition to the so-called
"Monk," a solitary, perpendicular rock, that is separated from the
main body, between which and it there sparkles a small strip of sea.

The inhabitants are very poor. The only sources of their livelihood
are fishing and bathing visitors. A great number of the latter come
every year, as the bathing, on account of the extraordinary swell,
is reckoned extremely efficacious. Unfortunately, great fears are
entertained that this watering-place cannot exist much longer, as
every year the island decreases in size, from the continual falling
away of large masses of rock, so that some day the whole place may
disappear into the sea.

From the 5th to the 10th of July, we had continued stormy and cold
weather, with a heavy sea, and great rolling of the ship. All we
poor "land-lubbers" were suffering from sea sickness. We first
entered the British Channel, also called "La Manche" (420 miles from
Cuxhaven) in the night of the 10-11th.

We awaited with impatience the rising of the sun, which would
display to our gaze two of the mightiest powers in Europe. Luckily,
the day was fine and clear, and the two kingdoms lay before us, in
such magnificence and proximity, that the beholder was almost
inclined to believe that a sister people inhabited both countries.

On the coast of England, we saw the North Foreland, the Castle of
Sandown, and the town of Deal, stretching out at the foot of the
cliffs, which extend for many miles, and are about 150 feet high.
Further on, we came in sight of the South Foreland; and lastly, the
ancient castle of Dover, that sits right bravely enthroned upon an
eminence, and overlooks the surrounding country, far and wide. The
town itself lies upon the sea-shore.

Opposite Dover, at the narrowest part of the channel, we
distinguished, on the French coast, Cape Grisnez, where Napoleon
erected a small building, in order, it is said, to be at least able
to see England; and, further on, the obelisk raised in memory of the
camp at Boulogne, by Napoleon, but completed under Louis Philippe.

The wind being unfavourable, we were obliged, during the night, to
tack in the neighbourhood of Dover. The great darkness which
covered both land and sea rendered this maneuvre a very dangerous
one; firstly, on account of the proximity of the coast; and,
secondly, on account of the number of vessels passing up and down
the channel. To avoid a collision, we hung out a lantern on the
foremast, while, from time to time, a torch was lighted, and held
over the side, and the bell frequently kept sounding: all very
alarming occurrences to a person unused to the sea.

For fourteen days were we prisoners in the 360 miles of the Channel,
remaining very often two or three days, as if spell-bound, in the
same place, while we were frequently obliged to cruise for whole
days to make merely a few miles; and near Start we were overtaken by
a tolerably violent storm. During the night I was suddenly called
upon deck. I imagined that some misfortune had happened, and
hastily throwing a few clothes on, hurried up--to enjoy the
astonishing spectacle of a "sea-fire." In the wake of the vessel I
behold a streak of fire so strong that it would have been easy to
read by its light; the water round the ship looked like a glowing
stream of lava, and every wave, as it rose up, threw out sparks of
fire. The track of the fish was surrounded by dazzling inimitable
brilliancy, and far and wide everything was one dazzling

This extraordinary illumination of the sea is of very unfrequent
occurrence, and rarely happens after long-continued, violent storms.
The captain told me that he had never yet beheld the sea so lighted
up. For my part, I shall never forget the sight.

A second, and hardly less beautiful, spectacle came under our
observation at another time, when, after a storm, the clouds, gilt
by the rays of the sun, were reflected as in a mirror on the bosom
of the sea. They glittered and shone with an intensity of colour
which surpassed even those of the rainbow.

We had full leisure to contemplate Eddystone Lighthouse, which is
the most celebrated building of the kind in Europe, as we were
cruising about for two days in sight of it. Its height, and the
boldness and strength with which it is built, are truly wonderful;
but still more wonderful is its position upon a dangerous reef,
situated ten miles from the coast; at a distance, it seems to be
founded in the sea itself.

We often sailed so near the coast of Cornwall, that not only could
we plainly perceive every village, but even the people in the
streets and in the open country. The land is hilly and luxuriant,
and appears carefully cultivated.

During the whole time of our cruising in the Channel, the
temperature was cold and raw, the thermometer seldom being higher
than 65 to 75 degrees Fah.

At last, on the 24th of July, we came to the end of the Channel, and
attained the open sea; the wind was tolerably favourable, and on the
2nd of August we were off Gibraltar, where we were becalmed for
twenty-four hours. The captain threw several pieces of white
crockeryware, as well as a number of large bones overboard, to show
how beautifully green such objects appeared as they slowly sank down
beneath the sea; of course this can only be seen in a perfect calm.

In the evening we were greatly delighted by numbers of moluscae
shining through the water; they looked exactly like so many floating
stars, about the size of a man's hand; even by day we could perceive
them beneath the waves. They are of a brownish red, and in form
resemble a toadstool; many had a thick pedicle, somewhat fimbriated
on the under part; others, instead of the pedicle, had a number of
threads hanging down from them.

4th August. This was the first day that it was announced by the
heat that we were in a southern latitude; but, as was also the case
the following day, the clear dark blue sky that generally overarches
the Mediterranean in such exceeding loveliness, was still wanting.
We found, however, some slight compensation for this in the rising
and setting of the sun, as these were often accompanied by unusual
forms and colours of the clouds.

We were now off Morocco, and were fortunate enough today to perceive
a great number of bonitos. Every one on board bestirred himself,
and on every side fish hooks were cast overboard; unluckily only one
bonito allowed himself to be entrapped by our friendly invitations;
he made a dart at the bait, and his good-natured confidence procured
us a fresh meal, of which we had long been deprived.

On the 5th of August we saw land for the first time for twelve days.
The sun was rising as the little island of Porto Santo greeted our
sight. It is formed of peaked mountains, which, by their shape,
betray their volcanic origin. A few miles in advance of the island
stands the beautiful Falcon Rock, like a sentinel upon the look-out.
We sailed past Madeira (23 miles from Porto Santo) the same day, but
unluckily at such a distance that we could only perceive the long
mountain chains by which the island is intersected. Near Madeira
lie the rocky Deserta Islands, which are reckoned as forming part of

Near these islands we passed a vessel running under reefed sails
before the wind, whence the captain concluded that she was a cruiser
looking after slavers.

On the 6th of August we beheld, for the first time, flying fish, but
at such a distance that we could scarcely distinguish them.

On the 7th of August we neared the Canary Isles, but unfortunately,
on account of the thick fog, we could not see them. We now caught
the trade wind, that blows from the east, and is anxiously desired
by all sailors.

In the night of the 9-10th we entered the tropics. We were now in
daily expectation of greater heat and a clearer sky, but met with
neither. The atmosphere was dull and hazy, and even in our own raw
fatherland the sky could not have been so overcast, except upon some
days in November. Every evening the clouds were piled upon one
another in such a way that we were continually expecting to see a
water-spout; it was generally not before midnight that the heavens
would gradually clear up, and allow us to admire the beautiful and
dazzling constellations of the South.

The captain told us that this was the fourteenth voyage he had made
to the Brazils, during which time he had always found the heat very
easily borne, and had never seen the sky otherwise than dull and
lowering. He said that this was occasioned by the damp, unhealthy
coast of Guinea, the ill effects of which were perceptible much
further than where we then were, although the distance between us
was 350 miles.

In the tropics the quick transition from day to night is already
very perceptible; 35 or 40 minutes after the setting of the sun the
deepest darkness reigns around. The difference in the length of day
and night decreases more and more the nearer you approach the
Equator. At the Equator itself the day and night are of equal

All the 14th and 15th of August we sailed parallel with the Cape de
Verde Islands, from which we were not more than 23 miles distant,
but which, on account of the hazy state of the weather, we could not

During this period we used to be much amused by small flocks of
flying-fish, which very often rose from the water so near the ship's
side that we were enabled to examine them minutely. They are
generally of the size and colour of a herring; their side fins,
however, are longer and broader, and they have the power of
spreading and closing them like little wings. They raise themselves
about twelve or fifteen feet above the water, and then, after flying
more than a distance of a hundred feet, dive down again for a moment
beneath the waves, to recommence directly afterwards: this occurs
most frequently when they are pursued by bonitos or other foes.
When they were flying at some distance from the ship they really
looked like elegant birds. We very frequently saw the bonitos also,
who were pursuing them, endeavour to raise themselves above the
water, but they seldom succeeded in raising more than their head.

It is very difficult to catch one of these little denizens of the
air, as they are to be secured neither by nets or hooks; but
sometimes the wind will drive them, during the night, upon the deck,
where they are discovered, in the morning, dead, not having
sufficient strength to raise themselves from dry places; in this way
I obtained a few specimens.

