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A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

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skilfully spiced dishes, possessed more attraction for us.

27th September. From Porto d'Estrella to Petropolis, the distance
is seven leagues. This portion of the journey is generally
performed upon mules, the charge for which is four milreis (8s. 8d.)
each, but as we had been told in Rio Janeiro that the road afforded
a beautiful walk, parts of it traversing splendid woods, and that it
was besides much frequented, and perfectly safe, being the great
means of communication with Minas Gueras, we determined to go on
foot, and that the more willingly, as the Count wished to botanize,
and I to collect insects. The first eight miles lay through a broad
valley, covered with thick brambles and young trees, and surrounded
with lofty mountains. The wild pine-apples at the side of the road
presented a most beautiful appearance; they were not quite ripe, and
were tinged with the most delicate red. Unfortunately, they are far
from being as agreeable to the taste as they are to the sight, and
consequently are very seldom gathered. I was greatly amused with
the humming-birds, of which I saw a considerable number of the
smallest species. Nothing can be more graceful and delicate than
these little creatures. They obtain their food from the calyx of
the flowers, round which they flutter like butterflies, and indeed
are very often mistaken for them in their rapid flight. It is very
seldom that they are seen on a branch or twig in a state of repose.
After passing through the valley, we reached the Serra, as the
Brazilians term the summit of each mountain that they cross; the
present one was 3,000 feet high. A broad paved road, traversing
virgin forests, runs up the side of the mountain.

I had always imagined that in virgin forests the trees had
uncommonly thick and lofty trunks; I found that this was not here
the case. The vegetation is probably too luxuriant, and the larger
trunks are suffocated and rot beneath the masses of smaller trees,
bushes, creepers, and parasites. The two latter description of
plants are so abundant, and cover so completely the trees, that it
is often impossible to see even the leaves, much less the stems and
branches. Herr Schleierer, a botanist, assured us that he once
found upon one tree six and thirty different kinds of creepers and

We gathered a rich harvest of flowers, plants, and insects, and
loitered along, enchanted with the magnificent woods and not less
beautiful views, which stretched over hill and dale, towards the sea
and its bays, and even as far as the capital itself.

Frequent truppas, {34a} driven by negroes, as well as the number of
pedestrians we met, eased our minds of every fear, and prevented us
from regarding it as at all remarkable that we were being
continually followed by a negro. As, however, we arrived at a
somewhat lonely spot, he sprang suddenly forward, holding in one
hand a long knife and in the other a lasso, {34b} rushed upon us,
and gave us to understand, more by gestures than words, that he
intended to murder, and then drag us into the forest.

We had no arms, as we had been told that the road was perfectly
safe, and the only weapons of defence we possessed were our
parasols, if I except a clasp knife, which I instantly drew out of
my pocket and opened, fully determined to sell my life as dearly as
possible. We parried our adversary's blows as long as we could with
our parasols, but these lasted but a short time; besides, he caught
hold of mine, which, as we were struggling for it, broke short off,
leaving only a piece of the handle in my hand. In the struggle,
however, he dropped his knife, which rolled a few steps from him; I
instantly made a dash, and thought I had got it, when he, more quick
than I, thrust me away with his feet and hands, and once more
obtained possession of it. He waved it furiously over my head, and
dealt me two wounds, a thrust and a deep gash, both in the upper
part of the left arm; I thought I was lost, and despair alone gave
me the courage to use my own knife. I made a thrust at his breast;
this he warded off, and I only succeeded in wounding him severely in
the hand. The Count sprang forward, and seized the fellow from
behind, and thus afforded me an opportunity of raising myself from
the ground. The whole affair had not taken more than a few seconds.
The negro's fury was now roused to its highest pitch by the wounds
he had received: he gnashed his teeth at us like a wild beast, and
flourished his knife with frightful rapidity. The Count, in his
turn, had received a cut right across the hand, and we had been
irrevocably lost, had not Providence sent us assistance. We heard
the tramp of horses' hoofs upon the road, upon which the negro
instantly left us and sprang into the wood. Immediately afterwards
two horsemen turned a corner of the road, and we hurried towards
them; our wounds, which were bleeding freely, and the way in which
our parasols were hacked, soon made them understand the state of
affairs. They asked us which direction the fugitive had taken, and,
springing from their horses, hurried after him; their efforts,
however, would have been fruitless, if two negroes, who were coming
from the opposite side, had not helped them. As it was, the fellow
was soon captured. He was pinioned, and, as he would not walk,
severely beaten, most of the blows being dealt upon the head, so
that I feared the poor wretch's skull would be broken. In spite of
this he never moved a muscle, and lay, as if insensible to feeling,
upon the ground. The two other negroes were obliged to seize hold
of him, when he endeavoured to bite every one within his reach, like
a wild beast, and carry him to the nearest house. Our preservers,
as well as the Count and myself, accompanied them. We then had our
wounds dressed, and afterwards continued our journey; not, it is
true, entirely devoid of fear, especially when we met one or more
negroes but without any further mishap, and with a continually
increasing admiration of the beautiful scenery.

The colony of Petropolis is situated in the midst of a virgin
forest, at an elevation of 2,500 feet above the level of the sea,
and, at the time of our visit, it had been founded about fourteen
months, with the especial purpose of furnishing the capital with
certain kinds of fruit and vegetables, which, in tropical climates,
will thrive only in very high situations. A small row of houses
already formed a street, and on a large space that had been cleared
away stood the wooden carcase of a larger building--the Imperial
Villa, which, however, would have some difficulty in presenting
anything like an imperial appearance, on account of the low doors
that contrasted strangely with the broad, lofty windows. The town
is to be built around the villa, though several detached houses are
situated at some distance away in the woods. One portion of the
colonists, such as mechanics, shop-keepers, etc., had been presented
with small plots of ground for building upon, near the villa; the
cultivators of the soil had received larger patches, although not
more than two or three yokes. What misery must not these poor
people have suffered in their native country to have sought another
hemisphere for the sake of a few yokes of land!

We here found the good old woman who had been our fellow passenger
from Germany to Rio Janeiro, in company with her son. Her joy at
being once more able to share in the toils and labours of her
favourite had, in this short space of time, made her several years
younger. Her son acted as our guide, and conducted us over the
infant colony, which is situated in broad ravines; the surrounding
hills are so steep, that when they are cleared of timber and
converted into gardens, the soft earth is easily washed away by
heavy showers.

At a distance of four miles from the colony, a waterfall foams down
a chasm which it has worn away for itself. It is more remarkable
for its valley-like enclosure of noble mountains, and the solemn
gloom of the surrounding woods, than for its height or body of

29th September. In spite of the danger we had incurred in coming,
we returned to Porto d'Estrella on foot, went on board a bark,
sailed all night, and arrived safely in Rio Janeiro the next
morning. Every one, both in Petropolis and the capital, was so
astonished at the manner in which our lives had been attempted, that
if we had not been able to show our wounds we should never have been
believed. The fellow was at first thought to have been drunk or
insane, and it was not till later that we learned the real motives
of his conduct. He had some time previously been punished by his
master for an offence, and on meeting us in the wood, he no doubt
thought that it was a good opportunity of satisfying, with impunity,
his hatred against the whites.



This second journey I also made in company of Count Berchthold,
after having resolved on penetrating into the interior of the
country, and paying a visit to the primitive inhabitants of the

2nd October. We left Rio Janeiro in the morning, and proceeded in a
steamer as far as the port of Sampajo, a distance of twenty-eight
miles. This port lies at the mouth of the river Maccacu, but
consists of only one inn and two or three small houses. We here
hired mules to take us to the town of Morroqueimado, eighty miles

I may take this opportunity of remarking that it is the custom in
the Brazils to hire the mules without muleteers--a great mark of
confidence on the part of the owners towards travellers. Arrived at
their destination the animals are delivered up at a certain place
fixed on by the proprietor. We preferred, however, to take a
muleteer with us, as we were not acquainted with the road, a piece
of precaution we regretted the less, on finding the way frequently
obstructed with wooden gates, which had always to be opened and shut

The price for hiring a mule was twelve milreis (1 pounds 6s.).

As we arrived at Porto Sampajo by 2 o'clock, we resolved on going on
as far as Ponte do Pinheiro, a distance of sixteen miles. The road
lay mostly through valleys covered with large bushes and surrounded
by low rocks. The country wore a general aspect of wildness, and
only here and there were a few scanty pasture-grounds and poverty-
stricken huts to be seen.

The little town of Ponte de Cairas, which we passed, consists of a
few shops and vendas, a number of smaller houses, an inconsiderable
church, and an apothecary's; the principal square looked like a
meadow. Ponte do Pinheiro is rather larger. We experienced here a
very good reception, and had an excellent supper, consisting of
fowls stewed in rice, flour of manioc, and Portuguese wine; we had
also good beds and breakfasts; the whole cost us, however, four
milreis (8s. 8d.).

3rd October. We did not set off till 7 o'clock: here, as
everywhere else in the country, there is no getting away early in
the morning.

The scenery was of the same character as that passed the day before,
except that we were approaching the more lofty mountains. The road
was tolerably good, but the bridges across the streams and sloughs
execrable; we esteemed ourselves fortunate whenever we passed one
without being compelled to stop. After a ride of three hours (nine
miles), we reached the great Sugar-Fazenda {38} de Collegio, which
in its arrangements is exactly like a large country seat. To the
spacious residence is attached a chapel, with the offices lying all
around; the whole is enclosed by a high wall.

Far and wide stretched the fields and low eminences, covered with
sugar canes: unfortunately, we could not see the mode of preparing
the sugar, as the canes were not yet ripe.

A planter's fortune in the Brazils is calculated by the number of
his slaves. There were eight hundred of them on the plantation we
were viewing--a large property, since each male slave costs from six
to seven hundred milreis (60 to 70 pounds).

Not far from this fazenda, to the right of the high road, lies
another very considerable one, called Papagais; besides these we saw
several smaller plantations, which lent a little animation to the
uniformity of the scene.

St. Anna (sixteen miles distance) is a small place, consisting of
only a few poor houses, a little church, and an apothecary's; the
last is a necessary appendage to every Brazilian village, even
though it only contains twelve or fifteen huts. We here made a
repast of eggs with a bottle of wine, and gave our mules a feed of
mil, for which a cheating landlord, Herr Gebhart, charged us three
milreis (6s. 6d.)

Today we did not proceed further than Mendoza (twelve miles), a
still more insignificant place than St. Anna. A small shop and a
venda were the only houses at the road-side, though in the
background we perceived a manioc-fazenda, to which we paid a visit.
The proprietor was kind enough first to offer us some strong coffee,
without milk (a customary mark of attention in the Brazils), and
then to conduct us over his plantation.

The manioc plant shoots out stalks from four to six feet in height,
with a number of large leaves at their upper extremities. The
valuable portion of the plant is its bulbous root, which often
weighs two or three pounds, and supplies the place of corn all
through the Brazils. It is washed, peeled, and held against the
rough edge of a millstone, turned by a negro, until it is completely
ground away. The whole mass is then gathered into a basket,
plentifully steeped in water, and is afterwards pressed quite dry by
means of a press. Lastly it is scattered upon large iron plates,
and slowly dried by a gentle fire kept up beneath. It now resembles
a very coarse kind of flour; and is eaten in two ways--wet and dry.
In the first case, it is mixed with hot water until it forms a kind
of porridge; in the second, it is handed round, under the form of
coarse flour, in little baskets, and every one at table takes as
much as he chooses, and sprinkles it over his plate.

