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Title: Brazil and the river Plate in 1868
Author: Hadfield, William
Language: English
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Libraries.)



[Illustration: Dr. Gunning's House, overlooking the Valley of Macacos]



                                 BRAZIL
                                  AND
                            THE RIVER PLATE
                                IN 1868:


                                    BY
                            WILLIAM HADFIELD,


 SHOWING THE PROGRESS OF THOSE COUNTRIES SINCE HIS FORMER VISIT IN 1853.

[Illustration]

                                LONDON:
                BATES, HENDY AND CO., 4, OLD JEWRY, E.C.
                                 1869.

                            ENT. STA. HALL.



                        DUNLOP & CO., PRINTERS,
                   King's Head Court, Shoe Lane, E.C.



                               CONTENTS.


        THE VOYAGE OUT                                        9

        THE CITY OF MONTE VIDEO                              25

        THE CITY OF RIO DE JANEIRO                           31

        THE WAR IN PARAGUAY                                  45

        THE PROVINCE OF SAN PAULO                            51

        THE SAN PAULO RAILWAY                                55

        THE CITY OF SAN PAULO                                66

        SAN PAULO TO SANTOS AND RIO DE JANEIRO               83

        TRIP TO JUIZ DE FORA.—THE DON PEDRO SEGUNDO RAILWAY  86

        RIO DE JANEIRO TO THE RIVER PLATE, SECOND TRIP       99

        CITY OF BUENOS AYRES                                103

        BUENOS AYRES TO COLONIA—ESTANZUELLA                 107

        TRIP ON THE CENTRAL ARGENTINE RAILWAY               112

        THE WESTERN RAILWAY OF BUENOS AYRES                 125

        BUENOS AYRES—SECOND NOTICE                          131

        PROGRESS OF STEAM NAVIGATION ON LA PLATA            142

        RAILWAYS IN THE RIVER PLATE                         146

        EMIGRATION TO BRAZIL                                154

        EMIGRATION TO THE RIVER PLATE                       158

        RAILWAYS IN BRAZIL                                  164

        COMMERCE OF BRAZIL AND THE RIVER PLATE              173

        THE RIVER AMAZON                                    185

        TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS                          197

        RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS                              200

        THE AFFLUENTS OF LA PLATA                           203

        THE REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY                            206

        BRAZILIAN CURRENCY                                  217

        ARGENTINE FINANCES                                  231

        THE PORT AND HARBOUR OF SANTOS                      239

        THE VOYAGE HOME                                     245

        APPENDIX OF OFFICIAL AND OTHER DOCUMENTS            253



                                ERRATA.


      Page 132.—For Club “El Temple” read “Del Parque.”

      Page 167.—Transpose in table words “Revenue” and “Working.”

      Page 169.—For “£150,000” read “£15,000.”



                                PREFACE.


This work makes no pretentions to literary merit, but, as its title
indicates, is simply a narrative descriptive of the progress of the
countries specially referred to, which, though England has long
maintained intimate commercial relations with them, are still but very
imperfectly known to the British public. In the Old World generations
follow each other without any very perceptible alteration being
observable in the characteristic surroundings, but in the New World, as
America is still termed, a few years often effect changes of the most
important and striking description. This is notably the case as respects
Brazil and the River Plate, the growth of which has been very
remarkable.

Since the year 1854, when my former work was published, a large amount
of English capital has been invested in various enterprises connected
with Brazil and the River Plate, and particularly for the construction
of railways, the formation of banks, and the promotion of steam
navigation on the great Rivers communicating with the interior. If the
results have not, in several instances, proved wholly satisfactory as
regards the distribution of dividends, the fact is in a considerable
degree, if not entirely, owing to mismanagement of some kind or other;
and I think there can be no doubt that a prosperous future yet lies
before all the companies in question. On the other hand, large gains
have been secured, showing that those regions present a profitable and
wide field for the further employment of our surplus capital.

The commercial tendencies of Brazil and the Platine States are most
liberal, and their policy is the very opposite of that pursued under the
exclusive domination of Portugal and Spain. The Empire, not long since,
received the approval of all civilised nations for its decree opening up
the waters of the noble Amazon to free commerce, and the unrestricted
navigation of the upper riverine streams will be one of the chief
advantages the victory of the allies in the present war will confer upon
mankind.

The extent of territory embraced within the limits of Brazil, and what
are commonly called the Platine States, cannot easily be realised by
those who have never travelled out of Europe; and it is equally
difficult to convey any adequate idea of their wonderful fertility and
productiveness. Nature has blessed them with her choicest gifts, and, to
take the highest rank amongst the nations, their sole want is increased
population; and this is precisely what overcrowded Europe can very well
spare. I am glad to be able to state that the respective Governments are
fully impressed with the necessity of adopting comprehensive and
effective measures with a view to attracting emigrants to their shores.

My intended movements during my visit were much interfered with by the
cholera in the Plate and the protracted duration of hostilities in
Paraguay, but I was enabled to satisfy myself of the complete
realisation in 1868 of my most sanguine predictions in 1853.



                       BRAZIL AND THE RIVER PLATE

                                   IN

                                 1868.



                            THE VOYAGE OUT.


A beaten track does not present the same novelty as a fresh one, except
in the case of countries in what is still termed the New World, and
which are again about to be described. It was in 1853 I last visited
Brazil and the River Plate, and published my observations upon them. An
interval of fifteen years has wrought many changes and produced
wonderful progress there, and if the Southern portion of the American
Continent has not kept pace with the Northern it may be chiefly ascribed
to the continued great influx of emigrant population to the latter from
all parts of Europe, but consisting chiefly of the Anglo-Saxon race.
From this cause, even the loss of at least a million of American
citizens by the great civil war has caused no perceptible diminution in
the American census, because it is constantly replenished from Europe.
The African race has, however, come to the surface in a most
unlooked-for manner, their shackles having been removed by a violent
shock, which has, for a time at least, caused great social disturbance,
and left the Southern States more or less at the mercy of the “niggers,”
as the blacks are generally termed. What may be the ultimate result, or
how things will “settle down,” is yet a problem to be solved. Meantime,
slavery in Brazil remains a domestic institution, but it is doomed to
inevitable extinction. The process of emancipation will be watched with
much interest by all who desire to see the Brazilian Empire rise to the
position it is capable of attaining. The tide of emigration to Brazil,
spite of this disadvantage, has, however, fairly set in, and the subject
will be treated of in its proper place. Happily, in the River Plate
there exists no such hindrance to the development of free labour, for
which it also presents a boundless field, and it will be the study of
the writer to show how a portion, at all events, of the surplus
population of Europe can be located there, to the great advantage of
those who embrace the opening as well as of the country itself, whose
chief and most urgent want is labour. The Paraguayan war and the
terrible ravages of the cholera have been a great drawback to internal
improvement in the Argentine Republic, but it is gratifying to think
that the encouraging picture drawn by the writer on his first visit to
the Plate has been more than realised—the motto of the Platine States
should now be “_Peace and Progress_.” The “log” of an outward-bound
passenger on board an ocean steamer now possesses but little interest;
still, a record of the changes which have taken place in the means of
transit since my last voyage, made fifteen years ago, may be worthy of
notice, and will also afford information to those who contemplate a trip
to Brazil or the River Plate. Success does not always attend even the
best organised and most promising enterprises, but all experience had
even then proved that there was ample scope for the employment of
capital in promoting intercourse by means of steam with those countries
that can only be reached by crossing the ocean. The South American
Company, with which at that time I was connected, started under
unfortunate circumstances. Ships were high in price, and rates of fuel
were exorbitant by reason of the Crimean War. They lost in addition two
of their steamers in a most unlooked-for manner, which sadly deranged
their operations; but emphatically the two grave errors committed by the
company were, first, in building more ships than they could raise
capital to pay for; and, secondly, in abandoning the line after their
experience had thus been paid for, and at the very moment when the
traffic was becoming lucrative; for there can be no question that had
they continued to run their steamers, instead of being seduced by the
tempting terms of charter offered by Government, they would now have
been in existence as a powerful company, paying good dividends. This was
not to be however, and on the abandonment of the line, the Royal Mail
Company was left without a competitor, and so enabled to realise large
profits. Had this latter company read rightly the signs of the times, or
met the requirements of _commerce_ by despatching a steamer once a month
from Liverpool, alternately with their regular mail from Southampton,
they would not only have made more money, but to a considerable extent
rendered themselves independent of Government subsidies. Their monopoly
was exercised injuriously for the interests of the countries they were
trading to, of which the French Emperor had the sagacity to take
advantage, by subsidizing a company from Bordeaux, which has continued a
most successful career, for it cannot be disputed that French steam
navigation and the development of French commerce are almost entirely
due to his Imperial Majesty's remarkable prescience. As a natural
consequence of increased facilities the passenger traffic with Brazil
and the River Plate has wonderfully increased, and at times both lines
are inconveniently crowded, the French one being for some reason
preferred by South Americans and foreigners. Subsequently some
unsuccessful attempts were made to establish other steam lines to
Brazil. What was termed the Brokers' line was started from Liverpool to
the River Plate, but it was not until Messrs. Lamport and Holt took the
business in hand that private steam navigation was established on a firm
basis from that port, and the fine fleet of the astronomical line now
supersedes to a considerable extent the use of sailing ships. They have
also entered into a contract with the British Government to despatch a
mail steamer on the 20th of every month, the first (the Hipparchus)
having left Liverpool on the 20th August last. Last on the list comes
what is now generally known as “Tait's” line, on board one of the
steamers of which, the City of Limerick, I am now embarked. They are
fine steamers, with superior accommodation for first-class passengers at
very moderate rates. A line from London, calling at Falmouth, has long
been a favourite project, which Messrs. Tait have at length carried into
effect with every prospect of success. They have wisely appreciated the
growing requirements of population in Brazil and the River Plate, and
are preparing to convey a number of third-class passengers by their
steamers at a cheap rate. By confining their operations to Rio de
Janeiro and the River Plate they are enabled to land goods and
passengers at Monte Video and Buenos Ayres under 30 days. The importance
of this line has been greatly enhanced by the contract entered into with
the Belgian Government, under which the steamers are to call at Antwerp
on their way out and home, the latter after landing passengers at
Falmouth.[1]

This brief reference to the progress of steam navigation to Brazil and
the River Plate will show the growth of passenger traffic during the
last few years, and sufficiently indicate the great increase of commerce
with these countries, not only as regards Great Britain, but also as
respects continental ports, which will be more clearly illustrated in
later portions of this volume; meantime, as an index to passenger
traffic, it is my intention to obtain statistics from the different
companies, and to present them in a table which will speak for itself. I
may further remark that a steam company has been formed to run from
Marseilles to the River Plate, and another between the United States and
Brazil, the latter with a subsidy from these two Governments, which
cannot fail to be mutually advantageous, and to promote the great object
of emigration. Altogether a very large amount of capital is employed in
linking this portion of the old world and the new by means of steam
navigation. That it will further increase no one can doubt, particularly
should the tide of emigration from Europe set in freely towards those
countries, as I firmly believe will soon be the case.

And now we are moving along towards St. Vincent,—expecting to pass the
island of Madeira to-morrow (24th December), five days out from
Falmouth, almost entirely under steam, a breeze from the north-west,
which favoured us for 24 hours after leaving Falmouth, having gradually
headed us. The speed of the vessel under steam only is 9 to 10 knots,
but if we catch a good trade wind our progress southward ought to be
very rapid. The City of Limerick is an excellent sea boat and all is
very comfortable on board. My order of proceeding this time will still
be something in the narrative form, as more adapted to the task I have
set myself of recording the progress made, and the changes that have
taken place since my last short visit to South America in 1853.

_December 24th._—Passed close to the westward of Madeira, the island
being enveloped in dense masses of black clouds, which poured forth
their liquid streams, forming some dozen cascades of all sizes, one
being conspicuous, reaching from the very top of the mountain down to
the sea. No one would imagine the beauty and fertility of this island to
judge from its western aspect, so different from the south-eastern side,
which is well cultivated, and presents very pleasing views as you
approach in that direction the Bay of Funchal. Madeira has changed very
little I believe of late years, nor is it likely to do so with absurd
quarantine laws in existence, which prevent vessels calling, and limits
the number of visitors. The cultivation of sugar cane succeeded that of
the vine, after the destruction of the latter, about the time of my
former visit to the island, but to the detriment of its sanatory
condition, as the refuse canes were allowed to rot, and impregnated the
atmosphere offensively; otherwise, in its former glory of vines and fig
trees, the island was a little garden of Hesperides. Now that real
Madeira wine has become a scarce commodity connoisseurs praise it
extensively, and it is to be hoped a few years will enable the island
again to supply a genuine article instead of the spurious trash commonly
sold under the name of Madeira wine. The real thing is only to be found
in choice old cellars, and no doubt a glass of it is a very great treat.

_Christmas Day, 1867._—Spent this day on the “deep blue sea,” with a
steady north-east trade blowing, which carries us swiftly along, and, if
all goes well, we shall reach St. Vincent on Saturday by daylight, so as
to get into the harbour and coal during the night. Nine days from
Falmouth will be a very good passage. The weather has become warm, with
bright sunny days and starlight nights, the days lengthening as we
proceed southward. Certainly the change from an English winter is very
sensibly felt, and must exercise a beneficial influence on the human
frame. All traces of sea sickness have vanished from those of the
passengers who were afflicted with it during the first few days, and
they are now on deck, basking in the sunshine, but they will soon
require the protection of awnings, as we shall then be within the
tropics. Different opinions exist as to the comparative comfort of the
paddle-wheel and screw. I prefer the latter, irrespective of its
economy, as advantage can be taken of every favouring breeze, and except
with the wind right aft, a screw steamer is steadier than a paddle wheel
one. Many object to the continual thud of the screw and to the tremulous
motion of the ship, but the latter is less felt in screw steamers than
formerly, from the application of improved machinery and the placing of
the screw well down in the water. On the other hand, the continual
plunging of paddle wheels is tiresome, and they keep up a certain amount
of spray which is not experienced with the screw. It is quite true that
a ship is a thing “you never can be quiet in,” whether propelled merely
by sails, by paddle, or by screw—as everyone knows who has had
experience, but this does not prevent sleep, or indulgence at times in
that _dolce far niente_ which is supposed to belong only to dwellers on
land, under the soothing influence of an Italian sky. After all, how
much we are indebted to steam, not only for comfort, but for our
knowledge of distant countries. I remember several voyages made to
Brazil in my early days, when 20 to 30 days were often taken to
accomplish what we did yesterday in five days,—namely, passing the
island of Madeira to gain the north-east trades.

_St. Vincent._—Saturday evening, the 28th December, brought us safely
into Porto Grande, the great coaling harbour for steamers bound to the
South Atlantic, and where as many as twenty steamers a month are now
coaled from the coaling establishment of Mr. Miller (also her Majesty's
Consul for the Cape Verde Islands), who has at great expense built a
high and low level pier, with large coal stores, a number of iron
lighters and screw tugs which are employed to tow the coal barges
alongside the steamers; in fact, it is impossible for anything to be
more complete than the coaling arrangements here, which admit of sending
off about 700 tons a day. Three vessels had to be coaled during Sunday,
and two got away by night—ourselves, and a French steamer, bound from
Marseilles to Brazil and the River Plate, with about 550 emigrants on
board, chiefly for the River. We left, to complete her coaling the next
day, the splendid new steamer the Sumatra, Captain Brown, belonging to
the Pacific and Oriental Company, bound out to India, to take up her
station between Bombay and Suez; she is 2,500 tons, and 500 horse power,
both built by Denny Brothers, of Dumbarton. She has accommodation of the
most luxurious kind for 150 first-class passengers, and is equipped in a
most perfect manner. St. Vincent is her only coaling port between
England and Bombay, and this was merely a matter of precaution, as she
had on board sufficient to take her to India. A Russian screw corvette
with a number of training cadets on board was also at anchor in the Bay
when we arrived, but she sailed away southward about noon on Sunday.
With the increasing demand for steam traffic to the southern hemisphere,
the importance of Porto Grande as a coaling station cannot be overrated.
We expected to have picked up some news from Brazil and the River Plate,
but unfortunately the Royal Mail Company's steamer Seine (overdue a
week) had not arrived, and various surmises were raised as to the cause
of this unusual delay, which we shall only learn later on. The Brazil
and River Plate Service, both by the above company and the French
Messageries Imperiales, has been for many years performed with great
regularity. Owing to the many steamers calling at St. Vincent, a good
supply of fresh meat, fruit, eggs, &c., can now be obtained there,
brought from the neighbouring islands, as St. Vincent itself continues
as barren of verdure as ever. The town has extended itself somewhat,
several new public buildings having been erected, including a Custom
House, and some pretty cottages on the hill overlooking the harbour, for
the use of Mr. Miller's numerous establishments. For the information of
such of my readers as may not be conversant with the Cape Verde Islands,
I reprint my remarks upon them contained in my former work already
alluded to, as I shall also continue to do in other places, for a
similar reason, besides the additional one of diffusing information as
to countries with which we are so intimately linked by commercial and
political ties. A submarine cable, connecting these Islands with Madeira
and Lisbon, would be very useful, and will most probably come in time,
as a link in the chain of our communications with South America and the
coast of Africa. Its existence would shorten the time of receiving and
transmitting news between England and Brazil very considerably, and the
evils arising from such an event as the detention or loss of the Seine
be greatly mitigated:—

  The Cape Verds consist of seven principal islands, and were
  tolerably populous, but of late years have been subjected to a
  continuous emigration to South America and the West Indies, where,
  like the hardy mountaineers from Madeira, they are found most useful
  in tilling the soil, and in other laborious occupations; thus
  demonstrating the fallacy of the old notion, that laziness is the
  predominant element in the Spanish and Portuguese idiosyncrasy. What
  appears to be a present disadvantage, in regard to this human flight
  from the Verds, may prove beneficial hereafter, when the Ilheos (as
  they are called) return to their homes, possessed of a little money
  wherewith to improve their social and moral condition. The islands
  produce wine, barilla, large quantities of orchilla weed, and
  cochineal, the cultivation of which is rapidly forming a more and
  more considerable item of export. Steam navigation will ere long
  bring them into much closer commercial contact with the world, and
  enhance the appreciation of their products and natural advantage.
  The climate is fine, though subject to occasional high temperature
  and frequent droughts. Despite the name Verds, suggestive of
  Arcadian animation, nothing can be more desolate than the appearance
  of the islands, as approached from the sea; bold, high rocks,
  against which the surge breaks violently, with mountains towering in
  the clouds, are general characteristics, to which those of the
  island of St. Vincent offer no exception. On our arrival the weather
  was thick, with drizzling rain, as we made Porto Grande; and only
  cleared up in time to enable us to see Bird Island, a most
  remarkable sugar-loaf rock, standing right in the entrance of the
  bay, after passing which we reached the anchorage ground in a few
  minutes. A more convenient little harbour can hardly be imagined,
  being nearly surrounded with hills (or mountains as they may be
  called), which protect it from all winds save the westward, where
  Bird Island stands as a huge beacon, most admirably adapted for a
  lighthouse, and on which it is to be hoped one will soon be placed.
  There is deep water close to the shore on most sides of the bay,
  that where the town is built being the shallowest; and here some
  wooden jetties are run out, having very extensive coal and patent
  fuel _depôts_ close at hand where these combustibles are put into
  iron lighters, and sent off to the vessels. So beautifully clear is
  the water in the bay that you can see the bottom at a depth of from
  twenty to thirty feet, literally alive with fish of all kinds, but
  for which the people seem to care very little, either for home
  consumption or export, though there is no doubt that, in the latter
  direction, a large business might be done with profitable results.

  Porto Grande must become a most important coaling station, situated
  as it is midway between Europe and South America, and close to the
  African coast. Several important steam companies have already
  adopted it, viz., the Royal Mail (Brazil), the General Screw, the
  Australian, as also the South American, and General Steam Navigation
  Company, whilst occasional steamers are, likewise, glad to touch at
  it. At the period at which I am writing, the Great Britain was the
  last that coaled here, on her way to Australia. In order to meet
  this increased demand, a proportionate degree of activity and
  exertion is observable onshore; and a large number of iron lighters,
  carrying from fifteen to forty tons each, are now in constant
  requisition, loaded, and ready to be taken alongside the steamers
  the instant they cast anchor. Unfortunately there is a very poor
  supply of water, the want of it having been the occasion of frequent
  emigration in the history of the islands; but it is understood to be
  attainable at a slight expense; and a small outlay conjointly made
  by the steam companies might not only procure a plentiful provision
  of this all-necessary element, but also other conveniences,
  essential to the comfort of passengers. There is no doubt that, as
  the place progresses, supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables will
  be forwarded thither from the neighbouring islands, which are so
  productive that there is a considerable export of corn; and the
  cattle are numerous. Until lately fowls were only a penny a piece;
  and turtles abound. Hitherto there has been no regular marketable
  demand for such things; but one, and a large one too, is henceforth
  established, from the causes assigned, and will doubtless be
  regularly and economically supplied. The labourers here are chiefly
  free blacks and Kroomen, from the coast of Africa, most of whom
  speak English, and chatter away at a great rate, as they work in
  gangs, with a kind of boatswain over them, who uses a whistle to
  direct their toil—the movements of all the race of Ham to the days
  of Uncle Tom, being seemingly susceptible of regulation to musical
  noise of some sort or other; whether the “concord of sweet sounds,”
  or what would appear to be such to more refined ears, does not
  greatly matter.

  But for want of vegetation in its neighbourhood, a more picturesque
  little bay than Porto Grande can hardly be conceived. Towering a
  short distance above the town, is a kind of table mountain, some
  2,500 feet high; and at the opposite side, forming the south-west
  entrance, is another very lofty one, remarkable as representing the
  colossal profile of a man lying on his back, _à la_ Prometheus. He
  has his visage towards heaven, wherein there are generally soaring
  vultures enough to devour him up were he a trifle less tender than
  volcanic granite. The features are perfect, even to the eyebrows;
  and a very handsome profile it makes, though it does not appear that
  any tropical Æschylus has yet converted the material to the humblest
  legendary, much less epic, purpose. On the shore ground, forming the
  right side of the bay, looking towards the town, is a neat little
  monument, erected to the lamented lady of Colonel Cole, who died
  here on her way home from India. The spot where she lies is, from
  its quietude and seclusion, most meet for such a resting-place,
  there being a small, conical hill behind, with a cottage or two
  near, and a sprinkling of vegetation on the low ground between,
  serving to “keep her memory green” in the mind of many an ocean
  voyager in his halt at this half-way house between the younger and
  the elder world.

  This little town was thrown back sadly by the epidemic which
  afflicted it in 1850 and decimated the population. During its
  continuance Mr. Miller, one of the few English residents, did so
  much in assisting the inhabitants as to elicit from the late Queen
  of Portugal the honour of a knighthood, in one of the first orders
  in her dominions. It requires no small degree of patience and
  philanthropy to aid the development of a place like this, labouring,
  as it does, under such great natural difficulties, and where
  everything has to be brought from a distance, there not being a tree
  or a blade of grass to be seen—nothing but dry, arid sand, or a
  burnt-up kind of soil. Undoubtedly, the heat is very great at times;
  and there are about three months of blowing, rainy weather, which is
  the only period when vessels might be subjected to inconvenience
  whilst coaling, as the southerly winds drive up a good deal of sea
  into the bay. There is an English Consul resident here, Mr. Rendall,
  who has done much to assist in bringing these islands into notice,
  and into comparative civilization; and, by so doing, has many times
  over reimbursed this country in the cost of his stipend of £400 a
  year, saying nothing of the services he has performed to shipping,
  in the ordinary discharge of his duties.

  Cape Verds are a very numerous family of islands, called after a
  cape on the African coast (originally named Cabo Verde, or Green
  Cape, by the Portuguese), to which they lie contiguous, though at a
  considerable distance from each other in some cases. All are of
  volcanic formation—one, that of Fogo, or Fuego, once very celebrated
  as being visible, especially in the night time, at an immense
  distance at sea. The islands generally do not possess any very
  attractive points, being unlike Madeira and the Canaries in this
  respect, as well as in extent of population, that of the latter
  being four or five times more numerous than the others—say about
  200,000 in one, 40,000 in the other case, though some statements
  make the inhabitants of the Verds considerably more. The islands are
  occasionally subject to shocks of earthquakes; and there was rather
  a strong one at Porto Grande the night before we left, supposed on
  board our vessel to be thunder, from the noise it made, though we
  were not aware until next day that a shock had been felt on shore.
  The chief product is salt, a valuable article for vessels trading to
  South America, though it is here manufactured by the somewhat
  primitive process of letting the sea-water into the lowlands, where
  the sun evaporates it. Though Porto Grande, in St. Vincent, is the
  great place for shipping, and as such almost the only place of
  interest for passengers in transit, Ribera Grande, in St. Jago, the
  principal island, and most southerly of the group, is the chief
  town, though it is at Porto Playa (often touched at by ships on the
  Indian voyage) that the Governor General resides, particularly in
  the dry season. The island second in importance, in point of size,
  is St. Nicholas, where are some small manufactories, in the shape of
  cotton-stuffs, leather, stockings, and other matters. The orchilla
  weed, however, is the great object of governmental interest, and its
  monopoly is said to yield some £60,000 per annum; the same wise
  policy that grasps at that interdicting the manufacture of wine,
  though grapes grow in profusion, and are of excellent quality for
  the production of a very acceptable beverage.

_December 31st, 1867._—The last day of the old year is an event that
calls for reflection and particularly at sea, when the mind is generally
more open than elsewhere to receive impressions, and free to take into
review the past—to enquire how the time has been spent. Few of us,
probably, can answer this question satisfactorily, but at all events it
is desirable to make the enquiry. There is no postman's knock at the
door, no friends to see, nor any to seek us out. Our little world is the
ship on which we are sailing, and those within it, the greater part of
whom have been utter strangers to each other previous to embarkation.
Selfishness under such circumstances finds its level, or is confined
within very narrow bounds, and a common instinct draws every one
together, until at the end of the voyage, when those who are only
passengers part, and go each on his several mission, few in all
likelihood ever to meet again in their various walks in life. Most leave
friends behind, whom they look forward to rejoining, or they have
friends to welcome them in the new countries to which they are speeding
their way. The great ocean brings strikingly home to us the wondrous
works of the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, and the littleness of man
himself. Again, we are apt to forget the immensity of the ocean, which,
as compared with the land, is computed at 145¾ million of statute miles
against 51 million square statute miles of land, or a total of both of
196¾ millions. A little incident occurred this morning in our meeting
the screw steamer Uruguay (which signalised twenty days out from the
River Plate), one of the Liverpool line of steamers, making her way to
St. Vincent to coal, and she will, no doubt, report us at home. Time did
not afford opportunity for exchanging news, which would have been very
acceptable on both sides. We also passed an American ship steering
northward, being now in the track of vessels homeward bound, 10° 30´
north latitude and 26° 30´ east longitude; a fine steady breeze driving
us, with the aid of the screw, fully eleven knots an hour.

_January 4th, 1868._—We have crossed the line, gone through the
variables, and are in the south-east trades. The air is cool and
pleasant, and the ship making nearly twelve miles an hour, with a smooth
sea and little motion—the perfection of sailing. There is a freshness
about the Southern hemisphere which I have always enjoyed. Steady
breezes and a clear sky, with light fleecy clouds. We passed several
vessels yesterday standing to the northward, amongst them a fine Yankee
screw corvette, which hoisted her number, but she was not in our signal
book. Less than another week of this weather will take us into Rio de
Janeiro, in somewhat over 20 days, which will be a very good passage,
and we have certainly been very much favoured in having fair, moderate
weather, with scarcely any rain, and no squalls. The great advantage of
steam over sailing ships is not only much quicker passages, but running
out of calms or variable winds, and making a straight course to the
point of destination.

_January 10th, 1868._—We made Cape Frio light, off Rio de Janeiro, about
midnight, and came into harbour early this morning, twenty-one and a
half days from Falmouth. After the usual formalities in connection with
the health and custom-house departments, we steamed up to the coal
island, and were soon moored alongside, ready for coaling and
discharging cargo. There were fewer ships in the bay than I ever
remember to have seen. Her Majesty's store-ship Egmont was lying there,
and one or two other vessels of war. A splendid Spanish frigate, the
Blanca, which had participated in the bombardment of Valparaiso, steamed
out of harbour as we came in, but whither bound no one could say. On
going on shore I found the landing place not much improved, and the
custom-house formalities had increased in rigour, extending even to a
charge on the small quantity of luggage required for a change whilst on
shore. It is a mistake in an enlightened country like Brazil to subject
passengers to such absurd regulations, which can bring in very little
revenue and get the country a bad name. In other respects little or no
restriction is experienced in going to or from the ship, either day or
night. We found the news from the seat of war unsatisfactory as regards
its progress, and, what was worse, we learned that the cholera was
raging at Buenos Ayres, vessels from the River Plate being placed in
quarantine on arrival at Rio; but the latter city was healthy,
notwithstanding the great heat which, during the two days we remained in
harbour, was most intense, the thermometer in the shade being over 90°.
Working all night enabled the steamer to be ready to start again on
Sunday morning, the 12th January, when we again sailed from Rio on our
way to the River.

-----

Footnote 1:

  Since writing the above, Messrs. Tait have parted with their exclusive
  interest in the line to a limited company, with a very influential
  board of direction, and of which Mr. Peter Tait is himself the
  chairman. No doubt this will lead to a yet more vigorous prosecution
  of an enterprise which has already and thus early secured so large a
  share of commercial patronage and support.



                        THE CITY OF MONTE VIDEO.


Seeing the accounts at Rio were not encouraging, I was advised to delay
my trip southward, but as the River Plate was my ultimate destination,
and my business pressing, I was desirous to reach Buenos Ayres as
quickly as possible, taking Rio Janeiro on my return. So I continued on
board the steamer, which left Rio on Sunday morning, the 12th January,
1868, and we came to anchor in Monte Video harbour at 1 p.m. on the
16th—a very good passage of four days and a few hours. The weather had
been hot during the passage, giving us a foretaste of what we might look
for here. The health inspector did not come off to us for three hours, a
very annoying delay after the captain of a steamer has done his best to
get quickly to his port, and to whom, as well as to his owners, hours
are of consequence; but not so to officials in these countries. I
believe I surmised correctly that the health officer was at dinner when
we arrived, that he would take his siesta, and then come to look after
us. As it was then getting past business hours, I preferred remaining
cool and quiet on board the ship, but several of our passengers went on
shore, and passed the night there, as it is difficult to get off after
dark. The budget of news we received from the agents, who came on board
after the health visit, made me wish I had taken the wise advice of Rio
friends. The cholera was raging at Buenos Ayres and throughout the
Argentine Republic, and appeared to be bad enough at Monte Video, in
addition to which a revolution had broken out at Santa Fé against the
Government, the rebels having actually got possession of Rosario, as
well as some portion of the railway, whose metals they had partly torn
up at one of the bridges, throwing them into the river below. It is
difficult to account for this kind of wanton mischief, unless it was to
show their contempt for civilized means of transit, for having reached
Rosario, their policy should have been to keep the line open as a means
of retreat in case of need, and then to have taken up the rails to
impede troops who might be following them. I found Mr. and Mrs.
Wheelwright at the Oriental Hotel, Monte Video, a new and handsome
building erected since my last visit, and worthy any city in Europe, but
unfortunately several of the inmates died of cholera there and it was
afterwards deserted. The Oriental was full when we arrived, but we found
comfortable quarters at the Gran Hotel Americano, also a large and
handsome edifice lately built, nor can anything more strongly mark the
advance of Monte Video than these two hotels in addition to those
previously existing. The impressions conveyed in my former narrative as
to the development of Monte Video were favourable, but I hardly expected
to see the place grown half as large again since that time, which
certainly is the case. Building of late years has taken extraordinary
proportions here, and the price paid for choice spots in the city is
something fabulous. Then again the streets have been all paved and
flagged—roughly enough it must be confessed, but still they appear to
answer the purpose for the peculiar description of traffic over them,
and are a great improvement upon the sand and mud which existed before.
During the few days I remained at Monte Video, everything was in a very
miserable state, the mortality increasing and the telegrams from Buenos
Ayres quite awful. I therefore resolved to return to Rio Janeiro, and
wait a more favourable moment for prosecuting my mission. The heat was
intense, and the minds of people so preoccupied with the pestilence as
to render it impossible to follow the object of my mission with any
chance of success. The City of Limerick came up from Buenos Ayres on the
morning of the 24th of January, and was released from quarantine in the
afternoon, when Captain Peters came on shore, and his report confirmed
my previous views as to returning to Rio; so at 5 p.m. I went on board
with him. We got under weigh at sunset, with a fresh breeze, and,
passing Flores light, were off Maldonado light about 3 p.m.—a nasty
navigation, with the island of Lobos dangerously near, on which there
ought also to be a light. Daylight took us to the open sea, and four and
a half days' steaming brought us again into Rio harbour on the morning
of Wednesday, the 5th of February, when we were put to quarantine in
what is called Three Fathom Bay, where we remained until the third
morning, when we were released and steamed to the coal wharf.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Precisely three months after my first arrival in Rio, I left it again to
return to the River Plate, whence the pestilence had departed and things
resumed more or less their usual appearance. Monte Video had, however,
been the scene of a dreadful tragedy—the murder of General Flores in
open day—and the subsequent terrible retribution which followed that
catastrophe. A gloom hung over the country, heightened by the impending
bank crisis, and it seemed as if the spirit of evil had taken possession
of the place. Whatever may have been the faults or errors of General
Flores, he deserved a better fate at the hands of his countrymen. In
forcing himself into power he only followed in the footsteps of others
who had resorted to this unconstitutional mode of proceeding. During his
dictatorship the country was perfectly tranquil and highly prosperous,
nor was a single life sacrificed by him, although he knew he had many
secret enemies. His personal courage was undoubted and evinced in many a
bloody encounter in Paraguay, where he appeared to wear a charmed life,
and had he been at all prepared the assassins might have found the old
man more than a match for them. Altogether, this sad event has created a
feeling in Monte Video which it will take long to recover from, nor is
any confidence felt in the ability of the present rulers to overcome the
difficulties of their position. It is a great pity so fine a country and
so fair a city should be sacrificed to objects of mere personal
ambition, and be the sport of every discontented chief or partisan who
chooses to set himself in array against the Government; but
unfortunately this is too much the case, nor do the people themselves
rise to put down such a state of anarchy.

In alluding to the new buildings erected at Monte Video I omitted the
Bolsa or Exchange, which is quite an ornament to the city, with its
light, highly ornamented façade. The interior is of a quadrilateral
form, providing a spacious hall where the business of the place is
carried on, with brokers' offices on the ground floor, the upper storey
being devoted to a tribunal of commerce and other public purposes. The
cost of the building is stated at about 160,000 hard dollars, or £32,000
sterling, an instance of public spirit hardly to be found elsewhere in
South America.

The only thing wanting to Monte Video is business, in which respect the
contrast with Buenos Ayres is very much in favour of the latter.
Nevertheless, the banks have gone into considerable extravagance in the
way of architecture, the Italian Bank being conspicuous by a superfluity
of marble. Indeed, the facility for issuing notes has evidently led to
expenditure in “bricks and mortar” to an extent that must have greatly
embarrassed the managers of these institutions when called upon to meet
their paper in gold.

As to the cause of the money crisis there cannot be two opinions. In the
first place, Government was wrong in allowing private issues of notes,
and in the second place, in interfering when it came to a question of
the banks meeting their notes in gold. A “forced currency,” as it was
then called, was sure to lead to a depreciation in the value of the
paper and only postponed the evil day. It was a curious sight to see a
guard of soldiers with fixed bayonets on duty round the doors of the
Italian Bank, and a crowd of people waiting outside to receive specie
payment of their notes. This process had already shut up several of the
banks, and there was little hope of saving the Italian Bank, although
great efforts were being made by the mercantile body to do so, as from
the large number of Italian tradesmen doing business with the bank
serious results might attend the closing of its doors. The wisest course
would have been for all the banks to have followed in the wake of Mauá
and Co. and closed their doors when they found themselves unable to meet
the pressure for gold. This would have brought about some remedial
action on the part of Government with a view to self-preservation.

Amongst other public improvements at Monte Video is a large market, a
tramway for a few miles out of the city, and the commencement of a
railway intended eventually to reach Durazno, but at present only a few
miles can be completed, owing to the want of capital. Unfortunately, the
Government is not in a position to assist any enterprise of this kind,
spite of the large amount of Brazilian gold that has been poured into
the place during the war. Altogether, Monte Video has an ordeal to go
through that will require time and patience on the part of those who may
have to conduct its affairs.

The Bay presents its usual animated appearance as regards the collection
of ships and steamers, and a large sprinkling of foreign men-of-war,
whose services have been much called into requisition of late, in order
to protect foreign property; but in other respects there is a total
absence of vitality or of actual business.



                      THE CITY OF RIO DE JANEIRO.


It cannot be said in this case, as in most others, that

            “'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view;”—

for the nearer you approach this far-famed city, the more sensible are
you to the beauties it unfolds. Strangers are always struck with the
singularly picturesque appearance of the land approaching Rio de
Janeiro, but once fairly in the bay they are bewildered at its great
extent, surrounded on all sides by hills and mountains of every possible
form, shape, and size, most of them clothed in luxuriant verdure to the
summit. No picture or representation I have seen of the Bay of Rio does
justice to the splendid panorama its scenery presents. Even those who
have often approached it from the sea, so far from being tired of
gazing, not only recognise old familiar points, but discover some new
feature in the fairy-like landscape that had before escaped their
notice. It varies very much according to the light and shade,—sunrise,
noonday, and sunset each possessing peculiar marks of delighting beauty.
In my former description of Rio occurs the following passage:—

  The city of Rio Janeiro extends some three miles along the
  south-west side of the bay, and being much intersected by hills, it
  is difficult to get a good view of the whole range, unless from the
  top of one of the mountains near the city, such as the celebrated
  “Corcovado,” which stands out like a pulpit on the plain below, and
  is some 2,500 feet perpendicular. The view from this pulpit on a
  clear day is superb, and I should almost say unequalled in the
  world: the city, with its numerous divisions and suburbs below
  you—the bay, extending as far as the eye can reach, until lost in
  the plain below the Organ Mountain—the sea, studded with numerous
  picturesque islands, with vessels looking like white specks upon it,
  and seen to a great distance—all together form a most enchanting
  picture, and amply repay the toil of an ascent. The mountain is of
  granite rock, like all others in this country, but thickly wooded
  almost to the summit, and you come out quite suddenly on the bare
  point before alluded to, so much resembling a pulpit. In consequence
  of the tortuous formation of the streets, constructed round the base
  of the hills, it is difficult to get more than a bird's-eye view of
  the city, on ground made by encroachment on the sea; consequently,
  the streets are low, without drainage, and in several of the back
  ones the water collects and stagnates, to the great detriment of
  health and comfort. Rio itself is a bad copy of Lisbon—streets at
  right angles, a large square facing the sea, and the suburbs
  extending up the hills which everywhere meet your eye. In Lisbon the
  streets are tolerably wide, but here they have built them so
  miserably narrow, that scarcely even one carriage can pass through,
  much less pass each other; and it is evident that such vehicles were
  never contemplated in the original formation of these streets. The
  only way of getting over the difficulty is for carriages coming into
  the city to take one line of streets, and those leaving it another,
  which they do, excluding omnibuses altogether from the principal
  thoroughfares. Improvements in this way were what I found most
  backward; indeed there was a marked falling-off in such respect
  since I was last here, and there seems a great want of municipal
  government.[2] In many places the pavement is execrable, and
  generally very bad, the difficulty having been probably increased by
  laying down mains for water and gas, the latter now in process of
  execution, and also to heavy rains having washed away many parts of
  the road, and otherwise caused much damage. Once this troublesome
  job is got through, it is to be hoped that some effective measures
  will be taken to put the streets and branch roads in order;
  otherwise they will soon be rendered impassable. Coach and
  coach-spring making must be thriving trades here, especially with
  the immense increase that has taken place in the number of carriages
  and omnibuses; and it is really wonderful how they stand the
  continual shocks they have to endure.[3] Government seems at last
  alive to the absolute necessity of doing something to improve the
  sanitary condition of the city, and also its internal organization,
  as they have lately got out some good practical English engineers,
  who I have no doubt will suggest an effective mode of dealing with
  present difficulties. If they do not adopt decisive measures the
  rate of mortality may be expected to augment fearfully in a dense
  population of 300,000 to 400,000 inhabitants, huddled together in
  some 15,000 houses, surrounded by impurities of every kind, not the
  least being the stagnant water in the streets. No exact census has
  ever been taken of the population of Rio Janeiro, which is generally
  believed to be between the two figures above given. There is a
  migratory population, but the accumulation of humanity of every race
  and colour, contained in some of the large dwelling-houses, is
  something extraordinary. As before observed, nature has done much
  for this country, and if the natural facilities of Rio Janeiro were
  properly availed of, and local improvements carried out with energy
  and spirit, it might be rendered one of the finest and most
  luxuriant places within the tropics.[4] The opportunity is now open
  to them; the Government possess ample means, and it is just a
  question whether measures of progress are to be effectively
  achieved, or the city to be abandoned to its fate. The great evil
  attending all improvement in Brazil is an undue appreciation of
  native capability and a disparagement or mistrust of those whose
  practical experience would enable them to grapple with the
  difficulties that surround them—a kind of little jealousy or
  distrust that prevents their availing themselves of opportunities
  thrown in their way to carry out undertakings necessary to the
  well-being of the country: nor can they understand the principle on
  which such things are regulated in England, still less the magnitude
  of operations carried on there and in many other parts of Europe.
  Yet the time seems to be coming when these principles will be better
  understood here, and when the application of English capital towards
  the improvement of the country may be safely and legitimately
  brought to bear.

I quote this in order to point out the increase of population and
improvements which have been carried out in the city since it was
written, and amongst which may be enumerated:—

  The paving of streets, drainage works, &c.

  Lighting the city with gas.

  Increased number of omnibuses, private carriages, and conveyances of
    all kinds.

  Public gardens and ornamental squares.

  Railways and tramways.

First, as regards the number of inhabitants, it is difficult to arrive
at correct figures in the absence of a census, but according to the
municipal authorities, the population of Rio and the suburbs (which
comprise a circuit of many miles) is now about 600,000. If building be
any criterion, the increase of population must be very considerable.
Since the period to which I allude, the city has extended itself in
every possible direction, for without actually climbing the mountains
there is a limit to building ground. The new streets are wide, and many
of the new buildings exhibit a beautiful style of architecture, very
suitable to the climate, especially in the suburbs. The number of shops
has largely increased, and they are generally nicely decorated. Some
public markets have been built, such as the Gloria, Harmonia, &c.
Property has also greatly risen in value, and fabulous prices have been
paid for land in the city favourably situated. The paving of the streets
has also been carried out most efficiently. All the leading
thoroughfares in and out of the city are now well paved, and in this
respect the road from the Public Gardens to Bota Fogo would compare
advantageously with any in Europe, that portion passing through the
Cattete being a perfect specimen of good paving. As to the drainage
works, they speak for themselves to those who recollect what Rio was
twenty years back, and the names of Brassey and Gotto will long be
remembered as public benefactors in this part of the world. I had not
time to examine these great works in detail, but shall avail of an
opportunity on my return to do so. Gas has been most successfully
introduced, both as regards quantity, quality, and usefulness, and it
must have been an enormous saving of trouble and expense in a country
where so many lights are required, and which was formerly dependent on
oil lamps and candles. Not only is the city well lighted, but every
suburb, miles in extent, thereby greatly adding to comfort and security.
Under these circumstances it will hardly be a matter of surprise that
the gas company pays a very good dividend. It has rather a curious
effect on some of the country roads to see gas lamps peeping out from
the thick foliage of tropical plants, as if in competition with the
fire-flies dancing about.

Rio positively swarms with omnibuses, carriages, and Tilburys. The
former are plain enough in appearance, but are drawn by four mules at a
good speed. The carriages, which are manufactured on the spot, are
generally very superior in quality, with a couple of mules or horses,
and the Tilbury is a kind of cab with cover, to hold one person with the
driver. The fares, considering the distances traversed, are on the whole
moderate, although charges in this respect are complained of. The Public
Gardens have been very much improved since I was last here, and under
the shade of the trees it is very pleasant to sit and admire the beauty
of the scenery presented by the surrounding hills, and the view of the
bay in front, the busy city shutout, and everything in quiet repose save
the rumble of carriages passing along the streets. Another public garden
has been established in the square called Praça da Constituiçao, where
there is a fine statue of the first Emperor Dom Pedro proclaiming the
independence of the Empire. A still larger square, called the Campo de
Santa Anna, might advantageously be converted to a similar purpose, and
would form probably the most extensive area of this kind in the world,
affording shade and shelter from the rays of the sun to thousands of
citizens who have to cross it. At present, near the public fountains, it
is occupied by laundresses, and in certain spots rubbish is thrown, but
other parts are being planted, especially near the Senate House, the War
Office, and those of Public Works and Foreign Affairs, the Museum and
the new Mint, the latter one of the finest buildings in Rio. The
municipal taxes are few, and it is not easy to find a surplus to be
employed in ornamental works. As regards the railways, I must reserve my
notice of them till my return from the Plate, as at present my sojourn
in the Empire is limited to a couple of days in the capital.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The terrible ravages of the cholera in the River Plate brought me back
to Rio de Janeiro sooner than I had contemplated, as there was nothing
whatever to be done down there under such circumstances. At one period
both town and country places were threatened with absolute decimation,
and the daily tales of horror exceeded almost anything on record. In
many cases, when no one could be found to bury the dead inside ranchos,
or cottages, they were set fire to as the only way of disposing of the
bodies therein. In the Province of Buenos Ayres alone the loss of life
is computed at 25,000, and other provinces suffered almost in an equal
ratio, so that the actual loss of life and property in the Argentine
Republic must have been something enormous. In the Banda Oriental the
losses were severe, and at one time the mortality at Monte Video itself
was almost as great as at Buenos Ayres. Farms were in many cases
abandoned, and sheep and cattle left to roam at large; crops rotted in
the ground, growers of fruits and vegetables were ruined, the markets
for these products being closed, and their entrance into the town
prohibited. In fact it appeared as if the destroying angel was passing
over the devoted land; nor do I believe, from all I could learn on the
spot, that cholera was the only form of disease. It rather resembled the
fearful destruction of the Israelites, when Moses and Aaron “stood
between the living and the dead.” How soon, however, such fearful
visitations are forgotten. Except from the general appearance of
mourning when I returned to the River Plate about three months later,
and the crowded state of the cemeteries, no one could imagine that
Buenos Ayres and Monte Video had gone through such a fearful ordeal.
Everything went on as usual, and people looked after their farms and
their merchandise as if nothing had happened, though doubtless many
feared the return of the hot season, before which very little will have
been done in the way of sanatary precaution. That the cholera will
become a permanent visitor in the River Plate seems unlikely, if we are
to judge from its erratic course in other parts of the world, but no one
can say that the scourge will not prevail until the cities and towns are
effectively sewered and drained. The climate itself is healthy enough,
but then this is no safeguard against epidemics, which have their origin
in impurities allowed to accumulate until cities become pest-houses.

