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Title: Brazil and La Plata - The personal record of a cruise
Author: Stewart, C. S.
Language: English
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                                         LITH. OF SARONY & C^o NEW YORK.

                             RIO DE JANEIRO
                      New York G. P. Putnam & C^o.


                                         LITH. OF SARONY & C^o. NEW YORK

                               O. CATETE
                      New York G. P. Putnam & C^o.


                          BRAZIL AND LA PLATA:


                      PERSONAL RECORD OF A CRUISE.


                    C. S. STEWART, A. M., U. S. N.,

                               AUTHOR OF


              “Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
               Through wind and wave right onward steer!
               The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
               Are not the signs of doubt and fear.—
               Sail forth, nor fear to breast the sea!
               Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee!”

                               NEW YORK:
                   G. P. PUTNAM & CO., 321 BROADWAY.


        Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856,
                         BY G. P. PUTNAM & CO.,
    In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States
                 for the Southern District of New York.

                JOHN F. TROW,
 Printer and Stereotyper, 377 & 379 Broadway,
          _Corner of White street_.



                             MY DAUGHTERS,

                              THIS VOLUME


                           IS AFFECTIONATELY




Two inducements have led to the publication of the following volume:
one, the favor with which similar works from my pen have been received;
the other, the belief that a book of fact, for light reading, would be
welcome to many, amid the floods of fiction of the present day.

It was with no purpose of making a book, that the record from which the
volume is drawn was kept; on the contrary, the chief difficulty I have
found, in fitting it for the press, has arisen, from its being so
strictly personal and private. To remodel the manuscript so as to change
its character in these respects, would have been a labor which I was
unwilling to undertake; and to select from it such matter as might be at
once suitable for publication, and acceptable to the general reader,
without affecting the connection and unity of the whole, has proved a
task not easily accomplished. In attempting it, I may have erred in
judgment by putting into print, in some instances, what might better
have been omitted; and again perhaps, in others by omitting what would
have been welcomed by the reader.

Besides such matter as was essential in giving an outline of the cruise
of the Congress, and such observation of the places visited by her, as
would be expected in a work of the kind, I have thought it proper to
retain of that which related specifically to the ship, sufficient to
convey a general idea of life on board a man-of-war; and also, of that
which referred to myself in my office, enough to throw light upon the
position, duties, and influence of a chaplain in the naval service.

Should the volume meet with any degree of acceptance from the public in
general, I shall be grateful; and should its circulation be limited to
the decks of a man-of-war, or to the forecastle of a merchant-ship, the
object in its publication will not be entirely lost.

                                                                C. S. S.

    RIVERSIDE, 1856.



                               CHAPTER I.


 Departure from Cape Henry—Sacrifices in Naval Life—Evening
   Prayers—First Casualty—Sabbath at Sea—Scene in the Gulf
   Stream—My Ship and Shipmates—The Crew,                             1

                              CHAPTER II.

 Great Caycos—Case of Punishment—The Cat-o’-nine Tails—Moral
   Effects of the Lash—Evening on board a Man-of-War—Scenes off
   Havana—Entrance into Port,                                        13

                              CHAPTER III.

 The Prisoners of Contoy—Excitement at Havana—The Captain General
   and Chief of Police—Visits of Ceremony—Drive on Shore—The
   Volante—Paseo and Champs de Mars—Evening Promenade—Visit to
   Regla by Night—The Captive Filibusters—Destiny of Cuba,           26

                              CHAPTER IV.

 Gulf of Florida—The Wreckers—Incidents in the Sick Bay—Maury’s
   Wind and Current Charts—The Doldrums—Crossing the Line—Neptune
   Aboard—Dreams of Home—Impediments to Piety on board a
   Man-of-War—Giving up Grog,                                        42

                               CHAPTER V.

 Cape Frio—Coast Scene—Bay of Rio—Reminiscence of the Past—City of
   Rio—Yellow Fever—Equipages—Drive to Botafogo—A Tropical Home,     58

                              CHAPTER VI.

 First Impressions at Rio—Mixture of Races—Senate Chamber—Imperial
   Legislature—Form of Government—Council of
   State—Ministry—Nobility—The Court in State—The Emperor and
   Empress,                                                          70

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Cemetery of Gamboa—Governor Kent—Tomb of the Hon. William
   Tudor—Island and Fortress of Villegagnon—Discovery of
   Brazil—Huguenot Colonists—Treachery of Villegagnon—Progress in
   Civilization—State of the Empire—Its Dangers and Safeguards,      80

                             CHAPTER VIII.

 Praya Grande and Praya San Domingo—Bay of St. Francis
   Xavier—Passage to the Plata—Montevideo—Sea-Birds—Cape
   Petrel—Dolphin—Nautilus—Portuguese Man-of-War,                    90

                              CHAPTER IX.

 Rio de Janeiro—The City Palace—Scenes at Court—Mode of
   Presentation—Character of the Emperor and Empress—Their Habits
   of Life—Suppression of Slave Trade—Illness of a
   Sailor-boy—First Death on board the Congress,                    104

                               CHAPTER X.

 All Souls’ Day—Church and Convent of San Antonio—Commemoration of
   the Dead—Manner of preserving the Bones of the Dead—Ascent of
   the Corcovado—Panoramic View—Sources of the Aqueduct—Its
   Construction and History—Descent of the Hill of Santa Theresa,   117

                              CHAPTER XI.

 Prisons and Prison Discipline—Ball on Ship-board—Fête at the
   American Ambassador’s—Western Suburbs of Rio—Country Seat of
   Mr. R—— —British Flag-Ship—Admiral and Mr. Reynolds—Garden of
   Don Juan M—— —Madame M——,                                        128

                              CHAPTER XII.

 Weather at Rio—Meteorological Changes—Mountain Walks—Shops and
   Shopping—Restrictions upon Females by Custom—Slaves at
   Auction—Birthday of Don Pedro II.—National Hymn and Air—A
   Yankee Captain’s Opinion of Court State—The Emperor afloat,      143

                             CHAPTER XIII.

 Wedding at the American Consulate—Marriage at the Orphan
   Asylum—Foundling Hospital—Foreign Commerce—Arrivals in Port—U.
   S. Sloop St. Mary—Captain Magruder—Botanical Garden—Storm from
   the Corcovado—Fête at the Chapel Santa Lucia—Churches on
   Christmas Eve—Twelfth Night Party—Youthful Piety in Military
   Life,                                                            154

                              CHAPTER XIV.

 Montevideo—Its Political Condition—First Impressions on Shore—Mr.
   H—— and Family—British Church and Services,                      166

                              CHAPTER XV.

 Buenos Ayres—Mode of Landing—Reception of Commodore
   McKeever—Evening Drive—Negro Washerwomen—Carts of the
   Pampas—Washington’s Birthday—Mr. Harris, American Chargé
   d’Affaires—Quinta of Palermo—Doña Manuelita de Rosas—Pleasure
   Grounds—Interview with Rosas—His Appearance and Conversation,    173

                              CHAPTER XVI.

 The Argentine Confederation—Early Life of Rosas—A Type of the
   People—Life in the Pampas—Police of Buenos Ayres—Description of
   the City—Visit to the Conde de Bessi—Nuncio from the Pope,       188

                             CHAPTER XVII.

 Montevideo—Store-ship Southampton—Dr. C——, Fleet Surgeon—The Poor
   of Montevideo—French Troops—Dress of the Gaucho—Mr. and Madame
   L—— —Mrs. Z—— —Pamperos at Montevideo—Diseases of the
   Climate—Marriage of Dr. K—— of the St. Louis—Funeral of Mrs.
   S—— —Protestant Burial-Ground,                                   198

                             CHAPTER XVIII.

 Island of St. Catherine—Scenery at Santa Cruz—Captain Cathcart
   acting Consul—City of Desterro—Its Public Square—Market
   Place—Hotel—Civility of the Inhabitants—Manufactures of Flowers
   in Feathers and Shells—Dinner—Waiter and Waitress—Walks at
   Santa Cruz—An Unexpected Recognition—Dangerous Walking Ground,   209

                              CHAPTER XIX.

 Return to Rio de Janeiro—Winter Weather there—The Larangeiras or
   Orange Valley—Walk along the Aqueduct—Festivals of the Romish
   Church—Corpus Christi and St. John’s Days—Marriages at the
   Orphan Asylum—Hospital of the Misericordia—Magnificence of the
   New Building—Country Seat of Mr. M—— —Scenes at a
   Wedding—Lieut. R—— —Smuggled Liquor and the Consequence—A
   Reproof to Despondency,                                          220

                              CHAPTER XX.

 Political State of Montevideo—Defection of Urquiza—Address of
   Rosas—Retreat of Oribe—Visit to the Mount—Pacification at
   Montevideo—Termination of the Siege—Scenes in the Streets and
   Suburbs,                                                         237

                              CHAPTER XXI.

 Visit to Urquiza—His Encampment at Pantanoso—Marqueé of
   Commander-in-Chief—Travelling Carriage and Baggage
   Wagon—Adjutant on Duty—Reception—Personal Appearance of
   Urquiza—His Pet Mastiff—Professed Purposes of the Liberator—His
   past History and Domestic Relations—The Cerrito and its
   Fortress—Town of Restoracion—A Gilpin-like Ride—Gaucho Soldiers
   in Camp—Their Dress, Pastime and Subsistence—Mode of
   Slaughtering Cattle—Proclamation by Urquiza,                     249

                             CHAPTER XXII.

 Return to Brazil—Assault of a Runner on board the
   Congress—Captain McIntosh—His Transfer to the
   Falmouth—Departure for the United States—Making Daylight—Ship’s
   Library—Sailors as Readers—Street Calls in Rio—Civility and
   Patience of the People—Disinclination to
   Locomotion—Omnibuses—Mules and Omnibus Drivers,                  266

                             CHAPTER XXIII.

 San Aliexo—Mr. and Mrs. M—— —Steam Packet—Passengers—Image
   Venders—San Antonio—Superstition of the People—Experience in
   Miracles—Admiral T—— —Luncheon—Negro Valet—Piedade—An American
   Wagon—White Mules—Turnpike—Character of the Scenery—Town of
   Majé—Private Road of Mr. M—— —Cotton Factory and American
   House—Sabbath at San Aliexo—Romish Clergy—Peak Valley and
   River—Rain in the Mountains—Sudden Rise in the Streams—Mandioca
   Mill—Difficulties encountered by Mr. M——,                        275

                             CHAPTER XXIV.

 Christmas—Marriage of Miss K—— —Negroes in the Holidays—Scene of
   Revelry in the Larangeiras—Amusing Street Scene—Custom-House
   Regulations—Characteristic want of Confidence—Security of
   Property and Person—Criminal Prosecutions—Forms in Court—Manner
   of taking the Oath—Public executions—Return to Montevideo—State
   of Affairs in the Plata—Invasion of Buenos Ayres by
   Urquiza—Tragic Fate of Missionaries in Terra del Fuego,          291

                              CHAPTER XXV.

 Overthrow of Rosas—Doña Manuelita at Palermo—Her Escape at Night
   in Disguise on board an English Man-of-War—Pillage in Buenos
   Ayres—First Checked by the Marines of the Congress and
   Jamestown—Summary Punishment of the Marauders—Urquiza at
   Palermo—General Terero—Visit to the Wounded in the
   Hospital—Suburbs of the City—English Burial-Ground—Government
   House built by Rosas,                                            307

                             CHAPTER XXVI.

 Battle field of Monte Caseros—Scenes on the Way—Santos
   Lugares—Anecdotes of the Conflict—Triumphal Entry of the Allied
   Armies into Buenos Ayres—Te Deum at the Cathedral and
   Thanksgiving Sermon,                                             322

                             CHAPTER XXVII.

 Hospitality in Buenos Ayres—Return to Montevideo—Public
   Rejoicings—Admirals Lepredour and Grenfell—Deep-Sea
   Soundings—Sea Scene—Walks at Desterro—Praya Compreda—A Yankee
   Cobbler—Ride to San Pedro d’Alcantara—Indoor Scenes—Our Host
   and his Housemaid—Preparations for the Night—Chapel and
   Cemetery—Mountain Scenery—Morning Visit to a German Family—A
   Feat of Agility—Luncheon—Milk and Mandioca—Departure from San
   Pedro—Ride by Night,                                             334

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

 Desterro—Mr. Wells—Funeral of a Child—Evening Walk—A
   Novena—Singular Usage—Auction at the Church—Mock
   Emperor—Evening Ride—Mountain View—Habits in Rural
   Life—Indians—Venomous Snakes—Antidote for the Poison of
   Snakes—Whit-Sunday—Coronation of the Mock Emperor—President of
   St. Catherine—Preaching by the Vicar—Appointment and Support of
   the Clergy—Pastime at Santa Cruz—Impoverished Germans—Estate of
   Las Palmas—Señor de L—— —Antonio de L—— —Coup d’Etat by
   Urquiza—Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Lore—Protestant Churches—Rural
   Scenes—Native Cows—Hon. Mr. Schenck—Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher,  359

                             CHAPTER XXIX.

 Ascent of the Sierra of the Organ Mountains—Frieschal—La
   Barriera—Mules and Muleteers—Mountain Wood in Flower—Boa
   Vista—H—— Hall—Arrival at Constantia—Mr. Heath—His
   Estate—Slaves and their Treatment—Morning and Evening
   Benedictions—Mountain Route to Petropolis—Woodland
   Scenery—Monkeys—Isolated Peaks—Valley of Piabanha—Mule
   Riding—Petropolis—German Protestant Church,                      401

                              CHAPTER XXX.

 Buenos Ayres in 1853—Revolution and Civil War—Mode of Conducting
   it—Savage Atrocities of the Outside Party—Failure of all
   Mediations in effecting a Pacification—Final Departure of
   Commodore McKeever and Suite—Homeward Bound,                     418

 POSTSCRIPT                                                         425


                          BRAZIL AND LA PLATA.

                               CHAPTER I.

                             U. S. SHIP CONGRESS, CAPES OF VIRGINIA.

_June 8th, 1850._—The time for my promised record has arrived: the
Congress is at sea. This afternoon, with light and baffling winds, in a
most lazy and listless manner she gained a distance of ten miles outside
of Cape Henry, where, a breeze springing up sufficiently fresh to insure
an offing before nightfall, the pilot took his leave for the land and we
filled away upon the sea.

The 8th of June thus becomes for a second time an anniversary with me.
Twenty years ago to-day, amid the bright beauty of a summer’s afternoon,
I entered the bay of New York from a voyage of the world. But, in what
wide contrast were the feelings of that hour with those of this in which
I now write! Then, the sunshine of the soul, beaming from face to face
and reflected from eye to eye, outrivalled the brightness of the joyous
scene around. We were safely at home, after a long and adventurous
absence, and within reach of the salutations and embraces of those we
most loved. Now, there is sunshine neither without nor within: without,
a thick and gloomy haze obscures its smiles, and within, the sadness of
separation for years from home and country, with all the uncertainty of
its issues, entirely beclouds them. There is nothing joyous to us in the
“glad sea:” it does not dance in our eyes as it was wont, or as we have,
at times at least, imagined it to do.

Little do they who may envy the lot of an officer in the navy—in its
opportunities of varied travel, the knowledge it affords of men and
things, and observation of nature in her most impressive forms—know at
what a sacrifice of the affections, in their choicest exercise, and by
what a penalty of wearisome duty, in irksome routine, the privileges of
the position are bought. A sacrifice and a penalty which, when the
novelty of travel and

                   “The magic charm of foreign land”

are passed, and the enthusiasm of youth is chastened by the experiences
of maturer years, are felt with a keenness which, to be justly
appreciated, must be personally known. The long conviction of this has
been impressed afresh upon my mind by an incident of the passing hour.
Mr. B——, a gentleman of wealth and distinguished social position in one
of our principal cities, has for some days past been a guest of the
ward-room mess, as the close friend of a fellow officer. He chose to
accompany us to the open sea, and risk the discomfort of a night on
board the pilot boat in a return to the shore, rather than take leave at
an earlier moment. While the little craft was still hovering around us,
waiting the signal to approach and take off its master and his
passenger, the officer referred to, in momentary expectation of this
second leavetaking of home, as it were, in parting from one who was
going directly to his family, approaching me, exclaimed, in a spirit of
half desperation—“Oh! Mr. S——, if I were in circumstances to live on
shore with my family independently of my profession, I would go straight
over the sides of the ship into that boat, and throw my commission to
the winds. When I think of my wife and children, I feel as if I would
dig and grub—do any thing for an honest living—rather than thus for
three years leave them for a drudgery so distasteful to me as life on
board a man-of-war in time of peace, with scarce an object but to get
through an irksome duty.” Such must be the feelings, in a greater or
less degree, of every sea-officer who has reached the meridian of life;
and such would be my own, were there not connected with my office and
its duties, issues, in hope at least, sufficient to outbalance all
earthly considerations.

_June 10th._—Little worthy of record, even in a journal for home, can be
anticipated in a passage to Cuba; yet an incident has already occurred,
which I would not pass over without notice. When Mr. B—— and the pilot
left us on Saturday, the shades of a sombre evening were settling around
us, and, as is customary on board a man-of-war in ordinary cruising, we
reefed topsails for the night. This done, as the lighthouse fires began
to gleam over the dark waters, from Cape Henry at one point and from
Cape Charles at another, all hands were called to our first evening
prayer on the quarter-deck. The deep twilight and the gloomy sky made
the service the more impressive. Few on board, even among the officers,
knew of the intention of Captain McIntosh with the sanction of Commodore
McKeever, to have daily evening worship. One or two of those who did,
had never witnessed such an observance on board ship, and doubted its
expediency. But the impression made by it was at once effective and
conclusive on the minds of those even who had most doubted. This they
readily admitted to others as well as to myself: and while saying that
it was the first time they had ever been present at such a service in
the navy, added a hope that it would never be discontinued on board the

I was cheered by this frank avowal from those whose judgment I prized,
and whose high-toned character carries with it predominating influence
among their associates. Long experience warrants me in regarding this
appointment as a most important auxiliary in the work of a chaplaincy,
and an efficient promoter of discipline and good order on board a
man-of-war. It is honorable to the principles and moral perceptions of
those who framed the existing laws of the navy, that the second article
in the code enjoins a daily service of worship on board every ship
having a chaplain; and it is to be regretted that an injunction so
salutary, in the moral economy of a crew, and in its general tendency,
should in so few instances have been carried into effect.

The evening worship of the Cotter’s fireside—where,

            “Kneeling down to Heaven’s Eternal King,
             The saint, the father, and the husband prays,”

presents a picture which might well call forth the inspiration of the
poet. In every grade of life, the social altar, encircled in the
sincerity and simplicity of the Gospel, is in like manner an elevating
and a touching sight. But if impressive in the comparative security of
the shore, far from the fitful changes and dangers of the sea, how much
more so when exhibited in the floating dwellings of those whose “home is
on the deep.” If He, who alone “commands the winds and the waves, and
they obey”—He, who “rides upon the whirlwind and directs the storm,” is
the receiver of our thanksgiving and the only hearer of prayer, who
sooner than the sailor should be found in supplication, or who be more
frequent, or more fervent than he in praise?

Whatever may be the ultimate results in individual cases of such a
service, few persons have for a first time witnessed it, without bearing
testimony to its impressiveness on the eye, whatever may have been the
influence felt upon the heart. But, it is not without cause, that I ever
look for something more from it. The man-of-wars-man with all his
recklessness, and, too often, degrading vices, has, in many cases, moral
sensibilities and affections which bring him, where the means of grace
are enjoyed, within the pale of hope; and I have never yet been long on
board a ship where, to the preaching of the Gospel on the Sabbath, there
has been added this daily evening prayer, without hearing from some
troubled spirit the inquiry, “What shall I do to be saved?” followed,
not unfrequently, by the resolution of the repenting prodigal, “I will
arise and go to my Father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned
against Heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy

The excitement incident to our departure and the tedium of a listless
day, with little progress till we were at sea, disposed all on board not
on watch, to retire early; and for the most part such were soundly
asleep, myself among the number, when suddenly aroused at midnight by
the cry, “A man overboard!” There was little wind and not much sea; but
the darkness was Egyptian; the rain poured in torrents; and while the
booming thunder of an approaching gust rolled heavily over the deep,
occasional flashes of vivid lightning added double intensity, in the
intervals, to the blackness around. The rescue of the perishing man
seemed hopeless. Supposing him of course to be one of the crew—perhaps
the most active and gallant of their number, who had lost his foothold
in some effort of duty in preparation for the coming squall—I felt
disheartened by so sad a casualty at the very outset of our cruise. I
thought of our evening prayer, and of the deep feeling with which, in
its brief worship, we had supplicated the defences of the Almighty, and
in confiding trust committed ourselves to his protecting care. Had the
Lord not had respect to our offering—had the Almighty not regarded our

In the midst of thoughts such as these, it was a relief, though a
melancholy one indeed, to learn that the wretch overboard was not any of
the fine fellows whose physical aspect and general bearing had already
won from me, in my position, a deep interest, but a poor drunkard, who
had been brought on board in a state of delirium tremens, from the
receiving ship, the day we left Norfolk; and who had at once been
consigned, in care of the surgeons, to the sick-bay. In a paroxysm of
madness, he had now rushed from his keepers below to the gun-deck; and,
knocking down with a billet of wood caught up at the galley, one in
pursuit, had plunged headforemost through an open bridle-port, to be
seen and heard of no more.

The life-buoys were cut away, the ship put about, boats lowered and sent
off, at the risk of life both to officers and men, in the pitchy
darkness and rapidly approaching squall: blue lights were burned, and
repeated shouts through a trumpet made, in hope of some response, but
all in vain, in rescuing him from his doom. After the first plunge,
nothing was seen or heard from him. A miserable madman from strong
drink, the accompaniments of his end on earth—the midnight gloom, the
angry lightning, the muttering thunder, and the moaning wind, were
befitting the fate of an immortal spirit “unanointed—unannealed,” thus
passing into the eternal world. He was an old man-of-wars-man, and,
three years ago, in a similar condition and near the same place, jumped
overboard from a frigate the first night from port, and was with great
difficulty saved. How faithful the admonition, “He that being often
reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that
without remedy.”

Yesterday, the Sabbath, was a bright and beautiful day, with favoring
winds and a smooth sea. The quarter-deck, screened from the sun by
awnings, was our chapel; the capstan, spread with the stripes and stars
of an ensign, our reading desk and pulpit; and the band, with sacred
music, both our organ and choir. My sermon, suggested by the incident of
the preceding night, was an exposition of the evils, physical, moral and
spiritual, of intemperance, and the frightful condition of such as
become its hopeless victims. The fatal proofs of the truths advanced, in
the bodily and mental state of him who had just perished before our eyes
as it were, caused the most fixed attention to be given to what was
said, both by the officers and men.

I was happy to be told by the captain, immediately after the service,
that it had been officially reported to him the day before, that more
than three hundred of the crew, or two thirds of the whole number of
foremast hands, did not draw the ration of rum furnished them by the
government: this of their own voluntary choice, no persuasion having yet
been used on board to influence any one on the subject. An encouraging
fact certainly, at the offset, in this essential point in the morals of
the sailor, and one that ought to be suggestive to our national
legislators of the duty of striking at once from the list of naval
allowances, a poison tending to the destruction of both body and soul.
The day was a happy one to me, in the retirement of my own little room,
as well as in the public discharge of my duties. A long and kind letter
from an officer, in answer to a note with which I had returned one given
to me to read, was so encouraging to me in my office, and so full of
promise spiritually for himself, as deeply to affect me. I could but
regard it as a token of grace from Him in whose hands are all hearts,
and as an intimation of the good that may be accomplished on board, even
in the most influential quarters.

Our worship, at sunset, was commenced, after an air of sacred music from
the band, by the reading of Addison’s beautiful hymn—

                  “How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
                     How sure is their defence!
                   Eternal Wisdom is their guide,
                     Their help, Omnipotence.”

To-day we are crossing the gulf stream under a fresh breeze amounting
almost to a gale: a “smoky southwester” with a short and high sea, into
which the frigate plunges deeply, taking in large quantities of water
forward. This rushing aft, as the ship rises, makes the gun as well as
the spar-deck wet and uncomfortable. The wardroom, with all the stern
and air-ports closed, is dark and stifling in its atmosphere, and every
thing on board partakes largely of the disagreeable at sea. The motion
is so great that nothing can be left by itself; and, at breakfast, each
of us secured, as best he could, the very indifferent fare that came in
his way: bread like so much lead; biscuits which, bagged and netted,
might have passed inspection as grape-shot; rancid butter; addled eggs;
and execrable stuff under the names of tea and coffee! As I cast my eyes
over the mess-table and its surroundings, in the gloomy twilight falling
from the hatchway above, and upon a disconsolate-looking and silent set
of companions, I could not avoid contrasting the whole, involuntarily,
with a breakfast room in my mind, on shore, in the fresh beauty of a
morning in June—with a brightly gleaming lawn in front; the mingled
bloom of the rose and the honeysuckle at the windows; the cheerful
family group; and the varied fare fresh from the garden, the farm-house,
and the dairy—and sigh at the difference in the pictures. Such a day as
this, on shipboard in the gulf stream, with its discomfort in almost
every form, would be enough to make a landsman content, for the rest of
his life, with the blessings of the shore.

Apropos of our steward. We have been sadly imposed on by the professed
qualifications of this important functionary. Claiming to be perfect in
all, we find he knows nothing of any of his appropriate duties. The day
we left Norfolk he gave a characteristic proof of his fitness for the
office. It was at dinner, our guest Mr. B—— being of the number. Among
the courses was a salad dressed by our _maitre d’hôte_. Mr. B—— was
first served with it. I was the next to take from the dish, and in doing
so, happening to look towards the visitor, was struck by a very peculiar
expression of the eye and countenance as he tasted it—a blending of
surprise, comical inquiry, and effort at self-command, while the fork
was very quietly returned to his plate, as if he were done with it.
Suspecting the salad to be the origin of all this, and hastily testing
the point by a mouthful, I found to my utter disgust, that, in obedience
to the direction of the caterer to use plenty of oil in the dressing, he
had, in ignorance of any other, dashed the whole most copiously with the
vilest lamp oil! The effect upon the palate can be more readily imagined
than described.

_June 12th._—A breeze from the north-east, which set in last night,
promises to prove a regular trade-wind, and we are running rapidly
before it on our course. You may easily follow our track, by marking, on
a map, a pretty straight line from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the
channel of the sea, between the Islands of St. Domingo and Porto Rico.
It is our intention to pass between these, by what is named on the
charts of the West Indies, the Mona Passage, and then lay a course by
the south side of Cuba to Havana. Should it be asked why we go,
seemingly, so much out of our way and so far round; I answer, that for a
large ship, it is not only the safest, but, in point of time, the
shortest route. The strong and adverse current of the gulf stream, and
the intricate and hazardous navigation of the Florida channel, are the
objections to the direct course along the coast. The weather is now
fine—in strong contrast with that last described; and, at night, we have
a splendid moon, enticing to constant visits in thought and affection to
Riverside. Beautiful as moonlight is at sea, I must confess to a
preference, in the enjoyment of it in the month of June, for the
south-west corner of a verandah on the banks of the Hudson.

I have, thus far, been giving my time chiefly to visits through my
floating parish—from the quarters of the Commodore to those of “Jemmy
Ducks,” and “Jack of the dust,” as the feeder of the pigs and poultry,
and the sweeper of the Purser’s store-rooms, in shipboard nomenclature,
are respectively styled. Almost every day, since coming on board, I have
discovered here and there a shipmate of some former cruise; and perceive
hourly evidence of having through these—in part at least—already gained
the marked good will of the crew. I am quite at home in all my walks
among them; and have every reason to be more than satisfied—to be truly
thankful—in my official relation with them.

The Congress, a fifty-gun ship, is one of the finest vessels of her
class. She is a model of strength and symmetry in hull and spars, and of
imposing and effective equipment in her batteries and armament; never
failing to attract the notice of all who have an eye to appreciate a
chef d’œuvre in naval architecture. She is, too, a swift messenger over
the waters, as well as a tower of strength and beauty on the sea.

The intellectual and moral tastes of many of my immediate associates and
equals in naval rank, are such as not only to make them agreeable
companions, but also to give to our mess in general, by their example
and influence, a high-toned and elevated character; and I regard it a
providence of special kindness that, in those chief in authority and
executive power, I find cordial friends personally, and firm supporters
in my duty officially. Their views, too, and their purposes, in regard
to discipline and naval reform, harmonize with my own, in the persuasion
that kindness is the surest key to the human heart; and that, in
government, the law of love is more effectual than the rule of fear. I
felt this particularly, in a long conversation with the commodore this
morning, during a walk on the quarter-deck, and at breakfast with him
afterwards. On this point I like his views much; and augur great good
from them, in the support they will lead him to extend, officially, to
the executive officer of the ship, in carrying out a system of internal
rule based upon the principle of kindness and good will, of the
practical well-working of which he is entirely persuaded.

The crew, physically, are a fine set of men: healthful, athletic and
young, the average age of the four hundred foremast hands scarcely
exceeding twenty-five years. This general youthfulness of the ship’s
company encourages me to hope much from them as subjects of moral
culture. They are more likely, than seamen of a more advanced age, to
have had the benefit of a religious training in the Sabbath schools now
so universally established in most sections of our country; and, thus,
be more susceptible to moral impressions and persuasion, should they not
have already felt the influence of the general improvement in the
character of sailors which, confessedly, has taken place within the last
ten or fifteen years. Still, at best, a man-of-war is a sterile and
rocky field for spiritual labor. There is ever on board a large ship of
the kind, a greater or less number of reckless and desperately wicked
men: some who have been convicts and the inmates of state prisons and
penitentiaries, and more who, long under the surveillance of the police,
and pressed by close pursuit, have sought refuge at the rendezvous and
receiving ship, from the merited penalties of the law. Of these last we
are certain of having quite a company, composed pretty equally of
‘Southwark killers,’ ‘Schuylkill rangers,’ ‘Baltimore rowdies,’ ‘Bowery
boys,’ and ‘Five Pointers.’ The whole number of both these classes,
however, does not amount to more than fifty; the hundreds of others on
board are either honest-hearted and true sailors, or inexperienced and
raw landsmen: ‘good men,’ according to the ethics of the sea. The “baser
sort,” though comparatively so few in number, are ever first in gaining
prominence and notoriety on board, by bringing themselves, through a
manifestation of their evil propensities, in contact with the discipline
of the ship, while the true sailor and old man-of-wars-man, in the quiet
discharge of their duty remain for a time unappreciated, and perhaps
personally unknown.

To an inexperienced eye, a man-of-war with her crew of five hundred,
seems only like a bee-hive full of confusion and uproar, while, in
truth, there is throughout in every department perfect organization and
order. Every individual has his class, his number, and his station; the
duty of each in his place is clearly defined; and whatever is to be done
is accomplished with much of the regularity of a machine operating
through the same number of wheels. To the same eye there would appear no
signs of caste or grades of distinction, moral or social, in the general
mass: there would be only so many hundred sailors, seemingly alike in
all respects. Little would be dreamed of the extremes, not only of moral
character, existing among them, but of social distinction also—from the
exclusives of the “upper ten,” priding themselves on moving only in the
first circles, through three or four marked sets to the canaille,
utterly below recognition or social intercourse. There is a marked
difference, too, among many, in the outer man. Though the dress of all
is uniform in color and general material, still there is often the
widest difference in the quality, fitting, and make of the entire
wardrobe; and, while one is so careless and slovenly in his attire, as
to require the daily inspection of an officer, others are perfect
sea-dandies, as fastidiously neat and clean in person, as the whole
series of brushes known to the toilette-table can make them; and as fond
of being assured of this, by repeated inspections and last glances in
the miniature mirrors carried in their hats, or about their persons, as
a beau of the first water on shore, before a Psyche in preparation for
the ball or opera.

After the public worship of the last Sabbath, Mr. T——, the first
lieutenant, who has had long experience in Sabbath schools, both as a
teacher and superintendent, aided me in the formation of one among the
twenty-four boys on board, from ten to fifteen years of age: each of us
taking charge of a class of twelve. The value of a voluntary agency of
this kind, from an officer of commanding influence, can scarcely be
over-estimated. My next attempt, as a means of good, will be the
establishment of Bible classes among the men. If successful in this, I
am happy to know that others of the officers stand ready to assist me in
the like manner.

It is an interesting fact, and one strikingly illustrative of the
improved and elevated tone of morals in the navy, that of the fourteen
gentlemen constituting the wardroom mess, five are professedly religious
men of consistent and exemplary character.


                              CHAPTER II.

                                                             AT SEA.

_June 19th._—Two days ago, at noon, land was descried from the
mast-head. We were approaching the Bahama Islands, not in the direction
of the Mona Passage, but in that of the Caycos, more to the west, the
wind having headed us off from our first course. During the previous
night, we had passed over a point on the ocean, memorable in its
historic interest, where, on the very eve of joyful triumph, the
illustrious discoverer of the western world suffered the severest trial
of his daring voyage. It was here that the discouragement and fears of
his followers in their frail barks, approached desperation and open
mutiny; and confident hope had well nigh ended in disappointment, and
triumphant success in failure. It was impossible to traverse the same
waters, without recalling vividly to mind the scene of trial and
conflict which they had witnessed more than three hundred and fifty
years before, and sympathizing afresh with the great navigator in his
distress; or to hear the cry, “land ho!” without recurring in thought to
the devout exultations of his heart, when, in the watches of the night,
the interrupted glimmerings of a distant light peered upon eyes eagerly
searching its gloom, dispelling for ever the fears of his companions,
and crowning his adventurous enterprise with imperishable honor.

The land descried aloft, soon became visible from the deck. It was the
great Caycos, the most eastern of the Bahamas, a low, flat island of
sand, surrounded by extensive shoals. There was little to interest in
its appearance; a mere tufting of bushes on the water, along the line of
the horizon, of which we soon lost sight. The next morning, and for the
rest of the day, the west end of St. Domingo was in view, furnishing in
its turn abundant subjects for musing in the tragic scenes of the revolt
of 1791. Before nightfall the eastern extremity of Cuba was also in
sight. Both are lofty and mountainous, but less picturesque in general
outline than the islands of the South Seas. The sail of the afternoon
and evening was delightful,—the perfection of its kind. The trade-wind
was fresh and balmy, and so steady, that the lofty mass of canvas we
spread to it was as motionless as if it were a fixture on the sea; while
the ocean, of the most beautiful tint of marine blue, was every where
gemmed with white-caps of the brilliancy of so much snow.

_June 20th._—Hitherto the duty of the ship has been carried on admirably
under a kind and humane discipline. The lash, formerly in such constant
requisition on board a man-of-war, in bringing a new crew under ready
control, has neither been heard nor seen. A fight, however, which came
off a day or two since, between two of the marines, led to a kind of
drumhead court-martial, yesterday, and to the punishment of the parties
this morning, with the cat-o’-nine-tails. It is the first instance with
us of such a revolting spectacle, and I most devoutly hope it may be the
last. I am sure it will, unless there be those on board so incorrigible
and so determined to subject themselves to it, that no other mode of
discipline will meet their case. Before we left port, Captain McIntosh,
in an excellent address, after the first reading in public of the
“articles of war,” assured the crew with deep feeling, that nothing
could give him greater pleasure than to return to the United States and
have it in his power to report to the Navy Department that a lash had
never been given on board the Congress during the cruise. He reiterated
the same sentiment this morning to the ship’s company, mustered to
witness the punishment, with the fresh avowal of his utter unwillingness
to resort to so degrading a mode of chastisement: adding “that the
existing law, however, made the duty imperative upon him as an ultimate
means of enforcing his command, and protecting his ship from
insubordination and misrule; and that it should be remembered by all,
whenever the necessity was forced on him of administering this
punishment, that it would only be through the deliberate purpose and
choice of any one subjecting himself to it.”

The cat-o’-nine-tails, as a mode of punishment, is a relic of barbarism
disgraceful to the age in which we live, and antagonistic to its entire
spirit. The wonder is, not that men-of-wars men are scarce, and recruits
for the navy few, but that, with such a barbarous punishment legalized,
an American sailor can be found willing to place himself in a position
in which he can, by any contingency, be exposed to the disgrace of its

In place of attempting a description of the spectacle, as just witnessed
by us, I will substitute one, which happens to be before me, of a
similar scene, from the pen of an officer in the British Navy. It is
more graphic than any I could furnish, and as truthful to the reality,
in its leading features, as can well be pictured. It is drawn from his
early experience as a midshipman. “I had not been many days on board,”
he says, “before I heard a hollow sound reverberating round the
frigate’s decks, and which seemed to bring a shade of gloom over the
faces of all around me. Again the words were repeated, ‘All hands,
Ahoy!’ I eagerly inquired the meaning of this mystery, and was answered
by a lad about sixteen years of age, ‘It is all hands to punishment, my
boy; you are going to see a man flogged.’

“The idea of a _man_ being flogged at all, under any possible
circumstances, had never before entered my brain. I had as yet no
notions that such a degree of barbarity could exist; I had indeed known
that boys were flogged, but how they could _horse_ a man was to me a
mystery. My reflections were broken in upon by observing all my
messmates busily engaged in putting on their cocked-hats and side-arms.
And as this was the first time I had sported my new dirk, I felt very
strange and mingled sensations, as I stepped forth on the quarter-deck.
The marines were drawn up on the larboard side of the deck, with their
bayonets fixed, and their officers with their swords drawn, and resting
against their shoulders. On the main deck the seamen had all assembled
in a dense crowd around the hatchway, and the said hatchway was
ornamented with several gratings fixed up on one end, evidently for some
purpose which I had never yet seen accomplished. The officers in their
full uniforms, with swords, and cocked hats, were pacing the decks: but
all was still and solemn silence. At length the captain came forth from
his cabin, the marines carrying arms at his first appearance on the
quarter-deck. The first lieutenant, taking off his hat, approached him,
and reported that ‘all was ready.’

“As the captain came up to the gangway, he removed his hat; which was
followed by all the men and officers becoming uncovered. Then, taking a
printed copy of the articles of war, he read aloud a few lines, which
denounced the judgment of a court-martial on any person who should be
guilty of some particular offence, the nature of which I did not
understand. This done, he ordered Edward Williams to strip; adding, ‘You
have been guilty of neglect of duty, sir, in not laying in off the
foretopsail yard when the first lieutenant ordered you; and I will give
you a d——d good flogging.’ By this time the poor fellow had taken off
his jacket and shirt, which was thrown over his shoulders by the
master-at-arms, while two quartermasters lashed the poor fellow’s elbows
to the gratings, so that he could not stir beyond an inch or two either
way. It was in vain that he begged and besought the captain and first
lieutenant to forgive him; protesting that he did not hear himself
called, in consequence of having a bad cold, which rendered him almost
deaf. His entreaties were unheeded; and at the words, ‘Boatswain’s mate,
give him a dozen,’ a tall, strong fellow came forward with a
cat-o’-nine-tails, and, having taken off his own jacket, and carefully
measured his distance, so as to be able to strike with the full swing of
his arm, he flung the tails of the cat around his head, and with all the
energy of his body brought them down upon the fair, white, plump back of
poor Williams. A sudden jerk of the poor fellow almost tore away the
gratings from their position; he gave a scream of agony, and again
begged the captain, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to let him off. I was
horror-struck on seeing nine large welts, as big as my fingers, raised
on his back, spreading from his shoulder-blades nearly to his loins; but
my feelings were doomed to be still more harrowed. For as soon as the
tall boatswain’s mate had completed the task of running his fingers
through the cords to clear them and prevent the chance of a single lash
being spared the wretched sufferer, he again flung them around his head
to repeat the blow. Another slashing sound upon the naked flesh, another
shriek and struggle to get free succeeded,—and then another and another,
till the complement of twelve agonizing lashes was completed. The back
was, by this time, nearly covered with deep red gashes; the skin roughed
up and curled in many parts, as it does when a violent blow causes an
extensive abrasion. The poor man looked up with an imploring eye toward
the first lieutenant, and groaned out, ‘Indeed, sir, as I hope to be
saved, I did not hear you call me.’ The only reply was on the part of
the captain, who gave the word, ‘another boatswain’s mate!’ ‘Oh, God,
sir, have mercy on me!’ was again the cry of the poor man: ‘Boatswain’s
mate, go on; and mind that you do your duty!’ the only answer.

“The effect of one hundred and eight cuts upon his bare back had
rendered it a fearful sight, but when these had been repeated with all
the vigor of a fresh and untired arm, the poor fellow exhibited a sad
spectacle indeed. The dark red of the wounds had assumed a livid purple,
the flesh stood up in mangled ridges, and the blood trickled here and
there like the breaking out of an old wound. The pipes of the boatswain
and his mates now sounded, and they called ‘all hands up anchor!’ The
gratings were quickly removed, and of all the human beings who had
witnessed the cruel torture on the body of poor Edward Williams, not one
seemed in the slightest degree affected. All was bustle and activity and
apparent merriment as they went to work in obedience to the call.”

In this account there is no exaggeration: no exaggeration of the usual
manner of inflicting such punishment; no exaggeration of the triviality
of the alleged offence; no exaggeration of the earnest asseveration of
innocence; no exaggeration of the hardening effect of the scene upon the
spectators. I have known men to be thus flogged for acts or omissions
equally if not more trivial—not only singly, but, in one instance at
least, a dozen at a time, and that, too, where it was known that one
only of the number was really in fault. Because some one of a quarter
watch in the top did a careless and lubberly thing, in the estimation of
an officer, though doubtless, from the circumstances of the case,
accidentally, and none of his topmates would give up his name, the whole
watch were ordered on deck, and, in succession, received a dozen lashes

The entire experience of the writer of the above account, as to this
punishment, corroborates fully the opinion I have formed from my own
observation as to its effects—that in all its bearings it has a tendency
to demoralize and harden rather than to reform. He proceeds to state
that the captain under whose command the case of flogging described
occurred, changed ships not long afterwards with one who abominated the
system of corporal punishment; and adds, “For four years I served under
his orders, and witnessed no more of the inhuman practice. The men were
allowed to go on shore frequently sixty and seventy at a time, and in
all respects were treated so kindly that but one case of desertion
occurred during all that period. The captain made it a point to visit
the whole crew when at dinner, to see, himself, that they had every
thing they required to make them comfortable. This he did every day; and
the sick were always fed from his own table. The result of this was that
our ship was the smartest frigate on the station, and fought one of the
most glorious actions which ever graced the annals of the British Navy.”

His experience in the matter did not end here. He thus proceeds: “I
joined another ship, the captain of which was wont to say, ‘I never
forgive a first offence—for if there was no first offence there could be
no second.’ Profane swearing and drunkenness, he never by any accident
forgave. The result was a flogging match every Monday morning, and very
frequently once or twice in the week besides. The crew grew worse and
worse from this treatment, till, at length, there was scarcely a sober
seaman or marine on board the ship, though her complement was about six
hundred men and boys. The more drunken they became the more he flogged
them; but the crime and punishment seemed to react on each other, and
the ship became at last so very notorious for the cat that he was jested
upon it by his fellow captains, and the men deserted at every

I believe the experience, thus presented, of these two ships, to be a
fair exposition of the general and direct tendency of the two systems.
Revolting as punishment with the ‘colt’ and ‘cat’ ever has been to me,
and often as my blood has been made to boil in witnessing it, a want of
practical knowledge in the case led me, for a time, reluctantly to
acquiesce in the opinion universally held, so far as I could discover,
by those most experienced in naval rule, that it was indispensable as a
means of discipline on board a man-of-war. But the teachings of my
nature, that this is an error, have been corroborated by long
observation; and had no previous conviction of this been fastened on my
mind, the success of the executive officer of the Congress in devising
and substituting more humanizing modes of punishment for transgressions
of law and delinquencies in duty, would have gone far in persuading me
to it. I doubt not that should the law of the lash be abrogated by our
national legislature to-morrow,[1] and the change be met by the
enactment of a wise and philanthropic code of naval rule, the discipline
and efficiency of the service would be more perfect than ever before.

[Footnote 1: Flogging was abolished, both in the navy and mercantile
marine, a few months after the above was written.]

_June 24th._—

                  “The twilight is sad and cloudy,
                     The wind blows wild and free,
                   And like the wings of sea-birds
                     Flash the white caps of the sea.”

So sings Longfellow, and such is the imagery around us from the passing
of a heavy squall. The rushing wind and the dampness brought with it,
from the approaching rain, are welcome and most refreshing, after two or
three days and nights on the south side of Cuba, sultry almost to
suffocation. Whether correct in our recollections or not, all hands
agree that, in no part of the world in which we have been, either on
land or at sea, have we before suffered so much from the intensity of
the heat. Notwithstanding, I was never in the enjoyment of more vigorous
health or in more elastic spirits.

In the afternoon of my last date, we had a distant view of a part of the
island of Jamaica, as well as of San Domingo and Cuba: a sail, too, was
in sight, and the smoke of a steamer marked on the horizon—all taking
much from the solitariness of our position. The next morning we were
slowly advancing westward, along the lofty, but mist covered and cloud
obscured mountain range of the Sierra de Cobra, beneath a point in which
lie the port and city of St. Jago de Cuba. At sunset the same evening we
were directly abreast Cape de Cruz, in full view of the coast, but at
too great a distance to make out the distinctive features of the
landscape, even with the best glasses. We are now off the Isle of Pines,
famed in the annals of the Buccaneers of the olden time, and a haunt of
pirates in our own day.

Light and baffling winds, with alternate calms, have made our progress
slow. The tedium of the time has been relieved in part by a first
interchange of dinner parties between the wardroom mess and the
commodore and captain. The kindest feeling exists among the officers of
all grades on board, and these reunions, where the formality of official
intercourse gives place for the time to the free interchange of thought
and feeling, and of sympathy in intellect and taste, are salutary in
their influences on both mind and heart. The Sabbath is the day usually
chosen on board a man-of-war for these courtesies; but it has been
unanimously decided, by our mess, that the entertainments given in the
wardroom shall be on a week day.

During the continuance of moonlight in the evening and early part of the
night, the enjoyment of it on deck in quiet musings, after the heat of
the day, seemed the prevailing mood of the ship’s company. The band in
whole or in part, at times, added music to the sympathies which were
sending our thoughts and affections homeward by the way of the moon. But
now that she is on the wane, and reserves her beams for the later
watches of the night, the sailors cheer themselves in the darkness, by
singing on the spar-deck, grouped in their respective limits from the
fife-rail to the forecastle. Last evening, even the quarter-deck was
invaded, under the sanction of an officer, by a party of negro
minstrels: not such mock performers as are heard on shore under the
name, but of the genuine type, consisting of the servants of the
wardroom. For half an hour or more they sang, in practised harmony and
with effect, many of the more sentimental and popular of the negro
melodies; while forward and in the gangways there was echoed forth, in
varied song, the feats of warrior knights and the love of ladies fair.
Others of the crew were, at the same time, listening in groups between
the guns along the entire deck, to a rehearsal by their shipmates of
tragic stories of shipwreck, piracy and murder; to recitations from
tragedies and comedies; to close arguments on various topics—navigation
and seamanship, politics, morals and religion—and, at one point, to a
lecture on history, of which I overheard enough to learn the subject to
be the life and achievements of the brave Wallace, dilated upon in the
broad dialect of the “land o’ cakes!”

Light-heartedness and contentment seem every where to prevail, and all
manifest by their conduct, as well as by word, that they feel themselves
to be on board a favored ship.

Had I time for the record, you would be amused by many things I hourly
hear and see, in my walks of leisure. To-day, while on the quarter-deck
after the men’s dinner, I overheard one of the messenger boys, who had
just come from this meal, say to a companion, “I tell you what, Jim, I
couldn’t eat much of that dinner: old mahogany and hard tack, is what I
call pretty tough eating. To-morrow too is bean day, and I wouldn’t give
a penny for a bushel of them.” A sprightly young sailor who completed an
apprenticeship in the service, happening to pass at the time, stopped
for a moment, and with an assumed air of indignant reproof, exclaimed,
“Why, you ungrateful young cub!—you growling at Uncle Sam’s grub? why
you ought to be down upon your knees thanking God that you have so good
an uncle to give you any thing!”

Just afterwards, I fell into conversation with an old salt who had been
with me, in the Delaware line-of-battle ship, in 1833. After mutual
inquiries of various officers and men who were shipmates with us then;
what had become of this one and what of that—he said, in all honesty of
heart, and with a most lugubrious expression of face, “And there was
Lieut. M—— too: they tell me, sir, _he stepped out entirely_, the other
day at the Hospital!”—meaning that he had died there. I never heard the
expression in such a connection before, and could not avoid being
struck, not only with its oddity, but also with its force.

_June 29th._—Just at nightfall, on my last date, we doubled Cape
Antonio, the extreme westerly point of Cuba, at a distance of ten or
twelve miles. It is long and low, covered with dark woods, and, in
general aspect, not unlike the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey, as
seen from the sea. As soon as our course was turned northward for
Havana, the regular wind became adverse to us, and the next morning we
were in the Florida Channel, far from the land and a hundred miles and
more from our port. The tediousness of a dead beat to windward was
relieved, however, by the greater freshness and elasticity of the air,
in comparison with that on the south side of Cuba. For two or three
evenings, here, the sunsets were among the most gorgeous I recollect.
The whole western hemisphere, filled with fantastic and richly colored
clouds, glowed with a brilliancy and glare of crimson light, as if the
entire sea beneath were one vast bed of volcanic fire.

After two days we again made the land, with fine views during the
afternoon, of two lofty ranges of mountains in the interior of the
island—the Sierra del Rosario and the Sierra de los Organos or Organ
mountains; but it was not till last night that we reached the parallel
of Havana. At 10 o’clock the Moro light, at the entrance of the port,
was descried, some fifteen miles distant. Its brilliant flashings,
through the darkness of an unsettled sky, came cheerily upon the sight
over the troubled water, in the assurance they gave of our true
position, amid the changing currents and hazardous navigation of these

Before daybreak this morning we fell in with and spoke the sloop-of-war
Germantown, Captain Lowndes, cruising off the harbor. I was early on
deck. The morning was fresh and beautiful, but the shores less bold and
striking than I had anticipated; and the mountains in view were more
remote. Still the landscape was pleasing in its verdure, though neither
varied nor picturesque in its outline. Having been lying to for the
night, we were still eight or ten miles from the entrance of the harbor;
but the Moro Castle and city were in distinct view—the former,
surmounted by its pharos towering loftily on a precipitous cliff of rock
on the left of the entrance, and the latter stretching beneath it to the
right, in a long line of whiteness on a level with the sea.

The scene increased momentarily in interest. A fresh trade-wind,
creating a sea which, in the brightness of the sun, tossed up jets of
diamonds on every side, hurried us rapidly forward, under topsails and
topgallant-sails only: the Germantown, a beautiful craft, followed
closely in our wake, fluttering over the water with the lightness and
buoyancy of a bird. There were besides some eight or ten square-rigged
merchant vessels in sight, under various degrees of sail—some entering
and others leaving port. While in the midst of these, the Germantown and
Congress interchanged salutes, with pretty effect on the general

The wind had now increased to a half gale; a pilot had boarded us, and
we bore away with a rush for the Moro, which immediately overhangs the
entrance to the port. This is narrow—very narrow; seemingly a mere
creek, a few ships’ length only in width. It runs at right angles with
the line of coast along which we were flying. This made it necessary in
entering, to haul suddenly, from a free course, closely on the wind. We
did so, at the speed of a race-horse, almost grazing the surf-lashed
rocks over which tower the frowning battlements of the Moro, and within
biscuit throw, as it were, of the batteries of the Punta on the opposite
side—the pilot, momentarily alternating the exclamation “Hard a port!”
“Hard a starboard!” “Steady—steady!” kept the men at the helm on the
full spring in shifting the wheel from side to side; while at the same
time the yards were filled with the crew reducing sail to bare poles, as
if by magic, under the trumpet orders of the first lieutenant. I thought
it one of the most exciting moments, and one of the most beautiful
sights, in the navigation of so large a ship, I had ever witnessed.

In less time than is required thus to state it, we were transferred from
the tossings of a rough sea, to the glassy surface of an apparent river.
The scene on either hand was picturesque and animated. On one side, were
the terraced heights adjoining the Moro, grim with the defences of war,
relieved here and there by sentries and groups of soldiers, lounging
about the batteries; and, on the other, level with the water, a range of
stone quays, lined with shipping and coasting craft, and covered with
sailors, boatmen, negro porters, and stevedores. Beyond rose the
buildings of the city, painted in every variety of light and gay colors,
and overtopped by the time-stained domes and towers of the churches and
other public structures. The aspect of the whole was so entirely
transatlantic, that I could scarce resist the illusion that I was again
in old Spain, and that it was “fair Cadiz” I saw stretched before me.
The gallantry of our entrance had attracted the gaze of the thousands
crowding the quay in its whole length, and murmurs of admiration were
every where heard at the beauty of our frigate, and the dashing style in
which she glided rapidly along under the headway brought in by her from
the sea.

At the end of half a mile, the straight and narrow inlet expands into a
round basin, five or six miles in circumference. Near the centre of this
we dropped anchor: having the city and its defences towards the sea on
one side of us, and green hills tufted with palm-trees and dotted with
cottages and country seats on the other. The harbor is a gem of beauty,
capable of containing the navies of half the world. Five Spanish
men-of-war, including a ship-of-the-line, are moored within pistol shot
of us, and the Germantown immediately at our stern. The dropping of the
anchor was followed by salutes from our batteries of twenty-one guns to
the flag of Spain, seventeen to that of the Spanish admiral, in command,
and nine in honor of Mr. Campbell, the American consul, who soon boarded
the Congress.


                              CHAPTER III.


_July 1st._—The object of a visit by the Congress to Cuba, before
proceeding to her station on the coast of Brazil, is to bring to a close
the negotiations which have been for some time pending with the
authorities here, in reference to our filibustering compatriots, the
prisoners of Contoy.

The report made by Captain Lowndes of the Germantown, on boarding us in
the offing, and by Mr. Campbell afterwards, of the state of public
feeling in reference to these, and to the citizens of the United States
in general, led us to apprehend there would be great difficulty in
securing an amicable arrangement of the point at issue—the disposition
to be made of the prisoners. The excitement and indignation of the
Spanish population of the city, on the subject of the attempted
invasion, had been great; and manifested especially, within a few days,
against Mr. Campbell, for sentiments on the subject, exposed in a
correspondence between him and the Secretary of State, recently called
for by Congress, printed in the newspapers in the United States, and
republished here. At one time the consulate was believed to be in great
danger of violence from the mob; and the excitement is still far from
being allayed. In view of this representation we apprehended a long
delay. The first interview, however, between Commodore McKeever and the
captain-general, the Conde d’Alcoy, relieved us from all fear of this.
Every disposition was manifested to receive favorably the mission of the
Congress; and the belief is that the special matter of negotiation will
be speedily adjusted.

The commodore and suite were received, at the vice-regal palace, in the
most frank and cordial manner, and the personal relations of the
treating parties placed, at once, on a friendly footing. The
governor-general treated lightly the fear that had been suggested, of
violence to the consulate, avowing that all property and life in the
city and island were in the keeping of the government; and that safety
in both was more sure to none, than to the representatives and citizens
of the United States. Summoning the chief of police at once to his
presence, the following dialogue in substance took place between them.
“Have you heard, sir, of an apprehended attack by the populace upon the
American consulate?” “No, sir.” “Do you believe, sir, that any such
danger exists?” “No, sir.” “Could a project of the kind be in agitation
without your knowledge?” “No, sir.” “See to it, sir,” added the count,
with an intonation of voice not to be mistaken, as he dismissed the
functionary, “that nothing of the kind takes place!”

The truth is, the warmth of sympathy felt by some of our fellow-citizens
for the would-be revolutionists within Cuba and the marauding
filibusters without, backed by visions of national and it may be
personal aggrandizement, through annexation, lead them to magnify every
grievance imaginary or real, and to fan into a flame each spark of ill
will elicited by the collisions that occur, in the hope of embroiling
our government with the crown of Spain; and, through conflict and
conquest, of making sure to us this choicest gem left in her colonial

That the Cubans are most fearfully oppressed by the vice-regal rulers
here, and that the government under which they suffer is the most
rigorous military despotism in the civilized world, no one with the
slightest knowledge of the condition of the island can doubt. The simple
fact that twenty-four millions of dollars are annually wrung, by various
forms of taxation, from a white population of little more than six
hundred thousand, proves it, without an enumeration of the different
unjust monopolies, the prohibitory imposts upon the first necessaries of
life, the depreciating levies on all the products of labor, and the
vampire presence of a foreign soldiery, sufficient to furnish a constant
sentinel, it is said, to every four white men in the country; or, a
reference to the fact that there are no common schools—no liberty of the
press, no liberty of speech, and scarce the liberty of thought. Still,
sad as the truth of such a condition is, it does not justify piratical
invasion from without, or agitating and revolutionizing influence on our
part within.

The probability is that the stay of the Congress will be very brief; and
that, consequently, my personal knowledge of Havana and the Habaneros
will be limited to a hasty glance, through such loop-holes of
observation as I may accidentally light upon.

The beauty of the panorama from the anchorage is so varied and so
striking, that in the enjoyment of it, I have been satisfied thus far
without a visit to the shore, though this is the third day, including
the Sabbath, since our arrival. While examining closely with a glass
again and again, every feature of the open country to the east and
south, I could but indulge in many a reminiscence of tropical life at
the Sandwich Islands and South Seas, awakened by the plumed palm and
broad-leafed banana, the brightly gleaming hill sides and velvet-like
slopes characteristic of the scenery. On the opposite sides of the
harbor, the city and its fortresses,—its private dwellings and public
buildings, its towers and domes and embattled walls,—are open to like
inspection through the same medium, a sea-telescope of surpassing

While in the midst of these observations this morning, screened from the
mid-day sun by the well-spread awnings of the poop-deck, my attention
was drawn to a movement near at hand on board, occasioned by a
succession of visits of ceremony from the “powers that be” in this
viceroyal dependency, to our commander-in-chief and our captain. I am
told, whether correctly or not, that the same policy which of yore
prevented Ferdinand and Isabella from keeping faith with Columbus, in
his appointment as viceroy of the New World with undivided power, is
still adhered to by the Spanish throne. The supreme authority, in place
of being vested in one representative of the crown, is distributed among
three—one at the head of the civil affairs, another chief in those that
are military, and a third supreme in the control of the marine. Each is
in his own department independent of the other, and keeps check on his
compeers in any assumption of undue authority. The captain-general,
however, has precedence in matters of ceremony, and is the nominal head
of the government. He does not visit vessels of war, and the courtesy on
his part is expressed through an aide-de-camp. The visitor in his stead
on this occasion, was the Conde Villeneuva, a fine-looking young man, in
a richly embroidered dress of blue and silver, but without military
decorations. He had scarcely been ushered on the deck, with the usual
ceremony, when a barge, still more stately in the number of its oarsmen
and the dimensions of its banner of “blood and gold,” than that by which
he had arrived, was reported by the quarter-master. This bore the
Intendante, or Military Chief, who crossed the gangway in full costume,
with a magnificent star on the breast and three or four crosses and
badges of knighthood at the button holes. Neither name nor title was
announced with sufficient distinctness to be heard, and in view of the
number and brilliancy of his decorations, I felt authorized in giving
him precedence of the count, by at least one grade in the peerage, and
set him down for a marquis: especially as the state in which the next
dignitary approached would lead to the supposition that he could be
nothing less than a duke—a grandee of the first rank. He came in a
superb sixteen-oared barge of the purest white, picked out in gold. He
was a most stately old gentleman, portly in person, fresh in complexion
for a Spaniard, and of the most courtier-like and finished manners.
Three magnificently jewelled stars decorated his left breast, with the
crosses of twice as many orders pendant beneath, and over all the broad
ribbon and insignia of the Golden Fleece. It was the Commandant-general
of Marine, or Naval Chieftain. These visits of mere ceremony were brief,
referring in conversation to the most common-place topics, followed by a
departure in the order of arrival.

The weather since we have been here has been like that of the finest
days in June on the Hudson: the sun very hot, the sky glowingly bright,
the breeze fresh and seemingly pure, with heavy showers occasionally in
the afternoons. In the evenings and at night the scene from shipboard is
striking and impressive. Long lines of brilliant gas-lights, marking the
walls of the city abreast of us, with the gleamings of others from
fortress and tower reflected by the glassy waters of the bay in streams
of gold, and a glorious canopy of sparkling stars above, compensate in a
degree for the absence of the moon; while a fine military band stationed
on the ramparts nearly opposite us discourses eloquently, till nine
o’clock, the compositions of the masters in opera.

_July 8th._—My first visit on shore was in company with my messmate F——,
after the heat of the day had begun to pass. The low quays of a
yellowish stone which face the water, are thickly lined with the smaller
craft, engaged in the commerce of the port. We made our way along these
for some distance, through an atmosphere redolent of tar and pitch and
cordage—coffee and tobacco,—amid soldiers and sailors and throngs of
brawny negroes, more than half naked and reeking with perspiration, in
the labor of loading and unloading cargoes. On turning into a narrow
street leading into the city, we soon discovered, that the buildings
which from our moorings meet the eye so strikingly in their gay tintings
of sky-blue, pea-green, peach-blossom, lemon and straw colors, with
their mouldings, cornices and balustrades of the purest white, are
thickly interspersed with others, dingy, shabby, decayed and dirty:
barn-like, stable-like and prison-like. To an untravelled visitor from
the Northern States, this last characteristic would be the first
peculiarity in the aspect of the houses to attract his attention. Every
man’s dwelling here is literally his castle, the defences of which give
to its exterior, on the ground floor especially, the appearance of a
jail at home. The heavy doors opening on the street, are of the most
massive make, and bossed and studded with iron so as to be bullet-proof,
while the lower windows are universally guarded from top to bottom by
strong bars and network of the same material. The general style of
building is the Spanish-Morescan, many of the dwellings being only one
story in height. The streets are straight and regular, but very narrow,
scarcely admitting two vehicles to pass each other, while the sidewalks,
as termed by us, are on a level with the way for carriages, and a foot
or eighteen inches only in width.

A short walk from the point at which we left the quay, brought us upon a
small but pretty and artistic square, called the Plaza de Armas. It is
enclosed with a handsome iron railing, is regularly laid out in walks,
bordered with gay flowers and shrubbery overhung by the silvery trunks
and long pendant branches of the palm-tree, and ornamented in the centre
with a fountain and statue of Ferdinand VII. of Spain. Its southern side
is faced in its whole length by the palace of the governor-general, a
spacious and handsome quadrangular structure of stone, stuccoed and
painted sky-blue, with pilasters, cornice and balustrade around its flat
roof, of white.

Our chief object in going on shore was the enjoyment of a drive outside
the walls. The vicinity of the Plaza furnished us with the opportunity
of a choice of equipage for the purpose. Lines and groups of vehicles
were standing along its sides and at the corners. An omnibus of American
fashion and manufacture was seen on its route, and a carriage of modern
style passing here and there, but those on the stand were exclusively
the common vehicle of the city and country, the volante—a two-wheeled
clumsy-looking machine of by-gone times drawn on ordinary occasions by
one horse. The body is larger than that of an American gig or chaise,
hung very low like an old-fashioned phaeton, and so delicately poised on
springs of great elasticity as to sway about, under the slightest
impulse, with a most buoyant and luxurious motion.

I find even a pen-and-ink sketch so much more satisfactory than verbal
description, in conveying just ideas of novelties such as this, that I
am more than half disposed to attempt one here, at the double hazard of
defacing my paper and bringing in contempt my skill in the arts. I will
try it. The experiment is not quite so successful and effective as I
could wish it to be, but it will answer the purpose. Do not think it,
however, defective in the proportions exhibited, either in regard to man
and beast, or to the distance of both from the body of the carriage. The
wheels in their size and height, in comparison with the top of the
volante, the length of the shafts, and the bulk of the black calesero,
or postillion, in contrast with that of the little pony he bestrides,
are all true to the reality, rather underdrawn than exaggerated. You
must not suppose either that the little horse is without a tail: for
though not very distinctly visible in the sketch, the tail is there;
neatly plaited and closely twisted round the hip, like the braid of a
lady’s hair around her ear, and made fast by a gay ribbon to the
postillion’s saddle.

The colors of these carriages, in body, shafts and wheels, are more
varied than those of the rainbow: scarlet, yellow, blue, green—in
endless tintings, contrasting showily with mountings of silver or
silver-gilt, in greater or less profusion and massiveness, according to
the rank or riches of the owner. The harness to our eyes appears
complicated and heavy. It also is ornamented more or less elaborately
with silver or gilt platings. As to the postillion, picture to yourself
the most perfect personification of Congo blackness you ever saw, in the
form of a stout muscular negro, with features and heels to match; put
him in a very short-waisted jacket—scarlet, blue, yellow or
parti-colored, and gay with worsted lace for livery, and into very high
riding boots, large enough for Goliath, and with the sketch, you will
have a tolerable idea of the equipage in which F—— and I set off from
the Café Dominica, not far from the Plaza de Armas, for a drive in the

At the end of a half mile, it may be, through the narrow streets, with
shops and counting-rooms and dwellings on either side, widely open and
within reaching distance by the hand, we came to the principal gateway
in the western walls, leading directly upon the Paseo de Isabella II.,
the fashionable promenade and drive without the walls: the Hyde Park and
Champs Elysee of the Habaneros. This extends the whole length of the
western side of the city, and is garden-like and beautiful in its trees,
shrubbery and flowers. Two broad carriage ways run from end to end with
four or more gravelled walks between them; a fountain ornaments either
extremity, and in the centre is a statuette of Isabella II., erected
shortly after her succession when a child: the more welcome from
associations of purity and innocence, which an image of her majesty in
later years would be little calculated to suggest.

A range of stately buildings on the west, faces and overlooks this point
of aristocratic and fashionable reunion: an opera house and palatial
café with other imposing structures, giving quite a metropolitan air to
the scene. The first two mentioned bear the name of Tacon, in honor of
the captain-general of that name, during whose rule they were built, and
whose administration a few years ago, was distinguished by such signal
reforms in the police of the city, and the entire suppression of the
cut-throat outrages before so common. The enlarged views, public spirit,
energy and determination which characterized his measures, stamped his
name indelibly on the city; and to these is the population indebted, not
only for the effectual suppression of crime, but for much also of the
ornamental architecture which it boasts.

South of the Paseo is the Champ de Mars, an extensive parade ground,
lined with spacious barracks and other governmental buildings. Passing
these we drove three or four miles over a broad and well-kept
macadamized avenue, filled with animated life in every form, and lined
with suburban residences luxuriant in the richness and beauty of
tropical growth in tree, shrub and flower: all in such wide contrast
with scenes witnessed in a drive of like length in the suburbs of a city
with us, as to excite the wonder, why more of our citizens of wealth and
leisure do not take the short trip to Havana in the winter, to be amused
and instructed by its novelties, and charmed by the blandness of its
climate and the splendor of its vegetable life. Although the soil in
this section of the island is of an inferior quality to that of most
other regions, there are evidences on every hand of the richness and
beauty which have secured to Cuba the proud and winning title of “Queen
of the Antilles,” and make her the choicest colonial possession left to

From the heat of the climate, the construction of the houses, in
general, is such as to make them little more than so many open
pavilions, from which as you drive by, you unavoidably catch not only

                     “Manners living as they rise,”

but many, if not all, the habits of life of the inmates. The eye
penetrates at a glance, as it were, the entire domestic economy of the
household. The dwellings are, for the most part, one story only in
height, with a tower or mirador at one end or corner, for a “look-out.”
Externally they seem all door and window. These are very wide, and
extend from the ceiling to the floor, on a level with the street. Thrown
widely open in the cool of the day, the interior becomes fully exposed:
furniture and inmates—the whole family group in full dress or dishabille
as the case may be—a scene on the stage of life, as open to inspection
as one from a drama on the boards of a theatre. This is as true of the
dwellings of the rich as of the poor. In seeing the whole diagram of the
interior thus exposed without any appearance of bed or bedroom, the
wonder in my mind was where the people could sleep? On expressing some
curiosity on this point, I was told that in many cases, the beds of the
family consist of mats or mattresses, spread at night on the floor, or
in cots in the reception-rooms, while in most houses an inner court is
encircled by small sleeping and dressing-rooms.

Many of the residences of the gentry and moneyed aristocracy in the
suburbs are luxurious and princely; exhibiting long suites of spacious
and elegantly furnished apartments, with floors of polished marble and
the oriental luxury of jetting fountains and clustering flowers, endless
in the variety of their tint and perfume. The gardens attached to some
of these are laid out with taste, and kept in the nicest order, filled
with an exuberance of choice plants known to us at the North only in the
dwarfish and stunted growth of the conservatory. Indeed, many which are
cherished exotics with us, are here seen in rank profusion in the hedges
and by the roadside, like the thorn and the thistle of our ruder

By the time of our return, the hour for the drive and promenade of the
citizens had arrived; and, as we approached the Paseo, we were met and
passed by great numbers of equipages of varied style. Some were
altogether American and European in their appointments; but most were
the native volante in greater or less elegance and richness—some with
one horse only, and others with two. When two are used, the second is
placed abreast of the one in the shafts and ridden by the calesero. Each
carriage contained from one to three females, in full dress as if at a
party—low necks and very short sleeves: to which may be added, very fat
figures and very dark skins. Bonnets are not worn of course with this
costume, nor indeed with any other. The coiffure at this season is of
ribbons, gauzes, laces and other zephyr-like materials, with flowers and
jewelry; but, in the winter, I am told, these give place to head-dresses
of velvet and satin, with ostrich plumes, pearls and diamonds. As the
volantes pass and repass along the carriage drive, salutations are
exchanged between the ladies in the vehicles with each other, and with
acquaintances and friends among the gentlemen on foot or on horseback,
by the eyes, the fan and hat, more than with the voice; but, so far as I
observed, the ladies did not alight as is the custom in Europe in many
places of the kind, to join in the promenade on foot, or form groups for
conversation. At nightfall there is a return to the city, where, for an
hour or two, the ladies amuse themselves in driving from shop to shop,
to have such articles as they ask for brought to their carriages for
inspection, or, proceeding to the Plaza de Armas, again join their
associates of the beau monde in display and flirtation by lamp-light or
moonlight as the case may be, while a regimental band in front of the
governmental palace gives a free concert of instrumental music till nine
o’clock. The evening on this occasion was delightful, and we prolonged
our stay and observations till that hour.

So well pleased was F—— as well as I with this first peep on shore, that
we repeated the visit two days after, driving as far as the Bishop’s
garden, the principal attraction of the kind in the neighborhood of the
city. Since then there has been much heavy rain. The trade wind at the
same time ceased, causing a closeness of atmosphere that has been very
oppressive, and made me more than content to remain for the most part
quietly on board ship: I say for the most part, for I went once into the
city, on a solitary pilgrimage to the tomb of the good and great, and
ever to be honored, discoverer of the New World. As you know, his
remains were removed at intervals of time of various length, from
Valladolid where he died, to Seville, and from Seville to St. Domingo,
the resting-place designated for them in his will. On the cession of
that island to France in 1796, they were brought to Cuba, and deposited
with great ceremony in the cathedral of Havana. A medallion likeness in
marble, with a short inscription on a mural tablet, marks the spot in
the chancel near the high altar where they have found, as it is to be
hoped, a lasting sepulchre. No American can stand near them unmoved: or
without a recurrence in thought to the sublime vision of an unknown
world, which so long filled the mind, and amid endless discouragements
and disappointments sustained the hopes and energies of the adventurous
navigator, till it issued in a glorious reality; or without deep
sympathy in the vicissitudes and trials of his after life, and the
neglect and injustice which brought his gray hairs with sorrow to the
tomb. Near by are exhibited—I was about to say the ignominious, but I
recall the epithet—the ennobled fetters with which an ungrateful monarch
permitted a jealous rival and enemy to manacle his limbs.

On another occasion I left the ship after night, for a row across the
harbor with Lieut. T—— in his gig. It had been our intention to pass the
evening in the city, in a visit to some families of his acquaintance to
whom he wished to introduce me, but the heat and dampness of a
debilitating and sickening atmosphere during the day, determined us to
postpone this till the return of a more invigorating and elastic air.
Our row was from the anchorage of the men-of-war through that of the
merchant ships, at another point in the harbor, to a landing near the
town of Regla opposite the city; a place of no enviable notoriety, in
times past, as a kind of city of refuge through the indulgent winkings
of government officials, first for the pirates who once infested these
regions, and more recently for dealers in the slave trade. Here also is
one of the principal amphitheatres for the exhibition of the favorite
national amusement, the bull fight. The special object of the trip, on
the part of my companion, had some reference to the disposition of the
_slush_ of the Congress, if you can comprehend the import of so elegant
a term in a ship’s economy: mine partly the pleasure of his company, and
partly to inquire the state of the sick in a private hospital for cases
of yellow fever, and to learn the practicability of visiting any
American seamen, who might be suffering there from this pest of Havana,
already beginning its annual ravages.

The night was very dark for a tropical region, and the most striking
imagery discernible, as we threaded our way amidst the shipping, was the
black masses of spars and rigging pencilled against the sky above us;
the long line of brilliant lights marking the walls of the city
reflected in streams of fire on the glassy water; and the alternate dim
glimmerings and blinding flashes of the revolving pharos, surmounting
the lofty tower of the Moro.

_July 10th._—Bright weather has returned, and with it the regular trade
wind from the sea. We rejoice in this, not only from the greater comfort
it insures, but also from the promise it holds out of continued health
in our ship’s company. The change induced Lieut. T—— and myself to make
our contemplated visit on shore last evening. For a couple of hours
before nightfall, we drove in a volante a circuit of some miles through
the environs, amid scenes and scenery of unceasing novelty and endless
variety, embracing the attractive and beautiful; the grotesque and
ludicrous; elegance and magnificence, filth, nakedness and degradation,
strangely commingled. Here, a splendid equipage as perfect in its
appointments as any to be met in New York or London; there, a vehicle as
rude and clumsy as if belonging to the birthday of invention. Here a
caballero admirably mounted, riding a blooded horse with all the stately
solemnity of a grandee of the first order; there, a negro or montero, in
rags and half nakedness urging onward, at a most sorry pace, as broken
down a skeleton of a pony or jackass as ever contrived to put one foot
before another. Here a squad of well-equipped soldiers; there a gang of
manacled and ruffian-looking galley-slaves—thus without end, exciting
alternate admiration and disgust, smiles and pity. Before commencing the
visits of the evening, we took a bird’s-eye view of the fashionable
movements in the Paseo, from the upper balconies of the Café Tacon which
overlook it, and of the magnificent panorama of the city, the
surrounding country, and the sea, commanded from the leads of its flat
roof, and then proceeded to meet an engagement at the consulate for tea.

_July 11th._—It has been known for two or three days past, that the
object of our visit was well nigh accomplished, and that the prisoners
of Contoy were to be delivered to the keeping of our flag, on the
condition of their immediate transportation to the United States. The U.
S. steamer Vixen came into port yesterday, bringing Commodore Morris as
an additional agent of our government in the negotiation of this matter,
but too late for the object of his mission, the work being already done.

At twelve o’clock this morning, the prisoners were brought on board the
Congress in the boats of the Spanish ship-of-the-line near us. They are
some forty-two or three in number, appearing a sorry-looking set of
adventurers indeed, as they crossed the ship’s sides to be mustered in
the gangways, and turned over to our charge by the Spanish officer
bringing them. Most of them are young—many mere boys—and a majority
evidently scapegraces, including a few wild-looking, muscular and wiry
Western men, tall Kentuckians and Mississippi black-legs. They have been
well fed and well taken care of, it is said; but they all looked pale,
and some seemed nervously agitated. This is to be attributed, it is
probable, to the uncertainty till the very moment, of the result of the
sudden summons they had received from their keepers to prepare for some
event of which they were kept ignorant, and which they had more reason
to fear might be death under the fire of a platoon of soldiers, than
liberty beneath the flag of their country. During their captivity they
had been denied all intercourse with others, and had no means of
learning their probable fate. At times, the most intelligent among them
had been subject to threats of immediate execution, seemingly in the
hope of extorting some confession differing from the general
attestation, that they had been entrapped into the expedition, under a
contract of being conveyed to the isthmus, on their way to California,
and on discovering the imposition had refused to take part in the
attempted invasion. The most cheering hopes that had reached them were
derived from the salutes, in honor of the 4th of July. They inferred
from these the presence of American men-of-war of heavy metal, and that
their case was neither forgotten nor neglected by the American
government. I well recollect thinking and feeling, at the time, that the
repeated thunder of the heavy batteries of the Congress, from sunrise to
sunset on that day, re-echoed by all the men-of-war in port, must have
brought them hope with no uncertain sound, whether it reached their ears
in the hold of the guard-ship or the dungeons of the Moro castle: for
even the place of their confinement was withheld from us. At three
o’clock this afternoon, the whole number was transferred to the
sloop-of-war Albany, for passage to Pensacola. She is to sail to-morrow
morning at daybreak, and it is announced that the Congress will leave
the harbor in company with her, and proceed to her destination on the
coast of Brazil.

Great credit is due to Commodore McKeever for the speedy adjustment of
this difficulty. His courteousness and amenity at once made smooth the
way to negotiation. He is a man of peacefulness and good will, more
disposed to pour the oil of kindness on troubled waters than to cast in
any new element of agitation, and to his firmness and gentleness
combined, are to be attributed the early and desirable result attained.

Thus terminates this filibustering invasion of Cuba. But is it the end?
The enterprise, as projected and fitted out, was most ill-judged and
piratical. But is it true that its origin and means of equipment were
entirely from abroad? Is there no deep sympathy with such an adventure
among the Creole inhabitants of the island themselves? Is the spirit of
patriotism and of liberty here dead? Are there no groanings beneath the
galling chains of a cruel and grinding despotism? No sense of
degradation, no purpose to be free, among the intelligent and aspiring
of the native population? It is impossible that there should not be. The
prosperity and the glory of the unfettered nation immediately facing
them are too near, and too brilliant, not to be reflected eventually in
attractive splendor, through every valley, and over every mountain top
of this gem of the seas. An atmosphere of freedom so near, must impart
something of its elasticity and its power even to the depressing vapors
of such a despotism. The Cuban in his summer visits of business or of
pleasure to the United States, inhales and carries it back with him, and
the American in his winter sojourn here, insensibly bears it wherever he
goes. The breath of liberty has been, and will continue to be inspired
by the natives of the island; and unless the mother country, with timely
wisdom, changes her colonial policy and ameliorates her iron rule,
restlessness, agitation and revolt, must be the issue, and Cuba become
independent in self-rule, or free by voluntary annexation to the nation
to which, geographically at least, she rightfully belongs.


                              CHAPTER IV.

                                                    GULF OF FLORIDA.

_July 12th._—True to the announcement last night, all hands were called
to weigh anchor at daybreak this morning; and, by sunrise, under the
double impulse of a light land breeze, and the oars of a long line of
man-of-war boats having the Congress in tow, we made our way, through
the narrow entrance of the port, to the open sea.

Many merchant ships also were taking their departure. The shrill calls
of the bugle from barrack and fortress; the unfurling of signal and
banner from mast-head, battlement and tower; strains of military music
from different points; the lively movement in all directions of boats
and small craft on the water; and the rising hum of active life from the
city, gave exciting animation to the picture, while the purple hues of
the morning and its balmy breath, added a fresh charm to the whole.

After enjoying the scene till we were outside the harbor, I went below,
intending to return to the deck in time for a farewell view, not only of
the island, but of the Moro castle and city also. So rapid was our
course, however, from a strong current, as well as a fresh breeze, that,
on reaching the poop for this purpose, “the blue above and the blue
below” were alone to be seen; and undisguised satisfaction was every
where manifested that, not only the sickly, though beautiful port, but
the entire island had been left out of sight behind us.

The first object that met my eyes this evening, at the close of our
accustomed worship on deck, was the silver crescent of a new moon
beautifully defined in the empurpled sky; and, I interpreted the mild
and benignant beamings sent down upon us, from its young course, as an
omen of good in our voyage across the wide sea.

_July 22d_, N. Lat. 37°, W. Long. 59°.—We made our way gently and
pleasantly through the Straits of Florida: sighting, during successive
nights, on either sides of the channel, while making long stretches
against a head wind, the lights of Key West and Sand Key, Carysfort
Reef, and Gun Key. These numerous beacons speak the perilous navigation
of the region. It is peculiarly the empire of the wreckers, whose lives
are spent in constant search along the reefs, which for two hundred
miles here edge the coast, for the vessels which in great numbers are
yearly cast upon them by storms, or the treacherous currents of a calm.
The value of the commerce which annually passes through the Gulf of
Florida is estimated at four hundred millions of dollars, of which not
less than half a million, each year, is lost by shipwreck,
notwithstanding the vigilance and prompt exertion of the amphibious and
heroic race, whose business is the rescue of the lives and property here

For three days after regaining a latitude which admitted of plain
sailing, we had boisterous weather and a wild sea, but an unclouded sky.
The elastic and invigorating atmosphere attending it, was most welcome
after the heats of Cuba. At such times the ocean, in its ever-varying
forms of beauty and changing shades of prismatic light in the sunshine,
often outrivals in attractiveness the still life of a wide-spread
landscape on shore. There is, too, a voice of music breathing over it;
for, not less truthfully than poetically, has it been said of the ocean,
there is

                         “In its sleep a melody,
                       And in its march a psalm.”

Now, however, in place of the

                   “Restless, seething, stormy sea,”

we have on every side an illimitable plain of the deepest blue, with
scarce a perception of those giant heavings from beneath, which ever, in
a greater or less degree, tell of an unfathomable abyss of waters. Over
this we are hurried, without a consciousness of motion, at the rate of
ten miles the hour, by a breeze as balmy, if not as fragrant, as the
zephyrs of “Araby the blest.” Add to these surroundings, the moon, at
night, riding the heavens above in sublime tranquillity, and you will
not be surprised, if, at times at least, I am ready with the poet to

                  “Oh! what pleasant visions haunt me,
                     As I gaze upon the sea,
                   All the old romantic legends—
                     All my dreams come back to me!”

_July 29th._—Happily I am not unfitted for mental occupation; by being
on shipboard, as is the case with many, and, with the prospect of a
voyage of fifty or sixty days, I have set myself closely to work. The
early part of the day I give to the graver studies of my profession, and
the later to lighter reading; visits to the sick, when there are such;
exercise on deck with some fellow-officer; and such “walks of
usefulness” as I can light upon among the crew, in different parts of
the ship in the evening, fill up the intervals of leisure till bed-time.

One of our young officers, Midshipman L——, has the misfortune to be
incapacitated for duty, by a nervous affection of the eyes and head, the
consequence of three separate attacks of fever in the Gulf of Mexico.
The surgeons interdict to him all use of the eyes; and, to relieve the
ennui into which he is thus thrown, I have invited him to my room for an
hour or two every day, that by my reading aloud he may have the benefit
of such works as I am running over; travels and biography—Maxwell’s
Russia, Irving’s Mahomet, and the excellent books of Miss McIntosh, the
accomplished sister of the captain of the Congress, interspersed with
those of a more serious character, such as Angell James’ “Young Man from
Home” and Pike’s “Persuasives to Early Piety”—have thus far occupied
these hours. The touches of deep feeling frequently met in the writings
of Miss McIntosh, in her lifelike and instructive delineations of
character, have been the means of bringing into exercise sympathies, the
involuntary betrayal of which to each other, has led to quite an
intimate friendship, considering the disparity of our years.

For a week after leaving port, we had every reason to hope that it had
been with entire impunity, in regard to health, that we had been exposed
to the burning sun, and, at this season of the year, pestilential air of
Havana. But on the eighth day, just as we were congratulating ourselves
on the certainty of our escape from all infection, a light fever made
its appearance among both officers and men. Some dozen in number were
brought down by it. It was the yellow fever, but of so modified a type,
that, in a few days, all were convalescent and no new cases occurred.

Sickness, whether of a serious nature or not, presents an opportunity of
approach, and often gives access to the confidence which I am careful to
improve. I was much interested, a day or two ago, in an interview with a
fine-looking young man of the crew, under the influence of the
prevailing epidemic. He had evidently been familiar with better
associations than those of a man-of-war; and, I soon learned from him
that he was the prodigal son of a pious mother, by whom he had been
carefully trained and cherished, and was a child of many prayers. The
first glance of his eye, as I approached his cot, told me by the
starting tears—not from alarm, for no danger was apprehended in his
case, but from remembrances of the past—that he was in a state of mind
to open his heart to me; and, in the admissions and confessions of a
long conversation, I became deeply interested in the penitence and
purposes of future well-doing which he avowed.

In a hammock near by I found a middle-aged Scotchman, of intelligent and
respectable appearance, who was equally open to religious conversation.
He told me he had been long deeply sensible of his guilt and misery as a
sinner, and greatly troubled in mind and conscience; that a conflict had
been going on in his soul, as if a good and an evil spirit were ever in
contest there for the mastery over him: but that the good at last had
gained the triumph, and he was “at peace with the Father, through the
Son and Spirit, and feared no evil—not death itself.”

_August 7th_, N. Lat. 12°, W. Long. 38°.—Delicious seems the only
epithet descriptive of the atmosphere we are now breathing, and
“delicious—delicious!” is the stereotyped exclamation of every one, as
he mounts to the deck from below and drinks in the pure ether, as if it
were the very elixir of life. The morning is in all respects lovely. The
heavens have a look of infinity. A snow-white cloud alone floats here
and there in them; and, as, rushing over the blue sea, before the fresh
trade-wind, we dash the foam widely from our prow, unnumbered flying
fish spring into the air, and skim the surface of the water before and
around us, like so many birds of silver gleaming brightly in the sun.

_August 28th_, N. lat. 3° 30′, W. Long. 25°.—The region, through which
we have been making our way, for the last ten days, is known among
seamen by the very unsentimental name of the “doldrums.” The origin of
the epithet it might be difficult to trace. It is an equatorial belt,
characterized by light weather and head-winds; by alternate calms and
squalls, clouds and rain. Hence every thing on board and without, is,
and has been, in as wide contrast as possible with that of my last date.
The whole ship is saturated, both on deck and below, with rain, and the
washings of the sea through the ports and hawser-holes. The air on deck
is close and oppressive, and below stifling and musty, and the tossings
and pitchings and rolling of the ship any thing but agreeable to the
fastidious stomachs of many on board—especially to my friend T——, who,
though familiar for more than twenty years with the caprices of the
deep, is in a most annoying state of discomfort at every return of rough
weather. The progress made on our course is small, averaging not more
than twenty-five or thirty miles in the twenty-four hours, though we
sail by tacks in that period, from a hundred to a hundred and fifty. We
are navigating by Lieut. Maury’s wind and current charts, and
notwithstanding the seeming tedium of our progress, in beating against
what he denominates the south-west monsoons of these latitudes, are
satisfactorily demonstrating the truth of his theory and the correctness
of his sailing directions in conformity with it.

It is now some six or eight years since this distinguished young
officer, whose attainments in abstruse and practical science have
reflected such high honor not only on his profession but on his country,
conceived the idea of collecting as many of the log-books of navigators
as could be secured, with a view of collating them, and of projecting
upon charts, to aid in the better navigation of the sea, the general
experience in winds and currents, at all periods of the year, in the
different regions of the ocean. He at the same time urged upon the
masters of ships, the importance of adding to the usual subject-matter
of their logs, the temperature of the water, the set of currents, and
the depth of the bed of the ocean when it was practicable to obtain
soundings. As an incentive to the trouble of thus keeping a log, and of
furnishing an abstract of it to the National Observatory at Washington,
the promise was given that each shipmaster complying with the
suggestion, should receive gratuitously from the government, a copy of
the charts and sailing directions which might be the result.

Not fully alive to the object or aware of its great importance, the
response was slow and imperfect. In the course of a few years, however,
sufficient data were secured; and the first practical result was the
shortening by ten days of the voyage to the equator, and consequently to
Rio de Janeiro. From the earliest times this passage, from North
America, had been made by running obliquely across the Atlantic to the
longitude of the Cape de Verde Islands, before venturing to strike the
north-east trade-wind. A traditionary report and belief in the existence
of strong adverse currents along the South American coast, and the fear
of not being able to double Cape St. Roque, should the equator not be
crossed far to the East, led to this. It required no little moral
courage and determination in one of a class proverbially wedded to
custom and subject to superstition, to venture the trial of the new
route. Such an one was found, however, and the result was most
satisfactory. The opinion is now firmly entertained by many of the most
experienced navigators, that by following the direction of the wind and
current charts, the length of the voyage is diminished one fifth. This
is an immense saving of time in a commercial point of view. Doubtless
the patient perseverance of the accomplished astronomer, in this new
field of discovery, with the aids which are now rapidly placed in his
possession, will lead to similar results on all the grand routes of
navigation over every ocean, and place the commercial world in
indebtedness to his genius for savings in time, and consequently in
money, of incalculable amounts.

