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Title: Equatorial America - Descriptive of a Visit to St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbadoes, - and the Principal Capitals of South America
Author: Ballou, Maturin Murray, 1820-1895
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Illustration: Printer's logo]

  The Riverside Press, Cambridge

  Copyright, 1892,

  _All rights reserved._

  _The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A._
  Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.


  [Illustration: decoration]


"I am a part of all that I have seen," says Tennyson, a sentiment which
every one of large experience will heartily indorse. With the
extraordinary facilities for travel available in modern times, it is a
serious mistake in those who possess the means, not to become familiar
with the various sections of the globe. Vivid descriptions and excellent
photographs give us a certain knowledge of the great monuments of the
world, both natural and artificial, but the traveler always finds the
reality a new revelation, whether it be the marvels of a Yellowstone
Park, a vast oriental temple, Alaskan glaciers, or the Pyramids of
Ghiza. The latter, for instance, do not differ from the statistics which
we have so often seen recorded, their great, dominating outlines are the
same as pictorially delineated, but when we actually stand before them,
they are touched by the wand of enchantment, and spring into visible
life. Heretofore they have been shadows, henceforth they are tangible
and real. The best descriptions fail to inspire us, experience alone can
do that. What words can adequately depict the confused grandeur of the
Falls of Schaffhausen; the magnificence of the Himalayan
range,--roof-tree of the world; the thrilling beauty of the Yosemite
Valley; the architectural loveliness of the Taj Mahal, of India; the
starry splendor of equatorial nights; the maritime charms of the Bay of
Naples; or the marvel of the Midnight Sun at the North Cape? It is
personal observation alone which truly satisfies, educating the eye and
enriching the understanding. If we can succeed in imparting, a portion
of our enjoyment to others, we enhance our own pleasure, and therefore
these notes of travel are given to the public.

                  M. M. B.


          CHAPTER I.


  Commencement of a Long Journey.--The Gulf
  Stream.--Hayti.--Sighting St. Thomas.--Ship
  Rock.--Expert Divers.--Fidgety Old Lady.--An
  Important Island.--The Old
  Slaver.--Aborigines.--St. Thomas
  Negro Paradise.--Hurricanes.--Variety of
  Fish.--Coaling Ship.--The Firefly Dance.--A
  Weird Scene.--An Antique Anchor                  1

          CHAPTER II.

  Curious Seaweed.--Professor Agassiz.--Myth of
  a Lost Continent.--Island of Martinique.--An
  Attractive Place.--Statue of the Empress
  Josephine.--Birthplace of Madame de
  Maintenon.--City of St. Pierre.--Mont
  Pelée.--High Flavored Specialty.--Grisettes
  of Maritinque.--A Botanical
  Garden.--Defective Drainage.--A Fatal
  Enemy.--A Cannibal Snake.--The Climate          33

          CHAPTER III.

  English Island of Barbadoes.--Bridgetown the
  Capital.--The Manufacture of Rum.--A
  Geographical Expert.--Very English.--A Pest
  of Ants.--Exports.--The Ice House.--A Dense
  Hotel.--Habits of
  Antiquities.--The Barbadoes Leg.--Wakeful
  Dreams.--Absence of Twilight.--Departure from
  the Island                                      51

          CHAPTER IV.

  Curious Ocean Experiences.--The Delicate
  Nautilus.--Flying-Fish.--The Southern
  Cross.--Speaking a Ship at Sea.--Scientific
  Navigation.--South America as a Whole.--Fauna
  and Flora.--Natural Resources of a Wonderful
  Land.--Rivers, Plains, and Mountain
  Divisions.--Civil Wars.--Weakness of South
  American States                                 68

          CHAPTER V.

  City of Pará.--The Equatorial Line.--Spanish
  History.--The King of Waters.--Private
  Gardens.--Domestic Life in Northern
  Brazil.--Delicious Pineapples.--Family
  Pets.--Opera House.--Mendicants.--A Grand
  Avenue.--Botanical Garden.--India-Rubber
  Tree.--Gathering the Raw
  Material.--Monkeys.--The Royal
  Palm.--Splendor of Equatorial Nights            94

          CHAPTER VI.

  Island of Marajo.--Rare and Beautiful
  Birds.--Original Mode of Securing
  Value of Native
  Forests.--Pernambuco.--Difficulty of
  Landing.--An Ill-Chosen Name.--Local
  Scenes.--Uncleanly Habits of the
  People.--Great Sugar Mart.--Native Houses.--A
  Quaint Hostelry.--Catamarans.--A Natural
  Breakwater.--Sailing down the Coast            115

          CHAPTER VII.

  Port of Bahia.--A Quaint Old City.--Former
  Capital of Brazil.--Whaling
  Panorama.--Tramways.--No Color Line
  Here.--The Sedan Chair.--Feather Flowers.--A
  Great Orange Mart.--Passion Flower
  Fruit.--Coffee, Sugar, and Tobacco.--A Coffee
  Plantation.--Something about
  Diamonds.--Health of the City.--Curious
  Tropical Street Scenes                         138

          CHAPTER VIII.

  Cape Frio.--Rio Janeiro.--A Splendid
  Harbor.--Various Mountains.--Botafogo
  Bay.--The Hunchback.--Farewell to the
  Emigrants.--City Institutions.--Public
  Thoroughfares.--Merchants' Clerks.--Railroads
  in Brazil.--Natural Advantages of the
  City.--The Public Plazas.--Exports             155

          CHAPTER IX.

  Outdoor Scenes in Rio Janeiro.--The Little
  Marmoset.--The Fish Market.--Secluded
  Women.--The Romish Church.--Botanical
  Garden.--Various Species of Trees.--Grand
  Avenue of Royal Palms.--About
  Humming-Birds.--Climate of Rio.--Surrounded
  by Yellow Fever.--The Country
  Inland.--Begging on the
  Streets.--Flowers.--"Portuguese Joe."--Social
  Distinctions                                   180

          CHAPTER X.

  Petropolis.--Summer Residence of the Citizens
  of Rio.--Brief Sketch of the late Royal
  Family.--Dom Pedro's Palace.--A Delightful
  Mountain Sanitarium.--A Successful but
  Bloodless Revolution.--Floral
  Delights.--Mountain Scenery.--Heavy
  Gambling.--A German
  Orchids.--Local Types.--A Brazilian
  Forest.--Compensation                          201

          CHAPTER XI.

  Port of Santos.--Yellow Fever Scourge.--Down
  the Coast to Montevideo.--The
  Architecture.--A Grand Thoroughfare.--City
  Institutions.--Commercial Advantages.--The
  Opera House.--The Bull-Fight.--Beggars on
  Horseback.--City Shops.--A Typical
  Character.--Intoxication.--The Campo
  Santo.--Exports.--Rivers and Railways          217

          CHAPTER XII.

  Buenos Ayres.--Extent of the Argentine
  Streets.--Large Public
  Squares.--Basques.--Poor Harbor.--Railway
  System.--River Navigation.--Tramways.--The
  Buildings.--Calle Florida.--A Busy
  City.--Mode of furnishing
  Milk.--Environs.--Commercial and Political
  Growth.--The New Capital                       244

          CHAPTER XIII.

  City of Rosario.--Its Population.--A
  Pretentious Church.--Ocean
  Experiences.--Morbid Fancies.--Strait of
  Magellan.--A Great Discoverer.--Local
  Characteristics.--Patagonians and
  Fuegians.--Giant Kelp.--Unique Mail
  Box.--Punta Arenas.--An Ex-Penal Colony.--The
  Albatross.--Natives.--A Naked
  Mount Sarmiento.--A Singular Story             271

          CHAPTER XIV.

  The Land of Fire.--Cape Horn.--In the Open
  Pacific.--Fellow Passengers.--Large
  Sea-Bird.--An Interesting Invalid.--A Weary
  Captive.--A Broken-Hearted Mother.--Study of
  the Heavens.--The Moon.--Chilian Civil
  War.--Concepcion.--A Growing
  City.--Commercial Importance.--Cultivating
  City Gardens on a New Plan.--Important Coal
  Mines.--Delicious Fruits                       297

          CHAPTER XV.

  Valparaiso.--Principal South American Port of
  the Pacific.--A Good Harbor.--Tallest
  Mountain on this Continent.--The Newspaper
  Press.--Warlike Aspect.--Girls as Car
  Conductors.--Chilian Exports.--Foreign
  Merchants.--Effects of Civil War.--Gambling
  in Private Houses.--Immigration.--Culture of
  the Grape.--Agriculture.--Island of Juan
  Fernandez                                      315

          CHAPTER XVI.

  The Port of Callao.--A Submerged
  City.--Peruvian Exports.--A Dirty and
  Unwholesome Town.--Cinchona Bark.--The
  Andes.--The Llama.--A National Dance.--City
  of Lima.--An Old and Interesting
  Capital.--Want of Rain.--Pizarro and His
  Crimes.--A Grand Cathedral.--Chilian
  Soldiers.--Costly Churches of Peru.--Roman
  Catholic Influence.--Desecration of the
  Sabbath                                        334

          CHAPTER XVII.

  A Grand Plaza.--Retribution.--The University
  of Lima.--Significance of Ancient
  Dwelling.--Domestic Scene.--Destructive
  Earthquakes.--Spanish Sway.--Women of
  Lima.--Street Costumes.--Ancient Bridge of
  Shops.--Exports.--An Ancient Mecca.--Home by
  Way of Europe.                                 355


          CHAPTER I.

     Commencement of a Long Journey.--The Gulf
     Stream.--Hayti.--Sighting St. Thomas.--Ship Rock.--Expert
     Divers.--Fidgety Old Lady.--An Important Island.--The Old
     Slaver.--Aborigines.--St. Thomas
     Paradise.--Hurricanes.--Variety of Fish.--Coaling Ship.--The
     Firefly Dane.--A Weird Scene.--An Antique Anchor.

In starting upon foreign travel, one drops into the familiar routine on
shipboard much after the same fashion wherever bound, whether crossing
the Atlantic eastward, or steaming to the south through the waters of
the Caribbean Sea; whether in a Peninsular and Oriental ship in the
Indian Ocean, or on a White Star liner in the Pacific bound for Japan.
The steward brings a cup of hot coffee and a slice of dry toast to one's
cabin soon after the sun rises, as a sort of eye-opener; and having
swallowed that excellent stimulant, one feels better fortified for the
struggle to dress on the uneven floor of a rolling and pitching ship.
Then comes the brief promenade on deck before breakfast, a liberal
inhalation of fresh air insuring a good appetite. There is no hurry at
this meal. There is so little to do at sea, and so much time to do it
in, that passengers are apt to linger at table as a pastime, and even
multiply their meals in number. As a rule, we make up our mind to follow
some instructive course of reading while at sea, but, alas! we never
fulfill the good resolution. An entire change of habits and associations
for the time being is not favorable to such a purpose. The tonic of the
sea braces one up to an unwonted degree, evinced by great activity of
body and mind. Favored by the unavoidable companionship of individuals
in the circumscribed space of a ship, acquaintances are formed which
often ripen into lasting friendship. Inexperienced voyagers are apt to
become effusive and over-confiding, abrupt intimacies and unreasonable
dislikes are of frequent occurrence, and before the day of separation,
the student of human nature has seen many phases exhibited for his

Our vessel, the Vigilancia, is a large, commodious, and well-appointed
ship, embracing all the modern appliances for comfort and safety at sea.
She is lighted by electricity, having a donkey engine which sets in
motion a dynamo machine, converting mechanical energy into electric
energy. Perhaps the reader, though familiar with the effect of this mode
of lighting, has never paused to analyze the very simple manner in which
it is produced. The current is led from the dynamos to the various
points where light is desired by means of insulated wires. The lamps
consist of a fine thread of carbon inclosed in a glass bulb from which
air has been entirely excluded. This offers such resistance to the
current passing through it that the energy is expended in raising the
carbon to a white heat, thus forming the light. The permanence of the
carbon is insured by the absence of oxygen. If the glass bulb is broken
and atmospheric air comes in contact with the carbon, it is at once
destroyed by combustion, and all light from this source ceases. These
lamps are so arranged that each one can be turned off or on at will
without affecting others. The absence of offensive smell or smoke, the
steadiness of the light, unaffected by the motion of the ship, and its
superior brilliancy, all join to make this mode of lighting a vessel a
positive luxury.

Some pleasant hours were passed on board the Vigilancia, between New
York and the West Indies, in the study of the Gulf Stream, through which
we were sailing,--that river in the ocean with its banks and bottom of
cold water, while its current is always warm. Who can explain the
mystery of its motive power? What keeps its tepid water, in a course of
thousands of miles, from mingling with the rest of the sea? Whence does
it really come? The accepted theories are familiar enough, but we place
little reliance upon them, the statements of scientists are so easily
formulated, but often so difficult to prove. As Professor Maury tells
us, there is in the world no other flow of water so majestic as this; it
has a course more rapid than either the Mississippi or the Amazon, and a
volume more than a thousand times greater. The color of this remarkable
stream, whose fountain is supposed to be the Gulf of Mexico and the
Caribbean Sea, is so deep a blue off our southern shore that the line of
demarcation from its surroundings is quite obvious, the Gulf water
having apparently a decided reluctance to mingling with the rest of the
ocean, a peculiarity which has been long and vainly discussed without a
satisfactory solution having been reached. The same phenomenon has been
observed in the Pacific, where the Japanese current comes up from the
equator, along the shore of that country, crossing Behring's Sea to the
continent of North America, and, turning southward along the coast of
California, finally disappears. Throughout all this ocean passage, like
the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic, it retains its individuality, and is
quite separate from the rest of the ocean. The fact that the water is
saltier than that of the Atlantic is by some supposed to account for the
indigo blue of the Gulf Stream.

The temperature of this water is carefully taken on board all well
regulated ships, and is recorded in the log. On this voyage it was found
to vary from 75° to 80° Fahrenheit.

Our ship had touched at Newport News, Va., after leaving New York, to
take the U. S. mail on board; thence the course was south-southeast,
giving the American continent a wide berth, and heading for the Danish
island of St. Thomas, which lies in the latitude of Hayti, but a long
way to the eastward of that uninteresting island. We say uninteresting
with due consideration, though its history is vivid enough to satisfy
the most sensational taste. It has produced its share of native heroes,
as well as native traitors, while the frequent upheavals of its mingled
races have been no less erratic than destructive. The ignorance and
confusion which reign among the masses on the island are deplorable.
Minister Douglass utterly failed to make anything out of Hayti. The
lower classes of the people living inland come next to the inhabitants
of Terra del Fuego in the scale of humanity, and are much inferior to
the Maoris of New Zealand, or the savage tribes of Australia. It is
satisfactorily proven that cannibalism still exists among them in its
most repulsive form, so revolting, indeed, that we hesitate to detail
the experience of a creditable eye-witness relating to this matter, as
personally described to us.

Upon looking at the map it would seem, to one unaccustomed to the ocean,
that a ship could not lay her course direct, in these island dotted
waters, without running down one or more of them; but the distances
which are so circumscribed upon the chart are extended for many a league
at sea, and a good navigator may sail his ship from New York to
Barbadoes, if he so desires, without sighting the land. Not a sailing
vessel or steamship was seen, on the brief voyage from the American
continent to the West Indies, these latitudes being far less frequented
by passenger and freighting ships than the transatlantic route further

It is quite natural that the heart should throb with increased
animation, the spirits become more elate, and the eyes more than usually
appreciative, when the land of one's destination heaves in sight after
long days and nights passed at sea. This is especially the case if the
change from home scenes is so radical in all particulars as when coming
from our bleak Northern States in the early days of spring, before the
trees have donned their leaves, to the soft temperature and exuberant
verdure of the low latitudes. Commencing the voyage herein described,
the author left the Brooklyn shore of New York harbor about the first of
May, during a sharp snow-squall, though, as Governor's Island was passed
on the one hand, and the Statue of Liberty on the other, the sun burst
forth from its cloudy environment, as if to smile a cheerful farewell.
Thus we passed out upon the broad Atlantic, bound southward, soon
feeling its half suppressed force in the regular sway and roll of the
vessel. She was heavily laden, and measured considerably over four
thousand tons, drawing twenty-two feet of water, yet she was like an
eggshell upon the heaving breast of the ocean. As these mammoth ships
lie in port beside the wharf, it seems as though their size and enormous
weight would place them beyond the influence of the wind and waves: but
the power of the latter is so great as to be beyond computation, and
makes a mere toy of the largest hull that floats. No one can realize the
great strength of the waves who has not watched the sea in all of its
varying moods.

"Land O!" shouts the lookout on the forecastle.

A wave of the hand signifies that the occupant of the bridge has already
made out the mote far away upon the glassy surface of the sea, which now
rapidly grows into definite form.

When the mountain which rises near the centre of St. Thomas was fairly
in view from the deck of the Vigilancia, it seemed as if beckoning us to
its hospitable shore. The light breeze which fanned the sea came from
off the land flavored with an odor of tropical vegetation, a suggestion
of fragrant blossoms, and a promise of luscious fruits. On our starboard
bow there soon came into view the well known Ship Rock, which appears,
when seen from a short distance, almost precisely like a full-rigged
ship under canvas. If the sky is clouded and the atmosphere hazy, the
delusion is remarkable.

This story is told of a French corvette which was cruising in these
latitudes at the time when the buccaneers were creating such havoc with
legitimate commerce in the West Indies. It seems that the coast was
partially hidden by a fog, when the corvette made out the rock through
the haze, and, supposing it to be what it so much resembles, a ship
under sail, fired a gun to leeward for her to heave to. Of course there
was no response to the shot, so the Frenchman brought his ship closer,
at the same time clearing for action. Being satisfied that he had to do
with a powerful adversary, he resolved to obtain the advantage by
promptly crippling the enemy, and so discharged the whole of his
starboard broadside into the supposed ship, looming through the mist.
The fog quietly dispersed as the corvette went about and prepared to
deliver her port guns in a similar manner. As the deceptive rock stood
in precisely the same place when the guns came once more to bear upon
it, the true character of the object was discovered. It is doubtful
whether the Frenchman's surprise or mortification predominated.

An hour of steady progress served to raise the veil of distance, and to
reveal the spacious bay of Charlotte Amalie, with its strong background
of abrupt hills and dense greenery of tropical foliage. How wonderfully
blue was the water round about the island,--an emerald set in a sea of
molten sapphire! It seemed as if the sky had been melted and poured all
over the ebbing tide. About the Bahamas, especially off the shore at
Nassau, the water is green,--a delicate bright green; here it exhibits
only the true azure blue,--Mediterranean blue. It is seen at its best
and in marvelous glow during the brief moments of twilight, when a
glance of golden sunset tinges its mottled surface with iris hues, like
the opaline flashes from a humming-bird's throat.

The steamer gradually lost headway, the vibrating hull ceased to throb
with the action of its motive power, as though pausing to take breath
after long days and nights of sustained effort, and presently the anchor
was let go in the excellent harbor of St. Thomas, latitude 18° 20'
north, longitude 64° 48' west. Our forecastle gun, fired to announce
arrival, awakened the echoes in the hills, so that all seemed to join in
clapping their hands to welcome us. Thus amid the Norwegian fiords the
report of the steamer's single gun becomes a whole broadside, as it is
reverberated from the grim and rocky elevations which line that
iron-bound coast.

There was soon gathered about the ship a bevy of naked colored boys, a
score or more, jabbering like a lot of monkeys, some in canoes of home
construction, it would seem, consisting of a sugar box sawed in two
parts, or a few small planks nailed together, forming more of a tub than
a boat, and leaking at every joint. These frail floats were propelled
with a couple of flat boards used as paddles. The young fellows came out
from the shore to dive for sixpences and shillings, cast into the sea by
passengers. The moment a piece of silver was thrown, every canoe was
instantly emptied of its occupant, all diving pell-mell for the money.
Presently one of the crowd was sure to come to the surface with the
silver exhibited above his head between his fingers, after which,
monkey-like, it was securely deposited inside of his cheek. Similar
scenes often occur in tropical regions. The last which the author can
recall, and at which he assisted, was at Aden, where the Indian Ocean
and the Red Sea meet. Another experience of the sort is also well
remembered as witnessed in the South Pacific off the Samoan islands. On
this occasion the most expert of the natives, among the naked divers,
was a young Samoan girl, whose agility in the water was such that she
easily secured more than half the bright coins which were thrown
overboard, though a dozen male competitors were her rivals in the
pursuit. Nothing but an otter could have excelled this bronzed, unclad,
exquisitely formed girl of Tutuila as a diver and swimmer.

But let us not stray to the far South Pacific, forgetting that we are
all this time in the snug harbor of St. Thomas, in the West Indies.

A fidgety old lady passenger, half hidden in an avalanche of wraps,
while the thermometer indicated 80° Fahr., one who had gone into partial
hysterics several times during the past few days, upon the slightest
provocation, declared that this was the worst region for hurricanes in
the known world, adding that there were dark, ominous clouds forming to
windward which she was sure portended a cyclone. One might have told her
truthfully that May was not a hurricane month in these latitudes, but we
were just then too earnestly engaged in preparing for a stroll on shore,
too full of charming anticipations, to discuss possible hurricanes, and
so, without giving the matter any special thought, admitted that it did
look a little threatening in the northwest. This was quite enough to
frighten the old lady half out of her senses, and to call the stewardess
into prompt requisition, while the deck was soon permeated with the odor
of camphor, sal volatile, and valerian. We did not wait to see how she
survived the attack, but hastened into a shore boat and soon landed at
what is known as King's wharf, when the temperature seemed instantly to
rise about twenty degrees. Near the landing was a small plaza, shaded by
tall ferns and cabbage palms, with here and there an umbrageous mango.
Ladies and servant girls were seen promenading with merry children,
whites and blacks mingling indiscriminately, while the Danish military
band were producing most shocking strains with their brass instruments.
One could hardly conceive of a more futile attempt at harmony.

There is always something exciting in first setting foot upon a foreign
soil, in mingling with utter strangers, in listening to the voluble
utterances and jargon of unfamiliar tongues, while noting the manners,
dress, and faces of a new people. The current language of the mass of
St. Thomas is a curious compound of negro grammar, Yankee accent, and
English drawl. Though somewhat familiar with the West Indies, the author
had never before landed upon this island. Everything strikes one as
curious, each turn affords increased novelty, and every moment is full
of interest. Black, yellow, and white men are seen in groups, the former
with very little covering on their bodies, the latter in diaphanous
costumes. Negresses sporting high colors in their scanty clothing, set
off by rainbow kerchiefs bound round their heads, turban fashion; little
naked blacks with impossible paunches; here and there a shuffling negro
bearing baskets of fish balanced on either end of a long pole resting
across his shoulders; peddlers of shells and corals; old women carrying
trays upon their heads containing cakes sprinkled with granulated sugar,
and displayed upon neat linen towels, seeking for customers among the
newly arrived passengers,--all together form a unique picture of local
life. The constantly shifting scene moves before the observer like a
panorama unrolled for exhibition, seeming quite as theatrical and

St. Thomas is one of the Danish West Indian Islands, of which there are
three belonging to Denmark, namely, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.
For the possession of the first named Mr. Seward, when Secretary of
State, in 1866, offered the King of Denmark five million dollars in
gold, which proposition was finally accepted, and it would have been a
cheap purchase for us at that price; but after all detail had been duly
agreed upon, the United States Congress refused to vote the necessary
funds wherewith to pay for the title deed. So when Mr. Seward
consummated the purchase of Alaska, for a little over seven million
dollars, there were nearly enough of the small-fry politicians in
Congress to defeat the bargain with Russia in the same manner. The
income from the lease of two islands alone belonging to Alaska--St.
George and St. Paul--has paid four and one half per cent. per annum upon
the purchase money ever since the territory came into our possession.
There is one gold mine on Douglas Island, Alaska, not to mention its
other rich and inexhaustible products, for which a French syndicate has
offered fourteen million dollars. We doubt if St. Thomas could be
purchased from the Danes to-day for ten million dollars, while the
estimated value of Alaska would be at least a hundred million or more,
with its vast mineral wealth, its invaluable salmon fisheries, its
inexhaustible forests of giant timber, and its abundance of seal, otter,
and other rich furs. A penny-wise and pound-foolish Congress made a huge
mistake in opposing Mr. Seward's purpose as regarded the purchase of St.
Thomas. The strategic position of the island is quite sufficient to
justify our government in wishing to possess it, for it is
geographically the keystone of the West Indies. The principal object
which Mr. Seward had in view was to secure a coaling and refitting
station for our national ships in time of war, for which St. Thomas
would actually be worth more than the island of Cuba. Opposite to it is
the continent of Africa; equidistant are the eastern shores of North and
South America; on one side is western Europe, on the other the route to
India and the Pacific Ocean; in the rear are Central America, the West
Indies, and Mexico, together with those great inland bodies of salt
water, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It requires no argument
to show how important the possession of such an outpost might prove to
this country.

Since these notes were written, it is currently reported that our
government has once more awakened to the necessity of obtaining
possession of this island, and fresh negotiations have been entered
into. One thing is very certain, if we do not seize the opportunity to
purchase St. Thomas at the present time, England, or some other
important power, will promptly do so, to our serious detriment and just

St. Thomas has an area of nearly fifty square miles, and supports a
population of about fourteen thousand. In many respects the capital is
unique, and being our first landing-place after leaving home, was of
more than ordinary interest to the writer. The highest point on the
island, which comes first into view from the deck of a southern bound
steamer, is West Mountain, rising sixteen hundred feet above the level
of the surrounding waters. Geologists would describe St. Thomas as being
the top of a small chain of submerged mountains, which would be quite
correct, since the topography of the bottom of the sea is but a
counterpart of that upon the more familiar surface of the earth we
occupy. When ocean electric cables for connecting islands and continents
are laid, engineers find that there are the same sort of plains,
mountains, valleys, and gorges beneath as above the waters of the ocean.
The skeletons of whales, and natural beds of deep-sea shells, found in
valleys and hills many hundred feet above the present level of tide
waters, tell us plainly enough that in the long ages which have passed,
the diversified surface of the earth which we now behold has changed
places with these submerged regions, which probably once formed the dry
land. The history of the far past is full of instances showing the slow
but continuous retreat of the water from the land in certain regions and
its encroachment in others, the drying up of lakes and rivers, as well
as the upheaval of single islands and groups from the bed of the ocean.

A range of dome-shaped hills runs through the entire length of this
island of St. Thomas, fifteen miles from west to east, being
considerably highest at the west end. As we passed between the two
headlands which mark the entrance to the harbor, the town was seen
spread over three hills of nearly uniform height, also occupying the
gentle valleys between. Two stone structures, on separate hills, form a
prominent feature; these are known respectively as Blue Beard and Black
Beard tower, but their origin is a myth, though there are plenty of
legends extant about them. Both are now utilized as residences, having
mostly lost their original crudeness and picturesque appearance. The
town, as a whole, forms a pleasing and effective background to the
land-locked bay, which is large enough to afford safe anchorage for two
hundred ships at the same time, except when a hurricane prevails; then
the safest place for shipping is as far away from the land as possible.
It is a busy port, considering the small number of inhabitants, steamers
arriving and departing constantly, besides many small coasting vessels
which ply between this and the neighboring islands. St. Thomas is
certainly the most available commercially of the Virgin group of
islands. Columbus named them "Las Vergines," in reference to the
familiar Romish legend of the eleven thousand virgins, about as
inappropriate a title as the fable it refers to is ridiculous.

Close in shore, at the time of our visit, there lay a schooner-rigged
craft of more than ordinary interest, her jaunty set upon the water, her
graceful lines, tall, raking masts, and long bowsprit suggesting the
model of the famous old Baltimore clippers. There is a fascinating
individuality about sailing vessels which does not attach to steamships.
Seamen form romantic attachments for the former. The officers and crew
of the Vigilancia were observed to cast admiring eyes upon this handsome
schooner, anchored under our lee. A sort of mysterious quiet hung about
her; every rope was hauled taut, made fast, and the slack neatly coiled.
Her anchor was atrip, that is, the cable was hove short, showing that
she was ready to sail at a moment's notice. The only person visible on
board was a bareheaded, white-haired old seaman, who sat on the transom
near the wheel, quietly smoking his pipe. On inquiry it was found that
the schooner had a notable history and bore the name of the Vigilant,
having been first launched a hundred and thirty years ago. It appeared
that she was a successful slaver in former days, running between the
coast of Africa and these islands. She was twice captured by English
cruisers, but somehow found her way back again to the old and nefarious
business. Of course, she had been overhauled, repaired, and re-rigged
many times, but it is still the same old frame and hull that so often
made the middle passage, as it was called. To-day she serves as a mail
boat running between Santa Cruz and St. Thomas, and, it is said, can
make forty leagues, with a fair wind, as quick as any steamer on the
coast. The same evening the Vigilant spread her broad white wings and
glided silently out of the harbor, gathering rapid way as she passed its
entrance, until feeling the spur of the wind and the open sea, she
quickly vanished from sight. It was easy to imagine her bound upon her
old piratical business, screened by the shadows of the night.

Though it no longer produces a single article of export on its own soil,
St. Thomas was, in the days of negro slavery, one of the most prolific
sugar yielding islands of this region. It will be remembered that the
emancipation of the blacks took place here in 1848. It was never before
impressed upon us, if we were aware of the fact, that the sugar-cane is
not indigenous to the West Indies. It seems that the plant came
originally from Asia, and was introduced into these islands by Columbus
and his followers. As is often the case with other representatives of
the vegetable kingdom, it appears to have flourished better here than in
the land of its nativity, new climatic combinations, together with the
soil, developing in the saccharine plant better qualities and increased
productiveness, for a long series of years enriching many enterprising

When Columbus discovered St. Thomas, in 1493, it was inhabited by two
tribes of Indians, the Caribs and the Arrowauks, both of which soon
disappeared under the oppression and hardships imposed by the Spaniards.
It is also stated that from this island, as well as from Cuba and Hayti,
many natives were transported to Spain and there sold into slavery, in
the days following close upon its discovery. Thus Spain, from the
earliest date, characterized her operations in the New World by a
heartlessness and injustice which ever attended upon her conquests, both
among the islands and upon the continent of America. The Caribs were of
the red Indian race, and appear to have been addicted to cannibalism.
Indeed, the very word, by which the surrounding sea is also known, is
supposed to be a corruption of the name of this tribe. "These Caribs did
not eat their own babies," says an old writer apologetically, "like some
sorts of wild beasts, but only roasted and ate their prisoners of war."

The island was originally covered with a dense forest growth, but is now
comparatively denuded of trees, leaving the land open to the full force
of the sun, and causing it to suffer at times from serious droughts.
There is said to be but one natural spring of water on the island. This
shows itself at the surface, and is of very limited capacity; the scanty
rains which occur here are almost entirely depended upon to supply water
for domestic use.

St. Thomas being so convenient a port of call for steamers from Europe
and America, and having so excellent a harbor, is improved as a depot
for merchandise by several of the neighboring islands, thus enjoying a
considerable commerce, though it is only in _transitu_. It is also the
regular coaling station of several steamship lines. Judging from
appearances, however, it would seem that the town is not growing in
population or business relations, but is rather retrograding. The value
of the imports in 1880 was less than half the aggregate amount of 1870.
We were told that green groceries nearly all come from the United
States, and that even eggs and poultry are imported from the neighboring
islands, showing an improvidence on the part of the people difficult to
account for, since these sources of food supply can be profitably
produced at almost any spot upon the earth where vegetation will grow.
Cigars are brought hither from Havana in considerable quantities, and
having no duty to pay, can be sold very cheap by the dealers at St.
Thomas, and still afford a reasonable profit. Quite a trade is thus
carried on with the passengers of the several steamers which call here
regularly, and travelers avail themselves of the opportunity to lay in
an ample supply. Cuban cigars of the quality which would cost nine or
ten dollars a hundred in Boston are sold at St. Thomas for five or six
dollars, and lower grades even cheaper in proportion. There is said to
be considerable smuggling successfully carried on between this island
and the Florida shore, in the article of cigars as well as in tobacco in
the unmanufactured state. The high duty on these has always incited to
smuggling, thus defeating the very object for which it is imposed.
Probably a moderate duty would yield more to the government in the
aggregate, by rendering it so much less of an object to smuggle.

Though the island is Danish in nationality, there are few surroundings
calculated to recall the fact, save that the flag of that country floats
over the old fort and the one or two official buildings, just as it has
done for the last two centuries. The prominent officials are Danes, as
well as the officers of the small body of soldiers maintained on the
island. English is almost exclusively spoken, though there are French,
Spanish, and Italian residents here. English is also the language taught
in the public schools. People have come here to make what money they
can, but with the fixed purpose of spending it and enjoying it
elsewhere. As a rule, all Europeans who come to the West Indies and
embark in business do so with exactly this purpose. In Cuba the
Spaniards from the continent, among whom are many Jews, have a proverb
the significance of which is: "Ten years of starvation, and a fortune,"
and most of them live up to this axiom. They leave all principles of
honor, all sense of moral responsibility, all sacred domestic ties,
behind them, forgetting, or at least ignoring, the significant query,
namely, "What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul?"

About one third of the population is Roman Catholic. The Jews have a
synagogue, and a membership of six hundred. They have a record on the
island dating as far back as the year 1757, and add much to the activity
and thrift of St. Thomas. No matter where we find the Jews, in Mexico,
Warsaw, California, or the West Indies, they are all alike intent upon
money making, and are nearly always successful. Their irrepressible
energy wins for them the goal for which they so earnestly strive. That
soldier of fortune, Santa Anna, formerly ruler of Mexico, when banished
as a traitor from his native country, made his home on this island, and
the house which he built and occupied is still pointed out to visitors
as one of the local curiosities. The social life of St. Thomas is
naturally very circumscribed, but is good so far as it goes. A few
cultured people, who have made it their home for some years, have become
sincerely attached to the place, and enjoy the climate. There are a
small public library, a hospital, several charitable institutions, and a
theatre, which is occupied semi-occasionally. The island is connected
with the continent by cable, and has a large floating dock and marine
railway, which causes vessels in distress to visit the port for needed
repairs. The town is situated on the north side of the bay which indents
the middle of the south side of the island. The harbor has a depth of
water varying from eighteen to thirty-six feet, and has the advantage of
being a free port, a fact, perhaps, of not much account to a place which
has neither exports nor imports of its own. St. Thomas is the only town
of any importance on the island, and is known locally as Charlotte
Amalie, a fact which sometimes leads to a confusion of ideas.

The reader need not encounter the intense heat, which so nearly wilted
us, in an effort to obtain a good lookout from some elevated spot; but
the result will perhaps interest him, as it fully repaid the writer for
all the consequent discomfort.

From the brow of a moderate elevation just behind the town, a delightful
and far-reaching view is afforded, embracing St. Thomas in the
foreground, the well-sheltered bay, dotted with vessels bearing the
flags of various nations, an archipelago of islets scattered over the
near waters, and numerous small bays indenting the coast. At a distance
of some forty miles across the sea looms the island of Santa Cruz; and
farther away, on the horizon's most distant limit, are seen the tall
hills and mountains of Porto Rico; while the sky is fringed by a long
trailing plume of smoke, indicating the course of some passing
steamship. The three hills upon which the town stands are spurs of West
Mountain, and the place is quite as well entitled to the name of
Tremont--"tri-mountain"--as was the capital of Massachusetts, before its
hills were laid low to accommodate business demands. On the seaward side
of these elevations the red tiled roofs of the white houses rise in
regular terraces from the street which borders the harbor, forming a
very picturesque group as seen from the bay.

Though it has not often been visited by epidemics, Mr. Anthony Trollope
pronounces the island, in his usual irresponsible way, to be "one of the
hottest and one of the most unhealthy spots among all these hot and
unhealthy regions," and adds that he would perhaps be justified in
saying "that of all such spots it is the hottest and most unhealthy."
This is calculated to give an incorrect idea of St. Thomas. True, it is
liable to periods of unhealthiness, when a species of low fever
prevails, proving more or less fatal. This is thought to originate from
the surface drainage, and the miasma arising from the bay. All the
drains of the town flow into the waters of the harbor, which has not
sufficient flow of tide to carry seaward the foul matter thus
accumulated. The hot sun pouring its heat down upon this tainted water
causes a dangerous exhalation. Still, sharks do not seem to be sensitive
as to this matter, for they much abound. It is yet to be discovered why
these tigers of the sea do not attack the negroes, who fearlessly leap
overboard; a white man could not do this with impunity. The Asiatics of
the Malacca Straits do not enjoy any such immunity from danger, though
they have skins as dark as the divers of St. Thomas. Sharks appear in
the West Indies in small schools, or at least there are nearly always
two or three together, but in Oriental waters they are only seen singly.
Thus a Malay of Singapore, for a compensation, say an English sovereign,
will place a long, sharp knife between his teeth and leap naked into the
sea to attack a shark. He adroitly dives beneath the creature, and as it
turns its body to bring its awkward mouth into use, with his knife the
Malay slashes a deep, long opening in its exposed belly, at the same
time forcing himself out of the creature's reach. The knife is sure and
fatal. After a few moments the huge body of the fish is seen to rise and
float lifeless upon the surface of the water.

A large majority of the people are colored, exhibiting some peculiarly
interesting types, intermarriage with whites of various nationalities
having produced among the descendants of Africans many changes of color
and of features. One feels sure that there is also a trace of Carib or
Indian blood mingled with the rest,--a trace of the aborigines whom
Columbus found here. The outcome is not entirely a race with flat noses
and protruding lips; straight Grecian profiles are not uncommon,
accompanied by thin nostrils and Anglo-Saxon lips. Faultless teeth, soft
blue eyes, and hair nearly straight are sometimes met with among the
creoles. As to the style of walking and of carrying the head and body,
the common class of women of St. Thomas have arrived at perfection. Some
of them are notable examples of unconscious dignity and grace combined.
This has been brought about by carrying burdens upon their heads from
childhood, without the supporting aid of the hands. Modesty, or rather
conventionality, does not require boys or girls under eight years of age
to encumber themselves with clothing. The costume of the market women
and the lower classes generally is picturesque, composed of a Madras
kerchief carefully twisted into a turban of many colors, yellow
predominating, a cotton chemise which leaves the neck and shoulders
exposed, reaching just below the knees, the legs and feet being bare.
The men wear cotton drawers reaching nearly to the knee, the rest of the
body being uncovered, except the head, which is usually sheltered under
a broad brimmed straw hat, the sides of which are perforated by many
ventilating holes. The whites generally, and also the better class of
natives, dress very much after the fashion which prevails in North

This is the negroes' paradise, but it is a climate in which the white
race gradually wanes. The heat of the tropics is modified by the
constant and grateful trade winds, a most merciful dispensation, without
which the West Indies would be uninhabitable by man. On the hillsides of
St. Thomas these winds insure cool nights at least, and a comparatively
temperate state of the atmosphere during the day. Vegetation is
abundant, the fruit trees are perennial, bearing leaf, blossom, and
fruit in profusion, month after month, year after year. Little, if any,
cultivation is required. The few sugar plantations which are still
carried on yield from three to four successive years without replanting.
It is a notable fact that where vegetation is at its best, where the
soil is most rank and prolific, where fruits and flowers grow in wild
exuberance, elevated humanity thrives the least. The lower the grade of
man, the nearer he approximates to the animals, the less civilized he is
in mind and body, the better he appears to be adapted to such
localities. The birds and the butterflies are in exact harmony with the
loveliness of tropical nature, however prolific she may be; the flowers
are glorious and beautiful: it is man alone who seems out of place. A
great variety of fruits are indigenous here, such as the orange, lime,
alligator pear, moss-apple, and mango, but none of them are cultivated
to any extent; the people seem to lack the energy requisite to improve
the grand possibilities of their fertile soil and prolific climate.

We were reminded by a resident of the town, before we left the harbor of
St. Thomas, that the nervous old lady referred to was not entirely
without reason for her anxiety. Some of our readers will remember,
perhaps, that in October, 1867, a most disastrous hurricane swept over
these Virgin Islands, leaving widespread desolation in its track. The
shipping which happened to be in the bay of St. Thomas was nearly all
destroyed, together with hundreds of lives, while on the land scores of
houses and many lives were also sacrificed to the terrible cyclone of
that date. Even the thoroughly built iron and stone lighthouse was
completely obliterated. There is a theory that such visitations come in
this region about once in every twelve or fifteen years, and upon
looking up the matter we find them to have occurred, with more or less
destructive force, in the years 1793, 1819, 1837, 1867, 1871, and so
late as August, 1891. Other hurricanes have passed over these islands
during the period covered by these dates, but of a mitigated character.
August, September, and October are the months in which the hurricanes
are most likely to occur, and all vessels navigating the West Indian
seas during these months take extra precautions to secure themselves
against accidents from this source. When such visitations happen, the
event is sure to develop heroic deeds. In the hurricane of 1867, the
captain of a Spanish man-of-war, who was a practical sailor, brought up
from boyhood upon the ocean, seeing the oncoming cyclone, and knowing by
experience what to expect, ordered the masts of his vessel to be cut
away at once, and every portion of exposed top hamper to be cast into
the sea. When thus stripped he exposed little but the bare hull of his
steamer to the fury of the storm. After the cyclone had passed, it was
found that he had not lost a man, and that the steamer's hull, though
severely battered, was substantially unharmed. Keeping up all steam
during the awful scene, this captain devoted himself and his ship to the
saving of human life, promptly taking his vessel wherever he could be of
the most service. Hundreds of seamen were saved from death by the
coolness and intrepidity of this heroic sailor.

Since these notes were written among the islands, a terrible cyclone has
visited them. This was on August 18, last past, and proved more
destructive to human life, to marine and other property, than any
occurrence of the kind during the last century. At Martinique a sharp
shock of earthquake added to the horror of the occasion, the town of
Fort de France being very nearly leveled with the ground. Many tall and
noble palms, the growth of half a hundred years, were utterly demolished
in the twinkling of an eye, and other trees were uprooted by the score.

The waters of this neighborhood teem with strange forms of animal and
vegetable life. Here we saw specimens of red and blue snappers, the
angel-fish, king-fish, gurnets, cow-fish, whip-ray, peacock-fish,
zebra-fish, and so on, all, or nearly all, unfamiliar to us, each
species individualized either in shape, color, or both. The whip-ray,
with a body like a flounder, has a tail six or seven feet long, tapering
from an inch and over to less than a quarter of an inch at the small
end. When dried, it still retains a degree of elasticity, and is used by
the natives as a whip with which to drive horses and donkeys. In some
places, so singularly clear is the water that the bottom is distinctly
visible five or six fathoms below the surface, where fishes of various
sorts are seen in ceaseless motion. White shells, corals, star-fish, and
sea-urchins mingle their various forms and colors, objects and hues
seeming to be intensified by the strong reflected light from the
surface, so that one could easily fancy them to be flowers blooming in
the fairy gardens of the mermaids. The early morning, just after the sun
begins to gild the surface of the sea, is the favorite time for the
flying-fishes to display their aerial proclivities. They are always
attracted by a strong light, and are thus lured to their destruction by
the torches of the fishermen, who often go out for the purpose at night
and take them in nets. In the early morning, as seen from the ship's
deck, they scoot above the rippling waves in schools of a hundred and
more, so compact as to cast fleeting shadows over the blue enameled
surface of the waters. At St. Thomas, Martinique, and Barbadoes, as well
as among the other islands bordering the Caribbean Sea, they form no
inconsiderable source of food for the humble natives, who fry them in
batter mixed with onions, making a savory and nutritious dish.

St. Thomas is, as we have said, a coaling station for steamships, and
when the business is in progress a most unique picture is presented. The
ship is moored alongside of the dock for this purpose, two side ports
being thrown open, one for ingress, the other for egress. A hundred
women and girls, wearing one scanty garment reaching to the knees, are
in line, and commence at once to trot on board in single file, each one
bearing a bushel basket of coal upon her head, weighing, say sixty
pounds. Another gang fill empty baskets where the coal is stored, so
that there is a continuous line of negresses trotting into the ship at
one port and, after dumping their loads into the coal bunkers, out at
the other, hastening back to the source of supply for more. Their step
is quick, their pose straight as an arrow, while their feet keep time to
a wild chant in which all join, the purport of which it is not possible
to clearly understand. Now and again their voices rise in softly mingled
harmony, floating very sweetly over the still waters of the bay. The
scene we describe occurred at night, but the moon had not yet risen.
Along the wharf, to the coal deposits, iron frames were erected
containing burning bituminous coal, and the blaze, fanned by the open
air, formed the light by which the women worked. It was a weird picture.
Everything seemed quite in harmony: the hour, the darkness of night
relieved by the flaming brackets of coal, the strange, dark figures
hastening into the glare of light and quickly vanishing, the harmony of
high-pitched voices occasionally broken in upon by the sharp, stern
voice of their leader,--all was highly dramatic and effective.

Not unfrequently three or four steamers are coaling at the same time
from different wharves. Hundreds of women and girls of St. Thomas make
this labor their special occupation, and gain a respectable living by
it, doubtless supporting any number of lazy, worthless husbands,
fathers, and brothers.

After our ship was supplied with coal, these women, having put three
hundred tons on board in a surprisingly short period of time, formed a
group upon the wharf and held what they called a firefly dance,
indescribably quaint and grotesque, performed by the flickering light of
the flaming coal. Their voices were joined in a wild, quick chant, as
they twisted and turned, clapping their hands at intervals to emphasize
the chorus. Now and again a couple of the girls would separate from the
rest for a moment, then dance toward and from each other, throwing their
arms wildly about their heads, and finally, gathering their scanty
drapery in one hand and extending the other, perform a movement similar
to the French cancan. Once more springing back among their companions,
all joined hands, and a roundabout romp closed the firefly dance. Could
such a scene be produced in a city theatre _au naturel_, with proper
accessories and by these actual performers, it would surely prove an
attraction good for one hundred nights. Of course this would be
impossible. Conventionality would object to such diaphanous costumes,
and bare limbs, though they were of a bronzed hue, would shock Puritanic

Upon first entering the harbor, the Vigilancia anchored at a short
distance from the shore; but when it became necessary to haul alongside
the wharf, the attempt was made to get up the anchor, when it was found
to require far more than the usual expenditure of power to do so.
Finally, however, the anchor was secured, but attached to its flukes
there came also, from the bottom of the bay, a second anchor, of antique
shape, covered with rust and barnacles. It was such a one as was carried
by the galleons of the fifteenth century, and had doubtless lain for
over four hundred years just where the anchor of our ship had got
entangled with it. What a remarkable link this corroded piece of iron
formed, uniting the present with the far past, and how it stimulated the
mind in forming romantic possibilities! It may have been the holding
iron of Columbus's own caravel, or have been the anchor of one of
Cortez's fleet, which touched here on its way into the Gulf of Mexico,
or, indeed, it may have belonged to some Caribbean buccaneer, who was
obliged to let slip his cable and hasten away to escape capture.

It was deemed a fortunate circumstance to have secured this ancient
relic, and a sure sign of future good luck to the ship, so it was duly
stored away in the lower hold of the Vigilancia.

That same night on which the coal bunkers were filled, our good ship was
got under way, while the rising moon made the harbor and its
surroundings as clearly visible as though it were midday. The light from
the burning coal brackets had waned, only a few sparks bursting forth
now and again, disturbed by a passing breeze which fanned them into life
for a moment. When we passed through the narrow entrance by the
lighthouse, and stood out once more upon the open sea, it was mottled,
far and near, with argent ripples, that waltzed merrily in the soft,
clear moonlight, rivaling the firefly dance on shore. Even to the very
horizon the water presented a white, silvery, tremulous sheen of liquid
light. One gazed in silent enjoyment until the eyes were weary with the
lavish beauty of the scene, and the brain became giddy with its
splendor. Is it idle and commonplace to be enthusiastic? Perhaps so; but
we hope never to outlive such inspiration.

          CHAPTER II.

     Curious Seaweed.--Professor Agassiz.--Myth of a Lost
     Continent.--Island of Martinique.--An Attractive
     Place.--Statue of the Empress Josephine.--Birthplace of
     Madame de Maintenon.--City of St. Pierre.--Mont Pelée.--High
     Flavored Specialty.--Grisettes of Martinique.--A Botanical
     Garden.--Defective Drainage.--A Fatal Enemy.--A Cannibal
     Snake.--The Climate.

Between St. Thomas and the island of Martinique, we fell in with some
floating seaweed, so peculiar in appearance that an obliging
quartermaster picked up a spray for closer examination. It is a strange,
sponge-like plant, which propagates itself on the ocean, unharmed by the
fiercest agitation of the waves, or the wildest raging of the winds, at
the same time giving shelter to zoöphytes and mollusks of a species,
like itself, found nowhere else. Sailors call it Gulf weed, but it has
nothing to do with the Gulf Stream, though sometimes clusters get astray
and are carried far away on the bosom of that grand ocean current. The
author has seen small bodies of it, after a fierce storm in the
Caribbean Sea, a thousand miles to the eastward of Barbadoes. Its
special home is a broad space of ocean surface between the Gulf Stream
and the equatorial current, known as the Sargasso Sea. Its limits,
however, change somewhat with the seasons. It was first noticed by
Columbus in 1492, and in this region it has remained for centuries, even
to the present day. Sometimes this peculiar weed is so abundant as to
present the appearance of a submerged meadow, through which the ship
ploughs its way as though sailing upon the land. We are told that
Professor Agassiz, while at sea, having got possession of a small branch
of this marine growth, kept himself busily absorbed with it and its
products for twelve hours, forgetting all the intervening meals. Science
was more than food and drink to this grand savant. His years from
boyhood were devoted to the study of nature in her various forms. "Life
is so short," said he, "one can hardly find space to become familiar
with a single science, much less to acquire knowledge of many." When he
was applied to by a lyceum committee to come to a certain town and
lecture, he replied that he was too busy. "But we will pay you double
price, Mr. Agassiz, if you will come," said the applicant. "I cannot
waste time to make money," was the noble reply.

The myth of a lost continent is doubtless familiar to the reader,--a
continent supposed to have existed in these waters thousands of years
ago, but which, by some evolution of nature, became submerged, sinking
from sight forever. It was the Atlantis which is mentioned by Plato; the
land in which the Elysian Fields were placed, and the Garden of
Hesperides, from which the early civilization of Greece, Egypt, and Asia
Minor were derived, and whose kings and heroes were the Olympian deities
of a later time. The poetical idea prevails that this plant, which once
grew in those gardens, having lost its original home, has become a
floating waif on the sapphire sea of the tropics. The color of the
Sargasso weed is a faint orange shade; the leaves are pointed, delicate,
and exquisitely formed, like those of the weeping willow in their
youthful freshness, having a tiny, round, light green berry near the
base of each leaf. Mother Cary's chickens are said to be fond of these
berries, and that bird abounds in these waters.

Probably the main portion of the West Indian islands was once a part of
the continent of America, many, many ages ago. There are trees of the
locust family growing among the group to-day, similar to those found on
our southern coast, which are declared to be four thousand years old.
This statement is partially corroborated by known characteristics of the
growth of the locust, and there are arborists who fully credit this
great longevity. It is interesting to look upon an object which had a
vital existence two thousand years and more before Christ was upon
earth, and which is still animate.

       *     *     *     *     *

Each new island which one visits in the West Indies seems more lovely
than its predecessor, always leaving Hayti out of the question; but
Martinique, at this moment of writing, appears to rival all those with
which the author is familiar. It might be a choice bit out of Cuba,
Singapore, or far-away Hawaii. Its liability to destructive hurricanes
is its only visible drawback. Having been discovered on St. Martin's
day, Columbus gave it the name it now bears.

St. Pierre is the commercial capital of Martinique, one of the French
West Indies, and the largest of the group belonging to that nation. Fort
de France is the political capital, situated about thirty miles from St.
Pierre. It was nearly ruined by the cyclone of last August, a few weeks
after the author's visit. St. Pierre is the best built town in the
Lesser Antilles, and has a population of about twenty-five thousand. The
streets are well paved, and the principal avenues are beautified by
ornamental trees uniformly planted. The grateful shade thus obtained,
and the long lines of charming arboreal perspective which are formed,
are desirable accessories to any locality, but doubly so in tropical
regions. The houses are very attractive, while there is a prevailing
aspect of order, cleanliness, and thrift everywhere apparent. It was not
our experience to meet one beggar in the streets of St. Pierre. More or
less of poverty must exist everywhere, but it does not stalk abroad
here, as it does in many rich and pretentious capitals of the great
world. The island is situated midway between Dominica and St. Lucia, and
is admitted by all visitors to be one of the most picturesque of the
West Indian groups. Irregular in shape, it is also high and rocky, thus
forming one of the most prominent of the large volcanic family which
sprang up so many ages ago in these seas. Its apex, Mont Pelée, an only
partially extinct volcano, rises between four and five thousand feet
above the level of the ocean, and is the first point visible on
approaching the island from the north. It would be interesting to dilate
upon the past history of Martinique, for it has known not a little of
the checkered vicissitudes of these Antilles, having been twice captured
by the English, and twice restored to France. But this would not be in
accordance with the design of these pages.

St. Pierre is situated on the lee side of the island, something less
than two thousand miles, by the course we have steered, from New York,
and three hundred miles from St. Thomas. It comes down to the very
water's edge, with its parti-colored houses and red-tiled roofs, which
mingle here and there with tall, overhanging cocoa-palms. This is the
most lavishly beautiful tree in the world, and one which never fails to
impart special interest to its surroundings.

A marble statue in the Place de la Savane, at Fort de France, on the
same side of the island as St. Pierre, recalls the fact that this was
the birthplace of the Empress Josephine, born in 1763. Her memorable
history is too familiar for us to repeat any portion of it here, but the
brain becomes very active at the mere mention of her name, in recalling
the romantic and tragic episodes of her life, so closely interwoven with
the career of the first Napoleon. One instinctively recalls the small
boudoir in the palace of Trianon, where her husband signed the divorce
from Josephine. That he loved her with his whole power for loving is
plain enough, as is also his well known reason for the separation,
namely, the desire for offspring to transmit his name to posterity.
There is one legend which is always rehearsed to strangers, relating to
Josephine's youth upon the island. We refer to that of the old negress
fortune-teller who prognosticated the grandeur of her future career,
together with its melancholy termination, a story so tinctured with
local color that, if it be not absolutely true, it surely ought to be.
The statue, unless we are misinformed, was the gift of that colossal
fraud, Napoleon III., though it purports to have been raised to the
memory of Josephine by the people of Martinique, who certainly feel
great pride in the fact of her having been born here, and who truly
venerate her memory. The statue represents the empress dressed in the
fashion of the First Empire, with bare arms and shoulders, one hand
resting on a medallion bearing a profile of the emperor to whom she was
devoted. The whole is partially shaded by a half dozen grand old palms.
The group teems with historic suggestiveness, recalling one of the most
tragic chapters of modern European history. It seemed to us that the
artist had succeeded in imparting to the figure an expression indicating
something of the sad story of the original.

This beautiful island, it will be remembered, also gave to France
another remarkable historic character, Françoise d'Aubigné, afterwards
Madame Scarron, but better known to the world at large as Madame de
Maintenon. She, too, was the wife of a king, though the marriage was a
left-handed one, but as the power behind the throne, she is well known
to have shaped for years the political destinies of France.

St. Pierre has several schools, a very good hotel, a theatre, a public
library, together with some other modern and progressive institutions;
yet somehow everything looked quaint and olden, a sixteenth century
atmosphere seeming to pervade the town. The windows of the ordinary
dwellings have no glass, which is very naturally considered to be a
superfluity in this climate; but these windows have iron bars and wooden
shutters behind them, relics of the days of slavery, when every white
man's house was his castle, and great precautions were taken to guard
against the possible uprising of the blacks, who outnumbered their
masters twenty to one.

Though so large a portion of the population are of negro descent, yet
they are very French-like in character. The native women especially seem
to be frivolous and coquettish, not to say rather lax in morals. They
appear to be very fond of dress. The young negresses have learned from
their white mistresses how to put on their diaphanous clothing in a
jaunty and telling fashion, leaving one bronzed arm and shoulder bare,
which strikes the eye in strong contrast with the snow white of their
cotton chemises. They are Parisian grisettes in ebony, and with their
large, roguish eyes, well-rounded figures, straight pose, and dainty
ways, the half-breeds are certainly very attractive, and only too ready
for a lark with a stranger. They strongly remind one of the pretty
quadroons of Louisiana, in their manners, complexion, and general
appearance; and like those handsome offspring of mingled blood, so often
seen in our Southern States, we suspect that these of Martinique enjoy
but a brief space of existence. The average life of a quadroon is less
than thirty years.

