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Title: Brazil, the River Plate, and the Falkland Islands - With the Cape Horn route to Australia. Including notices - of Lisbon, Madeira, the Canaries, and Cape Verde.
Author: Hadfield, William
Language: English
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[Illustration: DON PEDRO II. EMPERADOR DEL BRASIL.]



                                 BRAZIL,
                            THE RIVER PLATE,
                                 AND THE
                            FALKLAND ISLANDS;
                 WITH THE CAPE HORN ROUTE TO AUSTRALIA.

                          INCLUDING NOTICES OF
             LISBON, MADEIRA, THE CANARIES, AND CAPE VERDS.

                                   BY
                            WILLIAM HADFIELD,

        MANY YEARS RESIDENT IN BRAZIL, AND SECRETARY TO THE SOUTH
             AMERICAN AND GENERAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY.

     ILLUSTRATED, BY PERMISSION, FROM THE SOUTH AMERICAN SKETCHES OF
                      SIR W. GORE OUSELEY, K.C.B.,

     LATE HER MAJESTY’S MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE STATES OF LA
      PLATA, AND FORMERLY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AT THE COURT OF BRAZIL.

                AND, BY PERMISSION, FROM THE DRAWINGS OF
                       SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, K.C.B.,

                            DURING HIS RECENT
                          MISSION TO PARAGUAY,
      OF WHICH COUNTRY MUCH NEW INFORMATION IS SUPPLIED; AS ALSO OF
                        THE REGION OF THE AMAZON.

                   PORTRAITS, MAPS, CHARTS, AND PLANS.

                                 LONDON:
                  LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS.
                                  1854.

                                 LONDON:
                         JOHN CASSELL, PRINTER,
                              LUDGATE-HILL.



CONTENTS.


Transcriber’s Note: In the original printing, some of the illustrations
were not listed in the table of contents. They have been added here.

                                                                      PAGE

                          EXPLANATORY PREFACE.

  _Steam requirements of Anglo South American commerce anterior
  to 1850. How supplied then. Inadequacy of means to the general
  end, and to Lancastrian ends in particular. Subsequent supply.
  Liverpool still left out. Chartered liberty to help itself,
  and the consequence thereof. Paddle pioneer of the ocean
  fleet to the Plate. Dates and distances in a new line. What
  may be done by putting on the screw for three months. Fifteen
  thousand miles of steaming, with the Author’s notes thereon,
  and suggestions for the same being continued by other people.
  Epilogue apologetic._                                                  1

                              INTRODUCTION.

  _Cursory retrospect of South American discoveries. Their
  difficulties then, how to be estimated at present. Their
  interest to this age as compared with that of ancient
  conquests. Cruelties of the early invaders. Retributive
  visitations. Columbus and his cotemporaries. Cortez and the
  conquest of Mexico. Subsequent position of the country.
  Santa Anna, his antecedents and prospects. Pizarro in Peru,
  and his Lieutenant, Almagro, in Chili. Condition of those
  republics since and now: their past gold and present guano.
  Modern commanders in those countries. Predominance of the
  Irish element in the fray. The O’Learys and O’Higginses in
  the Andes. San Martin and his aid-de-camp, O’Brien, and his
  auxiliary, M’Cabe. The Portuguese discoverers. Magellan and
  his Straits, and Peacock’s steaming to the Pacific three
  hundred years afterwards. Cabral and Brazil. De Gama and
  the Cape, and Camoens’ celebration of the achievement.
  Enrichment of the Iberian Peninsula from these causes.
  Subsequent impoverishment of mother countries and colonies.
  Exceptional position of Brazil in this respect, and reason
  thereof. Different results in North America, and why.
  Imperfect knowledge in Europe of South America. Works thereon.
  Characteristics of the several authorities: Prescott, Southey,
  Koster, Gardner, Humboldt, Dr. Dundas, Woodbine Parish,
  M’Cann, Edwards, Maury, and others. Want of information still
  on Paraguay and the region of the Amazon. Object of this
  volume to supply that void. Aim of the Author not political,
  but commercial._                                                       8

                      CHAP. I.—LIVERPOOL TO LISBON.

  Illustrations—The Argentina on her maiden voyage. Belem
  Castle, mouth of the Tagus. Praça do Commercio, Lisbon.
  Cintra, near Lisbon. Palace of Adjuda.

  _The Argentina on her maiden voyage. Capacity and capability
  of the river boat at sea. From the Mersey to the Tagus in four
  days. Lord Carnarvon on Mafra and its marble halls. Aspect
  and Attributes of the Lusitanian Capital and its Vicinage.
  Portuguese Millers and the grinding process among the grain
  growers. Native memorabilia of the earthquake, and Anglo
  reminiscence thereof. The hic jacet of Tom Jones, and eke
  of Roderick Random. Portuguese peculiarities. Personal and
  political economy. Fiscal fatuities. Market-place notabilia.
  Lisbon society. Clubs and Cookery. Tea and turn-out. Friars,
  females, and fashions. Lusitanian fidalgos, or Portuguese
  peers in parliament. Portugal the Paradise of protectionists
  and poverty. Free Trade the only corrective of such
  calamities. Court circulars, Conventions, and Commanders. Few
  books about Portugal, and necessity for more. Hints from the
  newest, including the Oliveira prize essay. Diplomatic and
  consular memoranda._                                                  35

                      CHAP. II.—LISBON TO MADEIRA.

  Illustration—The Laurel Tree.

  _Two more days’ pleasant paddling on the ocean. Approach to
  Madeira. Charming aspect of the island. Unique boats and
  benevolent boatmen. Pastoral progression in bucolic barouches
  extraordinary. Personal appearance of the inhabitants.
  Atmospheric attractions of Madeira, and absence of all natural
  annoyances. The vine-blight and its consequences, present
  and prospective, on the people at home and the consumption
  of their wine abroad. Funchal, and its urban and suburban et
  ceteras. Romance and reality of the history of the island.
  ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Importance of English residents to the
  place. Cost of living, and what you get for your money. Royal
  and illustrious visitors. Mercantile matters, and consular
  cordiality. Grave reflections in the British burial-ground._          65

                    CHAP. III.—MADEIRA TO CAPE VERDS.

  Illustration—Interior of Hotel, Teneriffe.

  _Oceanic sailing again. Halcyon weather, and modern steaming
  to the _Fortunatæ Insulæ_ of the ancients. A stare on the
  saffron-coloured singing birds. Touching Teneriffe, and
  Miltonic parallel to the Arch-Enemy. Approach to Porto
  Grande, and what we found there, especially its extensive
  accommodation for steamers. Deficiency of water the one
  drawback. Something concerning Ethiopic Serenaders under
  the line. Promethean promontory extraordinary. A memento of
  mortality midway in the world. Portuguese rewards honourably
  earned by an Englishman. Utility of Consuls in such places.
  First acquaintance with an earthquake. Verd grapes soured by a
  paternal government. Interchange of news between the Outward
  and the Homeward bound. A good propelling turn towards a
  brother of the screw._                                                74

                CHAP. IV.—CAPE ST. VINCENT TO PERNAMBUCO.

  _Progress from Porto Grande to Pernambuco. Steam triumphs
  against trade wind. Further superiority of screw over
  sail. The Argentina in a south-wester. Apropos of malaria,
  and something sanitary about Brazil. The yellow fever:
  whence comes it, and what has become of it. Quarrels about
  quarantine. Brazil in advance of the old country in these
  matters_                                                              82

                       CHAP. V.—EMPIRE OF BRAZIL.

  Illustration—Entrance to Pernambuco Harbour.

  _Rather prefatory and not very particular, though somewhat
  personal. Books on Brazil should be in the _Mediam Viam_ for
  the present route, avoiding the Scylla of extreme succinctness
  and the Charybdis of needless diffuseness. Object of the
  author to attain the golden medium. With what success, gentle
  reader, say? Discovery of the country by the Portuguese.
  Their subsequent disputes with, and final expulsion of, the
  Dutch. Extent and population; variety of soil and produce.
  Difficulty of communication between the provinces and the
  capital, in consequence of the extreme distance and imperfect
  means of travelling. Extraordinary instance of the round-about
  nature of news circulating in Brazil some time ago. Steam
  corrective of such sluggishness. A glance at the Brazilian
  littoral, beginning with the Amazon, and ending with Rio
  Grande do Sul. Pará and its productions. Rio Negro, and its
  recent political elevation. Maranham and its mercantile
  importance. Laird’s steam leveller, on the singular stream of
  the Itapecuru. Justice for England by Maranham magistrates.
  Piauhy and its products; also Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, and
  Paraiba. Pernambuco revisited by the writer, and welcomed with
  a rythmetical sentimental something concerning ‘Long, long ago!’_     88

                          CHAP. VI.—PERNAMBUCO.

  Illustrations—Pernambuco. Chora Meninas. De Mornay’s Patent
  Cane Mill.

  _‘That strain again!’ ‘It hath a dying fall.’ ‘Auld Lang
  Syne, or ’tis thirty years ago.’ Aspect of Pernambuco from
  the sea. Tripartite division of the city, Recife, St.
  Antonio, and Boa Vista. Note on the old town of Olinda and
  its new namesake, the steamer No. 2 of this A 1 line. March
  of improvement by land and sea, in respect to ships and
  city. Such Brazilian progress a lesson for West Indians.
  Frugality and personal activity on the one hand, prodigality
  and vicarial mismanagement on the other, being the real
  difference between the position of the planters in either
  place. Sugar-manufacturing improvements. De Mornay’s patent
  cane-crushing mill, and its merits. Exports of Pernambuco
  to United States. Peculiarities of the soil, population,
  and produce. Hygienic hints to the consumptive and the
  yellow-feverish. Initiation of the railway era, by the De
  Mornays, in Pernambuco, and the immense importance of the
  proposed line. Mr. Borthwick’s report on the project, and the
  writer’s anticipation of its success._                               100

                    CHAP. VII.—ALAGOAS AND SEREGIPE.

  _Area, products, and population of Alagoas. Maceio, the
  principal seaport. Rivers navigable only by boats, except
  the San Francisco. Primitive condition of the province
  of Seregipe, and prospects of rapid improvement through
  railways._                                                           117

                           CHAP. VIII.—BAHIA.

  Illustrations—Entrance to the port of Bahia. Chapel of San
  Gonçalo, Bahia.

  _Bahia, its old name retained in a new place: the province
  and the city; present condition and splendid prospects of
  both. Intra-mural peculiarities and extra-mural properties.
  Prolific sugar produce. Historic, artistic, and archæological
  attractions of Bahia. Souvenirs of the Jesuits. Relics of St.
  Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. A Bahian church built
  in Europe. British Bahian clergyman and local railways. Health
  of the city. A Brazilian poet warbling native wood-notes very
  wild. Necessity for keeping a nautical eye in fine frenzy
  rolling towards the Abrolhos. Departure from Bahia, and
  approach to the Brazilian capital. Notes._                           120

                          CHAP IX.—RIO JANEIRO.

  Illustrations—Entrance to the Harbour. Organ Mountains and
  Sugar-loaf Rock. Aqueduct and Convent of St. Teresa. Convent
  of Nossa Senora da Penha. Falls of Itamarity.

  _Night, upon the waters, and daybreak on the land. Beauty
  of the approaches. Apprehended retrogression, but real
  progression, in the city. The stag mania in the tropics,
  and some of its consequences. Notes on carriages, operas,
  snuff-taking, polking washerwomen, blacks, whites, odds
  and ends, and things in general, original and imported.
  Social, sanitary, and governmental matters of divers kinds.
  Composition of the Brazilian Chambers, and business therein.
  State of parties. Abolition of the slave trade. Sittings of
  the senate. No necessity for Mr. Brotherton in the Brazils.
  Character of the present Emperor. Wreck of the Pernambucano.
  Heroism of a black sailor. Rigorous regulations of the Rio
  custom-house. Suggestions for the extension of Brazilian
  commerce, and the prevention of smuggling. Revisal of the
  Brazilian tariff. Educational progress since 1808. French
  literature and fashion. Provisions in the Rio market. Monkeys
  and lizards articles of food. Oranges, bananas, chirimoyas,
  and granadillas. Difficulties of the labour question since
  the suppression of the slave-trade. Character of the Indians.
  State of feeling as regards the coloured people. Negro
  emancipation ‘looming in the future.’ An experimental trip on
  the Rio and Petropolis railway._                                     136

                       MEMOIR OF ADMIRAL GRENFELL.

  Illustration—Portrait of Admiral Grenfell.                           185

                          CHAP. X.—THE AMAZON.

  _Sources of the Marañon. Rapids and cataracts. Embouchures
  of the Amazon. Its volume, compared with the Ganges and the
  Brahmapootra. Its discovery by Pinzon. Expedition of Orellana.
  Gold-seeking expedition of Pedro de Orsua. Settlement of Pará,
  and discovery of the Rio Negro. The missions of the Jesuits,
  and their expulsion. Discovery of the communication between
  the Amazon and the Orinoco. Revolution of 1835. Pará: its
  streets and public buildings. Explorations of M. Castelnau
  and Lieutenant Herndon. Tributaries and settlements of the
  Tocantins. Lieutenant Gibbon’s exploration of the Madera.
  His interview with General Belzu. What is wanted to turn the
  stream of tropical South American commerce eastward. Herndon’s
  descent of the Huallaga. Tarapoto, and its future prospects.
  Chasuta: its trade with Lima and Pará. Yurimaguas, and the
  Cachiyacu. Steamboat communication between Nauta and Pará.
  Progress of a piece of cotton from Liverpool to Sarayacu.
  Estimated cost and profit of steam vessels on the Amazon.
  Trade of Egas. The new province of Amazonas. Exports of Barra.
  The Rio Negro and its tributaries. Communication by the
  Cassiquiari between the Amazon and the Orinoco. Productions of
  Amazonas. Santarem. The Tapajos, and its tributaries. Rapids
  of the Parú and the Xingù. Climate and products of Pará.
  Benefits to be expected from the opening of the Amazon and
  European immigration._                                               193

              DR. DUNDAS ON BRAZIL: ITS CLIMATE AND PEOPLE.

  _Salubrity of the Climate. Causes of, proofs of, objections
  to. Northern, southern, and central provinces. Equability
  of temperature. Heat, humidity, rain, winds, electricity,
  hail, ice. Tropical heat and light. Influence on Europeans.
  Acclimatization. Increase of certain diseases. Yellow fever;
  its probable disappearance. Physical, social, moral, and
  religious condition of the people. Prophylactic measures._           214

                         CHAP. XI. MONTE VIDEO.

  Illustrations—Portrait of Sir W. G. Ouseley, K.C.B. View of
  Monte Video. The Lasso. The Stray Cow. Milk at a rial a glass.

  _First impressions of the Uruguayan capital unfavourable. The
  New Custom House. An instance of enterprise without prudence.
  Commercial advantages of Monte Video. Prosperity obtained at
  the expense of Buenos Ayres. Revisal of the Buenos Ayrean
  tariff. Alluvial deposits of the Rio Plata. Gas from mares’
  grease. Traces of a siege. Unprofitable ploughing by Oribe’s
  projectiles. Condition of the Streets. The horses of La Plata,
  and the Lasso. Commerce of London with Monte Video and Buenos
  Ayres. Mules for the Australian gold diggings. Diminution of
  the Customs. Bitter fruits of British and French intervention.
  Sir William Gore Ouseley and the British Loan. The
  market-place. Italian boatmen. Encouragement to foreigners.
  Aspect of the environs. The latest revolution. Sketch of the
  history of Monte Video._                                             229

                        CHAP. XII.—BUENOS AYRES.

  Illustrations—Going to mass. View from the terrace of the
  quinta. Quinta, or country house. View of Buenos Ayres.
  Sweetmeat-seller. Palermo. Negro laundresses at Buenos Ayres.
  La Plaza Victoria. Apothecary’s shop. View on the river.
  Going to the ball. May-day in Buenos Ayres.

  _Departure from Monte Video. Streets and buildings of the
  Argentine capital. The climate and the people. Prohibition of
  the slave trade. Characters of the dictator and his successor,
  Urquiza. Argentine Confederation. Foreign intervention and
  capture of Rosas’ feet. Capitulation of General Oribe, and
  fall of Rosas. Fluvial obstructions to trade and navigation.
  English residents. Railway projects. South American debate.
  Foreign shopkeepers and Irish servants. General Paz._                260

              MEMORANDA ON ROSAS, URQUIZA, AND THE PAMPAS.

  Illustration—Portraits of Generals Rosas and Urquiza.                290

                       CHAP. XIII.—UP THE PARANA.

  Illustrations—San Nicolas. Corrientes. Rosario. Travelling
  Waggons.

  _Preparations for an experimental trip up the Parana. Captain
  Sullivan’s descent of the river at a terrific pace. Island
  of Martin Garcia. Note on the confluents of the Rio Plata.
  A Scotch experimental philosopher in Corrientes. Alluvial
  deposits at the delta of the Parana. Signs of progress in the
  interior. An American pioneer of civilization. The steamer
  aground, and fired upon. Moonlight on the river and the woods.
  Geographical note on the Parana and the Plata. Obligado and
  San Nicolas. Mr. Mackinnon’s description of the scenery.
  Arrival at Rosario. Multifarious applications of hides and
  horns. Descent of the river, and arrival at Martin Garcia.
  Corrientes and the guachos. Difficulties of the navigation,
  and a word about the Uruguay._                                       305

                          CHAP. XIV.—PARAGUAY.

  Illustrations—Portrait of Sir Charles Hotham, K.C.B. View near
  Assumption. View of Assumption. Portrait of General Lopez.
  Church of the Recoleta.

  _Sources of information. General Pacheco. Inaccuracies of Sir
  Woodbine Parish. Navigability of the Parana by large vessels.
  Decrees of the government of Paraguay on the treatment of
  foreigners. Decrees relative to inventions and improvements.
  Mr. Drabble’s commercial mission, and its results. Cultivation
  of cotton. Drawbacks to its extension. Scarcity of labour.
  Provisions of the treaty between Great Britain and Paraguay.
  The commercial resources of that country little known in this.
  Navigability of the Paraguay and the Uruguay. Obligation
  of the Brazilian and Buenos Ayrean governments to remove
  impediments. Population of Paraguay. Public works undertaken
  by the Consular Government. Salubrity of the climate.
  Fertility of the soil. Pasturage illimitable. Character of
  the Paraguayans. President Lopez. Diplomatic mission of Sir
  Charles Hotham. General Lopez. State of the country at the
  death of Francia. First measures of the Consular Government.
  Revenue of Paraguay. Administration of justice. Revision of
  the tariff. Release of political prisoners at the termination
  of Francia’s Reign of Terror. Anticipations of intercourse
  with Europe._                                                        328

                  MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, K.C.B.

                        CHAP. XV.—HOMEWARD BOUND.

  Illustration—The Brazileira on her homeward voyage.

  _Departure from Buenos Ayres. Arrival at Monte Video. Guano
  deposits of Patagonia. Bahia Blanca. Eligibility of the
  district for an overland route to Chili. Chilian grant for
  direct steam communication with England. Accessions to steam
  navigation on the Brazilian coast. Opening of the Amazon.
  Departure from Monte Video. Rough wind and heavy sea. Aspect
  of Raza under various lights and shades. Hotel accommodation
  of Rio Janeiro. A wet day at Bahia. Consular memoranda on
  Venezuela, Bolivia, and Equador. Arrival at Pernambuco.
  Meeting with the Olinda. Arrival at Porto Grande. Seven days’
  steaming against the wind. Madeira in the distance. Arrival
  at Belem. Miseries and absurdities of the quarantine system.
  Towing the pilot astern. Passage up St. George’s Channel.
  Arrival in the Mersey. Loss of the Olinda and the Argentina.
  New ocean and river steamers._                                       359

                          THE FALKLAND ISLANDS.

  _Advantages presented as a convict settlement, as place of
  re-fit for merchantmen, and a naval depôt. The Corporation of
  the Falkland Islands’ Company. Healthiness of the climate.
  The abundance of fresh water. Cost of transport less than
  that to other colonies. Geographical position and extent.
  Distance from the Main. The small naval force required.
  Causes of insecurity at other settlements not found here.
  Their detachment a provision against escape. Guard less
  required here than elsewhere. The cheapness of provisions:
  how supplied. Employment. The gradual supply of convicts not
  requisite. How first comers may be disposed of. Smallness
  of preliminary outlay, and its speedy return. Opinions of
  various servants of the Crown. Two propositions. The riddance
  of convicts. Relief to the mother country. Redemption of
  the pledge made to convicts. Facilities for reformation.
  Restoration of the penitent to society without risk to the
  innocent. Agricultural school for juvenile convicts. Complete
  depôt for naval re-fit near Cape Horn. Saving of port charges
  and of freight. Easy performance of ships’ repairs, if
  patent slip laid down. Secure coaling station for steamers.
  First-rate naval station: ‘key of the Pacific’ in time of war.
  Testimony of Governor Rennie and Captain Matthews of the Great
  Britain._                                                            376



EXPLANATORY PREFACE.

    Steam Requirements of Anglo South American commerce anterior
    to 1850.—How supplied then.—Inadequacy of Means to the General
    End, and to Lancastrian Ends in particular.—Subsequent
    Supply.—Liverpool still left out.—Chartered Liberty to help
    itself, and the consequences thereof.—Paddle Pioneer of
    the Ocean Fleet to the Plate.—Dates and Distances in a new
    Line.—What may be done by putting on the Screw for Three
    Months.—Fifteen Thousand Miles of Steaming, with the Author’s
    Notes thereon, and Suggestions for the same being continued by
    other people.—Epilogue apologetic.


Until 1850, the Eastern coast of South America, including the extensive
and flourishing empire of Brazil, and the boundless regions watered
by the La Plata and its tributaries, were entirely without European
steam navigation. The old process of sailing-ships, and a monthly
sailing-packet from Falmouth, conveying mails, were the only medium of
communication. In that year, the Royal Mail Company entered upon the
service they had undertaken with government, to run a monthly steamer
from Southampton to Rio Janeiro, and a branch steamer to the River
Plate. The vessels placed on the station were drafted from their West
India fleet; and, although not possessed of extraordinary steaming or
sailing qualities, they performed the voyage with regularity, and in a
space of time which reduced to one half that ordinarily occupied by the
sailing-craft. The consequence was an augmentation of traffic, both of
goods and passengers, such as few persons contemplated, and the line
proved speedily unequal to the task of dealing with either to the extent
required. Moreover, it was found that one very important feature in the
case, a direct traffic with the River Plate, was quite unprovided for,
and no provision whatever made by which goods and merchandize could
be forwarded thither, the branch steamer from Rio Janeiro only taking
passengers. But, even had mercantile necessities in this direction been
supplied, there was a strong feeling that Liverpool, as the emporium
of British trade with South America, ought to possess a steam-line of
its own, and that goods and passengers should not be compelled to find
their way to Southampton. The great manufacturing districts which have
Liverpool for their seaport supply at least seven-eighths of the entire
trade to South America,[1] and it seemed an anomaly that no direct steam
communication should exist between them. Accordingly, in 1851, parties
connected with the district, having organized a company, went before
the Board of Trade for a royal charter, alleging, as a reason for such
concession, the importance of our interests in the quarter named, the
necessity of more frequent intercourse since steam had been established,
and that once a month was not sufficient for wants so extensive and
pressing. These arguments, backed, as they were, by memorials from
Liverpool, Manchester, and other places, had weight with Her Majesty’s
Government, and a charter of incorporation was obtained. The directors
immediately proceeded to contract for the building of suitable steamers;
but delay, caused by unusual pressure of work, somewhat retarded intended
operations.[2]

On the 27th of August, 1853, the company’s first, or pioneer, steamer
intended for the River Plate station, sailed from Liverpool, and was
followed on the 24th of September by the ocean steamer, Brazileira,
Captain Daniel Green, who had long commanded clipper vessels in the
Brazil trade. As secretary to the company, and possessing a local
knowledge of Brazil, it was thought desirable that the author should
proceed in the Argentina, for the purpose of seeing that proper
arrangements were made at the ports of call for their vessels, and to
obtain from foreign governments the facilities and assistance requisite
to carry on a steam company of this magnitude with any success. The
voyage was accomplished in a little more than three months, the writer
having returned to Liverpool, by the Brazileira, on the 5th of November,
during which time he had gone over nearly 15,000 miles of distance
(including a trip up the Parana), spent a fortnight at Rio Janeiro, and
three weeks in the River Plate, besides calling at all the stations
both ways, namely, outwards—Lisbon, Madeira, St. Vincent, Pernambuco,
and Bahia; and, homewards—Bahia, Pernambuco, St. Vincent, and Lisbon,
which latter is to be the track of the regular ocean line, subject to
modifications, &c.

Thus, it will be seen, from this brief recapitulation of dates and
distances, that in the space of two months a merchant can visit his
Brazil establishment, and another, under three months, can look after
his River Plate affairs, often saving himself much anxiety and loss
of time. The manufacturer can, without great trouble, make himself
practically acquainted with the markets he wishes to trade to; the
botanist and naturalist can quickly be transported to the virgin
ground of Paraguay, or, now that the Brazilian government have placed
contract steamers on the greatest of all great rivers, may ascend the
Amazon, with like certainty of reward as novel and varied, and depend
on a prompt return of his newly acquired specimens. Whilst, which is
equally important, the natives of those countries have an opportunity
of visiting Europe, and forming, by personal contact, those relations of
amity and good will which tend so much to soften prejudices, and bring
about a right understanding on all points mutually advantageous. Hence
the ramifications of such enterprises as steam are most interesting in
their results to mankind; and, if once the tide of emigration begins to
set in fairly towards that immense agricultural field watered by the
rivers of South America, there is no foreseeing the extension of wealth
and prosperity that must assuredly follow; for population is the sole
requirement to fit these limitless and teeming regions to work out the
destiny which it is impossible to doubt that Providence, in the fulness
of time, has designed for that portion of the earth, where the majesty
and the luxuriance of nature invite the presence of man through highways
at once the mightiest and most facile in the world.

A desire to place these objects forcibly before the public is the origin
of this work. Though conscious of its imperfections and short-comings,
the writer would guard against the imputation of impertinence in offering
it as the result merely of the experience derived from the rapid run out
and home indicated in the remarks just preceding. He is no book-maker;
though he ventures to hope that his book will, in some degree, fill a
vacuum left by certain recent accomplished professors of that branch
of the fine arts in this department of travellers’ information for
the untravelled public. The several topics discussed in the ensuing
pages have been the subject-matter of his earnest consideration for
many years. Long resident in South America, and familiar with its
commercial necessities, his attention had naturally been directed to
all the mercantile points embraced in the old circle of communication
with Europe; while the circumstances of his position, in connection
with a new enterprise, enabled him to contemplate matters in a somewhat
novel light; and he was peculiarly fortunate in deriving his knowledge
of the recent interesting diplomatic and commercial incidents in the
Upper Parana and the Paraguay on the spot, and from the most competent
sources. Assiduously availing of these and all others of a like kind
whenever they presented themselves,—which was not unfrequently—he
has, wherever practicable, rendered the expression of his own remarks
subordinate to the main design of bringing together whatever data should
serve to make his volume useful as an exposition, at one view, of the
present condition, primarily, of the East Coast and the Amazon and
Platine interior, and, incidentally, of South America generally—an object
embraced in no other single publication of this class. He is well aware
that a complete embodiment of such a design would tax powers far higher
and opportunities more varied than his. But he will be content, if, in
succeeding a little, he should be the means of stimulating others to
achieve a great deal more in a like direction.

Though necessarily containing little that is new, the _resumé_ of
discoveries, prefixed to the opening chapter, is offered as likely to be
serviceable in recalling to the elder reader some of the more salient
facts he already knows, but which are necessary to be repeated: and
in suggesting to the younger student of South American history,—than
which it is hardly possible to name any more exciting, delightful, or
instructive,—those sources that will render him easily cognizant of
what has been written on the several branches of the subject up to the
present date. A similar justification, it is hoped, will serve for the
seeming surplusage of the remarks under the head of Lisbon, Madeira, and
the Verds; though it will be found that the chapters devoted to those
well-known places contain a good deal of fresh information calculated to
be acceptable too all calling at the several ports.

Often observing the inconvenience experienced by South Americans
coming to England, and by Englishmen proceeding to South America, from
unacquaintance with the names and residences of the respective diplomatic
and consular agents in both countries, the author has been at some pains
to collect the necessary information on this head; and, as regards the
antecedents of the English officials, has relied upon that very useful
manual, the ‘Foreign Office List for 1854,’ by Mr. F. W. H. Cavendish,
_Précis_ Writer to the Earl of Clarendon. The large map of South America
has been expressly prepared for this volume, chiefly with a view to
exhibit the river navigation affected by the late treaties, and will be
found, I have every reason to believe, much the most correct that has yet
been published of the whole continent; for, generally speaking, maps of
South America, or of any portion of it, are ludicrously inaccurate. The
map of the growingly important settlement of the Falkland Islands has
likewise been adapted from the most recent surveys, and is calculated to
prove of benefit to captains making the homeward Australian voyage by
Cape Horn.

    Claughton, Birkenhead,
      March 30, 1854.



INTRODUCTION.

    Cursory Retrospect of South American Discoveries.—Their
    difficulties then, how to be estimated at present.—Their
    interest to this age as compared with ancient
    conquests.—Cruelties of the early invaders.—Retributive
    visitations.—Columbus and his cotemporaries.—Cortez and the
    conquest of Mexico.—Subsequent position of the country.—Santa
    Anna, his antecedents and prospects.—Pizarro in Peru, and his
    Lieutenant, Almagro, in Chili.—Condition of those Republics
    since and now: their past gold and present guano.—Modern
    commanders in those countries.—Predominance of the Irish
    element in the fray.—The O’Learys and O’Higginses in the
    Andes.—San Martin and his aid-de-camp, O’Brien, and _his_
    auxiliary, M’Cabe.—The Portuguese discoverers.—Magellan and his
    Straits, and Peacock’s steaming to the Pacific three hundred
    years afterwards.—Cabra, and Brazil.—De Gama and the Cape, and
    Camoens’ celebration of the achievement.—Enrichment of the
    Iberian Peninsula from these causes—Subsequent impoverishment
    of mother countries and colonies.—Exceptional position of
    Brazil in this respect, and reason thereof.—Different results
    in North America, and why.—Imperfect knowledge in Europe of
    South America.—Works thereon.—Characteristics of the several
    authorities: Prescott, Southey, Koster, Gardner, Humboldt,
    Dr. Dundas, Woodbine Parish, M’Cann, Edwards, Maury, and
    others.—Want of information still on Paraguay and the region of
    the Amazon.—Object of this Volume to supply that void.—Aim of
    the Author not Political, but Commercial.


Nearly four centuries have rolled past since the great discoveries of
Columbus and his followers led to the establishment of Spanish and
Portuguese dominion over the vast continent of South America, and were
succeeded somewhat later by the still more important settlement of the
Anglo-Saxon race on the northern portion of the New World.[3] These
events, marvellous in themselves and in their accessories, and momentous
from the way in which they have affected the destinies of the human
race, present a study singularly and enduringly interesting, differing
so strongly as they do from the characteristics of ancient history. The
latter are necessarily contemplated by the reader as types and symbols
of the past, on which he has only the privilege of reflecting; whilst
in the former case, in perusing the story of these comparatively modern
discoveries of hitherto unknown continents, he feels himself almost a
sharer in the adventures of those extraordinary men by whose deeds his
own present destiny is so essentially influenced. He cannot desire to
be a Lycurgus or a Phocion, a Cæsar or a Cato; but it is no tax on the
imagination, no repulse to the feeling, to picture himself a Columbus
in embryo, and his soul and being is wrapt up in the narrative of that
great voyager. The English are proverbially a nautical people, nursed
and cradled in the lap of that ocean with whose element their earliest
sympathies are enlisted and identified. In these days it is a light
matter indeed, with the facilities of progression abounding on all sides,
and the great ministrant of celerity, steam, at our command in every
form, to ramble from one extremity of the earth to the other; but the
slightest retrospection suffices to demonstrate how very different a
state of things prevailed at the close of the fifteenth century. The
mere existence of a western continent was a phantasy of dream-land, when
the mysteries of that mighty waste of waters which separated the then
known world from all beyond, was shrouded in obscurity as unfathomable
as its deepest depths; when only frail barks and mariners who dreaded to
lose sight of the land could be found to attempt the seemingly-desperate
fate of exploring an unknown sea in search of what at best existed
but in the imagination of those who were regarded as visionaries, and
whose presumptuous rashness the very winds themselves seemed to rebuke
by blowing with unprecedented constancy in the one direction, as if to
proclaim the impossibility of return.[4] Taking these circumstances into
our consideration, a most thrilling interest is attached to this recital
that will endure to the latest posterity; and school-boys for generations
to come will ponder over the amazing achievements of these wondrous
knights-errant of the main with the same eager curiosity as the grown men
of to-day.

On the other hand, it must be as readily conceded that there is
something painfully oppressive in the records of ancient history, with
its never-ending conflict between nations for the aggrandisement of a
few ambitious monarchs or republican leaders, in which the destruction
of cities, towns, and countries, as well as of the lives of their
inhabitants, is the theme perpetually dwelt upon, as if the annihilation
of his kind were the only achievement entitling man to the admiration of
humanity. War in all its horrors, and the military extirpation of our
species, is the delight of the classic chroniclers, whether in poetry
or prose; and its accompaniments of battles, sieges, pillage, murder,
and atrocities such as nature revolts at, are depicted with a species
of barbaric satisfaction, calculated (as it no doubt often did) to
evoke the vengeance of the Deity against enormities perpetrated in the
mere wantonness of licentious ferocity, and too frequently lacking the
miserable palliative of provocation. Infinitely is it to be deplored
that this sanguinary animus was carried, in a large degree, by the
Spaniards and Portuguese, but probably still more by the Dutch (with
whom, however, we are not now concerned), into their conquests in the
New World; but it brought with it its own retributive punishment; and
finally, under Providence, became the most potent instrument that caused
war to be looked upon as an enormous evil, and a curse upon any country
unrighteously practising it.

To the discovery of the New World we may fairly trace the benign
effects of that wholesome correction of a most pernicious estimate of
human merit. This, gradually softening the minds of men, instilled the
principle of commercial intercourse amongst nations; demonstrating
how much more conducive to true greatness and human happiness is
the cultivation of amicable relations than even the most successful
aggression and devastation, and the acquisition of wealth by iniquitous
appliances.

It was in the year 1492 that Columbus landed on one of the West India
islands. (See _ante_, page 8.) Subsequently, what is now termed the
Spanish Main was crossed in rapid succession by various Peninsular
adventurers, one and all of whom were distinguished by bravery the
most exalted and selfishness the most abased, each attribute being
inflamed by a fanaticism that sought to honour God and appease His
anger towards their iniquities, by incredible offences in the name of
religion against the unoffending aborigines. Preëminent, perhaps, among
these bold bad captains, on the score of political prescience, military
skill, and administrative civil ability, as well as from the magnitude
of his acquisitions, was Hernan Cortez, who, in 1521, conquered the
table land of Mexico, its coasts being discovered some three years
before.[5] The immensity and enormity of his massacres, and the perfidy
that distinguished them—the ingenuity of his multitudinous outrages upon
the Emperor Montezuma and scores of thousands of his subjects—have
rendered his name indelibly detestable, though there were many traits
of true heroism about him, beyond what their biographers have been
able to preserve of his invading cotemporary destroyers on the same
scene. As was the case, too, with so many of them, his fruit in the
end proved but bitterness and ashes; for though the vast enrichment of
the revenues of Spain, through his means, extorted from an ungrateful
sovereign a marquisate, and the grant of a portion of the territories
he had conquered, he died at home, the object of courtly suspicion and
distrust; stung to death by mortification, that all his achievements
had been productive of coldness and neglect; where he had most expected
to meet with eulogium and honour, he found, like Columbus, (says the
eloquent historian of his conquests) that it was possible to deserve too
greatly.[6]

Passing next to him before whose golden sun the star of Cortez waned, we
find that the ruthless valour and iron perseverance of Pizarro subjugated
Peru[7] in 1531; while one of his followers, who most resembled him
in the cruelty of his life, as he did in the untimeliness of his death
(caused by a quarrel with his old master about the spoil), after the
seeming consummation of his ambition—Diego Almagro—having committed
horrors till then almost unheard of, over-ran Chili[8] in 1535. He
exterminated the family of Atahualpa, the last of the Incas, in a mode
which only the most hardened familiars of the Inquisition, in the mother
country, could read of without emotion; and to this day the records of
such revolting transactions constitute probably the foulest blot on
the Columbian escutcheon of the country of Du Guesclin and the Cid.
But the sins of these men may be said to have been avenged by heaven
in the noon of their iniquities. Pizarro, having defeated Almagro at
Cuzco, and put many of his officers to death, in cold blood, had his old
comrade strangled and then beheaded in Lima, where the despot himself
was assassinated by young Almagro, who, in his turn, being defeated in
battle, also at Cuzco, by Vaca de Castro, was likewise put to death by
decapitation.

Passing next to the Portuguese discoveries, that of Brazil was effected
by Alvarez de Cabral, he having landed, by accident, through stress of
weather, at Porto Seguro, on the 24th of April, 1500, calling the country
Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) in gratitude for his delivery from shipwreck; but
the appellation was afterwards altered to that which it at present bears,
signifying redwood, the well-known substance familiar to us as Brazil
wood; yet it was the subsequent exploration of this coast, some four
years afterwards, that enabled Amerigo Vespucci to eternise his own name
as the accepted discoverer of the continent itself.

Another instance of the vagaries and mutations of geographical
nomenclature, in this region of the world, occurs in connection with
the great achievement that next solicits our notice, viz., the doubling
of the Cape, and consequent opening-up of an oceanic highway to India.
This was second in importance only to the discovery of the New World
itself, and, indeed, well nigh placed Portugal on a par with Spain
in honorary maritime status. Vasco de Gama, whose exploits inspired
the muse of Camoens in the Lusiad,[10] which noble poem is in a great
measure only a rythmetical narrative of the perils of the navigator,
‘made the Cape’ November 20th, 1497; and, with the expressiveness of all
the earlier mariners, named it the ‘Cape of Tempests,’[11] and it was
afterwards known as the ‘Lion of the Sea,’ and the ‘Head of Africa.’
These designations were different indeed to that it has long rejoiced
in—the ‘Cape of Good Hope’—so called by John the Second of Portugal, who
drew a favourable augury of future discoveries thence, because of his
adventurous subject, Diaz, having reached the extremity of Africa, at
that point, though in doing so, he perished there in 1500, having divided
with Gama the honour of being its original discoverer, and supposed by
some to have preceded him by nearly ten years. Previous, however, to this
latter occurrence, even if we accept the earliest date claimed for Diaz,
mankind was amazed by reports of the circumnavigation of the globe—a
feat, which, like those already named, has been a fruitful source of
controversy as to the just recipient of the meed of priority. Sebastian
de Elcano is, perhaps, the most generally accepted by foreign writers.
Goralva and Alvalradi, both Spaniards, performed the task—astounding,
indeed, when we think of the fragile craft employed, and the unknown
courses ventured upon—in one and the same year, 1537, without concert
with each other. Mendana, another Spaniard, repeated it in 1567—preceding
our own immortal sovereign of the seas, Drake, by ten years. But long
anterior to all these, was the Portuguese Magellan, who, in 1519, being
in the service of Spain, determined the sphericity of the earth by
keeping a westerly course through the straits bearing his name, across
the Pacific, and returning to the spot he set out from, or rather the
ship did, for he was killed at the Philippines, on his passage back, the
whole voyage occupying three years and twenty-nine days.[12] These,
and a series of marvels, only subordinate in wonder because inferior in
importance, kept the western world in unflagging excitement for a long
succession of years, during which Europe tingled with the tidings of
vast countries being discovered, assailed, and captured, by mere handfuls
of obscure fortune-hunters, and yielding up such exhaustless treasures
as rendered the Spanish and Portuguese peninsula, for a prolonged season,
the richest kingdoms in the world—the veritable ‘envy and admiration
of surrounding nations.’ To all this we may add that momentum given to
commerce and navigation which has gone rolling on, until fleets of all
nations cover the seas; and, so far as we are aware at present, not an
island now unknown, of any importance, remains to reward the search of
him[13] who has been last commissioned to find one if he can, even in the
comparatively little frequented Polynesian group, for the penal purposes
of England.

I will not dwell on the different results that have attended different
courses of action with reference to the conquered territories of North
and South America; nor attempt to trace the decline of one power at the
expense of another. Spain and Portugal, unfortunately for themselves,
dealt with their gifts on purely selfish principles; and the consequence
of such a system was, not only the loss of the greater part of their
colonies, but an almost total estrangement between the parent and child,
never afterwards thoroughly healed. We attempted the same game in North
America, and the giant-like progress of the United States has followed;
only that, wiser in our generation, more forgiving, and actuated by
true commercial principles, we have cultivated, to the utmost extent,
relations of amity and good-will with the new power, and both countries
are largely gainers thereby, and will continue to be so while the same
feelings of mutual concession and respect actuate both.

Whilst, therefore, North America has made such astonishing progress, and
completely outstrips the Old World in rapidity of thought and execution,
carrying her commerce and people to the limits of the habitable
globe, the states to the southward have had many severe ordeals to go
through—arising, in the first place, from the cause just mentioned, viz.,
that the mother countries considered their colonies as mere appanages,
and prevented communication, in some cases even intercourse, with other
nations. Secondly, from the disseverment of the link which united them
to Europe, having an entirely new phase to pass through, new forms of
government to establish, and fresh relations to cultivate; whilst another
immediate effect of the revolution was to drive away most of the wealthy
inhabitants who, being Spanish and Portuguese citizens, were not a
little vain of their superiority in that respect to their colonial-born
brethren. This fruitful source of dissent and violence in nearly all
the disturbances by which the several states were torn is by no means
wholly obliterated to this day, any more than in some of the transmarine
possessions of Great Britain, in either hemisphere. Then came intestine
divisions among the American-born colonists themselves, raging between
the upstart leaders of mushroom parties, whose very names it taxed the
memory of men at the time to remember; and, as a matter of course, there
followed all the thousand drawbacks resulting from a state of anarchic
confusion. Hence, as is obvious must have been the case under such
circumstances, material progress has been slow, and political progress
for a long time almost imperceptible, if not frequently retrogressive,
if one may use a phrase so seemingly contradictory. Moreover, until of
late years very little was known of the internal resources of South
America, with the exception of the Brazils—a country to which a variety
of circumstances conspired to impart an impetus along the groove of
civilization and consequent advancement. Paramount amongst those aids
was undoubtedly the establishment there, in 1806, of the old Portuguese
monarchy, consequent upon the European troubles of the house of Braganza.
The inappreciable advantage of this regular form of government, arising
out of local monarchic institutions, that country has retained, though
under a new sovereign and with a liberalized system of administration,
ever since, with every guarantee for continuously rapid but enduring
improvement. Still, even Brazil was, to Europeans, comparatively
speaking, an unknown region, to which, in incongruous confusion, attached
associations of the soft and the savage, of barbarism and luxury, of the
majestic and the feeble, in the minds of all nearly whose reading about
her was not corrected by personal familiarity with the country itself.
But ignorance so arising is being happily fast dissipated; and it shall
not be the author’s fault if its departure be not further expedited on
some points to which it still adheres.

Both the Spaniards and Portuguese possess works of rare merit, far
exceeding in magnitude and minuteness any we can boast of, illustrating
the achievements of their early navigators, and the rise and progress
of their former colonial possessions. But few of these works have
been rendered familiar to the British public, and are very imperfectly
known, even to those writers who profess to treat of the same or similar
subjects. Of course we except Prescott, the appreciation of whose
invaluable volumes on the Conquest of Peru, the Conquest of Mexico,
and the History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, is testified
by the exhaustion of six large and expensive editions, and one cheaper
edition, in this country, besides the incorporation of the fruits of
his extraordinary research in a thousand publications that have since
been issued on either side of the Atlantic. Previously, however, to
Prescott, and in nearly as large a degree, in respect to the territory
described, were we indebted to Southey, for his History of Brazil;[14]
to Koster for valuable details of his travels in the northern provinces
of the same empire; and to Gardner, for a most elaborate research into
its botanical treasures, as also a graphic description of the interior
of the empire, which he traversed from north to south.[15] The hygiene
of the same region has been thoroughly investigated, and its rationale
expounded with consummate ability and simplicity of style, by my learned
and accomplished fellow-townsman, Dr. Dundas, than whom no man was more
competent for the task; and I rejoice to see that, though the subject
is necessarily of a very circumscribed range, comparatively speaking,
and one not very likely to command public attention, its treatment was
so masterly, that nearly all the professional journals in the kingdom
received it as an important contribution to medical literature.[16]
Its perusal, however, may be also recommended to the general reader as
containing notices of Brazilian life and manners and scenery nowhere else
to be met with, and which the peculiar facilities enjoyed by the author
enabled him to describe with a life-like minuteness whose truthfulness at
once stamps its accuracy both on the stranger at a distance and on the
most experienced Brazilian resident or native. In speaking thus, I am
merely echoing well-recognized facts; my opinion, which would of course
be utterly valueless in a medical sense, being in no degree warped by the
personal obligation Dr. Dundas has placed me under from the circumstance
of his having kindly consented to enrich this volume with a special
chapter on a theme analogous to that which his ‘Sketches’ are devoted to.

It is, however, the now patriarchal, or, as he calls himself,
‘Antediluvian’ Humboldt, who has showered upon European understanding
the light of scientific knowledge concerning the vast South American
continent, and his inimitable descriptions of the country and its natural
resources have scarcely been appreciated amongst us as they deserve. It
is only when confronted with the great fact, so long regarded as the
sentimental aspiration of utopiaists, that South America is actually
becoming an additional field for our industry and enterprise—when its
magnificent fluvial highways are about being traversed by an endless
succession of steamers, and its plains by railways—that we really
discover how infinitesimal is our knowledge of those resources or
capabilities to whose development these means can alone effectually
conduce. As a medium of forming an estimate of the material position,
as well as of the natural features of the countries described by him,
Humboldt cannot be too highly commended, as the author, of all others,
whose flowing narrative, profundity of reflection, and copiousness of
illustration—commensurate with the greatness of the subject itself—will
amply repay all ordinary curiosity; apart from that superabounding
erudition and scientific affluence which pervade the whole works of the
great living father of historical philosophers, though singularly freed,
like the treatises of our own Herschel, from technicalities that repel
the uninitiated. As relates to the Rio Plata and its immense tributaries,
we have had, in the course of the preceding year, Sir W. Parish’s
elaborate and excellent volume,[17] whose only, though it is undoubtedly
a great drawback, is, that having been written obviously from inspiration
of Rosas, and through the sources that personage opened to him for the
purpose at Buenos Ayres, events are recorded in a light entirely in
conformity with the views of the Dictator, whose whole past policy is
upheld, and his intended plans prospectively eulogised in a manner to
which subsequent events, and the judgment pronounced upon them, furnish a
significant commentary. In harmony with Rosas’s principle of representing
Buenos Ayres as virtually constituting the whole Argentine Confederation,
and himself as the exponent of public opinion and the embodiment of
actual power therein, Sir Woodbine almost altogether ignores the
existence of Monte Video, and scarcely alludes to such a state as the
Banda Oriental. Hence, as regards the latter province and its capital,
and all pertaining to them, Sir Woodbine’s book is a blank, or something
worse—a deficiency which it is one of the objects of the present volume,
in some degree, to supply. Of the condition of some of the interior
provinces, likewise, Sir Woodbine, being obliged to take his information,
not only at second hand, but through a channel in which every thing
was conductive to the one end, that of exalting Rosas, or depreciating
his opponents, gives us particulars not merely inaccurate, but leading
to conclusions the very reverse of what a true state of the case would
warrant. On this head, especially as regards by far the most important
of all the interior states—Paraguay—it is hoped that the present volume
will be found to contain much new and reliable information. For this,
the writer is mainly indebted to notes of observations made on the
route to, and during a residence in, Assumption, by parties personally
cognizant of the late most successful and important mission sent out by
Lord Malmesbury, whose prescience, in foreseeing the right moment—and in
selecting the right agent, Sir C. Hotham, for urging negociations towards
that object—the author had the satisfaction of hearing emphatically
panegyrized in all commercial circles—whether native, British, or
foreign—in the course of his late visit to South America.

Lastly, Mr. M’Cann,[18] whose previous work on the Plate had evinced
great knowledge of the subject, has recorded his later experience of
some of the Riverine provinces in a very agreeable and instructive work,
partly formed on the model of Sir F. Bond Head’s fascinating Rough Rides
on the Pampas, and embracing a review of mercantile matters and prospects
in those countries. Written with that knowledge of trade which only a
mercantile man can be expected to possess, its spirit is so dispassionate
as to be quite unique in a critic, on topics which would seem to impart
their partizan atmosphere to all who endeavour to detail their position
to those at a distance. Neither must I, by any means, omit to mention
the labours of another of my townsmen, Mr. Thomas Baines, who, with that
mastery of detail and facility of statistic exposition which seem to
be an heir-loom in the family of the late estimable member for Leeds,
placed in a very lucid light, some years ago, a subject to which it
was difficult at the time to draw general attention, and a popular
elucidation of which could only be expected from a pen so qualified.

But of all portions of South America, there is one perhaps concerning
which our knowledge is most imperfect, and with which it is most
essential that it should be extended, because of the rapid extension
of both native and European enterprise in that quarter. We especially
allude to that district of the vast region watered by the Amazon of
which Pará (city) may be considered the _entrepot_. Fortunately, two
very admirable volumes have recently been directed to supplying our
deficiency on this head.[19] The obligations due to these sources will
be found amply acknowledged in the chapter devoted to a consideration of
the subject. Our own text is enriched with matter drawn from original
authorities, long resident on the spot, and in every way calculated to
supply trustworthy intelligence. From these the reader will draw his
own deductions, as our informants, not encumbering their data with
disquisition, have left their facts to speak for themselves.

Notwithstanding the number of publications enumerated as being lately
issued upon South America, and not taking into account others published
in the United States, still there is a field of immense extent, as
yet comparatively unexplored and hidden, which requires to be opened
up to view, in order to enable us to form a sufficiently accurate
judgment of the character and capabilities of such countries as Brazil
and the republics bordering on the river Plate and its affluents. The
main design, therefore, towards this end on the part of the writer
in revisiting the scenes of his early youth, is to endeavour to
present some fresh sources of information; partly derived from his own
actual observation, and partly from the experience of others, who,
possessing the best opportunities, have converted them to the best
use in furtherance of the purpose now sought to be attained—viz., the
elimination of what shall serve for a compact but comprehensive _precis_
of the general condition of the countries named in the title page, and
particularly their commercial status and prospective indications of a
mercantile complexion. To refresh the memory on such analogous subjects
as may prove interesting in connection with these matters, there is
appended what it is hoped will prove a mass of desirable information, in
the shape of a collection of notes, bringing down incidents to the latest
practicable period antecedent to publication. In order to interfere as
little as possible with the current of the narrative, in which it has
been deemed expedient to convey the accompanying observations, the writer
intends offering his memoranda in the shape of a record of his voyage,
taking in all points touched upon as they naturally arose in connection
with it; and incidentally referring to those authors who have exhibited
the greatest acquaintance with the topics embraced.



CHAPTER I.

OUTWARD BOUND.—LIVERPOOL TO LISBON.

    The Argentina on her maiden voyage.—Capacity and capability of
    the river boat at sea.—From the Mersey to the Tagus in four
    days.—Lisbon and its Laureats, Vathek and Childe Harold.—Lord
    Carnarvon on Mafra and its marble halls.—Monasticism and
    Monarchy.—Aspect and Attributes of the Lusitanian Capital
    and its Vicinage.—Portuguese Millers and the Grinding
    process among the Grain Growers.—A ‘bold peasantry, their
    country’s pride,’ the same everywhere.—Native memorabilia of
    the earthquake, and Anglo reminiscence thereof.—Anatomical
    offerings extraordinary.—The hic jacet of Tom Jones, and eke
    of Roderick Random.—Memento Mori, with admonitions to the
    Living.—Portuguese peculiarities.—Personal and political
    economy.—Fiscal fatuities.—Market-place notabilia.—Lisbon
    society.—Clubs and Cookery.—Tea and Turn-out.—Friars, Females,
    Fashions, and so forth, Operatic and Terpsichoratic.—Lusitanian
    fidalgos, or Portuguese Peers in Parliament.—Portugal the
    Paradise of Protectionists and Poverty.—Free-trade the only
    corrective of such calamities.—Court Circulars, Conventions,
    and Commanders.—Few books about Portugal, and necessity for
    more.—Hints from the newest, including the Oliveira Prize
    Essay.—A man’s house something like a castle in Lisbon, at the
    cost of a cottage ornée.—Diplomatic and Consular Memoranda.

[Illustration: ARGENTINA—OUTWARD BOUND.]

      On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone,
      And winds are rude in Biscay’s sleepless bay.
      _Three_ days are sped, but with the _fourth_, anon,
      New shores descried make every bosom gay;
      And Cintra’s mountain greets them on their way,
      And Tagus, dashing onward to the deep,
      His fabled golden tribute bent to pay;
      And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap,
    And steer ’twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.

                                                          CHILDE HAROLD.


Innumerable as are the craft of every calibre and formation,—sail, steam,
and screw,[20]—by which this favourite and familiar route is traversed,
seldom had the voyager seen in its course a vessel of dimensions similar
to those of the Argentina, paddle-wheel, in which I had embarked,
constructed at Birkenhead by Mr. John Laird, to run between Monte Video
and Buenos Ayres. She is, (or rather was, for alack, she is now a
thing of the past,) 185 feet long by 21 feet beam, and with very fine,
hollow lines; her engines of 120-horse power, by Fawcett, Preston, and
Co. Intended for river work, and of a light draught of water, it was
hardly to be expected that in ocean steaming, when compelled to carry
coals, provisions, and all the bulky and ponderous requirements of a
long voyage, the same results could be obtained as in the comparatively
tranquil waters of inland navigation; but under all the disadvantages of
being so laden, and having to make way against a strong head-wind and
heavy sea, our average speed to Cape Finisterre was nearly 12 knots.
Subsequently, we had a more favourable wind, and canvas assisted us a
little, until we made the Berlings, (bold islets standing out some
half-dozen miles from the land, with a light-house upon them,) getting to
our moorings in the Tagus, before dark, on the evening of the fourth day
after quitting the Mersey.

It is impossible to conceive an easier navigation than that to Lisbon;
when once across the Bay of Biscay and round Cape Finisterre, you make
direct for the Berlings, and other high rocks more to seaward, called
the ‘Estellas’ and ‘Farilhoes de Velha.’ There is plenty of spare room
for any vessel to pass inside the Berlings, thus saving some distance;
and from Cape Corvoeiro the coast tends inwards to the mouth of the
Tagus,[21] presenting a succession of scenery, so novel and attractive,
as at once to satisfy the spectator that the poetry of Byron and the
poetic prose of Beckford,[22] have failed to exaggerate its beauties.
Conspicuous among the latter, though it is the handiwork of man
availing himself of nature in her picturesquest mood, stands out the
height-crowning, marble-built Mafra, termed the Escurial of Portugal,
from its immensity, magnificence, and the diversity of its contents,
consisting of a palace, a convent, and most superb church, whose six
organs were pronounced by Byron to be the most beautiful he ever beheld
in point of decoration, and was told that their tones corresponded to
their splendour. The town of Mafra itself is a small place, 18 miles
N.W. of Lisbon, containing about 3,000 inhabitants, and owes what
importance it possesses to the celebrated regal and ecclesiastical
edifice, constructed in its vicinity by John V., in pursuance of a vow
that he would select the poorest locality in the kingdom; and, finding
twelve Franciscan friars living in one hut here, he gave the preference
to Mafra—a partiality which its position, if not its preëminent poverty,
abundantly justifies.[23]

[Illustration: BELEM CASTLE, LISBON.]

A cluster of shoals, called the bar, forms a semicircle at the mouth of
the Tagus, but is seldom an obstacle to vessels entering, for there is
generally abundance of water on it to float even the largest vessels, the
least depth in the north channel, at low water, being 4 fathoms, and in
the south, 6. The only time that any difficulty is encountered, is when
the freshes, after heavy rains up the country, add their strength to that
of the ebbing tide, which then runs out at the rate of seven or eight
miles an hour, and encounters a gale from seaward, for this causes the
water to break right across, and vessels must await the turn of the tide
to get in; but in other respects the approach appears very easy, scarcely
any captain who has been there before requiring the services of a pilot.
After the intricacies and dangers of our own (the St. George’s) Channel
navigation, with the miles of sandbank that have to be threaded in
approaching Liverpool, such an entrance as that to Lisbon calls but for
small skill indeed in seamanship; and almost the veriest tyro in boxing
the compass might enact the part of Palinurus.

Passing up the Tagus there are numerous forts, palaces, and other
imposing buildings, or at least what appeared to be such in the dim
twilight that prevailed during our advance towards the Lusitanian
capital. The most commanding object (whereof presently) among these is
Belem Castle, near which we were visited by the health officers, and
allowed to proceed to our moorings off Lisbon, or rather to those of the
Royal Mail Company, which had been kindly lent until such time as our
own are laid down. The rule at the Custom-house, in respect to vessels,
is for the masters to enter them and declare whether their cargoes are
destined to be landed in Lisbon or not; if this be doubtful, which was
not our case, they ask to be put in _franquia_, that is, for leave to
remain eight days in port until the point is decided. On obtaining this
they proceed a little way up the river for the appointed period. From
Belem to that part of the river which is opposite to the centre of the
city, a distance of about four miles, the Tagus is some one and a half
wide, and displays on its northern bank, mingled with the dark foliage
of the orange and other trees, successive clusters of dwellings and
churches, including the palaces of the Ajúda and of Necessidades, in
which latter the court is generally held, and from it mostly are dated
the royal decrees.

With but few exceptions, these buildings are white, which gives the
city, at first sight, a much cleaner appearance than is presented on
a nearer view. On the south side, which is hilly, but few buildings,
unless we include a small fishing village near the mouth of the river,
are visible, until the small town of Almada, opposite to the city, is
reached, containing 4,000 inhabitants, and in whose vicinity is the gold
mine of Adissa, which has been worked now for some years. A peculiar
characteristic of the neighbourhood of Lisbon are the little mills with
sails, gyrating away on every eminence, sometimes half a dozen within
a few yards of each other, and they whisk round so merrily, as to be
quite a pleasant feature in the landscape. It might be the land, _par
excellence_, of Jolly Millers; for the floury sons of the Tagus seem
to belong to the same race as their jovial brothers of the Dee, whose
philosophic indifference to the opinion of the world has been made alike
musical and memorable by Mr. Braham. That the Portuguese should be
sprightly, however, is extremely surprising, seeing that they are ground
into dust, almost as literally as their own grain, or at least, the
growers thereof; for one who knows them well, writing during a visit as
late as last year, (1853), says:—

    They are a people much resembling in heartiness and good will
    our own Irish brethren: they are also most apt to learn, and,
    like the much calumniated sons of Erin, can work, and will
    work when they are properly encouraged and remunerated. They
    toil under a burning sun, half-naked and bare-headed, or in
    the winter under drenching rains and piercing cold, with
    naught else to protect them from the weather than a straw
    thatch, or cloak; and without other aliment at times than a
    lump of Indian-maize bread, and a mess of humble pottage, or,
    at others, the same bread, and a raw onion, with water from
    the brook as their only drink. _Couve gallego_ (cow cabbage,)
    from their own little garden, a spoonful of oil from their own
    olive-tree, a handful of salt gathered from the rocks on the
    sea-shore, with crumbled Indian-corn bread, baked in their own
    oven, (which, as is still the case in Canada, is built outside
    every tenement,) form a stir-about, on which the labourer
    contentedly makes his principal or even-tide meal, after the
    toils of the day are over. Occasionally, he may indulge in a
    morsel of _bacalhao_ (salt cod-fish), or a rancid sardine: but
    where the family is numerous, from year’s end to year’s end,
    they know not the taste of animal food.

There are but few wharves alongside of which vessels can take in and
discharge their cargoes, so they lie at anchor in the stream, and those
operations are performed by means of lighters. There are, nevertheless,
some handsome quays, with convenient landing-places, of which those
at the fish-market and the Caes Sodré are the most frequented; at the
former, the scene being highly animated, particularly in the season for
sardinhas, or sardines, which constitute a considerable proportion of
the food of the lower orders. The handsomest quay is that which forms
one side of Blackhorse Square (Terreiro do Paço), so called from the
statue of Joseph the First on horseback in the centre; the other sides
consisting of public buildings, viz.: the Public Library, the Offices of
the Ministers of State, the Custom-house, and, at the eastern extremity,
the Exchange, being chiefly of marble, as, indeed, nearly all the
principal edifices are. It makes a splendid promenade, where crowds of
well-dressed persons may be seen, on the sultry summer evenings, walking,
or seated on the stone benches, enjoying the cool air from the river,
until a late hour. From this square, five parallel and level streets,
in which are the best shops, lead to the Roçio—a large, open space
surrounded by buildings, and appropriated to reviews, processions, &c.,
and where, on its northern side, at one time existed the odious Prison
of the Inquisition, adjoining the Palace of the same name, now no longer
occupied, though sometimes visited on festive occasions by royalty. Just
beyond are the public gardens, well laid out, and stocked with flowers
and shrubs, that bespeak the luxuriance and brilliancy of the Lusitanian
arboretum.

[Illustration: PRACA DO COMMERCIO, LISBON.]

All this portion of the city is more regularly built than the remainder,
and is situated just over the very spot that felt the effects of the
terrible earthquake, traces of which are now and then met with, in the
shape of patches of old pavement, in digging for the foundations of
houses, &c.; though there are no traces of the successful storming of the
city by the French, under Junot, in 1807, nor of its equally successful
resistance of a similar attempt a couple of years afterwards. In the
vicinity of the Hospital of St. José are the ruins of a church, in which,
embedded in the earth, were to be seen, some years since, if not now,
skeletons, in various attitudes, of persons who formed the congregation
at the time the catastrophe took place, which was, as the reader will
recollect, when the greater number of the citizens were assembled at mass
in the churches on All-Saints’ Day, November 1st, in the ever-memorable
year 1755—a circumstance that will probably account for the enormous
number of 30,000 lives being lost; for, although 6,000 private dwellings
were destroyed, the fatality could hardly have been so great but for the
multitudes being assembled in the mode mentioned. The celebration of the
festival, too, was otherwise the occasion of prodigious mischief; for,
owing to the immense number of tapers in the churches, the curtains,
drapery, and other combustible materials, caught fire, and a devastating
conflagration swept the doomed city from end to end, carrying off what
the convulsion had not already prostrated in ruin. Indirectly, however,
the commemoration of the festival was productive of some good—at least
to our countrymen in Lisbon; for, in order to avoid exciting religious
prejudice during a fête so solemn in the Papal calendar, they had nearly
all retired to their country houses, and but ten who remained in the
city were killed, a fact which renders, if possible, more magnanimous
the grant by the British parliament of £100,000 to the relief of the
suffering Portuguese, immediately the dismal tidings arrived; news
of like events, but not on such a scale, continuing to be received
for a long time after, from various portions of the New World. As in
the case of our own dear delightful ante-diluvian Chester, the older
quarters of Lisbon city generally interest a stranger most, from their
very irregularity; the streets being narrow, steep, and destitute of
_trottoirs_, and the houses very lofty, ranging in height from five to
as many as eleven stories, in each of which dwells a separate family,
all using one staircase in common. Notwithstanding the seeming peril
from this cause, in the event of another earthquake, the danger of the
walls falling is considerably lessened by their being built with a strong
framework of timber, dovetailed together, before the addition of brick or
stone.

Some of the churches are very handsome, although the absence of steeples
will perhaps cause them to be hardly so regarded by the majority of
Englishmen; and, moreover, many are in an unfinished state, for want of
funds. The one that probably astonishes unsophisticated Saxons most,
is the Patriarchal Church, from the circumstance of the pillars which
support the roof being covered with wax models of heads, arms, legs,
&c.—the _naif_ native offerings of individuals, desirous of testifying
their gratitude to the Virgin, for her cures of complaints affecting
those corporeal adjuncts. In the church of St. Roque is a small chapel,
containing imitations, in mosaic, of several pictures of the Italian
masters. These, with the splendid decorations, consisting of lapis lazuli
columns, candelabra in the precious metals, &c., are credibly estimated
to have cost upwards of one million sterling. This vast expense, of
course, could only have been in Portugal’s most palmy days, when the
genius of Albuquerque threw open the portals of the East, and showered
‘barbaric pearl and gold’ upon his noble king, Emanuel, rightly indeed
called the ‘Fortunate,’ and deserving so to be, as worthily inheriting
the throne of Alphonso the Victorious (son of the heroic Henry of
Burgundy) who routed five Saracen monarchs at Ourique, and freed his
country from the Moors. The British cemetery[24] (_Os aciprestes_),
surrounding a neat chapel, is well worth a visit, including, in its
attractions, a monument to Fielding, who there lies buried. Few of our
countrymen, who have the opportunity, ever fail to make a pilgrimage to
the spot where rests all that is mortal of him who drew Partridge and
Blifil, Squire Western and Sophia, Parson Adams and Tom Jones—his tomb
being as eagerly sought as is that of his brother humourist, Smollett,
at Leghorn. Strange that two of the most essentially English of all our
writers should have died and been entombed so far from their native land,
whose literature their genius has so long enriched, and will for ever
continue to do so.

Besides the public buildings already mentioned, there are several
well-managed hospitals, an arsenal, academies for instruction in the
naval, military, and other sciences; the Castle of St. George, used as
a prison more than as a place of defence: museums; a noble national
library, of 30,000 volumes, formed from those of the convents suppressed
in 1835; and, lastly, the aqueduct of Alcantara, with thirty-six arches,
a splendid structure, north of the city, supplying the greater part of
the inhabitants with water, and so solid, that it withstood the shock
of earthquake, which laid nearly all else in ruins. The central arch is
of sufficient dimensions to allow of a three-decker, under full sail,
passing through, were there water to float her.

The population of Lisbon is between 250,000 and 300,000, having increased
rapidly of late years, though sadly thinned during Don Miguel’s
usurpation, owing to the wholesale murders which were then committed, the
numbers obliged to serve in the army, and killed, and also the emigration
so many hundreds, nay thousands, were compelled to have recourse to, in
order to escape from his cruelties, and those of his satellites. The
remembrance of these atrocities, however, would seem insufficient to
deprive him of some partizans in the country yet, if we may judge by the
intrigues in his favour that have supervened on the death of the queen.

[Illustration: CINTRA, NEAR LISBON.]

A first visit to Portugal cannot fail to revive—in the minds of
Englishmen—‘memories of the past,’ full of ‘sweet and bitter fancies,’
as being alike the spot where England, by her diplomatic fatuity, earned
an immortality of ridicule, and, by her valour, an eternity of praise,
thanks to the Great Duke and his troops, so many of whom fell in defence
of those liberties, which, if what survives here be a fair specimen,
were certainly hardly worth the cost of preservation;[25] for, even at
this distance of time, how many families can recal the bereavements
they sustained in that glorious struggle. Moreover, Portugal possesses
a deep interest from the great deeds of its early navigators, already
slightly adverted to. None who sympathize with the noble qualities the
mention of these heroic names conjures up can fail to deplore that the
spirit of Vasco de Gama, Cabral, Camoens,[26] and many others, has not
descended to succeeding generations, rendering the land their genius and
patriotism had adorned what it might yet be made under an enlightened
government, viz., one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. That it
is not so, even after the mismanagement it has endured, and is enduring
now, nearly as bad as ever, is a matter of never-ending wonderment to
those who know its means and appliances for advancement in the scale of
nations. As regards myself, desire for personal authentication on the
spot of what I had known from others, imparted an additional zest to my
visit, from long acquaintance with the Brazils, even in the time of the
grandfather of the late Queen, when the present splendid South American
empire was a struggling colony of the now enfeebled and decaying parent
kingdom. Hence I was prepared to look with a favourable eye on all that
came under my notice in the capital of Portugal—a disposition enhanced
by the first glance I had an opportunity of bestowing upon it; for, seen
from the river on a bright sunny morning, Lisbon’s strikingly picturesque
aspect and position reminded me strongly both of Bahia and Rio Janeiro, a
portion of the city being built, like them, on low ground; hills, covered
in every direction with handsome structures of variegated colours,
chiefly white, rising like an amphitheatre behind; whilst the red-tiled
roofs, green verandahs, and other fanciful decorations, lend to the whole
a very foreign, almost tropical, but extremely pleasing appearance.

Unfortunately, the parallel between the capital of Portugal and the
metropolis of her flourishing transatlantic offspring further holds good,
as, on landing, much of the pleasing illusion vanishes:

      For whoso entereth within this town,
      That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
      Disconsolate will wander up and down,
      ’Mid many things unsightly to strange ee;
      For hut and palace show like filthily;
      The dingy denizens are rear’d in dirt;
      No personage of high or mean degree
      Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt,
    Though shent with Egypt’s plague, unkempt, unwash’d, unhurt.

Nor are you greatly disposed to make allowances for the cause of your
topographical disenchantment, as you find yourself a mere object of
fiscal surveillance—obliged to be set ashore at the Custom-house, like
a biped bale of merchandise, and have your hat or umbrella scanned as
if they ought to be subjected to duty, like everything else, animate
and inanimate, that approaches these most absurdly protected waters.
Very soon, however, mere chagrin at such petty personal annoyances
deepens into gloom, as you observe the mournful absence of that incessant
activity you expect to meet with in so large and important a place.
The fatal spell of lethargy and exclusiveness seems to be laid upon
everything and everybody:—the very carriages and public conveyances (at
least a large portion) are redolent of the past century, and all idea of
locomotion is put to flight at the sight of them; and just the same is
the case with the owners. Torpidity pervades the whole population, from
the infant in arms, who is too lazy to laugh, to the cripple on crutches,
who is too sluggish to grumble. An exception to this rule, however, is
the market-place, where fruit, vegetables, the sardines already spoken
of, and other odd articles, are brought for sale. The motley groups, with
their baskets or little stalls, sheltered by umbrellas of all sizes and
colours, are like so many fancy-fair Chinese, whom Portuguese a good deal
resemble in bodily configuration, as well as in other attributes equally
little spiritualised, however Celestial. The kaleidoscopic tableau going
on here is a relief to the monotony of other places of resort, and so
vividly impresses the stranger that he fancies the performers in the
scene must be foreigners, and not ‘natives and to the manner born.’ The
theatrical air of the whole thing is not a little heightened, in his
opinion, on finding that no sooner has the clock told one, than, like
one o’clock, they all have to pack up their wares and depart till next
day, in preparation for the business whereof the market is thoroughly
cleaned and put in order. This regulation might be advantageously
adopted in regions where the mention of the word Portuguese, especially
in connection with cleanliness, immediately superinduces a spasmodic
agitation in the hearer’s nose, if indeed he can keep his countenance at
all.

But Portuguese society, as I happen to know very well, from long and
varied experience, is extremely agreeable in many places; and certainly
the natives of the old country are exceedingly hospitable to strangers.
There are several clubs, at the balls of one of which, the Foreign
Assembly-rooms, all the rank and fashion of the capital are to be seen,
to the number of several hundreds. I had the gratification of being
introduced at the Lisbon Club. The house had been formerly, like so many
similar institutions in London, a nobleman’s palace. Although not on so
grand a scale, it possesses superior accommodation to most places of
the kind amongst us; and if the Portuguese keep no Soyer, Francatelli,
or Ude, with a _batterie de cuisine_ corresponding in magnitude and
diversity to the celebrity of these professors of the finest art—that
of giving a good dinner—they have a social party of an evening,[27]
when a piquant and substantial tea is provided for those who wish to
sacrifice to the ‘Chinese nymph of tears, Bohea.’ The original taste of
the Portuguese, who were the first to introduce the beverage to Europe,
long before Mr. Pepys drank his ‘cup of China drink,’ [1661,] still
survives, as well as the taste for coffee, the berry of Mocha being a
favourite among the offspring of the victims of the Arabs. Chocolate,
also, is a very popular beverage, and is consumed in considerable
quantities at breakfast and supper, the two principal meals among the
majority of Portuguese. The upper classes dress like those of other
European capitals, but the lower order of females still retain the cloak
and hood peculiar to this part of the Peninsula. There is not, however,
so much difference now between the costume of the population and that of
other cities, as the cowls, sandals, and rope belts of the friars, are no
longer to be seen; for, as is well known, all the religious orders (not
those of nuns) were suppressed in 1835. There is a strong partiality for
gaudy colours and trinkets; but that is passing away.

Though, generally speaking, the female population of Portugal are not
of very prepossessing appearance, especially the humbler classes, whose
naturally swarthy complexion is embrowned by exposure to the sun, there
are few capitals in Europe where more perfect specimens of beauty are
to be seen than in Lisbon: and what enhances the effect their somewhat
unexpected presence produces is, that they are almost invariably
_blondes_, therein differing from most of their Iberian sisterhood on
the other side of the Douro, especially those of Cadiz, of whom the
noble lord, already quoted, says that they are the Lancashire Witches
of Spain. But the other noble lord, whom we have also quoted—and we
certainly can corroborate all he says, from our individual experience in
Brazil, of the classes he speaks of—observes: ‘If I could divest myself
of every national partiality, and suppose myself an inhabitant of the
other hemisphere, and were asked in what country society had attained its
most polished form, I should say in Portugal. This perfection of manner
is, perhaps, most appreciated by an Englishman: Portuguese politeness
is delightful, because it is by no means purely artificial, but flows,
in a great measure, from a national kindness of feeling. The restless
feeling, so often perceptible in English society, hardly exists in
Portugal; there is little prepared wit in Portuguese society, and no one
talks for the mere purpose of producing an effect, but simply because his
natural taste leads him to take an active part in conversation. Dandyism
is unknown among their men, and coquetry, so common among Spanish women,
is little in vogue among the fair Portuguese. They do not possess, to
the same extent, the hasty passions and romantic feelings of their
beautiful neighbours; but they are softer, more tractable, and equally
affectionate. Even when they err, the aberrations of a married Portuguese
never spring from fashion or caprice, seldom from vanity, and, however
culpable, are always the result of real preference. Certainly, with
some exceptions, the women are not highly educated; they feel little
interest, on general subjects, and, consequently, have little general
conversation. A stranger may, at first, draw an unfavourable inference
as to their natural powers, because he has few subjects in common with
them; but, when once received into their circles, and acquainted with
their friends, he becomes delighted with their liveliness, wit, and
ready perception of character.’ I quote this passage, believing from all
I heard and observed in Lisbon, that it is an accurate summary of the
Portuguese character there; that it is nearly equally applicable, in a
great degree, to Portuguese society in Madeira; and, knowing that it is
so, in respect to Portuguese society in Brazil.

The places of amusement consist of five theatres, including the
opera-house, where, as the London and Parisian _dilettanti_ well know,
many excellent singers make their _début_: the getting up the scenery,
&c., are inferior to few establishments of the kind anywhere, and the
prices are very moderate. It is called San Carlos, and it is scarcely
inferior in any respect, either in its architectural extent or the
liberality of its appointments, to its more famous Neapolitan namesake.
Madame Castellan—herself, I believe, a fellow-countrywoman of Inez de
Castro, whose portrait she greatly resembles—has been the principal lyric
artiste during the past season. There is also a building for bull-fights,
which, though perhaps as much a national sport as in Spain, is not
pursued with the same passionate ardour, nor with the same skill, as is
displayed by professors of the tauro-machiac art in the sister country.

I also attended a sitting of the two Chambers, which appeared to be
conducted with great decorum, but, at the same time, without that
listlessness or buzzy-fussiness which pervades our own Senate when
a bore or a nobody happens to be on his legs. The accommodation for
members is at least as good as ours. To be sure, it could not possibly
be much worse, if we may judge from those most qualified to form an
opinion—the members themselves; for, what with the perpetual complaints
about pestilent smells, hot blasts, freezing draughts, blinding light,
and sightless darkness, one would imagine that the British Senate-house
was constructed to serve as a ‘frightful example’ of deleterious
architecture. The wonder is, that any M.P. has the face to approach a
life-insurance office, at the beginning of a session, without being
prepared with a ‘doubly hazardous’ premium on his ‘policy,’ knowing
that he is going to talk, or listen to the talk, of politics for some
six months; and, certainly, the looks of many of our law-makers can be
consolatory to none but coffin-makers and residuary legatees. Not so
with the Portuguese Conscript Fathers, nearly all of whom seemed as
hale as new moidores out of the mint, both as to stamina, complexion,
and sensibility. The enormous building where they meet (the old convent
of San Bento) contains all the needful official and red-tape-ical
departments. In the Upper Chamber, the Patriarch occupied the chair, in
habiliments not unlike those of the Bishop of Oxford, when enrobed in
his costume of Chancellor of the Order of the Garter; and it was curious
to see an epitome of our own admixture of the ecclesiastical with the
temporal system of legislation, in the House of Lords, carried out in
this Portuguese conjunction of spiritual with lay law-makers.

In vain you look in the Tagus for that forest of shipping which should
fringe the watery highway to, and ought to constitute the leading feature
in, so fine a port—the capital of a country the once nautical genius of
whose people is expressed in the only poem in any language that makes
adventures on the deep its theme. A few stray vessels here and there,
with river and fishing boats, and those singular latine sails, that so
strike the stranger,[28] some steamers and Government vessels, were
all that could now be seen on the bosom of the river, so famed amongst
the ancients for its golden attributes, not because of its auriferous
sands,[29] but because of the affluent tide of its teeming commerce—that
port whence, in after ages, though now ages long ago, went forth those
expeditions which brought much of Asia into comparative contiguity with
Europe, and discovered, and long held so much of, the finest portion of
the New World. For a wonder, not a ‘speck of power’ of that nation, whose
commerce rose as Lusitania’s fell, not an English man-of-war, ubiquitous
in every water, and very often present, and too long at a time, in most
unnecessary numbers, in these waters in particular, was to be seen,
though Admiral Corry’s squadron, containing many of the finest and latest
built men-of-war in our navy, including the ‘Duke of Wellington,’ and now
with Napier in the Baltic, has since been there. Their absence, however
gratifying to financial economists and advocates of non-intervention in
politics, helped to complete the triste and dreary air of the empty mart
and shipless bay. The cause of this poverty of trade must be obvious
to all, even to enlightened Portuguese. The Government, blind to all
experience elsewhere, deaf to the supplications of common sense and
even self-interest, draw a kind of cordon round the little trade they
still possess, and encumber it with such a net-work of preposterous
restrictions, as actually to squeeze the life-blood out of it, or,
rather, altogether arrest its circulation, which is the same thing in
the end, as regards the vitality of commerce. The evil extends to every
ramification of industrial pursuit; and one half of the population live
upon a system that seems to have been invented to exclude, instead of
encouraging business to come to their shores. Hence, it need hardly be
said, that smuggling is the most profitable trade going; and a large
and rapidly increasing business in that line is carried on, along the
frontier in particular.

If Colonel Sibthorpe, Mr. Newdegate, and the remainder of that Spartan
band of fifty-nine, who followed the phantom of Protection into the lobby
of the House of Commons a couple of years ago, finding that the sun of
England has indeed for ever set, as they so often anticipated, desire
to bask in the beams of unmitigated monopoly, by all means let them hie
hither forthwith; and they will behold one realm, at least, that carries
out their views to the utmost possible extent. By way of apparently
bolstering up native industry, Portugal fosters a few stray manufacturing
establishments, and farms out monopolies of certain articles (tobacco
and soap for instance) to parties who, in the rigorous exercise of their
privileges, put another and most effectual drag-chain on the march of
commerce. The fruits of such policy are but too apparent; for even
the neighbouring state of Spain, so long the synonyme of every fiscal
fatuity, but now awaking to a true sense of what it owes to her glorious
maritime associations, and to her present and perspective well-being,
is taking away a large portion of Portuguese traffic, by judiciously
reducing her tariff, promoting railway enterprise, and gradually
adopting those liberal views, without whose practical recognition now
every country must lapse into almost primeval barbarism. Undoubtedly an
extenuation of the imbecility of Portugal is her complete dependence
and reliance on her colonies so long, for while she enjoyed a monopoly
of them she flourished at their expense. Now things are reversed, and
Portugal cannot bring herself to adopt the only remedy, free-trade and
unrestricted commerce, in its largest and fullest extent. These would
soon fill her ports with shipping, raise rents, augment revenue, and
place her in a position worthy of the countrymen of Cabral, and of the
_prestige_ which he and so many of his cotemporaries and followers so
long secured her. That she has an aptitude for commerce is well known;
for, though it was long deemed degrading, and even criminal, in high
caste Portuguese, to meddle in commercial matters, or to intermarry or
associate with those who did, there is scarcely any ’Change in the world
at the present day that does not number a Lisbon or Oporto merchant among
its ablest members.

A stay of two days is a short time to enable a stranger to appreciate
fully the merits of a large place like Lisbon; but the defects in her
national fiscal system as here manifested, at the very fountain head
of the intelligence and influence of the empire, and its mischievous
tendency in retarding prosperity, are unmistakeable. The handwriting
on the wall requires no interpreter; it points out approaching decay,
unless Portugal alters her system before it is too late, and determines
to go with the stream of events and the destinies of the world. The
real hope for the country still points in the direction of Brazil; not
only because of the peculiar weight of example in that quarter, where
prosperity has progressively and unvaryingly followed every step in the
path of commercial and political enlightenment—every assimilation to the
existing English system of mercantile polity—but from the circumstance
of the affluence of Brazil healthily reacting upon, and wakening up
the energies of the old country to join _pari passu_ in the march with
her vigorous progeny. In a trading, especially in a passenger-trading
sense, the connection between the two is still important, and is every
day becoming more so, through Anglo-Brazilian enterprise, (of which
the Liverpool Company I have the honour to belong to affords the most
prominent instance yet), and is likely to be vastly improved by the
establishment of direct steam navigation, chiefly carried on by native
and South American capital. The principal promoter of this is Mr. Moser,
well known for enterprise of a like kind in the navigation of the Minho,
from which river to the Guadiana a screw steamer now plies.

Most of the _bourgeoisie_ of Brazil were either born in Portugal
or are descendants of Portuguese. Shop-keeping is a business these
Peninsulars fully understand, especially those from Oporto; particularly
in everything pertaining to trinkets, articles of jewellery, and
goldsmith’s-work, the Portuguese being therein cunning workmen, though
for the most part, regarded as indifferent carpenters, shoemakers, and
the like, at least by British employers. After realizing money abroad,
they naturally find their way to Portugal; where, if even for a season,
they enjoy themselves as only children of the South or of the tropics
can when they have the means; or spend the remainder of their days
where their fathers lived and died before them. They will soon have the
invaluable advantage of the steamers of no less than three companies
calling at Lisbon, including the ‘Luso-Brazileira,’ which is also
composed of Portuguese and Brazilian shareholders. These, let us hope,
will prove the immediate harbingers of that good time which can alone be
brought about by the multiplication of such instruments of a national
good; for it must be obvious to every one who knows Portugal, or the
Portuguese abroad, that what is wanted is abundance of communication
by steam, both by sea and land, railways, and free-trade, or some
approximation to it. With these she may resume her position amongst the
nations, and share with her oldest ally, England, the benefits arising
from a mutually advantageous intercourse.

Respecting the Royal Family, during my stay at Lisbon, when there was,
of course, every apparent prospect of a long, if not a very tranquil
and happy reign for the late Queen, I learnt that they kept themselves
as retired and quiet as their exalted station would permit, appearing
little in public, but understood to be busy in those plots and intrigues,
suspicion of which on the part both of the people and the upper classes,
deprived her Majesty of much of that popularity which her many excellent
qualities were calculated personally to secure her. What may be the
course that her husband, the Regent, will pursue, or that may be pursued
by her son when he attains his legal majority in 1858, it is of course
impossible to foresee. His young Majesty is now in the course of making
a tour through Europe, chiefly with a view, it is said, of finding a
partner for his throne; and rumour points to one of the house of Coburg
to which his father belongs, viz., a daughter of the King of the
Belgians. This alliance, though otherwise eligible in itself, is deemed
by some politicians likely to aggravate the troubles of the country, by
making it a hot-bed of extraneous intrigue, in addition to the domestic
Miguelite plottings that appear chronic in Portugal.

There are, as already mentioned, several royal palaces, but few of them
completely finished, or ever likely to be so, owing to the limited state
of the civil list and the reluctance of the Cortes to grant supplies
for such purposes. The Palace of Ajúda is a truly regal building, whose
external magnificence at least, fills every one with regret that it
should so far resemble so many others, of vast pretensions and undoubted
beauty, as to remain incompleted, and in consequence, unoccupied.
Visitors to the Court are generally located in a pretty marine palace,
with a terrace and garden facing the river, at Belem, the town of
which name contains about 5,000 inhabitants. In its vicinage is the
burial-place of many of the earlier Portuguese monarchs; it possesses
also, in addition to the castle and custom-house already mentioned,
and a singular-looking fortress, some other public institutions of
note, including a high-school, a convent, and the largest iron-foundry
in Portugal, together with a noble church, built to commemorate the
memorable departure of Vasco de Gama on his great voyage, as so
beautifully alluded to by the national poet.

It may not be superfluous to caution the young or casual reader not to
confound this town with one somewhat similarly pronounced, Baylen, in
Spain—a spot that sounds in French ears pretty much as Cintra does in
ours. And for much the same reason—the blundering incapacity of those
charged with the conduct of the transactions that took place, almost
simultaneously, in the same year, and within a month of each other;
except that the former, having had priority of occurrence, rendered
the latter more inexcusable. It was in July, 1808, that 14,000 French,
commanded by Dupont and Wedel, being defeated by 25,000 Spaniards under
Pena and Compigny, Dupont’s entire division of 8,000 men laid down their
arms—the beginning of the French disasters in Spain, as lending courage
to the whole native population to pursue that system of resistance which
in the end, aided and directed by British valour and science, rendered
nugatory all the efforts of the invader permanently to subdue the
country. Of Belem, the recent military celebrity is not great, the two
chief incidents in its history being its capture by the French, the year
before the occurrence just named; and, secondly, its capture under the
troops of Don Pedro, in 1833. What lends its real historic, or at least
archæologic interest to the place, is its propinquity to the remains
of some of the finest Moorish architecture in the world, the Alhambra
itself scarcely excepted; and these alone ought to suffice to render a
trip fashionable among our _ennuyéd_ tourists, to whom almost all the
remainder of Europe is nearly as well known as the beach at Brighton or
the Westmoreland lakes. Notwithstanding the charm to British ears of the
words Busaco, Vimiera, Badajos, Braga, Torres Vedras, and the Douro,
Portugal is a _terrâ incognita_ to the pic-nicish and Pickwickian tribe,
and altogether exempt from the remonstrance of the _blazé_ bard—

    And is there then no earthly place,
      Where we can rest, in dream Elysian,
    Without some curst, round English face,
      Popping up near, to break the vision?
    ’Mid northern lakes, ’mid southern vines,
      Unholy cits we’re doom’d to meet;
    Nor highest Alps nor Apennines
      Are sacred from Threadneedle Street!
    If up the Simplon’s path we wind,
    Fancying we leave this world behind,
    Such pleasant sounds salute one’s ear
    As—‘Baddish news from ’Change, my dear.’

But how can it be wondered that Portugal should be a yet untrodden Eden
to the tourist, seeing that it is the only country, or tract of country,
in Europe, or on the confines thereof, from Odessa to Iceland, that
Murray hasn’t hand-booked? The ‘Anak of Booksellers,’ who has ‘done’ the
Pyramids and the Pyrenees, Styria and Finland, Whitechapel and Wallachia,
the Dnieper and the Nile, has left Portugal undone; for it cannot be
called doing it, in the Albemarle-street sense of the term, to devote to
it a few small pages of large type, and call them ‘Hints.’ Nevertheless,
far below the Murrayan standard as that is, still it will be useful, as
being likely to incite travellers thitherward;[30] and then the great
publisher will, doubtless, provide for their use some Head capable of
turning out a sizeable and seasonable octavo of reading as delightful as
Borrow and as instructive as Ford has done for the scarcely more romantic
region the other side of the Guadiana. Meanwhile, calling attention to
that one[31] of the ‘Hints’ which tells how others may be taken, as to
the London means of getting there, in addition to those still better
Liverpool means furnished by our South American Steam Company, it is well
to apprise the reader, desirous of the latest and best information about
Portugal, that it will be found in the extremely agreeable and attractive
volume[32] which owes its origin to the munificence and patriotism of
the accomplished member for Pontefract, Mr. Oliveira, who, sprung of
the ancient Lusitanian stock himself, and numbering among his ancestors
the Pombals, de Castros, Tojals, and Thomars, has laboured assiduously,
and most successfully, in disseminating among the most intelligent and
influential minds of either country a correct knowledge of what conduces
to the commercial prosperity of both. Towards this end nothing can be
more effectual than a careful study of the admirable essay alluded to
below, and from which some few of the foregoing facts are taken. Indeed,
we would fain hope that, at least some of the excellent arguments it
addresses to the Portuguese government have already produced a good
effect; for, in the speech to the Cortes by the Regent, in January last,
there is great promise not only of railway encouragement, but regulations
we have spoken of being relinquished, such as the monopoly on salt, and
even that on tobacco is likely soon to be abandoned. Improvements of a
similar kind are to be extended to Madeira.

In concluding this brief chapter, which is, unfortunately, necessarily
much more brief than the subject warrants, we have only to add, that
should its perusal, or that of the several works already enumerated,
induce readers to visit Lisbon in search of pleasure, and more especially
those in search of health, the important item of house-rent will be found
almost fabulously moderate compared with any other capital in Europe,
and, I should imagine, in the world. A perfect palace, in the literal
meaning of the term, may be had for £100 a year, containing suites of
rooms in which a coach and four might be turned. Provisions and all the
produce of the country are exceedingly cheap, but all imported articles
are equally dear, because of the absurd protective system already spoken
of, which permits and encourages native manufacturers to make the worst
articles at the highest price, thus of course entailing the most limited
consumption, and restricts purchases of all commodities that can possibly
be dispensed with. Amongst hotels, the Braganza, built on an eminence
overlooking the Tagus, stands preëminent, and is part of the Braganza
family estate. The bill of fare is attractive, and charges moderate,
regret being felt that travellers by sea cannot go at once to such
comfortable quarters, instead of to the vile Lazarette, to which they are
now consigned _en route_ from England or Brazil!

[Illustration: ADJUDA PALACE, RESIDENCE OF THE ROYAL FAMILY OF PORTUGAL,
NEAR LISBON.]



CHAPTER II.

LISBON TO MADEIRA.

    Two more days’ pleasant Paddling on the Ocean.—Approach
    to Madeira.—Charming aspect of the Island.—Unique boats
    and benevolent boatmen.—Pastoral progression in bucolic
    barouches extraordinary.—Personal appearance of the
    inhabitants.—Atmospheric attractions of Madeira, and absence of
    all natural annoyances.—The Vine-Blight and its consequences,
    present and prospective, on the people at home and the
    consumption of their wine abroad.—Funchal, and its urban and
    suburban et ceteras.—Romance and reality of the History of the
    Island, ‘Once Upon a Time.’—Importance of English residents
    to the place.—Cost of living, and what you get for your
    money.—Royal and illustrious visitors.—Mercantile matters, and
    consular cordiality.—Grave Reflections in the British Burial
    Ground.

[Illustration: THE LAUREL TREE, MADEIRA.]

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATION.—Views of Funchal, of the English
    Burial-place, and other objects in Madeira, are so familiar,
    that in preference to any of them, there is here given, as
    being much less hacknied, one representing a small fort or
    outwork, called Loureiro, or the Laurel Tree, on the coast to
    the east of Funchal, being the first of the series copied from
    the portfolio of the gentleman to whom our volume is so much
    indebted for such privilege.

    Oh! had we some bright little isle of our own,
    In a blue summer ocean, far off and alone,
    Where a leaf never dies in the still blooming bowers,
    And the bee banquets on through a whole year of flowers;
    Where simply to feel that we breathe, that we live,
    Is worth the best joy that life elsewhere can give.
    The glow of the sunshine, the balm of the air,
    Would steal to our hearts, and make all summer there.
    Our life should resemble a long day of light,
    And our death come on, holy and calm as the night.—MOORE.


Ocean sailing, perhaps, does not present anything more delightful than
the trip from Lisbon to this island in fine or moderate weather. We soon
bade adieu to the Tagus, with its merry-going windmills, and its palaces
and churches, the bold dome of the Coraçao de Jesus being the last
visible in the horizon as we steamed away; and, on the second morning at
daylight, made the Island of Porto Santo, which looks bleak and dreary
enough, but has the repute of having some verdant spots upon it; and a
small harbour called by the same name. Madeira, some 35 miles distant,
was in sight a-head, its mountains peeping out of the clouds; and a
couple of hours brought us up to the south side, along which we steamed.
The hills were covered with innumerable cottages, and huts built amongst
the vine plantations, which rise in ridges, nearly from the water’s edge
to the height of 2,000 feet; the best vine growths, no doubt, being found
at about half that elevation. It is needless to say that the _coup d’œil_
so presented is as charming as it is singular. Immediately after passing
Brazen Head, the Bay of Funchal opened before us, and a more beautiful
sight cannot well be conceived, the hills towering to a considerable
altitude, dotted a long way up with pretty-looking villas and well
cultivated gardens, until, reaching the town, these become merged in
its compact mass. Funchal, which contains a population of some 20,000
inhabitants, bears the usual Portuguese characteristics of white or
fancifully-coloured houses, many being lofty, with look-outs to the sea,
forts, churches, &c. The Loo Rock, commanding the entrance of the bay, is
very remarkable, being quite separated from the main land, which it there
protects from the roll of the sea. Here we found lying in the roads,
amongst other vessels, two American men-of-war, just come over from the
African station to refresh, as well as the Severn steamer, coaling on
her way from the Brazils to Lisbon and England. This opportunity enabled
us to send home dispatches forthwith. An assemblage of those peculiarly
strong-built boats, with double keels to protect them from being stove in
by the tremendous swell that sets in-shore so frequently, soon came to us
with offers of service, chiefly in the shape of miscellaneous matters for
sale; and we found ourselves amongst a pushing, energetic race, anxious
to trade and make money, with an earnestness that was quite refreshing.
Many spoke tolerably good English, and showed evident signs of being
accustomed to deal with our countrymen. Landing on the beach is sometimes
a formidable operation here; but the boats, as we have said, are well
adapted for all emergencies incident to the operation, whether performed
by those in robust health, or, as is too frequently the case, by
invalids, in almost the last stage preceding dissolution. The boatmen are
very active and obliging on such occasions, and considerate to a degree
that would be perfectly incredible to a Thames wherry-man at Gravesend.
We were immediately beset by a crowd of applicants for favours in one
shape or another, amongst whom were not a few beggars, although I believe
they are prohibited from soliciting alms, and a very good institution
exists for the helpless and houseless. Some of our passengers, with the
precipitancy of English in all such matters the moment a foreign shore is
reached, proceeded to test the vehicular conveniences of the island, by a
drive in one of those extraordinary bovine sledges drawn by two bullocks,
and which travel up the hills at a pace sufficiently surprising,
considering the apparently sluggish conformation of the steeds.

I took a ramble over the town, and made sundry diplomatic calls;
afterwards proceeding [aloft, as may be literally said,] to enjoy the
hospitality of Mr. Blandy, who occupies a charming country seat about
a mile up the hill, where there is a splendid view of the town and
bay, as well as of the towering mountains above. One of the sleighs or
sledges, just mentioned, carried us along a succession of steep hills
very quickly, a mode of conveyance which, notwithstanding its primeval
fashion, appears to be of recent date here. This _char rustique_ of
the mountains resembles, as nearly as possible, one of our turn-abouts
at a fair, with two seats opposite to each other; but the most curious
uses to which this odd contrivance is put, is in coursing down-hill by
express train, as they call it. Two persons seat themselves side-by-side
in the sledge, and an equal number of boys, holding a strap attached
to it, commence running down the steep declivities at a pace that must
be felt to be understood; but an idea of it may be formed by those who
remember the Vauxhall illustration of centrifugal force, some years
ago, when an unhappy monkey was placed in a carriage and shot down an
inclined plain, at the bottom whereof was a huge wheel, over and around
which the traveller and his vehicle were propelled, and brought to a
stand-still after attaining a level on the other side. The Madeira roads
are paved with sharp stones set very close together; so the machine
glides downwards without meeting with any resistance, and, in ten
minutes, descends a distance that takes half an hour or more to mount on
horseback. It was the most curious sensation I ever felt; and, though
assured of its safety, one cannot make the experiment for the first time
without thoughts of an upset running in one’s head, contact between which
and the stones would not have been very agreeable. Mountainous countries
are doubtless favourable to the promotion of personal activity; and
certainly the way in which the natives go up and down the steep paths
here, with burthens on their backs, especially in such a climate, is
something remarkable.