4th October. The mountain ranges continue drawing nearer and nearer
to each other, and the woods become thicker and more luxuriant. The
various creeping plants are indescribably beautiful: not only do
they entirely cover the ground, but they are so intertwined with the
trees that their lovely flowers hang on the highest branches, and
look like the blossoms of the trees themselves. But there are
likewise trees whose own yellow and red blossoms resemble the most
beautiful flowers; while there are others whose great white leaves
stand out like silver from the surrounding mass of flowery green.
Woods like these might well be called "the giant gardens of the
world." The palm-trees have here almost disappeared.

We soon reached the mountain range we had to cross, and on our way
often ascended such elevated spots that we had a free view extending
as far back as the capital. On the top of the mountain (Alta da
Serra, sixteen miles from Mendoza) we found a venda. From this spot
the distance to Morroqueimado is sixteen miles, which took us a long
time, as the road is either up or down hill the whole way. We were
continually surrounded by the most magnificent woodlands, and were
only rarely reminded by a small plantation of kabi, {39} or mil,
that we were in the neighbourhood of men. We did not perceive the
little town until we had surmounted the last eminence and were in
its immediate vicinity. It lies in a large and picturesque hollow,
surrounded by mountains at an elevation of 3,200 feet above the
level of the sea. As night was near at hand, we were glad enough to
reach our lodgings, which were situated on one side of the town, in
the house of a German named Linderoth; they were very comfortable,
and, as we afterwards found, exceedingly reasonable, seeing that for
our rooms and three good meals a-day we only paid one milreis (2s.

5th October. The small town of Novo Friburgo, or Morroqueimado, was
founded about fifteen years since by French, Swiss, and Germans. It
contains not quite a hundred substantial houses, the greater part of
which form an extremely broad street, while the others lie scattered
about, here and there.

We had already heard, in Rio Janeiro, a great deal of the Messrs.
Beske and Freese, and been particularly recommended not to forget to
pay a visit to each. Herr Beske is a naturalist, and resides here
with his wife, who is almost as scientific as himself. We enjoyed
many an hour in their entertaining society, and were shown many
interesting collections of quadrupeds, birds, serpents, insects,
etc.; the collection of these last, indeed, was more rich and
remarkable than that in the Museum of Rio Janeiro. Herr Beske has
always a great many orders from Europe to send over various objects
of natural history. Herr Freese is the director and proprietor of
an establishment for boys, and preferred establishing his school in
this cool climate than in the hot town beneath. He was kind enough
to show us all his arrangements. As it was near evening when we
paid our visit, school was already over; but he presented all his
scholars to us, made them perform a few gymnastic exercises, and
proposed several questions on geography, history, arithmetic, etc.,
which, without exception, they answered very carefully and
correctly. His establishment receives sixty boys, and was quite
full, although the annual charge for each boy is one thousand
milreis (108 pounds 6s. 8d.).

6th October. We had at first intended to stop only one day in Novo
Friburgo, and then continue our journey. Unfortunately, however,
the wound which the Count had received on our excursion to
Petropolis became, through the frequent use of the hand and the
excessive heat, much worse; inflammation set in, and he was
consequently obliged to give up all ideas of going any further.
With my wounds I was more fortunate, for, as they were on the upper
part of the arm, I had been enabled to pay them a proper degree of
care and attention; they were now proceeding very favourably, and
neither dangerous nor troublesome. I had, therefore, no resource
left but either to pursue my journey alone, or to give up the most
interesting portion of it, namely, my visit to the Indians. To this
last idea I could by no means reconcile myself; I inquired,
therefore, whether the journey could be made with any degree of
safety, and as I received a sort of half-satisfactory answer, and
Herr Lindenroth found me also a trusty guide, I procured a good
double-barrelled pistol and set out undaunted upon my trip.

We at first remained for some time in the midst of mountain ranges,
and then again descended into the warmer region beneath. The
valleys were generally narrow, and the uniform appearance of the
woods was often broken by plantations. The latter, however, did not
always look very promising, most of them being so choked up with
weeds that it was frequently impossible to perceive the plant
itself, especially when it was young and small. It is only upon the
sugar and coffee plantations that any great care is bestowed.

The coffee-trees stand in rows upon tolerably steep hillocks. They
attain a height of from six to twelve feet, and begin to bear
sometimes as soon as the second, but in no case later than the third
year, and are productive for ten years. The leaf is long and
slightly serrated, the blossom white, while the fruit hangs down in
the same manner as a bunch of grapes, and resembles a longish
cherry, which is first green, then red, brown, and nearly black.
During the time it is red, the outer shell is soft, but ultimately
becomes perfectly hard, and resembles a wooden capsule. Blossoms
and fruit in full maturity are found upon the trees at the same
time, and hence the harvest lasts nearly the whole year. The latter
is conducted in two ways. The berries are either gathered by hand,
or large straw mats are spread underneath, and the trees well
shaken. The first method is the more troublesome, but, without
comparison, the better one.

Another novelty, which I saw here for the first time, were the
frequent burning forests, which had been set on fire to clear the
ground for cultivation. In most cases I merely saw immense clouds
of smoke curling upwards in the distance, and desired nothing more
earnestly than to enjoy a nearer view of such a conflagration. My
wish was destined to be fulfilled today, as my road lay between a
burning forest and a burning rost. {40} The intervening space was
not, at the most, more than fifty paces broad, and was completely
enveloped in smoke. I could hear the cracking of the fire, and
through the dense vapour perceive thick, forked columns of flame
shoot upwards towards the sky, while now and then loud reports, like
those of a cannon, announced the fall of the large trees. On seeing
my guide enter this fiery gulf, I was, I must confess, rather
frightened; but I felt assured, on reflecting, that he would
certainly not foolishly risk his own life, and that he must know
from experience that such places were passable.

At the entrance sat two negroes, to point out the direction that
wayfarers had to follow, and to recommend them to make as much haste
as possible. My guide translated for me what they said, and spurred
on his mule; I followed his example, and we both galloped at full
speed into the smoking pass. The burning ashes now flew around us
in all directions, while the suffocating smoke was even more
oppressive than the heat; our beasts, too, seemed to have great
difficulty in drawing breath, and it was as much as we could do to
keep them in a gallop. Fortunately we had not above 500 or 600
paces to ride, and consequently succeeded in making our way safely

In the Brazils a conflagration of this kind never extends very far,
as the vegetation is too green and offers too much opposition. The
wood has to be ignited in several places, and even then the fire
frequently goes out, and when most of the wood is burnt, many
patches are found unconsumed. Soon after passing this dangerous
spot, we came to a magnificent rock, the sides of which must have
risen almost perpendicularly to a height of 600 or 800 feet. A
number of detached fragments lay scattered about the road, forming
picturesque groups.

To my great astonishment, I learned from my guide that our lodging
for the night was near at hand; we had scarcely ridden twenty miles,
but he affirmed that the next venda where we could stop, was too far
distant. I afterwards discovered that his sole object was to spin
out the journey, which was a very profitable one for him, since,
besides good living for himself, and fodder for his two mules, he
received four milreis (8s. 8d.) a-day. We put up, therefore, at a
solitary venda, erected in the middle of the forest, and kept by
Herr Molasz.

During the day we had suffered greatly from the heat; the
thermometer standing, in the sun, at 119 degrees 75' Fah.

The circumstance which must strike a traveller most forcibly in the
habits of the colonists and inhabitants of the Brazils, is the
contrast between fear and courage. On the one hand, every one you
meet upon the road is armed with pistols and long knives, as if the
whole country was overrun with robbers and murderers; while, on the
other, the proprietors live quite alone on their plantations, and
without the least apprehension, in the midst of their numerous
slaves. The traveller, too, fearlessly passes the night in some
venda, situated in impenetrable woods, with neither shutters to the
windows nor good locks to the doors, besides which the owner's room
is a considerable distance from the chambers of the guests, and it
would be utterly impossible to obtain any assistance from the
servants, who are all slaves, as they live either in some corner of
the stable, or in the loft. At first I felt very frightened at thus
passing the night alone, surrounded by the wild gloom of the forest,
and in a room that was only very insecurely fastened; but, as I was
everywhere assured that such a thing as a forcible entry into a
house had never been heard of, I soon dismissed my superfluous
anxiety, and enjoyed the most tranquil repose.

I know very few countries in Europe where I should like to traverse
vast forests, and pass the night in such awfully lonely houses,
accompanied by only a hired guide.

On the 7th of October, also, we made only a short day's journey of
twenty miles, to the small town of Canto Gallo. The scenery was of
the usual description, consisting of narrow, circumscribed valleys
and mountains covered with endless forests. If little fazendas, and
the remains of woods which had been set on fire, had not, every now
and then, reminded us of the hand of man, I should have thought that
I was wandering through some yet undiscovered part of Brazil.

The monotony of our journey was rather romantically interrupted by
our straying for a short distance from the right road. In order to
reach it again, we were obliged to penetrate, by untrodden paths,
through the woods; a task presenting difficulties of which a
European can scarcely form an idea. We dismounted from our mules,
and my guide threw back, on either side, the low-hanging branches,
and cut through the thick web of creepers; while, one moment, we
were obliged to climb over broken trunks, or squeeze ourselves
between others, at the next we sank knee-deep among endless
parasitical plants. I began almost to despair of ever effecting a
passage, and, even up to the present day, am at a loss to understand
how we succeeded in escaping from this inextricable mass.

The little town of Canto Gallo is situated in a narrow valley, and
contains about eighty houses. The venda stands apart, the town not
being visible from it. The temperature here is warm as in Rio

On my return to the venda, after a short walk to the town, I applied
to my landlady, in order to obtain a near and really correct idea of
a Brazilian household. The good woman, however, gave herself very
little trouble, either in looking after the house or the kitchen; as
is the case in Italy, this was her husband's business. A negress
and two young negroes cooked, the arrangements of the kitchen being
of the most primitive simplicity. The salt was pressed fine with a
bottle; the potatoes, when boiled, underwent the same process--the
latter were also subsequently squeezed in the frying-pan with a
plate, to give them the form of a pancake; a pointed piece of wood
served for a fork, etc. There was a large fire burning for every

Every one whose complexion was white, sat down with us at table.
All the dishes, consisting of cold roast beef, black beans with
boiled carna secca, {42} potatoes, rice, manioc flour, and boiled
manioc roots, were placed upon the table at the same time, and every
one helped himself as he pleased. At the conclusion of our meal, we
had strong coffee without milk. The slaves had beans, carna secca,
and manioc flour.