Last night, from nine till ten o’clock, we enjoyed a beautiful
spectacle, in a halo around the moon of colors as vivid as those of an
ordinary rainbow, and in concentric circles most clearly defined. The
moon, near the full, retained her face of silver in the midst of a field
of gold, shadowing towards the outer edge into a delicate amber and then
into the deepest maroon. A belt of the purest blue intervened, when the
encircling colors were repeated in fainter hues; apparently, though not
philosophically, a reflection of the first. The phenomenon was so
striking, and so singularly beautiful, that Lieut. R——, the officer of
the deck at the time—one ever alive to the poetic and impressive in
nature, as well as to the scientific and practical in his
profession—dispatched a messenger hurriedly for me. The commodore and
captain were also summoned, and soon, with most of the other officers,
joined us on the poop, while the whole crew, from different parts of the
ship, shared in the admiration excited by the scene. It is the first
exhibition of any thing unusual in sky or sea that has thus far marked
our passage. A humid atmosphere and a thin fleecy scud were its

_August 23d._—In the course of the night of the 22d inst. we took the
south-east trade-wind, three degrees north of the equator, and at once
bade adieu to the doldrums. We crossed the line at high noon, yesterday,
on the parallel of 28° 30′ W. long, without any very perceptible ‘jolt;’
and are rushing on our course at the rate of ten miles the hour.

Just in the edge of the evening, after hammocks had been piped down, the
ship was hailed loudly from the bows, and it was reported to the officer
of the deck, that “Neptune was alongside and requested permission to
come on board.” This was granted, and very unexpectedly to me this
monarch of the seas, his queen and suite made their appearance on deck.
They were soon enthroned on the forecastle, with an immense bathing tub
filled with salt water in front of them, in readiness for the
presentation of those of the crew who had never before been in this
section of their watery dominions. The sun being long set, and the moon,
for the time, obscured, I could not make out very well the costume of
their majesties further than to judge it to be of the latest marine
fashion. The most conspicuous article in that of Neptune was a full
bottomed wig of white manilla grass, closely curled, like that of a lord
chancellor on the woolsack, but covering not only his head, face and
shoulders, but his entire figure, giving him the aspect in general of a
polar bear with the head and mane of a lion. He bore himself with
imperial dignity, while Madame Amphitrite, of very sturdy and Dutch-like
make, sat meekly by his side, in a fashionably made dress of coarse
canvas, or sacking, with a shepherdess hat of the same material, hair in
long ringlets ‘à l’Anglaise,’ cheeks highly rouged, low neck and short
sleeves, with bare arms which bore a very suspicious resemblance, in
muscle and color, to those of one of our most brawny forecastle men.

The commodore, with whom I was walking on the poop-deck, being informed
of the presence of the distinguished company, made his way to the
forecastle, claiming courteously from the monarch the privilege of the
entrée, from having crossed the equator already some dozen of times.
This Neptune most graciously conceded, with the flattering remark that
he “recollected his countenance perfectly, and was very glad to see
him.” The interview, like most others on state occasions, was brief,
concluding on the commodore’s part by his saying, “he presumed the
presentations of the evening would be numerous,” Neptune replying “yes,”
that he had “never seen so many green-horns on board one ship in his
life!” A call of the names of candidates for the honor was now begun,
and the gentlemen of the court, disguised in dress and with blackened
faces, began to drag from every hiding place many an unwilling, but
vainly resisting subject, who had never before entered the southern
hemisphere. Forced into the presence with good-nature and laughter, by
overpowering numbers, and blindfolded and seated on the edge of the tub,
the victim was hailed by Neptune with stentorian voice through an
immense paste-board trumpet, in the questions—“What is your name?”
“Where are you from?” “Were you ever in these parts before?” While in
the act of answering each of these respectively, a coarse brush dipped
in a mixture of tar, slush, and lampblack was hastily passed over the
mouth of the respondent. The court barber was then called to do his duty
in shaving the gentleman with No. 5, No. 9, or No. 15, referring to the
qualities of the razor; this being determined by the degree of
submissiveness and good-nature, or the surliness and resistance of the
subject in hand. The lathering brush was something of the form and
softness of a broom of split hickory, the lather the composition before
described, and the razors, two or three feet in length, of different
degrees of edge, from the smoothness of straight wood to the roughness
of a jagged piece of iron hoop. When an order for dressing the hair was
added, in penalty of special refractoriness and ill-humor, the brush
used was formed of long wooden pegs fixed in a board with a handle, like
a hatchel for dressing flax; the pomatum, tar; to which, in extreme
cases, was added a powdering of flour in the style of “’76,” the whole
winding up with a sudden souse, backwards, heels over head into the tub
of salt water. The presentation thus completed, the new courtier, half
drowned, and dripping like a water god, was left at liberty to free
himself at leisure from the tar and lampblack, and dry himself as best
he could.

The case of all others, in which the least sympathy was elicited, was
that of a young landsman, who, after long impunity, had been detected
some time before as a thief—supplying his own wardrobe very freely from
the clothes-bags of his shipmates. The answer to the usual question,
“who is this?” when he was brought forward, “Jackson the thief!” was
received with a general shout of applause, and the following dialogue
ensued. “What is your name?” “Jackson.” “Yes, sir; and the sooner you
slip yourself out of one so illustrious the better.” “Where are you
from?” “O——.” “And a disgrace you are to so respectable a place. Were
you ever in my dominions before?” “No.” “I knew it: and take care you
are never found in them again; or, if you are, look out how you fill
your bag with other men’s clothes for an outfit!” “Barber, do your duty:
give him No. 15, and see that you dress his hair in the first style!”

The striking of eight bells and the calling of the first night watch
brought the rough sport to an end. I have not time to-night to moralize
on the subject or to speculate upon the propriety of the indulgence. By
whose authority it was sanctioned I do not know. Many of the officers
regarded it I believe with disapprobation, as a species of saturnalia
unsuited to the rigid discipline of a man-of-war, and liable to be
abused, while others defended it on the ground of old usage among
sailors, and as an amusing relief to the tedium of a long voyage. By a
little management I succeeded in screening from observation, till all
hands were called to duty, two or three youngsters who were anxious to
escape the annoying process.

_August 25th._—Sailing in the latitudes of the south-east trade-winds is
the very perfection of life at sea. The waters, as smooth and level as a
prairie, are of the deepest tint of blue, with the addition in certain
declinations of the sun, of a dash of rose color, imparting to the
whole, for a time, the appearance of a plain of velvet of the true
Tyrian purple. Though moving with great rapidity, through a wide and
deep furrow of sparkling foam cast up by our bows, the sails of our
frigate, fully set from the deck to the royal-mast-heads fore and aft,
sleep by the hour, without the slightest apparent motion, as if, in
place of canvas spread to the breeze, they were a like quantity of
chiselled marble. Then, at night, such a moon! with the southern cross
in marked beauty inviting to the sublimest meditations. The Magellan
clouds, too, are in sight: small spots of fleecy whiteness in the sky,
similar in general aspect to the nebulæ of the milky way. Indeed, with
the mercury by Fahrenheit at 66° the whole Southern hemisphere is in
brilliant exhibition, many of the most conspicuous stars flashing on the
eye, not only with the brightness, but apparently with the varying tints
of the diamond.

The smoothness of the sea and steadiness of the wind have afforded a
good opportunity for exercise at the batteries, and in the various
evolutions incident to an engagement in battle. The station of a
chaplain, in action, is with the surgeons in the cockpit in attendance
upon the wounded and dying; or, at his option perhaps, on the
quarter-deck, in taking notes of the conflict. In these sham
engagements, at least, I prefer the deck: and have stood with the
commodore and captain, while broadside after broadside has been fired,
till the whole ship has been enveloped in smoke, and I found myself at
the end as well powdered as a miller, though not in such whiteness. An
evening or two since trial was made in throwing shell with the Paixhan
guns. The explosion took place eight seconds after the discharge, with
beautiful effect. The tendency of all these exhibitions, though only as
an exercise, is ever to make me regard with fresh horror and abhorrence
the entire system of war—its principles, spirit, implements and cruel

_August 30th._—The prevailing thoughts and feelings of my mind and heart
this morning, traceable to visions of the night, may be best expressed,
perhaps, by the familiar quotation—

               “Who has not felt how sadly sweet
                  The dream of home—the dream of home
                Steals o’er the heart too soon—too fleet,
                  When far o’er sea, or land we roam!
                Sunlight more soft may o’er us fall,
                  To greener shores our bark may come,
                But far more bright, more dear than all,
                  That dream of home—that dream of home!”

Little as I may have confessed it, “Riverside!”—“Riverside!” is the
constant echoing of my heart, and my home is ever in bright vision
before me. I breakfast with you every morning, sit by moonlight with you
in the verandah every evening: walk with you every day to “Prospect
Rock”—to “Gortlee”—to the upper fields beneath the mountain, and drive
with you, if at no other time, at least every Sunday to your little
church, along the magnificent terrace of the river-road.

I say, I breakfast with you every morning. Did you know exactly the
state of the larder and store-room of our mess, you would wonder that I
do not include all my meals in the avowal. For some time past, on each
successive day, the giving out of article after article for our table,
has been reported, till nothing now remains but salt beef, so hard as
fully to justify the sailor’s cognomen of “Uncle Sam’s Mahogany,” and
salt pork as rusty as the beef is hard. No potatoes or other vegetables,
no butter better than rancid lard, and no bread fit to be eaten except
the ship’s “hard tack,” are left. Dried beans and peas we have, but both
filled with weevil, which the cook has devised no means of separating,
before being served, from the article itself. The consequence is, that
when they come to us in the form of soup, the floating insects drowned
and overdone, are the most conspicuous part of the mess, and when baked,
give to the dish the appearance of being already well peppered. I can
join very cheerfully in a jest over such untempting fare, and think of
home; but cannot, like some of my messmates, persuade myself into the
illusion that the little black insects speckling our board are only a
rich condiment to give zest to the repast, and with them partake of it
_con gusto_.

Yesterday our last turkey, after having given flavor to a tureen of
watery soup, was served as a boiled dish. As we were about taking our
seats at the table, a suggestion, made either seriously or in mischief,
that the poor bird had not waited for the cook to bring its head to the
block, but had died unexpectedly of its own accord, put a participation
of either soup or meat, on my part, out of the question; and led, by the
time the report had made the circuit of the table, to a kind of
impromptu Court of Inquiry in the case. The steward was at once summoned
by the head of the mess, who, fond of a joke, and knowing that the fat
and shining negro, now honored with this office, like many of the more
imitative and aspiring of his race, was somewhat grandiloquent in his
language, put to him the question—“Steward, are you quite sure that the
old fellow under this cover was entirely vigorous when he was taken from
the coop?” “No! sir, he wasn’t wigorous at all! he was perfectly good!”
“Why, steward, what do you suppose I mean by vigorous?” “I don’t know,
sir, but I suppose from the way you ask me, something bad.” “Well,
steward, I do not wish to be too particular in this investigation, but
just tell me this much, could the old fellow really stand on his legs
when he was killed?” “Sartain, sir, he could.” “Then, gentlemen,” says
Mr. ——, addressing himself to the mess, “I go for the turkey,” and
lifting the cover disclosed to view a mere skeleton in a shrivelled bag
of skin, with scarce an ounce of flesh on the whole carcass.

You must not infer, either from the feelings expressed at the beginning
of this date, or from the dietetic disclosure into which I have been
incidentally betrayed, that I am otherwise than entirely content and
happy: as much so as I well can be in this world of imperfection and
sin. This is attributable, however, chiefly if not solely to the
conviction in mind and heart, that I am at the post of duty—

                  “The shepherd of a wandering flock
                   That has the ocean for its wold—
                   That has the vessel for its fold;”

and am, as I trust, in a spirit cheerfully and faithfully to meet its
responsibilities. Whether to any high result or visible effect, it is
not in the power of man to say. The sufficiency for this is of God
alone. I am thankful that I feel no discouragement in the use of the
means for moral reformation and spiritual grace in those around me.
Nothing but personal experience could persuade one of the almost
insurmountable obstacles that exist, on board a man-of-war, to the
conversion of any of the crew, and to a life of godliness in one of
their number, or make him credit without close observation, the number
and the power of

              “The secret currents that here flow
               With such resistless under-tow,
               And lift and drift with terrible force
               The will from its moorings and its course.”

Nothing less than a miracle, humanly speaking, could achieve such a
result; but, as the conversion of any soul, and a life of godliness in
any heart, anywhere, are miracles of grace, I do not allow myself to
despair of such results ultimately through the word and Spirit of God,
whether I ever know them or not. So firmly is hand joined in hand among
the crew, against every thing savoring of a profession of or pretension
to personal religion, that it would require no ordinary degree of moral
courage, in any one—whatever might be his secret convictions, feelings
or purposes—to disclose or avow it. Many cheerfully give countenance,
both by their words and conduct to good morals in others; but all seem
tacitly at least to say “thus far only shalt thou go.” Though it is by
no means unusual to see one and another in different parts of the ship
reading a Bible or a Testament either alone or aloud to others; though
tracts, and religious papers, and books, are eagerly accepted and
seriously read, still, to get the name of a ‘Bible-man’ by joining a
class for reading under the chaplain, or of a psalm-singing and praying
man, from being known to practise such devotion, is as much dreaded as
would be a scurrilous reproach. From this feeling it is, that I have
thus far attempted in vain to establish Bible-classes or secure a
meeting for moral and religious instruction, beyond the public worship
of the Sabbath and our daily evening prayer: and from the same fear of
man it is that one or two spiritually-minded members of a church, whom I
have discovered among the ship’s company, are unwilling to have their
true character and profession known.

The purpose of those chief in authority, to abandon as far as
practicable, in the discipline of the ship, the iron rule, and in place
of the “cats” and the “colt,” the kick and the curse, to substitute a
treatment less degrading to man and more befitting him as a moral agent
and an intelligent being, has been carried out. Thus far the experiment
has been successful; and we have a cheerful, obedient, active and
efficient crew. We are also demonstrating the fact by experience, that a
crew can be content and happy without having served to them the ration
of grog furnished by government. Knowing that two thirds of all the evil
and misery to which sailors, as a class, are subject both at sea and on
shore, arises from the use of strong drink, I, early after the
commencement of our cruise, made efforts by private argument as well as
by public addresses, to demonstrate the magnitude of the evils arising
from intemperance, and to persuade all to follow the example of those
who had stopped drawing rum. In securing so desirable an object, I have
had the warm support of those in authority, whose opinion and influence
would be likely to have most effect. Commodore McKeever and Captain
McIntosh have both given me their aid; and the former has twice publicly
addressed the ship’s company on the subject. The consequence is, we
shall enter port without the name of an individual on the grog list;
with the universal admission that the ship’s company, to say the least,
are as content and happy without the rum as they were with it, and
certainly more quiet and orderly.

In the course of my canvass on the subject, I had, not only, many
interesting, but many amusing conversations and arguments with various
individuals. Before yielding, there was a great struggle in the minds of
some half a dozen old topers—old men-of-wars-men, perfect sea-dogs, who,
for half a century have drunk their grog as regularly as the roll of the
drum announcing its readiness was heard, and felt that they could not
live without it. I really pitied some of these old fellows, in the
mental struggle they suffered, between conscience and a desire to follow
the advice of those they honor, and the continued craving of an appetite
strengthened by the habit of a whole life. I fell in with two of these
one day immediately after one of the addresses of the Commodore. They
were looking most doleful—as a true sailor seldom does look except in
some great moral extremity. Suspecting the cause, I opened a
conversation in which one of them met my persuasions by saying, with a
most appealing look, “Why, Mr. S——, I haven’t been without my grog every
day for fifty years. Why, sir, I should die without it. I was brought up
on it; my father kept a public house, and I sucked the tumblers, sir,
from the time I was a baby!” But the old man soon joined the rest of his
shipmates in the resolution to banish the grog tub. He has now gone a
long time without his rum; and, in place of dying from the want of it,
as he said he should, came up to me yesterday, looking hale and hearty,
and with a bright smile and sparkling eye, said, “Mr. S——, I wouldn’t
have believed it—but, it’s true. I don’t miss my grog at all. You told
me I would live through it, if I did knock it off. And so I have, and I
feel ten times better without it than I ever did with it!”


                               CHAPTER V.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_Sept. 4th._—Land was descried at ten o’clock, on the morning of the 1st
inst., and before noon we had Cape Frio in full view, twenty miles
distant. Isolated from other highlands of the coast, it stands out
boldly and loftily in the ocean; and, after being once seen, is not
easily to be mistaken in its outline. We were rushing onward, before a
fresh trade-wind beneath a brilliant sky, at the rate of eleven miles
the hour; and at twelve o’clock, hauling closely round the Cape to the
westward, opened a lofty and picturesque mountain coast on our right.

The speed at which we were sailing was in itself sufficient to produce
great exhilaration. Add to this, the beauty of the sportive sea—leaping,
foaming, and sparkling around us; the varied and noble outlines of the
shore; the objects of increasing interest coming hourly in view, with
the assurance of an early termination of our passage, and you can
readily imagine that by nightfall, the continued excitement became
almost painful. As darkness began to gather round us, the faint outlines
of the famed Sugar Loaf marking the entrance to the harbor of Rio, were
discernible; and the first gleamings of the light on Rasa Island, some
seven miles seaward from it, came cheerily upon the eye. The wind still
continued fresh, and we had the prospect of entering the port at night;
but, just as we were attempting to do so by heading into the channel,
the breeze died suddenly away, and we dropped anchor on what is called
the “rolling ground.” The appropriateness of this name was fully
demonstrated to us before morning, by a depth of rolling on the part of
our good ship in a dead calm, which we had not before experienced in the
heaviest weather at sea.

As for myself, I was more than content to pass a restless night from
this cause, rather than lose the opportunity of entering the harbor by
daylight. I was anxious to test the fidelity of the impressions received
twenty years ago from the same scenery; and to determine how far the
magnificent picture, still lingering in my memory, was justified by the
reality, or how far it was to be attributed to the enthusiasm of younger
years and the freshness of less experienced travel. The early light of
the morning quickly determined the point. I was hurried to the deck by a
message from Lieut. R—— already there; and do not recollect ever to have
been impressed with higher admiration by any picture in still life, than
by the group of mountains and the coast scene, meeting my eyes on the
left, as I ascended the poop. The wildness and sublimity of outline of
the Pao d’Assucar, Duos Hermanos, Gavia and Corcovado, and their
fantastic combinations, from the point at which we viewed them, can
scarce be rivalled, while the richness and beauty of coloring thrown
over and around the whole in purple and gold, rose color and ethereal
blue, were all that the varied and glowing tints of the rising day ever
impart. No fancy sketch of fairy land could surpass this scene, and we
stood gazing upon it as if fascinated by the work of a master hand.

The pyramidal hills on the eastern side of the channel are less lofty
and less wild than these, but impressive in their massiveness, and
beautiful in the verdure of various growth clinging to their steep sides
and mantling their summits. Together they form a portal to Rio worthy,
not only the city, but the vast and magnificent empire of which it is
the metropolis.

There was full leisure for the enjoyment of the scene, for the
sea-breeze did not set in, with sufficient strength to enable us to get
under way, till after mid-day. In the mean time I secured a drawing,
while a thorough ship-cleaning was going on, both inside and out. This
was so satisfactorily accomplished by four hundred busy hands, before
the breeze would allow of taking our anchor, that, with the crew freshly
dressed in a uniform of white and new summer hats, we looked, on taking
our position among the men-of-war at anchor, more like a ship on a
gala-day in port, than one just arrived from sea.

The width of the entrance is a mile, though the loftiness of the granite
shafts by which it is formed, gives the impression of its being much
narrower. The Sugar Loaf on the left—the naked peak of a mountain of
rock whose broad base lies far below in the great deep—rises, with a
slight leaning westward, to an elevation of twelve hundred and
ninety-two feet according to the measurement of Captain Beechy. The
corresponding mass on the eastern side, less isolated and more rounded,
is six or seven hundred only. At the base of this, upon a tongue of rock
projecting into the channel, is the strong and massively built fortress
of Santa Cruz, against whose Cyclopean foundations the swell from the
open sea beats heavily. Its white walls and embattled parapets, pharos
lantern and telegraph fixtures, with the imperial flag of green and gold
flaunting in the breeze, are the first features of civilization meeting
the eye: all else along the coast looks as primitive and untamed as on
the day it was first discovered.

From the point at which we were at anchor, little within the harbor
could be seen: a small fortified islet or two, the tall masts of the
shipping at the man-of-war anchorage, distant five miles, and the faint
outlines of the Organ mountains in the far north. But on passing the
Sugar Loaf and fort the bay opens, and the extent and magnificence of
its leading features are rapidly disclosed. The mountain group, which so
impressed us in the morning and seemed to belong exclusively to the
outside, is found to constitute in new aspects and relative positions,
the grand outline of the western side within.

To these aspects of nature there was soon added the charm of art. Long
lines of imposing edifices edge the shores; white cottages and villas
sprinkle the hill-sides and crest the mountain ridges; while church
steeples and convent towers and the thickened masses of building in the
city gradually rise to view.

As our ship moved gently onward the effect was like the unfolding of a
panoramic picture. First came the land-locked bay of Botafogo, backed
and overhung by the lofty peaks of the Hermanos and Gavia—its circular
shores and sweeping sand-beach being embellished with a palace-like
hospital and numerous suburban residences of the aristocratic and
wealthy. Then the green and picturesque valley of the Larangeiras, with
cottages hanging like birds’ nests on its hill-sides, beneath the wooded
cliffs and naked summit of the Corcovado; followed quickly by the bay of
Flamengo, the Gloria hill, the hills of Santa Theresa and San Antonio
crowned by their convents, Castle hill with its Capuchin monastery and
old bastions, the hill of San Bento, and the entire city overtopped by
the mountainous range and bell-shaped peak of Tejuca.

While these objects on the left successively absorb the attention, on
the right a precipitous range of granite hills, extending two or three
miles northward from the fortress of Santa Cruz, falls sheer into the
water like the Highlands of the Hudson. It terminates in a bold
promontory which divides a deep, circular inlet, called the bay of St.
Francis Xavier, from the chief harbor, and which from some points of
view is strikingly in the form of a colossal lion couchant, with the
head settled backward in stateliness upon the shoulders. At the further
distance of a mile a picturesque cliff-bound little islet—evidently once
a part of the adjoining mainland—marks the northern entrance to this
inner bay. Surmounted by a white chapel facing the sea, dedicated to
“our Lady of good voyages,” the special patroness of the sailor, it is a
conspicuous and interesting feature in the topography, the first and the
last upon which the ignorant and superstitious among voyagers and
seafaring men, have long been accustomed to fix their eyes on entering
and on leaving port. Beyond this, upon a widely sweeping beach, stretch
the populous rural suburbs of Praya Domingo and Praya Grande,
immediately facing the city. These terminate in a lofty rounded hill,
partly under cultivation and partly in wood, which cuts off all further
view northward, except clusters of islands on the distant waters, and
the far-off mountains rising six thousand feet against the sky. The
whole was seen by us under the strong lights and shades of the
afternoon, as with a light sea-breeze we floated gently up and dropped
anchor abreast the city, midway from either shore. A cluster of
men-of-war were moored inside of us, from whose mast-heads floated the
national flags of England, Portugal and Brazil, but none bearing the
stripes and stars of the United States.

Towards night the coloring thrown over mountains and valleys, city and
bay, was most gorgeous. A light haze, like that of Indian summer at
home, characterized the atmosphere; through this, the sun shone in fiery
redness, empurpling the mountains, gilding dome and steeple and convent
tower, and spreading a crimson glow over the entire bay. I have been
thus minute in the description of the panorama surrounding us, because
these winding shores and curving beaches, these verdant hills and
towering mountains, are for many months in two or three successive
years, to be the objects of hourly observation and the haunts of my
daily rambles. The Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado, the Gavia and the Peak
of Tejuca, Gloria hill, Botafogo, Praya Grande and the Organ mountains,
will become in my communications to you, familiar as household words.

Admiration of the natural scenery was not the only feeling of which I
was conscious, in advancing up the harbor. Remembrances of the past came
unbidden to my mind and heart. With the first opening view of the Praya
Flamengo, I was quick in my search with a glass among its mansions, for
the dwelling which during my former visit had been to me a happy home.
It was easily distinguished in its unchanged exterior. But where was the
brilliant and accomplished diplomatist, whose genial spirit and polished
mind gave such charm to its hospitalities? Long a tenant of the tomb!
and I could not but recall the fact, that, with him, every one whose
acquaintance I had here made—an acquaintanceship which, in some
instances, from after intercourse, ripened into mature friendship—was
also in the world of spirits: Tudor, Otway, Inglefield and Walsh, all
gone. A generation had well-nigh passed away; and all was changed. A new
Emperor was on the throne—a new Bishop over the see: there was no one to
meet, and no one to look upon, whom I had ever seen before.

It was the predominance of feelings such as these that led, in my first
visit on shore, to a solitary pilgrimage to the former Embassy, to look
once more upon its familiar portal—now in possession of strangers,—and
on my return at eventide through the embowered pathways of the Gloria
hill, to think what a dream is life, and how vain as an abiding good,
the highest attainments and most honored positions gained by man on

_September 6th._—Rio de Janeiro, if not built like Rome on seven hills,
can boast an equal number around the bases of which her streets and
dwellings closely cluster. The bright verdure of these—in tufted groves
and shrubbery and in gleaming turf—as they rise abruptly here and there,
from one to two hundred feet above the red-tiled penthouse roofs of the
dwellings and the sombre turret and towers of church and convent, adds
greatly to the beauty of the city, whether seen from shipboard, or in
vistas at the end of the streets, on shore. One of the most conspicuous
and lofty is Castle hill, so called from being surmounted at one of its
angles, by the ramparts and dismantled batteries of a small fort,
erected by the first colonists. It is also called by foreigners, Signal
hill—from being the telegraphic station to which the movements of all
shipping in the offing is made known, by signals from other stations at
the entrance of the harbor and along the coast. Besides the ruin of the
ancient fortress and the fixtures of the telegraph, it is conspicuously
marked by the double-pinnacled church of a former Capuchin monastery,
and by the old college of the Jesuits, both now converted to the use of
the public—the one as a military hospital, and the other a medical
school. The hill juts so closely on the bay as to interrupt, for a half
a mile, the line of the city along the water, and to leave room only for
a single street. This is not built upon, but being open to the
sea-breeze and commanding a fine water view, is much frequented as a
drive and promenade in the afternoon and evening. Inland from Castle
hill, and separated from it by what was once a deep glen, but now a
densely inhabited part of the city, rises the hill of San Antonio, so
called from being the possession of a brotherhood of that name, whose
convent stands in massive dimensions on its brow. These hills occupy the
centre of the city, while that of San Bento, also crowned by a stately
convent; that known as the Bishop’s hill, from being surmounted by the
Episcopal palace; and the hill of Lavradio, are on its northern side.
The hills of Santa Theresa and Gloria, thus named—the one from a
nunnery, and the other from a church dedicated to our Lady of Glory, are
on the south. All originally rose from and encircled a marsh, the site
of the present metropolis. Till within the last half century, the whole
city then containing only some thirty thousand inhabitants, lay between
Castle hill and the hill of San Bento, a distance of less than a half
mile as a water front, in a parallelogram of rectangular streets
extending about as far inland. This section is still regular; but in
most others since built, the streets follow the curvature of the hills
at their bases, and straggle from these, in every direction, up the
ravines intervening between the spurs running from the mountains to the
plain. The streets in general are narrow, and roughly paved with
cobble-stones: the sidewalks being comfortable for two persons only
abreast. The population is now about 200,000—including the suburbs which
are very extensive, and reach south some five miles and nearly the same
distance west; while Praya Domingo and Praya Grande, on the opposite
side of the bay, form quite a town in themselves.

The general climate of Brazil from its great equality has been regarded
as one of the most salubrious and healthful of the tropical regions of
the world. Before the Congress left the United States, however, it was
known that within the last year the yellow fever had made its appearance
along the seaboard, and had raged with great mortality in the principal
cities; especially in Pernambuco, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro. We were
uncertain what the state of health might be on our arrival; and were
thankful to learn, by the first boat boarding us, that the epidemic had
ceased, after frightful ravages among natives and foreigners, both
afloat and on shore. The business of the port was almost suspended by
its virulence for six or eight months; the citizens in great numbers
having fled to the country, while the shipping put to sea. The general
health is now good, public confidence is restored, and the inhabitants
have returned to their shops and dwellings.

The origin of the pestilence is a mooted point here, among medical men
of the most distinguished talent and experience. Some contend that it
was imported from Africa by slave ships; others that it was introduced
at Pernambuco in a ship from New Orleans; and others again believe it to
be of domestic generation, connected with atmospherical phenomena, thus
far inscrutable to the observations of man. This last opinion is
supported by changes of a meteorological character universally
acknowledged: one the interruption, amounting almost to an entire
cessation, of thunder-storms in the afternoons, formerly of such regular
daily occurrence, that appointments for business or pleasure were made
in reference to them, as to taking place “before” or “after the shower.”
It is a fact also attested by medical men, that of late years, marked
modifications for the worse have been observed in the types of fever
prevalent, till their malignancy reached the climax just experienced.
There was, too, at the commencement and during the continuation of the
pestilence, a stagnation and want of elasticity in the atmosphere, from
the cessation to a great degree of the fresh and regular winds from the
sea, very perceptible and very oppressive: all confirmatory of the
belief that the sickness was atmospheric and indigenous. History and
tradition are also brought to support this supposition; nearly a century
ago, a similar pestilence is said to have prevailed in Rio, with the
same devastating effect; and records of the years 1666, 1686, and 1694,
bear testimony to visitations of a like kind. There is reason therefore
to hope that the scourge will disappear as it has done before, and not
become annual and endemic as in the West Indies.

The weather now is as delightful as can be imagined, with a clearness
and brilliancy of atmosphere like that on the Hudson in the month of
June, throwing an enchantment around the scenery of the bay perfectly

_September 10th._—The first two or three days after our arrival were
marked chiefly by an interchange of visits of ceremony, between the
officers chief in command of the foreign squadrons near us and our ship;
accompanied by a succession of salutes deafening to the ears, filling
the pure atmosphere of the heavens with smoke and sulphur, and awakening
in tones of thunder the ten thousand echoes of the adjoining mountains.
In no harbor in the world, perhaps, is more powder wasted in the course
of a year than in this. There seems ever to be among the Brazilians some
new occasion for a salute. On the day of our arrival, in the course of a
half hour the Congress alone fired eighty heavily charged thirty-four
pounders: all of which were answered in the same space of time, gun for
gun. Two of the intervening days since have been fête days on shore,
calling for three separate salutes—morning, noon, and night—of
twenty-one guns from all the forts and Brazilian men-of-war in the
harbor, and at mid-day a general one of the same number, from all the
flag-ships of the foreign squadrons. A commutation for the powder thus
annually wasted, would be a princely income for any one securing it.

These observances of etiquette afloat well through with, Commodore
McKeever invited me yesterday morning to join him, Captain McIntosh and
Lieut. T——, in visits on shore to the American Ambassador, and others of
our countrymen in official positions, and to Mr. H——, a leading English
merchant, who had called on board the Congress early after our arrival.
In 1829, and till within a year or two past, the principal landing was
in the centre of the city upon an inclined plane of solid masonry,
descending into the water so as to be accessible by boats at any state
of the tide; this conducted to a fine mole of granite, parapetted with
stone, and forming one side of the palace square. Against the flush wall
of this mole the water rose high, carrying off into the current, in its
reflow, the offensive matter, which in want of sewers is cast along the
shores of the city at night. An extension of the square on the bay is
now in progress, however, by the driving of piles and filling in with
earth and rubbish; and the landing is at a temporary stairs and platform
of wood, at an adjoining point, in the midst of outpourings of filth
disgusting to the senses, and making impressions on the stranger most
unfavorable as to the purity and civilization of the imperial city. A
carriage had been ordered for us here, and in its style and appointments
we had evidence, at once, of the improvement in equipages which has been
made since my last visit. Then, the old-fashioned Portuguese Calesa, or
chaise, and a clumsy close-carriage on leathern braces, of a similar
style and date, were universally in use. I do not recollect to have seen
vehicles of any other kind, except the imperial carriages and those of
the British Ambassador. Now, although the Calesa is still frequently
met, and occasionally its con-frere in antiquity, the low open
four-wheeled carriage of the fashion and finish of those most modern in
New York, London and Paris, and equal to them in all their appointments,
is in general use. Besides many livery stables at which these may be
found, stands of them occupy the Palace Square and other public points
at all hours of the day. Twenty years ago, mules only were driven,
except in the instances above mentioned; but, now, fine showy horses are
as often seen in the turn-out. The carriage we entered was drawn by a
pair of spirited, sleek, long-tailed blacks. The coachman in a livery of
sky-blue and silver, made aware, by the broad pennant of the many-oared
barge in which we came on shore, and by the lace and epaulettes of my
companions, of the rank of some of the party, dashed off with a flourish
of whip and a prancing of his beasts that won the admiration of the
bystanders. He kept for the whole morning a Jehu speed characteristic of
the manner of driving here; and significant, it would seem, by its
accelerated rapidity, of the degree of rank of those it hurries along,
from the Emperor down.

The route we took, is one of the finest the city and its environs
afford, leading three or four miles southward, immediately along the
bay, by a continuous street bearing different names in different
sections, to Botafogo, the most beautiful of the suburbs. The green and
palm-tufted hills overhanging the way inland; the luxuriant little
valleys receding, here and there, from it, and terminating in wild and
inaccessible ravines; the flower gardens and shrubberies, encircling the
better residences, with beauty in endless forms, and the perfume of
everlasting spring; the gay coloring, novel, and in some instances
fantastic architecture of the houses; the vases and statuary and
statuettes around and surmounting them; and the stately and ornamental
gateways, opening into fine avenues of old trees terminating in
embowered perspective at inviting residences remote from the road, with
magnificent views at one point and another of the mountains on the one
side and of the bay on the other, made the drive both in going and
returning inspiriting and delightful.

Botafogo itself is a gem of beauty: a seeming lake, three or four miles
in circumference. The one half is as untamed and wild as granite-bound
shores bristling into mountains can make it; the other, a semicircular
beach of white sand overhung with trees, and lined by a succession of
fine residences. From the curving street on which these stand others run
westward, forming a village-like settlement. On one of them we found the
mansion of Mr. H——, a spacious establishment with an air of aristocratic
elegance approaching magnificence. Besides the lofty entrance hall and
stately drawing-room into which we were ushered, there were glimpses
through different vistas of a fine library, a music room, dining hall
and billiard room of proportionate dimensions and appropriate
appointments. Situated immediately beneath the pyramidal shaft of the
Corcovado, with a view of other mountain peaks, the waters of Botafogo
at near access on one side, and those of the ocean not far distant on
the other, and bloom and blossom on every hand—the rustling banana
around and the plumed palm above—the whole presented a tempting picture
of a home in the tropics.

It was late in the afternoon before we again reached the city. On
inquiring the charge for the carriage for the four hours we had it in
use, I was rather surprised, notwithstanding the large number “eight
thousand,” that met the ear in answer, that the whole was only four
Spanish dollars, the thousand being reis, a nominal term in the currency
of the country, one thousand of which constitute a mille-reis, a silver
coin of the size and about the value of an American half dollar.


                              CHAPTER VI.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_September 12th._—On returning from the drive of Monday, I did not
accompany the party to the ship, but gave the remainder of the afternoon
to a stroll in the city. Its two principal and most attractive streets
are the Rua Direita and Rua Ouvidor. The first runs north and south,
parallel with the water, forming in its course the western side of the
Palace Square; the other is at right angles with this, running east and
west from a point near the square. A central section of the Direita is
quite wide, and beside the palace contains the imperial chapel adjoining
it, the Church of the Carmelites, used as a Cathedral, and that of the
Holy Cross: in it also are the Custom House and Exchange, the Post
Office and Commercial Reading-rooms, and the offices of the principal
brokers and money-changers. It is in fact the Lombard-street and the
Wall-street of Rio; while the Ouvidor, a mile in length, filled from end
to end with shops of all kinds—fancy goods and millinery, prints and
pictures, jewelry, articles of vertu and bijouterie—is its Bond-street
and its Broadway.

The Rua Ouvidor terminates in a small open square, having on one side
the fine façade of the church of St. Francisco de Paulo, and on another
a more modern and well built structure, in Grecian architecture, used as
a military school. A short street leads from this into a larger square
diagonal to it, called the Roscio, in which is the Opera House; and a
quarter of a mile further west lies the grand square of the Campo
D’Acclamacao, so named from the proclamation in it of the independence
of Brazil in 1822. My walk extended to this. It is a rectangular common
of large extent, but partially built upon, and is distinguished by some
fine public edifices. On the side next the city are the Treasury, the
Museum and the Courts of Justice; on that opposite, the Senate Chamber
of the Imperial Legislature; and on a third, a long line of Barracks.
Roads and foot-paths cross it irregularly in various directions; but,
ungraded and unplanted, it offers little attraction to the eye, being
covered with coarse grass and weeds, mud-puddles and rubbish. Though
thus neglected and shabby in itself, the views from it of the encircling
hills and more distant mountains are full of freshness and beauty.

The Senate Chamber, a large square building of stone, is without
architectural beauty or ornament. Originally the private residence of a
governor of Bahia, when in the metropolis, it was sold by him to the
government for its present uses. In it, in 1829, I witnessed the opening
of the Imperial Legislature by Don Pedro I; and learning incidentally
this morning when on shore, that the same body was to be prorogued
to-day by the present Emperor, I turned my steps again in that
direction: partly for the accomplishment of my purpose of a walk, and
partly for such observation as I might secure as an outside spectator.
It was too late to seek a ticket of admission to the house, at the
Embassy or elsewhere, and the Brazilian who gave me information of the
ceremony, thought I could not without one gain admittance to the
interior, in the ordinary morning dress I wore. There would, however, it
was probable, be a gathering of the populace to the scene; and with an
opportunity of the study this might afford, I was content. It is the
remark of a biographer of the brothers Humboldt, I think, that, “however
fertile nature may be, man is always its most interesting and its most
important feature;” and, after the almost exclusive observation of
inanimate objects, from their surpassing magnificence for a week and
more, I felt doubly inclined to avail myself of the chance of
scrutinizing my fellows in new aspects of life.

The first impression made on an intelligent stranger on landing at Rio
would, probably, arise from the numbers, evident difference in
condition, the variety of employments, dress and undress, almost to
nakedness, of the negro and slave population. Such figures, such
groupings, such costumes, as are exhibited by these on every side, it
would be difficult to picture or describe: the rapid lope and monotonous
grunt of the coffee-bag carriers, their naked bodies reeking with oily
sweat; the jingling and drumming of the tin rattles or gourds borne by
the leaders of gangs, transporting on their heads all manner of
articles—chairs, tables, sofas and bedsteads, the entire furniture of a
household; the dull recitative, followed by the loud chorus, with which
they move along; the laborious cry of others, tugging and hauling and
pushing over the rough pavements heavily laden trucks and carts, an
overload for an equal number of mules or horses, all crowd on the
observation. Others, both male and female, more favored in their
occupation, are seen as pedlers, carrying in the same manner, trunks and
boxes of tin, containing various merchandise; glass cases filled with
fancy articles and jewelry; trays with cakes and confectionery; and
baskets with fruit, flowers and birds. And yet again others of the same
color and race, more fortunate still, in being free—the street-vender,
the mechanic, the tradesman, the soldier; the merchant with the dress
and manner of a gentleman; the officer in uniform and the priest in his
frock; all by their contrasts filling the mind with speculation and
opening channels for thought.

An impression which would follow this first one, in quick succession,
would be derived from the fearfully mongrel aspect of much of the
population, claiming to be white. Mulattoes, quadroons, and
demi-quadroons, and every other degree of tinted complexion and crisped
hair, met, at every turn, indicate an almost unlimited extent of mixed
blood. This cannot fail to be revolting, at least to a visitor from the
Northern States of our country; especially as exhibited in the female
portion of the lower orders of the community, as they hang over the
under half of the doors of their houses, gazing up and down the street,
or lean—black, white, and gray, three and four together, in the closest
juxtaposition from their latticed windows.

A striking exhibition of this incongruous mingling of races and mixture
of blood, was presented in the first object upon which my eye fell, on
entering the Campo D’Acclamacao on my way to the Senate Chamber. A
squadron of dragoons in a scarlet uniform, had just been placed in line
on one side of the square. A mounted band in Hussar dress of the same
color was in attendance. I took a station for a moment near this. It was
composed of sixteen performers; and in the number included every shade
of complexion, from the blackest ebony of Africa, through demi, quarter,
and demi-quarter blood to the purely swarthy Portuguese and Brazilian,
and the clear red and white of the Saxon, with blue eyes and flaxen
hair. Such, in a greater or less degree, is the mixture seen in every
sphere of common life—domestic, social, civil and military; and scarce
less frequently than elsewhere, in the vestibule of the palace and at
the altars of the church.

With the exception of this body of horse-guards and its band, there was
but little indication in the square of the approaching spectacle. Two or
three hundred idlers only, in addition to the ordinary movements on the
common, were seen loitering about. Those who had begun to assemble,
however, were in clean and holiday garb. The Senate Hall, which last
evening looked deserted and shabby enough in its exterior, appeared now
in gala dress. All the lofty windows above and below, were decorated on
the outside with hangings of crimson silk; and the doors, thrown wide
open, were screened by draperies of green cloth, embroidered in the
centre with the imperial arms in colors. A body-guard of Halberdiers, in
liveries of green and gold, stood in groups about the entrance—their
lofty spears, surmounted with glittering battle-axes, being at rest near
at hand.

Numbers of well-dressed citizens began to arrive and enter the building
by a side door. Perceiving among them one and another in costumes not
differing much from my own, I made bold to follow, leaving it for the
door-keepers to question my right of admission. I knew not where I might
be led, and after a long ascent by a dark, circular staircase, very
unexpectedly found myself in an open gallery in the middle front of the
hall, in a line with the diplomatic tribune on one side, and that
appropriated to the Empress and her ladies on such occasions, on the
other. All the best places in this gallery were already filled. As I was
looking about for a choice in such as remained unoccupied, a Brazilian
gentleman, recognizing me as a stranger, though there was nothing in my
dress to indicate either my nation or profession, immediately approached
and insisted on relinquishing to me his seat. It was in vain that I
objected to dispossessing him, till, overcome by his courteous manners
and unyielding purpose of civility, I bowed my way into it. The point of
view was one of the best in the house, being immediately in front of the
throne and the chairs at its foot, for the ministers and chief officers
of the household. Besides the whole interior, it commanded also, through
a large open window, the avenue, by which the imperial cortège would
make its approach in state from San Christovao, the country palace,
three or four miles west of the city.

The Chamber has been remodelled since 1829. Instead of being oblong as
then, it is now semicircular, like the Senate Chamber at Washington. The
canopy and hangings of the throne and the draperies of the windows, are
of velvet and silk in green and gold, the national colors.

The members of both Houses began soon to enter; many in magnificent
attire—naval and military uniforms stiff with embroideries of gold,
various court-dresses and priestly robes—and many in a full dress of
black alone, with an abundance of glittering stars and crosses, and the
broad ribbons of different orders. In the number were many men of mark,
not only in name and title, but in talent and popular influence. There
was no friend near me, however, as on the former occasion, to point them
out individually; and I had only the unsatisfactory assurance, from the
circumstances of the case, of seeing before me not only the ministers of
state and other officers of the government, but the leading politicians
and ecclesiastics of the empire. Among them were many heads and
countenances indicative of talent and unmistakable intellect, with a
refinement and dignity of bearing that gave a most favorable impression
of the whole as a legislative body.

You are aware that the government of Brazil is a constitutional
monarchy, similar in its limitations and general organization to that of
Great Britain. A Council of State consisting of three members holding
office for life, corresponds to the Privy Council of Her Majesty. The
ministry, composed of the heads of six departments—those of the Empire,
Justice, Foreign Affairs, Marine, War, and Finance—is appointed by the
Emperor. The Legislature consists of two chambers, the Senate and the
House of Deputies, and is elected by the different cities and provinces.
The Senators, titled and untitled, the proportion of each being limited
by law, are fifty-four in number, and like the Counsellors of State hold
office for life. The deputies amount to more than one hundred and serve
for a limited time. Titles, of which there are a considerable number, of
the various grades of Marquis, Count, Viscount and Baron, besides those
of different orders of knighthood, are not hereditary, and there is no
right of primogeniture in the descent of property.

The Legislature in its two branches, like the Parliament of England and
the Congress of the United States, has cognizance of the entire business
of the empire. Its discussions and debates on every subject, are as free
as those of the two bodies named, and, I am told, are often marked with
distinguished ability, varied learning and accomplishment, and true
parliamentary eloquence. The temperament of the Brazilians is impulsive,
and often leads to displays of impassioned oratory, on points eliciting
the sectional jealousies of the Senators and Deputies. With an empire as
widely spread as our own, and the centralization of the entire revenue
at Rio, occasions often occur in which this feeling in regard to
appropriations and other legislative measures is manifested. In times
past, the ground of the strongest and warmest partisanship, was found in
the early rivalry between the old Portuguese population and the native
Brazilians, from the absorption by the former of the chief offices and
emoluments of the country when a colony, and the patronage and
favoritism extended by the crown to those who accompanied and followed
John VI., in the transfer of the court from Lisbon in 1808. This cause
of party irritation is now, however, rapidly disappearing. The native
party with its purely native policy and views is entirely predominant,
and can never again lose its power and influence.

A flourish of trumpets and a general bustle outside soon intimated the
approach of the Emperor; and, through the open window before mentioned,
I had a view of the procession of state. A company of lancers in rapid
movement cleared the way. These were followed by a detachment of horse
guards, in a uniform of white and gold with scarlet plumes, accompanied
by a mounted band playing the national air; then came six
coaches-and-six—each flanked and followed by its guard of
honor—containing the great officers of the household. The state carriage
of the Empress and her ladies, drawn by eight iron grays, next made its
appearance; after which came the imperial state coach with a like number
of horses; a long cavalcade of troops completing the cortège. Each pair
of horses had its postillion, and each carriage its coachman and three
footmen. All were in state liveries of green, stiff with lace and
embroideries in silver. The postillions wore jockey caps fitting closely
to the head, with lace and embroideries to correspond with the livery,
and the coachmen and footmen, old-fashioned cocked hats broadly laced
and fringed with white ostrich feathers. The postillions, mostly
handsome young lads, and the coachmen and footmen wore powder, and the
head of each carriage-horse was surmounted by three ostrich feathers
arranged like the Prince of Wales’ plume. The panels and top of the
Emperor’s carriage were of crimson velvet; but all other parts, the
wheels included, of the heaviest carving, richly gilt;—the pattern and
style of the whole reminding me of the state coaches of his great
ancestor, Emanuel of Portugal, in the palmiest days of his reign, which
I recollect to have had pointed out to me, as matters of antiquity, in
the Royal Mews at Lisbon.

A procession of courtiers now appeared, in an upper corridor, open to
view from the gallery, and, by a double line, formed a passage way for
the Empress and ladies in waiting, to the tribune appropriated to her.
This was screened in front by curtains. As Her Majesty entered these
were drawn, and all in the gallery rising and bowing, remained standing.
In the mean time the hall below became deserted, the senators and
deputies having left it to escort the Emperor from the robing room. They
returned in procession in a few moments, with His Majesty at the head in
full coronation attire, wearing the crown and bearing the sceptre or
gilded staff of state. While he mounted the steps of the throne the
members filed off on either side to their respective places. Bowing to
them, as he turned to face the assembly, the Emperor bade them be
seated, and rested himself on his chair of state. A secretary then
presented him with a sheet of letter paper in a portfolio, from which he
read an address some five minutes in length. At its close, rising and
again bowing, he descended and passed through the centre of the hall as
he had entered, followed in procession by the entire body.

Don Pedro II., whom I saw as a child of three years, beside his father
at a presentation on my former visit in Rio, is now a tall and stalwart
young man of twenty-five, standing among those around him, like Saul in
Israel, “higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.”
He is finely and massively built, with great breadth of shoulders and
fulness of chest. His German descent, through his mother, the
Archduchess Leopoldina of Austria, is strikingly manifest in his light
hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. There is nothing either in the
features or expression of his face to remind one that, on his father’s
side, he is a direct representative of the united blood of Braganza and
Castile. His countenance, in repose, is heavy and inexpressive, and in
the reading of his speech exhibited little flexibility. A fixed and,
seemingly, determined indifference was all that could be inferred from
his enunciations and intonations. I could not detect the slightest
emotion of any kind or perceive a ray of feeling in his eye, as he went
mechanically through it. How far this might be attributed to the subject
matter, I am unable to say; it was in Portuguese, which I do not
understand, and I have not yet seen a report of it in French in the
daily journals. Still he is known to be a man of mind and character; has
been most carefully and thoroughly educated; is extensively read;
scientific in his studies and pursuits; and of exemplary correctness in
his moral principles and character.

The Empress Doña Theresa is a Bourbon of Naples, a younger sister of the
present King of the two Sicilies, and, of course, of Christina, Queen
Dowager of Spain. She is apparently some four or five years the senior
of her lord. In person she is short and stout, full in face, with
well-defined features, and great amiability and benevolence of
expression. Her walk and general mien, however, are not particularly
marked with the high bearing and finished air, which give such grace and
such prestige of regal birth and training to some of her compeers in
rank, whom I have seen in Europe. She was in court costume—an under
dress of white satin heavily embroidered with gold, with a profusion of
rich lace falling deeply over the corsage and forming its sleeves. These
were looped with bands of diamonds magnificent in size and lustre. The
train was of green velvet with embroideries in gold, corresponding with
those of the skirt. Her head-dress, with the hair worn in long ringlets
in front, was a wreath of diamonds and emeralds, in the shape of
flowers, rising into the form of a coronet over the forehead, and from
which a white ostrich feather fell on one side gracefully to the
shoulder. A broad sash, the combined ribbons of different
orders—scarlet, purple, and green—crossed the bust from the right
shoulder to the waist, above which a mass of emeralds and diamonds of
the first water sparkled on her bosom. The ladies in waiting were also
in dresses of green and gold of corresponding character.

By the time the gallery was sufficiently cleared to allow of a
comfortable descent, the procession was formed for a return, in the same
order in which it had arrived. The Empress was entering her carriage at
a canopied doorway, as I gained the open air. Some amusing incident had
just occurred, and in taking her seat she indulged in quite a laugh with
her companions. This entirely confirmed the impression of her good looks
and amiability. Ten years of apparent age were at once thrown off, and
both vivacity of mind and sweetness of manner indicated by it. A
pleasant break upon the frigidity of imperial etiquette, having the
effect of a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day, over a landscape whose
chief beauty till then had been in shade.

A lowering morning by this time began to settle into a heavy rain; and a
heavy rain here is a rain indeed. It soon poured in torrents; and it
seemed a pity, in an economical point of view, at least, as the long
display moved off for a ride of three miles to San Christovao, that so
much gilding and embroidery, so much lace and velvet, and so many fine
feathers should be exposed to the peltings of the storm.


                              CHAPTER VII.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_September 16th._—There is no seaman’s chaplain or other American
clergyman, at present at Rio; and the religious services of the Sabbath
on board the Congress, since our arrival, have been attended by many of
our compatriots, both ladies and gentlemen, residents here, including
the Ambassador and Consul and their families. Occasions occur not
unfrequently both in the shipping and on shore, calling for the special
services of a Protestant minister of the Gospel. This has been the case
within the passing week. The commander of an American schooner spoken by
us the day we crossed the line, but which did not arrive till ten days
after the Congress, died suddenly of apoplexy the morning he entered
port. The schooner was put in quarantine, immediately, by the health
officer; and it was with great difficulty permission was obtained from
the authorities for the burial of the body on shore. Mr. Kent, the
consul, formerly Governor of the State of Maine, solicited my attendance
officially at the interment. This took place at the Protestant cemetery
at Gamboa, a northern suburb of the city, situated on a broad indenture
on the western side of the bay. Here the body had been carried by water.
Gov. Kent took me in a calesa by land. The drive is through a mean and
unattractive part of the city, by a winding course from street to
street, between the hill of San Bento and that surmounted by the
Bishop’s Palace.

This burial-ground was purchased by the foreign residents of Rio
twenty-five or thirty years ago. It was then, and still is,
comparatively, a secluded and rural spot, upon a hill-side overhung and
crowned with trees, and commanding a beautiful view northward of the
upper bay and its many islands; of the rich valleys to the west; and of
the Organ Mountains sweeping majestically round in the distance. It is
enclosed with high and substantial walls of stone, and is entered by an
ornamental gateway of iron. From this a winding avenue of trees marks
the ascent to a neat little chapel on a terrace near the centre of the
ground. Here such religious services as may be desired, or can be
secured, before committing the dead to the grave, are usually observed.

The morning was wet and gloomy, according well with the object of our
visit, and the peculiar circumstances in which the burial was to take
place. A funeral more sad in its desolateness could scarcely be: that of
a stranger, in a strange land, unwept and unattended by any one who had
ever seen, or ever heard of him when living. The consul, the undertaker,
the grave-digger and I, as chaplain, being the only persons brought to
the spot either by duty or humanity. The officers and crew of the
schooner were in quarantine, and, from some omission or mistake in the
arrangements, no representative from other American vessels in port was

The kindness of Gov. Kent, in giving his personal attendance, was at a
sacrifice of feeling which could not fail to elicit my sympathy, though
a stranger to him till within a few days past. It is but a very brief
period, scarcely a month, since he committed to the newly-made grave
near which we were standing, an only son of great promise just verging
into manhood: one of the last of the victims of the late epidemic. The
associations of the passing scene could not but revive in painful
freshness a sorrow that has not yet lost its keenness.

The rain, and the wetness in every pathway, prevented all observation,
except a general glance around, or any lingering among the memorials of
those who rest here, far from the sepulchres of their fathers. It had
been my purpose, before being called thus by duty to the spot, early to
visit in it the tomb of my friend Tudor. This was the only one I now
sought, to stand a moment beside it in remembrance of the dead, and, in
thoughts of the living, who most loved him, but who may never be
permitted to look upon his grave. It is marked by a plain white obelisk
of Italian marble, bearing the following simple inscription:

                             GULIELMI TUDOR
                       Rerump: Fœd: Americæ Sept:
                    Natus Bostoniæ A. D. MDCCLXXIX.
                              Mortuus est
                      Rio Janiero A. D. MDCCCXXX.
                           Multis ille bonis
                           flebilis Occidit.

_September 18th._—The objects, at Rio, of historic interest to the
stranger, or suggestive to him of thoughts of the past, are few. There
is, however, at least one entitled in these respects to a passing notice
from a Protestant. It is a small island, situated a short distance
seaward from our anchorage, beneath the green heights of Castle Hill, a
half mile from the shore. Its entire area is occupied by a fortress,
whose white ramparts, demi-turreted angles, and floating banner, form
conspicuous objects in coming up the harbor. My eye never consciously
rests upon it without recurrence to a fact in the early history of Rio,
inseparably associated with the name which both island and fortress now
bear—that of Villegagnon. However imposing and aristocratic in sound, it
is synonymous in its application here, with treachery, and not less
surreptitious—to compare small things with great—as regards the name of
the noble old Huguenot Coligny, first given to them, than that of
Americus, borne by half the globe, instead of one in honor of the true
finder of the western world.

Brazil was first discovered by Vincente Pinzon, one of the companions of
Columbus in his first voyage, on the 26th of January, 1499. The land
descried by him was Cape St. Augustine in the vicinity of the present
city of Pernambuco. He took possession of the country in the name of the
crown of Castile, whose flag he bore, and, coasting northward to the
mouth of the Amazon, returned to Spain without forming a settlement.
About the same period Pedro Cabral was fitting out a large fleet in the
Tagus, to be conducted to India by the newly known route of the Cape of
Good Hope. Fearful of the calms in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa,
in pursuing the voyage, he ran so far to the west as to make, on the
25th of April, 1506, the same shores Pinzon had, some degrees further to
the south. Entering a fine bay, in imitation of Columbus, he erected a
wooden cross on the shore, before which he and his followers prostrated
themselves, and high mass being performed, possession of the country was
taken in the name of his sovereign Emanuel of Portugal. He gave to the
bay the name of Porto Seguro, since changed in honor of him to Cabralia,
and to the country that of the Terra de Vera Cruz—the Land of the Holy
Cross. This appellation, however, was soon lost in that of Brazil, from
the abundance of the wood of that name found in it and the high value
placed upon the article in Europe: a result pathetically deplored by a
pious Jesuit, in the lamentation that “the cupidity of man by unworthy
traffic, should change the wood of the cross, red with the real blood of
Christ, for that of another wood which resembled it only in color.”

The harbor of Rio de Janeiro was not discovered till 1516. De Solis, in
search of a western passage to the Pacific, looked into it, in that
year, as he coasted his way to the Rio de la Plata where he lost his
life. He gave to it no name, however, and it remained unvisited again
till De Sousa entered it in 1531. Under the impression that it was the
outlet of a great river, this navigator called it Rio de Janeiro, the
day on which he made the supposed discovery being the first of the new
year. It did not, however, particularly attract the notice of the
Portuguese, and still remained unoccupied by them.

In the mean time adventurers and traders from France made their way to
this part of the New World, and secured the good will and friendship of
the natives. Among them was Villegagnon, a knight of Malta, who had seen
service in the east, was an officer of distinction in the French navy,
and had commanded the vessel which carried Mary Queen of Scots and her
retinue from France on her return to her kingdom. His visit to Brazil
inspired him with the ambition of establishing a colony at Rio. Desirous
of the favor and aid of the crown in this project, and believing the
influence of Coligny with the king the surest means of accomplishing
this end, to win his confidence and co-operation he professed a deep
interest in the condition of the Protestants of France, and avowed the
purpose of making the proposed colony a refuge to them, from the
persecutions to which they were subject at home. The king was led by his
friendship for Coligny, to regard the proposition with such favor as to
grant to Villegagnon two vessels for the expedition, while the admiral
interested himself in securing a number of respectable Protestants to
accompany it as colonists.

On arriving at Rio in 1555, Villegagnon first took possession of the
small island Lage near the mouth of the harbor; but soon finding this
too much exposed to the sea, removed to one larger near the site of the
present city, to which, with the fort erected upon it, he gave the name
of Coligny. The vessels were sent back to France for reinforcements.
Great interest in the enterprise had in the mean time been excited among
the Protestants there. Two clergymen and fourteen students of theology
had been selected in Geneva to secure the spiritual good of the colony,
and were received, preparatory to their embarkation, at the chateau of
Coligny near Chatillon, with great attention. Large numbers of
respectable emigrants joined them, and sanguine hopes were entertained
that the principles of the reformation would be surely implanted in the
New World.

Early after the arrival of this reinforcement, Villegagnon, believing
himself sure of the support of the crown in the further prosecution of
his object, under the pretence of having returned to his old faith,
commenced so bitter a persecution of the Protestants, that, in place of
the peaceful enjoyment of freedom of conscience for which they had been
led so far from their native land, they found themselves in a worse
condition in this respect than they were at home. They were driven, at
length, to the determination of returning to France. The only vessel,
however, granted to them for the purpose was so old and so ill found for
the voyage, that five of the number, after going on board, refused to
venture their lives in her. Of these, three were afterwards put to death
by Villegagnon, and the others, flying for refuge to the Portuguese
settlements, were constrained to apostatize to save their lives. The
company who embarked reached France only after having suffered all but
death from starvation. At the time of their return, ten thousand of
their brethren were in readiness, under the auspices of Coligny, to
embark for the new colony. The report brought by them of the treachery
of him who was to have been their leader at once changed their purpose;
and the project of a Protestant colony in ‘France Antarctique,’ as the
region had already been styled, was abandoned. Thus it was that the
religious and civil destiny of one of the richest sections of the New
World was changed for centuries now past, and, it may be, for centuries
yet to come.

With the remembrance of this failure in establishing the Reformed
religion here, and of the direct cause which led to it, I often find
myself speculating, as to the possible and probable results which would
have followed the successful establishment of Protestantism during the
three hundred years which have intervened. With the wealth and power and
increasing prosperity of the United States before us as the fruits, at
the end of two hundred years, of the colonization of a few feeble bands
of Protestants on the comparatively bleak and barren shore of the
Northern Continent, there is no presumption in the belief that, had a
people of similar faith, similar morals, similar habits of industry and
enterprise, gained an abiding footing in so genial a climate and on so
exuberant a soil, long ago, the still unexplored and impenetrable
wildernesses of the interior would have bloomed and blossomed in
civilization as the rose, and Brazil from the sea-coast to the Andes
become one of the gardens of the world. But the germ which might have
led to this was crushed by the bad faith and malice of Villegagnon; and,
as I look on the spot which, by bearing his name, in the eyes of a
Protestant at least perpetuates his reproach, the two or three solitary
palms which lift their tufted heads above the embattled walls, and
furnish the only evidence of vegetation on the island, seem, instead of
plumed warriors in the midst of their defences, like sentinels of grief
mourning the blighted hopes of the long past.

The conduct of Villegagnon soon met its just recompense. The course he
pursued towards the Huguenots led to the early and utter failure of his
enterprise. Had he been true to his followers of the Reformed faith, the
colony, in place of being weakened by the return of any to France, would
have been so strengthened and established by the ten thousand prepared
to join them, that the Portuguese would never have been able to dislodge
and supplant them. Needing reinforcements, Villegagnon proceeded himself
to France to secure more settlers and the further aid of the government.
Every thing there was adverse to his object. He had forfeited the favor
of Coligny, and put an effectual end to the emigration of Protestants to
Brazil. The king was too much occupied with the civil war existing to
give heed to him. While thus delayed the Portuguese fitted out a strong
expedition under Mem de Sa from Bahia. This was successful. The French
were driven to their ships, and the Portuguese, possessing themselves of
the island on which they had been established, gained such foothold as
never afterwards to be displaced. This occurred on the 20th of Jan.
1560, St. Sebastian’s day, under the patronage of which saint the
expedition had been placed: and in whose honor the city afterwards built
on the mainland, received the name of St. Sebastian. This is now,
however, entirely supplanted by that of Rio de Janeiro.

In 1676 the city had become so populous as to be made the see of a
Bishop, and the palace now crowning the brow of the Bishop’s Hill was
built. At that time, and for more than a hundred years afterwards, Bahia
was the seat of chief authority in the captaincies of Brazil; but in
1763, so greatly had the wealth and influence of Rio increased, from the
discovery of the gold and diamond mines, whose products were poured into
her bosom as a market, that the residence of the Viceroy was transferred
from Bahia and became permanently fixed here.

It was not, however, till the arrival of the royal family of Portugal,
in their flight from Lisbon before the French army in 1808, that the
prosperity and true progress of Rio, and Brazil in general, may be said
to have commenced. Till then, the whole country had been subject to the
restrictive and depressing influences of the policy adopted by the
mother country, in the government of her colonies: all foreign trade
interdicted, heavy import and export duties imposed on the commerce with
Portugal herself, grasping monopolies claimed by the crown at home, and
extortionate perquisites exacted by its representatives on the ground.
There were no press, no newspapers, no books, no schools. The whole
country was in a state of darkness and ignorance beyond that of the
Middle Ages; and Rio an unenlightened, unrefined, and demoralized
provincial town. But with the Prince Regent of Portugal, the Queen
mother, the court, and more than twenty thousand followers, European
manners and customs, and the habits and usages of modern civilized life
were introduced. Commerce was opened to all nations; and the press,
literature and the arts established. The changes effected in Rio were
almost miraculous; and so constant and so rapid have been the
improvements to the present time, that she now presents to the visitor,
in many of her leading features, an aspect becoming the metropolis of a
great Empire.

The progress of enlightened government, enlarged liberty and extended
commerce, has been commensurate with the advances in civilization,
intellectual culture and the refinements of life. The measure of
throwing the ports open to all nations, so wise and so essential, at
once adopted and proclaimed by the Prince Regent—afterwards John VI.—in
1808, was followed by him in 1815 by the no less important step of
elevating the colony in its united provinces to a distinct kingdom, on
an equality in its rights and privileges with those of Portugal and
Algarves, under the one crown.

In 1822, Brazil became an independent empire under Don Pedro I. with a
constitution which guaranteed to her a representative legislature, and
the largest liberty compatible with the immunities of the limited
monarchy by which she is still governed.

This political progress was not made without obstacles and threatened
anarchy and disaster. The return to Portugal of John VI. in 1821, was
followed in 1831, by the abdication of Don Pedro I. in favor of his son,
a child four years of age; and partisan conflicts, during the regency
which followed, made necessary the sudden termination, in 1840, of the
minority of Don Pedro II., at the age of 14, in violation of an article
of the constitution fixing the majority of an heir to the throne at
eighteen. Since then, however, general tranquillity and progressive
prosperity have prevailed. After years of deficiency in the revenue
there is now a surplus; the receipts of the imperial treasury for the
last year being seventeen millions and a half of dollars, and the
expenditures little more than fifteen millions. The national debt is
sixty millions, but with increasing exports and an enlarging commerce
this may soon be liquidated; and the finances of the country be placed
in unfettered condition. The revenue is derived from duties on exports
as well as imports; those on exports being applicable alike to the
internal commerce of the empire between province and province, and to
that with foreign countries. The export duty on coffee, transferred from
one province to another, is ten per cent. On shipments of the same
article for foreign ports, there is an additional duty of two per cent.
Every product—rice, sugar, cotton, farina—is thus taxed. The export duty
on mandioca, the staff of life of the country, is regulated by the
market value of the article, and not by fixed per centage.

There is no direct tax on landed property, but, in lieu of it, a levy of
ten per cent. on every transfer of real estate. There is also an annual
tax on slaves throughout the empire at the rate of two milreis a head.

The greatest danger to which the empire seems exposed, arises from the
vastness of its extent, and the obstacles which have hitherto existed to
a ready intercourse, between its different sections and the central
power at Rio de Janeiro. But steam navigation already established along
its coast, and soon to be introduced on its northern rivers, with
projected railroads and telegraphic routes, promises to overcome this
difficulty; and, as in the United States, so to facilitate
communication, and so closely and firmly to bind the different provinces
in a whole, as to secure the perpetuity and integrity of the empire.


                             CHAPTER VIII.

                                                             AT SEA.

_September 23d._—

                “The sea again! the swift, bright sea!”—

and, at the rate of twelve miles the hour,

         “Away, away upon the rushing tide
          We hurry faster than the foam we ride,
          Dashing afar the waves, which round us cling,
          With strength like that which lifts the eagle’s wing,
          Where the stars dazzle and the angels sing.
                We scatter the spray,
                  And break through the billows,
                As the wind makes way
                  Through the leaves of willows!”

We had expected to meet at Rio de Janeiro, the frigate Brandywine, the
ship the Congress came to relieve; but instead, Commodore McKeever found
orders awaiting him there to proceed to Montevideo. In obedience to
these we got under way, early on the 17th inst.; but, after dropping
down the bay a couple of miles, the land breeze failed us and we again
came to anchor. For three successive days, we made a like attempt to get
to sea, but to no purpose; and, on the morning of the 21st, employed a
steam tug to tow us out. The British Admiral had previously proffered
the use of a small steamer, in attendance upon his flag; and now sent
her, to aid the little tow-boat in stemming with her stately burden, the
tide just beginning to set in. When well outside we took a smacking
breeze; and, though scarce two days at sea, have run five hundred
miles—nearly half the distance to Montevideo.

There was no special reason for regret at the delay in getting off. The
position we occupied while detained was the finest possible for the
study of the imagery amidst which we lay. But for some accidental cause
of the kind, we should not have had an opportunity of enjoying it, and I
availed myself of the chance to secure a panoramic drawing, embracing
points of beauty not commanded from the customary anchorage of
men-of-war. During the detention, Captain McIntosh took me with him in
two or three excursions upon the water in his gig, followed by walks on
shore of interest and novelty. One of these was to Praya Grande,
opposite Rio; and another to the bay of St. Francis Xavier, called by
the English Five-fathom Bay, on the same side of the water, but nearer
the sea.

The formation of the land on the eastern side of the harbor is less bold
and lofty than that on which the city lies. The mountains are more
distant, and the spurs from them come down in rounded hills,
interspersed with valleys and broad interval lands. Praya Grande and
Praya San Domingo form one gently curving beach on this shore, some
three miles in length, extending northward from the fragmentary islet—on
the bluff crest of which is perched the little chapel of Boa Viagem—to a
beautifully rounded promontory jutting far westward into the bay. They
are contiguous parishes, seemingly but one settlement, and are rural and
village like. The green banks along the water side are overhung with
trees, and the houses every where interspersed with large gardens and
ornamented enclosures. The population of the two places amounts to about
three thousand. The residences, for the most part, are well built, and
many of them tasteful in architecture, and fanciful in their
embellishment. In comparison with the city opposite, the whole district
is pure and cleanly; and, in place of the villanous smells too often met
there, abounds with the mingled fragrance of the orange, cape jessamine,
heliotrope, and unnumbered other blossoms—constituting a sweetness more
fresh and grateful than the choicest ‘mille fleurs’ of the perfumist.
Wild roses, multiflora, and clustering flowers of varied hues, mantle
the tops and fringe the sides of the hedges of myrtle and mimosa, aloes
and cacti which border the roads, while many of the pleasure gardens, of
which we had glimpses through the iron railings and open gateways, are
adorned with plants and shrubs of novel forms and gorgeous bloom, amidst
fountains of greater or less beauty.

We made our way into the open country, meeting, at one or two points,
features in the scenery quite homelike: one—a meadow of coarse grass
edged by a copse and thickets interspersed with single trees; and
another, a large field on a hill-side having the earth freshly turned
up, like newly ploughed ground with us, over which noble mango trees,
with their thickly set leaves, and rounded tops, were scattered like
oaks in an English park. On every hand there was a great variety of
growth in shrub and tree, and it was with no slight degree of pleasure
that I recognized among others, as old friends at the Sandwich Islands,
not only the cocoa-nut, palm and banana, but also the bread-fruit, the
tamarind, and _alucrites triloba_—or candle tree.

Not knowing how far the road we were following might lead, before it
would again conduct towards the water, we were about to retrace our
steps the same way, when, a question accidentally put to a negro
passing, led to a return under his guidance over a hill, by a wild and
romantic bridle-path. This was so overhung by densely interwoven growth,
that the glare of midday soon became twilight to us, and the heat of a
burning sun tempered to the coolness of a grotto. At many points of the
entire walk, the views of the bay and city in the distance, and of the
mountains overhanging them were of unsurpassed beauty. Indeed, there was
no end to the forms of loveliness by which we were surrounded, and to
the associations in memory and affection brought to my mind by them.
With the expectation of spending many a tedious month of our long exile
on the adjoining waters, it was a delight to know that walks of such
freshness and beauty are so near and so accessible.

The row to the bay of St. Francis Xavier was made the succeeding
afternoon. A bold and strongly defined promontory of granite, separates
this sheet from the waters of the general harbor, and makes it so
land-locked as to give to it the aspect of a secluded lake. Till we had
doubled this, I had no idea of the depth to which the bay sweeps seaward
behind the promontory, or of the feeling of remoteness from civilized
life which its general features at once impart. The wild mountains, with
a rude hut clinging here and there to their uncultivated sides; the
primitive look of the lowly cottages of fishermen stretched along a
distant beach; and the canoes drawn up on the sands, or resting lightly
upon the water, again transported me to the South Seas, and I felt as if
at the Marquesan or Society Islands, rather than within a half a dozen
miles of the metropolis of a magnificent empire. Just so untamed, just
so Indian-like, I am told, were the entire surroundings of the bay of
Rio, till within the last thirty or forty years.

The eastern side of this inlet is formed by a long curving beach of
sand, called the Praya Carahy. It fronts an extensive plain of low
alluvial ground through which, at either end, two streams from the
mountains make their way. Landing at the mouth of the most southern of
these, with orders for the boat to meet us at that to the north, we
walked upon the sands the intervening distance, in alternate admiration
of the scenery inland, on the one side, and the sportings of a heavy
surf on the other. This illumined by the rays of the declining sun, rose
high in emerald masses, till, cresting into ten thousand diamonds, it
thundered on the beach and came rushing to our feet in sheets of foam.

_September 27th._—The fresh wind mentioned in my last date brought us,
the next evening, on soundings off the Rio de la Plata. A change then
suddenly occurred with every indication of heavy weather. The mercury in
the barometer fell low; and during the night there was heavy rain, with
a good deal of thunder and lightning, while meteors, called by seamen,
compesant—a corruption of corpo santo or holy body—flitted about the
yard-arms and mast-heads of the ship. All these were forerunners of
weather more like a gale than any thing experienced since leaving
Norfolk: indeed, a regular pampero, a storm of wind so called from the
pampas or boundless plains between the Rio la Plata and Patagonia, over
which the cold south and south-west winds from the polar regions sweep,
corresponding in force and temperature to our fiercest north-west winds
at home. The storm was not of long continuance, and yesterday afternoon
we made the land near Cape St. Mary, the northern entrance to the river.
We lay off shore for the night, and sighting the land again this
morning, soon after made the little islet of Lobos, a chief landmark in
entering the Plata from the north, seventy miles from Montevideo. It
derives its name from the multitude of seal frequenting it. Many of
these were seen, as we approached, basking on the rocky shores and
swimming about in the water. A strong and offensive odor was also very
perceptible. The island is a governmental possession of the Republic of
Uruguay, but leased for a long term of years to a gentleman of
Montevideo, and yields a handsome income in skins and oil.

The river is here one hundred and twenty miles wide. Its northern shore
only, of course, is visible. This is low and sandy, marked here and
there by a green hillock. With a glass, great numbers of horses, in vast
droves as if wild, could be seen grazing in the distance; also the
church towers of Maldonado, the town next in size in the Republic to
Montevideo. From all we can learn, it is in such decay and depopulation
at present, that the euphony of its name is its chief attraction.

Midway between the island of Lobos and Montevideo are the highlands of
Monte Negro. The next landmark is the isle of Flores, surmounted by a
light-house, fifteen miles distant from the anchorage. This light we are
in momentary expectation of making.

_Montevideo, October 1st._—On the night of the 29th ult., after having
run a sufficient distance beyond the light of Flores to bring us abreast
of Montevideo, we dropped anchor without having caught sight of any
shipping in the roadstead, or discovering any signs of the town. On the
lifting of a dense fog the next morning, the first objects discernible
were the men-of-war of a French squadron about five miles in shore of
us. Shortly after, the Mount—a conical hill situated on the western side
of a circular indenture in the river, constituting the harbor—which
gives name to the place, was disclosed; and lastly, the town itself on a
point opposite, distant from it a mile or more, in a direct line across
the water. The whole landscape is as different as possible from that at
Rio de Janeiro. It is low and level, without rock or tree: a soft
verdure covered the shore and gleamed in the sun, like so much velvet,
as it came peering on the eye through the fog bank.

The Mount is an isolated hill rising gradually and regularly on all
sides, at an angle of 45°, to a height of 480 or 90 feet. It is crowned
by a small rectangular fortress, above which the lantern of a pharos
rises some twenty or thirty feet. Being in possession of a besieging
force, no light is shown from it, that additional embarrassment may be
placed on the commerce of the port. Midway between the Mount on the west
and the town on the east, a smaller hill rises two or three miles
inland, in like manner in regular lines from the plain. This too is
crowned by a little fort, which, like the other, is in possession of the
besieging party. It is called the “Cerrito,” or little hill, in
contradistinction to the other, known as the “Cerro,” or hill par
excellence. The town is situated on a peninsula of tufa rock, a half
mile in length by a quarter in width, rising gently from the water on
three sides to an elevation of eighty or a hundred feet, much in the
shape of a tortoise’s back. From a distance it presents a mass of
compactly built, white, flat-topped houses, one and two stories high, of
Spanish aspect, with multitudes of small, square turrets or miradors
overtopping them, from the midst of which, on the central height, rise
the lofty roofs, dome and double towers of a cathedral.

It was in vain we searched among the shipping of the outer roads, where
alone there is sufficient depth of water for a frigate, for the broad
pennant of Commodore Storer. The sloop-of-war St. Louis, however, was
recognized in the inner harbor. On communicating with her, we learned
that the Brandywine had sailed for Rio de Janeiro ten days ago, again
leaving orders for the Congress to follow. Our trip has thus been for
naught. We sail again for Brazil, with the first fair wind, and I shall
defer all observation in the city to the more favorable opportunities of
an after visit.

The general view around us is more homelike than any thing seen by us
since leaving the United States. The growth is no longer tropical. The
sky, the temperature of the air, the tinting of the clouds at sunrise
and sunset are all those of the Northern States. Yesterday, the Sabbath,
was altogether like a fine, bright, fresh and transparent day in October
on the Hudson; though, while October there is the gradual freshening of
autumn into winter, here it is the softening of spring into summer. The
mercury in Fahrenheit has not yet fallen below 50°; still the change
from the heat of Rio was felt so sensibly, on reaching the latitude of
the river, that flannels, cloth clothes, and overcoats were found
comfortable, if not absolutely necessary. The region of the La Plata is
famed for the transparency of its atmosphere in fine weather. To this
probably is to be attributed, in part at least, the great beauty of the
sunsets at this place. We have been delighted by two already gazed on;
the one remarkable for the exquisite delicacy of its tints in blue and
gold, amber, pink and pearl, and the other, equally soft and beautiful
at first, but afterwards gorgeous to sublimity, from the reflections in
crimson and gold of a canopy of fleecy clouds spread widely over the

                                                             AT SEA.

_October 12th._—We made an attempt to leave Montevideo on the 2d inst.,
but succeeded in making a small change only in our anchorage. At the end
of three days, we had scarcely passed the island of Flores, fifteen
miles from the city, though we had weighed anchor not less than three
times each day in the hope of taking a final departure. The difficulty
was caused by a succession of calms, thick fogs, head winds and adverse
tides characteristic of the season here. It was not till the 6th that we
again passed Lobos and were fairly outside.

Since clearing Cape St. Mary, we have been experiencing all the
vicissitudes of the sea: first in a long stretch, off our course, far to
the south-east, close hauled upon a head wind; and, since the 9th inst.,
when this changed in our favor, in a rapid but boisterous run of more
than half the distance to Rio de Janeiro. While thus careering on our
way, in addition to the ever-varying rush and roar—the cresting,
breaking and foaming of the billows behind and around us, we have found
an interesting relaxation on deck in watching the sportings and
unwearied movements of unnumbered sea-birds, following closely in the
broad and troubled wake of our ship, in pursuit of the fragments of food
thrown overboard from the different messes at all hours of the day. It
is not often that so rich a windfall as the waste of such a ship falls
to their lot. To this fact they seem fully alive, and were indefatigable
in making the best of their good fortune. Amidst flocks of beautiful
Cape pigeons, outrivalling in numbers the crows of Crum Elbow[2] in an
autumnal evening, were to be seen the gigantic albatross, sweeping round
on wide-expanded and motionless wing; the sea-mew and man-of-war bird,
black as ravens; the booby, and any quantity of the stormy petrel,
treading the water more confidently and more securely than did the
unbelieving Peter.

[Footnote 2: A well known point on the Hudson River, overhung by
precipitous cliffs, a favorite resort of crows.]

The Cape pigeon—_Procellaria Capensis_—is beautiful on the wing or as
seen tossing gracefully on the water. Its size is that of a large dove.
Its breast is snow-white, with back, wings and tail of slate color,
thickly set with oval spots of white, having much the effect on the eye
of a tasteful dress in second mourning. Several were taken with hook and
line, baited with pork, and one by the mere entanglement of its wings in
a line. They are not so pretty or symmetrically formed, on close
inspection as at a distance; and in place of the gentleness of the dove,
which they at first so much resemble, are as snappish and resentful in
spirit against their captors as the most carnivorous of their species.

The albatross—_Diomedia Exulans_—is white, with wings and back varying
in different birds from black to a light brown. It is an ugly-looking
bird, about the size of a domestic goose, with large head and great
goggle eyes. The wings are very long—from eleven to fourteen feet from
tip to tip. This interferes much with the facility of rising when seated
on the water. It is only with evident effort and an awkward floundering
that they mount again after having alighted; but then, it is a wonder to
observe the ease and rapidity of their flight, and their ability, with
seemingly motionless wing, to sweep in wide circuit round and round the
ship, and still keep up with her in her swiftest career; and this day
after day, without apparent exhaustion or fatigue, though sailing at the
rate of two hundred miles and more in the twenty-four hours. The fiercer
the winds and the more tumultuous the towering and thundering of the
waves, the more joyous are their sportings, and the more triumphant
their mastery of the elements.

The booby—_Sula Bassana_—is somewhat like the albatross in general
appearance, but less clumsy, smaller, more angular in outline and
pinion, and less majestic in flight. The man-of-war bird—_Fregata
Pelicana_—is less adventurous in its wanderings over the sea. Its form
is more that of the eagle—hence one of its names, _Tachypetes
Aquilas_—with long feathers on the wings and tail, and its color a jetty
black. It owes its English name to a supposition of the ignorant, that
in returning to the land it heralds the approach of a ship; but, only
from the fact that, like the ship it seeks the shelter of the port on
the approach of a storm, and makes an earlier and surer arrival.

The most constant in its companionship with us, in every latitude and in
all states of the weather, is the little petrel—_Thelassadroma
Pelagica_—a small swallow-tailed bird, about the size, with much of the
appearance, of the common house martin. Wilson in his ornithology gives
a graphic description of these birds as seen in a gale, “coursing over
the waves, down the declivities and up the ascents of the foaming surge,
that threatens to bury them, as it bursts over their heads; sweeping
again through the hollow trough of the sea, as in a sheltered valley,
and again mounting with the rising billow, skimming just above its
surface, occasionally dipping their feet in the water and throwing it up
with additional force: sometimes leaping, with their legs parallel on
the surface of the roughest wave, for yards in succession; meanwhile
continually coursing from side to side of the ship’s wake, making
excursions far and wide to the right and to the left—now a great way
ahead, now shooting far astern and returning again as if the vessel was
stationary, though often running at the rate of ten knots the hour.”

The most singular faculty of these birds, however, is that of standing,
and of running on the face of the water, with the greatest apparent
facility. When any greasy matter is thrown overboard they instantly
collect around it with greedy and clamorous chatterings; and, facing to
the windward, with their long wings expanded and their little webbed
feet pattering the water, eagerly seize the booty. It is the lightness
of their bodies and the force of the wind against their wings that
enable them so readily to do this. In calm weather they perform the same
manœuvre, by keeping their wings just so much in action as to prevent
their feet from sinking below the surface. According to Buffon, it is
this habit which has given to the whole genus the name they bear, from
the walking on the water of the Apostle Peter. It is amusing, and partly
vexatious, to see a clumsy albatross or great booby come swooping down
among them, while they are thus collected around their food, and,
flapping them away with its monstrous wings, at one mouthful rob them of
a whole meal. Greasy substances are their choicest food, and their
little bodies become a mass of oil: so much so, that dried and strung on
a skewer, they are burned on some of the islands of the Atlantic as a
substitute for candles.

The boisterousness of the weather has made the frequent reduction of
sail necessary—at times, almost to bare poles. This has afforded a more
than ordinary opportunity of witnessing the exposure and daring
intrepidity required from the sailor in the discharge of his duty. The
taking in of sail and the reefing of topsails in so large a ship, by a
crew of four hundred men, emulous of excelling in skill and expertness,
is an exciting scene even in a moderate breeze. When this occurs amidst
the rushing winds and howling storm, with such masses of heavy canvas as
compose our sails, flapping seemingly in unmanageable force, and
snapping like thunder in the gale, it is frightful to look aloft. While
the masts are bending to the wind and the ship careening in the water,
you see the yards covered with hundreds of the crew with no guard from
destruction in the giddy height, but the habit of keeping their feet
firmly on the foot-ropes, while their hands and arms are occupied in
overcoming the fearful thrashings of the sails, and in gathering in the
canvas and binding it down with the reef-points. Some of them on the
upper spars, like birds in the topmost branches of a tree, sweep to and
fro over the roaring gulf below; and, occasionally a man or boy is
beheld clinging to a slender spar or single sheet at the very mast-head,
two hundred feet from the deck, disentangling a halliard or
conductor—causing one’s nerves to shake under the apprehension of seeing
him hurled, in some pitch or roll of the frigate, far overboard into the
raging sea, or dashed to death at your feet on deck.

_October 16th._—The mountains and islets around the harbor of Rio are in
full view, and I will close this section of my record. In doing this, I
must follow the subject matter of my last date—the birds of the sea—by a
word on some of its fishes. In a calm yesterday we were surrounded by a
great number of dolphin—_Cyrophæna hippuris_—certainly, as seen moving
in its blue waters, the most beautiful of the inhabitants of the deep.
When full grown, it is from two to three feet in length, elegant and
symmetrical in shape, and brilliant in colors: the prevailing hue being
mazarine blue, or Pompadour, shading from the back to the under parts
into emerald and gold, with fins and tail of green running rapidly into
a bright yellow. Its motions are easy and graceful, and were watched, in
great numbers, under the advantages of a smooth sea and brilliant sun.
Dolphin are so common in all tropical latitudes, and so frequently seen,
that I might not have thought of taking note of them in this instance,
but for an assertion respecting them recently met in a book on natural
history, which, emanating from a fellow of Oxford, ought to be of good
authority. After stating the fact that the shape of this fish, as given
in heraldic and classic representations, is entirely poetical and
untrue, the author—Wood—adds: “indeed almost the whole history of the
dolphin is imaginary—very poetical, but very untrue. The red and blue of
the heraldic lion are not less fabulous than the changing colors of the
dying dolphin, so dear to poetry. Alas! our unpoetical dolphin, when we
have harpooned him and brought him to the deck is only black and white,
and all the change that he makes is that the black becomes brown in
time, and the white gray.” This assertion I know, from personal
observation in company with many witnesses, to be an error. In the first
voyage I ever made, I had an opportunity of observing and admiring the
varying and beautiful colors of the dolphin while dying; and now, fully
proved to myself the truthfulness of the record of it then made. Mr.
G——, secretary to our commander-in-chief, caught one with a hook and
line, and quickly drew him over the stern on deck. I happened to be
present, and, though the dying throes even of a soulless fish can
scarcely be looked on without sympathy, the effect on its coloring could
not be watched without admiration. The first change which took place,
after the fish reached the deck, was of the whole surface into a bright
yellow or gold, spotted, like the speckled trout, with deep blue; then
the whole became blue again, the spots of a deeper hue still remaining
distinctly marked; a third change was into a pure and spotless silver,
over which prismatic colors, like those in an opal under a shifting
light, passed rapidly and tremulously for a few moments, when the
beautiful dolphin became brown and gray like any other dead fish.

It is possible that, when struck with a harpoon, the violence of the
shock may be such as to produce death so suddenly that these changes
have passed away, before the fish can be drawn on board, as their
duration is but momentary. Either this is the truth, or Mr. Wood is not
authority in the case. You may still believe therefore that

                 “The dolphin, ’mid expiring throes,
                  More exquisite in beauty grows,
                     As fades the strength of life:
                  And tintings bright of sapphire blue,
                  And rainbow lights of every hue
                  More exquisite each moment shew,
                     As fainter grows the strife.”

Portuguese men-of-war—_Physalia physalis_—have also been floating past
us. These are molluscæ with long feelers, and furnished with an air-bag
which they have the power of inflating at pleasure when moving on the
surface. This is provided with apertures at either end, by which they
can expel the air, or take in sail, as a seaman would say, when they
wish to sink. This air bag, when inflated, is of an oval shape, and of
the tenuity almost of a soap-bubble, and exhibits like it, though in
stronger shades, many of the hues of the prism. The beauty discoverable
in many of these animals is said by naturalists to equal any thing in
organic nature.