Martinique is eight times as large as St. Thomas, containing a
population of about one hundred and seventy-five thousand. Within its
borders there are at least five extinct volcanoes, one of which has an
enormous crater, exceeded by only three or four others in the known
world. The island rises from the sea in three groups of rugged peaks,
and contains some very fertile valleys. So late as 1851, Mont Pelée
burst forth furiously with flames and smoke, which naturally threw the
people into a serious panic, many persons taking refuge temporarily on
board the shipping in the harbor. The eruption on this occasion did not
amount to anything very serious, only covering some hundreds of acres
with sulphurous débris, yet serving to show that the volcano was not
dead, but sleeping. Once or twice since that date ominous mutterings
have been heard from Mont Pelée, which it is confidently predicted will
one day deluge St. Pierre with ashes and lava, repeating the story of

Sugar, rum, coffee, and cotton are the staple products here,
supplemented by tobacco, manioc flour, bread-fruit, and bananas. Rum is
very extensively manufactured, and has a good mercantile reputation for
its excellence, commanding as high prices as the more famous article of
the same nature produced at Jamaica. The purpose of the author is mainly
to record personal impressions, but a certain sprinkling of statistics
and detail is inevitable, if we would inform, as well as amuse, the
average reader.

The flora of Martinique is the marvel and delight of all who have
enjoyed its extraordinary beauty, while the great abundance and variety
of its fruits are believed to be unsurpassed even in the prolific
tropics. Of that favorite, the mango, the island produces some forty
varieties, and probably in no other region has the muscatel grape
reached to such perfection in size and flavor. The whole island looks
like a maze of greenery, as it is approached from the sea, vividly
recalling Tutuila of the Samoan group in the South Pacific. Like most of
the West Indian islands, Martinique was once densely covered with trees,
and a remnant of these ancient woods creeps down to the neighborhood of
St. Pierre to-day.

The principal landing is crowded at all times with hogsheads of sugar
and molasses, and other casks containing the highly scented island rum,
the two sweets, together with the spirits, causing a nauseous odor under
the powerful heat of a vertical sun. We must not forget to mention,
however, that St. Pierre has a specific for bad odors in her somewhat
peculiar specialty, namely, eau-de-cologne, which is manufactured on
this island, and is equal to the European article of the same name,
distilled at the famous city on the Rhine. No one visits the port, if it
be for but a single day, without bringing away a sample bottle of this
delicate perfumery, a small portion of which, added to the morning bath,
is delightfully refreshing, especially when one uses salt water at sea,
it so effectively removes the saline stickiness which is apt to remain
upon the limbs and body after a cold bath.

The town is blessed with an inexhaustible supply of good, fresh,
mountain water, which, besides furnishing the necessary quantity for
several large drinking fountains, feeds some ornamental ones, and
purifies the streets by a flow through the gutters, after the fashion of
Salt Lake City, Utah. This is in fact the only system of drainage at St.
Pierre. A bronze fountain in the Place Bertin is fed from this source,
and is an object of great pleasure in a climate where cold water in
abundance is an inestimable boon. This elaborate fountain was the gift
of a colored man, named Alfred Agnew, who was at one time mayor of the
city. Many of the gardens attached to the dwelling-houses are ornamented
with ever-flowing fountains, which impart a refreshing coolness to the
tropical atmosphere.

The Rue Victor Hugo is the main thoroughfare, traversing the whole
length of the town parallel with the shore, up hill and down, crossing a
small bridge, and finally losing itself in the environs. It is nicely
kept, well paved, and, though it is rather narrow, it is the Broadway of
St. Pierre. Some of the streets are so abrupt in grade as to recall
similar avenues in the English portion of Hong Kong, too steep for the
passage of vehicles, or even for donkeys, being ascended by means of
much worn stone steps. Fine, broad roadways surround the town and form
pleasant drives.

The cathedral has a sweet chime of bells, whose soft, liquid notes came
to us across the water of the bay with touching cadence at the Angelus
hour. It must be a sadly calloused heart which fails to respond to these
twilight sounds in an isle of the Caribbean Sea. Millet's impressive
picture was vividly recalled as we sat upon the deck and listened to
those bells, whose notes floated softly upon the air as if bidding
farewell to the lingering daylight. At the moment, all else being so
still, it seemed as though one's heartbeat could be heard, while the
senses were bathed in a tranquil gladness incited by the surrounding
scenery and the suggestiveness of the hour.

Three fourths of the population are half-breeds, born of whites, blacks,
or mulattoes, with a possible strain of Carib blood in their veins, the
result of which is sometimes a very handsome type of bronzed hue, but of
Circassian features. Some of the young women of the better class are
very attractive, with complexions of a gypsy color, like the artists'
models who frequent the "Spanish Stairs" leading to the Trinità di
Monti, at Rome. These girls possess deep, dark eyes, pearly teeth, with
good figures, upright and supple as the palms. In dress they affect all
the colors of the rainbow, presenting oftentimes a charming audacity of
contrasts, and somehow it seems to be quite the thing for them to do so;
it accords perfectly with their complexions, with the climate, with
everything tropical. The many-colored Madras kerchief is universally
worn by the common class of women, twisted into a jaunty turban, with
one well-starched end ingeniously arranged so as to stand upright like a
soldier's plume. The love of ornament is displayed by the wearing of
hoop earrings of enormous size, together with triple strings of gold
beads, and bracelets of the same material. If any one imagines he has
seen larger sized hoop earrings this side of Africa, he is mistaken.
They are more like bangles than earrings, hanging down so as to rest
upon the neck and shoulders. Those who cannot afford the genuine article
satisfy their vanity with gaudy imitations. They form a very curious and
interesting study, these black, brown, and yellow people, both men and
women. In the market-place at the north end of the town, the women
preside over their bananas, oranges, and other fruits, in groups,
squatting like Asiatics on their heels. In the Havana fish market, one
compares the variety of colors exhibited by the fishes exposed for sale
to those of the kaleidoscope, but here the Cuban display is equaled if
not surpassed.

St. Pierre has a botanical garden, situated about a mile from the centre
of the town, so located as to admit of utilizing a portion of the native
forest yet left standing, with here and there an impenetrable growth of
the feathery bamboo, king of the grasses, interspersed with the royal
palm and lighter green tree-ferns. The bamboo is a marvel, single stems
of it often attaining a height in tropical regions of a hundred and
seventy feet, and a diameter of a foot. So rapid is its growth that it
is sometimes known to attain the height of a hundred feet in sixty days.
Art has done something to improve the advantages afforded by nature in
this botanical garden, arranging some pretty lakes, fountains, and
cascades. Vistas have been cut through the dense undergrowth, and
driveways have been made, thus improving the rather neglected grounds.
One pretty lake of considerable size contains three or four small
islands, covered with flowering plants, while on the shore are pretty
summer houses and inviting arbors. The frangipanni, tall and almost
leafless, but with thick, fleshy shoots and a broad-spread, single leaf,
was recognized here among other interesting plants. This is the fragrant
flower mentioned by the early discoverers. There was also the
parti-colored passion-flower, and groups of odd-shaped cacti, whose
thick, green leaves were daintily rimmed with an odorless yellow bloom.
Here, also, is an interesting example of the ceba-tree, in whose shade a
hundred persons might banquet together. The author has seen specimens of
the ceba superbly developed in Cuba and the Bahamas, with its massive
and curiously buttressed trunk, having the large roots half above
ground. It is a solitary tree, growing to a large size and enjoying
great longevity. Mangoes abound here, the finest known as the _mango
d'or_. There is a certain air about the public garden of St. Pierre,
indicating that nature is permitted in a large degree to have her own
sweet will. Evidences enough remain to show the visitor that these
grounds must once have been in a much more presentable condition. There
is a musical cascade, which is well worth a long walk to see and enjoy.
Just inside of the entrance, one spot was all ablaze with a tiny yellow
flower, best known to us as English broom, _Cytisus genista_. Its
profuse but delicate bloom was dazzling beneath the bright sun's rays.
Could it possibly be indigenous? No one could tell us. Probably some
resident brought it hither from his home across the ocean, and it has
kindly adapted itself to the new soil and climate.

We were cautioned to look out for and to avoid a certain poisonous
snake, a malignant reptile, with fatal fangs, which is the dread of the
inhabitants, some of whom are said to die every year from the venom of
the creature. It will be remembered that one of these snakes, known here
as the _fer-de-lance_, bit Josephine, the future empress, when she was
very young, and that her faithful negro nurse saved the child's life by
instantly drawing the poison from the wound with her own lips. It is
singular that this island, and that of St. Lucia, directly south of it,
should be cursed by the presence of these poisonous creatures, which do
not exist in any other of the West Indian islands, and, indeed, so far
as we know, are not to be found anywhere else. The fer-de-lance has one
fatal enemy. This is a large snake, harmless so far as poisonous fangs
are concerned, called the _cribo_. This reptile fearlessly attacks the
fer-de-lance, and kills and eats him in spite of his venom, a perfectly
justifiable if not gratifying instance of cannibalism, where a creature
eats and relishes the body of one of its own species. The domestic cat
is said also to be more than a match for the dreaded snake, and
instinctively adopts a style of attack which, while protecting itself,
finally closes the contest by the death of the fer-de-lance, which it
seizes just back of the head at the spine, and does not let go until it
has severed the head from the body; and even then instinct teaches the
cat to avoid the head, for though it be severed from the body, like the
mouth of a turtle under similar circumstances, it can still inflict a
serious wound.

The fer-de-lance is a great destroyer of rats, this rodent forming its
principal source of food. Now as rats are almost as much of a pest upon
the island, and especially on the sugar plantations, as rabbits are in
New Zealand, it will be seen that even the existence of this poisonous
snake is not an unmitigated evil.

Crosses and wayside shrines of a very humble character are to be seen in
all directions on the roadsides leading from St. Pierre, recalling
similar structures which line the inland roads of Japan, where the local
religion finds like public expression, only varying in the character of
the emblems. At Martinique it is a Christ or a Madonna; in Japan it is a
crude idol of some sort, the more hideous, the more appropriate. The
same idea is to be seen carried out in the streets of Canton and
Shanghai, only Chinese idols are a degree more unlike anything upon or
below the earth than they are elsewhere.

It was observed that while there were plenty of masculine loafers and
careless idlers of various colors, whose whole occupation seemed to be
sucking at some form of burning tobacco in the shape of cigarette,
cigar, or pipe, the women, of whatever complexion, seen in public, were
all usefully employed. They are industrious by instinct; one almost
never sees them in repose. In the transportation of all articles of
domestic use, women bear them upon their heads, whether the article
weighs one pound or fifty, balancing their load without making use of
the hands except to place the article in position. The women not
infrequently have also a baby upon their backs at the same time.
Negresses and donkeys perform nine tenths of the transportation of
merchandise. Wheeled vehicles are very little used in the West Indian
islands. As we have seen, even in coaling ship, it is the women who do
the work.

The Hotel des Bains, at St. Pierre, is an excellent hostelry, as such
places go in this part of the world. The stranger will find here most of
the requisites for domestic comfort, and at reasonable prices. As a
health resort the place has its advantages, and a northern invalid,
wishing to escape the rigor of a New England winter, would doubtless
find much to occupy and recuperate him here. St. Pierre, however, has
times of serious epidemic sickness, though this does not often happen in
the winter season. Three or four years ago the island was visited by a
sweeping epidemic of small-pox, but it raged almost entirely among the
lowest classes, principally among the negroes, who seem to have a great
prejudice and superstitious fear relating to vaccination, and its
employment as a preventive against contracting the disease. In the
yellow fever season the city suffers more or less, but the health of St.
Pierre will average as good as that of our extreme Southern States; and
yet, after all, with the earthquakes, hurricanes, tarantulas, scorpions,
and deadly fer-de-lance, as Artemus Ward would say, Martinique presents
many characteristics to recommend protracted absence. A brief visit is
like a poem to be remembered, but one soon gets a surfeit of the
circumscribed island.

Our next objective point was Barbadoes, to reach which we sailed one
hundred and fifty miles to the eastward, this most important of the
Lesser Antilles being situated further to windward, that is, nearer the
continent of Europe. Our ponderous anchor came up at early morning, just
as the sun rose out of the long, level reach of waters. It looked like a
mammoth ball of fire, which had been immersed during the hours of the
night countless fathoms below the sea. Presently everything was aglow
with light and warmth, while the atmosphere seemed full of infinitesimal
particles of glittering gold. At first one could watch the face of the
rising sun, as it came peering above the sea, a sort of fascination
impelling the observer to do so, but after a few moments, no human eye
could bear its dazzling splendor.

Said an honest old Marshfield farmer, in 1776, who met the clergyman of
the village very early in the opening day: "Ah, good mornin', Parson,
another fine day," nodding significantly towards the sun just appearing
above the cloudless horizon of Massachusetts Bay. "They do say the airth
moves, and the sun stands still; but you and I, Parson, we git up airly
and we _see_ it rise!"

          CHAPTER III.

     English Island of Barbadoes.--Bridgetown the Capital.--The
     Manufacture of Rum.--A Geographical Expert.--Very
     English.--A Pest of Ants.--Exports.--The Ice House.--A Dense
     Population.--Educational.--Marine Hotel.--Habits of
     Gambling.--Hurricanes.--Curious Antiquities.--The Barbadoes
     Leg.--Wakeful Dreams.--Absence of Twilight.--Departure from
     the Island.

Bridgetown is the capital of Barbadoes, an English island which, unlike
St. Thomas, is a highly cultivated sugar plantation from shore to shore.
In natural beauty, however, it will not compare with Martinique. It is
by no means picturesquely beautiful, like most of the West Indian
islands, being quite devoid of their thick tropical verdure. Nature is
here absolutely beaten out of the field by excessive cultivation. Thirty
thousand acres of sugar-cane are cut annually, yielding, according to
late statistics, about seventy thousand hogsheads of sugar. We are sorry
to add that there are twenty-three rum distilleries on the island, which
do pecuniarily a thriving business. "The poorest molasses makes the best
rum," said an experienced manager to us. He might well have added that
it is also the poorest use to which it could be put. This spirit, like
all produced in the West Indies, is called Jamaica rum, and though a
certain amount of it is still shipped to the coast of Africa, the return
cargoes no longer consist of kidnapped negroes. The article known as New
England rum, still manufactured in the neighborhood of Boston, has
always disputed the African market, so to speak, with the product of
these islands. Rum is the bane of Africa, just as opium is of China, the
former thrust upon the native races by Americans, the latter upon the
Chinese by English merchants, backed by the British government. Events
follow each other so swiftly in modern times as to become half forgotten
by contemporary people, but there are those among us who remember when
China as a nation tried to stop the importation of the deadly drug
yielded by the poppy fields of India, whereupon England forced the
article upon her at the point of the bayonet.

Bridgetown is situated at the west end of the island on the open
roadstead of Carlisle Bay, and has a population of over twenty-five
thousand. Barbadoes lies about eighty miles to the windward of St.
Vincent, its nearest neighbor, and is separated from Europe by four
thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean. It is comparatively removed from
the chain formed by the Windward Isles, its situation being so isolated
that it remained almost unnoticed until a century had passed after
Columbus's first discovery in these waters. The area of the British
possessions in the West Indies is about one seventh of the islands. It
is often stated that Barbadoes is nearly as large as the Isle of Wight,
but the fact is, it exceeds that island in superficial area, being a
little over fifty-five miles in circumference. The reader will perhaps
remember that it was here Addison laid the scene of his touching story
of "Inkle and Yarico," published so many years ago in the "Spectator."

Though it is not particularly well laid out, Bridgetown makes a very
pleasing picture, as a whole, when seen from the harbor. Here and there
a busy windmill is mixed with tall and verdant tropical trees, backed by
far-reaching fields of yellow sugar-cane, together with low, sloping
hills. The buildings are mostly of stone, or coral rock, and the town
follows the graceful curve of the bay. The streets are macadamized and
lighted with gas, but are far too narrow for business purposes. The
island is about twenty-one miles long and between fourteen and fifteen
broad, the shores being nearly inclosed in a cordon of coral reefs, some
of which extend for two or three miles seaward, demanding of navigators
the greatest care on seeking a landing, though the course into the roads
to a suitable anchorage is carefully buoyed.

Barbadoes was originally settled by the Portuguese, who here found the
branches of a certain forest tree covered with hair-like hanging moss,
from whence its somewhat peculiar name, Barbadoes, or the "bearded
place," is supposed to have been derived. Probably this was the Indian
fig-tree, still found here, and which lives for many centuries, growing
to enormous proportions. In India, Ceylon, and elsewhere in Asia, it is
held sacred. The author has seen one of these trees at Kandy, in the
island of Ceylon, under which sacred rites have taken place constantly
for a thousand years or more, and whose widespread branches could
shelter five hundred people from the heat of the sun. It stands close by
the famous old Buddhist temple wherein is preserved the tooth of the
prophet, and before which devout Indians prostrate themselves daily,
coming from long distances to do so. Indeed, Kandy is the Mecca of

A good share of even the reading public of England would be puzzled to
tell an inquirer exactly where Barbadoes is situated, while most of
those who have any idea about it have gained such knowledge as they
possess from Captain Marryat's clever novel of "Peter Simple," where the
account is, to be sure, meagre enough. Still later, those who have read
Anthony Trollope's "West Indies and the Spanish Main" have got from the
flippant pages of that book some idea of the island, though it is a very
disagreeable example of Trollope's pedantic style.

"Barbadoes? Barbadoes?" said a society man to the writer of these pages,
in all seriousness, just as he was about to sail from New York, "that's
on the coast of Africa, is it not?"

"Oh, no," was the reply, "it is one of the islands of the Lesser

"Where are the Antilles, pray?"

"You must surely know."

"But I do not, nevertheless; haven't the remotest idea. Fact is,
geography never was one of my strong points."

With which remark we silently agreed, and yet our friend is reckoned to
be a fairly educated, cultured person, as these expressions are commonly
used. Probably he represents the average geographical knowledge of one
half the people to be met with in miscellaneous society.

This is the first English possession where the sugarcane was planted,
and is one of the most ancient colonies of Great Britain. It bears no
resemblance to the other islands in these waters, that is,
topographically, nor, indeed, in the character of its population, being
entirely English. The place might be a bit taken out of any shire town
of the British home island, were it only a little more cleanly and less
unsavory; still it is more English than West Indian. The manners and
customs are all similar to those of the people of that nationality; the
negroes, and their descendants of mixed blood, speak the same tongue as
the denizens of St. Giles, London. The island has often been called
"Little England." There is no reliable history of Barbadoes before the
period when Great Britain took possession of it, some two hundred and
sixty years ago. Government House is a rather plain but pretentious
dwelling, where the governor has his official and domestic residence. In
its rear there is a garden, often spoken of by visitors, which is
beautified by some of the choicest trees and shrubs of this latitude. It
is really surprising how much a refined taste and skillful gardening can
accomplish in so circumscribed a space.

Barbadoes is somewhat remarkable as producing a variety of minerals;
among which are coal, manganese, iron, kaolin, and yellow ochre. There
are also one or two localities on the island where a flow of petroleum
is found, of which some use is made. It is called Barbadoes tar, and
were the supply sufficient to warrant the use of refining machinery, it
would undoubtedly produce a good burning fluid. There is a "burning
well," situated in what is known as the Scotland District, where the
water emerging from the earth forms a pool, which is kept in a state of
ebullition from the inflammable air or gas which passes through it. This
gas, when lighted by a match, burns freely until extinguished by
artificial means, not rising in large enough quantities to make a great
flame, but still sufficient to create the effect of burning water, and
forming quite a curiosity.

There are no mountains on the island, but the land is undulating, and
broken into hills and dales; one elevation, known as Mount Hillaby,
reaches a thousand feet and more above the level of tide waters.

One of the most serious pests ever known at Barbadoes was the
introduction of ants, by slave-ships from Africa. No expedient of human
ingenuity served to rid the place of their destructive presence, and it
was at one time seriously proposed to abandon the island on this
account. After a certain period nature came to the rescue. She does all
things royally, and the hurricane of 1780 completely annihilated the
vermin. Verily, it was appropriate to call Barbadoes in those days the
Antilles! It appears that there is no affliction quite unmixed with
good, and that we must put a certain degree of faith in the law of
compensation, however great the seeming evil under which we suffer. To
our limited power of comprehension, a destructive hurricane does seem an
extreme resort by which to crush out an insect pest. The query might
even arise, with some minds, whether the cure was not worse than the

The exports from the island consist almost wholly of molasses, sugar,
and rum, products of the cane, which grows all over the place, in every
nook and corner, from hilltop to water's edge. The annual export, as
already intimated, is considerably over sixty thousand hogsheads. Sugar
cannot, however, be called king of any one section, since half of the
amount manufactured in the whole world is the product of the beet root,
the growth of which is liberally subsidized by more than one European
government, in order to foster local industry. Like St. Thomas, this
island has been almost denuded of its forest growth, and is occasionally
liable, as we have seen, to destructive hurricanes.

Bridgetown is a place of considerable progress, having several
benevolent and educational institutions; it also possesses railway,
telephone, and telegraphic service. Its export trade aggregates over
seven million dollars per annum, to accommodate which amount of commerce
causes a busy scene nearly all the time in the harbor. The steam railway
referred to connects the capital with the Parish of St. Andrews,
twenty-one miles away on the other side of the island, its terminus
being at the thrifty little town of Bathsheba, a popular resort, which
is noted for its fine beach and excellent sea bathing.

The cathedral is consecrated to the established religion of the Church
of England, and is a picturesque, time-worn building, surrounded, after
the style of rural England, by a quaint old graveyard, the monuments and
slabs of which are gray and moss-grown, some of them bearing dates of
the earlier portion of the sixteenth century. This spot forms a very
lovely, peaceful picture, where the graves are shaded by tree-ferns and
stately palms. Somehow one cannot but miss the tall, slim cypress, which
to the European and American eye seems so especially appropriate to such
a spot. There were clusters of low-growing mignonette, which gave out a
faint perfume exactly suited to the solemn shades which prevailed, and
here and there bits of ground enameled with blue-eyed violets. The walls
of the inside of the church are covered with memorial tablets, and there
is an organ of great power and sweetness of tone.

The "Ice House," so called, at Bridgetown is a popular resort, which
everybody visits who comes to Barbadoes. Here one can find files of all
the latest American and European papers, an excellent café, with drinks
and refreshments of every conceivable character, and can purchase almost
any desired article from a toothpick to a set of parlor furniture. It is
a public library, an exchange, a "Bon Marché," and an artificial ice
manufactory, all combined. Strangers naturally make it a place of
rendezvous. It seemed to command rather more of the average citizen's
attention than did legitimate business, and one is forced to admit that
although the drinks which were so generously dispensed were cool and
appetizing, they were also very potent. It was observed that some
individuals, who came into the hospitable doors rather sober and
dejected in expression of features, were apt to go out just a little

The Ice House is an institution of these islands, to be found at St.
Thomas, Demerara, and Trinidad, as well as at Barbadoes. Havana has a
similar retreat, but calls it a café, situated on the Paseo, near the
Tacon Theatre.

The population of the island amounts to about one hundred and
seventy-two thousand,--the census of 1881 showed it to be a trifle less
than this,--giving the remarkable density of one thousand and more
persons to the square mile, thus forming an immense human beehive. It is
the only one of the West Indian islands from which a certain amount of
emigration is necessary annually. The large negro population makes labor
almost incredibly cheap, field-hands on the plantations being paid only
one shilling per day; and yet, so ardent is their love of home--and the
island is home to them--that only a few can be induced to leave it in
search of better wages. When it is remembered that the State of
Massachusetts, which is considered to be one of the most thickly
populated sections of the United States, contains but two hundred and
twenty persons to the square mile, the fact that this West Indian island
supports over one thousand inhabitants in the same average space will be
more fully appreciated. Notwithstanding this crowded state of the
population, we were intelligently informed that while petty offenses are
common, there is a marked absence of serious crimes.

One sees few if any signs of poverty here. It is a land of sugar-cane,
yams, and sweet potatoes, very prolific, and very easily tilled. Some of
the most prosperous men on the island are colored planters, who own
their large establishments, though born slaves, perhaps on the very
ground they now own. They have by strict economy and industry saved
money enough to make a fair beginning, and in the course of years have
gradually acquired wealth. One plantation, owned by a colored man, born
of slave parents, was pointed out to us, with the information that it
was worth twenty thousand pounds sterling, and that its last year's crop
yielded over three hundred hogsheads of sugar, besides a considerable
quantity of molasses.

England maintains at heavy expense a military depot here, from which to
draw under certain circumstances. There is no local necessity for
supporting such a force. Georgetown is a busy place. Being the most
seaward of the West Indies, it has become the chief port of call for
ships navigating these seas. The Caribbees are divided by geographers
into the Windward and Leeward islands, in accordance with the direction
in which they lie with regard to the prevailing winds. They are in very
deep water, the neighboring sea having a mean depth of fifteen hundred
fathoms. Being so far eastward, Barbadoes enjoys an exceptionally
equable climate, and it is claimed for it that it has a lower
thermometer than any other West Indian island. Its latitude is 13° 4'
north, longitude 59° 37' west, within eight hundred miles of the
equator. The prevailing wind blows from the northeast, over the broad,
unobstructed Atlantic, rendering the evenings almost always delightfully
cool, tempered by this grateful tonic breath of the ocean.

Trafalgar Square, Bridgetown, contains a handsome fountain, and a bronze
statue of Nelson which, as a work of art, is simply atrocious. From this
broad, open square the tramway cars start, and it also forms a general
business centre.

The home government supports, besides its other troops, a regiment of
negroes uniformed as Zouaves and officered by white men. The police of
Bridgetown are also colored men. Slavery was abolished here in 1833.
Everything is so thoroughly English, that only the temperature, together
with the vegetation, tells the story of latitude and longitude. The soil
has been so closely cultivated as to have become partially exhausted,
and this is the only West Indian island, if we are correctly informed,
where artificial enrichment is considered necessary to stimulate the
native soil, or where it has ever been freely used. "I question," said
an intelligent planter to us, "whether we should not be better off
to-day, if we had not so overstimulated, in fact, burned out, our land
with guano and phosphates." These are to the ground like intoxicants to
human beings,--if over-indulged in they are fatal, and even the partial
use is of questionable advantage. The Chinese and Japanese apply only
domestic refuse in their fields as a manure, and no people obtain such
grand results as they do in agriculture. They know nothing of patent
preparations employed for such purposes, and yet will render a spot of
ground profitable which a European would look upon as absolutely not
worth cultivating.

In any direction from Bridgetown going inland, miles upon miles of
plantations are seen bearing the bright green sugar-cane, turning to
yellow as it ripens, and giving splendid promise for the harvest. Here
and there are grouped a low cluster of cabins, which form the quarters
of the negroes attached to the plantation, while close at hand the tall
chimney of the sugar mill looms over the surrounding foliage. A little
one side, shaded by some palms, is the planter's neat and attractive
residence, painted snow white, in contrast to the deep greenery
surrounding it, and having a few flower beds in its front.

The Marine Hotel, which is admirably situated on a rocky point at
Hastings, three hundred feet above the beach, is about a league from the
city, and forms a favorite resort for the townspeople. The house is
capable of accommodating three hundred guests at a time. Its spacious
piazzas fronting the ocean are constantly fanned by the northeast trades
from October to March. Some New York families regard the place as a
choice winter resort, the thermometer rarely indicating over 80° Fahr.,
or falling below 70°. This suburb of Hastings is the location of the
army barracks, where a broad plain affords admirable space for drill and
military manoeuvres. There is a monument at Hastings, raised to the
memory of the victims of the hurricane of 1831, which seems to be rather
unpleasantly suggestive of future possibilities. Near at hand is a
well-arranged mile racecourse, a spot very dear to the army officers,
where during the racing season any amount of money is lost and won.
There seems to be something in this tropical climate which incites to
all sorts of gambling, and the habit among the people is so common as to
be looked upon with great leniency. Just so, at some of the summer
resorts of the south of France, Italy, and Germany, ladies or gentlemen
will frankly say, "I am going to the Casino for a little gambling, but
will be back again by and by."

The roads in the vicinity of Bridgetown are admirably kept, all being
macadamized, but the dust which rises from the pulverized coral rock is
nearly blinding, and together with the reflection caused by the sun on
the snow white roads proves very trying to the eyesight. The dust and
glare are serious drawbacks to the enjoyment of these environs.

As we have said, hurricanes have proved very fatal at Barbadoes. In
1780, four thousand persons were swept out of existence in a few hours
by the irresistible fury of a tornado. So late as 1831, the loss of life
by a similar visitation was over two thousand, while the loss of
property aggregated some two million pounds sterling. The experience has
not, however, been so severe here as at several of the other islands. At
the time of the hurricane just referred to, Barbadoes was covered with a
coat of sulphurous ashes nearly an inch thick, which was afterwards
found to have come from the island of St. Vincent, where what is called
Brimstone Mountain burst forth in flames and laid that island also in
ashes. It is interesting to note that there should have been such
intimate relationship shown between a great atmospheric disturbance like
a hurricane and an underground agitation as evinced by the eruption of a

It should be mentioned that these hurricanes have never been known to
pass a certain limit north or south, their ravages having always been
confined between the eleventh and twenty-first degrees of north

It appears that some curious Carib implements were found not long since
just below the surface of the earth on the south shore of the bay, which
are to be forwarded to the British Museum, London. These were of hard
stone, and were thought by the finders to have been used by the
aborigines to fell trees. Some were thick shells, doubtless employed by
the Indians in the rude cultivation of maize, grown here four or five
hundred years ago. It was said that these stone implements resembled
those which have been found from time to time in Norway and Sweden. If
this is correct, it is an important fact for antiquarians to base a
theory upon. Some scientists believe that there was, in prehistoric
times, an intimate relationship between Scandinavia and the continent of

Though there are several public schools in Bridgetown, both primary and
advanced, we were somehow impressed with the idea that education for the
common people was not fostered in a manner worthy of a British colony of
so long standing; but this is the impression of a casual observer only.
There is a college situated ten or twelve miles from the city, founded
by Sir Christopher Codrington, which has achieved a high reputation as
an educational institution in its chosen field of operation. It is a
large structure of white stone, well-arranged, and is, as we were told,
consistent with the spirit of the times. It has the dignity of ripened
experience, having been opened in 1744. The professors are from Europe.
A delicious fresh water spring rises to the surface of the land just
below the cliff, at Codrington College, a blessing which people who live
in the tropics know how to appreciate. There is also at Bridgetown what
is known as Harrison's College, which, however, is simply a high school
devoted exclusively to girls.

The island is not exempt from occasional prevalence of tropical fevers,
but may be considered a healthy resort upon the whole. Leprosy is not
unknown among the lower classes, and elephantiasis is frequently to be
met with. This disease is known in the West Indies as the "Barbadoes
Leg." Sometimes a native may be seen on the streets with one of his legs
swollen to the size of his body. There is no known cure for this disease
except the surgeon's knife, and the removal of the victim from the
region where it first developed itself. The author has seen terrible
cases of elephantiasis among the natives of the Samoan group of islands,
where this strange and unaccountable disease is thought to have reached
its most extreme and repulsive development. Foreigners are seldom if
ever afflicted with it, either in the West Indies or the South Pacific.

We are to sail to-night. A few passengers and a quantity of freight have
been landed, while some heavy merchandise has been received on board,
designed for continental ports to the southward. The afternoon shadows
lengthen upon the shore, and the sunset hour, so brief in this latitude,
approaches. The traveler who has learned to love the lingering twilight
of the north misses these most charming hours when in equatorial
regions, but as the goddess of night wraps her sombre mantle about her,
it is so superbly decked with diamond stars that the departed daylight
is hardly regretted. It is like the prompter's ringing up of the curtain
upon a complete theatrical scene; the glory of the tropical sky bursts
at once upon the vision in all its completeness, its burning
constellations, its solitaire brilliants, its depth of azure, and its
mysterious Milky Way.

While sitting under the awning upon deck, watching the gentle swaying
palms and tall fern-trees, listening to the low drone of busy life in
the town, and breathing the sweet exhalations of tropical fruits and
flowers, a trance-like sensation suffuses the brain. Is this the _dolce
far niente_ of the Italians, the sweet do-nothing of the tropics? To us,
however defined, it was a waking dream of sensuous delight, of entire
content. How far away sounds the noise of the steam-winch, the sharp
chafing of the iron pulleys, the prompt orders of the officer of the
deck, the swinging of the ponderous yards, the rattling of the anchor
chain as it comes in through the hawse hole, while the ship gradually
loses her hold upon the land. With half closed eyes we scarcely heard
these many significant sounds, but floated peacefully on in an Eden of
fancy, quietly leaving Carlisle Bay far behind.

Our course was to the southward, while everything, high and low, was
bathed in a flood of shimmering moonlight, the magic alchemy of the sky,
whose influence etherealizes all upon which it rests.

          CHAPTER IV.

     Curious Ocean Experiences.--The Delicate
     Nautilus.--Flying-Fish.--The Southern Cross.--Speaking a
     Ship at Sea.--Scientific Navigation.--South America as a
     Whole.--Fauna and Flora.--Natural Resources of a Wonderful
     Land.--Rivers, Plains, and Mountain Ranges.--Aboriginal
     Tribes.--Population.--Political Divisions.--Civil
     Wars.--Weakness of South American States.

The sudden appearance of a school of flying-fish gliding swiftly through
the air for six or eight rods just above the rippling waves, and then
sinking from sight; the sportive escort of half a hundred slate-colored
porpoises, leaping high out of the water on either bow of the ship only
to plunge back again, describing graceful curves; the constant presence
of that sullen tiger of the ocean, the voracious, man-eating shark,
betrayed by its dorsal fin showing above the surface of the sea; the
sporting of mammoth whales, sending columns of water high in air from
their blowholes, and lashing the waves playfully with their broad-spread
tails, are events at sea too commonplace to comment upon in detail,
though they tend to while away the inevitable monotony of a long voyage.

Speaking of flying-fish, there is more in the flying capacity of this
little creature than is generally admitted, else why has it wings on the
forward part of its body, each measuring seven inches in length? If
designed only for fins, they are altogether out of proportion to the
rest of its body. They are manifestly intended for just the use to which
the creature puts them. One was brought to us by a seaman; how it got on
board we know not, but it measured eleven inches from the nose to the
tip of the tail fin, and was in shape and size very much like a small
mackerel. After leaving Barbadoes, we got into what sailors call the
flying-fish latitudes, where they appear constantly in their low, rapid
flight, sometimes singly, but oftener in small schools of a score or
more, creating flashes of silvery-blue lustre. The most careful
observation could detect no vibration of the long, extended fins; the
tiny fish sailed, as it were, upon the wind, the flight of the giant
albatross in miniature.

One afternoon, when the sea was scarcely dimpled by the soft trade wind,
we came suddenly upon myriads of that little fairy of the ocean, the
gossamer nautilus, with its Greek galleon shape, and as frail,
apparently, as a spider's web. What a gondola it would make for Queen
Mab! How delicate and transparent it is, while radiating prismatic
colors! A touch might dismember it, yet what a daring navigator,
floating confidently upon the sea where the depth is a thousand fathoms,
liable at any moment to be changed into raging billows by an angry
storm! How minute the vitality of this graceful atom, a creature whose
existence is perhaps for only a single day; yet how grand and limitless
the system of life and creation of which it is so humble a
representative! Sailors call these frail marine creatures Portuguese
men-of-war. Possessing some singular facility for doing so, if they are
disturbed, they quickly furl their sails and sink below the surface of
the buoyant waves into deep water, the home of the octopus, the squid,
and the voracious shark. Did they, one is led to query, navigate these
seas after this fashion before the Northmen came across the ocean, and
before Columbus landed at San Salvador? At night the glory of the
southern hemisphere, as revealed in new constellations and brighter
stars brought into view, was observed with keenest
interest,--"Everlasting Night, with her star diadems, with her silence,
and her verities." The phosphorescence of the sea, with its
scintillations of brilliant light, its ripples of liquid fire, the crest
of each wave a flaming cascade, was a charming phenomenon one never
tired of watching. If it be the combination of millions and billions of
animalculæ which thus illumines the waters, then these infinitesimal
creatures are the fireflies of the ocean, as the cucuios, that fairy
torch-bearer, is of the land. Gliding on the magic mirror of the South
Atlantic, in which the combined glory of the sky was reflected with
singular clearness, it seemed as though we were sailing over a starry
world below.

While observing the moon in its beautiful series of changes, lighting
our way by its chaste effulgence night after night, it was difficult to
realize that it shines entirely by the light which it borrows from the
sun; but it was easy to believe the simpler fact, that of all the
countless hosts of the celestial bodies, she is our nearest neighbor.
"An eighteen-foot telescope reveals to the human eye over forty million
stars," said Captain Baker, as we stood together gazing at the luminous
heavens. "And if we entertain the generally accepted idea," he
continued, "we must believe that each one of that enormous aggregate of
stars is the centre of a solar system similar to our own." The known
facts relating to the stars, like stellar distances, are almost

One cannot but realize that there is always a certain amount of
sentiment wasted on the constellation known as the Southern Cross by
passengers bound to the lands and seas over which it hangs. Orion or the
Pleiades, either of them, is infinitely superior in point of brilliancy,
symmetry, and individuality. A lively imagination is necessary to endow
this irregular cluster of stars with any real resemblance to the
Christian emblem for which it is named. It serves the navigator in the
southern hemisphere, in part, the same purpose which the north star does
in our portion of the globe, and there our own respect for it as a
constellation ends. Much poetic talent has been expended for ages to
idealize the Southern Cross, which is, alas! no cross at all. We have
seen a person unfamiliar with the locality of this constellation strive
long and patiently, but in vain, to find it. It should be remembered
that two prominent stars in Centaurus point directly to it. The one
furthest from the so called cross is held to be the fixed star nearest
to the earth, but its distance from us is twenty thousand times farther
than that of the sun.

We have never yet met a person, looking upon this cluster of the heavens
for the first time, who did not frankly express his disappointment.
Anticipation and fruition are oftenest at antipodes.

The graceful marine birds which follow the ship, day after day, darting
hither and thither with arrowy swiftness, lured by the occasional refuse
thrown from on board, would be seriously missed were they to leave us.
Watching their aerial movements and untiring power of wing, while
listening to their sharp complaining cries, is a source of constant
amusement. Even rough weather and a raging sea, if not accompanied by
too serious a storm, is sometimes welcome, serving to awaken the ship
from its dull propriety, and to put officers, crew, and passengers upon
their mettle. To speak a strange vessel at sea is always interesting. If
it is a steamer, a long, black wake of smoke hanging among the clouds at
the horizon betrays her proximity long before the hull is sighted. All
eyes are on the watch until she comes clearly within the line of vision,
gradually increasing in size and distinctness of outline, until
presently the spars and rigging are minutely delineated. Then
speculation is rife as to whence she comes and where she is going. By
and by the two ships approach so near that signal flags can be read, and
the captains talk with each other, exchanging names, whither bound, and
so on. Then each commander dips his flag in compliment to the other, and
the ships rapidly separate. All of this is commonplace enough, but
serves to while away an hour, and insures a report of our progress and
safety at the date of meeting, when the stranger reaches his port of

We have spoken of the pleasure experienced at sea in watching
intelligently the various phases of the moon. The subject is a prolific
one; a whole chapter might be written upon it.

It is perhaps hardly realized by the average landsman, and indeed by few
who constantly cross the ocean, with their thoughts and interests
absorbed by the many attractive novelties of the ocean, how important a
part this great luminary plays in the navigation of a ship. It is to the
intelligent and observant mariner the never-failing watch of the sky,
the stars performing the part of hands to designate the proper figure
upon the dial. If there is occasion to doubt the correctness of his
chronometer, the captain of the ship can verify its figures or correct
them by this planet. Every minute that the chronometer is wrong,
assuming that it be so, may put him fifteen miles out of his reckoning,
which, under some circumstances, might prove to be a fatal error, even
leading to the loss of his ship and all on board. To find his precise
location upon the ocean, the navigator requires both Greenwich time and
local meridian time, the latter obtained by the sun on shipboard,
exactly at midday. To get Greenwich time by lunar observation, the
captain, for example, finds that the moon is three degrees from the star
Regulus. By referring to his nautical almanac he sees recorded there the
Greenwich time at which the moon was three degrees from that particular
star. He then compares his chronometer with these figures, and either
confirms or corrects its indication. It is interesting to the traveler
to observe and understand these important resources, which science has
brought to bear in perfecting his safety on the ocean, promoting the
interests of commerce, and in aid of correct navigation. The experienced
captain of a ship now lays his course as surely by compass, after
satisfying himself by these various means of his exact position, as
though the point of his destination was straight before him all the
while, and visible from the pilot house.

How indescribable is the grandeur of these serene nights on the ocean,
fanned by the somnolent trade winds; a little lonely, perhaps, but so
blessed with the hallowed benediction of the moonlight, so gorgeously
decorated by the glittering images of the studded heavens, so sweet and
pure and fragrant is the breath of the sleeping wind! If one listens
intently, there seems to come to the senses a whispering of the waves,
as though the sea in confidence would tell its secrets to a willing ear.

The ship heads almost due south after leaving Barbadoes, when her
destination is, as in our case, Pará, twelve hundred miles away. On this
course we encounter the equatorial current, which runs northward at a
rate of two miles in an hour, and at some points reaches a much higher
rate of speed.

As eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, so eternal scrubbing is
the price of cleanliness on shipboard. The deck hands are at it from
five o'clock in the morning until sunset. Our good ship looks as if she
had just come out of dock. Last night's gale, which in its angry turmoil
tossed us about so recklessly, covered her with a saline, sticky
deposit; but with the rising of the sun all this disappears as if by
magic. The many brass mountings shine with dazzling lustre, and the
white paint contrasts with the well-tarred cordage which forms the
standing rigging.

While the ship pursues her course through the far-reaching ocean, let us
sketch in outline the general characteristics of South America, whither
we are bound.

It is a country containing twice the area, though not quite one half the
amount of population, of the United States, a land which, though now
presenting nearly all phases of civilization, was four centuries ago
mostly inhabited by nomadic tribes of savages, who knew nothing of the
horse, the ox, or the sheep, which to-day form so great and important a
source of its wealth, and where wheat, its prevailing staple, was also
unknown. It is a land overflowing with native riches, which possesses an
unlimited capacity of production, and whose large and increasing
population requires just such domestic supplies as we of the north can
profitably furnish. The important treaty of reciprocity, so lately
arranged between the giant province of Brazil--or rather we should say
the Republic of Brazil--and our own country, is already developing new
and increasing channels of trade for our shippers and producers of the
great staples, as well as throwing open to us a new nation of consumers
for our special articles of manufacture. Facts speak louder than words.
On the voyage in which the author sailed in the Vigilancia, she took
over twenty thousand barrels of flour to Brazil from the United States,
and would have taken more had her capacity admitted. Every foot of space
on board was engaged for the return voyage, twelve thousand bags of
coffee being shipped from Rio Janeiro alone, besides nearly as large a
consignment of coffee from Santos, in the same republic. The great
mutual benefit which must accrue from this friendly compact with an
enterprising foreign country can hardly be overestimated. These
considerations lead to a community of interests, which will grow by
every reasonable means of familiarizing the people of the two countries
with each other. Hence the possible and practical value of such a work
as the one in hand.

By briefly consulting one of the many cheap and excellent maps of the
western hemisphere, the patient reader will be enabled to follow the
route taken by the author with increased interest and a clearer

It is surprising, in conversing with otherwise intelligent and
well-informed people, to find how few there are, comparatively speaking,
who have any fixed and clear idea relative to so large a portion of the
habitable globe as South America. The average individual seems to know
less of the gigantic river Amazon than he does of the mysterious Nile,
and is less familiar with that grand, far-reaching water-way, the Plate,
than he is with the sacred Ganges; yet one can ride from Buenos Ayres in
the Argentine Republic, across the wild pampas, to the base of the Andes
in a Pullman palace car. There is no part of the globe concerning which
so little is written, and no other portion which is not more sought by
travelers; in short, it is less known to the average North American than
New Zealand or Australia.

The vast peninsula which we call South America is connected with our own
part of the continent by the Isthmus of Panama and the territory
designated as Central America. Its configuration is triangular, and
exhibits in many respects a strong similarity to the continents of
Africa and Australia, if the latter gigantic island may be called a
continent. It extends north and south nearly five thousand miles, or
from latitude 12° 30' north to Cape Horn in latitude 55° 59' south. Its
greatest width from east to west is a little over three thousand miles,
and its area, according to the best authorities, is nearly seven million
square miles. Three fourths of this country lie in the torrid zone,
though as a whole it has every variety of climate, from equatorial heat
to the biting frosts of alpine peaks. Its widespread surface consists
principally of three immense plains, watered respectively by the Amazon,
Plate, and Orinoco rivers. This spacious country has a coast line of
over sixteen thousand miles on the two great oceans, with comparatively
few indentures, headlands, or bays, though at the extreme south it
consists of a maze of countless small islands, capes, and promontories,
of which Cape Horn forms the outermost point.

The Cordillera of the Andes extends through the whole length of this
giant peninsula, from the Strait of Magellan to the Isthmus of Panama, a
distance of forty-five hundred miles, forming one of the most remarkable
physical features of the globe, and presenting the highest mountains on
its surface, except those of the snowy Himalayas which separate India
from Thibet. The principal range of the Andes runs nearly parallel with
the Pacific coast, at an average distance of about one hundred miles
from it, and contains several active volcanoes. If we were to believe a
late school geography, published in London, Cotopaxi, one famous peak of
this Andean range, throws up flames three thousand feet above the brink
of its crater, which is eighteen thousand feet above tide water; but to
be on the safe side, let us reduce these extraordinary figures at least
one half, as regards the eruptive power of Cotopaxi. This mountain
chain, near the border between Chili and Peru, divides into two
branches, the principal one still called the Cordillera of the Andes,
and the other, nearer to the ocean, the Cordillera de la Costa. Between
these ranges, about three thousand feet above the sea, is a vast
table-land with an area larger than that of France.

It will be observed that we are dealing with a country which, like our
own, is one of magnificent distances. It is difficult for the nations of
the old world, where the population is hived together in such
circumscribed space, to realize the geographical extent of the American
continent. When informed that it required six days and nights, at
express speed upon well-equipped railroads, to cross the United States
from ocean to ocean, a certain editor in London doubted the statement.
Outside of Her Majesty's dominions, the average Englishman has only
superficial ideas of geography. The frequent blunders of some British
newspapers in these matters are simply ridiculous.

It should be understood that South America is a land of plains as well
as of lofty mountains, having the _llanos_ of the Orinoco region, the
_selvas_ of the Amazon, and the _pampas_ of the Argentine Republic. The
llanos are composed of a region about as large as the New England
States, so level that the motion of the rivers can hardly be discerned.
The selvas are for the most part vast unbroken forests, in which giant
trees, thick undergrowth, and entwining creepers combine to form a
nearly impenetrable region. The pampas lie between the Andes and the
Atlantic Ocean, stretching southward from northern Brazil to southern
Patagonia, affording grass sufficient to feed innumerable herds of wild
cattle, but at the extreme south the country sinks into half overflowed
marshes and lagoons, resembling the glades and savannahs of Florida.

The largest river in the world, namely, the Amazon, rises in the
Peruvian Andes, within sixty miles of the Pacific Ocean, and flows
thousands of miles in a general east-northeast direction, finally
emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. This unequaled river course is
navigable for over two thousand miles from its mouth, which is situated
on the equatorial line, where its outflow is partially impeded by the
island of Marajo, a nearly round formation, one hundred and fifty miles
or thereabouts in diameter. This remarkable island divides the river's
outlet into two passages, the largest of which is a hundred and fifty
miles in width, forming an estuary of extraordinary dimensions. The
Amazon has twelve tributaries, each one of which is a thousand miles in
length, not to count its hundreds of smaller ones, while the main stream
affords water communication from the Atlantic Ocean to near the
foothills of the Andes.

We are simply stating a series of condensed geographical facts, from
which the intelligent reader can form his own deductions as regards the
undeveloped possibilities of this great southland.

Our own mammoth river, the Mississippi, is a comparatively shallow
stream, with a shifting channel and dangerous sandbanks, which impede
navigation throughout the most of its course; while the Amazon shows an
average depth of over one hundred feet for the first thousand miles of
its flow from the Atlantic, forming inland seas in many places, so
spacious that the opposite banks are not within sight of each other. It
is computed by good authority that this river, with its numerous
affluents, forms a system of navigable water twenty-four thousand miles
in length! There are comparatively few towns or settlements of any
importance on the banks of the Amazon, which flows mostly through a
dense, unpeopled evergreen forest, not absolutely without human beings,
but for very long distances nearly so. Wild animals, anacondas and other
reptiles, together with many varieties of birds and numerous tribes of
monkeys, make up the animal life. Now and again a settlement of European
colonists is found, or a rude Indian village is seen near the banks, but
they are few and far between. There are occasional regions of low,
marshy ground, which are malarious at certain seasons, but the average
country is salubrious, and capable of supporting a population of

This is only one of the large rivers of South America; there are many
others of grand proportions. The Plate comes next to it in magnitude,
having a length of two thousand miles, and being navigable for one half
the distance from its mouth at all seasons. It is over sixty miles wide
at Montevideo, and is therefore the widest known river. Like the great
stream already described, it traverses a country remarkable for the
fertility of its soil, but very thinly settled. The Plate carries to the
ocean four fifths as much, in volume of water, as does the mighty
Amazon, the watershed drained by it exceeding a million and a half
square miles. One can only conceive of the true magnitude of such
figures when applied to the land by comparing the number of square miles
contained in any one European nation, or any dozen of our own States.

Juan Diaz de Solis discovered the estuary of the Plate in 1508, and
believed it at that time to be a gulf, but on a second voyage from
Europe, in 1516, he ascended the river a considerable distance, and
called it Mar Dulce, on account of the character of the waters.
Unfortunately, this intelligent discoverer was killed by Indian arrows
on attempting to land at a certain point. For a considerable period the
river was called after him, and we think should have continued to be so,
but its name was changed to the Plate on account of the conspicuous
silver ornaments worn in great profusion by the natives, which they
freely exchanged for European gewgaws.

Though nearly four hundred years have passed since its discovery, a
large portion of the country still remains comparatively unexplored,
much of it being a wilderness sparsely inhabited by Indians, many of
whom are without a vestige of civilization. We know as little of
portions of the continent as we do of Central Africa, yet there is no
section of the globe which suggests a greater degree of physical
interest, or which would respond more readily and profitably to
intelligent effort at development. When the Spaniards first came to
South America, it was only in Peru, the land of the Incas, that they
found natives who had made any substantial progress in civilization. The
earliest history extant relating to this region of the globe is that of
the Incas, a warlike race of sun-worshipers, who possessed enormous
treasures of gold and silver, and who erected magnificent temples
enriched with the precious metals. It was the almost fabulous wealth of
the Incas that led to their destruction, tempting the cupidity of the
avaricious Spaniards, and causing them to institute a system of cruelty,
oppression, robbery, and bloodshed which finally obliterated an entire
people from the face of the globe. The empire of the Incas extended from
Quito, in Ecuador (on the equator), to the river Monté in Chili, and
eastward to the Andes. The romantic career of Pizarro and Cortez is
familiar to us all. There are few palliating circumstances connected
with the advent of the Spaniards, either here, in the West Indies, or in
Mexico. The actual motive which prompted their invasion of this foreign
soil was to search for mineral treasures, though policy led them to
cover their bloodthirsty deeds with a pretense of religious zeal. Their
first acts were reckless, cruel, and sanguinary, followed by a
systematic oppression of the native races which was an outrage upon
humanity. The world at large profited little by the extortion and golden
harvest reaped by Spain, to realize which she adopted a policy of
extermination, both in Peru and in Mexico; but let it be remembered that
her own national ruin was brought about with poetical justice by the
very excess of her ill-gotten, blood-stained treasures. The Spanish
historians tell us, as an evidence of the persistent bravery of their
ancestors, that it took them eight hundred years of constant warfare to
wrest Spain from her Moorish conquerors. It is for us to remind them how
brief has been the continuance of their glory, how rapid their decline
from splendid continental and colonial possessions to their present
condition, that of the weakest and most insignificant power in Europe.

There are localities which have been visited by adventurous explorers,
especially in Chili and Peru, where ruins have been found, and various
monuments of antiquity examined, of vast interest to archæologists, but
of which scarcely more than their mere existence is recorded. Some of
these ruins are believed to antedate by centuries the period of the
Incas, and are supposed to be the remains of tribes which, judging from
their pottery and other domestic utensils, were possibly of Asiatic
origin. Comparatively few travelers have visited Lake Titicaca, in the
Peruvian Andes, with its sacred islands and mysterious ruins, from
whence the Incas dated their mythical origin. The substantial remains of
some grand temples are still to be seen on the islands near the borders
of the lake, the decaying masonry decked here and there with a wild
growth of hardy cactus. This remarkable body of water, Lake Titicaca, in
the mountain range of Peru, lies more than twelve thousand feet above
the level of the Pacific; yet it never freezes, and its average depth is
given as six hundred feet, representing an immense body of water. It
covers an area of four thousand square miles, which is about four fifths
as large as our own Lake Ontario, the average depth being about the
same. Titicaca is the largest lake in the world occupying so elevated a

The population of South America is mostly to be found on the coast, and
is thought to be about thirty-five millions, though, all things
considered, we are disposed to believe this an overestimate. There are
tribes far inland who are not brought in contact with civilization at
all, and whose numbers are not known. The magnitude and density of the
forests are remarkable; they cover, it is intelligently stated, nearly
two thirds of the country. The vegetation, in its various forms, is rich
beyond comparison. Professor Agassiz, who explored the valley of the
Amazon under the most favorable auspices, tells us that he found within
an area of half a mile square over one hundred species of trees, among
which were nearly all of the choicest cabinet and dye woods known to the
tropics, besides others suitable for shipbuilding. Some of these trees
are remarkable for their gigantic size, others for their beauty of form,
and still others are valuable for their gums and resins. Of the latter,
the india-rubber tree is the most prolific and important known to
commerce. From Brazil comes four fifths of the world's supply of the raw
material of rubber.

The great fertility of the soil generally would seem to militate against
the true progress of the people of South America, absolutely
discouraging, rather than stimulating national industry. One cannot but
contrast the state of affairs in this respect with that of North
America, where the soil is so much less productive, and where the
climate is so universally rigorous. The deduction is inevitable that, to
find man at his best, we must observe him where his skill, energy, and
perseverance are all required to achieve a livelihood, and not where
exuberant nature is over-indulgent, over-productive. The coast, the
valleys, and indeed the main portion of South America are tropical, but
a considerable section of the country is so elevated that its climate is
that of perpetual spring, resembling the great Mexican plateau, both
physically and as regards temperature. The population is largely of
Spanish descent, and that language is almost universally spoken, though
Portuguese is the current tongue in Brazil. These languages are so
similar, in fact, that the people of the two nations can easily
understand each other. It is said to be true that, in the wild regions
of the country, there are tribes of Indians found to-day living close to
each other, separated by no physical barriers, who differ materially in
language, physiognomy, manners, and customs, having absolutely nothing
in common but their brown or copper colored skins. Furthermore, these
tribes live most frequently in deadly feuds with each other. That
cannibalism is still practiced among these interior tribes is positively
believed, especially among some of the tribes of the extreme south, that
is, among the Patagonians and the wild, nomadic race of Terra del Fuego.
These two tribes, on opposite sides of the Strait of Magellan, are quite
different from each other in nearly every respect, especially in size,
nor will they attempt to hold friendly intercourse of any sort with each

There are certain domestic animals which are believed to be improved by
crossing them with others of a different type, but this does not seem to
apply, very often, advantageously to different races of human beings. It
is plain enough in South America that the amalgamation of foreigners and
natives rapidly effaces the original better qualities of each, the
result being a mongrel, nondescript type, hard to analyze and hard to
improve. That keen observer, Professor Agassiz, especially noticed this
during his year of scientific research in Brazil. This has also been the
author's experience, as illustrated in many lands, where strictly
different races, the one highly civilized, the other barbarian, have
unitedly produced children. It is a sort of amalgamation which nature
does not favor, recording her objections in an unmistakable manner. It
is the flow of European emigration towards these southern republics
which will infuse new life and progress among them. The aboriginal race
is slowly receding, and fading out, as was the case in Australia, in New
Zealand, and in the instance of our western Indians. A new people will
eventually possess the land, composed of the several European
nationalities, who are already the virtual masters of South America so
far as regards numbers, intelligence, and possession.

