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Full text of "Recollections of my life"

RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE 



BY 



MAXIMILIAN I, 

EMPEROR OF MEXICO. 
NEW EDITION, WITH A PREFACE. 

IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. III. 




LONDON: 
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

w in (Drbimtru to J.JM 
1808. 




F 



CONTENTS 

OF 

THE THIRD VOLUME. 

PACK 

ACROSS THE LINE continued ... 1 

BAHIA 97 

MATO VIRGEM . 295 



ACROSS THE LINE 



CONTINUED. 



VOL. III. 



ACEOSS THE LINE. 



H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' December 15. 

AT six o'clock we were under weigh, and had left Madeira 
behind us, veiled in rain. The sea was quiet throughout 
the day, the broad ocean was spread around us in a hue 
of leaden grey, light clouds covered the sun and sky. A 
fresh south-east wind filled the sails, and assisted the steam 
in carrying the old ship along. With the exception of a 
two-masted vessel, which was on the opposite tack, we be- 
held no sign of life on the whole wide plain. To-day, for 
the first time, I enter in mare incognitum; may Neptune 
be favourable to us, and may we speedily reach the long- 
desired tropics ! 

H.M.S. Elizabeth,' December 16. 

To-day again the sea rolled in large billows, which 
swelled around the s Elizabeth ; ' the clouds formed them- 
selves into grey masses, and it was only beneath a dusky 
veil that, about eight o'clock, we could distinguish the 
lofty island of Palma, the most westerly of the seven 
Canary Isles, lying close to us. By the aid of our steam 
we hoped that a few days might take us through the east 
passage from this to S. Vincent, but all in vain, quite the 
contrary occurred ; a strong southerly wind, with a heavy 
sea, continued to freshen from hour to hour, and the num- 
ber of knots made by our rolling and pitching ship dimi- 
nished in proportion ; so that we were obliged to relinquish 
the hope of reaching S. Vincent with our present supply 
of coal. 

B 2 



4 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

In the worst of tempers, and with that feeling of gloom 
which involuntarily creeps over the sailor from hope de- 
ceived, we altered our course and steamed back to the 
Canary Islands. The south wind also brought us an 
abundance of rain, throwing the sea-sick people into a 
most pitiable condition. They alone received the intelli- 
gence of the ominous return movement with true enthu- 
siastic delight ; whilst the belief in the bird of ill omen 
took deeper and deeper root among the seaman portion of 
our party. According to mediaeval custom, a council, for 
the discovery of the real bird by ordeal of either fire or 
candle, was held by us at breakfast time. A burning 
candle is taken into the closing mouth : whoever can do 
this courageously is a child of good fortune ; but he whose 
nature is averse to this operation is one of those who are 
persecuted by the storms of fate. The trial ended without 
a decision ; but for all that, each one heard, in his inner- 
most heart, a whisper which betrayed him as the un- 
fortunate man. 

Towards evening we ran past the northern heights of 
Palma. We could distinguish only the shadowy outline of 
this lofty island, and some fires on the mountains. The 
sky was dark; heavy clouds made the air oppressive, a 
more than summer sultriness lay on the foaming sea, 
lightning played around the clouds breaking through 
them with its bright rays, and illuming the raging ocean 
in a weird manner ; squalls came down wailing and snort- 
ing from the lofty Pico de los Muchachos. The poor 
' Elizabeth ' laboured heavily, sighing and groaning amid 
the worse than unkind elements. As we entered the pas- 
sage between Palma and Teneriffe, open to the south 
wind, the storm roared in the pitch-dark night, and shook 
and rattled the masts and cordage with dismal pertinacity, 
so that even in the cabins on the lower deck one could 
hear its howling and whistling. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 5 

The uproar summoned me again on deck during the 
night. The ship rolled so heavily that it was almost im- 
possible to keep one's feet. The strong light on the foam, 
and the continuing heat, were very remarkable. 

Puerto de Orotava: December 17. 

This morning found us off the lofty, far-extending 
ridges of Teneriffe. Although the day was cloudy, the 
panorama that presented itself was very interesting, and 
new in its features. Picturesquely did the long serrated 
ridge of the volcanic mountain display itself, with its sharp 
angular summit, its pointed Needles which, springing as it- 
were from an extraneous nature, gazed up towards heaven 
from among the dark clouds, sometimes like the menacing 
finger of a giant, sometimes like the tower of a lofty ruin. 
Various deep rifts of volcanic origin extend down the 
heights, casting their deep shadows over the picture, even 
to the boiling sea. Between these, and flowing gently 
down from the black peaks of rock to the ocean, are the 
layers of cold lava. Thousands of years ago they caused 
death ; now victorious nature (as on the ridges of 
Vesuvius) pursues her upward course over the vanquished 
lava. 

That the volcano has long been silent one may see by 
the fresh turf which creeps over the red earth almost to 
the top of the highest summit ; by the pine woods, which 
force a way for themselves among the picturesque masses 
of rock ; and finally by the numerous houses and hamlets 
which, scattered among fields of well-ordered husbandry, 
enliven the sombre scene in a cheerful manner far up the 
height. The whole resembles the northern coast of 
Madeira : one finds the same red-coloured soil, the same 
turf growing on the mountains, the same dusky colouring 
in the masses of rock ; only, in addition to these, 
Madeira is deliciously fragrant is enamelled, as it were, 



6 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

by the fresh green of the sugar-cane and of the banana. 
It is the land of vines and of flowers, the rocks are merely 
the pedestal or picturesque bordering of the enchant- 
ing world of plants. Teneriffe, on the contrary, is large, 
grand, staring, and chilling with fog. Here the elements 
contended during a longer period; the triumph of peaceful 
nature came later, and the black jagged rocks still form 
the focus of the scene. Living nature is secondary ; she 
is insipid ; her poetic fragrance is wanting ; and if Madeira 
be the botanic garden of heaven, one may term Teneriffe 
its mineralogical cabinet. He who possesses a real taste 
for the third kingdom might delight in this country : my 
taste is for fruit and flowers. 

We endeavoured to sail round the eastern point, with 
its Needles standing out from the sea like those of the Isle 
of Wight ; but the south wind blew too strongly. We saw 
a French steamer, and a brig with double-reefed topsails 
flying before it. Under these circumstances, Santa Cruz 
could not be reached on account of its open roadstead. 
Repeated disappointments ! Fate must be grasped with a 
powerful hand. In short, I resolved to steer to Puerto de 
Orotava, and to get my little party and myself on shore 
there, coute qui coute. The ladies and the new hands of 
our party must either be conducted to Santa Cruz with 
the calm weather under the guidance of the commander, 
or must begin the voyage back to delightful Funchal. 
Yet once more did the grand coastline unfold itself before 
us on our way back beneath the rays of the sun now burst- 
ing through the clouds, whose thick heavy masses were 
lifting, so that the greater portion of the snow-capped 
giant Peak, the father of the seven islands, appeared in 
view ; but under the prosaic form of a gigantic sugar-loaf 
covered with coal-dust a cold vision of the North, which 
gave one a freezing reminiscence of December, without 



ACROSS THE LINE. 7 

being able to boast the grandeur of our snowy mountains, 
as the peak lacks the glaciers. 

In front of the little town of Puerto de Orotava, con- 
taining 3,000 inhabitants, lay the harbour. This town 
extends from the scorched basalt rocks of the coast 
around it, on which its lower buildings rest, up the gentle 
acclivity of the peopled mountain-slope. High above it 
on the mountain stands Villa de Orotava, a pretty town 
numbering 4,000 inhabitants ; around and between both 
towns lie useful but uninteresting fields which are wanting 
in the fantastic impress of the South, and in the enlivening 
adornment of trees. Some few boulders of rock, with cacti 
and euphorbias, have forced their way into the cultivated 
ground, and break the monotony in a pleasing manner. 
Some palms, and the peculiar, irregular style of build- 
ing of the houses, together with their trellised bal- 
conies and carving, and the perishable nature of the 
material, gave to Puerto de Orotava, at first sight, the look 
of an oriental seaport town One was conscious of the 
proximity of Africa. A mouldering battery in the midst 
of the foaming sea, mounted by a cannon and a half that 
looked weary of life, together with strange groups of 
wild street boys, who romped around the rocks on the 
shore, screaming and making a great noise, completed the 
Mahomedan-like picture. 

We hastily collected our little baggage, arranged our 
passports and bill of health, and got into the tossing boat, 
in which, now mounted on the crests of the waves, now 
sunk in their depths, we with toil and difficulty made our 
way to the small town. The farewell to the f Elizabeth ' 
was painful to me, since it was impossible to calculate for 
how long a time the parting might continue. The ocean 
is not a lake on which o$e can almost reckon upon the 
very hour for meeting again : it is ruled by other powers, 
to which man must submit, however unwillingly; and 



8 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

measured by a different standard, to which one only be- 
comes accustomed slowly and with difficulty. The islands 
on the ocean are, for the most part, without harbours or 
safe means of communication, and therefore appear like 
isolated sentinels. High mountain billows and deep 
valleys of water in countless throng must separate me for 
an indefinite time from those who are dearest to me upon 
earth. How, then, should my heart, once so cheerful, be 
otherwise than heavy and filled with anxiety, whilst even 
the warm tears could almost rise from it to my eyes ? 

On our way we were stopped by a boat in which the eye 
of the law was keeping watch, and we were obliged to show 
our bill of health. We could with difficulty repress our 
smiles when the foreign man of office declared, with an 
important air, that he saw plainly that our certificate 
(which was written in Italian) was German ; we probably 
had this mistake to thank for our being enabled to reach 
the shore of the Canary Isles unmolested either by law or 
caprice. In the meantime the island official went on to 
the < Elizabeth.' 

Through black rifted rocks, which stood forth above the 
troubled waves like hollow teeth, our boat landed us on 
the sand at the foot of an old decayed battery, in the midst 
of the screaming and chattering people, who stared at us 
with amazement as the Mexicans once did at Cortez. 
Inquisitive senoritas appeared on the balconies, and some 
of the astonished islanders had even mounted on the roofs. 
Figures of hideous beggars pressed around us, and an 
especial abundance of withered old women thrust them- 
selves forward, who wore a handkerchief like a mantle 
upon their heads; and, placed over that, an old grey 
straw hat. We were conducted across the customary 
Almeida (which here is covered with black lava sand, and 
is surrounded by dismal, broom-like plane-trees, together 
with grand canopies of basalt, naturally suggesting the 



ACROSS THE LINE. 9 

name s Placa de la Constitucion ') to the fonda, which again 
reminded one of the East and of its caravansaries. It was 
a rickety dirty building, with a few cold rooms, and some 
sulky idle servants. 

This was no Spanish fonda, with its airy courtyard, with 
its fountain, its little balcony, and cheerful apartments. 
Yet all this might have been overcome, but not the repulsive 
face of the mother of the family mother is truly an im- 
proper expression, for nothing human ever could have 
been nourished by her withered breast : we might more 
appropriately term her the house-dragon. A small, 
parched-up, high-shouldered body supported a head, with 
a peaked nose which would have done honour to the beak 
of a bittern, and from this nose depended worn-out looking 
spectacles, whose frame, bound round by a string, a large 
white handkerchief held upon her head, which was thinly 
covered with hair. But the perfection of this vision of 
dark dreams, this bundle of horrors, lay in the squinting 
looks cast over the spectacles, which contributed de- 
cidedly to her advantage in housekeeping: for whoso- 
ever looked at these differing eyes, his appetite sank to 
nothing ; he paid forthwith, and fled the table. In this 
personage, fate showed herself provokingly insulting ; for 
she was the owner of the solitary fonda, and no stranger 
could escape from her dominions. The painter had the 
misfortune to meet her at night in the dark passage ; he 
believed himself not yet freed from the burden of an evil 
dream, and mistook the approaching form for a snorting 
steamer; for one eye was of poisonous green, the other 
glowed fiery red like the lanterns on the paddleboxes of a 
steamer. The whole host of old women around her de- 
clared war against our unfortunate cook. 

The only bright thing in the house was the most charm- 
ing, silky Lima poodle, with its fine snow-white curly 
hair, its coal-back eyes, and its nose, which in grace and 



10 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

dignity resembled that of a bewitched princess. In a so- 
called casino, which belonged to the building, and whose 
halls formed the place of union of the grandees of Orotava, 
we found some Spanish newspapers of a tolerably late date ; 
they, however, fortunately brought us very little worthy 
of note. 

After we had, at breakfast, tasted the noted < Canarie 
sec,' which we found rather inferior and physic-like in its 
taste, like the Greek wines, we undertook a pilgrimage, 
surrounded by a troop of inquisitive street boys, who came 
round us in swarms, and were a great annoyance to us. 
We first went through the town, which, like Pompeii or 
Herrnhut bears a stamp of melancholy : one meets not a 
single soul ; the grass grows in the streets and squares as in 
the meadows ; and, which is the most remarkable thing of 
all (especially in this climate), all the windows are her- 
metically sealed ; while, to complete the mournful aspect, 
they are furnished with strangely carved but rather pretty 
wooden slides, instead of panes of glass, which are only 
opened sideways in haste and mysteriously, and then 
quickly shut again. In the superior houses one for the 
most part finds glass in the windows : but the doors, which 
are carved in the same way as the slides, are no less firmly 
closed. The rooms seem to be lighted only from the 
courtyard. 

Throughout the whole island one finds this Oriental mode 
of shutting up everything : it is only on Sundays and on 
feast-days that the wainscot slides are opened, and that the 
senoritas permit themselves to be admired as in a box at 
the theatre. Almost every house that is one storey high 
boasts a prettily-carved closely-trellised balcony, similar 
to those which I admired in the streets of Cairo. The 
larger houses have the front very smooth, generally tinted 
yellow, and resembling those in Southern Italy, with the 
flat Neapolitan roof; many, as if to compensate for the 



ACEOSS THE LINE. 11 

want of windows, have, on the garden side, large long 
verandahed galleries ; of what use these can be is incom- 
prehensible to me, unless to be turned into baking ovens. 

Another sombre peculiarity of Teneriffe is the number 
of crosses on the fronts of the houses, and the number of 
small crosses on the entrance and garden doors. In this, 
the houses remind one of hospitals, the gardens of church- 
yards. The crosses are without the figure of our Saviour : 
the custom must have originated in ancient times. Also 
many spots are named Santa Cruz. We now mounted 
the hill towards Villa de Orotava ; the road, paved with 
round basalt stones, wound up to the Upper Town between 
monotonous fields of potatoes and cochineal fields, and 
was bordered with byony and weeds, which flourished as in 
summer. A strong hot wind whistled and raised the 
dust with the force of a Bora changed into a warm wind : 
the ocean was covered with white foam, and dashed its 
spray around us as beneath the loved winds of Trieste. 

In the distance we still saw the ' Elizabeth,' on her 
course back to Madeira. The diminishing forms on board 
filled me with melancholy and confirmed my heart's gloom, 
which, in the hot oppressive wind, increased to a complete 
fit of spleen. Everything wore a dismal hue ; nature was 
veiled in her grey garb, as though she were sympathising 
with the grief of my soul. We felt ourselves forsaken, 
forgotten, without means of communication, in the midst 
of the broad ocean, on an island which seemed to have but 
little to offer. 

We halted halfway at a once noted botanic garden, now 
neglected and quickly falling more and more into ruin a 
possession of the Government, established with a benevolent 
and scientific intent. It covers a large space, and still pre- 
sents beautiful objects and very interesting specimens of 
plants, relics of former times ; but everything in it is now 
in wild disorder, in confused disarrangement : rank weeds 



12 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

from all known countries are growing in a chaos ; the grass 
forces itself through the sandy paths ; gnarled roots break 
the stone steps; damp weed presses itself out of the moulder- 
ing walls ; and only some few venerable trees remain 
mournful evidences of past greatness ; while even in their 
summits the storms have ruthlessly made themselves a 
home. Cypresses, weary of life, extend their meagre arms 
disconsolately towards heaven ; the fantastic dragon-tree 
gazes down sorrowfully on all the waste growth which 
twines around its roots ; the oranges mournfully drop their 
fruit ; and even the stately palms from divers zones, the 
graceful Fie us elastica, the beautiful blossoming Panda nus 
sylvestris, must be content to stand in the midst of 
useful potatoes. The superb fountains are sealed ; and 
over the waters of the ponds, which were formerly alive 
with gay gold fish, heavy green coverings of weeds now 
spread themselves. 

The old deserted garden, especially under the sad gloomy 
sky of this day, resembled a churchyard ; the gardener, an 
aged Frenchman, who has already spun out thirty years of 
weary life in Orotava, glided among the lifeless paths and 
fields like the gravedigger, and pointed out to us some 
plants of former times, as one points out the tombs of 
remarkable personages. He complained bitterly of the 
rough wind which only, under peculiar circumstances, blows 
down from the Peak over the mountain-slopes of*0rotava. 
The worthy man was delighted to be able to hear French 
spoken once more, and paid me the compliment of taking 
me for a Frenchman ; it is true that he had been far from 
his country for full thirty years. He reconciled me in 
some degree to the gloomy day and to the melancholy 
churchyard of flowers ; for he brought me splendid blossoms 
of Plumiera, that fabulously lovely flower, which gleams 
like the morning dawn, and whose perfume breathed upon 
us like a dream from the shores of the Ganges. Last 



ACROSS THE LINE. 13 

autumn, my last sight of it, I one of .a happy merry com- 
pany had carried off some from a cool rippling brook in 
the beautiful, Paradise-like garden of the Princess But era 
in Palermo. With the fragrant scent, the full tide of 
remembrance of that time of peaceful happiness, of un- 
fettered gaiety, returned upon me. 