A passage in Montgomery’s Pelican Island applied to the convoluted
nautilus, which rises and floats on the surface of the water, but
spreads no sail, is perhaps more truthfully descriptive of this

           “Light as a flake of foam upon the wind,
            Keel upwards, from the deep emerged a shell,
            Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled;
            Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose,
            And moved at will along the yielding water.
            The native pilot of this little bark,
            Put out a tier of oars on either side;
            Spread to the wafting breeze a two-fold sail,
            And mounted up, and glided down the billow
            In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air,
            And wander in the luxury of light.”

Should you be disposed to think that such commonplace observations
indicate the tedium and monotony of sea life—the paucity of its
resources for occupation and amusement—and are not worth the time
required for the record, I must take shelter from the reproach in the
example of a voyager no less illustrious than Humboldt, who, at the end
of forty years, confesses to the delight still afforded by reminiscences
of such pastime on the sea. True, we may not, like him, mingle our
admiration with thoughts of deep philosophy, or make our observations
subservient to generalizations in science; still, we can take equal
delight in the varied phenomena of the sea, and, in humble adoration,
thus “look through nature up to nature’s God,” and rejoice in the
infinitude and perfection of his manifold works.


                              CHAPTER IX.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_October 20th._—On entering the harbor on the 16th inst. the lofty masts
of the Brandywine were soon descried through a mist and vapor which, to
a great degree, enshrouded the general scenery. Hauling down our broad
pennant of blue, while yet three or four miles distant, that of
Commodore Storer was saluted by us, and one of red was run up to the
masthead of the Congress. To this only Commodore McKeever is entitled in
the presence of a superior in command. The Brandywine at once returned
the salute, and, soon afterward, greeted our arrival with “Hail
Columbia” from a band, as, passing alongside of her, we dropt anchor
under her stern.

The early return of the Congress was quite a surprise, the Brandywine
herself having but just arrived. We had made the trip down and back
again in the same number of days—eighteen—which had been occupied by her
in the one passage. Though a surprise, it was, however, a greater joy to
her officers and crew. They are more than three years from home, and
have long been waiting a relief. Moreover, Commodore Storer had given
the assurance, before we were sighted, that they should be under way,
homeward-bound, the next day but one after the Congress should arrive.
True to his word, his anchors were up with the early dawn of the 18th
inst. The departure, with its associations, was quite an exciting scene.
The mist and fog of the two preceding days had disappeared, and the
whole panorama of city and bay was in the perfection of its beauty in
light, shades, and coloring. As with the first rays of the sun the
frigate swung from her moorings, the Congress gave a salute. With the
first echoings of this, her rigging was filled by the crew, clustered
together like bees in a swarm, sending forth three cheers for the
homeward-bound, with a feeling and will that swept every chord of the
heart. Then came “Hail Columbia” from our band: the whole quickly
followed by the salute, the cheers, and the music of “Home, sweet home,”
from the Brandywine. By this time she was completely enveloped in a
broad and lofty pyramid of convoluting and pearly smoke, beautifully
illumined by the sun. I thought it a good time to bid her adieu, while
thus lost to sight in a glory of her own creation, and descending to my
state-room, left her to make her way out of the harbor as she best

The 19th inst. was a court-day at the palace. Commodore McKeever availed
himself of it for a presentation to the Emperor and Empress, as the new
commander-in-chief of the United States Naval Force on this station. I
made one of his suite; and left the ship at noon for the ceremony, with
a party of ten, including Lieutenant McKeever of the U. S. army, a son
of the commodore, who, on furlough for six months after service in
Florida, came to Brazil in the Congress on a visit to a brother
connected with a principal mercantile house in Rio.

The palace fronts immediately upon the chief landing-place, a few
hundred yards only from the water. It is an old building, originally the
viceregal residence, appropriated to the court of Portugal on its
immigration in 1808. It is of stone, stuccoed and painted yellow, in
part two and in part three stories in height, and without architectural
pretension. The front, occupied on the ground floor by a vestibule
leading to the grand staircase, is scarce a hundred feet in width; but
the building, enclosing a small quadrangle in the centre, runs back
along the public square, about five or six hundred feet to the Rue
Direita. Over this a gallery—thrown from the second story—communicates
with a still older range of structures on that street, at right angles
with the other, extending also some five or six hundred feet to the
royal library and imperial chapel, both appendages of the palace. The
rooms of state and the throne-room occupy the whole length of the second
floor, on the side overlooking the square; and the imperial apartments
and private rooms the whole of that on the other side of the quadrangle.
The only use made of the palace is for receptions, at levees and
drawing-rooms, and the giving occasionally of a state-ball: the family
seldom if ever lodge in town. Having, in September, twice witnessed the
arrival of the Emperor and Empress in state, from their residence at Boa
Vista, I lost nothing of the usual spectacle on court-days, by not being
on shore in time for this, on the present occasion. In both instances I
happened to be crossing the square, when the approach of the cortège was
signalled by a call, from bugle and drum, for the guard and bands in
attendance to turn out for the reception. The degree of state and the
splendor of equipage vary on different occasions. Sometimes mules only
are driven; sometimes horses only—sometimes both attached to different
carriages. The general display, at all times of ceremony, is much the
same as that described at the prorogation of the legislature, a month
ago. As the cavalcade approaches, the halberdiers with their battle-axes
at rest, form, in single lines, on either side of the principal
entrance, through the vestibule to the foot of the grand staircase. No
objection was made to my taking a position, almost in a line with these,
and within touching distance of their majesties as they passed. On the
drawing up of the carriages at the entrance, the great officers of the
household and ministers of the empire descending from the waiting-rooms,
form a line on either side, within those of the guard, from the carriage
door to the staircase. Immediately on the alighting, a kissing of hands
by these is commenced. The Emperor, a step or two in advance of the
Empress, presents his right hand for this purpose, first on one side and
then on the other, the Empress following in the same manner with a
constant short and quick bow of the head, and an expression of great
kindness and benignancy. Both occasionally extend a hand beyond the
courtiers to individuals among the halberdiers on the _qui vive_ for the
honor. As they thus pass, the grandees of the court close in after them,
and the ladies and gentlemen in attendance, and in procession, mount the
broad staircase.

This guard of halberdiers is not of hireling soldiery, but of volunteers
of respectability from the middle ranks of life in the city; and the
indulgence accorded by them of so near an approach of spectators as was
allowed me, affords an opportunity for many a poor subject to place a
petition in the hands of the Emperor or Empress, without the
intervention of an official or courtier. I was pleased with the
readiness and condescension with which two or three were received by the
Emperor, from women of the humblest class in evident distress, and were
placed in the crown of his chapeau, while kisses, tears, and thanks were
showered on his hand.

On entering the palace we were received by Mr. Tod, the American
ambassador, in the diplomatic saloon—the richest of the apartments
excepting the throne-room. The imperial party were in the chapel at
mass. Mr. Tod proposed to conduct us there, by the corridor over the Rua
Direita, and we followed him in that direction, through a long
succession of rooms, till met by several of the foreign ministers
returning with the report, that the diplomatic tribune in the chapel was
undergoing some repairs, and was closed. We therefore retraced our steps
to await the close of the religious service. This was not long; and Don
Pedro and Donna Theresa, followed by some twenty or thirty attendants,
soon made their appearance on their way through the long suite of rooms
to the audience chamber. The court dress of the ladies here, as in
Russia, is a uniform: a white brocade embroidered in gold, train of
green velvet with corresponding embroideries, and head-dress of ostrich
plumes and diamonds. This is a sensible regulation promotive of economy,
by an avoidance of the rivalry in expense and display, among the ladies,
though at a sacrifice of the picturesque, from variety in taste and
elegance in such a spectacle. Among the ladies in attendance was one
more than eighty years of age, a venerable condessa, who accompanied the
royal family from Portugal in 1808, and has been a leader of the fashion
in the court circles, through the change of four dynasties, to the
present time.

The Emperor led the suite a little in advance of the Empress. He is in
stature truly a splendid specimen of humanity. The maturity of his
countenance, as well as figure, leads to a supposition of his being full
ten years older than he really is. An imperturbable gravity and
unbending dignity contribute to this impression.

The diplomatic corps and our party fell into line on one side of the
room, and saluted the Emperor and Empress as they passed by a bow,
receiving a stately return from each, accompanied by a very decided look
of scrutiny at such as were perceived to be strangers. A long range of
apartments was to be passed through, before reaching the throne-room,
and it was some minutes before a chamberlain announced to Mr. Tod—the
senior ambassador in residence, and thus entitled to lead the diplomatic
procession—that their majesties were on the throne.

The intervening rooms were thronged with Brazilians, representing in
strong force the church, the army, the navy and judiciary, with many in
civil life, in distinctive uniforms and varied court dress; but I missed
in the throng much of the picturesque variety noticed in 1829. There
were now no barefooted friars nor mendicant monks—no Augustines in
white, nor Franciscans in gray, with corded belts and dangling cross and
rosary. It was manifest that, at court at least, the monkish days are
past: the high dignitaries of the church in purple and scarlet, in
satins and lace, were the only representatives of the religious orders.

The state apartments in general appeared naked and unattractive compared
with the recollections of 1829. The best paintings have been removed;
one or two only worthy of attention remain. One, the martyrdom of St.
Sebastian, is impressive, and the work of a master in the art. There are
also some good battle-pieces illustrative of Portuguese history, in the
olden times. The two largest pictures represent respectively the
coronation of Don Pedro I., and the marriage of the present Emperor and
Empress. They are coarse and inartistic in execution, but valuable from
the number of portraits they contain, the principal figures introduced
being from sittings to the painter of the personages delineated.

The throne-room is a large and magnificent apartment, the predominating
colors in the finish and furniture being green and gold. The lofty,
vaulted ceiling, among other embellishments in fresco, presents
medallion portraits, real or fictitious, of all the sovereigns of the
House of Braganza, from the establishment of the kingdom of Portugal to
the present time.

The occasion of the court was the anniversary of the marriage of their
majesties, and the address of congratulation, from the diplomatic corps,
devolved on Mr. Tod. Entering the room with a bow,—followed by those to
be presented by him—he advanced midway from the door to the throne,
where making another bow, he took his station, with our party grouped
around. He concluded his speech of felicitation by adding, that
“Commodore McKeever, on assuming the command in chief of the U. S. Naval
Force on this station, availed himself—with the officers of his ship—of
the opportunity for a presentation to their majesties.” The Emperor’s
reply in Portuguese was brief, and of course courteous. Immediately on
its close, a band in the vestibule struck up the national air: and
filing off before the throne, we each in succession bowed respectively
to the Emperor and Empress, and moving backward in a semicircular sweep
from the door by which we had entered, bowed ourselves, through another
corresponding to it, from the presence to an ante-room. Being in
clerical robes, I might perhaps have claimed the privilege of a
straightforward exit. It is said that, owing to the fall backwards, in
the royal presence, of a bishop-legate from Rome—a hundred and more
years ago—from treading on the tail of his gown, in retreating from the
throne at a levee in Lisbon, a permit was issued excusing, thereafter,
all clergy in robes from the established etiquette. Not having
ascertained however whether the privilege had been transmitted to the
court of Brazil, I thought it most safe to conform to the general usage,
though at the risk, in accomplishing a distance of forty or more feet in
the manner of a crab, of suffering a disaster similar to that of the

The rest of the foreign ministers and their suite followed us rapidly.
After these came the hundreds of Brazilians, according to their rank and
precedence, each kneeling on a step of the throne and kissing the
extended hand of their sovereigns: a ceremony which, between
wedding-days and birth-days, saints’ days and days of independence
occurs, on an average, at least once a month during the whole year.

This bow before the throne will doubtless be the nearest approach to
personal intercourse with their majesties that I shall enjoy; and I may,
at once, in connection with it, give such intelligence, in regard to
them, as I have derived from those having the best opportunities for
correct information on the subject. Their personal appearance I have
before described. The power vested in the Emperor by the constitution is
very limited: almost nominal indeed, with less influence through the
right of appointments and political patronage in general, than is
possessed by the President of the United States. So carefully restricted
and so jealously guarded are the prerogatives of the throne, that the
abuse of them, by despotic rule or usurpation, would be impracticable.
The hereditary descent of the crown is the strongest monarchical feature
in the government: and it is to this alone, doubtless, that Brazil is
indebted for an exemption from the anarchy and bloodshed which have
proved so destructive to the advance of liberty and civilization, in all
sections of South America. While it places an effectual check upon the
reckless ambition of selfish politicians and patriots, falsely so
called, it forms a point of permanency around which the wise and good
may rally, in the support and in the defence of true liberty. It is not
impossible that the constitutional restrictions resting on the Emperor,
and an accompanying feeling of irresponsibility, may cause, in some
degree, the seeming nonchalance which marks his air and deportment in
public, and also induce to some extent, at least, to the quietude and
seclusion of his ordinary life. From all I learn, nothing can be more
simple and domestic than the habits of himself and family. The library,
and its cabinets, the pleasure-grounds and gardens of San Christovao,
chiefly occupy their leisure-time, and are principal sources of their

Prudent and high-minded as a ruler, cultivated and accomplished as a
scholar, benevolent as a man, and pure and irreproachable as a husband
and father, the Emperor is justly regarded with honor and affection by
his people; while the Empress, no less exemplary in all the relations of
life, through her amiability and kindness of heart shares largely with
him in general popularity and good will.

The annual stipend of the Emperor is four hundred thousand dollars, and
the allowance to the Empress fifty thousand. The civil list is small,
the ladies and gentlemen of the household being few in number. They live
with prudence and economy; seldom entertain except by an occasional ball
at the palace in town. With the lessons on the vicissitudes of empire
and the instability of thrones, so frequently given in these modern
times, it is wise in them thus to husband their resources, and to
familiarize themselves of choice with habits of life which, by
possibility, may yet become those of necessity. They have already been
afflicted by the loss of two or three children; one, the Prince Imperial
and heir to the crown. Though two young princesses are left to them,
this may have had a chastening effect on their hopes in life, by placing
the succession in a female, and thus rendering the perpetuity of their
dynasty less certain, than if there were a male heir to the empire.

It must not be inferred from what I have stated of the outward bearing
of the Emperor, or of his habits in private life, that he takes no
interest in the policy of the government or active part in its executive
administration. While content under the constitutional restrictions of
his power, and with the prerogatives accorded to the throne, he holds
his position and exercises his influence firmly and with a noble regard
to what he believes to be the highest interest of the nation; and gives
the strength of a mind, endowed with more than ordinary natural gifts,
to the promotion of measures calculated to advance the honor, dignity
and prosperity of the empire. This has been strikingly manifested
recently, in successful efforts to persuade those around him of
paramount influence in the various provinces, of the evil and reproach
of a continued connivance—in disregard of national faith given by
treaty—at the slave trade, and of the ultimate inevitable disadvantage
and disaster to the country of a more extended slave population. So
zealously and so wisely has he urged his views of public policy on this
point—though in the face of long-established national prejudice as to
the necessity of slave labor—that the legislature, sustained in the
measure by their constituents, have pronounced the slave trade piracy,
and enacted rigorous penal laws against it. This has been accomplished
by demonstrating to the agriculturists of the empire, the economy and
advantages of free labor, through colonization from Europe, over that of
slaves, and by enactments for the encouragement of immigration from
abroad. This is a most important and most desirable step forward in
national good, and is sufficient alone to mark the reign of the young
monarch with true and enduring honor.

_October 22d._—Night before last, while walking the poop-deck, just
before our usual evening worship, I met, engaged in some momentary duty
there, a young man named Ramsey, whose frank and open-hearted face,
bright smile, and confiding look and manner towards me had long ago
attracted my notice, and led to more familiar intercourse with him than
with most others of the crew. Stout in figure, and strong and muscular
in limb, he might have been selected as a personification of health and
buoyant youth. In various conversations I had learned something of his
history: the place of residence, circumstances, and position in life of
his parents and family. He had been religiously trained, was a
teetotaler in principle and practice from the example of his father,
and, so far as I could learn, free from the open vices which too often
degrade the sailor.

In addition to the prepossession in his favor, from an attractive
exterior, and from the promptness and activity with which he was
observed to discharge his duty, he had early won the praise and good
will of all on board, both officers and men, by saving, at the risk of
his own life, that of a small boy, who fell overboard from the Congress
when at anchor in the stream at Norfolk. The boy could not swim, and a
strong tide was carrying him rapidly away when Ramsey jumped after him
and succeeded in sustaining him half-drowned, till both were rescued by
a boat.

A few evenings ago I had observed that one of his eyes was inflamed and
swollen from a cold, and, now, in reference to this, asked him if he
were well again. “Oh, yes, sir—all right—never better in my life,” was
his reply, as with his accustomed bright smile he passed down to the
quarter-deck, where his shipmates were assembling for prayers.

My usual time for exercise on shore is in the afternoon, but yesterday,
being engaged to the Commodore at a dinner given by him to the British
admiral and family, I took the morning for a walk. On coming on board
ship at three o’clock, Dr. Williamson, the fleet surgeon, mentioned to
me that one of the crew had been taken ill with symptoms of the cholera.
It was but a moment after hearing the name—Ramsey—in answer to the
question who it was? before I was beside his cot on the berthdeck. He
had been relieved from cramp and pain, by the treatment adopted; the
pulse which had intermitted was restored, and he supposed to be
altogether better. It was not yet twenty hours since I had met him
seemingly in the fullest health; but how altered now, and how utterly
prostrate! He looked rather than spoke his gladness at seeing me, and
listened to my conversation with interest and satisfaction. It was
evident that he was still under great physical oppression, and though
endeavoring, occasionally, to rally his spirits, was dejected and
sad—his eyes filling with tears as he pressed again and again the hand I
had given to him at first, and which he continued to retain in his own
as I remained by his side for a couple of hours, attempting to soothe
him by words of consolation and by whispered prayer.

The sympathies which had been awakened by this unexpected scene forbade
any enjoyment of the party in the cabin, and at the earliest moment
practicable I excused myself from the table and returned to the poor
fellow, not to leave him again till he should be out of danger. He was
much in the state in which I had left him: had, if any thing, a stronger
pulse and more natural state of the general surface. I again conversed
tenderly with him and encouraged him to look in penitence and faith to
Him from whom alone help cometh in time of trouble. I never witnessed
greater submission and patience, and the tones of his voice and whole
manner were as gentle as a lamb. In seeming apology for the irresistible
depression he felt, though he considered himself to be relieved and
better, he said to me with a look and accent I cannot soon forget—“Oh!
Mr. S——, I was never sick before, and it makes me too down-hearted—too
down-hearted!” Poor fellow! who under the same circumstances would not
have been down-hearted—stricken down, in an hour as it were, from the
very fulness of health and strength, and in the bloom and buoyancy of
early manhood, to the feebleness of the merest infant, and to the very
borders of the grave!

The surgeons had told me that every thing in his case depended upon the
fidelity of those in attendance upon him to the directions given; and
that there should be no failure here, I at once took the place of nurse
in administering the prescriptions, and gave myself entirely to him. As
the night wore away I could not discover the change for the better I
wished, though I was not conscious of any for the worse. Dr. Howell, the
assistant surgeon, who visited him every two hours, encouraged me to
continued vigilance and hope. One, among other injunctions from the
surgeons, was on no account to give any water to the patient, and only
occasionally a mouthful of a tea prepared for the purpose. But he longed
for water, and at one time well-nigh overcame my purpose of rigid
obedience to the orders given. He had been almost covered with
cataplasms, and had on him besides two or three large blisters; and the
tenderness of his entreaty in gentle Scotch dialect, after having been
once refused—as he looked up with pleading eyes and said, “Oh! Mr. S——,
one wee drop, for I am all on fire!” touched my very heart. Poor fellow!
from the best of motives and in the hope of soon seeing him better I
reasoned with him and persuaded him to submission: but now lament it.
The indulgence would have given him temporary comfort and could have
done him no harm: for in a short time afterwards a return of cramps
threw him into convulsions, and I saw that the stroke of death had been
given. Unwilling unavailingly to watch the rapid changes which betokened
too surely the flight of the soul, with the hand which so often during
the day and the night by its warm pressure had given assurance of the
comfort imparted by my presence still clasping mine, I kneeled by his
cot, now surrounded by the surgeons and many of his messmates, and in
tears and in strong though silent supplication plead with Him who alone
is mighty to save, to spare the immortal spirit of the dying man from
the sorrows of the second death. I do not recollect ever to have been
sensible of a nearer access by faith to the only Hearer of prayer, and
never saw more clearly how it is possible for Him, in the sovereignty
and boundless riches of his grace, in the eleventh hour even to have
“mercy on whom he will have mercy.” At four o’clock this morning, he
gently breathed his last without a struggle or a groan.

Such is the first of death’s doings among us, and such was the last on
earth of this poor sailor boy. I am devoutly thankful that though he
died in a foreign land far from his home, I have it in my power to
assure those who most loved him, that while all was done that the
highest professional skill could devise to save him, but in vain, he did
not die uncomforted, unprayed for or unwept.

His funeral took place this afternoon. Captain McIntosh, with the
Christian kindness of heart characteristic of him, led the procession in
his gig—the flag of the Congress, as well as those of the boats leaving
the ship, being at half mast. The body was buried in the beautiful
cemetery of Gamboa,

                        “where palm and cypress wave
            On high, o’er many a stranger’s grave,
            To canopy the dead; nor wanting there
            Flowers to the turf, nor fragrance to the air.”


                               CHAPTER X.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_November 2d._—This is “All Souls day,” an anniversary of the church of
Rome in commemoration of the dead, when masses are specially said for
the repose of their souls; or, as an Irish servant, in explaining its
character to me, says, “the day when all the dead stand round waiting
for our prayers.” It is one on which here, as in other Catholic
countries, the living also visit the tombs of their departed friends. As
the observance is universal, and all the churches are open, we thought
it a good opportunity, not only for viewing the interior of the
principal edifices themselves, but also for observations of the people;
and a party left the ship for this purpose early after breakfast.

The number of churches in the city amounts to forty-five or fifty.
Scarce a half dozen of them, however, are worthy of notice either for
their external architecture or internal decorations in sculpture and
paintings, especially to those familiar with the treasures, in these
respects, of the churches of Italy, Spain, and other European countries.
The imperial chapel and a church adjoining it, formerly belonging to the
barefooted Carmelites, and now a cathedral; the church of the
Candelaria, so named from its being the chief place for the consecration
of candles on Candlemas Day; and that of San Francisco de Paulo at the
head of the Rua de Ouvidor, are the principal.

Having been told that the Emperor and Empress would attend mass at the
church of San Antonio, where the remains of their infant children are
deposited, we made our way first there. This church is attached to the
convent of that name, and forms one end of the extensive and imposing
establishment which so conspicuously crowns, with its lofty and massive
walls, and terraced gardens and shrubberies, the hill to which it gives
name in the centre of the city. The broad platform in front of the
church and convent, paved and parapetted with stone, commands
magnificent views of the city and bay; as does the entire front of the
convent. This is three stories in height, with a tier of balconied
windows running the whole length of each. Within, each story opens upon
a cloistered quadrangle; while the church with two or three smaller
chapels, various vesting rooms, sacristies and corridors form another
end of the pile. Every part of the building on this occasion was open to
inspection. The floors of the corridors surrounding the quadrangle, and
those of the churches and chapels are formed of loose planks, six feet
in length and of the width of a grave; each being fitted with a mortised
hole at one end, that it may be the more readily lifted for the deposit
beneath of body after body of the dead: so that none walk here without

                    “Marking with each step a tomb.”

That which first arrested the eye on entering was the range, on either
side through the church, chapels and corridors, of miniature cabinets,
urns and sarcophagi of ebony and other valuable wood, containing the
bones of the dead thus preserved, after having been freed from the flesh
by the action of quicklime. These receptacles are of various sizes,
forms and degrees of elaborate workmanship. Each bears a plate of silver
or gold with an inscription, and is furnished with a door which gives
access to the ghastly memorials. They were arranged—some on rich tables
and platforms and others on the pavement and floor—with more or less
display of ornament: lighted wax candles in massive candlesticks of
silver, interspersed in some instances with other pieces of silver
plate, were clustered around them, and the whole garlanded and festooned
with wreaths of the purple globe amaranthus and other flowers of the
tribe “immortelle.” Each cabinet, or urn, was in charge of a
well-dressed negro servant or other humble domestic of the family to
whom the relics appertained. I was forcibly reminded by the scene of the
custom of the Sandwich Islanders, in their heathen state, of preserving
the bones of the dead in a similar manner. It was this usage, and the
care and veneration with which the relics of their monarchs and chiefs
were guarded, that enabled Rihoriho—Kamehameha II—to restore to England,
on his visit to that country in 1825, the skeleton of Captain Cook.
After his assassination the principal bones of his body were prepared
according to their custom, and placed with those of their race of kings.

The principal church and the adjoining chapels were decorated profusely
with artificial flowers, and with hangings of silk and velvet, and of
gold and silver tissue; the high altars, shrines, tribunes, and
organ-lofts of all were one blaze of wax lights. One of the chapels is
covered throughout with elaborate carvings in wood trebly gilt. In the
centre of this a lofty catafalque was erected, surmounted by a colossal
sarcophagus covered with a superb pall. A mass was in progress as we
entered; after which a procession of monks headed by a party of
ecclesiastics—each bearing a wax candle of the size and length of a
stout walking stick, and all vociferating a chant—marched slowly from
chapel to chapel, and from shrine to shrine, through the corridors lined
with the memorials of the departed, stopping at various points to
scatter incense and utter prayers for the dead. Every spot was thronged
with spectators; but I could detect no feeling of devotion, no
sensibility in the affections, no solemnity in any one. The only object
of the assemblage seemed to be to witness a show, and to examine with
the curiosity observable at a fair, or the exhibition of an institute,
the varied ornamental display. Three fourths of the crowd were negroes,
male and female. Here and there, in two or three instances, I recognized
a party of ladies in full dress in black with mantillas of lace, but a
majority of the Brazilians and Portuguese present was evidently of the
lower orders. We afterwards entered the churches of San Francisco de
Paulo, the Candelaria and the Carmelites, where the bishop of Rio was
officiating, but without witnessing any thing essentially different from
what we had already seen.

All observation of the day confirms me in the impression before
received, that a great change has taken place, since 1829, in the
respect paid by the people to the superstitious ceremonies of the
religion of the country. There is now little in the general aspect of
things in the streets, even on days of religious festivals, to remind
one of being in a Romish city. A monk or even ecclesiastic is scarce
ever met, and whenever I have entered a church during service, a few
poor negroes, sick persons, and beggars have constituted the principal
part of the assemblage.

_November 4th._—I have just accomplished quite a pedestrian feat, in the
ascent of the Corcovado. After two days of such rain as the tropics only
often witness, the weather this morning was as fine as possible, the
atmosphere clear and transparent, very like the most brilliant days of
June in the Northern States, when the wind is from the north-west.
Lieutenant R——, Mr. G—— (secretary of Commodore McKeever), Prof. Le Froy
of the British flag ship, and I, were induced by it to attempt the
excursion, though it was not in our power to set off before two o’clock
in the afternoon—a late hour for the accomplishment of a walk of nine
miles, to the top of a mountain, two thousand three hundred and six feet
high, according to the measurement of Beechy, and two thousand three
hundred and thirty-nine, by that of Captains King and Fitzroy.

The Corcovado is one of the lofty shafts of granite which, in a greater
or less degree of isolation, are characteristic of the geological
formation in this region. Its relative position to the range of
mountains of which it forms so conspicuous a part, and the height to
which it towers above it, can best be compared, perhaps, to a colossal
buttress standing against a massive building, with a pinnacled top
rising high above the adjoining roof. As looked up to, from its eastern
base in a green valley by the seaside, it appears, as if there really
is, an utterly inaccessible mass of perpendicular rock. On the west,
however, it is so joined to an angle of the general range for two thirds
of its height, as to be comparatively easy of ascent. The first half of
the distance from the city may be made by either of two ways: the one,
through the valley of the Larangeiras, and the other, by the spur of
mountain along which the aqueduct descends into the heart of the town,
near the nunnery of Santa Theresa. We chose this last. At the outset,
the ascent is a sharp pitch, but after gaining a height of one or two
hundred feet, is so gradual for four miles as scarcely to be
perceptible. The way leads along the flattened ridge of the hill by a
bridle path immediately beside the aqueduct, the refreshing sound of
whose waters, as they murmur and rumble in their covered channel, is a
pleasant accompaniment to the sea-breeze sweeping by. It is overhung by
embowering trees which, while they form a screen against the sun
overhead, are too lofty to interfere by their branches with a full view
of the prospects on either hand. These, for the whole distance, surpass
in beauty and variety any of a similar nature I recollect ever to have
met. As we gradually gained terrace after terrace of the spur, the
pictures opening immediately beneath us in the ravines on the right—up
which the suburbs straggle in tasteful dwellings and blooming gardens;
in the broad and bright valley of Engenho Velho beyond, thickly
sprinkled with the country residences of the wealthy, and adorned by the
imperial palace; in the city itself—the upper bay and its islands; the
Organ Mountains and whole panorama, are beyond the powers of
description. At the end of two and a half or three miles, the aqueduct,
sinking to a level with the surface of the ground, crosses the ridge
which it has thus far been following, and leaving the course of this,
runs along the face of the mountain at an elevation of a thousand feet.
The pathway follows it, and I can compare the suddenness in the change
of the prospect to nothing that will give a better idea of it, than a
new combination in a kaleidoscope, by a turn of the instrument. It is
entire. By a single step, as it were, in place of the above pictures,
which are at once lost sight of, you have the southern sections of the
city—Gloria Hill, Flamengo, Catètè, Larangieras and Botafogo, the lower
bay with its moving imagery, the Sugar Loaf and its companion at the
entrance of the harbor, the islets in the offing and along the coast,
and the boundless sea. The walk for a mile here, with this picture
beneath you on one side, and the beautifully wooded mountain cliffs
above, on the other, is a terraced avenue worthy of fairy land itself.
Of it Dr. Walsh justly remarks—“Without exaggeration, it maybe said,
that there is not in the world so noble and beautiful a combination of
nature and art, as the prospect it presents.”

Five miles from the city, near a natural reservoir in a ledge of granite
where the aqueduct originally commenced, the direct pathway to the
summit leaves the water-course and strikes steeply up the mountain. Here
it is stony and rough, and was now wet from the recent rain. The angle
of elevation, equal to that of an ordinary staircase, made the ascent
fatiguing: but it is adorned at points by noble specimens of the
primeval growth of the forest, reminding me of the finest of the old
elms occasionally left standing by the pioneer settlers in Western New
York, as I recollect to have been impressed by them thirty years ago. A
mile and a half through this wood brought us to a clearing of some
extent, with a rancho or cottage, formerly a place of refreshment for
those making the ascent. It has been purchased recently by the Emperor,
and the land is designed by him for a plantation of foreign pines and
other evergreens, which he is introducing. It lies in a dip or notch
between the general chain of mountains and the peak of the Corcovado;
and the cottage, in full view from the city and harbor, forms a
picturesque object from the anchorage of the Congress, though seemingly,
in its airy height, but a bird’s nest clinging to the wooded cliffs.

Here the ascent of the Corcovado proper commences—the distance to the
summit about two miles. The way is steep and wearisome, especially after
so forced a march over the preceding part, as we had made; but we
pressed on, notwithstanding the heat and fatigue, cheered by the
exhortation and promise of the poet—

                                 “Let thy foot
         Fail not from weariness, for on the top
         The beauty and the majesty of earth
         Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget
         The steep and toilsome way. There thy expanding heart
         Shall feel a kindred with that loftier world,
         To which thou art translated, and partake
         The enlargement of thy vision.”

In less than three hours from the city, the bare peak rose directly
before us—a pinnacled platform of rock scarcely twenty feet square,
separated from the general mass by a broad and deep fissure, over which
a rude wooden bridge is thrown. As the peak has been known to be
frequently struck by lightning, it is supposed that this chasm was
originally caused by a thunderbolt. A rail, supported by iron posts
soldered into the solid granite, furnishes a guard on three sides to the
precipices descending perpendicularly from them.

The panorama commanded by it, embracing as it does all the imagery that
combines in securing to Rio de Janeiro its world-wide celebrity for
wonderful beauty, could not fail—under the advantages of the brilliant
atmosphere, bright sunshine and lengthened shadows in which we gazed on
it—to meet our expectations. The entire city and its suburbs lay at our
feet; and, like a map, the bay—near a hundred miles in circuit—its many
picturesque headlands and islands and the Organ Mountains and chain
along the coast, the peak of Tejuca, the Sugar Loaf reduced to
insignificant dimensions, the Gavia, the outer islets and the
illimitable sea! The silence one is disposed to keep, in view of such a
scene from such a point, best expresses perhaps the kind of admiration
felt. Had Bryant in an inspiration of his genius stood with us, he might
possibly have given utterance to a description more sublime but to none
more graphic or minutely true to the scene, than one already recorded by
his pen—

         “Steep is the western side, shaggy and wild,
          With mossy trees, and pinnacles of flint,
          And many a hanging crag. But to the East,
          Sheer to the vale, go down the bare old cliffs—
          Huge pillars, that in middle heaven up bear
          Their weather-beaten capitals, here dark
          With moss, the growth of centuries, and there
          Of chalky whiteness, where the thunder bolt
          Has splintered them. It is a fearful thing
          To stand upon the beetling verge, and see
          Where storm and lightning, from that huge gray wall,
          Have tumbled down vast blocks, and at the base
          Dashed them in fragments, and to lay thine ear
          O’er the dizzy depth, and hear the sound
          Of winds that struggle with the woods below,
          Come up with ocean murmurs.”

There is danger, in the impressiveness of a scene of such mingled beauty
and sublimity, of forgetting the risk of taking cold, even in the finest
weather—after the unavoidable heat and temporary exhaustion of the
ascent—from the reduced temperature of the elevation, and the freshness
of the sea-breeze sweeping over and around the rock in strong eddies.
But reminded of this by a sense of chilliness, and aware of the lateness
of the day, at the end of a half hour—grateful for the favorable
auspices under which we had enjoyed the view—we gave a farewell gaze and
turned our faces for the descent.

I omitted to state that, before reaching the plantation of the Emperor
in the dip of the mountains, we had again fallen upon the line of the
aqueduct. At this point it passes to the southern side of the range,
which here makes an angle in that direction; and Mr. Lefroy, familiar in
his walks with all the region, proposed that before descending we should
follow it at least a short distance: with the assurance that we would
find it equal, in picturesque wildness and beauty, to any thing we had
yet seen. Though already pretty well fagged, and a walk of seven miles
yet to be made in reaching the city, we readily assented; and most amply
indeed were we rewarded. The scenery on every hand—above, beneath and
around us, in the strong contrasts of bright sunshine and deep shade,
was like pictures of fancy, with a variety and richness of foliage to be
found only in the tropics. The aqueduct and path beside it, scarped on
the very face of the precipitous mountain, wind round the head of a deep
glen, at an elevation of two thousand feet above the valleys beneath and
the surf of the ocean; and command uninterrupted views, far and wide,
over land and sea, of indescribable beauty and grandeur. Parasitical
plants and running vines add to the rich drapery of the woods overhead
and beneath the feet, and hang in long pendants from the rocks and in
festoons from tree to tree, while, here and there, the tree fern—a
novelty to me till now—rises rankly to a height of twenty and thirty
feet: throwing out its closely feathered leaves in an umbrella-shaped
top, proportionate in size to the height of the stem.

Tempted from point to point, by one new object of admiration or another,
we were led two miles amid this luxury of beauty before aware of it,
almost to the very sources of the work. At one point, from the
impossibility of securing space in the face of the precipice for stone
work, the water is led along in small wooden troughs, and the footpath,
constructed of planks supported by strong bolts of iron fastened into
the rock, is suspended in the air, with a frightful depth beneath. There
is no particular spring or fountain head, from which there is a supply
of water, but from the beginning of the aqueduct, the smallest streamlet
that trickles down the mountain summit is carefully collected by side
troughs, and the drippings of every crevice, as well as the gushings of
more abundant springs, fully secured.

This aqueduct is a magnificent work for the period at which it was
constructed—a hundred and thirty years ago. It is of solid granite with
a semicircular bottom for the water-course, and is four feet in width
and the same in height; at places entirely above, and at others
partially beneath the ground. It is capped with granite in the form of a
roof, is furnished with ventilators protected by iron gratings at
regular intervals, and is accessible for the use of the water at
different points, by doors under lock and key. The honor of having
projected and accomplished so important a work is due to Albuquerque,
captain-general of the province at the period—1719-23. A record of this
is made on a tablet on the front of the fountain of the Carioca, near
the convent of San Antonio, above which is the reservoir in which the
work terminates. The inscription is of a rudeness of outline and
execution characteristic of the art of writing in Brazil a century ago;
and undecipherable, except by an antiquarian like Dr. Walsh, familiar,
from his favorite studies, with the abbreviations and readings without a
division into syllables and words, of olden times.

The following is the translation of this inscription as given by Dr.
Walsh. “In the reign of the high and powerful king Don John the Fifth,
Ayres de Saldanha and Albuquerque, being governor and captain-general of
this place, by his directions this work was made, which was begun in the
year 1719 and completed in the year 1723.”

The most magnificent and costly section of the aqueduct—and one which
the now well-known principle in hydraulics, that water will rise to the
level of its head, shows to have been useless both in labor and
expense—is a lofty arcade, a conspicuous ornament of the city, by which
the aqueduct is carried across a deep valley from the hill of Santa
Theresa to that of San Antonio opposite. It consists of two ranges of
arches one above the other, the lower six hundred and the upper eight
hundred and forty feet in length, and forty feet in height. Next to the
Roman remains of the Pont du Garde in Languedoc, the aqueduct across the
Alcantara at Lisbon, and the High Bridge at Harlem, it is the finest
structure of the kind I have seen.

It was near sundown before we reluctantly turned our backs upon the
surprising beauty which still enticed us forward. By a forced march we
accomplished the stony and staircase descent through the woods, while
there was yet sufficient daylight to make good our footsteps over the
rough and slippery way. Safely at this point, though the night soon
gathered around us, we had no difficulty in keeping the path under the
brilliant starlight of the evening, and reached the city at eight
o’clock, having accomplished the trip of twenty-two miles in six hours.


                              CHAPTER XI.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_November 9th._—Saturday more than any other is a day trying to my
spirits. It is that which I appropriate to special preparation for my
professional duties on the Sabbath; and with it, the hardness and
seeming barrenness of my field of labor is, unavoidably, brought
painfully to view. The moral condition of our ship is equal, probably,
if not in advance of that of men-of-war in general, in our own or any
other service; and the discipline and general order on board good.
Indeed, we regard ourselves, and are regarded by others around us, in
these respects as a peculiarly favored and a happy ship. But mere
external propriety of conduct does not satisfy my expectation, or meet
my hopes. I look for evidences of higher results, from the preaching of
the Gospel and other means of religious influence established among us,
but look in vain; and instead, especially when in port, find daily
discouragements which would lead a spirit, less elastic than my own,
utterly to despair of being instrumental in any spiritual good.

During the last fortnight, the crew in successive detachments have been
on shore, on a general liberty of forty-eight hours. The drunkenness and
debauchery of many, incident to this, unavoidably obtruded on my notice
in a greater or less degree, have filled my heart with sadness, and my
lips—at the end of a ministry of six months—with the desponding language
of the prophet, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm
of the Lord been revealed?” This has not escaped the observation of the
men themselves, and yesterday, one of them as spokesman of a group with
whom I fell into conversation, said to me—“We are afraid, Mr. S——, that
you will become so disgusted with our wickedness that you will leave the
ship, and give us up to the devil altogether: but we hope not.” To do
this would be to act the part of a coward and a traitor; and knowing in
whom alone is the sufficiency for these things, I must still labor—bear
and forbear—preach with fidelity and love, pray without fainting, and
hope against hope.

The privileges of the shore over, all were settling down into customary
contentment and quietude when, by some means last evening, a large
quantity of strong drink was successfully smuggled into the ship. There
is ever in a man-of-war a greater or less degree of unmitigated
rascality which, on such occasions, does not fail to manifest itself,
giving the executive of the ship an abundance of trouble, and bringing
reproach upon the better portions of the crew. The consequence of the
successful strategy was a good deal of disorder last night among “the
baser sort” of the ship’s company, and a nervous headache and a
heartache this morning to me.

One result of the liberty on shore, was the incarceration for
drunkenness and riotous conduct, of a half dozen or more of our men, in
the calabouça or common jail of the city. An early intimation of the
dilemma in which these were placed reached me, with an appeal for aid in
procuring their release. A visit to them for this purpose, gave me the
opportunity of a personal inspection of the prison. While confessing and
lamenting the folly which had brought them there, they complained most
grievously, as well they might, of the horrible place. It is time indeed
for some Howard to arise in Brazil; and I rejoice to learn that the
state of her prisons and the subject of prison discipline, or rather the
fact of an utter want of all discipline, is attracting the attention of
some of her philanthropists and statesmen. Our fellows, at the end of
two or three days, were almost starved. No food is served to the
prisoners by authority. They are entirely dependent on their own
resources, the kindness of any friends they may happen to have, or the
supplies furnished gratuitously by some of the brotherhoods of
benevolence in the city. I found those from the Congress—chargeable only
with having broken the peace in a drunken brawl—in a filthy room of
horrible smells, crowded with eighty or a hundred felons, black, white
and colored of every hue. Among these were robbers, and murderers, and
criminals of the most desperate character: without classification in age
or crime—beardless boys, arrested for the most trifling and venial
offences, being placed side by side with gray-headed veterans in vice.
Our men had stripped themselves more than half naked, that their clothes
might furnish no ambush for the vermin with which the place was filled;
and gave pitiful accounts of the nights they had spent, in stifling
heat, amid clouds of mosquitoes and other insects, with no beds but the
rough plank of the floors, open in large crevices to the effluvia from
the common cesspool of the whole prison immediately beneath. A civil and
intelligent young man of their number told me that, till “this spree,”
he had not tasted strong drink for two years past; and had been well
punished, for the indulgence, by a week in this frightful and disgusting
hole. Giving them the means of relief from immediate hunger, I promised
to do what I could for their liberation; and the youngster referred to,
the last—from some mistake in his name—to gain a release, has just come
thankfully on board.

_November 12th._—A ball on board the Congress and a soiree at the
American Embassy have afforded, within the week past, our first
opportunities of mingling in the society of Rio. It required but a short
time to transform the quarter-deck of the frigate from a grim battery
into a brilliant ball-room. The guns having been run out of sight on the
forecastle, the awnings screened by the flags of all nations, in
flutings overhead and in festoons at the sides, and the decks
artistically chalked in colors, the interior soon presented the aspect
of a spacious and gay saloon. In this, at different points, muskets
arranged in thick clusters with a candle in each muzzle, formed
glittering and becoming candelabra; and pistols and bayonets similarly
arrayed and mounted, made brackets for lights along the sides and
chandeliers above, while a graceful amenity was thrown over these
implements of death, by wreaths of evergreen intermingled with bouquets
of flowers rich in color and perfume. The poop-deck overlooking this
dancing room, was transformed by similar decorations into a lofty,
tented pavilion, from which those not disposed to join in the amusement
below, might view the spectacle and enjoy each other’s society in

The ship was illuminated outside, by lines of lights running up each
mast and by lanterns suspended from the yard-arms. While the company
were assembling, rockets were sent up, to add to the brilliancy, and
blue lights burned on the arrival of the most distinguished of the
guests. Thus the effect without, in approaching in the dark, was scarce
less striking and beautiful than the coup d’œil within, on crossing the
gangway. The only interest I took in the preparations was in having the
draperies, which separated these brilliant apartments from the forward
deck, so arranged as to allow the crew—who would be kept from their
hammocks till a late hour by the entertainment—to be spectators of the
scene. This indulgence was readily accorded; and, during the whole
evening, our hardy tars in a uniform dress of white and blue, clustered
in thick rows from the mainmast forward, formed by no means the least
striking feature in the spectacle. Indeed, their fine physical aspect
and becoming deportment attracted much observation; and elicited the
most complimentary remarks upon them, as a body of men, from the most
distinguished strangers on board.

The company on this occasion consisted principally of resident
foreigners, diplomatists, and their families, and the officers of the
national ships in port. There were few native Brazilians among them.
Under the impression that the entertainment given by Mr. and Mrs. Tod
would embrace the higher circles of the native society, I joined the
party from the ship attending it. The mansion occupied by the Legation
is at Praya Flamengo, where I was so much at home in 1829. It is
spacious and lofty, with a stately suite of reception-rooms on the
second floor, which command fine views of the bay and its chief features
near the sea. It was illuminated in front, and brilliantly lighted and
tastefully decorated with flowers within. According to Brazilian custom
on occasions of fête, the tesselated pavement of the vestibule and hall,
and the marble staircase leading to the reception-rooms, were strewn
with the fresh leaves of the mango tree and various aromatic plants
which, under the pressure of the feet, send forth a grateful perfume. A
garden in the rear, filled with myrtle and orange trees, and gay with
the blossoms of the pomegranate and oleander, was also illuminated, and
seen opening in perspective from the hall, with pretty effect. The
company was large; exhibiting a good deal of dress among the ladies, in
the latest modes of Paris, and some fine diamonds. There was, too, a
sprinkling of title and nobility, and a little beauty, but nothing more
distinctively Brazilian, or characteristic of nationality, than in the
party on board the Congress.

At an early hour after the civilities of the reception, and a general
interchange of salutations, dancing was commenced and continued to be
the chief amusement of the evening. There was nothing in the scene with
which I could sympathize, and I withdrew from the crowded and heated
rooms to the terraced-walk fronting the beach. Here, a land breeze,
deliciously fresh and fragrant, came fanning down the mountain’s side;
and I passed two hours and more in the enjoyment of it, in a promenade
back and forth of a quarter of a mile, beneath a gloriously lighted sky,
while every thing was hushed to a midnight repose, except the sounds of
the distant music of the dance, and the rush, and roar, and the thunder
at my feet of the foaming surf.

On returning to the house I met Mr. Tod in the lower rooms, the
supper-room being about to be thrown open. The banquet was profuse and
luxurious. A chief novelty among its delicacies, at either end of the
principal table, was the choicest fish of the adjoining seas—the
garoupa. It is very large, and, on the present occasion, was baked whole
and served cold. From the general demand for it, especially among the
ladies, I should have judged the dish to be in high estimation, without
the assurance of the fact. It is a rarity, and its market price very
high. Sums, I am told, are sometimes given for it which I dare not
venture to state, without further inquiry, lest either my veracity or
credulity, or both, might be put in question.

_November 15th._—Yesterday afternoon I accompanied Captain McIntosh,
Lieut. P—— of the British flag ship, and Lieut. T—— of the Congress, in
a drive of five miles to the country residence of Mr. R——, an English
gentleman, a partner in one of the wealthiest mercantile houses in Rio.
An invitation to an evening party had been received from Mrs. R——, a few
days before, and the call we now made was in acknowledgment of the
civility. The direction of the drive was westward, through the rich and
broad valley which extends seven or eight miles from the city, to the
foot of the mountains of Tejuca. High walls of brick and stone, or lofty
hedges equally impenetrable to the eye, cut off the view of the pleasure
gardens and grounds surrounding the residences in the suburbs, from
those seated in the low carriages at present in fashion, and I chose a
more elevated seat beside the coachman—though at the risk, in a black
dress and white cravat, of being taken for a servant out of
livery—rather than forego the advantage of this better point for
observation; especially as there was no inconvenience from the sun, the
afternoon being overcast and gray, such as do not often occur here
without rain. But for this position I should have lost much of the
enjoyment of the drive.

Half the distance is a continued suburb of the city; and the remainder a
succession of cottages, villas, and mansions in a greater or less degree
of proximity—the residences of the aristocratic and wealthy, both
natives and foreigners. A predominating fancy with these seems to be the
exhibition of showy entrances and gateways, little in keeping in their
stateliness, in many instances, with the inferior style and dimensions
of the dwellings themselves. Some of these last, however, are quite
palatial. One of this kind was pointed out, as an evidence of the talent
for business, and the prosperous fortunes of a colored man. The gardens
and grounds on every side are luxuriant in the display of flowers,
shrubbery and trees, and often tastefully embellished with vases, casts,
statuary and fountains of graceful and classic model. The rapidity of
vegetation in weeds and grass, as well as in more valuable growth is
such, however, as to make perfect neatness and good keeping in the
grounds difficult. One great defect in them, which cannot fail to arrest
the eye unaccustomed to it, is the entire absence of the close sod and
velvet turf, which give such smoothness and softness to lawns and
pleasure grounds in the United States and in England. The burning sun of
this latitude kills the roots of such growth, and there is no close set
grass here. All that is native is coarse, tufted, and straggling. The
site of the city was originally a marsh, and this interval land, between
the bay and the mountains, is low and wet. The soil, a stiff clay,
causes the roads in rainy weather soon to be so cut up as to become
almost impassable, and in dry, to be both rough and dusty.

The residence of Mr. R——, crowning a gently swelling hill in the midst
of a lovely valley, rises conspicuously to the view while yet a mile
from it. It is an old Brazilian house of unpretending and cottage-like
aspect, soon to give place to a new building: but looked rural and
attractive, and commands a splendid panorama. Here the gateway is of a
simplicity corresponding with that of the house. It opens, at the
distance of a quarter of a mile from this, into an avenue of young mango
trees, winding gradually up the ascent and bordered on either side by a
hedge of the double scarlet hybiscus, whose polished leaves of green
were studded with bright flowers.

A long and lofty saloon, so well furnished with windows as to be readily
converted almost into an open pavilion, occupies the whole front of the
house. A flight of stone steps at either end ascends from the carriage
drive to this. A similar apartment in the rear forms the dining-room;
while between these, and lighted only through them, is the drawing-room.
In a colder climate an apartment thus situated would, in the day time,
be dark and gloomy; but here, where for a great part of the year a
glaring and glowing sun pours down upon every thing, it forms a welcome
retreat into which the light comes only in subdued and grateful shade.

We had made the acquaintance of Mrs. and Miss R—— at the entertainments
mentioned under my last date; and, on being ushered into the saloon were
received by them in a most frank and courteous manner. Mrs. R——, though
a native Brazilian, has been much in England, and Miss R—— has but
lately completed her education there. Both are of pleasing address and
most gentle and amiable. After a half hour in conversation a walk in the
grounds was proposed, the freshness of the evening with a land breeze
from the mountains having set in. We had already discovered the views in
every direction to be lovely: embracing the rich valley through which we
had driven, the mountains bordering it on one side and the fantastic
peaks in which they terminate at its head behind; with cottages and
country houses scattered thickly around, and the imperial palace of San
Christovao encircled with plantations in full view. Glimpses of the city
were caught in the far distance in front; and, with a glass, the
tapering masts of the Congress, surmounted by her broad pennant, rising
high above the tallest of its towers and steeples.

From the end of the saloon opposite to that at which we had entered, an
embowered grapery leads to a stream at the foot of the hill, overhung
with trees and beautifully fringed with the lofty and graceful bamboo.
Along the green banks of this, the gardens, filled with the greatest
variety of shrub and flower, spread widely among fruit-bearing and
ornamental trees, including a succession of orange groves. Through these
we sauntered with great delight, tasting of the various fruits;
examining, in the fine display of the botanical kingdom around, things
old and new; resting upon a rustic seat here and there; and finally
becoming grouped in a picturesque bower of living bamboo, whose thickly
clustered stems at the sides and feathery tops interlaced overhead
effectually exclude the sun, and secure, even at mid-day, a retreat of
refreshing coolness. Among entire novelties to us were the Jaca or jack
fruit—_artocarpus Indicus_—or East India bread fruit, and the Brazilian

We were here joined by Mr. R—— and his sons, by Lieut. F—— of our ship,
and Mr. Lawrence McKeever, a son of the commodore, an attaché of an
American partner of the house in which Mr. R—— is the English principal.
Mr. R—— to the reputation of an able and successful merchant adds that
of a well-read man, thoroughly furnished with intelligence in regard to
all subjects of local and general interest in Brazil. His conversation
is thus both interesting and instructive.

As twilight began to gather round us, we returned to the house, and were
summoned to a tea-table in the dining-hall well spread as in the olden
times at home, not only with every delicacy appropriate to the repast,
but with such substantial dishes, also, as those who had been riding and
driving and walking, since an early dinner, might be disposed to
welcome. There was an air of genuine hospitality in the well-covered
length of the board, which carried me back to the tables of our friends
of Massena and of the Lakelands in former days, telling that like theirs
it was no unaccustomed thing thus to be drawn out to its full length by
the presence of some eight or ten unexpected guests, in addition to a
large family circle. With a number of well-trained and neatly-dressed
negro servants in attendance, the whole scene was more like that of an
ordinary exhibition of American hospitality, as I recollect it in
boyhood, even in the Northern States, than any thing I have for a long
time witnessed. It was half past nine o’clock before we took leave; yet,
such is the Jehu style of driving that we were not only at the landing
in the city, where the captain’s gig was in waiting for us, but safely
on board ship by ten.

The rainy season is not so strongly marked at Rio as in many tropical
regions, though at this period of the year more rain falls than at any
other. To-day it poured in torrents from the early morning, while an
impenetrable fog has been rushing from the sea, before a driving wind.
The worst of this state of things, to some of us on board the Congress,
was an engagement of several days’ standing to a dinner with Admiral
Reynolds, the English commander-in-chief on this station. We looked in
vain as the appointed hour approached, for any abatement in the wind and
rain, or the arrival of a messenger to say we would not be expected;
and, at a quarter to six, the barge was called away and Commodore
McKeever, Captain McIntosh and I, with such protection as our boat
cloaks could give, were in the midst of the storm pulling for the flag
ship. Fortunately the distance was scarcely more than a quarter of a
mile. We escaped getting wet, and in the shelter and elegant
appointments of the admiral’s cabins soon forgot the discomfort of the
pull on board.

The want of a higher grade of rank in the navy of the United States than
that of post captain, while in the British service and that of other
nations there is not only that of admiral, but six degrees of
advancement in that rank, often leads to embarrassment and an unpleasant
state of feeling between those bearing other flags and our
commanders-in-chief. The preposterous expectation and, in many
instances, pertinacious claim of equality in rank and reciprocity in
official honors, where there is confessedly an inferiority of
commission, and in contravention of the established rules of military
etiquette, not unfrequently limit the intercourse between American
commodores and European admirals to the cold formalities of an official
visit. Where this is the case, the association of the officers of the
respective squadrons is, in a greater or less degree, of the same
character. Happily for myself I have never been placed in this position.
On the contrary, in all the ships to which I have been attached, the
most friendly relations have been established with English ships of war,
on the same station. Such is the case with the Congress and the
Southampton. By mutual courtesy and good will, the official and social
intercourse of the two commanders-in-chief was on our arrival at once
placed on a desirable footing. The consequence is, that the officers of
the respective ships are left to an unembarrassed association. This has
proved cordial, and many in both ships visit each other with the
intimacy and informality of congenial neighbors on shore.

Mrs. Reynolds accompanied the admiral from England and lives on board
ship. She is a person of intelligent and cultivated mind and of frank
and pleasing address; and the birds and flowers, the drawings and
cabinets in natural history which, in addition to a choice library,
adorn the apartments of the Southampton, at once bespeak the presence
and taste of an accomplished woman. In addition to the military family
of the admiral, which consists of the captain of the ship, the
flag-lieutenant and the secretary who are regularly at his table, we had
the company of two or three other officers, including the Rev. Mr. P——,
the chaplain. Besides this gentleman, I was happy to meet in the party
others whom I found to be enlightened and spiritual Christians, as well
as agreeable and well-bred men. It is unnecessary to say that the
entertainment was sumptuous: served in plate, with all the appointments
of the table in the elegant keeping of English aristocratic life. The
summons to the dining cabin was by music from a fine band; and with the
removal of the cloth and her majesty’s health, we had “God save the
Queen,” followed by “Hail Columbia” and a succession of passages from
the choicest operas. Our reception was the more cordial, perhaps, from
the badness of the weather; and the whole evening marked with such free
interchange of thought and feeling that it seemed a family party at
home. The effect to me of such an impression in this far off land, has
been an irresistible fit of the “_mal du pays_.”

_November 20th._—The Praya San Domingo and Praya Grande on the eastern
side of the bay, continue to be favorite resorts with us, especially
when Captain McIntosh is leader of the party. He holds in abhorrence the
filth of the city side. The interest of our visits has been much
increased by the acquaintance accidentally formed with a Portuguese
family, shortly after the return of the Congress from the Plata. In a
stroll we were taking there, we passed a plantation, the extent and
thriftiness of which had before attracted our notice. The principal
gateway now stood open, exhibiting, in long vista, an avenue of young
palms, whose interlacing branches completely over-arched the walk
beneath. A group of slaves were at work just within; and coupling our
admiration with a question as to the privilege of entering, we had
scarcely received an affirmative reply, before the proprietor, Don Juan
M——, made his appearance from a wilderness of luxuriant growth on one
side, courteously bidding us welcome, and becoming himself our guide.
There is nothing artistic or particularly tasteful in the manner in
which the grounds are laid out; but they are in high cultivation, and
the variety and exuberance of the growth, and the novelty to us of many
of its forms, made them very attractive. Fruits, flowers, and
vegetables—shrubs, plants, and trees are so closely intermingled, as to
shut out all view, except in each immediate path, or at the intersecting
angles of the larger alleys. In other places endless beds, so arranged
as to be easily irrigated, are filled with every kind of vegetable in
the greatest profusion; while above wave the broad leaves of the banana
and plantain, the feathery palm, and the closely set, and pinnated
foliage of the mango. Many of the paths are bordered with coffee trees,
now in full bloom. These are allowed to grow to a height of ten or
fifteen feet, and are in the form of a bush. The blossoms, of the purest
white, appear in general effect like those of the double jessamine. They
cluster thickly over the branches, and contrast beautifully with the
dark green of the polished leaves. Among the exotics are the cinnamon,
clove, and nutmeg, and the climbing vine of the black pepper.

In the course of our ramble we came upon the wash-house of the
establishment—an open, tile-covered lodge or verandah, supported by
pillars of brick, and furnished with a wide and deep tank or reservoir
of water, troughs, tubs and slabs of stone for the various operations of
the laundry. Three or four negresses were engaged in the appropriate
work of the place, with their children at play around. Near one of the
mothers, in a flat basket on the ground, lay, kicking and crowing as if
ready to spring out of its skin, an entirely naked and shining little
negro, six or eight months of age—one of the brightest and cleanest
looking little rogues I ever saw. It was black as the purest ebony, and
in a perfection of form fitting it for the model of a cupid, or infant
Apollo, or Adonis. It looked so healthy, and so wholesome, and so
perfectly pure, as to be provocative almost of a kiss; and one of our
party—who, in strong remembrance of his own little ones at home, has a
perfect passion for every child he meets, whether black or white—was so
delighted that I thought he would scarcely rest satisfied in his
caressing, short of such an evidence of admiration.

At the end of a half hour we came again into the principal avenue,
leading from the gate to the base of a steep hill, or rather cliff,
overhanging the gardens, from the brow of which the dwelling of Don Juan
looks down as upon a map. Detained already, it appeared, from an
appointment of business by his attentions to us, he here apologized for
the necessity of taking leave, but begged us to continue our walk up the
hill, from which we would have a magnificent view; and called a negro
lad to guide us. We willingly complied, and advanced by a winding path
up the steep. Among the growth not before noticed, we here observed the
peach, apple, and pomegranate, interspersed with grove after grove of
orange trees, heavily laden with golden fruit. The house is a long,
tile-roofed cottage of one story, surrounded by broad piazzas, opening
upon flagged terraces. The pointed top of the hill has been cut down to
a platform, sufficient only in extent for the area of the dwelling, with
a shrubbery and flower garden on one side, and a dovecote and quarters
for the house-negroes on the other. The whole is perched upon the
angular point of a precipitous promontory overlooking the bay of St.
Francis Xavier, from which a heavy surf rolls beneath, breaking, in
part, amid a cluster of fantastic and columnar rocks, and in part upon a
white sand beach. To reach the best point for a panoramic view at the
end of the flower garden, we were conducted through the reception rooms,
in the centre of the cottage, furnished with some showy articles of
French manufacture—a piano, sofa, vases of painted china. The landscape
and water view at every point are superb—especially on the garden front,
with the wild surf beneath, and the islet of Boa Viagem for a
foreground—its fantastic cliffs of strongly colored earths draped with
bright verdure, and crowned by its picturesque little chapel. The varied
movements of sail in the lower harbor; the bright gleamings of the city
along the shores of Flamengo and Botafogo; with the Sugar-loaf and
adjoining hills, and the Gavia and Corcovado in sublime groupings in the
distance, formed together a picture of unrivalled beauty. The coloring,
and effective shades of a sunset of crimson and gold, exhibited the
whole with gorgeous effect; and we stood fascinated by it, till the
gathering twilight hastened us to our boat.

Commodore McKeever and Mr. G—— accompanied us in a second visit which we
were invited by Don Juan to make, a few evenings afterwards. We were
welcomed with the cordiality of old friends, and after a walk through
the grounds, were conducted to the house, introduced to Madame M——, and
served with coffee, sweetmeats and liqueurs. We soon discovered the
mistress of the establishment to be of the order of women, so
graphically described by the wise man—“she seeketh wool and flax, and
worketh willingly with her hands. She looketh well to the ways of her
household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise and
call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Through the
open windows of the verandah, as we entered, we saw her busily engaged,
amid a group of female slaves, old and young, in the cutting and fitting
of garments which they were sewing; and learned from her husband that
her agency, as well as supervision, was thus exercised in the whole
economy of the establishment. In dress, she was in the dishabille common
among the females, and males too, in this climate, at least till a late
hour of the day; a loose wrapper with a colored silk pocket-handkerchief
over the head. On the summons of Don Juan, she joined us without apology
in regard to her toilette; and after the refreshments were served, while
we were enjoying the view at the point of the promontory, gathered and
arranged for each of us a choice and beautiful bouquet.

In acknowledgment of the kindness of thus throwing open their grounds
and house to us, an invitation was given for a visit to the Congress.
This was readily accepted, and they have since passed a morning on
board. It was their first visit to a man-of-war, and they professed to
take more interest in it, and to feel themselves more highly honored
from its bearing the stripes and stars of the United States, than they
could under any other flag. We scarcely recognized the Doña at first,
under the aspect of a visitor. In place of the Portuguese negligè, in
which we were received by her at home, she now appeared in the latest
style of Parisian promenade costume: with silks and laces and expensive
embroideries, in a correctness of taste and good-keeping, that proved
her by no means unaccustomed to the elegancies of the toilette. Don Juan
is a man of intelligence and of much practical good sense and
observation. Among many things on board, which attracted his attention,
aside from the equipment and peculiar character of our ship in military
appointment, was a small homœopathic medicine chest in the captain’s
cabin. He is a warm advocate of this system, and a practitioner of it in
his own family; and he informed us that in forty cases of fever, among
his slaves, during the late epidemic, he allowed of no other treatment,
and did not lose a single patient, though many negroes around him died
of the pestilence under allopathic practice.


                              CHAPTER XII.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_November 26th._—The heat of the mornings on shore is becoming so
intense as to make walking oppressive. Till the setting in of the
sea-breeze about mid-day, the ship is altogether more desirable than any
other place accessible to us. Moored in the direct line of the winds
from the sea, her decks with awnings spread fore and aft, form a
delightful lounging-place; one never without attractions, in the
constant movements on the bay, and the varying and beautiful effects
produced upon its imagery, by hourly atmospheric changes. This you can
readily understand from daily experience at Riverside. Like the verandah
there, the poop of the Congress here commands a wide-spread panorama of
water, mountain, and valley, ever varying in its aspects of lights and
shade, sunshine and clouds, tints and coloring, and tempting one to give
too much time to mere admiration of the changing picture.

When the atmosphere is peculiarly brilliant, the mountains stand out
with a nearness and strength of light that exposes to clear view the
chisellings of their minutest features. With a good glass, every rock
and tree, and almost every shrub, of the nearer ranges is then brought,
seemingly, within touch; while the sublime chain, forty and fifty miles
distant in the north, exhibits, through the same medium, not only the
fantastic spikes and fingers from which it derives its name, but the
minuter formations of the wooded sides also, furrowed by water-courses,
and streaked here and there with the silver line of a cataract in a deep
glen. Then again, the whole stand, with undistinguishable features, like
massive walls of purple and blue, the upper profile only of their jagged
outlines being marked boldly against the sky.

In the morning, the whole bay is smooth and glassy as a lake, one vast
mirror, along whose edges are repictured in strong and unbroken
reflection, mountain and city, church-tower, fortress, and convent, in
minute fidelity, while all the men-of-war, and the little craft floating
by with useless sails, lie in duplicate around. The sun glares hotly—not
a breath of air is stirring, and every one is oppressed. But watching
seaward, the topsails of the inward-bound in the far offing are seen, by
and by, to be gently filling with a breeze; presently, ‘cats-paw’ after
‘cats-paw’ comes creeping through the channel and up the bay; till soon,
in place of a glaring and oppressive calm, its surface is dancing with
‘white-caps;’ the lateen sail boats, careening to the wind and dashing
the spray from their bows, rush past and around us like “playful things
of life;” the inward-bound with wide-spread wings come hastening to the
anchorage; every one drinks in with delight the welcome draught; and for
the rest of the day, new aspects and new life are imparted to every
thing and every body. At times, this sea-breeze is supplanted by a half
gale from the same direction, causing so much of a swell as to raise
breakers between us and the landing, and partially to interrupt
communication with the shore. This was the case a day or two since, when
the surf rolled along nearly the whole length of the city. The change in
the temperature too, is frequently so great as to lead to the
substitution of cloth clothing for that of light summer wear, and to the
buttoning closely of the coat to avoid a sense of chilliness.

Towards evening the sea-breeze ordinarily dies away; and, by sunset, a
glassy surface again reflects the gorgeous coloring which now mantles
the mountains, and gilds with brightness the prominent architecture of
the city. As the short twilight settles into darkness, regular lines of
brilliant lamps gleam for miles along the shores on either side of the
bay, and up the ridges and over the tops of the hills in the city; the
bright radiance of unnumbered stars falls from above; and the
land-breeze, gently fanning down the mountain sides, brings with it the
freshness and fragrance of their woods and flowers.

Often a thunder-storm of thick blackness, with forked lightning, is seen
raging among the mountain peaks without approaching nearer; and oftener
still, magnificently culminating summer clouds, heaped pile upon pile
above them, exhibit a play of electric light, of a beauty and splendor
sufficient for the pastime of the evening. We had a remarkable display
of this kind a night or two ago; the flashes were more vivid and more
incessant than I recollect ever before to have witnessed. Masses of
black clouds, towering to the zenith on every side, made the night
exceedingly dark. In the momentary intervals between the flashes there
was a darkness that might almost be felt—utterly impenetrable even at
the shortest distance—and making inexpressibly grand and beautiful the
more than mid-day brightness which instantly followed, disclosing to
microscopic view every object far and near.

From the cause named at the beginning of this date—the heat of the
mornings—my visits on shore, for the long walk which you know to be an
essential daily enjoyment to me, are chiefly in the later hours of the
afternoon and evening. As the last regular boat of the ship leaves the
shore punctually at sunset, this necessity of choosing so late a period
of the day would subject me to the inconvenience of coming off in a
shore boat, and the disgust of breathing the atmosphere by which the
vicinity of the common landing is nightly polluted, were it not for the
social arrangements of the Commodore. Intimacy with the Ambassador and
his family, and other American friends in the same neighborhood, leads
him with Mr. G—— to pass most of his evenings at the Praya Flamengo. His
barge awaits him regularly, at nine o’clock, at a sheltered and pleasant
landing near the Gloria Hill. A seat in this is always in reserve for
me; and, whether visiting with him or not, I am sure of a passage in
good season to the ship. I am thus left at liberty to range the hills
and valleys at my pleasure towards the close of day, and to take my fill
of such delights as nature, in her exuberance and ever-varying beauty in
ten thousand forms, here affords. A chief drawback to the pleasure is
the want of a companion in my rambles. Such of my messmates as have a
round of ship’s duty in their order, find sufficient exercise in pacing
the decks in its discharge, and are often too much fatigued to start in
search of the picturesque; others, though at leisure, less inured to
fatigue than I am, think the beauty of the upland haunts I most
frequent, scarcely worth the effort required at all points, in the first
sharp ascent of a half mile, by which only they are attained. Hence my
evening strolls of this kind are solitary: still—

                            “My steps are not alone
          In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
          Flies, rustling, where the tropic leaves are strown
          Along the winding way.
          And far in heaven the while,
          The sun that sends the gale to wander here,
          Pours out on the fair earth the quiet smile—
          That sweetens all the year.”

The row, at night, of two miles and more to the ship is of itself a
pleasure: sometimes beneath a bright moon, with the palm-topped trees
and convent towers of Santa Theresa on our left, marked in silver
against the sky; sometimes amid a darkness which leaves nothing for our
guide but the signal lanterns for the Commodore, at the peak of the
far-off Congress; and sometimes again, amid a display of phosphorescence
in the water, sufficient to excite both admiration and surprise. The
regular dip of the oars, then, creates splendid coruscations: streams of
apparent fire run from the uplifted blades, while the barge, under the
impulse of fourteen stalwart oarsmen, rushes on through a wide trough
seemingly of molten silver.

But I am forgetting the object for which I opened my journal—to say,
that in despite of the heat, I have spent two mornings, within the past
week, in a stroll along the shaded side of the Rua Ouvidor, in company
with the Commodore, Captain and Mr. G——, on a visit of curiosity to the
various shops with which it is lined. The show windows of these rival
those of Broadway, in the display of rich fancy goods of English,
French, and German manufacture, and of jewelry, articles of vertu,
drawings, engravings, and bijouterie. Among the jewellers’ shops which
we entered was one, having for its sign the imperial arms and crown in
rich gilding—thus indicating the special patronage of their majesties
and the court. The person in attendance received us most politely, and,
though we at once apprised him that our object was not to purchase,
exhibited his choicest caskets, from those valued at a few hundred
dollars to those at as many tens of thousands. Most of the contents were
native diamonds and other precious stones tastefully arranged and
artistically set. The workmen here are celebrated for skill in this
respect, and for the delicacy and finish of their filagree in silver,
and chasings in gold. Rio is also celebrated for the manufacture of
artificial flowers from feathers. Those most valued are of the choicest
and rarest humming birds. The changing tints of some of these are more
rich and varied than those of the opal. Such are much prized and are
expensive. The counterpart of a set recently ordered by the Princess de
Joinville was as costly as so much jewelry. The manufactories are in
large shops open entirely in front to the street, and, the artisans
being chiefly young girls, are favorite resorts and lounging places of
shoppers and idlers.

It must not be inferred that in thus spending a morning in shopping, we
were encroaching on the prerogatives of the ladies of Brazil. The usage
of the country denies them this pastime. Portuguese and Spanish views of
the liberty of outdoor locomotion to be allowed to females—traceable to
the Moorish estimate of their trust worthiness and virtue—prohibit to
them here in a great degree the privileges of the street. In the early
morning they may be seen, dressed in black, and attended by a servant or
child, walking to and from church; and on the Sabbath, likewise, in long
family procession, in performance of a like duty; but, to take a
promenade as such, for pleasure or display, or to pass from shop to shop
looking at fine goods by the hour, without finding the article sought,
or any thing to suit the fancy, would be regarded as an indecorum, and
an unmistakable mark of vulgar boldness. Native prejudice on this point,
has doubtless been modified by the example of numerous foreign residents
and visitors; still, when a lady is met in the streets in promenade, it
may be safely inferred that she is not a Brazilian: if wearing a bonnet,
it may be deemed certain.

Aside from the light thrown upon the general estimate of female virtue,
by this prohibition, from usage, there are habits of indecency among the
people, witnessed even in the most public thoroughfares, sufficient to
justify it, so long as the nuisance is permitted; moreover, a lady in
walking is subjected to an impudent stare and look of libertinism from
shopkeepers, and clerks, and passers-by, which is in itself an insult,
without the addition of the remarks of levity which at times may be
heard. There has been an advance in civilization of late in this
respect; still, effrontery enough is left in connection with it to
offend the delicacy of a woman in walking, and to excite the indignation
of any male friend accompanying her.

The native female of the better classes is, therefore, still to be
regarded as a kind of house prisoner; she may stand against or lean over
the railing of an upper balcony by the hour—as is much the custom—gazing
in listless silence upon whatever is taking place in the street; but a
promenade below, with the chance of a flirtation, is denied her.

How then, you will ask, is the shopping of the ladies for fine dresses
and fine feathers accomplished? I answer, either by husbands and
fathers, who I am told are well versed by experience in the business, or
by a running to and from shop to drawing-room of boys and porters with
pattern-books and pieces. A lady from the country will drive to the
house of some friend, or secure a hired room, and, sending forth a
servant, will put the errand-boys of half the shops in the city, in
motion for the day.

On one of these mornings, we entered a common auction-room for a moment,
and accidentally stumbled on the humiliating and reproachful sight of a
sale of men and women by a fellow man. Not the sale, as till within a
few years past might here have been the case, of newly imported captives
from Africa, but of natives of Rio, thus passing under the hammer from
owner to owner like any article of merchandise. They were eight or ten
in number of both sexes, varying in age from boyhood and girlhood to
years of maturity and middle life. They stood meekly and submissively,
though evidently anxious and sad, under the interrogations and
examinations of the bidders, and a rehearsal and laudation by the
auctioneer of their different available working qualities and
dispositions: their health, strength and power of endurance. All, in
their turn were made to mount an elevated platform, to display their
limbs almost to nakedness, and exhibit their muscular powers by various
gymnastics, like a horse his movements and action, before the bidders at

They were rapidly knocked down at prices varying from two hundred to a
thousand and more milreis: that is, from one to five hundred and more
dollars. As we turned away, the indignation of one of our party found
vent in the exclamation: “Such a spectacle is a disgrace to human
nature. It makes one sick at heart, and ready to fear that in the
retributive justice of the Almighty the time may come, when the blacks
here will put up the whites for sale in the same manner!” And why not?
Why should the blood boil at the mere suggestion of the thought in the
one case, and yet flow coolly and tranquilly on, in view of the other?

Happily Brazil has been aroused, through the influence of her Emperor
and the wisest of her statesmen and legislators, to earnestness in that
suppression of the traffic in slaves to which she has so long stood
pledged by treaty. It is no longer in name only that the trade is a
piracy. The landing of a cargo any where in the Empire subjects it to
forfeiture. A high premium is given to an informer in a case of
smuggling of the kind, and the law cuts off all recovery of payment for
the proceeds of a sale that may have been effected. The consequence is,
that the millionnaires of Rio, whose coffers have been filled to
repletion with the price of blood, finding the government in earnest in
the execution of the laws, are forsaking their gilded palaces here—some
of them among the most luxurious and ornate residences of the city—for
homes where they may pursue their nefarious business with less reproach
to reputation, and less liability to the penalty of the laws. It is said
that there are residents here, entitled by birth and citizenship to
stand beneath the protecting folds of the stripes and stars of our
country, who till now have been active agents in, and have shared
largely in the emoluments of this wicked outrage on the rights of man.

_December 10th._—The 2d inst. was the Emperor’s birth-day, a chief gala
among the anniversaries of Rio. His Majesty then completed his
twenty-fifth year. The day was fine, and the celebration consisted of a
grand military procession of regular troops and national guards through
the palace square; a Te Deum in the imperial chapel, at which the
Emperor and Empress assisted, as the phraseology is; a review of the
troops by their Majesties from a balcony of the palace; a levee for
hand-kissing afterwards, for such as are entitled to the entrée; and at
night a visit of the Court in state, to the opera. The whole accompanied
by the firing, morning, noon and night, afloat and on shore, of
unnumbered cannon.

I was in Captain McIntosh’s party in going on shore. He has a horror of
crowds, which to me afford some of the best opportunities of judging of
the character of a people, and after seeing him comfortably seated in a
balcony commanding the square, Lieut. T—— and I sallied forth “among the
horses,” as he expressed it, to be in closer proximity to the populace.

The Brazilians are manifestly an orderly, civil, good-natured, timid,
and temperate people; contrasting favorably in their manners, language,
indulgences and general deportment, on similar occasions, with the
masses in large cities, in the United States. I saw nothing rude or
coarse in any one, nothing offensive or insulting: no profanity, no
intoxication, no quarrelling, no call for the interference of the

In the course of the morning, among various other experiences, we
elbowed his Majesty and the ministers of the household, the metropolitan
and his chapter of the priesthood, and the great officers of state in
the Imperial chapel; scrutinized the Empress and her ladies in their
tribune; listened to the effective music of the Te Deum, performed by
the chief singers of the opera company; witnessed the return of the
court in procession from the chapel to the throne room; and gained a
point of observation for the review, so near Don Pedro and Doña Theresa
as to have been able readily to have carried on a conversation with
them, had it been according to rule.

The regular army of Brazil consists of some twenty thousand troops. Very
few of these are at present here. The great mass of those under arms on
the present occasion, amounting to some five thousand, was of municipal
guards, corresponding to the volunteer companies of New York. They were
in neat and handsome uniforms, are well appointed, and well drilled; but
are small and light in figure, without an appearance of much physical
force, and most motley in complexion and the mixture of blood. An
abundant supply of fine bands was in attendance. Negroes and mulattoes
predominated in these, testifying to the gift of musical taste in the
race here, as with us in the United States.

There was a partial illumination in the evening, but to no striking
effect, except in the streets leading from the palace to the
opera-house. The progress of the court in state through these was a
showy spectacle. The glaring flambeaux of liveried outriders, preceding
and flanking the open carriages, themselves brilliantly lighted, and the
illuminated houses, exhibited the diamonds of the Empress and her
attendants to great advantage. The left breast of the Emperor’s coat,
too, flashed with the brilliants of the many orders with which it was
decorated. The vivas of the multitudes were tolerably loyal, and the
spirited strains of the national air, caught, as the cortège approached,
from band to band, stationed at various points on the route, quite
spirit-stirring. The music of this air is a composition of Don Pedro I.,
who was a master in the science. It is one of the most animated,
spirit-moving national airs I know—equal almost in this respect to the
Marseillaise. The words of the anthem to which it is set are said to be
also from the pen of his late Majesty; and, in the native language, are
scarce less incitive than the tune, to emotions of patriotism and valor—

                      Iá podeis, filhos da patria,
                        Ver contente a mai gentil,
                      Iá raiou a liberdade,
                        No horizonte do Brazil.

                      Brava gente Braziliera
                        Longe vai temor servil!
                      Ou ficar a patria livre,
                        Ou mourer pelo Brazil.

I could not be otherwise than amused by an incident, characteristic of
the too widely spread spirit of my countrymen, which came under my
observation just after reaching the shore. The court were alighting at
the palace, on their arrival in state from San Christovao: the turn-out,
in equipages and their appointments, the same as described at the
prorogation of the legislature in September. The hurried rush across the
square of the mounted guard in advance; the flourish of trumpets and
striking up of the bands; the glitter of postillions and coachmen in
livery, stiff with lacings of silver; the tossings of the plumed heads
of the long lines of richly caparisoned horses; and the ceremonies of
the vestibule, in the salutations and kissing of hands at alighting,
were just occurring, as a rough specimen of our compatriots, in the
character of a Yankee sea-captain happened by. He stood near me for a
moment gazing at the pageant, evidently with less of admiration than of
contempt, and, as he passed on with a significant “Humph!” I heard him
add in half soliloquy—“I tell you what, there is a little too much
nonsense here; it is time this people were annexed!”

To-day the weather has been wet and stormy. Notwithstanding, a Brazilian
naval officer came on board the Congress before breakfast, to say that
the Emperor would be afloat in an excursion on the bay. It is customary
on such occasions for the national vessels in the harbor to fire a royal
salute. That they may be in readiness for this, on the appearance of the
imperial standard, the official notice mentioned is given. The Brazilian
men-of-war man their yards also, and nine cheers are given for their
sovereign as he passes. At 11 o’clock the firing was commenced by the
Brazilian flag-ship; and, on going on deck I found myself surrounded by
a blaze from guns on every quarter. At the same time, a procession of
state barges was seen moving from the naval arsenal near the convent of
San Bento, to a steamer not far from us. The barge of his Majesty, of
white and green, was magnificently gilded, and furnished with a standing
canopy of green and gold over the stern sheets, surmounted by the
imperial crown. A naval officer in epaulettes and chapeau acted as
coxswain, the boat being handsomely pulled by twenty-four fine-looking
oarsmen in a uniform of white. The object of the excursion was a visit
in the steamer to a foundry and steam-engine manufactory at Praya
Grande, on the opposite side of the bay; where, in proof of the rapid
advancement of the empire in scientific works and national power, native
talent and enterprise is successfully competing with foreign skill, in
the construction and equipment of men-of-war and other steamers.


                             CHAPTER XIII.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_December 18th._—On the morning of the 17th inst. I was called to
officiate at a marriage on shore. The ceremony took place at the
American Consulate, where a _déjeuner a la fourchette_ was given to the
party by Gov. and Mrs. Kent. The groom, a native Brazilian, a young
physician, had attended a course of medical and surgical lectures in New
York. He became there a member of the Protestant Episcopal church; and
was altogether so much interested in our institutions, as to file, in
the proper office, an intention of becoming a naturalized citizen of the
United States. These circumstances led him to desire a marriage ceremony
in the Protestant form, under the American flag, though, the bride being
a Romanist, they had already been united by the rites of her church.

While on shore on this occasion, I came near being a spectator,
accidentally, of a more interesting scene of the kind. In passing the
foundling hospital, which fronts an open, irregular space not far from
the ordinary landing, beneath Castle Hill, I perceived the grated
windows of the second and third stories to be filled with females of
different ages, from childhood to maturity, in holiday dress, evidently
awaiting the occupancy and departure of a couple of private carriages,
drawn up before the principal entrance. Stepping into the open vestibule
of the building—in one corner of which is the roda, or turning-box, for
the deposit of the infants clandestinely left—I rightly conjectured from
the white gloves, waistcoats, and breast-knots of two or three young men
present, that the occasion was one of marriage, and learned that the
ceremony had just taken place in the chapel of the hospital. This, which
opened from the vestibule, was, however, now empty. An aged female of
dignified appearance, in a monastic dress of white, was walking back and
forth in a small corridor behind a grated door. She appeared to be
waiting to unlock this. Almost immediately the bride and groom, in the
significant garb of the newly wedded, were seen to approach from the
interior. They were both quite young. An elderly lady, evidently of
distinction, attired in purple velvet with a display of rich laces,
jewelry and ostrich plumes, accompanied them, and was herself followed
by a dignified and well-dressed gentleman, who appeared to be her
husband. A crowd of the inmates of the institution quickly filled the
entire corridor behind. The bride was in tears, as she hurriedly gave a
farewell embrace to one and another of the youthful companions crowding
around her, and, on coming to the aged female at the door, dropped on
her knees, and covered her hands with kisses and tears. The groom
hurried her from this scene to the first carriage, and drove off
rapidly, followed by the second containing the fine folks, probably the
god-mother and god-father, or the patron and patroness of the bride. The
whole explained to me a usage, in connection with this establishment, of
which I had heard. A recolhimento, or female orphan asylum is an
appendage of the foundling hospital, many of its _éleves_ being selected
from the inmates of the latter. In addition to the nurture and education
of the orphans, care is taken to provide for their settlement in life,
with the bestowment of a marriage portion, varying from one to two
hundred dollars. That an opportunity may be afforded for young men of
respectable character to make choice of a wife from the inmates, the
establishment is open to visitors one day in every year—that of the
anniversary of St. Elizabeth, the patroness of the asylum. Before a
union is sanctioned, however, satisfactory testimonials of good
character in the applicant for marriage must be furnished, and
guaranties of ability to support a wife be given. Such was the origin of
the marriage which had just taken place. The dress and lady-like bearing
of the bride, the respectable appearance and manners of the groom, the
rich attire, equipages, and evident position in life of those under
whose patronage they appeared, all indicated, in this case, something in
her lot above the destiny of common orphanage.

While the establishment of a home for the friendless young is one of the
most self-commending of charities, the philanthropy which provides an
asylum for the secret reception of foundlings is no longer questionable,
in the judgment of the wisely benevolent and truly good. It is but to
foster vice, and to encourage the unnatural and depraved in the
abandonment of their offspring. This is well known here, and readily
admitted to be the effect. The number yearly left in the roda, or
turning-box, of this hospital, amounts, I am told, by those best
informed, to five and six hundred—white, black and mongrel of every
degree. More than half of these soon perish from diseases seated upon
them before being abandoned; from the impossibility of securing natural
nourishment for the feeble; and from the various ills to which early
infancy under the most favored auspices is subject.

_December 20th._—One source of agreeable excitement with us, is the
daily anticipation and frequent arrival of sailing vessels and steamers,
governmental and mercantile, from the United States and various parts of
the world. The number of vessels entering the port of Rio annually,
besides those engaged in the coasting trade, which are very numerous,
averages about eight hundred: importing cargoes to the amount of some
two hundred thousand tons. Of course, scarcely a day passes without the
entry of two or three foreign vessels in the regular trade, besides such
as merely touch for repairs or refreshment.

It is a remarkable fact—especially in view of the achievements in
navigation, of the Portuguese of old, and the boldness and enterprise
with which for centuries they sustained their part in the commerce of
the world—that their descendants here should have yielded that of the
empire, which is foreign, entirely to the vessels of other nations. It
is extremely rare for a Brazilian ship to cross the Atlantic, or double
Cape Horn, or the Cape of Good Hope; and I learn, from Gov. Kent, that
not a single vessel of the country has cleared for the United States,
since he has been consul here. Their trading vessels, though small, are
generally well built, strong, and well modelled; and are navigated with
care and safety along the extended coasts of the continent, from the
Plata to the Amazon. But, as the consul remarks, “the native navigators
seem afraid to compete on the high seas, with the vessels of this age of
hurry and locomotion—with the reckless driving of the ‘Flying Clouds’
and ‘White Squalls,’ the ‘Sea Witches,’ and other wild birds of the
ocean, and yield, without a struggle, the enterprises in foreign
commerce to the hardy northmen—the unwearied and ever-present Yankee,
and the pushing and exacting Englishman.” The truth is, as he adds, the
Brazilian is not by nature a trader or experimenter. He thinks it
sufficient for him to raise coffee and get it to a market: he lacks the
energy, the industry—the earnest, long-continued, unwearied effort which
leads one willingly to sacrifice present ease, comfort, and quiet, to
the prospect of future gain, and which makes the successful merchant.
“Go ahead,” “strive,” “struggle,” “compete”—are words not belonging to
his vocabulary. He shrugs his shoulders at the very mention of them—not
in contempt, but in despair; and prefers sitting in his easy chair, or
lolling out of the window, to the tussle of life common with us, of
which the very thought would throw him into a perspiration. “Let the
negroes work,” is his motto; “and let what they cannot do remain
undone.” The Yankee character, as exhibited here within the year or two
past, in the rush by of the thousands of emigrants on their way to
California, struck the people with astonishment. They were looked upon
as most reckless and daring adventurers, who, born in snow-drifts and
cradled in ice, had a hardihood and enterprise it was in vain to attempt
to rival. But I am forgetting the subject with which I commenced.

The telegraphic station on Castle Hill, to and from which the appearance
of all sail in the offing is reported, is in full view from our
moorings. The quarter-masters of the Congress are furnished with
explanations of the various flags used, and the combinations by which
the nation, character, and position of the sail in sight are made known.
Few moments of the day pass without a turn of the glass in that
direction. The distinguishing flag for an American vessel is a long,
pointed pennant of white and deep blue in closely-arranged perpendicular
stripes, giving to it the appearance, as it flutters in the wind, of
being ring-streaked. With a Yankee fondness for sobriquets having a
political or national import, Jack has dubbed this pennant “the coon’s
tail,” from a fancied resemblance to the well-known emblem of the party
of which the great statesman of Kentucky was so long an illustrious
leader; and, “the coon’s tail is up!” or “there goes the coon’s tail!”
is the regular announcement of an American ship in the offing.