Today, August 15th, we enjoyed a most interesting sight. We
happened, exactly at 12 o'clock, to be in the sun's zenith, and the
sunbeams fell so perpendicularly that every object was perfectly
shadowless. We put books, chairs, ourselves in the sun, and were
highly delighted with this unusual kind of amusement. Luckily we
had chanced to be at the right spot at the right time; had we, at
the same hour, been only one degree nearer or one degree further, we
should have lost the entire sight; when we saw it we were 14 degrees
6' (a minute is equal to a nautical mile).

All observations with the sextant {9} were out of the question until
we were once more some degrees from the zenith.

17th August. Shoals of tunny-fish, (fish four and five feet long,
and belonging to the dolphin tribe,) were seen tumbling about the
ship. A harpoon was quickly procured, and one of the sailors sent
out with it on the bowsprit; but whether he had bad luck, or was
unskilled in the art of harpooning, he missed his mark. The most
wonderful part of the story, though, was that all the fish
disappeared as if by magic, and did not appear again for some days;
it seemed as if they had whispered and warned each other of the
threatened danger.

All the oftener, however, did we see another inhabitant of the sea,
namely, that beautiful mollusca, the physolida, called by the
sailors Portugiesisches Segel-schiff; (Portuguese sailing-ship.)
When floating upon the surface of the sea, with its long crest,
which it can elevate or depress at pleasure, it really resembles a
delicate tiny little sailing vessel. I was very desirous of
catching one of these little creatures, but this could only be
effected by means of a net, which I had not got, nor had I either
needle or twine to make one. Necessity, however, is the mother of
invention; so I manufactured a knitting needle of wood, unravelled
some thick string, and in a few hours possessed a net. Very soon
afterwards a mollusca had been captured, and placed in a tub filled
with sea water. The little creature's body is about six inches long
and two inches high; the crest extends over the whole of the back,
and in the middle, where it is highest, measures about an inch and a
half. Both the crest and body are transparent, and appear as if
tinged with rose colour; from the belly, which is violet, are
suspended a number of threads or arms of the same colour.

I hung the little thing up to dry at the stern, outside the ship;
some of the threads reached down into the water (a depth of at least
twelve feet), but most of them fell off. After the animal was dead,
the crest remained erect, and the body perfectly filled out, but the
beautiful rose colour gradually changed to white.

18th August. Today we had a heavy thunder-storm, for which we were
very grateful, as it cooled the air considerably. Between 1 and 2
degrees, or 3 degrees North latitude, frequent changes in the
weather are very common. For instance, on the morning of the 20th
we were overtaken by a strong wind, which lashed up the sea to a
great height, and continued until evening, when it gave way to a
tropical shower, which we at home should call a perfect water-spout.
The deck was instantaneously transformed into a lake, while at the
same time the wind had so completely fallen that even the rudder
enjoyed a holiday.

This rain cost me a night's rest, for when I went to take possession
of my berth, I found the bed-clothes drenched through and through,
and was fain to content myself with a wooden bench for a couch.

On the 27th of August we got beyond these hostile latitudes, and
were received by the anxiously desired south-east trade wind, which
hurried us quickly on our voyage.

We were now very near the Equator, and, like all other travellers,
wished very much to see the celebrated constellations of the south.
I myself was most interested in the Southern Cross; and, as I could
not find it among the stars, I begged the captain to point it out to
me. Both he and the first mate, however, said that they had never
heard of it, and the second mate was the only one to whom it did not
appear entirely unknown. With his help, we really did discover in
the spangled firmament four stars, which had something of the form
of a somewhat crooked cross, but were certainly not remarkable in
themselves, nor did they excite the least enthusiasm amongst us. A
most magnificent spectacle was, on the contrary, formed by Orion,
Jupiter, and Venus; the latter, indeed, shone so brilliantly that
her gleams formed a silver furrow across the waves.

The great frequency of falling stars is another fact that I cannot
corroborate. They are, perhaps, more frequent than in cold
climates, but are far from being as common as is said: and as for
their size, I saw only one which surpassed ours; and this appeared
about three times as large as an ordinary star.

For some days also we had now seen the Cape, or Magellan's Clouds,
and also the so-called Black Cloud. The first are bright, and, like
the Milky Way, are formed of numberless small stars, invisible to
the naked eye; the latter presents a black appearance, and is said
to be produced by the absence of all stars whatever from this part
of the heavens.

All these different signs prepared us for the most interesting
moment of our voyage--namely, passing the line.

On the 29th of August, at 10 o'clock P.M., we saluted the southern
hemisphere for the first time. A feeling nearly allied to pride
excited every one, but more especially those who crossed the line
for the first time. We shook each other by the hand, and
congratulated one another mutually, as if we had done some great and
heroic deed. One of the passengers had brought with him a bottle or
two of champagne to celebrate the event: the corks sprang gaily in
the air, and with a joyful "huzza," the health of the new hemisphere
was drunk.

No festivities took place among the crew. This is at present the
case in most vessels, as such amusements seldom end without
drunkenness and disorder. The sailors, however, could not let the
cabin-boy, who passed the line for the first time, go quite scot-
free; so he was well christened in a few buckets of salt water.

Long before passing the line, we passengers had frequently spoken of
all the sufferings and tortures we should be subjected to at the
Equator. Every one had read or heard something exceedingly
horrible, which he duly communicated to all the rest. One expected
headache or colic; a second had pictured to himself the sailors
falling down from exhaustion; a third dreaded such a fearful degree
of heat, that it would not only melt the pitch, {11} but would so
dry up the ship, that nothing but continual throwing water over it
could prevent its catching fire; while a fourth feared that all the
provisions would be spoilt, and ourselves nearly starved to death.

For my own part, I had already congratulated myself on the tragical
stories I should be able to present to my readers; I beheld them
shedding tears at the narration of the sufferings we had
experienced, and I already appeared to myself half a martyr. Alas!
I was sadly deceived. We all remained in perfectly good health; not
a sailor sank exhausted; the ship did not catch fire; and the
provisions were not spoilt--they were just as bad as before.

3rd September. From 2 to 3 degrees South latitude the wind is very
irregular, and frequently excessively violent. Today we passed the
8 degrees South latitude, without seeing land, which put the captain
in the best of humours. He explained to us, that if we had seen
land, we should have been obliged to retrace our course almost to
the line, because the current sets in with such violence towards the
land, that the voyage could only be made at a proper distance.

7th September. Between 10 and 20 degrees South latitude we again
met with very peculiar prevalent winds. They are called vamperos;
and oblige the sailor to be always on his guard, as they spring up
very suddenly, and are often extremely violent. We were overtaken
by one during the night, but, luckily, it was not of the worst kind.
In a few hours it had entirely passed over, but the sea did not
become calm again for a considerable time.

On the 9th and 11th of September, we encountered some short gusts of
the vamperos, the most violent being the last.

12th and 13th of September. The first was termed by the captain
merely "a stiffish breeze;" but the second was entered in the log
{12} as "a storm." The stiffish breeze cost us one sail; the storm,
two. During the time it lasted, the sea ran so high, that it was
with the greatest difficulty we could eat. With one hand we were
obliged to grasp the plate, and at the same time to hold fast on to
the table, while, with the other, we managed, with considerable
difficulty, to convey the food to our mouth. At night, I was
obliged to "stow" myself firmly in my berth with my cloaks and
dresses, to protect my body from being bruised black and blue.

On the morning of the 13th, I was on deck at break of day. The
helmsman led me to the side of the vessel, and told me to hold my
head overboard, and inhale the air. I breathed a most beautiful
perfume of flowers. I looked round in astonishment, and imagined
that I must already be able to see the land: it was, however, still
far distant, the soft perfume being merely drifted to us by the
wind. It was very remarkable that inside the ship this perfume was
not at all perceptible.

The sea itself was covered with innumerable dead butterflies and
moths, which had been carried out to sea by the storm. Two pretty
little birds, quite exhausted by their long flight, were resting
upon one of the yards.

For us, who, during two months and a half, had seen nothing but sky
and water, all these things were most satisfactory; and we looked
out anxiously for Cape Frio, which we were very near. The horizon,
however, was lowering and hazy, and the sun had not force enough to
tear the murky veil asunder. We looked forward with joy to the next
morning, but during the night were overtaken by another storm, which
lasted until 2 o'clock. The ship's course was changed, and she was
driven as far as possible into the open sea; so that, in the end, we
were glad enough to reach, the next day, the same position we had
occupied the morning before.

Today we caught no glimpse of land; but a few gulls and albatrosses
from Cape Frio warned us that we were near it, and afforded us some
little amusement. They swam close up to the ship's side, and
eagerly swallowed every morsel of bread or meat that was thrown to
them. The sailors tried to catch some with a hook and line, and
were fortunate enough to succeed. They were placed upon the deck,
and, to my great surprise, I perceived that they were unable to
raise themselves from it. If we touched them, they merely dragged
themselves, with great difficulty, a few paces further, although
they could rise very easily from the surface of the water, and fly
extremely high.

