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

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.

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

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: 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._]

‘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

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

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

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

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

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,

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.


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.


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

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.