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Title: Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Austrian Frigate Novara, Volume I - (Commodore B. Von Wullerstorf-Urbair,) Undertaken by Order - of the Imperial Government in the Years 1857, 1858, & 1859, - Under the Immediate Auspices of His I. and R. Highness the - Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, Commander-In-Chief of the - Austrian Navy.
Author: Scherzer, Karl Ritter von
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Austrian Frigate Novara, Volume I - (Commodore B. Von Wullerstorf-Urbair,) Undertaken by Order - of the Imperial Government in the Years 1857, 1858, & 1859, - Under the Immediate Auspices of His I. and R. Highness the - Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, Commander-In-Chief of the - Austrian Navy." ***

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[Transcriber's Note: The original publication has been faithfully
replicated except as listed near the end of this document under another
Transcriber's Note. Italicized words are indicated _like this_. Bold words
are indicated =like this=. Fractions are indicated like this:
3-14159/100000. The oe ligature is indicated like this: man[oe]uvre.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ON HER VOYAGE ROUND THE GLOBE _In The Years 1857, 1858 & 1859._]


                                OF THE

                     Circumnavigation of the Globe

                        BY THE AUSTRIAN FRIGATE



             _Undertaken by Order of the Imperial Government_,

                     IN THE YEARS 1857, 1858, & 1859,




                          DR. KARL SCHERZER,


                               VOL. I.



                      _SAUNDERS, OTLEY, AND CO._

                   66, BROOK STREET, HANOVER SQUARE.



                      ANGEL COURT, SKINNER STREET.


                     SIR RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON,

      G.C.S.ST., M.A., D.C.L., V.P.R.S., G.S., L.S., F.R.G.S.,


                     TRUST. BRIT. MUS., ETC., ETC.,


                 These Pages are respectfully Inscribed,

                      OF THE AUSTRIAN EXPEDITION,

                              AS WELL AS






[Illustration: LETTER.]

[Illustration: LETTER CONTINUED.]

                     PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION.

A member of the scientific corps attached to the Expedition, which, under
the auspices of that enlightened friend of science and liberty, the
Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, was despatched on a voyage round the globe,
the high honour has been conferred upon me of having entrusted to my care
the publication of the Narrative of our Cruise.

In this not more difficult than enviable task, I have been most liberally
assisted by my eminent fellow-labourers--the whole literary material
collected during the voyage having been kindly placed at my disposal. The
comprehensive journals and reports of the venerable Commander-in-Chief of
the Expedition, Commodore Wullerstorff-Urbair, as well as the various
memoranda of the other members of the Scientific Commission, contributed
materially to the elucidation of my own general notes, as well as my
observations upon special subjects, which latter chiefly referred to the
Geography, Ethnography, and general Statistics of the various countries

While preparing the details of our voyage for publication in my own
language, the idea perpetually presented itself that a translation of this
narrative into English might prove not unacceptable to the British public.
And although fully aware that a voyage round the globe, in the course of
which little more than the coasts were visited of the various countries we
touched at, could not pretend to offer much new information to the
greatest of maritime nations, it seemed, nevertheless, that it might
interest a people so eager in the pursuit of knowledge as the English, to
know the impression which has been made upon travellers of education by
the Colonies and Settlements of Britain throughout the world.

The English language, moreover, being spoken more or less over the greater
part of the earth's surface, geographically speaking, the author who
addresses his readers in that tongue is sustained by the flattering
conviction that he will be understood by the majority of the nations of
the globe! For it is not alone the educated classes of all countries that
seek to master a language which possesses such a grand--all but unrivalled
literature! The political and commercial development which Great Britain
enjoys under the benign influence of liberal institutions, has made
English the medium of intercourse among almost all sea-faring nations;
nay, even barbarous tribes find it their obvious interest to get a slight
inkling at least of the language of a people whose civilizing and
elevating energies they may not, it is true, understand, far less
appreciate, but whose imposing power inspires them with awe, while they
are more closely attached by the tie of material advantage.

The following narrative describes the most important occurrences and most
lasting impressions of a voyage during which we traversed 51,686 miles,
visited twenty-five different places, and spent 551 days at sea, and 298
at anchor or on shore.

As the purely scientific results of the Expedition will be published
separately under the supervision of Commodore Wullerstorf and the other
members of the scientific corps, I shall, in this place, only attempt to
place before the reader a general outline of the countries and races
visited during our cruise in different regions of the world.

In relating simply and concisely what was seen and experienced, I have
endeavoured to avoid incurring the reproach, so frequently launched by
English critics against German works of travel, of dryness and minute
detail, such as render them distasteful to the English reader, and make it
almost impossible to enlist his attention or evoke his sympathy.

If, as is specially the case with respect to natural science, many a
doubtful point still remains undecided--if the ingenious "Suggestions" of
the immortal Alexander von Humboldt (for the translation of which I feel
particularly indebted to that profound scholar, my learned and esteemed
friend Mr. Haidinger, whose name will be familiar to the scientific world
in Great Britain), could not be acted upon to the extent and in the
effectual manner each of us could have wished, the reason for such
deficiencies will be found in the peculiar mission of the Expedition, and
in the arrangement of our route, which was specially laid out with
reference to the numerous and widely different objects, which it was
specially intended to keep in view throughout the voyage.

Among the more prominent of these, may be specified the opportunity thus
afforded for the practical instruction of our young and rapidly-increasing
navy; the unfurling of the Imperial flag of Austria in those distant
climes, where it had never before floated; the promulgation of commercial
treaties; the aid afforded to science in exploration and investigation, as
well as by the collection of those objects of Natural History, the
acquisition of which is all but impossible to the solitary naturalist,
owing to the expense and difficulty of transport,[1] and the establishment
everywhere of friendly correspondence between our own scientific
institutions and those in remote regions, I have considered it necessary
to invite the attention of the British reading public to these
circumstances, in order to make them more intimately cognisant of our
various and manifold tasks, and thus make them the more readily disposed
to overlook the deficiencies and discrepancies of this book, which I now
respectfully commit to their perusal.

[Footnote 1: Notwithstanding the short period at our disposal at each
port, which concomitant necessity militates so much against the practical
utility of a circumnavigation of the globe as compared with an expedition
solely directed to one single centre of scientific observation, the
collection of objects of Natural History made during the cruise are very
extensive, and unusually rich in new or rare species. The zoological
department alone embraces above 23,700 individuals of different kinds of
animals: viz. 440 mammalia, 300 reptiles, 1500 birds, 1400 _Amphibiæ_,
1330 fish, 9000 insects, 8900 Molluscs and _Crustaceæ_, 300 birds' eggs
and nests, besides numerous skeletons. The botanical collection consists
of _Herbaria_, seeds of useful plants, special regard being had to those
best adapted for the various climates of the respective Austrian
provinces, drugs, specimens of dye-woods, and timber, fruits preserved in
alcohol, &c. The Geological and Palæontological Museums of our country
have likewise been enriched with various rare and valuable specimens,
particularly in consequence of Dr. Hochstetter, the geologist of the
Expedition, having prolonged his stay in New Zealand, where, at the
special request of the Colonial Government, he explored the province of
Auckland. The Ethnographical and Anthropological collection consists of
above 550 objects, among which are 100 skulls, representing the craniology
of almost all the races of the globe.]

Before concluding, I beg leave to express my hearty thanks to all those
who have contributed in such various ways to aid my humble efforts--to
specify some were invidious, as in so doing I must wrong others. To each
and all I return the most heartfelt gratitude.

May the indulgent reader peruse the following pages with an approving
eye--may they afford him as much satisfaction and as much interest as I
experienced in committing to paper the descriptions and impressions
therein set forth, since in so doing, I, so to speak, made the delightful
voyage for the second time, and in thought visited once more the different
localities, from every one of which I, and my fellow-travellers, brought
away none but the most friendly and agreeable recollections.

It inspires a _German_ traveller with a peculiar and lofty feeling of
pride and delight that he can look upon himself as belonging to a race, to
whom seems to have been reserved the diffusion of a New Life over the
earth--whose special mission it appears to be to make even the most
primitive tribes in the remotest corner of the world acquainted with the
blessings of Christian civilization, of political liberty, of intellectual
culture, and, standing triumphant on the ruins of slavery and despotism,
to proclaim to the great family of universal mankind, the advent of a new,
a vernal era of Faith, Freedom, and Happiness!

                                           DR. KARL SCHERZER.

TRIESTE, _18th March, 1861_.


                              CHAPTER I.

                      PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE.


   Approval of the Plan to fit out an Austrian Man-of-War for a
     Voyage round the World.--Object of the Expedition.--
     Appointment of a Scientific Commission.--Preparations.--
     Fitting out the Frigate _Novara_ at Pola.--Departure for
     Trieste.--Visit of the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian on board.      1

                              CHAPTER II.

                      FROM TRIESTE TO GIBRALTAR.

   Departure.--Fair Voyage down the Adriatic.--A Man lost and found
     again.--Passage through the Straits of Messina.--The Steamer
     _Sta. Lucia_ returns to Trieste.--Regulations and Instructions
     for further Proceedings.--A Day on Board the _Novara_.--
     Sunrise.--Cleaning the Ship.--Mental and Physical Occupation.--
     Moonlight at Sea.                                                  11

                             CHAPTER III.


   Political Significance of the Rock.--Courtesy of the British
     Authorities.--Fortifications.--Signal Stations.--The only
     Place in Europe frequented by Monkeys.--Calcareous Caves.--
     Chief Entrances into the Town.--Shutting the Town Gates.--
     Public Establishments.--Inhabitants.--Elliott's Gardens.--The
     Isthmus, or Neutral Ground.--Algeziras.--Ceuta.--Commerce and
     Navigation.--Excellent Regulation in the English Navy relative
     to Officers' Outfit.--Small-pox appears on board the
     _Caroline_.--Departure from Gibraltar.--A Fata Morgana.--The
     _Novara_ passes the Straits.--Takes leave of Europe.--Voyage
     to Madeira.--Floating Bottles to ascertain the Currents.--
     Arrival in the Roads of Funchal.                                   29

                             CHAPTER IV.


   First Impressions.--Difficulty in Landing.--Description of the
     Island.--History.--Unfavourable Political Circumstances
     connected with the Cultivation of the Ground.--Aqueducts.--
     First Planting of the Sugar-cane.--Culture of the Vine.--Its
     Disease and Decay.--Cochineal as a Compensation for its Loss.--
     Prospects of Success.--Climate.--A favourable Winter Residence
     for the Consumptive.--Strangers.--First Appearance of the
     Cholera.--Observations with the Ozonometer.--Great Distress
     among the Lower Classes.--Liberal Assistance from England.--
     Decline of Commerce.--Inhabitants and their Mode of Life.--
     Decrease of the Population, and its Causes.--Benevolent
     Institutions.--Public Libraries.--The Cathedral.--Barracks.--
     Prison.--Environs of Funchal.--Excursion to St. Anna.--Ascent
     of the Pico Ruivo.--Singular Sledge Party.--Return to
     Funchal.--Departure.                                               58

                              CHAPTER V.

                           RIO DE JANEIRO.

   Brazil the Land of Contrasts.--Appearance of the City of Rio and
     its Environs.--Excursion to the Peak of Corcovado, and the
     Tejuca Waterfalls.--Germans in Rio.--Brazilian Literary Men.--
     Assacú (_Hura Brasiliensis_.)--Snake-bite as an Antidote
     against Leprosy.--Public Institutions.--Negroes of the
     Mozambique Coast.--The House of Misericordia.--Lunatic
     Asylum.--Botanical Garden.--Public Instruction.--
     Historico-Geographical Institution.--_Palæstra Scientifica._--
     Military Academy.--Library.--Conservatory of Music.--Sanitary
     Police.--Yellow Fever and Cholera.--Water Party on the Bay.--
     Chamber of Deputies.--Petropolis.--Condition of the Slave
     Population.--Prospects of German Emigration.--Suitability of
     Brazil as a Market for German Commerce.--Natural Products, and
     Exchange of Manufactures.--Audience of the Emperor and
     Empress.--Extravagant Waste of Powder for Salvoes.--Songs of
     the Sailors.--Departure from Rio.--Retrospect.--South-east
     Trades.--Cape Pigeons.--Albatrosses--Cape Tormentoso.--A Storm
     at the Cape.--Various Methods of Measuring the Height of
     Waves.--Arrival in Simon's Bay.                                   121

                              CHAPTER VI.

                          CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

   Contrasts of Scenery and Seasons at Cape Colony.--Ramble through
     Simon's Town.--Malay Population.--The Toad-fish, or
     Sea-devil.--Rondebosch and its delightful Scenery.--Cape
     Town.--Influence of the English Element.--Scientific and other
     Institutions.--Botanical Gardens.--Useful Plants.--Foreign
     Emigration.--A Caffre Prophet and the Consequences of his
     Prophecies.--Caffre Prisoners in the Armstrong Battery.--Five
     young Caffres take Service as Sailors on Board the _Novara_.--
     Trip into the Interior.--Stellenbosch.--Paarl.--Worcester.--
     Brand Vley.--The Mission of Moravian Brethren at Genaadendal.--
     Masticatories and intoxicating Substances used by the
     Hottentots.--Caledon.--Somerset West.--Zandvliet.--Tomb of a
     Malay Prophet.--Horse Sickness.--Tsetse-fly.--Vineyards of
     Constantia.--_Fête Champétre_ in Honour of the _Novara_.--
     Excursion to the actual Cape of Good Hope.--Departure.--A Life
     saved.--Experiments with Brook's Deep-sea Sounding Apparatus.--
     Arrival at the Island of St. Paul in the South Indian Ocean.      196

                             CHAPTER VII.


   Former History.--Importance of the Situation of St. Paul.--
     Present Inhabitants.--Preliminary Observations.--To whom do
     the Islands belong?--Fisheries.--Hot springs.--Singular
     Experiment.--Penguins.--Disembarkation.--Inclement Weather.--
     Remarks on the Climate of the Island.--Cultivation of European
     Vegetables.--Animal Life.--Library in a Fisherman's Hut.--
     Narrative of old Viot.--Re-embarkation.--An official Document
     left behind.--Some Results obtained during the Stay of the
     Expedition.--Visit to the Island of Amsterdam.--Whalers.--
     Search for a Landing-place.--Remarks on the Natural History of
     the Islands.--A Conflagration.--Comparison of the Two
     Islands.--A _Rencontre_ at Sea.--Trade-wind.--Christmas at
     Sea.--"A man overboard!"--Cingalese Canoe.--Arrival at Point
     de Galle, in Ceylon.                                              267

                             CHAPTER VIII.


   Neglect of the Island hitherto by the English Government.--
     Better Prospects for the Future.--The Cingalese, their
     Language and Customs.--Buddhism and its Ordinances.--Visit to
     a Buddhist Temple in the Vicinity of Galle.--The sacred
     Bo-tree.--Other Aborigines of Ceylon.--The Weddàhs.--
     Traditions as to their Origin.--Galle as a City and Harbour.--
     Snake-charmers.--Departure for Colombo.--Cultivation of the
     Cocoa-nut Palm a benevolent, Buddha-pleasing work.--
     Polyandria; or, Community of Husbands--Supposed Origin.--
     Annual Exportation of Cocoa-nuts.--Rest-houses for
     Travellers.--Curry the national Dish.--A Misfortune and its
     Consequences.--The Catholic Mission of St. Sebastian de Makùn,
     and Father Miliani.--Annoying Delays with restive Horses.--
     Colombo.--A Stroll through the "_Pettah_," or Black Town.--Ice
     Trade of the Americans with Tropical Countries.--Cinnamon
     Gardens and Cinnamon Cultivation.--Consequences of the
     Monopoly of Cinnamon.--Rise and Expansion of the Coffee
     Culture in Ceylon.--Pearl-fishery.--Latest Examination of the
     Ceylon Banks of Pearl Oysters, by Dr. Kelaart, and its
     Results.--Aripo at the Season of Pearl-fishing.--The Divers.--
     Pearl-lime, a chewing Substance of wealthy Malays.--Annual
     Profit of the Pearl-fishery.--Origin of the Pearl.--Poetry and
     Natural Science.--Artificial Production of the Pearl.--The
     Chank-shell.--The Wealth of Ceylon in Precious Stones.--Visit
     to a Cocoa-nut Oil Manufactory.--The Cowry-shell, a Promoter
     of the Slave Trade.--Discovery of valuable Cingalese MSS. on
     Palm-leaves.--The heroic Poem of "Mahawanso," and Turnour's
     English Translation of it.--Hospitality of English Officials
     in Colombo.--A second Visit to Father Miliani.--Agreeable
     Reception.--The Antidote-oil against Bites of Poisonous
     Snakes.--Adventures on the Journey back to Galle.--Ascent of
     Adam's Peak by two Members of the Expedition.--The Sacred
     Footprint.--Descent.--The "Bullock-bandy," or Native Waggon.--
     Departure from Galle for Madras.--The Bassos (Shallows).--A
     Berlin Rope-dancer among the Passengers.--Nyctalopia; or,
     Night Blindness.--Fire on Board.--Arrival in Madras Roads.        345

                                CHAPTER IX.


   "Catamarans" and "Masuli" Boats.--Difficulty of Disembarkation,
     and Plans for remedying it.--History.--Brahminism.--Festival
     in Honour of Vishnù.--Employment of Heathens under a Christian
     Government.--Politics and Religion.--Laws of Brahminic Faith.--
     The Observatory.--Museum of Natural History and Zoological
     Garden.--Academy of Fine Arts.--Medical School.--Infirmary.--
     Orphan Asylum.--Dr. Bell.--Lancastrian Method of Teaching
     Children first Applied in Madras.--Colonel Mackenzie's
     Collection of Indian Inscriptions and MSS.--The Palace of the
     former Nabob of the Coromandel Coast.--Journey by Rail to
     Vellore.--_Féte_ given by the Governor in Guindy Park.--Visit
     to the Monolithic Monuments of Mahamalaipuram.--Excursion to
     Pulicat Lake.--Madras Club.--_Féte_ in Honour of the Members
     of the _Novara_ Expedition.--"Tiffin" and Dance on Board.--
     Departure from Madras.--Zodiacal Light.--Shrove Tuesday in the
     Tropics.--Arrival at the Island of Kar-Nicobar.                   424

                       LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

                               VOL. I.


         The Track Of The Austrian Imperial Frigate
           Novara.                            _frontispiece_

         Letter.                                         iii

         Letter Continued.                                iv

         Notes.                                          xvi

         Departure.                                        1

         Gun-room of the _Novara_.                         4

         Plate: Vertical Section of the Frigate
           "Novara".                                       7

         Geodetical and Astronomical Instruments.         10

         Look-out Man.                                    11

         Track from Triest To Madeira.                    11

         "Palinurus".                                     16

         Seamen off duty.                                 21

         View of Gibraltar from Seaward.                  28

         Rock of Gibraltar.                               29

         Rock Cavern in Gibraltar.                        34

         South Gate, Gibraltar.                           38

         Inhabitant of Frangola.                          47

         Cape Trafalgar.                                  52

         Loo Rock (Madeira).                              57

         Scene in Madeira.                                58

         Bridge over the Ribeiro Seco.                    70

         Carapuça, or Cap worn by the Natives of
           Madeira.                                       91

         Cathedral of Madeira.                            95

         Sleigh party in Madeira.                         97

         Village of Fayal.                                99

         "El Homem em pié".                              101

         Erica Trees.                                    103

         Track From Madeira to Rio Di Janeiro.           107

         Cape Frio.                                      120

         The Quay at Rio.                                121

         Island of Paquità, Bay of Rio.                  156

         Track from Rio Di Janeiro to the Cape
           Of Good Hope.                                 182

         Cabo Tormentoso.                                195

         Cape Town.                                      196

         Rifle Volunteer _Fête_ at Stellenbosch.         217

         Paine's Kloef as it was.                        220

         Paine's Kloef as it is.                         220

         Crossing the Breede River.                      226

         Hot Springs of Brand Vley.                      227

         Hottentot Huts at Genaadendal.                  233

         Church and Mission Houses of the Moravian
           Settlement at Genaadendal.                    237

         Tomb of a Malay Prophet at Zandvliet.           245

         Interior of the Mausoleum.                      246

         Tsetse Fly.                                     252

         Track from the Cape Of Good Hope to St. Paul's
           Island.                                       259

         Arrival at St. Paul.                            266

         View of St. Paul.                               267

         Distant view of Crater-Basin of St. Paul.       275

         Rainy day at St. Paul.                          300

         Track from St. Paul to Point De Galle (Ceylon). 309

         Cingalese Canoe.                                344

         View of Adam's Peak from Colombo.               345

         Buddha Temple near Galle.                       353

         Interior of a House at Galle.                   359

         Track from Point De Galle To Madras.            418

         Masuli Boat at Madras.                          423

         View of Madras (and Proposed Pier).             424

         The Holy Mountain.                              458

         The god Ganeza.                                 461

         Bivouac at Mahamalaipuran.                      464

         Bas-relief on one of the Monolith Temples.      467

         Entrance to One of the Temples.                 470

         Track from Madras to the Nicobar Islands.       480

         Arrival at Kar-Nicobar.                         482

[Illustration: LETTER.]

Transcriber's Note: The text of the letter above, along with supplemental
address information, are in the first volume of the German edition:

  Sr. Hochwohlgeboren
  dem Herrn Oberst von Wüllerstorf,
  kais. kön. Linienschiffs-Capitän,
  Befehlshaber S. Maj. Fregatte Novara,
  Ritter hoher Orden &c. &c. &c.

               Hochwohlgeborener Herr,

             Hochzuverehrender Herr Oberst, k. k. Linien-Schiffs-Capitän.

Ew. Hochwohlgeb. wollen, als Befehlshaber Sr. Maj. Fregatte Novara, die zu
einem großen, edeln, das deutsche Vaterland und die Wissenschaft ehrenden
Unternehmen durch kaiserliche Huld bestimmt ist, den Ausdruck meiner
Verehrung nachsichtsvoll empfangen, indem ich, von der Zeit naher Abfahrt
in halber Genesung bedrängt, es wage, Ihnen einige _physikalische_ und
_geognostische Erinnerungen_ ganz gehorsamst vorzulegen, von denen Einiges
vielleicht den ausgezeichneten Gelehrten, die die Expedition zu begleiten
das Glück haben, von Nuzen sein kann. Ich würde dies Wenige nicht
angeboten haben, wenn eine so genädige und liebenswürdige Aufforderung Sr.
kaiserl. Hoheit des Herrn Erzherzogs Ferdinand Maximilian mich nicht dazu
bestimmt hätte. Was ich Nautisches über Richtung und Temperatur der
Meeresströhmungen, über die magnetischen Curven eingeflochten habe, muß
ich besonders _Ihrer_ Nachsicht empfehlen. Wenn man erinnert, scheint man
belehren zu wollen, und von dieser Anmaßung bin ich weit entfernt. Da kein
Entwurf, keine Abschrift meiner, wenigstens fleißigen, mit Zahlen
überladenen Arbeit existirt, so wäre es vielleicht vorsichtig, sie von
Jemand, der der behandelten Gegenstände kundig ist, abschreiben zu lassen.
Meine gelehrten und mir lieben Freunde Dr. Ferdinand Hochstetter, Dr. Karl
Scherzer und Dr. Robert Lallemant, der mich bei seiner letzten Durchreise
durch Berlin, um mir sein wichtiges Werk über das Gelbe Fieber in der
Tropenzone zu geben, verfehlt hat, wage ich dringend Ihrem besonderen
Schuze und Wohlwollen zu empfehlen.

Mit der innigsten Verehrung und den heißesten Wünschen für den Erfolg
eines so schön vorbereiteten Unternehmens

                              Ew. Hochwohlgeboren

                                               Al. Humboldt.

Berlin, den 7. April 1857 Nachts.



                       ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT.

In compliance with the gracious invitation which H.I.H. the Archduke
Ferdinand Maximilian was pleased to address to me from Trieste (December
12th, 1856), and as yet barely recovered from an indisposition, I jot down
these hasty notes, without presuming to give definite instructions, such
as those I drew up, conjointly with M. Arago, for the guidance of the
French expeditions, or for Lord Minto, then First Lord of the Admiralty,
on the occasion of the Antarctic Voyage of Discovery of Sir James Ross
(1840-43). The following pages consist simply of hints which may possibly
prove serviceable to the distinguished and highly informed gentlemen, who
have the good fortune to sail on board the Imperial Frigate, _Novara_,
under the command of Commodore von Wüllerstorf. With two of these savans,
Dr. Ferdinand Hochstetter and Dr. Karl Scherzer, I have had the pleasure,
here in Berlin, to agree verbally on various subjects.

As I do not exactly know what course it is intended the _Novara_ shall
follow in navigating the Atlantic, nor in what meridian it is proposed to
cross the Equator, (in conformity with the sound and useful directions of
my friend Lieut. Maury, of Washington), on her voyage to Rio de Janeiro,
nor how near she shall keep to Cape San Roque and Fernando de Noronha, I
must content myself with inviting the attention of the voyagers in a
general way to the temperature of the sea, as also to the variations and
aberrations of the magnetic curves, and their currents.

A lower degree of temperature is usually observed W. of the Canaries, and
Cape Verde Islands, commencing with the Salvages, the thermometer
indicating as low as 72°·7 Fahr. This has been already ascertained by Mr.
Charles Deville, in his chart of temperature on the voyage "aux Antilles,
à Ténériffe et à Fogo." I consider this diminution of temperature results
from the North Guinea current, bringing with it cold water from the north
southwards as far as the Bight of Biafra and the River Gaboon, at which
point it is encountered by an opposite current flowing northwards along
the south-western coast of Africa from Loando and Congo.

In 1825, Captain Duperrey had accurately laid down the point of
intersection of the magnetic, with the terrestrial equator. In 1837, we
learned from Sabine's investigations of magnetic inclination near the
Island of St. Thomas (on the Equator, adjoining the above portion of the
coast of Africa), that this point of intersection had already shifted
four degrees to the westward. A period of twenty years having elapsed
since Sabine's expedition for determining observations with the pendulum,
it would be most desirable that fresh investigations should be made in
that neighbourhood, for the purpose of verifying the secular changes of
all magnetic curves, especially with regard to their variation. In 1840,
the line of no declination in America began 9° 30' E. of South Georgia,
whence it ran to the S.E. coast of Brazil, near Cape Frio, thus traversing
the mainland of South America only between the latter point and the
parallel of 0° 36' S., when it leaves the continent a little to the east
of Gran Parà, near Cape Tigioca, cutting the terrestrial equator again,
but in 50° 6' W. According to Bache's Map of Equal Magnetic Declination,
it reaches the coast of North America near Cape Fear, to the south-west of
Cape Lookout. This line, along which the magnetic declination is _nil_,
extends to a point in Lake Erie, 2° 40' W. of Toronto, where the
declination is already 1° 27' W.[2]

[Footnote 2: Wherever, in this paper, it is not precisely expressed to the
contrary, the scale of the Centigrade Thermometer, the longitude from the
Meridian of Paris, the French foot (_pied du roi_=12·79 inches English),
and the geographical mile, 15 to a degree of the Equator, measuring 3807
"toises," are meant.]

It is evident from the observations of Captains Beechey and Findley, and
still more particularly from those of the French Captain Kerhallet, that
the remarkable subdivision of the main equinoctial current, flowing from
east to west into two branches, one directed to the N.W., the other to the
S.S.W., commences at a considerable distance from the Capes of St. Roque
and St. Augustin. This bifurcation has always, and with good reason, been
ascribed to the protruding convexity of the South American continent at
these two promontories. It would be an important step gained in verifying
the theory of currents, could the precise distance be ascertained by
chronometer. It is apparently like an "_actio in distans_," probably a
phenomenon of what is known as "packing." As the frigate, on leaving Rio
de Janeiro is to make for the Cape of Good Hope, the opportunity will
present, should she steer sufficiently southerly, for many interesting
observations with respect to the _connecting current_ W.N.W. and E.S.E.
which encounters that from Madagascar and Mozambique, close to the Cape,
more especially with regard to the temperature of the sea.

If the frigate is intended to approach the small cluster of islands of
Fernando de Noronha, E. of Pernambuco (Lat. 3° 50' S.), I would recommend
to that excellent geognostic, Dr. Hochstetter, the hornblendic phonolithe
rock found there, far from a volcanic crater, but with trachytic dykes and
basaltic amygdaloid. The flat little island of St. Paul (Peñedo de San
Pedro), 1° N. Lat., singular to say, is not volcanic at all, containing,
like the Malouin or Falkland Islands, slaty green-stone passing into

Should the frigate alter her course and cross the Equator more to the
eastward, without touching at Rio de Janeiro, she might possibly fall in
with the Marine Volcanic region, (Lat. 0° 20' S., Long. 22° W.), which
has quite lately become famous again by the U. S. Expedition of the Brig
_Dolphin_ (1854), commanded by Lieutenant Lee. On 19th May, 1806, columns
of black smoke were seen issuing from the sea by Krusenstern, and volcanic
ashes were gathered, after a singular bubbling of the sea from 1748 to
1836, according to careful investigations by Daussy.

As the frigate is commissioned to visit Ceylon and the Nicobar Islands,
she cannot sail direct from the Cape to Australia; and the hope must
therefore be abandoned of her visiting the small basaltic islands, known
as Prince Edward's (47° 2' S., 38° E.), and Possession (46° 28' S., 47°
30' E.), belonging to the Crozet's Group, or the two islands, long
confounded with each other, of Amsterdam (Lat. 37° 48' S.) and St. Paul
(Lat. 38° 38' S.) The latter island, the more southerly of the two, (a
very characteristic drawing of which was given by Willem de Vlaming so far
back as 1696), is supposed to be volcanic, not only by its form, which
will at once remind the geologist of Santorin, Barren Island, and
Deception Island, (one of the New Shetland group), but also in consequence
of the eruption of steam, and the flames occasionally observed there.

As for Amsterdam, which consists of a single densely-wooded mountain, the
puzzle remains for solution as to how, during the expedition of
D'Entrecasteaux in 1792, the whole island seemed, during two entire days,
enveloped in smoke; whereas, on landing there, the naturalists of that
expedition were satisfied that the mountain was not an active volcano,
and that the columns of steam issued out of the ground near the shore! As
yet, the phenomenon remains entirely unexplained.

If we examine any map of the Indian Ocean, we may trace the continuation
of the Sunda group from Sumatra, N.W., through the Nicobar, and Great and
Little Andaman Islands, and thence through the volcanoes of Barren Island,
Narcondam and Cheduba, nearly parallel with the coasts of Malacca and
Tenasserim, all on the eastern part of the Bay of Bengal. The minor
volcanoes just enumerated will present valuable opportunities of
geological enquiry.

Along the coasts of Orissa and Coromandel, the western portion of the Bay
of Bengal is quite free of islands, Ceylon, like Madagascar presenting
rather the type of a continent.

Off the W. coast of the peninsula of India, (that is opposite the
Neilgherrie hills, and the coast of Canara and Malabar), there is a series
of three archipelagoes, extending from 14° N. to 8° S., viz., the
Laccadives, the Maldives, and the Chagos, which appears, as it were,
continued through the banks of Sahia di Malha, and Cargados Carajos, to
the volcanic group of the Mascarenhas and Madagascar. As the first-named
archipelagoes, so far as is yet known, consist solely of coral, and are,
consequently, true "atolls," or reef-lagoons, the bottom of the ocean
should be examined over a large extent, adopting the ingenious hypothesis
of Darwin, that it is to be considered _as an area of subsidence_, rather
than an elevated region.

It would also be a matter of great importance to get observations
respecting terrestrial magnetism, particularly so as to define the
position of a given segment of the magnetic equator. Capt. Elliott, as the
result of his comprehensive studies, (1846-49), ascertained that the
magnetic equator passes through the north end of Borneo, and thence nearly
due W. to the northern extremity of Ceylon. In this region the curve of
minimum intensity is nearly parallel to the magnetic equator, which
intersects the Continent of Africa near Cape Guardafui--according to
Rochet d'Héricourt, in lat. 10° 7' N., long. 38° 5'. E. Between this point
and the Bight of Biafra nothing is known.

The South Asiatic islands comprise Formosa, the Philippines, the Sunda
group, and the Moluccas. The great and little Sunda Islands and the
Moluccas embrace 109 volcanoes, with fiery eruptions, and 10 what are
called mud-volcanoes. This is not a mere estimate, but is the result of an
enumeration by Junghuhn, who, within the last year (1856), has returned to
Java, and thoroughly equipped by M. Pahud, Governor-General of the Indian
Netherlands, will be of great assistance to the Imperial Expedition.

An exact mineralogical determination of the volcanic rocks (trachytes) is
unfortunately wanting everywhere.

The most active volcano of Sumatra is the Gunung Merapi (8980 feet), which
must not be confounded with a volcano in Java, of the same name. That of
Sumatra was ascended by Dr. L. Horner, and Dr. Korthals in 1834. We may
pronounce Indrapura (11,500 feet, but this measurement is very uncertain),
and Gunung Pasoman (9010 feet), the Ophir of our maps, to be utterly
unknown geologically. The highest of the Java volcanoes is Gunung Semeru
(11,480 feet), ascended by Junghuhn in 1844, 1220 feet higher than the
Etna. The largest craters of the 45 which are disposed in a line along the
shores of Java, are Gunung Tengger, and Gunung Raou. Dr. Junghuhn has
recently given the outlines of each separate volcano in his splendid
topographical and geological map of Java, in four sheets, published in
1856, which does great credit to the Dutch Government.

The following subjects are worthy of special attention while the frigate
is at Java.

1. The curious phenomenon of the ribbed surface. (_Vide_ Junghuhn, Java,
Part II., p. 608.)

2. The disposition, as yet unaccounted for, of a series of
regularly-shaped hills, formed by the mud-streams ejected in the year 1822
by the volcano of Gunung Galungung. (_Vide ut suprà_, pp. 127-731.)

3. The ejection of water by the Gunung Idjen, on 21st January, 1817, (pp.
707, and 717-121).

4. The erroneousness of the assertion that the volcanoes of the Island of
Java do not emit streams of real lava.

It must be admitted that the mighty Javanese volcano, Gunung Merapi,
already alluded to, has not, within the historic period, presented any
coherent compact streams of lava, but mere fragments and boulders;
although in 1837, lines of fire were seen running uninterruptedly from
the top down the sides of the cones in eruption. But each of the three
volcanoes, Tengger, Idjen, and Slamat, present examples of black lava
currents, descending as far as the tertiary strata.

Streams of stone-boulders, red-hot, similar to those of the Cotopaxi, but
scarcely touching each other, flowed from Gunung Lamorgan on 6th July,

No active volcano is known in the island of Borneo. The highest mountain
of the whole island, perhaps of the whole insular world of Southern Asia,
is the Hina Baïlu (12,850 feet?) on the northern point of Borneo. It is as
yet unexplored. According to Dr. Lewis Horner, son of the astronomer of
the Krusenstern expedition, there occur among the syenite and serpentine
mountain range of Rathus, on the S.E. of the island, deposits yielding
gold (which has even been worked by diggings), diamonds, platinum,
iridium, and osmium,--presenting, in fact, a similar association to those
of the Ural mountains. No mention is made of palladium. Rajah (now Sir
James) Brooke describes in the province of Sarawak in Borneo, a low hill,
Gunung Api ("hill of fire" in Malay), the slags of which attest former
volcanic activity. A visit to Borneo would be of very great service.

There are eleven volcanoes in Celebes, and six in Flores, all active.

It is still uncertain whether the conical mountain Wawari, or Atiti,
which is more generally known as the volcano of the island of Amboyna,
ever poured out anything except hot mud (1674), or whether it should be
merely classed as a _solfatara_. The main group of the South Asiatic
Islands is connected through the Moluccas and the Philippines with the
Papua and Pellew islands, and the Caroline Archipelago of the South Sea.

The most important geological fact to be remarked with reference to the
island of Formosa, abounding in mineral coals, is the break in the line of
direction of the open vents, when, instead of N.E. to S.W., the central
line follows the meridian line, which it pursues nearly as far as 6° S.,
passing through Formosa and the Philippine Islands (Luzon and Mindanao),
respecting which deviation nothing certain is known, and in which region
every mountain of conical shape, or outline is invariably set down as a
volcano, even though there should be no indications of a crater. The
Sooloo Archipelago forms the connecting link between the islands of Borneo
and Mindanao, the long, narrow island of Palawan, constituting that
between Borneo and Mindoro.

The Island of Yesso, separated from that of Niphon by the Straits of
Sangar, or Tsugar, and from the islands of Krafto (Saghalien) and Tschoka,
or Tarakai, by the Straits of La Pérouse, connects, through its North
Eastern Cape, with the archipelago of the Kuriles. From Broughton's
Southern Vulcan Bay up to its northernmost point, Yesso is traversed by an
uninterrupted range of volcanoes--a fact the more worthy of being
recorded, as in the expedition of La Pérouse there were found red porous
lavas, as well as wide areas, covered with slags, in the Baie des
Castries, in the narrow island of Krafto (Saghalien), which is, as it
were, merely a continuation of Yesso. In our own day these regions command
a higher interest, from a political point of view, more especially since
Russia, dissatisfied with the situation of Okhotsk, at the sanded mouth of
the Amoor, was anxious, after the destruction of Petropaulowski, on the
coast of Kamtschatka, to obtain, on the S.E. coast, a harbour suitable
for a military station.

Among the three islands which form the main portion of the Japanese
Empire, six volcanoes are known to have had eruptions in the historic
period. The volcano, Fusi Jama, in Niphon, province of Suruga (Lat. 35°
18' N., Long. 136° 15' E., altitude 11,675 feet), is said to have risen
out of the plain 286 years before the Christian era. Its last eruption was
in 1707. The volcano, Asama Jama, in the district of Saku, between the
meridians of the two capitals, Miaco and Jeddo, was last in eruption in
1783. On the island of Kiusiu, adjoining the peninsula of Corea, four
volcanoes are situated, from one of which, called Wanzen, there was a most
destructive eruption in 1793.

The beautiful work of Commodore Perry, U.S.N., detailing his mission to
Japan, on the part of the United States Government, in 1852, containing
excellent photographs of races, as also drawings by the Berlin artist,
Wilhelm Heine, does not, as yet, comprise the scientific results of that

Proceeding northwards, the volcanoes are more densely crowded, and are
found arranged in series. Of the fifty-four which I enumerated as still in
activity among the islands of Eastern Asia, there are thirty-four on the
Aleutian, and ten on the Kurile Islands. The Peninsula of Kamtschatka
contains nine volcanoes, which have been in activity within the historic
period. Lying under the 54th and 60th degrees of northern latitude, we see
a long strip of sea-bottom between two continents undergoing a perpetual
process of destruction and re-arrangement.

The South Sea, the superficial extent of which is one-sixth greater than
that of the entire solid crust of our planet, actually presents a smaller
number of active volcanoes, less vents for communication between the
centre of the earth and its atmospheric envelope, than the single Island
of Java! Out of 40 volcanic cones, including those which are extinct, only
26 have been seen in eruption during the historic period. They are not
scattered at random, but, on the contrary, as was pointed out by Mr. James
Dana, the ingenious geologist of the great United States Exploring
Expedition, under the command of Capt. Wilkes (1838-42), they have been
thrown up, at widely extending clefts, communicating by submarine mountain
systems. They are arranged in groups and distinct regions, analogous to
the mountain chains of Central Asia and Armenia (in the district of the
Caucasus), and belong to two quite distinct systems, one running S.E. to
N.W., the other S.S.W. to N.N.E.

In the Hawaiian Archipelago (or Sandwich Island group), we find Mauna Loa,
according to Wilkes, 12,900 feet in height, which does not present any
cone of volcanic scoriæ (resembling, in this particular, the volcanoes of
the Eifel), but has emitted streams of lava. The lava basin of Killauea,
13,000 feet in its greatest, by 4800 in its smallest diameter, is not a
_solfatara_, but a true lateral vent on the flank of the powerful Mauna
Loa itself, exactly resembling the less elevated sheet of lava of Arak.
Mauna Kea is 180 feet higher than Mauna Loa, but is extinct. Tafoa and
Amangura, in the Tonga group, are still in eruption, the last discharge of
lava having occurred in July, 1847. The volcano of Tanna was in full
eruption during Capt. Cook's Voyage of Discovery in 1774, as was also the
volcano of Ambrym, west of Malicollo in the archipelago of the New
Hebrides. At the south point of New Caledonia, lies Matthew's Rock, a
small smoking rocky island. The volcano of Santa Cruz, N.N.W. of Tina
Kora, with periodical eruptions occasionally occurring at intervals of 10
minutes, had been already noticed as a volcano by Mendana, so far back as
1595. In the Salomon Archipelago, there is found the volcano of Sesarga,
while others are said to be in full activity in the Marianas or Ladrones,
just like those of Guguan, Pagon, and El Volcan Grande de Asuncion, which
appear to have broken forth along a line that follows the meridian. In New
Britannia, three conical mountains were observed vomiting streams of lava,
by Tasman, Carteret, and Labillardière. There are two volcanoes in full
activity on the north-east coast of New Guinea, opposite Admiralty
Islands, which themselves are so rich in obsidian. In New Zealand,
numerous regions abound in basaltic and trachytic rocks. Of active
volcanoes there are Puhia-i-Wakati (the volcano of White Island), and the
lofty cone of Tongariro (5816 feet). To the absence of centres of volcanic
agency in New Caledonia, where sedimentary formations and seams of coal
have recently been discovered, is ascribed the vast development of coral
reefs. Dana was the first to ascend the Peak of Tafua, in the Island of
Upolu, one of the Samoa group, not to be confounded with the still active
volcano of Tafoa, south of Amangura, in the Tonga Archipelago. Dana found
in it a crater overgrown with thick forest. So, too, on the isolated Vaihu
or Easter Island group, there is found a range of conical mountains with
craters, but inactive.

Of the volcanic groups of the South Sea, the most violent is the farthest
east, adjoining the shores of the New World, viz., the archipelago of the
Gallipagos, which consists of five considerable islands, very admirably
described by Darwin. There are streams of lava down to the very shore of
the sea, but no pumice. Some of the trachytic lavas are said to abound
with crystals of albite. It is important to examine whether or not this
is oligoclase, as on Teneriffe, Popocatepetl, and Chimborazo; or
labradorite, as on Etna and Stromboli. Palagonite, exactly similar to that
of Iceland or in Italy, was discovered by Bunsen in the specimens of tufa
from Chatham Island, one of the Gallipagos.

New Holland does not show any signs of recent volcanic activity, except at
its most southern point (Australia Felix), at the foot of the Grampian
Mountains. N.W. from Port Philip, as also towards the Murray River, there
are numbers of volcanic cones and sheets or flows of lava.

It would be of great interest and utility to observe the relative
inclinations of the Magnetic and the Geographical Equators, by means of
the dip of the magnetic needle, though this will be rendered more
difficult, from the fact of the ship's course being easterly, that is,
contrary, to the Equinoctial current. As regards the low temperature of
the current, which I discovered in 1802, running up from 40° S. to the
Gallipagos along the coast of South America, and then turning westward, it
would be highly important to investigate whether in the eastern part of
the South Sea in 7° N. and between 117° and 140° W., there really exists
in every season a _counter current_ from west to east. But I need not
enlarge upon this topic to such attentive navigators.

The line of no inclination was crossed six times by Duperrey between 1822
and 1825. When I first discovered, near Truxillo, the low temperature of
the cold Peruvian current, it was 12°·8 Réaumur (60°·8 Fahr.). The
temperature observed in the course of twenty years by Mr. Dirckinck von
Holmfeld, in the neighbourhood of Callao, expressed in degrees of Réaumur,
were as follows:--

 September  1802     12°·8  (Fahr. 60°·8)  }  Thermometer in the air.
 November    "       12°·4  (  "   59°·9)  }  13°·3 Réaumur.
 December,  end of   16°·8  (  "   69°·8)  }  (61°·92 Fahr.)
 January    1825     12°·7  (  "   60°·57)
 February    "       15°·3  (  "   66°·42)
 March       "       15°·7  (  "   67°·32)
 April       "       14°·5  (  "   64°·62)

The temperature of the sea I found to be 22° Réaumur (81°·5 Fah.) north of
Cape Blanco, when on my way from Callao de Lima, at which point the cold
current diverged towards the Gallipagos.

Between the Gulfs of Guayaquil and Panama, north-east of the cold current,
the temperature of the sea during the month of April rose as high as
24°·5, (87°·12 Fahr.). Within the range of the current, Mr. Dirckinck had
carried on his observations in compliance with my instructions, by means
of thermometers that had been compared by Arago. Everywhere in the
current, in December 1824, he found from 16° to 18° (68° to 72°·5 Fahr.);
between Quilca and Callao, in January, 1825, from 18° to 19° (72°·5 to
74°·75 Fahr.); between Chorillos, near Lima (Lat. 12° 39' S.) and
Valparaiso, in August, 1825, from 13°·8 to 10°·5 (63°·05 to 55°·62 Fahr.);
between Chorillos and San Carlos de Chiloe, in June, 1825, from 18°·8 to
9°·2 (74°·3 to 52°·7).

In sailing from the Sandwich Islands to the west coast of America, the
Imperial Expedition will have to choose between the Ports of San Francisco
or Acapulco. The first choice would be of great mineralogical advantage
for those regions of the United States, lying North of the river Gila.[3]
Parallel with the chain of the Rocky Mountains, which, according to
Marcou, contains up to the present day several volcanoes in full activity
in its northern part (Lat. 46° 12' N.), run single, and at certain points
double ranges of coast chains from San Diego to Monterey, from 32° 15' N.
to 46° 45' N. They begin with the coast range specially so-called, which
is a continuation of the high ridge of the Peninsula of Lower or Old
California; after which, farther to the North, there follow in succession,
first the Sierra Nevada di Alta California, between 36° and 38° N. the
lofty Shasty mountains, and the Cascade Range, nearly twenty six miles
distant from the littoral, including many high and active volcanoes, and
extending far beyond Fuca Straits. The following are still in
eruption:--Mount St. Elias (46° 2' N.); Mount Regnier, or Rainier, (46°
46'); and Mount Baker, (48° 48'.) These three active cones would be most
conveniently visited by the geologist of the expedition from San
Francisco, as would likewise the whole Cascade Range. We have as yet no
certain intelligence as to the geology of the entire longitudinal
auriferous valley of the Sacramento River, (where a trachytic crater, in
a state of disintegration, is known as the Butt of Sacramento). Does the
auriferous quartz occur in veins, and are these still _in situ_, or are
they broken up? What description of rock is traversed by these veins? Does
the wash-gold here contain occasionally, as in the Ural Mountains,
fragments of vein-stones with isolated cavities, in which are found
impressions of leaves and membranes, clearly proving that they have not
been rolled, or transported by water, any great distance to the spot they
now occupy? Have these been found, alongside of gold, diamonds, platinum,
osmium, iridium, or mercury?

[Footnote 3: The Gila falls into the Colorado about forty miles above the
embouchure of the latter into the head of the Gulf of California.]

Should the frigate steer for Acapulco, it may be assumed that there exists
an intention to cross the Continent to Mexico and Vera Cruz, from the
volcano of Colima (1877 toises) as it were, along the parallel of the
range of volcanoes, and greatest heights rising in detached groups between
the two seas, about the parallel of 19° N. New astronomical observations
are greatly needed for determining the position of the volcanoes of Colima
and Jorullo (667 toises). The volcano of Colima, with its twin peaks _de
fuego_ and _de nieve_, should be carefully examined, as also the volcano
of Jorullo, with the fragments of granite enclosed in its lava; the Nevado
de Toluca (2372 toises), Popocatepetl (2772 toises), Itztaccihuatl (2456
toises), Cofre de Perote (2098 toises), and the volcano of Tuxtla (18° 28'
N.), on the eastern slope of the Sierra St. Martin, from which a column of
flame shot up with great violence on 2nd March, 1793, a fair specimen of
what the Spaniards term _Malpays_, the Sicilians _Sciarra viva_. The face
of the country is covered over with boulders of lava, at San Nicolas de
los Ranchos, at the foot of Popocatepetl, adjoining the city of Puebla de
los Angeles, after which, on the road from Puebla to Vera Cruz, will be
observed two narrow strips of boulders of cooled basaltic lava, rich in
olivine. Similar examples will be found at Parage de Carros, near
Tochtilacuaja and Loma de Tablas, between Cancas and the Casas de la Hoja.
The mere ascension of volcanic cones is geologically of far less
importance, than the bringing away numerous specimens, carefully selected,
of various trachytic rocks, which, by their oryctognostical composition,
are characteristic of each volcano. I would nevertheless recommend that
the Pico del Fraile of the Toluca volcano (2372 toises) should be
ascended, proper caution being used. From this very sharp peak, I brought
away thin plates of trachyte perforated by lightning, and within the holes
of a melted glassy surface, resembling those brought from Little Ararat.
Both for the miner and geologist, an interesting and useful visit might be
paid to the rich mines of Guanaxuato and the Mines de la Biscaina and
Regla, on the road from Mexico to Real del Monte, so as to observe the
close connection subsisting between the richer silver ores, occurring in
trachytic porphyry without quartz, but with felspar, (glassy felspar?),
and the thoroughly volcanic Cerro del Jakal, abounding in obsidian, and
the Cerro de las Navajas (Razor Range), which remind one of the environs
of Schemnitz, with the sole exception, that the trachytes "_porphyres
meulières_" of Beudant, are wanting here.

As it is highly desirable that considerable time should be devoted to the
volcanoes of Quito, Peru, and Chili, it appears uncertain whether the
course of the frigate, on leaving Acalpulco, will be shaped direct for
Guayaquil, thus reversing the route taken by myself, or whether she will
not touch at some of the central American ports--Realejo or Sonsonate. The
crowded series of volcanoes in Central America, of which no less than
eighteen, conical or dome-shaped, may be considered as still in active
eruption, would yield a rich harvest of facts of all kinds in elucidation
of the theory of volcanic action, such as have never hitherto been
sufficiently taken advantage of. We are still in need of the mineralogical
determination of the rocks, while the form and situation of the mountain
masses have been well described by Squier, Oersted, and other modern
travellers. The greater number, indeed, of the eruptions of scoriæ and
slag were unaccompanied by streams of lava, as, for example, those of
Mount Isalco, abounding in ammonia. But recently eye-witnesses have
furnished us with quite different accounts regarding these eruptions, in
the case of several volcanoes--as the Nindiri (a twin volcano with that
called Massaya), on which Dr. Scherzer has lately shed much light; the
Volcano el Nuevo, erroneously called Volcano de las Pilas, that of
Coseguina, situated on the Great Bay of Fonseca, and that of San Miguel de
Bosotlan, from which there flowed an extensive stream of lava in July
1844. It would be most tempting to pass by land from Mexico southwards to
Oaxaca, and thence to the Isthmus of Guasacualco or Tehuantepec, and
Chiapas, so as to rejoin the frigate at Realejo or Sonsonate. Facts might
be obtained, in such a journey, of great value in determining the
dependence of geological phenomena on each other; but it is to be feared
it would be attended with too much fatigue and loss of time. For similar
reasons, it cannot be proposed that the scientific gentlemen attached to
the Expedition, should leave the frigate for three or four months, when
they reach Central America, in order to cross by rail the Isthmus of
Panama, with the object of examining the Volcancitos of Turbaco and Gabra
Zamba, both active, and thence ascend the Rio Magdalena from Carthagena de
las Indias, as far as Honda, whence they could proceed by Bogotà and
Popayan to Quitó.

It will be also unavoidable to forego the examination of the sedimentary
rocks, rich in fossils, between Honda, Bogotà and Ibagues, the Mastodon
fields (_Campos del Gigante_), and the Salto de Tegumidama on the plateau
of Bogotà, the wax palm (_Ceroxylon Andicola_), and the Azufrales of the
Passo de Quindiu, the volcanoes of Tolima, measured by myself and ascended
by Boussingault, and of Paramo de Ruiz (4° 15' N.), as also the two
volcanoes of Popayan, the Puracé and the much more interesting but now
extinct Sotará. As a middle course, I may suggest a disembarkation, not
exactly at Guayaquil, but on the gold and platinum coast of the Choco,
near San Buenaventura, so as to proceed thence to Popayan, and afterwards
return to the volcanoes of the province of Pasto, which are highly
important, and so on to Quitó, by way of Guachucal, Tulcan, and Villa de
Ibarra, rejoining the frigate only at Guayaquil.

I believe, however, it would be more advisable to select Quitó as the
starting-point, whence to examine the important elevated volcanic region
De los Pastos (between 2° 20' and 0° 56' N.), containing the volcano of
the town of Pasto, the volcanoes of Tuguerres, Chiles and Cumbal, and the
Azufral de Pasto, and not to land at any port of the Choco coast, not even
from the Bahia de Cupica, which for half a century I have recommended in
vain on account of its vicinity to the Rio Naipi, one of the tributaries
of the Atrato. In drawing up a list of names of the volcanoes of the
renowned lofty plateau of Quitó, I may include, Imbaburu, Cotocachi, Rucu,
Pichincha, Antisana, the much-disputed question of the stony walls like
streams of lava, on the east slope of Tana Volcan, and Reventazon de
Ansango; Cotopaxi, with its strange inexplicable quarries of pumice, of
Guapecho and Zumbalica, in the neighbourhood of Llactacunga and San
Felipe, the pumice containing oligoclase, not glassy felspar, deposited in
strata, like any rock _in situ_ for a considerable distance on all sides
of Cotopaxi; Tunguragua (mica slate), studded with garnets, and beds of
granite, which dip under the former, and have themselves been pierced by
the trachytes of Tungurahua at Rio Puela and the Hacienda de Ganace; the
hills of Moya, near the village of Pelilco, cast up in the celebrated
earthquake of 7th February, 1797, and still in a state of activity; the
Chimborazo, which M. Jules Rémy, accompanied by an Englishman named
Princkley, was in the belief they had ascended, on the 3rd of November,
1856, to the very summit, "_mais sans s'en douter_." Poggendorff, (Vol. X.
p. 480), has clearly demonstrated that the boiling point given by Rémy for
the summit, would not give 6544 mètres (little different from my own
trigonometrical admeasurement of 6530 mètres), but fully 7328 mètres. As I
distrust my own half-barometical measurements, I have vainly implored
travellers, these fifty years past, to have a new series of
trigonometrical observations made of the summit of Chimborazo. The merit,
then, of settling this moot point, it also remains for the members of the
_Novara_ Expedition to obtain.

It would be important to examine the Sangay (16,068 feet)--which, like
Stromboli, is in constant activity, yet without any traces of
lava-streams--on account of the grains of quartz discovered by Wisse in
the trachytic boulders ejected by the volcano, which is of such rare
occurrence in the trachytes out of Hungary; and also on account of the
close vicinity of beds of granite and gneiss, which are broken through by
the Sangay trachyte, forming an island, as it were, of not hardly two
miles in breadth. Still more deserving of attention is the extinct volcano
El Altar de los Collanes (Capac Urcù) a sketch of which I presented in
the atlas published in my "Kleine Schriften" (Plate V. p. 461), formerly
higher than Chimborazo, and still (?) 16,380 feet. Not a single specimen
of its trachyte has ever been deposited in a European museum. The Altar
itself is readily accessible from Riobamba Nuevo. In its vicinity may also
be seen mica slate and gneiss, cropping out at the Paramo del Hatillo near
Guamote, and Teocaxas, which are so seldom fallen in with in the highlands
of Quitó. Tradition relates that gold-mines were worked here during the
days of the Incas, in the neighbourhood of volcanic trachytes. From the
Altar the geologist might proceed, by way of San Luis, (Query, whether the
primitive clay-slate found here be of the Silurian formation?) and
Guamote, to Paramo del Assuay (2428 toises), and Cuenca, as far as Atausca
(2° 13' S.), where an immense mass of sulphur, lying in a quartz seam is
worked, forming a bed in the mica slate. Of what rock does the easily
accessible Cayambe Urcù (18,170 feet) consist, crossing the Equator, S.E.
of Otavalo? _En route_ from Quitó to Cayambe, the rich deposits of
obsidian near Quinche should also be inspected, which furnished the large
mirrors to the Incas, and farther to the north of which are the volcanoes
of Los Pastos, which form a separate system by themselves.

For examining the rocks and exploring the volcanoes of Southern Peru and
Bolivia--respecting which see the last edition of Pentland's Maps, not
those published between 1830 and 1848, in which the height of Sorata was
indicated at 3949 toises (25,257 feet), and Illimani at 3753 toises
(24,004), and accordingly both as much more lofty than Chimborazo, which
is 3350 toises (21,426 feet)--the best starting-point would be the port of
Arica, which may be reached, sailing the whole distance against the cold
current, from Guayaquil, after a short stay at Callao de Lima. Of the
volcanoes of Peru and Bolivia only three are now active.

(_a._) The volcano of Arequipa, three miles N.E. of the town of the same
name, which, according to Pentland and Rivero, is situated about 7366 feet
above the level of the sea. The measurements of M. Dolley, of the French
navy, which were published under my superintendence, give the summit of
the volcano as 10,348 feet above the town of Arequipa, so that its total
elevation above the sea would be 17,714 feet. In the table of heights for
Mrs. Somerville's "Physical Geography," Mr. Pentland speaks of the summit
as being 20,320 English feet in height, or 19,065 Paris feet, closely
approximating to the old trigonometrical measurement (19,080 feet) given
by Thaddeus Haenke, a Bohemian, who accompanied the expedition of
Malaspina, in 1769. What a deplorable state for the science of hypsometry
to be in! which the _Novara_ ought to put an end to. Samuel Anzon, a North
American, in 1811, and Dr. Weddell, in 1847, have ascended the volcano of

(_b._) Sahama (18° 7' S.), according to Pentland's new map of 1848, is 871
feet higher than Chimborazo (which he gives as 20,970 feet), and is still
active. The true heights of Illimani and Sorata, ascertained since 1848,
are, instead of 3949 and 3753 respectively, only 3329 toises (21,266
English feet), and 3307 toises (21,145 English feet).

(_c._) Volcano Gualatieri, in the Bolivian province of Carangas (18° 25'
S.), height 20,604 feet.

The southern group of South American volcanoes, that, of Chili, presents
the largest number of active fire-mountains--only second, indeed, to that
of Central America, there being from eleven to thirteen. In order to
increase the geological exploration of this region which has been so well
prepared by the memorable expedition under Captain Fitzroy, in the ships
_Adventure_ and _Beagle_, the excellent generalizing theories of Mr.
Darwin, and the naval astronomical expedition of Mr. Gilliss, for 1849-51,
the _Novara_ will probably land at Valparaiso. A great desideratum between
Coquimbo and Valparaiso is an exact measurement of--

_A_. The volcano of Aconcagua (32° 39' S.). Its height has been stated, in
1835, by Captain Fitzroy, as 21,767 feet, Pentland's correction assigning
22,431 feet; while Captain Kellet, of the frigate _Herald_, gives it as
21,584 feet. Miers and Darwin are both of opinion that the Aconcagua is
still in activity, which is denied by Pentland and Gilliss. The most
recent measurement of Aconcagua--that by Pissis in 1854 (see Gilliss, Vol.
I. p. 63)--makes the height 20,924 feet. M. Pissis has published, in the
"Anales de la Universidad de Chili," for 1852, the geodetical elements of
his survey, which is based upon eight triangles. Aconcagua being probably
the highest mountain in the New World, a new measurement is eminently
desirable. Neither Dhawalagiri, with his 4930 toises, nor Kintsinjunga,
measured by Colonel Waugh, with his 4406 toises, are any longer considered
the highest mountains in the Himalaya range, but the Deodunga (Mount
Everest), which is 29,003 English feet, equal to 27,212 Paris feet, or
4535 toises.

_B._ The volcano Maipu (34° 17' S., height 16,572 feet), ascended by
Meyen. The trachytic rock on the summit has broken through the Jurassic
strata, in which Leopold von Buch has ascertained, from heights of 9000
feet, the existence of _Exogyra couloni_, _Trigonia costata_, and
_Ammonites biplex_. This volcano has no streams of lava, but only
eruptions of volcanic slags. It would be most desirable that Dr.
Hochstetter should examine this remarkable protrusion of dislocated

_C._ The volcano Antuco (37° 7' S.), the geology of which was described by
Pöppig, is a lofty basaltic crater, having a trachytic cone rising up in
its centre to an elevation of 8672 feet. It was observed in full activity
by Domeyko in 1845. Gilliss gives an account of an eruption in 1853.
According to Domeyko, a fresh-burning cone was thrown up on the 25th of
November, 1847, which remained in activity for a whole year. Molina
considers the Nevada Descabezado (35° 1' S.), ascended by Domeyko, to be
the highest mountain in Chili; but its height is estimated by Gilliss at
only 12,300 feet. The most southerly volcanoes are the still active
Corcovado (43° 12' S.), 7046 feet; Yanteles (43° 29' S.), 7534 feet; and
the Volcan de San Clemente, opposite the granite formation on the
peninsula of Tres Montes. Still further south, in 51° 41' S., another, the
Volcan de los Gigantes, is laid down on the old maps of South America, by
La Cruz Olmedella, as opposite the archipelago of La Madre de Dios.

Should the _Novara_ return to Europe through the Straits of Maghellanes,
it would be very desirable the members of the Expedition should visit the
locality from which Prince Paul of Würtemberg, after long zoological
travels through North America, has, within the last year, brought back to
Germany a very large collection of specimens.

Altogether, I calculate the number of active volcanoes on the surface of
the earth to be upwards of 225--one-third of which, or 75, are upon the
various continents, and the remainder upon the insular world. The Western
Continent has 53 active volcanoes--of which, North-Western America, north
of the river Gila, has 5; Mexico, 4; Central America, 18; South America
about 26. Viewing the globe as a whole, there presents itself an extensive
oblique region in which volcanoes most abound, stretching from S.E. to
N.W. in the more westerly part of the Pacific, between 75° W. and 125° E.
of Paris, and between 47° S. and 66° N. In this region, the fused elements
of the interior of our earth may be said to be most permanently in
communication with the atmosphere.

The greatest attention should be paid, with the view of improving them,
to the sections and maps of Chili, contained in the work, "Buenos Ayres
and the Provinces of Rio de la Plata," published in 1852 by Sir Woodbine
Parish, and still more so, to that entitled "Map of the Republic of Chili,
compiled from the Surveys of Gilliss, Pissis, Allen, Campbell, and Claude
Gay, between 23° and 44° S., as contained in Gilliss' 'United States
Astronomical Expedition, 1847-52 Washington, 1855.'"

The chief object to be aimed at by the _Novara_, with respect to
scientific enquiry, seems to me to be the formation of a collection in the
Geological Institute of Vienna, in comparison to which all the collections
which at present aspire to be considered rich in volcanic specimens, (such
as those of Berlin, Paris and London), should appear to be insignificant.
In all periods of history, travellers are only the representatives of the
state of knowledge of their own time, and consequently, collections always
present the readiest means of promulgating new discoveries by
oryctognostical examination or chemical analysis. In order to set on foot
a grand Volcanic Museum, it would be necessary to bring home from every
one of the volcanoes visited, not less than 10 or 12, but still better 15
or 18, specimens of the porphyritic trachytes, all carefully selected,
well-shaped, containing crystals not disintegrated, and of sufficient size
to admit of a fresh fracture being made. For such quantities, however,
there cannot be provided on board ship, even with the kindest patronage of
the commanding officer, sufficient space for the accumulations of two
years' arduous efforts in forming a collection. The greatest part,
therefore, should be sent by other conveyance to Trieste, the most secure
channel being through the consuls of the Austrian Empire, or those of
allied powers, or through the medium of British, Dutch or American
mercantile establishments, or by the regular packets.

Duplicates, say four or five specimens, from each volcano, should be taken
on board the _Novara_ in boxes of about 3 feet long. It would be too
disheartening to have any misgivings of the success of this glorious
scheme for getting together a Museum of Volcanic Rocks in Vienna, of all
the regions of the globe, arranged upon a regular geographical system,
each labelled with its own name, so as to promote a general acquaintance
with these branches of knowledge:

   1. Europe.

   2. Atlantic Islands.

   3. Continent of Asia, South Coast of Arabia (Aden), Kamtschatka.

   4. Islands of Eastern Asia and India.

   5. The Indian Ocean.

   6. The Pacific.

   7. Continent of South America: Chili, Peru, Bolivia, Quitó and
      New Grenada.

   8. Central America.

   9. Mexico, south of the river Gila.

   10. North-Western America, north of the river Gila.

   11. West Indies.

Much of this work might be done on board the _Novara_. As to Nos. 3 and 4,
Kamtschatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands, the Red Sea, and the West
Indies, it will not be difficult to procure specimens at some future

Our piping times of peace are favourable to the execution of this project,
which should be zealously kept in view throughout the Expedition.
Travelling as I was, during the great wars, I did not dare shrink from the
difficulty of having to carry along with me 44 large boxes, as I did on
the road through Mexico from Acapulco to Vera Cruz, whence they were sent
to Cuba, Philadelphia, and so to Bordeaux. The mechanical labour of having
the collections carefully packed, keeping duplicates distinct, and sending
away geological, botanical, zoological and ethnographical collections, is
itself quite as important as the purely scientific work.

The exhibition of comprehensive volcanic collections brings to light the
strong analogy subsisting between the trachytes belonging to volcanoes,
far distant from one another, while it indicates the existence of great
differences in the mineralogical composition of volcanoes situated very
near each other. My most excellent friend and fellow-traveller in Siberia,
Professor Gustavus Rose, recently subjected the trachytes of the Berlin
Museum, the greater number of which were collected by myself, to careful
crystallographical and chemical investigation. He found oligoclase and
pyroxene on the trachytes of Chimborazo, Popocatepetl, Colima,
Tunguragua, Puracé, Paramo de Ruiz, and the Peak of Teneriffe, which has
recently been accurately examined by Mr. Charles Deville. The trachytes of
Toluca, Orizaba, Gunung Barang, and Burung Agung, on the Island of Java,
Argæus, in Asia Minor, Cuneguilla, south of Sta. Fé de Nuevo-Mexico, the
Sièrra de San Francisco, west of the Rocky Mountains and Pueblo Zuni,
consist of hornblende, oligoclase, and brown mica. The trachytes of
Stromboli and Etna, those of the Siebengebirge (Drachenfels), and of Kara
Hissar in Phrygia, consist of large crystals of glassy felspar, with
numerous smaller crystals of oligoclase, some hornblende and mica.
Oligoclase, having been mistaken for albite, led to the fantastic idea of
a peculiar rock, the _Andesite_, prevailing in the Andes, and even led our
great master, Leopold von Buch, to make some curious distinctions,
(Déscription des Iles Canaries, 1836, pp. 186-87.)

To ascertain the average height above the level of the sea, I propose that
furrows should be cut in the rocks of the different regions along with
inscriptions, which might carry information to unborn ages, as has been
done, on my suggestion, now some 25 years ago, by the Academy of Science
at St. Petersburg, on the Caspian Sea, while Sir James Ross, in his
"Voyage of Discovery in the Southern and Antarctic Regions," 1839-43, Vol.
II. p. 23, regrets not having done so, or, at least, of having only once
adopted this plan.

I would also, with all deference, suggest observations regarding the daily
atmospheric variations or tides, so as to obtain tables of _maxima_ and
_minima_. In order to obtain these, whenever the frigate is at anchor near
any coast, but particularly within the tropics, hourly observations with
the barometer and thermometer (the latter affixed to the barometer, and
also freely suspended in the open air), should be made through several
consecutive days and nights. During the occurrence of an Aurora Borealis
(or Australis), attention should be paid to the perturbations of the
magnetic variation, and the magnetic intensity of the horizontal needle.
Boreal Auroras have been seen in the southern latitudes of the Peruvian
Pacific, as low down as 12° 13' S.; but the occurrence of such phenomena
there is of much less frequent occurrence than that of Austral Auroras in
Scotland. It is important to keep an exact register of the intensity of
blackness in the "coalbags," when the smallest stars surrounding them are
still visible to the naked eye. The daily meteorological observations, as
also those on the temperature of the sea, will probably be made on board
ship, in conformity with the views of Lieutenant Maury, and the method
agreed upon at the last nautical congress.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I shall have long ceased to be numbered with the living, when the
_Novara_ returns to Trieste, richly freighted with scientific treasures of
all kinds, with fresh information relating to organic and inorganic
nature, to the races of man, their habits and languages, I now pray to
Almighty God that His blessing may rest upon this great and noble
enterprise, to the honour of our common German Fatherland! And
concluding, in this night, these oblique, illegible lines, I remember, not
without emotion, and with very mingled feelings, that joyous period of my
life when, fifty-eight years ago, in the beautiful gardens of Schönbrunn,
preparing myself for a long journey, I was enjoying with grateful mind the
friendly kindness of the venerable Jacquin and Peter Frank.

                                                     A. v. HUMBOLDT.

 Berlin, in the night of 7th April, 1857.

[Illustration: DEPARTURE.]


                     Preparations for the Voyage.

   Approbation of the Plan to fit out an Austrian Man-of-War for a
     Voyage round the World.--Object of the Expedition.--
     Appointment of a Scientific Commission.--Preparations.--
     Fitting out the Frigate _Novara_ at Pola.--Departure for
     Trieste.--Visit of the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian on board.

In the autumn of 1856, His Majesty the Emperor was graciously pleased to
approve of the proposal for a voyage round the world, as projected by his
Imperial Highness the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, the head of the
Austrian navy, and to commission the sailing frigate _Novara_ for that
purpose, a vessel qualified to meet every requisite condition.

The chief object of the Expedition--a circumstance which must not be lost
sight of--was to afford the officers and cadets of the ship an opportunity
of acquiring that practical acquaintance with naval affairs which, added
to the theoretical knowledge previously attained, would render them
thoroughly familiar with nautical routine, and thus materially contribute
to the further development of the Austrian navy.

This branch of the public service, placed since 1848 on an entirely new
basis, has with difficulty worked its way through all those embarrassing
circumstances inseparable from the organization of a new system; but the
honest zeal and energy of the board appointed, supported by favour from
the highest quarters, have succeeded in introducing many improvements, and
in increasing by degrees the numerical strength of the men, thereby laying
a secure foundation for the rising naval force, the importance of which,
at this moment, every reflecting patriot will acknowledge.

The intended Expedition offered, besides the advantages for the service,
another not less important for the State, namely, the recognition of the
Austrian flag in remote quarters of the globe, to which it had never
hitherto penetrated; and by thus opening new channels for the outlet of
our natural products and manufactured goods, to promote the industrial,
commercial, and maritime interests of the empire.

In order to satisfy the scientific requirements of the age, the
illustrious head of the navy issued orders, that the officers on board
should in every way assist in the researches to be made, connected with
navigation and geography; and was, moreover, pleased to invite the
Imperial Academy of Sciences to nominate two members, he himself naming a
third, to accompany the Expedition for the purpose of observing and
investigating phenomena pertaining to the different branches of physical
science, as well as collecting rare specimens and interesting objects of
natural history. To this commission were ultimately attached a botanist, a
practical zoologist, an artist, and a flower-gardener.

The Academy had, for the guidance of these gentlemen, drawn up
instructions which, with a multitude of other papers containing useful
hints and interesting queries, received from the Imp. Geographical,
Geological, and Medical Societies, as well as from numerous foreign and
native scientific men, formed a most valuable collection of materials for
the purposes of the Expedition.[4]

[Footnote 4: Of these instructions, "The physical and geognostical
remarks," with which the Nestor of natural science honoured the voyagers
of the _Novara_, being of a more general interest, are published at the
end of this volume, together with the facsimile of an autograph letter of
Baron von Humboldt to the commander of the Expedition.]

Foremost amongst these _savans_ stood Alexander von Humboldt, that
illustrious man, who up to the last moment of his existence was alive with
youthful enthusiasm for every scientific enterprise. In England great
interest in the success of the Expedition was evinced by Sir Roderic
Murchison, Sir W. Hooker, Sir Charles Lyell, General Sabine, Admiral
Smyth, Admiral Fitzroy, Professor Robert Owen, Professor Philips,
Professor Bell, Professor W. A. Ramsay, Professor Goodsir, of Edinburgh,
W. J. Hamilton, Esq., Charles Darwin, Esq., L. Horner, Esq., James Yates,
Esq., B. Davis, Esq., &c., &c. From the United States of North America, we
received most valuable communications from Commander M. F. Maury, National
Observatory, Washington, D. C.--Captain Rodgers, and others.

Letters of introduction were received from Germany, and particularly from
England, to influential parties and societies in a variety of places
abroad, amongst which were many warm and friendly recommendations from the
English Government and Admiralty, as well as the Directors of the then
East India Company, to various administrative authorities in the British

[Illustration: GUN-ROOM OF THE _NOVARA_.]

The frigate _Novara_ was laid up in the arsenal of Pola, where all
requisite steps were taken to complete her outfit, and prepare her
thoroughly for the voyage. The ventilation of the lower deck was improved,
and the number of cabins increased in proportion to the number of
individuals for whom accommodation was to be provided.

The gun-room was, by command of the Archduke, converted into a
reading-room, and provided with a well-selected library as well as with
all the charts and maps necessary for the information of the officers, who
here made their calculations and executed their drawings.

The store-rooms for the sails and tackle were enlarged, so as to hold a
double quantity.

A distilling apparatus, the same as patented by M. Rocher, of Nantes, was
fixed on the gun-deck, and being placed in connection with the ship's
coppers, it was found that, during the few hours each day that the latter
were used for cooking, enough sea-water was distilled to supply the entire
ship's company with excellent water to drink. This distilled water, after
having been kept in iron tanks for a month, was found pleasant to the
taste, and agreed very well with the health. The excellent health enjoyed
by all the crew throughout the voyage must, in a great measure, be
ascribed to the circumstance, that scarcely any other but this distilled
sea-water was used, so that the men were enabled entirely to forego
drinking river or spring-water, which in the tropics are frequently found

The use of such an apparatus permits a great diminution in the store of
water usually carried by a vessel. The space gained by this diminished
bulk of water, enabled us to take on board a larger cargo of coal and
provisions, such as preserved beef and compressed vegetables. The sailors
were not, however, particularly fond of the preserved beef, because in
cooking it loses a great part of its flavour (though the broth is strong
and good); nor does it seem as an article of diet to have had a
particularly beneficial influence on the health, for the sanitary
condition of the crew was equally satisfactory, and the number of
scorbutic patients not materially increased when, towards the end of the
voyage, the fresh stores were exhausted, and only salt and pickled rations
were issued.

Compressed dried vegetables were of great benefit to the health of our
men, and cannot be sufficiently recommended. The so-called _melange
d'équipage_ of Chollet, as well as _sauer kraut_, potatoes, and other
vegetables, have an excellent taste, improve the soups when mixed with
them, and are easily preserved, provided they be protected from the effect
of damp. Hence it might be advisable to keep them enclosed in
well-soldered tin boxes. The price of these vegetables is so moderate,
that it is surprising they are not more generally employed.

The long-continued satisfactory state of health of the crew must also
partly be sought for in the constant use of shower-baths. For this
purpose, apertures, three-quarters of an inch in diameter, were bored in
the planks of both the deck and forecastle, under which a perforated disc
could be screwed, and above which a pail of water was placed. By these
simple means every one was enabled to enjoy the luxury of a bath; when,
however, the desire for that refreshment became general, so that the
arrangement above-mentioned was insufficient, a hand fire-engine was made
use of, so as to accommodate as many at once as might present
themselves--a process which found great favour with the jolly tars, as
affording abundant opportunities for fun and merriment.


The frigate _Novara_ had been placed on the stocks in the arsenal of
Venice in the month of February, 1845, and was launched in April, 1850.
She was pierced for 42 guns, but during the voyage carried only thirty
30-pounders,[5] and four of smaller calibre.

[Footnote 5: The 30-pounder marine guns answer very nearly to the English

The principal dimensions of the frigate (Vienna measurement) are:--

 Length between perpendiculars      165 feet  5-1/2 inches.[6]
 Length of water line               156 "     5       "
 Greatest breadth                    44 "     11-1/2  "
 Greatest breadth on water line      43 "     2       "
 Depth of hold                       19 "     3/4     "
 Draught of water aft                18 "     9       "
 Draught of water fore               17 "     5-2/3   "

[Footnote 6: 96-423/1000 Austrian feet = 100 English.]

The superficial area of the ship, or the load-water line, amounted to
5685.35 square feet; quantity of water displaced 2107 Austrian, or 2630
English tons. The superficial area of the principal sails amounted to
18,291 square feet.

The frigate proved herself to be an excellent sailer, as, of the various
vessels which, throughout the voyage, sailed in company with us, only
three clippers outstripped her.

The question may here be asked, why, in the present state of navigation, a
sailing-vessel was preferred to a steamer for this voyage? The principal
consideration which decided this selection was the greater disposable area
which a sailing-vessel offers in comparison with a steamer of the same
dimensions, in which coal and machinery occupy so large a space. On the
present occasion, it will be perceived that what was specially wanted was
room for as great a number of officers, cadets, and men as possible, who
were, as has been stated, to make this voyage for improvement in nautical
affairs. Plenty of space was also required for the numerous instruments
and bulky collections of objects of natural history; while in most parts
of the ocean which we were to traverse, the winds blow so regularly, that,
with very rare exceptions, sails form the best motive power. The expense
of fuel requisite for a steamer, and the trouble of replacing it during
the voyage, are thus saved; whilst, finally, the space occupied by the men
employed in the management of the machinery, and that required for the
stowage of special stores, would be withdrawn from more important objects.

After the frigate had been properly fitted up in the arsenal of Pola, she
sailed on the 15th March, 1857, for Trieste, where she cast anchor on the
17th in the Bay of Muggia. H.I.M.'s corvette _Caroline_, likewise fitted
out at Pola for a voyage to the coast of South America and Western
Africa, followed in her wake, and it was now seen that the frigate was a
better sailer than the corvette, a circumstance so much the more
satisfactory, that the latter had hitherto been considered the swiftest
ship in our navy.

The unfavourable state of the weather interfered so much with the works
which were to be finished at Trieste, that the embarkation of provisions,
swinging the compasses, &c., &c., could only be proceeded with very

At last, the members of the Commission arrived, and the vessel only waited
for sailing orders.

Before leaving on so interesting an enterprise, with which the most
pleasing recollections of our lives will ever be associated, we had the
gratification of being honoured by a visit on board from the Archduke
Ferdinand Maximilian. The commander of the Expedition introduced the
officers and scientific gentlemen to his Imperial Highness, who addressed
them in affecting terms, and concluded his remarks by expressing a hope
that the frigate _Novara_ would, with God's help, return happily from her
mission to her own honour and that of the country.

The narrative of the voyage is now presented, and, probably, the results
of the various scientific investigations will very shortly be offered to a
discerning public, leaving it to them to judge how far we have succeeded
in realizing the hopes of the illustrious Prince. But if we have not
satisfied all the expectations entertained, it certainly was not from
insufficiency of means; for everything was complete in that respect, and
we owe it chiefly to the circumspection and kind care of the
Commander-in-chief of our navy, that this enterprise had been so wisely
planned, and its details brought in so short a time to such a degree of
perfection that, during the whole voyage, it was not found necessary to
make the slightest alteration in the original arrangements and


[Illustration: LOOK-OUT MAN.]


                       From Trieste to Gibraltar.

   Departure.--Fair Voyage down the Adriatic.--A Man lost and found
     again.--Passage through the Straits of Messina.--The Steamer
     _Sta. Lucia_ returns to Trieste.--Regulations and Instructions
     for further Proceedings.--A Day on Board the _Novara_.--
     Sunrise.--Cleaning the Ship.--Mental and physical occupation.--
     Moonlight at sea.

The departure of the frigate was fixed for the 30th April, 1857, and
H.I.M.'s corvette _Caroline_, Captain Kohen, was ordered to accompany her
as far as the coast of South America. H.I.M's steamer, _Sta. Lucia_,
Captain von Littrow, received orders to tow both ships as far as the
extremity of the Straits of Messina to avoid loss of time, such as
frequently arises in the Adriatic during the spring, from calms and
unfavourable winds.

With the dawn of the day fixed for the departure of the ships, all was
bustle on board; craft of all kinds hovered around, and relatives and
friends had assembled in great numbers to take leave. The verdant and
thickly-wooded slopes of the promenade to St. Andrea, near the shore, were
thronged with spectators, and the fair and lovely picture of our native
coast developed itself once more before our eyes, clad in all its charms
of spring, as if to wish us a hearty farewell, an auspicious voyage, and a
happy return!

At 8 o'clock A.M. we weighed anchor, and the steamer _Sta. Lucia_
approached the _Novara_ for the purpose of towing her from the Bay of
Muggia into the roads of Trieste. She had all her colours displayed, and
saluted the city of Trieste, Austria's chief and most important emporium,
with 21 guns. The salute was answered from the castle, whilst the band on
board struck up Haydn's beautiful hymn: "God preserve the Emperor!" The
frigate moved out of the road-stead, accompanied by a great number of
boats, and followed by the best wishes of the numerous crowds assembled on
shore, and of all true patriots, who looked upon this Expedition as a
cheering evidence that a new and energetic spirit of enterprise had arisen
in their native country.


The corvette _Caroline_, which was waiting outside the roads, was attached
to the frigate, and soon Trieste appeared like a dim cloud on the distant
horizon. The outlines of the Carinthian Alps became fainter, and the
excitement of the parting scene was calmed by that busy activity required
from every one embarking on a long voyage, if he desires to attain any
degree of comfort, however little, in the cramped and limited space of a
crowded ship.

A perfect calm, a smooth sea, and a but-slightly-clouded sky,
prognosticated fair weather, and promised leisure to complete those
arrangements which had been left undone. The steamer _Sta. Lucia_
performed her task of towing the two vessels most satisfactorily, and,
favoured by the prevailing currents of wind and water, we made five miles
an hour, and came, on the day of departure, in sight of the promontory of

The passage down the Adriatic was on the whole most pleasant, with the
exception of some showers of rain near the heights of Isola Grossa; which,
however, on this occasion saluted us only with a slight puff of wind. The
ship moved so gently and quietly on her way, that those occupying the
lower cabins could scarcely have fancied themselves at sea, had they not
been made aware of it by other impressions.

On the 1st of May, the crew became highly excited by a man being missed,
when the morning watch was called. Some thought he had, from fear of a
slight punishment hanging over him, jumped overboard, but as nothing of
the kind had been observed by the watch on deck, every corner was
searched, but without success, upon which the man was given over as lost.
When, however, the dinner hour arrived, and the tables and benches were
being removed from the lower deck, how great was the surprise, when the
culprit was discovered crouching among them! A peal of laughter roused the
poor fellow, who this time was let off with the fright and the punishment
of being made an object of ridicule by his comrades.

On the 3rd of May, being clear of the Adriatic, the steamer _Sta. Lucia_
was at midnight despatched to Corfu to complete her store of coal, whilst
we sailed for Cape Spartivento, on the Calabrian coast, which had been
assigned as our _rendezvous_. On the 5th, we sighted this the most
southerly promontory of Italy, when, in consequence of a fresh breeze, the
sea began to make itself rather disagreeably felt. The novices on board
became somewhat alarmed. A feeble voice was even heard, which endeavoured
to prove from this phenomenon that man is a creature made for _terra
firma_, and not for the watery element; but this excellent idea came
rather late; mankind are obliged to submit to existing circumstances, and
this thought alone held out some hope, that a longer stay on board would
prove the best cure for the evil. Such indeed was the case; though pale
faces, want of appetite, and even worse effects, were produced, whenever
the ship made a heavier roll than usual. But these slight inconveniences
of sea life became rarer and rarer, till at last they appeared only in
really stiff gales. On the 7th the steamer _Sta. Lucia_ returned and took
us again in tow.

The weather during our passage through the charming straits of Messina
was delightful. The colossal Etna exhibited in all its glory its
snow-capped summit, gilded by the rays of the rising sun, and Messina
shone with all the attractions of its splendid situation. The coast of
this part of Italy is mostly bare and rugged, the broken outlines of the
mountains imparting to the landscape that characteristic peculiarity which
makes so deep an impression on the mind. We passed the famous Charybdis,
in which a multitude of dolphins were disporting themselves. The
neighbouring coast formed a brilliant panorama, and we kept so close in
shore as to be able to distinguish the movements of the people. The
appearance of our three goodly ships seemed to have attracted the
attention of the inhabitants, for they stood in groups in the streets and
squares of Reggio and Villa San Giovanni, saluting us by waving their
handkerchiefs. When towards the evening we had passed the straits, we
could descry the Neapolitan coast as far as Monte Bulgario, in the Bay of
Policastro, and distinguish the imposing Stromboli, with its volume of
smoke, far on the Western horizon.

The following morning found us in sight of the small island of Alicudi,
situated on the north of Sicily. The estimable captain of the _Lucia_ came
on board to take leave, on his return to Trieste. The steamer, being
relieved of her burden, made her way briskly towards her destination; and,
before an hour had elapsed, we could perceive nothing but a small streak
of smoke in the haze of the horizon.

With light breezes, we came, on the following day, in sight of the island
of Ustica. Sea-gulls (_Thalassidroma pelagica_) enlivened the scene, as
they, from time to time, flew after the garbage thrown from the ship, or
sought for sea-nettles and other small inhabitants of the sea's surface.
These birds much resemble our land swallows, and their movements are so
graceful, that one cannot but admire them, especially when they lightly
touch the agitated water with their little webbed feet, and directly, as
if repelled, withdraw. The muscular power of these feathered creatures is
truly wonderful; they follow the ship for entire days continually on the
wing, ever on the watch to snatch at the little food which the sea seems
but scantily to supply to them.

[Illustration: "PALINURUS".]

Whilst we were passing down the Mediterranean, a great deal of time was
employed in drawing up regulations, and in digesting all those
instructions which had reached the Commander of the Expedition from all
sides, and by which we were to be guided in our future proceedings.

The scientific gentlemen were the first who received certain rules for
their guidance; for, life on board a ship, and especially of a man-of-war,
is so entirely different from that on shore,--the etiquette and usages
practised appear, to those unused to the sea, so vexatious and annoying,
that it was absolutely necessary to inform them of the regulations which
are essential in order to keep so singular an organization as that of a
ship at sea in working order. Erelong every one perceived, that the
matutinal annoyance of holystoning the decks, the daily cleaning of
everything on board, &c., are measures of importance, which contribute
materially to the preservation of the health of the crew, and that a
strict observance of discipline is absolutely necessary to exercise their
powers, and thus to fit them for all eventualities.