Among uncounted merchant vessels which have thus been reported since our
return from the Plata, there have also been the frigate Raritan,
storeship Relief, and sloops-of-war Saratoga and St. Mary of the navy.
The St. Mary was especially welcome from the number of officers attached
to her, closely associated in friendship with several on board the
Congress. Captain Magruder, her commander, is of this number; and is
justly held in high estimation. The intercourse on his part with our
ship has been most intimate. After an interchange of civilities by
various parties on board both vessels, Captain McIntosh and I took
dinner informally with him to-day, with the purpose of a drive
afterwards to the Botanic Gardens. These lie six or eight miles
south-west from the city, on the sea-shore, beneath the range of
mountains, of which the Corcovado and the Gavia are such conspicuous
points. For three miles the way is the same described in a visit to
Botafogo. The remainder does not differ materially from it, except that
the suburbs of the place change gradually, by the greater distances
intervening between the villas and country houses which adorn the sides
of the road, into a thinly-occupied and open country. At the distance of
five miles, the interval between the mountains and the sea is taken up
chiefly by a lake or lagoon called Rodrigo de Freitas. A short drive
hence over a sandy plain brought us to the gates of the garden. This was
originally a pleasure-ground of the royal family in the time of John
VI., and was appropriated by him to its present use, on the accidental
arrival in 1809 of various cases of exotics from the Isle of France, in
a vessel which brought to Rio a company of Portuguese prisoners. The
collection was afterwards augmented, at the order of the king, by
additions from Cayenne, then under his rule; and eventually by the
importation of the tea-plant from China, with a company of Chinese
laborers skilled in its cultivation and in the preparation of the leaf
for use. The attempt proved a failure; not so much from a want of
adaptation in the soil and climate, or from the quality of the tea
produced, as from the expense above the cost of the imported article.
Both here, and at Santa Cruz—an imperial estate fifty miles west of Rio,
where also a plantation was formed—the culture has been abandoned; a few
plats of stunted, mildewed, and neglected bushes only are left as a
botanical curiosity.

The gardens cover some fifty acres of ground—an alluvial flat of rich
soil, and constitute a nursery from which plants of the cinnamon,
nutmeg, clove, camphor, allspice, and tea, originally introduced here,
have been widely dispersed through the empire. Specimens of all these
were examined by us.

The cinnamon and camphor trees are of the laurel family—the _laurus
cinnamonum_ and _laurus camphora_;—the nutmeg, clove, and allspice, of
the myrtle. The cinnamon grows to a height of fifteen or twenty feet.
The stem and branches are of a light green; the leaves, of the shape of
the laurel, are also light green, and are pliant and tender. When they
first bud forth they are of a light red, and gradually become green as
they advance in growth. The blossoms are white. There is no perceptible
fragrance, either in the stem or leaf, till bruised or broken, but both
when bitten have the cinnamon flavor. The clove is the flower-bud of the
_caryophyllus aromaticus_. The tree was in blossom and the bud very
strong in its peculiar taste. Specimens of all these in branch, blossom,
and fruit, were readily furnished by a negro in attendance, who expected
a trifling gratuity in return.

Long avenues of the Sumatra nut—_vernicia montana_—furnish abundant
shade, and yield great quantities of nuts. The mulberry tree is also
introduced for the purpose of shade. The bread-fruit—_artocarpus
incisa_—so familiar to me in the South Seas, was also conspicuous in the
beauty of its strongly-marked, shining, and digitated foliage, and its
ponderous fruit of light green.

The whole garden, though a national property, for the good keeping of
which an annual appropriation is made by the imperial legislature,
appeared in a neglected state. There is nothing strikingly tasteful or
artistic in the arrangement or embellishment of the ground. At the
western end, a mountain stream comes brawling down a rocky channel, and
on reaching the level, meanders lazily eastward, between banks
beautifully fringed with bamboo, and overhung by the dense foliage of
loftier growth. Where this mountain stream enters, there is an attempt,
on a small scale, at landscape gardening. A little basin of water with
projecting points, and an islet or two, overhung by willows, represents
a miniature lake; and near by, on an artificial and terraced mound, is a
chapel-like summer house, formed of the flat cedar or arbor vitæ, so
planted and so trained as to be perfectly architectural in its outline,
and to appear to be an old ruin overrun with living green. That,
however, which more than any other ornamental feature of the place
attracted our notice, was an avenue of royal palms, a quarter of a mile
and more in length, leading in a straight line from the principal gate,
and crossed at right angles, midway of the distance, by another
corresponding with it. The trees are at perfectly regular distances from
each other; are all of one size, and, either by nature or by artificial
training, rise from uniformly shaped swelling bases, into perpendicular
shafts, forty or fifty feet in height. The silver-gray trunks, marked in
their whole length by rings, showing the growth of each year, terminate
in plumed capitals of true Corinthian magnificence. The effect of the
perspective is very beautiful: strikingly like that which we would
imagine a colonnade of equal length in Egyptian or Asiatic architecture
to be.

As a botanical garden, the place is unworthy the name, and useless as
such to the cause of science. The realization of one here, such as John
VI. projected, would be exceedingly interesting and important. There is
no empire in the world in which a botanical garden on a magnificent
scale could be more readily established, or whose native vegetable
kingdom is so rich, and so full of novelties to the scientific world.

When we left the city the weather was magnificent; the atmosphere clear
and pure, elastic and bracing, and the lights and shades on the scenery
in perfection. But ere we were aware of it, an entire change occurred.
The Corcovado towers in gigantic altitude over the garden, and, almost
without warning, a violent storm came rushing down its precipices,
bearing with it masses of cloud of impenetrable blackness, surcharged
with torrents of rain, which were poured upon us with unabating fury
during the entire drive back to the city. Notwithstanding the individual
discomfort incident to such showers, they are welcomed with joy by the
people in general, as indications of continued health. Previous to the
epidemic of the last year, they were almost as regular in their return
as the afternoon itself. But during the pestilence they intermitted
almost entirely. The regularity of the sea breeze also was greatly
interrupted; and lightning and thunder for the most part ceased.
Believing that these meteorological changes were connected in some way
with the infection existing in the atmosphere, a return of the showers
of old is regarded as an indication of the accustomed salubrity of the

_December 27th._—The little chapel of Santa Lucia fronts the bay at the
southern end of the promenade beneath Castle Hill. This saint is a kind
of deputy-patroness of seafaring men, under Our Lady of Good Voyages,
whose shrine crowns so conspicuously the little islet of Bonviagem. In
my usual walk two or three evenings ago, I accidentally fell upon an
anniversary fête here; the birthday of her saintship. The chapel is the
parish church of the neighborhood, and I could scarcely have believed,
without the ocular proof, that within hearing of the hum of the busy
metropolis a gathering of people so entirely rustic and village-like,
could have been brought together. Great preparation for the celebration
had been made. Long avenues of young palm-trees, twenty or thirty feet
in height, and from which brilliant lamps were suspended, were planted
beside the road along the water; alternating with these, were lofty
flag-staffs, from which varied colored banners and streamers floated in
the breeze. Frameworks with complicated pyrotechnic preparations were
placed thickly around, as in the parks and squares of New York on the
Fourth of July. Indeed, the whole aspect of things—the crowds of people
in holiday dress, the many venders of refreshments in fruit and
confectionery, cakes, orangeade and orgeat, the talk and the laugh, and
the general hilarity—was that of a general muster, or other similar
holiday, in the United States. The little chapel was in a flutter of
flags and gay hangings without, and within, gaudy in the profusion of
gilt paper and tinsel, and coarse artificial flowers. It was, too, one
blaze of light from a pyramid of wax candles on the high altar.

An animated sale of engravings of Santa Lucia was going on. These were
in different degrees of artistic execution, and on various qualities of
paper to suit the taste and finances of the purchasers. Men, women, and
children, black and white, master and mistress, freeman and slave,
crowded with equal earnestness around the priest, seated behind a
counter for the sale, all seeming alike delighted to secure the
consecrated likeness, as, depositing their money, one after another were
served with it, and then struggled back through the throng.

A service of music took place at eight o’clock; and as this hour
approached, the little church became crowded to suffocation. The females
were admitted to a portion of the nave, nearest the chancel, separated
from the rest of the area by a rail. They sat in full dress on the
carpeted pavement, as closely crowded as possible, while the men outside
of this separating line stood as thickly packed. The music, both
instrumental and vocal, was that of a regular opera, and delightfully
performed. The festivities continued till midnight: and, as we returned
by boat to the ship at a later hour than usual, rockets in constant
succession were seen rushing to the sky, and bursting in glittering
coruscations of colored lights; balls of fire were flying through the
air; Chinese crackers every where exploding; and fiery serpents hissing
along the ground. But there was no intoxication, no quarrelling, no
rudeness; in their stead, general civility, decorum, and

On Christmas eve, I visited the cathedral on the Palace Square, and the
church of San Francisco de Paulo in the square of the Roscio. The former
was first open. It was of course richly ornamented with tapestries of
brocade and velvet, and hangings of cloth of silver and gold, and was
brilliantly illuminated with wax lights, amid a profusion of artificial
flowers. The chancel was filled with the dignitaries of the church, in
striking costumes of scarlet and purple silk, with any quantity of the
richest lace in the form of capes and togas. The Bishop, wearing a mitre
studded with jewels of immense size, and holding a massive gilded
crosier, was seated on his throne on one side of the high altar:
presenting, with the encircling groups of Dean and Chapter and
officiating priests, a scene of hierarchical stateliness and splendor,
befitting the palmiest days of papal supremacy. The music here is always
of the first order: it was on this occasion, as usual, altogether
operatic in style and execution.

The church of St. Francis is much more spacious than this of the
Carmelites. The interior is unbroken by galleries or colonnades, and the
coup-d’œil, on entering, was now brilliant and effective. A ball-room
for a civic fête could not have been decorated with more taste and
richness, or with greater regard to effect on the eye. Lines of
closely-arranged lights marked the general architecture of the whole
interior; while, midway between the pavement and loftily-arched
ceilings, beautiful clusters in brackets, gave a dazzling brilliancy to
the walls. The display upon and above the high altar was magnificent.
The music was fine; and the throng greater than at the cathedral, more
mixed in its character, and full of levity. A third of the nave was
appropriated exclusively to females. The various personal attractions
and deportment of these, seated closely together in full evening dress,
seemed chiefly to occupy the attention of the men; while innuendo,
badinage, and loose remarks upon them were freely passed in whispers by
one and another. The place seemed little like one of devotion, and any
other than a house of God.

_January 8th._—We are once more at sea. The weather for the last few
days, though magnificent in clearness and brilliancy, has been too
excessively hot for us to remain longer with comfort at Rio. A rumor,
too, of the reappearance of the epidemic of the last year, was becoming
prevalent, and the region of the Plata was deemed in every respect most
desirable for the ship. At this season of the year, light winds and
calms are characteristic of the weather at sea, in the latitudes between
Rio de Janeiro and the Rio La Plata: it is probable, therefore, that our
passage of ten days or a fortnight thither, will be destitute of any
thing worthy of record.

The cordiality which I mentioned as existing between the officers of the
Congress and those of the British flag-ship, Southampton, continued to
the last. A banquet, surpassing in its appointments any thing upon so
large a scale that I recollect to have witnessed on board ship, was
given some time since by the officers of her gun-room to those of the
Congress—embracing as guests, the commanders-in-chief and captains of
both vessels; and night before last, Admiral and Mrs. Reynolds gave a
farewell dinner to Commodore McKeever, Captain McIntosh, and one or two
others from our ship. It was Twelfth-night, the last of the Christmas
holidays; but it was in vain that I attempted to bring into exercise any
associations of the season, in connection with my thoughts of home.
While suffering here more than midsummer heat, it is difficult to
reconcile even the imagination to a picture of festivities on the same
occasion, with the accompaniments of howling winds and drifting snows—a
frozen river in front of you, and a leafless grove behind.

This farewell entertainment was even more genial in its sympathies than
any of those previously enjoyed. The company embraced a number of
intelligent and spiritually-minded Christians. A seat between two of
these fell to me, and I was most agreeably and profitably entertained.
It is ever a delight to me to find intelligent piety openly professed
and consistently maintained by a young officer, especially where an
elevated position in social life, as well as the military profession,
exposes the individual to peculiar temptations from the world. Such is
the case with young W——, and such that of his chosen companions. He lent
me, a few days since, a memoir of a young friend, an officer in the
army, printed like that of your early companion, M—— C——, for private
circulation only. Like hers, it is a portraiture from life of gifted and
devoted youthful piety. Lieut. St. J——, the subject of it, went to India
on duty, in the war of Afghanistan. The cholera broke out in his
regiment when on march there. Fearless of consequences, and trustful in
faith and Christian hope, he gave himself up at once to unremitted,
personal attendance upon the sick and dying soldiers. Though but a youth
of twenty-two, the parting breath of many of these was spent in
blessings upon him, as a minister of consolation and spiritual grace to
them, till seized at last himself, he was carried off at the end of six
hours, with the triumphant exclamation on his lips, “All’s well!”


                              CHAPTER XIV.


_January 30th, 1851._—Our passage “down,” as the phrase is, was devoid
of incident. We arrived on the night of the 20th inst., and are at
anchor in the outer roadstead. In October, I described the general
aspect of the mount, the city, and the surrounding country from this;
and reminded you of the existence of a civil war, and the close siege of
the city, for eight years past, by Oribe, a citizen of Montevideo, and
formerly President of the Republic of which it is the capital. The right
to this office, though once resigned and abandoned by him, he still
claims; and to enforce it, invaded the State with an army of Argentines,
furnished by Rosas, Governor of Buenos Ayres, and minister of foreign
affairs for the Argentine States. With this he would have gained
possession of the town long ago, had it not been for the armed
intervention, in 1845, of England and France; and the continued
guardianship of the place by the latter, with a squadron, in the
roadstead, and a body of fifteen hundred or two thousand troops on

The principal European powers, rejecting the pretensions of Oribe,
acknowledge the constituted authorities of the inside, or city party
only, as the government of the Republic. The policy of the United States
being a strict neutrality, Commodore McKeever pays a like respect to
both; and, under an escort furnished by Oribe, has paid an official
visit to him at his camp outside of the lines, as well as one to the
President within, at the government house in the city.

When here in October, an armistice had existed for some time, in
connection with the negotiations then pending between the belligerent
parties and Admiral Le Predour, commander-in-chief of the French force.
We had not heard of its termination: but a movement of the troops on
shore at daylight, the morning after our arrival, attracted the notice
of those on board on watch, and led to the supposition that an
engagement was about to take place. A messenger from my ever mindful
friend R——, the officer of the deck at the time, summoned me to witness
it; and for an hour, with other officers of the ship, I gazed through a
glass upon what seemed a spirited conflict, between the outside and
inside forces. We learned afterwards, however, that it was only a sham
battle between different parties of the French troops, and the
Montevidean soldiery, composed of a foreign legion of Basques and
Italians, and a native regiment of negroes. So far as the effect upon
the eye, and, under our misapprehension, upon the heart was concerned,
there was, in the manœuvres of the battle field—the rapid charge, the
roar of cannon, the sharp rattle of musketry, and the flying through the
air and the bursting of shells—much of the reality of an actual

Poor Montevideo, for nearly a half century past, has been singularly
ill-fated, even for a South American city. The greater part of that
period, it has been the victim of calamitous wars, either foreign or
civil. In 1807, while yet a colonial dependency of Spain, it was
besieged, bombarded, and carried by storm by the English, under Sir
Samuel Achmuty. After the inglorious defeat of Gen. Whithead at Buenos
Ayres in 1808, and the consequent expulsion of the British from the
Plata, as a colonial city faithful to the crown of Spain it was besieged
from 1810 to 1814, and eventually made to capitulate to the troops of
the then revolted and republican province of Buenos Ayres. Shortly
afterwards, the republican forces being withdrawn, it fell into the
hands of the bandit Artigas, a native chieftain, so lawless and
marauding in his rule at home, and in his depredations on the adjoining
frontiers of Brazil, as to give just cause for invasion by the
Portuguese of that kingdom, who gained possession of the city in 1817.

This occupation of the place led to a warfare of more than ten years,
between the royalists of Brazil, and the republicans of Buenos Ayres,
the chief disasters of which centred in Montevideo; till, in 1829,
through the intervention of England, a peace was effected, by the
withdrawal, by both parties, of all claim to the territory in
dispute—known then by the name of the Banda Oriental—on condition that
it should constitute an independent Republic, to be called Uruguay,
after the great river which forms the western boundary between it and
the Argentine States.

From that period till the year 1842, the territory enjoyed peace. Under
a constitutional government, with a president, ministry, judiciary, and
legislature of two houses, both city and country had great prosperity.
The population of the city increased rapidly from fifteen to fifty
thousand, and that of the state to two hundred and fifty thousand. The
exports in a few years amounted to six millions of dollars, and the
imports to five millions. Fortunes were readily accumulated; fine
buildings in great numbers were erected within the city; and beautiful
country houses, with tasteful and luxurious surroundings, spread over
the environs without. Poverty and want were unknown, and the evil days
seemed entirely past. But the civil war, into which the republic was
plunged by Oribe, soon produced a sad change. The invading Argentines
speedily devastated the entire country, and by the wanton destruction of
vast herds of horses and cattle—the chief sources of its wealth and
commerce in hides, jerked beef, and tallow—and the plunder of their
estancias or farms, paralyzed the enterprise of the inhabitants, and
forced them to emigrate; while the close siege of the town, intercepting
all supplies for support and all means of commerce, at once sapped the
sources of its prosperity, and drove the citizens by tens of thousands
elsewhere for maintenance and life. The result upon the wealth and
population of the port may be readily imagined. I do not recollect ever
before to have been so deeply impressed with the desolateness of any
place as on first landing here, and on taking a stroll through its
streets, and the limited suburbs within the lines of defence. The mole,
once alive with busy commerce, was as deserted and silent as a
churchyard; and excepting at Pompeii, I never wandered through streets
which seemed to be more truly those of a city of the dead.

This impression, however, I afterwards discovered to be in some degree
deceptive, owing, partly, to the hour of the day; that for the universal
siesta. Scarcely an individual was to be seen anywhere. With screened
windows and closed doors, the inhabitants, young and old, rich and poor,
were yielding themselves to the insinuating influences of the dolce far
niente, or to the more oblivious indulgences of sound sleep. It is now
midsummer here; the day was hot, for this latitude, and every thing in a
state of Spanish repose customary in such weather, after an early
dinner. The dilapidation and decay on every side, the manifest poverty,
and the seemingly utter desertion of dwelling after dwelling, through
whole streets, were so saddening and oppressive, that, for the time, I
felt that I would never wish to visit the shore again. As to the suburbs
without the walls, excavated Pompeii itself is scarcely more a region of
ruin and desolation.

An hour at the American consulate afterwards—where our party received
the most frank and hospitable welcome from Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton and
family; an application there within fifteen minutes, for my official
services from a stranger in the marriage ceremony—showing that bad as
the state of things in Montevideo is, the voice of the bride and of the
bridegroom is still to be heard in her streets—with other assurances of
a better state in general than I had been led to infer, changed in some
degree the current of my sympathies. Still, however deceptive the first
impressions on landing may have been, there is too much reality in the
wretchedness to which hundreds and thousands of the inhabitants are
reduced, to allow them to be at once dispelled.

The city is finely situated upon a peninsula of granite, which, in its
form, has been compared, not inaptly, to the shape of a tortoise’s back:
an area a half mile square descending gradually on three sides, from a
central height of a hundred feet or more, to the level of the
surrounding water. This, though only a river, is seemingly a sea; for, a
hundred miles in width, it presents a horizon on the south as boundless
as the ocean. Like most towns of Spanish origin, the streets are
rectangular, with an open square or plaza in the centre, on which stand
the principal church and the cabildo, or town hall and prison. It is
well built. Many of the private residences are spacious, and the
principal public buildings, the cathedral, and an unfinished hospital,
are rather imposing in their architecture. From long disuse the streets
are in many places tufted with grass, and in others, the pavements are
so torn up and broken as to be impassable with wheels.

One redeeming fact, in regard to the general want of interest in the
place, has very unexpectedly presented itself to me personally, in an
invitation from the standing committee of the British Episcopal Church,
to officiate for them in public worship on the Sabbath. This I have
already done, and shall continue to do whenever the Congress shall be in
the Plata. The English government, with commendable interest for the
spiritual good of its subjects abroad, makes a liberal provision, under
certain conditions, for the maintenance of the ministry and its
ordinances where they may be. Its chief embassies in foreign lands are
furnished with regular chaplains; and, wherever British subjects abroad
contribute to a fund for the ministrations of the Gospel among them, the
same amount, to a specified limit—four hundred pounds is the maximum, I
believe—is allowed by act of parliament for the same object.

Eight or ten years ago, Samuel Lafone, Esq., a principal English
merchant here, and a chief capitalist and landed proprietor in the
Uruguay, secured from the authorities the privilege of erecting a chapel
for Protestant worship. The site of an elevated circular bastion,
overlooking the rocky shores of the river, on the south side of the
town, was chosen for the purpose, and purchased by him. Upon this, at a
cost of forty-five or fifty thousand dollars, he erected a fine edifice
in Grecian architecture. It is of brick, stuccoed, and painted in
imitation of Portland stone, and is ornamented in the front by a well
proportioned pediment, supported by four lofty Doric columns, and
altogether is one of the most conspicuous architectural ornaments of the
city. The interior is spacious and lofty, the wood-work—the pews,
chancel-railing, the reading desk, pulpit, and organ-loft—being of solid
mahogany, and is capable of accommodating an audience of several
hundreds. When completed, Mr. Lafone made an unconditional gift of it to
the British community resident here. These joined by the few Americans
engaged in commerce, raised a fund sufficient, with the governmental
gratuity, for the comfortable support of a rector. The Rev. Mr.
Armstrong officiated for several years in that capacity, and till ill
health obliged him and his family, not long since, to seek a different
climate. The Rev. Mr. Lenhart of the Methodist Church, my predecessor as
chaplain of the American squadron on this station, was invited by the
standing committee to occupy the pulpit thus left vacant: and now, with
equal ecclesiastic liberality, on the part of the committee and church,
I am invested with a like temporary rectorship.

It is customary to have but one service on the Sabbath. This takes place
at one o’clock, the earliest hour practicable for me to be on shore,
after the discharge of my official duties on board the Congress.

The interruptions to commerce, and the disasters attending the long
siege, have reduced the Protestant residents of Montevideo comparatively
to a mere handful, and the usual audience composed of English, Scotch
and American worshippers, male and female, numbers only from sixty to
eighty persons. Still it is a privilege to minister in holy things, even
to so small an assemblage, with ‘none to hurt or make afraid’ amidst a
people once wholly given to superstition and bigotry, and to witness a
depth of interest and solemnity of devotion characteristic of spiritual
Christianity. I have already been called to officiate at two marriages,
and have twice administered the ordinance of baptism. Thus, though a
Presbyterian of the ‘straightest sect,’ I feel it not only a privilege
and happiness, but a duty, under the circumstances, to follow the
prescribed ritual of the English prayer-book in worship, and—in surplice
and bands—to pray statedly, not only “for all in authority,” but
specifically, for “the most gracious Lady the Queen Victoria, His Royal
Highness Prince Albert, Albert, Prince of Wales, and all the royal


                              CHAPTER XV.

                                                       BUENOS AYRES.

_February 21st._—I am unexpectedly in Buenos Ayres, having accompanied
Commodore McKeever in an official visit to General Rosas, the sagacious
but unscrupulous despot of the Argentine Confederation.

The distance from Montevideo is about a hundred miles due west. The
intervening navigation is rendered intricate by sand banks and shoals,
and the general shallowness of the river; and, for the last forty miles,
is impracticable for a frigate. In making the trip, therefore, the broad
pennant of the Congress was transferred to the sloop-of-war St. Louis,
on board which the commodore and his party became, for the passage, the
guests of her commander, Captain Cock. The U.S. Brig Bainbridge, Lieut.
Manning, accompanied the flag.

We left Montevideo on the evening of the 18th inst. The run is usually
made in a night, but the wind being light, the current strong, and the
St. Louis not in sailing trim, we did not reach the outer roadstead here
till the morning of the 20th. The passage was pleasant. Though it is
midsummer, the temperature is cool and bracing, with clear skies and a
brilliant atmosphere, remarkable for the magnificence of its coloring
along the horizon, at sunrise and sunset. There is, too, a full moon at
present; and though the river from mid-channel is often seemingly
shoreless, and its waters of the veritable mud-puddle hue, the scene
from the deck of the St. Louis, both by night and by day, was not
without attractions: especially in the companionship of the Bainbridge.
This is a beautiful little craft; and was as buoyant and graceful on the
waters as a bird in the air, as with greatly reduced sail, to avoid
passing us by her superior speed, she at times fell far behind, and then
again, with newly spread wings, rushed forward closely in our wake.
Various other sail were in sight, at greater or less distances, some
ascending and some descending the river, with no little display of
nautical evolution, in making the best of their way.

Early yesterday morning, Buenos Ayres was in sight, at a distance of ten
or twelve miles; gleaming showily in the sun, from the whiteness of the
general architecture, and the number of its lofty and finely
proportioned domes and church towers. It is situated on a bluff, which
extends along the river a couple of miles, and rises at the highest
point eighty or a hundred feet above its level. At the distance,
however, from which we first saw the city, this formation of the shore
was scarcely perceptible: it seemed to be resting, like Venice, upon the
water, while a tufting of tree-tops, in long stretches on either side,
showed the general flatness of the surrounding country. The river is
here twenty-five miles wide, and its northern shores, equally low as the
southern, are not ordinarily visible. But for the smoothness of the
water, and its muddy hue, we might have thought ourselves still upon the
open sea.

A first surprise is the very great distance from the city—five, six, and
nine miles—at which vessels of moderate tonnage even, are obliged, in
the midst of such an expanse of waters, to come to anchor. A long shoal
stretches out thus far in front of the city, preventing nearer approach,
except by vessels of light draught. When the water is high, such can
cross the shoal, and, at other times, find a channel by a circuitous
route to an inner roadstead, where there is anchorage for vessels of
different draught, respectively, one, two, and three miles from the
landing. In the outer roadstead, for a distance of miles, tall masts
rose above the waters like steeples on a populous plain, while quite a
fleet of small vessels was lying three miles within. The St. Louis came
to, six miles or more from the city; and, after an exchange of salutes
with the flag of Buenos Ayres, and those of France and Sardinia, borne
by ships-of-war of these respective nations near us, we left her in a
procession of small boats.

The formation of the shore in front of the city, and for a considerable
distance above and below it, is a flat tufa rock which extends
irregularly, far out upon the sands. Its surface is fretted and broken,
and, when the water is low, boats cannot approach the landing nearer
than from a quarter to a half mile. At such times the intermediate
distance is made in strongly-constructed, high-wheeled carts, drawn by
two horses, one of which is mounted by a wild-looking postilion. These
carts, like hacks at home, are in attendance in great numbers, for the
transportation of passengers and freight from the boats to the shore;
and often present a scene of strife and rivalry in the water, between
the drivers, similar to those witnessed in the rush of carriages, the
brandishing of whips, and the exercise of lungs at a pier in New York,
on the arrival of a steamer. It seemed now to be high water, and we were
apprehensive that we should miss this novel mode of debarkation, and
thus lose, for the time, a spectacle characteristic of the place. Our
fears were unfounded, however; for soon, a cocked hat of portentous
dimensions, with other insignia of official and military dignity in the
wearer—himself of no ordinary dimensions in height or rotundity—was seen
rising above the water. It was that of Don Pedro Ximenes, the captain of
the port, who had been deputized by his imperious master to receive the
commodore; and was patiently waiting in a cart, far out in the stream,
the approach of the barge. Mr. Graham of Ohio, the American Consul, was
also in attendance. The floor of the clumsy, high-sided vehicle, was
scarcely above the surface of the water, as we rowed ‘handsomely’
alongside its open back, and stepping aboard, were transferred from the
protecting shadow of the broad pennant, to that of Don Pedro’s cocked
hat. In this novel reception-room, the ceremonies of an official
introduction took place; and we were soon plunging and tumbling through
the splashing waters—a wheel on either side rolling, first up and then
down, over the rough tufa bottom—with an artistic lashing of whip and
vociferation by the postilion, till, backed up, according to custom, in
coal-cart style, we were dumped on an inclined plane descending ten or
twelve feet from the Alameda, or public walk in front of the city, to
the water.

A large crowd had gathered to witness the arrival—foreign merchants and
native citizens, soldiers, sailors, porters, peons and boatmen. In the
number, were many in the demi-savage dress of gauchos—the peasants of
the country. This is picturesque and showy; and, with many other things
which met the sight, gave promise of a more novel field for observation
than we had yet lighted on. A glaring red coach, something of the
dimension and style of those employed by hotels in New York, in
conveying guests to and from the steamboats and railroad stations, was
in waiting, by order of the government, and quickly conveyed the
commodore to the Hotel de Provence, in an adjoining street. Rooms had
been secured for us there, and a hospitable welcome was extended to the
party, including Captain Cock, to the mess-table of a private club,
consisting of Mr. Harris of Virginia, American chargé d’affaires to the
Argentine Confederation; Mr. Graham, American Consul, Count Frolich,
Swedish Consul-general; and two or three American gentlemen, connected
here with the principal mercantile houses engaged in the South American

Every thing in the general aspect of the city is Spanish: with the
addition to the universal whitewash on all that is stone, of an equally
universal display of red on all that is wood or iron. This color of
blood has been for twenty years the prescribed signs of adhesion to the
remarkable man who maintains here an undisputed reign of terror: hence
the red waistcoats, red hatbands, red breast-knots, universally seen—the
red doors, red window-frames, red bases to the houses, red lamp-posts,
red carts, red railings, and red fixtures on every thing.

The place is subject, at all seasons of the year, to occasional high
winds of two or three days’ continuance. Then the tumultuous seas which
roll over the shallow bed of the river cut off all communication between
the shipping and the shore; and the city and its suburbs are filled with
driving dust. Weather of this character set in yesterday, shortly after
we landed, and has kept us housed much of the time since, principally at
the reading rooms of a club, where we were introduced, and where we
found files of the American and European papers, and the latest

This evening, notwithstanding the wind, Mr. D—— of New York, one of the
mess at the Provence, took me a drive in his tilbury. Our route was
westward, along the course of the river, in the direction of Palermo de
San Benito, the quinta, or country seat of Rosas. Policy—by such
demonstration of courtly attention to the supreme chief—as well as
pleasure, leads all who drive or ride, to take that direction; and as we
descended from the heights of the town, through the Alameda fronting the
river, to the road along its banks, the whirl of carriages and gigs, and
the prancing and galloping of gay riders on horseback, was quite
metropolitan. The speed of all was very much that of Gilpin—the females
being mounted in the in-door costume of short dresses, bare arms, bare
necks and bare heads: with the exception, in some cases, of the partial
covering of a silk handkerchief on the head, tied under the chin. I saw
none in the hat and habit worn in England and America, though doubtless
in a city where foreign fashions are so extensively introduced, these
have been adopted, to some extent at least, by the higher classes.

On gaining the level of the beach, the road passes over a flat and
marshy common, without any enclosure of fence or hedge on either side.
Here, by the river’s side on the right, was presented, for a mile and
more, a striking spectacle, in hundreds after hundreds—I had almost
said thousands of negro washerwomen, indescribable in their
costumes—scrubbing, beating, slapping, rinsing, and bleaching ten
thousand articles of clothing. It is a natural laundry, to which the
soiled linen of the whole city is brought for cleansing. The soft rock
of the shores is filled with holes, some natural and others
artificial, which, on every flow of the tide, are filled with fresh
water. These are converted into wash-tubs, and, after being used, are
left to be emptied of the suds by the next flood, and to be refilled
with clean water by its ebb. Each washerwoman has her own little
reservoir of this kind, to which she gains the exclusive right, by the
payment of a small fee to the government. The wind was blowing a half
gale, lashing the river into foam, and dashing the spray far on the
shore; while clouds of dust on the land were driven before it, like
drifting snow in a winter’s storm at home. When on our way back the
whole company, spread along the banks for a mile or more, were
preparing to return to the city; and such a Babel, in the varied
intonations and chatter, the laugh and the wrangle, the shout and the
jeer, I scarcely recollect to have heard; while the oddity of the
packages and bundles, the trays and baskets, borne on their heads, the
endless form and color of the rags and tatters they wore—their old
hats and old shoes, presented a scene grotesque beyond description.

Another novel scene was vast numbers of the lofty, cumbrous, reed-sided
and hide-roofed carts of the pampas, arranged in a kind of camp on
either side of the road. They are “the ships of the desert” here, by
which the whole produce of the interior, for hundreds of miles, is
brought to the market, and by which the returns of foreign import are
carried to the remotest districts of the Confederation. They constitute
the only habitations and homes of their owners and their families: bear
with them all the household furniture and worldly goods of these; and,
in addition, often have lashed to their tops or under their axles the
trunk and branches of a tree, for wood with which to prepare, whenever a
halt is made, the indispensable maté, or native tea. Their wheels are
from six to eight feet in diameter, and their covered tops rise fifteen
feet from the ground. They are long and narrow, of most heavy and clumsy
construction, with tongues of rough-hewn timber, each in itself a load
for a beast. They are drawn by oxen, attached by ropes of hide, in any
number of pairs requisite for the draught. As means of transportation,
they correspond well in their massive clumsiness and ponderous weight
with the elephant of India, or the burden-bearing camel of Egypt and
Turkey: and as they move in long lines over pampas of almost unlimited
extent, form a feature not less striking, and not less in harmony with
the surrounding scene, than the caravan in the deserts of Arabia, or the
elephant on the plains of Bengal.

_February 24th._—On Washington’s birthday, the 22d inst., Mr. Harris,
the American chargé d’affaires, gave a banquet to Commodore McKeever,
and others of his fellow countrymen, visitors and residents in the city.
The evening of the same day had been appointed for the reception of the
commodore by “the governor,” as Rosas is here styled. A
government-house, covering the area of half a square, in the centre of
the city, has recently been completed by the chieftain. It encloses
quadrangle after quadrangle of spacious and elegantly furnished
apartments, but is visited only occasionally by him for a few brief
hours, at uncertain times. His chosen, and, indeed, only residence,
properly so called, is the palatial quinta, or country-house of Palermo
de San Benito, situated in the midst of an extensive domain, on the
banks of the Plata, three or four miles west of the city. I most readily
accepted an invitation to be of the party, glad to avail myself of the
opportunity for a sight of the tiger in his den. Pardon the figure, but
I have heard so much of his bloody ferocity in subduing the people to
his abject rule, that no other will so well express my sense of his
nature, and of the mysterious and guarded retirement of his present
life: an unchained monster, in the security of a well-protected lair.
The prospect of the interview revived in fresh force all I had ever
heard and read of his atrocious deeds; and the anticipation of being in
his presence, was not without the superstitious feeling of being exposed
by it to the hazard of the “evil eye.” There was no certainty, however,
notwithstanding the appointment, that an interview with him would take
place. He is so arbitrary and so capricious in his imperious rule, as to
pay little regard to the ordinary civilities of life; and makes not only
his own ministers and people abide his whims and pleasure, but
diplomatic agents and foreign ambassadors also, are often obliged to
dance attendance by the hour in his ante-rooms, without an audience, if
such be his will. In the exercise of this despotic habit, however, one
redeeming, and—socially, if not diplomatically—compensating indulgence
is ever granted to such persons: the presence and smiles, the spirited
conversation and the winning grace and manner of his accomplished
daughter, the Doña Manuelita de Rosas. Of a reception by her we were

We set off at a sufficiently early hour to allow time for a view of the
grounds of Palermo before nightfall; and followed the same route I had
taken with Mr. D——. At the distance of a mile from the city, after
having crossed the common along the beach, we entered a broad and
straight macadamized avenue, scientifically constructed, and in fine
order. It is enclosed on either side by a neat iron railing, and is
bordered with plantations of willow, and furnished with handsome
lamp-posts and lamps for the night. It is a public road, constructed by
Rosas: commencing at Palermo and to be extended to the city, and is
still in progress. At the end of a mile and a half, a similar, but more
beautiful avenue branches from this, and forms the private entrance to
the domain, leading directly in front of the palace-like domicil of the
Dictator. It is a half mile in length, is lined with orange trees in
addition to the willows; and, besides these, is separated from the
public road which runs parallel with it, by a broad and deep canal of
brick-work. This private road is formed of sea-shell, and is as white
and hard as so much marble. All dust is kept down by the sprinkling of
water; while the sward on either side, clipt with the care of an English
lawn, through the same means is ever in living freshness. The orange
trees are nurtured with great care, and are frequently washed with brush
and soap-suds, leaf by leaf, by persons in charge of them. As we passed,
numerous peons, in the gay and picturesque dress of the country, were
seen engaged in this process on a kind of step ladder, by which access
was had to every part of each tree. Equal care is taken of them in the
winter season, by enclosing each in a temporary house, to guard against
the effect of frost. A nearer approach brought us to a cantonment of
soldiers, consisting of a village of regularly disposed brick huts, of
uniform construction. A park of artillery was near by, and clusters of
soldiers in scarlet _ponchos_ and petticoat-like _chiripas_ were grouped
on every side. These multiplied in number to the very doors of the

The first impression, as we drove rapidly through this imagery, was
striking and peculiar: the picture, in its still life, was one of high
civilization and princely expenditure not anticipated; but one, strongly
marked in all that gave animation to it, with evidences of a demi-savage
state. But for these—the Indian-like costume, the dark and wild
countenances, and the savage knives seen sticking in the belts of the
soldiers and peons—one might almost have believed himself on the shores
of the Zuyder Zee: so dead is the level of the ground; while the broad
and deep canals of finished workmanship, the artificial lakelets,
aquatic plants and water-fowl, the gay parterres and embanked terraces,
presented imagery answering well to a scene in Holland. Every thing,
too, was in straight lines; roads, canals, plantations, and the villa
itself. This is a parallelogram, having a rectangular pavilion
projecting from each angle. It stands on one corner of two intersecting
avenues, presenting a façade of two hundred and sixty feet front and
rear, by one of two hundred and fifty on either side. It is one story in
height, and the architecture throughout uniform. A wide corridor,
supported by heavy arches, runs around the whole. All the apartments
open by doors and French windows upon this, as well as upon a
quadrangular court within. The roof is flat, and is surrounded by an
iron balustrade, ornamented at regular and short intervals by a kind of
demi-turret, having the effect of a like number of chimneys, a purpose
to which many of them are, in fact, appropriated. The preparations for
the reception, in a guard of honor, to present arms as the commodore
should alight, were not at the principal front, but at the farthest
angle of the most western pavilion, on the garden front. We thus passed
two sides of the structure before being set down. We were then conducted
through a spacious saloon of state, to the corridor or arcade on the
east end of the building, again through the length of this to the
extreme eastern pavilion on the front, past which we had first
driven—thus making the circuit of the entire establishment, before being
ushered into the private drawing-room of Doña Manuelita. We found her
standing here with two female companions in waiting, and were received
with the cordiality and affability of long acquaintance.

This daughter of “the governor” is probably the most remarkable woman in
South America: certainly so, as the impersonation of a government, which
she confessedly is, and the only visible agent of its influence and
power. Rosas himself, in his official position, is a kind of invisible
personage—never, on any occasion, or under any circumstances, making his
appearance publicly. It is said there are thousands of people in Buenos
Ayres who have never seen him. A sight of him may often be caught in his
grounds, superintending a gang of workmen, or perhaps witnessing the
punishment, even to death, of a soldier, or some victim who is
suffering, justly or unjustly, the penalty of the law or of his
displeasure. He may be seen, too, at times, talking and jesting with the
fishermen along the shore of the river on his domain, or driving
Jehu-like, in the dead of the night, from Palermo to the city, or from
the city to Palermo: it being his habit, from motives of policy, to make
his appearance suddenly, at an hour, and under circumstances least to be
expected; but never in public, in his appropriate place as chief
magistrate and head of the people. On all public occasions, and in all
public places, Manuelita alone appears as his representative; and as the
embodiment of his will and the channel of his favor, receives the homage
of sovereignty. While she acts no unimportant part in the negotiations
of diplomacy and in foreign affairs, she is, virtually, the minister
both of the “Interior” and of “Justice” in the government, tempering
with mercy, as far as in her power, every act of oppression, and
diffusing, in name at least, a semblance of benevolence wherever her
influence reaches. Four hours of each morning are appropriated by her,
to the receipt of petitions, the hearing of individual grievances and
applications for redress. For this object, a bureau with a regular set
of secretaries is established, where records are made of all cases
brought before her, for her own decision, or for the intervention of her
influence with her father. As may be rightly inferred from these facts,
she is a woman of talent and judgment, and of infinite tact. Her age is
thirty-five. She is of good height and fine figure, has regular and good
features, black hair and eyes, with a beaming and benignant expression,
and in complexion is a Spanish brunette. Her manners are graceful and
winning, her conversation animated and playful, with a word of
complaisance and a smile of kindness to all who approach, and are around
her. Though a polished and elegant woman, she affects nothing of the
stately dignity and lofty bearing of some of the aristocratic and
high-bred whom I have seen—but has the easy, self-possessed, frank and
cordial air, often met in every-day society. She is said to be
exceedingly popular, and to be sincerely beloved by the people: as well
she may be, if she does, indeed, exert the immense influence for good,
which is reported of, and claimed by her friends for her, in softening,
by acts of clemency and womanly mercy, the iron rule of her father.

Scarlet, or the veritable blood-tint, is the prescribed color of the
government, and the silent, though exacted pledge of allegiance to the
chief in power. Every man and boy under his rule, must don at all times
the scarlet waistcoat, scarlet hatband, and the scarlet breast-ribbon,
stamped with the motto of death to his political opponents. Women and
girls, also, of every rank and all ages, must exhibit the scarlet ribbon
in their hair or head-dress. It was no surprise, therefore, to see the
Doña and her ladies, on a hot evening in midsummer, arrayed in scarlet
silk bareges of large plaid, over under-dresses of white, with the
scarlet ribbon and its savage motto, streaming among the tresses of
their black hair. The predominating hue of the reception room—in the
hangings of the walls, the draperies of the windows, and the carpet, was
of the same color. This apartment is lofty and spacious. A grand piano
and harp were conspicuous among its furniture.

The usual apology was made,—the pressure of important business—for the
delay in the appearance of the governor, with the gracious assurance,
however, that he would give audience to the commodore; and it was
proposed, in the mean time, to take a view of the grounds, before
nightfall. This we did, under the guidance of the sprightly and
accomplished mistress of ceremonies and her ladies. They are very
extensive, in a perfection of order, and in many respects novel and
striking; but are too full of straight lines for beauty and artistic
effect. The whole domain is a dead level—a swamp redeemed by draining
and embankments from the overflowings of the river, and the quagmires of
a marsh. The sums expended in transforming it into a paradise, compared
with every thing around, are beyond all estimate; and make the place, at
least in the outlay of money and labor, the most princely estate in
either North or South America. The predominating growth in trees is the
willow, imparting to the whole a sombre aspect; but the flower-gardens
and shrubberies are brilliant in the display of colors, and sweet in the
variety and richness of their perfume. A paved court extends along the
arcades around the whole building. On the two sides communicating with
the lawns, this court is enclosed by parterres of choice flowers,
elevated three or four feet upon walls, and ornamented at regular
distances by classically modelled urns and vases, also crowned and
festooned with floral beauty. The effect of both is ornamental and

A rustic arbor with a dome-shaped top, overrun with clustering roses,
woodbine, and sweetbrier, and encircled with busts in marble on
pedestals, and one or two full-length figures in plaster, was specially
commended to our notice, as the favorite retreat of Doña Manuelita. Not
far from it, on the lawn, is a humble whitewashed cottage—the first
domicil of Rosas on taking possession of the estate. It is scarcely
superior, in its aspect and accommodations, to the rancho of a common
peon: but is retained in its original state as a memento of the past, or
possibly for contrast with the courtly splendor of the present

Some years ago, an American brigantine, at anchor in the river, was
driven by a violent storm and flood, high and dry into the woods of
Palermo. Its restoration to the water was impracticable. She was still
stanch and uninjured, both in hull and spars, and Rosas, in place of
permitting her to be broken up for the sale of the material, purchased
the craft with the purpose of converting her, as she stood, into a
pavilion of pleasure. Brought to an even keel, she was substantially
underpinned; and thus firmly moored, and, remodelled between decks into
a dancing saloon and refreshment rooms, is a favorite place for the
entertainment of select parties in summer. It is situated a half mile
from the house, and our walk extended to it.

As we returned to the quinta, the shades of the evening were beginning
to fall. Two of the pavilions mentioned as being attached to the angles
of the main building—those on the garden front—are unenclosed by walls,
each forming an open saloon, furnished with ranges of crimson sofas, on
which beneath the protecting roof, the cool of the evening may be
enjoyed with uninterrupted views on every side. Into the most retired of
these we were now conducted; and, while standing in a group in the
centre, with our faces directed to the lawn and shrubbery, I perceived a
figure stealthily approaching from behind, without the warning even of a
footfall, till a little pliant riding-whip of polished whalebone,
mounted with red coral, was playfully tapped on the bare shoulder of the
Doña. Turning suddenly, as if in surprise, she exclaimed in a tone of
pleasure and affection—“Tatita!” a diminutive of fondness by which she
addresses and speaks of her father; and following her example in a
change of position, we found ourselves in the presence of the far-famed
Ruler. Though the place and circumstances of our presentation were
seemingly thus accidental, both doubtless were of previous arrangement,
to give greater informality to the audience. Rosas is now a thick-set,
portly man of sixty, of medium height, with finely marked and well
chiselled features, and of florid complexion. In youth and middle age he
is said to have been remarkably handsome. The feature which first and
most deeply arrested my attention was a piercing, restless, fiery eye of
grayish blue. Whether from previous prejudice or not, to me its
expression seemed singularly devoid of ingenuousness and
benignity—indeed, to be positively sinister and tiger-like. His dress
was a round-jacket of dark blue, with small military buttons; the
inevitable scarlet waistcoat, ribbon, and motto; and an undress military
cap, with the visor drawn low over his eyebrows. His manner and address
were common-place and familiar, without any mingling of the dignity of
the Spanish Hidalgo in high position.

After an interchange of salutations, and some brief conversation on
indifferent topics, he led the way, with Commodore McKeever by his side,
through the long, intervening arcade to the drawing room in the front
pavilion, in which we had first been received. Here, seated in an angle
of the lofty apartment, with the leading gentlemen of our party on his
right, and his daughter and her ladies on the left, he at once took the
lead in conversation, running loquaciously from subject to subject of
trifling importance, and often interlarding his statements and opinions
with low anecdote and vulgar details, unfit “for ears polite,” much less
for the hearing of women of delicacy and refinement.

So full of conversation was he, and seemingly so anxious to please, that
our stay was prolonged beyond all expectation; and we were disappointed
in the pleasure of an evening with Mr. and Mrs. C——, whose country-seat
lies between Palermo and the city.


                              CHAPTER XVI.

                                                       BUENOS AYRES.

_February 25th._—The Argentine confederation, composed originally of
thirteen states, joined together in compact, but not by constitution,
under the style of the United Provinces of La Plata, has become
practically consolidated and merged in the State of Buenos Ayres. Being
the only province possessed of a sea-port, and enjoying an extended
commerce, she was encharged by the others with the management of the
foreign relations of the confederacy. This naturally made her the
controlling power; she increased while the rest decreased. The result
was a division of the people of the provinces into two parties, and
speedy conflict and anarchy. At this juncture Rosas raised his standard,
and subdued the whole to his sway; and though nominally only governor of
the city and province of Buenos Ayres, encharged with the sole
ministration of the foreign affairs of the confederacy, he is, in fact,
the despotic ruler of the whole.

He is the most remarkable chieftain in South America; possessing all the
elements of character essential to the successful despot: firmness,
energy, shrewdness, subtlety, unscrupulous purpose, and unfaltering
cruelty. Sprung from a Spanish family of respectability in Buenos Ayres,
the recklessness of his early youth led to his removal by them to what
is here termed the “Camp”—the open country of the pampas, over which are
scattered the estancias, or estates of landed proprietors, for the
raising of cattle, sheep, and horses. Here, among the gauchos, or
demi-savage peasants of the interior, he was made an overseer by a
wealthy relative in Buenos Ayres. Adopting the usages and habits of
savage life of the people, he became, in the course of years, thoroughly
a gaucho; and distinguished himself by the control he acquired over his
associates, and over the scarcely more untamed Indians of the southern
territory. He excelled in all the personal qualities and feats of skill
most prized by them, and gained their unlimited favor. The reputation
thus established, first called the attention of partisan leaders in the
confederacy to him; and secured for him, as early as 1820, from the
party in power the appointment of colonel of the militia of the southern
frontier. In this position he gained additional reputation and new
popularity; till, fired with ambition, he began in 1829 to lay the
foundations for the despotism which he has since exercised. Having
secured the favor of the good among the people, by the evidences he had
given of a power to win the confidence and to control the will of the
wild men around him, he is charged with the determination of gaining
that of the evil, by making his camp the sanctuary of every class of
criminals; and thus surrounding himself—with the deliberate purpose of
making the use of them he afterwards did—by an organized band of
assassins. Whether this be true or not, it is an undoubted fact that,
after being placed at the head of the government, he soon put an end to
all hazard of rivalry in power, by processes of bloodshed and
assassination through such minions of his favor, almost beyond belief.
Volumes might be written, as volumes already have been, upon the
tragedies with which, from time to time in his early rule, he startled
and terrified the community, till every one was brought to the
subjection of abject fear: all this, too, under the pretence and
plausible plea of sustaining the law and securing public quietude and

The justification which he himself pleads, for acts of cruelty which are
admitted, is that “the Argentines can only be governed with the knife at
their throats;” and the highest vindication of his character which I
have heard from some foreigners, who do not believe in the extent of the
atrocities with which he is charged, and are disposed even to admire him
as a man and a ruler, is that his faults are to be attributed to the
defects of his education and his habits as a gaucho—that he is but a
type of the people. This may be true; but what is the state and
character of the people—the gauchos of whom he is the type? The best
description I have seen of them, is in a pamphlet by the Chevalier de
St. Robert, a French gentleman, who visited the Plata officially. This
you may not be able to refer to, and I furnish the extract in point.

He says: “There is nothing to be found in the Pampas—those immense
plains which extend over a space of more than seven hundred leagues,
from the extreme north to the extreme south of the Argentine
Confederation—but _estancias_, or farms, scattered here and there, which
form so many petty republics, isolated from the rest of the world,
living by themselves, and separated from each other by the desert. Alone
in the midst of those over whom he is a complete master, the
_estanciero_ is out of every kind of society whatsoever, with no other
law than that of force, with no other rules to guide him but those that
are self-imposed, and with no other motive to influence than his own
caprice. There is nothing to disturb his repose, nothing to dispute his
power, or interfere with his tranquillity, except the tiger that may
lurk about his grounds, or the wild Indian that may occasionally make a
hostile incursion on his domains. His children and his domestics,
_gauchos_ like himself pass the same sort of life; that is to say,
without ambition, without desires, and without any species of
agricultural labor. All they have to do is to mark and to kill, at
certain periods, the herds of oxen and flocks of sheep which constitute
the fortune of the estanciero, and that satisfy the wants of all. Purely
carnivorous, the gaucho’s only food consists of flesh and water—bread
and spirituous liquors are as much unknown to him as the simplest
elements of social life.

“In a country in which the only wealth of the inhabitants arises from
the incessant destruction of innumerable herds and flocks, it can easily
be understood how their sanguinary occupation must tend to obliterate
every sentiment of pity, and induce an indifference to the perpetration
of acts of cruelty. The readiness to shed blood—a ferocity which is at
the same time obdurate and brutal—constitutes the prominent feature in
the character of the pure gaucho. The first instrument his infantile
hand grasps is the knife—the first things that attract his attention as
a child, are the pouring out of blood and the palpitating flesh of
animals. From his earliest years, as soon as he is able to walk, he is
taught how he may with the greatest skill approach the living beast,
hough it, and, if he has strength, kill it. Such are the sports of his
childhood: he pursues them ardently, and amid the approving smiles of
his family. As soon as he acquires sufficient strength, he takes part in
the labors of the estancia; they are the sole arts he has to study, and
he concentrates all his intellectual powers in mastering them. From that
time forth he arms himself with a large knife, and for a single moment
of his life he never parts with it. It is to his hand an additional
limb—he makes use of it always, in all cases, in every circumstance, and
constantly with wonderful skill and address. The same knife that in the
morning has been used to slaughter a bullock, or to kill a tiger, aids
him in the daytime to cut his dinner, and at night to carve out a skin
tent, or else to repair his saddle, or to mend his mandoline.

“With the gaucho the knife is often used as an argument in support of
his opinions. In the midst of a conversation, apparently carried on in
amity, the formidable knife glitters on a sudden in the hands of one of
the speakers, the _ponchos_ are rolled around the left arm, and a
conflict commences. Soon deep gashes are seen on the face, the blood
gushes forth, and, not unfrequently, one of the combatants falls
lifeless to the earth; but no one thinks of interfering with the combat,
and when it is over, the conversation is resumed as if nothing
extraordinary had occurred. No person is disturbed by it—not even the
women, who remain as cold, unmoved spectators of the affray! It may
easily be surmised what sort of persons they must be, of which such a
scene is but a specimen of their domestic manners.

“Thus the savage education of the estancia produces in the gaucho a
complete indifference as to human life, by familiarizing him from his
most tender years to the contemplation of a violent death, whether it is
that he inflicts it on another, or receives it himself. He lifts his
knife against a man with the same indifference that he strikes down a
bullock. The idea which everywhere else attaches to the crime of
homicide does not exist in his mind; for in slaying another, he yields
not less to habit than to the impulse of his wild and barbarous nature.
If perchance a murder of this kind is committed so close to a town that
there is reason to apprehend the pursuit of justice, every one is eager
to favor the flight of the guilty person. The fleetest horse is at his
service, and he departs, certain to find, wherever he goes, the favor
and sympathy of all. Then, with that marvellous instinct which is common
to all the savage races, he feels no hesitation in venturing into the
numerous plains of the pampas. Alone, in the midst of a boundless
desert, and in which the eye strains itself in vain to discover a
boundary, he advances without the slightest feeling of uneasiness: he
does so watching the course of the stars, listening to the winds,
discovering the cause of the slightest noise that reaches his ears, and
at length arrives at the place he sought, without even straying from it,
for a moment. The _lasso_ which is rolled around his horse’s neck; the
_bolas_ suspended from his saddle, and the inseparable knife, suffice to
insure him food, and to secure him against every danger, even against
the tiger. When he is hungry, he selects one out of the herds of beeves
that cover the plain, pursues it, lassos it, kills it, cuts out of it a
piece, of flesh, which he eats raw, or possibly cooks, and thus
refreshes himself for the journey of the following day.

“If murder be a common incident in the life of a gaucho, it often also
becomes the means to him of emerging from obscurity, and of obtaining
renown among his associates. When he has rendered himself remarkable by
his audacity and address in single combats, companions gather round him,
and he soon finds himself at the head of a considerable party. He
‘commences a campaign,’ sets himself in open defiance of the laws, and
in a short time acquires a celebrity which rallies a crowd about him,
and makes him a chieftain.” Such are the people of whom Rosas is the
type, and such the processes, in a qualified degree at least, by which
he attained, and still holds his supremacy.

Are you not afraid of your life even in Buenos Ayres? you will be ready
to ask, after reading such a description of the people who surround, and
have the military guardianship of the city. I reply, that there probably
is not a city in the civilized world, in which all, not suspected of
political or partisan offense, are more perfectly secure in life, limb,
and property. The police is perfect. The stranger and foreigner
especially, may move about the streets at any hour of the night, with
perfect impunity. Theft, robbery, and burglary are unheard of; and a
pocket-handkerchief or purse dropped in the street, if bearing any mark
which indicates its owner, will be sure to be returned to him, or
quickly be found in the keeping of the police.

_February 26th._—The impressions made by Buenos Ayres in its external
aspect, are increasingly favorable. The plan of the town is rectangular,
like that of Philadelphia. Every street is of the same width, and every
square of the same dimensions. The streets are narrow, just wide enough
for two vehicles to pass each other, and the sidewalks comfortable only
for those moving in Indian file. In walking two abreast, or arm in arm,
there is a constant jostling against passers-by. In some parts of the
town the sidewalks are elevated two or three feet above the level of the
carriage-way. The city being a dead level, and the streets straight,
long vistas in them are every where commanded. Some of these are
striking, and where the domes and fine towers of the old Spanish
churches come in as leading features, are quite European. These stately
old structures are scattered about in various localities, and, with the
citadel on the highest rise of ground overlooking the river, are the
chief, if not the only sombre objects in the architecture of the place:
still retaining the natural color of the brick of which they are built,
or exhibiting time-stained surfaces of stone or stucco, and roofs
covered with moss, lichens, and grass. Till within a few years, the
houses were uniformly one story only in height. This is still the case
in many quarters, but in others, successive blocks and almost entire
streets are now composed of those of two stories. The general plan of
all is the same: the Spanish, or rather Moorish quadrangle, upon which
all the apartments open, with a cistern, and sometimes a fountain in the
centre. In many of the establishments of the wealthy, there are a
succession of these quadrangles. Filled with shrubbery and flowers, and
often ornamented by a fountain, the view from the street through them,
terminating not unfrequently in an assimilating scene in fresco against
a wall in the far perspective, is quite impressive in stage effect. The
custom of constantly applying fresh whitewash to buildings new and old,
gives to the whole city a clean and bright look. Here and there,
however, in almost every street, a quaint and antiquated building is
seen, contrasting with later structures, in the manner of the old Dutch
houses still remaining, a few years ago, in New York and Albany, with
those of modern date. These are a single story in height, with slanting,
instead of flat roofs, covered with tile. Over the central door,
however, there is a kind of demi-tower, furnished with a window and
projecting balcony, as a look-out and place of parley with an outsider
whose motive for demanding admittance might be questioned. In many cases
these look-outs are quite tasteful in their architecture, and pleasing
to the eye from the air they bear of the “olden time.” Lichens,
air-plants, and tufting grass clinging to the cornices and mouldings and
ornamented pinnacles, give to them a venerable, moustached, and bearded
aspect, that cannot fail to arrest the eye of the lover of the antique.

Great improvements have been made of late years, both in the external
architecture and internal arrangements of private dwellings. Many of the
mansions recently erected would scarcely suffer, in point of richness
and elegance, by comparison with some of the most luxurious of the Fifth
Avenue in New York. This is especially true of one just being completed
by Gen. P——, the minister of war: though the lofty and massive
entrance-gates, in complicated and artistic patterns of cast-iron
bronzed, and the colonnades of Moorish arches surrounding its
quadrangular courts within, would not entirely harmonize with the
prevailing architecture of that street of palaces.

Every house here is necessarily a castle, having its windows on the
street barred and grated, with portals not easily to be forced, and
parapets, upon the flat roof, capable of effective defence against
assailants below. Being without cellars or basement-rooms, the level of
the floors is elevated but little above that of the street, and as no
railing or area intervenes between the sidewalks and the large windows,
which descend to the floors, the interior of the room is as open to the
inspection of the passers by, as to the inmates themselves. In some
residences of wealth and taste, a vista of room after room in long
suites, richly furnished, is thus exposed to view. The apartments on the
street, with scarcely an exception, are reception and drawing-rooms;
and, in the afternoons and evenings, the promenaders in the street are
thus furnished with a succession of tableaux vivans of females—not
occupied as with us in conversation, or reading, or fancy work, or other
employments of leisure and taste, and grouped with husbands, and
fathers, and brothers, and sons, and other male friends—but seated in
formal rows, or in a semicircle around the windows, in a greater or less
degree of ‘full dress,’ with little interchange of conversation among
themselves, and evidently for the mere purpose of seeing and being seen.
Every thing in their dress and manner shows the studied purpose of
exciting admiration. These exhibitions, however, are only in hours of
costume. Till late in the day the ladies of the country in general are
invisible; very much in undress, lounging, and idling, and sipping
Paraguay tea through the silver tube of the maté cup.

An American or Englishman cannot fail to be struck with the seemingly
slight intercourse of the male and female members of a family. The
latter are to all external appearance without husbands, fathers,
brothers, or sons. You meet them in numbers in the morning, going to and
returning from mass, followed by a servant or servants, but seldom, if
ever, attended by a male relative. The evening is a favorite time for
shopping, and the streets are often crowded in some sections, with
ladies thus engaged, but unattended by a gentleman in escort. And in the
hundreds of parlors and drawing-rooms into which I have looked in
passing, I do not recollect ever to have seen a gentleman, old or young,
in the groupings of a family circle.

A week being the extent of the leave of absence which I feel willing to
take from my charge on board ship, and from the voluntary duty I have
assumed at the chapel in Montevideo; with the purpose of returning to
the Congress to-morrow, I gave therefore the mornings of yesterday and
to-day to calls in acknowledgment of the civilities from our
fellow-countrymen, and various foreign residents, in which, as one of
Commodore McKeever’s party, I have shared. In the course of these, I
accompanied the Commodore and Mr. G—— in a visit to the Conde de Bessi,
bishop of a diocese of unpronounceable name and unknown region, and
nuncio from the Pope to Rosas. The disregard which Rosas has shown in
ecclesiastical matters for the supremacy of the Pope, and the sacrilege,
in the view of the Romish Church, of some of his acts, led long ago to
his excommunication, and the withdrawal by the Papal States from all
diplomatic intercourse with him. The Conde de Bessi has recently
arrived, with overtures of reconciliation. Though every civility has
been paid to him in his official character, by the government, and a
house elegantly fitted and furnished been appropriated to his use, with
other marks of courtesy—carriages and horses at his service—he has not
yet been admitted to an audience, and, it is believed, will not be. The
preliminary to negotiation which the nuncio demands—the release of the
clergy from the obligation of wearing the red ribbon, stamped with the
motto of death to the political opponents of the dictator, which they
are forced to do, even while officiating at the altar—is one that will
not be accorded; and unless the legate yields on this point, he will
fail in his mission.

Our visit being announced, we were ushered into the cabinet of his
excellency—first through a large and elegantly furnished saloon, and
then through a smaller apartment, fitted as a chapel with all the
appliances of Romish worship. The reception of our party by the count
was most courteous, and the conversation in French which ensued,
animated, and on his part, most complimentary to the United States, as
to her prosperity and her power. He appears to be about forty years of
age; is very plump and healthful, with little that is ascetic in look or
manner. He is very handsome, with a face as fresh and smooth and round
as that of a female, and an expression beaming with benignity and high
breeding. His voice and intonation are of the most silvery softness, and
his whole manner as feminine and polished as that of a duchess. Indeed,
so remarkably was this the case, that as I looked at him in his silken
robe of purple reaching to the heels, and with a cap of velvet on his
head, of corresponding color, I found it difficult to disabuse myself of
the impression that the interview was with one of the fair sex.


                             CHAPTER XVII.


_May 30th._—Scarcely any duty in naval service can be more destitute of
interest, than such as the Congress is performing off Montevideo at the
present time. To the close investment of the city by land, a practical
blockade is added, from a decree of Rosas, by which every vessel
touching here on her way up the Plata is denied entry at Buenos Ayres.
The consequence is—there being little demand for imports and nothing to
export at Montevideo—that no vessel in the trade of the Plata comes into
the port except from necessity, and the arrivals are limited, for the
most part, to a man-of-war, occasionally, and the regular mail-steamer
from England, by the way of Rio de Janeiro, once each month. My
chaplaincy on board, and the additional service of worship each Sabbath
on shore, furnish the only variation in my duty; and an occasional row
or sail to the city for a walk or the visit of an hour, in a limited
circle of acquaintance, my only recreation. For opportunities of
visiting the shore I am indebted chiefly to the kindness of Commodore
McKeever: Captain McIntosh, so frequently the companion of my walks at
Rio, here scarcely ever leaves the ship.

The recent arrival in which we were most interested was that of the U.
S. storeship Southampton. It brought Dr. C—— to the Congress as fleet
surgeon, in place of Dr. W——, who returned home invalided, shortly after
our arrival on the station. This loss to the medical corps of the ship
and to our mess was regretted. In the substitute furnished, we are
greatly favored. As a physician and surgeon Dr. C—— is worthy of all
confidence; and as a gentleman and Christian, carries with him
predominating influence. The value of such an accession to a naval
mess-table and to the associations of the gun-room of a man-of-war, can
scarcely be over-estimated.

Another circumstance connected with the Southampton, in which we felt
great interest, proved less happy in the issue. The Congress, through a
mistake not discovered till she was at sea, left the United States
without a suitable library for the use of the crew. As soon as this was
known, I took measures to have one sent after us. This was shipped by
the Southampton and arrived safely here; but from an oversight of the
officer in charge, was carried again to sea by her, on proceeding to her
destination in the Pacific. The disappointment to the crew is great, and
only to be remedied by patiently waiting for the return of a fresh order
to the United States.

My visits on shore are most unvarying in their character. Sometimes I
take a solitary stroll through the less public streets of the city; but
never without feelings of commiseration for the depressed and suffering
condition of the poorer classes. The pale and haggard faces of the
females, seen at the doors and windows, tell one story of privation and
want—of listless despondency and gloom. The extent and degree of
destitution, from the long suspension of all business, is fearful, among
those even who have been accustomed to independence, if not to affluence
and luxury. Among such, the poorest scraps that fall from the tables of
the more fortunate are most thankfully received; and any kind of
employment is eagerly sought. Females of the first respectability are
glad to be employed in making up linen in a most finished style, at a
half dollar a shirt, and at six and eight cents a collar. The
demoralization among all classes, in consequence of the pressure of
want, is very great, I am told, and of a character fatal to the purity
and self-respect of individuals and whole families.

The only semblance of general cheerfulness observable, is in the daily
evening promenade to witness the relief of guard. This takes place at
the inner lines without the walls, every evening at sunset. During the
previous hour, in fine weather, hundreds of the better classes of the
citizens both foreigners and natives, in a greater or less display of
dress, may be seen issuing through the ancient gateway of the northern
wall, for the walk of a mile through the broad and straight street,
leading from it to a battery where the relief of guard takes place, and
to listen to the music of the bands with which this is accompanied.

I have mentioned the presence here of fifteen hundred or two thousand
French troops with their officers. They are quartered in barracks, a
part within and a part without the walls of the old city; and may be
seen in groups and small parties in the streets at almost all times of
the day and evening. Well dressed and well fed, young and athletic,
fresh and healthful in look, and cheerful and animated in movement and
manner, they constitute quite a redeeming feature in the aspect of the
city. They have a parade-ground just without the walls, and are
regularly and severely drilled, but take no part in the military duty of
the place, and perform no patrol. This devolves exclusively upon the
Montevidean soldiery. These, amounting to three thousand, consist
chiefly of a foreign legion, composed of emigrants—Italians from the
vicinity of Genoa, and from Piedmont, and Basques from the frontiers of
Spain and France; and of a negro regiment under the command of native
officers. The negroes, till the commencement of the war were slaves; but
were then liberated by a decree of the government, without compensation
to their masters, on condition of entering the army for the continuance
of the war, with a right to a bounty of land on the restoration of

The foreign legion form the municipal or national guard. They consist of
artisans, porters, laborers and boatmen, who, in successive companies
are on duty as a patrol one day in three, and engaged in their various
callings the rest of the time. The negroes are regular soldiers. They
are said to be brave and faithful, and have proved themselves most
reliable on post and in battle. The dress of the foreigners is that of
their every-day labor—the jacket and trowsers and Pelasgic cap of the
Basques; but the negro regiment are in uniform—the dress of the gauchos,
or Indio-Spaniards, of the country. This is striking and picturesque,
though Indian-like and savage in its general effect: at best barbarism,
‘picked out,’—as carriage painters say—with civilization. It is composed
of a red flannel shirt, beneath a poncho of red of the same material,
lined with green; a green cheripa, or swaddling blanket for the loins
and lower limbs; drawers of white cotton terminating in wide pantalets
ornamented with insertings of lace work, and a deep fringe falling over
the ankles and bare feet: the covering of the head being a conical cap
of green cloth, without visor, laced with yellow cord. It is seen to the
best effect at Buenos Ayres, where there is in the soldiers more of the
Indian and less of African blood; and where, exhibited on horseback, the
long black hair and streaming ponchos of the riders are in keeping with
the flowing manes and tails of the horses, as they scamper with the
fleetness of the wind along the beach and over the plain.

The free hospitality of two or three houses, both English and American,
in addition to the Consulate, is extended to us; and usually, after the
relief of guard, we join the family of one or another of these for tea.
It is pleasant in a strange land thus to be received informally in a
home circle, and to be made welcome, in this, the winter of the year, to
the elegant comforts of carpeted floors and curtained windows—of the
glowing grate of the fireside, and the hissing urn of the tea-table, and
for the hour to share in the social enjoyments of conversation and
music. The chief drawback to the pleasure, is the remembrance forced
upon us by such scenes, of our distant homes, and the vision in fancy of
what we there lose. This was particularly the case in the visits of the
last evening. I made an early call at Mr. L——’s, and, on entering the
drawing-room, found Madame L—— at the piano. After giving the accustomed
kind welcome, she was prevailed upon to continue at the instrument.
Though the mother of a fine family of carefully educated and intelligent
children—gathered at the time in various amusements round a centre-table
of the saloon—she has not thrown aside her music, but is still in good
practice. Her touch and execution are very much in the style of
Mademoiselle R——, and in some fine passages from Verdi and other
masters, brilliantly given, carried me at once to Riverside.

I do not recollect to have mentioned the romance of the honey-moon of
Mr. and Madame L—— at Buenos Ayres, in the early days of the despotism
of Rosas. Madame L——, previously the Signorita ——, a native of the city,
and member of the Romish church, ventured to be married to Mr. L—— by an
American missionary, without the consent of the Dictator. This was
contrary to an existing law; and the consequence was that the bride was
very unceremoniously immured for three months in a nunnery, while the
groom and clergyman were as summarily arrested, and thrown into prison.
Mr. L—— was then established in mercantile business at Buenos Ayres. But
indignant at such an interference with the rights of conscience and
personal freedom, on regaining his liberty, he withdrew with his wife to
Montevideo, and is now a chief capitalist in this section of South

On joining the Commodore at Mrs. Z——’s, I found quite a party of the
H——’s and other friends. The ladies were in more dress than usual; the
rooms were well lighted; and the tea-table richly and elegantly
appointed; and in the enjoyments of an evening of music, both vocal and
instrumental, including some fine chants and psalmody, we were tempted
for the time to forget our exile.

The private dwellings in Montevideo, whether only one, or two stories
high, are all built in the Spanish-Morescan style, having a quadrangle
within, enclosing a pateo, or open square in the centre. Upon this,
where there is but one story, and upon an encircling verandah or
corridor, above where there are two, all the apartments open, through
doors and French windows. The pateos in the one case, and the verandahs
in the other, are usually filled with running vines, and flowering
plants and shrubs, in boxes of earth, or in urns and vases. The
parapeted walls of the flat roofs are also often ornamented by vases,
containing aloes and various cacti; and I have often been struck, on
passing to the staircase in leaving, with the ornamental and picturesque
effect of these—especially in bright moonlight—as they stand out in
strong relief against the sky.

However good the promise of fair weather may have been in going on
shore, we never take leave for a return to the ship at night, without a
greater or less degree of uncertainty, as to the manner and
circumstances in which we may get on board. The shallowness of the
roadstead obliges vessels of the draught of the Congress to lie two or
three miles from the shore; and even then, such are often cradled at low
water in a bed of mud three or four feet deep; but the distance is a
trifle, compared with the obstacle to a visit to the shore, either for
exercise or pleasure, arising from the frequency and suddenness of the
south and south-west winds, called pamperos. These often burst over the
water with little or no warning, and by their fierceness and the sea
they raise, cut off, for twenty-four hours or more, all communication
between the ship and the shore. Twice within the first week of our
arrival, a party in the Commodore’s barge was detained a night and a day
on shore under such circumstances; and other boats sent on shore on
various objects of duty, at least as many times. Fortunately for some of
us, Mr. Frazier, of the American house of Frazier, Zimmerman & Co.,
being without other family than the employees of the counting-room, had
it in his power to offer some of us, on those occasions, an asylum in
the well-appointed residence in which he dispenses a liberal and
generous hospitality. The few hotels in the place, kept principally by
Frenchmen and Italians, are comfortless, especially in their
accommodations for sleeping.

A few nights ago, on reaching the mole, a high and piercing wind was
blowing, very much from the point we wished to steer, tumbling a rough
and wild sea before it. We could not lay our course for the ship within
several points: leaving a long and heavy pull for the oarsmen, after we
should take in sail. Close hauled upon the wind, and plunging into the
head sea, all hands were well showered, even as far aft as the
stern-sheets, by the spray dashed from the bows. In disgust at this
winding up of the pleasures of the evening, the Commodore exclaimed that
it would be “the last of his night expeditions from the shore;” that
hereafter he would limit his visits to the daytime, and then to fine
weather. However, the barge is a beautiful sea-boat, riding the swelling
waves—whether propelled by oars or canvas—like a duck, and under sail,
skimming the crested waters like a sea-bird. When obliged at last to
take to the oars, the pull to the ship was not so long, or the trouble
in getting on board on the lee-side so great, as we had apprehended. The
next morning the weather was tranquil as a summer’s day; and the
Commodore, beckoning me to join him on the poop as he was taking a turn
before breakfast, said, “Why, Mr. S——, the getting off last night was
not so bad after all. I must take back my hard speeches about the place
and weather, and recall my rash vows. I think we may still venture an
evening’s visit.” This we soon did, and our return on board, for that
and two or three successive nights, was the very perfection of every
thing lovely in moonlight upon the water. The air was mild and balmy;
the river, smooth and glassy as a lake, seemed beneath the moonbeams, a
very sea of silver; a fair and gentle land-breeze kept the sails of the
boat just steadily full—wafting us imperceptibly along, while every
thing above, beneath, and around us, was so tranquil, so bright, and so
pure, that we were charmed by it into a musing mood of the profoundest

The prevailing weather, at present, is like that of the finest October
at home, with which season—that of autumn—it corresponds. The mornings
are cool, bracing, and brilliant; at noon, the temperature is almost
hot, and the nights are humid and cold. The sunsets are equal, in the
beauty and softness of the tintings and colors, to any I recollect to
have observed in any part of the world. To judge from the apparent
purity and elasticity of the atmosphere, it would seem that the climate
could not be otherwise than healthful; yet the sick list on board the
Congress, from catarrhs, inflammation of the lungs, and rheumatism, is
greater than at any time since the beginning of our cruise. Some of the
cases of pneumonia are very severe, and threaten to prove fatal. This
increase of sickness and its character, are attributable, probably, to
the frequent recurrence, amidst all this brightness, of wintry storms of
two or three days’ continuance: like a cold and boisterous equinoctial
gale in the United States, with pouring rain and piping winds. Indeed,
the anchorage here is a terrible place for winds at all seasons of the
year: terrible, not from danger to the ships—for the whole bottom is a
soft and tenacious mud, into which large vessels safely cradle—but in
the discomfort on board in a storm, and the inconvenience of
communicating with the shore.

The special interruptions to the monotony of a daily routine on my own
part, have been a series of infant baptisms, in the families of various
foreign residents, English, Scotch, and German; three marriages in which
the grooms were foreigners also—American and English; and the funeral of
an American lady, long a resident of Montevideo. The groom at one of the
weddings was Dr. K—— of the navy, surgeon of the St. Louis; his bride,
the Signorita L——, daughter of Don Juan L——, Secretary to the Senate of
the Republic of Uruguay. The ceremony was private, Commodore McKeever,
the captain of the St. Louis, one or two other naval officers, Madame
L——, the god-mother of the bride, and the immediate members of the
family constituting the party. Another of the marriages was in the
presence of a large company, and was followed by a general reception of
the society of Montevideo, and a ball. The parties being English, the
presence of the representative of the British government was necessary,
to give validity to the rite, according to act of parliament; and the
ceremony was followed by the making out of a certificate, at a
centre-table of the drawing-room, on a folio sheet of paper, to which,
as first witness, the Hon. Mr. Gore, H. M. Chargé d’ Affaires, attached
his name officially. Nearly the whole company, both ladies and
gentlemen, gave witness to the event in a similar manner, so that, in
the end, the document, in its length of signatures, rivalled a Magna
Charta or Declaration of Independence. It was the first occasion, except
at the chapel, in which I had met so large a company of Montevideans, or
in which there was a mingling of the native Americo-Spanish society. The
ladies of this blood have been celebrated by travellers for their
beauty, and for sprightliness and grace of manner; and justly, I would
say, were I to judge in the matter, from one at least, of those present
on this occasion: Mrs. R——, the wife of a young, but retired captain in
the British navy, a son of Admiral Sir J—— R——. She is beautiful, and
apparently truly lovely, with more of the bearing and manners of
polished life than most other ladies I have met since I left the United
States. Others equally favored may have joined the party afterwards, but
of this I cannot speak. The general company were only beginning to
arrive, as, under the guidance of Mr. Gore, I left for the British
Consulate, to officiate in the baptism of a child, which had been
appointed for the same evening.

The first funeral I have been called to attend, was at the house in
which I performed the first marriage ceremony after our arrival. The
mother of the young and lovely bride, an American lady, was, at the
time, in so feeble a state from consumption, as scarce to be able to be
present. She has failed rapidly since, and was buried on the 16th.

During the years of prosperity in Montevideo, a Protestant burial-ground
was laid out, a half mile beyond the outer gate, along the edge of a
narrow ravine and watercourse. It was enclosed by a handsome wall of
brick, planted with trees and shrubbery, contained many tombstones and
monuments of marble, and was one of the most attractive spots in the
suburbs. It was found, however, on the commencement of hostilities, that
the walls and trees gave shelter to the assailants, in their approaches
to the city, and interfered with the effect of the batteries of the
besieged. The walls consequently were razed, and the trees cut down by
the inside party. The result is an entire ruin. The tombs and monuments
are mostly overturned and destroyed, and the place, though still
appropriated to its original use, is utterly desecrated. Scarce a stone
is standing, and not a vestige of ornament or beauty remains. I could
not avoid being struck, amid other objects in the scene—at the funeral,
with the appearance of the hearse—the best the city now affords, and
emblematic of all its attempts at display. Its curtains of velvet, once
doubtless black, are now faded to a muddy orange, and are all tattered
and torn; and what were, originally, plumes of ostrich feathers, nodding
gracefully at each corner, are now only bristling quills, from which
every feather has fallen in decay. It was drawn by two miserable,
starved mules in a wretched harness, and altogether was a mockery of the
pomp and pageantry of the grave.

The subject reminds me to mention the receipt by the last English mail,
of a letter from the family of Ramsey, in whose fate you express an
interest, from the account given of his sudden death, last October. It
is in answer to one by which I communicated the bereavement. He was of a
pious household, who were deeply afflicted by the intelligence sent, but
consoled by the assurance, that every possible attention had been paid
to him. The letter is from a young man, the only surviving son of the
family. He says, “It is impossible to attempt a description of the scene
exhibited, as I endeavored to read aloud the heart-rending account of
the death of one we loved so dearly. It can never be forgotten by any
one present. The whole family were overwhelmed, and I myself entirely
unmanned;” and adds in another part—“the night after we received the
melancholy tidings, a most touching incident occurred: caused by my
youngest sister Jessie, a child of six years, when preparing to retire
to rest. She had not been told the sad news, and while on her knees by
my mother’s side praying aloud, her little hands resting upon her lap,
she prayed, as was her custom, that God would keep and bless her dear
brother at sea, and bring him in safety home to us. The scene that
ensued was most afflicting; we all wept most bitterly, while the little
one cried as if her heart would break, when told that the poor brother,
for whom she prayed, was lost to her for ever in this world.”


                             CHAPTER XVIII.

                                            ISLAND OF ST. CATHERINE.

_June 7th._—The tedium of the long stay of the Congress at Montevideo
was relieved once, by a cruise of three weeks off the Plata. The chief
object in this, was to exercise the crew at the sails and in working
ship, and to give practice at sea with the great guns and small arms.
The effect of the change was good, both morally and physically. The
vicinity of a port, so free to dissipation as Montevideo, is
demoralizing both to officers and men; and it is well, as Commodore
McKeever remarked to me in speaking on the subject, occasionally at
least to put the broad sea between the ship and the seductions of the

On the 22d ult. we again set sail for this place. The island lies
closely on the coast about midway between the Plata and Rio de Janeiro.
It is twenty-eight miles long, from four to eight wide, and is separated
from the main by a narrow and irregular strait, varying in breadth from
one and two, to three and more miles. It was settled earlier than any
part of the continent in this section, and gives name to the province on
the main opposite, within whose boundaries it is included. Its harbor is
one of the best in the Empire, and was once a great resort for shipping,
especially for refreshment and repairs by those engaged in the whale
fishery. The principal town, called Nossa Senhora do Desterro, or “Our
Lady of Banishment or Exile,” containing a population of eight or ten
thousand inhabitants, is the capital of the province and the residence
of its President.

On the morning of the 2d inst., the island, overtopped by the loftier
mountains of the main, was in view at a distance of thirty miles; and
coasting along it we entered the straits and came to anchor by
nightfall. The land is broken and lofty, and beautifully verdant: the
eastern shores next the sea presenting, as we sailed along them,
alternate stretches of white sand beach and projecting promontories of
rocks crowned with woods. There is not a sufficient depth of water for a
frigate to pass through the channel, and the entrance for large ships is
by the north end of the island. It is winding, and with the mountains of
the island and the main on either side, presents the features of a
magnificent harbor rather than the appearance of an arm of the sea. We
were delighted with the varied outlines and general beauty of the whole,
in contrast with the scenery of the Plata, though but few evidences of
civilization are visible; a small habitation here and there along the
shore, being the only indications of the presence of man.

The next morning the whole surface of the water, glassy as a mirror, was
dotted two or three miles south of us with the canoes of fishermen;
their white hats, shirts, and drawers contrasting strongly in the early
sun with the black sides of their canoes. We were some miles from the
customary anchorage, and the presence of so large a ship as the Congress
even, attracted no attention from them, and brought no canoe with the
milk and eggs and tropical fruits for which we were longing. Soon after
breakfast we ran some miles further south to our present anchorage just
inside of two forts, one—that of San José—on the island, and the
other—that of Santa Cruz—on an islet of the same name near the main. The
panorama surrounding us is truly beautiful—approaching, in some
respects, even that of Rio de Janeiro, though less wild and sublime in
outline. The lofty and massive mountains on the main, jutting down to
the water in bold promontories, indent the shore with little
white-beached coves whose overhanging cliffs are crested with palm-trees
and festooned with creepers. The white dwellings of the inhabitants,
sprinkled along the shore, and the checkered cultivation of the uplands
behind, combine in furnishing attractive imagery to the eye and
associations of rural comfort and simplicity to the heart. The
symmetrical outlines of the old fortresses on either side, and their
moss-covered and grass-tufted parapets and ramparts, give an air of
antiquity to some points of the scene, while the primitive canoe of the
aborigines, under paddle or rude sail on the water, tells us
significantly of a state of semi-civilization only. With the brightly
gleaming sun of the morning, there was a freshness and elasticity of
atmosphere, welcome and most exhilarating.

The present acting American consul of St. Catherine resides at Santa
Cruz, the name of the anchorage at which we are. His name is Cathcart,
formerly the master of an American whale-ship, but now long a resident
of this part of Brazil, where he married a native of the country, and
has a family of children, and extensive possessions in lands and slaves.

His residence is nearly abreast of us on the main, a mile or more
distant. It is situated on an elevated platform above the beach, in a
beautiful little cove, with a glen in the rear: the whole overhung by a
wooded mountain. I availed myself of the first opportunity of visiting
the shore, and accompanied Purser W—— and Lieut. R—— who went on duty.
Mr. Cathcart was on the beach to receive us and conduct us to his house.
With the exception of this structure—which is of stone, stuccoed, and
whitewashed, and roofed with tile—every thing here, in general aspect,
is so like the South Seas, that I felt as if suddenly transported there,
and again amidst the scenes and places so familiar and so dear to me
twenty years ago. The palm-tree, tossing its plumed branches in the
wind, the broad leaves of the banana rustling in the breeze, the perfume
of the orange blossoms and cape jessamine, the sugar cane and coffee
plant, the cotton bush, the palma christi and guava—the light canoe upon
the water, and the rude huts dotting the shore—all hurried me in
imagination to the Marquesas, the Society and the Sandwich Islands.

As the Consul proposed returning to the ship with us our stay was but
short. I, however, accomplished my purpose of a ramble for half an hour.
This I found quite sufficient for the time. The hills descend so
abruptly at all points to the water, and are so furrowed with ravines,
that one can proceed scarcely a hundred rods in any direction along the
shore, without making ascents and descents of such steepness, as soon to
induce fatigue, and make a short walk go far in point of exercise.

Large ships cannot approach nearer to the port and city of Desterro than
the anchorage of Santa Cruz; a distance of twelve miles. The day after
our arrival, a party of officers made a trip to that place in one of the
ship’s boats; and on the 4th inst. I joined another, by a similar
conveyance. The morning was brilliant, with a cool and bracing air.
There was no wind, but with ten stout and willing oarsmen we made good
progress, though the tide, for a portion of the distance, was against
us. Two beautiful wooded islets lie midway in the straits, or bay, as
the water—twelve miles in length and from three to five in width—appears
here to be. The largest of these has a battery planted on the north end,
the site of which is scarped from the solid rock, about half the height
from the water line to the summit of the islet. With the exception of
this battery, and two or three buildings connected with it, the whole is
one mass of foliage interspersed with boulders of granite. We rowed
closely along its western side, and were charmed with the freshness of
the verdure and the variety and richness of its growth; especially in
the drapery and festooning of parasites and creepers. As we approached
our destination we fancied a striking resemblance, in the formation and
general aspect of the western side on the mainland, to the section of
the Hudson lying between Tarrytown and the entrance to the Highlands.
This led to a comparison of the scenery of the straits in general with
that of the Hudson. Beautiful indeed as this St. Catherine is, all who
had seen both, admitted a close rivalry at least on the part of the

A promontory of the island projecting far eastward into the straits,
cuts off the view of the town from the north—excepting a church tower or
two over the land—and gives to the water the appearance of being
land-locked. It is not till sweeping through a narrow channel past the
bluff point, you find yourself in a horse-shoe bay,—a half mile perhaps
in diameter, with the city encircling its sandy beach.

The view of the town is striking, as, on doubling the point, it opens
thus abruptly to the sight. It contains eight thousand inhabitants. It
is prettily situated on the widely curving shore, and, facing the
straits southward, is flanked on the east by lofty, verdant, and
overhanging hills. A double-towered church, rising from the centre of
the city, and a spacious snow-white hospital, crowning a terrace on the
eastern side, are the most conspicuous of the public buildings.

A small platform of plank on piles, forms the landing for the boats of
the shipping; but the canoes of the country are generally run upon the
beach. There was a cleanliness about this, and in the market-place
adjoining, truly welcome in Brazil, and prepared us to be most
pleasantly impressed with the general aspect of a spacious, unenclosed
square—like the green, or common of a New England village—upon which we
immediately entered. This lies close by the water and in the middle of
the town. The principal church or cathedral, whose towers we had seen
over the land, ornaments it on the north side. It stands upon a terrace
platform, having circular enclosures on either side, filled with plants
and shrubbery, and overtopped by two or three graceful palms, and an
Australian pine. On the west side near this, is the palace or
Governmental House, occupied by the President of the province; the
dwellings of two or three wealthy citizens; and a hotel near the water.
From the balconies of the last, the party, who had preceded us the day
before, were beckoning to us a welcome. The establishment is in charge
of an American from New England, married to a native of the place. It is
more homelike in general appearance and better kept than any
public-house we have seen in South America, excepting the Hotel de
Provence in Buenos Ayres.

As it was my purpose to return to the Congress the same evening, there
was little time to search for objects of special interest, if indeed
there were such; and I contented myself with a walk through and around
the place. The streets are laid out with regularity, but are ungraded
and pass over hill and through hollow, according to the original surface
of the ground. The buildings stand upon them at irregular distances from
each other; and many having gardens and yards about them, the whole has
a village-like aspect, not indicative of the amount of population
embraced within the boundaries of the town. The people seem kind and
well disposed; are simple in their habits and courteous in manners.
Though my dress furnished no badge of naval service, or distinctive mark
of my profession, yet, recognized as a stranger, I was every where
saluted as such with the greatest deference and respect. I had been told
that a new cemetery, situated on a hill on the western side of the bay,
commanded a fine general view of the city and surrounding country. Under
the impression that I had reached this, I passed through a fine gateway,
and by a flight of steps to a terrace walk, but at once perceived that I
was in the grounds of a private residence, and was retreating to the
road again, when invited by some attendants near to enter and stroll
over the place at my pleasure. This I did. It was tastefully laid out in
lawns and flower gardens, and abounded in fruit. On expressing thanks to
the Portuguese gardener when taking leave, he added to my obligation by
presenting a choice bouquet, with an offer of oranges and other fruit
_ad libitum_: adding, that the signor, his master, would have been happy
to receive me had he been at home, and would be pleased at any time with
a visit from me.