On my return from the River Plate, in the beginning of February, I
availed myself of the opportunity to ramble about the city and suburbs,
to visit old friends, and to go over the railways, an account of which
will be found under its proper head. The weather was still very hot,
with frequent heavy thunder storms, some terrifically grand—more so than
I ever remember during a two years' residence here. From my room window,
at the Hotel dos Estrangeiros, I could see the whole heavens lighted up
with frequent flashes, and now and again portions of the bay and of the
mountains stood out as if from a sea of fire. Then the awful crash of
the thunder, followed by instant and utter darkness, and with
reverberations shaking the house to its foundations, all combined to
heighten the grandeur and sublimity of the scene. As for sleeping in the
midst of such turmoil, it was simply impossible.

Both February and March were very wet, stormy months, and on one
occasion some large trees were blown down about the city, and much
damage done to the roofs of houses, many of which are not very well
protected from such visitations. Similar weather followed me to San
Paulo, but on my return to Rio, after again visiting the River Plate,
the weather was delightfully cool, fine, and pleasant, equal to the most
agreeable portion of our summer weather in Europe. There is no doubt the
climate of Rio de Janeiro is a healthy one, and it is a striking fact
that scarcely any cases of epidemic have occurred since the sewerage of
the city was completed, nor any visitation of cholera, notwithstanding
sick and wounded were constantly arriving from the seat of war, and that
the quarantine was merely nominal. I am convinced the very thunder
storms to which I have alluded tend to purify the atmosphere. The
deluges of rain of course exercise a great cleansing power, and it has
been noticed in years when thunder storms did not prevail that much
sickness followed. One requires to go closely over the city before he
finds out improvements which have been effected in Rio, which are
nowhere so palpable as when passing through the great public
thoroughfares. With such a number of narrow intersecting streets, no
adequate idea of the size or extent of the city can be formed until some
of the hills about it are ascended, such as that of Santa Theresa. It
is, however, from the top of the Corcovado that its dimensions are most
striking, from whence also the spectator can form a fair notion of the
extent of the bay.

I have before remarked on the defective state of the landing-places,
that most used, near the custom-house, being a very dirty, dilapidated
wooden jetty, about which the rabble of the city seems to collect, and
it is always a scene of much uproar and confusion. There is quite a
Babel among the boatmen and their black hangers-on. There are some other
landing-places, with stone steps, in front of the large square, whence
the ferry-boats across the bay take their departure, but these are not
very convenient, and the untidy state of the public market which stands
here is a disgrace to the municipality. Indeed nothing can be more
derogatory to a large city like Rio de Janeiro, possessing the finest
harbour in the world, than such landing places, which create a most
unfavourable impression on strangers. The Custom-house, with its wharves
and warehouse, the Marine Arsenal and Building-yard, together with the
private wharves, occupy a large portion of the water frontage, but there
is still sufficient space left, if it were properly laid out, as I
believe is intended before very long, for decent landing-places for the
public. Speaking of the Custom-house, the source from whence a large
portion of the revenue of the country is derived, it is an unsightly
building, though immense sums of money have been spent, and are still
being spent, in order to obtain adequate accommodation for the
increasing trade of the port. Hydraulic lifts and machinery of every
possible kind are in course of erection, and a few years will doubtless
see the Rio Custom-house take its stand as the finest building of the
sort in South America. The old Praça do Commercio, or Exchange, with its
dismal vaulted roof, remains unchanged since my last visit, but when the
Custom-house is completed I believe it is intended to construct an
exchange more worthy of the place, with suitable accommodation attached.
This, as well as a foreigners' club, is much required at Rio, where the
foreign population is numerous and influential, and ought to be
represented in a manner consistent with its importance.

When I lived here in the years 1848 and 1849, there was much
sociability,—amongst the English residents at all events—but this
appears to have quite died out, and even ceremonial visits are now
rarely exchanged. The only society worthy of the name existing in Rio is
that associated with the diplomatic circle, which is of course more or
less exclusive in its character. I must nevertheless notice one
institution in which I found a great change for the better. I mean the
English Church. A good deal of money has been spent in connection with
this edifice, entirely raised by private subscriptions, and certainly it
has been well spent. The recess built out for the communion table is
very pretty, and the organ is well placed, in a line with the body of
the church. There is a good choir, the whole arrangements being very
complete, and the service efficiently performed. The Rev. Mr. Preston is
chaplain.

Whilst in Rio, I went to the Palace of Sao Christovao, and had the
honour of being presented to the Emperor, whom I was glad to see looking
well, but thinner than when I last saw him, fifteen years since. The
Palace is well situated, on a rising ground, with a good prospect, and
appears to be comfortable enough, but without any gorgeous display. The
Court is very simple in its habits, and the democratic tendencies of the
people render access to it comparatively easy.

With regard to politics, the Government has generally an opposition
party to contend with, both in the Chamber and in the Senate, but
without impeding the regular proceedings of these bodies, which, on the
whole, are conducted with great decorum, and the speeches are very fully
and fairly reported,[5] occupying whole pages of the daily papers. The
_Jornal do Commercio_ still stands pre-eminent in the Rio press—as the
_Times_, in fact, of the Brazilian Empire.

The political discussions in the press, which are perfectly free, are
often pursued with considerable acrimony. At the same time there is a
degree of reticence observable which some of our newspaper writers would
do well to imitate. Brazil does not lack parliamentary orators or able
statesmen, but public business is trammelled with too much of red tapery
as at home. The current of popular feeling does not run very deep from
the fact that the bulk of the community are too much absorbed in their
business occupations to leave them much time for political discussions,
to which a large portion of Englishmen devote themselves because they
have little else to do. It must not, however, be inferred from this
remark that Brazilians are indifferent to what passes inside the walls
of the Senate or of the Chamber. The support the Government has received
in carrying on a long and costly war proves that the honour and
well-being of the Empire is as dear to them as to the most patriotic
people.

I am glad to have to record the abolition of passports in Brazil unless
specially asked for. I had occasion to notice the inconvenience caused
on a late trip to the River Plate, and it is gratifying to see that
Brazilian statesmen appreciate the march of events in this respect, as I
trust will also soon be the case in facilitating the despatch of
passengers' luggage. As a rule, passengers do not carry with them
articles subject to duty, though, of course, a surveillance in this
matter is quite necessary. At Buenos Ayres there is a custom station on
the mole or landing place where passengers can bring their luggage,
which is at once examined and passed, thus saving much time and trouble.
The Post-office is on the whole pretty well managed and letters are
promptly delivered on arrival of the mails. The building is, however,
quite unsuited to the requirements of so large a city as Rio de Janeiro,
and I learn that it is intended to erect a fine new post-office in a
square facing the Bay, which will be a great convenience to the public.

I found the population on the opposite side of the bay had not increased
as much as I expected, although the facility of crossing by the large
American ferry steamers is a great convenience. Nitherohy is a large
straggling place, supposed to contain a population of about 20,000, but
there are many houses uninhabited, nor do the Rio people show much
partiality for a residence there even at a much less rent. Some handsome
villas have been built there, and it is intended to light the place with
gas, which would be a decided advantage to the residents. Some of the
islands in the upper parts of the bay are now cultivated and inhabited,
and numerous small craft ply between them and Rio de Janeiro, bringing
down fruits and vegetables.

In the appendix to this volume will be found sundry official documents
and statistical information in reference to the resources and commerce
of Brazil. The institutions of the Empire are very favourable to
mercantile development, and the great progress made within the past half
century is indicative of a highly prosperous future.

-----

Footnote 2:

  The Bank, Exchange, Custom House, and Arsenal (of late years greatly
  extended) are in the Rua Direita. Besides these, the chief public
  edifices and the Imperial Palace, a plain brick building; the Old
  Palace, on the shore, used for public offices; a public hospital,
  alluded to elsewhere, erected in 1841; a national library, with
  800,000 printed volumes, and many valuable MSS.; and a well-supported
  opera house, which has supplied Europe with some very popular
  performers, especially in the ballet line, as witness that general
  favourite, Madame Celeste, who came from Rio, in 1830, with her sister
  Constance, another danseuse, and appeared for the first time in
  England at Liverpool, in the divertissement in Masaniello, Sinclair
  being Auber's hero. The educational establishments are the Imperial
  College of Don Pedro II.; the College of St. Jose; Schools of Medicine
  and Surgery; Military and Naval Academy; and many public schools. It
  has also many scientific institutions; a museum rich in Ornithology,
  Entomology, and Mineralogy; and a fine botanic garden. Of churches
  there are upwards of fifty, not of much external elegance, but most
  sumptuously decorated in the interior.

Footnote 3:

  The inhabitants of Rio Janeiro are fond of carriages, but the
  specimens generally seen would hardly do for Hyde Park, being chiefly
  old-fashioned coaches, drawn by four scraggy mules, with a black
  coachman on the box, and a postillion in jack-boots on the leaders,
  sitting well back, and with his feet stuck out beyond the mule's
  shoulders. The liveries are generally gorgeous enough, and there is no
  lack of gold lace on the cocked hats and coats; but a black slave does
  not enter into the spirit of the thing, and one footman will have his
  hat cocked athwartships, the other fore and aft; one will have shoes
  and stockings with his toes peeping through, the other will dispense
  with them altogether. But the old peer rolls on unconscious, and I
  dare say the whole thing is pronounced a neat turn out. The Brazilians
  are great snuff-takers, and always offer their box, if the visitor is
  a welcome guest. It is etiquette to take the offered pinch with the
  left hand. Rapé is the Portuguese for snuff, hence our word Rappee.
  They do not smoke much. The opera was good, the house very large,
  tolerably lighted, but not so thickly attended as it might be. The
  ladies look better by candle light, their great failing being in their
  complexions, the tint of which may be exactly described by the
  midshipman's simile of snuff and butter. The orchestra was good, many
  of the performers being blacks or mulattos, who are excellent
  musicians. The African race seem to like music and generally have a
  pretty good ear. Both men and women often whistle well, and I have
  heard the washerwomen at their work whistling polkas with great
  correctness. I was amused one evening on going out of the opera when
  it was half over: offering my ticket to a decent-looking man, he
  bowed, but refused it, saying that men with jackets were not allowed
  in the house.—_Elves._

Footnote 4:

  The population of Rio, on the arrival of the royal family, did not
  amount to 50,000, but afterwards rapidly augmented; so that in 1815,
  when declared independent, the number had nearly doubled, and now is
  estimated at about 400,000 with the suburbs and the provincial capital
  of Nitherohy, on the opposite shore of the Bay. This increase is
  partly to be ascribed to the afflux of Portuguese, who have at
  different times left their country in consequence of the civil
  commotions which have disturbed its peace, as well as of English,
  French, Dutch, German, and Italians, who, after the opening of the
  port, settled here, some as merchants, others as mechanics, and have
  contributed largely to its wealth and importance. These accessions of
  Europeans have affected a great change in the character of the
  population, for at the commencement of the century, and for many years
  afterwards, the blacks and coloured persons far exceeded the whites,
  whereas now they are reduced to less than half the inhabitants. In the
  aggregate population of the empire, however, the coloured portion is
  still supposed to be treble the white.

Footnote 5:

  The difference between reporting proceedings of the Brazilian and
  English legislatures is that the latter appear daily, whilst it takes
  many days before speeches in the Brazilian Chambers are published, and
  frequently a large double sheet is issued to make up for arrears.



                          THE WAR IN PARAGUAY.


Leaving for the moment the narrative form, I devote a chapter to this
lamentable struggle, which has entailed such serious consequences on
Brazil, and which at the time I am writing is yet undetermined. Writers
have differed much as to the origin of the war, but none have shown how
it could have been avoided. I may observe _en passant_ that so far from
having entertained any prejudices against Paraguay, my sympathies have
always been in favour of that country as evinced during my visit to the
River Plate in 1853, at which period the elder Lopez was alive, and
there appeared to be dawning in the future, not only an era of internal
development for a very fine, fertile territory, but also a relaxation of
the iron rule under which the people had so long groaned, by
encouraging, to a limited extent it might be, commercial relations with
other countries. Lopez had joined Brazil in putting down the tyranny of
Rozas and in restoring a free government to the Argentine provinces; the
rivers were to be opened by treaty to all nations, and an era of peace
and prosperity appeared to be the natural result of these arrangements.
The visit of the younger Lopez to Europe, it was thought, would have
instilled into his mind the fact that all the wealth he saw there
emanated from commerce, and that his first object would be to render
Paraguay a commercial country. Unfortunately, however, he seems to have
become more enamoured with the martial attitude of France than anything
else, and determined on his return home to develop the military instead
of the commercial resources of Paraguay. His ambition was centered in
organizing a large army, fortifying the river approaches to Asuncion,
and creating a small but efficient steam fleet. The experience of the
past was thrown away, and on succeeding his father in the dictatorship,
it became evident that his policy was to be one of aggrandisement, if it
meant anything at all, and that, in other respects Paraguay was to
continue isolated from her neighbours, and to stand aloof from
participation in the business of the world. Paraguay had no enemies, nor
was there any desire to trouble her; her territorial position secured
her safety from attack, and it is impossible that all this military and
naval preparation on the part of Lopez could have been merely intended
for purposes of self-defence. The truth is, that Lopez had always
coveted that portion of territory called the Missions, formerly a great
stronghold of the Jesuits, but now part of the Argentine Confederation;
and the possession of this would bring him close upon Uruguay, where the
sea port of Monte Video afforded a tempting prize. At the same time, all
this involved the prospect of a collision with other Powers, against
which it was necessary to provide, and this I believe to be the true
reason for the great military preparations of Lopez. I have already said
that Paraguay joined with Brazil in putting an end to the tyranny of
Rozas, and entered into a treaty by which the navigation of the upper
rivers was to be free and the independence of Uruguay to be recognised.
If ever Brazil had any sinister design on the latter State this was the
time when she would have been most likely to assert it, but no such
disposition was evinced. On the contrary, it was the wish as well as the
interest of Brazil to keep Monte Video a free port, and the rivers open
to the flags of all nations. Unfortunately for the peace of South
America, Monte Video has never had a strong and independent Government,
and during the presidency of Berro disorders broke out on the frontier.
The persons and properties of Brazilian subjects were exposed to the
inroads of lawless marauders from Uruguay, until at length the patience
of the people of Rio Grande was exhausted, and they threatened to take
up arms in their own defence, if the Imperial Government did not at once
interfere for their protection. This statement has been personally
confirmed to me by large landed proprietors who were themselves on the
spot and suffered from the causes here referred to. Brazil was,
therefore, compelled to send troops to the frontier and to follow the
marauders into Uruguay, until such time as she could obtain fresh
guarantees from a Government which had proved itself totally incompetent
to deal with the matter. Then came the Colorado movement, headed by
Flores, and further complications ensued, which might have been settled
by the timely intervention of foreign Governments, but the men in power
were quite deaf to all friendly remonstrances. The flag of Brazil was
grossly insulted, trampled on in the streets of Monte Video, and the
treaty with her publicly burnt. Recent melancholy occurrences in that
city have shown what excesses can be committed from party spirit, and
how difficult it was at the period I allude to, to avoid an armed
intervention. How these acts affected the interests of Paraguay it is
not easy to conceive. Brazil agreed to recognise the independence of
Uruguay, and she left it in that condition, stronger than it had been
for some years previously. It is true that about this time Lopez had
given notice to Brazil that any interference in the affairs of Uruguay,
or the entry of Brazilian troops into Uruguayan territory, would be
considered by him as a _casus belli_—a piece of impertinence that Brazil
might well disregard, as the rights of nations allowed reprisals for
injuries received, and this was all Brazil carried into effect. Up to
the point mentioned Lopez had, therefore, no real or ostensible cause of
war against Brazil, but she stood in the way of the consummation of his
ambitious designs, and so he made what he termed an interference in
Uruguay the pretext for setting his legions in motion. Without any
declaration of war, he seized and took forcible possession of the
steamer Marquis de Olinda whilst on a peaceable errand up the River,
with Carneiro de Campos, the President of Matto Grosso on board, and has
retained him prisoner ever since; he marched a division into Brazil, and
occupied the frontier town of Uruguayana, simultaneously sending his
fleet down, no doubt to co-operate with his troops, but this was
prevented by the gallant action of the Riachuello, in which the
Paraguayan navy was nearly destroyed by the Brazilians. The proceedings
of Lopez towards Brazil were, therefore, offensive and insulting in the
highest degree, and still more so towards the Argentine Republic, which
had really given him no cause of offence beyond daring to remain
neutral, and consequently refusing to allow the passage of troops
through its territory. Upon the refusal of General Mitre to grant such
permission, he crossed the Parana and invaded Corrientes, seizing two
Argentine vessels as well as the persons and property of Argentine
subjects, on whom he levied black mail. These extreme measures taken by
Lopez towards both countries were in pigmy imitation of the first
Napoleon, whose tactics Lopez affected to follow by seizing the persons,
property, and territory of his neighbours before it was possible for
them to offer any opposition. Such an offence against the laws of
nations could lead only to an alliance against him as a common enemy,
with the condition that the aggrieved nations would not lay down their
arms until the offender was punished by expulsion from Paraguay. In
Europe this course was adopted against Napoleon I. and in South America,
under nearly identical circumstances, an equally strong measure was
rendered necessary for the future peace and security of the allies. If a
case in point was required on the spot, Paraguay itself had joined in
the expulsion of Rozas, because no security existed for any one so long
as that tyrant dominated at Buenos Ayres. That neither Brazil nor the
Argentine Republic anticipated such conduct on the part of Lopez is
evident from the unprepared state of both, the latter being at the time
literally without army or navy; indeed, the first check given to the
advance of Lopez was by the late General Flores, at the head of a
gallant little band of Oriental troops in conjunction with those of
Brazil. No impartial person can question, therefore, that Lopez has been
the sole cause of this long and bloody war, and that he committed a
glaring act of violence towards his neighbours, who were compelled in
self-defence to enter into a league for the expulsion of so dangerous a
character. To have made peace on any other terms would have been only
playing with a firebrand.

It is not my purpose in this chapter to criticise the manner in which
the war has been conducted, or to point out mistakes which may have been
made. Intelligent Brazilians believe that, instead of sending a large
army by sea, it would have been better to have made a diversion by
marching across the country to the interior of Paraguay, direct to
Asuncion, leaving Humaita blockaded. Thus a large amount of money would
have been expended in Brazilian territory. Whether this would have
hastened the conclusion of the war it is difficult to say, but the
direct advantages in other ways would no doubt have been considerable.
However, Brazil is not the only country that has blundered in carrying
on a distant war, as we know to our cost. That they did not anticipate
so vigorous a resistance is certain, nor was it possible to suppose that
any section of the Argentine people, whose nationality had been grossly
insulted, would have been lukewarm, or have desired to make peace until
the object of the struggle was accomplished.



                       THE PROVINCE OF SAN PAULO.


Availing of an opportunity to accompany a friend to this province, we
left Rio on Tuesday, the 18th of February, on board the steamer Ptolemy,
with a remarkably smooth sea, and a light, but cool breeze. We reached
Santos early the following morning. The steamer was at once moored
alongside an iron wharf, facing the Custom House, and Mr. Miller, one of
the railway officials, came on board with the unpleasant information
that the railway was stopped, owing to the heavy rains, which appeared
to have prevailed here as at Rio. The town did not look very inviting
under the influence of a hot sun, but Mr. Miller kindly offered us rooms
at the station, where he himself lived, and made us very comfortable.
There was every prospect of our being obliged to walk up to the top of
the Serra, but fortunately, on the 20th, a telegram came to announce
that the line would be opened to San Paulo the next morning, when we
started with a small train, arrived at 2.33, and drove to the Hotel
d'Italia, where rooms had been engaged for us.

The province of San Paulo has played a distinguished part in the history
of Brazil, and has latterly attracted much notice from its production of
cotton, in addition to the large quantity of coffee grown and shipped
from the port of Santos, both of which articles are expected to be
greatly increased by the railway facilities. There can be no doubt that
the province offers splendid scope for emigration, if properly applied,
and this important subject will be specially treated of after I have
collected together the requisite materials. Certainly the size, extent,
and evident prosperity of the city of San Paulo surprised me, no less
than its superiority in most of the comforts and luxuries to places more
favourably situated by their proximity to the sea; but the large number
of old churches, convents, colleges, and public institutions date its
origin from the time of the Jesuits, who must have been very industrious
and wealthy to have found the means for building such huge places, with
the object of perpetuating their order, and for the spread of the Roman
Catholic religion. I much regretted that the stoppage of the railway,
and very unfavourable weather—constant thunder storms, with deluges of
rain—prevented me travelling some distance into the interior, where the
coffee and cotton plantations lie, but the accounts received from
others, who possess a thorough knowledge of the localities, enable me to
speak most highly of its resources.

His Excellency, Saldanha Marinho, the President of San Paulo, and who by
his affability and business habits has won the esteem and affection of
the people, received me kindly during my stay here. He is a determined
supporter of every practical measure having for its object the
improvement of the city and of the province. Respecting the great work
of the railway, on which so much of the future welfare of the province
depends, I will endeavour to give a tolerably ample description; but to
begin with, it may not be out of place to quote as follows from the work
of Mr. Scully, entitled “Brazil and its Chief Provinces”:—

  “Passing over the Mugy river you arrive quickly at the foot of the
  gorge formed by the two out-jutting spurs of the buttress-like
  mountain, and the black defiant ravine is suggestive of anything but
  a railway course. Here the line climbs boldly up the side of the
  Mugy spur, at a usual ascent of one in ten, crossing mountain
  torrents, leaping gloomy chasms, cutting through solid rocks,
  holding hard on to every foot gained, until it attains a
  resting-place upon the table land, 2,600 feet high, after five miles
  of gigantic excavations, removing 1,100,000 cubic yards of granite
  rock and earth.

  “Here we must give a slight idea of how this daring plan is
  utilised, which was at one time laughed at as an engineering
  impossibility, and which even yet stands pre-eminent among similar
  works.

  “This entire and almost straight ascent of upwards of five miles is
  divided into four “lifts” of about a mile and a quarter each, having
  a level platform of some 400 feet in length between them. On these
  lifts, as in general on all the line, the track is single, except at
  the upper half, where it is doubled to admit of the ascending and
  descending trains passing each other. At the upper end of each
  platform is placed a powerful stationary engine of 200 horse-power,
  whose two cylinders are 26 inches diameter and 5 feet stroke,
  calculated to haul up 50 tons at the rate of ten miles an hour,
  which are supplied by five Cornish boilers, three of which suffice
  for the duty.

  “A steel wire rope, tested to a strength far exceeding the
  requirements which will ever be made upon it, passes over a
  friction-wheel on each side of the fly-wheel drum upon which it is
  wrapped round, and, one end being attached to an ascending and the
  other to a descending train, it is intended to make the “lift”
  partially self-acting, as it now wholly is at one of the inclines
  which is not supplied with its stationary engine, the weight of the
  descending train drawing up the ascending one. Powerful brakes that
  will stop a train instantly are supplied to guard against a breaking
  down of any part of the machinery, or a rupture of the rope. From
  this short description our readers can form an idea of the
  mechanical contrivances for effecting the ascent.

  “Throughout these wonderful inclines the most majestic and wild
  scenery is observed along the slightly winding way. On the third
  lift occurs a ravine still more gloomy than the rest, which is
  called the Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell); that, having a width of
  900 feet, is crossed by an iron viaduct, which lies on rows of iron
  columns resting on stone piers 200 feet below in the centre of the
  line.”

I have great pleasure in endorsing all Mr. Scully says as to the
excellent qualities of the railway officials, and can also affirm that
to Mr. Aubertin and Mr. Hutchings is due the extraordinary development
that has been effected in the production of cotton.



                         THE SAN PAULO RAILWAY.


I will now proceed to describe the railway in my own terms, without
reference to the statistics or the reports that have been published
about it. My impression on leaving the station was that of setting off
on an adventurous journey—not merely ensconcing oneself in the corner of
a railway carriage and taking a comfortable nap. Curiosity was excited
to the utmost, after the accounts I had heard, and the temporary
stoppage of the line by recent heavy rains washing down some of the
slopes of the cuttings rather added to the interest of a first visit.
There was a tolerable amount of bustle at starting, but away we went
about eleven o'clock, over low, swampy ground. For seven miles the rails
run parallel with the old road to Santos, and the bridge at Cubitao (an
arm of the sea) is passed, beyond which for a further distance of six
and a half miles (making 13½ miles to the foot of the Serra) it becomes
a dense mass of forest and jungle, which it must be difficult to convert
to any useful purpose; indeed, the curse of the country is this mass of
useless forest, only fit for the haunts of wild animals and reptiles.
How they have hitherto been able to carry on the traffic between Santos
and San Paulo is a mystery when we look at the country and miles of wood
passed through. However, we are now in sight of the first rise of the
mountain, which looks grim enough, and the train comes to a stop at the
station, after passing an open space of ground, on which stands a house,
built and formerly inhabited by the contractors, with almost a little
village about it, occupied by their staff, &c., where, I understand,
cricket was often played to while away the leisure hours after the
labours of the day. Now everything is going to wreck, and if the land is
not kept clear it will soon be a jungle again: such is the quick growth
of vegetation in this country and so rank does it become. The station at
the foot of the Serra is a good substantial sort of house, the station
master being a young German, with a wife and family, very comfortable
adjuncts in so lonely a spot; and the house was surrounded by fowls and
other live stock needful to family wants. We stood contemplating the
height we had to be dragged with a certain kind of awe, and presently we
saw the train descending, which it did steadily enough, bringing Mr.
Aubertin, the general manager, Captain Burton, her Majesty's consul, and
some other notabilities of San Paulo. The former gentlemen returned with
us, adding materially to the interest and pleasure of the trip by their
intelligent knowledge of all we had to see and pass through.

[Illustration: Bridge Viaduct on the San Paulo Railway.]

Well, the signal is given, and we are off, mounting an incline of about
1 in 10 for a distance of some 800 yards, where there is a curve, and we
are shut out from the lower level of the line, steadily ascending the
mountain, until we reach the first lift, about 1¼ miles. After a short
delay, we were hooked on the second lift, and as we mount the scenery
becomes grander, the shadows of the mountains deeper, and the work
becomes heavier. I was surprised to find so many curves, which are an
additional strain on the wire rope, as well as an additional risk,
requiring close attention to the break, where we rode in order to have a
good view of everything. Mr. Fox, engineer-in-chief, and Mr. Welby,
locomotive superintendent, were with us, and we got down to look over
Fairburn's splendid stationary engines, which are of 200 horse-power,
embedded in a granite foundation, about 40 feet deep, with live boilers
to each, three being generally used. The curves continue on the third
lift, close to which, entering the fourth lift, is the wonderful viaduct
across a chasm in the mountain, which makes your head giddy to look
down. The bridge is certainly a great engineering achievement, resting
on iron pillars with a stone foundation, the centre being nearly 200
feet deep. We are accustomed to great altitude of railway bridges at
home and elsewhere, but there is a peculiar aerial look about this one
which makes one glad to be over it. At one point in this fourth section
is a fine view of a deep valley behind us, the opposite mountain one
dense mass of forest, and the scene is inexpressibly grand. To have made
the lifts straight would have necessitated frequent tunnelling and added
another half million to the cost of construction. On reaching the top of
the Serra, a distance of about five miles from its base, the break is
detached, a locomotive takes hold of the six carriages which have come
up in two lifts, and away we whisk for some time through a thickly
wooded country, for a distance of about 48 miles, stopping at several
stations. Some miles before reaching San Paulo are the Campos, or level
plains, covered with a short grass, and rather swampy, but no cattle are
to be seen, owing, I believe, to the number of insects which fasten on
them, causing sores, and being otherwise injurious. It is, however, a
great relief to the eye, after the dense forests passed through, to come
upon plains.

From San Paulo the line passes on to Jundiahy, a distance of 44 miles,
or a total length from Santos of 88 miles, the chief interest of course
being centred in the gigantic works of the Serra. The San Paulo Railway
is undoubtedly one of the grandest works yet made with English capital
in Brazil, and it is destined to play a very important part in the
future development of this fine province. Engineering mistakes have,
undoubtedly, been made, and the want of a personal superintendence of
the engineer-in-chief, at all events during the construction of the
important works of the Serra, is amongst the complaints made by the
Brazilian Government, as also the manner in which the contract was
executed. It is also questionable whether another and less costly route
could not have been selected to be worked by locomotives, instead of the
old fashioned but dangerous lifts. However, for the present, this is
mere matter of controversy or opinion. The railway is made, though far
from being complete or perfect, and it is evident that a considerable
expenditure has to be faced before sufficient traffic can be carried on
to realise the expectations of directors and shareholders, few of whom
know anything about the undertaking or are able to comprehend the
difficulties it has still to pass through.

It is curious that the real traffic is only tapped at the extreme end of
the line (Jundiahy), where only commences cotton growing, and the great
coffee plantations are some 30 miles further on, to which district a
private company is now trying to get the line extended. One advantage
possessed by the existing company will be in having their mileage rate
for the bulk of their traffic over the whole of the line, and of course
it will be an additional advantage to present shareholders if the line
should be continued to Campinas, which is, I believe, a large and
thriving place, the abode of many wealthy proprietors. Passenger traffic
can only be limited for some time to come, from the absence of a
resident population along the line; at the same time it will naturally
increase between Santos, San Paulo, and the upper part of the Province,
particularly when the line is extended in that direction. The stoppage
of the line is between San Paulo and Jundiahy, where the cuttings have
given way to some extent, a contingency, I fear, they will always be
exposed to, from the heavy rains which prevail, and I believe I am
justified in adding, the imperfect manner in which some of them have
been constructed. Whilst expressing my admiration at the courage and
enterprise of the resident engineer and superintendent, who jointly
succeeded in getting the line opened, I cannot conceal from myself the
difficulties they have still to overcome in order to carry on an
adequate traffic and get the line accepted by Government. One thing is
very certain, that had a deputation of shareholders been sent out to
look over the intended line before fairly concluding the contract for
making it, they would have returned so scared and frightened as to have
led to an immediate dissolution of the company, and San Paulo would
hardly have had its railway in this generation, so far as English
capital is concerned. I well remember the kind of awe with which I
looked over the plans and sections of the line before it was commenced,
nor has this effect been diminished by a personal inspection of the
works up to this place. That the railway will be a grand thing for the
province there can be no doubt, and this consideration ought to render
the Government lenient towards a company which, apart from its other
difficulties, has suffered so much by maladministration at home.

In describing the works of the Serra, I have omitted to allude to the
double rails which are laid near approaches to the stationary engines,
so that the trains can pass each other, which, of course, they are
constantly doing, one up and the other down, on the several lifts. I was
at a loss also to understand how they could work their goods traffic to
a large extent with the amount of trains running. I now find the latter
applies only to the passengers, and that produce is dealt with
separately, collected at the top of the Serra, and sent down during the
day, three waggon loads at a time, the waggons being collected together
at the foot of the Serra, and taken on to the station at Santos as
convenient. These arrangements necessitate a large amount of rolling
stock and extra shed accommodation, which I believe is about to be
supplied. Another feature in the works of the Serra is the loose kind of
material they have had to go through instead of granite rock, which they
expected, the former being apt to crumble away from the effects of rain,
although latterly the road has stood very well in this respect. Some of
the embankments crossing the gorges of the mountains are almost
perpendicular, and involved a heavy amount of labour and expense. It is
quite frightful to look down them. Of course the traffic of the Serra
can only be worked from sunrise to sunset, but a large amount of produce
can be brought down during that time.

I have now to record a trip over the remaining portion of the line to
Jundiahy, the terminus. An announcement had been issued that traffic
would be resumed over the whole line on the 2nd March, but a continuance
of wet weather caused further and serious impediment, so I availed of
the kindness of the officials, who were making a survey of the state of
the works, to go to Jundiahy in the best manner circumstances would
permit. We started about 8 a.m., on Tuesday, the 23rd March, in a
carriage attached to the engine, having, amongst others, Mr. Aubertin,
superintendent; Mr. Fox, engineer-in-chief; the fiscal, or Government
engineer; the Postmaster-General, Captain Burton, and other persons,
with some luggage belonging to them, and some small stores for the use
of the line.

My impression was that I had seen the heaviest works on the line, but
this was a great mistake, as I soon found out. The first few miles were
not of much interest, but afterwards, as we approached the mountain
scenery, the view became very fine,—the bold outline of the Jaraguay, a
mountain where gold mines exist, but long since ceased working—deep
gorges began to open out, and huge hanging forests towered above us, in
their wildest and most primitive form. At the first station I got on the
engine with Mr. Fox, and certainly it is difficult to imagine a country
less adapted to a railway—making it against nature, as some one
significantly observed. It is a succession of deep cuttings, high
embankments, curves, and heavy gradients the whole distance, at times
with an incline of 1 in 45, and only occasionally what may be termed a
bit of straight road. It is really wonderful how people could be found
to make such a railway in this country. Scarcely a human habitation to
be seen along the whole distance, except the rough mud huts for persons
connected with it; and about three stations between San Paulo and
Jundiahy. The stations themselves are barely sufficient for the station
master to live in, though probably adequate under present circumstances.
At one of them (Belem) a small quantity of cotton was stored, having
gone there direct, but no means of forwarding it on at present.

The ordinary mule road to Jundiahy crosses and runs parallel to the
railway for some distance, and a wretched state it appeared to be
in—deep mud holes and quagmires, through which the poor mules have to
struggle.

I must now refer to some of our difficulties, resulting from the state
in which we found the road. The first actual gap occurs some seventeen
or eighteen miles from San Paulo, where the river current has carried
away a large culvert, the rails and iron bowls (sleepers) attached to
them hanging suspended for some twenty feet. They were at work
rebuilding another culvert. We had to leave the carriage, cross the
stream, and, walking some little distance, to get to another engine,
which with a ballast truck was waiting there. On we went again, at times
having to pull up or go slowly over slippery places, until we passed the
tunnel, with water dripping from the roof. On the other side of the
tunnel occurs the most serious stoppage, the whole side of a huge hill
having apparently moved forward, the advanced portion of it blocking up
the road. Some under current has raised the rails several feet in
places, notwithstanding the immense piles of timber that have been
driven in to prevent encroachment. The conclusion is that a mass of
quicksands, swollen by the heavy rains, has forced its way under the
hill side and under the bed of the railway. The labour here will be very
great, by having to remove the falling mass, and the uncertainty is when
the movement may subside. The “mountain in labour” has brought forth no
“ridiculus mus” in this case. After walking past this obstruction, we
again mounted on the ballast truck, and went along until we came to a
place where the river had quite overflowed the rails, and the engine had
to force its way through two or three feet of water, of course at a very
slow and cautious pace; here they are raising the road so as to escape,
if possible, future inundations. Once through this last impediment, we
rattled along over a good hard bit of road at a good pace to Jundiahy,
the end of our adventurous journey. The station is a little distance
from the town, which stands on a hill, and after partaking of some solid
refreshments, which we fortunately found ready at the Railway Hotel, in
half an hour we were again on a ballast truck going through the same
process of changing from one truck to another, walking over slippery
ground, until we finally again joined the carriage on the opposite side
of the broken culvert, before arriving at which a thunder storm came on,
accompanied by torrents of rain, and most of us were thoroughly wet
through. The storm continued nearly to San Paulo, but it is amongst the
gorges of the mountains it comes down most furiously.

It is not my intention to comment further on the errors that have been
made in the construction of this railway. No doubt obstacles had to be
met at every step; nor can shareholders be supposed to know much about
engineering details of this kind. They subscribe their money on the
faith of a Government guarantee, believing in the estimates, and that of
course the line will, under any circumstances, pay its working expenses.
The late Mr. Brunel used to repudiate the existence of engineering
difficulties. It was a mere question of money; but I think had he
surveyed the intended line of the San Paulo Railway he would have said
both these points were involved, the result being that the original
estimates are greatly exceeded, and the works still require a
considerable outlay before they can be permanently relied on. The thing
certainly appears incredible, if it were not the fact, that to work a
line consisting almost entirely of short curves and heavy gradients, the
directors should have sent out rigid locomotives suited to a first-class
English railway, without even bogie frames attached, causing great wear
and tear to both engines and rails. I quite believe that with suitable
locomotives the line may be safely and properly worked, and it seems
exactly a case in point for such engines as Fairlie's. The question as
to maintenance of way must always be a very important one; whether in
such a mountainous country, subject at seasons to heavy rains and
flooded rivers, and with a treacherous soil, the nature of the works is
such as can be relied on, for unless this is the case, as the public
journals of San Paulo justly observe, the real utility of the railway is
destroyed. Coffee growers and cotton planters have been looking to it as
a sure and certain means of getting their produce down to Santos, and
unless this can be depended on they will have to resort to the old,
cumbrous, and expensive mode of carrying it upwards of one hundred miles
on the backs of mules as heretofore. It is a momentous question for this
province whether or not they can depend on railway conveyance, which I
think may fairly be looked for when the line becomes consolidated, but
both shareholders and the Government must be prepared to make sacrifices
of no common kind before this end is finally attained. That the
officials and managers of the line in Brazil are doing all they can is
very certain, and it is for the company or the shareholders to provide
them with everything required to ensure the permanent success of the
company. They entered into a solemn contract with the Brazilian
Government and the Provincial Government here, which it is their duty to
fulfil, no matter at what sacrifice, and the sooner the shareholders
look their position in the face the better, instead of being guided
entirely by directors, who could only appreciate their position if they
came out in a body and personally inspected the line. One thing is very
certain, that if it had not been for the great liberality of the Baron
de Mauá in coming to the rescue of the concern, the works might never
have been completed or the line opened.



                         THE CITY OF SAN PAULO.


If it appears a long time in reaching here after passing the wonders of
the Serra, I was not disappointed either in the first peep at the city
or by a more intimate acquaintance with it. One cannot help marvelling
how the adventurous handful of men who originally penetrated the forests
and founded these cities in South America had the courage and
perseverance to do so; but I believe they availed, in many cases, of the
Indian tracks, and doubtless of Indian assistance occasionally. The city
has rather an imposing aspect as you wind round it to the station, being
built on a ridge of high ground which overlooks the River Tieté—a stream
rising in the neighbouring hills, and after traversing nearly the whole
of the province, eventually finds its way to the Parana and the
Paraguay. At the railway station sundry omnibuses and carriages were
waiting to receive the passengers. We drove to the Hotel d'Italia, where
a friend had taken rooms for us, and found ourselves tolerably
comfortable in a large house rather the worse for wear, and, like most
things in this country, allowed to get out of repair. During the
construction of the railway it was the head-quarters of the engineering
staff.

The first thing we did next morning was to pay our respects to the
President of the Province, who received us very graciously. He is a man
of a very expressive, benevolent countenance, and I believe he
administers the affairs of the province in a most satisfactory
manner—not the easiest of tasks in such troublous times as the present.

A ramble over the city impresses one favourably: good wide streets,
paved with a material resembling macadam. It is obtained from one of the
neighbouring hills, and forms a capital road. The sides are well made of
large flags, much superior to those of Rio de Janeiro, although the
pavement there is admirable. There are several fine churches, an
extensive new public market, and, as a rule, the houses are well and
substantially built. The shops are also numerous and well appointed with
all the requisites for convenience and comfort suited to a city of
20,000 to 25,000 inhabitants. There are several national colleges here,
with a number of young students, who help to enliven the place. The
Province of San Paulo has always held a good position, from the
enterprise and spirit of the people, the latter owing in some measure to
the cool climate, which even now occasionally renders woollen clothing
and blankets at night desirable, and a few months hence it will be
positively cold, with ice in the morning. Previously to and since our
arrival it has been raining so much that a vast tract of land bordering
the Tieté is overflowed, and travelling must be very bad. We took a
drive to the church of Nossa Senhora de Penha, a few miles distant, on
elevated ground, from whence a good view of the city and surrounding
country is obtained; but unfortunately rain came on, and we had only to
make the best of our way home, the carriages nearly sticking fast in a
quagmire. Otherwise the road is a pretty good one.

I may here allude to the kind hospitality of Captain and Mrs. Burton,
which rendered our visit an exceedingly agreeable one. On the occasion
of this visit to Nossa Senhora de Penha, a curious incident occurred. On
our way out Mrs. Burton took a fancy to some geese which were quietly
feeding by the roadside, and she determined to make a purchase of them
on our way back, although it was raining heavily. After some bargaining
the geese were bought, their legs were tied, and each of us took charge
of one or more. They were quiet enough until we reached the city, where
the people began to pelt us with wax water balls, as it was the Intrudo
time, when such pastime is still carried on to a great extent in an old
fashioned place like San Paulo. The geese became alarmed, struggled to
release themselves, and after some difficulty and much amusement we got
them safely disposed of in the yard attached to the Consulate. Geese are
very plentiful in Brazil, but there is a prejudice against them amongst
the natives as food, from an idea that they eat snakes and other vermin,
but a few weeks good domestic feeding is calculated to do away with any
objection of this sort, as we had occasion to find in the excellent
quality of these very geese when we afterwards dined at the Consulate.

A ridge of mountains forms a background to the north-west of San Paulo,
in some of which are gold mines that have been long abandoned, nor is
the mineral wealth of the province at all developed. The railway may
bring with it new enterprise of this kind, but it will be slow work.

I went over the San Bento Convent, where only one priest appears to
reside in an enormous building, a portion of which has lately been
fitted up with considerable taste. The church is also kept in good
order, but it seems absurd for only one man to occupy such a building.
The wealth of religious orders in Brazil is by no means insignificant,
and it would be to the advantage of the country and of the people if
this was made available for national purposes. Religion would be better
appreciated, and the State would be able to form colonies in some of the
richest lands of the Empire, which naturally enough fell into the hands
of religious bodies.

It is said that the Tropic of Capricorn passes close to the city of San
Paulo, but of course the exact spot cannot be defined. There is plenty
of fruit and vegetables to be had, grapes are abundant and very cheap,
good milk and fresh butter are easily obtainable, the cow going round to
the houses in the morning with a bell attached to her, and generally the
calf following. Indeed, a great many of the comforts and conveniences of
life are to be found here which do not exist in other Brazilian towns,
whilst the climate is infinitely superior. For many months of the year
the thermometer ranges about 60°, and at times goes down to 40°; on the
other hand it is sometimes very hot, but of short duration. This morning
I saw a black boy in the street engaged in the occupation of shoeblack,
with his little box and brushes very much after the London style. In
fact there is a more general inclination to work when it is not so
intensely hot. There goes the railway whistle, the train starting for
Santos, and it will return about 3 p.m., bringing the passengers by
steamer from Rio, which left there yesterday. There are two fast
steamers a week between Rio and Santos, so the communication is well
kept up.

The number of old fashioned waggons or carts on two solid wooden wheels,
drawn by teams of oxen according to the weight carried, and the constant
passage of them, and of mules and horses, the former with tinkling
bells, all laden with country produce, indicate the nature of the
traffic which existed prior to the opening of the railway, rendering the
streets of the city a busy scene. The railway being closed between this
and Jundiahy no doubt increases this traffic for a time, but it must
always exist to a greater or a less degree, as everything for the
consumption of the city has to be brought into it by these means. The
bulk of the through traffic of coffee and cotton must, however,
inevitably find its way on to the rails and be taken down the Serra, as
it is impossible mules can compete with a railway for so great a
distance. The troops of mules, horses, and carts assemble at shops or
warehouses in streets where their business is carried on, their produce
discharged, and a certain portion of the animals loaded back to their
respective destinations. Hence the perpetual tinkling of bells and
creaking of wheels; at the same time a number of carriages and tilburys
are constantly in motion, conveying passengers about the city or
outskirts, causing a degree of activity one would otherwise hardly
expect to find.

Yesterday, Sunday, being the first Sunday in Lent, there was a grand
procession, consisting of a large number of figures of saints, carried
on men's shoulders, after the old style of chairing an M.P. at home.
Sundry children were dressed up as angels, and there were also a
military band and some few soldiers; for, as the latter have been
drained by the war, only a sufficient number remain to keep guard, &c.
The figures are as large as life. They were collected together at the
church of San Francisco, a large and rather showy building, and at five
o'clock the procession started, amidst discharging of rockets, ringing
of bells, and other demonstrations. It passed the street in front of the
hotel, and, being a tolerably long one, it had rather an imposing
appearance. After traversing the principal streets of the city, it came
back by a side one, which also skirted the hotel. A thunder storm had
been gathering, and broke over the city just as the procession was
reaching the church from whence it started. An indescribable scene of
confusion ensued. The pace was quickened, angels were lifted on the
shoulders of blacks, the carriers of saints hurried along as fast as the
weight permitted—in fact, it was a race with the saints—each trying to
pass the other, to the imminent danger of an upset. The only part of the
procession which retained a show of decorum was that in charge of the
Host, where the high priest walked under a canopy with a number of other
priests, accompanied by attendants, swinging censers; and as the Host
passed, all the spectators knelt down. Fortunately the rain kept off
until the greater part reached the square, and the saints escaped a
terrible wetting, as it came down in torrents, with loud peals of
thunder and lightning, such as I have rarely met with.

The storm continued in this way for several hours, and curiously enough
in the midst of it came a telegram from the Government of Rio de
Janeiro, announcing that the iron-clad fleet had succeeded in passing
the fortress of Humaita, while a division of Brazilian troops had also
taken a redoubt, &c., particulars of which will doubtless shortly reach
England. Excitement was at its height, and spite of the thunder,
lightning, and rain, houses began to light up, rockets were flying
about, and later on, a band of music, with many followers, paraded the
streets, playing and shouting vivas, with other joyous demonstrations
quite edifying under such an accumulation of atmospheric difficulties.
On Monday evening the city was entirely illuminated with candles, lamps,
and Chinese lanterns, the latter very pretty, and the effect altogether
striking. A full military band paraded the streets, followed by crowds
of people; indeed, nearly the whole of the population, male and female,
turned out and paraded the streets to a late hour, the wonder being
where they all came from. The demonstration continued for three days, or
rather nights, but not on so extensive a scale, nor was the firing of
rockets so profuse. The news from the seat of war has, therefore,
created quite a sensation, the Paulistos being somewhat a martial
people, and proud of the exploits of their countrymen before Humaita,
though further advices are needed before the war can be considered at an
end. A drawback accompanied the war news, namely, the cruel
assassination of General Flores at Monte Video, and the sanguinary
proceedings that followed on the occasion.

I may mention having attended a sitting of the Provincial Assembly, in a
very pokey, close room attached to the palace, with a miserably low
gallery at each end for the public. The proceedings, however, were
orderly and dignified, and good speeches were made, one by Senhor Leite
Moraes, a tall, handsome man, who appears likely to distinguish himself
as an orator. The subject under discussion was a complaint against the
conduct of the Roman Catholic priests. There are thirty-six members of
the Provincial Chambers, who annually attend for a period of two months,
and some of them come from considerable distances at much personal
inconvenience to themselves. I believe they are to have a larger and
better place for conducting their business, which is certainly very
desirable. I also visited, in company with Captain Burton, English
Consul, one of the seminaries or schools, presided over by French monks,
who received us with attention, showed us over the extensive building
and well laid-out gardens, and entertained us afterwards with some good
English beer. The college, to which a good sized garden is attached,
contains accommodation for about one hundred youths, who come here for
their education, and remain several months, being comfortably lodged,
and, I believe, well cared for.

This is only one of the many similar establishments in San Paulo, which,
in this respect, answers to our Cambridge or Oxford. The view from the
college is very extensive and picturesque—the city on one side, the
large plain in which the city stands, with mountains in the distance,
and close to the railway station. We heard the locomotive whistle, and
saw the steam a long way off, reaching the station in time to see the
train come in with 115 passengers, quite a large number, it being about
the period of the students returning. It also brought a company of
performers from one of the Rio de Janeiro theatres, who are going to
afford the inhabitants a month's display of their artistic skill, so
that in all respects the city will be very lively during the season of
Lent, one of the eccentricities connected with the Roman Catholic
religion. I went to the public gardens, which are at only a little
distance from the railway station, and cover a large space of ground.
They are in tolerable order, with flower beds and a piece of water in
the centre. A considerable sum of money must have been originally
expended on them, but not keeping things up is one of the major defects
of the system in this country.