For the better accommodation of the naturalists, a place on the lower
gun-deck was fitted up for those operations which, on account of the
limited space and noxious exhalations, could not well be performed in the

We had a large quantity of alcohol on board, destined for the preservation
of interesting objects of natural history. In order to prevent any
calamity by fire arising therefrom, the whole quantity was put in a large
iron tank placed in the hold, and covered over with sand. It will,
however, be seen in the sequel, that even this precaution proved
insufficient to protect the ship from the ignition of this
highly-combustible substance.

The meteorological observations, and those connected with the physical
geography of the sea, were entrusted to four officers, who, like those
attached to the watches, had alternately to be at their posts, and had, at
prescribed hours, to observe the barometer, thermometer, and psychrometer,
as well as the temperature of the surface of the sea, the state of the sky
and the ocean, and to note down the obtained results. One of the junior
officers was intrusted with the nautical observations on shipboard, as
well as the astronomical and magnetical on shore.

The midshipmen were at the same time trained by study and practice, so as
to enable them to assist the officers in their duties. Besides the men on
the look-out, one of the midshipmen was employed on the same service. In
stormy nights, when the wind is howling, and rain or snow falling, this
post is certainly not very pleasant, but is, as may readily be imagined,
most important.

Life in the limited space of a ship, completely cut off from the external
world, is so peculiar and interesting to those unacquainted with the sea,
that we will endeavour to describe a day passed on board the _Novara_,
from the instant when at daybreak the bustle and activity begin, till the
late hour when night reminds one of repose, those sweet moments which
carry the voyager to his distant home on the wings of a dream.

As the sonorous bell strikes the fifth hour of the morning, the crew are
called on deck by the boatswain's whistle, the hammocks are slung up and
stowed away, and the work begins.

This is the busiest time of the day, and for the mere spectator the most
uncomfortable. On all sides scouring, rubbing, sweeping are going on,
floods of water are streaming along the decks, and he who is not as yet
familiar with these cleaning processes, runs some risk of a ducking as
soon as he makes his appearance outside his cabin. These morning ablutions
are, however, indispensable evils on board ship, for cleanliness is a
condition essential to the preservation of health, and even the quantity
of humidity which penetrates the timber, and renders the air damp, appears
to be less injurious than the omission of these daily scourings.

When the cleaning of the various parts of the ship is finished, the
idlers, and such of the officers as are off duty, appear on deck, whither
people come to enjoy the fresh air, and to greet the opening day. It may,
however, be permitted to observe, that a sunrise at sea, notwithstanding
its various charms, is by far less imposing than the same scene on a lofty
mountain, where the veil of night seems to vanish as if by magic, and
luxuriant nature lies at our feet like a smiling infant awaking from a
lovely dream. That wild majesty of scenery, that overpowering grandeur of
gigantic mountain forms, such as one sees in the Swiss or Tyrolese Alps,
is wanting at sea, where the rising sun pours his beams only over a
boundless world of water.

The sailors breakfast at 7, the officers at 8, and the Commander at 9. At
the latter hour the bugle sounds the order to "clear the ship," when the
cleaning of arms, guns, and all other articles of metal connected with the
ship's armoury, begins. During this process the band plays cheerful airs,
so that the work is done whilst keeping time with the music, which serves
to lighten the labour. This duty requires to be completed within
forty-five minutes, and terminates with an inspection of the men and their

This being over, officers and midshipmen off duty assemble together with
the naturalists in the reading-room. Most of the books in the library
referred to those countries likely to be visited by the Expedition, so
that every one might previously obtain useful information relative to
their physical, historical, and social conditions.

The naturalists employ the greater part of the day in their cabins, noting
down their observations, and preparing for those to be made in the course
of the voyage. The crew are kept in activity by being drilled and
otherwise occupied.

The men dine at 12; the dinner of the officers is served up at 3, and that
of the Commodore at half-past 3 o'clock P.M. The remainder of the
afternoon is spent in prosecuting the labours begun in the morning. Thus
steals on the evening, when a general assemblage takes place on deck, for
air and exercise.

[Illustration: SEAMEN OFF DUTY.]

The occurrences of the day, the sunset, the curious formation of the
clouds, or the bewitching beauty of a brilliant tropical sky at night,
form interesting topics for lively discussion. It is, however, rather
daring to institute a comparison between the splendour of the sky in the
tropics and that of our higher latitudes. For, most men become more or
less unjust towards the beauties of a new and foreign natural scenery, in
consequence of their not being able to divest themselves of former
impressions produced in them by phenomena of a similar nature. What
impressions are, for instance, deeper in young and old, and excite more
delightful recollections than the starry sky of home? And can it be
disputed that the association of ideas has a most powerful effect upon
the impressions made by those phenomena of nature which are so peculiarly
attractive and so deeply fixed in the human mind?

The conversation generally becomes more lively on those evenings when the
moon, placid friend of the sailor, appears on the distant horizon,
shedding her silvery beams over the unbroken expanse of water. The
influence which she exercises on the state of the weather, even the
prejudices and superstitions connected with our satellite, offer subjects
of interesting debate; involuntarily the mariner looks with grateful
feelings towards that heavenly luminary, the mild soothing light of which
diminishes the number of his anxious nights, protects him in present,
warns him of remote dangers, and influences so powerfully that vast
element on which he passes the greater part of his life. Indeed he who has
ever spent a dark and stormy night on the ocean, when the ship, lashed by
the fury of the waves, and borne resistlessly along, stands in constant
peril of coming in violent collision with a vessel similarly
circumstanced, or of being dashed to pieces on some iron-bound coast of
rugged rock, easily comprehends and will excuse the sailor who ascribes to
the moonlight somewhat of a supernatural and mysterious power.

In this manner, and notwithstanding the continued sameness, days and
months glide away like hours, until we again cast anchor, and only the
work accomplished gives an idea of the length of time which has been
passed at sea.

Sunday alone breaks the monotony of life on board, when, after the diurnal
cleaning of the ship, and the inspection of the crew, the officers, and
all the men who are not on duty, assemble for divine service on the lower
gun-deck, where the chaplain says mass on a temporary altar, whilst the
ship's band performs sacred music. In the afternoon the men off duty amuse
themselves for a couple of hours with the "_tombola_," a game much liked
by our sailors. Between 6 and 7 P.M. the band plays on deck, whilst the
sailors are cutting grotesque figures to the music. The singular capers by
which all evince their happiness; the good-humoured awkwardness with which
each clings to the brawny arm of his companion; the mock graceful air
those who enact the gentler sex assume in the dance, and, finally, the
affected attitude with which the cavaliers bow to their partners as if
they really were of the gentler sex--all this is most ludicrous and
amusing. The playing the national dance "Monferina" always elicits a
particularly hearty reception. There is a peculiar charm in national
melodies, even though they awaken no political reminiscences like the
Marseillaise, or the Rakoczy; they electrify alike the educated and the
men of the people; a thousand pleasing recollections suddenly crowd into
the memory, and when the well-known tunes strike the ear, the heart seems
to live again in bygone times! As if touched by magic, the sailor from the
Adriatic, as soon as the Monferina is struck up, seizes his neighbour by
the arm with a noisy shout and hurls him about in wild hilarity; his
thoughts seem as if flying towards his distant home, where, in the country
inn, with a buxom lass on his shoulder, he has waltzed away many a happy
hour. The whole village, with all its familiar faces, seems to revive in
his memory during the playing of the melody,--now he fills his glass; now
he clinks it merrily with that of his companion; now he presses his
sweetheart more closely to his side: Lo! suddenly a shrill whistle pierces
the air, the music ceases, the call is heard "to fall in," and the yet
dance-stricken sailor, suddenly, as if awakening from a sweet reverie, is
once more standing on the deck of the _Novara_!

The frigate, in the Mediterranean also, maintained her superiority as a
sailer. The corvette _Caroline_ was able to keep the prescribed distance
from the _Novara_ only by the latter reefing some of her sails. As some
magnetic observations were to be made at Gibraltar, and, as we had to
ascertain the results of the various chronometers on board, on the 12th of
May we signalled the corvette to take her own time and rejoin us at
Gibraltar, as we were anxious to avoid unnecessary detention.

The acquisitions of the naturalists had, as yet, been very scanty: to
their great annoyance they could not even obtain any of the tortoises,
which, from time to time, approached the ship, though they were repeatedly
fired at, and on one occasion a boat was launched, in the hope of catching
some of them. The specimens which we saw were from fifteen to twenty
inches in diameter; they mostly floated quietly on the surface, and seemed
sleeping or basking themselves in the sun.

The night of the 16th May was exceedingly boisterous, and almost tangible
darkness prevailed; thunder, lightning, and occasionally strong easterly
squalls, raged furiously, and only subsided towards the morning, when it
cleared up with fresh southerly breezes. Not being far from Cape de Gatt,
on the Spanish coast, prudence required us to change course, and, during
the continuance of stormy weather, to keep at a respectful distance from
the shore. Here a merchantman, apparently an American, bore down so close
upon us, that, in the darkness, an unpleasant collision seemed
unavoidable. However, we tacked about, and thus, fortunately avoiding our
dangerous neighbour, safely proceeded on our course.

It is truly astonishing how often merchantmen, entirely forgetful of their
own safety, from want of caution, or presumption, or it would occasionally
seem, sheerly from acting upon peculiar and abnormal principles of
navigation, wantonly expose ship, men, and cargo to many dangers, which
might easily be avoided, particularly in cases where no tacking is
required, and only a slight touch of the rudder would suffice to prevent a
collision, which is always attended with danger to the smaller ship. In
this respect the North Americans are very unpleasant neighbours on account
of their national vanity, and the Dutch for their phlegmatic temperament
and the indifference they evince on such occasions.

On the 18th of May, the small rocky island of Alboran, in the narrow part
of the sea between Africa and Spain, was observed; being flat and without
vegetation, it is scarcely perceptible, and the land-fall during the night
should be carefully avoided. The erection of a lighthouse on this island
would certainly be regarded as a great boon by all who navigate the

On the 19th of May, the sea suddenly assumed a peculiar orange colour; a
dust-like covering was observed on the surface of the water, and at some
depth white points might be seen, mingling with each other in the wake of
the ship. Clouds of this orange-like matter appeared spread upon the sea,
which thereby lost its usual transparency. On closer examination this
phenomenon appeared to arise from a mass consisting of myriads of minute
animalculæ, which had a yellow opaque kernel, the gelatinous covering of
which was transparent and colourless. A quantity of sea-water impregnated
with this matter, having been brought into a dark room, gave out a light,
and when agitated, such brightness proceeded from it, as justified the
anticipation that, during the night, the whole sea would be illuminated.
Accordingly the wake of the ship was illuminated by a wonderful stream of
light, in the depths of which larger masses of luminous matter could be
discerned, whilst on the surface there was a sparkling and glittering, as
if all the stars of the firmament were reflected in the water.

This phosphorescence of the sea, for the explanation of which we are
chiefly indebted to Professor Ehrenberg, proceeds for the most part from
the emanations of light from molluscæ of the genus _Medusa_, and other
living phosphoric animalculæ; sometimes, however, as for instance in
Venice, it arises from the putrescent fibres of decayed molluscæ, and
other organisms in a state of decomposition.

On the evening of the 20th the splendid Ceuta Light was seen, which, even
at a distance of twenty miles, looks as if it were quite near. This
lighthouse is of the utmost importance to ships emerging into the Atlantic
from the Mediterranean, as the current is exceedingly powerful, and during
the night is apt imperceptibly to carry a vessel out of her course. On the
morning of the 21st, the ship lay in a calm before the rock of Gibraltar.
Barren, gray, and gloomy rose now before our sight this rocky,
gun-studded, colossal sentinel of that vigilantly-prudent, energetic, and
jealous Power, which is so constantly seeking to extend her rule wherever
her own interests are concerned, or where she thinks it advisable to make
herself respected by other nations.

A light breeze sprang up, and at half-past 3 P.M. the anchorage, eleven
and a half fathoms in depth, was reached. The frigate now lay in front of
the Alameda or public gardens of Gibraltar, situated near the town gate,
called the Ragged Staff. This anchorage is tolerably safe at this season,
but in autumn and winter, as well as generally in strong easterly winds,
it is not to be recommended, it being preferable to haul further in
towards the place where the merchant-vessels usually lie. We saluted the
English flag on the fortress with twenty-one guns, which were immediately
answered from the ramparts. There were no English men-of-war in the Roads,
except the sloop _Curlew_, Capt. Horton. The following morning our
consort, the _Caroline_, anchored in our vicinity.

The first day of the arrival of a man-of-war in harbour is attended with
much inconvenience, particularly if she carries the flag of the
Commodore, or it happens that the mail packets are arriving or departing,
or that there are many ships of war in the Roads. The latter was not now
the case, but so many visitors, letters, and newspapers arrived at once,
that neither the one nor the other could be thoroughly enjoyed.

The local authorities, the governor, Sir James Fergusson, at their head,
were extremely obliging and attentive; Mr. Falkland, an officer of the
Engineers, was placed at our disposal; a specially-reserved site was
assigned us for astronomical and magnetical observations; huts were
erected by the workmen of the arsenal for the protection of the
instruments, and in short everything, calculated to promote scientific
labours, was provided. The Chancellor of the Austrian Consulate, Mr. John
Frembly, himself a geologist, proved likewise to be of great service to
our scientific men: and it was considered a fortunate omen to have found,
at this our first anchorage, so much sympathy with the objects of the


[Illustration: ROCK OF GIBRALTAR.]



             STAY FROM THE 20TH TO THE 30TH MAY, 1857.

   Political Significance of the Rock.--Courtesy of the British
     Authorities.--Fortifications.--Signal Stations.--The only
     place in Europe frequented by Monkeys.--Calcareous Caves.--
     Chief Entrances into the Town.--Shutting the Town Gates.--
     Public Establishments.--Inhabitants.--Elliott's Gardens.--The
     Isthmus, or Neutral Ground.--Algeziras.--Ceuta.--Commerce and
     Navigation.--Excellent regulation in the English Navy relative
     to Officers' Outfit.--Small-pox appears on Board the
     _Caroline_.--Departure from Gibraltar.--A Fata Morgana.--The
     _Novara_ passes the Straits.--Take leave of Europe.--Voyage to
     Madeira.--Floating Bottles to ascertain the Currents.--Arrival
     in the Roads of Funchal.

This remarkable promontory, which in our days has obtained so much
political importance, the Calpe of the ancients, constituted of old, with
the opposite Abyla,[7] the so-called pillars of Hercules, celebrated, at
the same time, as the boundary of the then-known world. It derives its
name from the corrupted Arabic _Gebel_ (mountain) and _Tarik_, the name of
a Moorish conqueror, who had pitched his camp here (A.D. 711). Like a
colossal giant, guarding the portal of Europe, and converted, by the
energy and ingenuity of the British, into an almost impregnable outpost,
this precipitous rock has, as regards the Mediterranean, the same high
strategic importance for that great maritime people, as Heligoland for the
German Ocean, Aden for the Red Sea, Ceylon and Singapore for the Indian
Archipelago, Hongkong for the Chinese waters, or the Cape and St. Helena
for the Atlantic Ocean.

[Footnote 7: The present Apes Hill.]

Gibraltar was already strongly fortified, when it belonged to the
Andalusian kingdom, but its grandest fortifications date from the treaty
of Utrecht (1713), when it became an appanage of the British crown.
Stupendous and incomparable are the works which since that period have
been executed on it, though the calcareous formation of the locality and
its numerous caves may have considerably facilitated their construction.

The English authorities, who so kindly assisted in the scientific
researches, obligingly furnished each individual of the frigate's staff
with a written permission to inspect the fortifications as often as they
pleased, and thereby afforded them the particular gratification of being
able to view and admire these vast structures in all their details.

Excellent and well-kept roads lead to the principal fortifications, which
only begin at an elevation of several hundred feet above the town. The
galleries, hewn in the solid rock, forming a kind of casemates, are of
such breadth and height that they may be conveniently traversed by a man
on horseback with his hat on. They have been constructed at an immense
expense of labour and money, and are designated by various names, as
"Upper gallery," "Lower gallery," "Queen's gallery," "St. George's Hall,"
and so on. Their extent is estimated at an English mile, but is probably
much greater. Besides these galleries, passages run for miles in the
interior of the rock, affording the garrison a thoroughly-protected
connection with all points that may chance to be threatened.

The grandest and most imposing of these marvellous excavations are the
"Queen's gallery" and "St. George's Hall." According to carved
inscriptions, most of them were begun and completed between the years 1783
and 1789. At the period of our visit, there were mounted on the different
fortifications 707 guns, about one hundred of which peeped out of the
smaller embrasures. Since that date, however, the number is said to have
been increased so as to amount now to about 1500.

During the stay of the _Novara_, it fortunately happened that the birthday
of Queen Victoria was celebrated, and thus an opportunity was offered of
seeing the fiery mountain in full activity. Though the occasion was
peaceable, yet the imposing spectacle gave a tolerable idea of the
elements of destruction which Gibraltar could put in action if really
attacked. The governor of the fortress, surrounded by a brilliant staff,
in which the Spanish governor of Algeziras and his officers played but a
sorry part, reviewed the garrison, consisting of infantry, cavalry, and
artillery, to the number of from 5000 to 6000 men; and whilst the troops
defiled in slow and quick step, lightnings and thunders issued from all
the crevices and embrasures of the artificially-perforated rock; huge
volumes of dense smoke followed, and a rolling subterraneous rumbling gave
the mountain exactly the character of a volcano suddenly burst into
action. The echo of these salvoes of rejoicing must have been heard, not
only in the adjacent parts of Spain, but also on the more remote coast of
Africa; and he who was ignorant of the real cause, might have supposed it
a grand rehearsal of that fearful tragedy which the English seem
determined to perform in the event of an attack. The supposition, however,
that the guns of Gibraltar are able entirely to command the Straits is
erroneous, for these, at their narrowest part, are 12-1/2 miles wide, and
not even the Armstrong guns, with which the fortress has lately been
furnished, have so extensive a range. The English are, however, able to
command the Straits by a fleet, which would find in the Bay of Gibraltar a
sufficiently safe and roomy anchorage.

From the fortifications, a narrow and rather steep path leads to the
telegraph station, at an elevation of 1300 feet above the level of the
sea. Steamers and men-of-war, as soon as visible, are signalled from this
point by means of immense balls and flags. It would be very difficult to
signal merchantmen in the same way, as, during a prevailing westerly wind,
multitudes of ships often appear to the eastward of the rock, anxiously
waiting for a favourable easterly breeze to carry them through the
Straits; in the same way the westerly horizon is sometimes crowded with
ships, prevented by contrary winds from entering the Mediterranean.

We found at the station an Aneroid-barometer, and a thermometer. The
advantages for navigation and physical science of extensive meteorological
observations, regularly made, are so evident, that it is astonishing to
see how often opportunities are neglected for making them, such as are
offered here.

There was no opportunity for seeing any of those families of monkeys, the
occasional appearance of which on the Rock of Gibraltar has given rise to
tales found in books of travel of the existence of a submarine
communication, through which this single representative of the genus in
Europe has found its way to this rock from Africa. Sometimes, however,
during easterly winds, single individuals are observed on the highest
peaks on the eastern side of the rock, where it is completely
inaccessible; probably the remnants of that species (_Inuus ecaudatus_),
which at some former time, either by chance, or human agency, have found
their way hither from the Moorish coast.

The calcareous caves are very remarkable. That on the western side, called
St. Michael's, situated at a height of 800 feet, is the most important. It
contains beautiful stalactite formations, and seems to be of considerable
extent; it has, however, not been closely examined hitherto, as only a
small part is conveniently accessible. St. Martin's Cave, on the
south-east, likewise about 800 feet above the level of the sea, is
smaller, but its stalactites are of a purer whiteness. A third was
discovered a few years since on the eastern side of the rock at a height
of only 80 feet, the lower portion of which consists of accumulations of
sand and recent shells. There have also been found bones and teeth of
large herbivorous animals.


The characteristic vegetation of the mountain is Spanish broom (_Spartium
junceum_), the yellow blossom of which strikes the eye pleasingly at a
great distance. There is also one species of cactus, and one of the dwarf
palm (_Opuntia vulgaris_, and _Chamærops humilis_), which grows in great
abundance, and forms, on the south face of the rock, almost the only
vegetation, whilst, on account of difference of temperature, it is
altogether absent on the remaining sides.

Gibraltar has little to attract strangers to settle; barracks, military
store-houses, and fortifications, render the appearance of the place
peculiarly monotonous, the more so that there are no elegant buildings, or
fine shops, on the rock. There was nothing observed, however, to confirm
the statement, in a celebrated geographical work, copied by all later
compilers, that "most of the houses are painted black, to soften the glare
of the sun, and prevent an attacking enemy having a distinct view of the
place." The town, which is built in terraces on the side of the rock, is
accessible only from three points. The greatest portion of the traffic
passes through the so-called Old Mole at the north end, whilst the
entrances on the south are generally used by men-of-war sailors only. All
are opened at 5 in the morning, and, according to the season, shut between
7 and 8 in the evening, precisely twenty-five minutes after the first
signal-gun. This closing of the gate is attended with ceremonies verging
on the comic. A broad-shouldered corporal, carrying in his hand a heavy
bunch of immense keys, marches, visibly impressed with the importance of
his mission, in measured steps, accompanied by a number of red jackets
with fixed bayonets, towards the massive town-gate; the bridge is then,
with much ado, drawn up, and the horribly-creaking gate, with great
exertion, closed, bolted, and finally locked. After "gun fire" no one can
leave the town by the Old Mole; at 10 P.M., however, and at midnight, a
little postern is opened, through which those jolly stragglers, who have
forgotten in merry company the measure of time, may slip out to return to
their floating abodes. From this hour till morning all communication with
the harbour is arrested, and the utter impossibility (except in
extraordinary cases) of leaving the town _after_ this hour, has given rise
amongst the people to the saying, "There is only _one_ thing more
difficult than to get _out_ of the town after midnight, and that is to get

There are in the city two Anglican churches, one Wesleyan, one
Presbyterian, two Catholic chapels, and two synagogues. The garrison
library, where likewise a great number of journals and magazines are kept,
possesses 22,000 volumes, amongst them several very rare and costly works,
especially of ancient Spanish literature. It was founded in 1793 by
Captain Drinkwater, and has been hitherto kept up by private subscriptions
and the profits arising from a printing-establishment attached to it.

Gibraltar owes to the energy and public spirit of the governor, Sir James
Fergusson, the foundation of several important establishments and
undertakings. Since the beginning of his administration in 1856, the
number of public schools has been considerably increased, the town
supplied with gas, and well-arranged public baths established.

The city does not possess a single well or spring; the water used is
obtained from tanks, in which the rain is collected. The quantity of rain
that fell during the twelve months of 1855 amounted to 78 inches; in 1856,
it is said to have been only 24 inches. Nevertheless, there is at no time
any scarcity of water. The Government have lately caused the erection of
a distilling apparatus for making sea-water fit for domestic purposes,
which, however, hitherto has not been used.

The population of Gibraltar, including the garrison of 6000 men, amounts
to about 20,000 souls, consisting of Spaniards, English, Italians (mostly
Genoese), Portuguese, Moors, Turks, Greeks, and Jews; indeed, a mixture of
races, customs, and manners such as scarcely can be found at any other
place in Europe. The native residents call Gibraltar briefly _the rock_,
and themselves, with a kind of pseudo-patriotism, _rock people_, though by
the officers of the garrison and navy generally complimented with the name
of "rock-scorpions."

The permanent settling of foreigners, in consequence of its being a
fortress, requires a number of formalities, which have the effect of
limiting the population; and even the English portion must be considered
migratory, as it consists chiefly of military and government officers,
who, after the lapse of certain intervals, exchange in regular order.

The only really beautiful walk in the place is Elliott's Gardens, situated
at the south end of the town, laid out in a grand style, but disfigured by
a tasteless bronze statue of General Elliott (afterwards Lord Heathfield),
the heroic defender of Gibraltar in 1782. In the evenings, when one of the
military bands is performing, the grounds are thronged by visitors on
foot, horseback, and in carriages, whilst loving couples, of all races and
grades, ramble in happy union through the shady avenues.

Near the gardens, towards the south, is a second quarter of the city,
which mostly consists of government buildings. On the lowest terrace,
which juts furthest into the sea, stands the lighthouse, on the celebrated
"Europa Point."

[Illustration: SOUTH GATE, GIBRALTAR.]

Gibraltar is connected with the Spanish continent by a sandy neck of land,
called by the Spaniards _El Istmo_, and by the English "the neutral
ground." It runs between the Mediterranean and the bay, one mile and a
half in length and 2700 feet in breadth. This plain, which is not more
than 10 feet above the water, owes its origin to the formation of a dune
in the rocky bed of the ocean. Strong easterly gales seem by degrees to
have accumulated the sand on this shallow run of the sea, which formerly
separated Gibraltar from Spain.

A similar sand formation, near Catalan Bay, has attained the enormous
height of 1000 feet. The Government have caused a portion of the sand, at
the point where the isthmus joins the rock, to be excavated, and the water
of the bay to be let in, so that there only remains a narrow low dyke of
firm ground, which probably in time of war may be completely submerged.
The stagnant water of this cut must, however, during the hot season,
considerably increase the amount of fever.

From May till October the troops are encamped under tents on this isthmus,
along which the neighbouring Spaniards come to market daily in crowds,
with provisions of all kinds, displaying their rancour against the foreign
intruders by endeavouring to make them pay the highest possible price for
their produce.

The adjacent Spanish settlements, Campamiento and St. Roque, are much
resorted to by excursionists from Gibraltar, and, during the summer, are
selected by numerous families for even a longer stay; for however little
pleasure or interest a ride over this arid and sandy plain affords, once
arrived at Campamiento, the rider enjoys a most charming prospect, while
there is probably no other point from which the isolated rock appears more
grand or picturesque than from this neat little village.

In following the road that runs from Campamiento along the bay, the
charming little town of Algeziras is reached. It lies on the western
shore, exactly opposite Gibraltar, with which it is in regular
correspondence by daily steamers.

Algeziras, formerly a poor fishing-village, has greatly increased in
extent and prosperity, through the smuggling trade. This clean and
pretty-looking place has a population of 10,000 souls, and makes by
contrast an extremely pleasant impression on coming from the dismal and
gloomy fortress. Men and things here have quite an Andalusian appearance.
The small but neat one-storied houses are mostly painted a bright white,
and ornamented with green verandahs; at almost every window beautiful
flowers are exhibited; and the public promenade, shaded by fine trees, is
delightful. The principal square is likewise planted with trees, and the
lower stories of its houses are occupied by apothecaries' shops,
coffee-rooms, confectioners, and one by a bookseller even. The churches
appear in every respect insignificant; the hospital of San Juan de Dios,
however, is an ancient and noble structure, the management of which is
admirable. One of the arrangements here was eminently characteristic of
Spain: in the ward for male patients stands at the upper end, by the side
of the beds for common patients, a large, broad, elegantly-polished
bedstead, which, the porter told us, was intended for "_caballeros_."

At a short distance from the town is the Amphitheatre Constantia, a large
wooden booth, said to hold nearly 9000 spectators. It is chiefly used for
bull-fights, which always attract a large audience. The aqueduct here,
taken with the fine scenery around, forms an exceedingly picturesque

The inhabitants of Gibraltar sometimes make excursions to the peninsula of
Ceuta (the Sebta of the Moors), situated on the opposite coast of Africa.
The lighthouse of this little promontory has been lately furnished with a
Fresnel apparatus, throwing out a most intense light, which is visible at
a greater distance than any other observed during our voyage. This place,
which is used by the Spaniards as a penal settlement, numbers 6500
inhabitants, and has a very indifferent harbour. The "rock people" also
occasionally make excursions to Tangier, the most westerly town of the
strait, and the most important as regards the commerce of Morocco.

A great number of steamers on their various routes touch at Gibraltar, for
discharging and embarking freight and passengers, and to coal. The
quantity of the latter thus shipped is estimated at 30,000 tons annually,
all imported from England. There is also a regular correspondence by
sailing vessels with all the leading Italian ports, and those of the
Levant, as well as with Constantinople, Corfu, and Trieste.

Gibraltar being a free port, there are no customs' dues, except those on
wines and spirits. All flags enjoy equal privileges, and in all disputes
the English law decides. It is impossible to obtain a satisfactory
statement of the amount of imports and exports, as no Custom-house exists,
and the official reports merely give the number and nationality of the
flags of the ships that arrive and depart. Smuggling is carried on to a
great extent, and, being a lucrative trade, will continue to be so, as
long as Spain retains her prohibitory duties on English goods.

The principal items of commerce in Gibraltar are English cotton goods,
which are exported to Barbary in considerable quantities. To compete
successfully with the English in this branch of trade would be very
difficult for any other nation; but there are a great number of other
articles which might find a ready sale on the African coast, and which are
produced cheaper in several States of the European continent than in
England; a consideration of so much the more importance in trading with
the Moors, that these people regard lowness of price rather than the
quality of the goods.

For this very reason, small but industrious Belgium has become a powerful
competitor of mighty England. Thus, for instance, that country exports to
Morocco, by way of Gibraltar, sugar, both in loaves and crushed,[8]
hardware and cutlery, nails and screws, zinc, as well as all sorts of
earthenware and glass. A portion of these articles goes into the
neighbouring Spanish provinces.

[Footnote 8: The superior quality and cheapness of Belgian sugars have of
late in a great measure driven all others out of the market. It is also
worthy of remark, that though Gibraltar is a British colony, all the
accounts are kept in Spanish currency, and that there are more Spanish and
French coins in circulation than English, which, when changed, even
sustain a small loss. The Spanish measures and weights also are more in
use than the English.]

It is rather singular that the Belgian glass goods are in Gibraltar
represented as of _German_ manufacture, and thereby obtain a readier sale.
This seems to be a proof that German (_i. e._ Bohemian) glass articles
have been patronized before the Belgian, and lost the market only through
the importation of the latter.

The intercourse between Gibraltar and Spain is carried on by coasting
vessels, and by French as well as Spanish steamers, while the postal
communication with Great Britain is conducted by the Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Packet Company.

Correspondence with Spain and other parts of the Continent is carried on
overland, but is little to be relied upon, as, owing to the horrible
condition of the Spanish roads, a delay of from six to eight days
sometimes occurs in bad weather. Between Gibraltar and Cadiz, a distance
of only sixty English miles, the letter-bag is said to have often been six
days on its way.

The narrative of our stay at Gibraltar would be defective if we omitted
mention of the numerous proofs of hospitality we experienced on all sides.
Invitations were repeatedly received from the Convent (Government House),
as well as from private families, and everywhere we experienced the most
cordial reception.

We must in particular mention a visit paid to Captain Warden, the
superintendent of the station and arsenal, as it afforded an opportunity
of becoming acquainted with a feature in the English naval service, as
practical as it is worthy of imitation. The superintendent of the arsenal
inhabits a beautiful roomy house, belonging to the Government, situated in
a large garden, well planted with splendid plane-trees, laurel, and
orange-trees, and ornamented with most beautiful and odoriferous flowers.
As a superintendent's income would not admit the outlay necessary properly
to furnish so large an edifice, this is done by contractors, who let out
the furniture at the rate of five per cent. annually on the value. This
sum is deducted monthly from the pay. The same system is also adopted on
board English men-of-war. The cabins of the officers are there furnished
and provided with all the requisite comforts by contractors under the
superintendence of the Admiralty. The value of each article is marked in a
printed list deposited with the authorities. The captain pays a yearly
rate of five per cent. on the valuation, and binds himself besides, in the
event of the ship's being paid off, or of being appointed to another
vessel, to return in good condition all the articles specified, and pay
the value noted in the list for everything missing. This agreement is
registered at the Admiralty, and the contractor receives the amount
monthly. The advantage of such an arrangement to the commander of a ship
will be more fully appreciated by those who, from personal experience, are
aware of the expense attending an outfit, and the great loss which an
officer transferred from one ship to another suffers through a sudden and
forced sale of his property. The commander of a ship is moreover often not
in a condition to spend for his personal outfit a sum of perhaps a
thousand pounds sterling, but he can conveniently pay annually from £40 to
£50 for the hire in monthly instalments; and it thus becomes easier for
him to maintain the appearance due to his position.

The commander and officers of the _Caroline_, which, after an absence
since the 12th of May, had rejoined us on the 23rd, were, like ourselves,
received in the kindest manner by all the authorities of Gibraltar.

It had been arranged that we should make the voyage to Madeira in company
with the _Caroline_, but an unexpected incident prevented it. The
small-pox[9] made its appearance on board, and although in a mild form and
in but a few cases, yet it was sufficiently alarming to interrupt, as a
matter of precaution, all communication, and to postpone indefinitely her
departure, as a great part of the crew might be overtaken with the disease
whilst at sea, exposed to sudden changes of temperature, thereby causing
the most serious consequences. Such is not the case with diseases which
are in some degree localized, as cholera, yellow fever, dysentery, &c.,
when it is even prudent to set sail, notwithstanding the presence of the
malady, as a change of place and climate is frequently accompanied with
beneficial results.

[Footnote 9: As there has lately been some difference amongst the medical
men of Europe as to the utility of vaccination, the following observations
from the report of Dr. Wawra, the principal physician on board the
_Caroline_, regarding the appearance and the course of this epidemic, may
not be out of place:--"A day before our departure from Trieste a man
complained of a slight fever and headache, and his skin was covered with
spots which were judged at once to be indications of an approaching
eruption of small-pox. The man was immediately sent on shore as a matter
of precaution; but, nevertheless, eight days after our departure we had a
second, and ten days after that a third case: the epidemic was on board,
and though in a mild form, yet serious consequences were apprehended. The
_re-vaccination_ of the men was therefore decided upon, and carried out,
as far as the virus on board would admit. Only five individuals of the
whole had not been vaccinated at all; some had undergone the operation in
their childhood, a great part of them, however, had been vaccinated on
board other vessels, from two to five years before. Only fourteen cases
occurred. Most remarkable, and evidently in favour of those who advocate
re-vaccination, is the fact, that amongst most of those who had been
vaccinated in their childhood, the disorder was more severe than among
those who had been re-vaccinated on board the ship. Among those who had
_never_ undergone the operation before, the vaccination on board was most
successful; not one of them caught the disorder. Among the _re-vaccinated_
only four cases occurred, with slighter symptoms than among those who had
been once only operated upon. We met with several instances of the kind at
other places where we touched. At Buenos Ayres, where the vaccination laws
are stricter than anywhere else, the small-pox is extremely rare. Among
the Brazilians, who entertain an absolute prejudice against vaccination,
the _variola_ is one of the most common and most frightful diseases. It
prevails still worse amongst the negro slaves, among whom, from the
ignorance and prejudice of their masters, vaccination is neglected. The
white marks of the disease are particularly visible in the black skin, and
are evident proofs how virulently it has raged amongst them."]

After we had got through our duties at Gibraltar, an attempt was made,
with the first favourable wind, to set sail and reach the Atlantic; the
_Caroline_ remaining behind for the benefit of the sick on board. She was
to follow only when the health of the crew no longer excited any

On the 30th May the wind changed to south, and as the current in the
harbour was also favourable, we weighed anchor in the hope that in the
Straits we might meet with an easterly wind. The _Novara_ passed the
_Caroline_, which saluted with a round of cheers, when we tacked to clear
the roads, after which all sail was hoisted to beat out against the
western current in the Straits. The sea was covered with a mucous
substance, which generally indicates that there is scarcely a chance of a
fresh breeze; however, even the little we had, would have sufficed to
carry us through the Straits, but towards 6 P.M. a perfect calm overtook
us, and notwithstanding the press of sail, we were carried back towards
the East, and about midnight found ourselves again in the Mediterranean,
which did not seem disposed to part with us. There was no improvement next
day, and at sunset we were exactly twenty-five miles east from the point
we had occupied the preceding day. The clouds passed from West to East
across the moon, and in the night from the 31st of May to the 1st of June
the westerly wind became so fresh that we had even to reef the sails.

Current, wind, sea, everything was against us; even tacking was of no
service, as we lost ground visibly with each tack. When at last all hope
of making the West had disappeared, we anchored, like many others of our
companions in sorrow, on the 1st June, at 6 P.M., in the Bay of
Frangerola, fifteen miles north of Malaga.

Here were anchored nearly sixty merchantmen, all wind-bound. Behind the
Punta Molinos, near Malaga, there must have been quite as many more. Fresh
additions were constantly being made to the already considerable fleet,
which had involuntarily collected together, whilst those merchantmen which
with fruitless obstinacy kept on tacking about us, were getting more and
more out of their course, as with every successive hour their position was
changed for the worse.


In the hope of a favourable wind we were all a-taunto on the 2nd June,
perfectly prepared for a start. Under these circumstances no one could go
on shore, but an officer was despatched in a boat to make inquiries as to
whether there were any sanitary board in the neighbouring village. A
relative of the President of the Junta de la Sanidad came on board, and
stated that, though as a rule only vessels clearing from Spanish harbours
were permitted to have intercourse with the shore, an exception should be
made in favour of ourselves. This Andalusian was very communicative, and
amongst other things told us that the inhabitants were supported almost
entirely by fishing. Many ships had now been waiting several weeks for a
favourable wind to pass the Straits. Some had thrice attempted to sail
towards the West, but in every case were driven back by wind and current.
In 1847, a year of scarcity, Louis Philippe had caused several French
steamers to be stationed in the Straits in order to take in tow ships
coming from the Black Sea laden with grain, and thereby to facilitate
their passage between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In the afternoon
we had a visit from about thirty inhabitants of Frangerola, who came on
board in fishing-boats to view the ship. None of these people had ever
seen so large a man-of-war, and they all therefore regarded the ship with
great curiosity. The ship's band greatly delighted them, but the
signal-gun at sunset seemed to terrify them and to hasten their departure.

In the evening we felt from time to time some warm blasts of wind from the
east, and enjoyed for nearly an hour the delightful spectacle of a "Fata
Morgana." This phenomenon, as is well known, arises from two currents of
air of a different density, separated by a distinctly-formed plane,
generally produced when the temperature of the two currents happens to
vary. When, for instance, as is frequently the case at sea, a considerably
warmer current of air comes suddenly in contact with a colder current
having a lower position, the plane of separation of the former becomes
condensed, and forms a mirror for all those objects which are in the lower
current, so that their image is inversely reflected. As this surface of
separation is not level throughout, various contractions and distortions
result, which impart to the whole a singular appearance. On land, as for
instance in the deserts of Africa, where the warmer current of air is on
the surface of the ground, the aërial mirror is formed beneath the eye of
the observer, by which the same phenomenon is produced that results from
the reflection of objects on the surface of the water.

In the present case the temperature of the atmosphere was about ten
degrees higher than that of the sea's surface at the point of
observation. The surface of the current of warm air appeared like a light
fog, inclining in the East towards the Spanish coast, and in the
South-east to South towards the surface of the sea. Where it was highest
it reached nearly five degrees above the horizon. The images of the ships
at anchor near Malaga, and those at sea under sail, appeared reversed, and
assumed curiously fantastic forms, particularly in those places where the
reflecting surface became irregular, and inclined towards the horizon. The
appearance of these distorted ships in the air, joining in the most
singular way the real ones actually floating on the sea,--the warm vapour
which is from time to time wafted on the face of the observer, as well as
the perfect and almost death-like stillness which, under such
circumstances, prevails both on the sea and in the atmosphere, may easily
produce the belief in a mysterious power, among a people who are generally
prone to ascribe to supernatural agencies every phenomenon they cannot
understand or explain.

This "Fata Morgana"[10] was not merely interesting in itself, but also gave
reason to indulge in the hope of a favourable wind. A light easterly
breeze accordingly sprang up towards midnight, the current became
reversed, the anchor was weighed, and all sail made with this favourable
wind towards Gibraltar, the rock of which was distinctly recognizable
through the misty air, at a distance of nearly sixty miles.

[Footnote 10: The name Morgana is of Breton origin, and signifies "sea
woman," from _mor_, sea, and _gan_, a fine woman;--the fairy mermaid of
English legendary tales.]

A calm still prevailed near Europa Point, but as the day wore on, the
easterly breeze blew strong through the Straits, and, in company with
innumerable other ships, the Pillars of Hercules were at length passed.
The wind freshened, and the frigate cracked merrily on down mid-channel;
for, though the set of the current was dead against us, yet the wind
proved more than a match for it, which in our case was the more apparent,
that those merchantmen which sailed along the coast, not having the
advantage of this wind, seemed as though left motionless in the rear.

When towards noon the _Novara_ was off the place where the _Caroline_ had
been anchored, that ship was no longer visible. She had probably set sail
in the morning. We supposed her to be among the crowd of ships which were
sailing in the fog, but did not discover her, even after we had overtaken
and examined all of them. We now endeavoured to reach the Atlantic as
speedily as possible, making from nine to ten knots an hour, and, with
joyful sensations, sailed through those beautiful straits, on whose shores
the ancient world unrolled its grand panorama, thanking Providence here,
at the entrance of that vast ocean, which now shone so brilliantly, that
we were permitted to carry the Austrian flag into distant regions.

At 4 P.M., aided by the fresh evening breeze, we passed the most southerly
point of Europe. We were just going to dinner when the last glimpse of the
old world passed before the cabin windows, and we gazed once more with
sorrowing eyes at the rapidly-disappearing coast, which, illuminated by
the rays of the setting sun, seemed to wave us a last farewell in letters
of fire. However beautiful, however inspiring the prospect of our task;
however inviting the magnificent ocean that lay extended under our eyes,
magically lit up by the silvery beams of the bright moon shining from a
starry sky, yet the painful sensations of parting with that old world,
with which so many pleasing associations--so many cherished recollections
were bound up, had a powerful influence, and gave rise to melancholy
impressions, of which we were only relieved by the comforting hope that we
should one day return to all so dear to us.

[Illustration: CAPE TRAFALGAR.]

The night was delightful. Not a single cloud obscured the sky, and the
ship, with all sails swelled by a fair wind, ploughed the dark waves,
leaving a glittering track behind. We were now on the ocean! Below, blue,
foam-crested billows; above, the sky studded with stars;--below, the wide
desert of the sea; above, the infallible guides to lead us safely through

We awoke to new activity on that great element, which conceals so many
charms and so many hardships, where the continued alternations of hope and
fear, of enjoyment and privation--where weariness and disappointment, and
yet again the new strength imparted by returning success--so excitingly
animate, and so gloriously manifest the innate power of the human mind.

Life on board, the various excitements at sea, the different countries and
people seen during a voyage, all tend to arouse feelings and sensations
which are reserved for the mariner alone, and which render his life, if he
knows how to use it properly, happy and most enviable. At sea the mental
and physical eye gains strength, man there seeks to unravel Nature in all
her phases, and to know and to admire more thoroughly her works. The
seaman owes his energy, his straightforwardness, and his piety, to a life
spent in the midst of nature, to his direct intercourse with creation.
Between him and the Sovereign of the Universe there is, as it were, no
mediator--he lives and labours uninterruptedly on the steps of the throne
of his Creator and Preserver. In this great temple he directs to Him alone
his complaints, his thanks, and his prayers. At sea he learns law and
order from Nature herself in her constantly-recurring functions; here he
admires the omnipotence and goodness of God in the sunrise after a stormy
night, and in the brightness of the moon that lights up his path; here he
learns by his actual experience the truth of that maxim of life, that "God
only helps him who helps himself."

The wind, hitherto easterly, chopped round to the North-east, which,
according to Maury's excellent directions and charts, may be considered as
a trade wind, and in this season might be called so. In fact, the trade
winds are produced by a current of air, which is directed towards the
Equator, and only in consequence of the earth's motion round its axis
acquires a north-easterly direction to the north of the equator, and a
south-easterly to the south of it. But the trade winds become perceptible
at a certain distance from the equator, or rather from the hottest zone of
the earth's surface; and it is clear, that when the zone assumes a greater
breadth, the boundary of the trade winds is extended further towards the
poles, as the position of this zone and its heat obtained from the sun are
the causes of these phenomena.

This is exactly the case in these waters; Africa, with its sandy deserts,
presents a broader zone of the greatest heat than is possible on the sea,
and the trade winds, accordingly, reach further towards the north. Its
direction, however, cannot always be north-easterly, and depends
necessarily on the direction of the northern boundaries of this zone of
greatest heat. Accordingly, we at first had a more northerly wind, which
in our progress towards Madeira became much more easterly. The weather
continued on the whole beautiful, the sea was calm, and only the increased
length of the waves showed the greater expanse of water we were now

We overtook some other ships, which were sailing towards the west. As we
saw nothing of the _Caroline_, we concluded that she was considerably
ahead. The current, which near Gibraltar has a westerly direction, tending
towards the Mediterranean, loses its power at a distance from the land,
and half-way to Madeira it changes its direction in such a way that the
ship is carried imperceptibly southwards, though only a few miles a-day.
This current is a lateral branch of the great Gulf Stream, which from the
Gulf of Mexico is directed towards England, but about the latitude of New
York sends off a branch in a south-easterly direction, which passes round
Madeira, and, near the Canaries, takes a parallel direction with the coast
of Africa and forms the commencement of the Guinea current. The
temperature of the sea water, which in the midst of this current is
generally rather higher than that of the air, indicates to the mariner
that he is in the Stream, and he must take care that his ship is not
carried more to the south out of its course than he wishes. This shows
clearly of what importance ocean-currents are to navigation; and it
becomes evident that it is the duty of the scientific navigator not only
to find out their direction and strength, but to use all means at his
command, in order to ascertain their general movement in given districts
of ocean.

For this latter purpose, it is customary (as often as circumstances seem
to render it advisable) to throw overboard, and commit to the mercy of
these currents, a well-corked empty bottle, in which has been deposited a
card with the name and position of the ship. The bottle thus prepared, and
made conspicuous by a covering of white linen cloth, or some such
material, wanders hither and thither with the current, until it is picked
up by some other ship, or is stranded anywhere on _terra firma_. The fact
of such a bottle having been picked up is usually published, together with
the particulars enclosed, by means of which it is obvious that an estimate
can be formed of the average strength and direction of the current.

At 1 P.M. each afternoon, it was our custom to despatch one of these
ocean-posts, under given conditions; but only rarely did we afterwards
receive any information with respect to them. In each bottle was placed a
card with the following particulars, written in German, English, French,
Italian, and Spanish:--

"H.I.M. frigate, _Novara_, such and such a day of the week and month, hour
at which thrown overboard, Longitude from Greenwich, Latitude. Whoever
finds this bottle, which is about being thrown overboard well-corked and
in good order, is requested to forward for publication, to the nearest
spot at which there is a newspaper, the day, hour, latitude and longitude,
in which the bottle has been found, together with the particulars of a
similar nature already enclosed."

On the 7th June, towards evening, we were not more than 55 nautical miles
distant from the E. point of Madeira, and as the wind was favourable and
pretty fresh, it became necessary to shorten sail, so as to reach the
anchorage by daybreak.

About 2.30 A.M., a vessel was perceived, which, by its lights, was made
out to be a man-of-war. We now burned a port fire which was not merely
replied to, but accompanied by signalling the number of the _Caroline_.
She was steering exactly our own course, and after having had to struggle
with calms on nearing the coast, we cast anchor together, in the roads of
Funchal, in 32 fathoms, sandy bottom, immediately South of the Loo Rock, a
singular-looking, lofty, conical rock, which marks the best anchorage for
large ships. The U. S. corvette, _Dale_, lay in our vicinity, and sent a
boat on board with an officer to extend to us the usual greetings, after
which she saluted the Commodore's standard with a salute of thirteen
guns,[11] which, as is the etiquette, we returned, gun for gun. We now had
the pleasure of hearing that the small-pox had entirely disappeared on
board the corvette _Caroline_, those attacked being now in a fair way of
convalescence, while on board the _Novara_, the health of the ship's
company was eminently satisfactory.

[Footnote 11: Commodores of other nations receive only eleven guns by way
of salute.]

[Illustration: LOO ROCK (MADEIRA).]

[Illustration: SCENE IN MADEIRA.]



               FROM THE 8TH TO THE 17TH OF JUNE, 1857.

   First Impressions.--Difficulty in Landing.--Description of the
     Island.--History.--Unfavourable political circumstances
     connected with the cultivation of the ground.--Aqueducts.--
     First Planting of the Sugar-cane.--Culture of the Vine.--Its
     Disease and Decay.--Cochineal as a compensation for its loss.--
     Prospects of Success.--Climate.--A favourable Winter Residence
     for the Consumptive.--Strangers.--First Appearance of the
     Cholera.--Observations with the Ozonometer.--Great Distress
     among the Lower Classes.--Liberal Assistance from England.--
     Decline of Commerce.--Inhabitants and their Mode of Life.--
     Decrease of the Population, and its Causes.--Benevolent
     Institutions.--Public Libraries.--The Cathedral.--Barracks.--
     Prison.--Environs of Funchal.--Excursion to St. Anna.--Ascent
     of the Pico Ruivo.--Singular Sledge Party.--Return to

Delightful and striking is the first impression of Funchal, its luxuriant
gardens smiling with gorgeous flowers, and its mountain sides cultivated
almost to their summits; and although the grander and more gigantic forms
of true tropical vegetation are wanting, and the landscape displays rather
the character of an island off the shores of Italy than of the torrid
zone--still Nature exhibits herself here with such varied charms that
imagination can scarcely conceive a sweeter or lovelier scene. The most
beautiful plants of the temperate and sub-tropical zones meet here in
their highest development, whilst some representatives of the tropics
intermixed enhance the richness of the wonderful picture. Odoriferous
magnolias, large flowering tulip trees, plane trees, laurels, myrtles,
acacias, passion and trumpet flowers, tree-like fuchsias with immense
blossoms, gaudy hortensias, sweet-smelling roses, blooming oleanders,
aloes, 40 feet high, in full flower, imposing camellias with shining green
foliage, covered with beautiful rose-like flowers, chestnut trees,
Brazilian pines, cypresses--all delight the eye, together with
pomegranates, tamarinds, bananas, sugar-canes, coffee-shrubs, gigantic
dragon trees, pine-apples, mangroves, papayas, and aquacatés. Certainly,
at a later date, we met in the primitive forests of the Nicobar islands,
or in Java, Luzon, and the Caroline islands, with grander and more
imposing scenery; but none that surpassed in fragrance, luxuriance, and
loveliness the floral beauty of Madeira.

The anchorage of Funchal[12] is merely an open, exceedingly unsafe
roadstead, which affords so little protection to ships that often in
southerly winds they are obliged to get under sail. This is especially the
case in the winter, when the sea often rushes into the small unprotected
bay with fearful violence. In October, 1842, five vessels were cast on
shore within the space of a few hours, and another sank whilst at anchor;
a similar violent gale from the south raged in December, 1848, when a like
number of ships met with the same fate, and were dashed to pieces. The
British sloop of war _Daphne_ only escaped by making the open sea in time.
In order to run less risk of being surprised by such gales, sailing
vessels generally cast anchor to the south of the Loo Rock, where there is
tolerably safe anchorage at a depth of twenty-five to thirty fathoms. In
that position they are clear of the rocky headlands, and can therefore
more easily set sail before the sea rushes in with all its irresistible
violence. Steamers, which are better able to resist the force of the waves
than sailing vessels, generally cast anchor nearer the shore, so that
passengers may be more easily landed, and coals shipped with greater

[Footnote 12: The Portuguese for fennel-field, because the first
discoverers of the island found this plant in great abundance.]

The Portuguese Government has done nothing to compensate for the
shortcomings of nature with regard to safe landing-places in this island,
otherwise so highly favoured. Though the rocky condition of the Funchal
roads, (the only anchorage for larger ships which the island possesses,)
offers sufficient means for the construction of a harbour for boats and
small vessels, yet the Government has hitherto done so little, that the
landing of passengers can only be effected by small, peculiarly-built
boats, which, whilst tossed by the waves, have to be drawn on shore by the
natives wading knee-deep in the water. If, therefore, the ship remains any
length of time at Funchal, the communication with the land is attended
with considerable expense. We laid out, in payments to the boatmen, during
a stay of nine days, the sum of forty-five Spanish piastres[13] (£9 15s.
sterling), although they had not over-charged us.

[Footnote 13: Spanish piastre = 4s. 4d. at par.]

The formalities at the custom-house, which strangers--even those belonging
to a ship-of-war of a friendly Power--have to go through, are extremely
annoying, and entail a great loss of time. Before landing, passengers'
boats are boarded in the open roads by officers, who are stationed a few
cable lengths from the shore. On landing, the stranger is obliged to
repair to the custom-house, where even small and open packages are
subjected to a second rigid examination. The time lost during this
process, unnecessarily minute, is exceedingly unpleasant. The reason
assigned for these vexatious regulations is the extent to which, of late,
smuggling has been carried on in the island, and which, in the opinion of
the Governor, required these measures of precaution. It seems, however,
that this system rather promotes contraband trading, by making it very
lucrative. The Austrian consul, Charles Bianchi, Esq., did all in his
power to diminish the frequency of the continual examinations, and
likewise, in all other respects, endeavoured to promote the objects of the

The greatest length of the island of Madeira, from Ponta Furado in the
east, to Ponta do Pargo, in the west, amounts to 30 miles; its greatest
breadth, from Ponta do Cruz in the south, to Ponta do Saõ Jorge in the
north, is 12-1/2 miles, and its area is about 240 square miles. This
volcanic and mountainous island is intersected by innumerable deep ravines
and defiles, and its whole surface is so much broken and irregular, that
the representation Columbus once gave to Queen Isabella, of the Island of
Jamaica, when she asked him for a description of its configuration, might
perfectly be applied to the aspect of Madeira also. The great navigator,
after having crushed a sheet of paper in his hand, and partly opened it
again, placed it on the table, saying, he could convey to Her Majesty no
clearer idea of that island than that crumpled piece of paper afforded.

A large portion of the island is not susceptible of cultivation; for the
heathy region which constitutes nearly one-third of its surface, and rises
to a height of about 2500 feet above the level of the sea, is extremely
steep, and too much exposed to winds and rains in summer, to admit of any
kind of cultivation, even that of grain; whilst another not less
considerable tract is too rocky and precipitous for that purpose. In the
south of the island, the highest limit of cultivation is estimated to be
at a height of 2500 feet, though in several places rye and barley grow at
2800 feet. In the north of the island, where a better system of irrigation
prevails, the extreme boundary of cultivation reaches a higher altitude,
and on the declivities of the Ribeiro Frio, it is met with at an elevation
of above 3000 feet.

The earlier history of the island has had such a great influence upon its
present industrial and social condition, that a few remarks on the most
important features of its history may find a place here.

Madeira was discovered in 1419, by two Portuguese, Joaõ Gonsalvo da
Camara[14] and Tristaõ Teixeira, and, about 1421, a colony of Europeans
settled on the island. Camara obtained, as a gift for his discovery, the
south-eastern, and Teixeira the north-eastern part of the island, together
with the most extensive powers and privileges. Funchal was then the
principal place of Camara's territory, and Machico that of Teixeira's.
These two recipients (_donatarios_) enjoyed the exclusive privileges of
erecting flour and saw mills; they alone were allowed to build ovens for
public baking (private baking being permitted to all); they, moreover, had
the monopoly of trading in salt, had claims upon the tithes of the royal
revenues, and were empowered to grant portions of the land to settlers.
Every settler was required to erect within five years a house, a cottage,
or barn, on his ground, and to cultivate the land. If these conditions, at
the expiration of the fixed period, had not been complied with, the donor
had the right of granting the land to some one else. These grants were
hereditary, and lapsed to the crown, or the donors, if alive, in the event
of there being no direct successors. Such extraordinary privileges and
immunities were deemed necessary in order to reconcile the holders with
the dubious character of the early settlers in the island; for, though in
those times the highest families in Portugal took part in all adventurous
expeditions, yet most of the settlers were taken from prison and convict
hulks; and the first settlement of Madeira had much more the character of
a place of banishment for criminals than that of a colony of free

[Footnote 14: Vulgarly called Zargo, or the Squinter.]

With a view to obtain more ground for cultivation, the first settlers are
said to have set on fire so large a portion of the primeval forests, that
they were soon unable to check the conflagration. According to old
writers, the fire, particularly in the south of the island, lasted several
years; and the heat is said to have been so intense, that many persons in
order to escape from it, sought refuge on board the ships in the roads of

[Footnote 15: The name _Madeira_, signifying in Portuguese "timber or
wood," justifies the statement that the island was at one time richly

This act of vandalism against nature, which is confirmed by ancient and
modern authors, is being avenged even at present, though centuries have
passed since the deed. The cedar, once a denizen of the island, is no
longer to be found; and only the ceilings of the cathedral and of old
houses, which are constructed of this costly material, show the magnitude
which this noble tree formerly attained in the island. Of the dragon tree
(_Dracæna Draco_), which was once the ornament of the forests of Madeira,
there are at present, in the whole island, only six or seven specimens in
existence, which are shown as curiosities to strangers. The Til-tree
(_Oreodaphne f[oe]tens_), the Vinhatico (_Persea indica_), and the Folhado
(_Clethra arborea_), formerly the most numerous representatives of the
native flora, are likewise at present very rarely to be met with, and
their places are occupied by plants and trees of the temperate zone,
particularly the Spanish chestnut, the fruit of which furnishes the
inhabitants with food, whilst the tree itself has served hitherto in the
north of the island as a support to the vine. The destruction of the
forests has, at the same time, considerably contributed to the
modification of the climate in general, and to the diminution of humidity
in particular. At the date of the discovery of the island, and a long time
after, the Rio Socorridos, the largest river in the island, is said to
have been so deep, as to float timber from the interior to the sea; at
present this river is quite insignificant, and almost dried up.

The island remained for two centuries in the possession of the direct
heirs of the original owners, and when at last, from want of legal
successors, these privileges lapsed, the crown granted them to other
favourites; but with some restrictions. The exclusive right to corn and
saw mills was then entirely abolished, and the salt monopoly with other
privileges was retained by the crown. The descendants of the first
settlers had in the mean time acquired considerable property in land,
whilst the cultivation of the sugar-cane, now very generally adopted, the
introduction of negro slaves from Africa, and the foundation of large
estates, contributed materially to the prosperity of the inhabitants. The
ruins of many large buildings in various parts of the island are even now
mute witnesses of the opulence of their former occupants.

This prosperous state of the island was, however, at the beginning of the
last century, materially affected by the introduction of the so-called
_vinculos_ or entails, which, introduced under the protection and in
favour of the church, were a great burden upon the land. Frequently, rich
proprietors left to the church portions of their incomes in order to have
masses said for the repose of their souls, and encumbered their lands with
so many burdens, that only a small remainder fell to their heirs. So long
as these claims were in existence the proprietors could not grant leases
for a longer period than four years, nor impose fresh burdens on their
lands. The union of several such vinculos was called a _morgado_ (entailed
property). Under the severe but wise administration of the Marquis of
Pombal, a law was passed which forbade the future creation of morgados
(unless the property yielded an income of 1200 piastres annually, and even
then the special licence of the crown had to be obtained), declaring the
whole system of entails "as contrary to the rights of property and the
well-founded claims of the other members of the family." The law of Dom
Pedro, dated the 4th February, 1802, was still more severe, as it allowed
at the same time the abolition of single entails, the value of which was
below 200 Spanish piastres annually, as well as that of every morgado,
the annual value of which did not exceed the sum of 600 piastres. As,
however, a great number of these entails exceed 200 piastres, these
oppressive restrictions still weigh upon four-fifths of the land,
notwithstanding the above-mentioned laws. Among the creditors who still
have claims, there are three nunneries (which alone, of all other similar
institutions, outlived the revolution of 1821), the hospital of Funchal,
and the Portuguese Government. The institution of these vinculos and
morgados produced a kind of feudal dependency between the cultivator of
the estates (_caseiro_) and the landlord or holder of the morgado. On the
occasion of his marriage, or the birth of an heir to the latter, the
caseiro brought presents of such fruits as his land produced; when the
landlord removed from the town into the country, the caseiro carried his
litter and luggage; in conversation the caseiro addressed the landlord as
_meu amo_ (my lord). The revolution of 1821 did away with many of these
usages, and in various ways altered the relation between the caseiro and
the landlord.

Another impediment to the improvement of agriculture, is the system of
parcelling ground into small allotments, which has been continued up to
the present time. The farms are in general extremely small. In the richer
and more fertile parts of the island they rarely exceed an acre in extent,
very often they are not half so large, and sometimes not even the tenth
part of an acre. The late Conde de Carvalho, the proprietor of nearly
one-third of the whole island, had upwards of eight thousand tenants.
Supposing that this mode of farming existed in the remaining two-thirds,
there would be in Madeira 24,000 farmers, caseiros or tenants; or, taking
the population at 100,000 souls, nearly every fourth inhabitant would be a
tenant farmer. This state of things is not to be wondered at, considering
that almost every day-labourer farms a small patch of ground, the extent
of which is not greater than the ordinary size of a large garden bed, on
which he grows vegetables, potatoes, figs, peaches, sugar-cane, and
sometimes even grain.

In the north and west of the island, where agriculture has made more
progress than in the south, rent is paid in money; generally, however, the
system of paying in kind is still in existence, in which the harvest,
(after deducting the _tithe_, which, at Madeira, belongs to the State and
not to the church,) is divided between the landlord and the tenants.
According to this principle the landlord receives half of the produce of
the ground, be it grain, sugar-cane, wine, fruit or vegetables, which are
brought for sale, and not consumed on the farm itself. It sometimes
happens, however, that the harvest is sold in a lump, while yet on the
ground. Oxen are the only animals employed in agriculture. They are
diminutive and singularly unsightly, but of a very powerful breed, and
furnish very good meat for the table. They are generally fed in stalls,
but in the mountainous districts they graze in open pastures. There are
only a few badly-fed sheep on the island, so that the mutton is almost
unfit for consumption. Pigs and fowls are in abundance, and the rearing of
poultry is generally the principal means of living possessed by the
peasantry. What is asserted by some authors regarding wild rabbits and
boars to be met with on the island, wants confirmation. The few rabbits we
saw were perfectly identical with the European species (_Lepus
cuniculus_), and lead to the supposition that rabbits as well as pigs, now
found in a wild state here and there on the island, are only the progeny
of those which have formerly been introduced from Europe.

The numerous open and walled water conduits (_levadas_), which are of
considerable height, and lead to all parts of the cultivated land, are of
particular importance. Each levada is placed under the superintendence of
a committee, selected mostly from the landowners, who have a direct
interest in them. Sometimes one person only, generally the most
considerable landowner of the district, under the title of _juiz da
levada_, is entrusted with the control of the water, and receives for his
services the use of the water during twenty-four hours. The right of using
these levadas is very strictly guarded, and often leads to law
proceedings. Every piece of ground within a district through which such a
conduit runs, is entitled to the use of the water by turns, during a
certain number of hours (generally not more than twenty-four). These turns
are different, according to the extent of the district, from fifteen to
forty days. The distribution of the water is entrusted to a so-called
_levadeiro_, who places himself at the upper end of the land through which
the water is to flow, and with an hour-glass in his hand measures--a
modern Saturn--the time during which the owner is entitled to the use of
the beneficent element. After the expiration of the fixed period, the
water is made to pass on to the ground of another proprietor. These
conduits, so extremely important to the farmer, were constructed partly at
the expense of the Government, and partly by the contributions of the
landed proprietors. Those who have no other title may obtain the right to
this privilege either by purchase or by government grant. For every
twenty-four hours' use of the levadas 400 reis[16] are paid, which tax is
employed to keep them in good order.

[Footnote 16: 1000 reis or milreis=to one Spanish piastre, or about 4s.

The high roads of Madeira are, with but few exceptions, in a deplorable
condition. They are generally laid with small pointed stones, and at
numerous places they have an inclination of from 23 to 27 degrees. Every
adult male native is obliged to pay annually one Spanish piastre, or to
give five days' labour for their repair. On account of the bad condition
of the roads in the interior of the island, most of the natural produce is
conveyed from one place to another in boats, or, as is the case with wine,
is carried to the harbour in skins and casks, on the backs of the


The first attempt at cultivation in Madeira was the planting of
sugar-canes, introduced soon after the discovery of the island, through
the instrumentality of Prince Henry of Portugal (son of John I.), which
grew so abundantly, that for a considerable period the produce of the
island sufficed for the supply of the whole kingdom of Portugal. In
commemoration of this flourishing epoch, as regards the cultivation of the
sugar-cane, two sugar-loaves were introduced into the arms of the island.
In the year 1452 was erected the first sugar factory, near Machica, and at
the end of the fifteenth century there existed as many as 120, in which
slaves chiefly were employed. The Jesuit, Antonio Cordeyro, who wrote his
_Historia Insulana Lusitana_ at the beginning of last century, makes
mention of a considerable number of sugar factories, which had been
erected in almost every part of the south coast. On the estate of the
Genoese, Juan Esmeralda, half a league from Ribeiro do Taboa, there were
annually manufactured 20,000 arrobas[17] of sugar. By degrees, however, the
culture of the cane fell, into decay, whether through disease of the plant
or its cheaper production in the Brazils and West Indies is not known, so
that in the year 1840, only two sugar factories were at work in the whole
island; and even these only produce molasses and rum, of which the latter,
in the year 1856, amounted to 1500 pipes. The cultivation of the
sugar-cane, however, has increased since the vine disease has fallen so
heavily on the landowner. In the summer of 1857, there were eighteen
factories again in activity on the island, though so late as 1855, the
importation of sugar, for the consumption of the island, amounted to but
31,176 arrobas.[18]

[Footnote 17: One arroba = 32 arrateles or pounds. One pipe = 108 gallons.]

[Footnote 18: From 64 lbs. of sugar-cane are obtained 4 galls. of juice,
and from 4 galls. of juice are made 8 galls. of rum. The average price was
2200 reis per gal. of sugar-juice. The rum of commerce (from 22 to 23
degrees) is sold at one Spanish piastre the gallon.]

The greatest elevation at which, in the south of the island, the
sugar-cane can be grown, is, like that of the banana tree, about 1000 feet
above the level of the sea. In the north, the cultivation of the cane
would be remunerative only at those points where, as, for instance, at
Fayal and San Jorge, ground and temperature are most favourable for it. To
judge by the soil and climate, the cultivation of the cane in Madeira
might, with care, even at the present time, prove advantageous. In the
south-west part of Lousiana, where, in 1796, this plant was introduced
exclusively for the manufacture of _Taffia_,[19] there exist at present as
many as 1500 sugar factories, producing annually, on an average, 200,000
hogsheads of sugar. The planter of Madeira is not, as in Lousiana, obliged
by the frost to cut the cane before it is ripe; there it ripens
thoroughly, blooms in January, and is harvested in March.

[Footnote 19: A beverage resembling brandy in taste, much liked in the West

The motive power of the sugar-mills is mostly water and steam. There are
also a dozen large distilleries at work, possessing the most modern
English improvements. An acre of land, planted with sugar-cane, is said to
yield from 100 to 120 Spanish piastres, a result for the landowner more
profitable than that arising from the cultivation of the vine, even in its
best days.

As regards the culture of cotton, for which the climate and soil are
peculiarly suitable, no attempt has as yet been made. The same remark
applies to olive trees; though the Government ordered the latter to be
planted so long ago as 1768. The cultivation of tobacco, however, is
prevented from extending, being a government monopoly. As for wheat, it
is not produced in sufficient quantity to meet one quarter of the
consumption of the inhabitants. In the year 1854, wheat, to the amount of
216,918 bushels, was imported from the north of Africa alone, a quantity
nearly twice as great as that which the island produces. Wheat and maize,
or Indian corn, are also imported from the Azores, and some ports of the
Mediterranean; an importation which is likely rather to increase than

The potato belongs to that small class of vegetables which grow at
considerable elevations, and, by proper irrigation and dressing of the
ground, three harvests may be obtained in the course of the year.

The Inhame [not the Yam (_Dioscorea alata_) of the West Indies and South
America, but a kind of grume (_Colocasia esculenta_)] grows in large
quantities near to rivers and water conduits, where the ground is humid.
It is much sought for by the people, on account of its cheapness, though
rather a coarse kind of food, which, as Cordeyro naïvely says, "picao
algum tanto na garganta" (scratches the throat).

Sweet potatoes (_Convolvulus edulis_, Lin.), water-melons, gourds, as well
as all kinds of European garden vegetables, are found throughout the year
in the market, though not of a particularly good quality. Oranges, lemons,
bananas, guavas, pine-apples, figs, apricots, and peaches, are abundant
during the summer season, and on higher ground even apple and pear-trees
are to be met with.

On the "Desertas," three uninhabited little islands south-east of
Madeira, and belonging to it, there grows on the rocks the orchilla
(_Rocella tinctoria_), a species of lichen, celebrated for yielding a fine
purple colour, much used in dyeing. Considering the great importance for
industrial purposes of this lichen, it might, with some care, be
advantageously grown in Madeira. Formerly there was a small quantity
brought to market, and sold for 14,000 reis the quintal. At the present
time the yield has entirely ceased, though it is found in large quantities
in the neighbouring islands. It is considered not to be of such good
quality as that of the Azores, where, as is the case with all lichens,
that grow in more southern and warmer climates, it is of a better quality,
and more highly esteemed.

The product, however, which hitherto has yielded the largest profit to the
natives, and made the name of Madeira famous and familiar, even to those
who do not profess a particular interest in the beauties of nature in this
romantic island, is its _wine_. Though this article of exportation has,
through the vine disease, entirely lost its former importance, yet it may
be of some interest to take a glance at its history and culture, in order
the better to comprehend the magnitude of the calamities that have
overwhelmed the people of Madeira, in consequence of the bad vintages of
the last seven years.

The vine was introduced from Cyprus, almost at the same time with the
sugar-cane, under the auspices of Prince Henry of Portugal, in 1425, but
its culture did not attain much importance till the beginning of the
sixteenth century. Some authors even suppose that the wine of Madeira owes
its reputation chiefly to those plants which were, at a much later date,
imported by the Jesuits from Candia. This much is certain, that the
produce grown on the estates of the Jesuits greatly surpassed in quality
all others in the island, and maintained a higher price in the market even
when those estates had changed hands. The grape ripens in the north at an
elevation of 2700 feet, but such as are fitted for the manufacture of
wine, grow only as high as the Curral das Freiras (2080 feet).

Hitherto four sorts of vines have been cultivated in the island, namely,
the _Bual_ and _Tinta_, both of which were brought from Burgundy, the
_Sercial_ from the Rhine, and the _Malvasia_ or _Malmsey_ from Candia.
There are four species of the last-mentioned, (_candila_, _roxa_,
_babosa_, and _propea_); the delicious flavour of which by many people is
considered to have a great similarity with the Hungarian _Tokayer_. The
most esteemed sorts were grown west of Funchal, near Cama de Lobos, and
Estreita. Excellent qualities were grown also at Santa Cruz, on the north
side of the island, and the valleys near Ponta da Cruz; in general,
however, the grape of the northern district proved to be of inferior
quality, and was therefore only used in the manufacture of rum. In the
north the vines were trained on chestnut trees, but in the south, as in
Lombardy and the Tyrol, in festoons, supported by a kind of cane (_Arundo
sagittata_), and tied up by a species of willow (_Salex rubra_),
specially cultivated for that purpose.

Though nearly a fifth of the cultivated portion of the island was thus
planted, yet the individual vineyards were but small in extent, the
largest of them not exceeding three or four acres. In the wine-growing
countries of Europe fresh plants are set at least every twenty years; but
in Madeira they are allowed to remain in the ground so long as they yield
any fruit. The native growers do not relish improvements; of all the
agricultural implements which some English landowners, settled near
Funchal, wished to introduce, the garden-rake alone was adopted by these
enemies of innovation. The vineyards of Madeira were usually let out to
farmers (_caseiros_), and rarely cultivated by the proprietors themselves.
The yield of an acre was estimated at from one to three pipes. In 1848 the
cost of producing a pipe of Madeira amounted to from 12 to 40 Spanish
piastres. In the same year the total production of the island amounted to
30,000 pipes, of which only 10,000 were exported, as the inferior sorts,
not keeping well, are not suited for the foreign markets. Of the wines
exported, half went to Russia and the Baltic provinces, the other,
comprising the best kinds, were sent to England, the West Indies, and the
United States. Up to the year 1851, when the last good vintage occurred,
the price of a pipe varied from 12 to 14 Spanish piastres. So late as
1845, when the Danish corvette _Galatea_, on her voyage round the world
for scientific purposes, put in at this island, the inferior sorts were
so cheap that Captain Steen Bille considered it more profitable to supply
the crew with wine mixed with water than beer. Since that time prices have
become ten times higher, and the best quality now sells for from £110 to
£150 a pipe, and will doubtless rise in proportion as the older stores are

Though the yield of the vine had been decreasing, year after year, for a
considerable time, yet the actual vine disease only made its appearance in
1852, when the leaves and fruit were covered with a kind of fungus
(_Oïdium Tuckeri_),[20] like a white dust. The Portuguese Government sent a
commission for the purpose of investigating the causes of the calamity.
The report[21] is not decisive on the point, whether the fungus is the real
cause or only a symptom of the disease, nor does it offer any advice as to
how it may be checked. Dr. Hermann Schacht,[22] who resided during a period
of 18 months in the island, and has published a valuable treatise, states
that the vine-disease appears there in the same form as in Germany, even
as regards the season, which is soon after the blossom disappears. At
first the young leaf is covered with a whitish matter, chiefly on its
lower side; it then assumes a crumpled appearance, becomes spotted, and
at last decays. The young diseased grape likewise becomes covered with a
white dust, at first partially, and then entirely, the green skin by
degrees assuming a brown colour, the grape increasing at same time in
size, until it as large as a currant, or a small cherry, when it becomes
black, and perishes together with its diseased stock. In this decayed
condition the grapes remain on the vine till late in the autumn. Dr.
Schacht was successful in arresting the progress of the disease in its
earlier stages, by washing all parts of the plant with a solution
consisting of one part of glue to sixteen parts of water; an operation
which had been likewise performed with good effect in the Royal hothouses
of Sans-souci in Prussia. He rubbed the leaves and grapes infected by the
fungus with this solution, and, where possible, dipped the grapes in it.
The solution very soon dried, and gave the grapes and leaves a glossy
appearance. All that had once been operated upon in this way remained in a
healthy condition, and even those affected by the fungus recovered beneath
the crust, the operation thus seeming to afford a protection against the
fungus. The practice of strewing the plant over with powdered sulphur,
which was so much lauded, seems to be of little use. At Teneriffe, Dr.
Schacht found the fungus widely spread, notwithstanding the application of
sulphur. Keeping the grape close upon the ground is also recommended as a
protection against the disease, having proved very successful in the

[Footnote 20: Vide Botanical Gazette of 1852, page 9; of 1853, page 583;
and of 1854, page 137;--Fulasne, "Sur le Champignon, qui cause la Maladie
de la Vigne."--_Comptes Rendus_, vol. xxvii. 1853;--Dr. Schacht on
Madeira, pages 52 to 58.]

[Footnote 21: Memoria primero sobre a mangra e doenza das vinhas nas ilhas
da Madeira e Porto Santo, por Joao de Andrade Corvo. Lisbon. 1854.]

[Footnote 22: Madeira und Teneriffa mit ihrer Vegetation, &c. Von Dr. H.
Schacht. Berlin. 1859.]

The pecuniary loss sustained since the first appearance of the malady
amounted in the autumn of 1852 to 1,137,990 Spanish piastres, £190,000,[23]
and after having waited in vain a period of five years, for a better state
of things, the impoverished landowners entirely gave up cultivating the
vine. A traveller who chances now to visit Madeira can scarcely believe
that but a few years ago the greater portion of the island was covered
with the plant. The cause of its disappearance must, however, not be
ascribed entirely to the disease, but partly also to the utter neglect of
its culture in favour of that of other products, so much so that of late
it was scarcely possible to procure a sufficient quantity of grapes for
invalids to whom they were medicinally prescribed. Moreover, the sugar
plantations, which annually increase in extent, have contributed to the
destruction of the vines, as the former require irrigation, which causes
the roots of the latter to rot in the humid ground.[24]

[Footnote 23: The quantity of wine produced amounted, in the year 1851, to
10,374 pipes; in the following year (1852), only to 1413-1/2 pipes.]

[Footnote 24: The vine disease seems, however, to have been already
prevalent in Madeira at a former period. In an old lease, referring to
land or property in the west of the island, there is a clause to the
effect that "In the event of the young grape being covered with mildew
(_mangra_), the contract would be null and void." In Portugal also, the
disease is said to have existed more than fifty years ago, though not to a
great extent.]

The present situation of the people of Madeira claims alike the sympathies
of the philanthropist and the attention of the political economist. We
here behold a population of upwards of a hundred thousand souls, deprived
at once of a product, which has been for more than three centuries the
principal means of obtaining their living, and by which many an
industrious grower made a considerable fortune.

The farmer of Madeira, accustomed for generations to this branch of
industry, is now forced to apply his energies to another, on the fortunate
selection of which will depend his welfare for the future, or at least for
years to come.

Some of the wealthier growers have not entirely abandoned the culture of
the vine, and have been assisted in their endeavours by the Consul of the
United States in Funchal, the liberal-minded Mr. Marsh; experiments were
made by engrafting and setting fresh and healthy plants, brought from the
banks of the Ohio. They proceeded on the principle, that it is most
advisable, and likely to be productive of the best success, to obtain
young plants only from countries where the disease has never appeared. The
choice fell upon the Isabella and Catawba grapes, which are indigenous to
the United States; and, whatever may be the final success, the merit of
transplanting, at a considerable expense, these two North-American grapes
to Madeira, is due to Mr. Marsh. It is, however, a question, whether they
will be able to replace those hitherto cultivated, the conditions of
climate and soil being so different. As is well known, none of the
European vines succeed in North America; and the two indigenous sorts,
which are grown in great quantities on the banks of the Ohio and the
Missouri, cannot stand a comparison with any of our finer kinds. The juice
of the American grapes is best suited for the manufacture of what is
called sparkling hock, which is very like the Austrian Schaumwein.

Some of the wealthier landowners formed an association for the purpose of
introducing the culture of cochineal, to supply the place of that of the
vine. Several plantations of nopal, or cactus, were laid out, and the
first harvest was gathered in 1858. The nopal (_Opuntia cochinillifera_)
is the only kind of cactus on which the cochineal insect breeds, and the
south of the island, up to an elevation of 500 feet, the only part adapted
for its cultivation. An attempt was made to introduce the culture of
cochineal in the island by Señor Miguel de Carvalho, as far back as 1836.
But the indifference of the people, and their prejudices against
innovation, as well as the limited spirit of enterprise possessed by the
native merchants, rendered the attempt, in that instance, abortive. In
consequence, however, of the vine disease, the idea of cultivating
cochineal was resumed, without considering, as it would appear, the
probable results in a mercantile point of view. At the time of our visit
there were about thirty acres of land planted with cactus, and the "seed"
of the cochineal insect was expected from the Canary Islands. One cannot
but think the notion of substituting the cultivation of cochineal for that
of the vine was not a lucky one, the large capital required, and the
limited market for the article, holding out small chance of success. The
entire consumption of cochineal in the whole world amounts to no more than
about 30,000 quintals, and towards this quantity, Guatemala furnishes
15,000, the Canary Islands 6000, Mexico 8000, Java and the Philippine
Islands together 1000 quintals. There is little prospect, therefore, that
the cochineal culture of Madeira will ever become an important source of
gain, or advantageously compensate for the loss of the vine. Few
landowners in the island seem to possess sufficient means to withstand the
chances and fluctuations to which its culture is subject. To illustrate
this, it may be mentioned, that during our visit to the highlands of
Guatemala, in 1854, when the cochineal harvest was bad, the tercio (150
lbs.) of cochineal cost 140 Spanish piastres. In the following year, when
it was unusually productive, the price declined to 80 piastres. A tercio
of dried cochineal costs the grower, or nopalero, about 50 piastres; a
nopal plantation must lie fallow every third year, being consequently only
productive during two years. Have the landowners of Madeira considered all
these disadvantages, and will they be able to bear all the drawbacks
peculiar to the culture of cochineal? The climate and soil seem to hold
out far greater advantages for the cultivation of the sugar-cane, coffee,
cotton, and tobacco.

There are few spots on the earth's surface which possess a climate so
delightful, and so little subject to extremes as Madeira, the mean annual
temperature being 64 degrees Fahrenheit, or only 5 degrees higher than in
the most southern parts of Europe. The lowest temperature during five
years' observation was 50 degrees, the highest, 74. An invalid residing at
Funchal, within his own doors, may always have a temperature not lower
than 64, nor higher than 74 degrees. Violent siroccos occur in the course
of the summer, which drive the thermometer up to 90 degrees in the shade;
these storms, however, occur only twice or thrice a year, and rarely last
longer than a couple of days. Dr. Renton, who lived in Madeira from 1825
to 1831, only once during all that time saw the thermometer marking 90
degrees, two hours after sunset. The rainy season, marked by west and
south-west winds, begins at the end of September or the beginning of
October. In November the weather clears up, and generally keeps fine till
the end of December. At this period snow falls on the mountains, and rain
at Funchal, accompanied by north-westerly winds, lasting till about the
end of February, during which time the weather is wet. The remainder of
the year is comparatively dry, the annual fall of rain at Madeira
amounting, according to Sir James Clark,[25] to 36 inches, there being in
all about 73 wet days,[26] whilst at Rome, for instance, it rains, on an
average, during 117 days, though the amount of rain-fall is only 29

[Footnote 25: On the Sanative Influence of the Climate of Madeira. By Sir
James Clark. London. 1841.]

[Footnote 26: The fall of rain, according to Dr. Hoberdon's observations,
is, on a seven years' average, 30·62 inches per annum. Dr. Mittermayr,
from Heidelberg, states, on a three years' average, the rainy days to be
95 per year. Johnston, in his Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena, states
the fall of rain on an average to be 29·82 inches, and the number of rainy
days 100 per annum, viz. 48 in the winter, 17 in the spring, 4 in the
summer, and 31 in the autumn.]

In some respects the winter is warmer at Madeira than the summer, owing to
the north-westerly winds and the regular sea-breezes of that season,
which keep the atmosphere continually at an even temperature; and hence
the island is the favourite resort of consumptive patients during the
winter season. England, which seems to possess the very unenviable
privilege of furnishing to the annual mortality in Europe the most
numerous contingent of phthisical patients, provides this island likewise
with the greatest number of this, the most to be pitied of all classes of
patients. The climate of Madeira will, however, be of little benefit in
advanced and decided cases; although it seems to have a curative effect on
young people in the first stage of the malady, as well as in cases where,
being hereditary, its presence is merely apprehended.

The number of strangers who annually, during the winter, resort to Madeira
for the benefit of their health, amounts to from 400 to 500, and the money
thereby circulated in the island reaches the sum of about £30,000. The
number of English alone in the year 1855 was 285. But in the winter of
1856-57, the English invalids who came to Madeira scarcely reached 100.
The reason of this was another calamity, the cholera, which suddenly made
its appearance in Funchal on the 4th of July, 1856. Until this epoch, the
island had been spared this devastating scourge of our time. The epidemic
is said to have been introduced by a detachment of Portuguese troops,
which shortly before had arrived from Lisbon, where cholera was then
raging. The circumstances under which this epidemic appeared in Madeira
leave little doubt of the correctness of this supposition, and seem to
confirm the view of Professor Pettenkofer,[27] relative to the importation
of the disease by ships, and its propagation by human excrements, a theory
advanced by this learned German physician in his famous work, with as much
soundness as sagacity.

The first individuals attacked were four soldiers of the 1st battalion of
infantry, and the first who fell a victim to the epidemic was a boatman,
who had landed some of the soldiers from the steamer. He was attacked on
the 7th of July, at 1 P.M., and nine hours afterwards was a corpse. A few
weeks later the scourge had spread over the whole island, raging with
fatal severity, in consequence of the poverty, distress, and helplessness
of the inhabitants. We cannot forbear mentioning a phenomenon observed at
the time of the first appearance of the pestilence by Major Dom Pedro de
Azevedo, one of the most distinguished men in Funchal. According to the
observations regularly made by him, during two years, with reference to
the quantity of ozone[28] contained in the atmosphere, he found that, as
long as the pestilence was raging, it scarcely amounted to 2, whilst,
under normal circumstances, the quantity, according to the ozonometer of
Schönbein, is said to reach 6 to 7.

[Footnote 27: Dr. Pettenkofer's Investigations and Observations on the
Spread of Cholera. Munich. 1855.]

[Footnote 28: Ozone, or oxygen in an allotropic condition, is found in more
perceptible quantity in pure localities than in those where great
quantities of putrescent substances are accumulated, as the ozone
disappears by oxidation. Observations on the quantity of ozone contained
in the air during an epidemic are, therefore, of great interest, because
they may throw a light on the influences of the atmosphere in the
propagation of certain diseases.]

In the beginning of October the malady gradually began to decrease, the
last case which happened on the island occurring at Funchal, on the 16th
December, 1856. It appears, from official reports, that out of a
population of 102,837 souls, 7041 fell victims to the epidemic; other
statements, that seem not less reliable, even raise the number of fatal
cases to a much larger figure. A variety of local circumstances tended to
heighten the fearful violence of the epidemic: the great distress among
the people, arising from the deficiency of the vintages during several
years; the potato disease, which occurred in the summer of 1856, and
deprived the population, whilst suffering from other calamities, of one of
their most important means of sustenance; and finally, to bring
misfortunes to a climax, even that source of gain was dried up which the
people derived from the temporary residence of numerous wealthy families.
Terrified by the reports which were in circulation as to the ravages
caused by the cholera at Madeira, hundreds altered their original plan of
passing the winter there, and even resident strangers, horror-stricken,
left the island, which had been so suddenly converted from a paradise into
a burial-ground. The loss arising from the latter cause is estimated at
£20,000, an immense sum at a time when pestilence and famine were raging
so fiercely. The British Government, as well as English philanthropists in
general, deserve the highest praise for the liberality with which they
promptly and generously hastened to the assistance of the sufferers. Soon
as intelligence of the great distress arrived in London, two steamers of
war, the _Salamander_ and _Hesper_, with provisions, medicine, clothing,
bedding, and money, were despatched to Funchal, where the former arrived
on the 18th and the latter on the 31st of October, 1856. This assistance
essentially contributed to the rapid extinction of the epidemic, as it
sufficed to relieve the more pressing wants.[29] Considerable contributions
arrived also from the United States; and, according to public statements,
the relief that came from foreign countries amounted to £8895.