The day was exceedingly fine, and my ramble of an hour and more in the
suburbs, over smooth paths and through hedge-shaded and flower-scented
lanes, was most grateful after the dreary monotony of the scenery in the
Plata and the tedium of long confinement on board a ship.

The females of Desterro are celebrated for their skill in the
manufacture of artificial flowers from feathers, beetle wings, fish
scales, and sea shells; and an arrival of strangers in the place causes
the doors, and halls, and rooms of the hotel to be thronged with negroes
and negresses, bearing tray-loads and boxes of these articles for sale.
Many of them are tasteful and ornamental; especially those formed from
the polished wings of the beetle. Those of fish-scales wrought into
necklaces, armlets, wreaths and bouquets are also pretty; and, were the
material not known, would appear costly. The first of these I ever saw
were worn by a bride at Montevideo; the effect by candle-light was much
that of a set of pearls, which I at first supposed the ornaments to be.
A coarse but serviceable thread lace, is also a manufacture of the
place. The chief article of commerce is coffee, that of St. Catherine
being of superior quality.

At 3 o’clock we sat down to a profusely spread table d’hôte, one of the
most tempting public boards I have seen since leaving the United States,
consisting of a variety of fish, oysters, lobster, different kinds of
meats, chickens, turkey and birds, cooked and served in American style.
The bread was excellent, and upon it alone, with the delicious fresh
butter from the German settlement of San Pedro d’Alcantara, twenty miles
distant in the mountains on the main, I could have made a most
satisfactory repast. The interest of the feast was enhanced by some
intelligence communicated in regard to the chief attendants on the
table: the head waitress was no less a personage than a Princess Royal
of Cabinda, eldest daughter of the monarch of that style, and niece of
“King John,” chief of the Kroomen. She is a fine intelligent-looking
woman of thirty years, whose mien and general bearing were by no means
unbecoming the rank she held in her native land. Another of the servants
was a male slave of the same age, full of activity and spirit, and
seemingly very cheerful and happy. By industry and economy, and the
gratuities he has received, for civility and fidelity in his situation,
he has laid up the amount of his purchase-money, with the exception of a
small sum. He expects soon to be free; and, having caught a spirit of
adventure and enterprise from the many of our compatriots, who of late
years have touched at St. Catherine’s for refreshment on their way to
California, designs pushing his fortunes in that golden region—an
example of adventure, in purpose at least, almost without parallel, I am
told, among the Brazilians of Portuguese blood. While the whole world
has been excited to enterprise by the modern discoveries of gold, not a
vessel, I learn, has been fitted out from Brazil in quest of fortune in
this way, and scarcely a Brazilian tempted to join the thousands who
have touched here and at Rio on their way to California.

The next day I joined Commodore McKeever and his secretary in a stroll
on shore at Santa Cruz. Captain Cathcart met us on the beach, and,
becoming our cicerone, first led us up a romantic little glen in the
rear of his dwelling, by a well kept pathway overshaded with orange
trees and palms, and bordered by coffee-plants and bananas. It followed
the course of a murmuring and babbling mountain stream, which fretted
its way over a bed of rocks, and beneath and around massive boulders of
granite. The pathway itself was sufficiently attractive to have induced
us to take the walk, but there was, as we found, a special object for
pursuing it. It leads to the graves of two sisters of the ages of
fifteen and seventeen, daughters of Major Gaines, Governor of Oregon,
who died here a year ago on their way to that territory, after a few
days’ illness with yellow fever, contracted during a brief stay at Rio.
Their sudden death, within a day of each other, in the opening bloom of
youth, and their burial by the wayside, as it were, in a strange and
undesired land, with the many affecting incidents related to us
connected with the event, threw a touching interest around the spot, and
caused us to linger with deep sympathy near their graves. They lie side
by side within a small, picketed enclosure, where the rose and willow
and other appropriate growth, planted by the hand of the Consul, are
already spreading in tropical luxuriance. They are said to have been
intelligent and accomplished, and full of the buoyancy and hope of young
life. The bereavement under the circumstances must have been desolating
to the parents, and their burial on these strange shores a most
affective trial.

After the examination of a mandioca and coffee plantation, and of a
fruit yard, we strolled over a spur of the mountain to an adjoining cove
in which Captain Cathcart formerly resided, and which is still his
possession. His former dwelling is converted into a school-house for his
own children and those of two or three of his neighbors. The tutor, a
young Brazilian, is employed by the Consul at his individual expense.
The books and school apparatus were most primitive, and limited to the
merest elements of instruction; still, the scene presented by the
assembled group of scholars and their young teacher, had more of promise
in it for the future, than any thing before met in this region.

I spent yesterday morning in going over the same ground with Captain
McIntosh, who had not previously been on shore. We extended our walk
across two or three additional ridges of the hills, which feather down
from the mountains to the water, and break up the shore, by their
projecting points, into numerous little coves encircled by interval
lands and bright glades. In these chiefly are nestled the humble
cottages of the poor, in single dwellings or in hamlets of three and
four. The views from the side-hills above are varied and beautiful, and
ever bring with them to me strong associations of the South Seas.

In the afternoon, accompanied by Dr. C—— and one or two others, I took a
walk northward from the consulate, first across a natural meadow running
inland a half-mile from the beach, and afterwards, by a mule-path, over
a steep and thickly-wooded hill of the primitive growth—the whole
mountain of which this is a spur, densely covered with wood, presenting
in many points masses of foliage of great richness and beauty. Our walk
terminated at a clearing, where preparations were making for the
erection of a shanty of small timber, wattled at the sides and ends,
preparatory to being filled in with clay. The scene reminded me of parts
of Otsego near Cooperstown in my boyhood, where the felling, and
logging, and burning of trees by the first settlers were in progress.
The timber here, however, is by no means so tall and heavy as the white
pine and old hemlock of that region, and appears to be exclusively of
hard wood. We saw, at too great a distance to admit of examination, two
flowering trees with blossoms of most brilliant hues; and were
afterwards shown at the consulate a branch of an azalia, loaded with
flowers of the purest white variegated with bright cherry color.

I must not omit to mention the very unexpected recognition of each
other, by Captain Cathcart and myself yesterday. After taking leave of
him the evening before, I said to Dr. C——, “The oftener I see the
Consul, the more I am persuaded I have met him before: it must have been
at the Sandwich Islands.” A similar impression it seems was on his mind;
and he remarked to a party of officers, as the boat in which I was,
shoved off, “I am sure I have known Mr. S—— somewhere; but I have not
been out of Brazil for twenty years—it must have been when I was
whaling.” To this, one replied, “it may have been at the Sandwich
Islands, when Mr. S—— was a missionary there.” “A missionary! is it
possible that this Mr. S—— is the same: now, I know all about him. I
remember him well; the first time I was on shore he invited me to
church, and though I was an entire stranger to him, only a boat-steerer,
he took me afterwards to dine with him and his lady.” This being
repeated to me, gave identity to my own reminiscence, and led to a very
cordial greeting the next morning as old friends.

My last walk, in this short visit of a week, was taken this afternoon,
in company with Commodore McKeever and Dr. C——. It was on the island. We
landed at one end of a long curving beach, beneath the rocky bluff which
is surmounted by the dilapidated fortress of San José, now dismantled
and abandoned. After enjoying the view from its parapets, we followed a
path leading up the ridge of the hill, till we gained a lofty point of
rock, commanding a wide stretch of country to the eastward not in view
from the ship. A part of this, embracing a circuit of many miles, was
level. It appeared to be well fitted for the culture of rice, much of
which is grown in St. Catherine, but apparently is unredeemed; a vast
jungle in a state of nature, without indication of an inhabitant. The
evening was very fine, and the air so exhilarating, that we skipped and
jumped from rock to rock, amidst bush and bramble, with a freedom we
would not have ventured had we known what we afterwards learnt, that the
spot is noted for the venomous reptiles with which it abounds. Of these
we saw none, however, and indulged in our gymnastics without fear.
Indeed, I have not seen a living serpent or reptile of any kind since I
have been in Brazil: not a scorpion, and but one centipede, and that in
a ship-chandler’s in Rio de Janeiro. On our return we passed, near the
beach, grove after grove of orange trees, so laden with fruit that the
ground beneath was covered, as in an apple-orchard at home, after the
trees have been shaken in the gathering season.


                              CHAPTER XIX.

                                                     RIO DE JANEIRO.

_June 20th._—On entering this port on the 16th inst., we all felt anew
the exciting influence of its wild and magnificent scenery, and were
constrained again to pronounce it unrivalled, by any thing seen by us in
any part of the world.

The last report of the health of the place which had reached us at
Montevideo, was favorable. The yellow fever, after having prevailed a
second season as an epidemic, was said to have disappeared. Our
apprehensions on this point were excited for a time, however, as we came
in, by perceiving the man-of-war anchorage to be entirely deserted. In
place of three or four different squadrons, English, French, Brazilian,
Portuguese and American, riding at their moorings, like a flock of
water-fowl, not a solitary ship was discoverable: nor was there a sign
of movement of any kind, on the whole bay. This we thought ominous of
bad news, but happily without just cause. The first boat from the shore,
assured us of the good health of the port. Whatever malaria may exist
has lost its malignancy, and exhibits itself only in cases of imprudence
and special exposure, in the milder types of intermittent fever. It is
the winter season, or period at which the sun has reached its farthest
remove in this latitude, and all nature is in double freshness and
brilliancy. The coloring of the skies in the mornings and evenings is
beautiful: this is especially the case after sunset, when at times a
golden and vermilion glory has filled the west with a splendor I do not
recollect to have seen surpassed. The effect of this upon the pinnacled
rocks and precipices of the mountains—brought into bold relief by the
shades of the hour—and upon the promontories and islets of the bay, the
church and convent towers, and the leading architecture of the city, is
gorgeous. This was particularly the case, an evening or two ago, while
Dr. C—— and I were enjoying a stroll over Gloria Hill. Our progress was
arrested by it: and after standing for some time in silent admiration of
the picture presented, from the elevated terraces in front of the
church, we joined in the exclamation, “no words in our own or any other
language can describe such a scene: painting itself could do no justice
to it!”

The temperature now, even at mid-day, is not too hot for exercise, the
mean height of the thermometer being 73° Fahrenheit. The weather
resembles that of the finest in June at home; the evenings and nights,
however, are cooler. This is the general character of the weather from
March to September; and nothing in climate can be finer. During the rest
of the year, the heat, with the mercury at mid-day at 90°, is oppressive
and debilitating.

We have renewed our acquaintance pleasantly with Don Juan and Doña M——,
and are disposed to regard the simplicity of mind and heart, evidenced
by them, the kindness of their manners, and the cordiality of their
hospitality, as characteristic of the people of the country in general;
and to believe that they would be manifested to all foreigners of
respectability, as readily as to us, under circumstances to call them
into exercise. Our friends of Praya Domingo, however, make no secret of
the fact that our nationality is a strong recommendation to them. Both
profess great admiration of the United States as a nation, not from what
they have seen of its citizens—for we are the first and only Americans
they have known—but from what they have heard and read of our history
and condition, and the practical working of our institutions.

I have taken but one new walk: this was through the valley of the
Larangeiras, in company with Captain McIntosh and Dr. C——. Much as I had
often admired its general features, in passing through the open street
of the Cateté, from which it branches westward to the mountains, the
heat of the weather, and its distance from the ordinary landing,
prevented a visit to it. It is a half mile, perhaps, in width at the
entrance, but soon becomes only a narrow glen, terminating at the end of
a couple or more miles, beneath the steep sides of the overhanging
mountain. A fine carriage road winds through it, crossing and recrossing
repeatedly a sparkling mountain stream, which brawls and babbles and
murmurs, from side to side. It is charming throughout: so quiet and
secluded, so embowered and rural, so fresh in atmosphere and luxuriant
in growth, and so varied in the architecture of its dwellings, from the
ornamented villa and sculptured palace, to the simplest and most humble
of cottages. The orange and coffee tree, the banana and other
broad-leaved vegetation of the tropics, cluster thickly around; and are
overshadowed by the loftier growth of the magnificent mango, the
towering palm, the feathery foliage of the tamarind and acacia, and here
and there that of the thorny cotton-tree or Bombax, with its trunk and
limbs well guarded by the defences which give to it a descriptive name.

Roses and jessamines, and brilliantly flowering creepers; the gay
hybiscus, the thick-set bloom of the purple bignonia, and the gorgeous
glare of the poinsetta, meet the eye at every turn, and fill the air
with sweet perfumes. In contrast with our imprisonment on board ship at
Montevideo, it was a luxury scarcely appreciable by others, to stroll
amidst such imagery; with an occasional glimpse, through an open gateway
or the ornamental railings of an enclosure, of the fountains and
grottoes, the alcoves and bowers, the gravelled walks and tesselated
pavements, the busts, the statues and statuettes, which embellish the
grounds of those “rich in this world’s goods.”

Near the head of the valley, a winding pathway on one side leads up the
acclivity by steep ascent, to the line of the aqueduct, fifteen hundred
feet above the level below. One section of this is peculiarly beautiful.
It overhangs the valley, and embowered overhead, reminded me forcibly
and pleasantly in many of its features—with the exception of the
tropical growth—of the gravelled terrace of the old road at Cooperstown,
which leads to the “Mount Vison” of Cooper’s Pioneers. In a secluded
nook near by, is the residence of the British minister: an irregular
cottage, buried in shade, and vocal with the murmurings of
water-courses. After passing this, as we gained height after height, and
looked down with bird’s-eye view, the Larangeiras and its surroundings
seemed, in the lights and shades of the hour, like a sketch in fairy

The fatality in the city, of the late epidemic, has led to the
construction, recently, of great numbers of residences along the spurs
and sides of the mountains. One of these is just finished, near the
point at which we reached the aqueduct. The site is superb; and, while
resting from the fatigue of the sharp ascent, we greatly enjoyed the
magnificent prospect of both land and sea which it commands. From this
point, the descent of five miles along the aqueduct to the city is so
gradual, for the greater part of the way, as to be almost imperceptible.
For two miles the pathway is a lofty terrace, cut in the face of the
mountain for the course of the aqueduct, from which, beneath overhanging
trees, you look up on one side, upon steep rocks and wild woods, and
down on the other, as from the parapets of a lofty castle, upon a
succession of views of cultivated and surprising beauty. Indeed, the
whole walk seemed to me like that through a picture-gallery of
magnificently drawn, and gorgeously colored landscapes. The aqueduct
does not follow a straight line, but runs zigzag, at long, obtuse
angles. The pathway is beside it, and in following its course, new and
varied vistas, both before and behind, are constantly presented. The
massive masonry, and finished workmanship of the time-marked, and
moss-covered old structure, contrast strongly in their aspect of
civilization, with the wildness of the overhanging cliffs and forests,
while in many places, the gay coloring of the endless variety of lichens
and orchidæ which cover it, gives to the surface the appearance of
richly variegated marble.

Before we reached the city, the shades of the evening had gathered
around us, as deeply as the moon near her second quarter would allow.
Many of the objects around and above us, were thus brought in bold
outline against the sky. This effect was particularly beautiful, where
the palm or cocoa-nut tree spread its long and graceful plumage, in dark
masses upon the light beyond.

The last striking picture which met the eye as we descended the hill of
Santa Theresa, was that of a family, grouped in an arbor of roses and
honeysuckle, canopied with clustering bignonia, on the angle of a wall
twenty feet above our heads, silently enjoying in the twilight the last
fannings of the sea-breeze, while from the towers of the convent close
by, the vesper bell sent forth its silvery sounds in invitations to

_June 26th._—It is to the Romish Church that we are here chiefly
indebted for every thing in the way of spectacle. Two principal feast
days have occurred within the week past: that of Corpus Christi on the
19th, and that of St. John the Baptist on the 24th inst. The fête of
Corpus Christi was observed with great display. It was instituted by
Urban IV., six hundred years ago, in honor of the then newly adopted
doctrine of transubstantiation, and consequent adoration of the host.
Its legendary origin is traced to Juliana, a nun of Liege, who, while
looking at the full moon, saw a gap in its orb, and by peculiar
revelation from heaven, learned that the moon represented the Christian
Church, and the gap the want of a festival for the adoration of the body
of Christ, in the consecrated wafer. This she was to begin to celebrate,
and to announce to the world. The authorization of the festival by papal
bull, was induced by the following miraculous incident. While a priest,
who did not believe in the change of the bread into the body of Christ,
was going through the ceremony of benediction, drops of blood fell upon
his surplice, which, when he endeavored to conceal them in the folds of
his garment, were formed into bloody images of the host. His scepticism
was thus overcome; and the bull of Urban, authorizing the adoration, was
published. This occurred in 1264, and the bloody surplice is still shown
at Civita Vecchia as a relic!

In Rio de Janeiro, as in all papal countries, Corpus Christi is a chief
festival in the year. Its celebration was commenced at the dawn of day,
by a general peal of the bells from every church and convent tower, by
the booming of cannon along the shores, and the hissing and crackling of
rockets in the sky. Flags were every where unfurled; draperies of silk
and satin, of gold and silver tissue, of damask and velvet of every hue,
were displayed, from the windows and balconies of the houses in the
principal streets; and the windows of the palace ornamented on the
outside with rich hangings of crimson damask. High mass was performed in
the imperial chapel at 11 o’clock. This was now opened for the first
time, after having been for a year undergoing a thorough renovation, by
regilding and new painting in fresco. The effect is rich and chaste. On
either side of the nave, between the entrance and the transept, are the
shrines of the apostolic saints, above which hang paintings of each,
with the accustomed emblems of their individuality. “The Supper,” by a
master, ornaments the altar of a side chapel at one end of the transept,
and a beautifully executed and classically draped effigy of St. Julian
in wax, in a sarcophagus of glass, adorns the other. The altar-piece of
the grand altar covers the entire end of the chapel within the chancel.
The subject is the assumption of the Virgin. The royal family of
Portugal—at the time of the immigration—in attitudes of adoration,
occupy the foreground: the Queen mother, John VI. and his wife, Carlota
of Spain, and Don Pedro I., then a lad, being the chief figures.

The imperial body-guard in state dresses, with halberds at rest, early
formed in lines on either side of the nave from the entrance to the
transept. The intervening space, newly carpeted, was in reserve for the
ministers of state, the officers of the household, and other dignitaries
of the Empire. A procession of these soon made its appearance from a
vesting-room communicating with the palace, and opened in file along the
nave for the passage of the bishop and his ecclesiastical attendants to
the chancel, and of the Emperor, who followed them, to a canopied throne
near the high altar. The Empress and her ladies had already entered the
imperial tribune facing the throne. The bishop was in full prelatic
dress, wearing his mitre and bearing the gilded crosier emblematic of
his office. When the chapel was thus filled, the coup d’œil presented a
brilliant scene in the masses of rich embroideries in gold; the jewelled
decorations of the dignitaries of state; and the court dresses of the
different classes of the aristocracy. These last were chiefly of velvet
in rich hues, lined with white silk—purple, maroon, mazarine and sky
blue, light and dark green, and here and there a suit of the same of
plain black.

The orchestra was full, and embraced the best performers of the opera
company, both vocal and instrumental. As the service proceeded, the
varied attitudes and groupings in the chancel and at the altar, of the
officiating priests

                “Glaring in gems and gay in woven gold;”

the floating incense; the harmony of the duo, the trio, and the
quartette; the touching strains of the solo; and the burst of the full
chorus, could scarcely fail to impress the senses. And when added to
this general effect, at the elevation of the host each halberdier, with
battle-axe reversed, dropped on his bended knee; every courtier bowed
his forehead to the ground; the bishop humbled himself at the steps of
the altar, and the Emperor kneeled on the platform of his throne; the
whole tableau was one most striking in its dramatic show. Externally all
was a profoundness of adoration, which, directed spiritually to the
Godhead, would have been irresistibly impressive; but addressed to a
mere wafer, and to be regarded as gross idolatry, it was both painful to
the mind and saddening to the heart.

Long before the termination of the mass, a procession was marshalled in
front of the chapel in the palace-square, awaiting the addition from the
church of the ecclesiastics and the court, before moving through some of
the principal streets. The leading group was unique; and apparently the
most attractive part to the surrounding crowds. It consisted of a
colossal effigy of St. George, in knightly armor, mounted upon a
splendidly caparisoned charger from the Emperor’s stud, led by a groom
in oriental dress. An armor-bearer in black mail, and other attendants
in characteristic costume, formed the suite; while a dozen led horses in
housings of green cloth, stiff with the imperial arms in massive silver,
completed the cortège of the pasteboard saint All else in the show was
purely ecclesiastic, with a great display of the varied costumes and
emblematic devices of the Romish Church. At the end of the religious
service, the dignitaries, both of Church and State, fell into the line,
and were followed by the host, borne by the bishop beneath a fringed and
tasselled canopy of cloth of gold, one of the gilt supporters of which
was held by the Emperor with uncovered head.

Don Pedro, wherever seen, bears inspection well; and carries with him as
much of the impress of his station as any monarch I have seen.

There was no public procession on St. John’s day, but its approach was
heralded by a great setting off of rockets and other fireworks the night
previous, and the glare of bonfires in different parts of the city.
These were seen with fine effect from the ship; especially the rockets,
with the dark mountains for a background. The evening following was
observed in a similar manner: altogether like the night of the fourth of
July at home. At every respectable-looking house, fireworks of more or
less elaborate workmanship were displayed; rockets of all descriptions
were shooting in brilliant corruscations through the air; and
illuminated balloons sent up, while colored lamps, thickly clustered
upon the convents crowning the hills, flashed through the darkness like
diadems of diamonds.

_July 2d._—On a former visit at Rio, I gave you some account of the
Foundling Hospital and Female Orphan Asylum, in connection with the
marriage of an éleve of the last. This is the second of July, the fête
day of St. Elizabeth—that on which the asylum is open to visitors, and
on which, usually, the marriages of such of the inmates as are under
engagement take place. The Emperor and Empress were among the visitors
to-day, and sanctioned by their presence the marriage of four couples in
the chapel. The anniversary had been fixed upon, for throwing open to
public inspection a new building for the Hospital of the Misericordia,
of which both the Foundling Hospital and Orphan Asylum are appendages. I
improved the opportunity to pass through the wards of the sick. These
were in the most perfect order and neatness. Every possible provision
seemed to be made for the care and comfort of the inmates; and the whole
establishment gave evidence of fulfilling the benevolence of its design.

The practical benevolence of the Romish Church is exhibited in no form
more general and commendable, than in the care which is taken of the
poor and the sick. Rio abounds in hospitals for these. Some are
connected with convents or monasteries, and others are separate and
independent institutions. They are founded and sustained by incorporated
societies, corresponding in their general features with the voluntary
organizations with us at home for philanthropic and charitable purposes,
but here called brotherhoods. These are of various names; that of the
Misericordia or “House of Mercy,” is the largest and most wealthy, and
owes its origin, nearly three centuries ago, to the piety and
benevolence of the celebrated Jesuit, Anchieta. The hospital is situated
on the bay beneath Castle Hill. Its doors are open at all hours, night
and day, to the sick of both sexes, of all religions and of every
country and color, without any form or condition of admittance: all
receive gratuitously the ablest medical attendance and the best nursing
and care. The numbers of its patients amount to thousands yearly, the
proportion of deaths occurring being about one-fifth of the whole

The original building is old, and has been long insufficient in its
dimensions and convenience, for the numerous applicants for relief. A
new structure has been for ten years and more in progress on an
adjoining site. A large section of this, two-thirds of the whole plan,
is now completed, and was opened to the public for the first time
to-day. The edifice is a noble structure. The façade on the street of
the part finished being four hundred feet. It is four stories in height,
and is surmounted, in the centre, by a finely proportioned and
symmetrical dome. The whole presents the finest architectural feature of
the city, in the approach from the sea. The interior throughout is
palace-like. The plan is admirably arranged for ventilation and light,
and embraces every modern improvement for the insurance of cleanliness
and purity. The structure is quadrangular. The parts already finished
enclose two spacious courts, beautifully laid out in walks intermingled
with flower-gardens and shrubberies, as places of exercise for the
convalescent. Each is ornamented with a fountain; when the building
shall be completed, corresponding courts on the new part are to be
added. The perspective through the long corridors and the lofty wards,
which communicate with each other the whole length by folding-doors, is
exceedingly fine: indeed, the whole structure is a credit to the
civilization of the age, and is a splendid monument of the munificence
and benevolence of the Brotherhood of Mercy.

The institution embraces a department for the insane. For the separate
accommodation of such patients, another imperial-like structure is in
progress and nearly completed, on the beautiful bay of Botafogo. It
already attracts the eye of the stranger entering the port, more than
any other object in the surrounding panorama. Of this the Emperor has
been a principal and munificent patron.

The possessions and funded capital of the Misericordia are very great.
The dying bequests of the charitable, in money and in real estate, for
the long period of centuries, with the advance of value in property,
make it one of the most richly endowed institutions of the Empire, and
insure perpetuity to its worthy and Christ-like charities. Membership is
secured by the payment of an initiation fee and an annual subscription:
this guarantees the right to a support in sickness and in poverty, and
to the religious services of the church in burial. Members to the
brotherhoods are received at any age, even that of the merest childhood.
On one occasion, I witnessed the ceremonies of an initiation to the
fraternity of the Carmelites. It took place with much ceremony in the
church of the order. A very large number were received, and included
boys from the ages of five and six years to full manhood. Assembled in
the sacristy, each placed over his ordinary dress a cape or mantle of
silk, the badge of the order on occasions of ceremony, and each
receiving from the appointed officers a consecrated amulet, a girdle of
patent leather, and a rosary, walked in procession to the grand altar of
the church. The whole building was in high decoration, with a superb
display of gold and silver plate on the altar, and of reading desks of
solid silver in the chancel. The dresses of the officiating priests, and
the officers of the society, were new and rich; and the music of the
first order. The ceremonies of the initiation consisted in verbal
pledges on the part of the novitiates, anointings, crossings,
sprinklings with holy water, and perfuming with incense, and were
followed with showers of rose-leaves scattered widely from silver
salvers, over the newly received.

_July 22d._—The principal incident of the last few days has been a
wedding, on the 20th, in the family of Mr. R——, the bride being Miss
R——, his daughter. The marriage took place at the residence of Mr M——,
the maternal grandfather of the lady, who holds a chief place among the
merchant princes of Rio. It is situated seven or eight miles westward
from the city, beyond the valley of Engenho Velho, beneath the mountains
of Tejuca. Our commander-in-chief, to a seat with whom I had been
invited, is a man of great simplicity in his habits of life, and averse
to any thing like display in his movements. The appearance, therefore,
of a showy equipage with four horses—as the carriage which he had
directed to be in waiting at the landing—took him quite by surprise, and
led to an order immediately for the dismissal of two of the animals; but
to this the coachman objected so strongly, with the assurance from his
master that the four would be found necessary before reaching our
destination, and that no one ever drove to Mr. M——’s with a single pair,
that the Commodore was obliged to submit. So, ordering his valet, who
happened to be in attendance, to mount to his place—that there might be
some keeping in the turn-out—we were off with a whirl, four-in-hand.

The drive, for the greater part of the way, was the same we had made in
our visits to the country-seat of Mr. R——. While yet a couple of miles
from our destination, we had full proof of the desirableness at least,
of having four horses to the carriage. Though there has scarcely been
any rain for a fortnight past, the road through the flat valley, in a
soil of stiff clay, became so heavy that it was difficult for the four
to save us from being fixed in the mire, in which the wheels at times
were sunk to the hubs. In due time, however, we reached the stately
gateway, by which the broad domain of Mr. M—— is entered. This is a
semicircular structure of white marble, with massive gates and railing
of cast iron in rich patterns: erected at a cost of more than seven
thousand dollars. The drive from this to the house is a broad avenue of
closely planted mango trees. The mango is one of the noblest of what may
be called the civilized trees of the country, in contradistinction to
the natives of the forest. In its loftiness, roundness of top,
wide-spread limbs, and thickset foliage of deep green, it resembles the
black ash of the Middle States, more than any tree familiar to you,
which occurs to my recollection at the moment: the general outline is
perhaps more spreading. It is the season of its blossoms, though these
are not yet in full display. The flowers come out in spikes, like those
of the horse chestnut, and rise thickly over the whole tree. Their
color, while now yet in bud, varies from a light pea-green to a brownish
red, the general effect being like that of the common chestnut when in
bloom; when fully blown, however, the flowers are white. These, when
close at hand, contrast beautifully with the dark green of the leaf;
but, at a distance, present an almost indistinguishable mass of

The want of neatness and good keeping in the grounds of Brazilian
country-houses is observable, even in those of Mr. M——, though his
residence is quite a palace, and his wealth estimated by millions. The
mansion is of stone, massively built, and about eighty feet square. The
general height is two stories, but a central section, having an
ornamented pediment and entablature, rises to three. It is in the
Italian style, with balustrades around the flat roof surmounted by
marble vases filled with aloes. The façade in extent and in general
effect reminds me of the President’s house at Washington. A spacious
portico with tesselated pavements, leads into a lofty hall, from which a
staircase with a double flight of steps conducts to the drawing-rooms,
on the second floor. The principal rooms of the ground floor are a
dining-hall, ball-room, music-room, and chapel. The views are beautiful.
That in front commands the entire plain, filled with the country-houses
of the rich and their surroundings, the spires and towers of Rio, and
the mountains across the bay, in the distance; and that in the rear, a
great variety of wild mountain scenery, in primitive luxuriance and
solitude, close at hand.

We were among the first to arrive, but were quickly followed by a large
company, among whom were many richly attired ladies. Rich and
fashionable dress is here peculiarly a passion with the sex; and I was
told by a gentleman present, when speaking on the subject, that a lady
would not think of moving in general society in Rio, without an
allowance for the toilette of at least two thousand dollars a year.

The groom being an Englishman, the marriage as a civil contract had
taken place early in the day, at the British Consulate: he being a
Protestant also, while the bride is a Roman Catholic, the religious
rites were twofold—Romish and Protestant Episcopal. Contrary to the
usage at home, the bridal party joined the general company in the
drawing-rooms while the guests were assembling. When all expected had
arrived, Mr. M——, the grandfather, who in the Romish ceremony was to
give away the bride, approached, and taking her by the hand, led the
long procession to the private chapel below. The service was performed
by the priest of the Parish, who is also the family chaplain, in the
sacerdotal robes of his grade.

It was in the Portuguese language, and much abbreviated, we were told,
from the fact that one of the parties was a Protestant. Immediately
after the benediction, when the parties had been proclaimed man and
wife, female servants in the rear of the chapel scattered from baskets
of silver, over the bride and her party, as she turned from the altar to
meet the embraces of her friends, handfuls of freshly gathered
rose-leaves and orange-blossoms. The effect, as fluttering lightly
through the air they fell in thick showers on the group and the whole
company, was poetic and pretty.

The Protestant ceremony, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Graham, Rector of the
British church in the city, took place immediately afterwards in the
principal drawing-room, a magnificent apartment, with hangings and
furniture of crimson damask and decorations of gold. The closing scene
here, in place of the shower of rose-leaves and orange-flowers of the
chapel, was the tableau presented by the bride kneeling on a rich
footstool in the midst of her bridesmaids, receiving with bowed head and
tearful eyes the touching blessing with which the Episcopal rite ends.

The marriage-feast, of sixty covers, was served in the ball-room, a
lofty hall with decorations in white and gold. The entertainment, in the
display of china, glass, and plate, and of flowers in vases of Sèvres
manufacture; in ornamental confectionery, and the profusion of luxurious
viands, was all that wealth in its liberality and taste in its artistic
exercise could command.

On shipboard, two incidents of more than commonplace interest have
occurred since my last date. One is the departure for the United Stages
of Lieut. R—— in ill health from the effects of the climate. In this,
the wardroom mess and the ship sustain a great loss. He is one of the
most interesting young men I have known in the service. Firm in
principle, cultivated in mind, clear in judgment, prudent in action, and
accomplished in his profession, he exhibits great symmetry of character
as an officer, while the frankness and polish of his manners, and the
warmth of his affections, make him attractive as a companion and dear as
a friend.

My last interview with him before he left the ship was most gratifying
to me, from the assurance it gave, that to the many other attractions of
his character there would be added, immediately on his arrival home,
that of openly avowed membership with the Church of Christ. Nothing
during our cruise has imparted to me such unfeigned satisfaction: indeed
the result of our conversation on this subject, was a joy I cannot well

The other incident was of a painfully different nature: one of those
outbreaks, which, so long as strong drink holds its sway over so many
seamen, no precaution or vigilance can, at all times, effectually guard
against on board a man-of-war. For a long time the Congress has been
under the most favorable auspices in regard to discipline and general
good conduct. Contentment, cheerfulness, and ready obedience, seemed to
be the prevailing feelings of the crew. But, on the evening of the 18th
inst., just as the last guests of a party—similar to that of which I
gave an account in October, had left the ship, it became known that
liquor in large quantities had been smuggled on board, and that many of
the men were intoxicated. Sixty or seventy were soon beyond all
self-control, and, maddened by rum, were most insolent and insubordinate
to the officers who attempted to restrain them. In the darkness of the
deck, it was difficult to distinguish the ringleaders; and after these
were secured in double irons, they made the rest of the night hideous,
by their boisterous profanity and drunken ribaldry.

The investigation of the matter showed that the ‘dinkey,’ a small boat
used as a tender by the messenger-boys and servants in communicating
with the shore, had inadvertently been left afloat astern, in place of
being hoisted from the water as usual, before dark. One or two of the
crew made their way to this, and succeeded in bringing off from the
shore, liquor sufficient to have intoxicated the whole ship’s company.
It was freely offered to all, but sixty or seventy only would partake of
it; a fact speaking well for the mass in contradistinction to the few.
Still, such an outbreak, though limited to a small number, and those the
veriest vagabonds on board, is disheartening to those who believe in the
practicability of maintaining the discipline and good order of a ship,
by a rule of kindness.

The consequence of this conduct was a kind of quarantine of the ship the
next day; no boats were allowed to leave for the shore, and both
officers and men remained on board. It was Saturday, and I had not
sufficiently recovered from the shock before the Sabbath, to throw off a
despondency in regard to any high results from the preaching of the
Gospel to such hearers, or to overcome a feeling that I was speaking but
to the wind. There is never a want, however, of the listening ear; and I
felt reproved for my unbelief by the first chapter of the Bible read at
the service, in which occurs the declaration:

      “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven,
       And returneth not thither,
       But watereth the earth,
       And maketh it bring forth and bud,
       That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater;
       So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
       It shall not return unto me void,
       But it shall accomplish that which I please,
       And it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I send it.
       Instead of the thorn—shall come up the fir tree,
       And instead of the brier—shall come up the myrtle tree.
       And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
       For an everlasting sign, that shall not be cut off.”

I was the more impressed with this reproof to my despondency, on
returning to my room, by accidentally falling upon a paraphrase of the
same truth, in the following verses:

              “Ye who think the Truth ye sow
               Lost beneath the winter’s snow,
               Doubt not Time’s unerring law
               Yet shall bring the genial thaw.
                     God in nature ye can trust:
                     Is the God of grace less just?

               Workers on the barren soil,
               Yours may seem a thankless toil;
               Sick at heart with hope deferred,
               Listen to the cheering word:
                    “Now the faithful sower grieves—
                     Soon he’ll bind his golden sheaves.”

               If the Almighty have decreed—
               Man may labor, yet the seed
               Never in his life shall grow,
               Shall the sower cease to sow?
                     The fairest fruit may yet be borne
                     On the resurrection morn!”


                              CHAPTER XX.


_September 30th._—New aspects in the political affairs of the La Plata,
led to the return of the Congress to this place, early last month.
Previous to our departure from Rio de Janeiro, the U. S. steamer
Susquehanna, hearing the flag of Commodore Aulick, of the East Indian
squadron, arrived there, bringing as passengers, the Hon. Mr. Schenck,
chargé d’affaires at the court of Brazil, and the Hon. Mr. Pendleton,
commissioned with the same office to the Argentine Confederation. This
last gentleman came to Montevideo in the Congress, on his way to Buenos

The French Government not having sanctioned the articles of
pacification, agreed upon by Admiral Le Predour and General Oribe; a
year and more ago, the armistice between the belligerent parties on
shore is terminated. Hostilities are again commenced by the interchange
of occasional shots between the outposts, and now and then a slight
skirmish, in which a few persons on both sides are wounded, and
sometimes one or two killed.

The change would be comparatively of little importance, as to the
promise of any speedy issue, were it not for simultaneous movements
connected with it, on the part of Brazil on the one side, and two of the
principal States of the Argentine Confederacy—those of Entre-Rios and
Corrientes—on the other. By reference to an atlas, it will be perceived
that the chief rivers, whose confluent waters form the Rio de la
Plata,—the Uruguay, the Parana, and the Paraguay, corresponding in their
extent and their importance to the broad valleys through which they flow
with the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Mississippi of the Northern
Continent—have their rise in Brazil, and, in their course, border her
territories for long distances. The free navigation of these is
essential to her interests. One chief object in the policy of Rosas,
however, has been to keep them closed to all foreign commerce, that the
trade of the confederacy might centre exclusively in Buenos Ayres; and
thus to enrich and aggrandize her, at the sacrifice of the interest both
of Brazil and of the sister republics of the confederation. All
negotiation on the part of the court of Brazil, to secure free access to
the interior of the Empire by the tributaries of the Plata, having
proved abortive, that government has determined to try the effect of
arms. General Urquiza, the President of the States of Entre-Rios and
Corrientes, long the principal coadjutor of Rosas, and the most
successful and distinguished of his soldiers, weary of his tyranny, and
opposed to his narrow-minded and selfish policy, has entered into a
compact with Brazil to aid in the accomplishment of her purpose. The
first object to be attained is the overthrow of Oribe, and the
consequent relief of Montevideo from siege; and thus to lay the basis
for a joint attack on Buenos Ayres. Urquiza, with a force of fifteen or
twenty thousand Entre-Rians and Corrientans, is approaching in one
direction; and the Baron Caxias, having an equal force of Brazilian
infantry and artillery, in another: while a squadron, consisting of a
frigate, two sloops of war and three steamers, under the command of
Admiral Grenfell, has arrived from Rio, and is at anchor near us.

This determination of Urquiza, as the governor of two of the
principal Argentine States, and the public measure by which it was
avowed, have led to a striking proof of the mendacity, by which it
is charged that Rosas has hitherto sustained his despotic sway. It
is said, and with no little show of truth, that his whole system of
government—notwithstanding the boasted patriotism, disinterested and
self-sacrificing toil in the public service, which the press and
archives of the confederacy printed by his order and under his
immediate personal control, attribute to him—is but a cunningly
devised tissue of deception and falsity.

For years, it has been the custom of Rosas formally to tender to the
representatives of the confederation, the resignation of his office as
Minister for Foreign Affairs, pleading to be released from it, on the
grounds of the great burden of the charge, his advancing age, broken
constitution, and declining health. This is invariably followed by the
most laudatory and fulsome panegyrics, from the leading members of the
House, upon his character—the value of his past services, and the
necessity of their continuance, and the unanimous resolution that he
shall still fill the office: it being well known that not a member
dare—even if he had the secret will—to move or second the acceptance of
the proffered resignation. The Archivo Argentino, or Government
Register, printed in English, and French, and Spanish, and sent widely
over the civilized world, is filled with the record of these political
farces. This year, however, Urquiza, as the President or Governor of
Entre-Rios and Corrientes, promptly accepted the resignation; and by
public proclamation, released Rosas from all further charge of the
foreign relations of those States. The address of Rosas to the House of
Representatives, in view of this defection, has just been issued. It is
strikingly characteristic of the man, and is a curiosity, both as a
literary production and a document of State. As such, I furnish it to
you entire, though not responsible for the translation; that is by
‘authority,’ and is taken from the official print.

The first two lines of the motto it bears are the prescribed caption of
every official paper, from the most important to the most trifling; and
are stamped on the badges, hitherto universally worn by the Argentines.
The third line is an addition just decreed. The terms “Unitarian” and
“Federal,” designate the original parties in the confederation; the
first being applied to those who are in favor of a consolidated
government, similar to that of the United States, and the last to those
who advocate that of the compact at present existing. Under Rosas, the
Unitarian party became outlawed and in effect exterminated.




                PALERMO DE SAN BENITO, Sept. 15th, 1851—

    Year the 42d of Liberty, 36th of our Independence, and 22d of
        the Argentine Confederation—

    To the Honorable House of Representatives—


    To command the Republic during a long period of agitation and
    social disorder; to save the country from fratricidal war; to
    accompany it in the glorious defence of its liberties; and
    contribute to preserve it from the ambition of the destructive
    and treacherous band of ruthless Unitarians, was the eminently
    honorable mission that the Argentine people imposed upon me, and
    which I gratefully accepted with the enthusiasm and love due to
    my country and to my fellow-citizens.

    After a memorable epoch, in which was assigned to the Argentine
    Confederation the glory of consolidating its independence,
    overwhelming its enemies; and to the undersigned, the
    distinguished honor of presiding over it; after the Republic had
    suppressed internal anarchy and was in the enjoyment of peace,
    developing its elements of prosperity, I considered the moment
    had arrived to resign the supreme command, to which I had been
    exalted by the spontaneous, reiterated suffrage of my
    countrymen,—and I earnestly requested you to appoint another
    citizen as my successor.

    You refused to admit my fervent prayer—the inhabitants of this
    province also opposed it with kind firmness, and exercising the
    right of petition, begged your honors to persist in not acceding
    to my repeated tenders of resignation; and the Provinces of the
    Confederation, expressing their wishes through their Honorable
    Legislatures and Governments, likewise exacted, with generous
    interest, my continuation at the head of the national affairs,
    as the means of insuring the present happy condition of the
    Republic, and of preparing for it a glorious future.

    Overpowered by such decision, and so much benevolence; oppressed
    by a deep-felt gratitude toward the Argentine Federals, yet
    destitute of words becomingly to express those feelings, I
    presented to your honors, to my fellow-citizens, and to the
    confederate provinces, the homage of my most ardent and profound
    acknowledgment—I recognized with veneration the immense debt
    which the magnanimous vote of the republic imposed upon me, but
    unwilling to sacrifice to grateful emotions the sacred interests
    of my country, I continued vehemently yet respectfully to demand
    from your honors and the confederate provinces a successor, who,
    unbiassed by the scruples arising from my republican views,
    could co-operate more efficaciously than myself, to the
    aggrandizement of our dearly beloved country.

    The tranquillity which the Republic experienced, the union which
    prevailed throughout its provinces, the wisdom with which,
    ameliorating its institutions, it expanded the resources of its
    welfare, and the external peace which its loyal, upright and
    generous policy towards all nations foreshadowed, indicated to
    me that the moment had presented itself for resigning the
    command, without injury to the nation.

    Animated by so cheering a conviction, I insisted in my fervid
    renunciation before your honors, and the confederate Provinces,
    believing that my prayer, the sincerity of my words, and the
    cogency of my reasons, would duly influence the minds of the
    Argentine people, and induce them to accede to my separation
    from the supreme authority.

    But while I expected this, and the undisturbed state of the
    Republic warranted me to entertain such a hope; at this very
    moment, the insane traitor, the ruthless Unitarian Urquiza,
    raised the standard of rebellion and anarchy. Aspiring to sever,
    with his degraded sword, the bonds that unite the people of
    Entre-Rios to the confederation, and to constitute himself the
    arbiter of the Argentines, he ignominiously sold himself to the
    Brazilian Government, that, persisting in its obstinate
    ambition, has invaded and attacked, with unprecedented
    treachery, the territory and the Independence of the Republics
    of the Plata.

    In so solemn a crisis for the Argentine community, when its
    loyal sons, displaying, as at all times, their renowned valor,
    rise in arms to resist and chastise their enemies, avenging so
    many and such scandalous outrages; when they prepare themselves
    with sublime self-denial for the most honorable efforts, I have
    received a new declaration from the Confederate Provinces, that
    peremptorily demands my continuance in the supreme command, and
    of which you will be informed by the correspondence that I will
    have the honor of presenting.

    And since the nation so demands it of me, in such critical
    moments for its tranquillity; since in the presence of violent
    foreign aggressions, and an unexampled rebellion, my compatriots
    request me to accompany them in the post I occupy, to defend our
    independence and national honor; since the Republic, exasperated
    by the audacious hostilities of the Brazilian Government, and
    the treason of the ruthless Unitarians, prepares to retaliate
    the war which they have precipitated; at so notable an epoch I
    cannot refuse, nor do I refuse, honorable Representatives, my
    continuance in the Government, provided your honors, my
    compatriots, and the Confederate Provinces consider that it may
    be useful and necessary to the national welfare.

    Consistently with my principles, my obligations, and my
    reputation, I cheerfully defer to the call of the Republic in
    the actual circumstances, and thus continuing in the supreme
    command, I also will have the signal honor of accompanying my
    beloved federal compatriots, in their heroic resolution of
    vindicating the national independence and glory, attacked by the
    perfidious Brazilian Cabinet, by the ruthless, loathsome
    Unitarians, and by the despicable insane traitor, the ruthless
    Unitarian Urquiza.

    In accordance with this determination, I therefore present
    myself, in the same manner as the loyal Argentines, resolved to
    fulfil once more my reiterated pledge, of sacrificing all in
    defence of the order, the liberty, and the honor of the

    My fellow-citizens, who have always found me participating in
    their difficulties, will now find me the same, with sound and
    robust health, and always consistent with those principles. They
    will see that, if when the Republic enjoyed peace and
    tranquillity, I desired to withdraw from the supreme command, to
    continue my services in some other subaltern post, where I might
    have performed them to advantage, now that new enemies of the
    Confederation appear, and that the loathsome band of the
    ruthless Unitarians, headed by the insane traitor, ruthless
    Unitarian Urquiza, dares to raise its bloody standard, here I
    am, ready at the call of the nation, and with energy equal to my
    duties, and to the hopes of the public, willing to contend in
    union with the virtuous Argentine Federals, till we have left
    triumphant and consolidated, the independence, the rights, the
    dignity, and the future fate of the nation.

    This, Messrs. Representatives, is the resolution I have adopted
    in view of the present events and circumstances.

    And desiring ere now to transmit it to your knowledge, I had the
    honor of announcing it verbally to the Honorable President, and
    to one of the deputy secretaries of your honorable Corporation,
    requesting the former, on reporting it to the Honorable
    Representatives, at the first session they might have, to
    reiterate to them my profound gratitude.

    God preserve your honors for many years.

                                           JUAN MANUEL DE ROSAS.

_October 6th._—Affairs on shore are rapidly approaching a crisis. Oribe,
who led his troops westward some days ago, to meet the advancing force
of Urquiza, has been driven back into what has been so long his
besieging camp; and, cut off both from the interior and the river, he is
virtually the besieged instead of the besieger. Deserted already by some
of his troops, who have joined the advancing enemy; limited in the
supply of provisions for those who remain; and daily more and more
closely encircled, he must speedily capitulate, or fall in an unequal

The external aspect of the region about the Mount is completely changed.
Instead of the utter desertion which has hitherto marked it, without a
sign of man or beast over its whole extent, it now exhibits every where
the animation and activity of a bee-hive. A detachment of Urquiza’s
cavalry, in charge of vast herds of cattle for the subsistence of his
army, has taken possession of the Mount; and their horses, tethered and
grazing, are passing up and down its sides, from the beach to the little
fortress on the summit, and run straying about in every direction. The
intervening heights of the country, are crested with mounted videttes,
almost within gun-shot of the encampment and batteries of Oribe, as if
the force of which they are the advance guard was already in battle
array; presenting, through a glass, picturesque and striking objects, as
they stand with poised lances and fluttering pennons, in strong relief
against the sky. It was confidently expected, from the general
appearance of things, that an assault would take place last night; but
it passed without any thing more than a random shot occasionally from a
musket, and now and then the booming of a great gun.

During the long siege of nine years, a large town, numbering eight or
ten thousand inhabitants, has grown up in the vicinity of the encampment
of Oribe. It is called “Restoracion,” in reference to the object of this
chieftain—the restoration of himself to supreme power, or the
restoration, as he may consider it, of peace and prosperity to the
Republic. It is a port of entry, with an open roadstead, called the
Buçeo, five miles east of Montevideo. The greatest consternation
prevailed there at first, when Oribe, breaking up his encampment,
marched forth to meet Urquiza, with orders for his whole force to
follow: leaving Restoracion entirely unprotected. It was industriously
rumored that the departure of his troops would be the signal for an
attack by the soldiers of Montevideo, with liberty from their commanding
officers of pillage and rapine. Representations of this were made to the
various foreign squadrons here, and a vessel of war from each was
despatched to the Buçeo, to afford protection to any of the inhabitants
who might seek an asylum, by flying to them. The alarm, however, has in
a great degree subsided, from the return of Oribe, and a proclamation by
the Government of Montevideo, with orders under the severest penalties,
against every act of aggression and violence by the soldiery in case of
the occupation of the place by them.

The Mount being now, for the first time since our arrival in the Plata,
free of access without an apprehension of risk or annoyance of any kind,
Captain McIntosh gave Dr. C—— and me a row in his gig to visit it. It
was a great treat to ramble freely over the hitherto forbidden ground,
and from the summit to command, at a single glance, the topography of
the whole country for miles, as if it were a map before us: all, too,
robed in the fresh and bright green of the opening spring. The general
surface of the region in view here, as indeed throughout the republic,
is a rolling prairie. Covered now with vast herds of cattle and droves
of horses, and the rude encampments of the liberating army, in bivouac
here and there in the distance, it reminded me much of some of Catlin’s
pictures, illustrative of scenes and scenery in the Buffalo and Indian
regions of the far West. Oribe’s encampments and defences, with the town
of Restoracion and its port, were in distinct view in the east, over and
beyond Montevideo. There was less appearance of immediate hostilities,
than on the day previous. An armistice of twenty-four hours for
negotiation, had been agreed upon. The videttes and reconnoitring
parties had been withdrawn, and the detachments of troops in sight were
dismounted, and lounging about among their grazing horses and cattle.
Some two or three hundred German troops, mercenaries in the employ of
Brazil, who had arrived by water, were on the beach immediately beneath
us, in entire readiness for marching—their baggage-carts and other
appliances of war prepared for immediate movement. They are a
fine-looking corps; young, healthful, and fresh, enlisted in Holstein
with the expectation of remaining in the country as settlers. The day
was bright and beautiful, and the excursion of an hour or two,
exceedingly pleasant.

_October 10th._—The pacification hoped for, has actually taken place, by
the unconditional surrender of Oribe, with his entire force, amounting
to some fifteen thousand men to Urquiza. This occurred on the 8th inst.,
and was officially proclaimed throughout the city the same evening. The
ringing of all the bells of the place, the firing of cannon and
musketry, the setting off of rockets and the glaring of bonfires,
assured us on board ship of the reality. The next morning the whole city
seemed but a floating mass of flags, thrown to the breeze from every
pinnacle and house-top, exhibiting all the colors of the rainbow, in the
devices of every civilized banner; English, French, and American,
Austrian, Prussian and Sardinian, Peruvian and Chilian, Dutch,
Montevidean and Brazilian. Captain McIntosh took me early on shore with
him. A suspension of all business, and the general holiday of a week,
had been proclaimed by the government; and the people both within the
city and without, were half mad with joy. And well might they be, after
nine years of non-intercourse—those within, pent up for that length of
time in the narrow limits of their walls and fortified lines, and those
without, cut off from all communication with the town. The consequence
has been a general rush of men, women and children, from the town to the
country, now in all the freshness and bright verdure of spring; while
the outsiders, so long excluded, have hastened with like eagerness, if
not in equal numbers, to the streets and squares of the city. The scene
presented was one of great and sometimes touching excitement, in the
meeting for the first time in years, of those bound to each other in the
closest ties of relationship. Husbands and wives, parents and children,
brothers and sisters, lovers and friends, who had been thus separated,
rushed into each other’s arms in the open streets. An American lady told
me she could never have imagined such a spectacle; and could scarcely do
any thing for the day, but stand in the balcony of her house,
alternately in laughter and in tears, at the scenes, comic and tragic,
taking place around her. The enjoyment of a pic-nic seemed the
prevailing passion of the citizens. Whole families were met by us in
numbers setting off on foot, with baskets of refreshments, attended, in
some instances, by servants bearing side-saddles for the ladies; horses
being procurable outside, not for the hire of a day only, but in full
possession at a price of one or two dollars. Some of the riders, we were
afterwards told, were placed in rather an awkward predicament, however,
after having proceeded some distance on their new purchases, by having
the animals reclaimed and seized by their true owners, the soldiers from
whom they had been bought having stolen them.

It is a subject for devout thankfulness, that thus far this important
change has taken place without an instance, so far as is known, of
violence or outrage. Those, who, a week ago, were ready to cut each
other’s throats, are embracing as they meet, and rejoicing together,
that for the time being at least, “the sword is turned into the
ploughshare, and the spear into the pruning hook.” There are, however,
among those who have unconditionally capitulated, twenty or thirty
officers who are trembling for their lives. One of these, who is
particularly obnoxious to the Montevideans, as a deserter from their
service to that of Oribe, reached the American consulate just as we
entered. Partly in disguise, he had ridden at full speed through the
streets, and dashing, without dismounting, through the open portal into
the inner court, threw himself on the mercy of the consul for the
protection of his life. He feared that to be recognized would be but to
die by the hands of the first one of the citizens who could lay hold on
him. He is a fine-looking fellow, and was splendidly mounted, but was in
a tremor of agitation.

In the course of the morning, I took a stroll some distance beyond the
city gates, and found abundant subjects for observation in the endless
variety of costume, colors, and character exhibited by the
outsiders—civilians and soldiers, men, women and children, who were
thronging to the city in great numbers; all, of course, on horseback,
for in this country even the beggars are mounted. In many instances, it
is true, two persons rode the same horse; in some cases three; and in
one even four—a man and his wife with each a child in their arms: the
entire family, it is probable, thus seeking a glimpse of the city. The
most amusing spectacle of the kind I noticed, was a cavalier quite
dashingly equipped, with a goodly-sized live hog tied to the saddle
behind him, in the manner of a valise in travelling. The head of the
animal—quietly submissive to his destiny—hung down on one side, and the
nether limbs on the other, while the equilibrium of the whole was
preserved by a firm grasp of the captive’s tail in the left hand of the


                              CHAPTER XXI.


_October 18th._—Yesterday, in company with Lieut. T—— of the Congress,
and Mr. Z——, Consul for the Hanseatic towns, I made a visit to Urquiza,
the chieftain of the Plata, whose star is now so much in the ascendant.
His head-quarters are at Pantanoso, where his troops are encamped three
leagues westward from the city. By the raising of the siege, horses are
once more to be obtained in Montevideo. Mr. Z—— was nobly mounted upon
the fine animal, on which the officer from the outside, mentioned under
the former date, dashed through the portal of the American consulate the
first day of the pacification. Mr. Hamilton had succeeded in procuring a
passport to Buenos Ayres for him; and, purchasing his charger, made a
present of it to Mr. Z——, his son-in-law. Lieut. T—— and I were provided
with animals at a livery stable, just opened, to which we walked to make
our choice. The keeper, who, himself, acted as hostler and groom for us,
is no less a personage than an authenticated Austrian baron, of an old
family among the nobility of the empire; and who, reduced in fortune, is
ashamed to beg, but not thus to occupy himself for an honest livelihood,
in a foreign land. It was from him I now received my first lesson in the
horsemanship of the country, being instructed to guide my Rosinante, not
by pulling the rein of the bridle on the side I wished to turn him, as
with us, but by keeping both reins of an equal length in the hand, and
touching the neck of the animal with that opposite to the direction he
is to go.

The weather was delightful. In the early morning the sun threatened to
be hot; but afterwards a veil of gauze-like cloud, without shading too
much the brilliancy of a day like June at home, prevented any discomfort
from it. After clearing the line of the city walls, perceiving it to be
low-water in the bay, we struck down from the ordinary road, to the hard
sand of the beach, which sweeps in wide curvature in the direction of
the Mount, and dashed off on a full gallop across it. Parties of native
horsemen were scampering in both directions over the same ground,
looking—with their ponchos and long hair streaming in the wind behind
them—as wild and picturesque as so many Arabs of the desert.

At the end of a mile we turned up the bank into the highway. This is
wide, level, hard and dry, with hedges of aloes and cacti on either
side. There is scarcely a tree of any kind to be seen; but now and then
a fruit tree, a row of trim poplars, or a clump of weeping willows just
in full leaf, reminded us of home. This was especially the case with the
willows, the first graceful wave of their fresh, long branches, setting
me down at once beneath those at Riverside. The soil seemed to be of
great richness, a black mould which bears every growth in exuberance. I
never saw fig trees equal in height and spreading tops, to those passed
in one enclosure. Evidences of the long civil war were every where seen
in the ruins of houses, and in deserted grounds; but, occasionally, we
came to a quinta or country-seat, still in good repair, whose massive
gateways, tesselated courts, balustraded terraces, surmounted by vases
filled with air-plants and gay flowers gave proof of the taste and
elegance which once characterized the suburban residences of Montevideo.

We now came upon an open country, without hedge or enclosure of any
kind. The whole surface was covered with rich verdure, brightly
enamelled by ten thousand flowers of every hue, and fragrant with the
perfumes of spring. As we caracoled gently along, or, again, following
the custom of the land, dashed forward at full speed, groups of people,
peasants and soldiers, on foot and on horseback, were passing and
repassing; and not unfrequently clustered thickly around the dark and
dirty entrances of the pulperias, or grog-shops, which here, as
elsewhere where man is, are ever to be found—the whole presenting, in
features and in form, in costume and in colors, a constant study for the
sculptor and the painter.

The region of country around the bay—along the shores of which we still
continued—is well watered; and we crossed two or three streams in the
course of our ride. As we ascended from the bed of one of these to the
general level, we came in view of another, along the gently rising banks
of which, on either side, lay stretched in irregular detachments three
or four thousand troops. This encampment, in all its appointments, had a
most primitive and unscientific aspect. The tents, such as they
were—very much of a gipsy character—did not appear sufficient for the
shelter, in sleeping and in bad weather, of half the number of soldiers;
and the whole equipage of the camp was as rude as that of so many
Indians. The predominance of scarlet in the color of every thing
appertaining to it, imparted, however, a gay and brilliant air to the
whole. A park of artillery, planted on a gentle swell of ground,
commanded the approaches, and had more the appearance of modern warfare
than any thing else attracting the observation.

On inquiring for head-quarters, two or three tents were pointed out on a
knoll, on the opposite side of the rivulet, quite separate from the
general encampment. A company of lancers were clustered irregularly at
no great distance in the rear of these—their long and effective-looking
spears, with a scarlet pennon floating from the top of each, being
staked in lines in front of them.

As we approached, we perceived the marqueé of the commander-in-chief to
be distinguished from the rest, by broad stripes of white and blue, and
by the artistic manner in which it was pitched. Behind it stood an
immense vehicle, more massive and ponderous in its structure than the
heaviest omnibus ever seen at home—the travelling carriage of his
excellency, evidently fitted for hard service, by such bracings with
raw-hide ropes about the springs, whipple-trees and axles, and such
bindings of green hide around the hubs and spokes and wheel-tires, as
would create a sensation in a civilized country. Near by, stood a
gigantic cart with wattled sides, and a roof fifteen or twenty feet in
height: the baggage-wagon, doubtless, for the needful provender of the
general-in-chief and suite.

When we drew up, we were approached by a noble-looking adjutant, tall
and stalwart, with boots to his hips, a steel-scabbarded sword, which
might have served for a Goliath, and spurs of massive silver, that—in
want of marbled pavement or planked floor for the effect—caused the very
ground beneath him to rattle. My companions, having made known their
official character and our nationality, and the desire of paying our
respects personally to the chieftain, we were politely requested to
dismount, our horses delivered to the charge of the guard, and our cards
taken, preparatory to an announcement. Immediately on the presentation
of our names, we were conducted to the front of the tent and ushered
into the presence of the general. He rose to receive us with courteous
salutations, and a cordial shake of the hand. The tent was small, but
exceedingly neat. Its poles were bamboo, that in the centre which raised
the canvas to a peak, being surrounded by a square camp table, on which
lay a round black hat with the scarlet band of the confederation, a pair
of black kid gloves, a riding-whip, and a magnificent bouquet of fresh
flowers—a propitiatory gift, probably, from some fair hand in the
neighborhood. Three tent bedsteads—one on either side and one at the
farther end—one or two camp stools, and a square of ingrain carpet on
the grass, constituted the furniture.

We became seated on the bedsteads at the sides, while Urquiza took a
position by the table in the centre. He was in a military dress coat of
blue, the collar and cuffs being handsomely decorated with embroideries
in gold of the oak leaf and acorn. A waistcoat of scarlet damask,
pantaloons of blue with a red stripe down the seams, and well polished
boots, completed his costume. He is of moderate height, but stout,
broad-chested, and finely formed, and has a Spanish roundness of face
and limb. He was smoothly shaved, and without the moustache usually worn
here, both by military men, and by the people in general. In feature, he
is decidedly handsome, with fine mouth and teeth, large, dark eyes full
of vivacity, and a complexion clear and glowing with manly health, but
bronzed by exposure.

His expression is open and frank—one that a physiognomist would trust
for honesty and magnanimity; and his manners and address courteous and
gentlemanly, without being courtier-like or artificial. I know not when
I have been more favorably impressed on a first interview, with any one,
either in public or private life. Personally, he is evidently one to be
admired; and, if his character, morally and intellectually, is at all in
harmony with his physical advantages, I can readily perceive how the
popularity he has already won, in the part he is now acting, may run
into enthusiasm. He must be nearly fifty years of age; but, were it not
for the thinness of his hair on the top of the head, I should say he was
not more than forty.

A favorite mastiff, a noble-looking animal, lay stretched at his ease on
the carpet, and attracting our notice became the first subject of our
conversation. He originally belonged to another officer; but, on meeting
Urquiza, left his master and attached himself to him with a pertinacity
which resisted every attempt to drive him away. He has constituted
himself the especial guardian of his person, and has for years been his
companion, night and day. Several remarkable anecdotes, of feats in the
camp and on the battle-field, told of him, paved the way for a free and
animated conversation on more important topics—embracing the present
state of affairs in the Republics of the Plata—the results thus far, of
Urquiza’s own movements as a liberator, and purposes designed by him,
yet unachieved. “It is time,” he justly remarked, “that the contracted
and narrow-minded policy, dictated by the selfish views of the rulers of
the Plata, should be made to give way to measures more in unison with
the spirit of the age; and that the wide rivers and rich plains of these
magnificent countries, should be thrown open to the commerce, and be
made free to the immigration of people from all nations.”

The hope was expressed, that when he should reach Montevideo—where it
was taken for granted he would make a public entry—he would visit the
Congress; but, before the word Montevideo was well uttered, he hastily
interrupted the sentence by exclaiming, “Montevideo!—No—no, I shall not
go to Montevideo!” He, it seems, studiously avoids every appearance of
courting popularity, and of making a display of himself unnecessarily;
averring that the only object for which he comes into the country, is to
free the Montevideans from the thraldom of the tyranny by which they
have so long suffered. Having accomplished this, he says he has nothing
further to ask or desire, except that they may be prosperous and happy,
united and free. The early career of Urquiza as a partisan of Rosas, and
as the victor over the Montevideans themselves, in the beginning of the
invasion by the Argentines, is said to have been as bloodthirsty and
cruel as that of any of his compeers, in the civil contentions of the
States of the Plata. But great apparent humanity, as well as consummate
policy, has thus far marked all his present measures and movements. In
the beginning of his march against Oribe, he proclaimed the anxiety he
felt to prevent all effusion of blood; that he came as a friend, not as
a foe; that his mission was one of peace and of patriotism in a common
cause. The consequence of this annunciation in advance, was a general
gathering to his standard in his progress, and the desertion to him, at
every opportunity, of whole detachments of the troops sent to oppose
him. On expressing the surprise which we felt at being told by him, that
the thousands of soldiers immediately around, and constituting his only
guard, were exclusively those who, but a few days before, had laid down
their arms to him, and, who till then were commissioned to cut his
throat—he said—“We are all brothers now—one people and one blood: it
only remains for us to free our common country from a common tyrant,”
referring of course to Rosas. The nearest detachment of the troops
brought with him from Entre-Rios was quite two miles distant.

At the end of a half hour, we took leave, greatly interested in all we
had seen and heard during the interview. As a rigid moralist, I am bound
perhaps to qualify, in a degree, my admiration of this chieftain, from
the knowledge I have gained of some of the particulars of his private
history. An inquiry made by one of our party, led the General to say,
that though he had no wife living he had a large family; and that the
mother of some of his children, having recently died, he regarded
himself as a widower. The truth is, he has never been married. It is by
no means unusual for persons here to live long together without the
marriage-tie, and often with entire fidelity to each other. It is to a
relation of this kind he referred, and in which he had a numerous family
born to him; but he admits the claims of paternity in a large number
besides; and so justly, it is said, that the title of the novel, “A
child of thirty-six fathers,” may with a slight transposition, be
applied with literal truthfulness to him, as “The father of thirty-six
children”—the exact number, I am told, of his acknowledged offspring. So
much for this chieftain for the present; we shall doubtless hear much of
him, and perhaps meet him again, before taking a final leave of the

Oribe has been permitted, since the capitulation, to retire on parole to
his country-seat, situated on the shore of the bay, in the neighborhood
of his former encampment. Lieut. T—— and I, as neutrals in the partisan
conflicts of the country, felt some disposition to call upon him in his
reverse of fortune; but the antipathies of Mr. Z——, arising from a
knowledge of his history and character, and the long endurance of evil
by the Montevideans at his hands, would not permit him to join us in a
visit of the kind. As condolence under capitulation and overthrow would
have been more difficult to present acceptably, than the felicitations
we had just addressed to the fortunate rival, we did well, perhaps, to
content ourselves with the view in the distance of the white walls of
his dwelling, in the midst of extensive plantations of poplar and
willow. If all that is said of his past acts of cruelty be true, he well
merits the reverse he has suffered, and the contempt into which he has

The ride, on our return, was constantly enlivened as before, by passers
by, both on foot and on horseback, forming a great variety of groupings,
and an endless diversity of costume. One common mode of transporting
burdens was of a most primitive kind: a hide spread on the ground, and
attached to the saddle or person of the horseman by a long leathern
rope. Whatever was to be carried was piled upon and made fast to this
simple sledge, and thus dragged along.

At the end of a couple of miles from the head-quarters at Pantanoso, we
turned inland for a short distance from the direct road, to inspect the
fort of the “Cerrito” or little hill, so recently evacuated by Oribe.
The rise of ground to it is very gentle on every side, and the central
point of elevation two hundred and fifty or three hundred feet only,
above the level of the bay. The little fort cresting the apex is
abandoned, except by a single keeper. It is old and dilapidated; and
defective in its original construction, in the leading principles of
modern engineering. It appeared incapable of standing a salute by its
own guns, much less the fire of artillery in an attack. The view from
the parapets is extensive in all directions; and, in the freshness and
verdure of the spring, peculiarly beautiful. It embraces a fine inland
view, the Mount, the bay and shipping; the massive walls and towers of
Montevideo; and the new town of Restoracion. At the base of the hill on
the east, lay, in a quadrangular village, the little huts of mud,
thatched with grass, which have for years been the quarters of the
besieging soldiery. They must have been wretched enough in appearance at
any time; but are doubly so, in their present state of desertion and
half demolition.

The ride of a mile from this cantonment brought us to Restoracion. This,
till the capitulation, was quite a thriving place, having attracted, by
its port of entry at the Buçeo, the little produce the country, in its
devastated condition, could furnish for exportation. But its vocation is
now gone. The port is already closed by decree of the government, and
the decline of Restoracion will be even more rapid than its rise. All
business will necessarily flow into its old channels in the city; and
the new town, at best, be only an impoverished suburb of the old.

It is well laid out: its streets very wide, regular, and well built. Its
chief architectural feature is a very fine structure: a spacious
quadrangle, enclosing double courts, and ornamented by a lofty tower. It
is called “the college;” and was designed by Oribe for an institution of
learning, but appears thus far to have been used only as a town hall,
for the accommodation of the municipal officers and the police.

This brings me to the comical part of our excursion. Having dismounted
for the observation of the place on foot, the inspection of the building
just mentioned, and of a new church of some merit in its architecture,
we again took horse to meet an appointment for dinner in Montevideo,
three miles distant. We had scarcely reached the centre of the town,
however, before my horse came suddenly to a dead stand. He had travelled
beautifully all the morning, without the slightest evidence of a
stubborn or vicious disposition, or any bad habit. It was in vain,
however, that I now urged him forward. All the effect of doing so was to
cause him to turn abruptly to the one side or the other, or completely
around; and, when I resorted to the whip and spur, neither of which had
before been required, he dashed upon the sidewalk to the right or to the
left, and rushed headforemost into the shop-doors and windows, putting
men, women, and children to flight in every direction. Of the crowd of
boys soon gathered near, I heard some, by way of commiseration, exclaim,
“What a wicked horse!” others less courteous, and with knowing looks as
to the merits of the case, “What a poor rider!” till Lt. T——, a Virginia
cavalier, insisted on an exchange of animals. This we made, but without
securing a better issue. The horse he had ridden behaved in the same
manner, or when started, persisted in dashing round the first corner
come to, and in rushing into the first enclosure or stable-yard open to
him. I kept him going, however, from point to point, as best I
could—first down one street and then up another; around this corner and
around that—with my friends in full gallop behind, till all three were
brought to a stand by getting between two walls, which formed a kind of
_cul de sac_. By this time we had fairly roused the whole place, without
gaining the advance of a rod towards Montevideo, and Mr. Z—— proposed
that I should make the further trial of his horse. The excitement of the
chase after me, the hurraing of the boys, the shrieks of the women, and
the general tumult, had fired the spirit of this fine animal, and the
moment I had gained the saddle, headed in the direction we wished to go,
he started at full speed through the principal street, while—

               “The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
                    Up flew the windows all;
                And every soul cried out ‘Well done!’
                    As loud as he could bawl.”

Finding myself thus well started, I was determined to allow my steed no
chance of a halt in the gait he had chosen, at least till well in sight
of the city, and kept him on the full spring. My friends were in close
pursuit; and the nearer they came the faster I fled, till we well-nigh
fell from our horses in convulsions of laughter, at the Gilpin-like
appearance of the chase. Had I worn hat and wig, I should have lost
them; and, as it was, doubtless presented a comical sight, in my efforts
at once to retain my seat in the saddle, and to keep a naval cap on my
head, and the spectacles on my nose. All the amusement, however, did not
centre on me. Mr. Z—— is immensely tall and slender. The stirrups of the
saddle exchanged with me for his own, were too short for him by at least
a half length. He had not altered them; and in sitting on the horse, his
knees were brought well up to his chin, making him, at the rate we were
riding, far from the least comical figure of the party.

The cause of this incident in our adventures was ascertained to be the
fact that, till the day previous, the only home of the two horses ridden
by Lt. T—— and me, had been at Restoracion; and, on reaching their old
haunts, they had no will, after a ride of fifteen miles, to leave them
again, even for the more dignified quarters of the Baron, their new
master in the city.

_October 22d._—For two or three days past, the troops of Urquiza, in
detachment after detachment, have been thickly clustering around the
base and on the sides of the Mount—like the settling of flocks of
pigeons on the ground, in the migrating season at home. The whole region
in sight from our ship is now little else than a tented field, so
covered with figures in glaring red as to remind me vividly, by the
brilliant coloring thus thrown over the landscape, of the fields of
scarlet poppies I have seen in some parts of Europe. The nearest of
these encampments is by the water’s edge, within a couple of miles of
our anchorage. Yesterday morning Captain McIntosh invited Dr. C—— and
myself, to accompany him and Captain Corey of the “Southampton” in a
visit to it. The morning was beautiful in weather, and the opportunity
for observation exceedingly interesting.

We landed at a point where, at the commencement of the civil war, there
had been an extensive manufactory connected with the staple productions
of the Republic—hides and tallow. Every thing here bore evidences of the
devastation which has swept over the whole country in its industrial
pursuits: roofless buildings and crumbling walls, uprooted pavements,
overthrown furnaces, and rust-eaten boilers. Some of the stone
enclosures still standing, presented a common but singular sight, in a
capping, twelve or eighteen inches in depth, formed of the horns and the
frontal bones of cattle, so arranged and interlocked, as to produce, in
their regularity, and in the whiteness into which the whole is bleached
by the weather, quite a striking and picturesque effect—as suggestive of
taste and beauty in fence building, as the drooping leaves of the
acanthus are said to have been in the finish of the Corinthian column.
Beyond the curving sand-beach of a little cove, a quarter of a mile from
this landing, the nearest encampment was spread over the bright verdure
of a gently swelling knoll. The scene presented by it was novel, and
strikingly picturesque. The snowy whiteness of the tents; the bright
green of the grass; and the glowing red of the caps, mantles, and
chiripas, or swaddling blankets, worn in place of trowsers by the
soldiers, were brought out in brilliant contrast by the morning’s sun;
while the pennons of scarlet, fluttering from the tops of the lances,
stuck in long lines and in thick clusters over the ground, gave an air
of lively animation to the whole.

No check was placed on our movements, nor on the scrutiny of such
observations as we chose to make. The uniforms of my companions led to
constant military salutes from such as recognized their presence; and we
were treated with unvarying civility. We were much struck with the
physical aspect of these troops. They are an uncommonly fine race;
large, muscular, and athletic: a powerful set of men, whom—perfect
centaurs as they are on horseback—it would be a fearful thing to meet as
lancers on full charge in battle. They are very dark and Indian-like in
complexion; their faces covered with bushy whiskers and mustaches, and
their long, black, uncombed hair flowing in the freedom of nature over
their shoulders. Occupied in all the various employments of
semi-civilized soldiery in camp, they furnished, individually and in
groups, studies of which an artist would have rejoiced to avail himself.
Some splitting billets of wood for cooking, some roasting meat, and some
eating it at their fires; some washing their clothes in a rivulet, just
by, and some bringing water from a spring; a few were lounging on the
grass in conversation, and a few walking listlessly about; but the
greater number—nine out of ten—were gambling with cards. Seated in
numbers, from four to seven, around a poncho spread on the grass, with
the money at stake upon it, they shuffled, dealt, and played, while
groups of double the numbers, standing around and over them, threw down
their dollars at hazard, and waited the issue of the game. So entirely
were the players and betters absorbed in their games, that they took no
notice whatever of us as strangers, nor of any thing occurring around
them. The importance of the political struggle now commenced, insures
good payment to the troops. A large distribution of cash has recently
been made, and the soldiers seem very flush in pocket, and very free in
the disposal of their funds. Card-playing is a chief amusement, and
gambling a ruling passion among all classes of the people.

The subsistence of the soldiers consists solely of fresh beef: eaten
without bread, or vegetables, or even salt. Morning, noon, and night,
beef, and beef alone, furnishes their repast. The manner of cooking it
is this. A small circular hole, three or four inches in depth, is made
in the ground, and a fire kindled in it. A long, slender stick or wooden
skewer, sharpened to a point at both ends, is run through a piece of
meat, and one end of the stick so fastened in the ground on one side of
the hole, that the meat hangs at a low angle over the flame and coals of
the fire. The outside thus soon becomes scorched and burnt, and in a few
minutes, one of the mess removes it from the fire, by taking hold of the
upper end of the stick with the left hand, while his ever-ready knife is
in the right. Seizing the meat with his teeth, as he holds it up before
him, he cuts off a mouthful by a single quick stroke of his knife, and
passed the skewer and its burden to his next messmate. Each of the group
thus in turn takes his share of the part roasted. That which remains raw
is again placed over the fire, and a similar process gone through with,
till the hungry are all satisfied, or the supply consumed. We were very
courteously invited by one group, to take seats upon the sheepskins
spread for them, and to partake of their primitive meal; but excused
ourselves from accepting such kind hospitality, by the plea of a want of

The encampment stretched, in greater or less regularity and compactness,
from the point at which we were, three miles and more northward, to the
head-quarters of the commander-in-chief; and from thence again westward
by the banks of a stream, the like distance around the Mount to the
Plata. The inspection of one portion gave us the characteristic and
leading features of the whole; and, after an hour’s stroll through the
nearer sections, we ascended the Mount, to enjoy from the ramparts of
the fortress, the wide landscape they command under its new aspects of
animated life. This was exceedingly picturesque in the varied display of
so large a force in camp and bivouac. The smoke of fires, in preparation
for the noonday meal, rose in pearly columns on every side; and
thousands of tethered horses, and unnumbered herds of cattle were
grazing every where over the rich plains.

Immediately beneath the walls of the fort, on the northern side, within
stone’s throw beneath us, is a _corral_—an enclosure for the keeping of
cattle, surrounded by high walls, with a barred entrance at one corner.
It was now filled with hundreds of fine animals. As we stood looking
down upon this, three horsemen, followed by three men on foot, entered
it; and we unexpectedly became witnesses of the manner of butchering an
animal here, whether taken wild on the open prairie, or, as at present,
penned up in a corral. The uses of the _lasso_ and _bolas_, and the
dexterity of the South Americans in the management of them, are familiar
to every school-boy. It was with the lasso the horsemen now operated.
The animal designated for slaughter, was, in a few moments, artfully
detached from the general herd, and made captive by the horns, with the
unerring lasso, thrown at the same moment by two of the horsemen—the
third having as readily entangled him by the hind legs as he ran. The
three horses trained to the business, the moment the lassos were thrown,
braced themselves firmly by their forefeet against the ground, bringing
the lassos perfectly ‘taut’ in three different directions, and thus
holding the beast as unmovable, as if staked by the head and heels. As
he became thus fixed, with his hind legs drawn closely together, one of
the men on foot sprang quickly behind him, and by a single sweep of his
long and murderous knife, severed the hamstrings of both legs, bringing
the hinder part of the animal to the ground, as if by a stroke of
lightning. He still stood on his fore legs; but, in as quick time
almost, the butcher was at his head, and by one plunge of the same
instrument, sent his heart’s blood gushing over the ground, and the fore
legs staggering, gave way. By a skilful movement of the lassos by the
horsemen he was jerked on his side as he fell, and the men on foot,
seating themselves upon the quivering, and still living carcass, at once
commenced their incisions, and the dissection of the skin. The whole
process of this catching, killing, flaying and cutting up an animal, is
often the work of less than ten minutes. The spectacle is barbarous and
disgusting; yet the saledaros, or general slaughter-houses, are often
visited by foreigners, for the purpose of witnessing it, as a matter of

_October 24th._—Early in September, Commodore McKeever was called to
Buenos Ayres by official duty. He made the passage in the U. S. sloop
Jamestown, to which his flag was transferred, and returned on the 22d in
the American propeller “Manuelita de Rosas,” now running as a packet
between Buenos Ayres and Montevideo. Mr. Harris, late chargé d’affaires,
on his way to the United States accompanied him; and it is officially
announced, that the Congress will sail immediately for Rio de Janeiro,
to carry him that far on his passage home.

The visit to Urquiza, and the stroll through the camp of his followers,
it will thus be seen, were made in fortunate time. Had they been delayed
longer, I should have had no opportunity for the observations they
afforded. We are to return to the Plata; but not till the successful
revolutionist and his troops will long have left the neighborhood of
Montevideo. On the 22d he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of
the republic. I like its style and spirit much. In it he has thrown
aside the accustomed verbosity and grandiloquence, characteristic of the
state papers of this section of the world, and the barbarous
vituperations of partisanship; and avows his principles and purposes in
a manly and patriotic manner. I close this section of my record with a
hasty translation.

    “The Governor and Captain-general of the Province of Entre-Rios,
    General and Chief of its army, and General of the vanguard of
    the allied armies of operation, to the inhabitants of the
    oriental Republic of Uruguay:

    “ORIENTALS! I promised to fight for your liberty and national
    independence, and I have fulfilled my word. The chains with
    which the tyrant of my country enslaved you are rent in pieces.
    It only remains for me to break those which bind the unhappy
    people of Buenos Ayres, where a hateful rule still oppresses the
    Argentines. For this the soldiers of liberty must still combat.

    “I am about to leave you, but wherever destiny may carry
    me—whether to the field of battle, to the quietude of private
    life, or to the guardianship of the tranquillity and glory of my
    country, I shall ever pray for your prosperity, and for the
    perpetuity of those blessings which I have recovered for you,
    after the long and disastrous struggle which has desolated the
    rich plains of your country, and crimsoned them with the blood
    of your brothers. These precious blessings are your liberty and
    your independence.

    “ORIENTALS! Be free, by submitting yourselves to the authority
    of that citizen whom constitutional suffrage shall elevate to
    the chair of the chief magistracy, and by upholding the laws
    which protect the lives and property of the people. Be
    independent by living unitedly beneath the glorious banner,
    which is the symbol of your nationality, that other governments
    observing it may respect you; and that you may merit the
    admiration of those who have sworn to exterminate a bloody
    tyranny, and firmly to establish an empire of liberty and law,
    in the Republics of the Plata.

    “ORIENTALS! In union is strength; in peace prosperity; and in
    the oblivion of civil discord and the exercise of republican
    virtues, the happiness of your children and the perpetuity of
    your national institutions.

    “ORIENTALS! Union, peace, and fraternity among all, is the
    charge to you from him who has the glory of having contributed
    to the restoration of your liberty and independence.

                                            “JUSTO JUAN URQUIZA.

    “Head-Quarters of Pantanoso, October 21st, 1851.”

Thus closes the first act in the political drama now in performance
on the banks of the Plata.


                             CHAPTER XXII.

                                                 RIO DE JANEIRO.

_December 10th._—The Congress has been a month at moorings here.
Nothing worthy of special notice has occurred on shore in the
interval. The court and church, by the customary pageants on gala
and fête days, have furnished the chief objects for sight-seeing,
and varied walks by the water side and on the mountains, my
principal sources of recreation. Our return to the metropolis was
welcomed, socially, by Mr. Schenck, the new minister, and by Gov.
Kent, the Consul, in elegant hospitalities to the officers of the
Congress; and Admiral Reynolds, relieved after long service by
Admiral Henderson, in the steam frigate Centaur, gave proof of his
continued friendship by a farewell dinner to us before putting to
sea, “homeward bound.”

The unity of my record, however, requires the brief notice of one or
two events on board ship. On the evening of the 25th ult. an outrage
was perpetrated by two or three of the crew, calculated to bring a
reproach upon our good name for order and discipline. I was on shore
with Commodore McKeever, when it was reported to him, that a
policeman of the city, who had taken a deserter on board, had been
knocked down on the deck when crossing the gangway, and, it was
feared, had been fatally injured. This seemed a daring outbreak
against the discipline of the service, and a serious offence against
the municipal authority of the city. Great excitement was produced
by it, and an investigation of the affair at once instituted. Two
chief offenders were discovered and confined in irons, in dark
cells, till a formal trial of the case should take place. At first,
the assault seemed so wanton, as to be inexplicable; and could only
be resolved into an act of unmitigated villainy. I was not long,
however, in gaining a clue to its solution, which, though it did not
excuse, explained the grounds of provocation, and very greatly
palliated the offence. The person attacked, instead of being a
policeman, was only one of those who are too well known among
sailors as land-sharks—a runner to a sailor boarding-house, who had
been in the habit of entrapping the men on shore, and imposing upon
them in various ways. On a recent occasion, he had decoyed one of
our crew—under peculiarly aggravating circumstances, and with
pretensions of kindness and friendship—into the hands of the police;
and had been guilty of a cowardly and abusive attack upon him
personally, afterwards, when he had no power to resent it. Great
indignation against him had thus been excited; and his unexpected
appearance on the deck of the Congress, led to a speedy
determination among a few, to seize what might be their only
opportunity for revenge. A crowd was quickly gathered at the
gangway, as if in mere curiosity, by which the opportunity of
tripping him up would be afforded, as he should leave the ship. This
purpose was successfully accomplished, and so quickly, that there
was no time for any one to interfere. The chief injury he sustained
was from striking his head upon the combings of a hatchway; but
nothing serious to him is likely to ensue; and the crew at least,
much as they regret the reflection upon the character of the ship in
connection with the affair, think he received only that which,
according to the sailor’s code of honor, was justly his due.

But this is a very trivial matter, in comparison with the chief
event which has happened: the loss to us of Captain McIntosh, as
commander of the Congress. The U. S. ship Falmouth, Captain Pearson,
of the Pacific squadron, came into port recently, homeward bound. An
exchange of commands took place; and Captain McIntosh left in the
Falmouth, on the 6th inst. To part with him thus unexpectedly, was
to others of the Congress, as well as to me, a severe trial. Every
officer felt it; and there was a general lamentation among all hands
of the crew. His reputation in the service is of the highest merit,
not only as an accomplished officer, but as a finished gentleman;
and, favored with his confidence—especially on the most important of
all subjects—and intimately associated with him, I deeply feel his
absence. Indeed, when his return to the United States was first
announced, I could scarcely be reconciled to it. All things,
however, are now going on promisingly under our new commander, who
comes to us with favorable antecedents, and high professional
character. The ship is in beautiful order; and general harmony and
contentment prevail, with every promise of a continuance of the
happy auspices which have hitherto marked our cruise.

One thing is very certain—that to me time flies with the velocity of
the wind. Each day is too short for its allotted routine of duty;
and Sabbath crowds upon Sabbath, as if the week were reduced to half
its length of days. Do you ask how this can be in such long and
distant exile? I answer, because I find varied occupation to
interest and keep me employed from morning till night. I will give
you the outline of a day on board. To begin at the beginning: while
every thing is still enshrouded in darkness, three loud and measured
beats upon a bass drum fall on the dead silence of the ship at the
hour, like the heavy tread—according to romance writers of old—of a
ghost in a haunted castle, at midnight. They are the signal for the
firing of the morning gun of thirty-two pounds, which occurs
simultaneously with the last stroke on the drum, and is followed by
the beating of the reveillé. This, however, is not intended, and, in
general has not the effect to waken the hundreds of sleepers on
board from their repose, but only to proclaim the first approaches
of the dawn in the east, or, in nautical phraseology, “to make
daylight.” It is not till half an hour afterwards that the
boatswain’s pipe, followed and joined by those of his mates, is
heard to echo shrilly round the decks, preparatory to the clear and
stentorian cry by him, “Up, all hands!” caught also by his mates and
bawled by them about the ship, in varied tones of voice, but all
very considerably above concert pitch. Then again in like manner,
“Up all hammocks!” and should it be a washing-day, of which there
are two or three each week, a third cry is heard, “All hands wash
clothes!” or “All hands wash hammocks!” as the case may be. Every
one springs at once from his hammock; all on board is bustle and
activity; and, for an hour or more, there is heard a universal
rubbing, and scrubbing, and scouring on deck, till the clothes are
all washed and hoisted fore and aft on lines in the rigging. Then
comes a dashing and splashing of water, and a thumping and bumping,
a pounding and grating of “holystones” over the sanded decks, that
would effectually break the slumber of any one but a naval officer.
By the inexperienced, all this would be thought an effectual
substitute for the gong, in rousing one from his slumbers, and in
hastening him to the deck to enjoy the balmy land-breeze, and the
glorious coloring of the morning on the landscape. As to the morning
gun and the reveillé, I neither heed nor hear the sound of either of
them once in a month; and as to the beauty of the morning, and the
fresh air of the deck, woe to him who seeks them, unless prepared to
receive a shower-bath of dirty water, by the bucketfull, at every
hatchway he attempts to ascend, and to wade ankle-deep, in search of
some spot where he can stand for a moment, without being tripped up
by a “squill-gee,” or knocked off his feet by the thrashing about of
huge “swabs.”

This general ship-cleaning is not ordinarily finished till near 8
o’clock—the breakfast hour on board; when our flags are thrown to
the wind with a salute to them by “Hail Columbia,” or the
“Star-spangled Banner,” from the band. Breakfast is followed by a
change of dress in the crew; and the ship thus in the nicest order,
and the men in uniform clothes of pure white, with cuffs and collars
of blue, we are ready for both the duty and the pleasure that the
day may bring forth. Denied the fresh air and bright scenery of the
early day, by the comfortless state of the deck, I give the first
hour after breakfast to the enjoyment of these, and the rest of the
morning to study.