The old Frenchman lived alone in the deserted garden : 
his wife, whom he had brought from France, had long been 
dead ; and when, in order myself to shed a gleam of 
cheering consolation over the dull mournful picture, I 
asked him whether he had not some children with him, he 
answered me, smiling sadly, ' Oh, non ; mes enfants sont 
des cavaliers.' There lay something of bitterness and yet 
of pride in these words. 

With hasty steps we now ascended the second, and 
rather fatiguing, half of the road. A beautiful group of 
old broad-stemmed palms, which bent in the wind, excited 
our attention. Villa de Orotava is a cheerful little town, 
with clean white houses, whose windows and doors are 
bordered with basalt; with proud palaces of bygone 
centuries, having beautifully carved stonework, ancient 
sculptured coats of arms, and similar devices ; and with 
the Oriental trellised balconies already mentioned. 

Orotava is the seat of the old nobility, some of whom 
date back to the time of the Conquest. The more antique 
buildings belong to the exquisite, pure Renaissance style, 
which the grave-coloured basalt suits admirably. Here 
also the houses were almost universally closed, in the 
Herrnhut fashion ; and the streets, in which the grass was 
growing, were lifeless and empty. The Church of the 
Dominicans is a severe, interesting edifice, replete with 
dark memories. The large spacious Cathedral also 
belongs to the Renaissance period ; the pillars of basalt and 
the ribbed arches give it a rather imposing appearance ; 
high altars, with richly gilded carving, bore evidence 



14 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

that the powerful Spanish Church knew how to provide 
for her colonists. The facade displays the heavy style of 
the Rococo period. 

We first rode to the garden of the Marquis Bernado 
Cologal y Tanzal (sprung from an ancient Irish stock), 
who possesses the great wonder of the island already de- 
scribed by Humboldt. We were conducted through a court, 
with a very striking and beautiful avenue of oranges, 
into the garden, enriched with flowers, which stands on a 
terrace on the oblique declivity, with an extensive view 
over land and ocean ; on the left of the large house, en- 
circled with cypresses and bright green shrubs, stands the 
marvel of many thousand years, the most ancient monu- 
ment known of the botanic world, the venerable dragon- 
tree, which the Gruanches, in the grandeur of their day, 
honoured as sacred, and in whose hollow the first Christian 
conquerors must have celebrated Mass. Humboldt, who 
measured the tree in the year 1799, attributed to it an age 
of about four thousand years ; others even speak of the 
fabulous tale of six thousand years. In what manner its 
age is calculated is not known to me ; but it is historically 
certain that in the fifteenth century it had the same 
dimensions as in Humboldt's time. Unfortunately, a 
violent storm on the 21st of July in the year 1819 
broke off half the head ; the opposite side is supported by 
props. 

The appearance of the much-lauded tree is irregular, and 
offends the eye, the circumference of the gnarled snake- 
skinned stem in its lower portion almost equals the extreme 
altitude of the tree itself: from the base upwards the 
trunk diminishes like an irregular ninepin, and terminates 
in a crest which appears merely like some few small plants 
tied together. The various portions of this crest boughs 
one cannot call them look like large untied Bologna 
sausages, at whose extremity are clustered meagre tufts of 



ACROSS THE LINE. 15 

leaves. These leafy posies one must suppose to be para- 
sites upon a dead tree ; for, according to the laws of nature, 
one can hardly convince oneself that they flourish upon 
this stem and obtain life from its antediluvian growth. 

As in the animal kingdom the camel is found in devia- 
tion from nature's laws of beauty, so is it in the botanic 
kingdom with the dragon-tree. One can class it with 
nothing seen before, and its appearance has only a disturb- 
ing effect ; if the dragon-tree were to commit the crime of 
uniting with its fellows in a forest, only the hippopotamus, 
Hungarian swine, and the corpulent old negro could 
shamble beneath its shades ; one dreams of such trees when 
in hot weather one has been partaking in the evening of 
too much meat and beer. That the Guanches should have 
worshipped such an object does not say much for them ; 
among the naked, brown, ill-odoured South Sea Islanders 
such a tree might perhaps have served as a deity in whose 
honour even fatted human flesh might be eaten. The large 
decayed hollow in the trunk is now filled with stones and 
brickwork, which the beautiful creepers in vain try to cover. 
The unwieldy hoary monster cannot stand much longer ; 
one violent storm, and the patriarch of the botanic world, 
who is the prophet of his own end, will be self-swallowed.* 
The height of the tree amounts to sixty feet (Vienna) ; the 
circumference at the base we measured at forty-eight feet ; 
Humboldt must have measured it somewhat higher up, for 
he gives forty-five feet. 

We peeled off some bark, and found beneath it a white 
mark, to which the red blood was sticking. This blood-red 
thick sap also oozes from many rents in the tree ; and 
becomes, in the air, firm as old rosin. In former days the 
dragon's-blood, for medicinal purposes, was taken -from 
the DracaBna draco ; at the present time it is the Calamus 

* The Emperor's prediction was verified ; the remaining portion of this 
tree fell in the heavy storm of the autumn of 1867. 



16 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

draco which is used. In ancient times this rosin was an 
important article of export from the island. 

To my eye, a much more beautiful, and indeed more 
interesting, object in the same garden was a gigantic date- 
palm, perhaps the highest in the world : the stem bowed 
gracefully, bending to the wind, whilst the large bright sum- 
mit, rearing high in the air, pointed clearly and distinctly 
towards the golden evening sky. This palm standing 
alone in the foreground of the extensive panorama, with 
the cloud-covered peak, with the broad green and cultivated 
mountain declivity, with the houses and villages strewn 
hither and thither, and finally, with the wide blue ocean 
tinted by parting day all these formed an embodiment of 
poesy, whilst the vast dragon-tree belonged to the most 
commonplace prose. The inhabitants of Orotava, ac- 
customed to large calculations, munificently bestowed on 
the palm-tree two thousand years of life : in any case, 
it is the highest that I ever beheld ; in Egypt, the land of 
palms, there are none that can compare with it. 

Great was our surprise to find in the garden a Swiss, with 
the peculiar name of Wildbrett : he was pleased to see 
German fellow-countrymen ; and, in his unconcealed joy, 
he loaded us with a multitude of civilities ; for he not only 
gave us the most ready information about everything, but 
also presented us with some seeds of exotic plants. The 
good man, with true German tenderness of heart, had, on 
his arrival in the island, fallen in love with a lovely damsel 
of the country : but had been near not being able to marry 
her, as no clergyman could be found who would venture 
to bring the dignity of religion into jeopardy by publish- 
ing the name of Wildbrett. 

In a bower in the garden we saw a beautiful creeper, 
Legendera molissima, whose spiral stem has the colour, 
shape, and strength of a ship's cable : it had completely 
taken up within it the supports of a balustrade around 



ACEOSS THE LINE. 17 

which it was twining ; the rich leaves, which afford a plea- 
sant shade, are always green ; the blossom is like that of 
our convolvulus ; the plant bears seed only on the southern 
half of the island, in the more genial climate of Santa 
Cruz. 

With approaching night we went back, rather tired 
and hungry, by way of the unused road, to our fonda in 
Puerto de Orotava. Hunger was necessary to give a 
seasoning to our meal, which was in no way attractive. 
Laughing and joking, we smoked our cigars in the grand 
casino, and were speedily surrounded by the inquisitive 
nobles of Orotava and by the flower of its youth. At their 
head was seated the puffing officer of health, who boasted 
of his acquaintance with us ; he turned up his nose more 
than ever, and did the honours of the splendid place to us 
with all the delight of a roue. No one knew who we 
were; for which reason our position, especially amid the 
numerous questions of the young people, presented many 
comical aspects. But these people were in truth very kindly 
disposed ; we mangled Italian words by adding Spanish 
terminations, and the bloom of Orotava tried their skill 
by interlarding French in their sentences. Guitars were 
brought, and our genial painter sang to the astonished in- 
habitants of the Canary Isles the wildest and liveliest of 
ballads in the gayest of moods ; the Spaniards responded 
with charming national songs ; indeed, even the officer of 
health, who was every moment becoming more youthful, 
blinked his little eyes merrily, and, in a very nasal tone, 
sang some broad strophes which were received by the is- 
landers with shouts of laughter. Thus the evening passed 
in gay jokes, and it was only at a late hour that we sought 
our uncomfortable couches. 

December 18. 

The strong excitement of yesterday had thrown us 
all into a sound sleep, which was the more fortunate on 

VOL. III. C 



18 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

account of the peculiarities of the fonda. About eight 
o'clock we heard Mass in the Cathedral, a large edifice in 
an open square, which is built of the dark basalt stone, in 
the Eenaissance style. As in Spain, the people sat and 
knelt on the ground in earnest devotion. 

Throughout the island the women wear very ugly man- 
tillas of white cachmire, with white satin ribbons, which 
give them the appearance of nuns, and contrast very un- 
favourably with their dusky complexions. The peasants 
wear the Spanish gaiters, short black breeches slashed 
high up at the side, an ordinary shirt, and round their 
shoulders a long, wide, white flannel cloak, with a canary- 
coloured falling cape, also a black hat, like that of our 
Austrian peasants. After the rather long Mass we took a 
walk (which was almost dangerous) over the precipitously 
shelving lava rocks of the coast, the romantic and strangely 
shaped masses of which, of a black or dark-red colour, 
sometimes overhung us like a canopy, sometimes formed 
ravines and caves, and sometimes rose in bold peaks, 
which were picturesquely reflected in the deep billowy 
sea. Both the specimens of Euphorbia canariensis grew 
wild among the rifts and clefts of the volcanic rock. One 
of these is so full of poisonous milk that the burning white 
fluid streams forth upon the slightest incision. The plant 
looks like the cactus, and reminds one of a colossal chan- 
delier bearing gigantic candles. The stiff, grey, faded, 
crystallised plant, in its cheerless form and colour, accords 
admirably with this scene of volcanic ruin. The other 
species is shrublike, with perfectly shaped leaves, but it is 
also of scanty foliage, similar to that of its sister in 
colour. 

We made this our chamois-like promenade among the 
rocks with the intention of seeking for the caves in which, 
according to the statement of the Spaniards, the Guanches 
must have dwelt. We found volcanic caverns, which we 



ACKOSS THE LINE. 19 

searched thoroughly with a dark lantern ; but I can hardly 
believe that the aborigines could have used them as dwell- 
ings ; now they evidently serve as places of retreat for the 
peaceful race of goats. 

With a tolerably well-filled botanical box, we returned 
to the fonda, and were greeted cordially by a lawyer, who 
had already yesterday evening imparted to us some very 
interesting particulars respecting the island : and who now, 
with unusual willingness, gave us two letters of recom- 
mendation to owners of scientific collections. He break- 
fasted with us, and was lively and easy in manner, with 
that becoming grace which is peculiar to the bearing of 
Spaniards towards strangers; to my gastronomic horror, 
he exceedingly enjoyed, as an addition to his fowl and rice, 
eggs beaten up with milk and sugar. Incited by his in- 
formation, we resolved to depart from Puerto de Orotava 
with bag and baggage, and to go to Villa de Orotava, and 
try our fortune there. Hack-horses and pack-asses were 
procured, which occupied an eternal Spanish time. 

Whilst we were occupied in the balcony and in the dirty 
courtyard in arranging our boxes and bags, and whilst 
they were being packed with difficulty upon the few ani- 
mals that had arrived, amid cries and brawls of the drivers, 
honour came unexpectedly to our house : the wide door of 
the fonda creaked, the bells pealed, the drivers of the 
beasts of burden became respectfully mute, Orotava's 
nobility saluted from the balcony ; for behold the ruler of 
their destiny approaching, the glorious source of power, 
the Governor of Puerto de Orotava, in the plenitude of his 
dazzling splendour, was coming, with unusual condescen- 
sion, to return T 's visit of yesterday ! 

He was the most extraordinary specimen of the colonial 
race to be found over all the wide ocean : evidently born 
in the Canary Isles, nurtured and brought up to man's 
estate upon the ideas of the Canary Isles ; but yet the 

c 2 



20 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

epithet f extraordinary ' is incorrectly chosen : for though 
the Governor might, perhaps, have possessed the greatest 
amount of intellect, he was, at all events, . the smallest 
man in the seven islands : his hump alone was disgustingly 
large, and beneath it, his Highness bowed low, as if per- 
petually returning salutes. At home, one only sees such 
figures during the exceptional days of jesting ; for instance, 
during the last days of the carnival, when the jokes of the 
mummers are at their zenith, and a company of strolling 
players act a comedy by Kotzebue in some small town, and 
the best paid actor, the grandfather of the company, in his 
faded uniform (which formerly served for Ferdinand in 
6 Cabale und Liebe '), plays the part of the commandant 
of a town, moving superior to the rest of the players. 
Orotava's highest state functionary wore a dark blue over- 
coat like a dressing gown; a scarlet garment, richly 
trimmed with gold, over his breast ; large epaulettes, a 
bright sword, a saucy little hat, like that of the great Fritz, 
arid an absurd Spanish cane as tall as himself, the token 
of despotic power which made many shoulders to shake. 
In days when the governor, wearied with the weight of 
business, follows out his system of taking care of himself, 
and enjoys his season of recreation in the private apart- 
ments of his palace, and in the society of those most dear 
to him, he does but plant his Spanish cane in the ground, 
set up the three caps, and OrotaVa trembles, whilst its 
Gessler is taking his repose. This was the second figure 
in Orotava which might have belonged to the ' Fliegenden 
Blatter.' I thanked fortune that he turned his attention 

to T , for my risible muscles were working in so 

dangerous a manner that I was compelled to take to a 
hasty flight. Happy land of innocence, in which autho- 
rity in such a form can meet with obedience ! 

Stared at by the crowd, cordially greeted once more by 
our companions of yesterday as we passed through the 



ACROSS THE LINE. 21 

little town (in which, this being Sunday, the balconies 
and windows were opened), we departed, amid the clatter 
of hoofs, cries, and songs of the donkey-drivers, for Villa 
de Orotava. The view of the country repaid us; the 
peak showed itself unclouded for a moment in the course 
of the day, looking like a gigantic sugar-loaf; the verdant 
slopes, covered with dwellings, presented a smiling aspect ; 
the palm-trees glittered in the clear light ; the strange 
forms of the dark-tinted rocks were outlined more sharply, 
the ocean disclosed its azure glow ; whilst the chain of 
mountains stretching around Villa de Orotava with their 
clear tracery, their sombre pine-forests, and snow-flakes 
scattered here and there (reminding me of home), recalled 
the dear, beautiful Alps. 

To-day a different spirit pervaded our company. It 
was the conviction that the evil spell which had followed 
us until now, had departed. We stayed at the only fonda 
which Villa de Orotava has to offer; a small, confined 
building, perhaps even more dirty than its sister in 
Puerto; the inevitable Casino also shone resplendent 
here; and within its walls, the nobility of the Canary 
Isles. To our luck, good or bad, the few rooms in the 
house were full ; we were forced to come to the resolution 
of going on farther towards Santa Cruz. A crowd of Sunday 
holiday-makers had, in the meantime, posted themselves 
around our caravan, and never ceased gaping and staring. 
One lawyer had assured us that in this little town we 
should find relics of the Gruanches, and also ancient coins ; 
we were especially eager about the latter ; hoping that, by 
their means, we might possibly arrive at some discoveries 
respecting the mysterious origin of this people. We did 
indeed, at the outset, find, in the house of the landlord of 
the fonda, three skulls of Guancho mummies, one of 
which had long dark-brown hair, and displayed its beau- 
tiful teeth. This hair, as also the form of the head, 



22 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

afforded a proof that the Guanches could not have been a 
negro race. In addition, we found here a lance similar in 
shape to those which I have in my ethnographical collec- 
tions from Africa ; together with skilfully worked goat- 
skins in which the Guanches arrayed themselves, and clad 
in which their mummies are still found in the caves of 
the Peak ; likewise clay vessels exactly similar to those 
used in Africa. I purchased the prettiest of the heads, 
which are daily becoming more rare, and the clay vessels 
for thirty gulden. 