[Footnote 29: Old chronicles report that Madeira has been visited by a
pestilential disease, that raged within the years 1521 to 1535. But the
cholera was never in the island before the year 1856. The yellow fever is
altogether unknown.]

The commerce of the island was, as a matter of course, seriously affected
by such a train of calamities. The principal exports had hitherto
consisted of wine, cattle, fruit, and wicker-work; the first and most
important of these articles--wine--had, as already stated, all but
entirely disappeared from the list for several years, the small quantities
still exported being merely the remnants of old stocks.

According to custom-house registers, the entire value of the produce
exported in 1851 amounted to £164,960, of which £96,950 were shipped in
English, £26,500 in American, and £16,650 in Portuguese vessels. The
exports of 1855 were only £95,470, and in 1855, when the wine export had
entirely ceased, the value did not exceed £2400!

The imports were of a more numerous and varied description; calico, cotton
and woollen goods, hardware, spices and provisions from England; timber,
salt meat, and other articles from the United States; grain from the
Mediterranean and the Black Sea; and sugar, coffee, oil, rice, and other
colonial produce from Lisbon and the Portuguese settlements. The commerce
is almost entirely in the hands of the English,[30] whose liberality during
the cholera epidemic has much raised them in the estimation of the

[Footnote 30: Three-fifths of the 50,000 tons annually imported are
_English_ manufactures.]

The absence of a regular banking establishment is much felt by the trading
community, particularly in times of temporary distress. Singularly enough
there are few Portuguese coins to be met with, and even these are not
liked by the inhabitants. The moneys chiefly in circulation are English
and American gold and silver coins, French five-franc pieces, and Spanish
dollars. The sailing vessels in the roads of Funchal are mostly under
English and American flags. The steamers which keep up the intercourse
between Europe and the Brazils call regularly at Funchal for mails and
passengers,[31] and a steam-packet arrives regularly every fortnight on its
way from Europe to South America.

[Footnote 31: An English coal depôt has been established in Funchal since

The trade carried on under ordinary circumstances is, as we have seen, by
no means inconsiderable, and by proper management might enable the people
to extricate themselves from their present depressed position; but though
not exactly lazy, they are entirely deficient in the energy requisite for
effectively improving their condition. Whenever they have enough of yams
and potatoes, they no longer think of exerting themselves or of acquiring
a more comfortable or independent mode of existence. Neither in Ireland,
nor in the Silesian mountains, nor even amongst the Indians in North or
South America, have we witnessed such a degree of poverty and wretchedness
as we beheld among the labouring classes in the mountainous districts of
this island. On entering a village, shoals of haggard-looking beggars
covered with rags were seen, whose features indicated their unhealthy way
of living, and an utter lack of the most common necessaries of life. The
calamities of the last five years have certainly contributed to this
excess of misery, and a traveller who visited Madeira twenty years ago,
may have carried away with him quite a different impression of its

The race inhabiting the island, notwithstanding some favourable
exceptions, is rather unprepossessing and decrepit, owing to the elements
of which it is composed. The first settlers, as already stated, belonged
by no means to the better classes of Portugal, but consisted of a motley
assemblage of ruffians, who came to the newly-discovered island merely in
search of adventure. The admixture which afterwards took place with the
black race imported from Africa, materially contributed to deteriorate the
people both physically and morally. Though there is not one single pure
negro in the whole island, yet the features of a considerable proportion
of the inhabitants denote their African descent. In the population of
Punta da Sol, a village on the west side of the island, the negro type is
said to be exhibited in its strongest character.

The dress of the native is extremely simple; a pair of white trowsers, a
shirt, and linen jacket, constitute the entire toilette; with a few rare
exceptions we never saw shoes: but even the poorest of the poor wears a
curiously-shaped small cloth cap (_carapuça_) of a blue colour, with red
lining, terminating in an erect pointed tail, six inches long. This seems
to be a remnant of a turbaned head-dress, worn formerly by the inhabitants
of the African coast, with whom the first settlers, allured by the
slave-trade, once carried on an active intercourse.


Many of the inhabitants of Funchal obtain their livelihood by acting as
guides to strangers. The roads being very steep, and formed of pointed
stones, horses of an excellent breed are used in going even short
distances; however fast the visitors may gallop, the guide follows the
horses on foot, to which the natives are habituated from their earliest
years. This practice is undoubtedly one of the principal causes of
consumptive complaints, which are more frequently met with here than might
have been expected considering the climate, though bad nourishment and
unhealthy dwellings may have their part in causing the prevalence of the
malady. The common people are mostly lodged in small low cabins of wood or
timber, thatched with straw, the only opening being the door, through
which air and light are admitted. Their sleeping-places are wooden
benches, covered with straw, raised only one or two feet from a ground
which, during nine months of the year, is damp.

It is scarcely necessary to state that the wealthier classes offer a more
pleasing aspect. They are extremely obliging, kind, and attentive towards
strangers, and evidently endeavour to impress the visitor with favourable
ideas of themselves and the island. To the hospitality of the Austrian
Consul, as well as to Major P. A. de Azevedo and Don Juan Muniz, so
deservedly celebrated for his knowledge of the flora of Madeira, the
members of the _Novara_ expedition are indebted for many a happy and
delightful hour.

The population is perceptibly on the decrease. The causes are emigration
to the British West Indies, and devastation by the cholera. The number of
inhabitants in the two islands, in 1836, amounted to 115,446; in 1854, to
103,296; and in 1855, to only 102,183. The emigrants during the last
twenty-five years (1835 to 1860) are said to have amounted to 40,000, many
of whom depart secretly, in order to avoid the heavy emigration tax.

Numerous benevolent institutions indicate the charitable disposition of
the inhabitants. The hospital, or Santa Casa de Misericordia, standing in
a beautiful square, planted with planes and magnolias, can receive 104
patients, and is exceedingly well managed. It appears, however, rather
singular that the surgical are separated from the medical cases, whilst no
separation exists amongst the patients who may happen to be labouring
under contagious diseases. The most frequently recurring diseases are
cutaneous, a circumstance which need excite no surprise in a country where
the natives pay so little attention to the cleanliness of their bodies,
and where Government itself favours as it were this carelessness by
levying a considerable tax upon the importation of soap! Dysentery
prevails throughout the year; intermittent fever and inflammatory diseases
occur more rarely; but apoplectic cases are at times very numerous. The
nominal amount of the funds of the hospital is estimated at £40,000; the
annual income being about £1800 sterling.

The hospital for lepers is fitted up for the reception of about forty
patients, most of whom come from places in which the black has least mixed
with the white race.

The workhouse, for 230 paupers, was founded in 1847 by public
subscription, and has an annual income of from 3000 to 4000 piastres.

The nunnery of St. Isabel, for the reception of female orphans, was
erected as early as 1726. Great care is taken of the education of the
inmates, who are not permitted to leave the establishment, except in case
of getting married or respectably employed.

Foundlings, of whom, in one single year, 839 were maintained by the
commune of Funchal, are given out to nurse; and there has been a most
singular expedient adopted, in order to prevent abuse as regards obtaining
the board money, which amounts to about one piastre a month, for each. A
piece of tape is put round the infant's neck, the two ends of which are
fastened with a lead seal, and stamped, so that, in the event of death, it
cannot be taken off and put on another child's neck. The witnessing of the
process of fastening and stamping this necklace is most unpleasant,
although no real pain is inflicted on the child.

In the year 1855 there existed in the entire island twelve elementary
schools, attended by about 200 scholars, and likewise forty-nine Sunday
schools, having about 2400 pupils. Funchal also possesses a college, with
six professors and 120 students, an ecclesiastical seminary for
twenty-four pupils, and a medical school, with four professors, which,
however, during the year of our visit, had only seven students. Though the
Government is very rigid in exacting the attendance of the children at
school, yet only about a seventh part of the whole number living in the
island really avail themselves of the benefit.

A hospital for the consumptive is now in course of erection, at the
expense of the Empress dowager of the Brazils, as a memorial of her
daughter, who, in 1853, died of this disease on the island.

There exist several public libraries and book societies at Funchal; and in
several of the clubs a great many of the leading English, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, and German journals, are to be found. Four weekly papers, in
the Portuguese language, are published at Funchal. The first newspaper
ever published there was the _Patriota Funchalense_, the first number of
which appeared on the 2nd of June, 1821.


The public buildings offer little to attract notice; the churches are
insignificant, and even the cathedral, a building in the Basilica style,
is in no way remarkable otherwise than by the innumerable garlands and
nosegays, offerings of pious devotees, which as it were transform its
interior into a fragrant temple of flowers.

That which was once a Jesuit monastery, has been now converted into a
barrack, in which the whole garrison of the island, amounting to 400 men,
are lodged. The daily pay of these soldiers amounts to 20 reis, or about
one penny!

An ordinary dwelling-house has lately been converted into a town gaol, in
which the prisoners are very humanely treated. Passers-by may have an
undisturbed talk with them through the lattice-work; and once we even
observed a man who had thrust his foot through the iron bars, in order to
have his measure taken by one of the inmates for a pair of shoes!

The charms of beautiful walks, and a most enchanting neighbourhood,
enhance the pleasantness of the climate of Funchal so much resorted to by
invalids. In the interior of the town, not far from the sea-shore,
splendid avenues of magnificent planes, large-flowered magnolias, and
massive oaks, form delightful promenades, and afford repose and shade on
numerous seats under the dense foliage of their wide-spreading branches.

Seated on a gently-ambling steed, one may reach most pleasantly the
summits of those lofty mountains, which rise close to Funchal, where a
balmy fragrance perfumes the air, and the eye roams with delight in all
directions over scenery of the most striking description.

One of the favourite points from which such a view may be obtained in all
its beauty, is the terrace in front of the church of Nossa Senhora de
Monte, situated 1965 feet above the level of the sea, on a ridge of the
Arrebantao mountain, reached in less than an hour by one or other of the
existing conveyances; these are either horses, or hammocks and
sedan-chairs, or sledges, covered with tasteful canopies, and drawn by a
couple of small oxen.


Though a vehicle, reminding one so strongly of a northern winter, appears
rather odd in a climate such as that of Madeira, yet its practicability
and convenience is very soon perceived, when comfortably sliding away over
the smooth stones of Funchal. Wheel carriages, such as used in Europe, are
unknown here.

But he who has bodily strength and health enough to be able to wander
through the interior of the island, will find spots which command
landscapes by far more grand and sublime than that seen from Nossa Senhora
de Monte. Cape San Lorenzo, with its petrified fauna;--the awe-inspiring
Entroza pass, that wonderful sculpture of nature which bears so powerful a
witness to the corroding action of water;--the lovely and solitary cascade
of Rabacal;--the Pic Arrieiro, with its craggy rocks, offering to the
geologist such a remarkable peep into the geognostical history of the
island;--the numerous gigantic rocky skeletons of volcanic cones, on which
the geologist is able to make the most interesting studies and
investigations, just in the same manner as the anatomist on a corpse;--all
these wonders of nature are calculated to awaken the reflection and excite
the admiration of the beholder.

The most delightful event during our stay in the island was an excursion
of several days, made to the romantic localities of the northern coast. A
stately cavalcade of twenty-two horsemen set out, early on a fine June
morning, from Funchal to Nossa Senhora, and from thence over the Pic
Poizo, through the glens of Metade to St. Anna. After a ride of two hours,
the Casa de Abrigo was reached, a small house, situated about 4500 feet
above the level of the sea, erected by the Government some years ago for
the shelter of travellers. From this point the path runs through a hilly
country covered with heath, from which the majestic Pico Ruivo, with the
fantastic forms of its rugged volcanic walls bathed in gold by the rays of
the rising sun, presents a most imposing sight. On the whole route only
one small miserable village, called Fayal, was passed, consisting of a few
straw thatched huts, exhibiting a picture of poverty and wretchedness,
which can scarcely be paralleled in any part of the habitable globe.

[Illustration: VILLAGE OF FAYAL.]

At last, after a ride of eight hours, we reached St. Anna, an extensive
village, with a large church and some brick buildings prettily situated in
flower-gardens, the most stately of which was--the inn. The good cheer and
repose found here for a few hours of the night, compensated in some degree
for the fatigues of the past day, and prepared us for those to be
encountered on the morrow.

The frequent fogs prevalent in Madeira during the month of June, render it
indispensable to start early in the morning, if the traveller wishes to
enjoy the beauties of the scenery. At 2 A.M., therefore, our cavalcade
set out, followed by a host of boys and porters carrying provisions and
instruments for observations. Nature was still buried in sleep, the air
quiet and motionless; the full moon, shedding her pallid light over sea
and mountain, feebly shadowed forth the outlines of the hedges and bushes
of roses, fuchsias, and hortensias, that lined the narrow path, and
brought out dimly in faint relief the ghost-like white figures which,
standing at the doors of their poor cabins, looked inquisitively at the
riders, that were already so early on their way. The path led up to the
mountains in steep and numerous windings, sometimes on soft ground through
ravines, sometimes on solid basalt, or over the uneven surface of
indurated lava. And when at last, emerging from deep glens, steep
precipices, and rocky walls, all yet buried in the shades of night, the
blue star-spangled sky burst upon us in all its beauty and grandeur, the
effect was almost overpowering. A faint glimmer of light appeared on the
distant horizon, masses of vapour moved over the ocean, and rising mists
gathering into clouds, undulated like the surface of an agitated sea. It
was only along the ridges of mountains and through the ravines, that one
might glance between mist and land down to the calm boundless expanse of
water at our feet.

At 4 o'clock a halt was made near a solitary hut, called Choupana, at a
height of 4400 feet, when the horsemen dismounted, and left their horses
behind, preferring to reach on foot the termination of their journey.

[Illustration: EL HOMEM EM PÉ.]

We had just climbed up some steep basalt rock and reached an open spot,
when the first rays of the sun tinged the eastern sky. Beaming in all his
majesty on the sharply-defined clouds that hovered beneath, they sparkled
like so many ice-capped peaks of Alpine glaciers; and when the great
luminary ascended higher, distributing mingled light and shade in such
gradations of tint as only Nature's cunning hand can mingle, the chaotic
masses of vapour assumed the appearance of gigantic islands and lofty
towering mountains, whilst a chorus of feathered songsters rung cheerfully
out from the depths of the wooded valleys. The path wound along a
precipitous declivity, grown over with tangled Til-trees, past a group of
basaltic columns, which rose isolated to a height of 40 feet above the
beautiful grassy carpet that clothes the ground, and in the crevices of
which an old laurel, the last of its genus at this height, had taken root.
The natives call this singularly-shaped group _Homem em pé_, or the man
standing erect.

Arrived at an open space of meadow ground, the Barreiro, or Encumiada
Caixa, a gigantic rocky ridge, suddenly rises to a prodigious height, from
a frightful abyss of almost fathomless depth. We now hastened across a
plain covered with lava, to the rough basaltic summit of the Encumiada
Alta. Safe on an eminence[32] above yawning gulfs, beneath a deep blue sky,
in the brilliancy of a lovely morning sun, we abandoned ourselves to the
thrilling impressions of the magnificent picture which nature here brought
forth of earth, rock, and manifold vegetation. Towards the south an
immense mountain ridge, with serried peaks (called Torres and Torinhas),
rises to a height of 6000 feet, declining almost imperceptibly on the left
hand, whilst on the right it descends abruptly in terraces, with
perpendicular walls of rocks 1000 feet in height, connected by an
inaccessible ridge with the imposing, stupendous, cupola-shaped summit of
the Pico Ruivo. All this is disclosed to the eye within a radius of little
more than two miles. Deep clefts and ravines run from the rocky crevices,
and unite in a gloomy and profound abyss of 3000 feet, which forms the
mouth of the ravine of Ribeiro Secco. Similiar chasms open to the right
and to the left, and when they are too distant to be distinguished by the
eye, dark shadows rising on the rocky walls indicate the deep crater-like
basin of the Curral, and the gulfs of the Metade river, and the Ribeiro
Frio. It would seem as if the whole island has, in a series of fearful
convulsions, burst from a single central point in all directions; as if
entire mountains had sunk into the deep, or had, by the action of torrents
permeating their crevices, been converted into rubble, and carried as sand
and fragments into the ocean.

[Footnote 32: 5883 feet, according to the geologist's barometrical

The summits of the Torres and Torrinhas are nothing but barren naked
rocks,--not a blade of grass, not a shrub, not a trace of vegetation is to
be seen. At the highest points, strata nearly horizontal extend in
remarkably regular layers, chiefly distinguished by the most manifold
variety of colours and tints.[33] A dark grey schistus of volcanic ashes
alternates with strongly-marked red, yellow, and violet layers of tufa,
dross, and scoriæ, together with brown and grey conglomerates. Just as red
predominates on the upper part of these _Torres_, green prevails on the
lower. From the spot where the springs first issue out of the crevices of
the basalt, everything seems covered with a dense green carpet. These are
the celebrated "clefts" of Madeira, in which, even on rocks of 1000 feet
high, not an inch is to be discovered bare; they afford a rich harvest to
the botanist, whilst they fill the spectator with delight and admiration.

[Footnote 33: The celebrated American geologist, Mr. Dana, mentions that
these wild contorted masses of mountain reminded him of the crater-walls
of the Kilauea at the Sandwich Islands.]

[Illustration: ERICA TREES.]

Generally speaking, the scenery of Madeira does not owe its character to
the grandeur or magnitude of its trees; the peculiar charm of the
landscape arises more from grasses, ferns, shrubs, and different kinds of
moss, all of which grow so rank and luxuriant, that the rocks, chasms, and
abysses overgrown with them, appear like so many swelling cushions, or as
if laid with soft velvet carpets in all directions. The different shades
of green indicate the characteristics of successive zones of vegetation.
Through the lower parts of the valleys run the beds of those mountain
waters which, though nearly dried up in the summer, swell in the winter
into torrents. Along these are scattered the straw-thatched huts of the
natives, surrounded by vineyards and fields planted with rye, barley,
potatoes, yams, and in the lower parts with single bananas. These
cultivated lands rise to a height of 2000 feet, and in many places even to
3000. Wherever on the steep declivities there is the smallest shelf to be
found, even if only a square yard in size, it is turned to account. Next
to this region, in ascending, is that of the brush and laurel woods.
_Vaccinias_ (blackberries), and different kinds of heath, often attaining
a growth of five or six feet, occupy the whole of the ground, and in the
month of June, when the broom is in full flower, a bright golden-coloured
belt girts Madeira, at a height of from 3000 to 4000 feet. We beheld this
golden girdle in its richest splendour, set off by the dark masses of
evergreens in the clefts. Higher up is the true region of the _Erica
arborea_, which, with its light-green and _paille_ tint, contrasted with
the deeper colour of the laurel, represents the underwood of our secondary
mountain ranges. The _Erica arborea_ attains here the height of a large
tree, and, on some spots, 30 to 40 feet of its gnarled stems stretch along
the ground. Thus it may be traced, in company with other heaths, to the
summit of the Pico Ruivo.

After having made some physical observations, and enjoyed a most
delightful prospect, we re-packed our instruments, filled our boxes and
pouches with plants and geological specimens, and prepared for our
departure. The guides, despite their heavy burdens, marched steadily on,
humming in plaintive cadence their native songs. We soon reached our
horses, and, penetrating through layers of clouds, rapidly descended the
steep mountain sides to St. Anna.

A walk on the same evening towards Porto Santo Jorge was not less
charming than instructive, especially as we gazed on those hardened
streams of lava, so interesting as regards the geological history of the
island, out of the numerous crevices of which grew luxuriant magnificent
rosettes of _Sempervivum_. Fuchsias and heliotropes were gathered from the
bushes, and each took a share, now with the geological hammer, now with
the botanical box, or the butterfly-catcher, in the harvest of objects of
natural history. We passed in this neighbourhood several houses
delightfully situated, surrounded by hedgerows of luxuriant shrubs and
splendid native flowers.

In the fine garden of the inn, amidst myrtles, bignonias, euphorbias, and
fuchsias, was a handsome _Camellia japonica_, which had attained the
imposing height of 15 feet, with a diameter of 9 inches, the top spreading
fan-like in numberless branches.

The following morning we returned to Funchal, accompanied by a troop of
ragged and diseased natives, pertinaciously appealing to our charity.
Plenteous alms were given them, for where Nature is so prodigal of her
gifts, the human mind becomes more sensitive and liberal. At noon, we
again reached the beautiful terrace of Nossa Senhora de Monte, and here
the excursion was wound up by a diversion of quite a peculiar character;
for, instead of returning to Funchal on horseback, we slid down a mountain
1500 feet high, right into the town, on small double-seated wooden
sledges, thus travelling down what is probably the grandest natural
_Montagne Russe_ in the world. A train of more than a dozen sledges
started at the same time. These singular vehicles are guided on either
side with admirable adroitness by two natives, who avoid slipping by
moistening their shoes; and, notwithstanding the velocity of these
conveyances, even slight accidents are unheard of. Sledge parties of this
kind, being cheap, constitute the most favourite amusement of the people
of Funchal.

The whole company met together once more at a convivial dinner in the
hotel, where, agreeably to the custom of the country, not only the room
and table, but even every single dish served up, was adorned with garlands
of fragrant flowers.


On the 17th June we again weighed anchor. The intention had originally
been to steer direct for Rio de Janeiro; but as we learned, two days
before our departure, that the yellow fever, though on the decrease, had
not yet entirely ceased, we were in no hurry to arrive at the capital of
Brazil, and therefore determined to employ the time so gained, in
investigating the nature of the winds and currents prevalent in these
latitudes. For though the proper course of ships between England and North
America has been admirably laid down, for nearly every month of the year,
by the long-continued ingenious labours of Commander Maury, of the
Washington Observatory, yet there still exists great difficulty in
steering sailing vessels from Gibraltar or Madeira to South America, by
the directions hitherto existing; the more so, as the seafarer in these
latitudes, close to the limits of the north-east trade-wind, generally
falls in with variable breezes and frequent calms, caused partly by the
African coast and partly by the cluster of isles from the Azores to the
Cape Verde Islands, and which are of still more frequent occurrence in the
summer of the northern hemisphere.

We kept Madeira, or rather the clouds which, during the summer, gather
daily round the mountains, a long time in view; and on the 19th, at a
distance of 120 miles from the island, some persons on board thought they
could still distinguish them.

We steered at first in a south-westerly direction, with light breezes and
fine weather. Advancing, however, towards the limits of the trade-winds,
showers became frequent, and the wind chopped about much oftener; a more
southerly course was therefore taken, in order to come as soon as possible
under the influence of the north-easterly trade-winds.

There was now an opportunity of directing attention to the formation of
the clouds, which, in these latitudes, assume at times very curious
appearances. The _cirri_ disappeared by degrees, and the _cumuli_ towered
up on the horizon in colossal masses. These latter are formed under the
influence of the sun, when most powerful, and are therefore seen chiefly
during the afternoon. As soon as they rise they vanish by absorption, just
as fast as they are formed by evaporation from the sea. Rain very rarely
proceeds from them. The alternation of their shades, tints, and colours,
is beautiful in the extreme, particularly at sunset, when their outlines,
as they stand out in bold relief on the clear blue sky, vary in hue from
the deepest grey to the most brilliant golden yellow.

The nearer the tropics are approached the more does ocean teem with
animated orgasms. A net cast into it was immediately filled with an
immense number of little living creatures. Pretty-looking blue cockles,
sea-nettles, and various other inhabitants of the deep, all of the most
minute size, lay rolled up in one lump with small sea-weeds of beautiful
forms and tints, from which those tiny things endeavoured, with great
exertion, to extricate themselves. The microscope discloses to the
observer an entirely new world in the economy of nature, as displayed in
the animal life of the surface of the sea. The entire oceanic creation,
from the smallest infusoria to the huge whale, are all specially adapted
to the element in which they exist, and organized to contribute to the
preservation, as well as the further development, of the whole globe.

This is beautifully illustrated by the operations of the zoophytes; the
water of rivers dissolves the chalky substances of the land and carries
them down to the ocean,--immense numbers of these form, for themselves,
habitations from this matter;--by successive accumulation, produced
through the action or the dead bodies of these creatures, the ground is
raised gradually into the reefs, banks, and rocks, so dangerous to
navigation; or into islands inhabited by man, who, in the development of
his moral and physical powers, performs his mission in his high position,
just as definitely as the imperceptible animalcuæ do in their narrow

Exceedingly beautiful in the tropic seas are those small _physali_, a
species of _Acalephæ_, known to sailors as "Portuguese men-of-war." They
sail along by means of their large air-bags, exposed to the wind, whilst
their numerous long, dark-blue tentacles, like fibres or roots, reach deep
into the water, extending or contracting in order to secure their food.
The fringes of these air-bags are of a violet colour, and resemble, when
in sunshine, a splendid flower, floating about the sea in all directions.

Approaching the zone of the trade-winds, the aspect of the sea is animated
by flying-fish. It has been long a matter of doubt whether this fish
really moves through the air by flying, or whether, being pursued by
enemies, it merely darts from fear out of the water, and sustains itself
in the air by means of its long pectoral fins, though the long distances
it moves are out of all proportion to its size and probable muscular
power. This doubt seems to have originated with those who never have had
an opportunity of personally observing flying-fish; or who have merely
seen these creatures in the Mediterranean, where they are so small as to
render it rather difficult to decide in what the movement really consists.

But in the tropics all doubt vanishes, for the fish here attains a length
of from 6 to 8 inches, and its pectoral fins are so much developed that
they may perfectly well be used as wings. By closely observing them, it is
seen that these fins, or wings, have an oscillating or vibratory motion,
like that of the grasshopper, by which they assist the oblique spring from
the water, produced by muscular power; they move at a height of from two
to three feet above the surface of the sea, to a distance of from 50 to
100 yards, and at the same time change the direction of their flight in
exactly the same way as grasshoppers.

It seems, however, to be neither pleasure nor want of food that drives
these creatures from their own element. They have numerous enemies, of
which the principal is the bonita (_Scomber Palamy_); whenever flying-fish
were seen the bonitas likewise made their appearance; we often saw the
latter darting out of the water and snapping at a flying-fish, when, if
they did not succeed, they were perceived hastening under water in the
same direction that their prey was taking. But the flying-fish is quite
aware of the movement of the enemy, and, therefore, sometimes turns back
abruptly, evidently with a view of dodging his pursuer. The advantage of
the wings is, however, more apparent than real, for whilst they escape by
these means from the bonitas, dorados, and dolphins, they fall a sacrifice
to the seagulls and man-of-war birds (_Tachypetes aquilus_), which reach
them like arrows shot from a bow, before they are able to conceal
themselves again in the ocean. Those which were seen on the north of the
equator, were invariably of the smaller kind (_Exocætus volitans_); whilst
in the south, also, the larger species (_Exocætus exulans_) made their
appearance. They often drop during the night on the decks of small vessels
with low bows, but on the _Novara_, which rose about 20 feet over the
surface of the water, this was not possible; however, some fell upon the
chains, which were caught and preserved in alcohol by the zoologists.

On the 27th June, at midday, we had arrived in 27° 2' N. Lat., and 24° 7'
W. Long., and lay in a perfect calm, the mirror-like aspect of the sea
allowing us to take a deep-sea sounding with what is called Brooke's
apparatus. This consists of a tube, which runs through a thirty-pound
shot, fastened to a thin line. As the shot, however, cannot easily be
drawn up after the sounding, there is an ingenious mechanism, by means of
which, on touching the ground, it is detached from the tube, which may
then be drawn up, the shot remaining in the sea. The tube has a
funnel-shaped opening at its lower extremity, by which a portion of the
ground may likewise be brought up for scientific examination.

In the afternoon a boat provided with everything requisite for the
sounding, was launched, and the operation began. Unfortunately there were
only 4050 fathoms of line, as we did not find at Gibraltar the quality
required for the purpose. The whole stock ran entirely out without
reaching ground; we could therefore do nothing more than make the attempt
to heave the tube without the shot. In this, however, we succeeded only in
so far as regarded the first 2000 fathoms; then the line broke, and the
remainder was lost. One of the causes of this accident was the sudden rise
of the trade-wind which increased so much as to engross nearly our entire

To convey an idea of the time a ball of this kind takes to descend through
the different strata of water, which increases in density in proportion to
the depth attained, we annex the length of the different periods required
in paying out the line during the experiment:--

                                                       Minutes. Seconds.

    The first 1000 fathoms occupied                       19      8
 From 1000 to 2000  "                                     21      3
   "  2000 to 3000  "                                     40      6
   "  3000 to 4000  "                                     76      6
   "  4000 to 4050  "                                      3      5
 Total time in running out the entire length     Hours 2  39     28

As the winding up of the tube requires at least the same period, it may
easily be conceived how great is the expenditure of time necessary for
such an experiment, and on what chances the success of the whole operation
depends. Though this trial was partially unsuccessful, yet so much is
certain, that at this point, 24,300 feet of line were run off without
reaching the ground. There is always, however, to be taken into
consideration the under-current, which draws the line out of the
perpendicular, and renders the result of the operation rather doubtful.

We now sailed with a fresh and steady trade-wind towards the thirtieth
degree of W. Long., and thence along that meridian to the southward.

In the night, between the 29th to the 30th, we crossed the parallel of the
sun's declination, upon which the direction of our shadows, already for
several days scarcely perceptible, was of course changed from north to

We soon crossed the belt of the north-eastern trade-wind, as we made daily
from 180 to 200 miles. On the 3rd of July the wind became very unsteady,
and on the 5th, in 8° 30' N. Lat. and 29° 30' W. Long., it entirely left
us. The sky often became dark and threatening; indeed, its aspect changed
at times with surprising rapidity, without any particular disturbance in
the direction or strength of the wind; nor had we to complain of as much
rain as might have been expected in these regions.

The calms in the so-called "belt of calms" were fortunately not of long
duration, for in 6° 43' N., and 28° 49' W., a fresh south-east wind sprang
up. When we came within the influence of the south-east trade-wind, we
endeavoured to approach the coast of South America, for the purpose of
observing the currents in that latitude, this being one of the
investigations suggested by the letter of instructions drawn up by
Alexander v. Humboldt. The great oceanic stream, which, on leaving the
western coast of Africa takes a westerly direction, is divided by the
projecting American Continent into two branches, of which the stronger
turns N.W. towards the Caribean Sea, while the weaker moves south-west
along the coast of Brazil.

We had already felt its influence whilst in the zone of calms, and it
became still more perceptible the more the equator was approached. The
continuance of the south-easterly trade forced us to cross the Line at a
more westerly point than usual. This, however, causes no disadvantage to a
good sailing ship; nay, Commander Maury has proved indisputably that ships
make extremely short passages, which reach the Equator so far to the west
that they run a risk of hugging the coast too closely. Those on the other
hand, which, from over-anxiety to avoid the current, keep too far to the
east, lose much time, being compelled to pass weeks in the zone of calms,
which increases in breadth towards the east, whereas the others come very
little in contact with it, and avail themselves of the changes of wind
near the shore, to double the Cape of St. Roque on the American coast, so
much dreaded by the former. We cannot here forbear expressing our high
admiration of the great merits of Mr. Maury, whose classical work on the
physical geography of the sea, as well as his inestimable wind and current
charts, deserve the especial attention of all who navigate these seas.

The nearer we approached the Line, the more striking became the aspect of
the southern constellations. The light of the northern polar star grew
fainter and fainter, its altitude diminished, and it at length entirely
disappeared. But, on the other hand, the Southern Cross, the Magellan
clouds, the ship Argo on the "coal-bags," or starless, dark spots of the
southern hemisphere, became more elevated in proportion as the northern
sky moved away, and for a moment we felt some difficulty in recognizing
our old acquaintances of the northern hemisphere in their relation to the
new stars.

On the 15th, at 3 A.M., we crossed the Line in 33° 50' W.L. This event,
which with all sailors forms a marked epoch in their seafaring life, had
in this case the additional feature of being actually the first occasion
of an Austrian man-of-war entering the southern hemisphere, and our crew,
who had long before enjoyed, in anticipation, the merriment to which it
would give occasion, had commenced the ceremony the preceding evening.
Neptune, accompanied by an appropriate retinue of mermaids, tritons, and
nereids, appeared at sunset, to announce with the utmost gravity to the
Commodore, in a set speech, the astounding news that the vessel was
entering his dominions, demonstrating the fact mathematically by an
immense sextant, a chart, and pair of compasses a yard long, all
manufactured by the ship's carpenter, and claiming his right to see the
act of shaving and baptizing properly performed on all those who for the
first time came into his kingdom. Amidst streams of water from the masts
and fire-engines he made his exit down the rope ladder in a blaze of blue
fire, followed by an ignited tar-barrel, which floated along like a globe
of fire on the mirror-like surface of the sea.

The real farce, however, took place the next afternoon, when Neptune
re-appeared, accompanied this time by his good lady and a hopeful youth,
all decked out in real sea-god-like attire, in a car drawn by six tritons,
still accompanied by his farcical retinue blowing a flourish on their
bugles, when, after a second set speech to the Commodore, the great ruler
of the waves declared that the ceremony was now to begin.

Every sailor was obliged, whether he would or no, to undergo a lathering
with a nasty mixture of tar and grease, and submit to be scraped by an
immense tin razor; which operation being performed, the unfortunate
sufferer was thrown into a sail suspended by its four corners, and there
deluged from head to foot from pails, pumps, hose, pots, dishes, and
everything else that would hold water. The officers and other gentlemen
escaped the ordeal by a contribution in money or wine towards the

When the greater part of the sailors had undergone this process, and the
scene, amidst formidable gushes of water, rioting, uproar, and excitement,
had reached its highest point, behold! a voice thundered from the
quarter-deck the words "two o'clock," and everything resumed its wonted

Though the Line had been crossed at a more westerly point than usual, we
were able, in the night from the 18th to the 19th of July, to pass
easterly between the rocks Las Roccas and the island of Fernando da
Noronha.[34] On the 20th July we were carried again by unfavourable winds
to a distance of 100 miles from the Brazilian coast, where we parted from
our faithful companion, the _Caroline_. She sailed for Pernambuco, whilst
we kept out to sea in order to continue the observations on the westerly
currents, and be able freely to double Cape St. Augustin. Bad weather,
showers, and heavy swells prevented complete success in our task; it was,
however, ascertained that the current close to the land is not so strong
as at some distance from it, and that the extreme point of divergence is,
at this particular season of the year, somewhat east of the south point of
Fernando de Noronha. In the angle formed by the direction of the two
currents between the point of division and the land, partial currents
(according to circumstances and the strength of the wind), run towards one
or the other side, of which the stronger tends towards the north-west.

[Footnote 34: This island, situated 300 miles from Pernambuco, which
supplies it with provisions, is at present used by the Brazilian
Government as a penal settlement. It is extremely beautiful and fertile,
but very little cultivated, and admirably suited for a coal depôt, and a
place for ships obtaining stores, particularly when epidemics are
prevalent in Rio de Janeiro.]

On the 23rd July the weather cleared up; we approached the coast and came
in sight of Cape St. Augustin, the first land descried since leaving
Madeira. On the 1st of August a rock was announced ahead; as nothing of
the kind was indicated in the charts, we were curious to know what this
could be. A boat was manned, and we were soon made aware, by our olfactory
organs, of the real nature of the object, which turned out to be the
carcase of a dead whale in a state of putrefaction, over which a number of
birds were hovering, whilst a troop of sharks feasted on the putrid mass,
boring themselves into the body. This incident shows how many rocks marked
in charts as doubtful may owe their origin to similar circumstances; for,
had we not been convinced of the real nature of the object, we should have
believed this carcase to be a rock, and thus augmented the number of
"doubtfuls" and interrogations in the charts of the Atlantic.

On the 3rd August we made Cape Frio, and after a rough and stormy night
reached at last, on the morning of the 5th, the numerous small islands
situated in front of the harbour of Rio. The _Sugar Loaf_, that remarkable
black basaltic rock at its entrance, stood grandly forth, as we ran in.
Unfortunately the gloomy state of the atmosphere prevented the enjoyment
of the exquisite beauty of this so often described charming bay.

Here we found an English, a French, and an American frigate, as also a
dirty old Brazilian sloop of war. Besides these ships of war, a Spanish
frigate and galliot lay in the mercantile dock for repair; they had
shortly before their arrival lost their masts in a _pampero_,[35] which,
however, had borne all the characteristic marks of a cyclone.[36] The
occurrence of tornadoes in the South Atlantic has been so often and so
decidedly denied, that the mariner does not readily believe the violent
storms of those latitudes to be hurricanes. This Spanish frigate had
accordingly sailed heedlessly into the storm, and, with only such
precautions taken as referred to mast and sail, had without further
concern proceeded on her course. She thus had got into the very heart of
the cyclone, and escaped entire destruction only by a fortunate chance.
Now, had her commander considered this storm to have been a real hurricane
he would have undoubtedly steered a different course, and probably in that
case would have reached the harbour in safety. But the notion of the
non-existence of hurricanes in these waters is so pertinaciously
maintained that it was no wonder the careful and able Spanish commander
had also been misled. Our own opinion is, that any storm in the ocean may
assume a revolving motion, and it is therefore highly advisable always to
bear in mind the well-founded theory of cyclones, in order to act upon it,
as circumstances may require. Were this always done, how many valuable
lives and property might be saved from destruction!

[Footnote 35: A squall of wind of the South American Pampas.]

[Footnote 36: The following succinct statement of the characteristics and
general laws of cyclones will be found useful by way of reference:--

1. It has been fully ascertained that in both hemispheres the air in the
cyclone rotates in a direction _contrary_ to that of the sun. Thus, in the
N. hemisphere, the course of the sun being from E. to S., W., and N., the
course of the hurricane is from N. by W., S., and E.; and in the S.
hemisphere, the sun's course being from E. by N., W., and S., the
hurricane runs from N. by E., S., and W.

2. They originate in the space between the equator and the tropics, near
the equatorial limit of the trade winds.

3. There is no instance on record of a hurricane having been encountered
on the equator, nor of any one having crossed the Line, although two have
been known to be raging at the same time in the same meridian, but on
opposite sides of the equator, and only 10° to 12° apart!

4. Their movement, which is always oblique from the equator to the poles,
is usually from E. to W. at first, and towards the end W. to E., which is
but a development of the gyratory motion that forms their most essential

5. The "motion of translation" varies from so low as 9 miles an hour to 43
miles an hour. There is no precise estimate of the velocity of the
gyratory motion.

6. They are liable to dilate and contract in area, the contraction always
implying a great accession of violence. (See _post_, p. 183.)]

[Illustration: CAPE FRIO.]

[Illustration: THE QUAY AT RIO.]


                           Rio de Janeiro.

   Brazil the land of contrasts.--Appearance of the city of Rio and
     its environs.--Excursion to the Peak of Corcovado, and the
     Tejuca Waterfalls.--Germans in Rio.--Brazilian literary men.--
     Assacú (_Hura Brasiliensis_).--Snake-bite as an antidote
     against leprosy.--Public Institutions.--Negroes of the
     Mozambique coast.--The House of Misericordia.--Lunatic
     Asylum.--Botanical Garden.--Public instruction.--
     Historico-Geographical institution.--_Palæstra Scientifica._--
     Military Academy.--Library.--Conservatory of Music.--Sanitary
     Police.--Yellow Fever and Cholera.--Water Party on the bay.--
     Chamber of Deputies.--Petropolis.--Condition of the Slave
     population.--Prospects of German emigration.--Suitability of
     Brazil as a market for German commerce.--Natural products, and
     exchange of manufactures.--Audience of the Emperor and
     Empress.--Extravagant waste of powder for salvoes.--Songs of
     the sailors.--Departure from Rio.--Retrospect.--South-east
     Trades.--Cape Pigeons.--Albatrosses.--Cape Tormentoso.--A
     Storm at the Cape.--Various Methods of measuring the height of
     waves.--Arrival in Simon's Bay.

Brazil--situated on the ocean-highway to the South Seas and the shores of
India, endowed by nature, over the greater portion of her territory, with
a salubrious climate, and a soil of tropical fertility, very nearly as
large as Europe, and ten times the size of France, and yet containing not
above 8,000,000 souls--has, far beyond all other States of South America,
concentrated on herself, during more than half a century, the interest of
the naturalist, as well as of the political economist--of the merchant as
well as of the emigrant. Indeed, we may say that there are few countries,
beyond the limits of Europe, which in certain parts have already been more
thoroughly explored than the Brazilian Empire, while at the same time it
can boast the possession of a rich and valuable stock of literature,
treating of its history, since its discovery by the Portuguese Admiral,
Pedro Alvarez Cabral, on the 22nd of April, 1500, down to the present

After so brief a sojourn as ours, we can hardly offer more to the reader
than a short sketch of our own few experiences, and some remarks regarding
the alterations which took place in the appearance of the city and in its
social and political condition, since the period when Martius and Spix,
Rugendas, Prince Neuwied, Helmreichen, Natterer, Pohl, d'Orbigny, Wilkes,
Castelnau, Burmeister, and others visited Brazil, and so accurately
delineated it both by pen and pencil.[37]

[Footnote 37: Before we left Europe, the wish was repeatedly expressed to
us that, during our stay in Rio, more accurate information should be
obtained as to the fate of numerous scientific works and collections, by
several German naturalists who died in Brazil in recent times, such as
Frederick Sello, Dr. Müller (a companion of Castelnau), Dr. Engler, and
others. Unfortunately, we can only give the little consolatory
intelligence that, with the exception of the scientific memoranda left
behind by Dr. Engler, chiefly relating to Itù in the province of St. Paul,
there was nothing further to be hoped for. The collections have all been
dispersed through want of care, and the manuscripts nearly all destroyed
through ignorance of their value.]

The magnificent scenery of the Bay of Rio de Janeiro still continues to
possess the same absorbing interest for the new comer, wherever it has not
suffered by the expansion of the rapidly-increasing city, or the axe of
the emigrant settler; it is but little one can add to or alter in the
picturesque description which travellers, alive to its natural beauties,
had already given, half a century ago, of the wonderful haven of the
Brazilian metropolis! Very different, however, is the impression, when the
stranger, on disembarking, sets foot on the new world, and has to make his
way through narrow, steep, filthy streets, greeted by yelling crowds of
blacks and whites, poor negro slaves, and wealthy planters, into the
interior of this bustling port. An entirely altered state of affairs has
sprung up since the separation of Brazil from Portugal, and he who has not
seen Rio within the last ten years would hardly recognize the capital of
the Brazilian empire. Along with the most conspicuous deficiencies, in
numerous particulars, one finds such institutions as are not to be met
with, in a similarly flourishing condition, in any other State of South
America, or among the republics of the Isthmus. But Brazil is emphatically
"The Land of Contrasts."

When the traveller, stepping on shore from the anchorage for ships of war,
(which is a little to the south of that for merchant vessels), has forced
his way through the swarms of human beings at the landing stage, and in
front of the hotel Pharoux, he finds himself on the Largo do Paço, or
Palace Square. Here on his left rises the singular-looking Imperial
Residence, and on his right, close to the shore, the Market Hall. A dense
bustling crowd throngs the streets, while numerous vehicles, some drawn by
horses, others by mules, as also omnibuses of all colours and dimensions,
and crammed within and without, dash swiftly about, emulating the din and
confusion of European capitals. Turning now to the right, into the Rua
Direita, and thence a little further into the Rua do Ouvidor, the two most
elegant but none the less most-neglected streets of Rio, there dazzles the
eye, in the splendid, richly-decorated shops and arcades, the same profuse
luxury as in Regent Street, or on the Boulevards. But how disagreeable the
contrast with those cities, presented by the pools of stagnant water,
which occur even in the most-frequented streets!

The city proper presents the figure of a square of about one mile and
three quarters each way, between the sea beach and the Campo da Santa
Anna, and is divided with tolerable regularity by narrow streets built at
right angles to each other. Except the most important public buildings,
such as the National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Military
Academy, the Naval Arsenal, the Custom House, the Market Hall, the
Imperial Palace, the Chamber of Deputies, and several of the churches,
only shops and mercantile counting-houses are to be met with.

From the city stretch the suburbs like long tentacles in every direction,
on one side along the beach as far as St. Christoph, the winter palace of
the emperor, and, in the opposite direction, as far as the charming Cove
of Botafogo, while backwards they extend to the valleys leading to the
Corcovado, to the suburbs of Larangeiras, Catumbý Grande, and in the
direction of the Tejuca mountains, as far as Engenho Velho, and Andarahý.
Elegant little villas, frequently built in the strangest and most
_bizarre_ style of architecture, alternate in these suburbs with ordinary
dwelling-houses, all having most beautifully laid-out gardens. The
merchant, the manufacturer, in fact every individual in easy
circumstances, remain in the city only long enough to transact daily
business. Each has his residence in the suburbs, where his family lives,
to whose quiet circle he returns every evening. Among these suburbs, those
of Caminho Novo and Catete, along the road leading to the charming cove of
Botafogo, are more specially the diplomatic quarter, and the residence of
the moneyed aristocracy of the capital.

Amid so much that calls for censure in Rio Janeiro, and of which the
æsthetic perceptions of the visitor will apprize him in the course of a
stroll in any part of the city, there are two improvements which deserve
grateful acknowledgment. The first of these consists in the lighting of
the city by gas (prepared from English coal), which had been introduced
shortly before our arrival, and is now extended to the extreme outskirts
of the suburbs; the second is the magnificent aqueduct, which provides
every quarter of Rio with a lavish supply of excellent drinking-water.
However ugly Rio may look in the daytime, the gas at night gives
it a magnificent and splendid appearance, particularly from the
harbour. When, the evening after our arrival, we gazed out upon the
brilliantly-illuminated city that lay before us, we could not help
thinking there must be some festive occasion for such a flood of light,
ignorant as we then were of what we learned afterwards, that Rio is as
fairy-looking by night as it appears gloomy by day.

Not less surprising, and forming a strong contrast with the deficiencies
and requirements in other particulars, are the stately fountains that
adorn the squares. Close by the corner of each street, gushes out through
metal cocks, a stream of clear, fresh spring-water, which has been
conveyed by the great aqueduct a distance of 10 or 12 English miles from
the slopes of the neighbouring Carioca or Tejuca mountain-chains. The
water supply has been in existence for 120 years, but the present immense
reservoir and various improvements in it have been introduced by the
Brazilian Government. With the exception of the Croton aqueduct, near New
York, which supplies that city with 40,000,000 gallons daily, we do not
remember to have seen in any part of the world a similar work of such

The dreary, uncomfortable feeling left by the city, gives way to most
enjoyable impressions so soon as one emerges from the suburbs of Rio, and
seeks compensation for the absence of the appliances of European
civilization in the eternal grace and majesty of Nature. Walks may be
taken in every direction, each opening up a fresh point of view, while, if
the visitor take horse or mule, he may in the course of an hour or two
transport himself into the very midst of the most extraordinary features
of tropical vegetation.

Among the most charming of these is a ride to the rocky peak called
Corcovado, 2300 feet high, the road to which runs through magnificent
shady forests. On the highest pinnacle of this rocky cone, which rises
rather abruptly on the side of the valleys of Clementi and Broca, a
parapet has been erected within these few years, so that the traveller can
gaze over the delightful panorama below with as much, or even more,
comfort and security, than from the Righi or the great Winterberg in the
Saxon Switzerland. In the south and south-east rise the two stern-looking
mountains, Gavia and Dos Irmaos, both of considerable height, and
encircled by the mirror-like lagoon, Rodrigo das Freitas, near which
stands out, clothed in the most luxuriant verdure, a part of the botanical
garden; thereafter follows the beautiful valley of Clementi and Broca,
with the splendid Lunatic Asylum and the fort of Praya Vermelha; beyond
which is the smiling cove of Botafogo, and the singular Sugar Loaf, which
forms such a characteristic feature of the entrance of Rio harbour; close
beside the latter is the fort of San Juan; and lastly, facing the entrance
of the bay, that of Santa Cruz, the strongest in the empire. At our feet
lay stretched out the city itself, with the beautiful valleys of
Larangeiras, Engenho Velho, and Catumbý Grande. On the other side of the
bay, just opposite Rio, is Praya Grande, the capital of the province, and
in the background the lofty, spectre-like mountain-chain of the Organos--
so called from the rocky peaks projecting like so many organ-pipes. What a
wondrous prospect! It is scarcely possible to have, from a single point of
view, a grander or more varied natural picture. We lingered here more
than an hour, and tore ourselves away with reluctance from all those
glories which Nature has shed with so profuse a hand over this enchanting

One of our companions was the veteran Brazilian naturalist, the venerable
Dom Antonio Ildefonso Gomez, who passed several years in Europe when a
young man, and had, together with Humboldt, once attended the lectures of
Cuvier at Paris. M. Auguste de St. Hilaire, during his visit to Rio, spent
several months at Dom Ildefonso's hospitable abode. Although now a
septuagenarian, the old physician is uncommonly hale in person, full of
his pristine enthusiasm, indefatigable in the pursuit of knowledge, and
able to pass an entire day on the back of his mule, so that he can ride to
the most distant consultations without betraying any symptoms of
exhaustion. He had brought with him a number of large oranges, some cheese
and bread, and a bottle of excellent port wine, so that there was no want
of wherewithal to recruit our strength; and there, on the summit of the
Corcovado, our hearts swelling with rapture as the eye ranged over the
marvellous landscape that lay unrolled at our feet, we drank to the
prosperity of Brazil. Dom Ildefonso, a warm friend to all foreigners,
remarked that within forty years Brazil will probably be more German than
Brazilian or Portuguese, and expressed a hope it might be so, as only by
that means, so far as his observation went, could his beloved native land
hope for a prosperous future.

We returned through most charming forest scenery by way of Larangeiras
and Andarahý. Throughout the entire distance we rode amidst the most
exquisite specimens of tropical vegetation, palms, ebony trees, bignonias,
plantains, mangoes, papayas, and bread-fruit trees, mingling with which we
could discern the various trees and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, and
occasionally strange plants from China, Japan, and Australia, which had
been planted here by the enterprising hand of foreign settlers.

Not less charming is the excursion to the Falls of the Tejuca, to which a
broad road leads through blooming flower-gardens, and past delicious
country seats, extending far into the mountains, and surrounded and
overshadowed by a wall as it were of verdure, consisting of the flowers of
_Bignonia bella_, intermingling with the shining leaves of the gigantic
_Bougainvillea_. The coral tree (_Erythrina coralliflora_), the indigenous
magnolia, the fan-shaped _urania_, numerous species of palms, and lofty,
carefully-tended screw-pines, plantains with gigantic fruits, bread-fruit
trees, eugenias, casuarinas, and melon trees--such are the blooming
odoriferous attractions that here adorn garden and field. Ever threading
his way among such charming plantations, the traveller finally reaches the
path which, hemmed in between two mountain ridges of moderate height,
leads direct to the Tejuca mountains, while to the right branch off
numerous narrow paths conducting to the various adjoining eminences, from
which a view can be obtained of the small cascade. The tropical richness
and profusion of vegetation, has here crowded together upon a few square
feet of soil hundreds of plants of all kinds. They strike into the soil,
or struggle upwards to the light, or give out roots from the stems or
branches, and all twine and tangle with each other to such an extent that
often in these tufts and thickets one sees the top of a fern, without
being able to distinguish any part of its stem, or a passion-flower
without any visible stalk or leaves, all suspended in mid-air, like so
many elegant festoons.

A short distance from this singular, thoroughly tropical landscape, is the
second, known as the Great Cascade, which, however, owes its special
attractions rather to the character of the surrounding vegetation than to
the volume of water. The trees here grow on a sort of amphitheatre of
rocks, all of colossal size, and the most widely different forms, no two
of the same species adjoining each other, their stems and branches adorned
with the most beautiful parasites and the blood-red leaves of innumerable
creepers, which in their lavish luxuriance now stretch like garlands from
tree to tree, now hang perpendicularly down from the very highest branch
of the tree like a network of green lace, till they sweep along the

The water welling out from the granite rock, rushes into the abyss below
after traversing a rocky declivity, somewhat resembling a sloping terrace
of about twenty fathoms wide. Its track is indicated by the
irregularly-shaped blocks piled upon each other, some of which at a little
distance below, their huge wide ridges enclosed by retaining walls, serve
as spots in which to dry in the sun the ripe berries of the coffee plant,
which in many parts hereabout forms an almost impervious forest.

As we prosecute our wanderings further, we finally emerge upon the green
hills of the vicinity, and obtain a charming glimpse of the ocean; we have
now arrived in front of the gigantic outline of the Gavia, and directly
facing us lies the salt-marsh, known as Tejuca-Lake, in the midst of which
rises an island, thickly overgrown with mango-trees, standing on their
distorted hundredfold roots; melancholy-looking examples of the inactivity
and absence of all attention of the Brazilian authorities, who permit such
a hot-bed of poisonous miasma to remain in the immediate vicinity of the
city, and leave these plants unchecked to carry on their pestiferous vital

Returning from such a delightful excursion to Rio de Janeiro, the stranger
feels doubly uncomfortable and lonely in the dreary and sombre city. The
Brazilians are in general neither very social nor hospitable, and only,
after many years' acquaintance, is a familiar intercourse formed with

In this respect they bear a strong resemblance to the Spanish-Americans,
whom they also greatly resemble in many of their habits of life.
Foreigners settled in Rio spend their evenings generally at their country
seats, some distance from the town, so that the occasional visitor is
deprived of the social intercourse that might otherwise be so accessible.
We met with a most hospitable reception at the houses of the Austrian
Minister, Chevalier de Sonnleithner, and our Consul-General, as well as
from some German families, and also from the "Germania," a Club founded by
twelve Germans as far back as 1821. This Society numbers now about 200
members, and is well supplied with German newspapers and periodicals,
besides possessing a well-selected library of several thousand volumes,
and a reading-room, with _restaurant_, smoking, billiard, and
dancing-rooms attached. Of the various nationalities represented at Rio,
the Germans are the most respected by the Brazilians. They are about 3000
in number, and as the majority are Protestants they have their own church,
founded by three Germans in 1827, which now numbers 600 members, and has
an annual income of 5000 milreis.[38] The community is under the protection
of the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council in Berlin, and accordingly, as often
as public worship is joined in, prayers are offered up for the King of
Prussia, as head of the church. Despite its existence for more than thirty
years, the position occupied by the Evangelical church with reference to
the State, has never been accurately defined, so that differences are
constantly occurring. In connection with the congregation are a school,
and a society for aiding distressed Germans, which numbers 200 associates,
and has an annual income of from 6000 to 7000 milreis (£600 to £700). The
objects of the association are the advance of money, pensions, payment of
passage-money for transport, assistance to unemployed or sick German
workmen, education of orphan children, and so forth. The German choral
union had given a concert in aid of this humane society, which alone had
realized 3100 milreis (above £300)!

[Footnote 38: One milreis = 1000 reis = about 2_s._ English. The Brazilian
milreis is of this small value as compared with that of the Portuguese (3
to 7), in consequence of its being represented by paper-money of
fluctuating value, which gradually became so depreciated that Government,
when regulating the value in 1846, were not in a position to restore it to
its par value of 3_s._ 4_d._ sterling.]

It is not alone, however, as merchants, engineers, and artisans, that the
Germans in Rio occupy a conspicuous position; they likewise contribute
their mite to the advancement of art and science. For example, the most
important literary enterprise in the empire is in German hands, viz. the
printing and bookselling business of the brothers Laemmert. Their
publications embrace two hundred and fifty works, chiefly of Portuguese
(not Brazilian) authors, original or translated, treating of Brazilian
legislation, history, medicine, public instruction, poetry, popular
literature, works on religion, novels, romances, kalendars, and theatrical
pieces. One publication due to the founder of the firm, Mr. C. Laemmert, a
Bavarian by birth, has already proved of immense utility, the "_Almanak
administrativo, mercantil, e industrial_," compiled by himself, first
published in the year 1843. From a most defective little pamphlet at its
start, this periodical publication has, in the course of time, become
developed into an elegant, simply-classified octavo volume, 1400 pages
thick, which, compiled carefully and kept constantly corrected to the
latest moment, despite the most disheartening material difficulties, gives
a very interesting insight into the entire internal organization of the
empire, and at the same time supplies the most authentic information as
to the scientific, commercial, and industrial activity of the city and
province of Rio. Even more important as a medium for the diffusion of
useful knowledge among the masses is a sort of popular kalendar, which is
published in duodecimo form, under the title of "_Folinhas_" (Leaves), and
for 320 reis (about 7-1/2_d._ English), gives upon 360 pages an immense
amount of useful information. Of this publication 80,000 copies were sold
throughout the empire in the year 1857. There are very few works of
importance written by native authors, as they devote their energies
chiefly to periodical literature. Of daily and monthly publications there
are abundance, both in Rio and in the provinces, but they have only an
ephemeral existence. The press enjoys the most unbounded freedom, and
probably in very few continental cities would such language be tolerated
as that of the _Courier du Brésil_, edited by a French refugee. If the
influence of journalism in Brazil is as yet insignificant, it is in
consequence of the prevailing ignorance, as four-fifths of the population
are unable to read or write, and the papers published are consequently
only in the hands of the upper classes.

While we found but few opportunities of intercourse with Brazilian
families, the public authorities received and treated us in the most
obliging and distinguished manner. In this respect, we were particularly
indebted to Dr. de Lagos, Dr. Schüch de Capanema, Dr. F. de Paulo Candido,
and Dom M. de Portoalegre.

These gentlemen took especial pains to make our stay in Rio as instructive
as useful, and likewise gave us in reply to various scientific queries the
most valuable information and practical hints. Thus, for example, we were
favoured by Dr. de Lagos with the following particulars respecting the
alleged efficacy of the milky sap of the assacú tree (_Hura
Brasiliensis_), and of the bite of the rattlesnake as antidotes in cases
of _Elephantiasis_, as also regarding the "Curaré," that celebrated poison
with which the Indians of Brazil tip their arrows.

The assacú had long been employed as a remedy for the frightful malady
known as _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, and its use was occasionally followed
by the happiest results, without any attempt having been made thoroughly
to investigate the specific action of the juice, although, like that of so
many other Brazilian plants, it would probably surrender, if
scientifically analyzed, the therapeutical energies which enable it to
overcome occasionally the most obstinate cases of disease. The assacú is a
tree growing in the northern provinces of Pará, on making an incision into
which there exudes a resinous sap, of a brownish or reddish-white colour,
which coagulates, and gradually hardens. This inspissated substance is of
a dark brown, rather resembling gum than resin, and readily soluble in
water. When dissolved, it regains the colour and odour of the sap as it
first trickles from the tree. A committee of physicians of Pará long ago
presented to the Brazilian Government a memorandum as to the practical
efficacy and peculiarities of the assacú in cases of the above malady,
according to which it appears, that the symptoms of the patient improve in
the most marvellous manner from the very first day on which the remedy is
used; the illness seems to be suddenly arrested, or, at all events to make
but very slight progress. The milky sap is exhibited internally, in the
form of pills, and a decoction of the bark is also administered by way of
a beverage for the patient,--externally an infusion of the bark is used
for bathing purposes. Some of those affected, to whom this remedy was
applied, felt a sensation as of formication, immediately on taking it,
while others experienced a feeling as though they had been submitted to a
series of shocks of electricity, only weaker and more equable.

It is a well-established fact that in many parts of South America, a
popular belief prevails that the bite of the deadly _Cobra de cascavel_,
or rattlesnake, heals _Elephantiasis_, or pustular leprosy, in which
disease, as is well known, the legs and feet of those attacked are covered
with a scurf resembling the cuticle of the elephant. However, instances of
the practical application of so terrible a remedy, which seems to be
almost more dreadful than the disease it professes to cure, are in all
probability of rare occurrence, and are therefore doubly important when,
as in the case detailed to us, they occurred under the very eyes of a man
of science, and are related by the observer himself.

A native, named Marianno José Machado, from Rio Pardo, in the province of
southern Rio Grande, fifty years of age, had long been afflicted with
morphea (_Elephantiasis Græcorum_), and had already passed four years in
the Lazarus Hospital at Rio, when one day, worn out with his loathsome
malady, he resolved as a last chance of being delivered from his dread
disease, to submit to the bite of a rattlesnake. All the warnings and
representations of the physicians, who entertained well-founded doubts as
to the remedial efficacy of so dangerous a remedy, were disregarded.
Marianno betook himself to a house in the Rua da Imperatriz, the occupant
of which possessed a living rattlesnake, and there in the presence of
numerous witnesses declared, signing at the same time a document to the
same effect, that what he was about to do he did of his own free will,
without any influence on the part of strangers, and that he assumed to
himself the entire responsibility of his own deed. Marianno was of
middling stature and athletic build; his entire skin was covered with
rugosities, but without any appearance of ulceration, while his face was
frightfully disfigured. The points of his fingers, moreover, had entirely
lost their form, the skin readily peeling off from them.

The daring sufferer opened the box in which lay the deadly reptile, and
roughly seized it; but it at first attempted to escape, as though it too
was disgusted at the horrible object before it. When, however, it felt
itself once more squeezed, the snake turned round in self-defence, and bit
the man on the finger. Marianno was sensible neither of the puncture of
the teeth, nor of the instantaneous activity of the injected poison, but
it became ere long apparent that he had been bitten, from the blood making
its appearance, coupled with a slight swelling of the hand. Several
physicians watched by the bedside of the sufferer; almost every half-hour
the observed results were circumstantially reported. When, however, the
symptoms rapidly became worse, antidotes were applied, and every effort
made to save the patient. Nevertheless, the result of the experiment was
as anticipated--within twenty-four hours after the bite of the rattlesnake
Marianno was a corpse.

Several members of the medical society of Vienna laid great stress on our
procuring a considerable quantity of the celebrated poison, "_curaré_,"
used in South America for tipping arrows, with the view of instituting
fresh experiments--similar to those already made, so as to elucidate its
chemical and physiological properties. As the curaré is not to be procured
in Rio, but comes thither from the northern province of Pará, where the
natives procure it from the sap of the _Strychnos toxifera_, Dr. de Lagos
promised he would take care to procure some, so as to transmit samples
direct to the Vienna _savans_, and at the same time gave us much
information as to the latest researches touching this substance, with
whose remarkable properties Alexander v. Humboldt had made the scientific
world acquainted, more than half-a-century previously, in his classic
"Travels through the Equatorial Countries."

One special peculiarity of the curaré consists in the fact that, like most
other organic poisons, it is only active when absorbed into the
circulating system, and proves entirely innoxious, nay in some cases even
beneficial, when introduced into the body by other means.

The more the faculty became acquainted with the terrific activity, and
invariably fatal results of this poison, the more zealously did science
bestir itself to discover some means of neutralizing the operation of the
curaré. Quite recently the preparations of iodine-natron, when
administered in certain proportions, have been recognized as antidotes;
dissolved with the curaré they seem entirely to obviate its evil effects.
Careful observation and a gradual acquaintance with the properties of the
curaré, have further led to the conclusion that it may be regarded as a
remedy in certain cases, and it has actually been administered with good
results to animals affected with tetanic convulsions. May it be reserved
to the physicians of our native country, to elicit from the quantity of
this subtle and singular poison, which they may expect to receive through
the kindness of Dr. de Lagos, such results as shall make its remedial
properties available for man, instead of leaving its baleful energies as
at present solely directed to the destruction of organic life!

In the company of our Brazilian friends, already mentioned, we also
visited the most interesting of the public charities and educational
institutions of Rio.

On the occasion of a visit we paid to the in part newly-erected Casa de
Correçâo, which is managed on what is known as the Auburn system, we were
shown three Mozambique negroes, who, in 1852, had been smuggled in a
"slaver" from the east coast of Africa into Brazil, there to be sold as
slaves, despite the interdicts against the introduction of slaves, then
actually in force. The vessel was, however, captured by the Brazilian
cruisers, and the negroes forthwith restored to liberty, when, in their
own interest, and with the view of preventing their being a second time
sold into bondage, they were removed to a quarter of the prison away from
the rest, and specially set apart for what are called "free Africans,"
where they had been carefully educated and instructed in various
handicrafts, all at the expense of the State. As a vocabulary of the
idioms spoken by the Mozambique negroes, was an especial desideratum of
the class of philosophic history in our Imperial Academy of Sciences, and
there seemed to be but little prospect of our expedition visiting the
eastern coast of Africa, we gladly availed ourselves of this unexpected
opportunity to compile the wished-for vocabulary, in which Professor
Portoalegre, Director of the Academy of Fine Arts, materially assisted us.
Two of these negroes, Camillo and Ventura, were born in Quillimani, and
belonged to the Mananpi race; the third, Jeremias, was born about sixty
days' journey from the coast, of the Maqua race, and spoke a dialect of
the Mozambique idiom. Ventura, a youth of, at the outside, seventeen years
of age, related that he could perfectly remember having been stolen one
night from his parents in Quillimani, when he was brought to a
slave-dealer named Jones, after which he was shipped off in a wretched
leaky vessel to the coast of Brazil. On our asking these three swarthy
fellow-labourers, hearty of aspect and neatly clothed, who had been so
carefully tended by the State, and earned, one as a house-servant, the
other two as stonemasons, thirty milreis (£3 3s.) a month, whether they
did not feel themselves better off in Rio than in their own home,--they,
with one accord, answered that they longed to return to Quillimani, where
it is hardly requisite to work above six months, and the rest of the year
may be consumed in a genuine "_dolce far niente_" existence, instead of
being compelled, as in Rio, to work the whole year round!

In spite of long-continued efforts, the vocabulary turned out much less
complete than we wished, in consequence of the limited capacity of these
negroes. We did not content ourselves, however, with merely transcribing
the answers to our questions, but also endeavoured to obtain a more
accurate idea of the precise meaning attached to each, by repeating each
of the words of the Mozambique language, and translating into it from the
questions put in Portuguese. This method seemed to be the most effectual
for ensuring the correctness of the pronunciation, so as to permit of its
being afterwards reduced to writing. In the arrangement of the vocabulary,
we availed ourselves of what is known as Gallatin's method, as it appeared
to us more complete and comprehensive than that sent to our academy by the
celebrated naturalist and traveller, Dr. Martius, of Munich, with a
request that it should have his list of Latin words translated into the
various languages hitherto unknown, or such idioms as have been as yet but
little examined and investigated.

The race, to which these three negroes belonged, seems to have been
already converted to Christianity. At least, they all had Christian names,
but could give us no information either as to certain heathenish rites in
their own country, or concerning an idol of carved ivory which we showed
them, brought from the east coast of Africa, and the method of worshipping

Two of the most elegant edifices of Rio Janeiro, worthy indeed of being
placed side by side with the largest charitable establishments in Europe,
are the immense palace-like Hospital of the Santa Casa da Misericordia, in
which between 8000 and 9000 patients are received and treated annually,
and the really splendid Lunatic Asylum (_Asylo dos Alienados_), in the
cove of Botafogo. The latter institution, founded in 1841, which, whether
as regards the tastefulness of its architecture or its munificent
endowment, can hardly be rivalled anywhere, owes its existence to one of
the most estimable benefactors of his native country, Don José Clemente
Pereira, Minister of the Interior at the time of its erection. This
genial, benevolent soul, deeply acquainted with the human heart and its
weaknesses, hit, as we were told, upon the following eminently original
and ingenious method of raising the sums required. All grades of the
various Brazilian orders, as well as the titles of Baron, Count, and
Marquis, were put up for sale at fixed prices, the proceeds resulting
from which purposes were applied to the erection and endowment of the
asylum! And thus arose, at the south end of the cove of Botafogo, a
splendid palatial edifice--a monument less of humanity and love of our
afflicted neighbours, than of the vanity and frailty of poor human nature,
the tributes to which erected it. Unfortunately, in this establishment,
mere succour is all in all, and the cure seems entirely lost sight of, the
sanative treatment of the patients lagging far behind their careful
supervision; in short, it being rather a place for the safe confinement
than the recovery of those deprived of their reason.

One of the most instructive examples of how little the inhabitants of Rio
make use of the natural capabilities of the site of their capital, is
incontestably furnished by a piece of ground immediately adjoining the
Lunatic Asylum, which has been dignified with the name of the Botanic
Garden. With the exception of a very fine alley of hundreds of graceful
king-palms (_Oreodoxa regia_), which present a magnificent spectacle,
growing as they do with such admirable regularity as to appear rather
artificial columns than planted trees, the eye encounters nothing but
uncultivated land, abounding with the commonest vegetation, alternating
with badly-selected nursery plantations, although both in the climate and
the soil every facility is at hand for enabling this garden to be made a
means of representing the vegetation of every zone of the globe. Even a
large tea plantation, for the cultivation of which 10,000 Chinese were
imported at the cost of Government, and from which, if the experiment had
proved successful, the most important results might have been anticipated,
stood there uncared-for and untended, a melancholy witness of how things
are inaugurated in Brazil, and then suffered to fall through. When we
enquired how long the garden had been laid out, our guide, a witty
Portuguese, replied with a sarcastic smile; "Since the beginning of the
world!" In that part of the garden which adjoins the Lagune, called
Rodrigo das Freitas, stands a common mud hovel, with broken windows, and
doors hanging by the hinges. This was pointed out to us by a labourer as
the spot at which the Emperor alights and reposes when he visits the
Botanical Garden.

Singular to say, Brazil possesses no regular university! The jealousy with
which any one city invested with certain privileges and prerogatives is
regarded by the rest, is the reason that induced the Government to
separate the medical and juridical classes, so that each of the four chief
cities of the Empire benefits by the presence of a certain portion of the
students. Thus the medical schools are in Rio Janeiro and Bahia, while
those of jurisprudence are held in St. Paul and Pernambuco. The entire
number of students attending these establishments amounted of late years,
on an average, to upwards of a thousand. Great prominence has been
assigned by Government, especially of late, to the extension of public
instruction. In March, 1857, there were throughout Brazil, 2452 schools,
(765 private, and 1687 public,) in which instruction was given to 82,243
children of both sexes.[39] A school of industry, having for its object the
instruction of able-bodied persons, was opened in 1856, and classes for
teaching natural philosophy and political administrative science, are in
process of being introduced. Amongst the scientific establishments of the
country, the Historico-Geographical Institute occupies the first place,
the meetings of which are generally attended by the Emperor as honorary
president. This institution, which occupies in Brazil about the same
position as the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, directs its special
attention to the publication of old documents and manuscripts relating to
the history of Brazil and the aboriginal population; but investigations
relating to natural history are also included in its domain of enquiry.
The sittings are held every alternate Friday. The naturalists of the
_Novara_ attended one of these meetings, which took place in one of the
wings of the palace. At half-past 6 P.M., the Emperor entered the hall, in
plain clothes, attended by two chamberlains. All the gentlemen present
approached one after the other and respectfully kissed the hand of their
sovereign. On this occasion we remarked that even ladies, when presented
to the head of the State, were accustomed to kiss his hand. The Imperial
Honorary President, whose simple apparel was relieved only by the star of
some order worn on the breast, took his seat at the upper end of a long,
wide table, covered with green cloth. The associates, with the exception
of the Vice-President and Secretaries, seemed to have no fixed seats, but
sat in the order of their arrival. During the sitting there was the most
marked absence of ceremony, and the business was transacted in the freest
and easiest manner.

[Footnote 39: Among the higher class of educational institutions, the
College of Pedro Segundo ranks foremost, and is at present attended by
about 900 students.]

The proceedings were uninteresting, the greatest portion of the time being
occupied in reading over the minutes of the last sitting, and replying to
certain strictures upon the incapacity of land-surveyors in Brazil. Sir
Robert Schomburgk had, in one of his works published in 1843, upon the
subject of New Guinea, made some disparaging observations as to the method
of admeasurement pursued in Brazil, and one member of the society, Dr.
Schüch de Capanema, seemed to consider it his duty in his double capacity
as a Brazilian and an engineer, to protest--somewhat tardily it must be
owned!--against these, according to his opinion, unjust remarks. After the
discussion was over, a manuscript was next brought forward concerning some
of the native tribes; His Majesty expressed a wish to have this treatise
read. The secretary accordingly made the attempt, but the writing was so
illegible, that he was obliged to abandon the task. At the conclusion of
the meeting, which lasted upwards of three hours, His Majesty conversed
very affably with the Austrian gentlemen, and presented each with a copy
of a national poem, "Conferaçao dos Tamoyos," by a native poet, Gonçalves
de Magalhaes, and recently printed at His Majesty's expense, which relates
the wars of the Tamoyos with the Portuguese residents of San Vincente--
the last struggle of that heroic Indian race, the founding of Rio, and the
subjugation of the entire force, under Nictheroy, by the Portuguese.

The _Palæstra Scientifica_ is a branch of this institution, the members
being chiefly naturalists. The gentlemen of the _Novara_ Expedition were
invited to one of the meetings, which was inaugurated by the secretary
reading aloud an ancient manuscript upon the natural resources of various
provinces in Brazil, according to explorations, which had been undertaken
in 1798, by the directions and at the cost of the then Portuguese
Government. There was also read a memoir upon the culture of linseed,
formerly carried on in the province of St. Catharina, which, however, is
now entirely discontinued. Dr. Schüch presented to the Society
vocabularies of the Croado and Puris languages, compiled by M. R. F. de
Senestes, a retired Belgian ship captain, now resident at Minas, who had
long traded with these two Indian races. Dr. Schüch also exhibited a
pigment, or dye-stuff, extracted from the wood of the Ipé-tree, a species
of bignonia, extensively used in the manufacture of axles. State
Councillor and Senator Candido Baptista de Oliveira, [formerly Minister
and Ambassador at St. Petersburg, and at that time publisher and editor of
the _Rivista Brasileira_ (Brazilian Review)], brought forward some
meteorological tables, and explained his new method for measuring
altitudes. The proceedings are usually conducted in the Portuguese
language; but out of courtesy to the foreigners, French was principally
spoken, and the President kindly proposed that Dr. Schüch de Capanema, who
is thoroughly versed in German, should translate into that idiom the
proceedings as carried on in Portuguese. At the close of the sitting, the
commander of our Expedition and the various members of the scientific
commission were named associates of the _Palæstra Scientifica_.

This society had projected an expedition to explore the western provinces
of the empire, and some of their members were appointed to draw up the
plan for carrying it out. The arrangements for the enterprise were on the
grandest scale. The requisite books and scientific apparatus were ordered
from London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin. Every branch of science had its
representative,--an astronomer, botanist, zoologist, ethnologist, &c.,
were to accompany the Expedition; each section had a number of assistants,
the astronomical as many even as nine. When we arrived in Rio, the printed
instructions for the use of the members were just being distributed; and
it was asserted that nothing but the non-arrival of the instruments from
Europe prevented the departure of the Expedition. In short, the
preparations which were made in the year 1857, justified the hope that a
most brilliant success would be the result of an undertaking got up on so
expensive a scale. The only pity is, that up till now--more than three
years later--the Expedition has had but little result, and, according to
the latest intelligence from Rio, some of the members in the north-east of
the province of Cearà cannot proceed any further for want of money (_por
falta de dinhero_), and expect new funds in order to continue their
explorations and their efforts in search of the wild tribes (_em busca das
tribus selvaticas!_) in the interior of Maranhao.

There is, generally speaking, in Brazil, as in all other South-American
States peopled by the Roman race, much of good-will, and still more
vanity, to follow in the wake of northern European civilization in
everything pertaining to progress and investigation; but there is wanting
that energy, that perseverance so characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race,
which are essential conditions in successfully carrying out any
undertaking, however zealously entered upon. This probably is the reason
why in Brazil so many things in science and social life are begun and
never brought to a conclusion; there is nowhere more talk about _what is
to be done_, than at Rio de Janeiro. Thus, for example, the Museum of
Natural History at the Campo Santa Anna, is an elegant building, with
magnificent apartments, and large elegantly fitted cases--which, however,
contain as yet but few objects of natural history, even those being most
unsystematically arranged.

Another educational institution--the Military Academy--founded under John
VI., in 1810, for the instruction of the engineers and officers of the
various scientific corps, has, since then, undergone nine reforms, and was
just about to undergo another one! In this establishment the highly
objectionable practice still exists, of making every pupil acquainted with
the chapter and verse of the subjects of examination twenty-four hours
before it takes place.

The Public Library, though little more than begun at the period of our
visit, already comprised 86,000 volumes, and is annually increased by an
addition of five or six hundred. This institution was, in 1856, visited by
3407 readers, who perused 7717 volumes, mostly in Portuguese and French,
consisting of 238 on theology, 1046 on political economy, 2879 on natural
science, 153 on the fine arts, 1083 on history, and 2318 on
belles-lettres, which furnishes a very fair criterion for estimating the
education of those availing themselves of these advantages.

Another institution, which is an evidence of the efforts now making by the
Brazilians to gratify their national vanity, is the _Conservatorio da
Musica_, a newly-established institution for the promotion of the _opera
lyrica nacional_, the number of pupils attending which averages 100. A
custom has lately prevailed of sending one or two of the most gifted of
these annually to Europe to complete their musical studies. During a four
years' residence there, each pupil has a stipend from the Imperial
exchequer of 3000 francs per annum; and in the event of obtaining a prize
abroad, he receives a gratuity of 1000 francs; his compositions, however,
in that case become the property of the parent institution. By this means
the Brazilians hope to render themselves entirely independent of foreign
musical talent. "Why should we annually pay hundreds of thousands of
francs to foreign singers and concert-givers?" said a Brazilian to us one
day in all earnestness. "We shall soon have our own artists--Brazilian
Thalbergs, Grisis, and Lablaches!" Confessedly the inhabitants of the
United States have been vain enough in all conscience; but when we
consider the wonderful advances made by that active, energetic people, and
contemplate their surpassing qualities, such a national foible is readily
overlooked. In Brazil, on the contrary, the contempt affected for
everything foreign, the fretful impatience to become emancipated from the
smallest resemblance to European customs, is exceedingly childish and even
ludicrous in a country which can hardly yet be said to be able to stand
alone, since the pressure of circumstances is daily making them more and
more dependent on other countries, and where it is necessary to import
from abroad not merely the evidences of high culture, but the very first
necessaries of life, even to obtaining supplies of foreign labour. This
overweening self-esteem has rather increased, since it has become the
fashion of young Brazilians, of the better classes, to visit Europe for
the completion of their studies, as will, perhaps, be best illustrated by
the following laughable anecdote:--A young Brazilian, the son of a German
father and a native lady, who had but recently returned from Europe,
overheard one of his friends asking another if he could tell of what
country he thought the fresh arrival to be, at the same time indicating
the youth, who just came from the academy of Freiberg. "There can be no
doubt on that point," was the reply; "the blue eyes, light hair, and fair
complexion, distinctly indicate that the gentleman is a German." "God
forbid!" (_Deu m'en guarda!_) exclaimed the young gentleman, who seemed as
it were ashamed of his foreign descent, and to feel even more indignation
than a full-blood Brazilian at such a mortifying imputation.

Among the various institutions recently established in Rio, the
introduction of which is intended to be made available in promoting the
physical well-being of the people, the foremost place must indisputably be
assigned to the Board of Health (_Junta Central de Hygiena Publica_). It
owes its origin to the appearance of the yellow fever and the cholera,
which had never been known before in the country. The former broke out on
the 29th December, 1850, having been introduced by vessels that had
cleared from Bahia, at which port it had been raging for some weeks. The
ravages of this pestilence were fearful in Rio; out of a population of
250,000 souls, as many as 120,000 were attacked, and upwards of 5000 fell
a sacrifice to the disease.

The first case of cholera occurred a few years later, on the 15th of July,
1855; and during the months in which it prevailed, nearly the same number
(to be more precise, 4826) of the inhabitants of the capital were carried
off. The fatal cases throughout the empire from this epidemic during the
eighteen months between May, 1855, and December, 1856, are said to have
amounted to the enormous number of 107,093! Dr. Francisco de Paulo
Candido, one of the most eminent physicians of Rio, and the principal
member of the Board of Health, states, in a report to the Government,
relative to the statistics of the cholera throughout the empire, that he
had observed, during the prevalence of the epidemic, three phenomena,
which seemed to stand in a certain relation to its appearance, increase,
and decrease, viz., the almost entire disappearance of the ozon in July
and following months, when the disease was on the _increase_; the gradual
increase of that atmospheric agent, in proportion to the decrease of the
disorder; and lastly, the influence exercised by humidity and sudden
changes in temperature on the intensity of the disease. Dr. Candido has
added to his highly instructive report some meteorological tables and a
graphical representation of the presence and absence of ozon in the
atmosphere, which will be published, in its proper place, in the medical
section of the present work.

The consequence of the ravages of these two scourges was, that a variety
of other measures for securing the public health were inaugurated by the
newly-established Board of Health. Among others, a hospital was set on
foot in a charming part of the Cove of Jurujuba,[40] at the eastern
extremity of the Bay of Rio, expressly for the reception of patients
afflicted with yellow fever or cholera. Every morning since that attack,
(and during the unhealthy season several times a day), a small Government
steamer, fitted up for the purpose, plies round the bay, to take up any
cases that may happen to occur on board the ships arriving, and convey
them hither free of charge. Two medical men on board the steamer commence
the treatment, by applying the necessary remedies, during the passage
from the ship to the hospital. Any vessel at anchor in the bay with an
epidemic on board, has, according to arrangement, simply to hoist a flag
on the mainmast, whereupon the Government steamer immediately embarks the
sick persons. In order more effectually to keep from all contact with the
population of the town, such shipboard patients as are labouring under
infectious complaints, another hospital has been established on the Island
of Marica, situated beyond the bar.

[Footnote 40: Pronounced Shooru-shooba.]

In consequence of these recent epidemic attacks, much greater attention
than formerly has of late been paid to the cleanliness of the capital of
the Brazilian empire, though a great deal has yet to be done in this
respect. Rio used to be, without exception, the dirtiest city in the
world. As there were neither gutters nor sewers, all impurities
accumulated during the twenty-four hours used, towards evening, to be
carried by negroes on their heads, in pails and casks, to the bay, and,
singularly enough, emptied in the immediate vicinity of the Imperial
palace, whereby several quarters of the city, particularly in the hot
season, were rendered entirely uninhabitable. The execution of proper
drainage and sewerage works in a city such as Rio, which lies on a flat
and is densely built near the water, must be at all times attended with a
very large expenditure of money. But who would boggle at any amount for an
object which concerns the bodily health, not merely of the present, but of
all succeeding generations? At the period of our visit, the Government had
entered into a contract with Messrs. Joaquim Pereira de Lima and J. F.
Russell, by which, in consideration of a lease for ninety years of
certain taxes specially levied, the two contractors have undertaken to
introduce into the capital of Brazil a system of harbour and street
purification, similar to that which has long been in general use
throughout England. There had also been lately started a _Companhia
Reformadora_, having for object the widening and beautifying of certain
streets, and the improvement of the paving. One must have lived in Rio,
where each street and open square is a hotbed of fever and sickness, to be
able aright to estimate the importance of the two last-named associations.

A war steamer was, by the command of H.M. the Emperor of Brazil, placed at
our disposal, to afford us an opportunity of viewing more closely the most
beautiful points in the magnificent bay of Rio. There were on board with
us the Captain of the Port, Dom Francisco de Perura Pinto, the captains of
the Brazilian men-of-war lying in the harbour, as also several members of
the Historico-Geographical Institute. A military band enlivened the party
by playing national airs during the day. We first visited the south-east
part of the bay at the villages of San Domingo and Ponta da Armacao,
opposite to Ponta da Aréa, whence steamers, for navigating the bay and
adjoining coast, are run by an English company, which employs 667 hands,
(of whom 298 are foreigners, 207 natives, and 162 negro slaves). Except a
part of the funds advanced by native capitalists, the whole undertaking is
carried out by foreigners. England furnishes the engineers and machinery,
whilst the requisite timber is brought from Norway and North America. The
value of the labour employed during 1856 amounted to nearly £90,000.--We
proceeded hence past the islands of Salinas and Honorio, and between the
island of Baretto and the eastern shore of the bay, as far as the
luxuriant island of Paquetá, on the lovely shores of which we landed. It
has a circumference of five miles, and is inhabited by 16,000 persons, who
convert shells into chalk; nearly all the houses on shore are chalk-kilns.
During the dry season this island is the favourite Sunday resort of the
_fluminenses_, as the Rio de Janeirians delight to call themselves. From
this sweet spot the steamer carried us to the north side of the bay. In
the back-ground, the Organos mountains now appeared in all the majesty of
their imposing outline, whilst on one of the projecting ridges, the church
San Francisco de Croara forms an extremely picturesque object.


The more the northern portion of the bay is approached, the more romantic
becomes the panorama of the mountains: from this point stand out in their
full grandeur the Serra da Estrella, the Serra da Tinguá (which is
currently believed to be the highest mountain, not merely on the bay, but
in Brazil), then the deep valley of Santa Cruz, next to which the
mountain-chains of Suaratyba, and the Serra de Iguassoú, rise
majestically, melting away into the charming Tejuca chain, the Gavia, and
the world-renowned Corcovado, whilst the Sugar Loaf, that gigantic
guardian at the entrance of the harbour, splendidly terminates this
magnificent amphitheatre.

We passed the largest of the islands in the bay, the Ilha do Governador,
which has a circumference of upwards of seven miles, and is inhabited by
about a hundred persons chiefly employed in the chalk-kilns, sail-cloth
and soap manufactories; and touched at some wild spots that promised a
harvest for our naturalists. Here and there, from the deep blue waters,
sprang up islands of the most luxuriant vegetation, like tropical idylls
of rock and forest, such as the eye marvels to rest upon, but the pen
refuses to describe. Indelibly impressed on our minds remains in this
respect the lovely islet of Catalán, with its beautiful flowers and palms.

On approaching the capital, towards the east of the bay, passing the
island Bom Jesus, with a magnificent Franciscan monastery, and the Ponta
do Cajù, with charming country seats, a forest of masts, strikes the eye
in bold contrast with the Sugar Loaf in the east, and the Morro de Viracao
and the fort Pico in the west, which covers the position of Santa Cruz.
Unfortunately we went down, just at this point, to a splendid banquet,
etiquette requiring that we should exchange the quarter-deck for the
state-room; for in Brazil also, upon such occasions, meals and
speechifying play an important part, and greatly prejudice the special
object of travel--the enjoyment of nature.