8th October. Our goal today was the Fazenda Boa Esperanza, twenty-
four miles off. Four miles beyond Canto Gallo, we crossed a small
waterfall, and then entered one of the most magnificent virgin
forests I had yet beheld. A small path, on the bank of a little
brook conducted us through it. Palms, with their majestic tops,
raised themselves proudly above the other trees, which, lovingly
interlaced together, formed the most beautiful bowers; orchids grew
in wanton luxuriance upon the branches and twigs; creepers and ferns
climbed up the trees, mingling with the boughs, and forming thick
walls of blossoms and flowers, which displayed the most brilliant
colours, and exhaled the sweetest perfume; delicate humming-birds
twittered around our heads; the pepper-pecker, with his brilliant
plumage, soared shyly upwards; parrots and parroquets were swinging
themselves in the branches, and numberless beautifully marked birds,
which I only knew from having seen specimens in the Museum,
inhabited this fairy grove. It seemed as if I was riding in some
fairy park, and I expected, every moment, to see sylphs and nymphs
appear before me.

I was so happy, that I felt richly recompensed for all the fatigue
of my journey. One thought only obscured this beautiful picture;
and that was, that weak man should dare to enter the lists with the
giant nature of the place, and make it bend before his will. How
soon, perhaps, may this profound and holy tranquillity be disturbed
by the blows of some daring settler's axe, to make room for the
wants of men!

I saw no dangerous animals save a few dark green snakes, from five
to seven feet long; a dead ounce, that had been stripped of its
skin; and a lizard, three feet in length, which ran timidly across
our path. I met with no apes; they appear to conceal themselves
deeper in the woods, where no human footstep is likely to disturb
them in their sports and gambols.

During the whole distance from Canto Gallo to the small village of
St. Ritta (sixteen miles), if it had not again been for a few coffee
plantations, I should have thought the place completely forgotten by

Near St. Ritta are some gold-washings in the river of the same name,
and not far from them, diamonds also are found. Since seeking or
digging for diamonds is no longer an imperial monopoly, every one is
at liberty to employ himself in this occupation, and yet it is
exercised as much as possible in secret. No one will acknowledge
looking for them, in order to avoid paying the State its share as
fixed by law. The precious stones are sought for and dug out at
certain spots, from heaps of sand, stones, and soil, which have been
washed down by the heavy rains.

I had found lodgings in a venda for the last time, the preceding
evening, at Canto Gallo. I had now to rely upon the hospitality of
the proprietors of the fazendas. Custom requires that, on reaching
a fazenda, any person who desires to stop the middle of the day or
the night there, should wait outside and ask, through the servant,
permission to do so. It is not until his application is granted,
which is almost always the case, that the traveller dismounts from
his mule, and enters the building.

They received me at the Fazenda of Boa Esperanza in the most
friendly manner, and, as I happened to arrive exactly at dinner-time
(it was between 3 and 4 o'clock), covers were immediately laid for
me and my attendant. The dishes were numerous, and prepared very
nearly in the European fashion.

Great astonishment was manifested in every venda and fazenda at
seeing a lady arrive accompanied only by a single servant. The
first question was, whether I was not afraid thus to traverse the
woods alone; and my guide was invariably taken on one side, and
questioned as to way I travelled. As he was in the habit of seeing
me collect flowers and insects, he supposed me to be a naturalist,
and replied that my journey had a scientific object.

After dinner, the amiable lady of the house proposed that I should
go and see the coffee-plantations, warehouses, etc.; and I willingly
accepted her offer, as affording me an opportunity of viewing the
manner in which the coffee was prepared, from beginning to end.

The mode of gathering it I have already described. When this is
done, the coffee is spread out upon large plots of ground, trodden
down in a peculiar manner, and enclosed by low stone walls, scarcely
a foot high, with little drain-holes in them, to allow of the water
running off in case of rain. On these places the coffee is dried by
the glowing heat of the sun, and then shaken in large stone mortars,
ten or twenty of which are placed beneath a wooden scaffolding, from
which wooden hammers, set in motion by water power, descend into the
mortars, and easily crush the husks. The mass, thus crushed, is
then placed in wooden boxes, fastened in the middle of a long table,
and having small openings at each side, through which both the berry
itself and the husk fall slowly out. At the table are seated
negroes, who separate the berry from the husk, and then cast it into
shallow copper cauldrons, which are easily heated. In these it is
carefully turned, and remains until it is quite dried. This last
process requires some degree of care, as the colour of the coffee
depends upon the degree of heat to which it is exposed; if dried too
quickly, instead of the usual greenish colour, it contracts a
yellowish tinge.

On the whole, the preparation of coffee is not fatiguing, and even
the gathering of it is far from being as laborious as reaping is
with us. The negro stands in an upright posture when gathering the
berry, and is protected by the tree itself against the great heat of
the sun. The only danger he incurs is of being bitten by some
venomous snake or other--an accident, however, which, fortunately,
rarely happens.

The work on a sugar-plantation, on the contrary, is said to be
exceedingly laborious, particularly that portion of it which relates
to weeding the ground and cutting the cane. I have never yet
witnessed a sugar-harvest, but, perhaps, may do so in the course of
my travels.

All work ceases at sunset, when the negroes are drawn up in front of
their master's house for the purpose of being counted, and then,
after a short prayer, have their supper, consisting of boiled beans,
bacon, carna secca, and manioc flour, handed out to them.

At sunrise, they again assemble, are once more counted, and, after
prayers and breakfast, go to work.

I had an opportunity of convincing myself in this, as well as in
many other fazendas, vendas, and private houses, that the slaves are
by far not so harshly treated as we Europeans imagine. They are not
overworked, perform all their duties very leisurely, and are well
kept. Their children are frequently the playmates of their master's
children, and knock each other about as if they were all equal.
There may be cases in which certain slaves are cruelly and
undeservedly punished; but do not the like instances of injustice
occur in Europe also?

I am certainly very much opposed to slavery, and should greet its
abolition with the greatest delight, but, despite this, I again
affirm that the negro slave enjoys, under the protection of the law,
a better lot than the free fellah of Egypt, or many peasants in
Europe, who still groan under the right of soccage. The principal
reason of the better lot of the slave, compared to that of the
miserable peasant, in the case in point, may perhaps partly be, that
the purchase and keep of the one is expensive, while the other costs

The arrangements in the houses belonging to the proprietors of the
fazendas are extremely simple. The windows are unglazed, and are
closed at night with wooden shutters. In many instances, the outer
roof is the common covering of all the rooms, which are merely
separated from one another by low partitions, so that you can hear
every word your neighbour says, and almost the breathing of the
person sleeping next to you. The furniture is equally simple: a
large table, a few straw sofas, and a few chairs. The wearing
apparel is generally hung up against the walls; the linen alone
being kept in tin cases, to protect it from the attacks of the ants.

In the country, the children of even the most opulent persons run
about frequently without shoes or stockings. Before they go to bed
they have their feet examined to see whether any sand-fleas have
nestled in them; and if such be the case, they are extracted by the
elder negro children.

9th October. Early in the morning I took leave of my kind hostess,
who, like a truly careful housewife, had wrapped up a roasted fowl,
manioc flour, and a cheese for me, so that I was well provisioned on
setting off.

The next station, Aldea do Pedro, on the banks of the Parahyby, was
situated at a distance of sixteen miles. Our way lay through
magnificent woods, and before we had traversed half of it, we
arrived at the river Parahyby, one of the largest in the Brazils,
and celebrated, moreover, for the peculiar character of its bed,
which is strewed with innumerable cliffs and rocks; these, owing to
the low state of the stream, were more than usually conspicuous. On
every side rose little islands, covered with small trees or
underwood, lending a most magic appearance to the river. During the
rainy season, most of these cliffs and rocks are covered with water,
and the river then appears more majestic. On account of the rocks
it can only be navigated by small boats and rafts.

As you proceed along the banks, the scenery gradually changes. The
fore-part of the mountain ranges subside into low hills, the
mountains themselves retreat, and the nearer you approach Aldea do
Pedro, the wider and more open becomes the valley. In the
background alone are still visible splendid mountain ranges, from
which rises a mountain higher than the rest, somewhat more naked,
and almost isolated. To this my guide pointed, and gave me to
understand that our way lay over it, in order to reach the Puris,
who lived beyond.

About noon I arrived at Aldea do Pedro, which I found to be a small
village with a stone church; the latter might, perhaps, contain 200
persons. I had intended continuing my journey to the Puris the same
day, but my guide was attacked with pains in his knee, and could not
ride further. I had, therefore, no resource but to alight at the
priest's, who gave me a hearty welcome; he had a pretty good house,
immediately adjoining the church.

10th October. As my guide was worse, the priest offered me his
negro to replace him. I thankfully accepted his offer, but could
not set off before 1 o'clock, for which I was, in some respects, not
sorry, as it was Sunday, and I hoped to see a great number of the
country people flock to mass. This, however, was not the case;
although it was a very fine day there were hardly thirty people at
church. The men were dressed exactly in the European fashion; the
women wore long cloaks with collars, and had white handkerchiefs
upon their heads, partly falling over their faces as well; the
latter they uncovered in church. Both men and women were

As chance would have it, I witnessed a burial and a christening.
Before mass commenced, a boat crossed over from the opposite bank of
the Parahyby, and on reaching the side, a hammock, in which was the
deceased, was lifted out. He was then laid in a coffin which had
been prepared for the purpose in a house near the churchyard. The
corpse was enveloped in a white cloth, with the feet and half the
head protruding beyond it; the latter was covered with a peaked cap
of shining black cloth.

The christening took place before the burial. The person who was to
be christened was a young negro of fifteen, who stood with his
mother at the church door. As the priest entered the church to
perform mass, he christened him, in passing by, without much
ceremony or solemnity, and even without sponsors; the boy, too,
seemed to be as little touched by the whole affair as a new born
infant. I do not believe that either he or his mother had the least
idea of the importance of the rite.

The priest then hurriedly performed mass, and read the burial
service over the deceased, who had belonged to rather a wealthy
family, and therefore was respectably interred. Unfortunately, when
they wanted to lower the corpse into its cold resting-place, the
latter was found to be too short and too narrow, and the poor wretch
was so tossed about, coffin and all, that I expected every moment to
see him roll out. But all was of no avail, and after a great deal
of useless exertion no other course was left but to place the coffin
on one side and enlarge the grave, which was done with much
unwillingness and amid an unceasing volley of oaths.

This fatiguing work being at last finished, I returned to the house,
where I took a good dejeuner a la fourchette in company with the
priest, and then set out with my black guide.

We rode for some time through a broad valley between splendid woods,
and had to cross two rivers, the Parahyby and the Pomba, in trunks
of trees hollowed out. For each of these wretched conveyances I was
obliged to pay one milreis (2s. 2d.), and to incur great danger into
the bargain; not so much on account of the stream and the small size
of the craft, as of our mules, which, fastened by their halter, swam
alongside, and frequently came so near that I was afraid that we
should be every moment capsized.

After riding twelve miles further, we reached the last settlement of
the whites. {47} On an open space, which had with difficulty been
conquered from the virgin forest, stood a largish wooden house,
surrounded by a few miserable huts, the house serving as the
residence of the whites, and the huts as that of the slaves. A
letter which I had brought from the priest procured me a welcome.