I thought processions were over for the present, but last evening there
was one of some magnitude, conveying a saint from one church to another,
and spite of wet streets after the heavy rain, a large number of people
turned out to witness and follow the participants in the ceremony.
To-day, however, being Friday, the 6th of March, was set apart for a
special occasion—a meeting, not a race of saints; and, for a wonder, the
day and night have been remarkably fine, a beautiful bright moon now
shining after the great bustle is over and the saints gone to rest,
though the illuminated altars in various parts of the city are still
glittering in all their tinsel, with numerous worshippers, after
depositing in a plate their offerings in the shape of “dumps,” a slang
phrase for copper coins. Preparatory symptoms have been going on for
some days at a sort of large closet, or “hole in the wall” of the house
opposite, belonging to an old nobleman, whose wife departed this life
to-day. The folding doors had been opened and a large blue cloth thrown
over the sanctuary from a balcony above, but still it was easy to see
that something unusual was in progress; and to-day, about the time of
the procession, the doors opened, and the curtain was withdrawn,
revealing a very pretty altar, with a cross and small figures of saints
at the top, the back parts and sides being covered with gold and silver
tinsel, and groups or garlands of artificial flowers tastefully
arranged, the whole lighted up by an immense number of candles, many of
them in silver candlesticks, provided or lent for the occasion by
devotees. There were about a dozen or more of these old cupboard altars
decked out, each apparently vying for supremacy in effect. But I am
forgetting the procession itself, which began to form at five o'clock,
accompanied by the usual paraphernalia—a number of young girls dressed
up as angels, bands of music, soldiers with fixed bayonets, the
President of the Province, and all the dignitaries, with the high priest
under a canopy and his attendants as before, whilst in front and behind
walked the multitude. The meeting of the saints took place close to the
hotel, where a halt was made, and a stout ecclesiastic (the bishop's
secretary, I believe), for whom a very large pulpit had been temporarily
erected at the corner of four streets, addressed a very energetic
discourse to the multitude, until his voice began to get rather squeaky,
nor could very much be made of what he said beyond that his listeners
were a very bad lot, and required all the intervention of the saints
before them to save them from perdition. The sermon ended, some music
and singing took place before the altar opposite to our hotel, after
which the procession went on, passing all the street altars, and this
part of the ceremony ended when the saints were fairly housed. For
hours, however, before the bright gaudy altars, and the still brighter
moon, the whole population of the place passed in review, making their
reverence and depositing their “dumps” or offertories.

Whether or not these ceremonies are conducive to the maintenance of the
Roman Catholic Religion I cannot pretend to say, but certainly they are
preserved here in all their original stage effect (for it can be called
nothing else) just as I first recollect them in Brazil. I understand
that in other parts of the Empire they have much fallen off. San Paulo
has been more or less isolated, and it is only since the opening of the
railway that the foreign element has been introduced. Formerly a voyage
to Rio de Janeiro was quite an undertaking; now, by rail and steam, it
is an affair of two days. One thing is very clear, that processions and
religious observances of this kind are very popular here. It is quite
astounding to see the number of people filling the streets, mostly
dressed in their best garments, but to-day the ladies wore chiefly
black. On the other hand, the black women—the “swells,” as they are
called—prefer bright colours, and generally in good taste—white and
coloured muslin, with gay shawls thrown over their ample figures, many
of them very tall, fine looking women. Considering the dull, monotonous
life here, these religious festivals are unquestionably a great relief
to the female portion of the population, with whatever motive they may
attend them; nor can one help being struck with their apparent
earnestness of worship to dumb idols, and the constant stream of “dumps”
poured into the plates by high and low, rich and poor, the latter
bestowing their mite freely. A parade over the city on such occasions in
their best attire, and the opportunity for showing off, has no doubt
some influence, but this may be combined with religious feeling,
according to their interpretation of it. Amongst the numerous votaries
present I may mention the hardy, bronzed, country race, men who travel
over the country with mules, leading the life of gipsies, and not unlike
them, wrapped in a kind of coloured “poncho,” similar to that worn in
the River Plate. They almost live in the saddle, and are a very fine
class of men—true Paulistos. But I see they are putting out the lights
at the altar opposite, so it is time to extinguish mine and go to bed,
as the clock is just striking midnight. To-morrow the folding-doors will
be closed, and appear as the ordinary appendages of the house, leaving
“not a wreck behind,” except a few leaves of dead flowers scattered
about the streets.

After a night's rest, I find that things have assumed their usual quiet
course, enlivened only by the continued favourable news from the seat of
war, which keeps the church bells going, rockets firing, and bands of
music parading the streets at night. These public demonstrations have
been of the most lively kind, assisted by a bright moon, without a cloud
in the sky; indeed you can see to read by its rays. Moonlight nights are
agreeable in any country, but in these tropical countries they seem to
have an influence both on body and mind, refreshing the physique and
raising the spirits. The atmosphere at this elevated spot is so cool at
night that, however hot the day, you sleep in comparative comfort, and
awake to enjoy the cool breeze of the early morning.

I took a ride in company with Mrs. Burton in the direction of what is
called the Luz, past the railway station, where are numerous country
houses, and a handsome bridge over the Tieté, after which the road goes
through low ground, now entirely flooded, forming a swamp of many miles
in extent. A couple of miles further on brings you to a rather sharp
hill, on which is a small, rough-looking chapel, never finished, where
people come on a kind of pilgrimage, or to enjoy the beautiful view from
it. Looking back, the city of San Paulo is seen to much advantage, and
to the left, some thirty-five miles distant, appear the spurs of the
mountains, past which the railway runs to Santos. In the opposite
direction, and apparently much nearer than they are, you see the chain
of hills through which the railway proceeds to Jundiahy, the celebrated
Jaraguay (or gold mountain) to the left of them, standing out very
boldly in the light of the setting sun. Altogether it is considered one
of the prettiest short rides about the place, there being a great
variety of them. The site of the chapel also enjoys the reputation of
being in the exact line of the tropic of Capricorn, so that San Paulo is
just outside it. We reined up a short time to enjoy the prospect and
then cantered back for dinner.

A perusal of accounts from England by the last mail, and of those from
the River Plate, form a very agreeable diversion to the otherwise
monotonous life one has to lead here, although my visit has been an
exception to the rule in this respect from the occurrences detailed in
previous pages. It is impossible to read the official and private
communications from the River without feeling deeply grieved at the
tragic scenes that have lately been acted there. The correspondent of
the _Jornal do Commercio_ at Monte Video gives a very graphic account of
the assassination of poor General Flores and the events arising out of
it; and I incline to believe that, however deplorable, they nipped in
the bud a very formidable conspiracy, which, had it been successful,
would have deluged Uruguay with blood for a long time, and might
otherwise have complicated the position of things, as there can be
little doubt the first act of the Blanco party would have been to do
away with the Triple Alliance, so far as Monte Video is concerned, and
to institute a renewal of their insulting conduct towards Brazil. The
changed aspect of the war, with a prospect of its speedy termination,
will strengthen the hands of the Colorados, and, it is to be hoped,
maintain peace and order in the little Republic. The writer already
mentioned goes into very minute details of the passage of Humaita by the
Brazilian ironclads; and there is quite a tinge of romance attached to
their performances, which certainly reflect the highest credit on the
gallantry of the commanders and crews; nor less so the victory obtained
by the Marquis de Caxias, the combined effects of which must lead to the
occupation of Asuncion and to the ultimate surrender or destruction of
Lopez himself. That his resistance has been wonderfully stubborn no one
can deny; still less the pertinacity which has distinguished the conduct
of the allies under difficulties pronounced by some first-rate military
authorities to be insurmountable.

I have not yet referred to the theatrical performances now going on
here, with a company from one of the Rio theatres, which draws crowded
houses in a building almost as large as Covent Garden. It is in a very
improvised state, but sufficiently got up to answer the purpose; and in
a climate like this external appearances are not much thought of
provided there is enough ventilation, which is certainly the case in the
San Paulo Theatre. A stranger cannot help feeling surprised on entering
to see so large a place, having three tiers of boxes, filled chiefly by
well-dressed ladies, and a gallery for what we term the “gods,” the
gentlemen being in the pit, which holds fully 500 people and was quite
crowded. Each one has what we call a stall, but here cane seats, with
backs, divided by arms, so that you are very comfortably seated. The
large attendance is explained by the circumstance of the city being
dependent on casual performances, and of course everybody is anxious to
take advantage of the opportunity. There is no regular company attached
to the theatre, but the attendance, appearance, and dress of the ladies
of San Paulo on these occasions will compare favourably with what is
presented in any city of South America. As to the performance, it is
usually a compilation from some French rubbishy novel; but the acting is
tolerably good, and the audience attentive, sitting patiently for the
five or six hours commonly occupied by the piece—a very great objection.

To-day—March 16—is the first of term at the College, where a strong
muster of students took place at an early hour of the morning, and I
believe that some of the ceremonials that occur on such occasions at
Oxford and Cambridge also prevail here. The presence of nearly a
thousand students gives a tone of animation to the old city, and is a
set-off to the constant creaking of waggon wheels and the tinkling of
bells of mules, which indicate its commercial character. Brazil is
chiefly indebted to this city for a swarm of lawyers, many of whom have
been, and continue to be, distinguished men, but it would be far better
for the country if many of them were brought up to agricultural or
commercial pursuits.

In the seaport towns the Portuguese continue to act as the chief
traders, but in the interior the latter are mostly Brazilians. There is
now the army, the navy, and the engineering pursuits open to the youth
of Brazil, and I have no doubt they will by degrees take up positions
more beneficial to their country than that of mere disputants, or
lawyers, which characters are sadly too numerous.

Took an early ride to the north of San Paulo on the 17th, from whence
there was a fine view of an extensive valley, where the mist was rising
and floating away to the distant hills on the other side. We met troops
of mules coming in with their drivers in their picturesque coloured
ponchos, and also a group of women approaching the city. Skirting a wood
to the left, through some pretty looking scenery, we came upon the new
Santos road, made a few years back at great expense; and a most
admirable road it is, but, it appears, not much used since the railway
was opened, passing through a most admirable road it is, but it appears,
not much used since the railway was opened, passing through a poor,
uncultivated country. If the large amount expended on this road had been
laid out at the terminus of the line at Jundiahy, towards the coffee
producing districts, it might have been of much greater importance to
the Province. Odd enough, it was made in opposition to the railway,
although it must have been evident that the latter would take a large
portion of the traffic, and that that by mules from San Paulo to Santos
would be greatly reduced. The projectors, who were chiefly large coffee
growers of the Province, might have supposed a good road to Santos would
keep a check on the railway as to charges of transit, and be used in
case of any partial stoppage of the railway; but unfortunately the heavy
rains which shut up the latter for a time also injured the common road,
rendering it impassable in places.

Before leaving the City of San Paulo, where I have spent several
pleasant weeks, I went over what is called the House of Correction, but
is in fact a criminal reformatory for the Province and admirably
managed. The building is in a fine open space near the railway station,
enclosed on a large square plot of ground, surrounded by high walls,
inside which are gardens beautifully laid out, and kept in order by the
inmates. The main portion of the building converges into a central point
by means of arched roofs, lighted from the top, the cells abutting on
the corridors which lead thereto. Here there is also a circular raised
stone altar, on which mass is performed, and heard in all the cells
through an open iron grating with which each is provided. The workshops
are apart, leading off the garden, and consist of various trades suited
to the acquirements of the criminals; there being also a school, where
they are taught to read and write. They come to these workshops from the
main building in groups, each individual having a mark or number to
distinguish him by, and they are accompanied by a guard. The workshops
have doors with open gratings, but secured by a strong lock and key, a
sentinel doing duty during the time the men are occupied at labour, with
a time master seated in a kind of elevated pulpit to see that the work
allotted to every individual be properly done. In approaching or leaving
the workshops the men all walk with folded arms, and the whole being on
the silent system of punishment, no one is allowed to speak, except, I
conclude, when some question has to be asked through the warder or other
officer of the establishment, the discipline of which is admirably
maintained. The inmates are about 120 in number, most of them convicted
of serious crimes; they have here a dejected look, but I believe, on the
whole, the system is found to be a very efficacious one, and does really
lead to reformation of character. No female criminals are admitted, but
I understand a ward is to be built for them. We were conducted over the
establishment by the Governor, a retired colonel in the army,
accompanied by Senhor Leite Moraes, a distinguished member of the
Provincial Assembly. Much attention was shown us, and some refreshment
was provided for us in the Governor's room. Near to the reformatory,
abutting on the railway station, are the public gardens of San Paulo, on
which a good deal of money has been spent. They are well laid-out, but
not kept in order, one of the chronic defects of these kind of places in
South America generally.



                SAN PAULO TO SANTOS AND RIO DE JANEIRO.


We finally left San Paulo after a very agreeable visit, on the 25th of
March, by the 9.30 train for Santos, with a tolerable number of
passengers, and some friends who kindly accompanied us on our journey.
Between San Paulo and San Bernardo station, a distance of about ten
miles, the road is tolerably level, and the country more or less open,
though uncultivated save in small plots. At this station I got upon the
engine with Mr. Fox, and came upon sharp curves and many cuttings until
we reached Rio Grande Station, after which, for a distance of seven
miles, the works are very heavy, some of the inclines being one in fifty
and one in sixty. Nothing near but dense forests, without a human
habitation to be seen. Approaching the top of the Serra, it appeared
completely shut in by the range of mountains in front of us, the road
winding and twisting till we suddenly reached the small platform, whence
the descent of the mountain begins, and a glorious prospect opens out of
the valley below, with the sea in the distance; yet not without a vague
feeling of anxiety as to the novel position in which we find ourselves
placed. I was allowed to ride on the break again, and it is certainly a
wonderful sight, whilst being slowly let down the lifts which I have
before described. The day was light and the atmosphere clear, the light
and shade on the dense mass of foliage with which the mountains are
clothed appearing to great advantage, like a huge carpet spread over the
face of nature. It is decidedly worth a visit from Europe to go over the
railway, and few can help wondering how it was ever made, under what
must have appeared almost insurmountable difficulties in such a country
and such a climate; the pioneers obliged to live in the forests and
often short of the necessaries of life. Without traversing the line it
is impossible to form any idea of the magnitude of the undertaking, or
how the boilers and machinery for the stationary engines were dragged up
the mountains, almost without a track, much less a road, for a total
height of 2,600 feet above the level of the sea. The Paulistos ought to
be proud of their railway, and Englishmen of the skill and endurance of
their countrymen in making it; at the same time, it cannot be denied
that many errors of construction have been committed, and even at the
present moment the working power of the line is crippled for want of
locomotives, besides which those on the metals are not adapted to it, as
I have previously explained. Red-tapery and official conceit have
produced the same result here as in other places, to give way eventually
to a practical common sense view of things; not without entailing,
however, losses upon the unfortunate shareholders. The line being again
open throughout, a considerable arrear of traffic is waiting to come
down from Jundiahy, which will severely tax the insufficient rolling
stock and locomotive power at the disposal of the manager; but at all
events it is satisfactory to know that the traffic is likely to be a
steady one, with a considerable future prospect when once its
requirements are fairly met by the company.

We reached the foot of the Serra before noon, and at one o'clock we were
at Santos station, the whole distance from San Paulo to Santos being 48⅞
miles; rather a long time on the way, but the Serra itself takes an
hour, and there are several stoppages at the stations. Some time is also
occupied in waiting at the foot of the Serra for the second portion of
the train (it is divided into three carriages each lift) to come down
and join before proceeding forward. This process of course takes place
both ways. Contrast this system, however, with that of pack mules, and
what an immense stride does it represent in the means of transit and
communication.

Santos was cooler than when we went there before, and the day was fine
and bright. The steamer did not sail until four o'clock, so we strolled
about and got some dinner. The departure was punctual, and sailing down
the river to the bar the surrounding scenery, tinged by the glowing
afternoon sun, gave everything a very cheerful, though grandly
picturesque aspect. The friends who had kindly accompanied us from San
Paulo here left us in a boat, to land at the bar, which is a favourite
watering place, and where many nice cottages are built. We steamed on,
passed the small fort, and were soon in the open Atlantic, the boat
dancing about more than was agreeable to some of the passengers, who
soon disappeared below. The Santa Maria is a powerful boat, steaming her
twelve knots an hour, with very good accommodation; but the wind and sea
being against us, we did not get into Rio harbour before noon the next
day, taking 20 hours for a distance of about 180 miles.



          TRIP TO JUIZ DE FORA.—THE DOM PEDRO SEGUNDO RAILWAY.


To estimate the resources of a country with such an enormous extent of
territory as Brazil by the quantity of cotton, sugar, coffee, or other
products she actually exports, or by the extent of the towns and cities
on her seaboard, would be to form a very inadequate idea of what those
resources are capable of becoming by means of imported labour, the
extension of railways, and other transport facilities in the shape of
good roads. Even with the present limited population, railways are
calculated to swell enormously the amount of Brazilian productions, as
they naturally lead to the opening out of other modes of
intercommunication, and draw towards them subsidiary streams of traffic,
which have hitherto been unable to find a vent. It is only when a
railway penetrates the primeval forests, and goes into the heart of a
country, that an adequate idea can be formed of what it is capable of
being made, or that the state of existing cultivation can be seen under
all the drawbacks arising from the want of labour, added to the
difficult and expensive means of transport. This has been very clearly
shown in the case of the San Paulo Railway, which, with the proposed
extension to Campinas, will reach at once the great producing districts,
and enable the cultivators of them to make their calculations to a
nicety as to the cost of laying down their coffee or cotton at the port
of Santos, and whether or not it can repay them to extend their
production with the means at present under their command. The result
will doubtless be a very large addition to the exports from Santos.

But to return to the Dom Pedro II. Railway. On the day previous to my
leaving Rio, I had made the acquaintance, through the introduction of a
friend at home, of Dr. Gunning, who, I found to my surprise, lived some
fifty miles up the line, and he very kindly invited me to remain the
night with them, instead of going on direct to Entre Rios. Accordingly
at noon the next day, (the 4th April), we started by a train that only
runs at that hour on Saturday, the ordinary ones being at 5 a.m., which
involves getting up in the middle of the night to those who are any
distance from the station. The train was a very full one, and I had to
be content with a seat on my own portmanteau at the beginning of my
journey, the carriage being open, and built in the American style, with
sofas and chairs round the sides. The station is large and commodious,
with plenty of sheds and warehouses for receiving produce. The pace was
pretty good; the train passing the suburbs of the city, then the
abatoirs, where cattle are slaughtered, with hundreds of the large black
vultures hovering about; afterwards going through the Emperor's grounds
and not far from his palace. Many fine country houses are near the line,
which become fewer in number until we reach the first station called
Sapepomba, at a short distance from which is a fine estate belonging; to
the Baron de Mauá, whose name is a household word in Brazil. This estate
is worked by an American, who married an adopted daughter of the Baron,
and has now a very large tract of sugar cane under cultivation. It
presents in other respects all the evidence of good management. The
public road runs close to the station. We proceed through lowlands, with
cattle grazing on some of them, until we reached the station of
Machabamba, in the neighbourhood of which the Baron de Bomfim has also a
large sugar estate as well as ground for grazing cattle. At this
station, as at most others, were so-called hotels, where eating and
drinking is carried on much after the fashion in other countries, and a
number of passengers got out apparently to spend the Sunday in the
country.

After traversing some fine open country, bounded by mountains on all
sides, we crossed what is called the dismal swamp, where so many people
lost their lives during the construction of the line; this part of the
line reminded one of the swamps about which so much has been written in
connection with the Panama Railway. The next station we came to was that
of Belem, an important place at the foot of the great mountain rise. I
may perhaps observe that many plots of land, after we left the suburbs
of Rio, were cultivated with mandioca, the great staple article of food
in this country, and doubtless much of what is now a waste will soon be
brought into requisition for the production of this commodity. At Belem
there was a good display of refreshment, substantial and light creature
comforts evidently being appreciated by the Brazilians; oranges, figs,
and sweets of various kinds were brought also to the carriage doors.
Here we exchanged the ordinary English locomotive for one of the
powerful American description, calculated to mount the hills, which we
began to ascend immediately after leaving Belem station, and here
commences the really interesting feature of the works. The American
“horse,” as it is termed, began snorting, the whistle making a
frightfully loud noise,—a sort of steam gong, which can be heard at a
very great distance. The train now twists and turns round the sharp
curves, the scenery becomes grand and imposing as we go up, and at one
point, after proceeding eight or ten miles through a succession of
tunnels and embankments, a stone could be thrown across the ridge to the
place we left. The views of the valleys, with the spurs of the hills
planted with coffee and Indian corn, are very pretty, and one is called
Paraiso, or paradise, though I think that title might be much more
appropriately applied to the valley opposite Dr. Gunning's house, which
is called the Valley of Monkeys, I suppose because many exist in the
woods there. The elevation attained on reaching Dr. Gunning's station
was upwards of 1,300 feet, in about 2½ hours from Rio, and here I was
persuaded to rest over Sunday, resuming my journey by rail on Monday
morning.

Dr. Gunning's little colony, for it quite amounts to that, took me quite
by surprise, as I was utterly ignorant of its existence. As I said
before, the valley which it overlooks might justly be termed that of
Paraiso, instead of the other we passed in ascending the mountains. It
takes a range of some 20 to 30 miles, with a series of hills or spurs
rising from it, backed by the mountains which tower over Rio de Janeiro.
The house is built on the foreground, with an extensive balcony in
front, where you sit in a rocking chair in a state of quiet ecstacy and
wonder how such an enchanting spot can be so little known in a great
city comparatively so near to it. From the balcony you can see the
trains moving upwards, popping now and again into the numerous tunnels,
there being no less than thirteen between the house and the foot of the
mountain and sixteen or seventeen over the whole line. The Doctor has
constructed two or three neat cottages on his land, and there is also
within hail a charming one erected by Mr. Gotto when he was out here as
Engineer of the Rio Improvements Company. It is situated at a point
which also commands a fine view of the noble valley, and is at present
occupied by an American merchant. The Doctor is about to build other
cottages on his land, and is laying out the site for a hotel, which
ought to be very attractive to Rio residents in search of fresh air and
renovated health. It is difficult to conceive a more lovely situation,
or one surrounded by more attractive scenery. Before dinner we took a
walk in the fine shady woods below the house, and at night enjoyed the
effect of a splendid moon from a balcony where the scene in Romeo and
Julliet might be admirably enacted, a place of all others adapted for
the interchange of “lovers' vows.” We were, however, a very
sober-minded, but pleasant party, and enjoyed ourselves with
“sweethearts and wives” over a glass of toddy. On Sunday morning I rose
early to look at one of the greatest natural curiosities it is possible
to conceive. A light vapoury mist, “white as the driven snow,” covered
the entire valley; with here and there the tops of hills appearing like
islands in a sea; indeed, one could hardly believe that what one saw was
simply mist, and not something more tangible and substantial. This
gradually disappeared as the sun topped the heights, and then all became
bright and verdant as on the previous day. Residents in the valley feel
wrapt in a kind of shroud whilst the mist is over them, but no evil
effects appear to result from it. An American missionary, Mr. Blackford,
who was for some time stationed at the city of San Paulo, and was, with
his wife, a guest of Dr. Gunning, read a portion of the Church Service
in Portuguese and preached a sermon in the same language to the
household and a number of people employed about the place, after which
we wandered about, dined, and enjoyed another quiet moonlight evening
looking over the happy valley. There is quite a little society of
Americans residing about here, which renders it anything but a solitude.

I left this hospitable retreat on Monday, by the train which passes at 8
a.m., and continued to find a series of wonderful curves and tunnels
until we reached the station of Barra, where a good comfortable
breakfast was waiting for such passengers as chose to avail of it.

I was joined by the son of Mr. Ellison, head engineer of the line, who
is making a branch near Disengano station, in the direction of San
Paulo, with which it is eventually intended to connect this province. He
made himself very agreeable, and gave me much valuable information.

I should not omit to allude to the really beautiful scenery passed
through between Entre Rios and Barra, where the passengers breakfasted.
I walked to look at a very handsome bridge erected over the River
Parahyba, which becomes here a considerable stream, running the whole
distance to Entre Rios, where it meets the Parahybuna, which comes down
from Minas Geraes, the latter emptying itself into the sea at San Joao
de Barra, after passing the important town of Campos.

The railway, which is here 122 miles in length from Rio de Janeiro, is
to be extended to another point on the Parahyba called Porto da Cunha,
making a total distance of about 160 miles, the latter portion tapping
valuable sources of traffic, as the river is only navigable a short way
from its mouth. Besides its 16 tunnels, small and great, the railway is
crossed by several handsome bridges, first to one bank of the river and
then the other, as the gradients were found favourable, and there is one
very fine station, called Disengano, a portion of the cost of which was
contributed by the Marqueza de Bependi, who has a magnificent fazenda
near to it, and numerous large picturesque fazendas are seen at
different bends of the river, which rolls along in its rocky bed, with a
succession of small rapids, the hills above it being covered with
coffee, Indian corn, and mandioca, all now ripe. Where this cultivation
does not exist either virgin forests or cattle grazing form the variety,
and the former still occupy a large portion of the country we passed
through, particularly between Uba station and that of Parahyba do Sul. I
am told that Vassoura, a city about seven miles from the station of that
name, is prettily situated and interesting, but of course it is
impossible to see everything in so extraordinary a range of country.

We reached Entre Rios station before noon, and found the stage coach
waiting; also a tolerable dinner, which the flies tried to participate
in, being only held in check by boys with large feather fans. The place,
I believe, is infested by flies from the number of mules kept there; but
the company is improving and extending the accommodation for passengers,
the head station being 800 feet in length. The guard of the “Mazeppa”
summons the passengers, and away we started with four good mules, amidst
dust and bustle, by a regular stage coach of the old English type, the
first stage being along the banks of the Rio Preto, coming down from the
mines. The road was all that had been described to me and more; a
perfectly good, smooth, macadamised one, fenced in with groups of bamboo
on the river side and aloes on the other, along which we drove at the
rate of nine to ten miles an hour. I was inside at starting, but some
passengers left at the second station, Parahybuna, when I mounted on the
front seat for the remainder of the journey, and enjoyed as fine a ride,
for good travelling and good scenery, as it is possible to conceive.

The road belongs to a Brazilian company called the “Uniao e Industria,”
started some few years back, and now carrying on a large and profitable
traffic, chiefly in merchandise; but the stage coaches are a very
important feature as regards accommodation for the public. The stations
where they change mules are large and commodious, with warehouses for
receiving produce, and that of Parahybuna is in a most picturesque
situation, a huge granite mountain on one side and in front of the
river, which rushes down over rocks, forming cascades here and there,
with a long bridge which we had to cross. A good many dwelling houses
are built about these stations, belonging, I conclude, to people
connected with the road. Our next station was Simon Pereira, about which
there is a good deal of woodland scenery, reminding one of parts of
Wales, with the road winding in and out round the hills; and on this
stage is a very fine fazenda known by the name of Solidade, the property
of the Baron Bertiago, comprising, I am told, an immense district. Here
we again come upon the mountain stream, which runs through the valley,
always forming a rapid current as we keep ascending.

The next stage was Barboza, where we came up with another diligence,
also from Petropolis, with a party, having a band of music outside, and
Portuguese and Brazilian flags flying. They kept ahead of us, but at the
last stage, Ponto Americano, a most romantic spot, we started almost
together, our companion still keeping the lead, at a strong gallop,
which our coachman imitated, and it was anything but an agreeable race
into Juiz de Fora, to say nothing of the dust we had to take up in the
wake of the front diligence. Nothing could be more beautiful than the
scenery for the last stages, coffee and Indian corn plantations
succeeded each other, mingled with virgin forests, grazing ground,
waterfalls in the distance, entire trees covered with purple and yellow
flowers, a perfect galaxy of tropical vegetation in its most attractive
forms. The evening was pleasantly cool,—so cool as to cause one to
button up his coat, and there was a sensation of freshness in the air
like that of an autumn evening at home.

As the two coaches approached Juiz de Fora a large number of its
residents turned out to see the arrival, which I believe was that of
some new settlers, who must have been gratified with their reception. We
drove on to the coach station, where I found that the gentleman I was
anxious to see had gone to his fazenda that morning, some leagues
distant; so I determined to await his return and went to a small hotel
close to, called the “Union,” where I made myself as comfortable as the
limited accommodation would permit.

[Illustration: Residence of Senhor Lage.]

Juiz de Fora is pleasantly situated on an elevated plateau, some 2,600
feet above the level of the sea, with a background of fine cultivated
hills and a very picturesque waterfall. The originator and director of
the flourishing company “Uniao e Industria” has built a magnificent
house on an elevated spot which overlooks the whole valley, and his
grounds are beautifully laid out with every species of tree to be found
in Brazil, as well as those brought from other countries. There are
ornamental waters, with swans, rare specimens of water fowl, and numbers
of valuable birds, fowls, monkeys,—in fact, a little Zoological Garden
of itself. Everything in the establishment was in keeping, evincing the
good taste of the owner and the liberal manner in which he expends his
large fortune. I had also the opportunity of going over a new building
called the School of Agriculture, where modern agricultural implements
are to be collected, as well as samples of live stock to improve the
breed of cattle. There is a capital English stallion, two years old,
descended from the celebrated Stockwell, brought out from England at
great expense; another one of Norman breed, besides brood mares, bulls,
Alderney cows—in short, the nucleus of a respectable cattle show, which
it is intended to become, and the Emperor has announced his intention to
visit the place in June next, though it will take some time to make it
complete and in a state of efficiency. An intelligent Swiss gentleman
presides over the School of Agriculture, and an English groom is very
proud, as he may well be, of the silky coat and the healthy appearance
of the descendant of Stockwell.

There is a nice little German colony at Juiz de Fora, mostly artisans in
the company's employ, who live in very snug cottages, with little
gardens attached to them, the women keeping cows, selling milk, &c. A
death had occurred the day I was there, and the funeral was attended by
all the elders of the colony, men and women, dressed in their best
clothes, forming a very interesting group. The company employ some 3,000
mules in the traffic of their line, the breakers of them, as well as the
coach drivers, being Germans. Mr. Treloar, jun., arrived from Rio with
his wife and family during my stay here, leaving the next day with a
large troop of mules, on a seven days' journey up to the mines.

Having seen all of interest in Juiz de Fora, I started on Thursday, the
9th of April, to return to Entre Rios, and thence on by the same “Uniao
e Industria” road to Petropolis, a total distance of about 107 miles. I
found the second half of the road as interesting as the first half I had
gone over—all in the same perfect state, some parts between Entre Rios
and Petropolis passing through splendid mountain scenery. Near Entre
Rios the river is crossed by a very fine iron bridge. We reached
Petropolis at dusk, amidst a shower of rain, the first I had met with on
the whole journey, during which the weather was remarkably fine and cool
in the higher ranges of the road, though hot and dusty on the level
parts. For nearly the whole fifty miles the road winds by the bed of a
rapid mountain stream, descending from the mountainous district about
Petropolis, going to swell the river of which it is the source, forming
a succession of cascades, the noise of whose waters makes “music to the
ear,” enhancing the grandeur of the scenery through which it passes as
well as cooling the atmosphere.

I should not neglect to mention the extensive cart traffic over the
road, which constitutes the real income of the company, and has enabled
it to pay the large dividend of 10 to 14 per cent. These carts are all
of one pattern, with names and numbers on them, drawn generally by five
mules, with a spare one attached. We were constantly meeting them going
up and down, and whether they have got more into the way of it, or the
mules are now better trained, we met with no such inconveniences as Mr.
Hinchcliffe describes in his book, though the windings and turnings of
the road are often of such a nature as to require a “bright look out,”
and the use of a shrill whistle—the horn being only sounded on
approaching the end of the journey. By means of the rail and coach, Rio
morning papers are delivered at Juiz de Fora, a distance of 170 miles by
rail and road, the same evening. Formerly it required a week to
communicate between the two places. A large quantity of stone is
collected along the road to keep it in order, and at certain distances
are men breaking them in the most old fashioned manner possible. They
are chiefly Portuguese immigrants.

I had not been at Petropolis for twenty years, during which time there
has been a large increase of building and population, but I was sorry to
learn that this prosperity is likely to be evanescent, in consequence of
the soil suitable for cultivation by the German colonists being worn
out, and still more by the Dom Pedro II. Railway turning the stream of
traffic, which previously to its opening to Entre Rios had continued to
flow from the mines through Petropolis and down the splendid mountain
road, conveying goods and passengers to the Mauá Railway, and thence by
steamer to Rio. Of course, the railway from Entre Rios to Rio de
Janeiro, though longer as regards mileage, is quicker and more direct,
with a saving in expense to travellers, even if produce and merchandise
were conveyed at equal rates by the two roads, but it must be the
interest of the country to keep both the roads open, as, in the case of
accidental stoppage, the Petropolis one is always available. It is not
unlikely that terms will be come to by the two companies so as to
prevent injurious competition, as the country has had to pay large sums
of money for the installation and maintenance of both roads.

I remained over Sunday at Petropolis, but it turned out a very wet day,
and I was not able to go about much, or to take advantage of the
splendid view there is from the top of the mountain down to the Bay of
Rio de Janeiro. We started at 6.30 on Monday morning in a carriage with
four mules, and descended amidst heavy rain and a dense mist, so that
none of the beauties of the locality were visible. At the foot of the
Serra, the railway train was waiting, and we soon reached the place of
embarkation by steamer, arriving at Rio about 10.30, after a week's
absence, during which I have acquired a better knowledge of the progress
and resources of this part of the country than any other means of
information could have supplied. As regards the great internal road on
which I have dwelt so much, it is decidedly one of the marvels of
Brazil.



                   RIO DE JANEIRO TO THE RIVER PLATE.


                              SECOND TRIP.

On my return to Rio on Saturday, the 11th of April I found the City of
Brussels had arrived after a very quick passage from Falmouth of twenty
days, and she was leaving next morning (Sunday) for the River; so I
resolved to go by her and complete my visit, which had been so recently
unfortunately interrupted. A difficulty occurred, owing to the police
requiring me to give three days' notice in the public papers of my
intention to leave, and they refused to _visa_ the passport I brought
with me, though it had already served on other similar occasions. The
only way to get over the obstacle was to take a surety to the police
office, who would be responsible for any debts I might have contracted,
and after driving backwards and forwards for some hours, at considerable
trouble and expense, this requirement was satisfied. This absurd and
vexatious system of passports is one of the old relics of barbarism
which Brazil ought to do away with, and the sooner the better; nor is it
any protection against roguery, as every one knows how easily such
regulations are evaded in the latter case. Countries like Brazil ought
to be as free as the air, and all possible facility given to travellers
who only come for information or amusement, and have no business
relations. Passports do not exist in the Great Republic of the North,
and France has abolished them, so let us hope Brazil will follow in the
wake, and evince equal liberality in dealing with passengers' luggage.

We were to leave at 8 a.m. on Sunday, but were detained for dispatches
until ten, and finally passed the fort at 11 a.m., with a light wind but
much swell, indicating a southerly wind, of which we got the benefit the
next day. I may mention that the City of Brussels is a splendid new
steamer of Tait's line, and made the first departure under their
contract with the Belgian Government. At Antwerp a grand entertainment
had been given to the authorities on the day of her departure, and on
Saturday a party was entertained on board at Rio.

After encountering rather a strong southerly gale, we made the River on
Thursday night, and came to an anchor off Monte Video early on Friday,
the passage having been run in five days. It blew so hard, with so much
swell on, that it was some time before we got on shore, on reaching
which I went to my old quarters at the Gran Hotel Americano, meeting
several old friends there. The aspect of Monte Video was greatly changed
for the better since my last visit, when the cholera was making such
fearful ravages and an air of activity pervaded the place,
notwithstanding the sad tragedy which had occurred in the assassination
of General Flores. Rumours of political troubles still prevailed, but
there was nothing on the surface to indicate them, and the nightly
gathering on the Plaza to hear the band had been resumed, although for
some time after the murder of the President the Plaza was held by troops
and guns planted at the corner of it.

A visit to Buchentall's quinta occupied the greater part of one day, and
a delightful place it is, enclosed in spacious grounds, provided with
choice trees, beautiful exotics, a large conservatory, and other glass
houses; in fact, with everything which a cultivated taste can devise.
There is a large kitchen garden attached, and quite a plantation of pear
trees, loaded with splendid pears, for which Monte Video is famous. The
stables and farm buildings are extensive, and, like the house, they are
in the Swiss cottage style; they are tenanted by fine horses, valuable
cows, and other descriptions of cattle. Everything is in perfect order.
The view from the upper ground, at the back of the house, is very
fine—the city, the harbour filled with shipping, and the mounts at its
entrance, the waters of the La Plata glistening beyond in the sunlight.
It is a bright, beautiful day, and certainly at this season the climate
is very agreeable, so different from the intense heat experienced in the
month of January. After leaving the quinta, we extended our drive,
passing by many pretty country houses, some of peculiar but tasteful
architecture, and stopped at a house on the road side, kept by a
Frenchman, where we got an excellent cold luncheon and drove back to the
city.

Expecting the steamer to sail the same night, we embarked before dark,
but were disappointed, the cargo not being all discharged. We did not
get away until next evening. Had we known this we might have seen the
races, which took place the following morning, to see which I believe
more than half the population turned out, the Custom House and public
buildings being closed. South Americans are fond of excitement, though
horse-racing is comparatively a new amusement for them, being chiefly
got up by foreigners. Whilst at dinner on Monday afternoon, the wind,
which had been blowing moderately from the north, suddenly veered round
to the south, and soon after we left the harbour increased to a pampero,
causing a nasty cross sea and a very disagreeable motion in the ship,
which sent most of the passengers to bed early. It is not a very
pleasant navigation in such weather, with banks lying in the way, and
shallow water in many places, and we were glad when daylight came to
find ourselves near the outer roads of Buenos Ayres. This exposed
roadstead, having to lie so far from the shore, is a great drawback,
rendering the expense of discharging and loading very heavy, but there
is no help for it, nor any prospect of improvement in this respect. They
have very fine boats and lighters, with first-rate boatmen, and, as a
rule, accidents are rare, unless when the fierce pamperos drive
everything before them.

This is my second visit to Buenos Ayres, after a lapse of 15 years, and,
although from the sea no remarkable change appears to the eye, yet,
after landing, the enormous increase of the city soon becomes apparent,
about which I shall say more presently. The Mole and Custom House were
new to me, as also the landing pier for boats—a very great convenience
and improvement on the old carts, into which you had to get from the
boat. The weather, which had been cool at Monte Video, became positively
cold here, cloaks and great coats being the order of the day. It is now
approaching the coldest season of the year, with some sharp frost at
night, which has blackened the potatoes and other vegetables outside the
city; and the sunny side of the street is decidedly preferable to the
shady one, a very different state of things to that which existed when I
was at Monte Video, in January, with the heat frequently above 90
degrees.



                         CITY OF BUENOS AYRES.


It is not an easy task to describe the great changes that have taken
place in this city since my visit fourteen years ago. At the same time
they are so remarkable as to require a special notice.

My views at that time were sanguine as to the progress of these River
Plate countries, but they have been more than realised, notwithstanding
political and other drawbacks. Suffice it to say that Buenos Ayres has
nearly doubled in size since I was last here, and, although no public
census that I am aware of has ever been taken, the population of the
city and environs must almost have augmented in the same ratio. The
difficulties of the roadstead remain, but a forest of masts, extending
for many miles in the outer and inner roads, together with a
considerable number of steamers (the latter particularly in the inner
roads) meets the eye, and two piers, or moles, have been erected, one
exclusively used for Custom House purposes, the other for boats and
passengers, but a large portion of the traffic is still carried on by
the carts which go alongside the boats with cargo or to take it away.
Landing at the mole, a busy scene presents itself in the conveyance of
passengers' luggage, which is taken charge of by the peons or porters,
and carried for examination to the little depot at the entrance to the
mole. Afterwards it is allowed to proceed in carts or carriages to its
destination.

Being built in squares, the increase of the city is not very apparent
until you get fairly into it; but the numerous two or three-storied
houses, the large new hotels, the fine shops and warehouses, and the
great movement in the street, all indicate a thriving place of business,
which Buenos Ayres unquestionably is. Most of the streets running direct
from the river are now three miles in length, and they cover an equal
breadth, so it is easy to judge the extent of the ground covered;
besides which, very many handsome quintas, or country houses, are to be
seen in every direction outside the city. The streets generally are
badly paved, and make very rough work for carts and carriages passing
over them, but these manage to get along with considerable wear and tear
of wheels and springs, as well as horses' feet, which, however, appear
to be quite a secondary consideration. After the well-paved streets of
Rio de Janeiro, both Monte Video and Buenos Ayres cut a very poor
figure; but the worst feature is the absence of sewerage, and the refuse
of the town is at times very offensive to the olfactory nerves, and
destroys the appellative “good airs,” which is otherwise a
characteristic of the place under ordinary circumstances, or as nature
intended it to be. The inhabitants seem to have had a wretched municipal
system; but for this there is no reason why the city should not be well
drained, well paved, as well as properly lighted with gas, which latter
is now the case.

Strangers have a choice of really very large and commodious hotels, and
there are boarding and lodging houses of various kinds, but at seasons
accommodation in them is very difficult to obtain, such is the constant
increase of demand by visitors as well as by permanent residents; in
fact, the requirements of the population are constantly overtaking the
facilities of the city, and there appears to be no reasonable limit to
its extension north, south, and west, the river facing eastward. The
chief increase, however, has been westward, or in a straight line from
the river frontage into the country. Owing to the necessities of an
augmenting population, the price of building land in or near the city
has been driven up to a very high figure, and rents, as a matter of
course, are excessive. Increased population has been followed by
enhanced luxury, which manifests itself in the style of architecture, in
the splendid shops, in the number of private carriages as well as those
for hire, but naturally this has been attended by an inflated
expenditure. Living in Buenos Ayres is now quite as expensive as in
London or Paris; perhaps more so as regards luxuries, the import duties
on which are very heavy. Generally, Buenos Ayres is a dear place to live
in. Amongst other new buildings is the large theatre called Colon, and a
Music-hall, the latter erected by private subscription. It is lofty and
light, tastefully decorated, and I believe very well filled when
concerts are held there, being also occasionally used for dinners.

The busiest part of the city, commercially speaking, is down by the
Custom House and on to the Boca, the latter the rendezvous of lighters
conveying produce to the ships in the outer roads, as well as of small
steamers bound up river, and I understand that 300 lighters are now
engaged in this work, many of them of good size and decked over. It is
in contemplation to deepen and enlarge the Riachuelo, as the stream
alluded to is called, and a most useful work it will be, as it is almost
the mainstay of the port. At the other extremity of the city, which
borders on the Northern Railway, washing of clothes is carried on among
the willow trees which border the river; it is quite a sight on a fine
sunny day. On the high ground about and beyond the Retiro, numerous
handsome villas have been erected and the Retiro itself has been planted
with trees, forming a pleasant promenade. In addition to other
improvements and conveniences, omnibuses now ply from the city in
various directions, so that locomotion is greatly facilitated, and
people can live out of the city without the trouble of keeping
conveyances, if they object to this, or have not the means to maintain
them. Commerce is extending rapidly, and the Custom House revenue has
doubled itself within a very few years.



                 BUENOS AYRES TO COLONIA.—ESTANZUELLA.


The invitation of Mr. William White to spend a few days at his estancia
took me over to Colonia, from which it is distant about 15 miles, amidst
the beautiful undulating country of the Banda Oriental. Three to four
hours is the time usually occupied in crossing the river, almost in a
direct line from Buenos Ayres, and the steamer in which I embarked had
very comfortable accommodation but few passengers on board. There was a
small boat in opposition to the one I was in, and we arrived very close
together.

Colonia is one of the oldest settlements in the River, being built upon
a peninsula jutting out into the stream, with a snug little harbour,
which is in course of improvement. The town presents a dilapidated and
neglected appearance, which is accounted for by its having, until
recently, been fortified, and made the head-quarters of different
factions during the long civil wars. There is a large church, with three
high towers, visible at a considerable distance, and a lighthouse for
the protection of vessels passing, as several low islands are situated
close to the harbour. Some good looking houses have lately been erected,
and the site of a new town laid, but it will be many years before it is
likely to assume any importance. I noticed an old gateway, with an
inscription dated 1724 over it.

I found Mr. White's carriage waiting for me at Colonia. It was drawn by
four horses, the road being heavy for a few miles, but after that we got
into a good one,—a kind of beaten track over what is called the campo,
and for the first time I realised the pleasurable feeling of travelling
over a sea of land, if it can be so named, where, excepting an
occasional _puesto_, or shepherd's hut, not a human habitation is to be
seen. The undulations of the land are here very like the long roll of
the ocean, by which it is supposed to have been formed, and you are at
once in the midst of cattle, horses, and sheep, with grass and thistles
growing everywhere, the thistles in many cases being masters of the
situation.

It was getting foggy before we reached Mr. White's estancia, but the
light of the moon assisted our course across an apparently trackless
country. I found Mr. White's quinta a very pretty and comfortable
residence, surrounded by trees and evergreens, all of which have been
planted by the present owner. The whole place is in fact the creation of
some ten years, showing what can be done in this country by a judicious
application of capital and labour. The house and estate cover a space of
some nine square miles, the former being built on an elevated spot,
called “Monte” (or the “Mount,”) and occupying with grounds about 50
acres of good rich soil, overlooking an amphitheatre of hill and dale,
which stretches as far as the eye can reach, with “puestos” or
shepherds' cottages at regular distances, where the cattle and sheep are
collected together at dusk and let out again at daylight. This is a most
interesting process, which I have seen described, but it can only be
realised personally. It is something like marshalling a scattered army
and bringing them into a given square. The shepherds or peons go
galloping about until the cattle and sheep are gathered together, when
they all, as by a kind of instinct, find their way to the corral or
fold. At dawn the following morning they are let out again and roam for
miles over the estate. The arrangements at a good estancia like that of
Mr. White's are very complete, and every one understands his work, but
of course the eye of a master is required to see that the work is
properly done. The stock on this estancia consists of about 30,000
sheep, upwards of 1,000 head of cattle, and some 100 horses.

[Illustration: Mr. White's House at Estanzuella.]

My first day was employed in visiting several of the stations, and very
agreeable it was cantering over the springy turf, clothed with grass and
thistles, where the sheep and cattle were quietly feeding. Buttercups
glittered in the sunshine, but we missed the modest daisies so familiar
at home. We were on horseback five hours, and I returned to dinner
highly delighted with all I had seen. The second day we took the
carriage and a gun, as partridges are plentiful and innumerable flocks
of doves. Paid a visit to the estancia of Mr. Giffard, about six miles
distant in a direct line, but further by the course we had to take,
partly over the open campo. Returning we came close upon some half-dozen
ostriches and Mr. White shot at and wounded a very fine male; but it was
a painful sight to see the struggles of the poor bird, and we were
obliged to get one of the men from a neighbouring station to dispatch it
with his knife. Many of these noble birds are still to be met with in
the campo, where they are pursued by the natives for the value of the
feathers. I was presented with a portion of the feathers of the ostrich
killed as described. The third day we were again on horseback for
several hours, with a boy carrying a gun and some refreshment. We rode
along one of the running streams with which the campo is favoured, to
look for some ducks, but the streams were very low, and we only
succeeded in bagging one. These streams are invaluable for cattle, and
the Banda Oriental in this respect is more fortunate than Buenos Ayres,
and in consequence suffers less from drought. Finding game so scarce,
the boy was sent home, and we cantered on to visit some of the other
stations I had not yet seen, the weather throughout being beautifully
fine, clear sunshine, with a bracing and most exhilarating breeze.