It is no wonder that the English are fond of Madeira, but a very great
wonder that far larger numbers do not resort thither, to pass the winter
months, with the numerous facilities of steam navigation now presented to
them. The climate, the total change of people and scenery, the teeming
vegetation, yielding the produce both of Europe and the tropics, the
picturesque disposal of the houses on the very ridges of the hills, with
every regard to comfort and even luxury, all combine to render this a
kind of earthly paradise, to which the seeming rhapsody at the head
of our chapter is really only literally applicable. Here indeed nature
showers down her choicest bounties: no fogs, miasmas, or even hurtful
dews; atmosphere almost always translucent and bright; the thermometer in
winter scarcely ever falling below 60 degrees; and where, during the hot
summer months, a cool and comfortable retreat, of almost any temperature,
may be found up the mountains. Lastly, there are no poisonous reptiles,
merely a brown lizard, harmless to everything save the vines; frogs are
quite a recent importation; and so far as I could learn, there are none
of that numerous tribe of annoying insects which infest the tropical
regions, only the familiar household flea, that makes himself at home
everywhere.

Unfortunately, the dependence of the population and the staple of Madeira
has been its vines, whose produce this year, as well as last, has totally
failed, from some cause almost as inscrutable, or at least as incurable,
and in its consequences nearly as calamitous, on a small scale, as the
potato rot in isles nearer home. I could not have believed without seeing
it:—in every direction the grapes were withered up like parched peas,
and, in many cases, the trees themselves dying. Such an extraordinary
visitation has, I believe, never been known here before. It partakes very
much of the same virulent character as the diseases that at times affect
the cereal world, and something of the kind was experienced with terrible
severity in the Canaries in 1704. Two years’ failure of a vintage, in
an island like Madeira, would be almost annihilation, if it were not
for its other boundless vegetable resources; and, as in the case of the
destruction of the Irish root, it is augured that much good may arise
to the people from the increased stimulus to industry so occasioned,
and their being induced not to place too great a dependence on any one
product. Still, it is a melancholy sight to behold the support of a whole
people struck down by such an inconceivable blight. Every means have
been tried to arrest its progress, but without success; and, should it
continue its ravages, Madeira wine bids fare to become greatly increased
in value a few years hence, when, as a matter of course, it will be
more in vogue and sought after, than has been the case for a long time
back.[33]

The streets of Funchal are narrow, but clean, and intersected by streams
of water, brought also into nearly every large dwelling. Their silence,
owing to the absence of vehicles, strikes the European stranger as
extraordinary; especially at night, when he seems to be placed in a city
of marionettes, as it were; and, from the presence of the palanquin,
bearing fair occupants about, quite an oriental tinge is imparted to
the aspect of the whole urban scene. Speaking of that, a note on the
physical attributes of the Madeirans; and we cannot do better than
quote the authority of a gentleman[33]—perhaps we should say a lady, as
it is doubtless her impressions in letter-press that are reflected on
this point[34]—who is the latest authority on what may be called the
_agremens_ of the island.

There are aqueducts made to bring the water from the mountain side, and
several deep gullies or ravines run through the town and empty themselves
into the sea. These cavities being crossed by bridges, the sides have
been built up at a considerable expense, and are covered with verdure,
tropical and European, producing a most picturesque effect. They are also
most beneficial in a sanitary sense, being in fact main arteries for
circulating pure fresh air, as well as for carrying off the impurities.

Excepting epidemics, Madeira, both town and country, must naturally be
the healthiest place in the world, for the reasons already stated. The
population of the island is estimated at upwards of 100,000, or, at least
was so till lately; but there is a good deal of emigration going on, and
owing to the late distress it is likely to increase materially, both to
Demerara and the Brazils, where the natives prove to be most valuable
labourers.

The history of Madeira, or at least its political history, is of no
great importance. Like Brazil, it is named after its wood, and so is
its capital, Funchal, from a species of fern abounding in still greater
profusion than the magnificent timber. A romantic interest belongs to its
early annals, as it was discovered, it is said, by Mr. Macham, an English
gentleman, or mariner, who fled from England for an illicit amour. He
was driven here by a storm, and his mistress, a French lady, dying, he
made a canoe, and carried the news of his discovery to Pedro, King of
Arragon, which occasioned the report that the island was discovered by
a Portuguese, A.D. 1345. But it is maintained that the Portuguese did
not visit the place until 1419, nor did they colonise it until 1431.[35]
It was taken possession of by the British in July, 1801; and again,
by Admiral Hood and General (afterwards Viscount) Beresford, Dec. 24,
1807, and retained in trust for the royal family of Portugal, which had
just then emigrated to the Brazils. It was subsequently restored to the
Portuguese crown.

The residence of Englishmen here, is of course highly advantageous to
the place, and they are welcomed, as they deserve to be, by a poor
but industrious, and by no means abject or cringing, people. On the
contrary, the population of all classes are remarkable for their frank
and ingenuous bearing. Living[36] is reasonable; and it is to be hoped
that thousands, instead of hundreds, of our countrymen, will ere long
find their way here. The visits of our late estimable Queen Adelaide,
of the Dowager Empress of Brazils, and others of eminent station and
corresponding means, are dwelt upon with gratitude, as they not only
caused a considerable circulation of money, but did much good personally.
In no part of the world can the bounties of nature, or the precious
gift of health be so richly enjoyed, or in a manner so agreeable to
Europeans, as here. The island has some little commerce with different
places, but administered in a manner that renders all we said about
Lisbon restrictions, monopolies, and mercantile impediments, applicable
in an aggravated degree, if that be possible; and, of course, until
things mend there, no improvement can be looked for here. The trading
portion of the community seem to be very social and friendly amongst
themselves, although not mixing a great deal with the English, or rather,
the English maintain their constitutional isolation from the natives,
but with a rigidity which time is rapidly mitigating. The character for
British hospitality is fittingly maintained by Mr. George Stoddard, our
Consul, who occupies the palatial residence of a Portuguese noble, and
dispenses the duties of his office in a manner that may well reconcile
the strictest economist at home to the most inadequate stipend of £300 a
year attached to it; for the obligations are often irksome, if not very
onerous; and not a few of them arising out of melancholy occurrences, to
whose frequency the tombstones and monuments in the English burial-ground
bear such significant testimony. This Anglo _Père la Chaise_ of the
Western Atlantic is one of the first objects visited—and, alas! often the
last, by the survivors of those whom

    The verdant rising and the flowery hill,
    The vale enamell’d, and the crystal rill,
    The ocean rolling, and the shelly shore,
    Beautiful objects, shall delight no more.
    Now the lax’d sinews of the weaken’d eye
    In watery damp and dim suffusion lie.

Bidding adieu, however, to these melancholy matters, we again resume our
course.



CHAPTER III.

MADEIRA TO CAPE VERDS, WITH A GLANCE AT THE CANARIES.

    Oceanic Sailing again.—Halcyon weather, and modern steaming
    to the _Fortunatæ Insulæ_ of the Ancients.—A stave on the
    saffron-coloured singing birds.—Touching Teneriffe, and
    Miltonic parallel to the Arch-Enemy.—Approach to Porto Grande,
    and what we found there, especially its extensive accommodation
    for steamers.—Deficiency of water the one draw-back.—Something
    concerning Ethiopic Serenaders under the Line.—Promethean
    Promontary extraordinary.—A memento of mortality midway
    in the world.—Portuguese rewards honourably earned by
    an Englishman.—Utility of Consuls in such places.—First
    acquaintance with an earthquake.—Verd Grapes soured by a
    paternal government.—Interchange of news between the Outward
    and the Homeward bound.—A good propelling turn towards a
    brother of the screw.

[Illustration: HOTEL, FORMERLY CONVENT, TENERIFFE.]

    Or other worlds they seem’d, or Happy Isles,
      Like those Hesperian gardens famed of old,
      Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales,
      Thrice happy isles.—Paradise Lost, Book iii.


This track is, generally speaking, about the most pleasant in the
Atlantic Ocean; fine sunny weather and fresh north-east trade winds,
which blow with tolerable regularity nearly the whole year round,
rendering it very easy sailing indeed, and proportionably agreeable to
passengers, who may be supposed by this time to have attained their
sea-legs. In our case the wind was, unfortunately too light to be of much
use, as a vessel going from ten to eleven knots, under steam, must have a
very strong breeze to get a-head of such speed and assist the machinery,
as well as obtain another knot or two. We pass the Canaries (or Fortunate
Isles, as they were called,) to windward, having in view the far-famed
Peak of Teneriffe, upheaving high its giant bulk 12,182 feet, and
keeping our course direct for St. Vincent. The Canaries are naturally
associated with our earliest school-boy notions, as the original home
of the charming little universal household songster,[37] to whom they
have given their name, but here called thistle-finch, and having for its
companions the blackbird, linnet, and others of the same tuneful and
now Saxonized family. The real Canary of these islands, however, the
_Fringilla Canaria_ of Linnæus, and which still abounds here, is not of
the saffron or yellow colour it attains in Europe; but is, in its wild
state, the colour of our common field or grey linnet, the yellow hue
being the result of repeated crossings in its artificial state amongst
us. The Canaries are amongst several other islands that were known to the
ancients, but not discovered by modern Europe until the middle of the
fifteenth century, when, after a brave resistance from the natives, the
Spaniards conquered and have since retained them.

Though not exactly in the route of the Argentina, nor intended to be
touched at by any of the company’s vessels, still being comparatively so
near the Canaries, and especially of that particular one whereof mention
is made by the great English bard, in verse as majestic as the phenomenon
he speaks of:

                  On the other side, Satan, alarmed,
    Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
    Like _Teneriff_ or Atlas, unremoved:
    His stature reach’d the sky, and on his crest
    Sat horror plumed.—Paradise Lost, Book iv.

we must present a souvenir of our proximity to so celebrated a vicinage;
and we cannot do so in a more graceful or welcome form than the sketch
prefixed to this chapter.

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

Porto Grande must become a most important coaling station, situated as
it is midway between Europe and South America, and close to the African
coast. Several important steam companies have already adopted it, viz.,
the Royal Mail (Brazil), the General Screw, the Australian, as also the
South American, and General Steam Navigation Company, whilst occasional
steamers are, likewise, glad to touch at it. At the period of which I am
writing, the Great Britain was the last that coaled here, on her way
to Australia. In order to meet this increased demand, a proportionate
degree of activity and exertion is observable on shore; and a large
number of iron lighters, carrying from 15 to 40 tons each, are now
in constant requisition, loaded, and ready to be taken alongside the
steamers the instant they cast anchor. Unfortunately, there is a very
poor supply of water, the want of it having been the occasion of frequent
emigration in the history of the islands; but it is understood to be
attainable at a slight expense; and a small outlay conjointly made by
the steam companies might not only procure a plentiful provision of this
all-necessary element, but also other conveniences, essential to the
comfort of passengers. There is no doubt that, as the place progresses,
supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables, will be forwarded thither
from the neighbouring islands, which are so productive that there is a
considerable export of corn; and the cattle are numerous. Until lately,
fowls were only a penny a piece; and turtles abound. Hitherto there has
been no regular marketable demand for such things; but one, and a large
one too, is henceforth established, from the causes assigned, and will
doubtless be regularly and economically supplied. The labourers here are
chiefly free blacks and Kroomen, from the coast of Africa, most of whom
speak English, and chatter away at a great rate, as they work in gangs,
with a kind of boatswain over them, who uses a whistle to direct their
toil—the movements of all the race of Ham to the days of Uncle Tom, being
seemingly susceptible of regulation to musical noise of some sort or
other; whether the ‘concord of sweet sounds,’ or what would appear to be
such to more refined ears, does not greatly matter.

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

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

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

Before leaving Porto Grande we had the satisfaction of seeing the General
Screw Company’s fine vessel, the Lady Jocelyn, arrive on the day she was
due from India and the Cape of Good Hope, on her way to Southampton, with
mails, and upwards of one hundred passengers. I went on board to give
them the latest news from England, which was of course very acceptable,
and the columns of the leading journals were eagerly devoured. In
exchange I received the ‘Cape News,’ which did not contain anything very
particular, all being quiet there, our old perturbed friend, Sandilli,
and his ebonized insurrectionists of the hills having apparently subsided
into lilies-of-the-valley of peace and philanthropy. The fine steamers
belonging to the General Screw line appeared destined to convey a large
portion of passengers between England and India, in preference to the
overland route; and, certainly, when one could make the passage in about
sixty days, direct, without change of conveyance, and with such splendid
accommodation and such conveniences as these vessels afford, it was only
natural that they should fill well; and a more comfortable, happy-looking
group of passengers I never saw in any vessel.

But, alack for the worthlessness of such moralizings and anticipations
as these. This enterprising company have been obliged to abandon their
Indian contract, owing to their coaling expenses being out of all
proportion to the small sum they received for conveying the mails.
The Cape of Good Hope contract, too, will most likely be given up, to
the great detriment of that important colony, and at the rate we are
progressing, steam communication to Australia does not promise to require
the coaling facilities of St. Vincent; still we are of opinion that this
island must increase in importance, and that whenever coal freights
revert to a moderate scale, steamers will gather there to and from the
Southern Ocean.



CHAPTER IV.

CAPE ST. VINCENT TO PERNAMBUCO.—A WORD ON THE CLIMATE OF THE BRAZILS.

    Progress from Porto Grande to Pernambuco.—Steam triumphs
    against adverse wind.—Further Superiority of Screw over
    Sail.—The Argentina in a South-Wester.—_Apropos_ of Malaria,
    and something sanitary about Brazil.—The yellow fever:
    whence it comes, and what has become of it?—Quarrels about
    Quarantine.—Brazil in advance of the old country in these
    matters.


Leaving Porto Grande, we shaped our rapid course southwards, to the
Brazils, across the wide expanse of ocean lying between the two
continents, and in all which prodigious waste of waters there is no port
of call nearer than St. Helena, latitude, 15 deg. 55 min. S., long.,
5. 44 E., unless we except the turtle-famed Island of Ascension, 800
miles N.E. of the Bonapartean place of exile, which itself is 1,200
miles from the coast of Lower Guinea. The trade winds vary a good deal
in their extension towards the line, and in these latitudes commence
the difficulties of a sailing ship, which has to deal with calms and
variable winds, blowing from all points of the compass, until such time
as it catches the south-east trade, and is carried onwards. Our course
lay towards Pernambuco, a place I visited for the first time upwards of
thirty years back, and where I have often been since, but never in a
steamer; and only those who have experienced the difference between the
two modes of propulsion, wind alone and steam, can fairly appreciate the
value of the latter power. In former years, 40 to 50 days were considered
an average passage to Pernambuco, lately reduced to about 30 to 35 by
clipper-vessels, whilst a steamer will traverse the distance easily in 20
days, including stoppages to coal, and for any other requisite purpose.
The consequence is, that numbers pass to and fro, who would never do so
but for the facilities thus afforded, and which afford at the same time a
further evidence of the trite truth, already frequently dwelt upon, and
which will have to be still more frequently repeated, before we come to
a close, that steam navigation becomes the great civilizer of the world,
and brings distant nations so much nearer to our own shores.

Our run from St. Vincent to Brazil was a very hard one. Losing the
trade-wind the day after that on which we left the island, it was
replaced by an implacable south-wester, against which our little vessel
steamed vigorously, and we could barely carry fore and aft canvas. When,
after eight days’ tugging we arrived at Pernambuco, there was not an
hour’s coal left, a consideration which naturally rendered all on board
anxious for some short time before. We shaved close past the Island of
Fernando de Noronha, showing a conical hill, very like a ship under
canvas at a distance. It is a penal settlement of Brazil, and considered
very healthy.

Before describing other ports of call on our way to the River Plate,
let us just take a glance at the Empire of Brazil, which, from its
geographical position, immense fertility and internal resources,
is second only in importance to the great Empire of the West—the
United States of North America. And, first, in regard to that primal
consideration, health, as affected by the climate—a subject on which
many years’ experience in my own person, and an attentive observation of
the health of various classes of Europeans in the tropics enable me to
speak with as much weight as should probably attach to the opinion of the
majority of non-medical men on a medical topic; and some remarks on that
head in the chapter on Pernambuco will probably be found not altogether
unworthy of the attention even of the faculty.

Notwithstanding its well-known heat, in common with all other countries
within the tropics, and especially a country so large a portion of which
is directly beneath the equator, until within the last few years Brazil
has been proverbially one of the healthiest climates in the world, and
European residents could indulge almost with impunity in the pleasures
and luxuries of tropical life. Unfortunately yellow fever has changed
all this, and rendered the vital statistics of the harbours and cities
of the empire mournful catalogues of suffering and disaster, threatening
serious injury to its national prosperity, if the scourge does not soon
finally depart from its shores. This, it is devoutly hoped may be the
case, and fortunately seems to be so at present, as far as can be augured
from the reports now continued for a considerable time. During over
thirty years’ acquaintance with, and frequent residence in the country, I
never experienced or heard of any existing epidemic worthy of the name,
or such as could not be readily accounted for; but the aspect of things,
at the period of my last arrival, had sadly indeed changed, and the dread
pestilence in its ravages seemed to spare neither the hardy European
mariner, the native resident, the blacks, nor indeed any class of
persons brought within its influence. How or from whence this mysterious
visitation had arisen it was impossible to say. Some maintain that it was
brought from the coast of Africa, and is a kind of retributive punishment
for the iniquitous traffic in human flesh carried on so extensively in
the Brazils, until lately, that the government have shown themselves
determined to put it down. But those who argue in this fashion forget
that the same doctrine would apply in a thousand instances at home and
abroad; that the exceptions are unfortunately more numerous than the rule
which would be thus set up by human presumption for the admeasurement of
the justice of Omniscience; and that it is always imprudent, to say the
least of it, to attempt to interpret the causes of such dispensations of
Providence by our own notions of human requirement. Others deny the fever
to be either epidemic or contagious, affirming that it must be induced by
some peculiar atmosphere, generated, no one knows how, on the sea coast;
and it certainly is curious enough that vessels have had the sickness on
board, whilst coming down the coast, before even touching at a Brazilian
port. Whatever be the true cause of this affliction, it ought to teach
the Brazilians a lesson not to abuse the bounties of Providence, which
they enjoy in almost unexampled profusion, or neglect those means of
sanitary protection which are needful even in the healthiest portions
of Europe. No doubt much is required to be done in this way, and not
in trying to enforce stupid quarantine regulations, which only add to
suffering without arresting the arm of the devastator. Indeed, the
Brazilian government has shown great good sense in eschewing the absurd
formalities in question, therein again exhibiting an immense superiority
of intelligence over the mother country; for at Lisbon all the antiquated
and superannuated encumbrances and ceremonials are rigorously exacted,
though there be not even the shadow of a pretext for enforcing them; for
although a ship’s bill of health may be perfectly clean, and although the
ports she last sailed from may have been long known to be uninfected,
still the circumstance of their having been once tainted is sufficient
warrant for the Portuguese procrastinators in exacting any amount of
detention that may be agreeable to their caprice, whether the vessel be
sail or steamer.



THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL.

    “Stern winter smiles on this auspicious clime;
    The fields are florid in eternal prime;
    From the bleak pole no winds inclement blow,
    Mould the round hail, or flake the fleecy snow;
    But from the breezy deep the groves inhale
    The fragrant murmurs of the eastern gale!”



CHAPTER V.

EMPIRE OF BRAZIL.

    Rather prefatory and not very particular, though somewhat
    personal.—Books on Brazil should be in _Mediam Viam_ for the
    present route, avoiding the Scylla of extreme succinctness
    and the Charybdis of needless diffuseness.—Object of the
    Author to attain the golden medium.—With what success, gentle
    reader, say?—Discovery of the country by the Portuguese.
    Their subsequent disputes with, and final expulsion of
    the Dutch.—Extent and Population; variety of soil and
    produce.—Difficulty of communication between the provinces
    and the capital, in consequence of extreme distance and
    imperfect means of travelling.—Extraordinary instance of
    the roundabout nature of news circulating in Brazil some
    time ago.—Steam corrective of such sluggishness.—A glance
    at the Brazilian littoral, beginning with the Amazon, and
    ending with Rio Grande do Sul.—Pará and its productions.—Rio
    Negro, and its recent political elevation.—Maranham and its
    Mercantile importance.—Laird’s steam leveller, on the singular
    stream of the Itapecuru.—Justice for England by Maranham
    Magistrates.—Piauhy and its products; also Ceara, Rio Grande
    do Norte, and Paraiba.—Pernambuco revisited by the writer, and
    welcomed with a rhythmetical sentimental something concerning
    ‘Long, long, ago!’


Let not the reader suppose, from the heading of this chapter, ‘Empire
of Brazil,’ that he is going to encounter either a dilution or a
condensation of Southey, Kidder, Weech, Mawe, Prince Adalbert, St.
Hilaire, and others, who have written at great length and in many
languages, on so fertile and so expansive a theme. The object of the
author in this portion of the volume is merely, by presenting at a glance
the position and condition of Brazil generally, to enable those who
accompany him in these pages the more readily to recognize the points
he is about to put hereafter as the result of his own experience, more
especially with reference to the machinery of commercial matters in
Brazil. It is often the fault of men very full of a particular subject
themselves to take for granted that the public either know a very great
deal, or wish to know everything about it. Brazil has suffered much from
both these causes in European, and especially in English estimation.
Those familiar with and competent to write about it, have either presumed
that the public were nearly as wise as themselves, and have passed over
matters of great interest, believing them to be stale and exhausted,
and dwelling upon the trivialities of personal travel by way of varying
a beaten track:—or, on the other hand, the exhaustive process has been
applied, and historic and topographic disquisition have been employed
with a minuteness that would be only tolerated in English county
gazetteers or family chronicles. The consequence is that all but the
student or the virtuoso in such matters have been repelled from their
perusal. When the idea of writing this book occurred to the author—an
idea suggested by frequent inquiries for works that should, in a brief
compass, give a tolerable notion of things to be met with and that ought
to be known in a route of yearly increasing importance between two
quarters of the globe—it was suggested that he should steer between the
two extremes just indicated. He has endeavoured to do so; and without
further circumlocution, he places before the reader the means of deciding
with what success.

Brazil,[38] as already noticed, was discovered by Cabral on his way to
India in 1500 (although it has been asserted that the coast was visited
by Martin Belem in 1484) who at first supposed it to be a large island
on the coast of Africa.[39] The reports as to her mineral wealth not
being at that time encouraging, little progress was made in colonizing
Brazil until 1542, when the Portuguese rulers sent out Thomas de Souza
as first governor, who built San Salvador, (or Bahia, as it is now
called, capital of the province of the same name,) and materially aided
the mission of the Jesuits in civilizing the Indian population. This
Portuguese possession was afterwards disputed both by the Spaniards
and the Dutch, and the latter succeeded in appropriating several of
the northern provinces, viz.:—Ceara, Seregipe, Pernambuco, and Bahia,
which they held for a considerable time during the 17th century, and
did much towards the permanent prosperity of the country, by building
forts, enlarging towns, and carrying out a number of useful public works,
which remain as monuments of their laboriousness and perseverance to
this day, especially in the capitals of the two last-named provinces.
Much gallantry and patriotism were shown by the native Brazilian and
Portuguese residents in their conflict with the Hollanders, ending in
the final expulsion of the latter from the entire coast, although this
event may be considered a misfortune to the country itself, in losing so
industrious and painstaking a race.

The Brazilian empire extends from about 4 degrees north, to 33 degrees
south, latitude; its extreme length is from 2,500 to 2,600 miles, and
breadth above 2,000 at the widest part; it contains some 2,500,000 square
miles of territory, comprising every variety of soil and culture, and
is possessed of considerable variety of climate. Its population has
been variously estimated at from six to seven millions; but no data
exist from which one can form more than an approximate calculation.
Out of this number, one half may be set down as slaves, and the other
half mixed races, from the native-born Portuguese downwards to the pure
Indian. One of the great draw-backs hitherto experienced in administering
the government of the Brazils has been the distance of the towns and
provinces from the metropolis, Rio Janeiro; and this has more especially
applied to the northern provinces, from Pará to Pernambuco, where, owing
to the almost constant prevalence of a northerly current, sailing-vessels
took a very long time in getting down the coast; so that, in the absence
of communication by land, the intelligence of disturbances or temporary
rebellion only reached the seat of government a considerable period after
the first outbreak. An extraordinary and almost incredible instance of
this occurred on the occasion of the formidable revolt of the province
of Pará, the first news of which was received at Rio Janeiro by way
of England, sixty days after a British sailing ship had left Pará,
and another recrossed the Atlantic, and anchored in the port of the
Brazilian capital, no ship, within all that period, having been able to
make way from Pará to Rio against the monsoon and current and wind that
prevails for a great part of the year, blowing from the antarctic circle
towards the equator. Perhaps the astonishment created by this state of
things will, however, be triflingly mitigated if the reader will bear
in mind that Brazil is as large as nearly a dozen Great Britains; and
will also recollect what vagueness, incertitude, and delay characterise
the receipt of intelligence in London from Constantinople and St.
Petersburgh, notwithstanding special steamers, express trains, electric
telegraphs, government couriers, and time-and-space-annihilating editors
of innumerable newspapers, at both ends and all along the whole line of
operations. Steam navigation has however in a great measure remedied
this evil, as it has done so many others; and news is now regularly
transmitted between Rio Janeiro and Pará by a steam company, liberally
subsidized by the government, the former being bound to dispatch a
vessel once a fortnight, calling at all the ports. In the absence
of internal roads or communications along the coast, steam must very
properly be regarded as the main-stay of the executive, at the same time
that it offers the needful facility for provincial deputies attending
the sittings of the Rio chambers. Steam, valuable everywhere, is
invaluable here, and may, indeed, be looked upon as the great civilizer
and regenerator of a country like Brazil, with a sea-coast extending
nearly 4,000 miles from north to south; while other tributary lines of
steamers are being established in the innumerable bays and rivers. The
northernmost point is the mighty Amazon, which is being explored and
opened to general traffic by another steam company, established at Rio
Janeiro, and likewise aided with an ample subsidy from the government;
though from the terms in which certain North American and other writers,
to some of whom we shall have to allude hereafter, speak of the Brazilian
authorities, it might be inferred that not a particle of enterprise of
this kind is tolerated, much less encouraged. Considering that it is
only 20 years since the first funnel darkened the Brazilian waters,
this wonder-working agent of steam may fairly be said to be only in its
infancy, and its progeny will no doubt ere long be greatly multiplied
on the coast and up the vast fluvial arteries of the empire. A brief
glance along the littoral boundaries of this almost boundless dominion
will soon shew the transcendent importance of steam to such a region. The
northernmost province of the Brazils is

_Pará_, with a capital of the same name, otherwise called Belem, situated
on the north-eastern bank of the Amazon, 80 miles from its entrance.
From the cause already assigned (distance from the seat of government)
the progress of this important province, containing upwards of a million
square miles, much of which is yet unknown, has been greatly retarded
by civil wars and an unruly population. Its chief productions are corn,
caoutchouc (or gum elastic), ipecacuanha, nuts, &c.; but there is no
doubt that the navigation of the Amazon will lead to great additional
sources of export, and soon render this province one of the most
flourishing in the empire, as its immense fertility, miscellaneous
produce, and the incalculable advantages of having the greatest river
in the world traversing its entire length, so well entitle it to be.
The population, of whom some ten thousand are probably Indians, amounts
to about 350,000. Of their condition, and that of the province and its
capital, we shall speak in detail under the head of the Amazon; as also of

_Rio Negro_, an internal province situated on the Amazon, and
communicating with the seaport of Pará. It has only lately been raised to
the dignity of a province.

_Maranhao_, or _Maranham_, or _San Luiz_, follows on the line of
sea-coast, with a large, well-built capital, similarly named, but is
not very densely populated, containing probably not more than a quarter
of a million inhabitants to an area of nearly 70,000 square miles, the
soil being well watered and fertile, and, like nearly the whole of the
Brazilian empire, producing wood of the finest kind for almost every
purpose. It has always been looked upon as a steady-going place, although
its progress has not kept pace with other more favoured provinces to
the southward. Its chief production is cotton, of which the export
is considerable, averaging about 30,000 bags per annum, and rice and
sarsaparilla also form considerable items. The town is situated on an
island, some 30 miles from the coast, with rather a dangerous navigation
to it, though of easy access for small vessels, a couple of forts
defending the entrance. It is said to contain a population of 30,000,
which is probably an exaggeration. Its buildings, however, are on a
scale not unworthy of such numbers, and consist of a theatre, hospital,
several convents, and schools of a very superior order. About 200 miles
up the River Itapicuru is the important town of Caxias, formerly Aldeas
Altas, and which, though suffering itself considerably in the civil wars
of 1838-40, has nearly double the population of Maranham. Its connection
with the latter has been greatly accelerated by means of a small steamer
running between the two places, and called the Caxiense, built by the
constructor of the Argentina, Mr. John Laird, of Birkenhead, under
peculiar reservation as to her draught of water; which was not to be
more than three feet, and even this appears too much for the shallow
places in the river during the dry season, though she seems to have
been eminently successful in other respects, and of great utility, not
only in going up and down the river with freight and passengers, but
also in towing vessels and small craft. The scenery on the Itapicuru is
described as most romantic, the banks being high, and lined with towering
trees, in many places almost meeting across. The navigation however is
very uncertain and irregular, as will have been inferred from what we
have said of the necessity of exceedingly shallow-bottomed steamers, in
the dry season, when there is not more than from two to three feet of
water in some places, whilst in the rainy season it will rise to 20 or
30 feet, inundating, or rather irrigating, the country round to some
extent, and rendering it, like the Delta of the Nile, and for the same
reason, uncommonly fertile, so much so, indeed, as to leave little scope
for industry; for, by merely striking a few plants in the mud, two or
three crops a-year can be obtained, more than sufficient for the wants of
the inhabitants. On the banks of the river are many large fazendas, or
estates, where cotton only was formerly grown, but they are now trying
sugar likewise, and with encouraging assurance of remunerative results.

Ascending the river, the first important place arrived at is the Villa
de Rosario, situated in a fertile district, and where many influential
planters reside. Next in rotation are Paioul and St. Nicholas;
afterwards, there comes Itapicuru-Merim, where vessels, drawing 4 feet
of water can go in the driest season; but beyond the latter-named place,
not more than two feet and a half. Nearly all the produce shipped at
Maranham comes down this river in canoes, of about 40 tons register,
carrying 300 bags of cotton; and in the dry season this voyage will take
three months to perform what the steamer does now in less than four days!
In the rainy season these river craft will come down much more quickly;
but the average time then occupied in going up is still greater, owing
to the strength of the freshes in the river, the vessel having to be
hauled up by bodily force, ropes being taken from tree to tree, and
requiring a crew for the purpose. This slight sketch of the difficulties
attending the navigation of one of the internal rivers of the Brazils by
native craft, will show what may be effected by steam, even under the
most unfavourable circumstances of a very shallow stream; and what may we
not expect from such a communication being established along the mighty
Amazon?

Maranham was a short time back the scene of a most brutal murder of an
English resident; and, to the credit of the local government, four of the
miscreants concerned in it were hanged, the force of which observation
will be understood by those who know the difficulty of administering
justice in a country like Brazil, where, owing to the vast distance of
one town from another, and the consequent difficulty of sustaining the
vigilance of pursuit, and the facilities for baffling it, crimes of
this nature may be expected to go long unpunished, if the perpetrators
be not caught almost red-handed in the very deed of blood. The acting
President of Maranham is represented as most energetic and efficient,
having done much to improve the town and maintain civil order in his
district. His official residence is a very fine one, and should have been
mentioned among the imposing structures of the town, or rather city, for
such Maranham is, at least in the English sense of the term, being the
residence of a bishop, and containing an episcopal palace of considerable
dimensions, and of striking architectural appearance. The place, and some
of its people, still retain slight traces of its French origin, having
been founded by that nation, as late as the end of the 17th century; and,
it is said, that that language is better spoken in Maranham than in any
other part of Brazil, the capital itself not excepted.

_Piauhy._—Beyond Maranham lies the little province of this name, which
has no port or outlet; but in the district of Parahyba, 100 miles to the
eastward of Maranham, are extensive plains, extending over 6,000 square
miles, watered by numerous rivers and covered with cattle, which can be
bought exceedingly cheap. Much carne seca (dried beef) is cured here and
sent to Maranham, as well as cattle, in beautiful condition. It is easy
to imagine what an important element of supply this will be to other
parts of the empire not so well provided, so soon as better means of
transit exist. Unlike most other portions of Brazil, Piauhy is deficient
in wood; but, in addition to its fine pastures, it produces in great
abundance maize, millet, sugar, rice, cotton, jalap, ipecacuanha, and
some silver, iron, and lead, but none of these yield anything like what
may be expected when there is a population something better proportioned
to the area we have named, for at present the inhabitants do not exceed
70,000. Its capital, Oeyras, has but about 3,000 inhabitants, but
contains some remarkable ecclesiastical evidences of the former presence
of the Jesuits.

_Ceara_ is a very sandy district, but with a good back country where
many cattle are bred, but which suffers much from occasional drought.
Ceara exports a fair quantity of hides, some cotton, and fustic. The
town of Aracati is situated on a picturesque river, but with a very bad
bar entrance, on which several vessels have been lost; they, therefore,
now generally load outside, some miles higher up the coast, where an
indent admits of shelter, and to which the cotton is taken in jangadas
(native craft.) Though the heat in this province is excessive in summer,
the climate is nevertheless healthy. Its population is somewhat about
200,000; and gold, as well as copper, iron, and salt, is among its yet
very imperfectly ascertained mineral resources. The town of Ceara is
quite on the coast, and has no harbour, or protection, beyond a reef of
rocks that forms a kind of breakwater, within which vessels can ride at
anchor. It is a curious thing that the reef, of which this constitutes a
part, extends along nearly the whole coast of Brazil, from Cape St. Roque
to the Abrolhos, near Rio Janeiro, and is of the same hard coral nature.
In many places an entrance through, or a break in the reef, enables
vessels to get to small ports inside, and jangadas can sail along the
coast, within these reefs for hundreds of miles, entirely protected from
the sea, which rolls in and breaks upon them with a deafening noise.

_Rio Grande do Norte_, a name derived from the river which, after an
east course, enters the Atlantic at Natal, its capital, possesses a good
harbour, but has little direct trade, procuring its supplies chiefly from
Pernambuco. Compared with any of the provinces already spoken of, it is
well peopled, there being about 140,000 inhabitants to 32,000 square
miles. A few cargoes of Brazil wood were formerly shipped here, being
the best quality produced in the whole empire, and prized accordingly,
till it fell into disrepute from the causes we have already specified,
in speaking of that once-prized ingredient in the art of dyeing. Like
Piauhy, Rio Grande do Norte is favourable to cattle-rearing; but exports
of that kind, in the shape of hides, tallow, or jerked beef, are scanty,
because of the paucity of means of transport.

_Paraiba_ is a very fertile province, bordering on that of Pernambuco,
and vastly better peopled than the one last described, as it has a
population of 70,000 to an area of 9,000 square miles; and cattle of
European breeds are raised in considerable numbers with great facility.
There is a fine river, some 20 miles in length, leading up to the town,
of the same name as the province, where vessels can load alongside the
trapixes. The bar entrance is rather intricate, but there is very good
anchorage just inside. Paraiba exports largely of cotton, and also of
sugar and hides. The upper city is extensive, with large, well-built
houses; while the lower, or commercial part of the town, is also
extremely good, possessing a splendid Government warehouse, and the whole
indicating quondam prosperity, as well as affording additional proof
of the industry and perseverance of the Dutch, who formerly held this
province in conjunction with Pernambuco. The treasury, in particular,
is considered a very fine building; its educational establishments are
also excellent; and in the neighbourhood of the town are some of the
best-managed coffee plantations probably in the empire.

_Pernambuco._—We now approach the most flourishing and remarkable
province in the Brazils, upon which the writer hopes he may be pardoned
if he descant at some length, as a place intimately mixed up with
all his boyish ideas and first impressions; where he spent many happy
days, and always returned with considerable pleasure, although, on this
occasion, alas! very few of the old familiar faces he once knew any
longer arrested his vision, as he cast his eye along the well-known
mart and into the well-remembered homes of other days; for a quarter of
a century makes a terrible void indeed in the limited ranks of one’s
countrymen who take up their abode in such places.

    Musical the rippling
    Of the tardy current,
    Musical the murmur
    Of the wind-swept trees,
    Musical the cadence
    Of the friendly voices,
    Laden with the sweetness
    Of the songs of old.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO PERNAMBUCO HARBOUR.]

[Illustration: PART OF THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL, _Shewing the Line of the_
Projected Railway & Navigable _Upper Level of the_ RIVER SAN FRANCISCO.

_S Straker lith. 80 Bishopsgate St. London._]



CHAPTER VI.

PERNAMBUCO.

    ‘That Strain Again!’—‘It hath a dying fall.’—‘Auld Lang
    Syne, or ’tis thirty years ago.’—Aspect of Pernambuco from
    the Sea.—Tripartite division of the City, Recife, St.
    Antonio, and Boa Vista.—Note on the old town of Olinda
    and its new namesake, the late steamer No. 2 of this A 1
    line.—March of improvement by land and sea, in respect to
    ships and city.—Such Brazilian progress a lesson for West
    Indians.—Frugality and personal activity on the one hand,
    prodigality and vicarial mismanagement on the other, being
    the real difference between the position of the planters in
    either place.—Sugar Manufacturing improvements.—De Mornay’s
    Patent Cane Crushing Mill, and its Merits.—Appreciation of
    the invention in the West Indies as well as Brazil.—Exports
    of Pernambuco to United States.—Political and Martial feeling
    of the Pernambucanos.—Peculiarities of the Population,
    soil, and produce.—Unique effects of rain and drought in
    the Matta.—Hygienic hints to the consumptive and the yellow
    feverish.—Initiation of the Railway Era, by the De Mornays,
    in Pernambuco.—Immense importance of the proposed line, and
    certainty of its success, sustained by British Capital,
    and specially supported by the Emperor personally, and the
    Brazilian executive.—Mr. Borthwick’s report on the project.—The
    writer’s anticipation that it will be successful, and
    expectation that the reader will approve of his suggestion for
    making it so.—Note on Planters’ life in America.

[Illustration: PERNAMBUCO.]


It is a trite remark, that there is probably no more permanent or abiding
impression on the mind than that created by first visiting a country,
whose climate, people, habits, and ideas, differ essentially from those
we have been brought up with and are accustomed to regard as a part of
our nature. After a lapse of more than thirty years, the sensations
I experienced on my first arrival here are as fresh in my memory as
if occurring only yesterday. The voyage, which occupied no less than
fifty-six days; the eager anxiety for a sight of land; the first view of
the foreign port and outlandish looking craft; and then the pilot coming
on board with a crew of blacks, seen for the first time; the debarkation
amongst strange faces of every possible shade of colour; with the
curiously formed streets and singular houses, filled with a population of
hues so different from that left behind—every one apparently shouting at
the top of their voices; whilst hundreds of rainbow-tinted parrots, and
harlequin-skinned animals, more numerous than the managerial knowledge of
a boy of fifteen believed had ever appeared out of the Ark, all helped to
aggravate the preternatural a perpetual din—the whole scene, as may be
imagined, being such as to become indelibly engraven on such a spectator
for the remainder of his life. It was a season of eager curiosity and
enjoyment. ‘Youth at the prow and Pleasure at the helm’ look only to the
bright side of life’s river; but neither time nor distance has since
dimmed the halo that seemed then to environ the portals of this first
launch into active being. _Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis_;
still the characteristic peculiarities of a new country and new scenes
remain fixed in our minds, as if no change had ever come over the spirit
of our dream; and such is Pernambuco still to me, though in many respects
greatly improved, altered, and enlarged, as I shall proceed to show
forthwith.

Approaching Pernambuco from the main, it appears, like Venice, to rise
gradually out of the waters, though, unlike the ‘Sea Cybele, fresh from
ocean,’ we cannot perhaps exactly descry her ‘tiara of proud towers,’
at least in the sense applied to the mistress of the Mediterranean; but
still the reality of the resemblance is quite sufficient to justify the
comparison. You first discern church-steeples, domes, lofty houses,
glittering in the sun; then shipping, and the general features of a
commercial town, become visible. The harbour is quite a natural one,
formed by a reef of coral rocks, already described as running along
nearly the whole extent of the Brazilian coast, and supposed to be
continued inland, where the coast projects beyond the line of the reef.
At Pernambuco it has positively all the appearance of a wall some yards
wide, just as if erected by the industry of man, and extending along
the whole sea-front of the town, breaking off the swell of the ocean,
and leaving the water in the harbour or creeks perfectly smooth, except
sometimes at high water, and at periods of high tide, when the sea,
finding its way over the reef, causes a little bubbling inside. The
entrance is through a kind of break in the reef, which also forms the
mouth of a river, intersecting the town, but not going any great distance
inland;—passing through and rounding the reef, in an instant you are in
smooth water, and in Pernambuco harbour. The width of the passage is not
much above 200 yards, taken from the reef to the shore, and this is lined
with quays and wharves, which have been much extended of late years, and
a dredging-machine is now constantly at work, deepening the channels,
which are influenced by the current and freshes of the river. The bar
formerly allowed only of the passage of vessels drawing 14 feet, but,
they say, it is now quite safe for those of 15 to 15½ feet; and hopes are
entertained that it can be deepened so as to admit the largest class of
vessels, which would be a boon of immense importance to the place.

The town, or city, of Pernambuco is divided into three compartments:—the
first, called the Recife (literally Reef), being that directly
opposite the reef, and where most of the foreign commercial firms are
located; crossing a wooden bridge, is St. Antonio, inhabited chiefly
by shopkeepers; and a well-built and extensive compartment further on
is Boa Vista, to which you cross by another long wooden bridge, but
protected with a light iron railing at the sides. The river runs under
these bridges very rapidly at times, and with a snake-like course, almost
insulating the two first divisions. From Boa Vista good roads branch off
to the country, and a new one has latterly been made to Olinda[40] along
the margin of the river, lighted with lamps, &c., a very useful and
praiseworthy undertaking on the part of the government.

The town is generally well-built; lofty houses whitewashed, with red
tiles, and plenty of verandahs, and windows to admit the cool breezes;
and for miles in every direction, towards the interior, are comfortable
villas, some very large, and constructed with considerable taste. When
I first came here in 1821 only two or three carriages existed in the
place, old-fashioned ones belonging to equally old-fashioned Portuguese,
and I should suppose something like the ‘dormeuse’ of the Grand Prior of
Alcobaça, so graphically described by Beckford, when he travelled with
that dignitary to the grand abbey of Batalha [_vide_ Lisbon, page 36];
now there are some 200 vehicles, of all sorts and sizes, and many very
good ones for hire, besides those belonging to private individuals; and
no doubt taste and luxury would be still more extended in this direction
if it were not for the narrow archways through which the Recife is
traversed.

In all respects, Pernambuco has been not only a thriving but an
improving place, so much so that one who would visit it now for the
first time could hardly believe it to be the same town of which Koster,
a comparatively short time ago, said that the shops were without
windows, light being admitted only by the door, and that there were no
distinctions of trades, and no municipal regulations worthy of being
so called. Extensive waterworks have been constructed, which bring
good water some distance to the town; and doubtless, in a few years,
it will be lighted with gas. A bank has been established on a safe and
respectable footing; and the merchants have their news-room, as a sort of
rendezvous for business, instead of an Exchange, whilst extensive quays
have been formed on the margin of the rivers that would serve as models
for the conservators of ‘Father Thames.’

The increased production of sugar is something marvellous; from 10,000
tons in 1821 to nearly 70,000 during the last year, with the certainty
of a still further progressive increase. And this circumstance is
adduced as an argument, by the old West Indian interest, to show the
great injustice of our present Free-trade system, which, they say,
encourages the production of slave to the detriment of free labour. In
this instance, however, the assertion is quite fallacious; for the truth
is, that whilst this province is the most fertile one in the empire,
fewer slaves have been imported into it than into any other. There is,
moreover, a large coloured population, a considerable portion of them
being analogous to the yeoman class amongst us. The owners of more
extensive properties are industrious and enterprising, and not burthened
with debts and mortgages, as in the West Indies; they farm their own
estates, so to speak, and live amongst their labourers, overcoming local
difficulties that would daunt paid agents and attorneys such as swarmed
in Jamaica and all the adjacent islands during the period of their
prosperity. This is the secret of the well-doing of Brazil, and not the
alteration in our fiscal system, although the latter has no doubt acted
as a stimulus to the South American planter to increase his productions,
by which he is enabled to consume more of our manufactures.

Whether we consider the frugal habits of the planters of Pernambuco,
their unremitting attention to their occupation, or their enterprising
disposition, we shall arrive at the conclusion that, aided by a soil and
climate second to none in their powers of production, they will very
soon take the lead among the sugar-producing countries; indeed, the
excellent improvements introduced by them within a few years upon the old
methods of manufacture will go far to give them that preëminence. Among
such recent improvements I may here more particularly mention that of
a very practical centrifugal machine, constructed principally of wood,
and manufactured in the country. Mr. Eustaquio Vellozo de Silveira has,
on his estate, Rainha dos Anjos, one of these centrifugals at work, and
with the best results. A most intelligent and much respected member of
the General Legislative Assembly, Dr. Domingos de Souza Leao, (to whom
I had the pleasure of being introduced at a ball, in Rio Janeiro, and
of dancing with his sister-in-law), ordered for his estate, Carauna, in
1851, the first mill of an entirely new patent for crushing the canes,
invented by the Messrs. De Mornay. This cane mill is very simple in its
construction; and the owner affirms that it gives a much more powerful
pressure to the canes than the old mills. Several others on the same
patent have since been put up in that province, which have proved quite
successful; and it is only this year that others of the same description
will be erected in the West Indies, the planters of these islands having
been made acquainted with the result of the experiments in Brazil. A very
large portion of Brazilian produce, both sugar and coffee, is consumed
on the continent of Europe and in the United States, as appears by the
returns for 1853, at the end of the chapter on Rio Janeiro.

It will thus be seen that we are not the only customers of Brazil, and
that it is a mere fallacy to attribute its prosperity to our legislative
measures, although the latter were acts of common justice to our growing
trade with the country, as well as to our own over-taxed population.
Until the West Indian Islands can exist on principles similar to those
established in Brazil, it is idle to suppose that there can be any
permanent or rational prosperity in connection with them.

We have said that the province of Pernambuco has long been noted as
the most go-a-head and enterprising of the empire; and the same spirit
that has led to these results has also been the cause of much political
feeling. Several revolutions have occurred here that threatened a
dismemberment of the state; the first, during the old _regime_ of the
Portuguese in 1817, followed by another very serious affair in 1824,
when Manuel Carvalho assumed the dictatorship of the province; and
a considerable land and sea force had to be sent there before the
revolution could be repressed, the port being blockaded by the Brazilian
squadron, under Commodore Taylor, for about six months. Other outbreaks
have taken place, attended with much bloodshed, the last in 1848, when
the town had a narrow escape from falling into the hands of a set of
miscreants, who would first have pillaged and then devastated it with
fire and sword; fortunately for the province, their leader, a man of
talent and influence, was killed in the outskirts, of the town, and a
salutary example set by the punishment of his followers. Since then the
province has remained perfectly quiet, and apparently with every prospect
of continuing so.

The Pernambucanos, as the inhabitants of this province are termed,
have always evinced a martial spirit, commencing with their determined
and successful resistance to the Dutch in the 17th century; and it was
undoubtedly owing to them that that people were finally expelled. Still,
this bellicose feeling is apt to endanger internal tranquillity, when
turned in a wrong direction. Happily, the wish to trade and make money
seems now to be the predominant sentiment, and we must hope that it will
continue to influence the inhabitants.

Like all the other provinces, Pernambuco is governed by a President,
selected by the Government at Rio, generally some man of influence
residing in the district; and there is a provincial assembly appointed to
act under him, as also a municipal and other bodies elected for the local
management of the towns.

The coloured and free population of Pernambuco amounts to about 650,000,
and the slave races to about 100,000; of the former, 250,000 inhabit
towns, and the remainder follow agricultural pursuits. The slaves are
about equally divided between town and country. There is a striking
difference between the people inhabiting that part of the province
nearest to the sea and those living far in the interior; and not only do
the people differ in appearance and manners, but the districts differ
totally in character and in climate. The sea board, in some parts as
far inland as 50 miles, goes under the denomination of the ‘Matta,’ or
forest country, and above that it is called Catinga, or Sertao; Catinga,
is the name of a peculiar growth of herbage which there abounds, and
Sertao means literally desert, applied to this district on account of
the peculiar nature of the country, which, being open and unwooded, has
an appearance to warrant such a name. The Sertao is, nevertheless, far
from being, as the name might lead one to infer, a barren waste, but,
on the contrary, the vegetation surprises even those who, born in the
‘Matta,’ have been nurtured among the wonders of the tropical vegetable
kingdom. In 1846, two years of drought had driven thousands to seek for
food and water in the ‘Matta,’ and had spread desolation and death among
thousands of those who remained; and the cotton planters, in the hope of
more abundant showers, opened and planted with fresh cotton plants new
lands every year, on the first appearance of rain. But they were doomed
in each successive season to disappointment, for the little moisture that
fell was in each case but sufficient to make the plants germinate, until
the return of hot and dry weather parched both ground and foliage. On the
third year copious rain fell, and although the young plants of former
years had been literally toasted, and the leaves, together with those of
all the trees and grass throughout the country, had long fallen to the
ground, and might be discerned in heaps where they had been whirled by
eddies of wind, looking more like mounds of snuff than foliage of trees,
the rain had hardly slaked the thirsty ground, when all the plants, even
those longest in the ground, showed signs of vigour in green buds that
developed themselves; and pasture land that had been converted into bare
earth by the incessant rays of a scorching sun, was, as by magic, from
one day to another, converted into fields of the most delicate verdure.

These distressing droughts in the Sertao are now of far more frequent
occurrence than formerly, and they are attributable to the fatal practice
of clearing and burning large tracts of timber country for the plantation
of cotton and maize; for, owing to the peculiar nature of the soil, this
land never again becomes wooded; and, being soon unfit for tillage, it is
converted into pasture land, and devoted to the grazing of horned cattle
and horses. The ‘Matta’ is not subject to a dearth of rain, because,
unlike the ‘Sertao,’ it is still covered by the most magnificent forests;
and what is worthy of remark is, that here, unlike the former district,
the land after clearing becomes again clothed with dense wood, although
of an entirely different species to that felled in the first instance.
The primitive forest is called ‘Matta Virgem,’ and that of second growth
‘Capoeira.’

There is little difference in the temperature of the two districts of
which we have been speaking; perhaps the sun in the ‘Sertao’ is more
powerful than in the ‘Matta.’ In the shade in either place it rarely
exceeds 85 degrees of Farenheit; but the average heat for the 24 hours
in the ‘Sertao’ is considerably below that of the ‘Matta.’ The former,
however, has a totally different climate to the latter; while that is
dry, and peculiarly healthy, this is humid, and produces in natives and
foreigners both remittent and intermittent fever. The ‘Sertanejos’ are
a remarkably fine and healthy race; but those of the ‘Matta,’ weak and
sickly.

A very singular circumstance attended the visitation of the yellow fever
to the seaport towns of this province some years back; viz.:—that it
proved as fatal to the ‘Sertanejos,’ who came down to the coast, as to
Europeans freshly arrived by sea from cold climates. Another remarkable
point about the climate of the ‘Sertao,’ and one that is deserving of the
attention of English physicians is, that the most surprising relief is
experienced by consumptive patients, who are sent there from the coast by
the native doctors, on breathing the exhilarating air of this peculiar
climate. I have heard of numerous cases of men going up apparently in the
last stage of the complaint, and in a few weeks becoming quite strong,
and so stout that they could not get on the clothes they had taken with
them.

The most vital question affecting the development of the resources of
Brazil just now is the promotion of railway undertakings. The first
movement has been made at Rio Janeiro, where a short line of about ten
miles opens a communication between the city and Petropolis, a thriving
little establishment up the mountains, where the Emperor has a palace.
Other extensive lines are projected from Rio; but as regards local
advancement, that from Pernambuco, southwards, offers the strongest
inducement to individual enterprise, and there is every chance of this
one being at once proceeded with; for the design was conceived and
the plan matured by accomplished English engineers, long resident in
Brazil, though principally occupied in pursuits of the kind mentioned in
connection with improvements in sugar plantations. Such plans have been
revised and approved of by a distinguished consulting engineer, expressly
despatched by British capitalists for that purpose from London; and on
the strength of whose report (to be referred to presently) the necessary
funds for all preliminaries are being advanced; and, lastly, the Imperial
Government of Brazil has made the most liberal concessions on behalf of
the project, in which the Emperor has personally most warmly interested
himself, having examined the whole of the drawings pertaining to it
with that minute, and, it might be almost said, intimate _practical_ or
professional knowledge which his Majesty, as is well known, brings to
bear on all investigations of the kind, being probably the best informed
prince living in the theory of scientific pursuits and in general
literature, as we shall have occasion to mention when speaking of the
Court of Rio in the next chapter but one.

In order to understand the difficulties of transit here, it must be borne
in mind that nearly every article of import and export has to be conveyed
on the backs of horses to and from the towns, as mentioned; so that the
expense of transport, when the distance to be traversed is considerable,
is often equal to the value of the article conveyed.

The proposed Pernambuco Railway is to have three divisions:—1st, from
the city to Agua Preta, a distance of 75 miles, and comprising within
its range some 300 sugar estates; 2nd, from Agua Preta to Garanhuns,
a distance of 85 miles, passing through an extensive cotton district;
3rdly, from Garanhuns to Paulo Affonso, the falls of the great river
San Francisco, 100 miles, a fine and extensive cattle district. The
total distance would thus be 360 miles; but it is only intended to
commence with the first division of the line, which will afford immense
convenience to the planters and others brought within its scope, enabling
them to send their produce to market at a moderate cost, and to keep
the men, at present required to accompany the horses, employed in
valuable labour on the spot. Moreover, the planters and their families
will then travel backwards and forwards much more frequently between
their estates and the city, transact their business, and make their own
purchases, whilst the great internal resources of the country will be
brought into play, and all will be large gainers by the facilities thus
afforded. The ground is in general favourable for the construction of the
railway; there are few rivers to cross, none of them deep, whilst there
is a population computed at 60,000 free persons (white and coloured)
and 15,000 blacks, besides some 50,000 inhabitants of villages, &c.,
that will be brought within the scope, without taking into consideration
the population of Pernambuco itself, which is about 100,000. It is,
therefore, clear that few countries possess such strong inducements for
the establishment of railway communication as Brazil; for at present she
is destitute of internal roads, at the same time that she teems with
valuable natural productions, and a healthy vigorous population. It is,
in fact, quite a virgin country in many respects, and capable of infinite
developement in resources, commerce, and their natural concomitant,
wealth.

Mr. Borthwick in his admirable report, in the course of which he pays a
high and deserved compliment to the Messrs. De Mornay, who first broached
the scheme, and subsequently most carefully surveyed the ground of the
section for which they have obtained the concession, viz., from Recife
to Agua Preta, says, that a grand internal communication between the
capital and the most thriving provinces is of such obvious importance as
to be only a question of time, and the way is pointed out by the natural
facilities of the San Francisco, extending for so great a distance, and
serving so large and rich a territory.

Some idea may be formed of the immense importance of the connection, by
means of a railroad, of the River San Francisco, at some point above the
falls of Paulo Affonco, with the seaport of the Recife, by referring to
the accompanying map, showing the course of that majestic river. From the
rapids, in connection with the Falls, this river is navigable to the bar
of the Rio das Velhas, in the heart of the province of Minas Geraes, a
distance of more than 700 miles; numerous considerable tributary rivers
increase the extent of continuous navigation to nearly 2,000 miles.
A large portion of the commerce of Minas Geraes, all that of Goiaz,
and Matto Grosso, and much of Piauhi, Bahia, and Pernambuco, would be
conveyed by this new channel, increasing, in an incredible manner, the
present trade, and developing sources of wealth and profit at present
totally unknown or unheeded.

The enlightened views of the Brazilian government point to an early
consummation of these great arteries of prosperity and riches, so soon
as political and monetary affairs in this country become settled. It
has wisely undertaken to guarantee a certain per centage on the outlay
necessary for making the lines, until such time as they are self-paying,
of which no reasonable doubt can exist in the mind of any one who has
studied the question fully and fairly. But even supposing this not to be
the case, and the government had to incur a permanent guarantee for the
construction of the lines, the return in other ways, and the direct and
positive benefit conferred by them on the population, are too obvious to
require comment. Steam navigation and railways are, as already repeatedly
observed, the great desiderata of the empire of Brazil; and, in now
taking my leave of Pernambuco, I devoutly hope, if ever I revisit the
place, to find these potent civilizers of mankind in active operation. It
must not be lost sight of by those who may be dubious as to the success
of railway enterprise in such a country, that the inhabitants are a
very social, travelling people; that there is a great intermingling of
families in the provinces that would be sure to give rise to constant
excursions by rail, to and fro, between given points; and, in fact, that
all the elements of railway success are at present to be found, only
awaiting the appearance of the lines which would successively call them
into operation.

[Illustration: CHORA MENINAS—THE PLACE OF THE WAILING CHILDREN.]

    NOTE TO THE SECOND ILLUSTRATION.—DOMESTIC LIFE AMONG THE
    BRAZILIAN PLANTERS.—Chora Meninas, the place represented in the
    second of the larger sketches in this chapter on Pernambuco, is
    in the environs of the city of the Recife, situated at an angle
    formed by two high roads, both leading to localities much liked
    by the foreign merchants, and consequently selected by them for
    their country residences. The road shown in the engraving leads
    to the Magdalena Bridge, over the river Capibaribe, beyond
    which the Sitios, or country houses, thickly scattered on
    either side, with their mango, bread-fruits and orange trees,
    and their fragrant flowery shrubs, convey to the stranger
    most pleasing sensations as he rides leisurely past them. The
    other road turn to the right of Chora Meninas, and passing
    the Manguinho, leads to the Ponte d’Uchoa, the other locality
    much frequented by foreigners. The two places lie, indeed, in
    the vicinity of the same river, the Capibaribe, the one on the
    right bank, and the other on the left. Chora Meninas means,
    literally, the Place of Wailing Infants, an appellation given
    to it from the spot having been the scene of much bloodshed in
    a civil conflict in times gone by, when the children of the
    slain filled the air with their lamentations over the bodies
    that strewed the ground. The edifice shown in the sketch
    was once the dwelling house of the owner of a sugar factory
    situated on that spot, and the chapel was erected by the
    planter. The buildings are old, and it is many years since the
    plantations of canes have been discontinued there, as suburbs
    of the increasing city of Pernambuco have encroached upon the
    lands. No vestige even now remains of the out-buildings, once
    destined for the manufacture of the sugar. The dwelling and
    chapel are built in the ancient Portuguese style, and exhibit
    signs of Moorish architecture in various parts. The house is a
    very good sample of many to be found upon the old sugar estates
    that are in the hands of rustic proprietors, who are very far
    behind in all those things that indicate an advanced state
    of civilization. The low roofs, the small unglazed windows,
    situated under the very eaves of the building, the lean-to
    roof over a long veranda, the unceiled rooms, the uninhabited
    ground-floor, partly used for store rooms, and partly abandoned
    to toads and serpents, and to the sheep and goats, which, as
    well as a decrepid ox or two, will, at times, enter by the
    doorless apertures to procure shelter from the heavy tropical
    rains,—all are characteristics of many of the residences of
    the less educated planters, who were born and bred to the
    occupation of cane-planting, as their fathers and grandfathers
    were before them. If some old and comfortless brick building
    does not exist upon the estate, you will find the planter
    domiciled in an edifice of his own constructing. It will then
    consist of but few rooms, all on the ground-floor. These will
    not be ceiled, neither will the partition walls be carried up
    to the roof, so that in one apartment everything is overheard
    that passes in the others. Often has the writer of this note
    had to occupy for the night one of these small partitions,
    without even a window or aperture to admit the light, and has
    had to listen to many a curtain lecture, while lying on a camp
    bedstead or stretcher, rolled up in a piece of printed calico
    in his uncomfortable dormitory. The following is a specimen
    of many occurrences of the kind that may be witnessed by a
    traveller when quartered at such plantations.—_Wife._ Zuza,
    have you bolted the strangers in? _Planter._ No, I forgot it;
    but never mind. _Wife._ Never mind, indeed! but I do mind.
    Gertruda! _Black Girl._ Nhora! (meaning senhora). _Wife._ Get
    up, and bolt the door in the passage leading to the stranger’s
    room. _Black Girl._ Nhora, sim, (meaning, sim, senhora.) Pause,
    during which the stranger hears somebody in his room, and
    heavy articles being moved across the floor, and he asks who
    is there? _Wife._ Gertruda, you baggage! what are you doing?
    Why don’t you bolt the door? _Gertruda._ There are some things
    in the way, and I can’t shut it.—A pack saddle, two panniers
    full of dried beef, and half a cask of salt cod-fish have
    been lying near the door, inside the unfortunate stranger’s
    room, the aroma from the beef and fish being more intolerable
    than any one not having slept under similar circumstances can
    possibly conceive. At last the impediments are removed, the
    door is heard to close, the bolts are drawn, and the stranger
    would compose himself to sleep, in spite of what has passed, of
    beef and fish, but he is still irritated by the lady avowing to
    the unfortunate slave that she is a shameless hussy, and that
    a dozen blows with the palmatorio in the morning will no doubt
    improve her morals and her agility.

    The meals and other domestic arrangements on these plantations
    are of a piece with the dwelling. The dinner is served to the
    stranger and the male members of the family only, and consists
    of broth and a portion of the contents of the above-mentioned
    panniers, with perhaps the addition of a little fresh beef; but
    this, having been several hours on the fire to make the broth,
    is not easily separated from the other. This dish fills a plate
    to the very outside, and is well piled up, and another plate
    equally well filled with pirao, made of manioc flour, mixed
    with some of the broth, and formed into an unctuous sort of
    pudding. Besides these two dishes, which constitute the most
    important part of the meal, there will be a plate containing
    some of the contents of the cask baked on the embers, and two
    small plates, one containing bruised chili peppers, lime juice,
    and broth, as sauce for the beef, and the other some of the
    peppers, oil, vinegar, raw small onions, and garlic sliced, as
    sauce for the cod fish. Dessert will consist of bananas, Dutch
    cheese, and guava, potato, or other sweets. All help themselves
    with their own knives and forks, when they have such things,
    sometimes the guest only being supplied with them, because he
    is a foreigner. In the latter case the rest help themselves
    with the apparatus nature gave them. It is done thus: each
    has a plate near him, and the meat, pirao, and sauces remain
    in the middle of the table. They draw from the dish a portion
    of the meat which they lay in their respective plates; this
    is subdivided by hand. With the ends of the fingers each then
    scoops out a piece of pirao, about as big as a hen’s egg, a
    shred of the beef is laid into the hot sauce and withdrawn; and
    the two having been a little worked up together with the ends
    of the fingers and the palm of the same hand until they are
    tolerably incorporated, the elongated bolus is conveyed to the
    mouth and swallowed in a manner that would probably astonish
    a Neapolitan macaroni eater, and certainly astounds everybody
    else who witnesses it for the first time.

    The class of Brazilians of whose mode of living the foregoing
    conveys a slight idea is fast disappearing before the rapid
    strides that civilization is making in the country. The
    majority of the planters of the present day are intelligent,
    and free from most of the prejudices inherited from the old
    Portuguese settlers. Many of the landed proprietors live in
    large, well-built houses, keep excellent tables, and, indeed,
    are generally of high acquirements, some having received a
    university education, and mixed in the first circles in Europe,
    and at the court of Rio Janeiro, assimilating in a great
    measure to the squatters in Australia, or the landowners in New
    Zealand, many of whom, as is well known, consist of cadets and
    collateral branches of the noblest and most ancient families of
    the United Kingdom.

    The hospitality of the Brazilians to strangers, and their
    attentions particularly to Englishmen, when travelling in their
    country, are remarkable. They have got the notion that all
    Englishmen imbibe wine, brandy, and beer largely; and it is
    unfortunately but too true that what they have witnessed during
    their intercourse with our islanders in some measure warrants
    the conclusion they have come to. They always expressed the
    greatest astonishment when the writer refused to take wine
    except at dinner; and when they found that he never took their
    new harsh rum, or worse liqueurs, they exclaimed ‘Nao hé
    Inglez!’ When a man is very drunk they say he is Bem Inglez;
    and a dram they call, huma baieta Ingleza—an English wrapper.
    Some further particulars relative to domestic life among the
    planters, and among various grades of the Brazilians, will
    be found in a note somewhat similar to this appended to the
    chapter on Bahia; but, as partially helping to complete the
    foregoing picture of a Brazilian interior and _menage_, I
    select the following from a German work published in the course
    of the present year, entitled ‘Reise nach Brasilien,’ by D.
    Hermann Burmeister, the original of which I have not seen, and
    am therefore indebted to a review in the ‘Athenæum,’ of last
    month, for a translation of the extract:—

      At sunrise, the family is awake. The servant, or (where
      there is none) the housewife lights the fire, and boils the
      coffee, which, though prepared in a peculiar manner, is
      always excellent. The raw sugar and the unroasted berries
      are stirred together and roasted in a covered pan, so that
      when the sugar melts and cools it forms a tough mass with the
      berries. A spoonful of this is pounded in a mortar and put
      into a linen bag. Boiling water is then poured upon it, cups
      are held underneath, and the beverage is ready. Coffee-pots
      are not used, but the cups are made separately, and handed
      about on a salver: they are small, and without handles. Milk
      is only added in the morning; in the evening the coffee is
      taken without it. The hour for breakfast is ten o’clock;
      black beans, porridge (_angù_), dried meat, meal (_farinha_),
      bacon (_toucinho_), cabbage, rice, and even a fowl, when the
      entertainment is of a superior kind, are served up. Everyone
      eats what he pleases, the same plate being used at once for
      everything. The host and his guests sit at the table to their
      meal, while the wife remains without, and looks on, eating
      apart. When these have finished, the slaves and servants take
      their turn. Now come the occupations of the day. The wife
      goes to her work, that is to say, she mends her own, her
      husband’s, and her children’s clothes, while the man goes out
      to walk, or to game, or to gossip on the highway. At three
      or four o’clock, there is a fresh repast of the same kind as
      the other. They eat heartily, drinking water either alone, or
      mixed with a little brandy, and soon after dinner take a cup
      of coffee. After this comes the period of repose, during the
      hottest hours of the day, and then comes another walk, which
      generally lasts till late at night. Between five and six
      o’clock, the ladies call upon their friends, accompanied by a
      black female servant. Some families take a third meal between
      seven and eight o’clock, but this is an exception.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE MILL HOUSE OF THE ‘CARAUNA’ SUGAR ESTATE,
IN PERNAMBUCO, BELONGING TO DR. DOMINGOS DE SOUZA LEAO; SHOWING DE
MORNAY’S PATENT CANE MILL.]



CHAPTER VII.

ALAGOAS AND SEREGIPE.

    Area, Products, and Population of Alagoas.—Maceio, the
    principal Seaport.—Rivers navigable only by boats, except the
    San Francisco.—Cataract on the same, at the famous Falls of
    Affonso; a new sight for Used Up travellers in search of the
    picturesque in the tropics.—Primitive condition of the Province
    of Seregipe, and prospects of rapid improvement through
    Railways.


The adjoining province to Pernambuco is that of _Alagoas_, so called from
lakes situated a short distance from the coast, and where the capital of
the province was originally placed; but latterly the shipping port of
Maceio has been preferred, and it has grown into a flourishing little
town, where a good deal of produce is cleared. It is built on the gentle
slope of a hill, a short distance from the bay or harbour, formed, like
all others in Brazil, by a reef of coral rocks, inside of which a vessel
rides in safety with plenty of water. Its exports first in importance are
cotton, and sugar, and then hides. With the exception of the Reconvavo
of Bahia, there is probably no part of Brazil so populous as the greater
part of this province, which, embracing an area of about 150 by 60 miles,
has a population of fully a quarter of a million, chiefly addicted to
agriculture, here prosecuted with great success, as the soil is most
rich, yielding nearly every Brazilian produce in great profusion; but
tobacco, once a prime staple, is falling off, owing to the cessation
of imported slave labour; cotton is now fast taking its place, and its
cultivation is being followed most encouragingly, common cotton cloth
being also made in most of the houses, though the manufactured article
is imported, with trifling exceptions. There are numerous rivers in the
province, but none of them navigable for any distance, except by boats,
in the construction of which the inhabitants greatly excel. In this
province is the famous cataract of Paulo Affonso, over which the River
San Francisco is precipitated a perpendicular height of fifty feet, one
of the grandest sights in nature; and we look forward with confidence to
the time when it will be a familiar sight also to the western traveller,
as the projected railway from Pernambuco, after traversing nearly the
whole province, is to terminate almost at the very foot of the Falls. Of
all the provinces of the great empire of Brazil there is none probably
that may calculate with greater certainty on a more rapid augmentation
of its prosperity from railroads than Alagoas, as nearly all the traffic
is now conducted on horse-back and in a species of canoe; and as the
productiveness and variety of the soil are vast, correspondingly large
will be the result of affording the numerous population the means of
transport. The town of Alagoas itself contains about 14,000 inhabitants,
and possesses some good educational and large religious establishments,
being situate in the midst of an agreeable and fertile country,
surrounded by some of the finest timber-trees in the empire, the province
yielding to none in the quality or quantity of its forest produce,
inclusive of Brazil wood.

_Seregipe_, contiguous to, is also a good deal mixed up with Alagoas.
They are both intersected by the great river San Francisco, which, though
it might be made navigable for hundreds of miles above the falls of the
same name, and be rendered a source of valuable commerce, is navigable
only by small smacks for a comparatively very short distance from the
sea, all goods destined for the interior farther up having to be carried
on the backs of horses to another part of the river, and there put on
board jojos, that is, two or more canoes lashed together, and traversed
at top by a piece of board. It is worth remarking, that in ascending this
river, and indeed most rivers on this coast, the wind blows up for some
two hours continuously, which admits of sails being used, and the descent
is easily effected by the current without the wind, which blows downwards
for nearly the same space of time towards the coast. The area of Seregipe
is estimated at 18,000 square miles, the population at about 200,000.
This province is likewise very productive, especially in fine timber,
though vast tracts are still altogether uncultivated, but very large
herds of cattle prosper on the fine pastures which everywhere abound. The
principal town is Sao Christovao, but is not of importance, sufficient to
require any detailed notice, or to detain us from the large and important
town and province we next proceed to, viz., Bahia.



CHAPTER VIII.

BAHIA.

    Bahia, its old name retained in a new place: the province
    and the city; present condition and splendid prospect
    of both.—Intra-mural peculiarities and Extra-mural
    properties.—Prolific sugar produce.—Historic, artistic,
    and archæological attractions of Bahia.—Souvenirs of the
    Jesuits.—Relics of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis
    Xavier.—A Bahian church built in Europe.—British Bahian
    clergyman and local railways.—Health of the city.—A Brazilian
    poet warbling native wood-notes very wild.—Necessity for
    keeping a nautical eye in fine frenzy rolling towards the
    Abrolhos.—Departure from Bahia.—Approach to the Brazilian
    capital, and untoward preliminary to the Argentina’s
    acquaintance therewith.—Stray notes on Bahia, containing
    memoranda on Brazilian matters in general.

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS.—Both the illustrations in this
    chapter are copied from ‘Sketches in South America,’ by Sir W.
    Gore Ouseley, who, in a letter-press ‘Key’ to his beautiful
    portfolio of drawings, affords some interesting particulars,
    of which the annexed is an abridgment:—The first remarkable
    object in approaching the harbour of Bahia is the Fort of St.
    Antonio, situated on the point of a rock, forming the extremity
    of the Cape called after that saint. It is not large, but it is
    a fair specimen of the numerous solidly-constructed stone forts
    that have been scattered by the Portuguese (and Spaniards)
    throughout their colonial possessions, wherever deemed
    necessary for purposes of defence or aggression, and which bear
    witness, in their well-built walls, and often handsome details,
    to the ample means, military skill, and power, that backed the
    zeal of the first settlers in South America, and founded the
    Brazilian empire. Fort St. Antonio has on its highest part a
    light-house, of great service to mariners in making the port
    at night, as there are shoals off the point. Opposite to Cape
    St. Antonio is a long low island, called Itaparicá, between
    which and the port is the channel for large vessels. The
    scenery near Bahia does not present the striking features that
    distinguish Rio de Janeiro; it has neither the well-wooded
    hills nor the lofty precipitous rocks that environ the capital
    of Brazil. It is, however, very pretty, varied by small hills
    and acclivities, and ornamented by the tall, graceful cocoa-nut
    and the usual luxuriant vegetation of Brazil. The Cape, like
    the coast generally of the province of Bahia, is surrounded
    by coral rocks; and a reef of coral extends to a considerable
    distance from and along the shore. The beach is sandy, with
    large stones strewed on it by the action of the waves. After
    passing the Cape and Fort St. Antonio, which are on the right
    on entering the harbour of Bahia, the next prominent objects
    are the church and villas on the high land, called Victoria,
    overlooking the harbour. It is a favourite and picturesque
    suburb of Bahia, and is the chosen site of several ‘chacras’
    or quasi country residences. The elevation is sufficient to
    avoid the extreme heat of the lower town and to get the benefit
    of the sea-breeze. It is considered a healthy situation, and
    a tolerable carriage-road leads to the English cemetery,
    marked by a cross in the foreground, and to the point of St.
    Antonio, as well as along the coast. On the beach are several
    ‘Armaçaos,’ or places where whale-boats are kept, and whales
    cut up. They are provided with capstans and tackle, for hauling
    up the carcase and blubber to be reduced to food by the poor,
    the flesh looking like coarse beef. The whale on this coast
    is pursued in large sailing-boats, and harpooned while the
    boat is under sail. In the inner harbour are situated most
    of the wharves, quays, and warehouses along the beach and
    projecting into the water; and here numerous vessels lie in
    perfect safety; the foreign men-of-war generally near a round
    castellated tower or fort, not far from the entrance. Bahia is
    divided into two towns, the upper and the lower, the former of
    which being more modern, is built with greater regularity than
    the latter; and contains many handsome buildings, including a
    rich cathedral, the palaces of the archbishop and governor, a
    court of appeal, theatre, hospitals, a library of from 60,000
    to 70,000 volumes, and many other edifices, chiefly of an
    ecclesiastical character. The lower town, San Salvador, or
    Bahia, is dirty and badly laid out, but in it are to be found
    the exchange, arsenal, and imperial dockyard. About three miles
    north-east are yards for the construction of merchant shipping.
    The houses are mostly of stone, and often lofty. The Dutch
    have left traces of former possession in the brick paving of
    some of the streets. At the foot of the steep height, covered
    with foliage, and crowned by the ‘Paseo Publico,’ or public
    promenade, is a small landing-place for boats, conveniently
    situated for those who prefer a steep but clambering ascent
    to the upper town, to being first taken round the point
    into the interior basin and landed in the lower town, to be
    thence carried up by negroes in a sort of palanquin. Those in
    use here consist merely of a chair on a platform of boards,
    suspended from the centre of an arched pole or beam, the
    projecting swan-necked ends of which are born on the shoulders
    of two men, who relieve themselves by the occasional use of
    a stick as a lever applied under the pole as it rests under
    the opposite shoulder. The motion is neither pleasant nor the
    position seemingly secure. Yet not only ladies, but men, and
    of no light calibre, invariably use them for transport to
    the upper town and in visiting. The chairs are sheltered by
    curtains from the sun, and the woodwork as well as curtains
    are often gilt and showily and expensively ornamented. The
    steepness of the streets prevents the use of wheel-carriages,
    except in a few directions, and causes the substitution of
    these palanquins. Bahia, founded in 1549 by Thomas de Souza,
    first captain-general of Brazil, is one of the most important
    commercial cities in America; and prior to the transfer of the
    vice-royalty in 1763 to Rio, was the capital of Brazil. It
    is defended by several forts, some of great strength. It was
    stated some years ago to contain above 150,000 inhabitants,
    among whom are many very wealthy proprietors and merchants.
    This population is divided pretty equally into whites,
    mulattoes, and blacks. A few miles from Bahia, on the Atlantic
    coast near Rio Vermelho, is a small ruined chapel, dedicated to
    St. Gonçalo, said to be the first building devoted to Christian
    worship constructed in Brazil, or, as some say, in America.


Bahia, or San Salvador da Bahia, is commonly called by the former name,
which is only the abbreviation of the title given by the first settlers
to the bay, at the head whereof stands the capital, viz., ‘Bahia de todos
os Santos,’ or ‘All Saints’ Bay,’ as already stated; but some geographers
of the present day retain the old nomenclature; and in so recent
and authoritative a work as the eighth edition of the ‘Encyclopædia
Britannica,’ now in course of publication, the reader is referred, for
the province and city of Bahia, to the article San Salvador, which may
be expected to make its appearance somewhere towards the end of 1856,
by which time, it is to be hoped, the subject will have expanded to
dimensions corresponding with such procrastination in its treatment by
such means.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE PORT OF BAHIA.]

This province contains within itself the germs of enduring prosperity:
a splendid bay many miles in extent, where countless ships can ride
close to the shore, with lakes and rivers branching from it, form so
many natural harbours, docks, and canals; whilst it abounds with sugar
plantations, forests of timber fit for shipbuilding and other purposes,
precious stones, and many tropical productions, the latter of which can
be all procured in a degree only limited by the amount of labour and the
facility of bringing things down to the ports for shipment.

Everything at Bahia bespeaks the former head-quarter of an important
government. The removal of the latter to Rio was of course a great
disadvantage to this place, which has since had to work its way up
as a commercial entrepot, with frequent interruptions from political
disturbances, the last in 1837 amounting to a positive civil war, when a
most lawless band obtained possession of the city, which they held for
several months, and were only driven out, with much slaughter, after
having attempted to fire it, in which they partially succeeded. Since
that time things have been tolerably quiet, the discovery of large
deposits of diamonds in a district called the Chapada having given an
impetus to business, and taken away many restless spirits, there being
now a population of some 40,000, collected there in pursuit of gems
here found in considerable abundance—some of extraordinary value. It is
50 to 60 leagues distant from the town of Cachoeira at the head of a
river of that name, which is navigable for steam-boats and a source of
considerable traffic, there joining the Paraguassa, into which sundry
small tributaries, of more or less importance, flow.

The production of sugar, for the fine quality of which the province is
greatly celebrated, as also for that of its tobacco, so highly praised
in Portugal and Spain, has latterly revived, amounting for the crop just
finished, to 80,000 tons. As already observed in the case of Pernambuco,
this increase has not originated from any fiscal changes in England,
but simply from the cessation of civil discord, enabling the planters
to devote their entire energies to the culture of their estates. It is
true that large importations of slaves have aided this movement, and
that Bahia has been the great focus of this detestable traffic; but the
stimulus cannot be traced in any way to our treatment of the West India
Colonies, however disposed interested parties may be to ascribe it to
this circumstance. The Brazilians had begun to find out the advantages
attendant on peace and tranquillity, and that the greater the quantity of
produce they could export the larger would be the means at their disposal
for the purchase of the necessaries and luxuries of life, which they
now began to look upon as desirable to possess. Improved machinery for
the making of sugar was brought into operation, as well as additional
capital for the development of that product, and likewise of cotton; in
the export of which latter commodity Bahia now nearly equals Pernambuco,
exceeding that port and province, and all the rest of Brazil put
together, in the quantity of its sugar. The natural consequence of such
application of skill and means has been a largely extended production
from almost virgin soil.

[Illustration: THE CHAPEL OF SAN GONCALO, AT BAHIA.]

Whilst the trade of Bahia has thus progressed, signs of local and
municipal improvement are also visible. Short as is the time since the
accomplished author of the note, page 123, wrote—viz., in 1845—the
streets have been generally repaired, and the roads leading to the upper
town put in an efficient state, so that carriages can now traverse
them safely; new quays, extending along the margin of the bay, are in
process of erection; also a new custom-house, together with many other
much-needed improvements, chiefly owing to the personal activity of
Sen. Gonsalvez Martins, formerly President of Bahia, and late Minister
of the Empire, who is a native of the place, to which he has shown
himself devotedly attached. Bahia possesses more attractions for the
mere traveller, in search of curiosities, than probably any town in
Brazil, or even in the whole of South America; formerly the capital
of the empire, as we have just said, and still next in extent and
importance to the metropolis, and as being also the chief seat of the
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, its religious structures are the most
numerous, imposing, and unique, of any in all Brazil. The cathedral of
San Salvador is a splendid monument of the architectural genius of the
Jesuits, and its interior corresponds in magnificence with its external
beauty, containing, among other remarkable mementos of those colonizers,
a portrait, said to be taken from life, of their famous founder, Ignatius
Loyola, and that of St. Francis Xavier. The ancient college of the order,
now a military hospital, is also very fine. There are probably not less
than 40 churches, one of them being situated in the principal street, the
Praya, called the Church of the Conception, chiefly composed of blocks of
marble which were forwarded from Europe already numbered, like the plates
of an iron house in these days, and on their arrival they had merely to
be put together, and the building was constructed at once, according to
the precise design of the architect at home. This is the more singular
as very excellent stone abounds on the spot, the theatre, for instance,
being erected on a rock, and numbers of houses are built therewith from
the same material, to the height of five stories, some having balconies
and blinds, instead of windows—a most desirable arrangement in such a
climate, and one which speaks much for the honesty of the lower classes
in a town of great trade like Bahia, the extent of whose business
may be surmised when it is stated that upwards of a million pounds’
sterling worth of English goods alone enter it annually. Mr. Borthwick,
the engineer, sent from London to determine on the accuracy of Messrs.
De Mornay’s survey of the Pernambuco railway, in his report, already
referred to in the preceding chapter, speaking of the rival claims of
Bahia to a railway of its own, and contrasting the condition of the
two extraordinary nourishing provinces, says:—‘In 1851 the imperial
revenue, from Bahia was 4,784,600 milreis, and from Pernambuco 4,639,427
milreis, irrespective of movements of funds, &c., which would reverse the
comparison in that way.’ I have not the returns for the last two years
before me, but believe that the general relative proposition is still
about the same.

Here I saw the first practical adoption of the Brazilian railway system,
in the working of a tram road, to level a large space of uneven ground
called the Campo, on the Victoria Hill, by which means a large amount of
work has been done in a very short time. For much of this the natives are
considerably indebted to the English clergyman who officiates as chaplain
to the British residents, and who, not satisfied with paving the road
to heaven leading to the path he points out, and building a handsome
new church in this locality, has been public-spirited enough to afford
material assistance in the construction of highways, building of bridges,
and other engineering works, thus clearly and beneficially proving his
aptitude for business of this kind.

Bahia has suffered severely from that dreadful scourge the yellow fever;
but we found it had in a great measure passed over; and it is to be
hoped that it will gradually die away, though it appears that the chief
medical men in the empire have decided that it will remain a permanent,
or at least intermittent, visitant, something probably like the cholera
amongst us, which has apparently become acclimated in England, continuing
a steady course of mortality, without those sudden inroads whose speedy
devastation so greatly shocked, because they so much surprised, us.

There is a romantic kind of history attached to the first settlement of
this province, embodied in an attempt to copy Camoens in his splendid
work, commemorative of the discovery of India by Vasco da Gama. (_Vide_
introductory chapter.) It is called ‘Caramaru,’ and was written by José
Basilio da Gama, a Brazilian, born in Minas Geres, about the year 1740,
and is descriptive of the adventures of a Portuguese sailor, who was
wrecked somewhere near Bahia, and rescued from the fate of his shipmates
(who were sacrificed by the cannibals, then in possession of the coast)
by an Indian princess, who became enamoured of and married him; he then
figured in the wars of the Indians, by whom he was looked upon as a kind
of demi-god, and afterwards made a trip to Europe with his wife. Some of
the scenes in this poem are well and graphically depicted, giving a good
insight into the state of the country at that period, and of the savage
life existing; but after reading Camoens, it sinks immeasurably into the
shade, and we have difficulty in believing it to be written in the same
language.

Our stay at Bahia was limited to the day. We sailed again at night, and
were obliged to pass outside the Abrolhos, it being night when we came
up with them; otherwise there is a good channel for a steamer between
these rocks and the main land, and it is a great saving in distance.
The name of these crags is very appropriate (‘Open Your Eyes’) there
being much need of it, and no light-house to warn the mariner, should he
unfortunately be driven by the current or some other casualty near such
perils at night-time. Few accidents, however, happen, because a wide
berth is given to the Abrolhos. Off Cape Frio we were met by a stiff
south-wester, which came down upon us with a freshness and determination
worthy of St. George’s Channel; our little steamer went through it
manfully, only sending the spray over us. We did not descry the light
on Cape Frio owing to the mist and drizzling showers, but soon came up
with that on the Island of Raza, opposite to Rio Harbour, which is a
splendid light seen from a long distance, and it renders the entrance to
Rio comparatively easy. We steamed on, and passed the fort of Santa Cruz,
where vessels are hailed; but in running in to the anchorage ground
we unfortunately came in contact with a small vessel, placed in the
roads with chains and anchors to afford succour to vessels in distress,
odd enough called the ‘Succorro,’ or ‘Succour.’ She had neglected
the precaution of having a light up, so stringently enforced by the
regulations of the port; and we could not see her till close upon her,
doing some damage, but nothing very material, and came to anchor close to
her for the night.

The following interesting ‘scraps,’ touching manners, customs, and things
at Bahia, have been supplied by my valued relative, Mr. Wetherell, for
some time British Vice-Consul there, who employs much of his leisure
hours not merely in collecting information of this nature and placing it
on record, but also in other useful pursuits connected with botany and
natural history, of which he has sent home many interesting results.


STRAY NOTES ON BAHIA.

    One of the most singular appearances the upper city has to a
    stranger is its apparent desertion. There were, until very
    lately, only about a dozen wheeled vehicles in the place,
    but the march of intellect has been here, and now there are
    omnibuses plying to the Victoria. All burdens are carried on
    the head, from an orange, a candle, or a bottle, to a barrel
    of fish. The larger kinds, such as pipes of wine, are slung
    between poles, whilst logs of wood are carried upon the
    shoulders of twenty or thirty, looking, for all the world, like
    an immense centipede. During the time of carrying a wild kind
    of chorus is kept up; one man makes observations as he goes
    along, and the rest come in with a chorus, which seldom varies,
    however much the recitative solo part may. Although large
    burdens are thus carried, one man will not take nearly so much
    as a European, and would rather lose his chance of a journey
    than carry more than he thinks proper.

    The cupolas of the church towers are very frequently covered
    with pieces of earthenware, assorted according to their colour,
    and laid on stucco in patterns, which gives them a glistening
    appearance, as if they were enamelled. It appears to withstand
    the effects of time. Some of them are covered with Dutch tiles,
    and others are formed of marble. Part of the front of the
    Italian friars’ church, and the bell tower, are covered with
    the above curious stucco, but a near approach destroys the
    effect.

    Little naked blacks are constantly seen in the street, with
    no more clothing than a pair of bracelets or ear-rings, and
    some are very fine-looking. Their appearance is not improved,
    however, by the protuberance of the abdomen caused by eating
    farinha, which swells extremely when any liquid is mixed with
    it. The shape, nevertheless, is soon regained. One peculiarity
    is the infrequency of a child crying: their food is simple,
    so that they do not often suffer from indigestion, and they
    are less encumbered with clothing than the higher classes,
    although, in the country, none are very particular in that
    respect. The manner in which the mother carries the child,
    slung across the back with her shawl, binds its legs in a
    curve, but they soon recover their straightness when able to
    walk. When thus tied, the child presents the very picture of
    resignation, its little head nodding about, when fast asleep,
    or when awake crowing, or beating a tattoo on its mother’s
    back, who frequently holds a conversation with it, its replies
    being in the only universal language now in use.

    The huts of the blacks are very curious; they are built of
    stakes of bamboo &c., driven into the ground, and these
    intertwined with others; the whole, being filled up with clay,
    and thatched with palm-leaves. The interior presents the very
    acmé of wretchedness on a rainy day, and but little better in
    fine weather. All kinds of rubbish huddled together, a few
    daubs of saints hung on the walls, a ricketty table with some
    carved saint upon it, a coach dog, (a hideous animal, without
    hair, having only a few bristles on the head, back, and tail,
    and of a dull leaden colour,) or a long-legged scraggy cat, and
    a few fowls, quite as great curiosities in their way, are the
    usual characteristics of these primitive habitations.

    The blacks of this place swim almost as if they were
    amphibious. You see numbers of children constantly dabbling
    at the water’s edge for hours together, and soon learning to
    strike out boldly. One mode of swimming is very singular; one
    arm is always out of the water, advanced in front, alternately
    with the other, sweeping or drawing the water towards them, and
    raising the body out of the water at each stroke. This method
    is considerably quicker than the ordinary style of swimming,
    but appears to be more difficult of attainment.

    It is agreed by phrenologists that the head of the negro, above
    all others, presents the greatest development of Music, and
    certainly some of the blacks do play remarkably well. You hear
    little boys in the street, whom you might fancy could scarcely
    speak, whistle tunes with great correctness; and the negro
    dances show how admirably the science of time is appreciated.

        O surely melody from heaven was sent
        To cheer the soul, when tired of human strife,
        To soothe the wayward heart, by sorrow bent,
        And soften down the rugged path of life.—KIRKE WHITE.

    It is to European ears, however, that taught combination music
    has the charm; the monotony of the negro chanting, and its
    never-ending repetition, convey no idea of the ‘melody of sweet
    sounds,’ and the dances that are exhibited to these tunes are
    anything but edifying.

    The manner of catching fish here is curious. At low water four
    or five large canoes will start; two of them divide the net,
    which is of great length, and has the lower edge loaded with
    lead, and the upper lightened with cork. On arriving at a given
    spot, they separate, and dropping the net with all speed, form
    as wide a circle as possible, and thus enclose the fish in a
    pen. The canoes are then ranged around the outside of the net,
    at some distance from each other, and a hand-net, the length of
    the canoe, is held by two blacks. This net is about six feet
    in height, and supported by two poles. The other men then beat
    the water and the sides of the canoes with paddles, making as
    much noise as they can, which frightens the fish, which, trying
    to escape, and finding themselves effectually prevented by the
    net, leap out of the water, and are caught by the hand-net,
    and fall into the boat. In a few minutes a large catch is
    made, though numbers of course escape. It is a curious sight
    to see them flying, as it were, in all directions, out of the
    enclosure.

    The roasted grains of milho (Indian corn) form a dish of which
    the blacks, are very fond; it is called pipokas, and is thus
    prepared:—an earthen pot is partly filled with white sand, and
    placed over a small open stove until it becomes thoroughly
    heated, when the grains of new milho are stripped off the
    bunch, thrown in, and stirred amongst the sand with a long
    stick. The grains soon swell, and burst the skin, and the corn
    becomes white and light. These grains are eaten with pieces of
    cocoa nut. ‘Vai plantas pipokas,’ (go plant roasted milho,) is
    a phrase, rather more expressive than polite, used in bidding a
    person go and mind his own business.

    It is a curious circumstance that the minds of the blacks
    should, for so many ages, have remained in a stationary
    condition; and although political and local circumstances may
    have greatly operated to retard their mental development,
    yet it seems much more probable that this state of darkness
    proceeds more from physical causes. Their stupidity, or rather
    want of intellectuality, is a most unaccountable fact, and one
    of those mysterious dispensations of Providence that man tries
    in vain to unravel. Individual, but almost solitary, instances
    occur of a contrary nature; and although cultivation of the
    intellect may thus have developed the black’s faculties, it
    only serves to show more clearly the wild and blank from which
    he has been separated.

    A very singular, in fact almost a barbaric, custom exists here
    on gala days, such as the birth-day of the Emperor or Empress.
    The President issues invitations to a ‘Cortejo’ at the Palace,
    a large building in the upper town. The portion occupied by the
    President is older than the rest, which is new, and contains
    the Treasury, and other public offices. The attendance on one
    of these gala days consists of all the authorities, and many
    of the principal inhabitants of the city. The ceremony usually
    commences with a ‘Te Deum’ in the cathedral. The foreign
    consuls appear in their uniforms, a motley habited, but showy,
    group: the officers of the army and navy, with the President,
    all in full regimentals; the archbishop in his robes, and the
    priests in the habits of their respective orders; the judges
    in their robes of office, the corporation in their quaint
    dresses, and a crowd of civilians, all habited in black, and
    many of them decorated with ribbons and stars. The entry is
    up a dilapidated stair-case, on the top landing of which a
    military band is stationed playing national airs. Two large
    and scantily furnished rooms are entered, and a short time is
    spent in conversation, until the preparations for the Cortejo
    are complete. Then the President’s aid-de-camp pushes aside
    the heavy door curtain, and invites the company to enter. The
    assemblage enters a long room, papered with green and gold, and
    lighted by a line of windows overlooking the sea, curtained
    with green and gold damask, looped with bullion. At the further
    end of the room, under a velvet canopy, with a kind of dais
    in front, are portraits of the Emperor and the Empress, which
    constitute the sole furniture of the room. On one side of the
    portraits stand the President and the Archbishop, and on the
    other the General-at-arms, Commander of the National Guard, and
    other principal authorities. The procession advances down the
    centre of the room, in Indian file, the consuls going first,
    and according to precedence; and when within a few yards of the
    dais, each person makes a profound bow to the portraits, and
    then to the authorities. Foreigners generally omit the first
    obeisance, as being too _savage_, but those who come after most
    ceremoniously perform the rite. After bowing, each person takes
    his leave by passing out by a side door, and the Cortejo is
    over. When all have bowed their way out, the President invites
    the consuls he is friendly with to view the troops defile
    before him, as he stands at one of the front windows of the
    Palace. The military march past to martial music, and then we
    take our leave.

    Caugica is a species of food of a peculiarly national
    character, and is made in various ways. One is simply taking
    the skin off the Indian corn, and boiling it in milk or water;
    this is eaten cold. Another method is to grind the corn, mix
    the meal with sugar and spices, and boil it with milk, when it
    makes a very agreeable food.

    The butterflies of this country are most gorgeous; agile and
    graceful, they flutter in the sunlight, their magnificent robes
    glistening like scales of gold. These sylph-like inhabitants of
    the air, issuing from the dark cradle in which they exist as
    chrysalises, seem to rejoice in their new life, hovering from
    flower to flower, sipping the choicest nectar, and revelling in
    perpetual enjoyment, and the continued pursuit of novelty and
    pleasure.

    The Solidade Convent is the great _locale_ where they make
    those beautiful feather flowers without dye, which are so much
    esteemed in Europe. On my first visit to this place, all the
    romance of nuns and nunneries was revived in my mind. The lady
    abbess, or superior, or whatever else she may be, was a stately
    woman: but the nun who acted as saleswoman was most beautiful—a
    Carlo Dolci countenance, pale, but with glorious eyes; and far
    more flowers were bought from her than would have been from
    any other. Visitors are ushered into a small room, whither
    the flowers are conveyed in large baskets through a double
    grating, and the attendants of the different nuns are there to
    look after their own. None of our party were very proficient
    in Portuguese, and we had great fun in the purchases, though
    we probably paid double what we ought to have done. On our
    departure, the lovely nun came to the door, and as we passed
    out, courteously bade us ‘adios,’ and requested us, if we came
    again, to ask for Maria.

    A beautiful species of duck is found at Maronia, to the north
    of this place, of the manner of catching which a description
    has been given me. The lakes which they frequent are very much
    choked with vegetable matter, and near their haunts a large
    gourd is floated, having two small holes bored through the
    side. After a few days, when the ducks have become accustomed
    to the presence of the gourd, a man wades into the water with
    it on his head, and catching a duck by its legs, breaks its
    neck, and fastens it to his girdle. In this manner, several are
    quietly killed, and the fowler wades ashore with a well-filled
    pouch.

    The Botocudo Indians make an incision in the under lip,
    which becomes so distended that they insert in the orifice a
    round piece of wood, as large as the top of a common-sized
    tumbler-glass; the lobe of the ear is also perforated and
    elongated, in order to receive a similar ornament. In height
    they are about 5 feet 6 inches, and have quite an independent
    bearing and _ar de franqueza_.

    The Indians, like the Greeks of the Homeric age, deem it the
    greatest of evils to be unburied, and therefore they delight in
    making flutes and trumpets of their enemies’ bones. I have seen
    some of these flutes of the present day: they contain about
    four or five holes; and are sometimes ornamented with tufts of
    red and yellow feathers attached to the bone by strings.

    The market is a most curious place, and I am told by persons
    who have travelled in Africa, that it has a thoroughly African
    appearance. Amongst heaps of fruit, vegetables, &c., shaded by
    mats, some of which are formed into huts, and others merely
    propped up by sticks, are seated the black women, in dresses
    of many diversified colours, but all of the same fashion.
    Some with their infants slung across their backs, and tied
    by the pano da Costa; others with heavy baskets of fruit or
    vegetables on their head; little children, whose only articles
    of clothing are bracelets, ear-rings, and bands of coral beads
    round the body, squat on a wooden dish, like an Indian god,
    or sprawl amidst fowls, ducks, &c. Here and there you see a
    black girl in her holiday attire, her hands covered with rings,
    and her neck adorned with chains of solid gold, which she is
    constantly displaying by arranging her shawl. In this part of
    the market the boxes of papadura, attended by the taberoá, in
    his leather jacket and hat; the half-naked qaubadomes busy
    with unloading and loading, and the different and absolutely
    gorgeous colours of the fruit, vegetables, and dresses, form a
    most brilliant picture. The constant chatter of talking, the
    screaming of parrots, the laughter of the women, and sometimes
    the serious talk, added to which the procession of the Espiritu
    Santo, accompanied by its band of music, the ringing of the
    church bells, and the constant firing of rockets, constitute a
    perfect Babel of sounds. The dark shades are the dusky sons of
    Ethiop themselves, the dirty buildings, and the still dirtier
    streets; but a busier, gayer, or more amusing scene will seldom
    be found.