Since these notes were written, the Argentine government has sold to
Baron Hirsch three thousand square leagues of land in the province of
Chaco, for the formation of a Jewish colony. Agents are already at work,
aided by competent engineers and practical individuals, in preparing for
the early reception of the new occupants of the country. The first
contingent, of about one thousand Jews, have already arrived and are
becoming domesticated. Argentina wants men perhaps more than money;
indeed, one will make the other. A part of Baron Hirsch's scheme is to
lend these people money, to be repaid in small installments extending
over a considerable period. For this extensive territory the Baron paid
one million three hundred thousand dollars in gold, thus making himself
the owner of the largest connected area of land in the world possessed
by a single individual. It exceeds that of the kingdom of Montenegro.

As to the zoölogy of this part of the continent, it is different from
that of Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. The number of dangerous
beasts of prey is quite limited. There is nothing here to answer to the
African lion, the Asiatic tiger, the elephant of Ceylon, or the grisly
bear of Alaska. The jaguar is perhaps the most formidable animal, and
resembles the leopard. There are also the cougar, tiger-cat, black bear,
hyena, wolf, and ocelot. The llama, alpaca, and vicuña are peculiar to
this country. The monkey tribe exceeds all others in variety and number.
There are said to be nearly two hundred species of them in South
America, each distinctly marked, and varying from each other, in size,
from twelve pounds to less than two. The smallest of the little
marmosets weigh less than a pound and a half each, and are the most
intelligent animal of their size known to man. There are also the deer,
tapir, armadillo, anteater, and a few other minor animals. The pampas
swarm with wild cattle and horses, descended from animals originally
brought from Europe. In the low, marshy grounds the boa-constrictor and
other reptiles abound. Eagles, vultures, and parrots are found in a wild
state all over the country, while the rivers and the waters near the
coast are well filled with fish, crocodiles, and turtles. Scientists
have found over two thousand species of fish in the Amazon River alone.

The pure aboriginal race are copper colored, resembling the Mexicans in
character and appearance. Like most natives of equatorial regions, they
are indolent, ignorant, superstitious, sensuous, and by no means
warlike. Forced into the ranks and drilled by Europeans, they make
fairly good soldiers, and when well led will obey orders and fight.
There can be no _esprit de corps_ in soldiers thus organized; the men
neither know nor care what they fight for, their incentive in action
being first a natural instinct for brutality, and second the promise of
booty. In some parts of the country the half-breeds show themselves
skillful workmen in certain simple lines of manufacture, but the native
pure and simple will not work except to keep from starving.

The Spaniards conquered nearly all parts of South America except Brazil,
which was subject to Portugal until 1823, when it achieved its
independence. The Spanish colonies also revolted, one by one, until they
all became independent of the mother country. The history of these
republics, as in the instance of Mexico, has been both stormy and
sanguinary. Foreign and civil wars have reigned among them incessantly
for half a century and more.

The present political divisions are: Brazil, British Guiana, Dutch
Guiana, French Guiana, Ecuador, United States of Colombia, Venezuela,
Bolivia, Chili, Peru, Argentine Republic, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Brazil
is the most extensive of these states, and is thought to enjoy the
largest share of natural advantages, including in its area nearly one
half as many square miles as all the rest combined. Its seaboard at
Parahiba, and for hundreds of miles north and south of it, projects into
the Atlantic a thousand miles to the east of the direct line between its
northern and southern extremities. Besides her diamond and gold mines,
she possesses what is much more desirable, namely, valuable deposits of
iron, copper, silver, and other metals. We have before us statistics
which give the result of diamond mining in Brazil from 1740 to 1823,
when national independence was won, which show the aggregate for that
entire period to have been less than ten million dollars in value; while
that of the coffee alone, exported from Rio Janeiro in one year,
exceeded twenty million dollars, showing that, however dazzling the
precious stones may appear in the abstract, they are not even of
secondary consideration when compared with the agricultural products of
the country. The export of coffee has increased very much since the year
1851, which happens to be that from which we have quoted. It must also
be admitted that probably twice the amount of diamonds recorded were
actually found and enriched somebody, all which were duly reported,
having to pay a government royalty according to the pecuniary exigency
of those in authority.

The population of Brazil is between fourteen and fifteen million, and it
is thought to be more advanced in civilization than other parts of South
America, though in the light of our own experience we should place the
Argentine Republic first in this respect. Indeed, so far as a transient
observer may speak, we are inclined to place Argentina far and away in
advance of Brazil as regards everything calculated to invite the
would-be emigrant who is in search of a new home in a foreign land. Were
it not that intestine wars are of such frequent occurrence among these
states, and national bankruptcy so common, voluntary emigration would
tend towards South America in far larger numbers than it does now. The
revolutions are solely to promote personal aggrandizement; it is
individual interest, not principle, for which these people fight so
often. Unfortunately, every fresh outbreak throws the country back a
full decade as regards national progress. The late civil wars in Chili
and the Argentine Republic are illustrations in point. The first-named
section of South America has suddenly sunk from a condition of
remarkable pecuniary prosperity to one of actual poverty. Thousands of
valuable lives have been sacrificed, an immense amount of property has
been destroyed, her commerce crippled, and for the time being paralyzed.
Ten years of peace and reasonable prosperity could hardly restore Chili
to the position she was in twelve months ago. The country is to-day in a
terrible condition, while many of the best families mourn the death of a
father, a son, or both, whose lives have been sacrificed to the mad
ambition of a usurper. Numerous families, once rich, have now become
impoverished by the confiscation of their entire property. The Chilians
do not carry on warfare in European style, by organized armies; there is
a semblance only of such bodies. The fighting is mostly after the
fashion of free lances, guerrilla bands, and highwaymen. There seems to
be no sense of honor or chivalry among the common people, while the only
idea of the soldiery is to plunder and destroy.

The Peruvians whose cities were despoiled by Chili must have regarded
the recent cutting of each other's throats by the Chilian soldiery with
something like grim satisfaction.

The obvious weakness of the South American states lies in their bitter
rivalry towards each other, a condition which might be at once obviated
by their joining together to form one united nation. The instability
which characterizes their several governments in their present isolated
interests has passed into a byword. Divided into nine unimportant
states,--leaving out the three Guianas, which are dependent upon
European powers,--any one of them could be erased from the map and
absorbed by its stronger neighbor, or by a covetous foreign power. On
the contrary, by forming one grand republic, it would stand eighth in
the rank of nations as regards wealth, importance, and power, amply able
to take care of itself, and to maintain the integrity of its territory.
A community of interest would also be established between our government
and that of these South American provinces, which would be of immense
commercial and political importance to both nations.

To those who have visited the country, and who have carefully observed
the conditions, it is clear that this division of the continent will
never thrive and fully reap the benefit of its great natural advantages
until the independent republics assume the position of sovereign states,
subservient to a central power, a purpose which has already been so
successfully accomplished in Mexico.

While we have been considering the great southern continent as a whole,
our good ship, having crossed the equator, has been rapidly approaching
its northern shore. After entering the broad mouth of the Amazon and
ascending its course for many miles, we are now in sight of the thriving
metropolis of Pará.

          CHAPTER V.

     City of Pará.--The Equatorial Line.--Spanish History.--The
     King of Waters.--Private Gardens.--Domestic Life in Northern
     Brazil.--Delicious Pineapples.--Family Pets.--Opera
     House.--Mendicants.--A Grand Avenue.--Botanical
     Garden.--India-Rubber Tree.--Gathering the Raw
     Material.--Monkeys.--The Royal Palm.--Splendor of Equatorial

Pará is the most northerly city of Brazil. It also bears the name of
Belem on some maps, and is the capital of a province of the first
designation. The full official title of the place is, in the usual style
of Portuguese and Spanish hyperbole, Santa Maria do Belem do Grão Pará,
which has fortunately and naturally simplified itself to Pará. It was
founded in 1615, and the province of which it is the capital was the
last in Brazil to declare its independence of the mother country, and to
acknowledge the authority of the first emperor, Dom Pedro. It is the
largest political division of the republic, and in some respects the
most thriving. The city is situated about ninety miles south of the
equator, and eighty miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the Pará River, so
called, but which is really one of the mouths of the Amazon. It is thus
the principal city at the mouth of the largest river in the world, a
fact quite sufficient to indicate its present, and to insure its
continued commercial importance.

As we entered the muddy estuary of the river, whose wide expanse was
lashed into short, angry waves by a strong wind, large tree trunks were
seen floating seaward, rising and sinking on the undulating surface of
the water. Some were quite entire, with all of their branches still
attached to the main trunk. They came, perhaps, from two thousand miles
inland, borne upon the swift current from where it had undermined the
roots in their forest home. Among the rest was a cocoa-palm with its
full tufted head, some large brown nuts still hanging tenaciously to the
parent stem. It had fallen bodily, while in its prime and full bearing,
suddenly unearthed by some swift deviation of the river, which brooks no
trifling impediment to its triumphal march seaward. How long, one would
be glad to know, has this vast stream, fed by the melted snow of the
Andes, poured its accumulated waters into the bosom of the ocean? A
thousand years is but as a day, in reckoning the age of a mountain range
or of a mammoth river.

As we approached the city, the channel became gradually narrowed by
several prominent islands, crowded with rich green vegetation, forest
trees of various sorts, mangoes, bananas, and regal palms. Though it is
thus broken by islands, the river is here over twenty miles in width.

Pará is yielded precedence over the other cities on the east coast of
South America in many respects, and is appreciatively called "Queen of
the Amazon," her water communication reaching into the very heart of
some of the most fertile valleys on the continent. One incorporated
company has established a score of well-appointed steamers, averaging
five hundred tons each, which navigate the river for a distance of two
thousand miles from its mouth. Pará has an excellent harbor, of large
capacity, accommodating an extensive commerce, a considerable portion of
which is with the United States of North America. It has a mixed
population of about fifty thousand, composed of an amalgamation of
Portuguese, Italians, Indians, and negroes, and is the only town of any
importance, except Quito, situated so near to the equatorial line,
where the interested observer has the privilege of beholding the starry
constellations of both hemispheres. Ships of five thousand tons
measurement can lie within a hundred yards of the wharves of Pará, where
the accumulation of coffee, dyewoods, drugs, tobacco, cotton, cocoa,
rice, sugar, and raw india-rubber, indicates the character of the
principal exports. Of all these staples, the last named is the most
important, in a commercial point of view, occupying the third place on
the list of national exports. As we have shown, the import and export
trade of the Amazon valley naturally centres here, and Pará need fear no
commercial rival.

For a considerable period this unequaled water-way, forming the spacious
port, and conveying the drainage of nearly half of South America into
the Atlantic, bore the name of its discoverer, Orellana, one of
Pizarro's captains; but the fabulous story of a priest called Friar
Gaspar, self-constituted chronicler of the expedition, gave to it the
designation which it now bears. All the Spanish records of the history
and conquests in the New World, relating to the doings of Columbus,
Cortez, Pizarro, and others, without an exception, were written in the
same spirit of exaggeration and untruthfulness, leading that pious
witness and contemporary writer, Las Casas, to pronounce them, with
honest indignation, to be a tissue of falsehoods. Even our own popular
historian, Prescott, who drew so largely upon these sources for his
poetical productions, was forced to admit their manifest incongruities,
contradictions, and general irresponsibility. This Munchausen of a
priest, Friar Gaspar, recorded that a tribe of Amazons, or fighting
women, was encountered far inland, on the banks of the mighty river, who
were tall in stature, symmetrical in form, and had a profusion of long
hair, which hung in braids down their backs. They were represented to be
as warlike as they were beautiful, and as carrying shields and spears,
the latter of which they could use with great skill and effect. It was
this foolish story of the Amazons, hatched in the prolific brain of
Friar Gaspar, which gave the river its lasting name.

The Indian designation of the mammoth watercourse was significant and
appropriate, as their names always are. They called it _Parana-tinga_,
meaning "King of Waters," and it seems to us a great pity that the name
could not have been retained.

Pará has the advantage of being much nearer to the United States and to
Europe than Rio Janeiro, the capital of Brazil. Though the commerce of
Rio is constantly increasing, in spite of its miserable sanitary
condition, it is confidently believed by intelligent persons engaged in
the South American trade, that Pará will equal it erelong in the
aggregate of its shipments. All freight is now landed by means of
lighters, a process which is an awkward drawback upon commerce, and what
makes it still more aggravating is that it seems to be an entirely
needless one. Certainly a good, substantial, capacious pier might be
easily built, which would obviate this objection, accommodating a dozen
large vessels at the same time. The Brazilians are slow to adopt any
modern improvement. Portuguese and Spaniards are very much alike in this
respect. Wharves will be built at Pará by and by, after a few more
millions have been wasted upon the inconvenient process now in vogue,
which involves not only needless expense, but causes most awkward and
unreasonable delay, both in landing merchandise and in shipping freight
for export. This serious objection applies to all the ports along the
east coast of South America. There is always some private interest which
exerts itself to prevent any progressive movement, and it is this which
retards improved facilities for unloading and shipping of cargoes at
Pará. In this instance the owners of the steam tugs which tow the
flat-bottomed lighters from ship to shore, and vice versa, oppose the
building of piers, because, if they were in existence, these individuals
would find their profitable occupation gone. If proper wharf facilities
were to be furnished, commerce generally would be much benefited, though
a few persons would suffer some pecuniary loss. As we have said, the
wharves will come by and by, when the people realize that private
interest must be subservient to the public good.

The city of Pará is situated upon slightly elevated ground, and makes a
fine appearance from the river, with its lofty cathedral, numerous
churches, convents, custom house, and arsenal standing forth in bold
relief against an intensely blue sky, while fronting the harbor, like a
line of sentinels, is a row of tall, majestic palms, harmonizing
admirably with the local surroundings, though in the very midst of a
busy commercial centre. The buildings are painted yellow, blue, or pink,
the façades contrasting strongly with the dark red of the heavily tiled
roofs, which, having no chimneys, present an odd appearance to a
northern eye. Here and there a mass of greenery indicates some domestic
garden, or a plaza presided over by tall groups of trees, among which
the thick, umbrageous mangoes prevail. The Rua da Imperatriz is the
principal wholesale street of the city, where the large warehouses are
to be found, but the Rua dos Mercadores is the fashionable shopping
street, through which the tramway also passes. The shops are rather
small, but have a fair stock of goods offered at reasonable rates,
though strangers are apt to be victimized by considerably higher prices
than a native would pay.

This, however, is not unusual in all foreign countries, so far as our
experience goes. North Americans are looked upon as possessing unlimited
pecuniary means, and as lavish in their expenditures, prices being
gauged accordingly. This is a universal practice in Europe, and
especially so in Germany.

The climate is very moist, and it has been facetiously remarked that it
rains here eight days in the week. One cannot speak approvingly of the
sanitary condition of a place where turkey buzzards are depended upon to
remove the garbage which accumulates in the thoroughfares. It is
unaccountable that the citizens should submit to such filthy
surroundings, especially in a locality where malarial fever is
acknowledged to prevail in the summer season. Though at this writing it
is the latter part of May, yellow fever is still rife here, and we hear
of many particularly sad cases, ending fatally, all about us. This
destroyer is especially apt to carry off people who have newly arrived
in the country. The present year has been unusually fatal among the
residents of Pará, as regards yellow fever, which seems to linger longer
and longer each year of its visitation. Our own conviction is that the
people have themselves to thank for this lingering of the pest into the
winter months, since the sanitary conditions of the place are
inexcusably defective.

Gardens in and about the city quickly catch and delight the
eye,--gardens where flowers and fruits grow in great luxuriance. Among
the latter are oranges, mangoes, guavas, figs, and bananas. The glossy
green fronds of the bananas throw other verdure altogether into the
shade, while in dignity and beauty the cocoanut palms excel all other
trees. The tall, straight stem of the palm rises from the roots without
leaf or branch until the plumed head is reached, which bends slightly
under its wealth of pinnated leaves and fruit combined. If you happen to
pass these gardens after nightfall, especially those in the immediate
environs of the city, mark the phosphorescent clouds of dancing lights
which fill the still atmosphere round about the vegetation. This
peculiar effect is produced by the busy cucuios, or tropical fireflies,
each vigorously flashing its individual torch. Do they shine thus in the
daytime, we are led to wonder, like the constellations in the heavens,
though hidden by the greater light of the sun? They are always
demonstrative in the night, be it never so cloudy, foggy, or damp in the
low latitudes. They keep their sparkling revels, their torchlight
dances, all heedless of the grim and deadly fever which lurks in the
surrounding atmosphere, claiming human victims right and left, among
high and low, from the ranks of age and of youth. Insect life is
redundant here. It is the very paradise of butterflies, whose size, wide
spread of wing, variety, and striking beauty of colors, we have only
seen equaled at Penang and Singapore, in the Malacca Straits. Some of
the avenues leading to the environs are lined with handsome trees, which
add greatly to their attractiveness and comfort. The silk cotton tree
and the almond are favorites here as ornamental shade trees. The cape
jessamine is universally cultivated at Pará, and grows to a large size,
filling the air with its agreeable fragrance. Here the oleander, covered
with clusters of bloom, grows to the height of twenty feet and more. The
lime, with its fine acid fruit, which is in great request in making
cooling drinks, also abounds.

The glimpses of domestic life which one gets in passing the better class
of dwellings reveal rooms with tiled or polished wooden floors,
cane-finished chairs, sofas, and rockers to match, a small foot rug here
and there, a group of flowering plants in one corner, while hammocks
seem to take the place of bedsteads. The temperature is high at Pará in
summer, and woolen carpets, or even mattresses, are too warm for use in
this climate. Bignonias, oleanders, and other blooming plants abound in
the flower-plots about the city, besides many flowering vines which are
strangers to us, half orchids, half creepers. One is apt to jump at
conclusions. These people dearly love flowers, so we conclude they
cannot be very wicked.

The families live, as it were, in the open patios, which form the
centres of their dwellings, are shaded by broad verandas, and upon which
the domestic apartments all open. The accessories are few, and not
entirely convenient, according to a northerner's ideas of comfort; but
this is compensated for by the fragrance of flowers, the picturesqueness
of the surroundings, and the free and easy out-of-door atmosphere which
ignores conventionalities. These attractive interiors suggest a sort of
picnic mode of life which has conformed itself to climatic influences.
Everything is very quiet, there is no hurry, and the stillness is
occasionally interrupted by the musical laughter of children, which
rings out clear and pleasantly, entirely in harmony with the
surroundings. And such children! Artists' models, every one of them. It
all seems to a stranger to be the very poetry of living, yet we venture
to say that each household has its skeleton in the closet, and some a
whole anatomical museum!

At Bahia, further south, a revelation awaits the traveler in the
delicious richness, size, and delicacy of the oranges which grow there
in lavish abundance, and which are famous, all along the coast. Here at
Pará, the same may be said of the pineapple, the raising of which is a
local specialty. These are not picked until fully ripe, and often weigh
ten pounds each. When cut open, the inside can be eaten with a spoon, if
one fancies that mode. They require no sugar; nature has supplied the
saccharine principle in abundance. They are absolutely perfect in
themselves alone. People sailing northward lay in a great store of this
admirable fruit, which is as cheap as it is delicious and appetizing. In
New England, the pines of which we partake have been picked in a green
condition in Bermuda, the Bahamas, or Florida, to enable them to bear
transportation. They ripen only partially off the stem, and after a very
poor style, decay setting in at the same time; consequently the pulp is
not suitable to swallow, and is always more or less indigestible. The
Pará pines are seedless, and are propagated by replanting the suckers.
The crown, we were told, would also thrive and reproduce the fruit if
properly planted, but the first named process is that generally
employed, and is probably the best.

In the neighborhood of Pará are many large and profitable cocoa
plantations, the industry connected with which is a growing one,
representing a considerable amount of capital. But above all others, the
gathering and preparing of raw india-rubber for exportation is the
prevailing industry of this Brazilian capital.

The common people seem to be an uncertain mixture of races, confounding
all attempts properly to analyze their antecedents. They have touches of
refinement and underlying tenderness of instinct, as exhibited in their
home associations, but also evince a coarseness which is not inviting,
to say the least. They are universal lovers of pet birds and small
animals. No household seems to be complete without some representatives
of the sort. Among these are cranes, ibises, herons, turtle-doves,
parrots, macaws, and paroquets. Monkeys of various tribes, the little
marmoset being the favorite, are seen domesticated in almost every
private garden, full of fun and mischief, and affording infinite
amusement to the youthful members of the household. Young anacondas,
sometimes ten feet long, are kept in and about the dwellings, to catch
and drive away the rats! The reader smiles half incredulously at this,
and we do not wonder. If one of these rodents be caught in a trap and
killed, it is useless to offer it to an anaconda as food. That
fastidious reptile will eat only such creatures as it kills itself. This
is also characteristic of the African lion and the tiger of India, when
in the wild state; neither will molest a dead body, of man or beast,
which they have not themselves deprived of life, though hyenas, wolves,
and some other animals will even rob the graves of human bodies for
food. We had never heard of anacondas employed as ratters before we came
to Pará, but we were assured by those who should know that they are
especially effective in warfare against this domestic pest.

Broad verandas give a grateful shade to most of the dwelling-houses,
which are seldom over one story in height, each one, however, extending
over considerable ground space. In the business part of the town,
fronting the harbor, the houses are generally two or even three stories
in height, it being necessary in such localities to economize the square
feet of ground occupied. The same sort of external ornamentation is seen
here as upon the house fronts in Mexico, namely, the profuse decoration
of the walls with glazed earthen tiles, often of fancy colors, which
gives a checkerboard appearance to a dwelling-house not calculated to
please a critical eye.

The Opera House of Pará is a large and imposing structure, one of the
finest edifices in the town, and the largest theatre, we believe, in
South America, quite uncalled for, it would seem, by any local demand.
It is built of brick, finished in stucco, the front being decorated with
marble columns having handsome and elaborate Corinthian capitals. The
house lights up brilliantly at night, being finished in red, white, and
gold. It has four narrow galleries supported upon brackets, thus
obviating the necessity for the objectionable upright posts which so
provokingly interfere with the line of sight. The cathedral is a
substantial and handsome structure, with a couple of tall towers, after
the usual Spanish style, each containing a dozen bells. The interior has
all the florid and tawdry ornamentation always to be found in Roman
Catholic churches, together with the usual complement of bleeding
figures, arrow-pierced saints, high-colored paper rosettes, utterly
meaningless, together with any amount of glittering tinsel, calculated
to catch the eye and captivate the imagination of the grossly ignorant
native population.

There are many minor churches in the city, and judging by the number
seen in the streets, there must be at least a thousand priests, whose
sole occupation, when they are not gambling or cock-fighting, is to
cajole and impoverish the common people. It was a church festival when
we visited the cathedral. There are over two hundred such days, out of
every three hundred and sixty-five, in Roman Catholic countries,--not
days of humiliation and prayer, but days of gross latitude, of
bull-fights, occasions when the decent amenities of life are ignored,
days when the broadest license prevails, and all excesses are condoned.
There were a large number of women present in the cathedral on this day,
but scarcely half a dozen men. The better class were dressed gayly, and
wore some rich jewelry. The love of finery prevails, and pervades all
classes. Some of the ladies were clad in costly silks and laces, set off
by brilliants and pearls. Diamonds and precious stones are very common
in this country, and a certain class seem to carry a large share of
their worldly possessions showily displayed upon their persons. What the
humbler class lacked in richness of material, they made up in gaudy
colors, blazing scarfs, and imitation gold and silver jewelry. Nature
sets the example of bright colors in these latitudes, in gaudy plumed
birds and high-tinted flowers and fruits. The natives only follow her.
The few men who were present came to ogle the women, and having
satisfied their low-bred curiosity, soon retired to the neighboring
bar-rooms and gambling saloons. On special festal days temporary booths
are erected in the squares, in which intoxicants are sold, together with
toys, cakes, cigars, and charms, the latter said to have been blessed by
the priests, and therefore sure to prevent any injury from the evil eye!

As in most of the South American cities, there are several elaborate
buildings here, formerly used as convents, which are now devoted to more
creditable purposes. The present custom house occupies one of these
edifices, which is crowned with two lofty towers.

There are plenty of mendicants in the streets of Pará, who are very
ready with their importunities, especially in appealing to strangers.
The average citizens seemed to be liberal in dealing with these beggars.
Saturday is called "poor day" in Pará, as it is also in Havana,
Matanzas, Cienfuegos, etc., when every housekeeper who is able to give
something does so, if it be only a small roll of bread, to each visiting
beggar. At most houses these small rolls are baked regularly for this
purpose, and the applicant is nearly sure to get one upon calling, and
if he represents a large family he may receive two. Money is rarely, if
ever, given by residents, nor is it expected; but strangers are
surrounded as by an army with banners, and vigorously importuned for
centavos. The Spaniards and Portuguese are natural beggars.

Here let us digress for a moment. The system of beggary prevailing in
Spanish countries is very trying to all sensitive travelers. In Italy,
Spain, and the south of France, especially at the watering-places, it is
a terrible pest. Naples has become almost unendurable on this account.
At every rod one is constantly importuned and followed by beggars of all
sizes, ages, and of both sexes,--individuals who should be placed in
asylums and cared for by the state. No reasonable person would object to
paying a certain sum on entering these resorts, to be honestly devoted
to charitable purposes, provided it would insure him against the
disgusting importunities of which strangers are now the victims.
Visitors hasten away from the localities where these things are not only
permitted but are encouraged. It is thought to be quite the thing to
fleece foreigners of every possible penny, and by every possible means.
The contrast in this respect between the cities of the United States and
those of Europe and South America is eminently creditable to the former.
In the beautiful little watering-place known as Luchon, in the south of
France, at the foot of the Pyrenees, with scarcely four thousand
inhabitants, there are over one hundred professional beggars, who
constantly beset and drive away visitors. Some of these, as usual in
such cases, are known to be well off pecuniarily, but are marked by some
physical deformity upon which they trade. If the stranger gives, he is
oftenest encouraging a swindle, rarely performing a true charity. This
is one of the increasing disgraces of Paris. Beggars know too much to
importune citizens, but strangers are beset at every corner of the
boulevards and public gardens, particularly by children, girls and boys,
trained for the purpose.

Of all the races seen in Brazil, the half-breed Indian girls are the
most attractive, and until they are past the age of twenty-five or
thirty years they are almost universally handsome, no matter to what
class they belong. Those who have the advantage of domestic comforts,
good food, and delicate associations develop accordingly, and are
especially beautiful. They would make charming artists' models. The
remarkably straight figure of the native women is noticeable, caused by
the practice referred to of carrying burdens on the head. As already
mentioned, if a negro or Indian woman has an article to transport, even
if it be but a quart bottle, or an umbrella, it is placed at once upon
the head. The article may weigh five pounds or fifty, it is all the
same; everything but the babies is thus transported. These little naked
creatures, always suggestive of monkeys, are supported on the mother's
back, held there by a shawl or rebozo tied securely across the chest.
When the children are six or eight years old, they are promoted to the
dignity of wearing one small garment, an abbreviated shirt or chemise.

The principal food of the common people of northern Brazil is farina and
dried fish, with fried plantains and ripe bananas. Crabs and oysters of
a poor description abound along the coast, and are eaten by the people,
both in a raw and cooked condition. But the white people avoid the coast
oysters, which sometimes poison those not accustomed to them.

The finest avenue in Pará is the Estrada de São José, bordered by grand
old palms, which form a beautiful perspective and a welcome shade, the
feathery tops nearly embracing each other overhead. The tramway takes
one through the environs by the Rua de Nazareth, for five miles to Marco
da Legua, where the public wells of the city are situated. The way
thither is lined with neat and handsome dwellings, shaded by noble
trees. The botanical garden is well worth a visit by all lovers of
horticulture. The forest creeps up towards the environs of the town,
wherein many of the trees are rendered beautiful by clinging orchids of
gorgeous blue; others are of blood red, and some of orange yellow,
presenting also a great diversity of form. One has not far to go to see
specimens of the india-rubber tree, growing from ninety to a hundred
feet in height, while measuring from four to five feet in diameter. This
tree begins to produce gum at the age of fifteen years. The trunk is
smooth and perfectly round, the bark of a buff color. It bears a curious
fruit, of which some animals are said to be fond. The author has seen
the india-rubber tree growing in the island of Ceylon, where it seemed
to reach a greater height and dimensions than it does in the district of
Pará. A considerable portion of the roots lie above ground, stretching
away from the base of the tree like huge anacondas, and finally
disappearing in the earth half a rod or more from the parent trunk. The
reader can hardly fail to be familiar with the simple wild plant, which
grows so abundantly by our New England roadsides, known as the
milk-weed, which, when the stem is cut or broken, emits a creamy,
pungent smelling liquid. In the latitude of Pará, this little weed, of
the same family, assumes the form of a colossal tree, and is known as
the india-rubber tree. The United States takes of Brazilian rubber, in
the crude state, over twenty-five thousand tons annually. As to coffee,
Brazil supplies one half of all which is consumed in the civilized
world; but we should frankly tell the reader, if he does not already
realize the fact, that it is most frequently marked and sold for "Old
Government Java."

The india-rubber tree is tapped annually very much after the same style
in which we treat the sugar-maple in Vermont, and elsewhere, to procure
its sap. A yellow, creamy liquid flows forth from the rubber tree into
small cups placed beneath an incision made in the trunk. When the cup
becomes full, its contents is emptied into a large common receptacle,
where it is allowed to partially harden, and in which form it is called
caoutchouc. The tapping of the trees and attending to the gathering of
the sap furnish employment to hundreds of the natives, who, however,
make but small wages, being employed by contractors, who either lease
the trees of certain districts, or own large tracts of forest land.
These Brazilian forests are very grand, abounding in valuable aromatic
plants, precious woods, gaudy birds, and various wild animals. The
number of monkeys is absolutely marvelous, including many curious
varieties. A native will not kill a monkey; indeed, it must be difficult
for a European to make up his mind to shoot a creature so nearly human
in its actions, and whose pleading cries when wounded are said to be so

One of the peculiar street sights in Pará is that of native women with a
dozen young monkeys of different species for sale. Marmosets can be
bought for a quarter of a dollar each. So tame are the little creatures
that they cling about the woman's person, fastening upon her hair, arms,
and neck, not in the least inclined to escape from her. It is remarkable
and interesting to see how very fond they become of their owner, if he
is kind to them. Like the dog and the cat, they seem to have a strong
desire for human companionship. When seen running wild in the woods,
leaping from tree to tree, and from branch to branch, they do not try to
get far away from the presence of man, but only to keep, in their
untamed state, just out of reach of his hands. Ships sailing hence
generally take away a few of these animals, but as they are delicate,
and very sensitive to climatic changes, many of them die before reaching
Europe or North America.

The great beauty of Pará is its abundance of palm trees. The palm is
always an interesting object, as well as a most valuable one;
interesting because of its historical and legendary associations, and
valuable, since it would be almost impossible to enumerate the number of
important uses to which it and its products are put. To the people of
the tropics it is the prolific source of food, shelter, clothing, fuel,
fibre for several uses, sugar, oil, wax, and wine. It has been aptly
termed the "princess of the vegetable world." One indigenous species,
the Piassaba, is a palm which yields a most valuable fibre, extensively
manufactured into cordage and ships' cables, for which purpose it is
much in use on the coast of South America. It is found to be stronger
and more elastic than hemp when thus employed, besides which it is far
more durable. The product of this species of palm is also exported in
large quantities to North America and to England, for the purpose of
making brushes, brooms, and various sorts of domestic matting.

The nights are especially beautiful in this region. We were interested
in observing the remarkable brilliancy of the sky; the stars do not seem
to sparkle, as with us at the north, but shed a soft, steady light,
making all things luminous. This is the natural result of the clearness
of the atmosphere. One is surprised at first to find the moon apparently
so much increased in size and effulgency. The Southern Cross is ever
present, though it is dominated by the Centaur. Orion is seen in his
glory, and the Scorpion is clearly defined. In the author's estimation,
there is no exhibition of the heavens in these regions which surpasses
the magnificence of the far-reaching Milky Way.

          CHAPTER VI.

     Island of Marajo.--Rare and Beautiful Birds.--Original Mode
     of Securing Humming-Birds.--Maranhão.--Educational.--Value
     of Native Forests.--Pernambuco.--Difficulty of Landing.--An
     Ill-chosen Name.--Local Scenes.--Uncleanly Habits of the
     People.--Great Sugar Mart.--Native Houses.--A Quaint
     Hostelry.--Catamarans.--A Natural Breakwater.--Sailing down
     the Coast.

The island of Marajo, situated at the mouth of the Amazon, opposite
Pará, and belonging to the province or state of that name, is a hundred
and eighty miles in length and about one hundred and sixty in width,
nearly identical in size with the island of Sicily, and almost oval in
form. One of the principal shore settlements is Breves, on the
southeastern corner of the island, which lies somewhat low, and consists
of remarkably fertile soil, so abounding in wild and beautiful
vegetation and exquisite floral varieties, that it is called in this
region "the Island of Flowers." We can easily believe the name to be
appropriately chosen, since, as we skirt its verdant shores hour after
hour, they seem to emit the drowsy, caressing sweetness of fragrant
flowers so sensibly as to almost produce a narcotic effect. The easterly
or most seaward part of Marajo is open, marshy, sandy land, but back
from the shore the soil is of a rich, black alluvium, supporting in very
large tracts a dense forest growth, similar to all the low-lying
tropical lands of South America. The population is recorded as numbering
about twenty thousand, divided into several settlements, mostly on the
coast, and consists largely of the aboriginal race found by the first
comers upon this island, who, on account of their somewhat isolated
condition, have amalgamated less with Europeans and the imported colored
race than any other tribe on the east coast of the continent.

The extensive meadows of Marajo are the grazing fields of numerous herds
of wild horses and horned cattle, the former of a superior breed, highly
prized on the mainland; and yet so rapidly do they increase in this
climate, in the wild state, that every few years they are killed in
large numbers for their hides alone. The exports from the island consist
of rice, cattle, horses, and hides. There are some large plantations
devoted to the cultivation of rice, the soil and water supply of certain
districts being especially favorable to this crop. As intimated, a
considerable portion of Marajo is covered with a forest growth so dense
as to be compared to the jungles of Africa and India, and which, so far
as is known, has never been penetrated by the foot of man. Travelers who
have visited the borders of this leafy wilderness expatiate upon the
strange, inexplicable sounds which are heard at times, amid the
prevailing stillness and sombre aspect of these primeval woods.
Sometimes there comes, it is said, from out the forest depth a wild cry,
like that of a human being in distress, but which, however long one may
listen, is not repeated. Again, there is heard an awful crash, like the
falling of some ponderous forest giant, then stillness once more settles
over the mysterious, tangled woods. Every time the silence is broken it
seems to be by some new and inexplicable sound, not to be satisfactorily
accounted for.

The lagoons near the centre of Marajo are said to abound in alligators,
which are sometimes sought for by the natives for their hides, for which
a fair price is realized, since fashion has rendered this article
popular in a hundred different forms. The number and variety of birds
and lesser animals to be found upon the island are marvelous. Certain
species of birds seem to have retreated to this spot from the mainland,
before the tide of European immigration; indeed, it has for a long time
been considered the paradise of the naturalist. Over thirty species of
that peculiar bird, the toucan, have been secured here.

When Professor Agassiz was engaged in his scientific exploration of the
Amazon, he dispatched a small but competent party especially to obtain
specimens from this island, the result being both a surprise and a
source of great gratification to the king of naturalists. Many of the
objects secured by these explorers were rare and beautiful birds, not a
few of which are unique, and of which no previous record existed. There
were also many curious insects and other specimens particularly valuable
to naturalists, most of which are preserved to-day in the Agassiz Museum
at Cambridge, Massachusetts. The toucan, just spoken of, is most
remarkable for its beauty and variety of colors, as well as for the very
peculiar form and size of its elephantine bill, which makes it look
singularly ill-balanced. This ludicrous appendage is nine inches long
and three in circumference; the color is vermilion and yellow delicately
mingled. The toucan is much coveted for special collections by all
naturalists, and is becoming very scarce, except in this one equatorial
locality. Scarlet ibises and roseate spoonbills are also found at
Marajo, both remarkably fine examples of semi-aquatic fowl, and when
these are secured in good condition for preservation, the natives
realize good prices for them. In order to procure desirable specimens of
the humming-bird species, which are also abundant on this island, the
native hunters resort to an ingenious device, so as not to injure the
skin or the extremely delicate plumage of this butterfly-bird. For this
purpose they use a peculiar syringe made from reeds, and charged with a
solution of adhesive gum, which, when directed by an experienced hand,
clogs the bird's wings at once, stopping its flight and causing it to
fall to the ground. Some are caught by means of nets set on the end of
long bamboo poles, such as are used to secure butterflies, but this
method is poorly adapted to catch so quick moving a creature as a
humming-bird. The author has seen, in southern India, butterflies of
gaudiest texture with bodies as large as small humming-birds, which were
quite as brilliant as they in lovely colors. The variety and beauty of
this insect, as found anywhere from Tuticorin to Darjeeling, is notable.
Wherever British troops are permanently settled, the wives of the common
soldiers become very expert in catching and arranging these attractive
objects, preserving them in frames under glass. These find ready
purchasers for museums and private collections all over Europe, and are
sold at moderate prices, but serve to add a welcome trifle to the
extremely poor pay of a common soldier having perhaps a wife and one or
two children to support.

The island of Marajo was not formed at the Amazon's mouth of soil
brought down from the interior by the river's current, as is often the
case with islands thus situated, but is a natural, rocky formation which
serves to divide the channel and give the river a double outlet into the
Atlantic. Agassiz studied its character, and gives us an interesting
statement as the result. He declared, after careful geological
examination, that it is an island which was once situated far inland,
away from the river's mouth, but which is now brought near to it by the
gradual encroachment of the Atlantic Ocean, whose waves and restless
currents have slowly worn away the northeastern part of the continent.
This abrasion must have been going on for many thousand years, to have
produced such a decided topographical change. For the word years, upon
second thought, read ages, which will undoubtedly express the true idea
much more correctly.

There are over twenty species of palms indigenous to Marajo, which, as
one skirts the water front, are seen growing along the far-reaching
shore, fostered by the humidity of the atmosphere arising from the
ever-flowing waters of the great river. Among these the peach-palm is
quite conspicuous, with its spiny stems and mealy, nutritious fruit.
There are also the cocoa-palm and the assai-palm, the latter gayly
decorated with its delicate green plumes and long spear pointing
heavenward, an emblem borne by no other tree in existence. The great
variety of forms of plant life and giant grasses is extremely curious
and beautiful on this interesting island. We heard, while at Pará, of a
proposal made by some European party to thoroughly explore Marajo, which
has never yet been done, so far as is known to our time, and it is
believed that some very interesting and valuable discoveries may be the
result of such an expedition, composed of engineers, scientists, and

A day's sail to the eastward, bearing a little to the south along the
coast, brings us to the port of Maranhão, which is the capital of a
province of Brazil known by the same name, situated a little over three
hundred miles from Pará. The place is picturesquely nestled, as it were,
in the very lap of the mountains, which come boldly down to the coast at
this point. It was founded nearly three hundred years ago, is regularly
built, and contains between thirty and forty thousand inhabitants.
Nearly all of the houses, which are generally of two stories, are
ornamented with attractive balconies, and have handsome gardens attached
to them, where the luxurious verdure is with difficulty kept within
proper bounds. Vegetation runs riot in equatorial regions. It is the one
pleasing outlet of nature, whose overcharged vitality, spurred on by the
climate, must find vent either in teeming vegetation or in raging
volcanoes, tidal waves, and unwelcome earthquakes, though sometimes, to
be sure, we find them all combined in the tropics.

The harbor of Maranhão is excellent and sheltered, the depth of water
permitting the entrance of ships drawing full twenty feet, an advantage
which some of the ports to the southward would give millions of dollars
to possess. According to published statistics, the exports during 1890
were as follows: thirty-six hundred tons of cotton, six hundred tons of
sugar, seven hundred tons of hides, a large amount of rice, and some
other minor articles. The imports for the same period were estimated at
something less than three million dollars in value. This is the entrepôt
of several populous districts, besides that of which it is the capital.
The province itself contains a number of navigable rivers, with some
thrifty towns on their banks. The bay gives ample evidence of commercial
activity, containing at all times a number of foreign steamships, with a
goodly show of coasting vessels. The place is slowly but steadily
growing in its business relations, and in the number of its permanent

It cannot make any pretension to architectural excellence, though the
Bishop's palace and the cathedral are handsome structures. There are two
or three other prominent edifices, quaint and Moorish, which were once
nunneries or monasteries; also a foundling institution, a special
necessity in all Roman Catholic countries. We found here a public
library, and a botanical garden. Not far inland there are some extensive
rice plantations, the province in some portions being specially adapted
to producing this valuable staple. We were informed by those whose
opinion was worthy of respect, that educational advantages are rather
remarkable here, the Lyceum having in the past few years graduated some
of the most prominent statesmen and professionals in Brazil. One thing
is very certain, the authorities cannot multiply educational facilities
any too rapidly in this country, nor give the subject any too much
attention, especially as regards the rising generation of both sexes. So
far as we could learn by inquiry, or judge by careful observation, the
ignorance of the mass of the people is simply deplorable.

Maranhão is situated about fourteen hundred miles north of Rio Janeiro,
with which port it carries on an extensive coasting trade. The exports,
besides the staples already spoken of, are various, including annotto,
sarsaparilla, balsam copaiba, and other medicinal extracts, together
with rum and crude india-rubber. The climate is torrid, the city being
one hundred and fifty miles south of the equator; and though, like most
of the towns on the eastern coast of the continent, it is rather an
unhealthy locality, it is much less so than Pará, and is a far more
cleanly place than that city, its situation giving it the advantage of a
system of natural drainage. The country near Maranhão abounds in native
forests of exuberant richness, producing a valuable quality of timber,
and affording some of the finest cabinet woods known to commerce, as
well as a practically inexhaustible supply of various dyewoods, a
considerable business being done in the export of the latter article. It
was observed that the assai-palm, from which the palm wine is made, was
also a prominent feature here. The trunk is quite smooth, the fruit
growing in heavy bunches like grapes, dark brown in color, and about the
size of cranberries, hanging in heavy clusters just below the bunch of
long leaves which forms the top of the tree. The native drink which is
made from these palm grapes is a favorite beverage in northern Brazil,
and when properly fermented it contains about the same percentage of
alcohol as English pale ale.

To the author, the town of Maranhão was quite unknown; even its place
upon the maps had never attracted his attention until after it was seen
lying peacefully in an amphitheatre of tall hills, which come down close
to the rock-ribbed shore of the Atlantic Ocean. This acknowledgment is
between ourselves, for such a confession would sound very ridiculous to
the good people of Maranhão.

After leaving its harbor, our next objective point was Pernambuco, which
is situated about four days' sail from Pará by steamship, and about
three from Maranhão.

This well known port, with its one hundred and fifty thousand
inhabitants, is reckoned as the third city of Brazil in point of size
and commercial importance. It lacks elevation to produce a good effect,
and recalls the low-lying city of Havana in general appearance, as one
approaches it from the sea. The harbor is not what could be desired for
a commercial city, having hardly sufficient depth of water for vessels
of heavy tonnage, and being also too narrow for a modern long steamship
to safely turn in. The American line of steamships come to a mooring
inside the harbor, but the European lines, or at least the Pacific Mail,
in which we made the home passage, anchor in the open roadstead, three
quarters of a mile from the shore. The harbor is formed by a long
natural reef, which makes a breakwater between it and the open sea, a
portion of the reef having been built up with solid masonry to render it
more effective. This remarkable coral formation, which is more or less
clearly defined, extends along the coast for a considerable
distance,--it is said for four hundred miles. Opposite Pernambuco it
rises six feet above the water, that is, above high-water mark, and runs
parallel to the front street of the city at the distance from it of
about a third of a mile or less. A wide opening in the reef at the
northern end of the town makes the entrance to the harbor. Off the
northeast coast of Australia, there is a very similar reef-formation,
fully as long as this on the South American coast, but situated much
further from the shore.

It is a serious drawback that passengers by large ocean steamers cannot
enter the harbor of Pernambuco except by lighters or open boats; all
freight brought by these steamers must also be transhipped. Landing here
is often accomplished at considerable personal risk, and a thorough
ducking with salt water is not at all uncommon in the attempt to reach
the shore. To pull a boat from the open roadstead into the harbor, or
vice versa, requires six stout oarsmen and an experienced man at the
helm, so that landing from the Pacific Mail steamers is both a serious
and an expensive affair. If a very heavy sea is running, the thing
cannot be done, and no one will attempt it. The powerful wind which so
often prevails on the coast occasionally creates quite a commotion even
inside the harbor, among the shipping moored there, causing the largest
cables to part and vessels to drag their anchors. Of course a vessel
lying in the open roadstead, outside of the reef, has no protection
whatever, and is in a critical situation if the wind blows towards the
land. If it comes on to blow suddenly, she buoys and slips her anchor at
once; she dares not waste the time to hoist it, but gets away as quickly
as possible to where there is plenty of sea room and no lee shore to
fear. Fortunately, though so fierce for the time being, and of a
cyclonic character, the storms upon the coast are generally of brief
duration, and like the furious pamperos, which are so dreaded by
mariners further south, they blow themselves out in a few hours.

The geographical situation of Pernambuco is such, in the track of
commerce, that vessels bound north or south, from Europe or from North
America, naturally make it a port of call to obtain late advices and
provisions. The name has been singularly chosen, no one can say how or
by whom, but it signifies "the mouth of hell," a cognomen which we do
not think the place at all deserves. It is a narrow, crowded,
picturesque old seaport.

The town is situated at the mouth of the Biberibe River, just five
hundred miles south of the equator, and is divided in rather a peculiar
manner into three distinct parts: Recife, on a narrow peninsula; Boa
Vista, on the river shore; and San Antonio, on an island in the river;
all being connected, however, by six or eight substantial iron bridges.
The first named division is the business portion of the capital, about
whose water front the commercial life of Pernambuco centres, but the
streets of Recife are very narrow and often confusingly crooked. Boa
Vista is beautified by pleasant domestic residences, delightful gardens,
and attractive promenades, far beyond anything which a stranger
anticipates meeting in this part of the world. Though the business
portion of the city is so low, the other sections are of better and more
recent construction.

The view of the town and harbor to be had from some portions of Olinda
is very fine and comprehensive, taking in a wide reach of land and
ocean. When a brief storm is raging, spending its force against the
reef, the view from this point is indeed grand. The sea, angered at
meeting a substantial impediment, seethes and foams in wild excitement,
dashing fifty feet into the air, and, falling over the reef, lashes the
inner waters of the harbor into waves which mount the landing piers, and
set everything afloat in the broad plaza which lines the shore. The big
ships rock and sway incessantly, straining at their anchors, or chafing
dangerously at their moorings. Precautions are taken to avert damage,
but man's strength and skill count for little when opposed by the
enraged elements.

This plaza, or quay, is shaded by aged magnolias of great height, and is
the resort of unemployed seamen, fruit dealers, and idlers of all
degrees. The house fronts in the various sections of the town are
brilliantly colored, yellow, blue, white, and pink, also sometimes being
covered halfway up the first story with glittering tiles of various
hues. At nearly every turn one comes upon the moss-grown, crumbling
façade of some old church, about the corners of which there is often a
grossly filthy receptacle, the vile odor from which permeates the
surrounding atmosphere. This was found to be almost insupportable with
the thermometer standing at 90° Fahr. in the shade, forming so obvious a
means for propagating malarial fever and sickness generally as to be
absolutely exasperating. Notwithstanding all appearances, the American
consul assured us that Pernambuco is one of the healthiest cities on the
east coast of South America. The yellow fever, however, does not by any
means forget to visit the place annually. Experience showed us that the
residents along the coast were accustomed to give their own city
precedence in the matter of hygienic conditions, and to admit, with
serious faces, that the other capitals, north and south, were sadly
afflicted by epidemics at nearly all seasons.

Pernambuco has several quite small but well-arranged public squares,
decorated with fountains, trees, and flowers of many species. Two of
these plazas have handsome pagodas, from which outdoor concerts are
often given by military bands. The city is a thriving and progressive
place, has extensive gas works, an admirable system of water supply,
tramways, good public schools, and one college or high school. We must
not forget to add to this list a very _flourishing_ foundling asylum,
where any number of poor little waifs are constantly being received, and
no questions asked. A revolving box or cradle is placed in a wall of the
hospital, next to the street, in which any person can deposit an infant,
ring the bell, and the cradle will revolve, leaving the child on the
inside of the establishment, where the little deserted object will be
duly cared for. Connected with the hospital are several outlying
buildings, where children are placed at various stages of growth. We
were told that about forty per cent. of such children live to grow up to
maturity, and leave the care of the government fairly well fitted to
take their place in the world, and to fight the battle of life so very
inauspiciously begun. It has been strongly argued that such an
establishment offers a premium upon illegitimacy and immorality; but one
thing is to be considered, it prevents the terrible crime of
infanticide, which is said to have prevailed here to an alarming extent
before this hospital was founded.

There is a passably good system of drainage, which was certainly very
much needed, and since its completion the general health of the place is
said to have considerably improved. This is not all that is required,
however. There should be a decided reform in the habits of the people as
regards cleanliness. At present they are positively revolting. The
inhabitants are the very reverse of neat in their domestic associations,
and home arrangements for natural conveniences are inexcusably
objectionable; such, indeed, as would in a North American city, or even
small town, call for the prompt interference of the local board of
health. These remarks do not apply to isolated cases; the trouble is
universal. Families living otherwise in comparative affluence utterly
disregard neatness and decency in the matter to which we allude.

The districts neighboring to Pernambuco form extensive plains, well
adapted to the raising of sugar, coffee, and cotton, as well as all
sorts of tropical fruits and vegetables. There are many flourishing
plantations representing these several interests, more especially that
of sugar. The storehouses on the wharves and in the business sections of
the city, the oxcarts passing through the streets, drawn each by a
single animal, and even the very atmosphere, seem to be full of sugar.
It is, in fact, the great sugar mart of South America. The annual amount
of the article which is exported averages some twelve hundred thousand
tons. Sugar is certainly king at Pernambuco. People not only drink, but
they talk sugar. It is the one great interest about which all other
business revolves. The article is mostly of the lower grade, and
requires to be refined before it is suitable for the market. The
refining process is being generally adopted at the plantations. American
machinery is introduced for the purpose with entire success. The export
of the crude article will, it is believed, be much less every year for
the future, until it ceases altogether. It was a singular sight to
observe the naked negroes carrying canvas bags of crude sugar upon their
heads through the streets, each bag weighing a hundred pounds or more.
The intense heat caused the canvas to exude quantities of syrup or
molasses, which covered their dark, glossy bodies with small streams of
fluid. They trotted along in single file, and at a quick pace, towards
their destination, unheeding the sticky condition of their woolly heads
and naked bodies.

Not far inland there are extensive meadows, where large herds of horned
cattle are raised, together with a breed of half-wild horses, the
breaking and domesticating of which, as here practiced, is a most cruel
process. A certain set of men devote themselves to this business; rough
riders, we should call them, very rough. Good horses are to be had at
extraordinarily low prices. In the back country there are some grand and
extensive forests, which produce fine cabinet woods and superior dye

By consulting a map of the western hemisphere, it will be seen that
Pernambuco is situated on the great eastern shoulder of South America,
where it pushes farthest into the Atlantic Ocean, fifteen hundred miles
south of Pará, and about five hundred north of Bahia. On the long coral
reef which separates the harbor from the open sea is a picturesque
lighthouse, also a quaint old watch tower which dates from the time of
the Dutch dominion here. It is proposed to build additional layers of
heavy granite blocks upon the reef, so as to raise it about six or eight
feet higher and make it of a uniform elevation along the entire city
front, and thus afford almost complete protection for the inner
anchorage. It will be only possible to make any real improvement of the
harbor by adopting a thorough system of dredging and deepening. There
was evidence of such a purpose being already in progress on our second
visit, two large steam dredging machines being anchored at the southerly
end of the harbor.

The people of this hot region know the great value of shade trees,
consequently they abound, half hiding from view the numerous handsome
villas which form the attractive suburbs of the city. Everywhere one
sees tall cocoanut palms, clusters of feathery bamboos, widespread
mangoes, prolific bananas, guavas, and plantains growing among other
graceful tropical trees, rich in the green texture of their foliage, and
thrice rich in their luscious and abundant fruits. Among the vine
products we must not forget to mention a rich, high flavored grape,
which is native here, and which all people praise after once tasting.
The water, which is brought into the city by a system of double iron
pipes, comes from a neighboring lake, and is a pure and wholesome drink,
a most incomparable blessing in equatorial regions, which no person who
has not suffered for the want of it can duly appreciate.

The International Hotel is the favorite resort of strangers, and is
situated a couple of miles from the harbor. It is surrounded by
beautiful trees and flowers, the golden oranges weighing down the
branches nearly to the ground by their size and abundance, while the
young blossoms fill the air with their delicate perfume,--fruit and
blossoms on the tree at the same time. The garden is thronged by
household pets, and contains a spacious aviary. The monkey tribe is
fully represented; gaudy winged parrots dazzle the eye with impossible
colors. One partakes here, in the open air, of the refreshing viands
amid the songs of birds, the occasional scream of the cockatoo, the
cooing of turtle-doves, and the fragrance of a profusion of tropical
flowers. The native servants are well-trained, and there is a French
chef. We were told that this attractive place had once belonged to a
very wealthy Brazilian, a planter, who had come to grief financially,
and as the house was offered for sale, it had been purchased for one
fifth of its original cost and adapted to hotel purposes. While enjoying
our fruit at dessert, a somewhat similar experience was recalled as
having taken place at Christiania, in Norway, where visitors enjoy the
meals in a sort of outdoor museum and garden, surrounded by curious
preserved birds mingled with living ones, the latter so tame as to
alight fearlessly upon the table and await any choice bit guests may
offer them.

We shall not soon forget the very appetizing dinner of which we partook,
amid such attractive surroundings, in the gardens of the International
Hotel at Pernambuco. One fruit which was served to us is known by the
name of the loquat. It is round, dark yellow, and about the size of a
Tangerine orange,--a great favorite with the natives, though it is
mostly stone and skin, and tastes like turpentine.

This city is often called the Venice of Brazil, but why, it is difficult
for one to understand. It is only poetical license, for there is not the
first actual resemblance between the two cities. True, there are several
watercourses, and half a dozen bridges, intersecting this Brazilian
capital. One would be equally justified in calling the frail catamarans
which are used by the fishermen in these waters, gondolas. This singular
craft, by the way, consists of four or five logs of the cork-palm tree,
confined together by a series of strong lashings, no nails being used,
thus securing a necessary degree of elasticity. One end of the logs is
hewn down to a smaller size or width than the other, thus forming stem
and stern, while a single thick plank serves as a keel. There are no
bulwarks to this crazy craft,--for it can hardly be called anything
else,--the whole being freely washed by the sea; but yet, with a rude
mast carrying a triangular sail, and with a couple of oars, two or three
fishermen venture far away from the shore; indeed, we encountered them
out of sight of land. A couple of upright stakes are driven into the
logs, to hold on by when occasion requires. It is really wonderful to
see how weatherly such a frail affair can be, and how literally safe in
a rough seaway. The boatmen who navigate these catamarans (they are
called here _janguardas_) manage to keep the market of Pernambuco
abundantly supplied with the strange, fantastic fish which so prevail
along the Atlantic coast in equatorial regions.

We have seen a craft very similar to these catamarans in use off the
Coromandel coast, between Madras and the mouth of the Hoogly River,
which leads up to Calcutta. Here the natives manage them in a sea so
rough that an ordinary ship's boat, if exposed, would surely be swamped.
The Madras catamaran consists of three pieces of timber, mere logs
twelve or fourteen feet long, securely bound together with ropes made
from the fibre of the cocoanut palm. Nails are no more available here
than in the former crafts we have named. No nails could withstand the
wrenching which this raft is subjected to. The middle log is a little
longer than the two outside ones, and is given a slight upward turn at
the end which forms the prow. No sail is used, but two fishermen
generally go out with each of these rafts, propelling them with
broad-bladed paddles, used alternately on either side. Of course the
natives who navigate these crafts are naked, with the exception of a
breech-cloth at the loins. They are very frequently thrown off by the
sea, but regain their places with remarkable agility. They manage also,
somehow, to secure their fishing gear, and generally to bring in a
remunerative fare from their excursions. Strange as the catamaran is, it
must yet be described as breezy, watery, and safe--for amphibious
creatures. There is one enemy these fishermen have to look out for,
namely the shark, both on the coast of Madras and South America. It is
more common to say when one is lost that the sharks got him, than it is
to say he was drowned.