The manner of living in this settlement was of such a description
that I was almost tempted to believe that I was already among

The large house contained an entrance hall leading into four rooms,
each of which was inhabited by a white family. The whole furniture
of these rooms consisted of a few hammocks and straw mats. The
inhabitants were cowering upon the floor, playing with the children,
or assisting one another to get rid of their vermin. The kitchen
was immediately adjoining the house, and resembled a very large barn
with openings in it; upon a hearth that took up nearly the entire
length of the barn, several fires were burning, over which hung
small kettles, and at each side were fastened wooden spits. On
these were fixed several pieces of meat, some of which were being
roasted by the fire and some cured by the smoke. The kitchen was
full of people: whites, Puris, and negroes, children whose parents
were whites and Puris, or Puris and negroes--in a word, the place
was like a book of specimens containing the most varied
ramifications of the three principal races of the country.

In the court-yard was an immense number of fowls, beautifully marked
ducks and geese; I also saw some extraordinarily fat pigs, and some
horribly ugly dogs. Under some cocoa-palms and tamarind-trees, were
seated white and coloured people, separate and in groups, mostly
occupied in satisfying their hunger. Some had got broken basins or
pumpkin-gourds before them, in which they kneaded up with their
hands boiled beans and manioc flour; this thick and disgusting-
looking mess they devoured with avidity. Others were eating pieces
of meat, which they likewise tore with their hands, and threw into
their mouths alternately with handfuls of manioc flour. The
children, who also had their gourds before them, were obliged to
defend the contents valiantly; for at one moment a hen would peck
something out, and, at the next, a dog would run off with a bit, or
sometimes even a little pig would waggle up, and invariably give a
most contented grunt when it had not performed the journey for

While I was making these observations, I suddenly heard a merry cry
outside the court-yard; I proceeded to the place from which it
issued, and saw two boys dragging towards me a large dark brown
serpent; certainly more than seven feet long, at the end of a bast-
rope. It was already dead, and, as far as I could learn from the
explanations of those about me, it was of so venomous a kind, that
if a person is bitten by it, he immediately swells up and dies.

I was rather startled at what I heard, and determined at least not
to set out through the wood just as evening was closing in, as I
might have to take up my quarters for the night under some tree; I
therefore deferred my visit to the savages until the next morning.
The good people imagined that I was afraid of the savages, and
earnestly assured me that they were a most harmless race, from whom
I had not the least to fear. As my knowledge of Portuguese was
limited to a few words, I found it rather difficult to make myself
understood, and it was only by the help of gesticulations, with now
and then a small sketch, that I succeeded in enlightening them as to
the real cause of my fear.

I passed the night, therefore, with these half savages, who
constantly showed me the greatest respect, and overwhelmed me with
attention. A straw mat, which, at my request, was spread out under
shelter in the court-yard, was my bed. They brought me for supper a
roast fowl, rice, and hard eggs, and for dessert, oranges and
tamarind-pods; the latter contain a brown, half sweet, half sour
pulp, very agreeable to the taste. The women lay all round me, and
by degrees we managed to get on wonderfully together.

I showed them the different flowers and insects I had gathered
during the day. This, doubtless, induced them to look upon me as a
learned person, and, as such, to impute to me a knowledge of
medicine. They begged me to prescribe for different cases of
illness: bad ears, eruptions of the skin, and in the children, a
considerable tendency to scrofula, etc. I ordered lukewarm baths,
frequent fomentations, and the use of oil and soap, applied
externally and rubbed into the body. May Heaven grant that these
remedies have really worked some good!

On the 11th of October, I proceeded into the forest, in company with
a negress and a Puri, to find out the Indians. At times, we had to
work our way laboriously through the thicket, and then again we
would find narrow paths, by which we pursued our journey with
greater ease. After eight hours' walking, we came upon a number of
Puris, who led us into their huts, situated in the immediate
vicinity, where I beheld a picture of the greatest misery and want:
I had often met with a great deal of wretchedness in my travels, but
never so much as I saw here!

On a small space, under lofty trees, five huts, or rather sheds,
formed of leaves, were erected, eighteen feet long, by twelve feet
broad. The frames were formed of four poles stuck in the ground,
with another reaching across; and the roof, of palm-leaves, through
which the rain could penetrate with the utmost facility. On three
sides, these bowers were entirely open. In the interior hung a
hammock or two; and on the ground glimmered a little fire, under a
heap of ashes, in which a few roots, Indian corn, and bananas, were
roasting. In one corner, under the roof, a small supply of
provisions was hoarded up, and a few gourds were scattered around:
these are used by the savages instead of plates, pots, water-jugs,
etc. The long bows and arrows, which constitute their only weapons,
were leaning in the background against the wall.

I found the Indians still more ugly than the negroes. Their
complexion is a light bronze, stunted in stature, well-knit, and
about the middle size. They have broad and somewhat compressed
features, and thick, coal-black hair, hanging straight down, which
the women sometimes wear in plaits fastened to the back of the head,
and sometimes falling down loose about them. Their forehead is
broad and low, the nose somewhat flattened, the eyes long and
narrow, almost like those of the Chinese, and the mouth large, with
rather thick lips. To give a still greater effect to all these
various charms, a peculiar look of stupidity is spread over the
whole face, and is more especially to be attributed to the way in
which their mouths are always kept opened.

Most of them, both men and women, were tattooed with a reddish or
blue colour, though only round the mouth, in the form of a
moustache. Both sexes are passionately fond of smoking, and prefer
brandy to everything. Their dress was composed of a few rags, which
they had fastened round their loins.

I had already heard, in Novo Friburgo, a few interesting particulars
concerning the Puris, which I will here relate.

The number of the Brazilian Indians at the present time is
calculated at about 500,000, who live scattered about the forests in
the heart of the country. Not more than six or seven families ever
settle on the same spot, which they leave as soon as the game in the
neighbourhood has been killed, and all the fruit and roots consumed.
A large number of these Indians have been christened. They are
always ready, for a little brandy or tobacco, to undergo the
ceremony at the shortest notice, and only regret that it cannot be
repeated more frequently, as it is soon over. The priest believes
that he has only to perform the rite in order to gain another soul
for heaven, and afterwards gives himself very little concern, either
about the instruction or the manners and morals of his converts.
These, it is true, are called Christians, or _tamed savages_, but
live in the same heathen manner that they previously did. Thus, for
instance, they contract marriages for indefinite periods; elect
their Caciques (chiefs) from the strongest and finest men; follow
all their old customs on the occasion of marriages and deaths, just
the same as before baptism.

Their language is very poor: they are said, for example, only to be
able to count one and two, and are therefore obliged, when they
desire to express a larger number, to repeat these two figures
continually. Furthermore, for _today, to-morrow_, and _yesterday_,
they possess only the word _day_, and express their more particular
meaning by signs; for _today_, they say _day_, and feel their head,
or point upwards; for _to-morrow_, they again use the word _day_,
and point their fingers in a straightforward direction; and for
_yesterday_, they use the same word, and point behind them.

The Puris are said to be peculiarly adapted for tracking runaway
negroes, as their organs of smell are very highly developed. They
smell the trace of the fugitive on the leaves of the trees; and if
the negro does not succeed in reaching some stream, in which he can
either walk or swim for a considerable distance, it is asserted that
he can very seldom escape the Indian engaged in pursuit of him.
These savages are also readily employed in felling timber, and
cultivating Indian corn, manioc, etc., as they are very industrious,
and think themselves well paid with a little tobacco, brandy, or
coloured cloth. But on no account must they be compelled to do
anything by force: they are free men. They seldom, however, come
to offer their assistance unless they are half-starved.

I visited the huts of all these savages; and as my guides had
trumpeted forth my praises as being a woman of great knowledge, I
was here asked my advice for the benefit of every one who was ill.

In one of the huts, I found an old woman groaning in her hammock.
On my drawing nearer, they uncovered the poor creature, and I
perceived that all her breast was eaten up by cancer. She seemed to
have no idea of a bandage, or any means of soothing the pain. I
advised her to wash the wound frequently with a decoction of
mallows, {50} and, in addition to this, to cover it over with the
leaves of the same plant. I only trust that my advice procured her
some trifling relief.

This horrible disease unfortunately does not appear to be at all
rare among the Puris, for I saw many of their women, some of whom
had large hard swellings, and others even small tumours on the

After having sufficiently examined everything in the huts, I went
with some of the savages to shoot parrots and monkeys. We had not
far to go in order to meet with both; and I had now an opportunity
of admiring the skill with which these people use their bows. They
brought down the birds even when they were on the wing, and very
seldom missed their mark. After shooting three parrots and an ape,
we returned to the huts.

The good creatures offered me the best hut they possessed, and
invited me to pass the night there. Being rather fatigued by the
toilsome nature of my journey on foot, the heat, and the hunting
excursion, I very joyfully accepted their proposition: the day,
too, was drawing to a close, and I should not have been able to
reach the settlement of the whites before night. I therefore spread
out my cloak upon the ground, arranged a log of wood so as to serve
instead of a pillow, and for the present seated myself upon my
splendid couch. In the meanwhile, my hosts were preparing the
monkey and the parrots, by sticking them on wooden spits, and
roasting them before the fire. In order to render the meal a
peculiarly dainty one, they also buried some Indian corn and roots
in the cinders. They then gathered a few large fresh leaves off the
trees, tore the roasted ape into several pieces with their hands,
and placing a large portion of it, as well as a parrot, Indian corn,
and some roots upon the leaves, put it before me. My appetite was
tremendous, seeing that I had tasted nothing since the morning. I
therefore immediately fell to on the roasted monkey, which I found
superlatively delicious: the flesh of the parrot was far from being
so tender and palatable.

After our meal, I begged the Indians to perform one of their dances
for me--a request with which they readily complied. As it was
already dark, they brought a quantity of wood, which they formed
into a sort of funeral pile, and set on fire: the men then formed a
circle all round, and began the dance. They threw their bodies from
side to side in a most remarkably awkward fashion, but always moving
the head forwards in a straight line. The women then joined in,
remaining, however, at some little distance in the rear of the men,
and making the same awkward movements. They now began a most
horrible noise, which was intended for a song, at the same time
distorting their features in a frightful manner. One of them stood
near, playing upon a kind of stringed instrument, made out of the
stem of a cabbage-palm, and about two feet, or two feet and a half,
in length. A hole was cut in it in a slanting direction, and six
fibres of the stem had been raised up, and kept in an elevated
position at each end, by means of a small bridge. The fingers were
then used for playing upon these as upon a guitar: the tone was
very low, disagreeable, and hoarse.

This first dance they named the Dance of Peace or Joy. The men then
performed a much wilder one alone. After providing themselves for
the purpose with bows, arrows, and stout clubs, they again formed a
circle, but their movements were much quicker and wilder than in the
first instance, and they likewise hit about them with their clubs in
a horrible fashion. They then suddenly broke their rank, strung
their bows, placed their arrows ready, and went through the
pantomime of shooting after a flying foe, uttering at the same time
the most piercing cries, which echoed through the whole forest. I
started up in affright, for I really believed that I was surrounded
by enemies, and that I was delivered up into their power, without
any chance of help or assistance. I was heartily glad when this
horrible war-dance came to a conclusion.

After retiring to rest, and when all around had gradually become
hushed into silence, I was assailed by apprehensions of another
description: I thought of the number of wild beasts, and the
horrible serpents that might perhaps be concealed quite close to me,
and then of the exposed situation I was in. This kept me awake a
long time, and I often fancied I heard a rustling among the leaves,
as if one of the dreaded animals were breaking through. At length,
however, my weary body asserted its rights. I laid my head upon my
wooden pillow, and consoled myself with the idea that the danger
was, after all, not so great as many of we travellers wish to have
believed, otherwise how would it be possible for the savages to live
as they do, without any precautions, in their open huts!