There are some curious collections of rocks mostly on the margins of the
streams. Huge boulders, thrown up it would seem by some convulsion of
nature, and between which trees and enormous cactuses have forced their
way, in cases even splitting the stone, especially present a most
singular appearance. About Mr. Giffard's quinta there is quite a large
formation of this kind, and a collection of very fine ombu trees,
several with immense trunks and evidently of great age.

To-day, the last of my visit, has been spent in riding about the quinta,
watching the operation of lassoing and bringing into the corral a
refractory bull and cow that had left their companions and roamed miles
away. The dexterity of the peons, and the way they manage their horses
on these occasions, is something wonderful, and fairly exhausts the
strength of the animals.

This is the finest season of the year in these countries, and it is
impossible to imagine anything more pleasing or more cheerful than the
present aspect of the campo. The next two or three months constitute the
winter season, which is rainy and cold. September and October (their
spring) are generally fine. The heat of summer is, of course,
considerable, but it is not so much felt in the open country, where a
fresh breeze, as a rule, prevails; it is the towns that are most
disagreeable at that period.

To-morrow, I return to Colonia, highly gratified with all I have
observed, and with the kind hospitality I have experienced. As I have
said, partridges are abundant, but they commonly go singly, and without
a pointer they are difficult to follow. Mr. White, however, shot two
brace close to his house, when we were walking out before breakfast, and
several single ones on other occasions. They are prettily marked birds
and delicate eating. He did not happen to have a suitable dog by him at
the time. The shepherds all keep fine dogs, mostly of the retriever
breed, to assist them in managing their flocks, and there were a good
many attached to the house and out-buildings; one of the former, a
Scotch terrier, and myself becoming very great friends.



                 TRIP ON THE CENTRAL ARGENTINE RAILWAY.


I am writing this on board the “Lujan” steamer, built in Buenos Ayres,
with engines by a Glasgow house. She is a comfortable boat, with good
accommodation for passengers, and the “vivers” excellent, including even
champagne at dinner, which in this country is rather an expensive
luxury. After a lapse of fifteen years I find myself once more ascending
the noble Parana river, which at that time was almost unknown in Buenos
Ayres, the little “Argentine” being the first commercial steamer that
ever navigated its waters. I predicted the results a few years would
bring about, and my expectations have been more than realised, the river
being now as freely navigated by steamers as some of those in the United
States, with the difference of course that there is not the same amount
of population on its banks—population being still the great want of this
boundless region.

The station for passengers for the up-river boats is now the terminus of
the Northern Railway, at a small stream called Tigre, which is reached
in something over an hour's time. We left the station at 10 a.m., and
arrived at the wharf alongside which the steamer lay at 11.30. All the
passengers, with their luggage, were soon on board, and we started,
wending our way through the small branches of the Parana, in many places
not wider than a canal, the steamer brushing against the overhanging
trees. A couple of hours brought us at last into the wide embouchure of
the river at a point named Palmas.

The advantage of the Tigre as a starting point for steamers is that it
avoids the disagreeable boating in the roads of Buenos Ayres and
crossing the bay for Martin Garcia; in every way it is a desirable
arrangement, alike beneficial to the steamers and to the railway.
Upwards of a dozen steamers were laying outside the Tigre, in a stream
called Lujan (after which this boat is named), two of them large
double-decked Yankee river boats and nearly all of them without
occupation—a terrible sacrifice of valuable property. Having discussed a
solid _dejeuner à la fourchette_, I came on deck to enjoy the scenery.
It was blowing a fresh breeze, dead against us, with a strong current
and very cold, cloaks and great coats being a necessity although the day
was bright and sunny. For several hours we steamed along, passing only
jungle and dense masses of trees, with numerous sailing craft at anchor,
laden with cargo, many bound upwards, no doubt with stores for the army
in Paraguay.

Just before sunset we passed a very fine quinta, belonging to the
Minister of Education, Senor Costa, built on a beautiful barranca, or
elevated ground, a short way from the river, the horsemen on the heights
presenting a very picturesque appearance.

Dinner was announced, which occupied fully an hour, and afterwards I
went on deck and enjoyed a night on the noble Parana. The wind had gone
down, and the stars shed their light over the still water, on which the
shadow of the trees was reflected, our course being occasionally close
to them, though at times we had to take the mid stream. Now and again
the sky was lighted up with fires, caused, I believe, by the burning of
wood for charcoal, a process which might go on for centuries without
exhausting the illimitable extent of wood. A large traffic is carried on
in this material by river craft to Buenos Ayres and Monte Video. We
stopped to land passengers at a station called Hermanos, and soon after
passed two or three steamers at anchor, with some sailing vessels near
them, no doubt connected with the war services. Our passengers are a
motley group, speaking all languages, and amusing themselves by playing
cards, chess, and dominoes, the while talking and chattering away at the
top of their voices; some ladies amongst them as merry as the rest. Many
Italians, French, and Germans are met on board these steamers, but
comparatively few English, who remain more in the cities and towns, or
at their estancias when resident in the country. After a fine, clear,
starlight night, the latter part aided by a bright moon, the day broke
grandly, and we soon came to anchor at the little port of San Nicolas,
where we landed and took in some passengers. Then came a good,
substantial breakfast, and at about eleven o'clock the large saladeros
near Rosario were in sight. We brought up alongside a coal hulk, where
the steamer had to take in fuel before returning to Buenos Ayres the
same afternoon.

A number of sailing vessels and steamers were laying at anchor at
Rosario, making quite a busy scene. I landed in a small punt to find my
way to the house of a friend. The aspect of Rosario was not much
changed, looking at it from the river, with the towers of the church in
the background, the town itself being more or less concealed by the high
barranca. On entering it, however, I was quite lost. Streets have been
extended in every direction for more than a mile, and I should say it
has doubled or trebled in size and population since I was here. Whatever
prejudicial effects the Paraguayan war may have produced in other
respects, there can be no question that Rosario has largely benefitted,
the place being one of call for steamers and sailing vessels up and
down; and it also supplies a considerable quantity of stores for the
army. The value of land and property has gone up to a high figure, and
the poorer portion of the population are obliged to squat wherever they
can find room to build a rancho, or kind of mud hut. Gauchos galloping
about in their picturesque costume showed that we were in a new
province, and although civilisation has extended itself here somewhat
after the fashion of Buenos Ayres, there are evident signs that it is
intermingled with much of the wild habits of a life in the Pampas.

The great object of my visit here was of course to see the Central
Argentine Railway, and certainly those accustomed to the imposing
appearance of railway stations at home will hardly be impressed with the
rough and ready wildness of the scene which presents itself here. A few
disjointed wooden sheds in an open plain, one side bordering on the
river, some carriages and covered waggons on the rails, at this time
constitutes the terminus of a line already carried 158 miles into the
interior; but all this is merely temporary and will give place to the
permanent station now in process of formation, and upon which hundreds
of labourers are at present constantly at work. The material is all
there in readiness, and the station would have been much further
advanced had it not been for the cholera, which caused such terrible
devastations here a few months ago. Internal commotions have also tended
to retard progress. Happily these scourges are for the time at least
passed away, and it is to be hoped nothing will again interfere to
prevent the completion of a line of such vital interest in connection
with the material development of the country between Rosario and
Cordova.

I was curious to see the first arrival and starting of the trains, which
did not indicate much traffic; but this can hardly be looked for until
the metals are carried through and the railway possesses all the needful
appliances, not to speak of the prejudices of a people who have been
accustomed to gallop over the wide plains like the Arabs of old, and use
those antique structures drawn by bullocks, which are yet destined to be
abandoned to rot in their final resting place, or be removed further
west to bring traffic to the Cordova station. Engineeringly speaking, it
is the easiest possible task to make a railway through such a country as
this, but other drawbacks and difficulties exist in the absence of
population and of conveniences to which we are accustomed in England. It
is a refreshing sight in Rosario to see so large a mixture of the
foreign element. New banks and large establishments are in operation and
Estanceiros constantly coming into town to transact their business.
Among the visitors at Rosario are many Englishmen from the districts
round about, who have not been murdered by the Indians, notwithstanding
the stories prevalent to that effect, and I hear of numerous thriving
colonies in the neighbourhood, which I regret time will not permit my
visiting, as the extent of my ramble must now be confined to going over
the railway. I repeat that my impression as to the future of Rosario,
after all it has lately gone through, is favourable, and I am perfectly
satisfied of the go-a-head nature of every thing in this prosperous
province.

The train for Rosario starts at 8 a.m., and is due at Villa Nueva, a
distance of 158 miles, at 6 p.m., travelling at an average speed of
nearly sixteen miles an hour, including eight stoppages—quite sufficient
for present purposes, with a train composed of waggons and two American
passenger cars, one for first and the other for second class. We got off
a little after eight o'clock with a good long train and the cars were
pretty well filled. For the first two or three stations the ground is
slightly undulating, covered with good pasture, on which numerous herds
of cattle, flocks of sheep, and horses were feeding; afterwards, or
about half-way between Rosario and Villa Nueva, there are few cattle
seen, though the food for them is there in any quantity. At Roldan, the
first station from Rosario, some tents were erected, and horses
collected, in course of training for the races to be held on Monday
next, the 25th of May, at which there is generally a large gathering of
sporting characters from that and other districts, as also of spectators
from Rosario. It is an English club, with the usual array of stewards,
umpires, &c. The meeting is expected to be a very good one. The next
station is Carcaranal, near which the river is crossed by a handsome
iron bridge, the river itself flowing for a very long distance through
the province of Cordova and Santa Fé, ultimately merging its waters with
those of the Parana. These first two stations are mere mud huts, being
only temporary, but Carcaranal has the additional disadvantage of being
placed in the midst of a black, dismal, dry lagoon, where a butcher's
establishment is kept for supplying a portion of the company's workmen
on the line with meat. The rancho, or station for the passengers, might
as well be removed, however, a few hundred yards further back, the
engine going on to get its supply of water at one of the tanks placed
here, instead of the olfactory nerves of the passengers being exposed to
an ordeal of no agreeable character. I believe the nuisance is much
complained of and will soon be removed.

The next station, Canada de Gomez, is a very respectable brick-built
one, well kept, where we found some excellent partridges just cooked,
which soon disappeared amongst hungry passengers, who had not time to
breakfast before leaving, and there were also other refreshments. About
this and Tortugas station is some very good land, and numerous English
estancias in the neighbourhood, which I am assured are in a thriving
condition, the aspect of the country being also more cheerful. We saw
the plough at work, and I believe a large quantity of corn will soon be
grown in this district. Further on, about Leones station, the country
becomes more monotonous, one dead sea of brown-looking grass, without
cattle or any appearance of cultivation, and not a shrub or tree to be
seen. We passed a long train of carts from Rosario, filled with
merchandise for distant places; also troops of laden mules going in the
same direction, as the facilities offered by the railway are not yet
sufficient to do away with this cumbrous and expensive mode of transit.
This, however, is only a question of time. As we approached Frayle
Muerto station, trees began to appear, and we passed through quite a
forest, which was very pleasant after the long stretch of land bare of
shrub or tree. The station at Frayle Muerto is a substantial brick
building, and will be very commodious when completed. We had plenty of
time to get some dinner here, and being rather behind, it was dark when
we reached the present terminus at Villa Nueva, where I was kindly
received by the manager, Mr. Lloyd, who gave me a shake down for the
night at his comfortable little cottage close to the station. There I
found a nephew of Mr. Wheelright and Senor Don Gonzalez, late Minister
of Finance, with his family, waiting to proceed to Cordova next morning.
I was fortunate, too, in having for fellow-travellers on the line Senor
Moneta, the Government engineer, and Senor Crisofuli, both proceeding to
Cordova on business connected with the railway, so the journey passed
very agreeably and was anything but fatiguing for the distance. There is
ample room in the carriages, which also have the advantage of enabling
the passengers to go from one portion to the other and conversing with
acquaintances who may happen to be there. This is much better than being
stuck in a close carriage without any chance of relief. Indeed, I think
for all South American railways the American saloon carriages are the
most suitable as well as the most economical.

I was up early next morning to see the train start at seven for Rosario,
and diligences for Cordova, Rio Cuarto, and other places. The last was a
most comical sight. The mode of conveyance has been frequently described
by travellers, so I will not enlarge on the subject. The diligences
remind me of the old French _malle poste_, only the gearing is all hide
instead of rope, and they are drawn by six horses, all mounted by peons,
with very long traces, each horse seemingly independent of the others.
The poor brutes, mostly with sore backs, are first driven into a corral
close to the diligence station, where they are lassoed one by one, a
halter thrown over their necks, and then taken to be saddled. The
diligence station is a very busy place at this time, several starting at
the same time for Cordova and other distant places; there are also
private carriages, and all goes to show how extensive the passenger
traffic will be when the line is open to Cordova. The time occupied in
this latter part of the route is so long that a large supply of vehicles
is required, as well as horses, but the latter may be had almost for the
catching; at all events their cost is very trifling. After seeing the
start, I went over the railway station works, and found evident signs of
considerable traffic, even with an unfinished line. A large space of
ground adjoining the station was filled with bullock waggons, some
discharging cargo into railway waggons, while carts conveyed merchandise
brought up by train from Rosario to other bullock waggons at a short
distance, as there was no space for them about the station, where a
large commodious brick warehouse has been built and works on a large
scale are in course of erection, which will greatly facilitate the
traffic now carried on. In fact, all was bustle and traffic under
difficulties. Amongst the produce brought down was wool in bales, dry
hides, wheat, large bars of copper, fruit, and other articles, not even
omitting fowls in large coops, which had been brought all the way from
Cordova.

The day was very fine and sunny, and after breakfast I accompanied Mr.
Lloyd on horseback to visit a large forest and lake two or three leagues
distant from the station. Here the wood used for locomotives is cut. It
is found to answer better than coal, and is of course much cheaper. We
passed over the newly laid rails and earthworks intended for a
continuation of the line, along which piles of cut wood, extending at
least a quarter of a mile, were laid, as well as a large quantity of
wooden sleepers of excellent quality, to be used, I believe, between
this and Cordova. We then struck across the campo to the forest, soon
after entering which we came upon one of the most picturesque lakes I
remember to have seen. We rode along the margin, which is chiefly sand,
seeing numbers of wild fowl and black-necked swans. The water was
beautifully clear. There are numbers of otters here, and at the upper
end are immense rushes, which are gathered for roofing the ranchos built
for the company's peons. We then struck into the forest again, and with
some difficulty worked our way through it, the lining of my coat being
torn off, as I was hardly got up for such an expedition. The forest is
partly the property of the railway and of one of the religious
establishments at Cordova, and it is capable of supplying sleepers to
make the line to that city, as well as to supply fuel for the
locomotives for years to come. The railway has quite a little colony
here cutting wood, which is conveyed to a small steam saw mill on the
line, and dealt with most expeditiously there.

On our way home we visited the company's farm, where the plough was at
work, turning up a rich loamy soil, and next year it is expected a good
crop of wheat will be taken, besides potatoes, Indian corn, grass for
the horses, &c. In short, it will soon become a very productive farm,
being also completely fenced in so as to keep out cattle. The plough was
being driven by a young Somersetshire man, who evidently understood his
work.

At length we finished our tour of inspection of about twenty miles very
much pleased and gratified with what I had seen, and much impressed with
the important future that awaits the landed property of the company, in
addition to the line becoming a great main trunk one across this part of
South America. Seeing is believing, and if shareholders who are
sceptical as to the future could take a trip out here to satisfy
themselves, they would be quite re-assured on this point. Many doubts
have been thrown upon the enterprise, which I have never entertained,
from my previous knowledge of the country, and my confidence is much
increased by a personal inspection of the line itself and the traffic
which evidently exists ready to come on the metals when proper provision
is made for it. The company are about laying down the telegraph wires,
which will be a great advantage and prevent accidents, besides
establishing a valuable means of communication and saving much time.
Indeed, no line can be efficient without it. I return to Rosario
to-morrow, having only a few days to spare before embarking for England;
otherwise I should have gone on to Cordova and spent some time in this
interesting region, whose only want is population to render it one of
the most productive of the globe.

When I made a hasty visit to Rosario in 1853 I formed a very strong
opinion of its future importance from the position it occupied in
connection with the river navigation and the traffic of the Western
provinces; but the establishment of the Central Argentine Railway has
immensely added to the other advantages of Rosario, and accounts for the
great increase that has recently taken place in building and population.
Thus far, however, the benefit is in a great measure prospective, the
railway being still incomplete. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt
that the sanguine views of speculators on the future will be realised so
soon as the line is finished.

It is only in traversing the streets that one becomes aware of the great
extent of the town, which is built in squares after the usual manner in
this country. Several commercial establishments, some banks, and many
really good shops now exist, and there is difficulty, I am informed, in
finding house room for the numerous settlers in the town. I was
surprised to find so large a number of cafés crowded at night by all
classes, and there is also a little theatre, where, in the absence of
regular performances, masked balls are frequently held. These are not of
the most edifying description, but the people will amuse themselves in
some way, and better this than political conspiracies, of which Rosario
has often been the scene.

As I have before said the port presents quite a busy appearance; but
there are no facilities in the way of wharves and landing places, which
would be a vast convenience to traffic, as everything has now to be done
by boats. Some gas works are in course of erection, on the river side,
but owing to bad foundations or want of care the chimney fell down and
only the skeleton walls appear. It will be a great blessing to the town
and suburbs when they are lighted with gas, as on dark nights
perambulation is difficult even with the aid of the miserable oil lamps
at present in use. There is an American Missionary Chapel near the
railway station, and recently the nucleus of an English Protestant
Congregation has been formed under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Combe,
appointed by the South American Missionary Society. Service is just now
performed in a room, but efforts are being made to build a chapel, as
the number of English residents continues to increase. Mr. Combe also
holds service at Frayle Muerto, where some sixty Englishmen reside on
farms within a few leagues of each other.

I had occasion to visit the Protestant burial ground at Rosario to
attend the funeral of a young Englishman who died under melancholy
circumstances, and was sorry to notice that it presented a very forlorn
aspect and was situated in a very inconvenient locality. Many interments
took place here during the cholera, which was very fatal to foreigners
as well as to the natives, who were decimated, and the works of the
railway were also retarded by this terrible scourge.

Before closing my notice of the railway, I may add that I had an
opportunity, through the kindness of Mr. Woods, the company's engineer,
of inspecting the plans of the new railway station, and of going over
the ground, which will be enclosed to the extent of 3,200 feet in
length, with a fine river frontage on the Parana, where there is a depth
of 18 to 20 feet of water close alongside. This will be a great facility
in dealing with the river traffic. As regards the materials for the use
of the line, they have all been landed on their own wharf and drawn up
an incline, as the bank on which the station stands is at a considerable
elevation above the river. Eventually, I believe, it is the intention of
the company to facilitate both their passenger and goods traffic by
means of landing wharves, which would be a great saving of expense and
time. One thing is very certain, that the Rosario station will be the
finest and most complete in South America.



                  THE WESTERN RAILWAY OF BUENOS AYRES.


I had a very pleasant excursion over the Western Railway as far as
Mercedes, in company with some friends. Mr. Emilio Castro, Government
Superintendent of the railways in the province of Buenos Ayres, to the
Government of which this line belongs, accompanied us, and he kindly
provided a very luxurious saloon carriage for the occasion. We left the
Parque station at 8 a.m., going over some curves of a formidable nature,
and along streets until we came to the company's goods station and
workshops. The latter are on a very extensive scale. After this we got
fairly on the main line, which is single, except at certain stations
where the trains cross each other. How any engineer could have been bold
enough to construct such curves, or the Government could allow
locomotives to run through the streets, it is difficult to conceive, as
there must always be much risk both to the train and to passengers.
There are also some heavy gradients before the goods station is reached,
which increases the danger, but people seem to have become familiarised
with it.

For the first twelve miles to Flores station the country presents a
succession of quintas, or country houses, many large and picturesque,
and Flores itself is quite a large and extensive town, though merely a
suburb of Buenos Ayres. The town is called San Jose de Flores, and near
it is a large Anglo-Argentine school, where the train stops. Flores
station is a very good one, capable of being doubled, with a peculiar
pattern of light ornamental roofing inside. In the summer season the
traffic to and from Flores is very considerable, and there is also a
large resident population. After leaving Flores, we got more into the
open campo, with plenty of cattle, sheep, and horses about, and numerous
farm buildings, until we reached Floreste station, close to which is a
large fanciful looking building, originally intended, I believe, for a
hotel, but it does not appear to have been successful as a speculation.
San Martin is an important station, diligences and carriages being in
attendance to convey people to the neighbouring villages of San Custo,
Santa Lucia, and San Martin, one of which was called Rozas' Saladero,
from the number of victims he is said to have sacrificed there at a
prison established for his political enemies. Near this station are some
fine, handsome quintas, belonging to the Madero family, the country
being well wooded, with many farms, and the same features are observable
as far as the Moron station, near which the battle of Caceres was
fought, which decided the fate of Rozas. There is a theatre close to
this station, and Moron is quite a large town, having grown up under the
influence of the railway. A public road runs in proximity to the line
for a distance of some fifteen miles, which is very objectionable, and
the rails might just as well have been laid a few squares apart from it.
After passing Moron we got more into the open campo, with large flocks
of sheep, droves of cattle, and horses feeding all around, until we
reached the ancient Spanish town of Merlo, which has a church, with a
little steeple very like that of a village church at home. There is a
nice looking two-storied house there, built by Mr. Boyd, planted with
trees, showing they will grow well enough if people will take the
trouble to plant them, and I understand Mr. Boyd was the first to
introduce the gum tree, which now flourishes in many gardens in the
neighbourhood. A branch line is shortly to be constructed from this
place to Lobos, some forty miles south-west, through, I am told, a very
rich part of the province, and from which district a large traffic is
expected. A river, called Las Conchas, runs near Merlo, crossed by an
iron bridge, the first I have seen on the line, there being only open
culverts where the line crosses streams or watercourses. The next
station we came to was Moreno, a new town built since the opening of the
line. Midway between Moreno and Lujan is a small station called General
Rodriguez. Lujan is one of the oldest towns in the province, a river of
that name running past it to the Parana, joining the little stream of
Tigre, the terminus of the Northern Railway, whence passenger steamers
go up to Rosario. There is a large station and warehouse at Lujan, where
a quantity of wheat was being loaded into carts, to be ground in a mill
called the “Mill of the Virgins,” a name which I conclude arises from an
anecdote recorded as to the formation of the town. A travelling
expedition, it would seem, while conveying an image of the Virgin, came
to a standstill here, nor could the animals be made to proceed until the
image was left on the spot. So it remained, and to this day it is a
place of great religious festivities; and express trains are run from
Buenos Ayres on these occasions. Whatever may be the real facts of the
case, the Lujan Mills grind good flour. The wheat is grown in Chivilcoy,
the present terminus of the Western line. It is small but hard. It was
to Lujan that General Beresford sent a detachment in 1807, when the
first attack was made on Buenos Ayres, arising out of the war with
Spain, and which was subsequently renewed under such disastrous
circumstances by General Whitelock. I merely make this allusion to show
that at that time it was a town of some importance. The little station
of Oliveres comes next, but is yet only in course of erection, in the
midst of an immense open campo, with large flocks of sheep and plenty of
cattle to be seen in all directions. A fine stream of water crosses this
part of the campo. The thistles, about which we hear so much, abound in
most parts of the campo, but the dry season has kept them down, and they
do not rise much above the surface, nor do they appear to prevent the
growth of grass suitable for sheep and cattle. No donkeys are seen in
this country to luxuriate on the abundance of thistles, and very few
mules, horses being generally used and very badly treated. Their dead
carcasses are frequently encountered, as when “used-up,” they are turned
adrift to die in the campo. A few miles further brought us to Mercedes,
a town of some 12,000 inhabitants, the terminus of the railway before it
was lately opened to Chivilcoy, an extension of forty miles, making a
total distance of 100 miles now open, and the number of stations denotes
the amount of traffic carried on by this railway, for which it has a
stock of 420 wagons and 20 locomotives, besides passenger cars, chiefly
the large American description.

The Western Railway was originally a small passenger line to San Jose de
Flores, but was afterwards continued and opened by sections, the point
for goods traffic only commencing at the great open square called the
11th of September, where the goods traffic in bullock carts has always
been carried on. A large number of bullock carts still find their way to
that market.

We remained at Mercedes to enjoy an excellent lunch provided for us by
the station master, who resides there with his family, as going on to
Chivilcoy would have entailed the loss of another day, and having to
sleep there with probably limited accommodation. The station at Mercedes
is a very fine one, with iron pillars and a corrugated roof, brought
from England; also a large roadside shed for the locomotives, workshops,
&c. The large area of ground occupied by the station must be with a view
to future requirements. Omnibuses and a diligence were waiting to convey
passengers to the town, which is near the station, and to distant
places. We did not go into the town, as it looked rather dusty and our
time was limited, having to return by a special train at 1.30.

We rode some distance back on the engine, making twenty-one miles in
thirty-five minutes over part of the campo, and reached the Parque
station at Buenos Ayres about five o'clock, or three and half hours for
a distance of about sixty miles; but we had to wait at two stations for
the up train to cross, besides calling at most of the other stations,
all of which involved a good deal of delay. The engines have to water
frequently, and there was a scarcity of coal, so they were obliged to
burn slack, mixed with cinders, causing some difficulty in keeping up
steam. It must be admitted that the Government have shown real energy
and determination in prosecuting this railway, which is of great benefit
to the Province, and I believe well managed, yielding a good return for
the capital invested. The rails used on this line are the Barlow, and
they are in very excellent condition after being down several years. The
line from Mercedes to Chivilcoy is laid with Griffin's rails, which I
understand are not so rigid as the Barlow. There is no wood suitable for
sleepers in this part of the country.

It is intended to carry on the line to the north end of Buenos Ayres,
and to build a wharf out to the river, thus enabling the company to land
and ship goods without passing through the city, which will be a great
convenience and save expense, besides the advantage of opening up
communications with the other railways by such a branch line. Eventually
there is to be a Central Station on the beach for all the railways, so
that goods and passengers can be conveyed from one to the other. As
already observed, a branch is to be made from the Merlo station to the
town of Lobos, and no doubt it will be carried further in that
direction, so as to develop the resources of the country. All this will
require time, and a large outlay of money, for which the Government is
not prepared now, but it is sure to be accomplished later on, with many
more urgent improvements required in this large and growing city.

We had a very fine day for our excursion, and enjoyed it much, thanks to
the kindness of Mr. Emilio Castro, who made ample provision for creature
comforts, and was exceedingly attentive. Mr. Allen, the engineer for the
line, was also of the party, and gave us much valuable information. He
has been many years out here, and with his brother, has worked his way
to an important and responsible position.

In the Appendix will be found a very interesting description of the
workshops of the Western Railway, which we extract from the columns of
the Buenos Ayres _Standard_, an influential paper extensively circulated
in the River Plate.



                      BUENOS AYRES.—SECOND NOTICE.


The more I look over this great city the more I am struck with its
increase, as well as the luxury by which it has been attended, evinced
in the style of building and in the large private establishments, some
of which are really on a princely scale.

Speaking of public buildings, I do not much admire the opera house,
called the Colon—it is badly formed and the decorations are too heavy.
The gas-lights are ugly, being plain jets instead of small gas
chandeliers. They give a very common-place look to the whole. The tiers
of boxes look too much like _boxes_, and ought to be light and open,
suited to the country. The entrances and corridors are also very rough
and nearly as bad as the unfinished theatre at San Paulo, though the
design of the latter is infinitely superior. On the other hand, the
secondary theatres are cheerful little places, and the new Music Hall,
built by private subscription, is a model for lightness and elegance. I
attended an amateur concert there, and was much pleased; some fifty
ladies and gentlemen forming the vocal strength, aided by a large
instrumental orchestra. It was a sight not often seen at home, where _la
mauvaise honte_ would prevent so agreeable a gathering. The large hall
was quite filled and the programme gone through most systematically. In
alluding to this building, I may remark that it is precisely of the same
dimensions as the new River Plate Bank, being by the same architect.
This Bank occupies a large corner area of one of the most central
streets in the city, and can vie in architectural effect with many of
the new buildings in Lombard-street, with the advantage of being much
better seen.

The churches have often been described, and the cathedral is now a
finished, handsome building, very well kept up both externally and
internally, and religious observances and masses are very frequent. The
Clubs of Buenos Ayres hold a conspicuous place in connection with
politics, and they occasionally afford opportunities for beauty and
fashion to meet at the balls held in them. The Progreso occupies the
first rank, the La Plata the second, and latterly a Club called Del
Parque has been established. I was up the country when the Progreso ball
was held, and missed the invitation, as well as that for the Temple, but
attended the ball of the La Plata, where 500 or 600 ladies and gentlemen
were collected; a very gay and cheerful meeting, where all appeared to
feel at home and enjoy themselves. South American society has the charm
of being free from the stiffness and formality which exists in
aristocratic society at home. The ladies, however, add great elegance of
dress to their personal graces, which are very considerable, and they
dance with great ease. With reference to the female population of Buenos
Ayres, the _fêtes_ held on the anniversary of Independence (25th of May)
present an excellent opportunity for seeing them to advantage out of
doors. The weather was fine, and the Plaza Victoria, as well as the
leading streets, was filled with well dressed ladies, particularly at
night to see the fireworks. The ladies go about very freely, those who
keep carriages, or can afford to hire them, generally driving a short
way out of town when they are not visiting their friends. Society in
Buenos Ayres is decidedly of the free and easy, friendly style, and
characterised by much hospitality. The democratic element in the
constitution naturally stirs up a good deal of political feeling, but I
do not find this to affect the private relations of life so much as
might be expected. Party spirit runs high, and the “young Republicans”
especially are very bitter towards those who differ from them; but of
late years political animosity has not been stained in the Argentine
Confederation with crimes such as those which have prevailed at Monte
Video. The continuance of the Paraguayan war and the Alliance with
Brazil have lately been the great bone of contention, and shows itself
on the eve of the election of a new president, on the result of which
the future peace of the country may more or less depend.

I looked over the Museum, where many fine antediluvian specimens found
in this country are preserved, together with a variety of curiosities in
natural history, animals, birds, &c, the whole being under the
superintendence of Dr. Burmeister, who is a very superior man, and I
believe remains there more from his love of natural history than for the
remuneration attached to the office. He has travelled much over the
South American Continent.

Numerous fine hospitals exist in Buenos Ayres, both native and foreign,
and the English one, which I visited in company with Mr. Boyd, chairman
of the committee, and the Rev. Mr. Ford, is a very good establishment,
well deserving of support by the British community and by our own
Government. The hospital was formerly an old quinta, and is beautifully
situated at the east end of the city, overlooking the river, the Boca,
Barracas, and the country round as far as the eye can reach. It has been
greatly enlarged, forming three sides of a square, the fourth comprising
a neat fever ward, run up last year for cholera patients, and it proved
of very great utility. The wards, on both the ground floor and upper
story, are kept very clean, and Dr. Reid, the medical attendant, resides
on the premises, having occupied his position for six years. The
building and ground are the property of the hospital and have much
increased in value, but the difficulty is in meeting the annual
expenses, which can only be done by voluntary subscriptions. What is
required to keep up the establishment properly is a small tonnage rate
on British ships, and inasmuch as sailors derive the chief benefit from
the hospital, I cannot see why this should not be done. The expenses
attendant on such an institution in a foreign country are considerable,
if it is to be kept in a state of efficiency. Formerly there was a
tonnage rate of this kind levied on British shipping, which may have led
to some abuse, and been done away with from some “ignorant impatience of
taxation,” but there is no valid reason why shipping should not
contribute to the support of hospitals, from which, as I have already
observed, it derives the greatest amount of benefit, and without which
sailors would be exposed to great hardships.

One of the disadvantages of the Spanish system of building their towns
and cities in square blocks is that it creates a sameness in the
streets, and narrows the approaches to them, leaving no scope for great
leading thoroughfares, so that there is a constant turning of corners,
and but for the names being pretty generally posted up it would be
difficult for strangers to find their way. In reply to inquiries as to
any particular house or locality, you are generally told that it is so
many squares off, so that taking the right bearing or departure you can
easily find out what you want. Then the houses are legibly numbered,
which, combined with their plan of municipal taxation, ought to render a
correct census easy, but there seems to be some strong objection to
“numbering the people,” which I cannot account for, and to this day no
one is able to tell you the population of Buenos Ayres with any
certainty; some calculations only giving 100,000, others 150,000, and
even as high as 200,000. I believe the last to be a great exaggeration;
probably the mean of 150,000 is nearest the mark. Again, the extension
of the city by squares leads to the closing up of places for which a
greater space should be left. As an instance, the English burial ground
was quite in the country when first made, but the city is fast
encroaching upon it, and notice has lately been given to have it
removed, against which a strong feeling exists, as the ground was
purchased, and is the property of foreigners; so the only plan to be
adopted, if any alteration is made at all, will be to close the ground
to future interments, the municipality giving a piece of land a mile or
two further out. This, again, has its inconveniences, as the streets
leading to the present burial ground are almost unapproachable in bad
weather, and beyond their limits it would be still more so. I visited
the English burial ground, which is pretty well kept up, but the huge
square family vaults are very unsightly, and will be rendered useless in
case the burial ground is removed to another quarter.

The great native burial place called Recoleta, adjoining a church of
that name, is full of monuments of all kinds, some on a most elaborate
and costly scale,—little temples, in fact, where the dead are laid on
shelves, visible through glass doors. The cholera visitation compelled
further addition to be made to the ground, which is in a very rough,
disordered state, where medical students would have full scope if they
were at a loss for subjects.

Altogether the municipal regulations of the city are very defective. An
effort is now being made to obtain an adequate supply of water, and some
works are in course of erection on the shore in the front of the
Recoleta, on the plan of Mr. Coghlan, an engineer, who has been long
resident at Buenos Ayres. The works will supply a number of fountains in
the city, but no project is yet on foot to carry the water into private
houses, which are supplied from their own patios, where there is
generally a well or large tank underground which collects the rain
water. A number of plans are before the Government for draining the
city, one of the most urgent and imperative of wants, and without which
it is impossible to maintain the public health. It is no wonder the
cholera has made such ravages, and every one dreads a revival of it, or
the appearance of some other scourge during the next hot season. These
mysterious visitations are warnings to large populations that they
cannot violate sanitary laws with impunity, and force lethargic
municipal bodies into action. No city could be more easily drained and
sewered than Buenos Ayres, but it requires a large outlay of money,
which the Government can ill afford at present; and I believe the
municipal and provincial taxes are already at their maximum.

House rent is very high, and with the exception of meat, all the
necessaries are dear. Luxuries are especially high priced. One is
forcibly reminded of our old watchmen by the prevailing practice in
South America of having what they call serenos, who go round calling the
hour, some of them with most sepulchral voices, and they are about as
useful as our “Charlies” were, only they are armed with a sword, and
apt, I believe, at times to resort to it very improperly. In other
respects the system of police appears to be pretty good, and considering
the mixed and heterogenous population, with many bad characters about,
there are less disturbances in Buenos Ayres than I expected, though, as
a matter of course, many complaints are made as to the deficiency of
police regulations. I was about the streets and suburbs of the city at
various hours of the night and never met with the least molestation.

The city is well lighted with gas, only it is stated that the present
works are inadequate to the supply, and another company is about to be
formed. The charge for gas is extravagant; I am told about 24s. per
thousand feet, and as a matter of course the shares are at a very high
premium.

One of the most thriving occupations in the city appears to be the hire
of carriages and horses. There are numerous large establishments of this
kind as well as for the building of carriages; the latter as a rule are
handsome and commodious. There are regular stands in the open squares,
and cars are in attendance at the railway stations. For some time I
could not make out what a great clatter of horses coming through the
city about daylight meant; it sounded like a troop of cavalry, but I
afterwards found it was the hired horses going to water at the river;
indeed, horses are almost amphibious here in consequence of doing so
much work in the river carts, and one day I saw an omnibus brought down
on the shore to be washed and cleaned, rather a novel performance.

River storms are not of common occurrence, but they occasionally take
place with great violence. It had been hot and oppressive before, but it
came on to blow heavily on Sunday night, and next morning the river had
risen some 12 feet, the waves dashing on the beach in a most alarming
manner, and the whole of the low ground between the city and the Boca
was under water, with part of the Boca Railway washed away, as well as a
portion of the Northern line, interrupting, of course, the traffic on
both. It was a curious sight to see the waves dashing through the willow
trees which are planted along the shore, and for a time suspending
washing operations. Many houses on the low ground were invaded, and the
wooden ones built along the Boca, on piles, looked like great bathing
machines. The iron seats placed on the shore beneath the willows were
knocked over and covered with seaweed. The storm lasted two or three
days, during which no communication could be had with vessels either in
the inner or outer roads, and steamers were compelled to run for the
Tigre to land their passengers; also lighters with cargo—the whole
forming a scene of much excitement and putting an entire stop to
business. It delayed the departure of our steamer several days. After
the gale subsided we had some fine sunny days, and the river fell as
rapidly as it had risen. This gale was not what is termed a pampero,
being from the south-east, beating on the shore. A pampero frequently
follows after it from the south-west, or off the shore, causing the
river to fall again.

The changes of climate here are sudden and said to be unhealthy. During
the two months I was in the river until the occurrence of the gale
nothing could be more delicious than the weather—cool, with bright
sunshine and any amount of exercise agreeable. The nights were
occasionally frosty, with ice in the mornings in some places. Dust
storms are terrible things during the summer, but happily are rare, and
generally the forerunners of a pampero, accompanied by heavy rain, which
refreshes the thirsty soil. Droughts are serious afflictions to the
sheep and cattle, which often perish from their effects. Water is the
great desideratum for the campo, and without it the prospects of the
estanciero are blighted. As I have said before, the Banda Oriental is
less subject to drought, being more undulated and better watered, but
the pampas, or plains of Buenos Ayres, grow a more nutritive grass and
rear finer sheep and cattle.

During my stay at Buenos Ayres the Provincial Chambers met, as well as
the National Chambers, and I attended a sitting of the latter, where an
unusual excitement prevailed owing to a motion put on the books as to
the retirement of President Mitre from office, and whether or not this
would put an end to the alliance entered into for carrying on the war
with Paraguay. The building is small, exactly like a theatre minus the
stage, and was crowded to excess by strangers, the pit, or lower part
only, being used for the business of the Senate. There was so much
demonstration from the galleries as to promise a stormy meeting, but
when the speeches began the speakers were patiently listened to, with
occasional cheers by their respective supporters, at which the President
rang his bell. Dr. Quintana and others maintained that their views were
correct, and that the retirement of President Mitre would put an end to
the alliance. The Government, represented by Senor Elizalde, Minister
for Foreign Affairs, maintained the contrary, and defended his
colleagues with considerable acumen and ability, the result being that
nothing was got by the motion and things remained in _statu quo_. The
custom is for members to speak sitting upon their benches, which greatly
detracts from their oratory, and must be very inconvenient, as you can
only hear a voice, and are puzzled sometimes to know where it comes
from. On another occasion, when the Senate was in committee with
explanations going on, half-a-dozen members would be addressing or
interrogating the Minister at the same time, which appeared very absurd,
as well as unfair, it being impossible to reply to more than one at a
time, or at all events to collect the observations of half-a-dozen
members speaking in the same breath. Senor Elizalde, however, defended
his position with much coolness and ability, and was assisted by his
colleague, Dr. Costa, Minister for Education, &c. The audience became so
troublesome on another occasion that the Senators decided to meet with
closed doors, having only reporters present, rather a trial to
democratic forbearance, but it did not seem to produce any sensation out
of doors. As in our own Parliament, a great loss of time is caused by
the professional speech makers, and the business of legislation retarded
accordingly, as they only sit in the day in these countries. Whether or
not such an arrangement would suit in St. Stephen's is another matter.
Outside, and apart from public sittings, no doubt a deal of intrigue and
jobbery takes place in South American assemblies, as in other countries,
but I think on the whole their legislation is fair and conducted with
moderation. There is not the same value in “loaves and fishes” to
operate with, nor the same amount of honour and reward to look forward
to as in England; besides, the members of Government out here are very
poorly paid, so they are obliged to look to their professions, mostly as
lawyers, unless they happen to possess private fortunes. Republicanism
is not endowed with more gratitude than Royalty, and deserving men who
have faithfully and zealously served their country are too often left in
the “cold shade,” and forgotten in both cases. The Provincial Assembly
meet in another part of the city, where all the provincial business is
carried on. It was formerly the town residence and head-quarters of
Rozas, from which many a bloody mandate has been issued. The
municipality occupy large premises in the Plaza, attached to the old
Spanish cabildo, or prison, on which the date of 1722 is still to be
seen.



               PROGRESS OF STEAM NAVIGATION ON LA PLATA.


If there is one subject more than another on which I am entitled to
express an opinion it is that of steam navigation on the great South
American rivers, and especially as regards the fluvial waters of the La
Plata. In my book, published in 1854, pages 314 to 316, occur the
following remarks:—

  These are sentiments, however, which the reader may naturally think
  are not very pertinent to a purpose like the present, and not
  exactly in keeping with an occasion expressly connected with the
  commercial opening-up of those streams by the instrumentality of
  English enterprise, in a form so indicative of progress as steam.
  So, too, thought the writer after a moment's rumination of the “cud
  of sweet and bitter fancy;” for he reflected that these magnificent
  regions, first discovered by Cabot—English, born and bred, though of
  Venetian parentage—had stagnated, not under the rule of that “good
  olde and famuse man,” but under the rule of those in whose service
  he had found out a river which might, indeed, have proved worthy of
  the name the avaricious Spaniards had bestowed upon it—La Plata, the
  River of Silver—had they been imbued with a particle of the spirit
  which has converted “icy Labrador,” the first territory discovered
  by the same glorious adventurer, into a comparatively industrial
  paradise. I augured, I hope with no unjustifiable audacity, that now
  the descendants of Cabot and of his companions had been brought into
  direct relationship with the people of the Parana, something would
  be done to render that “Mississippi of the South” not altogether
  unworthy of some slight social and political comparison with the
  Northern “Father of Waters” before many generations should roll by;
  and I deemed it a not altogether impossible contingency that the
  younger members of our crew might live to cast anchor in certain
  riverine ports hereabouts, amid a forest of masts and funnels
  belonging to all the maritime states in the world, not one of which
  countries but may find produce of some kind or other profitably
  suitable to its markets on these fertile shores.

I will leave it to my readers, acquainted with what is going on at the
present time, to say whether my views were too sanguine. It may be said
that the war in Paraguay has hastened the development of steam
navigation up the rivers, which is true enough, but at the same time I
am satisfied that without this war there would have been steady
progress, particularly had the policy of the despotic ruler of Paraguay
been in a pacific direction, encouraging, instead of throwing every
difficulty in the way of free transit to the country lying beyond
Paraguay, and into the interior of Matto Grosso. The exigences of a war
of the nature carried on for the last three years, where the troops,
ammunition, and supplies of all kinds had to be sent forward by steam,
would naturally create active employment for steamers, and it has tended
to familiarise navigators with every nook and corner, sand bank, or
other impediment that may have existed unknown to any of them. The war
at an end, steamers will be organised to run to the different towns and
stations, in response to the requirements of traffic, as well as to
facilitate postal communications, so much needed in those countries; and
Rosario, being the terminus of the great Central Railway, must of
necessity become the rendezvous of all river steamers ascending the
Parana, the Uruguay having already a pretty good organisation in this
respect. In a country so widespread, and so dependent on internal
communication by rivers, steam is now a primary necessity, and therefore
it may fairly be assumed that this will be one of the first objects of
the Government, as well as of the Central Argentine Railway Company; the
latter to facilitate traffic to and from their line, and to regulate the
departure of their trains, a matter of much moment to travellers. It may
in truth be said that steam navigation on the waters of La Plata and its
affluents is only in its infancy, dating from the commencement of the
Paraguayan war. One of the great requirements of civilised life is rapid
intercourse, not only for persons, but for correspondence, and the task
of arranging the latter is one that must be strongly pressed on the
Government by commercial bodies, who are so much interested in the
question. Brazil sets an example in this respect that other Governments
ought to follow. In process of time telegraphic wires will doubtless be
added to steam facilities, and probably be carried across the Andes to
join the West Coast line to Panama, in connection with the great
Atlantic cable to England.

When I remember the sensation created by the little “Argentina,” and her
trip to Rosario in 1853, I must say the progress of events has indeed
been rapid. To this day the “Argentina” is remembered at Buenos Ayres
and Monte Video, and her subsequent loss was regarded as a serious
calamity.

I subjoin in the Appendix some particulars showing the increase of steam
tonnage in these waters, which will be interesting to those who
contemplate visiting the regions of the La Plata.

In connection with the up-river steam traffic, the Northern Railway to
the Tigre is a great facility, as passengers can walk on board the
steamers without encountering the often disagreeable boating at Buenos
Ayres, and the passage through what is called the Capitan is very
pleasant, but if the railway was extended a few hundred yards further,
to the bank of the River Lujan, it would be far more convenient as large
sized steamers would then resort there, as also vessels with cargo for
Buenos Ayres to be sent on by rail. The Tigre is so small and so shallow
that a few steamers block it up, but the Lujan is wide and deep, and it
might be made a valuable adjunct to the port of Buenos Ayres, at present
suffering so much for want of accommodation. In my general report on the
railways this subject will be again alluded to.



                      RAILWAYS IN THE RIVER PLATE.


There are two classes of railways in the Argentine Confederation,
inaugurated by Provincial and the National Governments respectively. I
will begin with the Province of Buenos Ayres, as the railroad system has
there acquired the greatest development. The first line established was
the Western, which has now reached the town of Chivilcoy, a distance of
100 miles from the city, and it is proposed to effect a further
extension to the frontier fort of Melincue. I need not repeat here the
details already given in reference to this enterprise.