The reef so often referred to, forming the breakwater opposite
Pernambuco, is about forty feet in width at the surface, and is the
marvelous architecture of that tiny coral builder which works beneath
these southern seas. When it has reared a pyramid reaching from the far
bottom of the ocean to the surface, its mission is performed and it
dies. It lives and works only beneath the surface of the sea;
atmospheric air is fatal to it. The pyramids of Egypt cannot compare
with these submerged structures for height, solidity, or magnitude. One
is the product of a creature of such seeming unimportance as to require
microscopic aid to detect its existence; the other are monuments erected
by ancient kings commanding infinite resources; the former being the
process of nature in carrying out her great and mysterious plan; the
latter, the ambitious work of men whose very identity is now
questionable. If we were to enter into a calculation based upon known
scientific facts, as to how many thousands of years were required for
this minute animal to rear this massive structure, the result would
astonish the average reader.

On approaching Pernambuco from the sea, the first object to attract the
eye is the long line of snow white breakers, caused by the incessant
swell of the sea striking against the firmly planted reef with a
deafening surge, breaking into foam and spray which are thrown forty
feet and more into the air. As we drew near for the first time, the
extended line of breakers was illumined by the early morning sun, making
fancy rainbows and misty pictures in the mingled air and water. We were
escorted by myriads of sea-birds, whose sharp cries came close upon the
ear, as they flew in and about the rigging. Behind the reef lay the
comparatively smooth waters of the harbor, dotted here and there by tiny
white sails, curious-shaped coasting craft, rowboats, and steam tugs,
while the background was formed by a leafless forest of tall ships'
masts which lined the wharves, and partially screened the low-lying
capital from view.

We have remained quite long enough at this city of the reef, and now
turn southward towards the more attractive port of Bahia.

In running down the coast, the Brazilian shore is so near as to be
distinctly visible, with its surf-fringed beach of golden sands
extending mile after mile, beyond which, far inland, rise ranges of
forest-clad hills, and beyond these, sky-reaching alps. It is often
necessary to give the land a wide berth, as at certain points dangerous
sandbars make out from it far to seaward; but whenever near enough to
the coast to make out the character of the vegetation, it was of deepest
green and exuberantly tropical. With the exception of one or two small
towns, and an occasional fisherman's hamlet, the shore presented no
signs of habitation, being mostly a sandy waste adjoining the sea, where
heavy rollers spent their force upon the smooth, water-worn, yellow

          CHAPTER VII.

     Port of Bahia.--A Quaint Old City.--Former Capital of
     Brazil.--Whaling Interests.--Beautiful
     Panorama.--Tramways.--No Color Line Here.--The Sedan
     Chair.--Feather Flowers.--Great Orange Mart.--Passion Flower
     Fruit.--Coffee, Sugar, and Tobacco.--A Coffee
     Plantation.--Something about Diamonds.--Health of the
     City.--Curious Tropical Street Scenes.

Bahia,--pronounced Bah-ee´ah,--situated three hundred and fifty miles
south of Pernambuco, is the capital of a province of the same name in
Brazil, and contains nearly two hundred thousand inhabitants. It is
admirably situated on elevated ground at the entrance of All Saints
Bay,--_Todos os Santos_,--just within Cape San Antonio, eight hundred
miles or thereabouts north of Rio Janeiro. The entrance of the bay is
seven miles broad. For its size, there are few harbors in the world
which present a more attractive picture as one first beholds it on
entering from the open Atlantic. The elevated site of the city, with its
close array of neat, white three and four story houses, breaks the
sky-line in front of the anchorage, while the town forms a half moon in
shape, extending for a couple of miles each way, right and left. Near
the water's edge, on the lower line of the city, are many substantial
warehouses, official establishments, the custom house, and the like.
Between the lower and the upper town is a long reach of green terraced
embankment, intense in its bright verdure. Probably no other city on the
globe, certainly not so far as our experience extends, is so peculiarly

A sad episode marked our first experience here. We came to anchor in the
harbor, according to custom, at what is known as the Quarantine. About a
cable's length from us lay a large European steamship, flying the yellow
flag at the fore. She came into port from Rio Janeiro on the previous
evening; five of her passengers who had died of yellow fever on the
passage were buried at sea, while two more were down with it, and were
being taken to the lazaretto on shore, as we dropped our anchor.
Probably they went there to die. This was naturally depressing, more so,
perhaps, as we were bound direct for Rio Janeiro; but as we now came
from a northern port with a clean bill of health, we were finally
released from quarantine and permitted to land. It is late in the
season--last of May--for this pest of the coast to prevail, but the year
1891 has been one of unusual fatality in the South American ports, and
none of them have been entirely exempt from the scourge, some showing a
fearful list of mortality among both citizens and strangers. We were
conversant with many instances of a particularly trying and sad nature,
if any distinction can be made where death intervenes with such a rude
hand. Victims who were in apparent good health in the morning were not
infrequently buried on the evening of the same day! But we will spare
the reader harrowing details.

Americus Vespucius discovered Bahia in 1503, while sailing under the
patronage of Portugal, and as it was settled in 1511, it is the oldest
city in the country, being also the second in size, though not in
commercial importance. The excellent harbor is so spacious as to form a
small inland sea, the far-reaching shores of which are beautified by
mingled green foliage and pretty villas stretching along the bay, while
the business portion gives evidence of a growing and important foreign
trade. This deduction is also corroborated by the presence of numerous
European steamships, and full-rigged sailing vessels devoted to the
transportation of merchandise. The buildings are generally of a
substantial appearance, whether designed as residences or for business
purposes, but are mostly of an antique pattern, old and dingy. Though
the city is divided into the lower and the upper town, the latter two or
three hundred feet above the former, it is made easily accessible by
mechanical means. A large elevator, run by hydraulic power, is employed
for the purpose, which was built by an energetic Yankee, and has been in
successful operation several years, taking the citizens from the lower
to the upper town, as we pass from basement to attic in our tall North
American buildings. Between the two portions of Bahia there are streets
for the transportation of merchandise, which wind zigzag fashion along
the ravine to avoid the abruptness of the ascent. Besides these means,
there are narrow stone steps leading upwards to the first level, among
the tropical verdure, the deep green branches and leaves nodding to one
from out of narrow lanes and quiet nooks. There is still another way of
reaching the upper town, namely, a cable road, of very steep grade, one
car ascending while another descends, thus forming a sort of
counterbalance. By all these facilities united, the population manage
very comfortably to overcome the topographical difficulties of the

Though there are few buildings of any special note in Bahia, the general
architecture being quaint and nondescript, still the combined view of
the city, as we have endeavored to show, is of no inconsiderable beauty.
We approached it from the north, doubling Light House Point in the early
morning, just as the rising sun lighted up the bay. Seen from the
harbor, the large dome of the cathedral overlooks the whole town very
much like the gilded dome which forms so conspicuous an object on
approaching the city of Boston. The dark, low-lying, grim-looking fort,
which presides over the quarantine anchorage, is built upon a natural
ledge of rock, half a mile from the shore of the town, and looks like a
huge cheese-box.

In the upper portion of Bahia the streets are narrow, and the houses so
tall as to nearly exclude the sun when it is not in the zenith. They are
built of a native stone, and differ from the majority of South American
dwellings, which are rarely over two stories in height, and generally of
one only. We have heard it argued that it is advantageous to build
tropical cities with narrow streets, so as to exclude the heat of the
sun's rays and thus keep the houses cooler. This is not logical. Wide
avenues and broad streets give ventilation which cannot be obtained in
any other way in populous centres. Narrow lanes invite epidemics,
fevers, and malarial diseases; broad thoroughfares give less opportunity
for their lodgment. A beehive of human beings, crowded together in a
narrow space, exhausts the life-giving principle of the surrounding
atmosphere, but this is impossible where plenty of room is given for the
circulation of fresh air.

These tall houses of Bahia have overhanging ornamental balconies, which
towards evening are filled with the female portion of the families,
laughing, chatting, singing, and smoking, for the ladies of these
latitudes smoke in their domestic circles. Narrow as the streets of
Bahia are, room is found for a well patronized tramway to run through
them. No one thinks of walking, if it be for only a couple of hundred
rods, on the line of the street cars. All of the civilized world seems
to have grown lazy since the introduction of this modern facility for
cheap transportation.

Bahia was the capital of Brazil until 1763, during which year the
headquarters of the government were removed to Rio Janeiro.

This is a sort of New Bedford, so to speak, having been for more than a
century extensively engaged in the whaling business, an occupation which
is still pursued to a limited extent. Whales frequent the bay of Bahia,
where they are sometimes captured by small boats from the shore. It is
supposed that the favorite food of this big game is found in these
waters. There was a time when the close pursuit by fishing fleets fitted
out in nearly all parts of the world rendered the whales wary and
scarce. The catching and killing of so many seemed to have thinned out
their number in most of the seas of the globe. Then came the great
discovery of rock oil, which rapidly superseded the whale oil of
commerce in general use. Thereupon the pursuit of the gigantic animal
ceased to be of any great moment, while there was oil enough
spontaneously pouring out of the wells of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere,
to fully satisfy the demand of the world at large. Being no longer
hunted, the whales gradually became tame and increased in numbers, so
that to-day there are probably as many in the usual haunts of these
leviathans in either hemisphere as there ever were. The briefest sea
voyage can hardly be made without sighting one or more of them, and
sometimes in large schools.

There is a portion of the elevated section of Bahia which is called
Victoria, a really beautiful locality, having delightful gardens,
attractive walks, and myriads of noble shade trees. From here the
visitor overlooks the bay, with its islands and curving shore decked
with graceful palms, bamboos, and mango groves; upon the water are
numerous tiny boats, while white winged sailing ships and dark, begrimed
steamers unite in forming a picture of active life and maritime beauty.
In the distance lies the ever green island of Itaparica, named after the
first governor's Indian bride, while still farther away is seen range
after range of tall, purple hills, multiplied until lost in the

A few grim looking convents and monasteries, which have gradually come
into the possession of the government, are now used as free schools,
libraries, and hospitals. There is a medical college here which has a
national reputation for general excellence, and many students come from
Rio Janeiro, eight hundred miles away, to avail themselves of its
advantages, receiving a diploma after attending upon its three years'
course of studies. From subsequent inquiry, however, not only here but
in Rio and elsewhere, we are satisfied that the science of medicine and
surgery stands at a very low ebb throughout this great southland.
Foreign doctors are looked upon with great distrust and jealousy;
indeed, it is very difficult for them to obtain a suitable license to
practice in Brazil. This does not apply to dentistry, of which
profession there are many American experts in the country, who have
realized decided pecuniary and professional success. There were six or
eight on board the Vigilancia, who had been on a visit to their North
American homes during the summer season, at which time the fever is most
to be dreaded here.

The city contains over sixty churches, some of which are fine edifices,
built of stone brought from Europe. This could easily be done without
much extra expense, as the vessels visiting the port in those early days
required ballast with which to cross the ocean. They brought no other
cargo of any account, but were sure at certain seasons of the year to
obtain a suitable return freight, which paid a good profit on the round
voyage. Several of these churches are in a very dilapidated condition,
and probably will not be repaired. The cathedral is one of the largest
structures of the sort in Brazil, and is thought by many to be one of
the finest. The cathedral at Rio, however, is a much more elaborate
structure, and far more costly. It takes enormous sums, wrung from the
poorest class of people, to maintain these gorgeous temples and support
the horde of fat, licentious, useless priests attached to them, while
the mass of humanity find life a daily struggle with abject want and
poverty. Does any thoughtful person believe for one moment that such
hollow service can be grateful to a just and merciful Supreme Being?

Bahia was a flourishing port before Rio Janeiro was known commercially,
and was the first place of settlement by English traders on this coast.
The present population is of a very mixed character, composed of nearly
all nationalities, white and black, European and natives. There is no
prejudice evinced as regards color. Mulatto or negro may once have been
a slave, but he is a freeman now, both socially and in the eyes of the
law. He is eligible for any position of trust, public or private, if he
develops the requisite degree of intelligence. Men who have been slaves
in their youth are now filling political offices here, with credit to
themselves and satisfaction to the public. The actual reform from being
a degraded land of slavery to one of human freedom is much more radical
and thorough in Brazil than it is in our own Southern States, where the
pretended equality of the colored race is simply a burlesque upon
constitutional liberty.

The occasional use of that quaint mode of conveyance, the sedan chair,
was observable, taking one back to the days of Queen Anne. Only a few
years ago it was the one mode of transportation from the lower to the
upper part of the town; but modern facilities, already referred to, have
thrown the sedan chair nearly out of use. A few antique representatives
of this style of vehicle, some quite expensive and elaborately
ornamented, are still seen obstructing the entrances to the houses. The
local name they bear is _cadeira_. When these chairs are used, they are
borne upon the shoulders of two or four stalwart blacks, and are hung
upon long poles, like a palanquin, after the fashion so often seen in
old pictures and ancient tapestry.

We have spoken of the narrowness of the streets through which the
tramways pass. In many places, pedestrians are compelled to step into
the doorways of dwellings to permit the cars to pass them. This is not
only the case at Bahia, but also in half the busy portion of South
American cities. These mule propelled cars are now adopted all over this
country and Mexico; even fourth class cities have tramways, and many
towns which have not yet risen to the dignity of having a city
organization are thus supplied with transportation. The Bahia tramway,
on its route to the suburbs, passes through fertile districts of great
rural beauty, among groves of tropical fruits, orange orchards, tall
overshadowing mangoes, and cultivated flowers. There is an attempt at a
public garden, though it is an idea only half carried out; but there is
a terrace in connection here called "The Bluff," from whence one gets a
magnificent view, more especially of the near and the distant sea. These
delightful and comprehensive natural pictures are photographed upon the
memory, forming a charming cabinet of scenic views appertaining to each
special locality, choice, original, and never to be effaced.

We must not omit to mention a specialty of this city, an article
produced in one or two of the charitable institutions, as well as in
many humble family circles, namely, artificial flowers made from the
choicest feathers of the most brilliant colored birds. None of these
articles are poor, while some of them are exquisite in design and
execution, produced entirely from the plumage of native birds. A
considerable aggregate sum of money is realized by a certain portion of
the community, in the regular manufacture of these delicate ornaments.
Girls begin to learn the art at a very early age, and in a few years
arrive at a marvelous degree of perfection, producing realistic pictures
which rival the brush and pencil of a more pretentious department of
art. Nearly all visitors carry away with them dainty examples of this
exquisite and artistic work, which has a reputation beyond the seas.
Thousands of beautiful birds are annually sacrificed to furnish the
necessary material. Thus the delicate family of the humming-bird, whose
variety is infinite in Brazil, has been almost exterminated in some
parts of the country. There is one other specialty here, namely, the
manufacture of lace, which gives constant employment to many women of
Bahia, their product being much esteemed all over South America for the
beauty of the designs and the perfection of the manufacture.

The special fruit of this province, as already intimated, is oranges,
and it is safe to say that none produced elsewhere can excel them. They
are not picked until they are thoroughly ripe, and are therefore too
delicate, in their prime condition, to sustain transportation to any
considerable distance. Those sold in our northern cities are picked in a
green condition and ripened off the trees, a process which does not
injure some fruits, but which detracts very materially from the orange
and the pineapple. The oranges of Bahia average from five to six inches
in diameter, have a rather thin skin, are full of juice, and contain no
pips; in short, they are perfectly delicious, being delicately sweet,
with a slight subacid flavor. The first enjoyment of this special fruit
in Bahia is a gastronomic revelation. The maracajus is also a favorite
fruit here, but hardly to be named beside the orange. It is the product
of the vine which bears the passion flower, but this we could not
relish. It is a common fruit in Australia and New Zealand, where the
author found it equally unpalatable, yet people who have once acquired
the taste become very fond of it. The vine with its flower is common
enough in the United States, but we have never seen it in a
fruit-bearing condition in our country.

The province of Bahia has an area of two hundred thousand square miles,
and is represented as containing some of the most fertile land in
Brazil, capable of producing immense crops of several important staples.
It is especially fertile near the coast, where there are some large and
thriving tobacco, sugar, and coffee plantations. The first mentioned
article, owing to some favorable peculiarity of the soil in this
vicinity, is held to be nearly equal to the average Cuban product, and
it is being more and more extensively cultivated each year. Bahia cigars
are not only very cheap, but they are remarkably fine in flavor. It was
observed that old travelers on this coast made haste to lay in a goodly
supply of them for personal use.

A coffee plantation situated not far from this city was visited,
affording a small party of strangers to the place much pleasure and
information. The coffee plant is an evergreen, and thus the foliage is
always fresh in appearance, yielding two harvests annually. Boa Vista,
the plantation referred to, covers about one hundred acres, much of
which is also devoted to the raising of fodder, fruit, corn, and beans,
with some special vegetables, forming the principal sustenance of the
people and animals employed upon the estate. At first, in laying out
such a plantation, the coffee sprouts are started in a nursery, and when
they have had a year's growth are transplanted to the open field, where
they are placed with strict uniformity in long rows at equal distances
apart. After the second year these young plants begin to bear, and
continue to do so for twenty-five or thirty years, at which period both
the trees and the soil become in a measure exhausted, and a new tract of
land is again selected for a plantation. By proper management the new
plantation can be made to begin bearing at the same time that the old
one ceases to be sufficiently productive and remunerative to cultivate
for the same purpose. The coffee-tree is thought to be in its prime at
from five to ten years of age. Fruit trees, such as bananas, oranges,
mandioca, guavas, and so on, are planted among the coffee-trees to
afford them a partial shelter, which, to a certain degree, is requisite
to their best success, especially when they are young and throwing out
thin roots. The coffee bushes are kept trimmed down to about the height
of one's head, which facilitates the harvesting of the crop, and also
throws the sap into the formation and growth of berries. The
coffee-tree, when permitted to grow to its natural height, reaches
between twenty and thirty feet, and, with its deep green foliage, is a
handsome ornamental garden tree, much used for this purpose in Brazil.
The coffee pods, when ripe, are scarlet in color, and resemble cherries,
though they are much smaller. Each berry contains two seeds, which, when
detached from the pod and properly dried, form the familiar article of
such universal domestic use. A coffee plantation well managed, in
Brazil, is an almost certain source of ample fortune. The crop is sure;
that is to say, it has scarcely any drawbacks, and is always in demand.
Of course there are inconveniences of climate, and other things needless
to enumerate, as regards entering into the business, but the growth and
ripening of a coffee crop very seldom fail.

As has been intimated, this port is famous for the production of oranges
and tobacco; so Rio is famous for coffee, Pernambuco for sugar, and Pará
for crude india-rubber.

We must not forget to mention one other, and by no means insignificant
product of Brazil which is exported from Bahia, namely, diamonds of the
very first quality, which for purity of color far exceed those of Africa
and elsewhere. It appears that a syndicate in London control the world's
supply of this peculiar gem from all the mines on the globe, permitting
only a certain quantity of diamonds to go on to the market annually, and
thus keeping up the selling price and the market value. No one is
permitted to know the real product of the mines but the managers of this
syndicate. The quantity of the sparkling gems which are held back by the
dealers in London, Paris, and Vienna is really enormous; were they to be
placed in the retail dealers' hands as fast as they are produced from
the various sources of supply, they would be erelong as cheap and plenty
as moonstones. This sounds like an extravagant assertion, but still
there is far more truth in it than is generally realized. One of the
public journals of London lately spoke of a proposed corporation, to be
known as the "Diamond Trust," which is certainly a significant evidence
that the market requires to be carefully controlled as to the quantity
which is annually put upon it. In old times a diamond was simply valued
as a diamond; its cutting and polishing were of the simplest character.
A series of irregular plane surfaces were thought to sufficiently bring
out its reflective qualities, but the stone is now treated with far more
care and intelligence. A large portion of the value of a diamond has
come to consist in the artistic, and we may say scientific, manner in
which it is cut. By this means its latent qualities of reflection of
light are brought to perfection, developing its real brilliancy.
Accomplished workmen realize fabulous wages in this employment. A stone
of comparatively little value, by being cut in the best manner, can be
made to outshine a much finer stone which is cut after the old style.
Amsterdam used to control the business of diamond cutting, but it is now
as well done in Boston and New York as in any part of the world.

The largest diamond yet discovered came from Brazil, and is known as the
Braganza. The first European expert in precious stones has valued this
extraordinary gem, which is still in the rough, at three hundred million
sterling! Its actual weight is something over one pound troy. In the
light of such a statement, we pause to ask ourselves, What is a diamond?
Simply carbon crystallized, that is, in its greatest purity, and carbon
is the combustible principle of charcoal. The author was told, both here
and in Rio Janeiro, that there is a considerable and profitable mining
industry carried on in this country, of which the general public hear
nothing. The results are only known to prominent and interested
Brazilians, the whole matter being kept as secret as possible for
commercial reasons. No one reads anything about the products of the
diamond mines in the local papers.

We cannot say that the city of Bahia is a very healthy locality, though
it certainly seems that it ought to be, it is so admirably situated.
Yellow fever and other epidemics prevail more or less every year. The
lower part of the town, on the water front, is so shamefully filthy as
to induce fever. Upon first landing, the stranger finds himself almost
nauseated by the vile smells which greet him. This section of the town
is also very hot, the cliff, or upper town, shutting off almost entirely
the circulation of air. It is here that sailors, particularly, indulge
in all sorts of excesses, especially in drinking the vile, raw liquor
sold by negresses, besides eating unripe and overripe fruit, thus
inviting disease. One favorite drink produced here, very cheap and very
potent, is a poisonous but seductive white rum.

The trade and people in this part of the town form a strange
conglomerate,--monkeys, parrots, caged birds, tame jaguars, mongrel
puppies, pineapples, oranges, mangoes, and bananas, these being flanked
by vegetables and flowers. The throng is made up of half-naked boatmen,
indolent natives from the country, with negresses, both as venders and
purchasers. As we look at the scene, in addition to what we have
depicted there is a jovial group of sailors from a man-of-war in the
harbor enjoying their shore leave, while not far away a small party of
yachtsmen from an English craft are amusing themselves with petty
bargains, close followed by half a dozen Americans, who came hither in
the last mail steamer. A polyglot scene of mixed tongues and gay colors.

In passing into and out of the harbor of Bahia, one can count a dozen
forts and batteries, all constructed after the old style, and armed in
the most ineffective manner. These would count as nothing in a contest
with modern ships of war having plated hulls and arms of precision. Land
fortifications, designed to protect commercial ports from foreign
enemies, have not kept pace with the progress in naval armament.

Bahia is connected by submarine telegraph with Pernambuco, Pará, and Rio
Janeiro, and through them with all parts of the civilized world.

          CHAPTER VIII.

     Cape Frio.--Rio Janeiro.--A Splendid Harbor.--Various
     Mountains.--Botafogo Bay.--The Hunchback.--Farewell to the
     Vigilancia.--Tijuca.--Italian Emigrants.--City
     Institutions.--Public Amusements.--Street
     Musicians.--Churches.--Narrow Thoroughfares.--Merchants'
     Clerks.--Railroads in Brazil.--Natural Advantages of the
     City.--The Public Plazas.--Exports.

After a three days' voyage down the coast, between Bahia and Rio
Janeiro, the tall lighthouse of Cape Frio--"Cool Cape"--was sighted.
This promontory is a large oval mass of granite, sixteen hundred feet in
height, quite isolated from other highlands, protruding boldly into the
Atlantic Ocean. It forms the southeastern extremity of the coast of
Brazil, and in clear weather can be seen, it is said, forty miles or
more away. Here the long swell of the open sea is unobstructed and finds
full sway, asserting its giant power at all seasons of the year.
Experienced travelers who rarely suffer from seasickness are apt to
succumb to this trying illness off Cape Frio. It is situated in latitude
22° 59' south, longitude 41° 57' west, which is particularly specified
because the line of no magnetic variation touches on this cape,--that
line which Columbus was so amazed at discovering one hundred leagues
west of Flores, in the Azores, nearly four hundred years ago. We had
been running almost due south for the last eight hundred miles, but in
doubling Cape Frio, and making for Rio harbor, the ship was headed to
the westward, while the mountains on the coast assumed the most
grotesque and singular shapes, the range extending from west to east
until it ends at Cape Frio. The continent of South America here forms a
sharp angle, but we were too full of expectancy as to the king of
harbors towards which we were heading, to speculate much about Cape Frio
and its ocean-swept surroundings.

Rio Janeiro, the capital of Brazil, is also the largest, if not the most
important city in South America, situated about twelve hundred miles
north of Montevideo and Buenos Ayres, just within the borders of the
southern torrid zone. The distance of Rio from New York direct is five
thousand miles, but most voyagers, on the way through the West Indies,
stop at three or four of these islands, and also at some of the northern
ports of the continent of South America, the same as in our own case, so
that about five hundred miles may be fairly added to the distance we
have just named. Though the vessel was a month in making the voyage to
this port, had we sailed direct it might have been done in two thirds of
the time.

After doubling the cape and sailing some sixty or eighty miles, we
steered boldly towards the mouth of the harbor of Rio. For a few moments
the ship's prow pointed towards Raza Island, on which stands the
lighthouse, but a slight turn of the wheel soon changed its relative
position, and we entered the passage leading into the bay. After passing
the "Sugar Loaf," a rock twelve hundred feet in height, the city lay off
our port bow. All is so well defined, the water is so deep and free from
obstructions of any sort, that no pilot is required and none is taken,
and thus we crept slowly up towards our moorings. As the reader may well
suppose, to eyes weary of the monotony of the sea, the panorama which
opened before us was one of intense interest. Everything seemed matured
and olden. There was no sign of newness; indeed, we recalled the fact
that Rio was an established commercial port half a century before New
York had a local habitation or a name. The town lies on the west side of
the port, between a mountain range and the bay, running back less than
two miles in depth, but extending along the shore for a distance of some
eight miles, fronting one of the finest and most spacious harbors in the
world, famous for its manifold scenic beauties, which, from the moment
of passing within the narrow entrance, are ever changing and ever
lovely. The most prominent features are the verdure-clad hills of
Gloria, Theresa, and Castello, behind which extend ranges of steep,
everlasting mountains, one line beyond another, until lost among the
clouds. Few natural spectacles can equal the grand contour of this
famous bay. People who have visited it always speak in superlative
language of Rio harbor, but we hardly think it could be overpraised. It
is the grand entrance to a tropical paradise, so far as nature is
concerned, amid clustering mountains, abrupt headlands, inviting inlets,
and beautiful islands, covered with palms, tree-ferns, bananas, acacias,
and other delights of tropical vegetation, which, when seen depicted in
books, impress one as an exaggeration, but seen here thrill us with
vivid reality. It is only in the torrid zone that one sees these lavish
developments of verdure, these labyrinths of charming arboreous effect.

Though so well known and so often written about, the harbor of Rio is
less famous than beautiful. The bay is said to contain about one hundred
islands, its area extending inland some seventeen or eighteen miles. The
largest of these is Governor's Island, nearly fronting the city, being
six miles long. Some idea of the extent of the bay may be had from the
fact that there are fifty square miles of good anchorage for ships
within its compass. Into the bay flows the water of two inconsiderable
rivers, the Macacu and the Iguaçu, the first named coming in at the
northeast and the latter at the northwest corner of the harbor.

The Organ Mountains,--Serra dos Orgãos,--capped with soft, fleecy
clouds, formed the lofty background of the picture towards the north, as
we entered upon the scene, the immediate surroundings being dominated by
the sky-reaching Sugar Loaf Rock,--Pão d'Assucar,--which is also the
navigator's guiding mark while yet far away at sea. This bold, irregular
rock of red sandstone rises abruptly from the water, like a giant
standing waist-high in the sea, and forms the western boundary of the
entrance to the harbor, opposite to which, crowning a small but bold
promontory, is the fort of Santa Cruz, the two highlands forming an
appropriate portal to the grandeur which is to greet one within. The
distance between these bounds is about a mile, inside of which the water
widens at once to lake-like proportions. Clouds of frigate birds, gulls,
and gannets fly gracefully about each incoming ship, as if to welcome
them to the harbor where anchorage might be had for the combined
shipping of the whole world. We have lately seen the harbor of Rio
compared to that of Queenstown, on the Irish coast, twenty times
magnified; but the infinite superiority of the former in every respect
makes the allusion quite pointless.

The Organ Mountains, to which we have referred, and which form so
conspicuous a portion of the scene in and about Rio, are so called
because of their fancied resemblance in shape to the pipes of an organ;
but though blessed with the usual share of imagination, we were quite
unable to trace any such resemblance. However, one must not be
hypercritical. The gigantic recumbent form of a human being, so often
spoken of as discernible along this mountain range, is no poetical
fancy, but is certainly clear enough to any eye, recalling the likeness
to a crouching lion outlined by the promontory of Gibraltar as one first
sees the rock, either on entering the strait or coming from Malta.

One of the most beautiful indentures of the shore, earliest to catch the
eye after passing into the harbor of Rio from the sea, is called the Bay
of Botafogo. The word means "thrown into the fire," and alludes to the
inhuman _autos-da-fé_ which occurred here when the natives, on refusing
to subscribe to the Roman Catholic faith, were committed by the priests
to the flames! This is the way in which the Romish creed was introduced
into Mexico and South America, and the means by which it was sustained.

The principal charm of this lovely bay within a bay--Botafogo--is its
flowers and exposition of soaring royal palms. The attractiveness of the
handsome residences is quite secondary to that of nature, here revealed
with a lavish profusion. This part of Rio is overshadowed by the tall
peak of the Corcovado, "the Hunchback," one of the mass of hills which
occupy a large area west of the city, and the nearest mountain to it.
From its never-failing springs comes a large share of the water supply
of the capital. The aqueduct is some ten miles long, crossing a valley
at one point seven hundred feet in width, at a height of ninety feet,
upon double arches. Another large aqueduct is in contemplation, besides
which some other sources are now in actual operation, as Rio has long
since outgrown the capacity of the original supply derived from the
Corcovado. The drainage of the town suffers seriously for want of
sufficient water wherewith to flush the conduits, which at this writing,
with the deadly fever claiming victims on all hands, are permitted to
remain in a stagnant condition! And yet there are hundreds of hills
round about, within long cannon range, which would readily yield the
required element in almost limitless quantity.

We left the Vigilancia, and our good friend Captain Baker, with regret.
The noble ship had borne us in safety thousands of miles during the past
month, through storms and calms, amid intense tropical heat, and such
floods of rain as are only encountered in southern seas. Watching from
her deck, there had been revealed to us the glories of the changing
latitudes, and particularly the grandeur of the radiant heavens in
equatorial regions. A sense of all-absorbing curiosity prevailed as we
landed at the stone steps, overlooked by the yellow ochre walls of the
arsenal, in the picturesque, though pestilential city. The nauseous
odors which greet one as he steps on shore are very discordant elements
in connection with the intense interest created by the novel sights that
engage the eye of a stranger.

With a population, including the immediate suburbs, of over half a
million,--estimated at six hundred and fifty thousand,--Rio has most of
the belongings of a North American city of the first class, though we
cannot refrain from mentioning one remarkable exception, namely, the
entire absence of good hotels. There is not a really good and
comfortable public house in all Brazil. Those which do exist in Rio
charge exorbitantly for the most indifferent service, and strangers are
often puzzled to find a sleeping-room for a single night on first
arriving here. Tijuca, situated in the hills a few miles from the city,
is perhaps the most desirable place of temporary sojourn for the newly
arrived traveler, who will find at least one large and comfortable
public house there, favorably known to travelers as Whyte's Hotel. It is
some little distance from the city, but is easily reached by tramway,
which takes one to the foot of the hills of the Tijuca range, whose
tallest peak is thirty-four hundred feet above tide-water. This place
abounds in attractive villas, tropical vegetation, and beautiful
flowers, both wild and cultivated. From here also one gets a most
charming view of the distant city, the famous bay, and the broad
Atlantic; indeed, the view alone will repay one for making this brief
excursion. The loftiest village in these hills is called Boa Vista.
There are mountains, however, on either side, which are five or six
hundred feet higher than the village containing the hotel. American
enterprise is engaged at this writing in constructing a narrow gauge
electric tramway to the summit of Tijuca. The driving road from the base
to the top is an admirable piece of engineering, and is kept in the very
best condition possible.

The objectionable character of the Italian emigrants, who come hither as
well as to our own States, was demonstrated by a party of them robbing
and nearly murdering a resident of Tijuca who happened to be a short
distance from his own house, the evening previous to the day which we
spent at this resort. These Italians are mostly employed as workmen upon
the railroad, though some are gardeners on the neighboring estates. In
town they act as porters and day laborers on the wharves, as boatmen,
and so on, but, as we were assured, are a lawless, vagabond element of
the community, giving the police force a great deal of trouble.

Rio has many large and commodious public buildings and some elegant
private residences, the latter generally of a half Moorish type of
architecture. Some of the edifices date back a couple of centuries. The
early Portuguese built of stone and cement, hence the somewhat
remarkable durability of these houses. The large edifice devoted to the
department of agriculture and public works is one of the most noticeable
in the city. The Bank of Brazil occupies a building which is classic in
its fine architecture, being elaborately constructed of hammered
granite. There is no more superb example of masonry in the country. The
National Mint, on the Square of the Republic, is also a fine granite
building; so is that devoted to the Bourse, where enormous values change
hands daily. Educational institutions are numerous, well organized, and
generally availed of by the rising generation. The National College is
of notable influence in the dissemination of general intelligence, and
the same may be said of the Polytechnic College, an excellent and
practical institution. It should be observed that any well organized
educational establishment is called a college in this country.

The public library of Rio contains some two hundred thousand volumes,
besides many valuable Spanish and Portuguese documents in manuscript. It
is liberally conducted; black and white people alike, as well as all
respectable strangers, have free access and liberal accommodations
within the walls. This institution is an honor to Brazil.

Rio has a new and well organized navy yard, a large arsenal, cotton
mills, and several extensive manufacturing establishments. Among the
latter is the largest flour mill we have ever seen. This is an English
enterprise; but so far as we could learn, it had been found impossible
to compete profitably with the American flour, as now landed at Rio. A
foundling hospital on the Rua Everesta de Veiga is worthy of mention.
Here, as already described in relation to another Brazilian city,
infants are freely received and cared for, without any inquiry being
made of those who deposit them. These little ones at the outset become
children of the state, and are registered and numbered as such.
Oftentimes the mother pins to the little deserted one's clothes the name
she desires should be given to it, and the wish is usually regarded by
the officials of the institution. The authorities put each child out to
nurse for a year, but receive it back again at the expiration of that
time, and at a proper period send it to school, and endeavor to rear it
to some useful employment or trade. While the child is thus disposed of,
the payment for its board and care is very moderate in amount, and is
also contingent upon its good health and physical condition. Thus the
deserted one is likely to have good attention, if not for humanity's
sake, then from mercenary motives. This plan is copied from that which
is pursued by the great foundling hospitals of St. Petersburg and
Moscow, which are certainly the best organized and largest institutions
of the sort in the world. Where so large a percentage of the children
born are illegitimate, such a hospital becomes a real necessity. There
has been no year since this establishment was opened, in 1738, as we
were told, in which less than four hundred infants were received.
Sometimes parents, whose worldly conditions have greatly improved, come
forward after the lapse of years and claim their children. This right on
their part is duly respected by their properly proving the relationship
beyond all possible doubt, and paying a sum of money equal to that which
has been actually expended by the state in the child's behalf.

In the line of public amusements there is a large and well-appointed
opera house besides eight other fairly good theatres, together with an
excellent museum. The performances at the theatres are given in French,
Spanish, and Portuguese. Italian opera is presented three times a week
during the season. This year the performances were summarily stopped by
the principal tenor dying of yellow fever. The theatre bearing the name
of the late emperor is a sort of mammoth cave in size, and is capable of
seating six thousand people, not one half of whom can hear what is said
or sung upon the stage by the performers. Street bands of German
musicians perform here as they do in Boston and New York; the mass of
the people, being music loving, patronize these itinerants liberally.
One band posted themselves daily before the popular Globe Restaurant, at
the hour of the midday meal (breakfast), and performed admirably,
reaping a generous response from the habitués. Most of the patrons of
this excellent establishment were observed to be American, English, and
French merchants, who attended to business in Rio during the day, but
who went home to the elevated environs to dine and to sleep. "I have
been here in business nine years," said one of these gentlemen to us,
"and have been down with the fever once; but I would not sleep in Rio
overnight for any amount of money, at this season of the year." This was
early in June. He added: "The fever should have disappeared before this
time, which is our winter, but it seems to linger later and later each
succeeding year." This was a conclusion which we heard expressed by
other observant individuals, but all joined in ascribing its persistency
in no small degree to the imperfect drainage, and the vile personal
habits of the mass of the common people, who make no effort to be
cleanly, or to regard the decencies of life in this respect.

As to churches, Rio has between sixty and seventy, none of which are
very remarkable, all being dim, dirty, and offensive to the olfactories.
The cause of the foul air being so noticeable in all of these Romish
churches is the fact that no provision whatever is made for proper
ventilation, and this, too, in places of all others where it is most
imperatively necessary. The offense is created by exhalations from the
bodies of the least cleanly class of the population. It is such who
mostly fill these churches all over the continent of Europe, Mexico,
South America, and the United States. Precisely the same disgusting odor
greets the senses of the visitor to these edifices, be it in one
hemisphere or another, but especially in Italy and Spain.

The cathedral of Rio is a large, showy edifice, surrounded by narrow
streets, and thus hidden by other buildings, so that no general and
satisfactory outside effect can be had. The front and sides are of solid
granite, and the whole is known to have cost a mint of money, yet the
safety of the foundation is more than questionable. Like the grand
church of St. Isaacs, in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg, great
expense will doubtless have to be incurred to renew and strengthen it in
this respect. It is believed that the site upon which Rio stands was
once under the sea, and, geologically speaking, at no very remote
period, which accounts for considerable trouble being experienced in
obtaining secure and solid foundations for any heavy superstructure. At
this writing, the cathedral is undergoing extensive repairs, inside and
out, but in spite of the noise of workmen, the disagreeable lime dust,
and the interference of a network of interior staging, it is still very
striking in its architectural effect.

In the old part of the town, two prominent cupolas dominate the
surroundings. These belong respectively to the churches of Candelaria
and San Luigi. The most popular church in Rio is undoubtedly that which
crowns the Gloria Hill, called the Igreja da Gloria do Onterio, which
overlooks the bay. Its commanding situation is very remarkable. In shape
it is octagonal, and seems to be very solidly built. In front of the
church there is a broad terrace, from whence a fine view may be enjoyed.
On a moonlight night the picture presented from the Gloria Hill is
something worth going miles on foot to behold. This church was the
favorite resort of the late royal family when they were in the city,
though much of their home life and all of their summers were passed in
the hills of the Organ Mountains at the emperor's favorite

The shops of Rio, notwithstanding they are generally small and situated
upon streets so narrow that they would be called only lanes in North
America,--close, confined, half-strangled thoroughfares,--will compare
favorably in many respects with those of continental Europe. The larger
number of the merchants here are French, together with a considerable
sprinkling of German Jews. Indeed, can any one tell us where we shall
not find this peculiar race represented in the trade centres of the wide
world? In many of the fancy-goods stores the famous Brazilian feather
flowers are exhibited for sale, but the best place to purchase these is
at Bahia, where they are a specialty, and where their manufacture is
said to have originated. The narrow streets, traversed by tramways, are
at times almost impassable for pedestrians, and are often blocked by
heavy mule teams for fifteen minutes at a time. By and by some lazy
policeman makes his appearance and quietly begins to unravel the snarl,
which he at length succeeds in doing, and the ordinary traffic of the
thoroughfare is once more resumed. An unsightly gutter runs through the
middle of some of these thoroughfares, which adds to the annoyances
incident to ordinary travel. All are regularly laid out, chess-board
fashion, very ill smelling, and harbor an infinite number of beggars and
mangy dogs.

It is customary for local merchants who employ European clerks--and
there are many English, French, and Brazilians in Rio who do so,--to
give them a fixed salary, quite moderate in amount, and to furnish them
with lodgings also. The latter are of a very rude and undesirable
character, in the business establishment itself, either over the store,
or in the back part of it. The bedding which is furnished is of a
makeshift character, rarely changed, and never properly aired.
Exceedingly uncleanly domestic arrangements, or the entire absence of
them, are also a serious matter in this connection, from a sanitary
point of view. The clerks get their food at some neighboring restaurant,
and contract irregular habits, all of which is both mentally and
physically demoralizing. It is among this class of foreigners that the
yellow fever finds the most ready victims. To sleep in these crowded
business centres, in ill-ventilated apartments, with far from cleanly
surroundings, is simply to provoke fatal illness, and during an epidemic
of fever these places furnish fuel for the flames. Neatness and
cleanliness among domestic associations in this city are entirely lost
sight of and are totally disregarded by men and women.

The Rua Direita is the State Street or Wall Street of Rio; a new name,
which escapes us at this moment, has been given to it, but the old one
is still the favorite and in common use. Here brokers, bankers, and
commission merchants meet and bargain, and fiercely speculate in coffee.
The principal shopping street is the Rua de Ouvidor, where the best
stores and choicest retail goods are to be found. In the Rua dos
Ourives,--"Goldsmith's Street,"--the display of fine jewelry, diamonds,
and other precious stones recalls the Rue de la Paix of Paris. Diamonds
are held at quite as high prices as in London or New York, and those of
the best quality can be bought better at retail out of this country than
in it. A poor quality of stone, off color, is imported and offered here
as being of native production, and careless purchasers are not
infrequently deceived by cunning dealers in these matters.

Two vehicles cannot pass each other in this avenue without driving upon
the narrow sidewalk. At times a deafening uproar prevails along these
circumscribed lanes. The rough grinding of wheels, noisy bootblacks,
whooping orange-sellers, screaming newspaper boys, howling dogs, the
rattle of the street peddler, lottery ticket venders, fighting street
gamins, all join to swell the mingled chorus. And yet these crowded
thoroughfares would lose half of their picturesqueness were these
elements to be banished from them. They each and all add a certain crude
element of interest to this every-day picture of Vanity Fair.

In their ambition to copy European and North American fashions, the
gentlemen of Rio utterly disregard the eternal fitness of things,
wearing broadcloth suits of black, with tall, stove-pipe hats, neither
of which articles should be adopted for a moment in their torrid
climate. Nothing could be more inappropriate. Linen clothing and light
straw hats are the true costume for the tropics, naturally suggesting
themselves in hot climates to the exclusion of woolen, heat-brewing
costumes, which are necessary articles of wear in the north. Fashion,
however, ignores climate and is omnipotent everywhere; comfort is
subsidiary. Wear woolen clothing by all means, gentlemen of Rio, even
when the thermometer hangs persistently at 95° Fahr. in the shade, and
the human body perspires like a mountain stream.

The tramway system of Rio is excellent in a crude way. Statistics show
that fifty million passengers are annually transported by this popular
means from one part of the city to another, and into the suburbs. The
street railway was first introduced here by North American enterprise,
the pioneer route being that between the city proper and the botanical
garden. The prices of passage vary according to distances, as is the
case with the London omnibuses. The cars are all open ones, of cheap,
coarse construction, and far from inviting in appearance, being entirely
unupholstered, and affording only hard board seats for passengers to sit
upon. They are usually drawn by one small donkey, whose strength is
quite overtasked, but the ground in the city is so nearly level that the
cars move very easily and rapidly.

There is one delightful excursion from Rio which nearly all strangers
are sure to enjoy. We refer to the ascent of Corcovado, the mountain
which looms over Botafogo Bay to the height of twenty-two hundred feet,
and to the summit of which a railway has been constructed. The grades
are extremely steep, and the road is what is called a centre line,
worked upon the cog-wheel system, the ascent being very slow and
winding. The principle is the same as that of the railway by which Mount
Washington is ascended, in New Hampshire, or the Righi, in Switzerland.
This road was built by the national government, but as a pecuniary
speculation it does not pay, though it is of considerable indirect
benefit to the city. We will not dilate upon the grand outlook to be had
from the summit of the Hunchback, which takes in a bird's-eye view of
the harbor and its surroundings, but will add that no one should come
hither without ascending Corcovado. The top consists of two rounded
masses of bare rock, and is walled in to prevent accident, there being
on one side a perpendicular descent of a thousand feet. It gives one at
first a dizzy sensation to look down upon the vast city spread out over
the plain, from whence a hum of mingled sounds comes up with singular
distinctness. Even the bells upon the mules which are attached to the
tram-cars can be distinguished, and other sounds still more delicate and
minute. Just so balloonists tell us that at two or three thousand feet
in mid-air they can distinguish the voices of individuals upon the earth
below them. The experienced traveler learns to be astonished at nothing,
but there are degrees of pleasure induced by beautiful and majestic
views which mount to the apex of our capacity for admiration. One can
safely promise such a realizing sense to him who ascends the Corcovado.

A tramway which starts from the centre of the city will take the
traveler to the base of the hill, through roads lined by palms of great
age and beauty, finally leaving him near the point from whence the steam
road begins the upward journey.

Nictheroy, just across the harbor of Rio, on the east side of the bay,
is a sort of faubourg of the capital, with which it is connected by a
line of steam ferry-boats, as Chelsea is with Boston, or Brooklyn with
the city of New York. It is the capital of the province of Rio Janeiro,
and has broader streets, is more reasonably laid out, and is kept more
cleanly than Rio itself. Space is found for a profusion of attractive
gardens, and the senses are greeted by sweet odors in the place of
needlessly offensive smells, which attack one on all sides in the
metropolis so near at hand. It is quite a relief to get on to one of the
ferry-boats and cross over to Nictheroy occasionally, for a breath of
pure air. This is the native Indian name of the place, and signifies
"hidden water," particularly applicable when these land-locked bays were
shrouded in dense tropical woods.

Unlike Pará, Montevideo, and Buenos Ayres, this city has no special
river communication with the interior, but her commerce is large and
increasing. Railroads are more reliable feeders for business than either
rivers or canals. It is a fact which is not generally realized, that
Brazil has over six thousand miles of well-constructed railways in
operation, besides having a telegraph system covering seven thousand
miles of land service. In the construction of the railroads, the cost,
so far as the ground work and grading was concerned, was reduced to the
minimum, owing to the level nature of the country. As was the case in
New Zealand, many of these railways were constructed at great expense,
in anticipation of the wants of a future population, who it was hoped
would settle rapidly upon the route which they followed. That is to say,
many of these roads did not open communication between populous
districts already in existence. This would have been perfectly
legitimate. They run to no particular objective point, and seem to stop
finally nowhere. The natural sequence followed. After being built and
equipped with borrowed money, they were anything but self-supporting,
and pecuniary aid from the government was freely given to enable them to
be kept in operation.

There must always come a day of reckoning for all such forced schemes,
and the Brazilian railways were no exception to the rule. This is
largely the primary cause of the present monetary troubles in this
country, as well as in the Argentine Republic. The capital for the
construction of these roads came mostly from England, and that country
has been accordingly a heavy pecuniary sufferer. The rates charged for
transportation upon most of the lines are also exorbitant, if we were
rightly informed; so much so, in fact, as to prove nearly prohibitory.
Scarcely any species of merchandise brought from a considerable distance
inland will bear such freight charges and leave a margin for profit to
the producer and shipper. Would-be planters of coffee and sugar-cane
dare not enter upon raising these staples for the market, unless
situated very near the shipping point, or near some available river's
course, the latter means being naturally much cheaper than any form of
railway transportation.

Situated on the border of two zones, Rio Janeiro has the products of
both within her reach, and thus possesses peculiar advantages for
extensive trade and general commerce. It is in this latter direction
that her progressive and enterprising merchants are endeavoring to
extend the facilities of the port. The passenger landings--not
wharves--which border the water front of the city here and there are of
solid granite, from which at suitable intervals broad stone steps lead
down to the water's edge, as on the borders of the Neva at St.
Petersburg. We have few, if any, such substantial landing-places in our
North American ports. We know of no harbor on the globe which enjoys a
more eligible situation as regards the commerce of foreign countries,
both of the New and the Old World. The one convenience so imperatively
demanded is proper wharves for the landing and shipping of cargoes, thus
obviating the necessity of the expensive and tedious lighter system. It
is her many natural and extraordinary advantages which has led to so
steady a growth of the city, notwithstanding the very serious drawback
of an unwholesome climate, aggravated by the indolence and incapacity of
the local authorities in sanitary matters. Both consumption and yellow
fever have proved more fatal here than at any other port in South
America, so far as we could draw comparisons.

The well-equipped marine arsenal of Rio is of considerable interest and
importance, as there is no other port on the Atlantic coast, between the
Gulf of Mexico and Cape Horn, where a large modern vessel can go into
dry dock for needed repairs. This receptacle is ample in size, and is
substantially built of granite. Such an establishment as a national
shipyard is a prime necessity to a commercial country like Brazil, which
has eleven hundred leagues of seacoast.

In the Plaza Constitution, which is a very grand and spacious park in
the heart of the city, there is an elaborate and costly statue of the
father of the late emperor, of heroic size. The pedestal is surrounded
by four bronze groups, representing typical scenes of early Indian life
in this country. The Paseo Publico is also a garden-like spot, extending
three or four hundred feet along the bay. This is a cool and favorite
resort of the populace. On the corners of the principal streets and
squares there are little octagonal structures called kiosks, gayly
painted, where hot coffee, lottery tickets, and bonbons are sold, as
well as newspapers and flowers. Here, as in Havana, the city of Mexico,
Naples, and many European cities, the lottery proves to be a terrible
curse to the common people, draining their pockets and diverting them
from all ideas of steady-going business. It is customary also for the
regularly organized business establishments to patronize the lottery
with never-failing regularity, charging a certain monthly sum to expense
account, but the money is nevertheless paid out for lottery tickets. The
bad moral effect of this upon clerks and all concerned is very obvious.
When by chance any prize, be it never so small, is awarded, a great
flurry is made of the fact, and advertisements emphasize it, thus to
incite fresh investments in this organized public swindle. Tickets are
sold by boys and girls, men and women, and half the talk of the
thoughtless multitude is about the lottery, how to hit upon lucky
numbers, and so on.

It is a mistaken though popular idea that our New England consumptives
have only to seek some tropical locality to alleviate their special
trouble. Rio seems to be particularly fatal to persons suffering from
pulmonary troubles. The same may be said of many other tropical regions.
When consumption is developed in the Bahamas, Cuba, or the Sandwich
Islands, for instance, it runs its fatal course with a speed never
realized in the Northern States of America. Physicians do not send
patients to foreign localities so indiscriminately as they used to.
Almost every sort of climate is to be found within the borders of the
United States, where also civilized comforts are more universally to be
obtained than abroad. Besides which, an invalid does not have to brave
seasickness and other ocean hardships, if sent to some eligible locality
within our own borders.

Though Brazil has long been, and is still, famous for its production of
diamonds, precious stones, and gold, yet these are as nothing when
compared with her exports of sugar, coffee, and hides, not taking into
account her product of rice, cocoa, tobacco, dyewoods, and other
important staples. A large portion of the abnormal growth of her forests
is valuable for its timber, resins, fibre, and fruits. It is naturally a
very rich country, with a world of wealth in its soil, but miserable
financial mismanagement has caused the national treasury to become
utterly bankrupt, and at this writing mercantile credit is an unknown
quantity, so to speak. The natural resources of the country are
unlimited; therefore it must be only a question of time when a healthy
reaction shall set in, and a period of sound prosperity follow.

It should be remembered in this connection that the immediate country of
which we are speaking, that is, Brazil as a whole, is as large as the
United States, leaving out the territory of Alaska.

          CHAPTER IX.

     Outdoor Scenes in Rio Janeiro.--The Little Marmoset.--The
     Fish Market.--Secluded Women.--The Romish Church.--Botanical
     Garden.--Various Species of Trees.--Grand Avenue of Royal
     Palms.--About Humming-Birds.--Climate of Rio.--Surrounded by
     Yellow Fever.--The Country Inland.--Begging on the
     Streets.--Flowers.--"Portuguese Joe."--Social Distinctions.

It would require many pages to properly describe Rio Janeiro with its
curious phases of street life, its manners and customs, its local
peculiarities, and moving panorama of events, all combining to make up a
unique personality. These out-of-door scenes go far to tell the true
story of any special locality. The fruit and vegetable market, near
Palace Square, is a highly attractive place to visit at early morning.
The negro women venders, always stout and portly creatures, with heads
turbaned in many-colored bandannas, are eloquent in recommending their
articles for sale, and are also very shrewd at a bargain. It is not
uncommon for these middle-aged negresses to stand six feet high, without
shoes or stockings, and to turn the scales at double the average weight
of men of the same color and class. These women were all slaves in their
girlhood. As regards prices charged for provisions, fruits, and
vegetables, in the markets of Rio, they seemed to the author rather
exorbitant, but doubtless permanent residents do not pay such sums as
are charged to strangers for the same articles. We were heartily laughed
at by a housekeeper on stating the cost of a small basket of choice
fruit which we had purchased, being told that we had paid four times its
market value. However, it was well worth the price to us, who had just
arrived from an ocean voyage of five thousand miles and more. On
shipboard fruit is necessarily a scarce article, and it was certainly
worth something extra to be introduced for the first time to the
luscious products of this region.

The abundance and variety of flowers, as well as their cheapness and
fragrance, make them a desirable morning purchase, with all their dewy
freshness upon them. Oranges, limes, pineapples, lemons,
alligator-pears, cocoanuts, grapes, mangoes, with an infinite variety of
other fruits, make up the stock in trade, together with squealing pigs,
live turkeys, and noisy guinea-fowls. Here also are various gaudy
feathered songsters, in cheap, home-made cages, besides monkeys,
marmosets, and other household pets. The macaws, chained by the leg, and
the screaming parrots vie with each other and with the monkeys in the
amount of noise they make. Wicker baskets filled with live ducks, geese,
and fowls are borne on the heads of native women, who have brought them
many a long weary mile from far inland, hoping to make a few pennies by
their sale. The chatter of the women, the cries of men and animals, an
occasional quarrel between two noisy Italians, ending in furious
vociferations and gesticulations, all add to the Babel of sound. One
little marmoset put his hand into that of the author, looking so
appealingly into his face that, imagining the little fellow might be
hungry, some nice edibles, calculated to rejoice the monkey heart, were
promptly purchased and gratefully received by the marmoset, which, in
his eager haste to consume the same, stuffed the sides of either jaw to
alarming proportions. The little creature was wonderfully human, and
having found a kindly disposed stranger, insisted upon keeping one of
his tiny hands in our own, while he rapidly filled his mouth with the

It is interesting to observe the artistic manner in which the native
women, Indians and blacks, mingle and arrange the various fruits and
vegetables, showing a natural instinct for the harmonious blending of
colors and forms. A pile of yellow oranges, green limes, and mangoes had
a base of buff-colored bananas picturesquely arranged with all the
pointed ends of the finger-like fruit outward, while a luscious ripe
pineapple formed the apex of the pile, set off jauntily by its
cactus-like, prickly leaves. On the borders of the market and along the
iron railing of Palace Square, black-haired, bareheaded Italian women
displayed cheap jewelry, imitation shell, gilded combs, and other fancy
trinkets for sale, embracing priestly knick-knacks, ivory crosses,
crucifixion scenes, coral beads, high-colored ribbons, and gaudy
kerchiefs. The bronzed faces of these black-eyed, gypsy-like women were
very cadaverous, as though the land of their adoption did not
particularly agree with them. It seems hardly possible that these
peddlers could gain a livelihood trading in these tawdry and utterly
useless articles among such a humble, impecunious class of customers as
frequent the market, and yet their numerous wide-open, shallow tin boxes
showed a considerable stock of goods.

The fish market is a curious sight in the variety of colors and shapes
afforded by the inhabitants of the neighboring bay, where most of them
are caught. What an array of finny monsters!--rock-fish, large as
halibut, ray, skates, craw-fish, cuttle-fish, and prawns half as large
as lobsters, together with devil-fish and oysters. Funny idea, but these
oysters, many of them, are grown on trees! How is this possible? Let us
tell you. The mangrove trees line the water's edge; many of the branches
overhang the sea, and are submerged therein. To these young oysters
affix themselves, and there they live and thrive. The same phenomenon
was observed by the author some years ago in Cuba. These oysters are
found in small corrugated shells scarcely larger than a good-sized
English walnut, which they somewhat resemble.

