A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer - HTML preview

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The poor woman had given up a sure means of subsistence in her native land (she supported herself by cleaning lace and ladies'

apparel), and had devoted her little savings to pay the expenses of her voyage, and all to find herself deserted and helpless in a strange hemisphere. {14}

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






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

It was on the morning of the 17th of September that, after the lapse of nearly two months and a half, I first set foot upon dry land.

The captain himself accompanied the passengers on shore, after having earnestly advised each one separately to be sure and smuggle nothing, more especially sealed letters. "In no part of the world,"

he assured us, "were the Custom-house officers so strict, and the penalties so heavy."

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

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

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

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

scales, and beetles' wings.

Of the squares, the finest is the Largo do Rocio; the largest, the Largo St. Anna. In the first, which is always kept tolerably clean, stand the Opera-house, the Government-house, the Police-office, etc.

This, too, is the starting-place for most of the omnibuses, which traverse the town in all directions.

The last-named square is the dirtiest in the whole town. On crossing it for the first time, I perceived lying about me half putrid cats and dogs--and even a mule in the same state. The only ornament of this square is a fountain, and I almost think I should prefer it if the fountain were, in this case, taken away; for, as soft water is not very abundant in Rio Janeiro, the washerwoman's noble art pitches its tent wherever it finds any, and most wil ingly of all when, at the same time, it meets with a good drying ground.

The consequence is, that in the Largo St. Anna there is always such an amount of washing and drying, of squalling and screaming, that you are glad to get away as quickly as possible.

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

The houses are built in the European fashion, but are small and insignificant; most of them have only a ground-floor or single story,--two stories are rarely met with. Neither are there any terraces and verandahs adorned with elegant trellis-work and flowers, as there are in other warm countries. Ugly little balconies hang from the walls, while clumsy wooden shutters close up the windows, and prevent the smallest sunbeam from penetrating into the rooms, where everything is enveloped in almost perfect darkness.

This, however, is a matter of the greatest indifference to the Brazilian ladies, who certainly never over-fatigue themselves with reading or working.

The town offers, therefore, very little in the way of squares, streets, and buildings, which, for a stranger, can prove in the least attractive; while the people that he meets are truly shocking--

nearly all being negroes and negresses, with flat, ugly noses, thick lips, and short woolly hair. They are, too, generally half naked, with only a few miserable rags on their backs, or else they are thrust into the worn-out European-cut clothes of their masters.

To every four or five blacks may be reckoned a mulatto, and it is only here and there that a white man is to be seen.

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

It is true that the interior of Constantinople is exceedingly dirty, and that the number of small houses, the narrow streets, the unevenness of the pavement, the filthy dogs, etc., do not strike the beholder as excessively picturesque; but then he soon comes upon some magnificent edifice of the time of the Moors or Romans, some wondrous mosque or majestic palace, and can continue his walk through endless cemeteries and forests of dreamy cypresses. He steps aside before a pasha or priest of high rank, who rides by on his noble steed, surrounded by a bril iant retinue; he encounters Turks in splendid costumes, and Turkish women with eyes that flash through their veils like fire; he beholds Persians with their high caps, Arabs with their nobly-formed features, dervises in fools'-

caps and plaited petticoats like women, and, now and then, some carriage, beautifully painted and gilt, drawn by superbly caparisoned oxen. Al these different objects fully make up for whatever amount of dirtiness may occasionally be met with. In Rio Janeiro, however, there is nothing that can in any way amuse, or atone for the horrible and disgusting sights which everywhere meet the eye.

It was not until I had been here several weeks that I became somewhat accustomed to the appearance of the negroes and mulattoes.

I then discovered many very pretty figures among the young negresses, and handsome, expressive countenances among the somewhat dark-complexioned Brazilian and Portuguese women; the men seem, as regards beauty, to be less favoured.

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

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

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

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

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

After all, slaves are far from being as badly off as many Europeans imagine. In the Brazils they are generally pretty well treated; they are not overworked, their food is good and nutritious, and the punishments are neither particularly frequent nor heavy. The crime of running away is the only one which is visited with great rigour.

Besides a severe beating, they have fetters placed round their neck and feet; these they have to wear for a considerable period.