Next in importance comes the Great Southern Railway, seventy-one miles
in length, which was made by an English Company, under a Government
guarantee of 7 per cent. on £700,000, but the capital actually raised
was £750,000, the contractors taking £50,000 in unguaranteed stock on
certain conditions as to their participation in dividend. The
expenditure has been further increased to nearly £800,000, owing to
additional disbursements for goods stations and for increased rolling
stock. The line was opened throughout in Dec. 1865, and the traffic has
gone on steadily augmenting with improved receipts, the result of the
first year showing a net profit of nearly three per cent.; the second
year a fraction over five per cent.; and the present year promises fair
to reach the seven per cent. guaranteed by the Government, when it will
be self-sustaining and free of all the drawbacks necessarily incidental
to a condition of dependence on State aid. This enterprise has a
prosperous future before it. The great question which remains to be
decided has relation to an extension of the line further south, or in a
south-westerly direction, so as to intercept the large amount of traffic
which still comes forward by the ordinary bullock carts. One
disadvantage of the Southern Railway consists in its chief station at
the Plaza Constitucion being so far from the central points of the city,
which are only partially reached by a tramway, but this ought to be
extended, and even then it will be difficult to meet the requirements of
passenger traffic. The following particulars are taken from a private
letter sent home after a very pleasant trip over the line, accompanied
by the Local Committee and Manager:—

  My first step after arrival here was to visit all the Railway
  Stations, as they are generally a pretty good index of what is
  behind them, and I found the Great Southern far in advance of all
  the others as regards provision for the traffic it has to carry on.
  The money which has been spent in shed accommodation was only an
  absolute necessity, and is of that practical character which quite
  meets the case. The single-roofed shed into which the wool is
  discharged from the railway trucks on one side, and taken out from
  the other, is most convenient, and to look at the sheds, which are
  divided into compartments, and all numbered, you might fancy
  yourself at one of the warehouses of the London Docks, with which
  you are familiar. The booking offices, refreshment rooms, &c.,
  occupy the centre of the station, with the platform in front for
  passengers; the warehouses occupying the two wings. There is also a
  goods receiving shed, with stabling for horses used on the tramway.
  The only thing I see in the distance is that more station room will
  be required. Leaving the station by a double line of rails, you soon
  cross the handsome bridge over the Riachuelo and arrive at Barracas
  station, situated near the centre of a large population, and
  connected with the Boca, where a large portion of the business of
  the port of Buenos Ayres is carried on, the place being studded with
  saladeros and large warehouses, where the produce of the country is
  deposited, a great drawback being the abominable stench arising from
  dead carcasses and offal strewed about, and nests of piggeries which
  are allowed to locate spite of all municipal regulations to the
  contrary. After leaving Barracas the line strikes at once into the
  campo, or open country, the first ten or fifteen miles being studded
  with quintas or farms, and establishments of one kind or other, when
  you reach the great plains covered with sheep, cattle, and horses,
  and at this time the pastures look green and healthy, though at the
  same time they could do with rain. The line is nearly a dead level
  with few curves, the stations well built and commodious, and of a
  very durable nature, easily added to if required; in fact, I do not
  see how a railway in this country could be better adapted for its
  work; the rails, permanent way, as well as the rolling stock, all
  appear to be in good order. Although the line may be said to
  traverse a sea of land, and does not pass close to any town of
  importance until it reaches Chascomus, there were many more
  estancias (farms) in the distance than I expected to find. We saw
  Mr. Glew and Mr. Donsellear (after whom two stations are called) in
  _propria persona_. The Somborambon bridge, crossing a river of that
  name, is a fine work, and at the Chascomus station are evident signs
  of considerable traffic, with machinery for hoisting the bullock
  carts on to the railway trucks after their wheels are taken off, and
  the cart with its contents (wheels included,) brought into Buenos
  Ayres. Chascomus itself is a large straggling town, situated close
  to a picturesque lake, on the banks of which Mr. Crawford (agent for
  Messrs. Peto and Betts during the construction of the line) built
  himself a large comfortable house, now converted into an hotel, at
  which we enjoyed a very good dinner. During the career of Rozas
  Chascomus was a military station, and many people from the
  neighbouring districts came to spend some months of the year at the
  town, but its glory in this way has departed, and it does not look
  like a very go-a-head place at present. On the whole I returned much
  impressed with the soundness of the undertaking and the favourable
  prospect before it.

The Northern Railway, originally called the San Fernando, has been very
unfortunate from its birth, arising in a great measure from its being
made on a strip of land adjoining the river, where it was subject to
inundations in consequence of sea storms. Had it been carried over the
bank, within a few hundred yards to the left, it would have been
entirely out of the reach of such casualties, an instance of which
occurred a few days before I left Buenos Ayres, when a portion of the
earthworks was again washed away. Soon after my arrival out I made a
trip over the line, accompanied by Mr. Crabtree, the new manager, Mr.
Ford, locomotive superintendent and engineer, Mr. Santa Maria,
consulting local director, and Mr. Horrocks, the traffic manager. The
station at the Retiro is a plain, modest building, which answers the
purpose well enough, though rather open and exposed. The locomotives and
carriages are in limited number, but sufficient apparently for existing
wants, as the large American carriages hold many passengers. A tramway
from the most central point in the city, passing along the beach,
carries the passengers to and from the station in a much more convenient
manner than to any of the other railways, and there can be little doubt
that if the line could be rendered safe from the encroachments of the
river on the occasion of great storms, fortunately “few and far
between,” it would be a very prosperous enterprise, as it affords
accommodation for the most populous suburb of the city. It also touches
a branch of the river where a large portion of the steam traffic is
likely to be concentrated. I found the rails in tolerable order, and
altogether more life in the concern than I had expected, considering the
drawbacks, financial and otherwise, with which it has had to contend.
The first station is Palermo, the old paradise of Rozas, but which is
now allowed to go to ruin and decay, the beach from the Retiro to
Palermo being almost entirely monopolised by what has been termed “an
army of washerwomen.” The next station is Belgrano, where Mr. Matti, the
great steamboat agent, has a most fantastic quinta, glittering in green
and yellow colours, but of what style of architecture it would be
difficult to determine; nevertheless it is a pretty place, and evidently
no expense is spared to keep it in order. It is, however, too close to
the railway. Directly opposite is the hotel of Mr. Watson, where I can
testify to a first rate dinner being provided for those who want a
little relief from the closeness and monotony of the city. After
Belgrano comes San Isidro, near which are also many handsome quintas.
There are two or three other stations before arriving at San Fernando,
about which there is a large, scattered population. Here a new branch is
being made to the Parana, by a small company of which Mr. Hopkins is the
head; the intention being to build a new wharf and some warehouses
there; but I question whether the enterprise will ever arrive at
maturity, as the most natural point for the construction of such works
is undoubtedly the mouth of the Rio Tigre, on the Lujan River, as I have
previously observed. At the latter place we found some dozen steamers,
chiefly of large size, lying moored alongside the banks where there is
deep water. At the Tigre station is a good restaurant, kept by a
Frenchman, who provided us with a comfortable breakfast, and after two
or three hours spent in a boat looking about the river, and rambling
over the neighbourhood, we returned to Buenos Ayres much pleased with
our trip.

The Boca Railway is a small line, made to connect the city with the
important districts of the Boca and Barracas. It was laid on the beach,
and is not unfrequently partially washed away by the river storms. The
Boca is quite a little port on the banks of the Riachuelo, where
lighters discharge and load, and where small craft are also built.
Amongst other establishments there is that of the Messrs. Casares, the
largest lightermen in the place, which is at all times very busy and
generally crowded. A branch of the railway goes on towards Barracas,
where an old wooden bridge crosses the stream, rendered exceedingly
filthy by the refuse of the saladeros finding its way into the water.
The effluvia arising from this cause are of a very offensive nature.
Attempts, however, are being made to cleanse and deepen this valuable
river, but the slow pace at which improvements are carried on here will
probably postpone the event to a future generation. Most of the houses
about the Boca are of wood, and are built on piles to avoid danger from
floods, but there are also many large stone edifices in which produce is
stored. A few days before I left a river storm laid nearly the whole
locality under water, destroying a portion of the railway, and of course
stopping the traffic. The replacing of the rails is not, I understand, a
very formidable undertaking. The whole line, which is only three or four
miles in length, including the branch to Barracas, ought to have been
built on piles or led through an iron viaduct, so as to be out of the
reach of the floods; and under existing circumstances, not to speak of
the cost of repairing the permanent way, the traffic is interrupted at
the very time it would be of the greatest utility. The original plan,
and that for which the concession was obtained, was to connect the Boca
and Barracas with the city, running a branch to Ensenada, where it was
proposed to form a new port; but this part of the scheme is still in
embryo. Where the line is really of utility and would carry a large
traffic is from the Custom-house to the Boca, and across the bridge
higher up to Barracas, where the Government are making a large swing
iron bridge to replace the old dilapidated wooden one now in use. An
iron viaduct is about being laid to connect the Boca Railway with the
Custom-house. If properly constructed the Boca Railway would command the
whole traffic of this district, and direct communication might be
established with the Northern and Southern Railways; but a large
additional capital is required before this scheme can be realised. The
bulk of the Boca traffic is carried on by carts, under great
disadvantages and at a heavy expense; and it is a painful sight to see
the poor horses struggling through the mud, or toiling under the lash up
the steep, miserably paved streets which connect the beach with the
warehouses and depôts at the southern end of the city. In fact
everything in the way of locomotion is carried on under great
difficulties, and the detention of shipping in the outer roads is a
serious matter. When the river is low, the beach is covered with carts
galloping backwards and forwards, bringing cargo from the lighters or
taking produce to them—the horses up to their girths in water and
sometimes swimming. Many of the carts have a hollow bottom made water
tight to prevent damage to the goods; and at times, when there is not
water for boats to the mole, passengers have still to embark or
disembark in carts, as was the case when I last visited Buenos Ayres.
Both this mole and that to the Custom-house, for which the latter is
exclusively used, have been built since that time; but to show the great
want of accommodation which still exists to carry on the trade of the
port, there are upwards of 300 custom-house depôts in different parts of
the city besides the Custom-house itself, and at the north end a large
market is being converted into a depôt; in fact the trade of the port
has entirely outgrown the facilities for its reception, the whole, as at
Monte Video, being in a great state of confusion.

On the subject of railways generally in the Argentine Confederation
there cannot be a second opinion that it is through their
instrumentality the future development of the country must be looked
for; and it is to the credit of General Mitre that so much has been done
during his presidency, especially the great work of the Central
Argentine Railway, which more than any other measure must tend to link
together the provinces of the Confederation and strengthen their union.
So soon as the line is open to Cordova the communication with the
western provinces will be speedy, and produce will find its way to that
city as a central point, thence to be brought down to Rosario, Buenos
Ayres, or Monte Video, comparatively at great saving of time and
expense. At present the cost of transit absorbs a large part of the
total value, the effect of which has been to discourage any notable
increase of production beyond the necessities of local consumption. The
railway will in addition afford a more easy mode of locomotion, and will
greatly promote intercourse, while emigrants can be at once conveyed to
distant places where their services are required. On every ground,
therefore, the promotion and extension of railways is the first duty of
President Mitre's successor, and it is to be hoped Senor Sarmiento will
not be remiss in this respect. At all events, the way has been paved and
a good example set. The only other railway to notice, and which I had
not an opportunity of seeing, is a small one from Puerto Raiz, on the
Parana, to Galaguay, a distance of about six miles, which was
constructed by Mr. Coghlan for a sum of £20,000, or about £3,380 per
mile. I believe it is very useful and returns a fair percentage on the
outlay.



                         EMIGRATION TO BRAZIL.


Both the Government and the people of Brazil feel the necessity and the
value of promoting immigration to the fullest extent. Experiments have
been tried, and small colonies of Europeans founded in some of the
southern provinces, all of which have been more or less successful.

In my account of the Province of San Paulo I have alluded to the
settlement of Germans on the coffee plantations of Senhor Vergueiro, and
to the desire of other large owners of property to follow his example. I
also instanced the case of a little colony of Germans at Juiz de Fora,
in the Province of Rio de Janeiro, which I had an opportunity of seeing,
and there are besides in the same province other colonies on a larger
scale. Various efforts have been made by individuals in other parts of
the Empire to introduce foreign labour.

Slave labour is of course an impediment to the more general influx of
Europeans, but where lands are set apart and arrangements made for the
location of colonists there is no reason why the latter should not
succeed, and form the nucleus of a large future population. The
assistance and pecuniary co-operation of Government is of course
required to effect any decided progress in this direction; and
considering that every labourer brought into the country contributes to
the national revenue, as well as to national production, the primary
expense of passage money is soon repaid.

Many of the high table-lands of Brazil are admirably adapted to
agricultural purposes, the climate, owing to elevation, being also
favourable to European settlement. Enormous tracts of such land are at
the disposal of the Executive, but it needs some outlay in order to
prepare the way for emigrants, as they cannot be expected to pioneer as
in the case of the United States, on account of their ignorance of the
language and the difficulty of access from the port of debarkation.

The time is fast approaching when slavery must cease to exist in Brazil;
and it behoves the Government to anticipate this event by the
introduction of free labour. It is morally certain that the negroes,
even if they settle down under their new condition, will not labour so
constantly as when in a state of servitude. The Government ought,
therefore, I repeat, to adapt itself to the exigences of its position,
and encourage by every means the accession of European agricultural
labourers of a suitable class. Large landowners, whose estates are now
only partially worked, might devote a portion of them for new comers,
and, in connection with the Central and Provincial Governments, attain
the desired end. Financial difficulties, caused by the long war with
Paraguay, may be pleaded as an excuse for neglecting this great
question, but the very drain that has thus taken place of men and money
only renders the case more pressing. I believe the Emperor entertains
the most enlightened and practical views, both as regards doing away
with slave labour and replacing it by the introduction of emigrants; but
the trammels of a war expenditure, and the degree of attention the
struggle demands on the part of the Ministers, prevent their
inauguration of measures which all must see are inevitable, if the
Empire is to prosper as heretofore.

In our own colonies the Colonial Governments have naturally been the
chief promoters of emigration, from exercising, as they do, full control
over their own revenues and over public lands; but in Brazil the impetus
must first come from the action of the Central Government, which
receives and distributes the provincial revenues after payment of
provincial expenditure.

In the southern provinces of Brazil the cultivation of coffee and cotton
offers the greatest scope for European labour, and the Province of San
Paulo alone is capable of wonderful development as respects the growth
of these two important articles if only proper means are adopted to
provide augmented manual power.

The northern provinces present greater difficulties, from the nature of
the climate, which is more adapted to a people like the Chinese than to
Europeans. There is, however, an objection to this industrious race in
consequence of their desire to return home when they have accumulated a
little money. A further introduction of the African race as free
labourers would be very advantageous. Though this might be a great gain
to the negroes themselves, whose lives in their own country are at the
mercy of such wretches as the sable King of Dahomy, philanthropists
object to the removal of Africans from their native soil on any grounds,
entirely ignoring the miserable existence they lead there and the
barbarities to which they are subjected. But let slavery be once
abolished in Brazil, and there could be no objection that I can see to
their settlement in those provinces where their labour would be most
useful, say from the River Amazon down to the Province of Bahia. This,
however, is only a casual remark, and does not come within the scope of
my present inquiry, namely, as to the best mode of introducing European
labour into Brazil. As I have already pointed out to the Government, the
passage money of emigrants must be paid, or advanced, the selection of
them must be carefully attended to, and on reaching Brazil they should
be sent on immediately to their ultimate destination, where suitable
accommodation should also be provided against their arrival. Every
necessary arrangement can easily be made if the Government and landed
proprietors would take some trouble and show their practical earnestness
in the matter.

There is an Emigrants' Home, or temporary abode in Rio de Janeiro, where
proper attention is paid to them, and an officer (Dr. Galvao) is
especially appointed by Government to look after this department. I
quite intended to have visited this establishment, but was unable to do
so. I had, however, a conversation with Dr. Galvao on the subject of
emigration generally.



                     EMIGRATION TO THE RIVER PLATE.


No country in South America is more favourably placed, or presents a
greater field for European labour than the River Plate, notwithstanding
the drawbacks which have to some extent retarded its progress and
injured its character. It has an advantage over Brazil in the absence of
slavery, and is of a milder climate, though it is very hot during the
summer months, as I experienced when at Monte Video, in January last, at
which time the cholera was at its height.

A friend, who has resided in Buenos Ayres for two or three years,
chiefly out in the campo, has thus recorded his experience of the
average temperature:—

               20 Days  very cold     45 to 55  deg. Fah.
              182 Days  moderate      55 to 75  deg. Fah.
               60 Days  warm          75 to 88  deg. Fah.
               45 Days  hot           80 to 85  deg. Fah.
               58 Days  intensely hot 85 to 105 deg. Fah.
              ———
              365 Days.

The thermometer, in exposed places, reaches 110 Fah. in the shade, but
such cases are very exceptional.

He also adds as follows some very useful remarks as to clothing:

  Flannel shirts are best; woollen drawers should also be used

  For working, clothes of such colour as will not show the dust are
    best.

  The thickness of the clothes for summer wearing may be very much the
    same as would suit in England during hot summer weather; they
    should be waterproofed before being made up.

  Indiarubber coats, although very useful in winter, are ruined in hot
    weather, and stick together and tear, so as to be useless.

  Good English boots are not to be had, and are therefore very useful.

As to food he says:—

  Be careful about eating and drinking, especially when newly landed,
    and avoid as much as possible unnecessary exposure to the sun.

  Fruit should not be taken in quantities at first. Peaches are said
    to be the best and most wholesome.

I may add from my own experience that where it is intended to frequent
the campo a pair of good riding boots are very necessary, and a rough
pea jacket would be a very good companion in winter. In town cloth
cloaks are much worn, and in the campo chiefly _ponchos_.

The boundless tracts of open country are in a great measure occupied by
sheep and cattle, and do not require much of the labour of man; but
sheep farming having been carried to a large extent, the price of wool
has much depreciated, and sheep can be bought very cheap. In
consequence, agriculture is now much more attended to and will require
labour. Good wheat can be grown in most of the Argentine Provinces, and
now forms a staple commodity, which may be increased to almost any
extent where railways afford the means of easy transport, and so soon as
there are sufficient labourers to cultivate the soil. Indeed, there is
no reason why wheat, as well as Indian corn, should not be largely
exported, and I believe this will be the case in a very few years. Wheat
crops are liable to injury from drought, but the price obtained for the
product is a very remunerative one, and it is not subject to losses by
depreciation as frequently occurs with sheep and cattle.

Foreign settlers in distant provinces have of late been much damaged by
Indian raids, to prevent which the Government has done very little,
owing to the drain of soldiers for the war and to internal discord, but
this plague is merely a temporary one, and nothing would tend more to
remove the evil than a large increase of population, of which the
country stands greatly in need.

Emigration, at present, goes on to a limited extent, but chiefly of the
class suitable for cities and towns, and not for an agricultural or
country life. Several colonies, founded under arrangements with the
Provincial Governments of Santa Fé and Entre Rios, are prospering, and
those in the fine Province of Cordova will also do well when the
National Government is able to repel Indian inroads and protect the
settlers. Many young Englishmen have settled in Cordova during the last
four years, with more or less capital, and have bought land,
particularly near the line of the Central Argentine Railway, naturally
looking to Government for protection, which unhappily has not been
effectively extended. In many cases their stock has been carried off by
the savages, and their prospects seriously injured. They are now turning
their attention to agriculture, and I have every reason to think they
will be successful.

Numbers of young men have come out to the Plate with little or no
resources, expecting to find employment on sheep farms, and failing
this, have fallen into bad habits, often wandering about the country and
undergoing great hardships and misery. To do any good in such a country
steadiness of character is the most essential quality, nor is it at all
safe to trust to the chapter of accidents. It is only by well organised
arrangements, and great perseverance, that new comers can expect to
overcome the difficulties attending their settlement in a new country,
the very extent of which is a disadvantage until such time as the influx
of population and the formation of communities do away with these
inconveniences.

The Chilian Government have lately made a contract with a Hamburg house
for sending to the port of Lota Swiss, Tyrolese, and German emigrants,
on a principle that may be adopted with benefit in relation to the River
Plate. The emigrants must be provided with good characters, viséd by the
Chilian Consul at Hamburg, and on their arrival at Lota they are to be
sent on to Arauco by the Government, and placed in possession of their
land, according to the terms of the Chilian law lately published. The
colonists are to be furnished with between-deck passages, and they will
be allowed one ton of measurement for every adult, and half a ton for
each person under 12 years, and they are to be treated on board in
conformity with the Hanover Passenger Act. The Government also agree to
pay 40 dollars (£8) for the passage of each adult, and 20 dollars for
each child under 12 years of age. The contract is to last for four
years, and if the scheme should meet with favour in Germany, the
Government agree to contract for 100 families for the first year, 150
for the second, 200 for the third, and 300 for the fourth year, with
liberty to the contractors to exceed these numbers to the extent of 25
per cent. It appears to me questionable whether the contractors can
afford to take emigrants that distance for £8 passage money, but
probably the nature of the land concession is an inducement to families
possessing some means to augment this sum, in which case it becomes a
scheme of assisted passages on terms arranged between the emigrants and
contractors. It is, however, a step in the right direction, which other
Governments will do well to follow.

At Monte Video there is an Emigrant Office under the management of a
respectable committee, where every information is afforded as to
employment, but there is no Home or Asylum. At Buenos Ayres there is a
miserable building on the ground floor, called an Asylum, where
emigrants are allowed to remain four days. It seems to have been
formerly a large stable, and is indeed more fit for horses than human
beings. It wants both ventilation and cleanliness, the latter at all
events easy to provide, but, considering the vast importance of
emigration to the country, a more appropriate place might be maintained
at very moderate cost. It is not necessary, nor desirable, that
emigrants should on landing find themselves so comfortable as to care
little about removing, but there is a medium between this and the dirty
place open to them at present. Of course the sooner the emigrants are
sent off to the locality where their labour is required the better.

If ever there was a time when sheep farming ought to offer advantages to
new comers it is the present, when the value of sheep has fallen so low
that land may be stocked for a very small sum as contrasted with former
years, and land itself can be bought or rented at considerably less than
formerly. This has inflicted great loss upon the older residents; indeed
the result has been sometimes so disastrous that sheep farmers here and
there are giving it up altogether, and others putting as much of their
land as possible under tillage. Everything is therefore in favor of new
settlers who may choose to try their fortunes in this particular line,
only they must make up their minds to rough it for a few years, and be
content with a life in the campo.

The consumption of an article like wool can never be subject to any
lengthened depression, and with railway facilities there will be
increased means for utilising the carcasses of sheep, by boiling down,
or otherwise disposing of them. On the other hand, in the ordinary
course of things, more land will be put under cultivation, and
agriculture as well as sheep farming is destined to play an important
part in the commercial history of the River Plate.

As I have already remarked, the want of population is the great drawback
under which this country now suffers, and is an impediment to progress
in every way. This can only be remedied by emigration receiving the
direct aid as well as the encouragement of Government. It is not
sufficient that a few stray people find their way up the country, but
centres of population and labour should be formed in the most productive
parts of every province, which would lead to agricultural progress, and
eventually to the formation of new towns and cities. The mere extension
of existing cities will never bring solid wealth to the Argentine
Confederation, nor develop political stability.



                          RAILWAYS IN BRAZIL.


Unfortunately the promoters of railway enterprises in Brazil, entered
into with British capital, have looked more to the guaranteed interest
offered by the Government upon the money to be expended than to
legitimate sources of traffic, out of which a dividend might be earned.
All the Brazilian Railways, with the exception of the little Mauá, at
Rio de Janeiro, and to which reference is made in my former book, have
been created since 1853, the first in order and time being the Recife,
or Pernambuco, about which there has been so much controversy between
the Company and the Government. Before submitting any comments of my
own, I will quote the following from the report lately issued by the
Minister of Public Works, Senhor Dantas, upon this and the other lines.
The document is official, and therefore worthy of reliance:—

  The annexed gives the length, receipts, and expenses of the railways
  in 1867. The receipts and expenses of the S. Paulo Railway include
  only nine and a half months:—

                Name.    Kilos.   Receipts.     Expenses.
             D. Pedro II  197.4 2,523:796$781 1,117:034$992
             S. Paulo     139.0 1,236:423 702   305:140 286
             Pernambuco   124.9   599:331 445   414:772 537
             Bahia        123.5   263:323 292   517:870 760
             Gantagallo    49.1   709:222 555   365:830 300
             Mauá          17.5   297:595 347   172:297 628
                          ————— ————————————— —————————————
             Total        651.6 5,599:693 122 2,892:955 503

  These figures leave a balance of 2,706:737$610 over the cost of
  working.


                         D. PEDRO II. RAILWAY.

  With the Macacos branch the length of this railway is 203
  kilometres, 56.6 kilometres having been added during last year in
  its prolongations towards the station of Entre Rios. Failing to come
  to an agreement with the Companhia Mineira for the extension to
  Porto Novo da Cunha, an offer was made by the Companhia Uniao e
  Industria to construct a cart road to that point, the final offer of
  this Company being to make it gratuitously if certain favours were
  conceded to it. However, its offers were declined, as a cart road
  was judged incompatible with the requirements of the railway. Under
  these circumstances, as the state of the finances did not permit the
  contracting for the extension, orders were issued to give it a
  commencement by administration; and at the present time the works of
  the first miles are tolerably advanced.

  A proposition to construct and work the fourth section has been
  received from capitalists and planters of the district it would
  serve, and it is now awaiting solution.

  The competition between the railway and the Uniao e Industria road
  being prejudicial to both, the directory of this road has proposed
  bases for a compromise as under:—The Uniao e Industria road company
  to give up all its traffic between its station of Posse and Rio,
  receiving as compensation certain advantages, the principal one
  being the duration of its contract for twelve years, and the receipt
  of 120 rs. on every arroba transported on the railway between Entre
  Rios and Rio, which, it is estimated, would give the company
  324:000$ annually, and transfer traffic of 2,700,000 arrobas, or
  1,000:000$ annually, to the railway. In order to facilitate this
  transaction the company proposes to lease the railway for twelve
  years and pay a dividend of four per cent. to the Government. It
  also proposes to make any extension determined on, that to Porto
  Novo to be finished in five years, the Government to furnish the
  money, and the company to receive no compensation for its trouble
  except what would arise from the 120 reis the arroba upon the
  traffic over the line from Entre Rios and Rio. On the completion of
  the Porto Novo branch, the company would receive 2,000:000$ out of
  the profits over the four per cent. dividend as indemnity for any
  loss, rights or advantages secured to it by the contract of October
  29, 1864, and it would then commence the construction of the railway
  through the valley of the Parahybano towards the Serra of
  Mantiqueira, using for this purpose four-fifths of the net revenue
  received from the railway, one-fifth remaining for the company, this
  continuing until the end of the twelve years, and the company
  binding itself to make, at its own cost, the branch from Juiz de
  Fora to the railway station of Uba. If, however, the Government
  judge it better to construct a system of macadamised cart roads,
  centering at Entre Rios, the company will then pay six per cent. on
  the railway, and will construct within four years, twenty leagues of
  road to Porto Novo da Cunha, and on to Barra do Pomba, and will,
  within six years, macadamise the Serraria road as far as Mar de
  Hespanha, the road from the Parahybuna station to Flores, and that
  from the Uba station to Juiz de Fora; making also, during the last
  six years of the contract, the road to Barbacena, following as much
  as possible the trace drawn for a railway, and prolonging it to S.
  Joao de El Rei. Besides, the company will settle 2,000 families of
  colonists along the road from Uba to Juiz de Fora, and on that
  between Juiz de Fora, Barbacena, and S. Joao de El Rei. The company
  also binds itself to keep in order all the cart roads in
  construction, transporting freight and passengers on them at the
  rates provided for the Uniao e Industria road; and, in addition, to
  deliver up to the Government, at the end of the twelve years, the
  railway and roads in good condition.

  Three proposals have been made for the prolonging of the railway to
  the waterside; that of the engineers, Senhors Bulhoes and Passos,
  proposes to bring the line to the Praia da Gambôa, and there
  construct large warehouses and furnish all facilities for shipping
  and landing goods; that of Senhor F. B. Jansen Lima and others
  proposes to pass by a tunnel through the Livramento Hill to the
  Praia da Saude; that of Senhor Feliciano José Henrique proposes to
  connect the Santa Anna station with the principal parts of the city
  wherein goods are now stored.

  The capital employed in the railway having been 27,525:957$816 upon
  the 31st of December last, its net income of 1,422:434$402 during
  the last year represents a dividend of 5.16 per cent. upon its cost,
  which percentage should, when the Entre Rios traffic assumes a
  normal condition, rise to six per cent. in view of the greater
  number of stations now open, and if the Uniao e Industria freights
  pass over the line there can be no doubt that the percentage will
  exceed seven per cent. per annum.

  The following table shows the progress of the railway since its
  commencement. The Macacos branch is excluded, it not existing in the
  first years:—

              Year.          Working.      Revenue.    Per Cent.
                      1859   606:870$492   720:900$443     84.18
                      1860   611:402 672   920:765 784     66.40
                      1861   688:506 150 1,073:731 050     64.12
                      1862   800:934 211   964:996 982     82.99
                      1863   849:421 671   969:621 542     87.60
                      1864   964:199 300 1,211:615 205     79.57
                      1865 1,088:133 594 1,756:148 520     61.96
                      1866   834:057 521 1,848:783 351     45.11
                      1867 1,082:283 327 2,506:836 961     43.17
              Net revenue of 1867                  1,422:434$402

  The stations opened during 1867 were:—Uba on May 5, Parahyba do Sul
  on August 11, Entre Rios on October 13.


                             BAHIA RAILWAY.

  The shareholders of this railway continue to suffer the consequences
  produced by the excess of expenses over receipts. Last year's
  balance showed an increase of 12:867$764 in receipts, and of
  24:383$445 in expenses, giving a deficit of 218:630$092, more by
  11:515$681 than the preceding year's.

  This result is no doubt disheartening, but meantime I await the
  report of the commission I authorised the President of the province
  to appoint, whose investigations must have revealed the latent
  causes of this state of things, in order to take such measures as
  may be recommended for the purpose of placing the enterprise on the
  footing reclaimed by its and the public treasury's interests.

  The construction of the feeding roads judged necessary for the
  improvement of the traffic could not be carried on rapidly owing to
  the financial condition of the province.

  The register of cattle established at Alagoinhas is estimated to
  give the railway a further traffic of 24,000 bullocks and to augment
  the receipts by 40:000$.

  In my opinion, however, the only measure which can save the capital
  employed in the railway is its prolongation, but unfortunately those
  causes subsist which counselled me to postpone surveys for the
  prolonging of this and the other railways, with the exception of the
  Dom Pedro II. line, whose existing conditions are different.

  The debt of the Province of Bahia to the National Treasury for
  advances on account of the Two per Cent Guarantee was estimated at
  1,516:862$220 up to the first half of last year, and at present must
  be more than 2,000:000$.


                          PERNAMBUCO RAILWAY.

Notwithstanding the elements of prosperity which the company already
counts on, and those which the future reserves for it, its financial
position is not at present satisfactory, nor have its shares been able
to obtain in London quotations worthy of the destinies awaiting it. To
such result that false position has contributed, besides other things,
in which the company has been placed by the various operations through
which the company sought to obtain its capital. As you know, part of
this capital enjoys the guarantee of interest, another part was obtained
by a loan effected by the Imperial Government, and finally, a third
fraction, furnished by the shareholders, runs the risk of not realising
the least return for a long time. The question of the increase of
guaranteed capital, in discussion between the Imperial Government and
the company, must indubitably have aided in augmenting the
embarrassments in which the company flounders. It would be very proper
to put an end as soon as possible to every question delaying the
prosperity of an enterprise whose capital has contributed largely to the
development and riches of the Province of Pernambuco. It is needful to
give a definite settlement to that question of the increase of the
guaranteed capital of this railway which has been submitted to your
deliberation. The directory in London is constantly reiterating its
reclamations for a final decision. As we do not possess the needful
means for undertakings of this kind, it is of much importance to us that
foreign capital, which comes to try and to explore, may obtain
advantages that may encourage other enterprises.

On the other hand, it is of very great interest to the State that
companies which enjoy a guarantee of interest may prosper in such a mode
as to dispense with the guarantee. The company having to meet the next
payment of debenture bonds, whose time was ending, and neither having
funds in hands for it nor the power of raising them in London, it
recurred to the Imperial Government, asking for a loan of £40,000, but
this the Government could not grant, as it was not duly authorised.

The question of the prolongation to the city of Recife has occupied my
attention, especially since the engineer of the company presented the
plans and estimates for the realisation of the project. According to
them the direction of the line should run parallel to the streets of
Santa Rita, Nova, and Praia, and the cost is estimated at £5,000.

  Although the company comprehends the advantage it should obtain by
  this prolongation it is not disposed to undertake the works without
  a guarantee on the capital expended, or without some other pecuniary
  assistance. The advantages which this work will produce for the
  agriculture and commerce of the province, and the small sacrifice
  which its execution asks from the public coffers dispose me
  favourably towards it, and if, as I hope, the examinations I ordered
  into those plans and estimates do not change my opinion, I will at a
  proper time authorise a contract for this improvement.

  In accordance with the dispositions of the law I authorised the
  Imperial Legation in London to lend the sum of £15,000 to the
  company, to be employed in increasing the rolling stock. The company
  proposing, however, to accept the loan without interest, and to
  amortise the principal with the excess of revenue over seven per
  cent., I declared the proposal inacceptable.

  The revenue diminished by 47:917$011 from that of the preceding
  year, it coming to 599:331$445. The expenses on the contrary rose
  from 364:134$259 in 1866 to 414:772$537, an increase of 50:638$270
  occurring therefore in 1867. This double result is partly explained
  by the diminution of the traffic in consequence of bad harvest in
  the localities profiting by the road, and partly by the need to
  promptly carry out the repairs of the road. Although it is desirable
  that this result had not occurred, it should not suscitate serious
  apprehensions for the future of the railway.


                      SANTOS AND JUNDIAHY RAILWAY.

  This line was inaugurated on the 15th, and opened on the 16th of
  February, 1866: this road at once commenced to show an extensive
  traffic, which, augmenting day by day as the planters became
  convinced of its superiority over ordinary methods, prognosticates
  most brilliant destinies to it. However, notwithstanding its evident
  inferiority, the common road still maintains a serious competition
  with the railway and takes from it a part of the products which are
  sent to Santos from the interior, inasmuch as, out of 1,004,779
  arrobas, at which amount the total traffic is estimated, 611,818 go
  by the railroad, and 392,961 by the highway. Despite this
  competition, and the difficulties with which every enterprise
  struggles at first, however well organised, the gross receipts of
  the Santos and Jundiahy railway, since its opening, up to the end of
  1867, rose to 1,236:423$702, thus giving more than 4¾ per cent. upon
  the capital employed. It maybe presumed that, when the short life
  competition referred to is overcome, and when the line is extended
  to Campinas, taking into account the natural increase of production
  in a province so favourably placed, the revenue would soon double,
  thus freeing the treasury from the onus of the guarantee of
  interest. The Santos and Jundiahy Railway is, therefore, one of
  those amongst us which promise best; and perhaps it may be
  considered the first industrial undertaking of the kind, if the
  serra service, by means of inclines, does not exact a constant
  outlay which will diminish the revenue.

  During the past year the trains of the road transported 176,081
  passengers, namely:

                        1st Class       19,078½
                        2nd Class       26,033½
                        3rd Class      130,952
                        Season tickets      17
                                       ————————
                            Total      176,081

  The plan of Engineer P. Fox for the extension of the line to
  Campinas having received the preference over the other traces
  presented to the ministry in my charge, the President of the
  province undertook to promote a company of planters and capitalists
  to carry this important benefit into effect. The company having the
  right of preference to the extension of the railway, I instructed
  our Minister in London to obtain an explicit declaration from the
  directory renunciatory of its right, in order that there might be no
  future doubts or reclamations. The directors replied that the
  company expressly desisted from the right, and, therefore, the
  association could proceed with its measures for the realisation of
  its object. In the opinion of Engineer E. Viriato de Medeiros the
  amount of capital expended up to the 30th of July, 1866, amounted to
  £2,548,434, but for payment of interest due it was estimated
  hypothetically at £2,650,000.

  The provincial assembly not having empowered the President to pay
  the interest of two per cent. upon the guaranteed capital, to which
  the province had bound itself, it was necessary for the national
  treasury to take upon itself the satisfaction of the provincial
  promise. It is therefore requisite that the provincial assembly
  provide in the estimate of this year for relieving the public
  treasury from the charge upon its already too burdened coffers.

It will be seen from these reports that all the guaranteed railways are
exposed to difficulties arising out of the special character of the
relations existing between the various companies and the Government, and
that Senhor Sobragy, the talented manager of the Dom Pedro Segundo
Railway, has been sent to England to try to come to terms with the
companies. In my opinion, however, nothing short of the Government
taking over the railways, giving in exchange a guaranteed stock, can
ever meet the requirements of the case, or bring these concerns out of
their present unfavourable position. It would be useless to recapitulate
here the causes of their failure. Certainly no fault can be laid to the
charge of the Government, which has acted in perfect good faith towards
them, and done probably more than any other Government ever did or would
do to assist undertakings of this or any other kind. Rashness,
ignorance, and bad advisers have led to most of their difficulties, and
with such proofs of the mismanagement of railway directors on our home
lines no one will be surprised at the unsuccessful result of their
management of lines abroad.

As an evidence that railways can be made and properly managed by
Brazilians I need only refer to the Dom Pedro Segundo, a line quite as
important as any in the country. In separate chapters I have referred to
this railway, and also to that in the province of San Paulo.

I believe it would be greatly to the advantage of the rising generation
in Brazil if the young men were trained to become engineers, rather than
lawyers or doctors, with which the towns and cities swarm. Brazilians
are neither deficient in talent nor energy, if properly brought out, and
the employés of the Dom Pedro Segundo are chiefly natives. The splendid
road to Juiz de Fora furnishes an example of this, and I regret time did
not permit me to make another visit there, which Senhor Mariano very
kindly urged on me. Had it not been for the heavy expenditure of the
Paraguayan war, the railway system of Brazil would doubtless have been
much more extensively developed, and the provincial lines now in
existence carried further into the interior, as it is impossible the
latter can ever be productive of much revenue, or of much national
benefit until they are prolonged to the chief centres of cultivation,
which, as a general rule, lie upwards of one hundred miles from the
coast. The provinces of Pernambuco and Bahia both attach great
importance to railway extension to the river San Francisco, but it does
not appear from the report of Captain Burton, who lately explored that
river, that it is likely to yield so much traffic as is supposed. The
want of population is the great drawback to railways, and until this
want can be met by emigration of some kind, a large amount of internal
wealth must lie waste.

My long detention in the southern part of Brazil and the River Plate
prevented me visiting Bahia and Pernambuco, and judging from personal
observation as to the state and condition of the railways there, or
reporting on the new tramway from Caxioera to the interior, which
promises to be of great utility to the country traversed by it, as well
as remunerative to the shareholders interested in its future.



                COMMERCE OF BRAZIL AND THE RIVER PLATE.


During the unfruitful dominion of Spain and Portugal, commerce with
South America was limited to the exchange of commodities between the
mother countries and the populations planted in the New World revealed
to Europe by the daring genius of the great Genoese navigator and those
bold spirits who after him traversed and explored strange oceans and
seas unknown. The Courts of Madrid and Lisbon adopted the most stringent
measures for the preservation of their monopoly and to prevent
commercial intercourse with their colonies by the subjects of foreign
States. So successful were the means taken to this end that very little
was known with certainty in England concerning those immense regions
until after the War of Independence freed them from the yoke under which
they had so long groaned. I need not in this place indicate all the
causes that led to this great revolution, but there can be no doubt the
example of our own American colonists and the principles disseminated by
the French Revolution exercised a potential influence in stirring the
South American communities to liberate themselves from the oppressive
restrictions with which they were fettered.

The marauding exploits of Admiral Drake, and the rich prizes captured on
the Spanish main, had given our countrymen some notion of the
incalculable wealth of Chili and Peru, the Brazils, and the Rio de la
Plata; and their erection into separate and Sovereign States was hailed
as the advent of a new and prosperous era for the commerce of both
hemispheres. With a liberality and promptitude which will always be
remembered by the various South American nations, the capitalists of
Britain responded to their demands for pecuniary aid, and loans were
freely subscribed to enable the enfranchised peoples to establish
popular self-government upon solid bases. It may be said that this still
remains to be accomplished, and the frequently recurrent revolutions in
Bolivia and Peru, and in some others of the nascent Republics, are
certainly no manifestation of executive stability; but it must not be
forgotten that their antecedents, under the Spanish and Portuguese
control, were not of a nature to fit them for a wise and temperate
exercise of political privileges. Year by year, however, with the growth
of intelligence and the spread of education, the respective States are
becoming less subject to internal and civil convulsions; and in this
respect the rapid development of industrial and productive activity
gives promise of a still more satisfactory condition of things in the
proximate future.

Since the abrogation of the monopolies of Spain and Portugal and the
inauguration of free intercourse with South America the commercial
movements between that part of the globe and the maritime nations of
Europe have assumed imposing proportions, and are every year increasing
in value and importance. As elsewhere, England holds a high place both
in the Pacific and Atlantic markets, as an importer of products and an
exporter of manufactured goods. Our Board of Trade Returns show the
magnitude of British interests in those countries, and the necessity
that exists for promoting the most cordial relations with the different
Governments. But at present I must confine my observations to Brazil and
the River Plate, and from a reference to the returns in question it will
be seen that the former is our largest South American customer, taking
commodities to the annual value of £5,822,918, while we in return
receive Brazilian produce of the annual value of £5,902,011. The River
Plate comes next in order, taking English goods of the annual value of
£4,405,548, while it sends to us produce worth £2,146,079. It will
appear, therefore, that the total movements between this country and
Brazil and the River Plate are respectively of the yearly value of
£11,724,929 and £6,545,627. And here I may state, without going into
particulars, that the entire commercial movement between England and the
whole of South America reaches the no inconsiderable sum of £34,566,405.
The above returns are for the year 1867.[6]

The Board of Trade Returns, though they exhibit, in figures surpassing
eloquence in their convincing power, the extensive character of our own
trading relations with Brazil and the River Plate, of course convey only
a partial idea of the commercial activity of the countries named.

Brazil and the Argentine Republic both carry on a large business with
other European nations. With regard to the first it will be seen from
the statistics we quote below that the Empire has large transactions
with France and the Continent, as well as with the United States, to
which the bulk of her coffee crop is shipped.

In the Budget of last year, submitted to the National Assembly by the
then Finance Minister, Senhor Zacharias, I find the following:—

         COMMERCE OF IMPORTATION, EXPORTATION, AND NAVIGATION.

  The value of the import trade in 1866-67, according to the official
  data in the treasury, was 143,483:745$; 22,503:313$, or 18.6 per
  cent, more than the average of the five years 1861-2 to 1865-6, and
  5,716:903$, or 4.1 per cent, more than 1865-6.

  This importation took place in the various provinces in the
  following proportion, which is compared with that of 1865-6:—

                            1865-66.    1866-67.   Over in '65-6.
       Rio de Janeiro      80,709:067$ 80,458:064$
       Bahia                17,598:941  17,878:203       279:262$
       Pernambuco           21,083:655  22,211:290      1,127:645
       Maranhao              2,946:760   4,028:383      1,081:623
       Para                  4,613:218   5,396:706        783:488
       S. Pedro              6,514:928   7,746:076      1,231:144
       S. Paulo              1,295:948   1,546:755        250:807
       Parana                  154:083     237:278         83:195
       Parahyba                 26:067      99:446         73:379
       Ceara                 1,924:546   2,586:973        662:689
       Santa Catharina         449:246     630:912        181:066
       Alagoas                  62:250     219:537        157:287
       Sergipe                  63:177      17:390
       Espirito Santo            1:209       2:116            907
       Rio Grande do Norte      30:853     171:654        140:801
       Piauhy                  293:157     252:957
                           ——————————— ———————————      —————————
                           136,766:842 143,483:745      6,053:893

  Diminutions occurred in Rio de Janeiro 251:003$, Sergipe 45:787$,
  and Piauhy 40:209$; total, 336:990$.

  The countries whence the importation came in 1866-67 were the
  following:—

             Great Britain and possessions  58,276:905$783
             United States                   4,300:628 878
             France and possessions         22,023:196 953
             La Plata                       12,325:712 734
             Portugal and possessions        5,580:451 780
             Hanseatic Cities                4,340:509 479
             Spain and possessions             805:919 990
             Sweden                            222:194 583
             Denmark                            34:134 495
             Russia                             12:277 800
             Coast of Africa                   151:773 425
             Italy                             468:789 695
             Chili                             537:023 100
             Belgium                         1,333:855 778
             Austria                           910:268 440
             Holland                             3:017 850
             China                              23:400 000
             Peru                                  680 000
             Ports of the Mediterranean         29:744 000
             Ports of the Empire             1,354:734 000
             Fisheries                           1:381 200
             Ports not mentioned            30,747:145 332
                                           ———————————————
                         Total             143,483:745 290

  The value of the exports of native production and manufacture to
  foreign countries was in 1866-67 156,020:906$, 21,516:502$, or 15.9
  per cent. more than the average of the five years 1861-2 to 1865-6,
  and less by 1,066:652$ or O.67 per cent. than in 1865-6.

  The countries whither the exports of 1866-7 went were the
  following:—

 Russia                                                      460:660$717
 Sweden                                                      773:111 068
 Holland                                                      80:356 944
 Hanseatic Cities                                          4,816:242 458
 Great Britain and possessions                            37,283:974 040
 France and possessions                                   18,582:278 631
 Spain and possessions                                       165:387 149
 Portugal and possessions                                  4,347:275 259
 Belgium                                                    328:0485$841
 Austria                                                      61:381 600
 Italy                                                       734:400 624
 Chili                                                       414:903 411
 United States                                            31,188:066 047
 La Plata                                                  7,014:207 881
 Turkey                                                      149:347 716
 Denmark                                                     913:630 980
 Coast of Africa                                             448:869 272
 Channel                                                  16,511:659 000
 Ports of the Baltic and Mediterranean                     1,363:562 864
 Ports not known                                          30,335:659 000
 Consumption                                                  42:642 178
                                                         ———————————————
                          Total                          156,020:906 766

  The total of the direct importation and the national exportation
  abroad was in:—

 1866-67                                                     299,504:651

 Compared with 1865-66, namely                               294,854:400

                                                             ———————————

 There was an augment of                                       4,650:251

 Or 1.5 per cent., and, if compared with the average of      255,483:836
   1861-2 to 1865-6, namely

  There was an increase of 44,020:815, or 17.2 per cent.

  The value of the importation with certificate (carta de guia) was in
  1865-67 24,902:670$, 823:969$, or 3.4 per cent. more than in 1865-6,
  2,448:821$, or 12.6 per cent. more than the average of the five
  years 1861-2 to 1865-6.

  The re-exportation in 1866-7 rose to 1,786:052$, 447:993$, or 33.4
  per cent. more than in 1865-6, and 377:686$, or 26.8, than the
  average of 1861-2 to 1865-6.

  The number of national and foreign vessels cleared in the foreign
  trade of 1866-7 was:—

 Entered           3,439 vessels     1,245,214 tons    51,450 men.
 Sailed            2,429 vessels     1,496,274[A] tons 49,655 men.

  Including nationals:—

 Entered           255 vessels       43,579 tons       1,953 men.
 Sailed            209 vessels       47,703[7] tons    2,174 men.

The products of Brazil are very varied, but the principal articles, and
the relative positions they occupy in the commerce of the country, will
be seen by the estimated quantity and value of the exports from Rio de
Janeiro for 1867, as stated in the Official Report to our Foreign Office
by Mr. Pakenham:—

                                     Quantity.     Value.
              Coffee        lbs.   424,532,680 £8,776,590
              Sugar         lbs.     8,980,960    106,752
              Cotton        lbs.     9,240,000    350,000
              Rum           pipes        3,865     40,000
              Salted hides  pipes    4,200,000     57,540
              Dry hides     pipes      250,000      8,250
              Tapioca      barrels      11,294     25,066
              Horns        barrels     116,860      1,519
              Tobacco       bales       51,615    154,845
              Diamonds     oitavas       5,704     37,000
                                               ——————————
                 Total                         £9,558,287

  The exports from Pernambuco, Para, Bahia, Santos, and Rio Grande do
  Sul during the same period amount to about £7,000,000.

Mr. Pakenham, in the same report, also remarks:—“The Brazilian imports
and exports for the last year for which there are Customs statistics
amounted to £14,348,374 for imports, and to £15,607,090 for exports, and
the total commercial movement with foreign countries had then increased
17 per cent. on the average of the preceding five years.”