We were not yet done, however, with our excursion. Again we turned towards
the beautiful Cove of Jurujuba, where on the shore lay pretty little
cottages embowered in the richest foliage, while, through a deep
depression, appeared the masts of ships which were still on the bosom of
the ocean outside, on the point of entering the harbour. As the vessel
steamed in, the scenery changed character at every moment, like a fairy
landscape, full of the loveliest, most enchanting glimpses of the
surrounding country. At Jurujuba, we landed to visit the _Hospital
Maritimo de S. Isabel_, erected in 1853, for the reception of sailors in
ill-health of all nations and creeds. It proved of immense utility during
the prevalence of epidemics. In the five years of its existence at the
period of our visit, there had been admitted nearly 6000 cases of yellow
fever.[41] For the excellent management of this fine hospital the utmost
credit is due to the physicians in charge, Dr. Bento Maria da Costa, and
Dr. José Teixeira da Souza.

[Footnote 41: In the year 1856, 2452 patients were received into the
hospital at Jurujuba Cove, of whom 175 died, 2195 were dismissed cured,
and 82 remained under treatment. By comparison with former years, the
number of sick seemed to have fallen off 13 per cent., while the expenses
of management had increased 9 per cent.]

The ground immediately surrounding the hospital has been reclaimed by the
hand of man, and transformed into a garden, in which flourish, in
solitary majesty, the shady _Aleurites triloba_ and the _Anda Gomesii_,
growing in avenues or other regular groups, after all wild vegetation had
been cut down. But at the first step beyond, the foot of the wanderer
through these solitudes strikes into paths leading through the richest,
densest forest scenery Casuarinas (_Anacardium occidentale_), with its
luscious pear-shaped fruits, the Indian mango-tree, the various species of
Eugenia, so rich in ethereal oil, the Figuera Branca (_ficus doliaria_),
the canoe-tree, a gigantic species of _Bombax_, protected by sharp spines,
and other lofty forest-children, reach to the very buildings; while, amid
the dense underwood that grows unchecked, and a few paces distant only
from the dwellings of man, lurk dangerously poisonous snakes, who find
here a secure haunt. Within our own experience, as one of the botanists of
the Expedition was placing a ladder against a primæval forest tree, the
progenitor of numberless scions, he stumbled upon a poisonous Jacaraca,
ready to defend from intrusion his accustomed resting-place.

At the north-west entrance of Jurujuba Cove, rises a lofty island, with
the appropriate name of Bom Viajem ("a happy voyage"), with its church of
the Virgin of the same name, situate on the extreme summit, 400 feet in
height. As, during our visit to the hospital, the twilight had crept
stealthily on, we returned without further stoppage to Rio; when the
company, landing at the usual landing-place of the arsenal, separated,
full of the most pleasing impressions, arising from the beautiful scenery
enjoyed during the day, and a deep sense of gratitude for the noble
hospitality shown us by our amiable hosts.

Another favour was conferred by Drs. de Lagos and Schüch, who formed a
fishing-party on a grand scale, which was greatly enjoyed by all, though
the gun proved more profitable to our naturalists than rod, line, or net.

As the number of days at our disposal in Rio Janeiro began to diminish, we
applied ourselves to seeing the utmost possible with the smallest
sacrifice of time. The morning after our excursion on board the Santa
Cruz, we attended a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies. The hall, oval in
shape, is plainly, but comfortably fitted up. The members sit on benches
in a semicircle. Opposite the president stand tables for the ministers of
state; at the upper and lower end of the hall are galleries for the
public, and one is specially assigned to the diplomatic body. Each member
speaks from his place. Their language is very free and their behaviour
still more so,--they sometimes carry this so far as not to allow a speaker
to proceed; and in screaming, brawling, and violence, they excel even
certain members of the late French Chamber of Deputies. There are said to
be some very able speakers amongst the Brazilians. The subject of debate
was a petition presented to the House for an inquiry into the conduct of a
late minister of justice, who was accused of having tyrannically dismissed
a government officer in the province of Maranhao. The subject had created
great interest in the public mind, and the galleries were crowded to
suffocation; we did not remain till the conclusion of the debate, but the
minister is said to have justified the proceeding by proving that the
officer had allowed himself to be bribed.

On the same day we made an excursion to the Serra da Estrella and
Petropolis, a place which has of late excited so much attention in the
public journals, since the question of German emigration to Brazil, with
its accompaniments of agitations by the Brazilian recruiting agents, began
to assume its present remarkable proportions. Though the distance from Rio
to Petropolis may be accomplished in four hours, yet three different
vehicles are required:--in the first place, a steamer from Rio to the
railway-station on the opposite side of the bay, then the railway to
Fragosa, and lastly, a carriage to the final destination over an excellent
road which runs through the mountains to Petropolis.

This fine work, which was opened in 1848, is unfortunately the only one of
its kind in the whole empire,[42] as are likewise the five miles of
railway between Mauá and Fragosa; and yet how highly important would
railway communication prove from the metropolis to the northern provinces,
by means of which the excessive cost of carriage by mules might be so
considerably reduced, benefiting alike the landowner and the merchant! As
an illustration, the fact may be mentioned, that the cost of transit for
an arroba (32 lbs.) of coffee from the coffee district of Vassouras to
Rio, a distance of about 50 miles, amounts to from 700 to 800 reis (about
1_s._ 8_d._). The trouble and expense connected with this miserable mode
of conveyance, so much enhance the price of some kinds of natural produce,
that it does not pay to transport them to the harbour of the capital.
Several companies have latterly been projected, and money subscribed for
constructing railways in the various provinces of the empire, and a few of
these are already under weigh, as, for example, that of Dom Pedro Segundo,
which will put the richest provinces in direct communication with Rio, and
for which the amount of money required has been entirely subscribed. But
in this, as in all other Brazilian enterprises, energy is wanting to make
these good intentions bear fruit; and so long as there is not a greater
admixture of foreign go-a-head-ativeness in the country, much must remain
confined to the mere expression of patriotic wishes. And in this
connection, foreign immigration, of which we shall treat further on, will
prove of immense importance.

[Footnote 42: This road is to be continued from Petropolis as far as
Parahyba; and in various other directions also the building of roads for
commercial traffic is being fostered by Government. The Brazilian
Government are at the same time turning their attention to improving the
existing means of transport by importing dromedaries for use. As it
withstands variation of temperature, and thrives on almost any kind of
nourishment, the dromedary is certain to do well, especially in the
northern provinces, and will prove exceedingly serviceable in the
transport of the products of that section of the country. The great heat
and drought which prevail in Maranhao, Piauhy, Matto Grosso, and that
direction generally, is eminently suitable to the dromedary, which does
not thrive in hot _damp_ weather. It is calculated that a dromedary, which
can carry an average weight of 700 pounds, (being six times what a horse,
and four times what a mule will carry on his back), costs, in his own
country, from £12 to £16; and after paying cost of transport to Brazil,
will be worth £48. With the introduction of the "ship of the desert," that
of the date-palm must go hand in hand, as that fruit constitutes the chief
food of the dromedary, and will probably simultaneously effect a great
change in the articles of consumption by the lower orders.]

The journey by carriage through the Sierra from Fragosa to Petropolis is
extremely beautiful. He who is not fortunate enough to enter deeper into
the interior, at least obtains here an idea of what constitutes a primæval
Brazilian forest. The wonders of tropical vegetation, as manifested not
only by vastness of form but also by gorgeous and rank luxuriance, strike
the eye at first-sight almost the same way as an overpowering chorus
affects the ear. It requires time to collect the thoughts, so as to be
able to appreciate and enjoy thoroughly the extraordinary beauties that
impress the wondering mind.

If the eye of the astonished traveller has been but in the most cursory
manner directed to the vegetable phenomena that surround him, it must have
rested on a climbing plant, which constitutes one of the chief marvels of
the native woods. This singular creeper is the _Cipo matador_, a climbing
plant of a very peculiar aspect, at once the most powerful and most
destructive of all the Cipo tribe. It twines round the stems of lofty
trees, which its flattened coils gradually constrict with almost life-like
cruelty! Its aërial roots run out from all parts and embrace the tree like
artificial clamps, forming in some places complete rings, and in others
growing into the very bark. The tree, in consequence of this parasitic
embrace, dies away by degrees, whilst its destroyer continues to grow
gaily on the corpse of its victim, and spreads its leafy crown until it
falls and perishes simultaneously with the support that had hitherto
upheld it. To what profound reflections does the contemplation of this
spectacle give rise! Involuntarily our thoughts fly from the wild
Brazilian forest to the plains of civilization,--to the modern society
where, likewise, many a noble human nature is slowly undermined by a
treacherous Cipo matador of flesh and blood, till too surely he falls
prone on the ground!

Petropolis is, on account of its more temperate and healthy climate, a
favourite residence of the wealthy Rio de Janeirians, and during the hot
season, when the sultriness of the air, if not something worse, renders
life almost unendurable, Petropolis is said to have the appearance of a
European spa. It is at the same time the summer residence of the Emperor,
and the only place in Brazil where an electric telegraph--uniting it with
Rio de Janeiro--has been established. The town contains about 7000
inhabitants; the streets, when completed, will be broad and handsome,--but
only one has as yet been finished, the others being merely marked out,
while even among the clean and neat houses already erected, there are
frequent and wide gaps.

The German colony, planned by a German engineer, Julius Friedr. Köhler, is
at a little distance from Petropolis. The first colonists who arrived on
the 30th of July, 1845, came mostly from Baden and the Rhenish provinces.
The Government granted to each family a cottage, with a slice of forest
near it, a cow, a dozen of chickens, and about £5 in money. Such at least
was the information given us at Petropolis. Köhler soon afterwards met
with a sad end at a newly-formed shooting ground. Many an emigrant family
perished in misery; others, however, overcame the difficulties that beset
them at the commencement; more emigrants arrived, and now one may walk,
within a few hours, through the Rhine and Mosel valleys, Nassau,
Darmstadt, Ingelheim, Bingen, the Palatinate and Switzerland, as the
emigrants, in fond commemoration of their native homes, call their small
settlements, which run some distance through the mountain valleys. The
German origin of these settlements displays itself distinctly in the
cleanliness and neatness of their log cabins, the affability of the
people, the heartiness of their greeting, the fair hair, curly heads, and
beautiful blue eyes of the children, as well as the language and music
which is now and then heard.

Petropolis is, however, not an agricultural colony in the real sense of
the word, the majority of the 2500 Germans settled there obtaining a
livelihood as artizans and labourers. The Government has done much to
promote the growth of the colony, by making roads, and establishing
schools. Still the people never become agriculturists, on account of the
sterility of the soil; but as the road to the province of Minas Geraes
runs through the place, the settlement will always retain some importance.
For the cargoes of coffee which are conveyed by mules from the interior to
the harbour, Petropolis is the last station, and will remain so for a long
time yet, for the large outlay required renders it unlikely that the
projected railway will soon be completed.

Several attempts have been made to establish similar German colonies in
various provinces of the empire, but, unfortunately, with as yet even less
success than in the Serra da Estrella. However, the activity of the
Brazilian emigration agents has much increased in different German ports;
for the remarkable words of the Emperor, with which he opened the
Chambers in May, 1854, at Rio,--"The necessity of a settled industrious
population becomes more and more urgent,"--have become since then even
more significant; in fact, the result of the endeavours on the part of the
Government to increase the amount of labour by immigration, is now a
question of life or death for the empire. Every disinterested person feels
that, without an increase of labour, productive activity is impossible;
nay, some even apprehend a considerable decrease in the producing
capabilities of the country, in consequence of the effect to be
anticipated in Brazil from the abolition of the slave-trade by the
interference of England. Up to the year 1851, the importation of negro
slaves continued undiminished, notwithstanding the treaty with England of
1826, in which the abolition of the slave-trade forms one of the
conditions on which the recognition of the Brazilian crown by the
Government of Her Britannic Majesty was made specially contingent.
According to a statement of the Foreign Office, there were from 1842 to
1851 (despite the treaty) 325,615 negroes sold as slaves in Brazil, so
that the amount of the slave population is now upwards of 2,000,000 souls.

The condition of the black population in this country is materially
different from that of the United States and the West Indies. The colour
of the skin, which renders the life of even free and prosperous negroes
almost intolerable in the northern states of America, where they are
subject to so many humiliations, makes in Brazil no difference whatever.
The question here is not whether white or black, but whether free or a
slave. Free negroes may here occupy the highest places in the State, and
even exercise a certain influence on the destiny of the white inhabitants.
Slaves also are treated here with more humanity and less prejudice than in
any other country visited by me, on which the curse of slavery yet rests;
yet it must be confessed, without hesitation, that slavery, as beheld in
Brazil, seems even a greater misfortune to the white population than to
the black; for neither agriculture nor industry can thrive in a country
where labour is not considered, as in free States, an honourable
occupation--but rather as a disgrace--in consequence of its being
performed by slaves. Not merely the blacks, who have no interest in being
industrious, but their masters also are lazy, and approaching ruin becomes
more and more certain. Free labour alone, by obtaining the upper hand in
the country, can remedy these things. Slave labour cannot long compete
with it. The intelligence, activity, and perseverance of 100,000 free
white labourers will promote the prosperity and the happiness of Brazil,
much more than the compulsory labour of two millions of negroes in

In consequence of repeated and energetic remonstrances on the part of the
British Government, the slave-trade has now ceased in Brazil, and "one of
the grandest monuments of our century," as the celebrated declaration by
the Congress of Vienna termed the entire suppression of the
slave-trade,[43] may be considered by this circumstance approaching its

[Footnote 43: Déclaration des puissances sur l'abolition de la traite des
nègres, du 8 Février, 1815. L. Neumann, Recueil des traités et conventions
conclus par l'Autriche (Leipzig, 1856. Vol. II., p. 502).]

As the Government became convinced that there was not the least hope of
reaping any advantage from civilizing the aboriginal tribes, it had
recourse to free immigration, and promoted it in every way.[44] It
endeavoured, particularly in the warmer northern provinces, to replace the
deficiency of negroes by Chinese Coolies, who were imported from different
parts of China; but they could not stand the climate, and were not found
capable of advantageously replacing the negro in his various and often
very heavy labour. This partially arose from the indiscriminate selection
of the immigrants, as the agents, when they could not obtain able-bodied
men, did not scruple to make up their cargo with whatever came to hand.

[Footnote 44: It may be useful, however, on many accounts to observe, that
the Brazilian Government take considerable pains to adapt this doomed race
for a civilized mode of existence. A law of 19th September, 1855, assigned
an annual sum of £6000 for the proper execution of this humane project. In
order to remedy the very marked deficiency of suitable missionaries, the
Government, through its representative in Paris, invited a number of
Catholic priests from France--men, whose rearing and zeal for their faith
had effected such marvels among the Indians of Canada. But the aborigines
of Brazil seem hopelessly degraded, and are destined, after having filled
their appointed place in the history of nations, to make room for a more
energetically endowed race.]

The Government pays, therefore, the utmost attention to European
immigration; it has agents in Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium, and
especially in Germany; and endeavours to organize associations that have
for their object the settlement of industrious labourers in the country,
and to support colonies already in existence, till they are in a position
to maintain themselves. In Brazil, the conviction is pretty general, that
only an emigration _en masse_ of white labour can save this splendid
country from ruin, though there are individuals who entertain a different
opinion, and think--perhaps not altogether without reason--that the energy
and industry of European settlers might eventually--considering the
indolent and careless disposition of their countrymen--prove destructive
to the national element!

The most striking proof of how thoroughly in earnest the leading members
of the Brazilian Government are in their efforts to procure an immigration
of foreign labour, may be found in the report of the Commission upon the
new tariff, in which the following passage occurs, illustrative of the
advantages which may be expected to be reaped from European emigration on
a large scale:--"'These foreign labourers arrive here poor, and depart
from the country laden with our gold and silver, and, like blood-suckers,
absorb our natural riches!' is the remark of those who are ignorant of the
true interests of Brazil. For to whom are we indebted for our capital, for
the industry and commerce which we have? To whom belong those
manufactories which the people want to protect, and in whose favour so
much is said? Why, to foreigners! Foreign hands and foreign capital
cultivate our soil, expand our trade and commerce, and promote the arts.
The _results_ of their labour remain, though they may themselves quit the
country! Foreigners man our ships, build our manufactories, and supply
them with hands; foreigners buy our produce and carry it to distant
markets; foreigners render our forests and rivers productive; they work
our mines, uncover the metallic wealth of our country, and educate our
children! Capital, practical science, instruments, and machines, with
which we perform our labours, belong mostly to foreigners; and,
consequently, these blood-suckers are just the very men who render our
land productive, preserving, instead of, as some erroneously imagine,
depriving us of our vitality. The money which they take back to their
homes is amply replaced by the treasures they leave behind in the product
of their labour, and in the branches of industry which they have
introduced or improved."[45]

[Footnote 45: Of the sixty-four manufactories and workshops, twenty-eight
belong to foreigners; and there is not a single industrial establishment
in which foreigners are not employed, either as managers, engineers, or

More explicitly and discerningly it was hardly possible for Government to
speak, and to enumerate the glorious results which the country may expect
from the introduction of foreign industry and foreign activity, although
such an official avowal could not fail to wound the national pride of the

Notwithstanding this strong language of the Government, and all the
enticements and zealous activity of the Brazilian agents in the various
ports of Europe, the emigration to that country, in 1856, amounted to
only 13,800 souls.[46] Among this number there were but 628 agriculturists,
all the others coming merely with the view of obtaining a livelihood in
the capital as artizans and labourers. There are probably in all the
Brazilian agricultural colonies, at this moment, not more than 40,000
emigrants settled, that is to say, about as many as emigrate in the course
of three months to the United States!

[Footnote 46: Namely: 9159 Portuguese, 1822 Germans, and 2819 of other

The number of Germans emigrating to Brazil is strikingly small, when
compared with the total annual emigration from that country. Of 61,413
individuals, who, in 1856, embarked from Hamburg and Bremen, only 1822
went to Brazil. The cause of this may be that, simultaneously with the
large promises held out by the agents, warning voices were heard depicting
in the most gloomy colours the terrible trials that await the unfortunate
immigrant on his touching Brazilian soil.[47] Of late such excellent works
have been published concerning Brazil, that we may advise all who take a
special interest in the condition of that empire to study these works, the
more so as the views therein expressed exactly coincide with our own

[Footnote 47: Among these, the opposition of the late Consul-General for
Brazil at Dresden, Mr. John Sturz, deserves special mention, as, despite
the threats of losing his appointment, that gentleman was incessantly
occupied in exposing the iniquities of the Parceria system (see _post_),
and recommending the immigrant, so long as such a slavish system
continued, to refrain from turning his steps towards Brazil. Mr. Sturz had
recently the enviable misfortune of being sacrificed to his own strong
sense of justice, and dismissed from all employment by the Brazilian
administration, though not without carrying with him the respect and
admiration of every friend of humanity. An excellent and circumstantial
description of the present condition of the German colonies in southern
Brazil will be found in Dr. Avé Lallemant's attractive "Travels through
Southern Brazil in 1858." (Leipzig, 1859.)]

[Footnote 48: H. Handelmann's "History of Brazil" (Berlin, 1860), a
remarkably profound and instructive work, devotes a special section (p.
933) to the subject of German emigration, and gives a very copious and
complete insight into the various missions and works since 1819 to the
present day, which treat of German emigration and colonization.]

So long as the unoccupied lands are not surveyed, laid out in lots, and
sold at a small rate to the settler, as, for instance, in the United
States; so long as the immigrant is unable to improve for himself his own
plot of ground, but must remain a mere field-labourer, working for some
foreign master, according to the iniquitous _Parceria_, or half-profits
system;[49] so long as the expense of transport of the emigrant is to be
worked off by future payments out of his labour, so long must every friend
of humanity strongly dissuade the emigrant from proceeding to the great
South American Empire.

[Footnote 49: The modern Brazilian system of _Parceria_ may be shortly
stated as that by which a planter engages in Europe such of the poorer
classes as are desirous of emigrating, and has them transported at his own
cost to Brazil, where they are engaged as farmers, with half profits, upon
the coffee and sugar plantations, and contracting to reimburse him, by
their personal services and labour, for the outlay he has been at for
their transport, maintenance, instruction, &c. Until all these have been
repaid by the improvement in the rent or productive powers of the land,
they must remain, as working out their emancipation from the lord of the
soil, veritable "_adscripti glebæ_." After that has been attained they are
free people, and may leave if they please, or may sink into the rank of
"unattached labourers," which implies their assigning half of the net
produce of the land to the ground landlord, the remaining half being their
remuneration for labour. Proprietorship in the soil is never attainable by
these farmers on half profits, inasmuch as the Parceria system can only
exist where the soil is already exclusively vested in a planting
aristocracy. (See Handelmann, etc., p. 568).]

For Brazil, beautiful, fertile, and abounding in undeveloped natural
wealth, two alternatives are alone open at present--either ruin to the
producing power of the population through deficiency of industrial power,
or the throwing open the land to foreign emigration by means of the most
extensive concessions. The longer this is deferred, the more oppressively
will the want of manual labour manifest itself; and the more advantages
will foreign emigration secure.

Once, however, these important stipulations are conceded, the German
emigrants may forthwith bend their steps to the coasts of Brazil, where
the glorious dawn of a magnificent future is surely breaking for them.
While, in the United States, the problem to be solved by the German
emigrants seems to be, to mingle German industry, German capacity, and
German knowledge, with the keen spirit of enterprise and restless energy
of the Anglo-Saxon race, and gradually to assimilate with it,--on the
other hand, in the South American continent, it appears as though the
German element were about gradually to gain the upperhand of the Latin
stock, and permanently to conquer for German industry and German commerce,
one of the fairest countries on the globe with the weapons of peace--the
spade and plough.

Brazil is, however, of great interest to Germany not merely on account of
the prospects she holds out for its overflowing population. A market,
teeming with the most important colonial products, with an area[50] of
3,956,800 English square miles, and an annual consumption of nearly
£10,000,000, must in the highest degree attract the attention and excite
the most favourable anticipations of a country such as Germany, the
majority of whose inhabitants are engaged in manufactures.

[Footnote 50: According to the computation of the Historico-Geographical
Institute of Brazil.]

The chief article of Brazilian trade at present is coffee, the production
of which, in consequence of the great profit of late years derived from
it, has increased so much, that it has superseded the cultivation of all
other produce; thus, notwithstanding the fertility and capability of the
ground, even the commonest necessaries of life, as, for instance,
potatoes, must be imported from abroad, the majority of the rural
population being engaged in labour for the foreign market, and only very
few for home consumption. This is the principal cause of the enormous
prices which, even the most indispensable necessaries have reached in Rio
de Janeiro.

Brazil grows annually, in the provinces of Rio, Bahia, and Santa
Catharina, 5,190,000 quintals of coffee, consequently more than
three-fifths of the entire amount produced on the whole earth, and of this
the province of Rio de Janeiro alone yields two-thirds.

The most important objects of export, besides coffee, are sugar, rice,
cotton, hides, and dried meat, together with dye and cabinet woods. The
progressive decrease of late years in these articles may probably be
ascribed to the want of sufficient labour, as well as to the great extent
to which the culture of coffee has been carried.

Although the trade carried on between Brazil and Europe, and its great
importance, will form the object of a special work, we cannot help
noticing in this place as a very interesting fact, that among the
importations, that of wheat-flour holds a very conspicuous place, above
300,000 barrels of 200 lbs. each being annually consumed, of which
seventeen twentieths are supplied by the United States, two twentieths
from Trieste and Fiume, and the remaining one twentieth from Lisbon and
Valparaiso. The flour from Trieste, by reason of its whiteness and
superior quality, commands a high price, so as to necessitate its being
mixed in baking with that from Baltimore. We were told it occasionally
happens, that the best quality of the much-appreciated Trieste or Fontana
flour reaches the price, altogether unapproachable by the finest American
flour, of 64 to 66 shillings the barrel.

As in the interior of the country the flour chiefly used is that called
Mandioca, prepared from the root of _Jatropha Manihot_, it follows that
the chief consumer of wheaten flour is Rio itself, the monthly consumption
amounting to upwards of 16,500 barrels. The reason for the small sale of
the Austrian manufactures in Brazil must be sought for, not so much in the
deficient supplies of the articles required, as in the circumstance that
the Austrian manufacturers have not hitherto found it much their interest
to study the Brazilian market, so as to make the requisite alterations in
the method of producing their fabrics, and thus render them suitable for
that purpose. What little of our Austrian manufactures is at present
exported for Brazilian consumption, seems at present to follow the, to all
appearance, much less natural route northwards, and instead of proceeding
from Trieste direct, is exported from Bremen or Hamburg as fabrics of
Northern Germany.

During our stay at Rio, Commodore Wüllerstorf, accompanied by Captain
Pöck, and one of the members of the scientific commission, had the honour
of being presented to the Emperor and Empress of Brazil, at a private
audience. The reception took place at the winter residence of St.
Christoph. It is an old unsightly building, and still unfinished, the
central part especially having been for some years in a ruinous condition.
The Emperor seems not to be partial to display, and a very characteristic
anecdote in this respect, which does him great credit, is very generally
reported. On the occasion of a visit to the splendid lunatic asylum of
Botafogo, one of the ministers remarked to His Majesty that the inmates of
the establishment were better and more elegantly lodged than himself. "It
will always afford me great pleasure," was the reply, "to know that these
unfortunate people are better provided for than I am."

At the entrance of the palace at St. Christoph, the gentlemen of the
Expedition were received by an ecclesiastic, who led them into an
exceedingly plain ante-chamber, the furniture of which seemed to belong to
bygone centuries. Several of the ministers of state, whose servants
carried large portfolios, exchanged compliments with the Austrian
minister, and entered the contiguous apartments. Chamberlains and
domestics of the court looked stealthily at the strangers, and disappeared
as rapidly as they had come. It seemed as though these presentations were
of infrequent occurrence. At last, about half-past 6 P.M. the door opened,
when His Majesty and the ministers walked through the room into the hall
of audience, into which the gentlemen of the Expedition were soon
afterwards conducted by a chamberlain. The Austrian minister presented
each separately to His Majesty Dom Pedro II., who is the son of an
Austrian Archduchess, and received the gentlemen in the uniform of an
admiral, surrounded by all his ministers. He is a fine-looking man, of
some 30 years of age, of stately appearance, but with a voice somewhat too
thin for so robust a person. The portrait on the Brazilian coinage is
remarkably like. The conversation was carried on in French; it is said,
however, that the Emperor speaks German fluently. He conversed very
affably and graciously with every one, and had something agreeable to say
to each, expressing much interest in the _Novara_ Expedition. After
several questions, the Emperor wished us success on our future voyage, and
retired, upon which the audience was at an end.

After the members of the Expedition had remained a short space in a corner
of the audience chamber, they were conducted through a narrow boarded
passage to the apartments of the Empress. In the ante-chamber we again
encountered the Emperor, who had exchanged his admiral's uniform for plain
clothes, and now stood before us in the undress black frock he usually

We were now ushered into the small and very plainly furnished
reception-room of the Empress, in which there was nothing to attract
attention except a couple of highly-finished portraits. Her Majesty, a
sister of the late King Ferdinand II. of Naples, and of Queen Maria
Christina of Spain, was in mourning owing to a death in the family. She
was only attended by one lady in waiting, and received us with infinite
grace. She is rather short in stature, and although still young, looks
aged; in conversation she becomes however very animated, and thereby gains
in gracefulness; her favourite theme was Italy, on which she dwelt with
childlike fondness. Speaking of Naples, its charming bay, of the Vesuvius,
and the lovely walk of Santa Lucia, near the sea, the tone of her voice
became involuntarily more lively. Notwithstanding the tropical splendour,
and an Imperial throne, the Princess seems to have a great longing for her
native land. Alas! even an imperial crown is no protection against the
yearning for home!

During our stay here, the anniversary came round of the birth of our
gracious Emperor, which was celebrated in the most festive manner. From
early dawn the frigate appeared decked out in her gayest flags, which was
similarly responded to by the English and French ships of war in the
harbour. At 8 A.M., with the customary salutes of the ensign, a salute of
twenty-one guns was fired, as also at mid-day and sunset. At 11 A.M., the
crew were paraded and divine service was performed, to which our resident
envoy and his family were invited, together with the acting
Consul-General, the captain of an Austrian vessel, and a few Austrians who
happened to be at that time in Rio. After service, the foreign guests and
several officers of the staff were entertained by the commodore at
breakfast. In the evening there was a banquet at the hotel of the envoy,
at which were present several notabilities of the empire of Brazil, among
others, Viscount Maranguapè, minister of foreign affairs, and the Senator
Viscount de Uruguay. In the garden of the club the frigate's band of music
played chiefly German and Austrian pieces, which awoke in the bosoms of
many the most tender recollections.

The frequent arrival of men of war in the bay of Rio gives rise to an
almost continual firing; each vessel entering fires a royal salute, which
is answered by the fortress and the other ships of war in the harbour.
During our stay we discharged not less than 432 salvos, while all the men
of war together fired at least 1500 salvos, thus making, within three
weeks, about 5250 rounds of gunpowder, used merely in salutes.

The 31st of August had been fixed as the date of our departure. During the
latter days of our stay, there had been frequent collations on board to
make some return to those who had shown us attention. Several of the sick,
one midshipman and two sailors, had to be left behind in hospital, where
they received the most careful treatment, while Dr. Avé Robert Lallemant,
who, by the kind recommendation of Humboldt, had been permitted by the
Archduke to accompany the Expedition with the rank of surgeon of corvette,
for the purpose of prosecuting his studies of yellow fever, was, at his
own request, put ashore at Rio, whence he afterwards undertook the journey
through Southern Brazil already alluded to.

The night previous, three sailors had deserted from a boat sent on shore
to bring back some officers. The system of kidnapping, as is well known,
flourishes in Rio, and many a ship is said to have lost, in this way, from
thirty to forty men. The crimps, who make their living by this traffic in
man, entice young and robust sailors to desert by means of all imaginable
allurements and promises, making advances in money, and leading them into
a dissolute life, in order that, when afterwards they find themselves in a
desperate state, and without resources, they may be sold by the scoundrels
to the captains of vessels, as sailors, or, what is worse, as white
slaves, to the planters in the interior. This abominable trade is said to
be carried on, on a great scale, by an Italian, in Catumbý Grande, and
though the Brazilian police is perfectly cognizant of the haunts of the
fellow, yet it seems not to be powerful enough to put a stop to the

These incidents did not, however, interfere with our departure at the
specified hour, when we were towed out by the tug steamer _Perseverancia_,
which we had hired for _£25_. Almost every large ship on leaving Rio is
towed clear of the bay, so as to avoid having to tack between the islands,
or perhaps have to anchor, so that the tug, which belongs to a private
individual, and accompanied us eastward as far as the island of Razza,
must be a source of considerable profit.

On 31st August, at six A.M., we bade farewell to the splendid harbour of
Rio. We had fortunately reached Rio after the visit of the yellow fever,
but the almost continual rainy weather had spoiled many an excursion, and
deprived us of the opportunity of more closely examining the environs of
the city. Nor were we more successful in making ourselves at home here,
notwithstanding the kind reception with which we were favoured by the
Government and some private individuals. There is, in short, a great want
of sociability, and we may add, almost utter indifference to scientific
pursuits, which indeed appeal in vain to the great majority of the
Brazilian population. Of course there are numerous and agreeable
exceptions; but slavery, the mixture of races, the egotism and indolence
of the wealthier classes, are all reasons why a European, just arrived,
cannot feel himself comfortable. The white Brazilians bear, in some
respects, a strong resemblance to the Italians, but they are deficient in
their pleasing, insinuating demeanour, in their cheerful humour, quickness
of perception, and lively imagination. They occupy a lower scale in social
culture, without depth of thought or feeling, and seem almost incapable of
persevering activity. This perceptible deficiency of hearty, energetic
temperament, in addition to the confused intermingling of other foreign
nations, which seem to regard the country as booty, to be abandoned so
soon as success has crowned their labours, imparts to each new arrival a
feeling of depression, which, so far from being weakened, is yet more
keenly felt by those who have lived some time in the country, so that not
merely among foreigners recently arrived, but with those also who have
spent years at Rio, the desire to leave these shores becomes rather
increased than diminished by a longer acquaintance.


At nine A.M., we cast off from the tug, not far from the little island of
Razza, with its lighthouse, and spread our sails to the breeze, which
gradually freshened, but blew from the N.E., which was foul for our
course. However, we could still derive some advantage from even this as it
was our intention to steer southerly from Rio, so as to be able to make
almost exclusively a great circle course to the Cape of Good Hope, after
we should have got further south than the Antarctic limit of the S.E.

The near termination of the winter quarter in this southern hemisphere,
the approximation of the sun towards the south pole, and the consequent
tendency of the zones of wind and currents of air to pursue the same
direction, gave us reason to hope, that when approaching the limits of the
trades, we should find a change of wind, which should shorten the voyage,
or at all events keep us clear of storms.

In the open ocean, where there are no hills or extraordinary conformations
of land to break the uniformity of the earth's surface, and where the
expanse of water is unbroken by any extensive group of islands, the
disturbances in the atmospheric belt must necessarily be much less
strongly marked than where continents are interposed, or in the narrow
seas. The winds themselves, under such circumstances, display even in
their shifts a certain amount of regularity, which is usually dependent
upon the universal laws of nature.

Once any one is so fortunate as to comprehend the latter in all their
extent, so as to be cognisant of their results, it becomes a mere
question of the study of local conditions in order to be able to declare
how these universal laws operate, and to elucidate by the most simple
explanations many of the phenomena of nature that have till now baffled
science. Thus, when a wind hitherto steady shifts its direction, there
must necessarily be, certain active causes for its doing so; if these
causes perpetually recur in well-marked periodical intervals, the change
of the wind must follow a definite law. Under certain circumstances the
direction of the wind is well-defined; as, for instance, at certain
seasons in the open ocean it remains always the same, or changes with a
certain regularity, whence it becomes apparent that the causes must remain
unchanging, and the recurrence of the phenomenon must accordingly admit of

We know, for example, that in the case of hurricanes--those most terrific
exemplifications of the tendency of the atmosphere to move in circles--the
wind does not blow in straight lines, but rather in curves described round
a central point, which again is not immovable, but has a regular
progression along a definite curve. In that curved plane, however, which
has been termed a _cyclone_, the wind always blows in one and the same
direction, and in the Northern Hemisphere runs counter to the motion of a
watch-hand, while in the Southern Hemisphere it, on the contrary, follows
that motion.

These facts once granted as accounting for such phenomena, it follows as a
natural consequence of the general principles laid down, that they hold
good in minor cases, and must remain of the same efficacy, whether it be a
hurricane or a dust-whirl which may be under consideration.

So, too, in conformity with those laws, light winds may be found subject
to a variation in direction of a similar nature, such as may not perhaps
be fully exemplified in every case, but simply serve to indicate the
tendency of the wind to follow the same general direction as the
hurricanes themselves.

The importance of ascertaining such curvilinearity in the direction of the
winds will be especially manifest at the limits within which the regular
winds prevail, and when they must necessarily become intermingled with
other regular currents of the atmosphere.

Accordingly, as we neared the limit of the S.E. Trades, which always
extend somewhat further south, as the sun's southern declination
increases, we had to traverse regions where necessarily we encountered
variable winds, owing to the increased area of the Trades. There are also
found occasional spots at which a more rarefied atmosphere seems to fill
the surrounding space, when there is seen a similar process to that in the
case of hurricanes, first visible perhaps in the higher strata, but
afterwards extending to those which are lower.

The winds, then, shifted with much regularity, and with them the
atmospheric pressure, just as in the case of cyclones, except that neither
the wind nor the sea ever presented the characteristics of a tempest. The
wind, which began to blow from the North-East, drew gradually to North,
thence West and South, and returned to S.E., after short intervals of
calm. We could thus perceive, on referring to the ship's log, that the
entire cycle was completed in five or six days; so that it became quite
possible, by examining the central direction of the daily variation, to
foretell the wind which must be blowing twelve hours later, when, upon
taking into consideration the path described by such central direction
from day to day, it appeared that the wind described very nearly a
parabolic curve.

Even the aspect of the heavens, and the state of the weather, were only
one degree less regular in their alternations than the hurricanes. With
the S.E. wind, the sky was bright, but as soon as it began to veer round,
towards afternoon, a few white belts of cirrhous clouds began to appear in
the western heavens, constituting a well-marked division of the vault of
the sky from one side quite to the other. As it drew still further round,
and neared the line of centres, the weather grew foul, a driving scud
covered the heavens, and a succession of splendid rainbows were seen, till
the ship had reached the nearest spot to the storm-centre when there were
sharp squalls of wind, accompanied by heavy showers of rain. The lower
strata of clouds, mere vapour, drove before the wind, while those above
moved in a directly contrary direction, generally that of the forthcoming
wind. The atmospheric pressure, which at first would be considerable,
gradually decreased as we approached the central line; as we drew away
from that centre the barometer rose again, the weather improved, and the
sky under the influence of southerly winds once more cleared.

Unfortunately it is not practicable with a single ship to ascertain
whether the veering of the wind follows an exact curve, as we can only say
what is the direction at the spot where the observation has been made, and
it is impossible to determine what it may be at other points. But it is at
all events certain that the shifts of wind are amenable to the same
general laws as hurricanes. A number of ships sent out for the special
purpose of this branch of investigation, could render immense services to
science and navigation, and achieve most interesting results.

We availed ourselves of these general laws to traverse the ocean as
speedily as possible, in order to reach early our next anchorage, and in
so doing we experienced altogether three well-marked cycles of wind at
short intervals. We cannot afford space to prosecute all the interesting
consequences that result from these phenomena of nature, such
investigations being more properly reserved for the meteorological section
of the scientific portion of this work. Here, however, the facilities for
observation of a sea-faring life have been directed towards an object of
inquiry, which must prove of immense utility in navigation and commerce.
And, perhaps, even landsmen may not find it uninteresting, that even that
proverbially fickle element, air, obeys certain fixed laws, a more
accurate acquaintance with which must be of the utmost importance to the
denizen of _terra firma_, as well as those "that go down to the sea in
ships, that do business in great waters."

On this passage from the American to the African coasts, we were
continually accompanied by our winged friends, the sea-birds, which,
notwithstanding the unkind treatment they received at the hands of the
zoological sportsmen, followed us with the utmost pertinacity, probably
attracted by the numerous fragments of provisions thrown overboard.

The Cape pigeons (_Procellaria sp._), those prettily-marked sea-birds,
about the size of doves, the albatrosses, (_Diomedea sp._) the largest of
the ocean feathered tribe, with their quiet majestic flight, stormy
petrels of all sorts and sizes, from the smallest swallow to the largest
of its kind; all these winged inhabitants of the sea's surface followed
the frigate in motley groups, and seemed never to weary in their active
search for food.

Sometimes they alighted, rested on the surface of the water, and were left
far behind; but they collected again with great rapidity as soon as
anything eatable appeared, and overtook the frigate in a swift flight from
the remotest point of the horizon. This singular attachment to ships very
probably arises from their being accustomed to follow whalers, from which
such a large quantity of garbage is thrown overboard, very much affected
by these aërial parasites, whence they learn to expect from all vessels
their favourite food.

They possess a remarkable capacity for remembering the exact time when
they are likely to receive a large quantity of eatables from on board.
Every day, about noon, the vicinity of the ship became animated, and
towards one o'clock, after the crew had finished dinner, these lively
creatures were close behind, and even fought for the pieces of tow with
which the coppers had been cleansed. The boldest amongst them was the Cape
pigeon, which pounced, with the utmost avidity, upon the dainty morsels
thrown overboard, raising a loud scream, swimming round its prey, diving
for sinking fragments, or snatching from each other those they had
secured. Then came the black and brown-spotted and white albatrosses. As
soon as one of these colossal birds appeared on the scene of strife, the
uproar of the screaming pigeons at once became still; they kept themselves
at a respectful distance from the voracious albatross, which quietly
consumed its lion's share. In a few moments, yet greater numbers of these
assembled, of which the black ones (_Ph[oe]betria fuliginosa_), like the
large petrels, are extremely shy, and rarely approach the ship within
gun-shot. The other large-sized petrels acted similarly, the brown
spectacled-petrel, so named from two singular-looking black rings round
the eyes, being the most numerous. Along with these were several small
Mother Carey's Chickens, and flights of other winged creatures swarming
over the sea. The darker the sky, the more agitated the sea, the more
actively do the Cape pigeons tumble and toss behind the ship; it appears
that in rough stormy weather they see less distinctly and find food with
difficulty, in consequence of which they are in a famished state. Only
under these circumstances, and when the ship is moving slowly, can they
be caught with a line. To angle for birds may appear rather odd to the
reader, and yet it is common enough in the Southern Ocean, amusing the
sailor, and providing the zoologist with means of obtaining these birds
alive. For this purpose, however, circumstances must be comparatively
favourable; that is to say, the weather must be rough, the sea agitated,
and the ship making but little headway. When the sky is serene, and the
sea calm, even the Cape pigeons do not think it worth their while to throw
a glance at the bait; and if the ship is moving fast, they have not speed
enough to catch it, because they only swim, and the ship outspeeds them.
The line, moreover, must be of tolerable length, so as, in the event of
any bird evincing a desire to snap, to allow as much to be paid out as is
necessary to leave the bait precisely in the same spot, without towing it
through the water. It sometimes also occurs, particularly after sunset,
that these birds, continually following in the wake of the ship, do not
see the line, strike against it, and entangle themselves so that they may
be easily drawn on board. The scream of the storm-pigeon when caught,
makes it betray its fate even before those on board have an idea that it
has been captured.

For the albatross, it is of course necessary to use a stronger hook, which
it is best to attach to a copper wire, because this being thinner than
line, is not so readily perceived. In order that the whole apparatus may
swim on the surface of the water, a few cork floats are also made fast.

When an albatross has hooked itself, the full strength of a man is
requisite to draw it on board, for the bird, in its despair, dives and
keeps its wings spread under water, so that the resistance is very
considerable, and frequently even the strongest lines are broken. This
cannot be wondered at when their size is considered, as they measure from
10 to 14 feet across the extended wings, while their weight amounts to
from 10 to 18 lbs.

Arrived on deck, none of these sea-birds are able to fly away; they move
very clumsily on their webbed feet, and can only rise after a slanting
spring, which, however, they cannot accomplish on firm ground; if in the
water these birds want to rise into the air whilst swimming, they flutter
their outspread wings for a little, and use their webbed feet in a kind of
rowing motion, in order to acquire the requisite impetus. The albatross
defends itself with its bill, which is often four to five inches long, and
care must be taken to avoid being wounded in catching them. We also
remarked that the Cape pigeons, in their rage at being captured, vomited
up a slimy greasy substance.

The latter bird was of course new to us, and afforded us much amusement.
Many were knocked over with the fowling-piece, especially when, in their
inquisitiveness, they came too near the boats, which, as often as our rate
of progress admitted, were launched with the view of adding to our
collection of objects of natural history.

In shooting an albatross large shot must be used, as, at a distance of 15
or 20 feet, small shot do not penetrate the feathers and the down of the
bird. What is most remarkable as regards these birds is the numerous
parasites that live upon their bodies. It is most extraordinary how
certain of these birds (as for instance, the _Puffins_ and _Procellariæ_)
are infested by insects, their plumage sometimes swarming with small
specimens of _Crustaceæ_.

On the 26th of September, the famous Table Mountain of the Cape was
visible, after we had, the evening previous, at a distance of fourteen
miles, sighted the lighthouse of Table Bay.

The twenty-six days of our voyage hither had flown quickly past, and we
were still able vividly to recall the impressions made by Brazil, and the
scenes we had gone through in mid-ocean, as the southernmost point of
Africa came in sight with its characteristic hills, and our eyes and our
thoughts were directed to another quarter of the globe. On the one hand,
excited with the prospect of new scenery, and on the other, anxious to
complete our elaborate observations upon Brazil, so as to be able to send
them home from the Cape, we found ourselves in a frame of mind which kept
us alternately hard at the desk, or drove us on deck to admire the
remarkable outline of Cape Colony. We did not, at the present season,
think it advisable to run right into the bay, so as to anchor near Cape
Town, but resolved to double the Cape, and proceed to Simon's Bay, the
usual anchorage for ships-of-war. We were, however, sadly disappointed in
the hope of soon reaching it, as the south-east wind freshened so much
that on the 27th it had become a gale, which forced us out to sea again.
The world-known swell off the Cape began under the ever-increasing wind to
run high, and we were soon involved in one of those famous Cape storms
which justified the Portuguese in calling the promontory of South Africa,
"Cabo Tormentoso," or the Cape of Storm.[51]

[Footnote 51:

    "Through such mad seas the daring Gama fought,
    Incessant toiling round the stormy Cape."
                        (_Lord Strangford's Camoens._)

The wind and spray roared and lashed through the rigging: higher and
higher rose the huge mountains of water, with their white crests, that
tossed the ship like a plaything from side to side. The waves foamed in
through the port-holes on the gun-deck, while masts, cordage, timbers,
every part of the ship groaned and creaked, a perfect medley of sights and
sounds, including woful destruction of crockery, and the heavy rolling of
erratic cannon-shot that had broken loose from the rack, and were rushing
about the deck--above all which was heard the shrill whistle of the pipe
of the boatswain's mate. The scene fairly baffled all powers of
description, and must have been eminently impressive for those who for the
first time experienced what is meant by "a gale at sea," especially at
night, when the moon, struggling through the flying vapours, lit up the
appalling scene with a livid supernatural tint.

On the afternoon of the 28th the gale reached its highest point, and raged
fearfully for some hours. The frigate proved herself, in this turbulence
of the waters, to be thoroughly seaworthy. At the same time the sun shone
brilliantly, the sky was clear and beautiful, and only here and there some
feathery clouds were to be seen. There was a curious sense of dualism in
this serenity of the sky, in contrast with the fury and agitation of the
waves. Gradually the wind chopped round towards the east, which gave some
hope that the gale would abate, but, nevertheless, the ship was tossed
about worse than ever.

The waves, like gigantic ridges, mounted, according to measurement, to the
height of from 30 to 35 feet above the mean level of the sea, and
occasioned that terrible rolling of the ship, and those fearful lurches,
which, once experienced, are not readily forgotten.

Hitherto the altitude of a wave has been generally measured merely by the
eye, so that the result depended too much on the accuracy of individual
observation to admit of its being exactly ascertained; and it is for this
reason that the statements relative to the maximum height of the ocean
wave are so various that they cannot be considered reliable, for whilst
some observers estimate them to be from 60 to 70 feet, others reckon them
only at from 30 to 40 feet.

On board the _Novara_ the following method of admeasurement was adopted:
we first determined, by a chronometer, the time that a wave takes to pass
from one end of the ship to the other, whereby the velocity of the
progressive motion of the wave could be calculated in relation to the
ship's course and speed, regard being had to the direction and velocity
of the ship against it. With this velocity ascertained, we were in a
position to determine and fix the average distance between two consecutive
waves. Lastly, the height of the wave was ascertained from the angle at
which the frigate rose and fell in the line of its keel, by the influence
of each successive wave and by means of the ascertained distance from the
trough of the sea to the crest of the wave. Though this method, likewise,
has many difficulties and deficiencies, yet it appears well suited to make
correct comparisons between the different waves; and, under certain
favourable conditions, it yields so accurate a result, that at any rate it
is to be preferred to mere guess-work, besides that the experiment itself
is susceptible of many improvements. It seems safe to assume that waves
scarcely ever attain an elevation of more than 40 or 45 feet.

The gale had driven us a long distance out, and only after great trouble
did we again near the land. On the 1st of October the Cape came once more
in sight; we tacked, in order to get into the wide gulf termed False Bay,
by which in some respects the peninsula of the Cape is formed, being
separated only by a low sandy plain from the Atlantic. Whittle's rock
renders tacking in its neighbourhood in so far more difficult, as the
existing charts of the bay are not sufficiently exact to be implicitly
relied on. Buoys have often been fixed in that quarter, but every new gale
carried them away again; so that the position of the rock is not
indicated. An English pilot now came on board, who brought papers, and
intelligence that a number of letters were waiting for us. Our impatience
became stronger when towards evening the light breeze entirely ceased, and
we thereby were forced to bring up at a distance of a mile and a half from
the actual anchorage. About the same time an officer arrived from the
British line-of-battle-ship _Boscawen_, under the flag of Rear-Admiral
Grey, in order to serve as a guide should no pilot have boarded us.

On the 2nd of October, at 7 A.M., the anchor was let go in Simon's Bay, a
spacious but gloomy-looking sheet of water. Here ships ride much more
secure than in Table Bay, from which, in a stiff westerly or
north-westerly breeze, vessels are often forced to run out to sea to avoid
being driven on shore. The communication with the land is thus sometimes
interrupted for days. From Simon's Bay to Table Bay, round the Cape the
distance is forty miles, whilst by land the journey to the capital of the
colony is, with good horses, performed in three hours.

[Illustration: CABO TORMENTOSO.]

[Illustration: CAPE TOWN.]


                          Cape of Good Hope.

                   STAY FROM 2ND TO 26TH OCTOBER, 1857.

   Contrasts of scenery and seasons at Cape Colony. Ramble through
     Simon's Town.--Malay Population.--The Toad-fish, or
     Sea-devil.--Rondebosch and its delightful scenery.--Cape
     Town.--Influence of the English element.--Scientific and other
     Institutions.--Botanical Gardens.--Useful plants.--Foreign
     Emigration.--A Caffre prophet and the consequences of his
     prophecies.--Caffre prisoners in the Armstrong Battery.--Five
     young Caffres take service as sailors on board the _Novara_.--
     Trip into the interior.--Stellenbosch.--Paarl.--Worcester.--
     Brandvalley.--The Mission of Moravian Brethren at
     Genaadendal.--Masticatories and intoxicating substances used
     by the Hottentots.--Caledon.--Somerset West.--Zandvliet.--Tomb
     of a Malay Prophet.--Horse Sickness.--Tsetse-fly.--Vineyards
     of Constantia.--_Féte champêtre_ in honour of the _Novara_.--
     Excursion to the actual Cape of Good Hope.--Departure.--A life
     saved.--Experiments with Brook's deep-sea sounding apparatus.--
     Arrival at the Island of St. Paul in the South Indian Ocean.

There can scarcely be a landscape more gloomy and desolate than the
sterile, rocky mountains, and white sandy plains, which, like
snow-fields, inclose Simon's Bay. Coming from the charming coast of
Brazil, with its luxuriant verdure, the contrast becomes doubly
unpleasing. A narrow green strip of land, running along from a small fort,
forms a refreshing sight and a resting point for the eye fatigued with
looking at these grim masses of stone. The traveller who merely touches at
Simon's Bay without pushing into the interior, or who visits the Cape in
the winter of the southern hemisphere (from April to September), can
scarcely form an idea of the voluptuous loveliness which reigns during
spring and summer in the interior of the colony, and will regard as
fictitious those brilliant descriptions of its natural beauties, related
by travellers who have been fortunate enough to visit this point of South
Africa at those genial seasons.

Had we left the Cape without seeing anything else than the melancholy
neighbourhood of False Bay and the dull little settlement of Simon's Town,
on its left bank, we should have carried away very different impressions
and ideas to those entertained after having during spring passed some
weeks in the delightful interior, and obtained at the same time an insight
into the social condition of the colony.

On the very day that we cast anchor in the bay, we took a stroll (our
first footfall upon the soil of Africa) through Simon's Town, which
consists of a single street of about forty clean, neat, and tidy-looking
houses, straggling along the shore. The principal buildings are the
Arsenal, the residence of the admiral of the station, five churches (one
of which belongs to Roman Catholics), and two tolerably large hotels.

It is hardly possible to conceive any town occupying a more dreary dismal
site, with the exception, perhaps, of some of the Peruvian settlements on
the west coast of South America. While the eye, below this row of houses,
beholds nothing but granite rocks thickly strewn with shells, the main
street is overhung by steep sandstone rocks, which, despite the marvellous
richness of the blooming flowers, that well repay the researches of the
naturalist, have a naked gloomy aspect, viewed from a distance, and are
environed right and left by waste patches of white sand.

The favourite walks of this small place seem to be along the shore, or on
the road to Cape Town, into the soft sand of which the foot of the
traveller is continually sinking. A number of ladies and gentlemen whom we
met walking appeared to be somewhat surprised at the unusual appearance of
an Austrian man-of-war, the flag of which was gaily fluttering in the
gloomy bay. The residents in Simon's Town, amounting to about 800 souls,
are mostly Malays, descendants of those numerous compulsory emigrants,
who, during the period of Dutch ascendency at the Cape, had been
transported from Java and other islands of the Indian Archipelago, owing
to the want of labour or for political causes. For the Dutch used to send
to the Cape Colony, as a place of banishment, many wealthy and influential
Malay families, by whom the first germs of Mohammedanism were introduced
into South Africa. It would even seem that the religious opinions of the
Malay population exercise some influence on the habits of the Christian
settlers of Simon's Town, as no butcher, for instance, would venture to
kill and sell pigs for fear of giving offence to his Mohammedan customers.

On a fine spring morning we started in a handsome vehicle from Simon's Bay
to Cape Town. The road runs close along the seashore, which, seen from a
distance, apparently consists of nothing but sand and rock, but, on more
near acquaintance, exhibits at various points delightful nooks decked with
most beautiful flowers. Everything indicated, by its glorious blooming
garment, the bursting forth of spring.

One hour's ride led us to a neat little fishing hamlet where an immense
number of fish were hanging up to dry in the sun. The bones of whales are
used by the inhabitants for all sorts of purposes; they fence their fields
and gardens with the ribs, build walls with the vertebræ, make steps and
stairs of the shoulder bones, and use the large jaw-bones as arches at the
entrances of their huts. One of the owners of this fishing station was
kind enough to offer us, as a particular dainty, a piece of flesh cut from
the jaw of a whale and boiled in fat; but we were not exactly of the same
opinion after having, from curiosity, tasted a few mouthfuls. The bay is
very rich in the snook-fish (_Thyrsites Atun_), of which several hundred
tons are pickled here annually and sent to the Mauritius.

Another fish caught here is said to be extremely injurious to health, and
even to endanger life--the small toadfish (_Tetraodon Honkenyi_), which
exists in shoals, and may easily be caught with a line. One of the harbour
regulations consists of a special paragraph warning seamen against using
this poisonous "sea-devil." Foreign sailors who have eaten of it have died
a few minutes after.

On leaving this fishing station the road, leaving the coast, proceeds in a
straight line over the plain which unites the Cape with the continent. The
mountains recede, and the eye of the traveller gazes, charmed and
surprised, on the mountain range of the peninsula, the celebrated Table
and Devil's Mountains. The plain, which, during the dry season, is nothing
but an arid desert, was now seen in its fullest beauty, like a flowery
carpet, on which innumerable blossoms of varied hues and forms were
interwoven. On the left lie the renowned vineyards of Constantia, and to
the right stands what is called Halfway-house, the property of a native of
Würtemberg who, some twenty years before, came to the Cape a poor
emigrant, and is now a wealthy and respected man, known far and wide,
holding several official appointments, and showing himself a warm patron
of his German countrymen. Being a zealous sportsman, and intimately
acquainted with the locality, Mr. Rathfelder was of great service to our
zoologists, who took up their residence at this place.

From the Halfway-house to Cape Town the character of the landscape
completely changes. The road leads through a park-like country; charming
wood plantations, pines and oaks, stretch on either hand to the extreme
limits of an undulating plain, intersected by long shady paths, the
vistas terminating with elegant villas built in the Dutch or English
style. Here are Cape waggons, drawn by ten to twenty oxen, side by side
with elegant two or four-horse carriages and densely-packed omnibuses,
such as one may see in Cheapside. We have now arrived in the charming
Rondebosch, a village that might well aspire to the dignity of a town,
chiefly inhabited as a summer residence by the wealthier inhabitants of
Cape Town. The impression made by this beautiful road will never be
obliterated from the memory of any one who has ever ridden over it in the
spring. We were as much delighted by the sight of this smiling and verdant
landscape as we had been depressed by the sandy plains of Simon's Bay.
There, extended in charming variety before the fascinated eye, lay Table
Bay with its ships, Cape Town, and the gigantic rocky wall of the Table
Mountain resting on its granite base, and rising nearly perpendicular to
an altitude of 3500 feet, together with the Lion's Head and the Devil's
Peak. The distant background on the other side of the plain is bounded by
the precipitous face of high, rugged, and broken mountain walls, the
summits of which were covered with snow.

Convenient and comfortable quarters were found in the Freemasons' Hotel,
situated in the Parade, a large square planted with pines. Here, to our
surprise, we met an Austrian, attending as waiter, who had been driven by
the wild waves of the late revolution into the wide world, until he met
with a peaceful existence at the Cape of Storms!

Favoured by introductions to the most eminent men of science, who received
us in the most friendly way, we succeeded, in the course of a few weeks,
in acquiring rich and valuable scientific collections, and forming
important connections for the future supply of our museums. A most cordial
reception was accorded us by Mr. Julius Mosenthal, the Austrian Consul,
and the head of one of the leading mercantile firms of the colony. In his
hospitable house, German music and German song made us entirely forget
that we were sojourning thousands of miles from home at the southernmost
point of Africa.

Cape Town is oblong in plan, with long wide streets, intersecting at right
angles. It is destitute of imposing buildings; a commercial place, with
pretty dwelling-houses, built in the English style and comfortably
furnished, all of a light brown hue, owing to the dust, which, in
south-east or north-west winds, envelopes the town in whirling clouds, and
may indeed be considered the only plague of this healthy delightful
climate. The English element, which, with the stereotyped customs of its
life and its equitable laws, possesses, wherever it obtains a footing, so
powerful an influence, has almost entirely superseded the Dutch, which
continues to exist only in the lonely farmhouses far in the interior.
There is scarcely anything remaining to indicate that Cape Town was
founded by the Dutch; and were it not for the yellow Malay faces, with
their gaudy head-coverings or umbrella-shaped straw hats, and the tawny
mestizoes, who remind us of the aboriginal inhabitants, and give a
completely foreign colouring, one might easily fancy one's self to be in
an old English provincial town. Generally speaking, any one arriving here
with preconceived notions of finding himself amongst Hottentots and
Bushmen, or in a state of society differing materially from that of
Europe, will soon discover that he has been entirely mistaken. The
aborigines whom Jan van Riebeck found, when, with three Dutch ships, he
landed in 1652 at Table Bay, and in the name of the Dutch East India
Company established a settlement, have now almost entirely disappeared
from the capital. If any one desires to see a veritable Hottentot or
Bushman, he must undertake a troublesome journey, of weeks' duration, into
the inhospitable interior. In Cape Town this singular race is only now and
then to be met with in prisons or hospitals, and even then of a mixed

The colony has now a population of 280,000 white and coloured inhabitants,
of whom about 30,000 live in Cape Town; half of these are whites, and
probably not more than 1000 form the higher and influential class. There
can be no doubt that when, in 1815, the English took possession of the
Cape, a firm foundation had been laid already by the Dutch 150 years
before; but the real progress of the country, and the development of its
natural resources, date only from the commencement of British rule, by
which those shackles were thrown off with which the narrow-minded colonial
policy of the Dutch had fettered this settlement, like all others that
owned their sway.

The Cape Colony since 1850 has possessed a Legislative Council of 15
members, and a House of Assembly of 40 deputies. The executive power rests
in the hands of the Governor-General, appointed by the British Government.
All bills passed by this parliament require the royal assent before they
become law.

It is impossible to speak in too high and eulogistic terms of Sir George
Grey, whom we had the happiness at the time of our stay to find in the
important position of Governor-General of the colony. Owing to the wisdom
with which Sir George governed this important colony, he gained for
himself the love and admiration of the people to such an extent that,
after the expiration of the regularly fixed period of his office as
Governor, they petitioned the Queen of England for his re-appointment. Sir
George is not only an able statesman, but also a sound scholar, possessing
a most complete collection of books and manuscripts on the Australian,
Polynesian and African languages, and he is a most zealous patron of the
numerous scientific institutions of the colony.

The astronomical observatory, under the superintendence of Mr. Maclear,
has preserved the celebrity which it attained by the great work on the
constellations of the southern hemisphere, the materials for which were
collected by Sir John Herschel during his residence here some twenty years
since. There is now a transit instrument, which in accuracy excels even
that of the Observatory at Greenwich, and which is said to have cost
upwards of _£_2000.

The South African Museum, containing collections of natural history, is
now under the superintendence of Mr. L. Layard (brother of the celebrated
investigator of Nineveh). This institution, as well as the South African
public library, the literary, scientific, and mechanics' institutions,
besides nearly fifty other establishments and societies for religious,
benevolent and industrial purposes, owe their foundation and flourishing
condition to the public spirit and the charitable disposition of the
inhabitants of the colony. In 69 schools scattered over its surface,
upwards of 18,000 pupils are educated according to a system introduced in
1841 by Sir John Herschel.

The Botanical Gardens, likewise founded and kept up by private
subscription, are not only a most agreeable resort, but also afford much
instruction, arising from the many interesting and useful plants gathered
here from all quarters of the world. To those which are adapted for
cultivation in the sandy plains of the Cape, great attention is devoted.
Some of them have been found available in forming as it were vegetable
walls of protection against the inroads of the sand, so destructive to all
cultivation. As particularly serviceable for this purpose, were mentioned
to us _Fabricia variegata_, a sea-shore shrub of from 6 to 10 feet high;
_Protea myrtifera_; the so-called Hottentot fig: _Mesembryanthemum
edulis_; and the Cape wax-myrtle _Myricacordifolia_;--all these are found
to thrive in the sand without cultivation, put a stop to its ravages, and
in some respects may be considered as the pioneers of all other plants,
which do not thrive before the sandy soil has been prepared for them. Nay,
singularly enough, some of these (as for instance the Hottentot fig),
become extinct as soon as others make their appearance, just in the same
way as the pioneer of civilization, the backwoodsman in the west of the
United States, leaves his lonely blockhouse and hurries on as soon as
overtaken by the peaceful settler. The wax-berry shrub is also otherwise
useful to the inhabitants; from its berries a substance is prepared well
suited for making candles. According to a treatise on its culture two
workmen are able to realize with a defecator daily 100 lbs. of white wax
from the berries gathered by six persons. The expense of labour, &c., does
not exceed 18_s._ per 100 lbs., or about 2_d._ per pound. A large quantity
of this vegetable substance has lately been sent to London, where it is
said to have met with a profitable market. In the Botanical Garden of Cape
Town we first met the two celebrated grasses known as _Holcus Caffrorum_
and _Holcus saccharatum_, which, by their usefulness in domestic life,
have more extensively, and perhaps quickly, than any other plant, spread
over the world. We are indebted to the Secretary of the Board of Public
Roads, W. De Smidt, Esq., for some seeds of these and other plants, as
also to Mr. McGibbon, manager of the Botanical Gardens, for similar

Considering the deficiency of labour, and the large sections of fertile
land as yet uncultivated in the colony, Sir George Grey has directed great
attention to the immigration of German emigrants of respectable
characters, of all trades, as well as those attached to agricultural
pursuits. The plan adopted is an excellent and thoroughly honest one.
Every emigrant, if single, obtains from the Government thirty acres of
good land, and, if married, fifty; five for each child above one, and ten
for every one exceeding ten years of age. The rate of the land is to be
fixed by Government at a fair and reasonable sum, and, together with the
passage-money, to be paid four years after the location of the emigrant,
in five annual instalments. From the moment the colonist steps on African
ground he is an independent owner of land, although not entitled to sell
his property until his obligations to the Government are liquidated. The
local parliament has granted a sum of _£_50,000 to promote emigration. The
Cape probably offers to an industrious emigrant a more advantageous field
for active energy than any other country in the world. Some of the German
colonists, the remnant of the British Legion engaged in the Crimean war,
who, under General Stuttersheim, have settled in British Caffraria, are
thriving prosperously. They are the first pioneers of the German element
in South Africa, and, under the protection of a liberal and free
government, are increasing in number annually in consequence of the
favourable reports which they transmit to their native country.

An emigration of a peculiar kind has unexpectedly taken place. An impostor
amongst the Caffres, who had assumed the character of a prophet,
pronounced the end of the world as imminent, in consequence of which large
numbers of them slaughtered their cattle and left their fields
uncultivated. Being thus, in a short time, reduced to a state of perfect
destitution, not less than 19,000 of starving Caffres sought help and an
asylum in the British territory during the year 1857, and before its close
the number had increased to 30,000. The colonial Government, out of
consideration to the welfare of the colonists, admitted only those Caffres
who bound themselves to act as servants, for at least one year, at
reasonable wages, and in order to prevent any danger arising from being
congregated in too large numbers, they were located by the Government
officers in various detached parts of the colony.

A very active society of philanthropists exists here, under the title of
"The Committee of Emigration from Holland." Its object is to bring over
orphans and children of the poor from the overpopulated Dutch provinces.
These useful emigrants are partly located as apprentices to farmers, and
remain until they are of age under the care of the Committee. During our
stay a party of seventy boys and girls just arrived from Holland
assembled, with their conductors, in one of the large avenues of the
Botanical Garden, to be inspected by the Governor-General. They all looked
healthy and cheerful, and seemed to have but little suffered from the
fatigues of a long voyage. When Sir George Grey made his appearance the
children sang the English National Anthem, translated into Dutch, and
afterwards the sweet, affectionate song, "When the swallows homewards
fly." Some young emigrants, who, two years ago, had come under similar
circumstances from Holland, had already obtained good situations, and
greeted their little compatriots most heartily. Being asked if they wished
to return to Holland, they replied, without the slightest hesitation, in
the negative, declaring that they felt very happy where they were,--an
announcement of course peculiarly agreeable to the new-comers.

An interesting opportunity was afforded to us of seeing a large number of
Caffres, of both sexes, who had been brought in as prisoners in
consequence of having made predatory incursions into the British
territory. They all arrived in a state of nudity, and in most wretched
plight, but were immediately provided with European clothes--blue striped
shirts, sheepskin trousers, shoes, a Scotch cap, and a blanket which
served during the day as a cloak, and at night as a covering. Their food
was tolerably good, but their abode during night, in the damp casemates of
the fort, seemed not to agree with them, and many were visibly in a
diseased state of health. Nearly all were muscular, and some were really
specimens of manly beauty. Not one of them knew his age. Their only mode
of calculating is by certain important events, as by the death of a
chieftain, or the various wars with the English. The superintendent, Mr.
Walsh, a very obliging Irishman, had the kindness to cause them to perform
some of their national dances, wild exercises which served the purpose of
exciting their warlike spirit. The first dance they performed they called
"Ukutenga." Six handsomely-built dancers advanced, whilst about thirty men
closed in a circle around them, and, by their howlings and clapping of
hands, formed as it were a musical accompaniment to this singular
performance. The dancers sighed, groaned, hissed, and made the most
extravagant grimaces and contortions, in order to arouse in themselves an
artificial excitement. One, a lad twelve years of age, engaged so
earnestly in the sports, that he perspired from his whole body. There is
another dance, called "Tklombo," performed in the presence of diseased
persons whilst the quack doctor practises his deceptive remedies; and a
third, called "Umduta," which is only practised at weddings and other
festive occasions. This last seemed to be the most characteristic. The
semi-nude, slender men hopped, their arms clung together, in ranks of six,
hissing with scorn, occasionally uttering a cry, then suddenly separating
and marching one after the other in slow time, in a circle, uttering the
most singular sounds. Now they bent forward the whole upper part of the
body, and then back again, each of them making the same violent gestures
as in the former dance, and pronouncing some words to excite their
companions, such as, "Be active!" "Be alert!" until they all trembled and
became fearfully and feverishly excited. The surrounding Caffres, who were
at first mere spectators, by degrees were seized with this singular
dancing mania, till at last the entire number, as if stung by a tarantula,
lashed themselves into a wild and apparently ungovernable frenzy. The
great difference in the colour of the skin of these Caffres was
particularly striking, as they evidently belong to one and the same race.
From the blackness of coal to bronze, all tints and shades were observed,
and one of them, called "Ngduba" (Sea-shell), appeared to be even of a
reddish yellow. He belonged to the tribe of the Fingoes, and said that
both his parents were of the same colour.

The governor permitted five young Caffres to be engaged on board the
_Novara_, with their own consent, as apprentices, and although they were
prisoners sentenced for several years, yet the Government took every care
to secure their welfare. An agreement was signed to provide that their
return, should they desire it, might be facilitated in every possible way.
Faithful subjects could not be cared for with more anxiety than were these
legally-sentenced Caffre prisoners by the colonial Government. Two of them
went one day on shore, during our stay at Auckland, in New Zealand, and
never came back; the other three made the whole voyage with the _Novara_,
and are now sailors on board the imperial yacht _Fancy_. They, of course,
understood, at their embarkation, only their own singular mother-tongue;
yet the chaplain of the expedition, the Rev. E. Marochini, after having
made himself acquainted with their idiom, succeeded in instructing these
black youths, by means of their own language, in the doctrines of
Christianity, and, by degrees, imparted some knowledge of the Italian and
German languages, the happy results of these endeavours being a complete
vocabulary and a small catechism in the Caffre language, which the
reverend gentlemen composed during the voyage; and such progress did his
three pupils make, that, on our return to Trieste, they were so far
prepared as to be fit for reception, by baptism, into the Christian

In the house of correction there were a number of female Caffres who had
been made prisoners at the same time with their brothers and husbands,
some belonging to the family of chiefs. One, the sister of the chieftain
Sandilli, was a handsome, tall and slender woman, with mild features and
piercing small black eyes; another, by the name of Mnovenkeli, the sister
of the chieftain Mkoseni, was an imposing and earnest-looking figure.
Several of these women bore a long stripe tattooed on their breasts as an
ornament. Several were deficient of a little finger of the left hand: this
mutilation is the effect of superstition, as it often occurs that, in case
of the severe illness of the child, the distressed mother causes a finger
of her offspring to be cut off and sacrificed to the evil spirit, in order
that the rest of the body may be saved and permitted by the evil spirit to

One of these young Caffre women had her child wrapped up in a piece of
linen tied to her back, and endeavoured to lull it to sleep by continually
moving the left elbow, by which the baby was kept in a swinging motion,
and an effect was produced like that of a cradle. Various questions were
put, through an interpreter, to several of these females, who, after their
timidity was overcome, answered with great readiness. Polygamy is said to
prevail amongst them. Many women have from ten to twelve children. The
children are suckled sometimes from two to three years. A numerous progeny
is the pride of a family. As a proof of the legitimacy of a child, there
is said to exist a kind of milk trial. Notwithstanding considerable
trouble in endeavouring to procure information, we were unable to obtain a
very lucid idea of this singular experiment: it consists in the father
giving the infant, in the bottom of his hand, directly after its birth,
some cow's milk to drink, and if the child refuses the draught it is
considered illegitimate. Caffre women very rarely salute their husbands
with a kiss, except after a long separation, and even then only on the
cheek--never on the lips.

In the ethnographical part a detailed description will be presented of
this most peculiar race, of whom the Bushmen are evidently only a decrepid
branch. Here it will suffice to observe that a girl, only sixteen years of
age, was noticed, whose father was a degenerate Hottentot, and whose
mother was a Bushwoman. The girl measured 4 feet 6 1/2 inches, and weighed
75lbs. Another Bushwoman, thirty years of age, measured 4 feet 9 inches.
All the individuals we saw of this race were remarkable for their
exceedingly small hands and feet.

One week of our stay at the Cape was devoted to an excursion into the
interior. On the 1st October, early in the morning, we left Cape Town in a
light two-wheeled vehicle, drawn by four horses--a turn-out which
certainly seemed better suited for a drive in Hyde Park than a journey,
however short, in South Africa: for who would suppose that the principal
roads on the southernmost point of the most unknown quarter of the globe,
are, in consequence of English civilization and the geognostic nature of
the ground, in a better condition than most bye-roads in the civilized
states of Europe? For a country where labour is so deficient and
expensive, such enormous works could only be executed by means of
compulsory labour: in this respect the high-roads and mountain passes of
the Cape afford the most evident proofs of how much more beneficially and
usefully convicts may be employed in colonial works than in allowing them
to rot within prison walls, alike a burden to themselves and to society.

Only ten years ago the streets of Cape Town looked at least highly
dangerous, and the steep rugged old roads, which sometimes run parallel
with the new ones, evince very clearly the great difference between bygone
days and the present, as regards the internal communications of the
colony. The uncultivated state of the country formerly, which indeed, in
some parts, continues even yet to exist, is the cause of the ancient
custom having been retained of placing before every vehicle, however
lightly laden, sixteen to twenty powerful oxen, even on perfectly level
roads. All longer journeys into the interior are undertaken in heavy
waggon-like vehicles, exclusively drawn by oxen. As a family is sometimes
compelled to take up abode in such waggons for weeks together, they are
completely covered and provided with all possible conveniences; indeed, it
is a sort of locomotive house. The waggon, which much resembles the
goods-trucks used on European railways, is at least 18 feet long, and the
entire length of the set-out, including the oxen, embraces not less than
from 120 to 180 feet. It may readily be imagined how such a custom impedes
speedy intercourse, and how much more usefully a great part of the animal
power might be employed. On the excursion from Cape Town to Stellenbosch,
a small place only ten miles distant, we met more than 100 waggons, of
which not one had less than ten, and many double that number of oxen, so
that at least 1500 heads of cattle were employed in a work which might
easily have been performed by a third part of the number.

The coachman was a Malay, and wore that singular screen-formed straw hat,
which so peculiarly distinguishes the male population of his race. These
men have the reputation of being particularly skilful drivers, and thus
form a considerable portion of the coachmen of the place. The Malay driver
had an assistant by his side, who seemed, however, chiefly to serve as
ballast, in order that our two-wheeled vehicle might not lose its
equilibrium; for the disconsolate condition of the horses rendered the
fear of their running away quite superfluous. Our charioteer drove his
horses, which now and then were rather restive, with so much adroitness,
that we arrived as early as nine o'clock in that charming settlement
Stellenbosch, which Wilkes, the American Commodore, even in 1839,
designated as the loveliest and most beautiful in the whole colony. It has
completely preserved the aspect of a little Dutch town; the streets are
straight and wide, adorned with avenues of oaks, many centuries old; the
houses are extremely tidy and clean, and are built in the genuine Dutch
style. There is no trace of English influence perceptible. Its 4000
inhabitants mostly speak Dutch, and cultivate the vine, grain, and fruit.
No country town seen in the whole course of our long voyage made a deeper
impression, or left more pleasing recollections, than Stellenbosch. The
occasion of our visit was certainly of an uncommonly cheerful and festive
character. On the day of our arrival the Governor was about to review a
corps of volunteers, raised in Cape Town and its neighbourhood, to supply
the place of the regular troops about to be dispatched to the Indian
battle-fields. Extraordinary enthusiasm and interest was manifested
everywhere in the military movements. Thousands of visitors had assembled
even from great distances to witness this novel national spectacle. The
Governor had proclaimed the day as a general holiday; all shops were
closed; the streets presented an extremely animated appearance, and in
front of every house was a crowd. The Austrian Consul had been kind enough
to favour us with a letter of introduction to one of the first families in
the place; but, taking into consideration the general bustle and continual
arrival of strangers, we were much afraid of being, at this moment, very
unwelcome guests, as every nook and corner would already be occupied; for
in this colony visitors do not come, as with us, for a short time, and
without encumbrance, but with waggons, horses, servants, household and
all, regularly to settle down for an indefinite period.

Our own party consisted of five persons provided with four horses, and we
were now, for want of other lodgings, about to claim the hospitality of
Mynheer Van Schultze. A pretty, youthful, rosy-cheeked lady, who appeared
at the door, took--not without some embarrassment--our letter of
introduction, and disappeared with it into the interior of the stately
house. We were requested to enter, and were shown into a suite of very
neat rooms, and were received, not merely with great politeness, but with
the heartiest welcome.

At ten o'clock we drove out with our hospitable friend, Mynheer Van
Schultze, to the review, which took place on the common in the
neighbourhood of the village. The number of spectators was probably twenty
times greater than that of the volunteers; they had surrounded the ground
with a wall of carriages, on the tops of which women and children were
grouped in every picturesque attitude. The rifle volunteers marched, with
the Governor, Sir George Grey, at their head, and preceded by a band, to
the ground. There might have been about 300 cavalry and 200 infantry, with
several pieces of artillery. They all looked very well; their uniform was
plain and remarkably suitable for the purpose, consisting of tunics and
trousers of black cloth with metal buttons, and a common cap with a silver
ornament. They went through the usual man[oe]uvres, whilst a good deal of
gunpowder was expended. The evolutions of the cavalry were executed with
wonderful precision, a result due chiefly to the circumstance that, at the
Cape, every inhabitant is a good equestrian, and is trained from childhood
to manage a horse.


The review finished, a breakfast was served at the Drosdy, or
Municipality, on long tables, in a magnificent avenue of oak trees;
nearly 600 volunteers and many other guests sat down, whilst in the
back-ground a large number of ladies and gentlemen were present as
spectators. The presence of some members of the Novara Expedition at the
festival led the Burgomaster, after the toast of the Queen was given, to
propose the health of the Emperor of Austria, prefacing it with various
laudatory remarks on the Expedition. The toast was most heartily received,
the whole company raising their glasses, whilst the band performed the
Austrian national anthem. The officer to whose lot it fell to return
thanks, said:--"That he felt deeply gratified with the honour done to his
country and nation by the enthusiasm with which the health of his
sovereign had been received by so distinguished an assembly, and that he
could not forbear expressing his admiration and delight in observing the
prosperous condition of this fine country, which, like all others where
the Anglo-Saxon race was predominant, was blessed with freedom, with the
spirit of progress, and the blessings of Christianity;" and he concluded
by proposing "Old England for ever."

On the day after the review the journey was pursued early in the morning
to the village of Paarl (Pearl), about four hours distant. We had come as
strangers to the hospitable Stellenbosch, and left as old friends, the
entire family accompanying us to the carriage, and the worthy old mother
of our amiable host, a thoroughly genuine Dutch matron, was visibly
touched on taking leave of those whom, in all probability, she would never
see more.

On the route to Paarl several immensely large ant-hills were met with,
some of which measured from two to two-and-a-half feet in diameter, by
about three feet high. The insects were partly black and partly of a
greyish-brown colour, and must be very troublesome to the farmers.

Paarl, an extremely neat village, consists of a single long street, and
contains nearly 4000 inhabitants, chiefly occupied in the growth of the
vine. They are the descendants of those French Protestants who, at the
close of the 17th century, left their native country in consequence of
religious persecution. All the detached farm-yards were extremely neat,
and bore evidence of the wealth of their owners. Nothing reminds one of
Africa and the neighbourhood of Hottentots, Bushmen, or Caffres. The
landscape becomes grander the more the mountains, 4000 to 5000 feet high,
are approached. Among them lies the little town of Wellington, charmingly
situated; though but a few years in existence, and numbering only 2000
inhabitants, it has already a joint-stock bank with a capital of £45,000,
several schools, and some neat places of worship. While taking an evening
stroll, we passed a well-lighted Reformed Dutch Church, from the interior
of which the devotional tones of a pious Christian congregation floating
through the night air, died away among the mountains.

Singular to say, the small, and, one would think, essentially prosaic and
practical little town of Wellington boasts a quack doctor, named Brabna,
whom the common people, far and near, come to consult, more, one would
imagine, to be relieved of their money than their ailments.

[Illustration: PAINE'S KLOEF AS IT WAS.]

[Illustration: PAINE'S KLOEF AS IT IS.]

The route to Worcester, whither we set out the following morning, leads
at first through the wide, highly-cultivated Waggonmakers' Valley, adorned
with numbers of rich farm-steads (so named from a number of artisans of
this handicraft having settled here in former times), after which it
passes over the difficult pass called Paine's Kloef, 4000 feet high, which
frequently recalled the well-known road over the Sömmering Alp, or that at
Optschina. This mountain-pass, first completed in 1853, by the engineer,
Mr. Paine, greatly facilitates the traffic between Cape Town and this
fertile district, which previously was quite inaccessible, and whose
immense natural resources are only now beginning to be developed.

When we reached the highest point of the pass we found a strong south-east
wind blowing. The thermometer marked 55° F., and when plunged in a spring
that issued from the mountain close at hand, 48°. South-east winds are
especially prevalent here, particularly in summer, when they frequently
cause serious damage; hence all the upper branches of the trees incline to
the north-west.

We now came to the finest bridge in the country, named Darling Bridge,
after a late governor, which is thrown across the broad stream called by
the Dutch, Breede River, and by the English, Broad River, a frequent
source of error. The English colonists are bent upon driving out the Dutch
names of rivers and localities, and supplying them with new names of
English origin. The Dutch, however, hold on obstinately to the names they
have been accustomed to, and continue to use the ancient nomenclature.

In the neighbourhood of Darling Bridge is a farm where the traveller can
be comfortably accommodated, and from which, being a post-station, letters
can be forwarded to all parts of the country. It has regular communication
with the rest of the colony three times a week. The vehicle, however, in
which the letters and packets are forwarded, in consequence of the
wretched roads in the interior, and with the view of expediting the
transmission of mail matter, is simply a light, open, eminently
uncomfortable, two-wheel waggon, in which but one passenger can be taken
each trip. Day and night, up hill and down dale, it continues its journey,
changing driver and horses every two hours, only the unfortunate
passenger being condemned to remain glued to the jolting uncomfortable
car, until he has attained the end of his journey. We were told of an
English captain, who once travelled on urgent business 400 miles in fifty
hours in this fashion, and arrived at his destination in such a pitiable
plight, that he had to be lifted from the car and put to bed forthwith,
which he kept for several weeks, before he was able to get about again.
Unfortunately, we were not told whether this unlucky passenger returned to
Cape Town by a similar conveyance.

In the dining-room of the farm we made acquaintance with several families
from Graaf Reinet, in the north of the colony, who were _en route_ for
Cape Town, and had been already three weeks on the road, during which they
must have passed every night in their unwieldy waggon, or under tents.
There was also among the assembled travellers a Quaker Missionary, of
Worcester, who was on his way to the opening of the Spiritual Synod at
Cape Town, and who was so kind as to furnish us, on the spot, with some
introductions to his friends in Worcester, a lovely little town, which we
reached towards the evening. There are places which charm at the first
glance, just as there are many men who take us by storm as it were.
Worcester is one of these; so neat, so clean, with a pretty garden in
front of each little house, every wall of which was entwined with roses,
and in the back-ground all around, bare, but picturesque groups of lofty
hills of a blueish-grey tint, which imparted to the entire landscape a
peculiar and almost magical colouring. Worcester, a creation of
yesterday, has about 4500 inhabitants, chiefly employed in vine growing
and sheep pasture. There are some of the peasantry here who own flocks of
3000 to 4000 sheep! The rich vegetation of the valley has an eminently
northern character. Alongside of oaks, pines, poplars, willows, will
appear a tree of Australian origin, of the order of Myrtaceæ, the blue
gum-tree (_Eucalyptus Globulus_), which, on account of its rapid growth,
is planted before each door for the purpose of shade. One of these trees
was shown to us of but four years' growth, the stem of which was already
twenty feet high! The leaves have a highly aromatic odour, and must be
especially suitable for the extraction of oil, as the rind is full of
camphor; as yet, however, the tree is not used by the colonists for any
other purpose than to supply shade to their gardens.

It is surprising what comfort the traveller encounters among these new
settlements, from which, even already, all traces have been eradicated of
the difficulties that originally beset the colonist; so that at every turn
one meets with evidences of the highest European civilization. Whenever,
indeed, he finds himself at a settlement, he will remark that it is not
merely provided with the necessaries of life, or the mere products of the
soil, but that it sparkles with numerous objects of luxury and refined
taste; such as handsome furniture, pianos, and other musical instruments,
engravings, English classics, besides telescopes, barometers,
thermometers, and other similar evidences of high cultivation. At the
hotel at Worcester, we met with a degree of comfort such as is found only
in the chief cities of Europe. Several of the inhabitants, among others
Dr. Esselin, a missionary of the Moravian brotherhood, and Dr. Meynard, of
the Episcopal Church, laid us under particular obligations by their
participation in the objects of our inquiry. The latter gentleman sought
us out at our hotel, and, after a hearty welcome, remarked that he
possessed, in his collection, several highly interesting petrifactions
from Beaufort, about 400 miles north-west of Worcester. We satisfied
ourselves, however, by a visit which we paid to Dr. Meynard at his own
house, that his collection was far from possessing the interest he claimed
for it. In all probability, however, judging by what we heard, Beaufort
must be a classic soil for the palæontologist, as there are numberless
fossils in that district, especially of reptiles. In like manner, the
stalactite grottoes, known as "The Congo Caves," 300 miles from Worcester,
have never yet been scientifically examined or described.

Dr. Esselin, who is a native of Hesse, was so kind as to accompany the
naturalists of the Novara Expedition to the hot springs of Brand Vley the
following morning. The road thither, which lies through a valley partly
overflowed towards the end of the rainy season, was exceedingly trying to
the horses, and, but for the kind offices of Dr. Esselin, who was
acquainted with the difficulties of the route, and undertook the guidance
of the waggon through the constantly recurring swamps and morasses, we
should in all probability have had to retrace our steps halfway, or even
have stuck fast, which would have been a still more serious matter. Only
after unspeakable exertions did we succeed in threading the valley of
Worcester as far as the shores of Breede (or Broad) River. Several times
we were compelled, in order to lighten the waggon, to dismount, and wade
up to our knees in water. Once the quag was so deep, that to avoid sinking
in it we had to be carried, one by one, on the back of our Malay driver.


On the bank is the cottage, (_boeren plaats_), of a peasant who avails
himself of his proximity to convert the stream into a source of profit, by
ferrying travellers, who have occasion to pass here during the floods,
across the river in a small skiff, the waggon and horses being swum across
afterwards. In summer, on the contrary, the stream is readily forded on
horseback, and is indeed dry at several points. At the period of our visit
(in October, 1857), towards the end of the rainy season, this Breede River
was about 150 feet wide, and about 28 feet deep, and we accordingly found
ourselves compelled to call in the assistance of the ferryman. Under his
superintendence the work was gone about quite systematically. First of
all the four horses were swum across, by a halter round the neck; after
which the luggage was transported to the opposite bank in a small boat.
Last of all came the waggon, with the travellers therein. It was thought
that the upper portion of the waggon might be towed across, swimming on
the surface of the water, by fastening an empty water-tight cask between
the wheels; the cask, however, proved unequal to the weight. As the waggon
left the shore it sank deeper and deeper in the water, till about
mid-current it fairly capsized, hardly a spoke of the left wheel reaching
the opposite bank.