Another manner of punishment consists in making them wear a tin mask, which is fastened with a lock behind. This is the mode of punishment adopted for those who drink, or are in the habit of eating earth or lime. During my long stay in the Brazils, I only saw one negro who had got on a mask of this description. I very much doubt whether, on the whole, the lot of these slaves is not less wretched than that of the peasants of Russia, Poland, or Egypt, who are _not_ called slaves.

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

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

10d.) In consequence of this regulation, the streets may be traversed with safety at any hour of the night.

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

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

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

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

The exterior of the Opera-house does not promise anything very beautiful or astonishing, and the stranger is, consequently, much surprised to find, on entering, a large and magnificent house with a deep stage. I should say it could contain more than 2,000 persons.

There are four tiers of spacious boxes rising one above the other, the balustrades of which, formed of delicately-wrought iron trellis-work, give the theatre a very tasty appearance. The pit is only for men. I was present at a tolerably good representation, by an Italian company, of the opera of Lucrezia Borgia; the scenery and costumes are not amiss.

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

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

I likewise visited the studio of the sculptor Petrich, a native of Dresden, who came over at the unsolicited command of the court, to execute a statue of the emperor in Carrara marble. The emperor is represented the size of life, in a standing position, and arrayed in his imperial robes, with the ermine cloak thrown over his shoulder.

The head is strikingly like, and the whole figure worked out of the stone with great artistic skil . I believe this statue was destined for some public building.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the 2nd of November I saw a festival of another description--

namely, a religious one. During this and the following days, old and young proceed from one church to another, to pray for the souls of the departed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I saw too little of the manners and customs of the country to be qualified to pronounce judgment upon them, and I shall therefore, on this head, confine myself to a few remarks. The manners seem, on the whole, to differ but little from those of Europe. The present possessors of the country, as is well known, derive their descent from Portugal, and the Brazilians might very aptly be termed

"Europeans translated into Americans;" and it is very natural, that in this "translation" many peculiarities have been lost, while others have stood forth in greater relief. The strongest feature in the character of the European-American is the greed for gold; this often becomes a passion, and transforms the most faint-hearted white into a hero, for it certainly requires the courage of one to live alone, as planter, on a plantation with perhaps some hundred slaves, far removed from all assistance, and with the prospect of being irrevocably lost in the event of any revolt.

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

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

Morality, unfortunately, is not very general in the Brazils; one cause of this may be traced to the manner in which the children are first brought up. They are confided entirely to the care of blacks.

Negresses suckle them when they are infants, their nurses are negresses, their attendants are negresses--and I have often seen girls of eight or ten years of age taken to school, or any other place, by young negroes. The sensuality of the blacks is too well known for us to be surprised, with such a state of things, at the general and early demoralization. In no other place did I ever behold so many children with such pale and worn faces as in the streets of Rio Janeiro. The second cause of immorality here is, without doubt, the want of religion. The Brazils are thoroughly Catholic--perhaps there are no countries save Spain and Italy, that can be compared to them. Almost every day there is some procession, service, or church-festival; but these are attended merely for the sake of amusement, while the true religious feeling is entirely wanting.

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I recommend every one who comes to Rio Janeiro, although it be only for a few days, to make this excursion, since from this spot he can, with one glance, perceive all the treasures which nature, with so truly liberal a hand, has lavished upon the environs of this city.

He wil here see virgin forests, which, if not quite as thick and beautiful as those farther inland, are stil remarkable for their luxuriant vegetation. Mimosae and Aarren baume of a gigantic size, palms, wild coffee-trees, orchidaen, parasites and creepers, blossoms and flowers, without end; birds of the most bril iant plumage, immense butterflies, and sparkling insects, flying in swarms from blossom to blossom, from branch to branch. A most wonderful effect also is produced by the mil ions of fire-flies, which find their way into the very tops of the trees, and sparkle between the foliage like so many brightly twinkling stars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 hil 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, wil 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 Vil a, 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 vil a, 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 vil a; 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 hil s 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 water.

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 til 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 Brazils.

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 off.

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 again.

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 til 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 vil age, 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 stil 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 mil stone, 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 hil 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 hil ocks. 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 fulfil ed 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 through.

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.