The trade statistics of the Argentine Republic are quite as encouraging
as those of its Imperial ally. I have before me a valuable communication
of Mr. Daniel Maxwell, of Buenos Ayres, addressed to the Sociedade Rural
Argentina, in which he makes the following comparative statements as to
the exports of produce during the periods mentioned:—

                                 From 1858 to 1862.  From 1862 to 1867.
 Dry Ox and Cow Hides                      5,554,417           6,798,152
 Salted Ox and Cow Hides                   1,972,755           2,325,084
 Dry Horse Hides                             305,057             197,264
 Salted Horse Hides                          780,190             617,945
 Bales of Wool                               251,191             608,706
 Bolsas of Wool                                7,456               9,517

With the exception of horse hides these figures manifest a very material
and striking augmentation in the productive energy of the Republic. The
proportionate distribution is shown in the annexed tables:—

                     DRY OX, COW, AND HORSE HIDES.

                                 From 1858 to 1862.  From 1862 to 1867.
 Great Britain                                  .233               2.816
 France                                       11.936               8.054
 Belgium, Holland, and Germany                25.847              11.585
 United States                                29.029              48.904
 Italy                                        12.844              10.562
 Spain                                        18.011              17.985
 Sweden and Norway                                                  .094
                                             ———————             ———————
                                             100.000             100.000

                    SALTED OX, COW, AND HORSE HIDES.

                                 From 1858 to 1862.  From 1862 to 1867.
 Great Britain                                63.123              45.484
 France                                       12.592              14.533
 Belgium, Holland, and Germany                17.873              31.807
 United States                                 2.626               1.889
 Italy                                         3.482               4.893
 Spain                                         6.304                .408
 Sweden and Norway                                                  .914
                                             ———————             ———————
                                             100.000             100.000

                                 WOOLS.

                                 From 1858 to 1862.  From 1862 to 1867.
 Great Britain                                10.273               7.235
 France                                       27.508              25.109
 Belgium, Holland, and Germany                39.784              45.433
 United States                                21.083              20.340
 Italy                                         1.303               1.766
 Spain                                          .039                .030
 Sweden and Norway                                                  .087
                                             ———————             ———————
                                             100.000             100.000

The number of sheep skins exported from 1858 to 1862 was 8,705,883
against 20,776,898 from 1862 to 1867; and with respect to the wool
exported it may be desirable to explain that a bale of wool usually
contains 34 arrobas, and that four _bolsas_ or _chiguas_ are equivalent
to a bale. According to this calculation, the export of wool from 1858
to 1862 reached 8,705,883 arrobas against 20,776,898 arrobas from 1862
to 1867.

The war with Paraguay, though it has undoubtedly pressed upon the
financial resources of the Republic, has in no manner arrested its
commercial, industrial, and fiscal progress. This is very clearly
apparent from statistics furnished by his Excellency Don Norberto de la
Riestra in connection with the issue of the recent Argentine loan
contracted in this country to cover the balance of the extraordinary
expenditure caused by the protracted struggle with Lopez. I quote as
follows from the document referred to, the value of which will be
obvious:—

  The official value of the foreign trade of the Republic through the
  port of Buenos Ayres alone in 1865 was as follows:—

                           Imports £5,420,603
                           Exports  4,399,355
                                   ——————————
                            Total  £9,819,958

  In 1866 it was:—

                          Imports  £6,453,817
                          Exports   4,605,942
                                  ———————————
                           Total  £11,059,759

  The real value of the aggregate trade for 1866, including the other
  ports of the Republic, cannot be estimated at less than £16,000,000,
  and has continued since to augment.

  The declared value of produce and manufactures exported from the
  United Kingdom to the Republic in 1867 has amounted to £2,838,037,
  taking in this respect the lead of all the other South American
  States, Brazil only excepted.

  The export of wool, which is the staple article, from the port of
  Buenos Ayres alone was as follows:—

                    Season 1863-64  77,343,200 lbs.
                    Season 1864-65 104,688,000 lbs.
                    Season 1865-66 120,362,400 lbs.

  and the same progressive increase is observable in the other
  productions of the country.

Referring to Brazil, every Parisian luxury is found in the cities, Rio
de Janeiro being full of French shops, and the Rua d'Ouvidor, one of its
principal streets, is almost exclusively French. Of course many
important trades and industrial occupations are carried on, and in
particular the manufacture of carriages, which equal in elegance and
solidity those of any country in Europe. Iron foundries, iron
ship-building, and other useful establishments also exist; but there are
few cotton, woollen, or silk manufactories. Therefore the commerce of
Brazil is almost entirely one of exchange.

As regards the River Plate, a large trade is maintained with France,
Belgium, and other parts of Europe, where River Plate produce is
extensively consumed. It is only necessary to look at the manner in
which the ladies of Monte Video and Buenos Ayres dress to form an idea
of the extent of French imports to those places. There are no
manufactories in the River Plate beyond such as have been specified in
regard to Brazil, carriage making being equally conspicuous.

It is a feature in the Board of Trade Returns that Paraguay, which has
of late years caused such a noise in the world, makes no figure
whatever. Now of course it is under blockade, but previous to that event
the figures were almost _nil_. Had the ruler of that country used his
energies to produce and export 5,000 bales of cotton annually, for which
article the land and climate are admirably adapted, what would have been
the state and condition of Paraguay at the present moment? It is not
requisite to enlarge on such a topic.

Whilst adverting to the commerce of these countries, and to their
internal wealth, their mineral products must not be left out of sight,
and in this respect Brazil possesses a great superiority from the steady
working of her gold and diamond mines, which have always been a source
of considerable revenue, even though they are probably not yet very
perfectly explored. To do this it requires a large outlay of money and
the enterprise of private individuals or public companies. Formerly the
mines were worked exclusively for the Crown.

The Argentine Republic has not yet given much signs of mineral activity,
but there can be no doubt gold exists, as well as silver, in the Andine
Provinces, and when the railway is carried on to Cordova we may hear a
good deal more of the San Juan silver mines, to the development of which
Major Rickards has devoted himself for so many years.

In the Banda Oriental gold has long been known to exist in the mountains
of Canapiru, and the indefatigable Mr. Bankhart has succeeded in forming
a company of Monte Videan shareholders to operate there. He is now in
England obtaining the needful machinery and securing workmen for the
mines. If successful it will be a great boon to the country, and may
assist in providing a future metallic currency, from lack of which
things now appear to be at a deadlock.

It will be seen from this short summary how closely our commercial
interests are identified with those of the countries referred to, and
how desirable it is, as at present, that the most friendly relations
should be maintained with them. Nor are these likely to be again
disturbed. In every port and city in South America are to be found
British merchants and representatives of the country, the latter placed
there, not, as previously, with a view to cavil, find fault, and
threaten, but to see fair play and justice impartially administered to
British subjects. The doctrine of non-interference in the political
squabbles of other countries is now generally adopted, diplomatic
meddlers are discouraged, and the post of foreign minister in South
America is much more agreeable than formerly.

-----

Footnote 6:

  It may be interesting to show the progressive nature of them by taking
  the Board of Trade figures in connection with those countries for the
  previous four years as follows:—

              Brazil—       Imports.  Exports.    Total.
                  1863     £4,491,000 4,082,641  8,573,641
                  1864      7,021,121 6,369,359 13,400,480
                  1865      6,797,241 5,771,024 12,468,265
                  1866      7,237,793 7,358,141 14,595,934

              River Plate—
                  1863     £2,460,280 1,897,164  3,357,444
                  1864      2,285,486 2,788,653  5,074,139
                  1865      2,263,540 2,824,823  5,088,363
                  1866      2,613,263 4,250,470  6,863,733

Footnote 7:

  The “sailed” are toneladas of 1,728 lbs.



                           THE RIVER AMAZON.


As it has not been my good fortune to visit this mighty stream, I
cannot, of course, speak of it from personal experience, but the Amazon
is exciting so much attention in various parts of the world in
consequence of the late voyage of Professor Agassiz that a brief notice
may not be out of place here.

Most persons have read Mr. Bates' very interesting work, “The Naturalist
on the Amazon,” in which he has described in so graphic a manner the
wonders of that country in the shape of animal and vegetable life. Since
it was written a great change has taken place in the future prospects of
the Amazon by the politic step of the Brazilian Government in throwing
open its waters to the flags of all nations, from which will result much
valuable information, if it is not immediately followed by commercial
progress to the extent that some sanguine writers have foretold. This
act has called forth in Europe and America the most gratifying tributes
in commendation of the unselfish attitude thus assumed by Brazil towards
the commerce of the world. The American journals are especially
unstinted in their praise. With regard to the probable consequences of
this measure one writer, the Rev. J. C. Fletcher, states as follows:—

  The opening of the Amazon, which occurred on the 7th of September,
  1867, and by which the great river is free to the flags of all
  nations from the Atlantic to Peru, and the abrogation of the
  monopoly of the coast trade from the Amazon to the Rio Grande do
  Sul, whereby 4,000 miles of Brazilian sea coast are open to the
  vessels of every country, cannot fail not only to develop the
  resources of Brazil, but will prove of great benefit to the
  bordering Hispano-American Republics and to the maritime nations of
  the earth. The opening of the Amazon is the most significant
  indication that the leven of the narrow monopolistic Portuguese
  conservatism has at last worked out. Portugal would not allow
  Humboldt to enter the Amazon valley in Brazil. The result of the new
  policy is beyond the most sanguine expectation. The exports and
  imports for Para for October and November, 1867 were double those of
  1866. This is but the beginning. Soon it will be found that it is
  cheaper for Bolivia, Peru, Equador, and New Granada east of the
  Andes to receive their goods from and to export their indiarubber,
  chincona, &c., to the United States and Europe _via_ the great water
  highway which discharges into the Atlantic than by the long,
  circuitous route of Cape Horn, or the Trans-Isthmian route of
  Panama. The Purus and the Madeira are hereafter to be navigated by
  steamers. The valley of the Amazon in Brazil is as large as the area
  of the United States east of Colorado, while the valley of the
  Amazon in and out of Brazil is equal to all the United States east
  of California, Oregon, and Washington territory, and yet the
  population is not equal to the single city of Rio de Janeiro or the
  combined inhabitants of Boston and Chicago. It is estimated that a
  larger population can be sustained in the valley of the Amazon than
  elsewhere on the globe.

Explorations have already been commenced by enterprising men from the
Southern States of America, who have no doubt of the adaptability of the
soil and of the climate on the banks of this noble stream for all the
productions of the torrid zone. One of these pioneers, Mr. John W.
Dowsing, has lately presented a most interesting report, with respect to
the resources of Para, to his Excellency the President of that important
province:—

  May it please your Excellency, I herewith have the honour to submit
  a succinct Report of a recent exploration of a portion of the valley
  of the Amazon, and some of the tributaries of the Amazon river, by
  me, accompanied by Captain John B. Jones, George M. Sandidge,
  Charles H. Mallory, and Charles M. Broom, and all under the
  patronage of the Imperial Government of Brazil.

  In accordance with instructions from the Minister of Agriculture to
  your Excellency, I was furnished with transportation, and one conto
  of reis to defray incidental expenses, and letters to various
  officials within the Province of Para to facilitate my explorations
  and secure as far as practicable every information I might desire in
  regard to the country, in order that I might more fully report to
  those of my countrymen in the United States who are now deeply
  interested in emigration.

  Myself and party, consisting of the four above-named gentlemen, left
  Belem on the 9th of November, 1867, on board the steamer Soure for
  Cameta on the Rio Tocantins. After several days' preparation we
  ascended that river nearly to the falls; returning we ascended the
  Amazon and Tapajoz rivers to the town of Santarem and surrounding
  country, thence to the contiguous islands and up the Tapajoz, thence
  up the Amazon river to its junction with the Rio Negro to the city
  of Manaos.

  From Manaos we made several excursions into the country. It was my
  purpose to go to Rio Branco, but utterly failing to obtain
  transportation, after remaining twenty-two days, I changed my course
  to Rio Matary and the lakes into which it leads.

  The information I obtained at the various places visited would
  doubtless be of great utility to the commercial world. It would open
  up a new market for the various productions, and new fields for the
  employment of industry.

  The trade up the valley of the Amazon, upon the great river and its
  numerous tributaries, is very considerable. Its full extent and
  value does not appear in the published statistics of your commerce.

  The trade up this magnificent valley is susceptible of almost
  unlimited expansion. It stands alone in the inconceivable grandeur
  of its capabilities and the wonderful sublimity of its future
  destinies.

  This magnificent valley, with its wonderful and inexhaustible
  resources, will form a great avenue of commercial communication
  between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It is an immense
  prolific theatre for the formation of colonies. There is no doubt
  but that the best route for many manufactures from Europe and North
  America to Peru is through the valley of the Amazon. The productions
  of this wonderful valley are necessarily very diversified. They
  include all the tropical vegetables and fruits, many kinds of
  furniture and dyewoods, many medicinal drugs, and in the elevated
  lands it is peculiarly rich in minerals. The great staples exported
  in which the commercial world is interested are indiarubber, cacao,
  sarsaparilla, tobacco, hides salted and green, various vegetable
  oils, cotton, deer skins, isinglass, urucu, rice, &c., &c.

  The general surface of a great portion of the Province of Para is
  even and undulating while it is diversified with many rich campos
  and numerous beautiful lakes and streams, filled with every variety
  of fish and turtle. Elevated lands, rising here and there, impart
  variety, grandeur, and picturesque beauty to its scenery.

  To expatiate upon the beauty, capabilities, and resources of the
  numerous streams tributary to the great basin of the Amazon, the
  country margining these streams, the general characteristics of the
  inhabitants, &c., would invite and justify a voluminous report. I
  will content myself, however, with a few reflections upon the
  brilliant future that awaits this favoured country.

  My investigations disclose that the valley of the Amazon is one
  immense forest of valuable timber, woods of the finest grain, and
  susceptible of the highest polish: adapted to cabinet purposes. For
  building vessels there is no woods on the earth equal to those grown
  in the valley of the Amazon.

  This is the country for indiarubber, sarsaparilla, balsam, copaiba,
  gum copal, animal and vegetable wax, cocoa, castanha nuts, sapucaia
  nuts, tonka beans, ginger, black pepper, arrowroot, annetto, indigo,
  dyes of the gayest colours, and drugs of rarest medicinal virtues.

  These immense forests are filled with game, and all the rivers and
  lakes are filled with fish and turtle.

  The climate of this country is salubrious and the temperature most
  agreeable. The direct rays of the sun are tempered by a constant
  east wind, laden with moisture from the ocean, so that one never
  suffers from either heat or cold. I found the nights invariably cool
  enough to use blankets. With the succulent tropical fruits, the
  great variety of game, and the salubrious climate, this country is a
  paradise for the indolent man; for here he can maintain life almost
  without an effort.

  The geographical position of Belem gives it many advantages. It is
  in the direct route of vessels to or from European and North
  American ports and the Pacific and Indian oceans. Therefore this
  city could be made a half way station for vessels thus bound to
  receive orders.

  With an interior river navigation of many thousands of miles, with a
  soil of great fertility, and a climate which allows tropical
  vegetation to develop itself in all its luxuriance, with varied and
  inexhaustible mineral wealth, the Provinces of Para and Amazonas are
  specially marked out by nature to become the most wealthy country on
  the globe.

  Belem possesses the requisites for carrying on commerce on an
  extensive scale. The right steps have been adopted in inaugurating
  and securing a general commercial system for Belem by the
  establishment of the Amazon Steamship Company.

  In order to build up this city and country, and make it what the
  future determines it to be, the mineral and agricultural resources
  must be developed.

  The slave population is being rapidly diminished by the war with
  Paraguay and self-emancipation. How is this labour to be
  re-supplied? It can only be done by the immigration of the hard
  working, industrious yeomanry of the United States and Europe. The
  surplus population of Europe and the disaffected citizens in the
  Southern portion of the United States will find their way to this
  immediate section of the country.

  The great exodus will as naturally flow into the vast arable area of
  the valley of the Amazon as did the tribes of Asia flow into Europe
  through the passes of the Caucausus.

  Every advancing wave of population will lift higher and higher the
  gathering flood of human life, which the moment it commences to
  press upon the means of subsistence in their respective countries
  must pour all of its vast tide of human beings into the great valley
  of the Amazon, and will eventually unite in one living chain of
  industrial life the waters of the Atlantic with the Pacific.

  This country as yet is but a wilderness, but the inexorable laws of
  civilisation will at no distant day thread the labyrinthian mazes of
  this immensely fertile valley, and when teeming with industrious
  life it will pour into the coffers of this Empire untold wealth,
  thereby giving this portion of the Imperial Government a
  significance second to no portion of the earth.

  The rich natural and agricultural productions of this valley must be
  poured out to the balance of the world. Upon the banks of each of
  the tributaries of the mighty Amazon city after city will as by
  enchantment arise to export the productions of the soil of this
  favoured country. The valley of the Amazon is yet to exercise a
  powerful influence on the political destinies of this Empire.

  The future destiny of this valley is to be a glorious one; and
  fortunate the descendants of those who may now obtain a foothold and
  interest upon this soil. As already indicated the true elements of
  future greatness lie in the substratum of industry. The valley of
  the Amazon must have labour to develop its resources. The cities of
  North America and Europe are crowded with young men seeking
  employment.

  The offices of European Consuls in the United States are crowded
  with foreigners, who have exhausted their last cent and are seeking
  for any kind of work.

  Let them come to the valley of the Amazon with agricultural
  implements and obtain a home upon these fertile lands. Those who are
  lingering around the crowded seaports of poverty and vice, having no
  chance with others in the great world, should turn their attention
  to the valley of the Amazon, where a free homestead upon rich lands
  and with salubrious climate can be obtained.

  The prosperity of this country is the future welfare of all
  civilised nations. This country has everything to hope for; nature
  has not been unmindful of its most precious gifts to this land.

  In the selection of lands, upon which it is my purpose to establish
  a colony, I will be governed by the advantages offered by the lands
  at Brigança over those explored. If the lands at Brigança are well
  watered and rich its accessibility will decide me.

The migration to Brazil of energetic and agricultural population from
the former Confederate States of North America is still going on, and
may produce hereafter a most beneficial effect on the destinies of the
Empire. On this topic General Hawthorn and Mr. W. T. Moore have
addressed some interesting remarks to the Brazilian Minister of
Agriculture. The following is the concluding paragraphs of the
communication to which I refer:—

  The people of the South must emigrate but how, and where to? These
  are questions that may well engage the earnest attention of every
  Government that desires to increase the number of its good and loyal
  citizens. Though there may be a few unworthy persons claiming to be
  from the late Confederate States who have imposed and forced their
  lazy carcases and worthless habits upon this kind and liberal
  Government, we desire to say in the most emphatic and unequivocal
  terms that the great body of the Southern people are not
  professional emigrants, who systematically cringe the knee and
  hypocritically kiss the feet of every monarch that will scatter
  among them the crumbs of charity; on the contrary, they are the
  remnants of a gallant race, who, having struggled in vain to save
  their country from destruction and themselves from slavery, will
  like Æneas and his Trojan followers gather round them their aged
  fathers and mothers, their wives, their children, their household
  gods, and, emigrating to some foreign land, lend their powerful aid
  in building up the country of their adoption and pushing it forward
  to a conspicuous place in the front rank of nations.

  They will carry with them their statesmen, their orators, and their
  men of science, and though they may carry little gold and silver,
  and but a few of this world's goods, yet they will carry with them
  rich stores of great and active thought, vast mines of unflagging
  energy and industry, immense treasures of practical and scientific
  knowledge in planting, navigation, commerce, and the fine arts. They
  will carry with them stout hearts, untarnished honour, and
  unconquered manhood; but above all, for that Government which shall
  now extend its liberal hand and relieve them in this their hour of
  need, they will cherish that unshaken fidelity and loyalty that will
  uphold and maintain it in its prosperity and rally around and die
  for it whenever its day of trial and danger comes. They are a race
  that have won imperishable honours in every walk of life, and upon
  every field of action that has ever been opened to human enterprise,
  and wherever they go in large bodies they cannot fail to add wealth
  to the coffers and prosperity to the land of their adoption.

  Having adopted Brazil as our future home, and believing as we do
  that it is better adapted to the wants of our people than any other
  country upon earth, we should rejoice to see the good and true
  people of the South emigrate in masses to this wonderful country.
  Hence our anxiety that this Government should fully understand the
  character, the capacities, and the habits of the Southern people.
  Since we have been in Brazil we have reflected deeply upon this
  subject, and the result of our observations and reflections is that
  the people of the late Confederate States, being, as they are,
  strangers to the language, habits, and customs of this country,
  cannot be completely prosperous or contented here unless they settle
  in colonies by themselves, and that too upon a scale sufficiently
  large to carry on successfully all the various trades and
  professions, to have their own schools and churches, in short, to
  relieve them from the necessity of learning a foreign language
  before obtaining complete success in their agricultural,
  manufacturing, or mercantile operations. We are also deeply
  impressed with the belief that in order to a full development of
  their energies as a people and a successful renewal of those
  glorious triumphs in every art and science that once rendered them
  so illustrious, it is necessary they should be left as free and
  untrammelled in their action as the safety and dignity of an
  enlightened and liberal Government will admit. We therefore
  respectfully suggest that (as an inducement for this heroic people
  to emigrate to Brazil in one vast body, bringing with them their
  greatest, their wisest, and their best men; bringing with them their
  household goods, their customs, their manners, their indomitable
  energy and unflinching courage; but above all, bringing in their
  bosoms the bright hope that their race is not yet run, but that a
  brilliant and a glorious future awaits them here) the Government
  cause to be set apart and reserved for their settlement and use
  large bodies of the public lands, which may be selected by judicious
  and intelligent men; that these lands be surveyed as occasion may
  require, and sold in limited quantities, at fixed uniform rates, to
  that people alone, or to such as they may desire to settle in their
  midst; and that they be allowed full and complete religious
  toleration, as also the full rights of citizenship, whenever they
  shall take the oath of allegiance to the Government; that each of
  these colonies, including such as are already established, as well
  as those that may be established hereafter, be made a congressional,
  military, and judicial district, which, when it shall have the
  requisite number of inhabitants, shall be entitled to
  representatives in the national and provincial assemblies, chosen
  from among themselves; that so far as possible all their officers
  placed immediately over them be men speaking their own language, and
  familiar with their customs and manners; that all professional men
  among them who shall produce satisfactory evidence of good character
  and a reputable practice in the land from which they came be
  permitted to practice their respective professions within the limits
  of the said colonies, without having to undergo rigorous
  examinations in a foreign language; in short, that every liberal
  concession be made that a true and loyal people could ask, or a wise
  and generous Government could grant.

  Your Excellency need not fear the result. Ours is not a race that
  breeds either traitors or cowards. When we have once plighted our
  faith, dangers cannot weaken nor bayonets break its clasp. Every
  liberal concession which a generous prince may grant, or an
  enlightened people sanction, will but strengthen our loyalty and
  increase our gratitude. We sincerely trust that your Excellency will
  live to see the day when Brazil, renovated and strengthened by the
  infusion of this great Southern element, will assume among the
  nations of the earth the very first place in prosperity, glory, and
  power, as she now holds the first in charity and true kindness to a
  brave but unfortunate people.

That the policy of the Brazilian Government with regard to her
territories on the Amazon is in the right direction no one can deny, and
it is in striking contrast with the proceedings of the ruler of
Paraguay, who could, in the erection of his formidable strongholds, have
had no other object in view than that of impeding, if he did not
absolutely obstruct, the passage of the River Paraguay. Paraguayan
advocates have, indeed, endeavoured to show that the opening of the
Amazon by Brazil was solely dictated by self-interested motives, but let
the world look at the facts and judge accordingly.

Many years back the Government largely subsidised a steam company to
navigate on the Amazon, which it continues to support notwithstanding
the pressure of financial difficulties. This company goes on prospering,
and adding to its fleet, and will now be still more useful in assisting
foreigners to pioneer their way. Thus the country can be explored and
settlements made. It is gratifying to hear the climate of the Amazon so
favourably spoken of in the reports I have inserted, as at one time it
was feared this would be a barrier to successful emigration. The
emphatic language of the writers is not to be mistaken, and the
Government of Brazil will do well to afford to the active and go-a-head
Anglo-Saxon race every possible encouragement in their emigration work.

The city of Para is admirably placed and its trade has largely augmented
of late. In fact, it promises ere long to become the emporium of the
northern commerce of Brazil as Rio de Janeiro is of the southern, and
when we glance over the map, and see the enormous tributaries of the
Amazon extending as far as the waters of the great La Plata itself, it
is difficult to say what new sources of wealth may not be opened up from
the countries through which these rivers flow. There are natural
obstructions to be overcome, and tribes of Indians to be encountered,
but the strong arm and the willing heart can conquer these difficulties,
clearing their pathway through the forests to the fertile plains beyond.

But little is yet known as to the Indian tribes scattered over the
immense valley of the Amazon and its tributaries. That they are not
numerous, however, is pretty certain, nor can they offer much resistance
to the advance of the white man, when once the tide of emigration to
that country is fairly set in. It would, of course, be politic to
conciliate and make friends of the aborigines, but circumstances do not
appear favourable to such an arrangement.

By a recent Rio paper it appears that a lightship is shortly to be
placed at the entrance to Para, and that it had been successfully
experimented upon outside the port of Santa Cruz in the presence of the
Emperor.

Alluding again to Professor Agassiz, I have had the pleasure of perusing
his valuable narrative, which, although containing much matter only of
interest to naturalists and scientific people, conveys at the same time
a wonderful amount of practical information, and from which a pretty
correct idea may be formed of the probable or speculative future of the
Amazon valley.

The Amazon, I may just observe, flows through the territory of the
Empire for a distance of upwards of 500 leagues, and in its course
towards the ocean receives no fewer than eighteen affluents of the first
magnitude. The names are as follows: From the south, the Xingú, Tapajoz,
Madeira, Purus, Coary, Teffé, Myuruá, Hyutuby, and Hyavary; and from the
north, the Sary, Peru, Trombetas, Nhamunda, Uatuman, Uruba, Negro,
Hyupurá, and Iça. These rivers, from above the falls which exist on the
boundaries of the provinces of Para and Amazonas, are collectively
navigable by steamers for 7,351 leagues, not going outside the Imperial
territorial limits. In this total, navigation on the Amazon proper
figures for 580 leagues; that on the basins of the principal affluents
for 5,771 leagues; and that on the lesser tributaries, lakes, and canals
for 1,000 leagues.

As I have already remarked the Amazonian network of navigable streams
reaches to within a little of the La Plata riverine system. The sources
of the Tapajoz, flowing into the Amazon, are only separated by an
inconsiderable strip of land from those of the Paraguay, flowing into
the River Plate, and were these two rivers connected by artificial means
an immense section of the South American Continent would be insulated by
ocean and fluvial waters. This great work may probably remain undone for
many years to come, but that it will be eventually accomplished I do not
at all doubt. The progress of commerce and the development of enterprise
in these countries clearly point to the ultimate realisation of this
magnificent result.

Before passing to other topics, I will briefly notice another noble
river of Brazil—the San Francisco—which traverses the central portion of
the Empire, and waters the extensive and important provinces of Minas
Geraes, Bahia, Pernambuco, Alagoas, and Sergipe. The Rio das Velhas, Rio
Verde, Rio Grande, and the Paracatu are amongst its tributaries, and are
all of them streams which in Europe would be regarded as of very
superior size. The San Francisco is notable for its famous falls of
Paulo Affonso, which witnesses of both have pronounced to greatly excel
those of Niagara in their imposing majesty and grandeur. Above these
falls there is an uninterrupted navigation of about 230 leagues, and
below to the mouth, nearly 50 leagues, there is not the slightest
obstruction to vessels of respectable tonnage.

A large part of the immense basin of the Paraguay, in the River Plate,
also belongs to Brazil, in whose territories most of the principal
rivers of that system have their origin; and numerous other streams, of
more or less consequence, permeate different parts of the Empire on
their way to the sea. Several of these are capable of navigation by
steamers for at least 100 leagues.



                       TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION.


The North American Continent has now for some time past been linked to
Europe by the electric wire, inaugurating what may almost be termed a
new era of civilisation; and the fact of laying the cable will live in
history as long as the name of the leviathan ship through whose medium
this great result was accomplished.

South America has yet to depend solely upon steam communication, but
doubtless the means of magnetic intercourse will soon be supplied.
Already a rival company has been formed to lay down a cable from Brest
to America under privileges obtained from the French and American
Governments, and the great ship, with her gallant commander, Sir James
Anderson, is again to be called into requisition. It is very desirable
that extra cables should be laid in case of accident to those at present
existing.

I had hoped on my arrival home to find a company organised and a cable
about to be laid from Falmouth to Portugal and the Azores, for which a
concession had been obtained by Messrs. Rumball and Medlicott; but it
appears that the stupidity of the Cortes prevented this important line
being carried out—important to the world and to Portugal in particular,
as it would have rendered that country the great centre of telegraphic
communication, not only with her own islands, but also with North and
South America, to which it was intended the line should eventually be
carried. There would also have been a large and lucrative business
between England and Lisbon, in connection with the mail steamers to and
from Brazil, which at present is carried on under great disadvantage
through Spain. Portugal and Spain are sadly in arrear as regards
commercial progress and advancement, and Messrs. Rumball and Medlicott
experienced the same fate as the South Eastern of Portugal Railway,
which, though the Government had agreed to take it over, on equitable
terms, the Cortes refused to ratify the agreement. All Messrs. Rumball
and Medlicott required was an alteration in the law which prevented the
Government granting concessions for more than twenty years. The
concessionaries asked for ninety-nine years, which ought to have been
readily granted, seeing the manifest advantage to Portugal of
establishing such a facility for communication; but no, these _pés de
chumbo_ (leaden feet), as they are designated in other parts of the
world, would not quicken their pace even to promote the best interests
of their country. Sordid motives would also appear to be at the bottom
of these acts of repudiation, with which both Spain and Portugal are too
familiar.

I think a line might be stretched across the Isthmus of Panama, passing
from the West Coast and over the Andes to Buenos Ayres, where a
telegraphic cable can easily be laid along the seaboard to Rio de
Janeiro. The Argentine Government is now laying down wires from Buenos
Ayres to Rosario, whence the Central Argentine Railway carries them on
to Cordova, so that a communication with Valparaiso or some port on the
West Coast would not be a very formidable work.

Nothing would tend more to consolidate and bind the Argentine provinces
together than railways and electric wires. It is true the latter might
be exposed to temporary injury, from political agitators and others, but
this is no argument against the introduction of so great a civiliser,
which even savages soon learn to respect, and look upon with a certain
degree of awe. The onward march of civilisation and progress in the
Argentine, as well as the Chilian Republic, would most certainly, under
every circumstance, greatly tend to secure and keep open an agency so
useful to both.

I understand that General Webb, United States Minister at Rio de
Janeiro, has lately been authorised to submit an important scheme for
the laying of an ocean cable to place Brazil in telegraphic
communication with both Europe and North America; and I am glad to learn
that there is great probability of something practical resulting from
the negotiations in progress in respect to this proposal.



                        RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS.


Spain and Portugal as a matter of course introduced the Roman Catholic
religion in their South American conquests. The aborigines, being imbued
with a veneration for forms, or imagery of some kind, soon fell under
the influence of the priesthood. Volumes have been written on the power
and grandeur of the Jesuits, who were assuredly the pioneers of
civilisation in South America, and they certainly accomplished what the
sword could never have done. Papal and monarchial jealousy led to their
expulsion, but many substantial buildings still remain as evidence of
their activity and influence. The district called Missions, lying
between Paraguay, Brazil, and the Banda Oriental, which has long been a
bone of contention between the ruler of Paraguay and the Argentine
Republic, abounds with their ancient edifices, mostly in ruins, and
Paraguay itself retains to this day many of the characteristics of the
Jesuit rule, which was exercised in a despotic manner—half sacerdotal,
half military.

Any one visiting South America must be struck with the enormous size of
the churches and convents, so utterly out of proportion to what must
have been the wants of the population at the period of their erection,
and even at this moment many of these buildings are unoccupied, as
stated in my notice of the Brazilian city of San Paulo. These churches
and convents were endowed with enormous tracts of land, which in process
of time have become very valuable, and if appropriated to State purposes
would go a long way towards paying off the national debt of Brazil. Some
measure of this kind will inevitably be adopted at some future period,
as in most instances the property itself is unproductive of any national
benefit, nor is it utilised for any national object. The power of the
priesthood still predominates and subjects the masses, if not a majority
of the enlightened population, to its influence, and little short of a
social revolution can wrest from the Church what is no longer required
for religious observances, or distributed in any way towards the spread
of religious knowledge. Mexico is an instance of the pernicious and
fatal effects produced by a dominant priesthood, and although the more
liberal views of Brazilians have weakened the priestly trammels in which
some other parts of South America are still held, few have come forward
to propose divesting the Church of her nonproductive property.

The Roman Catholic religion is the religion of the State in Brazil,
though all others are tolerated by law and treaties, nor has any
difficulty ever arisen in this respect. At the same time it cannot be
denied that open attempts at proselytism would be attended with danger.
So long as foreign communities carry on their own religious ceremonies
quietly and without ostentation all will be well, but too much
demonstration might be productive of mischievous results.

As a body it cannot be said the Roman Catholic priesthood of South
America is held in much esteem by the laity. Their stronghold is in the
subserviency of the more ignorant and narrow-minded of their flock,
precisely as we find it all over the world, and even at home.

In the River Plate, owing in a great measure to the scattered nature of
the population, the influence of the priesthood has been less felt or
exercised than in Brazil, besides which the large introduction of the
foreign element in its towns and cities has led to greater freedom of
thought and action. Nevertheless the church has large possessions in
land, to which the same objections may be urged as in the case of
Brazil, and the sooner they are appropriated to national objects the
better. Cordova may be termed a city of churches and convents, the
greater number of which are useless. A recent writer on Cordova
says:—“In telling anything of Cordova it is impossible to omit to speak
of her churches: there are over thirty of them, besides the Cathedral. A
description of them and their riches and institutions would make a large
book. I have neither the requisite information, inclination, nor the
time to go into the details of this painful theme—the Church in Cordova
being so manifestly an incubus on the advancement of the country.
Immense capitals are locked up in massive buildings and lands, which the
clergy will neither sell nor cultivate, and a small army of friars and
nuns—unproductive men and women in every sense—is detached from the
world to manage these great properties, which yield nothing to the
people moral or material.” The great Republic of the United States
presents a good example to those of South America by permitting free
admission of every religion its citizens may choose to adopt without
allowing the predominance of any one in particular.



                       THE AFFLUENTS OF LA PLATA.


Here and there, in the progress of my work, I have casually referred to
the Rio de la Plata and its affluents; but the fluvial system which they
together constitute is certainly deserving of more than a merely cursory
comment. I will, therefore, add to my remarks on the Amazon and its
tributaries some more precise observations with respect to the numerous
rivers which give access to the fertile regions of Paraguay and furnish
the Argentine Confederation with an extensive littoral coast.

The rivers Parana, Uruguay, and Paraguay are, however, now too well
known to necessitate any very minute description. The first originates
at no great distance from the shores of the Atlantic in that part of the
table land of Brazil which divides the watershed of the Amazon from the
watershed of the River Plate. Its most distant branch is the Rio Grande,
which it receives at the confluence of the latter with the Paranahyba;
and after an interrupted course of about 1,000 miles it finally effects
a junction with the Paraguay, its largest affluent. Thence its huge
volume of water, further augmented by the Uruguay, rolls to the ocean,
forming that wide fresh water sea known as the estuary of the Plate. The
Parana runs for nearly 900 miles within the limits of the Argentine
Republic, and of this distance quite 750 are navigable throughout the
whole year for sailing vessels and steamers of 300 tons burden. It
begins to rise owing to intertropical rains towards the end of December,
and this continues up to the close of April. Below its confluence with
the Paraguay the average rise is eleven to twelve feet. The only
tributary the Parana receives between its confluence with the Paraguay
and its absorption in the estuary of the La Plata is the Rio Salado, a
river of great length, and having its source in the Andine regions of
the Argentine Confederation.

The Paraguay, like the Parana, has its origin in Brazilian territory.
After passing through the Estrecho of Sao Francisco, (lat. 20° S.) it
flows southwards, dividing the Republic of Paraguay from the Gran Chaco;
a few miles below Asuncion, at a point called Angostura, the channel is
narrowed by rocks, and the current becomes very rapid in consequence,
taking a bend west by south until it mingles with the Parana. The
Paraguay is navigable by large craft, and steamers have for some years
ascended to Asuncion and Matto Grosso. The Paraguay receives the
Pilcomayo, a very large stream of over 1,000 miles, and which, taking
its rise near the city of Chuquisaca, in Bolivia, traverses a vast
portion of that Republic, finally issuing from the Chaco wilderness at a
point a little above Asuncion. Of course the Paraguay is augmented by
numerous tributaries previous to its junction with the Pilcomayo, but
these need not be specially mentioned. The Araguarmini empties itself
into it at Oliva, and further down is the mouth of the Vermejo, a very
considerable river, the navigation of which opens to commerce a
territory of almost unrivalled fertility, and affords an easy access to
Bolivia, in which State, like the Pilcomayo, it has its sources. Efforts
have been made to facilitate the navigation of this fluvial highway, in
connection with which the name of Sor. Arce is deserving of special
allusion. This gentleman was the first to traverse the entire length of
this previously unexplored river, his first descent having been effected
in 1856. He followed its windings on a raft for a distance of 1,200
miles, penetrating in his course dense forests, and braving exposure to
the rays of a tropical sun, not to speak of the danger incurred from
wild beasts, and the yet more formidable Indian savages. The Vermejo
will yet prove of incalculable advantage in conveying to the ocean the
valuable products of the Argentine and Bolivian interior.

The Uruguay and the Parana partially enclose the Provinces of Entre Rios
and Corrientes, and the former is only navigable from the sea as far as
Salto, where rapids and falls occur; but above this point its waters are
adapted to small steamers and sailing craft. Its source is in Brazil. On
its banks are situated the towns of San Borja, Salto, Pysandu,
Concepcion, Fray Bentos, and Soriano. It passes through a well wooded
and picturesque country. Up to Salto it is constantly navigated by
steamers trading between that place and the lower communities,
especially Buenos Ayres and Monte Video.



                       THE REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY.


The long and sanguinary conflict which the despotic ruler of this
country has been enabled, from various causes, to maintain against the
allied arms of Brazil and the other Platine States has naturally excited
considerable curiosity in Europe to know something of its past history,
people, and form of government.

In order to arrive at a correct judgment in respect of this singular
people, and of their political and social condition, it is absolutely
necessary to go back to the time when the Jesuits exercised so potential
an influence in the River Plate, as in other parts of South America
where the members of this remarkable order were permitted to carry out
their questionable designs for the religious subjection and social
domination of the aboriginal inhabitants.

The Jesuits first arrived in Paraguay at the beginning of the 17th
century, when they obtained from Spain the concession of a vast
territory of their own choosing, traversed by the Parana and Uruguay
rivers, and capable of growing a great variety of products, including
the sugar cane, indigo, cotton, tropical fruits of every description,
and almost every kind of edible root and vegetable. The forests
contained woods of the most valuable character, and the region in
question also possessed great mineral wealth. The Fathers, having
established themselves in their conceded territory, forthwith set about
devising schemes for its population by civilised, or, at least,
subjected Indians. The means adopted were characteristic. Azara
describes the ingenious, if not very ingenuous, system adopted for this
purpose. Having failed in their attempts to subdue the wilder Indian
tribes, the Fathers soon directed their efforts to the reduction of the
Guaranis, who were of a milder and more tractable temperament. By great
industry, and by dint of patience, a small community was formed, over
whom the Jesuits possessed the most entire control, and whose members
were used for the reduction of savages in much the same fashion as the
fowler uses his “call-birds” for the capture of others. The following is
a brief description of the method usually adopted:—

  They sent to a savage community some small presents by two Indians
  speaking the same language, and who had been chosen in their oldest
  communities. They repeated these embassies and presents at different
  times, the messengers always stating that they were sent by a Jesuit
  who loved them tenderly, who desired to come and live in their
  midst, and to procure for them other objects of greater value,
  including herds of cows, in order that they might have food to eat
  without exposing themselves to fatigue. The Indians accepted these
  offers, and the Jesuit started with what he had promised,
  accompanied by a considerable number of Indians selected from
  amongst those of their early redacciones. These Indians remained
  with the Jesuit, as they were needed to build a house for the curate
  and to take care of the cows. These were very soon destroyed, for
  the Indians only thought of eating them. The savages asked for more
  cows and they were brought by additional Indians chosen like the
  first; and the whole of them remained on the spot, under the pretext
  of building a church and other edifices, and of cultivating maize,
  the yucca root, &c., for the Jesuit and for all the others. Food,
  the affability of the priest, the good conduct of the Indians who
  had brought the cattle, festivals and music, the absence of every
  appearance of subjection, attracted to this settlement all the
  savage Indians in the neighbourhood. When the priest saw that his
  selected Indians greatly exceeded the savages in numbers, he caused
  the latter to be surrounded on a determined day by his people, and
  mildly told them, in a few words, that it was not just their
  brethren should work for them, that it was therefore necessary they
  should cultivate the earth and learn trades, and that the women
  should spin. A few appeared dissatisfied, but they perceived the
  superiority of the Indians of the curate, and as the latter was
  careful to caress some and punish others with moderation, while
  exercising a surveillance over all for a time, the new mission was
  at length entirely and successfully formed.

The internal government of the Jesuits was quite as peculiar as the
proceedings by which they widened their influence and brought the
outlaying savage populations under control. From the Indians an
unquestioning and absolute submission was exacted, and the hours and the
nature of their labours were fixed without appeal by their clerical
masters. M. Quentin, in his very interesting work, translated from the
French by Mr. Dunlop, thus depicts the interior life in these
_redaccions_, the name given to their establishments by the Jesuits
themselves:—

  The Indians knew no other authority than that of the Father. The
  Father fed and clothed them, and promised the joys of Paradise as
  the reward of their submission and assiduity in labour. They lived
  in common, they worked in common, they prayed in common, under the
  direction of the Father, who was the representative of God. The
  Indian laboured, but nothing belonged to him individually;
  everything was the property of the whole community. The Father
  distributed amongst the different families the things necessary for
  their sustenance, and the remainder was carefully stored and guarded
  in immense warehouses. The Indians had nothing to do with the
  traffic; the Father it was who sold in distant markets the precious
  woods cut in the forests, the Paraguayan tea, the tobacco, and the
  hides: he it was who brought back fine garments, the most beautiful
  of which were given to the most docile and submissive, and returned
  with implements of agriculture, looms for the weaving of cotton, and
  splendid stuffs for the adornment of the chapel on holidays, when
  work was suspended and the bells sent forth jubilant peals. These
  days were days of high festival in the redacción. The Fathers of the
  neighbouring missions assembled. They invested themselves in copes
  resplendent with gold; children, clothed in white robes, carried
  censers, which they waved to and fro; and the whole population, in
  good order, and to the sound of music, slowly advanced, singing
  canticles as they went under the shade of the orange trees which
  fringed their path.

The Indians were, it will be seen, entirely deprived of liberty. They
were not allowed to do anything of their own motion. They could engage
in no private pursuits, and there was, therefore, wanting every stimulus
to individual elevation. A dead level was created, above which none rose
save by grace and selection of the priests themselves. But in return for
their confiscated freedom of action, the Indians were relieved of all
care for the morrow; and otherwise the Jesuit Fathers, it must be
confessed, were at pains to make despotism sweet and not bitter. The
labour tasks imposed were in no sort onerous, and, as Azara remarks,
they were amused “by a great number of balls, fêtes, and tournaments,”
on which occasions the actors were invariably clothed in the most costly
and magnificent vestments to be had in Europe. To the aspiring,
cultured, exalted spirit slavery in a gilded cage would be simply
intolerable; but in the case of the Guarani Indians it was very
different. They were slaves, and they were perfectly contented with
their slavery.

The Fathers were very careful to prevent their neophytes from acquiring
the Spanish language; only a few, who occupied certain subordinate
offices, were trusted with this knowledge, for the Fathers were well
aware that the only basis on which their system could possibly rest
secure was that of universal ignorance. Every channel of information or
of communication was in consequence rigorously closed and barricaded by
the institution of the most exclusive regulations. Education was summed
up in the oral teaching (they were not taught to read or write) of
certain church prayers and the ten commandments; and the time not
monopolised by labour, or in the childish games provided for their
relaxation, was devoted to exercises of piety and worship according to
the pompous ritual of the Romish Church.

When, therefore, for reasons and under circumstances which I will not
now stay to particularise, the Jesuits were expelled from the River
Plate, and were compelled to abandon their missions, the pretentious
fabric they had raised, possessing in itself no sustaining power,
collapsed almost immediately. The withdrawal of the Fathers was an
inexorable call to their former disciples to self-thought and
self-action. They were, however, unequal to the demands of the
situation; everything fell into disorder, and “villages in ruins, fields
untilled, yerbales destroyed, at once demonstrate the grandeur and the
fragility of the work undertaken by the learned ambition of the
Jesuits.” But the labours of the Fathers were far from fruitless. They
had sedulously cultivated amongst the Guarani populations of Paraguay
sentiments of obedience and fanaticism, and, incapable of managing their
own affairs, they have always reposed their destinies in the hands of
some authority, invested with the power, as with the title, of _El
Supremo_.

The history of this people, since the expulsion of the Jesuits, is,
therefore, that of a succession of tyrannies. When all the neighbouring
countries were engaged in a bloody war for the attainment of their
independence no throb for liberty disturbed the popular heart of
Paraguay. The Metropolitan supremacy was exposed to no tumultuous
assault, and was subverted only when its official guardians betrayed
their trust. The nation allowed itself to pass from one master to
another, just like a herd of cattle, without protest and without the
manifestation of any special interest, but to the new authority as to
the old they rendered the same homage of unreasoning and unreflecting
obedience. It is true that some forms of popular ratification were
given, but only given because they were asked.

I cannot pause to specify the intrigues which resulted in placing
Francia in the seat of power. Suffice it to say that in 1817 this
terrible man caused himself to be proclaimed Supreme and Perpetual
Dictator, and never surely did tyrant exercise absolute rule with a more
ruthless and cruel rigour. Even the humblest ceased to find safety in
their obscurity. For the most trifling reasons men and women were thrown
into prisons and there tortured often to the death. Espionage was
general; mutual confidence was destroyed; the members of society “moved
as in a desert,” scarcely daring to address their dearest friends lest
some thoughtless word might be reported to their detriment.

Francia lived in the most complete seclusion:—

  He was as unapproachable as a divinity. Hidden in the recesses of
  his palace, nobody could penetrate to his presence. He only went out
  in the evening, and his progress was marked by a solitude. At the
  moment he quitted his palace the clock of the Cathedral sounded, and
  all the inhabitants, seized with affright, hastily retreated within
  doors. If one of them, by chance too late, was encountered by the
  _cortège_ of the Dictator, he cast himself upon his knees, with his
  face to the earth, never daring to contemplate the features of _El
  Supremo_, and awaiting the chastisement he had incurred in an agony
  of fear. Sometimes he was carried to prison; more frequently he was
  let off with a few blows with the flat of a sabre, heartily applied
  by the soldiers of the escort.

Under such a Government neither agricultural nor trading industry could
do other than languish, and the country was cut off from all commercial
communication with the outer world.