Amidst our perplexities, a violent shower of rain came on, making the
waggon leak in every corner, just as we succeeded, after great trouble, in
getting it to land, and were busy repairing it. Fortunately, every
requisite precaution had been taken to remedy any such disaster occurring
at this dangerous spot; so that the whole affair, though sufficiently
uncomfortable at the time, left only the recollection of a pleasant


At last, towards noon, we reached the hot springs of Brand Vley, or Brand
Valley. This hot spring, which is quite exposed, like a pond or tank, and
even at the least accessible points is adorned with rich vegetation, is
about 100 feet in circumference, and is of a triangular shape, rounded off
at the corners. Among bananas, ferns, and cacti of all sorts, spring up
numerous specimens of _Calla Ethioptica_, silver poplars, pines, reeds,
and canes, in wild profusion. Many fruits even, such as pine-apples,
mangoes, rose apples, &c., which as a rule do not flourish at this
elevation, grew all round the edges of the basin. Some twigs of a rose
tree, which, growing luxuriantly in the warmth and moisture, spread across
the spring, like a green canopy, must have been a second growth of the
same year. We in fact enjoyed the unusual spectacle of seeing one portion
of the tree in the flush of its utmost beauty, while the upper and more
distant branches had not as yet put forth their leaves. The water at the
hottest point reached 145° F., while the temperature of the air was 75° F.
It is remarkably clear, has not the slightest taste, and in many
particulars greatly resembles the springs of Wildbad Gastein. The number
of patients during the season (October to April) does not exceed from 100
to 150, the waters being chiefly used in chronic maladies, rheumatic
affections, scrofula, erysipelas, cutaneous eruptions, and similar
complaints. Immediately adjoining is a small brook, with a temperature of
68° F., which rises at the foot of a neighbouring eminence, and has water
enough during the entire year to keep a mill in constant work.

The only animal inhabiting the spring is the larva of a _Tipularia_, which
frequents one quarter of the pool where the temperature of the water does
not exceed 113°.

On the 14th of August, 1857, two shocks of an earthquake were felt in
rapid succession in Brand Valley, of such violence as to arouse the
inhabitants out of their sleep, when several of the smaller houses were
found to have rents and fissures in their walls. The proprietor of the
bath alleged that the shocks in Brand Valley were much more severe than at
Worcester, although that town is but six miles distant.

At Brand Valley we took leave of our hospitable companion, Dr. Esselin,
who presented us with several books on leaving, and set out on an
excursion to the mission of the Moravian Brethren in Genaaden Dal, in the
district of Caledon. _En route_ we encountered several families, who came
from far in the interior of Cape Colony, driving before them enormous
herds of oxen, some of which were yoked to the waggons that formed the
caravan, these being fitted up something like dwelling-houses on wheels.
As night fell, a halt would be called at some selected spot, when the
draught oxen were unharnessed, a fire lit in the open air, and the evening
repast prepared. Horses are very rarely used on long journeys, although
these are in consequence seriously lengthened thereby, especially as it is
the custom all over the country to unyoke every two or three hours, so as
to allow the beasts to enjoy a roll on the ground, if only for a few
minutes at a time.

As neither of our drivers was acquainted with the road we were now to
pursue, we hired a black guide from Brand Valley, who accompanied us on
horseback as far as the next farm-house, where we were to pass the night.
Just as one requires a pilot to take a ship into an insecure or unknown
harbour, so we now had to avail ourselves of the services of this limber
young negro, who was an excellent rider, in piloting us through the
endless morasses and pools of water. Renden was the name of the solitary
farm (the property of Mr. Pretorius, a landed proprietor, to whom we had
letters of introduction), where we were to pass the night.

As we approached, we were saluted with the loud barking of a hound that
had been unchained, and who seemed ready to rush upon his unexpected prey,
so that we hardly dared to advance one step. At last a man made his
appearance at the door of the house, with a lantern in his hand, speedily
followed by the whole family, anxious to learn who could be in the
neighbourhood at so late an hour. We handed him the letter, which we
begged him to read, and requested to know whether we could be received for
the night. We were at once admitted, and speedily found a most cordial
welcome. We were shown into apartments very plainly furnished, but neat,
and scrupulously clean, after which we were invited to join the household
at supper. It was a very numerous family. The father and mother, genuine
Dutch figures, sat at the head of a long table; next to whom sat the
son-in-law, who had married the eldest daughter, and then commingled with
each other, the sons and daughters that were as yet unmarried. They all
seemed hearty and healthy, and their indurated hands were the best
diploma of their industry. The youngest son said a short prayer; after
which venison, potatoes, mutton, vegetables, bread, butter, and cheese
were set down in huge dishes, besides which two bottles of Cape wine, of
their own manufacture, went the round of the table. Although this place
had been only settled four years previously, an immense deal had been
already accomplished by this stirring, cheerful family to make the soil
thoroughly productive, and render the house habitable. Even a small garden
had been laid out in front of the dwelling-house.

The chief article of cultivation in the valley is the grape, for wine
manufacture, which must in this place return a very handsome profit.

From Renden to Genaaden Dal is a four-hours' journey. The road passes by
Donker's Hoek, a tolerably high mountain, to ascend the summit of which
cost our horses some strenuous exertion, although we marched a
considerable distance on foot. A wide belt of sandstone formation
presented a marvellous display of flowers, and gave us in little an idea
of the South African Karroos, a series of terraced clay-patches, estimated
at from 3000 to 4000 feet high, which, hard and steppe-like in the dry
season, are speedily transformed in the rainy season into smiling,
flower-bespangled plains, quite sponge-like under foot, and rich in
alkaline products.[52] We advanced some six hours before reaching another
farm-house. This was known as Kleene Islea Plaats (Little Island Farm),
near which flows the Zonderend River (River Without End), the property of
a kind and hospitable family of French extraction, whose parents emigrated
hither from France during the revolution in 1793. As it was Sunday, the
servants had gone to church, so they could only offer us cold mutton,
syrup, butter, and bread. Before and after our repast, the devout old lady
of the house put up a short petition.

[Footnote 52: The English appellation "Karroo" seems to be derived from
_Karusa_, signifying "hard" in the Hottentot language, and to refer to a
quality appertaining to the clayey substance of which these terraces are
composed, by virtue of which the red clay, strongly impregnated with iron,
and mixed with sand, becomes in the dry season as hard as burnt clay.]

Here, too, we remarked that those born in the country of European parents
are called Africans: only the English form an exception to this rule, and
remain with persistent patriotic obstinacy, "Englishmen."

The journey from Kleene Islea Plaats to Genaaden Dal is extremely
picturesque. One first catches sight of this retired Moravian settlement
only when actually entering the place itself, embowered as it is among
lofty trees. What a surprise, when, still fancying one's self at a
considerable distance from the village, on reaching the end of a beautiful
valley at the entrance to Bavian's Kloef, one sweeps by a circuit into the
very heart of the settlement. We alighted at what is called "The
Lodgment," a house set apart for visitors, and conducted by a brother, in
conformity with the laws of the community.

The dwellings of the Hottentots lie scattered among the rising grounds in
the neighbourhood, and with their poverty-stricken aspect impart a
somewhat melancholy impression. These are built of loam, low in the roof,
as though intended for a stunted race of men, and rarely have windows, so
that the door is, generally speaking, the largest aperture in the entire
building. Our Malay driver laughed at them, and called them _oete kripp_
(oxen stalls).


There seem to be three distinct kinds of these dwellings, which apparently
indicate so many grades of social and pecuniary consideration among the
resident Hottentot families. The first sort, which consists simply of a
single apartment, serving at once for kitchen, work-shop, and sleeping
place, and receiving air and light through a narrow, low-pitched door-way,
is that most usually met with, and may not unaptly be compared to a
bee-hive. The next class is of a better description, and may at once and
definitely be distinguished from the first-mentioned, in so far as it
possesses a second room, which, if dark and windowless, is at any rate
partitioned off, and serves as a sleeping apartment. Finally, the third
kind, which can only be said to be the least poor-looking, consists of
one large, almost empty chamber, for occupation during the day, with wings
on either side, one of which is used as a kitchen, the other as a
bed-room. The wretched ventilation, and damp, moist location of these
habitations, combined with the bad quality of food, may be regarded as the
main causes of the unfavourable state of health of the coloured portion of
the inhabitants of Genaaden Dal, among whom, especially as regards the
female portion, pulmonary complaints are rife.

We were provided with letters of introduction to the Superintendent of the
Community, Dr. Köbling, as also to the Physician and Pharmaceutist, Dr.
Roser, a Würtemberger by birth, and experienced a most cordial reception.
We availed ourselves of the last hours of declining day to make an
excursion to the hills, in the country immediately adjacent, so as to
command at a glance the entire colony. The principal buildings, the
Church, the school, the workshops, the warehouses, and the dwellings of
the missionaries, are assembled in a quadrangular open place, to which a
number of lofty, massive, leafy, venerable oaks impart a sombre, but
poetical, appearance, eminently characteristic of the community. All the
buildings are of a uniform dingy-grey tint. Close in the rear of these
buildings is a large garden, which reaches as far as what is called
"Bavian's Kloef" (defile), in which, even at present, apes, antelopes, and
zebras, abound. Near the kitchen-garden is the cemetery of the community,
which seems to be used by meditative brethren as a favourite resort and

This settlement, situated at the entrance of a mountain defile, at the
foot of an immense sandstone range, of from 3000 to 4000 feet high, was
founded in the year 1787, by a brother of the persuasion, named George
Schmidt, from Moravia, who settled fifty-five miles east of Cape Town,
near Sargent's River, with a number of Hottentots, whom he began to
convert to Christianity, and called the station "Bavian's Kloef." From the
year 1806, the settlement assumed the beautiful name of "Genaaden Dal"
(Vale of Benevolence), so exquisitely correspondent with the benevolent
exertions of the brotherhood. It at present numbers 3100 souls, mostly a
race crossed between Hottentots and Mozambique negroes, of the latter of
whom a considerable number have settled here since the Slave Emancipation
Act of 1826. The settlers are partly proprietors of the land, partly
artisans, cutlers, waggon-makers, tanners, carpenters, millers, &c. In the
workshops the most exemplary cleanliness and neatness are imperatively
insisted on. At the Great Exhibition, held in London in 1851, the
wood-work of the Hottentot carpenters of Genaaden Dal received "Honourable
Mention," and this elegant testimonial in recognition of their efforts now
hangs, framed and glazed, in the library hall of the community. It
somewhat surprised us that the cutlers did not receive, in their section,
a similar distinction, since, in that department of industry, the
Hottentots produce articles, which, so far as concerns quality and
cheapness, are really astounding. The workpeople receive a fixed weekly
payment, which they may expend as they please. The net proceeds, however,
of the various articles manufactured belong to the community, and are
expended in defraying the expenses of, and supporting, the mission. The
inhabitants of Genaaden Dal are closely connected, by religious ties, with
the community; and only those who profess the principles of the Moravian
brotherhood are permitted to settle among them.

The field-labourers, who hire themselves out to labour elsewhere, are
frequently absent from the settlement for months at a time, and return to
Genaaden Dal immediately after the completion of seed-time or harvest. It
is significant that these labourers regard this period of emancipation, as
a sort of relaxation from the severe discipline and rules to which they
are subjected in the religious community.

The principal articles of food of the inhabitants consist of maize, beans,
pumpkins, rice, fruits, tea, coffee, and occasionally mutton. Wine is
strictly prohibited throughout the settlement, and when a member of the
_Novara_ Expedition, never imagining that this interdict extended to
strangers as well, desired the attendant at the house we were occupying to
fetch a bottle of sherry, that individual regarded him with as
horror-stricken an air as though he had asked him to participate in some

Although the first settlers in Genaaden Dal were pure Hottentots, not more
than five or six at present speak the idiom of their fathers, the rest
knowing only the Dutch tongue. The Superintendent had the kindness to
allow an old blind man, of the name of Sebastian Hendrik, to be presented
to us, born in the colony in 1775, of Hottentot parents, "_een opregt
Hottentot_" (an out-and-out Hottentot), as he called himself, and who
still could speak a number of phrases in his mother tongue, with its
extraordinary "clicking" sounds; but, on the other hand, no longer had the
slightest recollection of the customs, usages, or proverbs of that nation
to which he belonged by birth. In the library of the community, where this
conversation took place, there were also shown to us numerous sketches by
Hottentot and Caffre lads, which gave great hope of future excellence. It
is an especially gratifying indication of intellectual progress, that
several works of natural history are to be found on the shelves of the


We also found time to listen to the singing in the church, quite a plain
wooden building, erected in 1800, with white-washed walls, a spacious
gallery, and an elegant organ, the gift of a benevolent lady of Hamburg,
who spent some months of the year 1843 at Cape Town in search of health,
and took an opportunity of visiting the Moravian brethren at Genaaden Dal.
One of the missionaries sat in the middle of the chapel at a table covered
with green cloth, and gave out, verse by verse, a hymn in the Dutch
language, which was afterwards sung, with accompaniment by the organ, by
the entire community assemble in the edifice. The men and women sat apart
from each other, on smooth wooden benches, the former on the left, the
latter on the right of the officiating minister. The chapel was only
illuminated with a few tallow candles; but the devotional feeling of the
community seemed to gain by this simple unostentatious ritual, and the
mysterious solemn obscurity of their place of congregational worship.

Next morning, 12th October, some of the brethren paid us the attention of
examining in our presence the scholars of the Seminary for Teachers, so
that we might personally satisfy ourselves of their progress in the
various branches of education. This academy for the education of suitable
instructors, was originally established in 1838, through the generous
assistance of a Saxon nobleman, Count Schönburg, and year by year since,
has been so liberally assisted by that benevolent nobleman, that its
future prosperity seems fairly established. At present there are in the
seminary 14 pupils (Hottentots, Caffres, and half-breeds). Since the year
of its establishment, 50 young persons in all have been sent out hence; of
whom, however, only one half proved to be available for the duties of
teachers. Up to the year 1856, twenty-two pupils were already at work in
the service of the community, fourteen had been rejected as unsuitable,
and fourteen were still in the institute. They entered at from ten to
fifteen years of age, remained within its walls six years for instruction,
when they were clothed and maintained, and thereafter, without further
obligations to the society which had educated them, were dispatched into
the most remote districts of the colony as teachers and apostles of
Christianity. The examination of the pupils of the seminary took place at
the Library Hall, which boasts a portrait of a highly meritorious brother,
the venerable C. J. Latrobe, who, in the year 1815-16, visited South
Africa as a missionary, and, two years later published, in London, his
very remarkable book of travels. The examination commenced with a
performance on the piano by a Mestizo lad of about sixteen, son of a
Mulatto father by a Hottentot mother. This youth displayed a decided
talent for music, coupled with truly admirable execution; and besides the
piano, played the organ, the violin, and the violoncello. Next, a variety
of questions in geography and history were put to the pupils present.
These consisted chiefly of easy intelligible questions, principally
relating to England. Those examined were surprisingly well acquainted with
the history of Liverpool, London, Manchester, Dublin, &c., and could
enumerate many particulars about the Thames and Westminster Abbey. What
proved most disagreeable, was the singular custom that prevailed, of all
the pupils answering at once, each hoping, by out-clamouring his fellow,
to prove his intimate acquaintance with the subject under discussion. The
examiner, for example, put a question to a scholar, whereupon all the
pupils yelled out the reply in chorus. But it was, on the whole,
astonishing, and indeed eminently suggestive, to hear Hottentots, Caffres,
and negroes, at the extreme southernmost part of Africa, speaking of
England, and her influence over the destinies of humanity, as a
commercial, maritime, and industrial power. Already the youth of the
settlement are thoroughly interpenetrated with esteem and affection for
the mother country and its mighty people. As a _finale_, the assembled
pupils sang a Dutch _Bergmann's Gruss_, "The Miner's Welcome," and one of
Mendelssohn's delightful songs.

Before we quitted Genaaden Dal we breakfasted with the missionaries. They
are all married, and manage their households in common, and accordingly
partake of their various meals together, each with his family, all seated
at one table, one of their wives attending to change dishes and wait at
the table. Nowhere are any particular qualifications to be remarked, and
it is difficult to conceive more thorough harmony than exists among the
unpretending, yet zealously religious missionaries of Genaaden Dal.

As we were preparing for our departure, Dr. Roser unexpectedly packed up a
number of objects of natural history and scientific interest, which he
kindly presented to the Imperial expedition as a _souvenir_ of Genaaden
Dal. Besides these, there were also given to us two valuable little
books,--one a small work upon the Nicobar Islands, written about the
beginning of this century by a Moravian brother of the name of Gottfried
Hensel; the other a treatise composed by the excellent Dr. Roser himself,
upon the pharmaceutics and natural history of Genaaden Dal. With respect
to the various substances chewed as stimulants, or intoxicants, by the
Hottentots, in order to deprive themselves of sensation, or rouse
themselves to a state of high excitability, we found the following
particulars in this interesting essay. That most in use is composed of the
bruised leaves of the "_Leonotis Leonurus_." This plant, which grows in
great quantity in and beyond the Genaaden Dal, is called by the natives
"Dagga," as also frequently, "Tacha or Takka," and this variation in
pronunciation is very probably the reason that we find in Berghaus's
"_Völker des Erdballs_" (Races of the Globe), this celebrated smoke-weed,
marked as "Donha." What the same author says of certain stimulating
properties of the plant may well be considered as an exaggeration. It is
curious how the properties of this plant seem to be inextricably mingled
with the destinies of the Hottentots. In many places it has been
extirpated, in order more readily to wean the aborigines from the practice
of chewing: at other places again, "_Leonotis Leonurus_" is expressly
planted in order to attract the Hottentots, and so supply any deficiency
in hands for labour, reckless of the moral consequences. Another narcotic,
and the most widely prevalent, is the wild hemp (_Canabis Sativa_), the
dried leaves of which are smoked by the natives. Dr. Juritz, one of the
most respectable apothecaries in Cape Town, assured us he had been
compelled, during a previous residence at Stellenbosch, where he was
engaged in his business, to keep always on hand in his store a large
quantity of wild hemp for sale to the natives.

The poison with which the Bushmen tip their arrows, rendering them such
dangerous and terrible weapons, is extracted from the "_Cestrum

[Footnote 53: The Dyaks of Borneo poison their arrows with the juice of
_Strychnos Tieuté_ and _Antiaris Toxicaria_ (Upas).]

Among the animal products of Genaaden Dal of importance in a scientific
point of view is Hyrazeuma, a substance obtained from the urine of the
Cape Marmot (_Hyrax Capensis_). It is of a dark-brown colour, somewhat
tenacious, and nearly hard, of a very penetrating odour, and is found in
cavities resembling a molehill. This article is made use of with much
effect in hysterical complaints by the Hottentots. Dr. Roser is of
opinion, that this Cape Marmot is in all probability the same animal which
Martin Luther, in Leviticus, c. xi, v. 5, and Proverbs, c. xxx, v. 26, has
translated by the word "_kaninchen_" (conies).

On our way from Genaaden Dal to Caledon, to which there is an excellent
level road, we perceived a large number of silver poplars, with pendent
nests of finches. On a single tree we counted more than forty such pendent
nests, constructed in a very singular manner.

Caledon is a cheerful, ambitious little town, important as the centre of
the wool trade, as also for the thermal springs in the neighbourhood.
These, situated about two English miles outside the town, on a rising
ground, in a romantic and highly attractive neighbourhood, are impregnated
with iron, and of a considerable temperature. Even in the bath-house,
distant about a mile from the source of the spring, a thermometer held in
a stone trough, filled to overflowing, marked from 100°·4 to 104° Fahr. At
their respective sources the one spring has a temperature of 116°·6 Fahr.
and the other 114°·8 Fahr. The colour of the water is ochre yellow. From
the terrace of the bath-house a rather extensive landscape opens to the
view, backed by a splendid range of mountains, including the Tower of
Babel, as the inhabitants have christened the highest peak in this

Caledon has 600 inhabitants. About twenty years ago there were not more
than ten bales of wool grown in the entire district. At present about
800,000 lbs. are shipped annually. One Merino sheep supplies from 1 lb. to
1-1/2 lb. of wool, worth from 1_s._ 2_d._ to 1_s._ 4_d._ sterling per
pound. Besides Caledon, the principal wool districts of Cape Colony are
Swellendam, Beaufort, and Graaf-Reinet. All these districts united produce
yearly about 15,000,000 lbs. of wool, worth about _£_1,000,000 sterling.
Within two years the wool produce of the entire colony has increased 30
per cent., and during last year a strenuous and very costly experiment has
been made to introduce the Angora breed, with the intention of increasing
the wool-producing powers of the less fleecy race by a judicious cross
with the native species.

The road to Somerset-West leads over the high and picturesque Hauw-Hoek
Pass and Sir Lowry's Pass; the latter is very steep, and parts of it are
hardly, if at all, inferior in extent and variety of landscape to those
presented by the Styrian Alps. At the culminating point of the latter
pass, which surpasses even Paine's Kloef in height and width, one stands
as upon the ruins of a lofty tower, from which the eye can range at will
over the entire country beneath. South-east and eastward towers the
Hauw-Hoek Pass, while southwards and westwards the charming Lowry's Vale,
and far in the distance the smiling settlement of Somerset-West come into
view, while all around, farther than the eye can reach, are luxuriant
pasturages, that only wait to be settled and cultivated in order to
produce magnificent returns.

Somerset-West, a prettily-built, and very charmingly situated settlement,
already supports so considerable a traffic with the capital that a daily
omnibus has proved a remunerative speculation to the promoters.

We now proceeded to Zandvliet, the property of one of the oldest and most
highly considered families in the colony, named Cloete, where we spent the
night. With these genial kindly people we soon felt ourselves as entirely
at home as if with our own families; we sang, laughed, and frolicked, till
far into the night.

The following morning we drove to a hill, about a mile and a half distant
from Zandvliet, known as Macassar Downs, on which is the spot of
interment, (Krammat or Brammat), of a Malay prophet.


This individual, so honoured in death, was, if we are to believe the
Malays, a direct descendant of Mahomet, named Sheikh Joseph, who, expelled
from Batavia by the Dutch Government for political reasons, settled in the
colony about a century and a half ago, and died and was buried in the
neighbourhood of Zandvliet. An especial deputation came over from Malacca
to Cape Colony to fetch away the corpse of the defunct prophet, for
conveyance to the land of his birth; but at the disinterment it happened
that the little finger of the prophet, in spite of the most persevering
research, could nowhere be found. This circumstance appeared to those
simple believers sufficient reason for erecting a monument over the spot
in which the finger of a Malay prophet lay hid from view. Even to this day
the Malays from time to time perform a pilgrimage to the Colony and
celebrate their religious ceremonies at the Mausoleum. Four followers of
the prophet are buried with him, two of them Mahometan priests, who are
regarded with much veneration by the Malays. An extensive flight of stone
steps leads to the tomb, the exterior of which is very insignificant, and,
but for a small pointed turret, hardly differs from an ordinary
dwelling-house. On entering, a low-roofed vault is visible, a sort of
front outhouse, which rather disfigures the façade, and much more
resembles a cellar than the portal of a Mausoleum. Above the arch of this
vault an Arabic inscription has been engraved with a stylus; but this is
so painted over in brick colour that it has already become almost
illegible. Judging by the few words that have been deciphered, it seems to
consist of the first propositions of the Koran.


The inner room, provided on two sides with modern glazed windows at
irregular intervals, is about the size of an ordinary room of 12 feet
long, 9 wide, and 7 high. In the middle rises the monument, to which
access is had by some more brick steps. Immense quantities of unwashed
white linen cloth are heaped upon it, which seem occasionally sprinkled
with a brown odoriferous liquid (_dupa_). As at the head of Sheikh Joseph,
so at his feet several figures, resembling those in enamel used to
ornament tarts, are drawn upon the linen cloth with the overflowings of
the unguent. These have undoubtedly been formed accidentally, and it
appears wrong and unfair to attribute to them any more recondite
significance. The monument rests upon four wooden pillars, with pyramidal
pinnacles or ornaments, and is richly decorated with fine white muslin,
which gives to the whole very much the appearance of an old-fashioned
English "fourposter," with its costly drapery and curtains. While the
curtains are spread out all around, several small green and white
bannerets stand at the upper and lower end of the sarcophagus. The whole
interior is, as it were, impregnated with the incense which devout Malay
pilgrims from time to time burn here, especially after the forty days'
fast (Ramadan), or leave behind upon the steps of the tomb in flasks or in
paper-boxes. On such occasions, they always bring wax-candles and linen
cloth as an offering, with the latter of which they deck the tomb afresh,
so that a perfect mountain of white linen rises above the stone floor.
During their devotions they unceasingly kiss this white mass of stuff, and
as they are continually chewing tobacco, this filthy habit produces
disgustingly loathsome stains.

On the same hill which boasts the tomb of Sheikh Joseph, there are also,
in ground that is common property, nine other graves of eminent Malays,
enclosed with carefully-selected stones, and likewise covered over with
large broad strips of bleached linen cloth, protected by stones from any
injury by weather or violence. At the head and foot of each individual
interred, is a single stone of larger size. Formerly the black inhabitants
of the neighbourhood made use of this store of linen cloth to make shirts
for themselves, without further thought upon the propriety of the matter.
Latterly, however, a shrewd Malay priest spread a report that one of these
ebony linen stealers had lost all the fingers off one hand, since which
the graves of those departed worthies remain inviolate and unprofaned.

At the foot of the hill are some small half-fallen-in buildings, near a
large hall, painted white, red, and yellow, consisting of a small
apartment and a kitchen, the whole in a most dirty, neglected, and
desolate condition. At this point the Moslems must have accomplished
certain prayers, before they can climb the hill and proceed to visit the
tomb. Over the door of this singular house of prayer some words are
likewise engraved in the Arabic character, which, however, are now
entirely illegible.

On quitting the Malay Krammat, we next undertook a tolerably difficult
walk to the Downs or sand-dunes, which at this point extend along the
entire coast line, on which the wax-berry shrub, as already mentioned,
grows wild in vast quantities, and visibly prevents the further
encroachments of the moving sand. The Eerst Rivier (First River) may be
regarded as the limit of demarcation between the sand-dunes and the soil
adapted for vegetation.

The same evening the naturalists of the Expedition left hospitable
Zandvliet, though not till after they had been presented by Herr Cloete
with a splendid collection of fruits indigenous to Port Natal. Having been
everywhere received with distinction, and enjoyed every sort of assistance
in our researches, we set out on our return so richly freighted with
objects of natural history, that the waggon, as we drove through the wide
streets of Cape Town, presented such a various and substantial assortment
of each as spoke volumes for the success of our journey. Every available
corner was called into requisition to dispose of our prizes--even between
the open windows hung suspended the bottle-shaped nests of the finch, and
the slender sticks that supported the tilt were entwined with gigantic
festoons of flowers. In a word, the whole waggon, with its variegated
contents, resembled a holiday-van on its return from a country excursion,
so gaily and cheerfully was it decorated.

During our residence in the Cape colony, severe depression existed among
the agricultural inhabitants of the Western and Eastern districts, in
consequence of an epidemic which, within two years, had carried off 64,850
horses (draught horses, mares, and foals), of the value of £525,000
sterling.[54] Many landowners in consequence entirely gave up rearing
horses, and turned their attention almost exclusively to the breeding of
sheep. The visitations of this malady are by no means of late
introduction, but hitherto they had made their appearance at such long
intervals, that but little attention was paid to them and people regarded
their return without much alarm. This disease of the horse, usually
endemic in Cape Colony, assumed every twenty years, owing to some
inexplicable causes, an epidemic character, and on those occasions
extended over an extensive area, as happened with extraordinary regularity
in the years 1780, 1801, 1819, 1839, and 1854. Hitherto no further
precaution was taken, than, so soon as the disease appeared, to drive the
horses from the grass pastures to their stables or covered sheds, and
there supply them with fodder, the night dew being considered a main cause
of the complaint. A resident in Stellenbosch, indeed, maintained that the
dew which was deposited during the continuance of the disease tasted quite
bitter, and was of an unusual brownish tinge. Singular to say, not the
slightest symptoms of illness manifested themselves in the swine, dogs,
and birds of prey which devoured the carcases of horses that died of the
disease, while the consumption, whether boiled or roasted, of mutton
which was ever so slightly tainted with the mere germ of this malady,
never failed to produce the most mischievous consequences on the human
species. According to Dr. Livingstone the same malignant ulcerous
imposthumes were produced, if even sound portions were used of the carcase
of an animal that had died of this complaint. These observations, founded
on innumerable examples, run counter to the opinion of the French
physicians and physiologists, that the malignity of the poison in such
cases becomes neutralized by the process of cooking. Considering the
importance of the subject to a land-holding colony, it could hardly fail
that numerous individuals should devote themselves to elucidating the
causes of this devastating epidemic; but it must ever remain a striking
and significant fact, illustrative of the high standard of cultivation in
Cape Colony, that within a very few years 112 different authors published
treatises respecting this complaint among the horses. The result of these
numerous researches was, that the malady is epidemic, but not contagious;
that horses driven into the stable before sunset, and not permitted to go
out to pasture till the dew has evaporated off the grass, are as a rule
exempted from attack; that those horses which are kept at night in open
pounds, or in places where there are heaps of dung, take the disease in a
milder form than if suffered to roam at large day and night; lastly, that
horses for which no covered shelter can be provided, may with great
advantage be sent to hilly localities and dry runs of land. The practical
remedy which was most resorted to, consisted in immediate and prolonged
bleeding, pushed to actual exhaustion of the animal, in the first stage of
the malady, as also the exhibition of 1 drachm of tartar emetic and 2
drachms of calomel, or, at a later stage, of 30 grains of tartar emetic
twice a day.

[Footnote 54: At the same time 92,793 head of cattle (draught oxen, cows,
and calves) fell a sacrifice to a disease of the lungs, and we were
assured that the original cause of this terribly fatal malady
(_Pleuropneumonia_) is attributable to a bull having been imported from
Holland, in the year 1854, in a diseased state. The English public will
remember the severe panic under which Continental graziers, and others
connected with the cattle trade, laboured during the years 1854-55 and the
commencement of 1856.]

[Illustration: TSETSE FLY.]

Another appalling scourge of the settlers in the south-west district of
Cape Colony is a minute, almost imperceptible insect, of terrible omen,
the _tsetse-fly_ (_Glossina morsitans_), a puncture from which produces
such terrible destruction among horses and cattle, that several runs of
land are uninhabitable--nay, even the mere passing through districts which
they frequent, proves fatal to the draught beasts of the caravans. This
insect is principally encountered in copses and brushwood, very seldom in
the open country, and is about the size of a common house fly, but with
wings a little longer. In colour it resembles the honey bee. The tsetse is
uncommonly active, and usually escapes all attempts to catch it with the
hand; but in the cool of the morning or evening it is less active and
quick in its movements. The poison which it carries is so powerful that
the bite of three or four individuals is sufficient to kill the most
powerful ox. Many animals, especially such as appear perfectly sound or in
the best condition, die speedily after being bitten, but the majority are
ill for an entire week, and usually become blind before death. One
remarkable circumstance is that the bite of these insects is fatal to
dogs, even when fed with milk, while calves and other young animals, so
long as they are sucking, remain perfectly exempt from the malefic powers
of the tsetse. It is especially noticed that the danger seems to be
confined to domesticated animals, while such as are wild or only half
reclaimed, such as buffaloes, zebras, jackals, oxen, horses, and wild
dogs, have not the slightest occasion to dread this insect; nay more, it
attacks man himself without the least ill consequences. The sensation
which their bite produces on the hand, or other portion of the human
frame, would be confounded by any one travelling in the tsetse district,
with that of another minute and most troublesome, though by no means
dangerous insect, the flea. Fortunately the tsetse-fly has an appointed
circuit to range in, in the south-west of the Cape Colony, which it never
changes or extends. The landowner may erect his cattle-pound on one side
of the stream in perfect security, although the opposite bank may resound
with the hum of swarms of these insects. When the natives, who are
acquainted with the localities in which the tsetse-fly abides, are
compelled, as they constantly are, to shift their ground, and, in changing
their pastures, to transgress upon the district of the tsetse, they
usually select the moonlight nights of winter, when the insect, during the
quiet hours of the cold season, is not likely to molest their charge.

Many travellers whose draught oxen and horses have been killed by the
ravages of this insect, are annually not merely frustrated in their
journey, but, it appears, have their personal safety seriously imperilled
by being deprived of all means of locomotion. Anderson, in his admirable
work upon "Lake Ngami," relates that some twenty aborigines of the Griqua
race, who had been elephant-hunting in the north-west of that lake, and
were provided with three large waggons and numerous oxen and horses,
found, on their return to their encampment, that they had lost the whole
of their cattle-team by the bite of the tsetse. So, too, Dr. Livingstone,
during a short journey over a district frequented by the tsetse, lost
forty-three strong and useful oxen, although by dint of great vigilance
scarcely twenty flies had been able to settle among the entire herd. We
have dwelt at length on the description of the ravages caused by this so
much dreaded insect, with the view of pointing out the numerous and
amazing difficulties which present themselves to the traveller or settler
in certain localities, and how often not only wild and rapacious animals,
but even small, hardly perceptible insects endanger the life of the
wanderer, and render large tracts of lands valueless for settlement.[55]

[Footnote 55: Most valuable comprehensive details, as to the natural
history of the tsetse-fly, its ravages, and its migration into the
districts which it frequents, are to be found in the "Transactions of the
Royal Society," Volume XX., page 148; "Proceedings of the London
Geological Society," page 217; Charles John Anderson's "Lake Ngami; or,
Explorations and Discoveries during Four Years' Wanderings in the Wilds of
Western Africa," London, 1856; Dr. Livingstone's "Missionary Travels and
Researches in South Africa," London, 1857. The agent of the London
Missionary Society at the Cape of Good Hope, the estimable, highly
respected Dr. Thompson, gave us a small piece of a root called _fly-root_,
which is considered to grow from a parasite, and a decoction of which is
reckoned by the aborigines an antidote to the bite of the tsetse-fly.
Unfortunately the requisite material was not in sufficient quantity to
admit of determining the plant itself, or of instituting further
researches with it.]

No stranger can well leave Cape Town without having visited Constantia,
the chief seat of the wine cultivation of the country. Accordingly we had
a day of exceedingly pleasant relaxation while visiting High Constantia.
Mr. James Mosenthal, the very hospitable Austrian Consul, had carefully
selected the most beautiful spot in the immediate vicinity of Cape Town,
the charming residence of his friend Mynheer Van Reenen, at which to get
up a splendid _fête champêtre_ on an extensive scale, in honour of the
visit of this the first man-of-war that had borne the flag of our country
into these remote seas. The entire staff of our frigate was invited, and
over a hundred guests, comprising the flower of the fair sex of Cape Town,
took part in the festivities. Immense four-horse coaches conveyed the
company in the forenoon to the hill of Constantia. The company wandered at
leisure under the gigantic oak trees, or in the beautifully laid-out
garden of this extensive domain, and after a sumptuous _déjeuner_, the
majority set to dancing. A small orchestra of stringed instruments played
alternately with the ship's band in the garden, and in the tastefully
decorated apartment. Those who did not care to dance, or whom a burning
afternoon sun prevented from walking in the open air, might escape into
cool and most elegant cellars, where our hospitable entertainer had stored
large quantities of "spiritual treasures." The costly nectar which the
Cape, and especially High Constantia, produces, finds its way but seldom
to European tables, because the quantity produced is very much below the
demand; for although the first cultivation of the grape for wine dates in
Cape Colony so far back as 1668, the wine manufacture has only of late
years expanded in a marked degree,--viz., 45 per cent. from 1855 to 1856,
and 70 per cent. from 1856 to 1857, so that at present the entire quantity
produced of red and white Cape wine (Pontac and Frontignac) may be stated
at 24,000 pipes, worth £380,000 sterling.

At the conclusion of the _fête_ we sat down to a splendid banquet in the
open air, in a shady avenue, so as to admit of all the guests sitting at
one long table. At the upper end, under the umbrageous boughs of some
venerable oaks, that towered like a canopy overhead, fluttered the flags
of England and Austria. The mayor of Cape Town occupied the chair; the
toasts customary on such occasions were given and responded to, allusion
being made to the pleasure felt at the arrival of an Austrian man-of-war,
as also to the gratitude of the members of the Expedition for the hearty
welcome prepared for them, and expressing an earnest hope that both
Governments may ever continue faithfully allied, as both nations are, by
descent, sympathy, and intellectual pursuits. A few days after this
splendid entertainment, we returned to Simon's Bay, whence the _Novara_
was already preparing to sail. The several weeks' stay of the frigate at
the little settlement of Simon's Bay, together with a certain quantity of
repairs, had called forth a most unwonted briskness of business. Amid so
circumscribed a population, the sudden influx of more than three hundred
additional consumers, with their varying wants, speedily made itself
perceptible in every class of the community, the more so as most of the
heavy stores for the voyage were bought here, so that the sum set in
circulation during these few weeks amounted to some £2,000. At the same
time the Expedition were readily permitted to contribute a mite towards
building the Catholic Church in Simon's Town, and to present some priests'
garments, altar cloths, and church fittings, which had been intended by
the Austrian Government for distribution among four Catholic Missionaries
in the various quarters of the globe visited.

Some members of the Expedition also set out on an excursion some thirty
nautical miles, to where the peninsula of the Cape stretches out to the
real Cape of Good Hope itself--a longer, more difficult, but also more
interesting expedition, which gave fresher impressions, and conveyed a
pretty accurate and more just idea of the physical features of the
Peninsula of the Cape, its vegetation, zoology, and geological structure,
than could be obtained by a cursory examination, of the natural features
of a large portion of South Africa. For whoever has clambered up the torn,
broken, rocky masses of Table Mountain, worn out and eaten away by the
atmosphere, and has scrambled among its wild hollows, with its forests of
the greyish green _Pratea Gargentea_ at his feet, amid its far extending
rocky plateaux, full of stagnant water-pools; whoever has strayed thence
among the wine-producing terraced hills of Constantia, with their rich
vegetation; over the sandy table-lands backed by rocky ridges, over
streams of copper-coloured water, and the boggy tracts that extend to the
extreme south-west point, as far as the Sandstone rocks, 800 feet high,
which, descending sheer into the tempest-tossed, fearsome, boiling ocean,
constitutes the actual Cape of Good Hope--obtains a tolerably just and
correct idea of the appearance of Southern Africa for one hundred miles
into the interior, and along the coast line, 400 English miles in length,
which stretches from St. Helena Bay as far as the River Samtoos, west of
Algoa Bay. All is sandstone or clay-slate, with occasional granitic knobs
cropping out; no trees, but such as are planted in clumps around the
sparsely scattered farms, conspicuous from an immense distance; while, on
the other hand, in spring, an indescribable flush of blossoms and flowers,
and instead of trees, millions of ant-hills, with their regularly shaped
cones from three to four feet high, impart a peculiar character to the
landscape of South Africa. But on the so-called Lowlands of Algoa Bay,
beyond the River Samtoos, Nature assumes an entirely different character
in her forest vegetation. Unfortunately, the original designs of the
geologists of the Expedition, of Examining the petrified treasures of this
renowned district, fell through, which was all the more to be regretted as
this geological Eldorado promised a great accession to our collection.

During our stay at Simon's Town, we also experimented with our
astronomical instruments, which, at our next station, St. Paul's Island,
were to be brought fully into requisition for the first time. On this
occasion, as on many others, the unfailing courtesy and kindness of the
renowned astronomer and director of the Observatory of Cape Town, Mr.
Thomas Maclear, assisted us most materially in the observations for
comparison with our own physical instruments.


On the morning of the 26th October it fell calm, changing to variable
breezes and light puffs of wind, that made it doubtful whether we could
sail that day, as we needed a catspaw from the West in order to weigh
anchor. From the English line of battle-ship _Boscawen_, there floated
across the bay as we worked out, the Austrian National Anthem, played as a
farewell--a graceful mark of recognition--which was replied to by our band
performing the sister hymn, "God Save the Queen."

We steered between Noah's Ark and Roman Rock, coasting along till we made
Whittle Rock, but the wind shifting, we were, ere long, compelled to tack.
Had we not seized the favourable moment to get away, it would, a couple of
hours later, have been impossible to put to sea, as the wind sprang up
from the S.E. and blew fresh. Towards sundown, the sky cleared up, and we
once more caught sight of the serrated outline of the southernmost point,
with its desolate, worn, hollowed-out, rocky masses, which, however, with
the _souvenirs_ of the hearty reception that had been accorded us in Cape
Town seemed on this occasion much more home-like and habitable. All of
us, indeed, carried with us in our breasts the most cordial and agreeable
reminiscences of the Cape of Good Hope.

In spite of many drawbacks and deficiencies of physical requisites, which
oppose the rapid development of its natural resources, Cape Colony
possesses in its healthy climate its valuable indigenous products, and its
free political institutions, a guarantee for its perhaps gradual, but on
that account more substantial, progress. It is a favourable specimen of a
prosperous agricultural colony able to maintain itself, whose inhabitants,
seeking in the peaceable cultivation of the soil their sole reward, are
exposed to none of those ruinous reverses of fortune, which make life in
those lands that are rich only in a metallic currency so stormy and
uncomfortable, and render their future so problematical.

A colony, which already employs annually, in its commerce all over the
world, a thousand ships, which has a trade valued at nearly £2,000,000
sterling, and before long will be in a position to export 30,000,000 lbs.
of wool a year, besides an unlimited quantity of wines already in great
demand, whose soil, owing to its prolific nature, returns, under human
cultivation, crops of one hundred-fold, while in its unexplored districts
as many additional vegetable and mineral treasures lie unavailable as yet--
such a colony carries in itself the germs of a splendid development into a
great and most enviable future. Provided with laws of a most liberal
scope, and institutions corresponding to the spirit of our times, which
leave each colonist entirely at liberty to develope his powers and
capabilities in whatever direction he pleases, Cape Colony must, ere long,
stand forth as the pattern colony for all others in the different
countries beyond sea,--a majestic monument of the reward so justly due to
the English nation for its policy in promoting the moral and material
progress of mankind in the most remote corners of the earth.

We lay a southerly course in order to strike the regular Westerly winds,
which we might hope to fall in with in the neighbourhood of 40° S., and
already we again saw our old friends, the albatross, the cape pigeon, and
the stormy petrel, in innumerable quantities.

By the evening of the 28th we had attained our limit in the South-west,
but the West winds had not yet made their appearance, so that we had to
contend till 1st November with baffling light winds alternating with
calms. At length in 37° 30' S. and 18° 4' E., we encountered Westerly
breezes, which, ere long, freshened, veered to the southward, and
compelled us to shorten sail. We were at this time not quite as yet in the
zone of West winds, but had to do with variable winds; which, however, as
the prevailing winds must be west or south, could generally be made
available to enable us to lay our course for St. Paul. Although in the
month corresponding to May in the southern hemisphere, we found ourselves
shivering with cold, the thermometer barely reached 18° Cent. (64°·4 Fah.)
during the day in the open air, and our bodies, accustomed of late to a
milder temperature, felt as though it were twice more rigorous than it
actually was, in consequence of the wind coming from the ice-bound
antarctic regions.

On the afternoon of 4th November, a great excitement arose on board; a
violent shower filled the lifeboats with water, and a large black object
was observed swimming in the sea. Fortunately, it was not a man, though it
proved to be a great favourite that had fallen overboard. Bessy, an ape,
had got loose from her chain, and while being chased, fell in her
eagerness into the sea, which fortunately was tolerably smooth. The droll
little brute had quickly made itself such a favourite with the crew from
its comical attractive ways, that its sudden fall overboard awoke
universal sympathy. A boat was lowered, and Bessy rescued, who speedily
recovered from her fright, and although dripping wet, proceeded to consume
an orange that was handed her with an expression of entire satisfaction.

On reaching 40° S., 31° E., the West winds became more steady, with a
perceptible increase of motion, giving an average of 33 feet as the height
of the waves, while the frigate rolled heavily. Sometimes several
"Rollers" would follow one after the other, which made the ship heel over
from 20° to 25° on either side. At each roll, streams of water poured in
upon the gun-deck. The cannon-shot kept up a deafening dance from one side
to the other, while stools, tables, chests, and in short everything that
could move, were unmistakably "lively." The temperature of the air during
the night fell to 41° Fahrenheit, and was felt yet more keenly in squalls
accompanied by rain, which made our life on board anything but agreeable,
although the certainty that we were proceeding favourably with the
so-called "_Fair_" Westerly winds indemnified us in some degree for the

On 14th November, in 40° 44' S., 60° 8' E., we availed ourselves of a dead
calm and smooth sea to try a cast of Brooke's Patent Deep-sea Lead.

While at Rio, we had been supplied, through the kindness of Don José de
Barnabé, Commander of the Royal Spanish Frigate _Bilbao_, with a large
quantity of lead-line, after an unsuccessful attempt to purchase it there.
Unfortunately, however, the line had become somewhat decomposed by
moisture, and gave way at 6,170 fathoms (37,020 English feet) while still
running out, so that on this occasion also, we could only tell that bottom
had _not_ been reached with the portion of the line paid out.

The times occupied by the line in running out were as follows:--

         1st 1000  fathoms  15 minutes 36 seconds.
         2nd   "      "     26    "    59    "
         3rd   "      "     34    "    20    "
         4th   "      "     43    "    25    "
         5th   "      "     61    "     5    "
         6th   "      "     75    "    55    "
 And the last 170     "     11    "    40    "
             ____           ______________________
      Total 6,170     "     4 hours    29 minutes.

To the apparatus two 30-lbs. shot were attached, and the first 100 fathoms
of line were doubled. By this observation we satisfied ourselves that such
soundings are only successful when none but the best materials are
employed, and, moreover, that the line becomes deteriorated in an
extraordinary degree by long stowage on boardship, so that it is better in
long voyages not to take such large supplies of line, but to adopt most
stringent measures to prevent its being weakened by damp. Very probably a
light coating of tar over the line would tend to keep it in good
preservation, and it also seems advisable proportionately to strengthen
the first 500 or 1000 fathoms.

On the 18th November the look-out man descried from the main topgallant
mast-head the Island of St. Paul, the goal of our wishes, the object which
had so long occupied our thoughts, and on which our scientific
capabilities were to be called into enviable activity. The necessary
arrangements were completed for facilitating astronomical observations,
the instruments and other necessaries taken out and got in readiness to be
conveyed to the island, and the various stations and duties of the
different members specified, so as to admit of the observations being
completed in the shortest possible time.

On the 19th November, at daybreak, we found ourselves close in with St.
Paul's Island, while on our port-side the outline of New Amsterdam was
visible in the shape of two lofty peaks on the horizon. As the wind blew
from the N.W., we kept the ship's course past the north promontory of the
island, and ranged along the eastern side to the selected anchoring
ground. As we doubled the northernmost point, the conical-shaped Nine-Pin
Rock came into view, while the high and precipitous margin of the island
in the N.E. with the entrance into the crater became visible. How great,
however, was our astonishment, when we observed some neatly laid-out
terraces, of a fresher green hue than were observed in the upper
table-lands of the island! These were evidently spots cultivated by former
or present residents in the island. But no traces of habitation were seen,
whether of mankind or of the seal. Only flights of albatrosses, bryons,
ospreys, and sea-swallows, with now and then the protracted screams (like
human groans) of immense flights of penguins, those singular-looking
sea-birds, which awaken so deep an interest alike for their striking
appearance as by their mode of life.

An examination of the rock of the island showed layers of black lava,
alternating with yellow and red tufa, which seemed stratified regularly
from the rim of the crater to the extreme circumference of the island.
"Thirty fathoms, and no bottom," sung the wearied leadsman; and presently,
"Thirty fathoms,"--and a few minutes before 9 A.M. the anchor rattled out,
on the 24th day after we left Simon's Bay, after retracing our steps
Eastward some 3000 miles. Our anchorage, as we afterwards became aware,
was not the best possible, as we ought to have lain closer in to the
island. But when one anchors nearer the land in a less depth of water,
one is by no means more protected from storms sweeping in from seawards,
to which the entire eastern half of the island lies exposed. Only on the
west side does the island, with the steep margin of the crater some 700 or
800 feet high, afford any protection against the west winds, which,
however, seldom blow here.

[Illustration: ARRIVAL AT ST. PAUL.]

[Illustration: VIEW OF ST. PAUL.]


                 The Islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam,

                      IN THE SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN.

   Former History.--Importance of the situation of St. Paul.--
     Present inhabitants.--Preliminary observations.--To whom does
     the Island belong?--Fisheries.--Hot springs.--Singular
     experiment.--Penguins.--Disembarkation.--Inclement weather.--
     Remarks on the climate of the Island.--Cultivation of European
     vegetables.--Animal life.--Library in a Fisherman's hut.--
     Narrative of old Viot.--Re-embarkation.--An official document
     left behind.--Some results obtained during the stay of the
     Expedition.--Visit to the Island of Amsterdam.--Whalers.--
     Search for a Landing-place.--Remarks on the Natural History of
     the Island.--A Conflagration.--Comparison of the two islands.--
     A _rencontre_ at sea.--Trade-wind.--Christmas at sea.--"A man
     overboard."--Cingalese canoe.--Arrival at Pont de Galle, in

The visit of the Austrian frigate _Novara_ to the Islands of Amsterdam and
St. Paul, so long confounded with one another, was one of the cherished
objects of interest to the immortal Alexander von Humboldt.

Although St. Paul has been in very recent times visited and surveyed by
illustrious English navigators,[56] and although the doubt hitherto
existent as to the precise discoverer, and the correct application of the
names of the two islands, has been set at rest by the discovery of the
original log of Antonio Van Diemen, kept on his voyage from the Texel to
Batavia (16th December, 1632, to 21st July, 1633), by which it is made
plain, beyond possibility of contradiction, that that renowned navigator
passed for certain on 17th July, 1633, between both islands, and conferred
on the northern the name of New Amsterdam, and on the southern that of St.
Paul;[57] yet the two islands still continue to present points of great
interest on closer examination and observation. Of the various ships
which, since the discovery of those islands, have visited them for
scientific purposes, hardly any have remained long enough to be in a
position to acquire a thorough acquaintance with the various objects of
natural history and scientific interest that present themselves. Even the
visit paid by the naturalist attached to the expedition on board the
English ship _Lion_ and _Hindostan_ which, on the 2nd of February, 1793,
touched at St. Paul, _en route_ to China, and to whom we are indebted for
the first detailed account of this island, erroneously spoken of as
Amsterdam (following the example of former English navigators), did not
come within the original design of that Ambassadorial expedition. It was
the result rather of accident that, as the _Lion_ and _Hindostan_ were
passing close in with St. Paul, two human beings were descried on the
shore, waving in the air a piece of canvas fastened on poles, who
apparently were anxious to convey to the expedition their desire to
communicate with their ships. It was supposed these were shipwrecked
mariners, stranded on this dangerous coast, who regarded the arrival of
the _Lion_ as an unexpected means of rescue. To save these
fellow-creatures from so desperate a position, the Captain of the _Lion_
declared to be a pleasing duty assigned by Providence, and rejoiced to
have been selected as the instrument of their deliverance. When, however,
the boat of the British man-of-war, which was despatched to take off the
castaways and bring them on board ship, had landed on the island, the crew
speedily discovered the singular delusion which all had laboured under.
The men, whom motives of humanity had intended to rescue from this
inhospitable place, turned out to be anything but involuntary residents on
the island, being seal-hunters, who for five months had dwelt here, and
purposed remaining ten months longer, with the intention of completing a
cargo of 25,000 seal-skins, for which at that time there was a very
considerable and lucrative demand in the Chinese markets,[58] and the
signals which had first attracted their attention, it now appeared were
for no other object than to enable them to feel themselves once more,
after such an interval, in the company of their fellowmen.

[Footnote 56: Captain C. P. Blackwood, of H.M.S. _Fly_, 1842, and Captain
Denham, C.B., of H.M. Surveying Ship _Herald_, 1853. M. Tinot "_capitaine
du long cours_," who visited St. Paul in the summer of 1844, published
likewise some interesting memoranda relating to that island, in the
"_Nouvelle Annales de la Marine et des Colonies_," for November, 1853.]

[Footnote 57: Previous to the resuscitation, after considerable difficulty,
of this important, indeed decisive document, by Mons. L. C. D. Van Dyk,
among the archives of the East and West India Company of Amsterdam, of
which he was Librarian, the utmost uncertainty prevailed as to the
discovery, name, and geographical position of the two islands. Now,
William Van Flaming, a Dutch navigator, was supposed to be the
discoverer,--now, the hardy Van Diemen. Atlases, charts, and books of
travels, spoke of the name St. Paul belonging, here to the northern
island, there to the southern. This long-continued confusion of names had
naturally left ample space for the most contradictory statements as to the
position, conformation, and geological conditions of both islands. One
traveller, for instance, describes Amsterdam as an island with good
anchorage on the North side, and an extinct crater, into which ran a
fissure, forming a natural link with the ocean; while, on the other hand,
he described St. Paul as a desert island, with steeply sloping shores,
which make it matter of difficulty, if not utterly impracticable, to
effect a landing; while other voyagers, again, give directly contrary
accounts of both islands. Compare the following:--"An authentic account of
an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China,
together with a relation of the voyage undertaken on the occasion by
H.M.S. _Lion_, and the ship _Hindostan_, E.I.C.N., to the Yellow Sea and
Gulf of Pekin, as well as of their return to Europe, taken chiefly from
the papers of H.E. the Earl of Macartney, &c., by Sir George Staunton,
Bart. (London, 1797), vol. I., pp. 205-27."--"Rélation du Voyage à la
recherche de _La Pérous_ fait par l'ordre de l'Assemblée constituante
pendant les années 1791-92, et pendant la 1^{re} et la 2^{de} année de la
République Française. Par le citoyen La Billardière, Correspondent de
l'Académie des Sciences de Paris. Au VIII. de le République Française.
Tome I. pp. 120-123."--"Johnston, A.K., General Gazetteer of the World
(London, 1855)."--"Hamburgh, James, India Directory; or, Directions for
Sailing to or from the East Indies, China, Australia, and the adjacent
parts of Africa and South America (London, 1855). 7th Edition, vol. I., p.
101."--"Voyage to the South Pole, and Round the World, by Captain Jas.
Cook, R.N. (London, 1777)." An interesting and tolerably circumstantial
treatise on these islands is also to be found among the transactions of
the Imperial-Royal Geographical Society of Vienna for the year 1857,
second division, pp. 145-56, by Mr. A. C. Zhishman, Professor of Geography
and History, in the I. R. Nautical Academy at Trieste.]

[Footnote 58: "It seems," says Lord Macartney, "that the Chinese possess
remarkable skill in the dressing of seal-skins, by which they remove the
long coarse hair, so as to leave merely the soft tender skin, and
simultaneously manage to render the hide thin and pliant. Only the
prospect of some such enormous profit could at any time induce human
beings to pass fifteen months at a stretch on so ungenial a spot, which,
moreover, their occupation must render yet more loathsome. They killed the
seals as they basked in the sun on the rocks along the shore, and around
the broad natural rock basins. As only the skins were of any value to
them, they left the flayed carcases exposed to rot on the ground, and
these lie heaped together here in such masses that it was difficult to
avoid treading on them, when one reached the shore of the island. At every
step some disgusting spectacle presented itself, while an unutterably
nauseous smell of decaying matter poisoned the surrounding atmosphere. In
the summer months the seals flock hither, all at the same period, in herds
sometimes numbering 800 to 1000, of which usually only about one hundred
are killed at a time. This is the utmost number that five men can skin in
the course of a single day, it being necessary to peg them together on the
spot, on account of the drying up of the skin. For want of the requisite
vessels only an inconsiderable quantity of the train-oil, which these
animals contain, is collected. A portion of the best of the blubber is
melted, and serves these people in lieu of butter. The seal which
frequents these islands is the Southern or Falkland seal (_Arctocephalus
Falclandicus_ of Gray--_Phoca fusilla_ of Schreber). The female weighs
ordinarily from seventy to one hundred and twenty pounds, and is from
three to five feet long, the male usually considerably larger. In their
natural state these animals are not particularly timid; sometimes, indeed,
they plunge all together into the water when any one approaches them; but
quite as often they remain sitting quietly on the rocks, or raise
themselves erect with a menacing growl. A sharp blow on the snout with a
stick seems sufficient to kill them. Most of those that approach the shore
are females, the proportion they bear to the males being about thirty to
one. This apparent disproportion between the sexes, according to
observation hitherto, is explained as follows:--The Southern seal at
certain periods often undertakes distant wanderings from one tract to
another; and certain of these tracts, such as the Cape of Good Hope and
the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam, are only frequented by the females
when about to bring forth, and by the younger males of the school. In
winter the huge snouted seal, or Sea Elephant (_Macrorhinus_, "long
snout," _elephantinus_ of Gray--_Phoca leonina_ of Schreber), which
sometimes attains a length of twenty-five or even thirty feet, comes in
great numbers to these islands, where they herd together like sheep in the
natural coves which the coast is broken into, in which the males announce
the presence of a herd by a vehement growling, deepening into a loud

Owing to the important situation of St. Paul, midway between the
southernmost point of Africa and the Australian continent (from each of
which it is about 3150 miles distant), a complete, accurate survey of the
island seemed of great importance, not merely to the scientific world, but
also in the interests of navigation; as most of the ships bound for China,
Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the East India liners, pass pretty
close to these islands, especially during the winter season. Many captains
trading in the Indian ocean see in St. Paul an advantageous haven for
recruiting the strength of their scurvy-stricken crews, while the ships of
others, shattered almost to the point of foundering in the storms of a
tract of ocean where for thousands of miles there is no other land, can
find here their only prospect of preservation.

For the voyagers on board the _Novara_, an interest of an entirely
personal sort attached to their visit to the island. Among the
unfortunates, who on the 24th August, 1853, suffered shipwreck on the
shores of New Amsterdam, in the British ship _Meridian_, was a native of
Brienz, in Switzerland, named Pfau. This person, together with the
captain, Richard Hernamann, and a Frenchman had disappeared, leaving no
trace, when, on the following morning, the surviving passengers of the
wrecked ship were rescued by a whaler that happened to be cruising in the
neighbourhood. It was supposed that the three unfortunate men had
endeavoured to reach the adjacent island of St. Paul in a small boat, and
probably were still living there. The father of the Swiss made
application, through an indirect channel, to the chief of the Expedition,
earnestly requesting him on his visit to the island to institute some
enquiries with the view of finding some trace of his ill-starred son,
still unwilling to renounce all hope that he might yet be found living at
St. Paul.

We hove to about one mile and a half distant from the great crater-basin,
in whose eastern buttress a natural communication has been opened with the
sea through a breach in its side. When the Dutch captain, William Van
Flaming, cast anchor before the island in 1697, the wearing action of the
waves had not yet completed this breach, there existing at that period a
dam of some five feet high between the sea and the cavity of the crater.
At present small boats can, at any hour of the day, pass into the
crater-basin, protected from the swell of the ocean by two natural
barriers, which leave between them a passage of about 300 feet wide. Our
last admeasurement gave a length of 600 feet for the southern barrier, and
1002 feet for that in the north; while the intervening water passage
measured 306 feet in breadth, with a depth of 9.6 feet at high water, and
from 2 to 3 feet at ebb tide. On the north side of the entrance to the
straits stands a lofty pyramidal rock, called Nine-Pin Rock, round which
circle innumerable sea-fowl, which to all appearance brood among the
chinks and crannies of the rock, while in the water below crowds of sharks
lash the water into foam. It must be highly dangerous hereabouts to be
capsized in a boat, as there would be little possibility of any one being
rescued, no matter how speedily assistance might be rendered.

Scarcely were we anchored, ere we in the ship perceived a boat approaching
from the island, which rapidly neared the frigate, with three men who had
taken up their abode in even this desolate wilderness. Our imagination
deluded us with the pleasing idea that these three forlorn, forsaken
figures might be the long lost men wrecked in the _Meridian_, whom pitying
billows might have wafted to this solitary island.

Presently there stepped on deck by the side-ropes a grizzly figure, with
deeply-furrowed features and long, grey beard, clothed in a blue blouse
and coarse linen trowsers, that seemed to have weathered many a winter's
storm. This primitive-looking old man proved to be a Frenchman named Viot,
who had lived here for a considerable time as overseer of a fishing
establishment on the island. Our first question had reference to the
missing men from the _Meridian_. But how sore was our disappointment when
the old sailor in the blouse told us he knew all the particulars of the
catastrophe of the ship, but that he had never come across the slightest
trace of the three unfortunates whom we had enquired about. Viot had
visited the island regularly every year since 1841, except that in which
the _Meridian_ had been lost. The fate of these three shipwrecked men must
therefore remain for ever undetermined, although, considering the
tempestuous weather which usually prevails in the Indian Ocean in the
month of August, it is highly improbable that a boat of such small
dimensions as that to which the captain and his two unhappy
fellow-travellers committed themselves, could reach St. Paul, which was
distant 42 miles from the spot at which the ship was wrecked.

About 11.30 A.M. the naturalists, accompanied by the officers appointed
to assist in the scientific operations, proceeded in two boats to the
shore, for the purpose of making some preliminary observations. When we
reached the bar there opened to our view, covered with luxurious grass
growing in tufts, the walls of a majestic crater, the exquisite regularity
of the cavity of which left the exact impression of an enormous natural


On either side the ground rises nearly perpendicularly to a height of
about 800 feet, which probably is likewise the average height of the walls
of the crater. On the north side of the basin, a kind of terrace was seen
low down, with huts thatched with straw, while on the shingle of the bar
was planted a not very perpendicular flagstaff, on which, in honour of the
arrival of a ship of war, old Viot had run up the French ensign. As the
_Novara's_ boat swept into the crater-basin, he saluted with the
proverbial courtesy of his nation, which not even the rough occupation of
a whale-fisher had been able to rub out of him. Viot had last come hither
in the preceding March, with a mulatto and a negro on board of a fishing
craft, named the _Alliance_, of 45 tons, in which he had sailed from St.
Denis, on the Island of Bourbon, anew to take charge of the little fishing
station here, which is at present the property of M. Ottovan, a French
gentleman domiciliated in St. Denis.

While at Cape Town we were informed, in reply to our enquiries, by the
first authority in the country, that the Island of St. Paul belonged to
England, and was a dependency of the Mauritius; here, to our astonishment,
we on the other hand learned from the inhabitants that St. Paul at present
was under the protection of the French Government, and, in fact, was an
appendage of the Island of Bourbon, the governor of which long previously
had ordered the French flag to be hoisted, with all the naval formalities,
by a detachment of French soldiers who had been landed from a French ship
of war. According to Viot--who is to all appearance a thoroughly
trustworthy man, but on whom, however, we throw the responsibility of the
correctness of the following information,--the island seems, in fact, to
have been, some twenty years since, the property of a French merchant of
St. Denis, named Camin, who somewhat later entered into partnership with a
person named Adam, a Pole by birth, to whom he ultimately resigned the
entire island.[59] Adam, who was described to us as a man of exceedingly
fierce and determined character, did wonders for the cultivation of the
island. He left a number of Mozambique negroes, whom he compelled to work
through the entire year, exposed to the severest privations, and employed
in hewing stone from the rocks, with which huts were erected, in preparing
a landing-quay on the north side of the basin, and in sowing a number of
plots of ground along the lower margin of the crater with European

[Footnote 59: According to Captain Denham, who visited this island in 1853,
the present proprietor called this fishing station, Marie Heurtevent, and
said he had bought it about five years previously for 6000 dollars from a
Polish merchant of St. Denis, where he himself also resided. (_Nautical
Magazine_, pp. 68, 75).]

About eight or ten years since, Adam (who afterwards, in the course of a
voyage from Bourbon to New Zealand, met a disgraceful death, having been
thrown overboard for his cruelty by the black crew of a small vessel, whom
he had driven to desperation) sold the islands to their present possessor,
M. Ottovan, a ship-chandler of St. Denis, who since then has twice each
year, during the fine season, despatched a small craft of some 30 to 45
tons, manned by from 15 to 18 fishermen, from St. Denis to St. Paul
Island, so as to turn to advantage the unusual abundance of this
fishing-ground. This vessel leaves St. Denis regularly every November on
its voyage of from 24 to 30 days to St. Paul. The return voyage to St.
Denis takes place during the prevalence of the South-East Trades, and
occupies a much shorter time, rarely exceeding 14 to 16 days. The fishing
sloop, during its stay at the island, anchors inside the basin of the
crater, so as to discharge her provisions for the fishermen, and to
facilitate the freighting for the homeward voyage with the fish that have
been caught, as also to guard her against sudden changes of weather, which
in these latitudes, as we ourselves experienced, is, even during the best
season, very stormy and dangerous. The fishermen use the excellent
whaleboats (or _baleinières_), so admirably suited to the heavy swell of
the Indian Ocean, in which they go out in the morning, returning to the
shore at nightfall. The species of fish which is found in greatest
numbers, and is caught exclusively by the hook, is usually called by the
fishermen, "Indian Cod:" it is by no means, however, of the _genus_
Haddock, and very slightly, if at all, resembles the codfish of northern
waters, or common stock-fish, but seems to belong to the class of finger
fish (_cheilo-dactylus-fasciatus_), which is usually classed among the
crow fish (_sciænæ_). These are salted, dried in the open air, packed in
casks, and dispatched in large quantities to the markets of St. Denis. It
is calculated that the number thus sent off in the course of each year
amounts to about 40,000. which are sold in the market of St. Denis by the
hundred, for from 40 to 60 francs (£1 12s. to £2 8s.--total £640 to £960).
The expenses of maintaining the settlement is very small.--Viot has 57
francs a month (£2 6s.); his two companions 40 francs and 25 francs
respectively (£1 12s. and £1); the men engaged in the fishery receive 25
to 30 francs a month, besides provisions. The second voyage of the vessel
ordinarily takes place in January or February, so as to return in April or
May, with a similar cargo. It often happens that the owner of the vessel
finds some more profitable employment for it, when it only returns during
the second year, and their provisions, as meal, rice, biscuit, tobacco,
&c., get rather short. The settlers, however, employ what leisure time
remains after their work is done, in cultivating a number of plots of
ground with cereals and vegetables, potatoes especially returning from
time to time an excellent yield. Of these useful tubers, which grow with
remarkable luxuriance in the turf-soil of the island, they raise from 60
to 80 cwt. annually. Fresh vegetables being articles in great request are
more particularly made available by the inhabitants of St. Paul, by way of
barter, when trafficking with the whalers, from 20 to 30 of which touch
here in the year, to exchange their salt fish, rice, tobacco, cheese,
brandy, &c., for the fresh provisions grown on the island. The number of
vessels that pass within sight of St. Paul in the course of a year may be
reckoned at from 100 to 150, of which, however, only a very few, except
the whalers, visit the island.[60] In the year 1857, for example, it
occurred only twice (one case being an English man-of-war), that passing
ships sent boats to the island, five months of the year having elapsed in
the first instance, and two in the second.

[Footnote 60: All the Dutch Indiamen on the home voyage from Batavia,
during the months of October till May, have been for many years in the
habit of running south till they sighted St. Paul, so as to catch the S.
E. Trades. But it has never been the policy of the Dutch to attract
attention to the eastern seas, and accordingly no information found its
way to Europe respecting these interesting islands, till the period
mentioned in the text.]

When the take of fish in the immediate vicinity of the island does not
seem sufficiently remunerative, the fishermen occasionally launch out to
greater distances. They then bring out from the basin of the crater the
barque that brought them from Bourbon to St. Paul, and remain at sea for
several days, or make for the adjoining island of Amsterdam, the shores
of which are even more frequented by the fish than those of St. Paul.

As already remarked, our first movements were directed solely towards an
examination of its physical features. We were accompanied on this tour of
inspection by Ferdinand, an active, intelligent Mulatto, with thoroughly
French manners. The French stock has this peculiarity as compared with the
German, that it remains unmistakably French, even when mixed with
two-thirds African blood. Ferdinand was for the first time in St. Paul,
having been conveyed hither in the _Alliance_ in the previous March, to
work for M. Ottovan. Family troubles had been the cause of his banishment
to this dismal island. Although only 24 years of age, he was already the
father of two children, whom, he informed us, he had placed at school in
St. Denis; and in sheer despair at the worthless conduct of their mother,
had hired himself hither as a labourer at 40 francs a month, paid by the
owner of the island. He proposed returning to St. Denis in the next ship
that left St. Paul, in the hope that peace might be by that time restored
in his family.

At various spots in the lower rim of the crater-basin, within which
Ferdinand acted as guide, we perceived heavy volumes of smoke emerging
from the shallow parts of the water, which obviously implied the existence
of hot springs. The two most active and largest in circumference were on
the north side of the crater-basin, and were known, the one as the Bath,
the other as the Drinking Fountain. Moreover, at several points on the
north bar, hot water bubbles up from the soil, of such a temperature that
the same person who, with a hook and line had caught a fish in the cold
water basin, might, with the same motion of his hand, let them drop into
the hot adjoining spring, where, in fact, it is boiled within a few
minutes and fit for eating! We have ourselves made this experiment, which
is also mentioned by Lord Macartney, and found the fish thus prepared
exceedingly palatable.

At high water the whole of the hot springs become mingled with the brine
of the ocean, and thus indicate a temperature which is barely perceptibly
higher than that of the latter. Adjoining the landing-place, several late
visitors to the island have endeavoured to perpetuate the record of their
fleeting presence on some compact granite blocks of rock, which are
scattered in the path to the hot springs. Thus, on one of those stones,
fast becoming obliterated by the weather, may be read:--"Savouret, 1841"--
"J. D. Rogers, 1855, Mars."--On a second huge block:--"Hte. Rogers, 1852
to 1857;" and lastly, these names, with difficulty decipherable,
"Pallefournier-Emile, Mazarni-Denoyarez, Grenoble, Canton de Sassenage,
Département de l'Isère, 1844." In general we found none of the
inscriptions on the island that can be recognized.

On reaching the plateau above, which is reached by a narrow, steep, and in
many places rather fatiguing path, from the settlers' huts on the north
side of the basin of the crater, we came to a breeding-place of the
yellow-tufted "Crested or Hopping-Penguin"[61] (_apterodytes chrysocome_)
in which we found at the lowest estimate from 500 to 600 of these singular
creatures, which are adorned with grey-yellow tufts of feathers arranged
in a semicircle above the eyes, and which, as was well remarked by the
naturalist attached to the _Lion_, with the peculiar plumage and the
almost scaly covering of their fin-like wings, suggest a remote
resemblance to the form of a fish. Living part of the year in the water,
and passing most of the remainder on land, Nature has, in a manner,
adapted them for these widely differing modes of life. The dirty
greyish-brown attire of the young contrasts so strongly with the gay
plumage of the old penguin, that at the first glance they hardly seem to
belong to the same species. The females lay only one or two eggs, usually
in October, so that at the time of our visit, the young were only about a
month-and-a-half or so old. These penguins, so graceful and nimble in the
water, as if it were their proper element, are very awkward on land, so as
to be easily caught, or knocked down with a stick. Only in so doing it is
necessary to be on one's guard against a blow from their long sharp bills,
with which they can inflict on their pursuer a by no means trifling wound.
In the course of centuries, during which they have paid undisturbed visits
to this island, they have trodden a well-marked path from their
breeding-place to the edge of the sea; and it is a proof of the wonderful
instinct of this creature, that this place is almost the only point on
the entire island, at which it would be possible for it to reach the sea.
A flock of these hopping penguins presents an odd and peculiar appearance,
as, after leisurely bathing in the sea, and providing a sufficient supply
of food for their young, their elegant heads emerge from the water, when
carefully calculating the effect of the breakers, they ride their crest
and allow themselves to be deposited on the beach; or, after hopping from
stone to stone, the plumes on their heads nodding to and fro, suddenly
plunge headforemost into the sea, like so many somersault-throwers! Not
less diverting are the movements of these animals when, returned from
their laborious wanderings, which they undertake two or three times a day
in search of food for their young, they bend their tottering steps back to
the roosting-place, waddling in their walk like ducks. One always leads
the way as guide and forager-in-chief, and the rest, usually from ten to
fifteen in number, follow him in a column; on reaching the roosting-place,
a piece of level winding ground, they give a shrill cry, and comport
themselves anything but peaceably towards their neighbours, especially if
these have possessed themselves of their accustomed seats. Continual
squabbling and disputing go on, and their croaking and screaming are
prolonged far into the silence of night. They show much tenderness for
their young, shelter them with great care, and defend them with
extraordinary courage and pertinacity against the southern hawk gull[62]
(_stercorarius antarcticus_), which frequently swoops upon the
breeding-ground, and even ventures within reach of man, from whom it
defends itself by violently striking and biting with its beak. Always at
war under ordinary circumstances, they are nevertheless the most faithful
of allies in moments of common danger or necessity. The flesh of the old
penguin has so rank a smell that it is only used by those frequenting the
island in case of the most extraordinary necessity; that of the young, on
the other hand, has a far more agreeable flavour.

[Footnote 61: Called also the "_Jumping Jack_" by the English sailors, from
its custom of jumping quite out of the water, like a porpoise, on its
encountering the slightest obstacle.]

[Footnote 62: Called by the English sailors "Port Egmont Hens" from their
frequenting Port Egmont in the Falkland Isles. They seem to be identical
in species with the "skua," or "bonxie" of the Shetlands.]

The breeding-place of the penguin is about 300 feet above the level of the
water in the basin of the crater.[63] Four hundred feet more of laborious,
steep scrambling, brings the adventurer to the plateau at last, from the
highest peaks of which he readily obtains a view of the greater part of
the island, which is utterly treeless. At many places we found the ground
quite warm, and at one slimy tract, about 600 feet wide, which was noticed
by the naturalists on board the _Lion_, there was positive danger of
sinking several feet into the hot, yielding soil, if we did not advance
with great care. On the other hand, the fierce tongues of flame, which
Lord Macartney alleged were visible at night from the deck of the ship,
and which greatly resembled the celebrated nocturnal fires of Pietra Mala,
in the mountains between Florence and Bologna, were nowhere visible, at
least during the time we were on the island.

[Footnote 63: A second breeding-place, somewhat larger, but much more
inaccessible than that described, occurs on the north-west side of the
island. There among rugged fantastically broken masses of rock, these
extraordinary creatures can sun themselves undisturbed, and have hardly
anything to dread from the destroying hand of man, who could only get
thither with much difficulty, and not without peril to life, by clambering
along the face of a precipitous wall of rock.]

On the north-west side of the islands, facing the sea, two lofty pinnacles
of scoriæ, with truncated summits, rise in cones of such exquisite
regularity of form as speedily attracted the attention of our geologist,
and became somewhat later the chief scene of his activity. In the
immediate vicinity, many traces of lava-streams are visible, which plainly
show the direction in which their currents had flowed. From the upper edge
of the great basin of the crater the ground slopes gradually to the sea,
ending abruptly in a precipice, descending sheer 150 or 200 feet into the

In order to avoid retracing our steps by the same path, we directed our
guide, the ever active Ferdinand, to conduct us back to the shore by some
other track than that by which we had clambered up to this point;
whereupon he stopped at a point of the upper rim of the crater, where the
ground fell suddenly away quite perpendicular, grasped the rich luxuriant
grass hand over hand, and having proceeded a few steps, invited us to
follow. At the first glance we involuntarily recoiled at the bare idea of
descending into the abyss by such a route, but presently we found our
advance less dangerous and appalling than had at first appeared, when it
was found we might, without any misgiving, let ourselves down by the long
tough grass, the strong stalks of which supplied a safe means of descent.

In less than three-quarters of an hour we had descended from the upper
margin of the crater to the settlement, and at once proceeded on our
return to the frigate. A pretty fresh N.W. breeze had sprung up in the
meantime, which rendered our re-embarkation in our small short boats,
totally unsuited to the tremendous swell of the Indian Ocean, exceedingly
uncomfortable. Arrived at the ship's side, the sea ran so high, and had so
increased the difficulty of laying the boats alongside, that we at first
endeavoured to reach the deck by the Jacob's ladders suspended at the
poop. When, however, one of the sailors (who confessedly have much greater
readiness in clambering than ordinary mortals), while holding on to one of
the ladders, was reached by a tremendous wave, and half his body being in
the water, ran a risk of being carried off by a shark, the scientific
gentlemen in the boats preferred making for the starboard side of the
ship, whence they reached their haven of refuge by the man-ropes.

Although this accident sufficiently manifested the impracticability of our
original plan of returning every evening on board, and of being able to
remain beside the ship during the carrying out of the objects of our
visit, no man supposed as yet that, at this season, the summer of St.
Paul's, the weather might suddenly become so stormy and generally
unfavourable, as thus early to necessitate our re-embarkation, and that
the ship would be compelled, with all speed, to leave her anchorage, and
put to sea for a week under most uncomfortable circumstances.

On 20th November, about 6 A.M., the officers and naturalists, together
with a portion of the crew, 32 in all, left the frigate with a large
quantity of instruments, scientific apparatus, and baggage. This little
expedition was supplied with provisions and water for six days, there
being no springs of fresh water on the island, the frequenters of which
are compelled to depend for their whole supply of drinking-water, partly
on the rain-fall, partly during long-continued dry seasons on the water of
one of the hot brackish springs which occur on the north side of the lower
circuit of the crater. Long accustomed to these fluids and to their
peculiar taste, the inhabitants feel no evil results from their
employment, which very probably would not be the case with those persons
who visit the island for the first time, and whose arduous exertions
necessitate their drinking daily large quantities of water.

On a small eminence, about 150 feet high, above the fisherman's huts on
the north side of the crater-basin, a small wooden cottage was erected for
the protection of the astronomers; and at a distance of about 40 feet, a
second for the magnetic instruments, both of which, with their contents,
were entrusted to Lieutenant Robert Müller. Lieutenants Batlogg and Eugen
Kronowetter, were respectively entrusted with the observations by
theodolite, and with the surveying board. To the last-mentioned gentleman
were also confided the observations with the meteorological instruments,
the researches with the tide-gauge, the instruments for measuring the
velocity of currents, as also the soundings in the basin, and on either
side of the bar,--to assist him in the execution of which Cadet Count
Borelli and Head Quartermaster Cian were detached. We quartered ourselves
as well as we could in the wretched filthy huts which, in summer, serve
the fishermen from St. Denis as a shelter. In one of these hung several
pictures--one representing Napoleon I. riding the inevitable white horse,
the majority consisting of female portraits and scenes of Parisian life,
so that the whole place had quite a Frenchified appearance.

Hardly had the instruments, apparatus, men, and baggage been placed under
shelter, when once more a strong north wind came on, which, during the
night between the 20th and 21st, increased to such a height, that it blew
down the two huts intended for the observations, which had not been quite
finished, and in which, fortunately, the instruments had not yet been
placed--exposing the work already begun to very considerable interruption.

Early in the morning, a whaler approached the island, and sent one of her
boats off for fresh provisions. She proved to be the _Herald_, of New
Bedford, Massachusetts, U. S., out 27 months, and expecting to require to
remain out 11 months longer, in order to complete her lading of oil and
whalebone. She was last from St. Augustin's Bay (Madagascar), which place
she had left two months previously. When the captain, who chanced to be in
the boat, saw the activity of the scientific corps, the results of which
were already beginning to be visible in the hitherto deserted island, he
said that one of his crew had fallen from the mast a few days previously,
and severely injured himself, and forthwith asked whether we could render
him any surgical assistance. Considering the precarious circumstances
under which we ourselves were on the island, we judged it more advisable
to receive the unfortunate whaler on board the frigate, where we could
give him all necessary assistance. As we afterwards learned, the surgeon
of the frigate, Dr. Ruschitztha, notwithstanding the inclemency of the
weather, was ordered from the frigate, and had the satisfaction of
rendering valuable assistance to the invalid.

The foul weather continued all day, and during the night of the 21st, it
became so tempestuous that the frigate was at last compelled to put to
sea. About 3.30 A.M. she began to labour heavily with an unusually high
sea and frequent shifts of wind, accompanied by showers of rain, after a
heavy blow from the N.W., so that at first it was thought on board that
one of these furious gusts, which for several hours past had followed each
other at regular intervals, had sprung the cable, and that the anchor
would be lost. The jib accordingly was hoisted, and the fore-topsail set
with four reefs in it, and an attempt made to weigh anchor. This
operation, at all times laborious, was now especially so, and seemed as
though it would never have an end. Although the capstan was manned, as
already said, at 3.30, it was not till past seven, or four hours later
that the anchor hove in sight. It was the port anchor that had been
weighed, and it was now perceived that one of the flukes had given way,
and was entirely broken off. In such stormy weather it seemed very
uncertain whether the anchor could be brought on board, as it struck with
much force against the ship-side, in consequence of her severe rolling,
and it was only secured at great risk to the life of the men employed. The
cable was unbent, and the anchor slipped, so as to relieve the ship (for
which the anchor still on board was sufficient in the meantime), from the
vehement thumping. The frigate now had to encounter a regular
North-wester, and only after three days of the most furious rolling or
pitching, was she able, aided by northerly breezes, again to reach her
former anchorage. The members of the Expedition, left at St. Paul to
prosecute their scientific labours, occasionally experienced a somewhat
peculiar feeling when the frigate, owing to the severity of the weather,
remained invisible during these three long days; and fancy involuntarily
depicted themselves in the position of men whom the stormy waves of
destiny had cast away on this lonely island in the Indian Ocean, there
perhaps to languish for weary months out of reach of assistance or means
of rescue.

Old Viot, who had come for the sixth time to the island, alleged that such
rainy tempestuous weather at this season of the year was quite an unusual
phenomenon,--an opinion which somewhat later was confirmed by the reports
of several North American whalers. Ordinarily the fine season commences at
the beginning of November, at which period the South wind is the most
prevalent, the sky often remaining clear and hot for weeks together. The
hottest month of the year is January, the coldest June. From May to
October it is exceedingly difficult to land with boats on the island, and
cases not unfrequently occur during the continuance of the stormy season
resembling that which is instanced by the historiographer of Lord
Macartney's embassy to China, in which, during September, 1792, a ship
anchored on the east side of the island, was only able twice, during the
lapse of eight weeks, to send a boat to the island with provisions. On
this station the fishery is confined to the fine season (from November to
April), while for the rest of the year the various huts of the fishermen
are entirely abandoned, being only inhabited by a couple of men, in whose
charge are left the few but by no means valueless implements and apparatus
of the island. These men lead a very monotonous life, though not one of
privation, for the crater-basin supplies the whole year round the most
delicious fish, and craw-fish of the finest kind.

Our sailors used to hang a basket with bait close to the edge of the
crater-basin, sunk a few feet in the water, which they would draw out
every time full of lobsters. In a few hours they frequently caught from
eighty to one hundred pounds' weight of these large and extremely delicate
species of shell-fish. An excursion which was got up one morning to the
South side of the island, in a fisherman's boat, was rewarded in a few
hours with some fifty different sorts of denizens of the deep, some of
which weighed twenty to twenty-five pounds each.

According to Viot's account, snow does not fall often in winter, and in
consequence of the heat inherent in the volcanic soil, never lies long on
it. On the other hand, hail is a tolerably frequent visitant. Rain is of
constant occurrence, and sometimes falls in immense quantities. Viot was
never weary of expressing his astonishment at the enormous size of the
drops of rain which for many a year he had seen fall at St. Paul. The cold
is often pretty severe; while the almost entire want of firing on the
island (for the dung of animals is not obtainable in sufficient quantities
to make its storing worth the requisite labour), deprives the poor
residents of the comfort of a fireside. "If the last storm had not blown
down our hut, we should for long have had to do without fuel," was the
naïve remark on one occasion of the old Frenchman, as he lay stretched out
on a dirty bed, carefully rolled up in his rough woollen blanket. Winter
begins in May and ends in September. During this period the Northerly
winds are often very strong. On 27th June, 1857, there blew for six or
eight hours here so terrific a tempest that the inhabitants of St. Paul
did not venture outside of their huts for fear of being rapt away by the
wind. These storms of winter occasionally rage to such a degree that they
drive before them into the basin of the crater huge masses of water, which
they whirl in wild confusion to an enormous height, showing that the tract
in the Southern Ocean traversed by the hurricanes which occasionally do
such damage about Mauritius and Rodriguez, occasionally embraces the
islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam. In November, at the commencement of the
fine season, the winds are rather variable, and so continue to the end of
March, when the N. and N.W. winds begin once more to blow regularly; these
bring heavy rains and foul weather, after which, except that it is cold
when the wind changes to West with a Southerly tendency, a warmer and
drier climate is experienced. During our stay we frequently had an
opportunity of verifying by observation the steady return of certain winds
in regular succession. For instance, after the N.E. wind had prevailed for
some days, it veered to N.N.W. whence it invariably went to W. by S.,
where it usually stayed some little time, after which it once more went to
N.E.--a phenomenon which went through its phases every six days with
surprising regularity.

There are heavy mists during autumn, but thunder on the other hand is far
from frequent, nor is it particularly violent when it occurs. During a
residence of eighteen days we never saw the centigrade thermometer stand
higher than 66°·2 Fahr., or lower than 53°·6 Fahr. Lord Macartney gave 62°
Fahr. as the average of the thermometer during his visit in February,

As for earthquakes, a phenomenon whose occurrence at St. Paul would
possess an uncommon interest, Viot averred that during sixteen years that
he had visited the island, off and on, he neither himself had perceived
any indications of one, nor had he at any time heard of any such having
been observed.

On the contrary, Ferdinand (who, nevertheless, had lived but eight months
on the island) affirmed that his predecessor, Rosemond, had told him of
shocks, comparatively slight it is true, which he (Rosemond) had felt
during his several years' abode here. Considering the small circumference
of the island, and the violent surf on its shores, slight oscillations may
not improbably be felt, which are caused by other than volcanic agencies.
Moreover, on the outer margin of the crater-basin, the island presents at
those numerous points, from which at ebb-tide roll volumes of smoke and
steam, so many natural vents for the escape of the confined subterraneous
gases, that in their ordinary state, and so long as they continue open, in
future, there is no especial reason to suppose there will be any
upheavings of the earth's crust in consequence of volcanic agencies. The
earthquake of 14th August, 1857, which was pretty severely felt in Cape
Town and the vicinity, does not seem to have included St. Paul within the
circle of its influence. The present inhabitants of St. Paul, at all
events, unanimously assert that they cannot recall having perceived,
either on the 14th August, or at any time about that period, any shocks of
earthquake whatever, or to have observed any unusual appearances either in
the surface of the earth or in the atmosphere.