Our letters of introduction now conducted us to one of 
the most important nobles of the island, Don Diego 
Benitez y Benitez, the most perfect cavalier, and the most 
cordial man whom I have seen for a long time. This 
polished gentleman, with his noble Spanish cast of coun- 
tenance, received us, although unacquainted with us, with 
a tact and affability that would have done honour to the 
first diplomatist in Europe. He made us take seats, 
offered us cigars, and himself escorted us, as our cicerone, 
through his native town. He merely enquired to what 
nation we belonged, and then showed us the portrait of 
the Emperor which he had in a collection of coloured litho- 
graphs. We had received an introduction to this interesting, 
amiable, and polished man that we might see the old coins 
at his house ; he produced them most willingly ; they had 
been washed down from the cliffs of the mountains by floods 
of rain ; but they were all of the period of the conquest by 
the Christians, and were either Spanish or Portuguese ; the 
Guanches, as we learned, had no knowledge of metals. 
Benitez, who spoke French very well, compelled us by his 
friendly entreaties to accept the coins, and also the jaw- 
bone of a Guancho. He then accompanied us to the 
owner of another collection, who also received us very 
kindly and cordially. 

In the last apartment we beheld, as with Doctor Faust, 



ACROSS THE LIXE. 23 

the most refreshing ethnographical confusion with samples 
of everything, but nothing perfect in any one compart- 
ment ; at the same time the room was dark and vault- 
like : the thick dust of years .lay upon every object, and 
the tropical spiders had spun their webs, and thick nets 
over everything without remorse ; the appearance of the 
whole was almost spectral. Here also the coins belonged 
to the Christian era. Amongst the hundreds and hundreds 
of objects, the only one new to me was an Indian hat 
made of ivory. At length, about four o'clock, we took 
our departure ; our goal was Sanzal, a small place on the 
road to Santa Cruz ; at the extreme end of Orotava 
we came to a real Almeida, boldly situated on a terrace at 
a dizzy height from which, as from the edge of a bastion, 
there is a beautiful view over the whole of the back of 
the island, and also of the many villages from Icod east- 
ward to Santa Ursula : the extensive and interesting 
panorama is bounded in the background by lofty chains of 
mountains, in the foreground by the ocean. 

Our road conducted us along the mountain side at a 
considerable elevation above the shore, and lay for the 
most part among bramble bushes, and other wild shrubs. 
Trees Teneriffe had none, except some palms, some few 
Dragon-trees, and the still more rare, but beautiful Pinus 
canariensis ; a want which gives an appearance of insipid 
uniformity to the open, cultivated ground. Farther on, 
towards Santa Ursula, the palms multiply till they almost 
form an extensive grove ; the isolated specimens are hand- 
some, full of sap, lofty, and with tall stems, and rich, 
bright green crowns. This tree is much more beautiful 
in this island than in Egypt, where the stem of the palm 
winds up from the arid sand like a snake, while the 
scorching sun, before which no cloud is ever spread, sucks 
the sap from its fading crown. The unusual thickness of 
the strong stem was particularly striking. 



24 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Santa Ursula is a small, cheerful place of little im- 
portance. The women and young girls looked on with 
astonishment at the passing of our caravan, but the men, 
who were celebrating Sunday evening in joyous troops, 
walked through the village singing and playing on their 
guitars. Night began to spread her dusky shades more 
and more thickly and chillingly over the earth, and we 
were soon riding up and down hill, right and left, in deep 
darkness, leaving our course to the discretion of our weary 
old horses. Often we rushed forward up some ascent 
amid the confusing, impenetrable darkness as in an evil 
dream. Foremost rode the painter on his shambling 
brown horse, singing lays of home, like a troubadour of 
ancient days. His songs guided us on the track, and 
imparted to us a homelike feeling of security. It is 
strange that whenever men are swimming in dangerous 
waters, or travelling in the dark, they have an inclination 
to become noisy, to shout and sing ; they would, by these 
means, drive away the feeling of danger. 

After long groping in the darkness we at length arrived, 
tired and hungry, at the Fonda Sanzal, a small isolated, 
but, thank Heaven ! clean building ; we were received by 
a handsome civil host and hostess, who endeavoured to do 
all they could to make our quarters for the night com- 
fortable. The landlord was a tall, athletic young man 
with regular features and a pleasing countenance, fine 
black hair, and sparkling eyes ; his whole form bore the 
impress of grace ; he was the picture of a true Spaniard. 
His wife was slight in form, with the lissomeness of figure 
and elastic walk which are so peculiarly the charac- 
teristics of Spanish women : her eyes gleamed like black 
diamonds, and her delicately curved lips, on which co- 
quettishly sat a soupqon of moustache, parted with a 
winning smile and displayed a row of glistening pearls; 
she looked like a young girl of sixteen ; nevertheless 



ACROSS THE LINE. 25 

these worthy people already owned a handsome boy of 
between two and three years of age, with a fearless, genuine 
Murillo-like face. 

We partook of an invigorating, but primitive meal, 
served by a smart maid-servant, Barbarita by name, with 
naive country coquetry. The numerous drivers of our 
animals squatted in picturesque groups on the ground in 
the entrance hall (which was lighted by the fire) around 
a large linen cloth on which lay a complete mountain 
of dried figs and bread which were greedily devoured. 
In the evening the guitars were again played upon, and 
songs were sung ; and the master of the house with his 
pretty wife, the coy Barbarita and a muleteer, danced a 
national dance, a sort of hopping quadrille to which the 
click of the finger adapted the castanets. Fatigue gave 
us an excellent sleep. 

December 19. 

Early in the morning we took some chocolate, the 
principal beverage in all countries wherein Spanish blood 
flows, and which is only palatable when prepared by 
Spaniards : next, a pyramid of figs with the usual beverage 
of canary wine, was brought to the drivers: and it was 
only after a protracted ceremony of packing that we were 
able to proceed, in the unpleasantly chilly morning air. 
Even here on the mountain-slopes of the northern side 
of the island, we travelled among well-cultivated fields 
and amid palms to Tacoronte, a large village, in which we 
had been directed by our friendly patron Benitez to the 
house of Don Sebastiano Cassilde. 

Here also we were received most politely by the old 
gentleman, who has been unweariedly making additions to 
his collection for the last forty years. He conducted us to 
his house, which shows the owner to be in easy circum- 
stances; in its lower portion, a well-arranged collection 
containing much worth notice was displayed on all sides. 



26 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

The room in which were the antiquities of the time of the 
Gruanches was especially interesting to us. He had four 
mummies of kings, three of which stood leaning in a 
chest ; the brown, withered, well-preserved bodies were 
wrapped in goats' skins, and reminded me forcibly of the 
horrible, grinning figures of the Frati secchi in Palermo ; 
they had brown wavy hair, and well-set, dazzlingly white 
teeth. The fourth mummy, concealed in skins and ban- 
dages, according to Egyptian custom, was placed in a 
glass case in the same position in which it had been found 
in its cavern grave. At its feet lay the royal seals, plain 
stones on which some confused and sloping staves were 
engraven ; the Gruanches, as it appears, could not write, 
and employed the impression of these seals as the token 
of authority. 

The Virtuoso had preserved in a phial the substance 
with which the regal mummies were embalmed ; it ap- 
peared to be composed of dragon's blood and salt water 
mixed; and, according to Cassilde's statement, would 
naturally become liquid under the influence of great heat 
or of great cold. This latter seems to me to be hardly 
credible. Don Sebastiano gave us a good-sized piece of 
the hard substance, which we accepted with many thanks. 
The liquid resembled coffee in appearance. 

His collection of the weapons of the conquerors, and 
of those of the poor vanquished people, was also very 
interesting ; the former naturally belonged to the Spaniards 
of the middle ages and consisted of immense swords 
and halberds ; the latter were lances with stone points, 
staves, and wooden swords. In looking at the opposing 
weapons one cannot but admire the courage of the 
Gruanches, who defended themselves like lions against 
the Spaniards. A collection of the writings of the 
first conquerors is not devoid of interest, especially to 
Spaniards. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 27 

Among the house furniture of the ancient inhabitants 
we saw hand-grindstones, and vessels for washing made of 
basalt and clay, similar to those which I had purchased in 
Villa de Orotava; but the most curious object indisputably 
was an amphora, quite in the Roman form, with a Roman 
XXI graven upon it. It was found in the tomb of a 
king, and must probably have been brought hither from 
Africa by the first inhabitants. Remarkable also was the 
delineation on basalt of an inscription found in a mountain- 
cutting in the island of Palma, which had been sent to 
the worthy Virtuoso. Our artist, a very accomplished 
orientalist, discovered in it clear traces of Arabic writing. 
He was indeed nearer the truth than the Bishop of Palma 
who took it for Babylonian writing wrought by Chinese 
workmen, an opinion which was subjoined. As to the 
rest, Cassilde's museum contained something of every- 
thing, mineralogical, zoological, from the embryos floating 
in spirits of wine up to ill-represented art. 

We lingered with most pleasure before the ethnogra- 
phical objects, in which even the colonies of the Phi- 
lippine Isles and of America had a place. The kindly 
old gentleman showed me an interesting work on Mexico, 
in which, side by side with weapons and carriages, was 
drawn a Zodiac of the ancient Mexicans. 

To return to the Gruanches. All the remains of them 
which have been discovered, seem to prove that they 
sprang from the neighbouring continent of Africa, and 
belonged to a Semitic race, with traditions received from 
the ancient Egyptians. That they were Semitic, and pro- 
bably came from Barbary, is proved by their long, straight 
hair : their furniture and weapons remind one, in shape 
and material, of those of Abyssinia and the interior of 
Barbary. The art of embalming mummies, and the form 
of the caves, suggest Egyptian ideas. The stone of 
which I spoke before would also furnish proof in favour 



28 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of Eastern origin, and would tend to upset the theory 
hazarded, that the inhabitants of the Canary Isles sprang 
from those five thousand Carthaginians who, at the time 
of the taking of Carthage, saved themselves from the 
citadel in ships. Unfortunately, the period at which the 
islands became peopled is not known. The Amphora 
mentioned above would speak of a time in which the 
Komans extended their rule over the principal portion of 
Africa. That the immigration must have taken place 
from Africa is proved by the facts already narrated, as 
well as by the position of the islands, which, indeed, are 
so near the continent that from Fuerta Ventura one may 
see the coast of Africa ; and, in return, the fires and the 
snow of the Peak of Teneriffe must have been seen in 
Africa. 

The various islands seem to have been peopled at 
different periods, even if indisputably by the same 
race ; for, although it is true that the conquerors found a 
similarity between them of language and customs, yet 
they also found great differences. In some of the islands 
polygamy prevailed ; in Lanzerota, on the contrary, each 
wife was allowed to have three husbands, who took turns 
monthly to rule, whilst in the meantime the two others 
were servants. Most wives had, it would seem, sufficient 
care with one husband. The historian Viera endeavours to 
show two distinct races and two languages. As by their 
known habits, the Gruanches had not the slightest know- 
ledge of navigation, all communication between the islands 
was impossible. This ignorance, and the entire absence 
of Mohammedan customs, speak in favour of the great 
antiquity of this people. Even Pliny in his works indis- 
putably speaks of these islands at the time of the Carthago- 
Phoanician expedition, and of the ruins of an ancient 
temple in one of them, but of the inhabitants he says 
nothing at all 



ACROSS THE LINE. 29 

The G-uanches have disappeared as a race, and, unfor- 
tunately, their language with them. Concerning their 
manners and customs at the time of the bloody and anni- 
hilating conquest, we have Spanish narrations of the most 
accurate description recorded by the historians Viera and 
Bergeron. Particulars from these are not devoid of in- 
terest. In the island of Teneriffe, the GHianches worshipped 
Achernan as the supreme God. The representative of the 
Prince of Evil, their devil, was named Kuaiota ; popular 
belief fixed his residence in a crater belonging to Vulcan. 
According to Viera, a crater (now extinguished) played 
a part in Gran Canaria, where, as in Palma, idols were 
embossed. To one of the rocks, which threatened to 
fall, the Canary islanders used continually to bring 
offerings of beasts with the cry, f Art thou intending to 
fall soon ? ' They had also a spot appropriated to pilgrim- 
ages, sought by them at times of approaching famine, 
which visited them so frequently that each wife durst 
only allow her first-born child to live. At these times 
they took their herds of goats with them, separated the 
old from the young, and believed, by the cry of the inno- 
cent kids and by their own laments, to mollify the aveng- 
ing deity. 

The Guanches had a special god for men. called Erao- 
ranham, and one for the women, called Maraiba. Upon 
the introduction of Christianity, the Virgin and her Son 
stepped into their places. The two deities sat on two very 
high rocks, called Pandaiga, but now named Santillos de 
cos Antiguos. The Aranfai, too, was kept in a cave ; it 
was a species of little pig, which in times of adversity 
was brought with loud cries from the Grotto, and was al- 
lowed to run about at liberty until the calamity was ex- 
orcised, when it was taken back to its domicile in triumph. 
Young girls shared the sacred grotto with the pig ; they 
wore clothes made of white skins, and much longer than 



30 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

those generally worn by the women. They possessed great 
privileges in the councils, as also precedency at all cere- 
monies. It was incumbent upon them to bring hither 
daily offerings of milk. 

The Guanches also reverenced a prophet, Guanamare 
by name, and a priestess, Tibabina, with her daughter, 
Tamaronte : both of them were related to the deity, and 
therefore possessed great power. 

A special class of priests was maintained for embalming 
the dead. After repeated washings with salt water, they 
anointed the bodies with aromatic herbs and goats' milk 
butter. Like the Egyptians, they opened the corpses in 
the side, with obsidian stones called Tabaros ; then, during 
a period of fourteen days, filled them with aromatic herbs 
and sawdust, and left them to dry in the sun. During 
this time, joy-feasts were held, and eulogists descanted on 
the virtues of the deceased. By means of the process of 
drying, the body became as light as charcoal, it was then 
sewn up with fish-bones in goats' skins and characteristic 
signs were added. People of high rank were encased in 
particularly fine skins, and were borne in coffins of pine- 
wood to the caves situated in the highest parts of the 
island. Milk was placed before the bodies that at their 
rising again they might find food. Beautifully ornamented 
cases were allotted to the kings and nobles ; the rest of 
the people were laid in caverns in numbers, and without 
embalmment. Viera speaks of such that he has himself 
seen, and the largest of which he names Arrico and 
Gamar ; in these he discovered about two thousand 
dead. 

At the beginning of this century many similar tombs 
were found in the rocks of Tacoronti and Sanzal which 
have furnished the museums of Europe with mummies. 
But the people, and especially the conquering Spaniards, 
kept these tombs secret : so that even now only a solitary 



ACROSS THE LINE. 31 

one is occasionally discovered. The male mummies are 
distinguished by their outstretched hands, whilst those ot 
the women are crossed in front of them ; the feet are 
bound firmly to the hips, the knees being bent. It is said 
that among the mummies a giant of twenty-two feet in 
height, of the name of Mafrai, was found in Fuerta Ven- 
tura ; it is also said that the descendants of King Uimar 
were often fourteen feet high and had eighty teeth ; but 
all the bodies which have been discovered are of ordinary 
height ; although characteristically different on the various 
islands. When the Guanches felt the approach of death 
they called their relations to them and said, ( Vaco quare ' 
(T shall die) ; they were then carried to a cave, and laid 
upon soft skins ; milk and butter were placed beside them, 
and the entrance was closed that they might await death 
undisturbed. 

The form of government of the Guanches was monarchi- 
cal, and a powerful band of nobles was assembled round 
the king. The last free sovereign of the Guanches was Ben- 
como. After a long and glorious resistance, he yielded in the 
fifteenth century to the superior force of the Spaniards : 
and, together with the last of his offspring, Dacila 
(famed for her beauty), allowed himself to be baptised. 
Of the island of Teneriffe we know, that for many years it 
formed an undivided empire. The last sole ruler who 
governed it with despotic authority about one hundred 
years before its conquest, was Tenerfe the Great. He left 
nine legitimate sons and one illegitimate, Acaimo by name; 
these ten men divided the island among them. Disunion 
soon arose between those in power, the prince of Tahoro 
obtained the ascendancy ; and, being victorious, assumed 
the title of Onehilu or Supreme Majesty. 

As has been already observed, the Guanches possessed a 
nobility ; the remainder of the population were either 
common people or slaves. The following tradition explains 



2 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the separation of rank: In the beginning God created 
men and women, land and water, and provided fruits and 
fish. But when men increased in number, He said to the 
later-born, ' Serve them, and they will give you susten- 
ance ; ' thus the classes of society became divided. 

Installation into the ranks of the nobility was the right 
of the Tagean or high-priest, who took the second place 
in the kingdom. It was necessary that the candidate 
should be born of noble parents, should be rich and 
accustomed to the use of arms; and should wear his hair 
long flowing when presenting himself before the Faikan 
(the council-chamber of the high-priest). The high-priest 
then cried with a loud voice,' I conjure you all in the name 
of Acorak (God) to declare whether ye have ever seen It, 
the son of It, enter a farm ; whether ye have seen him 
milk or kill a goat, whether ye have seen him prepare his 
dinner with his own hands, whether in time of peace he 
has ever committed a robbery, whether he is notorious 
among persons of bad repute.' If the reply were favour- 
able, he was invested with the spear and his hair was cut 
short behind his ears. If the reply were unfavourable, all 
his hair was cut off ; and he, having been declared to be 
a person of low character, could never attain the rank of 
nobility. 