One of the gentlemen was exceedingly anxious to kill and stuff one
of them, but the superstition of the sailors was opposed to this.
They said that if birds were killed on board ship, their death would
be followed by long calms. We yielded to their wishes and restored
the little creatures to the air and waves, their native elements.

This was another proof that superstition is still deep-rooted in the
minds of sailors. Of this we had afterwards many other instances.
The captain, for example, was always very averse to the passengers
amusing themselves with cards or any other game of chance; in
another vessel, as I was informed, no one was allowed to write on
Sunday, etc. Empty casks or logs of wood were also very frequently
thrown overboard during a calm--probably as sacrifices to the
deities of the winds.

On the morning of the 16th of September we at last had the good
fortune to perceive the mountains before Rio Janeiro, and soon
singled out the Sugarloaf. At 2 o'clock, P.M., we entered the bay
and port of Rio Janeiro.

Immediately at the entrance of the bay are several conical rocks,
some of which, like the Sugarloaf, rise singly from the sea, while
others are joined at the base, and are almost inaccessible. {13}
Between these "ocean mountains," if I may be allowed the expression,
are seen the most remarkably beautiful views; now extraordinary
ravines, then some charmingly situated quarter of the town,
presently the open sea, and the moment after some delightful bay.
From the bay itself, at the end of which the capital is built, rise
masses of rock, serving as foundations to different fortifications.
On some of these eminences are chapels and fortresses. Ships are
obliged to pass as near as possible to one of the largest of the
latter, namely, Santa Cruz, in order that their papers may be

From this fortress, to the right, stretches the beautiful mountain
range of the Serados-Orgoas, which, in conjunction with other
mountains and hills, fringes a lovely bay, on the shores of which
lie the little town of Praya-grande, some few villages and detached

At the extremity of the principal bay, stands Rio Janeiro,
surrounded by a tolerably high chain of mountains (among which is
the Corcovado, 2,100 feet high), behind which, more inland, is the
Organ Mountain, which owes its name to its many gigantic peaks
placed upright one against the other like the pipes of an organ.
The highest peak is 5,000 feet high.

One portion of the town is concealed by the Telegraph Mountain, and
several hills, on which, besides the Telegraph, there is a monastery
of Capuchin monks and other smaller buildings. Of the town itself
are seen several rows of houses and open squares, the Great
Hospital, the Monasteries of St. Luzia and Moro do Castello, the
Convent of St. Bento, the fine Church of St. Candelaria, and some
portions of the really magnificent aqueduct. Close to the sea is
the Public Garden (passeo publico) of the town, which, from its fine
palm trees, and elegant stone gallery, with two summer-houses, forms
a striking object. To the left, upon eminences, stand some isolated
churches and monasteries, such as St. Gloria, St. Theresa, etc.
Near these are the Praya Flamingo and Botafogo, large villages with
beautiful villas, pretty buildings, and gardens, which stretch far
away until lost in the neighbourhood of the Sugarloaf, and thus
close this most wonderful panorama. In addition to all this, the
many vessels, partly in the harbour before the town, partly anchored
in the different bays, the rich and luxuriant vegetation, and the
foreign and novel appearance of the whole, help to form a picture,
of whose beauties my pen, unfortunately, can never convey an
adequate idea.

It rarely happens that a person is so lucky as to enjoy, immediately
on his arrival, so beautiful and extensive a view as fell to my lot;
fogs, clouds, or a hazy state of the atmosphere, very often conceal
certain portions, and thus disturb the wonderful impression of the
whole. Whenever this is the case, I would advise every one, who
intends stopping any time in Rio Janeiro, to take a boat, on a
perfectly clear day, as far as Santa Cruz, in order to behold this
peculiarly beautiful prospect.

It was almost dark before we reached the place of anchorage. We
were first obliged to stop at Santa Cruz to have the ship's papers
examined, and then appear before an officer, who took from us our
passports and sealed letters; then before a surgeon, who inspected
us to see that we had not brought the plague or yellow fever; and
lastly, before another officer, who took possession of different
packets and boxes, and assigned us the spot to anchor in.

It was now too late for us to land, and the captain alone proceeded
on shore. We, however, remained for a long time on deck,
contemplating the magnificent picture before us, until both land and
sea lay shrouded in night.

With a light heart did we all retire to rest; the goal of our long
voyage had been attained without any misfortune worthy of being
mentioned. A cruel piece of intelligence was in store for the poor
tailor's wife alone; but the good captain did not break it to her
today, in order to let her enjoy an undisturbed night's rest. As
soon as the tailor heard that his wife was really on her passage
out, he ran off with a negress, and left nought behind but--debts.

The poor woman had given up a sure means of subsistence in her
native land (she supported herself by cleaning lace and ladies'
apparel), and had devoted her little savings to pay the expenses of
her voyage, and all to find herself deserted and helpless in a
strange hemisphere. {14}

From Hamburgh to Rio Janeiro is about 8,750 miles.



I remained in Rio Janeiro above two months, exclusive of the time
devoted to my different excursions into the interior of the country;
it is very far from my intention, however, to tire the reader with a
regular catalogue of every trifling and ordinary occurrence. I
shall content myself with describing the most striking features in
the town, and likewise in the manners and customs of the
inhabitants, according to the opportunities I possessed during my
stay to form an opinion of them. I shall then give an account of my
various excursions in an Appendix, and afterwards resume the thread
of my journal.

It was on the morning of the 17th of September that, after the lapse
of nearly two months and a half, I first set foot upon dry land.
The captain himself accompanied the passengers on shore, after
having earnestly advised each one separately to be sure and smuggle
nothing, more especially sealed letters. "In no part of the world,"
he assured us, "were the Custom-house officers so strict, and the
penalties so heavy."

On coming in sight of the guard ship, we began to feel quite
frightened from this description, and made up our minds that we
should be examined from top to toe. The captain begged permission
to accompany us on shore; this was immediately granted, and the
whole ceremony was completed. During the entire period that we
lived on board the ship, and were continually going and coming to
and from the town, we never were subjected to any search; it was
only when we took chests and boxes with us that we were obliged to
proceed to the Custom-house, where all effects are strictly
examined, and a heavy duty levied upon merchandise, books, etc.,

We landed at the Praya dos Mineiros, a disgusting and dirty sort of
square, inhabited by a few dozen blacks, equally disgusting and
dirty, who were squatted on the ground, and praising at the top of
their voices the fruits and sweetmeats which they were offering for
sale. Thence we proceeded directly into the principal street (Rua
Direita), whose only beauty consists in its breadth. It contains
several public buildings, such as the Post-office, the Custom-house,
the Exchange, the Guard-house, etc.; all of which, however, are so
insignificant in appearance, that any one would pass them by
unnoticed, if there were not always a number of people loitering
before them.

At the end of this street stands the Imperial Palace, a commonplace,
large building, exactly resembling a private house, without the
least pretensions to taste or architectural beauty. The square
before it (Largo do Paco), whose only ornament, a plain fountain, is
extremely dirty, and serves at night as a sleeping place for a
number of poor free negroes, who, on getting up in the morning,
perform the various duties of their toilet in public with the most
supreme indifference. A part of the square is walled off and
employed as a market for fish, fruit, vegetables, and poultry.

Of the remaining streets the Rua Misericorda and the Rua Ouvidor are
the most interesting. The latter contains the finest and largest
shops; but we must not expect the magnificent establishments we
behold in the cities of Europe--in fact, we meet with little that is
beautiful or costly. The flower-shops were the only objects of
particular attraction for me. In these shops are exposed for sale
the most lovely artificial flowers, made of birds' feathers, fishes'
scales, and beetles' wings.

Of the squares, the finest is the Largo do Rocio; the largest, the
Largo St. Anna. In the first, which is always kept tolerably clean,
stand the Opera-house, the Government-house, the Police-office, etc.
This, too, is the starting-place for most of the omnibuses, which
traverse the town in all directions.

The last-named square is the dirtiest in the whole town. On
crossing it for the first time, I perceived lying about me half
putrid cats and dogs--and even a mule in the same state. The only
ornament of this square is a fountain, and I almost think I should
prefer it if the fountain were, in this case, taken away; for, as
soft water is not very abundant in Rio Janeiro, the washerwoman's
noble art pitches its tent wherever it finds any, and most willingly
of all when, at the same time, it meets with a good drying ground.
The consequence is, that in the Largo St. Anna there is always such
an amount of washing and drying, of squalling and screaming, that
you are glad to get away as quickly as possible.

