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A Woman's Journey Round the World

Ida Pfeiffer

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Author: Ida Pfeiffer

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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A WOMAN'S JOURNEY ROUND THE

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

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

BY IDA PFEIFFER.

An unabridged translation from the German.

PREFACE.

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

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

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

The public received very favourably my plain unvarnished account of

"A Voyage to the Holy Land, and to Iceland and Scandinavia."

Emboldened by their kindness, I once more step forward with the journal of my last and most considerable voyage, and I shall feel content if the narration of my adventures procures for my readers only a portion of the immense fund of pleasure derived from the voyage by

THE AUTHORESS.

Vienna, March 16, 1850.

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

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

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

"'The impression which this place (Cape Town) made on me, was not an agreeable one. The mountains surrounding the town are bare, the town itself (London being stil fresh in my recollection) resembles a vil age. The houses are of only one story, with terraces instead of roofs. From the deck of the vessel a single tree was visible, standing on a hil . In short, on my arrival I was at once much disappointed, and this disappointment rather increases than otherwise. In the town the European mode of living is entirely prevalent--more so than in any other place abroad that I have seen.

I have made a good many inquiries as to travelling into the interior; and have been, throughout, assured that the natives are everywhere kindly disposed to travellers, and that as a woman I should be able to penetrate much farther than a man,--and I have been strongly advised to undertake a journey as far as the unknown lakes, and even beyond. Stil , with all these splendid prospects and hopes, I fear I shall travel less in this country than in any other. Here, the first thing you are told is, that you must purchase waggons, oxen, horses, asses,--hire expensive guides, etc., etc. How far should I reach in this way with my 100 pounds sterling? I wil give you an example of the charges in this country:--for the carriage of my little luggage to my lodgings I had to pay 10s. 6d.! I had previously landed in what I thought the most expensive places in the world--London, Calcutta, Canton, etc.--had everywhere a much greater distance to go from the vessel to my lodgings, and nowhere had I paid half of what they charged me here.

Board and lodging I have also found very dear. Fortunately, I have been very kindly received into the house of Mr. Thaewitzer, the Hamburgh consul, where I live, very agreeably, but do not much advance the object which brought me here. I shall, in the course of the month, undertake a short journey with some Dutch boers to Klein Wil iams; and I fear that this wil form the beginning and the end of my travels in this country.'

"From these extracts it wil be seen that the resolute lady has at her command but very slender means for the performance of her journeys. The sum of 100 pounds, which was granted to her by the Austrian government, forms the whole of her funds. Private resources she has none. It took her twenty years to save enough money to perform her first journey!--namely, that to the Holy Land.

While in London, she received scarcely any encouragement; and her works were not appreciated by the public, or indeed known, til she had left this country. It is to be regretted that the want of a little pecuniary assistance should deter the enterprising lady from carrying out her projected journey in Southern Africa. Though not a scientific traveller, she is a faithful recorder of what she sees and hears; and she is prepared to note the bearings and distances of the journey, make meteorological observations, and keep a careful diary--so that the results of her projected journey would perhaps be of as much interest as those of other travellers of greater pretensions."

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. THE VOYAGE TO THE BRAZILS.

CHAPTER II. ARRIVAL AND SOJOURN IN RIO JANEIRO.

CHAPTER III. EXCURSIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF RIO JANEIRO.

CHAPTER IV. JOURNEY INTO THE INTERIOR OF THE BRAZILS.

CHAPTER V. THE VOYAGE ROUND CAPE HORN.

CHAPTER VI. ARRIVAL AND RESIDENCE IN VALPARAISO.

CHAPTER VII. THE VOYAGE FROM VALPARAISO TO CANTON, VIA TAHITI.

CHAPTER VIII. CHINA.

CHAPTER IX. THE EAST INDIES--SINGAPORE.

CHAPTER X. THE EAST INDIES--CEYLON.

CHAPTER XI. MADRAS AND CALCUTTA.

CHAPTER XII. BENARES.

CHAPTER XIII. ALLAHABAD, AGRA, AND DELHI.

CHAPTER XIV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY.

CHAPTER XV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY, CONTINUED.

CHAPTER XVI. CONTINUATION OF JOURNEY AND SOJOURN.

CHAPTER XVII. FROM BOMBAY TO BAGHDAD.

CHAPTER XVIII. MESOPOTAMIA, BAGHDAD, AND BABYLON.

CHAPTER XIX. MOSUL AND NINEVEH.

CHAPTER XX. PERSIA.

CHAPTER XXI. SOJOURN IN TEBRIS.