Kings and nobles had in front of their dw ellings large 
square courts with stone seats round them, called Tagoror ; 
in these they held their councils and conferences. They 
also made use of these places of honour on all occasions of 
grand festivities and at coronations ; and adorned them 
with palms, bays, and sweet-scented plants. On the 
highest seat sat the king in a garment of choice material, 
called Tomarek ; the throne was covered with beautiful 
skins of animals. 

The ceremony of coronation of the king of the Guanches 
took place in the following manner. The oldest of the 



ACROSS THE LINE. 33 

relations or neighbours of the king brought with reverence 
a bone of the old king Tenerfe, and presented it to the new 
king, who kissed it, touched his own head with it, and said 
in an audible voice : ( I swear, by the bones of my pre- 
decessor, the great Tenerfe, to imitate his deeds and to 
watch over the welfare of my people.' The vassals then 
raised the new sovereign on their shoulders, and cried : f We 
swear by the memory of this day of sacred coronation, to 
unite as defenders of his kingdom and of that of his suc- 
cessors.' Thereupon the people proclaimed the new king. 
On the royal journeys a spear with a banner upon it was 
carried in front of the sovereign. The Gruanches were a 
very cheerful people, and fond of amusements. Even in 
time of war hostilities were suspended during their 
festivals, a proof of true light-heartedness and of cool 
courage. During the dance they accompanied themselves 
with little drums and flutes and clapped to the sounds of 
these with their hands. In the present day the dance of 
the inhabitants of this island resembles in an extraordinary 
manner that of the Jews in Tangiers. 

All historians represent the aborigines of Grran Canaria 
as the handsomest. The men were strong, slight, agile, 
brave, and true-hearted ; the women pretty and gentle, 
their almond-shaped eyes are described (like those of the 
people of northern Africa) as especially fascinating, their 
hair was long and fine. As is even still the custom in 
Morocco, the Gruancho bride remained for thirty days in a 
cave and was fed with Grofio, the Cascussu of the present 
natives' of Barbary, until she had attained a certain degree 
of fat. 

The ornamented stone caves, warm in winter and cool 
in summer, were appropriated as dwellings and also as 
tombs only for the kings and nobles. These caves, most 
of which are now inaccessible, are almost universally 
square, with seats running round them and with niches in 

VOL. III. D 



34 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the walls. The handsomest and most ornamented are 
those of the sovereigns of the Gruimar district. The poor 
lived in stone huts. The islanders used only a small 
amount of furniture; the hand-mills already described 
for the preparation of the Grofio, and the clay vessels 
(Granigo) mentioned before, which (as in the present day 
among the people of Barbary) served chiefly for receptacles 
for milk. Dried stems of thistles were used then, as now, 
in this island, for the purpose of generating fire by friction. 
The instruments for cutting, called Taboras, were entirely 
of obsidian, the spoons of sea-shells, the needles of fish- 
bones or palm-prickles. Twine was obtained from the sinews 
of animals ; the spears were hardened in the fire, as also the 
swords ; both, as has been remarked before, were made of 
wood ; and the shields were of the bark of the dragon- 
tree. The beds were composed of fern covered with skins ; 
baskets and boxes were beautifully and skilfully made of 
twisted rushes. The basalt-stone of the cave served as 
a seat. Torches were prepared (as is even now the case 
with us in the Alps) from splints of fir, of which nets for 
catching fish were likewise formed. 

The clothing of the Gruanches consisted of a shirt of 
goats' skin (coloured yellow or red by means of herbs), 
without sleeves ; fastened at the side, and girdled around 
the waist. The women wore the same dress, only hanging 
down lower. Stockings, called Nirmas, were the privilege 
of the nobility. The shoes of the Guanches were called 
Necros. 

These remarkable people were just in their code of law ; 
but subscribed to the maxim of the Old Testament, eye 
for eye, limb for limb. The manner in which sentence of 
death was carried into execution was peculiarly cruel. 
The delinquent was usually extended on the ground on the 
occasion of one of their festivals of games, his head was 
placed on one stone and crushed to pieces with another. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 35 

We took our leave of the friendly old Virtuoso, thank- 
ing him sincerely for his kindness. At the extremity of 
Tacoronte we saw a mountain, which to a poetic imagination 
resembled Mount Calvary, covered with purely southern 
plants, and overshadowed by large palms. Our road from 
hence, quitting the ocean, proceeded through the interior 
of the island to the high table-land of Laguna. The 
character of the hilly country (which continued in one un- 
changing green and brown, without any^trees) was fruit- 
ful but uninteresting, and reminded me vividly of the 
Heaven-blessed but monotonous districts of Moravia and 
Bohemia. 

Amid this wearying, unvarying landscape, I hailed with 
joy a symbol of the East, a loaded camel, toiling slowly 
and wearily along, yet treading surely. Egypt and Syria 
came forcibly to my memory, and the broad, endless deserts, 
with their sunny glow, with their indescribably beautiful 
moonlight nights, floated before my mind. I beheld proud 
Cairo, with her gleaming mosques, with her minarets rising 
towards heaven, with her bazaars in which all the nations of 
the East moved to and fro ; I beheld steaming Suez, with 
her coffee ships on the burning golden waters of the Eed 
Sea ; I heard the sighing of the Sakyes on the vast, sacred 
Nile, as they pour forth their lament under the purple 
glow of the setting sun sinking behind the desert ; I 
beheld the Holy City in the land of Judah. It is in- 
credible how this ugly beast has power to call up such 
beautiful images ; but the camel is associated with all the 
charms of the East, and is interwoven with all Arabian 
poetry, which gratefully lauds it as the most useful of 
animals. The palm and the camel seem to have wandered 
to the Canary Isles from Africa. 

In the centre of the high table-land the towers of La- 
guna became visible the ancient capital of the group of 
islands. A broad, excellent road, Strada real, leads to the 

D 2 



36 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

town. At a villa in its vicinity we found two high 
Eretrinas, with lovely, dark-green foliage and splendid 
blossoms, red as coral. The town of Laguna is large ; 
it has a spacious cathedral, with a facade similar to that 
of Santa Maria Maggiore in Kome, but already bearing 
marks of neglect and decay. The capital has been trans- 
ferred to Santa Cruz ; for although Laguna lies in a rich 
beautiful plain, yet it lacks the neighbourhood to the sea, 
and thus the open road for trade. 

Eather fatigued by our long and very tedious ride, we 
halted at a fonda in the principal street, and partook of a 
miserable lunch. After resting for a time, we proceeded 
to Santa Cruz. At the extremity of Laguna we found 
a number of most beautiful and varied fowls, confined in 
baskets ; a collection such as I had never before seen for 
gigantic size and for beauty of colour. There were among 
them birds which glittered like macaws and were more 
than three feet in height. The Canary Isles are localities 
much to be recommended to the poultry fanciers whom 
one now meets so frequently. 

A little beyond Laguna, the country again slopes in a 
southerly direction to the ocean. We met numerous 
peasants, and trains of camels, which were returning with 
fruits and goods from Santa Cruz. After several windings 
of the road we hailed with delight the goal of our journey, 
extensive, friendly Santa Cruz. Within a crescent of 
jagged, volcanic mountains, a slope of fertile fields runs 
gently down to the gleaming bank of sand on the wide 
sea-coast. The gleaming, white-washed town, with its 
gigantic, old, grey tower as a protector, is bordered by a 
rapid stream, and rests on the spur of the mountain to the 
left ; on the mountain side it is surrounded by smiling 
meadows, while on the other side its extreme line of houses 
fringes the blue ocean. 

In front of the town is the roadstead, which is gaily 



ACROSS THE LINE. 37 

enlivened by a due proportion of vessels. A small har- 
bour, with an artificial embankment, serves for lading and 
unlading, and also as a refuge for boats. Beyond it, the 
clear, blue, boundless sea gleamed beneath the golden 
sunlight of this brilliant day, mingling on the horizon 
with the sky, and melting into silvery mist. Single 
breakers now and again made their foam to glitter on the 
vast plain ; large, lost waves, wandering without plan over 
the broad expanse. The scene which presented itself to 
our rejoicing eyes possessed no longer the characteristics 
of Europe ; it bore an impress of its own ; it appeared a 
forerunner of distant America the first glimpse of a new 
world. There were no longer the tints, shapes, dimensions 
of our continent ; this was no sea such as dashes over our 
coasts, no sun such as shines upon our valleys ; and even 
the town and its environs had a new, and not European 
aspect. Only once before, in Suez, had I viewed scenery 
so entirely novel in character ; the bare town extending to 
the sea, the two grand lines of mountain, the clear, trans- 
parent hue of the waves, the dazzling sky, the unusual 
form of the vessels, the half-clad, giant natives ; but there, 
the whole picture partook more of the Oriental character ; 
it was the first step towards India, as this of Santa Cruz 
was the entrance into the New World. 

That the appearance of the town was so respectable, was 
very agreeable to us poor pilgrims : for we were already 
very tired and downcast, and were longing in our hearts 
for food and shelter. We spurred our sleepy horses and 
were quickly in the streets of the hospitable town, all 
having the most pompous names, as de la Gloria, del 
Castillo. Traversing a long street filled with cheerful 
shops, we crossed a large and magnificent square to the 
Riva, on which, and behind the Almeida, stands the Hotel 
Richardson, conducted by an Englishman. At it we joy- 
fully alighted, and with it we, later on, had every reason 
to be satisfied. 



38 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

We carefully maintained the strictest incognito. The 
doctor continued to play the part of uncle ; and I, that of 
his dutiful nephew. We arrived exactly at the hour for the 
table d'hote, and shared the table with a party of amiable 
Spaniards who did the honours to the new guests with 
much grace. An officer of rank, who carved in the English 
fashion, and took care of the company, acted as president. 
He was a travelled and polished man who spoke French 
well, and also some German ; and who now, as a genuine 
epicure, remains quiescent in Paris and Brussels during 
the summer, and passes the winter in his house in genial 
Santa Cruz. We often had opportunities afterwards of 
meeting him and of conversing with him. He perceived 
readily enough with whom he was talking ; but with tact, 
always respected our incognito, so convenient and so 
necessary on such a journey. 

The Almeida in front of the house was enclosed' with 
imposing railings and gates, and contained a miserable 
little avenue of melancholy plane-trees. Oh ! that man 
should ever long for that which is out of place ! Instead 
of selecting palms, they must needs here plant European 
trees with endless labour. In the evening we strolled 
through a portion of the town, visited a raree showman 
who, amid real janissary music, promised marvels; yet 
offered nothing but the most wretched trash, which had 
chiefly been cut from the ( Illustrated News.' At length 
we sought our much desired and well-earned repose. 

Santa Cruz, December 20. 

The day was foggy and grey : from my large window I 
could see the leaden-coloured ocean rolling wearily against 
the embankment. The vessels in the roads pitched heavily 
back and forwards ; and even the atmosphere wore an 
aspect of languor and tedium. I employed the forenoon 
in writing some letters and my journal, that true torment 



ACROSS THE LINE. 39 

on distant travel, which can only be endured from a 
feeling of duty. We had intended to set out this morning 
on a grand excursion of two days into the interior of the 
island : but the gloomy weather and a secret feeling of 
weariness prevented us. It was not until afternoon that 
we ordered our horses to be brought; wretched beasts, 
that could hardly drag themselves along ; but that never- 
theless took us to the Villa de Buona Vista standing on the 
eminence over which we passed yesterday in coming from 
Laguna. From the unimportant building on the terrace 
which is surrounded by a garden, laid out for use and not 
for pleasure, the panorama of the town, the coast, and the 
ocean was on this day gloomy to behold. Magnificent 
palms and fruit-laden orange trees were standing in plan- 
tations for cochineal, now a chief product of the island. 
We here found the cherry-trees all in bloom. In this 
garden I saw one of the greatest absurdities that I ever 
beheld in horticulture : namely, an avenue of young trees 
with their stems completely built into a low enclosure of 
wall, which must be as injurious to the plants as to the 
wall-work. This was no favourable token of the intelli- 
gence of the owner. 

Near by, we saw the pretty villa of an Englishman in 
whose garden, among some beautiful orange trees laden 
with dark-red fruit, we found several plants worthy of 
notice : a very beautiful acacia, an algerobia, with scarlet 
flowers and golden-yellow stamina ; another species of the 
same family with a pale, yellow, globe-like blossom ; and 
a lovely, yellow plumiera large as a tree. At the lower 
end of the garden the dreadful ravages of an inundation 
which had taken place some days ago, were visible. This, 
as the owner told us, had been the consequence of a water- 
spout, confined within a small space, which had only lasted 
for half-an-hour. During that time the water had risen 
to more than four feet in height, and had carried away 



40 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

with it whatever it found in its path. Five men had been 
drowned by it in the town. Had the deluge lasted for an 
hour, probably a large portion of Santa Cruz would have 
fallen to the ground. 

We next visited the garden of a rich Spanish merchant, 
Juan Manuel de Foronda. Its arrangement is formal, like 
that of a fruit garden in our own country ; but among its 
interesting treasures, it contains the greater number of 
American tropical fruit-trees with their delicious produce, 
which we did not omit to taste : other very remarkable 
plants of the tropical world are also to be found here. 
Whilst we were occupied in pilfering fruit and flowers to the 
best advantage, and just as we were plundering the Agen- 
dera molissima which was ripening here, the owner appeared. 
He knew how to dispel our embarrassment immediately 
by giving us the most cordial invitation to taste and take 
whatever we wished. Indeed he himself conducted us to 
all the trees and flowers and plucked for us the most aro- 
matic fruits. One could see that he was a lover of nature 
and was proud of his garden ; and he had a right to be so : 
for, as a whole, this extensive bower was scientifically 
arranged, and displayed a purpose in the manner in which 
it was disposed. His father laid out this garden many 
years ago with much trouble and perseverance ; he could 
not have had a more worthy successor than the present 
owner. 

When, richly-laden, we were quitting the garden in the 
highest state of botanic content and with quiet satisfaction, 
the amiable Spaniard gathered for us yet one more mag- 
nificent anone, adding that this was the queen of fruits, of 
which fact he could judge impartially, since he had 
tasted all the fruits of both Europe and America. It was 
indeed the most delicious that I had ever eaten ; for it was 
bitter, yet sweet ; melting but firm ; and its taste reminded 



ACROSS THE LINE. , 41 

me more nearly of that of well-made punch a la romaine 
than of anything else. 

We came home with the approach of twilight, proud of 
our treasures, and arranged them coquettishly to show to 
our botanist who had been spending the day climbing 
about the mountains. He also brought home a rich cargo ; 
but envious astonishment took possession of him when he 
beheld our wealth. He had, in his expedition, chiefly 
occupied himself with the Euphorbia, the characteristic 
plant of the volcanic Canary Isles ; he had also brought 
a wondrously beautiful dragon-fly of a scarlet colour as if 
made of sealing wax, a gigantic scolopendra, a large scor- 
pion, and a black salamander, like velvet to the touch. 
When he was going to exhibit this last to us in the large 
dining-hall, the beast sprang like lightning to the ground, 
and, alas ! vanished with the speed of a mouse, leaving 
not a trace behind. 

In the Canary Isles, and even in Madeira, we observed 
a curious and immense spider ; it was marked with bright 
stripes of white and black ; wove a web strong as a thread 
of silk, and worked a funnel-shaped bag in the centre of 
this web, which formed its dwelling. 

Santa Cruz, December 21. 

The rain fell in torrents, with tropical pertinacity: 
notwithstanding which it was pleasant, even quite early in 
the morning, to sit in a dressing-gown at the widely-opened 
window. The world outside was gloomy and distressing, 
and the sky grey. The mountains were steaming in the 
damp fog, the ocean heaved and sank ; and only the view 
of it and of the vessels in the roads marked the difference 
between our present prospect and that on a summer's day 
in our own Ischl. There were even standing before our 
inn the stereotyped ornaments of the Ischl landscape, the 
oxen coupled under the yoke, finding the true philosophy 



42 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of life in ruminating ; rain trickling from them, but they 
unmoved like the mysterious sphinxes of ancient Egypt. 
I almost had an attack of home sickness, as, reflecting 
thus, I watched them long and thoughtfully. The stoical 
repose, the fixed gazing eye, the lifeless-looking form, the 
stillness only broken by the sleepy chewing of the animal, 
it was the genuine, perfect prototype of the plains of my 
fatherland. 

Though India have the handsomely-striped tiger as 
her emblem ; though Africa select the swift-running, 
richly-plumaged ostrich, Ceylon the sagacious elephant, 
Arabia her fiery courser, the natives of the Andes the 
broad-winged condor soaring high as heaven, Australia 
the strong-tailed, bounding kangaroo. New Zealand the 
strange, outlandish cassowary, and Algiers the proud regal 
lion, yet who would rob our calm, peaceful, unexcitable, 
contemplative fatherland of the useful ox ? The two are 
closely associated in my heart : hence the melancholy with 
which I gazed on these rain-bedewed animals. 