There is nothing remarkable in the appearance of the churches,
either inside or out. The Church and Cloister of St. Bento and the
Church of St. Candelaria are the most deceptive; from a distance
they have a very imposing look.

The houses are built in the European fashion, but are small and
insignificant; most of them have only a ground-floor or single
story,--two stories are rarely met with. Neither are there any
terraces and verandahs adorned with elegant trellis-work and
flowers, as there are in other warm countries. Ugly little
balconies hang from the walls, while clumsy wooden shutters close up
the windows, and prevent the smallest sunbeam from penetrating into
the rooms, where everything is enveloped in almost perfect darkness.
This, however, is a matter of the greatest indifference to the
Brazilian ladies, who certainly never over-fatigue themselves with
reading or working.

The town offers, therefore, very little in the way of squares,
streets, and buildings, which, for a stranger, can prove in the
least attractive; while the people that he meets are truly shocking--
nearly all being negroes and negresses, with flat, ugly noses,
thick lips, and short woolly hair. They are, too, generally half
naked, with only a few miserable rags on their backs, or else they
are thrust into the worn-out European-cut clothes of their masters.
To every four or five blacks may be reckoned a mulatto, and it is
only here and there that a white man is to be seen.

This horrible picture is rendered still more revolting by the
frequent bodily infirmities which everywhere meet the eye: among
these elephantiasis, causing horrible club-feet, is especially
conspicuous; there is, too, no scarcity of persons afflicted with
blindness and other ills. Even the cats and dogs, that run about
the gutters in great numbers, partake of the universal ugliness:
most of them are covered with the mange, or are full of wounds and
sores. I should like to be endowed with the magic power of
transporting hither every traveller who starts back with affright
from the lanes of Constantinople, and asserts that the sight of the
interior of this city destroys the effect produced by it when viewed
at a distance.

It is true that the interior of Constantinople is exceedingly dirty,
and that the number of small houses, the narrow streets, the
unevenness of the pavement, the filthy dogs, etc., do not strike the
beholder as excessively picturesque; but then he soon comes upon
some magnificent edifice of the time of the Moors or Romans, some
wondrous mosque or majestic palace, and can continue his walk
through endless cemeteries and forests of dreamy cypresses. He
steps aside before a pasha or priest of high rank, who rides by on
his noble steed, surrounded by a brilliant retinue; he encounters
Turks in splendid costumes, and Turkish women with eyes that flash
through their veils like fire; he beholds Persians with their high
caps, Arabs with their nobly-formed features, dervises in fools'-
caps and plaited petticoats like women, and, now and then, some
carriage, beautifully painted and gilt, drawn by superbly
caparisoned oxen. All these different objects fully make up for
whatever amount of dirtiness may occasionally be met with. In Rio
Janeiro, however, there is nothing that can in any way amuse, or
atone for the horrible and disgusting sights which everywhere meet
the eye.

It was not until I had been here several weeks that I became
somewhat accustomed to the appearance of the negroes and mulattoes.
I then discovered many very pretty figures among the young
negresses, and handsome, expressive countenances among the somewhat
dark-complexioned Brazilian and Portuguese women; the men seem, as
regards beauty, to be less favoured.

The bustle in the streets is far less than what I had been led to
expect from the many descriptions I had heard, and is certainly not
to be compared to that at Naples or Messina. The greatest amount of
noise is made by those negroes who carry burdens, and especially by
such as convey the sacks full of coffee on board the different
vessels; they strike up a monotonous sort of song, to the tune of
which they keep step, but which sounds very disagreeable. It
possesses, however, one advantage; it warns the foot passenger, and
affords him time to get out of the way.

In the Brazils, every kind of dirty or hard work, whether in doors
or out, is performed by the blacks, who here, in fact, replace the
lower classes. Many, however, learn trades, and frequently are to
be compared to the most skilful Europeans. I have seen blacks in
the most elegant workshops, making wearing apparel, shoes, tapestry,
gold or silver articles, and met many a nattily dressed negro maiden
working at the finest ladies' dresses, or the most delicate
embroidery. I often thought I must be dreaming when I beheld these
poor creatures, whom I had pictured to myself as roaming free
through their native forests, exercising such occupations in shops
and rooms! Yet they do not appear to feel it as much as might be
supposed--they were always merry, and joking over their work.

Among the so-called educated class of the place, there are many who,
in spite of all the proofs of mechanical skill, as well as general
intelligence which the blacks often display, persist in asserting
that they are so far inferior to the whites in mental power, that
they can only be looked upon as a link between the monkey tribe and
the human race. I allow that they are somewhat behind the whites in
intellectual culture; but I believe that this is not because they
are deficient in understanding, but because their education is
totally neglected. No schools are erected for them, no instruction
given them--in a word, not the least thing is done to develop the
capabilities of their minds. As was the case in old despotic
countries, their minds are purposely kept enchained; for, were they
once to awake from their present condition, the consequences to the
whites might be fearful. They are four times as numerous as the
latter, and if they ever become conscious of this superiority, the
whites might probably be placed in the position that the unhappy
blacks have hitherto occupied.

But I am losing myself in conjectures and reasonings which may,
perhaps, become the pen of a learned man, but certainly not mine,
since I assuredly do not possess the necessary amount of education
to decide upon such questions; my object is merely to give a plain
description of what I have seen.

Although the number of slaves in the Brazils is very great, there is
nowhere such a thing as a slave-market. The importation of them is
publicly prohibited, yet thousands are smuggled in every year, and
disposed of in some underhand manner, which every one knows, and
every one employs. It is true, that English ships are constantly
cruising off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, but even if a slaver
happen to fall into their hands, the poor blacks, I was told, were
no more free than if they had come to the Brazils. They are all
transported to the English colonies, where, at the expiration of ten
years, they are supposed to be set at liberty. But during this
period, their owners allow the greater number to die--of course, in
the returns only--and the poor slaves remain slaves still; but I
repeat that I only know this from hearsay.

After all, slaves are far from being as badly off as many Europeans
imagine. In the Brazils they are generally pretty well treated;
they are not overworked, their food is good and nutritious, and the
punishments are neither particularly frequent nor heavy. The crime
of running away is the only one which is visited with great rigour.
Besides a severe beating, they have fetters placed round their neck
and feet; these they have to wear for a considerable period.
Another manner of punishment consists in making them wear a tin
mask, which is fastened with a lock behind. This is the mode of
punishment adopted for those who drink, or are in the habit of
eating earth or lime. During my long stay in the Brazils, I only
saw one negro who had got on a mask of this description. I very
much doubt whether, on the whole, the lot of these slaves is not
less wretched than that of the peasants of Russia, Poland, or Egypt,
who are _not_ called slaves.

I was one day very much amused at being asked to stand godmother to
a negro, which I did, although I was not present at either baptism
or confirmation. There is a certain custom here, that when a slave
has done anything for which he expects to be punished, he endeavours
to fly to some friend of his owner, and obtain a note, asking for
the remission of his punishment. The writer of such a letter has
the title of godfather bestowed on him, and it would be accounted an
act of the greatest impoliteness not to grant the godfather's
request. In this way, I myself was fortunate enough to save a slave
from punishment.

The town is tolerably well lighted, and the lighting is continued to
a considerable distance, on all sides, beyond the town itself; this
measure was introduced on account of the great number of blacks. No
slave dare be seen in the streets later than 9 o'clock in the
evening, without having a pass from his master, certifying that he
is going on business for him. If a slave is ever caught without a
pass, he is immediately conveyed to the House of Correction, where
his head is shaved, and he himself obliged to remain until his
master buys his freedom for four or five milreis. (8s. 8d., or 10s.
10d.) In consequence of this regulation, the streets may be
traversed with safety at any hour of the night.

One of the most disagreeable things in Rio Janeiro is the total
absence of sewers. In a heavy shower, every street becomes a
regular stream, which it is impossible to pass on foot; in order to
traverse them, it is requisite to be carried over by negroes. At
such times, all intercourse generally ceases, the streets are
deserted, parties are put off, and even the payment of bills of
exchange deferred. It is very seldom that people will hire a
carriage, for it is an absurd custom here, to pay as much for a
short drive, as if the carriage were required for the whole day; in
both cases the charge is six milreis (13s.) The carriages are half-
covered ones, with seats for two, and are drawn by a pair of mules,
on one of which the driver rides. Carriages and horses like the
English are very seldom to be met with.