    This is the land of parasite plants; a thousand different kinds
    of these vagaries of nature are here. Some, attached to the
    branches of trees, derive sustenance therefrom and from the
    air; others form a nucleus with their roots for dead leaves,
    decayed wood, &c., and flourish; others, again, merely rest
    upon the branches, and live on air alone. Every curiosity of
    form is to be seen: some of the flowers like flies; others
    of indescribable shapes; many with their flowers filled with
    water, which thus becomes scented; a dozen different varieties
    on one tree; some of most brilliant colours, others shades of
    green alone; some long and pendant, one variety of which has
    received the name of the ‘rat’s tail;’ some without leaves,
    like nothing but a string, wave with every wind until they
    reach the ground, where they become fixed and rooted.

    The bread-fruit tree is very beautiful; but is not very common
    in this place, its use being superseded by farinha. The leaves
    are very large, of a bright green colour, and much indented
    at the edges. The fruit is green, and the surface has the
    appearance of network. There are two varieties: in one kind the
    divisions of the fruit’s surface are raised pyramidally, in the
    other they are smooth. The latter is the sort used for food,
    it having no seeds. Roasted and eaten with butter and salt it
    is palatable, but insipid; and here it is usually planted for
    ornament, as it grows quickly, and makes a pleasing variety
    among other trees. The coffee is another very beautiful plant;
    when in blossom, the long, glossy, dark green leaves present a
    pleasing contrast to the clusters of white flowers round the
    stem, and it exhales a delicious fragrance. When the berries
    arrive at maturity, they are of a dusky red colour; each
    contains two grains of coffee, surrounded by a soft pulp, which
    soon dries after being plucked, and is then removed. The labour
    of picking is very slight, and children can with great ease be
    thus employed. The cultivation of the coffee-plant is much more
    attended to in this province than formerly, and is gradually
    taking the place of sugar. Towards the south a good deal is
    cultivated for exportation.

    The mantis is a very curious insect, which Rondelet, the
    naturalist, says is called indifferently devin and prega diou,
    or preché dieu, in consequence of having their fore-feet
    extended as if preaching or praying. The Latin name of mantis
    signifies ‘diviner,’ and supposed to have been so designated
    from the motion they make with their fore-feet; and it was
    imagined that they could divine or indicate events. The
    fore-feet are used by the insect to carry food to its mouth;
    it is of a beautiful green colour. In one of the Idylls of
    Theocritus the term mantis is used to designate a thin young
    girl with slender and elongated arms.—See Griffith’s Edition of
    ‘Cuvier’s Animal Kingdom.’

    The banana is a plant about twelve feet high, having a stem
    similar to bulbous plants in general, and the leaves, many of
    them two feet wide, and from twelve to fourteen feet long,
    springing from the top. The new leaf rises from the centre,
    and is rolled up straight; as it increases in length, it
    gradually unfolds, and gives way for another. The fruit is
    green, and grows round the stem in regular semi-circular
    groups. The blossoms are protected by a thick fleshy leaf-like
    covering, which rises to allow the sun to have its full
    influence in maturing the fruit. When the blossoms drop off,
    the half-circles remain, but it is seldom that more than six
    or eight rows of bananas are produced, and each smaller than
    the preceding. The juices of the plant gradually lose their
    nutritious qualities, and there are numerous rows of abortive
    flowers, which produce nothing; and the stem is terminated by
    a mass of the fleshy leaves enclosing embryo bananas never to
    be matured. The plant is generally cut down when the fruit has
    attained its full size, to make it shoot for the next season,
    and the fruit is hung up to ripen, which it soon does, when it
    becomes of a fine yellow colour.

    The sunsets here are sometimes very fine, and I have noticed
    that when the twilight is hastening on, a brighter glow will
    appear, with very vivid and distinct bands of blue and pink,
    alternately shaded off into each other, and radiating from the
    spot when the sun has gone down. The difference in the apparent
    sunset is about half-an-hour between winter and summer. Bright
    as the sky is by day, it is brighter far by night, when the
    spangled heavens are spread out like a curtain. The air is
    so pure that the stars seem to shine with an increasing
    brightness. The Southern Cross is a beautiful object, and so
    different are the heavens from the northern hemisphere, that
    nothing seems to produce the effect of the long distance from
    home so much as the difference of the starry constellations.
    The Milky Way seems to have received fresh refulgence; and all
    is magnificence.

    The small black ants found in gardens, generally in great
    numbers, are the most annoying of the species; their bite
    produces a burning pain, which must be partly the effect
    of poison, and continues for some time. The red ants very
    soon strip the foliage off trees, which they are constantly
    ascending and descending, one party empty, the other loaded; a
    third party remains in the tree, cutting away whole leaves, so
    that it is no unusual thing to be passing under a tree, and to
    see the leaves falling as it were miraculously. A fourth party
    is employed cutting them up into proper sizes for carrying
    to their nests. Most of these ants, if squeezed between the
    fingers, emit a strong smell of lemon. Rose-buds seem to be
    their most favourite food, and gardens here suffer extremely
    from their ravages.



CHAPTER IX.

RIO JANEIRO, CAPITAL OF BRAZIL.

    Night upon the watery, and daybreak on the land.—Beauty
    of the approaches.—Apprehended retrogression, but real
    progression, in the City.—The stag mania in the tropics,
    and some of its consequences.—Notes on carriages, operas,
    snuff-taking, polking-washerwomen, blacks, whites, odds and
    ends, and things in general, original and imported.—Social,
    sanitary, and governmental matters of divers kinds.—Composition
    of the Brazilian chambers, and business therein.—State
    of parties.—Abolition of the Slave Trade.—Sittings of
    the Senate.—No necessity for Mr. Brotherton in the
    Brazils.—Character of the present Emperor.—Wreck of the
    Pernambucano.—Heroism of a black sailor.—Rigorous regulations
    of the Rio custom-house.—Suggestions for the extension of
    Brazilian commerce, and the prevention of smuggling.—Revisal of
    the Brazilian tariff.—Educational progress since 1808.—French
    literature and fashion.—Provisions in the Rio market.—Monkeys
    and lizards articles of food.—Oranges, bananas, chirimoyas,
    and granadillas.—Difficulties of the Labour Question since
    the suppression of the Slave Trade.—Character of the
    Indians.—State of feeling as regards the coloured people.—Negro
    emancipation ‘looming in the future.’—An experimental trip
    on the Rio and Petropolis railway.—Facts and figures on the
    commercial and monetary connexion between the Empire and
    Great Britain.—Comparative humanity of the Brazilians and
    Uruguayans.—The Slave Trade Question, and European intervention
    in South American politics.—Prospective glance at the
    advantages of steam communication between Brazil and the United
    States.—Authorities of all kinds on these heads; also on the
    territorial pretensions of Brazil, especially in reference to
    the disputes in the River Plate.—Portrait and Memoir of Admiral
    Grenfell.

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS.—As in the case of Bahia, the
    illustrations in this chapter are from Sir W. Gore Ouseley’s
    ‘Sketches in South America,’ the original, however, containing
    no less than thirteen beautiful views of Rio Janeiro and its
    vicinity. In the ‘Key,’ accompanying the drawings, Sir William
    has embodied, in a very graphic manner, the result of his
    experiences in search of the picturesque in the neighbourhood
    of the capital to which he was accredited for several years as
    the representative of England. Describing some of the spots
    he has so faithfully delineated by his pencil, he says:—The
    Sugar-loaf Hills at the entrance of the magnificent harbour of
    Rio de Janeiro, (or simply Rio), literally ‘January River,’ are
    far off discernible, with the lofty Peak of the Corcovado, or
    ‘Hunchback,’ in the back-ground. On entering, the hill to the
    left, called par excellence, the Sugar-loaf, is a prominent
    object; then follows the wooded peninsular hill, on which is
    the Fort St. Juan, united to the base of the Sugar-loaf by the
    Isthmus of the Praya Vermelho, or ‘Red Beach;’ opposite this
    hill lies Fort Santa Cruz, commanding the narrow entrance of
    the harbour. Its formidable batteries of heavy guns are perhaps
    nearer the level of the sea than necessary caution, inspired by
    proximity of the vast Atlantic, would dictate. For, sometimes,
    even placed as they are, twenty or thirty feet above the water,
    the heavy gales from the south-west or south have caused the
    sea to break over these batteries, with sufficient force to
    dismount the cannon, as if they were reeds.

    The harbour is among the finest in the world; no pilots
    required by night or by day, entering or leaving; no dangers
    not visible, or avoidable with prudence; of course a sailing
    vessel, venturing in or out in very light winds, or if it falls
    suddenly calm, may, by the enormous Atlantic swell, be cast on
    the rocks, when little or no steerage way is imparted by the
    wind.

    More than one vessel has thus been lost, in the finest weather
    in mid-day; but from attempting to pass the narrow entrance
    of the harbour, without a steady breeze. Steam tugs would
    obviate such danger, and sea and land breezes, excepting at
    some seasons, afford a regular means of entrance or exit to
    those who await their commencement. There are boats with cables
    and anchors in readiness, sometimes inconveniently so, as the
    Argentina experienced at Fort Santa Cruz and Fort St. Juan, on
    the opposite shore, to be sent to vessels in danger. The bay is
    17 miles in length, and 11 in extreme width, and contains many
    small islands, the largest, Ilha do Gobernador, or ‘Governor’s
    Island,’ six miles in length.

    The city, whose original name was San Sebastian, now altogether
    lost, was founded not long after the discovery of Brazil
    by Cabral in the sixteenth century. It is of oblong shape,
    situated on an elevated tongue of land, the most easterly
    point of which is Punta do Calabouço, (‘Dungeon Point’), and
    the most northerly, opposite to which is the little Ilha das
    Cobras (‘Snake Island’), that of the Armazem do Sal (‘Salt
    Store’). The more ancient north-east part is traversed by eight
    straight, narrow, and parallel, streets, crossed by many others
    at right angles. In these the houses are high, though not quite
    so lofty as those in the metropolis of the mother country; but
    in the new town, built for the most part since the arrival of
    the royal family from Portugal in 1808, they are handsomer,
    being generally of granite. The two towns are separated by the
    Campo de Santa Anna, one of many large squares, agreeable to
    the eye, in consequence of the somewhat fatiguing regularity
    of the streets. Rio, the most important commercial city of
    South America, is naturally, from its position, the great
    mart of Brazil, and its advantages are such as to fit it for
    concentrating the commerce of the globe; but, as we have said
    above, comparatively little has been done to assist nature, so
    far as regards the convenience of the considerable quantity of
    shipping which frequents the port. Lighters are employed in
    loading and discharging all vessels as they lie at anchor in
    the harbour; but Government is now carrying out a plan, by an
    English engineer, for a quay or wharf, to extend between the
    Military and Naval Arsenals, at which sixteen vessels will be
    enabled to unload at once, as well as lighters. This is a step
    in the right direction, and, although even such accommodation
    will not be sufficient to meet the future requirements of Rio,
    there is no doubt that the enlightened spirit which at present
    animates the Brazilian government and nation will induce them
    to execute fresh improvements as their provincial resources
    increase.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE PORT OF RIO JANEIRO.]


This is the second time I have entered Rio at night and missed the
proverbially fine view of the approaches to the bay.[41] Morning broke
amidst drizzling showers, everything looking very gloomy. We were visited
about breakfast time, and steamed to our regular anchorage, near the
island where our coal depôt is. I will not indulge in any lengthened
disquisition upon the merits of the city of Rio Janeiro, so often
described, but content myself with noticing the changes or improvements
that have taken place since I last visited the place four years back;
or, on the other hand, allude to what many consider as its want of
progress and the local difficulties which impede its onward march of
events. As the capital of so large and important an empire, Rio Janeiro
is certainly deserving of a closer analysis than has hitherto been
attempted in any public work with which I am acquainted.[42] The fatal
barrier to improvement, during the last few years, has been the yellow
fever, which has carried off large numbers of the population, especially
the industrial and foreign portion, on whom so much depended; whilst
during the same period the import of slaves from the coast of Africa has
been almost entirely suppressed. In this comparatively short space of
time the spirit of joint-stock enterprise has made considerable advance
here, resulting in the establishment of a bank, a railway over the flat
ground going to Petropolis (nearly completed); other extensive railways
and public roads to the interior, for which contracts are now about
being completed; a gas company, to light the city, very far advanced
towards actual completion, pipes being already laid, lamps erected to
about one-half of the city, and works building for making the gas, &c.;
a company to navigate the River Amazon, which has already commenced
operations with a liberal grant from the government; besides a number
of minor enterprises, all conducive to the comfort and well-being of
the country. The origin of this movement was no doubt owing to the
joint-stock mania prevailing at home, aided by a superabundance of
capital from cessation of the slave-trade; and the opportunity was
seized by some patriotic individuals to give a right direction to the
public mind in the undertakings adverted to. But, as might be expected,
things got a little wild; shares of every kind were driven up to a very
high premium, and a change has followed, detrimental, for the time being,
to practical advancement. Money, so very abundant last year at from 4 to
5 per cent., is now difficult to get at 8 or 10. Many people are locked
up in share transactions, which must take them some time to realize.
It has been, in fact, a repetition, on a comparatively small scale, of
those scenes of monetary derangement to which our own country is so often
subjected, and by the result of which the Brazilians have not taken
warning. No doubt the effect will soon pass over, there having been no
real abstraction of capital from the place.

The city of Rio Janeiro extends some three miles along the south-west
side of the bay, and being much intersected by hills, it is difficult
to get a good view of the whole range, unless from the top of one of
the mountains near the city, such as the celebrated ‘Corcovado,’ which
stands out like a pulpit on the plain below, and is some 2,500 feet
perpendicular. The view from this pulpit on a clear day is superb,
and I should say almost unequalled in the world: the city, with its
numerous divisions and suburbs below you—the bay, extending as far as
the eye can reach until lost in the plain below the Organ Mountain—the
sea, studded with numerous picturesque islands, with vessels looking
like white specks upon it, and seen to a great distance—all together
form a most enchanting picture, and amply repay the toil of an ascent.
The mountain is of granite rock, like all others in this country, but
thickly wooded almost to the summit, and you come out quite suddenly
on the bare point before alluded to, so much resembling a pulpit. In
consequence of the tortuous formation of the streets, constructed round
the base of the hills, it is difficult to get more than a bird’s-eye view
of the city, on ground made by encroachment on the sea; consequently,
the streets are low, without drainage, and in several of the back ones
the water collects and stagnates, to the great detriment of health and
comfort. Rio itself is a bad copy of Lisbon—streets at right angles, a
large square facing the sea, and the suburbs extending up the hills,
which everywhere meet your eye. In Lisbon the streets are tolerably
wide, but here they have built them so miserably narrow, that scarcely
even one carriage can pass through, much less pass each other; and it
is evident that such vehicles were never contemplated in the original
formation of these streets. The only way of getting over the difficulty
is for carriages coming into the city to take one line of streets, and
those leaving it another, which they do, excluding omnibuses altogether
from the principal thoroughfares. Improvements in this way were what
I found most backward; indeed there was a marked falling-off in such
respect since I was last here, and there seems a great want of municipal
government.[43] In many places the pavement is execrable, and generally
very bad, the difficulty having probably been increased by laying down
mains for water and gas, the latter now in process of execution, and also
to heavy rains having washed away many parts of the road, and otherwise
caused much damage. Once this troublesome job is got through, it is to
be hoped some effective measures will be taken to put the streets and
branch-roads in order; otherwise they will soon be rendered impassable.
Coach and coach spring making must be thriving trades here, especially
with the immense increase that has taken place in the number of carriages
and omnibuses; and it is really wonderful how they stand the continual
shocks they have to endure.[44] Government seems at last alive to the
absolute necessity of doing something to improve the sanitary condition
of the city, and also its internal organization, as they have lately
got out some good practical English engineers, who I have no doubt
will suggest an effective mode of dealing with present difficulties.
If they do not adopt decisive measures, the rate of mortality may be
expected to augment fearfully in a dense population of 300,000 to 400,000
inhabitants, huddled together in some 15,000 houses, surrounded by
impurities of every kind, not the least being the stagnant water in the
streets. No exact census has ever been taken of the population of Rio
Janeiro, which is generally believed to be between the two figures above
given. There is a migratory population, but the accumulation of humanity
of every race and colour, contained in some of the large dwelling-houses,
is something extraordinary. As before observed, nature has done much for
this country, and if the natural facilities of Rio Janeiro were properly
availed of, and local improvements carried out with energy and spirit, it
might be rendered one of the finest and most luxurious places within the
tropics.[45] The opportunity is now open to them; the government possess
ample means, and it is just a question whether measures of progress are
to be effectively achieved, or the city to be abandoned to its fate. The
great evil attending all improvement in Brazil is an undue appreciation
of native capability, and a disparagement or distrust of those whose
practical experience would enable them to grapple with the difficulties
that surround them—a kind of little jealousy and mistrust that prevents
their availing themselves of opportunities thrown in their way to carry
out undertakings necessary to the well-being of the country; nor can
they understand the principle on which such things are regulated in
England, still less the magnitude of operations carried on there and in
many other parts of Europe. Yet the time seems to be coming when these
principles will be better understood here, and when the application of
English capital towards the improvement of the country may be safely and
legitimately brought to bear.

[Illustration: SERRA DOS ORGAOS—CABECA DO FRAILE, RIO JANEIRO.]

The political and social position of this great empire, whose influence
and example are of such incalculable importance to the present, and
still more to the future, of the whole continent of South America, must
necessarily be a subject of anxiety to all who wish to see it prosper,
and who are at the same time practically acquainted with the difficulties
that have to be overcome in the maintenance of its present system of a
representative government. Without attempting anything in the shape of
a history of that government, or of the circumstances which led to its
formation and have ensured its consolidation, a few particulars may not
be unacceptable to such readers as have not had their attention directed
to the subject. After the expulsion of the Portuguese in 1822, Don Pedro
was declared Emperor, and, in 1824, the constitution, which is a very
close imitation of our own, was proclaimed. The government is confided
to ministers chosen by the Emperor; there is a chamber of deputies, 548
in number, elected by the towns and 18 provinces, and a senate or upper
chamber, consisting of 54 members, titled and untitled, the numbers in
both being limited, and titles are not hereditary. Hence, though there
are, we believe, upwards of 20 marquises, 7 counts, 29 viscounts, and 32
barons, the sons of these do not succeed to the titular distinction of
their fathers, notwithstanding the honours emanating from a crown that
is hereditary. The business of the country passes under the same sort of
discussion, and just with as much freedom of debate, but not more, than
with us; and according to the support given or withheld by the chambers
is the government strong or weak. The revenue of the empire is accounted
for, and finds its way into the national treasury at Rio de Janeiro;
and hence the difficulty encountered in dealing with its distribution,
as each representative of a province naturally wishes to favour his own
constituency, and is opposed to what he may think an undue proportion
of expenditure lavished, and of interest taken, in the province already
favoured with the establishment of the capital and the residence of the
court, and where the largest population centres. This is one of their
great legislative difficulties, which gives rise to long and violent
discussions. Another is the existence of two factions in the state, the
old Portuguese and the purely Brazilian party. Some years back the former
held the reins, and were the supposed abettors of the slave-trade; but
since 1848 the present ministry, mostly composed of pure Brazilians, have
retained office, and been enabled to carry out most stringent measures
for putting down that abominable traffic, which is for the present not
only suppressed, but its restoration is impossible,[46] owing, first,
to the complete revulsion that has taken place in public opinion, and,
secondly, to the new direction that has been given to the employment
of capital, as explained in our chapters on Pernambuco and Bahia. To
such lengths have an honest and energetic administration, supported by
a high-minded sovereign, jealous of the honour of his country, and,
above all, of its credit for integrity in adhering to its engagements,
been able to act upon this truly national sentiment, that many of the
influential Portuguese, known to be actively engaged in the traffic, and
some of whom had sunk vast sums in its prosecution, have been banished
the country. Five years is a long time for a ministry to retain office
in any country; for even in our own that period far exceeds the average
duration of a British cabinet, at least during the last three reigns;
consequently, the greater the wonder at the stability of one in a country
such as Brazil, and under many trying circumstances. Not the least
embarrassing of these was the perpetual interference of England to put
down the external symptoms of the slave-trade, though Brazilian ministers
were doing it in a manner so rapid and effectual as to constitute one of
the most startling and complete social revolutions ever recorded in the
history of any nation in the world as the work of half-a-dozen ages, much
less of half-a-dozen years.[47] This speaks well indeed for the personal
ability as well as for the representative system under which the existing
ministry govern, as without a decided majority in the chambers they could
not possibly endure a single session. Brazilian policy and Brazilian
views seem to be now much more firmly established in the legislature, and
the native party greatly preponderates. Still this clashing of interests
tends to impede the regular march of business, by giving rise to endless
personal discussion and personal invective. The chamber of deputies and
the senate are a long way apart from each other, which must occasion
inconvenience, and destroy that prompt action and unity of purpose so
necessary in a legislative assembly. The locality ought always to be the
same, with the monarch as the head, opening and closing the sessions
under the same building. Considering their late elevation to political
distinction, some of the deputies and senators of Brazil display no
small amount of oratorical, and, what is still more valuable, debating,
ability; whilst many of the former must make a great sacrifice of time
and personal convenience in spending so many months away from their
families and estates, which are difficult to be reached in a country
where the means of travelling are comparatively so primitive, and the
distance to be traversed generally very great. The hours of discussion
in the chambers are as much too brief as ours are too long, being only
from 11 a.m. to 2 or 2.30 p.m., during which one orator will often occupy
the time for speaking sake only, and the business of the day has to be
adjourned; whereas if ministers, with no Mr. Brotherton to be afraid
of, could keep them at it occasionally until midnight, or 2 or 3 in the
morning, it would tire out declaimers, who seek only to pander to the
appetite for fervid or piquant rhetorical popularity, and would insure
quicker despatch of the business in hand.

[Illustration: AQUEDUCT AND CONVENT OF SAINT TERESA. RIO JANEIRO.]

The present Emperor is in every respect admirably fitted for his high
station. Born in the country, without the advantage of a knowledge of
European life, and that finished tone of education it affords, but
possessed of natural endowments of an exalted order, and having turned
to the utmost advantage the opportunities of a studious and virtuous
youth, he carries with him the full national sympathies of the native
Brazilians, the respect of the old Portuguese party, and the esteem
of the whole foreign diplomatic body, to whom he dispenses the honours
and hospitality of a prudently managed court. As the sovereign of a
constitutional country, content to abide within the strict limits imposed
by his coronation oath, his reign has been prosperous and happy. In his
private capacity he is kind and attentive to all around him, as well as
a close observer of passing events. Possessed of a benevolent heart,
and actuated by a noble singleness of purpose, he knows how to direct
the reins of government, without undue interference or an injudicious
exercise of his prerogative. It has often been emphatically said that
the Emperor is not only the highest, but the best man in the country,
both from his public conduct and his private virtues. The value of such a
compliment is not enhanced, or probably we should say is not impaired, by
any universal laxity and corruption around him, as in the case of another
empire nearer home, wherein it is said that the principal personage is
not only the most honest, but the only honest, man in his own dominions.
Probity[48] and high-mindedness of every kind in public life are as
general in Brazil as in any part of Europe, England itself certainly not
excepted; consequently the standard the Emperor is measured by is one by
no means conventional or equivocal, but is such as any sovereign in the
western world might feel proud of having applied to himself. Certainly,
in the matter of truthfulness, the rarest of all monarchic virtues,
he has set an example to the royal brotherhood of kings that might be
followed with infinite profit to the reputation of the regal race, and
with corresponding advantage to their subjects in numerous instances. His
Brazilian Majesty is admirably supported by an excellent and high-minded
partner, who, like her husband, is beloved by all classes in the empire.
The imperial couple frequently attend public balls, and mix in social
parties with citizens and foreigners, taking also the warmest interest in
all local improvements, or measures calculated to benefit the country,
and to raise the character of their subjects. When the kind of life they
are compelled to lead is fairly considered, and the extent of court
intrigue necessarily prevailing where parties are so much divided and
respectively so potent, too much merit cannot be ascribed to the Emperor
and Empress for the manner in which they conduct themselves, and the
controlling influence they exercise over others. Every one who has been
in Rio well knows how exceedingly popular he is, and how strong is the
conviction that that popularity is most just and most deserved, though
he never goes out of his way to obtain it by any _ad captandum_ arts, or
any conduct whatever that is not the result of sound judgment guiding
an estimable nature. M. Reybaud, a Frenchman, in a biographical memoir,
which appeared also in English in one of our illustrated journals at the
close of the year before last, says:

    ‘But the great work of Don Pedro the 2nd, a work at once of
    humanity and policy, and which will be his indelible title of
    glory in the eyes of Europe, is, that of having openly attacked
    the national prejudice of the necessity of black slaves, and
    having overcome it. Thanks to him, thanks to his Ministers and
    the Legislative Chambers of Rio, the traffic is henceforth
    definitively suppressed in Brazil, for the people have
    understood and accepted the Imperial policy, which has for its
    motto, “No more traffic in slaves; European colonization.” Such
    is at this moment the cry of all Brazil. The agriculturists
    themselves, until lately insensible to the anathemas of
    philanthropy, have opened their eyes, and joined the Government
    and the Chambers in demanding the deliverance of the country
    from the living leprosy of the slave traffic. It was imperative
    that it should. It was indispensable that the country should
    associate itself with the measures of the Government, for up
    to this time the laws that were made were not carried out, and
    the people who thought them prejudicial to their interests did
    not scruple to infringe them. The policy of the Emperor and
    the Brazilian Chambers was very simple and sensible. It was
    not sufficient to decree the suppression of the traffic, but
    it was necessary to open up to the agriculturists new ways and
    means by which they should, within a longer or shorter delay,
    dispense with black labourers. The Legislature, to provide
    for this necessity, took proper means to attract European
    colonization. Several attempts tried on this new basis have
    been attended with the happiest results. Little colonies have
    sprung up, especially in the south of the empire, and are in
    a flourishing condition. The planters and landed proprietors
    throughout the empire give a decided preference to free over
    slave labour, as experience teaches them that it is infinitely
    to their advantage.’

It is impossible too highly to eulogise the conduct of his Imperial
Majesty in reference to the slave trade; but as one evidence, which
may be useful by way of example in a certain portion of the world that
regards itself as far more advanced than Brazil, I transcribe the
following extract from a letter dated Rio, November 14th, 1853, and which
appeared in some of the English papers in January last:—

    ‘The “Pernambucana,” one of the vessels of the Brazilian Steam
    Packet Company, was wrecked near St. Catherine’s, and upwards
    of 40 passengers drowned. This disaster afforded an opportunity
    for a display of heroism and bravery rarely equalled. A black
    sailor, belonging to the vessel, succeeded with many others
    in reaching the shore; numbers had perished in the attempt,
    and but few of the passengers remained upon the wreck. All of
    these, including a mother and six children, did Simon save. It
    is pleasing to add that the Brazilians were by no means slow
    in marking their appreciation of, and rewarding, this heroic
    action. A subscription was opened in the Praça do Commercio,
    and the amount subscribed in two days exceeded seven contos
    of reis, or about £800. The Emperor and Empress, whose hands
    are always open for the succour of the needy, or the reward
    of the meritorious, contributed 900 milreis, and the total
    amount already received approaches to £1,000. In addition to
    this, a statue of the black is to be placed in the exchange. An
    unfortunate circumstance, peculiarly annoying to our English
    community in Rio, may be noticed in connection with this
    affair. The promoters of the subscription, persons of great
    influence and respectability, brought the black to the Praça
    do Commercio, not merely to gratify the curiosity of those who
    were anxious to see one become so celebrated, but to afford
    any information which parties connected with the victims or
    survivors might require. The director of the month, who was
    unfortunately an Englishman, objected to the presence of a
    black in the _sala_, and in spite of the remonstrances of all
    present, insisted upon his immediate removal. This arbitrary
    proceeding has called forth some severe articles in the public
    papers, and it is provoking that one of us who pretend to
    so much philanthropy for the race should have shown so much
    prejudice against the colour. This heroic fellow, with whom the
    Emperor of the Brazils expressed himself proud to shake hands,
    was driven from the exchange because he was an African! And by
    an Englishman!’

I cannot learn that this conduct has called for any reprobation in
England; that there have been any encomiums passed by our abolitionist
press or declaimers on the monarch of that country wherein partiality
for the slave trade was declared by the highest authority amongst us
to be ineradicable, except by violent measures on the part of England.
Nor, indeed, can I find that there has been the least desire to make the
_amende_ in any way to Brazil for all the calumnies so long heaped upon
her; for even that portion of the Slave Trade Treaties Report quoted,
which relates to Brazil (and which has been circulated throughout the
Brazilian press), has been passed over with indifference by our purists
and censors. Nay, more, within a very short period preceding the date
of these remarks, a tale of horrors was tricked out for the regalement
of our _gobemouche_ public in this country by a pair of travelling
philanthropic malevolents concerning a certain planter in Pernambuco
inviting his brother planters of the province to a grand spectacle of
boiling a slave alive; and the name of her Britannic Majesty’s consul
was actually adduced as that of a witness to the act. The absurdity was,
of course, scouted in Brazil as the conjuration of a diseased fancy; but
the journals here that gave currency to the figment have evinced small
alacrity in recording the contradiction elicited on the spot. So in the
case of the imperial conduct towards Simon. Had the President of the
United States acted as the Emperor did in this instance, or had a North
American Uncle Tom performed any portion of what the Brazilian black
achieved, dramas and novels by the score would have appeared, and, in
fact, we should never have heard the last of it.[49]

Though she has made wonderful strides in the right direction—advances
positively marvellous, considering the locality, and even as contrasted
with what would have been the case in England at this present day, had
a large section of otherwise enlightened men amongst us had had their
way—still, commercially speaking, Brazil has yet much to do in the shape
of reform. A great deal of the old leaven of Portuguese exclusiveness and
exaction remain to this day, although it is not carried to such an absurd
extent as at Lisbon, where is placed in the hands of every shipmaster
visiting the port a document,[50] which, considering that its provisions
are enforced by a civilised mercantile nation of Europe in the second
half of the nineteenth century, and in a great port whence once sailed
some of the mightiest maritime enterprises in history, deserves to be
regarded as a curiosity of commercial literature, and is preserved as
such in a note. No wonder the trade of Lisbon should dwindle down to
a mere cypher, and the finances of the country be in so deplorable a
state. Any nation issuing such a document as this places itself on a
par with, if not on a lower footing than, China or Japan. In Brazilian
ports you have the same ordeal of health visits, police, and custom-house
searchers, before you can even leave the ship; and if a vessel arrives
after dusk, no matter where from, coasting or otherwise, she must remain
till morning for the visit, after which she is a kind of custom-house
prey, watched and pounced upon in every possible manner, if all is not
found to be strictly in accordance with the long string of regulations,
numbered like a criminal code; and woe betide the unfortunate shipmaster
or merchant, importing goods, who innocently falls into the trap laid
for him. It is a case of heavy fines, damages, and often confiscation
of ship or property; although it can be clearly and satisfactorily
proved that no one is to blame in the matter, and that there has been
no fraudulent intention whatever. The stipulations of the custom-house
code are being continually infringed, and yet, like the laws of the Medes
and Persians, it altereth not! All this is very sad, and unworthy of a
country that looks to commerce for its intercourse with Europe, and as a
main source of revenue and social progress. The only excuse lies in the
force of habit, founded on inveterate prejudice, bequeathed by the old
superannuated mother country.[51]

It is true that our own fiscal system twenty years ago contained much of
the objectionable matter alluded to, although it was never distinguished
by those absurd forms and regulations that are not only a check to
personal liberty, but involve the loss of much valuable time. If some
public-spirited minister, who took a right and far-seeing view of the
true interests of Brazil, were to grapple fairly with this subject, and
had the moral courage to bring forward liberal measures, I firmly believe
that he would carry them. For instance, let him abolish the farce of
visiting vessels, both inwards and outwards, for sanitary or other state
purposes; and as regards customs’ revenue, once let the duties be reduced
to a scale that would render smuggling unprofitable, and there would be
no need of a commercial code or of fines and restrictions. All experience
proves that where duties have to be levied for the absolute necessities
of the state, the more moderate the scale the less chance there is for
smuggling, and the greater the increase and encouragement to consumption
of the articles imported, which can then be sold at cheaper rates. It is
notorious that for many years after the trade with Brazil was opened,
not half, probably not a quarter, of the duties entitled to be levied
found their way into the public treasury; and although a good deal of
this iniquity has been done away with by the firmness of a few public
servants,[52] yet the temptation remains, and some parties still profit
by illegal importation at the expense of legitimate traders. I repeat my
strong conviction that Brazil might derive a much larger revenue under
a moderate scale of duties, and she could then afford to wipe away all
the existing restrictions on commerce and shipping. It is true that she
has done something, both in reduction of her tariff as well as of her
anchorage dues, a step in the right direction, which, for her own sake,
it is devoutly to be hoped she will soon follow up vigorously.

As regards the social condition of the Brazilian empire, there is
doubtless still much room for improvement. Where is there not? But when
we recollect that until 1808 there was not a printing-press in the whole
country—and now behold no large town without its journal, generally very
admirably managed, and when we see educational establishments, many on a
very large and highly efficient scale, in nearly every province of the
empire—certainly we cannot say her progress has been slow. Previously to
that time the only instruction imparted was through the convents, and
consequently it was tinctured with all the old monastic and narrow-minded
leaven attached to those institutions, whose downfall in Spain and
Portugal was soon followed by similar measures in Brazil. Secular
education became extended; seminaries and schools were established,
both under the patronage of government and by private individuals;
newspapers increased, and are now multiplied to the number of upwards of
50, including scientific and literary; and the whole course of things
was changed; but without so far resulting in any general plan by which
instruction is communicated to the masses of the people. French being the
principal medium of intercommunication between the better classes and
all foreigners, and being very generally spoken, publications in that
language are necessarily most in request; and an assortment of French
reading of the latest Parisian stamp may be had in Rio equal to what is
procurable in any second-rate town in the country it comes from. It is
needless to say that French fashions, in other than strictly intellectual
items, prevail among all the educated classes in the Brazilian capital;
and by ministering to such tastes a large number of native French derive
considerable profit. In addition to the educational advantages already
enumerated, and the list might be greatly extended were we to include
the libraries, &c., some excellent institutions of a charitable nature
abound, as well as hospitals; the one last founded of this class at Rio
is on a most magnificent scale, in a small bay near the entrance of the
port, where an admirably executed marble statue of the Emperor has also
been most fittingly placed.[53] As it is under his auspices it has been
commenced, and by his munificence and example, and that of his estimable
consort, it has become one of the noblest edifices of the kind in
existence on either side of the Atlantic.

Another of the social evils of Brazil is the difficulty of obtaining a
labouring population, a necessity consequent on the importation of slaves
having ceased. It is one which, unless seriously and promptly dealt
with, must entail very momentous consequences: a continuous immigration
of free labourers appears to be the only solution of the question. But
whence are they to come in anything like the required numbers? It is
quite clear that European labourers cannot work with slaves, nor will
the hardy islanders of the Atlantic consent to do so; people, moreover,
are needed who can bear the climate, and will put up with hardships
which only those acclimated can be expected to endure—that is, the
climate of the more torrid parts of the Brazils; for there are vast
regions, larger than the whole United Kingdom, where out-door labour is
perfectly practicable to natives of Great Britain, and where some of such
natives have settled and prospered as agriculturists, as we shall have
occasion to refer to in speaking of the Banda Oriental, in respect to the
adjoining Brazilian province of Rio Grande do Sul. The only alternative
seems to be coolies from China; and with the present propensities of
that class, no doubt numbers would flock to Brazil, if the needful
encouragement and facilities were given. At all events the experiment
might easily be tried, and the sooner it is done the better.[54] Some
parties are sanguine enough to believe that the aborigines of the
country, the remnants of the Indian tribes, might be brought under
civilized rule, and instructed so as eventually to be rendered capable
of replacing slaves; but this plan seems very problematical, unless in
those districts where they have already been accustomed to mingle and
work with the other inhabitants, as in the northern provinces of Bahia
and Pernambuco. In the latter province especially, there is a very fine
race of men called Sertanejos, who make good labourers, and are very
useful in bringing produce to market by means of horses. The number of
men so employed may be imagined when, by the law of Pernambuco, one man
must accompany every horse; and in the busy season 2,000 horses have been
known to pass the toll-bar inwards, and the same number outwards, making
altogether 4,000, although the edict alluded to is not very strictly
enforced, the distance travelled by these horses being from 50 to 300
miles. It is literally impossible to form a proximate conjecture as to
the number of Indians in Brazil, the estimates of various authorities
ranging from one-fourth of a million to a million and a half, divided
into Indios, Mansos, and Tapirios; the former partially civilized and
speaking some Portuguese, the latter still savage. Nearly all the
tribes are of large stature; and though exceedingly low in the scale of
civilization, possess many of the virtues of the barbarian, especially
when uncontaminated by the vices of the white man, or proximity to him.
For the most part they are warlike, the climate by no means enervating
their bodies or subduing their spirit; and though in some respects
ferocious when excited, the practice of cannibalism towards prisoners
taken in battle is quite extinct, if indeed it ever really existed.
Some of the tribes exhibit an extraordinary antipathy to the negroes,
which is the more remarkable as the marriages of people of colour
with whites are very common, and degrees of black that would throw a
citizen of the United States into a fever of indignation are looked
upon with philosophic indifference, both by Brazilians and natives of
Portugal in Brazil. Probably this is one reason why slaves in Brazil
are treated with a kindness and humanity altogether unexampled in any
other part of the world, a fact upon which all authorities are agreed,
notwithstanding some shocking exceptions that were wont to be practised
towards newly-imported unfortunates from the coast of Africa, a custom
now fortunately at an end. No doubt a wise and conciliatory policy
exercised towards those Indian tribes who still occupy large districts of
Brazil would be attended with beneficial results; but this is a work of
time. What the country now wants is immediate labour, and for a supply
of this, emigration of some kind is the only available source. The towns
are already beginning to feel the effects of the diminution, and wages
have consequently risen considerably; whilst in the interior the value
of slaves has greatly increased, a preliminary perhaps to their future
emancipation.

Before quitting the subject of Rio improvements, I may note an
interesting excursion made over a short line of railway, and the first
ever attempted in this country, which is to connect the city with
Petropolis (the mountain and summer residence of the court and upper
classes), and which was recorded as below in the ‘Journal do Commercio’
of the 6th September, 1853, the day on which we left Rio for the River
Plate.[55]

Respecting the mercantile position of Brazil generally, I turned with
some considerable curiosity to the edition published in the course of
the present year, 1854, of ‘M’Culloch’s Commercial Dictionary,’ a work
of deserved authority and influence, as every business man is aware,
though, I regret to be obliged to add, the article on the country I
am now treating of does not sustain the character to which the volume
is in so many other respects entitled. I had expected, as the result
of recent events in Brazil, some marked modification in the writer’s
opinions as expressed under this head in former editions, but could find
none; and indeed the whole of his remarks, which I annex, would appear,
from internal evidence, to be as emphatic as in previous editions,
notwithstanding the date on his title-page, and his assertion in the
preface that the latest information had been brought to bear on every
point. He says:—

    ‘The imports into Brazil, which are chiefly from Great Britain,
    consist principally of our cottons, woollens, linen, iron and
    steel, hardware, butter, and other articles, amounting in all,
    in ordinary years, to about £2,500,000. It is frequently,
    no doubt, said that our exports to Brazil amount to double
    that sum, or to more than £5,000,000. But there is no room
    or ground for any such statement. The return is not derived
    from Brazil, but from our own Custom-house; and there is no
    reason why the merchants should undervalue the exports to
    Brazil more than to any other country. The commercial policy of
    Brazil has, on the whole, been characterised by considerable
    liberality. The duties on imports and exports have been
    mostly moderate, and have been imposed more for the sake of
    revenue than of protection. In October, 1847, the legislature
    of Brazil issued a decree, imposing 33⅓ per cent. higher
    duties on the ships and produce of those nations which did
    not admit the ships and produce of Brazil into their ports
    on a fair footing of reciprocity. This decree was, in part,
    provoked by our policy in regard to the slave trade, and was
    in avowed retaliation of the high discriminating duties we
    had imposed on Brazilian and other slave-grown sugar. But the
    modified views of the Brazilian government in regard to the
    slave-trade, and the admission of slave-grown sugars into our
    markets under reasonable duties, which are to be equalised
    with those on British colonial sugars in 1854, occasioned, in
    1849, the revocation of the discriminating duties referred
    to. A provincial duty of 15 per cent., imposed in some of
    the provinces on hides and other articles, has also been
    repealed. Great Britain enjoys the largest share of the trade
    of Brazil; and that share will, it is probable, be a good deal
    increased, when the duties on foreign and colonial sugars are
    equalised in 1854. The abolition of the discriminating duty on
    foreign coffee in the course of the year 1851 has occasioned
    a considerable increase in the imports of Brazilian coffee.
    The commerce of Brazil has sustained great injury from the
    wretched state of the currency and of the finances; the value
    of the former, which consists almost wholly of paper, being
    excessively depreciated and liable to extreme fluctuations,
    and the revenue being inadequate to meet the expenditure.
    Latterly, however, vigorous efforts have been made to increase
    the revenue; and it is hoped that, in the event of the finances
    being placed on a better footing, measures may also be taken to
    improve the currency.’

The concluding passage, as to the inadequacy of the income to the
expenditure, is altogether questionable; and the admission of such an
assertion into a work of the character just quoted from, betrays a
determination altogether inexplicable, for of course it is impossible
to put it down to the score of ignorance. The rapid and progressive
liquidation of the national debt, and the unfailing punctuality of the
dividends, added to the price Brazilian stocks command in the British
market, sufficiently bespeak the healthiness of Brazilian finance. I have
not been able to discover upon what data it is that Mr. M’Culloch fixes
the annual imports of British produce into Brazil at so low a figure as
he mentions in the foregoing extract, and which figure has appeared in
successive editions of his work for many years back. But it is quite
incorrect; and, at least, as much below the actual amount as the one
he condemns as too high. A witness before the committee on Slave Trade
Treaties last year, a gentleman officially connected with the Brazilian
embassy, and having the best means of knowing the accuracy of what he
said, declared the amount of trade during the year 1852 between Great
Britain and the Brazils to be about three millions and a half sterling
per annum of imports, entirely from England. Those imports[56] are sold
there on one year’s credit; so that every year there are £7,000,000 of
English goods in Brazil. There is always a deposit of British goods equal
to one year’s consumption, and one year’s consumption due. Besides that,
there is a national debt to England of £6,000,000 sterling; Brazil has to
pay interest for that. Then there is the internal debt, where £600,000 of
bonds belong to Englishmen; which makes a total of £13,600,000 of British
property engaged in Brazil.

Hence, then, the magnitude of the interests in this country as affected
by our relations with Brazil. Nor are the interests of humanity at large
on a less extensive scale. The witness last adverted to—and I can state
of my own knowledge that the authority he adduces is a most competent
one—an Englishman long resident in Brazil, in the public service of that
country, says:—

    ‘Allow me to cite from the writings of an Englishman who
    appears to be very well acquainted with the affairs of the
    Brazils: it is an article about a book published by Sir
    Woodbine Parish, from the British Quarterly Review for
    February, 1853. The book is about the River Plate, but there
    are in the article of the Review two or three little passages
    to which I will beg the attention of the Committee; beginning
    about the attack of Caseros, where Rosas had been put down.
    He says, “On this occasion, however, the Brazilian alliance
    introduced a regular, well disciplined, and properly commanded
    army into the contest, and in the hour of Buenos Ayrean defeat,
    it was to its humanity, order, discipline, and obedience that
    the troops of Rosas appealed; Surrender to the blue pants
    (so the Brazilian infantry was termed), they do not kill!
    was their cry.” This is to prove that Brazilians are not so
    blackened in civilization as they generally think in Europe,
    and not so inhuman; “and thus a body not exceeding 3,000 men
    had upwards of 5,000 prisoners, not one of whom was injured; on
    the contrary, a contingent of Rosas’ army refused to surrender
    to the Oriental forces of Urquiza; but on the appearance of
    a Brazilian officer (Captain Petra) at once laid down their
    arms; nor was this example of humanity lost on the Argentines
    themselves, in the subsequent occurrences at Buenos Ayres.”
    I have read that to show that the Brazilian people are ill
    judged of, and that they are more desirous to put an end to
    slavery than they have had credit for, on account of the point
    of civilization they have come to, and on account of the
    circumstance of its being to their interest. The article of the
    Review contains still the following observations: “Nor ought
    the events we have narrated to be uninstructive to Europe; for
    they teach the impolicy of England and France attempting to
    precipitate, either by diplomatic or military agency, events in
    distant countries, whose circumstances they are so imperfectly
    acquainted with; and the shortsightedness of prohibiting the
    intervention of a nation materially and geographically, as well
    as politically, concerned. They teach us also the dignity and
    office of the Empire of Brazil in the political system of the
    world; and how much more that state may be made to contribute
    its share to the great mass of human happiness, by promoting
    its welfare, than, as has been done, by wounding its pride.”
    Thus by promoting its welfare, and coming to an amicable
    understanding with it, there would have been a much fairer
    result, perhaps much quicker, than by wounding its pride, and
    by much stronger measures.’

[Illustration: CHURCH OF THE NOSSA SENOR A DA GLORIA, AND AQUEDUCT, RIO
DE JANEIRO.]

This is most just and true; and though the cause of irritation to Brazil,
indirectly glanced at in the concluding sentence, has happily passed
away, it is no less necessary to remember with what forbearance that
country endured the slights and indignities put upon her, and with what
magnanimity she forbore from soliciting the aid of a neighbouring nation
that might have required small inducement to vindicate the honour and
inviolability of the Brazilian flag; for there cannot be a question
that the government of Washington would very gladly avail itself of any
opportunity that might contribute to strengthen the connection between
the States and Brazil, though it is remarkable that some attempt of the
kind has not been made, in the mode of which the establishment of such a
steam company as the one I represent is an example.[57]


COMMERCE OF BRAZIL.

(STATISTICS LATELY ISSUED SHOW THE FOLLOWING COMPARATIVE RESULTS IN ROUND
NUMBERS.)

1839 and 1844.—Average annual value of imports and exports, 13 millions
sterling.

1845 and 1849.—Average annual value was 16 millions sterling, or an
increase of 3 millions.

In this latter period the average yearly number of vessels employed was

             10,694; tonnage, 1,937,944;
             ------           ---------
    of which  5,464     ”       953,654 inw.
              5,230     ”       914,290 outw.
             ------           ---------
    vessels, 10,694     tons, 1,937,944
             ------           ---------

showing an average increase over the former period of 1839 to 1844 of

    vessels, 34 per cent.
    tonnage, 42    ”

Of the above figures, the imports averaged

    in value,      49 per cent,
        exports,   51    ”
                  ---
                  100
                  ---

During the same period, the proportions of foreign and coasting trade
were:

    foreign imports and exports, 76 per cent.
    coasting      ”      ”       24    ”
                                ---
                                100
                                ---

Of the aforesaid total imports and exports,

    Great Britain figures for 36 per cent.
    United States     ”       16    ”
    other parts of the world  58    ”
                             ---
                             100
                             ---

And in the total value of imports,

    Great Britain figures for 50 per cent.
    France            ”       10    ”
    United States     ”       11    ”
    other parts       ”       29    ”
                             ---
                             100
                             ---

    Ditto in exports:
      Great Britain   ”       24    ”
      United States   ”       23    ”
      other parts     ”       53    ”
                             ---
                             100
                             ---

The percentage of this commerce divided amongst the ports of Brazil, is
as follows:

    Rio Janeiro, 53 per cent.
    Bahia,       17    ”
    Pernambuco,  13    ”
    Other ports, 17    ”
                ---
                100
                ---

The value of imports and exports bearing about a relative proportion to
these figures.


COFFEE, SUGAR, AND HIDES, EXPORTED FROM RIO JANEIRO, IN 1847, 1848, 1849,
1850, 1851, 1852, 1853.

The total number of bags and barrels of coffee exported from Rio Janeiro
in 1847 was 1,650,300; in 1848, 1,706,544; in 1849, 1,451,715; in
1850, 1,392,361; in 1851, 1,993,255; in 1852, 1,899,861; and in 1853,
1,657,520. The total number of cases of sugar was, in 1847, 3,136; in
1848, 2,371; in 1849, 3,212; in 1850, 6,465; in 1851, 4,752; in 1852,
9,012; in 1853, 2,667. The total number of hides imported in 1847
amounted to 268,492; in 1848 to 348,947; in 1849 to 299,262; in 1850 to
195,706; in 1851 to 173,746; in 1852 to 210,223; and in 1853 to 75,852.
In 1853 were also exported 21,808 boxes and barrels of coffee; 17,556
bags of sugar; 5,049 half-tanned hides; 222,577 ox and cow-horns; 1,050
pipes of rum; 25,825 rolls of tobacco; 9,935 bags of rice; 32,610 planks
of jacaranda; 7,085 barrels of tapioca; and 71,680 lbs. of ipecacuanha.
The shipments of coffee to the United States in 1853 were 853,023 bags
against 960,850 in 1852, 996,552 in 1851, 638,801 in 1850, 634,565 in
1849, 806,907 in 1848, 729,742 in 1847, 727,263 in 1846, 551,276 in
1845, 534,689 in 1844, 543,239 in 1843, 357,278 in 1842, 427,096 in 1841,
296,705 in 1840, 344,833 in 1839, 265,656 in 1838, 127,032 in 1837,
313,934 in 1836, 264,721 in 1835, 171,737 in 1834, and 236,708 in 1833.
These statements are made up from the vessels’ manifests, excepting
coffee, which, from the beginning of 1834, is from the daily shipments
at the Consulado. The yearly exportation of coffee was, in 1820, 97,500
bags; in 1821, 105,386; in 1822, 152,048; in 1823, 185,000; in 1824,
224,000; in 1825, 183,136; in 1826, 260,000; in 1827, 350,900; in 1828,
369,117; in 1829, 375,107; in 1830, 391,785; in 1831, 448,249; in 1832,
478,950; in 1833, 561,692; in 1834, 560,759; in 1835, 647,438; in 1836,
715,893; in 1837, 657,005; in 1838, 765,696; in 1839, 889,324; in 1840,
1,068,418; in 1841, 1,028,368; in 1842, 1,174,659; in 1843, 1,183,646; in
1844, 1,269,381; in 1845, 1,187,591; and in 1846, 1,522,434 bags.


BRITISH PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURES EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM TO
BRAZIL, IN THE YEARS 1849, 1850, 1851, AND 1852.

                               1849.       1850.       1851.       1852.
                                 £           £           £           £
    Alkali                     8,369      10,591      13,213      11,752
    Apothecary wares           6,994       8,858       7,272      10,667
    Apparel and slops         21,189      28,475      45,891      49,290
    Arms and ammunition       27,747      39,707      37,786      23,441
    Bacon and hams               950         865       7,756         869
    Beef and pork                402          70         353          12
    Beer and ale              14,770      17,155      25,407      14,971
    Blacking                   1,889       1,510       1,532         966
    Books                      3,625         996         750         538
    Brass and copper
      manufactures            32,596      36,324      45,346      47,212
    Butter                    82,889      65,279      88,857      96,861
    Cabinet and upholstery
      wares                      482         648         799         876
    Carriages                    821         386         300         388
    Coals, cinders, and
      culm                    23,036      20,320      26,118      24,248
    Cordage                    3,972       1,294       1,428         424
    Cotton manufactures    1,516,137   1,546,570   2,016,086   1,891,374
    Cotton yarn                2,025       1,041         173         191
    Earthenware               35,278      41,268      54,588      90,359
    Glass                     10,432      11,277      15,320      10,866
    Hardware and cutlery      80,389      80,973     108,406     104,129
    Hats                         463         325       1,326       1,376
    Iron and steel            94,792      78,105      84,488     109,876
    Lead and shot             11,457      18,967      11,793      11,703
    Leather                   10,016      11,002      11,716      18,332
    Linen manufactures       131,412     157,054     295,925     250,243
    Machinery and
      mill-work               14,817      29,001      23,715      18,816
    Musical instruments        6,612       5,776      12,725      11,018
    Oil, linseed,
      rapeseed, and
      hempseed                10,085       5,906      10,810      12,091
    Painters’ colours         13,230       8,249       7,776       9,604
    Plate, jewellery, and
      watches                  8,948       7,966      15,115      22,016
    Saddlery and harness       2,566       3,133       4,188       7,333
    Saltpetre                  9,518       5,446       5,860       4,326
    Silk manufactures         14,554      14,295      23,624      24,709
    Soap and candles           3,429       5,648       2,404       3,115
    Stationery                 3,532       4,248       7,085       6,293
    Tin and pewter            16,049      12,552      21,084      12,310
    Umbrellas and parasols     8,507       7,754       5,290       8,184
    Woollen manufactures     180,599     223,002     446,062     511,690
    Miscellaneous             30,137      33,001      37,323      41,915
                           ---------   ---------   ---------   ---------
         Total             2,444,715   2,544,837   3,518,684   3,464,394


RIO STATISTICS.—EXTRACTED FROM RIO MERCANTILE JOURNAL, JANUARY, 1854.

IMPORT.

    Shipping, 1852.—793 vessels   198,053 tons }
       ”      1853.—750   ”       186,984   ”  } Conveying cargo.

Besides a large number of vessels calling in, &c.


EXPORT.

    Shipping, 1852.—1173 vessels  448,851 tons.
        ”     1853.—1004   ”      387,470  ”

Of which 560 vessels with produce, 68 with foreign merchandise, and
139 with their inward cargoes; 15 in ballast had foreign destinations,
15 with their inward cargoes, 2 in port laden with produce, and 205 in
ballast, proceeded to other parts of the empire.


COASTING TRADE FOR 1853.

    Import (exclusive of 341 steamboats) 2094 vessels   207,872 tons
    Export (exclusive of 330 ditto)      2036   ”       202,994  ”


JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES.

The amount of paid-up capital is £2,300,000 sterling.


CUSTOMS REVENUE FOR 1853.

12,479,437 reis, or about a million and a half sterling. The revenue in
1852 exceeded that of 1853 by about £250,000, owing to discouragements
of trade by disputes amongst sellers and buyers; and the total revenue
of 1852 exceeded that of 1847 and 1848 about 50 per cent. The Consulado
revenue for 1853 was 2,208,059 reis, or about £250,000 sterling.


RETURN OF TRADE BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND BRAZIL FOR THE YEAR 1853.

                         Number of
      Ports.              Vessels.      Tonnage.
    Pará                     11           2,058
    Maranham                 17           5,260
    Pernambuco               40          10,506
    Bahia                    32          10,320
    Rio Janeiro              84          25,502
                            ---          ------
                            184          53,646


QUANTITIES OF THE PRINCIPAL ARTICLES IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED KINGDOM
FROM BRAZIL IN THE SAME YEARS.

                              1849.       1850.       1851.       1852.
    Annatto       cwts.          462         648         596       1,188
    Capivi         ”             363         344         574         955
    Cocoa         lbs.     1,391,162   1,204,572   1,949,666   2,244,713
    Coffee         ”       6,376,651   1,779,799   7,888,638   3,053,202
    Hides         cwts.      207,199     157,003     150,585      94,733
    Horns          ”           8,288       5,247       6,843       2,856
    India rubber   ”           4,605       5,967      11,053      12,813
    Isinglass      ”             515         610         547         352
    Ipecacuanha   lbs.         5,126       1,638      13,554      14,703
    Rum           gallons      1,139      33,952      20,712           1
    Sarsaparilla  lbs.         6,220      12,247      17,810      16,517
    Sugar         cwts.      561,660     362,686     720,424     289,999
    Tallow         ”          23,925       4,559       5,246         ——
    Tapioca        ”           6,960      10,989      11,442       6,288
    Wood, Brazil  tons           329          12          57         135
    —— Fustic      ”             589         669         438         382
    —— Rosewood    ”           3,649       3,022       3,200       3,676
    —— Zebra       ”              85          60          89         187
    Wool, cotton  lbs.    30,738,133  30,299,982  19,339,104  26,506,144


BRAZIL COFFEE IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE YEAR 1853.

                   Bags.
    New York      225,985
    Boston          3,293
    Philadelphia  123,007
    Baltimore     199,314
    New Orleans   311,350
                  -------
        Total     862,949
                  -------

Each bag consists of 5 arrobas, or 160lbs. English weight each, the gross
value being upwards of £2,000,000.

Since the foregoing data were published, they have been summarised and
annotated by a very competent authority in London, and the results issued
for private circulation among Anglo Brazilians. The document so published
presents, in a very succinct and comprehensive form, the financial
status of the empire; and a further condensation of it, to suit these
pages, cannot but be acceptable to such readers as the previous _chevaux
de frize_ of figures may repel from the perusal of what is really most
interesting fiscal and instructive political facts.

The National Debt of Brazil dates from 1824, when the imperial government
contracted a loan of 1,000,000_l._, 5 per cents, at the price of 75, in
order to defray the expenses of the war of independence. In the following
year, the government contracted a second loan of 2,000,000_l._, also 5
per cents, at the price of 85, with the further advantage of a year’s
dividend, to provide for the expenses attendant on the suppression of the
revolt in the northern provinces; and in consideration of the recognition
of Brazilian independence by Portugal, they undertook the liability of
the loan of 1,500,000_l._ 5 per cents., which the mother country had
contracted at 87 in 1823. The expenditure was seriously increased by
the subsequent war with Buenos Ayres, and scarcely was this brought to
a conclusion when the government was led into fresh liabilities by the
assistance which Dom Pedro I. gave the constitutional party in Portugal,
on the usurpation of the crown of that country by his brother, Dom
Miguel. In 1829, two 5 per cent. loans, 392,584_l._, were contracted
at 54; and the Regency, ten years later, were compelled to contract
another 5 per cent. loan of 312,512_l._ at 78, in order to meet the
deficit in the revenue, which then embarrassed the government. During the
usurpations of Dom Miguel, the payment of the dividends on the Portuguese
loan of 1823 was suspended; but as soon as the authority of Donna Maria
was established, her government provided for the arrears, and in 1842 a
financial treaty was concluded between Brazil and Portugal, under which
the former delivered to the Portuguese agents stock to the amount of
732,600_l._, which at 85, the price at which it was issued, was equal to
622,702_l._, the sum agreed to be paid by Brazil, in liquidation of this
and all other claims.

The National Debt of Brazil, therefore, amounted in 1853 to
6,999,200_l._, the interest on which, throughout all the difficulties
and embarrassments of the government, has been punctually paid, though,
at times, the measures necessary to provide for its payment have been
severely felt by the people. The several loans specified were contracted
on the terms of a sinking fund, which were fully carried out until 1828,
when the increased expenditure compelled the government to put a period
to its operations. But as soon as the expiration of the commercial treaty
with England in 1844 allowed the government of Dom Pedro II. to revise
the tariff of customs duties, and by that means to obviate the pressure
of a deficiency in the revenue, the provisions of the sinking fund were
revived. The Portuguese loan was thus reduced to 954,250_l._, and in 1852
it was paid off by a new 4½ per cent. loan of that amount, contracted at
95. Reductions of the other loans have been effected in the same way,
and the foreign debt of Brazil now stands at only 5,900,000_l._ Further
reductions are being gradually effected, and if the provisions of the
Sinking Fund continue to be carried out, as doubtless they will be, the
time cannot be far distant when the foreign debt of the empire will be
entirely liquidated.

Between 1836 and 1840 the deficiency in the revenue increased from
476,825,000 reis to 3,639,608,000 reis, and in consequence of the
expenditure consequent on the rebellion in the province of Rio Grande
do Sul, this deficiency continued to increase until 1844, in which year
it amounted to 9,484,520,000. This deficit did not entirely disappear
during the next three or four years, but in 1849-50 there was a surplus
of 3,035,006,000 reis (341,438_l._), in 1850-1 of 3,552,404,000 reis
(399,645_l._), in 1851-2 of 4,010,220,000 reis (451,149_l._), in 1852-3
of 3,970,202,000 reis (446,647_l._), and in 1853-4 of 3,528,934,000 reis
(397,005_l._). Since 1836 the revenue has increased from 13,024,749,000
reis to 35,290,691,000 reis, at which sum it may reasonably be estimated
for some years. The expenditure has increased from 13,501,574,000 reis to
30,471,066,000, which increase has not only been at a slower rate than
that of the receipts, but exhibits a progression from a deficiency to a
surplus, and since 1844 it may be taken as representing an improvement
in the administration, the growth of an efficient steam navy, and those
numerous public works which have been referred to in preceding pages.
The surplus revenue of the last five years has been the natural result
of the fiscal reforms of 1844, which have extended commerce and promoted
internal prosperity, at the same time that their success has paved the
way for further and more extensive reforms in the same direction.

These accounts refer only to the imperial revenue, in addition to which
each of the twenty provinces into which the empire is divided has its
separate revenue, raised by its Provincial Assembly, and expended on
local objects, the aggregate amount of which is about one-third that of
the imperial revenue. This system causes the demands on the imperial
treasury to be much fewer than in countries where the administration
is centralised, and the entire expenditure is defrayed from the
general revenue. The entire debt of Brazil does not much exceed three
years’ revenue, and while the latter is yearly increasing, the former
exhibits an annual diminution. This proportion between income and
liabilities is such as few states can exhibit, and considering the almost
illimitable resources of the country, and the commercial prosperity
that is fast growing out of its adoption of a Free Trade policy, a debt
of 12,362,290_l._ cannot be deemed a serious or burdensome charge.
Indeed, when we look at the progress which has been made towards the
diminution of the debt, in years when the facilities of the government
for meeting its liabilities were much less than at present, there can be
no doubt that it will in the course of a few more years be extinguished
altogether, and thus enable the government to carry out farther
reductions, and promote many schemes of improvement.

In concluding this summary of the commercial and social status of Brazil,
I venture, before making any observations on the Plate, to solicit the
attention of the reader to some very admirable remarks which appeared in
an influential morning journal a few weeks ago, with the signature of
‘Braziliensis,’ explanatory of the precise relationship of the empire
to the Oriental del Uruguay and to the Argentine states generally. A
knowledge of this relationship is essential to an appreciation of what
is called, often erroneously, the ‘River Plate Question;’ and, with the
aid of the writer referred to, whose remarks I am about to epitomise,
and a few explanatory addenda incorporated with them, the matter may
be rendered transparent in a brief compass. First, as to the Uruguay,
touching which republic Brazil is assumed by ill-informed politicians
in England to have sinister designs. Now, Brazil, of all countries, has
most interest in the peace and progress of Uruguay as an independent
state. But it must not be overlooked that Brazil is a Platine state,
just as much as Uruguay, as the Argentine Confederation, as Bolivia, or
Paraguay. It is in Brazilian territories that the River Paraguay has its
main source, that the River Uruguay rises, that the Parana begins to
flow, and that these (with their tributaries) form the River Plate. All
three are navigable in Brazil; each forms the natural access to great and
rich provinces of that empire, which has, therefore, a deep interest in
the free navigation of the upper waters of the Plate; and that interest
is the key to her policy on the southern side of the empire. She has a
plethora of land. What she wants is an increase to her free population:
to European immigration all parties are directing earnest attention.
Civilians, not soldiers of fortune, govern Brazil. The Emperor is a
civilian; his ministers are civilians: there is nothing aggressive or
ambitious in Brazilian policy. Law, order, commerce, and peace—not the
sword—prevail. The army is small, not exceeding 65,000 men, of which
the regular troops number 22,540 officers and privates (including 3,127
cavalry, and 3,582 artillery); the remainder are militia, and the whole
are strictly obedient to the civil power. Like England, Brazil cultivates
a naval force, and that never sways the destinies of the state in any
country.

To save itself from the unlicensed soldiery of the Spanish provinces—from
the savage Artigas—Monte Video sought and found admission into the
Brazilian empire, and became its Cis-Platine province. The jealousies of
the Spanish and Portuguese races (and Buenos Ayrean intrigues) produced
revolt, and led to war between Brazil and Buenos Ayres for possession
of the Banda. But this war was most unpopular in Brazil. Her native
population did not regard the territory as worth fighting for, and the
obstinacy of Dom Pedro I., in persevering against public opinion, was
one cause of his downfall. Hostilities terminated by the creation of the
independent Republic of Uruguay. But Lord Ponsonby’s treaty, by which
it was accomplished, was one of preliminaries only. So little, however,
did Brazil then care to intrigue in Uruguay, that, notwithstanding her
material interests suffered from the want of definite arrangements, she
was content, so long as Uruguay preserved the shadow of independence, to
go on with provisional relations only. But Rosas first attacked and then
subdued the independence of Uruguay; and then Uruguay became a source of
danger, for it adjoins Rio Grande do Sul, in which serious disturbances
had with difficulty been suppressed. These Rosas tried to revive. Its
boundaries, too, were unsettled; and Oribe carried his incursions into
Brazilian territories, levied enormous contributions on Brazilian
subjects, and carried off 800,000 head of cattle. Nor was this all: the
navigation of the Uruguay, Parana, and Paraguay was closed to Brazil, and
commerce down the Plate, Brazil was allowed to have none. Still, whilst
there was a chance that British and French intervention would remedy
this state of things, she waited patiently. When those powers not only
retired, but wholly failed, Rosas openly assumed the protectorate of
Uruguay, and required Brazil to submit to the depredations of Oribe, his
lieutenant. Brazil expelled the power of Rosas from Uruguay, then drove
him from Buenos Ayres, but at once withdrew within its own frontiers,
and, in the succeeding troubles, refused to interfere further than to
give good and the same advice to all. Brazil had then the opportunity
of annexing the Oriental State, and of again advancing her frontier to
the Plate. In fixing the boundary line she has gained no territory; her
pecuniary claims she has postponed until those of other countries are
discharged; she has insisted on the free navigation of the rivers, not
for herself only, but for all the countries they water; and when the
government of Monte Video was lately oppressed by poverty, she consented
to lend it 60,000 dols. a month, in order that it might preserve its
independence. Brazil was no party to the recent change of presidents at
Monte Video; and just as Brazil supported Giro himself when in power, as
the head of the government _de facto_, so, in the interests of peace and
independence, she now lends moral support to the present government.[58]
She takes no part against Urquiza; she is neither his partisan nor that
of Buenos Ayres in Argentine disputes; she has, indeed, tried to throw
oil on their troubled waters; but, as that was not to be done, like
England and France, Brazil now waits for their natural solution. She
is the only South American state with a stable government, with a large
and increasing commerce, with a growing surplus, with an augmenting
population. She has secured the esteem of England by at last abandoning
the slave trade, and she will not risk either her prosperity or her
reputation by ambitious designs on Uruguay. [See chapter on the River
Plate.] We have seen that she is most favourable to the free navigation
of those rivers on her southern and eastern frontier, whose opening has
so long been the desideratum of European and South American commerce;
and we shall see presently that she is most wisely and energetically
coöperating with an affluent company, composed of English, Brazilian, and
Portuguese capitalists, for bringing the blessings of steam to bear upon
the Amazon, the results of which proceeding it is entirely impossible to
exaggerate.

Ten years ago the finances of Brazil were in very great embarrassment.
Under all circumstances of distress and difficulty, Brazil had, indeed,
paid, as she still continues regularly to pay, the interest on her debt,
thereby honourably distinguishing herself from other South American, and
not a few European states. But, at that time, her expenditure largely
exceeded her income. Gradually Brazil has reversed this state of things;
instead of a heavy deficit, she now has a steadily increasing surplus,
has been able to reduce the rate of interest on part of her foreign debt,
is slowly reducing its capital, and is in a position to compete in the
money market of London with the most favoured European governments. Ten
years ago Brazil was not a little embarrassed by the fiscal restrictions
she had imposed on herself by her commercial treaties with other
countries. Now she is free from all such embarrassments, has full powers
over her own trading and financial system, and has no treaties at all
with other states. Intermediately she raised for revenue purposes her
tariff of Custom duties; but now that she has a surplus to dispose of,
her Government is engaged in reducing those duties, to the enlargement,
of course, of her commerce. The total funded domestic debt of the empire
on the 31st of Dec. last amounted to 57,704,200,000 reis, and the funded
debt of the province of Rio Janeiro to 3,940,000,000 reis. The total
revenue for the present year, 1854, is estimated at about 32,353,000
milreis (£3,594,700), and the expenditure at about 29,633,706 milreis
(£3,292,630). The income is chiefly derived from the _ad valorem_ duty
charged on all articles imported into Brazil, amounting in 1851-2 to
£2,814,443; a low duty charged on the articles exported, amounting in the
same year to £503,070; and rents, royalties on mines, &c. The estimated
expenditure for 1853-4 is thus distributed: Ministry of the Interior,
£412,355; Justice, £250,020; Foreign Affairs, £60,000; Marine, £452,138;
War, £813,935; Finances, £1,304,162: total, £3,292,630.

Ten years ago the Brazilian navy was small: it is now rising into
importance; its courage and capacity were lately seen in the Plate; many
of its younger officers have been reared in the British service, and from
British yards it is yearly adding to its steam flotilla. It now consists
of 1 frigate of 50 guns, 5 corvettes, 5 brigs, and 9 schooners, carrying
together 188 guns; and 4 smaller vessels, carrying together 27 guns; 10
steamers, mounting 36 guns; with various unarmed ships and steamers,
and several others are building. The Brazilian army has established its
reputation at once for success, bravery, and humanity. Ten years ago
Brazil had little external influence; now Brazil is obviously at the head
of South American states, and has a distinct and separate part assigned
to her in the destinies of the human race. Then she had but slow and
dilatory intercourse with Europe; now she has two monthly steam services
from England—another is being established from Lisbon; and Rio Janeiro is
now only a month’s distance from London and Paris.

Whilst London, Liverpool, and Lisbon are thus sweeping its coasts with
steam, Manchester is lighting Brazilian cities with gas. Messrs. Peto
and Jackson, (the members for Norwich and Newcastle-under-Lyne,) whose
capital and connections are interlacing Canada and the British North
American provinces with a magnificent net-work of railways, are also with
other capitalists about to bring their vast resources and long practised
experience to bear in a like manner in several of the Brazilian
provinces, and doubtless with a like result within as brief a period as
the circumstances of the country and the obstacles to be overcome will
possibly permit. The Government is opening up new roads, clearing away
impediments in rivers, and is arranging the internal improvement of
the empire on a large and comprehensive system. A great and a happier
future is opening on Brazil—one calculated to advance and extend moral
improvement and political freedom, as well as to promote material comfort.

In thus recording the material prosperity and anticipating the
progressive greatness of this magnificent empire, it affords me
infinite gratification to be able to attribute to my distinguished
fellow-townsman, Admiral Grenfell, the Brazilian consul-general[59] for
England, a large and conspicuous share in consolidating the strength,
and enhancing the reputation of Brazil, as eminent among the nations
alike for the valour of its arms, the clemency of its counsels, and
the magnanimity it has evinced in eschewing territorial aggrandisement
which its bravery and sagacity might so readily have secured it. A more
befitting preliminary to the subsequent chapter on the Amazon there could
not be than a memoir of the gallant seaman to whose skill and bravery
the retention of the principal Amazonian province is due, and to whose
equally admirable conduct on a scarcely less trying occasion is also
due an acceleration of the settlement of the affairs of the Plate, to
a correct understanding of which, in their latter phases at least, a
perusal of the annexed biographical data, gleaned from the most reliable
sources, will greatly contribute.

[Illustration: WATERFALL OF ITAMARITY. DISTANT TWO DAYS’ JOURNEY FROM RIO
JANEIRO.]

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATION.

    The cataract shown in the foregoing page consists, says Sir W.
    G. Ouseley, from whose portfolio it is copied, of a succession
    of three waterfalls, subsiding into rapids, and then continuing
    its course as a turbulent rocky brook, working its way among
    the hills of the Serra de Estrella. The falls of Itamarity
    are not near any high road, and have been seldom visited by
    Europeans. It is not possible to obtain a general view of all
    the falls. That in the Plate is taken from an insulated rock,
    standing opposite the second fall. The first fall has worked a
    basin in the rock, as in other similar sites, and, as usual,
    it is asserted by the natives to be of vast or fathomless
    depth. Below the isolated rock is a third fall of considerable
    size; but the rich and thick vegetation prevents much of it
    from being seen. On the morning that this sketch was taken,
    when a party visited the Falls, some negroes were sent on
    beforehand to cut away the underwood and parasites, and to fell
    trees in order to _improviser_ a bridge for the nonce. The
    ligatures used in fastening the trees, and the sort of parapet
    railing, were made of the lianes or parasitical plants from
    the surrounding trees. They hang from the highest branches
    like ropes of various sizes, some little larger than whipcord,
    others of the circumference of a large cable; indeed, they are
    often thicker than a man’s body, and frequently form spiral and
    intricate knots, like the writhings of gigantic serpents, à la
    Laocoon. The profuse variety of growth and rapid vegetation in
    this part of Brazil is scarcely credible to Europeans. A very
    few weeks, or rather days, after this path had been opened,
    and the bridge constructed to enable the party to visit these
    Falls, strangers might have passed close to them, only made
    aware of their proximity by the loud roar of the falling
    waters, the hoarse sound of which, deadened and rendered
    deceptive by the close growth of the forest, would be but an
    indifferent guide, and hardly enable them to find any approach
    by which to obtain a view of the Falls. The negroes and country
    people have alarming stories or traditions respecting vast
    crocodiles, differing from the common sort in their nature
    and habits, and unlike the alligators of the rivers emptying
    themselves directly into the bay of Rio de Janeiro, at the
    foot of these mountains. They are said to be infinitely larger
    and more voracious than their relations near the salt water.
    These monsters, they affirm, inhabit the deep pools formed
    occasionally in the course of the mountain rivers. Poisonous
    snakes are asserted to be often found in these waters. The
    present existence of these crocodiles seems very apocryphal;
    nor are serpents so often met with, even by naturalists anxious
    to enrich their collections, as is generally supposed. The
    name of these Falls, ‘Itamariti,’ or ‘Itamarity,’ signifies in
    the Indian language (probably that of the Guarani tribe) ‘the
    shining stones,’ or ‘the rock that shines,’ doubtless so called
    from the glittering appearance of the large mass of rock, the
    face of which is worn smooth by the water. ‘Ita’ means stone or
    rock.

    The old road over the Serra de Estrella, constructed when
    Brazil was a colony of Portugal, was, although much too steep
    according to modern ideas of engineering, infinitely better
    than the track dignified with the name of road, formerly
    leading to the Serra dos Orgaos. Being paved, it was at least
    safe and practicable. But the road recently opened to these
    heights is on vastly improved principles, and on a scale
    thought even unnecessarily large. The foundation and progress,
    however, of the new city of Petropolis, situated at the height
    of about 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, on this route,
    has doubtless called for the construction of a road wider and
    more convenient than those hitherto made in this part of the
    country. The Emperor has built a summer residence here, near
    the highest part of the road, and the court and many of the
    wealthier citizens of Rio Janeiro have followed the example,
    encouraged by his Imperial Majesty’s liberal allotment of land
    for dwelling-houses, hotels, &c. The idea of founding this
    mountain city as a retreat during the great heats originated
    with the late Emperor, Don Pedro I., who made grants of land,
    absolutely or conditionally, to different noblemen of his
    Court. He was not enabled, however, to carry into effect either
    his plan for a city, or the construction of a new road to and
    through the mountains. To the reigning Emperor belongs the
    credit of practically calling into existence this thriving and
    healthy settlement, of which the success is now beyond a doubt.
    Petropolis may now be regarded as like the Royal Sitios in
    Spain,—Aranjuez, La Granja, &c., to which the Court regularly
    removes at certain seasons. The temperature and climate are
    delightful, and the annual removal to this and the other Serras
    is sufficient to restore to health those who have suffered
    from the enervating heats of the summer in the low lands
    around the capital. European invalids especially derive great
    benefit during convalescence from a few weeks’ stay in these
    picturesque mountains. Many foreigners, particularly Germans,
    have settled at or near this city. To the naturalist, and
    more particularly to the entomologist and botanist, a sojourn
    in these Serras affords endless interest and employment. A
    railroad is now opened from Rio Janeiro to the foot of the
    hills, which promises great advantages to the new settlement.



ADMIRAL GRENFELL.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL GRENFELL, CONSUL GENERAL FOR BRAZIL]


Vice-Admiral John Pascol Grenfell, of the Imperial Brazilian Navy, is
son of the late Mr. J. Granville Grenfell, of the city of London, and
was born at Battersea, in 1800. At eleven years of age, he embarked in
the maritime service of the Honourable East India Company, and made
several voyages to India in the capacity of midshipman and mate in the
Company’s ships. In the year 1819, he left the Company’s service, and
joined the naval service of the Republic of Chili, with the rank of
lieutenant, under the command of the present Admiral Earl of Dundonald,
then Lord Cochrane, Admiral of the Chilian Naval Forces, engaged in
the contest with Spain for the independence of the Spanish colonies on
the coast of the Pacific Ocean. On the night of the 5th of Nov., 1820,
Lieutenant Grenfell commanded one of the boats of the Chilian squadron,
which, under the personal direction of Lord Cochrane, boarded and cut
out from under the Castles of Callao de Lima, and from the midst of a
squadron of armed vessels and gunboats, the Spanish Admiral’s ship, the
Esmeralda, a frigate of 40 guns, fully manned, and perfectly prepared for
the attack. This gallant exploit was performed by 240 volunteers, chiefly
Englishmen, embarked in 14 boats, five of which were gigs. About 50 of
the assailants fell killed or wounded in the attack, amongst the latter
Lieutenant Grenfell; and 200 Spaniards, stretched on the decks of the
frigate next morning, showed how sharply the contest had been maintained.
The following order, issued by Lord Cochrane previous to the attack, will
be interesting to naval men:—

    _On Board the Chilian States’ Ship O’Higgins, Nov. 1.,
    1820.—First Division: O’Higgins—1st launch, 2nd launch, barge,
    cutter, green gig, black gig, small gig. Second Division:
    Lautaro and Independencia—1st launch, 2nd launch, barge,
    cutter, cutter, gig, gig. The boats will proceed, towing the
    launches in two lines, parallel to each other, which lines
    are to be at the distance of three boats’ lengths asunder.
    The first line will be under the charge of Capt. Crosbie, the
    second under the charge of Capt. Guise; each boat will be under
    the charge of a volunteer commissioned officer, so far as
    circumstances will permit, and the whole under the command of
    the Admiral. The officers and men are to be dressed in white
    jackets, frocks or skirts, and are to be armed with pistols,
    sabres, knives, tomahawks or pikes. Two boat-keepers are to be
    appointed to each boat, who, on no pretence, shall quit their
    respective boats, but are to remain therein, and take care that
    the boats do not get adrift. Each boat is to be provided with
    one or more axes, or sharp hatchets, which are to be kept slung
    to the girdles of the boat keepers. The frigate Esmeralda being
    the chief object of the expedition, the whole force is first to
    attack that ship, which, when carried, is not to be cut adrift,
    but is to remain in possession of the Patriot Seamen to ensure
    the capture of the rest. On securing the frigate, the Chilian
    seamen and marines are not to cheer, as if they were Chilians,
    but in order to deceive the enemy, and give time for completing
    the work, are to cheer, ‘Viva el Rey.’ The two brigs of war are
    to be fired on by musketry from the Esmeralda, and are to be
    taken possession of by Lieutenants Esmond and Morgell, in the
    boats they command, which being done they are to cut adrift,
    and run out into the offing as soon as possible. The boats of
    the Independencia are to busy themselves in turning adrift all
    the outward Spanish merchantmen; and the boats of the Lautaro,
    under Lieutenants Bell and Roberton, are to set fire to one or
    more of the headmost hulks; but these are not to be cut adrift,
    so as to fall down on the rest. The watchword, (or parole
    and countersign,) should the white dress not be sufficient
    distinction in the dark, is, ‘Gloria,’ to be answered by
    ‘Victoria.’—Signed, COCHRANE._

NOTE.—After the first attempt on the night of the 4th of Nov., it was
found inconvenient to tow the launches; and, on the night of the 5th,
orders were given by the Admiral, on shoving-off from his flagship, for
the boats to pull in two lines, and for all officers to report themselves
to him on the quarter-deck of the enemy’s frigate.

Lieutenant Grenfell continued to serve with Lord Cochrane till, by the
surrender of the remainder of the Spanish naval forces, the war in the
Pacific was concluded; and in the beginning of 1823 he left Chili, and
accompanied Lord Cochrane to Brazil, whose newly emancipated government
solicited the aid of that distinguished nobleman to expel the Portuguese
forces from its territory and shores. This was effected by Lord Cochrane
at the head of the Brazilian squadron, by a series of able manœuvres on
the coast of Brazil, extending from Bahia to Pará, during the latter part
of 1823, when upwards of one hundred of the enemy’s vessels, and three
thousand troops, were sent prisoners into the Brazilian ports; and the
Portuguese squadron, of superior force to the Brazilian, was driven with
loss and in confusion across the Atlantic.

Lieutenant Grenfell, now promoted to the rank of commander, had the
good fortune of terminating the naval campaign, by effecting alone, in
a captured brig of war, manned from the flagship, the surrender of the
Portuguese force in the city of Pará, and the adhesion of that immense
and rich province to the cause of the empire, and rejoined his admiral
at Rio de Janeiro in 1824, in a new frigate of 50 guns, which he found
in the Port of Pará. In the execution of this service, while quelling
an insurrection of the newly subjugated Portuguese, Commander Grenfell
received a dangerous wound with a poignard in the back. For these
services, Commander Grenfell was subsequently made an officer of the
Order of the Southern Cross.

The acknowledgment of the independence of Brazil by Portugal the
following year terminated the services of Lord Cochrane, who retired to
England. At this period the aggressions of the Argentine Confederation on
the Southern frontier of Brazil called the naval forces of the empire to
the River Plate, where Captain Grenfell, now promoted to the post rank,
proceeded in command of a brig of 18 guns, under the Brazilian Admiral,
Baron do Rio da Prata.

The naval forces of Buenos Ayres, very inferior to those of Brazil, were
commanded by Admiral William Brown, an Irishman,—one of those singular
characters whose indomitable bravery, converting weakness into strength,
for a long time baffled all the efforts of the Brazilian Admiral. A
decisive action at last occurred off Buenos Ayres, in July 1826, in which
Admiral Brown’s ship, with two-thirds of her men killed and wounded, was
driven ashore a complete wreck, in front of that city. On this occasion
Captain Grenfell, whilst in close action with Admiral Brown, and
attacked by a fresh ship of the enemy, had his right arm shattered by a
grape-shot as he stood on the hammock-nettings of his brig, encouraging
his men to do their duty. Captain Grenfell’s wound was very severe,
requiring amputation of the right arm, at the shoulder-joint, which
was performed three weeks afterwards at Monte Video. On his partial
recovery, he came on leave to England, but returned to the River Plate
again in 1828, in command of a corvette, just in time to witness the
termination of the war. For his services therein, Captain Grenfell was
made a Dignitary of the Order of the Southern Cross, received a pension
for the loss of his arm, and other marks of friendship and consideration
from H.I.M. Don Pedro I. In 1829, Captain Grenfell married Donna Maria
Dolores, second daughter of the late Don Antonio Masini, of the city of
Monte Video, by whom he has had a family of six sons and four daughters.
In the same year, he was appointed one of the escort of H.I.M. the
Empress Amelia and H.M. the late Queen of Portugal, Donna Maria II., in
their voyage from Europe to Brazil; and afterwards, in the year 1830, he
conveyed the Duchess of Goyaz, a natural daughter of Don Pedro I., from
Brazil to Europe, in the Isabel, a frigate of 60 guns.

On the occasion of the Revolution of 1831, and the abdication of Don
Pedro I., Captain Grenfell was absent from Brazil, but was recalled
again to employment by the Regency in 1835. In 1835, he was sent to
the province of Rio Grande de Sul, in command of the naval force on
the lakes of that province, then in rebellion against the Imperial
Government. Success at first attended the Imperial arms; the rebels in
various encounters were driven from their positions on the lakes and
rivers; their flotilla captured, and their principal chiefs, with all
their artillery, a considerable force of infantry and cavalry, reduced
to surrender on the River Jacuhy, in a fruitless attempt to force its
passage. In all these operations, the naval force under Captain Grenfell
had a principal share, for which services, in 1833, he was promoted to
the rank of commodore. The scene, however, soon changed: the loyal forces
penetrating into the interior were, in 1837, completely routed by the
rebels at Rio Pardo, and Casapava, the president of the province, taken
prisoner, and the Imperial authority again restricted to the capital, the
port, and the lakes; and both the former were closely besieged, and in
great danger of falling into the hands of the rebels. At this critical
juncture, the Commodore, through his personal influence with the rebels,
originating simply from the humanity with which he had treated the
prisoners that on various occasions had fallen into his hands, effected
at great personal risk a suspension of arms with the rebel chiefs, with
reference to the Imperial Government at Rio de Janeiro, which gained
important time, checked the rebel career of success, and saved the
province to the empire.

The Imperial Government profited by the opportunity afforded for
remedying past errors: troops were poured into the province, a new army
was organized, the naval forces were augmented with several steamers,
and, at length, in 1842, under the able direction of General the Count
of Caxias, the army took the field, routed the rebels in various
engagements, and finally, in 1844, effected their complete submission to
the Imperial Government. In attention (as expressed in his commission)
to the distinguished services rendered with so much intelligence, zeal,
and activity in the Province of Rio Grande de San Pedro de Sul, towards
the pacification of the same province and integrity of the empire, the
Commodore was raised to the rank of Rear-Admiral, and made a Grand
Dignitary of the Imperial Order of the Rose; and shortly afterwards
received the permission of Her Britannic Majesty to hold his rank, and
continue in the service of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Brazil.

In the year 1844, Rear-Admiral Grenfell was appointed to command the
Imperial squadron in the River Plate, where the contest between Buenos
Ayres and Monte Video, affecting the commercial interests of neutral
states, called the naval forces of most of the maritime powers to the
spot, where he supported with firmness the rights of Brazilian subjects.
The following year the Rear Admiral received the most marked proof of
the estimation of the Imperial Government, in being appointed to command
the squadron that carried their Imperial Majesties to the southern
provinces of the empire, and hoisted his flag in the frigate Constitution
of 50 guns. With the Imperial squadron, were incorporated Her Britannic
Majesty’s ship Grecian, Her Most Faithful Majesty’s ship Don John, and
the United States’ ship Raritan. The Rear Admiral had the honour of
accompanying their Imperial Majesties during their tour, and in the
course thereof received many notable proofs of the estimation and regard
of the inhabitants of those provinces, who took this opportunity of
shewing their grateful sense of his conduct during the civil war. Shortly
after the return of the court to Rio Janeiro the Rear Admiral proceeded
in the Constitution to England, with his family, and resigning his naval
command at Plymouth, in Sept. 1846, assumed his civil appointment of
Consul General of Brazil, in the United Kingdom. In the spring following,
he was presented at St. James’s. During the years 1847-48, he built and
fitted out at Liverpool, for the Imperial Government, the steam frigate
‘Alfonso.’

In August, 1848, Rear Admiral Grenfell received the thanks of the town
of Liverpool, and the gold medal of the Liverpool Seamens Shipwreck
Society, for his exertions in saving the lives of the passengers and crew
of the emigrant ship Ocean Monarch,[60] burnt off that port, and which
was promptly succoured by the Alfonso under Captain Marques Lisboa, then
on her trial trip. The following letter from H.R. Highness the Prince de
Joinville, who was present, shews the sense H.R. Highness entertained of
the Rear-Admiral’s behaviour on that trying occasion.

    _Claremont, 28 Aôut, 1848.—Monsieur,—J’ai reçu la lettre que
    vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’écrire au sujet du sauvetage
    des passagers de l’Ocean Monarch. Je ne mérite point les
    éloges que vous voulez bien m’addresser. Passager seulement
    abord de l’Alfonzo je n’ai été malheureusement que le témoin
    impuissant de la plus douloureuse des catastrophes, mais j’ai
    vu tenter les plus noble efforts d’arracher à une mort horrible
    des femmes et des enfans. Qu’il me soit permis de signaler
    à la reconnaissance publique les Officiers et l’equipage de
    l’Alfonzo, le matelot Jerome, et surtout Monsieur l’Admiral
    Grenfell, dont le noble devouement m’a pénétré d’admiration. Ma
    femme me charge de vous exprimer toute sa reconnaissance pour
    les sentimens que vous avez bien voulu lui exprimer. Recevez,
    Monsieur, l’assurance de ma haute considération.—(Signé) F.
    d’Orleans.—His Worship the Mayor of Liverpool._

The serious misunderstanding which occurred in 1850 between the
governments of Brazil and Buenos Ayres, on the subject of the occupation
of the territory of Monte Video by the latter power, induced the Imperial
Government to augment its forces by sea and by land; and Rear-Admiral
Grenfell was selected to command the squadron in the River Plate; and,
leaving England in the beginning of 1851, he hoisted his flag at Rio
Janeiro again on board the frigate Constitution, and proceeded with
several corvettes and steamers to his destination. The Buenos Ayrean
army, under General Oribe, was found cantonned round the city of Monte
Video: the Buenos Ayrean flotilla, under Commodore Coe, lay in the inner
roads of Buenos Ayres.

The Rear-Admiral, after concerting measures with the Governor of Entre
Rios, General Don Justo Urquiza and the Count of Caxias, who again
was at the head of the Brazilian army on the frontier of Monte Video,
proceeded to occupy the rivers Uruguay and Parana, so as to impede the
communication of General Oribe with Buenos Ayres. This measure entirely
disconcerted the plans of the Governor of Buenos Ayres, Don Juan Manuel
Rosas, who, not confiding in his own resources, counted on the assistance
of Great Britain and France. These powers, however, preserved their
neutrality, and in November the simultaneous advance of the forces of
Entre Rios and Brazil, together with the position maintained by the
Brazilian squadron, compelled General Oribe to surrender himself and his
army to terms dictated by General Urquiza. Monte Video, thus freed from
its enemies, the Argentine troops lost to General Rosas, and incorporated
with the allies, nothing remained but to cross the river, and march
on Buenos Ayres, where General Rosas was doing his utmost to levy and
organize a new army. The vanguard of this army, under General Mansilla,
occupied a position on the River Parana, at the Pass of Tonelero,
which was fortified and armed with 16 pieces of cannon, provided with
furnaces for hot shot. This passage was forced on the 17th Dec, by the
Rear-Admiral, at the head of a division of steamers and corvettes, with
trifling loss; and on the following days the allied army, 24,000 strong,
under General Urquiza, crossed the Parana, and marched on Buenos Ayres.
The battle of Monte Caseros, on the 3rd of February, 1852, the flight
of General Rosas, and the conclusion of a treaty between Brazil, Buenos
Ayres, Monte Video, and Paraguay, guaranteeing their respective rights,
and opening the navigation of the Rivers Parana, Uruguay, and Paraguay,
put an end to this short and glorious campaign. Rewards and promotion
were liberally bestowed by the Brazilian Government on the victors. The
Count of Caxias was made a Marquis; the Imperial Plenipotentiary Honorio
Carnero Leon was created Viscount Parana, and Rear-Admiral Grenfell was
made a Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Rose, and promoted to the
rank of Vice-Admiral. In August, 1852, he resigned his command of the
imperial squadron, and returned to his civil appointment in England.



THE REGION OF THE AMAZON.


    Westward the course of empire takes its way,
      The four first acts already past;
    A fifth shall close the drama with the day:
      Time’s noblest offspring is the last.

Each year we open upon new prospects in an increasing ratio, and among
those which now present themselves as calculated to develope fresh fields
for adventure and for an extension of traffic, are the navigation, just
consummated, of 1,200 miles of the River Murray, and the expedition that
is commencing to explore the Amazon.—_Times’ Commercial Retrospect of
1853._

    Wide o’er his isles the branching Orinoque
    Rolls a brown deluge; and the native drives
    To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees;
    At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms.
    Swell’d by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl’d
    From all the roaring Andes, huge descends
    The mighty Orellana.—THOMSON.



CHAPTER X.

THE AMAZON.

    Sources of the Marañon.—Rapids and cataracts.—Embouchures
    of the Amazon.—Its volume, compared with the Ganges and
    the Brahmapootra.—Its discovery by Pinzon.—Expedition of
    Orellana.—Gold-seeking expedition of Pedro de Orsua.—Settlement
    of Pará, and discovery of the Rio Negro.—The Missions of the
    Jesuits, and their expulsion.—Discovery of the communication
    between the Amazon and the Orinoco.—Revolution of 1835.—Pará:
    its streets and public buildings.—Explorations of M. Castelnau
    and Lieutenant Herndon.—Tributaries and settlements of the
    Tocantins.—Lieutenant Gibbon’s exploration of the Madera.—His
    interview with General Belzu.—What is wanted to turn the
    stream of tropical South American commerce eastward.—Herndon’s
    descent of the Huallaga.—Tarapoto, and its future
    prospects.—Chasuta; its trade with Lima and Pará.—Yurimaguas,
    and the Cachiyacu.—Steam-boat communication between Nauta
    and Pará.—Progress of a piece of cotton from Liverpool to
    Sarayacu.—Estimated cost and profit of steam vessels on the
    Amazon.—Trade of Egas.—The new province of Amazonas.—Exports of
    Barra.—The Rio Negro, and its tributaries.—Communication by the
    Cassiquiari between the Amazon and the Orinoco.—Productions of
    Amazonas.—Santarem.—The Tapajos, and its tributaries.—Rapids of
    the Parú, and the Xingù.—Climate and products of Pará.—Benefits
    to be expected from the opening of the Amazon and European
    immigration.


Though the Brazilian mission of the writer in connection with the
original object of this volume virtually terminates at the close of the
preceding chapter, his desire to communicate, however cursorily, an
adequate idea of the immensity of extent and natural resources of the
Brazilian empire would be altogether unfulfilled if some additional data
were not offered respecting the illimitable and inexhaustible region
of the Amazon. In conversing with enlightened inhabitants of Brazil,
natives of the capital or elsewhere, on the vastness and fertility of
their country, and on the magnificent destiny it is certain to attain,
they concur with you, as a matter of course, but conclude with an
intimation that you estimate but half of the reality, and a fourth of the
probability of what is in store; for you leave out of your calculation
the wondrous but almost unknown district of the Amazon. _There_,
indeed, they imply, are the germs of marvellous and unmatched natural
greatness to be sought; for, prodigal as nature has everywhere been to
the country in every possible respect, it is there that she has been
most profuse; and there are her bounties most accessible to man, if he
would only make the slightest exertion to secure them. These views are
entertained in a like degree by many of the most intelligent citizens of
the United States, the attention of which country is being drawn in an
increasingly marked degree to the commercial capabilities of the Amazon;
and the frequency of the publications respecting it, and the wide and
general circulation they obtain throughout the Union, attest the interest
wherewith North America regards the locale of what one of their writers
describes as the future inevitably greatest mercantile entrepot (Pará)
in the world. With what justice this anticipation is formed it is the
design of the annexed few pages to exhibit, consisting, as they do, in
a great degree, of a digest of the more influential of the publications
alluded to. Considering the magnitude of the existing relations between
England and Brazil, and how large a share Great Britain will derive from
the enterprises that are now being directed to the opening up of the
Amazon, it is conceived that a summary of the most recent circumstances
connected with the countries and peoples bordering on that mighty stream
will not fail to be acceptable, the more so as, with the exception of Mr.
Wallace’s volume already alluded to, and which is not a commercial, nor
yet geographical, nor descriptive work, there has been in this country no
recent publication of an analogous nature to those of the United States’
writers we shall presently enumerate.

The Amazon, the largest river in the world, traverses the tropical
regions of South America from west to east, discharging its immense
volume of water into the Atlantic, nearly under the equator. The
Tanguragua, or Upper Marañon, is regarded as its principal head-stream,
and rises in the Lake of Llanricocha, 14,000 feet above the level of the
sea, in the region of nearly perpetual snow. For about 120 miles from its
source it flows through a ravine, and is full of rapids and cataracts,
having a fall in that distance of more than 11,000 feet. Near Huary the
ravine opens into a wide valley, through which the river flows gently
for about 380 miles, and is navigable for canoes. Its course is then
interrupted by the rapids of the Pongo Rentema, and turns eastward, in
which direction it runs nearly 180 miles, leaving the mountain region by
the Pongo de Manseriche, a rapid seven miles long. In this part of its
course the current is so strong that it can be descended only by floats;
but from the rapids of Manseriche the river passes through an extensive
plain, its entire length exceeding 3,000 miles.