The arrival of the long-expected library for the crew has given
quite a literary aspect to their hours of leisure. I have
voluntarily undertaken the office of librarian; and a half-day twice
a week, is necessarily given to the record of the issue and return
of the books. Evening classes, to which I also voluntarily give a
general superintendence, have been formed among the adults for
improvement in reading, writing, and arithmetic; and six or eight of
the more ambitious and promising, receive occasionally from me in my
room, lessons of an hour or two, in the higher branches of
arithmetic and in navigation. Thus, with a couple of hours on shore
for exercise, and daily visits to the sick and imprisoned on board,
I find my time fully occupied. I say visits to the imprisoned; for,
since the abolition of the lash by act of Congress, it has been
found necessary to erect cells—as remote as can be from the ordinary
resorts of the crew about the decks—for solitary confinement. The
interviews which I am permitted to have with those under such
punishment have proved to be salutary in their effect in the
discipline of the ship; and I claim the liberty of access to them,
as a privilege of my office.

American seamen, as a class, are fond of reading; and often, not
only of reading such books as the Arabian Nights, trashy romances,
tales of piracy and murder, and Munchausen stories, but books of
history, biography, travels, and even poetry. Among the works
ordered, is a set of Washington Irving’s writings: no volumes are
more called for—especially the lives of Columbus and Mahommed, the
Conquest of Granada, and the Sketch Book.

The most remarkable reader among the crew is an old main-mast-man of
most trustworthy character. Religious works exclusively are his
choice. The Bible is his constant companion; and, besides an entire
set of the Evangelical library of the American Tract Society, which
I brought with me for the use of any who would receive them, he has
carefully read almost every volume of a theological and practical
nature in my own library—including portions of Home’s Introduction,
the whole of Dwight’s Theology, and the entire works of Archbishop
Leighton. Of good countenance and personal appearance in general,
sedate and quiet in his conduct, and scrupulously neat and
particular in dress, he forms a study for an artist, as, seated near
the main-mast, where he is stationed at sea, his knees spread with a
piece of white duck—to keep all spots from his nicely covered
volume—with spectacled nose, he pores over it hour after hour, so
entirely absorbed by its contents as to lose all consciousness of
the varied movements around him. He seems truly a good man, and
sincerely interested in religious things; but when I question him in
regard to personal faith and hope, he shakes his head negatively, as
if he dare not presume to these; probably from the consciousness of
an infirmity which he finds it difficult to overcome—the inability
to resist indulgence in strong drink on shore. Aware of this he, for
the most part, very wisely declines accepting the liberty of leaving
the ship. There are other instances of like self-denial from the
same cause, among some of our “best men,” in sea phraseology.

_December 12th._—I recollect having stated, that the first sight
which arrests the eyes of the stranger on landing in Rio, is the
number, varied employments, and garb of the negroes. The first, and
chief human sounds that reach his ears, are also from this class.
Their cries through the streets vary with the pursuits they follow.
That of the vegetable and fruit venders is monotonous and singular;
but so varied, that each kind of vegetable and fruit seems to have
its own song. The coffee carriers, moving in gangs, have a tune of
their own to which they keep time, in an Indian-like lope, with a
bag of one hundred and sixty pounds’ weight, poised on their heads.
The bearers of furniture form a regular choir. One or two, with
rattles of tin in their hands, resembling the nose of a
watering-pot, perforated with holes and filled with shot, lead the
way in a style truly African. To this is allied, with full strength
of lungs, a kind of travelling chant, in which at times all join in
chorus. It is full and sonorous, and rendered pleasant, if from no
other cause, by the satisfaction from it visible, in the shining and
sweating faces of the poor blacks. An effort was made by the
authorities, some years ago, to put a stop to the unceasing
vociferations and songs of the slaves; and a decree to that effect
was issued. But on trial, it was found that the poor creatures
drooped and faltered under their task, as they worked in forced
silence; and soon moped in such melancholy and depression, that the
attempt was abandoned. They now have full license to let out their
musical voices; and the way some of them give utterance from their
full chests, “to gigantic sounds, is a marvel to low-voiced
humanity.” This is in direct contrast to the habits of the
Brazilians. The chief and only sound you hear in the street from
them, is a singular kind of softened hiss, the nearest resemblance
to which the unpractised American could make, would probably be,
according to a suggestion of Gov. Kent, in the effort to pronounce
the word “tissue” by a quick and single action of the lips and
tongue. This can be heard at a considerable distance, and seldom
fails to attract the attention of the person to whom it is directed.
No loud call—no halloo! to stop or to stand—no rough salutation or
boisterous recognition is here heard, but all is quiet and calm. A
beckon of the hand, as if you wished the person to approach,
accompanied by a play of each finger, is the salute to a passer-by
in a carriage, or one at too great a distance for the ordinary low
tone of voice. The motion would be taken by a stranger for a beckon
to come near, but when this is intended, the action is reversed, the
back of the hand being towards the body, and the motion of the
fingers a scoop inwards.

This sparing of the voice and this quiet action, indicate the
general indolence of the people, induced by the debilitating
influence of a tropical climate, and is characteristic of all their
habits. It is a principle with them to sit at rest as much as
possible, and when forced to move, to do so slowly and gently—to be
calm and composed, quiet and noiseless. With this view of life, they
eat, sleep, keep their temper and grow fat.

Public conveyances here, as elsewhere, afford good opportunities for
studying some of the manners and habits of the people. Lines of
omnibuses run in various directions through the city, and far into
the suburbs. Gov. Kent has found it convenient during his residence
here, to make much use of them, and says, that in so doing, he has
been led to remark among other traits, the marvellous patience of
the natives, and their utter disregard for loss of time. No matter
how long, or however unaccountable the delay in starting, there is
no inquiry made, no remonstrance uttered, no English or American
fretting and scolding and threatening. The Brazilian passengers on
such occasions appear as if they would sit for the day and the
night, without a look or question of impatience. On one occasion, he
was making a passage in a steamboat from the port of Estrella, on
the western side of the bay of Rio. In crossing a shoal she grounded
in the mud and remained fast for an hour; not a native passenger
manifested the least curiosity or anxiety in regard to the
detention. No one asked the cause or went forward to make any
investigation, or to ascertain whether the tide was rising or
falling. There was nothing on board either to eat or drink, except
water; yet no one inquired how long the delay might be, but each
taking out his tablets, or a newspaper, began writing or reading as
if all were going on well.

Another trait strikingly exhibited in the omnibus, is the remarkable
politeness and civility of the citizens, in some respects. Every man
that enters the vehicle raises his hat to his fellow-passengers, who
return the salute in the same manner. Sometimes in doing this, if
the omnibus suddenly starts, there is an amusing struggle between
politeness and the self-preservation which demands the use of both
hands, ending at times in a stumble and fall, hat in hand, in the
anxiety to do the accustomed honors. But no one thinks of yielding
his seat after it is once taken, either to sex or age; and if the
only unoccupied place should be at the furthest end of the carriage,
the most delicate woman, on entering, must force her way to it as
best she may. This is to be attributed to the national dislike to
locomotion, and to the _vis inertiæ_ incident to the climate. Men
will often sit wedged together in a hot day, after vacancies on both
sides have occurred, rather than move a foot for a more comfortable

The omnibuses are drawn by mules, and amusing scenes are often
witnessed by the display of their characteristic obstinacy and
ill-temper. As a friend remarks, in the language of some modern
reformers, “from their unfortunate and misdirected organization,
they exhibit, at times, great lightness of heel, and a savage desire
to kick something.” The drivers, however, manage them admirably, and
guide them skilfully, at a rapid rate, through the narrow streets.
The carriages are strongly built—as they need to be; for the
pavements are very rough. To this, however, the drivers pay little
heed, and generally drive the most rapidly over the worst sections.
In one respect the rate at which they move is an inconvenience to
those wishing to take passage. The drivers have nothing of the
“wide-awake” qualities of the Yankee jehus of the same vehicles at
home. They never look out for passengers in the cross streets, and
never behind them, but wait to be hailed by the native “hiss.” The
foreigner may not be accomplished in the utterance of this; and when
once the omnibus is well started, there is a farewell to all hope of
a seat for the trip.


                             CHAPTER XXIII.

                                                     SAN ALIEXO.

_December 14th._—Where, or what, you will ask, is San Aliexo? It is
a spot which reminds me more of my home than any place I have seen
for eighteen months past, notwithstanding the existence of features
in its scenery in the widest possible contrast with any found there.
Even while I write, there is a rumbling and babbling of water near
at hand, which tempts me to fancy that I am at the table of the
little library so familiar to you, and that it is our own brook I
hear, made unusually merry by the meltings of the spring, or the
pourings of an autumnal rain. But this is not telling you what, and
where, San Aliexo is.

It is a little valley at the foot of the Organ Mountains, thirty
miles from Rio de Janiero. Mr. M——, in whose bride, brought to
Brazil by him from the United States last summer, I recognized with
so much surprise and pleasure, my young friend, M—— G——, daughter of
Capt. G——, of the navy, resides in it; and a visit to her and her
husband has led me here. My messmate, Captain T——, of the marine
corps, is an uncle of Mrs. M——. He passed a fortnight recently at
San Aliexo, and joined the ship again, three days ago. Mr. M——
accompanied him on board, and so earnestly urged an invitation from
himself and my young friend to their place, that I returned with
him, and have now, for two days, been enjoying their hospitality in
the very perfection of rural life. The trip as far as Piedade, at
the head of the bay, twenty miles from Rio, is made by water. Till
within a year or two, the packets plying between this place and the
city, were exclusively sharp-built and gracefully modelled lateen
sail-boats; but now, a little steamer, scarcely larger than the
smallest “tug” at New York, also makes a daily trip. We embarked on
this at noon, and reached Piedade at 3 o’clock; having stopped to
land and receive passengers at Paqueta, the most beautiful of the
islands in the upper part of the bay.

The day was remarkably fine; neither too bright nor glaring for the
enjoyment of the scenery, as is often the case in this, the
midsummer of the year, nor too sombre from the thickness of the
screening clouds. There was quite a number of passengers, male and
female, and of a variety of nations—Brazilian, Portuguese, French,
German, Swiss, Italians, Englishmen, Americans, and numerous
Africans, both bond and free. The Italians were image venders,
having with them the long board which they carry on their heads in
their travels, filled with the plaster casts of saints and angels,
dancing-girls and satyrs, and, for aught I observed to the contrary,
statuettes of the Prince of Evil himself. The images of the saints
led to conversation among some of the passengers, long resident in
the country, on the superstition and superstitious practices of the
common people. Some of the anecdotes related were quite amusing. San
Antonio, or St. Anthony, is the patron saint of the Portuguese. It
is upon him chiefly they rely for aid in various straits and
difficulties—especially in the recovery of lost or stolen property.
The highly glazed and gaudily painted effigies of this saint,
represent him with an infant Saviour in his arms. This baby-image is
not, however, part and parcel of the principal cast, but a separate
piece attached to the arm of the saint by a long pin, which can be
inserted in a hole in the plaster, and removed at pleasure. And for
what purpose is this arrangement, do you imagine? I could scarcely
have credited the statement, had not an examination of the images
corroborated it: the purpose is, that the saint, when regardless of
the prayers made to him for aid in any specific case, may be
punished by having the child taken from him! This, I am assured, is
often done. An additional infliction for hard-heartedness or
contumacy on his part, is to put his image behind the door with its
face to the wall, or to stand it on its head, upside down! A
gentleman present related the following fact, illustrative of a like
degree of superstition. An old Portuguese, near whom he lived as a
neighbor for a long time, and with whom he was familiar, said to him
one day, “You Protestants do not believe in miracles?” “No, not in
miracles of the present day—do you?” “Certainly.” “And why?”
“Because I have experienced them myself.” “Indeed! and when was
that?” “Oh! at different times: once in Portugal, when I was a young
man. Like most young fellows, I was fond of dress then, and wore a
pair of silver shoe-buckles, of which I was very vain. One Sunday
having them on, I set off for chapel two or three miles distant, by
a cross path, and when I got there, one of my buckles was gone. I
was very much troubled; but staid to mass, vowing to San Antonio, if
he would get back my buckle, I would give him a wax candle. On my
way home, I kept looking along the path to see whether San Antonio
would hear my prayer; and before I had gone half the way, there lay
the buckle before me all right, on one side of the path. At another
time I lost a favorite dog. I was very much grieved, and felt the
loss so much, that one day, when walking along the road, I made a
vow to San Antonio of a half pound of candles, if he would only
bring him back; and I had scarcely said the words, before my dog
came bouncing through the hedge to me as fast as he could run!” Such
was the amount of the old man’s experience in miracles.

While mentally classifying my fellow-passengers, as to their
nationality and social position, my eye rested on one of them,
apparently some sixty years of age, whose aspect was peculiarly
intelligent and gentlemanlike. A round jacket of blue cloth,
trowsers of cotton striped blue and white, long boots of the country
of undressed leather, with spurs of like fashion, a broad-brimmed,
low-crowned, white felt hat, and a whip in hand, told that he was
prepared to ride after reaching the landing. Pointing him out to Mr.
M——, I said, “That person, I presume, is a country gentleman of the
first class.” Looking in the direction indicated, he replied, “That
is Admiral T——.” This I at once perceived to be the fact; and, both
of us having before met him, we approached with our salutations. He
is an Englishman, who left the British naval service when a
lieutenant, thirty years ago, for that of Brazil, and has been
advanced in it to the rank of admiral. After much important naval
service, he was appointed adjutant-general of the Empire, during the
minority of the Emperor, an office which he held for many years; but
is now off duty, and on the retired list of the navy. I first met
him in Rio in 1829; and a second time since the Congress has been on
this station, but in so different a dress, that I did not now
recognize him. He was on his way to a coffee plantation in the Organ
Mountains; his horses and servants being also on board the steamer.
His reception of us was most cordial, and his conversation during
the remainder of the passage, interesting and instructive, from a
perfect knowledge of the country. No meals are served on board the
packet, and he insisted upon our joining him in a Brazilian lunch,
as he called it, of sausages, made partly of beef and partly of
pork—with a strong mingling of garlic—stuffed in a large skin, in
imitation of those of Bologna. Cheese, and bread in rolls, with
oranges for dessert, made up the repast: all being served in most
primitive style, on the wrappers of brown paper in which the
articles had been purchased at the grocer’s. Each of us used his own
knife in helping himself, and all drank from a cup of silver,
belonging to our host, which was as bruised and battered, as if it
had done service for a whole mess in a dozen campaigns. We ate upon
deck in the midst of our fellow-passengers; and were waited on by a
slave in shirt and trowsers of coarse towcloth, without shoes or
hat, but in a livery-jacket of blue turned up with red, and a red
waistcoat. His master seemed most kindly attached to him, saying
that, “in fidelity, honesty, and in every qualification for his
business, he was worth any twenty ordinary servants ‘at
home’”—referring, I suppose, to England.

Piedade, the place to which the steamer plies, consists of one long
range of buildings under a single roof, and comprises a warehouse,
for the storage of coffee and other products on their way to the
city, and the returns in foreign goods; a packet office; a shop for
the retail of articles in general demand; and a small venda or
tavern—the eating and sleeping-rooms of which communicate directly
with the stables and mule-stalls in the rear. Room for this
establishment—along the front and on one end of which the wharf
extends—has been scooped from the base of an isolated, round-topped
promontory, which rises from the bay, much in the manner, and with
the general appearance of Stony Point, near the entrance of the
Highlands on the Hudson. We had intended to dine here; but the
luncheon of the admiral saved us from all temptation on landing,
from the oily dishes of the dirty venda, which, rank with garlic,
were spreading their perfume around, and we hastened to proceed on
our way.

It was quite a pleasure to see a light and tasteful wagon of
American manufacture, with seats for two and a caleche top, in
readiness to receive us; and one still greater to move off in it, at
a rapid rate, behind two fat, sleek, and spirited mules. These
animals are much more serviceable than horses in this climate. I am
becoming so much accustomed to their appearance, as almost to admire
them. Some of those brought to the landing to meet the passengers in
company with us, were beautiful; especially two that were
milk-white, rivalling the drifted snow. The saddlecloths and
bridle-reins were also white, and in the most perfect keeping. In
these animals, as well as some others, I could trace lines of
beauty: particularly in their long and delicately shaped ears, their
neatly shaven tails, and slender and symmetrically formed legs. On
being mounted, they amble off, too, with their riders in such an
easy and knowing way, that I am beginning to have quite a fancy for
a well-trained beast of the kind.

Carriage roads are not common in Brazil. That on which we now were,
is the principal among the few in this section of the empire, and
leads across the mountains to the mining districts in the far
interior. It is narrow, but well graded; having the earth thrown up
in the centre with deep and wide trenches on either side. It is for
the most part unfenced; enclosures by the wayside, wherever there
are any, are formed by hedges of the thorny acacia, of mimosa, the
running rose, the wild orange tree, or the hybiscus.

The road presented a lively scene for some distance, in the
movements on it of the passengers from the boat—some in clumsy
carriages, but chiefly on horse and mule-back, and the poorer class
and negroes on foot. These last, with trunks and portmanteaus,
boxes, bundles, and different kinds of packages of greater or less
weight on their heads, walked erectly and with firm and rapid
stride. The country between the waters of the bay and the foot of
the mountains, a space of ten or twelve miles, is alluvial, low and
wet,—a sandy and marshy plain, overspread with brushwood and jungle,
from which numerous rounded hills rise abruptly on every side.
These, well-wooded, and partially cultivated, are the sites of the
few dwellings seen. The first part of the way presents the aspect of
a region abounding in miasma and mosquitoes, with few attractions as
a place of residence. At the end of four miles is the town of Majé,
situated on a small river of the same name. It is the head of boat
navigation, and counts a population of three or four thousand: but
seems a dull and inactive place, and may be summarily described as a
shabby and dirty Portuguese town.

Beyond Majé the country improved in appearance. The hills were more
numerous and more swelling in outline, and their sides and summits
more richly tufted with foliage. Here the chief animation of the
scene consisted in long “troupes” of heavily laden mules with their
muleteers, on their way from the interior, or returning from Piedade
with panniers less heavily laden or entirely empty. Some were _en
route_; others, grouped under the shade of immense open sheds or
_ranchos_,—places built at distances of a few miles by the wayside,
for the accommodation of these troupes—were resting for a brief
time; and others again, relieved from their burdens for a longer
stop, were seen eagerly seeking food, wherever they could find it by
the wayside.

The enterprise which brought Mr. M—— to Brazil, and has made him a
resident here, is the establishment of a cotton manufactory; and the
road into which we turned from the great turnpike, as it is called,
at the end of three miles from Majé, is of his own construction, to
facilitate the transportation of the raw material and manufactured
goods, to and from his establishment, five miles distant. It is not
so wide or so well graded as the public road, but most creditable as
a private work, and a great advance upon the mule-track and
bridle-path of former days. The last four miles of the drive along
the rich bottom-land of the Majé, and afterwards of its tributary,
the Peak River, was beautiful. The narrow, lane-like road is lined
closely on either side with green hedges, in some places of mallows
covered with purple flowers, three or four feet only in height, and
in others of the wild orange tree, rising to twenty and thirty. The
loftier ranges of the mountains in front of us were hidden in
clouds; still the wildness and beauty of the shafts which buttress
them, and of the hills which form their bases, were more and more
impressive the further we advanced. At length, as we turned the
shoulder of a projecting hill, the little valley, three miles long,
and half a mile wide, hemmed in and overhung by the wildest and
loftiest peaks of the Organ Mountains, opened suddenly to view. To
my eyes it was fascinating in its secluded beauty, and the wild
sublimity of its surroundings. I can scarcely describe the effect,
from association, of the unexpected sight of an “American Factory,”
with its modest belfry, rising loftily and in snowy whiteness from
the midst of green groves and bright streams; the cottages of the
operatives being clustered around it; and, in a grove of acacias, a
quarter of a mile distant, the “American” dwelling of the
proprietor. I use the word “American” not in reference to fashion
merely, but to material and construction, the whole having been
fitted for use in the United States. There was not an image, in all
that gave animation to the picture, to break the illusion of having
been suddenly transported from Brazil, and set down in some
manufacturing glen at home.

Mr. M——’s house is situated on a natural terrace, twenty feet above
the level of a beautiful meadow of _alfalfa_ or Peruvian grass,
which lies between it and the factory. A road on the bank of the
river runs beside this, in front of the house and lawn; and is a
perfect specimen of the “green lane,” in the English landscape.
Smooth, straight, and turf-covered, with a hedge of mimosa on the
meadow side, and embowering thickets of bushes and trees overhanging
the river on the other, it forms a striking object in the scene: one
harmonizing well with the rural quietude and simplicity of the
whole. In the lawn, which is on a level with the meadow and lane,
there is a fountain and fine jet d’eau, and upon the terrace above,
another between the drawing-room windows and the grove of acacias. A
garden of fruit and flowers on the opposite side of the house, is
separated from it by an artificial stream, whose bed is so paved
with rough stones as to produce a constant murmur of soft sounds, as
the water glides over and around them. Every thing in sight, indeed,
though the place is new, presents a picture of taste and rural
beauty, that makes me think of the “happy valley” in Rasselas.

It is unnecessary to say that I was most cordially received by my
friend, whom I found in all the freshness and bloom of American
beauty, and that I felt at once at home in her neat and tasteful

_Dec. 16th._—At the end of three days even, I cannot resist a
feeling of having been transported from Brazil to some mountain
region at home. There is nothing in the general foliage, except here
and there the tufted top of a palm, or the broad leaf of the banana,
to forbid the illusion. The place, in its quietude, its bright
meadow and green lane, edged with hedges, its river whispering over
a stony bed, beneath thicket-covered and tree-embowered banks,
reminds me of Landsdown; while the house, an importation in all its
parts from the United States; the factory, of which the same is
true; and the distant hum of its busy looms and spindles, present a
picture as strikingly characteristic of New England.

The weather is charming: clear and bright, with an occasional cloud
of snowy whiteness floating against the deep blue of the sky, while
breezes of grateful elasticity fan down from the mountain tops in
the mornings and evenings, and sweep back through the valley with
coolness from the distant sea at noonday. The nights, in their utter
silence, are in wide contrast with those to which I have of late
been accustomed: not a sound is heard but the plashings of the
fountains and the murmurings of many waters.

The Sabbath was a day of rest indeed. I officiated at a service held
in the hall at 11 o’clock, and would most gladly have attempted to
make the day one of spiritual good to the operatives of the factory,
and the numerous dependants of the establishment, by public worship
with them. With the exception of the foreman and one or two
assistants, however, all these are foreigners—Portuguese and
Germans, whose languages I do not speak, and who, moreover, are
chiefly Romanists, not accessible to a Protestant by preaching. The
greatest number of those who are employed in the factory are
females—Germans from the Imperial colony of Petropolis: the male
portion are Portuguese from Oporto and the islands of Madeira and
Terceira. The house-servants, the waiter, coachman, gardener and
under-gardener, are Portuguese; the chambermaid, cook, and
laundress, free negresses.

There is a Romish chapel within three miles of the valley; but it is
closed for the most of the year, and is not frequented by the
work-people here. The parish priest, like most others in the
country, is living in a state of open concubinage, and is in other
ways unpopular as to his morals. In passing through Majé, we met a
fine-looking young man, handsomely mounted, followed by two negroes
on mules. I was struck with his appearance, and, remarking it,
learned that he was a son of the padre of the place, the eldest of a
large family. We saw the father shortly afterwards, and received a
bow from him at a door, as he was about to mount his mule. This
animal I observed to be one of the finest of the kind I had seen;
and I was struck with the peculiar fashion of the stirrups of the
saddle; they were of polished brass, richly wrought, and in the form
of a Turkish slipper.

_December 18th._—On Tuesday I took a ride of two miles or more on
horseback, to the head of the little valley. This presents a most
wild and romantic scene: making one feel, in gazing upon it,—while
mountain piled upon mountain, and pinnacled rock rising above
pinnacled rock, tower, almost perpendicularly, thousands of feet
overhead,—as if you had not only passed beyond civilization, but had
arrived at the outer edge of the world itself, where, by the
inaccessible barriers in front and on either hand, it is more
impressively said than even by the waves of the sea-shore, “Hitherto
shalt thou come, but no further.”

After passing Mr. M——’s place, the only road is a mule-path, wide
enough for a single animal, and in all respects, excepting the
tracks of repeated use, in the state in which nature formed it—not a
stone removed, and not an ascent or descent, however abrupt and
precipitous, smoothed or graded. A few scattered habitations formed
of wattled sticks, plastered with mud, and thatched with grass, are
seen here and there; but less comfortable, apparently, and less
attractive as dwellings, than the meanest log cabins on the
outskirts of pioneer life in the United States. A few patches of
mandioca, and one or two of Indian corn, alone indicated any
cultivation of the soil, or gave evidence of a pursuit of industry.

The course of the principal stream is a broad bed of wild and
massive rocks, from one to another of which, ordinarily, you may
step dry-shod; but, in rains, these are covered by rushing and
foaming torrents, and the stream is impassable. The next morning Mr.
M—— accompanied me in a second ride, up a valley branching to the
west from this, called the Peak Valley, from a remarkable peak of
granite, which rises at its head: one of those sugar-loaf shafts, so
common in the geological formation of this region. This valley, too,
is exceedingly wild, in its chief features; and is watered by a
rapid stream called the Peak River, tributary to that on which the
factory stands.

The only drawback to the entire satisfaction of my visit, for the
first three days, was the concealment by thick clouds, of the pikes
or fingers as named by some, and all the higher ranges of the Organ
Mountains which immediately overhang San Aliexo. These had so often
been the object of admiration at a distance, when visible from Rio,
that I was impatient to behold them close at hand; but had been
tantalized only, by an occasional, indistinct, and momentary
glimpse, through the mist of an opening cloud, of a fantastic peak
or shelving precipice, standing high in the heavens above us. Just
at nightfall, last evening, however, the veil was entirely lifted,
and I charmed beyond expectation by the scene thus disclosed: and
not without reason, as even the imperfect sketch accompanying this
will show.

I was up with the dawn this morning, and, finding the whole range to
be still uncovered, hastened to a part of the lawn which commands
the best view of it. The rising sun was just beginning to illuminate
the loftiest peaks with a bright and golden light; and I stood for
an hour riveted to the spot, in the study and untiring admiration of
a scene, gorgeous in coloring, and of unrivalled sublimity in its
outlines. By nine o’clock the mists from the valleys had again
enshrouded the whole in clouds.

Though the present is the rainy season of the year, till yesterday
the weather was bright as that of June at home: but then, while we
were at dinner, it began suddenly to pour down in torrents;
presenting every thing out of doors in a new phase. At the end of a
couple of hours the rain ceased; and the paths in the lawn and the
road soon became sufficiently dry to allow our taking a walk. Mr.
M—— and I went to observe the effect upon the river. This was
surprising. From a bed of rocks, among which a shallow stream was
lazily flowing, it had become a swollen and irresistible torrent:
wide and deep, roaring like a tornado, and foaming like the sea. As
we approached a venda, or retail store and grocery, a quarter of a
mile up the valley, there was a shout and call for us, by several
persons collected there, to hurry on, as if something unusual was to
be seen. These, at the same time, set off on a run towards a point
near by them, which commands an unobstructed view of the river
above. Mr. M—— told me, as we hastened forward, that the sight was
the approach of an additional flood of water from the mountain.
This, though not now so remarkable in its appearance as it sometimes
is, was very singular. The mass of water tumbled by such showers
down the precipices which hedge in the little valley, is so great,
and rushes so suddenly into the bed of the river, as in itself to
exhibit the appearance from bank to bank, of passing over a dam. The
perpendicular elevation of this new body of water above that
previously forming the surface of the stream, was a couple or more

We were standing at the time, near a rude mill for grinding the root
of the mandioca, and the conversion of it into farina—the “staff of
life” in Brazil; it was in operation, and the process in the
manufacture going on, under the management of a half-dozen nearly
naked negroes. The mandioca is every where seen growing in
plantations of greater or less extent, in all the tropical parts of
Brazil. It resembles the palma christi, or castor oil plant, in its
general appearance, more than any other growth that occurs to me.
The leaves, though smaller and of a darker green, are in like manner
digitated or finger-shaped, and the stem and branches irregular and
scraggy. It grows to the height of four and five feet, and attains
maturity at the end of eighteen or twenty months after being
planted. The roots produce the farina. These, at full growth, are of
the size and general appearance of a large irregularly-formed
parsnip. After being brought from the field in wide, shallow
baskets, carried by the negroes on their heads, the first operation
is to scrape off the outer skin with a knife. In this state the root
is very white and pure in looks, but poisonous in acrid juices. A
rasp or coarse grater is so arranged as to be turned by a
water-wheel; against this the root is held, and becoming finely
grated, falls into a trough or tub of water, prepared to receive it,
and is reduced to a pulp. In this state, it is placed in baskets and
pressed with heavy weights, till freed from the water and its own
juices. It is then dried, broken up or powdered, sifted through a
coarse sieve, and placed in a very large flat iron pan, having a
furnace with slow heat beneath. In this it is thoroughly dried,
without being allowed to scorch or burn. It is then put in bags for
use or sale.

One of the effects of the rain, was the appearance of numerous
cascades and temporary waterfalls on the tops and sides of the
mountains. I dare not venture to guess even, at the extent of some
of these. They foam down their courses, white as drifting snow, and
look beautiful, amid the deep green of the forests, and the dark
precipices over which they pour.

The history of Mr. M——’s enterprise in the introduction of
cotton-spinning and weaving, here, is quite interesting, and has
caused me to look upon him as a pioneer in such business, well
worthy the reputation of our countrymen for energy, invention, and
indomitable perseverance; and an instructive example of the
importance of a fixed purpose for the accomplishment of an end. He
met, at first, with a succession of disappointments and unexpected
obstacles, which would have utterly disheartened and broken down a
spirit less determined, and less elastic than his own. Brought up
in mercantile pursuits without practical knowledge in mechanics or
manufacture, he determined, in 1846, to attempt the establishment
of a cotton factory in Brazil. A gentleman from Rio, then in New
York, encouraged him in the project, by the assurance that the
vicinity of Rio furnished ample water-power for the object; that,
abounding in hills and mountains, streams of water in sufficient
volume, were in various places poured down. The Brazilian minister
at Washington, also expressed great interest in the subject, and
by way of encouragement to Mr. M——, gave him a copy of an act,
passed by the Imperial Legislature in 1842, by which all machinery
for manufacturing purposes of the kind, was exempted from duty.
Under these auspices, he expended capital to a large amount, in
the necessary machinery, in materials for the large structure in
which it was to be put up, and in the freight of both to Rio. Mr.
M—— hastened in advance to Brazil, to make choice of a site for
the establishment, and secure it by purchase: but only to meet a
first disappointment. The streams on which his Brazilian friend
had relied, as abundantly ample in water-power, would have
scarcely sufficed, as Mr. M—— expressed it, to water the mules
necessary in the work. An exploration of the entire region within
thirty miles of Rio became necessary, for the discovery of an
unfailing stream, with water sufficient to turn a large wheel, and
in a situation to be available. He could gain no information on
the point upon which he could rely, and was obliged to make the
search in person, through woods and wilds, and over marshes and
moors, and in ignorance, at the time, of the language of the
country. A month thus occupied, brought to his knowledge two
supplies of water only, that would answer his purpose: one at
Tejuca, nine or ten miles from Rio, and another in the direction
of Petropolis, a colony of Germans in the mountains. That at
Tejuca, besides being already leased for other purposes, was
inaccessible except by mules as means of transportation, and
therefore, not to be thought of; the other was the private
property of the Emperor, and not obtainable in any way.

Such were the prospects of Mr. M——, with fifty thousand dollars
worth of material on its way to Rio, accompanied by several workmen
under high pay, for the erection of the necessary buildings, and to
put the machinery into an available condition. After all other
search had proved in vain, he was accidentally led to this valley,
and unexpectedly here found much, if not all, he was looking for.
About the same time, the shipment from the United States arrived;
but, notwithstanding the decree furnished him by the Brazilian
minister, declaring such articles free, the officials at the Custom
House pertinaciously demanded the duty upon them. This, according to
the tariff, like most of the imposts here on any thing foreign, was
high, and would have materially increased his expenditure. The only
alternative was an application for relief in the case, to the
minister having cognizance of such affairs. Those in official
position in Brazil, from the Minister of State to the most
insignificant employé of a bureau, hold the dignity conferred in
high estimation, and are inaccessible in proportion to their rank.
Three months elapsed before Mr. M—— could gain the audience sought;
and then, only to be told, that the exemption referred to in the
decree of the Imperial legislature, was exclusively for the benefit
of persons who had already established factories and needed
additional machinery; not for those who were introducing machinery
for a new establishment. The decision, therefore, was that the
duties must be paid; but, for the law in the case, he was referred
to the attorney-general of the empire. This dignitary condescended
to grant Mr. M—— an audience at the end of an additional six weeks;
but decided with the minister, that the duties must be paid, or at
least, deposited with the collector of customs till the factory
should be in operation. Thus, though the enterprise was one of great
importance to the interests of the country, and such as should at
once have secured the favor and aid of the government, the entire
material necessary for carrying it into execution, was kept for nine
months in the hands of the custom-house officers, greatly exposed to
rust and injury, and only released on the payment of several
thousands of dollars. It would occupy too much time to pursue the
history of the enterprise in detail: in the construction of a dam
across the river at a great outlay of money and labor, only to have
it swept away by a flood from the mountains; in the consequent
necessity of digging a long race-way along the base of the hills,
without the possibility of securing the adequate number of laborers,
white or black; and also, of making the road of five miles to the
turnpike. Over this last work, when finished, the whole of the
material for the factory building and the machinery, among which a
single piece—the shaft of the great wheel—weighed 7000 lbs., was to
be transported, without any of the facilities, so common with us,
for accomplishing it.

The mechanics and artisans, brought from the United States for the
erection of the building, were found to be incompetent in many
respects; and the result was, that Mr. M—— was obliged himself to
perform much of the manual labor even, and instead of planning,
devising, and superintending only, to become practically a
carpenter, mason, machinist; and even freightmaster and carter, as
no one around him, whose aid he could secure, knew what course to
pursue in an emergency, or even in any common difficulty that might
occur: he was obliged first to discover how a thing was to be done,
and then do it himself. Still he persevered through every
discouragement and disaster, till his efforts were crowned with full
success, and the factory was early in operation.

Though it is only in the more common fabrics in cotton that the
manufacturer here can yet compete with British and American goods;
and the article chiefly produced, thus far, is a coarse cloth for
coffee bagging and the clothes of slaves, he deserves a medal of
honor from the government, and the patronage of the empire, not only
for the establishment of the manufactory, but for the living example
set before a whole Province of the indolent and sluggish natives, of
Yankee energy, ingenuity, indefatigable industry, and unyielding


                             CHAPTER XXIV.

                                                 RIO DE JANEIRO.

_December 30th._—It was quite a trial to bid adieu to the charms of
San Aliexo. My kind host and hostess were earnest in their
persuasions to detain me through the holidays; and I would most
readily have yielded, but for an engagement to officiate, on
Christmas morning, at the marriage of Miss K——, the daughter of the
American consul, to Mr. R—— of the family of that name, already so
often mentioned. The groom, though a native of Brazil, claims,
through his father, the rights of a British subject; and the civil
contract took place, in conformity with an act of parliament, in the
presence of the British consul, at his office, at an early hour of
the day. The marriage was afterwards solemnized by me, according to
the Protestant service, in the drawing-room of the American
consulate; and, Mr. R—— being a Romanist, a third ceremony occurred,
as at the wedding of Miss R——, his sister, last August, in the
private chapel of the country house of Mr. M——, his maternal

The company assembled at the consulate was large, and the retinue of
carriages by which it was conveyed the long drive to Mr. M——’s,
quite imposing. Four-in-hand is the usual turn-out here, for such a
distance, and Mr. Schenck, the American minister, led the way, next
after the bride and groom, in an elegant chariot drawn by four
beautiful white horses. Commodore McKeever’s carriage had four fine
mules. I was of his party. The sky was slightly overcast with fleecy
clouds, and the coachman’s box being so lofty as to overlook the
walls and hedges, which screen so much of the taste and beauty of
the suburbs from view on the level of the street, in defiance of
every Brazilian idea of dignity, I perched myself upon it, for the
greater enjoyment of the drive. The day being a general festival,
the whole population of the city was in the streets in holiday
dress; and in the extended suburbs through which we skirted our way,
the inhabitants—by whole families—were everywhere seen in the
verandahs and lawns and door-yards of the houses, in the cheerful
and quiet enjoyment of the fiesta. A fondness for splendor and
display of every kind—in dress, furniture and equipage—is strikingly
a characteristic of the people here; and the showy procession,
recognized as a bridal cortège, created quite a sensation as it
dashed onward—manifestly exciting the admiration and lively
sympathies of the observers.

From my elevated and unconfined position, I enjoyed the whole much;
and feasted, the entire distance, on the gorgeous display of
flowers, exhibited in the succession of tasteful gardens and
pleasure-grounds which I overlooked.

The mansion and grounds of Mr. M—— I described to you in connection
with the previous wedding. The religious ceremony now, was the same
in every particular, from the scattering of the rose leaves and
orange buds before the bride in the procession from the drawing-room
to the chapel, to the showering of the same over her and the whole
company, with the closing benedictions at the altar. A concert in
the music-room immediately succeeded the ceremony, and continued
till the banquet was served at six o’clock. This was more luxurious,
if possible, in the variety and costliness of its delicacies, native
and foreign, in season and out of season, than on the former
occasion; and superb in its table-service and plate. The decorations
in flowers alone, would, in a less favored climate, have formed no
inconsiderable item of expense; while the fruits, in the perfection
of their kinds—all freshly gathered—pines, figs, oranges,
sweet-lemons, grapes in clusters like those of Eshcol, bananas,
mangoes, and melons, were most artistically arranged. After coffee
in the drawing-room, dancing was commenced; and, taking our leave,
we were safely on board ship shortly after ten o’clock.

Thus passed my Christmas, and thus is our compatriot, Miss K——,
married; and, in the language of the world, “well married.” But
alas! married in Brazil: away from an American home; away from the
intelligence and high cultivation of American life; away from the
pure morals, spiritual aspirations, and religious privileges of
American Christianity; away from almost every thing that I would
wish an American girl to hold most dear!

_January 7th, 1852._—This festive period of the year presents
constant opportunities of witnessing the slave and negro population
in holiday aspects. For many nights past, Gloria Hill, at which the
Commodore’s barge usually lands in our evening visits to the shore,
has echoed till a late hour with the songs, the wild music, and the
tread of the dance in their favorite amusements; and yesterday
afternoon, I accidentally became a spectator of a grand gathering of
the kind. It was “Twelfth” or “King’s day,” as sometimes
called,—being that commemorative of the adoration of the Magi in the
stable of Bethlehem; and is a chief festival with the negroes.

I left the ship with the intention of taking, once more, the long
walk through the valley of the Larangeiras to the aqueduct, and
thence to the city by the hill of Santa Theresa. When about half way
up the Larangeiras, however, my attention was arrested by a large
gathering of negroes within an enclosure by the wayside, engaged in
their native, heathen dances, accompanied by the wild and rude music
brought with them from Africa. I stopped to witness the scene: a
counterpart, in most respects, to those which, during the first
period of my residence at the Sandwich Islands, attended the orgies
of pagan revelry there. Many of the principal performers, both among
the dancers and musicians, were dressed in the most wild and
grotesque manner—some, as if in impersonation of the Prince of Evil
himself, as pictured with hoof and horns and demoniac mien. Many of
the dances surpassed in revolting licentiousness, any thing I
recollect to have witnessed in the South Seas; and filled my mind
with melancholy disgust: the more so, from the fact, that a
majority, if not all the performers, as was manifest from the
crosses and amulets they wore, were baptized members of the Romish
Church—Christians in name, but in habits and in heart heathens
still. Exhibitions of this kind are far from being limited here to
extraordinary holidays, or to the seclusion of by-places. I have
seen them in open daylight, in the most public corners of the city,
while young females even, of apparent respectability and modesty,
hung over the surrounding balconies as spectators.

I know not how long the revelry had now been going on; but either
from the free use of _cacha_, the vile rum of the country, or from
nervous excitement, many seemed fairly beside themselves. These
danced till ready to drop from exhaustion; while shouts of
encouragement and applause followed the persevering efforts of those
who were most enduring and most frantic in muscular exertion. The
performers on the African drums and other rude instruments, who
accompanied the monotonous beating and thrumming upon these with
loud songs, in solo and chorus, of similar character, seemed
especially to enter into the spirit of the revelry, and labored with
hands and voice and a vehemence of action in their whole bodies,
that caused the sweat to roll down their naked limbs as if they had
just stepped from a bath of oil.

By the time I had finished these observations, the evening was too
far advanced for the walk upon which I had started, and I retraced
my steps to the Catete, the principal street, connecting the city
with the bay and suburbs of Botefogo. In it, toward evening, the
wealth and fashion of the city, especially in the diplomatic and
foreign circles, is generally met in carriages and on horseback for
the daily afternoon drive. Many of the equipages equal in elegance
those in New York and other of our chief cities; while well-mounted
riders, liveried coachmen, footmen, and grooms, give to the whole
quite the air of a metropolis. That, however, which most struck me
on the present occasion, was an amusing side-scene. Though less
generally the custom than formerly, it is still the habit of some of
the _bourgeoisie_ of Rio, at least on Sundays and great holidays, to
promenade to and from church, by whole families, parents and
children, from adults to infants, with a retinue of servants—in
their best dresses, and in formal procession of two and two. The
sight thus presented is interesting, and often amusing, from the
formality and stately solemnity with which they move along. The
servants bring up the rear, and, whether male or female, are usually
as elaborately, if not as expensively dressed as the rest of the
family: and often, in the case of the women, with an equal display
of laces, muslins, and showy jewelry. Apparently in imitation of
this usage of the white population—or rather of the Portuguese and
Brazilian, for there are no whites among the native born here—two
jet black African women, richly and fashionably attired, came
sauntering along with the most conscious air of high-bred
self-possession. They were followed by a black female servant, also
in full dress, carrying a black baby three or four months old, and
decked out in all the finery of an aristocratic heir—an elaborately
wrought, lace-frilled and rosetted cap, and long flowing robe of
thin muslin beautifully embroidered, and ornamented with lace. Every
one seemed struck with this display; and I was at a loss to
determine whether it was a bona fide exhibition of the pride of
life, or only in burlesque of it, with the design of “shooting folly
as it flies.” The common blacks, crowding the doors and gateways,
burst into shouts of laughter as they passed; while the nurse, at
least, of the party showed evidence of a like disposition. Indeed, I
think I did not mistake, while looking back upon the group, in
seeing the fat sides and shoulders of the black ladies themselves,
notwithstanding their lofty bearing and stately step, shake with
merriment, under the slight drapery of their fashionable and
elegantly finished mantillas.

These may have been persons of wealth, and of respectable and even
fashionable position in society; for color does not fix the social
position here, as with us at home. It is a striking fact, that in a
country where slavery exists in its most stringent form, there is
little of the Anglo-Saxon prejudice in this respect, so universal in
the United States. Condition, not color, regulates the grades in
social life. A slave is a menial, not because he is black, but
because he is a slave. In Brazil, all the avenues to wealth and
office are open to the free man of color, if he has character and
talents, and the ability to advance in them. As I recollect to have
stated before, the officers of the standing army and of the
municipal guards and militia, exhibit every shade of color as they
stand side by side in their ranks; and I learn from Gov. Kent, that
the leading lawyer of Rio is a mulatto. Some of the members of
Congress, too, bear evidence of negro blood; and the Governor says,
that he has met at the Imperial balls in the palace the “true ebony
and topaz” in “ladies and gentlemen black as jet,” yet glittering,
like the rest, with diamonds.

As to the general treatment of slaves by their owners, it probably
does not differ in Brazil from that exhibited wherever there is
irresponsible power. House-servants in Rio are said to have easy
times, and to do very much as they please; but to judge by the
instances I have seen of field laborers, I fear such have but a sad
and wearisome life.

The eventual effect of the abolition of the slave trade, will
doubtless be to ameliorate the treatment of the slaves, and
particularly that of their children. In former years, when the price
of a slave was only a hundred and twenty milreis, or about sixty
dollars, it seemed to have passed into a settled principle, as a
mere matter of profit and pecuniary calculation, that it was cheaper
to “use up” the blacks by constant hard labor, and by extorting from
them the utmost profit, and when they sunk under it to make new
purchases, than to raise children or to extend the term of service
by more moderate labor; but now, when the price of a slave has
advanced to six and seven hundred dollars, the estimates in the
economy of the case will be different; and both parents and children
will fare better.

The incidental mention of the annoyance experienced by Mr. M—— of
San Aliexo, in getting admittance into the country of the machinery
requisite for the establishment of his factory, except by the
payment of enormous duties, reminds me of noting some facts
connected with the regulations of the Custom House here, derived
from authority on the subject so reliable as my friend, the American
Consul. These are a source of continual disgust to foreigners,
particularly to masters of vessels, and those engaged in maritime
matters. They are fifty years behind the age: reach to every minute
particular, and seem to be framed with especial reference to fines
and penalties. Indeed, one of the items in the annual estimates of
expected receipts by the government, is fines on foreign vessels;
and to seize and fine, appears to be a fixed purpose of the
officials. A few pounds of tea, a pig, cups and saucers, and other
small articles of the kind, not on the list of stores, or in the
judgment of the visiting inspector an extra number for the size of
the vessel, are at once seized and sold at auction at the Custom
House door, to swell the receipts of the Imperial treasury. It is
said that nothing but a metallic substance, held before the eyes, or
placed in the palm of the hands, will prevent these petty seizures.
Sometimes the articles seized are of considerable worth, and, in
addition to the loss of their value, would lead to the imposition of
a heavy fine. No discrimination or distinction seems to be made
between cases of accident, ignorance, good faith and honest
intentions, and those of designed and evident attempts to smuggle or
to evade the law.

It makes no difference whether there is more or less in the shipment
than the manifest calls for; if too much, then it is evidence of a
design to smuggle the excess—if too little, it is evidence of fraud
on the other side. The bed they make is that of Procrustes. If there
is a barrel of flour—or any other article—more or less in the cargo
than in the manifest, a forfeiture and fine follow with unyielding
certainty. One regulation is, that a master shall give in a list of
his stores within twenty-four hours after his arrival. This, it is
expected, will include every thing. But it is impossible to know to
what extent at times the regulation will be carried. In one
instance, recently, a hawser—which had been used, and was in a long
coil on deck, ready for immediate use again, and was necessary for
the safe navigation of the ship,—was seized, on the ground that it
was not in the list rendered. The master remonstrated, and set forth
the facts—protesting that he should as soon have included his masts
and boats, his anchors and cables, as this hawser; but all the
authorities of the Custom House refused to give it up, and the
vessel sailed without it. It was only after the question had been
pending a long time before the higher authorities, on the strong
representation of the American Minister, that restoration to the
proper owners was made.

No person is allowed to go on board any vessel, before the discharge
of the cargo, without a custom house permit. A poor sailor, a Greek
by birth, who came here in an American vessel, and was discharged at
his own request, was passing an English vessel in a boat a few days
afterwards, and being thirsty, asked for a drink of water: the man
on board told him to come up the side and get it. He did so, and
after drinking the water returned to his boat. A guard-boat saw and
arrested him. He pleaded entire ignorance of the regulation of the
port, but in vain: he was fined a hundred milreis, and being unable
to pay, was sentenced to be imprisoned one hundred days, or at the
rate of a day for each milreis of the fine. He was eventually
released, however, through the intervention of Gov. Kent.

Even the consul of a foreign nation must obtain a written permit
before he can visit a vessel of his own nation, till she is
discharged. The permit in any case is in force only for a single
day. It must, too, be stamped at a cost of eight cents. Indeed,
every paper of an official nature must be stamped. No note or bill
of exchange is valid, unless stamped within thirty days of its date:
the duty or the stamp being proportioned to the amount of the note
or bill. The revenue derived by the government from this source, is,
of course, large.

The want of confidence, indicated by the minuteness and rigid
exactment of these custom-house regulations, is said to be a
characteristic trait of the people. There is great external civility
towards each other; many bows are exchanged, and frequent pinches of
snuff, and there is an abundance of polite and complimentary speech;
but, full and frank confidence in the intentions, purposes and words
of those with whom they deal, seems to be greatly wanting. Some
light may be gained upon this point from the fact that by public
opinion, by the criminal code, and by the actual administration of
the law, offences against the person are looked upon as of a higher
grade than the _crimen falsi_. To strike a man in the street with
the open palm, and even under extreme provocation, is the great
crime next to murder; and so of all offences against the person. An
assault is considered an insult and an indignity, as well as a
breach of the peace.

Direct stealing is visited with condign punishment; but all the
crimes coming under the charge of obtaining money or goods under
false pretences, and those involving forgery, lying, deception and
fraud of all kinds, seem to meet with more lenient treatment.
Convictions in cases of such crimes are not often obtained, and when
they are, the sentences are very light. A short time ago, a very
congratulatory article was inserted in the newspapers intended in
perfect seriousness as a warning to evil doers, which called public
attention to the gratifying fact, that two men had been convicted of
gross perjury in swearing in court, and had each been sentenced to
imprisonment for one month!

It is but just, however, to say, that in no country is there greater
security for person and property. Though petty theft is not
uncommon, robbery is almost unknown; and offences involving
violence, daring, and courage of a reckless kind, are very

The recent trial of a foreigner on a charge of murder, gave me an
opportunity of observing the process in the criminal court. The
preliminary measures after an arrest for crime, are somewhat similar
to those which are taken in like cases, before a magistrate at home.
The party is arraigned and verbally examined by the _subdelegado_,
or justice of the district in which the crime charged has been
committed. This examination is reduced to writing. The accused is
asked his age, his business, and other questions, more or less
varied and minute, at the discretion and pleasure of the justice. He
is not compelled to answer, but his silence may lead to unfavorable
inferences against him. After the examination of the prisoner
himself, witnesses are examined. If these are foreigners, the
official translator of the government attends, to translate the
answers, all of which are written down by the clerk. The witnesses
are sworn on the Evangelists, the open hand being placed on the
book, but this is not kissed as with us. One custom struck me
favorably, in comparison with the business-like and mere matter of
form mode of administering an oath in courts at home. In every
instance here, all rise—court, officers, bar and spectators, and
stand during the ceremony. All rise, too, and stand while the jury

After the preliminary examination is completed, the magistrate
decides whether or not the accused shall be held for trial; and
submits the papers with his decision to a superior officer, who
usually confirms it, and the accused is imprisoned, or released on

It is only in criminal cases that a jury forms a part of the
judicial administration. As with us, it consists of twelve men.
Forty-eight are summoned for the term; and the panel for each trial
is selected by lot, the names being drawn by a boy, who hands the
paper to the presiding judge. In capital cases, challenges are
allowed, without the demand of cause. The jury being sworn and
empanelled, the prisoner is again examined by the judge, sometimes
at great length and with great minuteness, not only as to his acts,
but to his motives. The record of the former proceedings, including
all the testimony, is then read. If either party desire, the
witnesses may be again examined, if present, but they are not bound
over, as with us, to appear at the trial. Hence the examination of
the accused and of the witnesses at the preliminary process, is very
important and material. In many instances, the case is tried and
determined entirely upon the record, as it comes up.

After reading the record, the government introduces such witnesses
as it sees fit, and the prosecuting officer addresses the jury. The
defendant then introduces his witnesses, and his advocate addresses
the jury, sometimes at considerable length. The prosecuting
attorney, if he desires it again, speaks in reply; and sometimes the
argument becomes rather colloquial and tart, the questions and
answers being bandied rather sharply.

The judge charges the jury briefly, and gives them a series of
questions in writing, to be answered on the return of the verdict.
The decision of the case is by majority—unanimity not being
required, even in criminal cases. The questions put by the judge
relate not merely to acts, but to motives, character, and other
things, which may extenuate or aggravate the offence and sentence,
and cover usually the whole case in all direct and remote
accessories. A case begun, is always finished without an adjournment
of the court, though it should continue through the day and entire

In the arrangement of the court-room, the judge with his clerk sits
on one side, and the prosecuting officer on the other; the jury at
semi-circular tables on either side. Two tribunes are erected, one
at the end of each table, for the lawyers engaged in the case; these
usually address the jury sitting. The lawyers not engaged in the
suit in hand, are accommodated in a kind of pew, under the gallery,
which a stranger would be likely, at first, to take for the
criminal’s box or bar.

Public executions very seldom occur. There seems to be a repugnance
to the taking of human life, if there is any possible chance to
substitute imprisonment for life, or a term of years. Every point of
excuse or mitigation is seized upon. One cannot wonder at this, when
he regards the mode of capital punishment, the barbarous and
revolting one of Portugal and Spain—a relic of barbarism, in which
the condemned is ordered up a ladder under the gallows, and then
forced to jump off, when another man immediately ascending, mounts
the shoulders of the poor wretch, and jumps up and down upon him,
with his hand over his mouth till he is dead. Those who have
witnessed it, represent it as a most awful and revolting spectacle.
This executioner is usually a criminal condemned himself to death,
who is allowed to live by agreeing to perform the savage act when
required. The old Portuguese custom of gratifying every wish of the
condemned, as to food and clothing, is still retained; and for the
twenty-four hours preceding his execution, the poorest black slave
can order whatever in these respects his fancy dictates: segars, and
wine, and luxuries of every kind are at his command.


_January 30th._—Intelligence from the Plata led to the return of the
Congress to this place, on the 24th inst. Mr. Schenck, American
Minister at the court of Brazil, came passenger with us, as the
guest of Commodore McKeever.

During the three months of our absence, public interest, in
political and military affairs, has been gradually centering at
Buenos Ayres. The siege of Montevideo being raised, and the
Argentine troops which had so long invested her having become part
and parcel of the army of Urquiza, and been withdrawn by him to the
territory of which he is captain-general, preparations have been in
gradual process for a demonstration against Rosas, by the combined
forces of Entre Rios and Brazil. Aware of this, every effort has
been made by the wary Dictator, to rally his partisans, to give
fresh force to the prestige of his name, and to excite the popular
feeling in his favor. To aid in this, all the winning power of his
accomplished daughter, has been brought forward. To afford better
room for its exercise, a public ball of great magnificence was given
at the new opera-house in Buenos Ayres. At this, Doña Manuelita held
a kind of court; and, after having received throughout its course
the homage of a queen, was, at its close, drawn in a triumphal car,
by the young men of the city, to the governmental mansion. New
levies of troops had been raised and drilled, and the whole city and
country placed under martial law.

A fortnight ago, Urquiza and the allied army of thirty thousand,
crossed the Parana without opposition; and, invading the province of
Buenos Ayres, advanced within twenty miles of the city. It is now a
week since Rosas, leaving Palermo at the head of twenty thousand
soldiers, took the field in person, to oppose his further progress.
It is said that previous to the march, Doña Manuelita, attired in a
riding-dress of scarlet velvet embroidered with gold, and splendidly
mounted, reviewed the troops; and, like Queen Elizabeth on the
approach of the Spanish Armada, delivered to them an animated and
inspiriting address.

A crisis, it is evident, is not far distant; and all is intense
expectation. The universal impression is, that Rosas must fall. It
is believed that there is treachery around him. An advance guard, in
command of Pachecho, one of his best generals, has been defeated
under circumstances which leads to the belief that, like Oribe at
Montevideo, this officer had a secret understanding with Urquiza;
and that the issue at Buenos Ayres will speedily be the same as that
which occurred here four months ago—the triumph of Urquiza, through
the desertion to him of the opposing soldiery.

This state of affairs led Mr. Schenck and Commodore McKeever, with
Secretary G——, to proceed at once to Buenos Ayres. Captain Taylor of
the marines was of the party, a company from the guard of the
Congress under his command having, with Lieut. Holmes, been ordered
to Buenos Ayres by the Commodore for the protection of American
citizens and their property, in case of the overthrow of the
existing power. As the crew are to have general liberty on shore
here, during the passing fortnight—a time when my vocation for good
seems to be suspended, and which, both on shipboard and on shore, is
to me ever one of trial—I was urged much to accompany the party. Two
reasons, however, forbade this—one, the still precarious state of a
lad, who, the day we entered the river, fell from a height of
ninety-six feet to the deck, without being killed outright; and the
other, an engagement to officiate at the marriage of Dr. W——, one of
the assistant surgeons of the Congress, to my friend, G—— H——, a
daughter of the American Consul. This is appointed for the 5th of
February, till when, at least, I must remain at Montevideo.

I have been twice only on shore—once with Captain Pearson, to
accompany him in an official call; and again, one afternoon for a
short walk. I had not intended being away from the ship more than an
hour; but, shortly after attempting to return, when not a half mile
from the shore, a furious tempest came rushing upon us. There was no
alternative but to return to the landing before it. It was so sudden
and so violent, that before the boat could well be secured within
the mole by the crew, the whole bay was in a foam, and a heavy sea
rolling over it. It was impossible to communicate with the ship the
next day; and the following night was still more tempestuous. The
hotels of the city afford but indifferent accommodations; and I
availed myself in the detention of the ever free hospitality of Mr.
F——. I improved the opportunity, too, by calling on the various
families of the British Church before I should meet them again at
the services of the chapel on the Sabbath. The last day, however,
was taken up wholly in reading with absorbing and affecting
interest, a manuscript loaned me by Mr. Lafone, and recently
received by him from Terra del Fuego. I mentioned, under a date at
Rio six months or nine ago, the arrival there of H. B. M. ship Dido,
on her way to the Pacific, with orders from the admiralty to visit
Terra del Fuego and the adjacent small islands, in search of a
company of missionaries who had gone from England the year previous,
but from whom nothing had been heard. A schooner chartered by Mr.
Lafone, and sent by him about that time with the same object,
anticipated the errand of the man-of-war, with melancholy result.
The whole party, consisting of Captain Gardiner of the Royal Navy,
Mr. Williams, a physician, Mr. Maidenant, a catechist, and four
boatmen, perished from hunger and exposure, in the inclemency of the
last winter there. The graves of some were found, and the unburied
bodies of the rest. Among the effects is the full journal of Mr.
Williams, from the time of his departure from England, till within a
few days, as is supposed, of the death of the whole.[3]

[Footnote 3: See Memoir of Richard Williams, published by the
Messrs. Carter.]

Their object was the conversion and civilization of the poor
degraded savages of those dreary and forbidding regions. Though
Captain Gardiner, the projector and leader of the enterprise, had
navigated the waters of Cape Horn, and become familiar with the
region while on service in the navy, he was ignorant of the language
of the natives, and was without an interpreter. Failing to establish
friendly relations with the brutish people, the whole party became
impressed with the idea, either with or without sufficient cause,
that their lives were in jeopardy from them; and, abandoning the
shore, in a great measure, they took to the water in frail and
ill-appointed boats. In these they fled from bay to bay, and from
islet to islet, till worn out with fatigue and exhausted from want
of food, they fell victims to sickness, starvation, and death. Mr.
Williams, to whose journal the remark I first made refers,
abandoned, at very short notice, a handsome practice in his
profession, a choice circle of friends, and a happy home in England,
for the enterprise of philanthropy in which he so soon perished.
From the record he has left it is evident that he was a deeply
experienced and devout Christian: simple-minded, frank, and pure in
heart. In this faithful diary, every thought and feeling of his
inmost soul seems fully unbosomed. His faith never failed him, under
the most afflictive and dispiriting trials; and his soul continued
to be triumphantly joyous amidst the most grievous destitution and
suffering of the body. I read the details of the journal as penned
in the original manuscript by such a man with intense interest; and
came off to the ship, deeply impressed in mind and heart, with the
sadness of the tragedy which put an end to the record.


                              CHAPTER XXV.

                                                   BUENOS AYRES.

_February 12th._—Public events here, for the last few days, have
been more exciting in their progress, and more important in their
issues, than any that have occurred on the Plata for many years. On
the evening of the 4th inst., the Hon. Mr. Schenck arrived from
Buenos Ayres on his return to Brazil. He boarded the Congress from
the steamer in which he came, announcing, as he crossed the gangway,
the utter overthrow of Rosas by Urquiza, “foot, horse and dragoons!”
as he expressed it. This had occurred on the morning of the
preceding day. He left the city the same evening, when thousands of
mounted troops were pouring through it in rapid flight, before the
victorious pursuers. It was not yet known whether Rosas had fallen
in battle, was a prisoner, or had made a safe escape.

Before the arrival in Buenos Ayres of Mr. Schenck and Commodore
McKeever, he had left for the camp, ten miles distant; and they did
not see him. They were twice at Palermo, however, on visits to Doña
Manuelita; once before any collision between the hostile forces had
taken place; and again on the evening of the 1st inst., when it was
known that an advanced guard of six thousand Buenos Ayrean troops,
under General Pachecho, had been routed the day previous, and the
general made prisoner: a foreboding shadow of the coming event. Till
then, Manuelita had sustained her position with great spirit and
energy; receiving all visitors—official, diplomatic, and private—as
usual, in the saloons of the Quinta, and conducting with ability and
despatch the affairs of the Home Department of the government.
Toward the close of the last named evening, however, when surrounded
by those only who were in her immediate confidence, tears might
occasionally be seen trembling in her eye, or stealing down her
cheek; but only to be dashed away on the approach of any from whom
she would conceal the weakness. It was now well known to her that a
general and decisive battle might at any hour take place; and that
Palermo, immediately in the line of march from the point of contest
to the city, was no longer a place of safety for her. The night was
one of splendid moonlight in midsummer, and among others, Commodore
McKeever and Mr. Schenck remained with her till a late hour of the
evening. Before they left, a walk in the flower-garden was proposed
by her; and, taking the arm of Mr. Schenck, she led the way to the
rose-covered arbor mentioned in my visit last year. Standing within
it in silence for a few moments, she said—“This is my choicest
retreat at Palermo; it is here that I come alone, to be alone; and I
am here now for the last time, perhaps forever!” adding, as the
tears fell rapidly down her face, upturned to the moon, as if in
appeal to Heaven for her sincerity, “I leave Palermo to-night!
Whatever the issue of the morrow is to be, I know our cause to be
just, and believe that God will give to it success!” In this,
however, she was mistaken. That cause, the next day but one, was
utterly defeated; and the following midnight witnessed her flight
with her father disguised as an English marine, and she in the dress
of a sailor boy—not from Palermo only, but from her city and
country, without even a change of clothes, to find safety and a
conveyance to distant exile, under the protection of the British

But this is anticipating the order of events. Rumors of the defeat,
on the 1st instant, of the vanguard of the army of Rosas, or some
disaster of the kind, reached the city on Sunday evening, the 2d
inst.—the night on which Manuelita forsook Palermo. It produced
little impression on the public mind, however; and on Monday the
shops were open, and general business transacted as usual. At
daybreak on Tuesday, heavy cannonading was heard for several hours
in the direction of the opposing armies. Early afterwards, whispers
of a defeat were afloat; and a straggling cavalry soldier here and
there, soon followed by others, in groups of three and four, began
to enter the city. The excitement spread rapidly, till three guns
from the citadel—the signal for martial law—confirmed the report of
the overthrow, and led at once to the shutting up of every shop, and
the closing of every door. The retreating cavalry now rushed through
the town by hundreds, and soon by thousands, hastening from harm’s
way to their homes in the pampas of the South. General Mancilla, the
brother-in-law of Rosas, and governor of the city, despatched
messengers to the foreign ambassadors, reporting the place to be
defenceless, and soliciting their intervention with the approaching
conqueror, for a halt in his march, till terms of capitulation could
be presented. Permission was at the same time granted by him, for
the landing of the marines attached to the different foreign
squadrons in the harbor, to protect the lives and property of
residents from their respective countries—British, American, French,
and Sardinian. Forty American marines, including those from the
Congress, were disembarked from the Jamestown, under the command of
Captain Taylor and Lieut. Tatnall, and the crew of the captain’s
gig, in charge of Midshipman Walker. These were distributed in the
central and richest part of the town—at the Embassy and Consulate of
the United States; at the residence of Mr. Carlisle of the house of
Zimmerman, Frazer & Co., the head-quarters of Commodore McKeever;
and one or two other principal American mercantile establishments.
At the same time, a hasty consultation of the diplomatic corps led
to the sending of a deputation from their number to the
head-quarters of Urquiza, in behalf of the city. The chief member of
this was Mr. Pendleton. Mr. Glover, the secretary of our
commander-in-chief, an accomplished young man, well fitted for the
service by his talents, and the facility with which he speaks the
principal modern languages, formed one of the mission. The special
object was to solicit from the victorious chieftain an order to
restrain his troops from entering the city, till the authorities
could make a formal surrender to him, and thus spare the inhabitants
the violence and rapine they had reason to fear. Happily the
exhaustion of the victors rendered such an order, for the time,
unnecessary. The whole force of thirty thousand men had been without
refreshment of any kind, except, perhaps, a little water, for
forty-eight hours; and, after having put their opponents to flight,
they found it absolutely necessary to come to a rest themselves, not
far from the scene of the principal conflict.

It was not till noon of the following day, that Urquiza reached
Palermo, and established his head-quarters there. Here the
deputation first met him, and readily secured the interposition of
his authority in the point of mercy craved. Notwithstanding this,
early the same morning—that immediately succeeding the battle—before
any thing had been heard from the deputation, the sack of the city
in one quarter was reported to have commenced; and, in confirmation
of the rumor, the alarm-bell of the Cabildo, or town hall, sent
forth an incessant peal. It appeared that a large number of the
routed cavalry of Rosas, finding the pursuit by the victors given
over, remained in the outskirts of the town during the night; and at
the dawn of the next day, commenced breaking open the shops and
houses in the more remote parts, and stripping them of their
contents, bore off the plunder; alleging the authority of Mancilla
himself, the governor of the city, for the outrage. The dress of the
troops of both armies is the same; red flannel shirts, caps, and
cheripas or swaddling cloths. Those of Urquiza, that they might be
distinguished by each other in battle, had chosen for a badge a
square piece of white cotton cloth, placed on the shoulders by
thrusting the head through a hole in the centre, in the manner of a
poncho. This badge these marauders assumed that they might be
mistaken for the invading soldiery. Emboldened by success in the
outskirts, they began to penetrate the central parts of the place.
The terrified inhabitants believing them to be the invaders,
submitted unresistingly to rapine and spoliation, lest they should
lose their lives; and consternation spread every where with the
increasing violence and robbery. Many of the largest and most
valuable plate and jewelry shops had already been sacked; and the
spirit of plunder grew in proportion to the success.

At this juncture, while a party of twenty or thirty of these mounted
pillagers was engaged in bursting off the door-locks of a rich
jeweller’s shop with powder, a company of American marines and
sailors, in charge of Midshipman Walker, accompanied by Mr. Graham,
the American Consul, on their way to the chief scene of
pillage—turned into the street near them. The robbers at once fired
upon them, happily without injury to any one. Our fellows, under the
authority of their officers, were not slow in returning the salute;
bringing to the ground, by one volley, four of the leading brigands.
Two were killed outright, and two mortally wounded. The rest wheeled
instantly in flight, and were seen no more. This first example of
the manner by which to check the pillage, led at once to a rally by
the citizens. They immediately commenced arming themselves, and a
stay was put to the progress of what, in a short time, would have
become a general sack of the town.

Mr. Glover arrived the same moment, at the consulate near which the
above scene took place, to report the success of the mission on
which he had accompanied Mr. Pendleton. He had passed a sleepless
night, and been in the saddle many hours; but, as there was reason
to fear that the check which had been put by our marines upon the
pillage, would be but temporary, and that the marauders would soon
return in augmented numbers to avenge the death of their comrades,
as well as to load themselves with fresh booty, he was requested by
Commodore McKeever to return immediately to Palermo, and solicit
from Urquiza a force sufficient to control the disorder and robbery
existing. The Chief of Police, at the same time made his appearance,
to urge the same measure. Accompanied by this functionary, Mr.
Glover, therefore, again hastened as an express to the Quinta. He
was admitted immediately to the chieftain, though his companion, the
Chief of Police, was forbidden his presence. The object of his visit
was accorded, by an instant order for the entrance to the city of a
body of troops sufficient for its protection. Informed of the result
of the rencontre with the American marines and sailors, he gave full
sanction to the interference, and authorized its continuance. The
report of this interview was quickly spread through the city; and
the patrol of the foreign marines and armed sailors, and the speedy
arrival of the forces promised by Urquiza, allayed the panic of the

The troops of Urquiza brought with them orders to shoot down all
persons implicated in the robbery and disorder. This was
reiterated by the Provisional Government appointed by him upon
receiving, as soon as he had taken up his quarters at Palermo, the
deputation from the city, empowered to surrender it to his mercy.
Under the orders thus issued, three or four hundred persons, both
men and women, were summarily put to death, within twenty-four
hours; and a scene of such frightful carnage was taking place,
with the liberty of its continuance for eight days, that the
humanity of Mr. Pendleton led him, accompanied by Mr. Glover, to
hasten once more to head-quarters, to beseech that an immediate
stop might be put to a slaughter in which it was so apparent that
the innocent, through false accusations of robbery, might become
the victims of their political and even private enemies. The good
sense of Urquiza led him at once to appreciate the justice of this
appeal to his humanity, and to countermand the order first issued.
The alarm was thus quieted, and a general feeling of safety

It is quite a matter of congratulation with us, that the marines and
sailors of the Congress and Jamestown, should have been so eminently
the means, by their prompt and gallant conduct, of staying a
frightful evil; and, that the prestige of the American name, through
the frank and philanthropic agency of Mr. Pendleton and Mr. Glover,
should have had such ready and such important influence with the
victor, now invested by right of conquest with all power here.

These particulars I learned before leaving Montevideo, from my
friend Lieut. Turner. This officer was despatched to Buenos Ayres by
Captain Pearson, immediately after the report made by Mr. Schenck of
the overthrow of the Dictator. He went in charge of the American
propeller, “Manuelita de Rosas,” which the emergency of affairs and
the absence of every suitable tender of the kind in the squadron,
led Commodore McKeever to charter for the time being. He arrived in
the midst of the excitement and consternation of the second day
after the battle, when the pillage was at its height, and the
summary execution of the perpetrators by the troops of Urquiza was
begun. Being a fellow Virginian and a friend of Mr. Pendleton, he
was invited to a seat in a carriage with him and Mr. Glover, on
their last mission of humanity to Palermo; and thus was a spectator
in the city and its environs, and at the Quinta itself, of a
succession of scenes of alarm and confusion, of bloodshed and
affecting tragedy in various forms, which it is not often the lot
even of a naval officer to witness. The city, containing more than a
hundred thousand inhabitants, was under pillage and in panic; the
wide suburbs were thronged with ten thousand savage troops, dashing
to and fro in various directions; the bodies of dead men were
scattered about, after having been shot down, or having their
throats cut, not in the conflict of battle, but in wanton pursuit,
or by order of a drum-head court-martial; women in common life were
rushing here and there in terror, and ladies of wealth and rank
hastening in their carriages through these scenes, in agitation and
affright, to the centre of power, to throw themselves at the feet of
the conqueror, in supplication for the lives and fortunes of those
dearest to them.

It was in the carriage of Madame E——, a sister of the fallen
Dictator, that the party made the excursion. This lady herself made
one of their number; and, under the favoring auspices of the
American minister, sought the presence of the chief, who now
occupies the palace, and wields the power, so long and so recently
in the undisputed possession of her brother. The avenues and
corridors of Palermo were crowded with mothers, sisters, and
daughters, pressing for audience, on like errands of mercy. The
suits of many of whom, I am happy to add, were not in vain, but most
promptly and generously accorded. Such were the scenes amidst which
Mr. Turner passed his first day here. Those of the second, in a ride
of fifteen miles, to the battle-field, under the guidance of an
adjutant and the protection of a guard furnished by Urquiza, were,
if possible, more exciting and more revolting to the feelings, and
scarcely bearable in the disgust created. The whole way was marked
with evidences of the completeness of the overthrow; and the scene
of the conflict, strewn for miles with the bodies of the slain lying
still unburied. The whole atmosphere was tainted with the effluvia
of the dead, both of man and beast, and sad demonstration given on
every side of the horrors of war.

It was his representation of the state of affairs that led me—the
marriage of my friends Miss H—— and Dr. R—— having been duly
celebrated, and the crew of the Congress still in the process of a
general liberty—to the determination of making the visit of a few
days. I came up in the propeller, still bearing a naval pennant:
embarking on the evening of the 10th, and arriving the next morning.

On landing, I found every hotel and lodging-house crowded to
overflowing, with officers, naval and military, both natives and
foreigners, and with strangers from various quarters, who had
hastened to the capital on hearing the result of the conflict. After
long search, I was able to secure a small sleeping-room only, in a
public house of very inferior order; and suffered so much during the
night from the oppressive heat, fleas, and mosquitoes, as to have
made up my mind by morning, to return to the Congress the same day.
During my former visit, I had made the acquaintance of the Rev. Mr.
Lore and Mrs. Lore, of the Wesleyan Methodist mission here, and had
been so much interested in them by the brief intercourse, as to be
unwilling to take my departure now without a call at the parsonage,
of a few minutes at least. Here I was most cordially welcomed; and
the cause of my intended return becoming known, they at once laid an
interdict upon my purpose, and constrained me to accept a room in
the parsonage, in their power to offer, and the kind hospitality of
their house.

I had brought with me from the Congress, with the purpose of
affording him a peep at Buenos Ayres, one of the lads of the
ship, who had been commended to my special care by an excellent
widowed mother at home, and who had merited this indulgence by
long-continued good conduct in his position on board ship. His
leave of absence extended to the passing day only; and, knowing
that he was especially anxious to visit Palermo, I applied to
Mr. Lore, as soon as it had been determined that I should
remain, for aid in securing a vehicle to take the drive with
him. This he at once gave; but in place of a carriage from a
livery stable, as I intended, he soon appeared with the handsome
equipage of one of his parishioners, and accompanied us in the

The morning was excessively hot—the character of the weather for the
last fortnight. No rain had fallen in that time, and the road was
one continued bed of deep dust, kept in constant motion by the
thousand and ten thousands of horses and cattle, which the large
force in bivouac in the environs of the city had brought together.
It is computed that on the day of the battle, and for some days
succeeding it, there were not less than three hundred thousand
horses, within the circuit of a few miles, around the city. The
number of cattle may be estimated by the allowance granted to the
troops for subsistence—one animal a day for every hundred men: the
number of men in both armies, the conquering and the conquered;
amounts to more than fifty thousand, and the daily consumption,
therefore, is at least five hundred. It would require pages to
describe the novelty and wild romance of the scenes witnessed in our
short drive. The riding at full tilt, to and fro, of unnumbered
Indian-like horsemen in the picturesque and fiery costume of the
native cavalry; the flying past of carriages in one direction or
another, through the thick dust of the road; the lassoing of cattle
amidst the herds crowding the open plain; the butchering them when
entangled, wherever that might be—even in the middle of the highway;
and flaying them while still alive, and scarcely well brought to the
ground; the masses of hides, and horns, and offal scattered about
every where; some freshly stripped from the carcasses and others in
a shocking state of putrefaction; the hundreds of loose horses
scampering about amid clouds of dust; and unnumbered savage men, in
all attitudes, and in every kind of grouping, presented sights
beyond the power of description.

As we approached the Quinta, such objects became, if possible, more
varied and more crowded: while dead horses and dead cattle lined the
road-side, and in some places dotted the ornamental canals of the
domain with their bloated carcasses. The white shell-dust of that,
which was once the private drive, covered every thing so thickly,
that the iron railings, now bent and broken down, the orange trees
and willows, once kept so neatly washed and so green, appeared as if
just powdered with meal. Indeed, the aspect of every thing in this
respect, was very much that of a landscape at home after a fall of
snow, while the trees and their branches are still in leaf. The
house itself—though surrounded, as when last seen by me, with guards
and soldiery, and in the same dress; and by a long line of carriages
and led horses awaiting the visitors within—had a closed and
forsaken air. The reception rooms occupied by Urquiza, are not in
the front. Those there, in which we had been received, with blinds
drawn, and shutters closed, appeared as though death, as well as
desertion, was there. It was not our purpose to alight; and, after a
general survey of the establishment as we drove by, we returned to
the city amidst the same scenes through which we had arrived.

The next evening I joined a large party of American ladies and
gentlemen, residents of Buenos Ayres, in a visit of ceremony to
Urquiza at Palermo. Notwithstanding the pressure of military and
state affairs in the disposition of his troops, and the appointment
of a provisional government for the city and province, he has been
constrained to hold an almost uninterrupted levee, for the reception
of the crowds whose interest it is to pay court to him. Many of the
most servile of the partisans of Rosas have done this in the most
sycophantic manner; and many of them, I have rejoiced to hear, only
to meet his ill-concealed contempt and pointed rebuke, by a refusal
to recognize their presence in some instances, and by prompt and
stern dismissal from the audience-room in others. One incident which
occurred interested me much. Col. Maximo Terero, the favorite
aide-de-camp of Rosas, and the affianced husband of Doña Manuelita,
was made prisoner on the day of the battle. It was believed by
many—judging of the course Urquiza would pursue in the case, by the
sanguinary precedents of Rosas and other successful aspirants in the
past history of the country—that he, and such others of the
immediate partisans of the Dictator as had fallen into his hands,
would be severely dealt with, if not summarily shot. Contrary to all
expectation, Col. Terero was at once set at liberty on parole.
Touched by this magnanimity, Gen. Terero the father, a confidential
friend of Rosas, and long his partner in extensive financial
operations, hastened to Palermo to wait upon the commander-in-chief,
and to thank him for the clemency and kindness he had shown to his
son. He approached him with the following words, “Gen. Urquiza, I
have come to Palermo to tender to you the unfeigned thanks of a
father, for sparing the life of a son, whose life and liberty were
in your power. You have, sir, my most sincere and heartfelt
gratitude. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am known to
you as the friend of General Rosas. He long since won my confidence,
has long had my warm friendship, and I have never seen cause for
withdrawing these from him.” The frankness and independence of this
address met an appreciating spirit in Urquiza; and seizing him
cordially by the hand, he exclaimed, “Gen. Terero, I am most happy
to see you. I am glad to hear you express yourself as you have. I
believe what you say—yours is the first honest speech I have heard
in Palermo; and I honor you for it.”

At the time of our presentation by Mr. Pendleton the saloons and
corridors were crowded; and the audience was brief, and, on the part
of the General, unavoidably constrained. He wore a dress-coat of
black, with white waistcoat; and, though polite and gentlemanly,
appeared to much less advantage and less at home in the
drawing-room, than on the tented field of Pantanoso. He appeared,
too, to be jaded and exhausted; which he indeed must be, after the
fatigue and excitement without intermission of the last fortnight.
At the end of fifteen minutes we took leave; and after a turn along
the parterres of the flower-garden, drove rapidly to the city, to
escape a gust of wind and rain which was seen to be gathering with
great blackness, in a threatening quarter.

On Friday, I made a visit to the hospital, in which most of the
wounded of both parties are now collected, to the number of five or
six hundred. The accommodations, in ordinary times, are limited and
indifferent, and are now altogether inadequate. The surgeons and
physicians are too few for the duty, and the services of Dr. Foltz,
of the U. S. sloop Jamestown, have been gratefully accepted. The
wounds of many of the poor creatures are frightful; especially those
caused by grape and round shot. From the heat of the weather, and
the length of time that elapsed after the battle before they could
be properly attended to, such are now in a dreadful condition. Those
made by lances are chiefly from behind, and show frightful thrusts
on the part of the pursuers. Many of the wounded have died daily;
and the state of many more is hopeless. The edifice appropriated as
a hospital is itself spacious and massive, and is of special
interest, from having been the residencia or palace of the viceroys
of Buenos Ayres. Mr. Lore took me a ride also, the same morning,
through the suburbs, in a semicircular sweep from one end of the
city to the other—the base-line of the circuit being the river.
There is little to interest one in the scenery, the whole is so
flat; and the road was but a succession of dry and dirty lanes,
lined by mean and shabby huts. We called in the eastern suburbs upon
an English family, parishioners of Mr. Lore, who occupy and
cultivate as a fruit and vegetable garden, the grounds of what
appears once to have been a tasteful and luxurious country-seat. We
were most kindly received, and refreshed with some very fine peaches
and grapes, the former the last gatherings of the season. The
situation is an exposed one in times of public commotion and
disorder; and we were shown a cavern, screened and hidden almost
beyond discovery, where the females of the household were to have
been concealed, had the city, in the overthrow of Rosas, been given
over to pillage and rapine. In one part of the enclosure, a natural
terrace attains a height of about twenty feet above the general
level. To this I was led as one of the finest points of view in the
neighborhood. The extent of the landscape commanded from it was less
than a mile, across a flat meadow, bounded at that distance by a
range of tree-tops, above which rose the masts of some small craft
at anchor in a stream, whose banks the trees line. I could scarcely
avoid a smile in hearing this called a “fine view,” while in
imagination my eye swept, in comparison, over that spread before you
in such wide expanse at Riverside. In the course of our ride, we
visited the English Protestant burial-ground; a rural cemetery on
the south-side of the city. It embraces several acres, surrounded by
a substantial wall, entered by a handsome gateway of iron; and has a
lodge for the keeper, and a small, well-built chapel for the funeral
service. Besides a variety of prettily-arranged shrubberies, it is
ornamented with two or three avenues of the Pride of China, which
grows here in great perfection: the whole forming an attractive and
rural resting-place for the dead.

The observations of the day were completed by the inspection, under
the guidance of Mr. Graham, of the new city residence of Rosas. It
is already in possession of the provisional government appointed by
Urquiza, and its elegant saloons are converted into offices for the
various public bureaus. It is an extensive and finely-constructed
edifice, one story in height, enclosing several quadrangles, and
covering half a square; the front extends the length of a “block” on
a principal street near the centre of the city. The middle section
of this contains the suite of private rooms of the late owner. From
these the furniture had been removed, preparatory to the sale of all
his effects. The structure, though of one story only on the streets,
rises to two in some of the inner sections. The whole is well built,
and, for this part of the world, beautifully finished. One of the
inner courts is filled with orange trees, and another contains a
garden of choice flowers. A lofty tower or mirador rises from the
centre. This is ascended by a spiral staircase of mahogany. The view
from it comprises, as on a map, the city, river, roadstead and
shipping; and the country in every direction as far as its flatness
allows the vision to reach. It conveys a strong impression of the
size, good order, and architecture of the city. Every prominent
building is in conspicuous view: all the old Spanish churches—the
Cathedral, the Merced, the collegiate, or former Jesuit College,
that of San Francisco, San Domingo and San Miguel; and the
Residencia or vice-regal palace, now the general hospital. All these
are of dark stone, and are time-stained and moss-covered: massive
and enduring piles, with many attractive features in the varied
taste and symmetry of their architecture, and in the well-defined
proportions of dome and tower, pediment and belfry. The lantern top
of this look-out is furnished with a fine telescope, by which every
object is subjected to near inspection; and it was a favorite resort
of the Dictator, during his hours of seclusion in town. One story of
the tower leading to this observatory, is a handsomely proportioned
apartment, paved with tessellated marble of red and white. It is
said to have been the favorite sleeping-room of Rosas, when he
remained in the city over night, being secure from approach except
by the spiral stairs, which could be easily defended. A fixture in
one of the galleries of an open court into which the chief suites of
rooms open, particularly struck me as a novelty: it is a fireplace
with a grate and handsomely finished marble mantle, so that, if one
choose, he may sit by a fireside in the open air, when the
temperature makes it desirable.

As I looked around upon the spacious and well-appointed
establishment, through which Doña Manuelita, a few days since, moved
a princess, surrounded by luxury, and oppressed with the adulations
of courtiers and admirers, I could not but anew deeply sympathize
with her, in her flight and exile, with scarce a change of apparel,
or a friend to cheer her under her reverse of fortune.

On leaving, we made an effort to gain admission to the Sala, or hall
of Representatives near by, and to the public library of the city;
but without success, from the absence of the persons having
possession of the keys. A _Porteno_—a name by which the Buenos
Ayreans pride themselves in being called—of intelligent and
gentlemanlike appearance, on overhearing our application for
admittance to the library and the cause of its failure, said
pleasantly to us, “It is well for the credit of the city that the
key cannot be found; we are thus saved a just reproach in the eyes
of intelligent visitors.”


                             CHAPTER XXVI.

                                                   BUENOS AYRES.

_February 24th._—On Saturday, I accompanied a large party of ladies
and gentlemen, Americans and English, in a visit to the scene of the
late battle. It is called indiscriminately, “Monte Caseros,” from
the name of the country-house at which Rosas took position in
meeting the enemy, and “Moron,” from that of the nearest hamlet, a
mile or two distant.

We were off at an early hour. The morning was brilliant, and
delightful in its freshness: almost too cool, in contrast with the
excessive heat of the first few days after my arrival. The road we
took led past several country-seats in the suburbs, at which the
victorious troops were still quartered. Their horses and camp-fires
had made sad havoc with the shrubberies and plantations of these;
many of the trees being terribly barked by the former, while their
limbs had been stripped off and cut up for fuel by the latter.
Bivouac after bivouac, and rude encampment after encampment,
extended miles beyond Palermo; while the road on either side, and
often in its centre, presented the aspect of a continued slaughter
house—the hoofs, horns, hides and entrails of the animals daily
slain for the subsistence of the soldiery, being scattered about
every where, and polluting the air with their offensive effluvia.
The whole distance of fifteen miles, gave evidence of the desolating
effects of the retreat of the vanquished, and of the marauding
presence of the victors.

At the end of twelve miles, we came upon the military village of
Santos Lugares, composed of brick huts, the regular cantonment of
the army, from which Rosas had led his force of twenty thousand to
Monte Caseros, on the evening of the 1st instant. This seemed now,
literally, a “deserted village:” every building being vacant, with
the appearance of having suffered utter pillage. It has its church,
and an extensive common, or green, ornamented at one point by a
clump of ombu, a species of gum-tree—the chief emblem of the
country. Shortly after passing this, we caught view in the distance
of the white tower of Monte Caseros, the head-quarters of Rosas at
the commencement of the battle. Its mirador, or observatory,
commands a view of the surrounding region; and from it he watched
the advance of Urquiza, and for a time, the progress of the
engagement. He then descended to the field, and took part in the
fight, till it was evident the day was lost. Persuaded of this, he
seized a cartridge from the box of a common soldier; breaking it in
pieces, he blackened his face with the powder, and mounting a
magnificent horse, in readiness near by, succeeded in making his
escape amid the dust and uproar of the general rout. He made his way
without being recognized, to the residence of the British minister
in the city. There his daughter joined him, and under the guidance
of that gentleman both sought refuge at midnight, in the disguise
before mentioned, on board the flag-ship of Admiral Henderson.

Evidences of the conflict, or rather of the flight and pursuit, now
began rapidly to multiply, in tattered portions of clothing and in
accoutrements—caps, sword-belts, cartridge-boxes, bayonet-sheaths,
cuirasses, and broken musical instruments, and drums. What seemed
the most singular part of this camp equipage, was the quantity of
letters and manuscript papers, scattered widely and for great
distances over the ground. Soon the more revolting spectacle of a
dead body presented itself here and there, naked and ghastly,
blackening in the sun, in a frightful state of decomposition, and
tainting the whole atmosphere by its impurity. These multiplied
rapidly as we advanced; none of the slain of either party having yet
been buried, excepting such as have been sought for and discovered
by personal friends. The brick walls of the country-house and those
of a large circular dove-cote, of the same material, whitewashed,
are a good deal marked and shattered by balls both of cannon and
musketry. After Rosas had left the observatory and the house, a
strong party of his officers kept possession of them. When the
battle seemed to be given up, it was supposed by the victors that
these, like others outside, had surrendered; but on attempting to
enter, they were met by a volley of musketry, with the cry of “Viva
Rosas!” This led to an immediate onslaught by the assailants; and
every man within, amounting to thirty or forty, was at once put to
the sword. Till within a day or two past, their bodies lay piled
upon each other as they had thus fallen, upon the stairs and
platforms of the tower; and since having been dragged out, still lie
scattered over the lawn in nakedness and putrefaction. Two or three
bodies are stretched on the roof of the dove-house also, as they
fell on being shot down in its defence.