As regards the arts and sciences, I may mention the Academy of Fine
Arts, the Museum, Theatre, etc. In the Academy of Fine Arts is
something of everything, and not much of anything--a few figures and
busts, most in plaster, a few architectural plans and pencil
drawings, and a collection of very old oil paintings. It really
seemed to me as if some private picture gallery had been carefully
weeded of all the rubbish in it, which had then been put here out of
the way. Most of the oil paintings are so injured, that it is
scarcely possible to make out what they are intended to represent,
which, after all, is no great loss. The only thing respectable
about them is their venerable antiquity. A startling contrast is
produced by the copies of them made by the students. If the colours
in the old pictures are faded, in the modern ones they blaze with a
superfluity of vividness; red, yellow, green, etc., are there in all
their force; such a thing as mixing, softening, or blending them,
has evidently never been thought of. Even at the present moment, I
really am at a loss to determine whether the worthy students
intended to found a new school for colouring, or whether they merely
desired to make up in the copies for the damage time had done the

There were as many blacks and mulattoes among the students as
whites, but the number of them altogether was inconsiderable.

Music, especially singing and the pianoforte, is almost in a more
degraded position than painting. In every family the young ladies
play and sing; but of tact, style, arrangement, time, etc., the
innocent creatures have not the remotest idea, so that the easiest
and most taking melodies are often not recognisable. The sacred
music is a shade better, although even the arrangements of the
Imperial Chapel itself are susceptible of many improvements. The
military bands are certainly the best, and these are generally
composed of negroes and mulattoes.

The exterior of the Opera-house does not promise anything very
beautiful or astonishing, and the stranger is, consequently, much
surprised to find, on entering, a large and magnificent house with a
deep stage. I should say it could contain more than 2,000 persons.
There are four tiers of spacious boxes rising one above the other,
the balustrades of which, formed of delicately-wrought iron trellis-
work, give the theatre a very tasty appearance. The pit is only for
men. I was present at a tolerably good representation, by an
Italian company, of the opera of Lucrezia Borgia; the scenery and
costumes are not amiss.

If, however, I was agreeably surprised by my visit to the theatre, I
experienced quite a contrary feeling on going to the Museum. In a
land so richly and luxuriously endowed by Nature, I expected an
equally rich and magnificent museum, and found a number of very fine
rooms, it is true, which one day or other may be filled, but which
at present are empty. The collection of birds, which is the most
complete of all, is really fine; that of the minerals is very
defective; and those of the quadrupeds and insects poor in the
extreme. The objects which most excited my curiosity, were the
heads of four savages, in excellent preservation; two of them
belonged to the Malay, and two to the New Zealand tribes. The
latter especially I could not sufficiently contemplate, completely
covered as they were with tattooing of the most beautiful and
elegant design, and so well preserved that they seemed only to have
just ceased to live.

During the period of my stay in Rio Janeiro, the rooms of the Museum
were undergoing repairs, and a new classification of the different
objects was also talked of. In consequence of this, the building
was not open to the public, and I have to thank the kindness of Herr
Riedl, the director, for allowing me to view it. He acted himself
as my guide; and, like me, regretted that in a country where the
formation of a rich museum would be so easy a task, so little had
been done.

I likewise visited the studio of the sculptor Petrich, a native of
Dresden, who came over at the unsolicited command of the court, to
execute a statue of the emperor in Carrara marble. The emperor is
represented the size of life, in a standing position, and arrayed in
his imperial robes, with the ermine cloak thrown over his shoulder.
The head is strikingly like, and the whole figure worked out of the
stone with great artistic skill. I believe this statue was destined
for some public building.

I was fortunate enough during my stay in Rio Janeiro to witness
several different public festivals.

The first was on the 21st of September, in the Church of St. Cruz,
on the occasion of celebrating the anniversary of the patron saint
of the country. Early in the morning several hundred soldiers were
drawn up before the church, with an excellent band, which played a
number of lively airs. Between ten and eleven, the military and
civil officers began gradually to arrive, the subordinate ones, as I
was told, coming first. On their entrance into the church, a
brownish-red silk cloak, which concealed the whole of the uniform,
was presented to each. Every time that another of a higher rank
appeared, all those already in the church rose from their seats, and
advancing towards the new comer as far as the church door,
accompanied him respectfully to his place. The emperor and his wife
arrived the last of all. The emperor is extremely young--not quite
one and twenty--but six feet tall, and very corpulent; his features
are those of the Hapsburg-Lothering family. The empress, a
Neapolitan princess, is small and slim, and forms a strange contrast
when standing beside the athletic figure of her husband.

High mass, which was listened to with great reverence by every one,
began immediately after the entrance of the court, and after this
was concluded the imperial pair proceeded to their carriage,
presenting the crowd, who were waiting in the church, their hands to
kiss as they went along. This mark of distinction was bestowed not
only on the officers and officials of superior rank, but on every
one who pressed forward to obtain it.

A second, and more brilliant festival occurred on the 19th of
October; it was the emperor's birth-day, and was celebrated by high
mass in the Imperial Chapel. This chapel is situated near the
Imperial Palace, to which it is connected by means of a covered
gallery. Besides the imperial family, all the general officers, as
well as the first officials of the state, were present at the mass,
but in full uniform, without the ugly silk cloaks. Surrounding all
was a row of Lancers (the body-guard). It is impossible for any but
an eye-witness to form an idea of the richness and profusion of the
gold embroidery, the splendid epaulets, and beautifully set orders,
etc., displayed on the occasion, and I hardly believe that anything
approaching it could be seen at any European court.

During high mass, the foreign ambassadors, and the ladies and
gentlemen admitted to court, assembled in the palace, where, on the
emperor's return, every one was admitted to kiss his hand.

The ambassadors, however, took no part in this proceeding, but
merely made a simple bow.

This edifying ceremony could easily be seen from the square, as the
windows are very near the ground, and were also open. On such
occasions continual salutes are fired from the imperial ships, and
sometimes from others in the harbour.

On the 2nd of November I saw a festival of another description--
namely, a religious one. During this and the following days, old
and young proceed from one church to another, to pray for the souls
of the departed.

They have a singular custom here of not burying all their dead in
the church-yard, many bodies being placed, at an additional expense,
in the church itself. For this purpose, there are, in every church,
particular chambers, with catacombs formed in the walls. The corpse
is strewed with lime, and laid in a catacomb of this description,
where, after a lapse of eight or ten months, the flesh is completely
eaten away. The bones are then taken out, cleaned by boiling, and
collected in an urn, on which is engraved the name, birth-day, etc.,
of the deceased. These urns are afterwards set up in the passages
of the church, or sometimes even taken home by the relations.

On All-souls' day, the walls of the chambers are hung with black
cloth, gold lace, and other ornaments, and the urns are richly
decorated with flowers and ribbons, and are lighted up by a great
number of tapers in silver candelabra and chandeliers, placed upon
high stands. From an early hour in the morning until noon, the
women and young girls begin praying very fervently for the souls of
their deceased relations, and the young gentlemen, who are quite as
curious as those in Europe, go to see the young girls pray.

Females on this day are dressed in mourning, and often wear, to the
great disgust of the curious young gentlemen before mentioned, a
black veil over their head and face. No one, by the way, is allowed
to wear a bonnet at any festival of the church.

But the most brilliant of the public festivals I saw here, was the
christening of the imperial princess, which took place on the 15th
of November, in the Imperial Chapel, which is connected with the

Towards 3 o'clock in the afternoon a number of troops were drawn up
in the court-yard of the palace, the guards were distributed in the
corridors and the church, while the bands played a series of
pleasing melodies, frequently repeating the National Anthem, which
the late emperor, Peter I., is said to have composed. Equipage
after equipage began to roll up to the palace, and set down the most
brilliantly attired company of both sexes.

At 4 o'clock the procession began to leave the palace. First, came
the court band, clothed in red velvet, and followed by three
heralds, in old Spanish costume, magnificently decorated hats and
feathers, and black velvet suits. Next walked the officers of the
law, and the authorities of every rank, chamberlains, court
physicians, senators, deputies, generals, and ecclesiastics, privy
councillors and secretaries; and, lastly, after this long line of
different personages, came the lord steward of the young princess,
whom he bore upon a magnificent white velvet cushion, edged with
gold lace. Immediately behind him followed the emperor, and the
little princess's nurse, surrounded by the principal nobles and
ladies of the court. On passing through the triumphal arch of the
gallery, and coming before the pallium of the church, the emperor
took his little daughter {23a} into his own arms, and presented her
to the people; an act which pleased me exceedingly, and which I
considered extremely appropriate.