On the 12th of October, early in the morning, I took leave of the
savages, and made them a present of various bronze ornaments, with
which they were so delighted that they offered me everything they
possessed. I took a bow with a couple of arrows, as mementos of my
visit; returned to the wooden house, and having also distributed
similar presents there, mounted my mule, and arrived late in the
evening at Aldea do Pedro.

On the morning of the 13th of October, I bade the obliging priest
farewell, and with my attendant, who, by this time was quite
recovered, began my journey back to Novo Friburgo, and, in this
instance, although I pursued the same road, was only three days
instead of four on the way.

On arriving I found Count Berchthold, who was now quite well. We
determined, therefore, before returning to Rio Janeiro, to make a
little excursion to a fine waterfall, about twelve miles from Novo
Friburgo. By mere chance we learned that the christening of the
Princess Isabella would take place on the 19th, and, as we did not
wish to miss this interesting ceremony, we preferred returning
directly. We followed the same road we had taken in coming, till
about four miles before reaching Ponte de Pinheiro, and then struck
off towards Porto de Praja. This road was thirty-two miles longer
by land, but so much shorter by sea, that the passage is made by
steamer from Porto de Praja to Rio Janeiro in half an hour. The
scenery around Pinheiro was mostly dull and tedious, almost like a
desert, the monotony of which was only broken here and there by a
few scanty woods or low hills. We were not lucky enough to see the
mountains again until we were near the capital.

I must here mention a comical mistake of Herr Beske, of Novo
Friburgo, which we at first could not understand, but which
afterwards afforded a good deal of amusement. Herr Beske had
recommended us a guide, whom he described as a walking encyclopaedia
of knowledge, and able to answer all our questions about trees,
plants, scenery, etc., in the most complete manner. We esteemed
ourselves exceedingly fortunate to obtain such a phoenix of a guide,
and immediately took advantage of every opportunity to put his
powers to the test. He could, however, tell us nothing at all; if
we asked him the name of a river, he replied that it was too small,
and had no name. The trees, likewise, were too insignificant, the
plants too common. This ignorance was rather too much; we made
inquiry, and found that Herr Beske had not intended to send us the
guide we had, but his brother, who, however, had died six months
previously--a circumstance which Herr Beske must have forgotten.

On the evening of the 18th of October, we arrived safely in Rio
Janeiro. We immediately inquired about the christening, and heard
it had been put off till the 15th of November, and that on the 19th
of October only the Emperor's anniversary would be kept. We had
thus hurried back to no purpose, without visiting the waterfall near
Novo Friburgo, which we might have admired very much at our leisure.

On our return we only came eight miles out of our way.


DECEMBER, 1846, TO 2ND MARCH, 1847.

When I paid 25 pounds for my place in the fine English barque, "John
Renwick," Captain Bell, the latter promised me that he would be
ready to sail on the 25th of November at the latest, and would stop
at no intermediate port, but shape his course direct to Valparaiso.
The first part of this promise I believed, because he assured me
that every day he stopped cost him 7 pounds; and the second,
because, as a general rule, I willingly believe every one, even ship
captains. In both particulars, however, was I deceived; for it was
not until the 8th of December that I received a notice to go on
board that evening and then for the first time the captain informed
me that he must run into Santos, to lay in a stock of provisions,
which were there much cheaper than in Rio Janeiro; that he also
intended clearing out a cargo of coal and taking in another of
sugar. He did not tell me till we arrived in Santos itself, where
he also assured me that all these different matters would not take
him more than three or four days.

I took leave of my friends and went on board in the evening; Count
Berchthold and Messrs. Geiger and Rister accompanying me to the

Early in the morning of the 9th of December we weighed anchor, but
the wind was so unfavourable that we were obliged to tack the whole
day in order to gain the open sea, and it was not until about 10
A.M. that we lost sight of land.

There were eight passengers besides myself; five Frenchmen, one
Belgian, and two citizens of Milan. I looked upon the latter as
half countrymen of mine, and we were soon very good friends.

It was the second time this year that the two Italians were making
the voyage round Cape Horn. Their first had not been fortunate;
they reached Cape Horn in winter, which in those cold southern
latitudes lasts from April till about November. {53} They were
unable to circumnavigate the Cape, being driven back by violent
contrary winds and storms, against which they strove for fourteen
weary days without making the least progress. The crew now lost
courage, and affirmed that it would be advisable to turn back and
wait for more favourable winds. The captain, however, was not of
this opinion, and succeeded so well in working upon the pride of the
crew that they once more engaged in their conflict with the
elements. It was, however, for the last time, for the very same
night a tremendous sea broke over the ship, tearing away all her
upper works, and sweeping the captain and six of the sailors
overboard. The water poured in torrents into the cabins, and drove
every one from the berths. The bulwarks, boats, and binnacle were
carried clean off, and the mainmast had to be cut away. The sailors
then turned the ship about, and after a long and dangerous voyage,
succeeded in bringing her, dismasted as she was, into Rio Janeiro.

This story was not very encouraging, but the fine weather and our
good ship relieved us of all anxiety. With regard to the vessel, we
could not have chosen a better. It had large, comfortable cabins,
an exceedingly good-natured and obliging captain, and a bill of fare
which must have contented the most dainty palate. Every day we had
roast or stewed fowls, ducks, or geese, fresh mutton or pork, eggs
variously prepared, plum-pudding and tarts; to all this were added
side dishes of ham, rice, potatoes, and other vegetables; and for
dessert, dried fruit, nuts, almonds, cheese, etc. There was also
plenty of bread, fresh baked every day, and good wine. We all
unanimously acknowledged that we had never been so well treated, or
had so good a table in any sailing vessel before; and we could,
therefore, in this respect, look forward to our voyage without any

On the 12th of December we hove in sight of the mountain ranges of
Santos, and at 9 o'clock the same evening we reached a bay which the
captain took for that of the same name. Lighted torches were
repeatedly held over the vessel's side to summon a pilot; no pilot,
however, made his appearance, and we were therefore obliged to trust
to chance, and anchor at the mouth of the bay.

On the morning of the 13th a pilot came on board, and astonished us
with the intelligence that we had anchored before the wrong bay. We
had some trouble in working our way out, and anchoring about noon in
the right one. A pretty little chateau-like building immediately
attracted our attention. We took it for some advanced building of
the town, and congratulated one another on having reached our
temporary destination so quickly. On approaching nearer, however,
we could perceive no signs of the town, and learned that the
building was a small fort, and that Santos was situated in a second
bay, communicating with the first by a small arm of the sea.
Unluckily, the wind had by this time fallen, and we were obliged to
be at anchor all day, and it was not until the 14th that a slight
breeze sprang up and wafted us into port.

Santos is most charmingly situated at the entrance of a large
valley. Picturesque hills, adorned with chapels and detached
houses, rise on each side, and immediately beyond are considerable
mountain ranges, spreading in a semi-circle round the valley, while
a lovely island forms a most beautiful foreground to the whole.

We had scarcely landed before the captain informed us that we must
stop for at least five days. The Italians, one of the Frenchmen,
and myself determined that we would take advantage of this delay to
make an excursion to St. Paulo, the largest inland town of the
Brazils, and about forty miles from Santos. The same evening we
hired mules, for which we paid five milreis (10s. 10d.) each, and
set out upon our trip.

15th December. Early in the morning, we armed ourselves with well-
charged double-barrelled pistols, having been alarmed by accounts of
the Maroon negroes, {55} about a hundred of whom were said to be at
that time lurking in the mountains, and to be so daring that they
extended their inroads as far as the vicinity of Santos itself.

The first eight miles led through the valley to the lofty range of
mountains which we had to cross. The road was good, and more
frequented than any I had yet seen in the Brazils. Handsome wooden
bridges traverse the rivers Vicente and Cubatao; one of these
bridges is actually covered, but then every one is charged a pretty
high toll.

In one of the vendas at the foot of the mountain we fortified
ourselves with some excellent pan-cakes, laid in a stock of sugar-
canes, the juice of which is excessively refreshing in the great
heat, and then proceeded to scale the Serra, 3,400 feet high. The
road was execrable; full of holes, pits, and puddles, in which our
poor beasts often sank above their knees. We had to skirt chasms
and ravines, with torrents rolling loudly beneath, yet not visible
to us, on account of the thick underwood which grew over them. Some
part of the way, too, lay through virgin forests, which, however,
were not nearly so beautiful or thick as some I had traversed on my
excursion to the Puris. There were hardly any palm-trees, and the
few there were, reminded us, from their thin stems and scanty
foliage, of those of a colder climate.

The prospect from the Serra struck us all with astonishment. The
entire valley with its woods and prairies was spread far and wide
before our sight as far as the bays, the little detached huts being
quite indistinguishable, while only a part of the town and a few
masts of ships were perceptible in the distance.

A turning in the road soon shut out this charming picture from our
gaze; we then left the Serra and entered upon a woody, uneven tract,
alternating with large level grass-plots, covered with low
brushwood, and innumerable mole-hills, two feet high.

Half way from Santos to St. Paulo is a place called Rio Grande, the
houses of which lie, after the Brazilian fashion, so far apart, that
no one would suppose they had any connection with each other. The
owner of the mules used on this journey resides here, and here,
likewise, the money for their hire is paid. If the traveller
desires to proceed immediately he has fresh mules given him, but,
should he prefer stopping the afternoon or night, he finds very good
victual and clean rooms, for which he has nothing to pay, as they
are included in the five milreis (10s. 10d.), charged for the mules.

We snatched a hasty morsel or two, and then hurried on, in order to
complete the second half of the road before sunset. The plain
became broader and broader the nearer we approached the town; the
beauty of the scenery falls off very much, and for the first time
since I left Europe, did I see fields and hills of sand. The town
itself, situated upon a hill, presents a tolerable appearance; it
contains about 22,000 inhabitants, and is a place of considerable
importance for the internal commerce of the country. In spite of
this, however, it has neither an inn nor any other place where
strangers can alight.

After inquiring for a long time in vain for lodgings, we were
directed to a German and a Frenchman, with the remark that both
received lodgers out of pure politeness. We first went to the
German, who very bluntly cut us short by saying that he had no room.
From him we proceeded to the Frenchman, who sent us to a Portuguese,
and on visiting the latter we received the same answer we had
obtained from the German.

We were now greatly embarrassed; the more so, because the wearisome
nature of our journey had so fatigued the Frenchman that he was
hardly able any longer to sit upright in his saddle.

In this critical position I thought of the letter of recommendation
that Herr Geiger had given me in Rio Janeiro, for a German gentleman
of the name of Loskiel, who had settled here. I had intended not to
deliver this letter until the next day, but "necessity knows no
law," and so I paid my visit the same evening.

He was kind enough to interest himself for us in the warmest manner
imaginable. He gave one of the gentlemen and myself lodgings in his
own house, and our two companions in that of a neighbour of his,
inviting all of us to dine at his table. We now learned that in St.
Paulo no one, not even an hotel-keeper, will receive a stranger if
he be not provided with a letter of recommendation. It is certainly
a lucky thing for travellers that this strange custom is not
prevalent everywhere.