Though the engagement commenced at daybreak and continued three or
four hours, the number of the slain is thought not to exceed three
hundred; and the wounded, not more than six. Still these numbers are
quite sufficient, where father met son and brother met brother, in
deadly fight. While we were on the tower, two brothers happened
there, and pointed out to us the positions of the two forces, at
different times during the engagement. Both were in the battle, one
with the troops of Rosas, and the other with those of Urquiza.

With the exception of the objects mentioned, there was little to
interest; and, after strolling around for an hour or two, we
returned to the shade of the ombu trees of Santos Lugares, to
partake of an ample lunch, provided by the ladies of the party. One
result of the excursion, was the opportunity it afforded me of
gaining my first sight of what is here termed the ‘camp;’ the flat
open country of the pampas, or plains, which extend hundreds of
leagues, with a surface more level and less wooded than that of the
prairies of the West with us: a vast sea of grass and thistles,
without roads or enclosures, and without a habitation, except at
long intervals. Nothing breaks the unvarying outline, unless it be
now and then an ombu, rising on the distant horizon, like a ship at
sea. Travellers upon these plains, whether on horseback or in
carriages, like voyagers on the ocean, direct their course over the
trackless expanse, by compass.

The 19th was appointed for the public entry of Urquiza into the
capital, with the entire allied force, cavalry, infantry, and
artillery, to the number of twenty thousand. Rain during the
preceding night, laid the dust and freshened the air. The morning
was pure, cool and pleasant, somewhat obscured by clouds till noon,
but after that hour, clear and brilliant. Every street and every
house was gay with fluttering flags and the banners of all civilized
nations, and the whole city in gala dress. I had invitations to the
balconies of several private houses in different streets through
which the procession would pass; but preferred a roving commission,
with the advantage of being able to change at pleasure my point of
view. I chose a stand at an angle of the Plaza Victoria, or place of
victory, the principal square in the city, near a triumphal arch
thrown over the street through which the procession would _débouche_
upon the Plaza. It was the best point for observation; giving a near
view of the chief officers and troops, and commanding in coup d’œil
the masses of people in the open square; the decorations of the
monument of victory in its centre; and of the public buildings
facing it, as well as of the crowded balconies and flat-topped roofs
of the surrounding houses, thronged with spectators of all ages and
both sexes in holiday attire.

Urquiza as captain-general and commander-in-chief, with his staff,
headed the columns. These had formed at Palermo, the cavalry being
eight, and the infantry and artillery twelve abreast. The
chieftain’s dress and that of his staff was not full uniform. With a
military coat, he wore a round beaver hat and scarlet hatband, and
held a riding-whip in his hand as if on a hunt. The red hatband,
besides its demi-savage look, gave offence, it is said, to the
Buenos Ayreans, by reminding them of the thraldom of which it had
been made a badge under Rosas; and which, with the waistcoat and
every thing of the same color, they had indignantly and with
abhorrence thrown off, the moment they found themselves free to do
so. It is also said that every demonstration of popular feeling, by
shouts and vivas, had been interdicted; and there was little
enthusiasm manifested in this way. Bouquets, however, were showered
upon the conqueror in great abundance, and his hands and those of
his immediate suite were filled with such as had been picked up and
handed to them. It struck me, notwithstanding, that there was
nothing very gracious in the expression of countenance or manner of
the hero: that something had gone amiss, and he was only tolerating
with decent civility the courtesies shown him. He declined to
dismount in the city, and continued the ride in circuit to Palermo
again. The cavalry, constituting the principal body of the troops,
in the Gaucho dress of red flannel shirts and cheripas, white cotton
pantalets, and red caps worn _à la brigand_, had all the appearance
of so many wild Arabs, clothed in red in place of white. They were
barefooted, and unshaven and unshorn; and varied in complexion, from
the red and white of the Saxon, here and there, to the jet of Congo.
Four hours were occupied by the procession in passing a single
point; though the cavalry, towards the close, rode at full charge,
when, especially, they bore an aspect as wild as that of the desert
itself. General Lopez, the Governor or President of the Province of
Corrientes, second to Urquiza in command, appeared in full military
costume, as did Baron Caxias, chief of the Brazilian division. Both
were magnificently mounted.

The booming of cannon from various points was heard during this
triumphal march through the city; and a stationary band in front of
the cathedral played at intervals, as the regimental bands, one
after another, passed beyond hearing. In the evening, the arcades
surrounding the eastern and southern sides of the Plaza, the cabildo
or town hall fronting it on one side, the cathedral at one corner,
and the monument of victory in the centre, were illuminated; and for
an hour and more, there was a good display of fireworks. The
remaining days of the week were proclaimed holidays, and the
decorations in flags, the illuminations, and music at night were

Two days ago, a grand Te Deum, in commemoration of the overthrow of
Rosas, was celebrated in the cathedral, in presence of Urquiza and
of the newly appointed provisional government; the officers of the
allied armies; and of all the dignitaries of the church. An immense
crowd was brought together by the interest of the occasion itself,
and by the spectacle presented in so large an assemblage of persons
of official rank and power. The ordinary services were accompanied
by a rhapsody in the form of a sermon, delivered by a young
ecclesiastic, who, from having been chosen for orator on such an
occasion, must have some pretension to talent and eloquence. I have
seen a copy of his discourse in Spanish, and will give a hasty
translation of some of its passages which throw light upon the
popular view of the public character and government of Rosas; and
give proof also of the adulations showered upon the Conqueror. The
address occupied more than an hour in the delivery, and is at least
a curiosity as a sermon. The text from the Vulgate, was announced in
Latin, and was the opening verse of the song of Moses after the
destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea:

   “Let us sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
    The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

The introduction, written in Dellacruscan style, and delivered with
the action of the stage, consists of all manner of apostrophes—to
the Plata, to Liberty, to Peace, to the Argentines, and to the
Virgin Mary, for aid in the office of his ministry. Two general
points are then presented,—one the duty of thanksgiving for a
deliverance from evil; the other of thanksgiving for blessings
conferred. Under the first he institutes a parallel between the
rejoicings of Rome on the fall of Nero, and of those due from Buenos
Ayreans on the overthrow of Rosas: thus—“Tell me, was it right for
the Romans, adorning themselves with garlands of flowers and clothed
with gladness, to hail with hallelujahs the jubilee of their
deliverance; to throw open their temples and offer incense to their
gods in testimony of their gratitude, when they saw the dead body of
the most barbarous of their sovereigns—that monster, whose cruelty
was not satiated with the blood even of his own mother, and whose
corruption made him regardless of the most sacred obligations of the
marriage tie? Was it not right, I say, that the Roman people should
hymn songs of thankfulness before the altars of their gods, in view
of the still palpitating remains of Nero, that impersonation of
cruelty, who, seated on a mount, instead of weeping like the
prophets over the destruction of the capital set on fire by himself,
rejoiced in the death-shrieks of its inhabitants? I do not believe,
gentlemen, that any of you condemn this conduct of the Romans—do I
say condemn? I know that you justify, you praise, you applaud it;
and if it was right, if it was laudable, if it was praiseworthy in
the Romans gratefully to acknowledge, and joyfully to give thanks to
their gods for a deliverance from the tyranny of Nero, is it not
equally so in us Argentines to offer to the true God the incense of
our praise for liberating us from the despotism of Rosas—that
tyrant, that wild beast, that scandal of our nation, that shame upon
humanity, that scourge of society and of religion, that minotaur,
more thirsty for blood than him of Crete who fed on human victims?
Yes! all of you will confess that it is just—and the more just as he
was more cruel than even Nero. How more so? Can it be possible that
there ever was a man as cruel as he, much less more so? Sirs, the
lengthened series of eighteen hundred years did not, indeed, produce
such a man: but the epoch of the barbarous Dictator of the Argentine
Republic had not yet arrived. The nineteenth century, great in all
its aspects in the annals of ages, was to be conspicuous by the
production of this monster of cruelty. Yes, gentlemen, he was not
only as cruel, but more cruel than the oppressor of the Romans.

“Let us make the comparison. But first, Argentines, rise from the
places you occupy—rise, and make haste to close the temple doors
that no foreigner come in; and if any such should already have
entered, supplicate them to retire, that they hear not of the
horrors perpetrated by a son of our soil. Yes! rise, hasten quick,
fly! But why? Alas! oh sorrow!—stay! stay! it is too late: the
clamorous echo of the cry raised by his cruelty has resounded to the
ends of the earth. I retract my call, and beg you, Argentines, to
fly—yes, fly to the portals of the temple: but let it be to open
them widely from side to side, that entrance may be given to the
inhabitants of the whole world—if it were possible, of the entire
universe—to be witnesses of our reclamation, and hear the protest we
solemnly make in the presence of the heavens and of the earth,
before the altars of our God: Neighboring Republics! Foreign
nations! all ye people of the earth! know, and transmit to your
descendants from age to age that the children of the Plata repudiate
this monster; we despoil him of the prerogatives of an Argentine; we
banish him from our fatherland; and by the unanimous vote of the
entire Republic, sentence him to wander from place to place, and
from land to land; and, like Cain the fratricide, to carry the mark
of his crime branded on his brow, that his own ignominy may be the
expiation of his transgressions.

“Yes! I again say, Rosas was more cruel than Nero. Let us analyze
the facts in the case. Why is Nero represented in history as the
greatest tyrant among sovereigns? Hear Tacitus: ‘He was,’ says the
historian, ‘the assassin of his mother, of his brother, of his
tutor, and of an immense number of Christians. He set Rome on fire.’
What horrors! and the tyrant of the Argentines, did he perpetrate
such enormities? Some of them he did—others he did not. But the
credit of omitting to perpetrate those which he did not commit is to
be attributed to a dissimilarity of circumstances, not to a
difference in moral principle. Rosas did not sacrifice his mother,
but it was because she did not threaten to deprive him of his power.
He did not sacrifice his brothers, because none of them attempted to
snatch from him the reins of government: or if they did, they fled
beyond his reach. He did not sacrifice his tutor, because he never
had one; but he had an instructor in political economy and a patron
in his early public career, and him he did assassinate. Oh! sad
remembrance! Sirs, you all know the horrible death of Maza,
President of the House of Representatives,—that noble patriot and
good man, who was murdered in the very temple of the laws: not in
its vestibule, but in the very sanctum sanctorum!

“And did Rosas sacrifice a large number of Christians? Alas! would
I were not under the necessity of answering this question. Well
then—I will not do it; but answer for me, ye numerous auditors who
listen to me. Speak, ye many widows, whose hearts, as ye listen to
my words, are broken with sorrow—let the tears speak with which
you have been fed till the present day. Speak, ye fathers, who
still pour out your grief in sighs upon your children’s tombs.
Speak, ye numerous orphans, who, while embracing with kisses the
fathers of your love, have suddenly beheld them expire beneath the
point of the dagger! Do thou, O city of Buenos Ayres—do thou
speak: and speak every province, speak every town, speak every
family of the Republic! Oh, thou year of 1840! O fatal epoch! What
days of darkness, what days of mourning, what days of tears! your
memory will forever embitter our existence. Ah! yes—in every
street, in every house, in every room, we then stumbled over some
victim—innocent victim, for, to be innocent was, in the eyes of
that wicked one, the greatest of crimes. Humanity is horrified by
the frightful truth! The story seems like a fable, but we
ourselves are witnesses to the facts. Had the blood which was then
shed, been mingled with the waters of the mighty river rolling
beside us, they would have reddened to crimson. Death itself
seemed exhausted in the execution of such cruelty; and the dead
themselves, could they speak, would exclaim, ‘How horrible!’

“And were they Christians only that he immolated? Nero did not slay
his priests; at least, history does not say that he attempted it.
And Rosas, did he? Ah! that tyrant not only attempted it, but placed
the seal upon the record of his impieties in the blood of the
anointed of the Lord. That blood still cries to Heaven for
vengeance, and like the infernal furies, will follow and torment the
guilty criminal.

“And Rosas? did he burn the city? Would he had destroyed it rather
than have prolonged our martyrdom. But in this there would have been
too much humanity for him. His object was to protract our agony the
better to enjoy the misery.

“Finally, what were the articles of Nero’s religious faith? You all
know that he was a Pagan—how then could it be strange that he should
persecute his adversaries? And Rosas, was he likewise a Pagan? Would
that he had been!—that he had been so openly! His wickedness was not
so great that he did not call himself a Catholic. Ah! unhappy man,
thou art accountable for the abuses introduced to the church; for
thou, like another Henry VIII. of England, didst constitute thyself
the priest, and the bishop, and the Pope of the Republic. If there
has been demoralization in society, thou art accountable to the
Great Judge for it; for thou hast interfered with the most sacred
rights of religion, education, and laws; and for twenty years hast
set back the civilization of the Republic, and made the relentless
knife the only inducement to excel. But, it is enough! Thanks to the
valiant, the all-powerful Urquiza! the country now reposes in
tranquillity: we are free from the despotism of the odious tyrant.

“And is it not right that we should be thankful to the Almighty for
the benefits received at his hands? We have attained our liberty.
Oh! incomparable good! Oh! gift of inestimable value! And to whom
shall we give our thanks, if not to Thee, O Father of mercies?—to
whom if not to Thee, O Giver of all joy. To Thee, therefore, O
Fountain of all felicity, we give thanks! But likewise to thy name,
O great Urquiza! to thee, whose name will be immortal; to thee our
gratitude will be eternal, and the echo of our acknowledgments will
be heard, even to the ends of the earth. The heart of every
Argentine will be a temple from which thou wilt receive the sweet
incense of our affection; and tradition will for ever transmit to
our descendants the name of him who has restored to us our
liberties. Most excellent sir, we salute thee as the morning star of
the happy day of freedom that has dawned upon our country. We
acclaim thee as our Washington! The Washington of the Argentine
Republic! What a glory for you, sir! Argentines! I call your
attention to your deliverer: fix your gaze on that bold champion.
Let your modesty, sir, suffer me in the transports of my gratitude
to express the sentiments of my heart. Yes, Argentines, fix again, I
say, your gaze on that brave warrior. See you those scintillating
eyes beaming with humanity? they have suffered prolonged vigils for
your liberty. Behold that capacious brow—even yet bronzed by the
suns of the camp! it has been absorbed in the profoundest
meditations for your liberty! Do you perceive those features full of
expressions of goodness? they have suffered the rigors of heat and
the inclemencies of the seasons for your liberty. Witness ye that
elevated and finely modelled breast, the temple of a magnanimous
heart? It has been exposed to the bullet and the lance of the
tyrant, for your liberty. Do you observe the nervous arm and
powerful hand, so well known in battle? they have wielded the sword
valiantly for your liberty: yes, for our liberty, he voluntarily
renounced his sleep, to give his mind, day and night, to deep
thought; for our liberty, he sacrificed his own comfort and
well-being; for our liberty he hazarded his life! For our liberty he
has suffered hunger, thirst, and conflicts; and to achieve it,
impetuous rivers have appeared to him but smooth rivulets, enormous
deserts like populous plains, the longest marches but short
excursions, and the greatest obstacles the merest trifles. What
courage! what heroism! what patriotism!

“What fortune is ours, Argentines, to have a man of so much
excellence, in him whom Providence has sent to liberate us, and give
to us the guarantee of a constitutional government. Eternal Father,
God of all goodness, what thanksgiving shall we render to Thee for
this evidence of Thy mercy?”

With this fulsome rhapsody, terminates the second act of the
political drama of the Plata.


                             CHAPTER XXVII.


_March 30th._—While in Buenos Ayres, we were indebted for repeated
hospitality, at dinners and other entertainments, to the American
Minister and other fellow-citizens from the United States, including
my kind friends of the Methodist parsonage, where I was a constant

We left on the 25th ult. The Montevideans exult greatly in the
overthrow of Rosas; and, on our return, we found the citizens in the
midst of public rejoicing, and various festivities. The 12th inst.
was a grand gala for the reception of the troops of the Republic,
which had been engaged in the battle of Monte Caseros. Among the
most gallant of these was the negro regiment. A few days afterwards,
I witnessed a religious ceremony of thanksgiving, at the cathedral,
characteristic of the services of the church here, in which this
composed the audience. Marching into the public square in two
detachments, each led by a band, they formed in line, in front of
the church, and entering it in military procession, filled its
spacious nave. The bands took a stand on either side near the
chancel. The soldiers, at the word of command, knelt with their arms
reversed; the priest approaching the altar, opened the books and
commenced the service, not by reading, at least not so as to be
heard, but in pantomime. One of the bands, at the same time, began
the performance of an opera, in which it was relieved at intervals
by the other; while the bell of the priest gave signal, from time to
time, to the soldiers, for the requisite smitings on the breast,
crossings of the forehead, lips and chest, and bowings of the head.
The music of the opera was continued without intermission for half
an hour, till the performance at the altar was brought to a close;
and then changed to a lively quick-step, to the gay movements of
which, the troops again marched to their quarters.

The French Admiral, Lepredour, and the Brazilian Admiral, Grenfell,
both received official intelligence from their respective
governments by the last mail-packet, of their advancement from the
rank of rear to that of vice-admiral, in acknowledgment of the
importance of their services here. The 21st inst. was made a
festival in the squadrons of both, as the day on which their new
flags were first hoisted, when they received a salute from the
vessels of their respective squadrons, from those of other nations
here, and from the batteries on shore.

Admiral Grenfell, an Englishman by birth, and originally an officer
in the Royal Navy, is greatly distinguished for his gallantry, and
for many brilliant acts in the naval history of the South American
States: first, under Lord Cochrane,—the present admiral, Earl
Dundonald—in the Chilian Navy; and afterwards under the same officer
in that of Brazil on the Atlantic coast. For twenty years past he
has rendered most important service in the Imperial Navy; has had
chief command on occasions of distinction and honor; and, still in
the confidence of the Emperor, was called from the civil appointment
of consul-general in England, to take command of the squadron sent
to facilitate the operations of the allied forces of Entre-Rios and
Brazil, against Rosas. This he successfully did, rendering abortive
the defences which Rosas planned to prevent Urquiza and Caxias from
crossing the Parana—thus removing the only obstacle in their march
to Buenos Ayres. For this service, to the order of the Southern
Cross, previously conferred on him, that of the Grand Cross of the
Imperial Order of the Rose is added, and he promoted to the highest
rank in the Brazilian Navy. He has been a regular attendant on the
Sabbath in the chapel, in which I officiate on shore; and apparently
is one of the most devout of the worshippers there, and one of the
most attentive of my hearers.

Shortly after my return from Buenos Ayres, it was intimated to me
that some appropriate notice of the important political events which
had occurred, not only in the relief of Montevideo from siege, but
in the overthrow of its most powerful enemy, would give satisfaction
to the church and congregation. On the succeeding Sabbath,
therefore, my discourse, in addition to such allusions as I thought
proper to make—in regard to the affairs of the Republic of which
this place is the capital—embraced the duty of Protestant
Christians, resident in it, though not themselves citizens, towards
the people and their rulers. The general tenor of my subject may be
inferred from the text, “I exhort, therefore, first of all, that
supplication, and prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be
made for all men: for kings, and for all that are in authority; that
we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
honesty.” The practical application which I attempted to enforce
will be most readily condensed by a quotation from a familiar hymn:

             “So let our lips and lives express
                  The holy Gospel, we profess,
              So let our works and virtues shine,
                  To prove the doctrine all divine.

              Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
                  The honors of our Saviour God;
              When His salvation reigns within,
                  And grace subdues the power of sin.”

Admiral Grenfell was present. I was in doubt as to the light in
which he, a monarchist by birth and an imperialist by commission,
might view the subject as illustrated, in some portions, by the
history and experience in faith and prayer, of the fathers of our
own Republic; and was gratified to hear that he had expressed
himself in terms of unqualified satisfaction with the entire

_April 20th._—Since my last date, we have made a cruise of three
weeks off the Plata. In addition to the various exercises, nautical
and military, for which chiefly we put to sea, several interesting
experiments were made under the direction of Mr. Parker, the
flag-lieutenant of our ship, in deep sea soundings. The first result
of much interest was obtained on the 3d inst., in S. Lat. 35° 25′ W.
Long. 45° 10′. It was during a dead calm; the surface of the ocean
being every where glassy as a newly-frozen lake. Not a ripple at any
point met the eye. At 9 o’clock in the morning, a reel, on which had
been arranged ten thousand fathoms of line, furnished by the
Hydrographical Bureau and brought to the Congress by the sloop St.
Mary, was fitted to one of the quarter-boats, in which Lieut. Parker
and Mr. Glover left the ship to try the depth of the sea. They had
expected to be absent a few hours only, and took no refreshments,
not even a breaker of water with them: but the calm continued, and
interested in the duty in which they were engaged, they remained
with the boat’s crew the whole day in voluntary fast. The sinker was
a thirty-two pound shot. Eight thousand five hundred fathoms were
expended, and at sunset the line was still slowly running off the
reel. The true depth gained was believed to be only about three
thousand five hundred fathoms; the remainder being stray line
carried away by a strong submarine current. The existence of this
was conclusively ascertained: its rate being nearly two miles the
hour, in a direction opposite to the surface current, which had a
force of about one mile per hour. The determination of this fact was
an abundant reward for the labor of a wearisome day in the glaring
sun. Nine miles of the line were lost. Upon attempting to haul it
in, the tension became so great that five men could obtain a few
fathoms only per minute; and greater force being applied, it parted
a few hundred yards from the boat. Different soundings were
afterwards satisfactorily secured, at the various depths of 950,
1500, 1780, 2000, 2100, and 2200 fathoms, the particulars of which
are prepared for transmission to Lieutenant Maury. Fifteen thousand
fathoms of line were furnished by this Congress when in Rio, to the
commander of H. B. M. Frigate Herald, whom we met there; and it is
reported that soundings were obtained by him on his way to the
Pacific, at a depth of more than seven thousand fathoms.

The calm which enabled us to make our first deep sounding continued
for three days, with a temperature like the finest autumnal weather
at home. The sky during the time, was clear and brilliant, both by
day and night: for a full moon, in a state of the atmosphere
peculiarly translucent, afforded us a splendor of light that enabled
the crew to occupy themselves in reading. During this time, I saw
men at their stations reading books, even of small print, in the
mid-watch. Immediately afterwards, however, we experienced the
heaviest gale, with the wildest and most tumultuous sea we have
known since leaving the United States. In a small vessel it would
have been fearful; but the Congress is so large, and so perfect a
sea-bird in her motions, that she rides and sports among the billows
with an ease and triumph that call forth admiration only. She dashes
from her bows and lofty bulwarks, in seeming playfulness, seas which
would sweep the decks of a small craft, or bury them beneath an
avalanche of water. Though the gale was heavy, the sky was bright;
and in the afternoon, especially when the rays of the sun fell
obliquely upon

               “The restless, seething, stormy sea!”

the scene was magnificent. As sea after sea rose high against the
sun, it would change in hue from the blue of indigo to emerald
green. Then cresting into snowy whiteness, would scatter itself far
and wide, in beds of sparkling diamonds. The tumultuous rushing and
roaring of mighty waters in endless forms around us; the deep roll
of the frigate to the leeward; and then, the rapid plunge
headforemost down a mountain, as it were, into a yawning gulf below,
made the afternoon to me one of admiration and delight.

Below decks, it is true, every thing was uncomfortable enough. The
ward-room was dark and dreary; and the gun-deck all afloat. Still,
as is generally the case with the sailor in such rough weather, all
hands were in high spirits, and the deeper the roll of the
ship—though by it, one half the crew should be pitched across the
ship; and the heavier the plunge downward, though followed by rivers
of water taken in at the hawser-holes and bridle-ports—especially,
if those on deck were at the same time drenched by the breaking on
board of a sea, or by being thrown into the floods rushing along the
water-ways, the louder was the laughter and the greater the glee.

The poop-deck, from its elevation and the command it gives of every
thing far and near, is a favorite resort of the officers. It is
also, in ordinary circumstances, a place of etiquette. To sit while
there, is not allowable, at least in the day-time, except to the
Commodore and Captain, or such as they may invite beside them; much
less is it etiquette to lie there. But now, the wind was too strong
and withal too cold to stand, or even to sit; and going up after
dinner, and finding it abandoned except by a sailor at the
main-halliards, wrapping myself in a pea-jacket, I stretched myself
in a corner to the windward, flat upon the deck, with my face
partially protected by the hammock-nettings, turned to the sea. The
position gave me an unobstructed view of the raging and roaring
deep; and for an hour and more, I exulted in the contortions of the
storm and the ever varying beauty and sublimity of the scene.
Towards evening, the appearance of the Commodore and Captain brought
me to my feet; and we together enjoyed the spectacle till the
setting sun and gathering night dropped a curtain of darkness over


_May 22d._—The Congress is again at the island of St. Catherine. We
came to anchor at Santa Cruz, on Saturday the 15th inst.; and on the
following Monday morning, I came to this place in company with our
Master S—— and Secretary G——. When here last, the principal hotel
was admirably kept by an American. He has since died, and his place
is well supplied by a Mahonese, named Salvador. After having engaged
rooms for the night and ordered our dinner, we sallied forth for a
walk in the suburbs of the town. It is so long since we have been
within reach of any thing like rural beauty, that, surrounded by it
here, we were like school-boys turned loose for play; and in the
brilliancy of the morning and elasticity of a bracing air, felt, as
one of us expressed it, ready to fly. The south wind blew freshly
over the hills and through the trees, and, at one point in our walk,
with novel and charming effect upon the widespread branches of a
couple of Australian pines. Under its breathings these became
perfect Eolian harps, sending forth as we stood beneath them, the
most touching strains of melody; swelling at times into the fulness
of the organ, and then dying away in cadences, so soft, as to make

                “Listener hold his breath to hear;”

while the nerves thrilled under the expiring tones. I never heard “a
voice of nature” more charming.

We were again struck with the great civility of every one we met,
from the well-dressed gentleman to the humblest slave. As we stood
near the enclosure of a poor cabin, admiring the peculiar beauty of
a rose in the perfection of its bloom, a negro came to the door, and
with pleasant salutations, begged us to pull it, though it was the
only one in flower; at the same time cutting a cluster of buds from
the bush himself, and adding sprigs of geranium for a bouquet.

After an excellent dinner served by Salvador, we towards evening
took a walk along the beach and the eastern shore of the bay, to one
of the finest points of view. The picture presented in the glowing
light of the setting sun was very fine. Our walk led us past the
general hospital. It is finely situated on a commanding terrace, and
has recently been enlarged and refitted, through the liberality of
the Emperor and Empress, by donations made by them in their visit to
St. Catherine’s in 1845: the one having given ten thousand dollars
for this purpose, and the other two. It is a foundling hospital, as
well as an infirmary. The window containing the roda or turning-box
for the reception of the infants left, was open, though shaded by a
screen of green cloth, embroidered in the centre with the Imperial
arms, and with the motto in Portuguese—“Meus pais me desemparao a
Divina Providencia me protege.” “My parent deserts me, but Divine
Providence protects me.”

I rose early the next morning and took a stroll through the market.
It is a new and neatly kept structure, immediately adjoining the
beach. I say beach, for there are no wharves. This was now filled
with canoes run up on the sand, and laden with vegetables, fruit,
wood, and various articles of traffic, in which a brisk barter was
going on. On the grass of the open square in front, groups of mules
were clustered with pack-saddles and panniers burdened with similar
articles, brought for a like purpose from the interior; and near by,
negro women in all kinds of costume and of every color, were seated
frying fish, and boiling black beans into a kind of soup, and
preparing other edibles for the breakfast of the muleteers and
passers by. Here, too, were collected, according to daily custom,
two or three dozen boys, from eight to twelve years of age, each
having a bamboo stick across the shoulder, from one end of which was
suspended a tin can capable of containing three or four quarts, with
a small tin cup attached as a measure. These are the milkmen of the
place, belonging to the small farms in the adjoining valleys, to a
distance of seven or eight miles.

Our breakfast at the hotel was a l’Americain: such an one as
Salvador boastingly said “a Brazilian would not know how to get up.”
Immediately after despatching it G——, S—— and I set off in a boat
for the village of San José on the mainland, nine miles across the
straits in a south-easterly direction from Desterro. This was in
prosecution of a purpose we had formed of visiting the German colony
of San Pedro d’Alcantara in the mountains, some twenty-five or
thirty miles inland from San José; partly to observe the progress
made by the immigrants after a settlement of twenty-five years; and
partly for the effect upon our health and spirits of a ride for a
couple of days on horseback. There was no wind, and we were rowed
over by a Brazilian, the owner of the boat, and a young negro, his
slave. The views from the water in every direction are beautifully
lakelike. The points and bluff headlands projecting into the water,
are in many instances peculiarly striking in their terminations:
consisting of columnar shafts, piked splinters, and immense boulders
of granite, so arranged as to have the appearance of the ruins of
Cyclopean fortresses, even to the remains of seeming embrasures. In
other instances they might pass for fragments of a Giant’s causeway.

We were an hour and a half in making the distance. We had been
directed for information and aid in accomplishing our purpose to a
German named Adams, residing at a beach called the Praya Compreda,
in the immediate vicinity of San José. He is a kind of chieftain
among his countrymen of the colony, and could be of more service to
us than any other person. We landed near his house, a substantial
and comfortable edifice of stone, appropriated in its lower
apartments to the varied business of a commission merchant, grocer,
and tavernkeeper. It was here we were to procure horses and a guide
for the excursion. At first the prospect of success was rather
unpromising. Though kindly received by Adams, he said it was
impossible for him to furnish horses—that all his were entirely used
up by a hard ride from which they had just returned, and he knew of
no others that could be obtained: nor was there any one in the place
who could act as a guide. However, upon setting forth our entire
dependence upon him, at the recommendation of his friend; the
anxiety we felt to make the trip; our nationality, and the ship at
Santa Cruz to which we were attached, he so far relented in his
first decision as to say he would see what could be done; and at the
end of a few minutes it was determined, that after a good feed, his
two horses, with the addition of a couple of mules, should be at our
service, and that Adams himself should become our companion and

Matters being thus satisfactorily arranged, we employed the time for
the requisite preparations, in looking around us, and in learning a
little of the character and history of our host. He is a stout,
thickset, square, iron-framed man of forty-five, with a
good-natured, but most determined and inflexible face. He has been
twenty-four years in the country, having been one of the pioneer
colonists of Alcantara, and resident in the mountains till within a
few years past. He is now well to do in the world, and has a wife
and family of six children. A daughter of eighteen soon became an
object of unfeigned admiration to some of our party. She is very
pretty in face, fresh and blooming in complexion, with a refined and
intelligent expression, and perfect in the proportion and symmetry
of her figure. There was a fitting of the head and neck to the bust,
and an air and bearing in her walk, that would have become a
princess. It is so long since we have seen in common life one who
would be called at home a truly pretty girl, that we were quite
charmed with the neat and modest air of this Christianlike and
civilized beauty. A brother, too, some two years older, tall, stout,
and well modelled, moved about with the straightness and the elastic
step of an Indian.

As we were strolling through the little hamlet, a straggling suburb
of the village of San José, we were told by a passer-by that an
American was living close at hand—pointing out to us his residence.
We found this to be a cobbler’s shop, and our compatriot in it a
cobbler: a scapegrace, as we soon learned, from no less noted a
place of apprenticeship than the “Mammoth” boot-store in Chatham
Square, New York. He is about twenty-eight years of age, has been
eleven years at St. Catharine’s, and is married here; but
notwithstanding, is confessedly still much of a “Bowery boy,” and no
great honor to his country. A Bible in English, lying on the
counter, was the only evidence of good we discovered during our
interview, in which he did a small job in his line for one of us.
His boast of Protestantism, and of his defences of the truth amid
the superstition and idolatry, as he termed it, in which he lives,
did not pass for much in our estimation, interlarded as his
conversation was, with oaths and other proofs of moral degradation.

At two o’clock we were mounted for San Pedro d’Alcantara; Adams and
S—— on horses, G—— and I on mules. Adams, wearing a low-crowned,
broad-brimmed, black felt hat, seemed to be literally stuffed into
the drab cotton shooting-jacket, which he had added to the shirt in
which we first met him. The other most conspicuous article of his
dress was a pair of tan-colored boots, reaching to his knees, with
saddle-bag tops, put to the use here of a portmanteau. G—— and S——
each wore over their coats a gaily striped Buenos Ayres poncho;
whilst I was provided with a boat-cloak, as a defence against sun,
wind, and rain. We set off with fine weather and in high spirits. We
had long become so weary of the monotony of life on board ship at
Montevideo, and the confinement of our passage hither, that the
change was most welcome; and we ambled off through a sandy lane
leading directly inland from the water, as cheerily as if just
escaping from prison.

On gaining the height of the first ridge, we had an extensive view
over a wide valley covered with wood. It surprised me to see so
wide an extent of level and seemingly rich land, immediately on
the coast, unredeemed; but we learned that beneath the wood it is
a mere swamp. The rising grounds skirting it, present abundant
evidence of the productiveness of the soil: plantations of coffee,
sugar-cane, mandioca, cotton, Indian corn, and the castor oil
plant, were spread widely around, while the orange groves were so
laden with fruit, as to appear in the sun like masses of gold. The
road for many miles was broad and smooth, lined with hedges of
mimosa and wild orange, and ornamented here and there by clusters
of roses and jessamine. By degrees, however, as we advanced in the
mountains, especially in the ascent and descent of spurs of hills,
it became narrow and rough, and little more than a bridle-path.
The country became proportionally new and uncultivated; still in
many places it was homelike, from the meadows and rich bottom
lands which here and there bordered the mountain stream, which we
began now closely to follow towards its sources. A thousand
beautiful pictures in outline and foliage were presented during
the ride of the afternoon, enlivened and varied by the windings of
the small river beside us—flowing at times through lawnlike banks
as smoothly as the waters of a lake, and then again rushing, and
leaping, and foaming amidst gigantic boulders of granite, down
rapids and over cascades, with the tumult and uproar of a

We had constant evidence along the road, in the new dwellings and
outbuildings of the inhabitants, of their improving circumstances
and advancing civilization. This was conspicuous in more than one
instance in three successive specimens of architecture in a single
habitation, by the additions made at different times. First, there
was the little cabin, composed of small sapling-like timbers,
wattled and filled in with mud and coarsely and rudely thatched, now
rickety and ready to tumble down, the original shanty of a settler
in the wilderness; next, and joined to it some years later, another
more spacious in its area, and of more substantial frame, more
smoothly plastered and more elaborately thatched—more neat in the
finish of its door and window frames, and entire workmanship; and
lastly, the recently constructed cottage of stone, stuccoed and
whitewashed, and roofed with tile—bearing testimony of the
prosperity and the improved domestic accommodations of its owner.
This is descriptive of the Brazilian section of the country, before
we came in the neighborhood of the German colony; though the same
fact was observable in a more marked degree among the European

Night overtook us when yet a league from our destination. Most of
this distance was made in such darkness that we could not
distinguish an object around us; not even the road we were
travelling. We could only follow the lead of our guide, trusting to
the eyesight and sagacity of our beasts, for security in mounting
sharp hills and in making steep descents beside the roaring waters
and shelving precipices. The way thus began to be tedious and we to
feel weary. A bright light from a large and cheerful dwelling near
the road side, before which our guide halted, led to the hope that
we had reached the end of our day’s journey. This Adams was desirous
of making it; but, after an animated parlance in German, in which
the whole of a large family, men, women and children, who had
crowded to the door, joined, while we, wayworn riders, looked
wistfully at the brightness and seeming comfort within, he was told
that we could not be accommodated, and must push our way through the
darkness and chill mists of the mountains, a mile further. Slight
showers of rain now began to fall from the heavy clouds overhead.
When at last we did come to a halt, and were invited to dismount,
the only object discernible was the dim light of a lamp amidst the
bottles of a little grog-shop and grocery, six feet by ten. We
found, however, that it opened on one side into a room of somewhat
greater dimensions; and this again in the rear into a kennel-like
hole, filled with children of all ages, from one to eight and ten
years, most of them very primitively clad, and some so much so as to
be entirely naked.

It was at once very evident that this barnlike room, open overhead
to the rafters, and furnished only with a coarse heavy table and two
or three rude wooden benches, was to be both our supper room and
dormitory: the grog-shop on one corner and the kennel behind,
constituting the rest of the dwelling. Hungry and weary we gladly
made ourselves at home in it. The civility of the landlord, and his
manifest desire to do honor to guests under the protection of so
distinguished a patron as Mynheer Adams, but especially the early
appearance of a trim and active little German girl of eighteen, with
neatly arranged hair and blooming complexion, moving about with the
self-possession and dignity of an heiress, though without stockings,
and for shoes the clumsy sabots or wooden slippers of the country,
began to raise our hopes as to fare and accommodations.

Soon the savory fumes and musical hissing of ham and eggs, in a
frying-pan in the adjoining penthouse, and the aroma of coffee, gave
further encouragement to our empty stomachs. A snowwhite cloth was
at the same time spread over one end of the bar-room table; and it
was not long before we were seated at a very palatable meal, which
the personal cleanliness of the little cook and waiting-maid
encouraged us to dispatch without any very close inspection of the
plates on which it was served, or the particular condition of the
black knives and five-pronged German silver forks with which it was
eaten. In the mean time we had become somewhat enlightened as to the
domestic condition of the household. The lady of the mansion had
given birth the day before to a sixth son, and was lying in a little
dark recess on one side of the rear shanty: mother and son doing
well. The maid-of-all-work was a sister in charge of the household
during the confinement.

Shortly after our arrival a new character was introduced, in the
person of a German doctor, in attendance on the mother and child: a
man of talent and education, we were told, but now, from habits of
drunkenness, a poor degraded wretch, shabby in dress, and filthy in
person. He soon rendered himself utterly disgusting to us, by the
profaneness and vulgarity of the broken English by which he
attempted to commend himself to us, as travellers. He came from the
fatherland somewhat more than a year ago, with the German legion
furnished by Brazil, in the allied armies of the Plata, for the
overthrow of Rosas. In this, he was a surgeon, but forfeited his
commission through intemperance. He was disposed at first to be very
friendly, and to address us as “hail fellow well met.” The advances
were received so very coldly, however, especially on the point of
most interest to him, the participation of a glass of grog, that
after a word to the sick, he took his departure in the darkness and
rain for another grog-shop, as we were told, to meet more congenial

The cravings of hunger relieved, we began to cast a look around as
to the promise of rest for the night, after the weariness of a rough
and rapid ride of twenty-five miles. The bare and dirty floors, and
narrow and hard benches along the walls, seemed to furnish the only
choice of couches. We had made up our minds to this alternative;
and, so far as my companions were concerned, with a half shiver as
to the degree of comfort held out. The mountain air was not only
damp, but positively cold. In addition to my saddle for a pillow, I
had a thick cloak in which to wrap myself, but G—— and S——, with
nothing to cover them but their light ponchos, had the prospect of
half freezing. A shrug of the shoulders, however, chiefly indicated
the nature of their thoughts on the subject. To our relief, a large
rush mat was early spread in one corner of the room, and immediately
afterwards, with triumphant looks of gratulation to one another, we
beheld our host with his little sister-in-law lugging in from the
adjoining apartment an immense straw bed, of dimensions sufficient
for the accommodation of half a dozen persons. Spread out to its
largest extent, and furnished with bolsters, clean sheets and
blankets, it looked so tempting, that, arranging the cloak and
ponchos for additional covering, and laying aside our coats, boots,
and cravats, we were soon in the indulgence of the rest to which it
invited us. We were constrained by Christian civility to offer to
our guide a fourth part of the couch. In anticipation of his
acceptance, I had chosen for myself an outside berth, where I
supposed I should be the farthest removed from him. He declined the
place offered, however, and spreading a sheepskin saddlecloth and
other gear on the floor, took up his quarters beside me. Thus my
selfish manœuvre was in vain, and the big German was my next
bedfellow. It was well for my repose that I was right weary; for he
soon began puffing and snorting in his sleep with the labor and
noise of a high-pressure steam-engine, which otherwise would have
effectually kept me awake. We were four in a row; but there was no
lack, as I soon discovered, of numerous other bedfellows. Flattering
myself that they were nothing worse than fleas in clean and polished
armor, I did not allow myself to be disturbed by them; but leaving
them to skip, hop, and jump as they pleased without hindrance, I
slept soundly till morning, and rose without a vestige of fatigue.

I was all impatience to know what kind of a place, under the
disclosures of daylight, San Pedro d’Alcantara would prove to be. On
hastening to the door, for the windows without sash or glass were
closed by board shutters, the first object that met my eyes was the
little rustic chapel of the settlement, perched on the top of a
beautifully wooded and round-topped hill. It is picturesque and
rural, and the most conspicuous and ornamental object in the
landscape. The place itself is a hamlet of a dozen dwellings, most
of them mere huts. Half the number are plastered and whitewashed,
and in place of thatch have roofs of red tile. The mountain stream,
whose course we had followed from the bay at San José, here a small
rivulet, flows through its centre. The little valley in which the
hamlet is embosomed, is encircled by hills of more or less
steepness, most of them still covered with trees and underwood, and
presents all the features of a new and frontier settlement at home.
After breakfast, accompanied by Adams and our host, who adds to his
occupation of publican the office of sexton to the church, we
ascended the hill to the chapel. It is most rude in its architecture
both within and without, and is furnished with several frightful
daubs, of what are intended for saints and angels. A cemetery
surrounds the chapel. It contains a few graves, and is encircled by
a broad path for the convenience of religious processions. There is
no parish priest; but an itinerant ecclesiastic makes a quarterly
visit for confession and absolution, and the celebration of mass. In
answer to my inquiries on the subject, our host said, “We come up to
the chapel every Sunday morning and every saint’s day, and make a
procession, and do what we can, and then go down and drink, dance,
and sing, and enjoy ourselves the rest of the day!”

It had rained heavily in showers during the night, and the weather
was still drizzling and unsettled. Still we felt disposed before
returning, to push our observations a little further in the
interior. To this Adams offered no objection, and we again mounted.
Shortly after leaving the hamlet westward, we came to a very steep
and long hill—quite a mountain. The soil is an adhesive oily clay,
and the ascent was difficult and amusing. It was almost impossible
for our animals to obtain a sure foothold; and they constantly
slipped and floundered, and slid backwards in a manner that at first
was startling. The view from the top, of the little valley and
hamlet, the stream meandering through it, and of the rude chapel and
its surmounting cross, was picturesque and quite Alpine.

The descent on the opposite side was as steep, and more hazardous
than the ascent had been: our beasts, with their fore-legs stiffly
outstretched, often made involuntary slides of eight, ten, and
fifteen feet, till “brought up all standing,” as the phrase is, by a
cross gully or a large stone. As the whole ride was but the constant
ascent and descent of a succession of spurs of hills, running down
into the little valley through which the mountain stream flowed, it
proved a regular morning’s sport of “coursing down hill” after a new
fashion. At first it was a little startling; for when the slide
began, whether backwards, in a precipitous ascent, or headforemost
down a breakneck descent, there was no calculating where one would
fetch up; a little experience, however, begot such confidence in the
self-management of the animals—especially the mules, to one of which
I still adhered—that I soon began to enjoy it, and rather to look
out for and encourage a good long slide upon the well-braced limbs
of my beast. This was particularly the case on our return, in the
descent of the long hill immediately overhanging San Pedro. This is
quite precipitous, and for nearly half a mile we slipped, slipped,
and slipped, one after another, first in one direction in the road,
and then in another, zigzagging here and zigzagging there, but
bringing up at every successive point safely, till we were
constrained to laugh outright, as we looked from one animal and his
rider to another, and felt that each of us presented the same
comical figure.

The general features of the scenery were much the same as those
passed over the preceding evening. Steep hills, well-wooded, rose
abruptly on either side from the little valley. In this lay rich
bottomlands, some in long peninsulas, and others in horse-shoe form,
according to the varied windings of the stream flowing through them.
Many beautiful pictures, some of nature in her wildness, and others
with intermingled cultivation and improvement met the eye, with
evidences in the dwellings and farms of the settlers of increasing
comfort and progressive civilization. At the end of three miles, our
guide proposed that instead of following the public mule-track
further, we should turn aside by a gateway upon the more level
valley. This we did, and soon entered upon a section more like
farming-land at home than any thing before met. After passing two or
three comfortable-looking dwellings, we came in view of an extensive
plantation of comparatively level and well improved ground, with a
cluster of buildings a half mile in the distance, superior to any we
had yet seen. It proved to be the residence of a cousin of our
guide, at which he wished to give us an introduction. Widespread,
meadow-like fields lay before us, and on one side upon an open lawn
stood a neatly-finished little ‘chapelet,’ if I may coin a word.
This looked pretty in the landscape, from its whiteness in contrast
with the green of an encircling hedge. It was not more than twelve
feet square, open in front, and probably intended to be scarcely
more than a canopy over a shrine of the Virgin or some favorite

From the time of entering the German colony the day previous,
salutations of good will and pleasure were addressed to our guide
from the habitations we passed far and near—often at distances as
great as the voice could well carry them; now, as soon as he was
recognized among the party approaching, the demonstration was most
cordial and prolonged; while before we would alight, father, mother,
daughters, and sons gathered around the cavalcade with the most
cheerful welcome. Every thing indicated that we had arrived at the
mansion of a magnate in the colony, if it were not that of the lord
of the manor himself. It must not be inferred from this, however,
that we met any very impressive display of aristocratic life, either
in costume, manners, or dwelling. The proprietor was unshaven and
unshorn. His dress, though clean, was very thoroughly patched, and
included neither coat, stockings, hat, nor cravat. The costume of
the lady consisted principally of a single essential garment, made
and arranged so inartistically as to give to her figure very much
the outline of a bean-pole. The forms of two strapping daughters of
sixteen and eighteen were much more after the German model; but
their toilette was little more elaborate than that of the mother,
and the skirt of the single robe worn by them, scarcely the length
of that of a Bloomer without the pantalets. The sinew and muscle
thus displayed in bare arms and bare ankles and feet, would have
justified the belief that they had spent their lives in
tree-chopping or log-rolling, and led one of our party in his
astonishment to exclaim, with the favorite expletive of ‘by George,’
“either of them would thrash any one of us in a minute!”

It was beginning to rain quite smartly as we dismounted, and whilst
the sons took charge of our horses, we were hastily ushered into a
good-sized room, which, though exhibiting a combination of hall and
parlor, bedroom and kitchen, took us quite by surprise in its style
and finish. It presented a neatly panelled wainscot, of the handsome
cedar of the country, extending from the floor to the cornice; the
ceiling also being panelled with the same material. A long table and
benches beside it, a sofa of mahogany with cane seat, and half a
dozen chairs to match, an old eight-day clock in a straight black
case, and a high dresser with drawers of the same color and
material—both manifestly brought from the ‘faderland’—constituted,
with the accustomed display of delf and china, the principal
furniture of the room.

In the early morning, at San Pedro, the first indoor object that
arrested my attention, was the thickset and burly figure of our
guide, beside the counter of the little grog-shop and grocery,
stirring with a spoon the contents of a shallow earthen pan, on the
surface of which played the blue flames of burning spirits. The
interest with which he watched the operation was not limited, it was
very evident, to the beauty of the flashing and leaping flame, as he
stirred and stirred the liquid. Half suspicious of the reply that
would be given, I asked him, “what he was making?” And received for
answer, with a smack of his lips, “Oh, something very good for the
stomach in these damp mornings in the mountains—very necessary
against the fogs! it is cachasa,”—the common rum of the country—“and
sugar,” of which, at the end of fifteen minutes’ preparation, he
would fain have persuaded us to partake, with the assurance “that
all the bad of it was burned up.” And now, at the farm-house, we had
scarcely become seated, before our host made his appearance with a
tumbler of the same, with a regret that he could not in its place
offer us wine. On declining this, bowls of milk were presented. And
such milk! The like of it I have not seen since leaving the banks of
the Hudson. An excellent loaf of bread, a mixture of wheat and
Indian meal, was added, with the sweetest of butter and equally good
cheese. A plate of the farina of mandioca being also placed upon the
table, I made my lunch chiefly on a bowl of milk thickened with it;
and found the diet a capital substitute for the hasty pudding of New
England and the Dutch _suppawn_ of the Middle States.

In the mean time, a feat of agility performed by the younger of the
two daughters mentioned, came near proving too much for the gravity
of some of our number. She had not entered the room when we did,
having received an order at the time, of some kind, from her mother.
This obeyed, she was unwilling, probably, to lose the interest of so
unusual a visit; and perceiving at the door that but one seat in the
room was vacant—the farther end of the sofa, ten or twelve feet
off—and suspicious of the undue exposure before strangers of her
nether limbs, in a deliberate movement over the intervening space,
she measured well the distance, and with a gathered momentum, by a
single lofty hop, skip, and jump, came down _à la Turque_ upon it,
with feet and ankles entirely concealed beneath her scanty skirt,
but with a snapping of the bamboo that threatened to be fatal to the
bottom of the sofa.

After luncheon, we sallied forth for the inspection of a mandioca
and a sugar mill in an adjoining building, and a view of the piggery
and gardens—the entire household forming our suite. We had already
discovered the wife to be very decidedly the head of the family. Her
will and word, doubtless, were law in the domain, outdoors as well
as within. The husband seemed a meek, good-natured but inefficient
person, while his better half was full of energy and enterprise;
and, probably, besides the exercise of better judgment, had
accomplished more hard work, in the field as well as in the kitchen,
than any other person on the place. She at once took the lead in
showing off the premises, and in giving all the information desired
in regard to them. Her husband and herself were so poor at the time
of their immigration, twenty-four years ago, as to be necessarily
indebted to their cousin, Adams, for their passage-money. Their
plantation was a gratuity from the government, as an encouragement
to colonists. It is a mile in length, by half a mile in width, and
was then in a state of nature, and of little value. It is now
reclaimed and well cultivated; and could not be purchased, as we
were informed, for less than ten thousand milreis or five thousand
dollars. In addition to this fine property and comfortable home,
with good buildings and a stock of all necessary animals, Mr. S——
the proprietor, is a capitalist, and has money at interest. Mrs. S——
has been handsome, and still has a finely chiselled face and good
expression. The daughters, too, are pretty: at least they appeared
so to us. It is so long since we have seen the fair skin and the
fair complexion of the Northern woman, or met the energy, activity,
and elastic movement of the fair Yankee, that we are scarcely
competent to the exercise of unprejudiced judgment in the case.

At the end of an hour we took our leave, pleased with the visit,
which evidently had also been a pleasure to our hosts. The wetness
of the morning had increased, and before we had accomplished a mile
on our return, the rain began to pour in torrents. We sought the
shelter of an orange-grove till the shower should pass; but finding
it inadequate to the emergency, Adams, exclaiming, “This will not
do!” pushed ahead a short distance, and dashed, all mounted, into a
mandioca mill at one end of a dwelling near by. We of course
followed, and found ourselves with our beasts snug and dry in the
kitchen as well as mill of the proprietor. Here, during the delay of
half an hour, we had an opportunity of witnessing again the whole
process of converting the root of the mandioca into farina; while
Adams, having, through an open door, spied the family of the house
at their noonday meal, alighted, and notwithstanding his previous
hearty luncheon an hour before, of bread, butter, cheese and milk,
sat down and made a full dinner: and this, only as was afterwards
proved, by way of stimulating his appetite for the repast we had
ordered to be in readiness on our return, at San Pedro, and to which
he did as ample justice as if he had not broken his fast before for
a day.

While waiting for this meal to be served, a very pretty and
modest-looking German girl of fifteen rode up to the door of the
little inn. She wore a neatly fitting dress of pink calico, a
pocket-handkerchief tied under the chin as a covering for the head,
and French gaiter boots, and sat her horse à la caballero. She was
on her way to San José under the escort of a friend, without whose
protection, the Germans told us, she could not possibly make the
trip with safety, such was the villainy and licentiousness of the
Brazilians of the country. In the state in which the roads are, her
attitude as a rider was unquestionably the most secure.

When ready to set off ourselves, rain had again began to pour; and
for a time the prospect of being able to start was unpromising. The
drunken doctor, once more in attendance, persisted in assuring us
that it would rain thus all the afternoon; and said it would be
madness to think of leaving. His urgency for our stay was an
additional motive for us to be off; and as soon as there was a
slight improvement in the weather we mounted, and after making up a
purse, much to the delight of our host, as a gratuity to the
sixth-born son, bade adieu to San Pedro d’Alcantara. It was now four
o’clock, and Adams said we could not reach San José at the earliest
before nine. We started notwithstanding, with the will and purpose
of making the shortest possible work of the intervening distance;
and certain of our road, left our guide to gossip by the way as he
chose, with the many friends hailing him from the heights above or
the valleys below, as far as the voice could be carried, while we
rode pell-mell, up hill and down dale, often slipping and sliding
for long distances, at the seeming hazard of both limbs and neck. In
this way, we accomplished half the distance before nightfall, and
reached a lower region of country, where there had been little or no

During the ride, we met several troupes of mules, and their
muleteers, returning with empty pack-saddles from the bay. Among
others, one belonging to our host of San Pedro, which we had seen
setting off in the early morning with articles for the market of
Desterro. Occasionally, too, we overtook, and, after riding for a
time side by side, passed horsemen and mule riders going the same
way with ourselves. Just as darkness was beginning to fall rapidly
around, we thus fell in with a well-mounted, fine-looking Brazilian,
having the appearance of a respectable planter. Adams was far
behind, and S—— had the lead of our party, his horse being a
tolerably good traveller. My mule, a sure-footed beast, came next,
and then G——’s. The Brazilian, after riding side by side with each
of us in turn, by degrees got in advance of all three. As he was
evidently well acquainted with the road, S—— and I made up our minds
to follow him closely, as the pioneer in the darkness for any unsafe
spot ahead. As both man and horse appeared fresh, however, this
required pretty brisk riding. With the thickening of the night, our
new friend accelerated his speed; and the faster he led, the faster
we followed. Presently it was impossible to discern a trace of the
road, or to discover whether it were smooth or rough, tending up
hill or down. The white Guayaquil hat of the Brazilian, was all that
was left visible to S—— of horse, or rider, and a line of deeper
darkness hastening from me ahead, was all that I, with the most
fixed gaze, could perceive of S——. I lashed my mule to keep up in
the chase, S—— kept snapping his riding whip in the fashion of a
French postilion, while the Brazilian seemed to be spurring on his
steed at full tilt. Away we thus went, S—— managing to keep before
him the vision of a white hat, which threatened each moment to be
lost in the darkness, and I at an equal remove from him, with all
the powers of sight intently fixed, to follow a moving speck of
concentrated blackness. To make sure of the identity of the phantom
of my own chase, I occasionally called out, “S——, do you still see
him?” to which the reply would come, “Yes! but I tell you he is
going it: but I’ll take good care not to lose him,—there can be but
one road, and I’ll make sure of so good a lead.”

It was amusing, though it might have proved no joke, to be thus
trotting at full speed in impenetrable night, and that on a
hard-motioned animal at the end of a thirty-miles’ ride. We had kept
the gait for an hour perhaps, without venturing to slacken its pace
for a moment, or to take our eyes from the respective points, white
and black, before us, when all at once, that on which mine were
fixed was gone: urging my mule forward, in the attempt to regain it,
I perceived him begin to stumble, and found that he was off the
path. Reining him up, I called out for S——. He, I discovered, was at
a stand also at no great distance, and in answer to the question,
“Have you lost your guide?” answered, “He has just vanished like a
veritable ghost—he disappeared in a moment in a mass of blackness,
and but for the creaking of a gate, I should have been headforemost
into a hedge after him.” The darkness was so great that it was
impossible to move with safety without some indication of the
direction in which we ought to go, and we had patiently to wait the
approach of G—— and Adams to relieve us from our dilemma. Soon the
whip of the former, urging on his little mule, and the jingling of
the stirrups and heavy iron spurs of the latter were heard at no
great distance; and giving place in the lead to Adams, at the end of
a half hour we alighted safely at the point from which we started. I
was too much fagged to care for any refreshment but that of sleep;
and, while S—— and G—— sat down to a supper of “pain perdu” and
green tea, made my way to a clean and comfortable cot beneath the
tiled roof of the garret, and was soon lost in a repose—

                    The luxury of common sleep.”


                            CHAPTER XXVIII.


_May 24th._—Mr. Wells, an American gentleman of wealth, long
resident in Desterro, is a person of leading influence in the
commerce and society of the place. For many years he held the office
of American consul with honor and popularity; but was superseded two
or three years ago, through the political influence of a partisan
office-seeker at home. The new incumbent, disappointed in the
profits expected from the office, soon resigned it. Through private
pique against Mr. Wells, he left the papers of the consulate and an
acting appointment to the office with Captain Cathcart, though he is
in no way qualified for the duties or honor of the situation.

Among others to whom Mr. Wells, as the only representative of the
United States here, has at different times extended his hospitality,
are the present Emperor and Empress. Their majesties and suite were
entertained by him at a magnificent fête, in their progress through
this section of the Empire in 1845. I was furnished with letters to
him by Dr. C——, an old friend, and by F—— of the Congress. These I
delivered before making the excursion to San Pedro; and on my
return, became a guest beneath his roof. His house is on the palace
square, in the immediate neighborhood of the residence of the
President of the Province. It is one of the finest dwellings in the
place, and commands from the windows and balconies of the
drawing-roomy an extensive view of the town, bay, and surrounding
mountains. It has been my lot to occupy a great variety of sleeping
rooms, from those of the palace to the wigwam, but I think the bed
assigned to me here must have precedence, in its dimensions at
least, above all I have before met. It is truly regal, taking even
that of his majesty of Bashan in the days of his overthrow, as a
model. I have not measured it, and its area may not quite be, as his
was, “nine cubits by four;” but its elevation I suspect is quite as
great; the upper mattress, as I stand beside it, being nearly on a
level with my shoulders, and accessible only by a flight of mahogany
steps. The canopy is of proportionate altitude. The dignified
feeling with which one ascends to this place of rest, is not a
little increased by the remembrance that it was by these very steps
their Imperial Majesties, when in St. Catherine’s, mounted to their

Mr. Wells has been bereft of a wife and child, and is left alone;
but has borne his afflictions with the resignation of a Christian.
It was pleasing to discover, that though so long a resident of a
place “wholly given to idolatry,” and cut off from all the public
means of grace, he maintains the regular worship of God, morning and
evening, with his household of African servants.

The quietude and comforts of such an establishment are a great
luxury after the weariness of long confinement on shipboard; and I
feel that the visit at Desterro will constitute quite an episode in
the tedium of our cruise. The town itself presents every where a
pleasing mingling of city and country, giving to the whole a
village-like simplicity. The walks, in every direction, are varied
and beautifully rural; and whatever Desterro may be as a permanent
residence, it is certainly delightful for a sojourn of a few days.

Yesterday afternoon my attention was attracted by the sounds of
music in the Matriz, or mother church, at the head of the square;
and walking over, I discovered it to be that of a funeral service in
a mass for the dead. A beautiful catafalque, with richly festooned
draperies of pink satin and gold and silver tissue, occupied the
centre of the nave. Upon this, in a straight coffin of pink velvet,
trimmed with gold lace—so formed as when thrown open to expose the
entire figure—upon a satin mattress lay the corpse of a little girl
of three years, most tastefully and expensively arrayed in what may
be concisely described as a full ball-dress of pink and blue gauze,
with edgings of gold and silver fringe over a white satin robe: the
whole being wreathed with garlands of exquisitely finished
artificial flowers. The feet were in silk stockings and satin shoes,
and the head crowned with fresh roses. Death had evidently done his
work quickly and gently. There was no emaciation; no traces of
suffering; the face was full and perfect in its contour; and the
limbs round and symmetrical. A placid and smiling expression, in
place of the ghastly look of death, led to the impression of its
being only a deep and quiet sleep that we gazed on—an illusion
strengthened by the delicate tinge of rouge that had been given to
the cheeks and lips.

On all former occasions, when I have seen the corpse of a child thus
decked out—according to the usage here—I have felt as if it were a
mockery of death and the grave, thus to mingle the tinsel and
vanities of the world with the sad lesson they teach. But now,
however incongruous with the solemnity of such an occasion these
fanciful adornments may seem to us, there was nothing repulsive in
the spectacle presented. Indeed, I found myself insensibly impressed
with the extreme beauty of the child, and the exquisite taste and
artistic effect of the drapery in which she was laid out.
Ingeniously constructed wings of gauze are often appended to the
other adornments of an infant corpse, emblematic of the truth that,

               “With soul enlarged to angel’s size,”

the spirit has taken its flight to a station of blessedness near the
throne of the Redeemer. All persons of wealth and position in
society, are thus, in Brazil, borne to the grave in full dress—the
soldier in his uniform, the judge in his robes, the bishop in his
mitre, and the monk in his cowl.

On this occasion, the officiating priest with the bearers of the
crucifix and censers, and other attendants, stood in the midst of
the blaze of wax lights by which the bier was encircled; while the
walls of the church were lined by hundreds of gentlemen of the first
respectability, in full black, and each supporting a candle of wax
of the length and size of an ordinary walking-stick. The child was
of the family of Andrada; a name pre-eminent in the Province and
Empire for patriotism, scientific attainment, and political

Towards evening I took a long walk with Mr. Wells. The suburbs in
every direction are full of rural imagery and picturesque beauty.
The rising grounds command extensive views of undulating land, of
water and of mountains; and the roads and lanes are so walled in by
luxuriant hedges of the flowering mimosa, running rose, orange-tree,
and coffee bush, as to embower one, even within a stone’s throw of
the town, as if in the heart of the country. The flowers of the
mimosa hanging in thick pendants, cover the hedges with a mass of
whiteness, more entire and more beautiful than that of the
hawthorne, while those of the running rose, clustering closely like
the multiflora, make the roadside they border one bed of bloom.
There is too a repose and tranquillity in the evenings, and a
delicacy in the tintings of the colors at sunset, that make a stroll
at that time of the day peculiarly delightful.

After a circuit of two miles by an inland route, we approached the
town again by a suburb which constitutes the west end, both in the
topography and the fashion of the place; and exhibits a succession
of pleasant residences surrounded by tastefully arranged
flower-gardens. Just as we were passing the grounds of one of the
most attractive of these, a vehicle, the first I have seen, except a
Roman ox-cart, since I have been here, overtook us and drove through
an iron gateway into a court, beyond which appeared long vistas of
gravelled walks and embowering shade. The carriage was a caleche, or
old-fashioned chaise, of rather rude construction, painted
pea-green, with orange-colored wheels and shafts. It was drawn by a
single horse guided by a postilion, and contained a very stout
gray-headed gentleman of sixty, who entirely filled up a seat
designed for the accommodation of two. It was no less a personage
than Lieut. Gen. Bento Manuel, the highest military officer of the
southern section of the Empire, recently from Rio Grande, where he
was long chief in command, and where he did efficient service for
the government during great political agitation and threatened
revolution. He is so stout as to be readily excused from walking or
riding, and possesses, with a single exception, the only wheeled
carriage in the Island of St. Catherine’s.

The ringing of a cracked bell at the Matriz, and the gathering of
the population in that direction on the evening of the 21st, led me
to it again as a point of observation. It was the beginning of a
Novena, or daily service, of nine days’ continuance, in
commemoration of the descent of the Holy Ghost—the following Sabbath
being Whit-Sunday. This celebration is universal in city and
country; and is distinguished by an observance, the origin and
specific meaning of which I have been unable to trace, that of the
choice and induction into office for a year, of a lad under the
blasphemous title of Emperor of the Holy Ghost. He presides in mock
majesty at the festival, and is regarded with special honor at all
others during his continuance in office. The selection is usually
from a family of wealth, as the expenses attendant upon the honor
involve an outlay amounting at Rio and other chief places to five
hundred, a thousand, and fifteen hundred dollars. This is
appropriated to the furnishing of dress, music, lights, and
refreshments during the celebration. The empire over which he sways
the sceptre comprises the apartments of the church, in which the
gifts brought to him by the people in the name of the Holy Ghost are
deposited, and an enclosure adjoining, where auctions are held for
the disposal of these to the highest bidder. On this occasion, two
rooms opening from the church were gayly fitted up, one—a
side-chapel with altar and crucifix—as a throne-room for the
Emperor, and the other for the temporary deposit of the gifts. In
front of these, and communicating directly with them, a large
auction-room was erected, screened by canvas over head, and
furnished with benches for the accommodation of spectators and
purchasers. The gifts are brought gratuitously by the people, and
the proceeds of the sales go to the treasury of the brotherhood of
the Holy Ghost for purposes of charity.

As I arrived a procession was just approaching. It was led by a
negro, in a dirty coarse shirt and pantaloons, the common dress of a
slave, bareheaded and barefooted, who bore a large flag of red silk,
with a dove embroidered on one corner, and long streamers of ribbons
flowing from the top of the staff on which it was suspended. It was
the sacred banner of the Holy Ghost, a kiss of which, or the burying
of the face in its folds, insures all needed blessing. A little
fellow, eight or ten years of age, followed, beating a small drum
with all his might, then came a man in ordinary dress, thrumming on
a guitar the accompaniment of a monotonous ditty, sung at the top of
his voice as loud as he could bawl; the complement of the music
being made up by a fiddle on which a round-shouldered old Portuguese
was sawing and laboring, with fingers, elbow, and head, with an
earnestness, to give full effect to the squeaking and screeching
sounds he was sending forth, as if life itself depended on the zeal
he should display.

The Emperor elect now made his appearance, a lad of eleven or twelve
years, neatly dressed in the fashion of a man, as the usage with
boys here is, having a broad red ribbon across his shoulders, from
which was suspended on the breast a large silver star stamped with a
dove, emblematic of the Holy Ghost. Six or eight men robed in short
cloaks or mantles of red silk, the dress of the brotherhood,
bareheaded and carrying lighted wax tapers, followed him. A rabble
of noisy and excited boys and men, white, black, and yellow, made up
the cortège. They had been to escort the Emperor from his residence
with becoming honor, to open the festival.

Previous to his arrival the church had become densely filled,
principally with females, seated closely together on the
floor—mistress and slave, lady and beggar, without distinction of
rank or name, black, white, and every intermediate hue, the whole
number amounting to six or eight hundred. Through this crowd the
procession made its way up the nave, the musicians still drumming
and thrumming and scraping on their instruments, and bawling out
their song louder than ever. A priest met it at the high altar; and
the whole returned through the church to the depository in which
were the gifts. These he consecrated by prayer, the sprinkling of
holy water and fumigations with incense, after which, escorted in
like manner, he again entered the church. Hundreds of men in
addition to the women, now lined the walls and stood closely packed
together along the entrance to the church, and the service of the
Novena commenced. It was chanted throughout to the accompaniment of
a lively, and to me any thing but a devotional air. The whole
sounded very much like that of a song I recollect to have heard in
childhood, beginning with the line “Marlbro’ has gone to the war,”
as a theme, followed with variations. At different points in the
chanting the whole audience joined pleasantly in a lively chorus. At
the end of an hour this service closed. The Emperor made his way in
the manner in which he had arrived, to the throne-room, while the
audience hastened to fill to suffocation that for the auction-room
in front of it. Bonfires were kindled, rockets sent up, a general
illumination outside displayed, while any number of negroes and
negresses, venders of refreshments in cakes, candies, and orgeat,
rivalled one another in bawling out the superior qualities of their
individual stores, the whole scene much like that of a Fourth of
July night at home. A band of music struck up in an orchestra near
the throne-room, and the auctioneer issuing from the depository,
bearing a bouquet of crystallized sugar, began the sale by a
solicitation for bids, setting off the value of the article with the
merriment and sallies of humor which give reputation to the office.
A passage through the centre of the place was kept clear; in this he
walked backwards and forwards, giving exercise to his wit, as he
exhibited the article under the hammer. Most of the gifts, this
first evening, consisted of cakes and confectionery. Some of the
bouquets of sugar flowers were most artistically manufactured; and
one sold for ninety milreis, or forty-five dollars.

Additional gifts were constantly brought in. They were generally
borne in trays on the heads or in the hands of servants, accompanied
by the giver. Children too were often the bearers; and one of the
prettiest sights of the evening was that of a beautiful little girl
in the arms of her father, carrying in her bosom two young doves,
white as drifted snow, and as gentle and innocent in look as they
were white.

Each offering was made to the young Emperor on the bended knee, and
to each one thus kneeling before him, he extended a silver dove,
forming the end of his sceptre, to be kissed, and gave in return a
small roll of bread. At ten o’clock the auction closed for the
night, and the Emperor was escorted to his home by torchlight as he
had arrived, but with an additional rabble for his court, and a
higher effort in noise and screeching from his band.

_May 29th._—Commodore McKeever and Dr. C—— have been fellow guests
with me at the residence of Mr. Wells for some days. Previous to
their arrival I had taken two or three pleasant rides with our host,
and this afternoon our whole party enjoyed another. The Commodore
and I were particularly well mounted; our animals were at once so
spirited and willing, so playful and gentle, with a gait as easy to
the riders as if swaying on the springs of a well-poised carriage.
The weather too was charming; and our route after the first half
mile being one which we had not before taken, had the additional
attraction of novelty. It led southward along the curve of the
beach, and was thickly bordered on one side with the American aloe,
now in full flower, and on the other by a succession of neat
cottages embowered in orange groves, overtopped by palm trees, with
dooryards gay in the bloom of the scarlet geranium and the dazzling
brilliancy of the poinsetta. The road for a mile was a continued
hamlet, with greater evidences of thrift and general prosperity than
any suburb we had passed through. On leaving the water we struck
into a narrow valley, lying between two ranges of hills; and were
delighted with the homelike appearance of the well-cultivated fields
and rich pasture lands of the small farms scattered through it. But
for the tell-tale palm tree, the rustling banana, and the golden
orange, we might have fancied ourselves in some prosperous and
well-cultivated little valley in New England. There was nothing to
remind us of being in a slave country. All the labor in cultivating
the small plantations is done by the owners of the soil. The
district is well peopled, and the inhabitants are healthful,
prosperous, and seemingly light-hearted. We met and passed many
groups of men and boys, engaged in various rural employments. They
were invariably bright and cheerful in looks, and most civil and
courteous in manners. In general, they are light and slender in
figure, and elastic in movement; but apparently without much
stamina, and are far from good looking in feature. The females in
early youth are passably good looking, and having fine eyes and
teeth, might in some instances, be called pretty; but as mothers,
they soon become haggard and homely. The climate is salubrious and
not excessively hot, yet the complexions of the mass are like those
with us who are under the influence of the ague, or just recovering
from a bilious fever. This is true of the pure-blooded natives, if
any such there be, as well as of those who clearly are a mixed race.

The special object of our ride was to gain a point of view, on the
top of a mountain, said to be the finest on the island; and, after a
ride of two miles in the valley, we turned into a side road for the
ascent. We followed the meanderings of a stream as it babbled along
its course, and soon came among the cabins of the dwellers among the
hills, perched like birdsnests on terraced points, on either hand
above us, in the midst of groves of orange trees and coffee plants.
The road gradually changed into a mere bridle-path, till at the end
of an additional two miles it suddenly terminated altogether, at a
barn near which two men were standing. To these Mr. Wells mentioned
the object of our ride, and made an inquiry of them as to the best
way to reach it; when, for the first time since I have been in
Brazil, I heard a reply of ill-nature and incivility. The elder of
the two, in a most gruff and surly manner, said there was no way to
go up, and if there were, there was nothing to go for—wishing to
know what business we had there at all. Without regarding his mood
and manner, Mr. Wells again said, “Is there not a fine prospect from
the top of the mountain, and a path by which we may reach it?” to
which the man again said, “No! there is nothing but rocks, and I
don’t know what you can want with them!” Fortunately, at this
juncture, a third person made his appearance, whom our friend at
once recognized as a regular customer in the sale to him of coffee.
From him we readily learned that there was a fine prospect, at a
short distance further, but that the ascent to it would not be
easily made on horseback; and, volunteering to lead our animals to
his cottage close by, he said he would accompany us the rest of the
distance on foot. We soon discovered our conductor to differ as
widely from his boorish neighbor in taste for scenery as in
disposition. He was not only aware of the magnificence of the
prospect to which he was leading us, but said he very often went up
to the point commanding it, for the mere enjoyment of so fine a
scene. Its elevation we judged to be two thousand feet; and we were
well repaid for the ascent by the grand picture spread before us.
This embraced the greater part of the entire island; its mountains
and valleys, rivers and bays, bold promontories, low points and
curving beaches, with the whole of the straits, and the coasts along
the continent as far as the eye could reach.

On descending to the cottage of our guide, he urged us to partake of
a cup of coffee before leaving; and we entered his cabin, more for
the purpose of a peep at the domestic economy of the establishment
than with a view to the refreshment. If this home, in its aspects of
comfort, may be taken as a fair specimen of its class, it indicates
a very low state of civilization among the rural population. It
consisted of a single room with a floor of earth. The few articles
of furniture visible were of the rudest kind, the whole interior
exhibiting little more cleanliness and order than the wigwam of an
Indian. A slatternly-looking wife, surrounded by two or three dirty
children, did not promise much for the nicety of the coffee she
might prepare; and we availed ourselves of the near approach of
night and the length of the ride to the town, as excuse for
declining the proffered hospitality.

The habits of life among the people are simple, and their diet
unvarying and frugal. A cup of coffee and a biscuit made of the
farina of mandioca, are the only food of the morning, and there is
but one set meal during the day, served at noon. Preparation for it,
however, is the first duty of the household, in the morning; and
consists in putting a kettle of water over the fire. In this a small
piece of _carne seche_, or jerked beef, and black beans, in
proportion to the size of the family, are placed, and kept boiling
till the middle of the day.

The leisure of the evening had begun, as we made our way down the
mountain; and the inhabitants were seen in groups around their
doors. Every cabin had its crowd of children, the ring of whose
joyous laughter in their varied sports and play, echoing from side
to side of the little valley, added fresh impressions of pleasure to
the scene. The ignorance in which they are brought up, however, is
lamentable. Ignorance not only of letters and books, but of almost
every thing. A bright-looking and handsome lad of twelve years, the
son of our civil guide, on being asked his age, said he did not
know, and seemed equally uninstructed in other commonplace matters.
Yet he was evidently as full of natural intelligence in mind as he
was active in body. He is one of the little milkmen I have
mentioned, who crowd the market square in the morning, and who, with
his can of milk on his shoulder, leaves his mountain home every day
before the dawn, for the walk of four miles at least, by the most
direct path: he is home again to his breakfast of coffee and farina,
by eight o’clock.

The Indians and the snakes of this section of the Empire have been
among our topics of conversation with Mr. Wells. The settlement of
the white man extends but a short distance inland from the coast:
not more than fifty or sixty miles at farthest. The interior is
still a wilderness in the possession of wandering bands of the
Aborigines. These cherish a deadly hatred against the whites; and,
prowling along the frontiers in small companies, rob and murder
them whenever they find opportunity. Sometimes they venture within
twenty and thirty miles of the coast. A party of seven, not long
since, made an attack at daybreak upon the shanty of an American,
who has put up a saw-mill on the borders of the forest. Though
single-handed, he hazarded a shower of their arrows, and
afterwards put them to flight by the show of a musket, that, from
the dampness of the priming-powder, missed fire.

Venomous snakes are said to be numerous on the island, and some are
found occasionally even in the town. Not long since, a German lady,
in returning from a party in the evening with her husband, trod upon
one whose bite is considered to be death. Fortunately, her foot was
placed near its head, and she escaped its fangs; and though it
coiled itself about her ankle, she succeeded in throwing it off
without injury. A remedy said to be a specific for the most virulent
poison of these reptiles is kept at the apothecary’s; and families
in the country make it a point to have a supply on hand. The mixture
consists of six drachms of the oil of amber, two of the spirits of
ammonia, and one of alcohol. The dose is twenty-four drops in a
wine-glass of brandy, or other spirit, three or four times a day;
the wound being also washed and kept wet with it. The ammonia is the
active agent in the cure; and should be given freely till a profuse
perspiration is induced. If the theory of some be true, that the
virus of all snakes is but a modified form of prussic acid, the
volatile alkali, ammonia, is the antidote, as that is known to
neutralize the fatal acid. Alcohol alone is thought to have effected
cures. A young German here was bitten not long since in the country,
and being without the prescribed antidote, and unable to obtain it,
unwilling to meet in consciousness the doom which he believed to
await him, he swallowed a whole bottle of the common rum of the
country, that he might be thrown into a state of insensibility. This
was soon the case, and remaining dead drunk for twenty-four hours,
on recovering his consciousness he was free from all effects of the
bite. Here too, there may have been philosophy in the cure. The
poison of a serpent being a powerful sedative, its effects may be
best counteracted by a powerful stimulant.

A sad case occurred some three weeks ago at Santa Cruz. A fine young
man of twenty, the proprietor of a small plantation, was at work
with his slaves preparing a piece of ground for a plantation of
sugar-cane. Coming to a spot in which the bushes and undergrowth
were particularly thick, he cautioned the negroes against working in
it with their naked feet and legs, as it had the appearance of a
piece that might be infested with snakes. Protected himself by
boots, he entered to open a way in advance, but had scarcely done so
before the fangs of a _jacaraca_, one of the most poisonous of
reptiles, were fastened in an unprotected part of his leg.
Neglecting to apply immediate remedies, he was in a short time a

_May 29th._—I have been complying here with the injunction recently
received to “make hundreds of sketches;” and this morning, while
taking one, of the lower parts of the square and market-house, from
the balcony of the drawing-room, had an opportunity of introducing
the Commodore as a conspicuous figure. In a stroll in the square
before breakfast, he stopped for a little observation near the
groupings of men, donkeys, and milk-boys in front of the market.
Espying among them the bright little fellow we had seen at his
father’s cabin on the mountain, with the benevolence and good-will
of his nature, he bought the whole stock of boiled beans and farina
of an old negro woman seated on the grass near by, and gave the boys
in general a breakfast. They all seemed delighted, especially the
old negress in receiving the pay, and had quite a frolic. The
gratuity of a penny also fell to each boy. With characteristic
improvidence and a development of the national passion, the little
fellows, after having their stomachs well filled, set to and gambled
with each other for the next hour, till every penny they had thus
received had made its way to one pocket.

_May 21st._—The Novena and subsequent auction was in regular
continuance every evening of the last week. On Thursday our party
again attended the former to hear the music, and the latter to
catch the manners of the people. All the chief dignitaries of the
place were present, the President of the Province, the Chief
Justice, the Treasurer, and the Captain of the Port. To the
residence of the last we were invited to a supper at the close of
the auction, and the next morning waited on the President at the
palace, or Government House. This is a spacious and lofty
building, the ground-floor in front serving both as the
entrance-hall and as a guard-room for a company of soldiers, and
the corresponding rooms above being divided into a cabinet for
official business on one side of the staircase, and a grand sala
for reception on the other, with an intervening ante-room common
to both. When our visit was announced, the President was engaged
with official visitors in his cabinet, but soon made his
appearance. He is a small, black-eyed, intelligent-looking man,
careless and slovenly in dress, and most simple and republican in
his manners. As he spoke Portuguese only, the conversation was
necessarily carried on through interpretation by Mr. Wells, and
the interview was more brief than it otherwise would have been.

The Presidents of the Provinces are appointed by the Emperor, and
their salaries paid from the Imperial treasury. These vary in
amount, in proportion to the extent and importance of the Province.
That of the President of St. Catherine is four thousand milreis, or
two thousand dollars. The selection for the office is usually from
persons who are strangers in the Province for which the appointment
is made, that the influence of family connections and personal
friendships may not prove temptations to partiality in the
distribution of the gifts and emoluments under his control.

An anecdote related of a former incumbent of the office, throws
light upon the spirit sometimes induced by party politics here, and
shows the despotism in small matters which a high official may
exercise with impunity. The public square had been lined, at great
care and expense, with a closely planted row of date palms. Uniform
in height and size, in the course of a few years they became
sufficiently grown to furnish by their plumed tops a beautiful
screen against the sun, and were a great ornament to the place. The
individual referred to, whose name—Pariero Pinto—like that of
Erostratus, deserves for a similar reason to be perpetuated, was
unpopular as President. Ambitious, however, of becoming at the
expiration of his term the Deputy of the Province in the Imperial
Legislature, he offered himself to the people as a candidate. An
opponent was elected by acclamation. To avenge himself for the
slight manifested by his utter defeat, he deliberately set the
soldiers under his command at work in felling the palms; and in the
course of a single day, the stately trunks and graceful foliage of
the whole were laid in the dust.

_May 31st._—On Saturday the 29th, great preparation was seen to be
making around the principal church for the festival of Whit-Sunday,
which occurred yesterday. A row of palm trees were planted in front;
the verandah, in which the auction during the Novena had been held,
was draped and festooned anew with wreaths of evergreen and gay
flowers; and tar-barrels, filled with combustible materials, were
placed on the square for bonfires at night, though the moon is now
in her full. The dawn of the next day was ushered in with the
ringing of bells, the setting off of rockets, the beating of drums,
and the playing of bands of music. On looking out, every thing in
the vicinity of the church was seen to indicate a grand festival.
The temporary palm grove looked as if it had sprung up by magic. Gay
flags and streamers of all colors floated from their plumed heads,
from the roof of the church and its verandahs, and from various
other points. After a service of worship in the drawing-room of Mr.
Wells, Dr. C—— and I walked over to witness the scene. The
congregation, consisting chiefly of females, had just begun to
assemble. There are no seats or pews in the churches here, the whole
interior being an open area in which all seat themselves, or kneel
upon the bare pavement or floor, without the mat or rug which I have
seen elsewhere. Soon the whole space became closely crowded. Most of
the women were in full dress; the predominating materials being
black silks, satins, and velvets, with short sleeves and low necks,
and a half handkerchief of fancy-colored silk fastened round the
throat by a brooch. A black lace mantilla upon the head, and the
indispensable fan, completed the costume. The variety of garb,
however, was considerable; and varied according to the circumstances
and position in life of the wearer. Some, as penitents, were draped
in mantillas of black cloth, so folded over the head as to reach to
the eyes, and fall on either side over the whole figure to the feet.
Two or three colored women, whether veritable Arabs or not, wore the
thick white cotton veil of the women of the East, so arranged as to
leave little of the face except the eyes and nose exposed, while
long cloth cloaks reaching to the floor, enveloped their persons.
Many of the most expensively and most tastefully dressed persons
were negresses. These entered with a self-possession in air and
movement, if not with a stateliness and grace, rivalling those of
the most aristocratic of the whites; and were followed, like them,
by one or more well-dressed servants. We were told that they were
the wives, and in some instances the mistresses, of some of the most
wealthy of the citizens. A few were in colored silks and dress
bonnets of Parisian make, but the black lace veil, with or without
the addition of a simple flower, either natural or artificial in the
hair, was the general head-dress. All the children were arrayed as
if for a dress party. By degrees there was a perfect jam on the
floor; the greatest order and propriety however prevailed, each
person sitting quietly with the face turned reverently towards the
high altar.

At length a movement and bustle in the crowd without—the whizzing
and explosion of rockets; the pealing of bells, the heathenish
beating of drums, the tinkling of a guitar, and scraping of a
fiddle, with the bawlings of the accompanying songs indicated the
approach of the young Emperor. He soon entered the church with the
cortège before described, and forced his way through the dense mass
of women up the nave to the chancel, where seats were in reserve for
his mock court and for the officiating priests. The boy was now
robed in imperial dress—white small-clothes, silk stockings, and
gold-buckled pumps; a flowing mantle of state of crimson velvet and
gold, lined with white satin, a ruff of broad lace around the neck;
and over all, the ribbon and decoration of the Holy Ghost
before-mentioned. A crown of silver of the imperial pattern richly
wrought, and a silver sceptre were carried before him on a cushion
of velvet. A little girl of five or six years, apparently his
sister, followed him. She was in full dress as an Empress, in
tissues of silver and gold over pink satin, with a train of green
and gold, and head-dress of ostrich feathers. The lad was seated on
a throne, at the right of the high altar, the mock Empress on a
chair of state beside him; the twenty or thirty gentlemen in
attendance stood on the left opposite, while the vicar and his
assistants in the richest of their priestly adornments, took their
stations in the centre at the altar. All this was done with the most
perfect stage effect. As if to give full opportunity to impress the
imagination with this, a kind of interlude was introduced in the
form of a procession from the vesting-room or sacristy, into a side
chapel near the chancel, from which the vicar, under a canopy of
crimson velvet, supported on four gilt staves by an equal number of
attendants, fetched some seemingly precious thing, the consecrated
wafer, a relic, or the anointing oil, and placed it on the altar
where the crown and sceptre were already laid. The full coronation
service was now commenced and performed in all its parts, including
the consecration, the anointing, the crowning, and the enthronement,
followed by the obeisance and kissing of hands, and ending with the
coronation anthem; the whole was gone through with, seriously and
solemnly, as it could have been at the coronation of Don Pedro
himself. Mass was then chanted, after which the vicar was escorted
through a side chapel to a concealed staircase; and making his
appearance in a pulpit projecting overhead from the wall, proceeded
to deliver a sermon of fifteen or twenty minutes’ length. It was for
the most part legendary and fabulous in matter; but throughout
impressive and eloquent in voice and manner. The eager and solemn
attention which was given, and the fixedness of every eye and every
ear upon the speaker, proved the readiness of the people to hear and
receive instruction; and I could but think with deep feeling of the
effect which the preaching of the Gospel in its simplicity might
produce, in speedily substituting the sacrifices of the heart for
the crossings and bowings, the genuflexions and prostrations, with
which the pantomime of the priests at the altar is now accompanied.
I was never before so deeply impressed with a sense of the profanity
and idolatry of what is here called religion, as while contrasting
in my mind this evidence of a “hearing ear,” among the people, with
the puerilities and impiety of the childish show which preceded the
discourse. It is seldom that a sermon is preached, and more seldom
still one that is calculated to edify or produce any practical
effects upon the morals, or true devotion in the heart. The people
are not bigoted, and are desirous of religious instruction; so much
so that, I am told, instances are known in which individuals have
sent fifty miles for a tract; and, it is thought that they would
here readily attend Protestant preaching in their own language.

The vicars of the churches are appointed by the Emperor, and paid by
the state. The salary of the incumbent at the Matriz is fifteen
hundred milreis, or about seven hundred and fifty dollars; a living
which, with the perquisites of marriage, burial, and baptism,
amounts to about two thousand dollars a year. In general the
character of these pastors is dissolute. Their vows of celibacy are
openly disregarded; they live almost without exception in a state of
concubinage. One of the priests here has a family of ten mulatto
children; and another, a former confessor in the royal family of
Portugal and long resident at St. Catherine, who recently died of
yellow fever at Rio, left also a large family. The Jesuits are more
exemplary in regard to their vows of celibacy, and the bishop of Rio
is among those who are above reproach in this respect.

After the sermon the young Emperor and Empress, attended by the
sacred banner, the noisy musicians, and the usual cortège of
dignitaries, proceeded to their stations in the auction-room, where
the sales, we were told, continued with increased animation and
mirthfulness till 10 o’clock at night.

To-day is a fête also, and an auction day. During it we made a call
at the residence of the Captain of the Port, in acknowledgment of
the civility of the supper-party to which we had been invited. This
dignitary was at the church. He was sent for, and apologized when we
took our leave, for not joining us in a walk, by saying that duty
required his attendance upon the Emperor.

The variety and the quantity of the confectionery made, presented,
and sold at these festivals is surprising. Every device of ingenuity
is put in requisition for the production of it in new forms. The
lady of the Captain of the Port showed us a very large tray of work
in sugar and flour, most elaborately wrought in its forms, and
tastefully finished in coloring and gilding. It had been purchased
at the auction for forty-two dollars, and presented to her by a
friend. The whole was the workmanship of an old lady of more than
three-score years and ten, who had given four months’ time to its
manufacture. The chief object seemed to have been to furnish the
greatest variety in man, beast and bird. Every article was true to
nature in figure and coloring; cottages and groves, fruits, flowers,
and vegetables, specimens in conchology, entomology, and the whole
range of natural history, with a wide margin in the catalogue for
what was purely imaginative. The whole presented a striking evidence
of the ingenuity, taste, and unwearying industry of the aged

And now, you will say, “Why give so much time to the observation and
to the description of such puerilities, to say the least of them, as
constituted the chief services of the church here on Sunday?” I
answer, that I may certainly know by the “seeing of the eye,” as
well as by the “hearing of the ear,” the distance to which this
people are removed from the simplicity and purity of the Gospel; and
that you may judge of the causes of their ignorance and
superstition. These plays are acted, and these festivals prolonged
and varied for the amusement of the populace, and to keep the masses
content under the control of their spiritual guides. Lights and
music, dress and flowers, form and ceremonies, the waving of banners
and swinging of censers—the glare and glitter of the stage, are thus
made to excite the imagination, and satisfy the thoughtless and
ignorant mind with fleeting shadows, in place of enduring good. The
whole system of Romanism as exhibited here, is little else than
Paganism in disguise; a system in which old idols are presented
under new names, and heathen processions and ceremonies substituted
for that worship which is “in spirit and in truth.”