CHAPTER XXII. ASIATIC RUSSIA--ARMENIA, GEORGIA, AND MINGRELIA.

CHAPTER XXIII. EUROPEAN RUSSIA.

CHAPTER XXIV. CONSTANTINOPLE AND ATHENS.

CHAPTER I. THE VOYAGE TO THE BRAZILS.

DEPARTURE FROM VIENNA--STAY IN HAMBURGH--STEAMERS AND SAILING

VESSELS--DEPARTURE FROM HAMBURGH--CUXHAVEN--THE BRITISH CHANNEL--

FLYING-FISH--THE PHISOLIDA--CONSTELLATIONS--PASSING THE LINE--THE

"VAMPEROS"--A GALE AND STORM--CAPE FRIO--ARRIVAL IN THE PORT OF RIO

JANEIRO.

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

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

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

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

I had now before me a long voyage, which could not be made under two months at the least, and which, possibly, might last three or four.

Luckily I had already lived for a considerable period on board sailing vessels during my former travels, and was therefore acquainted with their arrangements, which are very different from those of steamers. On board a steamer everything is agreeable and luxurious; the vessel pursues her rapid course independent of the wind, and the passengers enjoy good and fresh provisions, spacious cabins, and excellent society.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But enough of annoyances. I have described them merely to prepare, in some degree, those who have never been to sea. Persons residing in sea-port towns do not, perhaps, stand in need of this, for they hear these matters mentioned every day; but such is not the case with us poor souls, who have lived all our lives in inland cities.

Very often we hardly know how a steamer or a sailing vessel looks, much less the mode of life on board them. I speak from experience, and know too well what I myself suffered on my first voyage, simply because, not having been warned beforehand, I took nothing with me save a small stock of linen and clothes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the 1st of July we again set sail in rather stormy weather. We made a few miles, but were soon obliged to cast anchor once more.

The Elbe is here so wide, that we could hardly see its banks, and the swell so strong, that sea-sickness began to manifest itself among our company. On the 2nd of July, we again attempted to weigh anchor, but with no better success than the day before. Towards evening we saw some dolphins, called also _tummler_, or tumblers, as well as several gulls, which announced to us that we were fast nearing the sea.

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

The 4th of July was a beautifully fine day, for those who could remain quietly on shore; but for those on board ship it was bad enough, as there was not the slightest breath of wind stirring. To get rid of our lamentations, the captain launched out in praises of the charming little town, and had us conveyed to land. We visited the town, as well as the bathing establishment and the lighthouse, and afterwards actually proceeded as far as a place called the

"Bush," where, as we were told, we should find a great abundance of strawberries. After wandering about, over fields and meadows, for a good hour in the glowing heat, we found the Bush, it is true, but instead of strawberries, discovered only frogs and adders there.

We now proceeded into the scanty wood, where we saw about twenty tents erected. A bustling landlord came up, and offering us some glasses of bad milk, said that every year a fair is held in the Bush for three weeks, or rather, on three successive Sundays, for during the week days the booths are closed. The landlady also came tripping towards us, and invited us, in a very friendly manner, to spend the next Sunday with them. She assured us that we should

"amuse ourselves charmingly;" that we elder members of the company should find entertainment in the wonderful performances of the tumblers and jugglers, and the younger gentlemen find spruce young girls for partners in the dance.

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

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

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

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

We sailed by the place at a considerable distance, and saw only the towers of the church and lighthouse, in addition to the so-called

"Monk," a solitary, perpendicular rock, that is separated from the main body, between which and it there sparkles a small strip of sea.

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

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

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

On the coast of England, we saw the North Foreland, the Castle of Sandown, and the town of Deal, stretching out at the foot of the cliffs, which extend for many miles, and are about 150 feet high.

Further on, we came in sight of the South Foreland; and lastly, the ancient castle of Dover, that sits right bravely enthroned upon an eminence, and overlooks the surrounding country, far and wide. The town itself lies upon the sea-shore.

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

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

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

This extraordinary il umination of the sea is of very unfrequent occurrence, and rarely happens after long-continued, violent storms.

The captain told me that he had never yet beheld the sea so lighted up. For my part, I shall never forget the sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4th August. This was the first day that it was announced by the heat that we were in a southern latitude; but, as was also the case the following day, the clear dark blue sky that generally overarches the Mediterranean in such exceeding loveliness, was stil wanting.

We found, however, some slight compensation for this in the rising and setting of the sun, as these were often accompanied by unusual forms and colours of the clouds.

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

On the 5th of August we saw land for the first time for twelve days.