The following extract will show how the Dictator was in the habit of
accomplishing his ends:—

  Only a few stuffs and clumsy implements were with difficulty
  produced in the country. But, in times of urgent necessity, the
  Dictator knew how to improvise workmen and teach them those arts of
  which they were ignorant. The means he employed are worthy of
  notice. He required belts for his soldiers: no one could make them.
  “Having prepared a gallows, he threatened to hang thereon a
  shoemaker who had failed to fashion the belts according to his
  desire.” By this process blacksmiths were converted into locksmiths,
  armourers, and cutlers, shoemakers into saddlers, goldsmiths into
  founders, and masons into architects. That their zeal might not be
  permitted to cool, he condemned a blacksmith to penal servitude who
  had badly constructed the sight-piece of a cannon. Everything was
  done by rule. The citizens were divested of all power of initiation.
  If they became proprietors, even their goods were subject to the
  arbitrary caprices of the Dictator. Under pretext of embellishing
  the capital, Francia “pulled down several hundred houses without
  compensating the owners, or troubling himself as to their fate or
  that of their families. Each was compelled to demolish his own
  house, and if he lacked the means, convicts were employed to do the
  work, and afterwards carried away what they thought proper.”

On the 19th of September, 1840, Francia died. But unhappily his death
did not prove the dawn of freedom for the Paraguayans. After a brief
interregnum Don Carlos Lopez, a lawyer, finally took up the sceptre of
his terrible predecessor, and wielded it with a hand equally relentless.
He professed, it is true, to rule in conformity with the constitution of
1844, if this name can be given to an act which merely legalised
despotism; but if any difference existed between the position of Lopez
and Francia, it was simply that the iron rod of the latter was gilded
and painted in the grasp of the former.

Without repudiating the exclusive policy of Francia, Lopez the elder
permitted some partial commerce with foreign nations. But this licence
was hampered by the most absurd restrictions, and he continued to
exhibit the greatest dislike for foreigners, upon whom extreme
barbarities were inflicted. If the isolation of the state was a little
relaxed it was because the “trading” interests of the Dictator would
else have suffered:—

  The modifications effected in the commercial and economic system
  were of such a nature as to secure for the State a monopoly in the
  majority of mercantile transactions. Paraguay was and is a great
  firm under the management of the President. Lopez authorised the
  people to work in the yerbales, but it was necessary to ask and
  obtain a licence. The yerba thus produced was purchased by the
  State, which exported it on its own account. The Government paid for
  it five piastres per arroba, and resold it for fifteen in the
  interior, and for so much as forty piastres to export. In
  consequence of the monopoly in the sale of this important product,
  an exorbitant price was maintained, which enabled the Brazilians to
  give a great development to its production in the province of
  Parana. The yerba there grown, though of inferior quality,
  nevertheless found an immense consumption in the Plate, on account
  of its more moderate price. The utilisation of the forests of
  Paraguay was also permitted; but the State imposed a duty of 20 per
  cent.; and as the value was fixed by itself, this pretended liberty
  of commerce in timber was simply a device to extort money, and ruin
  the individuals who might engage in it.

  With regard to the raising of cattle and the commerce in hides, the
  State possessed farms and tanneries, and did not allow private
  persons to offer any serious competition. The State could, in
  addition, command labourers without payment; for the citizens were
  still subject, as under the colonial administration, to be pressed
  into the public service. At every requisition of authority they are
  bound to work without receiving either reward or nourishment; and it
  was by means of these _auxilios_ that roads have been made and
  repaired, churches built, and both the fortress of Humaita and the
  arsenal of Villa Rica erected. The _Guardias Auxiliares_—to-day
  soldiers, to-morrow labourers—are employed in the cultivation of the
  lands of the State. These soldiers carry the posts, gather the maté
  harvest, and fell timber; but receive no remuneration, being only
  fed like the rest of the army. These labourers cost so little, that,
  thanks to them, the State defies all private competition in the
  produce of its yerbales, forests, and farms.

One thing Don Carlos Lopez did not leave out of sight. He felt his
Government was an anomaly and a menace to civilisation and political
freedom in the surrounding States, and any day even his so patient
subjects might find their bonds too galling for longer endurance. He,
therefore, developed the military strength of the Dictatorship, and
raised the fortress of Humaita on the banks of the Paraguay in such a
position as to render the country all but impregnable to external
assault.

At the end of a long reign Lopez I. died, and his dominion went by
testament to his son,—Don Francisco Solano—as Vice-President. M. Quentin
gives the following account of the proceedings adopted by the present
ruler of Paraguay to secure the position he has used to bring ruin upon
his unfortunate country:—

  Don Carlos Antonio Lopez died on the 10th of September, 1862. On the
  very same day Don Francisco Solano Lopez assembled the bishop, the
  supreme judge, and the principal functionaries, and in their
  presence opened the sealed envelope which contained the testament of
  his father. In virtue of the law of 1856 Don Francisco Solano Lopez
  was designated Vice-President, and in that capacity he convoked the
  Extraordinary Congress.

  As under such circumstances it is well to neglect nothing, young
  Lopez prudently confided the command of the army to his brother, and
  one of his uncles was already at the head of the clergy. Thus all
  the avenues to power were guarded.

  The Congress assembled under the presidency of Don Solano Lopez.
  The result of the vote was certain. Every precaution had been
  well taken. They were about to proceed to the ballot, when a
  deputy, named Varela, commenced speaking. He began by eulogising
  General Lopez, and assuring him of his personal esteem and
  sympathy, reminded Congress of the express terms of the Act of
  Independence—Paraguay shall never become the patrimony of a
  family, and concluded with these words:—“I have the most
  profound respect for General Lopez, but I have sworn to obey the
  laws of my country. I hesitate between my affection and my
  conscience.” The moment was a critical one. An unexpected
  opposition manifested itself, and drew its force from the law,
  for the first time invoked in the heart of a Congress. Lopez
  tremblingly witnessed this episode, but retained his coolness
  and self-possession. He made a sign to Father Roman, the Bishop
  of Asuncion, who of right formed part of the Congress. The
  prelate approached Varela, who humbly fell on his knees in the
  midst of the assembly, and the bishop, placing his hands upon
  his head, said with a loud voice—“_Ego te absolvo_; thou art
  released from thy oath; this is not the case for its observance
  (_no es este el caso de observarlo_).” Varela rose with delight,
  and cried, “Then I will be the first to give my vote to his
  Excellency General Lopez!” It need not be stated that the
  President obtained unanimity, and that the people welcomed his
  new master with transport. The Lopez dynasty was founded.

Lopez II., thus firmly seated in his place of supremacy, adhered to the
traditions of his father. His government has been equally despotic, and
the same policy of isolation and monopoly has been persistently
observed. Public opinion has no existence, and the only paper published
in Paraguay is the official organ, edited by the Dictator himself. The
commerce and industry of the people—their toil, their means, their
blood—are at the uncontrolled disposal of their tyrant. And how this
authority has been exercised we all know. Inflamed by ambition, and
desirous to extend his power beyond the limits of Paraguay, the greater
part of his reign—I use the word advisedly—has been devoted to the
steady accumulation of military and naval stores, the organisation of an
army out of all proportion to the number of inhabitants, and the
erection of strong fortresses on the riverine passages to the interior.
For what purpose? Let his acts of gratuitous invasion tell; let the
story of the present war with Brazil and her allies testify. I have
already placed the facts with respect to this struggle before my
readers, and I feel sure they will concur with me that the real object
of Lopez was to bring the whole of the River Plate under the terror of a
Guarani-Indian subjection. Happily this calamity has not occurred, but
it has only been avoided by a prodigious outflow of blood and treasure.



                          BRAZILIAN CURRENCY.


Like most new countries achieving their independence and establishing
constitutional government under circumstances of difficulty, internal
and external, Brazil has been subject to vicissitudes in her monetary
circulation, and has been affected by occasional aberrations from the
great truths of economical science in the emission of paper money. The
law of 1866 has, however, corrected the errors previously committed, and
when the restoration of peace shall afford the present President of the
Council and Minister of Finance, who, when holding the same offices in
1853, evinced both the capacity and determination to place the financial
condition of the Empire on a sound foundation, the Viscount Itaborahy
will, no doubt, achieve for his country even a greater financial reform
than that which secured for him in Brazil a reputation not dissimilar
from that of Sir Robert Peel in England.

The Brazilian standard of value is the gold oitava of 22 carats, of the
value of four milreis, the par value of each milreis being by law 27d.
sterling. The ancient mercantile par of the exchange of the milreis was
in sterling 60d. After the arrival of King Dom Joao VI. in Brazil the
exchange on England gradually rose, until in 1814 it reached 96d. This
rise was owing to the increase of its commerce, consequent to the freer
commercial legislation which was then first introduced and to the
depreciation of English irredeemable paper money consequent on Mr.
Pitt's Bank Restriction Act. The war which the Argentines plunged the
Empire into immediately after their independence to deprive it of its
Cis-Platine province produced, however, great financial embarrassments,
and they were increased by the mismanagement of the paper circulation by
the then Bank of Brazil, which King Dom Joao VI. had founded, by
attempts at revolution in the northern provinces, by the intervention of
the Emperor Dom Pedro I. in the affairs of Portugal, by his abdication
of the Brazilian crown in 1831, and by serious and prolonged domestic
troubles. The consequence was in 1833 the reduction of the ancient par
to 43⅕d. the milreis. From 1831 to 1840 distracted regencies governed
Brazil. During one of the regencies a civil war broke out in the great
province of the Rio Grande do Sul, which only terminated in 1845, thanks
then to the efforts and capacity of Count (now Marquis) de Caxias, who
is at this hour as heroically fighting, in his old age, the battles of
Brazil in Paraguay with equal success. Then followed other provincial
and political difficulties of less importance, but all reacting on the
financial position of the Empire. So that again in 1846 the par of the
milreis had to be lowered to 27d., at which it has since been preserved.
And it is to the credit of the Empire, its Government, Legislature, and
people, that subsequently, neither the great financial and banking
crisis of 1864, nor the pressure of the war with Paraguay, which has
continued from 1865 to the present time, has produced any propositions
for its further reduction. The maintenance of the par of the milreis at
27d. is now the established fundamental policy of Brazil. This policy is
made especially and emphatically manifest in the financial measures of
Viscount Itaborahy, who is once more Prime Minister and Finance Minister
of the Empire, with the prospect, it may be hoped, of as long an
administration as that which distinguished his Government from 1848 to
1853, during which period he governed so greatly to the advantage of the
nation, terminating the slave trade, and introducing a financial system,
the departure from and disregard of which in 1857 undid the good which
he then accomplished.

The free trade legislation of England in 1845 opened the consumption of
this country to Brazilian sugar, one of the great productions of Brazil,
and the Revolution of 1848 in France was followed by the partial
admission to France of Brazilian coffee, then the largest item of the
agriculture of the Empire. Under these influences an immense impetus was
given to the productive capacity of Brazil. The firm and enlightened
Government of Viscount Itaborahy gave the Empire concurrently a period
of domestic repose, of which the planters made the most. Political
passions subsiding agriculture made huge strides. The termination of the
African slave trade gradually relieving agriculture from debts and
embarrassments, introduced better systems of cultivation, largely
increased production, augmented commerce, released for better purposes a
great amount of capital engaged in that abominable traffic, stimulated
honest improvements of every sort and kind, and the exchange on England
rose to 28¼d. the milreis. At this time Treasury notes were the only
paper money in circulation, and their amount was so insufficient for
business purposes that coin became more abundant than paper money, to
the inconvenience of trade and society in so vast an empire.

The necessity of a convertible paper money became apparent and it was
generally demanded. The result was the enactment, on the proposition of
Viscount Itaborahy, of the law of the 5th of July, 1853. Under it the
Bank of Brazil was established as a bank of issue to a limited extent;
other banks were merged in that great institution; branches of it were
established in the larger provinces, with similarly restricted powers of
issue in circumjacent districts; the privilege of issue was confined to
this one establishment, and Brazil was provided, as England now is, with
one great bank issuing convertible paper in connection with, yet to a
large extent independent of, the State, and the Executive Government had
virtually no authority or power to found other banks of issue. Thus
unity of banking was established so far as paper money was concerned,
and to the immense advantage of the country. An easy, cheap, and
convenient paper currency was provided, always convertible into coin,
yet preferable for the ordinary purposes of life to coin; and the
provinces and the metropolis were equally well supplied with this
currency. The consequences were still further progress in the Empire,
the Treasury was relieved from the trouble of regulating the currency,
the revenue and trade increased, and an impetus was given to activity
throughout the Empire. For all this Brazil had to thank the good sense
and statesmanship of Viscount Itaborahy.

The Viscount's Cabinet terminated in 1853 in the midst of the
improvement it had created. The progress thus produced by wise and
scientific legislation unfortunately rendered a powerful section of the
country impatient for further progress and misled succeeding Governments
into a policy of a very different kind, whence mainly have flowed the
subsequent financial misfortunes of the country. From the substantial
but slow benefits of sound legislation, Senhor Souza Franco, a successor
of Viscount Itaborahy in the Ministry of the Treasury, was led into the
evils of unsound banking. He became enamoured of the then American
system of free banking, as it was termed, and in 1857, misinterpreting
the real meaning of the law of 1853, established plurality of banks of
emission. Banking societies were then empowered to issue their own notes
convertible by law, it is true, on presentation into coin, but without
any corresponding security wherewith to furnish gold for their payment
on presentation. The Government sanctioned no fewer than six banks of
emission, two in Rio de Janeiro and four in the provinces, and assigned
to each districts within which the right of paper issue might by means
of branches be further extended. In the same spirit the Government
sanctioned the establishment of joint stock companies and anonymous
societies for all kinds of purposes throughout the Empire. The right
thus assumed by Government was superabundantly exercised. Speculation
spread apace in all directions, and fictitious prosperity for a moment
took the place of real progress; shares and pecuniary responsibility,
far beyond the means of those who assumed them, became the order of the
day; long credit and increased discount aggravated the evil; gold began
to leave the Empire rapidly, the rate of exchange to fall heavily, and
in 1859 pecuniary anarchy was the consequence of this policy.

Senhor Souza Franco had to retreat before this result, and he was
succeeded by Senhor Torres Homem, who soon found in the Chambers a
spirit opposed to those wiser measures he recommended which he was
unable to overcome during his short tenure of office. Then came Senhor
Ferraz at the Treasury; he was more fortunate in remedying the mischief
thus caused. The Empire and the General Assembly had recovered from
their delusions. So, on 22nd August, 1860, a new law of banking, &c.,
was enacted. Its principles were the resumption of cash payments by the
banks of emission and the withdrawal of all power from the Executive
Government to sanction powers of emission or of anonymous societies,
reserving such power for the Imperial Legislature. By this law the Bank
of Brazil was prohibited from further emission until it had resumed
payment of its notes in gold, the power of emission was reduced and
fixed, and no banks can now be established except by legislative
authority.

Immense as was the mischief caused by the measures of 1857, the law of
1860 to a considerable extent corrected it. The two banks of emission at
Rio de Janeiro resigned the privileges they had acquired; within two
years the Bank of Brazil resumed payment of its notes in cash; the Bank
of Pernambuco withdrew its notes from circulation; and the currency of
the Empire had undergone substantial improvement when—in September,
1864, suddenly a great “crisis” burst on Rio de Janeiro, immediately the
consequence of adverse European influences, but substantially the result
of unscrupulous and indefensible mismanagement of discount and private
bankers in that capital.

Their establishments were in the enjoyment of great credit. Their chiefs
were men of mercantile activity and public spirit, living _en evidence_,
pushing business, giving facilities to everybody, and dealing with money
as if possessed of boundless capital of their own. Their means for this
pecuniary profusion was, however, chiefly derived from money deposited
with them, for longer or shorter periods, or “at call,” sometimes in
large, but more frequently in small sums, on which they allowed interest
of, say, 8 per cent. Thus they became possessed of a greater part of the
floating and uninvested capital of Rio de Janeiro. Receiving money in
this way freely and largely, from the poorer public chiefly, it was the
duty of these bankers to place it out at higher rates of interest, but
on ample security always, and easily convertible into cash. By such
business they would have reaped substantial profits for themselves, have
assisted honest commerce, and have provided effectually for their
depositors. A run upon one of these houses in September, 1864, after the
arrival of bad financial news from Europe, resulted in its closing its
doors on its depositors. This stoppage alarmed the creditors of the
other houses, and they followed suit by demanding back their deposits.
With the same effect—the closing of doors and stoppage—until five of
these bankers suspended payment with deposits of £5,655,000.

Investigation into their affairs showed how reckless had been their
management, how disregardful of every rule of deposit banking. The funds
entrusted to them had been invested in houses, advanced on mortgages,
lent to planters on bills renewable; and thus Rio de Janeiro was by
their misconduct involved in unexpected ruin. The Government had to
interfere with the payment of bills of exchange, to direct the
administration of their insolvent estates. The Bank of Brazil was
involved in large advances to these houses and unable to assist the
community at the moment when assistance was most needed. The consequence
was a suspension of its cash payments.

This crisis once more raised the question of the currency and of
banking, and led, after a prolonged discussion, to further legislation
in 1866.

By the beginning of 1865 the paper circulation of the Empire reached the
enormous sum in sterling of £11,025,000, of which, however, only
£3,150,000 were notes of the Government having general circulation
throughout the country. For the balance of £7,785,000, the circulation
of which was limited to defined districts in which the issuing banks
were situated, the public, had no adequate security. The natural
consequence was disarrangement in the internal exchanges and general
disturbance of the money market. To remedy it Government proposed a
radical reform of the Bank of Brazil, and its separation in two
departments,—one of issue, the other of banking. The discussions on this
question continued through the legislative sessions of 1865 and 1866.
And during these discussions the adverse situation was illustrated by
further decline in the foreign exchanges and the augmentation of the
non-Government paper in circulation to £9,225,000, to which it had
swollen in May, 1866.

In the session of that year the difficulties of this state of affairs
were brought under the consideration of a Committee of the Senate, of
which Viscount Itaborahy was the most eminent member, and to which a
remedial measure of a radical character was referred for examination.
The result of its deliberations was the expression of an opinion that
the Bank of Brazil, having in two years doubled its circulation, could
no longer accomplish the essential objects of its existence. Thus
sentence of death was passed on that institution by the statesman who
had formed it, and legislation became inevitable after such a
condemnation.

Accordingly, on the 12th of September, 1866, a measure became law which
enabled the Government to abolish the contract under which the Bank of
Brazil existed. The principal provisions of this law were: 1. The
cessation of the bank's privilege of emission. 2. The division of the
bank into two departments—one for banking purposes only, the other for
mortgage loans, in order to effect a gradual liquidation of the
securities given by the agricultural classes, and so to form the
commencement of the operations of the law of September, 1864. 3. The
sale of the bank's stock of bullion, which amounted to £2,925,000 and
the application of the proceeds to a proportionate withdrawal of its
notes from circulation. 4. The annual contraction of its remaining paper
circulation. 5. The payment to the bank for the State notes it used in
accordance with its primitive contract, in withdrawing from circulation
about £1,237,500, by the substitution of bank notes by State notes, and
the discharge of an insignificant amount of treasury bonds cashed by the
bank. 6. The issue in payment of floating debt, and those treasury bonds
of State notes, to the amount of notes withdrawn by the bank.

Thus the Government were supplied with coin for remittances to the army
and navy engaged with war in Paraguay, and the Bank of Brazil was
reduced to a mercantile association. So it now remains, only a small and
scarce portion of its notes having a forced circulation, and that small
portion is being greatly reduced.

Thus, too, the exclusive functions of providing for the circulating
medium were restored to the State, instead of being confided to a bank
on which were at times painfully and mischievously exercised the
exigencies of internal credit, and the reaction in Brazil of those
crises in Europe and the United States, that affected the Brazilian
Empire while its currency was in so unsound a condition with great
violence.

In 1867, the increasing pecuniary requirements of the war compelled the
General Assembly to vote the Government a credit of fifty thousand
contos (£5,625,000) which have in great part been used by the
Government. But, inserted in the law which authorised the issue, is a
provision that on the termination of the war, the legislature will fix
in the budget of each year the necessary amount to be applied to the
withdrawal of this addition to the State notes.

It was not, however, only by further emissions of State notes that the
General Assembly in 1867 made provision for the extraordinary
expenditure of the Government. In that session old taxes were increased,
new sources of taxation opened up, and the whole system of taxation was
re-organised in a more rational and scientific way, greatly to the
increase of the general revenue of the Empire. So much so that in the
session of 1868 the budget for 1869-70 showed under the influence of
greatly enlarged receipts, and of economies effected in the various
departments of the State, an important surplus.

And while thus placing the paper circulation on the more solid basis of
national security, important reforms were effected in the same session
of 1867 in the coinage of the Empire.

Owing to the fineness of the silver coinage a fall in the foreign
exchanges was immediately followed by the exportation of silver from
Brazil to the great inconvenience of petty commerce. So in September,
1867, for the silver coinage of Brazil was adopted, in respect of the
coins of two milreis (4s. 6d.) and milreis (2s. 3d.) the fineness and
weight introduced by the International Convention between France and
other countries. And the Government substituted for the old copper
coinage bronze pieces of twenty reis (½d.) and ten reis (¼d.) of a
similar alloy to that of our present bronze coinage—viz., ninety-five
parts of copper, four of tin, and one of zinc. So that the Brazilian
coinage consists of gold pieces (of twenty and ten milreis of 917
milliomes,) legal tender for any amount—that is, of 27d. per milreis,
and of these silver and copper pieces for tokens. In addition, English
sovereigns and half-sovereigns are also legal tenders for any amount in
Brazil.

On the change of Ministry in July, 1868, which led to the formation of
the Cabinet over which Viscount Itaborahy now presides, the Chamber of
Deputies, by an unexpected and sudden combination of forces previously
adverse to each other, came to a resolution which left the newly formed
Cabinet no alternative but an appeal at once to the nation, and that
without the Chamber making full financial provision for the conduct of
the war. Left in this position by no fault of its own, the Cabinet in
September, 1868, had no alternative but the adoption of financial
operations on its own responsibility. But they have fortunately met with
the full approval of the country, and will, no doubt, be sanctioned by
the result of the now impending general election of deputies.

These measures were of an alternative character. First of all they
consisted of a decree authorising a further issue of State notes to the
amount of 40,000 contos, viz., £4,500,000. But this decree was followed
by another empowering the Treasury to raise a domestic gold loan of
30,000 contos, £3,335,000. The former decree was, however, only intended
to support the credit of the Government, in the event of the failure of
the loan authorised by the latter decree, and as it has been successful,
a further issue of State notes will, it may be anticipated, be averted
to any considerable amount.

In explanation of these measures it is necessary to state that the
pressure of the war expenditure going on since April, 1865, had led,
under the previous Cabinet of Senhor Zacharias, to the creation of a
large floating debt, represented by Treasury Bonds, issued for various
short periods. There is always in Rio de Janeiro a large amount of
loanable capital seeking interest on temporary investment, which it had
found previously to the crisis of 1864 in the deposits of private
bankers' establishments. This loanable capital deprived of such resource
after the crisis of that year found better and safe temporary shelter in
Treasury Bonds. And obtaining money in this way to carry on the war, the
preceding Cabinet was able to avoid new permanent operations for
supplying the means for its necessities. The wants of the Government so
supplied, however, deprived commerce of part of its legitimate supplies
of money and made the situation of the Treasury precarious and
hazardous. The extent, too, of temporary resources of this kind had
obviously reached their limit. It was, therefore, partly to extinguish a
large amount of this floating debt, and so to relieve the Treasury from
any embarrassment that might arise from failure in the renewal of
Treasury Bonds when at maturity, and partly to provide for the
exigencies of the war, that the Government in September, 1868, resorted
to the internal loan of 30,000 contos, £3,335,000, issued at ninety
percent., in bonds bearing six per cent. interest payable in gold,
redeemable in thirty-three years by purchase when under par, and drawing
when at or above par, in which last case payment to be made in gold.
This loan was so favourably received that applications for it were
received in Rio only to the extent of 105,000 contos, and it quickly
rose to a premium of seven per cent.

Again, then, complete success has attended the financial policy of
Viscount Itaborahy, and the Treasury has been provided with the means of
discharging a large amount of floating debt and of prosecuting the war.

In spite of the provisions adopted by the legislation, and of the
concurrent necessary activity of Brazilian commerce, the exchanges in
London after the crisis of 1864, though high in reference to the over
issue of inconvertible paper, had fallen, and in February, 1868,
declined, as if in panic, to 14d. This fall was partly due to the
remittances to England of bills for purchasing gold and honouring the
Government commitments on this side, and still more to the large orders
from the Plate for operations in exchange, and purchases of bullion here
caused by the financial crisis of Monte Video.

This decline in the rate of exchange on London was, however, brief.
Thanks principally to the financial measures just described, and to the
improving prospects of the war, the rate has again risen, and is still
rising.

Such, in necessarily brief and rough outlines, is the history of the
circulating medium of the Brazilian Empire.

Everything, it will be seen, conduces to the conviction that with the
close of the war and expenditure there will be a certainty of
maintaining the standard of 1846, so solemnly reproduced in the laws of
1853, 1860, and 1867, and in the internal loan of 1868, and that the
foreign exchange will once more rise, in the interests of commerce and
of all domestic industries to above the legal level so fixed in 1846.
When this has been accomplished it will be recognised, and be due to an
intelligent and prudent administration of the finances, to the
prodigious development of the external commerce and to the inexhaustible
resources of the great American monarchy.[8]

-----

Footnote 8:

  In the preparation of this chapter we are indebted to several
  important and valuable Brazilian works—“Systema Financial do Brazil,”
  by Conselheiro C. B. de Oliveira; the Report on the Circulating Medium
  of the Empire, made in 1859-60, by a Commission presided over by
  Conselheiro Almeida Areas, now Brazilian Minister in London; the
  Report on the Crisis of 1864, by a Commission presided over by the
  late Conselheiro Silva Ferraz (Baron de Uruguayana); the _Relatorios_,
  from 1865 downwards, of the Ministers of Finance, and the Annals of
  the Senate and Chamber of Deputies for the same period.



                          ARGENTINE FINANCES.


A notice of this extensive and rising country would be incomplete
without some allusion to its financial condition, and in order to
illustrate this more clearly I must revert to the year 1824, when the
first loan of a million sterling was raised in London, to assist the
young republic in meeting the expenses incurred during the War of
Independence. That the money thus obtained was more or less squandered,
and did not find its way into legitimate channels, is probable enough;
nevertheless the liability was always admitted by the existing
Governments, although interest had ceased to be paid on the loan for
upwards of twenty years and the original stock was almost worthless.

At the period I allude to the revenue and resources of the country were
small, and during the reign of Rozas they were entirely under his
private direction, and the national means spent according to his will.
In fact, what is now known as the Argentine Republic had no existence
until after the downfall of Rozas in 1852, Buenos Ayres up to that
period exercising sovereign control. A heavy internal debt, represented
by paper money, had also generally reduced the value of the dollar
(originally worth about four shillings) to two pence, and there appeared
little chance of the English bondholders ever obtaining again the money
lent in 1824, through the agency of Messrs. Baring Brothers and Co.

But on the downfall of Rozas, a new era dawned upon the republic. Many
illustrious citizens, who had been obliged to expatriate themselves in
order to save their lives, returned to Buenos Ayres, and the principles
of constitutional government were again infused into the body politic,
subject, however, to many vicissitudes, which, for a time, retarded
internal progress, and prevented the real resources of the country from
being profitably utilised. So soon as these difficulties were overcome
the question of its indebtedness forced itself upon the Executive and
Legislative powers, who wisely decided that their first great financial
effort should be to come to some understanding with their English
creditors.

At the same time a movement was set on foot by the bondholders
themselves, and a Committee was formed in London, under the auspices of
Messrs. Baring Brothers and Co., comprising some of the largest
bondholders. Negotiations were entered into with the Buenos Ayres
Government, who evinced every disposition to meet the matter fairly; and
eventually, in the year 1857, an arrangement was come to by which the
original debt in full, with its accumulated interest, was consolidated,
and interest agreed to be paid thereon; and this arrangement has been
most faithfully adhered to up to the present hour. The decree in which
this honourable recognition of a great principle is contained is dated
the 12th December, 1857, and is signed by the Governor Filipe Llavallol
and Norberto de la Riestra the then Minister of Finance. I insert a copy
of the document itself:—

  MINISTRY OF FINANCE.

                                        Buenos Ayres, Nov. 20th, 1857.

  The Government of the State of Buenos Ayres, in virtue of the
  authorisation conferred upon it by the law of the 28th of October
  last, has made the following arrangement with Mr. George E. White,
  representative of Messrs. Baring Brothers and Co., agents of the
  loan contracted in London in 1824 for settlement of the said debt,
  viz.:—

  Art. 1st.—To meet the payment of the interest upon the original
  bonds the Government of Buenos Ayres engages to remit to the Loan in
  London in

                        1857 the sum of £36,000
                        1858             48,000
                        1859             60,000

  And from and after 1860, inclusive, besides the above-mentioned sum
  of £60,000, it will also remit annually the sum of £5,000 as a
  redemption fund. This sum, together with the interest of the shares
  redeemed, or that may be redeemed, shall be employed, one half each
  six months, in the purchase or redemption of the new bonds of this
  class till the whole of them have been redeemed. The funds
  corresponding to the stipulated remittances shall be placed in
  London, one half before the 30th of June, and the other half before
  the 31st of December in each year.

  Art. 2nd.—The sums appropriated to the redemption shall be employed
  by the agents of the London Loan in the purchase of bonds in the
  market at the current price so long as that is less than par; but
  should the price of the bonds exceed par, the funds to be redeemed
  by the redemption fund shall be determined by lot, in presence of
  the principal agent or representative of the State of Buenos Ayres
  existing in London.

  The bonds drawn by lot shall be published in the _Gazette_, or two
  of the London journals, stating the day on which payment will be
  made at par, and from which date they will cease to bear interest.

  The bonds purchased or redeemed by the redemption fund, with their
  corresponding future dividends of interest, shall be cancelled in
  presence of the principal agent or representative of the State of
  Buenos Ayres in London, and immediately deposited in the Bank of
  England, publishing their numbers in the _Gazette_, or in two of the
  principal London journals.

  Art. 3rd.—The holders of the original bonds shall receive a new list
  of debentures for their future dividends, with a copy annexed to it
  of the two preceding articles, beginning with the debenture for the
  dividend that falls due on the 12th of January, 1861.

  Art. 4th.—For the interest due upon the original bonds up to this
  date, and for those that fall due to the end of 1858, amounting to
  the sum of £1,641,000, the Government of Buenos Ayres shall emit new
  bonds to bear interest at the following rates, viz:—

  Art. 5th.—From 1861 to 1865 inclusive, one per cent. per annum. From
  1866 to 1870 inclusive, two per cent., and from and after 1871,
  three per cent. The first half-yearly dividend upon these new bonds
  shall fall due on the 12th July, 1871, and subsequently on the 12th
  January and 12th July of each year, on which days the half-yearly
  instalments or dividends due shall be paid in London. All the
  guarantees accorded to the original bonds shall be extensive to
  these new bonds.

  Art. 6th.—The Government of Buenos Ayres engages to remit to the
  agents of the loan in London the funds necessary for meeting the
  payment of the interest assigned to these new bonds, and moreover,
  from and after 1871, the sum of £8,205, or, say the 200th part of
  the total amount of the said bonds, as a redemption fund for them.
  This sum together with the interest of the bonds that have been
  redeemed shall be employed in equal proportion every six months in
  the purchase or redemption of these new bonds, till the whole of
  them have been redeemed. Accordingly the sums that must be remitted
  to meet the interest and redemption fund shall be as follows, viz.,
  from 1861 to 1865 inclusive, £24,615, annually; from 1866 to 1870
  inclusive, £41,025; and from and after 1871, the sum of £47,435; the
  Government engaging to place these funds in London, one-half before
  the 30th June, and the other half before the 31st December of each
  year. The Government reserves to itself the right of employing in
  the redemption of these new bonds, over and above the sum
  stipulated, any further sums the Legislature may appropriate to this
  purpose.

  Art. 7th.—The sums applicable to the redemption fund, as also the
  others that may be destined to this purpose, shall be employed by
  the agents of the loan in London, to the purchase of these new bonds
  in the market, at the current price, always that this is less than
  par; but in case the price of these bonds should come to exceed par,
  the bonds that are to be redeemed shall be determined by lot, and
  those that are drawn by lot, as also those purchased in the market
  shall be published in the journals, paid and cancelled on the
  respective debentures in the manner and form established in the
  second Article in respect to the six per cent. bonds.

  Art. 8th.—The new bonds shall be denominated Three Per Cent. Buenos
  Ayrean Bonds, shall be signed in the name of the State, by the
  Minister of Finance in Buenos Ayres, and shall be emitted through
  the medium of Messrs. Baring Brothers and Co., of London, by whom
  they shall be countersigned.

  Art. 9th.—The payments stipulated in the present convention are
  specially assigned upon the products of the rents of the public
  lands of the State, excepting those belonging to the Municipalities,
  and in case of deficiency this shall be made up from the general
  rents of the State, or from the special resources created by the
  Legislature for the purpose.

The conduct of Buenos Ayres statesmen in respect to the obligations
referred to was fully appreciated in this country, and the bonds
gradually rose up to par value, holding even during the great monetary
crisis a good position; nor must it be lost sight of that, although the
original debt was incurred for the benefit of the entire Confederation,
yet the Province of Buenos Ayres alone took upon itself the sole
responsibility; and, up to the present confederation with the other
Argentine provinces, always paid the interest out of its provincial
resources.

Subsequent to the settlement of the English debt, what is known as the
National Government was formed, and the internal debt of the entire
provinces has been consolidated into a national stock, bearing interest
at 6 per cent., which is punctually paid, and the stock, from being
worth 30 to 40 a few years back, has latterly risen to 55, subject, of
course, to fluctuations generally caused by speculation on the Bolsa of
Buenos Ayres, where, for a long period, gambling in paper money was the
chief business, until a wise measure of Governor Alsina, in establishing
an Exchange Office, and fixing a paper value for gold, put a stop to
this element of financial and social disturbance.

As already mentioned, there is a provincial revenue and a national
revenue, as well as expenditure; that of Buenos Ayres being the most
important, from its great commercial wealth. Until recently, the only
bonds known here were those of Buenos Ayres. Now we have what are called
Argentine bonds, lately issued on the security of the National
Government; and in order to show the nature of this latter security, as
well as the progressive state of the national revenue, I cannot do
better than quote the following figures, issued by their able
representative Minister, his Excellency Don Norberto de la Riestra, in a
circular dated 1st June last, at the time he was negotiating this
important transaction:—

 In 1864 the General National Revenue          $7,005,328 or  £1,401,065
   amounted to

 In 1865 it reached                             8,295,071 or   1,659,014

 In 1866                                        9,568,554 or   1,913,711

 In 1867 the yield is estimated at                             2,600,000

  it having produced in the first eight months of the year $8,981,430.

 The Revenue estimates for 1868 amount to                      2,647,200

  as follows:—

 Ordinary Import Duties                        $7,650,000

 Ordinary Export Duties                         2,070,000

 Storage Dues                                     350,000

 Stamps                                           160,000

 Post Office and Miscellaneous                    206,000

                                              ———————————

                                              $10,436,000

 Additional Customs' Duties                     2,800,000

                                              ———————————

                                              $13,236,000 or  £2,647,200


 The Budget of ordinary expenditure for 1868                  £1,581,649
   amounts to

  as follows:—

 Ministry of the Interior                       $ 901,079
 Ministry of Foreign Affairs                       99,538
 Ministry of Finance                              729,491
 Ministry of Justice, &c.                         487,940
 Ministry of War and Marine                     3,116,593
 Service of Public Debt                         2,573,626
                                               ——————————
                                               $7,908,267 or £1,581,649.

  The surplus revenue over ordinary expenditure is applied to defray
  the extraordinary war expenses.

  The above revenue is distinct and independent of the private
  revenues, both State and Municipal, of the different Provinces of
  the Republic, which are raised for local purposes.

  The Public Debt of the Republic at this time is as follows:—

  EXTERNAL.—Old Buenos Ayres Debt (London Loan of 1824) now in charge
  of the nation, say:—

 Original Six per Cent. Stock                                  £ 905,800
 Deferred Three per Cent. do.                                  1,110,900
 Argentine Six per Cent. Loan of 1866                            540,000
                                                              ——————————
                    Total                                     £2,556,700

  INTERNAL.—

 Consolidated Six per Cent. Argentine Stock   $12,839,535 or  £2,567,907

 Buenos Ayres Public Stock (in paper                             596,988
   currency)

 Paraná Debt 1858, including Interest                            433,309

 Obligations to Foreign Creditors                                 18,852

 Loan from Brazilian Government 1851                             228,541

 Loan from Brazilian Government 1865-66                          400,000

                                                              ——————————

                    Total                                     £4,245,597

  There is besides a floating debt in Treasury Bills to a moderate
  amount, which is being rapidly cancelled.

I think this statement, combined with the facts I have elsewhere given
from personal experience and observation, as to the rapidly extending
commerce of the Argentine Confederation, will fully bear out the
favourable impression that is now gaining ground in England, and in
Europe generally, as to the _bona fide_ security presented by Argentine
bonds; and I must say that, looking back to the conscientious course
pursued by the Government, no country in the world deserves more to
enjoy the confidence of British capitalists.

It will be seen from Senor Riestra's statement that the only foreign
debt of the Argentine Republic is that due to English bondholders. Her
internal debt is due chiefly to her own citizens, who are safe to be
paid both principal and interest; nor has any act of repudiation, or
compromise ever stained the character of the Argentine people. The
pursuance of this praiseworthy conduct has been followed by the
investment of British capital in promoting railways and other industrial
enterprises. Indeed, look around in whatever direction we may, it is
difficult to find a more pleasing illustration of the maxim, that
“honesty is the best policy,” than that exhibited by the Argentine
Republic.



                      TOWN AND HARBOUR OF SANTOS.


Before recording the details of my passage home I wish to say a few
words more with regard to the rising port of Santos, a notice of which
has been accidentally omitted in a former part of my work. Its
connection with the San Paulo Railway and the fact of its being the
shipping port of the province renders Santos of much future importance.
The distance from Rio de Janeiro is about 200 miles, and the navigation
is simple enough—in fact, in sight of land the whole way, the sea coast
ridge of mountains being conspicuous. The only danger is from the
Alcatrazes rocks, which lie some distance to the eastward of Santos, and
very ugly customers they are, towering a considerable height above the
sea. Steamers can, however, have no difficulty in avoiding them after
getting hold of the island of San Sebastian, from the point of which the
Santos light becomes visible, and can be seen at a distance of 20 miles,
but coasting craft require to keep a good lookout at night. The light is
placed on an island of some elevation, covered with trees to the summit,
and it has a very picturesque appearance. Rounding a bluff point, you
enter at once what appears to be a river channel, though it is an
estuary, for Santos is really an island. The passage is winding and the
land on each side is covered with shrubby vegetation, the distance up
four miles, with deep water for vessels of 1,000 tons. There are some
scattered houses on the beach, chiefly used by sea-bathing residents,
and on one side is an antiquated looking fort, supposed at one time to
have guarded the entrance of the estuary—a specimen of early Portuguese
defences; and on the island of Santos are the remains of the old town of
San Vincente, the first founded on this part of the coast. The anchorage
opposite the town is convenient and well protected; several wharves
extend out where vessels lie alongside to discharge and load cargo, and
at the Custom House there is an iron pontoon used for the same purpose.
At this wharf the steamer I came down in (1,000 tons burden) received a
full cargo and sailed within three days, a feat without parallel in any
other port in Brazil.

There is some pretty scenery around Santos—on the coast side a range of
hills, and opposite to the town, across the estuary, rise the bold
mountain ranges covered with verdure. It is a pleasant ride round the
base of the hills on the seaside until you come to the town of San
Vincente. The railway is laid along a swampy marsh, running parallel and
close to the old San Paulo road until it crosses the bridge of Cubitao,
which connects the island and the main land. The town itself is long and
straggling, containing from 8,000 to 10,000 inhabitants, with some fine
warehouses or stores for storing coffee, cotton, or other country
produce previous to shipment. At the extremity of the town is the
railway station, a commodious building, having wharves, alongside of
which vessels can come, and opposite to the station is what looks like a
palace, with two wings and a centre, the outside almost entirely lined
with ornamental blue Lisbon tiles, and the whole bearing an appearance
quite out of keeping with the general features of the place. It is the
costly hobby of an old Portuguese merchant, and intended for his own
residence, but it progresses very slowly towards completion. The streets
are paved with roughish stones, not easy for a novice to walk on, but a
great improvement on the sandy element which formerly characterised
primitive Brazilian streets. The class of buildings is generally solid,
and there are some good, well stocked shops. There is also a theatre on
a very diminutive scale, where I went to see an amusing amateur
performance, but the heat was stifling; nevertheless, it was quite full,
and some well dressed and sprightly young ladies formed part of the
audience, and did not appear to be very much troubled by the not very
aromatic flavour of the atmosphere. It was a relief to get into the
fresh air for a few minutes between the acts.

Santos is not to be judged by its present status, but by what the
railway must make it; and a few years will produce a very great change,
further accelerated by the introduction of gas, water, and drainage,
which are here much needed, as well as in the City of San Paulo. There
is a specialty about the old Brazilian towns that one cannot help being
struck with, and they present a striking contrast when railway
innovation comes to disturb the slumbrous habits of the people. As a
seaport and a rising town Santos is deserving of this additional notice,
and, I may observe, its close proximity to the sea renders it
exceedingly healthy.



                       MR. PERKINS ON EMIGRATION.


In the elaborate and interesting report of Mr. William Perkins, who was
at the head of a recent Government expedition to El Rey, an old Spanish
settlement in the Gran Chaco, occurs the following remarks:—“The
northern part of the Province of Santa Fé is justly considered the most
important, being so highly favoured by nature; and in truth the Creator
has here scattered with a prodigal hand all the elements capable of
attracting population and industry. For these reasons it saddens the
heart to see these magnificent lands deserted, teeming as they do with
natural riches. Mighty rivers and streams cross each other in all
directions; first-class timber in the woods to an extent the eye cannot
reach; picturesque meadows of rich pasture,—in a word, whatever can be
desired for agricultural and industrial pursuits.”

Mr. Perkins has been one of the most active and intelligent agents in
the cause of emigration to the Argentine Republic and so soon as the
land transfers of the Central Argentine Railway are completed the
company intend to send him to the United States and to England for the
purpose of making arrangements, and to bring out people to occupy their
land, a desirable step, which will at once enhance its value and that of
the immense tracts by which it is surrounded. The peculiar feature of
this railway is the territory attached to the concession, namely, a
league on each side of the line, comprising a total of about a million
of acres, one half of which is the property of the contractors, the
other half belonging to the shareholders, who have, besides, the
national guarantee of 7 per cent. on the capital of £1,600,000, which
the railway is to cost, or about £6,500 per mile. It is, perhaps, one of
the easiest railways in the world to make, the chief expense being the
rails and rolling stock, few earthworks or ordinary sleepers being
required. As I have before noticed, there is plenty of wood higher up
the country, about Villa Nueva, where a large quantity of sleepers of
excellent quality were being prepared to complete the line to Cordova.

In Mr. Perkins' report just alluded to are some very graphic
descriptions of the riverine facilities, at present so little known or
availed of, but it is to be hoped when he revisits those scenes, after
utilising his services at home, he will return to see progress already
made, and some at least of the lands of the Central Argentine Railway
occupied by thriving settlers. It only requires encouragement, and a
beginning to be made, which I believe will not long be delayed.

The Argentine Government has come forward to assist the Argentine
Railway by an issue of bonds for £300,000, the contractors supplying the
remaining £300,000, which, with £1,000,000 in shares when the company
was formed, completed the capital. The timely assistance thus rendered
by the Government is an earnest of their desire to see this great work
accomplished, in which the welfare of the upper provinces is so deeply
concerned, as there are no navigable rivers running westward to Cordova,
the Parana and the Paraguay tending northward into Paraguay and Matto
Grosso. It follows, as a matter of course, that a large portion of the
produce of these western provinces will find its way to Cordova and to
the railway, amongst them many articles which have never yet been
brought down to Rosario or Buenos Ayres, on account of the great cost of
transit.

Reverting to Mr. Perkins, his services in the cause of exploration of
the country have been very valuable, and few there are better acquainted
with the facilities it presents for emigration, when once centres of
population are established by this main trunk railway from Rosario to
Cordova.



                            MY VOYAGE HOME.


My visit has been prolonged by unforeseen events, but I am on my way
home again, on board the steamer City of Buenos Ayres, commanded by my
old friend Captain Peters, also belonging to Tait's Line, which has
experienced some of the incidents and drawbacks peculiar to the
formation of new companies; but from the spirit manifested by that firm,
there is every prospect of the enterprise proving a successful one. The
rapid increase of passenger trade to the River Plate is a notable fact
that has to be provided for, independent of that to Brazil, which
continues to assume larger proportions, and steamers now will get a
preference of freight both ways. Two days after the storm at Buenos
Ayres, to which I have referred in another place, the vessel was enabled
to complete her cargo, and to get under weigh at 9 p.m., on the 19th
June, reaching Monte Video at 11 a.m. on the following day. There was a
fresh breeze blowing, which rendered boating somewhat hazardous, and
prevented our leaving the harbour until 8 a.m. on Sunday, the 21st, when
we steamed down the river, passed Maldonada, and after five days we once
more entered the bay of Rio de Janeiro, where several men-of-war were at
anchor. As we passed the American frigate Guerriere, the band struck up
“God save the Queen,” in compliment to our captain, who was a friend of
the American admiral. Her Majesty's ship Narcissus, with Admiral Ramsay
on board, was also lying in the harbour, with the American steamer
Kersseage, which terminated the career of the world-famed cruiser,
Alabama, in the combat off Cherbourg.

The weather was beautifully fine, clear, and pleasant at Rio, very
different from that I had experienced a few months previously, and
rendered the two days on shore very agreeable. I had a busy time of it,
seeing and taking leave of old friends, but managed to get through, and
embarked on Sunday afternoon. We sailed down the harbour, again passing
the men-of-war, officers and crews of which were collected on deck, and
returned our salutation. Captain Wilson, flag-captain of the Narcissus,
lunched on board us, with some of the officers, and a number of other
friends of the passengers were on board before we started. We passed the
fort at 5 p.m., when they very politely hoisted the number, “Wish you a
good voyage.” The scenery of the bay looked, if possible, more
magnificent than ever, under the influence of the setting sun, the
outline of mountains being so clearly and vividly portrayed, and few
could leave so grand a scene without a feeling of admiration and regret.
Our passengers were a mixed group (including about a dozen children of
various ages) of different nationalities, English, Scotch, Irish,
Belgian, Dutch, and Germans, so almost all languages were spoken on
board. Some English families were returning from a residence of some
years in the campos of Buenos Ayres, not very well pleased with the
result of their speculation in sheep farming, which has no doubt been a
bad one of late, but I could not find from their report that they had
undergone any particular hardships, besides which they had other reasons
for returning home. As I have before observed, it is a mistake for
people to go out to the River Plate to commence sheep farming under the
idea they can realise a fortune and retire in a few years. They must
make up their minds to rough it, and to persevere as they would have to
do at home in a similar occupation.[9]

We had favourable weather, and crossed the line on the eighth day after
leaving Rio, expecting to reach St. Vincent, our only place of call
between Rio and Falmouth, on the 10th of July, say thirteen days out,
which is pretty fair work for a steamer with only moderate power, and
carrying a large cargo. We passed many vessels knocking about in what
sailors call the “doldrums”—various winds and calms—which prevail
between the north-east and south-east trades, and amused ourselves with
exchanging signals with several of them, getting their names,
destination, &c. The monotony of a sea voyage is always relieved by
incidents of this kind, and making land, the latter generally creating
much excitement.