A great number of tributaries pour their waters into the Amazon in
the lower part of its course. On the north side the first from the
west, below the rapids of Manseriche, is the Morona, and then come in
succession the Pastaça, Tigre, Napo, Iça, Yapurà, Rio Negro, and Oximina.
From the south it receives, proceeding from west to east, the Huallaga,
Ucayali, Yavari, Jutai, Jurua, Teffé, Coavy, Purus, Madera, Tapajos,
Xingù, and Tocantins. Most of these affluents discharge their waters into
the Amazon by more than one mouth, which frequently are widely apart.
Thus the two most distant of the four mouths of the Yapurà are more than
200 miles asunder, and the outer embouchures of the Purus are about 100
miles from each other. In the upper portion of its course the Amazon
divides Equador from Peru, between which its width varies from half a
mile to a mile; beyond the limits of Equador it increases to two miles,
and below the Madera (its most considerable tributary, having a course
little less than 2,000 miles in length) it is nearly three miles. Between
Faro and Obydos, to which place the tide reaches, it decreases to less
than a mile; but below Obydos it widens again, and after the junction of
the Tapajos it is nearly seven miles across. The width of the channel
of Braganza do Norte, the northern mouth of this vast river, is 30
miles opposite the island Marajó, and 50 at its embouchure; that of the
Tangipurà channel is 18 miles at the junction of the Tocantins, and 30 at
its mouth. One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Amazon is
the immense volume of water which it discharges into the ocean, which is
ascribable to the forests which cover so large an extent of the immense
region which it flows through, and attract a much greater quantity of
rain than the scorched _Llanos_ of the Orinoco, and the treeless _pampas_
of the Rio Plata. While the principal branch of the Ganges discharges
80,000 cubic feet of water per second, and the Brahmapootra pours forth
176,188 cubic feet per second, the volume of water which flows through
the Narrow of Obydos per second is calculated at 550,000 cubic feet.

Next in importance to the Madera among the tributaries of the Amazon, is
the Rio Negro, which, after a course of 1400 miles, falls into the Father
of Waters twelve miles below the town of Barra, where it is a mile and
a half wide. The Xingù has a course of 1000 miles, the Tapajos and the
Yapurà each 900 miles, and the Napo and Iça each of 700.[61]

According to the best writers, the first expedition up the Amazon
occurred in 1500, when a Portuguese named Pinzon discovered the mouth
of the river, and took possession of its left bank. In 1540, Francisco
Orellana descended the Napo and the Amazon to its mouth, and finding
the native women in arms to oppose him, gave the name of Amazonia to
the country, and conferred his own upon the river, by which it is still
called by some geographers. In 1560, Pedro de Orsua, commissioned to
explore the country in search of gold, descended the Jutai and Jurua, but
was prevented by a mutiny from proceeding farther. In 1615 the governor
of Maranham, Alexandro de Moura, in order to establish the sovereignty
of Portugal, sent an expedition to the Amazon under Francisco Caldeira,
who sailed up the Tocantins, and formed a settlement where Pará now
stands. In 1648 a party of Portuguese discovered the Rio Negro, and
reached Quito overland, which was regarded as a remarkable feat. Shortly
afterwards, the Jesuits commenced their settlements on the banks of the
Marañon; and during the reign of Philip III., when Portugal was united
to Spain, it was seriously contemplated to make the Amazon the means of
transit for the treasures of Peru and Chili, by which the sea-voyage
would be much shortened, and the dangers from English and French cruisers
more than proportionately lessened.

The Jesuits warmly espoused the cause of the cruelly treated Indians,
but, unfortunately, their zeal outran their discretion, and, in 1604,
they were expelled. Several settlements were made about this time on the
Marañon and the Rio Negro, among others that of San José, now the town
of Barra; and in the expeditions which took place between 1726 and 1730,
the communication between the Rio Negro and the Orinoco was discovered.
During the next twenty or thirty years, colonization appears to have made
rapid strides, so much so that, in 1784, a commission was despatched
from Portugal to explore the country for botanical and other scientific
objects. Settlements continued to be formed, but no event worthy of
record occurred until the change of dynasty in 1823. Since then the only
occurrence of consequence has been the revolution of 1835, when the
president of the province was assassinated, the citizens of Pará fled,
and the whole of the province, with the exception of the town of Cametá,
on the Tocantins, fell under the power of the insurgents, who sacked the
towns, and carried off the slaves and the cattle. Quarrels between the
insurgent leaders increased the miseries of the country, and several
presidents succeeded each other. At length, (see memoir of Admiral
Grenfell), President Andrea arrived from Rio Janeiro with a sufficient
force, and succeeded in recovering possession of Pará. The inland places
gradually returned to their allegiance, and though the effects of these
disturbances are still felt in some districts, Pará has fully recovered
its former prosperity.

The province of Pará, though naturally the richest portion of the
immense empire of Brazil, of which it is the most northern part, is
little known, and at present of but little commercial importance.[62]
Pará, the capital, contains about 15,000 inhabitants, and has a pretty
appearance from the river. Most of the houses are white, which, against
the dark green of the forest that surrounds it on the land side, and with
the clear blue sky above, give it a pleasing aspect. The small islands
in the river are wooded to the water’s edge, and canoes are constantly
passing, paddled by negroes or Indians. The custom-house, formerly a
convent, is a large and handsome building, and there are several churches
that will bear comparison with those of Europe. The squares are more
like village greens, being covered with a rank growth of weeds, but
the graceful-looking palms which are planted in their midst impart a
picturesque appearance in the eyes of a stranger. The principal street
is the Rua dos Mercadores (street of merchants), which contains the only
good shops in the town, and this, or rather a part of it, is the only
portion that is paved. The other streets are very narrow, and some not
free from holes.

What most strikes the observer is the number and size of the public
buildings of Pará, which are far beyond the present wants of the place,
but form a good foundation for its future requirements as the great depôt
of the Amazon. The palace is large and massive, but has no pretensions
to architectural beauty. In its rear is the theatre, unfinished, and
overgrown with vines and climbing shrubs. Near these buildings is the
cathedral, the largest in Brazil, the bells of whose two steeples, with
those of the numerous churches, seem to be continually ringing. Near the
arsenal, and sufficiently removed from the city to be no nuisance to the
inhabitants, is the public slaughter-house, in the neighbourhood of which
many vultures are always to be seen.

Most of the towns and villages of the extensive country watered by the
Amazon, are situated on that river and its tributaries; and the rest is
an impenetrable forest, trodden only by the Indian and the jaguar. Very
little is known of the greater portion of the interior, but M. Castlenau,
who explored the valley of the Amazon in 1843, and Lieutenant Herndon,
of the United States Navy, who descended the ‘King of Rivers’ in 1852,
have supplied considerable information respecting the Tocantins, the
Madera, and Huallaga. The first-named flows through a fertile and healthy
country, and has many flourishing settlements on its banks. Among them
is Salinas, famous for its salt works, near which is the Lake of Pearls,
surrounded by beautiful scenery, and inhabited by numbers of aquatic
birds. The town of Goyaz, with a population of about 7,500, is situated
on the Vermelho, a branch of the Tocantins, and can be reached by vessels
from Pará. The voyage occupies five months, the up freight being about
20s., and the down one fourth, per 100 lbs. Large canoes are paddled up
the river as far as Porto Imperial, and take down hides, which at Goyaz
are worth fifty cents, and at Pará are sold for a dollar and a half. Pará
also trades with the inland town of Diamantino, by means of the Tapajos,
the voyage up and down occupying eight months. The foreign merchandise
that reaches Diamantino by this route is sold at an advance, on the
average, of 850 per cent. on its price at Pará, which is from 50 to 100
per cent. on New York prices. When steam-boats are introduced on these
waters trade will be largely increased, and prices reduced by competition
and the facility of transit, so that both producer and consumer will be
greatly benefitted.

It is a matter which gives a promising aspect to the question of future
commercial intercourse with the interior that the elements of a large
and profitable trade already exist in abundance. Cinchona to the value
of two millions of dollars is annually exported from the eastern slopes
of Bolivia, but, at present, for the want of steam-boats on the Amazon
and its tributaries, it is carried over the Andes on the backs of llamas
and mules to the ports of Peru. Large quantities of wool, clipped on
the banks of the Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon, instead of going
down the river to Pará, for shipment to England or the United States,
are carried over the Andes in the same manner, and have then to make the
voyage round Cape Horn.

The Madera runs through a beautiful valley, clothed with verdure, and
abounding in scenery the most striking and picturesque. It is among
the upper tributaries of this river that the traditions of the country
place the lost mines of Urucumaguam, the riches of which equalled those
of Potosi. When Lieutenant Gibbon, who was sent by the United States
government to explore the valley of the Madera, was at Cochabamba, the
attention of the Bolivian government was called to the establishment,
on the navigable waters of that river, of ports of entry to foreign
commerce, and of steam communication with the Amazon. Belzu, the
President of Bolivia, received him in the most gracious manner, and is
said to have promised to grant privileges to a company for that purpose,
if application were made to him in due form. The course of the Madera
is interrupted by cataracts and rapids, but the former only commence
450 miles from its mouth, and the latter may be passed by canoes. The
cataracts passed, the river is navigable into the heart of Bolivia by its
tributaries, the Beni and the Mamoré, and quite through the Brazilian
province of Matto Grosso by the Guaporé. Mr. Clay, the United States
chargé d’affaires at Lima, was told that a Brazilian war-schooner had
ascended the Madera above the rapids as far as Exaltacion, which is in
Bolivia, above the junction of the Beni.

About one-half of Bolivia, two-thirds of Peru, three-fourths of
Equador, and one-half of New Grenada are drained by the Amazon and its
tributaries. For the want of steam communication, the trade of all these
parts of those countries goes west over the Andes to Callao. There it is
shipped, and after doubling Cape Horn, and sailing eight or ten thousand
miles, it is then only off the mouth of the Amazon, on its way to Europe
or the United States; whereas, if the navigation of the Amazon were free,
and steam-vessels placed on its waters, the produce of the interior could
be landed at Pará for what it costs to convey it across the Andes to the
ports of the Pacific.

Lieutenant Herndon embarked on the Huallaga at Tinga-Maria, the head of
canoe navigation, and 335 miles from the city of Lima, and descended to
its junction with the Amazon, and thence to the mouth of the latter, a
distance of not less than 3,500 miles. The first place he came to was
Tarapoto, situated in a beautiful plain, watered by many rivulets, and
producing cotton, coffee, sugar, cocoa, and drugs in great abundance.
The district is very healthy, and free from annoying insects. Indigo
grows wild, and storax, cinnamon, and gums may be procured of the Indians
in any quantity, and at prices merely nominal. A great deal of good
cotton cloth is made here by the women, and exchanged at Egas for straw
hats and English prints brought from Pará. There is very little money
in circulation, cotton cloth, wax, and balls of sewing cotton being
used instead. English goods brought over the Andes sell in Tarapoto
for four times their value in Lima. All the land carriage is performed
by Indians, for want of roads: an Indian will carry 75 lbs. of goods
on his shoulders from Tarapoto to Juan Guerra, whence he paddles in a
canoe to Tinga-Maria, and there shoulders his burthen again, and carries
it to Huanaco, the distance of which town from Tarapoto is 390 miles.
The population of the place in 1848 was 3,500. Concerning its natural
advantages and future prospects, Lieutenant Herndon thus speaks:—

    ‘I spoke with an active and intelligent young Spanish trader,
    named Morey, about the feasibility of a steamboat enterprise
    upon these rivers, bringing American goods and taking
    return-cargoes of coffee, tobacco, straw-hats, hammocks, and
    sarsaparilla to the ports of Brazil on the river. He thought
    that it could not fail to enrich any one who would attempt
    it; but that the difficulty lay in the fact that my proposed
    steamer would never get as far as this, for that my goods
    would be bought up and paid for in return-cargoes long before
    she reached Peru. He thought, too, that the Brazilians along
    the river had money which they would be glad to exchange for
    comforts and luxuries. Were I to engage in any scheme of
    colonization for the purpose of evolving the resources of the
    Valley of the Amazon, I think I should direct the attention
    of settlers to this district of Tarapoto. It combines more
    advantages than any other I know; it is healthy, fertile, and
    free from the torment of musquitoes and sand-flies. Wheat may
    be had from the high lands above it; cattle thrive well; and
    its coffee, tobacco, sugar-cane, rice, and maize are of fine
    quality. It is true that vessels cannot come up to Shapaja,
    the port of the town of Tarapoto; but a good road may be made
    from this town eighteen miles to Chasuta, to which vessels of
    five feet draught may come at the lowest stage of the river,
    and any draught at high water. Tarapoto is situated on an
    elevated plain twenty miles in diameter; is seventy miles
    from Moyobamba, the capital of the province, a city of seven
    thousand inhabitants; and has close around it the villages of
    Lamas, Tabalosas, Juan Guerra, and Shapaja. The Ucayali is
    navigable higher up than this point, and the quality of cotton
    and coffee seems better, within certain limits further from
    the equator. But the settler at the head-waters of the Ucayali
    has to place himself in a profound wilderness, with the forest
    and the savage to subdue, and entirely dependent upon his own
    resources. I think he would be better placed near where he can
    get provisions and assistance whilst he is clearing the forest
    and planting his fields. I am told that the governors of the
    districts in all the province of Mainas have authority to give
    titles to land to any one who desires to cultivate it.’

Six leagues below Tarapoto is Chasuta, with a population of 1,200. The
annual value of the trade between this place and the ports below is
1,500 dollars; but all articles which can be carried on the backs of
Indians or mules come from Lima. Implements of iron, copper kettles,
guns, earthenware, and glass, come from Pará, and obtain prices which
afford very large profits. Though the distance from this place to the
mouth of the Amazon is above 3,000 miles, a 74-gun ship would find water
enough, during the greater part of the year, to reach it from the sea.
The villages of Yurimaguas, Santa Cruz, and Chamizuras, respectively
24, 35, and 89 leagues below Chasuta, have each a population of about
320, and in the woods around the last, valuable resins and gums abound.
Half a mile below Yurimaguas is the mouth of the Cachiyacu, which is
navigable for large canoes, from January to June, as far as Balza Puerto,
a considerable village, five days’ journey from Moyobamba, between which
and the ports of the Amazon this river is the general route. It also
serves as a means of communication with the many villages which dot the
fine country between the Marañon and the Huallaga, so that Yurimaguas is
probably destined to become an important place in the future. Laguna, 44
leagues below Chasuta, and four above the mouth of the Huallaga, has a
population of 1,044. Urarinas, a village on the Amazon, five leagues from
the mouth of the Huallaga, contains only 80 inhabitants, but the immense
number in the vicinity of the trees which produce gum copal mark it as an
important place in the future. Nauta, on the right bank of the Amazon, 46
leagues below the junction of the Huallaga, has a population of 1,000.
It is to this place that Brazil, by treaty with Peru, has engaged to run
steamers, under the Brazilian flag, from Pará, the contractors to have
the monopoly of steam-boat navigation on the Amazon for thirty years,
with an annual bonus of 100,000 dollars for the first fifteen. The voyage
is to be performed by two steamers, one ascending the Amazon from Pará,
the other descending it from Nauta, and meeting the up boat at Barra.
Passing Omaguas, with its 240 inhabitants, Iquitos with its 227, and
Arau with its 80, the mouth of the Napo is reached; and thirteen leagues
lower down is Pebas, with a population of 387. This place is embosomed
in the immense forest, producing in abundance sarsaparilla, vanilla,
storax, copal, caoutchouc, and wax, which may be obtained from the
Indians in exchange for cotton goods, needles, beads, &c. Thirty-four
pounds of sarsaparilla may be bought for 24 yards of common cotton, and
other articles at a like proportionate price; but the great sarsaparilla
country is along the banks of the Ucayali and the Ahuaytia, where 100
lbs. of the drug, which are worth fully £5 at Pará, and twice as much in
Europe, may be bought for eight yards of cotton.

As an illustration of the circumambulatory manner in which the commerce
of this extensive region is carried on, let us trace the progress of the
cotton goods from the warehouse in Liverpool to the banks of the Ucayali.
The goods have to be carried round Cape Horn to Callao, where duty is
charged upon them, and whence it is conveyed to Lima, and across the
Andes, on the backs of mules. Freight, land carriage, and commission cost
more than the goods, and in about twelve months from the time of their
leaving Liverpool they reach the mouth of the Ucayali, whence they are
sent up by boat to Sarayacu, the centre of the sarsaparilla country, a
distance of 300 miles. It is now exchanged for 100 lbs. of sarsaparilla,
the value of which is 9 dollars at Nauta, 10½ at Tabatinga, 25 at Pará,
and from 40 to 60, according to the markets, in Liverpool. The voyage is
long, tedious, and circumgyratory, but the profits are enormous. Now,
if the navigation of the Amazon were free, and ports of entry, open to
all nations, were established at such places as Chasuta and Nauta, not
only would the trade be considerably increased, to the benefit of both
parties, but the people of Peru and Brazil instead of eight yards of
cotton for 100 lbs. of sarsaparilla, would get three or four hundred
yards. Such will soon be the case.

Concerning the cost and profit of steam vessels on the Amazon, and the
arrangements that would have to be made, Lieut. Herndon says:—

    ‘I have estimated the annual cost of running a small steamer
    between Loreto, the frontier port of Peru and Chasuta,
    a distance of eight hundred miles, entirely within the
    Peruvian territory, at twenty thousand dollars, including the
    establishment of blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ shops at Nauta
    for her repairs. According to the estimate of Arebalo, (and
    I judge that he is very nearly correct,) the value of the
    imports and exports to and from Brazil is twenty thousand
    dollars annually. I have no doubt that the appearance of a
    steamer in these waters would at once double the value; for it
    would, in the first place, convert the thousand men who are
    now employed in the fetching and carrying of the articles of
    trade into producers, and would give a great impulse to trade
    by facilitating it. A loaded canoe takes eighty days to ascend
    these eight hundred miles. A steamer will do it in twelve,
    giving ample time to take in wood, to land and receive cargo at
    the various villages on the river, and to lay by at night.’

Nearly midway between Loreto and Barra, and near the mouths of the
Jurua, the Yapurá, and the Teffé, is Egas, with a population of about
800, which is the most thriving place above Barra. It has eight or ten
commercial houses that carry on a brisk trade between Peru and Pará,
besides employing agents to ascend the neighbouring rivers, and collect
from the Indians the produce of the country. Schooners of between 30 and
40 tons average five months in the round trip between Egas and Pará, a
distance of 1250 miles, the expenses being 150 dollars, including wages
and rations of crew, and a tax of 13 per cent. Sarsaparilla and salt-fish
are the principal exports, which are sold at Pará for double what they
cost at Egas, to which the vessels return with cotton goods, earthenware,
and hardware, all of the commonest description, to be sold at an advance
of 20 per cent. on Pará prices. There are five vessels engaged in this
trade, making two trips a year, so that the annual value of the trade
between Egas and Pará may be estimated at 38,000 dollars. Between Egas
and Peru it is about 20,000 dollars. The vessels engaged in this trade
are not well adapted to it; they are too broad in the beam, and their
sails are two small, so that the voyage occupies a great deal more time
than it might be performed in by clipper-built and properly rigged
vessels.

The Comarca of the Rio Negro, one of the territorial divisions of the
immense province of Pará, has, within the last year, been erected into
a province, with the title of Amazonas. A custom-house will probably
soon be established at Barra, at the mouth of the Rio Negro, for the
collection of the duties now paid at Pará, and there can be no doubt that
commercial enterprise will, in a few years, bring the manufactures of
Europe from Demerara by the Essequibo and the Rio Branco. The president
of the new province, Senhor Joâo B. de F. T. Aranha, is labouring for
the good of the district, and has had many conferences with the chiefs
of the Indian tribes with the view of inducing them to settle and engage
in systematic agricultural labour. Lieutenant Herndon was told that
Brazil would give titles to vacant lands to any foreigners who would
settle there, and the President expressed a wish that he would bring out
a thousand Americans to set an example of energy and industry to the
natives.[63] The value in dollars of the exports of the entire Comarca
in 1840 was as follows:—Sarsaparilla, 12,000; oil of turtle-eggs, 6,000;
salt fish, 4,250; coffee, 1,000; copaiba, 1,000; tobacco, 720; cocoa,
600; heavy boards, 600; hammocks, 500; Brazil nuts, 350; pitch, tow,
hides, tapioca, &c., 1,203; total, 28,323. That the trade is increasing
will be seen by the exports of the town of Barra alone for the year 1850,
the value of which in dollars was as follows: Salt-fish, 7,001; Brazil
nuts, 5,203; sarsaparilla, 3,144; oil of turtle-eggs, 1,818; piasaba,
1,802[64]; ropes, 896; cocoa, 631; hammocks, 785; coffee, 474; tobacco,
616; planks, 250; Brazilian nutmegs, 100[65]; copaiba, hides, tow, &c.,
304; total, 22,975. It will be seen that the exports of Barra alone in
1850 were not in value far below those of the whole province in 1840. It
is probable that the value of the imports is nearly double that of the
exports, so that the trade of Barra with Pará may fairly be estimated at
£15,000 per annum.

The population of Barra in 1848 was 3,848 persons; the marriages in the
year had been 115, the births 250, and the deaths 25. The number of
inhabited houses was 470, so that upon an average of five persons to each
family, there must be nearly two families to every house; but 234 of
the population were slaves, and probably the children exceed the adults
in a greater proportion than the usual ratio of three to two. The Rio
Negro, opposite the town, is a mile and a half wide, and very beautiful.
It is navigable for almost any draught as far as Rio Maraya, a distance
of about 400 miles; there the rapids commence, and the further ascent
must be made in canoes. A few miles above Barcellos is the mouth of the
river Quiuni, which is known to run nearly up to the Yapurá; and nearly
opposite to San Isabel, two days journey from Barcellos, is the mouth
of the Jurubashea, which also runs up to within a very short distance
of the same river. Between these rivers the country is very low, and is
often inundated; it is from this place that the Brazilian nutmegs are
brought. Just above San Isabel great quantities of Brazil nuts are grown,
and a little further up is the mouth of the Cababuri, where the finest
sarsaparilla is produced. Cocoa of very superior quality is produced in
abundance about San Carlos, at the mouth of the Cassiquiari, which is the
frontier port of Venezuela. Most of the vessels which ply both on the Rio
Negro and the Orinoco are built at this place, the Cassiquiari forming a
natural canal connecting those two rivers. Lieutenant Herndon calculates
that a flat-bottomed iron-steamer, constructed to pass the rapids, would
make seventy-five miles a day against the current on the Rio Negro, and
125 miles a day with the current on the Orinoco. The distance from Barra
to San Carlos is about 660 miles, from thence to the Orinoco 180 miles,
from the junction of the Cassiquiari and the Orinoco to Angostura 780
miles, and from Angostura to the mouth of the Orinoco 250 miles. The
voyage between Barra and the mouth of the last-named river might thus
be made by such a vessel in 19½ days, allowing time to take in wood and
receive and discharge cargo; and a canal cut through the isthmus of
Tuamini would shorten the voyage by five days.[66]

The Rio Branco, the principal tributary of the Negro, is navigable for
large craft for about 300 miles from its mouth, but from thence it is
interrupted by rapids, only passable by flat-bottomed boats. Its banks
are very thickly wooded below the rapids, but above them the country
is a wide plain, which affords pasturage to immense herds of cattle.
The downward passage from San Joachim, near the sources of the river,
to Barra, a distance of 500 miles, may be made in twelve days; but the
ascent is very tedious, owing to the rapids and the strong north-easterly
winds.

Scarcely any attempt at regular cultivation has yet been made in any
part of Amazonas; but the natural productions of its teeming soil are
numerous as they are varied and valuable. The forests contain many trees
which afford solid and durable timber, and others that furnish excellent
cabinet woods, among which may be mentioned the beautiful _muirapinima_,
or tortoise-shell wood. There are numerous plants, unknown in Europe,
famous for their medicinal uses; and others which produce valuable
resins and oils. Wild cotton, with a fine glossy fibre, like silk, grows
abundantly, and is used at Guayaquil to stuff mattresses. Some silk
manufacturers in France, to whom specimens of this cotton were sent by
Mr. Clay, the United States chargé d’affaires at Lima, thought that,
mixed with silk, a cheap and pretty fabric might be wove from it.

Santarem, a mile above the mouth of the Tapajos, which is there a mile
and a half wide, is the largest town in the province after Pará. In 1849
the population was 6,768, the number of marriages 32, of births 289, of
deaths 42; but in this return is included the inhabitants of a large
surrounding district. Lieut. Herndon estimated the population of the
town alone at about 2,000. There is a church, and two or three primary
schools. The situation is picturesque, and there are many agreeable rides
in the environs. It is a thriving town, as is shown by the increase
in the exports between 1843 and 1846. For three months of the former
year the quantity of cocoa exported was 12,808 arrobas, and in the same
period of 1846 it was 19,940 arrobas. Sarsaparilla increased from 665 to
4,836 arrobas, pitch from 64 to 933, tobacco from 499 to 3,352, cloves
from 226 to 998, cotton from 24 to 226, oil of copaiba from 427 pots to
3,056 pots, and oil of turtle-eggs from 420 to 1,628 pots. Hides and
piasaba rope appear in the list for the first time in 1846, the number
of the former exported being 664. The trade in farina had considerably
decreased, probably owing to the increased importation of flour from
the United States. The trade between Santarem and Pará is carried on in
schooners of about a hundred tons, of which there were five or six lying
off the town when Mr. Herndon was there. The average passage downward is
thirteen, and upward twenty-five days.

From Santarem to Itaituba, a distance of about 200 miles, the Tapajos
is navigable for large vessels, though the current is very strong; but
above the latter place the ascent can be made only by boats, as there are
fifteen or twenty rapids to pass, where the boats have to be unloaded,
and the cargoes carried round on the backs of the crew. At one or two of
the rapids the boat itself has to be hauled over the land. The voyage to
the head of navigation on the Rio Preto occupies about two months. From
this point the cargoes are carried on the backs of mules to Diamantino,
a distance of fifteen miles, and from thence to Cuiaba, the capital of
the rich province of Matto Grosso, a further distance of ninety miles.
In 1850 a nearer route was discovered, by ascending the Arinos, below
the mouth of the Preto, and employing oxen to drag the boat eighteen
miles to the river Cuiaba, which is navigable thence to the town of that
name; but, for some reason or other, the trade is still carried on by the
old route. Cuiaba receives from Santarem salt, iron, wines, arms, and
earthenware, which it pays for with diamonds, gold-dust, and hides. M.
Alphonse M. de Lincourt, who ascended the Tapajos a few years since, says
that the forests, which extend from its banks far away on both sides,
are inhabited by hostile Indians, who paint and tattoo themselves, and
wear caps of feathers, and collars and bracelets of beads, shells, and
jaguars’ teeth. The Mundrucus, the most warlike tribe of the Amazon,
number from fifteen to twenty thousand warriors, and are the terror of
all the other tribes.

Ninety miles below Santarem is the village of Prainha, situate on a green
eminence on the left bank of the Amazon, with a population of about 500.
Fifty-five miles below this place is the mouth of the little river Parú,
our only knowledge of which is derived from the Indians, who report that
the country through which it flows produces sarsaparilla and cloves, but
that its current is very strong, its course broken by rapids, and the
Indians who live on its banks are hostile. Seventy miles below the mouth
of the river, and on the right bank, is the village of Gurupá, with a
population of 300, and a small trade in caoutchouc. Near this place is
the mouth of the Xingù, of which very little is known; but the municipal
judge of Porto de Moz, near its mouth, who met Mr. Herndon at the house
of the military commandant of Gurupá, informed that gentleman that it was
obstructed by rapids within four days’ journey from its mouth, and that
boats could not ascend far up on account of the hostility of the Indian
tribes on its banks.

Thirty-five miles below Gurupá the Amazon spreads out to a width of
nearly 150 miles, but it is divided into numerous channels by a multitude
of islands, the principal of which is Marajó, which contains about
10,000 square miles, and occupies about the middle of the river. The
village of Breves, on this island, exports annually to Pará about 3,000
arrobas of caoutchouc: it has a church and several shops, and has a
thriving appearance. Three days’ sailing lower down is the mouth of
the Tocantins, which falls into the Bay of Limoeiro, a deep and wide
indentation of the right bank of the Amazon. The Tocantins, according
to M. Castelnau, who descended it in 1846, is an almost continuous
succession of cataracts and rapids; but by unloading the boats at three
places, and dragging them with ropes, it can be ascended as high as Porto
Imperial, the voyage to which place from Pará occupies from four to five
months, but, owing to the fall in the river, the downward voyage may be
performed in from twenty-five to thirty days.

The opening of new markets to commercial enterprise must always
tend to increase the prosperity of the countries concerned, and the
free navigation of the Amazon has become a question of the greatest
importance. According to General Villamil, the Secretary of State of
the republic of Equador, the Pastaça is navigable nearly up to Quito,
and nothing is wanting but the removal of the restrictions which have
unwisely been placed upon the navigation of the Amazon to enable the
merchants of Europe and the United States to send the manufactured
goods of their respective countries to the very foot of the Andes, and
take back in exchange the raw produce with which the Atlantic slopes of
those mountains so largely abound. But because the mouth of the river is
within Brazil, she once persisted in shutting out New Grenada, Equador,
Bolivia,[67] and Peru from the advantages which the Creator, in rolling
its broad stream through their fertile plains and teeming valleys,
intended they should enjoy. The reciprocal interests of all nations now
imperatively demand that the barrier which these restrictions present to
the progress of civilization in the interior of South America should be
removed. One of the first results of the opening up of the vast regions
watered by the Amazon and its tributaries to Anglo-Saxon enterprise would
be a large influx of immigrants, and this is precisely what is wanted
to develope the boundless natural resources of those countries.[68]
Brazil is alive to the necessity. Persons unacquainted with the country,
forming their opinion from other tropical regions, are apt to conclude
that the climate is unhealthy, but this is very far from being the case.
Similarity of latitude by no means produces similarity of climate; for
England and Labrador are under the same parallel, but how different the
climates of the two countries. The elevation of a country is a better
means of estimating its climate than its latitude, and the extent of wood
and water have also to be taken into account. The province of Caxamarca
which is watered by the Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon, is one of
the most healthy portions of the globe. Mr. Edwards, who, as already
observed, ascended the Amazon in 1846, and resided some time at Pará,
says:—

    ‘It seems singular that, directly under the equator, where,
    through a clear atmosphere, the sun strikes vertically upon the
    earth, the heat should be less oppressive than in the latitude
    of New York; this is owing to several causes. The days are but
    twelve hours long, and the earth does not become so intensely
    heated as where they are sixteen. The vast surface of water
    constantly cools the air by its evaporation, and removes the
    irksome dryness that, in temperate regions, renders a less
    degree of heat insupportable. And, finally, the constant winds
    blowing from the sea refresh and invigorate the system.’

He adds that the temperature is so equable, that the climate is
peculiarly favourable to health, that no form of epidemic disease is
known, and that the average duration of life is probably as high as in
New York. The salubrity of the climate,[69] therefore, the fertility of
the soil, its mineral riches, and the number and length of its navigable
rivers, combine to render the region watered by the Amazon and its
tributaries a most eligible field for the emigrant.[70] All that the
country wants is increased facilities for commerce and for developing its
immense natural resources, and these would be given to it by the opening
of the Amazon and immigration.[71]



ON BRAZIL: ITS CLIMATE AND PEOPLE.

BY ROBERT DUNDAS, M.D.,

PHYSICIAN TO THE NORTHERN HOSPITAL, LIVERPOOL; FORMERLY SURGEON TO
HER MAJESTY’S 60TH REGIMENT; AND FOR TWENTY-THREE YEARS MEDICAL
SUPERINTENDENT OF THE BRITISH HOSPITAL, BAHIA.

    Climate of Brazil.—Its salubrity.—Proofs of, causes of,
    objections to.—Northern, southern, and central provinces.
    —Equability of temperature.—Heat.—Humidity.—Rain.—Winds.—
    Electricity.—Hail.—Ice.—Tropical heat and light.—Influence on
    Europeans.—In health and in disease.—Acclimatization.—Increase
    of certain diseases.—Others modified.—Insanity.—Yellow
    fever.—Its probable disappearance.—Ancient writers on
    the epidemics of Brazil: Rocha Pita, Père Labat, Fereira
    da Rosa.—Physical, social, and moral condition of the
    Brazilians.—Habits and religion of the people.—Prophylactic
    measures.


In a publication like the present, any elaborate disquisition on the
climate and people of Brazil would be obviously misplaced, at the same
time that a brief notice of these important subjects should not be
altogether omitted. The Brazilian empire placed chiefly in the southern
hemisphere, extending from 4° 20″ N. lat. to 33° 55″ S., is widely
intersected by lakes rivers and mountains, and bounded by the South
Atlantic, by the highest mountains, and by the two most magnificent
rivers in the world: it enjoys, beyond dispute, one of the finest
climates of the globe, and may be fairly designated as ‘the Italy’ of
the New World. The heat, intense at Pará on the equator, moderates as
we approach the central provinces of the empire, and becomes altogether
European on reaching the southern regions of Rio Grande and the Uruguay;
whilst the climate of the entire line of coast is tempered by a cool
and never-failing breeze. It should however be borne in mind that
climate cannot be justly measured by latitude, and that we must, in all
instances, take into consideration the position and the elevation of the
district, the nature and surface of the soil, and its consequent capacity
for the absorption and the radiation of heat. First, then, as regards
heat, which may be termed the distinctive element of the climate of
Brazil.

The mean heat of Brazil ranges from 88° to 81° F., according to the
different seasons of the year.

RIO GRANDE DO SUL.—The summer temperature is 87° to 88°; the winter, 40°
to 44°.

SAINT CATHERINE.—The summer heat never passes 90° in the sun; and
descends to 54° in winter—June and July.

SAINT PAUL.—Mean temperature, 72°.

MINAS GERAES.—Max., 84° summer; min., 54° winter.

RIO JANEIRO.—The mean temperature of 30 years was 73°: in December, the
max., 89½°; min., 70°; mean, 79°; in July (coldest month), max., 79°;
min., 66°; mean, 73½°.

BAHIA.—Summer: 74° morning; noon, 80°; evening, 75½°.

PERNAMBUCO.—Summer: Varies from 77° to 86°, with a slight decline in the
rainy season.

CEARA.—95° in the hottest months; 83° in the coldest.

MARANHAM.—St. Louis reaches 93°; and Pará, on the line, maintains about
the same temperature.

The hottest period of the day, on the sea coast, is about 11 a.m., when
the sea-breeze commonly sets in and moderates the temperature. The
thermometer ranges in the northern provinces on the coast, at midday, 75°
to 77° from March to September, and 77° to 85° from September to March;
whilst at forty to fifty miles inland a high range of temperature almost
invariably prevails. The barometrical variations are less extensive than
those of the thermometer; but the range of the hygrometer is considerable
in the southern provinces. The object, however, of the present work
prohibits our entering minutely on these questions, or on the geology
of Brazil; and we must therefore refer our readers to the scientific
labours of M.M. Eschwège, Sellow, Spix and Martius, and Saint Hilaire,
and especially to the valuable and more recent investigations of M.
Pissis, who has explored the country from 13° to 26° south latitude, and
40° to 52° west longitude, including in this vast polygon the provinces
of Minas Geraes, St. Paul, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, and Bahia.[72]
The observations of Herschel, Humboldt and others, prove that both heat
and cold, up to 34th degree of latitude, are much more moderate in the
southern than in the northern hemisphere; in addition to which, Brazil,
covered by extensive forests and consequent moisture, the surface
clothed with perpetual verdure, from which the solar heat is but feebly
reflected, its skies ever bright and a never-failing breeze, constitute a
climate of unequalled mildness in any other region of the tropical world.

HUMIDITY: This grand and universal source of vegetable life in high
latitudes is infinitely more detrimental to man than even the highest
solar heat. Humidity, indeed, is the great modifier of all climates, and
constitutes the chief element of their insalubrity. The hygrometrical
variations of Brazil have been studied by numerous observers, amongst
whom the most accurate as well as the most recent is M. Pissis, and to
his conclusions we shall briefly allude, confining ourselves to the
climate of the capital, Rio de Janeiro, which, notwithstanding its clear
atmosphere, holds in solution just double the quantity of aqueous vapour
sustained by the sombre, foggy air of Paris! a fact explained however by
the high temperature of the one, as compared with the low temperature of
the other, the capacity of air for retaining moisture being in nearly
exact proportion to its temperature. M. Pissis arrives at the following
results:—

1. From May to October, when the air is serene, the quantity of vapour
varies little throughout the day. During the other months, the minimum
corresponds with sunrise, and attains its maximum about 4 p.m.; but the
variations are trifling.

2. That on rainy days the air is always near its point of saturation,
though the amount of vapour dissolved little exceeds that of the
preceding clear weather: this is due to the lower temperature of the
rainy days.

3. That humidity increases from the month of June to February, when
it attains its maximum, which is about double that of June; from this
maximum it declines until it reaches its former amount in June and July.

4. That the absorbing power of the air is lowest at sunrise, and attains
its maximum about 2 p.m., the hottest period of the day. In like manner
as regards the year, it augments in proportion as the sun advances to the
southern tropic, and attains its maximum in December and January, and
then declines until the cloudy months of June and July.

RAIN: The wet season sets in at different epochs along the coast of
Brazil, and is subject to great variation. At RIO the rains commonly
commence in March, and last till September; at ST. PAUL, in October
and November, and continue till April; whilst at ST. CATHERINE the
four seasons are, as in Europe, pretty distinctly defined—July and
the following three months wet, cloudy, and boisterous. These latter
provinces, placed just beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, enjoy the
advantages of a tropical climate without its inconveniences. RIO GRANDE
DO SUL is wet and stormy in the winter months, but otherwise healthy. In
the provinces north of RIO, including BAHIA and PERNAMBUCO, the rains
set in commonly about the end of March, and continue until August;
and as we follow the coast to the equator, including the provinces of
CEARA, MARANHAM, and PARÁ, storms are frequent, and the rains commence
in December or January; August, September, October, and November being
the dryest or summer months. The foregoing may be taken as the rule,
but the exceptions are numerous; and the winter of the coast does not
extend beyond 100 miles into the interior, which is watered, chiefly, by
frequent storms.

WINDS: The general winds of tropical regions are eastern; and in Brazil
the prevailing currents along the coast, from St. Catherine to Maranham,
are E.S.E., and S.S.E., during the southern, and E.N.E. and N.N.E.
during the northern monsoon; subject however to much irregularity. The
land breeze sets in from 9 to 11 p.m., and lasts till morning, increasing
in force and regularity as we approach the equator; and its strength is
generally in proportion to that of the sea breeze which precedes it. As
in other tropical countries, the sea breeze prevails more in the hot,
and the land breeze in the cold season of the year; they favour the
appearance of certain maladies and check others, and constitute, after
heat and moisture the chief element in the determination of disease—the
salubrity of any country depending more, perhaps, on its winds than on
its latitude.

ELECTRICITY: All tropical regions are distinguished by intensity of
electrical phenomena, and Brazil forms no exception to the law. Réaumur
maintains, and we believe justly, that a difference of 5° in the
thermometer decidedly affects the nervous system; and that all living
organisms are powerfully influenced by electrical changes no close
observer in equatorial regions can for an instant question. In Brazil,
the most intense variations are noticed about the change of the monsoons,
and the storms of lightning and thunder originating in the great chain of
the Organ Mountains, which burst over Rio, are grand and awful beyond
the possibility of description; whilst the profound influence of these
changes on individuals is strongly pourtrayed in the moral and physical
prostration of some, and the high nervous excitement of others. Saussure
has shown that an excess of watery saturation diminishes atmospheric
pressure; and the effect of certain conditions of the atmosphere on the
human economy in tropical climates cannot for a moment be denied: for
example, when the weather is wet and cloudy, the sun obscured, and the
air calm; all animal life languishes. The Brazilians distinguish this
state of atmosphere by a particular term, ‘mormaço,’ and during its
continuance, especially in summer, the mental and bodily powers of man
seem alike paralysed, and are only restored to activity when the rain has
descended and the breeze resumed its power over the close and stagnant
atmosphere. Here electricity plays an important part. In connection with
this subject, it is remarkable that Brazil should have hitherto escaped
those formidable earthquakes which have so often desolated the fairest
regions of South America. FOGS are rare in Brazil, and seen only in the
morning, on low and marshy grounds, and in the neighbourhood of rivers
and lakes. HAIL often falls in Minas, St. Paul, and the south, and even
occasionally at Rio. ICE is sometimes met with at Rio Grande in the
winter, and even on the Organ Mountains, close to Rio, but never snow.
WATERSPOUTS have been, at long intervals, observed on the coast and in
the interior; the last of any importance was observed at San Marcos in
1823.

Based on the foregoing and other data, we shall now submit certain
general conclusions on the climate of Brazil, and its influence on the
human constitution in health and disease; these conclusions must be taken
as more especially referring to the seaboard and the large cities on the
coast; and the reader should bear in mind that some allowance must also
be made for the difference in position and latitude of the northern,
the southern, and the central provinces. We would further premise, that
these observations are founded on our own personal experience of nearly a
quarter of a century, and prior to the advent of the yellow fever which,
for the last four or five years, has infested the maritime cities of the
empire, and on which we shall presently offer some remarks.

The great characteristic of Brazil, as compared with other countries,
is the general equability of its climate, and which constitutes, in
fact, the chief element of its salubrity. This unparalleled uniformity
of temperature must be chiefly ascribed to the absence of high and
mountainous regions, and of all arid and sandy deserts, aided by the
genial influence of refreshing showers at all seasons of the year; it
is further maintained by the perpetual verdure of the country, and
by a cool, powerful, and never-failing monsoon, laden with moisture,
and sweeping along the entire line of coast direct from the Southern
Atlantic. Thus, even in the height of summer, the diurnal heat is rarely
found oppressive to the European, and the nights are almost invariably
serene and beautiful, and unattended with much deposition of dew,
especially in the northern and central provinces; so that the delightful
coolness of tropical moonlight may be enjoyed undisturbed by those
visions of fever and malaria which float before the imagination in less
favoured lands. If precautions be observed to avoid exposure to direct
currents of air, the windows of the sleeping chamber may also be left
open with impunity at all seasons of the year; an advantage that can
scarcely be over estimated in high latitudes, as disposing to sound and
refreshing sleep; which, more perhaps than any other influence enables
the European constitution to resist the deleterious effects of climate,
just as a succession of hot and sleepless nights invariably predisposes
the human system to be impressed by every tropical malady.

In proof of the singular salubrity of Brazil, we need only state that,
until within the last four years, although its provinces have been at
intervals visited by revolutions, wars, and famine, the country has
hitherto escaped from all those epidemic and endemic scourges—_yellow
fever_, _cholera_, _influenza_, _typhus_, and _dysentery_—which have
so frequently desolated other, and the fairest regions of the globe.
In this favoured land the solar heat proves scarcely less influential
and salutary to animal than to vegetable life; and years of subsequent
exhaustion can never entirely efface from the recollection of the
European sojourner the buoyancy of spirit, unclouded mind, and exquisite
appreciation of mere animal existence which marked the first years of his
residence in Brazil. These vivid sensations may be in part determined by
the novelty and splendour of a New World, its brilliant skies, perpetual
verdure, and the variety, luxuriance, and beauty of its vegetable
life; but they are chiefly due to the direct influence of the heat and
light of a tropical sun, supplying a new and powerful stimulus to the
performance of all the functions of animal and organic life. The medal,
unfortunately, has its reverse: this favourable condition of the animal
economy proves, as in vegetable life under similar circumstances, but
of limited duration; and from five to seven years may be set down as
the average period at which a tropical residence begins to affect the
European constitution to such an extent as to influence longevity or
injure health; the precise epoch being determined by the constitution,
occupation, predisposition, and habits of the individual. It should be
here stated that the month of April is that best suited to the stranger’s
arrival in Brazil, as affording time for his gradual acclimatisation
to the summer heat of December, January, and February; though we may
observe, and the fact is singular, that the European suffers but little
inconvenience from the highest temperature during the first years of his
residence, just as the Brazilian seldom complains of the winter cold on
his first arrival in Europe. The chief objection to the climate is, in
addition to high temperature, its great humidity; shown in the rapid
decomposition of all organized, and certain inorganic matter, the quick
oxidation of metals, deliquescence of salts, destruction of wood, &c.
&c.; and after a certain interval, the depression of moral and physical
energy in man. The deleterious effects of this condition of atmosphere
on the animal economy is happily tempered, if not entirely corrected in
Brazil, by the general equability of its climate, and the influence of
a cool and _never-failing breeze_, so that a stagnant, or even calm,
state of the atmosphere is almost entirely unknown. Were this otherwise,
the chief cities of Brazil inundated by the most offensive animal and
vegetable exhalations,[73] and with an almost total neglect of those
policial and sanatory regulations so essential to the public health in
other countries, would, we are satisfied, prove no less fatal to man than
the charnel houses of Africa and the West Indies.

In estimating, however, the influence of climate on the public health,
the moral and physical condition of the people demands especial
consideration. The Brazilian is in general well-formed, compact, and
of healthy organization, but not of athletic frame. His intellectual
faculties are acute, though little developed by cultivation. Descended
from European ancestors, he has still a considerable admixture of
African, and some native American blood. He is indolent by nature, and
indisposed for active exertion or industry; but he is protected against
the evil influence of the former on his health by a simple and abstemious
diet, and the injurious consequences of the latter to his social position
are obviated by the fact that the four great wants of the humbler classes
in Europe press but lightly on the Brazilian. Fuel he scarcely requires,
clothing but little; his primitive habitation is simply constructed, and
one day’s labour will amply provide for the moderate demands of the whole
week. With passions naturally quick, he is nevertheless placable; his
disposition is kindly; the future rarely disturbs him with its doubts,
or the past with its regrets: the struggles and vicissitudes of European
life are unknown. The contentions of party, the yearnings of ambition,
the bitterness of fanaticism, never disturb his repose; and after
gliding down the stream of time, unscathed by the tumultuous passions
and harassing cares which so frequently embitter the existence and
undermine the constitution of man in other countries, he meets at length
the inevitable doom, if not with philosophy, at least with resignation,
satisfied of his claims to eternal felicity in the confident assurance of
an infallible church.

From the preceding account of Brazil and its inhabitants, we would be
led to conclude, _à priori_, that disease would there assume a mild and
tractable character; and this inference we find fully borne out, until
within the last twenty years, by the medical and general history of the
country. Within the last thirty years, however, vast changes—moral,
social, and political—have been developed in Brazil, and it interests
alike the philosopher and the physician to mark how profoundly these
changes have already impressed and modified the manners, habits, and
diseases—nay, even the physiognomy of its people. After a brief struggle,
the establishment of Brazil as an independent empire was effected
in 1823; and since that epoch the country and its population have
undergone a series of remarkable and comprehensive political and social
changes. From the strict and simple forms of despotic government they
have passed, at a bound, to one almost of license; including household
suffrage, popular legislative assemblies (imperial and provincial),
open courts of law, trial by jury, local justices, and a national guard
elected on popular principles. This sudden and premature concession of
political privileges to a people yet in the infancy of civilization has
been naturally attended by great and numerous evils, mingled, it must
be admitted, with many and great advantages. In the intoxication of a
new-born freedom, the empire has committed numerous excesses; province
has been arrayed against province, in a succession of intestine broils;
the laws have been inefficiently or corruptly administered; and a lax
morality has but too generally pervaded the whole community. On the other
hand, an extensive and well-organized system of national education has
been established throughout the empire; the slumbering intellectual
powers of the nation have been aroused; wealth and intelligence
developed; political and military ambition awakened; commercial
enterprise created; agriculture revived; and of all those mighty powers
which move and mould societies, the controlling influence of religion has
alone remained stationary. The priesthood, deprived of wealth, power, and
influence, has utterly-lost its _prestige_, unless, perhaps, with the
very lowest classes of the community—a question of curious speculation as
regards the cause, and of vast importance as regards its future results
on the character and institutions of the Brazilian people. In addition to
the foregoing rapid transition of society into new forms and combinations
of social existence, we find the face of the country changed by the
march of civilization and agricultural improvement,—woods cleared, roads
opened, internal and external navigation developed, population largely
increased, and the great maritime cities of the empire assuming an
importance second to none, and superior to most, of the cities of the new
world.

Coeval with these great and rapidly advancing changes, we can already
discern some of those evils too commonly attendant on increased wealth,
luxury, and intelligence: anxieties, excesses, passions are largely
multiplied, and the medical observer cannot fail to distinguish, amongst
certain ranks of the hitherto contented and indolent Brazilians,
unequivocal traces of that premature ‘wear and tear,’ so strongly and
painfully characteristic of high civilization. It now only remains that
we should briefly notice the extent to which certain great classes of
disease have been influenced and modified by the preceding moral and
physical agencies. This is chiefly manifested in the increasing number
of cerebral and pulmonary maladies, and diseases of the heart and great
vessels. Insanity has also become much more frequent than formerly,
though still rare as compared with other nations; which, indeed, might
be inferred from the fact that the ‘Mad Doctor’ is a species of the
profession as yet unknown to Brazil. Suppurative inflammation of the
liver has increased, but of all the acute diseases, fevers have been the
most profoundly modified; they partake much more generally of the low,
or asthenic character, and assume the remittent and continued type, and
are greatly more fatal in their results than formerly. This naturally
brings us to the important question of the ‘yellow fever,’ which for the
last four or five years has ravaged the great maritime cities of the
empire. Its origin has given rise to the most conflicting views, amongst
the best observers;—for example, Dr. Pennell of Rio, and Dr. Paterson of
Bahia, both men of undoubted talent and great professional experience,
entertain precisely opposite opinions; the former contending for the
indigenous, the latter for the foreign origin of the disease; and both
offer cogent arguments and striking facts in support of these opposite
conclusions. The scope of this work does not admit of medical discussion,
yet as the facts observed by Dr. Pennell are highly important, and as
his conclusions entirely coincide with our own experience, we will
condense them here. Dr. Pennell states that for some years the fevers of
the country had been clearly changing their character, that the genuine
remittent had been little seen for three years; that it was replaced in
1847, ’48, and ’49, by a fever of its own class, popularly known as the
‘polka fever,’ but in reality a remittent; and that this fever was,
in its turn, superseded by the ‘yellow fever,’ a disease with similar
features: he adds the following words, ‘coincident with these and other
changes in the diseases of Brazil, the climate, in its broad features,
has altered strangely: thunder-storms, formerly of daily occurrence,
at a certain hour, during the summer, are now but seldom heard, &c.,’
and concludes, ‘that bilious remittent and yellow fever are essentially
the same disease,’—a proposition entirely in accordance with my own
experience in Brazil and other countries. The abettors of the foreign
origin of yellow fever insist that it was imported by a certain ship
from New Orleans into Bahia, and thence diffused throughout the empire;
whilst the facts adduced by Dr. Pennell go far to establish, as already
stated, its indigenous parentage. In support of this opinion we have the
strong additional fact that, for the last forty years, there has existed
uncontrolled by any efficient quarantine laws, an extensive intercourse
with the United States, Africa, and the West Indies, the very hot-beds of
yellow fever; and yet, up to 1849, Brazil remained perfectly healthy. Can
we then in reason believe, if the disease be deemed really importable,
that the maritime cities of Brazil could, under such circumstances, have
escaped infection for a period of forty years? It is moreover important
to know that several of the older writers, as Rocha Pita in 1666, Père
Labat in 1686, Fereira da Rosa in 1694, have recorded the appearance
of epidemics closely resembling the yellow fever, and which, after
persisting for some years and desolating several of the large cities
on the coast, finally passed away. Some seventy years ago, the capital
itself was visited by an epidemic fever no less fatal to the population
than that from which it now suffers.

From the above and other facts, we are firmly convinced that the yellow
fever which now afflicts Brazil is not an _imported_ disease, but owes
its origin to certain obscure atmospheric disturbances, embracing
variations of temperature, hygrometric influence, electrical tension,
atmospheric pressure, &c.; and judging from the previous history of
Brazil, we believe that these unfavourable conditions are but temporary
and will pass away, and that the country will again resume its former
character of unparalleled salubrity amongst the tropical regions of the
globe.[74]

PROPHYLACTIC MEASURES.—A few words on the precautions to be adopted by
temporary as well as permanent residents in Brazil may perhaps prove
useful. In the first place, all the ordinary hygienic laws should be
attended to; the habitation selected should be in a dry locality,
on a moderate elevation, and well ventilated, but at the same time
protected against strong currents of wind; lengthened or direct exposure
to the sun’s rays should be avoided, and all sudden vicissitudes of
temperature guarded against. Loose waistcoats without sleeves, of fine
flannel, should be worn next the skin, during the day, but never slept
in; sleeping in the open air or unprotected, should be avoided. After
exposure to rain, the clothes should be immediately changed; after
exhaustion by exercise, or from any other cause, collapse or chill must
be carefully guarded against, by avoiding for a time exposure to the cool
breeze or by taking some slight stimulant, as coffee, wine, or a little
spirits. Spirits, otherwise, should be altogether avoided, and wine
resorted to only at dinner, in great moderation, and by those accustomed
to its use. Generally, animal food should be used only at dinner; no
supper; and no stimulating drinks, _however diluted_, should be taken
between meals. Ripe fruit may be used before breakfast, and after the
middle of the day, but never after the principal meal. Moderation IN
EVERY SENSE must be observed. When compelled to go out early in the
morning, the individual should take some support. In warm and swampy
districts, over fatigue, or prolonged exposure to the sun, cannot be too
carefully avoided, and the use of quinine, in moderate doses, should
never be neglected; the cold bath, or cold sponging, every morning on
getting out of bed, should be constantly resorted to. The sleeping
apartments should be cool and well ventilated, but not exposed to strong
currents of air.

Of all the above principles, refreshing sleep is the most efficient
preservative to the European constitution against the inroads of tropical
disease; but unless the above rules are pretty closely observed, sound
and refreshing sleep in equatorial latitudes is unattainable. The
_morale_ must never be lost sight of, and a calm and cheerful disposition
of mind should be especially encouraged. The above prophylactic measures
apply with equal or greater force to the European seaman on arrival
in Brazil. In addition, awnings by day and by night are absolutely
indispensable to health. Fatigue and dockyard duties, and watering
expeditions, should never be permitted during the mid-day heat, nor
should the seaman ever be permitted to sleep out of his vessel. The high
importance of this latter injunction will be obvious from the fact that a
difference of _fifty degrees_ will be found often to obtain between the
heat of a mid-day tropical sun and the air near the earth’s surface at
sun-rise. Surely, then, we need not evoke the phantom Malaria to account
for the sudden supervention of malignant or fatal disease in seamen, or
others, exposed during sleep to such great and sudden transitions of
temperature, especially when their animal and organic powers have been
depressed by previous exertion and profuse perspiration under a tropical
sun, aided, too often, by intemperance and other excesses.

    Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus.

Finally, we are profoundly convinced, by long and large observation,
that if the foregoing principles are attended to, the most formidable
localities of southern climates may be encountered with impunity, and
especially as regards that dreaded, but visionary enemy, Malaria or marsh
poison.[75]



RIO DE LA PLATA.


    The sea-like Plata, to whose dread expanse,
    Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course,
    Our floods are rills. With unabated force,
    In silent dignity they sweep along;
    And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds,
    And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude!
    Where the sun smiles and seasons teem in vain,
    Unseen, and unenjoyed. Forsaking these,
    O’er peopled plains they fair-diffusive flow;
    And many a nation feed; and circle safe,
    In their soft bosom, many a happy isle;
    The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturbed
    By Christian crimes and Europe’s cruel sons.
    Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep,
    Whose vanquished tide, recoiling from the shock,
    Yields to this liquid weight of half the globe;
    And Ocean trembles for his green domain.
    But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth,
    This gay profusion of luxurious bliss?
    This pomp of Nature? what their balmy meads,
    Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain,
    By vagrant birds dispersed, and wafting winds?
    What their unplanted fruits? What the cool draughts,
    The ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health,
    Their forests yield? Their toiling insects what?
    Their silky pride, and vegetable robes?
    Whate’er the humanizing Muses teach;
    The god-like wisdom of the tempered breast;
    Progressive truth; the patient force of thought;
    Investigation calm, whose silent powers
    Command the world; the LIGHT that leads to HEAVEN;
    Kind equal rule; the government of laws,
    And all-protecting Freedom, which alone
    Sustains the name and dignity of Man;
    These are not theirs.—THOMSON.

[Illustration: SIR WM. GORE OUSELEY, K.C.B.—LATE HER MAJESTY’S MINISTER
PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE STATES OF LA PLATA, AND FORMERLY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES
AT THE COURT OF BRAZIL.]

NOTE TO THE PORTRAIT.—The sketch in the preceding page is copied from
an early likeness, but can hardly be considered an accurate one now. In
a book of this nature, which owes much of whatever attractiveness it
may possess to his permission to avail of the pictorial and literary
memoranda of his prolonged sojourn in South America, and especially in
a chapter on the River Plate, in whose affairs he played so important a
part in the chief crisis of its history, full biographical details of Sir
W. Gore Ouseley’s career may reasonably be anticipated. For such purpose,
however, the writer has access only to the ordinary data to be found in
works of public reference; nor, if others of a private nature were open,
would it, perhaps, be in the best taste to insert them here, as they
would necessarily be supposed to be used with an unduly partial bias.
Without entering at length into details more fitted for a genealogical
work than for our pages, it will suffice to say that, previous to the
sixteenth century, the Ouseley family was allied to several of the most
ancient and honourable patrician names of this country, and thus their
ancestry can be traced to a remote period. The Irving family, into
which the late Sir W. Ouseley (father of Sir W. Gore Ouseley) married,
is allied to the Douglases, the Rollos, and many other noble Scotch
families. Referring to ‘Burke’s Baronetage,’ and ‘Landed Gentry,’ ‘Dod’s
Knightage’ for 1854, and other cognate authorities, we find that Sir W.
G. Ouseley is descended from an ancient Shropshire family who settled in
Northamptonshire in 1571, the then head of the family, Richard Ouseley
Ouseley, having received from Queen Elizabeth, under whom he was a judge,
a grant of the estate of Courteen Hall, in that county, with many of
the most eminent families in which the Ouseleys were connected, such
as the Actons of Alderham, as also the Barons Giffard of Brinsfield,
and Barons Lestrange of Blackmere.[76] Nicholas Ouseley, a relative of
Richard Ouseley Ouseley, was envoy to the courts of Spain and Portugal,
and some of his correspondence with Sir Francis Walsingham is preserved
among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum. John, son of Richard
Ouseley, was knighted by James I. in 1603, for his gallant conduct during
the war in Ireland with the turbulent Earl of Tyrone. The diplomatic
services of Sir John are mentioned in a subsequent note, and by Purchas
in his ‘Pilgrims.’ Sir Richard Ouseley, his son, held the commission of
major in the royalist army during the civil war between Charles I. and
the Parliament, and in consequence of debts incurred in support of the
royal cause he was obliged to sell Courteen Hall in 1650. The family then
settled in Ireland, where they held Ballinasloe Castle, and afterwards
Dunmore Castle, in the county of Galway, which latter remained in the
family until the death of Major Ralph Ouseley, grandfather of Sir William
Gore Ouseley. The major was a great antiquarian, and had a very fine
collection of Irish antiquities, MSS., &c. His eldest son, Sir William
Ouseley, served in the 8th Dragoons during the unfortunate campaign in
Holland, where the British forces were commanded by the Duke of York;
but after attaining the rank of major, he abandoned war for the more
congenial pursuit of literature, and became a member of most of the
learned and scientific societies of Europe. He published ‘Travels in
Persia,’ (to which country he accompanied his brother, Sir Gore Ouseley,
in 1810,) and many other works on Eastern antiquities and literature, in
which he has left a mine of Oriental and classical learning that will
always remain a monument of his great industry and talent. Sir G. Ouseley
was the first ambassador accredited from the court of St. James’s to that
of Persia, though Sir Harford Jones, Sir John Malcolm, and others, had
previously been sent by the East India Company to that country. He was
chairman of the Oriental Translation Society, to whose papers, and those
of the Asiatic Society, he was a contributor. Sir William, who married
the daughter of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Irving, (son of General Sir
Paulus E. Irving, governor-general of Canada,) left a numerous family,
the eldest of whom, Sir William Gore Ouseley, entered the diplomatic
service at a very early age. He was attached to the mission at Stockholm
in 1817, and in 1825 was appointed paid attaché at Washington. While in
that capital, he married the daughter of Mr. Van Ness, formerly governor
of the state of Vermont, and subsequently the United States envoy at
Madrid. He was next appointed acting secretary of legation at Brussels
during Sir R. Adair’s special embassy, and subsequently at Rio Janeiro,
at which court he represented our government for several years as chargé
d’affaires. In 1844 Sir William was named minister plenipotentiary at
Buenos Ayres, and in 1845 special minister to the states of La Plata.
In tardy acknowledgment of his important diplomatic services in South
America, he received the Order of the Bath in 1852. He is the author of
‘Remarks on the Slave Trade,’ ‘South American Sketches,’ and several
political pamphlets. We cannot forbear quoting a few lines from a
critique on his ‘Remarks on the Statistics and Political Institutions
of the United States,’ in the ‘Quarterly Review’ for December, 1832,
which, although opposed to the views taken in that periodical of the
United States and their institutions, had the fairness to say,—‘We have
no desire to be severely critical on the _coup d’essai_ of a young
author—one, we believe, of a family in which diplomatic ability may be
called an hereditary possession.’ Some facts in connection with Sir
William’s memorable mission to the River Plate will be found a few pages
further on, as also in the notice of Rosas, whose enmity our minister had
the honour of provoking in an eminent degree, by firmly protecting the
persons and interests of his countrymen, and acting up to the spirit of
his instructions. How deservedly he did so will be seen when we come to
speak of one, at least, of those transactions of which the guilt has been
incontestibly fixed upon the ex-Dictator within the last few months, but
for accusing him of which at the time, our unsuspecting innocents at home
deemed the British representative very culpable indeed, or, at least,
very troublesome. Doubtless, so he was, as compared with certain of his
predecessors and successors in the same post, who quietly winked at the
atrocities of the despot without appealing to England against their
continuance.



CHAPTER XI.

MONTE VIDEO.

    Biographical memoranda on the late British minister to
    the Plate.—First impressions of the Uruguayan capital
    unfavourable.—The New Custom House.—An instance of
    enterprise without prudence.—Commercial advantages of
    Monte Video.—Prosperity obtained at the expense of Buenos
    Ayres.—Revisal of the Buenos Ayrean tariff.—Alluvial deposits
    of the Rio Plata.—Gas from mares’ grease.—Traces of a
    siege.—Unprofitable ploughing by Oribe’s projectiles.—Condition
    of the streets.—The Horses of La Plata, and the Lasso.—Commerce
    of London with Monte Video and Buenos Ayres.—Mules for the
    Australian Gold Diggings.—Diminution of the Customs.—Bitter
    fruits of British and French intervention.—Sir William Gore
    Ouseley and the British Loan.—The Market-place.—Italian
    boatmen.—Encouragement given to foreigners.—Aspect of
    the environs.—The English burial ground.—The latest
    revolution.—Sketch of the History of Monte Video.—Senhor
    Castellanos.—Immigration from Europe.—Abolition of slavery in
    Uruguay.—Formation of agricultural colonies.—Diplomatic and
    consular memoranda.

[Illustration: MONTE VIDEO—CAPITAL OF THE BANDA ORIENTAL DEL URUGUAY]

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATION.—Pursuing the plan adopted in several
    of the preceding chapters, we here follow, in great part, from
    the source drawn upon in the former instances, the description
    given of Monte Video, by the same hand to which we are indebted
    for the illustration. Monte Video, situate in latitude 35
    degrees S., longitude 56 degrees W., is the capital of the
    ‘Banda Oriental’ (eastern shore or banks), or, as it is more
    formally designated, the ‘Republic of the Uruguay;’ it is on
    the left bank of the River Plate, but, in part, is a seaport,
    the river being here above 120 miles across, although this
    capital is about 100 miles from the ocean. Yet even near Monte
    Video, after the prevalence of certain winds, the water is not
    too salt for drinking, in case of necessity; indeed, when off
    the port, were it not for this freshness, the stranger could
    hardly credit he is not still at sea, instead of in a river,
    so immense is it. Monte Video is most advantageously placed
    for commercial purposes. It is not enough to say that Buenos
    Ayres is the capital of the Argentine Provinces, and Monte
    Video that of the Banda Oriental—the extent of territory of
    which latter is small in comparison with the former—for these
    two places are not only the chief ports of entry through which,
    says Parish, the trade of these countries is carried on with
    foreign nations, but it will be found that at whichever of them
    the largest amount of foreign goods is landed, they are for the
    most part destined for the consumption of the people of the
    countries watered by the Rio de la Plata and its tributaries.
    The amount of foreign goods—so greatly out of proportion to
    its population—which, a few years back, was landed at Monte
    Video, is chiefly to be ascribed to the blockade of Buenos
    Ayres, which temporarily diverted the trade from its ordinary
    course. Whenever Buenos Ayres has the misfortune to be so
    attacked, the advantageous situation of Monte Video, as a
    central port, will always give it importance as an entrepot for
    goods destined for the provinces in the interior. This was the
    case in a remarkable degree during the late beleaguerment of
    Buenos Ayres, by Urquiza, until the admiral of his fleet, the
    North American adventurer Coe, went over to the authorities of
    the City. During the whole of this time, Monte Video, being the
    only open port, prospered immensely in the amount of shipping
    entering it. There is no doubt, also, that its situation offers
    facilities for the supply at all times by indirect means
    of the adjoining provinces of Brazil and of the Argentine
    Confederation, of which the Monte Videans will probably avail
    themselves, to the detriment of their neighbours’ interests,
    unless, in self-defence, the latter so regulate their customs
    duties as to countervail all temptations to avoid them. Now
    this the Buenos Ayreans are wisely doing; for before the
    close of the past year (1853) they effected an important
    modification in their tariff, which, coupled with the opening
    of the great internal streams, is sure to be productive of
    infinite advantage.[77] The harbour at Monte Video, except
    during certain winds and violent gales, is good, and the river
    basin well sheltered. But the vast body of fresh water of the
    River Plate brings with it, especially after floods, immense
    quantities of earth, sand, &c., forming continual deposits,
    gradually filling up this and other harbours in La Plata, and
    diminishing the depth of water in many places. For instance,
    in the harbour of Monte Video—the best in the river—formerly
    large vessels of war, then called frigates (during the Spanish
    colonial government), used to lie quite close to the wharves in
    the inner part of the harbour, where none but merchant vessels,
    and those not of the largest size, now find sufficient depth.
    This gradual accumulation of alluvial deposit might easily be
    prevented in the harbour by the use of excavating and dredging
    machines. They were, in fact, successfully tried some years
    ago, but the invasion of the country and the late siege of its
    capital, which lasted above nine years, forced the government
    to employ all its resources in self-defence, and this, like
    many other useful measures, was suspended, but will be again
    resumed speedily, as also many other essential improvements
    prosecuted with vigour, now that the prospects of peace are
    assured, from the determination of the whole bulk of the
    population to abstain from siding with any of the disturbers of
    tranquillity. Lighthouses have been erected at the entrance of
    the river; its most dangerous parts are buoyed, and licensed
    pilots ply off its mouth to take vessels either into the
    harbour of Monte Video, or up to Buenos Ayres. With their help,
    and the excellent charts and sailing directions that have been
    published, the navigation, which would otherwise be difficult,
    on account of sand-banks, is made tolerably safe for the vast
    number of merchant vessels which are continually on their
    passage up and down the river.


The impression on landing here is unfavourable, or at least, was so when
I visited it, though such is the rapidity of change in South American
regions, that, I believe, matters have put on a very much improved aspect
within the short period that has since elapsed. At that time, at all
events, the place was very dirty, from rainy weather; ill-paved streets;
great confusion with carts and horses; all kinds of queer-looking beings
about; and a medley of nations, remarkable even in this focus of motley
emigration. Things looked in a rough, unfinished state, such as you would
hardly expect to find in the second important city of the La Plata; and
the reality contrasted sadly with the gay houses, their fantastic turrets
and look-outs, which present such a picturesque appearance from the sea.
The poverty the place displays is too fully accounted for by the many
years of siege, blockade, civil war, and disaster it has gone through,
rendering it almost miraculous that so much should still exist in the
shape of a city. You land at the ponte, or custom-house wharf, built out
a short distance into the bay, whilst the custom-house itself is in a
street some little distance off. On the right, near the entrance of the
harbour, is the new custom-house, an immense pile, which, when finished,
must prove a great convenience to commerce, so long as the latter is
made to go through the ordeal of fiscal duties, which here comprise
nearly the entire revenue of the state. Close to the new custom-house is
a light-looking jetty, made chiefly of iron, with a good landing-place,
and rails running along the wharf to bonded warehouses on shore. This
wharf or pier was the work of an enterprising Englishman, who had more
public spirit than prudence, and was unsuccessful in his views, owing
partly to there not being sufficient water to enable vessels to come
alongside the structure. The city of Monte Video is erected on a kind
of promontory, running out into the sea, which washes one side, and the
bay the other. Like most Spanish towns in South America, it is built
in squares, with parallel streets, the houses all shapes and sizes,
with square courts, from which you enter the different suites of rooms,
many very handsomely arranged and furnished, the area of the court being
adorned with plants and flowers. Since the siege was raised, parts of
the old fortifications have been pulled down, and new streets are in
process of building, as also a new theatre; so that with a continuance
of peace, Monte Video would soon assume more importance, and many of
its civic defects be remedied. Some spirited individuals have got up
a gas company, and the town is now excellently lighted from a local
commodity called mares’ grease, and certainly a clearer or better light
I never saw anywhere. Country houses are also springing up since the
desolation in which the outskirts were left by the nine years’ siege at
the hands of Rosas and his creatures, of which it still bears the traces
in all directions, particularly at that memorable point between the city
and General Oribe’s camp at Cerrito, where every house was riddled or
destroyed with cannon-shot, and the very ground ploughed up by the same
unproductive metal. In a large square, at the extremity of the town,
stands the cathedral, a huge unfinished building, which towers above
everything else, and is emblematic of the old Spanish taste in churches.
This square will be an acquisition when finished and put in order,
planted with trees, &c., towards which there is already some movement;
but the majority of the streets are scarcely passable in a conveyance,
many being without any pavement at all, a few rough stones being here and
there visible; the rest is a compound of mud and filth, and with holes
that would astonish any well-educated European animal, however profound
his gravity or elongated his ears, but apparently quite natural to the
horses and mules of this country, and regarded by them with an exemplary
equanimity which bipeds of philosophic pretensions in vain endeavour to
emulate.

The difference of race between the inhabitants of Brazil and the River
Plate is very remarkable, indicating at once the great change in climate,
and those other physiological influences that contribute to determine
variety of character among people. At the same time it must be observed
that South America furnishes many almost irreconcilable anomalies of
this kind; for instance, a feeble and peaceful people dwelt on the cold
mountains of Peru; a hardy and warlike race wandered under the burning
sun of Brazil. The Uruguayans partake largely of the attributes of the
latter. The natives are generally athletic-looking men, mounted on horses
that appear part and parcel of themselves; seemingly centaur-like,
‘demi-encorpsed with the brave beast;’ and dressed in a fashion savouring
strongly of the Turk—minus the turban.

    And tall, and strong, and swift of foot are they,
    Beyond the dwarfing city’s pale abortions.

[Illustration: EL LAZO—THROWING THE LASSO.]

[Illustration: LA VACA ESTRAVIADA—THE STRAY COW.]

The Plata is indeed the land of the horse, _par excellence_, as will
be inferred from the fact of this, the first town of importance on its
banks, being lighted with mares’-grease gas. The animals are, generally
speaking, described by connoisseurs as not exactly equalling the splendid
Spanish parent stock they are descended from, and the first appearance
of which in the country where they are now counted by millions, and
are part almost of the very being of the natives, was regarded with
an awe and astonishment that well nigh paralysed resistance to the
invader. Those that swarm along the plains are rather more useful
than handsome; heads not clumsy, though not elegantly shaped; body
tolerably round, though croup often low; legs, though light, firm and
well placed. They are caught with the lasso, in the use of which, as
likewise of course in the bolas, the Uruguayan Guacho is fully equal,
and is deemed by many even superior, if possible, to his brother of
the Buenos Ayrean pampas, with which the European idea of the exercise
of these captivating implements is chiefly associated; for the Banda
Oriental being much intersected with streams, and trees, and hills, a
greater degree of address is perhaps required in managing a herd of wild
horses or oxen than in the vast table-land stretching, for hundreds upon
hundreds of miles, in an almost unvaried flat, on the opposite bank of
the river. But if the Plate be the land of horses, doubly is it the
land of cows: the whole region may be said to be one vast horn-and-hoof
fair; and the predominant bovine element in the air, the street, the
field, proclaims itself overpoweringly to every sense. This, of course,
strikes one more forcibly, because of its novelty, on landing at Monte
Video, than subsequently at Buenos Ayres, and in the interior; for it is
extraordinary how quickly one loses his fastidiousness, and looks with
indifference upon sights, and inhales odours, that appear insufferably
revolting at the outset of one’s noviciate. The trade carried on by
the Uruguayans in the flesh, and hides, and tallow, of cattle, and the
skins of horses, is very great,[78] considering the extent of territory
and population, and bearing in mind the many impediments of which we
have already spoken, and to which we shall have further to advert
presently. Latterly, a profitable trade is springing up in the article
of mules for Australia; those animals being reared in great perfection
in the fine pastures of the Banda Oriental, and being of infinite use
in the gold fields, owing to their hardy constitution, strength, and
docility. Passengers from Australia, calling at Monte Video, declare the
neighbourhood greatly to resemble the vicinage of Melbourne; and there
is little doubt that judicious explorations would reveal the presence
of large quantities of gold, some having already been found. That the
whole state abounds in metalliferous riches is the conviction of many
competent judges; and, probably, in no part of the civilised world might
small mining capitals be invested with greater certainty of success, or
small ‘captains’ commence operations on their own account with stronger
assurance of reward, especially as the climate, a most important
consideration, admits of Englishmen pursuing their labours without the
enervation experienced from the greater heat and drying winds that
prevail on the opposite side of the river.

[Illustration: TAMBO A REAL EL VASO—MILK AT A RIAL A GLASS.]

To judge from the number of vessels and small craft laying in the
harbour, you would conclude a large trade was carried on; but such is not
exactly the case, although matters are fast improving; the custom-house
revenue, from being down to 700,000 dollars, is now doubled, or 1,400,000
dollars, against 3½ millions of dollars which it returned in 1842,
previous to the siege. The work of destruction was industriously pursued
during that disastrous period, and for hundreds of miles the Banda
Oriental was not only shorn of its cattle but of its population. The
land, in fact, was rendered a desert waste, and made only subservient
to the wants of Oribe’s army. Future annalists will hardly believe it
possible that the history of a second Troy could be illustrated in the
duration of the aggression it was subjected to, under the protective
cannon of the two most powerful nations of Europe, France and England;
but such, alas! was the fact; and the recent melancholy position of Monte
Video is the fruit of an intervention that was not rendered effective,
as it might have been, if vigorously followed up in conformity with the
judicious advice of the resident English minister during a great part
of the troubles, and whose wise suggestions are now reverted to with
regretful but admiring respect, by all dispassionate men in Europe or
America who have read the then requirements of the Plate by the light
of subsequent experience.[79] Indeed, that this feeling has at length
prevailed is shown by acts, more of justice than of favour, on the
part of succeeding governments that, though tardy, are not the less
honourable to those concerned. It will require many years of peaceful
industry to restore this district to what it was in 1842, rich as the
soil undoubtedly is, and reproductive as its affluence in cattle may
be. In the meantime, a good deal of produce is brought hither from the
neighbouring ports and down the rivers, in small craft, which occupy a
long time on the voyage; and some idea may be formed of the number of
these conveyances, when I mention having seen one as high as No. 1,200 at
Buenos Ayres, where they are all numbered, and, it is to be presumed,
at Monte Video likewise. It is hardly necessary to say that there is a
strong rivalry between the two ports for this kind of trade, and also in
numerous other respects; but Monte Video has immeasurably the advantage
as a harbour, and it might be rendered as commodious as any in the world
by a little energy and judicious outlay. It is much to be regretted
that this peaceful rivalry should not be the predominant incentive to
mercantile action, instead of each country wasting its strength and
energies in interminable political squabbles. But both have paid so
bitterly for the indulgence of these internecine animosities, that they
are at length beginning to learn charity and reciprocal indulgence of
each other’s foibles; and there is a reasonable probability that this
mutual comparative toleration is the precursor of joint stability of
institutions, and of that solid and progressive prosperity of which each
is so eminently capable. A most remarkable evidence of the growth of this
better spirit was afforded on the occasion of some disturbances in the
Banda Oriental, at the close of last year, when the authorities at Buenos
Ayres actually offered to place their vessels of war at the disposal
of the Uruguayan authorities, for the maintenance of peace and order.
This the latter were fortunately able to preserve without extraneous
aid; the proffer of which, from such a quarter, augurs the advent of
an era when peace as well as plenty shall take up its abiding place in
these luxuriant regions, from which it seems to have fled from the hour
the white man set foot upon the soil. But the good time, so ardently
desiderated, is not yet exactly arrived; for such is the fluctuating
condition of things in these countries, that almost every alternate mail
brings accounts that upset all one’s previous calculations, and hardly
is the ink dry with which we record our felicitations on the seeming
solidity of peace, when tidings of civil broils once more open the door
of incertitude as to the present, and the worst apprehensions as to the
future. But Brazil is now the great peace-maker, and, as long as she is
so, outrage at least is impossible.

One of the old defences of Monte Video is a Spanish wall, of which only
a portion remains, with a Moorish-looking gateway, which has a very
picturesque air about it, contrasting with the modern appearance of the
houses near it. Through the gateway is visible a large quadrangular
building, apparently used as a barrack in former times, but now
appropriated to a much more useful purpose, that of a public market;
and early in the morning may be seen dozens of people going to and fro
with their purchases for the day—meat, fish, and fine vegetables. The
latter appear to be in profusion; and some cauliflowers were far the
largest I ever saw. Things of this sort are dear, owing to the limited
cultivation, which is carried on chiefly by the Basque population,
whilst the boatmen who ply for hire about the port are Italians to a
man.[80] Some idea may be formed of the scarcity of labourers, when the
commonest cannot be got on board ship for less than 2 dollars each (eight
shillings) per day, and this must be a great drawback to the progress of
the place; otherwise, what may be seen of the soil, even close to the
walls of Monte Video, proves that anything could be grown there under
proper cultivation. Hedges of immense aloes, cactus, clover, and other
spontaneous vegetation, are everywhere visible; whilst near the edge of
the bay there is splendid granite rock, in any quantity, for building
purposes and paving the streets. True, you see no trees about, as they
were all levelled for firewood, &c.; but that the soil close to the town
can grow thousands of them, there cannot be the shadow of a doubt, and
the territory of the Uruguay itself, in many parts, is famous for its
timbered affluence. The citizens are now planting some trees, and with
peace for a few years, the outskirts of Monte Video would present a very
different appearance indeed to what they do at present. The walls of the
English burial-ground were also levelled during the siege; and there is
now only a hedge of aloes, which does not hide even the tombstones. Owing
to that and other circumstances, there is some talk of the site being
removed. Before our arrival, a revolution, attended with some bloodshed,
had again broken out, and things appeared in a very unsettled state,
finally coming to a head by a total upset of the then existing president,
Giro, and his foreign minister, Berro, who took refuge in a French vessel
of war.[81] A provisional government was soon formed, which certainly
seemed to carry with it the sympathies of the people, who, it is to be
hoped, will settle down again quietly—a consummation to which everything
that has happened, as far as is known in Europe, since our departure,
would seem to be steadily tending. Hitherto, as is notorious to every
one, the great curse of these countries is personal ambition; for no man
considers it necessary to consult the interests of his fellow-citizens
beyond what will serve his own purpose. Such a principle as that of true
patriotism, or dispensing legislation for the good of the many, was a
mere chimera, and no wonder the masses should at length kick against a
system by which they are always sufferers.

Fortunately, however, a most marked change in this respect has recently
occurred. The love of anarchic excitement has well nigh subsided, even
amongst the most volatile and hitherto inflammable portion of the
population; while the sentiment conveyed in the Shakspearean malison,
‘A plague on both your houses,’ is that uppermost in the mouths of the
really intelligent and respectable classes of every way of thinking,
when appealed to by contending chiefs, panting for public embroilment
for the sake of personal aggrandisement. A most striking, and, it is to
be hoped, conclusive, evidence of this was furnished in the case of the
recent ejection of the President Giro, or, rather, his own renunciation
of office and attempted exercise of its functions afterwards; for, rather
than join any standard, at least any that involved the disruption of
the public peace, certain classes, who had hitherto been at the beck
of every incendiary in turn, actually fled into the country and hid
themselves, for fear of being compelled to participate in scenes they
had previously so often rejoiced to riot in. The adherents of the Giro
government have since made an attempt to seize upon the power they have
so capriciously abandoned, and succeeded in producing some confusion for
a while, especially at Colonia, whence the authorities had to fly in a
whale-boat to Buenos Ayres; but the provisional executive, strong in the
pacific disposition of the whole people, as already adverted to, quickly
succeeded in restoring order, and maintained it with firmness and temper,
till Brazil has insured enduring peace.

In speaking of the overthrow or dissolution of the recent government of
President Giro, it may be necessary to state, in justice to a deserving
and distinguished public servant, Sen. Don F. Castellanos, that he had
no hand whatever in the circumstances which led to that occurrence,
having many months before resigned the office of Secretary for Foreign
Affairs, the duties of which he discharged with exemplary assiduity,
ability, and success, under the exceedingly difficult obligations imposed
upon the State of the Uruguay, subsequent to the siege being suddenly
raised by the defeat and flight of Rosas. M. Castellanos, whose personal
acquaintance I had the honour of making, is a gentleman of European as
well as American repute, being well versed in the constitutional laws
of the New World, and familiar with the institutions and literature of
the old, speaking French and English with facility and correctness.
During his administration everything possible was done to supply
that great desideratum of the Uruguay and of all the South American
states—immigration from Europe. To this end Senr. Castellanos, shortly
after he accepted office, addressed a despatch to the Consul-General for
the Republic of the Uruguay in London, commanding him to make known to
all whom it might concern, that the whole of the fertile territory of
the Banda Oriental was in a condition of perfect tranquillity, in which
it has virtually since remained, notwithstanding the sudden cessation
since of the government of which he was at the time the Foreign Minister.
He stated that the authorities were anxious to receive any number of
peaceable, well-disposed European emigrants, to whose industry they were
prepared to guarantee all the protection extended to native citizens,
together with peculiar exemptions because of their introduction of skill
and capital. Complete toleration in all matters of religious observance
was insured; and, in a word, every inducement held out to the redundant
population of the Old World to avail itself of the fruitful soil and
genial climate of a constitutionally governed country, admirably adapted
in every respect to Europeans of the Saxon and German stock, the climate
being temperate and healthy in an eminent degree, and its numerous
rivers, extensive sea-coast, and noble harbours, affording every facility
for commerce. In the present condition of our Russian trade in tallow,
for whose production this region has unlimited capabilities, as it has
for another staple—cotton—whose supply is by no means encouragingly
‘looming in the future,’ the announcement here made is likely to have
the effect of directing towards the La Plata a considerable stream
of emigration, which circumstances of various kinds—moral, sanative,
and social—may repel from quarters more alluring to the inconsiderate
millions. Indeed, we understand that a formidable ‘exodus,’ as the
phrase is, may be looked for shortly from the Rhenish provinces on the
Swiss border, to the Banda Oriental; and that an organization on a very
large scale is being matured for colonizing with Germans several hundred
thousand acres of the beautiful undulating tract on the borders of the
Rivers Arapey Grande, Arapey Chico, and the Curaeim. There is no doubt
that the causes which attract the industry and energy of the prudent
Germans in this marked manner will also draw a great number of English
agricultural settlers to the neighbourhood of a city in which so much
English capital and enterprise are being commercially employed as in
Monte Video; and a very potent stimulus to the wishes of the Uruguayan
government in this respect must be afforded by the new Liverpool line of
steamers, running monthly to Brazil and the Plata, under circumstances
very different from those that formerly characterised the Anglo steam
communication with that part of South America.

Some twelve years since, slavery was abolished in the territory of the
Republic. Many hands, then obliged to devote themselves to tillage,
abandoned it in order to occupy themselves in some other branches of
industry which appeared to them more lucrative. Agriculture, which
even then was not engaged in to any great extent, felt the blow; but
what appeared fatal to it was converted into a benefit. For slaves was
substituted free labour, because the government at once comprehended
the necessity of favouring, by all possible means, the principal branch
of industry which supports states; and agriculture, instead of dwindling
away, comparatively flourished. The abandonment of the most fertile
plains, and the prices of their produce, encouraged strangers to come
to cultivate them; and not only did agriculture gain in extent, but the
soil likewise in production, which was doubled by industry. Attracted
by the certainty of profit, and encouraged by the government, the
emigration to the Uruguay was daily increased, and vessels, loaded with
200 to 300 emigrants, continually arrived at Monte Video. More than one
company has been formed, in order, in conjunction with the government, to
promote emigration to the interior of the country and its colonization.
One, under the name of ‘Pastoral and Agricultural Company of Merinos,’
(Sociedade Agricola Pastoral de Merinos) is establishing a colony near
the village of Carmelo, to which it destines a large tract of land.
In its centre will be formed a city, under the name of Pueblo de la
Estrella; and the same colony will have a normal school of agriculture,
and a garden of acclimatization and practical essays of this science. On
the banks of the Uruguay, an agricultural colony of European families
of the same class is also being established. In the same manner a town
will be constructed there, the plan of which is being formed. Another
agricultural society of the colony has promoted an association among the
inhabitants of the city of Colonia, for the colonization of the country.
Some time ago it issued the greater portion of its shares, and, as I
learned, intended to import from the Canary Islands 50 agricultural
families, of four persons each, to whom to distribute lands, seeds,
instruments, &c. In the department of Soriano, other societies intend to
introduce 800 to 1,000 European families, who are to devote themselves to
agriculture; lastly, the necessity for the encouragement of colonization
is everywhere recognized, and its promotion is sought in every possible
way.

These and many other schemes of a somewhat similar kind are yet a very
long way indeed from fruition; and some considerable time must elapse
before they can be anything but dreams. Doubtless the disturbed state of
Europe will lend a great impetus to the immigration we have spoken of,
and the mere talk of the improvements we adverted to bespeaks a yearning
after social good that must ultimately realize its own object. For one
who knows the people well, says:—

    Of natural or unschooled talent there is a great deal there. A
    vivacious imagination is almost universal in the inhabitants;
    and in the fine language which they possess, they express
    themselves with a fluency, if not an eloquence, at which we
    seldom aim, and to which we much seldomer attain. This facility
    has grown out of their tertulia, or conversazione habits.
    Among the lawyers, the constant practice of dictating to an
    amanuensis, the definitions, reasonings, and refutations in the
    various cases in which they are retained, enable them often to
    write, and to write with fluency and elegance, upon subjects,
    the theory and bearing of which they study for the occasion. Of
    course all such writings are more plausible than profound, more
    replete with declamation than sound reasoning. The imagination
    of the South American is constantly at work; and unconsciously,
    perhaps, he is ever showing forth, among his countrymen, things
    as they ought to be, not as they are. When we hear him descant,
    in glowing and eloquent terms on civil liberty, freedom of the
    press, liberal education, privileges of the constitution, we
    fancy there must be a tolerably good foundation laid of all
    these blessings before so much could be said about them.

This naturally leads me to speak of social life in Monte Video, which,
as far as I had an opportunity of judging, is frank, cordial, and
agreeable, there being a much greater admixture of the citizens with
foreigners, and especially with English, than I observed at Lisbon,
and than I know exists in Brazil. English society in itself is also
much more extensive than I could have well believed, and is of a very
superior order—refined, intelligent, and hospitable. There is full
freedom for religious worship of every kind; and Mr. Samuel Lafone,
of the firm of Lafone Brothers, of Monte Video and Liverpool—a name
preëminent in British trade with the Plate—having, at the expense of
several thousand pounds, constructed a handsome and commodious church
for the use of his Protestant fellow-countrymen, presented it, and the
ground on which it stands (convenient to the anchorage for men-of-war),
to them in perpetuity, without the slightest reserve or expectancy of
remuneration, save the reward conveyed by the consciousness of having
done a noble act, for the best of purposes, and with the purest motives.
There are also considerable numbers of British mechanics in Monte
Video, and agriculturists and shepherds in the Republic, the climate
being humid, temperate, and bracing, like our own. The Uruguay adjoins
that fine healthy province of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, to which some
hundreds of Irish emigrants, more especially from the Barony Forth, in
the county of Wexford—admirable specimens indeed of ‘the finest peasantry
in the world’—have proceeded, within the last few years, from Liverpool,
under the auspices of Admiral Grenfell, the Brazilian Consul-General at
that port; and all the accounts they have hitherto sent home, whether
by themselves, or the pastor who accompanied them, the Rev. R. Walsh,
represent their circumstances and situation as prosperous and happy, an
admirable loamy land being obtainable, in an unlimited quantity, at a
dollar an acre. Some Anglo-South American houses also have a good many
Welch on their properties in the same province, and their reports are all
to the like effect. At still cheaper rates may yet finer land, and in a
still better climate, be obtained in the Uruguay; and from all I have
been able to see, hear, or read, I am inclined to believe that there is
no more eligible spot in the world for an intending emigrant than the
Banda Oriental, whether capitalist or labourer, whether an agriculturist,
a grazier, a wool grower, or even a cotton grower, a horse or cattle
breeder, or one skilled in the preparation of hides, horns, or tallow
for the home market; or whether he be a rural mechanic or farm servant,
or small yeoman desirous of bringing up a family in any or every branch
of husbandry. On all subjects connected with agricultural pursuits in
this region of the world, but more especially as regards the breeding of
horses, cattle, and sheep, and their preparation for the several markets
they are suited to, the excellent work of Mr. M’Cann (‘Two Thousand
Miles’ Ride through the Argentine Provinces’), may with great confidence
be recommended, as furnishing on these points a mass of information
nowhere else to be found, and valuable especially as being the result
of the author’s actual experience. My own observations were naturally
confined to the capital and its immediate vicinity; and my opinion,
therefore, on such extensive matters as those embraced by Mr M’Cann would
be of about the same value as those of a Cockney who should pronounce
on the territorial condition of England from a Sunday afternoon’s
contemplation of a suburban tea-garden. And, speaking somewhat in the
latter sense, I should say that the neighbourhood of Monte Video would
be pronounced by the sentimental gentleman in Pickwick to be the very
paradise of market gardeners, with or without gazelles, as the case might
be.

The mention of gazelles is naturally suggestive of some remarks about
certain other and biped proprietors of _beaux yeux_; but we must reserve
such matters for the next chapter, merely premising that the observations
therein offered are in every respect perfectly applicable to the fair
Monte-Videans, who are, indeed, even fairer, or at least less embrowned,
than the Buenos Ayrean belles, being, if possible, more distinctive
types of Spanish beauty, or what used to be such; for according to the
recent[82] pronunciamento of a most competent and accomplished critic,
the syrens of Southern Europe are no such great charmers after all—an
assurance that must be consolatory to the British mammas of young
Hopefuls quartered at Gibraltar. But, be that as it may, few of the
worser half of humanity will question the right of the Transatlantic
descendants of Castillian dames to the suzerainty of all beholders,
especially when to the Moresque complexion is added that distinctive
optic attribute of the Goth which the Celts so much admire, as shown in
the familiar Portuguese ditty:—

    Olhos pardos e negros
    Sao os commues;
    Mais os do minha amante
    Deos fez azues.

    Black eyes and brown
    You may every day see;
    But blue like my lover’s
    The gods made for me.

I am happy to be able to fortify my own opinion of the attractions and
conveniences of Monte Video by the very competent authority of Mr.
L. Hugh de Bonelli, secretary to Her Britannic Majesty’s legation in
Bolivia, who, in a very interesting couple of volumes, published by
Messrs. Hurst and Blackett, in the course of last month, (February,
1854,) entitled ‘Travels in Bolivia, with a Tour across the Pampas to
Buenos Ayres, &c.,’ expresses himself infinitely pleased with the place;
and his description is so felicitous that I venture to append it in a
note.[83]

[Illustration: IDA A MISA—GOING TO MASS.]

Since these remarks were written, the news from the Uruguay continues
to be of so conclusive a character as to give every assurance that this
fine country has really at last entered upon the prosperous destiny
its great natural advantages so clearly point to, provided only peace
were ensured. That peace will henceforth be preserved is now certain,
and consequently we may calculate on ordinary events following ordinary
causes, as in all other parts of the world. By the common consent of the
moderate and intelligent of all classes in the Banda Oriental, Brazil
has been solicited to assume the protectorate of the Republic. This high
and responsible trust she has undertaken in the spirit of magnanimity
and disinterestedness that will be inferred from the perusal of our
observations towards the close of the chapter on Rio Janeiro. As there
stated, Brazil has no acquisitive designs on Uruguayan territory; but
she has a design and determination to keep peace in that state for
the sake of having a quiet neighbour on her own important southern
frontier, irrespective of her natural anxiety for the advancement of
so important a portion of the South American east coast as has Monte
Video for its capital. She has not interfered, nor does she intend to
interfere, with the internal or domestic affairs of the Republic in
any way, further than securing the inhabitants the exercise of the
right to elect their own rulers, and securing to those so elected the
right of peaceably discharging their functions without the perpetual
molestations which the armed violence of military adventurers have
for so many years entailed upon all administrations in succession. As
the most essential preliminary to quietude, Brazil has undertaken to
remove one source of ever-irritating provocation and confusion from
the Uruguay, by subsidizing the government to pay what is necessary to
carry on its affairs properly and efficiently, without those pecuniary
impediments that have so frequently paralysed every administration in
turn; but Brazil has insisted that the fiscal resources of the Republic
shall not be squandered in the mere process of collection, as has been
the case hitherto. Brazil, in fact, occupies the position of a police,
who has only the one object to prevent outrage, compel the observance of
honesty, and ensure obedience not to _her_ arbitrary edicts or capricious
ordinances, but to the recognized laws of the country itself. It is
needless to say that if the native Orientals are delighted at this stable
state of things following on the anarchy that had become almost chronic,
still more so are the foreigners, who constitute so large a portion of
the wealthy and influential trading inhabitants of the capital, and of
the landed proprietary. Some suspicions have been expressed that Brazil
would convert her present position to the frustration of the liberal
commercial policy lately established between some of the adjoining
South American states and Europe, and that Paraguay may be relegated to
her former isolation once more in consequence. But nothing can be more
unfounded than such apprehension; for, apart from its being the obvious
interest of Brazil to bring all portions of the continent of which she
forms so important a section into commercial contiguity with the old
world, the former treaties between the Banda Oriental and England and
France and Sardinia, and the new ones between those latter countries and
Paraguay would necessarily demand an intervention from which Brazil would
intuitively shrink; and, moreover, the United States of North America
would immediately resent any obstructions that should impede the course
of events which she evidently contemplates by despatching a diplomatic
and consular representative to Paraguay. Altogether, then, there is
every reason to believe that the good offices of Brazil will prove of
inestimable benefit to the Uruguay, and that that Republic and England
will alike find in such offices the best auxiliary to the mutually
beneficial interests between the two countries.[84]

In Monte Video, accommodation for travellers is naturally very limited,
principally owing to the disorganized state of the city for so many
years. Still, there are some tolerably good hotels, and a fair number of
cafés and restaurants. At Buenos Ayres hotels are numerous, and so far as
my experience extended, the charges are by no means extravagant, as will
be sufficiently proved by a perusal of my bill of costs presented to me
on leaving the Hotel de Paris, where I remained some ten days, retaining
my apartments, though absent up the river nearly half the time:—

                              Paper dollars.

    Bedroom and sitting-room        210
    Breakfasts                       20
    Dinners and wine                130
    Lights                           11
                                   ----
                                    370
    Waiters and chambermaid          50
                                   ----
                                    420
                                   ----
                            Or about 5 guineas.

There are also plenty of good lodging and boarding-houses, several of
them kept by English and other foreign residents; and the increase to
this kind of accommodation appears to be only limited by the demand.



CHAPTER XII.

BUENOS AYRES.

    Departure from Monte Video.—Moonlight on the La
    Plata.—Deficiency of landing accommodation at Buenos
    Ayres.—Streets and buildings of the Argentine capital.—The
    climate and the people.—Prohibition of the slave
    trade.—General Whitelock, the Calle de Defensa, and Colonel
    Thompson.—Expedition against Monte Video.—Palermo, the country
    residence of General Rosas.—Characters of the dictator
    and his successor, Urquiza.—Donna Manueleta.—Argentine
    confederation.—Government of General Rosas.—War on the Plata
    and the Parana.—Foreign intervention and capture of Rosas’
    fleet.—Blockade of Buenos Ayres and ascent of the Parana.—The
    pass of Obligado.—Intervention of Brazil, and passage of the
    Uruguay by Urquiza.—Capitulation of General Oribe.—Battle of
    Moron, and fall of Rosas.—Fluvial obstructions to trade and
    navigation.—Buenos Ayrean washerwomen.—English residents, their
    churches and newspaper, hotels and boarding-houses.—Anglo
    intermarriages.—Railway projects.—A word on the Buenos Ayrean
    constitution.—A South American debate.—Society in Buenos
    Ayres.—The Opera-house, and its galaxy of beauty.—Foreign
    shopkeepers and Irish servants.—General Paz.