The empress, with her ladies, had likewise already arrived in the
church through the inner corridors, and the ceremony commenced
forthwith. The instant the princess was baptized, the event was
announced to the whole town by salvos of artillery, volleys of
musketry, and the discharge of rockets. {23b} At the conclusion of
the ceremony, which lasted above an hour, the procession returned in
the same order in which it had arrived, and the chapel was then
opened to the people. I was curious enough to enter with the rest,
and, I must own, I was quite surprised at the magnificence and taste
with which the building was decorated. The walls were covered with
silk and velvet hangings, ornamented with gold fringe, while rich
carpets were spread underfoot. On large tables, in the middle of
the nave, were displayed the most valuable specimens of the church
plate, gold and silver vases, immense dishes, plates, and goblets,
artistically engraved, and ornamented with embossed or open work;
while magnificent vessels of crystal, containing the most beautiful
flowers, and massive candelabra, with innumerable lights, sparkled
in the midst. On a separate table, near the high altar, were all
the costly vessels and furniture which had been employed at the
christening; and, in one of the side chapels, the princess's cradle,
covered with white satin, and ornamented with gold lace. In the
evening, the town, or rather, the public buildings, were
illuminated. The proprietors of private houses are not required to
light up; and they either avail themselves of their privilege, or at
most, hang out a few lanterns--a fact which will be readily
understood, when it is known that such illuminations last for six or
eight days. The public buildings, on the contrary, are covered from
top to bottom with countless lamps, which look exactly like a sea of

The most original and really amusing fetes to celebrate the
christening of the princess, were those given on several evenings in
some of the barracks: even the emperor himself made his appearance
there for a few moments on different occasions. They were also the
only fetes I saw here which were not mixed up with religious
solemnities. The sole actors in them were the soldiers themselves,
of whom the handsomest and most active had previously been selected,
and exercised in the various evolutions and dances. The most
brilliant of these fetes took place in the barracks of the Rua
Barbone. A semicircular and very tasty gallery was erected in the
spacious court-yard, and in the middle of the gallery were busts of
the imperial couple. This gallery was set apart for the ladies
invited, who made their appearance as if dressed for the most
splendid ball: at the entrance of the court-yard they were received
by the officers, and conducted to their places. Before the gallery
stood the stage, and at each side of the latter were ranged rows of
seats for the less fashionable females; beyond these seats was
standing-room for the men.

At eight o'clock the band commenced playing, and shortly afterwards
the representation began. The soldiers appeared, dressed in various
costumes, as Highlanders, Poles, Spaniards, etc.; nor was there any
scarcity of danseuses, who, of course, were likewise private
soldiers. What pleased me most was, that both the dress and
behaviour of the military young ladies were highly becoming. I had
expected at least some little exaggeration, or at best no very
elegant spectacle; and was therefore greatly astonished, not only
with the correctness of the dances and evolutions, but also with the
perfect propriety with which the whole affair was conducted.

The last fete that I saw took place on the 2nd of December, in
celebration of the emperor's birth-day. After high mass, the
different dignitaries again waited on the emperor, to offer their
congratulations, and were admitted to the honour of kissing his
hand, etc. The imperial couple then placed themselves at a window
of the palace, while the troops defiled before them, with their
bands playing the most lively airs. It would be difficult to find
better dressed soldiers than those here: every private might easily
be mistaken for a lieutenant, or at least a non-commissioned
officer; but unluckily, their bearing, size, and colour, are greatly
out of keeping with the splendour of their uniform--a mere boy of
fourteen standing next to a full-grown, well-made man, a white
coming after a black, and so on.

The men are pressed into the service; the time of serving is from
four to six years.

I had heard and read a great deal in Europe of the natural
magnificence and luxury of the Brazils--of the ever clear and
smiling sky, and the extraordinary charm of the continual spring;
but though it is true that the vegetation is perhaps richer, and the
fruitfulness of the soil more luxuriant and vigorous than in any
other part of the world, and that every one who desires to see the
working of nature in its greatest force and incessant activity, must
come to Brazil; still it must not be thought that all is good and
beautiful, and that there is nothing which will not weaken the
magical effect of the first impression.

Although every one begins by praising the continual verdure and the
uninterrupted splendour of spring met with in this country, he is,
in the end, but too willing to allow, that even this, in time, loses
its charm. A little winter would be preferable, as the reawakening
of nature, the resuscitation of the slumbering plants, the return of
the sweet perfume of spring, enchants us all the more, simply
because during a short period we have been deprived of it.

I found the climate and the air exceedingly oppressive; and the
heat, although at that period hardly above 86 degrees in the shade,
very weakening. During the warm months, which last from the end of
December to May, the heat rises in the shade to 99 degrees, and in
the sun to above 122 degrees. In Egypt, I bore a greater amount of
heat with far greater ease; a circumstance which may perhaps be
accounted for by the fact, that the climate is there drier, while
here there is always an immense degree of moisture. Fogs and mists
are very common; the hills and eminences, nay, even whole tracts of
country, are often enveloped in impenetrable gloom, and the whole
atmosphere loaded with damp vapours.

In the month of November I was seriously indisposed for a
considerable period. I suffered, especially in the town, from an
oppressive feeling of fatigue and weakness; and to the kindness and
friendship of Herr Geiger, the Secretary to the Austrian Consulate,
and his wife, who took me with them into the country, and showed me
the greatest attention, do I alone owe my recovery. I ascribed my
illness altogether to the unusual dampness of the atmosphere.

The most agreeable season is said to be the winter (from June to
October); that, with a temperature of from 63 to 72 degrees, is
mostly dry and clear. This period is generally selected by the
inhabitants for travelling. During the summer, violent thunder-
storms are of frequent occurrence: I myself only saw three during
my stay in the Brazils, all of which were over in an hour and a
half. The lightning was almost incessant, and spread like a sheet
of fire over the greater portion of the horizon; the thunder, on the
other hand, was inconsiderable.

Clear, cloudless days (from 16th September to 9th December) were so
rare, that I really could have counted them; and I am at a loss to
understand how so many travellers have spoken of the ever beautiful,
smiling, and blue sky of the Brazils. This must be true of some
other portion of the year.

A fine evening and long twilight is another source of enjoyment
which may be said to be unknown: at sunset every one hastens home,
as it is immediately followed by darkness and damp.

In the height of summer the sun sets at about a quarter past 6, and
all the rest of the year at 6 o'clock; twenty or thirty minutes
afterwards, night sets in.

The mosquitoes, ants, baraten, and sand-fleas are another source of
annoyance; many a night have I been obliged to sit up, tormented and
tortured by the bite of these insects. It is hardly possible to
protect provisions from the attacks of the baraten and ants. The
latter, in fact, often appear in long trains of immeasureable
length, pursuing their course over every obstacle which stands in
the way. During my stay in the country at Herr Geiger's, I beheld a
swarm of this description traverse a portion of the house. It was
really most interesting to see what a regular line they formed;
nothing could make them deviate from the direction they had first
determined on. Madame Geiger told me that she was one night awoke
by a horrible itching; she sprang immediately out of bed, and beheld
a swarm of ants of the above description pass over her bed. There
is no remedy for this; the end of the procession, which often lasts
four or six hours, must be waited for with patience. Provisions are
to some extent protected from them, by placing the legs of the
tables and presses in plates filled with water. Clothes and linen
are laid in tightly-fitting tin canisters, to protect them, not only
from the ants, but also from the baraten and the damp.

The worst plague of all, however, are the sand-fleas, which attach
themselves to one's toes, underneath the nails, or sometimes to the
soles of the feet. The moment a person feels an itching in these
parts he must immediately look at the place; if he sees a small
black point surrounded by a small white ring, the former is the
flea, and the latter the eggs which it has laid in the flesh. The
first thing done is to loosen the skin all round as far as the white
ring is visible; the whole deposit is then extracted, and a little
snuff strewed in the empty space. The best plan is to call in the
first black you may happen to see, as they all perform this
operation very skilfully.

As regards the natural products of the Brazils, a great many of the
most necessary articles are wanting in the list. It is true that
there are sugar and coffee, but no corn, no potatoes, and none of
our delicious varieties of fruit. The flour of manioc, which is
mixed up with the other materials of which the dishes are composed,
supplies the place of bread, but is far from being so nutritious and
strengthening, while the different kinds of sweet-tasting roots are
certainly not to be compared to our potatoes. The only fruit, which
are really excellent, are the oranges, bananas and mangoes. Their
celebrated pine-apples are neither very fragrant nor remarkably
sweet; I certainly have eaten much finer flavoured ones that had
been grown in a European hot-house. The other kinds of fruit are
not worth mentioning. Lastly, with the two very necessary articles
of consumption, milk and meat, the former is very watery, and the
latter very dry.

On instituting a comparison between the Brazils and Europe, both
with respect to the impression produced by the whole, as also to the
separate advantages and disadvantages of each, we shall, perhaps, at
first find the scale incline towards the former country, but only to
turn ultimately with greater certainty in favour of the latter.