_June 18th._—We took leave of Mr. Wells and of Desterro the day
following my last date; and two days ago made an attempt to get to
sea; but a head wind set in, and still prevents our departure. All
hands are pleased with the delay; we cannot soon weary of such a
place, the scenery is so beautiful, the climate so fine, the walks
and rides so picturesque and rural, and the supplies for the
refreshment of all hands are so abundant and so cheap. In addition
to the fresh beef furnished to the ship’s company, any quantity of
pigs, turkeys, chickens, eggs, vegetables, and fruit is offered
alongside in canoes, for private trade with the different messes and
with individuals of the crew.

In the attempt to get to sea, we changed our anchorage two or three
miles northward from the forts, and were brought into the immediate
neighborhood of two beautiful little bays, encircled by gracefully
curving beaches of white sand. Both abound in picturesque and wild
scenery; and are in many places filled with orange groves
overburdened with fruit, now in full season. Far from any grog-shop
or means of dissipation to the crews, the boats ply backwards and
forwards from the ship to the shore at all hours of the day, filled
with officers and men in the enjoyment of a kind of saturnalia, in
search of fruits, and flowers, and every thing rare and curious in
nature. Some of the cacti, air plants, and parasites now in full
bloom, are superb in their beauty. A hundred delicious oranges can
be purchased for a penny; and, but for the presence of our ship,
would not be worth to their owners the shaking from the trees. It
is, too, the season of sugar-making. The apparatus and entire
process are most rude and simple: each small plantation being
furnished with a primitive mill of two rollers of timber to extract
the juice, and a rough trough or two to conduct it to a boiler. The
eating of the cane, and an occasional dip into the troughs and into
the half crystallized contents of the cooling-pans, offer to all
quite a tempting pastime. St. Catherine seems to be a province of
small proprietors, whose productions, derived from their own labors,
exceed but little the supply of their private wants. Each carries to
the market a few hundred pounds only of coffee and of sugar
annually—brought to the purchaser in small quantities, at different
times, when some foreign article is needed.

The coffee of the island is of a superior quality, and the chief of
its products: as it also is of the whole empire, though introduced
into the country by the Franciscan Friar Villaso so recently as the
year 1774. The first bush was planted by him in that year in the
garden of the convent of San Antonio, at Rio de Janiero. It was not
till the revolt of St. Domingo that its price became such as to lead
to its general culture here. In 1809, when coffee was first imported
into the United States from Brazil, the whole produce of the empire
amounted only to 30,000 bags; this year it is estimated that it will
amount to 2,000,000, or a value of more than $16,000,000. The plants
blossom in August, September, and October; and the crops are
gathered in March, April, and May.

My last ride at Santa Cruz was with Captain Cathcart, in a visit to
an estate called “Las Palmas,” or the palms, recently purchased by
him. It lies on the coast, ten miles north of his present residence.
Mr. W——, Captain Pearson’s clerk, accompanied us, for the purpose of
making some correction in the “plot” of the plantation, drawn by a
surveyor. We were to have started at an early hour of the day, but a
pouring rain prevented. This state of the weather, however, changed
afterwards into occasional heavy showers; and, at the risk of being
drenched by these, we ventured to set off at eleven o’clock. The
road is a mule-track, and at places, for long distances, consists of
the hard sand of the beach. The frequent streams flowing into the
sea from the interior are so swollen by late rains, that we found
difficulty in fording them in safety. A second heavy shower after we
started, came hastening upon us just as we were entering upon the
longest stretch of beach on the route. This was smooth and hard, and
afforded us a good opportunity of trying to outstrip the storm, till
we could reach some place of shelter. Captain Cathcart is an
exceedingly stout and heavy man—fairly stuffed into his clothes, and
weighing 250 or 280 pounds. Mr. W—— is very long and very lean, with
legs and neck like a crane, and arms to correspond. My own
_physique_ is familiar to you; and you would have been amused at the
sight, could you have witnessed the manner in which we three
scampered over this part of the road, with the pelting rain and
rushing wind in full pursuit. A cotton umbrella and an overcoat kept
me from the wet: but it was the last of the old umbrella—before the
wind had well reached us, the outside had become the in, the top the
bottom, and the whole structure of whalebone, steel, and muslin, an
irremediable ruin.

About midway of the distance we came to a hamlet of two or three
miserable huts, the remains of a settlement of poor Germans, who had
been tempted from their distant homes by the flattering inducements
to immigration held out by the government of Brazil, but to whom, on
their arrival, the poorest sections of land in the region had been
allotted as the promised gratuity. These, the settlers had no means
of making profitable; and they are now left to disappointment and
neglect. They are wretchedly poor; and those of them whom we saw
looked pale and thin, careworn and ill. Immediately beside the steep
and worn-out lands assigned to them, there is a wide tract of level
country belonging to the government, upon which these poor
foreigners, had it been appropriated to them, would not only have
gained a living, but in all probability acquired an independence.

On leaving these cabins, at which we halted a moment for a cup of
water, we began to ascend the spur of a mountain which forms a
headland on the coast, separating the bay along the beach of which
we had come, from that on the opposite side, where the estate we
were to visit is situated. The hill is unwooded and steep, the path
was very slippery, and the ascent difficult; but we accomplished it
slowly, with fine views on our right over a widespread alluvial
plain covered with thick set forests:

         “A habitation sober and demure
          For ruminating creatures: a domain
          For quiet things to wander in; a haunt
          In which the heron should delight to feed
          By the shy rivers, and the pelican
          Upon the cypress, and the pine in lonely thought,
          Might sit and sun himself.”

In place of the heron and the pelican, however, we had the
_Urapongo_—a large bird of the parrot tribe, which, like

             “A flaky weight of winter’s purest snow,”

was clearly seen at a long distance in brilliant whiteness amid the
dark green of a tree-top—sending forth its peculiar and solitary
song, in notes as shrill and metallic as the gratings of a coarse
file upon steel, of which they forcibly reminded me.

Cathcart, from his Anglo-Saxon enterprise and energy, and consequent
thrift and increasing wealth, has become quite the great man of the
region; and seems to be in favor and on most familiar terms with all
the inhabitants, black and white. He gave to every dwelling we
passed by, whether near at hand or afar off, a hail of good will in
one form or another, calling forth a quick response from the unseen
occupants, and the speedy appearance of master, mistress, or slave.
After gaining the level of the mountain, we came upon a cluster of
mud houses surrounded by an orange grove, situated upon an elevation
on one side of the road, the owner of which, an old Portuguese, we
were told was worth a hundred thousand milreis, or more than fifty
thousand dollars. As he will be the next neighbor of our host on his
new estate, we turned aside for a moment to interchange salutations
with the family. The whole aspect of things, in huts and negroes, in
the mistress and an only child, a boy of ten or twelve years, was
very slovenly, very slip-shod, and very filthy. The wife is a
lively, black-eyed, chatty woman, scarcely yet in middle life; but
the husband a gray-headed and withered old man of more than
three-score years and ten. He is a great miser; and had on an old
jacket of many colors, with patch upon patch, till it appeared to be
of treble thickness. This he always wears both at home and abroad,
and never by any chance lays aside. It is said to be inlaid with
gold. The captain began at once to banter with him for the purchase
of it, offering a very large sum, and causing by his jests in regard
to it, great laughter among the negroes, and one or two white
laborers near by; but the owner seemed to have no notion to close a
bargain in the case. We did not dismount; but accepted the offer of
a drink of fresh cane-juice from a sugar mill near by. It was
brought to us in an old calabash, and tasted neither sweet nor

Before reaching this place, we had entered into a wood, and were
charmed with the variety and brilliancy of the bloom—scarlet and
yellow, pink, purple, and white—exhibited in air-plants and
parasites, creepers and flowery trees. Besides a great variety of
the palm, there were wild figs, laurels, myrtles, cassias, and a
kind of silk cotton tree—_chorisia speciosa_—with large rose-colored
blossoms. The climbers are superb; and give to the trees they
overrun an air of great magnificence. This is particularly the case
in the _Solandra grandifiora_, with its large trumpet-shaped
flowers; and a species of fuchsia—_fuchsia integrifolia_, which,
running up to the tops of the loftiest trees, falls down in graceful
festoons of crimson flowers. Among the undergrowth the scarlet
blossom of the _cana speciosa_ glared brightly on the eye. The
forest did not appear to be primitive; but here and there a monarch
of the wood was seen, which could have attained its height and
widespread dimensions only by the growth of centuries.

While yet high on the mountain’s side, we opened a full and
magnificent view of the new purchase of Captain Cathcart. It
embraces the entire superficies of a rich valley, ten miles at least
in circumference, encircled on three sides by lofty timber-covered
mountains, whose tops are the boundaries of the possession. These
terminate on either hand in bold promontories, jutting into the sea,
while between them sweeps a curving sand-beach, a mile and more in
extent. A fine stream meanders through this domain. A rocky islet,
in the centre of the bay formed by the projecting headlands, is
tufted with palm-trees, and gives name to the estate. Though but
partially reclaimed from its primitive condition, and for the most
part a luxuriant mass of woodland only, in its wide expanse,
manifest richness of soil, and evident capabilities of improvement
under the axe and the plough, it seemed to the eye as thus pointed
out to us, to be quite a principality. As an isolated possession I
have seen nothing like it in Brazil. The history of the property may
have added, perhaps, to the interest with which I looked upon it now
in the hands of a new possessor. The late proprietor, Señor De L——,
a man of good family, good education and good breeding, had been
reduced by his imprudence, mismanagement, indolence, and I may add
vice, to the necessity of disposing of it at a ruinous sacrifice. I
had seen him the day before on board the Congress, bearing the air
and address of a gentleman, mingled with the dejection of a
confessed bankrupt: one not able to work, and too proud to beg. In
the morning before setting off from the consulate, I had met, too, a
daughter of his, of eighteen, decidedly the finest-looking and most
attractive native female I have seen in Brazil: lovely, not only
from positive beauty, but from evident amiability and feminine
gentleness. And now, when I saw the exulting eye with which the new
purchaser, the rough and uneducated whaleman, surveyed the lordly
domain, I could not but think of the dispossessed and impoverished
gentleman and his children, and sympathise with them in the loss of
such an estate.

Shortly after commencing the gradual descent of the mountain, a
rustic gate was pointed out as the entrance to “the Palms.” The
distance from this to the house is about two miles; and a little
taste and labor would convert it into a parklike and lovely
drive—first through interlacing woods down the declivity, and then
over the green sward of a natural meadow, belted and dotted for a
mile with groves, and clumps, and single trees of natural growth.
The house is a substantial old mansion of brick stuccoed, with tiled
roof and encircling verandahs. It stands in the midst of a lawn
fronting the small river, which here empties with a serpentine sweep
into the sea. It commands the entire view of the valley and
encircling mountains, of the bay, its promontories and islets, and
the distant sea. These lands have been a seigniory from the earliest
settlement of the country; and the house was built a hundred years
ago, when the proprietor was in office under government. It is most
substantially constructed; and the window frames, door-posts and
doors, and the columns of the verandahs, though never painted, are
yet in perfect preservation; the close-grained wood of which they
are formed, on being slightly scraped, exhibits the soundness and
brightness of mahogany. In all things more perishable the
establishment is in a most neglected and dilapidated state. The
furniture has been removed, excepting that of a lofty and spacious
dining-room, where a long and heavy old table—a fixture, with
benches along each side, of corresponding fashion, still remains:
all else is the perfect picture of ruined fortunes and deserted

A servant had preceded us on foot with a basket of refreshments. To
the contents of this was added an abundance of fine oysters from the
mouth of the river, into which a heavy surf and daily tides pour
floods of salt-water over the oyster-beds. When called to this
repast, I was quite surprised to see, lying open on one end of the
table, a large mahogany case with lining of crimson velvet, filled
with a full dinner-set of heavy old plate of rich and massive
patterns—including knives, forks, and spoons, of all sizes. In
explanation, the captain told us it was the property of Señor De
L——, left here on his removal from the house; and now brought
forward in the hope of having it bought by him, adding, “but I was
born with an iron spoon in my mouth, and am used to one still; and I
have made up my mind, unless I can get the set for——,” naming a sum
not one third of its value, even as old silver, “I will never take
it.” Conscious, probably, from the knowledge he had of the
necessities of the poor señor, that they were sure to be eventually
his at his own price.

But why, you will ask, these details in a matter of no moment? I
answer, because I know not when my feelings have been more
interested, or my sympathy more excited than by an incident of the
day, directly associated with them. Every thing without was so wet
after the heavy rain, that we were confined on our arrival very much
to the house and verandahs. Knowing that the family of De L—— had
removed, and that a few slaves only of Captain Cathcart were in
charge of the place, I was surprised to see a fine-looking, and
strikingly handsome young man approach from a thicket near by. His
only dress was a white cotton shirt, open at the throat, and a pair
of pantaloons of blue nankeen, old and faded, but both perfectly
clean and neat. Though bareheaded and barefooted, he moved with the
self-possessed air and manner of a gentleman. Before I could ask, I
was told he was a son of the late proprietor; brother of the young
lady I had met at the consul’s in the morning, and between whom
there is a very strong attachment, as well as a very striking
resemblance. The father, like too many others in this country, was
never married; but as is extensively the custom here, he has several
sets of children by different women—the secret of his wasted
fortune. After an introduction to the young man, struck with his
Adonis-like beauty both in figure and face—so like his sister as to
lead to the supposition that they were twins, I felt some curiosity
to know his age, and after a little conversation asked him in
Portuguese how old he was? Though evidently bright and intelligent
by nature, his reply was, “I do not know—my father can tell!” The
captain immediately said to me in English, “There you have a sample
of the utter ignorance in which these people are brought up; they
know nothing, and are taught nothing worth knowing. This is a very
nice young man as you see; but his father has given him no
education. Poor boy! I felt very sorry for him the day I closed the
purchase of this place and ‘clinched’ the bargain. He knew I had
been some time in negotiation for it; was present at the moment, and
seemed very anxious about the result; and when he saw that the whole
was sold without any reservation, and the case settled, the tears
started to his eyes, and he said—‘So, father, you have sold all your
property, and I am left to be like a negro! You always told me I
should have a part of this land. Had you done any thing for me, had
you given me any education, or taught me to do any thing, the case
would have been different, and I would not have cared. But you have
done nothing for me, and have not taught me to do any thing for
myself; and now have sold all your land, and left me to work like a
negro!’ The father could only reply with tears, ‘I know it, my son,
but I cannot help it: I am in debt eleven thousand milreis, and have
nothing to meet it but the two thousand five hundred which Captain
Cathcart pays me for this property.’” I thus became acquainted with
the terms of the purchase—about twelve hundred and fifty dollars for
two or three miles square of the finest land in the region, parts of
which at least have been long under cultivation! Antonio, the name
of the young man, had himself, previously to the sale, planted a
piece of the land with cane and mandioca, and asked the consul
afterwards whether he might still work upon it, and gather the
crops. He says his reply was, “Yes, my son, and call upon my negroes
here to help you, and bid them work for you as if they were your
own.” He is now there with a single remaining slave of his father,
for this purpose. Captain Cathcart invited him to join us at
luncheon. He seems interested in him, and says that as soon as he
removes from Santa Cruz himself, which he intends to do almost
immediately, he will take the lad to live with him, and will be his
friend. I trust he will be true to his word, and faithful to the
promise in the case which I exacted from him. He is evidently
greatly elated by the purchase, as well he may be, if he can
reconcile his conscience to the price which the necessities of the
seller forced him to accept for it. While looking over and pointing
to a very small section of it, he said to me, “Mr. S——, if, when, as
a boat-steerer on board a whale-ship I first met you at the Sandwich
Islands, I had thought I should ever have been the owner of such a
hillside as that, I would have felt amazing proud!” the continuation
of the sentiment being of course—“judge then how I feel now, as the
lord of this widespread manor, and the monarch of all I survey!”
Wherever he turns his eyes, he sees and speaks of its varied
capabilities for sugar, mandioca, rice, corn, cotton, coffee,
cattle, hogs, timber—and if spared in life and health a few years,
it is probable his present visions of the wealth to be derived from
it, will be fully realized. While he was speaking thus, I again
begged him to befriend Antonio, whose sad and dejected looks during
our whole stay were in such strong contrast with the self-satisfied
air and high spirits of his dispossessor. The deep pensiveness
spread over the manly and handsome face of the young man as we bade
him adieu, and his attitude—till we lost sight of him in the
distance—leaning his head and shoulders against a pillar of the
verandah with folded arms, as if lost in sad abstraction, still
haunt me.

                                                   BUENOS AYRES.

_June 30th._—For a third time I date from Buenos Ayres. The
continued prevalence of the yellow fever at Rio de Janiero forbade a
visit of the Congress there, on leaving St. Catherine; and the
alternate was a return to Montevideo. On arriving at that place,
general liberty on shore was accorded to the crew; and a bearer of
despatches to the American minister here being required, I gladly
availed myself of the Commodore’s kindness in appointing me to the

When I left Buenos Ayres in February, the town and province were
under the rule of the Provisional Governor, appointed by Urquiza. As
speedily afterwards as possible, a constitutional election was held
for that office, and the same person was chosen by the people. Since
then, a Congress of the Governors of the Provinces has been held at
San Nicolas de Aroya, a city two hundred miles from Buenos Ayres up
the Parana. This was preparatory to a general convention of
delegates, for the formation and adoption of a federal constitution
for the United Provinces, after the model of that of the United
States; Urquiza being appointed for the interval Provisional
Director of the Argentine Confederation. The result of the
deliberations of the Governors has just been proclaimed, and the
articles of agreement have been published. These, though seemingly
wise and just, are unsatisfactory to the Portenos or Buenos Ayreans.
Claiming, from their larger population, greater wealth, and higher
civilization, a preponderating vote and influence among the States,
they are unwilling to confirm the act of the Governors, which will
limit them in the proposed general Congress, to the same number of
representatives or delegates, with each of the other Provinces. The
House of Representatives of Buenos Ayres, or Sala, as the body is
here styled, immediately denounced the proceeding by strong
resolutions; and great public excitement took place. On learning
this, Urquiza, who has returned from St. Nicolas, withdrew his
troops from their quarters in the city, planted a battery of guns on
the parade ground near the cavalry barracks, which commands the
town, and despatched a messenger to the President of the Chambers,
with orders for the immediate dissolution of that body under the
alternative of having it dispersed by his guns. The announcement of
this led each member quietly to take his hat and leave the hall,
notwithstanding the valorous resolution of the previous day, in
which the determination had been avowed of sacrificing their lives
rather than their liberty.

Two thousand or more of the citizens not long since organized
themselves into a national guard; each individual having equipped
himself at his own outlay, in a showy and expensive uniform. During
the agitation of the Chamber, under the action of the Congress of
San Nicolas, these sent a messenger to the house to assure the
representatives that they would repair to their sittings and stand
by them to the death. They were, however, at the time, much in need
of percussion caps for their muskets. Urquiza hearing of this, and
that diligent search was being made in the city for a supply, sent
his own orderly to their barracks, with a couple of packages; and,
it is said, called himself in the afternoon of the same day to
inquire whether they had been received, and to say he would be happy
to furnish them with a larger quantity if needed! Thus showing his
utter contempt for the bravado of the ‘shop-keepers,’ as he calls
them. On the dissolution of the Chamber this brave guard very
speedily disbanded; and the next day small parties of the soldiers
of Urquiza, in command of subalterns, went from house to house
throughout the city, and took possession, without resistance, of all
the arms they could find. Urquiza proclaimed himself Provisional
Chief, but continued in office under him the Governor who had been
elected by the people. All things are going on quietly under this
coup d’état.

The general judgment of those who have had the best opportunity of
knowing the people, is, that they are incapable of enlightened and
stable self-government. Urquiza is regarded by these as greatly in
advance of other chieftains of the Plata, in enlarged and patriotic
views and principles. Full confidence is placed in his integrity of
purpose, as well as in his firmness and daring of will.

His personal bravery at all events cannot be doubted. During the
height of the excitement of the last week, while execrations loud
and long were poured upon him by designing partisans and their
followers, he rode fearlessly about the city attended by a single
officer; and is resolved, at all personal hazard, to carry out the
measures and policy which he thinks needful for the best interests,
not only of Buenos Ayres, as a city and province, but of all the
Argentine States. He believes the consolidation of the whole under a
constitutionally appointed chief executive, indispensable to their
permanent prosperity; and this it is his purpose to achieve.

_July 20th._—It is seldom that the Rev. Mr. Lore of the Wesleyan
Mission can avail himself of the assistance of a brother clergyman;
and I have cheerfully taken upon myself, at his solicitation, on
each Sabbath of my several visits here, two of the three services
held in the chapel on that day and evening. The ordinary number of
worshippers amounts to about four hundred, of whom fifty are church
members. The established religion of the State being that of the
Roman Church, and the civil regulations of the country not
permitting Protestant preaching to the natives in their own
language, the congregation and church consist exclusively of foreign
residents—American, English, Scotch and Irish: of these, the
greatest number are English. An interesting and flourishing Sunday
school of two hundred and fifty scholars, is attached to the church,
and in addition to the public services of the Sabbath, a weekly
lecture and prayer-meeting are held in the chapel. The Sabbath after
my arrival was that of the Communion. On the Thursday evening
previous, Mr. Lore preached a preparatory sermon, and on the Sunday
six new members were received into the church. They were all young
persons, and of both sexes. A more than ordinary proportion of the
church members are in their youth. It is a cheering sight to
perceive among them so many young men, thus openly and decidedly
choosing a life of piety in the midst of a city of general
indulgence in worldliness and pleasure, and almost universal moral
dereliction. In the full toleration of Protestant worship thus
allowed, and in the open example seen and acknowledged by all—even
of a few consistent and truly spiritual Christians, there is hope
for this land: there is light shed abroad which cannot be hid, and
seed sown which has already sprung up and borne fruit. Many things
seem to indicate that, in the providence of God, the ignorant,
superstitious and benighted population, is destined in the progress
of time to give place by immigration from foreign lands, to those
better fitted in mind and education, in energy and enterprise, and
in enlightened principles, political, moral and religious, to mould
the destinies of the nation and build up a free and prosperous
empire. One cannot fail in passing along the streets, to be forcibly
struck with the prevalence of the English language. You can scarcely
move a square in any direction without overhearing it; while French,
German, Portuguese and Italian—the patois of the Basques and the
Gaelic dialect of the Scotch and Irish, are liberally intermingled.

Mr. Lore is deservedly popular in his position, both as a man and as
a minister. He is an able and interesting preacher, and a faithful
and affectionate pastor: ready to every good work—the comforter of
the sick and afflicted, and the friend and benefactor of the poor
and destitute. Mrs. Lore too, is admirably fitted for her station,
and, full of gentleness and amiability, is universally beloved. The
history of Protestant worship in Buenos Ayres may be briefly given.
Its origin dates as far back as the year 1820. On Sunday, the 18th
of November in that year, Protestant religious worship was first
held here in a private house. The assembly numbered nine persons,
the worship being led by Mr. Thompson, a Scotch Presbyterian, who
had arrived in the city under the auspices of the “British and
Foreign School Society,” with the purpose of establishing schools on
the Lancastrian system; and had so far succeeded in his object as to
be then employed by the government as superintendent of a school of
this description. This lay worship was continued till the year 1822.

In 1823 the Rev. Dr. Brigham, now long the secretary of the American
Bible Society, and the Rev. Mr. Parvin, an associate, arrived as
agents of the Bible and Missionary Societies, and by them preaching
was established in a private house. Dr. Brigham, after a time,
carried his agency to Chili and Peru, and returned to the United
States; while Mr. Parvin continued resident here, as a preacher and
teacher, till the year 1827. In this year he was joined by the Rev.
Mr. Torrey, first as an assistant, and soon as successor, both in
teaching and preaching. Mr. Torrey continued in Buenos Ayres till
the year 1836; when relinquishing his position and returning to the
United States, worship according to the Presbyterian form ceased,
without any attempt having been made to organize a church.

The field was thus left open to the labors of the Methodist
Episcopal Church; the Rev. Mr. Pitts, a missionary of this
denomination, having arrived at Buenos Ayres about the time Mr.
Torrey left. He preached, however, but a short time, and returning
to the United States, was succeeded in the year 1837 by the Rev. Mr.
Dempster. Public worship was continued by him in the same house in
which Mr. Torrey had held his services; and his preaching was soon
followed with such success as to demand an enlarged place for the
congregation. In the ensuing year a lot in a very eligible situation
was purchased for the erection of a church and mission house; the
funds being provided for the purpose, partly by subscription in
Buenos Ayres, and partly by an appropriation from the Methodist
Missionary Society at home. The buildings subsequently erected are
the present chapel and parsonage, on the principal street of the
city, immediately opposite the stately church of the Merced. The
chapel, a neat and simple structure, sixty feet in length by forty
in width, with a façade in Grecian architecture, fronts upon the
street; while the mission house or parsonage, approached by a
passage on one side of the chapel, occupies the rear of the lot. A
court, ornamented with shrubbery and trellised grape-vines,
separates the two, giving to the premises a retired and rural
aspect, attractive, and appropriate to the character of the
occupants. The Rev. Mr. Dempster was succeeded in 1843, by the Rev.
Mr. Norris; and this gentleman again in 1848, by Mr. Lore. The
church and congregation are now not only self-sustaining, as to the
support of the pastor and all the incidental expenses of the
mission, but contribute liberally, according to their means, to the
general societies at home for the promotion of the cause of Christ.

Besides the Wesleyan congregation and church, there are now in
Buenos Ayres three of other Protestant denominations: one British
Episcopalian, one Scotch Presbyterian, and one Reformed German. All
these have much larger and finer buildings for worship, and much
larger and more wealthy congregations. The salary of the Rev. Mr.
Falkner of the British Church, amounts to $4000. The Scotch
congregation, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Mr. Smith, is of the
Established Church of Scotland, and also partly under governmental
support. The German Church, whose pastor is the Rev. Mr. Seigle, has
just completed a new place of worship; a beautiful specimen of
Gothic architecture, and an ornament to the city. These
congregations have each a large and flourishing day school under its
supervision and patronage, beside Sunday schools.

I have renewed my intercourse most agreeably with several families
here—particularly with that of Mr. H——, who is a fellow-Jerseyman.
Mrs. H—— is also from Jersey; and I have a standing invitation to
breakfast with them on buckwheat cakes, so favorite an article of
diet there. The L——s and the Z——s of Montevideo, too, are now here.
Among the acquaintances newly made, and to whom I am indebted for
hospitality, are the J——s; Mrs. J—— being the daughter of an old
friend, Captain M—— of the Navy. They occupy a tasteful and
pleasantly situated quinta in the eastern suburbs of the city, where
they entertain their friends with elegance; adding to a generous
hospitality, the charm of fine music, in which, both vocal and
instrumental, Mrs. J—— excels.

I have been desirous for some time, of making an excursion into the
“Camp,” as the flat country of the Pampas south of the city is
called, in a visit to the estancia, or cattle farm of an American of
respectability, but have not yet had it in my power to accomplish
the purpose. My opportunities for sight-seeing have consequently
been limited to the city. The room I occupy is on the second floor
of a house finely situated on the edge of the bluff upon which the
town lies. Its windows on one side overlook the quadrangular court
communicating with the street. In this there are some magnificent
specimens of cacti; among which are a prickly pear twenty feet in
height, with a trunk like a tree, now covered with primrose-colored
blossoms; and an octagonal plant of the same genus nearly as tall,
filled with those that are of brilliant crimson. There is in it also
a magnificent specimen of the “Uca Gloriosa.” The view from the
other side commands the whole length of the alameda or public walk,
the river, with the inner and the outer anchorage, and all the
movements of the roadstead and landing. When the tide is out, the
sands to the east, for a mile or more, are nearly or quite bare. At
all times, except when the water is at flood, the landing of
passengers and freight is by cart. Familiarity with the sight does
not take from its interest. Sometimes both horses and carts are seen
half submerged in the water—intermingled with boats, some under sail
and others pulled by oars,—the drivers, to keep themselves from
being wet, standing on the shoulders of their beasts, in the manner
of circus-riders. It is amusing to see them start from the shore on
the approach of a boat or boats with passengers. They rush off under
the shouts and lashings of the drivers, plunging and ploughing
through the water, over the rocks and into holes in the rough
bottom, in utter disregard of every thing except a first chance at a
customer. The horses are so well trained to the business, that the
carts are as readily turned and backed up to a boat on reaching it,
as a fish is moved in the water by its fins. The whole performance
is so droll and amphibious, that I never cease to be amused in
witnessing it. When the water is low, freight and passengers are
often taken on board these carts from small vessels at their
anchorage. At such times too, horsemen and dogs, and various other
animals, are seen scampering over the sands in the shoal water, as
if the mirror-like surface were the ice of a frozen river.

When the wind is fresh, a heavy sea rolls over the sands. Then the
vocation of the carts is at an end, and they seek the security of
the shore. The boats too, securely anchored outside the rocks, are
left to toss upon the water by themselves, and for the time-being, a
non-intercourse occurs between the shipping and the shore.

The construction of a mole to extend beyond the sands is entirely
practicable, and would be of immense importance, and a great saving
of expense in the trade of the place. So essential a work should
have been accomplished a century ago. Had the amount lavished by
Rosas in redeeming the marshes of Palermo, and in rearing upon them
his country palace, been thus appropriated, it would long since have
secured a convenient and safe landing both for goods and passengers,
and have been a lasting and honorable monument of his public spirit
and patriotism. A day or two since a detachment of the troops of
Urquiza embarked from this landing on their return to Entre-Rios. It
is the winter season; the weather was wet, cold, and piercing, and
the whole number, amounting to some hundreds, were kept for hours,
shivering in the exposure incident to the slow means of getting off
to the transports in which they were to sail; first in squads of
eight or ten in a cart, and then in equal numbers in small boats.

The _lecheros_ and _panderos_—the milkmen and bakers—form striking
features in the scenes of the street in the early morning. Both
grades are invariably mounted on shabby, rough-coated little horses
or mules. They seat themselves very longitudinally on the
shoulder-blades of the beasts, their legs being stretched out almost
at full length; while the supplies they carry for distribution are
balanced on either side from neck to tail—the milk in long tin cans
of different sizes, stowed in different compartments of leather
fixtures, something in the form of old-fashioned saddle-bags. The
bread is distributed from immense panniers of ox-hide, cured with
the hair on, made oval, in bandbox form, burying the animal beneath
their ponderous shapes, and half blocking up the street as they
pass. There is nothing especially peculiar in the dress of the
bakers, they being, dwellers in the city, and generally French,
German, or Spanish by birth and in costume; but the milkmen from the
country, at distances from five to fifteen miles, furnish
illustrations of the grotesque and comical worthy of the pencil of a
Cruikshank or Wilkie. None but an artist could do justice to their
slouched hats of every form, the cotton handkerchief of divers
figures and colors in which their necks and faces are bundled up,
their ponchos of every hue—their cheripas of various materials from
scarlet broadcloth and gayly-figured merinos, to horse-blankets, and
fire-rugs; while half-yard wide pantalets of white cotton tamboured
and fringed and worn over heavy boots or leggings of calfskin, make
up the sketch.

On entering the plaza about seven o’clock a few mornings ago, I saw
some hundreds or more of these figures, with their horses and
milk-cans, grouped before the police office at the Cabildo or town
hall. The spectacle was one of the most singular I have met, and led
to an inquiry as to the cause of the unusual gathering. In answer, I
learned that the extent to which the watering of the milk had been
carried had led to the interference of the police. On that morning,
every milkman as he entered the city found himself unexpectedly
under arrest, and was hurried to the office of the chief, to have
the product of his cows put to a test. All were now busy lugging
their cans into the town hall to be thus cleared from the imputation
of defrauding their customers, or, if found guilty, to pay the fine
imposed by the laws of the municipality. I did not wait to learn the
result, but believe few escaped the penalty.

To one informed of the extent of vexation and labor required in
securing the milk, it is scarcely a wonder that it should be well
watered before being brought to market. The cows of the native breed
are impracticable to all domestic training or discipline. They not
only require to be lassoed every time they are milked, but must be
also tied head and foot, and during the operation have their calves
by their sides. These must be permitted to draw the milk alternately
with the use of the hand by the milkman, or nothing can be obtained
from the animal. Much time is thus taken up in the operation; and
the result is only about a quart of milk a day from each cow, and a
pound of butter a week. The consequence is that milk commands from
twelve to fifteen cents a quart; and butter from sixty-two to
seventy-five cents a pound. The supply is furnished chiefly by the
German and Basque settlers. The natives are for the most part too
indolent to take so much trouble for the returns made, either for
their own use or for sale.

                                                 RIO DE JANEIRO.

_September 20th._—We returned to this port on the 13th inst.:
bringing passengers with us, Mr. Schenck, Chargé d’Affaires at the
Court of Brazil, and a nephew, his private secretary. In addition to
the diplomatic office he holds here, he was recently appointed by
our government Envoy Extraordinary to the Republics of the Plata,
for the purpose of negotiating, in conjunction with Mr. Pendleton,
treaties of friendship and commerce. The unsettled state of affairs
in the Argentine Provinces, however, interfered with the completion
of this mission, and he has returned for a time to Rio de Janeiro.

Mr. Pendleton accompanied him as far as Montevideo; and during a
brief sojourn there, the two diplomatists, with the aid of Mr.
Glover as interpreter and secretary, formed a treaty with the
Republic of Uruguay, by which the United States are placed here upon
a footing with the most favored nations. The promptitude, industry,
and despatch of the ambassadors in the negotiation quite astonished
the ceremonious, indolent, and procrastinating ministers of
Spanish-American blood. After it was once initiated, they allowed
themselves scarcely the relaxation of an hour till the parchments
were engrossed; and the ink in their signatures was not well dry
before the Chief Envoy was on his way with us to this place.

I will let an incident occurring at Buenos Ayres speak his general
character. While last there, I occupied furnished rooms in the
establishment of a shrewd, sharp-eyed, talkative Englishwoman. The
window of her private apartment commanded the well-guarded portal,
opening from the street into the pateo or quadrangle of the house;
and from it she kept a watchful lookout on the movements of her
lodgers and their visitors. A short time after I had taken up my
quarters there, Mr. Schenck called upon me. My landlady soon became
informed, by some means, of his name and position; and with the
notions of rank common among those in humble life in her own
country, was quite excited by the distinction conferred upon her
lodger, and seizing the first chance afterwards of waylaying me,
gave vent to her feelings on the subject by the exclamation—“And
indeed, sir! so you have had the honor of a visit from your
minister, the new ambassador! La me! I said to myself as I saw him
come in, ‘Why who can that very genteel, delicate-looking, strange
gentleman be?’ But I knew him at once for a diplomat. I can always
tell them. I have had a great deal to do with them—Sir Charles
Hotham, Sir William Ousely—and I know them at once, they are so
clever—so very, very clever! Oh! rely upon it, sir! your ambassador
is a very clever man: I could see it in his eye, sir! and then it
was so kind in him to call. I knew him for a diplomat—so very
genteel, and so clever,” adding, “Clever, sir, clever—very, very
clever!” as she bowed herself backwards into her little room, as if
retreating after a presentation at court. And clever, indeed, Mr.
Schenck is, both in the English and American use of the term. In
regard to the last, he has given very decided proof in his great
kindness to the Rev. Mr. Fletcher, seamen’s chaplain here, who with
Mrs. Fletcher arrived from the United States shortly after the
Congress left, eight months ago. They early became settled in a
hired cottage, but when Mr. Schenck received the diplomatic
appointment to the Plata, he constrained them to leave it, and with
their family to take possession during his absence, of the embassy
and all its appointments, in furniture, servants, carriages and
horses; and as it will be necessary for him to return to Buenos
Ayres at the end of two or three months, wrote to them before
leaving the river, that he came now only to be their guest till he
should be recalled there by duty for an indefinite time. They are
thus permanently at home with him.

Mr. Fletcher on his arrival, entered at once zealously upon the
discharge of the duties of his position; and, while the yellow fever
has again raged for months as an epidemic among the shipping and on
shore, has been indefatigable in preaching the Gospel to the well,
in nursing and comforting the sick and dying, and in consoling the
afflicted, of whom there have been many among American and English
shipmasters, who have had members of their families in greater or
less numbers on board their ships with them, some of whom have died
under very affecting circumstances.

The Rev. Mr. Graham, rector of the English Episcopal Church, has
service in a neat chapel in the city on the morning of the Sabbath;
Mr. Fletcher at the same time preaches to the seamen in port, on
board some ship in the harbor, and in the afternoon holds worship in
the drawing-room of the American Consulate. I have assisted him in
this service since our arrival, and have felt it a privilege and a
blessing to join the “two or three,” who assemble there for praise
and prayer, and to hear the preached word. The music is led by Mrs.
Fletcher at the piano; and she is assisted vocally by Mrs. K——. This
excellent person is a good representative abroad of her
fellow-countrywomen of New England at home—sensible, intelligent,
practical: ever decided in her expression of moral principle, and
ever constant in the exhibition of her religious character. She has
been greatly afflicted by the bereavements which have befallen her
here in a strange land; but resigned in spirit, seems by them to be
the better fitted for the duties of a Christian in this life, as
well as for the inheritance which is to be the reward of such in the
life to come. Mrs. F—— is not less strikingly the type of her class
in Europe. She is a daughter of the distinguished and apostolic
minister of Geneva, Cæsar Malan; and highly educated and
accomplished, seems fitted alike

                            “to shine in courts,
                Or grace the humbler walks of life.”


                             CHAPTER XXIX.


_November 22d._—A few days at “Boa Esperenza” in the mountains of
Tejuca, ten miles from Rio, proved so interesting to my friend Dr.
C—— and myself, that we determined to make a more distant excursion
of the kind to this place, in the midst of the Organ Mountains,
fifty miles from the city. The route to it passes near San Aliexo,
and on our way we made an agreeable visit of three days to our
friends there.

Constantia is the estate of Mr. Heath, an Englishman, which has
become a favorite resort of the citizens of the metropolis in the
summer season as a watering-place, for the enjoyment of pure and
invigorating air, and the luxury of fresh and wholesome diet in the
country. By previous arrangement, mules and a guide were sent for us
two days ago to San Aliexo by the proprietor; and taking leave of
Mr. and Mrs. M——, we were off for our destination after an early
breakfast this morning. The day was splendid in its coloring, and
full of freshness. Our guide, a bright, intelligent little negro of
twelve, was all activity and good-nature; and mounted on a mule
scarcely larger than himself, with a carpet-bag slung on each side
of him in the manner of a pair of saddle-bags, went on his way
whistling and singing as if he knew neither sorrow nor care. Instead
of leading us, however, he rode behind in the fashion of a groom;
but not so much for appearance, as we soon discovered, as to give a
poke with the pointed end of his whip to one or the other of the
animals ridden by me and my friend, when they became disposed to lag
in their gait, or to start them forward by a sharp cut across their
rumps with its lash.

The first stage of eight miles northward was to Freischal, an inland
venda, or store, where the turnpike begins the ascent of the
“Sierra.” For that distance, the plain is very similar in its
general features to the country between Piedade and San Aliexo,
before described. The mountain scenery to the west, close upon the
left, was, however, very fine; and was marked now, after heavy
rains, by numerous watercourses and cascades, which foamed down from
the heights above, in single shoots of hundreds of feet. Most
travellers from Rio make Freischal a stopping-place for the first
night; but the “Barriera,” or toll gate, midway up the ascent, four
miles further, is a much more picturesque and attractive spot; and
we pushed on to this for luncheon, without alighting at the other.
The road after passing Freischal winds at first in gradual ascent
along the broad bases of the mountains. It is wide, smooth, and well
graded; and paved at intervals for long distances with large cubes
of granite, like a Roman highway. It was enlivened by troupe after
troupe of mules passing in both directions, with heavy loads of
produce from the interior, and of merchandise from the capital: each
company of seven animals being under charge of a troupiero, or
muleteer, though frequently moving by hundreds together, and
sometimes crowding the road thickly for a half mile in succession.
As thus seen _en masse_ in the distance, either in meeting or
overtaking them, they present an odd spectacle. The mules with heads
bending to the ground beneath their burdens, are themselves for the
most part completely hidden by the bulky loads they carry. The tips
of their long ears, bobbing up and down with the motion of their
step; the cross ends of the clumsy wooden saddle or frame, to which
the panniers or other burdens on either side are affixed—something
like the buck of a woodsawyer—sticking out above their shoulders;
and the dried ox-hides surmounting the whole, to protect the
articles transported from the weather, flapping like wings up and
down in the irregular tread of the beasts, are alone seen: and to
one unacquainted with the sight, would present objects in natural
history difficult to be guessed at. There is a leading mule to each
troupe, whose bridle and head-stall are gayly ornamented with tufts
of scarlet and blue worsted, and often with showy plumes of the same
material, and also strung with bells of varied sizes and tones—the
whole a matter of rivalry in the taste and vanity of the respective
troupieros. The leaders are so well trained as to allow no one of
their own troupe, under any circumstances, to pass ahead of them on
the road; so that the muleteers have to look out only for such as
lag behind or stray by the wayside. These men themselves are black,
and white, and of every shade of complexion; are of all ages, and in
an endless variety of costume, as to the material and condition of
old shirts and old jackets, old trowsers and old drawers, old hats
and various head-gear—from the well clothed, to those almost in a
state _puris naturalibus_.

The Barriera is as wild and romantic a spot as can be well imagined.
I recollect nothing on a public road surpassing it, in these
respects, unless it be the site of Alhama, in the sierra of the
Alpuxares. It is a narrow ravine high upon the mountain’s side,
above which the fantastic pinnacles called the “Pipes of the Organ,”
bristle thousands of feet. From these a mountain torrent, foaming
and roaring over and around gigantic boulders of granite, comes
rushing down, and divided into two streams by an islet over which
the road crosses, plunges headlong into a gulf below. In the midst
of this islet, to which a bridge from either side is thrown, a neat
little chapel, surmounted by a cross, rises upon the sight with
pleasing effect, in contrast with the savage wildness of every thing
around. At a neat venda just beyond, to which we had been directed
by Mr. M——, we were served with a luncheon of boiled eggs and bread
and butter. Our host was a civil young Portuguese, and the neatly
whitewashed walls of the room in which we ate, were ornamented with
a set of colored engravings, illustrative of the fate of Inez de
Castro in the hands of Peter the Cruel. For the first time in my
rambles in Brazil, I here saw a book in the hands of any one—it was
a copy of the “Complete Letter Writer” in Portuguese, which the
keeper of the shop was reading behind the counter when we went in.

We were now more than a thousand feet above the level of the plain.
For some time before reaching this point, a beautifully shaped and
luxuriantly-clothed mountain in front of us, had particularly
attracted our attention. It here stood directly beside us on the
right. Nothing of the kind can surpass the beauty of its foliage in
varied forms and tints of green—interspersed with masses of white
and of yellow, of purple and of scarlet. The white in many instances
is not a blossom, but the leaves of the sloth tree—_cecropia
peltata_. The under sides of these are covered with a white down;
the leaves curl upward under the hot rays of the sun, and give to
the whole tree-top, amid masses of verdure, a whiteness almost as
pure, and more silvery, than that of the snowball. The yellow
blossoms are chiefly of the acacia; the purple and the scarlet those
of climbers—bignonias and fuchsias. An American forest in October
can scarcely compare in gorgeousness with these gay woods, in the
seasons of their bloom.

From the Barriera the ascent becomes increasingly steep, and the
road is formed by zigzag cuts in the sides of the mountains, and, at
places, around their projecting shoulders. The angles at the turns
are very sharp, and the road rises in terrace above terrace—at some
points edging upon precipitous ravines and deep chasms, hundreds of
feet in perpendicular descent. In these sections, the long lines of
mules, as seen both above and below, struggling up or moving
cautiously down, are particularly striking. In several places the
way was wet and miry, and many a poor beast was down in the mud with
his burden upon him, but lying quietly and patiently, as if
accustomed to such accidents, waiting for the coming up of his
troupiero to relieve him of his load, and thus enable him to rise.
As we mounted higher and higher, the landscape became more and more
extensive. By degrees the northern end of the Bay of Rio opened to
view, followed rapidly by the islands which cluster in it; the
mountain-ranges of its eastern coast; the Sugar Loaf, Raza and Round
Islands in the offing; the Corcovado, Gavia and peak of
Tejuca—embracing a panorama more than a hundred miles in circuit, in
the midst of which the imperial city, though forty miles distant,
was distinctly seen gleaming in the afternoon’s sun. Such was the
scene on one side of us, while on the other the pikes of the Sierra
close at hand, rose in savage nakedness three thousand feet above
our heads. The world boasts many pictures in nature, in which
loveliness and sublimity are combined, but I doubt whether this “Boa
Vista”—“Fine View,” of the Organ Mountain does not rival any single
combination of mountain, valley, and water, that man ever beheld. I
can remember nothing in my own experience equal in interest to this
day’s ride; unless it may be the travel through the mountains of
Granada, followed by the first view of the “Vega,” with the city,
the walls and towers of the Alhambra, and the snow-covered heights
of the Nevada above, all gloriously lighted by the glowing hues of
the setting sun.

Though uncertain of the length of time it would require to reach our
destination before nightfall, we lingered long in silent admiration
of the picture; and at last, found it difficult to make up our minds
to turn the point of a projecting rock marking the highest elevation
of the road, and which shuts it from view. From this point the
descent on the north commences. It is gradual, and unmarked by any
striking features, except the jagged peaks on the left. Thick mist
and clouds soon enveloped these, and for a time the way became
comparatively tame and uninteresting.

H—— Hall, the mountain home of Mr. H——, an English merchant of Rio,
whom we had been invited to visit, is situated a short distance from
the sierra. We called upon the family for a short time; but, anxious
to reach Constantia, resisted their persuasions to remain over
night, or at least to dinner, and hastened on our way. At the end of
six miles, we turned from the public road into a bridle-path leading
through thick woods, filled with the music of birds. Many of the
trees overhanging us were magnificent in size—monarchs of the
primeval forest, stately and venerable with the growth of centuries.
One, whose branches entirely overarched the road, at an elevation of
more than a hundred feet, particularly excited our admiration.
Though its limbs were gnarled and distorted, and in themselves
leafless, they were so fantastic in shape as well as gigantic in
dimensions, and so adorned and draped with parasites and creepers,
and festoons of gray moss, as to be a fit study for an artist.

At the end of three additional miles, we came suddenly upon a fine
field of luxuriant Indian corn enclosed by a hedge. Into this a
rustic gate led, which our guide threw open without dismounting, and
uttered the announcement, apparently with as much pleasure as it
gave us to hear it, “Esta Constantia!” “This is Constantia!” We were
at the entrance of a little valley, two miles in length by a half
mile in width, encircled by high hills, in the midst of which the
buildings of the establishment of Mr. Heath are clustered. These
consist of a principal house of two stories, plastered and
whitewashed, and having a steep shingled roof; four cottages of one
story in the same style, in front of this; and various out-buildings
and offices in the rear, with quarters for the negroes—the whole
having the general appearance of a Swiss or German hamlet. The
approach is by a well-made drive, half a mile in length. Trees of
natural growth have been left here and there near this and in the
adjoining grounds; giving to the whole somewhat the aspect of a

Our host met us at the gate of an inner enclosure which protects the
gardens and shrubbery. He is six feet and more in height, of a
portliness in full proportion, and frank, open-hearted and cordial
in manner. He had been expecting us for two days, and dinner was now
a third time waiting our arrival. We had heard of his facetiousness,
and that his anecdotes were irresistible; and had determined before
meeting him, to maintain a becoming dignity. Before the dinner was
half through, however, we found all our precaution vain; and under
the rehearsal of some of his personal adventures in Brazil, were
obliged to give way to fits of laughter, which made the tears run
down our cheeks.

_November 24th._—The estate of Constantia is two miles square. Its
first owner was a Swiss, who gave it the name it bears, with the
intention of cultivating the grape on its hill-sides, in the hope of
producing a wine that should rival that of Constantia, at the Cape
of Good Hope. But his expectations in regard to the production of
wine were disappointed; and an experiment with coffee succeeded no
better. The soil is too cold and too poor to produce the best
qualities of either; and Mr. Heath purchased the whole property for
a small sum. The house and adjoining cottages are situated in the
midst of flower-gardens, which indicate by their growth any thing
but poverty of soil; and are fragrant with the perfume of the
tuberose and heliotrope, cape jessamine and white lily, and
beautiful in moss-roses and camellias, the most splendid carnations,
beds of violets and mignonette, and an endless variety of choice
flowers. The stems of the tuberose exhibit eighteen inches of
closely-clustered blossoms, and while the white lily at home seldom
produces, I believe, more than six or seven flowers on one stock, I
have here counted thirteen. The vegetable gardens and fruit-yards
present a like display of exuberant growth, in peas, beans,
potatoes, artichokes, cabbages, beets, cauliflowers, strawberries,
raspberries, limes, lemons, peaches, pears, apples, quinces and
grapes. These in constant succession bring a rich return to the
proprietor from the market at Rio, to which, distant as it is,
troupes of mules carry cargoes as far as Piedade, twice every week.

The work of the estate is performed by slaves, of whom, including
women and children, there are thirty-three on the premises. They are
well-fed, well-clothed, and well-treated, and seem to be contented
and happy. Their master is a humane and kind man, and intends to
give to all their freedom: in earnest of which he has already
manumitted several, who still continue with him, and to whom he pays
regular wages. The children come round him at his call with laughter
and gambols, and scramble playfully for the biscuit and cakes and
the other niceties which he carries with him from the dining-hall,
for the purpose of distributing among them. The gardens are under
the care of females exclusively: the superintendent, of the same
sex, being thoroughly skilled in the business. Every thing in that
department is under her sole direction, from the turning over of the
earth for planting, to the gathering of the produce, and the
arrangement of it in panniers for the market.

All hands are turned out for work at daybreak; are mustered by name,
and receive orders from their master at a window of his room. A
custom is observed here, and I am told in all well-regulated
families in Brazil, which, were it any thing more than an unmeaning
form, would be interesting. It is the asking of a blessing from the
master every morning and every evening at the close of the day’s
work by all the slaves, of both sexes and of every age. The full
form of words is the following: “I beseech your blessing, or grant
me a blessing, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!” To
which the master replies, “Jesus Christ bless you for ever!” But it
is the usage to epitomize these expressions by the interchange of
the shortest possible abbreviations of them, and in words rather
startling at first to the ear uninformed of the designed object; the
slaves as they present themselves merely exclaiming, in all manner
of intonations of voice and in every mood of humor—“Jesus Christ!”
While the master, be he talking or laughing, eating or drinking, or
in whatever way employed, without any interruption and seemingly
without any regard to the import of the salutation as abruptly
replies, “Siempre!” “Forever!” The effect last night was quite
ludicrous, as fifteen or twenty men and women came in from labor in
the fields—probably weary and hungry and impatient of any delay—and
thrust their heads rapidly, one after another, into the windows and
doors of the verandah as we were at the tea-table, with the above
exclamation of two words only; followed instantly by the single one
from the master, much in the manner of a _feu de joie_.

No bell, nor similar means of summoning the outdoor servants is
used; but the clear, trumpet-like voice of the master is often heard
far and wide, sending forth with a distinctness not to be mistaken,
the names of those needed. While listening to these stentorian
calls, I have been struck with the euphony and romance of many of
the names, especially those of the females—Theresa and Rosa, Justina
and Juliana, Januaria and Theodora: a list fit for the court

Within a few hundred yards of the houses on either side, sharp hills
rise to the height of several hundred feet, partially covered on
their sides and crowned on their tops with intermingled woods and
cliffs. That on the south is marked in its whole length by the broad
channel of a watercourse; this, at times, becomes a foaming cascade,
compared with which, the artificial shoot down the hill at
Chatsworth, would appear but the plaything of a child. At present
the quantity of water, though flowing with great swiftness, is
small, but furnishes an abundant supply for plunging-baths at the
foot of the hill, and for keeping a corn-mill near by, in operation
day and night. This mill is a curiosity in one respect—it is
self-tending; so far, at least, as to cease working when the hopper
becomes empty. The contrivance is very simple, and consists of a
fixture at the bottom of the hopper, which, acting through a spring,
shuts off the water from the wheel when the weight of the grain is

The day after our arrival was one of rain, and we were kept for the
most part indoors. This, however, we scarcely regretted. Indeed, we
were more than content with confinement in the midst of such verdure
and bloom; and were satisfied for the time, in the freshness,
quietude, and rural repose of this secluded spot, with the
companionship, through the windows and from the verandah, of the
mules and cattle, the sheep and pigs, geese, ducks and chickens,
turkeys and guinea-fowl, with which the pasture-grounds and
enclosures are filled; and not less with that of our intelligent
host in his hours of leisure, in listening to his anecdotes and
reminiscences of life in Brazil. He has pre-eminently the talent of
making one forget that he is a stranger in his house and a boarder
at his table. You feel yourself rather to be the welcome guest of
friendship under the hospitable roof of the lord of the manor, on
whom you are conferring a personal favor by your visit. His sporting
stories are very amusing and somewhat marvellous. There is no end to
the rehearsal of the adventures of twenty years, in hunts after the
leopard and ounce, the tapir and deer, the peccary and other game of
the forests. He has, too, often been the guide and companion in this
region, of the most distinguished travellers who have visited Brazil
in that period. He ascended the loftiest peaks of the Organ
Mountains with Dr. Gardiner; and gives details of privations and
hair-breadth escapes in wildernesses before untracked by man, and
upon cliffs and precipices previously unscaled, not found in the
published records of the accomplished naturalist.

Yesterday and to-day the weather has been clear and fine, and
delightfully bracing and elastic: the mercury varying from 65° to
70° Fahrenheit. The elevation of Constantia above the bay of Rio, is
about 3000 feet. The highest point of the intervening range of
mountains is 6000. The site of the houses does not command a view of
the Organ chain: but, from the hill-side on the north, it is
distinctly seen. We walked a short distance up this last evening,
just before nightfall, and found the entire range magnificently
clothed in the gorgeous colorings of the setting sun. Though at the
distance of fifteen miles in an air-line, the sight was sublime. The
serrated part presents aspects on this side altogether new; and more
wild and fantastic, if possible, than those on the other. I secured
the outline of a sketch, which, when seen by you, may lead you to
suppose me sporting with your credulity.

We have rambled with delight at different times through the little
valley in the rear of the establishment. It is two miles in length;
is prettily watered by a winding stream and diversified by glade and
dell—pastoral in its herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and vocal
with the murmuring of water and the music of birds. I do not include
in the melody of these, however, the noisy chatter of flocks of
parroquets; though the beauty of their gay plumage, added to the
attractiveness of our walks, as, fluttering through the air, it
flashed upon the eye in the bright rays of the sun, like masses of
emeralds and gold. We made the attempt to ascend some of the hills
for more commanding points of view; but found, even those which were
without wood, and which appeared at a distance to be almost as
smooth as the turf of a lawn, to be altogether impracticable, from
the thickness and rankness of the growth of ferns with which they
are covered. On a near approach, these were seen to rise far above
our heads in impenetrable thickets. We undertook to advance a short
distance among them; but, though Dr. C—— is of no contemptible
height—six feet four inches—and not without proportionate strength
of muscle, we were very willing, at the end of a few minutes, to
give over the effort. Progress can be made through them only with a
sharp bramble-scythe, or a sickle in hand. They are so thick-set,
and so even in height, that the negroes, Mr. Heath tells us, in
returning from labor on the hills, often make short work of the
descent by projecting themselves headforemost for long distances, in
steep places, over the compact surface of their tops.


_November 30th._—We bade adieu to Constantia on the morning of the
26th inst. It was not yet sunrise when we took leave of our host for
the ride of forty miles through the mountains to this place. We set
off in the following order; first, a sumpter-mule, with our luggage
and provender for the day, led by a negro on foot; then a courier,
the counterpart in age, size, and blackness, of our guide from San
Aliexo, but a perfect dandy in comparison, in his costume—being
dressed in a trimly-fitted jacket and trowsers of new nankeen, a
highly polished castor hat with velvet band and broad rim, beneath
which was worn, in Brazilian style, a scarlet silk handkerchief,
floating loosely down the shoulders behind; leggings of untanned
leather, so wide at the top as to serve for the reception and safe
carriage of all kinds of small packages and parcels, but terminating
in bare feet well-spurred; the Padre, as I am styled, and his mule
came next; while the fleet-surgeon, last in position, but first in
height and dignity, brought up the rear. I was quite impressed with
the appearance of respectability in our departure, by the long line
thus formed, till, at the outer gate, it was suddenly shorn of its
“proportions” by the loss of our footman, who, tying the halter of
the beast he was leading, firmly into the long hair of the tail of
our little courier’s mule, gave us his benediction and returned to
the house.

The morning was beautiful, the air fresh as the breath of June, and
the light, fleecy clouds floating in the sky, tinted with bright
hues. Our way for some miles was a grass-edged and dewy path through
the woods. From these, unnumbered birds poured forth their matin
songs as if

              “every sense and every pulse were joy.”

There is an untiring charm in the woodland scenery here; the growth
is often so majestic and widespreading, and the foliage so varied in
form and coloring. We were gratified by the near view, in two or
three instances, of a fine, lofty, forest-tree, which had at other
times attracted our attention at a distance, by the flowers of
mingled pink and lilac with which it was thickly studded. These grow
singly, and not in clusters; but the general effect, from the
intermingling of strongly contrasted shades of one color in the same
flowers, is that of the apple blossom. The lowest branches, however,
were too lofty to allow a satisfactory examination of them. Among
the most graceful of the growth, which in some places fringed and
overarched our way, was the bamboo, shooting up in thick clusters to
the height of fifty, and even a hundred feet. The tree-ferns, too,
were conspicuous, their umbrella-like tops giving them in the
distance the appearance of palm trees in miniature. Parasites and
creepers entangled the whole woods, while the former, mounting to
the tops of the loftiest branches, descended low again towards the
ground in gracefully sweeping pendants. Surrounded by such imagery
and breathing such air, with the golden sun flickering through the
tree-tops upon our path, or gleaming brightly over a glade on its
side, I felt as buoyant in spirit as when a boy I roved over the
pine-covered hills of Otsego.

At one place the road merely skirted the woods and commanded a broad
expanse of cleared land in a valley. A striking feature here, was
the number of stately old trees which still studded the landscape.
They were leafless and lifeless, however, and so blanched from top
to bottom as to seem whitewashed. Masses of gray moss hanging in
long pendants from the skeleton limbs, gave to them, in contrast
with the vigor of life by which they were surrounded, a melancholy
and funereal aspect. Just as we were emerging from a thick wood on a
side hill which overlooked the trees below, my friend said to me,
“All that is needed to make our ride perfect in its kind, is a sight
of some of the wild animals of the country.” I replied, “Yes, any
thing but a tiger or a leopard.” I had scarcely finished the
sentence, when a succession of fierce and angry shrieks and screams
burst forth beneath us; and looking in the direction, we saw a whole
tree-top filled with black, long-tailed monkeys—they were in
terrible commotion—a regular family quarrel. Every branch of the
tree swayed to and fro, as they leaped about and swung themselves by
their tails from the end of one limb to that of another. The tread
of our mules or the sound of our voices, however, suddenly put an
end to their squabble, and in an instant, the whole troop in
affright disappeared in the thick wood.

At the end of a few miles we came to the turnpike by which we had
mounted the Sierra, and followed it northward a short distance. It
was crowded with troupes of mules, just setting off from the ranchos
at which they had passed the night. The muleteers at one point, were
engaged in replacing the burdens on their animals. Their occupation
is far from being a sinecure. Besides making the journey of hundreds
of leagues on foot, they have daily, and sometimes repeatedly each
day, to load and unload their beasts, and to readjust the many
straps by which the freight they transport is kept well-balanced,
and secure from damage. The ordinary load of a mule is from six to
eight “_arobas_” of thirty-two pounds each, and the usual distance
travelled in a day, from twelve to sixteen miles.

The middle section of the journey was marked by a succession of
pyramidal hills of bare granite, a thousand and more feet in height,
rising from the bosoms of the valleys which encircle their bases
like so many gigantic sugar-loaves. They appeared to be utterly
inaccessible, and presented cliffs on some of their sides hundreds
of feet in almost perpendicular descent. About noon, surrounded by
parroquets in flocks and other birds of gay plumage, we gained the
highest point of land on the route. It commanded sublime views of
the mountains, both before and behind us; and, among other objects,
one of special interest to us personally in the cabin of a free
negro a short distance ahead, to which we had been directed as a
good place to refresh our animals and to take our luncheon. We had
accomplished fifteen miles of the journey. The next fifteen were
less interesting in every respect; the general surface of the
country was bare, and the mountains sterile and naked. The glare of
the sun was oppressive, and by the time we had finished that
additional distance, we began to be fagged and weary. And this, you
will ask, while still surrounded by much that was strikingly novel
and magnificent? I will refer you for our vindication in the case,
to any one who has been ten hours in succession on muleback, riding
up hill and down dale, over a scarcely practicable mountain road. A
mule is a very nice animal for the ride of an hour over smooth
ground, and one that is full-blooded and well-broken, very passable
perhaps for the ride of a day; but to be mounted from sunrise to
sunset on such beasts as we had, and to travel for a whole day over
such a road, are enough to make anyone who has suffered the
experience groan afresh at the remembrance of it. I was not aware
before that there was such entire antagonism in the peculiar, short,
broken, and half-finished motions of the brute; causing one to feel
at the end of a day’s journey very much as it might be supposed he
would, if subjected in rapid succession for the same length of time,
to a constant simultaneous jerk of the shoulders, twist of the hips,
rap on the ankles, and thump in the back; while the head has been
kept incessantly bobbing up and down in involuntary motion, like
that of a Chinese image when once set going. I know nothing like it
in travel for weariness, at least to the unpractised rider.

Late in the afternoon, we came upon the other great highway from the
metropolis to the mines in the far interior, and following it, found
the last ten miles, through the valley and beside the rippling
waters of the Rio Piabanha, to be beautiful, not only in natural
scenery, but from cultivation and long settlement. I must confess,
however, that it required an after ride over it fully to persuade us
of this. At the time, we were too much done over for high admiration
of any thing; and were chiefly occupied in straining our vision for
some indications of being near our place of rest. At length, the
little guide, a short distance in advance of us, reining in his mule
at the top of an ascent in a gorge of the hills, exclaimed to us in
Portuguese—“Come see Petropolis!” We doubted whether it might not be
still miles distant; but pushing on, were well pleased to catch
sight of the town, pictured in beauty before us, not a quarter of a
mile off, at the bottom of the hill. We were glad to see our little
courier ride to the door of the first house at the entrance of the
place, as the hotel which Mr. Heath had recommended to us as the
best: had it been the worst, scarcely any inducement could have led
us a hundred yards further in search of any other. We were barely
able to dismount.

I never saw a place of which the common phrase “nestled among
hills,” is so descriptive as Petropolis—in fact, it is doubly
“nestled.” First, by a half-dozen beautiful hills which rise
abruptly around it to the height of two or three hundred feet, and
then again by mountains which tower to an elevation of as many
thousands. The central part of the town lies in a little triangular
basin, a half-mile in extent each way. From this, glens filled with
cottages and pleasant residences, diverge in various directions.
Each has a mountain-stream running through it, two of the principal
of which, flowing from opposite directions, meet in the centre of
the place. The surrounding country is the private property of the
Emperor, by the purchase of his father Pedro I. It was the design of
this sovereign to colonize it at the time with Germans, but his
abdication prevented the accomplishment of this. His son carried it
out, by offering, ten years ago, such inducements to immigrants in
gratuities of land, that the colony now numbers six thousand
inhabitants, chiefly Germans. The Emperor early built a cottage for
himself in the centre of the village, with the view of making an
occasional visit to the place. The appearance of the yellow fever in
Rio as an epidemic, has since led to the construction of a palace on
the same site, which is to be a regular summer residence of the
Imperial family; and Petropolis, from the sickliness of the city and
the example of the Emperor, has become the favorite resort, as a
watering-place, of the rich and fashionable.

Though it is not yet the “season,” there are many visitors here at
present, among whom we were happy to meet our friend Lieut. F—— of
the Congress, and a party of his English friends, residents of Rio.
The whole place has the air of an enterprising, thrifty, and
prosperous new settlement at home, attributable to the fact that
instead of enervated and indolent Portuguese and Brazilians, the
inhabitants are industrious, managing, and hard-working Germans. The
walks and drives in the vicinity, for miles in every direction, are
varied and beautiful. It is only a mile and a half from the “Alto do
Sierra,” the point at which the great highway from Rio to the mining
districts gains the height of the chain; the view from which is
thought by many to outrival that of “Boa Vista” in the Organ
Mountains: we have enjoyed it under great advantages of light and
shade, and think if there is a difference, it is that the latter has
more wildness and sublimity of foreground, and the former more
softness and beauty in the general panorama. The road by which the
passage of the mountain is here made, is, in its grading and
construction, an exceedingly fine work, equal to most of those found
in the similar passes of Europe. The first railroad projected in
Brazil is now in construction, from the bay of Rio to the foot of
the mountains. Its line, clearly traceable from the “Alto,” is a new
and most hopeful feature in a landscape of this Empire. Among the
most interesting of our fellow-guests at the hotel here, are the
Chief Engineer, an Englishman—Mr. Bragge—and his family, and his
assistant, Col. Golfredo, a Neapolitan exile.

The German population is about equally divided as to religious
creeds; about three thousand being Protestants and three thousand
Romanists. On the Sabbath Dr. C—— and I attended worship in the
Protestant chapel. Places for Protestant worship are prohibited the
external architecture of a church building; and but for the
assemblage of people at the door, we should not have been able to
distinguish the chapel from the row of houses under one roof, among
which it stands. The interior is simple and rude, and sufficient
only to accommodate three or four hundred worshippers. About that
number were present. They are just now without a pastor, and the
schoolmaster of the town officiated. The order of the services,
including the reading of a sermon, was that of the Lutheran Church.
The worshippers seemed serious and devout; and though the whole was
to us in an unknown tongue, we endeavored—not in vain we trust—to
make “melody in our hearts,” with their singing, and with their
prayers to pray “with the spirit and with the understanding.”


                              CHAPTER XXX.

                                                   BUENOS AYRES.

_January 18th, 1853._—I am again in Buenos Ayres, and find it for
the fourth time within the two years past, in an entirely new
aspect. The contrast between its present condition and that in which
I first saw it, is peculiarly striking. Then, all that met the eye
gave evidence of peace, quietude, public order, safety, and seeming
prosperity. There was the bustle of active business every where—at
the crowded landing in boats and lighters plying rapidly between the
shipping and the shore, and in the thronged thoroughfares in the
trucks of the warehouses, and the ponderous carts with their long
lines of oxen from the interior. Pleasure, too, was heard and seen
on every side, in the gay chat of the promenaders on the sidewalks,
the dashing by of equipages through the streets, and in the laugh
and gallop of riders, both male and female, coursing along the
shore. Now, in place of peace, there is war; in place of quietude
and order, anarchy and confusion; in place of safety, danger; and of
seeming prosperity, apprehended ruin! All business, foreign and
domestic, is suspended; the mole is like a place of the dead, the
shops and houses are all closed, the street deserted; every native
male inhabitant, between the years of sixteen and sixty, under arms
and on daily duty, and the city begirt, within a dozen squares of
its centre, by hostile troops composed of its own people. By these,
all intercourse between the city and the country is prevented, and
all supplies of provision cut off; while they daily direct the
murderous fire of their muskets and cannon down the streets occupied
by their neighbors, relatives, and friends. And what, it will be
asked, is the cause of this state of things, and what the origin of
the civil war? Even the best informed on the subject here, whose
feelings and judgment have not been perverted by partisanship, reply
by saying, “Who can tell?” One thing is clear, the cause is not a
spirit of patriotism excited by oppression, or the origin a sense of
right under the pressure of wrong; nor are either traceable to the
conflicting policy of contending parties in regard to the public
good: patriotism, right, and public good, are but empty words here.
The highest principle seems to be that of personal ambition, in a
few military aspirants, sustained by ignorant and mercenary
followers; and the ruling motive the attainment of power—power over
“the receipt of customs,” and power over the “Paper Bank,” with the
opportunity of robbing the public, under the name of office and the
form of law. This may be thought a harsh and summary judgment in the
case, but it is sustained by facts.

The history of public affairs at Buenos Ayres for the last six
months may be briefly told. After Urquiza had found it necessary to
dissolve the House of Representatives in the manner described during
my last visit, and to assume the supreme authority, he gave full
evidence of the enlightened and public-spirited policy of the
government he purposed to exercise. His first measure was the
establishment of the public schools which Rosas had suppressed; and
the introduction into them of the Bible as the text-book of morals
and religion. Another project was the building of a breakwater and
mole, for the protection of ships and the benefit of the commerce of
the port; and a third the construction of a railroad into the
interior. This policy, in acts and purposes, begat confidence in him
among capitalists and the friends of progress; and high hopes were
entertained of future prosperity to the city and state. In
September, however, he was called from Buenos Ayres to the Congress
appointed by the different States, to convene at the city of Santa
Fé on the Parana, for the formation of a general constitution and
the consolidation of the Republics into one government. He left a
small body only of his own troops at Buenos Ayres, and embarked on
his mission. But the smoke of the steamer which carried him to his
destination had scarcely faded on the horizon before a revolution
was effected by his enemies, and a new government organized. The
first measure adopted by it, was a resolution to invade Entre-Rios,
the State of Urquiza. For this a force was despatched both by water
and by land: that by water was summarily defeated and dispersed by
the Entre-Rians, and that marching by land, informed of the
disaster, halted on the frontiers. Money was of course necessary for
the subsistence of the troops on this expedition; and the new
minister of war obtained the issue of a large amount of paper money
by the bank for this purpose. He forwarded it to the disbursing
officer, however, with instructions to keep it in safety till he
could arrive himself to attend the distribution of it among the
soldiers. He left the capital professedly on this errand, proceeded
to the camp, obtained possession of the money, crossed the frontier,
exchanged the paper for gold, and emigrated beyond the jurisdiction
of the government of which he was a member! The soldiers,
disappointed in their pay, were conducted by their leaders to Buenos
Ayres, to obtain redress by a new issue from the bank; but before
they reached their destination a second revolution took place. The
government which had enlisted and promised to pay them had been
overturned; and that now in power refused their demands. In
consequence of this the troops invested the city; and hence the
civil war—the parties being the ‘insiders’ and the ‘outsiders.’
Those without are not in sufficient force to take the city by
assault; and those within have no power by which to drive the
besiegers from the suburbs. It is said that Urquiza has furnished
material aid to the outsiders, and on the adjournment of the
Congress of Santa Fé will join them in person with his Entre-Rian

One can scarcely give credit to the atrocities committed in the
guerillas, which almost daily take place—atrocities which would
disgrace a horde of savages. What think you of the execution of
prisoners by stretching them on the ground, making their wrists and
ankles fast with thongs of raw hide to four horses faced in four
different directions, and then, by starting these on the gallop, at
a single spring, to tear them into quarters! Yet this has been done
within a few days in public, and in the presence of an officer, from
whom, an eye-witness, Mr. Lore received the account. A few mornings,
since the coachman of Mrs. Z——, coming into the town from a quinta
or country-house near the lines, which the family had been obliged
suddenly to abandon, perceiving two horsemen of the outside party
riding furiously down the street towards him, stepped on one side to
let them pass; and in doing so he observed something attached to a
rope dragging behind them. A second look as they flew by, showed it
to be the body of a man, in the uniform of the national guard, who
had been either just lassoed or shot by them. At a short distance
these fellows met three or four of their comrades; and drawing up to
speak to one another, the whole party amused themselves by beating
the head of the dead victim with the butts of their carbines!

For an hour or two, almost every morning and every evening,
sharp-shooting is heard in various directions around the city. A
party of twenty or thirty outsiders, will, at such times, dash up to
the barricades at the ends of the streets, or a party of the same
number of insiders will rush out beyond them—without any object in
either case, but that of having a shot at each other—and blaze away
till tired of the sport; fortunately, for the most part, without
much bloodshed or a loss of life. Occasionally, one or two on either
side fall, or an innocent spectator or passer-by receives a fatal
shot. The people along the lines have now become so used to this, as
not to regard these skirmishes. Last evening Commodore McKeever, Dr.
C—— and I, went to the quinta of Mr. K—— to take tea. This is in the
midst of the battle-ground between the lines. As we arrived, a sharp
skirmish had just ended, during which musket-balls had struck the
house, and one, the drawing-room window, near which Mr. and Mrs. K——
were sitting. A few evenings ago we were at the parade-ground, at
the north end of the city, witnessing the evening drill. A skirmish
was at the time taking place about half a mile distant, along the
flat towards Palermo; and it was notable to see the perfect coolness
with which one and another—some singly and others two and three in
company—would catch up their muskets and walk or lope towards the
scene of the guerilla, laughing and chatting as they arranged their
arms for firing, as if it were a shooting-match for goose or turkey
they were about to try a hand at, in place of the life of a
fellow-being. The whole contest is boyish in its mode of operation,
as well as murderous in its motive and end. I am told by those who
have witnessed it at the lines, that the manner in which the parties
challenge each other to these skirmishes—their taunts and ribaldry,
shoutings and insults, are both amusing and ridiculous. Every two or
three days a sortie is made by a body of three or four hundred from
the inside, on a forage for grass. These generally lead to the loss
of lives on both sides. A few mornings ago, on such an occasion, an
officer from the inside performed quite a feat of valor and presence
of mind. He suddenly found himself cut off from the party he was
commanding by a mounted band, who had awaited him in ambush. The
first intimation he had of danger was in finding a lasso around his
neck. He freed himself expertly from this with his knife, just in
time to receive one of the attacking party, coming at full charge
upon him with a lance: this he not only parried, but wresting it
from the grasp of its owner, unhorsed and pierced him through with
it. By this time another lancer was upon him, but only to be run
through with the same weapon. He then drew a revolver, with which he
brought a third to the ground; and by wounding a fourth in another
shot, effected a return to his own party.

_March 12th._—The chief interest in public affairs still centres in
the civil war. The presence of Commodore McKeever continues to be
important and essential for the interest and safety of American
residents and their property. His flag is borne by the “Jamestown,”
on board which a detachment of marines from the Congress, under
Lieut. Holmes, is quartered, in addition to the guard belonging to
that vessel. The quarters of the Commodore and his suite are on

No important change in the attitude of the conflicting parties has
occurred; though the arrival of a deputation appointed by the
general Congress of the Provinces at Santa Fé, with proposals of
mediation on the part of Urquiza, has given rise to some hope of an
amicable adjustment of the difficulties. A corresponding deputation
has been appointed by the government of the city; an armistice
proclaimed; and a conference on neutral ground is now being held.

_April 30th._—All overtures for reconciliation between the
belligerent parties have failed, and guerillas are again taking
place, with the usual loss of blood and life to both parties. A
rigid blockade has been added to the investment of the city by land;
and the consequence is a limited supply of provisions among the
rich, and suffering and starvation among the poor. The skirmishes of
the last two or three mornings have been very heavy; but such
creatures of habit are we, that with cannon roaring all around us,
and constant volleys of musketry at the distance of a mile or two
only, bringing death with each discharge to some fellow-mortal, we
now hear the sounds for hours without scarcely a thought of the
fatal results. This morning as we sat down to breakfast at Mr.
H——’s, two or three gentlemen descended from the flat roof of the
house, where they had been watching with a glass the progress of a
guerilla. They reported that they had just seen many on both sides
fall from their horses, as the parties fired upon each other; but no
one present seemed to feel that it was a matter of more moment than
the issue of any common sporting-match. The besiegers have no
mortars or bombs; but frequently send cannon balls far into the
city. Two mornings ago, one of these took off the head of a poor
woman a short distance only from the neighborhood in which we were,
just as she had risen from her bed and was combing her hair. It is
thus that they scatter firebrands, arrows, and death, and say, are
we not in sport? My views of the reign of Rosas are much modified by
passing events, and the knowledge they give of the people. In the
various revolutions and counter-revolutions of years which preceded
his accession to power, thirty thousand of them perished from
bloodshed and violence at the hands of each other; and more lives
have been sacrificed here, in the same manner, within the last three
months, than during the whole of his despotic rule. His policy was
to put summarily to death, those whom he regarded as factionists and
dangerous citizens, and thus, by inspiring terror, to secure peace,
order, and safety to the mass. How far was he in error?

Commodore McKeever, after the detention here of four months by the
exigency of public affairs, during which he has rendered most
important public service, is obliged by duty elsewhere, to leave the
further protection of our countrymen and their interests to the
commander of the “Jamestown;” and will bid adieu to-morrow to Buenos
Ayres for the last time. We must therefore let the curtain drop on
the tragedy in performance here; and be content to learn its
uncertain issues in our own distant and blessed land. The last
mail-packet brought to us the welcome intelligence that the Congress
would return to the United States without waiting the arrival of ‘a
relief;’ and on taking our anchors at Montevideo in a few days we



This volume has already been enlarged beyond the intended number of
pages. In closing it, I would very briefly state that the experiment
in naval discipline, with which the cruise of the Congress was
commenced, previously to the abolition of the lash by law, was
carried out with marked and satisfactory success. This is mainly to
be attributed to the unwearied efforts, and the indefatigable
devotion to duty, of the officers most interested—equally from
motives of philanthropy towards the sailor, and a jealous regard for
the honor of the navy—in the result. This is especially true, in
regard to Mr. Turner the first lieutenant. During the last eighteen
months of the cruise, good order, activity in duty, quickness and
skill in the military exercises and naval evolutions of a
man-of-war, and a general spirit of contentment were characteristic
of the crew, in an extraordinary degree. The frigate entered the
port of New York under the happiest auspices; and the conduct of the
men at the time the manner in which they left her, and their
deportment afterwards, were such as to challenge the admiration of
those most familiar with such scenes. Intelligence which from time
to time has since reached me, in regard to individuals of their
number, has been most gratifying; while there has not been wanting
proof, in the cases of some, of the highest results of the preaching
of the Gospel, in a life of professed and consistent piety.

In regard to the countries to which so much of the preceding record
refers, little of material importance has occurred since it was
closed. Thirteen of the States of the Plata, bordering on the rivers
Parana and Paraguay and their tributaries, have become consolidated
under a constitutional government, to the Presidency of which
General Urquiza is elevated. Buenos Ayres has pertinaciously refused
to enter into this union; and left to pursue her own course, has
fallen into a state of anarchy, to which there appears at present to
be little prospect of a speedy termination. The same is the case
with the Republic of Uruguay.

The condition and prospects of the Empire of Brazil are in wide
contrast with these republics of the South. Political quietude and
order pervade her widespread dominions, and a striking proof is
presented by the stability of her government and her consequent
prosperity, of the advantage she possesses in a well-balanced
constitutional monarchy. Till the half-civilized people of South
America become more enlightened, intellectually and morally, and
better instructed in the true principles and right exercise of
republicanism, a fixed and hereditary Executive in government is the
only safeguard against the evils to which the struggles, among
ambitious and unscrupulous military aspirants, constantly give rise.

The few years past have witnessed extraordinary progress in the
material wealth, prosperity, and power of this Empire; a progress
attributable to the stability of her government; to the
necessities of commerce; and to the advancing and controlling
civilization of the times. The greatly increased demand for her
principal staple, coffee, as well as for many of her other
important products—India-rubber, sugar, cotton, tobacco,
dye-woods, and minerals—has led to a wise, liberal, and widespread
system of internal improvements and inland and ocean steam
navigation, for the development of the varied and vast physical
resources of the empire. Don Pedro II. has imbibed and obeyed the
spirit of the times as fully, during the few years of his actual
reign, and advanced the material and social prosperity of his
country as safely and rapidly, as any ruler living.

The importance to the United States of the trade of Brazil will
hardly be credited by those not particularly informed on the
subject. We derive from that empire a large number of articles of
commerce indispensable to us; and send to it many of the most staple
and valuable products of our agriculture and manufactures. We
receive from Brazil our largest supply of coffee, India-rubber,
hides, cocoa for chocolate, sarsaparilla, and other articles; and in
exchange supply her with nearly all her bread-stuffs—with beef,
pork, lard, and butter; with corn, cotton fabrics, the implements of
agriculture and the arts, with machinery, and the manufactures of
iron and wood. This trade amounts to nearly nineteen millions of
dollars annually; the balance against the United States being six
millions paid in cash. It is believed by those best informed on the
subject, that the establishment of a regular line of mail steamers
to Brazil, with a suitable subsidy from the government for postal
service, would be the means of doubling the amount of trade in the
course of five years; and by the increased demand for our
productions arising from the facility of communication and
correspondence, would equalize the exchange, if not turn the balance
in our favor. It is a reproach to us, that for the want of direct
communication by steam, our correspondence, both commercial and
diplomatic, with Eastern South America, is carried by English mail
steamers, by the way of England, a distance of near eight thousand
miles. From the same cause the disbursements of our government to
its public agents there, are made only at a heavy percentage. To
place the salary of nine thousand dollars in the hands of a chargé
d’affaires at Rio, costs the government at home usually one thousand
dollars, and the naval disbursements on that station are made at a
corresponding loss.

Aware of the vast public and commercial interests to us as a nation
of this matter, it is with great satisfaction I have learned that an
association of capitalists of the city of New York, bearing the name
of the “North and South American Steamship Company,” has brought the
subject before Congress in a memorial for aid, in consideration of
mail service, in the establishment of a line of steamers between New
York and Para. It is proposed to intersect the several European
lines running to Brazil at the Island of St. Thomas, and to form a
junction at Para, with the Brazilian mail and passage steamers which
now regularly coast the empire a distance of four thousand miles,
from the mouth of the Amazon to the Rio La Plata. Dr. Rainey, one of
the gentlemen engaged in this enterprise, has by personal research
informed himself fully of the practicability, under the suitable
patronage of the government, of making this initiatory line of steam
communication with Brazil and with the Plata, through the
intervention of the Imperial lines, of incalculable value to the
commerce and general interest of the United States. The committee to
whom the memorial was referred, have reported unanimously in favor
of granting the subsidy solicited; and there is reason to hope, that
by the early action of Congress on the report, an abiding channel of
friendship, commerce, and reciprocal good, will be opened directly
between the United States and BRAZIL AND LA PLATA.

                              THE END.


                        Transcriber’s note:

Variations in hyphenation have been retained.

Formatting of the table of contents has been regularised.

All instances of ‘Dona’ changed to ‘Doña.’

All instances of ‘Guacho’ changed to ‘Gaucho.’

All instances of ‘unitarian’ changed to ‘Unitarian.’

All instances of ‘cortege’ changed to ‘cortège.’

All instances of ‘fuschia’ changed to ‘fuchsia.’

Second frontispiece, ‘CATETTE’ changed to ‘CATETE,’ “O.
CATETE      New York G. P. Putnam & C^o.”

Page v, ‘acomplished’ changed to ‘accomplished,’ “easily
accomplished. In attempting”

Page ix, ‘Miseracordia’ changed to ‘Misericordia,’ “Hospital of the

Page x, ‘locomotion’ changed to ‘Locomotion,’ “Disinclination to

Page xi, ‘Senor’ changed to ‘Señor,’ “Señor de L——”

Page 10, ‘physcically’ changed to ‘physically,’ “The crew,
physically, are”

Page 15, double quotes changed to single quotes around ‘All hands,

Page 18, ‘trivialty’ changed to ‘triviality,’ “of the triviality of
the alleged”

Page 38, ‘cabalero’ changed to ‘caballero,’ “Here a caballero

Page 48, full stop inserted after ‘Lieut,’ “beautiful, that Lieut.
R——, the officer”

Page 52, ‘Farenheit’ changed to ‘Fahrenheit,’ “with the mercury by

Page 66, em-dash inserted before ‘The,’ “September 10th.—The first”

Page 66, full stop inserted after ‘Lieut,’ “Captain McIntosh and
Lieut. T——”

Page 67, ‘Portugese’ changed to ‘Portuguese,’ “the old-fashioned
Portuguese Calesa”

Page 84, ‘Vilegagnon’ changed to ‘Villegagnon,’ “grant to
Villegagnon two vessels”

Page 102, ‘moluscæ’ changed to ‘molluscæ,’ “are molluscæ with long

Page 109, double quote inserted after ‘majesties,’ “presentation to
their majesties.””

Page 117, ‘tho’ changed to ‘the,’ “party left the ship for”

Page 121, ‘it’ changed to ‘if,’ “appears, as if there really”

Page 122, ‘Catètè’ changed to ‘Catete,’ “Hill, Flamengo, Catètè,

Page 134, ‘hibiscus’ changed to ‘hybiscus,’ “the double scarlet

Page 144, full stop changed to comma after ‘lake,’ “glassy as a
lake, one vast”

Page 150, ‘entree’ changed to ‘entrée,’ “to the entrée; and at

Page 151, ‘quarelling’ changed to ‘quarrelling,’ “no intoxication,
no quarrelling, no”

Page 153, ‘epaulets’ changed to ‘epaulettes,’ “officer in epaulettes
and chapeau”

Page 155, ‘recolhiemento’ changed to ‘recolhimento,’ “recolhimento,
or female orphan asylum”

Page 170, ‘cabilda’ changed to ‘cabildo,’ “cabildo, or town hall

Page 176, ‘Alemeda’ changed to ‘Alameda,’ “from the Alameda, or

Page 177, ‘Alemeda’ changed to ‘Alameda,’ “through the Alameda

Page 181, ‘chirepas’ changed to ‘chiripas,’ “and petticoat-like
chiripas were”

Page 208, double quote inserted after ‘world,’ “for ever in this

Page 218, ‘azalia’ changed to ‘azalea,’ “branch of an azalea”

Page 222, ‘Cateté’ changed to ‘Catete,’ “open street of the Catete”

Page 233, ‘abreviated’ changed to ‘abbreviated,’ “and much
abbreviated, we”

Page 251, ‘marquee’ changed to ‘marqueé,’ “we perceived the marqueé
of the”

Page 255, full stop inserted after ‘Lieut,’ “encampment. Lieut. T——
and I”

Page 268, full stop inserted after ‘trial,’ “a severe trial. Every

Page 269, double quote inserted before ‘All,’ “or “All hands wash

Page 269, ‘ancle’ changed to ‘ankle,’ “wade ankle-deep, in search”

Page 273, ‘ommnibus’ changed to ‘omnibus,’ “if the omnibus suddenly

Page 282, ‘constrution’ changed to ‘construction,’ “but to material
and construction”

Page 300, ‘commited’ changed to ‘committed,’ “has been committed.
This examination”

Page 300, full stop inserted after ‘us,’ “as with us. One custom”

Page 307, colon inserted after ‘prisoner,’ “made prisoner: a
foreboding shadow”

Page 314, ‘musquitos’ changed to ‘mosquitoes,’ “oppressive heat,
fleas, and mosquitoes”

Page 330, full stop inserted after ‘principle,’ “moral principle.
Rosas did not”

Page 336, ‘peacable’ changed to ‘peaceable,’ “a quiet and peaceable

Page 337, ‘carred’ changed to ‘carried,’ “stray line carried away”

Page 342, comma changed to full stop after ‘José,’ “of San José. He
is a kind”

Page 349, ‘Josè’ changed to ‘José,’ “from the bay at San José”

Page 355, ‘cabellero’ changed to ‘caballero,’ “sat her horse à la

Page 363, ‘caléche’ changed to ‘caleche,’ “The carriage was a

Page 377, ‘civilty’ changed to ‘civility,’ “the civility of the

Page 388, ‘Ayrians’ changed to ‘Ayreans,’ “the Portenos or Buenos

Page 397, full stop inserted after ‘inst,’ “to this port on the 13th

Page 399, ‘epedemic’ changed to ‘epidemic,’ “raged for months as an

Page 414, ‘wellbroken’ changed to ‘well-broken,’ “is full-blooded
and well-broken”

Page 419, ‘diferent’ changed to ‘different,’ “appointed by the

Page 423, ‘reslts’ changed to ‘results,’ “the fatal results. This

Page 426, ‘Uraguay’ changed to ‘Uruguay,’ “the Republic of Uruguay”

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