[Illustration: BUENOS AYRES FROM THE AÇOTEA OR, TERRACE OF THE QUINTA.]

    NOTE TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS.—The view preceding this chapter
    is a reduced fac simile of the drawing of the city, taken by
    Sir W. G. Ouseley, from the house, or quinta, occupied by him
    during the period he was Minister here, it having formerly
    been the residence of the two diplomatists who preceded him,
    Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Mandeville. Sir William says the dwelling
    is situated in the suburb of the city, and stands in a pretty
    garden and pleasure grounds, occupying above nine acres. The
    sketch was taken while a squall was coming on, the precursor
    of one of the hurricanes called Pamperos, but which are not
    quite peculiar to the Pampas, inasmuch as something of the same
    kind will be found to be of occasional occurrence in Brazil,
    as specified in the note to the illustration of Rio Janeiro,
    at page 150. Vessels in the Plate, and along the coast, often
    suffer severely from the Pamperos, or gales blowing over plains
    that stretch out to the foot of the Andes. These storms come
    on very suddenly, so that not unfrequently, while one part
    of the landscape is still basking in calm sunshine, the rest
    is shrouded in a dark veil, almost intercepting the light
    of day, while black clouds are impetuously swept onwards by
    the advancing gale, discharging in their course torrents
    of rain, until in a short time the whole of the horizon is
    alike inducted by the Pamperos, generally lasting for three
    days. Even experienced pilots and mariners have but short
    warning of their approach; and at certain seasons of the year
    particularly great vigilance is highly necessary to guard
    against their sudden violence. Buenos Ayres, like Monte Video
    and nearly all the towns in these provinces, is built on the
    rectangular system prescribed by the laws of the Indies, the
    streets intersecting each other at right angles every 150
    yards, forming what the Americans call regular squares or
    blocks. It does not follow, however, that this regularity
    contributes in reality either to the beauty or convenience of
    a town. It is monotonous, and the uniformity is certainly far
    less picturesque than the sort of irregularity that gives so
    pleasing an effect to the Boulevards of Paris, and to many
    parts of the older capitals of Europe. Here the more handsome
    buildings, as usual in Spanish and Portuguese America, are
    mostly of an ecclesiastical character—churches, convents,
    &c. At a distance, or softened by the shades of evening,
    they have an imposing appearance; but a nearer approach and
    bright daylight show, as in Eastern towns, that the ravages
    of time have never been checked by proper care; that few have
    ever been completely finished or repaired; and many bear
    marks of utter neglect and decay. This is especially the case
    with edifices constructed for charitable purposes and public
    buildings. Hospitals, schools, lunatic asylums, &c., were
    until lately going to ruin, and whatever funds or estates may
    have originally been granted by private or public benefactors
    for the support of these institutions, they had not been
    employed by recent governments, more especially that of Rosas,
    for their maintenance, as intended by the donors. Several of
    the streets are paved with granite, brought from the islands
    above Buenos Ayres—chiefly from Martin Garcia; but being on a
    bad principle, as the stones are neither of equal size, nor
    properly cut, they, therefore, soon become uneven and very
    trying for carriages. The unpaved ones are actually dangerous
    or impassable for vehicles with springs and horses, especially
    after heavy rains; for, there being no stones, while the soil
    is fine and of great depth, deep holes, quagmires, and pools of
    water, form in parts of them.


Leaving Monte Video for a time, let us now ascend the La Plata, and
take a peep at this far-famed Lion’s Den, where for so many years the
despotic Rosas pursued his iniquitous course with impunity. We got up
steam, and left just before dark, with a fair number of passengers for
a first trip, and any quantity of luggage belonging to them. It was a
magnificent moonlight as we glided over the great waters, for such they
may truly be called; scarcely a breath of wind, but a cold, rarified air,
that made many resort to their coats, cloaks, and any other available
covering. Our only difficulty was in making the vessel go _slow_ enough,
and even so we arrived off the outer roads long before daylight, after
which we made our way through a fleet of shipping, and the city of Buenos
Ayres was spread before us, rising, as it were, out of the water, tall
churches and domes standing forth in strong relief against a glittering
sun; but in other respects, appearances were not very inviting. After two
hours consumed in waiting for the officer to board us, we were enabled to
land—and such landing! worse even than what met the Spaniards on their
first visit; for since that time heaps of petrified mud have accumulated
on the shore, which thus looks like rock, and boats are obliged literally
to grope their way through it, going as near as they can to the land;
but the usual process is for visitors to be bundled out of the boat into
an open cart, drawn by two horses, like so many pigs or sheep, often at
the risk of being drenched. Indeed, nothing can be more wretched than
this landing at one of the finest cities of South America, which does
not possess a single jetty, wharf, pier, or accommodation of any kind in
this way, although there is a fine walk built along the margin of the
river, serving as a public promenade, but yet very little frequented.
The only redeeming point in this landing is the singularity of the turn
out, the picturesque dress and character of the drivers being again much
of the Turk, only a finer and more athletic race, with any degree of
personal activity, and no touch of pity in them towards the unfortunate
animals they ride; for there is no driving here, all done _en postilion_,
and I believe they even fish on horseback, to say nothing of begging.
The position of the roadstead is bad enough, the outer roads being five
to six miles from shore, and the inner roads from one to two miles,
(according to the position taken up,) without being subjected to such
inconvenience when you do reach the land; but on this point we shall have
some further remarks to make when reviewing the commercial character of
the place.

[Illustration: BUENOS AYRES—QUINTA, FORMERLY THE SEAT OF THE BRITISH
LEGATION.]

The unfavourable sensation produced by the vile landing and unfinished
look of the churches and buildings from the river vanishes when fairly
in the heart of the city. You are struck with astonishment at its vast
size, many well-paved streets, public buildings, and houses redolent
of luxurious comfort. Nor does a closer inspection quite remove this
impression; on the contrary, the more you examine and penetrate, the
greater the surprise that after so long a period of civil and foreign
warfare, there should still exist so much vitality. The conviction at
once forces itself upon you that there must be wealth, and no small
amount of it, somewhere.

[Illustration]

Any lengthened description of Buenos Ayres, beyond what is supplied in
the note below,[85] and that on the illustration, would be superfluous,
so many thousand English having visited and recorded their experiences
of it; but it is very questionable whether the public generally have any
adequate idea of the magnitude of the city, the extent of its inland
territory, or the leading characteristics of both. At all events, very
few works have been published from which accurate information of this
kind can be derived; the recent and most valuable one of Sir Woodbine
Parish being as yet only partially known, in consequence of its being but
a second edition of one published several years ago; and even since the
second edition appeared, scarcely two years back, there is necessity for
further information, so unstable is the condition of things, and so rapid
the mutation of momentous events in these regions. Certainly there is
ample scope for dissertation in all that comes under one’s notice here,
look with what indifference or contempt we may upon the individuals and
parties by whom political occurrences are influenced. First, as regards
the climate and people: the difference in temperature between Buenos
Ayres and Rio Janeiro at this season of the year is from 20 to 30 deg.,
and after four or five days’ sailing, you find yourself obliged to change
the lightest possible clothing for English tweeds and stout broad-cloth,
which, mindful of such vicissitude, and therein being much more provident
than some of my fellow voyagers, I had fortunately with me. It is a
precaution I would recommend all voyagers in the Plate to adopt, as it is
one that will not only save them much inconvenience at the outset, but
probably obviate a material cause of subsequent illness, consequent upon
exposure to such rapid transitions as are here experienced, especially
until the traveller becomes somewhat acclimated.

The mornings and evenings are positively cold, even according to our
English acceptation of the word; and most houses had fires in their
sitting rooms. In the day time the sun is warm and pleasant; the air of
that bracing kind which is calculated to raise the animal spirits, and
give a tone and energy to the mind. The difference, too, in the people
between this place and Brazil is remarkable:—strong, healthy-looking men,
clear complexioned, bright-eyed women, many of whom have as much bloom
on their cheeks as would become an English dairy-maid. Of course, there
is a considerable mixture of races; but the true native Buenos Ayreans
can be easily distinguished by their rather dark but clear complexion,
dark eyes, and dark hair, strongly-marked sharp features, and somewhat
aquiline nose; whilst the Guachos, or horsemen of the Pampas, the
South American Bedouins, combining the attributes of their Hispaniolan
forefathers with the later ‘blood of the desert,’ are the most
picturesque-looking objects in the world, being dressed in fancy-coloured
ponchos, with much ornamental work about them, and long, embroidered
white trousers, galloping about on equally grotesque-looking steeds. They
remind one immediately of Arab sketches, or, still more vividly, of real
Arabs, if you have been fortunate enough to have made the overland trip,
and beheld the followers of the Prophet in the land of dates, palm-trees,
and dromedaries; many of these Guachos being, also, immensely muscular,
fine-looking men. Numerous black faces are also to be seen here, the
owners thereof being all free, and mostly occupied as regular soldiers,
as likewise at Monte Video.

[Illustration: VENDEDOR DE PTALCES—SWEETMEAT-SELLER.]

Buenos Ayres literally forms a regular chess-board, as the plans of the
city show. It is about four miles square, and supposed to contain nearly
100,000 inhabitants; but as no census has ever been taken, this is only
conjecture: some asserting that there are 120,000, others, not 80,000;
and others again, as low as 50,000.[86] At all events, the mass of the
houses being well occupied, rents are very high, paying the owners from
12 to 20 per cent. per annum; so there would appear to be plenty of
occupants, and great encouragement to go on building. The same remark
as to the description, extent, and elegance, of private houses, applies
here precisely as in the capital of the Uruguay, only that they are ten
to one in number, more costly and elegant; indeed, the city itself,
compared with Monte Video, is as London to Liverpool, the great maritime
and commercial advantages and facilities of the one being regarded as an
equivalent, and perhaps more than an equivalent, to the architectural and
general urban superiority of the other. The size of the (fifteen) Buenos
Ayrean churches is something marvellous; and it is impossible to enter
them without admiring these monuments of the power and wealth exercised
by the Jesuits, as well as of that undaunted tenacity of Spanish
character which could erect such huge piles in a country where there are
neither bricks, mortar, nor stones on the spot, all having to come from a
distance. But, as we have said, the brick-work in many of them has never
been completed; and they look very bad when contrasted with the glaring
white of other parts of the building, covered with large patches of
grass and rubbish. The cathedral is the crowning point of Buenos Ayrean
attractions, only more modern, and the exterior is in the same unfinished
state as much older edifices; the interior being gorgeously ‘fitted up’
with numerous side altars and oratories, well cleaned, lighted, and
ventilated, with numerous glass chandeliers down the nave. There is less
tinsel and glare than in many Roman Catholic churches in Europe, but more
solidity and pleasing effect; nor can a stranger help expressing surprise
on entering so fine a building, whose architectural merit is enhanced by
its situation in so handsome a square, the other sides being occupied by
the Cabilda, or police-office, and good shops and dwelling-houses, with
striking piazzas. There is also an ornamental archway on the side facing
the sea, looking towards the old fort and government house, together with
a pillar in the centre of the square, to commemorate the independence of
the country. This square has been the scene of many important political
changes: it was here that our brave soldiers under General Whitelock
forced their way, and from the Square Manzo, what is now styled Calle
de Defensa (Defence-street), by which the troops entered the town, and
were shot down from the flat tops of the houses,[87] without the power or
means of defending themselves. It does not require a military eye to see
the error and folly of the tactics pursued in this melancholy business,
nor to be satisfied with how little trouble and loss of life such an
army as the British, so circumstanced, could have reduced a city like
Buenos Ayres, even supposing they had preferred a more summary process to
that of starving out the enemy. There was an infatuation about the whole
affair for which it is difficult to account, especially when coupled
with the gratuitous surrender of Monte Video, under the same terms as
those which ensured the capitulation of Whitelock, a clause inserted
by the Spanish general, Liniers, without the least idea that it would
be acceded to. But, at that period, imbecility and absurdity the most
incredible seemed to preside at our military councils, leading to the
same futile and mortifying results as had characterized our operations
in Walcheren and elsewhere in Europe, some few years before. With Monte
Video and Buenos Ayres under our flag, it is difficult to conjecture what
might not have been the fate of a country traversed by boundless rivers,
and in every way so admirably adapted to the agricultural pursuits of
Englishmen. The tide of emigration from our own shores would then, in
all probability, have flowed freely towards this part of the world, and
the United States of North America have taken considerably more time to
develope themselves, and to have attained their present position, which,
of course, has been reached mainly in consequence of the enormous influx
of the redundant bone, sinew, and brain of Europe. On such slight threads
and events does the destiny of nations often hang. But it is time that we
leave speculation for fact.

The name of Rosas has been so long identified with Buenos Ayres, that
you no sooner find yourself within the recent sphere of his undisputed
and unquestioned domination than you naturally ask, where exist the
monuments of his activity, and the proofs of his successful promotion
of the interests of this his dependent capital? Beyond a large town
residence, which he built for government purposes, a country residence,
called Palermo, and a mole constructed in front of the sea, there is
nothing to mark the reign of a man desirous of elevating the character of
his countrymen in the scale of civilized nations, or of contributing to
their commercial prosperity. In spite of civil wars and bad government,
the city of Buenos Ayres has contrived to extend itself, although the
country round it is, more or less, in a state of desolation; but he has
failed to leave any enduring personal impress, either outside or inside,
of those walls where for many years he ruled lord of life and means, and
almost of thought, so comprehensive and exhaustive was his despotism. The
town residence alluded to is now occupied by the executive for public
purposes, and the private one at Palermo will soon go to ruin and decay.
This latter characteristic evidence of selfish gratification, without
either taste, utility, or architectural design, has cost endless sums
of money; but the approximate extent of the outlay will never be known.
Palermo is built on a swampy bank of the river, with only a ground floor,
at times several feet under water, which must be a prolific source of
fever and ague. It is reported of Rosas, that on one occasion the water
was so high, that the cook sent him word he could not dress his dinner;
but on ascertaining that the kitchen-fires were not out, the command was
to prepare the meal forthwith. The unfortunate subterranean ruler of the
roast did so at once, congratulating himself that he only suffered the
penalty of a severe attack of rheumatism, instead of the more summary
visitation wherewith the dictator generally followed up the slightest
implied opposition to his wishes, even in so trumpery a matter as the one
we speak of.

[Illustration: PALERMO—FORMERLY THE RESIDENCE OF ROSAS.]

A good level road has been carried from the city to Palermo, at
considerable expense, the approach being ‘through an avenue of willows,’
made to look as park-like as possible. About the house, or palace,
as it might have been called in the days of its glory, are numerous
out-buildings and barracks for cavalry, of which Rosas always kept
a strong body-guard, as might naturally have been expected from his
antecedents, he having principally risen to power in the first instance
among his fellow guachos by the superior daring and dexterity of his
horsemanship; added, of course, to his extreme adroitness in turning to
his own account the dissentions of his rivals in the race for power.
Passing the house, down another long avenue towards the river, you are
surprised at seeing a large vessel, evidently fitted up for some special
purpose. It appears she was driven ashore there in some heavy gale; and
Rosas had her converted into a pleasure house, where balls and parties
were held—another toy or plaything suited to the character of the man.
Nature being found rather stubborn in yielding to the wishes of the
owner of Palermo, immense sums were expended in planting orange trees,
ever-greens, and exotics, of one kind or another, which were brushed and
combed daily, and coaxed into a sickly existence; but it would not do.
Nothing but willows flourish, or will continue to flourish, over the
dilapidated abode from which issued many a bloody decree of this Borgia
of the Pampas.

I have no wish to say anything unnecessarily harsh of Rosas: on the
contrary, knowing, as I do, what was the state of parties in this portion
of South America, I am quite willing to admit the extreme exigency of
his position in the first instance, as one who must put down, with an
iron, and even a remorseless, hand, that universal anarchy and violence
in the midst of which he attained the eminence of being the most daring
and sanguinary member of a community of semi-civilized brigands. But what
should silence, or rather should have silenced, for they are all mute
enough now, his well-paid eulogists and defenders, is the continuance
of mean and miserable cruelties, long after the faintest pretext for
their perpetration on political grounds had passed away. I will not
shock the reader by a revival of stories at which one’s blood runs
cold. He is gone; fled as ignominiously as he had lived detestably;
and, notwithstanding his gangs of gorged assassin friends, who would
profit by his return, he has left none behind who bless his memory.
If any proof were wanted, this would be conclusive, as to the purely
selfish career of the man; for even a comity of crime evokes no benison
on the head of the expelled despot, who never thought of anything but
the aggrandisement of himself and family, at the expense of the national
treasury. The revulsion of popular feeling towards him is only what might
have been anticipated, though hardly, perhaps, to the extent that has
actually taken place, considering the length of time he ruled, and the
immense number of personal retainers one would have thought he might have
contrived to attach to him. Some of these remained faithful after his
fall, to the length of employing a portion of the ample funds left behind
him to endeavour to promote his recall.

There has been an end of this for some time, and, consequently, a
cessation of the intrigues arising from it. Urquiza, his sometime
successor in the dictatorship, and the present President of the Argentine
Confederation, (though long since repudiated by the principal state of
the confederacy, Buenos Ayres, itself), extended to Rosas the almost
unheard-of generosity of sparing his so-called private property—property
which he wrung from the state, and which, on his departure, was employed
by his myrmidons to effect the expulsion of Urquiza, and bring about
the restoration of the elder tyrant. The former object it undoubtedly
greatly helped to accomplish; in the latter it entirely failed; for,
though Urquiza certainly entered upon unwise courses, was too precipitate
and sweeping in his changes, and mistook violence for vigour, in many
instances, as was not unnatural in a soldier fresh from another country,
for the province of which he was president, Entre Rios, may be called
so, still, from all I could learn among dispassionate critics, it would
seem that he and the citizens, friends of order, would soon have become
reconciled to each other, and there would have been a mutual softening
of acerbities, were it not for the emissaries of Rosas being enabled,
by the means just mentioned, to foment those antagonist feelings which
eventually led to the siege and blockade, by Urquiza, of the very place
he had so lately freed from the presence of the despot. Whatever may
have been the faults of Urquiza, and they certainly find no apologist
in me, his brief tenure of supreme power was sufficiently long to
prove that he was altogether a man of superior stamp to Rosas, whose
selfishness lacked even the ambition to make his tyranny respectable,
in the sense that the most narrow-minded of oppressors have endeavoured
to do elsewhere. Francia, whilst isolating Paraguay from all the world,
contrived to make the Paraguayans proud of their country, and to cause
others to believe that that pride was not altogether unfounded. Not so
with Rosas: short-sighted as Francia, he had not a particle of the lofty
feeling which influenced that gloomy bigot; for, while endeavouring to
render Buenos Ayres powerful, it was all for himself individually; and
he cared not to give the Buenos Ayreans an interest in saying that the
tyrant who ground them was otherwise than simply hateful, and that what
he achieved for them in the eyes of foreigners was purely contemptible.
Saying nothing of the total absence, under his regime, of any commercial
convenience, as already pointed out, not a single thing was done during
his sway that had for its object real internal improvement. No newspapers
were allowed to appear, except those under his sanction, in the same way
as the one St. Petersburgh journal under the Czar’s surveillance. Not a
single literary, historical, descriptive, or local work was allowed to
be published or sold in Buenos Ayres, and barely a common-place almanack
could be procured; so that to the present day you cannot find such a
thing in the city as the slightest evidence that the mind of the whole
population was otherwise than embruted to the level of helots, which
indeed was virtually the case all the time his blighting influence was
in the ascendant. The answer to any inquiry at the shops for works of
information about either the city or provinces, during that period, is
invariably the same, ‘Rosas did not permit their publication!’ The
consequence is, you are obliged to grope your way along, and glean what
you can from those you meet.

The rationale of this argument is altogether incomprehensible; for
how are we to understand what could be his motive for such conduct at
home, when we know that he was particularly assiduous, by means of the
French, English, and even German press, and through every instrument of
publicity he could influence, whether on stock exchanges, in diplomatic
circles, or in fashionable coteries, to disseminate through Europe the
belief that his capital was the abode of luxurious and intellectual
enjoyment of every kind, its inhabitants delighted with his paternal
sway, and that any interference on behalf of the unfortunate Uruguayans
or others of his victims, external or domestic, was to be deprecated as
the most irremediable of calamities, not merely to Buenos Ayres itself,
but the whole of South America? That he succeeded in propagating this
belief in some of the best informed quarters of Europe, particularly
in England, is but too well known; and it is not a little curious that
almost simultaneously with his arrival here, there appeared in certain
organs, influenced by him, loud praises of a Hamburgh publication devoted
to the exposition of the wisdom of his commercial policy, and ridiculing
the notion of the affluents of the Plata ever being opened to European
trade. But he and his system have passed away, and the memory of them is
fast departing too in the coming of that better time which is believed
to be at hand. His brother arrived in Europe in January last, despairing
of any restoration of the family fortunes whatever; so I take leave of
a topic that has become as obsolete as it would have been disagreeable
to pursue it; and shall make no apology for the omission in these pages
of anecdotic scandals,[88] for which readers at one time looked, as
a matter of course, in every book professing to treat of the terrible
Dictator, and eke of his famous daughter, the Donna Manueleta, who has
been married (to a South American) since her father’s arrival in England,
and now lives, I believe, in the neighbourhood of Southampton. Unwilling
to dwell on the political complications in the Plate, and, at the same
time, fearing it would be a contradiction of the desire expressed in the
preface, to render this volume as informing as possible, especially to
readers who may draw from it for the first time their knowledge of South
American matters, I append, in a note, from the excellent geographical
work of Mr. Charles Knight, now (1854) in course of publication[89] by
Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, a brief, but comprehensive and dispassionate
statement of recent incidents in the Argentine Confederation, and have
added a few particulars, which, together, will, it is hoped, bring
the narrative of occurrences necessary to be known down to the period
of going to press, without the occupation of much space, or tediously
encumbering the text with minutiæ of proper names, dates, and places, for
these are really of little value to the general reader save for purposes
of reference.

The view of the port of Buenos Ayres (if it can be called a port) from
the flats of the houses is picturesque, vessels lying at anchor as
far as the eye can reach. On the left, towards Palermo, is some high
ground, with numerous pretty-looking villa residences; on the right, is
the old fort, afterwards the custom-house, warehouses, and depôts of
various kinds; further on, what is called the Boca, or Mouth, a small
river, where large numbers of minor craft discharge and load in safety;
but, at times, it is difficult even for them to get out, owing to an
accumulation of sand at the river’s mouth which Rosas might have kept
open, but made a really effectual effort to close it. Looking seaward,
swarms of carts are visible going to and from lighters or small vessels
at anchor in the inner road, the only means by which shipping can be
discharged or loaded, the merchandise exposed of course to damage from
being wet, as the horses are often up to their chests, and the cart
itself even higher, in the water, through which it has to be dragged
for a mile and upwards. The wonder is how any trade whatever can be
carried on under such disadvantages. Another singular feature in the
vicinage of the landing place is to see the shore covered with garments
of cotton and linen undergoing every stage of the ablutionary process,
the Buenos Ayrean naiads of the oceanic wash-tub converting the Atlantic
to a purpose undreamed of by the Mesdames Partington of the elder
world. As far as the eye can reach the detergent sisterhood may be seen
of an afternoon, like the laundry-maid in the fable, ‘spreading out
their clothes;’ and their gesticulations, and the chattering they keep
up, especially if there is a squall blowing, and one can hear their
shrill treble piping fitfully above the blast at intervals, recalls a
recollection of the Witches’ Dance as played by Paganini, if you ever
happen to have heard that weird fantasia on one string; or, if not,
perhaps you will be inclined to account for what must have been the
sensation of Columbus and his companions, on nearing the shores of the
new world, when, according to Rogers,

              The sound of harpy wings they heard
    And shrieks, not of men, were mingling in the blast.

[Illustration: LAS LABANDERAS—THE LAUNDRESSES.]

[Illustration: PLAZA DE LA VICTORIA.]

[Illustration: BOTICA—CHEMIST’S SHOP.]

We have said there is a large foreign population, some say 50,000; but
though that must be a great exaggeration, there are at all events some
5000 English of all denominations, many being small tradesmen, and not
a few owners of cattle and cultivators of the soil in the province; the
Anglo Buenos Ayrean community mustering altogether in sufficient strength
to support liberally a well-conducted though not always impartial local
organ of their own, in their own language, called the _British Packet_,
which holds somewhat the same rank among the family of John Bull on
the East coast of South America that _Galignani_ does in Paris—saving
the political neutrality of the latter. There is a tolerably handsome
well-frequented English, and several other protestant churches, nearly
all of which have good schools in connection with them; as have also the
places of worship belonging to the Germans, who muster to the number of
about 900, or nearly equal to the Scotch; but the governmental influence
exercised over these schools renders them less satisfactory to the
parents of the children than could be desired. It is to be hoped that
now there is a stable form of administration established, there will be a
reformation in this respect; for, from the circumstance of Buenos Ayres
possessing many institutions for the promotion of science, for painting
and drawing, and some excellent libraries, not saying anything of several
good newspapers, which, though in Spanish, are very useful to the foreign
inhabitants, the city is perhaps one of the best for educational purposes
in South America. Indeed, there is a very English aspect in many features
of Buenos Ayres, not the least prominent of which are perhaps the hotels
and boarding-houses, several of these establishments being conducted by
English people, and by natives of the United States. Anglo intermarriages
with the natives are frequent, and a few years of peace and tranquillity
here, as at Monte Video, would give a wonderful impetus to population,
and to the trade of the place. Some railway projects were being talked
of when I was there, and still more sanguinely since I left. These, if
undertaken by joint stock companies on the spot, may be carried out
with remunerative success; but the government are totally helpless in
the present state of their finances. One railway scheme, from the mole
round to the custom-house along the margin of the river, would be a great
public convenience, and easily made. Railways and steam navigation must
be established, to drive these countries a-head, or they will recede
into a state of semi-barbarism. They cannot stand still, or remain in
their present normal condition; and it is to be hoped they will take
heart of grace from the position and example of Brazil, which shows
that it is not climate, race, geographical position, nor fertility of
soil, that gives prosperity to a country; but 1st, peace, and, above all,
internal peace; and, 2ndly, a determination to avail of the advantages
which peace alone permits of, when it is a peace secured, not by the
leaden despotism of a Paraguayan Francia or a Muscovite Nicholas, but
by a constitutional government, rendering every man equal in the eye of
the law, and rendering the law equally applicable to every man’s case,
from the President or Emperor, to the humblest citizen, whatever his
creed, colour, or profession. In reference to the system of government
prevailing in Buenos Ayres, it is only necessary to say that, like all
the South American republics, nominal freedom is maintained on the widest
basis. Forty-four deputies, one-half of whom are elected every year by
the people, compose the junta, or legislative assembly, by whom the
governor,[90] or captain-general, is chosen for three years, he being
altogether unfettered in his choice of ministry, but their policy must
of course be acceptable to the junta to be rendered effective, as in
the case of the British Cabinet and House of Commons. The provisional
governor now in office is Don Manuel Pinto; and from all I could hear,
his conduct, and that of his ministers, is regarded with as much general
favour as could be reasonably expected, considering his and their
exceedingly anomalous position. For it is to be remembered that Buenos
Ayres is, _de jure_, a province of the Argentine Confederation, and yet
_de facto_, separated from it, the difficulty being to determine how far
either condition is acceptable, or the contrary, whether to the Buenos
Ayreans themselves, or to any, and how many, of the other provinces,
whose constancy to any one view, whether as affecting their individual or
federative status, cannot be counted upon for a month together. I had not
an opportunity of attending the Buenos Ayrean Assembly, but believe that
the description given of that at Rio is tolerably applicable to it, and
that both, and indeed those of all the states of the continent, were very
accurately pourtrayed by Mr. Robinson several years ago, nothing whatever
having occurred since to qualify his sketch, viz.,—

[Illustration: VISTA DE UNA CASA SOBRE EL RIO—VIEW OF A HOUSE ON THE
RIVER.]

    The form of South American debates is this: members take their
    seats, having previously assembled in an ante-room, till a
    sufficient number is collected to constitute what is called
    a ‘sala,’ and by us, ‘a house.’ The government secretaries
    or ministers have their respective places, but no vote in
    the house. The president (or speaker) sits at a table on a
    platform raised above the level of the room. There is a bell
    at his right-hand, with which he tinkles to order. He has a
    secretary on either side of him; and one or two reporters are
    seated immediately under him. In some places, the members
    speak in a sitting position, which, to an Englishman, has
    an awkward effect. In other places they mount up into a
    ‘tribuno,’ or rostrum. By the former position the graces and
    vehemence of action are precluded; and by the latter, not only
    does action become a mere studied display, but the notion of
    business is superseded by the expectancy of a formal oration.
    We cannot reconcile it to ourselves in the one case, to see a
    man sitting and taking his snuff-box out, during the heat of
    debate (himself being at once the snuffer and the speaker),
    any more than in the other we can feel ourselves warmed by
    the over-wrought rapidity of action of a mercurial spirit,
    or the measured solemnity of a grave one, putting forth its
    ebullitions from a box, of which the sides are too high for
    elbow-room. South American members of parliament, in the
    exercise of a politeness not in use with ours, do not at once
    rise to speak, but preface all they have to say with a ‘pido
    la palabra,’ that is, ‘I desire leave to speak.’ The president
    nods assent. His eye has been caught; and the honourable
    member proceeds in a strain, that, in accordance, at first,
    with the modesty of his appeal, rises by degrees, into such
    rude charges, and round assertions against his opponents,
    as to draw from them, long before he has finished, loud and
    frequent interruptions, much denial of premises, and motioning
    of the hand and head, as if to say, ‘You shall have an answer.’
    This impatience often proceeds so far, not on the part of the
    immediate opponent alone, of the speaking member, but of all
    who take a different view of the case, that the president is
    obliged to tinkle many times the bell by which he calls the
    members to order before he can procure it; and no sooner is
    it procured, than it is again interrupted. There are frequent
    calls, during the heat of debate, for the ‘quarto intermedio,’
    or quarter of an hour’s rest; and few subjects, indeed, are
    ever deemed of interest enough to warrant a prolongation of
    the morning sitting, which ends at two o’clock P.M., or of
    the evening one, which closes at nine. In an early congress
    of Buenos Ayres, some point was discussed of such unusual
    importance, that at five o’clock in the afternoon the sitting
    had not come to a close. At this hour, a worthy but rather
    gastronomic member rose and said: ‘Gentlemen, I beg you to
    observe, that if we thus prolong our debates beyond our
    regular dinner-hour, these political discussions will at last
    land us in our graves.’ He was cheered by all the old doctors
    present; and more regular hours were thenceforth observed. Mr.
    Brotherton would be a well-supported member in the Buenos Ayres
    House of Commons.

[Illustration: IDA AL BAILE—GOING TO THE BALL.]

The _agremens_ of social life for natives, and, what is still more rare
in South American cities, for foreigners, are numerous. Not only are
there comfortable Club-Houses, to which they resort in considerable
numbers, but there is the opera for lovers of music—an art, or rather a
passion pursued here with even greater devotion than in the rival sister
city of the Plate, of which we have spoken in the previous chapter; but
here of course this passion is far more effectually administered to
than at Monte Video, because of the presence of a well-supported and
very effective lyric corps. As with ourselves at home, to be sure, the
opera-house is resorted to not exclusively because of its chromatic or
choreographic allurements, but for the fashion of the thing, and, on
the part of the male sex, for the sake of the opportunity of witnessing
the Buenos Ayrean belles, who, on such occasion, are seen to infinite
advantage, probably even more so than on the Prado, in all the magic
of mantilla, and that peculiarly bewitching gait they derive from
their Andalusian mammas. Much as I had heard before-hand of what Lord
Palmerston, in describing aldermen’s wives at Lord Mayors’ dinners, calls
the ‘galaxy of beauty’ which assembles in the Buenos Ayrean Opera-House,
I was altogether unprepared for the reality; and certainly I never saw
so many charming looking women collected together, especially in a part
of the theatre corresponding to our upper boxes, but here nicknamed the
Hen-Coop, into which sanctum none of the worser half of humanity is
admitted any more than is the better half in the Omnibus Box in Covent
Garden, or what used to be such when there was a place once known as
Her Majesty’s Theatre. Unlike our Omnibus Box, however, the Hen-Coop
admits of its occupants being seen by the whole house, and the privilege
is apparently no less gratifying to those who dispense than those who
participate in it. In the regular dress boxes, ladies and gentlemen
mingle as with us; and whether in mien, physiognomy, or manners, may
challenge comparison with any audience I have ever seen anywhere. The
Buenos Ayrean ladies are social and unreserved, without the least degree
of boldness or effrontery; they mix freely with foreigners, and go about
out of doors without either duenna or cavalier servente. The peculiar
custom of seeming exclusiveness at the theatre just alluded to, arises
from a wish to go unattended whenever they feel disposed, in their
regular sitting or house dresses, which evince great natural taste and
simplicity, and not from any wish to avoid the company of the other sex.
Coming out of the theatre, they are met by their brothers, parents, or
husbands, and walk home as unceremoniously as they go. Among their other
accomplishments should be included a peculiarly graceful equestrianism,
which invariably excites the admiration of all Europeans in a marked
degree, and not the least so of the English, who pursue the sports of
the turf with the ardour which our countrymen carry with them for that
pastime wherever they go. The Buenos Ayrean races are very popular
with the inhabitants; and in return their fetes and festivals find
considerable favour in British eyes.[91]

[Illustration: PIESTAS MAYAS.—MAY-DAY IN BUENOS AYRES.]

Since the restoration of peace, consequent upon the raising of the
blockade by Urquiza, the trade of Buenos Ayres has wonderfully improved,
and not only as regards the exports of the staples of the Plate of
which we have already spoken, but in the imports of all manner of
European luxuries;[92] and the letters that continue to be received here
by every mail represent the animation in commercial circles as most
buoyant.[93] There is now the greatest reason to believe that this state
of things will long continue, or at least not be terminated by civil war,
notwithstanding the fact of Urquiza having been re-appointed President
of all the provinces of the Confederation, with the exception of that of
Buenos Ayres. Brazil, having effected the tranquillization of the Banda
Oriental, must of course be equally solicitous for the peace of the
whole region on either side of the Plate; and now that the Uruguay is
thus effectually closed against the machinations of any of the agitators
of the Confederation, it is to be presumed that the object for which
this country[94] made such costly but abortive efforts will at length be
accomplished, and in a great degree by the instrumentality that would
have been employed there had judicious advice been followed, viz. by the
firm mediation of Brazil.

While these pages were going through the press, there have occurred, or
rather the recollection has been revived, of some circumstances that
induce me to supply a few details I did not originally contemplate.

[Illustration: URQUIZA AND ROSAS.]

Though on a small scale, the preceding sketches of these remarkable
men are excellent likenesses, in either of which the physiognomist and
phrenologist may find it difficult to decipher attributes that should
reconcile the requirements of science with the characteristics of the
individual. First, as regards the elder of the two. Not only did Rosas
incur unexampled odium by his cruelties in a sphere where what would be
regarded as barbarity elsewhere is looked upon as laudable firmness of
disposition, but he enjoyed a reputation for a caustic pleasantry and
wit, such indeed as pertained to many of the most remarkable tyrants of
all ages, in all parts of the world; though, perhaps, less so to those
of Spanish idiosyncrasy than any others. As he has now been expelled,
beyond the possibility of restoration, from the scene of his prolonged
enormities, I should not seek to revive the recollection of them, or
to disturb the quietude of his declining years in his retreat in this
country by now adverting to them, were it not that some of the most
singular, and, as it was alleged by many of his salaried partizans in
Europe at the time, some of the most apocryphal, have suddenly been
rehabilitated with indisputable truth, and surrounded with a degree
of interest not unworthy of one of M. Dumas’ romances, under the
circumstances named in the annexed paragraph, which appeared in the
leading English journal while these pages were being prepared for the
press, viz.:—

    Two more of the ‘mashorqueros’ have been condemned and shot—a
    fate they so richly merited. One of them, it is said, confessed
    to having assassinated no less than 21 persons by the orders
    of Rosas, and 19 on his own account. It is said the Government
    is in possession of undoubted proof of the murder of the
    English family (Kidd), when Mr. Ouseley was in Buenos Ayres in
    1845, by the orders of Rosas; and that it is their intention
    to place these proofs before the British Government. This,
    however, may be a work of supererogation, as it is believed
    here that Mr. Ouseley sent home ample proofs of the facts many
    years ago, as well as proofs of the deliberate murder of the
    midshipman Ross some time after.

In order to understand the meaning of the strange term used in the first
line of the preceding quotation, it may be necessary for the information
of the younger reader,—for during Rosas’ sway the phrase occurred too
frequently to need explanation to any one who perused the revolting
reports from the Plate—to supply an elucidation. This cannot be better
done than in the words addressed by the Uruguayan Agent in this country,
General O’Brien, to the then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and present
Prime Minister of England, in 1844, when seeking British assistance
against the Buenos Ayrean oppressor of the Banda Oriental. The General
said:—

    The Masorcas, or secret affiliation, in support of Rosas’s
    government, derives its name from the inward stalk of the
    maize, when deprived of its grain, and has been used by the
    members of the clubs as an instrument of torture, of which
    your Lordship may form some idea when calling to mind the
    agonizing death inflicted upon Edward II. By the members of
    this club, assassination of those indisposed to the rule of
    Rosas was, audaciously in some instances, covertly in more,
    constantly exercised. Amongst the victims was Maya, the first
    benefactor of Rosas. The estates of all who fell by the hands
    of the band of Rosas, as well as of those who fled from his
    vengeance, were seized by him. His absolute command of Buenos
    Ayres, and his possession of the bank, enabled him to manage
    the finances of the country, and in 1842 gave to him an army
    of 10,000 men. Many were collected by fear, from the positive
    knowledge that, if they did not obey his summons, their fate
    would be similar to that of men who, having refused to join his
    troops, were dragged out of their beds at night by members of
    the Masorca Club, and in the very presence of their wives and
    children brutally put to death! Like as it happened with the
    early revolutionary armies of France, which had commissioners
    from the Convention, the soldiers of Rosas were accompanied by
    individuals of the Masorca Club, and they but too faithfully
    executed the commission confided to them, depriving the victims
    of Rosas’s vengeance or suspicion of life, amid tortures and
    cruelties that shock humanity but to hear of them. My Lord, I
    know of these tortures being inflicted. At the time that Oribe
    invaded the Banda Oriental, with the army and the Masorca
    commissioners of Rosas, I was residing on my estate in the
    country. I am aware of wretches being staked into the ground
    forty-eight hours before their heads were sawed, not cut,
    off;—of the lasso being flung over persons’ necks, and then
    drawn by a horse at full speed until life became extinct;—of
    spikes being driven into the mouths of human beings, and they,
    whilst living, thus nailed to trees.

Of the way in which such machinery was capable of being used by such a
man as Rosas, we may form an idea from General O’Brien’s description of
his antecedents:—

    Rosas is known to me for five-and-twenty years. For his early
    education he was indebted to Maza, afterwards president of
    the Buenos Ayres congress. His calling in life was that of a
    ‘Capataz,’—or care-taker of the property of his relatives, the
    Anchorenas, and this brought him into constant intercourse with
    the wild Indian tribes of the Pampas. He ingratiated himself
    greatly with these tribes, for he not only conformed himself to
    their habits, but he also won the favour of their Caciques by
    presents, judiciously distributed amongst them. This was his
    state of life until 1820, when the influence of his kinsmen,
    the Anchorenas, obtained for him the lieutenant-colonelcy of
    the militia of the frontiers of the Indian territory. It was
    then, and not till then, that he appeared as a soldier. It was
    to aid Martin Rodriguez in a successful revolution; but once
    the victory of his friend had been secured, he again retired
    to the Pampas, put himself in contact with the Patagonian
    and Pampa Indians, and thus added to his popularity and his
    influence amongst that savage race of men. Rosas maintained
    his friendly relations with the Indians until the civil war,
    in 1829, in Buenos Ayres. In that war the President Dorrego
    was shot by Lavalle, and Rosas at once became the head of
    the party of Dorrego. With the death of Dorrego commence the
    calamities of that part of the world. The conduct, the bearing,
    and the demeanour of Rosas, were such as to obtain for him
    universal approbation. He gained in his favour the opinions
    of the good, whilst he was concocting schemes for winning the
    bad. He left the society of civilized men, and again repaired
    to the Indians. It was under his auspices, it has since been
    discovered, that the Indians were incited to attack the
    property of those who were civilized; and their hostility was
    especially directed by Rosas against all whom he believed would
    be capable or disposed to resist his attempts at possessing
    himself of despotic power. He established a camp, which had all
    the privileges of a sanctuary for every malefactor of every
    district, from Buenos Ayres to Upper Peru and the Cordilleras
    of the Andes. His protectorate of crime was not avowed, but
    it was actively exercised. It shielded the criminal from the
    punishment of man, and it won impunity by the perpetration of
    new atrocities upon all who were suspected by Rosas. Between
    1829 and 1833, Rosas laid the foundation for that despotism
    which he has since exercised. The means he employed were
    worse even than the object itself, for they consisted in ‘the
    organization of a band of assassins.’ I assure your lordship
    there is not the slightest exaggeration in the phrase.

A French writer whom we shall again have occasion to quote at the
conclusion of this chapter, in explanation of the causes which lead to
that indifference to the lives of others which distinguishes the guachos,
describes a characteristic trait of Rosas, which it is necessary to
understand, viz.—

    Every one who has visited the provinces of La Plata, and has
    written about General Rosas, has spoken of his energy, his
    patience, his cleverness, and his cruelty; but there is that in
    him which is paramount to all his other qualities, and which
    may be said to be the most prominent trait of his character,
    and that is his science in mendacity, his skill in working out,
    even to a most perfect system—a gigantic scheme of lying. It
    is an accomplishment in which he never has been equalled, and
    never can be surpassed. It would be difficult to convey an idea
    of the degree to which this faculty has been developed in the
    dictator of Buenos Ayres. The only explanation of his being
    permitted to exercise power for such a length of time, is to be
    found in this instrument of action, and which he has employed
    at all times and in all places with a perseverance that cannot
    but excite our wonder. Are the acts of his government denounced
    to the indignation of Europe, he audaciously denies them even
    to the very face of those who have been eye-witnesses to them.
    Is an accusation preferred against himself, he instantly turns
    it against his adversaries, and unceasingly pursues them with
    it before the entire world; and this he does by means of his
    journal printed in three languages, with which he inundates the
    American continent, and which his agents sedulously circulate
    in every part of Europe. Sustained by a dogged obstinacy which
    defies all obstacles, nothing can make him deviate from the
    course he has marked out for himself, and unscrupulous as to
    the means, he knows that time and patience will effect for him
    all that he desires. In this respect Rosas has been perfectly
    consistent. At the moment in which he consecrated in his own
    person a government essentially Unitarian, by effacing even the
    last traces of a federation, he compelled the population, upon
    pain of death, to cry out, ‘Long live the Federation!’ The same
    day, on which he substituted his own will for all the codes of
    the republic, he caused himself to be saluted with the title
    of ‘restorer of the laws!’ Whilst his portrait was publicly
    incensed in the churches, and received, by his order, divine
    honours, he invoked the vengeance of heaven upon the impious
    Unitarians who daily offend the Almighty. When, in fine, he let
    loose, in the broad day, into the streets of Buenos Ayres,
    bands of assassins, who massacred the population, he could not
    find tears enough to deplore ‘this unhappy popular ebullition,
    which made his paternal heart bleed!’ We do not believe that
    hypocrisy and audacity ever reached to such an extreme degree
    of shameless impudence. It was thus that Europe was misled as
    to the real character of the events that occurred, and that it
    accustomed itself to consider as the representative of peace,
    and as the protector of order, commerce, and civilization, the
    man who has never ceased for eighteen years to be on the banks
    of La Plata, the element of sanguinary wars, of crimes, and of
    violence of every kind.

Reverting to the case of the Kidd Family, their murder was one of the
most atrocious on record in any age or any country, considering, first,
the number, ages, and utter inoffensiveness of the victims; secondly,
the rank, motive, and perfidiousness of the assassin; and, thirdly, the
want of public virtue or spirit to resent it among the community in the
midst of whom it was perpetrated, but who had been so subdued by such
deeds amongst themselves as actually to affect indignation that strangers
should name the culprit. The object of Rosas was, under the pretext of
popular hatred of foreigners, on account of the policy that was being
pursued by the British Government, to strike terror into the English
residents in the province and city of Buenos Ayres; so that this terror,
reacting on the diplomatist, or at least upon the English cabinet, which
it is now notorious that it unfortunately did, might lead to a change in
the course so obnoxious to the Dictator, because so fatal to his power of
desolating the Uruguay. The Kidds were a highly respectable English, or
rather Scotch, family who resided on an estancia a short distance from
the city of Buenos Ayres, engaged, as they had been for several years,
in the rearing of cattle, and neither interfering, nor being accused of
interfering, in the political disputes of the country in the smallest
possible degree. They were nine in number—from the aged grandfather, to
the infant in arms. These were found one morning with their throats cut
in the most barbarous and revolting, yet deliberate, manner; their bodies
ranged along the floor; and, in the case of two young girls about fifteen
or sixteen, and remarkable for the luxuriance of their hair, their
tresses were brought round the head, and tied in fantastic knots in the
gashes in their throats. That the object of this bloody business was not
plunder was obvious from the circumstance of there not being a particle
of property removed, or the least disturbance of the furniture, and also
from the ferocious mockery of decency exhibited in the orderly adjustment
of the bodies. Of course it made a vast sensation, and it was intended
that it should do so.

But Rosas little calculated how completely the tables were about to be
turned upon him, and how the engineer would be hoisted with his own
petard. Every man, woman, and child in Buenos Ayres knew that the deed
had been done by Rosas’ directions, and his ‘Mashorqueros’ brigands
boasted of it as the crowning audacity of their master, and one that
would soon bring the English minister to his senses. The blow, however,
had hardly been struck when it recoiled upon the author. Sir W. G.
Ouseley immediately offered the sum of ten thousand dollars for the
detection of the murderers; and, inviting the coöperation of all who
abhorred the crime to aid in augmenting the reward for the discovery
of its perpetrators, carried the list to Rosas himself, and demanded
that _he_ and his daughter, Donna Manueleta, should head it! Of course
refusal was impossible, without an open avowal of his guilt, about which
no one entertained, or could entertain, a doubt. Accordingly, forth there
came, the following morning, and daily for a long time afterwards, the
names of Rosas and the British minister, and of many British inhabitants,
stigmatising the outrage, and invoking vengeance on the monsters who
had effected it. But mark the result. Not only was there no detection,
but not a single Buenos Ayrean citizen, or a single person in any way
amenable to the power of Rosas, put down his name for a solitary rial, or
was heard to whisper a syllable of desire that the assassins should be
brought to justice. But there was no hope of anything of the kind, nor
would there ever have been as long as Rosas remained in the position he
was at the time of that villany, as well as the subsequent one alluded
to in the extract, and which was more the prompting of baffled spite
against the British minister, than with the least idea it could have had
any effect of the kind intended in the direction where the Kidd massacre
had so signally failed. But ‘murder, though it hath no tongue, will speak
with most miraculous organs;’ and certainly a more strange one could
hardly be than that of a ‘mashorquero’ implicating Rosas in one of the
greatest enormities of this age, and while yet there is proof sufficient
to make its truth apparent even to those whom the Dictator had persuaded
he was the victim of foreign calumny. He tried this sanguinary strategy
with considerable success, on the occasion of the French intervention in
Buenos Ayrean affairs, in 1842, and likewise practised it against some
British subjects, as in the case of the midshipman alluded to in the
extract from the _Times_, and also in the still more ferocious one of the
murder of Lieut. Wardlaw, the depositions of the boat’s crew, who saw him
foully butchered, when landing on the Rosista territory under a flag of
truce, having been published in full detail in the English papers soon
afterwards.

But enough, and more than enough, of Rosas. Turning now to his former
friend and sometime successor, General Urquiza. Although he has been
expelled from Buenos Ayres, yet, in consequence of his having been again
rechosen as President of the Confederation by all the other provinces,
as well also as continuing in the position he had filled for many years
as President of his native province of Entre Rios, there is little doubt
that he is destined to play again a conspicuous part on the stage of
South American politics, especially should there be a separation of the
states into distinct and independent governments, or minor confederacies,
as has frequently been proposed, and to which the position and vast
extent of these regions point as a prudent course, particularly now that
Buenos Ayres may be regarded as having virtually and practically ceased
to be a component part of the Argentine republic. I have thought it may
not be uninteresting to the English reader to furnish some particulars
of this remarkable man, and for that purpose have subjoined a condensed
translation of a little work that has attained a great circulation in
South America. It is entitled ‘Seis Dias con el General Urquiza, que
comprenden Muchas Noticias Sobre su Persona. El esclarcie miento de
hechos importantes. Y Algunos Datos Sobre la Situacion Actual de la
Provincia de Entre-Rios.’ It will be seen that it is the production of
a great admirer of Urquiza, and on that score will be received with
due qualification, which must be further extended to the style of the
writer, whose grandiloquent idiom has been preserved with some closeness
in the translation. The principal reason, however, for giving the annexed
data is because of the picture afforded of the private life of a South
American chief, and, incidentally, of society in portions of that country
hitherto undescribed by English travellers. I will only preface these
memoranda by saying that Urquiza is now about 54 years of age, abstains
from wine and tobacco, and though a great admirer of beauty is still a
bachelor. Since 1840 he has been president of Entre Rios, and sided with
Rosas during the civil war of Lavellé and Rivera, the latter of whom he
routed at the battle of Inda Muerta, in 1846. At last perceiving that the
interest of his own state was highly prejudiced by the conduct of Rosas
in excluding it from all access to the ocean, he seized the opportunity
when Rosas annually resigned the presidency of the Confederation to
accept such resignation, thereby depriving the dictator of the legal
authority longer to represent and conduct the foreign relations of the
Confederation. He then joined Brazil in driving Rosas and Oribe out of
the Uruguay, and subsequently out of Buenos Ayres, of which he became
president, and was himself in turn ejected from that city and state,
under the circumstances already detailed. In the translation the use of
the first personal pronoun has been retained:



SIX DAYS WITH GENERAL URQUIZA.


I arrived at the General’s residence, which is eighteen leagues from the
village of Gualeguachú, on the left bank of the river of that name; and,
to my surprise, about that magnificent country house, where I expected
to find a military encampment, full of officers, soldiers, and men in
the service of the renowned champion of Entre-Rios, a profound silence
reigned, interrupted only by the blows of the axe of a rustic, who was
working upon some trees. I alighted, and entered the house. At the door
of one of the apartments stood a man whom I at once recognized as the
General, having seen him in the Oriental Republic twenty years before. I
knew him because his visage was not changed, and not because his dress
manifested anything by which I might recognise him as the supreme chief
of the province of Entre-Rios. I took off my hat, but he immediately bade
me follow him, and put his hand on the neck of a mastiff, which was lying
at his feet. This animal is the famous Purvis,[95] the only sentinel and
companion General Urquiza has in a spacious edifice in which five hundred
persons can accommodate themselves. His only attendants are an old man
who serves him, and a coloured woman who attends to the apartments,
where they receive the persons who daily arrive to see the General,
some in the public service, but the greater part with private objects.
Some other men have occupations in the house, in the labours of his
beautiful garden, and in the indispensable services of a country mansion,
where there reign order and the most admirable economy. The General
made me sit down, and asked me some questions, which inspired me with
confidence, at the same that his presence imposed respect. He was dressed
rather negligently, covered with a light poncho of the finest vicuna,
and wearing a hat of white cloth, with a coloured ribbon, which is
distinctive of the Entre-Riano army. I saw him in the same dress all the
time that I was with him. He has very little beard, nor does he wear the
moustache, so general among the military, and still worn by the peasants;
but he does not lose thereby the aspect of a warrior. He is of a very
robust constitution, has a broad and extremely prominent chest, and is
altogether a remarkably well-formed man. His face preserves all the
freshness of youth, although, in my judgment, he must have been born at
the commencement of the century. He is of moderate stature, and slightly
inclined to corpulence. His complexion is fair, but its bloom has been
somewhat darkened by the sun during his military career. All his features
are full of expression. His mouth is small, his teeth good, his eyes of a
clear grey colour, and full of fire and vivacity. They are unsteady when
he speaks, fixing themselves on every object around him, especially when
he refers to any act of extreme severity. His hair is black, and begins
to fall off his clear unwrinkled forehead. His manners are frank, jovial,
and cheerful, so that he predisposes in his favour all who approach him.

‘Why,’ he inquired, after a brief pause, ‘have you come to this country,
after having been associated with the foreigners, who have deceived
you all, and prolonged a war which ought to have been by this time
concluded?’ ‘It is true, sir,’ I replied, ‘but past events linked
themselves by degrees, and the torrent of successes has led us’—‘Stop!
you must not say that the torrent of successes has precipitated it; you
must say that it deceived you, for men of ideas and education do not
permit themselves to be led with the multitude, who observe nothing. The
Monte Videans have not comprehended their own interests; they ought long
since to have settled that unfortunate question, in which so much blood
has been shed, and I am persuaded, if such were the case, things would go
on well, and the Orientals would not see their country destroyed.’

With these words, he rose, and went out, leaving me quite alone; so I
began my toilette, and had the comb in my hand when he returned. ‘You do
well to adorn yourself, because you are so ugly,’ said he, in so affable
and familiar a tone that it inspired me with complete confidence, for I
was already aware that such is his manner when he receives a person with
pleasure and good-will. I replied that, at least, I had not a crooked
nose, a phrase which General Urquiza often uses, and applies to military
cowards and men of small mental capacity. It is the familiar expression
which he employs to manifest the contempt which a person deserves from
him. Dinner was now announced, and he invited those who were present to
dine with him. His table is plain, but abundant; he eats very little
meat, and does not drink wine or any kind of liquors; neither does he
smoke or take snuff. His principal food, during the six days that I
was with him, was roast chicken; at supper he eats very little, and
chiefly pastry, with the object, as he says, of taking a little water.
After dinner, he remains long at the table, and talks of the events
of his youth, particularly of the period when, as representative of
the people, he manifested his firmness in opposing anarchy, and had to
endure a thousand vicissitudes, by which his life was often in danger,
having once been ordered to be shot, and owed his escape to providential
causes. He speaks very often of recent events, which he details with
so much exactitude that he does not forget the most trifling incident.
He never forgets the name or the features of any person he has once
seen. He relates the events of the war with an impartiality which does
him honour, since he has been so conspicuous an actor in many of them.
‘Do not believe,’ he said to me one day, ‘that I fail to recognise
the tendencies of the political parties who have fought for so long a
time. On both sides there have been errors, but the Monte Videans have
lost by committing themselves to the drowsiness brought on by foreign
intervention, and those foreigners have not comprehended what would
be beneficial to their interests; in my judgment, they have done the
contrary of what they ought to have done. There was that unfortunate
General Lavalle, whom I have liked, notwithstanding that he sullied the
lustre of his services by serving under the Governor Dorrego; he ruined
himself by wishing to combat me without understanding the revolution. I
wished to draw him from the way of his destruction, and to bring him to
Entre-Rios, for he was a virtuous man; but he refused my offers, because
his political friends at that moment surrounded him. I did all I could
for him, but my duty was to conquer him. I detested the disloyalty of
some of his officers, who treacherously abandoned him, dividing one part
of his army from the other, after the battle of Tucuman, and who came
to Corrientes, passing through the Great Chaco. There is in Entre-Rios
an officer who was faithful, who did not abandon him after the defeat
of Famalla, and who accompanied him until his death. This individual
is commendable for his loyalty, and I assure you that I esteem him.
The Monte Videans have much reproached me for the death of Carlos Paz,
whom, after the battle of Vences, I made a prisoner, and sent to be
shot; but he deserved death, for he was a traitor, who was betraying
the Madariagas, and afterwards betrayed me. He placed himself in
communication with me, supplying me with important information as to the
state of the Corrientine army, and certainly he was not deceiving me. He
did more still; he assured me that he would not make use of the artillery
that he was commanding, if it arrived at the commencement of a battle.
But he probably repented his perfidy, for he ceased all correspondence
with me, and on the day of the battle, confiding in the superiority of
the forces of Madariaga, and in the elements of defence which they had
concentrated in the formidable position of the potrero of Vences, the
artillery which he was commanding opened a deadly fire upon my infantry.
Colonel Saavedra also perished after the victory: the unhappy man, when
he already had in his hands the guarantees which I had sent him, was
surprised by a force of Corrientines, whose officer beheaded him. I
regret his death, but his imprudence deserved it. Thus it is that my
enemies, without investigating the circumstances of the deeds, represent
me as a terrible man, and write a thousand injurious censures against me.’

On another occasion, the General, speaking of the press of Monte Video,
referred to the time when Rivera Indarte used to conduct the ‘National,’
and reproved the mean publications and immoral doctrines of that epoch.
‘In the battle of Pago Largo,’ said he, ‘Baron Astrada met with his
death, and, according to my enemies, I was the cause of it, and likewise
of that which was done to his corpse—stripping off part of the skin
of the body; and it was also published in Monte Video that I made a
horsecloth of it, and presented it to General Rosas. Abominable lie! Of
that skin nothing has been made, for it is not long since that it was
preserved in Gualeguachú, in the house of D. N., in the wardrobe. Baron
Astrada died in Pago Largo, as many others died, in the retreat, and the
skin was drawn off from the neck to the shoulders, the first notice of
which was given to me by M. Asumbrulla, a Brazilian, who was commissioned
by General Bentos Gonzalez, a relative of General Echague, who was with
me on the second or third day of the battle. There was a young soldier
passing near us, at the sight of whom the Brazilian exclaimed, “See that;
see that.” I fixed my eyes on the soldier, but could not recognize in
him anything that should call forth the exclamation, until the Brazilian
said to me, “The thing which that soldier carries hanging from the neck
of his horse is the skin of the Governor of Corrientes.” I called the
soldier immediately, to inform myself of the deed.’ The General was going
to continue this narration, when a peasant entered. ‘What a strange
coincidence,’ said the General; ‘here you see him who drew off the skin
of Baron Astrada. Who drew off the skin of the Governor of Corrientes?’
he enquired. ‘I, sir,’ replied the peasant. ‘And who commanded you to do
it?’ ‘I say no more, sir.’ ‘And what did I tell you when I called you to
ask what it was you carried on the neck of your horse?’ ‘That I could
not deny that I was an assassin, and that I would have been rewarded by
being shot, but that I was very young.’ ‘And why did you declare in the
Banda Oriental that I had commanded the act?’ ‘Because General Nunez, who
then served with Rivera, told me that unless I declared that it was your
Excellency who had stripped the skin off the Governor of Corrientes, I
should be shot; and because I did not wish to die, I told an untruth, and
said that your Excellency had commanded me.’ ‘And why did you declare the
same afterwards in Monte Video?’ ‘Because I apprehended that something
would happen to me.’ ‘Well,’ said the General, addressing himself to me,
‘you may now perceive that this boy is a knave, who has been amongst
the uncultivated Unionites until he implored my pardon, and I granted
it. You now know the history of a deed which has been attributed to me,
when I have not had the slightest part in it. It has also been written
that I commanded all the boys who were made prisoners at Pago Largo to
be destroyed. This is false: the prisoners whom we made in that victory
were not sacrificed, although it is true that some were executed by the
order which I gave, for which I had just and powerful reasons. After the
defeat, the infantry of the Corrientines retired, but I followed them
with the cavalry that I was commanding, for Don Pascual Echague was then
general-in-chief. I was commencing active hostilities in the retreat,
when, seeing themselves lost, they wished to surrender, but asked for
guarantees before they laid down their arms. I immediately sent them
to them, but the officer who carried them was killed by the very men
who wished to capitulate. The second time the same thing was done, and
I then gave more rigorous orders. They began to separate, and to seek
the mountains near hand, but all were made prisoners, and consequently
I had to chastise the perfidy. The investigation made resulted in the
discovery of those who were the authors of the murders, and those only I
commanded to be shot. This is the truth; and if my enemies and the Monte
Videans have said to the contrary, and have written slanders against me,
I look upon them with scorn. There has been here one of those who in
Monte Video was a fabricator of impostures, who used to say that I was
a Gaucho, and my mother a Chinese woman. I have had him in my presence,
and I have asked him if I really was a Gaucho, and why he was guilty of
such falsehoods; and, as is natural, he found himself confounded, without
knowing what to say in reply. This individual is now in Entre-Rios, and
has no reason to repent having come, for I have done something for him,
as I do for all who come to this country.’

After this conversation, the General retired, and I remained alone,
meditating upon what I had heard. The account which he had given me of
the unfortunate Baron Astrada was to me interesting, for it removed from
my mind the error under which I was labouring until that moment, and I
saw with satisfaction General Urquiza exonerated from an atrocious act.

When General Urquiza speaks of deeds such as those which I have here
detailed, he gives to his voice an accent, and to his action an
expression, so vivid, that it impresses on his words the seal of truth,
and manifests, to whoever observes him, that he is not one of those men
who, because they have power, hold in contempt the judgment of their
cotemporaries. General Urquiza likes to preserve a good reputation, and
has respect for public opinion. He prefers to govern from retirement to
being surrounded by the trophies of his victories and the insignia of his
power. Morality and education are his special care, and a magnificent
edifice is being erected under his directions, to be called the
Entre-Riano College. Nothing proves more completely that the tendencies
of General Urquiza are towards progress than the interest which he takes
in the education of the people.

Education is completely disseminated, and the most convenient system for
accelerating the progress of early instruction has been adopted. There is
no country district which has not a school sustained by the treasury of
the province, to which fathers are under the obligation of sending their
sons. These establishments are independent of those that are in all the
towns, and are under the immediate supervision of the local magistrates.
Their purpose is the instruction of those children whose parents live in
the scattered villages, far away from the towns. With this system there
will, in a short time, be few persons destitute of the rudiments of
education.

‘Entre-Rios,’ said General Urquiza one day, ‘receives all men, whatever
may be their origin, their opinions, and their political antecedents;
they will be respected, and even favoured, if their tendencies are
towards goodness, and they do not interfere in our affairs. I wish from
those who come to this land only respect for the established authorities,
and the observance of the laws. The Unionites, French, English, all may
come to Entre-Rios, to pass through our villages, to cross over our
country in all directions, and to establish themselves where they wish,
in the assurance that they will not hear a single voice raised against
them which might cause the slightest offence. I wish to be at peace
with all, and will provoke no one; but he that incites me will find me
disposed to fight in defence of my country. The Entre-Riano army is
valiant, and has proved itself capable of great things, and I have great
confidence in its valour and its enthusiasm.’

The army of Entre-Rios embraces from nine to ten thousand men of the
three arms, but its principal force consists in the cavalry. This is
composed of eleven divisions, corresponding to the departments into which
the province is divided, which, although I have no data upon the extent
of the territory of Entre-Rios, ought, I think, to comprise a little
more or less than 5,000 square leagues. The cavalry, in times of peace,
is completely liberated, and a portion is employed in the police of
the departments. When the army returns from any campaign, it lays down
its arms and disbands, with the understanding that, at the slightest
rumour of a military summons, they are to present themselves with their
uniforms, and the cavalry with their horses. It is an undoubted fact
that, in six or seven days after the issue of the first order from the
General’s quarters, for the reunion of the army, it can be completely
reunited, armed, clothed, perfectly equipped, and in readiness to march,
so that General Urquiza, with the Entre-Riano army, can be in front of
the city of Monte Video in twenty or twenty-two days after issuing the
first orders for its reunion, notwithstanding the difficulties presented
by the majestic river Uruguay. With such troops it is not strange that
General Urquiza should have obtained such signal victories.

‘The battle of Vences,’ said the General, ‘is an affair which does great
honour to the Entre-Riano army, which had to combat powerful enemies,
and yet penetrated to where the Corrientines were not expecting it.
They were astonished and terrified at the courage of my soldiers, who
penetrated through immense morasses and difficulties which the enemies
placed in their way; and I can assure you that I myself was astonished
by the magnitude of the dangers which we encountered, and the obstacles
which we overcame. This daring gave us the victory, as the army of
Madariaga was superior to mine in its number, and particularly in
infantry and artillery.’ On another occasion, the General entertained me
with interesting details of the campaign in the Oriental Republic, in
which he manifested a degree of activity and skill which has done him
great credit, for, though he had to combat in a land unknown to him, the
victory was his, and was a work exclusively of his own inspiration. These
details convince me that the General is a man of great penetration, and
of elevated capacity, so that he has been known to foresee many events
which have prolonged the war, and upon which he looks as the origin of
many evils.

‘I have the satisfaction of knowing,’ he observed, ‘that the army of
Entre-Rios has been a model of morality and subordination, and that there
have been few complaints of it. I have acted throughout from conviction,
and the public accounts will show that I have not taken a single dollar
for my own use, not even the pay to which my rank of general entitled
me. On the contrary, the treasury of the province is indebted to me in
the sum of 30,000 dollars, the amount of debts contracted in the public
service, and which I have yet to pay. From the Oriental country I have
brought nothing but compromises and this dog,’ pointing to the mastiff,
Purvis, which was lying at his feet. ‘It is true he is a wicked animal,
for he respects no one but me, and even those who feed him are not
certain that he will not leave his food to bite them; but in me he seems
to recognize a certain superiority. He has his history and his instincts
which I cannot comprehend, and which no one will ever be able to explain.
He belonged to Colonel Galazza, but suddenly attached himself to me, and
would not be driven away. Seeing the pertinacity with which he persisted
in following me, I allowed him to remain, and he has never left me since,
running by the side of my horse throughout the campaigns of the Banda
Oriental and Corrientes. He manifests no terror under fire, and when
struck by a spent cannon-ball at India Muerto, and hurled several yards
from me, he quickly recovered his legs, and resumed his post by my side!’

The superficial character of Entre Rios being that of an extensive plain,
watered by numerous rivers, and affording excellent and abundant pasture
for cattle, not equal to that of the beautiful territory of the Oriental
republic, but superior to that of the province of Buenos Ayres, General
Urquiza is so sensible of the advantage of promoting the breeding of
cattle that he will not permit the killing of cows; but this prohibition
is not absolute, depending on the number belonging to each individual;
and while far from being a real grievance to the land-owners, it will
tend to greatly increase the wealth and importance of the country. This
is the general’s great aim, his whole policy being directed to the
development of the natural resources of the country.

The frequent allusions in the foregoing to the sanguinary practices
pursued by rival chiefs against each other suggests the desirability of
endeavouring to account for the creation and growth of the disposition
to which such ferocity is attributable. We cannot do better than quote
the words of M. Chevalier de St. Robert, a Frenchman, officially engaged
in the affairs of the Plate, who, in his pamphlet, entitled _Le General
Rosas et la Question de la Plata_, and translated by M’Cabe, the late
Acting Consul-General for the Uruguay in London, gives probably the best
account anywhere to be met with of life in the wilds, in this region of
the world, and of the mode in which such life affects humanity in the
cities afterwards. He says:—

    The population of the Pampas have a peculiar physiognomy, such
    as is to be found in no other part of the world. They exhibit
    the instincts and the faculties which the desert every where
    developes, but still they have not those traits which elsewhere
    particularise a pastoral or a warlike tribe. The Arab, who
    dwells or wanders in the deserts of Asia, is but a fraction of
    that great Mahommedan society that dwells in cities. The tribe
    coincides with society in many things, it has the same creed,
    the same obedience to religious dogmas, and preserves every
    where the same traditional organization. There is nothing like
    this to be found in the Pampas. In the bosom of those immense
    plains, which extend from Salta to the Cordilleras, that is,
    over a space of more than seven hundred leagues, there are
    to be found neither distinct castes, nor tribes, nor creeds,
    nor even that which may be properly called a nation. There is
    nothing to be found but _estançias_ (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 him than
    his own caprice. There is nothing to disturb his repose, to
    dispute his power, or interfere with his tranquillity except
    the tiger that may lurk about his grounds, or the wild Indians
    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
    labour. 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 flocks,
    it can be easily 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 that the
    infantile hand of the gaucho 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 expiring 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 the 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 labours 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
    had been used to slaughter a bullock, or to kill a tiger,
    aids him in the day time 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 favour
    the flight of the guilty person. The fleetest horse is at his
    service, and he departs certain to find wherever he goes the
    favour 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, watching, interrogating,
    discovering the cause of the slightest noise that reaches his
    ears, and he at length arrives at the place he sought, without
    ever straying for it, even for a moment. The _lasso_ which is
    rolled around his horse’s neck: the _bolas_ suspended to his
    saddle, and the inseparable knife suffice to assure him food,
    and to secure him against every danger—even against the tiger.
    When he is hungry, he selects one out of the herd 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 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 amongst his associates. When a gaucho has
    rendered himself remarkable by his audacity and address in
    single combats, companions gather around him, and he soon finds
    himself at the head of a considerable party. He ‘commences a
    campaign,’ sets himself in open defiance to the laws, and in a
    short time acquires a celebrity which rallies a crowd about him.



UP THE PARANA.



CHAPTER XIII.

UP THE PARANA.


    Preparations for an experimental trip up the Parana.—Captain
    Sullivan’s descent of the river at a terrific pace.—Island
    of Martin Garcia.—Note on the confluents of the Rio Plata.—A
    Scotch experimental philosopher in Corrientes.—Alluvial
    deposits at the delta of the Parana.—Signs of progress in
    the interior.—An American pioneer of civilization.—The
    steamer aground, and fired upon.—Moonlight on the river
    and the woods.—Geographical note on the Parana and the Rio
    Plata.—Obligado and San Nicolas.—Mr. Mackinnon’s description of
    the scenery.—Arrival at Rosario.—Multifarious applications of
    hides and horns.—Descent of the river, and arrival at Martin
    Garcia.—Corrientes and the guachos.—Military system of the
    country.—Its evil effects on the morals and industry of the
    people.—Grazing capabilities of Corrientes.—Facilities and
    prospects for commerce.—Interest of the Platine provinces in
    the opening of the river to foreign trade.—Difficulties of the
    navigation, and a word about the Uruguay.

The important light in which England, and, yet more especially, those
portions of England to whose mercantile wants the company I represented
administer, regarded the opening of the great confluents of the Plate,
particularly those leading to the famed fairyland of Paraguay, so long
guarded by the wondrous Ogre, Francia, naturally rendered me anxious
to follow, for however trifling a distance, in the wake the French and
British ministers had so lately pursued towards the capital of that
mystic country which, after almost half a century’s total isolation from
the rest of the world, they have brought into commercial relationship
with Europe. Accordingly, though not contemplating anything of the kind
on leaving Liverpool, I gladly availed myself of certain favourable
circumstances that turned up somewhat unexpectedly, to make a short
experimental trip up the Parana, as far as the towns of San Nicolas and
Rosario, although for so doing time was very short, as the Argentina
had to be back at Monte Video to meet the Brazileira, expected out from
Liverpool, _viâ_ Rio Janeiro, on the 28th or 29th of September. The
commanders of H.M. ships Vixen and Locust gave us valuable information,
and kindly recommended an experienced pilot, whom I engaged. The British
Vice-consul at Buenos Ayres, Mr. Parish—a name of long-recognized Anglo
influence in those regions, as the mention of his relative, the veteran
Sir Woodbine, and of _his_ relatives, Messrs. Parish Robinson, the
authors of the delightful ‘Letters from Paraguay,’ will sufficiently
vouch—also obliged us with the loan of some admirable charts published
under sanction of the Admiralty, from surveys made by Captain Sullivan of
H.M. ship Philomel, and these, so far as our observation extended, proved
to be wonderfully correct.[96] Of course, in an extensive navigation of
this kind, with shifting sands, there will be occasionally variations
of depth of water, but nothing to alter the general character of the
survey, or the correctness of the gallant officer’s explorations and
soundings. We left Buenos Ayres at 1 p.m. on the 21st, with a pleasant
party on board, and steamed across to Martin Garcia, where the navigation
becomes difficult, and the channel very narrow. This rather large island,
composed of granite rocks with a good elevation, and entirely commanding
the channel of the great rivers, has long been a disputed point among
the belligerents in the Plate, and among the diplomatists on paper,
for only lately has the free navigation of the rivers been recognized;
but a good deal of ill-feeling still exists with reference to its
possession, belonging, as it does, ostensibly to Buenos Ayres, though it
is stated that, if everyone had their own, it is really the property of
an individual from whom it was forcibly taken, on the principle so very
extensively practised in this quarter of the globe, that might gives
right, and that there is nothing wrong but the want of means to defend
it. One thing is certain, that whoever holds Martin Garcia will control
the entrance to and exit from the whole stream above it;[97] for, as the
only navigable channel runs close past it, there is no possible means
of escaping the guns of its batteries. Thus, it is obvious, that the
future progress of commerce up these immense rivers, as also, in a very
great degree, the well-being of the countries watered by them, is really
dependent on the way in which this important point is disposed of.

And here it is impossible to look back on the policy pursued by former
rulers of Buenos Ayres without the deepest regret that the navigation
of such noble rivers, and the development of so fine a country, should
have been subjected to such miserable trammels, or their destinies
been placed in hands so unworthy of the bounties that Providence had
showered upon them. There cannot be a doubt, that if a liberal-minded,
common-sense view of things had been taken by the rulers of the city and
province, after their emancipation from Spain, at this moment fleets of
steamers would be navigating the rivers, and a countless population be
settled in the upper countries watered by them. It would be, in fact, the
valley of a southern Mississippi, vying with its northern counterpart in
everything that could contribute to the prosperity and grandeur of an
immense continent. Even comparatively short as the time has been since
the destinies of this part of South America were under native control,
it is sufficient to have turned a barren waste into a land teeming with
riches and abundance—a fact indisputable, and which must be evident to
the most cursory observer. But, alas! the gifts of Providence have
been bestowed in vain: the ‘dog in the manger’ principle has been
beautifully illustrated; and, unless a stronger power and a stronger
arm than that which exists in the country be brought to bear, the long
night of Egyptian darkness may otherwise even still prevail. Amongst the
numerous conflicting statements and opinions, as to what policy shall be
carried out, it is difficult to ascertain who are really the stop-gaps
in a work of this kind. There can be no question that the barbarous
policy of Rosas was virtually to close the rivers; and the wonder is,
that he did not effectually destroy the entrances, which he might easily
have done by sinking vessels laden with stone in the channel off Martin
Garcia. His object, as everyone knows, was to reduce the upper provinces
to a state of complete dependence on the city, towards which end the
equally barbarous but much more romantic, and, perhaps, more justifiable,
despotism of Dr. Francia materially aided. Latterly, a feeling seems to
be gaining ground in the provinces, that the navigation of their rivers
and the promotion of immigration, are objects of importance; and, once
this is backed by free and uncontrolled navigation, things will advance
rapidly. The late mission of Sir Charles Hotham and the Chevalier St.
George is one of the means to such end; and their treaty with Paraguay
must, sooner or later, bring forth its fruits, especially if a real
cession of Martin Garcia forms part of the arrangements stipulated.
Considerable jealousy still exists on this point; but there are the
interests of a mighty continent and of civilized Europe against the
petty pride of a people who have not yet learned even to govern or take
care of themselves; and desperate diseases require strong remedies. In
the hands of nautical parties, with the guarantee of the most powerful
nations of Europe and America, Martin Garcia would soon be rendered the
nucleus of commerce extending from thence to the shores of the Pacific;
the channels and entrances would be properly buoyed and lighted under
some equitable tax on shipping, and countless fleets would soon be
passing backwards and forwards. Unless something of this kind is done,
local dissensions between provinces will always mar the general good.
Moreover, a considerable outlay of money is absolutely required to render
the navigation safe and practical; and where is that to come from, except
through the now almost sole machinery of all revenue in these regions—the
customs, which foreign shipping, and abundance of it, can alone furnish
to the smallest respectable amount?

One of the most remarkable pioneers of the present day, in connection
with the development of the river navigation and of the upper provinces,
is an American citizen, Mr. Hopkins, who, with all the characteristic
ardour and discerning forethought of his country, in seizing upon ‘fresh
fields and pastures new,’ wherever the spirit of commerce is likely
to find the smallest resting-place for the sole of its foot, had just
left Buenos Ayres for Assumption, in a steamer, with various kinds of
machinery on board for establishing manufactories in the Paraguayan
metropolis. One of these is for the preparation of cigars for the
European and North American markets, on the plan pursued at the Havannah.
There are not less than fourteen or fifteen different descriptions of
tobacco grown in Paraguay, each of its kind pronounced by connoisseurs,
to whom samples have been submitted in England, to be superior to
corresponding qualities produced elsewhere, whether for the purposes
of snuff or smoking. On the score of its tobacco alone, therefore, the
opening of intercourse with Paraguay is calculated to prove a boon to
many a used-up Sybarite, pining dyspeptically for a new pleasure. Mr.
Hopkins also, I understand, contemplates improvements in the preparation
of the famous Paraguay tea, maté, that will, if possible, enhance its
popularity throughout South America, where there is scarcely a meal in
a house with the least pretentions to respectability or refinement in
which the beverage is not introduced; and elegance and adroitness in
sipping it, through a tube or reed, something after the fashion adopted
in the Yankee beverage, known as sherry-cobbler, affords scarcely less
opportunity at a _tertullia_, or evening party, for the display of
breeding than does the use of the fan in Spain. The taste of maté is not
at all dissimilar to that of green tea, but without the acrid flavour
of the Chinese infusion; and it is not improbable that Mr. Hopkins may
render it a very acceptable addition to our drinks in this country; for
it would, at least, form an agreeable variety to the somewhat limited
range of compounds now in vogue among our temperance preachers and
practitioners. Mr. Hopkins is the head of an enterprising and affluent
joint-stock company, formed some few years ago in the States, who have
already expended considerable funds in the prosecution of South American
enterprise of this nature, undeterred by the wreck of a fine vessel they
were bringing out, called ‘El Paraguay,’ which was condemned and sold
at Maranham. He is one of those rare, indomitable spirits who often
revolutionize countries without benefiting themselves; and this I should
much fear, and deeply deplore, would be his case now, unless, indeed,
after having been so long buffeted by the billows of mishap, he now at
length ride on the tide of regenerate Paraguay, and ‘share the triumph
and partake the gale’ of its prosperity, which is seemingly soon to come.
He has spent many years in that extraordinary country;[98] been four
times backwards and forwards; travelled on horseback some 36,000 miles!
and his whole life, in short, has been a romance, as wonderful in reality
among real inhabitants of an almost unknown planet, as was the apocryphal
existence of the imaginative Mr. Herman Melville among his ideal Omoos
and phantasmagoric Typees of the Marquesas and the South Sea Islands.
He is a great favourite of the present Governor of Paraguay, M. Lopez;
and he will confer immense benefit on mankind if he succeeds in still
further developing those commercial and philanthropic ideas of which
the mind of the governor has shown itself so creditably susceptible, by
despatching to Europe his two sons, and a large suite, to reciprocate
the overtures towards mercantile cordiality proffered by Lord Malmesbury
and the imperial government of France [see chapter on Paraguay]. If any
person can carry such highly desirable points as we have adverted to,
Mr. Hopkins appears the man to complete, by personal interposition,
and personal explanation of the workings of the commercial system in
commercial countries, those purposes that were intended by the framers of
the Malmesbury treaty, and in the carrying out of which North America has
nearly as great an interest as France, or England itself. At all events,
we must hope for the best. But, meanwhile, it is time that we proceed
with our trip to Rosario.

As we approached Martin Garcia, we saw near it two or three small vessels
at anchor, and there appeared to be a roughly-built fort on shore, where
the Argentine flag was flying, in salutation of which we hoisted our
colours. We thought we heard the report of a musket or two on land, but
supposed it was the mere shooting of some idlers for amusement, and
so steamed quickly past; when, to our great astonishment, a ball came
whistling over us from a small schooner at anchor under the island,
followed by a second, that fell short. We were in the narrowest part of
the channel, impossible to bring to, or even stop with safety; and, owing
to the confusion caused by this unexpected salute, the steamer grounded
on a spit, from which we soon backed her off, and continued our route,
being anxious to get into the mouth of the river before sunset, now fast
approaching. When the second shot was fired we immediately hoisted the
Argentine flag, and these punctilious representatives of ‘confederated
dignity’ did not fire again, and we were soon out of their reach if they
were disposed for the exaction of any further deference beyond what
we had already paid. An hour brought us to what is called the Boca de
Guasa, one of the chief entrances to the great river, up which we were
soon steaming, guided by the banks, wooded nearly the whole distance.
Before midnight a thick fog came on, which compelled us to drop anchor
until about 2 P.M., when we resumed our silent course, aided by a late
moon, the effect of which, as seen on this waste of waters, surpassed
anything I remember to have experienced elsewhere; for the solitude of
river navigation differs from the loneliness of ocean sailing, inasmuch
as in the former case you _feel_ there is land-life around you, and
where you feel that it is _not_, as in this instance, the depression is
correspondingly great. In traversing the ocean, however still, there is
always a sense of animation and vivacity, and the consciousness that you
are in the pathway of intercommunication with your kind. But in pursuing
a vast river of this sort, through a country superabounding in every
element calculated to sustain the densest population on the face of the
globe, and knowing all the while that population there is almost none,
you are bowed down by a conviction of the insignificance of man’s efforts
to effect any radical change in nature; for the European voyager here is
deprived of the buoyant pride and hopeful expectancy that sustain the
explorer of hitherto undiscovered seas or countries; and, gloomily, but
naturally, his mind reverts to the early navigators of these rivers—their
mighty achievements, and the little results that had followed them—a
lapse of four centuries leaving things here pretty much as they were
when the first European flag floated upon this now placid and majestic
stream.[99]

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

[Illustration: SAN NICOLAS DE LOS ARROYOS, ON THE PARANA.]

The turns and windings of the Parana, all along the portion now being
passed over, and indeed nearly throughout its entire length, are
numerous, without at all impeding the navigation, being, in many parts,
sufficiently wide and imposing to justify its native appellation of
Parana Guazú, or Sea River. After daylight, fog and mist again enveloped
us, but we were enabled to continue our course, guided by trees,
profusely growing, and which, on the low grounds, are chiefly of the
willow species. We passed Obligado, on whose high bank Rosas erected
those batteries to dispute the passage of the convoy under protection of
the French and English vessels of war, which were, as we have seen, of so
very little avail. The scenery around Obligado is pretty, and was more so
as we proceeded—occasional lofty banks covered with verdure—estançias,
and cattle grazing about. This interest was heightened as we approached
San Nicolas,[100] which is one of the first towns of consequence, situate
on a shelving bank, where a troop of Argentine cavalry were bivouacked;
and as they came galloping down to the water’s edge, their gay-coloured
dresses, scarlet ponchos, and glittering equipments reflected against
the bright green grass, the effect was highly picturesque and animated.
Here we landed, took in a small quantity of fire-wood on trial, and
went to call on the Juiz da Paz, and other authorities. I had a ramble
over the town, which is _intended_ to be large: streets laid out in
the usual Spanish right-angled triangle mode, but the sites of future
mansions, castles in the air, veritable _casas en Espagna_, dotted with
only unfinished straggling houses here and there, with dozens of what
looked like Irish cabins stretching around, the Hibernian and Hispaniolan
identity being here developed as strongly as any member of the Celtic
Antiquarian Society can desire. The solitary church of this city, as
the local hidalgos insist on designating the place, has been almost
destroyed by an explosion of gunpowder, which did great mischief to every
building but the house itself where the catastrophe originated. A Buenos
Ayrean brig and steamer of war were at anchor here, from the commanders
of whom we received a degree of attention and civility that altogether
obliterated any resentful reminiscence which our preceding rough
reception might have awakened. The commander of the steamer, Muratore,
spoke English well, and expressed himself very indignant at the treatment
we had experienced at Martin Garcia, which, he said, they were wholly
unwarranted in practising; adding, that he would report such conduct to
the chief of the naval forces at head quarters. There is very deep water
here, from ten to twelve fathoms, with muddy bottom, and it took us half
an hour to get up our anchor, after which we steamed on towards Rosario,
through a country increasing in cultivation and teeming in verdure every
mile we advanced; and it was not difficult to realize the accuracy of
Mr. Mackinnon’s description of the topography hereabouts, in the annexed
passage, which appears to me to be fully deserving of the prominence of
conspicuous type:

[Illustration: CORRIENTES ON THE PARANA.]

‘Our progress this day was remarkable for the beautiful scenery on the
side of the Banda Oriental. The view was similar to that which is seen
when sailing from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, to Cowes, (without the high
land,) and about the same width of water. In the afternoon, we entered a
labyrinth of islands, which contracted the channel considerably. As we
advanced, the scenery was very much varied; sometimes between islands
so close together, that we shot birds and animals on each shore. These
islands are plentifully interspersed with the date palm, which had a
most beautiful appearance; and, when we drew out near the main land, the
stream widened considerably. We passed either bold, bluff barrancas, over
which nothing was visible, and whence we might easily have been picked
off by musketry; or a gently sloping green pasture down to the river’s
margin, dotted with horned cattle, horses, and sometimes ostriches and
deer. Clumps of trees were interspersed, and beautifully grouped by
the hand of Nature. Sometimes, for a short distance, a dense forest of
large timber-trees impeded the view. A high sand-bank then intervened,
with a belt (about fifty yards broad) of trees and shrubs, where I often
stopped to rest the men, and then surveyed the country, which was mainly
characterized by undulating pasture land, interspersed with coppices and
clumps of trees, stretching inland as far as the eye could reach, and
completely covered by animal life in great variety, like a very extensive
and well-kept park in England. The only thing wanting to make this the
most enchanting scene in the world, was the presence of civilized man;
but, alas! the brute creation alone enjoyed the terrestrial paradise. As
we advanced, we every now and then perceived deer come down fearlessly to
drink. Pheasants walked quietly along the banks, or sat in the trees in
fancied security, five and six, and even more together. The partridges,
both large and small, constantly rose close to the boat; whilst numerous
carpinchas sat quietly on their haunches, like Brobdignag brown
guinea-pigs, staring at us with the most perfect unconcern. Here was a
situation for a sportsman!’

[Illustration: ROSARIO—ON THE PARANA.]

[Illustration: CARETAS DE VIAGE—TRAVELLING WAGGONS.]

Extensive farms and cattle-grazing districts were seen along the heights,
and we were told that a large number of wealthy landowners resided
between San Nicolas and Rosario. The opposite bank of the river (Entre
Rios) is low and swampy, but well lined with trees. As the sun was
setting in splendid tranquillity, we came to anchor off Rosario de Santa
Fé, and found it a large, well constructed town, with a good cathedral,
whose unique-looking towers were visible many miles distant, in an
atmosphere that is singularly translucent beyond the immediate vicinage
of the river, which is sometimes obscured by fogs and haze, though we
could not learn that any ill effects to human health were experienced
in consequence; and certainly the vegetation and herbage appear at
once luxuriant and delicate. The cathedral is in a large square,
entirely built up, and streets branch from it at right angles, many
extensive, substantial looking houses being now in course of erection,
and, altogether, an appearance of prosperous activity, as refreshing
as unanticipated, pervades the whole place. The town contains about
7,000 inhabitants, and is the great rendezvous for the upper provinces,
numerous huge, unwieldy but most capacious waggons being collected
about, ready for their laborious service, which they perform chiefly by
means of leather. However pertinent the phrase ‘nothing like leather’
may be elsewhere, here it is of universal and unerring applicability.
Streets and roads are repaired with heads and horns of cows and horses. A
horse’s or cow’s head serves for a stool, or a chair, or a pillow, just
as the case may be;[101] but a horse or cow-hide serves for purposes
innumerable out of doors, and in all matters of vehicular concernment
are inestimable; for where ropes or harness would be but as pack-thread,
a slip of raw hide, drying after it has been attached, binds like links
of adamant, if any such linking there be. The supply, of course, is
inexhaustible; and the dexterity with which a strip of skin, of any
dimensions, is fastened to a waggon, or to luggage upon a waggon, and
thence coupled, when needful, to the horses, is extraordinary. The only
thing that occurred to awaken unpleasant feelings during our stay at
Rosario, was the general presence of that ill-omened symbol of sanguinary
anarchy and benumbing oppression, the red badge, which unaccountably
continues to be exhibited long after the downfall of him whose supremacy
it but too significantly testified, though now used by the partizans of
Urquiza. Until such emblems be finally discarded, it is in vain to look
for any real amalgamation of the provinces, let parchment treaties and
ratifications be multiplied as numerously as they may. San Nicolas is
the last Buenos Ayrean frontier town, Rosario being in the possession
of Urquiza, who was residing not far from it, but living, at that time,
very quietly. Advancing upwards between these two places against the
stream, we had a fine view of the extensive plains branching from Rosario
eastward; there seemed to be abundance of sheep and cattle grazing, and
plenty of grass and clover, together with a crop of barley that might
have been dressed with guano, and nurtured under the special supervision
of Mr. Mechi himself, with all the patent contrivances of Tiptree Farm
tripled three times over. Would that there were a myriad of Mechis
settled down here! What a glorious country would it be under a better
state of even political organization, with a soil prolific, yet not rank,
and a climate the most delicious that could be imagined at this season
of the year; a positive tonic for the languid in every breath of it, and
yet not enfeebling to the robust. From Rosario can be seen the convent
of San Lourenço, one of the gigantic establishments of the Jesuits; and
at this point occurred the famous encounter with the convoy, under care
of Captains Hotham and Thrèhouart, on their return from Paraguay, after
forcing the passage of the river, when Rosas erected batteries, and had
a huge chain placed across the river, that was soon destroyed by our
gallant tars, as we shall see in some detail when we speak of Sir C.
Hotham in the chapter on Paraguay.[102]

After spending the night at Rosario, and collecting as much wood
together as could be cut by 1 P.M. next day, we got under weigh on our
return, with the cordial good wishes of the inhabitants, who had shown
us every possible attention, and taking several passengers, who availed
themselves of the opportunity to make an easy visit to Buenos Ayres. As
a proof of the utility of steam navigation in bringing people together,
softening prejudices, and creating a more kindly feeling, I may mention
that our passengers were of all shades of party, some ready, under other
circumstance, to draw a sword or a trigger on each other; but here they
were hale fellows well met, and played together at cards, or conversed,
with not the slightest appearance of ill feeling. A steamer is a great
leveller of prejudices and party distinctions.

We soon reached San Nicolas, and brought up for some hours, augmenting
our number of passengers and supply of wood, as we found our coals
getting short; got under weigh again at 3 A.M., steaming fast down with
the current, which runs two and three knots at this season of the year.
Saw the convent of San Pedro, another remarkable establishment of the
Jesuits, situated on rising ground, and where a branch of the main river
runs; towards afternoon approached the Boca, or entrance of the river,
and brought up to get more wood, which we fortunately did from a vessel
at anchor there, every gentleman on board taking off his coat, and
working like a common peon. Again we got under weigh and approached our
over-officious official friends at Martin Garcia, where we determined to
bring up for the night, and ask for an explanation of what had occurred
at that most disputatious and pugnacious point before. On rowing towards
the schooner, those on board hailed us to go on shore to the commandant,
an injunction which we managed, after some difficulty in groping our way
through the rocky beach, to fulfil. The commandant said he had no wish
to obstruct our passage, nor had he given orders to fire at us; so we
returned on board, satisfied that the salute would not be repeated. So
splendid a night I have rarely seen; not a breath of air, and yet cool
and pleasant; the stars reflected in the waters like a double firmament,
the slight motion causing one portion to oscillate a little, the other
firmament remaining motionless. Morning broke equally glorious, though a
heavy dew had fallen, and the air was positively cold. Finally, steamed
across to the bank, and disembarked passengers at 9:30 A.M., under five
days; had we not been detained by want of fuel it would have occupied
only four days; 21½ hours time up steaming, and 20 hours down.

To show the comparative ignorance as to this boundless country, it may be
mentioned that several of our passengers, who had resided 20 and 30 years
at Buenos Ayres, had never before been up the rivers: others, compelled
to do so, had occupied weeks in doing what we did in a few days; and,
altogether, great satisfaction was felt at this practical result of
steaming, the Argentina, it is true, being the fastest steamer that had
ever appeared on the waters of La Plata; and hence one reason why her
loss has since been mourned over as a national bereavement, which it
undoubtedly was, though perhaps the temporary presence in these waters of
the Menai paddle-wheel will prove some compensation till a more imposing
craft shall permanently take the place of that very excellent vessel.

My practical acquaintance with this river navigation being thus only
limited in extent, I was unable to gratify my curiosity by exploring
it further up, where the scenery, according to all testimony, is
singularly fine; and, approaching Paraguay, the country becomes rich
and fertile, and picturesque in a high degree. Beyond Rosario, the
distance to the city of Assumption is about 700 miles, 1,000 miles being
the entire reported distance from Buenos Ayres, and the navigation
becomes more difficult. Still, the fact of the ‘Alecto’ steamer having
reached Corrientes,[103] and the ‘Locust’ Assumption, proves that it is
practicable enough for vessels of small draught of water. H.M.S. ‘Vixen’
has also been much up this river, and the ‘Fanny’ steamer, taking up the
American expedition already alluded to, would not draw less than from
nine to ten feet, whilst our little steamer did not draw seven feet, with
her coals on board, nor was her great length any difficulty in turning
angles of the river. There is no doubt that a class of steamers could be
built that would make the passage to Assumption in a few days; and it is
said that General Lopez, the Paraguayan Plenipotentiary to England and
France, has already ordered two for the service, which augurs well for
his desire to cultivate external relations.

Of the ‘Uruguay’ I know nothing but from hearsay and information: that it
is a noble stream, much wider and more easily navigated than the Parana,
with the same boundless extent of uncultivated country. We saw the
entrance to it on the right from the Boca of the Parana, which makes a
sharp angle. The main difficulty in connection with this river navigation
are the channels about Martin Garcia, which are tortuous and very narrow
in some places. It appears, indeed, to be a deep gulley, formed by the
mass of waters pressing their way through the miles of sand and mud lying
across the main entrance, much of it almost dry at the surface; and until
these channels are properly buoyed and lighted, even steamers will be
subject to delay and damage, as the most experienced pilot can scarcely
rely on his eye or bearing in such an expanse of water.



PARAGUAY.



CHAPTER XIV.

PARAGUAY.

    Sources of information.—General Pacheco.—Inaccuracies of
    Sir Woodbine Parish.—Navigability of the Parana by large
    vessels.—Decrees of the government of Paraguay on the
    treatment of foreigners.—Decrees relative to inventions
    and improvements.—Mr. Drabble’s commercial mission, and
    its results.—Cultivation of cotton.—Drawbacks to its
    extension.—Scarcity of labour.—Provisions of the treaty
    between Great Britain and Paraguay.—The commercial resources
    of the country little known in this.—Navigability of the
    Paraguay and the Uruguay.—Obligation of the Brazilian and
    Buenos Ayrean governments to remove impediments.—Population
    of Paraguay.—Public works undertaken by the Consular
    Government.—Salubrity of the climate.—Fertility of
    the soil.—Pasturage illimitable.—Character of the
    Paraguayans.—President Lopez.—Diplomatic mission of Sir Charles
    Hotham.—General Lopez.—State of the country at the death of
    Francia.—First measures of the Consular Government.—Revenue
    of Paraguay.—Administration of justice.—Revision of the
    tariff.—Release of political prisoners at the termination of
    Francia’s Reign of Terror.

[Illustration: SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, K.C.B., LATE HER MAJESTY’S
PLENIPOTENTIARY TO PARAGUAY.]