16th December. After having completely recovered ourselves from the
fatigues of our yesterday's ride, our first thought was to view the
curiosities of the town. We asked our hospitable host for
information on this point, but he merely shrugged his shoulders, and
said, that he knew of no curiosities, unless, indeed, we chose to
look upon the Botanical Garden in the light of one.

We went out, therefore, after breakfast, and first of all viewed the
town: where we found that the number of large and well-built houses
was, in comparison to the size of the two places, greater than in
Rio Janeiro, although even here, there was nothing like taste or
peculiar architectural style. The streets are tolerably wide, but
present an extraordinarily deserted appearance, the universal
silence being broken only by the insupportable creaking of the
country people's carts. These carts rest upon two wheels, or rather
two wooden disks, which are often not even hooped with iron to keep
them together. The axle, which is likewise of wood, is never
greased, and thus causes the demoniacal kind of music to which I

A peculiarity of dress, very remarkable in this hot climate, is here
prevalent: all the men, with the exception of the slaves, wear
large cloth cloaks, one half of which they throw over their
shoulder; I even saw a great many women enveloped in long, broad
cloth capes.

In St. Paulo there is a High School. Those who study there, and
come from the country or the smaller towns, are exposed to the
inconvenience of being refused lodgings under any one's roof. They
are obliged to hire and furnish houses for themselves, and be their
own housekeepers.

We visited several churches which possess very little worth looking
at, either inside or out, and then concluded by proceeding to the
Botanical Garden, which also contains no object of any interest,
with the exception of a plantation of Chinese teas.

All our sight-seeing did not occupy us more than a few hours, and we
could very conveniently have begun our journey back to Santos the
next morning; but the Frenchman, who, on account of the great
fatigue he had suffered, had not accompanied us in our walk, begged
us to put off our return for half a day longer, and to arrange it in
such a manner, that we should pass the night in Rio Grande. We
willingly acceded to his wish, and set out upon the afternoon of the
17th, after thanking our kind host most cordially for his hospitable
entertainment. In Rio Grande we found an excellent supper,
convenient sleeping apartments, and a good breakfast the next
morning. About 12 o'clock on the 18th of December, we arrived
safely in Santos, and the Frenchman then confessed to us he had felt
so fatigued on arriving at St. Paulo, from his long ride, that he
was afraid of being seriously ill. However, he recovered himself
completely in a few days, but assured us, that it would be some time
before he again accompanied us on one of our trips.

The first question we put to the captain was: "When do you weigh
anchor?" to which he very politely replied, that as soon as he had
cleared out 200 tons of coal, and shipped 6,000 sacks of sugar, he
should be ready to set sail, and in consequence of this we had to
remain three whole weary weeks in Santos.

We were still in Santos when we celebrated New-Year's Day, 1847, and
at last, on the 2nd of January, were lucky enough to bid the town
adieu; but did not proceed far, for in the first bay the wind fell,
and did not spring up again till after midnight. It was now Sunday,
and no true Englishman will set sail on a Sunday; we remained,
therefore, lying at anchor the whole of the 3rd of January, looking
with very melancholy feelings after two ships, whose captains, in
spite of the holiness of the day, had profited by the fresh breeze,
and sailed gaily past us.

On the same evening we saw a vessel, which our captain affirmed was
a slaver, run into the bay. It kept as far as possible from the
fort, and cast anchor at the most outward extremity of the bay. As
the night was clear and moonlight we walked late upon deck, when,
true enough, we saw little boats laden with negroes pulling in
shore. An officer, indeed, came from the fort to inquire into the
doings of this suspicious craft; but the owner seemed to afford him
a satisfactory account, for he left the ship, and the slaves
continued during the whole night to be quietly and undisturbedly
smuggled in as before.

On the morning of the 4th of January, as we sailed past the vessel,
we beheld a great number of the poor creatures still standing upon
the deck. Our captain inquired of the slave-dealer how many slaves
he had had on board, and we learned with astonishment that the
number amounted to 670. Much has already been said and written upon
this horrible trade; it is everywhere execrated, and looked upon as
a blot on the human race, and yet it still continues to flourish.

This day promised to turn out a very melancholy one in many
respects. We had hardly lost sight of the slaver before one of our
own crew had nearly committed suicide. The steward, a young
mulatto, had contracted the bad habit of indulging too much in
liquor. The captain had often threatened to punish him severely,
but all to no purpose; and this morning he was so intoxicated that
the sailors were obliged to lay him in a corner of the forecastle,
where he might sleep himself sober. Suddenly, however, he leapt up,
clambered on to the forepart of the ship, and threw himself into the
sea. Luckily, it was almost a calm, the water was quite still, and
we had hopes of saving him. He soon reappeared at the side of the
vessel, and ropes were thrown him from every side. The love of life
was awakened in his breast, and caused him to grasp involuntarily at
the ropes, but he had not strength enough to hold on. He again
sank, and it was only after great exertion that the brave sailors
succeeded in rescuing him from a watery grave. Hardly had he
recovered his senses ere he endeavoured to throw himself in again,
exclaiming that he had no wish to live. The man was raving mad, and
the captain was obliged to have him bound hand and foot, and chained
to the mast. On the following day he was deprived of his office,
and degraded to the rank of subordinate to a new steward.

5th January. Mostly calms. Our cook caught, today, a fish three
feet long, and remarkable for the manner in which it changed colour.
When it came out of the water it was a bright yellow, to which
colour it owes its name of Dorado. At the expiration of one or two
minutes the brilliant yellow changed into a light sky-blue, and
after its death its belly again turned to a beautiful light yellow,
but the back was a brownish green. It is reckoned a great delicacy,
but, for my own part, I found its flesh rather dry.

On the 9th of January we were off the Rio Grande. In the evening
everything seemed to promise a violent storm; the captain consulted
his barometer every second almost, and issued his orders according
to its indications. Black clouds now began to drive towards us, and
the wind increased to such a pitch that the captain had all the
hatchways carefully fastened down, and the crew ready to reef the
sails at a moment's notice. At a little past 8, the hurricane broke
forth. Flash after flash of lightning darted across the horizon
from every side, and lighted the sailors in their work; the agitated
waves being illuminated with the most dazzling brilliancy. The
majestic rolling of the thunder drowned the captain's voice, and the
white foaming billows broke with such terrific force over the deck,
that it appeared as if they would carry everything with them into
the depths of the ocean. Unless there had been ropes stretched on
each side of the ship for the sailors to catch hold of, the latter
would most certainly have been washed away. Such a storm as this
affords much food for reflection. You are alone upon the boundless
ocean, far from all human help, and feel more than ever that your
life depends upon the Almighty alone. The man who, in such a
dreadful and solemn moment, can still believe there is no God, must
indeed be irretrievably struck with mental blindness. A feeling of
tranquil joy always comes over me during such great convulsions of
Nature. I very often had myself bound near the binnacle, and let the
tremendous waves break over me, in order to absorb, as it were, as
much of the spectacle before me as possible; on no occasion did I
ever feel alarmed, but always confident and resigned.

At the expiration of four hours the storm had worn itself out, and
was succeeded by a perfect calm.

On the 10th of January we caught sight of several sea-turtles and a
whale. The latter was only a young one, about forty feet long.

11th January. We were now off the Rio Plata, {59} and found the
temperature very perceptibly cooler.

Up to the present time we had seen no signs of sea-tangle or
molluscae, but during the night we beheld some molluscae for the
first time, shining like stars at a great depth below the surface of
the water.

In these latitudes the constellation of the southern cross keeps
increasing in brilliancy and beauty, though it is far from being as
wonderful as it is said to be. The stars in it, four in number, and
disposed somewhat in the following manner, **** are, it is true,
large and splendid; but they did not excite, either in myself or any
other person of our company, much more admiration than the other

As a general rule, many travellers exaggerate a great deal. On the
one hand, they often describe things which they have never seen
themselves, and only know from hearsay; and, on the other, they
adorn what they really have seen with a little too much imagination.

16th January. In 37 degrees South lat. we fell in with a strong
current, running from south to north, and having a yellow streak
down the middle of it. The captain said that this streak was caused
by a shoal of small fishes. I had some water drawn up in a bucket,
and really found a few dozen living creatures, which, in my opinion,
however, belonged rather to some species of molluscae than to any
kind of fish. They were about three-quarters of an inch long, and
as transparent as the most delicate water-bubbles; they were marked
with white and light yellow spots on the forepart of their bodies,
and had a few feelers underneath.

In the night of the 20th to 21st of January we were overtaken by a
very violent storm, which so damaged our mainmast that the captain
determined on running into some haven on the first opportunity, and
putting in a new one. For the present the old one was made fast
with cables, iron chains, and braces.

In 43 degrees North lat. we saw the first sea-tangle. The
temperature had by this time very perceptibly decreased in warmth,
the glass often standing no higher than 59 or 63 degrees Fah.

23rd January. We were so near Patagonia that we could distinctly
make out the outline of the coast.

26th January. We still kept near the land. In 50 degrees South
lat. we saw the chalky mountains of Patagonia. Today we passed the
Falkland Islands, which stretched from 51 to 52 degrees South lat.
We did not see them, however, as we kept as near the land as
possible, in order not to miss the Straits of Magellan. For some
days the captain had been studying an English book, which, in his
opinion, clearly proved that the passage through the Straits of
Magellan was far less dangerous and far shorter than that round Cape
Horn. I asked him how it happened that other sailors knew nothing
of this valuable book, and why all vessels bound for the western
coast of America went round Cape Horn? He could give me no other
answer than that the book was very dear, and that that was the
reason no one bought it. {60}

To me this bold idea of the captain's was extremely welcome. I
already pictured in my mind the six-feet tall Patagonians putting
off to us in their boats; I saw myself taking their mussels, plants,
ornaments, and weapons in exchange for coloured ribbons and
handkerchiefs; while, to render my satisfaction complete, the
captain said that he should land at Port Famine (a Patagonian haven)
to supply the injured portion of our mainmast. How thankful was I,
in secret, to the storm for having reduced our ship to her present

Too soon, however, were all my flattering hopes and dreams
dispelled. On the 27th of January the latitude and longitude were
taken, and it was then found that the Straits of Magellan were
twenty-seven minutes (or nautical miles) behind us, but as we were
becalmed, the captain promised, in case a favourable wind should
spring up, to endeavour to return as far as the Straits.

I placed no more confidence in this promise, and I was right. About
noon a scarcely perceptible breeze sprang up, which the captain, in
high spirits, pronounced a favourable one--for rounding Cape Horn.
If he had ever really intended to pass through the Straits, he would
only have had to cruise about for a few hours, for the wind soon
changed and blew directly in the desired direction.

28th January. We were constantly so near Terra del Fuego that we
could make out every bush with the naked eye. We could have reached
the land in an hour, without retarding our voyage in the least, for
we were frequently becalmed; but the captain would not consent, as
the wind might spring up every instant.