The sun was rising as the little island of Porto Santo greeted our sight. It is formed of peaked mountains, which, by their shape, betray their volcanic origin. A few miles in advance of the island stands the beautiful Falcon Rock, like a sentinel upon the look-out.

We sailed past Madeira (23 miles from Porto Santo) the same day, but unluckily at such a distance that we could only perceive the long mountain chains by which the island is intersected. Near Madeira lie the rocky Deserta Islands, which are reckoned as forming part of Africa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When they were flying at some distance from the ship they really looked like elegant birds. We very frequently saw the bonitos also, who were pursuing them, endeavour to raise themselves above the water, but they seldom succeeded in raising more than their head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

18th August. Today we had a heavy thunder-storm, for which we were very grateful, as it cooled the air considerably. Between 1 and 2

degrees, or 3 degrees North latitude, frequent changes in the weather are very common. For instance, on the morning of the 20th we were overtaken by a strong wind, which lashed up the sea to a great height, and continued until evening, when it gave way to a tropical shower, which we at home should call a perfect water-spout.

The deck was instantaneously transformed into a lake, while at the same time the wind had so completely fallen that even the rudder enjoyed a holiday.

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

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

We were now very near the Equator, and, like all other travellers, wished very much to see the celebrated constellations of the south.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For my own part, I had already congratulated myself on the tragical stories I should be able to present to my readers; I beheld them shedding tears at the narration of the sufferings we had experienced, and I already appeared to myself half a martyr. Alas!

I was sadly deceived. We all remained in perfectly good health; not a sailor sank exhausted; the ship did not catch fire; and the provisions were not spoilt--they were just as bad as before.

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

7th September. Between 10 and 20 degrees South latitude we again met with very peculiar prevalent winds. They are called vamperos; and oblige the sailor to be always on his guard, as they spring up very suddenly, and are often extremely violent. We were overtaken by one during the night, but, luckily, it was not of the worst kind.

In a few hours it had entirely passed over, but the sea did not become calm again for a considerable time.

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

12th and 13th of September. The first was termed by the captain merely "a stiffish breeze;" but the second was entered in the log

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

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

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

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

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

One of the gentlemen was exceedingly anxious to kil and stuff one of them, but the superstition of the sailors was opposed to this.

They said that if birds were kil ed on board ship, their death would be followed by long calms. We yielded to their wishes and restored the little creatures to the air and waves, their native elements.

This was another proof that superstition is stil deep-rooted in the minds of sailors. Of this we had afterwards many other instances.

The captain, for example, was always very averse to the passengers amusing themselves with cards or any other game of chance; in another vessel, as I was informed, no one was allowed to write on Sunday, etc. Empty casks or logs of wood were also very frequently thrown overboard during a calm--probably as sacrifices to the deities of the winds.

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

Immediately at the entrance of the bay are several conical rocks, some of which, like the Sugarloaf, rise singly from the sea, while others are joined at the base, and are almost inaccessible. {13}

Between these "ocean mountains," if I may be allowed the expression, are seen the most remarkably beautiful views; now extraordinary ravines, then some charmingly situated quarter of the town, presently the open sea, and the moment after some delightful bay.

From the bay itself, at the end of which the capital is built, rise masses of rock, serving as foundations to different fortifications.

On some of these eminences are chapels and fortresses. Ships are obliged to pass as near as possible to one of the largest of the latter, namely, Santa Cruz, in order that their papers may be examined.

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

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

The highest peak is 5,000 feet high.

One portion of the town is concealed by the Telegraph Mountain, and several hil s, on which, besides the Telegraph, there is a monastery of Capuchin monks and other smaller buildings. Of the town itself are seen several rows of houses and open squares, the Great Hospital, the Monasteries of St. Luzia and Moro do Castello, the Convent of St. Bento, the fine Church of St. Candelaria, and some portions of the really magnificent aqueduct. Close to the sea is the Public Garden (passeo publico) of the town, which, from its fine palm trees, and elegant stone gallery, with two summer-houses, forms a striking object. To the left, upon eminences, stand some isolated churches and monasteries, such as St. Gloria, St. Theresa, etc.

Near these are the Praya Flamingo and Botafogo, large vil ages with beautiful vil as, pretty buildings, and gardens, which stretch far away until lost in the neighbourhood of the Sugarloaf, and thus close this most wonderful panorama. In addition to all this, the many vessels, partly in the harbour before the town, partly anchored in the different bays, the rich and luxuriant vegetation, and the foreign and novel appearance of the whole, help to form a picture, of whose beauties my pen, unfortunately, can never convey an adequate idea.

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

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

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

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