As indicated at the conclusion of the last chapter, my ascent of the
Parana ceased at Rosario, whence I descended to the mouth of the Plate,
on the return voyage to Europe; consequently, what I am about to say of
Paraguay is not the result of actual personal experience in that strange
land. Nevertheless, I offer the annexed observations with considerable
confidence, as the fruits of diligent inquiry among several who had been
there, some for many years, some very recently; and as the fruits also
of the perusal of nearly all accredited works on the subject, of one
of which in particular,[104] whose merits and reliability are vouched
for by the distinguished Uruguayan soldier and administrator who has
edited it—General Pacheco—I have availed myself to some extent, having
been also assured by other competent critics that it is most trustworthy
in its data and most dispassionate in its views. The paucity of works
on this country is not surprising, but the inaccuracy of that which,
being the most recent, is naturally accepted as the most authoritative
in England, is indeed marvellous. The obligations of all interested in
Platine affairs are so great to Sir Woodbine Parish, and as regards
Paraguay in particular, members of his family long ago afforded so much
invaluable information then derivable from no other source, that it
is with the utmost reluctance I say a word calculated to diminish the
deference due to the veteran diplomatist and author; nor should I attempt
to impugn his statements if he spoke from his own individual knowledge.
Still, his predilection in favour of Rosas, to which I have adverted in
the introductory chapter (page 30), and his antipathy to everybody and
everything inimical to the regime and the system of the Buenos Ayrean
Dictator, are, or at least in 1852 were, so potent as completely to run
away with his otherwise excellent judgment. On what other grounds can
we account for his lending all the emphasis of italics to such passages
as these, for which he quotes Colonel Graham, the United States Consul,
who proceeded on an official mission to Paraguay, in 1845, and who is
apparently regarded by Sir Woodbine as an indisputable authority, viz.:—

    ‘_Were its resources developed, and encouragement given to the
    industry of its inhabitants, it might become a comparatively
    wealthy part of South America, but it could never support
    an active trade excepting with the adjoining States. Yerba,
    the tea of Paraguay, its chief product, is only consumed in
    South America; its fine woods would not bear the expense of
    transport to Europe; its sugar, tobacco, cotton, and rice, on
    account of the distance which they would have to be conveyed
    from the interior, even were the Parana open, could never enter
    into competition with those of Brazil and the United States.
    If the Parana were declared open to all nations, the United
    States could not carry on any direct intercourse with Paraguay
    under its own flag. The vessels adapted for crossing the ocean
    would not go up the Parana, and merchandise would have to be
    re-embarked at the mouth of the river in craft suitable to its
    navigation, and owned by parties resident in the country. Mr.
    Graham’s observations are equally applicable to the shipping
    of European nations, and they cannot too often be repeated for
    the information of parties embarking in trade with those remote
    countries._’

The best answer to all this is what I have already said in the preceding
chapter respecting Colonel Graham’s fellow-countryman, Mr. Hopkins; and
as to ‘vessels adapted for crossing the ocean not going up the Parana,’
Sir Woodbine must surely have been well aware, even at the time Graham
wrote, saying nothing of subsequent experience, of the facts borrowed
from Sir W. Gore Ouseley, in the note to the illustration of Corrientes
(see p. 324), respecting the ascent, not merely of the Parana, by British
vessels of war, but of the Paraguay, as far as Assumption, by the French
war steamer Fulton, commanded by Captain Mazeres; also that for upwards
of 300 miles beyond Assumption the navigation of the Paraguay is even
better than it is below the capital, as was lately exemplified, since my
return to England, by the voyage of the American steamer Waterwitch, far
beyond the limits previously understood to be navigable, except to the
small river craft of the country.

It may be said that Colonel Graham could not have known these latter
facts when he wrote what Sir Woodbine has quoted. But Sir Woodbine
himself must have known them, and should not, therefore, have quoted
the Colonel; and he must have known also that public notification had
been given, in the following document, which I also take the liberty of
printing in italics, that there had been an end put to the isolation in
which Paraguay had so long been kept by Francia; and that ‘one Lopez,’
as Sir Woodbine calls the present enlightened President, had made every
advance to the external world years before the world became persuaded
that the system of Francia had been buried with him.

    DECREES AS TO THE TREATMENT OF FOREIGNERS IN PARAGUAY, AND THE
    PRIVILEGES AND RECOMPENSES TO BE AWARDED TO THOSE WHO SHALL
    CONTRIBUTE TO DEVELOPE AND ENCOURAGE INDUSTRY AND THE MATERIAL
    IMPROVEMENT OF THE COUNTRY.

    _The Supreme Government of the Republic: Considering that
    it behoves us to extend and cultivate relations of amity,
    good understanding, and harmony with foreign nations, and
    consequently to acquaint the national authorities with the
    system which the Government follows and seeks to enforce for
    this purpose with reference to foreign subjects, decrees,
    in virtue of and in conformity with the fundamental laws of
    the State and its political and commercial principles, that
    the said authorities shall punctually observe the following
    rules:—Art. 1. The Supreme Government of the Republic
    will maintain, as a general and unalterable privilege in
    its relations with foreign powers, a perfect and absolute
    equality; so that wheresoever there may be any identity of
    cases or circumstances, no privileges, immunities, or favours
    whatsoever shall be granted to any nation which shall not in
    like manner be conceded to all others. Art. 2. Consequently,
    every foreigner, whosoever he may be, can betake himself to
    such ports of the Republic as are open to foreign commerce, and
    there carry on his mercantile operations in perfect freedom.
    Art. 3. Now, and for the whole time that the Government shall
    consider those circumstances to exist which have induced it
    to appoint certain ports for the admission of foreigners, the
    latter will not be allowed to proceed (s’interner) to other
    ports without a special permission from the Government. Art.
    4. Every foreigner, during his stay in the territory of the
    Republic, shall have full liberty to commence and to exercise
    his trade or profession: he shall obtain for his person all
    protection and security, provided that on his side he respects
    the authorities and the laws of the State. Art. 5. All
    foreigners are exempt from forced service by sea or land, from
    all military exactions or requisitions, and from extraordinary
    contributions, and shall only pay those levied on natives,
    with the slight difference consecrated by law between citizens
    and foreigners. Art. 6. No foreigner shall be persecuted on
    account of his religion, on condition that he does not exercise
    his worship publicly, and that he respects the religion of
    the State, its ministers, and its public ceremonies. Art. 7.
    Foreigners are in no case obliged to trust their business
    to agents or brokers; they have in this respect the same
    immunities as natives. Art. 8. Money, goods, or property of
    any nature whatsoever belonging to foreigners residing within
    the territory of the Republic, and confided either to the
    State or to private individuals, shall be respected and kept
    inviolate, both in time of war and in time of peace. Art.
    9. In virtue of the principle recognised in the preceding
    article, should a rupture occur between the Republic and a
    foreign country, the subjects and citizens of that country
    residing within the territory of the Republic shall be allowed
    to remain there and continue their trade or profession without
    hindrance, provided that they conduct themselves with suitable
    fidelity, and in nowise violate the laws and regulations in
    force. Art. 10. The exportation of the produce of the country
    by foreigners shall be subjected to no other duty than that
    paid by natives. Art. 11. The Supreme Government of the
    Republic can eject from its territories, either in time of
    peace or of war, any foreigner whose bad conduct gives rise
    to the adoption of this measure, but he shall be allowed a
    reasonable time for the settlement of his affairs. Art. 12.
    All foreigners residing within the territory of the Republic
    have a right to dispose of their property, either by will or
    in whatever form they may consider advisable. Art. 13. In case
    of the decease of a foreigner without a will, his property
    shall be preserved in the form prescribed in the following
    article, for his heirs ab intestato, or for his creditors.
    Art. 14. In the case stated in the preceding article, that is
    to say, the decease of a foreigner ab intestato, the judge of
    the district where the decease takes place, assisted by two
    honourable fellow-countrymen of the deceased, and in default of
    these by two inhabitants of the locality, shall proceed, with
    the least possible delay, to make out a minute inventory of
    all the property of the defunct, shall keep them in a place of
    safety, and shall render an account of the whole, accompanied
    by the inventory, to the Government, so that the property may
    be deposited in a proper place, according to its nature. Art.
    15. The said decease, _ab intestato_ shall then be announced
    in the Gazette, in order that all those concerned may be
    made acquainted with it. If any heir or creditor appears he
    shall produce legal proof of his claim. Art. 16. If no party
    concerned appears, or delays in the proceedings threaten to
    occasion a deterioration of the property, the latter shall be
    converted into the currency of the country, and which shall be
    deposited in the chest of the Treasurer or Receiver-General,
    and under their responsibility. Art. 17. In case the parties
    concerned cannot legally prove their claims, or shall not
    appear after the lapse of two years dated from the commencement
    prescribed in art. 15, the property so deposited shall be
    adjudged to the national treasury. Art. 18. Property delivered
    to foreigners who are the legitimate progenitors or descendants
    of foreigners who have died testate or ab intestato, shall
    pay at the time they receive it a duty of five per cent. When
    it is delivered to any other foreign heir, who is neither a
    progenitor nor a descendant in virtue of a will or succession
    _ab intestato_, the duty shall be ten per cent._

    _In order that all may be made acquainted with the present
    decree, it shall be promulgated in the legal form and deposited
    in the public archives._

                              _CARLOS ANTONIO LOPEZ._
                              _AUDRES GIL, Sec. to the Supreme Govt._

    _Assumption, 20th May, 1845._

At the same time, publicity had been given to another document, which
showed that not only were the persons and property of strangers perfectly
safe in Paraguay, but that protection was afforded to the fruits of their
invention and ingenuity, in a manner that other nations, pretending to a
much higher degree of civilization, would do well to imitate, viz.:—

    _The Supreme Government of the Republic, desirous of
    encouraging industry and developing the elements of improvement
    possessed by the State, and considering that one of the most
    efficient means consists in properly defining and guaranteeing
    the position and rights of those who conduce to so useful an
    end, decrees:—_

    Art. 1. Every discovery or new invention in whatever branch of
    industry it may be, is the property of the inventor, and its
    enjoyment is guaranteed to him in the form and for the time
    specified in the following articles. Art. 2. Every means of
    giving to a production already in existence a greater degree
    of perfection shall be considered as a new discovery. Art.
    3. Whosoever shall introduce into the Republic a discovery
    of foreign origin shall enjoy the same advantages which he
    would have derived from it had he been the inventor. Art. 4.
    Whosoever is desirous of obtaining and insuring to himself
    the enjoyment of an industrial property of the description
    above-mentioned, shall—first, address to the Secretary of
    the Supreme Government a declaration in writing specifying
    the nature of his claim, whether it is for a discovery, the
    perfecting, or the introduction of one; secondly, forward
    under seal an exact description of the principles, means,
    and procedure which constitute the discovery, as well as the
    plans, designs, models, and other documents which relate to
    it, and which sealed paper or volume shall be opened at the
    moment when the inventor shall receive a title to his property.
    Art. 5. The inventor shall be granted a patent which shall
    guarantee him the discovery as his property for the space
    of five or ten years, reckoned from the date of the patent.
    This period, however, may be extended, and other advantages
    conceded if the importance of the invention is so great as to
    call for extraordinary protection. Art. 6. The period during
    which a patent granted for an invention introduced from a
    foreign country remains in force cannot exceed by more than six
    months that stated in the patent taken out for the invention
    in that country. Art. 7. The possessor of a patent shall be
    exclusively entitled to the use and proceeds of the discovery,
    or the perfecting or introduction of one, for which it shall
    have been granted; consequently he can bring an action against
    infractors of his patent, and on conviction they shall be
    condemned, besides confiscation, to pay to the patentee all
    costs and damages; and, moreover, a fine of twenty per cent.
    on the total amount of the preceding condemnation, which shall
    be applied to public expenses. Art. 8. Should the denunciation
    of fraud, followed by the sequestration of the defendant’s
    property, be found devoid of proofs, the patentee shall be
    condemned to pay to the defendant all losses and damages which
    he may have sustained, besides a fine of twenty per cent. on
    the total amount of the said losses and damages, to be applied
    in like manner to public expenses. Art. 9. Every patentee shall
    have the right of forming establishments in different parts of
    the Republic, excepting only such reserved places as have been
    declared to him beforehand, as well as of authorising other
    individuals to use and put his procedure, his discovery, and
    his secret in practice—in fine, to dispose of his patent as if
    it were personal property. Art. 10. Before the expiration of
    the period for which the patent is granted, the descriptions of
    the invention can only be communicated to some citizen who may
    wish to consult them, unless political or commercial reasons
    should require the whole to be kept secret, or the inventor has
    solicited and obtained at the time he took out the patent an
    assurance that complete reserve shall be maintained with regard
    to his invention. Art. 11. At the expiration of the patent
    the invention or discovery shall become the property of the
    Republic; and the Supreme Government shall cause a description
    of it to be published, and shall allow it to be generally used
    and engaged, save and except when it shall be necessary to
    place some restrictions on it. Art. 12. This publication shall
    also take place, and the use of the operations which constitute
    the invention declared free, if the possessor of a patent
    loses his right to it, which can only happen in the following
    cases: First, when the inventor shall be convicted of having
    omitted in his description any of the procedure essential to
    the preparation of the article invented, or of not having set
    it forth with sufficient fidelity or details; secondly, when he
    has not communicated the new modifications or improvements of
    his discovery known to him at the time when he takes out his
    patent or even discovered by him after having obtained it, and
    the enjoyment of which is as safely guaranteed to him as that
    of the first invention; thirdly, when it shall be demonstrated
    that he has obtained his patent by an invention already to be
    found and described in works printed and published, so that
    in reality it is no new invention; fourthly, when, during the
    lapse of two years from the date of the patent, he has not
    begun to make use of his discovery, excepting when he can
    give good reasons for the delay; fifthly, when, after he has
    obtained a patent from the republic, he is convicted for having
    obtained another for the same invention in a foreign country
    without preliminary authority; sixthly, the patent shall in
    like manner be revoked, the invention published, and its use
    made free, if the purchaser of the right to use an invention
    specified in a patent violates the conditions imposed on the
    inventor, conditions which are not the less binding on the
    purchaser. Art. 13. If a discovery which is useful to the
    public is found to be eminently simple in its execution and
    susceptible of being too easily imitated, the inventor, instead
    of a patent, may demand an equivalent remuneration. Art. 14.
    This may likewise take place when the inventor prefers the
    honour of causing the nation to enjoy the advantages of his
    discovery at once. This remuneration shall be proportionate
    to the respective utility of the inventions, well and duly
    certified and appreciated. Art. 15. If any one discovers a
    fresh improvement for an invention already guaranteed by a
    patent, he shall obtain, at his request, another patent for the
    separate use of this new improvement, nevertheless he shall
    never be permitted, under any pretext whatsoever, to use or
    cause to be used the principal invention, and reciprocally the
    inventor cannot use or cause to be used the new improvement,
    without prejudice to such arrangements as may be made between
    themselves. Art. 16. The priority of invention, in cases of
    dispute between two patentees relative to the same article,
    shall be awarded to him who has first made the declaration and
    deposited the documents, as required in Art. 4.

    _In order that every one may be made acquainted with the
    present decree, it shall be published in the legal form and
    deposited in the public archives._

                        _CARLOS ANTONIO LOPEZ._
                        _AUDRES GIL, Sec. to the Supreme Government._

    _Assumption, 20th May, 1845._

In respect to what Sir Woodbine says in reference to the products of
Paraguay not bearing the expense of transport, it will perhaps be
sufficient to cite in a note[105] the opinions of practical men upon
the exceeding desirability and the feasibility of Europeans availing
themselves of one of its staples most essential to English manufactures,
as set forth in the leading journal a few months back.

There was always a strong presentiment among commercial men in this
country that a treaty with Paraguay would be productive of great
advantages; and there is an equally strong conviction still, despite
the apprehended obstacles raised by the Buenos Ayrean Government in
respect to the enforced protectorate of the island of Martin Garcia,
that the treaty ratified on November 2nd, by Lord Clarendon and his
Excellency Don F. Lopez, the accomplished son and representative of
the President of Paraguay at the British Court, and a copy of which
was presented to parliament the opening day of the present Session, by
Lord John Russell,[106] will, in due time, effect most of the benefits
anticipated. But so complete is the ignorance in England of the real
mercantile resources of Paraguay, that even public writers most disposed
to augur well of the treaty in question propagated notions concerning
that territory so far short of the actual fact, that, if they were
true, certain politicians might be almost justified in now pooh-poohing
what has been accomplished, just as they did when it was attempted some
years ago. For instance, one journal, long celebrated for its supposed
peculiarly accurate information on foreign topics, mercantile as well
as political, stated, immediately after the ratification of the treaty,
as a piece of intelligence of great significance, that Paraguay was the
most populous of all the La Plata provinces, ‘except Buenos Ayres’—the
truth being that the Paraguayan population exceeds the Buenos Ayrean
upwards of threefold—exceeds that of all the Argentine States and the
Banda Oriental put together! while, contrary to the general belief even
in South America, its power of consumption is greater than the rest
of the interior provinces of the Confederation.[107] Considering its
extreme isolation hitherto, and that modern writers professing to treat
of it have almost invariably drawn their information from second-hand or
apocryphal sources, it is perhaps but natural that there should be extant
but little reliable knowledge respecting Paraguay. In proceeding to
supply much of the void complained of, the first fact to which we would
draw the attention of mercantile men is, not so much its varied products,
many of them most suitable to British purposes, nor its advantages,
peculiarly fitting it to nourish an important commerce, considering its
fine climate,[108] fruitful soil, and numerous[109] population, but to
the stable and enduring nature of its governmental status.

[Illustration: VIEW NEAR ASSUMPTION.]

Unlike all the Platine provinces, Paraguay is blest with a government
which, though Republican in name and in the forms of its administration,
guarantees the preservation of public order; and is not exposed to those
constant revolutionary vicissitudes that have come to be regarded as the
normal condition of the neighbouring powers of Spanish origin. Hence,
to our thinking, the great value of this treaty with a government not
only willing but able to realize its intended share in the arrangement.
We have not only fully entered into relations with a country new, rich
in natural treasures, peopled with a docile race well disposed towards
us,[110] and situate at the head of a vast internal navigation, but we
may rely upon the utmost effect being given by the executive to the
stipulations it has undertaken to observe, and that the open navigation
of the Paraguay and Upper Parana shall be secured to the British flag,
free from all alteration or sudden closing of these rivers;—thus
completing that security so essential to successful enterprise and
speculation.

Surely we are not too sanguine in believing that a noble territory
geographically so situate, politically so secure under the firm and
sagacious guidance of President Lopez,[111] whose capacity promises to
be hereditary, and affluent in so many of the raw materials of European
manufacture and necessity, will speedily develope itself among nations
in a manner worthy of its natural endowments. The prospective mutual
benefits that are likely to be derived from this treaty are of far
greater magnitude than appear to be generally understood in England,
or perhaps even in Paraguay itself, although they must, in a great
measure, depend on the spirit in which the new reciprocal relations may
be cultivated and extended; but, be the result what it may hereafter,
we have abundant reason to be grateful for the exertions of Sir Charles
Hotham in having done so much to lay the foundation of future commercial
prosperity. Probably opposition will continue to be made by Buenos
Ayres to the execution of the other treaty with Urquiza, although the
active energies of Sir Charles were, in both cases, exerted only for the
obvious mutual advantage of all parties concerned; but as regards the
Paraguay treaty, at all events, no such obstacles are to be apprehended.
The government of Paraguay have constantly shown a laudable desire to
establish European intimacy, which circumstances not depending upon
itself have too long delayed. Had the project so wisely entertained,
and so vigorously promoted, as far as his power extended, by our able
Minister at Monte Video in 1845-6, been prosecuted to the end, and
the independence of Paraguay recognized by the British Government in
conformity with the wishes of Sir W. Gore Ouseley, when, in conjunction
with Baron Defaudis, the French Minister, Captain (now Sir C.) Hotham
was sent to Assumption, to treat with President Lopez, there can be no
question that many of the subsequent troubles and difficulties of the La
Plata question would have been altogether obviated; Rosas would long ago
have been expelled; his vast property (the non-sequestration of which
was the grand error of Urquiza) would not have been employed to promote
the revolutionary intrigues it has since done, but which it will do no
longer, as it is now confiscated; and Paraguay, instead of merely being
about entering on its noviciate, would have had seven years’ experience
of reciprocity with the old world by this time.

[Illustration: LOOKING TOWARDS ASSUMPTION.]

By selecting Sir C. Hotham for the mission to Paraguay, Lord Malmesbury
virtually continued, in the person of the very officer chosen for that
purpose, the commercial policy initiated in ’45-6 by Sir W. G. Ouseley.
On that occasion, as more recently, the English were received by the
Paraguayans with the greatest cordiality, though at the same time with
a reserve not unbecoming a people whose _amour propre_ was wounded by
their independence not being recognized in the first instance. Once
that all-essential formality was complied with, negotiations proceeded
as satisfactorily as could be desired. It is understood that when the
Paraguayan Envoys were sent to Monte Video in ’46 to treat with our then
Minister there, Sir William suggested that a number of distinguished
young natives should be sent to England, that they might judge of our
institutions and commercial spirit for themselves, and report to him that
this country had, and could have, no sinister motive to serve by a treaty
with Paraguay. Concurring in that opinion, President Lopez wisely caused
his son, the minister plenipotentiary to this court, General Lopez, to
be accompanied by a numerous suite of military officers and civilians,
together with a younger brother of the General’s, as secretary, full of
intelligence, and by M. Gelli, a veteran diplomatist. The General, though
a young man, has for some years been commander-in-chief of the Paraguayan
forces, and is said to manifest great ability and a large faculty of
observation, evincing a keen desire to obtain information on all subjects
likely to be of benefit to his country. He made a very favourable
impression in England, and still more so in France, where he was received
with the greatest distinction, the Emperor, Napoleon the Third, according
him public and private audiences amidst the most imposing ceremonial
of state. He is now (April, 1854,) engaged in making a tour in Italy,
and through the continent; and in the course of the present summer will
return to Paraguay, his naturally fine mind stored with the fruits of an
observant and diversified experience, and his excellent disposition in no
way deteriorated, it is to be hoped, by his acquaintance with the peoples
of the old world.

[Illustration: BRIGADIER GENERAL FRANCISCO SOLANO LOPEZ, ENVOY
EXTRAORDINARY AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY.]

Whoever has any knowledge of the history of the American republics,
and of the Spanish language, will not fail to remark in Paraguay a
rare and singular circumstance, which does great honour to its men of
the sword,[112] and must inspire confidence in the future stability of
authority in the country. The military in all the new American states
have always shown, without any exception, a propensity most fatal to
order, that of making and unmaking governments without consulting the
opinions and wishes of their fellow-citizens, only those of the chiefs
of certain factions with whom they may concert their plans. Here, on the
contrary, so soon as the first case, and the most extraordinary one which
it is possible to imagine, occurred, the men of the sword did not usurp
the right of creating and establishing the supreme authority. They set
the example of calling together an assembly of their fellow-countrymen to
take the opinion and votes of the country, and submit themselves to the
authorities which the general wishes might elect. The new administration
had all to create, because everything had been destroyed. The dictator
left neither individuals or materials of any description, of which the
government that succeeded him could avail themselves.[113] Everything
was in disorder as an effect of the monstrous centralization in his
person alone of all the branches of the administration. High and low,
policy, justice, finances, war, ecclesiastical matters, in fine all was
absorbed; nothing was done by any one but him. There was not a single
individual who had been enabled to acquire any practice, any routine for
the dispatch of business, as there were no fixed and general principles
to serve as guides for particular cases which presented themselves,
everything depending on the caprice or will of the dictator, who only
employed people as scribes, little else than the merest copying clerks.
No person had obtained the least instruction, or the least experience,
to enable him to prepare, and facilitate the labour of the government
departments, and the dispatch of business.

[Illustration: CHURCH OF THE RECOLETA—BURIAL-GROUND—NEAR ASSUMPTION.]

With these difficulties to encounter, the new government set to work with
energy, but without noise or ostentation. It did not announce itself by
the proclamation of pompous promises. It would have been imprudent to
arouse hopes which might only be realized in time, and in spite of many
obstacles. It did not set up theories and doctrines of an exaggerated
liberalism, which subsequently, besides their being at first ill
understood, it might have itself been obliged to abandon in practice. It
did not allow the smallest sign of blame or disapprobation of the conduct
of the dictator to transpire. It would have been useless, and even
setting a bad example, to abuse his memory, and awaken the remembrance
of irreparable evils. We may believe that the Consular Government wished
to be judged according to its acts, and not by its proclamations and
dissertations.

Some small capital of which no one had suspected the existence was soon
seen to appear and circulate, and this gave much impulse to industry and
occupation to labourers, who, until then, had been unable to find any.
The apparition of these little capitals, and the activity which ensued,
were sure signs of confidence in public order, and in the government.
Instead of the inaction and apathy which previously reigned, a spirit of
enterprise and animation was every where seen. Assumption was cleared
of the ruins and rubbish which rendered its aspect disgusting. The
spaces left by buildings half demolished were masked by walls, and new
habitations were raised, modest in truth, but which gave an air of life
to the city.

Although there is no saying much with accuracy of the present revenue of
Paraguay,[114] it is certain that it suffices to meet its public ordinary
expenses, which cannot be more moderate. Paraguay has not that numerous
body of _employés_ which has been, and is still, a cancer gnawing into
the heart of the new states which so proudly clothe themselves with the
title of republics. Her functionaries are not numerous. They mostly
receive but very slender emoluments, either because living is very cheap
in Paraguay, or because offices are there considered rather as public
duties to fulfil, than places which, to be well filled, should be well
remunerated. The judges are annually selected amongst the inhabitants of
the different districts, of divers professions, without any necessity
for their engaging in preliminary studies, or for their being previously
destined for the magistracy, and the government allows them only what is
indispensable for their office expenses and the dispatch of business,
without any fees being paid by the parties concerned. When the service
requires more functionaries, and those of special capacity, who will have
to devote themselves exclusively to the duties of their employments, the
public treasury will be better provided, and in a better position to
remunerate those whom the government will have to employ.[115]

Whatever may be the sum, however, at present produced by each branch of
the revenue, it cannot but increase, and rapidly, not only in consequence
of the development of those things on which duties are chargeable, but
also because, with time and experience, the distribution of the taxes,
&c., will be improved.[116] They will be convinced of a truth long
accepted in political economy, but which does not the less pass for
paradoxical, elsewhere than in Paraguay, viz.: that duties, when moderate
and properly collected, are much more productive than high ones.

It was perhaps this principle which gave rise to the reform introduced
by the President’s Government in the Tariff. That of 1841, which was
imprinted with the doctrines of the protectionist school, was reformed
and reduced by M. Lopez in 1846. That of 1841, not content with
establishing very heavy duties on the generality of articles imported,
and on all those exported, was intended to favour, at the expense of all,
some hatters and vine-dressers who made bad hats and still worse wine,
and levied a duty of 40 per cent. on wines and hats imported. The Tariff
of 1846 has remedied these evils, and diminished the duties in general,
but they are still too heavy, especially those on exports, which ought to
be reduced almost to nothing.[117]

Respecting the trade that may be expected to ensue between this country
and Paraguay, I am not fanatical enough to suppose that it will be either
very rapid or very extensive at first. But, at the same time, as little
can I share the apprehensions of a Buenos Ayrean writer quoted in the
leading English journal on the arrival of the mail of the 16th of this
month, (April, 1854,) that because certain mercantile ventures to the
Parana had not proved lucrative, therefore the means of the inhabitants,
and, by inference, of Paraguay also, were at a very low ebb, and that
there was an indisposition to commerce. The same consequences, and from
the same causes, were observable in China on the first partial opening
of intercourse with that empire. The markets were not suited with proper
goods and were glutted with superfluities. As to Paraguay, at all events,
we know that both the taste and the means exist in the indulgence
of what among so comparatively simple a people may be considered
great luxuries.[118] Opportunity alone was wanted; and now that that
opportunity is afforded, and that European wealth will be forthcoming
for the numerous indigenous commodities so much required in this quarter
of the world, there can be no doubt that all reasonable expectations
formed by the parties to the Malmesbury treaty, and by those who long ago
laboured to bring such treaties about, will soon begin to be realized.



SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, K.C.B.


This distinguished officer, now Governor of the Australian Colony of
Victoria, comes of an ancient ancestry, many members of whom attained
eminence in that special branch of the public service in which he himself
has acquired such deserved repute. Indeed, there are few families that
have for so long a time, and for such a continuance, given so many
servants to the state. As early as the reign of Edward II., we find that
John de Hotham, great grandson of the first of the name, who settled
at the family seat of Hotham, Yorkshire, was Bishop of Ely, Treasurer
of the Exchequer, and subsequently Lord Chancellor to Edward III. Sir
John Hotham, the first baronet, Governor of Hull, who had five wives,
was beheaded on Tower-hill, together with his son, Sir John Hotham,
Knt., by the Parliamentarians, for corresponding with the Royalists,
in 1643. His grandson and successor married into the noble family of
Beaumont, in Ireland, and hence the Irish peerage, which the present
Lord Hotham, member for the East-Riding of Yorkshire, and uncle of Sir
Charles, retains, his lordship being a major-general in the army, and
having served at Waterloo. Of the many naval officers in the family,
both in direct descent and collaterally, the most celebrated was the
Rt. Hon. William, Baron Hotham, of South Dalton, in the peerage of
Ireland, so created 7th March, 1797, with remainder, in default of direct
descendants, to the heirs male of his deceased father, in consideration
of his gallant achievements, as a naval commander, at the commencement
of hostilities with republican France. Having previously attained the
rank of rear-admiral, he was advanced to that of admiral of the white,
appointed second in command of the fleet ordered to the Mediterranean,
under Lord Hood, of which he obtained the chief command a few months
afterwards, upon Lord Hood’s return to England; and but a short time
subsequently elapsed until Admiral Hotham had the good fortune to bring
the French squadron to action (14th March, 1795), and to obtain a
decisive victory over it, for which he received the thanks of both houses
of parliament, and was made admiral of the blue. He died, unmarried, in
1813, and was succeeded by his brother Beaumont, Lord Hotham, father of
the present Lord Hotham, M.P., and of the late Vice-Admiral Hotham, who
was, consequently, uncle of the subject of the present sketch, of whom
the annexed particulars are taken from the great nautical professional
authority, ‘O’Byrne’s Naval Biography’:—

‘Sir Charles Hotham, born in 1806, is eldest son of the Rev. Fras.
Hotham, Prebendary of Rochester (second son of the second Lord Hotham,
one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer), by Anne Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Thos. Hallett Hodges, Esq., of Hemsted Place, Kent; and
first cousin of Capt. Hon. Geo. Fred. Hotham, R.N. Sir Charles, who
is brother-in-law of Lieut.-Col. Grieve, of the 75th Regt., has also
a brother, Augustus Thomas Hotham, in the army. This officer entered
the navy 6 Nov., 1818; and on the night of the 23 May, 1824, when
midshipman of the Naiad, 46, Captain Robert Cavendish Spencer, served
in the boats under Lieut. Michael Quin at the gallant destruction of a
16-gun brig, moored in a position of extraordinary strength alongside
the walls of the fortress of Bona, in which was a garrison of about
400 soldiers, who, from cannon and musket, kept up a tremendous fire,
almost perpendicularly, on the deck. He was made lieutenant, 17 Sept.,
1825, into the Revenge, 76, flag-ship of Sir Harry Burrard Neale in the
Mediterranean; and next appointed—15 May, 1826, to the Medina, 20, Capts.
Timothy Curtis and William Burnaby Greene, on the same station—and, 8
Dec. 1827, and 26 July, 1828, as first, to the Terror and Meteor bombs,
Capts. Wm. Fletcher and David Hope. As a reward for his distinguished
exertions on the occasion of the wreck of the Terror, Mr. Hotham was
promoted by the Lord High Admiral to the rank of commander on the 13th of
August, 1828. After an interval of half-pay he obtained an appointment
on the 17th of March, 1830, to the Cordelia, 10, and returned to the
Mediterranean, whence he ultimately came home and was paid off in
October, 1833—having been raised to post-rank on 28 of the preceding
June, in compliment to the memory of his uncle, the late Vice-Admiral
Hon. Sir Henry Hotham, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. His next appointment was, 25
Nov., 1842, to the Gorgon steam-sloop, stationed on the S.E. coast of
America. In Nov., 1845, having assumed command of a small squadron, he
ascended the river Parana, in conjunction with a French naval force under
Capt. Trèhouart, and on 20 of that month, after a hard day’s fighting,
succeeded in effecting the destruction of four heavy batteries belonging
to General Rosas at Punta Obligado, also of a schooner-of-war carrying 6
guns, and of 24 vessels chained across the river. Towards the close of
the action he landed with 180 seamen and 145 marines, and accomplished
the defeat of the enemy, whose numbers had originally consisted of at
least 3,500 men, in cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and whose batteries
had mounted 22 pieces of ordnance, including 10 brass guns, which
latter were taken off to the ships, the remainder being all destroyed.
The loss of the British in this very brilliant affair amounted to 9
men killed and 24 wounded. In acknowledgment of the gallantry, zeal,
and ability displayed throughout its various details by Capt. Hotham,
he was recommended in the most fervent terms of admiration by his
Commander-in-Chief, Rear-Admiral S. Hood Inglefield, in his despatches
to the Admiralty, and he was in consequence nominated a K.C.B. 9 March,
1846. Since 13 May in that year he has been employed as commodore on
the coast of Africa, with his broad pennant successively flying in the
Devastation and Penelope steamers. While Sir Chas. Hotham was in the
Gorgon, that vessel was blown far on shore in a hurricane at Colonia, and
it was only by the most indomitable and procrastinated exertion on the
part of himself and his crew that she was saved.’

The glorious and almost unequalled, and certainly unique, exploits in
the Parana, here alluded to, are far too important to be passed over
so summarily as in the preceding paragraph, especially as, in a work
of this nature, the history of these transactions, however brief,
serves to furnish some interesting information respecting one of the
most celebrated and remarkable sites in the entire of that navigation
which the diplomatic skill of the same commander has since opened to
the commerce of the world no less effectually than did his gallantry to
the combined fleets of England and France seven years previously. Full
professional details of the operations will be found in Mackinnon’s
‘Steam Warfare in the Parana,’ published in 1848, in which the writer
says:—‘The great secret of the success which crowned almost every
effort, with one miserable exception, was due, firstly, to the excellent
arrangements which, by the powers of steam, were so perfectly and
expeditiously carried out; and, secondly, to the admirable nature of the
ordnance, and the skilful application of its different branches. Where
the leader is of great ability, and possesses the confidence of those
under his command, coupled with such _materiel_ and _personnel_ as Sir
Charles Hotham had in his control, it is not by any means astonishing
that everything succeeded admirably. It is rare, too, for a British
officer to combine the talent for languages which Sir Charles Hotham
possesses in such an eminent degree, with the perseverance and skill
recently evinced in the extraordinary recovery of H. M. ship Gorgon, and
in the after operations in the Parana.’

A still more emphatic and authoritative tribute to the genius of Sir
Charles is supplied by the diplomatist under whose instruction he
acted at the time, and who, as we have already seen [see _ante_],
had previously availed himself of his services in the then attempted
initiation of that European intercourse whose subsequent consummation
has indissolubly associated the name of Hotham with the peaceful as well
as the warlike annals of South America. Appended is Sir W. G. Ouseley’s
graphic account of the passage of the Parana at Obligado, the writer
being lavish of praise on everybody, but silent as regards himself,
who was really responsible in every respect for the conception and
organization, if not for the execution, of the whole design.

    The pass of Obligado, on the River Parana, was the position
    selected for obstructing the passage of the English and French
    vessels employed in completing the blockade of the province
    of Buenos Ayres, by cutting off its communication with the
    provinces on the opposite bank. A blockade of the capital
    only of Buenos Ayres, and of its River Plate shores would,
    of course, be nugatory unless enforced along the course of
    the Parana as far as the limits of that province extend.
    Reinforcements of troops, horses, artillery, and warlike stores
    of all sorts, would continue to be sent across the Parana into
    the province of Entre Rios, from whence continually to renew
    and supply the Buenos Ayrean army invading the Banda Oriental
    and besieging Monte Video. To prevent this and ultimately cause
    a cessation of these disastrous hostilities it was necessary
    to blockade the whole fluvial coast of the province of Buenos
    Ayres. In order, therefore, to effect this blockade a small
    combined squadron of French and English vessels was detached
    from the force in the River Plate to occupy the Parana, as far
    as the effectual enforcement of the blockade of the province of
    Buenos Ayres might require. The boundary between the province
    of Buenos Ayres and that of Santa Fé strikes the Parana at the
    ‘Arroyo del Medio.’ This division, marked by a brook running
    into the river, is about thirty or forty miles above the turn
    in the Parana, called the ‘Vuelta de Obligado,’ which it was of
    course necessary to pass in order to reach the limits of the
    province. It was determined by the Government of Buenos Ayres
    to prevent the combined squadron from proceeding beyond the
    pass of Obligado if possible. But although the preparations
    for defence could not but have been known to hundreds, long
    previous to the declaration of the blockade, as well as the
    fact of works being in progress for barring the passage, the
    construction of batteries, and placing the chain cables,
    vessels, &c., all of which must have occupied much time, it
    is remarkable that no information whatever as to the plan or
    real nature of the intended obstruction could be obtained
    either at Buenos Ayres or Monte Video. Vague rumours did
    reach the admirals commanding in chief, and other officers, of
    preparations in progress, but some reported that vessels were
    sunk in the channel, others said that forts or batteries were
    in course of construction at every commanding point on the
    river; in fact, the true nature of the intended resistance was
    entirely unknown, until some boats which preceded the squadron
    when proceeding up the river were fired upon a few miles below
    Obligado, at a place called San Pedro. And even then it was
    not believed that any serious opposition would be attempted
    to the advance of the blockading flotilla. However, when once
    the fire had been opened by the Buenos Ayreans at Obligado it
    became of course necessary to return it, and the result was the
    general engagement that ensued. When it is recollected that
    the scale on which the defences had been prepared was quite
    unexpected, and that the Buenos Ayrean force employed was much
    greater than was anticipated (amounting to about 4,000 men),
    while the nature of the other obstacles to be encountered was
    previously unknown, it will be evident that the skill and
    experience of the able officer who commanded the squadron were
    put to a severe test, and that it required his well concerted
    arrangements in the plan of attack and the gallantry displayed
    in carrying them into effect, to obtain the successful result
    that added to the high professional reputation of Sir Charles
    Hotham, already too well known to need any tribute here. It
    must also be borne in mind, in order to form a just estimate
    of this successful engagement, that with the exception of the
    steamers and a corvette, the major part of the force consisted
    of a mere flotilla of small vessels, armed for the purpose
    of ascending the river, and that they were for several hours
    exposed at no great distance to a heavy and well-directed
    fire from formidable and skilfully planned batteries. It is,
    however, needless here to give any detailed description of
    the action that resulted in the destruction of the batteries
    and other defences at this place. The despatches of the
    commanders of the English and French squadrons, Sir Charles
    Hotham and Admiral Tréhouart, were published at the time, and
    give a clear account of the manner in which the affair was
    conducted, showing the skill and great gallantry manifested
    generally throughout this affair. Across the pass from the
    Buenos Ayrean shore and batteries to the wooded island in the
    plan and sketch, a number of coasting vessels and river craft,
    chiefly Sardinian, as are most of that class of vessels in
    those rivers, were moored, supporting four large chain cables,
    solidly fastened to the shore on either side, thus presenting
    no trifling barrier to the passage up the river. On the right
    bank (_i. e._ on the Buenos Ayrean side) were constructed
    four batteries, of which two were close to the level of the
    water, and all well placed for defending the approach to the
    barrier of chains and boats. On the opposite, or Entre Rios
    bank, above the chains were anchored a brig of war and some
    gun boats, with heavy guns, out of the line of fire from
    the opposite batteries, but well placed for the annoyance
    of any attacking force. The brig was anchored off the Entre
    Rios shore, near an island, between which and the main land
    the water was too shallow to admit of the brig and gun-boats
    being attacked from that side. The batteries, four in number,
    mounted, according to the despatch of Gen. Mancilla, the Buenos
    Ayrean Commander-in-Chief, twenty-nine guns; the vessel had six
    mounted on one broadside, which, with field-pieces posted in
    the woods, made forty-two guns. The guns were well manned and
    served, chiefly by Europeans and North Americans, and troops to
    the number of about 3 or 4,000 lined the Buenos Ayrean shore.
    Some of the smaller vessels were fired upon as they approached
    the batteries: this was of course returned, and then commenced
    the action, which lasted for several hours, and was kept up
    with much spirit by the Buenos Ayrean batteries, until the fire
    of some of their guns was silenced, when boats were sent to
    break the chains, which service was gallantly effected under
    a heavy fire, and ultimately parties of English marines and
    seamen, (and subsequently French,) were landed, and, led by
    Sir Charles Hotham, succeeded in completely driving the Buenos
    Ayreans from their guns and obliging their forces to retire,
    and the flotilla passed up the river. This very arduous service
    was performed in the coolest and most effectual manner by Capt.
    J. Hope, of the ‘Firebrand,’ Mr. Nicholson, with two engineers
    of the ‘Gorgon,’ and a few men, who proceeded in small boats,
    under a most galling fire, deliberately to break the chains
    with cold chisels and sledge-hammers, after an attempt to
    saw them had failed. The depth of water at Obligado is about
    twenty-five fathoms, in some places (and at certain seasons)
    much more. The stream runs at about four knots, which was of
    course an additional source of difficulty, especially to the
    sailing vessels and boats.

Continuing the biographical notice of Sir C. Hotham from the point at
which Lieut. O’Byrne leaves off, it is only necessary to add, that in
April, 1852, he was appointed plenipotentiary in that mission with
the record and anticipation of whose results so large a portion of
the present volume is occupied. The mode in which he discharged that
delicate and important trust recommended him to Her Majesty’s present
advisers as the most fit and proper person for probably as difficult
and onerous a duty as it is possible for the crown to expect at the
hands of a public servant at the present moment, viz., the Governorship
of Victoria, a colony that presents innumerable phases of social and
political transmutation and anomaly, of which history affords not only
no parallel, but nothing in the least degree approximating to its
similitude. If Sir Charles had been at liberty to follow the bent of
his own inclination, if he did not feel that to decline such a service
would in some measure embarrass the executive, it is considered that
he would have preferred, in these stirring times, seeking the probable
repetition of such incidents as the Pass of Obligado, and with foes more
worthy of his hereditary fame than he then encountered. The crest of the
house of Hotham is, according to the heralds, a demi-seaman issuing out
of the water, holding in his dexter-hand a flaming sword:—supporters,
two seamen, habited, and each holding a sword, the point resting on
the ground, the motto being the significant shibboleth, ‘Lead on.’ Sir
Charles married, in 1853, the Hon. Jane Sarah, (born 1817) relict of
Hugh Holbech, Esq., and daughter of Lord Bridport, a name illustrious in
nautical annals, and allied by marriage to one still more famous, that of
Nelson; the mother of the present Lady Charles Hotham being niece of the
victor of Trafalgar, and now Duchess of Bronté.



CHAPTER XV.

HOMEWARD BOUND.

    Departure from Buenos Ayres.—Arrival at Monte Video.—Guano
    deposits of Patagonia.—Bahia Blanca.—Eligibility of the
    district for an overland route to Chili.—Chilian grant for
    direct steam communication with England.—Accessions to
    steam navigation on the Brazilian coast.—Opening of the
    Amazon.—Departure from Monte Video.—Rough wind and heavy
    sea.—Aspect of Raza under various lights and shades.—Hotel
    accommodation of Rio Janeiro.—A wet day at Bahia.—Consular
    memoranda on Venezuela, Bolivia, and Equador.—Arrival at
    Pernambuco, and meeting with the Olinda.—Arrival at Porto
    Grande.—Seven days’ steaming against the wind.—Madeira in the
    distance.—Arrival at Belem.—Miseries and absurdities of the
    quarantine system.—Towing the Pilot astern.—Passage up St.
    George’s Channel.—Arrival in the Mersey.—Loss of the Olinda and
    the Argentina.—New ocean and river steamers.

[Illustration: THE BRAZILEIRA ON HER RETURN VOYAGE.]


Buenos Ayres being the extent of my mission, and expecting the Brazileira
so soon at Monte Video, I hastened my departure for Monday, the 27th
September, when we embarked early, with a very heavy surf, caused by the
northerly wind blowing right on shore. Few passengers would venture off,
and it took me nearly an hour to reach the Argentina, in a good boat,
pulled by stalwart rowers, than whom there are few better than the Buenos
Ayreans, thanks to the perpetual practice required in their perilous
roadstead of a harbour. For a place with shallow water, I never saw so
heavy a surf, which renders it most uncomfortable to those who may be
compelled to embark under such circumstances. We had a fresh breeze the
greater part of the way, increasing to a strong one as we approached
the mount of Monte Video, reaching it at dark, so as to get into that
excellent haven. This, however, we did quite safely, and landed our
passengers in buoyant spirits, and full of admiration of our craft’s
performance, in the face of such difficulties. Next morning was wet and
hazy, but on its clearing off at about eleven o’clock we were agreeably
surprised to see our ocean steamer, Brazileira, close to the harbour. She
soon came to an anchor, two days before her time, to the inexpressible
confusion of many unbelieving individuals, who had been very prolific
in their forebodings that she would be considerably in arrear of her
promised undertaking. She was the first steamer that ever came direct to
the River Plate with cargo and passengers, both which were landed, at
Monte Video in thirty-five days, and Buenos Ayres in thirty-six days,
thus completely establishing the practicability of such a communication,
and adding another triumph to the wonders of steam. In such a country it
is a boon that can only be understood and appreciated by degrees, but
every practical writer on the affairs of the River Plate has pointed to
steam as the alpha and omega—the one thing needful towards a successful
development of its resources, and the only element by which these vast
countries can be rendered available to mankind, or perform their part
in the great work of their Creator. With steam and railways would come
hands and emigration, so much required, and where there is a vast
and lucrative field, perhaps the most lucrative in the world, for its
operation.

Before quitting the La Plata, and its future destinies, I would say a
few words on subjects connected therewith, although they may have no
immediate bearing on the present narrative. I have before remarked how
comparatively little is known in Europe of the past history of this part
of South America, and of its internal resources. South of Buenos Ayres
the curtain has been somewhat raised by guano researches on the coast of
Patagonia, which have not resulted in any great gain to the adventurers.
The climate is too humid, and the expense of drying the guano too great,
to admit of much extension in that trade, which would scarcely have been
opened but for the enterprize arising out of Ichaboe. Buenos Ayres has,
therefore, lost nothing by this supposed encroachment on her territory,
if it be rightfully hers—a point not altogether undisputed—which is, in
other respects, wide enough, in all conscience, to admit of any multitude
of industrious settlers, if they were disposed to come. Had similar
deposits of guano to those on the coasts of Chili and Peru existed at
Patagonia, then, indeed, there might have been a reasonable chance for
the interest on Buenos Ayres Bonds being paid, considerably sooner than
now seems likely. There is a spot to the southward, called Bahia Blanca,
with a good bay, and a river running from a long distance westward, that
promises well to become of much future importance. Parish makes allusion
to military operations in that locality, and I found that at Buenos Ayres
several parties had their attention directed there, as a place offering
considerable advantages, in the centre of large cattle districts, and
through which the shortest cut could be made to the south-west coast
of this continent. There is little doubt that if a safe and easy route
could be established across the country, it would be much frequented,
and by many be preferred to Panama, with its sickly tendencies; a voyage
of thirty or thirty-five days from England, and then a journey of ten or
twelve days’ might enable the traveller to reach the territory of Chili
through a fine country and healthy climate.

And speaking of Chili and Peru, the present may not be an inopportune
place—at least I can now avail of no other—to state that a further link
in the steam chain, wherein Brazil may be expected to play a prominent
part, is that to the west coast of South America, through the Straits of
Magellan, as already indicated in the introductory chapter in reference
to Chili, whose government have granted a subsidy of £12,000 a year for a
direct steam communication with England; and it is believed this can be
best effected by having branch steamers from Rio to Valparaiso, making
Rio, what it really ought to be, the port of transit for the southern
ocean.[119] The mineral wealth of Chili and Peru is still, as all know,
something almost fabulous, and the consumption of British manufactures in
those countries very considerable; so that steamers would be sure of a
paying freight both ways, with abundance of passengers, who would prefer
such a route to the inconvenience and expense of crossing the isthmus.
All that is required to secure to Brazil these important advantages, is
a relaxation in its fiscal system, by which steamers can discharge and
load in transit, without being subjected to local dues and restrictions,
which are an extinguisher to progress in any country. If they decline to
give these facilities, Monte Video and the Falkland Islands[120] will
be only too glad of the opportunity, and wherever it takes root there
it will remain. The question is important for Brazil, as a large number
of vessels now put into Rio in transitu that would follow in the wake
of steamers. Unfortunately, the facilities for dealing with cases of
distressed vessels are no further advanced than they were fifty years
back: not a graving dock, patent slip, or other convenient apparatus
yet existing in the otherwise noble harbour of Rio Janeiro, although a
floating sectional dock was in course of construction at Ponta d’Area.

It would appear that the formidable difficulties in navigating the
Straits of Magellan exist only in name. Winter and summer the passage
is quite easy and practicable, and settlements are taking place by
which both sailing ships and steamers can be furnished with stores and
provisions, whilst there is coal of the country ready to assist the
movements of steam. But in reality, the dreaded peril of Cape Horn
itself will soon be quite a matter of history,[121] if a halfway house
hereabouts be established, as the proofs already adduced, and now
quoted in a note, render a certainty. The coal is said to be a kind
of bituminous anthracite, which gets up steam very well when mixed
with English coal. Coal has been found on the coast of Chili of this
description, and in places readily accessible for steam purposes. With
the present high freights for coal shipped hence, the certainty of a
supply of even inferior fuel of the kind is most important.

Other lines of steam communication are in process of formation along
the South American, especially the Brazilian, coast, to connect the bye
ports and rivers with the principal cities and towns; and two steamers,
called the ‘Santa Cruz’ and ‘Continguiba,’ are shortly to leave for Bahia
on this most useful errand; so that, in a few years, we may expect to
find coasting steamers in Brazil as numerous almost as on our own coast,
conveying to and fro passengers and produce, to the great advantage of
the country and of our mercantile relations with it.

The Rio Company which has undertaken the contract with the Brazilian
government for opening up the navigation of the Amazon has hardly yet
been long enough in operation to show what can be accomplished. There
are immense difficulties to overcome in pioneering a navigation of this
kind through such wild, uncultivated, and almost unknown districts;
and without a considerable subsidy, no association would undertake the
task. Great credit is due to the Brazilian government for making a heavy
sacrifice in order to insure so desirable an object. They are moreover
negotiating with the Company with the view of correcting the clause of
the contract which insures to the Company the exclusive privilege of
navigating the river with steamers. These arrangements will doubtless
be brought to a successful issue, for a more enlightened and patriotic
citizen than Senhor Irenêo Evangelista de Souza, with whom the government
contract was made, does not exist in any country. He has done more
for the internal advancement of Brazil than any other man; witness the
splendid establishment at Ponta d’Area, for foundry work, engineering,
and ship building; the short railway to the foot of the Organ Mountains;
lighting the city of Rio with gas, the establishment of a new bank which
has lately merged into a national one; and, latterly, opening up the
navigation of the Amazon; besides many other improvements that little is
heard of. Only those personally acquainted with the indefatigable labours
of Senhor Irenêo in such a country can judge of their real beneficial
tendency, or of the gigantic mind required to cope with the difficulties
entailed. Great stir is making by our Yankee friends in this part of
the world; they have contracted with the Peruvian government for two
small wooden steamers, which were sent out piecemeal, and put together
at Pará. Report says very little in favour of the strength or speed of
these steamers, qualities very essential to such a navigation, exposed to
strong currents, and impediments from want of a proper knowledge of the
channel of the river. I believe the Rio Company are building some fine
powerful boats in this country, that will shortly be brought to bear on
this increasing and, I venture to predict, wonderful traffic.

My mission being for the promotion of steam in South America, and
the main aim and object of this volume being to make known here the
desirability of, and the field for, such enterprise in that country, I
trust the foregoing apparent digression in the midst of the return voyage
will not appear irrelevant.

Leaving Monte Video on the morning of the 1st October, we steamed down
the river, with a light breeze and sunny weather; soon passed Flores,
which very much resembles some of our channel lighthouses, on a low
island, a short distance from the land. Before sunset we had left the
island of Lobos behind, and soon came into a nasty head wind and sea,
which lasted for two or three days, causing the vessel to pitch a good
deal, and making every one uncomfortable. At daylight on the fifth
morning the mountains of Rio were in sight, the Corcovado towering over
them. Passing Raza, the scenery is very fine, and will bear oft-repeated
inspection with largely increased advantage, as it varies much with the
particular period of the day when seen, the lights and shadows being so
different, and changing with each succeeding hour. Early morning throws
its sharp silvery touch over everything, tinting the sides and peaks
of the mountains, which seem floating in mist, whilst the forts and
buildings of the city have a sombre hue. At mid-day all this effect has
cleared away; the hills stand out in bold relief—bright green is the
distinguishing character of the landscape—and the glare of white houses
and red tiles meets your eye in every direction. Towards evening the
aspect again changes to a deep brown or purple, steeping all things in
more glowing richness; and presently there is thrown over the whole that
peculiar olive which is quite a reality in the tropics, but the painting
of which looks more or less ideal to the vision accustomed only to the
comparatively frigid atmosphere of our temperate zone. I merely allude to
the general character of the scenery, which, of course, varies materially
with the changes of weather, and needless is it to add that there are
occasional sunsets which no description of language could adequately
pourtray.

We regret to say that the hotel accommodation of Rio Janeiro is very
deficient for the size of the place and the extent of traffic passing
through it. The best hotels are those of Pharoux and De l’Europe, in
the city, and the Hotel des Etrangers and Johnson’s Hotel, on the road
to Botafogo, the latter being peculiarly adapted for English ideas of
comfort, and also long known to English travellers passing through,
as well as a comfortable home to many residents there. The Hotel des
Etrangers is a large, spacious building, now kept by a Frenchman, and is
quite a fashionable resort for deputies visiting Rio for the session, as
also for foreign diplomatists. The accommodation at Johnson’s Hotel is
limited, and quite of a select nature. Comfortable boarding-houses, in
our meaning of the term, are very few and far between. The majority of
new-comers to, or passers-through, Rio, have private friends, to whose
houses they resort during their brief sojourn; but, undoubtedly, there
is ample scope for much greater accommodation being afforded to ‘man and
beast’ in this large city. The Emperor of Brazil is said to be coming to
Europe on a tour of some duration. It is to be hoped that not only will
he be accompanied by a large retinue, but that numbers of the affluent
inhabitants of this capital will also visit the old world at the same
time; for if so, they can carry back with them no experience that may be
turned to more desirable account in Rio than that which they will derive
from an acquaintance with first class British, French, or German hotels.

After four days’ detention at Rio, coaling, taking in cargo, &c., we
left, on the morning of the 20th October, with some eighty passengers on
board, for the northern ports of Brazil, Lisbon, and England. Again we
encountered the head wind and sea which had so perplexed us previously,
between Monte Video and Rio; but arriving, nevertheless, in three and
a half days at Bahia, where we spent a miserably wet day coaling. In
spite of the weather we got away in the afternoon, under a salute from
the forts in honour of the President[122] of Pará, who was a passenger
on board. Forty hours took us to Pernambuco Roads, which we left again
on Sunday afternoon, the 16th, once more in direct route for home. The
Olinda was due at Pernambuco, and strange enough, the next morning
we met her as if a line had been drawn for us to do so. Saluting each
other with two guns, and a reciprocal round of three hearty cheers, time
being too valuable for either to stop to satisfy curiosity, we pursued
our respective routes, not a little elated by reciprocal punctuality
and success thus far in our mutual maiden voyage. She looked remarkably
well, appeared to be steaming fast, and would be in Pernambuco early next
day. Our passenger list comprised fifty, of all denominations, English,
French, Brazilians, Portuguese, Argentine, &c.; but it is surprising
how everything gets into shape and order under such circumstances. We
sighted the Island of St. Paul’s, looking like the white sails of a
vessel, and on Sunday afternoon, the 22nd of October, came to anchor in
Porto Grande, St. Vincent, under seven days from Pernambuco, a distance
of 2,000 miles, very good work it must be confessed, though, perhaps,
nothing to boast of, considering what we had already achieved. Leaving
St. Vincent the same night, we had to steam against the north-east wind
and waves for seven consecutive days, with no aid from our canvass.
Then we passed Porto Santo, and saw both the Desertas and Madeira at a
good distance, basking in fine clear weather. The morning of the 3rd
October broke splendidly on the coast of Portugal, Cape Espectrial and
the distant hills in sight, the lower land being shrouded in mist; we
stood towards Cascaes Bay, got a pilot on board, and once more entered
the Tagus, in the short space of fifteen days from Pernambuco, and
twenty-one from Rio. We were obliged to bring up at Belem, and undergo
quarantine, although we brought clean bills of health, there being no
cases of fever reported at any of the Brazilian ports. A certificate
from four medical men on board attested this fact; as well as our
having no invalids on board of any kind. Between twenty and thirty of
our passengers left us here, having to endure the misery of eight days
in the Lazaretto—a castellated looking building, situated on the south
side of the Tagus—they were all transferred, with their luggage, to a
large lighter. A more lovely day could scarcely be conceived than the
one when we were at anchor at the quarantine station, coaling; most
tantalising to be debarred from availing ourselves of the opportunity
to land and have a run over the city, which many of our passengers had
seen for the first time. As to preventing an importation of yellow fever
by their quarantine regulations, it is a complete farce, as all kind of
communication are kept up with the shore; the officers of the ship are
allowed to go on shore to the health office, which is right on the main
road passing Belem, and the shore is a common thoroughfare; caravans
and people bathing where the boats land. It is difficult to conceive on
what grounds these absurd regulations are introduced, unless it be to
annoy and drive away people wishing to visit the place, and as part and
parcel of a system of intolerant restrictions that are enough to paralyse
the energies of any country. The inconvenience which such restrictions
cause is indescribable, nor can anything justify the infliction in such
cases as ours. If at any time there is really sufficient grounds for
adopting quarantine regulations, they ought to be delighted to remove
them so soon as the grounds were removed. In the present advanced
state of civilization, and with the rapid intercourse between nations,
quarantine is almost a barbarity, calculated to shut out the country
that exercises it from the rest of the world, whilst it is impossible it
can be efficacious in the manner it is carried on at Lisbon; besides,
the yellow fever has never been known to travel out of the tropics,
and surely a voyage of twenty or thirty days across the ocean, without
a case on board, is sufficient security, even supposing the fever to
exist in the country the vessel comes from. On the other hand, reports
of cholera in England cause an enforcement of quarantine outwards, thus
putting the crowning piece to this mass of absurdity and annoyance. The
subject cannot be alluded to with common patience, especially when it is
publicly stated that the medical men who have to determine these sanitary
points have a strong pecuniary interest in the lazarettos, and numbers of
people prey upon the unfortunate vessel and passengers subjected to these
terrible inflictions. Since my return, however, the Lisbon officials
seem to have become a little amenable to reason and decency, and their
preposterous regulations are in a trifling degree relaxed.

At 10 A.M. on the morning of the 1st November we weighed anchor, and
steamed past Belem, towing a pilot in his boat astern. Our late fellow
passengers in the Lazaretto were assembled at the top of the building,
waving flags and handkerchiefs, to bid us farewell, and one could
scarcely help feeling melancholy to see so many worthy people stuck up in
a kind of cage, for no earthly object but to gratify a morbid sensibility
on points sanitary. The pilot would not come on board, as it would
subject him to perform a given number of days’ quarantine afterwards.
There was a fresh breeze from the southward, and the rope soon broke,
leaving Mr. Pilot to find his way back to Lisbon, and the steamer to
find her own way out as best she could. A heavy sea was breaking on the
bar, in which the pilot could not possibly have been towed, so we were
well rid of him; but it only shows the operation of things under such
an iniquitous system, where a man is well paid for doing absolutely
worse than nothing—being in the way; for how is it possible for a pilot
to direct a vessel when he is towed astern of her, and any directions
he might give are impossible to be heard? However, we crossed the bar
safely, and soon passed the Rock of Lisbon, after which our fair wind
vanished; came strong ahead, with a good deal of sea, against which we
steamed until next day 2nd Nov., when it became calm, and the wind
gradually veered to south-east. Saw Cape Finisterre, and from thence
to St. Agnes Light (Scilly Islands); we were only thirty-five hours in
doing 450 miles of distance. From Scilly we posted our way up Channel;
went inside the Smalls; passed close to the Island of Grasholm, a very
wild spot; missed Bardsey, but saw Holyhead Light; had a tug round the
Skerries, blowing hard; at daylight got a pilot on board, and at 11 A.M.
entered the Mersey, exactly twenty-six days from Rio Janeiro, including
stoppages. My trip of 15,000 miles (including the run up the Parana)
occupied me very little over three months, during which time I visited
all the important sea ports of Brazil, Monte Video, Buenos Ayres, &c.,
spending a fortnight in Rio, and about the same time in the La Plata.
The ‘Brazileira’s’ entire voyage occupied seventy-three days, including
eighteen days’ stoppages, clearly proving that it is only a question of
time for these valuable countries to be brought within the scope of a
pleasure trip.

The performances of the Brazileira and of her sister ships of our fleet
had, on the whole, been highly satisfactory, and promised to realize to
the utmost every anticipation that had been entertained at the period
of the formation of the company. But, alas, for bright visions! two of
the flotilla unexpectedly, I may say unaccountably, are numbered with
the departed, and under pretty nearly identical circumstances—both from
shaving too close. The Olinda, wrecked hard by Holyhead, but fortunately
without sacrifice of life, in one of those terrible storms that swept
the British coast the beginning of this year, is a loss to the company
as regards her keeping up the main ocean line. The Argentina had, for a
time, been a shining light to the numerous passengers between the two
great cities on the La Plata, and she is, emphatically, a national loss
to them, as well as to the surrounding district, retarding, in fact,
the work of civilization and improvement. On a fine, clear, and almost
breathless evening, still daylight, she carried her temerity so far as to
approach too closely some sunken rocks near the entrance to Monte Video
harbour, going twelve miles an hour at the time, and in a moment her
career of usefulness was ended! There was almost a general mourning over
her, so great a favourite had she become, by the rapid and satisfactory
manner in which she illustrated the blessings of steam navigation in a
region where, of all others, such agency is most to be desired.[123]

In order to repair as speedily as possible the damages caused by the loss
of the Olinda and Argentina, the company have purchased the paddle-wheel
steamer Menai, well known for her quick passages between Liverpool,
Beaumaris, and Bangor, to replace the Argentina on the station between
Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, until such time as a larger and more
efficient vessel, now in course of construction, and that will be in
every way worthy of the passenger traffic between those two great cities,
can be built. They have also sent out the La Plata, a fine new screw,
built by Mr. John Laird, originally intended for the London and Oporto
trade, and to be called the Bacchante; but now destined to run between
Rio Janeiro, Monte Video, and Buenos Ayres, in connection with the ocean
steamers, which will not proceed beyond Rio Janeiro. In conjunction with
the above-mentioned vessels, the company intend placing on the line the
Imperador and Imperatrice, two steamers also in process of construction,
same size and power as the Bahiana. Our fleet will thus consist of the
Imperador, Imperatrice, and Bahiana, all new ships; the Brazileira and
Lusitania, now running; the La Plata, a branch boat; and the two River
Plate passenger-boats. I doubt not the public, as well as the respective
governments embraced in this line of steam communication, will consider
the enterprise as deserving of their especial support.

A page of my allotted space remains to be filled, and I cannot better
occupy it than with a brief summary of the news brought to the latest
moment before going to press, viz., that by the Mail, which arrived on
the 16th of April, with dates from Buenos Ayres, March 4; Monte Video, 6;
Rio Janeiro, 17; Bahia, 22; Pernambuco, 25; St. Vincent’s, Cape Verde,
April 4; Teneriffe, 8; Madeira, 9; and Lisbon, 12, as quoted in the
leading journal of the 17th.

Tranquillity continued undisturbed on the Plate. Business in imported
goods and manufactures was dull, owing to the total absence of dealers
from the interior. Since the blockade of July last upwards of 2,000
houses had been erected in the city of Buenos Ayres, and buildings were
still being raised with the greatest rapidity. Trade was expected to
improve. Articles of consumption were very dear. The supplies of produce
were very stinted, and at advancing prices. A large portion of the last
clip of wool remained on hand. The following extracts from a letter,
dated Buenos Ayres, March 4, give the latest particulars of political
events:—

    ‘Here everything goes on quite smoothly: at least, there is
    nothing within the province to cause any uneasiness. Our
    attention at present is wholly directed to Monte Video,
    where the Brazilian policy is being carried out with rapid
    strides. The only important question for us is how their
    proceedings may be viewed by General Urquiza, as President
    of the Confederation, whether he may make friends with us to
    resist the Imperialists, or join with the Imperialists that he
    may attack this province? Mr Buchental, a wealthy Brazilian
    capitalist and speculator, has crossed over to Chili to consult
    as to the means of forming a railroad from Valparaiso to the
    Rosario. The latest news from the west coast represents nearly
    all the Republics to the north in a state of excitement, but
    we suspect there is a great deal of exaggeration. Mr. Gore,
    British Minister at Buenos Ayres, has gone up the Parana for
    the purpose, it is supposed, of exchanging the ratifications
    of the treaty, and, perhaps, to grace the installation of the
    Constitutional Presidency, which is to take place about this
    time, some say on this very day. If Urquiza is wise, he will do
    the best he can with his own domains, and leave us alone.’

From Rio there is nothing worth noticing, as regards political affairs.
A considerable reaction had taken place in the coffee-market, and prices
were lower. Supplies regular. From Pernambuco we learn that the South
American and General Steam Navigation Company’s steamer Lusitania
reached Pernambuco on the 18th ult. Great tightness exists in the
money-market—more so than had been experienced for a long period.

On the 13th, the South American and General Steam Navigation Company’s
steam vessel for the Plate, Menai, was off Cape Finisterre. Our Lisbon
accounts are to the 12th instant. The passengers by the Mail had been
placed in quarantine for eight days, in consequence of the reported
appearance of yellow fever at Pernambuco. The little rain which had
fallen in Portugal was not sufficient materially to improve the prospects
of the grain harvest, while the cattle in some parts were suffering much
from want of food.

    ERRATUM.—In the hurry of passing the foregoing pages through
    the press, many errors have occurred, which unavoidable absence
    from London, and the nature of my duties in Liverpool, did not
    permit of being corrected in time. For these I must crave the
    reader’s indulgence, promising that they shall not be repeated,
    and that many short comings shall be supplied, in the event of
    another edition being called for, which I am in hopes, from
    the nature of the subject itself, though not from its present
    treatment, will soon be the case. One oversight, however, is of
    too conspicuous a nature not to require notice, namely, that in
    which the printers have confounded the sugar and cotton growing
    province of Paraiba do Norte with the coffee plantations on the
    River Parayba, in the province of Rio Janeiro, there being no
    coffee grown in the former province, and consequently it is to
    the latter the remarks in the text are intended to apply.



THE FALKLAND ISLANDS.

    The Falklands recommended by the Colonial Land Emigration
    Commissioners, as a place of Re-fit, Naval Station, and
    Convict Settlement.—The Corporation of the Falkland Islands
    Company.—How it could assist Her Majesty’s Government in
    forming a Convict Settlement.—Proposal to demonstrate
    the superior eligibility of this Colony for a Convict
    Settlement.—Climate healthy.—Fresh Water abundant.—Cost of
    Transport less than that to other Colonies.—Safe Custody and
    Classification.—Geographical position and extent.—Distance from
    the Main.—Little Naval Force required.—Causes of insecurity
    at other Settlements not found at the Falklands.—Detached
    Islands provide against escape.—Guard required less than
    elsewhere.—Provisions cheap.—How supplied.—Cereals may be
    raised.—Employment.—Supply of Convicts need not be gradual.—How
    first comers are to be disposed of.—Preliminary outlay very
    small, and may be recovered.—Opinions of various Servants of
    the Crown.—Two Propositions.—1. What the Falkland Islands
    Corporation should undertake.—2. What national advantages
    would result from a Convict Settlement at this Colony.—Get rid
    of Convicts.—Relieve the Mother Country.—Redeem the pledge
    made to all Convicts.—Facilities for reformation.—Restoration
    of the penitent to society, without injury to the
    innocent.—Agricultural School for Juvenile Convicts.—Complete
    Depot for Naval Re-fit near Cape Horn.—Saving of Port Charges
    and of Freight.—All Ship’s Repairs could be done if Patent Slip
    laid down.—Secure Coaling Station for Steamers.—First-rate
    Naval Station.—In time of War ‘Key of the Pacific.’—Testimony
    of Governor Rennie, and of Capt. Matthews, Commander of the
    Great Britain Steamer.

[Illustration: FALKLAND ISLES

Engraved by George Philip & Son]


Some years ago, the British Government was disposed to entertain the
idea of placing a Convict Establishment on the Falkland Islands (a
purpose to which they had been applied by their former occupants),
and it appears that this idea was suggested by the representations of
various persons employed in the service of the Crown, in and about the
islands, and on the neighbouring continent, to the effect that the
locality was highly eligible for the purpose; in fact, the Colonial Land
and Emigration Commissioners have strongly recommended these islands
as a place of re-fit for merchantmen, as a naval station, and as a
convict settlement—and advised that the first operations to promote the
settlement should be undertaken by a public company. It is because the
attention of Government has been thus directed to the eligibility of
these islands, that it is thought well to present, in this brief form,
a statement of the advantages they naturally present, as well as of
those that may be secured, should Her Majesty’s Government be disposed
to resume the consideration of forming a convict settlement there, which
was probably postponed at the date referred to because convenient means
of carrying the project into execution did not then present themselves.
There is no reason to suppose that any objection was raised to the
locality itself, nor does it appear that any objection does actually
exist; on the contrary, it may be satisfactorily demonstrated that no
spot in Her Majesty’s dominions is better suited for a convict station.

A public company now exists, under the style of the ‘Falkland Islands
Company,’ the primary object of which is to trade in the produce of
the colony, and which has obtained from the Crown a royal charter,
incorporating it for that purpose. This fact is premised, to render it
apparent that, if her Majesty’s Government thinks well to avail itself of
the company’s services in making arrangements for a convict settlement
at the Falklands, the means needful to carry out the project are not
wanting. The existing establishments in the colony, recently assigned
to the corporation, are already in that state of forwardness, and the
capital they have at call in this country is sufficient to enable them
to assure Her Majesty’s Government of their capability to undertake
the immediate supply of all necessaries for a large number of convicts
as soon as they can arrive in the colony; moreover, they are prepared
to provide every description of stores on terms as reasonable as those
paid in any other colony, and in respect to the important items of beef,
mutton, and fuel, at a cheaper rate than they can be supplied elsewhere.
If, therefore, it be considered desirable to find a new locality for
convicts (which it appears from public report Her Majesty’s Government
have it in contemplation to select), this company can assist in carrying
out the object, and it only remains to point out why the Falklands
should be deemed most eligible in every point of view for the purpose in
question. The proposition would seem to be sustained by the following
facts:—

1. The climate is remarkably healthy. In proof of this assertion may be
adduced the concurrent testimony of numerous respectable and honourable
men:—amongst others, Captains Fitzroy, Sulivan, and Robertson, who
conducted the nautical survey—of Dr. Darwin, who accompanied Captain
Fitzroy’s expedition—of Weddell, and Captain Sir James C. Ross—of Captain
Mackinnon, and Captain Eden, who, together with the late Governor,
Captain Moody, and Mr. Hamblin, the colonial surgeon (now in England),
all unite in attributing extraordinary salubrity to the climate of
these islands. That it is considered agreeable may be inferred from
the existence of the present settlers, some of them men of capital and
station, who have formed establishments, and resided there for many
years. The temperature is declared to be remarkably equable, the extremes
of heat and cold, usual in England, being unknown there; then there is a
prevalence of south-westerly gales, which render the air of a peculiarly
bracing character, whilst it is considered far more enjoyable than
that of European countries situate north of the 52nd or 53rd degree of
latitude. Fresh water is everywhere found of excellent quality. From
these authorized statements, it may be taken for granted, that such a
temperature for active and healthy labour is far better suited to the
constitutions of men born in the climate of Great Britain, than the
hot and relaxing atmosphere of the equatorial latitudes, whereby the
power and inclination to labour is diminished, whilst residence in such
climates has the effect of fomenting the evil passions of men under
little or no moral or religious constraint.

2. The cost of transport would be one half of that to any of the existing
penal settlements. This fact being self-evident, requires no testimony
for its support. The islands lie less than half way between Great Britain
and Australia, California, and China, on the direct route to the Pacific.

3. This colony is peculiarly well adapted for the safe custody and
classification of convicts. The Falkland group, situated in the same
latitude, south, as the English midland counties are, north, consists
of two large islands, comprising an area of 6,400 square miles, and
several hundred smaller islands, from 20,000 acres each to islets of one
acre, and the total extent of territory is equal to rather more than
half that of the kingdom of Belgium. The numerous detached islands offer
remarkably well-adapted positions for permanent stations, say for a penal
settlement, whilst the western island combines those advantages that
are requisite to insure the practical working of the forced labour, and
subsequent reformed settlement, system, which might eventually render the
East Falkland a flourishing free colony, entirely unconnected with the
convict establishment. The situation of the islands is wholly isolated;
the nearest land is Staten Island, distant 250 miles by chart—they are
350 miles from Terra del Fuego, and 400 from the coast of Patagonia
in direct lines, countries either uninhabited, or peopled by savages,
without port or shipping—and there is no small shipping trade in or
about the Falklands. By means of the semaphore, a communication can be
kept up every ten minutes between the extreme western point of the West
Island and Port Stanley on the extreme east of the group—consequently
the naval force stationed there need be very trifling. Then the vessels
calling are all bound round the Horn, or returning from the Pacific, or
whalers—none of these, wanting men, would take convicts, and there is
none of that class of shipping on this track that are likely to take
them off. There are no woods to conceal fugitives, and no means of
constructing boats or rafts, should any contemplate so wild an adventure
as to try to gain the main, where certain death by starvation, or at the
hands of ruthless savages, would await them. These advantages cannot
fail to be appreciated when the position of this settlement is compared
with that of Van Dieman’s Land, Norfolk Island, or any of the islands of
the northern groups in that hemisphere. Here are no native population or
settlers to be corrupted by contact with convicts—no coasting traffic,
affording constant opportunity for escape, and both of which render safe
custody costly in other colonies. Norfolk Island, and more particularly
New Caledonia and the Fidgee group, lie in the track of a host of
independent traders, men who own and command their ships, and whose
occupation is trading between these islands, Sydney, the Society Islands,
the Marquesas and the Paumotu Islands, as well as with Valparaiso—whose
expeditions frequently last two or three years, and who notoriously take
part in the quarrels between the various petty Polynesian kingdoms;
in which cases they not unfrequently undertake to provide the party,
who is able to pay them for the service, with English soldiers, and in
performance of such engagements, kidnap convicts as a matter of traffic.
The existence of this trade, carried on to a considerable extent by men
who have some of them been convicts themselves, must always render the
custody of criminals at the islands named both hazardous and expensive.
The numerous detached islands which form the Falkland group afford every
facility for classification, and are most of them only approachable
on the north-eastern side, the rest of the coast being fringed with
sunken rocks, naturally buoyed by kelp, which render landing or getting
off impossible. The peculiarities of form and position herein noticed
would render the presence of a large military or civil guard quite
unnecessary—and it will probably appear, that such part of the duty of
an establishment there as appertains to their safe custody and to the
maintenance of proper order amongst the prisoners, could be carried out
more economically than at any other station.

4. Provisions of all kinds would be plentiful at cheaper rates than in
any other colony. Beef, mutton, and pork are in abundance, and could be
supplied of the best quality at 2_d._ to 3_d._ per lb. Flour, biscuit,
and clothing would have to be imported, probably from England and the
Canadas (until they could be raised in sufficient quantity on the
islands), and as vessels bound round the Horn can obtain fresh supplies
of provisions and water at Stanley, these articles could be landed in the
Falklands at a cheaper rate than elsewhere. Vegetables may be raised in
any quantity required, and white celery and other antiscorbutic plants
are indigenous. Labour is only needed to insure the raising of cereal
crops, and therefore the supply of such produce would follow the location
of convicts.

5. Employment would not be wanting. Good building stone and slate exists.
Coal and limestone are reported to have been discovered, but this
requires confirmation. Timber would have to be imported from our North
American colonies for some purposes, though the quantity of drift from
Staten Island and the neighbouring coasts is very great; and some of it
large enough for ship’s repairs. Roads, buildings, public works, the
collection and preparation of fuel, preparation of stores, &c., would
afford ample occupation for a large number of unskilled labourers, whilst
tradesmen and artizans could be occupied in providing for the other wants
of the community. Convicts of the lowest class could be advantageously
employed in the construction of slips, quays, a careening dock, barracks,
enclosures for cattle, dwellings for government officers, stone portage,
military works, levelling town allotments, road-laying, brick-making,
drainage, well sinking, and cutting channels for the supply of water
to the town and shipping. Whilst those of a superior class might have
ample occupation found for them in the construction of dwellings for
themselves, churches, working of salt-works, raising embankments and
planting, horse-breaking and keeping, tending flocks of sheep and herds
of cattle, curing beef and fish, opening streams for drainage, baking,
butchering, cutting, washing, and consolidating turf, collecting guano,
growing vegetable supplies, making shoes, clothing, cheese, butter, &c.,
for the consumption of the establishment and exportation; and procuring
fodder for the Government troop of horses; with many other occupations
which experience would suggest.

6. It is less necessary that the supply of convicts should be gradual in
these islands than in any other of our colonies. The labour of the first
comers would be mainly directed to providing for their own immediate
wants. These, in the first instance, might be lodged on board of hulks,
the same that conveyed them out, and their employment would be in the
erection of a large stone barrack, church, gaol, and storehouses, with
suitable dwellings for the overseers; all as regards the external walls
sound and strong, and on a scale to receive at least double their number,
with the needful attendants on the establishment. An old line-of-battle
ship, jury rigged, could be prepared to receive on board 1,500 to 2,000
convicts; and such a vessel, after her arrival, would not be required
for more than a year or two, but would last four or five years without
needing repairs as a convict hulk. They might afterwards be broken up,
and used as stores in finishing some of the buildings, and for other
suitable purposes. Wooden barracks constructed in this country might
of course be taken out with the convicts; but a hulk is suggested as a
temporary dwelling that could more probably be readily found, and would
not swell the preliminary estimate which it appears always desirable to
avoid in the formation of a new establishment. It should not be lost
sight of, that the stiff clay of the islands works up with the stone of
the ‘streams’ into very sound and durable walls, as witness those of the
old Spanish fort at Port Louis, built, it is said, in 1771, and now in a
good state of preservation.

It results, then, that a convict establishment may be planted at the
Falklands with a very small amount of preliminary outlay on the part
of the Home Government, and that such outlay may speedily be returned.
Such has been the expressed opinion of nearly all the men, who, being
qualified to form an opinion on such a subject, have had an opportunity
of examining the locality. Amongst these gentlemen, there appear the
names of Captains Fitzroy, Ross, Mackinnon, and Sulivan, as well as of
Mr., now Sir, Wm. Gore Ouseley, who, in his official correspondence some
years ago, expressed a very decided opinion on this subject. In fine,
these islands have been recommended by the Colonial Land and Emigration
Commissioners, ‘as a place of transportation, perhaps more eligible than
any other British possession,’ and these gentlemen have already forcibly
suggested a notice to Parliament on the subject.

Having thus demonstrated that no more eligible spot could be found for
convicts, it only remains to point out specifically what the Falkland
Islands Company should undertake, provided Her Majesty’s Government
decide to send such persons to the Falklands, and to avail themselves
of the company’s services in so doing:—and then to set forth the highly
important results _in a national point of view_ that would follow the
adoption of this measure.

The company should contract to furnish all such supplies as the
Government might require of them. They should also undertake to employ
convict labour in the drainage and general improvement of their own
territory, paying to government a fair rate of wages for such labour; and
this would provide a considerable source of revenue, as doubtless the
company would be only too glad to avail themselves of such a means of
rendering their very extensive possessions really productive, in a far
greater space of time than they could hope to accomplish it by importing
free labour, and probably even at less cost.

Thus this colony, hitherto almost overlooked, notwithstanding its very
remarkable geographical position, may become one of the most valuable
possessions of the Crown: and, in times to come, or rather in the time
that has come, rank in importance not second to Gibraltar, Malta, Aden,
Hong Kong, and such other places as are valuable in proportion to the
power they confer on their possessors of maintaining friendly relations
with the other nations of the earth, or protecting their own interests in
the present rupture with Russia. The following national advantages would
thus be secured.

First:—We should get rid of the vexed question of ‘What are we to do
with our convicts?’ and that in a manner not obnoxious to any one of the
objections raised against other localities.

Secondly:—Her Majesty’s Government would be relieved from the
embarrassment that must always attend the attempt to retain convicts in
this country. For the time must come when their terms expire, and then
the real difficulty of disposing of them must be grappled with. It can
hardly be supposed that the mother country will consent to receive among
her highly moral people those whom the colonies have _una voce_ agreed
to reject. And it would be an injustice and impolicy, that could not be
contemplated, to condemn such men to constant isolation. In the East
Falkland they may settle, and thence they may insensibly migrate whither
they list, without the blazonry of their former guilt preceding them,
and thus have really a fair chance of resuming an honest and respectable
position; which it is, to say the least, extremely difficult for men to
accomplish at the spot whereon they have undergone their punishment, and
consequently amongst a people where they are branded with disgrace.

Thirdly:—The philanthropist will hail with infinite satisfaction the
establishment of a settlement which, whilst it provides for the proper
punishment of offenders against the laws, affords the best possible
opportunity of promoting and encouraging genuine reform—a reform that
would eventually restore the penitent to society, and moreover without
the outward symbol of past crime that would cause it, by rejecting him,
to drive him back on his evil habits. The process would be accomplished
without the risk of any moral stain upon the innocent, and the locality
proposed is physically adapted, by a very remarkable combination of
circumstances, to the promotion of morality. A _juvenile_ Convict
Agricultural School, on principles already tried elsewhere, might
advantageously form part of the general system adopted in the Falklands;
and, being entirely separate from the adult establishment, would prove a
valuable aid in the progress of reformation.

Fourthly:—The most convenient place for re-fit for our merchantmen and
foreigners, as well as for steamers, trading between Europe and the
Pacific, would speedily be rendered perfectly available. The enormous
port charges of the east and west coast ports of South America would
be avoided. Freight would be saved to shipowners, and the comforts of
passing emigrants promoted, by the facility of re-provisioning and
watering half way. And all this at a port wholly unconnected with
the convict settlement, where a small dockyard could be economically
constructed, and would amply and speedily repay the expense incurred.

Fifthly:—Her Majesty’s ships, and those of the merchant navy also, could
undergo repair here cheaper than at any port in those seas—and, if a
patent slip were laid down, more speedily; for at present there is not,
strange to say, one patent slip south of the line, on all the coast round
to Callao. This important advantage would effect an immense saving in
the cost of Her Majesty’s squadron constantly kept afloat on the east
coast, and that also on the west coast of South America, one item of
which would be a fortnight to three weeks’ saving of wear and tear on
every voyage home from the Pacific. This consideration becomes of double
importance now that Russian men-of-war are known to be in the Pacific on
the look-out for our merchantmen.

Sixthly:—As lines of steamers are established round the Horn, the
Falklands are the point of all others most suitable for a coaling
station, (as the documents in this work from the most competent
authorities have abundantly proved,) and one that in time of war could be
easily rendered impregnable.

And, lastly, now that war is in reality upon us, with the certainty of
being a tolerably long one, it is difficult to exaggerate the advantage
which the possession of these islands would afford to Great Britain
in respect to their position, provided proper works were constructed,
for which there are great local advantages. In this point of view, any
protracted delay in rendering the Falklands thoroughly available as a
first-rate naval station, on the footing of Gibraltar and other places,
would appear to be an oversight.

The whole of the above objects may be speedily accomplished with the
accession of convict labour; without it, the prospect of these advantages
is very remote, and their realization might, at any moment, be frustrated
by the colony passing (as heretofore) into the hands of some more
enterprising nation, whose rulers may entertain a shrewd notion of the
vast importance attaching to a naval station that may truly be called
‘the key to the Pacific.’ One position may be advanced as indisputable;
namely, that now war has involved us with at least one of the great
maritime powers, the entire Pacific fishery, and the whole trade on and
about the Western Coasts of America, may come under the absolute control
of the possessors of the Falkland Islands, should a _coup de main_ of our
unscrupulous foe bring about the temporary transfer of the station to him.

P.S. Since the above was in type, Mr. Bentley has published a work
from the pen of Earl Grey, entitled ‘The Colonial Policy of Lord John
Russell’s Administration,’ containing much valuable matter relative to
the system of transportation, and a brief notice of the Falkland Islands.
Respecting the Falklands, the noble Earl observes, that the object of the
Government was—

    ‘To create a small settlement, where passing ships might re-fit
    and obtain supplies for which these islands, notwithstanding
    the inclemency of their climate, were considered to be
    peculiarly well adapted, from their possessing admirable
    harbours, and lying directly in the track of vessels returning
    to this country from Australia, or the Pacific, by Cape Horn.
    They also afforded considerable resources in the herds of wild
    cattle which are to be found upon them.’ His lordship goes
    on to remark, that ‘An arrangement was concluded by which a
    regular communication will be established between this country
    and the Falkland Islands, by means of a small vessel plying
    between these islands and Monte Video, where it will meet the
    mail steamer from England every alternate month.’ And that,
    ‘Hitherto this settlement has not advanced rapidly; probably
    it would hardly have been expected to do so, unless a larger
    expenditure had been incurred than was considered advisable in
    carrying out and establishing emigrants there; but it seems
    now to have taken root, and will, I trust, do well hereafter.
    Already, from the growing up of some little trade, and from
    land having been brought into cultivation, it has been found
    possible, in the last four years, to discontinue the issue of
    rations from the Government stores to the inhabitants, who
    can now purchase for themselves what they require. Those of
    the working-class can find ample employment at good wages,
    and ships which call there can depend upon obtaining the most
    necessary supplies. The advantages offered by this place of
    call on the long voyage home are beginning to be known, so
    that each year more vessels are stopping there on their way;
    and, from the great increase of the trade with Australia and
    California, it is probable that the port of Stanley (the name
    of the settlement) will be more and more resorted to. I am
    informed that a ship wanting, water or provisions, in the run
    home from Cape Horn, may save not less than from ten days to
    a fortnight by calling at Stanley, instead of Buenos Ayres,
    or Rio de Janeiro besides having no port charges to pay. In
    proportion as more vessels call for supplies, these will be
    furnished more abundantly and better, since private enterprise
    will be sure to meet the demand which the greater resort of
    shipping to the port will create. It is to be hoped, also, that
    the means of re-fitting ships that have suffered in the stormy
    passage round Cape Horn, which already exist to some extent,
    will be increased there in the same manner, and that the plan
    of establishing there a patent slip, which was at one time
    under consideration with a view of its being undertaken by the
    Government, will be taken up as a private speculation.’

The annexed official document has been presented to Parliament during
the present session; and although its date is anterior to that of the
valuable communication from Capt. Matthews, of the Great Britain, as
already quoted, it so materially confirms the value of the settlement
as to suggest that Government should lose no time in increasing the
two-monthly mail service now existing between the islands and Monte
Video, and in erecting a patent slip, as they have lately done a
lighthouse; for it is obvious that the Falklands must now assume, in the
consideration of England, the status to which their political, as well as
their geographical, position entitles them:

_Copy of a despatch from Governor Bennie to the Right Honourable Sir
John S. Pakington, Bart.—Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands,
January 8, 1853.—(Received March 17, 1853.)—Sir,—In transmitting the
Blue Book of this colony for the year ending 31st December 1852, I have
the honour to report a continuance of the same steady, though not very
rapid progress, which has prevailed in this small community during the
last four years. The resort of shipping to these islands for supplies and
repairs, forming one of the chief sources of prosperity, it is gratifying
for me to observe the progressive increase shown by the returns of the
year just ended over that of the previous year. In the year ending
December 1851, 17,538 tons of shipping from England and foreign parts
entered this harbour; in the year ending December 1852, there were 22,024
tons, being an increase of 4,486 tons. This augmentation necessarily
produces a demand for produce, labour, and stores of every description,
affording remunerative profits to the storekeepers, and employment at
good wages to the labouring classes, unskilled 3s. to 5s. per diem, and
skilled 6s. to 10s. Provisions are abundant, and at reasonable prices.
The transference to the Falkland Islands Company of the large interests
held by Mr. Lafone, and the commencement by that corporation of a more
comprehensive system of operation, supported by a large capital, gives
me very favourable hopes of benefit to the colony, and I trust to the
shareholders. It is, however, worthy of remark, that whilst a powerful
company, invested with great privileges by Her Majesty’s Government (as
regards its property in land and cattle) has likewise established a
considerable mercantile warehouse in the town of Stanley, the general
business is going on so satisfactorily that all the original storekeepers
are now adding to their premises and extending their dealings. The master
of a barque, the Record, lately in the harbour, publicly notified that
he would take passengers to the gold diggings in Australia at 10l. per
head, and it gives me much pleasure to add, that not a person could be
found in the colony to accept his proposition. In the year 1849, I put
up for sale 12 allotments of one acre each, of suburban land near the
town, suitable for the working classes to build on or to cultivate as
gardens, and the amount idealized averaged 6l. per acre, being three
times the usual government price. A few weeks since, having been given to
understand that other parties wished to have an opportunity of purchasing
similar allotments, I selected 11 of the same extent, but not quite equal
to the former in situation. The prices on this occasion reached 12l. per
acre on the average, or six times the usual fixed sum, and twice that
of 1849. The grumbling and discontent manifested by a portion of the
enrolled pensioners settled here has subsided since the notification
to them by the Secretary-at-War that they were at liberty to return to
England if they preferred to do so, nor has even one of them up to the
present time availed himself of the permission. Small, comparatively, as
the instances are which I have the honour to communicate, I trust they
may lead to a more just appreciation of the capabilities and utility of
this colony, and of the favourable prospects which it affords to steady
and industrious emigrants.—I have, &c. (Signed) GEORGE RENNIE.—The Right
Hon. Sir John S. Pakington, Bart. &c., &c._


FINIS



FOOTNOTES


[1] In reference to the preponderating interest of Liverpool in this
trade, an influential metropolitan journalist, commenting on the treaty
with Paraguay soon after its ratification in London, observes:—

    Liverpool is the very centre and focus of our foreign trade.
    There almost every man you meet is either engaged in commerce,
    or is in the service of those so engaged. Liverpool, like the
    seat of the Pope of Rome—but in a widely different sense—has
    its agents and its commercial missionaries in every climate
    and in every latitude, and there is not one among them who is
    not as intent and energetic in his work as those ‘soldiers
    of the faith,’ whom Rome sent out on the South American
    missions in the two centuries from 1535 to 1735. The fiery
    enthusiasm of Don Pedro de Mendoza himself, who offered
    Charles V. to complete the conquest of Paraguay and the Rio
    de la Plata at his own expense, is equalled by some of those
    indomitable agents of the counting-house, who are as zealous
    for commercial conquests as the Andalusian Hidalgo was for
    the aggrandisement of his Sovereign and master. We doubt that
    even Father Charlevoix himself, so often cited and praised
    by his brother Breton, Chateaubriand, and who has given
    us six volumes of a charming history of Paraguay—which he
    explored in person—exhibited more zeal for the interests of
    his order in the countries watered by the Rio de la Plata,
    the Rio Salado, the Rio Negro, the Catapuliche, and the Rio
    de la Encarnacion, than do those Liverpool junior partners,
    clerks, and supercargoes, who are charged with the interests
    of considerable commercial houses in such distant latitudes.…
    Through the rivers opened to us by the efforts of Lord
    Malmesbury, one-fourth, at least, of the produce of South
    America, must be brought to the market of the world, and of
    this commerce Liverpool will certainly have the largest, and
    Bristol, Glasgow, and London, a considerable share.

[2] In the original prospectus of the company, whose calculations,
apart from two wrecks, as to the performances of their vessels have
since been so well verified by experience, it was stated that, ‘The
importance and extent of our trade with Brazil and the River Plate, and
the necessity which exists for a more perfect postal communication with
these countries, mainly suggested this enterprise; and, accordingly, the
first efforts of this company will be devoted, not only to supply the
desideratum of a bi-monthly mail, but to afford to shippers of goods a
cheap and speedy conveyance, which the acceleration of the mails over
the old system of sailing packets renders most desirable; the tonnage
at present employed in the Rio and River Plate trades, from the Port
of Liverpool alone amounts to 30,000 tons annually, while the value of
exports, principally consisting of Manchester and other similar fabrics,
is upwards of three millions sterling per annum. The number of first
class passengers was, until the establishment of the mail steamers, very
circumscribed; but since that period it has materially increased, not
less than one hundred per month, each way, being now the average. Of the
second class of passengers and the lower description of emigrants the
numbers who have gone from Great Britain and the continent, by sailing
vessels, has been very great, more than is generally supposed, not fewer
than 4,000 persons having emigrated to Rio Grande and the southern ports
of Brazil during the last year, while to the River Plate the numbers
for years past has been still more considerable; and the inducements
held out to emigrants in both countries are so great, that, with the
additional facilities afforded by a regular steam communication, a
largely progressive increase may be fairly calculated on. Thus it will
be seen that a large field is open for this company’s operations, and,
as the rates of passage proposed to be charged are extremely moderate,
being within what has hitherto been obtained by sailing ships, it is not
unreasonable to suppose that the estimate of the number of passengers,
upon which the requisite calculations are based, is under what may
fairly be expected from this country, the continent, and Portugal. Three
steam-ships, of from 1,500 to 1,700 tons, and about 300 horse-power,
will, in the first instance, be built for the Rio line. The vessels will
be modelled after the most approved principles, and, with the ample
power proposed, it is confidently anticipated that an average speed of
at least 10 knots per hour will be attained. The branch boat will be of
smaller dimensions, suitable for the navigation of the River Plate. It
is calculated that the passage to Rio will not exceed twenty-five days,
and that the whole distance to the River Plate will be accomplished in
thirty-five days, including the needful detention in Rio to transfer the
cargo and passengers to the branch boat. The average passages of the best
ships at present employed is not less than fifty days to Rio, and sixty
to the River Plate.’ The branch boat, it will be seen hereafter, was
lost, as likewise the Olinda, the second ship of the Ocean line, both,
however, having been replaced.

[3] Though the great Genoese came in sight of St. Salvador, Bahama
Islands, on the 11th of October, 1492, it was not until 1497 that he
found the continent, the same year that Cabot, the son of a Venetian
pilot residing at Bristol, discovered Newfoundland, and named it Prima
Vista; the year also (or, as some say, the year before), that Amerigo
Vespucci, a Florentine in the service of Spain, and subsequently of
Portugal, and again of Spain, reached the east coast, and was fortunate
in giving his name to the entire of the continent, north and south.
The Bahamas were not known to the English for nearly 200 years (1667)
after the discovery by Columbus, when Captain Seyle was nearly wrecked
there while proceeding to Carolina, also discovered by Cabot in 1500.
The Bahamas were long infested by pirates; but in 1718 Captain Rogers
expelled them, and the islands became and have since remained the
property of the Crown of England, with the consent of Spain, though the
British had had a settlement there long previously.

[4]

    He turned; but what strange thoughts perplexed his soul,
    When, lo! no more attracted to the Pole,
    The Compass, faithless to the circling Vane,
    Fluttered and fixed, fluttered and fixed again!
    At length, as by some unseen Hand imprest,
    It sought, with trembling energy, the West!
    ‘Ah, no!’ he cried, and calmed his anxious brow;
    ‘Ill, nor the signs of ill, ’tis Thine to show;
    Thine but to lead me where I wished to go!’

                                              ROGERS’ COLUMBUS.

[5] Though his scope embraces no part of the West Coast, nor any portion
of the East Coast beyond the line, the author hopes, by the introduction
of a few of the more prominent facts connected with each republic, to
render this volume somewhat useful to those of his readers who may be
desirous of a slight _precis_ of the history and position of the various
states of South America, but who would, nevertheless, be deterred from
entering upon details of feuds and complications more unintelligibly
perplexing than the records of the dynastic chaos of the Saxon heptarchy,
or the septic entanglements of the earliest Celtic kings. To this
end, therefore, there will be appended a note on each of the outlying
districts, if we may so call them, as they occur in the text; and first
in the foregoing order comes

MEXICO.—After the usual experience of viceregal misrule, common to all
the Spanish transmarine dependencies, this noble province threw off
the yoke and asserted its independence in 1820, and virtually achieved
it about a year afterwards, principally through Iturbide, a Spanish
soldier of great valour and military skill, and who might probably have
done for the land of his adoption what Washington had effected for the
United States. Unlike that great character, however, he abused for his
own selfishness the power he acquired; and, not content with being head
of the state as regent on behalf of the people, he perfidiously caused
himself to be proclaimed emperor, in 1822, and imperial revenues and
honours to be decreed to himself and to his family. These measures,
with many others of a like kind, produced such general defection, that
he assembled the dispersed members of Congress in the capital, in 1823,
and abdicated, agreeing to reside for the remainder of his life in
Italy, on which condition a large allowance was made him. But, faithless
to his word in this instance, as before, he returned from Leghorn,
through England, attempted a revolution, miserably failed in raising
any followers, and was ignominiously shot, at Padilla, in Santander, by
La Garza, commander of that province, pursuant to instructions from the
provincial legislature, in 1824. Vittoria, one of the ablest lieutenants
of Iturbide in the war of independence, had been proclaimed president the
year before; and the year after (’25) a treaty of commerce was ratified
with Great Britain. Such proceedings, with the recognition that was soon
to follow of the independence of the revolted country, had formed a topic
of urgent interest at the Congress of Verona, in 1822, when, seeing what
was looming in the future of South America, the Duke of Wellington,
plenipotentiary from England, instructed by Mr. Canning, in continuation
of the policy of Lord Castlereagh, to whom the Duke had just succeeded,
presented a note, stating, that ‘The connection subsisting between the
subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the other parts of the globe has
for long rendered it necessary for him to recognise the existence,
_de facto_, of governments formed in different places, so far as was
necessary to conclude treaties with them. The relaxation of the authority
of Spain in her colonies of South America has given rise to a host of
pirates and adventurers,—an insupportable evil, which it is impossible
for England to extirpate without the aid of the local authorities
occupying the adjacent coasts and harbours; and the necessity of this
coöperation cannot but lead to the recognition, _de facto_, of a number
of governments of their own creation.’