We got into the harbour of St. Vincent about 8 p.m., on the evening of
Saturday, the 11th of July, in time to be visited, and I went on shore
to spend the night with Mr. Miller, at his country place up the
mountains, about two-and-a-half miles distant from the Consulate. It was
dark, of course, but Mr. Miller's son led the way on a pony, and I
followed him on another, the ascent being rather steep as we approached
the house, which is very nicely perched on ground levelled on a spur of
the mountain, and called Areia from the dark brown colour of the hills.
Sleeping at an elevation of 800 feet, was a pleasant change after the
rocking motion and closeness of the steamer's cabin, and on looking out
of my window early next morning there was a charming view of the little
harbour, and the picturesque mountains on all sides of it, wanting only
verdure to constitute an agreeable picture. Everything was burnt up from
the want of rain, which is expected about this time, when I believe the
Island wears quite a cheerful aspect, though for a short time only.
After breakfast, we rode down to the Consulate, where I spent a portion
of the day, instead of being on board during the delightful operation of
coaling, when everything is covered with coal dust. Mr. Miller has a
farm on the other side of the island, where he is cultivating vines,
fruits, and vegetables, having a supply of water on the spot,—the most
difficult of all things to find—and he has by means of a large tank,
brought a supply into the town.

I have before alluded to the great advantage presented by St. Vincent as
a coaling station, and to the facilities Mr. Miller has provided to
carry it on—which he is continually adding to. A steamer can take on
board 200 to 300 tons of coal in a few hours, and lately the Tamer, on
her way home from the Cape, took in upwards of 600 tons during daylight.
It was Sunday again when we were there (a constant recurrence during the
last six months, when I have been so often in and out of ports); but we
were coaled and all ready to start by 5 p.m. Unfortunately, some little
repairs to the boiler tubes were not completed, and we did not get up
steam until 1 a.m. on Monday morning, thus losing several hours. The
night was fine, and we soon got again into the open sea, on our way to
Falmouth, steaming against a north-east trade. The Zaire, Portuguese
mail steamer from Africa, came into St. Vincent on Sunday for a small
supply of coal, sailing again in a few hours. The only other vessels
were a small paddle wheel steamer, bound to Bahia, intended for the
navigation of the bay, and two vessels discharging coal. At times there
is quite a little fleet there, and a good many steamers are shortly
expected to call with troops on their way back from the Abyssinian
expedition.

Four days' hard tugging against a strong north-east trade has diminished
our hopes of a tolerably quick passage. During the many passages I have
made I do not recollect such strong trades at this season of the year.
Our progress has, in consequence, been very slow, not averaging more
than 150 miles in the twenty-four hours; and the only amusement, if it
can be called such, is to exchange signals with vessels passing us,
going along with the wind right aft and all sail set. It is steaming
against these north-east trades that generally renders the homeward
passage so much longer than the outward one, unless a steamer has great
power. Still it is an immense stride over the old days of sailing ships,
which generally took fifty or sixty days home from Rio, and often more.
The trim of the vessel being rather too much by the head, some cargo has
been removed from the fore to the after hold, and the top gallant yards
struck, offering less resistance to the wind.

Two more days of trade winds, dead against us, the time being only
relieved by passing a large number of sailing ships and exchanging
signals with them. It would appear as if they had experienced some
detention in crossing the bay, and that a considerable fleet had reached
the latitude of Madeira in time to avail of the strong north-east trades
between Madeira and St. Vincent. Sunday, 19th July, we passed close to
the Island of Madeira, topped with clouds, preventing our seeing more
than the outline, and the verdure and cultivation lies on the eastern
side; still it is an event that breaks the monotony of a voyage. Before
this day week, if all is well, we hope to reach Falmouth. On Thursday,
23rd July, after three days of almost complete calm, with scarcely a
ripple or movement on the water at times, looking for a favourable
breeze to waft us to Falmouth, this morning our old friend, the
persevering north-easter, came on again, right in the middle of the Bay
of Biscay, and we were compelled to steam head to wind, with a
considerable sea getting up. At this season of the year westerly winds
generally prevail in these latitudes, but we have not met with any, nor
been able to make any use of our canvas from the latitudes of 10° north.
Numerous sailing vessels keep passing us with studding sails set, but
there is no help for it. From this date up to the time of our making
Falmouth on the morning of Sunday, the 26th, it blew almost a gale, with
a nasty rough sea, against which our progress was very slow. We steamed
into the harbour on a miserably cold, wet day, but the fields about
appeared burnt up for want of moisture, and we learnt that the weather
had been exceedingly hot. I did not find the Railway Hotel much improved
as regards board and attendance, which is a great pity, as it is a
spacious, comfortable house, situated in one of the most picturesque
spots in England, and would be very attractive with better management.

-----

Footnote 9:

  A life in the camp may not be very agreeable, or such as is
  experienced on a farm at home. People have to put up with a good deal
  if they wish to better their condition, and remember that it is not
  always a matter of choice, but of necessity, which compels them to
  seek their fortunes in a foreign country. Those who can live
  comfortably or find suitable occupation at home should remain there.
  One of the great drawbacks to the success of young Englishmen out in
  the camp is, I am sorry to say, the terrible propensity to indulgence
  in the free use of ardent spirits, which soon enfeebles their
  constitution and often leads to an untimely grave. This a little
  self-denial would soon enable them to avoid. Several of these
  melancholy instances occurred during my short stay in the country. The
  climate itself is sufficiently stimulating without the excitement
  arising, from the brandy bottle, the use of which, even in towns and
  cities, is often carried to excess. As a rule, the natives are sober,
  and set a good example to foreigners in this respect if they would
  only profit by it.



                               APPENDIX.


     POSSESSIONS AND PRODUCTS OF THE DIFFERENT PROVINCES OF BRAZIL.

  S. PEDRO DO RIO GRANDE DO SUL (situated between 27° 50´ and 33° 45´
    S. latitude).—Possesses coal mines and other minerals;
    herva-matte, natural pasture grounds perfectly appropriate to the
    successful breeding of cattle, mules, horses, and sheep.

  Produces wheat, barley, potatoes, grapes, and all the fruits of
    temperate climates; cotton, and different grains of tropical
    climates.

  SANTA CATHARINA (24° 53´ and 27° 50´ S. latitude).—Possesses coal
    mines and a great quantity of iron ores; timber, woods for cabinet
    work and dye woods; natural pasture for the breeding of cattle,
    mules, horses, and sheep.

  Produces wheat, cotton, tobacco, sugar-cane, coffee, and all the
    grains of tropical countries.

  PARANA (between 20° and 27° 20´ lat. South).—Possesses diamond and
    gold mines; herva-matte in great abundance, natural pastures for
    the breeding of cattle, horses, mules, and sheep.

  Produces wheat, oats, barley, hemp, flax, potatoes, grapes, and
    nearly all the fruits of temperate climates; cotton, tobacco,
    sugar-cane, coffee, and all the grains of tropical climates.

  S. PAULO (between 19° 40´ and 25° 40´ lat. South).—Possesses mines
    of iron ore, copper, silver, gold, precious stones, coal; natural
    pastures for the breeding of cattle, mules, sheep and swine; woods
    of different sorts.

  Produces wheat, flax, grapes, and nearly all the fruits of temperate
    climates; tea, coffee, and sugar-cane in great abundance; cotton,
    tobacco, and all the grains of tropical countries.

  RIO DE JANEIRO (Capital of the Empire of Brazil, between 21° 25´ and
    23° 25´ lat. South).—Possesses iron mines, clays for china ware
    and porcelain; woods and timber of all sorts.

  Produces excellent coffee and sugar-cane, tea, cotton, and all the
    grains of the tropics.

  ESPIRITO SANTO (between 18° 50´ and 21° 20´ lat. South).—Possesses
    gold, iron, and diamond mines; excellent timber and woods for
    cabinet work; breeds cattle.

  Produces coffee, sugar-cane, cotton, and all the grains of the
    tropics.

  BAHIA (between 9° 35´ and 18° lat. South).—Possesses rich gold,
    diamond, silver, iron, copper, coal, and marble mines; timber and
    Brazil wood; breeds cattle.

  Produces sugar-cane, coffee, excellent tobacco, cotton, cocoa,
    clove, and all the grains of the tropics.

  SERGIPE (between 10° 30´ and 11° 40´ lat. South).—Possesses gold and
    diamond mines; marble, crystals, nitron, nitrates of soda salts;
    iron, slate, salines, precious woods and plants, vanilla.

  Produces abundantly sugar-cane, cotton, and all tropical grains.

  ALAGOAS (between 8° 50´ and 10° 80´ lat. South).—Possesses mines of
    anthracite, bituminous schist; timber, Brazil wood.

  Produces sugar-cane, tobacco, and all tropical grains.

  PERNAMBUCO (between 7° 10´ and 9° 45´ lat. South).—Possesses
    unexplored mines, timber; Brazil wood, breeds excellent cattle.

  Produces very abundantly sugar-cane, cotton, and all tropical
    products.

  PARAHYBA (between 6° 15´ and 7° 50´ lat. South).—Possesses gold
    mines, iron ores, saltpetre; timber and wood for cabinet work,
    Brazil wood; breeds cattle.

  Produces sugar cane, cotton, and all tropical grains.

  RIO GRANDE DO NORTE (between 4° and 6° 10´ lat. South).—Possesses
    gold and silver mines, abundant Brazil wood, carnaúba, cochineal;
    breeds cattle.

  Produces cotton, sugar-cane, and all tropical grains.

  CEARA (between 2° 45´ and 7° 10´ lat. South),—Possesses mines of
    gold, silver, lead, iron, antimonium, amianthus, coal, marble,
    nitron, salines; timber, wood for cabinet work and dyeing,
    quinine, ipecacuanha, carnaúba; breeds excellent cattle.

  Produces coffee, sugar-cane, cotton.

  PIAUHY (between 2° 40´ and 11° 25´ lat. South).—Breeds much cattle,
    horses and mules.

  Produces all tropical fruits.

  MARANHAO (between 1° 10´ and 7° 30´ lat. South).—Possesses gold
    mines, splendid timber, and other woods of all sorts; breeds
    cattle.

  Produces in great abundance cotton, rice, sugar-cane, and all the
    other tropical products.

  PARA (between 4° lat. North and 8° lat. South).—Possesses in great
    abundance the indiarubber tree, sarsaparilla, copaiba, vanilla,
    clove, vegetable ivory, and rich woods of all sorts; breeds cattle
    and turtles.

  Produces cocoa, tobacco, cotton, and sugar-cane.

  AMAZONAS (between 4° lat. and 10° lat. South).—Possesses mines of
    crystals, marble, silver; precious woods of all sorts, the
    indiarubber tree in great quantity, sarsaparilla, ipecacuanha,
    cloves; breeds cattle and turtles.

  Produces in extraordinary abundance all tropical fruits.

  MINAS GERAES (between 14° and 20° lat. South).—Possesses gold mines,
    diamonds, precious stones, iron; natural prairies, where much
    cattle and swine are bred.

  Produces in abundance cotton, tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar-cane, and
    all tropical grains.

  GOYAZ (between 7° and 20° lat. South).—Possesses mines of gold,
    iron, diamonds, and crystals; Brazil wood, logwood, and many
    medicinal plants; breeds cattle, horses, and swine.

  Produces sugar-cane, coffee, tobacco, and all tropical grains.

  MATTO GROSSO (between 7° and 24° 30´ South).—Possesses mines of
    gold, diamond, iron, and copper; timber and medicinal plants as
    ipecacuanha; breeds cattle.

  Produces coffee, tobacco, and all tropical grains.


                    BRAZILIAN FINANCES.—LAW OF 1860.

The following are the chief leading provisions of this law, which may be
called the Banking Law of Brazil:—

1st. To limit the issues of independent banks to the average of the
first six months of 1860 during the suspension of cash payments.

2nd. To limit the issues of the Bank of Brazil and its branches to
double its unengaged funds, the Government being empowered to grant
their issue to be raised to three times the value of the said disengaged
funds, but this only in case they do not exceed the average of its
issues since its foundation. All this during the suspension of cash
payments.

3rd. To abolish small note issues of the independent banks. The Bank of
Brazil to withdraw from circulation its small notes if within six months
it did not resume cash payments.

4th. To contract the issue of all banks at the rate from 3 to 12 per
cent. if within a year they did not resume cash payments.

5th. To subject for the future banks to the Bankruptcy Law, in case of
their not paying their notes in gold.

6th. To appoint an official Government Inspector for each bank.

7th. To limit the dividends of all commercial companies to their net
profits on each half-year's operations.

8th. To prohibit the issue of promissory, or other notes to bearer,
without authorisation of the Legislature, except cheques on bankers.

9th. To allow to the banks the mutual exchange of their notes received
in payment.

10. To submit to the Government's approval all sorts of companies and
corporations, after certain formalities for the guarantee of the public.

11th. To make concessions for banks of issue for railways and canals
dependent on the Legislature.

12th. To regulate the organisation of savings-banks, friendly societies,
and pawnbrokers.

13th. To substitute the copper coins by bronze.

14th. Finally, to facilitate the acquisition of the Railways for the
State by exchanging their bonds for Government internal stock of 6 per
cent., or for external of 4½, both at par.

Of such efficacious character were the provisions adopted by the Law of
1860 that the foreign exchange, infallible thermometer of the
circulating medium, was gradually rising, and from 25¾d., where it was
at the publication of the said law, it rose to 27⅝d., that is to say, it
went above par, and this was the rate at the time when the financial
crisis of 1864 occurred. Accordingly the market price of bullion also
went down.


           WORKSHOPS OF THE WESTERN RAILWAY OF BUENOS AYRES.

                  (From the _Buenos Ayres Standard_.)

Buenos Ayres has at last thrown off the mantle of dignified idleness in
which she has been so long enveloped, and is taking her place amongst
the leading nations of the earth. The days are past when every article
for social comfort or consumption had to be imported from abroad. We are
creeping along in the right path at last, and Governor Alsina and Emilio
Castro are head workmen of Buenos Ayres. They are creating mechanical
power in this country, calculated at no very distant date to develop the
resources of her natural wealth to such a point that it will enlarge her
credit, extend her commerce, and give birth to manufactures.

Happy indeed is it for the interests of this country that so immense a
capital has found its way into steam hammers, saws, lathes, and all the
mighty elements which mechanical genius has called into the service of
man. We are on the right track at last, and people who want to judge of
the real progress of this place should visit the workshops of the
Western Railway. Within the last few years this grand mart of mechanical
industry has sprung into existence. We recollect Buenos Ayres without a
railway—still more without a workshop—unless the humble smith's forge
may be dubbed by this title; but on last Wednesday it was with agreeable
astonishment we witnessed the foundries, shops, forges, warehouses, &c.,
all in full play, and every man at his post; in fact, the only alloy to
our feelings of satisfaction was the utter absence of the youth of the
country from these, the finest and best schools for boys and young men.
The whole mechanical work going on is in the hands almost exclusively of
foreigners, and hardly a single native boy as apprentice for the entire
length and breadth of the establishment is to be seen. We trust when the
great advantages of these shops are brought properly before the public
that we shall see some change in this respect.

At one o'clock a select party attended at the Railway Station in the
Parque, to witness the working of some new machinery sent out recently
by Mr. Thomas Allen, the Government engineer abroad. We noticed, amongst
those present, Dr. Rawson, Sres. Gonsalez, Santa Maria, Coghlan,
Gowland, Fleming, Aguirre, Velez, Castro, Gutierrez, Dr. Seguel, and
several other leading men whose names we forget. A beautiful model
locomotive was, with the aid of a small kerosene lamp, set a-going; it
worked on a tray, and fairly astonished with the precision of its
movements some Cordova friends present. A portable galvanic telegraphic
apparatus was next introduced, and one of the operatives in charge
showed the working of it, the great merit of which appeared to us to be
its extreme simplicity. On the table lay drawings of the new fountains
for the Water Works; the “jet d'eau” for the Plaza Victoria is a truly
magnificent and useful ornament; it will cost when put up about £1,500,
but those for the other Plazas are less expensive.

At the Parque Station they have now a complete set for twelve stations
of Morse's Printing Telegraph. Everything has arrived in first-rate
order for connecting Rosario with this city. There are over 500 wrought
iron posts, with twelve tables. The whole affair will cost, we believe,
about £11,000. The manager, or chief electrician, is expected out in the
packet; at present M. Ringallé is in charge. Four telegraph clerks have
also been engaged in England.

About half-past one we proceeded to the special train in waiting to
convey us to the Once Setiembre depots. We noticed that the Bragge roof
is completely worn away, but we understand that the new iron and glass
roof, from England, has arrived, and will be put up immediately. Every
day materials are arriving from abroad, owing to the convenience of
having such a practical agent as Mr. Thomas Allen, who, from his
lengthened experience on the road, knows precisely what is wanted and
what will suit. A large turning table is now coming out, upwards of
forty-two feet. It will be the largest in the country; it was made at
Birmingham, and will be put up at the Parque Central Station; also a
large travelling truck, to carry railway carriages, waggons, &c., from
one line to another. We entered Governor Alsina's state coach, being
accompanied by the guests, and pushed on for the depots. The coach is
elegantly fitted up with every convenience, and we are surprised his
Excellency the Governor does not take a trip out twice a week to
Chivilcoy or Mercedes.

Arriving at the depots, we first entered the foundry department, and
came on a hydraulic press used for taking the wheels off axles; it works
up to a pressure of fifty tons; three men work it, and it is one of the
most useful machines in the shop, doing in ten minutes the work of ten
men for a whole day.

Next we inspected a hydraulic pump for trying the state of boilers to
500 lbs. per square inch, which is constantly in use.

A large planing machine next met the eye. This machine planes up to nine
feet, and is used for making points and crossings, or any large planing,
and is worked by a boy.

Alongside is a small screw cutting lathe, twelve inch centres. This
machine is useful for all kinds of work.

Then we have a small lathe for brass turning, eight inch centres, worked
by apprentices.

Further on is a screwing machine, patented by Messrs. Sharpe, Stewart &
Co., of Manchester, to screw from ¼ to 1½ inches; also worked by a boy.

Another machine, patented by the same firm, called a shaping machine,
for all kinds of work; one of the most useful in the shop, and worked by
apprentices.

Next comes a break lathe; will turn up to six feet for screw cutting and
for all other kind of work; attended to by operatives.

The shaft pump supplies the great tank with water from a huge algibe,
throwing up 3,500 gallons 18 feet high. This water is used for washing
boilers, &c.

The large wheel lathe, a ponderous machine, turns wheels six feet
diameter: this is used to repair wheels, which, being in constant use,
require continued attention—worked by an operative.

Then comes a double-faced wheel lathe, turning two wheels at one time;
turns up to 4 feet diameter—worked by an operative.

The large stationary engine, the great motive power of the whole shop,
drives all the shafts, is 12-horse power, burning about three quarters
of a ton of slack and ashes per day—attended by one operative.

The patent silent fan, which is used to supply six blacksmiths' forges,
making 2,000 evolutions per minute.

Then comes the monarch of the shop, the steam hammer. Here we witnessed
the strokes of this huge machine, at which even Vulcan himself would
stare. The noise of this hammer striking on the red hot bars echoed
around the whole square. Mr. Daniel Gowland remarked that the first
steam hammer he ever saw in South America was in the ill-fated Paraguay.

There are six blacksmiths' forges constantly at work, fed by the steam
fan, and always occupied in repairing locomotives, coaches, waggons, &c.

Mr. Manier is the foreman of this shop. Before, however, we leave it, we
must notice the casting or blast foundry. Whilst we were present we
witnessed the workmen casting old brass into new plates, which latter
arrangement realised an immense saving, and redounds to the credit of
the indefatigable Emilio Castro, who perceived the great loss in selling
old brass and buying new; and last, not least, we must not omit the huge
punching machine, very useful in its way, but little used. It punches
quarter inch to an inch, and cuts up to three quarter boiler plates.

The repairing shop is large (50 metres by 50), and capable of holding
thirty locomotives; we noticed four locomotives under repair. Damaged
engines are here turned out as good as new; and, indeed, Mr. John Allen,
who is the moving genius of the whole mechanical department, assures us
that they can make their own locomotives, so replete with every utensil
are the shops; but, of course, it is cheaper to import them. Two damaged
engines were landed not long ago, and were about to be sold by auction,
but Mr. Allen took them in hand, and now they are in excellent working
order. Owing to the great falling off of traffic on the line, there are
now only eight engines daily under steam, whereas this time last year
they had sixteen; but in this shop all kinds of repairs can be done.
Already the shops have built several first and second-class
coaches—genuine native industry.

We next pass to the coach and waggon shop, (50 by 12), capable of
holding about twelve carriages. Here all the coaches are overhauled,
repaired, varnished, and even the upholstery attended to, and coaches
built. The only thing which as yet baffles the mechanics are the wheels,
which must be imported.

And now we come to the new carpenter's shop, where the new machines sent
out by Mr. Allen have been just put up.

The chief attraction is the new machine which, as it does every
imaginable kind of work, is called the “General Joiner.” None of the
gentlemen present could give us the exact name in Spanish for this
machine, so we call it the “Nuevo Carpintero General.” A facetiously
disposed writer might opine that as President Mitre has given to the
Republic a new cavalry major, Governor Alsina, not to be outdone, has
given his country a new “General,” the best and most potent general in
the Republic; and we congratulate the Governor on the acquisition of the
new “Carpintero General.”

We all stood astonished at the work it did, and have not now time to
explain its varied powers; it plains, moulds, and saws planks of every
size in a few moments; and beside it we noticed the new endless saw;
also the jigger saw for pattern making; also the new wood turning lathe,
and the large drilling machine, the largest in this country for drilling
wheels.

In the yard we noticed sixty pair of extra wheels from the States, but
at these depots they have an immense extra supply of everything.

And if we were to stop to detail all we saw in those wondrous workshops
it would fill half-a-dozen _Standards_.

The works are a credit to Buenos Ayres, and an honour to the present
Administration. We left these busy haunts with the most favourable
impressions, well recollecting that but a few years ago this very site
was a rude brick-kiln.

Yes, there is vitality, after all, in Buenos Ayres, and if any man
doubts it, let him pay a visit on a working day to these shops. The
store-rooms, under the charge of Mr. Tucker, are replete with
everything, and the wool depots are the grandest and most extensive in
the country, capable of holding at one time 100 waggons.

There are sixty-eight mechanics in the workshops constantly employed;
600 men engaged in working the line.

Mr. Emilio Castro, head director; Don Luis Elordi, second in command;
Mr. John Allen next; and Mr. Zimmermann head electrician.


               SANITARY CHARACTER OF THE ANDINE HEIGHTS.

We have made the following extracts from an article published in the
“Revista de Buenos Ayres,” on the climates of the Andine Heights, and
mountains of Cordova, written by Dr. Scrivener, who has himself resided
for many years in those countries. The “Revista de Buenos Ayres” is a
most valuable publication, and those who are interested in South America
will find much reliable information in it. It contains many curious
articles on the history and literature of the country. It has now
reached its 13th volume, each book containing 640 pages, 8vo.:—

The sky at the Andine Mountains is pure azure, and the atmosphere bright
and clear, and is so very transparent that it enables you to see objects
at a distance, making them apparently close at hand, although in reality
it would require a journey of several days to reach them.

The climate is fine and healthy, the lightness of the atmosphere
produces an exhilarating effect, and an increase of energy and activity.
The grandeur and magnificence of the mountains fill the mind with
sentiments of veneration and awe.

I have traversed these mountains on many occasions, and am therefore
enabled to form an opinion of the salubrity of the climate, as also of
that on the route from the Province of Cordova to the banks of the
Pacific. All over this vast tract of land, that fatal enemy of man, the
tubercular phthisis, so justly feared by the inhabitants of Lima, and
Buenos Ayres, is entirely unknown.

During a residence of nearly ten years in different and widely spread
districts of the whole country, I never saw nor heard, either directly
or indirectly, through my intercourse with others, of the existence of
that disease.

Doctor Smith remarks,[10] “that incipient and tubercular phthisis,
usually attended with more or less hemoptysis, is one of the most common
pulmonary affections known in Lima and other parts of the coast of Peru.

“Besides, it is a disease almost certainly cured if taken in time, by
removing the _coast_ patient to the open inland valley of Jauja, which
runs from ten to eleven thousand feet above the sea level.

“This fact has been known and acted upon from time immemorial by the
native inhabitants and physicians, and I have,” observes that physician,
“sent patients from the capital to Jauja, in a very advanced state of
phthisis, with open ulcerations and well marked caverns on the lungs,
and have seen them again after a lapse of a little time, return to their
homes free from fever, and with every appearance of the disease being
arrested; but in many instances it would, after a protracted residence
on the coast, again become necessary to return to the mountains, to
prevent a recurrence of the disease.”

We thus learn from the preceding extract, that the influence of the
atmosphere in the mountains of Peru will remove pulmonary consumption in
its first stage, and arrest its progress when far advanced. That such is
the fact, I can also myself vouch from my own experience during a
residence of sixteen years in that country.

Dr. Jourdant remarks,[11] “that consumption is very rare in high
elevations, which is not to be attributed to the latitude of the place,
but to its elevation; that Mexico and Puebla, which are almost free from
this disease, are in the same latitude as Vera Cruz, where it prevails;
and that the condition of the patient who suffers from consumption is
considerably relieved in elevated districts, which he attributes to a
less amount of oxygen in the rarified air.”

From these facts we can assert with safety, that those who unfortunately
suffer from incipient tubercular phthisis, will almost with certainty
obtain a cure in the mountainous districts which extend at a higher or
lower elevation from the province of Cordova to the valley of Rimac,
whilst, on the other hand, those in the later stages of that malady will
find it will be arrested, and that their lives will be prolonged for
years.

It becomes a matter for most serious consideration, whether it would not
be well for patients suffering from pulmonary complaints to seek the
renovation of their health in these salubrious regions, in preference to
the Island of Madeira, Italy, and the South of France, where these
diseases are known to originate, and where hundreds have gone to without
obtaining any advantages, and many with positively evil results.

“There is something,” says Mr. Burkhardt,[12] “like the sound of a
death-knell in the physician's mandate sending the sick patient to those
places and scenes where so many fellow-sufferers have preceded him, in
vain search for health, and found—a grave.”

The invalid will not find this in these healthy districts. In the
mountains of Cordova, as well as on the Andine Heights, the patient will
find his disease alleviated, and in time removed, (let him come from
what quarter of the globe he may) by the hand of Nature. There pulmonary
complaints are never known to originate, and there those who suffer from
it, on the borders of the Parana and the River Plate, seek and find a
permanent cure for their ailments proceeding from all affections of the
lungs. “He will not have before his imagination the phantoms of
numberless victims, his predecessors in the same hopeless career, to
cast the shadow of death upon a being already depressed in mind by
disease and loneliness, and pining after the familiar sights and sounds
he may perhaps never hear again.” There, on the contrary, he will be in
the midst of all that is grand—a thousand magnificent objects will
excite his attention, and divert his mind from his unhappy malady, on
which he will not dwell, but, on the contrary, on well founded hopes of
a perfect recovery and a speedy return to his family and friends.

We believe, that when the benefits to be derived from a residence in the
climate of these mountains are more generally known in Europe, very many
who suffer from pulmonary complaints will visit these regions for a
renovation of their health and system.

We would recommend the mountains of Cordova to consumptive patients, in
preference to the Andine Heights of Bolivia, as being the nearest to the
River Plate, and containing a greater variety of objects to divert the
attention and amuse. The facility of transport, the shortness of the
passage, combined with a well-founded hope of renovating the health,
will be of themselves sufficient reasons for undertaking the journey.

The passage from England can be made in thirty-four days. There are
several lines of merchant steamers, from London and Liverpool, as well
as the Government vessels from Southampton and Bordeaux, which arrive at
Buenos Ayres every month. From this port you can embark in a steamer for
the city of Rosario, which is most beautifully situated on the banks of
the river Parana, and is the finest port in the Argentine Confederation,
at which you arrive in about twenty-six hours.

From thence you take the Argentine Central Railway, and arrive at the
city of Cordova on the same day.

Here commence the serraicias or mountainous districts, which extend to
the valley of Rimac, comprising an area of about 1,000 leagues.

We believe that at no very distant time, a public establishment will be
founded in the mountains of Cordova for consumptive patients; should
this be the case, we can vouch that there would be no lack of visitors
willing to support the establishment, and anxious to aid it by their
means, in exchange for the benefits they have received there; the
natural grandeur and magnificence of the mountain scenery would also
contribute, in no small degree, to the attractions of the place, and the
benefit of the invalids.

The city of Cordova is situated in a deep valley on the banks of a
river, amidst the most beautiful and varied scenery.

Ascending from the city to the mountains, the traveller finds every
variety of climate, with a difference of temperature at every additional
ascent.

In these varieties of temperature, he will be certain to find one that
is suitable to his complaint, and agreeable to himself.

The tops and sides of the mountains are partly covered with trees and
shrubs, and the soil in the valley is rich and very fertile, producing
Indian corn, wheat, barley, sundry fruits and vegetables, and whatever
the husbandman may desire to cultivate. Cattle, horses, mules, with
sheep and goats, roam in large herds, on most excellent pasture.
Huanacos and other wild animals inhabit the mountains. The wool of the
sheep is of a superior quality and highly prized in the European
markets.

There are great varieties of trees on the plains, many of which are very
lofty, and their branches form an agreeable shade, as well as add to the
beauty of the scenery. The timber of these trees is of superior quality,
well suited for the construction of houses, and in the manufacture of
furniture, &c.

There are mines of gold, silver, copper, and iron; the latter is very
abundant and of good quality; there are also marble quarries, and the
marble is very fine and of different colours; limestone of an extremely
white nature is abundant; in short, there are few spots in the world
where nature has lavished such a variety of animals, vegetables, and
mineral productions as the province of Cordova.

It must follow, that with all these natural advantages, a country
producing every commodity for the subsistence of man, and capable of
affording all that tends to the convenience and luxury of life, will
become at no distant period the abode of a numerous, industrious and
wealthy population.

For a long period the Jesuits held their head-quarters in this province,
and they were remarkable for their tact and knowledge in selecting the
most healthy and fertile spots for their residences.

They erected in the capital the finest churches in the Argentine
Confederation: they acquired large possessions throughout the province,
and they also built splendid country mansions, which are models of art,
taste, and convenience.

The fine edifices at Santa Catalina, Jesus Maria, and Caraga, are much
visited and greatly admired by strangers.

It has been truly remarked by an eminent writer, that the greatest
wonder of the age is a locomotive engine; that since its adoption
travellers have been multiplied through the facility of transit: and
that the greater those facilities, the greater the number of travellers.
These facts have become generally known in this Republic, where several
railways have already been made, and others are being constructed. The
Central Argentine Railway, when completed, will extend from the city of
Rosario to Cordova; this will be a great and lasting benefit to the
commerce of the country. Cordova is now the grand emporium of the inland
provinces; their productions of hides, wool, cotton, indigo, sugar,
wine, wheat, tobacco, skins of animals, gold, silver, copper, iron and
other valuable productions, are transported thither and conveyed by rail
to the port of Rosario and shipped for Buenos Ayres, or direct to
Europe. This railway extends 248 miles in length. Passengers have much
increased since the opening of this line to Villa Nueva, and will still
further increase on its completion to Cordova. In addition to men of
business, many will avail themselves of it as a journey of pleasure, to
visit the city and its beautiful mountain scenery.

Those who are fond of this kind of scenery will find much to please
them. The mineralogist will see minerals, and the botanist plants, to
attract their attention. We fully believe that before the lapse of many
years strangers from Buenos Ayres, and other provinces, will build
cottages in these beautiful and healthy regions, which would only
require taste in their erection, and judgment in selecting the sites, to
render them all that can be imagined as beautiful and romantic.


 BUENOS AYRES AND THE OTHER PROVINCES A FIELD FOR EUROPEAN IMMIGRATION.

The following interesting and reliable statement has been published and
circulated under the authority of the Argentine Government:—

The recommendations of the Argentine Republic to Europeans are:—

1. That the climate is as healthy and as favourable to vigour and
longevity as that of England, or any other country of Europe.

2. That its cultivable lands are practically of unlimited extent, and
require no outlay for clearing.

3. That it contains already, and especially at Buenos Ayres, the
Capital, a large and prosperous European population, composed of
Italians, French, English, Scotch and Irish, Germans, Portuguese, and
others.

4. That the Government is solidly established and perfectly liberal, the
aim of all parties being to maintain the financial honour of the
country, to preserve peace, and to promote the development of industry
and commerce.

5. That, while the State religion is Roman Catholic, complete toleration
is upheld, churches of all denominations being established at Buenos
Ayres and other places, where a considerable portion of the settlers are
English or German Protestants, or Scotch Presbyterians.

6. That there is fortnightly[13] postal communications with England and
the Continent by powerful Mail Steamers from Southampton and Bordeaux.

7. That the commercial policy of the country is in the direction of free
trade.

8. That there is a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation between
Great Britain and the Republic, and that foreigners are exempted from
compulsory military service or forced loans.

9. That there are a sufficient number of British subjects in the
Republic to render a knowledge of the Spanish language non-essential for
immigrants, and that this language is capable, during a short residence,
of being more easily acquired than any other: likewise, that an English
newspaper is regularly published at Buenos Ayres, and also at the city
and port of Rosario, and that there is an influential English Bank and
other institutions.

10. That the staple productions of the country are such as at all times
to command the markets of the world, the principal exports being tallow,
hides, and wool, while, during the past year, a trade in preserved meat
has been opened up which seems to promise, if sufficient attention be
given to establish a scientific process of curing, to assume proportions
as sudden and profitable as those of the newly-developed petroleum trade
of North America; that there is also a mining district in the interior
provinces on the slope of the Andes, which appears, from the operations
thus far conducted, to be one of the richest silver regions yet
discovered.

11. That the country is being opened up in all directions by English
Railway enterprises, one of which, the Rosario and Cordova Line, will be
247 miles in length, and is considered to be ultimately destined to
cross the entire country to Chili, and thus to form a highway for the
traffic between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

12. That the acquisition of land is easy and its tenure secure, and that
additional and extraordinary facilities for settlement are in course of
introduction by the circumstance of about a million of acres on the
sides of their line having been ceded to the Rosario and Cordova
(Central Argentine) Railway Company, and of a grant of 10,400 square
miles in the fertile province of Cordova having been made to Mr.
Etchegaray, which is to be transferred to a London Company.

Finally, it is to be observed, that the debt of the country, foreign and
internal, the interest on which is paid with unfailing punctuality, is
comparatively small; that it is gradually in course of extinction, and
that the six per cent. bonds in the London market range between 90 and
100; that there are no direct taxes; and that the commerce of the
country is increasing with such rapidity, that in the Board of Trade
Returns of British exports for the past year (1864), it figures for
£1,758,058, and stands higher in the list than Chili or Peru, and, as
regards European countries, higher than Prussia, Sweden and Norway,
Denmark, and many others with which we have an important traffic.

The present population of the Argentine Republic is but about 2,000,000,
and immigration may be said to be its only want. This is felt and
acknowledged by all classes, and every arrival is therefore warmly
welcomed. The tide thither is gradually increasing, and persons best
acquainted with the country express a conviction that the growth of
Buenos Ayres, which at present is a fine city, with about 200,000
inhabitants, will during the next twenty years rival that which has been
witnessed at New York during the like period in the past. In several
cases persons of moderate capital have emigrated from Australia and New
Zealand to the Argentine Republic, owing to the advantages of its
greater proximity to England, and its superior facilities for the
acquisition of land.

By far the greater portion of the country consists of rich alluvial
plains, constituting what are called the Pampas. The climate is subject
to a great difference of temperature in winter and summer, but the
changes are gradual and regular. The winter is about as cold as the
English November, with white frosts, and ice at sunrise. “Taken as a
whole, the Pampas may be said to enjoy as beautiful and as salubrious an
atmosphere as the most healthy parts of Greece and Italy, and without
being subject to malaria.”[14]

The country is universally celebrated for the abundance of its cattle,
horses, sheep, goats, asses, mules, and swine. The number of cattle
fifteen years ago was estimated at 12,000,000, and the horses, mules,
and asses at more than 4,000,000, and they are supposed since that
period to have largely increased.

The salubrity of the climate seems especially beneficial to immigrants
from this country, its influence being singularly restorative wherever
there is any tendency to bronchial or pulmonary affections. In some
districts, such as that of the beautiful city and province of Cordova,
these disorders appear to be almost unknown, and as on the completion of
the Central Argentine Railway it will be possible to reach the city of
Cordova from London in little more than a month, that place may probably
become a sanitarium for Europeans in a majority of the most important
cases where change of climate is desirable.


                       PROTECTION OF IMMIGRANTS.

  _An influential Commission, of which_ SENOR DON M. J. AZCUENAGA _is
    President, is formed at Buenos Ayres to assist Immigrants, by whom
    the following Notice is issued. Similar care is exercised at the
    Port of Rosario_:—

 NOTICE.—THE COMMITTEE OF IMMIGRATION TO IMMIGRANTS ARRIVING AT THE PORT
                             OF BUENOS AYRES.

This Committee gives notice to Immigrants who arrive at this port that
whaleboats have been engaged by the same to bring them on shore and that
a commodious “Asylum” is prepared for them, where they will find lodging
and food during the first eight days after their arrival, all gratis;
and that in case any sick persons should be amongst them, they will be
sent to the hospitals of this city, where they will be attended with the
utmost care, likewise gratis; and finally, that this Commission will
undertake to procure suitable employment for them, as well in town as in
the camp, without any charge.

The present notice is given as a precaution that the Immigrants may not
be imposed upon by individuals who go on board with whaleboats, offering
to take them on shore, because, besides that those individuals make them
pay for landing them, they take them to taverns where they are obliged
to spend their money, and, having no means to pay with, they lose their
luggage.

The Immigrants are therefore advised in their own interest to disembark
in the whaleboats sent by the Committee, and to go direct to the
“Asylum,” situated in the street Corrientes, No. 8, where they will have
nothing to pay.

                            By order of the Commission,
    Buenos Ayres, Nov. 1, 1864.             GEORGE P. E. TORNQUIST,
                                                    Secretary.

The following is a list of the classes of Immigrants most required in
Buenos Ayres:—

                 OCCUPATION.                  Monthly Wages with Board.

 Farmers                                                      £3   0   0

 Gardeners                                    £3  15   0 to    4  10   0

 Farm Servants                                £2   5   0 to    3   0   0

 House Servants, Men                                           2   5   0

 House Servants, Women                        £2   0   0 to    3   0   0

 Cooks, Men                                    3   0   0 to    3  15   0

 Cooks, Women                                  2   5   0 to    3   0   0

 Boys from 10 to 15 years                      0  15   0 to    1   5   0

 Sempstresses                                                  2  15   0

 Milliners                                                     2  15   0

 Dressmakers                                                   2  15   0

 Laundresses                                                   2  16   0

                                                     Daily Wages without
                                                           Board.

 Bricklayers                                                     6s. 0d.

 Joiners                                                         6   6

 Blacksmiths                                                     6   6

 Shoemakers                                                      7   6

 Tailors                                             6s. 0d. to  9   0

 Labourers                                                       4   6

 Railway labourers                                               6   0

 Miners                                                          —   —

NOTE.—_Higher Wages may be calculated upon in the interior Provinces,
and Artisans of superior merit will always obtain more than is quoted._


                             OBSERVATIONS.

In the rural establishments merely, situated in the suburbs of the
capital, thousands of families may engage themselves immediately.

With respect to those Immigrants who may come to establish themselves in
the flourishing Colonies of Santa Fé, Baradero, San Jose, or others
actually forming in various parts of the Republic, we do not hesitate to
say that, owing to the fertility of the land, they will rapidly acquire
a modest fortune.

In summer, Farm Labourers get 6s. to 7s. 6d. per day.

The scarcity of Domestic Servants is notorious—a preference being given
to Women.

Sempstresses, Milliners, Dressmakers, and Laundresses, however numerous
the arrivals, are certain of employment.

Artisans of all descriptions, and Immigrants, even though of no fixed
calling, will get employment to their satisfaction, immediately on
landing.

The Railways now employ a large staff, but some thousands of labourers
are required for the earthworks that are being pushed forward with the
greatest activity.

Immigrants—above all, those with a knowledge of Minerals—will find very
lucrative employment in the rich and numerous Mines of San Juan,
Mendoza, La Rioja, Catamarca, Jujuy, Cordova, and Salta, which are now
being worked with the most satisfactory results.

A fortnightly journal, called _The Brazil and River Plate Mail_, is
published in London by BATES, HENDY & CO., 4, Old Jewry, E.C.


                  STEAM NAVIGATION ON THE RIVER PLATE.

I have been disappointed in getting a statement of the up-river traffic
in passengers and merchandise, both of which have assumed very large
dimensions; but the following list of steam agents at Buenos Ayres, and
the steamers employed, will give some idea of what is doing in this way,
as well as the increase that may be looked for when the war in Paraguay
is over:—

  _Matti and Piera_ (the leading agents, with a large fleet of
    steamers.)—The steamer Rio Negro, weekly, for Salto and ports; the
    steamers Uruguay, for Rosario, Paraná, and Santa Fé, from the
    Railway Station, Retiro; the steamer Rio Uruguay, for Monte Video;
    the steamer Rio Negro, for Monte Video; the steamer Lujan, for
    Gualeguay, Rosario, Paraná, and Santa Fé, from the Railway
    Station, Retiro. These steamers mostly make weekly passages; the
    communication with Monte Video is more frequent.

  _Henry Dowse_ (one of the oldest steam agents in Buenos Ayres).—The
    steamer James T. Brady, for Monte Video; the steamer Beauly, for
    Colonia; national steamer Estrella, from the Tigre, for Rosario,
    Paraná, Santa Fé, and intermediate ports.

  _Alvarez and Risso_.—For Monte Video, the steamer Villa del Salto,
    on Mondays, returning early on Thursday mornings; the steamer Rio
    de la Plata, on Wednesdays, returning early on Saturday mornings.
    For Salto and ports, the steamer Villa del Salto, on Thursdays,
    returning early on Monday mornings; for Salto and ports, the
    steamer Rio de la Plata, on Saturdays, returning early on
    Wednesday mornings; for Salto and ports, the steamer Salto, twice
    a month, taking passengers, cargo, and parcels, for all
    intermediate ports. For Corrientes and Itapiru, the Oriental
    steamer Tigre, taking passengers, cargo, and parcels; for Bahia
    Blanca and Patagones, the National steamer Patagones, once a
    month, taking cargo, passengers, and parcels.

  _The Steam Company for the Rivers_ run three screw-steamers, the
    Taraguay, the Goya, and the Guarani, chiefly with cargo, for
    Corrientes and Curupaity.

  _G. T. Paez_ runs steamers to Gualeguay, to Rosario, and
    intermediate ports, amongst them the Castor, Pollox (English);
    national steamers Lucia and Elena, and the Italian steamer
    Venezia.

  _Rubio and Foley_ despatch the British steamer Iaguarete for
    Corrientes, Itapiru, Curupaity, and ports, and the National
    steamer Victoria, for La Victoria and Zarate.

  _The South American Steamboat Company_ despatch steamers for
    Humaita, Curupaity, Corrientes, and ports. They also provide steam
    communication to Monte Video, with cargo and passengers.

At Monte Video there are several steam companies and agencies connected
with Buenos Ayres. Monte Video steamers run chiefly up the Uruguay;
others going up the Paraná call at Monte Video, and between Monte Video
and Buenos Ayres there are now steamers running daily to and from both
ports, one or two being powerful American river boats, with splendid
accommodation for passengers.

The following particulars of up-river distances may be interesting:—

                                                                 Miles.
 From Monte Video               to Buenos Ayres                  106
      Buenos Ayres              to Martin Garcia                  33
      Martin Garcia             to Higueritas                     30
                                                                 ——— 169
      Higueritas                to Fray Bentos                    60
      Fray Bentos               to Gualeguaychu                   27
      Gualeguaychu              to Concepcion del Uruguay         33
      Concepcion del Uruguay    to Paysandú                       15
      Paysandú                  to Concordia                      90
      Concordia                 to Salto                           3
                                                                 ——— 228
      Buenos Ayres              to San Fernando                   18
      San Fernando              to Las Palmas                     12
      Las Palmas                to Zarate                         36
      Zarate                    to San Pedro                      55
      San Pedro                 to Obligado                        6
      Obligado                  to Los Hermanos                   12
      Los Hermanos              to San Nicolas                    32
      San Nicolas               to San Piedras                     8
      San Piedras               to Rosario                        31
      Rosario                   to San Lorenzo                    18
      San Lorenzo               to Diamante                       54
      Diamante                  to Santa Fé                       36
      Santa Fé                  to Paraná                         10
      Paraná                    to La Paz                        102
      La Paz                    to Esquinao                       72
      Esquinao                  to Goya                           73
      Goya                      to Bella Vista                    53
      Bella Vista               to Corrientes                     87
      The Branch Line           to Gualeguay                      20
                                                                 ——— 735
 From Buenos Ayres              to Bahia Blanca and Patagones        840
 From Colonia                   to Cape St. Maria                    200


                          SHIPPING MOVEMENTS.

  MOVEMENT OF SHIPPING (SAILING AND STEAM) TO AND FROM BRAZIL AND THE
    RIVER PLATE DURING THE YEAR 1867, TAKEN FROM THE BOARD OF TRADE
    RETURNS:—

                           INWARDS.    SHIPS. TONNAGE.

                         {Brazil          477  188,643
                 English {Monte Video      73   23,067
                         {Buenos Ayres     44   19,237

                         {Brazil          139   29,174
                 Foreign {Monte Video      39   10,153
                         {Buenos Ayres     32    8,968

                      Total English and Foreign:—

                         Brazil           616  275,562
                         Monte Video      112  123,597
                         Buenos Ayres      76   64,348
                                          ———

                           OUTWARDS.

                         {Brazil          493  195,487
                 English {Monte Video     163   79,453
                         {Buenos Ayres    142   46,462

                         {Brazil          291   80,082
                 Foreign {Monte Video     111   44,144
                         {Buenos Ayres     62   16,886

                      Total English and Foreign:—

                         Brazil           784  275,569
                         Monte Video      274  124,597
                         Buenos Ayres     204   64,348

-----

Footnote 10:

  See "Climate of the Swiss Alps and of the Peruvian Andes compared."

Footnote 11:

  See "Les Altitudes de l'Amerique Tropical au-dessus le niveau des mars
  au point de vue de la constitution medicale."

Footnote 12:

  See "Syria and the Holy Land."

Footnote 13:

  There is now weekly communication by steamers between Europe and the
  River Plate.

Footnote 14:

  "Encyclopædia Britannica."



                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


 1. Made the changes indicated in the ERRATA section.
 2. Added opening quotes (“) to each paragraph in the block quotation on
    p. 53 consistent with the practice used elsewhere in this book.
 3. Changed gods to goods on p. 192.
 4. Changed coveying to conveying on p. 205.
 5. Parana is used more frquently than Paraná. Also depôt more
    frequently than depot. In both cases, neither form was changed to
    the other due to both being frequently used.
 6. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 7. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 8. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.





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