The coast appeared rather steep, but not high; the foreground was
composed of meagre pasture alternating with tracts of sand, and in
the background were ranges of woody hills, beyond which rose snow-
covered mountains. On the whole, the country struck me as being
much more inhabitable than the Island of Iceland, which I had
visited a year and a half previously. The temperature, too, must
here be higher, as even at sea we had 54 degrees 5' and 59 degrees

I saw three kinds of sea-tangle, but could only obtain a specimen of
one, resembling that which I had seen in 44 degrees South lat. The
second kind was not very different, and it was only the third that
had pointed leaves, several of which together formed a sort of fan
several feet long and broad.

On the 30th of January we passed very near the Staten Islands, lying
between 56 and 57 degrees South lat. They are composed of bare high
mountains, and separated from Terra del Fuego by an arm of the sea,
called Le Maire, only seven miles long and about the same distance

The captain told us, seaman-like, that on one occasion of his
sailing through these Straits, his ship had got into a strong
current, and regularly danced, turning round during the passage at
least a thousand times! I had already lost a great deal of
confidence in the captain's tales, but I kept my eye steadily fixed
upon a Hamburgh brig, that happened to be sailing ahead, to see
whether she would dance; but neither she nor our own bark was so
obliging. Neither vessels turned even once, and the only
circumstance worthy of remark was the heaving and foaming of the
waves in the Strait, while at both ends the sea lay majestically
calm before our eyes. We had passed the Strait in an hour, and I
took the liberty of asking the captain why our ship had not danced,
to which he replied that it was because we had had both wind and
current with us. It is, perhaps, possible that under other
circumstances the vessel might have turned round once or twice, but
I strongly doubt its doing so a thousand times. This was, however,
a favourite number with our worthy captain. One of the gentlemen
once asked him some question about the first London hotels, and was
told that it was impossible to remember their names, as there were
above a thousand of the first class.

Near the Strait Le Maire begins, in the opinion of seamen, the
dangerous part of the passage round Cape Horn, and ends off the
Straits of Magellan. Immediately we entered it we were greeted with
two most violent bursts of wind, each of which lasted about half an
hour; they came from the neighbouring icy chasms in the mountains of
Terra del Fuego, and split two sails, and broke the great studding
sail-yard, although the sailors were numerous and quick. The
distance from the end of the Strait Le Maire to the extreme point of
the Cape is calculated to be not more than seventy miles, and yet
this trifling passage cost us three days.

At last, on the 3rd of February, we were fortunate enough to reach
the southernmost point of America, so dreaded by all mariners.
Bare, pointed mountains, one of which looks like a crater that has
fallen in, form the extremity of the mighty mountain-chain, and a
magnificent group of colossal black rocks (basalt?), of all shapes
and sizes, are scattered at some distance in advance, and are
separated only by a small arm of the sea. The extreme point of Cape
Horn is 600 feet high. At this spot, according to our works on
geography, the Atlantic Ocean changes its name and assumes that of
the Pacific. Sailors, however, do not give it the latter
designation before reaching the Straits of Magellan, as up to this
point the sea is continually stormy and agitated, as we learned to
our cost, being driven by violent storms as far back as 60 degrees
South lat. Besides this, we lost our top-mast, which was broken
off, and which, in spite of the heavy sea, had to be replaced; the
vessel, meanwhile, being so tossed about, that we were often unable
to take our meals at the table, but were obliged to squat down upon
the ground, and hold our plates in our hands. On one of these fine
days the steward stumbled with the coffee-pot, and deluged me with
its burning contents. Luckily, only a small portion fell upon my
hands, so that the accident was not a very serious one.

After battling for fourteen days with winds and waves, with rain and
cold, {62} we at last arrived off the western entrance to the
Straits of Magellan, having accomplished the most dangerous portion
of our voyage. During these fourteen days we saw very few whales or
albatrosses, and not one iceberg.

We thought that we should now quietly pursue our way upon the placid
sea, trusting confidently in its peaceful name. For three whole
days we had nothing to complain of; but in the night of the 19th to
the 20th of February, we were overtaken by a storm worthy of the
Atlantic itself, which lasted for nearly twenty-four hours, and cost
us four sails. We suffered most damage from the tremendous waves,
which broke with such fury over the ship, that they tore up one of
the planks of the deck, and let the water into the cargo of sugar.
The deck itself was like a lake, and the portholes had to be opened
in order to get rid of the water more quickly. The water leaked in
the hold at the rate of two inches an hour. We could not light any
fire, and were obliged to content ourselves with bread and cheese
and raw ham, which we with great difficulty conveyed to our mouth as
we sat upon the ground.

The last cask of lamp oil, too, fell a sacrifice to this storm,
having been torn from its fastenings, and broken into pieces. The
captain was very apprehensive of not having enough oil to light the
compass till we arrived at Valparaiso; and all the lamps on the ship
were, in consequence, replaced by candles, and the small quantity of
oil remaining kept for the compass. In spite of all these
annoyances, we kept up our spirits, and even, during the storm, we
could scarcely refrain from laughing at the comical positions we all
fell into whenever we attempted to stand up.

The remainder of the voyage to Valparaiso was calm, but excessively
disagreeable. The captain wished to present a magnificent
appearance on arriving, so that the good people might believe that
wind and waves could not injure his fine vessel. He had the whole
ship painted from top to bottom with oil colours; even the little
doors in the cabins were not spared this infliction. Not content
with creating a most horrible disturbance over our heads, the
carpenter invaded even our cabins, filling all our things with
sawdust and dirt, so that we poor passengers had not a dry or quiet
place of refuge in the whole ship. Just as much as we had been
pleased with Captain Bell's politeness during all the previous part
of the voyage, were we indignant at his behaviour during the last
five or six days. But we could offer no resistance, for the captain
is an autocrat on board his own ship, knowing neither a constitution
nor any other limit to his despotic power.

At 6 o'clock in the morning of the 2nd of March, we ran into the
port of Valparaiso.



The appearance of Valparaiso is dull and monotonous. The town is
laid out in two long streets at the foot of dreary hills, which look
like gigantic masses of sand, but which really consist of large
rocks covered with thin layers of earth and sand. On some of these
hills are houses, and on one of them is the churchyard, which,
combined with the wooden church towers, built in the Spanish style,
relieves, in a slight degree, the wearisome uniformity of the
prospect. Not less astounding than the deserted look of the port,
was the miserably wretched landing-place, which is composed of a
high wooden quay, about 100 feet long, stretching out into the sea,
with narrow steps, like ladders, against the side. It was a most
pitiable sight to see a lady attempting to go up or down: all
persons who were in the least weak or awkward, had to be let down
with ropes.

The two principal streets are tolerably broad, and very much
frequented, especially by horsemen. Every Chilian is born a
horseman; and some of their horses are such fine animals, that you
involuntarily stop to admire their proud action, their noble
bearing, and the nice symmetry of their limbs.

The stirrups are curiously formed, consisting of long, heavy pieces
of wood, hollowed out, and into which the rider places the tips of
his feet. The spurs are remarkably large, and are often about four
inches in diameter.

The houses are constructed completely in the European style, with
flat Italian roofs. The more ancient buildings have only a ground
floor, and are small and ugly, while most of the modern ones have a
spacious and handsome first floor. The interior, too, of the latter
is generally very tasty. Large steps conduct into a lofty well-
ventilated entrance-hall on the first floor, from which the visitor
passes, through large glass doors, into the drawing-room and other
apartments. The drawing-room is the pride, not only of every
European who has settled in the country, but also of the Chilians,
who often spend very large sums in the decorations. Heavy carpets
cover all the floor; rich tapestry hangs against the walls;
furniture and mirrors of the most costly description are procured
from Europe; and on the tables are strewed magnificent albums,
adorned with the most artistic engravings. The elegant fire-places,
however, convinced me that the winters here are not as mild as the
inhabitants would fain have had me believe.

Of all the public buildings, the Theatre and the Exchange are the
finest. The interior of the former is very neat, and contains a
roomy pit and two galleries, portioned off as boxes. The
inhabitants of the town patronise the theatre a great deal, but not
so much on account of the Italian operas played there, as for the
sake of possessing a common place of meeting. The ladies always
come in full dress, and mutual visits are made in the boxes, all of
which are very spacious, and beautifully furnished with mirrors,
carpets, sofas, and chairs.

The second fine building, the Exchange, comprises a good-sized,
cheerful hall, with convenient rooms adjoining. From the hall there
is a pleasant view over the town and sea. The building belonging to
the "German Club" contains some fine apartments, with reading and
card rooms.

The only thing that pleased me about the churches were the towers,
which consist of two or three octagons, placed one above the other,
and each one supported by eight columns. They are composed of wood,
the altars and pillars of the nave being of the same material. The
nave itself presents rather a poor and naked appearance, occasioned
in a great degree by the absence of sittings. The men stand, and
the women bring with them little carpets, which they spread before
them, and on which they either kneel or sit. Ladies in easy
circumstances have their carpets brought by their maids. The
cathedral is called La Matriza.

The public promenades of Valparaiso are not very pleasant, as most
of the side-walks and roads are covered almost a foot deep with sand
and dust, which the slightest breath of wind is sufficient to raise
in thick clouds. After 10 o'clock in the morning, when the sea-
breeze begins blowing, the whole town is very often enveloped by it.
A great many persons are said to die here from diseases of the chest
and lungs. The most frequented places of resort are Polanka and the
lighthouse. Near the latter, especially, the prospect is very
beautiful, extending, as it does, on a clear day, as far as some of
the majestic snow-covered spurs of the Andes.

The streets, as I have already mentioned, are tolerably lively:
peculiar omnibuses and cabriolets traverse them frequently. The
fare from one end of the town to the other is one real (2.5d.)
There are also a great number of asses, mostly employed in carrying
water and provisions.

The lower classes are remarkably ugly. The Chilians have a
yellowish brown complexion, thick black hair, most unpleasant
features, and such a peculiarly repulsive cast of countenance, that
any physiognomist would straightway pronounce them to be robbers or
pickpockets at the least. Captain Bell had told me a great deal of
the extraordinary honesty of these people; and, in his usual
exaggerated manner, assured us that a person might leave a purse of
gold lying in the street, with the certainty of finding it the next
day on the same spot; but, in spite of this, I must frankly confess,
that for my own part, I should be rather fearful of meeting these
honest creatures, even by day, in a lonely spot, with the money in
my pocket.

I had subsequently opportunities of convincing myself of the
fallaciousness of the captain's opinion, for I often met with
convicts, chained together, and employed in the public buildings and
cleaning the roads. The windows and doors, too, are secured with
bolts and bars in a manner almost unknown in any town of Europe. At
night, in all the streets, and on all the hills which are inhabited,
are parties of police, who call out to one another in exactly the
same manner that the advanced posts do during a campaign. Mounted
patrols also traverse the town in every direction, and persons
returning alone from the theatre or from a party, often engage their
services to conduct them home. Burglariously entering a house is
punished with death. All these precautions do not, most decidedly,
argue much for the honesty of the people.

I will take this opportunity of mentioning a scene, of which I was
myself an eye-witness, as it happened before my window. A little
boy was carrying a number of plates and dishes on a board, when the
latter unluckily slipped from his grasp, and all the crockery lay in
fragments at his feet. At first, the poor fellow was so frightened
that he stood like a column, gazing with a fixed look at the pieces,
and then began to cry most bitterly. The passers-by stopped, it is
true, to look at the unfortunate child, but did not evince the least
compassion; they laughed, and went on. In any other place, they
would have raised a little subscription, or at least pitied and
consoled him, but certainly would not have seen anything to laugh
at. The circumstance is of itself a mere trifle, but it is exactly
by such trifles that we are often enabled to form a true estimate of
people's real characters.