We purposely say "at any time about that period," because the inhabitants
of the island do not avail themselves of that assistance so universal
now-a-days of a printed calendar, but trust to memory for keeping a
reckoning of the flight of time. That mistakes should frequently occur
with such a method of computing time is rendered the more probable that
not one of the three denizens of the island can write. For instance, we
once remarked to our worthy Viot that by his own reckoning he had marked
one day more than he had actually lived. "We always get into a mess with
these confounded months of thirty-one days!" was the good-humoured reply
of the ancient wanderer from Nantes.

Although the volcanic soil of St. Paul is everywhere especially adapted
for scientific study, it nevertheless presents few objects with which to
enrich collections of natural history. An island, on which not a single
tree or bush is to be found, and on whose tufa soil, though well adapted
for fruit, only a few grasses, ferns, and mosses thrive, must, so far as
regards the value of his researches, prove as little interesting to the
botanist as the zoologist, who, as we shall see more circumstantially
further on, came across but few representatives here of the animated

At several places, the practical gardener who accompanied the frigate was
ordered to plant a number of European vegetables and anti-scorbutic
plants, such as cabbage, horse-radish, turnips, of various assorted
species, celery, garden-cress, and spoonwort,[64] it is to be hoped with
favourable results. At all events, we had the satisfaction during our
stay, of seeing the tender shoots of some of the vegetables already
sprouting through the surface of the earth. At that time there were not
above a dozen or so cultivated spots on the Island; if, however, these are
carefully cultivated, they can always furnish enough excellent nourishing
provision for from 80 to 100 men. A quantity of potatoes, from 6 to 8
sacks, planted in June, yield, in January or February, a crop of from 60
to 80 casks of 100 lbs. each, or between 3 and 4 tons.

[Footnote 64: The vegetables planted were as follows:--_Brassica rapa_
(rape); _Brassica oleracea capitata_ (sea kail); _Brassica rapa alba_
(white turnip); _Brassica rapa flava_ (yellow turnip); _Raphanus sativus_
(radish); _Lepidium sativum_ (dittandu); _Cochleæia officinalis_ (scurvy

Wheat, maize, and barley, also thrive at St. Paul, and their cultivation
has only been discontinued, in consequence of their conversion into bread
requiring a much larger amount of fuel than is at the command of the
residents. On the other hand, all attempts to cultivate beans and peas
have utterly failed hitherto. All kinds of nutritive plants give but one
crop in the year. So also several kinds of trees, which promised to grow
well, considering the resemblance between the climate here and that to
which they were indigenous--such as _Pinus maritima_, various kinds of
_Protea_, &c., and the successful rearing of which would ultimately prove
an extraordinary benefit to all who frequent the island, in consequence of
the great scarcity of firewood--were planted as seedlings by the gardener
attached to the Expedition, in the vicinity of the two huts used for the
observations. Assuredly it will not be one of the least important benefits
of the _Novara_ Expedition, which it will have conferred on St. Paul, if
the growth of the seedlings, planted in its soil with such a noble purpose
in view, should result in the gradual and at all events partial clothing
of the island in the forest.

As to the Fauna of St. Paul, there appears to be one kind of sea-swallow
(_storna_) not hitherto described, the bill and feet of which are of a
coral-red colour, and delicate silver-grey plumage, undoubtedly the most
beautiful of the feathered inhabitants, as the penguin is the most
extraordinary and peculiar creature on the island. Besides these there is
also a pretty grey diver (_Prion Vittatus_), which builds its nest among
the rocks; also a brown gull (_Stercorarius antarcticus_), as also three
kinds of albatrosses (_Diomedea exulans_, _D. fuliginosa_, _D.

The Crater-basin was somewhat less unproductive than the dry land. The
depth is from 100 to 175 feet. Close to the edge, the sounding line gave a
depth of 10 fathoms (60 feet). Experiments with the dredging-net, although
frequently made, gave by no means satisfactory results. On the other hand,
the rod and line brought up many an interesting addition to our
collection, and frequent strolls at ebb-tide along the barely uncovered
masses of rock that skirted the basin of the crater were rewarded with
numerous discoveries of specimens of conchology. In the centre of the
basin we came upon slimy ground at a depth of 204 feet; near the hot
springs (about 100 feet distant), 19 fathoms (114 feet); and at a third
point, on the south side, 23 fathoms (138 feet). Viot said, that after
repeated soundings at different points, he had found the depth of the
basin varied from 10 to 35 fathoms (60 to 210 feet). The seals
(_Arctocephalus Falclandicus_) of which, according to Macartney, at the
end of last century, thousands daily came to the coast of the island to
bask in the sun, have almost entirely disappeared, so that these animals
are very rarely seen or captured by the inhabitants. Even of the skeletons
of these marine mammals, which, when the naturalists of the _Lion_ were
roaming through the island, used to lie about in such numbers that one
could almost walk upon bones all round the crater, not a vestige is left,
and one can hardly realize that formerly hundreds of thousands of these
animals were slaughtered at this island.

Almost all the quadrupeds of the island are domestic animals that have
been brought hither from Europe and the French colonies--such as swine,
goats, cats, rabbits--which at present live here in a wild state. The
goats, which were first introduced in 1844, are most numerous on the N.W.
of the island; the swine, on the contrary, are not so frequently met with.
During our residence, a boar and a wild cat were killed; a few days after,
the five young of the cat were found, having been compelled to emerge from
their lair in search of food. A female hare, which we had brought from
Cape Town, was also set free on the island, and it was fortunate for the
propagation of these useful animals that there was already a male hare on
the island. A pair of geese was also presented to the colonists, which
perhaps have continued to breed there.

As we thought the island was uninhabited, it was originally our intention
to leave several kinds of domestic animals of different sexes with a view
to propagation; and with that object, when at Cape Town had made various
purchases of useful animals; but, under the circumstances, we relinquished
this intention, as there seemed but little chance of their being left
undisturbed sufficiently long to secure the desired object. Occasionally
cows would be landed from the whalers for the sake of the fresh fodder,
and taken away again after the lapse of a month or two.

The projected scientific operations of the Expedition might easily have
been carried out within eight days, had we not been so obstinately
persecuted with unfavourable weather. Violent north winds, which rendered
it impossible to make any use of the surveying-board in the open air,
alternated in an extraordinary manner with rainbows. Our astronomical
observations were as yet nothing to speak of. Observations with the
barometer, thermometer, current-measurer, and tide-guage, could alone be
prosecuted, the last of which especially gave the following interesting
result, that the hour of high water, both at full moon and new moon, is
not 11 A.M., as given by Horsburgh (7th edition, Vol. I. p. 102), but at
1.10 P.M.[65]

[Footnote 65: According to Lord Macartney, the tide rises at full and new
moon, between 8 and 9 feet perpendicular. A northerly wind always causes
the highest tide, the current of which is from S.E. by S. to N.W. by N.,
and has a velocity of about 3 miles an hour.]

The proper carrying out of the objects of the geognostic enquiries was
hampered by unforeseen obstacles and difficulties. One day the rain would
be so heavy, that the slight covering of our apartments would be
insufficient to protect us any longer from the beating of the rain which
fell in bucketsfull, and began to leak through innumerable seams and
cracks on to the beds, tables, and floor. Did any one think to shelter
himself in the hut of a neighbour?--ere long there commenced a regular
emigration, which very speedily came to a conclusion, by each and all
having the melancholy satisfaction of perceiving that Fortune had set to
work with rigorous impartiality, and had resolved to let each one of us
feel the weight of her displeasure. And so we passed the long dreary hours
in our comfortless huts, that gave free entrance to wind and rain, with
umbrellas outspread or wrapped in our India-rubber cloaks, gazing moodily
at the numerous cases full of valuable instruments, which, instead of
being serviceable to science, were, by the loss of so many splendid
opportunities, doomed to inactivity.

[Illustration: RAINY DAY AT ST. PAUL.]

Fortunately, all showed themselves animated by the utmost zeal for the
undertaking and its successful issue; and, in a word, each fresh
avalanche of difficulties, which sought to thwart our exertions and impair
our forces, served only to reawaken the energies and reanimate the
confidence of each and all amid all our calamities.

So soon as the hovel we inhabited, which had enabled us to make
observations upon the direction and strength of the wind rather than
secured us any accommodation for sleep, had been in some degree restored
to its original condition, we availed ourselves of the slight improvement
in the weather, to examine a tolerably numerous collection of very
beautifully bound books, which were found stowed away in one of the
recesses for books running into the four partitions, and had in all
probability much to dread from the rain-water trickling through the
covering of the roof. These had been brought hither by a former proprietor
of the island, and when it was sold were transferred with the rest of the
stock of tools, &c., to M. Ottovan, who occasionally resided at St. Paul
for a month or two, but seemed, so far as the condition of the books went,
rarely to meddle with them. It was curious enough, however, to encounter
in a lone desert island, so many evidences of the most refined
civilization, so we shall cite in a note some of the most interesting of
this library of about 150 different works, which deserved a better fate
than to moulder away undisturbed till they fell into dust.[66]

[Footnote 66: Among these were the works on Natural History, by Charles
Bonnel (Neufchâtel, 1783); J. S. Laharpe's "Abrégé de l'Histoire Générale
des Voyages, Paris, 1816;" Dacier's "Translation of Horace into French,
with Notes and Critical Remarks. Paris, 1816;" "De la Félicité Publique;
ou, Considérations sur le sort des Hommes dans les Différentes époques de
l'Histoire: A. Bouillon: from the Printing Establishment of the
Typographical Society, Paris, 1776;" "Essay on the Life of the Great
Condé, by Louis Joseph, Prince de Condé, at present in England, London,
1st May, 1807;" "Précis des Journées 15, 16, 17, and 18 Juin, 1815, ou Fin
de la Vie Politique de Napoleon Buonaparte, par M. Giraud, auteur de la
"Campagne de Paris en 1814;" Paris, 1815, 1st vol. 8; "Histoire des
Guerres des Gaulois et des Français en Italie, avec le tableau des
évènemens civils et mílitaires qui les accompagnèrent et leur influence
sur la civilisation et les progrès de l'esprit humain." "Depuis Bellevise
jusqu'à la mort de Louis XII., par lex Adjutant-Général Auguste Jubé,
tribun." "Depuis Louis XII., jusqu'àu Traité d'Amiens, par Joseph Servan,
Général de Division. Dediées à S. M. l'Empereur. Paris, an. XIII. (1805)."
"Manuel des habitans de St. Dominique, contenant un précis de l'histoire
de cette isle depuis sa découverte, etc., par S. J. Duc[oe]urjoly, ancien
habitant de St. Dominique; Paris, 1800, an. X, 2 vols.]

Less fortunate were we in our researches for any document which could in
any way throw any light, direct or indirect, upon the former history of
St. Paul. The only piece of writing which we found that had reference to
the island, was a licence drawn up during the reign of Louis Philippe,
dated 20th February, 1846, to M. Adam, of St. Denis (in the Island of
Bourbon), to proceed to carry out a certain undertaking in the schooner
"_La Mouche_," 30 tons' burthen, under the protection of the French flag.
"_La Mouche_," is the same boat in which Viot had made so many voyages to
and fro between St. Denis and St. Paul. This document, which the poor old
Frenchman drew out one evening from a drawer thickly strewn with dust,
insensibly led the conversation to the quondam owners of St. Paul, and
thence naturally to an enquiry, on our part, as to the number of graves
which dotted this romantic offshoot of Père la Chaise. "The climate is far
too healthy, and the island far too little frequented, to admit of there
being many graves in St. Paul," replied Viot. Of the blacks, whom M. Adam
had once worked so unmercifully on the island, very many perished here
owing to the severity of their treatment, but no one knows where their
bodies lie;--very possibly their bones lie scattered about the island,
like the remains of the much persecuted petrel (_prion turton_), which the
predatory gull throws carelessly from him after he has stripped off the
flesh, and gorged himself on the most delicate morsels. Only two graves
are known to the present residents,--one is the resting-place of an
Englishwoman, who died on board a merchant-ship which happened to be near
the island, and whose grave was dug in the earth on the north side of the
crater-basin; the second covers the body of a ship captain, who was
accidentally drowned in the basin by the upsetting of a small boat, as he
was approaching the bar in heavy weather. His grave is at a short distance
behind the huts of the colonists, and bears traces to this day of the
solemn feelings with which it was erected; an enclosure of large stones
neatly arranged, make the site and its object at once recognisable.

Shipwrecks are unheard of at St. Paul; at least, none such have been known
to occur since it has been occupied by man. On the other hand, they are of
more frequent occurrence at the sister island, as has very lately been
evidenced by the catastrophe of the _Meridian_. However, the elements are
not always to blame for such lamentable occurrences. Ships are sometimes
dashed to pieces on the shores of Amsterdam in the finest weather, so that
one is almost induced to believe that these misfortunes are occasionally
resorted to intentionally, so as to realize some high insurance on a
vessel which has probably already become half unseaworthy--a not very
conscientious method of doing business, of which, however, some of the
natives of Greece and the borders thereof are not unfrequently guilty. In
February, 1855, a North American whaler struck upon the north-east side of
Amsterdam in a calm, and with a clear sky overhead, so that the entire
crew, 30 in number, were able to secure the provisions and their kits. The
captain, with one of the ship's small boats, made for the Island of St.
Paul, 42 miles distant, in the hope, probably, of getting assistance
thence. A lucky destiny so willed it, that (the accident having occurred
in the finest season of the year), a vessel of M. Ottovan's, which by a
strange coincidence was named _L'Ange Gardien_ (the Guardian Angel), lay
at anchor inside the crater-basin, loading with fish. The shipwrecked crew
were indebted to his circumstance that, within 14 days more, they found
themselves at Mauritius. A report circulated among the residents of St.
Paul that the captain of the stranded ship had landed with some of his
companions in a boat on the N.E. of Amsterdam, with the intention of
searching for a sum of several thousand dollars which a previous visitant
to this island was said to have buried there for some mysterious reasons.
While the captain was on shore, vainly searching for a considerable time
after the buried treasure, the shipmaster left in charge in his absence
came too near the island, whereupon the vessel had been lost upon one of
the numerous reefs which lie off the shore. A part, it was added, of the
buried money had, in fact, been recovered. According to Viot, the captain
had dug up 1000 dollars (above £200), and one of his companions 300

At last, on the morning of 3rd December--the fifteenth of our stay at the
island--the sky shone so brightly that one could, with more probability
than hitherto, cherish the hope that the various operations we had been
compelled to lay aside might finally be brought uninterrupted to a
successful conclusion. However, the very wet day was again exceedingly
unfavourable for open-air observations, especially astronomical, inasmuch
as a pretty strong North-east wind incessantly drove over the island
clouds of rain, the very heaviest of which, attracted by the mass of the
island, broke right over our heads. Fortunately this spell of bad weather
did not last as long as the first; and when, on 6th December, the _Novara_
once more made her appearance at the island, and enquired by signals as to
the progress made in our appointed work, we were so fortunate as to be
able to reply by the same means, that the most important portion had been
completed, and that the officers and naturalists were ready to re-embark.

About 9 A.M., the frigate anchored in 25 fathoms, close to the spot where
the English ship _Fly_, Captain Blackwood, lay in 1842. It was the third
time that the _Novara_ anchored off St. Paul. Twice before had she
experienced unusually tempestuous weather, which compelled her to sheer
off from such a perilous coast, and expose herself to be lashed for days
together by the raging giant waves of the infuriated element.

One of the boats sent by the frigate to take us off to the ship, brought
at the same time some presents, in memory of the Expedition, for the
residents of the island, who had been so hospitable and obliging during
our stay. The presents consisted of ship biscuit, salted meat, and various
other edibles, wine, a musket, woollen blankets, clothes, shoes, tools,
medicines, vinegar, oil, &c. The simple, modest fellows were immensely
pleased with these unexpected presents, and Viot especially seemed
overjoyed on seeing a number of tools, for want of which many of the
repairs necessary in the interior of their anything but air-tight wooden
habitations, were daily becoming more apparent.

We left a book on the Island of St. Paul, in which the principal memoranda
of what we had achieved were set forth in three languages (German,
English, and French), with the view of supplying to future scientific
visitors, data for further researches and observations, and at same time
incite them to prosecute these we had ourselves made.

We insert here this document, which will yet give witness, probably, of
the scientific activity of the Austrian Expedition at the Island of St.
Paul in the Indian Ocean, at a period when those engaged in it will long
since have voyaged to

    "That undiscovered country from whose bourne
    No traveller returns."

"The Imperial Austrian Frigate, _Novara_, 44, under the command of
Commodore the Chevalier von Wüllerstorf-Urbair, engaged in a voyage round
the globe for scientific purposes, anchored at nine in the morning of
19th November, 1857, on the Eastern side of St. Paul, with the purpose of
prosecuting astronomical, magnetic, meteorological, and geodesical
observations and measurements, and at same time examine thoroughly the
natural history of the island. Extremely unfavourable weather in great
measure delayed the expedition; and, after having successfully carried out
a series of observations and researches, the results of which will in due
time be published, the officers and naturalists in charge of the various
departments, on the 6th December of the same year, quitted St. Paul, each
bearing with him the most pleasing reminiscences of that interesting
island, and of its three poor, but eminently kind inhabitants.

"For the guidance of future observers the following memoranda may prove

"I. That the spot at which observations were taken was on a small
eminence, north of the huts of the colonists, and which may be recognized
by a small pyramid of stones, on which the Austrian Expedition marked the
observed latitude 38° 42' 55'' S., and the longitude 77° 31' 18'' E. of
Greenwich.[67] Further that:--

[Footnote 67: The time, which we took from the Cape Observatory by four
excellent chronometers, gave, on our voyage between the Cape and St. Paul,
a period of forty-six days, a difference of 3 h. 56 min. 11 sec., which
the island was E. of the Cape, so that adding the Longitude of the latter
East of Greenwich (by nautical almanack), 1 h. 13 min. 55 s., we have the
Longitude of St. Paul 5 h. 10 min. 6 s. East of Greenwich (77° 31' 30''
E.) Between Madras and St. Paul, during a long passage of sixty-seven
days, and with six chronometers somewhat less accurately set than the
preceding, St. Paul was found by observation to be 0 h. 10 min. 51.8 sec.
West of Madras (2° 42' 55'' W.) By the longitude of the Observatory of
Madras, 5 h. 20 min. 57 sec. East of Greenwich (80° 14' 15'' E.), as
furnished by the Director of the Observatory, Major Jacobs (whereas the
nautical almanack gave 5 h. 21 m. 3.77 sec. = 80° 16' 0-1/2''). The
longitude of St. Paul would be 5 h. 10 m. 5.2 s. East of Greenwich (77°
31' 23'' E.) The average of the two measurements gives as the average 5 h.
10 m. 5.6 sec., or 77° 31' 26'' E. to be assumed as the final longitude of
St. Paul, while the latitude was taken from the various means of the
height of the sun at the meridian on an average of days. An additional
computation in which allowances were made for the various corrections,
gave, as the latitude, 38° 42' 47'' S.]

"II. That the direction of the true meridian line drawn from this point to
the nearest opposite shore of the South side of the crater-basin was
marked by an oblique (St. Andrew's) cross.

"III. That the tidal-gauge was situated on a rock near the landing-place,
and that the rise of the tide above the mean level of the water (3 feet 5
inches), was marked on a slab of rock smoothed for the purpose.

"IV. Lastly. The magnetic observations were taken in a hut erected for
that express purpose on the little plateau behind the settlers' huts,
where at the same time various sorts of useful trees were planted by the

"The names of the officers and naturalists who, under the superintendence
of the commander of the Imperial Expedition, took part in the various
scientific operations were:--for Astronomy and Terrestrial Magnetism,
Lieutenant Robert Müllar; Botany, Dr. Edward Schwarz and M. Jellinck;
Geodesy and Meteorology, Lieutenant Eugen Kronowetter; for the
Trigonometrical Measurement of the Crater-basin, Lieutenant Gustavus
Battlogg; for Geology, Dr. Ferdinand Hochstetter; Ethnology and Physical
Geography, Dr. Karl Scherzer; Zoology, G. Frauenfeld and J. Zelebor;
Draughtsman and Artist, Joseph Sellemy."


Towards 5 P.M. the last boat came off with the measuring and levelling
instruments, and various articles of baggage.[68] The embarkation was
finally completed. Half-an-hour later the _Novara_ weighed anchor, and we
steered, favoured with most splendid weather and full of pleasing
anticipations, for the adjacent island of New Amsterdam. Not without
sundry twitches of sadness did we remark the sharp crater of St. Paul
gradually fade away like a vision in the gloom of approaching night; and
many undying memories must attach to our residence on that lonely,
world-forsaken island.

[Footnote 68: Remembering how many bottles and glass tubes were shattered,
we have not thought it beyond our province to recommend future scientific
travellers to bring with them a good supply of duplicates of all
instruments liable to breakage, as it is very difficult to get such
insignificant articles replaced out of Europe, and we frequently found on
this occasion the want of some such little instrument interposed an
obstacle to the further usefulness of the instruments.]

And now, at the moment of our departure from the island, be it permitted
us to cast a retrospective glance at the various results obtained by the
Expedition of the _Novara_ during her stay at St. Paul.

Never hitherto on this island, so important by its geographical position
for ships trading with China, the East Indies, Australia, and New Zealand,
have astronomical and magnetic observations and geodesical measurements
been so thoroughly ascertained as by the _Novara_ expedition. Upon a
carefully measured base-line, various points of the upper and lower
margin of the crater were accurately laid down by means of the Theodolite,
and the whole island submitted to a geometric network of angles. At the
same time the geologist, with the aid of the compass and the patent
levels, prepared a chart originally intended for geological purposes only,
while the draughtsman of the expedition added to its value, by skilfully
sketching in from these given points the configuration of the coast-line
of the island. By their united efforts there has been published a chart of
St. Paul, which gives even to the minutest details an entirely correct and
accurate representation of the form and surface of the island. This minute
chart, or plan, was prepared on a scale of 132 Vienna fathoms to one
Vienna inch, or 1/9504 of the natural size. Moreover, it is intended
preparing, from this map and from the various outlines and views taken on
the spot, a plastic model of the island after Nature, which, moulded in
gypsum, will give scientific inquirers the most accurate conception of its
singular structure. Not less interesting for navigators in the Indian
Ocean will be the publication of the various observations which, during
our stay of 18 days, were made with the barometer, thermometer,
tide-gauge, and gauge of the velocity of currents, taken at certain fixed
hours, day and night, as also the soundings in the crater-basin, and on
both sides of the bar. Although the complete publication of these _data_
must await the appearance of the nautical portion of the present work, we
shall give here the most important of these results. The extreme length of
the island from N.W. to S.E., is three nautical miles; the superficial
area is 1,600,000 Vienna square klafter--1 Vienna klafter = 1 fathom = 6
English feet--100 English square feet = 92-986/1000 Vienna square feet.
The highest point of the crater-basin is 846 feet; the greatest diameter
of the upper rim of the crater is 5490 feet; the least 4590 feet; the
greatest diameter of the basin at the level of the sea is 3984 feet, and
the least 3444 Vienna feet.

The observations on the state of the weather, taken with much difficulty,
are not intended to include the regular observations on the exterior of
the island, and in like manner some of those taken in the harbour, or
basin of the crater, must be accepted with a certain limitation. For
similar reasons, we were unable to fix the rate of the current setting
from the sea into the basin, although we secured most extraordinary
results considering the circumstances. The amount of specimens of natural
history which was procured, was very limited, but on that account was the
more valuable. To the geologist, it must be of the very highest interest
to find that St. Paul has been classified, with scientific precision, and
by dint of personal examination and research, in one of the four main
divisions in which, according to the scheme of Alexander Von Humboldt, the
volcanic formations of the earth may be divided. Measured by the latest
distribution of the volcanic strata by the description of stone found, as
laid down by the greatest of German naturalists, St. Paul belongs to the
same class as Chimborazo, Popocatepetl, Teneriffe, &c., in a word, to
what is known as the Chimborazo formation. A section of the east-side,
taken in profile, lays bare its entire geological history, and forms one
of the most instructive means of coming to direct conclusions as to its
geological structure.

The birth of this island from the bosom of the deep, combined with
eruptions of lava and scoriæ, was the last effort of the subterranean
forces. Since that period it has been subject wholly and solely to the
various terrestrial influences, although the lapse of centuries has not
been able to extirpate the last traces of the volcanic fire which once
poured forth its currents of molten lava. A large proportion of the level
ground is hot, and at the lower edge of the rim of the crater appear
several hot springs, the temperature of which, as already remarked, is so
high that fish, eggs, potatoes, &c., can be cooked on them in a few
minutes. The highest point of St. Paul rises 870 feet above the basin of
the crater. Its walls rise abruptly at an angle of about 85°, while the
upper surface of the island (with the single exception of a small plateau
of about 400 feet on the north side) stretches, at first level from the
periphery of the upper margin of the crater, gradually falling away
towards the sea-coast, at an angle of about 13°. On its North-west coast,
where it is from 100 to 200 feet in perpendicular height, the island
presents several small pyramids of pumice, like parasitic warts on the
principal mass.

Like the geologist, the botanist also found in this wild spot an unusual
opportunity of acquiring accurate information as to the occurrence and
propagation of certain kinds of plants in a primitive soil. Six grasses
and one reed (_cyperaceæ_) form the vegetation of the island, one rush and
three or four of the grasses forming the majority. The botanist having
ascended to the plateau found there two grasses, both of which grew to a
certain height only, and at certain places; the one (in the immediate
vicinity of the settler's huts,) the oat, or _avena_; the second a
_digitaria_, in the neighbourhood of the terraced fields, directly
opposite the entrance to the crater, in warm positions, which, so soon as
the earth is a little disturbed, emit jets of steam. It is still uncertain
whether the other kinds of grass, _Poa_ and _Setaria Holcus_, belong
exclusively to St. Paul, or are to be included in the more general group
of geographical plants known as that of the islands of Edward's Island,
Kerguelen's Island, and St. Paul.

Among the grasses there spring up here and there, but on the whole very
sparsely, some wild vegetables which have been planted by previous chance
visitors.[69] In the crater there are also _Sonchus arvensis_ and one
_Plantago_ (Plantain). On the south margin of the crater are _Cerastium_
(maize-ear chickweed), and _Stellaria media_ (chickweed); both grow on a
small piece of ground, and are far from thriving. Of _Cryptogamia_ the
botanist found four sorts. Two _Parmelias_, one _Evernia_, and one
_Cladonia_, the first-named overrunning the blocks on the edge of the
crater with great luxuriance.

[Footnote 69: Such as _Rumex acetosella_, _Cynara Scolcymus_ (artichoke);
_Solanum tuberosum_ (species of nightshade); _Daucus carotta_ (carrot);
_Petroselinum sativum_ (parsley); _Brassica oleracea_ (sea-kail);
_Raphanus sativus_ (horse-radish).]

Of _Algæ_ there were found 33 species. The stones rolled backwards and
forwards by the action of the waves, as also those surfaces which remained
covered at lowest tide, were entirely covered with _Dicurella flabellata_.
Most numerous was _Gigartina radula_, just in a state of fructification.
Every movement of the water calls up slender, delicate _confervæ_, and
pale and coloured _luminariæ_. The breakers have crowned the stones with
festoons of the _Macrocystis pyrifera_. Of Liverworts there were found
_Marchantia_ and _Jungermania_; of foliaceous mosses, _Sphagnum_
(bog-moss), and two kinds of _Bruym_. Two ferns, just beginning to bear
fruit, were found on the plateau, and one _Lycopodium_ (club-moss), which
thrives pretty well, and frequently grows on the _Sphagnum_. On the whole,
the botanist of the expedition found on the island, 11 _Phanerogamia_, 4
_Lichens_, 33 _Algæ_, 2 ferns, 2 Liverworts, 3 foliaceous mosses, 1
_Lycopodium_. In this enumeration are included the European vegetables
cultivated by the residents, as also some untended plants, which
apparently have been introduced with the vegetables, or have been brought
hither by previous visitors. The stony substratum of this island is barely
covered with a plastic vegetable substance, which fills the cracks. The
walls of the crater, as also the entire plateau, present to view a plain,
unrelieved expanse of grass; not, however, like fields clothed with sward,
but single tufts pressing one upon the other, which seem like the
grave-mounds of a hundred bygone generations of plants. Frequently, at the
foot of a block of pumice, all overrun with grasses of all sorts, one
comes upon a moss or a stem of fern on one of the pieces of lava that has
been washed up, or perceives with amazement in some out-of-the-way place,
and utterly neglected, good old acquaintances from Europe, such as
carrots, parsley, potatoes, &c., which apparently have been begun to be
cultivated on some of the terraces, whence they have propagated themselves
in a wild state all over the island. But not a tree, or bush, is to be met
with throughout the island.

In like manner, although the zoologist seemed to have but a poor prospect
at St. Paul, it presented materials for most satisfactory speculation to
the attentive naturalist. Only one of the grasses is infested by an
insect, which appears in great numbers, a very tiny _cicada_ (cricket),
the _Delphis hemiptera_, of which, according to the zoologist of the
expedition, it is hard to say whether it became indigenous to St. Paul
before, or contemporaneous with the arrival of man. Among other insects
that have certainly been introduced here, the zoologist found the common
bluebottle-fly, a gnat, the universally found cockroach, the book-tick
(_acarus eruditus_), one kind of earwig, and the flea; besides the
_Isopodis_, our common barrel-worm,[70] in almost fabulous quantities.
These animals invariably follow man wherever he plants his foot, living
upon garbage or decaying organic matter. With the exception of the
clothes-moth, which has probably been introduced among the wool-stuffs,
there are in the island no butterflies, none of the been tribe, no
_Neuroptera_. Mites also need scarcely be reckoned, since the only
representative, the common cheese-mite, is more apt to become extinct than
to thrive; on the other hand, there are two kinds of spiders, for which
the enormous number of flies furnish sufficient food.

[Footnote 70: These loathsome animals cover the island in such quantities
that one of the naturalists reckoned them at 6,000,000,000, counting 100
as the minimum to each square foot of the island.]

The species belonging to the sea are somewhat more plentifully
represented, although, with few exceptions, very small and insignificant.
The largest shell fish, a _Tritonium_, only attains a length of 3 inches;
_Patella_, which is very plentiful all round the island, is only 1 inch
long; several sorts of snails (such as _Buccinum_, _Defrancia_,
_Mangelia_, _Paludinella_, _Adeorbis_, _Janthina_, _Fissurella_,
_Scutellina_, _Lepidopleurus_, _Bulla_, _Asteronotus_, _Doto_), are barely
a few lines in length, or even less.

The _Brachiopoda_ are represented by a very inferior member, the
_Terebratulina_, only two lines long, which, however, is a giant compared
with one of the two only kinds of mussel, _Kellia_ and _Lima_, which are
occasionally met with here, and are only half-a-line in length.

Among the _Vertebratæ_, the fishery of which is the principal object of
the visits annually paid to the island, one, the _Cheilodactylus_, a
spinous-finned fish, which is extraordinarily abundant all round the
island, supports an important fishery, while _Thyrsites Atun_ were
frequently caught with rod and line from the frigate.

Of _Amphibiæ_, there is not a vestige to be found on the island; the birds
belong for the most part to the powerful-winged web-footed birds that
frequent the open ocean, as, for example, the _Diomedea exulans_ (great
albatross or man-of-war bird), _D. chlororhynchus_ (yellow-billed
albatross), _D. fuliginosa_ (a new one not determined), _Lestris
catarractes_, _Storna sp: Prion Vittatus_, of which the four last-named,
at the time of our visit, had both eggs and young. Of birds with
fin-shaped wings, there was the golden-crested penguin (_Apterodytes
chrysocoma S._), living in two distinct colonies among the precipitous
overhanging cliffs, with innumerable young, already of a pretty good
size.[71] We also remarked several other winged denizens of the deep, which
had alighted on our ship during the last few days immediately preceding
our arrival at St. Paul. According to the fishery-people, the other birds
of the island quit it altogether so soon as their young have grown
sufficiently, and only return when the next breeding season comes round.

[Footnote 71: One of the zoologists, Mr. Zelebor, endeavoured to kill two
penguins that had been caught alive in the island, the one with arsenic,
the other with chloroform. Of the latter, a quantity was administered
enough to have killed a man, but which scarcely affected the penguin, who,
in a quarter of an hour after, seemed quite restored to himself. The
second, which had swallowed two tea-spoonsful of arsenic, died eight hours

In contradistinction to the sea-birds, M. Frauenfeld remarked but one
single land-bird, a swallow, whose movements seemed to indicate that he
was watching a breeding female. A stray bird on this lonely spot of earth,
nearly 3000 miles away from the main land! Hundreds of questions
suggested themselves on thus unexpectedly coming upon so well-known a
wanderer. What could have condemned him to this self-imposed exile? Was he
a straggler? Was it the first time he had selected this island for a home?
Had it been his own cradle? And would he at some future period find
companions to visit with him, and ultimately share these solitary desolate

There were no seals visible,--they have retreated before the attacks and
stratagems of their insatiate pursuer the seal-hunter, and for a long
period have ceased to frequent the island. Indeed, St. Paul furnishes not
a single specimen of mammal peculiar to itself; for all the members of
this great natural division at present on it,--such as goats, swine, cats,
&c.,--having become wild, must necessarily be classed, however unusual,
with rats, mice, and the like. In other respects, all these have not
varied in the slightest from the type of the domesticated animal (although
they have probably lived wild for a hundred years past), except that they
are very shy and avoid the presence of man.

While upon these various points, the stay of the Imperial Expedition at
St. Paul gave many splendid results by means of observations and
scientific collections, it was also productive of a number of important
practical benefits for seafaring people. The geodesical results, for
instance, obtained by the Expedition, demonstrate that there is formed by
the basin of the crater at St. Paul's, despite the small extent of its
coast-line, a secure natural haven which would afford substantial
facilities for ships, to which, on their voyage to China, Australia, or
anywhere in the East Indies, any accident has happened, necessitating
complete and speedy repair, or which might require fresh provisions for
their crews, stricken with scurvy after a long voyage. For, although the
depth of the basin of the crater in the centre is very considerable, and
although the squalls of wind from the N.W. are often very violent, the
ship can always make fast to the land, and so ensure the requisite
security. How far the assistance so cheerfully rendered by science may
have been called for, or how far the route at present traversed by sailing
vessels makes that assistance desirable, must be left to the judgment of
those nations, such as the English, French, and Dutch, which, as having
possessions washed by the Indian Ocean, have a direct interest in the
future condition of such a harbour of refuge, situate equidistant from
Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The morning after our departure from St. Paul, that is to say, on 7th
Dec., we found ourselves not more than ten miles distant from Amsterdam.
The first view of the island greatly resembles that of St. Paul, and the
hypothesis gained constantly in probability that the geological formation
of Amsterdam is nearly identical with that of St. Paul.

A whaler was cruising in the neighbourhood of the island, while one of his
slim whaleboats was pursuing a school of sperm whales, which sported about
in great numbers.

Towards 7 A.M., a boat approached from the whaler _Esmeralda_, Captain
Pierce, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, to ask for surgical assistance for
a sailor who, while engaged a few days previously in hauling a captured
fish alongside, had had his left hand so severely injured by one of the
lines, that amputation had seemed the sole remedy. The Captain had, in
genuine Yankee fashion, assumed the duties of surgeon, and performed the
operation himself. Now that it was over, and when neither praise nor
censure could benefit the patient, he was anxious to know whether he had
done right or wrong. While one of the ship's surgeons was getting ready,
as requested by the captain, to proceed to the bedside of his patient, the
whaler informed us he had already been absent from his family in the
States five months, and would proceed hence to the Sandwich Islands and
the Northern grounds, and finally return home round Cape Horn. If the take
of fish proved good, he hoped to complete the voyage within two years.
Whale-fishing, in truth, is not only a very dangerous and laborious, but
also a most precarious pursuit. Occasionally a ship gets loaded within a
brief space with oil and whalebone, by which, of course, the owner or
charterer makes a splendid profit, and the entire crew obtain a handsome
share. But frequently does it happen that, after a voyage of fifteen
months and more, there is not a single fish taken, in which case the hardy
sailors, who are entirely dependent for their pay upon a share of the
spoil, have had all their labour and undergone all their privations in
vain, while the freighter is poorer by a good round sum. The bare chance,
however, of a rich haul is sufficient to raise to 8000, the number
(probably on the increase) of the ships of varying tonnage and
nationality, which at present encounter the anxieties, dangers, and
hardships attaching to the whale-fishery. It is calculated that, were it
possible to anchor them within signalling distance of each other, they
would form a complete girdle round the earth at the Equator. In other
respects, the incessant activity of the whaler is not without its
advantages for science, since the observations and communications of many
of the captains connected with the whaling business have essentially
contributed to extend our acquaintance with atmospheric phenomena,
especially in high latitudes, on both sides of the Equator.

The loquacious captain, an uncommon quality in a Yankee, could not conceal
his astonishment at encountering an Austrian man-of-war in such a latitude
in mid-ocean, and adverted to this unexpected phenomenon. Captain Pierce
further complained bitterly of the weather, and said that, as long as he
had sailed the Indian Ocean, he had never at this season experienced such
tempestuous weather as during the last week; which was further confirmed
by several other whalers, regular visitors to these waters. Respecting
Amsterdam, Captain Pierce, unfortunately, could give us but very little
information. He had never set foot on the island, nor did he know whether
it was accessible at all. But he spoke highly of the availability of the
coasts for valuable fish. Nowhere in the Indian Ocean, the Captain
remarked, was there such an abundance of fish of all descriptions as at
the Southernmost point of this little-known island. Consequently most
whalers, on their course Southwards, approach this island, and send out
boats to bring in supplies of fish suitable for the table. Usually the
boat is filled in a few hours with delicious food caught with the rod and
line, when the fish are forthwith salted, in sufficient quantities to
supply the crew for several weeks.

Is Amsterdam really a sister-island of St. Paul? Is it, too, of volcanic
origin, upheaved by the same subterranean energy, and does it still show
similar traces of long-continued activity? These questions pressed on us
for solution all the more vividly as we neared this inaccessible island,
when we recalled to mind the mysterious phenomena which D'Entrecasteaux
had observed here in March, 1792, and which have remained unexplained to
this day.[72] The French Expedition saw, it is true, clouds of smoke
emerging alternately from a subterranean opening close to the shore, but
without being able to satisfy themselves whether the vegetation had been
set on fire by the hand of man or by volcanic action, the wind which blew
direct from the island making it impossible to land, unless one was
prepared to run the risk of being suffocated by the rolling masses of
smoke. There was, therefore, to be solved, at Amsterdam, the mystery as to
whether the pillars of smoke, which were observed by the naturalists of
the French Expedition of 1792, issuing from the soil adjoining the sea,
were produced by an actual eruption, or were caused by subterranean fires
in activity.[73]

[Footnote 72: La Billardière, Rélation du voyage à la recherche de la
Peyrouse, fait par ordre de l'Assemblée Constituante pendant les années
1791-94, Paris, 1800. (Vol. I., pp. 112, 113.)]

[Footnote 73: Vide Alexander v. Humboldt's "Kosmos," Vol. IV., pp. 412 and
585; also Physical and Geognostic Remarks, by the same author, prefixed to
this volume.]

About 11 A.M., the two jolly-boats of the _Novara_ were lowered to look
for a landing-place on Amsterdam, while the frigate stood off and on,
under easy sail, at an offing of five or six miles. Our whaling informant
had told us the most abundant fishing-station was at the south point of
the island, while the best place for disembarking was on the N.W. shore.
As, however, upon consideration, it was deemed advisable, looking to the
probability of a N.E. gale springing up, to get to windward of the ship,
so as to be able to fetch her more speedily on our return, the S.E. side
was selected, and our course laid for it accordingly. Along the
acclivities of the coast pyramids of loose stones were visible, resembling
those on St. Paul, but more numerous and of larger dimensions, the entire
island seeming altogether on a much larger scale, and more lofty. On the
West side we observed rocky precipices of from 1000 to 2000 feet in
height, fissured with deep clefts and rents, whereas on the South and
S.E., these presented a more gradual slope.

For above an hour we steered along the shore, which rose sheer out of the
water, without being able to detect a single point at which it was at all
practicable to disembark, so as to scramble up to the high ground. The
entire Eastern side is hemmed around with steep abrupt precipices of 150
to 200 feet high, not unlike skilfully-erected bastions, and clothed with
long thick grass.

As we drew near, we could plainly discern in the water-courses that
descend upon the upper slope--radiating, as it were, from all sides of the
highest peak, which was enveloped in clouds--numerous streams of water,
each pouring through a rift like a thread of silver, after which,
precipitating itself over the steep precipices on the shore, it washed
like a small torrent over terraces and banks of lava, till it was lost in
the sea. If these streams are swollen by the heavy rain in winter, they
may form waterfalls, as mentioned by early navigators, which must impart a
far less pleasing character to the landscape. Two small patches of
dazzling white, like fresh fallen snow, which were visible high above the
slope, we could not make out with the utmost power of our glasses. The
green colour which enveloped the entire island seemed to indicate the
existence of grass vegetation resembling that of St. Paul.

At last, when we had got within two cables' length of the shore, we
encountered enormous green flakes of floating sea-weed, which, becoming
entangled with the rudder, made further progress possible only by dint of
most strenuous exertions. This proved to be the same gigantic sea-tangle
of the Southern hemispheres (_Macrocystis Pyrifera_), which likewise
constitutes a barrier of _fucus_ on the East side of St. Paul. The
sea-calves mentioned by older describers were nowhere to be seen; but on
the other hand we had an opportunity of satisfying ourselves as to the
immense abundance of fish which frequent the coast of the island in a
truly astonishing degree, although the American whaler had prepared us by
his remarks. From bow and stern of the boat hooks and lines were hung out,
and several of the crew were at once kept busy hauling in the lines, at
the end of each of which there usually struggled a fish of some two or
three feet long. These were chiefly umber fish, which are also very
plentiful about St. Paul, where, from their delicacy, they formed a
favourite dish at our otherwise very frugal repasts.

We had now got so near, that we could distinctly perceive grass and the
stems of ferns growing among the clefts of the rocks. However, although
there was a dead calm, and the sea outside was as smooth as glass, the
long ground-swell of the ocean, with its broad flat billows, caused such a
heavy surf on the rock-bound stony beach, that the attempt to pass it was
not to be thought of. The further we advanced along the coast in a
northernly direction, the more distant we got from the ship, and unluckily
in an equal degree our hopes were disappointed of finding a spot at which
we could land, and scramble from the strand up the steep bank to the level
ground above. The south-easternmost point, which at a distance presented
the appearance of a low headland jutting out into the sea, behind which we
had hoped to find a good landing-place, now that we had got close to it,
proved to be a small detached rock; while the shore, as far as the eye
could reach, rose like a wall to a height of from 150 to 200 feet. There
now hove in sight five whalers, who seemed hunting that most valuable of
all the inhabitants of the deep, of the spots frequented by which Maury's
renowned Whale Charts have lately supplied so interesting and useful a
code of instruction. These charts, which are based on a vast number of
observations, of the tracts of ocean and seasons of the year at which
whales are most frequently seen, will at the same time greatly tend to a
solution of the question as to the migration of these enormous mammals;
for it has never yet been settled, whether these animals flee from the
pursuit of man to remote seas, thus continually constraining their
pursuers to seek their prey in new waters, or whether, (as is the most
prevalent opinion), they are always entirely extirpated from one locality,
and accordingly are only to be met with in any numbers in some different
area, in which man has as yet only rarely, if ever, disturbed them.[74]

[Footnote 74: Some very valuable and detailed particulars of the Whale
fishery are to be found in Maury's incomparable work, "The Physical
Geography of the Ocean," and in Dr. Hartwigs' "Popular Treatise on
Animated Nature in the Ocean. (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1855.)"]

After an hour-and-a-half of continuous rowing, and when, in our very
unsuitable boat, we had got about 7 nautical miles distant from the
frigate, we at last found a smooth spot between two reefs, which projected
above the level of the sea like a breakwater, and at once let go the
boat's anchor. A regular landing-place, however, was not to be hoped for
at this point. It was necessary first to make a spring to a block of rock,
and thence, picking one's way among stones rendered slippery by being
covered at flood-tide, endeavour to reach the beach. This we all
succeeded in accomplishing over the rough rocks, without any mischance,
and at last we stood on the firm soil of the Island of Amsterdam, at a
spot which assuredly had never before been trodden by human feet, unless
by some castaway. For only in consequence of the sea being perfectly calm,
which at this season was quite unusual, were we able to reach the shore at
this point.

What a scene of wildest desolation, and inaccessible solitude now met our
gaze! Around us nothing but huge blocks of basalt, some rolled about by
the breakers, and so slippery with half-dry _algæ_, that one was in danger
of falling at every stride; others with their angles and indentations as
sharp, as when first violently torn from their original bed; and behind
these gigantic blocks, a perpendicular wall of rock rising 200 feet sheer,
composed of a schistus of basaltic lava lying regularly and horizontally
one over the other, intermixed with red or brown slag, and yellow tufa.
Immense holes and cavities in the rocky wall, as also the empty spaces
between the broken blocks that had fallen down, and the vast air-holes
scooped out in the lava beds, furnished an undisturbed nestling-place for
flocks of a beautiful sea-swallow, with glossy black head, silver-grey
body, and bill and feet of carmine red--the most elegant and attractive
contrast of colours that can well be imagined upon any bird. These pretty
creatures afforded great amusement to the sportsmen of our little party,
while the geologist acquired a better idea and more information as to the
mineralogy and geognosis of the island beneath the steep wall of rock,
than he could have obtained above, where all seemed to be covered with
thick green grass. But the botanist and zoologist found but little to
repay their search on the beach. The same _Algæ_, the same grasses, the
same _patellæ_ (limpets), as at St. Paul, even to the same caterpillars
swarming upon every tuft of grass in numberless quantities. At several
points, fresh, perfectly good, sweet spring-water trickled down from the
heights, and we could thus confirm the relations of former explorers, that
the island contains fresh water; but whether it can be got at, still
remains a very uncertain question. As we were convinced, after several
examinations and much exertion, that to ascend the precipice from this
spot was impossible, it was resolved, after the men had rested, and a few
observations had been made with the sextant, to re-embark and endeavour to
find a more suitable spot for disembarking.

We quitted this first spot about 2 P.M., and continued to steer along the
coast in a N.E. direction. The character of the scenery remained almost
unaltered. The steep shore wall indeed dipped somewhat occasionally, but
it was never less than 100 feet above the level of the sea. At various
points there appeared, as at St. Paul, between the tufa strata, black
veins of basalt, and fragments of scoriæ, lying upon reddish-brown slag.
Our curiosity, however, was especially excited by the appearance of small
trees and low bushes. At first, while we were yet at some distance, we
could barely distinguish a few dark, clear, green spots amid the universal
dull olive appearance of the vegetation that covered the island; now that
we were keeping closer in, we plainly saw small trees, which seemed most
to resemble forests of pine, as also what appeared to be thick close
brushwood of a light green colour, with which large patches of the middle
and lower slopes of the island were covered. In vain did we watch for some
spot in this singular island at which we might land and climb; at length,
after steering several miles further along the coast, and passing several
promontories advancing from the island, and numerous isolated rocks, we
came, towards 3.30 P.M., upon a number of lava-blocks that had fallen from
above, and, forming a sort of dam or bulwark between the sea and the
shore, seemed to render disembarkation possible. The boat's anchor was
again dropped, and we proceeded to make for the shore by dint of jumping,
as before, from rock to rock; a method of reaching land more agreeable and
better suited to penguins than decorous philosophers!

Among the rocks on the strand lie fragments of shipwrecked vessels--pieces
of masts and yards--dumb witnesses of human disaster, and suffering, and
death! At this point the shore was not very steep. The masses of rock
piled here on each other in wild confusion, made our ascent more
practicable than at our former landing-place, though perhaps they
necessitated greater circumspection. Dr. Hochstetter and M. Zelebor, as
also Lieutenant Kronowetter, and a sailor, started for the height. A
ridge, grown over with grass and rushes, and forming a line of
communication between the upper and lower portions of the island, seemed
the most accessible point. at which to mount to the high ground above. At
first the path led over the colossal rampart of broken rocks and through
the surf, after which came clumps of rushes and clods, in which the former
grew, and thence upwards over masses of slag. It was a regular Sisyphean
task. On the loose rolling _débris_ beneath the feet, for every five feet
forwards, one slipped four backward, so that to climb this height of
little over 100 feet, took nearly a whole hour. At last the adventurous
scramblers stood on the top of the island, on a small bare cone of scoriæ,
whence they were able to overlook a portion of the ground. Dense rush-like
grass, as high as a man, thickly covered the entire surface--
half-withered, half of a lively green; here broken short off by wind and
rain, there still standing erect. Further progress was not to be thought
of, not even as far as the green clump of bushes which had already been
observed from the boat, although it was scarcely a hundred paces distant,
on the surface of the declivity, and although a closer examination
promised to afford many interesting details as to the vegetation on the
island. It would have been necessary to make one's way either through
heaps of withered rushes, requiring to be broken down at every moment, or
across thick, matted, fresh, slippery grass, in order to get anywhere near
the copse that resembled the pinewood. Moreover, owing to the short
allowance of daylight that remained, both were for the present
inaccessible.[75] Evening was coming on, and it was necessary to think of
our return, as we were at a distance of at least eight miles from the
frigate. With the help of pocket-handkerchiefs, which they had tied to the
reeds, the explorers readily found again the place at which they had
ascended, and now speedily returned to the improvised landing-place,
where, meanwhile, the naturalists that had remained behind had occupied
themselves with collecting specimens on the beach, and amid the
surrounding rocks. A singular spectacle now presented itself to the
astonished view. A couple of lucifer matches that had been thrown aside
without further thought, had burst into flames amid the parched rush beds,
and dense volumes of black smoke forthwith rose upon the surface of the
island. The fire speedily spreading among the thick dry grass, soon
assumed a formidable breadth, and ere long a considerable portion of the
east coast of the island was in a light flame. There was now presented to
the members of the _Novara_ expedition, the same spectacle as that
witnessed by the naturalists of the _Recherche_, when D'Entrecasteaux
passed here some sixty years before. It may safely be assumed that the
fire, and the thick wreaths of smoke then visible were like those of
to-day, the result of man's hands, and not of subterranean forces--in
fact, kindled in all probability by fishermen, who were clearing this
uninhabitable island of the close impervious brushwood that so greatly
impedes locomotion, and were rendering it capable of being traversed, as
well as susceptible of cultivation. During the night of 7th and 8th
December, 1857, the sky was clear and cloudless, and the flames crackled
and leaped high above the beach, in an elliptical area, which must have
measured a couple of miles in its major axis. A dense, copper-coloured,
luminous cloud of smoke rose straight into the air, where it spread out
horizontally, till at last a long trail of smoke stretched in a S.E.
direction to the farthest horizon, entirely covering the upper part of
the island. About 2 A.M., according to the report of the officer of the
watch, the spectacle was still more grand and imposing. The conflagration
at that time extended over an immense surface, so that the imagination
might naturally enough be disposed to regard this as the bursting forth of
the pent-up flames of a volcano, with the usual accompaniments of red-hot
streams of lava, clouds of floating ashes, and pillars of flame mounting
to heaven.

[Footnote 75: One of the shipwrecked crew of the _Meridian_, in an article
in the _Nautical Magazine_, for 1854, p. 75, describes at some length the
difficulties of access to this island. We quote it here as a supplement to
our own experiences:--"After we had clambered up to the top by means of
ropes, and after much exertion and considerable danger, we found the
island for a space of two or three miles thickly covered with reeds, from
5 to 8 feet high; behind rose a lofty hill, also clothed with reeds.
Fortunately, during our stay on the island, there was a sufficiency of
fresh water, although in summer, in all probability, there is a great
scarcity. So long as we remained, constant rain fell upon the summit of
the mountain, and kept the numerous little brooks full of water. In order
to signal our situation to any ship that might be passing, we set the
reeds on fire; but the flames spread more furiously than we had
anticipated, so that our lives were endangered. A considerable quantity of
young birds were picked up, which had fallen victims to the flames. On the
29th August, to our great joy, a ship, the _Monmouth_, hove in sight, and
observed our signal; but the surf was at this time so violent that no boat
could reach us. At last, on 31st August, a boat came near enough to the
shore to make us a signal to proceed eastward over the rocks. We set off
at once, but found the path very rugged, and owing to the immense masses
of rock lying around, excessively difficult. Besides reeds and brushwood,
there were no other plants but parsley and endive (_cichorium intybus_).
During the first half of the following day we found no water, but we found
the hail very grateful, which day and night fell incessantly, alternating
with rain. At the first watering-place we came upon an English sailor,
whom the captain of the _Monmouth_ had despatched to assist us. He
informed us we must make for the north side of the island, as no boat
could reach the shore at the spot where we had gone ashore. The
south-coast is the worst part of the island; there the surf breaks
continually against the iron-bound coast; there is nothing resembling a
beach--only here and there enormous blocks of a hard species of stone,
that have fallen from time to time from the cliffs above. On 2nd
September, we had neither provisions nor water. The following day,
however, we found water, and a few cabbage-stalks, which several years
before had been sown by some whalers, and fortunately had thrived. On 5th
September, we reached what is called the Cabbage Garden, and the same
evening arrived at the place where the boat was awaiting us."]

Fortunately, this gigantic conflagration must have done far more good than
harm to this desolate island, covered as it was for the most part with
reeds, since, without destroying any of the vegetation that could be of
service to man, it will greatly facilitate examination by future voyagers,
and adapt it for settlement by fishers and others, who at present seem to
leave it utterly abandoned.

Towards 6 P.M., as it was already getting dark, our two boats set out on
their return to the frigate, from which in the course of the day they had
been distant about fifteen miles. However a fresh Northerly breeze having
sprung up we were able to make sail, and at 7.30 P.M. once more reached
the frigate, when we were received with a storm of questions, principally
turning upon the mysterious far-visible conflagration,--which had been
kindled by a couple of humble Vienna lucifers! During our visit to the
island a variety of observations were also made on board the frigate, to
obtain the position of Amsterdam, as also to determine the elevation of
the most prominent peaks of the island, and the outline of the shore. The
results of these gave the following: latitude 37° 58' 30'' S.; longitude,
77° 34,' 44'' E. of Greenwich; elevation of the highest summit (nearly
corresponding with previous observations), 2891 English feet; of the
second highest, 2651 feet; the length of the South coast, as measured from
the frigate, 32,359 feet; of the Western shore, 5507 feet.

There was still some faint hope that we might visit the island next day.
However, during the night the wind sprung up, the weather became variable,
and we saw ourselves compelled to renounce our cherished desire to
investigate the island thoroughly, the rather that, owing to the
unpropitious weather during the last few weeks, the stay of the _Novara_
in these latitudes had been prolonged so considerably beyond the period
fixed, that no more time could be spared, if it were desirous to avoid
sacrificing the objects of the Expedition with reference to other and more
important departments of scientific enquiry, by engaging in them at a
season in all probability highly unfavourable for the purpose.

Consequently our observations in Amsterdam remained most imperfect;
although the geologist of the expedition was enabled to clear up the
uncertainty hitherto prevailing as to the geological structure of the
island, and to determine upon scientific data, that Amsterdam is an
extinct volcanic cone, of precisely the same character, and belonging to
the same order of volcanic formation as the sister island of St. Paul;
that it probably contains on itself all the usual indications of its
volcanic origin, and that its upheaval probably took place at the same
period. On the other hand, the naturalist regretted to see slip the
opportunity so rarely vouchsafed, of instituting a comparison between the
respective vegetations of these islands, and of making evident how,
simultaneously with the advance of a more luxuriant, and more multiform
vegetable organization, there also appears an entirely new race of
animals, and how closely allied in the economy of nature is the existence
of individual specimens with certain fixed pre-existent types. In any case
St. Paul, which we enjoyed an opportunity of examining in the utmost
detail, is, of the two islands, the most important to the commerce of the
world, not merely as a finger-post on the most frequented deep-sea route
in the Indian Ocean, but also as a haven of refuge for ships and crews.
Already the crater-basin of St. Paul has served in case of need as a
desirable asylum for ships that are half unseaworthy. Not many years since
an English man-of-war steamer came to St. Paul, after a severe storm in
the Indian Ocean, during which her engine broke down, and her rudder was
knocked away, after which she, for twelve days, was steered by a temporary
rudder. The vessel, after discharging the heaviest part of her equipment,
was easily brought into the interior of the crater-basin, and was there
hove down for several months on the Northern barrier, undergoing repairs.

On the 8th December, about 4 A.M., only a dark cloud of smoke in the
distant cloudless horizon indicated the position of Amsterdam. The island
itself, properly speaking, was actually out of sight, for a fresh N.W.
breeze had driven us merrily along during the night. The last hope was now
dissipated of being able to obtain a view of the North side of Amsterdam.
We were now rapidly approaching the region of the S.E. Trades. The breeze
freshened and crept gradually to the West, thence to the South, and
finally to the Eastward. This veering of the wind proved to be a
fore-runner of the Trades, which we got into on 14th December, in S.
latitude 28° 1', E. longitude 85°.

On that day a merchantman hove in sight, which, with favouring breezes and
all sail set, soon bore down on us. She came down without any flag, and
stood right across our bows at so short a distance that we could plainly
read her name--the _Bunker's Hill_, of Boston--on her stern. Thereupon we
ran up our flag; and, as it is as gross a breach of the code of maritime
politeness for a ship to pass across the bows of another in the open ocean
without saluting, as for a man on land to brush quickly across another's
path without apologizing, a blank shot was fired at this unmannerly
American. To this manifestation etiquette lays it down that, as the
hoisting of her flag by a man-of-war is a direct challenge for any
merchantman that may be in sight to hoist its flag, any neglect of these
universally recognized rules must involuntarily give rise to suspicions.
After we had fired the blank shot, the American, by a telegraph of
flag-signals, enquired the latitude and longitude, which in merchant ships
in the open sea is pretty frequently resorted to, in order to know where
precisely they are, as they are not able to make such frequent
observations as ships of war. Before anything else, however, it was
necessary to settle the question of saluting; and this the obstinate
Yankee, in spite of the warning signal, seemed resolved not to notice,
although he well knew the seriousness of his position, as was abundantly
evident in the celerity with which several ladies and gentlemen, whom we
could discern on deck, flew to seek shelter below! A second report,
accompanied by a ball over his stern, at last brought this pertinacious
captain to his senses, and the whistling of the shot had the desired
effect. The "Stars and Stripes" were run up, upon which we signalled the
required latitude and longitude. Probably it was but a petulant explosion
of a silly national vanity, as also the consciousness of commanding a
handsome crack "clipper," that could speedily run out of gun-shot, which
led to this premeditated and persistent violation of one of the most
ordinary rules of politeness. Indeed, even the vessels of the North
American navy itself are frequently compelled in the open sea to treat
their fellow-countrymen in a similar manner; and the captain of the
war-steamer _Minnesota_, looking after the North American interests in
China, was obliged, as we learned afterwards at Shanghai, to enforce a
compliance with established sea usages on one of his seafaring
compatriots, by dint of cannon-shot, in accordance with the undoubted
practice of all maritime nations.

The south-east Trade, which we had hoped would drive us on our destined
course, was not so strong or so steady as we had expected, chiefly
perhaps in consequence of the influence exercised by the Australian
continent, the temperature of which during this, the summer season of the
Southern Hemisphere, is raised to an extraordinary degree by its sandy
surface, that when the air has become thus warmed, it ascends and becomes
more rarefied in its lower strata, in consequence of which its elasticity
becomes so great as to drive back the surrounding colder atmosphere, and
only admit it to contact with the heated air at its most remote limits.
This occurs the more readily, that the heated air, after it has risen to
the more rarefied tracts, expands on all sides, and at a certain distance
from the lower level, begins to add to the pressure of the atmosphere. In
this self-acting zone of increased atmospheric pressure, the winds,
however, are naturally more faint, and, to observers who happen to be on
the exterior of this zone, always appear to take their rise from the
further side. For this reason, probably, we fell in with easterly breezes,
so long as we had the Northern portion of Australia to the eastward of us.

At any rate, the equilibrium of the air seemed to be disturbed, as we
could plainly perceive from the weather and the confused sea. At last on
18th December, the heavens seemed somewhat more propitious, though the
wind still continued easterly; indeed occasionally blew from the north,
and frequent squalls of rain poured pitilessly down upon us. The more,
however, we increased our distance from the Australian continent, that is,
from all land to the eastward, the more steadily blew the south east
Trade. And so we kept standing steadily forwards, till at last, on the
24th December, in 6° 4' S. Lat., and 82° 34' E. Long., we reached the
eastern boundaries of the Trades and got into that of calms.

The heat, which thus far had spared us, began now to be most oppressive,
and was felt all the more owing to the air being extraordinarily damp and
dense. Frequently in the afternoon a passing shower of rain, which would
sometimes completely flood the deck, would cool the air for a few fleeting
moments. Occasionally indeed we had westerly and more rarely
north-westerly breezes, but these were never of long duration, and were
incessantly broken by rains and squalls.

And at this same season, at which in our distant Fatherland, palace and
hut are decked out with unwonted attention, when golden fruits and elegant
presents glitter from the green fir-branches of the Christmas Tree, all
lit up with the neat little wax-tapers, when man's heart seems to overflow
with cheerfulness and love of his fellow-creatures,--at this season we
were languishing far from our dear ones, tormented with the intense heat,
scarcely able to realize to ourselves, that at home it must now be snow
and frost, while keen Boreas is whirling the snowflakes aloft, and howling
a grim accompaniment the while! However, we promised ourselves the
satisfaction of enjoying these pleasures at our own firesides, whereupon
our recollections of home and dear friends imparted to our minds a
wholesome stimulus, arising from the soul-inspiring conviction, that we
too were present in their minds and hearts at this hallowed season. Nay,
several of the officers of the _Novara_ Expedition were surprised when
far at sea, in the very midst of the Indian Ocean, with Christmas gifts,
which thoughtful friends had many months before entrusted to the care of
discreet fellow-voyagers.

After constantly struggling against calms and contrary winds, exactly at
the first stroke of the New Year, at midnight of 31st December-1st
January, we reached the Equator, which we were now crossing for the second
time, and began the year 1858 in the Northern Hemisphere.

On this New Year's Day we had nearly had a great disaster. A lad who was
coming down the shrouds fell overboard. The sea was perfectly calm and
smooth, but already on the morning of this very day we had seen many
sharks, those dreaded foes of man in the domain of ocean, so that the life
of the unfortunate youth seemed seriously imperilled. The same instant in
which the youth fell, saw a life-buoy thrown over, a boat prepared for
lowering, and all usual appliances for a rescue made available. But
although an excellent swimmer, he seemed to lose all presence of mind,
probably through fear, and must undoubtedly have been drowned, had not the
boatswain's mate, and two other sailors, leaped into the water and made
all haste to his assistance. Meanwhile the boat had been got into the
water, by which rescued and rescuers were got safe on board again.

A few months later, the boatswain's mate, for his gallant conduct on this
occasion, received, by the express orders of His Majesty, the silver cross
of merit, while the sailors were advanced one grade.

The current, which runs northward along the coast of Australia, but turns
off to the westward about the tenth degree of South latitude, so as to
pass southward of Ceylon, directly along the Equator to the Coast of
Africa, carried us far to the westward, in consequence of which we had
overcast, uncertain weather, with, for the most part, calms or light
breezes. As we found ourselves approaching the fourth degree of Northern
latitude, a rather fresh N.E. wind sprung up, probably the trade wind of
the Northern Hemisphere, which, however, as we neared Ceylon, again died
away to a calm.

At the same time, in lat. 5° 32' N., 79° 5' E., we fell in with a current
running more than two miles an hour. We had, as it turned out, got to the
westward of the roadstead of Point de Galle, in Ceylon, and found some
little difficulty in making headway against the current. On 7th January,
toward 3.30 P.M., land was made to the eastward, and an hour later, a
Cingalese canoe was perceived making for the frigate under sail. It was
the pilot boat, whose crew, having been informed by a Hamburg brig that a
large ship was in sight, had put to sea to meet us.

At the first sight of this little canoe, it was hardly possible to refrain
from amazement at the courage and hardihood with which the half-naked
Cingalese boatmen could put off some 30 or 40 miles to sea in such a tiny,
narrow boat, that barely gives them room to sit lengthwise. Two
cross-bars, or outriggers, projecting on one side, where they are
fastened externally to a rather massive beam, which swims parallel with
the boat, gave this canoe, apparently so fragile, such stability and
seaworthiness, that it is at all times not less safe than a boat of
European construction.[76]

[Footnote 76: These canoes resemble very closely the "proas," of the
Polynesian Islands, carrying a beam on one side, which is quite straight,
and always kept on the lee of the wind and sea, the change of course being
effected by simply shifting the sail, and steering with the paddle from
the opposite end.]

The natives steer with short paddles, and continue an incredibly long time
at this most exhausting work, as we must conceive it to be. And yet they
are to appearance a feeble race, except that the muscular system of the
upper part of the body is remarkably developed.

The dress of these people is remarkably simple, and usually consists only
of a piece of coloured linen cloth or calico, which, worn short like a
woman's petticoat, is thrown single-fold round the loins.

The pilot, though he could only make himself intelligible in broken
English, speedily came to a good understanding, and offered to sell us
bananas, pine-apples, and cocoa-nuts, as also Ceylon jewels, the latter of
which he carried on his person, secured in a parti-coloured cotton belt.
This reminded us that we were nearing the shores of the country in which
costly stones are found, but precisely on that account, as was natural,
our speculative pilot found but a poor market for his wares.

Off the coast we caught a shark 7 feet long, and 135 lbs. weight--a rather
juvenile specimen--whose teeth, which we examined, were already strong
and sharp enough to seize a man, and strip the flesh off him. Also a
number of large dolphins and other fish, sported in the dead water under
the frigate's stern, and provided plentiful employment for the harpoon and
the rod. Presently we found ourselves within six miles of the land, when a
large number of pirogues forthwith came swarming about us, all of a
construction similar to the pilot boat, and each manned by four half-naked
bronze natives. These offered fruits for sale, especially magnificent,
gigantic clusters of banana. On one such cluster we counted, arranged in
five rows, one over the other, not less than 175 bananas.

On the 8th January, we anchored in the unpicturesque haven of Point de
Galle, surrounded by groves of cocoa-nut palms, directly opposite the
lighthouse tower, and in a fine quartz sand bottom of 16-1/2 fathoms (103
feet English). All large ships, that only intend remaining a short time,
anchor in the open roadstead, the entrance into the inner harbour being
rather difficult, owing to numerous coral reefs. In the roads also lay the
English frigate _Shannon_, from which, in the absence of her captain, the
first lieutenant immediately came on board the _Novara_, and in the
handsomest manner put his services at our disposal.

As the only Austrian Consul on the island was resident in Colombo, M.
Sonnenkalb, the Consul for Hamburg, had the courtesy to receive us with
the most hospitable of welcomes, and proceeded to do us the honours of the

On the 10th we hauled the frigate into the small inner harbour, in order
to facilitate the shipping of stores. The entrance is rather winding,
owing to the numerous shoals, and it is with some little difficulty that
one can find a comfortable, commodious berth among such a crowd of
shipping. We only saluted the flag of the dominant nationality--a
customary courtesy--and were replied to by the batteries on shore. An
officer of the frigate was then dispatched to announce our arrival to the
governor of the station--a major in the English army. This gentleman
seemed not to think it incumbent on him to put himself in the least out of
his way for us. Indeed, we even experienced some little difficulty in
procuring a sufficient supply of drinking water for shipment as stores;
but we must at the same time add, in justice to the representatives of
England in distant countries, that during our entire voyage this was the
one solitary instance in which English military official men did not
display that universal readiness to oblige, which, to their credit, is so
conspicuously and so kindly displayed by them in their intercourse with
foreign nations.

[Illustration: CINGALESE CANOE.]




                   STAY FROM 8TH TO 16TH JAN., 1858.

   Neglect of the Island hitherto by the English Government.--
     Better Prospects for the Future.--The Cingalese, their
     Language and Customs.--Buddhism and its Ordinances.--Visit to
     a Buddhist Temple in the Vicinity of Galle.--The sacred
     Bo-tree.--Other Aborigines of Ceylon.--The Weddàhs.--
     Traditions as to their Origin.--Galle as a City and Harbour.--
     Snake-charmers.--Departure for Colombo.--Cultivation of the
     Cocoa-nut Palm, a benevolent, Buddha-pleasing work.--
     Polyandria; or, Community of Husbands.--Supposed Origin.--
     Annual Exportation of Cocoa-nuts.--Rest-houses for
     Travellers.--Curry, the National Dish.--A Misfortune and its
     Consequences.--The Catholic Mission of St. Sebastian de Makun,
     and Father Miliani.--Annoying Delays with restive Horses.--
     Colombo.--A Stroll through the "_Pettah_" or Black Town.--Ice
     Trade of the Americans with Tropical Countries.--Cinnamon
     Gardens and Cinnamon Cultivation.--Consequences of the
     Monopoly of Cinnamon.--Rise and Expansion of the Coffee
     Culture in Ceylon.--Pearl-fishery.--Latest Examination of the
     Ceylon Banks of Pearl Oysters, by Dr. Kelaart, and its
     Results.--Aripo at the Season of Pearl-fishing.--The Divers.--
     Pearl-lime, a Chewing Substance of wealthy Malays;--Annual
     Profit of the Pearl-fishery.--Origin of the Pearl.--Poetry
     and Natural Science.--Artificial Production of the Pearl.--The
     Chank-shell--The Wealth of Ceylon in Precious Stones.--Visit
     to a Cocoa-nut Oil Manufactory.--The Cowry-shell, a Promoter
     of the Slave Trade.--Discovery of valuable Cingalese MSS. on
     Palm-leaves.--The heroic Poem of "Mahawwanso," and Turner's
     English Translation of it.--Hospitality of English Officials
     in Colombo.--A second Visit to Father Miliani.--Agreeable
     Reception.--The Antidote-oil against Bites of Poisonous
     Snakes.--Adventures on the Journey back to Galle.--Ascent of
     Adam's Peak by two Members of the Expedition.--The sacred
     Footprint.--Descent.--The "Bullock-bandy," or Native Waggon.--
     Departure from Galle for Madras.--The Bassos (shallows).--A
     Berlin Rope-dancer among the Passengers.--Nyctalopia; or,
     Night Blindness.--Fire on board.--Arrival in Madras Roads.

The inquirer who becomes acquainted by personal examination with the
important geographical position of the Island of Ceylon (called also
Seilan or Singhala), her commodious harbours, her productiveness, and her
marvellous climate, involuntarily wonders at the stepmother's part that
England has hitherto played with respect to this renowned island of palms
and spices, the Malta of the Indian Ocean, which of all the British
possessions in distant parts of the earth, has, till recently, received
the least care or attention.

It must be borne in mind, however, that Ceylon is an appanage of the
British Crown, and it is not an independent, self-supporting colony. Those
shortcomings of administration, for which the mother country is
exclusively responsible, have been hitherto a complete drag upon her
development. But the English people have this advantage over all other
nations, that once anything has been recognized to be useful and
imperatively required, they proceed to apply it with such energy, that
they are enabled to make up for any neglect with giant strides. During
late years many fetters have been knocked off which formerly impeded the
more active development of agriculture and commerce. The harbour of Point
de Galle (also called only Galle for shortness) has become a central
station for the steam-boat trade with the East Indies, the Burmese
Archipelago, China, and Australia. A telegraphic wire will ere long
stretch from Ceylon to England, such as even now unites the island with
the Coromandel Coast and India; a railway is in course of construction
between the most important commercial centres of the island, and so
obvious are the fundamental benefits it must confer, that ere long the
classical and incomparably beautiful island of Ceylon is destined to shine
a star of the first magnitude in the azure of the Indian Ocean, one of the
most prosperous, wealthy, and blest of islands!

The scientific researches of all kinds, which have in modern days been
instituted in Ceylon, have been attended with the most important results,
bearing upon its history and its various tribes, as well as on its natural
wealth; and the masterly and marvellous work Sir Emerson Tennent lately
published on the isle of Ceylon, seems intended to compensate for many
instances of neglect which Ceylon and its inhabitants have experienced
from the English since they seized on it.

Embracing all the three kingdoms of nature, and following up with learned
accuracy the history of the inhabitants, from the obscure traditions
attending their earliest settlement down to the present day, Sir Emerson
Tennent's work is a perfect pattern of a monography, although upon this
subject the German inquirer will involuntarily, and not without an
emotion of pride, recall to mind Carl Ritter's admirable, well-digested
publication upon Ceylon, in his classical work on Eastern Asia, doubly
meritorious by the very fact that the German scholar never set foot in the
country itself. There are, however, indeed few spots on earth which
present such inexhaustible subjects for the study of the historian as well
as the inquirer into physical science, of the poet and the political
economist, as this romantically-beautiful island, which we have been
taught to regard as the Garden of the World, as indeed the special site of
the Garden of Eden, the first abode of the progenitors of the human race.

We have not to do here, as in most of the islands of southern seas, with a
savage people, that have only, since the first appearance of Europeans,
emerged from a state of barbarism, and been raised one step towards
civilization, but rather find, as in the East Indies and China, a peculiar
type of civilization, which, although widely differing from that of
Europe, yet seems not less valuable and extraordinary. The whites (scarce
7000 in number, of whom 2482 are females), who live scattered over an area
of 24,700 English square miles, have hitherto been too few in number to
exercise any marked influence on the customs or mode of life of a native
coloured population of 1,726,640 souls, and hence it is that Ceylon
exhibits a more romantic and characteristic air than any other British
settlement in distant parts of the globe.

A people like the Cingalese, of such ardent imaginativeness, with a
splendid history, and a religion professed in the various realms of the
East by more than 300 millions of people, gains in interest the more we
become acquainted with them, and the more we make their traditions, their
mode of life, and their customs, the object of special inquiry.

The Cingalese, or indigenous natives (so named to distinguish them from
the other inhabitants of the island, belonging to other stocks and
amalgamated races, who at various periods had settled here, and who call
themselves Ceylonese), were entirely the offspring of Hindoo emigrants,
who, about five centuries before the birth of Christ, came from Hindostan
to Ceylon, and imported their own mode of government, and system of caste,
as also their arts, language, and religion, from the continent into the

They constitute the germ of the present population, and early divided
themselves into four leading castes:--1st, that of the royal family;--2nd,
the Brahmins;--3rd, the merchants, peasants, and shepherds;--and 4th, the
sixty inferior common castes. At present there exist in Ceylon only the
two latter. The most numerous is that of the peasants, who, however,
meddle but little with the cultivation of the soil, but have arrogated to
themselves the exclusive and hereditary possession of all employments, lay
or ecclesiastical. The dress of the Cingalese usually consists of a cloth
wound turban-fashion round their head, and long white drapery. On festive
occasions they wear richly-adorned tight-fitting jackets of velvet or
wool, and on such occasions rank and power assert themselves by the number
of garments, to such an extent that frequently a wealthy man makes his
appearance in several of these habiliments, worn one above the other. The
Cingalese are shorter in stature than the Europeans, their average stature
being 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 5 inches, English. Their _physique_,
though graceful and delicate, is powerful and muscular, with a brawny
breast, broad shoulders, the muscles of the thigh strongly developed, but
with disproportionately small hands and feet. Their colour is commonly a
light-brown, their hair black and quite straight. The women are
beautifully formed, but even when they can, like Asokamalla of historic
fame, boast all the forty and six marks of the Cingalese ideal,[77] they
must fall far short of the European standard of female beauty, with their
bodies anointed with oil, and their mouths stained with the betel-nut. As
the Cingalese girls usually marry so early as 12 years of age, they
speedily lose the bloom of youth, and frequently have the appearance of
crones at 20. Another especially loathsome habit of the Cingalese is the
chewing the betel-nut, a custom so universally prevalent among all Indian
races, that not merely the men and women, but the very children exhibit an
extraordinary predilection for it. The ingredients of this masticatory
consist of the green tender leaves of the Betel-pepper-shrub (_Piper
betle_), the nut of the areca-palm (_Areca catechu_, or cabbage-tree),
some lime made of calcined shells, and tobacco, which, according to the
rank of the individual, they keep ready prepared by their side, in silver
or brass boxes, resembling snuff-boxes. These corrosive substances at the
same time stain the saliva so deep a red, that, after long use, the lips
and teeth seem as though smeared with blood.

[Footnote 77: Of these forty-six perfections of womanly beauty we extract
the following by way of example, from a Cingalese author:--hair, glossy as
the tail of a peacock, and hanging in ringlets to the knee, eye-brows like
the rainbow, eyes like sapphire, and the leaves of the manilla flower, a
hawk nose, lips lustrous and red as coral, teeth small and regular, like
the buds of the jasmine, neck thick and round, haunches broad, breast
firm, and conical like the cocoa-nut, the figure slight, capable of being
spanned by the hand, the limbs spindle-shaped, the sole of the foot
without any hollow, the skin free from any prominence of the bones,
sweeping in rounded curves, soft and tender.]

The language is an offshoot of the Sanscrit, copious, harmonious, and full
of expression, with threefold grammar, and as many vocabularies, viz. for
the royal tongue, the official or court tongue, and that of society at
large. To these there must be added the Pali, the learned, but obsolete
written language of the priestly caste, which the Cingalese have in common
with the kingdoms of Siam and Ava, in the further Indies. In this
language, itself but a dialect of the Sanscrit, all their sacred books,
traditions, and poetry are written. In many parts of the island the
knowledge of language and written lore are held in such high honour, that
grammar and literature form the entire study of the inhabitants. Reading
and writing are as common among the Cingalese as in England, except that
in Ceylon the women take no part therein. They do not write as we do, with
quill or steel pen upon paper, but engrave the characters with a
fine-pointed iron graver, or _stylus_, upon the leaves of the Talipot
palm-tree (_Corypha umbraculifera_), from which they slice a broad strip
for the purpose about 2 feet long, and several inches broad. These require
no further preparation than that they must be well smoothed beforehand,
and all inequalities removed. In order to render the writing more clear
and legible, the Cingalese rub it with a mixture of cocoa-nut oil and fine
pulverized wood-ashes, which imparts to it durability and prevents
obliteration. Great numbers, however, use the leaves of another species of
palm for writing upon, viz. the Palmyra palm (_Borassus flabelliformis_),
but those of the Talipot are preferred to all others for their closeness
of texture, and are alone used in important records and other documents.

The religion of the Cingalese is Buddhism, which in Ceylon still
flourishes in these times in all its pristine vigour. Buddha is not the
name of the founder of this belief, who is called Gautama, or Sakja-Muni,
but is only one of the numerous titles of honour invented by that
personage, who in the Sanscrit figures so conspicuously as a sage. Gautama
was born in the province of Maghada (now known as Reha), in Northern
Hindostan, B.C. 624. His parents were Suddhodana, King of Magadha, and his
consort Maja. Contemplating the degeneracy and misery of man, sunk in
deepest woe, Gautama attacked the doctrine of Brahma, rejected the Vedas,
or holy books, and founded the new faith, which consists of the following
fundamental propositions:--The Creator and Ruler of the world is a
supreme, invisible, purely spiritual (and for that reason obviously
impossible to be figured) Being, almighty, wise, just, beneficent, and
merciful. Man most fitly recognizes and honours the Deity by silent
contemplation: by the practice of chastity, temperance, and virtue he
attains to happiness. The complete fulfilment of all his duties confers on
him here on earth the dignity of a Buddha, or sage, and after death
consigns him to the beatific repose of _non-existence_[78] (_Nirwana_).
Condemned souls are born again in the forms of wild animals. According to
Gautama's teaching a fresh Buddha always appears at certain epochs, whose
existence is manifested by his extraordinary spiritual powers, by his
deeds, and by his prophecies, selected by destiny for the purpose of
enlightening the world as to the decrees of the Supreme Being, and to
restore religion to her pristine purity. The death of a Buddha is also the
commencement of a new reckoning of time. Gautama, who died about B.C. 542,
or some 2400 years since, was the forty-fifth and last Buddha that
appeared to the Cingalese; his doctrine must continue to operate for 5000
years, when, according to the Cingalese traditions, the next Buddha, or
Purifier, will appear. Gautama's belief, bequeathed by him to his
disciple, the Brahmin Mahakaja, was immediately translated into Sanscrit,
and speedily spread. Several hundred temples and monuments dedicated to
him are scattered in various parts of the island, and remain to this day
an evidence of the extent and influence of Buddhism.

[Footnote 78: The ten precepts of the moral code of Buddhism are as
follows:--Kill no living creature--do not steal--follow no unclean
occupation--tell no lies or untruths--drink no fermented liquors--live
exclusively on vegetables--anoint neither the head nor the body--go to no
singing parties or spectacles--do not sleep on a raised nor on a wide bed--
eat but once a day, and before noon.]


On the day of our arrival we at once set off to visit one of these
Buddhist temples, in the vicinity of Galle. The edifice is small and
insignificant, only the carved woodwork of the door presenting any object
of interest as a work of art. In the interior is a gigantic figure of
Buddha, carved in wood, and in a reclining position; it is 20 feet long,
and painted yellow and red, with long flaps to the ears, and a lotus
flower on the head; while on the walls around, richly decorated with
scrollwork, dragons and lions, part painted, part sculptured, various
interesting episodes are represented in the history of Buddhism. Right in
front of the figure are placed a number of offerings of the most
miscellaneous description, beneath which are flowers and fruits; a small
tin box is also particularly conspicuous, into which every stranger is
expected to drop a piece of silver by way of present. Adjoining such a
temple are always to be found the _wiharas_, or residences of the priests
(_hamaduruhs_), and the spot where preaching and teaching are carried on.
The priests wear long wide vestures, yellow or white according to their
rank, or else only a single yellow outer garment, which falls in the form
of graceful drapery over the naked shoulders; their heads are shaved, and
they walk about quite barefoot, with a parasol of Talipot palm in their
hand, and observe with strangers a reserved, distrustful demeanour.

We were conducted all round by a young priest, of about 20 years of age,
who spoke a little English, which is not a very common accomplishment,
since the Buddhists have a great dislike for all that is foreign. Only at
the conclusion of our visit did the old, grey, half-blind superior priest
make his appearance, saluted us, but immediately left us to snatch from a
boy a shaddock (_Citrus decumana_), which is especially prized by the
Cingalese on account of the refreshing qualities of its juice.

The priestly office, however, does not deter a native from indulging the
disgusting habit of chewing the betel-nut, and this aged _hamaduruh_
became much more sociable on receiving some.

Adjoining the temple, which stands in a charming cocoa-nut grove, we first
got an idea of the extraordinary luxuriance of the vegetation of this
island. In a single enclosure, not much larger than an ordinary
house-garden, we saw coffee-trees, cinnamon-bushes, clove-trees,
nutmeg-trees, (_Areca catechu_), oranges, lemons, pine-apples, and
bread-fruit trees (_Arctocarpus incisa_), flourishing in wildest

A second temple, which we also visited, was the Dadále Panzela, the
largest in the province, and the seat of the high-priest of the Buddhists.
This worthy personage, a septuagenary, is named Nanalangara Seresumana
Mahdamaradjigurù Ganatchari-Naikunangi, and is surrounded by a staff of
priests of the temple who are reputed holy, and who apparently venerate
him as a superior being. This temple did not differ much in construction
and arrangement from the first; but the place set apart for instruction,
where, at the time of our visit, some youths were busily engaged in
copying the sacred books upon palm leaves, as also the residences of the
priests, made a much more imposing impression, and spoke of a certain
degree of opulence. In the midst of a piece of ground laid out like a
garden was planted the sacred Bo-tree, which is looked upon as holy by the
Buddhists, because, according to an ancient tradition, Buddha was in the
habit of reposing under the shadow of its branches, as often as he visited
the earth. Towering above everything wherever a Buddhist temple is raised,
there a Bo-tree is planted; but the particular sacred tree, the original
plant from which the legend took its rise, grows at Anaradnapura, in the
northern part of the former kingdom of Kandi, whither it had been suddenly
translated from a far-distant land, and spontaneously took root in the
spot where it at present stands, in order to serve as a protection and
shelter for Buddha.[79] Ninety Cingalese monarchs are interred around it,
all of whom, by the temples and statues they erected to Buddha, are deemed
worthy of this pre-eminent mark of distinction.

[Footnote 79: The sacred Bo-tree (_Ficus religiosa_) of the Buddhists is
frequently confounded with the Banyan Tree (_Ficus Indica_), held in such
honour by the Brahmins, from which latter it differs in this, that it does
not throw out from its branches numberless twigs which take root again in
the earth. The incessant waving and rustling of the leaves and branches,
which is common to both species of _Ficus_, is regarded by the faithful
Buddhists as the effect of a fear-instilling scene of which the sage was
once witness under the Bo-tree; just as the Syrian Christians deduce, from
the fact that the Holy Cross was manufactured out of aspen-wood, that this
tree is trembling, even in our days, with anguish and terror. Singular,
what an important part the fig-tree seems to play in all religions,
including the Christian and the Mahometan!]

The grey-headed high-priest permitted the library of the temple to be
shown to us, which consists of a large number of Pali manuscripts,
inscribed on Talipot leaves, each of which was enclosed between two
elegant boards made of calamander wood (_Diopyrus hirsuta_), fastened with
strings, and enveloped in numerous folds of cloth, the whole guarded with
singular reverence, in lofty, broad, wooden cupboards, richly carved. When
we returned, the chief priest requested us to give him our names, and that
of the country we came from, upon which a young priest carefully wrote
down with a goose quill on a sheet of paper, in Cingalese language,
apparently with the view of showing us civility, some superficial remarks
respecting the _Novara_ Expedition.