Austria, Russia, Prussia, and France (represented by M. de
Chateaubriand), diplomatically ignored this overture to humiliate their
royal brother of Spain by admitting that which they were soon afterwards
compelled, for their own sakes, to acquiesce in. All the efforts of the
successor of Ferdinand and Isabella ignominiously failed to win back
or retain any portion of the glorious inheritance of the throne of the
Indies. A vast expedition, sent against Mexico, surrendered to the now
successful revolutionists in 1829, a few months after the expulsion
of the Spaniards had been decreed. Unfortunately, however, democratic
anarchy soon supervened upon monarchic despotism; for hardly was the old
tyranny got rid of, than Guerrero, the president, was deposed; and Mexico
has since been but another word for whatever is most unwise in foreign
policy or most pernicious in domestic administration. In 1838 war was
declared against France, and of course, ended in disaster to Mexico,
after five months’ duration, the most memorable incidents being the
capture of the strong fortress of St. Jean d’Ulloa, by Prince Joinville,
who greatly distinguished himself; and the brave defence of Vera Cruz,
by Santa Anna, who there lost a leg. This soldier of fortune, something
of the stamp of Rosas, having been repeatedly elected to supreme power,
deposed, exiled, imprisoned, and restored, is once more president,
with what prospect of continuance it is impossible to tell. Neither
misfortune, nor experience of the impolicy of excessive severity, seems
to have mitigated the innate ferocity of the man’s character. With a
defiance of opinion more in consonance with the era of the Borgias than
of constitutional government, or even of a civilized government in the
middle of the 19th century, only as late as November last the Dictator
caused death to be inflicted, by shooting, without the pretext of a
trial, and as though they were the veriest wild beasts, on Senhor Tornel,
formerly President Arista’s Minister of War, and Senhor de la Rosa, who
was minister for foreign affairs immediately after the capitulation of
the city of Mexico, and was the immediate instigator of Santa Anna’s
expulsion from the country on that occasion, being also the writer of
the letter officially informing him of his disgrace. Their offence
was, simply, being obnoxious to the dictator—nothing more. Like Rosas,
however, he has evinced more consideration for the foreign creditor than
might have been expected; and about the period of the barbarity just
named, devoted a considerable sum in liquidation of the more pressing of
these demands, his ability to do so arising, it was said, (though the
authority is as apocryphal as the circumstance itself) from a donation
by the pope, as an equivalent for the restoration of the order of the
Jesuits in Mexico. Others say that his funds have accrued from a sale
to the United States of territory adjoining the present Californian
possessions of the Union; and that, with the proceeds, he means to repeat
Iturbide’s experiment in imperial power and title. Be this as it may,
the area of Santa Anna’s sway, is much less now than it was formerly;
for, owing to a succession of decisive repulses sustained from the United
States, with which war was declared in 1846, and carried on till the
beginning of 1848, Mexico has lost California; Texas having been annexed
to the States in 1846; Yucatan, &c., having also seceded; and now, of
the once prodigious territory of the Montezumas, and known in Spanish
colonial history as the vice-royalty of Mexico, there remains, according
to the treaty of 1848, but the comparatively narrow strip of land between
the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.

This, though only a fragment of what it once belonged to, is still most
rich in minerals, and most fruitful in valuable products, and highly
important from its position; but nearly all its natural advantages
are destroyed by the insecurity and deficiencies of its political
institutions, and the incapacity and selfishness of those administering
them among a very numerous population, equal, at least, to that of
Scotland, after all the curtailments we have spoken of. It is needless to
acquaint any reader of the public journals, to whom the words ‘Mexican
Bondholders’ must be a ‘horrid, hideous sound of woe, sadder than
owl-songs on the midnight blast,’ that the finances of the state are in
a condition the reverse of consolatory to creditors. For the precise
nature of those obligations, in whose fulfilment England is so much
interested, we must refer to the very numerous pamphlets published by
the various committees appointed in London to advise upon this intricate
and unsatisfactory subject. That there is every desire on Santa Anna’s
part to meet English liabilities, there can be no doubt; one motive
for his anxiety being, it is said, the achievement of a stock-jobbing
_coup_ on his own account, or, rather, on account of the adventurers
he is surrounded by. If internal peace could only be secured, the vast
resources of the country, and its unparagoned geographical position,
midway, as it were, in the very path of the commerce of both hemispheres,
would soon permit of its financial difficulties being adjusted. The
question is, whether Santa Anna, in putting down anarchy—if he can
keep it down—will not commit excesses as bad as the revolutionists in
an opposite direction? The latter is the tendency of his acts at the
present; but it is impossible to predicate of such a country what may or
may not turn up from one hour to another. The representative of Mexico,
hitherto charged, until lately, with the difficult task of negociating
in this country with the English creditors, has been Colonel Facio. The
Mexican diplomatic staff in London consists of Senhor de Castillo y
Lanzas, 10, Park-place, Regent’s-park, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary; Don Augustin A. Franco, first secretary; Don José
Hidalgo, 2nd secretary; Don Ignacio Luijano, attaché; Don B. G. Farias,
32, Great Winchester-street, vice-consul.

Though Consuls were sent, for commercial purposes, to nearly all the
important ports of the new South American states, as early as October,
1823, it was not for several years afterwards that political or
diplomatic representatives were despatched. The first was Mr. Alexander
Cockburn, as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to
Columbia, February, 1820; second, Sir R. Ker Porter, chargé d’affaires
to Venezuela, July, 1835; third, Mr. Turner, envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary to New Granada, June, 1837; and fourth, Mr.
W. Wilson, chargé d’affaires to Bolivia, 1837. These states will be
severally noticed as they occur in the text. It was in March, 1835, that
Sir Richard Pakenham, now British Minister in Portugal [see Lisbon] was
accredited as plenipotentiary to Mexico. At present the same post is
filled by Mr. Percy William Doyle (many years chargé d’affaires there)
whose salary is £3,600, with £400 a-year house rent; secretary of
legation, William Edward Thornton, salary, £600; paid attaché, Mr. A.
H. Hastings Berkeley, salary, £200; and an unpaid attaché. The annexed
list exhibits the names and salaries of the British consular corps in
Mexico:—Mexico, F. Glennie, consul, £400; Vera Cruz, F. Giffard, consul,
£500; Tampico, consul, Cleland Cumberlege, £500; San Bias, Eustace W.
Barron, consul, £300; Mazatlan, S. Thomson, vice-consul, £150; Acapulco,
Charles Wilthew, consul, £400.

[6] In the month of February, 1554, he addressed a long letter to the
emperor,—it was the last he ever wrote him,—soliciting his attention
to his suit. He begins, by proudly alluding to his past services to
the Crown: ‘He had hoped, that the toils of youth would have secured
him repose in his old age. For forty years he had passed his life with
little sleep, bad food, and with his arms constantly by his side. He had
freely exposed his person to peril, and spent his substance in exploring
distant and unknown regions, that he might spread abroad the name of
his sovereign, and bring under his sceptre many great and powerful
nations. All this he had done, not only without assistance from home,
but in the face of obstacles thrown in his way by rivals and by enemies,
who thirsted like leeches for his blood. He was now old, infirm, and
embarrassed with debt. Better had it been for him not to have known the
liberal intentions of the emperor, as intimated by his grants; since he
should then have devoted himself to the care of his estates, and not have
been compelled, as he now was, to contend with the officers of the Crown,
against whom it was more difficult to defend himself than to win the land
from the enemy.’ He concludes with beseeching his sovereign to ‘order the
Council of the Indies, with the other tribunals which had cognisance of
his suits, to come to a decision; since he was too old to wander about
like a vagrant, but ought, rather, during the brief remainder of his
life, to stay at home and settle his account with Heaven, occupied with
the concerns of his soul, rather than with his substance.’ This appeal
to his sovereign, which has something in it touching from a man of the
haughty spirit of Cortez, had not the effect to quicken the determination
of his suit. He still lingered at the court, from week to week, and from
month to month, beguiled by the deceitful hopes of the litigant, tasting
all that bitterness of the soul which arises from hope deferred. After
three years more, passed in this unprofitable and humiliating occupation,
he resolved to leave his ungrateful country and return to Mexico. He had
proceeded as far as Seville, accompanied by his son, when he fell ill
of an indigestion, caused, probably, by irritation and trouble of mind.
This terminated in dysentery, and his strength sank so rapidly under the
disease, that it was apparent his mortal career was drawing towards its
close.—_Prescott._

[7] PERU.—Referring to what has been already said as regards Mexico for
a general notion of the relationship between Spain and her colonies,
when the spirit of revolt began to develope itself in the latter, it
is only necessary to add here that, since its emancipation, Peru has,
like all the congeries of republics of which it forms one, been a prey
to civil dissension and military turmoil. Of late years its increasing
commerce, the vast pecuniary means it has discovered, in its guano
islands, of meeting its engagements with the European creditor, and
the comparatively pacific spirit that prevails in its councils and in
those of the neighbouring states, are producing their natural results;
and, despite occasional exceptions, there is every reason to look for
a prosperous future. The conquest of Peru having been effected with
infinitely more ease than that of Mexico, as far as the mere military
resistance of the natives was concerned, it continued for nearly 300
years subject to Spain, and formed its last stronghold in that quarter
of the world. The history of the struggles for independence, from the
time that the first Protector, San Martin, [see Chili, page 18] entered
the country with the combined Chilian and Buenos Ayrean army, and
proclaimed its freedom at Lima, the capital, in 1821, till the Spaniards
were finally expelled, would embrace the biography of the commander
just named, and the still more celebrated one, Bolivar, who, with his
victorious troops from Columbia, to which he had given liberty in 1821,
mainly contributed to the liberation of Peru, whereof he became President
in 1825, San Martin retiring in 1822, with these memorable words:—‘I
have proclaimed the independence of Chili and Peru; I have taken the
standard with which Pizarro came to enslave the empire of the Incas;
and I have ceased to be a public man.’ Bolivar ran through pretty much
the same vicissitudes of popular caprice as we have recounted in the
case of Santa Anna, though an incomparably superior character in every
respect; and, after numberless feuds, and escaping plots against his
life by those he had raised to power, was on the point of returning from
voluntary seclusion, on his patrimonial estate, to assume once more the
direction of affairs, in obedience to the voice of the public, who,
too late, found out that he was the only man for the occasion, when he
died in 1830, in his 47th year, leaving behind the highest reputation
which South American history has afforded, not only as a commander
and an administrator, but as a constitutional legislator. Repeated
revolutions have since ensued, partly caused by rivalries of internal
factions, and partly by the hostilities of neighbouring states, which,
being themselves torn with dissension, and constantly changing their
territorial status, have rendered war upon Peru, or on the part of Peru,
almost unavoidable. This is the case at present; Bolivia, under its
President, Belzu, having invaded Peru, and protracted hostilities being
certain. Under such circumstances it is hardly necessary to add, that
the finances of the country have been inadequate to its expenditure,
and that, consequently, the foreign creditors have fared exceedingly
ill. Of late, however, the prospects have greatly improved, owing to the
immense demand for that peculiar manure which is found in the condition
most approved by agriculturists on the Peruvian coast, and in the next
greatest perfection on the neighbouring coast of Chili, whence, indeed,
the first cargo, which created so much interest, was brought a few years
back into Liverpool, causing small observation, however, for a long time.
But, unluckily for the foreign creditor and the true interests of the
Peruvian government, the latter fixed so high a price on the commodity,
as to create a complete monopoly, attended with most of the mischiefs
of which all monopolies are the parents. Until the close of the last
year, it was imagined that the supply of this most essential ingredient
in farming economy was literally inexhaustible, and that the cost to
the consumer might be kept up at the original excessive rate. About
that period, however, it was ascertained, through a survey instituted
by Admiral Moresby, commanding the British squadron on the West Coast,
that at the then rate of demand (and it has gone on increasing since) the
whole stock (many millions of tons though it was) would be exhausted in
the course of about twenty years. Moreover, as the discovery, first, of
the unique virtues of guano, and, secondly, of its deposit in the finest
known quality and greatest quantity here, were purely accidental, it is
not improbable, indeed is regarded as certain, that there will also be
discoveries of other excellent fertilizers of a like kind, and of other
vast deposits of guano, if not quite so excellent, yet sufficiently so
to deprive Peru of its principal customers at existing rates. Should
either of these occurrences take place—should it be found, as Lord
Clarendon anticipated, in answer to a deputation on the subject, that
nitrate of soda is extractable from the immense heaps of fish refuse
on the Newfoundland coast, and will supply, as chemists believe, the
fructifying element of guano; or should it be found that those deposits
of guano in more damp latitudes,—the Falklands, for instance—will admit
of being profitably freed from the effects of moisture, of course the
value of the Peruvian commodity will decline accordingly, and so will the
prospects of the bondholders, who have probably been amongst the greatest
of all the sufferers from the _mala fides_ and impoverishment of South
American debtors. A species of new bonds have recently been created, to
the great detriment of the interest of the holders of the old ones, and
the dissatisfaction is extreme, especially as the government, instead of
being warned by the facts we have recounted in respect to guano, and by
the discovery of valuable guano islands by North American citizens in
the Caribbean Sea, have actually advanced the price of the commodity to
the extent of the recently enhanced freights, as compared with the usual
rates of shipping charges.

Apart from the monetary, the diplomatic credit of Peru has always
been respectably sustained at the Court of St. James’s. The corps at
present consists of Don Manuel de Mendiburu, minister plenipotentiary;
Don Francisco de Rivero, consul-general, 78, Grosvenor-street,
Grosvenor-square; Don Emilio Altheus, D. M. Espantosa, and Major D. S.
Osma, attachés. Consul’s-office, 6, Copthall-court. Consuls—J. E. Naylor,
Liverpool; R. J. Todd, Cardiff; John G. Dodd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Edward
Wright, Dublin.

England is represented in Peru by Mr. S. H. Sullivan, chargé d’affaires
at Lima; salary as such £1,700 a-year, besides the usual £1 per diem
allowed to all functionaries of that class discharging consular duties.
Until last year (1853) the diplomatic salary was £2,000. At Callao, the
port of Lima, the salary of the consul (Mr. J. Barton) has also been
reduced from £500 to £200, but the fees of office still make the post
very lucrative. At Islay, the vice-consul, Mr. T. Crompton, receives
£500; and at Arica and Payta, Mr. G. H. Nugent and Mr. Alexander Blacker,
vice-consuls, £300 and £100 respectively.

[8] CHILI.—Though probably none of the Spanish conquests in South
America were effected with greater ease than that of Chili—a sort of
dependency on the Incas of Peru, and faithful to their cause long after
it was lost at head-quarters—nowhere were the natives impressed so
much at first with the superiority of the invincible stranger, a sum
equivalent to half a million of ducats being presented to Almagro, in
recognition of his ‘divinity’ when he crossed the Cordilleras; yet none
of their acquisitions, subsequently, cost the conquerors more trouble.
Notwithstanding the scandalous cruelties of the invaders, it was not
till 1546, ten years after Valdivia (a second lieutenant of Pizarro’s)
had entered their country, that resistance was wholly put down. The
Chilians, the last in being subdued, were also among the first to take
advantage of the troubles of the mother country in her decrepitude and
decline. On the invasion of Spain by the French, and the rout of the
Spanish Bourbons in 1809, Chili, affecting to be solicitous for the
sovereignty of Ferdinand VII., and to be desirous of administering the
government of itself in his name, established a junta in the capital,
St. Jago, in 1810, and ultimately avowed itself a decided separatist.
Spain, however, was still able to make head against the revolutionists;
and after a series of encounters, in which fortune alternated rapidly,
she vindicated her authority by a very decisive victory at Rancagua, in
1817. This, however, did not prevent the popular party triumphing at
Chacabuco, in the same year, and seizing on the capital. Again the king’s
troops succeeded at Chancarayada; but, once more, and conclusively, the
republicans carried all before them in the eventful battle of Maypu, in
1818, though it was not till the beginning of 1826 that the province
was finally freed from the presence of the peninsular cohorts, and
declared independent, the old country itself, however, refusing any such
recognition till 1842, when a treaty of peace and friendship was signed
at Madrid, and ratifications exchanged in 1845. Throughout these wars
the most conspicuous revolutionary leader was General San Martin, a
soldier of Irish origin, as his name imports,[9] being one of the many
of his countrymen whom the struggles for independence brought forward in
the Spanish colonies, in none more so than in Chili, the first Supreme
Director, as the officer elected by the juntas was originally called,
being Barnardo O’Higgins, with whom were associated Col. O’Leary, General
Miller, and numerous others ‘racy of the soil’ of saints and shillelaghs.
Of all the European celebrities, however, who figured on the stage
of South American strife, none are to be compared to the heroic Lord
Cochrane, now the venerable Admiral Earl Dundonald, who, having fitted
out a ship of his own in England in the cause of the patriots, and being
appointed to the command of the Chilian fleet, coöperating with the land
forces of Bolivar, displayed that characteristic skill and enterprise
which have so preëminently distinguished him throughout his chivalrous
and romantic career, some few incidents of which will be found mentioned
in our notice of a congenial and no less heroic spirit, Admiral Grenfell,
of the Brazilian service, in which Dundonald played a conspicuous part.

From what we have said already, both of Mexico and also of Peru, it will
naturally be inferred that Chili has suffered greatly from internal
disorders; but, unlike those countries, she has contrived to avoid
a very onerous national debt; and consequently her credit abroad is
comparatively very good; indeed, better probably than that of any South
American state, save Brazil, whose securities rank next to those of Great
Britain itself. The recent gold discoveries in California and Australia
have immensely increased her export trade, and will continue to do so
for an indefinite period; while a large source of domestic revenue
has been opened up by the possession of guano islands (of which more
hereafter), second only in extent, and scarcely second in richness, to
those treasures of a like kind whereof we have spoken under the head of
Peru, the example of which country is followed as to the maintenance of
the price of the article at an exorbitant rate.

The Chilian diplomatic and consular corps in England consists of
Spencer N. Dickson, consul, 8, Great Winchester-street, London; W. W.
Alexander, consul, Bristol, Cardiff, and Newport; William Jackson,
consul, Liverpool; Thomas W. Fox, jun., consul, Plymouth; James H.
Wolff, consul, Southampton; John W. Leach, consul, Swansea. The British
diplomatic and consular corps in Chili consists of the Hon. E. J. Harris,
chargé d’affaires at the capital, St. Jago, salary £1,600, and the usual
consular allowance of £1 per diem; consul at Valparaiso, Mr. Henry Rouse,
salary £300, reduced from £700; consul at Coquimbo, Mr. David Ross,
salary £300; and vice-consul at Conception, Mr. Robert Cunningham, salary
£250—all exclusive of fees.

[9] His aid-de-camp was General John O’Brien, afterwards accredited by
the Banda Oriental, or State of the Uruguay, as diplomatic representative
to England, where he contributed greatly to familiarise the British
public with the bearings of the Plate Question, and to popularise the
cause of Monte Videan resistance to the aggression of Rosas. In this
object he was essentially assisted by his learned and accomplished
countryman, Mr. W. Bernard Macabe, a distinguished London journalist,
and well-known author in historical and miscellaneous literature, who
discharged the duties of acting consul-general for the Uruguay in London
for some years, till the end of 1852, when he proceeded to Dublin, where
he has since prosecuted his intellectual avocations with his customary
assiduity and success. The General, we believe, is now residing in
honoured retirement, in his old age, in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso,
on a property allowed him by the Government of Chili, to whose original
independence his exertions materially contributed.

[10] The subject of this poem is the establishment of the Portuguese
empire in India; but whatever of chivalrous, great, beautiful, or
noble, could be gathered from the traditions of his country, has been
interwoven into the story. Among all the heroic poets, says Schlegel,
either of ancient or modern times, there has never, since Homer, been any
one so intensely national, or so loved or honoured by his countrymen,
as Camoens. It seems as if the national feelings of the Portuguese had
centred and reposed themselves in the person of this poet, whom they
consider as worthy to supply the place of a whole host of poets, and as
being in himself a complete literature to his country. Of Camoens they
say,

    Vertere fas; æquare nefas; æquabilis uni
    Est sibi; par nemo; nemo secundus erit.

Few modern poems in any language, have been so frequently translated as
the ‘Lusiad.’ Mr. Adamson, whose ‘Memoirs of the Life and Writings of
Camoens’ must be familiar to the reader, notices one Hebrew translation
of it, five Latin, six Spanish, four Italian, three French, four German,
and two English. Of the two English versions one is that of Sir R.
Fanshawe, written during Cromwell’s usurpation, and distinguished for
its fidelity to the original; the other is that of Mickle, who, unlike
the former, took great liberties with the original, but whose additions
and alterations have met with great approbation from all critics—except,
as indeed was to be expected, from the Portuguese themselves.—_Dr.
Cauvin._—In the course of the present year (1854) another English
version, from the pen of Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General of New
South Wales, and formerly on the staff in the Peninsula, has been issued
by Messrs. Boone, of Bond-street, in one volume, with an engraving, said
to be an excellent likeness, of the poet.

[11]

    ‘Eu sou aquelle occulto, e grande Cabo,
    A quem chamais vos outros Tormentario;
    Que nunca a Ptolemeo, Pomponio, Estrabo,
    Plinio, e quantos passaram, foi notorio:
    Aqui toda a Africana Costa acabo
    Neste meu nunca visto promentorio,
    Que para o polo Antartico se estende,
    A quem vossa ousadia tanto offende.’

                                              CAMOENS, canto 5, verse 50.

    ‘In me the spirit of the Cape behold,
    That Rock by you the Cape of Torments named,
    By Neptune’s rage in horrid Earthquake framed,
    Where Jove’s red bolts o’er Titan’s offspring flamed.
    With wide-stretch’d piles I guard the pathless strand,
    And Afric’s southern mound unmoved I stand;
    Nor Roman prow, nor daring Tyrian oar,
    Ere dashed the white wave foaming to my shore;
    Nor Greece, nor Carthage, ever spread the sail
    On these my seas to catch the trading gale.
    You, you alone, have dared to plough my main,
    And with the human voice disturb my lonesome reign.’

                Mickle’s Translation of this verse, the ‘Lusiad,’ p. 205.

[12] STEAM THROUGH THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN TO THE PACIFIC.—In a work like
this, almost specially devoted to an exemplification of the achievements
and the prospects of steam enterprise in South America, we take the
earliest opportunity of placing on record the efforts of a gentleman,
who, in those distant waters first explored by Magellan, and through the
very straits named after that daring navigator, conducted a steamer to
the West Coast long before the Royal Mail Company, as mentioned in our
prefatory remarks, sent any of their paddle-wheels to the East Coast.
The first steamers that ever navigated these straits were the Peru and
Chili, belonging to the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, under the
orders of Captain George Peacock, a gentleman well known in connection
with naval steam tactics, now superintendent of the Southampton docks,
and vice-consul for the Uruguay at that port. Leaving England in command
of the Peru, in July, 1840, and touching only at Rio de Janeiro for a
supply of fuel, he anchored in Port Famine, Patagonia, on the 13th of
September, after a passage at sea of only 43 days. These vessels, built
by Messrs. Curling and Young, of Limehouse, were contracted and fitted
out with great care, under the superintendence of Captain Peacock, being
also rigged on a new plan proposed by him, whereby they were enabled to
proceed under sail alone during a great part of the voyage, the steam
only having been used for 21 out of the 43 days occupied between Plymouth
and Port Famine. This was an unprecedented feat in the annals of steam
navigation up to that period, and has scarcely been surpassed since, as
these vessels carried out a large amount of general cargo to Valparaiso,
besides their spare machinery, and a great quantity of stores, proving
the importance of all steamships for long voyages, whether screw or
paddle-wheel, being fully and properly rigged. The Pacific Steam
Navigation Company was projected in 1833 by William Wheelwright, Esq., an
enterprising American gentleman, who had passed many years on the West
Coast of South America, and who obtained exclusive privileges, from the
Chilian and Peruvian governments, for establishing steam in the Pacific,
provided steamers were placed on the coast within a given period. On Mr.
Wheelwright’s arrival in England he found great difficulty in forming a
company, although no one doubted but that the navigation and requirements
of the West Coast were, perhaps, better adapted for steam navigation than
any other spot on the face of the globe. Unfortunately for the projector,
the extreme pressure of the money-market at that time, coupled with the
distance of the intended scene of operations, the want of confidence
in the grants of South American states, and the political changes to
which they were exposed, all conduced to impede the enterprise; and,
after passing upwards of three years of untiring patience and suffering,
numberless anxieties, heart-sickening vexations, and even personal
privations (the fate of too many enterprising men in the prosecution of
new and useful projects), and when his capital was nigh wrecked, and
his favourite scheme about to be abandoned as hopeless, he had the good
fortune to meet with the late Lord Abinger, who, together with the noble
members of the Scarlett family, warmly espoused the undertaking, and
with the aid of other kind friends, the company was at length formed,
and, towards the close of the year 1839, two vessels, of 750 tons and
180 horse power each, were contracted for. The keels were laid Jan.,
1840, and the ships built, launched, fitted out, and sent to sea in
July, within a period of seven months, no expense being spared to effect
this object, with a view of saving the privileges to be conceded by the
Chilian government.

This proved to be impracticable, notwithstanding the extraordinary
exertions that had been made, owing to the vexatious annoyances of
the port authorities at Rio de Janeiro, who exacted such stringent
regulations and created such difficulties, that the steamers were delayed
fourteen days, where 48 hours would have sufficed. The fine harbour of
Port Stanley, at the Falkland Islands, was not then known to possess the
facilities it now does for such repairs, nor were there at the time the
necessary means of effecting them; otherwise Captain Peacock, who has the
highest opinion of that harbour, and has urged it as a port of call and
for coaling on the captains of all sailing or steam-vessels coming home
from Australia by Cape Horn, would have at once resorted to it, and so
saved the almost ruinous delay and vast expense occasioned him at Rio.
The consequence of this detention was, that the vessels did not arrive at
Port Famine, the southern-most harbour claimed by the republic of Chili,
until the 13th of September, whilst the privileges, already alluded to,
expired on the first of that month.

By the 18th of September both ships were completed with wood and water,
every man, from the captain downwards, assisting in sawing and splitting
up drift-wood, found in abundance along the shores of the harbour, an
American axe having been provided for each person on board, together with
cross-cut saws and iron wedges, for such object, before leaving England.
This day, being the ‘diesiocho,’ or great anniversary of the Chilian
Independence, Captain Peacock caused a beacon, 30 feet high, with a large
diamond-shaped head, to be erected on the heights of Santa Anna, the
western point of the entrance; and, hoisting the Chilian flag upon it at
noon, saluted the same from the guns of both ships, accompanied by three
hearty British cheers; and having buried a parchment manuscript at the
foot of the beacon, in a sealed jar, descriptive of this event and the
particulars of the voyage, &c., together with a few new coins of the year
1840, the steamers proceeded into the Pacific, accomplishing the passage
from ocean to ocean, a distance of 300 miles, in 30 hours’ steaming. Four
years subsequently, the Chilian government sent a vessel of war, and took
formal possession of this harbour, for a convict establishment, naming
it Port Bulnes, after the President at that time in power, when a fort
was built round the before mentioned beacon, the jar was dug up, and the
manuscript, &c., taken to St. Jago, the capital, and there lodged in the
government archives. Upon the arrival of the steamers at Valparaiso, by
a representation to the government, the privileges of the company were
immediately renewed for a period of ten years; and probably nothing has
contributed so much to the advancement, welfare, and prosperity of the
Chilian and Peruvian republics, as the successful establishment of steam
navigation upon this coast, where the names of Don Guilliermo Wheelwright
and Don Jorje Peacock, will perhaps never be forgotten, as they certainly
ought not to be. The Chilian government, in the course of last year,
(1853) renewed its relations with the Pacific Company for continuing
steam communication with England, through the Straits, and also for
extending steam intercourse to other parts of Europe, in connection with
the vessels now rounding the Horn, granting liberal subsidies for that
purpose. See end of chapter on Amazon.

[13] Captain Denham, R.N., who has been sent on an exploratory cruise in
the various Archipelagoes of the Southern Pacific, in hope of meeting
with an eligible depôt for convicts, whom the cessation of transportation
to Australia (or at least to all except the Western portion) has thrown
on the hands of the home government, very much to the embarrassment of
the executive, and to the consternation of the community; for, as was
foreseen when the project was first mooted, not only do the British
public dread the introduction among them of the class known in France as
_libres forçats_, but the former honest associates of these domesticated
‘emancipatists,’ to use an antipodean phrase, will not consort with them;
hasten to denounce them to their employers as ‘black sheep;’ forcibly
drive them from amongst them; and, in fact, surround them with such
annoyances that their existence becomes intolerable in the society of
any but those who are qualifying for, or have already graduated at, the
hulks. The consideration of this subject will be found pursued at some
length in treating of the Falklands. These islands are in every way
admirably adapted, both to meet the difficulties just mooted, as to the
disposal of our felonrie, and to supersede the labour of Capt. Denham,
should he even be successful in discovering a spot in the southern
hemisphere that is not open to innumerable objections on the score—1st,
of propinquity to other islands; 2nd, being at double the distance of the
Falklands from the mother country; and 3rd, the cost of conveyance being
proportionably great; saying nothing of the expensiveness of founding a
new settlement in a place that is already deserted, or from which the
aborigines, if any, must be removed.

[14] The History of Brazil—his _opus majus_, a work on which he hoped
to base the remembrance of his name—now appeared, the most conspicuous
and elaborate of his works, and written _con amore_. It forms a branch
of the more extensive History of Portugal, which he had no leisure
to complete. The materials from which this work was constructed had
been collected by his uncle, the Rev. Herbert Hill, were unrivalled in
value, and accessible to him alone. No political bias interrupted the
straightforwardness and breadth of his judgment; and his poetic fervour
found scope in the character of the clime, the productions of the soil,
and the features of savage life, which he describes in the most glowing
colours.—Life of Southey, by Charles T. Brown.—London: Chapman and Hall.
1854.

[15] Travels in the Interior of Brazil; principally through the Northern
Provinces and the Gold and Diamond Districts, during the years 1836-41.
By the late GEORGE GARDNER, M.D., F.L.S., Superintendent of the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Ceylon.—London: Reeve and Co. 1853.

[16] Sketches of Brazil; including New Views on Tropical and European
Fever. With Remarks on a Premature Decay of the System, incident to
Europeans, on their return from Hot Climates. By ROBERT DUNDAS, M.D.,
Physician to the Northern Hospital, Liverpool; formerly Acting Surgeon
to H.M. 60th Regiment; and for twenty-three years Medical Superintendent
of the British Hospital, Bahia. 8vo., price 9s.—London: John Churchill,
Prince’s-street, Soho. Liverpool: Deighton and Laughton, and Rockliff and
Sons.

[17] Buenos Ayres and the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata: from their
Discovery and Conquest by the Spaniards to the Establishment of their
Political Independence. With some Account of their Present State, Trade,
Debt, etc.; an Appendix of Historical and Statistical Documents; and a
Description of the Geology and Fossil Monsters of the Pampas. By Sir
WOODBINE PARISH, K.C.H., F.R.S., G.S., Vice-President of the Royal
Geographical Society of London, and many years Chargé-d’affaires of
H.B.M. at Buenos Ayres. Second Edition, enlarged, with a New Map and
Illustrations.—London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1852.

[18] Two Thousand Miles’ Ride through the Argentine Provinces: being
an Account of the Natural Products of the Country, and Habits of the
People; with a Historical Retrospect of the Rio de la Plata, Monte Video,
and Corrientes. By WILLIAM MAC CANN, Author of the Present Position of
Affairs on the River Plate. With Illustrations. In Two Volumes.—London:
Smith, Elder, and Co., 65, Cornhill. Smith, Taylor, and Co., Bombay. 1853.

[19] 1. A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, with an
Account of the Native Tribes, and Observations on the Climate, Geology,
and Natural History of the Amazon Valley. By ALFRED R. WALLACE. With
a Map and Illustrations.—London: Reeve and Co., Henrietta Street,
Covent Garden. 1853. 2. The Amazon, and the Atlantic Slopes of South
America. A Series of Letters under the Signature of ‘Inca.’ By M. F.
MAURY, LL.D., Lieut. U. S. Navy; who, under date, Washington City,
January, 1853, says: ‘These Letters were originally published by the
National Intelligencer and the Union, of this City. They treat of one
of the most important commercial questions of the age: they are eagerly
sought after in all parts of the country; and though they have been
extensively read, the demand for them in a more permanent shape than
that of a newspaper is such that the Publisher has obtained leave of
their Author to re-issue them in their present form.’ On the recent
visit of Professor Silliman to Humboldt, at Berlin, the veteran explorer
expressed his great gratification at the progress which enterprise was
making throughout South America, especially in the region of the Amazon;
and made particular mention of the Professor’s countryman, Lieutenant
Maury, of whose work we are now speaking, and from which we shall draw
copiously hereafter. In giving the gallant Lieutenant all praise,
however, we should not omit to acknowledge how much the reading public
of this quarter of the globe are indebted for their previous knowledge
of the same region to another countryman of his, whose excellent little
volume has lately been re-issued in England in a cheap form, by Murray,
viz., A Voyage up the River Amazon, including a Residence at Pará, by W.
H. EDWARDS; of which it was justly said that it was a work valuable for
the information it gave on this very little known part of the world, and
likely to excite many adventurous young men to explore the Amazon, so
that going back on the traces of Orellana, and crossing to the Pacific,
may probably become, ere long, as familiar to our countrymen as a voyage
up the Rhine or the Nile. Mr. Edwards’ charming little volume has led
to such exploration; and the interesting results will be found in our
chapter upon the Amazon, which we are particularly desirous of drawing
attention to.

[20] According to the official returns for the twelvemonth ending March
last, the amount of British tonnage entered inwards from Portugal
consisted of 7 steam and 735 sailing-vessels; the total amount of both
class of vessels being 71,536 tons. The amount of British tonnage cleared
outwards for Portugal consisted of 7 steam and 716 sailing-vessels; the
total amount of tonnage being 76,662. Great Britain receives nearly
a half of all the exports of Portugal, and Portugal only receives
one-fiftieth of all the exports of Great Britain.—It appears from
M’Gregor’s ‘Synthetical View of Legislation,’ that in 1851, the total
amount of the exportations of Great Britain and Ireland was about
£75,000,000, of which only £1,048,356 was to Portugal! being less than
the amount sent by Great Britain and Ireland to Chili and Peru! Whereas,
in the United States the consumption of British goods has doubled since
1841, and now amounts to nearly one-fifth of all the British manufactures
exported.

[21] It is so needless to tell any one entering the Tagus, much less any
one who has entered, how topographically accurate is the description in
‘Childe Harold,’ that the stanzas are quoted merely to save the reader
the trouble of referring to the volume itself, in case he do not quite
remember the lines:—

      The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown’d,
      The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
      The mountain-moss by scorching skies embrown’d,
      The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep,
      The tender azure of the unruffled deep,
      The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
      The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
      The vine on high, the willow branch below,
    Mix’d in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

      Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
      And frequent turn to linger as you go,
      From loftier rocks new loveliness survey,
      And rest ye at ‘Our Lady’s house of woe;’
      Where frugal monks their little relics show,
      And sundry legends to the stranger tell:
      Here impious men have punish’d been, and lo!
      Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
    In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a hell.

[22] Next to Byron, the great modern English literary name associated
with this part of Portugal, and not merely from his residence here, but
from his delightful and extraordinary pourtrayal of the conventual life
of the neighbourhood, in his almost posthumous work, the ‘Monasteries
of Alcobaça and Batalha,’ is he whom the noble bard alludes to in the
well-known lines:—

      On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath,
      Are domes where whilome kings did make repair;
      But now the wild flowers round them only breathe;
      Yet ruin’d splendour still is lingering there,
      And yonder towers the Prince’s palace fair:
      There thou, too, Vathek! England’s wealthiest son,
      Once form’d thy Paradise, as not aware
      When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done,
    Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.

Beckford, as is well known, soon after his return to England, built
the fairy-like structure of Fonthill Abbey, gorgeous as his own Caliph
Vathek, and, like it, as unsubstantial; for, on its being sold to Mr.
Farquharson for some £40,000, about one-seventh of what it cost, [the
catalogues describing its contents were in prodigious demand at a guinea
a piece] it fell to the ground. He died in 1844, aged 84; and was father
to the late Duchess of Hamilton, and father-in-law to the present Duke of
Hamilton and Duchess of Newcastle.

[23] At this convent was educated Don John VI., grandfather to the
late ‘Lusian’s luckless Queen,’ who died in 1816 in Brazil, from the
melancholy derangement from which Dr. Willis, who had attended George
III. for a similar malady, was unable to recover her. The young prince
was placed here with the idea of his wearing the cowl as abbot, prior to
attaining the highest ecclesiastical honours; but the unexpected death
of his elder brother made him heir to the throne, which he afterwards
filled. Of the suitability of the structure for so august an inmate,
the late Lord Carnarvon, who visited it in 1827, says:—I rode through a
bleak but not unpleasant country to Mafra. The convent and palace united
constitute an immense pile of building, which excites admiration rather
from its vast extent than from any architectural merits, and forms a
quadrangle, measuring 760 feet from east to west, and 670 feet from north
to south. The church is situate in the centre, and three hundred cells
are placed behind the choir; the palace might perhaps contain without
inconvenience all the courts of Europe. The thermometer had risen to more
than 90°, and it was indeed no common luxury to exchange such intolerable
heat for the refreshing temperature of the convent galleries, which are
built of stone, and are high, wide, dark, and apparently interminable.
Within those massive walls the fluctuations of the external atmosphere
are never felt; and rarely indeed do any external sounds pierce through
those mighty barriers. The monks showed us the refectory, a spacious
apartment, and the library, well stored with books.—Portugal and Galicia,
with a Review of the Social and Political State of the Basque Provinces.
By the Earl of CARNARVON. Third Edition.—London: John Murray, Albemarle
Street. 1848.

[24] The mention of the English burial-ground, in Lisbon, induces us
to correct an error into which the recent religious persecutions in
Italy have betrayed some of our countrymen at home, as to the supposed
existence of such practices in Portugal. Such a mistake is perfectly
natural, but it is wholly unfounded; for, though the religion of the
state is strictly Roman Catholic, of the most unmitigated character,
still, like Brazil, though unlike Spain, there is toleration for all
religions, and no impediment thrown in the way of their being observed.
A Portuguese resident in London, writing to a leading journal on the
point raised in consequence of the iniquitous treatment of the Madiai
and others by the Duke of Tuscany, says:—‘The liberality and toleration
of the Portuguese government towards Protestants, either resident
or travelling, in Portugal, has existed for ages past. That line of
conduct has never been altered, and for the truth of this assertion
I appeal to the British Legation at Lisbon, and to the very numerous
and respectable British commercial body connected with that country. A
British subject has as much civil and religious liberty in Portugal as
he can possibly enjoy in his own country. Christianity and civilization
were first carried to Asia, Africa, and America, by that nation which
his Lordship so much depreciates, and the door of that vast empire which
Great Britain possesses in India was opened by the inhabitants of that
soil.’ The imputation on the religious liberality of Portugal excites
some indignation in that country, and a letter from Lisbon, in one of
the papers, at the beginning of the year, says:—Not only since the
establishment of the constitution, but even during the absolute regime,
a large measure of toleration was always allowed to all other religions.
The English and German Protestants have long had churches and cemeteries
of their own, and, unlike their brethren in Spain, are allowed to bury
their dead with as much ‘pomp and publicity’ as they please. The only
restriction imposed upon people of other persuasions is, that they shall
not, by word of mouth, or in writing, revile and insult the established
religion of the country. This restriction, which was formerly operative,
has now, however, become a dead letter, the real religion of the liberal
party generally being materialism, against which nobody here seems
disposed to declaim. At the beginning of the present year, (1854), a
statement, signed by many of the principal British residents in Oporto,
appeared in the London journals, setting forth that the most unreserved
liberty for the performance of Protestant Service, with any degree of
publicity, was allowed in that city, and had been for a great number of
years.

[25]

      Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes
      In variegated maze of mount and glen.
      Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
      To follow half on which the eye dilates,
      Though views more dazzling unto mortal ken
      Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
    Who to the awe-struck world unlock’d Elysium’s gates?

Sir Wm. Napier’s correction, in his History of the Peninsular War, of the
blunder about the supposed site of the convention, is well known, but
deserves to be repeated:—

    “The armistice, the negotiations, the convention itself,
    and the execution of its provisions, were all commenced,
    conducted, and concluded, at the distance of thirty miles
    from Cintra, with which place they had not the slightest
    connection, political, military, or local; yet Lord Byron has
    gravely asserted, in prose and verse, that the convention was
    signed at the Marquis of Marialva’s house at Cintra; and the
    author of ‘The Diary of an Invalid,’ improving from a poet’s
    discovery, detected the stains of the ink spilt by Junot upon
    the occasion.”

[26]

                As when to them who sail
    Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
    Mozambic, off at sea, north-east winds blow
    Sabean odours from the spicy shore
    Of Araby the blest.—Paradise Lost, Book iv.

The voyage from Portugal to India was, in those days, more perilous
than will easily be believed in these. The seas swarmed with pirates,
shipwrecks were dreadfully frequent, and even when these dangers were
escaped, the common mortality was so great, that Vieyra says—‘If the
dead, who had been thrown overboard between the coast of Guinea and the
Cape of Good Hope, and between that cape and Mozambique, could have
monuments placed for them each on the spot where he sunk, the whole way
would appear like one continued cemetery.’ Hyperbolical as this is, it
shows how enormous the expenditure of life must have been, which could
thus be spoken of in the pulpit! The ship in which Camoens sailed was the
only one of the fleet which reached its destination.

[27] The middle classes promenade with their families until the sun
begins to have effect, when they return to breakfast and to business.
Dinner is usually served from noon till 2 p.m., and consists of sopa,
vaca cozida, e arroz, (soup, boiled beef, and rice,) with occasionally
hum prato do meio (a dish of roast for the centre). Potatoes are seldom
or never used, excepting in the kitchen. Fish is only eaten on fast-days,
and the delicious sardine (because common and plentiful) shares the
fate of the potatoes. The common vin ordinaire of the country is drunk
at table out of small tumblers, being supplied from a neighbouring
tenda (wine-store) daily or hourly, as it may be required, at a price
never exceeding 2d. per pint. Fine old bottled wine (such as we are
acquainted with) is altogether unknown in Portugal, and it would be
almost as rare to find in any house a couple of dozen bottles of wine,
as it would be to discover as many books. Fire-places have not yet
become general in dwelling-houses. In cold weather, gentlemen in society
wear capotes (large cloth cloaks), and ladies wrap up in thick shawls.
Dinner-parties are quite uncommon; but social evening meetings, where
tea and simple biscuits are the only refreshments, are of constant
occurrence.—_Forrester’s Essay._

[28] These peculiar latine sails are exquisitely beautiful when seen in
profile and, when beheld in front, resemble a butterfly perched on a dark
ground with expanded wings.—_Carnarvon._ British naval architects will
probably be surprised to hear that the Portuguese craft of every kind are
all prime built and beautiful models, the elegance of their lines being
a source of admiration to every critic. The Oporto fishing-boats, in
particular, are fine specimens of the country’s capacity for this sort of
excellence, and, when under sail, fly through the water at the rate of 12
to 14 knots an hour.

[29] In the days of Pliny, we are told, the provinces of Minho, Galicia,
and Asturias paid not less than a million and a half octaves of gold to
the Roman Empire, as a tribute on the ore extracted from various mines
then in active operation, and yet, in the present day, the revenues
derived by the Portuguese Government from all their mines does not amount
to more than £72 17_s._ The Romans worked mines of gold, silver, iron,
lead, coal, antimony, copper, quicksilver, bismuth, arsenic, and tin,
in Portugal: and Faria e Souza graphically remarks, ‘Hardly is there a
river, or mountain-base that it laves, which does not cover precious
stones and grains of gold.’ This language may be considered poetic,
but there is no doubt that ‘le sol de Portugal est essentiellement
metalifere,’—that metals abound throughout the whole country; but
the mines are not worked; neither can their value be correctly
ascertained, in the absence of every means of transport, and internal
communication.—_Forrester._

[30] Hints to Travellers in Portugal, in Search of the Beautiful and the
Grand. With an Itinerary of some of the most Interesting Parts of that
Remarkable Country.—London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1852.

[31] The Oliveira Prize-Essay on Portugal: with the Evidence Regarding
that Country taken before a Committee of the House of Commons in
May, 1852; and the Author’s Surveys of the Wine-Districts of the
Alto-Douro, as Adopted and Published by order of the House of Commons.
Together with a Statistical Comparison of the Resources and Commerce
of Great-Britain and Portugal. By JOSH. JAMES FORRESTER, Wine-Grower
in the Alto-Douro.—London: John Weale, 59, High Holborn. John Menzies,
Edinburgh. Coutinho, Oporto. 1852.

[32] There is scarcely any difficulty now in going to Portugal, for a
steamer sails from Southampton for Lisbon on the 7th, 17th, and 27th
of every month, or on the following day, when any of those days should
fall on a Sunday, and generally enters Vigo Bay in three days; and,
weather permitting, calls off Oporto, and arrives in five or six days
at Lisbon, from which city a steamer occasionally sails for Oporto, at
which place the traveller is recommended to commence his excursions,
the province of Minho excelling all others in Portugal in whatever is
fertile and picturesque, and being equal, if not superior, in grandeur to
the district of the Estrella Mountains. The ordinary mode of travelling
is on horses or mules, which can be hired for about 5_s._ 6_d._ per
day, including their food; but the arrieros who accompany them must be
maintained at the cost of him who hires them, and he likewise expects to
receive a gratuity. The money of the country is calculated in reis, and
taking the mil rei, or 1,000 reis, to be equal to 4_s._ 6_d._, the value
of the current coin will be nearly as follows:—_In Silver_: The Cruzado
_novo_, or 480 reis = 2_s._ 2_d._; the 12 Vintem piece, or 240 reis =
1_s._ 1_d._; the 6 Vintem piece, or 120 reis= 6½; the 3 Vintem piece, or
60 reis = 3¼_d._; the testoon, or 100 reis = 5½_d._; the Half Testoon, or
50 reis = 2⅓_d._—_In Gold_: Moidore, or 4,800 reis = £1 1_s._ 8_d._; the
small gold piece, or 5000 reis = £1 2_s._ 6_d._; the gold piece, or 8000
reis = £1 16_s._ The English sovereign circulates in Portugal for 4500
reis. The copper coins in general circulation are the following:—The 5
reis, equal to little more than 0¼_d._; the 10 reis, equal to little more
than 0½_d._; the 20 reis, or Vintem, equal to little more than 1_d._; the
40 reis, or Pataca, equal to little more than 2_d._

Our political relationship with Portugal, from the personal family
alliances between the two countries, and from other causes, has of late
years been kept up at great expense; and, according to some critics,
with very little good to any but the individuals at whose instance and
on whose behalf British interference has taken place, the Portuguese
population being understood to be as little pleased with its effects as
English taxpayers are enamoured of its expense. Ostensibly our diplomatic
and consular corps now in Portugal consists of the following members, and
at the salaries annexed to their names:—Envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Pakenham, K.C.B., salary £4000 per
ann.; and house-rent £500; secretary of legation, W. R. Ward, salary
£500; paid attaché, Jos. Hume Burnley, £250; unpaid attachés, Hon. W. G.
Cornwallis Elliot, and Hon. Francis Pakenham. Consuls:—Lisbon, William
Smith, £600; vice-consul, Jeremiah Meagher, £300; Oporto, Edwin Johnston,
£500; Loanda, Geo. Brand, vice-consul, £50; St. Michael (Azores) T. C.
Hunt, consul, £400; Fayal, J. Minchin, vice-consul, £100; Terciera, J.
Read, vice-consul, £100. Of the officers at Madeira and Cape Verds,
(Portuguese possessions) due mention will be made under those heads. The
Portuguese diplomatic and consular staff in England consists of:—Envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, Count de Lavradrio, 12,
Gloucester Place, Portman Square; secretary of legation, Chevalier Pinto
de Soveral; attachés, E. F. de la Figaniere, J. C. Stone, and Geo.
Manders; consul-general, F. J. Vanzeller, 5, Jeffrey Square, St. Mary
Axe; consuls: Liverpool, Almeida Campos; Bristol, Ant. B. de Mascarenhas;
Cork, Geo. Manders.

[33] A Sketch of Madeira; containing Information for the Traveller, or
Invalid Visitor. By EDWARD VERNON HARCOURT, Esq. With Sketches by Lady
Susan Vernon Harcourt.—London; John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1851.

[34] You must not look for many pretty faces in Madeira after the age of
thirteen: amongst the upper classes inertness, and amongst the lower,
hard work, reduce the standard of beauty. The upper class of women
are hardly ever seen in the streets, save on their road to mass, or
when going to pay a visit; on these occasions all the jewels, plate,
and ribbons, of apparently very ancient families, are to be seen in
full display. The ladies generally live on their balconies, watching
passers-by. The English ladies, going to church draw forth many fair
beholders and critics, and on Sundays the balconies are lined with native
fashion. The glory of the Madeira women is their hair, which is of the
richest growth and blackest hue, and their eyes, which are dark and
bright.—_Harcourt._

[35] One of these traditions is very gracefully and attractively told
by Mr. Charles Knight, in his agreeable volumes, published by Murray, a
couple of months back, and entitled ‘Once upon a Time.’

[36] Lodgings in Madeira are plentiful and good. For a family, the most
comfortable plan is to take a _Quinta_, that is to say, a house with a
garden, standing in the suburbs of the town. The price asked for the
season of six months varies according to their size, from £50 to £200.
In such cases the tenant is supplied with everything but plate and house
linen. For single persons the boarding-houses are least troublesome, as
well as most economical: a bed-room, sitting-room, attendance, and board
are obtained there for fifty dollars, or £10 8_s._ 4_d._ a month. These
houses are conducted on a liberal scale, and every English comfort is
provided. If a _Quinta_ is taken, a supply of servants, board, plate
and linen, may be procured at a given rate. It is inconceivable what
annoyances you are saved by such an arrangement; besides the endless
impositions practised upon the ignorance of foreigners by servants and
tradesmen, it is no small luxury to be able to pay a given sum down
monthly, instead of the interminable daily payments which the ready money
system of Madeira requires. Plate, furniture, pianofortes, saddles, guns,
and, in fact, any things that are brought out as _luggage_, are allowed
to pass through the Custom House free of charge, on the bond of some
resident householder being given that the owner of the property will
export it in eighteen months. Portuguese servants may be hired for house
and kitchen work at the rate of about from four to six dollars per month
for the former, and from six to eight dollars for the latter, service.
Those who are content with a plain table, average honesty, and moderate
attention, have no reason to be dissatisfied. Provisions of all sorts are
cheap. English bread, which is sold at 2½_d._ the pound, is the dearest
article of food; the quality of it, however, is excellent. Mutton, which
is an indifferent meat, fetches from 3½_d._ to 4_d._ a pound; beef, which
is good, from 3½_d._ to 4_d._; and veal, from 4_d._ to 5_d._ Fowls may be
purchased at from 10_d._ to 1_s._ 3_d._ a couple. The markets are held at
daybreak, and all the meat, the best fish, and best fruits are brought at
that time. Tea, soap, and tobacco are contraband, but the Custom House
is not inexorable. A common English wardrobe, with the addition of a few
lighter articles, and a waterproof covering for the mountains, suffice
for clothing.—_Harcourt._

[37] Two distinct species of finch (_Carduelis_) appear to have afforded
the different varieties of singing bird, familiarly known by this name.
The one which is best known in its wild state is the _Carduelis canaria_
of Cuvier, and is very abundant in Madeira, where its characters and
habits have been observed with much attention by Dr. Heineken. ‘It
builds,’ says this naturalist, ‘in thick, bushy, high shrubs and trees,
with roots, moss, feathers, hair, &c.; pairs in February; lays from four
to six pale blue eggs; and hatches five, and often six times in the
season. It is a delightful songster, with, beyond doubt, much of the
nightingale’s and sky-lark’s, but none of the wood-lark’s, song.’—‘A
pure wild song from an island canary, at liberty, in full throat, in a
part of the country so distant from the haunts of men that it is quite
unsophisticated, is unequalled, in its kind, by any thing I have ever
heard in the way of bird-music’ The canary-bird was brought into Europe
as early as the 16th century, and is supposed to have spread from the
coast of Italy, where a vessel, which was bringing to Leghorn a number of
these birds, besides its merchandise, was wrecked. As, however, they were
males chiefly which were thus introduced, they were for some time scarce;
and it is only of late years that their education and the proper mode of
treating them have been known.—_Brande_, 1853.

[38] Brazil, as before stated, was originally so named from its valuable
dye-wood, called Braziletto or ‘Cisaljuna Braziletto,’ or Pernambuco,
Wood of Saint Martha, or Sipan, according to the place which produces
it, and by Linnæus, _Cæsalpinia custa_, which was for many years the
richest dye in Europe, and from which the famous Turkey red colours were
produced, rivalling the ancient Tyrian purple, and, like it, passing into
oblivion, after vast popularity; for other drugs having been substituted,
Brazil wood became comparatively little used. It was a close monopoly
of the government, who derived a large revenue from its sale, from £100
a ton upwards being the current price in London, and only 8 years ago
4,500 tons were imported into Great Britain. Brazil timber also possesses
qualities not generally known, one of which is mentioned by Sir W. G.
Ouseley, and accounts for the infrequency of conflagrations in some
of the cities of South America, as compared with what happens in the
northern portion of the continent, where fire brigades are among the
most prominent institutions of the country, and yet do not by any means
prevent the mischief they are meant to guard against. He says:—‘A proof
of the incombustible nature of Brazil wood was afforded at this house
(the Mangueiras) previous to my arrival at Rio de Janeiro, when it was
occupied by Baron Palencia, at that time Russian Minister to the Imperial
Court. One night an attempt was made to set fire to the outside door-like
shutters of one of the windows, with a view, doubtless, to getting into
and robbing the apartments. In the morning was discovered a heap of
still smoking, combustible materials, partially consumed, applied to the
outside of the shutter, the planks of which were little injured, although
their surface was charred, as the fire had been in actual contact with
the wood probably for some hours.’ Brazil wood (the dye now so called) is
very small sized—sticks, comparatively speaking,—and is not used at all
for building purposes, being much too valuable. The ordinary timber of
the country is of quite another description.

[39] Of the simultaneousness of these discoveries, Humboldt says:—‘The
course of great events, like the results of natural phenomena, is ruled
by eternal laws, with few of which we have any perfect knowledge.
The fleet which Emanuel, King of Portugal, sent to India, under the
command of Pedro Alvarez Cabral, on the course discovered by Gama, was
unexpectedly driven on the coast of Brazil on the 22nd April, 1500. From
the zeal which the Portuguese had manifested since the expedition of
Diaz in 1487, to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope, a recurrence of
fortuitous circumstances, similar to those exercised by oceanic currents
on Cabral’s ships, could hardly fail to manifest itself. The African
discoveries would thus probably have brought about that of America south
of the Equator; and thus Robertson was justified in saying that it was
decreed in the destinies of mankind that the new continents should be
made known to European navigators before the close of the fifteenth
century.’

[40] It is after this beautiful quarter of the city of Pernambuco that
the second vessel of the ocean line of the South American and General
Steam Navigation Company was called. Olinda is situated on several hills,
clothed with the most luxuriant tropical vegetation, from the midst
of which the convents, churches, snow-white cathedral, and numerous
private residences, mostly of the same colour, are seen to great effect,
though, on a near approach, in a sadly decayed state. Olinda, however,
may be regarded in something of the light of an East End to St. Antonio,
the West End, or official quarter, where are situate the principal
governmental departments and offices; while Recife is the actual place
of business, and where all the foreign merchants are located. The value
of the exports from Pernambuco annually exceeds a million and a half
sterling; and that of the imports from England is about £800,000.

[41] Few spots in the New World are more indebted to nature than the
environs, all possible combinations of scenery being included in one
magnificent perspective. One of the best views is from the Corcovado
Mountain, which although upwards of 3,000 feet in height, can be ascended
on horseback. Like most mountains around, it is rather a rock, or titanic
monolith, than a mountain, and it may be compared with the gnomon of a
gigantic sun-dial; and, in fact, its shadow in particular localities
supplies the place of a parish clock. Its sides are still in great part
covered with forest and ‘matta,’ or jungle, notwithstanding numerous
fires by which it has been devastated, the immediate result of the last
being a deficiency in the supply of water to parts of the capital, for
the destruction of trees here, as elsewhere, causes a scarcity of the
aqueous element, and the springs which rise on and around this mountain
feed the conduits and aqueducts that convey that fluid into Rio. From the
summit may be seen the whole extent of the harbour and city; the Organ
Mountains in the distance, several lakes along the coast, a wide expanse
of ocean, and innumerable ravines and spurs of the mountain clothed with
richest foliage. The most remarkable, however, of all the mountains near
the capital, is the Gavia, with a flattened summit, sometimes called by
the English the Table Mountain, in Portuguese, the ‘square topsail,’ to
which it bears a resemblance. It is reputed to be inaccessible, at least
it has not yet, as far as can be ascertained, been ascended. Opening into
the outer harbour is Botafogo Bay, a short distance from the capital,
where many foreign merchants reside to enjoy the cool sea breezes,
and where the buildings are of a superior description, with beautiful
gardens attached, many being luxuriantly planted with oranges and lemons,
bananas, pomegranates, palm trees, and a vast variety of shrubs and
vegetables peculiar to Brazil, including the universal cabbage plant in
great profusion. The aqueduct, which is passed in several places in the
ascent of the Corcovado, is a well-built and striking object, crossing
several streets of Rio, and conveying excellent water from the heights of
that mountain to the different fountains in the town.

[42] The only publication relative to Brazil that has appeared since I
left England, or at least that I have seen since my return, is one which,
though it touches but lightly on the country, as might be expected in ‘A
Sketcher’s Tour Round the World,’ [by Mr. Robert Elwes], contains some of
the best word-painting of Brazilian city life anywhere to be met with.
The following description, for instance, will be readily recognized as
most just by all who have been long in the capital; and the concluding
passage in particular, I fear, is but too applicable:—

‘The town of Rio Janeiro (its proper name is St. Sebastiano) is the
largest and best in South America, and the population about equals that
of Liverpool. It is laid out in regular squares: the streets are narrow,
which, at first sight, seems objectionable to an Englishman, but he
soon finds that it affords protection from the scorching sun; and the
thoroughfares are tolerably well-paved and lighted, and have _trottoirs_
at the sides. To obviate the inconvenience arising from the narrowness
of the streets, carriages are only allowed to go one way, up one street
and down the next, and a hand is painted up on the corners to show which
way the traffic is to flow. The best street, Rua d’Ouvidor, is nearly
all French, so that one can almost fancy oneself in the Palais Royal;
and nearly everything that is to be found in London or Paris may be
bought in Rio. Many English merchants have houses in the city, but most
of the shopkeepers are French; and this proves a perfect blessing to
visitors, for a Brazilian shopman is so careless and indolent, that he
will hardly look for anything in his stores, and will often say he has
not got the article asked for, to save himself the trouble of looking for
it. The best native shops are those of the silversmiths, who work pretty
well, and get a good deal of custom, for Brazilians and blacks revel in
ornament, often wearing silver spurs and a silver-hafted knife though
perhaps they may not have any shoes to their feet. The Brazilians are
very fond of dress; and though it seems so unsuitable for the climate,
wear black trowsers and an evening suit to walk about the streets in.
Strangers will find no curiosities in Rio Janeiro except the feather
flowers, which are better here than in Madeira, and fetch a higher price.
A Frenchwoman, who employs a number of girls of all complexions in her
business, is the principal manufacturer. They are made (or ought to be)
entirely of undyed feathers, the best being those of a purple, copper,
or crimson colour, from the breasts and heads of humming-birds. One of
these wreaths has a beautiful effect, and reflects different-coloured
light. The wing cases of beetles are also used, and glitter like precious
stones. Madame has her patterns from Paris, so the wreaths are generally
in good style and newest fashion. The worst shops are kept by English,
and this will be found a general rule in these foreign towns. The
merchants are good and honest; but if one wishes to be well taken in, go
to a shop kept by an Englishman.’

[43] The Bank, Exchange, Custom House, and Arsenal, (of late years
greatly extended,) are in the Rua Direita. Besides these, the chief
public edifices are, the Imperial Palace, a plain brick building; the
Old Palace, on the shore, used for public offices; a Public Hospital,
alluded to elsewhere, erected in 1841; a National Library, with 800,000
printed volumes, and many valuable MSS.; and a well supported Opera
House, which has supplied Europe with some very popular performers,
especially in the ballet line, as witness that general favourite, Madame
Celeste, who came from Rio, in 1830, with her sister Constance, another
danseuse, and appeared for the first time in England at Liverpool, in
the divertissement in Masaniello, Sinclair being Auber’s hero. The
educational establishments are, the Imperial College of Don Pedro II.;
the College of St. José; Schools of Medicine and Surgery; Military and
Naval Academy; and many Public Schools. It has also many Scientific
Institutions; a Museum rich in Ornithology, Entomology, and Mineralogy;
and a fine Botanic Garden. Of Churches there are upwards of fifty, not of
much external elegance, but mostly sumptuously decorated in the interior.

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

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

[46] Senhor Pereira de Andrade, the Brazilian gentleman referred to in
the next note, in the course of his examination before the committee
on the 19th of July, 1853, is asked by Sir George Pechell:—‘You stated
what must have given very great pleasure to this committee, that you
considered Brazil had done its duty with regard to the fulfilment of
its treaties, and also that the feeling of the country was generally
in favour of employing free labour?’—Andrade answered, there can be no
doubt of it. Question.—Do you think that a candidate for election to the
Parliament of Brazil would have any chance of being elected if he were
in favour of the importation of slaves? Answer.—Certainly not; not a man
in Brazil now would dare utter a single word in Parliament in favour of
the slave trade. Question.—In short the popular cry would be all against
it? Answer.—Yes. All his answers are to the same effect; and upon these
answers, as well as those of the other witnesses, the committee made the
report adverted to in the adjoining page.

[47] Those who would fully understand the bearings of this
most interesting subject, concerning which an infinite deal of
misunderstanding was, I may almost say designedly, propagated in England,
so perverse was the determination, in certain quarters, to disbelieve
everything that redounded to the credit, and to swallow implicitly all
that was supposed to tell to the discredit, of Brazil, will find it
fully set forth in the evidence given before the committee on Slave
Trade Treaties, which sat in the course of last session, under the
chairmanship of Mr. Hume. On that committee were several gentlemen who
had been most strenuous in their resistance to all remonstrance on the
part of Brazil, against the too often wanton, and almost always violent
and irritating, conduct of our cruisers; gentlemen who were incessant in
their appeals for vigorous measures on the part of our squadron on the
coast, and of our ambassadors at the court, of Brazil; yet the committee
so composed reported as follows:—The importation of slaves into Brazil,
in ’47, was 56,172: in ’48, 60,000; in ’49, 54,000; but in ’51, it had
diminished to 3,287, and in ’52, to 700, of which last importation a
considerable portion had been seized by the Brazilian Government. Mr.
Consul Porter reported to Viscount Palmerston in ’48, that 74 slave-trade
vessels had sailed from Bahia in the year ’47, and 93 in ’48;—that the
slave traffic was carried on with great activity; and, as an example, he
stated that one vessel, the ‘Andorinha,’ of 80 tons burden, which cost
£2,000 sterling, had made eight successful voyages with slaves from the
West Coast of Africa, having actually landed at Bahia 3,392 slaves, and
received for freight 120 milreis per head, or £40,704 sterling, giving
a profit of 800 per cent.; also that towards the end of ’50, and in
’51, stringent orders had arrived at Bahia for the suppression of the
trade, and that when he left Bahia in the end of ’51, ‘the slave trade
was perfectly suspended.’ He thinks that the British ships alone cannot
stop the trade, but that if the Brazilian Government be sincere, it will
certainly be put down. Your committee invite the attention of the House
to the evidence of Senhor D’Andrade and others, and to the reports of the
Brazilian Ministers, for an explanation of the manner in which so great a
change has been effected in the Brazils. The speech of the Emperor to the
assembly of this year, on the subject of the slave trade; the stringent
laws that have been passed, and others that are in progress, by the
Brazilian Government against the slave trade; and, above all, the seizure
and banishment of some Portuguese merchants, who, were suspected of an
intention to renew the trade, convince your committee that the Brazilian
Government is sincere, and that the slave trade is actually abolished in
the Brazils. Your committee refer to the correspondence of the Earl of
Aberdeen with the Brazilian Government, in 1845, to explain the state of
the slave question at that time, and the reasons that induced Parliament
to pass the 8 and 9 Vict. c. 122. The favourable change which has taken
place in the councils and conduct of the Brazilian Government respecting
slavery, whether accelerated by the active services of Captain Schomberg
or not, may induce Parliament to repeal that Act, as intimated in his
Lordship’s letter of the 2d July 1845.—It is to be hoped that this
recommendation of the committee will be carried out in the course of the
present session.

[48] We have said that of all public securities those of Brazil rank the
highest, next to those of Great Britain itself. It may not be amiss to
give the following ‘monetary’ evidence of the same fact from a well-known
dispassionate Stock Exchange authority, the last edition of _Fortune’s
Epitome of the Funds_, under the head of Brazilian Five per Cents, 1843.
Capital £732,000. This was a transference of a portion of the claim of
Portugal to Brazil, ‘that land of wonders, whose rivers roll over beds
of gold, where the rocks glow with topazes, and the sands sparkle with
diamonds, where nature assumes her richest dress beneath the blaze of
tropical suns, and birds of the gaudiest plumage vie with the splendid
efflorescence of the forests they inhabit; this gorgeous picture, drawn
in dazzling, but not false colours, leaves unnoticed the greatest riches
of Brazil, which consist in her almost unlimited power of producing the
staple commodities of life and commerce. Possessed of the finest climate,
and of a virgin soil of the richest fertility, cotton, coffee, sugar, in
fact every production of the tropics, as well as of the temperate zone,
may be cultivated to any extent, and at small expense. Numerous sea
ports, with safe harbours, and noble rivers, which, at a comparatively
small cost, might be rendered navigable, afford the means of turning
these natural facilities to the best advantage; and, judging from the
rapid increase of the commerce of late years, the Brazilians are not
altogether negligent in availing themselves of these sources of boundless
and lasting wealth. The progress of Brazil has been remarkable during the
last ten years, the revenue having been nearly doubled. The punctuality
of the payment of the dividends, the disposition evinced to preserve
the credit of the country, and the presumption that it will be well
maintained, gives Brazilian stock a good position in the market, as an
investment; and prices have not latterly experienced much fluctuation.

[49] The following letter, illustrative of some of the scenes on that
occasion, appeared in the ‘Journal do Commercio’:—‘I was expecting
my family in this capital, from Rio Grande do Sul, by the steamer
Pernambucana, when the melancholy and lamentable shipwreck of this
vessel took place; and I must confess my eternal obligation and sincere
gratitude for the heroic and brilliant action performed by the very
distinguished, valiant, and intrepid mariner, Simon, belonging to the
crew of the steamer, who was the only one of them that came forward and
contributed, in a manner without example, to the salvation, besides many
unhappy individuals who were looking on death as certain, of persons
so dear to me as my wife, eight children, and three slaves, who were
more than 24 hours on board the steamer after she had struck, without
any other resource than Divine Providence, who sent them a protector,
the black Simon; so that my loss consisted only of a little daughter, a
female slave, and all the baggage.—Rio de Janeiro, 5th Nov., 1853.—LOUIS
VIEIRA DA COSTA.’

As a frightful contrast to the conduct of the brave Simon, it appears
that even on board the steamer the other sailors broke open the trunks
of the passengers, with knife in hand, to get possession of the money
they contained; and afterwards committed the most shocking atrocities on
shore, such as cutting the fingers off the bodies that had been washed on
land for the sake of the rings.

[50] RESUME OF THE PORT REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE BRITISH VICE-CONSUL
AT BELEM CASTLE, LISBON.—‘[If not asked for, retain these papers until
the consignee is on board.] Deliver to the Custom-house Officer who
conducts your vessel to the anchorage ground, off the Lisbon Custom house
(quadrangle), your manifest list of stores and every single article on
board; whatever you omit to declare will be seized, and liable you to
imprisonment, and seizure of the vessel. You must declare in writing:
if your cargo, or any part is destined to any other Port. The cause you
put in for, orders, wind bound, or from other casualties. If any part of
cargo has been thrown overboard; or picked up any articles at sea. If
fish laden, or cargo on speculation, or even in ballast, by declaring you
ask franquia for cargo, or vessel, you will avoid part of port charges,
on proceeding to sea. Be particular to give correct account of all
packages, parcels, and other articles not manifested; list of passengers,
with correct note of luggage; list of crew, with a note of their tobacco,
soap, and slops; list of provisions, stores, live stock, slops, nautical
instruments, new clothes, &c.; separate list of all tobacco, segars,
and soap, every particular, with crew and passengers to produce all
they have; if any is found concealed, you are liable to transportation
and seizure of vessel. Deliver up all letters, except letter for the
consignee of vessel; if any are found on board you will pay nine times
the amount of postage; deliver up all your gunpowder. Allow no ballast,
dunnage, sweepings, or any kind of rubbish to be thrown overboard, as
you will pay a penalty of 5 shillings for every ton register. To have
buoys, and buoy ropes on anchors. To house jibboom, and flying jibboom.
Only to have long boat astern, and the painters not to have more scope
than six fathoms. To have spare bower anchor at bows, always ready to
let go in case of necessity. Not to have top-gallant-masts an end during
bad weather. Take care the vessel is never slack moored. Always to keep
watch, and assist other vessels in best way possible, in order to avoid
damage. As soon as you anchor in anchorage ground (quadrangle), land at
the custom house quay; be sure on sending your boat off, or on leaving
the vessel, that you give orders to your boat to go alongside of the
nearest gun boat; if you omit, the boat will be seized. You cannot go on
board of any vessel at anchor in the quadrangle, nor can you leave your
vessel, or return on board after sunset without an order, as your boat
will be seized. On leaving your vessel you are liable to be searched. I
draw your particular attention to these regulations of the port, as the
authorities are very severe, allow nothing to pass, and take advantage of
the least omission; a strict search is made over the vessel’s rigging and
sails.—Belem. J. Philipps.’

[51] Whilst making this general observation, only in a spirit and with a
desire that the Brazilians may see their true interests, in applying a
remedy to these absurdities, and follow out the principles of free-trade
in their regulation of commercial matters, I must not omit to acknowledge
the exemptions made in favour of the steam company which I represented.
In all the ports of the empire we were not only freed from ordinary
restrictions and delays that could possibly be dispensed with, but
everywhere met with the most kind and cordial reception; indeed, I may
say, we were welcomed with open arms.

[52] Since my return these anticipations have been to a considerable
extent realized; for previous to the close of the last session the
chambers passed a law, conferring power on the imperial government to
alter a great variety of duties in the Brazilian tariff, effecting a
reduction on the principal articles of import from England of from 25
to 30 per cent. Though the extremely flourishing state of the imperial
revenue has admitted of this improvement without any serious sacrifice,
even for the moment, it must also be attributed in a great degree to the
progress of a knowledge of sound commercial policy, not only among the
discerning men to whom the administration is committed, but among the
representatives by whose support alone they are able to carry out such
judicious views. It will be seen, also, that other portions of the South
American continent, both on the West and the East coast, have acted in a
like spirit; and now that the vast internal streams are opening to the
tide of European commerce and civilization, there begins to loom in the
not distant future the certainty of those magnificent conceptions of Mr.
Canning being realized, when he spoke of calling into political being
these states of the new world to redress the balance of the old.

[53] That the Brazilian capital should be deemed a pleasant place for the
residence of many Europeans will be inferred from what Mr. Elwes says of
the profusion find varieties of its supplies of food:—

    The market of Rio is a fine large building, to the north of the
    principal square. It is well supplied with fish; but the price
    is always very high, as the fishermen have a sort of monopoly,
    and will only bring a certain quantity to market, in order
    to keep it up. The best fish is the garoupa; immense prawns
    (camaroes) are very plentiful. Strangers are often told, as a
    joke, that these are kept in pits, and fed with the dead bodies
    of slaves thrown in from time to time; and I have known people
    who would never touch them on that account. Parrots, monkeys,
    &c., are very common, and a few game birds. Occasionally,
    large lizards of two or three feet in length are brought to
    market, and they are said to be excellent eating. Deer are
    sometimes killed in the woods; but I have never seen them in
    the market, though there is a small animal, called the paca,
    to be had, the flesh of which is very good. Fruit is supplied
    in great abundance. Oranges and bananas are to be had all
    the year. The oranges were superior to anything I had before
    tasted, and excel the Maltese. They are said to be better in
    Bahia, and better still in Pernambuco; so it appears that the
    hotter the climate, the more suitable it is to this fruit, as
    the Maltese and the Egyptian are certainly far superior to
    those of Portugal and Sicily. The banana (_Musa paradisaica_,
    called ‘plantano’ by the Spaniards, and ‘plantain’ in the West
    Indies,) is a most nutritious fruit; but few people like it at
    first, as the taste is rather sickly and insipid. There are
    a variety of sorts, which bear fruit of different sizes, but
    the short thick one is the best. It is very nutritious and
    productive; and it is said that forty square feet, planted
    with bananas, will support a man for a year. The plant itself
    is very handsome, and the great leaves, ten or twelve feet
    in length, and two in breadth, make a splendid feature in
    the landscape of the tropics. Each plant bears one bunch of
    fruit, after which it should be cut down, when suckers spring
    up in all directions from the root, so that it is a vegetable
    more suited for idle people than even the potato, as it does
    not require planting, and the fruit can be eaten without the
    trouble of cooking it. The fruta do Conde, or chirimoya of the
    Spaniard, and custard-apple of the West Indies, is delicious,
    but varies a good deal in quality. The maricuja, Spanish
    granadilla, the fruit of the passion-flower, is very good.
    It is about as large as a swan’s egg, with a pulp and seeds
    like a gooseberry. The alligator or avocada pear, the mammon,
    papaw, or mammy apple, are common fruits, not so good as those
    before-named. Pine-apples are common enough, but not very good.

[54] The Brazil government have adopted measures to introduce immigrants
to supply the place of slaves, they have established some large colonies
from Germany, France, and Portugal, principally by private speculation
and by the government; and those colonies of private individuals are
the surest guarantee for the abolition of the slave trade, because
those parties are now interested by the larger profit they derive from
free labour, in keeping this system instead of the other, especially in
coffee. They are greatly prized for their steady industry, peaceable
disposition, and easy adaptation of themselves to the manners and
usages of the people among whom they come to reside. As is the case in
Australia, and in most parts of North America, they are very general
favourites with the inhabitants of all classes, and, on the whole,
are preferred probably to any other Europeans. The number of German
immigrants now in Brazil may be considered as amounting to somewhere
about 15,000; and to these considerable additions are still being made
from the large importations which are now daily taking place from the Old
World. They bear coffee labour pretty well, but most of them are employed
in the province of Rio Janeiro and Rio Grande; the government is very
solicitous to treat them as well as possible, and it has established
those colonies in the provinces which are best for it, more like the
climate of Europe; the provinces of Rio Grande and St. Catherine are the
coldest provinces in the country. They imported, besides those Germans,
a great many Portuguese, a different set of people altogether. They are
from Madeira, and from all parts of Portugal, and from their islands;
they generally arrive in greater numbers than the Germans. Very few
Chinese have been tried. The white natives of Brazil do not work much
upon the sugar and coffee plantations; they only serve like what we
call headmen, superintendents; not in any other way. The Germans are
contracted with and brought to Brazil; the Portuguese come on their own
account; they do not contract them in Portugal; they come of themselves
by hundreds; they generally get employment about the towns, about the gin
shops, and gin taverns, and small businesses. For particulars of this
kind, see the Report on Slave Trade Treaties. It is calculated that the
sugar crop this year, 1854, will be about 30,000 tons less than the last.

[55] Yesterday an experiment was tried with a locomotive steam-engine
on the rails of a finished portion of the road from Mauá to the
Estrella mountain. Our ‘Weekly Correspondent’ sent us last night the
following communication respecting this trip:—Whilst the political
world was agitated this morning, and the sword of Damocles, ceasing its
oscillations for a moment, fell on the ministry, myself, and some other
curiosity seekers, amongst whom were noticed the ministers of England
and of Austria, risked ourselves in a trial of the first steam-carriage
that travelled over the first railway in Brazil. We crossed the bay in a
vessel, also moved by Fulton’s agency, and in two hours (the steamer was
of small power) we arrived at Mauá. The first part only of the pier for
disembarking being laid, we climbed up by the aid of ropes, and threaded
our way amongst a succession of loose and insecure planks to the shore,
at the risk of taking a mud-bath. A few paces distant we saw a single,
graceful-looking locomotive, with the certificate of the year of its
birth and the name of its worthy papa engraved on the central wheels. The
letters, in yellow metal, were as follows: ‘Wm. Fairbairn & Son, 1853.
Manchester.’ The proper carriage was not yet attached; they substituted
for it a rough waggon, used for the conveyance of materials, and without
further delay we squatted ourselves at the bottom of this impromptu
vehicle. Suddenly a prolonged and roaring shriek, a whistle with the
force of 50 sopranos, screamed through the air, deafening the hearers,
and causing us to raise our hands to our ears. It was the signal for
departure; the warning to those who might be on the line to guard against
a mortal blow; an announcement made by a tube attached to the locomotive
itself. Swifter than an arrow, than the flight of a swallow, the
locomotive threaded the rails, swung about, ran, flew, devoured space,
and, passing through fields, barren wastes, and affrighted animals, it
stopped at last breathless, at the point where the road does not yet
afford a safe passage. The space traversed was a mile and three quarters,
and the time occupied in the transit four minutes. It is just that we
should here record the names of Messrs. Trever and Bragg; the first,
for having had the boldness to undertake the enterprise, the other, for
executing, with zeal and skill, the respective works. Mr. Hadfield,
who also went on this excursion, appeared greatly delighted. One of
his dreams for many years past has been the application of railroads
and steam in this empire. Being amongst us as the representative of a
company which undertook the line of steamers from Liverpool, towards the
establishment of which he greatly contributed, he could see his dreams
realized, as our Latin masters would say, terrâ marique. Whether it was
George Stephenson or Trevithick, as the English assert, the Brothers
Sequin, according to the French, or Oliver Evans, as the Americans
pretend,—whoever was the inventor of locomotives, what is certain is,
that humanity has taken a gigantic stride since that acquisition. The
Peace Congress ought to commemorate in annual session so prodigious an
invention, which can, more than half-a-dozen pompous discourses, cement
the bonds of union of nations, bring nations together into one family,
and develop commerce, that most powerful element of peace and greatness.
What a brilliant future for Brazil do we see in the wheels of that
locomotive! Happy those amongst us who may have long lives—they will pass
by great cities, by great rural establishments, recollecting that on
their sites were swamps and forests. Oh! if the existence of man was not
so short; if, at least, we could return to this world invisible shadows,
wandering in our native country, how small we should find ourselves,
comparing our past, that is, our present of to-day, with the progress
made by the generation then before us. But human beings are like the
workmen who assist each other in raising an edifice: each age deposits
its stone towards the completion of the great work. Our first stone has
been laid on the plain of Mauá. The edifice is already commenced; let us
not be discouraged; and if death should overtake us in the midst of the
work, here are our generations to continue it. Peace, in the meantime,
and eternal rest to the poor Mauar race. The invisible power has come
to replace their services, with the first-fruits and benefits of which
a bright morning succeeds to a dark and ugly night. May the material
improvements of the country come, and with them peace and industry; and,
to commence the sooner the better, let us have the roads of Minas and San
Paulo.

[56] Exports of staple productions of Rio Janeiro, the result of slave
labour, during 1851: coffee, 2,037,305 bags, value, 4,756,794_l._;
sugar, 12,832 cases, value, 234,980_l._; rosewood, 36,813 planks,
value, 82,000_l._ In addition to these, other articles of produce, such
as hides, horns, rice, tobacco, tapioca, rum, &c., were exported, the
value of which may be estimated at 264,000_l._, making the total value
of produce shipped in that year 5,337,074_l._ Exports of the staple
productions of Rio Janeiro, the result of slave labour, during 1852:
coffee, 1,906,336 bags, value, 4,265,800_l._; sugar, 13,960 cases, value,
160,000_l._; rosewood, 25,500 planks, value, 55,000_l._ The value of the
other articles cannot be correctly ascertained, but may be estimated at
about 290,000_l._, making the total value of produce exported in that
year 4,770,800_l._ Rio Janeiro, February 24th, 1853. J. J. C. WESTWOOD,
Acting Consul.

[57] Steamers running from Brazil to the United States, starting, say,
from Rio, touching at Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham, Pará, and one or more
of the most important of the West India Islands, would prove a lucrative
undertaking. The importance of this line of steamers to those interested
in the trade between the two countries must impress itself upon all who
are conversant with the trade carried on; but although a considerable
amount of freight may be relied on, the passenger traffic will probably
be far more important. Besides the Americans and others interested in
this trade, many English and Brazilians intending to travel from South
America to Europe, and vice versa, would go _viâ_ the United States,
some for business purposes, and many to visit that country. Another
very important object would also be attained, viz. the completion of
the communication between all the large maritime towns of Brazil and
the capital of the Empire, by efficient steam-ships. At present the
communication, from Pernambuco to Pará, is carried on by small steamers
belonging to a native company, which is subsidised by the government,
and the reason given for the continuation of the subsidy was, that,
although English steam companies now put some of the northern ports in
rapid communication with the capital, those beyond Pernambuco still
relied solely on these small steamers. Although the trade between the
West Indies and Brazil is unimportant, these countries are at present
so thoroughly devoid of means of intercommunication that advantages
could not fail to be derived by the establishment of this line. At
present, a person wishing to leave a Brazilian port for the West Indies
will generally find that he must go _viâ_ England or the United States,
and this even from the most northern ports. The importance of such an
undertaking to Brazil would be immense, and I have no doubt that the
Brazilian government would be fully alive to the advantages they would
derive from it, and that they would be ready to grant a liberal amount
for mails, &c.—_Contributed._

[58] A Monte Videan writer in the City article of the _Times_ on the
17th of last month, has the following remarks, at once explanatory of
the condition of the government of the Banda Oriental, and of Brazilian
relations to it, and of the feelings prevailing in the Uruguay as to the
tendency it is desired that such relationship should assume:—

    By a decree of the Provisional Government, Berro, the
    ex-Minister of Giro, having been detected in fomenting the
    civil war, has been outlawed. Any person is authorized to
    kill him. This decree does not meet with the approbation of
    the people, but in these countries public opinion has little
    influence with governments. Brazil, it is said, has been
    offered the protectorate of this republic, and refused it;
    but she will use force, if necessary, to exact the fulfilment
    of treaties; and it is generally believed here that the Banda
    Oriental will soon be occupied by troops from the empire, to
    restore and maintain order and support any constitutionally
    established government. This news is as generally agreeable
    as it is credited. The respectable portion of the Orientals
    are convinced the country cannot be governed without foreign
    aid, and the numerous foreigners residing here, of course,
    rejoice in the prospect of peace and order. The Government
    has authorized its agent in Paris to contract a loan of
    12,000,000 duros, at 70 per cent., interest payable half-yearly
    at the rate of 6 per cent. on the nominal capital; also to
    grant a privilege for ten years to a company (with a capital
    of 3,000,000 duros) of a bank of issue and discount on the
    principles of the Bank of France; and, lastly, to concede
    lands to an association which undertakes to despatch several
    thousands of emigrant agricultural families to this republic.
    These three projects are connected with each other. If Brazil
    maintains order in the country for a few years, no doubt the
    immigration scheme would be as beneficial to the immigrants as
    to the republic.

[59] Brazil has long been diplomatically represented in this country
by M. Sergio Teixeira de Macedo, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary, 5, Mansfield-street, Portland-place, a gentleman whose
high breeding, varied intelligence, and conciliatory manner towards
all who have business at the Legation have rendered him deservedly
popular, both with the _corps diplomatique_ and the public. He writes
and speaks English with ease and accuracy, and having married an English
lady (lately deceased) of rare accomplishments, by whom he has had a
numerous family, he is necessarily almost as familiar with the manners
and usages of society amongst us as a native. His staff consists of
J. T. do Amaral, Esq., secretary of legation, and Chevaliers H. C.
d’Albuquerque, J. A. da Silva Maya, A. de P. Lopes Gama, H. de T. M. de
Montezuma, and J. P. d’Andrada, attachés. The Brazilian consul-general
is Admiral Grenfell, Liverpool, who has distinguished himself in the
Brazilian service, and whose biography will be found in a subsequent
page; vice-consul, L. A. da Costa, Esq., 14, Cooper’s-row, Tower-hill,
London. A Brazilian vice-consul has lately been appointed at the Bahama
Islands, in the person of Mr. George W. G. Robins, of Nassau, a gentleman
who has already filled many honorary posts there with much distinction,
and is qualified in every way to secure to the imperial flag the same
respect that attaches to those of France, Spain, the United States,
&c., in that thriving British dependency. England is represented in
Brazil by Mr. H. F. Howard, who was attached to the mission at Munich in
1828, appointed paid attaché at Berlin in 1832, secretary of legation
at the Hague in 1845, and in 1846 at Berlin, where he was several times
chargé d’affaires. He was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary at Rio Janeiro in 1853, with a salary of 4000_l._, and
500_l._ per annum for house-rent. His secretary of legation is the Hon.
W. G. Jerningham, who was attached to the missions at Munich and Berlin
in 1834, to the embassy at Vienna in 1836, appointed paid attaché at
the Hague in 1839, and to his present post, with a salary of 550_l._
per year, in 1850. The British consuls are—at Rio Janeiro, where he
had previously been vice-consul, Mr. J. J. C. Westwood, 800_l._; at
Bahia, Mr. J. Morgan, who was attached to the legation at Rio Janeiro
as translator in 1845, appointed consul at Rio Grande in 1847, and
transferred to Bahia, where his salary is 800_l._ per annum, in 1852;
vice-consul at Bahia, Mr. J. Wetherell; at Pernambuco, Mr. H. A. Cowper,
formerly consul at Pará, 500_l._; at Maranham, Mr. H. W. Ovenden,
300_l._; at Pará, Mr. S. Vines, 450_l._; at Paraiba, Mr. B. M. Power,
400_l._; at Rio Grande do Sul, the Hon. H. P. Vereker, who was appointed
to a clerkship under the Commissioners of Railways in 1848, a clerkship
in the Board of Trade in 1851, and to his present post, with 800_l._
per annum, in 1852; and at St. Catherine’s, Mr. R. Callander, 500_l._
These salaries are all exclusive of fees, which, in many instances, are
very considerable, emoluments frequently arising from commissions on
Australian gold dust left at Brazilian ports for shipment to Europe; but
that source of gain is far more lucrative on the west than on the east
coast of South America, and hence the increasing pecuniary importance of
consular appointments in the Chilian and Peruvian ports.

[60] This was one of the most appalling disasters ever known at sea,
and the sensation it produced exceeded, perhaps, that occasioned by
any similar incident since the memorable destruction of the Kent East
Indiaman. The Ocean Monarch American emigrant ship left Liverpool, bound
for Boston, August 24th, 1848, having 396 passengers on board. She had
not advanced far into the Irish Channel, being within six miles of Great
Ormshead, Lancashire, when she took fire, and in a few hours was burnt
to the water’s edge. The Brazilian steam-frigate Alfonso happened to
be out on a trial trip at the time, with the Prince and Princess de
Joinville and the Duke and Duchess de Aumale on board, who witnessed
the catastrophe, and aided in rescuing and comforting the sufferers
with exceeding humanity. They, with the crews and passengers of the
Alfonso and the yacht Queen of the Ocean, so effectually rendered their
heroic and unwearied services as to save 156 persons from their dreadful
situation, and 62 others escaped by various means. But the rest, 178 in
number, perished in the flames or the sea. The conduct of the New York
sailor, Jerom, on this occasion, was scarcely less distinguished for
bravery and self-sacrifice than that of the black sailor, Simon, at the
wreck of the Pernambucana, as described at page 132.

[61] A writer in the 8th edition of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, now
publishing, says, ‘Nearly all the branches of this noble stream are
navigable to a great distance from their junction with the main trunk;
and, collectively, the whole affords an extent of water communication
unparalleled in any other part of the globe. What adds to this advantage
is, that as the wind and the current are always opposed to each other,
a vessel can make her way either up or down with great facility, by
availing herself of her sails in the one case, and committing herself to
the force of the current in the other.’

[62] Mr. Edwards, in his ‘Voyage up the Amazon,’ before alluded to,
says, that Pará contains an area of 950,000 square miles, nearly half
the area of the United States, and all its territories. Its soil is
everywhere of exhaustless fertility, and but an exceedingly small
portion of it is unfitted for cultivation. The noblest rivers of the
world open communication with its remotest parts, and lie spread like a
net-work over its surface.… There is scarcely a product raised in the
two countries in which Brazil could not undersell the United States in
every market of the world were it not for the export-tax. Its cotton
and rice, even during the past year, have been shipped from Pará to New
York; its tobacco is preferable to the best Virginian, and can be raised
in inexhaustible quantities.… Sooner or later, the Amazon must be the
channel of a vast commerce, and Pará must be, from the advantages of its
situation, one of the largest cities in the world.—_Edwards’s Voyage up
the Amazon._

The value of the exports from Pará in 1848 was about £148,720, of which
one-fourth was taken by the United States, a like quantity by Portugal,
one-fifth by France, one-sixth by Great Britain, and the remainder by the
Hanseatic towns, Belgium, Genoa, and Denmark. The value of foreign goods
imported in the same year was about £147,322, principally from the United
States, Great Britain, Portugal, and France. The increase in the trade
of this port will be seen by comparing the preceding statement with the
exports and imports of 1851. In that year the value of the former was
about £356,200, and that of the latter about £273,067. Proportionately
with the aggregate increase, the American and British shares of the trade
had slightly advanced; while the French share had declined to one-eighth,
and the Portuguese had diminished more than one-half. The trade with
Genoa had ceased; but that with Sweden, which had declined since 1846,
showed very promising signs of a revival. The principal articles of
export from Pará are caoutchouc and cocoa, the mean yearly value of the
trade in the former being about £138,000, and of the latter, £67,725.
Among the articles of export in which a lesser trade is carried on may be
enumerated rice, piasaba rope, annatto, sarsaparilla, hides, nuts, sugar,
isinglass, and cotton.

[63] Every one whom I conversed with on the subject of the Amazon
advocates with earnestness the free navigation of the river, and says
that they will never thrive until the river is thrown open to all, and
foreigners are invited to settle on its banks. I think that they are
sincere, for they have quite intelligence enough to see that they will be
benefited by calling out the resources of the country.—_Herndon._

[64] Piasaba is a species of palm from the bark of which is made nearly
all the rope used upon the Amazon. The appearance of the rope made from
it is similar to that of the East India coir. The fibres of the bark are
brought down the rivers Negro and Branco, and made into ropes at Barra.

[65] The Brazilian nutmeg is the fruit of a large tree that grows
abundantly in the low moist lands between the rivers Negro and Yapurá,
above Barcellos, a village on the first named river. The fruit is round,
and has a hard shell, containing two seeds, which are ligneous and
aromatic, but not equal in flavour to the Ceylon nutmeg; though this may
be owing to the want of cultivation.

[66] Since my departure from the banks of the Orinoco and the Amazon, a
new era unfolds itself in the social state of the nations of the West.
The fury of civil discussions will be succeeded by the blessings of peace
and a freer development of the arts of industry. The bifurcation of the
Orinoco, the isthmus of Tuamini, so easy to pass over by an artificial
canal, will fix the attention of commercial Europe. The Cassiquiari—as
broad as the Rhine, and the course of which is one hundred and eighty
miles in length—will no longer form in vain a navigable canal between
two basins of rivers, which have a surface of 190,000 square leagues.
The grain of New Grenada will be carried to the banks of the Rio Negro;
boats will descend from the sources of the Napo and the Ucayali, from the
Andes of Quito and upper Peru, to the mouths of the Orinoco—a distance
which equals that from Timbuctoo to Marseilles. A country nine or ten
times larger than Spain, and enriched with the most varied productions,
is navigable in every direction by the medium of the natural canal of the
Cassiquiari and the bifurcation of the rivers. This phenomenon, which
one day will be so important for the political connexions of nations,
unquestionably deserves to be carefully examined.—_Humboldt._

[67] Bolivia has but one sea-port on the Pacific, that is Cobija, an open
roadstead and a miserable village, at the head of the great desert of
Atacama. The land transportation between this port and the agricultural
districts of the republic is too rough, too tedious, and too expensive
ever to admit of its becoming a commercial emporium. The direction in
which Bolivia looks for an outlet to a market for her produce, is along
her navigable water-courses that empty into the Amazon, and then down
that stream to the sea.—_Maury’s Valley of the Amazon._

[68] Vast, many, and great, doubtless, are the varieties of climates,
soils, and productions within such a range. The importance to the
world of settlement, cultivation, and commerce in the Valley of the
Amazon cannot be over-estimated. With the climates of India, and of
all the habitable portions of the earth, piled one above the other in
quick succession, tillage and good husbandry here would transfer the
productions of the East to this magnificent river-basin, and place them
within a few days’ easy sail of Europe and the United States. Only a few
miles back we had first entered the famous mining districts of Peru. A
large portion of the silver which constitutes the circulation of the
world was dug from the range of mountains upon which we were standing,
and most of it came from that slope of them which is drained off into
the Amazon. Is it possible for commerce and navigation up and down this
majestic water-course and its beautiful tributaries to turn back this
stream of silver from its western course to the Pacific, and conduct it,
with steamers, down the Amazon to the United States, there to balance the
stream of gold with which we are likely to be flooded from California and
Australia?—_Herndon’s Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon._

[69] On the subject of climate, I refer to the annexed chapter by my
valued friend, Dr. Dundas, who has kindly complied with my solicitation
to enrich this volume with a contribution in which he has epitomised, for
popular use, and in a most simple form, some of the results of his great
professional experience and scientific research; and I am sure I only
anticipate the verdict of the reader, whether medical or otherwise, in
declaring the annexed pages to be as completely exhaustive of the subject
treated of as any reasonable limits of a work of this nature would
possibly admit.

[70] Mr. Wallace, in his ‘Travels on the Amazon and the Rio Negro,’
observes—‘In the districts we passed through, sugar, cotton, coffee,
and rice might be grown in any quantity, and of the finest quality. The
navigation is always safe and uninterrupted, and the whole country is so
intersected by igaripès and rivers that every estate has water carriage
for its productions. But the indolent disposition of the people, and the
scarcity of labour, will prevent the capabilities of this fine country
from being developed till European or North American colonies are formed.
There is no country where people can produce for themselves so many of
the necessaries and luxuries of life.… And then what advantages there
are in a country where there is no stoppage of agricultural operations
during winter, but where crops may be had, and poultry be reared, all
the year round; where the least possible amount of clothing is the most
comfortable, and where a hundred little necessaries of a cold region are
altogether superfluous.

[71] Its capacities for trade and commerce are inconceivably great.
Its industrial future is the most dazzling; and to the touch of steam,
settlement, and cultivation, this rolling stream and its magnificent
water-shed would start up into a display of industrial results that would
make the Valley of the Amazon one of the most enchanting regions on the
face of the earth. From its mountains you may dig silver, iron, coal,
copper, quicksilver, zinc, and tin; from the sands of its tributaries
you may wash gold, diamonds, and precious stones; from its forests you
may gather drugs of virtues the most rare, spices of aroma the most
exquisite, gums and resins of the most useful properties, dyes of hues
the most brilliant, with cabinet and building woods of the finest polish
and most enduring texture. Its climate is an everlasting summer, and its
harvest perennial.—_Herndon._

[72] Comte-rendu de l’Académie des Sciences de Juillet, 1843, and Les
Mémoires des Savants étrangers de 1843.

[73] Within the last few years this censure does not so strongly apply.

[74] Since the above lines were written, we have had later intelligence
(14th January, 1854,) from Brazil, stating the important fact that the
disease had totally disappeared from all the seaports of the empire.

[75] By late accounts from Pernambuco we notice the death of Anna Vieira,
aged 150.

[76] Since the above was written, we have learned incidentally that a
letter exists from a near relative of the late Sir William Ouseley, who
took a great interest in genealogical studies, and had traced the Ouseley
family to a high antiquity, in which the writer, after relating how he
had been foiled in endeavouring to trace a particular ancestor, adds, ‘I
have proved our descent lineally from the Carlovingian, Merovingian, and
Capetian monarchs of France, the Saxon and Norman kings of England, and
the ancient kings of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. I think that is enough
in all conscience, in addition to nineteen of King John’s twenty-five
barons.’