The rain would not stop : one must needs take courage ; 
and therefore in the afternoon we sallied forth boldly, 
fortified with all possible means of defence against wet 
weather. We first examined the large Square more 
closely. It is oblong in form ; and is surrounded on its 
three inland sides by houses several stories in height, 
regularly built, with flat roofs. On the fourth side, which 
faces the sea, it is shut in by a rather low, strangely- 
shaped old fort with broad ramparts. In the row of 
houses on the right, stands the smaller, but handsome 
residence of the Capitan-Greneral of the seven islands; 
two houses screened by something like the canvas of a 
tent, and having a flagstaff, gave evidence of the importance 
of the building, where, however, all must go on in a very 
sleepy manner, for the windows were fast closed with 
jalousies, and the large clock pointed invariably to a 



ACKOSS THE LINE. 43 

quarter to five, an hour of the twenty- four at which people 
are always either eating or sleeping. 

The high road runs round the Square, the centre of 
which is raised, and is kept level and in good order, almost 
like a drawing-room, reminding one of St. Mark's. At the 
two extremities of the Square stand two monuments of 
white marble. That on the side towards the sea is a lofty 
column on which are the Virgin and Child, both of whom 
are crowned. On the handsome pedestal one sees the 
figures of four Guancho kings, wreathed, according to 
ancient custom, with garlands of flowers, and holding in 
their hands, for a sceptre, a bone of their great ancestor, the 
renowned King Tenerfe. The four inscriptions inform us 
that a pious Capitan- General of olden time caused this 
piece of statuary to be erected in honour of the picture of 
the Mother of God, which is to be found in the Church 
of the Conception, and is said, in some incredible way, to 
have been worshipped by the heathen princes and their 
people one hundred and four years before the conquest of 
the island. The other monument is a simple cross 
erected by the same pious Capitan-General, with reference 
to the name of his capital. 

To-day, amid tropical rain, we went again with our 
botanist to the merchant's fruit garden, and there dabbled 
about merrily in the mud, among the dripping bushes. 
The owner was not there, and we were able to make our 
collection systematically. Once only were we disturbed 
by the rough, shrill tones of the gardener. At first we 
feared mischief, but quickly perceived that the unfortunate 
man merely had a horrible voice, and that he was address- 
ing us in most encouraging words in these discordant 
sounds. 

The trees most worthy of notice that we found, and the 
fruits of which we collected, were as follows : the lambro 
with its red or light-yellow sour fruit, in shape like the 
forbidden fruit, and leaves and blossoms like those of the 



44 RECOLLECTIONS OF MJ LIFE. 

myrtle ; nogales de la India, a tree with ivy-shaped leaves 
dirty-white blossoms, and nuts that grow in clusters and 
have the delicate flavour of a hazel nut ; three kinds of 
anones, the choicest of which is the Chirimoya, another 
species bears its large wartlike fruit close to the stem, which 
is as hard as stone ; a tree with leaves like those of the 
cocolaba, the name of which we should not discover, its 
fruit looks, and tastes like the dark-red cherry ; the mango 
(Psidium pomiferum) ; the Poma rosa, called by the 
Portuguese lambro, of which I have already spoken in 
Madeira ; a Perseia, a tree with leaves like those of the 
magnolia and having a brown, leather-coloured, heavy 
spherical fruit, with a sour pulp as yellow as an egg ; the 
pimento (Myrtus pineta) ; the rarest species of orange- 
trees ; several kinds of banana, called in Spanish platanos, 
bearing a fruit which I disliked at first, but which has now 
become quite a necessary of life to me; beside various 
other trees, and plants, the names of which we either did 
not hear, or they have escaped my memory. 

Our botanist was in ecstasies ; his love of plunder 
increased from minute to minute; he shook the trees, 
climbed up to the highest bough like a monkey, crammed 
the famous botanic box, almost as large as himself, to the 
brim and over it ; filled all his own pockets, and some of 
ours ; and, in his praiseworthy eagerness, lamented the want 
of space for more. Once again, the voice of the gardener 
resounded dismally, shaking our nerves ; in order to 
permit us to make our raid in peace, our painter went 
into the house with the proud old islander, who was 
wrapped up closely in his flannel cloak, to keep him 
occupied, and indeed, if need be, even to dance a polka 
with him. 

Santa Cruz, December 22. 

Tropical nature claims her rights. Thus to-day it 
rained unceasingly. During the day, some large screw- 



ACEOSS THE LINE. 45 

propelled transports, packed full of troops under orders 
for China, brought signs of life into the otherwise mono- 
tonous roadstead. I made all sorts of purchases, and 
ordered some native canary birds to be bought, which 
here, in their own country, are much dearer than in 
our respectable bird-shops. I also purchased some very 
beautiful, and immensely large, cocks of the richest 
colours. The breed of fowls in the Canary Isles is larger, 
and handsomer in point of colour, than I have ever seen 
elsewhere. But it is remarkable that, in general, almost 
all animals here are of various colours ; thus one often sees 
tri-coloured goats, and even tri-coloured dogs. 

In my apartment there was a wonderful, vaulted ceil- 
ing, ribbed in dark brown and black wood ; the doors were 
of cedar wood and ornamented in various mathematical 
figures ; presenting a happy medium between the most 
gorgeous Renaissance style and the Moorish. I wished 
to purchase one of these doors to send to Europe as a 
pattern ; and applied to Mr. Eichardson, the master 
of the hotel, on the subject : but learned that many 
other travellers had already made similar applications 
to him in vain, inasmuch as the house does not belong 
to him, but to several different owners living scattered 
about in the island, to whom it has passed by inheritance 
from the hands of the Inquisition which occupied this 
building as its head-quarters in the island. Probably, 
then, the cruel sentences of those benighted times had 
been pronounced in my chamber. In this same room, 
before which the nobles and people of the seven islands 
once trembled, defenceless, unfettered travellers now 
dwell whilst in pursuit either of scientific objects or 
of pleasure. Thus everything in this world changes. 
Yet assuredly no century has a right to throw a stone at 
another. We call our age that of enlightenment ; but its 
shadowy side will also be commented upon. In very 



46 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

many cities of Europe posterity will regard with amaze- 
ment and horror the chambers in which without any 
question of law, mere force has, under the influence of 
hateful revenge, condemned people to death at the notice 
of a few short hours ; perhaps because they desired 
something different from that desired by the power that 
stands above law. 

In the centre of civilisation, in free Paris ; in the seat 
of intelligence, in enlightened Berlin ; in the cheerful city 
of Faaken, indeed even down to Sicily, in the Indies 
belonging to free England, such inquisitions have rule ; on 
their hands lie the same stains of warm blood as those of 
the days of Philip and Alba. 

In the afternoon we visited the two churches of Santa 
Cruz, San Francisco and the Conception ; both are ancient 
but are possessed of little merit, they are exactly similar 
in style, with the same richly-gilded altars. In San 
Francisco one sees on all sides, instead of pictures, red 
damask curtains, arranged so as to be drawn back; 
behind these are seated gorgeously clad, wooden figures 
painted according to Spanish custom. In the church of 
the Conception is a side chapel well worthy of notice. It 
is in the heavy, Rococo style, composed entirely of wood 
richly carved, and then either painted or gilded. 

To-day there was some fearful music in the vicinity 
of our fonda ; the show and the noise, both of which 
seemed as if they would never come to an end, originated 
in a coffee-house among some Italian emigrants who 
were on their way to South America, voyaging in a 
Piedmontese bark. Amongst them was a handsome young 
man with classical features ; he wore the Lombardy spencer 
and the Barabba hat. The sight of him pierced me to 
the heart. What could have befallen him, that he should 
leave Lombardy, lovely, glorious Brianza with its chain 
of rich green mountains by the Lake of Como, with its 



ACKOSS THE LINE. 47 

deep-blue Alps, on whose highest summits the eternal 
snow glows in rosy tints, its populous plains with their 
fields of emerald green, its joyous, ever unclouded, and 
smiling sky, that land with which none in the whole wide 
world may compare, in which the fresh vigour of the 
North is united amid festive joy with the melting softness 
of the South ? What a dream must have been ruthlessly 
dispelled that he could give up such realities ! 

Santa Cruz, December 23. 

Glorious spring weather, the air balmy and genial, 
filled with fragrance ; the sky clear, and the ocean of a 
deep sapphire blue. Everything invited us to undertake 
a grand exploring expedition that might aid us to struggle 
against the impatience with which we had already during 
two days been expecting the 'Elizabeth.' We selected 
for our excursion the left side of the extensive panorama 
of Santa Cruz, the shore at the foot of the black mountain 
jagged like the teeth of a saw, and to-day outlined in 
fantastic forms against the unclouded sky ; on which 
nothing but the hardy Euphorbia can find nutrition. 
Past a picturesque fort, the old age of which is being 
strengthened by repairs, we travelled during the first part 
of our way between extraordinary cliffs of basalt and a 
shingly shore, on which the surf was dashing gaily. 

At a little bay called Insaltero the gnawing sea has 
hollowed out a subterranean passage, and now breaks forth 
into view hissing and foaming from a wide fissure which 
presents a very picturesque appearance, as does every 
scene in nature in which the sea bears a part. We 
crept and slid about the rocks ; and in the caves in 
which the sea- water remained, we collected all kinds 
of marine animals, which afforded us many interesting 
discoveries and also much joking. To my taste, there is 
in the whole kingdom of nature nothing more interesting 



48 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

than from the sunny coast, quietly and in calm repose, 
to watch the mysterious sea with its strange bringings 
and leavings, its life and its works. One is continually 
learning something new and finding fresh treasures ; and 
thus is doubly rewarded. 

On the coast road we met numerous trains of lively 
and even pretty girls with short aprons, who, with their 
proud, elastic walk, either carried baskets of oranges on 
their heads, or drove asses laden with a similar burden. 
They all bent their way to the coast from a valley, and 
thus induced us to proceed to this valley notwithstanding 
the considerable distance and the increasing heat. We 
refreshed ourselves with some excellent oranges, and then 
advanced gaily and merrily on our way to the valley 
opening picturesquely before us, which, formed by volcanic 
mountains, afforded a bed for the rapid river in its small 
verdant plain. In isolated spots, cheerful houses stood 
almost buried amid the golden loads of orange trees. 
The sides of the mountains were rent by torrents of lava, 
blocks of basalt and volcanic caverns ; all around were 
dark, gloomy masses of colour, stiff unnatural forms, over 
which the two species of Euphorbia were scattered in 
amazing quantities. 

In the interior of the island, in the land-locked landscape, 
this winding valley presents quite a novel character; 
hues dull and gloomy, bare forms of ruin, not a tree, 
not a variety of shrub, not a flower. The black mountain 
sides looked like the walls and remains of a large building 
that had been burnt down, the grey dried-up Euphorbias 
like the scorched plants of the garden. And thus it went 
on and on ; always grand, always unique, but melancholy 
and monotonous even to despair, a region for the dry 
geologist. The only consolation amid this scene of 
destruction was to be found (so long as by turning round 



ACROSS THE LINE. 49 

we were still able to see it) in the dark blue and kindly 
eye of Ocean. 

We had scarcely begun our journey into the valley 
when, revivingly and full of perfume, a shower of silvery 
drops fell upon us in the midst of the unbroken sunshine 
as if in fairy jest, and at last it drove us into a cavern. 
A cheerful herd of goats climbed about the rocks like 
chamois. Milk was freshly drawn for us ; it was white 
as the jasmine-blossoms, foamed like champagne, and had 
a deliciously primitive and refreshing taste. The goat- 
herd, hideous as an ourang-outang, grumbled when a 
piece of silver was given to him, and with half-imploring, 
half-threatening words, tried to compel us to give him 
double the amount. This I thought insolent. I pro- 
posed to annihilate the man by a vigorous ' Schnaderhipf 1 ' 
in choro et unisono. With grave faces we poured forth 
a volume of sound resembling that of a mountain torrent, 
singing with all our might. The effect was magical. 
The victim to German song crouched at our feet, gentle 
as a lamb. 

Whilst we were sitting in the cave, a magnificent 
rainbow of unusual beauty of hue was to be seen spanning 
the narrow valley. The rain favoured us frequently during 
the day, but in the warm sunshine it was not more 
unpleasant than the sprinkling of a fountain. We were 
obliged to cross the river at least ten times, hopping from 
stone to stone ; which (what with the botanic box and 
tools, and the various differences in the length of our 
legs) brought us into many comical situations. The brave- 
hearted girls who were going or returning between distant 
Tagalana and the town held their short dresses up rather 
high ; and strode laughing, with bare calves, through the 
foaming flood. *It was not till afternoon that we returned 
home along the coast in the scorching heat. The health- 
ful walk had done us good, both in body and mind ; and 

VOL. III. E 



50 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

our good spirits rose to their height when, near the fort 
on the eastern side of Teneriffe, I descried a cloud of 
smoke, and joyfully recognised the long-looked-for ' Eliza- 
beth.' 

Evening reunited us happily with our warm-hearted 
commander, at our repast in the fonda. He brought the 
best intelligence of those who had remained behind in 
Madeira; but as the bird of ill omen was among their 
number, so just before their arrival on the north side of 
Madeira, they had encountered a fearful storm. It was a 
great comfort to me to know that they were now in safety 
in the peaceful paradise of that island. 

Santa Cruz, December 24. 

We spent half of this day in our fonda, half on board 
the ( Elizabeth.' Our national feeling bade us pass part 
of it in Santa Cruz, and devote it to the benefit of an 
Austrian merchantman. This unfortunate Austrian brig 
had arrived fifteen months ago at Santa Cruz, her destina- 
tion being Monte Video. A Piedmontese, who had been 
indiscreetly brought with him by the captain, had secretly 
excited a mutiny, so that the entire crew, excepting a 
clerk and one sailor, had absconded on reaching land. The 
captain solicited an armed force from the Spanish magis- 
trate, that with its help he might bring back the 
mutineers on board. The Spaniard, certainly to all ap- 
pearance, sent some soldiers ; but they allowed the sailors 
under their escort to escape on the quay ; and the captain- 
general immediately, on his own authority, sent them 
away to other trading-vessels; .among them, to one in 
which typhus fever had carried off part of the crew. The 
poor captain, deserted and helpless, not having the support 
of an Austrian consul, applied in vain to the magistrates 
to give him a Spanish crew. 

Thus a year passed away, the vessel became damaged in 



ACROSS THE LINE. 51 

the bad roadstead, and the unhappy man was obliged to 
sell the cargo in order to live. At last he resolved to go 
to Madrid, when again he was tossed from post to pillar, 
and months passed over. The Prussian consul, who 
ought to transact our business, is now absent on a pleasure 
excursion, and thus not even the documents bearing 
reference to Madrid can be found. Throwing off my 
hitherto strictly preserved incognito, I sent our discreet 
commander to the captain-general in the course of the 
forenoon; and with all possible diplomatic energy made 
a requisition for a Spanish crew, in order to restore the 
honour of our flag in the eyes of the Spaniards. . Pressed 
by every kind of urgent argument, the captain-general 
yielded, sailors were procured, an honest boatswain from 
the ' Elizabeth ' was sent on board, and in a few days the 
brig, rescued from durance, sailed for Cadiz. There still 
remained to the captain the further duty and anxiety of 
obtaining a suitable sum, as compensation, from the Spanish 
Government. 

Late in the evening we once more went on shore, to 
hear the misa del nino, as the Spaniards term the 
midnight service, in the cathedral. We drank tea at the 
Hotel Eichardson, and then, in the warm lovely night, 
crossed the square and passed through the streets which 
branch from it to the church of the Conception. All was 
life in the town ; everywhere merry groups were standing 
or walking, and singing lively songs to the guitar, castanets, 
or tambourines. It was a joyous celebration of Christmas 
in the genial atmosphere of a summer night. 

This favoured clime knows nothing of the painfully 
rapid hurry beloaging to a freezing northern congregation, 
as, enveloped in furs, they press into church, over the 
crisp snow, by the flickering light of their lanterns. 
Cheerful fires were burning near the church, and women 
were offering oranges and other southern fruits for sale. 

E2 



52 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

The cathedral was brilliantly lighted; and when we 
entered, the service had already commenced to the sound 
of the organ. We found room among the fathers of the 
church, who wore medals suspended by red or blue ribbons. 
When the singing was finished, a procession, with numerous 
torches and censers of incense, advanced through the nave 
of the church. The clergy struck up a chant, whilst a 
rich canopy worked with gold and silver was carried over 
those clergymen who were officiating, and who were 
arrayed in ancient and really beautiful vestments. At 
first, I did not rightly know what was signified by this 
procession as introduced into the ritual of Christendom. 
The people who pressed around it seemed to be astonished, 
and testified their satisfaction in tones that were becoming 
loud. 