Besides the pure Cingalese, the island is also inhabited by Hindoos from
the Malabar coast, Moors (the descendants of wandering Arabs and
Mahometans from northern India, who at present carry on the greater part
of the trade of the island), Malays, Javanese; then Portuguese, Dutch,
British of the various nationalities comprised under that title; and,
lastly, Negroes from Mozambique and Madagascar, who have formed alliances
with the Cingalese, and are rearing a numerous mixed race.[80]

[Footnote 80: What is related by various writers of the practice of
"running a muck" (a custom that seems to recall the frightful blood-feuds
of the Corsicans), long supposed to be peculiar to Ceylon, in which a
Malay thirsting for revenge, and armed with a naked "_kreese_," or dagger,
rushes through the streets like a madman, yelling "_Amock, Amock_" (kill,
kill), and runs the fearful weapon through the body of the very first
person he meets,--seems to be founded on a mistake. No one could give us
any particulars on the subject from personal observation. Sir Emerson
Tennant too, in his work on Ceylon, passes over this custom of "running a
muck," without a syllable of mention. Evidently the custom is not
naturalized in this island. It now prevails among the Malays of the Sunda
archipelago, while in Ceylon no instance has occurred within the memory of
man. That this tendency to murder is caused by the use of opium likewise
appears improbable. Crawford, in his most excellent descriptive dictionary
of the Indian islands, speaking of "running a muck," pretends it results
frequently from a monomania taking this particular form, and originating
in disorders of the digestive organs.]

Deep in the interior of the island, in the province of Bintang, N.E. from
Kandi, and towards Trincomalee and Batacalva, in holes in the earth, or
under the palm-leaves, reside the tribe of the Weddàhs or Veddàhs, the
most savage race in the island, traditionally said to be the aborigines
proper, who go about naked, with the exception of a girdle round the
loins, and use only bows and javelins, which however they manufacture and
handle with great dexterity.

According to one of the various Cingalese traditions, these Weddàhs are
the descendants of a very bloodthirsty, cannibal monarch, who, deposed by
his people, was only permitted the alternative of death, or of
withdrawing with the ministers of his cruelty to roam for ever amid the
solitudes of the forest. The dethroned king chose the latter alternative,
and thus became the little-to-be-envied progenitor of this rude savage
race. At any rate it seems worthy of note, that these Weddàhs, destitute
though they are of the remotest traces of civilization, are still regarded
as belonging to the privileged caste.

Owing to the shortness of our stay, we unfortunately had no opportunity of
visiting the interior of the island, or of seeing these Weddàhs. With
difficulty did we tear ourselves from the zone of the cocoa-nut growth,
and therefore only got acquainted with two places on the island, Galle and
Colombo, the latter the seat of government.


Galle is, from its position, as also from its configuration, indisputably
the best and most important harbour in the south and west of the island,
as Colombo can only be regarded as an open, insecure roadstead. Founded in
the sixteenth century by the Portuguese, conquered at a later period by
the Dutch, and finally, at the peace of Amiens, transferred to the
English, Galle displays singularly few traces of its different masters.
The streets are narrow, but cleanly; the houses are for the most part
constructed of earth, with verandahs, or airy colonnades towards the
street, and rooms within, plastered to imitate stone, of spacious
dimensions, as is desirable, considering the heat of the climate. As one
enters from the roadway at once into the sitting apartment, and as the
door stands wide open all day to admit a free current of air, a sort of
open screen-work is usually put up before the entrance, to prevent a too
minute inspection of the interior, by the prying eyes of inquisitive
passers-by. At Galle we, for the first time, saw the "Punkah," a sort of
fan peculiar to India, which stretches from one end of the roof of the
room to the other, and being swung to and fro by a servant produces a
refreshing coolness. Here, too, we first became acquainted with the
"Gecko" (_Hemidactylus maculatus_), an elegant little house-lizard, which,
with graceful agility, runs to and fro upon the walls, windows, and roofs,
and speedily becomes as familiar with man as a pet-dog or kitten. They
usually make their appearance towards evening, when, without the slightest
symptoms of timidity, they begin their surprising evolutions, during which
they catch gnats with astonishing dexterity, and although they are
disagreeable objects to all new comers, one speedily becomes accustomed to
these harmless, innocuous, playful little animals, of which the Ceylonese
are in the habit of relating many interesting and amusing anecdotes.

Of late years, during which Galle has risen into considerable importance,
as the converging point of the lines of steamers to Eastern India, China,
and Australia, the number of substantial houses has greatly increased, and
several large hotels are found here replete with every comfort. Like most
European settlements in India, the Cape, and China, Galle possesses a fort
in which, at an earlier period, the European colonists dwelt with their
wives and families apart from the natives, and has also a "Pettah," or
Black Town, a sort of Cingalese Ghetto, exclusively inhabited by the black
population. At present this separation is not so strenuously enforced as
in earlier times, but whoever would seek to form a more accurate idea of
the various races of this population, its mode of life and its demeanour,
must leave the so-called "Fort," and wander through the native or
Cingalese quarter. Here are the fruit and vegetable markets; here all was
devoted to buying and selling, which seemed to excite the otherwise
listless little covetous disposition of the Cingalese; here jugglers and
snake-charmers exhibit, who excite interest rather by the horrible nature
and the foolhardiness of the performances, than by their executing any
surprising feats. A belief is prevalent among the people that this
singular class of men, greatly resembling our own gipsies, possess the art
of depriving a poisonous serpent of its venom, and rendering it
innocuous. And, in fact, one does see them produce from a white cloth the
dreaded Cobra di Capello, 4 or 5 feet long, and exquisitely marked,
irritate it violently, and go through all manner of unpleasant
performances with it on their naked bodies. Frequently the serpent, weary
of being constantly brought out for exhibition, endeavours to escape from
its tormentor, whereupon a general scramble for escape takes place among
the spectators. Every one hurries off to a safe distance, and the
unfortunate charmer is left alone on the scene with his eminently
intractable pupil, and has, into the bargain, given his exhibition in
vain. As, however, it not unfrequently happens that the bite of the Cobra
di Capello is followed by fatal consequences to the snake-charmer himself,
it is highly probable that the whole mystery resolves itself into courage,
and the shrewdness with which, availing themselves of the uncommon dread
and aversion with which this animal is regarded, they are able at once to
prevent him from making use of his deadly poison fang, and to put forth
their own sleight of hand. This explanation seems also to account for the
very remarkable fact that men have ventured to domesticate this dangerous
reptile in more places than Ceylon. Indeed, within the experience of Major
Skinner, a thoroughly trustworthy personage, who has resided for many
years on the island, and to whom the naturalists of the Expedition are
indebted for many acts of kindness, an instance actually occurred in the
neighbourhood of Negombo, in which a wealthy man, who keeps large sums of
specie in his house, bethought him of the singular precaution of having
several deadly cobras to watch the treasure in lieu of dogs. Day and night
they glide about, a terror to thieves, while they are quite harmless to
the inmates who feed them and attend to them!

In former times snake worship (_Nagas_) was universal throughout Ceylon,
and, as in India, the cobra received divine honours from the natives,
because it was supposed to be a metamorphosed king. This serpent, however,
is so singularly and wonderfully endowed by nature, its appearance and
motions are so peculiar, that an imaginative people like the Cingalese may
well be excused for associating the idea of metempsychosis with its aspect
of mystery.

From Galle, an excellent road, following the coast-line the entire
distance, leads to Colombo, the seat of government, 75 English miles
distant. Every morning there starts from Galle for that destination, the
"Royal Mail" coach, an uncomfortable, somewhat dangerous, mode of
conveyance, in which this distance is traversed in from 8 to 10 hours. In
order to travel more at our ease, we engaged an extra waggon. In Ceylon
people usually employ, on long excursions, but one horse, which is changed
at distances varying from 6 to 10 miles. We had some difficulty in
reconciling this custom with our predilection for travelling at our
leisure. The first few hours of our journey passed away very pleasantly;
the road was excellent, and the country magnificent and charming. We
seemed as though driving through a park inhabited by thousands of men, and
planted with cocoa-nut palms--amidst which occasionally the white dome of
a Buddhist temple, or the minarets of a Mahometan mosque, shooting up
above the summits of the palms, imparted an aspect of life to the
landscape--while in the gay bazaars that fringed the road, the few
necessaries of life required by the exceedingly frugal natives were
exposed for sale, temptingly arranged on palm or plantain leaves. The
whole south-western coast district is so populous that the huts of the
natives were continually in sight, right and left, under the forest shade,
and the scenery in consequence seemed as full of life and careless
enjoyment as though the people had nothing else to do but walk about under
palm-trees. This impression was the more strengthened, that we rarely
perceived a man with anything else in his hand than a Talipot leaf, or a
Chinese parasol, to protect himself against the burning rays of the sun,
which shone almost directly overhead. Of the women, on whom for the most
part fall all the troubles and hardships of life among the Cingalese, we
only saw a few carrying to the city heavy baskets balanced on their heads.

The luxuriant, widely-extending cocoa-nut forests, which on the south and
west sides of the island stretch down to the sea-shore (whereas on the
eastern coast they are altogether absent), seem independently of the
necessity of paying all due care to the maintenance of one of the
necessaries of life, to be specially indebted for their existence to the
circumstance that additional planting of this tree, as also its careful
cultivation, is one of the religious observances and duties of the
servants of Buddha. Whoever plants a cocoa-nut, palm, or bread-fruit tree,
performs a work agreeable to Buddha. At the birth of a son, or on any
similar festive occasion, it is customary to plant a few cocoa-nut shoots
in the earth. Cocoa-nut palms form a very important part of the property
of a family. The father divides them as heritable property into equal
portions for bequest to his children. Not one single palm but has an
owner, though instances occasionally occur in which several families are
supported by the produce of a single palm!

This peculiar phenomenon has been followed by most remarkable results
bearing upon the social condition of the native population. Increasing
poverty, and the ever present grinding necessity of preventing any further
subdivision of the joint property, have impelled the natives to resort to
the unnatural remedy of the brothers of a family having but one wife among
them! The fact that there are in Ceylon fully one-tenth more men than
women, was the cause of the rapid spread of this custom, and upheld
Polyandria, or plurality of husbands, as a desirable invention for
remedying the deficient supply of females. Many a female has three, four,
or even seven husbands, and all children that are born of such a wedlock
have equal rights, and are (differing in this respect from the law of
Hindostan, by which only the children of the eldest brothers are
registered, as the entire property belongs to him, while all the younger
brothers serve him as vassals, and can be driven by him out of the house),
the _lawful_, recognized heirs of the different fathers. In order to guard
against the rise of law-suits respecting birth and heritage among the
Cingalese, in consequence of their local customs, the British courts of
justice, singular to say, find themselves constrained to recognize this
disgraceful custom, and to interpret the law with reference to it.
Although in the maritime provinces plurality of husbands has been signally
on the decrease, owing to foreign influences, it still prevails to a great
extent in the interior of the island. The submissiveness of the Cingalese
to their superiors and their monarchs is assigned as the origin of this in
other respects very ancient custom, which seems to have been universally
in use among the various races of the mainland of India from time
immemorial. Constrained to apply their own manual labour in cultivating
the land of their tyrants, and frequently to accompany them on distant
journeys, they thought they could, during their absence, most surely
protect their own fields and crops against utter ruin, by apportioning
wife and chattels among brothers and nearest relatives, and thence the
family tie was gradually converted into a socialist community.

The almost endless cocoa forests, which we were traversing by splendid,
broad, level roads, not alone provide the native with, to him, the most
important necessary for supporting existence, but the fruit itself forms
at the same time so important and valuable an article of produce, that the
cultivation of the cocoa-nut has been regularly and systematically carried
on by European enterprise since 1841--at present covering an area of
23,000 English acres--while the proportion of native land on which this,
the most useful growth of the tropics, is cultivated, amounts to about
100,000 acres. Formerly, the nuts were shipped to foreign parts for the
extraction of their oil; but for this purpose there are now on the island
itself, especially in Colombo and Galle, a considerable number of
manufactories, at which the oil already expressed from the nuts is usually
at once put into casks for exportation. The quantity of oil thus exported
annually is estimated at from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 gallons, worth from
£100,000 to £150,000. Besides this, the elastic fibre of the outer husk of
the cocoa-nut is used in the manufacture of ropes, door-mats, &c., and,
under the name of Coir, forms an important article of export, the annual
consumption averaging between 30,000 and 40,000 quintals (centner weight),
worth from £20,000 to £25,000.

The first station on leaving Galle for Colombo is Bentotte, where, as is
the custom all through the country, there is a "resting-house" open to all
travellers, similar to the "Choultries" in India, the "Caravanserais," or
lodgings for pilgrims, in Eastern countries, or the "Pasangrahans," of
Java. These resting-houses, which all through the interior of the island
are found on the highways and forest roads, are among the oldest
institutions of the country, and were formerly maintained at the expense
of private individuals. The resting-houses, which have been erected under
the English rule on the main roads of the island, are in all respects of a
far higher class, and strongly resemble the waiting-rooms of our own
(German) railroads. One is not merely provided in these with shelter, but
also with food and drink, at a fixed tariff. A special committee (the
Provincial Road Committee) is appointed to superintend the management of
these resting-houses.

Here we partook of a luxurious "tiffin," as the customary meal between
breakfast and dinner is called in Ceylon, as well as throughout India; and
in so doing, made acquaintance for the first time with the renowned Indian
dish "Curry," which consists of flesh or fish prepared with a powder
compounded of spices. It tastes so hot that the European palate only gets
accustomed to it by degrees; but in these countries it is looked on as the
favourite dish, which must never be absent from any meal, because the
cayenne pepper plentifully sprinkled over it, stimulates the stomach and
promotes digestion. Hence the curry-powder is in immense request, and is
largely exported. The assertion that this dish was first invented by the
Portuguese is quite erroneous, as the chronicles of the country establish
that it was in request in Ceylon in the second century before Christ.[81]

[Footnote 81: According to Professor Wilson, "Curry" is but a corruption of
the Carnatic term _Májkki-Kari_, a dish composed of rice, sour milk,
spices, and red pepper.]

As we mounted into our vehicle again, after a short halt at Bentotte, in
order to resume our journey to Colombo with a fresh horse, we perceived
that our driver, a negro, had been too free of his visits to the
brandy-bottle, and occasionally took to rolling on the box. In the hope
that he might become sober by the way, we ventured to proceed, but ere
long he lost his balance, and fell to the ground, compelling us, to avoid
further mishap, to retrace our steps on foot to the nearest village--thus
reversing the order of matters, and, so to speak, escorting our horse,
coach, and driver. This occurrence, unimportant and hardly worth
mentioning in itself, was the occasion of an interesting adventure. As it
was only with much difficulty that we could make ourselves intelligible to
the natives, we resolved to apply to the authorities in the very first
place we came to. It turned out that we were in the vicinity of the
Catholic mission of St. Sebastian de Makùn, whose superior was a
Benedictine from Rome. The church is situated amid the rich vegetation of
the primeval forests, the gigantic trunks of whose trees, supporting a
huge diadem of luxuriant foliage, are arched into a natural dome of the
most graceful proportions. With curiosity whetted to the uttermost, we
advanced along a beautiful path, beneath cocoa-palms, cabbage trees,
bread-fruit trees, screw pines, tree-like ferns, and broad-leaved bananas,
till we reached the dwelling-house of the Mission, and introduced
ourselves to the missionary. Forthwith the latter, a tall, stately figure,
with handsome features and cultivated manners, and dressed in a woollen
robe, ushered us into a darkened chamber opposite, and received us most
cordially. This worthy priest, by the name of Miliani, was not less
surprised at being visited at this solitary mission by Austrian
travellers, and with the most lively satisfaction and the utmost readiness
to oblige, offered us all the assistance in his power. In spite of our
hurry, we had to take a cup of coffee _à la Romagna_, with our hospitable
missionary, and to promise to visit him on our return journey. Father
Miliani has already lived many years in this country, and ministers to a
Christian community of more than 1000 souls. Altogether there are in
Ceylon about 50 Catholic missionaries under a Bishop whose residence is in
Colombo. Our priestly host was greatly respected by the Cingalese, but he
evidently was overjoyed at being able once more to express his thoughts
and feelings in his native Italian.

It was evening ere, with many a hearty shake of the hand, we tore
ourselves away from the cordial hospitality of St. Sebastian de Makùn.
Horse and driver this time gave hope of faster progress. But we were
doomed once more to experience a severe disappointment, and although we
were only about 10 or 12 miles distant from Colombo, which was our
destination, it took us five long hours to get over the ground. The night
was very dark, but the road was continually illuminated with torches of
palm, carried by the homeward plodding natives, which emitted a gloomy
light alternating with showers of sparks.

When at last we got to Colombo about midnight, pretty well knocked-up, we
comforted ourselves with the reflection that the inconveniences attending
personal transport between Galle and the seat of government, can by no
means be classed among events of rare occurrence; since, in consequence of
the inveterate obstinacy of the native horse, one must have recourse to
the most incredible expedients to get the carriage under weigh. For
instance, at every station the ears of the post-horse were twisted
together and then suddenly relaxed in order to set the vehicle in motion;
and, when this torture failed, a pole, or thick stick, was inserted under
the tail of the recalcitrant, and rubbed up and down till the poor animal,
smarting under this painful operation, took to the collar. Once the
carriage is started in this extraordinary fashion, the coachman swings to
and fro at the peril of his life, and endeavours by continually "pitching
into" the horse, to keep him at the gallop. Thus between whooping and
whipping the next station is reached, where the same trial of patience
awaits the traveller, and a similar martyrdom for the next horse.

Our first business the following morning was to take a walk through
Colombo, which, like Galle, consists of "The Fort," or White City, and the
"Pettah," or Black Quarter, in the latter of which are situated the houses
and shops of the natives, and where the chief traffic and the greatest
activity are combined. Here one rarely encounters a white man, for even
the soldiers and police belong to the brown and black races. The natives,
however, manifest, outwardly at least, a great respect for the whites, and
everywhere draw aside reverentially when one makes his appearance.

In the middle of the main street are some Buddhist temples. We were not,
however, permitted to enter, unless we consented to take off our shoes. At
several of the natives' houses the entrance porch and windows were gaily
adorned with plantain leaves. On inquiring of our Cingalese attendant what
was the occasion of this manifestation, he replied in broken English that
the inmates were celebrating "Christmas," wishing probably to express that
the natives celebrated a feast analogous to our Christmas.

The filth and unsavoury odours which prevail in the Black Quarter, and the
noise and yelling of the natives, speedily drive visitors back to the
European portion of the city, which altogether, with its gloomy, decayed
aspect, makes anything but a favourable impression. The public buildings,
the houses of the mercantile community, the warehouses, and
fortifications, all bear the impress of the Portuguese settlement of
bygone centuries; and as its commerce is attracted more and more every
year to Galle,[82] there remains but faint hope that this quaint type will
not ere long be effaced by a new style of building, albeit the inhabitants
of the capital promise themselves a restored reign of activity and energy,
as the result of railway communication with Galle.

[Footnote 82: The value of the produce exported annually from the island
(chiefly cocoa-nuts, coir, cinnamon, and coffee), is above £2,000,000, and
the imports of European manufactures are about the same amount.]

During our random promenade through the streets of what is called the
Fort, we perceived at a sugar-baker's in Chatham Street--the most select
quarter of Colombo, and containing the most important warehouses, which,
however, are far from elegant in their appearance--some rough ice offered
for sale, which had a curious effect in a town so near the Equator, and
presenting such few evidences of luxury in other respects. This ice is
brought round the Cape of Good Hope from the United States, and is chiefly
shipped from Boston. The daily consumption of iced-water, ices, and so
forth, is estimated at about 1000 lbs., costing about one shilling the 8
lbs. It is impossible to repress a feeling of astonishment at these
speculative Yankees who, despite all obstacles interposed by temperature,
transport in all directions and over thousands of miles an article so
perishable, so easily destructible as ice, and are able to drive a
profitable business in it in the hottest and most diverse regions of the
globe--in the West Indies and South America, in Asia, and in Africa.

The traveller who visits Colombo will hardly fail to make an excursion to
the Cinnamon Garden, in order to inhale the fragrant and peculiar aroma,
and enjoy tasting the tender rind of this remarkable shrub, which plays so
conspicuous a part in the history of Ceylon. During the palmy days of
cinnamon culture, the five principal cinnamon plantations of the southern
half of the island extended some 15 or 20 miles. For this one lucrative
product of the soil all others on the island were abandoned, with most
deplorable consequences. The cinnamon culture, a monopoly of the various
governments which one after another conquered Ceylon, and domineered over
its inhabitants, was carried on, especially by the Dutch East India
Company, with terrible severity. The slightest embezzlement of cinnamon,
or wilful damage to the plant, was visited with death. The unintentional
breaking off of a twig of the cinnamon bush was punished with amputation
of the offending member. Every cinnamon bush, even to those growing in the
gardens of private individuals, was the property of the Government, and
the cinnamon collector, or even cinnamon-peeler alone, had the right to
strip off the rind when ripe. To destroy such a plant, or even to dispose
of it to any one, was regarded as a crime affecting life. The labourers,
who were employed in the cutting off, peeling, and preparation of the
rind, belonged to the caste of Chalias, and constituted the lowest grade
of that class. In like manner, under the English rule, the monopoly of
cinnamon was at first continued, with such disastrous consequences to the
trade that it was finally abandoned in 1832, and the merchants of Colombo
and Galle were left to divide among themselves the exportation of this
important article, under an exporting duty of 3_s._ per lb. These duties,
however, were found much too high, as the highest price obtainable in
Europe was from 6_s._ to 7_s._; and this advance in the price to the trade
of the genuine article, was the cause of foreign merchants turning their
attention to the supply of various species of cinnamon-bearing laurels and
cassias, growing in Cochin-China and Java.

When Government, recovering at last from its delusion of treating
cinnamons, which at first had seemed indigenous to the island of Ceylon
alone on the earth,[83] as a national monopoly, reduced the export duty to
one shilling, and ultimately repealed it altogether, the various
substitutes had already found their level in Europe, as affording a larger
supply at a much more moderate rate, and the cultivation of the finer
kinds became less and less each year. Prices fell, and the consumption was
diminished. Only the coarser sorts repaid exportation. Nay, it even led to
the interesting and curious result, that just as, previous to the high
price under monopoly, the low-priced cassia displaced the finer sort of
genuine cinnamon, at the present day the coarser sorts of cinnamon are
beginning to oust the cassia from the English market, whence all the world
are supplied. At present there are from 14,000 to 15,000 acres planted
with cinnamon, chiefly in private hands, and producing annually from
800,000 to 900,000 lbs. of cinnamon, worth from £40,000 to £50,000

[Footnote 83: Sir Emerson Tennent, in his work (vol. i. p. 599), challenges
the assertion that Ceylon is the native country of the cinnamon-tree. In
no European or Asiatic chronicles is any mention made of cinnamon as a
product or article of commerce in Ceylon up to the end of the thirteenth
century. Although it was from the earliest times imported into Europe from
Africa through Arabia, the natives trading with Ceylon first knew of the
existence on the island of this important shrub about the twelfth or
thirteenth century. Hence Sir Emerson looks upon Africa as the native
country of the cinnamon-tree.]

The chalias, moreover, are no longer, as formerly under the Portuguese and
Dutch, _adscripti glebæ_ for life, or slaves that could be purchased with
the soil, but free labourers, who are entitled to demand proportionate pay
for the lightest services rendered.

The Cinnamon Gardens in the neighbourhood of Colombo, although for the
most part gone to decay, nevertheless impart to the whole scene a
singularly cheerful, agreeable aspect. The bushes, from 4 to 6 feet in
height, with their smooth, beautiful, light green leaves, resembling those
of the bay-tree, and their pale, yellow flower-stamens shoot up doubly
fresh and succulent, from the snow-white quartz soil in which they best
thrive. The flowering season of the cinnamon is in January, and the fruit
ripens in April, when the sap is richest in the shrub. In May the boughs
are begun to be "barked," which process continues till October. The
pruning and gathering of the yearling shoots, which are about the
thickness of a man's thumb, is very laborious, and employs many hands.
Each labourer cuts off as many as he can conveniently carry in a bundle,
then, with the point of a crooked knife, made for the express purpose,
strips the entire rind from the wood, carefully scrapes off the exterior
corticle and innermost layer, and lays the stripped-off cinnamon rind, now
reduced to the thickness of parchment, in the sun, where it dries and
curls together. All round the hut, in which the peeling of the rind is
carried on, is diffused a most exquisite aroma, caused by the breaking of
the leaves or twigs. What is related, however, by various travellers of
the fragrance of the cinnamon forests, which they have scented at a great
distance seaward, would seem to indicate that this delicious odour
emanates from various other aromatic plants in which Ceylon is so rich,
rather than the cinnamon groves, the aroma of which, indeed, is not
perceptible beyond the immediate vicinity. The best description of
cinnamon is not so thick as stout paper, and is fine-grained, flexible,
light brown, or golden yellow, sweet and pungent; the coarser qualities
are thick-skinned, dark brown, acrid, stinging, and leaves a bitter
after-taste. In the warehouses, the cinnamon rinds and canes sorted for
shipping are piled upon each other, packed in bales of about 90 lbs.
weight each, and carefully sewed. In all cavities and spaces between each
layer an immense quantity of pepper is strewn, to preserve the cinnamon
during its sea-voyage, by which both spices are benefited, the black
pepper absorbing all the superfluous moisture, and gaining by the
fragrance of the cinnamon.

Consequent on the diminution of cinnamon cultivation, which undoubtedly
has resulted in great measure from the altered taste of mankind and the
consequent extraordinary falling off in the demand for this once
highly-prized spice, the cultivation of coffee in Ceylon has, during the
last 20 years, increased tenfold; and it is solely owing to the dearth of
available labour that this branch of produce, considering the splendid
profits it returns, is not even more extensively carried on. In 27
districts there are 404 coffee plantations, covering a surface of 80,950
acres, of which, however, only 63,771 acres are really productive. These
produced last year, 347,100 cwt., or 5-1/2 centners per acre. To this must
be added the quantity under cultivation by the natives, who possess about
36,000 acres of coffee plantations, and in the year 1859 alone, exported
180,000 cwt. We may safely assume, therefore, that the cultivation of
coffee is on the eve of transforming this island of Ceylon, from a mere
military station of England, into one of the most flourishing colonies of
the British Empire. Twenty years ago there were exported barely 60,000
centners, worth £180,000. In September, 1858, the export exceeded 600,000
cwt., which represented on the spot a value of £1,500,000 sterling. "When
capital and labour shall have become more plentiful," remarked to us a by
no means over-sanguine resident, "Ceylon will have in its mountain
districts 240,000 acres planted with coffee trees, yielding at the lowest
estimate, 1,680,000 cwt. of coffee annually." Here, as among the high
table-lands of Guatemala and Costa Rica, we have the reassuring evidence
how one of the most important plants for the civilized man can be
profitably cultivated, without having recourse to the blighting influences
of slave-labour, at the same time making the lands in which it is produced
both rich and prosperous.[84]

[Footnote 84: The coffee-tree frequently suffers, especially in Ceylon,
from an insect called the coffee-bug (_Lecanium Coffeæ_); as, however,
this troublesome insect has only infested the coffee plantations since
1848, and this branch of cultivation has nevertheless increased so
surprisingly since then, there seems no reason to dread that the coffee
plant will suffer by these bugs, in the same manner or to the same extent
as the vine by the ravages of the _fungus_.]

While the cultivation of the coffee-plant has been followed by such
splendid results, the repeated attempts to introduce the sugar-cane have
been on the contrary as uniformly failures--so that of the numerous
plantations established by Europeans, there are at present no more than
five remaining. In all those localities where the temperature seemed
adapted to the growth of the sugar-cane, the nature of the soil, and the
too great humidity have prevented its thriving.

On the other hand, the island possesses two natural products in which but
few spots on the globe are qualified to enter the lists with her, and
which may be expected to increase in value and importance in proportion as
science assumes her share in their exploration. These products are PEARLS

The most productive pearl banks lie on the west coast of Ceylon, between
the 8th and 9th degrees of North latitude, near the level, dreary beach of
Condatchy, Aripo, and Manaar. The pearl fisheries are a monopoly, and,
therefore, under the inspection of the Government. Former governors had
counted too much on the abundance of this natural treasure, and in their
blind haste to fill the coffers of the State, had so exhausted the banks,
that suddenly, from a source of revenue they became an item of
considerable deficiency, and, from 1838 to 1854, could no longer be
dredged. From a net annual return of £120,000 sterling, the yearly return
had sunk to £10,000, of which nearly one-half was consumed in the
attendant expenses. Now-a-days the work is gone about more circumspectly,
a scientific examination having been made by a native naturalist, Dr.
Kelaart, of all the oyster banks on the west coast. We had the pleasure,
while at Colombo, of becoming personally acquainted with this very able,
unassuming gentleman, who presented us with several memoirs of his own,
touching upon the latest facts that had been ascertained with reference to
the pearl oyster. One special result of his various researches has been
the demonstration of two facts of the utmost importance to the pearl
fishery, and which hitherto had not been fully ascertained--that this
mollusc possesses locomotive powers; that its occasional disappearance is
perfectly natural; and that, moreover, the pearl oyster may, without any
injury, be transplanted from one locality to another--nay, even from salt
to brackish water. The first-named observation explains the occasional
disappearance of the pearl oyster from certain beds,[85] even when they
have not been inordinately thinned by too keen a quest after gain; the
latter opens up the pleasing anticipation of the pearl oyster being
susceptible of very extensive propagation, by a process similar to that of
pisciculture, or artificial breeding of fish (such as the colonies of
edible oysters which are met with in the South of France), by
transplanting them to such places as seem best suited to the conditions
necessary to their highest development. What a splendid conception it were
to plant the sea-coasts of Ceylon with pearls, and thus throw the wealth
of the island in precious stones into the shade, by the treasures she
would possess in the depths of the sea!

[Footnote 85: This singular property of the oyster, in virtue of which it
can be fed to as confirmed obesity as a prize-ox, and admits of nearly as
much dexterity in "crossing," if we are to trust the palates of
"gourmets," as the Southdown and Leicester breeds of sheep, has received
its most extraordinary development in the vicinity of New York, where the
amount of capital sunk in the oyster trade considerably exceeds
£1,000,000! The finest of these are transferred as spawn from the beds in
the East River, or Long Island Sound, to the "nurseries," which are
situated in the brackish water near the head of the tide-way, just below
the "Highlands of the Hudson." Here they are carefully tended for some
months, till, their education being completed, they are re-transferred to
their native beds, and fed there with oatmeal daily; while, by some
mystery of the craft, the spawning season is postponed, except in the case
of those that are selected for propagating the race.]

Exactly at the period of our arrival at Colombo, the preparations were
being resumed at Aripo for the take of the oysters, which commences at the
beginning of February each year, and lasts about three weeks. It is, in
fact, a sort of jubilee time for the people, at which the Governor and
numbers of the wealthier classes mingle with the populace. Ordinarily this
spot becomes at that season a rendezvous for the poor and the wretched,
and a rallying point for all manner of abominable odours, filth,
troublesome flies, and intolerable heat, despite which drawbacks the
fishery is visited by thousands of boats, and hundreds of thousands of
men, who flock hither with the alluring prospect of speedy and abundant
wealth, or have been attracted from all parts of the Indian Continent by
the singularity of the spectacle. Suddenly, as though evoked by the wand
of a magician, a regular town starts into existence, of tents, or even
neat huts, with bamboo and cabbage-tree palings, roofed over with
palm-leaves, rice-straw, or coarse thick woollen cloth; booths for the
sale of merchandise "rise like an exhalation" during the night to supply
necessaries of all sorts to the converging multitudes from the interior,
as well as the fleets of visitors from seaward; and last, not least, the
divers themselves. Swindlers and mountebanks throng hither, adroit thieves
creep stealthily about, all Indian customs and fashions are represented,
all castes jostle each other. Priests, and the subordinate hangers-on of
the various sects, hurry about, and jugglers and Nautch girls vie with
each other in amusing the noisy multitudes.

The result of numerous experiments has proved that no diving apparatus can
replace the human machine, the cost of which, moreover, is a fixed
definite quantity, viz., the fourth part of the pearls brought up, which
is the diver's share. In each boat, or "Dhonie," are ten divers, each
having an assistant. Before the divers proceed to descend, a number of
quaint ceremonies are gone through, and incantations murmured, as well in
the boats as on shore, by the so-called "shark-charmers;" indeed, the
superstition of the divers, who for the most part come from the Coromandel
coast, is so great, that not one of their number, Christian or idolator,
would continue in this employment without the countenance of the sorcerer;
and the Government finds itself compelled to pay the impostors.[86] They
levy a tribute of ten oysters upon each boat.

[Footnote 86: In 1857, the chief shark-charmer was a Roman Catholic!]

Accidents with sharks are of rare occurrence: the noise of 1000 divers on
the water at once seeming to scare the animals. Moreover, the dark colour
of the skin of their bodies, acts as a considerable protection to the
divers, so that there are numbers who blacken their legs, in order still
more to alarm the monster.[87]

[Footnote 87: An encounter in the water between a shark and an expert
swimmer, armed only with a knife, is not so unequal an affair as might at
first be supposed. The pearl fishers of the Gulfs of Panama and Nicoya
only use a short stick, with which, if the sharks get _above_ them, they
stir up the mud, under cover of which they swim along the bottom for a
little distance, and then shoot up to the surface. Of the equality in
which a good swimmer armed with a knife feels himself in encountering a
shark, there are numerous instances. Many years ago, when shipping was
more plentiful in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica, than at the present day,
vessels had occasionally to put up with somewhat awkward berths, when they
used regularly to "foul their anchors," whereupon it became necessary, of
course, to send some one down to free the cable. For this purpose, negro
divers were employed, and one man attained a wide reputation from having
himself, unscathed, slain in fair combat at different times, no less than
five sharks! Ultimately the sharks steered clear of any black man who had
a knife suspended round his neck.]

After these preliminaries, the divers go down into the water, each
carrying a basket-shaped net, in which to bring up the oysters, when
selected--a stone of from 15lbs. to 25lbs. weight being fastened round the
body, so as more readily to enable him to sink to the bottom. When at a
depth of some 5 or 6 fathoms, the diver unfastens the stone, which is
forthwith hauled up. He now throws himself forward on his face, and keeps
himself as close as he can to the ground, while he rapidly rakes up and
collects together all that is within his reach, so as to fill his landing
net. He crawls along in this manner during the minute of his submersion,
over a space of from 40 to 50 feet; and so soon as he pulls the cord
attached to his plaited basket-edge, it is immediately hauled up, and he
himself speedily follows it to the surface.[88]

[Footnote 88: The divers are mostly old men, vigorous and healthy in
appearance, thus dispelling the general notion that deep-sea diving
weakens the body and shortens life. We were told of one diver, employed
during the year 1856, in the pearl fishery, who was so stout and fat, that
in addition to the ordinary diver's stone, he had to make fast a
considerable weight to his body, in order to sink himself in the water.]

The utmost depth at which the diver can safely remain seems to be about 40
feet, beyond which blood is apt to issue from the nose and ears. They
seldom remain above 50 or 60 seconds under water, although cases
occasionally occur in which the stay under water is protracted to 80
seconds. The diving is carried on for 5 or 6 hours without intermission,
so that each of the ten divers can, in the course of a day, bring up from
1000 to 4000 oysters. By dint of good fortune, and close packing, about
150 oysters are brought up in each basket-net, while occasionally an
unprolific bed does not give more than five or ten oysters. So soon as the
oysters have been dragged to land, they are sorted in shares, of which one
goes to the oyster fisher as his remuneration, and the remainder are sold
in lots of 1000 each to the highest bidder. Now begins speculation. Chance
presides here, quite as capriciously as at a lottery or another game of
hazard. It often happens that a single oyster contains thirty or forty
pearls, of which some may be worth a sovereign on the spot; but it more
frequently occurs that several hundred oysters do not yield a single
pearl. The small, valueless pearls, called also "seed pearls," are burnt
down, and sold as pearl-lime to the wealthy Malays, by whom it is used as
a luxurious addition to the betel and cabbage nuts, as masticatories. The
Ceylonese mix the lustreless pearls with other grains, with which they
feed the poultry, in whose croops the pearls regain their former
brilliancy after a few minutes' grinding. The croop is then slit up, and
the glittering stones extracted, white as the most beautiful
pearl-muscular tissue.[89]

[Footnote 89: This method of procedure, which is adopted by the rest of the
Indian races, and in which the lustreless pearls are swallowed by hens,
pigeons, and ducks, so as to be polished up, after being subjected to the
preliminary digestion of these birds, has been proved to be anything but
beneficial to the pearls as regards loss by attrition. Careful observation
has established, for example, that four pearls, weighing twelve grains,
have lost four grains by undergoing this process during twelve hours,
while eight others, weighing thirty grains, were reduced to twenty grains
after a sojourn of two days in the gizzard of a duck.]

The pearl oysters caught on the coast of Ceylon are all of the same
species (_Meleagrina Margaritifera_), uniformly oval in shape, and about
9-1/2 inches in circumference. The number taken in Ceylon annually must be
numbered by millions. In the year of our arrival to Ceylon (1858), the
pearl fishery yielded £24,120. According to the last returns, before us as
we write, there were in the year 1859, 1352 boats engaged during eighteen
days in the pearl fishery, the gross take of which amounted to 9,534,951
oysters, sold for £48,216. The divers' shares amounted together to
2,126,749 oysters.

The wide-spread popular delusion, that the pearl in the oyster is but a
produce of disease in the animal, has long been refuted by scientific
research, and although the great German poet, Henry Heine, in his
"Romanzero," sings,

   "Those world-famed pearls,
    They are but the wan mucus
    Of a sad oyster,
    Dimly sickening in the depth of the sea!"

it is rather a poetic fancy than a scientific fact. We have latterly been
especially indebted to the German naturalist, Theodore von Hessling, for a
very circumstantial and thoroughly exhaustive memoir on the natural
history of the pearl oysters and their pearls,[90] in which the learned
author seeks to establish that the enveloping matter of the germ of the
pearl is identical with the covering of the animal, and that in the
process of growth two influences are at work, an external and an internal.
The first is called into play by the property peculiar to the hinge system
that unites the double shell, of gaping wide open, in consequence of which
extraneous substances rush in with the current of water, such as minute
fragments of quartz, molecules of plants, &c., which, being detained
either circling in the cavity, or eddying round the hinges, are seized on
in the course of their revolutions, and entangled in the parenchyma of the
various organs, which is specially secreted from the mantle, till it
becomes enveloped by layers of solid shell. On the other hand, the
internal development is closely allied to the conditions of deposition
and subsequent growth of the shell-matter. Molecules, either a single
grain or congeries of grains, varying from 9.01 to 0.05 of a line (3/4 of
an inch down to the 1/240th of an inch), enclosed in the _epidermis_ of
the shell, constitute usually the _nuclei_ of the pearls, which, to a
certain extent, may be considered as nothing but a portion of the
_epidermis_ not applied to the formation of shell. The pearls also are
simply independent concretions growing in the creature, and consisting of
the substance of the shell, which are with difficulty discriminated from
the various descriptions of growths which constitute the inner surface of
the shell.

[Footnote 90: Die Perlen-Muschel, und ihre Perlen, Naturwissenschaftlich
und Geschichtlich mit Berücksichtigung der Perlen-gewässer Bayerns,
beschrieben von Theodor von Hessling, Leipzig, 1859.]

The great importance of the pearl as an article of luxury and commerce,
has naturally led to numerous attempts to manufacture them by artificial
means, in the course of which extraneous bodies have been introduced
between the mouth and shell of the animal, sometimes with, sometimes
without injury to it. The Chinese especially are adepts at placing certain
small bodies, specially prepared, in the shells of the pearl oyster,
which, after a short time, becomes coated with mother-of-pearl, or nacre.
This manufacture of artificial pearls is carried on on a large scale in
the neighbourhood of Hong-Chow-Foo. During our stay at Hong-Kong and
Shanghai respectively, we ourselves saw several mussel-shells, in which a
mother-of-pearl covering had formed over small neatly carved figures,
mostly sitting figures of Buddha,[91] the singular appearance of which
would, at the first glance tend to make the observer suspect that the
pearl had been fastened to the mussel by some adhesive substance. But we
had so frequently an opportunity of satisfying ourselves by actually
witnessing the entire process, that we could no longer doubt that the
carved figures are with the utmost care introduced into the animal, and,
after remaining a few days in the water, become attached to the mussel by
a distinct membrane. This, their membrane, afterwards becomes
interpermeated by the calcareous matter, till, finally, layers of
mother-of-pearl are deposited all around the nucleus, the whole formation
corresponding with the chalk-like concretions occurring in other

[Footnote 91: The antiquity of this experiment is proved by the fact that
the _Topographia_ of Ischikiang speaks of a pearl, which had been sent to
the Imperial Palace at Pekin, 490 B.C., which resembled Buddha, and
apparently must have been produced by this same method; although likewise
the priests of Buddha, at that early epoch, might not have objected, in
the interests of their religion, to make capital out of such a specimen of
artistic skill.]

Besides the pearl-shells, the northern shores of Ceylon, especially
between the Island of Manaar and Karativoe, are especially rich in beds of
a volute mussel (_Turbinella rapa_, or _soluta gravis_), which are
exported in great numbers to India, where the Hindoo women saw them into
rings of all sizes, to be worn as ornaments on the arms, legs, fingers and
toes. The chank-shell is likewise a chief instrument of the Buddhists,
who, amongst other devout customs, blow three times a day on this sacred
shell, to summon believers to worship.[92] It is also used as a festive
ornament of the Indian temples, as well as a donation to the dead, which,
inspired by a religious feeling, the survivors place in the grave
alongside of the corpse of their illustrious departed.

[Footnote 92: According to the most ancient annals of the Cingalese, the
chank-shell is sounded in one of the superior heavens of the demigods
(similar to the conk-blowing Tritons of Grecian mythology), in honour of
Buddha, as often as the latter wanders abroad on the earth.]

The gems found on the island are distinguished, less for their intrinsic
value than for the great variety of precious stones which are present.
They are, with few exceptions, found to have been disengaged from the
primitive rocks, and washed into the alluvial soil, especially in the
outskirts of the mountainous districts, where they are rolled along the
beds of the streams together with other pebbles, or are washed out of the
alluvial deposits. Hitherto, they have only been searched for for purposes
of trade, and then only in the most desultory and thriftless way, no one
having as yet examined the rocks themselves, by the disintegration of
which the valuable stones are disengaged. There was, indeed, no detailed
information as to the wealth in precious stones of the island, until the
researches of the English mineralogist, Dr. Gygax, who has very lately
published on this subject many interesting observations and remarks. The
locality in which precious stones are most abundant is, so far as present
experience goes, the district of Saffragam, the capital of which in
consequence takes the name of Ratnapoora, or Anarhadnaporra, "the city of
rubies." They are also found at various other parts of the island; in the
plains on the West coast, between Adams' Peak and the sea, at Nuwera
Ellia, Kandy, Matelle, and Ruanwelli, near Colombo, as also in Matura, and
the river courses on the eastern side, towards the ancient Mahagam. The
geologist of the Expedition visited some mines of precious stones near
Ratnapoora. These are situated on the Kaluga-Sella, a small tributary of
the Kalu-Gunga, and lie, some in the very bed of the river, some on the
steep bank. They are about thirty feet deep, but having been some time
disused, they are full of water. The uppermost stratum of these pits or
mines is a rich fertile yellow loam, exactly resembling our diluvial
loams. This is succeeded, according to the report of the proprietor of the
mines, by a slimy black clay, and clayey sand, beneath which again is a
bituminous clay, holding numerous organic remains, such as leaves, trunks
of trees converted into a substance resembling lignite, and not
infrequently elephants' tusks and bones of animals; thereafter sand, and
lastly a bank of rolled gravel, forming a species of conglomerate with
red, yellow, and occasionally blue clay--being, in fact, what is known as
stone-gravel. This bank of pebbles is the layer in which the precious
stones occur, and these are most commonly found between the larger masses
of agglutinated matter, that are always found especially to abound in
gems, whenever they are superposed upon what is called malave, which
appears to be a sort of greenish-coloured talc-like half-decomposed mica.
The most valuable stones that are obtained from these mines are rubies and
sapphires. In the Kalu-Gunga, also, precious stones are occasionally
washed down, and as the geologist of the _Novara_ Expedition was
descending the river in a boat, from Ratnapoora to Caltura, he perceived
at several places, more particularly at the various rapids, men standing
in the water, provided with flat pan-shaped baskets, in which they sifted
the sand and pebbles.

The gems found on the island are rubies, sapphires topazes, amethysts,
garnets, cinnamon-stone, and tourmaline. On the other hand, all the
diamonds, emeralds, carnelians, agates, opals, and turquoises, which the
natives offer for sale, are imported from India. One precious stone, on
which the Cingalese set an exceedingly high value, because they
erroneously believe that it is peculiar to the island of Ceylon, whereas
it is also found on the southern shores of Hindostan, is the "Cat's-eye,"
a greenish transparent quartz, which, when polished in its natural shape,
or "_en cabochon_," exhibits in its interior a varying reflected light,
undoubtedly arising from the presence of fibres of asbestos, and which, in
fact, bears some resemblance to the eye of a cat. The natives, as a rule,
estimate the value and symmetry of this stone by the brilliancy and
tenuity of the beam which it emits, and the clear olive-coloured ground
upon which it shines in relief.

A vast number of men give themselves up to the exciting but most uncertain
occupation of searching for precious stones, and barter what they have
found, chiefly to Mahometan merchants, for clothes and salt. As, however,
the natives themselves set a high value on jewels, in consequence of
their small bulk admitting of their being readily concealed and easily
carried about, the finer descriptions are readily disposed of at a good
price, and, singular to say, it has frequently happened, as we ourselves
found by personal experience, that precious stones are dearer in Colombo
and Galle than in the European markets! The explanation of this paradox is
probably that the steady copious influx into the London and Paris markets
of precious stones from all parts of the earth where jewels are found,
admits of by no means such excessive fluctuations in value as at Ceylon,
where the supply actually on hand is so varying, and where the value of
the article almost always depends upon the rank and wealth of the Indian
purchaser. The foreign traveller very often cannot restrain a feeling of
surprise at seeing the fingers of the stately Mahometan jewellers adorned
with rings of costly gems, which are only offered for sale to himself at
an exorbitant sum.

The value of the precious stones of all sorts found in Ceylon in the
course of a year is estimated by Sir Emerson Tennent at about £10,000,
one-fourth, at least, of the entire quantity finding a market on the
island, a full half being sent to the jewel-polishers of India, so that
only the remaining fourth is exported to Europe.

The scant time allotted to us at Colombo was zealously occupied in seeing
the utmost that we could of the many interesting objects that invited
attention. Among others, we visited one of the largest industrial
enterprises in Ceylon, known as Hultsdorf Mill, a cocoa-nut-oil factory,
the proprietorship consisting in shares, of which the largest holder is
David Wilson, Esq., the Austrian Consular Agent. Here are carried on all
the various processes connected with the manufacture, the preparation of
the oil-cake from the cocoa-nut, the expressure of the oil, &c., which are
carried on by apparatus, partly sent out from England, partly put up in
this country, all set in motion by steam-engines. The task assigned in
these factories to the natives, of whom above a thousand are employed in
the various departments, is, nevertheless, not the less important and
significant, that, while machinery is used in those processes where it is
necessary to use an agency far transcending the powers of mere human
labour, all collateral products, such as soap, candles, perfumery, as also
the implements and tools required for the works, and even the barrels and
chests required for the transport of the manufactures, are prepared and
used by handicraft labour.

To the thoughtful visitor it is a scene of no ordinary interest to behold
several hundreds of Cingalese, Hindoos, and Mozambique negroes, all
thoroughly conversant with the management of the most magnificent
invention of the nineteenth century. Here are a number of artisans
employed at the hydraulic presses and iron turning-lathes; in another
apartment the various parts of the different machines are being
constructed or put together, which regulate the pressure of the steam
supplied to the apparatus when in activity; in a third, persons are busy
examining and testing the resulting products with scrupulous precision.
With all its development, European industry has, in this quarter,
exercised but an obscure influence; and, thus far, has been productive of
but small results as a civilizing element among this population, which has
hitherto shown itself so little disposed to accept the Christian form of

In the large warehouse belonging to Mr. Wilson, we also saw huge heaps of
"Kauris," or Cowries, (_cypræa moneta_), the renowned, or rather
ill-reputed, species of mussel, which comes from the Maldive Islands, and
plays so important a part in the commerce with the coast of Malabar and
the interior of Africa; while here, it constitutes the sole medium of
exchange, which is used by way of barter for almost all sorts of
agricultural produce, chiefly among the blacks.[93] These mussels are sent
from Ceylon to London, and thence back to the Eastern Coast of Africa, and
thus indirectly uphold the slave-trade, as, the native merchants of that
region barter these shells, so greatly sought after by all African tribes,
as ornament, for negroes and negresses, who are in turn sold to the
"speculators in human flesh." A ton of these shells, of which the smaller
description are most in request, and therefore the most valuable, costs
in Ceylon about £70 to £75.

[Footnote 93: The Malay name for this mussel is "beya," implying duty,
toll, tax, thus leaving it open to conjecture that that nation, in their
commerce with the Asiatic and African continents, have for untold ages
employed the same principles of currency and expressions of value as

To the kindness and active interest in our objects of Mr. Wilson, in whose
agreeable villa at Mootwall--the plan and method of construction of which
reminded us of the beautiful planters' houses on the sugar estates of
Louisiana--we spent the last night of our stay at Colombo, we are also
indebted for a copy, with which he presented us, of the most ancient
annals of Ceylon, inscribed with an iron graver upon Talipot palm-leaves
in the highly-esteemed Pali language, and preserved between richly-carved
boards of the costly wood of the Kalamander tree (_Diospyrus Hirsuta_).
This carefully-preserved MS. includes, among others, the celebrated epic
poem "Mahawanso," (an abbreviation "Mahantaman Wanso," "Genealogy of
mighty men,") which recites under 100 heads, and in 9175 verses, the most
important events connected with the interior constitution and history of
the island, as also of all the battles fought by the inhabitants in
foreign countries from B.C. 543 to the year 1758, A.D. Of these, the most
renowned historic relics of the Cingalese, 38 chapters, of 262 pages 4to,
were translated into English by George Tumour, Esq., an eminent Pali
scholar, and printed at Ceylon, in the year 1837. Unfortunately, his
earnest desire to publish the rest of this highly-interesting work was
destined not to be gratified. The grave closed over him ere he could
realize his wish. At present, however, there is a prospect of the
translation of the "Mahawanso" being completed by Mr. James de Alwis, a
worthy follower in the footsteps of Mr. Turnour, chiefly through the
munificence of Government and of the Scientific Institutes, which were
invoked to supply the requisite assistance for the prosecution of an
undertaking likely to prove so unremunerative.

In addition to the copy of the "Mahawanso," we also procured a number of
other important Cingalese MSS. on Talipot palms, which were made use of by
Tumour, partly in his translation of the "Mahawanso," partly in his other
works upon Ceylon, and which embrace numerous valuable historical details
not comprised in the "Mahawanso." This complete collection of the most
antique annals of the Island of Ceylon, in the purchase of which we were
kindly favoured with the advice and assistance of Mr. Wilson at Colombo,
together with a variety of other Cingalese MSS. on palm leaves, collected
at a subsequent date, now form part of the collection of valuable books in
the Imperial Royal Library at Vienna.

Besides Mr. Wilson, our very best thanks are due to the Colonial
Secretary, Sir C. J. McCarthy, who had the kindness to provide several of
the members of the _Novara_ Expedition with the requisite letters of
introduction to the authorities in the interior of the Island: also to Mr.
John Selby, the very obliging proprietor of the _Examiner_; to Dr.
Kelaart, physician and naturalist; to Charles P. Layard, Esq., the
Government Agent for the Western Provinces; and to Captain Gosset,
Surveyor-General, for their numerous attentions. The last-mentioned
gentleman very kindly provided us with a pair of level-tubes which we
urgently needed for one of our levelling instruments, and which, in this
quarter of the globe, were more rare and difficult to be met with than
pearls or precious stones.

Our return from Colombo to Galle, was not less marked by misadventures
than our journey thither. As far as Caltura, where our amiable Father
Miliani was in waiting for us with his neat single-horse equipage, to
convey us to the beautiful parsonage of St. Sebastian Makùn, all went
tolerably smoothly with us. We arrived, as had been concerted, to
breakfast with this hospitable shepherd of souls. On our way to the
parsonage, we noticed that great respect was paid to the worthy Father, by
such of the Cingalese as met us. Their usual salutation was to bend
themselves to the earth, veiling their eyes at the same time, and bending
forward the outstretched head as though to implore a blessing. Father
Miliani, who held the reins in his left hand, while his right hand
flourished a long heavy whip, slightly inclined his body upon the
cabriolet, and so dismissed in peace the poor folk that besought his
benediction. When we had now got pretty near the parsonage, we were
suddenly brought to a halt by a couple of natives, of whom one implored
the spiritual ministration of the Father for his wife, then lying almost
_in articulo mortis_, while the other had brought with him, from the
sacristy of Makùn, the Communion-plate required for the purpose. The
priest, to whom this interruption seemed to come as a matter of course,
stopped, apologized for the unexpected delay, threw the reins to one of
the party, sprang from the waggon, and disappeared in the gloom of the
forest. It was not for long, as it proved; for the stately, handsome
figure of the priest of Makùn presently appeared between the cocoa-palms.
He had found the woman much less dangerously ill than he had been led to
expect by the report of the husband, the native converts to Christianity
being very much given to requesting the administration of the rites of the
Church, upon being attacked by the slightest indisposition, because they
anticipate much more benefit from spiritual treatment than from the
medicines of their body-curers. And now we proceeded on our way to the
parsonage at a smart gallop, which, however, did not prevent a zealous,
much-believing Cingalese from keeping up with the mettled horse, stride
for stride, for the entire distance, keeping close to the waggon as he ran
alongside. We were not then aware, indeed, whether this violent bodily
exercise was undertaken as a matter of choice or as a penance, but it
seemed to us, in any case, an act far less meritorious than prejudicial to

In St. Sebastian de Makùn, the entire community were awaiting our arrival,
and escorted us by a romantic hill, and through a delicious palm-forest,
to the priest's abode. Here we found the porch of the house gaily adorned,
and metamorphosed with tropical fruits and flowers into a smiling fragrant
bower, with the feathery leaf of the cocoa-palm cut into thin strips. The
inventive ingenuity of the Cingalese had endeavoured to represent the
various birds found in tropical forests, which were suspended in
ornamental baskets of green leaves among the festoons. Over the entrance
to this bower, improvised out of materials supplied by the primeval
forest, was placed a picture painted by the good Father himself,
representing a large anchor, with the superscription in Italian "La
speranza non confunde!" (Hope never disappoints!) This was evidently a
delicate allusion of our kind-souled entertainer to the hope which he had
expressed during our previous visit, that he should see us on our return
from Colombo, "which had not been disappointed."

In the interior of the arbour appeared an elegantly appointed table, that
seemed ready to give way under the weight of good things spread upon it,
around which were placed a number of arm-chairs, worked in tapestry, while
the plastered floor was strewed with the glistening green leaves of the
_Ficus religiosa_. As soon as we had taken our seats, the members of the
community, consisting of more than a hundred tawny, half-naked Cingalese
(principally men and children), arranged themselves in a circle, and some
half-dozen dancers began to execute a very ordinary-looking dance to the
sound of a drum. The entire figure consisted in their simply approaching
each other from opposite sides, during which they struck the
hollow-sounding instrument pretty sharply, holding it in their hand the
while, after which they drew away from each other, and wound up by
dancing round in a circle in couples. A boy of eight, in glittering
costume, next performed a dance, in which he was accompanied by a grown-up
Cingalese who sung, occasionally accompanied by drum and fife. Frequently
we enquired what was the meaning of the vocal accompaniment to the dance,
but could get no information upon the subject. But we have always had
occasion to remark among the various primitive races, that they are rarely
able to give any connected account of the history of their dances or even
their songs, but simply go through a set of mechanical figures which they
have learned, or rehearse a set of words by rote, without being able to
assign any signification to either. Over and over again have we put the
question, only to receive the same stereotyped answer from Hindoos,
Negroes, Chinese, Malays, and Polynesians, that they could tell us nothing
more than that these songs and dances took their origin in the "olden
times." Breakfast was served in the arbour by Cingalese boys. As often as
the hospitable Father turned to apologize for his scanty means, which
prevented him from ministering to our entertainment as he could wish, some
new dish would be forthcoming, or some fresh kind of wine would be
produced, till one knew not which most to admire, the variety of the
entertainment, or its cost in preparation.

On inquiring of Father Miliani, in the course of conversation, whether he
had any acquaintance with the plants to which the natives ascribe healing
properties, he sent for a phial containing an oily substance, which;
according to the Cingalese herbalists, is composed of 57 different roots
and as many flowers, and has already been wonderfully efficacious in cases
of persons bitten by poisonous serpents. It is called by the natives,
_Visanili-Katail_ (oil against poison); and the priest of Makùn remarked
to us, he had himself had an opportunity of satisfying himself as to the
marvellous curative qualities of this vegetable substance, in the case of
persons who had been bitten by the most venomous snake in the whole
island, the _Cobra di Capello_, who had entirely recovered by the copious
use of this antidote. The application is very simple. The mouth is rinsed
out with it, and the patient further takes from 15 to 20 drops of the oil
internally. Unfortunately, we were not able to inquire more particularly
as to the ingredients from which the Visanili-Katail is compounded, of
which we eventually got a small quantity to carry away with us, after much
entreaty; but by way of compensation, Father Miliani was able to give us
much valuable information as to the manners, customs, and traditions of
his flock. He regretted, however, that they were all of a highly
impassioned strain, and that they constantly passed from one extreme to
the other. The following trait, which was pointed out to us by the Father
in the course of conversation, may serve to indicate the modes of thought
and observation of the natives. When the Cingalese perceived how eagerly
and with what warmth of friendship the Father received us, they inquired
of him whether he had been previously an acquaintance of ours, as they
were unable to conceive the existence of such hearty good-will between
persons who were utter strangers to each other. The priest, readily
appreciating the results which must flow from the reply he should give, in
confirming the devout souls of his children, replied that the reputation
of his name had long since penetrated to us, and we were unwilling to ride
by without turning aside to salute him, to which he had readily expressed
his assent, and had also long since been apprized of the important mission
of the Austrian ship of war, whose commander was termed by the natives,
with the bombast of their native tongue, "King of the Sea." At our
departure, the kind Father presented us with several interesting articles,
as _souvenirs_ of Makùn, while we, on our part, left with him a donation
in money to defray the expenses of erecting his church.

Father Miliani, the band of musicians, consisting of ten or twelve
wild-looking fellows, with all manner of barbarous musical instruments, of
which they made not less barbarous use, together with a laughing, yelling,
gesticulating crowd of half-naked Cingalese, with long raven locks
floating over their shoulders, accompanied us to our travelling chariot.
Here we took leave of the hospitable Father, the vehicle set out on its
route, and the whole brown retinue at once dispersed.

Hardly had we left the Mission of St. Sebastian Makùn behind us, ere our
troubles began afresh. At almost the very first station we came to, we
had to hire a horse from a resident at an exorbitant rate--the animal
belonging to the station, and which had been engaged for us, being utterly
useless. This gave occasion for fresh delays. The party letting the horses
was what is called a native doctor, who assumed the title of "native
vaccinator," and bitterly complained, that for his attendance four days in
every week, as required by the law, for the purpose of inoculation, he
only received from Government a monthly salary of £2 5_s._ sterling.
Whatever deficiency existed in his salary, he seemed determined to make up
for in the hire of his horse, which he charged for at the rate of ten
shillings for six miles! On the cash being forthcoming, our "native
vaccinator" did not disdain himself to take the reins, and, with his own
hands, apply the whip to his mare between the shafts of our vehicle. But
this mark of distinction was destined, ere long, to cost us dear. Hardly
had we proceeded a couple of miles under his care, when the hind-wheels of
the vehicle sunk into a rut, whence our Æsculapian steed lacked the
strength to extricate us. To complete the sum of our misfortunes, at the
very moment we were using our utmost endeavours to replace the waggon on
the regular track, it came on to rain heavily, and we were, in a
twinkling, wet to the skin. Some thirty young Cingalese, in the full dress
of Adam before the Fall, who were standing open-mouthed round the waggon,
could only be roused by threats from their passive attitude; and when,
finally, they lent a hand to assist, they, in their ill-timed zeal, came
near oversetting the waggon into the ditch on the opposite side. Next, we
exchanged this stubborn brute for one that was blind. For a brief space we
hoped the latter might probably be the more easily driven in consequence
of his not seeing what was going on around him; but these anticipations
were speedily dispelled, and in a rather unpleasant manner. The short
distance that now separated us from our destination seemed as though it
would never have an end; and, in a word, it was already verging on
midnight ere we reached Galle, where we had been expected to dinner five
hours before, by our hospitable friend, the Consul for Hamburg. Some of
the invited guests had already left this agreeable house, while others
were still seated at the whist-table, as, wearied and exhausted, we
entered the drawing-room. The circumstances that had so seriously delayed
our arrival were explained by way of apology, and proved the subject of
some goodnatured quizzing on our misfortunes by the guests present; and in
such agreeable society, and over a sumptuous supper, we speedily forgot
the trifling annoyances of our latest experiences.

In the course of a desultory agreeable conversation about the natural
beauties of the island, many were the plans of more distant excursions
which we projected this evening--which, however, upon more mature
consideration, all proved impracticable, owing to the scanty time at our
disposal. Thus we found ourselves, much against our wishes, compelled to
forego a visit to Kandy, and its beautiful environs, in which is situated
the renowned temple that enshrines the tooth of Buddha, the occupation of
which by the English was, in the eyes of the Cingalese, the most manifest
indication of their being the legitimate conquerors of the kingdom.[94]
Neither were we able to take part in an elephant hunt, although these
animals are found in the island in such quantities, that it is related,
with every appearance of accuracy, of a single elephant hunter, the late
Major Rodgers, who was struck dead by a flash of lightning a few years
since in the midst of the forest, that he had, in the course of his life
of active exercise, laid low fifteen hundred elephants with his own hand!
But permission was granted by the commander of the Expedition to the
geologist and one of the zoologists to remain in Ceylon, and rejoin the
frigate at Madras by the steamer which runs fortnightly, so as to enable
them to ascend the world-famous Adam's Peak, 7000 feet high, one of the
loftiest peaks in Ceylon, where, according to tradition, the founder of
the Buddhist doctrine, when last he visited the earth, in answer to the
supplications of a priest, left behind the print of his footstep
(_Sri-pada_), as a visible sign of his presence.

[Footnote 94: The legend relating to these relics, about which so many wars
were waged, goes back as far as the third century of the Christian era,
when Mahasana, a true believer, having become King of Ceylon, purchased
these teeth for numerous valuable presents, of one of his kindred, a
Calinga king in Bengal, who sent them over by his princes. The tooth
Dahata Wahansa immediately achieved a miracle--it illumined the entire
island, and supplanted all heretical teaching. It was forthwith enveloped
in a hundred cloths, and a temple erected to enshrine it, since which it
has been regarded as the Palladium of Ceylon. When, in 1560, this tooth
was transferred to the temple at Manaar by the Portuguese under Constantin
de Braganza, the king offered the Portuguese bigots 600,000 pieces of gold
by way of ransom. Braganza judged it more advisable to destroy the tooth.
But he little knew the adroitness and subtlety of the Buddhist priesthood.
The very next morning the tooth, that had been supposed to be destroyed
was marvellously found in a Lotos leaf in the temple, where it had been
deposited by Buddha himself!]

We cite, in the following extract, the most prominent features of this
venture, as supplied by the two members of the Expedition who undertook
it, so as to complete the description of the _Novara's_ visit to Ceylon:--

"On 13th January, 1858, we proceeded from Colombo to Ratnapoora, _en
route_, to visit Adam's Peak, a tolerably long and tedious journey. On the
margin of a river we encountered an elephant, who was engaged in assisting
the labourers on the public roads in that vicinity. While our car and the
baggage were being embarked here, and again put in order, this animal went
through a number of tricks, such as swaying to and fro, lying down,
raising his trunk, and trumpeting, the latter of which, at a sign from his
driver, he did with a vengeance, and for so doing was rewarded with a few
plantains. These exercises seem to constitute the first steps in taming,
as they were gone through in a similar manner by all the elephants we
afterwards saw, whether employed like this one in task-work, or maintained
for show, or made use of in the Temple service.

At mid-day we reached Ratnapoora, and as we were anxious to shorten as
much as possible our next day's journey, we decided on pushing forward in
the course of the afternoon, as far as the little village of Gilli-Mali,
seven miles further on. We had been provided by C. W. Layard, Esq., the
Government Agent in Colombo, with letters of introduction to his deputy,
Mr. Mooyart, at Ratnapoora, who, however, we unfortunately found was
absent from home. Next day, however, we had unmistakable evidence that our
letters had, very shortly after our departure, reached the hands they were
intended for, by a variety of precautions which the hospitable gentleman
must have at once arranged with a view to our greater comfort. While yet
on the second-half of our road to Gilli-Mali, night overtook us, and we
prosecuted our march by torch-light through the dense jungle. Our guides
and porters had shown some reluctance to enter this jungle, partly on
account of the swarms of land-leeches (_litchies_, as they are termed
here, doubtless by a corruption of the English name), which are especially
active during the night, partly from other causes of anxiety. Accordingly,
they kept reciting Cingalese ditties, alternated with shrill yells, or
shouted, so as to be heard at a distance; whether to drive away evil
spirits, or to frighten the _chetah_ or leopard, we could not ascertain.
No long time elapsed ere we ourselves began to perceive traces of having
been victimized by that most uncomfortable of guests, the land-leech. The
naked Hindoos were incessantly occupied with pulling off these painful
blood-suckers, and we had to call a halt from time to time, in order to
loosen and carefully fling them away, as they had succeeded in reaching
the skin, through the trousers immediately above the boot. They are found
up to an elevation of 4000 feet above the sea on the mountains, chiefly in
damp or wet localities, and are most active during the evening and night
in the selection of a victim.

At Gilli-Mali, we fell in with Mr. Braybrooke, an English engineer, who
most hospitably invited us to his bungalow, and with whom we conversed
upon topics relating to Ceylon, till far into the night.

Next day we had to ascend the Peak itself; which is in so far a difficult
undertaking on the side from which we approached it, that one has gained
no vantage-ground at Gilli-Malli, our last night's resting-place, towards
reaching the summit, so that one sees it in its entire colossal height of
above 7000 feet directly in front; whereas, in ascending from Kandy, one
has already, at Neuwera Ellia, attained an elevation of 4000 feet, which
can be performed in a carriage. We set out at 7 A.M., and after an
hour-and-a-half's march, gained the last village, Balahab-a-Dullu, in the
Buddhist temple of which is kept a flat metal dish, adorned with silver
_rosettes_, with which the imprint of the holy footstep is covered over at
the season of the annual pilgrimage. On the table, before a colossal
figure of Buddha, were strewn, as usual, a quantity of flowers presented
by the faithful; these were the flower-shrubs of the _Areca palm_,
_Hibiscus_, _Alamanda_, _Tagetes_; also, close to the wooden statue, are
placed several small figures of silver or wood, 3 or 4 inches long. The
priest also showed us a magnificent manuscript of at least 1000 palm
leaves, closely and beautifully engraved on both sides with Cingalese
characters, which belonged to the temple, and was guarded with great care.

At a solitary house on the road, we left our guides and porters to discuss
their modest repast, which, in consequence of the strict ordinances of the
Buddhist faith, consists of vegetable substances only. Reclining on a mat
spread on the ground, each took a piece of green plantain leaf, scattered
upon it a little rice which they had just brought with them, and some
chili (red Spanish pepper), and thence conveyed their simple food to their
mouth with the hand. This frugal meal was speedily concluded, and we once
more pushed forward. From this point we had the dense covert of the high
forest trees, the lofty foliage of which afforded a most agreeable shade,
and kept us comparatively cool. The path, which consists simply of
ravines, formed by the rush of torrents during the rainy season, is so
steep that it seems like one uninterrupted flight of stairs, the steps of
which seem partly constructed by Nature, partly by the hand of man.
Frequently they are artistically chiselled in the solid rock; at one
stupendous precipice a Cingalese monarch has had four flights, of 250
steps in all, hewn out of the living rock. Here and there, also, ladders
have been contrived, the rounds of which are composed of pieces of bamboo
bound together, by which one clambers up. The whole route bears marks of
being much used, and is considerably worn, the stones being rubbed quite
smooth. Under the damp shade of the forest are found a vast quantity of
the most beautiful ferns and _Lycopodium_ (Club-moss; or Wolf's-claw, as
it is called in Sweden, whence the Linnæan name); from the delicate beauty
of the _Jungermania_ (Star-tip), to the tree-like fern, _Filius
Phyllophisidos_, which vies with the giants of the forest. The more deeply
shaded spots are adorned here with beautiful balsams, a genus of plants
which, besides being unusually luxuriant and beautiful in this district,
exhibits certain peculiarities of form not usually met with.

At one place, called Nihilabellagalla, there was pointed out to us, at a
few paces to the side of the road, near a rugged projecting rock with a
steep declivity in front, a narrow valley which seemed to be closed in by
perpendicular walls of rock on the opposite side. This _cul de sac_, we
were informed, was a favourite resort of numerous wild elephants. A shot
fired at this point, with the gun directed towards the rocks opposite,
returned a thundering echo.

By 4 P.M. the last halt, or resting-place, was reached, above which the
singular-looking cone towers sheer overhead, some 500 or 600 feet high.
The vapours which, during the entire day, had been playing about the
summit, from time to time lifted like a veil, as though to indulge us with
an opportunity of beholding this sublime mountain-peak under the magical
effect of twilight. Our native retinue, which had gathered fresh
accessions of strength at every place we passed, and now consisted of from
24 to 30 persons, showed no inclination to proceed farther, but appeared
desirous of passing the night at the last halting-place, which was nothing
but a sort of hovel. It was only by a resolute expression of our
determination to reach the summit the same evening that they gave in.
Their reluctance arose from an idea that no one could with impunity pass
the night on the highest point of the mountain--which, indeed, is natural
enough, since the sharp night-air at such an elevation may well be
prejudicial to the health of those who are not sufficiently protected
against its attacks.

The last portion of the ascent is so steep, and so difficult, that all
superfluous baggage was left behind, and we took with us only what was
absolutely indispensable. Thus far we had seen occasional traces of
elephants, sometimes so fresh, that they could not have been more than an
hour old. According to a report of Major Skinner, the unmistakable marks
of one of these animals was remarked in the year 1840 quite close to the
rock which bears the sacred footprint! At the steepest points, iron
ladders have been made fast, by which the visitor has to scramble up.
There were, also, innumerable chains fastened to the rock, of every
description and variety of link, which swung to and fro by dozens on
either hand, some eaten away with age and rust, some forged quite lately,
it being considered a meritorious work to provide such as a protection
against the occurrence of accidents. By 6 P.M., we at last reached the
summit, and were rewarded with a panoramic view of indescribable
magnificence. The mists were almost entirely dispersed, and in the clear,
calm, evening light, the eye wandered at pleasure over the vast, almost
limitless, panorama at our feet, as far as the sea, barely visible in the
grey distance. Bounding our view from north-west to east, the mountain
ranges rose by three distinct terraces of hills, each behind the other,
and in regular gradations, till they culminated in the highest peak on the
island, the Pedro-talla-galla, which overtops Adam's peak by nearly 1000
feet,[95] but presents no pre-eminent peak, similar to that on which we now
stood. The remainder of the horizon was filled with low mountains, which
gradually became more and more flat as they approached the coast. The
followers of three religions,--Buddhists, Brahmins, and Mahometans, stand
face to face with each other on this space of barely a few steps, in order
to bow before these visible emblems, in sincere devotion to the invisible
Deity. The highest surface, which is nearly level, is of an irregular oval
form, and is about 60 or 70 feet in length, by from 36 to 40 feet in
breadth, and is inclosed within a wall 5 feet in height, with two
entrances on the west and south, while the north-east corner is shut out
by an artificially rounded rock, easily surmounted, however, by any one
who ascends it. In the middle of this enclosure stands a block of rock
some 10 or 11 feet high, which, on the extreme top, has a depression, the
divine _Sri-pada_, or Holy Footstep. The adoration consists chiefly of
offerings of flowers which are brought up hither, and presented with
innumerable genuflections, invocations, and exclamations of "_Sadoo_,"
which corresponds to the Christian Amen. The impressed foot-print is
ascribed by the Buddhists to the last incarnation of Buddha, the gentle
hermit Gautama; while it is regarded by the Brahmins as the footstep of
Siva, and by the Mahometans as that of Adam, as being the spot on which
the progenitor of the human race stood so long, doing penance after his
expulsion from Paradise, until the Almighty pardoned him.

[Footnote 95: The precise relative elevations of the two mountains are,
Pedro-talla-galla 8280 feet, Adam's Peak 7420 feet. Two other peaks of the
main range are also higher than Adam's Peak, viz. Totapella 7720 feet, and
Kirrigal-potta 7810 feet, while the plains, or table-lands, of Welinani
and Neuwera Ellia are, respectively, no less than 6990 feet and 6210 feet
above the level of the sea.]

This depression, in which only the most unbridled imagination can see any
resemblance to the human foot, is about 5 feet in length by 2-1/2 in
breadth, and is set, as it were, in a level stratum of mortar, several
inches in height, by six in breadth, shaped to resemble the outline of the
human foot. At its anterior extremity, it presents a straight line, on
which the five toes are artificially formed by several tolerably thick,
narrow crevices, filled with mortar, and about 8 or 9 inches in length,
which jut inwards, the great toe being on the right or east side, and thus
indicating that it is a representation of the left foot. At the heel end
the setting of mortar is somewhat narrowed and rounded off. Over the whole
affair a wooden temple with balustrades open on all sides, has been
erected, which is fastened by iron chains to the rock, and to beams of
rhododendron fastened on the N.W. side, outside the wall, to prevent its
being swept away by the storms which, on this lofty, exposed peak,
occasionally rage with great vehemence. These cables, as also several of
the poles by which the temple was supported, were thickly hung with carved
figures of Buddha enveloped in linen cloth, which, originally the votive
offerings of pilgrims, and bleached by long exposure, fluttered in the
breeze. On the front of the temple is erected a penthouse roof, shading a
bench beneath, on which several of our porters, who regarded our impious
presence, and still more impious admeasurements of the holy footprint,
with a horror which they flattered themselves was unobserved, deposited
their offerings of flowers, and humbly bent the knee. On the west side,
under two small distinct roofs, were two bells, and quite apart, on the
rock itself, and somewhat in the background, a smaller temple. Between the
block of rock and the inner half of the enclosure, a small house has been
erected, 12 feet long by 6 feet broad, which is used as a shelter at night
by the priests who are on duty during the pilgrimage season,[96] in which
we too took up our quarters. Suddenly, from the depths below there arose,
through the unbroken silence of the night, a confused murmur, in which the
sounds of human voices were plainly recognizable. The singularity of such
a phenomenon produced a certain degree of excitement among our
superstitious spectre-dreading followers, inasmuch as it had never
happened that strangers undertook the ascent of the peak at night, seeing
it gives trouble enough to reach the summit by daylight. By degrees we
perceived a number of torches borne by natives, who, with loud and
long-continued cheers, set about slowly ascending the ladders. To the
inquiries of our followers they made no reply; and we had, in a word, to
wait a considerable interval, until, indeed, the leading torch-bearer had
reached the summit, ere we were enlightened as to the object of this
mysterious nocturnal visit. How great, and let us add, agreeable was our
surprise at finding ourselves suddenly surrounded by a choice array of
wines, with food of various sorts, which the overflowing hospitality of
Mr. Mooyart had dispatched after us to the summit of Adam's Peak, together
with his card, the whole being conveyed in huge baskets by the supposed
spectres! A cheerful fire speedily blazed up, at which our tea and
provisions were cooked, and, as may well be supposed, while, enjoying our
delicate fare, we thankfully toasted the kind and thoughtful donor.

[Footnote 96: The dry season, occurring in the south-west side of the
island from January to April, is likewise the chief season of pilgrimage,
at the end of which the entire amount of the offerings, annually averaging
from £250 to £300 sterling, is handed over to the High-Priest of Buddha.]

Deep silence once more fell on all around, no cry of any wild beast
reached us at this elevation, no hum of insect broke upon the awful
stillness. Our coolies lay cowering together around the drooping blaze,
seeking some shelter against the night air. One division stowed themselves
away in a second sleeping-house for priests, which had been run up some
twenty paces distant, in which we also were in the end fain to seek
shelter from the ever-increasing keenness of the air, the temperature of
which fell to 54°.5 Fahr., where, with our wrappers drawn close around us,
and stretched at full length on the bare rock, we awaited the approach of

The first faint glimmer of dawn invited us once more to the open air, in
order to contemplate the wonderful aspect of Nature at this elevation. We
had, after leaving Ratnapoora, taken barometrical and thermometrical
observations, with the view of determining the elevation at nine different
stations, which had been, wherever practicable, selected in such manner,
that by means of them the various limits of certain classes of vegetation
were indicated, which in many instances are marked out with extraordinary
distinctness upon the perpendicular side of the peak. These series of
observations, which were at the same time supplemented by investigations
as to the temperature of the soil and of various springs, will be compared
with the results of previous scientific visitors to the summit of Adam's
Peak, and published in another form. The geology of the isolated pinnacle
of Adam's Peak, so far as the dense covering of primeval forests permitted
us to observe, is uncommonly simple and uniform. The chief directions of
the lofty chain of mountains in Southern Ceylon, separated from each other
by level plateau-like depressions, is from S.S.E. to N.N.W., corresponding
likewise with the chief directions of the strata of gneiss, of which these
mountains are composed. The gneiss is uniformly of a species not often met
with, studded with garnets, and between its strata are inserted single
beds of hornblende-gneiss and splinters of pure hornblende, as also
granulite-gneiss and pure granulite. The steep, final cone of the rock
consists of a granulitic gneiss of varying texture from coarse to fine,
and abounding in garnets. Everywhere, even up to the highest summit, the
gneiss is decomposed on the surface into laterit-like products. The huge
blocks of brown ironstone, however, which are found near the summit, in
the hollow path by which it is customary to ascend, owe their origin to
the decomposition of the hornblende.

After these interesting observations, admeasurements, and investigations,
made at the summit of the most remarkable peak in the world, had been
brought to a conclusion, we set out on our return to Gilli-Mali, which we
reached late at night. Here we found, at the abode of our hospitable
entertainer, Mr. Braybrooke, a fresh guest, who likewise intended to
ascend Adam's Peak the following day. This was the well-known Count Medem,
a Russian gentleman, who has frequently traversed both the old and new
worlds, and was now about making a second visit to China.[97] The next day
saw us at Ratnapoora, from which point we continued our return journey on
the waters of the Kalu-Gunga, or Black River, as far as Caltura.

[Footnote 97: Count Medem died the same year at Shanghai.]

Our boat consisted of two trunks of trees hollowed out and fastened
together, upon which was erected a semicircular tilt, covered with the
leaves of the Fan Palm (_Borassus Flabelliformis_), under which one might
sit or lie at pleasure, sheltered from the sun. As the mail-car that runs
daily from Colombo to Caltura was already full, we were compelled, in
order to pursue our journey to Galle, to make use of the native waggon, or
bullock-bandy. This is a two-wheeled cart drawn by oxen, and covered with
a semicircular tilt of palm-leaves, beneath which there was room for two
persons to lie at full-length packed closely together. The oxen, of a
breed that have humps and erect horns, are small, and walk with a quick,
short tramp, while their entire bodies are tattooed with Cingalese
characters and ornaments. The horns are usually adorned with metal tips,
and frequently are dyed, the one red, the other green. The cross-piece of
the pole is fastened to the neck instead of the customary yoke, and the
cord for guiding the animal passes through the nose. The driver either
strides along between the two oxen, or sits with his back to them on the
pole. The rate of progression by this national conveyance is so slow, that
the mail-car which left Colombo the day after overtook us long ere we
reached our destination, and it was with some difficulty we reached Galle
in time for the overland steamer which was to bring us to Madras."


At 6 A.M. of the 16th January, the _Novara_ set sail from the roads of
Point de Galle with light breezes off the land, and steered southerly in
order to avoid the Basses or Baxos, a much-dreaded rocky shoal,
traditionally alleged to be the remains of the island of Giri, swallowed
up by the sea, and which, owing to the very strong current, require the
utmost care to be observed, in order to avoid drifting right upon them.[98]

[Footnote 98: A late survey, instituted with the intention of erecting a
lighthouse on the "Basses," proved a failure, in consequence of the ground
having sunk in while an examination was being made by the diver, and left
nothing but holes filled with water, in which, according to the report of
the fishermen, besides fish and molluscs, sea-snakes are occasionally
seen, of a light-gray colour, and about 4 or 5 feet in length.]

The evening before our departure, the Consul for Hamburg had requested
from the Commander of the Expedition the favour of a free passage to
Madras, on board our frigate, for a native of Berlin, named Neupert. This
man had come to Ceylon a long time previously with a company of
rope-dancers, and had at first made a good deal of money as an acrobat and
juggler, despite the dangerous competition of the Indian practitioners,
but had afterwards lost his all, and had been for some weeks in a pitiable
plight. The request was at once acceded to, and Neupert came on board
during the night. His luggage did not encumber him much. However, although
the greatest part of his effects had disappeared in Galle, he fortunately
had kept his various apparatus; and, by way of showing his gratitude for
the free passage that had been accorded to him, professed his willingness,
in the course of the voyage, to give us some specimens of his skill on
deck. Accordingly, one fine afternoon, he gave us an entertainment out on
the open ocean, which not alone hugely pleased the sturdy tars grouped
together on the forecastle, but ultimately, in consequence of a collection
set on foot for the unfortunate Berlin acrobat, procured him enough ready
money to enable him to pass the first week after his arrival at Madras
free from anxiety, besides supplying him with a fresh outfit.

Within a few days after our departure from Galle, several severe cases
occurred of hemeralopia, chiefly among members of the ship's band. Every
evening, as darkness set in, these men lost all power of distinguishing
objects, and had to be led about like blind men. In Vienna, we had been
advised by various physicians there, with a view to the confirmation or
refutation of the popular belief, to try the use of boiled ox-liver;[99]
and, as one of the oxen shipped at Ceylon had been slaughtered, we were in
a position to make the desired experiment, which, it must be confessed,
proved eminently successful. This time, moreover, several of those thus
afflicted were treated with cooked pig's-liver, which was given them to
eat, while the steam rising from the dish was applied to their eyes. But
we had, on our return voyage, the most convincing proof of the efficacy of
the liver of animals of the ox tribe in cases of night-blindness, when
above twenty of those afflicted, after frequent relapses during the voyage
from Valparaiso to Gibraltar, were treated in the last-named port with
ox-liver, and dismissed permanently cured.[100]

[Footnote 99: This cure is likewise very much resorted to, even of late
years, among the Highlands of Scotland!]

[Footnote 100: During the entire voyage round the globe, there occurred 75
cases of _Hemeralopia_; the largest number of which, 60, occurred between
Cape Horn and Gibraltar. The remainder were isolated cases, occurring at
Rio, Ceylon, the Nicobar Islands, and on the voyage from China to Sydney.]

The voyage from Ceylon to Madras was, on the whole, monotonous and void of
interest, with the exception of one single event, which no one on board is
likely to forget for the remainder of his life. About 3.30 P.M. of the 2nd
January, 1858, there suddenly resounded from the hold, the astounding cry
of "Fire! fire!" Everyone rushed, in the utmost excitement, on deck. It
turned out that a by no means insignificant quantity of pure alcohol,
which was stowed away in the hold for the preservation of specimens of
natural history, had, from some unknown cause, caught fire. Forthwith the
pumps were manned, the sails clewed up, all the portholes closed, so as to
cut off the slightest draught, and all the hammocks of the crew trundled,
_pêle-mêle_ on deck anyhow, out of the quarter-nettings, in which they are
stowed away during the day, there to be dipped in sea-water, and in that
wringing-wet condition applied, partly in extinguishing the flames, partly
in preventing the fire from spreading. In less than a quarter of an hour
the worst danger was over, and our wonted quiet restored, despite the
first terrible excitement. On a more searching investigation, several of
the tin carboys in the hold, filled with spirits of wine, and kept between
layers of sand in iron chests, were found to have been corroded till the
liquor had oozed through, while the air, having free access to the sand,
had become strongly impregnated with gas. This atmosphere, impregnated as
it was with alcoholic fumes, took fire on one of the sailors carelessly
entering the hold with a badly-fastened lantern, and in a moment the light
flames which speedily enveloped the man in such a confined space, at once
gave the alarm. The full carboys remained uninjured by the fire. Had such
a catastrophe happened, and the whole quantity of spirit (about 40
gallons) taken fire, considering the immense quantities of combustible
matter we had on board, among the rest a ton-and-a-half of gunpowder, the
upshot must have been of a far less agreeable nature. The extraordinary
lightning-like activity displayed by the entire ship's company on this
occasion was something wonderful. Each man seemed to have got wings. There
was the most laudable emulation displayed by all hands in seeking to save
the lives of themselves and others from such a terrible doom.

On the 30th January, at 7.30 P.M., we anchored in Madras Roads, so dreaded
for their insecurity, about three nautical miles from the shore, and in 9
fathoms (56 feet English). Even in the calmest weather there is a
tremendous surf on this coast, and from October to December, in which
strong gales blow from the N.E., it is all but unapproachable. For this
reason, so soon as the wind increases so as to endanger the ships in the
roads, a flag is hoisted on a staff at the Master Attendant's office, that
they may put to sea at once. On the second signal, all ships must quit the
Roads for fear of being dashed through the surf upon the beach.

From the city we heard a running fire of musketry and some salutes with
cannon, which, considering the prevalence of warlike rumours and movements
in the then circumstances of India, made us conjecture that the natives of
the Coromandel coast were also in insurrection against the English.
However, we learned afterwards that the musketry and salvoes proceeded
from the troops stationed near the drilling-ground, who were receiving
their general on his return from parade with a salute. The following day
(Sunday, the 31st January, 1858) the European community of Madras fell
into a precisely similar error in consequence of our salute, which they,
being at that hour assembled at worship, mistook for a much less peaceful
and agreeable intimation, so that the majority, dreading an outbreak,
hurried to their houses in deep anxiety.

[Illustration: MASULI BOAT AT MADRAS.]