[77] Gold (coined or in bullion,) is admitted duty free; wrought gold
and silver at an ad valorem duty of 5 per cent.; wools and furs, 10
per cent.; raw and sewing silk, 12 per cent.; woollen, flax, cotton,
hardware, and paper manufactures, 15 per cent.; clothes, boots and shoes,
saddlery, sugar, coffee, tobacco, tea, olive oil, and generally all
edibles, 20 per cent.; spirituous liquors, 25 per cent.; wheat and Indian
corn, small fixed duties. By chapter 2nd, relating to maritime exports,
horse skins are charged with a duty of one dollar each; sheep skins,
three dollars a dozen; other skins 4 per cent. on their marketable value;
salt tongues four reals a dozen; tallow 12 reals an arroba; hair and
wool, two dollars an arroba; horns, 4 per cent. on their value. All other
products of the province of Buenos Ayres, and in general all the fruits
and production of the Argentine provinces, duty free. The introduction
landwards of foreign merchandise is prohibited. The tariff is subject to
annual revision.

[78] _The Trade of London with the River Plate_ has materially increased
during the last few years, and is very different now from what it was
twenty years ago. Then vessels used to be a long time on the berth, or
were partly loaded with manufactured goods, and afterwards filled up with
coals, or called at the Cape de Verds to load salt, as the remainder
of their cargo; whereas, now they are despatched with full cargoes of
manufactured goods every two or three weeks. This marked improvement
arises partly from the comparative tranquillity of the River Plate
provinces, and the greater wants of the people, and partly from the more
expeditious and commercial mode of carriage in this country, by means of
which considerable parcels of goods from the manufacturing districts are
now forwarded to London for shipment by the vessels regularly despatched
by Messrs. Martin and Scott, the London and River Plate ship-brokers,
who afford merchants every facility in shipping by their vessels, the
expenses of goods thus forwarded never exceeding and, in many cases,
being very considerably less, by this than by any other route whatever.
The number of vessels despatched from London within the last four years
has been about 60, averaging 15 ships, aggregating 2,745 tons’ register,
or 4,423 tons of actual storeage, shipped annually. Of this number, 37
were British and 23 foreign, chiefly of the Danish flag; 25 of these
vessels were sent to Buenos Ayres direct, 12 to Monte Video direct, and
23 to Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, the restrictions formerly existing
between Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, so that no vessel touching at
the one port could discharge at the other, having been abolished since
the deposition of Rosas. The goods shipped from London are coals, when
required for ballast, iron, zinc, and other metals, paint, oil, anchors
and chains, hardware, hollow ware, tools and agricultural implements,
earthenware, rope, beer, &c. There are also considerable shipments of
linen, cotton, and woollen goods, hosiery, haberdashery, together with
a considerable quantity of millinery, silks, and fancy goods, wines,
spirits, furniture, toys, and pianos. Of these goods, anchors and chains,
tools and agricultural implements, earthenware, and cotton goods are,
for the most part, sent up specially from the inland manufacturing
districts for shipment. The produce of the River Plate arriving in London
is very considerable, and consists of salted and dry ox and cow-hides,
horse-hides, tallow, mares’ grease, bone-ash, animal manure, wool, hair,
horns, and bones. There is also, occasionally, a small quantity of
Paraguay tobacco, ostrich and vulture feathers, nutria, chinchilla, and
other skins. These remarks apply in an increased degree to Liverpool,
between which port and the Plate the commercial intercourse is infinitely
greater than between London and the Plate, the imports and exports being
necessarily much the same as to quality. The trade between Liverpool and
the ports of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video for 1853 collectively amounted
to 64 vessels, consisting of 11,850 tons.

[79] Sir William Gore Ouseley was the British Minister here referred to.
It is alike foreign to the purposes of this volume, and to the wishes
of the writer, to express any opinion on the policy pursued by England,
in the affairs of the Plate, at the period mentioned; but he deems it
the merest justice to the reputation of the diplomatist just named for
sagaciously judging of ‘coming events’ by the ‘shadows cast before,’
to record a fact familiar to every one who has sojourned, for ever so
brief a period, in the River Plate, viz., that the inhabitants of all
classes, without exception, native or foreign, are as unanimous now in
their approving remembrance of his conduct, as they were at the time it
elicited their spontaneous applause in an enduring and complimentary
form. Not less than 800 native Monte Videans, embracing the elite of
the whole community[A] not actually in the interest of the enemy,
tendered their grateful thanks for his efforts to preserve the national
independence—efforts which, had they not been thwarted in quarters where
the utmost assistance should have been accorded, would have secured
that object, while avoiding years of war and bloodshed, and saving some
millions of property lost to the commerce of the world by a continuance
of the disturbances by Rosas. His exertions for the promotion of commerce
formed the most marked item of eulogium in the address from the French[B]
inhabitants, and is particularly deserving of being dwelt upon, now
that the mercantile course of action he recommended so strenuously, as
to the opening of the rivers, has been ratified in respect to Paraguay,
whither he sent our recent Plenipotentiary there no less than eight
years ago, as we shall see when we come to speak of that country. Of the
sense entertained of his merits by the English at Monte Video, their
address,[C] subjoined below, is sufficiently explanatory; but something
still more significant is the circumstance that, though Sir William was
a party to the unfortunate loan by British capitalists, and though it
has been hitherto found impossible to obtain payment thereof, principal
or interest, in any form, no word of censure is vented against him; for
it is felt that the loan was a wise and prudent measure at the time,
and that had the spirit in which it was entered into on both sides been
carried out in the sense then understood, as it readily might have been,
but for shortsightedness at home, the lenders would have been paid with
at least as much regularity as the French government, who continued their
assistance long after England had backed out of the engagement, to the
same effect. And, undoubtedly, the French government have every right
to be paid; for, without their continuous aid Monte Video must have
fallen, and Rosas would at this moment have been Dictator of the whole
Argentine Confederation, of which the Uruguay, and probably Paraguay
also, would have been component parts. It is further felt that even after
the untoward turn affairs have taken, as regards the original engagement
about the loan, the interest might readily be continued to be paid, were
the customs’ receipts administered in the judicious mode initiated when
Sir William obtained the money for the government, viz., by a committee,
composed chiefly of foreign merchants, who collected the dues with so
small an expense that there was always a considerable surplus; whereas in
native hands the aggregate received barely paid the cost of collection.
It is gratifying to find, even at the twelfth hour, years after
misrepresentations to the contrary had effected their momentary object
in causing the recall of Sir William from an arena where the cajolery
and the bullying of Rosas were rendered alike abortive by the tact and
vigour of the British Minister, that these truths are now recognized, not
merely by the Anglo South American public, but by the English authorities
at home, whose _esprit de corps_ renders them ever reluctant to admit
that an injustice can be committed against a servant of the Crown, and
still more reluctant to make any reparation for it.[D] On the accession
of the Derby administration, one of the first acts of the Foreign
Minister, Lord Malmesbury, who, in common with the Imperial ruler of
France, had devoted a great deal of consideration to questions of South
American commercial policy, was to despatch Sir C. Hotham on a mission
for the completion of the work in which that gallant officer had been
previously engaged at the instance of Sir William; and the noble lord,
rightly feeling how much was due to the originator of the same design,
obtained the Order of the Bath for the late minister to the Plate,
expressly on the ground of the services he had rendered to his country
and to humanity during his mission there, and which are specially alluded
to in the addresses presented to him, as quoted in the foregoing page.
Though the present administration do not, or at least did not, appear
to attach the same importance as their predecessors to the recent South
American commercial treaties, it is understood that they have not failed
to express their appreciation of the pioneer in the path of progress
in that direction; and that they have admitted that a very hasty, and
consequently very erroneous, judgment had been passed on his political
conduct in the Plate. Why that judgment should have been hasty, why it
should have been formed on the representations of those whose policy and
whose patron, (the Dictator,) have since been swept away, and are now
only mentioned to be derided, is a secret which it would require the
penetrative perseverance of Mr. Urquhart himself to detect. But it is, at
least, satisfactory to know that the _amende_ has been made as liberally
as it is in the nature of the official genus to do these things; and
that a gentleman in whose family the diplomatic faculty may be said
to be hereditary,[E] and with whom we have reason to hope it will not
terminate,[F] has been authoritatively pronounced to have proved himself
worthy of his antecedents. It is, however, more immediately in reference
to his services to commerce that his name is introduced here; for it is
impossible to allude to the late South American treaties of ’53 without
feeling that Sir W. Gore Ouseley’s labours of ’46 in that cause place him
in the same relation to what has been accomplished by Lord Malmesbury and
Sir C. Hotham as the inquiries of the Import Duties’ Committee placed
Mr. Hume in respect to the Free-trade achievements of Messrs. Cobden and
Bright.

[A] Senor. Los infrascriptos Ciudadanos naturales de la Republica
Oriental del Uruguay sienten la necesidad de manifestar a V. E. el
altisimo aprecio en que tienen la lealtad de su caracter, y los muchos
y relevantes servicios que V. E. en el desempeno de las funciones
que le habia confiado el Gobierno de S. M. su Augusta Soberana, ha
prestado a la causa de la Independencia de nuestra Patria. La guerra que
devasta el suelo en que hemos nacido es, en todo rigor, de parte de los
Orientales, una lucha de defensa legitima y de Independencia—lucha que
no hemos provocado, y en cuyo termino no buscamos ni apetecemos mas que
la conservacion de la situacion en que nos coloco el pacto celebrado
en 1828 entre el Imperio del Brazil y la Republica Argentina—que nos
esta reconocida por todas las Naciones, y virtual, pero solemnemente
garantida por la Inglaterra y la Francia. Ciertos de la eficacia de esta
garantia y del interes politico y comercial que tienen esas dos grandes
potencias en el mantenimiento de la Nacionalidad Oriental,—con todas sus
consecuencias, y en que no que—de absorvida por un Poder anti-social
y repulsivo de toda idea civilizadora, los Orientales procuraron su
apoyo y una alianza justa y decorosa. El principio en que esta alianza
se basaba era honroso, y los fines, a mas de honrosos civilizadores y
fecundos en resultados beneficos, para la paz externa de estas regiones,
y para la paz interior de nuestro pais que deseamos, con toda la fuerza
de que somos capaces, teniendo por mira unica, que reconciliada la
familia Oriental a que pertenecemos, fuera de toda coaccion e influencia
estrana, pueda elegir en libertad, y en la forma consagrada en sus
leyes, un Gobierno suyo, que la rija con suecion a la Constitucion y
a los intereses Orientales. Los dos Agentes encargados en 1845 por la
Inglaterra y la Francia de dar apoyo a la nacionalidad Oriental volviendo
la paz a nuestros hogares, y los Senores Almirantes Inglefield y Lainé,
que han tenido el mando de las fuerzas interventoras, han desempenado
mision tan noble del modo mas cordial, mas conforme al pensamiento
esplicitamente declarado por sus Gobiernos al pensamiento y al deseo
del nuestro, y de todos los buenos Orientales; por lo que reconocemos
deberles sincera y profunda gratitud. Permitanos V.E. consagrar en esta
carta, respecto de su persona, la espresion de ese sentimiento; que
agreguemos a ella la de los votos que hacemos por sus prosperidades—y
le pidamos conserve siempre la memoria de nuestra Patria y la de los
Ciudadanos que interpretes, sin dudaen, este acto, de la sociedad en que
viven—tenemos el honor de ofrecer a V.E. el homenage del respeto, de
la adhesion y de la amistad que le profesamos y con que somos. De V.E.
affmos Servidores.

    [TRANSLATION]

    _Sir,—The undersigned native citizens of the Oriental Republic
    of Uruguay feel the necessity of manifesting to your Excellency
    the very great esteem in which they hold the loyalty of your
    character, and the many high services that your Excellency,
    in the discharge of the functions confided to you by the
    Government of Her Majesty, your august Sovereign, has lent
    to the cause of the independence of our country. The war
    which desolates our native soil is strictly, on the part
    of the Orientals, a struggle of legitimate defence and of
    independence—a struggle which we have not provoked, and in
    the result of which we neither seek nor desire more than the
    preservation of the position in which we were placed by the
    compact celebrated in 1828, between the Empire of Brazil and
    the Argentine Republic—a position recognized by all nations,
    and virtually, but solemnly, guaranteed by England and
    France. Certain of the efficacy of this guarantee, and of the
    political and commercial interest of these two great Powers
    in the maintenance of the Oriented Nationality, with all its
    consequences, and in its not being crushed by an anti-social
    power, repelling every idea of civilization, the Orientals
    sought their aid, and a just and proper alliance. The principle
    on which this alliance was based was honourable, and its
    objects, besides being honourable, were civilizing and fertile
    in beneficial results for the external peace of these regions,
    and for the internal peace of our country, which we desire with
    all the strength we possess, having for sole object, that the
    Oriental family to which we belong being reconciled, it may,
    without foreign coercion or influence, elect, freely, and in
    the mode consecrated by its laws, its own government, which
    shall rule it in conformity with the constitution and the
    Oriental interests. The two agents charged in 1845, by England
    and France, to give aid to the Oriental nationality and restore
    peace to our hearths, and the Admirals Englefield and Lainé,
    who had command of the intervening forces, have discharged so
    noble a mission in the manner most cordial, most in conformity
    with the intentions explicitly declared by their governments,
    and with the thoughts and desire of ours, and of all good
    Orientals; for which we acknowledge that we owe them sincere
    and profound gratitude. We beg your Excellency will permit us
    to record in this letter, as regards yourself personally, the
    expression of this sentiment; let us add that of the wishes
    we entertain for your prosperity, and we beg you always to
    preserve a recollection of our country and that of those
    citizens, who, faithful interpreters of the feelings of the
    country in which they live, have the honour of offering to your
    Excellency the homage of the respect, adhesion and friendship
    which we possess, and with which we are,—your Excellency’s most
    faithful servants, &c., &c._

[B] Monsieur le Ministre Plénipotentiaire. Les soussignés, residants
Français à Montevideo, ont appris avec une sincere affliction votre
prochain départ pour l’Angleterre. Les preuves réitérées de votre
bienveillance pour nous, le parfait accord qui a tonjours régné entre
vous et Monsieur le Baron Deffaudis, votre générosité envers nos com
patriotes malheureux, la noblesse de votre caractère, votre constante
sollicitude à défendre les intérèts généraux du commerce, peuvent
vous avoir attiré l’animosité des ennemis de l’intervention et de
l’humanite; mais ils vous ont acquis la reconnaissance des populations
civilisées des deux rives de la Plate. Daignez done, Monsieur le Ministre
Plénipotentiaire, accepter le tribut de nos regrets les plus sinceres;
croire que votre souvenir nous sera toujours cher, et agréer l’hommage
des sentiments respectueux avec lesquels nous avons l’honneur d’être,
Monsieur le Ministre Plénipotentiaire, vos très-obeissants serviteurs.

[C] Address of the British residents and merchants to the British
minister to the states of La Plata.—We, the undersigned, British
merchants and residents of Monte Video, having learned with sorrow, that
your Excellency is on the eve of retiring from the position you have
held amongst us, with so much credit to yourself and benefit to our
country, beg leave to express our sense of admiration at the enlightened
and impartial conduct, just views, and penetrating judgment which have
distinguished you throughout your arduous career, during the intervention
of the British and French governments in the River Plate. We gladly bear
witness to the firmness, justice, and humanity, which characterized your
proceedings, amidst the numerous difficulties and afflicting scenes which
have often surrounded you; and we have beheld with unmixed satisfaction
the constant harmony that has prevailed between your Excellency and your
respected colleague, Baron Deffaudis, which as well as your individual
efforts, has so greatly promoted concord and unanimity among all classes
of both nations, and foreigners, in Monte Video. Impressed with a deep
sense of obligation for your invariable attention to the interests of
British subjects, and for your watchful care over their persons and
property, whenever endangered, and also for the kindness and urbanity
which have marked your personal intercourse with us, we cannot permit
your Excellency to leave these shores without receiving our heartfelt
thanks and grateful acknowledgments. With a just appreciation of the
merits of your Excellency in your official capacity, and an affectionate
regard for your private character, we beg you will accept our sincere
wishes for the future health and happiness of yourself and family. We
have the honour to be, &c. (Signed by 85 British residents.)

[D] This, however, is more apparent than real. Though the Earl of Derby,
speaking on the Address to the Throne, the opening night of the present
session, pleasantly twitted Ministers with their omission in the Royal
Speech of all allusion to Sir C. Hotham’s Paraguayan mission, and with
consequent indifference to its objects, it must not be inferred that the
Aberdeen Cabinet is in the least degree insensible to the importance of
securing such benefits to our commerce as the Malmesbury Treaty seeks
to accomplish, though there may be some discrepancy of opinion as to
the extent that treaty succeeded in such direction. Seven years ago,
Lord Aberdeen, then foreign secretary in the Peel Administration, in his
instructions to Sir William G. Ouseley, then minister at Buenos Ayres,
for his guidance in the joint intervention by England and France between
Buenos Ayres and Monte Video, said:—‘The war in which the Argentine arms
are at present engaged, is waged against a state, the independence of
which England is virtually bound to uphold.’ Lord Aberdeen instructed his
minister, ‘to open up the great arteries of the South-American continent
to the free circulation of commerce, would be not only a vast benefit to
the trade of Europe, but a practical, and perhaps the best, security for
the preservation of peace in South America.’

[E] So long ago as the reign of Elizabeth, Sir John Ouseley, of
Courteen-hall, Northamptonshire, a distinguished military officer,
in obedience to the orders of the Earl of Essex, then commanding in
Portugal, went ambassador to the Emperor of Morocco, and subsequently
fell at the siege of Breda, in 1624. The uncle of Sir William and father
of the present baronet (Rev. Sir F. Arthur Gore Ouseley, to whom the Duke
of Wellington, the Duke of York, and Marchioness of Salisbury, stood
sponsors), was the celebrated ambassador to Persia, of which country he
obtained the Order of the Lion and the Sun, and subsequently the Grand
Cross of the Imperial Russian Order of St. Alexander Newski, when he was
appointed plenipotentiary to St. Petersburgh. His brother, Sir William,
(father of the late minister to the Plate), accompanied him to Persia,
was the well-known historian of that mission, as already stated, and
author of many learned Oriental works, in recognition of whose merits he
received the Order of Knighthood.

[F] The eldest son of Sir William, Mr. W. Charles Ouseley, accompanied
the expedition of the blockading squadron up the Parana river; and,
inheriting his father’s faculty of pictorial delineation, as evinced in
the ‘South American Sketches,’ contributed to that magnificent volume two
subjects, taken at Corrientes, which will be found copied in the chapter
devoted to that country; but, owing to haste on the part of our artist,
the copy affords an imperfect idea of the original. Mr. W. C. Ouseley
likewise accompanied Sir C. Hotham, as attaché, during the recent mission
to Paraguay, and returned with his Excellency in the autumn of 1853.

[80] The liberal spirit of this State encourages foreigners. Imitating
the United States, it facilitates the acquirements of the privileges of
native citizens by emigrants from foreign countries, and even surpasses,
in this respect, the wise provisions of that system, so advantageous
for a new and thinly-peopled country, and so successfully adopted
by North America. Foreign merchants have brought their business and
capital to Monte Video, while hard-working Basques, Germans, Irish,
French, and Italians, (chiefly Genoese) have flocked to this city,
and, in most instances, obtained the rights of denizens or citizens.
Residence, marriage with a native, the acquisition of a certain amount
of property, real or personal, are among the conditions conferring
citizenship. This privilege may appear to be somewhat easily granted;
but it must be recollected that no ‘Oriental’ citizen existed previous
to 1828; consequently there has not been time for the development of
any very jealous feeling of exclusive national rights, as possessed by
one race only in the republic of the Uruguay. It is for these reasons
that so many foreigners have flocked to the Banda Oriental, and settled
in the interior as well as in the towns; and hence the rapid increase
of Monte Video in trade and population, which even the invasion and
siege of its capital, so lately at an end, have not sufficed to reduce
to the level of their former comparative insignificance. The whole of
the Banda Oriental being freed from the invaders, and the independence
of the republic being guaranteed by Brazil, commerce and agriculture
are therefore now reviving; and it is to be hoped that the numerous
resources of the country will be peaceably and usefully developed; while
the free navigation of the tributaries of the River Plate, now ensured,
will be of the greatest importance to the trade of all nations, and
produce incalculable benefits to the States through which those noble
rivers flow. The exports, as before stated, comprise all of the staple
commodities produced by the Argentine provinces, viz: hides, tallow,
horns, horse-hair, jerked beef, wool, &c., to which, in all probability,
corn will be added in a few years, the soil of this State being for the
most part admirably adapted to agricultural purposes.

[81] It is not within the scope of this publication to give anything
like a history of the several places touched at, still less of a place
whose late history, in particular, has been so unprecedentedly troublous,
even in these regions of disorder, as has that of the capital of the
Uruguay. Still a few particulars are essential, and in matters of this
sort no authority is preferable to that of Sir W. Parish. Monte Video
was commenced in 1726, under the name of San Felipe, Puerto de Monte
Video, by Zavala, governor of Buenos Ayres, who had been ordered by the
government to make permanent settlements there and at Maldonado, for the
more effectual maintenance of the rights of the Spanish crown, after
dislodging the Portuguese from the vicinity of the former place, where
they had established themselves. Some families were transported thither
from the Canaries, and others removed there from Buenos Ayres, in order
to secure the privileges offered to the new settlers. The viceroy sent
large sums of money from Potosi to carry on the works; and the walls in
due time assumed, with the labour of the Guavian Indians, the appearance
of an important fortification. In 1808, when the intelligence of the
abdication of the king, and the declaration of war against France, was
received at Buenos Ayres, Elio, the Governor of Monte Video, was the
first to disobey the orders of Don Santiago Liniers, the viceroy at the
time; and convoking the inhabitants, established an independent junta of
the Monte Videans, after the example of those set up in the Peninsula.
They subsequently took their share in the war of independence; and their
deputies, with those of all the other provinces of the Rio de la Plata,
assembled in congress at Tucuman, solemnly declared their separation
from Spain, and their determination to constitute a free and independent
State, on the 19th of July, 1816. During the struggle with the mother
country, one common object, paramount to all other considerations, the
complete establishment of their political independence, bound together
the widely spread provinces of the old viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres; but
the very circumstances of that struggle, and the vicissitudes of the
war, which often for long periods cut off their communications with
their old metropolis and with each other, obliging them to provide
separately for their new temporary government and security, gave rise,
especially in those at a distance, to habits of independence, which, as
they acquired strength, loosened, more or less, the ties which bound
them to Buenos Ayres, and in some cases produced an entire separation.
Amongst others, the Banda Oriental was withdrawn from the authority of
the capital by the notorious Artigas, whose anarchical proceedings,
fraught with the most fatal consequences to the peace of the republic,
afforded a plausible pretext for the occupation of Monte Video by their
Portuguese neighbours—the cause, eventually, of a long and ruinous war
between the republic and Brazil, which was only terminated by British
mediation, and by the territory in question being erected into a new and
independent State, in 1828. Some further particulars, respecting both
its previous and subsequent history, will be found under the head of
Buenos Ayres. Besides Monte Video, the chief towns are Colonia (nearly
opposite Buenos Ayres) and Maldonado; together with sixteen smaller
towns, several hamlets, and numerous estançias or farms, and ranchos or
cottages; but the whole population of the republic, which is divided
into nine departments, and covers a fertile area of about 200,000 square
miles suited for almost every purpose required by man, does not exceed
probably one half the population of Liverpool. Still it is growing, and
will continue to grow, for, during the few years of peace, since its
independence, the population has increased, that of the capital from
about 12,000 to nearly 50,000. The city proper, formerly not extending
beyond the citadel (now converted into a marketplace), rapidly spread,
and handsome buildings and streets were constructed, extending as far
as the recent inner (formerly the outer) lines of the fortification,
enlarging the area to several times its previous size. Beyond are villas
and ‘saladeros’ (establishments for slaughtering cattle and preparing
hides and tallow), while pretty and sometimes spacious suburban dwellings
surrounded by well-cultivated gardens, extend to a considerable distance
beyond the outer walls.

[82] Lady Louisa Tennison, who, in her beautiful work _Andalusia, &c._,
published by Bentley at the close of last year [1853], says:—

    I know that I shall be accused of insensibility and want of
    taste, when I confess that my first disappointment on landing
    in Spain was the almost total absence of beauty amongst the
    Spanish women. Poets have sung of Spain’s ‘dark-glancing
    daughters,’ and travellers have wandered through the country,
    with minds so deeply impressed with the preconceived idea of
    the beauty of the women, that they have found them all their
    imaginations so fondly pictured, and their works have fostered,
    what I cannot help maintaining, is a mere delusion; one of the
    many in which people still indulge when they think and dream
    of Spain. The women of Spain have magnificent eyes, beautiful
    hair, and generally fine teeth; but more than that cannot be
    said by those who are content to give an honest opinion. I
    have rarely seen one whose features could be called strictly
    beautiful, and that bewitching grace and fascination about
    their figures and their walk which they formerly possessed,
    have disappeared with the high comb which supported the
    mantilla, and the narrow _basquina_, which gave a peculiar
    character to their walk. With the change in their costume,
    those distinctive charms have vanished. The gaudy colours which
    now prevail have destroyed the elegance that always accompanies
    black, in which alone, some years since, a lady could appear
    in public. No further proof of this is required than to see
    the same people at church, where black is still considered
    indispensable, and on the Alameda with red dresses and yellow
    shawls, or some colours equally gaudy, and combined with as
    little regard to taste. The men have likewise abandoned the
    cloak, and now appear in paletots and every variety of foreign
    invention: nor have they either gained by their sacrifices
    at the altar of French fashion. By no means distinguished
    in figure, none needed more the rich folds of the _capa_ to
    lend them that air of grace and dignity which it peculiarly
    possesses.

[83] The appearance of the city of Monte Video is most prepossessing.
It is built on an eminence which forms a small peninsula, being washed
on three sides by the sea, and from the various sea-breezes to which
the situation exposes it, must be a very healthy spot. It is calculated
to maintain a very extensive commerce, and would, doubtless, long have
enjoyed it, had not the vitality of the little Republic sunk under
the obstinate persecution to which it was subjected by Rosas, in the
person of the savage and overbearing Lieutenant Orebbe. At the time of
my visit the Brazilian fleet, under the command of Admiral Wingfield,
was in the offing. Notwithstanding the devastating effects of war, this
city, Phœnix-like, is again rising from her ashes. Lines of bastions and
batteries are daily giving place to scenes of commercial enterprise and
agricultural activity. The husbandman labours with his ploughshare and
the sickle, where deadly engines of war once vented forth their flames.
Streets lined with new and extensive buildings are met with at every
turn. Elegant French shops attract the eye, as their well-stored windows
exhibit the beautiful fabrics of European manufacture. So great is the
number of foreigners who are domiciled in the city, that it has quite the
appearance of a colony of strangers, the natives of the country forming
but a small proportion of the entire population. The Basques predominate.
After that the Italians take the lead. Little good has been effected
by the maintenance of a foreign legion for so long a time, under the
auspices of the celebrated Italian leader, Garibaldi. The present troops
of the Republic are the emancipated negroes, officered by native whites.
The Hotel de Paris is kept by a French cook, who at one time belonged to
a French vessel of war. For the accommodation of a few rooms and board
for three persons, I was charged here at the rate of a doubloon a day.
There are several other hotels in the city. That of Il Comercio bears a
good repute. The whole place, including the suburbs, literally swarms
with _cafés_ and _estaminets_. That of the Bal d’Oro, which is a large
establishment near the quay, carries off the palm, and is much frequented
by officers of the French navy. The various dwelling-houses are provided
with flat roofs, and these, combined with a number of observatories,
which are the constant resort of the inmates, gave the city a lively and
agreeable aspect. The market-place, which formerly formed a part of the
old fort or citadel in the time of the Spaniards, is well supplied with
every species of provisions. Its display of fish far surpasses that of
Buenos Ayres, both as regards variety and quality.

As a maritime and commercial port, Monte Video holds a very desirable
position, and will doubtless before long supersede Buenos Ayres, as the
first port on the coast for the disembarkation of goods for the internal
consumption of the country. The effects of the cessation of hostilities
begin already to be seen in a great outlay of capital; and in the course
of a few years, when commercial relations are on a better basis, and
security to life and property is better insured, this city will rise into
greater mercantile importance than any other in this part of the New
World.

[84] Owing to the disturbed condition in which the Banda Oriental had
been for so many years, during the aggression of Rosas, and the absorbing
anxiety that has since prevailed to repair some of the disasters so
occasioned, added to the domestic dissentions that have too often
supervened, the authorities in the Uruguay have not been able to devote
much attention to the cultivation of European diplomatic relations.
Any affairs of that nature in England pertaining to the republic are
transacted at the Consulate Office, New Palace Yard, Westminster; and
commercial consular matters in Liverpool by Mr. Hall, Dale-street, who
is himself a citizen, and the son of a citizen, of the Uruguay, having
succeeded his father in his present office. The British diplomatic and
consular staff in the Uruguay consists of Mr. G. J. R. Gordon, who was
private secretary to the late Sir Edward Disbrowe, at Stuttgard, in 1832,
was appointed unpaid attaché at Frankfort in 1833, at Stockholm in 1834,
paid attaché at Rio Janeiro in 1836, chargé d’affaires there in 1837, to
a special mission in Paraguay in 1842, secretary of legation at Stockholm
in 1843, and chargé d’affaires and consul-general in the Uruguay in 1853.
His salary in the latter capacity is 1400l. per annum, exclusive of 1_l._
per day for diplomatic services as chargé d’affaires. The vice-consul at
Monte Video, who receives 500_l._ per annum, or 100_l._ more than the
same officer at Buenos Ayres, is Mr. G. S. L. Hunt, who served some time
in the army, was a supernumerary clerk in the Librarian’s Department of
the Foreign Office in 1846, and in 1847 was appointed to his present post
at Monte Video, where he for some time acted as consul-general.

[85] Many of the Buenos Ayrean houses, especially in the suburbs, consist
of a square of building surrounding a Patio, or quadrangular court,
paved with marble, and having either a fountain, or, more frequently, a
draw-well, in the centre, and often pleasingly ornamented with flowers,
shrubs and fruit. The mode and materials of building here, as in other
parts of South America, are such as to obviate, in a great degree, the
danger of fire. Stone or brick, iron, stucco, and tiles are the chief
component parts of a house; little wood is employed, except for beams,
and this is generally hard and heavy, especially in Brazil, and not
readily combustible, as explained in a previous chapter. The floors,
except in some houses built by foreigners, are not constructed of wood,
but of glazed tiles, as in the South of Europe; the staircases being also
of solid masonry. The population of Buenos Ayres had been constantly
decreasing since the time Rosas introduced his reign of terror; but
there is now a decided turn in the state of things in that respect. It
may be simply classified into the white and coloured races; the latter
constituting nearly a fourth of the whole, which is a smaller proportion
than in any other town on the east side of South America. The slave-trade
was prohibited in 1813, by a decree of the first constituent assembly,
consequently any further supply of the negro-stock has ceased; and since
then slavery has gradually become extinguished, not only in Buenos Ayres,
but in all the provinces of La Plata, either by the slaves enrolling
themselves as soldiers, or by their purchasing their freedom. The negroes
now constitute, perhaps, the most useful and industrious class of the
lower orders of the community.

[86] A large proportion of the population of Buenos Ayres, as is stated
in the text, consists of foreigners, many of whom have formed matrimonial
alliances with the native ladies. The latter are reputed the handsomest
women in South America; though the palm is disputed by their fair sisters
of Monte Video, on the grounds set forth in the chapter on that head;
and, in the unsophisticated state of society in which they move, their
frank and obliging manners render them doubly attractive to strangers.
They are passionately fond of dancing; and in their love of, if not
proficiency in, music will vie with the young ladies of any country in
the world. Amongst the men the same taste, in a higher degree, appears to
be developed in a talent for poetry; and they are generally well-grounded
in most of the leading branches of general, and especially of commercial,
knowledge. Living is very moderate here: the river abounds in excellent
fish; and fresh meat may be purchased at an exceedingly low rate. Water
is comparatively the most expensive article, for the lower orders are
obliged to depend for a supply upon the itinerant water-carriers, who
hawk it about the streets in ox-carts. But the higher classes generally
have large tanks or reservoirs under the pavement of their courtyards,
into which the rain-water, collected from the flat-terraced roofs of
their houses, is conducted by pipes, and, in general, a sufficiency may
thus be secured for the ordinary purposes of the family. In addition to
what has been said of the climate of Buenos Ayres, it may be remarked
that at times it is insufferably hot; the prevailing character of the
atmosphere, however, being dampness, which produces many bronchial
affections. But although the whole country appears low and marshy, cases
of intermittent fever are hardly known there; and it may therefore be
considered generally healthy, but certainly not to the extent to justify
the appellation of Buenos Ayres—Good Airs—bestowed upon it by Menoza, its
original founder, in special allusion to its supposed salubrity.

[87] The buildings are generally not more than two stories high, _i.e._,
a ground floor, and one over it, unless the ‘açoteas,’ or terraces,
are to be considered as a third, along which, the whole range of a
‘block’ of houses may, by climbing over the partitions or parapets, be
traversed without descending into the streets. In times of siege, attacks
by foreign enemies, or during internal struggles, these houses form
temporary fortresses, admitting of formidable defence; and being solidly
built and furnished with strong gates and doors, while the windows of
the lower and ground-floors are protected by strong iron bars, it is no
easy matter to take a town, or even a house, built in this way, as has
been sufficiently proved on the occasion in question. Whitelock was a
vain, foolish, insensible man, though not a coward, as was generally
believed, and the prevalence of which belief partly led to his being
disgraced on his return home. The fact is, he seems to have had a most
contemptuous opinion of the Spaniards, from the circumstance of the place
having been taken a short time previously, almost without resistance,
by Admiral Sir Home Popham and Viscount Beresford, the armament having
been fitted out, without any authority from England, at the Cape of Good
Hope; and so elated was its commander by his unexpected success that he
wrote home declaring all South America to be ready to receive us with
open arms. So indeed, it proved in one sense, as Whitelock subsequently
found to his cost on attempting to recover the city after the British
garrison had been expelled; for his men were mown down with musketry
and grape in scores, without being able to return the fire with any
effect. It was on this occasion that the gallant Colonel Thompson, late
M.P. for Bradford, was taken prisoner by General Liniers, who was shot
as a rebel three years afterwards himself. The excesses Thompson saw
committed under Whitelock impelled him to that denunciation of flogging,
and other military abuses, which had so offended the authorities at home
that he has never had his proper promotion by seniority, and is now
(March, 1854) an unredressed complainant against the injustice of having
been passed over in the last brevet, and told that his name shall never
appear in another. As the news of the extraordinary success of Popham
and Beresford at Buenos Ayres stimulated the despatch of an expedition
the following year, under Sir Samuel Auchmuchty, against Monte Video,
where, however the British suffered most severely, one third of the
whole army being killed, though finally effecting the capture of the
place, so was its evacuation caused some six months subsequently by the
intelligence of the defeat of Whitelock—the withdrawal of the whole of
the English force from the Plate being, indeed, the condition on which
the Spaniards gave up their prisoners, and permitted the survivors of
these ill-starred expeditions to withdraw in peace. The commander of
the land forces of the first expedition against Buenos Ayres, Viscount
Beresford, who was then taken prisoner, but escaped, and afterwards
captured Madeira, which he held for some years on behalf of the crown
of Portugal, in the wars of which country, especially at Albuera, he so
eminently distinguished himself, died only in the course of the present
year. The late Lord Holland, in his posthumous ‘Memoirs of the Whig
Party during My Time,’ published a few weeks back, has a very singular
chapter on the secret history of these expeditions. His lordship, who was
a member of the cabinet at the time, says that Whitelock’s was but one
of a series of South American expeditions, and that it was originally
destined for Valparaiso. It was fortunately ‘detained by subsequent
events at Buenos Ayres, and the worst part of our plan was thus concealed
from the knowledge, and escaped the censure, of the public.’ Had the then
minister, Lord Grenville, remained in office, he would have sent against
Mexico Sir Arthur Wellesley, who, in that case, might probably never have
become Duke of Wellington. Sir Arthur, however, was sent to Portugal,
where the Convention of Cintra seemed to offer an augury of evil to the
croakers, which his genius subsequently so gloriously falsified.

[88] I shall not only not repeat none of the Cenci-like stories told
of this lady and her father, and current in every mouth on the Plata,
but tell something of a very different kind from Mr. Bonelli, adding,
however, that it is the first of the sort I ever heard, and I am quite
sure it will be looked upon as rare news in Buenos Ayres, though Mr.
M’Cann also says something similar, viz.—

This severe and bloodthirsty man had a daughter, and it is pleasing to
turn away from the contemplation of the many vices which disfigure his
character to those beautiful traits of humanity and tenderness which
distinguished hers. Manisiletta was loved and honoured by all; pity
lurked within her soul, and every attribute of womanly feeling was there.
This good creature, with tears and supplication, often prevailed with
the harsh tyrant when other means were useless. At her entreaties, many
a life was spared, and many a prayer of gratitude has ascended to heaven
for the rescue of a father or a brother from his impending fate, at her
kind interference.

[89] In January 1831, the provinces of Buenos Ayres, Entre Rios,
Corrientes, and Santa Fé, entered into a federal compact, to which all
the other provinces at subsequent periods became parties. The union was
a voluntary alliance. No general constitution was promulgated, and the
adhesion of the several members was left to be secured by the resources
of the person who might obtain the direction of affairs. This Argentine
Confederation, like the republic which it had succeeded, soon fell into
a state of anarchy, and it was not till the election of General Rosas as
governor or captain-general, with almost absolute power, in 1836, that
even temporary quiet was secured. By this arrangement the provincial
government of Buenos Ayres was invested with extraordinary powers, and
temporarily charged with the transaction of all matters appertaining to
the common interests of the confederation, and the carrying out of its
business with foreign nations. Rosas had previously served as governor
and captain-general of Buenos Ayres for the usual term of three years,
and had obtained unrivalled influence in that province, chiefly through
his military powers, as displayed against the Indians. His decision and
energy secured for awhile internal peace, and the provinces began to
recover from the effects of the long prevalent anarchy. But cruelty and
despotism marked his sway at home, and his ambition, which continually
prompted him to endeavours to extend his power over the whole country
watered by the Plata and the Parana, led him into disputes with foreign
powers: and these ultimately brought about his downfall. His commercial
policy had for its object to secure for Buenos Ayres the monopoly of the
trade of the Plata, his political policy to obtain a like territorial
superiority.

On the death of Francia, dictator of Paraguay, he refused to acknowledge
the independence of that power, insisting that it should join the
Argentine Confederation, at the same time he refused to allow the
navigation of the Parana by vessels bound to Paraguay. Lopez, the new
dictator of Paraguay, therefore entered into alliance with the Banda
Oriental, now called Uruguay, with which Rosas was at war. These powers
applied for assistance to Brazil. The war was prolonged until the whole
country on both sides of the Plata and the Parana was in a state of
confusion. On the earnest appeal of the merchants and others interested,
Great Britain volunteered her mediation, but it was rejected by Rosas,
who marched his troops within a few miles of Monte Video, which his
fleet at the same time blockaded. The emperor of Brazil now interfered,
and sent a special mission to request the interposition of the courts
of London and Paris. The British and French governments in February
1845, decided on sending plenipotentiaries to the Plata to offer their
mediation, and to announce their intention to enforce a cessation of
hostilities if needful, by an armed intervention. The offer was rejected
by Rosas, but readily accepted by his opponents. The united fleet of
England and France at once commenced operations by seizing the fleet of
Rosas which was blockading Monte Video, and the island of Martin Garcia
which commands the entrances of the Parana and the Uruguay. The harbour
of Buenos Ayres was at the same time declared under blockade, and the
combined fleet prepared to open the Parana, and to convoy as far as
Corrientes any merchant vessels that might desire to ascend that river.
Rosas on his part made hasty preparations to intercept the fleet by
planting batteries with parks of heavy artillery at Point Obligado; and
placing three strong chains across the river, supported by 24 vessels
and 10 fire-ships. On the 19th of November 1845, the combined fleet,
consisting of eight sailing and three steam vessels, forced the passage
with trifling loss to itself, but entirely destroying the batteries, and
considerably injuring the army of Rosas. On the return of the fleet, with
a convoy of 110 vessels, it was encountered at San Lorenzo by a very
powerful battery which Rosas had erected in an admirable position, in the
full expectation of destroying a large number of the merchant vessels,
and of crippling the naval force. The battery commanded the river, and
was difficult of attack by the steamers, but it was speedily silenced by
a rocket-brigade, which had been the previous night secretly landed on
a small island in the river. The combined fleet escaped with trifling
loss, the rocket-brigade lost not a man; but four of the merchant vessels
which, through unskilful pilotage, ran ashore, were burnt to prevent them
falling into the hands of Rosas. The loss to the Argentine army was very
great. Again plenipotentiaries were sent out by the combined powers,
but Rosas refused to yield; and England withdrew from the blockade in
July, 1848. It was however continued by France until January, 1849. On
the final withdrawal of the two great powers in 1850, Brazil determined
on active interference. The power of the Dictator, General Rosas,
essentially despotic, and devoted to the maintenance of the supremacy
of Buenos Ayres, had moreover become intolerable to the provinces which
desired a federal and equal union. Accordingly, towards the close of
1850, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay entered into a treaty, to which
Corrientes and Entre Rios, as represented by General Urquiza, became
parties, by which they bound themselves to continue hostilities until
they had effected the deposition of Rosas, ‘whose power and tyranny’ they
declared to be ‘incompatible with the peace and happiness of this part
of the world.’ Early in the spring of 1851 a Brazilian fleet blockaded
Buenos Ayres, and soon after an Argentine force commanded by Urquiza
crossed the Uruguay. The struggle was now virtually terminated. General
Oribe, who commanded the army of Rosas at Monte Video, made a show of
resistance, but it was merely to gain time in order to complete his
arrangements with Urquiza, and he soon after capitulated. His soldiers
for the most part joined the army of Urquiza, who, at the head of a force
amounting it is said to 70,000 men, crossed into Buenos Ayres. A general
engagement was fought on the plains of Moron, February 2, 1851, when the
army of Rosas was entirely defeated. Rosas, who had commanded in person,
succeeded in escaping from the field; and, in the dress of a peasant, he
reached in safety the house of the British minister at Buenos Ayres. From
thence, with his daughter, he proceeded on board H.M.’s steamer Locust,
and on the 10th of February sailed in the Conflict steamer for England.

But the fall of the tyrant did not bring peace to the unhappy country.
Urquiza, by the governors of the provinces assembled at San Nicolas, was
invested with the chief power, and appointed Provisional Director of the
Argentine Confederation. The Chamber of Representatives of Buenos Ayres,
however, declared against him, and protested against the proceedings of
the convention on the ground of the superior privileges of Buenos Ayres
being menaced. Urquiza dissolved the Chamber, and insurrection broke out.
Civil war, with all its aggravated evils, thereupon ensued. [See memoir
of Urquiza.]

[90] General José Maria Paz, minister of war, to whom I had the pleasure
of a personal introduction, is a man of benevolent aspect and quick
address. He is a native of Buenos Ayres, and commenced his military
career during the war of independence against Spain, in which he greatly
distinguished himself. In the campaign against Brazil, in 1825, he
commanded a brigade in the army of General Alviar, and added to the
laurels he had already won. When General Rosas seized upon the supreme
government of Buenos Ayres, General Paz was among those who opposed his
usurpations; but in one of the engagements which followed he was taken
prisoner, and kept a long time in confinement. Having at length obtained
his liberation, he commanded in the province of Corrientes, and defeated
General Echague at the battle of Cargaassu, in which he displayed the
greatest tact and ability. He commanded the garrison of Monte Video
during the memorable siege that city sustained from the forces of Rosas
and Oribe, and is generally esteemed one of the ablest, and the most
honourable, truthful, and humane of the South American chiefs.

[91] The English and foreign merchants residing in this city have
established an English club-house, where a limited number of beds is
provided for bachelor members. This fine establishment is conducted
by a committee of gentlemen, and contains every possible convenience,
including a reading and news-room, as well as one for billiards; and, in
fact, economy, comfort, and every facility of commercial intercourse,
have been consulted in all its arrangements. The foreign population of
this city includes a great number of shopkeepers, who form quite a little
Paris of elegant shops. Hatmakers, tailors, _coiffeurs_, _modistes_,
and bootmakers predominate amongst the French; merchants, storekeepers,
publicans, and boarding-house keepers amongst the English; and amongst
the Italians, warehousemen and captains of small craft trading to the
inland ports on the mighty Plata. The immigration of Irish to this
place must have been on a very extensive scale, since all the hotel
and boarding-houses, which are invariably European, have them in their
employ. They are also to be found in great numbers on the farms in the
neighbourhood of the capital, which are held by Englishmen, and which
supply the city regularly with butter, eggs, and milk. The difficulty in
finding a washerwoman is indescribable, and would scarcely be credited.
I had to send my servant in all directions before he could find one, and
then I discovered that I could enlist her in my service only on these
conditions—first, that I should await her leisure, and next that I should
pay at the rate of three or four royals for each article!—_Bonelli._

[92] The remarks made in reference to the description of trade carried
on with Monte Video may be considered as applicable in a great degree to
Buenos Ayres. The following is the latest published official statement
of the imports into the United Kingdom from the Oriental Republic in
1851:—untanned hides, 10,247 cwts.; seal-skins, 12,008; tallow, 8,664
cwts. In the same year the imports from the Argentine Republic were as
follows:—untanned hides, 261,653; lamb skins, 55,744; nutria skins,
7,417; tallow, 135,856 cwts.; wool, 853,194 lbs.; unwrought copper,
127 cwts.; cotton goods, 90_l._ value; India silk handkerchiefs, 432
pieces; brandy, 18 galls.; Spanish wines, 56 galls.; French ditto, 19
galls.; tobacco, 18 lbs. Buenos Ayres is the great source of our supply
of hides, and the quantity of tallow imported thence is only exceeded
by the supplies we obtain from Russia and our Australian colonies. The
latter source being now closed by war, and likely to be so as long as the
Eastern difficulty continues, our trade with the Plate in that respect
becomes of course proportionably important.

[93] In reference to the correspondence between England and the River
Plate, Buenos Ayres had long enjoyed considerable advantage over the
Uruguay; but both are now on the same footing in this respect. One great
reason of the little interchange of correspondence between Great Britain
and Monte Video has been the high rate of postage; but such cause is now
removed by a Treasury warrant, (dated February 24th, 1854,) directing
that on every letter not exceeding half an ounce in weight, posted in or
addressed to any part of the republic of Uruguay, to or from the British
islands and colonies, or transmitted from Uruguay to any foreign country,
through England, there shall be charged 1_s._ If the letter exceeds half
an ounce in weight, the postage is 2_s._; exceeding one ounce, 4_s._;
exceeding two ounces, 6_s._; exceeding three ounces, 8_s._; and for every
ounce above four ounces, two additional rates of postage. Fractions above
four ounces to be charged as an additional ounce. Books and magazines to
pay the following rates:—not exceeding half a pound in weight, 6_d._;
above that weight, 1_s._ per pound, and all fractions charged as an
additional pound. The postage must be prepaid in stamps, and the packets
must be open at the ends or sides, contain printed matter only, and not
exceed twenty-four inches in length, breadth, or depth. British and
Uruguayan newspapers may be sent direct to and from the United Kingdom
and the Uruguay at the rate of 1_d._ each.

[94] Our present diplomatic relations with the Disunited Provinces of
the Plata are of a peculiarly embarrassing and uncertain kind, owing
to Urquiza being the ostensible head of the Confederation, though not
of its most important province, Buenos Ayres. This anomalous state of
things long occasioned proceedings on the part of our representative
there, Captain R. Gore, R.N., that have naturally and almost unavoidably
produced some strong opposition and animadversion. Into the justness
of these strictures it is not the business of the author to inquire;
and, accordingly, he contents himself with supplying some few data of
the antecedents of the functionaries about to be enumerated. First,
the gallant gentleman just named, whose salary as consul-general is
1600_l._, with the usual 1_l._ per day as chargé d’affaires. He is
fourth brother of the Earl of Arran, and sat for the borough of New Ross
in 1841 and 1847, when he declared himself ‘a cordial supporter of the
Melbourne ministry,’ and an ‘advocate for free trade and the abolition
of monopolies.’ He was appointed chargé d’affaires and consul-general
in the Uruguay in 1846, and transferred to Buenos Ayres in 1851. Our
Buenos Ayrean consul, whose salary, I believe, is 600_l._, is Mr. M. T.
Hood, who was employed for some years in the consulate-general at Monte
Video, appointed vice-consul there in 1841, acting consul-general there
in 1846, and consul-general at Buenos Ayres in 1847. Our Buenos Ayrean
vice-consul is Mr. T. Parish, to whom I shall have to express a sense
of my obligations in a subsequent chapter. As regards the diplomatic
representation in this country of the Argentine Confederation, like the
Uruguay, and for much the same reason, it is confined merely to the
consul-general in London, Mr. George F. Dixon, Great Winchester-street,
City, the minister, Don Manuel Moreno, having for some considerable time
left England, where he had resided for many years during the supremacy
of Rosas. The consuls and vice-consuls for the Argentine Confederation
are Liverpool, Mr. Hugh C. Smith; Dover, Mr. S. M. Latham; Falmouth, Mr.
Alfred Fox; Plymouth, Mr. J. Luscombe; and Glasgow, Mr. George Young.

[95] A present probably from the English admiral of that name.

[96] Speaking of the descent of the river, at a terrific pace, by the
Alecto, Commander M’Kinnon, in his work ‘Steam Warfare on the Parana,’ to
which reference has already been made, says:—There was only one person
in South America who had either the nerve, knowledge, or ability to do
it. It is natural to suppose that this person must have been a native of
the country, brought up on the river, and who had spent a long and active
life in getting such a thorough and precise knowledge. With pride do I
say it, this was not the case. The pilot was a brother officer, Captain
B. J. Sullivan, who coolly stood on the paddle-box, and conned the vessel
by a motion of his hand to the quarter-master. The whole of the river, up
to Corrientes, is now surveyed by the above-mentioned officer, and better
known, by his means, in London, than at Rosas’ capital, Buenos Ayres.

[97] The author on whom we have so frequently drawn for facts and
illustrations, seems to attach greater moment to Corrientes, speaking
of which he says, ‘There is more of a military authority combined with
usual duties of a Captain of the Port in South America than is exercised
by our Harbour Master, giving him some of the powers of a commandant.
The existence of regularly organized ports of entry for foreign vessels
so far up the river (and there are others much higher up the Parana and
Paraguay) is not generally known. It has been the not unnatural, but
injurious, policy of the government of Buenos Ayres (Rosas) to seek to
monopolise the trade of the states of La Plata, and to prevent direct
intercourse between the other maritime, or rather fluvial, provinces and
foreign countries. Europeans have been in the habit of looking on Buenos
Ayres and Monte Video as the sole ports fitted for foreign commerce in
the states of La Plata, whereas there is no doubt that the best ports are
in the river Parana itself, which affords excellent positions for depôts
of produce, and for loading or discharging vessels. Many such ports
exist on the banks, not only of the Parana, but of the rivers Uruguay
and Paraguay. In the Parana there is deep water, generally from five to
twenty, and sometimes forty, fathoms, with good anchorage. The current
runs three or four knots, often more, when floods increase the large body
of water coming down from the river Paraguay and the numerous smaller
rivers which empty themselves into the Parana from various quarters, and
are swollen by the melting snow of the Andes. The soil about Corrientes
is sandy: trees thrive, but there is more brushwood than timber. The
inhabitants, having hitherto had but little intercourse with the rest of
the world, are naturally ignorant respecting Europe and its usages. Many
of them know but little Spanish, using the Indian dialect, the ‘Guarani,’
which prevails more or less throughout all this part of the interior of
South America, including Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. Of their little
knowledge of things considered as the everyday comforts or necessaries
of life in other countries, an eye-witness related a somewhat amusing
proof. ‘An old Scotchman, who had been settled at Corrientes for the
greater part of his life, begged some coal from a British war-steamer
on her way up. His sole object in making the request was to be enabled
to vindicate his reputation for veracity. It seems that he had often
told them that in England they had a kind of black stone that could be
used as fuel, an assertion which was scouted as absurd and incredible,
and he was considered as a Scotch Munchausen. He obtained the coal,
however, and on the day fixed for the experiment half the town assembled,
and, seated in a large circle, with their cigarritos in their mouths,
watched the smoke arising from the coal with silent incredulity. It
did not readily ignite, so the Dons began to shrug their shoulders and
intimate their contempt for the whole affair; but when the fire blazed
up, a total change came over them, and it was highly amusing to witness
the enthusiastic delight they evinced, shouting energetically, vivaing,
&c.’ He adds, speaking of the Corrientines, ‘As a race, the men of this
country seem much finer in stature and appearance than the women, who
are generally small, fair, and delicate, and it is said that further
in the interior and in Paraguay they are still more fair and northern
looking.’ Some travellers assert that what they call their religion is
often little else than superstition, and that their morality is far from
strict, but this may be a false impression, adopted on slight grounds. In
dress they are perfectly innocent of any superfluity, for which the great
heat is a valid reason. But whatever are their shortcomings resulting
from their isolated position, they are most hospitable and kind towards
strangers. ‘Travelling through the country one is well received at every
house one rides up to; refreshment is always promptly offered, especially
water melons, which are particularly grateful in these climates. Payment
when offered is almost invariably declined, and never demanded.’ In
consequence of the gradual filling up of the Parana by alluvial deposits
towards the Delta at its mouth, the navigation is much better higher up
in the river than where it spreads into many small channels, emptying
themselves into the upper part of the River Plate; still a vessel
drawing sixteen or seventeen feet of water can go over all the passes
when the river is moderately high; although during the prevalence of
certain winds from the north and west there is less water, and near the
island of Martin Garcia generally not more on the banks than fourteen
feet. Thus from Colonia to the Bajada, and further up to the pass of San
Juan, without any extraordinary rise in the water, a large vessel can
ascend. From San Juan to Corrientes there is only a depth of thirteen
feet on the worst passes, and about the same depth may be had all the
way to Assumption, watching opportunity. There are neither ‘snags’ nor
‘sawyers’ [trunks of trees carried down by the current and fixed in the
bottom, very dangerous in the Mississippi and other great rivers of
North America, where they are known by these names], rocks, nor other
obstructions, but steamers may go at full speed up or down by keeping the
right channel. In the broad parts the stream runs at the rate of about
three, and in the narrow channels, four knots, or even more.’

[98] I have since ascertained that not only did Mr. Hopkins and his
party arrive safely at Assumption, but that the vessel had returned to
Buenos Ayres, and was going up again—a proof how easily the river can
be navigated. Mr. Hopkins was received with great cordiality by General
Lopez, and in return for the present of an American carriage, had given
to him a large quantity of maté, with a grant of valuable land on the
banks of the river, near Assumption. He has been appointed, I hear,
United States consul to Paraguay, and thus infinitely increased his means
of effecting the results I confidently venture to anticipate at his hands.

[99] The description of this magnificent and important river, by the
authors of ‘Letters from Paraguay,’ is too accurate and graphic to be
omitted here, viz.:—The Paraná, having its source in the southern part
of the Brazilian province of Goyaz, flows down from latitude 81 degrees
south, still increased, as it runs, by numerous tributary springs. It
is uninterrupted in its course by any obstacle to navigation, except
by that formidable one, called the Salto Grande, (the Great Waterfall,
_literally_, the Great Leap,) which in latitude 24 degrees, with a noise
and tumult, heard many miles off, dashes its foaming mass of water over
rocks, precipices, and chasms, of the most stupendous character. Resuming
after this its placid course, the wide and glassy Paraná, richly wooded
on both sides, and navigable by small vessels, pours down its salubrious
waters impregnated with sarsaparilla, till, at Corrientes, it forms its
junction with the River Paraguay. From that point the two rivers joined,
go under the name of the one river, Paraná, the latter being, sometimes,
though erroneously, below this, considered the parent stream. The Paraná
discharges itself into the River Plate, by several mouths; by that of
the Paraná Guazú, at which point the waters of the Uruguay also fall
in: of the Paraná Miní, lower down; and of the Paraná de las Palmas,
still near to Buenos Ayres. Thus formed, the Rio de la Plata pours its
accumulated waters into the Atlantic; and although its mouth at the two
opposite capes of Santa Maria and San Antonio is one hundred and fifty
miles wide, it does no more than correspond to the grandeur of the inland
navigation. From its source, in Matto Grosso, latitude 14 degrees south,
till its confluence with the Paraná at Corrientes, the River Paraguay has
already run a course of 1,200 miles; from Corrientes to Buenos Ayres,
the distance measured by both these streams under the one name of the
Paraná is 740; while from Buenos Ayres to Cape St. Antonio and Maria,
the combined waters of the Paraguay, Paraná, and Uruguay, united under
the one name of River Plate, run a farther distance of 200; making a
total course of 2,150 miles, including the windings, which are often of
a very sweeping kind. Of this immense tract of water, fifteen hundred
miles are navigable by vessels drawing ten feet. The river abounds
with fish from its mouth to its source. The pexerey (king’s fish), the
dorado, mullet, pacū (a sort of turbot), and many others, are found in
it; its banks are for the most part richly studded with wood; its various
islands are adorned with beautiful shrubs, evergreens, creepers, &c.;
the woods abound with game, and the adjacent country teems with cattle.
The waters are highly salubrious; the soil all along the banks of the
river, with the exception of the Great Chaco, is rich and fertile in the
highest degree. But notwithstanding all these advantages—notwithstanding
that the country has been for three hundred years in the possession of
a civilized European nation—after I had galloped two hundred and eighty
leagues, I did not see above four or five small towns. Not more than a
like number of vessels were to be descried on my route, while at every
fifteen miles distance a miserable hut, with its half-dozen inhabitants,
was alone interposed to relieve the monotony of the scene. The secret of
all the silence, solitude, and abandonment of Nature to herself, which I
saw and lamented, is of course to be traced to the inadequate means which
have hitherto been used to provide even a semblance of the population
necessary to cover a country of such vast fertility and extent.

[100] Mr. McCann is in error in stating the population of this town at
8,000; and his general description of it would apply more to Rosario,
probably owing to some error in his notes afterwards, when describing the
two towns.

[101] ‘I will mention a few of the uses to which I have seen hides
applied. The hammocks in which the people sleep were hides cut, like a
puzzle, to spread out as so much net-work, neat, cool, and pleasant.
The milk from cows was collected and emptied into a hide spread out on
sticks in the shape of a large bucket or tub, capable of holding from
sixteen to twenty gallons. The houses and carts were covered with hides;
a hide-spout conveyed water off roofs. The tanpits were hides spread out
like the milk tub before mentioned, containing other hides under tanning
process. Everything connected with horse furniture was supplied by hides.
The beams and supports of houses were lashed by hide thongs. The doors
and windows, and, frequently, the very walls, were hides laced together;
in short, everything almost was hides.’—_Mackinnon._

[102] Rosario is most favourably situated for carrying on a large trade,
which promises soon to locate itself here. Already there is an English
branch establishment here, and a resident English consul has been
appointed.

[103] The capital of the province of Corrientes, of which our sketch is
taken from the deck of a man-of-war, is not a large place. Its population
has been variously estimated at 3,000, 6,000, and 8,000 inhabitants.
This difference is partly accounted for by the fluctuations incident to
the military system by which they have too long been oppressed. In fact,
subjection to martial law has hitherto been, not the exceptional, but the
normal state of these countries. A traveller visiting one of these towns
while the greater part of its male inhabitants are absent on military
service as volunteers, would have a very different impression as to the
number of its population from that which he would receive during a time
of peace, and in the commercial and busy season. Moreover, a great many
of the wives and children of these men follow, as best they may, the
march of the troops, so that whole districts are thus nearly depopulated
by these frequent drains of their inhabitants. The ‘Gauchos,’ as the
country people are called, are naturally a good-natured, hardy, and
courageous race. The demoralization and recklessness consequent on their
being forcibly taken from useful and peaceful occupations to swell the
ranks of some ambitious ‘caudillo’ or chieftain, have of course produced
much evil, inuring them to scenes of violence, bloodshed, and injustice.
It is true that they are called out and armed for the loudly-proclaimed
purpose of defending ‘la libertad, la patria,’ &c., and appeals to the
feelings of independence, honour, virtue, and all the high-sounding words
of the sonorous language of Spain are employed by those who want their
services. Here, as too generally in Spanish America, their feelings of
patriotism have been so frequently invoked either to defend or attack
some individual or party, that it is only surprising their characters
are not more perverted, and that the moral devastation should not keep
pace with that which has so long physically blighted these naturally
fine provinces. The resources of these states have been wasted in order
to maintain a military force much too large in proportion to their
population, and it has been employed either in aggression on neighbouring
countries, or for the intimidation or coercion of the provinces
themselves, to support the personal policy of the executive. Thus their
great capabilities of production have not been developed, and industrial
improvement has been completely checked. The evils of such a system are
even more injuriously felt in these vast and thinly inhabited regions
than they might be in countries differently circumstanced.

The wealth of Corrientes consists chiefly in vast herds of cattle, sheep,
and horses. The pasturage of the province is remarkably fine: its exports
are hides, tallow, wool, hair, and some agricultural produce. The trade
which might arise with the countries in the interior, through which these
mighty rivers flow, were the navigation open, is beyond calculation, and
its profits would soon enable the States of La Plata to pay with ease
their foreign and domestic creditors, and to raise funds for internal
improvements. During the few months that the navigation of the Parana
was kept open in 1845-6, two convoys, (under the admirable arrangements
adopted by the distinguished officer who commanded H.M. squadron in the
Parana, Commodore Sir Charles Hotham), one consisting of upwards of one
hundred vessels, laden with produce, the other of more than seventy, came
down that river and the Paraguay with very little loss or damage, after
having exchanged the cargoes of European or North American merchandise
that they brought up for the goods with which the different depôts at
Corrientes and other places were overflowing, to the value of some
millions of hard dollars. It is true that an accumulation of produce
at the ports of the river then existed, caused by the interdiction
of the navigation by the governing power of one of the banks of the
river. But as it is the manifest interest of the different states whose
natural outlet is by the River Plate and its confluents,—the Parana
and Uruguay,—that internal navigation should be free, or placed, for
instance, on a similar footing to that of the Rhine, it is to be hoped
that before very long the governments most interested in this question,
those of La Plata especially, will awaken to a sense of the vast interest
they have in opening these great channels of inter-communication to the
commerce of the world.

[104] Le Paraguay; son passe, son present, et son avenir; par un
Etranger, qui a vecu longtemps dans ce pays, ouvrage publie a
Rio-Janeiro, et reproduit en France; par General Oriental Pacheco-y-Obes.

[105] Mr. G. W. Drabble, a gentleman who proceeded some time ago from
Manchester on a visit to the River Plate, determined to devote some of
his time and attention to ascertaining the capability of the Argentine
territory and the Banda Oriental for growing cotton. Lord Clarendon
having been written to by the Manchester Commercial Association to ask
his assistance for Mr. Drabble in carrying out this intention, replied,
in a letter, dated the 1st of March, that he would have particular
pleasure in complying with the request, and that his Lordship ‘had
recommended Mr. Drabble to the kind offices of Captain Gore (Her
Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires at Buenos Ayres) and Mr. Hunt (the British
Acting Consul-General), and had instructed them to afford to Mr. Drabble
every facility and assistance in their power in furtherance of his
object, which was one in which Her Majesty’s Government take great
interest.’ A letter was afterwards received from the Consul-General at
Monte Video, 4th of June, stating that he would be very glad indeed to
give Mr. Drabble every assistance in his power. The following letter to
Mr. J. A. Turner, president of the Manchester Commercial Association,
details the result of Mr. Drabble’s investigations:—‘Buenos Ayres, Oct.
1. The unsettled state of politics that prevailed on my arrival here
prevented my being able to avail myself of the offers of assistance
by Mr. Gore and Mr. Hunt, nor was a journey to the interior provinces
then practicable. From Paraguay, fortunately, General Lopez, son of
the President of that country, was passing through this city, on a
visit to Europe; which enabled me to be presented to him by Sir Charles
Hotham, who has rendered me every assistance, and given me most valuable
information as to that country. That territory appearing to hold forth
more prospect of success in the cultivation of cotton, I have sent up
a gentleman possessing the requisite talent, so that he may be enabled
to furnish an accurate report as to the facilities that may be there
found. Even here, however, I would observe that much more attention is
being attached to the country of Paraguay, as a rich field of enterprise;
and, as a pioneer to what we hope may be continued efforts, a steamer
started from this port yesterday to that destination, conveying a company
recently arrived from the United States’ said to be well supported,
consisting of several directors, and conveying with them machines for the
cultivation and cleaning of cotton, tobacco, sugar, and rice; sawmills,
for making available for export the valuable wood that there so abounds,
and other machines suitable for the development of its resources. If
they are once enabled to establish a footing there, and, especially, if
the project of steam navigation up our interior rivers is accomplished,
great results may attend these primary efforts. Some of the interior
provinces of this confederation have been long said to be most suitable
for the cultivation of cotton, and a sample, pronounced to be of very
fine quality, from one of them (Tucuman), was last year exhibited in
Manchester. I have forwarded, per steamer, another example from the
neighbouring province of Catamarca, the lands of which are reported as
being capable of producing a much superior article to any other of these
States. I consider, however, that a great difficulty will exist in the
development of this cultivation, in any of these interior provinces, from
the long land carriage required to bring it to an exterior market. The
cost of the best qualities there, as plucked, say with seed, is 7rs. to
8rs. per arroba; if cleaned up there, as it must be to give the least
hope of successful competition, it is calculated that the yield would
give about 25 per cent. of gross, thus placing the cost of an arroba,
or 25 lbs., at an average of 30rs.; expenses of cleaning would be 2rs.;
carriage to Buenos Ayres, per arroba, 6rs.; total, 38rs.; which, taken
at to-day’s rate of exchange, would net per lb. 8⅕d. In Catamarca the
cotton tree has been cultivated regularly, but, attention never having
been paid to it as an article of export, the production has never
increased. It is a perennial plant, sown in spring, and yielding the
same year. It grows about four feet to five feet high. In the winter it
is cut down, but the following spring it shoots up for another year’s
yield. No great care is paid to it till the time of gathering the pod,
when it is regularly plucked. The Paraguay and Corrientes plants are of
the same class. The quality of the Corrientes cotton has so far been
much inferior. It is, however, in the same latitude, and the soil is
represented as being equally fertile, and from its geological position,
that province would seem to be the most preferable. The great drawback
to the extension of this cultivation will be the want of labour. The
population of Catamarca is not more than 40,000; that of Tucuman may
be estimated at 50,000. But even so, there are so many other articles
of production of great value, and requiring little labour, as tobacco,
sugar, &c., that it will be difficult to obtain sufficient hands for the
plucking and cleaning, unless expressly imported. The requirements of
the native population are few, and their ambition soon satisfied. It is,
therefore, almost impossible to get them to labour for more than their
actual wants. That these countries, however, present many facilities and
advantages for the extension of this cultivation cannot be doubted; nor
that capital, properly laid out, would, with care and energy, give every
prospect of ample profit. But the commencement of this, as of all other
undertakings, requires to be followed up with the greatest energy, and
under the personal superintendence of a practical and interested party.
Although Mr. Drabble estimates that only 25 per cent. of clean cotton
would be obtained from the seed, some gentlemen in Manchester, who have
had much acquaintance with the subject, are of opinion that, with such
fine growths as the samples already sent home from the district, the net
produce of clean cotton would be much more likely to be one-third of the
gross weight than one-fourth, and, consequently, the cost at which cotton
could be supplied would be proportionately reduced.

[106] The chief provisions are the following:—British subjects are free
to navigate the banks of the rivers of Paraguay. British traders may
settle and carry on commerce in any of their towns, instead of being
restricted to Assumption, as hitherto. Finally, they may marry the
daughters of the country—a privilege from which they have until now
been debarred. Similar treaties have been made with France, the United
States, and Sardinia. This treaty (said an eminent ‘Economical’ authority
at the time it was made known in England,) will help to forward the
designs of Bolivia to promote the free navigation of the rivers that
run from her territory into the Plate. Could that navigation be opened,
it would be something like spreading the advantages conferred by the
Mississippi on North America over South America. The Plate is formed by
the junction of the Parana and the Uruguay. From the Plate to Assumption,
the Parana, with its branch the Paraguay, is navigable for 800 miles
in the dry season by vessels drawing six feet of water, and in the
rainy season by vessels drawing twice as much. Beyond that 800 miles,
it is navigable as a canal for 600 miles, almost to its sources in the
mountains of Brazil, not far from one of the streams navigable into the
heart of Bolivia upwards of 1,000 miles from the Atlantic. The Uruguay
is navigable for 300 miles from its junction with the Parana, and there
the navigation is stopped by a ledge of rocks which does not affect the
level of the stream. Were this impediment removed—and the governments of
Brazil and Buenos Ayres are bound by treaty to remove it—the river would
be navigable for 300 miles further. Thus together there is an interior
navigation from the Plate of at least 1,600 miles, and probably when the
country shall be fully explored for many hundred more miles, opening up
for the use of the closely-pressed people of Europe some of the finest
countries of the globe. The great empire of the south, extending through
more than thirty degrees of latitude, and in its widest part through
thirty degrees of longitude, with a population of about 5,000,000, and a
portion of them slaves, is increasing in people and wealth much faster
than the countries on the Plate. It is extending its trade year by year,
and may in the end absorb and incorporate the neighbouring republics;
but it is yet far from that consummation. Unless, therefore, some more
European life be infused into the countries on the Plate, unless spare
hands from England, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, each of which
has already supplied some of the scattered population on the Plate, go
thither, and bring those countries more into contact with Europe, they
are likely to remain only half tenanted for ages.

[107] When Rosas, in his protest, announced that he was preparing great
military and naval armaments, with a view of invading and incorporating
her in the Argentine Confederation, Paraguay speedily raised an effective
army of more than 30,000 men; and calculating that force at the moderate
rate of two per cent. on the entire population, the result is above a
million, which, as already stated, is more than double the population
of the Argentine provinces and the State of Uruguay united—a fact which
explains why it is that Paraguay imports more than all the interior
provinces of the Confederation, including the province, though not the
port, of Buenos Ayres itself.

The town of _Conception_ has been resuscitated from its decay by the
government founding the town of St. Salvador, on the Paraguay, and
covering all the fords by a line of small fortified posts. New works and
branches of industry have been commenced, and quarries of calcareous
stone, an article which Paraguay, before Francia’s time, imported, are
now worked. The _Encyclopædia Britannica_, now being published, puts down
the population of Assumption, the capital, at 12,000, which is certainly
considerably under the real number. With an activity and zeal which would
do honour to governments better furnished with resources and auxiliary
means, the consular government undertook to open new roads, by cutting
through the forests to an extraordinary extent, in order to facilitate
transit and the trade to the exterior. The road which was opened across
the mountain called _Caro_ is twelve leagues in length and fifty feet
broad. That which traverses Mount _Palomares_ is thirteen leagues long,
and of the same breadth as the first; and Mount _Caagazu_ has been cut
by a road six leagues long and thirty-six feet wide. There is also now
approaching completion a road which is passable for carriages from
_Villa-Rica_ to the bank of the Parana. Bridges have been constructed
over several water-courses and dangerous ravines, and where the
breadth of the rivers has been too great, commodious ferries have been
established at the expense of the government. In the district of Rosario,
where there are many grazing estates, the proprietors were frequently
exposed to excessive droughts, which occasioned the dispersion, mixture,
and loss of the herds. The government has had a canal opened from five
to six leagues long, and which, serving as a reservoir to many brooks,
will retain water even in the most terrible droughts. A similar route has
been carried out in the department of _San Estanislao_. The government
has resolved on founding other new towns, and has overcome the obstacles
opposed to the development of others already existing, such as _Villa
Franca_, which, situated at the bottom of a plain, suffered much in the
rainy season. It opened drains for the stagnant waters, and the soil has
been much improved.

There is one arrangement which does the greatest honour to the liberalism
and equity of the consular government. We may, properly speaking, say
that there are no slaves in Paraguay; the number is not quite certain,
but, from the statement of a recent traveller, there would not appear to
be more than one thousand in the whole of the territory of the Republic.
The consular government, in order to put a stop to slavery in a natural
manner, although it be on so small a scale, has declared every child
born of slaves to be free, and has prohibited, by a decree, all fresh
importations.

[108] The climate, which has so much influence on the prosperity of a
country, is salubrious, equable, and agreeable. Although tropical, this
region is exempt from the fevers which commit such ravages at Havana and
New Orleans, and from the earthquakes and hurricanes of the West Indies
and other tropical countries. All epidemics are unknown: in fact, the
climate of Paraguay is proverbially salubrious, one proof of which is,
that there is an unusual proportionate number of octogenarians, and even
centenarians. The British and French war-steamers, Locust and Flambart,
were lately there for upwards of two months, during the hottest season,
without a single case of serious illness occurring on board. Such, too,
was the case when a French steamer was sent up by the British and French
Ministers in 1846. Though the heat is great, it is infinitely more
bearable than in most parts of the Brazils; while all experience goes to
show that Europeans become speedily acclimated.

[109] Prolific as are so many portions of South America, there is no one
area of anything like the same magnitude to be compared for a moment with
Paraguay. Here are cultivated, with an easy success to which the wants
of the inhabitants are the only limit, cotton, sugar, indigo, cochineal,
and the finest tobacco in the world; dyes of great value abound, as also
various wild plants of the hemp kind, capable of being converted to the
greatest utility; resinous trees, amongst them several producing the
Indian-rubber and gutta-percha gums; copaiba, rhubarb, and medicinal
plants of equal virtue, its sarsaparilla being superior to all others,
and its bark having still as high a repute among pharmaceutical savants
as when first introduced thence into Europe by the Jesuits towards the
middle of the seventeenth century. Plantations of coffee have lately
been commenced, and answer excellently. Fruits and grain embrace nearly
all that are indigenous to the temperate and the torrid zone; and the
cattle may be multiplied to an indefinite extent if advantage be taken
for that purpose of the illimitable pasturage—an important consideration
just now, bearing in mind the sources of our supply of hides and tallow,
whether from the North of Europe or South America itself. Direct European
intercourse, by means of the Malmesbury treaty, not only promises to be
productive of the utmost good to Paraguay proper, but, through Paraguay,
to the remotest provinces of the Confederation, and beyond, to the
spurs of the Andes. The Vermejo, already twice explored, puts Paraguay
in communication with the vast provinces of Salta, Jujui, and Tucuman;
and if, as there is good reason to believe, the Pilcomayo is navigable
considerably above Paraguay, her commerce would go straight to the
heart of Bolivia. By the river Paraguay itself ships of 200 tons can
ascend to Cuiaba, the capital of the Brazilian province of Matto-Grosso;
while the interior of Paraguay is interlaced all over with navigable
streams emptying themselves into the great fluvial artery after which
the province is named—thus facilitating the transport, in the manner of
the Chinese canals, of its produce to the markets of Assumption and the
thriving town of Pilar.

[110] The natives of Paraguay are docile to their superiors, vigorous,
inured to hardship, and intelligent; at the same time that they are
sober, phlegmatic, and not likely to be carried away by enthusiasm. They
do not appear to be endowed with that impetuous and exalted valour which
seeks to confront danger and death; they would, therefore, not be well
adapted for offensive warfare. But they possess, without any doubt, that
severe and immovable intrepidity which sees danger and death without
being shaken by them, an invaluable quality for defensive war, and which,
developed by exercise and arms, may in its turn serve for the attack.
The Paraguayan is firm and tenacious in his projects: in whatever he
undertakes, if he meets with resistance, he grows obstinate, and dies
rather than yield or desist. He is insensible to stimulants, and the
seduction of immoderate desires. His family, his valley, his country, the
government which he idolizes, are all the world to him. He is, however,
notwithstanding his apparent phlegm, most susceptible in whatsoever
he considers to be foreign domination, superiority, or influence, and
attributes to contempt the most indifferent act which is repugnant to
his habits, his customs, or his interests. He does not, however, evince
his resentment by words or cries—he is too concentrated for that; but
still he allows no opportunity to escape of expressing by monosyllables,
gestures, or actions, more energetic than words, what is passing at the
bottom of his heart.

[111] The first consul, Don Carlos Antonio Lopez, is a rich landed
proprietor. He received in his youth, at the College of Assumption,
such education as during the first years of this century could be met
with in the American colleges. When his studies were concluded, he gave
lessons in theology at the same college, and was installed in a chair of,
what at that time was termed, philosophy. He afterwards devoted himself
particularly to the study of jurisprudence, and to the profession of
an advocate, and exercised it, according to general report, with zeal,
impartiality, and disinterestedness, which acquired him credit, friends,
and a select number of clients. When it became dangerous, under the
tyranny of the Dictator, to exercise a profession so independent as that
of advocate, M. Lopez retired to his estate, 40 leagues from Assumption,
and gave himself up entirely to agriculture, and to the perusal of the
few books which he had been able to procure. He very rarely went to the
capital, and then only for a few days. His retired life, the description
of seclusion to which he had condemned himself, providentially saved him
from the distrust and terrors of the Dictator, and from imprisonment or
death, which were their usual consequences. M. Lopez has never quitted
his country, and previously he had not taken the smallest share in public
affairs. He was unable to make acquaintance with the excellent works
published on numerous branches of public administration and political
economy, or to obtain the least intelligence of the events which had
occurred in Europe and America during the preceding twenty years, for the
Dictator persecuted, with more rigour than the Inquisition itself, men
of learning and their books, and neither one nor the other had been able
to penetrate Paraguay. Nevertheless, the acts and writings of M. Lopez
have shown that he was no stranger to sound doctrines of administration,
and that he had meditated in his retreat on the situation of his country,
its necessities, the evils it suffered, and their causes, as well as on
the remedies which it would be possible to apply to them. Such qualities
would naturally acquire for him an ascendancy and preponderance in
the management of affairs; and, thus acquired, he has exercised them
discreetly and vigorously.

The second consul, Don Mariano Roque Alonzo, was a soldier who reckoned
many years service in barracks and garrisons. He commanded a corps or
battalion of the troops which occupied the capital, when his companions
in arms appointed him Commandant-General in the interval between the
death of the Dictator and the assembly of Congress. During this short
period he maintained public order, and protected the tranquillity of the
citizens with zeal and moderation. Like a man of good sense and honour,
and of docile character, he at once acknowledged the superiority of his
colleague, which of itself is a merit, and always deferred to it, in
which he rendered a great service to his country.

In 1844, Congress again assembled, and elected M. Lopez president, a
renewal of confidence which his excellent conduct in the interval of
years that had elapsed since his first election fully justified; and the
same may, of course, be said of his subsequent re-election.

[112] In 1849, when the army of Paraguay gave signs of life by occupying
a part of the province of Corrientes, to protect the introduction of
a large convoy of military equipments purchased from Brazil by the
president, General Rosas, who had laughed at the army of Paraguay, found
nothing to oppose to it when it appeared but a defensive attitude. At
the present time that army, from its acquirements and discipline, is the
envy of the armies of the different nations of South America. A treaty
of alliance, offensive and defensive, entered into somewhat later with
the Brazils, and ratified by the Emperor, revealed the existence of
Paraguay to the political world, since this treaty had for its basis the
preservation of the nationality of the Oriental State.

The Dictator had a great number of men under arms; but there was no army
or any military organization of any kind, and the soldiery was allowed
to oppress the other classes. On the other hand, it happened with the
military service, as with all other branches of the administration,
that there were no other laws nor rules than the capricious will of
the Dictator: there was no law to fix the term of service; the private
soldiers had already served a long time, and had a right to their
discharge. Detachment and garrison duty, even in the remotest parts of
the frontiers, was performed without any turn of service or regularity.
The troops remained there sometimes as long as fifteen years without
being relieved, and without receiving any other assistance or pay than a
meagre ration of meat. The consular government gradually allowed these
officers and soldiers to retire, and replaced them with 3,000 men,
obtained by recruiting. The officers who had served for long periods had
small pensions awarded them, and the longest term for the most distant
detachments was reduced to three years.

[113] The Dictator died in 1840, at the age of 85, of apoplexy, leaving
the country in the most dangerous crisis in which a nation can find
itself, that of complete ‘acephalousness’ (being without a head).
Exclusively occupied with himself, the Dictator had neither foreseen
nor prepared anything for cases so easy to anticipate as illness or
death. Nevertheless, there were no parties in Paraguay; neither violent
reactions nor disorders have been seen there, which has, with reason,
surprised all the world. Nor did the country return to the subjection of
Buenos Ayres, which, however, is sufficiently explained by the character
of the inhabitants. The moment the Dictator was dead, his ‘actuario,’
(the person through whom all business with Francia was transacted,)
who doubtless desired to follow out his system, and succeed him under
the name and shadow of some military chiefs, suggested to the four
commandants of four of the ‘corps d’armée’ which occupied the capital
the idea of self-electing themselves into authority and forming a
government. The advice pleased these officers; they added an alcalde to
their number, elected the president, and composed a governmental junta,
of which the ‘actuario’ made himself secretary. But neither the junta
nor the secretary knew how to, or were able to, maintain their footing.
The junta itself had been installed but a few days when it decreed
the arrest of its own secretary, who knowing well, doubtless, what he
deserved, hung himself in prison. The other military chiefs soon made
those who formed the junta imperatively feel the necessity of convoking a
congress, and of doing so by an authority not confined to theirs. After
some hesitation, the natural consequence of the acephalous state of the
country, these military chiefs named a ‘Commandant General of Arms,’
without any administrative authority, and with no other attribute than
that of convoking a congress within a given time, and of watching in the
interval over the maintenance of public order. This new personage did not
fail to execute the orders he had received, and convoked a congress in
March, 1841, six months after the death of the Dictator. This congress,
composed of 500 members, elected directly by universal suffrage, hastened
to satisfy the first necessity of Paraguay, that of an authority to take
the cause of the country and its administration in hand; and the void, so
full of danger to the public weal, was filled up. A government, composed
of two consuls, was immediately appointed, and no other obligation was
imposed on it than that of ‘maintaining and defending the independence
and integrity of the Republic,’ and which it was to swear before being
formally inducted into office. Finally, the congress had the wisdom to
consider its task to be thus terminated, and it added nothing to the
duties of the consuls thus elected than a recommendation to encourage
public education, relying for the rest on the conscience and knowledge of
these magistrates.

A consular government, composed of two individuals, with identical
rights and attributes, but who unavoidably differed in character, ideas,
and education, was eminently defective, and carried within itself the
germs of great inconveniences and dangers to the State. But, happily, it
produced none, thanks to the deference and docility of one magistrate,
the prudence and superiority of the other, and the short duration of
their term of office, which was but for three years.

During the Dictatorship education had been altogether abandoned; the
establishments devoted to instruction had been closed, and their
resources diverted to other purposes. Lopez established primary schools,
and laid the foundation for a college; and two Jesuits arriving about
1844, one of them took charge of a school for mathematics; but they left
the country in 1846.

Religion and public worship, which exercise so much influence on the
morality of a people, were suffering much from the want of spiritual
advisers. At the death of the Dictator there were only fifty priests in
Paraguay, all old, and several verging on decrepitude. Many churches
in the country, even in populous parishes, were closed for want of
pastors. The consular government hastened to remedy so great an evil: it
commenced negotiations with the Holy See, and presented two priests for
consecration as bishops; one, as diocesan, and the other as coadjutor.
In the meantime it pressed the head of the bishopric to extend to those
parishes which were destitute of pastors the jurisdiction of the nearest
rectors.

[114] The revenue of Paraguay is derived principally from the duties
levied on goods imported and exported, (the former of which ought to be
considerably modified, and the latter reduced to almost nothing,) stamped
paper, shopkeepers’ licences, the tithe of the produce of the soil, and
the ‘half-annaata’ tax (half the value of the waste lands granted by
government); but we are, as yet, ignorant of the details, no statistical
documents being yet published in the Republic.

There is also, however, another and not inconsiderable branch of revenue,
viz.: the monopoly enjoyed by government of the sale of ‘maté,’ or
Paraguay tea. It purchases this herb as prepared in the forests of the
state, and when well packed and in good condition, at a given price,
and disposes of it to the merchants for exportation, as well as to the
consumers, at the rate of seven rials per arrobe.

What will at a later period constitute incalculable wealth for Paraguay
are its lands and forests: it will derive a very considerable revenue
from them. More than half of the surface of the territory is public
property, comprising immense forests of timber, of the most varied and
valued kinds, within reach of navigable rivers. These lands at present
are of little value; but they will speedily acquire a much greater, for
the president has adopted a very wise system of disposing of them, viz.,
granting them to applicants at a perpetual ground-rent of five per cent.
on the amount at which they are valued by competent persons. This plan
will greatly facilitate their sale.

[115] The consular government opened the world to men who had been
separated from it for thirty years, through the complete isolation in
which Francia kept the country; internal communications and relations,
which were limited to the most indispensable acts of material life, were
relieved from the dangers and obstacles which tended to restrict and
paralyse them. Access to _Stapua_ was permitted to every one who desired
to betake himself to that market, and navigation to all who desired
to export the produce of the country. The idea and the hope of seeing
commerce spring up anew, alone sufficed to reanimate the spirits and
awaken the minds of men long benumbed under an oppressive yoke.

This renewal of hope and labour was, in a great measure, due to the
encouragement given to the consular government. There were families
fallen into a state of poverty bordering on utter destitution; the
government came to their assistance by causing to be distributed amongst
them more than three thousand head of cattle; and in goods, instruments,
and tools, to the value of more than twenty-two thousand dollars. They
were thus set up again, and enabled to resume their labours.

[116] The administration of justice at Paraguay is as simple as it
naturally ought to be with a people whose civil relations are few
in number and little complicated; but the increase of property and
the complication of relations will require tribunals more learnedly
organized. What the consular government did sufficed to create legal
order, and put an end to the reign of force and arbitrary sway, which
the Dictator had substituted for the rule of justice; but in criminal
trials an innovation was introduced, which, although imperfect, will
be perfected in time, when education has made greater advance, and
which will incontestably serve as a basis for the institution of the
jury, the source of so many benefits. It was ordained, that in order to
pronounce criminal sentences, the judge should associate with himself
two individuals, drawn by lot out of a list previously made. The
confiscations under the Dictator, the enormous fines which he imposed,
and which were equivalent to confiscation, had reduced a great number of
families to misery; the consular government restored such property as yet
existed, and adjudged some indemnities for those which had been disposed
of; the rural estates which had been applied to the public service, and
which it would not have been convenient to withdraw, were purchased from
the former and legitimate possessors. This striking act of equity alone
completed a revolution in the social and administrative order of Paraguay.

[117] The government which succeeded Francia’s despotism, and of
which M. Lopez was the head, did not allow the least sign of blame or
disapprobation of the Dictator’s conduct to transpire. It would indeed
have been useless, and have set a bad example, to abuse his memory and
awaken a remembrance of irreparable evils.

From the death of the Dictator to the installation of the consulate, all
persecution, as well as the sanguinary executions and fusillades, so
common during Francia’s tyrannical sway, had ceased. But the political
prisoners, to the number of more than 600, had not been released, with
four or five exceptions, and suffered the same evils in the dungeons and
casemates. When the consuls, however, were elected, they released all
these political prisoners, and sent them to their families. It was a
significant act. It showed to all that the reign of cruelty and terror
had given place in the counsels of the government to principles of
mildness and sound policy. It was natural that the agents and employés of
the Dictator should have inspired resentments and profound hatred by the
pitiless way in which they had executed the orders they had received; and
complaints did begin to be heard against some of the officials for the
abuse they had made of their authority.

[118] From the crowd of rank and fashion, I had a good opportunity of
observing the costumes. The limited intercourse between this part of
South America and other lands has, of late years, degenerated to almost
entire seclusion. It would, therefore, be unreasonable to expect the
inhabitants could procure dresses of equal beauty to those of more
favoured nations. But the country manufactures of which the garments were
principally formed, though comparatively coarse, were very elaborately
worked by hand, and, consequently, infinitely dearer than female attire
of the same quality in Europe. For example, a small coarse towel, or
napkin, embroidered or worked all round by hand, was worth a doubloon, or
ounce of gold, equal, nearly, to four pounds sterling.—_Robertson._

[119] The Pacific Steam Navigation Company under contract with Her
Majesty’s Government for the conveyance of the mails semi-monthly between
Panama and Valparaiso, in connection with the Royal Mail Steam Packet
Company, have now on the West Coast of South America the following
steam-ships, viz:—

    Lima        1,100 tons and 400 horse power
    Bogota      1,100  ”    ”  400     ”
    Santiago    1,000  ”    ”  400     ”
    Bolivia       800  ”    ”  280     ”
    New Granada   600  ”    ”  200     ”
    Valdivia      700  ”    ”  180     ”
    Osprey        300  ”    ”  100     ”

The distance steamed annually is about 200,000 miles, and the number of
intermediate ports touched at on the coasts of New Granada, Equador,
Peru, Bolivia, and Chili, between the termini, is about 13. The company
have also a contract with the Government of Chili for the conveyance of
mails monthly between Valparaiso and Chili, as mentioned in the text.

[120] Though I have quoted in the appendix a good deal of data referring
to the Falklands, I cannot mention those islands in the text of this
volume for the last time without adducing in evidence of their extreme
eligibility, in connection with Australian commerce, the annexed letter
from the very competent authority whose signature it bears. It is
addressed to my fellow-townsman, Mr. Jeffrey, of Compton House, who,
after a very able speech in Liverpool in promotion of the decimal system,
in illustration of which he quoted the principle of circle sailing, put
some questions, at the instance of a friend, to Mr. Towson, in respect
to the Falklands, and received in reply the following remarks, whose
accuracy has been so strikingly corroborated by Captain Matthews, of the
Great Britain, whose letter will be found in another page:—

    Local Marine Board, Liverpool, 31st December, 1853: My dear
    Sir,—The Falkland Islands are the best possible coaling
    stations for steamers homeward bound from Australia. The Marco
    Polo and Eagle sighted them on their celebrated homeward
    passages; consequently they lay in the best track. They are
    also situated about midway. It is true that less than one-third
    of the coals is required between Australia and the Falkland
    Islands, which will be consumed during the homeward voyage.
    But, under all circumstances, it is desirable to coal here,
    as it will enable the ship to start from Australia in good
    sailing trim, instead of being overburdened with coals on that
    part of the voyage in which steam is of but little value. A
    half-cargo of coals at Australia, and a full cargo of coals at
    the Falkland Islands, is what I have recommended for steamers,
    in cases in which I have been consulted. Although I think it
    possible that steamers will at length make the voyage without
    coaling at any intermediate station; I still think that it is
    less likely that this will be adopted on the homeward passage
    than on the outward, because, on the first half of the voyage
    out, coals will be required most, but homeward on the second
    half, so that, as a coaling station, the Falkland Islands
    stand preëminent. Also for steamers bound to the West coast of
    America, North and South, the Falkland Islands will be the best
    coaling station both out and home.—I am, my dear Sir, yours
    truly,—JOHN THOMAS TOWSON.—_To James R. Jeffery, Esq._

[121] In proof of this we may here cite the letter of Captain Matthews,
of the Great Britain, as already alluded to:—

    Liverpool, 1st April, 1854.

    Gentlemen,—I have much pleasure in complying with your
    request that I should lay before you a brief statement of the
    advantages afforded by the Falkland Islands as a place of call
    for ocean steamers. Captain Grant, of the Sea Bird, in the very
    interesting letter which he wrote to you from Stanley relative
    to the deposit of coal for the Great Britain, has already made
    you aware of the excellence of that harbour, and of its easy
    access. I am able, from my own experience, to confirm, in every
    particular, Capt. Grant’s remarks.

    The government charts are exceedingly correct; the land as
    you approach it is made out without any difficulty, and we
    saw Pembroke Point and its beacon (now to be superseded by a
    lighthouse) at the distance of seven miles. The harbour itself
    is like a large dock, secure from all winds, and with an
    entrance sufficiently wide for a good smart sailing vessel to
    beat through with ease. All the dangerous points are distinctly
    marked by the kelp or sea-weed. The anchorage is excellent,
    varying from four to five fathoms at low water, so that the
    Great Britain is everywhere in perfect safety; and even were
    she to touch the ground, she would not receive any injury, as
    the bottom is all soft mud.

    The facility for watering ships is good: a reservoir, holding
    about 200 tons of water, communicates by means of pipes with
    the end of a jetty, where, even when the tide is out, there
    is always about three feet of water, which is sufficient for
    a flat boat to float off ten tons at a time. The casks in
    the boat are filled by fastening a short hose to the pipes,
    and thus one ship can be watered as rapidly as if she were
    in Liverpool. The Governor, of whose courteous and obliging
    conduct I cannot speak too highly, promised that, should
    Stanley become a port of call for steamers, a floating tank
    shall be built, so that water could be alongside the ship
    immediately on her arrival, and pumped into the tanks or casks,
    as the case may be.

    There are considerable herds of cattle on the islands, and when
    put up to feed (as was the case with the Great Britain) their
    beef is very good; vegetables of the more ordinary kind, such
    as potatoes, cabbages, and turnips, can be had when in season.
    Ship chandlery and grocery stores can also be purchased to a
    limited extent. Labour is scarce, as the population of Stanley
    (the only settlement) is only about 400. But every year as the
    islands become better known this want will no doubt be less
    felt.

    I should add that the hulk for coaling the Great Britain was
    placed in the most convenient situation. I experienced not
    the slightest difficulty in this or any other matter during
    this detention of four days in these islands, owing chiefly to
    the good management of Mr. Dale, the agent for the Falkland
    Islands’ Company, who was immediately in attendance on arrival
    of the ship, and continued until the hulk with coals was
    alongside. The zealous attention and kindness of this gentleman
    to my passengers and myself whenever his services were required
    will always be remembered by us.

    I remain, gentlemen,

    Your obedient servant,

    (Signed) BARNARD R. MATTHEWS.

    Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co.


[122] Speaking of this functionary, I am reminded that I have left the
diplomatic and consular corps of some few of the states of South America
unenumerated. The following brief particulars, however, will be found to
embrace all that is necessary to be known on such head, in respect to the
states in any way coming within the scope of the foregoing pages:—

Venezuela has at present no diplomatic representative in this country.
The consuls are Mr. J. Milligan, London; Mr. A. Fox, Falmouth; Mr. W.
Watson, Liverpool; and Mr. J. Ferguson, Belfast. The British consuls are
the Hon. R. Bingham, who was attached to the mission at Naples in 1818,
to the embassy at Paris in 1823, to the mission at Madrid in 1825, to
the embassy at Lisbon in 1828, appointed paid attaché at Madrid in 1829,
secretary of legation at Munich in 1831, at Turin in 1839, and chargé
d’affaires and consul-general in Venezuela in 1852, salary 1200_l._;
Mr. J. Riddel, La Guyra, 200_l._; Mr. J. McWhirter, acting consul in
Venezuela from 1835 to 1837, and from 1839 to 1843, appointed vice-consul
at Puerto Cabello in 1843, 200_l._; Mr. E. T. Harrison, Maracaibo,
200_l._; and Mr. K. Mathison, unpaid consul at Angostura from 1841 to
1845, appointed vice-consul at Bolivar in 1847, salary 200_l._

Bolivia is diplomatically represented in England by General Andrea Santa
Cruz, minister plenipotentiary. The Bolivian consuls are Baron Scholey,
consul-general, whose office is 1, London-street, Fenchurch-street,
London; Mr. H. Morris, Dover; Mr. T. W. Fox, Plymouth; and Mr. R. Dunkin,
Llanelly and Swansea. The British chargé d’affaires and consul-general
in Bolivia is Mr. J. A. Lloyd, formerly aide-de-camp to a West India
governor, who permitted him to proceed to Columbia, where he was officer
of engineers to General Bolivar, in 1827 was sent to the isthmus of
Darien, and laid down the line of railway, was afterwards scientifically
employed by the Admiralty and the Royal Society, in 1831 was appointed
surveyor-general and civil engineer in chief at Mauritius, in 1850 a
special commissioner for the Exhibition of 1851, and at the close of the
latter year to his present post at Sucre, where his salary is 1200_l._

The consuls of Equador in this country are Mr. W. P. Robertson,
consul-general, 5, Barge-yard, Bucklersbury, London; Mr. E. Mocatta,
Liverpool; Mr. G. Dunlop, Southampton; and Mr. M. R. Ryan, Limerick. The
British consul at Guayaquil is Mr. W. Cope, whose salary is 1000_l._

[123] A writer in the city article of the _Times_ of February 17th,
dating from the Plate, shortly after the occurrence, says:—

    The Lusitania, belonging to the Liverpool Screw Steam Company,
    made the passage from England in 35 days. The Argentine
    paddle-wheel steamboat, belonging to the same company, when
    leaving the harbour about a fortnight since for Buenos Ayres,
    struck upon a reef of rocks running from the Cerro. All efforts
    to get her off proving ineffectual, she was abandoned, and
    sold on account of the underwriters for 4,600 duros, but is
    likely to prove a dead loss to the purchasers, as the engines
    cannot be abstracted. The loss of this vessel is not only a
    serious one to the company, but to the public in this part of
    the world. By her punctuality and speed she had just succeeded
    in driving away all competitors, and would have paid very
    handsomely. When replacing her, it is believed, the company
    would do well to send a larger vessel, but of no deeper draught
    of water.





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