In the fish market one sees some very original characters among the
negro women who preside over the finny tribe. They are large,
good-natured creatures, quick at a trade, and quite intelligent. We
recall one, who was a prominent figure among her companions. She was
tall, portly, and strong as a horse. Her head was decked with a bandanna
kerchief of many colors, her flat nose and protruding lips indicating
close African relationship. Secured behind one of her ears was a
cigarette, while a friction match protruded from the other, ready for
use. Her coarse calico dress, of deep red, was covered in front by a
brown linen apron extending nearly to her bare feet. Her uncovered arms
were about as large as a man's legs. This negress dressed the several
kinds of fish with the facility of an expert, making change for her
patrons with commendable promptness, and dismissing them with a
good-natured smile, adding some remark which was pretty sure to elicit
hearty laughter.

As we stood viewing these things, a noisy fellow made himself very
obnoxious to every person whom he met. He had evidently been too often
to the neighboring spirit-shops. A police officer arrested the man by
touching him lightly on the shoulder and saying a few words to him;
then, pointing ahead, made the fellow precede him to the lock-up. Though
this disturber of the peace was half drunk, he knew too much to resist
an officer, which is considered to be a heinous offense and is severely
punished in Rio. It was natural to contrast this scene with the violent
resistance offered by offenders with whom the police of New York and
Boston have often to deal.

The streets of Rio, at all times of the day, present a motley crowd of
half-naked negroes, overladen donkeys, lazy Portuguese, Italian, and
Spanish loafers, smoking cheap cigars, with here and there a Jew hawking
articles of personal wear, women with various heavy articles upon their
heads, water carriers, vociferous sellers of confectionery, all moving
hither and thither, each one intent upon his or her individual interest
and oblivious of all others. The background to this kaleidoscopic
picture is the low, stucco-finished houses, painted in lively red,
yellow, or blue, interspersed here and there by bas-reliefs, the whole
reflecting the rays of a torrid sun. Though it is all quite different,
yet somehow it recalls the narrow, crowded streets and bazaars of Cairo
and Alexandria. It is very natural, in passing, to regard with interest
those screened balconies, and to imagine what the lives may be of the
half orientally excluded women within them, while occasionally catching
luminous glances from curious eyes. The notes of a guitar, or those of
the piano, often reach the ear of the passer-by, sometimes accompanied
by the ringing notes of a song, for the ladies of Brazil are extremely
fond of music; indeed, it seems to be almost their only distraction. Of
books they know very little, and any literary reference is to them like
speaking in an unknown tongue. Even the one poet of Portugal, Camoens,
appears to be a stranger on this side of the Atlantic. The isolation and
want of intellectual resort among the average women of this country are
a sad reality, and are in a degree their excuse for some unfortunate
indulgences and immoralities, domestic unfaithfulness being as common
here as in Paris or Vienna.

The majority of the Brazilian women marry at or before the age of
sixteen, and become old, as we use the term, at thirty. The climate and
the cares of maternity together age them prematurely. In early youth,
and until they have reached twenty three or four years, they are almost
universally very handsome, but this beauty is not retained, as is often
the case among the sex in colder climes. Of their charms, it must be
honestly admitted that they are almost purely physical (animal); the
beauty which high culture imparts to the features, by informing the mind
and developing the intellect, is not found as a rule among Brazilian
women. Of course there are some delightful and notable exceptions to
this conclusion, but we speak of the women, generally, of what is termed
the better class. Now and then one meets with ladies who have been
educated in the United States, or in Europe, upon whom early and refined
associations have left an unmistakable impress. The superiority of such
is at once manifest, both in general ease of manner, and the
inexplicable charm which high breeding imparts.

One searches in vain for a full-faced, well-developed, hearty looking
man, among the natives in the streets of this capital. The average
people, both high and low, are sallow, undersized, and cadaverous.
Sunken cheeks and thin figures are the rule among the men, a passing
North American or Englishman only serving to furnish a strong and
suggestive contrast. These people have brilliantly expressive eyes, with
handsome teeth and mouths, though half shriveled up and undeveloped in
body. If one pauses to analyze the matter, he comes to the conclusion
that vice and short commons, unwholesome morals and an unwholesome
climate, have much to do with this prevailing appearance, which must be
in part hereditary, to be so universal, commencing some way back and
increasing with the generations. As in Mexico, gentlemen meeting on the
streets of Rio hug each other with both arms, at the same time
inflicting two or three quick, earnest slaps with the flat of the hand
upon the back. This is perhaps after an absence of a few days; but if
they meet ten times a day, off come their hats, and they shake hands
with the most earnest demonstrations, both at meeting and at parting.
Kissing on both cheeks is common enough in many parts of Europe among
society people, but this hugging business between men meeting upon the
public streets strikes one as a waste of the raw material.

It goes without saying that the popular religion of Rio Janeiro and the
country at large is that of the Romish Church, though all denominations
are tolerated by the laws of the republic. In some districts it is the
same here as in Mexico and continental Spain, the Protestants being
persecuted in every possible manner. Nevertheless, the power of the
priesthood, we were creditably informed, is on the wane. They owe the
loss of it in a great measure to the gross abuse of their positions and
their shamefully immoral lives. No one conversant with the true state of
the case, be he Protestant or Romanist, can deny this statement. The
author thought that the Roman Catholic priests of Mexico were about as
wicked a set of men as he had ever met with, taken as a whole, but
further experience in South America has convinced him that the Mexican
priesthood have their equals in immorality in Brazil, and elsewhere
south of Panama. The popular religion of the country is one of the
saddest features of its national existence, forming the great
drag-weight upon its moral, and indirectly upon its physical progress.

The Botanical Garden of Rio is a justly famous resort, situated about
six miles from the city, behind the Corcovada, between that mountain and
the sea, but it is easily reached by tramway, or better still by a
delightful drive along the shore of Botafogo Bay, over a road shaded by
imperial palms, together with occasional clusters of the ever beautiful
bamboo, the sight of which recalled the luxuriant specimens seen in
Japan and Sumatra. The nearest approach to this admirable public garden
is to be found at Kandy, in the island of Ceylon, which, as we remember
it, is considerably more extensive, and presents a larger variety of
tropical vegetation. The examples of the india-rubber tree, especially,
are finer in the Asiatic garden than we find them at Rio. A tall,
slim-stemmed sloth-tree, straight as an arrow, and bare of branches or
leaves except at the top, was pointed out to us here. It is so called
because it is the favorite resort of that animal. This creature is very
easily captured, and the natives are fond of its meat, which may be
nutritious, but it can hardly be called palatable. As it is almost
entirely a vegetable-feeding animal, we know not why there should be any
objection to the meat it produces. The sloth climbs up into the tall
branches of the tree described, though it does so with considerable
difficulty, and there remains until it has consumed every leaf and
tender shoot which it bears; then the voracious creature wanders off to
find and denude another.

The bread-fruit tree is interesting, with its handsome feathery leaves,
and its large, melon-shaped product. It grows to fifty feet in height,
and bears fruit constantly for three quarters of the year, then takes a
three months' rest. It is only equaled in the profuseness of its product
by the banana, forming one of the staple sources of food supply to the
lazy, indolent denizens of tropical regions. The candelabra-tree, with
its silver-tinted foliage, is one of the beauties of this charming
Brazilian garden. Among other notable trees are fine specimens of the
camphor-tree, the tamarind, the broad-spreading mango, opulent in
fruitfulness, the flowering magnolia, also the soap-tree, with its
saponaceous berries. The cochineal cactus was thriving after its kind,
near by what is called the cow-tree, which interests one quite as much
as any of its companions, rising over a hundred feet in height, with a
red bark and fig-like leaves. The milk which it yields is of cream-like
consistency, very similar to that from a cow, and it may be used for any
ordinary purpose to which we put that article. The tree is tapped, as we
treat the sugar-maple, in order to obtain its very remarkable and useful
product. It is nutritious, that is freely admitted; but most probably it
has some medicinal properties of a latent character, though of this we
could learn nothing.

The world-famed avenue of royal palms in the Botanical Garden of Rio is
unique, being undoubtedly the finest tropical arboretum in the world
arranged by the hand of man. We saw here a delicate little member of the
palm family, a sort of baby tree, known as the small-stemmed palm of
Pará. Many trees from Asia have become domesticated side by side with
the maple, the pine, and the elm from New England. Some of the large
trees were decked with orchids and hanging lichens, the dainty and
fantastic ornamentation of nature herself, not promoted by artificial
means. The humidity of the atmosphere especially facilitates the growth
of this beautiful family of plants, which are as erratic in shape as
they are variegated in prismatic colors.

It would require a whole chapter to do even partial justice to this
remarkable garden behind the Corcovado mountain.

One sees here myriads of delicate humming-birds, wonderful animated gems
of color, remarkable in Brazil for their metallic hues. Such brilliancy
of lustre, glancing in the warm sunlight, is fascinating to behold. The
Spaniards call these delicate little creatures "winged flowers," and the
Portuguese, "flower-kissers." A lady resident of Rio told the author of
the vain attempt of a patient German scientist to domesticate a few
specimens of these birds. He commenced by taking them from the nest soon
after they were hatched, at various periods of their growth, and even
after they had learned to fly, but although infinite care was taken to
supply their usual food, and also not to confine them too closely, the
naturalist was fain to acknowledge the impossibility of accomplishing
his object, though the experiment extended over a period of two years.
The ceaseless activity of this frail little bird renders any
circumscribing of its liberty fatal to existence.

Delicate, innocent, and apparently harmless as butterflies, these
diminutive creatures are often very pugnacious, and when two males
engage in a contest with each other, which is not seldom the case, one
or the other often loses his life. If disturbed during the period of
incubation, they will attack large birds and even human beings,
directing their long, needle-like bills at the offender's eyes. Our
informant told us the particulars of a man who, under such
circumstances, came very near losing both of these organs. Scientists
have succeeded in preserving over two hundred different specimens of
this little feathered beauty, representing that number of species
indigenous to Brazil. Some of these are only five or six times as large
as a humble-bee. The artificial flowers already referred to as being for
sale in the shops of Rio depend almost entirely upon the humming-bird
for their delicate beauty; no other feathered creature affords such
marvelous colors and exquisitely fine material for the purpose. The best
specimens of this work are necessarily expensive, requiring, besides a
truly artistic taste and eye, skill of execution, infinite patience, and
much time, to produce them. We saw a choice design of this sort,
measuring about fifteen by twenty inches, framed under a glass, the
design being a bouquet of natural flowers, for which the asking price
was five hundred dollars; four hundred and fifty had been refused. The
feathers were almost entirely from the throat and breast of
humming-birds, arranged by a woman who had made this work the occupation
of her life from girlhood. We learned that such a piece of artistic
effect represented nearly a year's labor!

One also finds in the Rio shops flower-pieces ingeniously formed from
the scales of high-colored fishes, as well as from the wings and bodies
of native insects characterized by brilliant colors, but these of course
will not compare in delicacy and beauty with the products of the
feathers. The Brazilian beetle is prepared in a myriad of ornamental
forms and in many combinations, sometimes mingled with feathers. In the
Rua dos Ourives there are two or three shops where a great variety of
such objects is offered for sale. These stores have also many choice
native stones of great beauty, including the true Brazilian topaz, for
which there is a growing and appreciative demand.

The idea prevails that the climate of Rio is like some parts of Africa,
suffocatingly hot all the time, but this is not correct. The American
consul told the author that he had suffered more from the cold than from
the heat in the environs of the city, where his residence is in a rather
elevated district. He declared that the temperature, even in town, was
rarely so extreme as is often found in the cities of the United States.
He believes that the yellow fever might be effectually banished from Rio
by the adoption of strict quarantine and effective sanitary measures in
the city proper. As we have already intimated, consumption prevails here
to an alarming extent. This is doubtless owing to the peculiar dampness
of the atmosphere. We found that statistics show one half as many deaths
from consumption as from yellow fever, taking the aggregate of five
years. "The one disease comes annually in the heat of summer only, as a
rule," said our informant, "while the other prevails more or less all
the year round, year in and year out." During the two weeks which the
author stopped at Rio, forty and fifty fatal cases of yellow fever a day
were recorded, and doubtless more than that number actually fell victims
to its ravages, as only those who died in the several hospitals were
enumerated. We were in the city in June, one of the winter months in
this latitude. Heretofore the fever has nearly always disappeared, as an
epidemic, by the first or middle of May, even in years when it has been
most prevalent and fatal. Notwithstanding the charm of novelty which so
absorbs the stranger, we are free to confess there was a lurking dread
of the subtle enemy which proved so swift and fatal all about us. Fifty
deaths daily by yellow fever in a population exceeding half a million
only served to show that it still lingered in a sporadic form where the
seeds are perhaps never entirely exterminated. It most readily attacks
strangers and the unacclimated, but no class is exempt. The indigent,
careless, drunken portion of the population are no more liable, we were
informed, to contract the disease than others of better habits. This
outrages all preconceived notions of diseases of this character, but we
were assured by good authority that it was really so. The day we left
Rio, the English Bishop, a most estimable man, who was universally
respected and beloved, died of the fell disease.

The summer season begins in October and lasts until April, and is better
known here as the wet season, the rain falling with great regularity
nearly every afternoon, and at about the same time. Usually an hour of
liberal downpour is experienced, then it promptly clears up and becomes
bright and pleasant. The warmest month is February. The winter months
are May, June, July, and August; this is the dry season, during which
very little rain falls. The climate appears to be particularly injurious
to persons who are troubled with a torpid liver. Elephantiasis is
indigenous, but it is not very common; the few cases seen were upon the
streets, and were those of negroes who exposed their diseased limbs to
excite public pity, making the affliction an excuse for systematic
begging. A score of such unfortunates were seen daily in and about
Palace Square, and one or two regularly posted themselves before the
Globe Restaurant, which is the Maison Dorée of Rio Janeiro.

The well-to-do merchants do not think of living in town, but select some
pleasant spot in the environs, where they erect picturesque homes, often
extremely attractive to the eye architecturally, and surrounded by
lovely gardens, containing both native and exotic plants and trees. The
contrast between commercial and rural Rio is something very striking.
One presents all the grossness and belittling aspect of money-getting,
the other the graces, liberality, and ennobling appearance of culture
and refinement. Of all the trees in these attractive environs, the palm,
in its great variety, challenges one's admiration most. We mention it
frequently, for it was our constant delight. At every turn one comes
upon it, in its several species,--the cocoa-palm, the palmetto, the
cabbage, the assai-palm, the fanshaped-palm, and scores of other
varieties. The hand and taste of woman are seen in these gardens of the
environs. Flowers are selected and arranged as only feminine taste could
suggest, while the broad piazzas are simply floral bowers and gardens of
placid delights.

The province round about Rio is beautified and rendered profitable by
the many large coffee plantations, particularly attractive when the
well-trimmed bushes are seen in full bearing, bending under the weight
of red berries. Orange orchards abound, the branches of the trees heavy
with the rich golden fruit; yet as an orange-producing section, Florida,
in our own country, is fully its equal. The fruit of the southern part
of the United States is much better and more intelligently cultivated,
and is larger and fairer, than the fruit of this region. We except
Bahia, however, in this remark; that is the very paradise of oranges.
Besides the abundance of fruits, Flora reigns in Brazil, and near to Rio
bignonias, passifloras, variegated honeysuckles, morning-glories,
magnolias, and orchids mingle with the dark green mango trees and the
delicate light green mimosas which meet the eye everywhere. It appears
that the several species of flowers have their special season for
blooming, when they are at their best, so that a large variety is always
seen in bloom at all times in the year. We must confess to having felt
half lost without the "Queen of Flowers," our grand favorite; but as to
roses, it was found that the ever present ants maintained a fixed
hostility to them, rendering it particularly difficult to rear them in
this country. In all of the many lands we have visited, the author has
never seen such superbly developed roses as are produced in and about
the city of Boston. There is some quality in the climate of New England,
added to the genius of her famous florists, especially adapted to their

The broad leafed umbrella-tree--_chapeo do sul_--is often seen in this
neighborhood cultivated as a shade tree, both in town and country, while
the thick clustering bamboo, so often referred to, adds its unique
beauty to the environs in all directions. The banana and plantain, both
cultivated and wild, thrive hereabouts, and form an important adjunct to
the food supply of all classes. The banana is cultivated by offsets, and
is of rapid growth, coming to maturity and bearing fruit a few months
after it is planted. Brazil seems to be well called the home of fruits
and flowers.

Has the reader ever chanced to hear of "Portuguese Joe," of Rio Janeiro?
He is a man as well known in the capital of Brazil as the late emperor.
Ostensibly he is only a successful shipchandler, wholesale grocer,
purveyor--by appointment--to the American and British naval ships which
put into Rio, or which are stationed here; but over and above his
extensive commercial relations, we found him to be a Good Samaritan. He
is quite ready for legitimate business, and has realized a handsome
fortune by fair and honorable dealing. He charges a reasonable profit
upon the various supplies which he furnishes, but his goods are exactly
what he represents them to be, and he has the confidence of all who deal
with him. His establishment grew up from a small beginning, he having
come from Portugal to engage in business when only thirteen years of
age. To-day he is in the prime of life, and his store on the Paraça de
Dom Pedro II. is a city institution. The highest official, the
wealthiest bankers, and the most influential merchants are glad to shake
him cordially by the hand. Signor J. C. V. Mendes--the other title being
a trade _nom de plume_ of long standing--is a gentleman by nature, and a
true friend to all strangers who seek his counsels on arriving at Rio.
We fortunately became acquainted with Signor Mendes on the first day of
our landing, and are glad to speak of his ready courtesy and desire to
make all Americans at home who arrive in the capital of Brazil. It is no
particular recommendation, but it is a pleasure to say that, with his
calm, self-possessed manner, his brilliant black eyes and genial smile
lighting up his bronzed features, he is unquestionably the handsomest
man whom we chanced to meet in Rio Janeiro. Manly beauty is not an
imperative adjunct to excellence, but is still a very agreeable

One naturally anticipates but will not find any social distinction as to
race in this city. Color opposes no obstacle to progress in educational
or official position. Pupils of the public schools meet on the same
footing and mingle promiscuously. There is nothing to prevent the
intelligent negro from becoming a judge or minister of state, or from
filling any high civil office, if he develops proper ability. Many
bureaus in the public offices are held by colored men, observably in the
custom house, and the race generally is regarded with far more respect
than with us in the United States.

Providence has liberally endowed the larger portion of Brazil with a
fertile soil, an unrivaled flora, and a delightful climate. For a
tropical country, it is remarkably temperate and salubrious. It has
mountain scenery excelling that of Switzerland, with fertile valleys
surpassing those of Italy, and myriads of rivers affording ample means
of transportation with natural and abundant irrigation. Unlike many of
her sister states, including those on the west coast of the continent,
she is exempt from earthquakes and the destruction caused by devouring
tidal waves. While so much of Mexico and thousands of miles of the
Pacific coast are scorched by drought, there are no districts of Brazil
exempt from regular and refreshing rains, the importance of which cannot
be overestimated. To crown all else, the splendid harbor of her capital
by its size, safety, and beauty invites the commerce of the world. It
would certainly seem, when we realize all of these special advantages,
that nature had intended so large and favored a portion of the globe to
ultimately be the home of a great, powerful, and prosperous nation.

That the material growth of Brazil is mainly in the right direction is
manifest to the most casual observer. The many lines of railways
penetrating the country in every province will by and by prove to be
effective means of development. Wherever the facilities are liberally
afforded, not only individuals, but ideas, are sure to travel, and
social and material improvement must follow. Civilization keeps pace
with the iron horse. When the street rails penetrated the cañons of
Utah, polygamy was doomed. Material facts are stronger than arguments of
well-meaning moralists. The establishment of so many railroads through
the wilds of South America may not be a paying matter, it is not so at
this writing, but a great moral purpose, and that of true progress, will
be subserved by them. They will be the agents of enlightenment and
civilization to many wild tribes of Indians, at the same time opening
broad and favorable tracts of territory for settlement by emigrants from
the crowded and overstocked states of Europe.

On the homeward passage, when we visited Rio Janeiro for the second
time, it was found to be rife with politics; but like Joseph's coat, of
so many colors as to be confusing to a foreigner. It may reasonably be
doubted if the natives themselves clearly understood what they wanted.
The revolutionary element seemed very strong, and was led by men who had
nothing to lose by agitation, but everything to gain by a lawless
uprising. The most intelligent citizens predicted a popular revolution
of some sort in the near future, and their anticipation proved to be
correct. Revolution is chronic in South America.

          CHAPTER X.

     Petropolis.--Summer Residence of the Citizens of Rio.--Brief
     Sketch of the late Royal Family.--Dom Pedro's Palace.--A
     Delightful Mountain Sanitarium.--A Successful but Bloodless
     Revolution.--Floral Delights.--Mountain Scenery.--Heavy
     Gambling.--A German Settlement.--Cascatinha.--Remarkable
     Orchids.--Local Types.--A Brazilian Forest.--Compensation.

Petropolis,--or the city of Peter,--the fashionable summer resort of the
citizens of Rio Janeiro, is a modern town, dating only from 1844, and
contains at that season of the year a population of some eight thousand.
The intense heat of the crowded city in the summer months, not to
mention its usually unhealthy condition, makes even the acclimated
inhabitants seek a refuge in the hills. So long as the fever continues
to rage, merchants leave their families here, and come up nightly to
sleep and breathe the fresh, pure air. It is only on the coast and in
crowded communities that epidemics prevail. We were told by residents
that a case of yellow fever never originated at Petropolis; that it was
too elevated for the citizens to fear anything of the sort. It is so
generally throughout the country; the yellow fever prevails only in the
ports and at sea level, a peculiarity also observable in Cuba and the
several West Indian islands. When the fever prevails, as it does
annually at Havana and Matanzas, the wealthy citizens, and all
unacclimated people who are able to do so, retire inland to elevated
localities, where they are comparatively safe from the scourge. The same
rule applies to the coast cities of South America,--Pará, Pernambuco,
Bahia, etc. It is a very important matter to the merchants of Rio that
they have, within two or three hours' reach of their overheated city
offices, a resort where they can sit in a dry skin and sleep in quiet
and comfort. Had they not this resort, they would be obliged to succumb
to disease, or to leave Rio for half of the year annually.

Petropolis is situated in the Organ Mountain range, about thirty miles
from the metropolis, and is something less than three thousand feet
above tide-water. The town is built in a slight depression among the
well wooded hills, forming a vale of alpine beauty, easily reached from
Rio by boat and rail. The latter portion of the trip, comprising a sharp
mountain ascent, is made by a system of railroad like that by which the
summit of Corcovado is reached. The popular route is to cross the harbor
at Rio by a large and commodious steamboat, a distance of twelve miles,
and then to take the steam-cars. There is also another railroad route,
all the way by land. The late emperor's summer palace is the prominent
feature of Petropolis, together with its elaborate gardens, covering
some fifteen or twenty acres of land. Hither come the diplomatic
representatives of foreign nations to enjoy the salubrious mountain air
and the hospitable society of the best people of Rio Janeiro, and to lay
aside many of the constraints of city life. A great contrast is apparent
here to the crowded streets and narrow lanes of the uncleanly capital,
while the air is undoubtedly remarkable for its healthful and
invigorating qualities. The summer palace is surrounded by elegantly
arranged grounds, planted with rare flowers and choice trees from every
clime. In general effect it resembles an old English country house,
except for the tropical vegetation, the fine verdant lawns of grass, the
only ones of any extent in the country, being particularly noticeable.
This mountain resort has been called the Versailles of Brazil.

It seems appropriate to recall, in brief, the family history of the late
emperor, Dom Pedro II., of whose favorite abiding-place we are speaking.
He enjoyed a distinguished reputation among modern rulers, was liberal,
scholarly, and possessed of great experience of men and the world at
large. Having been an observant and studious traveler in many parts of
the globe, his endeavor was to adopt the best well-tried systems of
other governments in educational and other matters relating to political
economy. His system was mild, progressive, and designed for the general
good of the people over whom he presided; in fact, it was too mild for
the turbulent, unlettered masses of the provinces of Brazil. They were
not intellectually prepared for such leniency.

The royal family of Portugal fled hither in 1808, at the time of
Napoleon's invasion of that country, but returned to Europe in 1821. A
national congress assembled at Rio Janeiro the next year, and chose Dom
Pedro, eldest son of King Joâo VI. of Portugal, "Perpetual Defender of
Brazil." He proclaimed the independence of the country, and was chosen
"Constitutional Emperor." In 1831 he abdicated in favor of his only son,
Dom Pedro II., who reigned as emperor until November 15, 1889, when he
was dethroned by a bloodless revolution, and, together with his family,
was exiled, Brazil declaring herself a republic under the title she now
bears of the United States of Brazil. The feeling was nearly universal
among the Brazilians that they desired to live under a republican form
of government, but Dom Pedro II. was a man of such estimable character,
so just, intelligent, and popular a ruler, that the revolution, which
finally dethroned him, was deferred long after it was determined upon.
The peaceful manner in which it was finally achieved is perhaps without
precedent, and shows how thoroughly the mind of the active spirits of
the nation was made up to this end. It was a political _coup d'état_,
accomplished without the burning of an ounce of gunpowder. The emperor
himself seemed to accept the position as a foregone conclusion. We
learned from persons who had been quite intimate with him that he had
already anticipated the whole condition of affairs, foreseeing that it
was inevitable. If this is so, he was wise as well as diplomatic and
humane, for he had enough devoted adherents about him to have made a
serious though doubtless futile conflict for possession. There are
always myriads of the unthinking rabble ready to join and even fight for
authority which is already established, especially when seconded, as was
the case with Dom Pedro, by a strong personal popularity.

The palace at Petropolis is, with its extensive grounds, now offered for
sale, the country having no further use for palaces. It is understood
that a local syndicate propose to purchase the whole and cut up the land
into building lots, which are very much in demand just at this writing.
It would not be surprising if Petropolis were to double its population
during the next four or five years. Speculators are already at work
"booming" the place, and a summer home here is just what the Rio
merchant requires.

Some queer stories are told about the every-day life of Dom Pedro by his
neighbors. It seems, according to these reports,--for the truth of which
we cannot vouch,--that he often chose as his associates and advisers
uneducated persons of very humble origin, who had accumulated wealth by
shrewdness and industry, besides which he latterly exhibited many very
peculiar traits of character; but, as we say, it is difficult to decide
whether these stories are to be relied upon. It is more than hinted that
he had grown very weak minded, or, as the Scotch say, had a bee in his
bonnet. At all events, it now appears that he did not possess the
necessary energy and executive ability requisite to control a naturally
turbulent and restless people, and that his summary dethronement, so
peaceably accomplished, must have come sooner or later.

It is very natural to speculate upon the present state of affairs in
this country, since the change has taken place. To render a republic
possible and successful requires a liberal degree of intelligence among
the common people, that is, the masses at large. Unfortunately Brazil
cannot boast of such a condition among her population. The educated,
cultured portion of the community is quite limited, consequently the
country is hardly fit for self-government. Ignorant masses are only
amenable to the strong arm, and cannot, while untaught, be controlled
through the influence of reason and argument. Past experience shows us
that while a republic in the United States, France, or Switzerland means
freedom and order, in these half barbaric southern states it signifies
an alternation of revolution and of military despotism. Subject to the
rule of Dom Pedro, Brazil was alike free from despotism and from
disorder, so that it may be questioned whether his liberal reign was
not, under the circumstances, the truest republic for which Brazil was
fitted. Indeed, while these lines are being written, the question of a
return to the former style of government is openly discussed at Rio
Janeiro, where a state of political imbroglio exists very similar to the
conditions which caused the late disastrous civil war in Chili, on the
other side of the Andes. Such a shocking outcome, however, need never be
feared in Brazil as has been developed by the sister republic on the
Pacific coast, since both intelligence and civilization are far more
advanced in Brazil than in Chili.

The town of Petropolis and its neighborhood possesses good roads for
driving purposes, this location having been for several years the pride
and pleasure of the late emperor, who made the place what it now is by
his liberal expenditures and the constant improvements which he
instituted, paying for them out of his own private purse. The first
selection of this healthful spot was also his idea, and he felt a
personal pride in doing everything possible towards making it popular.
The roads referred to lead one through delightful scenery and highly
cultivated neighborhoods, beautified by art, until finally they lose
themselves among the hills and amidst impenetrable forests. There are
several fairly good hotels here, where the charges are moderate and the
domestic conveniences execrable! The great variety of trees to be found
in and about the town is marvelous, the palm and pine prevailing,
interspersed with the beautiful feathery Brazilian cedar. The tree-ferns
which grow here to a height of twelve feet are great favorites, with
their bright green fronds, six feet in length, almost reaching the
ground as the stalk bends gracefully with their weight. The scarlet
passion flower is trained as an ornamental creeper in nearly every
garden-plot, and tall fuchsias in various colors and pearl white
camellias also abound. We have rarely seen the camellia in such variety
of colors, or such profusion of flowers. It is often found blooming
beside tall coffee-trees, themselves full of deep green clustering
berries, the tree, where grown for ornamental purposes, being permitted
to reach full proportions. Here one sees also a profusion of the rich
green bamboo in prolific groves by the roadside, or surrounding humble
cottages, thus forming a welcome shade. In midsummer, so rapid is the
growth of the bamboo that every twenty-four hours adds two feet to its
height, or in other words, it grows an inch each hour throughout the day
and the night. Jack's fabulous beanstalk hardly surpasses the bamboo,
though the former is an amusing myth, while the latter is simply a
literal fact. Some very lovely gladioli and white roses were noted as
adding their beauty to these charming hill gardens in the Organ
Mountains. So abundant were the flowers of various kinds in the grounds
which surrounded our hotel, that any one was welcome to pluck and
appropriate them to the extent of his fancy. The public tables were
supplied with fresh ones every day, forming great living pyramids of
beautiful colors, emitting inimitable fragrance.

Our hotel was situated on gently rising ground, commanding a
considerable view of the plateau on which the town stands, with Dom
Pedro's palace in the middle foreground, shaded by groups of palms. It
was a delight to sit out-of-doors and watch the cloud effects as they
hung over the tree-covered hills and peaks, closing their ranks now and
again, and sweeping over the valley like a dashing charge of cavalry; or
cautiously advancing in single scuds like infantry deployed as
skirmishers; or, again, mottling the sky in white and peaceful masses.
At the brief twilight hour, it was like a living poem to note the
varying sunset hues creeping along the valley and gleaming through the
branches of the grand old trees which broke the sky-line of the
mountains, and the soft lilac blush of the sky, like a profile in
silhouette, with sharp curves and infinite detail. A deep, broad gulch,
opening towards the west, afforded a lingering view of the golden,
crimson, and pink horizon, long after the day had closed, and until the
stars gleamed forth through the transparent atmosphere and glorified the
advent of night.

This is nature in her happy moods. A little later, to these exquisite
delights of the moment, an ugly obverse presents itself. "Only man is

From opposite the open window where we sit penning these lines,--it is a
Sabbath evening,--there comes the sharp rattle of diceboxes and billiard
balls, together with the loud, angry talk of persons engaged at gambling
games of cards, interrupted by the repeated cries of the presiding
genius of the roulette table: "Make your game, signors, make your game,"
as he coolly rakes in the winnings of the bank. Italian, French,
English, and Spanish adventurers mingle their jargon with Portuguese in
the noisy throng who crowd the gambling "hell." It was said that
seventeen thousand dollars were won by a Portuguese gentleman, last
evening, in this "casino" just across the street, so losers to a like
amount, on the same occasion, must have been rendered half desperate.
The wretchedly demoralizing effect of gambling is apparent throughout
all the cities of this republic, the common lotteries tempting the mass
of the people, and various games of chance others who have money to

Petropolis is extremely attractive in many respects, the scenery round
about it very much resembling that of Switzerland. The broad streets are
lined with such pretty villas and attractive gardens that one falls to
making romantic pictures of possible delightful things which might
naturally happen in them, and is led to peer into nooks and corners with
a prying earnestness amounting almost to impertinence. These avenues
contain in their centres deep canals, thirty or forty feet wide, having
granite linings and the upper portion of the banks neatly sodded with
grass. Through these canals the water from the surrounding hills flows
in a pure, rapid stream, carrying away the drainage of the town, which
is emptied into them by underground conduits. These water-ways are
crossed by numerous small but substantial bridges, painted scarlet,
while the rushing river imparts a delightful coolness.

The largest portion of the permanent inhabitants of Petropolis is
composed of Germans, whose native tongue is heard on all sides, while
the familiar clatter of wooden shoes speaks of Berlin, Dresden, and
other German continental centres. The rosy-cheeked, flaxen-haired,
blue-eyed children are also prima facie evidence of the prevailing
nationality, though there are a large number of Italians who reside
here. The latter keep small shops and are peddlers of fruit, or marble
cutters and stucco workers, while many others find employment as

The highway to a certain mining district passes through the town, and
many donkeys laden with inland products are constantly to be seen in the
streets en route for Rio, giving the place a business aspect hardly
warranted by the local trade. From the neighboring hills charcoal
burners drive their donkeys every morning, laden with that article for
domestic use in the town, forming picturesque groups on the public
square, where they await purchasers. Others bring small-cut wood from
the hill for fuel, packed in little, narrow, toy carts, each drawn by a
single donkey. Scores of donkeys bearing tall, widespread loads of green
fodder are so hidden by the mass of greenery which they struggle under,
that none of the animal is seen at all, leading one to imagine that
Birnam wood has literally come to Dunsinane. These animals are almost
always attended by women, who sell the fodder in the market and return
home at night with such domestic necessities as are required. Women are
the laborers here, as at home in Germany, where they perform the hard
work, while their husbands guzzle beer and smoke endless tobacco.

Petropolis is, as we have said, steadily growing, but the banishment of
the emperor will retard its progress, as it takes from the town its
strongest element of assured success. We counted about a score of fine,
large residences in course of construction. The climate here is like
that of June in New England, and the verdure of the trees is perennial.

There is a charming excursion which strangers rarely fail to enjoy,
namely, to a place familiarly known as the Cascades. The village
adjoining these falls is called Cascatinha, and is situated in the lap
of the Organ Mountains, about five miles from Petropolis. The road
thither leads along the side of a small but boisterous stream, which
gladdens the ear with its merry, gurgling notes, past lowly, thatched
cottages, orange orchards, bamboo and banana groves, and green breadths
of well-cultivated, undulating land, finally ending in the midst of a
panorama of bold mountain peaks, lovely with varied gradations of tint,
and subtlest effects of light and shade. Here the abundant water
furnished by the river, which is artificially adapted to the purpose,
forms a series of cascades and falls, at the same time furnishing the
motive power for operating extensive cotton and woolen mills, which give
employment to several hundred men and women. A very humble type of life
mingles hereabouts with that of a much more refined character. Naked or
half-clad children are seen here and there playing with those who are
comparatively well dressed. Nice cottage homes adjoin those of the
poorest class. Children of both sexes are observed, only partially
covered with rags, who are endowed with a loveliness of eyes and
features, together with handsome figures, causing one to reflect upon
the unfulfilled possibilities of such childish beauty.

Men and women often bring into Petropolis and offer for sale beautiful
orchids, which they find in the woods not far away. These they pack in
green leaves, retaining a piece of the original bark or wood upon which
they have grown. These pretty flowerings of exuberant nature are sold
for a trifling price. Some are very remarkable in form and color, such
as we have never before chanced to see, and for really rare ones the
finders ask and receive good prices. We saw among them a specimen of the
Flor del Espiritu Santo,--"Flower of the Holy Spirit,"--to find which is
thought to bring to the fortunate discoverer good luck, as well as a
handsome price for the orchid. These women may have passed whole days in
their search of the forest, patiently breaking their way through nearly
impassable jungles, before nature reveals to them one of her most dainty
gems. As a rule, the forests are so dense that it is useless to try to
penetrate them, except by following some beaten route,--a charcoal
burner's road or a straggling way formed by a watercourse.

We well remember, but can only partially describe, the glory and beauty
of the Brazilian primeval forest. The general tone of the color is
brownish rather than light green, influenced by the absence of strong
light, for though the sun is glowing in the open country, here it is
twilight. Not one direct beam penetrates the density of the foliage, the
sombre drapery of the woods. At first one is awed by the vast extent of
the forest, by the dark, mournful shadows, by the gigantic trees
reaching so far heavenward, forming here and there gothic arcades of
matchless grandeur, and by the bewildering variety of the undergrowth.
Scarcely a tree trunk is seen without its parasite, green with foliage
not its own, "beyond the power of botanists to number up their tribe."
These dense jungles might be in India, or a bit out of "Darkest Africa;"
one is barred by an impenetrable wall of vegetation. Where palms occur,
it is almost always in groups; being a social tree, it loves the company
of its species. So with the bamboo, which is found in the more swampy
regions, but always in groups of its own family. These damp woods are
the home of the orchids; it is here that they revel in moisture,
clinging to the trunks of tall, columnar trees, fattening on decayed
portions of the bark, but forming bits of lovely color, while about the
stems of other forest monarchs wind creeping vines of rope-like texture,
binding huge trunks in a fatal embrace. Their final strangulation is
slow, but it is sure,--only a question of time. Lofty trees bear
charming flowers, as lowly shrubs do in our northern clime. Arborescent
ferns vie with the palms in poetic beauty, with their elastic, tufted
tops. Bunches of lilac and blossoms of snowy whiteness hang in the air.
Drooping mosses depend like human hair from widespread branches, and
soft, velvety moss carpets the way, with here and there dwarf mimosas
trailing beneath the ferns. Long vines of woody climbers, in deep
olive-green, twine and intertwine among the ranks of stout, aged trees,
breaking out at short distances with pink, blue, and scarlet buds,
rivaling the color of the birds which flash hither and thither like rays
of sunlight breaking through the leafy screen. Now and again the shrill
or plaintive notes of unfamiliar songsters fall upon the ear, mingling
with the cooing of the wood-doves and the low drone of the dragon-fly.
The magnificent arboreal growth of these forests develops itself into
thousands of strange and beautiful forms, stimulated by the constant
humidity of the high temperature.

The atheist must feel himself stifled for breath in the tropical forest,
and his fallacious creed challenged by every surrounding object, while a
new light illumines his unwilling soul with irrefutable evidences. The
Supreme Being writes his gospel not in the Bible alone, but upon the
grand old trees, the lowly flowers, the fleeting clouds, and upon the
eternal stars. Those who seek nature for religious inspiration never
fail to obtain it, untrammeled by the vulgar tenets of sectarianism or
outraged by the tinsel of church forms and ceremonies.

The observant traveler from the north is fain to seek some consolation,
some evidence of the glorious law of compensation, while comparing the
features of these poetical latitudes with his own well-beloved but more
prosaic home. He remembers that if these gaudy birds do flout in vivid
colors that dazzle and charm the eye, they have not the exquisite power
of song which inspires our more soberly clad New England favorites.
Brilliancy of feathers and sweetness of song rarely go together, a
natural fact which suggests a whole moral essay in itself. The torrid
zone clothes its feathered tribes in glowing plumage, but the colder
north endows hers with heart-touching melody. If the flowers of the
tropics exhaust the hues of the prism, attracting us by the oddity of
their forms, while blooming in exuberant abundance, the sweet and lowly
children of Flora in higher latitudes greet the senses with a fragrance
unknown in equatorial regions. Joy is nowhere all of a piece. Blessings,
we are forced to believe, whether in the form of beauty of color,
fragrance, or melody, are very equally divided all over the world, and
those portions which have not one, as a rule, are almost sure to have
the other. When we become eloquent and appreciative in the lively
enjoyment of scenes in a new country, it is not always because they are
more desirable or more beautiful than our own; it is the newness and the
contrast which for the moment so captivate us. That to which we are
accustomed, however grand, becomes commonplace; we covet and require
novelty to quicken the observation. Were the sun to rise but once a
year, in place of three hundred and sixty-five times every twelve
months, we would willingly travel thousands of miles, if it were
necessary, to witness the glorious phenomenon. The most charming natural
objects please us in proportion to their rarity or our unfamiliarity
with them.

          CHAPTER XI.

     Port of Santos.--Yellow Fever Scourge.--Down the Coast to
     Montevideo.--The Cathedral.--Pamperos.--Domestic
     Architecture.--A Grand Thoroughfare.--City
     Institutions.--Commercial Advantages.--The Opera House.--The
     Bull-Fight.--Beggars on Horseback.--City Shops.--A Typical
     Character.--Intoxication.--The Campo
     Santo.--Exports.--Rivers and Railways.

Santos is the name of a commercially important harbor situated on the
east coast of South America about three hundred miles southwest of Rio
Janeiro, after which city it is the greatest export harbor for coffee in
Brazil. Otherwise it is about as uninteresting a spot as can be found on
the continent. It became a city so late as 1839, and contains some
twenty thousand inhabitants. Its annual export of coffee will reach an
aggregate of two hundred and twenty-five thousand sacks. The bay is
surrounded by a succession of hills, and is well sheltered, except on
the southwest. The town is situated on the west side of the harbor, and
hugs the shore, many of the houses being built upon piles. Behind the
town to the westward rises a succession of mountain ranges. The
immediately surrounding country is low and malarial, causing fevers to
prevail all the year round. During the present season Santos has
suffered more seriously from yellow fever than any other place on the
coast in proportion to the number of its inhabitants. As a commercial
port it has no rival in southern Brazil. Santa Catharina, Porto Alegre,
and Rio Grande, the three harbors south of Santos, are rendered
inaccessible for any but small craft, owing to sandbars at their

This is the present terminus of the United States and Brazil Mail
steamship route from New York, and notwithstanding its many drawbacks in
point of sanitary conditions, is yet growing rapidly in commercial
importance. Its wretchedly unhealthy condition causes one to hasten away
to the more elevated country, where St. Paul is situated, and where the
traveler runs little or no risk of contracting yellow fever or malarial
affections of any sort.

Santos is the port for St. Paul, with which it is connected by rail, and
from which it is separated by about forty miles.

This capital of the state of São Paulo, St. Paul, contains some ninety
thousand inhabitants. The province is credited with a million and a
half. The city lies just under the tropic of Capricorn, southwest of
Rio, about two thousand feet above the level of the sea, upon a high
ridge, covering an elevated plateau of undulating hills. It enjoys the
sunshine of the tropics, modified by the freshness of the temperate
zone. It is venerable in years, having been founded in 1554, but it
seems to have taken a fresh start of late, as its population has doubled
in the last decade. As intimated, it is entirely free from yellow fever,
which is so fatal at Santos, and has excellent drinking water, together
with good drainage and well paved streets. The city contains some fine
public buildings, and has many handsome adornments, being largely
peopled by North Americans and English; the former prevail in numbers
and influence, indeed, it has been called the American city of Brazil.
There is also a large Italian colony settled here. St. Paul has a good
system of tramways, several Protestant churches, and a number of
educational and charitable public institutions, together with many of
the attractions of a much larger capital. Among the popular amusements,
the theatre of San José is justly esteemed, and is a well-appointed
establishment in all of its belongings. There are two spacious public
gardens, embellished with grottoes, fountains, choice trees, and
flowers, while the private gardens attached to the dwellings are
numerous and tasteful.

In the district round about the city venomous serpents are frequently
met with, whose bite is as dangerous as that of the rattlesnakes of our
northern climate. As the land is cleared and cultivated, they naturally
and rapidly disappear. These reptiles fear man, and avoid his vicinity
quite as earnestly as human beings avoid them. It is only when they are
molested, trodden upon, or cornered, as it were, that they attack any

The city is connected with Rio Janeiro by a railway, and two other
railroads run from it far inland. The Rio and St. Paul railway is fairly
equipped, but the roadbed is not properly ballasted, and consequently
one rides over the route in a cloud of dust, while suffering from the
oscillations and jolting of the cars. This railway, however, is one of
the most successful and profitable in the republic. It is some three
hundred miles in length, and passes through a dozen or more tunnels, one
of which is a mile and a half in length. This tunnel required seven
years' labor before it was passable. There is just now a great "boom" of
land values in and about St. Paul. It is towards this state that the
tide of Italian emigration is largely directed, for some reason which we
do not comprehend, but it is probably stimulated by a combined effort to
this effect.

The passage southward from Rio Janeiro or Santos to Montevideo occupies
about five days, but a large amount of rough ocean experience is
generally crowded into that brief period, added to which the coasting
steamers are far from affording the ordinary comforts so desirable at
sea. Of the food supplied to passengers one does not feel inclined to
complain, because a person embarking upon these lines does so knowing
what to expect; but as regards the domestic conveniences and cleanliness
generally, there is no excuse for their defective character. We are
sorry to say that the class of Portuguese and Spaniards one encounters
on these coasting vessels is far from decently cleanly in daily habits,
carelessly adding to the unsanitary conditions.

The wind in these latitudes is not only inclined to be fierce, but it
usually goes entirely round the compass at least once or twice during
the voyage, and is more than liable to wind up, off the mouth of the
river Plate, with a regular and furious pampero. This is a hurricane
wind, which is born in the gorges of the Andes, and thence pursuing its
course over nearly a thousand miles of level pampas, gains speed and
power with every league of progress. The season in which these
hurricanes--for in their fury they deserve to be thus
designated--prevail, is from March to September, but they are liable to
come at any time. The wind is considered by the people of Montevideo to
be wholesome and invigorating, as far as the land is concerned, but
seamen dread it on shipboard, and call it a Plate River hurricane. We
know of no more disagreeable roadstead than that of Montevideo, when a
pampero is blowing. We have seen ships under these circumstances, with
two anchors down, obliged to resort to the use of oil on the sea, to
prevent themselves from being swamped. Though the inhabitants represent
a pampero to be comparatively harmless on the land, yet it does
sometimes commit fearful havoc there also, especially among the
unprotected herds of wild cattle on the plains, and upon all trees or
plantations which lie in its devastating course. It is true that it
brings with it a bracing and life-giving atmosphere from the snow-capped
Andes far away, and if it could only do so with less forceful
demonstration, it would be a welcome visitor in the heated days of these

The most direct way to illustrate what these South American pampas are
is to compare them to the vast prairies of our Western and Southwestern
States. Any one familiar with those far-reaching, horizon-bounded plains
knows what the pampas of the Argentine Republic are like. Beginning near
the foothills of the Cordilleras, in their very shadow, as it were,
these smoothed out, level lands extend hundreds of miles eastward to the
great estuary of the Plate River, on the borders of the Atlantic Ocean.
Though apparently sterile, the soil of the pampas, like the dry, baked
land of Australia, only requires irrigation and cultivation to rival the
most attractive valleys of Southern Europe. It is believed by scientists
that these plains were once covered by a broad inland sea, connected
directly with the Atlantic. In their present condition these pampas can
hardly be called barren, since they give excellent grazing for extensive
herds of wild cattle, which thrive and fatten upon the abundance of
coarse, natural grass, similar to what is known as bunch grass in Texas
and New Mexico. This product ripens and makes itself into standing hay,
retaining its natural vitality and nutritious qualities throughout
months of atmospheric exposure. After being close-cropped by the roving
herds of cattle, the bunch grass renews itself, reproducing in great

Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is situated on the remarkable
estuary of the Plate River,--Rio de la Plata, or "Silver River,"--whose
spacious mouth is marked by two capes, Santa Maria and San Antonio, more
than one hundred miles apart. Only a nautical observation will show just
where the line of ocean ceases and that of the estuary begins. The
unobservant passenger believes himself still sailing upon the broad
ocean until he finally sights the land on which the city stands. The
flag of Uruguay flying from various crafts--blue and white, in alternate
stripes, with a glowing sun in the upper corner near the
staff--indicates the near approach to the land it represents.

On the island of Flores, fifteen miles from Montevideo, there are a
lighthouse and quarantine station. The island is formed by a rocky
upheaval, not over twenty feet above sea level, measuring about a mile
in length and two or three hundred yards in width. The fierce pamperos
render the navigation of this estuary oftentimes precarious. When
approaching the broad river's mouth from the north, sailors know that it
is near at hand, long before land is seen, by the color of the water,
which comes forth in such immense volume as to impart a distinct yellow
hue to the ocean for a long distance from the coast. This effect is said
to be discernible one hundred miles off the shore, but thirty or forty
miles will perhaps be nearer the truth, and is at the same time a
statement answering all legitimate purposes. The tide about the estuary
is mostly governed by the wind, and so up the river, showing no
regularity in its rise and fall. The current of the Plate opposite
Montevideo runs at the rate of about three miles an hour. In extent,
this ranks as the third great river of the world, draining, with its
affluents, eight hundred thousand square miles of territory; a mammoth
basin, which is only exceeded by those of the Amazon and the

The commercial activity of the port is shown by the arrival and
departure daily of many large steamships, foreign and coastwise. Sixty
European steamers are recorded as arriving here monthly, besides a
number from the United States. The maritime business of the port is
mostly in the hands of Englishmen, Americans, and Frenchmen. The
native-born citizen evinces no genius in commercial matters. The
department of the capital is the smallest in the republic, having an
area of only twenty-five square miles, but it is fertile, well wooded
and watered, its agricultural interests predominating, which is a most
important fact in estimating the stability and pecuniary responsibility
of any state.

The city is exceptionably well situated on a small rocky promontory, or
rather we should designate it as a peninsula, jutting out into the
estuary, three of its sides fronting the sea, and as its streets are
nearly always swept by ocean breezes, it is cool and pleasant even in
midsummer. The land rises gradually as it recedes from the shore, and
then declines to the bed of a small stream which empties into the bay,
thus affording a natural surface drainage. Uruguay is a little more than
twelve times as large territorially as the State of Massachusetts, and
is divided into thirteen departments. There are over half a million
acres of land under good cultivation in the republic, the principal
staples being wheat and corn. Extreme heat and extreme cold are alike
unknown, the country being within the temperate zone. The mean summer
temperature is 71° Fahr., that of autumn 62°, and of spring 60°. There
are, therefore, but few things which the climate is too hot or too cold
to produce, while for the raising of cattle on a large scale it is said
to be the best section of South America, and this forms, we believe, its
largest industry.

In approaching Montevideo from the sea, it is observed that the
surrounding country is quite level, with scarcely a single object to
break the distant view. Immediately upon landing one realizes that the
city is clean and well built, though it is mostly made up of low
structures one story in height. There are plenty of dwellings of two and
three stories, however, in the more modern part of the town. Dominating
the whole stand the lofty dome and towers of the cathedral, which faces
the Plaza Constitution. The turrets are of striking proportions, each
rising to the height of one hundred and thirty-three feet. The
widespread dome would be grand in effect, were it not covered with
glazed tiles of various colors, blue, green, yellow, and so on, the
combined effect of which is anything but pleasing to a critical eye.
Still, it is no more tawdry than much of the inside finish and
meaningless ornamentation. There is an elaborate marble fountain in the
centre of the plaza, besides some ornamental shrubbery and flowers. The
very fine marble façade of the building occupied by the Uruguay Club
adds to the beauty of the plaza. Near the fountain is a fanciful music
stand, in which a military band is occasionally stationed to perform for
the public pleasure. These South Americans would as soon give up the
bull-fights as the popular outdoor evening concerts, the excellent moral
effect of which no one can possibly doubt.

An abrupt hill at the head of the harbor, four or five hundred feet in
height, known as the "Monte," gives the city its name, Montevideo. This
hill is crowned by a small fort and lighthouse, the latter containing a
revolving light which can be seen a long distance at sea. A couple of
miles inland rises another hill called the Cerrito, or "little hill."
Several times during revolutionary struggles, these two hills have been
fortified by opposing parties, who have desired to control the city, but
restless revolutionists are now at a discount, fortunately, in this
republic of Uruguay, a class of uneasy spirits who have reigned quite
long enough on the southern continent.

The town is built in the form of an amphitheatre, and has comparatively
few edifices of importance. Its regular, straight streets and open
squares are intensely Spanish. The Paseo del Molino is the fashionable
part of the town, where the wealthy merchants reside in curious chalets,
or _quintas_ as they are called here. There is rather an extraordinary
taste displayed in the matter of buildings on this Paseo. Swiss
cottages, Italian villas, Chinese dwellings, and Gothic structures are
mingled with Spanish and Moorish styles. This architectural incongruity
is not picturesque, but, on the contrary, strikes one as very crude and
ill-chosen. The charm of domestic residences in any part of the globe is
a certain adaptability to the natural surroundings, and is, when well
conceived, a graceful part of the whole. Inappropriate structures are to
the eye like false notes in music to the ear, an outrage upon harmony. A
Swiss chalet in Hindostan, or a Japanese bamboo house in England, is
simply discordancy in scenic consistency. Nature should always be a
silent partner in the creation and adaptation of architectural designs.
In olden times the Jesuits built a large mill near this spot, and hence
the name of the place.

The climate must be very equable and fine to admit of such fruit culture
as exists here. The strawberries grown in the neighborhood are famous
for their size and sweetness, the vines producing this favorite fruit
all the year round. They are perhaps a little over-developed, and would
doubtless be of finer flavor if they were smaller.

The Plaza de la Independencia is highly attractive, and so is the broad,
tree-lined avenue known as the Calle del Dieziochavo de Julio, named
after the anniversary of the Uruguayan declaration of independence.
This, indeed, is thought to be the most effective boulevard in all South
America. On festal occasions it is decorated in an original and
brilliant manner, having colored draperies hanging from the windows and
balconies, bright colored cambrics stretched from point to point, with
the gay flag of the republic festooned here and there. Chinese lanterns
are hung from the trees, and arches spanning the roadway and bearing
national designs are all ablaze with ingeniously arranged gas jets. Down
one side of this long avenue and up the other, it being over a hundred
feet broad, a civic and military procession marches on the annual
recurrence of the date which its name indicates, the several divisions
headed by bands of music, with flags flying and drums beating. On such
occasions the windows and balconies are filled with groups of handsome
women, in gala dresses, together with pretty children in holiday
costumes, who add charm and completeness to the scene. This avenue is
the Champs Elysées of the southern continent, a thoroughfare of which
the residents are justly very proud.

The streets and sidewalks generally are of better width in Montevideo
than in most of the South American cities. Some few of the private
residences display fine architectural taste, the dwellings being well
adapted to the climate and the surroundings. Many of the city houses
have little towers erected on their roofs, called _miradores_, from
whence one gets an excellent view of the entire city and of the sea. The
town is spread over a large territory, and stretches away into thinly
populated suburbs, but all parts are rendered accessible by the
well-perfected system of tramways which extend over fifty miles within
the city and the immediate environs. In the absence of official figures,
we should judge that Montevideo had a population of at least two hundred
thousand. Every other nationality seems to be represented in its streets
and warehouses, except that of Uruguay herself. Those "native and to the
manner born" are conspicuous by their absence. Speaking of this rather
curious characteristic to a friend who lives here, he replied: "There
are probably fifty thousand European and North American residents doing
business in this city, forming by far the most active element of the
place. They are seen everywhere, to the apparent exclusion of the
natives. Indigenous blood and energy could not have made this capital
what it is at the present time. It is reaping the advantage of North
American enterprise, English and American capital, and German
shrewdness. These, combined with the natural advantages of the location
and climate, will eventually make Montevideo the Liverpool of South
America." Though all this goes without saying, our friend put it so
aptly that his words were deemed worthy of recording. We do not hesitate
to predict that the next decade will nearly double the number of the
population here, as well as the aggregate of its imports and exports. No
other city on the southern continent has greater advantages in its
geographical position, or as regards salubrity of climate and
adaptability to commerce. Were it not for the occasional visits of the
howling pamperos, the climate would be nearly perfect, and even these
exhibitions of a local nature are, as we have said, accepted with great
equanimity by the people on land. There are few stoves, and no
fireplaces or chimneys, in Montevideo. Cooking is done with charcoal on
braziers out-of-doors, as is the custom in most tropical countries.