The Brazils is, perhaps, the most interesting country in the world
for travellers; but for a place of permanent residence I should most
decidedly prefer Europe.

I saw too little of the manners and customs of the country to be
qualified to pronounce judgment upon them, and I shall therefore, on
this head, confine myself to a few remarks. The manners seem, on
the whole, to differ but little from those of Europe. The present
possessors of the country, as is well known, derive their descent
from Portugal, and the Brazilians might very aptly be termed
"Europeans translated into Americans;" and it is very natural, that
in this "translation" many peculiarities have been lost, while
others have stood forth in greater relief. The strongest feature in
the character of the European-American is the greed for gold; this
often becomes a passion, and transforms the most faint-hearted white
into a hero, for it certainly requires the courage of one to live
alone, as planter, on a plantation with perhaps some hundred slaves,
far removed from all assistance, and with the prospect of being
irrevocably lost in the event of any revolt.

This grasping feeling is not confined to the men alone; it is found
among the women as well, and is greatly encouraged by a common
custom here, agreeably to which, a husband never assigns his wife so
much for pin-money, but, according to his means, makes her a present
of one or more male or female slaves, whom she can dispose of as she
chooses. She generally has them taught how to cook, sew, embroider,
or even instructed in some trade, and then lets them out, by the
day, week, or month, {27} to people who possess no slaves of their
own; or she lets them take in washing at home, or employs them in
the manufacture of various ornamental objects, fine pastry, etc,
which she sends them out to sell. The money for these things
belongs to her, and is generally spent in dress and amusement.

In the case of tradesmen, and professional men, the wife is always
paid for whatever assistance she may lend her husband in his

Morality, unfortunately, is not very general in the Brazils; one
cause of this may be traced to the manner in which the children are
first brought up. They are confided entirely to the care of blacks.
Negresses suckle them when they are infants, their nurses are
negresses, their attendants are negresses--and I have often seen
girls of eight or ten years of age taken to school, or any other
place, by young negroes. The sensuality of the blacks is too well
known for us to be surprised, with such a state of things, at the
general and early demoralization. In no other place did I ever
behold so many children with such pale and worn faces as in the
streets of Rio Janeiro. The second cause of immorality here is,
without doubt, the want of religion. The Brazils are thoroughly
Catholic--perhaps there are no countries save Spain and Italy, that
can be compared to them. Almost every day there is some procession,
service, or church-festival; but these are attended merely for the
sake of amusement, while the true religious feeling is entirely

We may also ascribe to this deep demoralization and want of religion
the frequent occurrence of murders, committed not for the sake of
robbery or theft, but from motives of revenge and hatred. The
murderer either commits the deed himself, or has it perpetrated by
one of his slaves, who is ready to lend himself for the purpose, in
consideration of a mere trifle. The discovery of the crime need
cause the assassin no anxiety, provided he is rich; for in this
country everything, I was assured, can be arranged or achieved with
money. I saw several men in Rio Janeiro who had, according to
report, committed either themselves, or by the means of others, not
one, but several murders, and yet they not only enjoyed perfect
liberty, but were received in every society.

In conclusion, I beg leave to address a few words to those of my
countrymen who think of leaving their native land, to seek their
fortune on the distant coast of Brazil--a few words which I could
desire to see as far spread and as well known as possible.

There are people in Europe not a whit better than the African slave-
dealers, and such people are those who delude poor wretches with
exaggerated accounts of the richness of America and her beautiful
territories, of the over-abundance of the products of the soil, and
the lack of hands to take advantage of them. These people, however,
care little about the poor dupes; their object is to freight the
vessels belonging to them, and to effect this they take from their
deluded victim the last penny he possesses.

During my stay here, several vessels arrived with unfortunate
emigrants of this description; the government had not sent for them,
and therefore would afford them no relief; money they had none, and,
consequently, could not purchase land, neither could they find
employment in working on the plantations, as no one will engage
Europeans for this purpose, because, being unused to the warm
climate, they would soon succumb beneath the work. The unhappy
wretches had thus no resource left; they were obliged to beg about
the town, and, in the end, were fain to content themselves with the
most miserable occupations. A different fate awaits those who are
sent for by the Brazilian government to cultivate the land or
colonize the country: these persons receive a piece of uncleared
ground, with provisions and other help; but if they come over
without any money at all, even their lot is no enviable one. Want,
hunger, and sickness destroy most of them, and but a very small
number succeed, by unceasing activity and an iron constitution, in
gaining a better means of livelihood than what they left behind them
in their native land. Those only who exercise some trade find
speedy employment and an easy competency; but even this will, in all
probability, soon be otherwise, for great numbers are pouring in
ever year, and latterly the negroes themselves have been, and are
still being, more frequently taught every kind of trade.

Let every one, therefore, obtain trustworthy information before
leaving his native land; let him weigh calmly and deliberately the
step he is about to take, and not allow himself to be carried away
by deceptive hopes. The poor creature's misery on being undeceived
is so much the more dreadful, because he does not learn the truth
until it is too late--until he has already fallen a victim to
poverty and want.



An excursion to the waterfalls near Teschuka, to Boa Vista, and the
Botanical Gardens, is one of the most interesting near the city; but
it requires two days, as it takes a long time to see the Botanical
Gardens alone.

Count Berchthold and myself proceeded as far as Andaracky (four
miles) in an omnibus, and then continued our journey on foot,
between patches of wood and low hills. Elegant country houses are
situated upon the eminences and along the high road, at short
distances from each other.

When we had walked four miles, a path to the right conducted us to a
small waterfall, neither very high nor well supplied, but still the
most considerable one in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro. We then
returned to the high road, and in half an hour reached a little
elevated plain, whence the eye ranged over a valley of the most
remarkable description, one portion of it being in a state of wild
chaotic confusion, and the other resembling a blooming garden. In
the former were strewed masses of broken granite, from which, in
some places, larger blocks reared their heads, like so many
Collossi; while in others large fragments of rocks lay towering one
above the other; in the second portion stood the finest fruit trees
in the midst of luxuriant pastures. This romantic valley is
enclosed on three sides by noble mountains, the fourth being open,
and disclosing a full view of the sea.

In this valley we found a small venda, where we recruited ourselves
with bread and wine, and then continued our excursion to the so-
called "Great Waterfall," with which we were less astonished than we
had been with the smaller one. A very shallow sheet of water flowed
down over a broad but nowise precipitous ledge of rock into the
valley beneath.

After making our way through the valley, we came to the Porto
Massalu, where a number of trunks of trees, hollowed out and lying
before the few huts situated in the bay, apprized us that the
inhabitants were fishermen. We hired one of these beautiful
conveyances to carry us across the little bay. The passage did not
take more than a quarter of an hour at the most, and for this, as
strangers, we were compelled to pay two thousand reis (4s.).

We had now at one moment to wade through plains of sand, and the
next to clamber over the rocks by wretched paths. In this laborious
fashion we proceeded for at least twelve miles, until we reached the
summit of a mountain, which rises like the party-wall of two mighty
valleys. This peak is justly called the Boa Vista. The view
extends over both valleys, with the mountain ranges and rows of
hills which intersect them, and embraces, among other high
mountains, the Corcovado and the "Two Brothers;" and, in the
distance, the capital, with the surrounding country-houses and
villages, the various bays and the open sea.

Unwillingly did we leave this beautiful position; but being
unacquainted with the distance we should have to go before reaching
some hospitable roof, we were obliged to hasten on; besides which
negroes are the only persons met with on these lonely roads, and a
rencontre with any of them by night is a thing not at all to be
desired. We descended, therefore, into the valley, and resolved to
sleep at the first inn we came to.

More fortunate than most people in such cases, we not only found an
excellent hotel with clean rooms and good furniture, but fell in
with company which amused us in the highest degree. It consisted of
a mulatto family, and attracted all my attention. The wife, a
tolerably stout beauty of about thirty, was dressed out in a fashion
which, in my own country, no one, save a lady of an exceedingly
vulgar taste would ever think of adopting--all the valuables she
possessed in the world, she had got about her. Wherever it was
possible to stick anything of gold or silver, there it was sure to
be. A gown of heavy silk and a real cashmere enveloped her dark
brown body, and a charming little white silk bonnet looked very
comical placed upon her great heavy head. The husband and five
children were worthy of their respective wife and mother; and, in
fact, this excess of dress extended even to the nurse, a real
unadulterated negress, who was also overloaded with ornaments. On
one arm she had five and on the other six bracelets of stones,
pearls, and coral, but which, as far as I could judge, did not
strike me as being particularly genuine.

When the family rose to depart, two landaus, each with four horses,
drove up to the door, and man and wife, children and nurse, all
stepped in with the same majestic gravity.