I was shocked. I perceived that the ])echant in a heavy 
gold pluvial (the picture of true hierarchical dignity, tall 
and aged, with grave, handsome features resembling the 
portrait of Gregory XVI.) was with composed, thought- 
ful, anxious mien, carrying the naked image of a child 
carved in wood of the size of life, with arms and legs 
extended in the air. There was something heathenish in 
this show and parade, which offended my religious feelings. 
Evidently it was to be understood that the birth had taken 
place behind the altar, and that the aged Dechant, as a 
sort of St. Joseph, was exhibiting the child to us, the 
shepherds. The children, who had assembled in numbers 
in the church, seemed to be specially delighted with this 
procession. Such appeals to the senses in a church, do 
more harm than they can possibly do good. The procession 
aroused me for the moment from an oppressive drowsiness 
which had overpowered me within this heated church. 
High mass was celebrated with much devotion ; the music 
was wonderful ; and the behaviour of the people, as also 
their devout appearance, served to elevate the soul, and 



ACROSS THE LINE. 53 

to obliterate the painful impression of that unnecessary 
appeal to the senses which the clergy, with good intent 
undoubtedly, but with very limited discretion, had pre- 
sented in this holy place. 

As we returned to the harbour, a band of troubadours 
on a balcony pealed forth their wondrous lays beneath the 
glittering, starry vault of heaven. 

The f Elizabeth ' weighed anchor, and we steamed away 
towards Gran Canaria. 

Ciudad de las Palmas in Gran Canaria, December 25. 

By daybreak we had reached the northern side of this 
island, which in shape, colouring, and general features 
resembles its sister isle Teneriffe ; but its forms are less 
rugged, and less fantastic. The mountains present softer 
outlines, are not so high, and are covered with the products 
of earth, and with cultivation. Towards eight o'clock we 
sailed round the eastern point Isletta, a detached, insular 
cape, which, like Gibraltar, is united to the land merely 
by a sandbank. This passed, the extensive roadstead of 
Ciudad de las Palmas, or Palmas as it is more shortly 
called, lay spread before our view, forming, together with 
the hills and mountain country, an amphitheatre. On the 
right, are the massive heights of Isletta, with their tints 
of bluish grey and green ; next gleams the golden glow of 
the spit of sand, broken only by an old black fort. 

The range of hills (the principal cultivation of which 
consists of dull, green, cochineal plantations) rises gently 
up to the mountain heights, which again elevate themselves 
in a pyramidal form up to the distant peak, the lofty 
summit of which is mysteriously shrouded in cloud. The 
first range of hills runs parallel with the undulating coast, 
in retreating forms. As in an amphitheatre so here, 
recesses of considerable size (like the boxes at a theatre) 
have been made. These are the dwellings of the ancient 



54 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Guanches, and still serve as the abodes of the Troglodytes, 
like the cuevas del sacro monte in Granada. 

At the foot of this city of caves, on the yellow sandy 
coast, stands Ciudad de las Palmas, with its brightly- 
coloured, flat-roofed houses; and reminding one vividly 
of Malaga by its large mediaeval cathedral. Some lofty 
palms which wave over the town explain its name. 
On the left, of the town the coast rises into extensive, 
precipitously ascending, dark ramparts of basalt, against 
which the ocean foam dashes, and behind which the 
mountains rear themselves in layers of various strata. 

The ' Elizabeth ' anchored in the roads among some 
merchant vessels. We landed at a quay for boats, formed 
by a dam and some heaps of stones. Groups of the 
inhabitants, in broad-brimmed Panama hats, stared at us 
in astonishment. An amiable young man was so good- 
natured as to offer his services as guide. We went through 
the streets to the Fonda Inglesa. The houses are of the 
same description as those in Teneriffe ; the same mysterious 
windows, the same ornamental balconies. The woman also 
wear the white mantilla, the men the flannel cloak, but the 
whole town displays more of the character of a civilised, 
prosperous metropolis. One feels that one is really in a 
capital; and in deed, until lately, this town held precedence 
above Santa Cruz. The entire scene tells of wealth and 
prosperity. 

On our entrance into the courtyard of the Fonda Inglesa, 
a frightful old lady, the noted Peppa, made her appearance 
in the act of washing her hands. She addressed us as 
roughly as though we had been intruders into a private 
house, and sent us off with the assurance that she had 
neither room nor breakfast prepared ; and when we went 
away laughing, she made faces after us. It was quite a 
novel spectacle, such as I had never before witnessed to a 
similar extent in all my wanderings. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 55 

We visited the beautifully situated Almeida, which 
raised according to true Spanish taste, stands in the 
centre of the town surrounded by terraces with balus- 
trades. Notwithstanding the numbers of exotic plants, 
it has, owing to the regularity of their arrangement, 
rather the appearance of a drawing-room than that of a 
garden. Close to it are the Casino and the theatre, both 
contained in one large edifice. Beyond the Plaza del 
Principe Alfonso, named after the little prince of Asturias, 
we came to a stone bridge leading over a wide river that 
divides this large town into two parts, and flows from the 
mountains to the ocean. Some rather artistic marble 
statues representing the Seasons (almost unknown to the 
Canary Islanders), adorn the bridge: from its centre there 
is a striking view of the two portions of the town, and of 
the receding heights. On the left, one sees the towers 
standing far apart, the flat, richly-ornamented roof of the 
cathedral, the extensive and imposing palace of the 
Ajutamente, the dome of the college, and the bishop's 
residence. On the right, the terraces of houses mount up 
one above another, until they are lost in the hollows of the 
amphitheatre. 

From out a narrow valley in the centre of the panorama 
the river pours down its waters, fringed by terraced 
gardens, in which giant palms, centuries old, raise their 
gently waving crowns to the clear sky from amid the 
bright green of bananas and Arums. Behind us were 
murmuring the broad blue waves of the sapphire sea. I 
had not beheld so perfect and romantic a picture for a long 
time. I began to be reconciled to the Canary Isles, with 
which, until now, I had not been much prepossessed. 

A second surprise, and also a great one in its way, was 
afforded us by the cathedral, a spacious, handsome edifice 
of the latter part of the fifteenth century. The large 
ancient fapades, begun, like the interior, in the later Gothic 
style, have unfortunately received the addition of a modern 



56 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

screen after the style of S. Peter's ; this is still in progress. 
The interior of the church is spacious and lofty ; the 
columns of basalt rise tall and slender, uniting themselves 
with the beautifully traced groined work ; and, like palms 
with broad crowns, gracefully and lightly supporting the 
high, and rather flattened, but not heavy, vaulted roof. 
The exquisitely twined basalt branches, clearly outlined in 
their dark hues on the white ground, present a simple, 
solemn, and yet cheering effect ; whilst the entire build- 
ing suggests one pervading thought of harmony, infusing a 
spirit of genuine and vigorous faith. 

Beyond the high altar, with its wealth of silver and of 
relics, a handsome crucifix, placed beneath a large velvet 
canopy, stands exalted within view of every part of the 
spacious church. The arrangements in the interior of the 
cathedral are made in accordance with Spanish custom, 
therefore there is a space of considerable size in the 
centre of the nave enclosed for the choir : before the high 
altar hangs an immense silver lamp, a present from the 
celebrated Cardinal Ximenes. A colossal St. Christopher, 
painted in fresco on the wall, reminded me of our village 
churches in Upper Austria, and recalled home. 

We climbed the heights and visited that portion of the 
town which stands in their hollows. The latter are simple 
incisions in the calcareous rock and contain rooms which, 
when white-washed and provided with rush mats, appear 
very habitable. Beds, with high pillows and white hangings, 
testified to the cleanliness of the Troglodytes who could not 
.have been aware of our coming, and who, laughing, ex- 
pressed their surprise that anyone should visit such humble 
abodes. These people possess two treasures for which 
many European kingdoms might well envy them ; their 
lovely climate of perpetual spring, and their extensive, 
magnificent prospect over the lofty city of palms and the 
ocean. 



ACROSS THE LTNE. 57 

Our amiable companion, with whom we were able to 
make ourselves very well understood, called our attention 
to the numerous cochineal plantations which (though only 
introduced within the last ten or twelve years) have given 
considerable importance to the island, and have proved a 
remunerative speculation much to be valued. The cactus 
opuntia flourishes everywhere in this genial climate with- 
out culture ; on it thrives the insect which, simply col- 
lected in bottles., yields its rich produce almost without 
labour or trouble. The only thing that must not be 
neglected is, to cover the old insects so completely with 
linen rags that the eggs may rest on them, and in this 
way, may be carried to fresh plants. 

The introduction of these insects into southern Dalinatia 
would, I believe, be of great service to that needy country ; 
all the more so, because the people smoke long pipes, and 
no people who smoke long pipes can do much work. One 
yoke of land in the Canary Isles brings in a net return 
of 1,500 thalers a year, by feeding these remunerative 
insects. 

Our guide, who belonged to the fashionable world of 
Palma, took us to the Casino and theatre. We were sur- 
prised to see a very fine dancing saloon, and another large 
and spacious apartment, as well as a select library. On 
our way we met, in the town, men with a sort of cap of 
blue and red cloth, looking in front, like the prow of a 
ship ; behind, having a long point like a pigtail which hung 
far down the back, and from the extreme end of which 
depended a red tassel. This national article of dress is 
worthy to stand side by side with the lightning-conductor 
caps of Madeira ; for if the latter be a protection against 
the rays of the sun, the former may serve as weather-cocks. 

We were conducted to a new fonda, a dirty, wretched 
house, with a landlord who gave us as rough a reception as 
Peppa had done, and who looked as though he would fain 



58 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

annihilate us with his round, piercing eyes ; but who con- 
descended to promise us some refreshment. I never in 
my life met with such a race of innkeepers as those in this 
city of palms. In their eyes, travellers come under the 
category of slaves who are first to be ill-treated, and must 
then yield to the demand for tribute. That they them- 
selves are the servants of the public appears never yet to 
have been brought home to them, and they need to go 
through a regular course of English discipline. 

We waited an endless time in a place abounding in dirt, 
and when we modestly enquired for our refreshments, and 
for the horses which had been ordered, we were snubbed. 
The master of the house, the mistress, the children, the 
servants, all walked about in the balcony and courtyard 
before our eyes, looking good-humoured, but not troubling 
themselves in the least about anything. Mother and 
daughter ogled at the fashionable young gentlemen who 
came to pay them visits in the court ; the father seemed, 
dressed in his speckled pantaloons, to be doing honour to 
the holiday ; immense cats and fat dogs jumped around 
us ; turtle doves cooed their melancholy lays ; a lawyer 
near us carried on a disputation respecting the code penal 
with a gentleman in a rich dressing-gown who looked like 
an old roue ; and we, poor neglected beings, sat like lepers 
or beggars, forgotten and unnoticed, in our humble 
corner. 

But patience overcomes difficulties ; and thus at length 
our modest meal appeared, and sounds of the hoofs of 
horses and asses were heard as they clattered on the pave- 
ment in front of the fonda. Our silent, mysterious, pro- 
tector, who wrought in our behalf like the Armenian of the 
ghost-seer, and whose powers only failed before the un- 
conquerable tyranny of the landlord, had reserved for me 
a bestia particolare, as he termed it ; in plain Grerman, a 
very special animal, a racer, belonging to a private gen- 



ACROSS THE LINE. 59 

tleman. It was an excellent grey mare, which went at a 
swift and easy pace, and on which one sat as comfortably 
as though on a couch, borne along by a twelve-mile pro- 
peller. 

Our road to-day lay towards Atalaja, a valley distant 
three leagues from Palma; at first it led us along the 
course of the river that intersects the town, past beautiful 
mansions, an immense hospital for foundlings, and then 
again to that end of the town which extends to the 
hollows. On our right we saw the river (which turns 
some mills), bordered by splendid palms, we then ascended 
to a barren, volcanic ridge of hill, along which we rode for 
a long time, enjoying the extensive view on both sides ; 
over the ocean with the blue gleaming islands of Lan- 
cerota, Delizias, and Fuerta Ventura, and over the deep 
valleys, in whose depths were twinkling lovely villas and 
groves of palms. 

The form of the hills (skirted by bright green fields 
destitute of trees), the colour of the sky, and the cool sea 
breeze, were all northern ; and it was only deep down in 
the valleys, among the palms and orange trees, that the 
charms of the south were to be found. 

Our party rode quickly through the frosty air, a power- 
ful influence urging us continually to press forwards ; none 
other than that of the vehement, fiery, uncontrollable ass 
which rushed on in a wild career, hurrying along with it 
our unwilling botanist. Fate so willed it, that this scien- 
tific man should take with him on the donkey his enormous 
botanical box, which he carried on his shoulders, and into 
which he had put an orange in case of feeling thirsty. 
The more this rattled against the tin, the more madly did 
the ass rush on. The despairing botanist flew, like Ma- 
zeppa, over stock and stone ; our wild troop dashed on 
behind him ; till at last, fortunately without any injury, 
he kissed his mother earth, and thus regained his wonted 
stability. 



60 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

As we continued to ride along the ridge of hill, fresh 
and picturesque valleys opened unceasingly before our 
gaze. The vegetation became more luxuriant, and even 
groups of trees of different kinds were visible, mixed with 
blossoming shrubs at the farms, and by the side of the 
tolerably well-kept roads. Everywhere the people were' 
in their Sunday attire, and were enjoying their time of 
rest, greeting each other in a friendly manner, and nodding 
to the passers-by. 

On our way we visited a small villa, completely covered 
with myrtles in bloom, and in the little garden of which 
we found some splendid araucarias. We had still one 
more hill to mount ; and then, opening towards the ocean, 
there lay before us the clearly-defined, deep, rocky valley 
of Alataja, and at its extremity (rising in a semi-circle 
like an amphitheatre, large and commanding as the 
gigantic ruin of an ancient theatre), the imposing Troglo- 
dyte city of the Guanches of olden time, which even at 
the present day conceals within its stony mysteries, its 
rocky caverns, 2,000 inhabitants with their possessions and 
goods. 

This picture is one of the most astounding and most 
impressive that rude nature and primitive human in- 
dustry combined could present to the gaze of the asto- 
nished traveller. At the sight of this rocky territory 
thus hollowed out, and animated by human life, memory 
recalls the monuments of the vigorous days of remote 
antiquity, when man, chained down to the rough earth, 
worked its materials with talent, and with an unflagging 
arm. We admire the Necropolis at Thebes, the rocky 
halls of Petra, the pierced mountains of India, the giant 
theatre of ancient Home ; and if the Canary Isles pos- 
sessed nothing but the rocky town of Atalaja, it would 
be well worth all the trouble of crossing the ocean to 
visit them. 



ACKOSS THE LINE. 61 

An additional attraction is imparted to these rocks with 
their numerous dark openings, their burnished fapades^ 
their terraces, their narrow paths of communication and 
steps, by the fact that they are still the haunts and abodes 
of men. Each of these countless hollows has its own 
history, its own tale of throbbing emotions, of joy and 
sorrow, of birth and death. The eye rests on one im- 
mense, impressive monument ; imagination pictures a gay, 
merry beehive with innumerable cells, and the buzzing, 
humming activity of the inhabitants passing to and fro. 

We had left our horses in a stable of tufifstone at the 
first hollow, and were ourselves reclining on a jutting rock, 
from which we had a' view of the whole town, together 
with the valley beneath. Scarcely had some few of the 
inhabitants become aware of our presence, than all was 
excitement in the bee-like life of the city. People, dressed 
in gay colours, bustled forth from every dusky opening ; 
the children, filled with curiosity, came down laughing and 
shouting from ledge to ledge, from story to story, to the 
place in which we were; with graver steps, the men 
emerged from their stone houses, along their accustomed 
path, anxious to see what had thrown the town into such 
commotion ; the women and young girls dressed in their 
gay Sunday clothes, screaming, chattering, and enjoying 
the merry tattle, assembled on the narrow terraces in front 
of their hollows, or on the rocky roofs of the dwellings on 
the lower stories. It was like a play when all the be- 
decked puppets come out gaily from rocks made of cork 
and pasteboard ; and was quite in harmony with the festi- 
vities of the day. 

Immense mirth and applause were excited among the 
people by our nimble little botanist, who, in his search for 
plants, ran around the rocks and leaped here and there 
with his large box, just like a weasel. The primitive 
people evidently took him for a lunatic, who had escaped 



62 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

from our care ; one could read this in their laughing and 
astonished countenances. They who believe that the Tro- 
glodytes are all thieves, are quite wrong. We went into 
their caves, and found in them a certain degree of comfort. 
Clean white curtains surrounded the recesses where they 
slept ; nice, clean linen was on the beds ; some articles of 
furniture, and prettily arranged earthenware, adorned the 
walls, which were well whitened, and frequently covered 
with plaited rushes ; the people were well clad and well 
fed : that they all called out for a Pezzelto was unfortu- 
nately only characteristic of all southern countries. 

The chief means of support of this large population is 
potter's work, which they execute with great skill, and 
even on a gigantic scale. Unceasingly surrounded by the 
inquisitive crowd, we went from story to story, over the 
dangerous paths of these rocky terraces, up which even 
the youngest children clamber like goats. My bestia par- 
ticolare, notwithstanding the advancing night, brought me 
back to Palma, as if she were flying ; and we were already 
merrily seated at the dinner-table of the ( Elizabeth,' when 
after a long, long time, the poor doctor and botanist 
returned, exhausted with fatigue. 