The capital of Uruguay contains the usual educational and religious,
charitable and scientific, public organizations, with appropriate
edifices for the same. It should certainly be considered a reading
community, having more daily newspapers than London, and double as many
as the city of New York; also supporting a large number of weekly
newspapers and monthly magazines. As to books, so far as a casual
observer may speak, they are few and far between in family circles. The
men read the newspapers, and the women fill up their leisure time with
music and gossip. There is a national university in Montevideo, where
over six hundred pupils are regularly taught at the present time, and
there are forty-eight professors attached to this admirably organized
institution. We heard it highly spoken of by those who should be good
judges in educational matters. The custom house, with which the stranger
always makes an early acquaintance after arriving in port, is a large
and costly structure, three stories in height. The opera house is worthy
of particular mention, being a spacious building of the Doric order,
capable of seating three thousand persons, and when it is filled at
night, the interior presents a grand array of elegant costumes and
female beauty, the ladies of this city being noted for their personal
charms. This is a circumstance not mentioned casually as a mere
compliment, but simply as a fact. The opera house covers an entire
square, and has two large wings attached to the main building, one of
which is devoted to business purposes, and the other contains the
National Museum. There is here the nucleus of a most valuable
collection, to which constant additions are being made, both by the
state and through personal liberality and interest. We are sorry to say
in this connection that the bull-fight, as a public exhibition, above
all other styles of amusement, is the favorite one with the rank and
file of the populace, which is quite sufficiently Spanish to control the
matter and insure its permanency. The bull-ring, wherein these brutal
and terribly demoralizing exhibitions take place on each Sabbath
afternoon during the season, is situated about a league from the city

It must be a country or district under Roman Catholic influence, and
with more or less of a Spanish element permeating it, to admit of this
style of desecrating the Sabbath, or, indeed, of indulging on any day of
the week in an exhibition which is so thoroughly brutal, cowardly, and
repulsive. It is a sad reflection upon the community, high and low, to
state that the bull-fight is one of its popular entertainments. We have
said that this is a cowardly game. The fact is, the bull is doomed from
the moment he enters the arena. He has only his horns and his courage to
help him in the unequal contest. The professional fighters opposed to
him are all fully armed, and protected by sheltering guards, behind
which they can retire at will. It is twelve experts pitted against one
poor beast. Ingenious, heathenish modes of torture are devised and
adopted to wound, to weaken, and to craze the victim. If it was one
armed man against the bull, whether mounted or otherwise, it would be a
more equal and gallant struggle,--but twelve to one! bah, it is only a
cowardly game in which gallant horses and brave bulls are sacrificed by
a dozen armed men. Even the matadore, who gives the final and fatal
thrust with his sword, and who is looked upon as a sort of hero by the
spectators, does not enter the ring to attempt the act until the bull is
comparatively harmless, having been worried and wounded until he is
exhausted by the struggle and the copious loss of blood, so that he is
scarcely able to stand. Though reeling like a drunken man, he staggers
bravely towards his fresh and well-armed enemy, showing fight to the
last gasp.

Realize the moral effect of such cut-throat exhibitions upon youth! The
older, cruel and hardened spectators are only rendered more so, but the
young and impressionable are then and there inoculated with a love of
brutality and bloodshed, fostered by every fresh exhibition which they

The Exchange is a grand and spacious structure, admirably adapted to its
purpose, being one of the finest business edifices in South America, to
our mind infinitely superior in all respects to that of Rio, upon which
so much money has been expended in meretricious designs. The author
counted the names of some forty charitable institutions and associations
in a Montevideo directory, eight or ten of which are maintained mostly
by public endowment, such as hospitals, asylums for the poor,
orphanages, industrial schools, lunatic asylums, and so on. Near the
Plaza Ramirez there is a school of arts and trades, which at this
writing accommodates a large body of pupils, taught by competent
professors and experts. We were told that this institution was of great
practical service in the cause of education, its general aim being
similar to that of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One was
hardly prepared to credit Montevideo with so many and well-sustained
educational purposes as she was found to be justly entitled to. The
reader will observe that we speak qualifiedly of these matters; it is
only the outward and most obvious characteristics of a city, so briefly
visited, of which one can speak correctly. It would have been gratifying
to have remained longer in this capital, to understand more clearly the
educational advantages which are offered here. In this department of
progress, Montevideo seems in advance of many larger cities.

Squads of soldiers are seen lounging about the town, dressed in a
uniform of the Zouave pattern, not very jaunty looking fellows, it must
be confessed, but perhaps "as good food for powder as a better." The
entire army of Uruguay consists of only five thousand men, of all
branches. The president has also a battalion of body-guards, consisting
of three or four hundred men, forming a very efficient as well as
ornamental organization. This organization consists of men loyal to the
administration, and beyond a doubt personally devoted to the president.
The rank and file of the army embraces all shades of color, both as to
mind and body, and is liable to become disaffected at the outbreak of
any popular upheaval, or through the influence of designing men. This
body-guard, however, being always on duty, is ready and able to turn the
scale by prompt and consistent action, in favor of the established
authorities, and thus nip rebellion in the bud. It is only after getting
thoroughly under way that revolutionary attempts become formidable. At
the inception, the strong arm promptly applied stamps out the life and
courage of the mob, and renders sedition futile. "No parleying; fire
promptly, and fire to kill; that ends the matter," said Napoleon. Blank
cartridges and vacillation stimulate a half-formed purpose into action.

One is forced to admit that beggars are rather numerous in
Montevideo,--beggars on horseback and wearing spurs. They coolly stop
their small, wiry, half-fed ponies, and with magnificent effrontery beg
of any stranger they chance to meet for a centavo, a copper coin worth
about two cents of our American money. The incongruity of beggars
mounted, while the stranger of whom they solicit alms is a pedestrian,
is somewhat obvious. It must be remembered, however, that horses are
very cheap in this country, and that nearly every one rides or drives. A
good serviceable animal can be bought in any of the South American
cities at what we should consider a mere trifle to pay for one. A
well-broken young saddle-horse will bring from twenty to twenty-five
dollars, but the owner, if one of the dudes about town, will expend five
hundred dollars upon a silver-decked saddle, bridle, and trimmings, a
Spanish peculiarity which is also observed in the city of Mexico. A pair
of well-matched carriage-horses, in good condition, can be had for
seventy-five or eighty dollars. Mares are not worked in this country,
being solely used for breeding purposes, and have no fixed price;
indeed, they are not met with in the cities. It will be seen that for a
beggar to set up business here requires some capital, but not much. De
Quincey would describe Spanish beggary as having become elevated to one
of the fine arts.

There is a class of men in Uruguay called gauchos who devote themselves
to breaking the wild horses of the pampas for domestic use. They are
more Indian than Spanish, and pass their lives mostly as herdsmen of the
vast numbers of animals which live in a semi-wild state upon the plains
of South America. These men can hardly be said to train their horses.
They only conquer them by a process of cruel discipline which thoroughly
subdues the animal. After this the poor creatures are ever on the alert
to obey their rider's will, prompted by a pressure of the powerful bit,
and a merciless thrust of the long, sharp rowels. The gaucho reminds one
of the cowboys of our Western States. He forms a very picturesque figure
when seen upon his wiry little mustang, galloping along with his yellow
poncho streaming behind him, his head covered by a broad-brimmed soft
felt hat, his long, dark hair floating upon the breeze, and his broad,
loose trousers fluttering in the wind. A lasso of braided or twisted
leather sometimes swings from one hand, while the rider skillfully
manages his horse with the other. Altogether the gaucho forms a picture
of strong vitality and vivid color. He spends a small fortune upon his
equipments, and his heavy spurs are of solid silver. He is not a hard
drinker, an occasional glass of country wine satisfies him; but he will
gamble all night long until he has lost his last penny to professional
sportsmen, who somehow know the way to win by fair means or foul.

Few strangers who visit Montevideo for the first time will be at all
prepared to see such a quantity and variety of rich jewelry in the
shops. Imported dress goods of the finest quality are also offered for
sale in these shops. The Parisian boulevards have no display windows
which contain larger or finer diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds; indeed,
this country seems to be the home of precious stones and real gems. The
silversmiths exhibit goods equally artistic and elegant. The best
products of Vienna, Paris, and London, in the fancy-goods line, are
fully represented here. Readers who have visited Genoa will recall the
fine silver filigree-work which is a specialty of that city, but some of
the manufactures of this character made here are quite equal, if they do
not excel, that of the Italian capital.

It seemed to be rather a singular and significant fact, that when a
couple of pennies will purchase a tumblerful of the national tipple
called caña, a raw liquor made from sugar-cane, and quite as strong as
brandy, still comparatively few persons are seen under its influence
upon the public streets. It is true that on all church festal occasions
the common people have a regular carousal, and get very much
intoxicated, whereupon they lose one day in repenting and two in
recuperation. It is the same all over the world. The lower, uneducated
classes, having no intellectual resort, seem imbued with the idea that
to get thoroughly tipsy is the acme of pleasure. The inevitable
punishment does not enter into the calculation at all, nor does it deter
the victim from repeated excesses. It is curious to observe the peculiar
effect which intoxicants produce upon people of different nationalities:
the Russian gets boozy on vodka, and only becomes more loving to his
species; the Mexican drinks pulque by the pint measure, and craves only
to be permitted to sleep; the French guzzle brandy and wine until they
become equally full of song and gayety; the American Indian is made
utterly crazy and reckless by drink; the Irishman finds a fight in every
glass of whiskey; and the Englishman who indulges overmuch becomes
eloquent on politics and patriotism. In South America the common people
who drink to excess are rendered pugnacious and revolutionary. The
police arrangements of Montevideo are excellent, and the streets are
safe for man or woman at any hour of the day or night, which one is
forced to admit is more than can be truthfully said of the majority of
large cities in either Europe or North America. There is no sickly
sentimentality about crime and criminals here. If a man outrages the
law, he has to suffer for it, and there is no pardoning him until he has
worked out his entire penalty. It is the certainty of punishment which
intimidates professional rascals. Official leniency and pardoning of
criminals are a premium on crime.

Between two and three miles from the city there is a public park, which
is laid out with excellent taste and skill, forming a popular pleasure
resort. There are here many fine native and exotic trees, as well as
flowering shrubs and blooming flowers. This spacious park, intersected
by a willow-lined stream, is called the Paseo, and is ornamented with
statues, fountains, and rockeries. The grounds are also occupied by
several small places devoted to amusements, shooting-galleries, billiard
saloons, and gambling tables, very similar to the Deer Garden in the
environs of Copenhagen. Citizens of Montevideo of the humbler class come
hither with their families, bringing food and drink to be disposed of in
picnic fashion. Bordering the sweep of the bay, which forms the harbor,
are many cottages, the homes of the rich merchants. These villas are
surrounded by flower gardens and graceful shrubbery, the endless spring
climate making the bloom perennial. The flat roofs of many of the town
houses are partially inclosed, so as to form a pleasant resort in the
closing hours of the day, where family parties are often seen gathered
together. Social life among the residents of the environs is very gay,
and so indeed is that of the town residents, whose hospitality is also
proverbial. The Hotel Oriental is the favorite hostelry of Montevideo,
built of marble and well furnished, though it is hardly equal to the
Hotel Victoria, its rival, architecturally speaking.

The drinking water, and all that is used for domestic purposes in the
city, is brought by a well-engineered system from the river Santa Lucia,
which is tapped for this purpose at a distance of thirty or forty miles
from Montevideo.

The Campo Santo of the capital is admirably arranged and particularly
well kept, being in several respects like those of Pisa, Genoa, and
other Italian cities. It is the most elaborate cemetery in South
America, surrounded by high walls so built as to contain five tiers of
niches which form the receptacles for the dead. The grounds are nearly
as crowded with elaborate tombs and stone monuments as Père la Chaise,
at Paris, the funereal cypress rising here and there in stately
mournfulness above the marble slabs. The abundance of metallic wreaths
and artificial flowers afforded another resemblance to the famous French
cemetery. The freshness of many of the floral offerings showed that the
memory of the departed was kept green in the hearts of those left
behind. The traveler sees many such touching evidences of tenderness all
over the world. Much of the marble work seen in these grounds was
imported from Milan, and some from both Florence and Rome. The
monumental entrance to the grounds, and the elaborate chapel within
them, are both in good taste.

Beef, hides, wool, hair, and grain seem to be the principal articles of
export. Uruguay contains over half a million of people, and has an area
of seventy-one thousand square miles, intersected by several railways,
bringing the interior within easy reach of the capital. It is said to be
growing more rapidly in proportion to its size and the present number of
inhabitants than any other part of South America. The republic is best
known to the world by its Indian name, Uruguay, but on many maps it is
still designated as the Banda Oriental, that is, the "Eastern Border."
It will be remembered that this now independent state was originally a
part of the Argentine Republic, which was formerly known by that
designation. Though Uruguay is one of the smallest of the independent
divisions of the continent, it is yet one of the most important, a fact
owing largely to its admirable commercial location. Nearly all of its
territory can be reached by navigable rivers, while its Atlantic shore
has a dozen good harbors. Sixteen large rivers intersect the republic in
various directions, all of which have their several tributaries. Cheap
internal transportation is assured by over three hundred miles of
railways; also by these rivers. As already intimated, its agricultural
interests are largely on the increase, the strongest element of
permanency. Originally the pastoral interest prevailed over all other,
but agriculture, both here and in the Argentine Republic, has taken
precedence. The model farms near Montevideo are unsurpassed for extent,
completeness, and the liberal manner in which they are conducted. Some
large estates might be named which will compare favorably with anything
of the sort which the author has ever seen in any country, where
agriculture is followed on intelligent principles. Here the cultivation
of the soil is carried on not solely to obtain all which can be wrung
from it, in the way of pecuniary profit, but _con amore_, and with a due
regard to system. As may be supposed, the return is fully commensurate
with the intelligence and liberality exercised in the business. Such
farming may be and is called fancy farming, but it is a sort which pays
most liberally, and which affords those engaged in it the most

To be an honest chronicler, one must not hesitate to look at all phases
of progress, successful or otherwise, on the part of each people and
country visited and written about. There are always deep-lying
influences acting for good or evil, which scarcely present themselves to
the thoughtless observer.

One reason for the rapid growth of this republic of Uruguay is because
of its gradually casting off the slough of Roman Catholic influence, a
species of dry rot quite sufficient to bring about the destruction of
any government. The same incubus which was of so long standing in
Mexico, where its effect kept the people in ignorance and ferment for
centuries, has at last been abolished, and modern progress naturally
follows. In Uruguay the Romish Church has lost its prestige, having
hastened its own downfall by blindly striving to enforce fifteenth
century ideas upon people of the nineteenth. Monks and nuns have been
expelled, and parish schools have been closed. Free schools now prevail,
and general knowledge is becoming broadcast, which simply means
destruction to all popish control. Intelligence is the antidote for
bigotry, which explains the bitter opposition of the Roman Catholic
priesthood to free schools wherever their faith prevails.

In all of these South American provinces it has been found difficult to
throw off the evil inheritance of sloth and anarchy which the Spaniards
imposed upon their colonial possessions. The schoolhouse is the true
temple of liberty for this people. In the department of Montevideo alone
there are to-day over sixty free schools, and in the whole republic
nearly four hundred, something for her authorities to point at with a
spirit of just pride. This enumeration does not include the private
schools, of which there are also a large number in the capital.

We find by published statistics that Uruguay exports of wool, about
seven million dollars' worth per annum; of beef, over six million
dollars' worth; of hides, four million dollars' worth; and of wheat
about the same amount in value as that of the last article named. These
staples, however, are only representative articles, to which many more
might be added, to show her growing commercial importance and assured

Our next stopping-place is the important city of Buenos Ayres, on the
opposite bank of the river, about one hundred and fifty miles southwest
of Montevideo.

          CHAPTER XII.

     Buenos Ayres.--Extent of the Argentine
     Republic.--Population.--Narrow Streets.--Large Public
     Squares.--Basques.--Poor Harbor.--Railway System.--River
     Navigation.--Tramways.--The Cathedral.--Normal
     Schools.--Newspapers.--Public Buildings.--Calle Florida.--A
     Busy City.--Mode of furnishing Milk.--Environs.--Commercial
     and Political Growth.--The New Capital.

The city of Buenos Ayres--"Good Air"--is well named so far as its
natural situation is concerned, but this condition of a pure atmosphere
has been seriously affected by unsanitary conditions, naturally arising
from the large influx of a very promiscuous population. A considerable
percentage are Italians, and so far as personal cleanliness and decency
go, they seem to be among the lost arts with them.

This thriving city is the capital of the Argentine Republic, which, next
to Brazil, is the largest independent state in South America, containing
fourteen provinces, each of which has its own local government, modeled
after those of the United States. The average reader will doubtless be
surprised, as the author certainly was, to realize that this southern
republic exceeds in extent of territory the united kingdoms of Great
Britain, together with France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain,
Portugal, Belgium, Holland, and Greece combined, the actual area being
something over twelve hundred thousand square miles. The province of
Buenos Ayres is just about the size of the State of New York, and
contains in round numbers a population of one million. Two hundred years
ago, the city of Buenos Ayres had a population of five hundred. Having
the statistics at hand, it is perhaps worth while to state that, of the
aggregate population of the province, a majority, or fully six hundred
thousand, are foreigners, classed as follows: three hundred thousand
Italians, one hundred and fifty thousand French, one hundred thousand
Spaniards, forty thousand English, and twenty thousand Germans. The
number of North American residents is very small, though they control a
fair percentage of the exports and imports. Authentic statistics show
that they number less than six hundred. Paris is not more crowded with
refugees from various countries than is this Argentine capital. Why such
a spot was selected on which to establish a commercial city is an
unsolved riddle, as it embraces about all the natural inconveniences
that could possibly be encountered on the banks of a large river. The
perversity of such a selection is the more obvious, because those who
made it must have passed by a score of admirable points eminently
superior in all respects to the one now occupied.

The first view of Buenos Ayres on approaching it by water is peculiar,
the line of sight being only broken by the church towers and a few
prominent public buildings; the horizon alone forms the background of
the picture. Unlike nearly all of the South American cities, there is no
forest or mountain range behind or surrounding the capital. From its
environs a continuous plain stretches away for nearly eight hundred
miles to the foothills of the Andes. Situated between the 34° and 35° of
south latitude, it enjoys a climate similar to that of the south of
France, and almost identical with that of New Orleans. The site upon
which the city stands is considerably above the level of the river, and
though the streets are far too narrow for business purposes in the older
portions of the town, they widen to a better size in the newer parts.
The roadways are poorly paved, so that it is very uncomfortable to walk
or drive over them. Boulevards are laid out to cut the older parts of
the city diagonally, as was done in Paris and Genoa, and is now being
done in Florence, so as to relieve the present insufficient capacity for
the transportation of merchandise. One is apt, however, when remarking
upon these particularly narrow and irregular streets in a foreign
country, to forget that there are, in the older portions of the capital
of Massachusetts, some quite as circumscribed and corkscrew fashioned.
If we do not find all the excellences of civilization predominating, and
admirable people in the majority here, we should do well to remember
that we have also left them in the minority at home.

The huge custom house of Buenos Ayres, with its circular form and high
walls facing the river, recalls in general appearance Castle Garden in
New York harbor, or the fort on Governor's Island. In its importance as
a commercial emporium, this city disputes the first place with only
three others in the southern hemisphere, namely, Rio Janeiro, Sydney,
and Melbourne, the latter of which has lately added greatly to its
harbor facilities by deepening and widening the Yarra-Yarra River.

The dwelling-houses of Buenos Ayres are mostly built of brick, and are
of a far more substantial character than those upon the west coast of
the continent. They have much more the appearance of North American
dwellings than Spanish, except that the windows are strongly guarded
with iron bars, and the cool, shady patios present domestic scenes,
mingled with flowers and fragrance, strongly local in color. The city is
regularly laid out in squares of a hundred and fifty yards each, so when
one is told that such or such a place is so many squares away, he knows
exactly the distance which is indicated. The Plaza de la Victoria is
surrounded by handsome edifices, including the opera house and the
cathedral, the façade of the latter very much resembling that of the
Madeleine at Paris. This square has a fine equestrian statue of some
patriot, and a small column commemorating a national event. The city has
a population equaling that of Boston in number, and we do not hesitate
to say that it is more noted for its enterprise and general progress
than any other of the South American cities. It has been appropriately
called the Chicago of the southern continent. The republic, of which it
is the principal city, has seven thousand miles of telegraphic wire
within its area, a tangible evidence of enterprise which requires no
comment. One remarkable line connects this city with that of Valparaiso,
on the Pacific side of the continent, and is constructed with iron poles
nearly the whole distance, crossing the Andes by means of forty miles of
cable laid beneath the perpetual snows!

It may well be supposed that the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres are of a
cosmopolitan character, when it is known that the daily newspapers are
issued in five different languages. As shown by the statistics already
given, a considerable share of the people are Italians, who form much
the larger portion of the emigrants now coming hither from Europe, or
who have arrived here during the last decade. As additions to the
population, they form a more desirable class, in many respects, than
those who seek homes further north. After the Italians, the Basques are
among the most numerous of the new-comers. There are over fifty thousand
of this people settled in the province of Buenos Ayres alone, readily
adapting themselves to the country. They are a strongly individualized
race, whom no one is liable to mistake for any other. They maintain in a
great measure the picturesque style of dress which prevails in their
native land, no matter what their vocation may be here. As a rule, the
Basques come with their families, bringing some moderate amount of
pecuniary means with them, and at once devote themselves to agricultural
pursuits. They take especially to the department of the dairy, making
butter and cheese of excellent quality, for which they find a ready city
market. They have a natural inclination towards cattle tending, and are
looked upon by the authorities as among the very best of European
emigrants. To promote this immigration to Argentina, a per capita
premium has been paid heretofore by the government, who, indeed, are
still ready to furnish a free passage for responsible emigrants, both of
this and other nationalities. This generous offer has been so shamefully
abused by the beggars, lazzaroni, and criminal classes of Naples and
Sicily, that a check has necessarily been put upon it, particularly as
regards the generally objectionable people of Sicily.

As a shipping port, Montevideo has a decided advantage over this
Argentine metropolis. Large steamers are obliged to anchor eight or ten
miles, or even more, below the city, on account of the shallowness of
the river at this point. A channel has been opened to facilitate the
approach of vessels of moderate tonnage, but much yet remains to be done
before the experiment will be of any practical advantage. Tugboats land
passengers on the quay, who arrive by the large mail steamers. Vessels
of not over twenty-five hundred tons can lie at the shore and land their
cargoes by means of the limited conveniences of the new dock. One would
think that this want of harbor facilities was an insuperable objection
and impediment in the growth of a great commercial capital, but Buenos
Ayres goes straight onward, progressing in wealth and business,
apparently regardless of such disadvantages. The present aggregate of
its imports, in round numbers, is one hundred million dollars per annum.

Even to-day, while resting under so serious a financial cloud, with her
credit at the lowest ebb, and so many of her lately wealthy merchants in
bankruptcy, the city has a certain steady, normal growth, which it would
appear that nothing can seriously impair. As we have intimated, the tide
of immigration has been checked, though not entirely stopped, by the
depressed financial and business condition of the country; still, in one
closing month of the last year, October, 1891, over two thousand
passengers arrived by steamship in Argentina, seeking new and permanent

When a pampero is blowing, it sometimes forces nearly all of the water
out of the harbor, leaving it high and dry, so to speak, though the
river is thirty miles in width opposite Buenos Ayres. Passengers,
baggage, and freight have in the past often been landed by means of
horse carts, hung on high wheels, and driven out into the water to such
a depth as would float small boats and lighters. Indeed, this was for
many years the common mode of landing freight and passengers at Buenos
Ayres. Two long and narrow piers which have been built partially obviate
the necessity of employing carts, unless the water becomes very low. It
has been said in all seriousness, and we believe it to be true, that the
cost of landing a cargo of merchandise at Buenos Ayres has often been as
great as the freight by vessel from New York, Liverpool, or Boston.

To construct a suitable harbor here for commercial purposes is a project
attended by almost insurmountable difficulties, but the attempt is
gradually being made. The water in front of the city is not only
shallow, but the bottom is extremely hard, while the increase of depth
down the river is so little that it would involve the dredging of soil
for a distance of ten miles, together with an indefinite width. It is
very doubtful if a channel in such a situation, liable to constant
changes, could be effectually established and maintained at any cost.
The city does not depend upon its foreign commerce alone for business,
having a boundless and productive territory in its rear, of which it
will always be the commercial capital. It is already a great railway
centre, the republic having over seven thousand miles of iron and steel
rails within its borders. Five railways radiate from Buenos Ayres at
this writing, and a sixth is projected. One route has been surveyed with
the idea of connecting this city direct with Valparaiso, the distance
between the two capitals being about nine hundred miles. It is designed
to take advantage of the road already completed to Mendoza, from whence
the addition would cross the Cordilleras at a height of ten thousand
feet, and pass through several tunnels, one of which would be two miles

It should also be remembered, while on this subject of transportation
facilities, that the Paraná River is navigable for light draught
steamers two thousand miles inland from Buenos Ayres, into and through
one of the most productive valleys in the world. From Montevideo to
Point Piedras, the river is uniformly sixty miles wide, and at Buenos
Ayres it has only narrowed to about half this distance. The two main
rivers which form the Plate are the Uruguay and the Paraná, which in
turn unite to form the grand estuary called Rio de la Plata.

The city of Buenos Ayres has about as many miles of tramway as there are
in Boston. The various routes are well managed, and afford an infinite
amount of popular accommodation. This service is carried on by six
different companies. It is not in the hands of one big monopoly, as with
us in Boston. Competition in undoubtedly best for the public good, but
the business can be more advantageously conducted by a single company.
Experience has shown, however, that such a franchise is liable to great
abuse in the hands of a corporation having no rivalry to fear.

The citizens suffered long and patiently for want of good water for
drinking and domestic purposes. This trouble has been partially obviated
for a considerable time by the establishment of extensive water-works,
but they are not adequate to the demand. The means for obtaining a new
and additional supply are now under consideration. A system of drainage
has also been constructed, which was fully as much of a necessity as the
supply of water, but which, as usual, proves to be insufficient in
capacity to perform the necessary work,--at least it but partially meets
the requirements for which it was designed. People grow hardened by
association with danger, but the importance of good and sufficient
drainage for a capital in which malarial fevers prevail hardly requires

Unlike nearly all of the South American cities, Buenos Ayres has no
Plaza Mayor, or public square, as a grand business and pleasure resort,
a central point, par excellence, designed also for the recreation of the
general public. There are, however, several spacious squares, quite
large enough to represent such an idea,--nine or ten of them in fact,
all of which are surrounded by fine buildings. The Plaza Victoria, for
instance, already referred to, is some eight acres in extent, made
brilliant at night by electric lights, which supplement the old style of
gas-burners. The government house, the Palace of Justice, the cathedral,
and other effective buildings front upon the Plaza Victoria. Eight or
ten of the principal streets converge here, and this point is also the
place of departure for several lines of tram-cars. The cathedral is in
the Grecian style, the portico supported by twelve Corinthian columns,
composed of brick, mortar, and stucco, but the general effect is the
same as though each pillar was a monolith. The edifice is capable of
containing eight or ten thousand people at a time, being equal in size
and architectural effect to any ecclesiastical establishment on the
continent. As this cathedral is a very remarkable one in many respects,
we devote more than usual space to its description. It was rebuilt by
the Jesuits in the seventeenth century, but was originally founded in
1580, and is not much inferior to St. Paul's, London, as the following
dimensions will show. It is two hundred and seventy feet long by one
hundred and fifty in width, having an area of forty-five hundred square
rods, and stands next in size to Notre Dame, Paris. The interior of this
immense building, with its twelve side chapels, is dark, dingy, and
dirty, while the want of ventilation renders the air within foul and
offensive. It is only on some rare festal occasions that an audience at
all adequate to occupy its great capacity is seen within its walls. A
hundred persons do not seem like more than a dozen in such a place. Less
than a thousand only serve to emphasize its loneliness. One sees a few
women, but scarcely any men, present on ordinary occasions. The latter
are content to stand about the outer doors and watch the former when
they come from morning mass, or the ordinary Sabbath services. Here, as
in Havana, Seville, and Madrid, the Spanish ladies, who lead a secluded
home life, under a half oriental restraint imposed by custom inherited
from the ancient Moorish rule in continental Spain, do not resent being
stared at when in the streets. Probably this is the main attraction
which draws most of the señors and señoritas to the church services,
though undoubtedly many of them are devout and sincere in the outward
services which they perform. At least, let us give them the benefit of
such a conclusion.

The national religion of Argentina is that of the Roman Catholic Church,
but the power of the priesthood is strictly confined to ecclesiastical
affairs, as in Uruguay. Absolute religious freedom may be said to exist
here. No religious processions or church parades are permitted in the
public streets. This used to be very different in times past, almost
every other day in the Romish calendar being some saint's day, and it
was the custom to make the most of these occasions by elaborate parades
and gorgeous display. Besides some twenty-four Roman Catholic churches
and chapels, there are a score presided over by Protestants of various
denominations,--Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, and so on.
There is, as we were informed, a large and growing Protestant
constituency in the city.

It should be mentioned very much to her credit that Buenos Ayres has
supported, since 1872, a series of normal schools, in which regular
courses of three years' training are given to persons desiring to fit
themselves to become school-teachers. To assist those wishing to avail
themselves of these advantages, the government appropriates a certain
sum of money, and those persons who receive this public aid bind
themselves, in consideration of the same, to teach on specific terms in
the free schools for a period of three years. There are quite a number
of North American ladies employed in these schools, throughout the
several districts of Argentina, receiving a liberal compensation
therefor, and commanding a high degree of respect. The University of
Buenos Ayres, with about fifty professors and some eight hundred
students, stands at the head of the national system of education. It was
founded in 1821, having classical, law, medical, and physical
departments. There are also four military schools, two for the army and
two for the navy.

Buenos Ayres has more daily papers published within its precincts than
either Boston or New York. It has several elegant marble structures
devoted to the banking business, generally holding large capitals,
though the financial condition of several of them at this writing is
simply that of bankruptcy. This applies mainly to the state banks. There
are here an orphanage, a deaf and dumb asylum, four public hospitals,
and two libraries: the National Library containing some seventy thousand
volumes, the Popular Library having fifty thousand. There is also a free
art school, together with public and private schools of all grades. Last
to be named, but by no means least in importance, the city has a number
of fairly good hotels and restaurants, the latter much superior to the
former. Hotels are not only a strong indication of the social refinement
of a people, or of the want of it, but they are of great importance as
regards the commercial prosperity of a large community. Travelers who
are made comfortable in these temporary homes remain longer in a city
than they would otherwise, spend more money there, and are apt to come
again. If, on the contrary, the hotel accommodations are poor, travelers
complain of them, and strangers avoid a city where they are liable to be
rendered needlessly uncomfortable in this respect. Rio Janeiro is a
notable instance in hand, a city whose hotels we conscientiously advise
the traveler to avoid.

We well remember, at the great caravansary in Calcutta, the only hotel
there of any size or pretension, that a party of five Englishmen and
five Americans, who had come from Madras with the purpose of passing a
fortnight in the former city, shortened their stay one half, simply
because the hotel was so wretchedly kept, the accommodations were so
abominably poor, and the discomforts so numerous. Let us put this idea
in mercenary form. Ten guests, expending at least eight dollars each per
day, curtailed their visit seven days. It is safe to say that they would
have left six hundred dollars more in Calcutta had they been comfortably
lodged, than they did under the circumstances.

We should not omit to mention the Commercial Exchange, in speaking of
the public buildings of Buenos Ayres. It is a fine, large, modern
structure, admirably adapted to the purpose for which it is designed.
Until within a year, the edifice in Boston applied to the same purpose
would not compare with that of this South American capital.

There is no dullness or torpor in this city. All is stir and bustle.
Life and business are rampant, and yet, strange to say, no one seems to
be in any special hurry. Everything is done in a leisurely manner. The
number of handsome stores and the elegance of the goods displayed in
them are remarkable, while the annual amount of sales in these
establishments rivals that of some of our most popular New York and
Boston concerns in similar lines of business. One may count forty
first-class jewelry establishments in a short walk about town. There is
hardly a more attractive display in this line either in Paris or London.
Diamonds and precious stones of all descriptions dazzle the eye and
captivate the fancy. The Calle Florida is one of the most fashionable
thoroughfares, and presents in the afterpart of the day a very gay and
striking picture of local life, a large element being composed of
handsome women, attended by gayly dressed nurses, in charge of lovely
children wearing fancy costumes. The young boys affect naval styles, and
their little sisters wear marvelously broad Roman scarfs, and have their
feet encased in dainty buff slippers. What pleasing domestic pictures
they suggest to the eye of a restless wanderer!

On account of the narrowness of the streets, there is but one line of
rails laid for the tramway service, so that a person goes out of town,
say to Palermo, by one system of streets and returns by another. These
cars move rapidly. A considerable distance is covered in a brief time,
the motive power being small horses. An almost continuous line of cars,
with scarcely a break, is passing any given point from early morning
until night, and the citizens are liberal patrons of them. We saw some
statistics relating to the number of persons carried by the tramways of
this city annually, which were simply amazing, and which would make the
management of the West End Railway of Boston "grow green with jealousy,
or pallid with despair." Of course all this has been temporarily
affected by the present financial crisis. As we have tried to show,
Buenos Ayres is a wonderfully busy city, in which respect it resembles
our own country much more than it does the average capitals of the
south. There is none of the visible languor and spirit of delay which
usually strikes one in tropical centres. People get up in the morning
wide awake, and go promptly to business. There is no closing of the
shops at midday here, as there is in Havana, Santiago, the capital of
Chili, or some of the Mexican cities, so that clerks may absent
themselves for dinner or to enjoy a siesta. A much more convenient
course for both clerks and patrons is adopted, which does not block the
wheels of trade. The idea of closing stores at midday to steal a couple
of hours for eating and sleeping is a bit of Rip Van Winkleism entirely
unworthy of the go-ahead spirit of the nineteenth century.

The Plaza Retiro is as large as the Plaza Victoria, and occupies the
spot where in old Spanish days the hateful exhibitions of the
bull-fights were given. Indeed, this square was formerly known as the
Plaza de Toros. Many historical interests hang about the locality,
around which the rich merchants of the city have erected some palatial
residences, faced to a certain height with marble on the outside. These
domestic retreats have courtyards constructed one beyond another,
covering a considerable depth, and forming a series of patios, each
appropriated to some special domestic use,--the dining court, the
reception court, and the nursery. In this square, and also in the Plaza
Victoria, there are always plenty of hackney coaches to be found
awaiting hire, and it should be remarked that charges are very
reasonable for this service in Buenos Ayres.

There are thirteen theatres in the city, and an admirable museum. The
latter, rich in antiquities, is noted for its prehistoric remains of
animals which once lived in the southern part of this continent, but
whose species have long been extinct. This particular museum is
advantageously known to scientists all over the world. The Colon Theatre
is a large, well-equipped, and imposing place of entertainment, as much
so as the Théâtre Française, Paris, and takes a high position in
representations of the legitimate drama and the production of the better
spectacular plays. This house adopts what is called here the _cazuela_
in the division of its auditorium, an excellent system, very general in
South American theatres, and we believe, nowhere else. It consists in
giving up the entire second tier of boxes or seats to the exclusive use
of unattended ladies, an arrangement which seemed to us strongly to
recommend itself. To this division of the auditorium there is a separate
entrance from the street, and no gentlemen are admitted under any
pretext whatever. So those who desire to come to the entertainments
quite unattended can do so with perfect propriety, and are safe from all
intrusion in this isolated position. The ladies of this city, when they
appear in public, dress very elegantly, following closely North American
and European styles, while displaying the choicest imported materials
well made up. Perhaps comparisons are invidious, but we feel inclined to
accord precedence in the matter of personal beauty to those of
Montevideo. In dress, however, the ladies of Buenos Ayres certainly
excel them. Each city has its local "Worth," but many dresses are made
in Paris and imported, regardless of expense.

There may be somewhere a noisier city than Buenos Ayres, as regards
street life in the business section, but London or New York cannot rival
it in this respect. Undoubtedly this is owing in a measure to the fact
that the traffic of so large and busy a metropolis is crowded into such
narrow thoroughfares, barely thirty feet in width, and often less than
that, a portion of which space is taken up by the tramway tracks. The
noisy vehicles which run on these rails make their full share of the
racket and hubbub. Here, as in the cities of Mexico and Puebla, the
drivers of the cars are supplied each with a tin horn, hung about his
neck, or suspended from the car front, upon which he exercises his
lungs, producing ear-piercing and discordant notes. Wheels and hoofs
upon the uneven pavements increase the din, supplemented by shouts and
language more forcible than proper, uttered by enraged teamsters because
of the frequent blocking of the roadway. Add to these dulcet sounds the
cries of itinerant fruit venders, fancy-goods sellers, and the shouts of
persistent newsboys, and one has some idea of the irritating uproar
which rages all day long in the older streets of Buenos Ayres.

Cows and mares are driven singly or in groups through the streets of
this city, and milked at the customers' doors, so that one is nearly
certain of getting the genuine article in this line, though we were
assured that some roguish dealers carry an india-rubber tube and flat
bag under their clothing from which they slyly extract a portion of
water to "extend" the lacteal fluid. "Is there no honesty extant?"
Adulteration seems to have become an instinct of trade. Asses are still
driven through the streets of Paris, in the early mornings, and the milk
obtained from them is distributed in the same manner, whether with a
slight adulteration of water or not, we are unable to say. It is not
uncommon at Buenos Ayres to see a person served on the street with fresh
milk just drawn from the animal, which he drinks on the spot. A very
refreshing, modest, and nutritious morning tipple. Mares, as before
mentioned, are not used for working or riding in this country, but are
kept solely for breeding purposes and to furnish milk. This article is
considered to be more nourishing for invalids and children than cow's
milk, and is often prescribed as a regular diet by the physicians.

The grand driving park of the capital, known by the name of Third of
February, is situated at Palermo, some distance from the city proper,
and covers between eight and nine hundred acres. On certain days,
especially on Sundays, a military band gives a public outdoor concert
here, when all the beauty and fashion of the city turn out in gay
equipages to see and to be seen, forming also a grand and spirited
cavalcade of fine horses and carriages. The races take place at Palermo,
and, as in all Roman Catholic countries, on Sundays.

The neighborhood of Buenos Ayres is generally under good cultivation,
the soil and climate uniting to produce splendid agricultural results.
The suburbs of Flores and Belgrano each present a very pretty group of
quintas and gardens, wherein great skill and refinement of taste is
evinced. The alfalfa, a species of clover used here in a green condition
as fodder for cattle, and which is as rich as the red clover of New
England, to which family of grasses it belongs, grows so rapidly and
ripens so promptly that three crops are often realized from the same
field in a single season. The immediate environs of the city are
occupied by private residences, many of which are very elaborate and
imposing, surrounded by charming gardens and pleasure grounds. Grottoes,
statuary, and fountains abound, while orchards of various fruits are
common, interspersed here and there with picturesque graperies. Some of
the highways are guarded by hedges of cactus,--_agave_,--much more
impenetrable than any artificial fencing. Trees of the eucalyptus family
have heretofore been favorites here, originally imported from Australia,
but they have ceased to be desirable, since it appears that nothing will
grow in their shadow. They seem to exercise a blighting power on other
species of vegetation. Figs, peaches, and oranges grow side by side,
surrounded by other fruits, while the low-lying fields and open meadows
nearest to the river are divided into large squares of three or four
acres each, enameled with the deep green of the thick growing alfalfa,
and other crops varying in color after their kind. Richest of all are
the intensely yellow fields of ripening wheat still farther inland,
whose softly undulating surface, gently yielding to the passing breeze,
produces long, widespread floating ripples of golden light.

The love of flowers is a passion among all classes of the people, and
their cultivation as a business by experienced individuals gives
profitable employment to many florists, whose grounds are pictures of
accumulated beauty, fragrance, and variety of hues. There is as true
harmony to the eye in such blendings as there is to the ear in perfect
music. The reader may be sure that where the children of Flora so much
abound, bright tinted humming-birds do much more abound, dainty little
living feathered gems, rivaling rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

To insure the good health of her large and increasing population, the
system of drainage in Buenos Ayres requires prompt and effectual
treatment. The natural fall of the ground towards the river is hardly
sufficient to second any engineering effort to this end. That typhoid
fever should prevail here to the extent which it does, at nearly all
seasons of the year, is a terrible reflection upon those in authority.
This is a fatal disease which is quite preventable, and in this instance
clearly traceable to obvious causes. Rio Janeiro, with its yellow fever
scourge, is hardly more seriously afflicted than Buenos Ayres with its
typhoid malaria. Indeed, it is contended by some persons living on the
coast that the number of deaths per annum in the two cities arising from
these causes is very nearly equal, taking into account the results of
year after year. Sometimes, unaccountably, Rio escapes the fever for a
twelvemonth, that is to say, some seasons it does not rage as an
epidemic; but we fear, if the truth were fairly expressed, it would be
found that the seeds are there all the while, and that the city of Rio
Janeiro, like that of Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, is never
absolutely exempt from occasional cases.

The Argentine Republic contains more than a million square miles, as
already stated; indeed, immensity may be said to be one of its most
manifest characteristics. The plains, the woods, the rivers, are
colossal. To be sure, all of her territory is not, strictly speaking,
available land, suitable for agricultural purposes, any more than is the
case in our own wide-spread country. No other nation equals this
republic in the value of cattle, compared with the number of the
population, not forgetting Australia with its immense sheep and cattle
ranches. It is believed, nevertheless, that the agricultural interest
here, as in Uruguay, is gradually increasing in such ratio that it will
erelong rival the pastoral. The average soil is very similar to that of
our Mississippi valley, yielding a satisfactory succession of crops
without the aid of any artificial enrichment. The pampas have a mellow,
dry soil, the common grass growing in tussocks to the height of three or
four feet, and possessing a perennial vigor which mostly crowds out
other vegetation. A few wild flowers are occasionally seen, and in the
marshy places lilies of several species are to be met with; but taken
all together the flora of the pampas is the poorest of any fertile
district with which we are acquainted. A few half-developed herbs and
trefoils occasionally meet the eye, together with small patches of wild
verbenas of various colors. At long distances from each other one comes
upon areas of tall pampas grass as it is called, so stocky as to be
almost like the bamboo, eight or ten feet high, decked with fleecy,
white plumes. Birds are scarce on the pampas. There is a peculiar
species of hare, besides some animals of the rodent family, resembling
prairie-dogs--_biscachos_--or overgrown rats, together with an
occasional jaguar and puma, found on these plains, as well as that
meanest of all animals, the pestiferous skunk. Animal life, other than
the herds of wild cattle, can hardly be said to abound on the pampas.

Until a few years since, Buenos Ayres enjoyed the distinction of being
the capital of the province of the same name, as also of the Argentine
Republic; but the present capital of the province of Buenos Ayres,
called La Plata, is situated about forty miles south-east of Buenos
Ayres, with which it is connected by railway. The site of the new
capital was an uninhabited wilderness ten years ago, the foundation
stone of this city having been laid in 1882. To-day La Plata has a
population of about fifty thousand, although over seventy are claimed
for it, a comprehensive system of tramways, broad, well paved streets,
two theatres, thirty public schools, a national college, and six large
hotels. There are many monuments and fountains ornamenting the
thoroughfares, and what is now wanting is a population commensurate with
the grand scale on which the capital is designed. An immense cathedral
is being built, but has only reached a little way above its foundation,
as work upon it has for a while been suspended. If the original plan is
fully carried out, it may be half a century or more in course of
construction. La Plata is suffering from the pecuniary crisis perhaps
more seriously than any other part of the country. The city is lighted
by both electricity and gas, issues five daily newspapers, has a very
complete astronomical observatory, a public library, five railroad
stations, and some very elegant public buildings. Its large
possibilities are by no means improved, however. Of the buildings, the
edifice of the provincial legislature, that of the minister of finance,
and the legislative palace are all worthy of mention. The government
house is a long, low structure, the front view of which is rendered
effective by an added story in the centre, which projects from the line
of the building, and is supported by high columns. The "Palace," as it
is called, forming the residence of the governor of the province, is an
elaborate and pretentious building, three stories in height, with two
flanking domes and a dominating one in the centre. Of course La Plata
has gained its start and rapid growth from the prestige of being the
provincial capital, but it is now slowly developing a legitimate growth
on a sound business basis, and though it can hardly be expected to ever
equal Buenos Ayres in population and commercial importance, it
nevertheless promises to be a prosperous city in the distant future; its
citizens already call it the "Washington" of South America. A close
observer could not but notice that many houses were unoccupied, and the
streets seemed half deserted.

While the most of our maps and geographies remain pretty much as they
were a score of years ago, and a majority of the kingdoms of the Old
World have changed scarcely at all, the Argentine Republic has been
steadily growing in population, progressing rapidly in intelligence,
constantly extending its commercial relations, and marching all the
while towards the front rank of modern civilization. A detailed
statement of its extraordinary development during the last twenty years,
in commerce, railway connections, schools, agriculture, and general
wealth, would surprise the most intelligent reader. It is believed by
experienced and conservative people, particularly those conversant with
the South American republics, that Buenos Ayres will be the first city
south of the equator in commercial rank and population, within a quarter
of a century. The increase of this republic in population during the
last two decades has been over one hundred and fifty per cent., a
rapidity of growth almost without precedent. The increase of population
in our own country, during the same period, was less than eighty per
cent. Twenty-four lines of magnificent steamships connect the Argentine
Republic with Europe, and twice that number of vessels sail back and
forth each month of the year, while its railway system embraces over six
thousand miles of road in operation, besides one or two yet incomplete
routes, though the opening of its first line was so late as thirty-four
years ago. Add to this her system of inland river navigation, covering
thousands of miles, which has been so systematized as to fully
supplement the remarkable railway facilities.

That Argentina rests at the present moment, as we have constantly
intimated, under a financial cloud is only too well known to every one.
It is a crisis brought about by an overhaste in the development of the
country, especially in railroad enterprises. _Festina lente_ is a good
sound maxim, which the people of this republic have quite disregarded,
and for which they and their creditors are suffering accordingly. It is
seldom that any newly developed country escapes the maladies attendant
upon too rapid growth, but this is a sort of illness pretty sure to
remedy itself in due time, and rarely impedes the proper development of
maturer years. If this republic has been unduly extravagant, and
borrowed too much money in advancing her material interests, she has at
least something to show for it. The funds have not been foolishly
expended in sustaining worse than useless hordes of armed men, nor in
the profitless support of royal puppets.

Nations no less than individuals are liable to financial failure, but
with her grand and inexhaustible native resources, backed by the energy
of her adopted citizens, this republic is as sure as anything mortal can
be to soon recover from her present business depression, and to astonish
the world at large by the rapidity of her financial recuperation. Her
present annual crop of wool exceeds all former record in amount, and is
authoritatively estimated at over thirty million dollars in value. To
this large industrial product is to be added her prolific harvest of
maize and wheat, together with an almost fabulous amount of valuable

          CHAPTER XIII.

     City of Rosario.--Its Population.--A Pretentious
     Church.--Ocean Experiences.--Morbid Fancies.--Strait of
     Magellan.--A Great Discoverer.--Local
     Characteristics.--Patagonians and Fuegians.--Giant
     Kelp.--Unique Mail Box.--Punta Arenas.--An Ex-Penal
     Colony.--The Albatross.--Natives.--A Naked
     People.--Whales.--Sea-Birds.--Glaciers.--Mount Sarmiento.--A
     Singular Story.

The route to Rosario is rather monotonous by railway, taking the
traveler through a very flat but fertile region, over prairies which are
virtually treeless, not unlike long reaches of country through which the
Canadian Pacific Railroad passes between Banff, in the Rocky Mountains,
and Port Arthur, on Lake Superior. The monotonous scenery is varied only
by a sight of occasional herds of cattle, feeding upon the rich grass,
with here and there a mounted herdsman, and the numberless telegraph
poles which line the track. It is at least a seven hours' journey from
Buenos Ayres to Rosario. Occasionally a marshy reach of soil is
encountered where large aquatic birds are seen, such as flamingoes,
storks, cranes, herons, and the like.

Rosario, in the province of Santa Fé, is the second city in point of
population and importance in the Argentine Republic. It is a young and
promising capital, hardly yet fairly launched upon its voyage of
prosperity, but so far it has been singularly favored by various
circumstances. The place is arranged in the usual crisscross manner as
regards the streets of this country, which, unfortunately, are too
narrow for even its present limited business. In place of twenty-four
feet they should have been laid out at least double that width, in the
light of all experience has developed in these South American cities.
This new town is situated a little less than three hundred miles by
water from Buenos Ayres, and about two hundred by land, railroad and
steamboat connection being regularly maintained between them. The site
is admirably chosen on the banks of the Paraná River, fifty or sixty
feet above its level, and it is destined to become, eventually, a great
commercial centre. In 1854 it was only a large village, containing some
four thousand people. It is the natural seaport, not only of the rich
province of Cordova, but also of the more inland districts, Mendoza, San
Luis, Tucuman, Salta, and Jujuy, the first named having a population of
half a million. Owing to the height of the river's banks, merchandise is
loaded by "shutes," being thus conducted at once from the warehouses to
the hatches of the vessels. Already a number of foreign steamships may
be seen almost any day lying at anchor opposite the town, while the
railway communications in various directions have all of their
transportation capacity fully employed. One of these lines reaches
almost across the continent to Mendoza, at the eastern slope of the
Andes, west from Rosario. Other roads run both north and south from
here. The foreign and domestic trade of the place is second only to that
of Buenos Ayres. Vessels drawing fifteen feet of water ascend the river
to this point. As a shipping port, Rosario has to a certain extent
special advantages even over the larger city, being two or three hundred
miles nearer the merchandise producing points.

There is already a population of some seventy-five thousand here, and,
as we have intimated, the city is growing rapidly. Wharves, docks, and
warehouses are in course of construction, and can hardly be finished
fast enough to meet the demand for their use. There are a few
substantial and handsome dwellings being erected, and many of a more
ordinary class, in the finishing of which many a cargo of New England
lumber is consumed. Some of the public buildings are imposing in size
and architectural design, wisely constructed in anticipation of the
future size of the city, whose rapid growth is only equaled by St. Paul
in Brazil. The tramway, gas, and telephone have been successfully
introduced. There is certainly no lack of enterprise evinced in all
legitimate business directions, while attention is being very properly
and promptly turned towards perfecting a carefully devised educational
system of free schools, primary and progressive. When the founders of a
new city begin in this intelligent fashion, we may be very sure that
they are moving in the right direction, and that permanency, together
with abundant present success, is sure to be the sequence.

On one side of the Plaza Mayor of Rosario stands a very pretentious
church, not yet quite completed, but as the towers and dome are finished
it makes a prominent feature from a long way off, as one approaches the
town. In the centre of this square is a marble shaft surmounted by a
figure representing Victory, and at the base are four statues of
Argentine historic characters. This square is adorned with a double row
of handsome acacias. As regards amusements, so far as is visible,
theatricals seem to take the lead, the place having two theatres, both
of which appear to be enjoying a thriving business.

When a new city is started in South America upon a site so well
selected, and after so thoroughly substantial a plan, the result is no
problem. The influx of European immigrants promptly supplies the
necessary laborers and artisans, quite as fast, indeed, as they are
required, while the ordinary growth and development of inland resources
tax the local business capacity, enterprise, and capital to their
utmost. Rosario needs to perfect a careful and thorough system of
drainage. Fevers are at present alarmingly prevalent, arising from
causes which judicious attention and sanitary means would easily

We will not weary the reader by protracted delay at this point, having
still a long voyage before us.

Embarking at Montevideo, our way is southward over a broad and lonely
track of ocean. If we can summon a degree of philosophy to our aid, it
is fortunate. Without genial companions, surrounded by strangers, and
thrown entirely upon ourselves, mental resort often fails us, life
appears sombre, the wide, wide ocean almost appalling. One of the
inevitable trials of a long sea voyage is the wakeful hours which will
occasionally visit the most experienced traveler,--midnight hours, when
the weary brain becomes preternaturally active, the imagination
oversensitive and weird in its erratic conceptions, while forebodings of
evil which never happens are apt to fill the mind with morbid anxieties.
The very silence of the surroundings is impressive, interrupted only by
the regular throbbing of the great, tireless engine, and the dashing
waters chafing along the iron hull close beside the wakeful dreamer.
Separated by thousands of miles from home, all communication cut off
with friends and the world at large, while watching the dreary ocean,
day after day, week after week, we imagine endless misfortunes that may
have come to dear ones on shore. However limited may be the world of
reality, that of the imagination is boundless, and sometimes one
realizes years of wretched anxiety in the space of a few overwrought
hours. It is such moments of passive misery which beget wrinkles and
white hairs. Action is the only relief, and one hastens to the deck for
a change of scene and thoughts. After experiencing such a night, how
glad and glorious seems the sun rising out of the wide waste of waters,
how bright and glowing the smile he casts upon the long lazy swell of
the South Atlantic, as if pointedly to rebuke the overwrought fancy, and
reassure the aching heart!

Be we never so dreary, the great ship speeds on its course, heeding us
not; its busy motor, like heart-beats, throbs with undisturbed
uniformity, forcing the vessel onward despite the joy or sorrow of those
it carries within its capacious hull.

The Strait of Magellan, which divides South America from the mysterious
island group which is known as Terra del Fuego, and connects the
Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean by a most intricate water-way, is
considerably less than four hundred miles in length, and of various
widths. De Lesseps, with his successful Suez Canal and his deplorable
Panama failure, is quite distanced by the hand of Nature in this line of
business. It would require about ten thousand Suez Canals to make a
Magellan Strait, and then it would be but a very sorry imitation. It
will be remembered that the Portuguese navigator who discovered this
remarkable passage, and for whom it is justly named, first passed
through it in November, 1520, finally emerging into the waters of the
new sea, upon which he was the first to sail, and which he named Mar
Pacifico. Doubtless it seemed "pacific" to him after his rude experience
in the South Atlantic, but the author has known as rough weather in this
misnamed ocean as he has ever encountered in any part of the globe.

One can well conceive of the elation and surprise of Magellan, upon
emerging from the intricate passage through which he had been struggling
to make his way for so many weary days. What a sensation of satisfaction
and triumph must the courageous and persevering navigator have
experienced at the discovery he had made! What mattered all his weary
hours of watching, of self-abnegation, of cold and hunger, of incessant
battling with the raging sea? Henceforth to him royal censure or royal
largess mattered little. His name would descend to all future
generations as the great discoverer of this almost limitless ocean.

The passage leading to the strait on the Atlantic or eastern end is
about twenty miles across, Cape Vergens being on the starboard side, and
Cape Espiritu Santo--or Cape Holy Ghost--on the port. The entrance on
the western or Pacific end is marked by Cape Pillar, Desolation Land,
where the scenery is far more rugged and mountainous, the cape
terminating in two cliffs, shaped so much like artificial towers as to
be quite deceptive at a short distance. The narrowest part of the strait
is about one mile in width, known to mariners as Crooked Reach. A
passage through this great natural canal is an experience similar, in
some respects, to that of sailing in the inland sea of Alaska, between
Victoria and Glacier Bay, bringing into view dense forests, immense
glaciers, abrupt mountain peaks, and snow-covered summits, the whole
shrouded in the same solitude and silence, varied by the occasional
flight of sea-birds or the appearance of seals and porpoises from below
the deep waters. So irregular in its course is this passage between the
two great oceans, so changeable are its currents, so impeded by
dangerous rocks and hidden shoals, so beset with squalls and sudden
storms, that sailing vessels are forced to double the ever-dreaded Cape
Horn rather than take the Magellan route. A United States man-of-war, a
sailing ship, was once over two months in making the passage through the
strait, and Magellan tells us that he was thirty-seven days in passing
from ocean to ocean, though using all ordinary dispatch. Within a
fortnight of the writing of these notes, a European mail steamship was
lost here by striking upon a sunken rock. Fortunately, owing to the
proximity of the shore and moderate weather prevailing, the crew and
passengers were all saved.

Winter lingers, and the days are short in this latitude. A sailing ship
would be compelled to find anchorage nightly, and some days would
perhaps be driven back in a few hours a distance which it had required a
week to make in her proper direction. Steamships usually accomplish the
run in from thirty to forty hours, there being many reaches where it is
necessary to run only at half speed. If heavy fogs and bad weather
prevail, they often lay by during the night, and also in snow-storms,
which occur not infrequently. The sky is seldom clear for many hours
together, and the sun's warmth is rarely felt, the rain falling almost
daily. Even in the summer of this high southern latitude the nights are
cold and gloomy, ice nearly always forming. It must be admitted that
this region, of itself, is not calculated to attract the most inveterate
wanderer. One is not surprised when reading the rather startling
narrations of the old navigators who made the passage of the strait,
encountering the constantly varying winds, and having canvas only to
depend upon. The marvel is that, with their primitive means, they should
have accomplished so much. There are no lighthouses in this passage from
ocean to ocean, though it has been pretty well surveyed and buoyed in
late years, thanks to the liberality of the English naval service, by
whom this was done. There is, in fact, a dearth of lighthouses on the
entire coast of South America, especially on the west side of the
continent. We can recall but three between Montevideo and Valparaiso, a
distance, by way of the strait, of fully two thousand miles. The
lighthouses we refer to are at Punta Arenas, Punta Galesa, near
Valdivia, and that which marks the port of Concepcion, at Talcahuano.
The Strait of Magellan is only fit as an abiding-place for seals,
waterfowl, and otters; humanity can hardly find congenial foothold here.