Another adventure, also, but of quite a different and most horrible
kind, happened during my stay in Valparaiso.

As I have already remarked, it is the custom here, as well as in
many countries of Europe, to sentence criminals to hard labour on
public works. One of the convicts endeavoured to bribe his gaoler
to let him escape, and so far succeeded that the latter promised on
his paying an ounce (17 Spanish dollars--3 pounds 8s.) to give him
an opportunity for flight. The prisoners are allowed every morning
and afternoon to receive the visits of their friends and relations,
and likewise to accept provisions from them. The wife of the
convict in question profited by this regulation to bring her husband
the necessary money; and on receiving this, the gaoler arranged
matters so that on the next morning the convict was not fastened to
the same chain with a fellow-criminal, as is usually the case, but
could walk alone, and thus easily get clear off, more especially as
the spot in which they worked was a very lonely one.

The whole affair was very cunningly arranged, but either the gaoler
changed his mind, or, perhaps, from the beginning had intended to
act as he did--he fired at the fugitive, and shot him dead.

It is very seldom that any pure descendants of the original
inhabitants are to be seen; we met with only two. They struck me as
very similar to the Puris of Brazil, except that they have not such
small ugly-shaped eyes. In this country there are no slaves.

The dress of the Chilians is quite in the European taste, especially
as regards the women. The only difference with the men is that,
instead of a coat, they frequently wear the Poncho, which is
composed of two pieces of cloth or merino, each about one ell broad
and two ells long. The two pieces are sewn together, with the
exception of an opening in the middle for the head to pass through;
the whole garment reaches down to the hips, and resembles a square
cape. The Poncho is worn of all colours, green, blue, bright red,
etc., and looks very handsome, especially when embroidered all round
with coloured silk, which is the case when the wearer is opulent.
In the streets, the women invariably wear large scarfs, which they
draw over their heads in church.

My intention, on coming to Chili, was to stop for a few weeks in
order to have time for an excursion to the capital, Santiago, and
after that to proceed to China, as I had been told in Rio Janeiro
that there was a ship from Valparaiso to China every month.
Unfortunately this was not the case. I found that vessels bound to
that country were very seldom to be met with, but that there
happened to be one at that moment, which would sail in five or six
days. I was generally advised not to lose the opportunity, but
rather to abandon my design of visiting Santiago. I reflected for a
little, and agreed to do so, although with a heavy heart; and in
order to avoid all disappointment, immediately went to the captain,
who offered to take me for 200 Spanish dollars (40 pounds). I
agreed, and had five days left, which I determined to spend in
carefully examining Valparaiso and its environs. I should have had
plenty of time to pay Santiago a flying visit, since it is only 130
miles from Valparaiso, but the expenses would have been very heavy,
as there is no public conveyance, and consequently I should have
been obliged to hire a carriage for myself. Besides this, I should
have derived but little satisfaction from the mere superficial
impressions which would have been all I could have obtained of
either town.

I contented myself, therefore, with Valparaiso alone. I toiled
industriously up the surrounding hills and mountains, visited the
huts of the lower classes, witnessed their national dances, etc.,
determined that here at least I would become acquainted with

On some of the hills, especially on the Serra Allegri, there are the
most lovely country-houses, with elegant gardens, and a most
beautiful view over the sea. The prospect inland is not so fine, as
chains of tall, naked, ugly mountains rise up behind the hills, and
completely shut in the scene.

The huts of the poor people are miserably bad, being mostly built of
clay and wood, and threatening to fall down every moment. I hardly
ventured to enter them, thinking that the interior was of a piece
with the exterior, and was consequently astonished at seeing not
only good beds, chairs, and tables, but very often elegant little
altars adorned with flowers. The inmates, too, were far from being
badly dressed, and the linen hung out before many of these hovels
struck me as superior to much that I had seen at the windows of some
of the most elegant houses situated in the principal streets of the
towns of Sicily.

A very good idea of the manners and customs of the people may be
easily obtained by strolling, on Sundays and fete days, near
Polanka, and visiting the eating-houses.

I will introduce my reader to one of these places. In one corner,
on the ground, burns a fierce fire, surrounded by innumerable pots
and pans, between which are wooden spits with beef and pork,
simmering and roasting in the most enticing manner. An ungainly
wooden framework, with a long broad plank on it, occupies the middle
of the room, and is covered with a cloth whose original colour it
would be an impossibility to determine. This is the table at which
the guests sit. During the dinner itself the old patriarchal
customs are observed, with this difference, that not only do all the
guests eat out of one dish, but that all the eatables are served up
in one, and one only. Beans and rice, potatoes and roast beef,
Paradise apples and onions, etc., etc., lie quietly side by side,
and are devoured in the deepest silence. At the end of the repast,
a goblet, filled with wine, or sometimes merely water, is passed
from hand to hand, and after this had gone round, the company begin
to talk. In the evening dancing is vigorously pursued to the music
of a guitar; unfortunately, it was Lent during my visit, when all
public amusements are prohibited. The people themselves, however,
were not so particular, and were only too ready, for a few reaux, to
go through the Sammaquecca and Refolosa--the national dances of the
country. I had soon seen sufficient; the gestures and movements of
the dancers were beyond all description unbecoming, and I could but
pity the children, whose natural modesty cannot fail to be nipped in
the bud by witnessing the performance of these dances.

I was equally displeased with a remarkable custom prevalent here, in
accordance with which the death of a little child is celebrated by
its parents as a grand festival. They name the deceased child an
angelito, (little angel), and adorn it in every possible way. Its
eyes are not closed, but, on the contrary, opened as wide as
possible, and its cheeks are painted red; it is then dressed out in
the finest clothes, crowned with flowers, and placed in a little
chair in a kind of niche, which also is ornamented with flowers.
The relations and neighbours then come and wish the parents joy at
possessing such an angel; and, during the first night, the parents,
relations, and friends execute the wildest dances, and feast in the
most joyous fashion before the angelito. I heard that in the
country it was not unusual for the parents to carry the little
coffin to the churchyard themselves, followed by the relations with
the brandy bottle in their hands, and giving vent to their joy in
the most outrageous manner.

A merchant told me that one of his friends, who holds a judicial
appointment, had, a short time previous, been called to decide a
curious case. A grave-digger was carrying one of these deceased
angels to the churchyard, when he stept into a tavern to take a
dram. The landlord inquired what he had got under his poncho, and
on learning that it was an angelito, offered him two reaux for it.
The gravedigger consented; the landlord quickly arranged a niche
with flowers in the drinking-room, and then hastened to inform the
whole neighbourhood what a treasure he had got. They all came,
admired the little angel, and drank and feasted in its honour. But
the parents also soon heard of it, hurried down to the tavern, took
away their child, and had the landlord brought before the
magistrate. On hearing the case, the latter could scarcely restrain
from laughing, but arranged the matter amicably, as such a crime was
not mentioned in the statute book.

The manner in which patients are conveyed to the hospital here is
very remarkable. They are placed upon a simple wooden armchair,
with one band fastened in front of them to prevent their falling
off, and another beneath for them to place their feet on--a most
horrible sight when the sick person is so weak that he can no longer
hold himself in an upright posture.

I was not a little astonished on hearing that, in this country,
where there is yet no post, or, indeed, any regular means of
conveyance from one place to another, that a railroad was about
being constructed from here to Santiago. The work has been
undertaken by an English company, and the necessary measurements
already begun. As the localities are very mountainous, the railroad
will have to make considerable windings, in order to profit by the
level tracts, and this will occasion an enormous outlay, quite out
of proportion to the present state of trade or the amount of
passenger traffic. At present, there are not more than two or three
vehicles a day from one place to the other, and if by chance ten or
fifteen passengers come from Santiago to Valparaiso, the thing is
talked of over the whole town. This has given rise to the belief
that the construction of a railroad has merely been seized on as an
excuse, in order to enable those concerned to search about the
country undisturbed for gold and silver.

Persons discovering mines are highly favoured, and have full right
of property to their discovery, being obliged merely to notify the
same to the government. This licence is pushed to such an extent,
that if, for instance, a person can advance any plausible grounds
for asserting that he has found a mine in a particular spot, such as
under a church or house, etc., he is at liberty to have either
pulled down, provided he is rich enough to pay for the damage done.

About fifteen years ago, a donkey driver accidentally hit upon a
productive silver mine. He was driving several asses over the
mountain, when one of them ran away. He seized a stone, and was
about to throw it after the animal, but stumbled and fell to the
ground, while the stone escaped from his grasp, and rolled away.
Rising in a great passion, he snatched a second from the earth, and
had drawn his arm to throw the stone, when he was struck by its
uncommon weight. He looked at it more closely, and perceived that
it was streaked with rich veins of pure silver. He preserved the
stone as a treasure, marked the spot, drove his asses home, and then
communicated his important discovery to one of his friends, who was
a miner. Both of them then returned to the place, which the miner
examined, and pronounced the soil full of precious ore. Nothing was
now wanting save capital to carry on their operations. This they
procured by taking the miner's employer into partnership, and in a
few years all three were rich men.

The six days had now elapsed, and the captain sent me a message to
be on board with my bag and baggage the next day, as he intended
putting out to sea in the evening; but on the morning of his
intended departure, my evil genius conducted a French man-of-war
into the harbour. Little imagining that this was destined to
overturn all my plans, I proceeded very tranquilly to the landing-
place, where I met the captain hastening to meet me, with a long
story about his half-cargo, and the necessity he was under of
completing his freight with provisions for the use of the French
garrison at Tahiti, and so forth: in a word, the end of the matter
was, that I was informed we should have to stop another five days.

In the first burst of my disappointment, I paid a visit to the
Sardinian Consul, Herr Bayerbach, and told him of the position in
which I was placed. He consoled me, in a most kind and gentlemanly
manner, as well as he could; and on learning that I had already
taken up my quarters on board, insisted on my occupying a chamber in
his country-house in the Serra Allegri. Besides this, he introduced
me to several families, where I passed many very pleasant hours, and
had the opportunity of inspecting some excellent collections of
mussel-shells and insects.

Our departure was again deferred from day to day; so that, although,
in this manner, I spent fifteen days in Chili, I saw nothing more of
it than Valparaiso and its immediate neighbourhood.

As Valparaiso is situated to the south of the Equator, and, as is
well known, the seasons of the southern hemisphere are exactly the
contrary of those of the northern, it was now autumn. I saw (34
degrees South latitude) almost the same kinds of fruits and
vegetables as those we have in Germany, especially grapes and
melons. The apples and pears were not so good nor so abundant as
with us.

In conclusion, I will here give a list of the prices which
travellers have to pay for certain things:--

A room that is at all decent in a private house costs four or five
reaux (2s.) a day; the table d'hote a piaster (4s.); but washing is
more expensive than anything else, on account of the great scarcity
of water, for every article, large or small, costs a real (6d.). A
passport, too, is excessively dear, being charged eight Spanish
dollars (1 pounds 12s.).



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