R M. S. ' Elizabeth,' December 26. 

Early in the morning we again went on shore ; but on 
this occasion only the younger members of our party, who 
were prepared for a fast ride. The doctor nursed his 
wearied limbs at home. 

Our first visit was to the cathedral, where we found that 
no mass would be celebrated, and we were directed to the 
college chapel. There, the whole of the clerical students, 
with pointed, Chinese-looking, priests' caps, were seated in 
rows in the middle of the chapel, executing prescribed in- 
tonations according to the matutinal chant. The poor young 
boys in their surplices had more inclination to laugh than 
to drawl through the solemn psalm, like machines. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 63 

Such institutions, in which the clergy are made accord- 
ing to rule, are contrary to my feelings; and, in my 
opinion, are very prejudicial to religion. Children who 
are much too young and too unformed in intellect to have 
an idea respecting the sacred calling which awaits them, 
receive a false bias even in their infancy, they never learn 
to know the world by experience, and are imbued with 
an unjust, bitter, repulsive spirit of bigotry which does 
not at all tend to increase their influence or superiority 
in the eyes of their flock. The greatest saints and most 
persuasive teachers of Christianity, all selected their office 
from the conviction that it was their vocation, after ma- 
ture reflection on their future position ; and from St. Paul 
down to St. Augustine and Ignatius Loyola, these mighty 
spirits never could have done such grand deeds in the 
battle-field of Christianity, had they not first become ac- 
quainted with the world and with its darker side. 
Modern zealots maintain that these seminaries for boys 
are necessary, because that otherwise no clergy could be 
provided. It seems to me that, by this very assertion, 
sentence is passed against a compulsory preparation. Free 
choice must be the guide to everything that is good in 
this world ; the heart must impart light, and its first 
glimmer ought not to be shut up in imprisonment. All 
these human institutions for military, scientific, and re- 
ligious training are alike productive of miserable results. 
The stiff military academies of Eastern Europe have no 
other use than to enable the troops to go through some 
parade manoeuvres ; and, as in the ass's comedy, to teach 
them how to wheel and deploy. And have our modern 
scientific plans of education ever produced any great 
men? They have taught the rudiments of science, it is 
true, but genius has ever been born beyond the walls of 
the academy; and the great spirits in the Church 
have not grown up within seminaries. He who has seen 



64 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

nothing of the world, cannot understand, much less in- 
struct, the world. 

After we had been enduring this practising for nearly, 
an hour, a priest came up to us, and said that they were 
waiting for the arrival of the prince, before beginning 
mass. I assured him of the presence of the prince ; and, 
to our rather disagreeable surprise, instead of a quiet 
service, High Mass was begun. But our season of trial 
was not over at its conclusion ; the two directors of the 
seminary, in their misguided zeal, want of tact, and mis- 
taken politeness, insisted on accompanying me through 
the town, like a criminal who is being led to execution. I 
deprecated, I protested,' I assured them that I must hurry, 
for that people were waiting for me ; they, in return, as- 
sured me that they also would hurry on ; I said that I was 
going to the inn where my horses were standing ; they 
replied that the inn lay also in their road. In short, 
nothing would induce them to retire, and, indeed, it 
appeared to be their intention to accompany us on our 
excursion. At last, on reaching the cathedral I dismissed 
them in very plain words ; but, when I returned from the 
country in the afternoon, I found them again posted in 
the street ready to greet me anew. 

The remainder of our party were already waiting at the 
fonda ; we mounted our horses, among which there were 
to-day some excellent pacers, and dashed forwards along 
a broad and very good road. At first, our course lay along 
the green coast, covered with palms; then upwards, as- 
cending to the dark ramparts of basalt, from the curves in 
which we obtained magnificent views of the picturesque 
city of palms, and of the bright, gay, blue waters of the 
roadstead. Like the grave monarch of the sea of houses 
the grand cathedral, with its dusky towers, was clearly out- 
lined against the sunny sky, whilst giant palms waved 
poetically around it. But the effect was even more mag- 



ACROSS THE LINE. 65 

nificent when, looking down from the lofty, perpendicular 
ramparts, one beheld the sparkling waves of ocean dashing 
their foam on the golden sand of the lovely and irregular 
shore. The charm of these picturesque and soul-satisfying 
scenes was increased a hundredfold by the truly glorious 
weather. To-day, for the first time, the breath of the 
trade wind stirred the air, and our glad hearts revelled in 
sweet anticipations of spring. The whole of the warm, 
bright atmosphere was redolent of the fragrance of violets. 
My bestia particolare flew along like Mahomet's mare, 
and after her came the rest of the party, who were 
pouring forth joyous, gleesome songs to the azure sky. 
The turns in the road were sharp; the horses spirited, 
the riders bad; and thus it was, that one of our little 
band was twice hurled suddenly from the high regions 
down to the hard realities of earth ; fortunately he man- 
aged his falls with peculiar skill, and rose from them 
unhurt. 

When we quitted the shore, we advanced into the vol- 
canic hill-country, which, however, we found richly culti- 
vated ; except that in one valley there was still the barren 
bed of a stream of lava, as at Naples, in which some 
solitary Euphorbias stood like phantoms with outstretched 
arms. On our way, we saw in a valley on one side an 
enormous pump, which, worked by oxen and camels, feeds 
the entire of the fertile district. Beautiful cinerarias in 
the fullest and richest bloom, white tipped with violet and 
deep purple, grew on the wall of rock near the spring. 
The camels, which by reason of the feast day were 
making holiday and were ruminating near the pump, 
were, of all their hideous race, the most hideous speci- 
mens that I ever beheld, and one coul'd not but marvel 
that such monsters should exist in the kingdom of na- 
ture. We had yet one more chain of hills to cross, and 
then we reached the goal of our enjoyable journey. In 

VOL. in. F 



66 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

an extensive valley, on the peaceful banks of a mountain 
stream, amid lovely gardens and well-cultivated fields, 
were grouped the flat-roofed, brightly-tinted houses of the 
little town of Telde ; scattered amid them stood numer- 
ous large palms rich in foliage and with luxuriant crowns, 
which spread themselves like a canopy over the whole of 
the oriental-like town, and cast a beneficent shade : be- 
tween the hills one could catch the twinkling smiles of 
the blue ocean. This panoramic view reminded me vividly 
of Ramleh in the plains of Sharon on the road from Jaffa 
to Jerusalem. 

Festive mirth reigned in the town ; and in the square 
in front of the church, men were singing gaily to the 
music of the guitar and tambourine. On the Almeida in 
the centre of the town, beneath the shade of an oleander 
tree, seated on a stony bank, and surrounded by the as- 
tonished crowd, our German party partook of a cheerful 
repast, at which our thirst proved itself specially of Ger- 
man origin. Rendered doubly mirthful by this rest, we 
galloped back at full speed to Ciudad de las Palmas. 
The citizens who were sunning themselves in their Sunday 
attire in front of their houses, stared at us with astonish- 
ment, as they saw us clattering over the resounding pave- 
ment. 

At the Fonda, we were present at one of the cockfights, 
so popular here ; the plumage of the cocks was brilliant, 
as it has universally been with all those that I have seen 
in the Canary Isles ; but the contest was not nearly so 
exciting as at a fight at which I was present some years 
ago in Valencia. The cocks attacked each other fiercely, 
but did not gain much thereby, and the struggle ended by 
one of them breaking his beak. 

All was life and excitement to-day in the streets of 
Palma, and the loveliest of lovely women, with Andalusian 
features, raven hair, and sparkling black eyes, gazed down 



ACROSS THE LINE. 67 

from the mysterious windows, or strolled about the streets 
in picturesque mantillas and with their graceful fans. 

On quitting the town, we offered a considerable douceur 
to our amiable volunteer guide ; he, however, declined it, 
with cordial thanks ; and simply made the request that, in 
recognition of his services, he might be allowed to see the 
f Elizabeth.' We took him on board, and I presented him 
with a ring, which gave him sincere pleasure. 

At five o'clock we weighed anchor and steered for the 
Cape de Verd islands. 

H.M.S. 'Elizabeth,' December 27. 

The morning was brilliant; the sun shone on the deep 
blue rippling ocean ; the trade-wind had set in, and filled 
the broad, swelling sails. The barometer stood unusually 
high, performing its office in the regions of the trade-winds. 
The air was warm and mild as on our summer days, the 
colouring likewise. A feeling of gladness pervaded the whole 
ship. After storm and rough weather, we were approach- 
ing the safer tract of the tropics. Towards evening the 
wind fell, the sea became rougher, clouds overspread the 
sky, and a soft, mild rain fell. Not a sail, not a living 
object broke in upon the grand yet not wearisome mo- 
notony of the ocean. 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' December 28. 

The 28th of December stands forth as a red-letter day in 
my reminiscences of travel, for to-day at a quarter before 
ten o'clock in the morning, with a bright sun, a calm blue 
sea, and fresh trade-wind we entered the Tropic of Cancer, 
and with proud bearing and feelings joyfully excited, I 
found myself for the first time within the equinoctial zone. 
This is an important event in the life of a sailor, as in that 
of a traveller ; some will say, that this is a mere fanciful 
idea, but similar ideas govern the world. We were enter- 
ing that portion of the earth in which there is no winter, 
in which cold has no power, the golden path of the sun 

F2 



'68 EECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

enthroned in the zenith above us. To me, who am the 
bitterest of foes to cold, an entrance into the tropics was a 
spe'cial cause for rejoicing, and more particularly so in the 
usually dismal month of December. Now no frost can 
touch me, making my poor bones shake with cold ; this 
happy truth, this great gain, was ever present in my mind. 
Man's life is short and even one winter is long, so that 
the annihilation of one solitary winter season is a great 
gain that cannot be over-estimated. 

The sun shone with powerful warmth ; and therefore, for 
the worthy celebration of the day, we all, with amusing 
unanimity, appeared in white caps and trowsers, and com- 
plete midsummer dress. As the day advanced, the light 
clouds gradually vanished, until, at last, the sky glowed in 
the perfection of its clear brilliance. 

The sunset was very beautiful; the tints in the west 
had, immediately over the sea, a green hue ; above them, 
the sky was of the most wondrous rosy red. In the late 
evening, the scene was magnificent; the sky was com- 
pletely changed : in the deep blue of the mighty firmament 
the stars were gleaming with redoubled splendour, like 
glittering jewels; but owing to the speed of our voyage, 
their position was already quite altered. The Great Bear, 
which I have gazed at so long as I can remember anything, 
and which only once (in Cairo) had lost two stars, had now 
disappeared, and the polar star stood low down in the 
horizon, almost dethroned. The small crescent moon shone 
with vivid light, and cast shadows deep as that of our full 
moon. The scene afforded me inexpressible delight, and 
elevated my mind ; I had arrived at a new point in the 
history of my life. These innocent triumphs are more in 
harmony with my struggles and aspirations than all of 
splendour that my native country can offer. 

I was the first of my house who ever wandered to the 
tropics, and even now did so with the feeling that I had 
not yet arrived at my ultimate destination. 



ACROSS THE LIXE. 69 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' December 29. 

The earliest hours of morning found me already on 
deck, that I might see the much lauded, oft-described 
Southern Cross : the starry image was there, just over the 
horizon, the five brilliant specks distorted into a cross as 
crooked as those that at dinner one makes in play of 
crumbs of bread. 

Although the lowest star is said to be the largest, yet 
we could not perceive that it was especially bright or 
sparkling. No enthusiasm was awakened in my heart at 
the sight of this constellation, and I am unable to sym- 
pathise in the delight of the many travellers who de- 
scribe this wonder in rapturous terms. My friend Ida 
PfeifTer that energetic lady whom I esteem so highly, 
and who has accomplished more, as a traveller, than the 
strongest men was the first person who, possessed of 
praiseworthy courage, ventured by plain, sober truth to 
destroy the artificial halo surrounding this simple con- 
stellation. But I am pleased to have seen this wonder in 
the gallery of nature, only visible in these regions. We 
also could see the constellation of the ship in its full 
extent. But, triumphant over all, the Great Bear stood 
once more high in the heavens, more beautiful, more 
perfect than any other starry image. Jupiter was so 
bright that one could see his disc. 

In these tropical nights, the light on the sea is also 
wonderful ; it is not merely that one sees the usual glitter 
in a thousand twinkling sparkles ; not that ; some of 
the waves actually break in a flood of light, and, darting 
phosphoric rays, play on the foam like lightning among 
the summer clouds. 

The day was hot and cloudless a pavilion for the sun ; 
but the trade wind, with a high barometer, afforded a soft 
gentle air, delicious to inhale. The sky gleamed brightly, 
like a vast canopy bright with diamonds, without the 



70 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

slightest tint of blue, and the sun at the time of its 
setting was of a light, pale gold colour, such as is never 
seen in our country. The sea also was on the whole calm, 
yet towards evening, broad masses of wave, like large, soft 
hills, with shell-shaped valleys, heaved up and down, in 
dimensions such as I had never beheld : whilst our vessel 
rose and sank with them so gently that her motion was 
imperceptible, I might indeed say she was undisturbed. 

During the day four sea swallows, with brown wings 
and backs and white breasts, faithfully followed our wake, 
together with shoals of flying fish ; these pretty creatures, 
with their winged fins of sapphire blue, sped from wave 
to wave often over a space many feet in extent. I saw this 
graceful fish for the first time off Cape Matapan when on 
my voyage to Greece. In August of this year, it had 
again appeared before me in an extraordinary manner at 
lovely, sunny Abbazia on the shores of the gulf of Fiume. 

St. Vincent, December 30. 

I again came on deck with early dawn ; and to-day 
indeed that I might see a sunrise in the tropics. Twilight 
lasts a very short time, and is quite unlike our twilight. 
The sky is of a clear transparent colour before the sun has 
risen, whilst its approach and the direction from which it 
is rising are unmarked by any red hues, any glowing 
clouds: the magnificent and varying tints which are so 
enchanting in our latitudes and which have such an effect 
on the heart, are all wanting here ; in vain does one seek 
for those changing tones of colour gradually passing from 
purple into molten gold. Suddenly, one sees a light on 
the horizon, a portion of the sun is visible ; the appear- 
ance is as if the sun rose by jerks, and as if it were much 
larger than our sun ; an illusion which is caused by the 
large broad waves and by the nature of the atmosphere. 
The sun pours forth its golden rays over the whole of 



ACROSS THE LINE. 71 

the white gleaming sky, and illumines it unchangingly 
throughout the whole day. 

It was still early when we sighted the Cape de Verd 
Islands ; we could distinguish St. Antonio, St. Vincent, and 
Santa Lucia. The first was nearest to us : a mighty for- 
tress of rock, the bold forms of which were beautifully 
traced; quite without vegetation, nature's architecture, 
grand as the heights of Greece or the noble, ancient 
mountains of Arabia. Their outlines were displayed 
clearly, sharply, and boldly against the gaily gleaming sky ; 
a bright light played on the loftiest peaks and on the pro- 
jecting masses of rock, whilst deep red and violet tinted 
shadows lay mysteriously in the refts, rents, and ravines : 
and all around, as the foreground to this foreign picture 
of enchantment was spread the cerulean sea, whose white 
foam laved the rocky coast. 

We were now approaching St. Vincent, at present the 
object of our voyage. It displayed similar characteristics; 
but the mountains towered aloft even more boldly, the 
jagged peaks rose to a greater height, the pyramidical 
rocks were more sharply pointed, the obelisks more 
angular, the refts wider, the ravines broader and darker. 
We were advancing into a new realm, a new kingdom of 
nature, in which are gigantic forms such as the wildest 
fancy cannot conceive, hues of a brightness and trans- 
parency such as our sunlight may not paint, whilst over 
all is cast a perfumed haze which imparts the character of 
a fairy dream. 

Sailing round a black conical rock of basalt, which rose 
like a giant's finger from the blue waters, a true monolith 
we entered the large and fine harbour of St. Vincent ; 
which, enclosed by the island whose name it bears, and by 
the neighbouring island St. Antonio, has the appearance 
of an island sea. 

A few houses and a magazine lie on the level sand like 



72 EECOLLECTIOKS OF MY LIFE. 

shells thrown up by the waves ; in the two valleys which 
open upon the harbour one sees the sombre green of 
some shrubs which glisten like freshly cast-up seaweed. 
On an eminence stands a small and ancient fort, with a 
dirty, faded, Portuguese flag ; with these exceptions, there 
is not a sign of life on the whole broad expanse of coast, 
not a stalk of vegetation, and yet it is one of the grandest, 
most impressive scenes I have ever beheld ; it resembles a 
picture which has been painted by a great imaginative 
genius with limited means at command ; and the charm 
of which lies in the outlines full of character, and in the 
warm tints compounded of but few colours, in which vege- 
tation, strewn with a sparing hand, can only find a place 
as it were by force. In harmony with these gigantic 
forms were the dreamy shimmer over the brilliant sky, 
and the blue-green sea lying in the gleaming page like a 
sapphire among unpolished stones, and here assuming a 
hue such as I have never seen except in mysterious blue 
grottoes ; and similar to that which in the north one sees 
on the sun-lit chasms of the glaciers. 