The natives of Patagonia, who live on the northern side of the strait,
are called horse Indians, because they make such constant use of the
wild horses; they do not move in any direction without them. Those on
the Fuegian side are called canoe Indians, as the canoe forms their
universal and indeed only mode of transportation. The former are a
rather large, tall race of people, the men averaging about six feet in
height; the latter are smaller in physical development, and are less
civilized than the Indians of Patagonia, which, to be sure, is saying
very little for the latter, who are really a low type of nomads. The
Fuegians are believed to still practice cannibalism. One writer tells us
that criminals and prisoners of war are thus disposed of, and that the
last crew of shipwrecked seamen who fell into their hands were roasted
and eaten by them. Their hostile purposes are well understood, for
whenever they dare to exercise such a spirit they are sure to do so.
They cautiously send out a boat or two to passing vessels, with whom a
little trading is attempted, the main body of natives keeping well out
of sight; but in case of any mishap to a ship, or if a small party land
and are unable to defend themselves, they will appear in swarms from
various hiding-places, swooping down upon their victims like vultures in
the desert. The officers of the yacht Sunbeam, as recounted by Lady
Brassey, found it necessary to turn her steam-pipes full force upon the
swarming natives, who were doubtless preparing to make an effort to
capture the yacht and her crew, hoping to overcome them by mere force of
numbers. They were, however, so frightened and utterly astonished by the
means of defense adopted by Lord Brassey that they threw themselves, one
and all, into the sea, and sought the shore pell-mell. Humboldt, in his
day, ranked these Fuegians among the lowest specimens of humanity he had
ever met, and they certainly do not seem to have improved much in the
mean time. One is at a loss to understand why the Patagonians should
have impressed the early navigators with the idea that they were a
people of gigantic size. There is no evidence to-day of their being, or
ever having been, taller or larger than the average New Englander.
Half-naked savages, standing six feet high, naturally impress one as
being taller than Europeans clad in the conventional style of civilized

The waters of Magellan are very dark, deep, and sullen in aspect, with
insufficient room in many places to manage a ship properly under canvas
alone. In their depth and darkness these waters also resemble those of
Alaska's inland sea. The shores are quite bold, and the rocks below the
surface are mostly indicated by giant kelp--_Fucus giganteus_--growing
over them, a kind provision of nature in behalf of safe navigation. It
will not answer, however, to depend solely upon this indication; the
many rocks in the strait are by no means all so designated, nor are they
all buoyed. Sea-kelp is very plentiful in this region, and serves many
useful purposes. It forms a nourishing food for the Fuegians under
certain circumstances, when their usual supply is scarce. They dry it
and prepare it in a rude way suited to their unsophisticated palates. It
also forms a portion of the support of the seals and sea-otters; these
creatures feed freely upon its more delicate and tender shoots. It is
wonderful how it can exist and thrive among such breakers as it
constantly encounters in these restless waters, which are churned into
mounds of foam in squally weather; but it does grow in great luxuriance,
rising oftentimes two hundred feet and more from the bottom of the sea.
It is curious to watch its abundant growth and its peculiar habits. If
the wind and tide are in the same direction, the plant lies smooth upon
the water; but if the wind is against the tide, the leaves curl up,
causing a ripple on the surface, like a school of small fish. A specimen
of giant kelp was secured from alongside of the ship, broken off at
arm's length below the surface of the water. It was heavy and full of
parasites. Upon shaking it, myriads of marine insects, shells, tiny
crabs, sea-eggs, and star-fish fell upon the deck. All of these were of
the smallest species, some almost invisible to the naked eye, but how
wonderful they appeared under the microscope, which developed hundreds
of forms of life infinitesimal in size!

At a prominent point of the main channel is a strong box made fast by a
chain, which always used to be opened by the masters of passing ships,
either to deposit or to take away letters, as the case might be, each
shipmaster undertaking the free delivery of all letters whose address
was within the line of his subsequent course. In the whaleship service,
especially during times now long past, this arrangement has been of
great service, and there is no instance on record where the purpose of
this self-sustaining post-office was disregarded. In these days of fast
and regular post-office service, the "Magellan mail," as it was called,
is of no practical account.

There are several fairly good harbors in the strait, but the only white
settlement was originally a penal colony founded by the Chilian
government, though it no longer serves for that purpose, the convicts
having risen some years since, and overpowered the garrison. A large
portion of the Patagonian shore is well wooded, besides which an
available coal deposit has been found and worked to fair advantage.
Steamships, which were formerly obliged to go to the Falkland Islands,
in the Atlantic, five hundred miles from the mouth of the strait, when
running short of fuel, can now get their supply in an exigency at Punta
Arenas--"Sandy Point." It is situated in the eastern section of the
strait, about a hundred and twenty-five miles from the entrance. We do
not mean to convey the idea that this is a regular coaling station,
though it may some time become so. The town consists of straggling,
low-built log-houses, and a few framed ones, reminding one of Port Said
at the Mediterranean end of the Suez Canal, with its heterogeneous
population. That of Sandy Point is made up of all nationalities,
strongly tinctured with ex-convicts, and deserters from the Chilian army
and navy. English is the language most commonly spoken, though the place
is Chilian territory. It contains some twelve or fifteen hundred
inhabitants, and is the most southerly town on the globe, as well as the
most undesirable one in which to live, if one may express an opinion
upon such brief acquaintance.

We made no attempt to go on shore at Punta Arenas. A rain-storm was at
its height while the ship lay off the town, and when it rains in these
latitudes, it attends exclusively to the business in hand. The water
comes down like Niagara, until finally, when the clouds have entirely
emptied themselves, it stops. Jupiter Pluvius is master of the
situation, when he asserts himself, and there is no one who can dispute
his authority. Umbrellas and waterproofs are of no more use as a
protection during the downpour, than they would be to a person who had
fallen overboard in water forty fathoms deep. One of our passengers came
on deck with a life preserver about his body, solemnly declaring that if
this sort of thing continued much longer, the article would be
absolutely necessary in order to keep afloat.

During the season the Patagonians bring into Punta Arenas the result of
their hunting in the shape of seal and otter skins, together with
guanaco, and silver-fox skins, which are gathered by local traders and
shipped to Europe. Occasionally a few sea-otter skins of rare value are
obtained from here, fully equal, we were told, to anything taken in
Alaskan waters. We have said that Punta Arenas is the most southerly
town on the globe. The next nearest town to the Antarctic circle is the
Bluff, so called,--also known as Campbelltown,--in the extreme south of
New Zealand, where the author has eaten of the famous oysters indigenous

Two sorts of supplies are to be obtained by navigators of the strait,
namely, fuel and good drinking water. Sometimes a valuable skin robe may
be purchased of the Patagonian Indians. It is called a guanaco-skin
cloak, and made from the skin of the young deer. To obtain these skins
of a uniform fineness of texture, the fawns are killed when but eight or
ten days old; the available product got from each one is so small as
hardly to exceed twice the size of one's hand. These are sewn together
with infinite care and neatness by the Indian women, who use the fine
sinews taken from ostriches' legs for thread. One of these guanaco-skin
cloaks represents a vast amount of labor, and a hundred fawns must die
to supply the raw material. Only chiefs of tribes can afford to wear
them. Strangers who are willing to pay a price commensurate with their
real cost and value may occasionally buy such an article as we describe,
but these cloaks are rare. One was brought on board ship and shown to
us, the price of which was twelve hundred dollars, nor do we think it
was an excessive valuation. It was worth the amount as a rare curiosity
for some art museum.

That monarch bird of Antarctic regions, the albatross, frequents both
ends of the strait, and sometimes accompanies steamships during the
passage, together with cape-pigeons, gulls, and other marine birds,
though as a rule the albatross is little seen except on the broad
expanse of the ocean. A bird called the steamer-duck, also nicknamed by
sailors the paddle-wheel duck, was pointed out to us by our captain. It
is so called from its mode of propelling itself through the water,
scooting over the surface of the strait while using both wings and legs,
and creating considerable disturbance of the water, like a side-wheeler.
The wings are too small to give it power of flight through the air. The
steamer-duck is a large bird, nearly the size of the domestic goose;
after its fashion, it moves with astonishing velocity, considerably
faster than the average speed of a steamship. But we were speaking a
moment since of the albatross, which is a feathered cannibal, and shows
some truly wolfish traits. When one of its own species, a member of the
same flock even, is wounded and drops helpless to the surface of the
sea, its comrades swoop down upon it, and tearing the body to pieces
with their powerful bills, devour the flesh ravenously. This was
witnessed near the Arctic circle, between Hobart, in Tasmania, and the
Bluff, in New Zealand, a few years ago, when some English sportsmen
succeeded in wounding one of these mammoth birds from the deck of the
steamship Zealandia. The only other known bird of our day which measures
from eleven to twelve feet between the tips of the extended wings is the
South American condor.

The sea hereabouts abounds in fish, which constitute the largest portion
of the food supply of the few Indians who live near the coast of either
shore. The Fuegians dwell in the rudest shelters possible, nothing
approaching the form of a house. The frailest shelter, covered with
sea-lion's skins, suffices to keep them from the inclemencies of the
weather. With the exception of an animal skin of some sort, having the
fur on, secured over one shoulder on the side exposed to the wind, the
canoe Indians wear no clothing. We were told that several of these
natives, while quite young, were taken to England by advice of the
missionaries and taught to read and write, being also kindly instructed
in civilized manners and customs, which they gladly adopted for the time
being; but upon returning to their native land, in every instance they
rapidly lapsed into a condition of semi-savagery. It had been hoped they
would act as a civilizing medium with their former friends, after
returning among them, but this proved fallacious, and was a great
disappointment to the well-meaning philanthropists. This same
experience, as is well known, has been the result of similar experiments
with natives of Africa and the South Sea Islands. The author is
conversant with a striking illustration of this character in connection
with an Australian Indian youth, which occurred in Queensland, and which
was both interesting and very romantic in its development. It simply
went to prove that hereditary instincts cannot be easily eradicated, and
that not one, but many generations are necessary to banish savage
proclivities which are inherited from a long line of ancestors.

Gold is found to some extent in the beds of the streams in
Patagonia,--free gold, washed from the disintegrated rocks. Natives
sometimes bring small quantities of the gold dust into Punta Arenas,
with which to purchase tobacco and other articles. Many heedless and
unprincipled individuals sell them intoxicants, to obtain which these
Indians will part with anything they possess, after they have once
become familiar with the taste and effect of the captivating poison.

Not far from Cape Forward, near the middle of the strait, which is the
most southerly portion of the American continent, three native boats
were seen during our passage. The steamer was slowed for a few moments
to give us a brief opportunity to see the savage occupants. These three
frail, ill-built canoes were tossed high and low by the swell of the
Pacific, which set to the eastward through the strait. Each boat
contained a man, a couple of women, and one or two children, the latter
entirely naked, the others nearly so. They were Fuegians, raising their
hands and voices to attract our attention, asking for food and tobacco,
to which appeal a generous response was made. Their broad faces, high
cheek-bones, low foreheads, and flat noses, their faces and necks
screened by coarse black hair, did not challenge our admiration, however
much we were exercised by pity for human beings in so desolate a
condition. They certainly possessed two redeeming features,--brilliant
eyes and teeth of dazzling whiteness. The fruit thrown to them seemed
best to suit the ideas and palates of the children, who devoured
oranges, skin and all; but the gift of clothing which was made to the
parents was laid aside for future consideration, though there are
probably no "ole clo'" merchants in Terra del Fuego. The men ate hard
sea biscuit and slices of cold corned beef ravenously. The plump,
well-rounded shoulders and limbs of the women showed them to be in far
better physical condition than the men, whose bodies consisted of little
besides skin and bones. They were copper colored, and the skin of the
women shone in the bright sunlight which prevailed for the moment, as
though they had been varnished. If their faces had been as well formed
as their bodies, they would have been models of natural beauty. How
these people could remain so nearly naked with apparent comfort, while
we found overcoats quite necessary, was a problem difficult to solve

"They were born so," said our first officer. "As you go through life
with your face and hands exposed, so they go with their entire bodies.
It is a mere matter of habit,--habit from babyhood to maturity."

All of which is perfectly reasonable. It was observed that on the bottom
of their boats was a layer of flat stones, and on these, just amidship,
was spread a low, smouldering fire of dried vines and small twigs,
designed to temper the atmosphere about them. So frail were the boats
that one of the occupants was kept constantly baling out water.

It is impossible to form any intelligent estimate as to how many of
these aborigines there are in and about the strait. They find food, like
the canvas-back ducks, in the wild celery, adding shell-fish and dried
berberries, and are a strictly nomadic people. After exhausting the
products of one vicinity, for the time being, they move on, but return
to the locality at a proper time, when nature has recuperated herself
and furnished a fresh supply of vegetable growth and edible shell-fish.
A stranded whale is a godsend to these savages, upon the putrid flesh of
which they live and fatten until all has disappeared. In their primitive
way they hunt this leviathan, but want of proper facilities renders them
rarely successful. Occasionally they manage to plant a spear in some
vital spot, deep enough to be effectual, so that the whale, after diving
to the depths of the sea, finally comes to the surface, near the place
where he was wounded, to thrash about and to die. Even then, unless it
is at a favorable point, the large body is liable to be swept away by
the strong tide setting through the strait, so that the natives seldom
secure a carcass by these means.

Not long since one of the European mail steamers, on approaching the
Atlantic end of the strait, sighted an object which was at first thought
to be a sunken rock. If this was its character, it was all important to
obtain the exact location. A boat was lowered and pulled to the object,
when it was found to be the carcass of a dead whale, in which was a
stout wooden spear which had fatally wounded the creature. Securely
attached to the spear, by means of a rope made of animal sinews, there
were a couple of inflated bladders. The spear was evidently a Fuegian
weapon, and though it had finally cost the whale his life, the dead body
had been carried by the current far beyond the reach of those who had
caused the fatal wound. The discovery showed the crude manner in which
these savages seek to possess themselves of a whale occasionally and
thus to appease their barbaric appetites. They could not pursue one in
their frail boats, but the creature is sometimes found sleeping on the
surface of the sea, which is the Fuegian opportunity for approaching it
noiselessly, and for planting a spear in some vital part of the huge
body. Whales, when thus attacked, do not show fight, but their instinct
leads them to dive at once.

A few whales were observed within the strait during our passage, some so
near as to show that they had no fear of the ship. It was curious to
watch them. There was a baby whale among the rest, five or six feet in
length, which kept very close to its dam; it suddenly disappeared once
while we were watching the school, though only to rise again to the
surface of the sea and emit a tiny fountain of spray from its diminutive
blow-hole. In passing a small inlet which formed a calm, sheltered piece
of water, still as an inland lake, there were seen upon its tranquil
bosom a few white geese, quietly floating, while close at hand upon some
rocks, a half score of awkward penguins were also observed, with their
ludicrous dummy wings, and their bodies supported in a half standing,
half sitting position.

Ducks seem to be very abundant in the strait, but geese are scarce. An
occasional cormorant is caught sight of, with its distended pouch
bearing witness to its proverbial voracity. All the birds one sees in
these far away regions have each some peculiar adaptability to the
climate, the locality, or to both. The penguin never makes the mistake
of seeking our northern shores, nor is the albatross often seen north of
the fortieth degree of south latitude. True, were the former to
emigrate, he would have to swim the whole distance, but the latter is so
marvelously strong of wing that it has been said of him, he might
breakfast, if he chose, at the Cape of Good Hope, and dine on the coast
of Newfoundland.

Terra del Fuego,--"Land of Fire,"--which makes the southern side of the
strait, opposite Patagonia, is composed of a very large group of islands
washed by the Atlantic on the east side and the Pacific on the west,
trending towards the southeast for about two hundred miles from the
strait, and terminating at Cape Horn. The largest of these islands is
East Terra del Fuego, which measures from east to west between three and
four hundred miles. One can only speak vaguely of detail, as this is
still a _terra incognita_. These islands do indeed form "a land of
desolation," as Captain Cook appropriately named them, sparsely
inhabited to be sure, but hardly fit for human beings. They are deeply
indented and cut up by arms of the sea, and composed mostly of sterile
mountains, whose tops are covered with perpetual snow. When the
mountains are not too much exposed to the ocean storms on the west
coast, they are scantily covered with a species of hardy, wind-distorted
trees from the water's edge upward to the snow line, which is here about
two thousand feet above the sea. In sheltered areas this growth is dense
and forest-like, especially nearest to the sea; in others it is
interspersed by bald and blanched patches of barren rocks. In some open
places, where they have worn themselves a broad path, the glaciers come
down to the water, discharging sections of ice constantly into the deep
sea, crowded forward and downward by the immense but slow-moving mass
behind,--a frozen river,--thus illustrating the habit of the
iceberg-producing glaciers of the far north.

One never approaches this subject without recalling the lamented Agassiz
and his absorbing theories relating to it.

The author has seen huge glaciers in Scandinavia and in Switzerland,
forming natural exhibitions of great interest; each country has
peculiarities in this respect. In the last-named country, for instance,
there is no example where a glacier descends lower than thirty-five
hundred feet above the sea level, while in Norway the only one of which
he can speak from personal observation has before it a large terminal
moraine, thus losing the capacity for that most striking performance,
the discharge of icebergs. The best example of this interesting
operation of nature which we have ever witnessed, and probably the most
effective in the world, is that of the Muir glacier in Alaska, where an
immense frozen river comes boldly down from the Arctic regions to the
sea level, with a sheer height at its terminus of over two hundred feet.
From this unique façade, nearly two miles in width, the constant
tumbling of icebergs into the sea is accompanied by a noise like a salvo
of cannon. This glacier, it should be remembered, also extends to the
bottom of the bay, where it enters it two hundred feet below the surface
of the water, thus giving it a height, or perhaps we should say a depth
and height combined, of fully four hundred feet. Icebergs are discharged
from the submerged portion continually, and float to the surface, thus
repeating the process below the water which is all the while going on
above it, and visible upon the perpendicular surface. Nothing which we
have seen in the Canadian Selkirks, in Switzerland, Norway, or
elsewhere, equals in size, grandeur, or clearly defined glacial action,
the famous Muir glacier of Alaska.

The most remarkable peak to be seen in passing through the Strait of
Magellan is Mount Sarmiento, which is inexpressibly grand in its
proportions, dominating the borders of Cockburn's Channel near the
Pacific end of the great water-way. It is about seven thousand feet in
height, a spotless cone of snow, being in form extremely abrupt and
pointed. This frosty monarch sends down from its upper regions a score
or more of narrow, sky-blue glaciers to the sea through openings in the
dusky forest. Darwin was especially impressed by the sight of these when
he explored this region, and speaks of them as looking like so many
Niagaras, but they are only miniature glaciers after all. One sees in
the Pyrenees and the St. Gothard Pass similar cascades flowing down from
the mountains towards the valleys, except that in the one instance the
crystal waters are liquid, in the other they are quite congealed. The
group or range of which Sarmiento is the apex is very generally shrouded
in mist, and is visited by frequent rain, snow, and hail storms. We were
fortunate to see it under a momentary glow of warm sunshine, when the
sky was deepest blue, and the ermine cloak of the mountain was spangled
with frost gems.

It would seem that such exposure to the elements in a frigid climate,
and such deprivations as must be constantly endured by the barbarous
natives who inhabit these bleak regions, must surely shorten their
lives, and perhaps it does so, though "the survival of the fittest," who
grow up to maturity, is in such numbers that one is a little puzzled in
considering the matter. A singular instance touching upon this point
came indirectly to the writer's knowledge.

It appears that four Fuegian women, one of whom was about forty years of
age, and the others respectively about twenty, twenty-five, and thirty,
were picked up adrift in the strait a few years ago. It was believed
that they had escaped from some threatened tribal cruelty, but upon this
subject they would reveal nothing. These fugitives were kindly taken in
hand by philanthropic people at Sandy Point, and entertained with true
Christian hospitality. When first discovered they were, as usual, quite
naked, but were promptly clothed and properly housed. No more work was
required of them than they chose voluntarily to perform; in short, they
were most kindly treated, and though the best of care was taken of them
in a hygienic sense, they all gradually faded, and died of consumption
in less than two years. They seemed to be contented, were grateful and
cheerful, but clothing and a warm house to live in, odd as it may seem,
killed them! They were born to a free, open air and exposed daily life,
and their apparently sturdy constitutions required such a mode of
living. Civilized habits, strange to say, proved fatal to these wild
children of the rough Fuegian coast.

          CHAPTER XIV.

     The Land of Fire.--Cape Horn.--In the Open Pacific.--Fellow
     Passengers.--Large Sea-Bird.--An Interesting Invalid.--A
     Weary Captive.--A Broken-Hearted Mother.--Study of the
     Heavens.--The Moon.--Chilian Civil War.--Concepcion.--A
     Growing City.--Commercial Importance.--Cultivating City
     Gardens on a New Plan.--Important Coal Mines.--Delicious

Magellan named this extreme southern land, of which we have been
speaking, "the Land of Fire," because of the numerous fires which he,
from his ships, saw on the shore at night, and which were then supposed
by the discoverers to be of a volcanic character. The fact probably was
that the Indians did not fail to recognize the need of artificial heat,
especially at night, though they had not sufficient genius to teach them
to construct garments suitable to protect them from the inclemency of
the weather. These fires were kindled in the open air, but the natives
camped close about them, sleeping within their influence.

Cape Horn, the extreme point of South America, on the outermost island
of the Fuegian group, is a lofty, steep black rock, with a pointed
summit, which has stood there for ages, like a watchful sentinel at his
post. Two thirds of Patagonia and Terra del Fuego--the western
part--belong to Chili, and the balance of both--the eastern
part--belongs to the Argentine Republic. A recently consummated treaty
between these two nationalities has fixed upon this final division of
territory, and thus settled a question which has long been a source of
dispute and ill feeling between them. This division makes Cape Horn
belong to Chili, not a specially desirable possession, to be sure, but
it is an indelible landmark.

The sail along the coast northward after leaving the Pacific mouth of
the strait affords very little variety of scenery; the dull hue of the
barren shore is without change of color for hundreds of miles, until the
eye becomes weary of watching it, as we speed onward through the long,
indolent ocean swell. Arid hills and small indentures form the coast
line, but as we get further northward, this dreary sameness is varied by
the appearance of an occasional small settlement, forming a group of
dwellings of a rude character, possibly a mining region or a fishing
hamlet, connected with some business locality further inland. Sometimes
a green valley is descried, which makes a verdant gulch opening quite
down to the sea.

This dense monotony becomes more and more tedious, until one longs to
get somewhere, anywhere, away from it.

In the dearth of scenic interest, we fall to studying the various
passengers traveling between the Pacific ports, a great variety of
nationalities being represented. Among those of the second-class was a
handsome Italian boy, with marvelous eyes of jet and a profusion of long
black hair. He had a small organ hung about his neck, and carried an
intelligent monkey with him. The boy and his monkey joined in the
performance of certain simple, amusing tricks to elicit money from the
lookers-on. Both boy and monkey were happy in the result achieved, the
former in liberal cash receipts, the latter in being fed liberally with
cakes and bonbons. The capacity of monkeys for the rapid consumption of
palatable dainties is one of the unsolved mysteries of nature.

Schools of porpoises played about the hull of the ship, and clouds of
sea-birds at times wheeled about the topmasts, or followed in the ship's
wake watching for refuse from the cook's department. Occasionally the
head of a large, deep-water turtle would appear for a moment above the
surface, twisting its awkward neck to watch the course of the steamer,
while shoreward the mottled surface of the gently undulating waves
betrayed the presence of myriads of small fish, over which hovered
predatory birds of the gull tribe. Now and again one would swoop swiftly
downward to secure a victim to its appetite. Few albatrosses were seen
after leaving the Pacific mouth of the strait. They are lovers of the
stormy Antarctic region, with the tempestuous atmosphere of which their
great power of wing enables them to cope successfully. The author has
seen one of these birds off the southern coast of New Zealand which
spread eleven feet from tip to tip of its extended wings. It was caught
with a floating bait by one of the seamen and drawn on board ship, where
it was measured, but not until a long contest of strength had taken
place between men and bird. The albatross was slightly wounded in the
mouth and throat by the process of catching him with a baited hook. But
they are hardy creatures, and unless injured in some vital part pay
little heed to a small wound. After this bird had been examined, it was
liberated, and resumed its graceful flight about the ship as though
nothing unusual had happened.

An invalid girl of Spanish birth, who was perhaps sixteen years of age,
very tenderly cared for by her mother, was propped up daily in a
reclining seat upon deck, where she might find amusement in watching the
sea and distant shore, while inhaling the saline tonic of the
atmosphere. Poor child, how her large, dark eyes, pallid lips, and
painful respiration appealed to one's sympathy! It required no
professional knowledge to divine her approaching fate. She was really in
the last stages of consumption, and was on her way to a popular
sanitarium near the coast, hoping against reason that the change might
prove restorative and of radical benefit. It was pleasant to observe how
promptly every one on board strove to add to her comfort by simple
attentions and services, and how the choicest bits from the table were
secured to tempt her capricious appetite. The grateful mother's eyes
were often suffused with tears, carefully hidden from the gentle
invalid. Her maternal heart was too full for the utterance even of

"Ah," said she to us in a low tone of voice, "she is the last of my
three children, two boys and this girl. The two boys faded away just
like this. Do you think there is any hope for her, señor?"

"Why not, señora? We should never cease to hope. The land breeze and the
springs where you are going may do wonders."

Heaven forgive us. The child's fate was only too plainly to be read in
her attenuated form, and the dull action of her almost congested lungs.

One day a small, weary sea-bird, newly out of its nest, flew on board
our ship quite exhausted, and being easily secured, was given to the
young girl to pet. It soon became quite at home in her lap, eating small
bread crumbs and little bits of meat from her fingers. Confidence being
thus established between them, the little half-fledged creature would
not willingly leave its new-found benefactress. It seemed to be a
providential occurrence, affording considerable diversion to the sick
one. For a while, at least, she was aroused from the listlessness which
is so very significant in consumption, and her whole heart went out to
the confiding little waif. It was a pretty sight to see the bird nestle
contentedly close to her bosom, the pale-faced girl scarcely less
fragile than the little feathered stranger she had adopted. No one
thought that Death was hovering so very near, yet the third night after
the bird flew on board the young girl lay in her shroud, with an ivory
crucifix, typical of the Romish faith, in one hand, and the other
resting upon the inanimate bird she had befriended, which had also
breathed its last.

Attempted consolation to a freshly bleeding heart is almost always
premature, and there are few, very few, human beings competent to offer
it effectually under the best circumstances. The sad-eyed mother
listened to a few well-meant words of this character, but slowly shook
her head and made no reply. Time only could assuage the keenness of her
sorrow. By and by she spoke, with her eyes still resting upon that pale,
dead face, where nothing but a wonderful peace and serenity were now

"Have birds souls, do you think?" she asked, in a low, trembling voice.

"Possibly," was the reply; "but why do you ask?"

"Because," she continued, speaking very slowly, "that tiny creature and
my darling died almost at the same moment, and if so, her spirit would
have company on its way to the good God."

The unconscious poetry of the thought, so quietly expressed by the
sorrowing mother, as she sat beside the corpse with folded hands and
burning eyes, which could not find the relief of tears, was very

The motor of the big ship throbbed on, the routine of duty continued
unchanged, passengers ate, drank, and were merry, the sea-birds wheeled
about us uttering their sharp contentious cries, and we pressed forward
through the opposing wind and tide, as though nothing had happened. Only
a mother's loving heart was broken. Only a soul gone to its God. Surely
such sweet innocence must be welcome in heaven. But ah! the great
mystery of it all!

Most intelligent people will agree with us that no study known to
science can compare with astronomy for absorbing interest. At sea one
finds ample time, convenience, and incentive to study the sky, populous
with countless hosts of constellations. Especially is it interesting to
watch the numerous phases of the moon, beginning with her advent as a
delicate crescent of pale light in the eastern sky, after the sun has
set, and continuing to the period when she becomes full. Each succeeding
night it is found that she has moved farther and farther westward,
until, arriving at the full, she rises nearly at the same time that the
sun sets. From the period of full moon, the disc of light diminishes
nightly until the last quarter is reached, and the moon is then seen
high over the ship's topmast head, before day breaks in the east. Thus
she goes on waning, all the while drawing closer to the sun, until
finally she becomes absorbed in his light. The interesting process
completed, she again comes into view at twilight in the west, in her
exquisite crescent form, once more to pass through a similar series of

The superstition of sailors touching the moonlight is curious. No
foremast hand will sleep where it shines directly upon him. They are
voluble in relating many instances of comrades rendered melancholy-mad
by so doing. "They talk about the moon making the ebb and flow of the
tide," said an able seaman to the author. "There's lots of queer things
about the moon, but _that's_ d--d nonsense, saving your honor's
presence." Thus Jack eagerly absorbs superstitious ideas, and ignores
natural phenomena. No humble class of men are so intelligent in a
general way, and yet at the same time so universally superstitious, as
those who go down to the sea in ships.

In coming on to the west coast it is natural, perhaps, for the reader to
expect us to refer briefly to the late civil war in Chili, but we have
not attempted in these notes to depict the local political condition of
any of the states of South America. In the past they have most of them
shown themselves as changeable as the wind, and remarks which would
depict the status of to-day might be quite unsuited to that of
to-morrow. The average reader is sufficiently familiar with the struggle
so lately ended in Chili. One party was led by the late President
Balmaceda, in opposition to the other, known as the Congressional party.
That which brought about this open warfare was the refusal of Congress
any longer to recognize the president on account of his high-handed,
illegal, and venal official conduct. A line will illustrate the cause of
the outbreak. It was the Constitution of the country as against a
Dictatorship. The President of the Chilian Republic, like the President
of the United States, has a personal authority such as nowadays is
wielded by few constitutional monarchs. Balmaceda proved to be a tyrant
of the first water, abusing the power of his position to condemn to
death those who opposed him, without even the semblance of a trial. He
succeeded in attaching most of the regular army to his cause by profuse
promises and the free use of money, while the navy went almost bodily
over to the side of Congress. The contest assumed revolutionary
proportions, and many battles were fought. As a casual observer, the
author heartily coincided with the Congressional party, and rejoices at
their wholesale triumph.

The suicidal act which ended Balmaceda's life was no heroic resort, but
the deed of a coward fearing to face the consequences of his murderous
career. It is not the man who has been actuated by high and noble
sentiments who cuts his throat or blows out his brains. Such is the act
of the cunning fraud who realizes that he has not only totally failed in
his object, but that his true character is known to the world. Suicide
has been declared to be the final display of egoism, and it certainly
leaves the world with one less thoroughly selfish character. The
disappearance of such an individual may produce a momentary ripple on
the surface of time, but it fails to leave any permanent mark.

Nearly three hundred miles south of Santiago, capital of Chili, on the
Pacific coast, is situated the city of Concepcion. It stands on the
right bank of the river Biobio, six or seven miles from its mouth, and
contains about twenty-five thousand inhabitants. The people seem to be
exceptionally active and enterprising, though at this writing suffering
from the effects of the late civil war. It is the third city in point of
size and importance in the republic, and dates from over three hundred
years ago. It will be remembered also that it once held the place now
occupied by Santiago as capital of the country. The city is built in the
valley of Mocha, under the coast range of hills, and is justly famed,
like Puebla in Mexico, for its pretty women and beautiful flowers. It is
a clean and thrifty town, with handsome shops, a charming plaza, and an
attractive alameda. This latter deserves special mention. It is a mile
long, and beautified with several rows of tall Lombardy poplars, the
sight of which carried us to another hemisphere, where those lovely
Italian plains stretch away from the environs of Milan towards the
foothills of the neighboring Alps and the more distant Apennines. Great
things are prognosticated for Concepcion in the near future by its
friends, and it is already the principal town of southern Chili. The
streets are well paved, and lined by handsome business blocks, together
with pleasant dwelling-houses, built low, to avoid the effect of
earthquakes, the universal material being sun-dried bricks, finished
externally in stucco. The façades are painted in harlequin variety of
colors, yellow, blue, and peach-blossom prevailing. The town has really
more the appearance of a northern than a southern city, and has long
been connected with Valparaiso by railway.

Some of the most extensive coal mines on this part of the continent have
been discovered in this vicinity, and are being worked on a large scale.
In fact, Coronal, not far away, is the great coaling station on the
Chilian coast for steamships bound to Europe or Panama. One would
suppose that this coal mining must be quite profitable, as we were told
that twenty-five and even thirty dollars per ton was realized for it
delivered at the nearest tide-water. The port of Concepcion is some
seven miles from the city, where the river Biobio flows into the ocean
at Talcahuano,--pronounced Tal-ca-wha'no,--a small town on Concepcion
Bay possessing an excellent harbor. There are here a large marine dock,
an arsenal, and a seaman's hospital. Close by the shore is a spacious
and convenient railway station. The bay is some six miles wide by seven
in length. There is a resident population of nearly four thousand, who
form an extremely active community. The majority of the houses are of a
very humble character and, like those of Concepcion, are built of adobe.

Spanish capitals in the West Indies and South America were originally
placed, like Concepcion, some distance from the coast, to render them
more secure against the attack of pirates and lawless sea-rovers, who
might land from their vessels, burn a town on the seashore, after
robbing it of all valuables, and easily make good their escape; whereas
to march inland and attack a town far from their base, or to proceed up
a shallow river in boats for such a purpose, was a far more difficult,
if not indeed an impossible thing to do. Thus Callao is the harbor of
Lima; Valparaiso, of Santiago; and Talcahuano, of Concepcion. The
situation of the last named capital is admirable, at the head of the
bay, which affords one of the best harbors on the west coast of the
continent. When the transcontinental railway from Buenos Ayres, on the
Atlantic side, is finished, surmounting the passes of the
Andes,--already "a foregone conclusion,"--it will have its termination
here at Talcahuano, which must then become a great shipping point for
New Zealand and Australia. Half a dozen lines of European mail steamers
already touch here regularly. The river is too shallow to admit of
vessels drawing more than a few feet of water ascending it so far as
Concepcion, but Talcahuano is all sufficient as a port.

Few places have been so frequently devastated by fire, flood, and
earthquakes, or so often ravaged by war, as has this interesting city.
In the early days the Araucanian Indians put the settlers to the sword
again and again. This was the bravest of all the native Indian tribes of
South America, and is still an unconquered people. The city was laid in
ruins so late as 1835 by an earthquake, though no special signs of this
destructive visitor are to be seen here to-day. Still, one cannot but
feel that with such possibilities hanging over the locality, there must
be few people willing to expend freely of their means for substantial
building purposes, or to make Concepcion a permanent place of abode.
Human nature adapts itself to all exigencies, however, and the place
grows rapidly, notwithstanding the discouraging circumstances which we
have named. It is not the native but the foreign element of the
population which is doing so much for this region. Were the mingled
native race to be left to themselves, there would be few signs of
progress evinced; they would rapidly lapse into a condition of
semi-barbarism. The Chilian proper is a very poor creature as regards
morals, intelligence, or true manhood; his instincts are brutal and his
aims predaceous.

Like all South American cities, Concepcion is laid out by rule and
compass, the fairly broad streets crossing each other at right angles.
There is a large and costly cathedral, but a wholesome fear of
earthquakes has caused it to be left without the usual twin towers,
which gives it an unfinished appearance. The place also contains other
churches, a well-appointed theatre, two hospitals, and several edifices
devoted to charitable purposes. Opposite the cathedral stands the
Intendencia, a large and handsome government house. Telephones and
electric lights have long been adopted, and the telegraph poles do much
abound. In these foreign places, so far away from home, to see the
streets lined, as they are with us, by big, tall poles, holding aloft a
maze of wires, is very suggestive; but where can one go that they are
not? It is curious to realize that we can step into an office close at
hand and promptly communicate with any part of the world. We may have
sailed over the ocean many thousands of miles, and have consumed months
to reach the spot where we stand, but electricity, like thought,
annihilates space, and will take our message instantly to its
destination, though it be at the farthest end of the globe. These
marvelous facilities are no longer confined to populous centres.
Electricity not only bears our messages to the uttermost parts of the
world, but it propels the tramway cars in Rome, Boston, and Munich,
while it also lights the streets of New York, Auckland in New Zealand,
as well as of London and Honolulu.

The importance of Concepcion is manifest from the fact that several new
railway connections terminating here have lately been accomplished; but
the important event already referred to, of the transcontinental
railway, will finally insure her commercial greatness. The town is
surrounded by a widespread, fertile country, abounding in both mineral
and agricultural wealth, equal to, if not surpassing, any other province
in Chili. The city was financially strong before the late civil war, and
has still some very wealthy residents. The principal bank of Concepcion,
with a capital of one million dollars, paid a dividend to its
stockholders in 1890 of sixteen per cent. on the previous year's
business. The cathedral and government house, already spoken of, front
on the plaza, a large open square ornamented with statuary, trees, and
flowers, the latter kept in most exquisite order and constant bloom by
means of a singular and original device. It seems that each separate
plot of these grounds is owned or cared for by a different family of the
citizens, and that a spirit of emulation is thus excited by the effort
of the several parties to make their special plot excel in its beauty
and fragrance. This keeps the whole plaza in a lovely condition, and
makes it the pride of the city.

Society and business circles are mostly composed of foreigners, the
German element largely predominating. The native, or humbler classes, as
we have already intimated, are a wretchedly low people. They "wake"
their dead before burial, much after the style which prevails in
Ireland, except that the process is more exaggerated in manner. Drinking
and debauchery characterize these occasions, which are continued often
for three days at a time, or so long as the means for indulgence in
excess last. In case of youthful deaths, the child's cheeks are painted
red, and the head is crowned in a fantastic manner, the body being
dressed and placed in a sitting position, thus forming a strange and
hideous sight. Such treatment of a corpse could only be tolerated by a
barbarous people. In the environs of the town, Lazarus jostles Dives.
There are here many hovels, as well as a better class of residences.
Some of them are wretchedly poor, built of mud and bamboo, the
inhabitants half-naked and wholly starved, if one may judge by their
appearance. On Saturday, which in Spanish towns and cities is called
"poor day," the streets of Concepcion are full of either assumed or real
mendicants. The Spanish race is one of chronic beggars,--they seem born
so. Scarcely less of a nuisance than the beggars are the army of
half-starved, mongrel, neglected dogs, that throng in the streets of the
city, rivaling Constantinople.

It should be mentioned that Concepcion has a good system of tramway
service, and that the cars have attached to them a class of neat,
pretty, and modest girls for conductors, who wear natty straw hats, snow
white aprons, and are supplied with a leather cash bag hung by a strap
about the neck. It seems rather incongruous that while so many evidences
of real progress abound in this city, water, the prime necessity of
life, should be peddled about the streets by the bucketful. Now is the
time to perfect a system of drainage, and to introduce an adequate
supply of good water, from easily available sources.

The inexhaustible coal fields already mentioned, which are situated but
a few miles away, must prove to be a lasting source of prosperity to
Concepcion. They are far more important and valuable, all things
considered, than a gold or silver mine near at hand would be. Indeed, it
is found in the long run that the latter kind of mineral discoveries do
not always tend to the material benefit of the community in which they
are found. The earth produces far more profitable crops than gold and
precious stones, even when considered in the most mercenary light. The
business prospects of Concepcion, as we have pointed out in detail, are
exceedingly promising. That the city is destined eventually to rival
Valparaiso seems more than probable, and yet there is another side to
this favorable aspect thus presented, which it is not wise to ignore.
True, the climate is equable and healthy, but that great drawback, the
liability to earthquakes and tidal waves, still remains, like a dark,
portending shadow. In spite of this startling possibility there is
something of a "boom" already instituted, at this writing, as to the
prices of land in and about both the port and city of Concepcion. It is
a fact that people will soon become calloused and heedless of almost any
familiar danger. Jack turns in and quickly falls to sleep, when the
watch below is called and relieves him from the deck, though the ship is
in the midst of cyclone latitudes, and while a half-gale is blowing. The
people of Torre del Grecco, at the base of the volcano, do not sleep any
less soundly to-day because Pompeii was utterly destroyed by Vesuvius
eighteen or nineteen centuries ago. The earthquake of 1835 first shook
Talcahuano nearly to pieces, and then completed its destruction by a
tidal wave which swept what remained of it into the sea.

It goes without saying that most of the fruits and staple products of
the tropics are to be found both at Concepcion and at the port of
Talcahuano. Each place we visit seems to have some specialty in this
line. Here, it is the watermelon. Favored by the soil and the climate,
this fruit is developed to its maximum in weight, richness of flavor,
and general perfection. They are sold cheap enough everywhere. A centavo
will buy a large ripe one. Street carts and donkeys are laden with them,
and so are the decks of all outgoing vessels. It is both food and drink
to the poor peons, who consume the fruit in quantities strongly
suggestive of cholera, dropsy, or some other dreadful illness. Any one
accustomed to travel in our Southern States, in the right season of the
year, will have observed how voraciously the negro population, young and
old, eat of the cheap, ripe crop of watermelons; but these South
American peons have a capacity for storage and digestion of this really
wholesome article, beyond all comparison. A child not more than ten
years of age will devour the ripe portion of a large melon in a few
minutes, and no ill effects seem to follow. An adult eats two at a meal
which would weigh, we are afraid to say how much, but they are
considerably larger than the average melons which are brought to New
England from the South. After all, the watermelon is healthful food,
though it is more filling than nourishing. It will be remembered that
the famous fasting individual, Dr. Tanner, after eating nothing for
forty days and forty nights, took for his first article of nourishment,
at the close of this time of fasting, half a watermelon, and that he
retained and digested it successfully.

          CHAPTER XV.

     Valparaiso.--Principal South American Port of the
     Pacific.--A Good Harbor.--Tallest Mountain on this
     Continent.--The Newspaper Press.--Warlike Aspect.--Girls as
     Car Conductors.--Chilian Exports.--Foreign
     Merchants.--Effects of Civil War.--Gambling in Private
     Houses.--Immigration.--Culture of the
     Grape.--Agriculture.--Island of Juan Fernandez.

Valparaiso--"Vale of Paradise"--was thus fancifully named because of its
assumed loveliness. True, it is beautifully situated, and is a fine city
of its class, located in an admirable semicircular bay, not upon one,
but upon many hills, backed by a crescent-shaped mountain range. But
when one compares its harbor to that of Naples, or Sydney in Australia,
for picturesqueness of scenery, as is often done, it only provokes
invidious remarks. The matchless harbor of Rio Janeiro, on the eastern
coast of the continent, already fully described in these pages, is far
more charming in general effect and in all of its surroundings, not to
mention that it is more than twenty times as large. Valparaiso is the
principal seaport of Chili, and indeed, for the present, it is the main
port of the entire west coast of South America. By consulting the map it
will be readily seen that Chili must ever be a maritime nation,
depending more upon an effective navy than an army. The possession of
the national ships of war by the Congressional party in the revolution
so lately terminated gave them virtual control of the cities along the
coast, at the outbreak of the émeute, and this means they employed
against the Presidential party with the most ruthless effect. They did
not hesitate to savagely cannonade and shell a city, though two thirds
of the occupants were their own friends and supporters, provided it was
held ostensibly, and for the time being only, by the supporters of
Balmaceda. The outrageous bombardment of Iquique is an instance in
illustration of this charge. The Chilian delights to be cruel; it is his
instinct to destroy and to plunder. He is by nature boastful,
passionate, and headstrong. This disposition seems to be born in the
race, is in fact a matter of heredity, fostered by bull-fights and
kindred entertainments. But the country must now pay for the enormous
destruction of property of which the directors of the civil war have
been guilty. The European powers have already begun to send in their
demands for damages done to their non-combatant merchants. England comes
first with a bill calling for payment of sixty million dollars. Spain,
Italy, and Germany will follow. It is estimated that a hundred million
dollars will be required to settle these foreign demands. Chili must
pay. There is no avoiding it. Reckless destruction will be found to be
rather an expensive amusement in future for these South Americans. Their
outrageous and murderous treatment of citizens of the United States who
land upon their shore is also like to cost them a heavy sum in way of
penalty. The present is a good opportunity to teach them a salutary
lesson. The Chilians will not be in a hurry to repeat crimes which they
find entail sure and swift punishment.

A majority of the population of Chili lives, as a rule, within a few
miles of the sea, and her coast line extends from Cape Horn northward
over two thousand miles to the borders of Bolivia and Peru. With this
extraordinary length, she has an average width of hardly more than a
hundred miles, bordered on the east by the western slope of the Andes,
whose eastern side belongs to the Argentine Republic, and on the west by
the Pacific Ocean. The present estimated area of the republic is about
two hundred and twenty thousand square miles, containing a population of
considerably less than three millions, though its capacious territory
could be so divided as to make twenty-five states as large as
Massachusetts. Sixteen hundred miles of steam railroads render the
principal sections of Chili accessible to one another. The coast line
has from time to time been undergoing decided changes through volcanic
action. In 1822, after a visible commotion, the shore was permanently
raised three feet at Valparaiso, and four feet at Quintere. This change
extended over an area of a hundred thousand miles. Another but lesser
elevation took place in the same region in 1835.

There seems to be no accounting for the vagaries of a land subject to
volcanic influences.

The harbor of Valparaiso is well protected on the east, south, and west,
but it is open to the north, from which direction come very heavy winds
and seas during a couple of months in the winter season, often causing
serious casualties among the shipping which may chance to be anchored in
the harbor. A "norther" is as much dreaded here as it is at Vera Cruz
and along the Gulf of Mexico generally.

The entrance to the harbor is on its north side, and is a mile in width,
more or less. The flags of nearly all nations are seen here, though the
Stars and Stripes are less frequently to be met with than others. The
city lies at the base of the closely surrounding hills, up whose sides
and in the ravines the dwelling-houses have been constructed, tier above
tier. Over all, further inland, looms the frosted head of grand old
Aconcagua, twenty-two thousand feet and more in height, believed to be
the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere. This mighty member of
the Andean Cordillera is said to be ninety miles away, but it is so
lofty and dominant, as seen through the clear atmosphere, that it
appears almost within cannon range. At this writing the harbor presents
quite a warlike aspect. English, American, French, German, and Chilian
men-of-war are anchored here, looking after their several national
interests, as affected by the civil war. The bugle calls of the several
ships, the morning and evening guns, the display of naval bunting,
together with the flitting hither and thither of well-manned boats, all
unite to form a gay and suggestive scene. The Chilian cruisers in the
hands of the revolutionists would not hesitate to batter down any
government buildings on the coast, destroying incidentally the domestic
residences and merchandise of non-combatants, were they not restrained
by the presence of foreign flags and guns. When Balmaceda undertook by a
proclamation to shut up the ports of Chili, and declared them blockaded,
he was told by the several naval commanders on the coast that he could
not establish a paper blockade, and that if the merchant ships of their
several countries were in any way interfered with, he would have to
fight somebody else besides the revolutionists. The ports were therefore
kept as open to legitimate commerce as they ever were.

The author was disappointed at not being able to reach Santiago, the
capital of Chili, which is situated at the foot of the western slope of
the Andes, nearly two thousand feet above tide-water. It is connected
with Valparaiso by railway, and under ordinary circumstances can be
reached in eight hours. The difficulties caused by the civil war, and
the suspicion with which all foreigners were regarded, proved impossible
to surmount without a protracted effort, and submitting to any amount of
red tape. Santiago was founded by one of Pizarro's captains, in 1541,
and now contains about two hundred thousand inhabitants. There are some
Americans and many English resident in Santiago, together with Germans
and Frenchmen, the foreigners being mostly merchants. We were told of
two familiar statues which are to be seen in a public square of the
city, in front of the post-office. One represents George Washington, the
other Abraham Lincoln, both of which were stolen from Lima during the
late conflict between Chili and Peru.

But this is a digression. Let us once more return to the commercial port
of Valparaiso.

A considerable portion of this city has been reclaimed from the sea, and
still more land suitable for the erection of business warehouses near
the shore is being added to this part of the town. Local enterprise,
however, is pretty much suspended for the time being, owing to the
disturbed condition of political affairs. The mountains near at hand
supply ample stone and soil for the purpose of extending the area of
this business portion of the town. Sixty or seventy years ago, the city
contained only a single street, on the edge of the harbor; to-day it has
all the appearance and belongings of a great commercial capital, and a
population of a hundred and thirty thousand. Except Rio Janeiro and
Buenos Ayres, we saw nowhere thoroughfares more full of energetic life
and business activity. The main avenue is the Calle Victoria, which runs
round the entire water front, occupied by the banks, hotels, insurance
offices, and the best shops in the town.

There are four large daily newspapers published in Valparaiso, whose
united circulation exceeds thirty thousand copies. "El Mercurio" has the
eminent respectability of age, having been published regularly for a
period of half a century. The facility for news-gathering is very good,
as this city is connected with the world at large by submarine cable,
but no such detailed and complete summary of intelligence is attempted
as our North American journals exhibit daily. While on this subject, we
may add that there are no newspapers in Europe, or elsewhere, which will
compare with those of the United States in the average ability and
journalistic merit which characterizes them. We do not say this in a
boastful spirit, but simply make the statement as an incontrovertible

Some of the business structures along the harbor front of Valparaiso are
fine edifices architecturally, and many of the retail stores will
compare favorably with the average of ours in Washington Street, Boston.
The elegant class of goods displayed in some of these establishments
shows that the population is an habitually extravagant and free-living
one. We were told, by way of illustration, that millionaires were as
plenty as blackberries before the late civil war, while many wealthy
men, foreseeing the catastrophe which was about to occur, shrewdly
prepared for it, and by careful management saved their property intact.
Many of the private houses on Victoria Street are spacious, elegant, and
costly, the occupants living in regal style, to support which must cost
a very heavy annual outlay. It appears that President Balmaceda
discovered, during the late struggle, where and how to lay his hands
upon the resources of a few of these citizens, and that such he
completely impoverished, under one pretext and another, using their
property to support his armed minions, and to swell the aggregate of
funds which he sent for deposit in his own name to Europe. One or two
cases of this sort were related to us in which the citizens were not
only made to give up the whole of their private property, but were
finally imprisoned and sentenced to death upon a charge of treason,
without even the semblance of a trial!

It is no marvel, to those who know the facts of his career, that a man
who was guilty of such crimes, when at last brought to bay, finding
himself betrayed and deserted by his pretended friends, should have
blown out his own brains. The posthumous papers which he left, and
wherein he tries to pose as a martyr, are simply a ludicrous failure.
José Manuel Balmaceda was in the fifty-second year of his age when he
committed suicide, and was at the time hiding for fear of the infuriated
citizens of Santiago, who would certainly have hanged the would-be
dictator without the least hesitation or formality, if they could have
got possession of his person.

The tramway-cars of Valparaiso are of the two-story pattern, like those
of Copenhagen and New Orleans, also found in many of the European
cities. They have as conductors, like Concepcion, very pretty half-breed
girls, who appear to thoroughly understand their business, and to
fulfill its requirements to universal satisfaction. If an intoxicated or
unruly person appears on the cars, the conductress does not attempt
personally to eject him. She has only to hold up her hand, and the
nearest policeman, of whom there are always a goodly number about, jumps
on to the car and settles the matter in short order. Girls were thus
first employed in order that the men who ordinarily fill these places
might be drafted into the army, during the late war between Chili and
Peru, and as the system proved to be a complete success, it has been
continued ever since. The fare charged on these tram-cars is five cents
for each inside passenger, and half that sum for the outside; and, as in
Paris, when the seats are all full, a little sign is shown upon the car,
signifying that no more persons will be admitted, none being allowed to
stand. The same rule is enforced in London, and the thought suggested
itself as to whether our West End Railway Company of Boston might not
take an important hint therefrom.

The ladies and gentlemen of the city are a well dressed class, the
former adopting Parisian costumes, and the gentlemen wearing a full
dress of dark broadcloth, with tall stove-pipe hats. The women of the
more common class wear the national "manta," and the men the "poncha."
The former is a dark, soft shawl which covers in part the head and face
of the wearer. The latter is a long, striped shawl, with a slit cut in
the centre, through which the head of the wearer is thrust. Nothing
could be more simple in construction than both of these garments, and
yet they are somehow very picturesque.

As we have already intimated, it is soon learned, upon landing at any
port of the commercial world, what the staple products of the
neighborhood are, by simply noting the visible merchandise made ready
for shipment. Here we have sugar, wool, and cotton prevailing over all
other articles. Guano and nitrate, which also form specialties here, are
represented, though the supply of the former is pretty much exhausted.
The nitrate trade is controlled by an Englishman of large fortune,
Colonel North, known here as the "Nitrate King." This valuable
fertilizer is the deposit of the nitrate of soda in the beds of lakes
long since dried up, the waters of which originally contained in
solution large quantities of this material. These lakes in olden times
received the flow of a great water-shed, and having no outlet, save by
evaporation, accumulated and precipitated at the bottom the chemical
elements flowing into them from the surrounding country. The article is
now dug up and put through a certain process, then shipped to foreign
countries as a fertilizer, believed to put new heart into exhausted
soil. England consumes an immense quantity of it annually, and many
ships are regularly employed in its transportation.

The custom house, situated near the landing at Valparaiso, is a somewhat
remarkable structure, having a long, low façade surmounted by tall,
handsome towers. This is eminently the business part of the town, and is
called "El Puerto." The larger share of the residences of the merchants
and well-to-do citizens is situated on the hillsides, to reach which it
is necessary to ascend long flights of steps. At certain points
elevators are also supplied by which access is gained to the upper
portions of the town, after the fashion already described at Bahia, on
the east coast.

The majority of people doing business in Valparaiso are English, and
English is the almost universal language. Even the names upon the city
signs are suggestive in this direction. Among the public houses are the
"Queen's Arms," the "Royal Oak," the "Red Lion," and so on. Besides an
English school, there are three churches belonging to that nationality.
There are numerous free schools, both of a primary and advanced
character, an elaborately organized college, two or three theatres, and
the usual charitable establishments, including a public library. The
principal part of the city is lighted by electricity, and the telephone
is in general use. A special effort has lately been made to promote the
education of the rising generation in Chili, and we know of no field
where the endeavor would be more opportune. Such an effort is never out
of place, but here it is imperatively called for. The almost universal
ignorance of the common people of Chili is deplorable, and little
improvement can be hoped for as regards their moral or physical
condition, except through the means of educating the youth of the
country. A commissioner-general of education was appointed some time
ago, who has already visited Europe and North America to study the best
modern methods adopted in the public schools. This is a tangible
evidence of improvement which speaks for itself, and is a great stride
of this people in the right direction. Of course the late political
crisis will greatly retard the hoped-for results, just as it will put
Chili back some years in her national progress, whatever may be the
final outcome in other respects.