As I was still looking after the carriages, which were rolling
rapidly towards the town, I saw some one on horseback nodding to me:
it was my friend, Herr Geiger. On hearing that we intended to
remain for the night where we were, he persuaded us to accompany him
to the estate of his father-in-law, which was situated close at
hand. In the latter gentleman, we made the acquaintance of a most
worthy and cheerful old man of seventy years of age, who, at that
period, was Directing Architect and Superintendant of the Fine Arts
under Government. We admired his beautiful garden and charming
residence, built, with great good taste, in the Italian style.

Early on the following morning, I accompanied Count Berchthold to
the botanical gardens. Our curiosity to visit these gardens was
very great: we hoped to see there magnificent specimens of trees
and flowers from all parts of the world--but we were rather
disappointed. The gardens have been founded too recently, and none
of the large trees have yet attained their full growth; there is no
very great selection of flowers or plants; and to the few that are
there, not even tickets are affixed, to acquaint the visitor with
their names. The most interesting objects for us, were the monkey's
bread-tree, with its gourds weighing ten or twenty-five pounds, and
containing a number of kernels, which are eaten, not only by
monkeys, but also by men--the clove, camphor, and cocoa-tree, the
cinnamon and tea bush, etc. We also saw a very peculiar kind of
palm-tree: the lower portion of the trunk, to the height of two or
three feet, was brown and smooth, and shaped like a large tub or
vat; the stems that sprang from this were light green, and like the
lower part, very smooth, and at the same time shining, as if
varnished; they were not very high, and the crest of leaves, as is
the case with other palms, only unfolded itself at the top of the
tree. Unfortunately, we were unable to learn the names of this kind
of palm; and in the whole course of my voyage, I never met with
another specimen.

We did not leave the gardens before noon: we then proceeded on foot
four miles as far as Batafogo, and thence reached the city by

Herr Geiger had invited Count Berchtholdt, Herr Rister, (a native of
Vienna), and myself to an excursion to the Corcovado mountains; and
accordingly, on the 1st November, at a time when we are often
visited by storms and snow, but when the sun is here in his full
force, and the sky without a cloud, at an early hour in the morning
did we commence our pilgrimage.

The splendid aqueduct was our guide as far as the springs from which
it derives the water, which point we reached in an hour and a half,
having been so effectually protected by the deep shade of lovely
woods, that even the intense heat of the sun, which reached during
the day more than 117 degrees, (in the sun), scarcely annoyed us.

We stopped at the springs; and, on a sign from Herr Geiger, an
athletic negro made his appearance, loaded with a large hamper of
provisions--everything was soon prepared--a white cloth was spread
out, and the eatables and drinkables placed upon it. Our meal was
seasoned with jokes and good humour; and when we started afresh on
our journey, we felt revived both in body and mind.

The last cone of the mountain gave us some trouble: the route was
very precipitous, and lay over bare, hot masses of rock. But when
we did reach the top, we were more than repaid by seeing spread
before us such a panorama, as most assuredly is very seldom to be
met with in the world. All that I had remarked on my entrance into
the port, lay there before me, only more clearly defined and more
extended, with innumerable additional objects. We could see the
whole town, all the lower hills, which half hid it from my view on
my arrival, the large bay, reaching as far as the Organ mountain;
and, on the other side, the romantic valley, containing the
botanical gardens, and a number of beautiful country-houses.

I recommend every one who comes to Rio Janeiro, although it be only
for a few days, to make this excursion, since from this spot he can,
with one glance, perceive all the treasures which nature, with so
truly liberal a hand, has lavished upon the environs of this city.
He will here see virgin forests, which, if not quite as thick and
beautiful as those farther inland, are still remarkable for their
luxuriant vegetation. Mimosae and Aarren baume of a gigantic size,
palms, wild coffee-trees, orchidaen, parasites and creepers,
blossoms and flowers, without end; birds of the most brilliant
plumage, immense butterflies, and sparkling insects, flying in
swarms from blossom to blossom, from branch to branch. A most
wonderful effect also is produced by the millions of fire-flies,
which find their way into the very tops of the trees, and sparkle
between the foliage like so many brightly twinkling stars.

I had been informed that the ascent of this mountain was attended
with great difficulty. I did not, however, find this to be the
case, since the summit may be reached with the greatest ease in
three hours and three quarters, while three parts of the way can
also be performed on horseback.

The regular residence of the imperial family may be said to be the
Palace of Christovao, about half an hour's walk from the town. It
is there that the emperor spends most of the year, and where also
all political councils are held, and state business transacted.

The palace is small, and is distinguished neither for taste nor
architectural beauty: its sole charm is its situation. It is
placed upon a hill, and commands a view of the Organ mountain, and
one of the bays. The palace garden itself is small, and is laid out
in terraces right down into the valley below: a larger garden, that
serves as a nursery for plants and trees, joins it. Both these
gardens are highly interesting for Europeans, since they contain a
great number of plants, which either do not exist at all in Europe,
or are only known from dwarf specimens in hot-houses. Herr Riedl,
who has the management of both gardens, was kind enough to conduct
us over them himself, and to draw my attention more especially to
the tea and bamboo plantations.

Ponte de Cascher(four miles from the town) is another imperial
garden. There are three mango trees here, which are very
remarkable, from their age and size. Their branches describe a
circle of more than eighty feet in circumference, but they no longer
bear fruit. Among the most agreeable walks in the immediate
vicinity of the town, I may mention the Telegraph mountain, the
public garden (Jardin publico), the Praya do Flamingo, and the
Cloisters of St. Gloria and St. Theresia, etc.

I had heard so much in Rio Janeiro of the rapid rise of Petropolis,
a colony founded by Germans in the neighbourhood of Rio Janeiro, of
the beauty of the country where it was situated, and of the virgin
forests through which a part of the road ran--that I could not
resist the temptation of making an excursion thither. My travelling
companion, Count Berchthold, accompanied me; and, on the 26th
September, we took two places on board one of the numerous barks
which sail regularly every day for the Porto d'Estrella, (a distance
of twenty or twenty-two nautical miles), from which place the
journey is continued by land. We sailed through a bay remarkable
for its extremely picturesque views, and which often reminded me
vividly of the peculiar character of the lakes in Sweden. It is
surrounded by ranges of lovely hills, and is dotted over with small
islands, both separate and in groups, some of which are so
completely overgrown with palms, as well as other trees and shrubs,
that it seems impossible to land upon them, while others either rear
their solitary heads like huge rocks from the waves, or are loosely
piled one upon the other. The round form of many of the latter is
especially remarkable: they almost seem to have been cut out with a

Our bark was manned by four negroes and a white skipper. At first
we ran before the wind with full sails, and the crew took advantage
of this favourable opportunity to make a meal, consisting of a
considerable quantity of flour of manioc, boiled fish, roasted mil,
(Turkish corn), oranges, cocoa-nuts, and other nuts of a smaller
description; indeed, there was even white bread, which for blacks is
a luxury; and I was greatly delighted to see them so well taken care
of. In two hours the wind left us, and the crew were obliged to
take to the oars, the manner of using which struck me as very
fatiguing. At each dip of the oar into the water, the rower mounts
upon a bench before him, and then, during the stroke, throws himself
off again with his full force. In two hours more, we left the sea,
and taking a left-hand direction, entered the river Geromerim, at
the mouth of which is an inn, where we stopped half an hour, and
where I saw a remarkable kind of lighthouse, consisting of a lantern
affixed to a rock. The beauty of the country is now at an end--that
is, in the eyes of the vulgar: a botanist would, at this point,
find it more than usually wonderful and magnificent; for the most
beautiful aquatic plants, especially the Nymphia, the Pontedera, and
the Cyprian grass are spread out, both in the water and all round
it. The two former twine themselves to the very top of the nearest
sapling, and the Cyprian grass attains a height of from six to eight
feet. The banks of the river are flat, and fringed with underwood
and young trees; the background is formed by ranges of hills. The
little houses, which are visible now and then, are built of stone,
and covered with tiles, yet, nevertheless, they present a tolerably
poverty-stricken appearance.

After sailing up the river for seven hours, we reached, without
accident, Porto d'Estrella, a place of some importance, since it is
the emporium for all the merchandise which is sent from the
interior, and then conveyed by water to the capital. There are two
good inns; and, besides these, a large building (similar to a
Turkish Khan) and an immense tiled roof, supported on strong stone
pillars. The first was appropriated to the merchandise, and the
second to the donkey drivers, who had arranged themselves very
comfortably underneath it, and were preparing their evening meal
over various fires that were blazing away very cheerfully. Although
fully admitting the charms of such quarters for the night, we
preferred retiring to the Star Inn, where clean rooms and beds, and

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