   "Catamarans" and "Massuli" boats.--Difficulty of disembarkation,
     and plans for remedying it.--History.--Brahminism.--Festival
     in honour of Vishnu.--Employment of Heathens under a Christian
     Government.--Politics and Religion.--Laws of Brahminic faith.--
     The Observatory.--Museum of Natural History and Zoological
     Garden.--Academy of Fine Arts.--Medical School.--Infirmary.--
     Orphan Asylum.--Dr. Bell.--Lancastrian Method of Teaching
     Children first applied in Madras.--Colonel Mackenzie's
     Collection of Indian Inscriptions and Manuscripts.--The Palace
     of the former Nabob of the Coromandel Coast.--Journey by rail
     to Vellore.--_Fête_ given by the Governor in Guindy Park.--
     Visit to the Monolithic Monuments of Mahamalaipuram.--
     Excursion to Pulicat Lake.--Madras Club.--_Fête_ in honour of
     the members of the _Novara_ Expedition.--"Tiffin" and dance on
     board.--Departure from Madras.--Zodiacal light.--Shrove
     Tuesday in the tropics.--Arrival at the Island of Kar-Nicobar.

The morning after our arrival in Madras Roads, a native boat came
alongside, of the sort known as "Catamarans," having on board two
natives, who brought off from the authorities of the port the customary
papers to be filled up. This extraordinary and very primitive boat
consists of merely two or three trunks of trees bound together
raft-fashion, on which these daring boatmen kneel. As a great part of
their body is necessarily under water, they carry the papers and letters
entrusted to them for transmission to the ships in the Roads, in
turban-like wrappings which envelope their heads. Ordinarily, these men
are excellent swimmers, a most requisite accomplishment to enable them to
regain their boats, in the event of being swept off by the waves, or to
save themselves and others from the innumerable sharks, which frequent the
entire Coromandel coast, and render it eminently dangerous. About noon, a
larger boat approached us, manned by from 15 to 20 natives, who offered
their services as caterers, washers, agents, servants, in short as
"Dubashes" a sort of Hindoo _factotum_; while each individual, shrieking
and vociferating at the top of his voice, held high in the air, with
outstretched arm, a number of written testimonials of ship-captains that
had already employed him. These boats, called "Massuli," or "Musli" boats
(from _Muchly_--fish), about 36 feet long by 5 or 6 in width, and in which
alone it is possible to bring passengers and goods to land, are light, as
flexible as if made of leather, and are fastened together with the elastic
fibres of the cocoa-nut, being in every particular specially adapted to
yield to the tremendous blows of the heavy surf, which a boat of ordinary
construction could not possibly live through. They are for the most part
pretty deep, and are usually manned with from 12 to 15 naked natives, who
make use of an exceedingly smooth pallette-shaped paddle. In one of these
boats, the officers of the frigate on leave, and the naturalists of the
Expedition, were conveyed to land in the midst of a fresh breeze from the
N.E. The more we approached the shore, the more formidable was the
appearance of the tumultuous tempest-driven waves. Amid frightful yells
and hurrahs, we passed in safety the first and second lines of surf. But
we had yet to encounter the third, and by far the most furious. The
boatmen spread a couple of cloths over our heads, to prevent our getting a
soaking; the boat made several violent plunges forward, and was for an
instant apparently covered by the tremendous foaming billows, but seemed
to glide in a most extraordinary manner over these, and finally was neatly
laid alongside the beach on the crest of the last breaker. This is the
critical moment, and the most disagreeable, because the boat is, by this
manipulation, thrown on its side, and one feels disposed to rush out, ere
the returning wave throws the boat high and dry on the sand. The noisy
shrieks of the boat's crew and Coolies, or Lascars (Indian porters), with
which the disembarkation is accompanied, combine to render it still more
annoying and unpleasant. One feels a sensation of satisfaction at having
gone through this remarkable, and to some extent wholly peculiar,
experience; but no one was ever known to encounter it voluntarily a second
time. The glowing picture, which numbers of travellers have drawn of the
landing at Madras, might impress many readers with the idea that their
representations were most probably tinged somewhat with a colouring of
romance; but, in view of our own experience at what is confessedly the
pleasantest season of the year, there can be at certain times no
description, however vividly sketched, but what must lag behind the

There could hardly have been selected a more unsuitable site for a city,
than that of Madras, and it is only the circumstance that the entire
Coromandel coast presents no more eligible haven, as also the importance
of the place as the chief city of the Carnatic, which alone has a
population of 5,000,000, that has enabled Madras to boast a population of
700,000 inhabitants, and a commerce of such magnitude that 6000 vessels,
British and foreign, are annually[101] cleared inwards and outwards, laden
with upwards of 650,000 tons of produce and goods of a total value of more
than £8,000,000 sterling.

[Footnote 101: In the year 1857, the number of trading vessels was 6241,
carrying 652,146 tons merchandise, of which 1438 were square-sailed ships;
and 4803 native boats and Chinese junks. The imports of goods and metals
amounted to Rs. 40,563,826 (about £4,050,000 in round numbers); the
exports to Rs. 40,060,656 (about £4,000,000 in round numbers). We are
indebted to the kindness of Dr. Balfour for a variety of interesting
statistical _data_, the information contained in which must be transferred
to the statistical portion of the _Novara_ publications.]

The spot at which vessels anchor can by no stretch of terms be called a
roadstead, being in fact nothing but an open strip of coast running nearly
due north and south, so that during the N.E. monsoons, the sea that sets
in is something extraordinary, and produces a tremendous surf. At no
season of the year is it practicable to reach the shore by ordinary
ship-boats, because the beach, being utterly unprovided with any
artificial appliances, is left in its natural state--that is to say,
covered with fine sand, which lies so level that the depth is only nine
fathoms two miles out at sea! Singular to say, no steps have to this day
been taken to carry out the proposition, made many long years ago, of
remedying this difficulty in reaching land, by the construction of a mole
or pier, although three or four plans have already been presented by
distinguished engineers. The last and most feasible scheme, and the most
likely to be put in execution, consists in constructing a mole 1000 feet
in length and 60 feet in breadth, to be erected upon iron piles driven
into the sand, and with a cross-piece at the seaward extremity--the mole
construction resembling the letter =T=. On either side of the mole,
tramways will be laid down to facilitate the transport of goods that have
been discharged. The entire cost of this undertaking would be about
£100,000--an entirely disproportionate, and, indeed, insignificant amount,
when one takes into consideration the important consequences which must
result to trade and passenger traffic on the completion of this erection.

The earliest British settlement was at Armegon, about 36 miles north of
Pulicat (or about 78 miles N. by W. of Madras). The cession of a piece of
land by the native Rajah of Besnayor induced the president of the old
factory at Armegon, Mr. Francis Day, to abandon the latter, and in the
year 1639, the Fort of St. George was erected at the newly-selected
station, where formerly stood the little Hindoo village of Ischinapatam.
This fort formed the nucleus, at a later period, of the city of Madras,
which is built on the flat alluvial soil along the coast, and at present
comprises an area of about 30 (English) square miles. Its extent along the
beach from north to south is about 9 miles by an extreme width of 3-3/4
miles. Madras, like all the rest, consists of a White town, exclusively
inhabited by Europeans, and a Black town, or _Pettah_, in which the
natives and all coloured residents carry on business.

The White town, which, however, presents none of the carefully laid-out
streets and compact blocks of houses involuntarily suggested by the word
"town," but rather resembles a gigantic park, in which are situated a vast
number of comfortable ornamental villas, rises at its highest point 20
feet above the sea; whereas the Black town, at several points--for
instance, Popham's Broadway--is hardly 8 feet above the level of spring

While in Ceylon we had had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the
influence exercised by Buddhism over the political and social condition of
the island; here we, for the first time, found ourselves confronted with
the followers of Brahmah. At the moment of our arrival, the principal
festival of the year was being celebrated in honour of Vishnù, one of the
three godheads of the Brahminical faith. It lasted fourteen days, and was
celebrated with much pomp. Temples were improvised, and some dancing
platforms erected for the female servants of the temple and "_bayadères_."
In one of these dancing saloons, adorned in the most marvellous manner, a
sort of altar rose in the background, richly hung with gold filagree work
and stained cut-glass, and fringed with singular representations of the
god. In the doorway stood, on the left hand side, a copy of the statue of
the Venus de' Medici; on the right, of the Apollo Belvedere; on a small
table were visible butterflies, fire-flies, and conchs, in ornamental
glass cases. On the walls, of plain deal boards, were suspended on one
side, adjoining the portrait of Anthony da Padua, a number of
representations of voluptuous Oriental "_odalisques_;" on the other, near
an engraving in copper of Carlo Barromeo, all sorts of obscene engravings,
such as are offered for sale only in the most abandoned quarters of Paris
and London, and then under the cover of night. For that matter, we believe
that the Hindoo priests, who superintended the erection of this hall
consecrated to the worship of Vishnù, gave themselves less anxiety
respecting the subjects treated of in the pictures suspended round, than
that the walls should appear richly decorated with engravings and
pictures. Adjoining this half-open dancing booth for the women in
attendance on the temple, rises the chief Hindoo temple in Madras, a
stately edifice of blocks of syenite, and surrounded by a lofty wall
painted with the usual white and red streaks; and on which a fleecy-coated
long-tailed baboon was performing his antics. Two gloomy pyramidal towers
shoot up from the wall of the temple, and a beautiful colonnade leads to
the entrance porch. A huge tank, almost resembling a pond, in which the
Hindoos thrice daily performed their ceremonies, and went through their
ablutions, lies in front of the temple, surrounded on its remaining sides
by buildings for various purposes, while a stately elephant, specially
consecrated to the service, is kept on the side next the temple, which
carries up a pitcher of water every forenoon from the pool in front of the
pagoda, one of the servants attached to the temple sitting on his back
holding it, while a second, seated behind him, keeps waving a fan in
either hand. The elephant is first conducted round the temple and then
inside, in order to present the water to the god. This elephant (which
animal it seems is itself an incarnation of Vishnù) had the distinguishing
mark of the sect, as also several other indications of a similar nature
richly tatooed upon his huge broad forehead. Every evening during the
continuance of the fourteen days' festival, the various temples and
dancing booths were brilliantly illuminated with wax tapers and oil lamps,
but admission was refused to the profane, and in the eyes of Brahmah,
unbelieving Europeans, a rule which was everywhere enforced with much
politeness but unvarying firmness. Moreover, everything that the hand of a
European has touched is unclean to the Hindoo. Only the _Pariah_, or
"outcaste," the very lowest class of the people, eats any food that has
been prepared in the kitchen of a Christian.

The most substantial part of the festival, however, was fortunately not
confined to the interior of the temple, but took place in the streets,
through which, during the period the festival lasted, immense processions
of Hindoos, praying, singing, and dancing, used to pass every evening
about 11 P.M. on their way from one temple to another, so that we were in
no want of picturesque objects. First, a band of musicians would lead the
way, with the peculiar little drum or tom-tom, whining pipes, and blaring
clarinets. It was more like the noise of a lot of children's instruments
than music. Next came a Hindoo riding on a gaily-bedizened ox, after whom
appeared a number of girls and "_Bayadères_," dressed in white clothes,
their hair richly dressed, and with rings through their nostrils, while
the flaps of their ears were adorned with richly-gemmed ear-rings hanging
down to the neck, and moving both hands and feet as they danced before the
sacred figure, which was drawn along by 24 sturdy believers in Vishnù. The
image was placed on a daïs thickly overspread with flowers, filagree work,
and small mirrors, approached by steps, and with a parasol outspread
overhead; in a vehicle in front was a sort of figure dressed up in
flowers. On either side a multitude of torch-bearers strode along, with
sulphurous lights and other means of illumination, or iron frames, on
which were disposed in pyramidal form or like a bow, from 7 to 13
fireballs, which, let off at intervals alternately with Bengal lights and
rockets, formed a veritable ocean of light. A tub filled with cocoa-nut
oil was dragged behind, from which the cotton wicks were kept constantly
replenished, so that the flames continued unintermittently. Wherever the
procession passed the by-standers stood with hands reverentially folded.
Many had the thresholds of their houses gaily adorned with flags and
illuminated with paper lamps, others let off sky-rockets. From time to
time, the procession halted for a moment, the female dancers formed two
rows, and some of their number went through a sort of dance, in which they
performed a set of stereotyped motions with their hands, and chanted the
praises of the god in a most monotonous chorus. Thousands upon thousands
of Hindoos joined the procession, so that we could hardly make way through
the crowds. The yelling, heat, odour of oil, and stink of sulphur were
absolutely intolerable. As often as the procession paused, the noise was
redoubled, the confusion became tenfold. Itinerant confectioners, who
offered for sale all sorts of sweetmeats, prepared either from the kernel
or milk of the cocoa-nut, drew back reluctantly when the eye of a stranger
was directed towards their piled-up delicacies, through dread lest a mere
glance from him should blight their stock in trade. On the other hand, we
remarked some of these vendors pressing forward with eagerness to satisfy
the curiosity of strangers by offering small samples of their eatables, so
as the more easily to propitiate and get rid of these dangerous guests,
and leave the poor Hindoo in peace and unharmed! As Christianity makes but
slow progress among the Hindoos, and as the tendencies of the English
residents in India do not point, as of yore among the Spaniards in
America, towards the violent conversion of the heathen natives with the
alternative of annihilation, but rather towards political and commercial
influences, we find the British Government regarding with placid
indifference the abominations of Hindoo worship, which, even to this hour,
take the form of laceration of the flesh and self-immolation, rather than,
by ruling with the strong hand, fan the religious fanaticism of the
multitude, without the possibility of Christianity becoming a gainer.
Among the thousands upon thousands who were celebrating the festival of
Vishnù in such a heathenish fashion, there undoubtedly were many who are
in the employ of Government, which has no scruples about appointing
Hindoos of all sorts to the various posts in the public service. The
English State Church which held that such appointments tended, not very
indirectly, to support heathenism,[102] earnestly remonstrated against the
practice, but the Government becoming daily more convinced that the
doctrines and homilies of the Christian faith continued to be entirely a
dead letter among the Hindoos, seems to hold fast to a policy of seeking
gradually to introduce Christianity and European civilization among the
Indian races, by means of equality of rights and assimilation of laws, by
a system of well-organized national, trade, and industrial education, and,
above all, by the influence of personal example. This, to be sure, is a
very slow and arduous method of conversion, inasmuch as a life of
religious observances is more deeply intertwined with the very foundations
of the social system in India than in any other country of the globe, and
fairly blocks the way against the expansiveness of European civilization.
For as simple as the Hindoo religion appears in its primitive principles,
the proper observance of its various rites is proportionately difficult,
and full of subtle distinctions for the sincere Hindoo believer.

[Footnote 102: The East India Company even undertook the maintenance of the
Hindoo temples, and defrayed the receipts of the annual festival in honour
of Vishnù out of the revenues. There exist in the Presidency of Madras
alone 8292 Hindoo temples, with an annual revenue of about £100,000, all
under the protection and control of the Company. (See "India, Ancient and
Modern," by David O. Allen, Boston, 1856.)]

The worship of Brahma, according to the doctrines enunciated by Brahma's
own lips in the Vedas, or holy books, took its rise in the adoration paid
to the powers of nature, regarded as so many divinities, especially in the
exalted transcendentalism of their ideas respecting the sun, the moon, the
stars, and the firmament. Thence was readily developed the belief in a
sole, eternal, Almighty Creator and Ruler of the world, Brahma,
represented as having four faces looking to the four quarters of the
globe, and reposing on a swan. This simple monotheistic belief was
gradually developed into the divine manifestation of Brahma as a Triune
divinity, namely, as the Creating power (Brahma), the preserving power
(Vishnù), and the destroying, and at the same time renewing, energy of
nature (Siva).

Although the revelation of Brahma has long since been completed, while
Vishnù and Siva are still active agencies in the world as Supporter and
Augmenter respectively, Brahma is assigned a very inferior rank in the
worship of the masses, although, according to the lawgiver Menù, the Moses
of India, he created the Brahmins out of the substance of his head, to
guide and instruct man; from his arms the Chetriyas, to protect and defend
him; from his trunk the Veisigas, to nourish and support him; and, lastly,
from his feet the Sadras, to serve and be the property of all the other

To Brahma, the fulness of whose existence no earthly notions can embrace,
there are no temples dedicated, these being rather erected in honour of
Vishnù, the Intercessor and Supporter, who manifests himself in the
atmosphere and in water, and Siva the destroyer and regenerator of the
various races, as also to the other divinities whom the Hindoo religion
numbers by millions, although the majority of these have several names,
and the lower classes are simply Avatars, that is incarnations or
manifestations, of the superior deities. This peculiarity of the Hindoo
religion makes it impossible correctly to classify or define Indian
mythology. The god Rama, for example, is frequently named for Krishna, and
the latter again for Vishnù. Vishnù, on his part, sometimes figures as
Rama, when he is to destroy Ravana, the tyrant of Ceylon, or as Buddha, in
order to found Buddhism. Like the Proteus of Grecian fable, the Hindoo
mythology assumes a thousand different shapes,--it is, in short, Pantheism
in its most perfect development.

A zealous Hindoo requires about four hours of each day to get through his
religious ceremonies, these being performed at different periods, as he
must bathe in the morning, at noon, and again at night, in a tank or pool
before the temple, and recite certain prayers. For purposes of
recognition, the two chief castes wear special marks, the worshippers of
Vishnù having a trident painted on the forehead in either white or yellow,
while those of Siva, on the other hand, sport three horizontal stripes, or
one round spot marked with the ash of burnt sandal-wood. Many Hindoos
write on their foreheads the distinguishing insignia of both Vishnù and
Siva, and look thus the more strange and peculiar.

After every ablution these marks are painted afresh, and with much care
upon the forehead, so that paint and rouge-boxes play an important part in
a native household. No Hindoo can partake of his exclusively vegetable
nutriment, if cooked in a European kitchen, such being entirely contrary
to the principles of his faith. Every servant, therefore, leaves his
master regularly at noon, in order to partake of his simple meal of rice
and vegetables, either with his family or in one of the numerous Hindoo
cook-shops. The frequent holidays of the Hindoos, of which there are
twenty-one within two months, seriously interfere with trade among the
natives, and still more with the instruction of the young.

Hindooism, however, appears to have lost much of its originality by
constant contact with Europeans, and by the various political revolutions,
and although many of these ceremonies are still kept up, and the bodies of
their dead are still burned on pyres, yet the modern Hindoo has so far
relaxed from his ascetic austerity, as to admit of his being employed in
the various pursuits of active life. And it is not a little surprising to
see these handsome, tall, brown figures, with their insignia of Vishnù or
Siva marked on their foreheads, and dressed in their sweeping plaited
togas of pure white, employed on the telegraph, the railway, the arsenal,
and even the observatory, all which employments demand the utmost
exactness and punctuality, and thus afford the most gratifying evidence of
the adaptability of the Hindoo race to be impressed and to benefit by
European civilization. With the exception of Major Jacob, the director of
the astronomical and magnetic observatory, the whole of the _employés_ are
natives, who are not indeed employed in making the actual observations,
but are found perfectly competent to compute the various calculations, and
make the requisite reductions. The institution itself is at present of but
little importance as a place of scientific observation, in consequence of
the small support it receives, but it is to be provided with a meridian
circle, similar to that in the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope,
when it must become an important station. Strange to say, here, as at the
Cape, there are no observations made on the Sundays, which in the course
of a year gives rise to lamentable deficiencies, especially when some
natural phenomenon of rare occurrence happens to fall upon a Sunday.

We were greatly surprised at the flourishing condition of the Central
Museum, with which is united a Zoological Garden, both set on foot in
1851. In the spacious rooms of this stately edifice are ranged costly
Indian antiquities and sculptures, inscriptions in Sanscrit, in stone, or
marble slabs, antique fragments of Indian monuments,[103] as also an
instructive collection of technical and ethnographical subjects, models of
fortresses, ships, agricultural implements, instruments, tools, machines,
and native forts. The geological department of the Museum is the weakest
and poorest department; and as spirits of wine and glass jars are
expensive articles in India, the greatest number of the animals, even the
fish and snakes, are simply stuffed. In the garden which surrounds the
museum buildings are a considerable number of cages inclosing living
animals, such as monkeys, panthers, bears, giraffes, stags, gazelles,
cobras, Indian hens, pigeons, marsh-birds, and singing-birds. In addition
there were _Aquaria_ with fishes arranged in groups at various spots all
round the garden. Of objects of special interest there was a powerful
baboon (_Pithecus Satyrus_), above 5 feet high, fastened to a chain in a
large monkey-house, around whom were gambolling a number of smaller
species, as also a number of cobras in a large box with glass sides, so
that one could examine them at leisure on every side. Here we witnessed
the uncomfortable spectacle of a native engaged in cleaning the panes
inside the cage and directly beneath these formidable animals, which
thronged around him in such numbers that he was continually compelled with
one hand to resist their importunate caresses. Anyone not aware of the
fact that these animals have been rendered harmless by the extraction of
their poison-fangs, must experience a feeling of terror and astonishment
at the sight of this brood of malign, stealthy-moving, hissing serpents,
with a naked Hindoo in their midst!

[Footnote 103: These important inscriptions are explained and described in
the Selections from the Records of the Madras Government, Report on the
Elliot Marbles (p. 191) by R. W. Taylor, Madras, 1857.]

Most astonishing and gratifying is the immense number of casual visitors
that frequent this institution for advancing education. The book for
inscribing names lying in the Museum, showed for a single month no less
than 36,522 visitors, mostly natives, and this it seems has been about the
average number since the foundation of the Museum. There is also a small,
valuable library, which, by means of purchases, gifts, and exchanges, is
being visibly added to with each year, and is accessible to visitors of
all classes, the custodian and inspectors being all natives.

The Madras Literary Society, an offshoot of the Royal Asiatic Society in
London, and now reckoning but a small number of associates, publishes from
time to time the most valuable information as to the latest achievements
of science in India, and serves in a measure as a medium by which to
compare the intellectual progress of Asia and Europe. To the members of
this society the naturalists of the _Novara_ Expedition are specially
beholden for their great attention during their stay in Madras, as also
for their hearty participation in the objects of the Imperial Expedition
as evidenced by their sending copies of their own various and useful

There are in Madras numerous institutes devoted to the diffusion of useful
knowledge among the masses, part founded and maintained by Government,
part by private enterprise, and this liberality is the more praiseworthy
that the European community of Madras does not comprise much more than
1600 persons, of whom only a very few settle any length of time. The
Europeans resident here are chiefly military men and merchants, who leave
the country after remaining five or ten years, as almost every one regards
his stay in this hot, sandy capital of the desert Coromandel coast, as
purely provisional, and views it as a stepping-stone towards attaining
some better post, or becoming suddenly wealthy by some favourable
conjuncture of circumstances. That the majority of these institutions have
more practical objects in view admits of ready proof, and is but one
instance the more of the moulding power of surrounding circumstances. In
the school of arts for instance, under Dr. Hunter's superintendence, there
are 20 pupils, mostly Hindoos, who are receiving instruction in drawing,
sculpture, lithography, woodcutting, etching, and photography. But in
order to reduce, as far as possible, the expenses of this institution,
there is also included a manufacture of earthenware, the proceeds arising
from the sale of which are applied to the support of the school.

Another eminently useful institution, the Medical College, which, as well
as most of the other professional foundations, we visited in the company
with our hospitable and influential friend, Dr. Kelly, possesses one
division, in which such of the natives as purpose to set up as
apothecaries, are at the same time so far educated as to be able, in case
of necessity, to perform a few of the minor surgical operations. Of the
hundred of an auditory who at the period of our visit were attending a
lecture on chemistry, the majority were half-blooded Indians, dressed in
the European fashion, with a sprinkling of barely 9 or 10 Hindoos in their
white robes, and with the Vishnù or Siva marks on their forehead. We
frequently heard the professors, among whom are several gentlemen of high
scientific attainments, such, for instance, as Messrs. Evans, Lorimer,
Mudge, Montgomery, Mayr, &c., express their regret at the severe check
which the development of science sustained by the outbreak of the late
revolt. Plans for a new university, a hospital, and a medical school to
correspond are all ready, and but for that ruinous catastrophe would have
been by this time in working order.

In other respects the present Infirmary is an ugly and unsuitable
building, making up about 100 beds for patients. Several of these were
occupied by soldiers, who had been severely wounded under Havelock at the
storming of Delhi. The introduction of punkahs, or wind-fans, into the
wards has proved so salutary, that there is an intention to have them
worked without intermission day and night, by means of water power,
instead of by manual labour as hitherto. In order to be able to estimate
the boon conferred by such an improvement upon the condition of the poor
invalids, we must call to mind that the average annual temperature of
Madras is about 94° Fahr., which is slightly in excess of the average
temperature at the equator, although Madras is 10 degrees north of the
line. Under such climatic conditions, it is no wonder that the
invigorating wholesome breeze is known at Madras as "The Doctor."

Among the benevolent institutions visited by us, we found the twin asylums
for male and female orphans of soldiers well worthy of notice in many
particulars. These are for the most part the offspring of European
soldiers married to native women, and are known as "half-castes," or
"Mestizoes." In the Military Female Asylum, there were at this time 216
girls, who were brought up to all manner of female work, as well as taught
reading, writing, and arithmetic, and remained in the institution until
suitably provided for in marriage. The marriage outfit, as also a small
wedding present of Rs. 50 (£5), for each girl is provided by Government,
and the entire working expenses, which amount to about Rs. 30,000 (£3000)
annually, are defrayed by a Government grant of Rs. 1000 (£100) a month,
together with the interest of the funded capital, upon which Government
pays 8 per cent. interest.

The Military Male Orphan Asylum was founded in 1788 by means of voluntary
contributions, supplemented by a Government Subvention, and possesses a
special historical interest from the circumstance that it was here that
Dr. Bell, who held the post of Head-Master in the establishment, first
projected and put into execution the method of imparting elementary
instruction, afterwards so widely renowned as the Lancastrian method of
teaching, which since that period has traversed the globe, and has been
introduced into every capital in Europe. The course of instruction of the
institution includes writing, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography,
history, English, Tamil, and music. The capital of the institution is
vested by Government in the 4 per cent. stocks, paying 8 per cent.
interest, which, with the large amount realized within the establishment
itself, is sufficient to defray all expenses without any further
assistance. The number of boys is about 242. The head teacher, who
obligingly conducted us over the whole establishment, which is very
handsome, called a dozen boys forward just as we were leaving, who played
a few simple pieces on wind instruments, on which they performed a variety
of national airs with great precision. The music master was a German.

Among its casual attractions, Madras has occasionally flower shows, and
exhibitions of industry, and it is exceedingly gratifying to observe how
European science is even here called in to elicit the treasures of nature,
and administer to the necessities of mankind. The catalogue of the
industrial exhibition of 1857 shows, _inter alia_, 17 sorts of spices, 20
varieties of resin, 64 plants suitable for the distillation of oil, and 41
different drugs, and Dr. Kirkpatrick, a physician in Mysore, has taken the
trouble to enumerate, by their botanical and Indian names, 240 native
drugs, which had been sent to the Madras exhibition, as also their market
value, and at the same time has subjoined the modes in which the natives
use them.

Among the most remarkable private museums which have been formed at
Madras for the illustration of the history and monuments of the southern
provinces of the Deccan, must undoubtedly be included the collection of
native inscriptions and manuscripts of the well-known Colonel Mackenzie,
which first attracted the attention of all friends of Oriental science, as
also the British Government, through a memoir[104] of Alexander Johnston,
Esq. It is a magnificent testimony to the conservative spirit of the
British resident among heathen nations, as compared with the barbarous
spirit of destruction that characterized the Spanish colonists. From an
erroneous idea that they were in so doing promoting the interests of
Christianity, these Romanist conquerors destroyed all sculptures and
monuments of the pagan Indian races, and, by this fanatical Vandalism, at
the same time prevented the hand of science from unfolding, as it might
have done from these important vestiges, the history of these very
remarkable races from the most remote ages.

[Footnote 104: On Colonel Mackenzie's Collection, in the Journal of the
Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain. London, 1835, p. 4, vol. ii.]

In the immense old palace, surrounded by adjacent edifices and gardens,
once occupied by the King of the Coromandel coast, the renowned nabob of
the Carnatic, the offices of the English Government _employés_ are at
present located. The last of these sovereigns died a few years since, and
his former minister receives from the British Government a pension of Rs.
1300 (£130) a month. Great men who have fallen do not ordinarily like to
be sought out or gazed at. There is, however, on the contrary, no
difficulty in obtaining access to the last minister of the last monarch of
the Coromandel coast, who seems to feel flattered by a visit from
strangers. On our entering, the venerable old gentleman rose from a rich
thick carpet, on which he was sitting cross-legged, held out his hand in
the most affable manner, and did us the honour of accompanying us through
the palace. He had a long white beard, and wore a white turban on his
head, while his person was enveloped in white linen. A splendid staircase
conducted to a council-room, adorned with a portrait of the late nabob,
life-size, executed in London. A second room has a likeness of George
Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, dedicated to his friend,
Omadal-Omrah, nabob of the Carnatic, 1st January, 1797, and of Lord
Cornwallis, arm in arm with a nabob, the former represented as walking
among pines, the latter among palms. In the harness-room and coach-house
adjoining, our obliging attendant revealed to us an endless array of
golden howdah trappings, gilt with cunning hand, which seemed to have
formerly borne the mighty nabob, when riding on his elephant. As we
emerged from this lumber room, filled with dust and mud, we perceived in
the square before us an immense dust-cloud, which approached nearer and
nearer in its gyrations, and gradually assumed the shape of an elephant.
It was a gigantic and magnificent specimen, and proved to be the favourite
elephant of the last nabob, which, like the minister himself, was reduced
to eat the bread of charity. His enormous tusks were sawn half off, for
which his attendant assigned the singular reason that the tusks of an
elephant must be cut, just as we pair our nails! This pensioner-elephant,
however, seemed to find himself in very good quarters, and was a
carefully-tended gentle creature, who carried about his chain with his
proboscis, and knelt down at the word of command.

Among the other spacious apartments of this deserted palace was the
banquetting hall, as it is called, which was represented by various
writers as one of the largest rooms in the world, which, however, is a
transparent fallacy. It is hard to believe that above a thousand persons
could find room in it. At the period of our visit this apartment was used
as a barrack for the English troops, in consequence of which the splendid
full-length pictures already mentioned were carefully covered. One of the
soldiers, anxious to show them to us, tore away the covering of one before
we could interfere, when we found it to be a splendid likeness, painted in
London, of Sir Thomas Monroe, a former governor of Madras.

In the first few days of our stay in Madras, we made an excursion to the
fort of Vellore, distant about 80 miles (English) from Madras, formerly a
renowned native fort, which is now reached in a few hours by rail. This
line passes through a flat uninteresting country, which is barely relieved
here and there by a couple of solitary palms or a Hindoo temple, and
altogether presents a strongly African character in its scenery. Only at
those points, at which there are tanks, or artificial basins, either
excavated or formed by damming the water, does there occur a luxuriant
green vegetation covering the parched, brown, dusty soil. These tanks are
filled in the rainy season, and during the dry season, which continues for
months, supply the rice-fields with water for irrigation, the culture of
that plant requiring an unusually large supply of water.

If English railroads are proverbially comfortable in the mother-country,
they certainly fall off lamentably in that particular in the cars used in
India. This deficiency is the more provoking and remarkable, considering
the various other appliances for comfort which are to be found in this
country. The conductor, as well as the other servants of the Company, was
a Hindoo. On the entire line we saw but five or six white men employed.
The fares are pretty moderate, that for the entire distance, 80 miles,
being Rupees 7-1/2 (15_s._), for first-class, and Rupees 3 (6_s._), second
(about 2-1/4_d._ and 1_d._ per mile, respectively). The line is to be
extended from Bejapoor, so as to unite the eastern and western coasts of
the peninsula. There are also lines projected from Madras to Bombay by
Poonah and Bellary, and from Madras to Calcutta. The Governor, who (the
evening previous to our departure, as we were being entertained at his
summer residence, Guindy Park,) had been apprized of our intention to
visit Vellore, was so attentive as to order the commandant to be informed
by telegraph of our projected excursion at a late hour of the evening,
and when we reached Vellore at 11 A.M., Captain Stevens was awaiting us at
the station, to greet the voyagers by the _Novara_ in the name of the
commandant of the fort, and convey them to the fort, three miles off, in a
waggon drawn by oxen, as is the custom of the country. The waggon was
about as large as an ordinary sized sitting-room, and contained several
arm-chairs and cane stools, the position of which could be altered at

Vellore was once one of the strongest fortresses in India, the wells of
which were formerly rendered inaccessible by numerous colonies of
alligators. These Hindoo fortifications have, however, lost their military
importance for Europeans, as they are on all sides "overcrowed," as
Rittmeister Dugald Dalgetty would say, by eminences, from which they could
easily be cannonaded. Within the fort itself are several extraordinary
buildings, once pagodas and houses of entertainment for priests and
pilgrims (_choultries_). The former sanctuary, now used as an arsenal, is
a _chef-d'[oe]uvre_ of architectural skill, with splendid _relievos_ and
figures sculptured in granite blocks. Most of the divinities have four
arms, symbolical of the universality of their power. The various edifices
seem to have been once an abode of Brahmins, a sort of Hindoo monastery in
which, in addition to the pagoda, there were ranged all round, a temple,
colonnades, and halls for the residence of the priests. In some of the
smaller apartments there still are openings for windows, with a finely
carved grating hewn out of the solid granite, the workmanship of which
even the stone-cutters of our own days might feel proud of. Captain
Mitchell, an English officer stationed at Madras, had hit upon the idea of
photographing the most interesting of these monuments.

The fortress of Vellore has been fortified for about 1000 years! Captured
by the English at the close of the last century, the then Nabob, a
Mussulman, was taken prisoner, and his descendants have ever since
inhabited the fort as State prisoners, without ever being permitted to
leave it. We inquired of the officer who accompanied us, whether the Nabob
was permitted at least to make use of the space within the fortress for
exercise in the open air. "The Mussulmen," replied the cautious
Englishman, "do not care to show themselves in public; they prefer taking
their exercise in the court in front of their residence, or in the
garden." Accordingly, the aged prince is rarely known even to take an
airing in a palanquin. The town of Vellore itself is, in a great measure,
another place altogether, whose inhabitants are Mahometans, about 80,000
in number, chiefly engaged in rice culture.

We originally intended to return the same day to Madras, the length of the
journey, as well as the distance of the fort from the railway station,
having been represented to us as much shorter than was actually the case.
Accordingly, we telegraphed to the Austrian Consul, M. Campbell, Esq., an
exceedingly courteous gentleman, that we should not return till the
following morning. How great was our astonishment to find that the
telegraph _employés_ at Vellore, both in the transcribing department, and
in the management of the apparatus, which was on Morse's system, were
Hindoos, with their curious marks upon their foreheads, and their
old-fashioned costume! They went, however, through the duties connected
with this modern invention with great adroitness. The telegraph is already
in operation to Bombay, and in this direction has two separate lines.
There are, moreover, other lines in course of construction,--along the
coast to Calcutta,--along the coast to Pondicherry by Adam's Bridge,[105]
from Madras to Point de Galle, and from Madras to Hyderabad, Bangalore,
and Bellary.

[Footnote 105: Adam's Bridge--called by the Hindoos Rama's Bridge,--is a
bank extending between Ceylon and the mainland of Hindostan, by the
islands of Manaar and Ramisseram. It is about 30 miles in length, running
in a N.W. by W. direction, about a quarter of a mile in breadth, and
principally composed of shelving sand, through which are three main
openings or channels, that admit the passage of boats of very light

In proceeding from the fort to the town of Vellore, which is charmingly
situated and regularly laid out, and is inhabited by numerous pensioners
of the East India Company, we must cross the river Palaar (or Peliar),
which, during the rainy season, is a headlong dangerous torrent, while in
the dry season its bed, 1000 feet wide, is but a bare expanse of sand. It
is only by dint of strenuous exertions that the traveller is able to pass
this sand waste in a waggon, as it sinks at some points above the hubs of
the wheels. We had four buffalo oxen yoked, and even then had to be
propelled at certain points by the assistance of some 30 coolies or Indian
porters besides. This serious inconvenience was shortly after our visit to
be remedied by the erection of a splendid bridge of solid masonry, which
was to span the river by 42 arches, and will reduce the time of transit
from the station from 1-1/4 hour to 20 minutes. Hereabouts oxen are
usually employed for draught, which are of the same humped species as
those we had previously seen in Ceylon. These animals trot with uncommon
swiftness, so that the rapidity of transport may stand comparison with
that where horses are employed.

A few miles distant from Vellore, and visible from the hills around, lies
Arcot (Arucati), the residence of the nominal nabob of the Carnatic, who
has long been a pensioner of the British. The population of Arcot are
mostly Mahometans, who speak a dialect of Hindustani, and drive a very
active trade.

At Vellore we resided in the house of the hospitable Lieut.-Colonel
McCally, who, in the absence of the Commandant, did the honours of the
Fort to the members of the _Novara_ Expedition. Here we experienced a most
cordial reception, and passed a few most delightful hours in the domestic
circle of his amiable family. In the evening we made out an excursion to
an adjoining eminence, 1400 feet above sea-level, 300 above Vellore, from
which there is a commanding view over the town and neighbourhood. Seen
from this point, the Fort looked charming, presenting itself to us,
surrounded as it is by moats and watercourses, like an island in the
foreground. On the top of this hill is the bungalow or country-seat of the
collector of revenue, W. A. Sulivan, Esq., where we revelled in the
enjoyment of the exquisite natural scenery, and partook of refreshment.

In the evening a number of officers, with their wives, met us at dinner at
Lieut.-Colonel McCally's house. The gaieties were prolonged till far in
the evening, music and songs alternating with round games and dancing, so
that we had hardly composed ourselves to sleep ere we were awakened by the
servants, in order to avoid missing the train, which leaves Vellore for
Madras at 6.30 A.M. By 11 A.M., we were once more in the chief city of the

The same afternoon the officers of the _Novara_, and the naturalists of
the Expedition, were invited to an Indian fête, which Lord Harris gave
every year at this season in his palace at Guindy Park, and to which it
was customary to invite the majority of the European residents at Madras,
together with their families,--military, civil service, and mercantile
community, all being honoured with cards. This festival originated in a
children's entertainment, which the governor had been in the habit of
giving on the birthday of his son; the latter had long since gone to an
English University, but the custom had survived, and the day was equally
carefully observed this year also, having been looked forward to for
months before by the "white" young folks of Madras. The entertainment
still retains the character of a children's party, inasmuch as on the
present occasion there were assembled above 250 children of both sexes,
varying from 5 to 12 years of age. The total number of guests who, in
addition to these, shared in the festivities was probably more than a
thousand. The fête began with the performances of some 30 Indian jugglers
and acrobats, on a large lawn in the park. These, as may be conceived, had
been selected from among the most athletic and skilful. They presented a
singularly-picturesque appearance, from the diversities of age, agile
boys, athletic young men, slender voluptuous-looking _Bayadères_, old
grey-headed men, and marvellous-looking old hags, with streaming white
hair, and dark, piercing, gleaming eyes, recalling in their manners and
appearance our own gipsies. All played at once, and performed with the
most astonishing precision a succession of breakneck feats, that set the
spectator's hair on end. It was a spectacle entirely _sui generis_,
thoroughly Indian in short, to behold these wild-looking brown figures,
unawed by the presence they were in, going through their various
performances and feats of agility. In front of us knelt an old man who
played with a dozen knives, which he kept circling around him with wild
yells, apparently without looking at them, till he finally turned them in
such a manner that it seemed as though the sharp points of the knives had
transfixed his hand. Next youthful acrobats sprang through paper balloons
set on fire,--girls in boys' dresses climbed up bamboo poles 100 feet
high, in the midst of continual yells,--boys executed on the damp meadow
ground the most extraordinary feats of agility and contortions of the
limbs, while one old fellow, to the intense astonishment of the assembled
children, swallowed swords, as also tow and other combustible matter,
whereupon flames presently seemed to issue from his month. These, indeed,
are feats of conjuring which have been performed in Europe, _usque ad
nauseam_, but here all was done with such precision and dexterity (each
man especially playing entirely _con amore_, evidently not to impress the
spectators, but because he felt a pleasure in it himself), that the whole
exhibition left quite a different impression from anything of the sort

After this introductory amusement, the children invited were regaled with
a refection under an enormous tent. This was for the grown-up guests
another source of great amusement. More than 300 children took their seats
at a long well-covered table, while their fathers, mothers, governesses,
&c., stood behind the benches, and took special care to supply the little
watering mouths with a sufficient supply of the many delicacies before

A distribution of souvenirs to the various children present succeeded the
repast, the various articles being fastened to a gigantic tree under a
tent. The tree was profusely hung with elegant paper lamps, and although
there were no pine-branches, only palm leaves, the "_tout ensemble_," bore
a strong resemblance to a genuine Christmas tree. Fathers and mothers
expressed to us their own feelings of pleasure at beholding the glee of
their children, and, indeed, seemed to think this the most entertaining
part of the fête. The distribution lasted a considerable time, and many of
the children affected to coquette disparagingly with the presents of
their neighbours, which these latter held fast with both hands, till at
length the whole joyous train were dismissed homewards, thoroughly pleased
with the day's proceedings.

After this interlude there were fireworks on the lawn for the grown-up
children, which seemed intended to serve merely as a stop-gap to while
away the time between the distribution of the presents to the children and
the supper, which was laid out in the brilliantly-illuminated dining-room
of the palace. The fine band, which a few days previously had so pleased
us by its performances during dinner at Guindy Park, drew up on the large
lawn fronting the ball-room, and during this interval played a few select
pieces with admirable precision. At last, supper was announced by a
flourish of trumpets. Despite the spacious proportions of the apartment,
the company was too numerous to admit of all sitting down at once. We
calculated the number of guests still remaining at at least 500. The
ladies supped first, and afterwards the gentlemen--the Governor, Lord
Harris, doing the honours in person, in the most courteous and kindly
manner. After supper the party proceeded in couples to a splendid
ball-room, where dancing speedily began, while over their heads an
omnipresent punkah, of rich tapestry-paper, and elegantly adorned with
beautiful arabesques, swung to and fro, and kept the half-breathless
dancers continually fanned by its currents of air.[106] In spite, however,
of this artificial ventilating machine overhead, one must have had an
extraordinary love for the dance to find pleasure in a polka or galop at a
temperature of 86° of Fahrenheit.

[Footnote 106: In many English families in India there prevails a sort of
punkah mania, so that there is a regular hurricane incessantly blowing
over their heads. Undoubtedly these artificial gales are particularly
agreeable in apartments where, a large number of persons being assembled,
the atmosphere becomes intolerable--as, for instance, courts of justice,
churches, hotels, and hospitals. Under such circumstances, they are,
indeed, a most valuable contrivance. But their application is entirely
overdone; and there are persons who, even while they are sleeping, have a
Hindoo servant continually working the punkah, which, under such
circumstances, is usually worked from an adjoining room by means of silken
cords, so that the motive power is not visible from the apartment, but
only the effect felt. Strangers at first find these artificial currents
very apt to superinduce headache, until continued residence makes him
regard the punkah as a most necessary article of furniture.]

Lord Harris had taken measures for ensuring our proceeding direct from his
residence in Guindy Park upon the favourite excursion from Madras--that,
namely, to the Seven Pagodas. We had accordingly provided ourselves with
only what was indispensable in the way of luggage; and towards 1 A.M., we
left the ball-room, and proceeded on our way to the renowned Hindoo
Temples to the south of Madras. A waggon conveyed us to the Adyar bridge,
where a Government boat was in waiting for us, together with some Hindoo
servants of the Governor, who were to be our guides to the Seven Pagodas.
One of these _peons_, as they are called in India, named Iritschapa,
presented us with a document, in which he was commissioned to place
himself at our disposal during the whole period we were absent, and
anticipate all our requirements without further authorization, to the best
of his ability, so as to ensure our comfort and assist the objects we had
in view. The Government boat was supplied with everything that could
minister to our comfort, a second boat following us exclusively for the
conveyance of our heavy baggage, personal effects, tents, and provisions.
Towards 2 A.M., we embarked on the Eastern Coast Canal, which goes as far
as Sadras, and by which we reached the Seven Pagodas, called also
Mahamalaipuram, the city of the Great or Holy Mountain, at 9 A.M.

[Illustration: THE HOLY MOUNTAIN.]

These singular and majestic specimens of architecture are about 3 miles
from Sadras, being situated on the coast northwards, and about 500 paces
from the canal. They consist of temples, grottoes, bas-reliefs, cisterns,
stone-benches, and thousands of sculptures in long ranges of bas-reliefs,
which afford an abundant store of antiquarian research. They go by the
name of the Seven Pagodas (from _Baghavati_--Holy House, whence the
European corruption, Pagoda), from the circumstance, that there are, upon
the very brink of the ocean, seven temples hewn out of one piece of rock.
The Brahminical legends speak of an entire city having existed here, of
which only the fragments are now washed by the sea. But, according to
Babington's and Heber's minute researches in this neighbourhood,[107] there
seems no doubt that there never existed any large city here, but that the
whole was a mere myth of the Brahmins, who procured a royal gift, an
Agrabaram in this neighbourhood, and with subtle forethought left here a
caste of stone-cutters, who from time to time, under the guidance of their
priests, executed these sculptures for the adornment of their sanctuary,
which are justly the objects of wonder to their descendants. To this day,
even, there dwell here certain families of stone-cutters, who work these
singular rocks as granite quarries, and make money by the trade. The Seven
Pagodas, specially so-called, are monolith temples, hewn on the spot out
of massive blocks of rock. The mountain itself, a huge block of granite,
to which the entire locality owes its reputation as a site of works of
art, is covered, behind as well as in the front slope, with innumerable

[Footnote 107: Benjamin Guy Babington. An Account of the Sculptures and
Inscriptions of Mahamalaipuram, illustrated by Plates I.-XVIII., in the
Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain, London, 1819,
p. 258. Bishop Heber's Narrative, London, 1828, Vol. III., p. 216.]

After our arrival, we made a hasty circuit through the place, so as first
of all to be able to identify them, and be in a position to recognize the
various sculptures and bas-reliefs cut out in the solid granite rock. The
greater number of the sculptures represent either the one or the other
descriptions of the Avatars (the incarnations or transfigurations) of
Vishnù, to whom the larger proportion of the temples is dedicated. In one
of these temples, we perceived the god Vishnù in the fifth, or Dwarf
Incarnation, in the course of which he had, under the guise of a
Brahminical dwarf, begged of King Balitscha-Kravathi--who, by his piety,
had acquired so much power over the gods, that they had to transfer to him
the dominion of sea and land, and had in consequence waxed arrogant--as
much soil as he could traverse in three steps! The wealthy Rajah made no
objection to complying with the apparently moderate request of the pigmy
being before him. On the opposite wall of the temple we now see, in a
large admirably executed bas-relief, how Vishnù, represented on this
occasion with eight arms, at once embraced heaven and earth with his left
foot, and as there was thus no more room left for the next step, Vishnù
released the haughty Rajah from his promise, on condition that he should
descend to the infernal regions. From this feat, Vishnù bears the name of
Triwikrama and Tripadas (thrice-stepper).

In the next rock grotto we came to, we beheld the Life of Krishna, the
shepherd-god, represented, first as tending his sheep, surrounded by cows,
goats frisking about, &c. Walter Elliot names this representation
"Krischna's Choultry," or the abode of the priests. The temple has a
frontage of 50 feet, is from 30 to 40 feet in depth, and has about twenty

From this spot, our guide, a Brahmin, brought us to what is called the
Ganeza Temple, a monolith Pagoda. When we expressed a wish to touch the
face of Ganeza (a son of Siva), cut in stone and plentifully besmeared
with oil and lard, one of the Hindoo attendants hurried forwards to
prevent us from being guilty of insult to this much-beloved divinity. The
inscription to the right, in front of the niche in which Ganeza, hewn out
of a single block of granite, is represented in a sitting posture,
consists of verses and prayers to Siva, written in Sanscrit.

[Illustration: THE GOD GANEZA.]

We also remarked, on our way to the village, an ellipsoidal block of rock,
68 feet in circumference, by 25 in height, which, from its very peculiar
position, seems to shift every moment, and presents a very extraordinary

As we were proceeding to the beach, we came upon the Pagoda of
Kovulgobrom, which is at present in use (first constructed in the days of
Rajah Apatsch, 400 or 500 years since), situated on a large oblong plot of
ground, which is surrounded by a wall from 6 to 8 feet high. We were not
permitted to cross the threshold of the pagoda, the door of which always
stands wide open, and the minor apartments of which, so far as we could
discern at a little distance away, were quite empty. We could just descry
a few sculptures on the walls.

The whole village contains at present about 400 inhabitants,[108] who
reside in eighty small dwellings. Of these, three, built of bricks and
with tiled roofs, belong to the caste of Brahmins, thirty to the Pariahs,
five to families occupied in fishing, and two mere hovels of palm-wood to
the Willis, the lowest and most wretched caste of all. The families of
stone-cutters reside outside the village. One remarks here that the walls
of the houses are hidden by heaps of cow and horse-dung, which the
inhabitants, as in Egypt, use for fuel, and which they pile up to dry
against those of the walls which are most exposed to the sun. The _peon_
of the settlement, by name Randghajaneik, a sort of overseer, gave us a
drawing of the various groups of houses, their inhabitants, and also the
names of the various castes in Tamil, engraved as usual with an iron tool
upon palm-leaves, and very elegantly rolled up in a small envelope. Among
the customs and fashions of the inhabitants which attracted our notice, we
were informed that they always burn their dead from four to five hours
after life has departed--usually four hours and forty minutes--alleging
that the released soul takes that length of time to reach heaven! The
bones are collected and thrown into the sea. Widows are no longer
required, on the death of their husbands, to ascend the pyre with them.
Accordingly, the mortality upon this score is small enough in
Mahamalaipuram. All seem hale and hearty, although for the most part they
live upon rice and fruits, tasting flesh but seldom, as it is never used
by the Brahmin caste. The Brahmins will not even eat eggs, because they
are the produce of hens; nor drink milk because it is procured from cows!
The girls generally marry at thirteen. They are, however, usually
betrothed from the time they are two or three years of age, the
bridegroom-elect taking the bride-elect to reside with himself.

[Footnote 108: Of these inhabitants 50 belong to the Brahmin caste, 250 to
the Malabar, Sentù, and Siva castes, and 100 are Pariahs.]

All the natives whom we fell in with could read and write, but the
Sanscrit inscriptions on the rock-temples were quite unintelligible to
them, as they only spoke Tamil, Telùgu, and Malabar. The greater number
had their foreheads painted according to the caste they belonged to. Those
worshipping Siva wore, suspended by a cord round the neck, small silver
amulets, called Lingams, which have images of Siva enclosed. The adherents
of Brahma, as already mentioned, wear no distinguishing mark upon the
forehead, except that those that are married wear a five-ply cord
(_panul_), tied obliquely across the upper part of the body. One must not,
however, attach too much faith to these varieties of external markings,
since many tattoo their foreheads with red, or yellow, or ashen-gray
punctures, which usually have no special signification, but simply imply
that on account of the pressure of business requiring frequent absence,
they have neither time nor opportunity to have the distinguishing insignia
of their caste properly designed. According to the natives, the yellow
colour is procured from the crushed, yellow-tinted root of the _Curcuma
longa_, (a species of spice), the red from the Cardomum (_Amomum repens_),
citron-juice, and red rice; while the white is prepared from common chalk.


Lord Harris had, with true Indian hospitality, made the most admirable
arrangements for our accommodation while at the Seven Pagodas. When, after
our first survey of the locality, we came down to the beach, we found two
large and two small tents ready pitched, and a number of men collected
round a fire preparing our breakfast. But how great was our astonishment,
on entering the first tent, to find it spread with carpets, with an
elegant sleeping-apartment with two large commodious bedsteads, and fitted
up with all the usual necessaries for the toilette; while, in the passage
which ran between the inner and outer walls of the tent, stood two immense
baths ready filled with soft water to reinvigorate our exhausted frames!
Ere we had recovered from our surprise, we were advised of the voice of
the Government Peon, apprising us that breakfast was served in the second
tent. This was used exclusively as a dining and reception room, and was
also furnished with every conceivable appliance to promote our comfort.
His lordship was even so attentive as to send his own travelling canteen
for our use on the excursion. This tent, likewise, had double walls, with
a passage between; the exterior wall being lined with blue, by means of
which the glare of the sun and of the blinding white sand was rendered
less painful and more tolerable to the eye. A number of coolies were
employed in sprinkling water from time to time upon the fine-grained sand,
which produced a most refreshing coolness all around. The Government Peon,
as also the chief of police of the district, wore their best uniforms of
white, with bran new bandoliers over their shoulders, of broad deep-red
scarves, with gold-lace edgings, and, in the centre, a gilt plate, with
the words, "Government Peon" engraved on it. A number of men and children
ran hither and thither,--in a word, the whole village seemed in an uproar
to see the strange gentlemen, and supply them with flowers, in the hope of
receiving some trifling present. At 12.30 P.M., the thermometer suspended
within the tent marked 84° Fahr., although a gentle breeze was blowing
from seaward through the fragrant luxuriant grass (_Kus-kus_, or
_Vetiveyr_), which hung like a curtain over both entrances. It is an
exceedingly happy idea to use this fragrant _Kus-kus_, (_Andropogon
muricatum_) in the manufacture of mats, which are intended to be suspended
in the entrance-halls of houses, and to be sprinkled with water, whereupon
the penetrating, hot, parching wind is passed through the fine damp
texture, which thus at once tempers the heat, and fills the air with

Towards 5 P.M., the heat having somewhat abated, we strolled to the Five
Pagodas, distant about one English mile from our encampment. The prevalent
tree in this locality is the _Palmyra_ palm, which, though it does not
boast the majestic proportions of the _Oreodoxia Regia_, or the cocoa-nut
palm, presents, nevertheless, a very imposing appearance. Generally
speaking, however, the district is quite bare and destitute of trees; and,
in short, like all the rest of this coast, has very much the appearance of
the flat coasts of Africa.

Of the five monolith temples, four were dedicated to the brothers of
Vishnù, Dharma Rajah, Bimen, Nagulan, and Sawadewen, the fifth being
excavated in honour of Dubrotis, the consort of Dharma Rajah. The legend
relates that the four brothers lived in a state of Polyandry, or plurality
of husbands, and had but one wife in common, who was a species of Amazon.
All these temples are tolerably sculptured, which, indeed, constitutes
their chief claim to attention; but they are far from showing the artistic
finish of the bas-reliefs and sculptures, at what is known as the Holy

Rhanganatha Swami, for instance, is the finest, though not the most
important of these artificial grottoes. The sculptures here are
incontestably the most highly-finished. The upper portion, to which access
is obtained by some steps cut in the rock, rises above the huge granite
block, known as Jamapuram; the lower portion is a temple hewn out of one
piece of rock, and with the most marvellously-executed allegories.

Among the reliefs on the north wall is perceived Donga, Siva's wife,
riding on a lion (according to the natives, on a tiger), and bending her
bow in conflict with Mahishasura, a giant with the head of a buffalo, who
brandishes a club. According to Elliot's interesting interpretation, this
represents the contest between the matronly Amazon and heroine, Donga, the
representative of active virtue, and the bull-headed Mahishasura, the
personification of brute strength and animal passion. Over the head of
either figure, a parasol, such as is used by the natives, is outspread,
giving a most grotesque appearance to the group.


The relief on the southern wall represents a sleeping Vishnù
(Rhanganatha), 9-1/2 feet high, apparently representing the idea of the
Creation, as the serpent, Sescha, with its five heads, encircles his head.
At his feet one perceives two rajahs or princes, and one female figure, in
a praying attitude, with uplifted hands, only the bust being represented.
In one of the niches at Swami are two busts, life-size, of Siva, and his
wife Paravathi, the latter holding an infant at the breast, his offspring
Supramanión. Above this representation, and, like them, only showing from
the shoulder upwards, are represented on the right Brahma, on the left
Vishnù, each with four arms, symbolical of their power and dominion.

The superstructure of these rock sculptures is a sort of platform of loose
stones accurately fitted to each other without mortar, so as to make an
ornamental whole. The interior is adorned with much more highly-finished
specimens of art, to view which, a large number of Hindoos, doing penance,
annually climb, with great difficulty, into this part of the building, and
make their way into the unfinished interior apartments. While we were
giving free scope to our surprise at all we saw, we were greatly annoyed
in our contemplations by the natives, who offered us bouquets of flowers,
wreaths, and fruit. Also, a couple of flute-players (_Pulanpolen_) who
were passing, made their appearance to give us a specimen of their musical
skill. One old man, of whom we procured a curious figure of Vishnù, neatly
carved in wood, as also several manuscripts, remarked that there was in
the neighbourhood, written upon Palmyra leaves, a manuscript, known as the
_Istálam-purànam_ which gave the history of the Seven Pagodas, written in

The late president of the Madras Society, the learned Walter Elliot, who
formed an extensive collection of the various valuable Hindoo manuscripts
and inscriptions of Mahamalaipuram, and has partly published a
translation of them,[109] told us afterwards, that this renowned Tamil
Manuscript consisted of nothing but fables, and did not give one single
reliable particular as to the history of the Seven Pagodas.

[Footnote 109: Journal of the Madras Literary Society, 1846, Nos. 30 and

In Varaha Swami, one of the pagodas at present in use, and surrounded by a
modern walled cemetery, there is visible, on the exterior of the Temple,
an inscription in Tamil, which is, however, utterly unintelligible to the
natives. This inscription, deciphered latterly by Babington, refers to a
donation to the pagoda by a sincere Hindoo believer, and gives the most
complete detail, together with signature of the donor. The name
Mahamalaipur,[110] the "City of the Sacred Hill," occurs frequently in it.

[Footnote 110: Dr. Elliot writes Mamallaipuram; the natives call the place
Mahawalipuram, obviously a mere corruption of the customary mode of

In the course of conversation with some of our Hindoo followers, we
remarked that they made no difference between a "kovül" or praying-house,
in which the divinities are never produced, but are guarded under lock and
key, and a pagoda, which is a residence of the gods, from which they can
be carried forth and afterwards brought back. Hence it is that a pagoda is
more readily accessible than a kovül, the sanctity of which it is
forbidden him to violate.

In 1845, Mr. Elliot, by a private arrangement with the Brahmins, was
permitted, on payment of Rs. 30 (£3), to break away the partition which
divided the inscriptions into two portions, in order to prepare three
copies, and have them translated by three Tamil scholars. One of these
translators was the learned Tandavaraya Mudaliar, of Chingleput. The
inscription contains the history of two donations, on the enlargement and
laying the foundation-stone of the temple, accomplished by the "Kanattan"
of the village, and, lastly, a gift of 90 goats by the Siva Brahmin
Paramesvara-Mahavara, on the stipulation that a lamp should be kept
constantly burning in the temple: the whole dating from the year 1073. It
results from this interpretation that the inscription was put up towards
the end of the 11th century, thus supplying some clue to the age of this
rock temple, which, according to Mr. Elliot's researches, does not exceed
a thousand years.


To this Vahara Swami, which seems to contain their whole history, the
natives wander regularly every morning, and sometimes two or three times
during the day, to offer flowers, cocoa-nuts, and other fruits. A flight
of steps cut in the rock leads to the highest platform, whence there is an
excellent view over these monumental edifices.

That fancy has been called in to invest these unique unfinished sculptures
with the character of pleasure-grottoes, baths, &c., &c., of historical
personages, is readily intelligible. Thus, for example, the guide does not
fail to point out to the stranger a sort of stone cistern hewn out of the
solid rock, traditionally reported to have been once the plunge-bath of
Dubrotis. This colossal basin has about 2-1/2 feet water during the rainy
season, which gradually evaporates, or is drawn off for use. The water,
tinged with the yellow colour of the soil, leaves a mark behind on the
stone sides, which naturally becomes very visible during the dry season.
This the natives maintain marks the height of the water as often as
Dubrotis, (Dharma Rajah's consort), bathed herself in it. Another similar
block of gneiss was transformed into a stone couch, and is called Dharma
Rajah's bed, at the upper end of which, near the head, a tiger is crouched
to guard it. This gigantic ellipsoidal block of rock, which seems as
though balanced on a sharp point, could neither be displaced nor made to
oscillate by continued leaping. Some masses of rock piled up above the
grottoes were once Siva's kitchen, and so forth. All these spots, however,
have in reality not the slightest historic significance; it is only the
present generation that have tacked on to them legends, traditions, and
interpretations, which assuredly never were in the intention of the

On a slope on one side of the mountain are a number of sculptures of
remarkable beauty, representing the history of Tapasa, or the deep
penitence of Ardschuna. On the right hand, close to the figure of the
penitent Ardschuna, one perceives a multitude of people, two elephants as
large as life and wonderfully finished, a tiger, and a figure, half woman
half serpent. This relief, one of the finest we have seen, is a huge
sculpture on the rock, 20 feet long by 30 in height, comprising hundreds
of figures, with an idol in the centre, to which from all sides
worshipping deities, men, and beasts, bow the knee in supplicatory
attitudes; along the edge are elephants, life size, with their young. The
colour of the rock, somewhat resembling that of the animal, tends still
more to deceive the eye, and make the beholder doubt whether he is looking
upon sculptures or upon living elephants. Elliot and others who have
described these rock temples, assign to them, as already mentioned, a
comparatively small antiquity. They are representations borrowed from the
poem of Mahabharata, in the Hindoo mythology. The five roundish temples to
the south of the village are beyond all question the oldest of these
monuments. They are pagodas that have never been completed; solid, and
here and there showing marks of work, but only adorned externally, the
interiors being masses of unhewn granite; each of these temples is 30 feet
in length by 20 in breadth and height. Thus far, the inscriptions have
been ascertained to be in threefold characters, of which two are as yet
undecipherable. Babington was the first to attempt to decipher them, or at
all events to find the key by which to decipher them. The most important
has been copied and interpreted. But neither the inscriptions nor the
various representations give the slightest historical clue as to the
object of these monuments. Taylor's researches seem to establish the fact,
that in the 17th century this district was inhabited by the Corumbas, a
half-civilized race of the Dschaina religion. About this period, or a
little later, in the reign of Abondai, one of the princes, whose capitals
were Conjeveran and Tripetty, the Brahmins were introduced to this
neighbourhood. The extent of these works, however, their nature, and the
immense expense incurred, all point to a long-continued influence of the
Brahmins. Most of these temples seem to have been first erected in the
17th century, under Prince Sinhamanayadu, and Elliot assigns to several
even a much later date.

As for the report of a smaller pagoda, of which only an old pyramidal
pagoda-stone is visible on the very edge of the sea, peering up from amid
the furious foaming surf, it seems to be altogether a myth, so that such
enquirers as Ellis, Mackenzie, and Heber, making allowance for what Hindoo
traditions are known to be, will no longer take the trouble of searching
for any traces of the sunk pagoda, or of seeking to recover the ruins of
the submerged city. Several writers, indeed, are of opinion, that the sea
on the Cormandel coast is retiring; but this appears to be a mistake, for
here the sea seems encroaching rapidly, as is the case at Fort St. George,
which 80 years ago was at some distance from the sea-shore, whereas its
walls are at present washed by the tremendous surf.

But the inroads of the sea could hardly have been so sudden and extensive
as to have swallowed up an entire city, without leaving any traces. Not
one of the natives to whom we spoke in the place could say for certain,
that the sea had materially gained upon the land within the memory of man.
Nowhere are there any traces visible of the ruins of a city. One can
safely assert that there never existed such a city at Mahamalaipuram, but
that it has always been a mere abode of priests, with temples,
sanctuaries, &c., without any more extensive settlement, similar to Copan,
Quirigua, or Peten, in Central America, but altogether larger and more
artistic, and evidencing a far higher culture on the part of the artist.
The supposed antiquity of the sculptures at Mahamalaipuram is too low, to
admit of our supposing that since their erection the greater part had been
swallowed up in the sea. None of the sculptures that we saw belonged to
any period (before the flood extended so far), whereas they are all
susceptible of explanation out of the modern Hindoo mythology, with the
aid of the Epic poems of Mahabharata, all referring to Vishnù and his
world of deities.

While some of the _Novara_ expedition were visiting Mahamalaipuram, others
made out a trip to the Pulicat Lake, near the shore, northwards from
Madras. About 40 or 50 miles on the road thither, the Neilgherries (or
Blue Hills), with their jagged outline, came into view on the gray horizon
to the N.W., the height of which may be about 1,500 to 2000 feet. A narrow
bulwark or quay of unequal breadth, varying from 20 feet to 5 miles,
separates this salt lake from the ocean, the fierce surf of which, at some
narrow places, actually breaks over, and mingles its waters. The lake
varies in breadth, from 5 to 10 miles, and is about 60 to 70 miles long.
The level of its bed is so remarkably regular, never exceeding from 3 to 5
feet, that when the wind fails, the boats that navigate the lake can be
pushed along with poles, and one everywhere sees the naked inhabitants of
the coast standing in the very middle of the water, with their landing or
drag-nets, or busily occupied with rod and line! Being but a few hours
distant from Madras, the lake is connected with the city by an artificial
canal, along both sides of which are a number of outlets, carefully faced
with masonry, so as to convert the adjoining land into lagoons, in which
during the rainy seasons the strongly brackish water enters, and is used
to make sea-salt.

In the canal there is considerable trade, as well by fishing-boats, as by
those laden with wood and fruit, which they convey to the city for
disposal. Most especially remarkable is the enormous number of fen-birds,
which frequent its shores and all around it. At several places where the
shores, for a width of about a mile, are mere swamps with barely a foot of
water, they are literally covered with myriads of curlews, which fly
about in flights of incredible numbers, and stretch out like clouds. Long
rows of flamingoes stand, their bodies half bent to the earth, seeking
their food in the mud; far as the eye can reach, one saw whole ranks of
these birds blending with storks, perched upon scattered stumps; while in
the water itself, vast flocks of sea-mews swam about, and the
sea-swallows, in pursuit of their prey, flew to and fro in the air. As
evening came on, the naturalists of the _Novara_ were sailing as though in
a sea of fire. Hundreds of fish, as they sprang out of the water, left a
fiery wake behind them, like a rocket, while a flame-coloured
ever-widening circle marked the spot at which they struck the water again.
Hundreds of various notes of birds, above, near, and round the boat,
united with the singular melancholy cry of the jackal, which resounded
from the shore, while overhead flights of birds flew restlessly about in
the air, whirring in the ear like the rustling of disembodied spirits.

From the lake, a short excursion was made to one of the artificial canals,
which unite this basin of water at various points and in different
directions with the surrounding country, so as to get to the Strihoricotta
Forest, which supplies Madras with fuel. This consists of a sort of
underwood or brush, which grows again within the extraordinary short space
of ten to twelve years. _Sisyphus vulgaris_ (_Rhamnea_), _Gardenia Ficus_,
tamarinds, and several species of Mimosa, form the principal part of the
forest, which is thickly grown with immense quantities of climbers. The
wood is cut by the natives, who have constructed huts in the jungle, into
pieces of about 2 feet in length, which are transported in ox-carts to the
shore, whence they are forwarded by boat to Madras.

When the members of the _Novara_ Expedition had returned, greatly pleased,
from their various excursions, the Madras Club gave a grand banquet in
honour of the captain and staff, to which the _élite_ of Madras society
were invited. Immediately on our arrival the managing committee of the
club had the courtesy to place the officers and scientific members of the
Expedition upon the free list of the club during the ship's stay. The
Madras Club-house, though not so luxurious or magnificent as the Clubs of
London, fairly surpasses them in extent and commodiousness. It is, in
fact, a small portion of the city in itself, in which one finds assembled
all that can conduce to a comfortable, agreeable mode of existence;
parlours, with wide arm-chairs and American rocking-chairs; reading-rooms,
in which are all the best journals and an excellent assortment of the best
and newest literature; dining apartments, in which one can dine in either
the English or French style; billiard-rooms, shower and plunge-baths, and
a large swimming-bath. Members from the country, or strangers, can be
accommodated with lodging as well.

At the splendid banquet in honour of the Expedition, at which above 200
persons sat down, the chair was taken by the Chief Justice Sir Christopher
Rawlinson--next to the Governor, the most influential person in the
community. The extremely friendly disposition manifested on that occasion
found its expression in toasts on all sides, which in few, but appropriate
words, welcomed the foreign guests; while, on the other side, they gave
unmistakable evidence of the admiration and sympathy which the voyagers by
the _Novara_ carried away with them from the hospitable shores of

[Footnote 111: After the customary official toasts had been proposed by the
chairman, and thanks returned by the Commander-in-chief of the Expedition,
the health was also proposed of the scientific staff, on which occasion
one of the naturalists present expressed his thanks for this honour, in
his name and that of his colleagues, in the following speech, which may be
permitted to find a place here, as best showing with what impression the
members of the Expedition left Madras.

"Gentlemen,--It is not without some feeling of anxiety that I am rising,
for I have so many things to say, and yet it is but the thousandth part of
what I, of what my fellow travellers all feel! Surely, it is always
flattering to a man to be distinguished by his fellow-men; but such a
distinction becomes the more honouring if those who concur to distinguish
him are--as this is the case with you--a most estimable part of the
_British_ nation! Of a nation, which has done more than any other on the
globe for the propagation of Christianity, the diffusion of knowledge, the
advancement of science, for the progress of civilization, industry, and
commerce. I do not intend, gentlemen, to return with the shiny currency of
flattery the many proofs of attention and kindness which all the members
of the Expedition have witnessed during our short, but most pleasant,
ever-remembered stay in this city, the birth-place of hospitality! What I
say is but truth! Every page in modern history certifies my words! Which
nation has done more for the propagation of Christianity among savage
tribes all over the world? Some years ago, when I was rambling in British
America, and along the north shores of Lake Superior, I often found
villages of 300 or 400 Indians, and but one single white man amongst them.
And who was that white man, who voluntarily shared their misery, their
wants, and their privations? He was an _English missionary_!

"And again! Which nation has made greater and more serious efforts to
suppress the slave trade, and to abolish slavery in all countries where it
still exists, a shame to the nineteenth century?--Slavery! that hideous
leprosy on the limb of the gigantic body, called the United States! Who is
even now anxiously engaged to open, with the heartblood of its noblest
sons, a vast empire--the Chinese kingdom--to civilization, to
Christianity, to the traffic of all seafaring nations of the globe!

"And is not this very city, Madras, where we have been so heartily
welcomed, the best proof of the energy and perseverance of the political
and commercial greatness of the British nation? Nothing but English
steadiness and English perseverance could succeed to build on this barren,
inhospitable, and even most perilous coast, a vast, flourishing city,
rivalling in size and the number of inhabitants the largest capitals in
Europe! And what is still more pleasing and satisfactory, is the
intellectual and physical condition in which one finds the Indians,
especially if compared with the condition of the natives in North and
Central America, &c. There he meets a population, rapidly dying away, in
proportion as the axe of civilization is resounding from the backwoods.
One may almost determinate the day when the last of the red men will have
disappeared from the North American Continent, the land of his ancestors!
Here in India, on the contrary, the traveller meets with a thriving,
industrious population. Who can see Hindoos, Malabar, Sentus, &c., occupy
most important employments at the observatory, at the telegraph offices,
at the railroad, in any branch almost of the public service, and still
believe the Hindoo race like the Indians of North America to be a _doomed_
people--to be a people that has no future? No, it HAS a future, and, under
the wise and humane government of the British Crown, I am sure the
coloured race of India will even have a most _glorious_ future!

"These are the impressions and feelings, gentlemen, with which we part
from Madras, with which I and my scientific colleagues bid you all a most
sincere and heartfelt farewell."]

As a number of our new-found friends expressed a wish, notwithstanding the
difficulties of getting out to, and back from the roads, to visit our
ship, the commodore invited some forty guests, shortly before our
departure, to a "tiffin" on board. Although the frigate rolled pretty
heavily, yet we, nevertheless, had the pleasure of the company of some
twenty gentlemen and ten ladies. After "tiffin," which was served on the
poop, under a tent improvised with flags for the occasion, all felt
sufficiently comfortable to try a dance on the quarter-deck, our band of
music being called into requisition for quadrilles, polkas, and waltzes;
and, indeed, our guests paid so little attention to the approach of
night, that their return was postponed till it was absolutely dark, of
which opportunity we gladly availed ourselves to light our pleasant guests
homewards with Bengal lights.


At length, on 10th February, shortly after noon, we set sail. As the
frigate was perceived, from Fort George to weigh anchor, a thundering
salute was fired of 21 guns--an extraordinary honour and mark of
attention, to which we responded by a similar salute. In consequence of
calms and light winds, we were 48 hours ere losing sight of land; and it
was not till the 12th February we could proceed on our voyage. For several
evenings after, that magnificent, and as yet unexplained, phenomenon, the
Zodiacal light, which is conjectured by the greatest physicist of our age,
to be the beams radiated from a vapour-like, flattened ring, revolving in
the space between the orbits of Mercury and Venus, was visible with much
regularity. What was afterwards observed, however, of this remarkable zone
of light, during the course of our voyage, will be found detailed in the
meteorological portion of the scientific volumes. Unbroken fine weather
accompanied us during our entire voyage to the Nicobar Islands, our next
station. But although, as was rendered necessary by the climate so near
the Equator, we were clothed entirely in summer apparel, and there was
nothing to remind us of its being winter and carnival at home, our sailors
did not let Shrove Tuesday pass over without celebrating that day, to be
marked with a white stone, by masking and dancing according to ancient
custom. Jack has an especially good memory for the return of such
junketings, and is by no means prone to letting the sensible vicinity of
the Equator put him out of his reckoning; so he danced near the line also,
not because he had any pleasure therein, but because it has always been
his custom to do so at carnival-time!

The state of health of the ship's company was excellent, there being but
eight on the sick list, of whom only two were seriously ill.

On the 22nd February towards 10 A.M. the Island of Kar-Nicobar hove in
sight, and towards afternoon we found ourselves but a few miles distant.
The land seemed for the most part level, only a low eminence thickly
covered with frost rising towards the centre. The coast was overgrown with
cocoa-nut-palm. In the N.W. and S.E. we could see three Malay boats at
anchor. On the beach were some huts of beehive-like shape, in and out of
which naked brown figures were seen moving; while, as night fell, numerous
lights glimmered from the shore.

The following morning, Tuesday 23rd February, 1858, we anchored off the
N.W. side of the island, in 14-1/2 fathoms coral sand, about 2 miles
distant from the shore, and just between the two villages of Mosse and
Sàui, each consisting of a few huts. One can approach within 3 or 4
cable-lengths of the shore, where there are still 10 fathoms, with clay
bottom. Several natives, some naked, some with their bodies covered in the
most ludicrous fashion with cast-off European clothes, approached the
frigate while she was being secured, in small but elegant canoes, and
called out anxiously when within hailing distance, in an inquisitive tone
and a broken English, "No fear? good friend?" which we interpreted into an
inquiry as to whether they had anything to fear, and whether we were
disposed to be friendly. When, however, we did not immediately throw them
a rope to make fast their little canoes, and they got sight of our
numerous guns, they speedily turned tail and hurried away.


                            END OF VOL. I.

                            APPENDIX A.


          Commodore--B. v. Wüllerstorf-Urbair, Commander-in-Chief.
          Captain--Frederick Baron Pöck.
          First Lieutenant--Bela Saal de Gyula.
          Lieutenants--Maurice Monfroni de Montfort.
              "     "   Alexander Count Kielmansegge.
              "     "   William Lund.
              "     "   Robert Müller.
              "     "   Ernest Jacoby.
              "     "   Eugen Kronowetter.
              "     "   Gustavus Battlogg.
          Purser--Antonio Basso.
          Principal Surgeon--Dr. Francis Seligmann.
          Assistant Surgeons--Dr. Avé Robert Lallemant.
                 "       "      Dr. Edward Schwarz.
                 "       "      Charles Ruziczka.
          Chaplain--Edward de Marocchini.
          Midshipmen--Henry Fayenz.
            "    "    Joseph Natty.
            "    "    Gustavus v. Semsey.
            "    "    Richard Baron Walterskirchen.
            "    "    Louis Meder.
            "    "    Alexander Kalmar.
            "    "    Augustus Baron Skribanek.
            "    "    Andreas Count Borelli.
            "    "    Francis Baron Cordon.
            "    "    Frederick Baron Haan.
            "    "    Edward Latzina.
            "    "    Michal de Mariassi.
            "    "    Eugen Prince Wrede.
            "    "    Joseph Berthold.
          Engineer--Wenceslas Lehmann.


               Geology--Dr. Ferdinand Hochstetter.
               Botany--Dr. Edward Schwarz.
                  "    Mr. Anthony Tellinek, horticulturist.
               Zoology--Mr. George Frauenfeld.
                  "     Mr. John Zelebor.
               Ethnography--Dr. Charles Scherzer.
               Artist--Mr. Joseph Selleny.

The entire crew, including sailors, marines, gunners, servants, and the
ship's band, amounted to 352 men.

                             APPENDIX B.

 _List of the various Provisions and Stores furnished to the Frigate
           "Novara" before her departure from Trieste._

 Coals--23 tons (at 260 pounds daily consumption)           for 198 days
 Water--86 tons (the daily consumption was
   furnished by the distilling apparatus)
 Biscuit--50,965 pounds (Vienna weight)                      "  145  "
 Wine--(light red Istrian wine), 8777 mass (= 3510 gallons)  "   50  "
 Rum--7913 mass (= 3165 gallons)                             "  226  "
 Salt Beef--17,800 pounds            for 105 days \ Meat
 Preserved Meat (in tins)                122   "  | (boned)  "  264  "
 Pork--5760 pounds weight                87    "  /
 Rice--6850 pounds                       77    "  \ (for
 Essence--3184 pounds                    58    "  /  Soup)   "  135  "
 Mélanges d'Equipage, 40,000 rations    114  days \
 Sour-crout, 16,000 rations              46    "  | Vege-
 Cabbage, 16,000 rations                 46    "  | tables   "  298  "
 Potatoes, 32,000 rations                92    "  /
 Cocoa--10,290 pounds (Vienna weight)                        "  610  "
 Sugar--3494     "                                           "  156  "
 Salt--1000      "                                           "  100  "
 Vinegar--831 mass (= 332-1/5 gallons)                       "   95  "

                             APPENDIX C.

                        SUMMARY OF EXPENDITURE


 A - Pay of Commodore, in Austrian currency.
 B - Pay of Staff.
 C - Pay of Naturalists, and incidental Expenses of this department.
 D - Pay of Crew, including extras.
 E - Victuals for Crew and Hospital (Sick).
 F - For Sundries, Repairs, and Ship's Material.
 G - Purchase of Books, Instruments, and Medicines.
 H - Pilots and Tug Steamers.
 I - Pay of Servants, including extras.
 J - Boat-hire, Postages, Travelling Expenses of the Staff, &c.
 K - Totals.

       Period of       |         |          |         |          |
      Expenditure.     |    A    |    B     |    C    |    D     |
                       | Florins.| Florins. | Florins.| Florins. |
                       |  Kr.    |   Kr.    |   Kr.   |   Kr.    |
 April to June, 1857   | 2,112 ..|  5,413 51| 1,744 53|  7,522 52|
 III. Quarter    "     | 2,327 10|  8,214 10| 3,302 40| 10,562 37|
 IV.   ditto     "     | 3,261 20|  9,604 50| 4,816 57| 10,560 50|
 I.    ditto    1858   | 3,118 ..|  9,377 ..| 4,073 ..| 10,557 49|
 II.   ditto     "     | 3,212 ..| 10,542 30| 4,358  5| 10,755 39|
 III.  ditto     "     | 5,102 30|  9,638 30| 5,421 17| 10,245 24|
 IV.   ditto     "     | 2,217 10|  6,931 50| 5,272 56| 10,020  6|
 I.    ditto    1859   | 4,914 20| 16,958 20| 9,578 23| 10,840 43|
 II.   ditto     "     | 3,227 16| 11,008 ..| 4,090 20| 11,151 56|
 III.  ditto     "     | 3,117  7| 10,911 41| 3,857 14| 11,009 29|
 IV.   ditto (not full)|   984 18|  2,564  5| 1,990  5|  3,314 16|
     Grand Total       |33,593 11|101,164 47|48,505 50|106,541 41|

       Period of       |          |         |        |        |
      Expenditure.     |    E     |    F    |   G    |   H    |
                       | Florins. | Florins.|Florins.|Florins.|
                       |   Kr.    |   Kr.   |  Kr.   |  Kr.   |
 April to June, 1857   |    133 55|   146  7|   37 10|  ... ..|
 III. Quarter    "     |  2,316 40|   362 47|   16 28|   28 ..|
 IV.   ditto     "     | 27,344 29| 2,839  3|  644 49|  356 26|
 I.    ditto    1858   |  2,099 39|   646 10|   36 34|   85 53|
 II.   ditto     "     | 21,514 37| 2,170 53|  349 54|  ... ..|
 III.  ditto     "     | 17,443 32| 5,925 48|  338 14|  645 50|
 IV.   ditto     "     |  5,762 30|   ... ..|  212 34|2,197 55|
 I.    ditto    1859   | 30,715 17|18,185 34|2,286 40|  647 54|
 II.   ditto     "     |  3,179 24|   767  4|   23  2|   94 23|
 III.  ditto     "     | 11,444 ..| 7,551 15|  306 24|  ... ..|
 IV.   ditto (not full)|  2,163 40|   ... ..|   33 30|  ... ..|
     Grand Total       |124,009 43|38,594 41|4,285 19|4,056 21|

       Period of       |        |         |          |
      Expenditure.     |   I    |    J    |    K     |
                       |Florins.| Florins.| Florins. |
                       |  Kr.   |   Kr.   |   Kr.    |
 April to June, 1857   |  811 34| 5,277 59| 23,200 21|
 III. Quarter    "     |  363 53|   186 18| 27,680 43|
 IV.   ditto     "     |  435  9| 2,027 31| 61,891 24|
 I.    ditto    1858   |  397 28|    96 22| 30,487 55|
 II.   ditto     "     |1,144 43|   814 25| 54,764 46|
 III.  ditto     "     |  566  8| 1,351 46| 56,678 59|
 IV.   ditto     "     |   29 24|   651 59| 33,296 24|
 I.    ditto    1859   |1,592 30| 1,258 51| 96,978 32|
 II.   ditto     "     |  200  5| 1,258 32| 35,000 2 |
 III.  ditto     "     |1,910 ..|   793 ..| 50,900 10|
 IV.   ditto (not full)|  269 46|     5 ..| 11,324 40|
     Grand Total       |7,720 40|13,721 43|482,193 56|

Thus the Expenditure, during the voyage, amounting to 483,193 florins 56
kreuzer, Austrian currency, which, calculated at the rate of 10 florins to
a pound sterling at par, is equal to about £48,219 sterling. To this sum
must be added the outfit and armament of the frigate for the purposes of
the voyage, amounting to about £6000 sterling, and the expenses for four
months' provisions, taken in at Trieste before our departure, and
estimated at about £4500 sterling, so that the entire Expenditure of the
Expedition, from the time of starting till its return, amounted to about
£58,000 sterling.



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[Transcriber's Note: Changes to the original document: Footnotes and
illustrations may have been moved. Minor punctuation inconsistencies or
errors have been corrected. To the table of illustrations have been added
entries for the preceding illustrations. The publisher's corrections
listed at the end of Volume III have been applied. The following
additional changes were made:

 analagous[analogous] to the mountain chains
 to be reaped from European emigation[emigration]
 Namely: 9159 Portuguese[Two footnotes were improperly swapped]
 we were still able vividly to recal[recall]
 If any one desires [to] see a veritable
 towards the end of the rainy reason[season],
 their bite produces on the the[del 2nd the] hand
 that such soundings are only succesful[successful] when
 they cannot recal[recall] having perceived,
 Terrestrial Magnetism, Liuteenant[Lieutenant] Robert Müllar;
 of New Bedford, Massachussets[Massachusetts],
 pendant les annés[années] 1791-94
 there there[del 2nd there] is nothing resembling a beach
 custom that seems to recal[recall] the frightful
 This time, morever,[moreover]
 and chaunted[chanted] the praises
 all to be able to indentify[identify] them,
 thirty to the Parias[Pariahs],
 Ry[By] T. LEWIS FARLEY, Esq.,
 effected. Every other descripion[description]

Also, the publisher on one occasion confused the degrees Réaumur and
Fahrenheit used in measuring temperature with degrees and minutes used to
determine lattitude and longitude:

Between the Gulfs of Guayaquil and Panama, north-east of the cold current,
the temperature of the sea during the month of April rose as high as 24°
5', (87° 12' Fahr.). Within the range of the current, Mr. Dirckinck had
carried on his observations in compliance with my instructions, by means
of thermometers that had been compared by Arago. Everywhere in the
current, in December 1824, he found from 16° to 18° (68° to 72°·5 Fahr.);
between Quilca and Callao, in January, 1825, from 18° to 19° (72° 5' to
74° 75' Fahr.); between Chorillos, near Lima (Lat. 12° 39' S.) and
Valparaiso, in August, 1825, from 13° 8' to 10° 5' (63°·05 to 5° 62'
Fahr.); between Chorillos and San Carlos de Chiloe, in June, 1825, from
18° 8' to 9° 2' (74° 3' to 52° 7').

The corrected paragraph is as follows:

Between the Gulfs of Guayaquil and Panama, north-east of the cold current,
the temperature of the sea during the month of April rose as high as
24°·5, (87°·12 Fahr.). Within the range of the current, Mr. Dirckinck had
carried on his observations in compliance with my instructions, by means
of thermometers that had been compared by Arago. Everywhere in the
current, in December 1824, he found from 16° to 18° (68° to 72°·5 Fahr.);
between Quilca and Callao, in January, 1825, from 18° to 19° (72°·5 to
74°·75 Fahr.); between Chorillos, near Lima (Lat. 12° 39' S.) and
Valparaiso, in August, 1825, from 13°·8 to 10°·5 (63°·05 to 55°·62 Fahr.);
between Chorillos and San Carlos de Chiloe, in June, 1825, from 18°·8 to
9°·2 (74°·3 to 52°·7).]

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Austrian Frigate Novara, Volume I - (Commodore B. Von Wullerstorf-Urbair,) Undertaken by Order - of the Imperial Government in the Years 1857, 1858, & 1859, - Under the Immediate Auspices of His I. and R. Highness the - Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, Commander-In-Chief of the - Austrian Navy." ***

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