Gambling is a prevailing national trait in this country, by no means
confined to any one class of the community. The street gamin plays for
copper centavos, while the pretentious caballero does the same for gold
coins. It is quite common in family circles, held to be very
aristocratic, to see the gaming table laid out every evening, as
regularly as the table upon which the meals are served. Money in large
sums is lost and won with assumed indifference in these private circles,
whole fortunes being sometimes sacrificed at a single sitting. Gambling
seems to be held exempt from the censure of either church or state,
since both officials and priests indulge in all sorts of games of
chance. There are the usual public lotteries always going on to tempt
the poorer classes of the people, and to capture their hard-earned

One virtue must be freely accorded to the business centre of this city,
namely, that of cleanliness, in which respect it is far in advance of
most of the capitals on the east coast of South America. Being the first
seaport of any importance in the South Pacific, it is naturally a place
of call for European bound steamers coming from New Zealand and
Australia, as well as those sailing from Panama and San Francisco. In
view of the fact that six hundred and fifty thousand people emigrate
from Europe annually, seeking new homes in foreign lands, the Chilian
government, in common with some others of the South American states, has
for several years past held forth the liberal inducement of substantial
aid to all bona fide settlers from foreign countries. Each newcomer who
is the head of a family is given two hundred acres of available land,
together with lumber and other materials for building a comfortable
dwelling-house, also a cart, a plough, and a reasonable amount of seed
for planting. Besides these favors which we have enumerated, some other
important considerations are offered. Only a small number, comparatively
speaking, of emigrants have availed themselves of such liberal terms,
and these have been mostly Germans. If such an offer were properly
promulgated and laid before the poor peasantry of Ireland and Spain and
Italy, it would seem as though many of those people would hasten to
accept it in the hope of bettering their condition in life. Whether such
a result would follow emigration would of course depend upon many other
things besides the liberality of the offer of the Chilian government.
The Germans form a good class of emigrants, perhaps the best, often
bringing with them considerable pecuniary means, together with habits of
industry. The late civil war has put a stop to emigration for a period
at least, and will interfere with its success for some time to come, if
indeed Chili ever assumes quite so favorable a condition as she has

There are some districts, including Limache and Pauquehue, where grape
culture has been brought to great perfection, and where it is conducted
on a very large scale. Wine-making is thus taking its place as one of
the prosperous industries of the country. The amount of the native
product consumed at home is very large, and a regular system of exports
to other South American ports has been established. All of the most
important modes of culture, such as have been proven most successful in
France and California, have been carefully adopted here. Tramways are
laid to intersect the various parts of these extensive vineyards, to aid
in the gathering and transportation of the ripe fruit, while the
appliances for expressing the juice of the grape are equally well
systematized. One vineyard, belonging to the Consiño family, near
Santiago, covers some two hundred acres, closely planted with selected
vines from France, Switzerland, and California, the purpose being to
retain permanently such grades as are found best adapted to the soil and
the climate of Chili. The white wines are the most popular here, but red
Burgundy brands are produced with good success. The vines are trained on
triple lines of wires, stretched between iron posts, presenting an
appearance of great uniformity, the long rows being planted about three
or four feet apart. Every arrangement for artificial irrigation is
provided, it being an absolute necessity in this district of Chili.
Trenches are cut along the rows of vines, through which the water, from
ample reservoirs, is permitted to flow at certain intervals;
particularly when the grape begins to swell and ripen. The fruit is not
trodden here, as it is in Italy, but is thoroughly expressed by means of
proper machinery.

Geographically, Chili is, as we have intimated, a long, narrow country,
lying south of Peru and Bolivia, ribbon-like in form, and divided into
nineteen provinces. It has been considerably enlarged by conquest from
both of the nationalities just named; including the important territory
of Terapaca. The name "Chili" signifies snow, with which the tops of
most of the mountain ranges upon the eastern border are always covered.
Still, extending as she does, from latitude 24° south to Cape Horn, she
embraces every sort of climate, from burning heat to glacial frosts,
while nearly everything that grows can be produced upon her soil. Though
she has less than three million inhabitants, still her territory exceeds
that of any European nationality except Russia. The manifest difference
between the aggregate of her population and that of her square miles
does not speak very favorably for the healthful character of the
climate. There is no use in attempting to disguise the fact that Chili
has rather a hard time of it, with sweeping epidemics, frequent
earthquakes, and devouring tidal waves. The country contains thirty
volcanoes, none of which are permanently active, but all of which have
their periods of eruption, and most of which exhibit their dangerous
nature by emitting sulphurous smoke and ashes. The unhygienic condition
of life among her native races accounts for the large death-rate
prevailing at all times, and especially among the peon children, thus
preventing a natural increase in the population. Unless a liberal
immigration can be induced, Chili must annually decrease in population.
As regards the foreign whites and the educated natives who indulge in no
extravagant excesses, living with a reasonable regard for hygiene,
doubtless Chili is as healthy as most countries, but there is still to
be remembered the erratic exhibitions of nature, a possibility always
hanging like the sword of Damocles over this region. A whole town may,
without the least warning, vanish from the face of the earth in the
space of five minutes, or be left a mass of ruins.

It is in the districts of the north that the rich mines and the nitrate
fields are found, but the central portion of the country, and
particularly towards the south, is the section where the greatest
agricultural results are realized, and which will continue to yield in
abundance after the mineral wealth shall have become quite exhausted.
The southern portion of the country embraces Patagonia, which has lately
been divided between Chili and the Argentine Republic. In short, Chili
is no exception to the rule that agriculture, and not mining products,
is the true and permanent reliance of any country.

A little less than four hundred miles off the shore of Valparaiso, on
the same line of latitude, is the memorable island of Juan Fernandez. It
is politically an unimportant dependence of Chili, though of late years
it has indirectly been made the means of producing some income for the
national treasury. There was a period in which Chili maintained a penal
colony here, but the convicts mutinied, and massacred the officers who
had charge of them. These convicts succeeded in getting away from the
island on passing ships. No attempt has been made since that time to
reëstablish a penal colony on this island. To-day the place is occupied
by thriving vegetable gardeners, and raisers of stock. Every intelligent
youth will remember the island as the spot where De Foe laid the scene
of his popular and fascinating story of "Robinson Crusoe." The island is
about twenty miles long by ten broad, and is covered with dense tropical
verdure, gentle hills, sheltered valleys, and thrifty woods. Juan
Fernandez resembles the Azores in the North Atlantic. Though generally
spoken of in the singular, there are actually three islands here,
forming a small, compact group, known as Inward Island, Outward Island,
and Great Island. Many intelligent people think that the story of
Robinson Crusoe is a pure fabrication, but this is not so. De Foe
availed himself of an actual occurrence, and put it into readable form,
adding a few romantic episodes to season the story for the taste of the
million. It was in a measure truth, which he stamped with the image of
his own genius. Occasionally some enthusiastic admirer of De Foe comes
thousands of miles out of the beaten track of travel to visit this group
of islands, by the way of Valparaiso. Grapes, figs, and other tropical
fruits abound at Juan Fernandez. It is said that several thousand people
might be easily supported by the natural resources of these islands, and
the abundance of fish which fill the neighboring waters. An English
naval commander stopped here in 1741, to recruit his ships' crews, and
to repair some damages. While here he caused various seeds to be planted
for the advantage of any mariners who might follow. The benefit of this
Christian act has been realized by many seamen since that date. Fruits,
grain, and vegetables are now produced by spontaneous fertility
annually, which were not before to be found here. The English commander
also left goats and swine to run wild, and to multiply, and these
animals are numerous there to-day.

Juan Fernandez has one tall peak, nearly three thousand feet high, which
the pilots point out long before the rest of the island is seen. It was
from this lofty lookout that Alexander Selkirk was wont to watch daily
in the hope of sighting some passing ship, by which he might be released
from his imprisonment. There are about one hundred residents upon the
group to-day, it having been leased by the Chilian government as a stock
ranch for the breeding of goats and cattle, as well as for the raising
of vegetables for the market of Valparaiso. There are said to be thirty
thousand horned cattle, and many sheep, upon these islands. Occasional
excursion parties are made up at Valparaiso to visit the group by
steamboat, for the purpose of shooting seals and mountain goats. Stories
are told of Juan Fernandez having been formerly made the headquarters of
pirates who came from thence to ravage the towns on the coast of the
continent, and it is believed by the credulous that much of the
ill-gotten wealth of the buccaneers still remains hidden there. In
search of this supposititious treasure, expeditions have been fitted out
in past years at Valparaiso, and many an acre of ground has been vainly
dug over in seeking for piratical gold, supposed to be buried there.
Some of the shrewd stock raisers of Juan Fernandez are ready, for a
consideration, to point out to seekers the most probable places where
such treasures might have been buried.

          CHAPTER XVI.

     The Port of Callao.--A Submerged City.--Peruvian Exports.--A
     Dirty and Unwholesome Town.--Cinchona Bark.--The Andes.--The
     Llama.--A National Dance.--City of Lima.--An Old and
     Interesting Capital.--Want of Rain.--Pizarro and His
     Crimes.--A Grand Cathedral.--Chilian Soldiers.--Costly
     Churches of Peru.--Roman Catholic Influence.--Desecration of
     the Sabbath.

The passage northward from Valparaiso to Callao occupies about four days
by the steamers which do not stop at intermediate ports. We entered the
harbor in the early morning while a soft veil of mist enshrouded the
bay, but as the sun fairly shone upon the view, this aerial screen
rapidly disappeared, revealing Callao just in front of us, making the
foreground of a pleasing and vivid picture, the middle distance filled
by the ancient city of Lima, and the far background by alpine ranges.
Callao is an ill-built though important town, with a population of about
thirty thousand, and serves as the port for Lima, the capital of Peru.
It has a good harbor, well protected by the island of San Lorenzo,
which, with the small island of El Fronton, and the Palminos reef, forms
a protection against the constant swell of the ocean. There are nearly
always one or two ships of war belonging to foreign nations in the
harbor, and large steamships from the north or the south. The sailing
distance from Panama is fifteen hundred miles. The Callao of to-day is
comparatively modern. Old Callao formerly stood on a tongue of land
opposite San Lorenzo, but in 1746 an earthquake submerged it and drowned
some five thousand of the inhabitants, foundered a score of ships, and
stranded a Spanish man-of-war. In calm weather one can row a boat over
the spot where the old city stood, and see the ruins far down in the
deep waters. The present city has twice been near to sharing the same
fate: once in 1825, and again in 1868. It is, therefore, not assuming
too much to say that Callao may at any time disappear in the most
summary fashion. The sunken ruins in the harbor are a melancholy and
suggestive sight, the duplicate of which we do not believe can be found
elsewhere on the globe. Though seismic disturbances are of such frequent
occurrence, and are so destructive on the west coast of South America,
they are hardly known on the Atlantic or eastern side of the continent.
That they are frequently coincident with volcanic disturbances indicates
that there is an intimate connection between them, but yet earthquakes
often occur in regions where volcanoes do not exist. This was the case,
not long since, as most of our readers will remember, in South Carolina.
It has been noticed by careful observers that animals become uneasy on
the eve of such an event, which would seem to show that earthquakes
sometimes owe their origin to extraordinary atmospheric conditions.

San Lorenzo is about six miles from Callao, and is four miles long by
one in width. It is utterly barren, presenting a mass of brownish gray
color, eleven hundred feet high, at whose base there is ever a broad,
snow white ruffle, caused by the never-ceasing ocean swell breaking into
foam. An English smelting company has established extensive works near
the shore of the island, for the reduction of silver and copper ores.
The approach to Callao from the sea affords a fine view of the
undulating shore, backed by the snowy Cordilleras, the shabby buildings
of the town, with the dismantled castle of San Felipe forming the
foreground. In landing one must be cautious: there is always
considerable swell in the harbor.

The staple products of this region are represented by packages of
merchandise prepared for shipment, and which are the first to attract
one's attention upon landing, such as cinchona bark from the native
forests, piles of wheat in bulk, hides, quantities of crude salt, sugar
packed in dried banana leaves, bales of alpaca wool, and, most
suggestive of all, some heavy bags of silver ore. Little is being done
in mining at present, though the field for this industry is large. The
difficulty of transportation is one of the great drawbacks, yet Peru has
over a thousand miles of railways in her rather limited area. Gold,
platinum, silver, and copper are all found in paying quantities. Coal
and petroleum also exist here, in various inland districts. The guano
deposits, which have yielded so much wealth to Peru in the past, are
practically exhausted, while the nitrate-producing province of Tarapaca
has been stolen by Chili, to which it now belongs. It is thought that
the nitrate deposits can be profitably worked for fifty years to come.

A crowd of the lazy, ragged population were loafing about the landing,
watching the strangers as they came on shore at the wet and slippery
stone steps.

It is very plain that the great importance of Callao has departed,
though there is still an appearance of business activity. Not long ago,
a hundred vessels at a time might be seen at anchor inside of San
Lorenzo; now, a score of good-sized ships are all one can count. This is
owing to various causes: an unreasonable high tariff is one of them,
exorbitant port charges is another, and the general depression of
business on the west coast is felt quite as strongly here as at any of
the ports. Like Santos, on the other side of the continent, Callao is
ever an unhealthy resort, where a great mortality prevails in the fever
season. The absence of good drainage and inattention to hygienic rules
will in part account for the bad repute that the port has among the
shipping masters who frequent the coast. The streets are particularly
malodorous about the water front. The dirty vultures seem to be depended
upon to remove offensive garbage.

A certain remarkable occurrence sometimes takes place in this harbor,
which, so far as the writer knows, is without precedent elsewhere. A
ship may come in from sea and anchor at about sunset, in good order and
condition, everything being white and clean on board, but when her
captain comes on deck the next morning, he may find that his ship has
been painted, inside and out, a dark chocolate color during the night,
the atmosphere at the same time being impregnated with a peculiar odor,
arising from this "paint," or whatever it may be, which clings
tenaciously to every object, wood or iron. While it is damp and freshly
deposited, it can be removed like fresh paint, but if it is permitted to
dry, it is as difficult to remove as ordinary dried paint would be. No
one can tell the origin of this nuisance, but most seamen whose business
brings them to Callao have been through this experience. Of course it
must be an atmospheric deposit, but from whence? It has never been known
to occur upon the neighboring land, but only in the harbor. Scientists
have given the matter their attention, and have concluded that it may be
caused by sulphurous gases produced in the earth below the water, which
rise to the surface and disseminate themselves in the surrounding

From any elevated point in the city one may enjoy a delightful view, the
main features of which are the Andes on the land side, and seaward, the
broad heaving bosom of the Pacific. The corrugated peaks of the former,
clad in white, seem like restless phantoms marching through the sky.
Over the latter, long lines of inky blackness trail behind northern or
southern bound steamers, while here and there a tall, full-rigged ship
recalls the older modes of navigation.

The smoother water inside of San Lorenzo is alive with small boats, some
under sails, some propelled by oars, shooting in and out among the
shipping which lie at anchor before the town. A pair of large whales
assisted at this scene for our special benefit, just inside the harbor's
mouth. It must have been only play on their part,--leviathans at
play,--but they threw up the sea in such clouds of spray with their
broad tails, as to make it appear like a battle-royal seen from a mile

We mentioned the fact of seeing cinchona bark in bales ready for
shipping. Of all the products of South America, gold, silver, and
precious stones included, the most valuable is the drug which is called
quinine, made from the bark of the cinchona tree. There is no other one
article known to the materia medica which has been used in such large
quantities or with such unvarying success by suffering humanity. It was
first introduced into Europe from Peru, and was then known as Peruvian
bark. It was supposed at that time to be found only in this section of
the continent; but subsequently it was discovered to abound in all the
forests along the course of the Andes, and especially on their western
slope. So large has been its export that it was found the source of
supply was rapidly becoming exhausted, until local governments awoke to
the importance of the matter, and protected by law the trees which
produce it. These are no longer ruthlessly cut down to die, when
yielding their valuable harvest, but only a certain quantity of the
desirable bark is taken from each tree annually, so that nature replaces
the portion which had been removed, by covering the trunk with a fresh
growth. The cinchona tree, having been transplanted from South America,
is now successfully cultivated in the islands of the Malacca Straits,
Ceylon, India, and other tropical regions.

The tree which produces this valuable febrifuge belongs to the same
family as the coffee plant. In appearance it is very like our native
beech tree, having remarkably white wood.

The llama is found nearly all over South America, and is often seen as a
beast of burden at Callao, taking the place here which the donkey or
burro fills in Mexico. It has been described as having the head and neck
of a camel, the body of a deer, the wool of a sheep, and the neigh of a
horse. We do not agree with those who pronounce the llama an awkward
creature. True, the body is a little ungainly, but the head, the
graceful pose, the pointed, delicate ears, and the large, lustrous eyes
are absolutely handsome. It can carry a burden weighing one hundred
pounds over hard mountain roads, day after day, while living upon very
scanty food. It is slow in its movements, patient when well treated, and
particularly sure-footed. It is of a very gentle disposition, but when
it finds the weight placed upon its back too heavy, like the Egyptian
camel, it immediately lies down and will not rise until the load is
lightened. The llama, or "mountain camel," as it has been aptly called,
is the only domesticated native animal. The horse, ox, hog, and sheep
are all importations which were entirely unknown here four centuries
ago. The llama has two notable peculiarities: when angry it will
expectorate at its enemy, and when hurt will shed tears. The
expectoration is of an acrid, semi-poisonous nature, and if it strikes
the eyes will, it is said, blind them. The llama, guanaco, alpaca, and
vicuña were the four sheep of the Incas, the wool of the first clothing
the common people; the second, the nobles; the third, the royal
governors; and the fourth the Incas. The first two are domesticated,
guanacos and vicuñas are wild, though they all belong to the same

The manners and customs of any people new to the traveler are always an
interesting study, but in nothing are they more strongly individualized
than in the pursuit of amusements. A favorite dance, known here as the
_zama cueca_, is often witnessed out-of-doors in retired corners of the
plaza or the alameda, as well as elsewhere. It requires two performers,
and is generally danced by a male and female, being not unlike the
Parisian cancan, both in the movement and the purpose of the expression.
The two dancers stand opposite each other, each having a pocket
handkerchief in the right hand, while the music begins at first a dull,
monotonous air, which rapidly rises and falls in cadence. The dancers
approach each other, swaying their bodies gracefully, and using their
limbs nimbly; now they pass each other, turning in the act to
coquettishly wave the handkerchief about their heads, and also to snap
it towards each other's faces. Thus they advance and retreat several
times, whipping at each other's faces, while throwing their bodies into
peculiar attitudes. Again they resume the first movement of advance and
retreat, one assuming coyness, the other ardor, and thus continue,
until, as a sort of climax, they fall into each other's arms with a peal
of hearty laughter. A guitar is the usual accompanying instrument, the
player uttering the while a shrill impromptu chant. When a male dancer
joins in this street performance, as is sometimes the case, it is apt to
be a little coarse and vulgar.

There is very little in Callao to detain us, and one is quite ready to
hasten on to Lima, the capital of Peru, hoping to escape the stench and
universal dirtiness of the port.

The city of Lima has at this writing about one hundred and sixty
thousand inhabitants, and is situated six miles from Callao, its
shipping port, with which it is connected by two rival railways. These
roads are constructed upon an up-grade the whole distance, but the rise
is so gradual as to be almost imperceptible, though Lima is over five
hundred feet higher than Callao. The capital, which is clearly visible
from the water as we enter the harbor, presents from that distance, and
even from a much nearer point of view, a most pleasing picture, being
favorably situated on elevated ground, with its many spires and domes
standing forth in bold relief. It has, when seen from such a distance, a
certain oriental appearance, charming to the eye of a stranger. But it
is deceptive; it is indeed distance which lends enchantment in this
case, for upon arriving within its precincts one is rudely undeceived.
The apparently grand array of architecture on near inspection proves to
be flimsy and poor in detail: everything is bamboo frame and plaster; no
edifice is solid above the basement. Still, one can easily imagine how
attractive the place must have been in those viceregal days, the period
of its false glory and prosperity. The capital stands almost at the very
foot of the Cordillera which forms the coast range, and is built upon
both sides of the Rimac, over which stretches a substantial stone bridge
of six arches, very old and very homely, but all the more interesting
because it is so venerable. The width of the river at this point is over
five hundred feet. In the winter season it is a very moderate stream,
but when the summer sun asserts itself, the snow upon the neighboring
mountains yields to its warmth, and the Rio Rimac then becomes an alpine
torrent. It is like the Arno at Florence, which at certain seasons has
the form of a river without the circulation. The anecdote is told here
of a Yankee visitor to Lima who was being shown over the city by a
patriotic citizen, and who on coming to this spot remarked to his
chaperon: "You ought either to buy a river or sell this bridge."

At the entrance of this ancient structure stands a lofty and very
effective archway, with two tall towers, and a clock in a central
elevation. Prominent over the arched entrance to the roadway is the
motto _Dios y La Patria_,--"God and Country." Nothing in Lima is of
more interest than this hoary, unique, moss-grown bridge.

One pauses before the crumbling yet still substantial old structure to
recall the vivid scenes which must have been enacted in the long, long
past upon its roadway. Here madly contending parties have spilled each
other's blood, hundreds of gaudy church processions have crossed these
arches, bitter civil and foreign wars have raged about the bridge, dark
conspiracies have been whispered and ripened here, solitary murders
committed in the darkness of night, and lifeless bodies thrown from its
parapet; but the dumb witness still remains intact, having endured more
than three hundred years of use and abuse.

It is not necessary to unpack one's waterproof or umbrella in Lima. It
never rains here, any more than it does in the region of Aden, at the
mouth of the Red Sea. All vegetable growth is more or less dependent
upon artificial irrigation, and in the environs where this is
judiciously applied the orange and lemon trees are heavy with golden
fruit, forming a rich contrast with the deep green of the luxuriant
plantain, the thick, lance-like agave, and the prolific banana. The city
and its environs would be as poorly off without the water of the Rimac
as would the Egyptians if deprived of the annual overflow of the
fertilizing Nile. Though the river is so inconsiderable at certain
seasons, still it does supply a certain quantity of water always, which
is improved to the utmost. Dews some times prevail at night, so heavy as
to be of partial benefit, giving to vegetation a breath of moisture, and
taking away the dead dryness of the atmosphere. This, however favorable
for vegetation, is considered unwholesome for humanity. The flowers and
shrubbery of the plaza droop for want of water, and are only preserved
by great care on the part of those in charge of them. In some of the
private gardens the pashinba palm-tree is seen, very peculiar in its
growth, being mounted as it were upon stilts, formed by the exposed
straight roots which radiate, like a series of props, to support the
tall trunk. At its apex is a singular, spear-like stem, pointing
straight skyward, without leaf or branch, just beneath which are the
graceful, long, curved palm leaves, exquisite in proportions, bending
like ostrich feathers. At first sight this tree looks like an artificial
production, in which nature has taken no part. Lying only twelve degrees
south of the equator, Lima has a tropical climate, but being also close
to the foothills of the Andes, she is near to a temperate district, so
that her market yields the fruits and vegetables of two zones.

Pizarro, the ambitious and intrepid conqueror of Peru, here established
his capital in 1535, and here ended his days in 1541, dying at the hands
of the assassin, the natural and retributive end of a life of gross
bigotry, sensuality, recklessness, and almost unparalleled cruelty. In a
narrow street,--the Callejon de Petateron,--leading out of the Plaza
Mayor, a house is pointed out as being the one in which Pizarro was
assassinated. Both Pizarro in Peru and Cortez in Mexico owed their
phenomenal success to exceptional circumstances, namely, to the civil
wars which prevailed among the native tribes of the countries they
invaded. By shrewdly directing these intestine troubles so as to aid
their own purposes, each commander in his special field achieved
complete victory over races which, thus disunited and pitted against
each other, fell an easy prey to the cunning invaders. Neither of these
adventurers had sufficient strength to contend against a united and
determined people. Such an enemy on his own ground would have swept the
handful of Spaniards led by Pizarro from the face of the earth by mere
force of numbers.

Soon after its foundation, Lima became the most luxurious and profligate
of the viceregal courts of Spain, and so continued until its declaration
of independence, and final separation from the mother country. The most
worthless and restless spirits about the throne of Spain were favored in
a desire to join Pizarro in the New World. The home government, while
purging itself of so undesirable an element, added to the recklessness
and utter immorality which reigned in the atmosphere of Lima.
Forty-three successive viceroys ruled Peru during the Spanish occupancy.
The nefarious Inquisition, steeped in the blood of helpless and innocent
natives, was active here long after its decadence in Madrid, while the
local churches, convents, and monasteries accumulated untold wealth by a
system of arbitrary taxation, and iniquitous extortion exercised towards
the native race. What better could have been expected from Pizarro than
to inaugurate and foster such a state of affairs? Under the influence of
designing priests and lascivious monks, he was as clay in the potter's
hands, being originally only an illiterate swineherd, one who could
neither read nor write. The state documents put forth during his
viceregency, still preserved and to be seen in the archives of Lima,
show that he could only affix his mark, not even attempting to write his
own name. Though Charles V. finally indorsed and ennobled him with the
title of Marques de la Conquista, and appointed him viceroy of the
conquered country, he was still and ever the illegitimate, low-bred hind
of Truxillo in continental Spain. The palace of this man, who, with the
exception of Cortez, was the greatest human butcher of the age in which
he lived, is still used for government offices, while the senate
occupies the council chamber of the old Inquisition building, infamous
for the bloody work done within its walls. H. Willis Baxley, M. D., the
admirable author, writes on the spot as follows: "When the apologists of
Pizarro attempt to shield his crimes, and excuse his acts of cruelty by
his religious zeal and holy purpose of extending the dominion of the
cross, they may well be answered that the religion was unworthy of
adoption which required for its extension that the wife of the Inca
Manco, then a prisoner in Pizarro's power, should be 'stripped naked,
bound to a tree, and in presence of the camp be scourged with rods, and
then shot to death with arrows!' This cold-blooded brutality, and to a
woman, should brand his name with eternal infamy."

As we have intimated, Lima, like Constantinople, looks at its best from
a distance, viewed so that the full and combined effect of its many
domes and spires can be taken in as a whole; but whether near to it or
far from it, few places in South America possess more poetical and
historical interest. Its past story reads like an Arabian Nights' tale.
Though the city is by no means what it has been, and wears an
unmistakable air of decayed greatness, and though foreign invaders and
civil wars have done their worst, Lima is still an extremely attractive
metropolis. Even the vandalism of the late Chilian invaders, who
outraged all the laws of civilized warfare (if there is any such thing
as civilized warfare), regardless of the rights of non-combatants, could
not obliterate her natural attractions and historical associations. The
Chilian soldiers destroyed solely for the sake of destroying, mutilated
statuary and works of art generally, besides burning historical
treasures and libraries; and yet these Chilians claim to be the highest
type of modern civilization on the southern continent. They strove to
ruin whatever they could not steal and carry away with them from Peru,
and, almost incredible to record, they wantonly killed the elephant in
the zoölogical garden of Lima, and purloined the small animals. Noble,
chivalrous Chilians! The rank and file of these people are the very
embodiment of ignorance and brutality. The Chilian soldier carries, as a
regular weapon, a curved knife called a _curvos_, with which he cuts the
throats of his enemies. At close quarters, instead of fighting
man-fashion, as nearly all other nations do, he springs like a fierce
bull-dog at his opponent's throat, and with his curvos cuts it from ear
to ear. After a battle, bands of these fiends in human shape go over the
field, seeking out the wounded who are still alive, deliberately cutting
their throats, and robbing their bodies of all valuables. It is Chilian
tactics to take no prisoners, give no quarter. These brave soldiers
would have burned Lima to the ground after gaining possession, had it
not been for the interference of the foreign ministers, who had national
men-of-war at Callao with which to back their arguments. These
guerrillas--for that is just about what the Chilian soldiers are--knew
full well that if even a small European battalion of disciplined men
were landed and brought against them, they would simply be swept from
the face of the earth.

Lima is laid out with the streets in rectangular form, the central point
being the Plaza Mayor, in the shape of a quadrangle, each side of which
is five hundred feet in length. On the north side of this admirably
arranged square stand the buildings occupied as government offices,
together with the bishop's palace, and the cathedral overshadowed by its
two lofty towers. The corner-stone of this edifice was laid by Pizarro
with great ceremony. The spires, although presenting such an effective
appearance, are constructed of the most frail material, such as bricks,
stucco, and bamboo frames, but still, as a whole, they are undeniably
imposing. In this dry climate they are, perhaps, enduring also. Like the
façade of the church of St. Roche, in Paris, this of the Lima cathedral
is marked by bullet-holes commemorating the Chilian invasion. The church
is raised six or eight feet above the level of the plaza, as is usual in
South America, standing upon a marble platform, reached by broad steps,
well calculated to enhance the really graceful proportions, and add to
the effect of its broad, high towers. The interior is quite commonplace,
with the usual tinsel, poor carvings, and wretched oil paintings,
including several grotesque Virgin Marys. These were too poor even for
the Chilians to steal. Beneath the grand altar rest the ashes of
Pizarro, the cruel, ambitious, reckless tool of the Romish Church. The
cathedral was built in 1540, but has undergone complete repairs and
renovations from time to time, being still considered to be one of the
most imposing ecclesiastical edifices in America. Its original cost is
said to have been nine million dollars, to obtain which Pizarro robbed
the Inca temples of all their elaborate gold and silver ornaments.
According to Prescott, the Spaniards took twenty-four thousand, eight
hundred pounds of gold, and eighty-two thousand ounces of silver from a
single Inca temple! Prescott is careful in his statements to warn us of
the unreliability of the Spanish writers, nearly all of whom were Romish
priests. Where figures are concerned they cannot be depended upon for a
moment. They also took special care to cover up the fiendish atrocities
of the Inquisition, and the extortions of the church as exercised
towards the poor, down-trodden native race.

One's spirits partook of the sombre and austere atmosphere which reigns
at all times in this ancient edifice. It was very lonely. Not a soul was
to be seen during our brief visit to the cathedral at noonday, except a
couple of decrepit old beggars at the entrance, the faint, dull glare of
the burning candles about the altar only serving to deepen the shadows
and emphasize the darkness.

The area of the Plaza Mayor embraces eight or nine acres of land, and
has often been the theatre of most sanguinary scenes, where hand-to-hand
fights have frequently taken place between insurgent citizens and
soldiers of the ruling power of the day, while many unpopular officials
have been hanged in the towers of the cathedral, from each of which
projects a gibbet! The middle of the plaza is beautified by a bronze
fountain with arboreal and floral surroundings. There was formerly some
statuary here, which the brave Chilians stole and carried away with
them, even purloining the iron benches, which they transported to
Valparaiso and Santiago. The streets running from this square, with the
exception of the Calle de los Mercaderes, have an atmosphere of
antiquity, which contrasts with the people one meets in them. Even the
turkey buzzards, acting as street scavengers, are of an antique species,
looking quite gray and dilapidated, as though they were a hundred years
old. In Vera Cruz the same species of bird, kept for a similar purpose,
have a brightness of feather, and jauntiness withal, quite unlike these
feathered street-cleaners of Lima. The "Street of the Merchants," just
referred to, is the fashionable shopping thoroughfare of Lima, where in
the afternoons the ladies and gentlemen are seen in goodly numbers
promenading in full dress.

There is here the usual multiplicity of churches, convents, and
nunneries, such as are to be found in all Spanish cities, though the
latter establishments have been partially suppressed. Some of the
churches of Lima are fabulously expensive structures; indeed, the amount
of money squandered on churches and church property in this city is
marvelous. During the late war many articles of gold and silver,
belonging to them, were melted into coin, but some were hidden, and have
once more been restored to their original position in the churches. The
convent and church of San Francisco form one of the most costly groups
of buildings of the sort in America. The ornamental tiles of the
flooring are calculated, not by the square yard, but by the acre. There
are over a hundred Roman Catholic churches in Lima, few of which have
any architectural beauty, but all of which are crowded with vulgar wax
figures, wooden images, and bleeding saints. These churches in several
instances have very striking façades: that of La Merced, for instance;
but they are mere shams, as we have already said,--stucco and plaster;
they would not endure the wear of any other climate for a single decade.

With all this outside religious show in Lima, there is no corresponding
observance of the sacred character of the Sabbath. It is held rather as
a period of gross license and indulgence, and devoted to bull-fights,
cock-fighting, and drunkenness. The lottery-ticket vender reaps the
greatest harvest on this occasion, and the gambling saloons are all
open. Children pursue their every-day sports with increased ardor, and
the town puts on a gala day aspect. At night the streets are ablaze, the
theatres are crowded, and dissipation of every conceivable sort waxes
fast and furious until long past midnight. The ignorant mass generally
has drifted into observing the rituals of the Romish Church, but there
are many of the native Indians in Peru who cherish a belief of a
millennium in the near future; a time when the true prophet of the sun
will return and restore the grand old Inca dynasty. Just so the Moors of
Tangier hold to the belief that the time will yet come when they will be
restored to the glory of their fathers, and to their beloved Granada;
that the halls of the Alhambra will once more resound to the Moorish
lute, and the grand cathedral of Cordova shall again become a mosque of
the true faith.

The fact that the bull-ring of Lima will accommodate sixteen thousand
people, and that it is always well filled on Sundays, speaks for itself.
At these sanguinary performances a certain class of women appear in
large numbers and in full dress, entering heartily into the spirit of
the occasion, and waving their handkerchiefs furiously to applaud the
actors in the tragedy, while the exhibitions are characterized by even
more cruelty than at Madrid or Havana.

          CHAPTER XVII.

     A Grand Plaza.--Retribution.--The University of
     Lima.--Significance of Ancient
     Pottery.--Architecture.--Picturesque Dwelling.--Domestic
     Scene.--Destructive Earthquakes.--Spanish Sway.--Women of
     Lima.--Street Costumes.--Ancient Bridge of
     Lima.--Newspapers.--Pawnbrokers' Shops.--Exports.--An
     Ancient Mecca.--Home by Way of Europe.

The large square in Lima, known as Plazuela de la Independencia, is
grand in its proportions. One prominent feature is the bronze statue of
Bolivar, the famous South American patriot. It also contains the old
palace of the Inquisition, which looks to-day more like a stable than a
palace. This detestable institution attained to greater scope and power
here than it did even in Mexico. According to its own records, during
its existence in the capital of Peru, fifty-nine persons were publicly
burned alive as heretics, because they would not acknowledge the Roman
Catholic faith, thousands were tortured until in their agony they agreed
to anything, while thousands were publicly scourged to the same end.
Could the truth be fully known as regards the bigoted reign of the
priesthood at the time referred to in Peru, it would form one of the
most startling chapters of modern history. But they were their own
chroniclers, and suppressed everything which might possibly reflect upon
themselves or upon their church. Retribution was slow, but it has come
finally. The former convent of Guadeloupe is now occupied for a worthy
object as a high school; the main portion of the cloisters of San
Francisco have made way for the college of San Marco; that of San Carlos
has supplanted the Jesuits; San Juan de Dios is now occupied as a
railway station; while the once famous and infamous convent of Santa
Catalina serves to-day as the public market.

The University of Lima was the first seat of education established in
the New World, or, to fix the period more clearly in the average
reader's mind, it dates from about seventy years before the historic
Mayflower reached the shore of New England. The National Library
contains some forty thousand volumes, also a collection of Peruvian
antiquities, besides many objects of natural history, mostly of such
examples as are indigenous to this section. There is one large oil
painting in this building by a native artist named Monteros, the canvas
measuring thirty by twenty feet. The title is "Obsequies of Atahualpa."
This was carried away by the thieving Chilians, but was finally restored
to Peru. It should be mentioned, to their lasting shame, that the books
which they stole at the same time have not been returned.

The ancient pottery one sees in the collection of Peruvian antiquities
is wonderfully like that to be found in the Boulak Museum at Cairo, in
Egypt, Etruscan and Egyptian patterns prevailing over all other forms,
which strongly suggests a common origin. Besides those which we have
named, there are several other educational and art institutions in the
city, together with three hospitals, two lunatic asylums, a college of
arts, and the National Mint. One hospital, bearing the name of the
Second of May Hospital, is a very large and thoroughly equipped
establishment, occupying a whole square, and having accommodations for
seven hundred patients. There are four theatres, one of which is
conducted by the Chinese after their own peculiar fashion. The outsides
of the dwelling-houses are painted in various brilliant colors, a
practice which is found to prevail all over the southern continent, and
which exhibits an inherent love among the people for warm, bright hues.
The roofs of most houses serve as a depository for hens and chickens,
noisy gamecocks especially asserting themselves before daybreak,
forbidding all ideas of morning naps, unless one is accustomed to the
din. Many of the dwellings are picturesque and attractive, with
overhanging balconies and bay windows, the latter oftentimes finished
very elaborately with handsome wood carvings and open-work lattices. As
to the prevailing style of architecture, it is Spanish and Moorish
combined, each building being constructed about a central patio, which
is often rendered lovely with flowers and statuary, together with small
orange and lemon trees in large painted tubs.

The abundance of cracks in the walls of the dwellings, both inside and
out, is a significant hint that we are in an earthquake country. A
slight shake is hardly spoken of at all; they come so often as to be
comparatively unheeded.

In the environs of Lima the houses are built of adobe, rarely over one
story in height, with very thick walls, this style having been found the
best to resist the earthquakes, which must be very serious indeed to
affect a low adobe house with walls two feet and a half thick. About
these residences, which, not to put too fine a point upon the matter,
are really nothing but mud cabins, there is often seen an attractive and
refining feature, namely, small, but exceedingly pretty plots of
cultivated flowers. It is astonishing how perfectly they serve to throw
a flavor of refinement over all things else. The variety and fragrance
of the Lima roses are something long to be remembered, and the people
here seem to have a special love for this most popular of flowers. We
had missed them nearly everywhere else in South America; therefore they
were thrice welcome when they greeted us at Lima.

There is a dwelling-house in this city belonging to an old and rich
family, which is worth a pilgrimage to see. It is built of stone,
artistically carved, with a square balcony and bay window on each side
of the tall, spacious, and elaborately ornamented doorway. It is clearly
Moorish in type, and must be nearly or quite three hundred years old.
Photographs are found of its façade in the art stores of Lima, and most
visitors bring one away with them as a memento of the place. The house
stands even with the thoroughfare, and is only two stories in height,
but is a beautiful relic of the past. It would be quite in accordance
with the surroundings, were it to be transported to Cairo or Bagdad.

On the way from the Plaza Mayor to this attractive bit of Morisco
architecture, one gets frequent glimpses of pretty, cool, flower-decked
patios, about which the low picturesque dwellings are erected, and where
domestic life is seen in partial seclusion. An infant is playing on the
marble paved court, watched by a dark Indian nurse. An ermine-colored
cockatoo with a gorgeous yellow plume is gravely eying the child from
its perch. Creeping vines twine about the slim columns which support a
low arcade above the entrance floor. Farther in, a bit of statuary peeps
out from among the greenery, which is growing in high-colored wooden
tubs. The vine, which clings tenaciously to the small columns, is the
passion plant, its flowers seeming almost artificial in their
regularity, brightness, and abundance. A fair señora in diaphanous robes
reclines at ease in a low, pillowed seat, and the señor, cigarette in
mouth, swings leisurely in a hammock.

It was a pretty, characteristic family picture, of which we should be
glad to possess a photograph.

Few cities have a more agreeable climate. The range of the thermometer
throughout the year being for the winter season from 68° to 75°, and in
the summer from 80° to 88°. The Humboldt current, as it is called,
sweeps along the coast from the Antarctic circle, causing a much lower
temperature here than exists in the same latitude on the other side of
the continent. Lima, it will be remembered, is situated about twelve
degrees from the equatorial line. The climate is of exquisite softness,
beneath a sky serenely blue; every breath is a pleasure, tranquillizing
to both mind and body. Rain is of very rare occurrence, as we have
intimated, but earthquakes are frequent. The most destructive visit of
this sort in modern times was in 1745, which at the same time destroyed
the port of Callao. Though Lima is blessed with such a seemingly equable
climate, for some unexplained reason it is very far from being a healthy
place. The great mortality which prevails here is entirely out of
proportion to the number of inhabitants. There must be some local reason
for this. Even in the days of the Incas, the present site of the city
was deemed to be a spot only fit for criminals; that is to say, a penal
colony was located here, where the earlier Peruvians placed condemned
people, and where a high rate of mortality was not regarded as being
entirely objectionable. The Campo Santo of Lima, in the immediate
environs of the city, is built with tall thick walls containing niches
four ranges high, and recalls those of the city of Mexico. It is not
customary to bury in the ground. Some of the monuments are quite
elaborate, but the place generally has a neglected appearance, and no
attempt seems made to give it a pleasing aspect. It has neither flowers
nor trees.

The Spaniards, during a sway which lasted over three hundred years, were
terrible taskmasters in Peru, enslaving, crushing, and massacring the
natives, just as they did in Cuba and Mexico. The Indians were looked
upon as little more than beasts of burden, and their lives or well-being
were of no sort of account, except so far as they served the purposes of
the invading hordes of Spaniards. The race which has been produced by
intermarriage and promiscuous intercourse is a very heterogeneous one,
born of aborigines, negroes, mulattoes, Spaniards, and Portuguese. In
religion, as well as in daily life, the habits of the people are
Castilian, whether red, yellow, or black. There is also a considerable
Chinese population, which, however, as a rule, maintains isolation from
other nationalities so far as intermarriage or close intimacy is
concerned. Many of the Chinese keep cheap eating-houses, and always seem
to be industrious and thrifty. They are the outcome of the coolie trade,
by which the Peruvian plantations were for years supplied with
laborers,--slave labor, for that is exactly what it was to all intents
and purposes, call it what we may. But this cruel and unjust system has
long been suppressed. Most of the small shops are kept by Italians, and
the best hotels by Frenchmen. The banking-houses are usually conducted
by Germans, while Americans and Englishmen divide the engineering work,
the construction of railways, with such other progressive enterprises as
require a large share of brains, energy, and capital.

The women are generally handsome and of the Spanish type, yet they
differ therefrom in some important and very obvious particulars. Their
gypsy complexions, jet black hair and eyes, white, regular teeth, with
full red lips, form a combination very pleasing to the eye. It must be
acknowledged, however, that their complexions are aided by cosmetics.
The features are small and regular, the ears being set particularly
close to the head, which is always a noticeable peculiarity when it
prevails. They are vivacious and mirthful, yet not forward or immodest.
As regards the youthful portion, conventionality prevents all exhibition
of the latter trait. In dress they follow the styles of Boston, New
York, and Paris. As their brothers have been mostly educated in the
cities named, they very generally speak French and English. Many of the
ladies have themselves enjoyed the advantages of English, French, or
North American schools in their girlhood. A certain etiquette as regards
the society of men is very strictly observed here. No gentleman can
associate with a young lady unless she is chaperoned by her mother or a
married sister. From what we know of Spanish and Italian character, we
are not at all surprised at the punctiliousness adhered to in both
countries in this regard. There are very good reasons why such rules are
imperative, not only in South America, but in continental Europe. Like
most of the Spanish women, these of Lima, after the age of twenty-five,
though they are rather short, and of small frames, nearly always develop
into a decided fullness of figure.

There is a semi-oriental seclusion observed at all times as regards the
sex in this country. They are rarely seen upon the streets, except when
driving, or going and coming from church; but one need not watch very
closely to see many inquisitive eyes peeping from behind the curtained
balconies which overhang the thoroughfares, and to catch occasionally
stolen glances from pretty, coquettish owners, who would be very
hospitable to strangers if they dared.

Human nature is much the same in Lima as elsewhere. When seen on the
streets, the ladies generally wear the black "manta" drawn close about
the head and shoulders and partially covering the face. The manta is a
shawl and bonnet combined, or rather it takes the place of a bonnet, and
suggests the lace veil so universally worn at Havana, Seville, and
Madrid, also recalling the yashmak worn by the women of the East. The
Lima ladies cover half the face, including one eye; those of Egypt only
cover the lower part of the face, leaving both eyes exposed.

We are speaking of the better class of the metropolis. Among the more
common people, instances of great personal beauty are frequent. One sees
daily youthful girls on the streets who would be pronounced beautiful
under nearly any circumstances, an inheritance only too often proving a
fatal legacy to the owner, forming a source of temptation in a community
where morals are held of such slight account, except among the more
refined classes, of whom we have been speaking.

One peculiarity is especially noticeable here among the native race: it
is that the Peruvians seem to be mere lookers-on as regards the business
of life in their country. All of the important trade is, as we have
said, in the hands of foreigners. The English control the shipping
interests, almost entirely, while the skilled machinists are nearly all
Americans, with a few Scotchmen. We repeat this fact as showing the
do-nothing nature of the natives, and also as signifying that for true
progress, indeed, for the growth of civilization in any desirable
direction, emigration from Europe and North America must be depended

The heavy alcoves of the old stone bridge at Lima are appropriated by
the fruit women, whose tempting display forms glowing bits of color. The
thoroughfares are crowded by itinerant peddlers of all sorts of
merchandise. Milk-women come from the country, mounted astride of small
horses or donkeys; water carriers trot about on jackasses, sitting
behind their water jars and uttering piercing cries; Chinese food
venders, with articles made from mysterious sources, balance their
baskets at either end of long poles placed across their shoulders; the
lottery-ticket vender, loud voiced and urgent, is ever present;
newspaper boys, after our own fashion, shout "El Pais," or "El
Nacional;" chicken dealers, with baskets full of live birds on their
head and half a dozen hanging from each hand, solicit your patronage;
beggars of both sexes, but mostly lazy, worthless men, feign pitiful
lameness, while importuning every stranger for a centavo; bright,
careless girls and boys rush hither and thither, full of life and
spirit,--black, yellow, brown, and white, all mingling together on an
equal footing. The absence of wheeled vehicles is noticeable, the
tramway-cars gliding rapidly past the pedestrians, while pack-horses and
donkeys transport mostly such merchandise as is not carried on the heads
of men and women. Of the better class of citizens who help to make up
this polyglot community of the metropolis, one very easily distinguishes
the American, French, German, and English; each nationality is somehow
distinctively marked.

The stock of goods offered for sale in the pawnbrokers' shops, as a
rule, is very significant in foreign cities; here the shelves of these
dealers are full of valuable domestic articles, which the fallen
fortunes of the once rich Lima families have compelled them to part with
from time to time in a struggle to keep the wolf from the door. The
Chilians took all they could readily find of both public and private
property, and though they ruined financially some of the best families,
they did not succeed in getting everything which was portable and
valuable. Heirlooms are offered in these shops for comparatively
trifling sums, such as rich old lace; diamonds; superbly wrought
bracelets in gold, rubies, topazes, and other precious stones, set and
unset; gold and silver spoons and forks of curious designs, and of which
only one set were ever manufactured, intended to fill a special order
and suit the fancy of some rich family. Drinking-cups bearing royal
crests, and others with the arms of noble Castilian families engraved
upon them, are numerous. There are also swords with jeweled hilts, gold
and silver table ornaments, together with antique china, which might
rival the Satsuma of Japan. Curio hunters have secured many, nay, nearly
all, of the very choicest of these domestic relics, which they have
mostly taken to London, where they obtained fabulous prices for them.

We were told of an enterprising Yankee who invested one thousand dollars
in these articles, took them to England, and promptly realized some
eleven thousand dollars above all his expenses upon the venture.
Returning to Rio Janeiro, on the east coast, he purchased precious
stones with his increased capital, and, strange to say, although he was
by no means an expert, among his gems he secured an old mine diamond of
great value at a low figure, which, having been crudely cut, did not
exhibit its real excellence. Taking the whole of his second purchase to
Paris, he disposed of his gems at a large advance, and finally returned
to New York with a net capital exceeding forty thousand dollars. This
enterprising and successful individual bore the euphonious name of
Smyth,--Smyth with a _y_,--Alfred Smyth.

The three watering-places, or country villages of Miraflores, Baranco,
and Chorillos, are connected with Lima by railway, and in these resorts
many city merchants have their summer homes, occupying picturesque
ranches. The Chilians sacked and burned these places during the war, but
they have been mostly rebuilt, and are once more in a thriving

Peru was celebrated for centuries as the most prolific gold and silver
producing country in the world; her very name has long been the synonym
for riches. Although the product of the precious metals is still
considerable, yet it is quite insignificant compared with the revenue
which she has realized from the export of guano and phosphates. The
former article, as we have already said, has become virtually exhausted,
and the latter source of supply, still immensely prolific and valuable,
has been stolen from her bodily by the Chilians, so that Peru has now to
fall back upon industry and the remaining natural resources of the soil.

The most remarkable peculiarity in the physical formation of Peru is the
double Cordillera of the Andes, which traverse it from southeast to
northwest, separating the country into three distinct regions, which
differ materially from each other in climate, soil, and vegetation. To
the proximity of the range nearest to the coast is undoubtedly to be
attributed the frequent earthquakes which disturb the shore, whether the
volcanoes are apparently extinct or not. It may be reasonably doubted if
any of the volcanoes are absolutely extinct, in the full sense of the
term. They may be inoperative, so far as can be seen, for an entire
century, and at its close break out in full vigor. In consulting the
authorities upon this subject we find that, since 1570, there have been
sixty-nine destructive earthquakes recorded as having taken place on the
west coast of South America. The most terrible of them was that already
referred to, which destroyed Callao in 1745. It is stated that the
shocks at that time continued with more or less violence for three
consecutive months, and the records of the event further state that
there were two hundred and twenty distinct shocks within the twenty-four
hours following the enormous tidal wave which overwhelmed Callao. At
present, hardly a week passes without decided indications of volcanic
disturbance occurring, but these are of so slight a nature,
comparatively speaking, that but little attention is paid to them by the
native population, though it is true that sensitive strangers often turn
pale at such an event and tremble with fearful anticipations.

About twenty miles south of Lima, on elevated ground which overlooks the
Pacific, is the prehistoric spot known as Pachacamac, in the valley of
the Lurin River. The name signifies the "Creator of the World," to whom
the city and its temples were originally dedicated. Here, upon the edge
of the desert, once stood the sacred city of a people who preceded the
Incas, and who have left in these interesting, mouldering ruins tokens
of their advanced civilization, as clearly defined as are those of
Thebes, in far away Egypt. Another fact should not be lost sight of in
this connection, that many ancient remains to be found in this
neighborhood evince a higher degree of intelligence, in their
constructive belongings, than do any evidences left to us respecting the
days of the Incas, with whom we are in a measure familiar. The
archæologists, whose profession it is to carefully weigh even the
slightest tangible evidence which time has spared, long since came to
this conclusion.

Pachacamac was the Mecca of South America, or at least of the most
civilized portion of it, if we may judge by present appearances, and by
the testimony of history as far back as it reaches.

The ruins at Pachacamac consist of walls formed of adobe and sun-dried
bricks, some of which can be traced, notwithstanding the many
earthquakes which have shaken the neighborhood. The site of the ruins is
a hilly spot, and the sands have drifted so as to cover them in many
places, just as the Sphinx and the base of the pyramids have been
covered, near Cairo. Specific ruins are designated as having once been
the grand temple of the sun, and others as the house of the sacred
virgins of the sun. It is very obvious that the Incas destroyed a grand
and spacious temple here, which legend tells us was heavily adorned with
silver and gold, to make way for one of their own dedicated to the
worship of the sun. Who this race were and whence they came, with so
considerable a system of civilization, is a theme which has long
absorbed the speculative antiquarian. It is easy enough to construct
theories which may meet the case, but it is difficult to support them
when they are subjected to the cold arguments of reason and the test of
known history. Actual knowledge is a great iconoclast, and smashes the
poetical images of the unreliable historian with a ruthless hand. The
Spanish records relating to the period of early discovery here, as also
of Pizarro's career and the doing of the agents of the Romish Church,
have long since been proven to be absolutely unworthy of belief.

About the ruins of Pachacamac was once a sacred burial place, where
well-preserved mummies are still to be found, but the great, silent,
ruined city itself does not contain one living inhabitant. The
graveyard--the Campo Santo--remains, as it were, intact, but the proud
city, with its grand temples dedicated to unknown gods, has crumbled to

Curiously carved gold and silver vases and ornaments, exhibiting the
exercise of a high degree of artistic skill, have been exhumed in the
vast graveyard surrounding these ruins, whose extent, if judged by the
number of interments which have taken place here, must have been ten
times larger than the present site of Lima, and it must have contained a
population many times larger than that of the present capital of Peru.
In the mouths of the well-preserved mummies found buried here, we are
told that gold coins were found, presumably placed there to pay for
ferriage across the river of death. Here we have a fact also worthy of
note. It thus appears that this people must have had a circulating
medium in the shape of gold coin. As the placing of coin in the mouth of
the deceased was a custom of the ancient Greeks, may it not be that
these people came originally from Greece or from some contiguous

There are numerous other ancient remains in the neighborhood of Lima, of
which even tradition fails to give any account. Antiquarians find many
clues to special knowledge of the past in the remains which can be
exhumed in places on the coast of Chili and Peru, in the ancient graves
where the nitrous soil has preserved not only the bodies of a former
people, but also their tools, weapons, and domestic utensils.

       *     *     *     *     *

To reach the United States from Callao, the most direct course is to
sail northward fifteen hundred miles to Panama, and cross the isthmus,
again taking ship from the Atlantic side; but the author's family
awaited him in Europe, and as the Pacific mail service exactly met his
requirements, he sailed southward, touching at several of the ports
already visited, crossing the Atlantic by way of the Canary and Cape de
Verde Islands to Lisbon, thence to Southampton and to London. Joining
his family, he crossed the Atlantic from Liverpool to Boston, after an
absence of seven months, traveling in all of this equatorial journey
some thirty thousand miles without any serious mishap, and having
acquired a largely augmented fund of pleasurable memories.

          By Maturin M. Ballou.

  EQUATORIAL AMERICA. Descriptive of a Visit to St. Thomas,
    Martinique, Barbadoes, and the Principal Capitals of
    South America. A New Book. Crown 8vo, $1.50.

  AZTEC LAND. Crown 8vo, $1.50.

  THE NEW ELDORADO. A Summer Journey to Alaska. Crown 8vo,

  ALASKA. The New Eldorado. A Summer Journey to Alaska.
    _Tourist's Edition_, with 4 maps. 16mo, $1.00.


  DUE SOUTH; or, CUBA PAST AND PRESENT. Crown 8vo, $1.50.

    8vo, $1.50.

    8vo, $1.50.


  EDGE-TOOLS OF SPEECH. Selected and edited by Mr. BALLOU.
    8vo, $3.50.

  A TREASURY OF THOUGHT. An Encyclopedia of Quotations. 8vo,
    full gilt, $3.50.

  PEARLS OF THOUGHT. 16mo, full gilt, $1.25.



  Transcriber's Notes:

  List of books by Maturin M. Ballou was moved from the first page
  to the end of the book.

  Obsolete and alternate spellings of words were not changed.

  Alterations to the text:
    changed 'Hurricances' to 'Hurricanes' in Chapter I summary.
    changed 'salter' to 'saltier' ... water is saltier than ...
    removed hyphen from Ant-illes ... in those days the Antilles!...
    changed 'adode' to 'adobe' ... adobe and sun-dried bricks ...

  Changes made for consistency with remaining text:
    added period after 'Private Gardens' in Chapter V summary.
    added hyphen to 'well appointed'
        ... commodious, and well-appointed ship,...
        ... large and well-appointed opera house ...
    removed hyphen from 'mail-boat'
        ... as a mail boat running between ...
    removed hyphen from 'sailing-vessel'
        ... individuality about sailing vessels which ...
    removed hyphen from 'fruit-tree'
        ... the fruit trees are perennial,...
    removed hyphen from 'light-green'
        ... round, light green berry ...
    removed hyphen from 'well-known'
        ... his well known reason ...
        ... This well known port ...
    removed hyphen from 'summer-houses'
        ... pretty summer houses and ...
    added hyphen to 'mossgrown'
        ... which are gray and moss-grown,...
        ... the moss-grown, crumbling ...
    removed hyphen from 'bee-hive'
        ... formed an immense human beehive ...
    added hyphen to 'well arranged'
        ... white stone, well-arranged, and is ...
    removed hyphen from 'tail-fin'
        ... tip of the tail fin,...
    removed hyphen from 'so called'
        ... from the so called cross ...
    added hyphen to 'well equipped'
        ... upon well-equipped railroads ...
    removed hyphen from 'copper-colored'
        ... but their brown or copper colored skins ...
    added hyphen to 'waterway'
        ... this unequaled water-way,...
    added hyphen to 'low lying'
        ... all the low-lying tropical lands ...
    removed hyphen from 'house-fronts'
        ... The house fronts in the various sections ...
    added hyphen to 'sea birds'
        ... myriads of sea-birds, whose sharp cries ...
    added hyphen to 'curious shaped'
        ... curious-shaped coasting craft ...
    added hyphen to 'sky line'
        ... breaks the sky-line in front of ...
    added hyphen to 'far reaching'
        ... the far-reaching shores ...
    removed hyphen from 'deep-green'
        ... with its deep green foliage ...
    removed hyphen from 'yellow-ochre'
        ... by the yellow ochre walls ...
    removed hyphen from 'tide-wate'
        ... feet above tide water....
        ... the nearest tide water ...
    removed hyphen from 'well-organized'
        ... any well organized education establishment ...
    added hyphen to 'fancy goods'
        ... many of the fancy-goods stores ...
    added hyphen to 'stovepipe'
        ... with tall, stove-pipe hats ...
    added hyphen to 'never failing'
        ... the lottery with never-failing regularity ...
    removed hyphen from 'well-wooded'
        ... among the well wooded hills ...
    removed hyphen from 'well-paved'
        ... drainage and well paved streets ...
        ... broad, well paved streets,...
    added hyphen to 'half naked'
        ... the inhabitants half-naked and wholly starved...
    deleted hyphen in 'snow-white'
        ... natty straw hats, snow white aprons,...
        ... a broad snow white ruffle ...
    removed hyphen from 'well-dressed'
        ... are a well dressed class ...

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Equatorial America - Descriptive of a Visit to St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbadoes, - and the Principal Capitals of South America" ***

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