To visit St. Vincent is one of the most interesting plea- 
sures in the world of nature; to live here would be to 
endure purgatory on earth. We were very much sur- 
prised to see two large French steam-transports with 
troops on board, amid a fleet of dirty colliers. Boats, 
rowed by negroes, swarmed around our steamer ; some 
brought English coal-merchants, another the libera pra- 
tica. The coal -merchants are the princes of the place, 
for the excellent harbour of St. Vincent is nothing but an 
immense coal depot for the transatlantic steamers; the 
greater part of the little wooden houses on shore serve 
exclusively as dwellings for the merchants and their work- 
people. Beyond the coal trade there is nothing worth 
seeing in St. Vincent : the sole representative of European 
civilisation is a billiard-table in a wretched hut. Not a 



ACEOSS THE LINE. 73 

bush, not a flower, grows near the houses, which reminded 
me vividly of the stations between Cairo and Suez. The 
heat was as great as it is with us in an overpowering July. 
Towards noon we went on shore in the lightest clothes 
that we could find, with umbrellas, and hats covered in the 
Indian fashion. Our boat lay to at the wooden quay, on 
which are laid iron rails leading to the coal stores. Oar 
first impression on landing on the white fine sand which 
consists merely of the remains of very small shells, was 
strange and thoroughly foreign ; we were transported, as 
it were at a blow, into the midst of the uncontrolled pro- 
ceedings of a black population, and found ourselves in 
the midst of negroes who are the aborigines of the 
island ; white people are rare, and even the Portuguese 
guard, who here seem to be compelled, from some absurd 
notion, to adopt the buttoned-up cloth uniform of the 
European, consist of large, tall, and slender-limbed blacks. 
On the strand, and around the boats which were coming 
and going, these unbridled people in their primitive con- 
dition nearly approaching to that of nature, moved about 
and danced with cries of delight. Men with woolly hair, 
broad noses, and cunning, squinting eyes, were advancing 
to the shore with sacks of coal as though their colour had 
been given them expressly for this office. Women, with 
tall, slight figures, leather-like, wrinkled skin, their loose 
calico dress enveloping their slender forms, the blue cloak 
picturesquely thrown over their shoulders, glass beads of 
various colours round their slender throats, long gold ear- 
rings in their ears, and the saucy kerchief twisted around 
their heads, were either standing in noisy groups haggling 
over fruit with the sailors, or else were moving about 
singly, like mutes, on the plains of sand, holding their 
pitchers on their heads with their bare arms. Most of 
them were quite young mothers who were carrying their 
merry little chocolate-coloured children in a cotton sling. 



74 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

which either rested on their hips or hung far down their 
backs, and from which the little animals sprawled out 
their legs as if they were riding. It was most amusing to 
stand in front of the dusky mother when one could only 
see two little feet peeping out on the right and left of her 
waist. Round and among these groups, sometimes in the 
water, sometimes on dry land, thronged a host of children, 
running, crawling, swimming, all quite naked, with an 
unconcern that would have done honour to the most un- 
sophisticated nature. Here, one of these black beetles 
disported itself pleasantly on the hot sand ; there, a troop 
of independent youngsters rushed round a boat where an 
unskilful negro had let the golden oranges fall out of his 
sack into the briny flood. On the right, a little child of 
two years old, having taken a bath, was walking back with 
proud, measured steps to his father's mansion ; on the left, 
a very pretty little black girl, whose only clothing consisted 
of her sparkling beads, from which hung a little cross, per- 
formed the most graceful gymnastics on the rails of the 
coal tramway. Untrained nature, joyous, unrestrained 
mirth, prevailed everywhere. 

We looked for a long time at these black people with 
astonishment ; then we turned along the coast to the right 
of the village, hoping to find some botanical and geological 
specimens on a red-coloured eminence in a wide plain, 
whither the pale-green vegetation attracted us. On the 
sea-coast, at the opening of the plain, we found an obelisk 
consecrated to the memory of an unfortunate English lady 
who had died on her voyage, and had been buried here. 
The monument has only been standing for five years, and 1 
already the sea-wind has quite corroded the iron railing. 
In its vicinity we met a troop of negroes, who, with hurried 
steps, were carrying on two poles a dead body, quite con- 
cealed, like a mummy, in linen cloths. The monument 
and this spectacle accorded well with the silent, desert, 



ACKOSS THE LIXE. 75 

flowerless country, with the giant rocks gazing in still 
loneliness towards heaven, with the atmosphere steaming 
with burning heat, through which only some few ospreys 
noiselessly dragged their wearied wings. 

From the shore inland, the dry hot plain was scantily 
covered with tamarisk bushes, which were just unfolding 
their insignificant blossoms. Beneath parching heat we 
pursued our way along the plain to a miserable little house 
lying at the foot of a mountain-slope the ruinous cottage 
of the governor. In front of this cottage, surrounded by 
a wall made of stones laid one upon another without 
mortar, were some unhappy-looking foreign shrubs, some 
small trees, and one larger one, slender in circumference, 
which afforded some shade, the only one we found in the 
whole island ; beneath it were three Frenchmen in fan- 
tastic hunting-dress. Under the shrubs and small trees 
we discovered a species of cytisus, covered with fragrant, 
canary-coloured blossoms ; the poisonous jatropha with its 
bright yellow fruit and fig-like leaves : also various kinds 
of acacia, the seeds of which we collected. The solitary 
shade-giving tree had large green leaves, beautifully 
glossy ; a stem like that of a Magnolia, and fruit resembling 
the figs on a wild fig-tree ; but of its name we are still 
in ignorance. We found an interesting species of gourd 
creeping along the arid earth, the Cucurbita propketarum ; 
it is of the size of an orange, and is very inviting in this 
thirsty land ; but, according to the report of our botanist 
who tasted one, its bitterness made him irremediably un- 
comfortable for the whole day. On the mountain slope 
bloomed a handsome ipomea with large flowers, the white 
of which was slightly tinged with a shade of lilac. 

So far as the animal kingdom was concerned our sports- 
men shot one solitary specimen of the bright brown 
sparrows that hopped about confidingly on the shrubs, 
twittering gaily, and flew, as one might say, into the 



76 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

muzzle of the gun. Of insects, we only saw a swarm of 
common grasshoppers, and a large sort of wasp with 
yellow head, dark blue wings, and bright blue back, 
which we caught. A negro boy who had voluntarily 
accompanied us from the village was loaded with these 
treasures from the various kingdoms of nature. 

At the suggestion of our artist, and notwithstanding the 
heat and total absence of any path, we climbed up a steep 
mountain, from the summit of which, as a reward for our 
labour, we had a magnificent view over the grand pano- 
rama formed by the harbour and the chains of mountains 
in the distance. Only in the exquisitely beautiful bay of 
Suez had I ever seen anything resembling this. All lay 
extended before us like a wondrous vision, purposeless, 
devoid of life, and yet most bright, most exhilarating. It 
seemed like the fantastic scenery of a pantomime. I 
thought to myself that possibly it might look like such 
from the gleaming worlds above. On our return, we 
collected shells on the soft, white shore, and one of our 
party took his first sea-bath in the blue merrily-dancing 
waves. In one's astonishment one can scarcely credit the 
delight of a soft, genial summer air in the middle of the 
winter months : one rather suspects the calendar and the 
seasons to be quite in the wrong ; one cannot trust oneself 
to yield with full enjoyment to unexpected warmth such 
as that of our summer ; the change of seasons is wanting 
and all ordinary reckonings cease. More than once I 
spoke of the approaching time of year at home as of winter, 
and on this supposition made plans for my return. Man 
has to become accustomed even to that which is pleasur- 
able. 

St. Vincent, December 31. 

In a veritable simoon of coal-dust, occasioned by the 
shipment of an immense quantity of coal necessary for our 
transatlantic voyage, we spent an uncomfortable morning 



ACROSS THE LIXE. 77 

on board : followed everywhere, even down to the lowest 
cabins, by the black powder, which rested on everything 
and penetrated through every crevice. The laborious duty 
of writing detained me on board ; and it was only towards 
evening, when the heights were kissed by the last rays of 
the setting sun, that the whole of our floating colony, bag 
and baggage, preceded by lively music, went on shore to 
pass New Year's Eve on the sands of the principal square. 
Some handy seamen had formed an excellent saloon with 
sails ; flags of various colours, unfolding themselves in the 
light evening breeze, adorned the walls ; signal lanterns 
were substitutes for blazing chandeliers; carpets from 
Persia and Tetuan were spread on the soft ground ; downy 
cushions of purple velvet were picturesquely disposed to 
form a divan, the active cook set up his caboose, batteries 
of bottles were brought to rejoice our hearts; whilst 
trooping in numbers round and about this lively scene of 
camp life, the dusky inhabitants of St. Vincent were 
hovering in excited groups. Every one brought to our 
feast that which was most needed, good humour and 
merriment; and notwithstanding our foreign ground of 
operations, these speedily reigned uncontrolled. In the 
course of the day we discovered that Governor Greral, the 
governor of the island, was at present living on these 
sands, and indeed was our neighbour in the adjoining hut, 
We therefore, being monarchical in our principles, began 
our proceedings on the approach of night by stationing 
our musicians in front of the governor's mansion, and by 
ordering the Portuguese hymn to be played (which rather 
reminds one of a circus tune than of a national air) ; and 
then by shouting a thundering ' Hurrah for all Portuguese 
authorities ! ' up towards the balcony on which Governor 
Greral had made his appearance, with other persons of 
rank : the chorus reached its loudest pitch in honour of 
the illustrious presence of Governor Geral. All parties 



78 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

were gratified ; the governor was both pleased and touched 
by this ebullition of Austrian feeling of goodwill ; whilst 
we, in the vanity of our mock modesty, thought we 
should burst out laughing on the sands below, and were 
in hopes that the delighted governor would growl forth 
some expressive words from the balcony in Portuguese. 
However, the statesman did not accord us this satisfaction, 
but, as will be seen hereafter, adopted a better mode of 
returning his thanks : even in St. Vincent it will be seen 
that people know how to strike the right nail on the head. 

Rockets whizzed, crackling and sparkling in the air, over- 
powering for a moment even the bright moonlight. 
The ear of authority was next greeted by the lively music 
of two dances ; during which the negroes began to execute 
some saltatory movements. Their gratification was com- 
plete ; for the band played before our pavilion during all 
the night ; and behold 1 the lissom, full-bosomed negresses 
moved their limbs in exact time, and performed most 
gracefully in the polka, waltz, polka-mazurka, and 
schottisch. 

There was something striking in the scene, as, on the 
moonlit banks of sand these black people, scarcely distin- 
guishable from night herself, yet skilled in European art, 
flew swiftly past each other to enchanting strains of music 
with a precision which left nothing to be desired. Many 
of the negresses danced with their children on their backs ; 
others with meerschaum pipes stuck saucily in their mouths; 
others, again, cut capers in fun as if they had been in the 
school of the noted Milanese Veglione. Our whole party 
looked on at these proceedings with amusement. At length 
a sailor ventured shyly to begin a dance with one of the 
swarthy daughters of Eve, others followed the example ; 

then Cadet J joined the dancers, next our bridegroom, 

forgetful of his little bride languishing for love of him ; the 
officers followed, and even the Paterfamilias, the digni- 



ACROSS THE LIXE. 79 

fied doctor, dashed into the wild dance ; the Tarantula had 
stung them all ; at last my pen struggles ere it can record 
the fact the entire party, casting aside all etiquette, obli- 
vious of the sacred laws of colour, with wild, tumultuous 
mirth demanded a quadrille ! Each of the dignitaries of 
our band seized a negress ; the crowd were pushed back ; 
Stranss's all-conquering strains swelled through the warm 
moonlight night, a delicious summer breeze fanned the 
mild New Year's Eve with its breath ; and the pranked 
quadrille d'honneur, half white, half black, was gone 
through on the sea-shore with the same propriety as 
though in the marble halls of the Tuileries ; and, whatever 
the ladies may say, these black beetles danced with an 
accuracy and a grace that excited both our mirth and our 
admiration. 

The contrasts of this day were overpowering ; a ball on 
these sandbanks, the moon the only torch for these people 
black as pitch, the gentlemen in their graceful travelling 
dresses, the ladies in cotton rags with beads round their 
throats; the night December 31, and yet the air such 
as even one of our July nights can hardly afford. To have 
witnessed such a dance at such a season and under such 
circumstances, I look upon as one of the most interesting 
occurrences of my travels. At its conclusion we again es- 
tablished ourselves in our tent, surrounded by the inquisi- 
tive crowd, among whom the pretty, friendly children 
were not lacking. An aide-de-camp of the governor 
appeared in uniform, and enquired whether we were 
Austrians ; vanished, and reappeared, requesting us in the 
Governor's name, to play our national hymn, with which 
request we willingly complied. Portugal then burst forth 
with her ' Hurrah ! ' and a complete storm of rockets rose 
crackling to the clear sky ; this was the graceful reply of 
the Lusitanian statesman. 

A supper with champagne and sherry formed a mirth- 



80 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

ful point of reunion for us all; wit sparkled like the 
rockets, brilliant ideas were interchanged, and flashed in 
their encounter like flames of fire ; cheerful reminiscen- 
ces arose ; in short, our little party were merry and happy, 
although a shade of melancholy clouded the evening when 
I rose, together with the commandant and the doctor, to 
drink a health to the welfare of our wives ; something of 
sadness stole into our hearts, the tears and the champagne 
were near each other, and we each thought silently of the 
family circle whose head was so far distant. 

Midnight drew near, activity increased in the tent and on 
the square, the cook hastily prepared the punch in his im- 
provised kitchen, the required lead was heated over a coal 
fire, sailors went down to the shore with blue lights, 
numbers of rockets were in readiness, the musicians held 
themselves prepared to chime in instantaneously with their 
clang ; every one was watching for the hour ; the venerable 
ship-bell was brought as a sacro sanctum, and it struck 
one, two, three, till at length the anxiously looked-for 
twelfth stroke resounded in the warm tropical air, and for 
us the 

1st of January, 1860, 

was born. Musket shots rattled through the air, rockets 
whizzed to the sky, announcing far and wide the birth of 
the new year, a fairy-like sea of blue lights shed a radiance 
like that of day over the elevated land and the gently 
rippling ocean ; the sublime and inspiring strains of the 
national hymn swelled forth in full, majestic tones, and,, 
united in sentiment, we stood with uncovered heads to 
empty our foaming glasses to the welfare of the Emperor 
and of dear old Austria, and also of those whom we 
cherished most. It was an overpowering moment, never 
to be forgotten, from the extraordinary scenery, the pecu- 
liarity of the climate, our very foreign surroundings, the 
ardour and unanimity of our feelings. 



ACROSS THE LINE. 81 

With the punch, special healths were proposed, the 
nuggets of lead, according to the custom of our Father- 
land, were taken up and, amid many jests, dropped again. 
We then formed ourselves in rank ; the musicians in front, 
the exultant crowd in our rear, and thus we marched 
through the astonished village to the beautifully-marked 
time of the Radetzky March. The negroes derived so 
much enjoyment from this triumphal procession that, as 
the road was unfamiliar to us in the dark, they took us 
round and round for a long time, and St. Vincent seemed 
to us to be as large as immense Paris itself. We passed a 
hut where the black people were at that moment engaged 
in a dance to the sound of tambourines. The small 
space, most uncomfortable, owing to the heat, was thickly 
crowded: and black syrens with golden beads around 
their pliant throats were, with sparkling eyes, performing 
a sort of quadrille. In the midst of this dusky company 
we beheld, to our no small astonishment, the governor's 
aide-de-camp in full uniform, with his bright epaulettes ; 
and also several other officials of rank. I hastened back 
as quickly as possible into the fresh air, and at length 
peremptorily ordered the natives to conduct us back to 
our tent. The order was obeyed ; we disposed of our- 
selves as well as we could, retired to rest one by one, 
the last strains of music ceased, and night spread her 
broad shadows over us. 

In the morning we went on board, where we passed the 
entire day in repose. A delicious sea bath in the lovely 
blue water, clear and warm as the air, refreshed me much 
in the afternoon. It is not very likely to happen soon 
again in the course of my life to take a sea bath an the 
first day of January. 

H.M.S. < Elizabeth,' January 2. 

The day was spent in making the last preparations for 
our transatlantic voyage, and in arranging the mail and 

VOL. III. G 



82 [RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

my journal, which, when travelling, I regard as a painful 
duty, often more wearisome than the most fatiguing expe- 
dition. At length, towards evening, we steamed out to 
sea in good spirits, pleasantly greeted by the cool trade- 
wind. I admire persistency, and even to a certain degree 
of obstinacy on all occasions; and therefore I may be 
forgiven if I were secretly glad, that notwithstanding all 
difficulties, notwithstanding all apparent insurmountable 
obstacles, notwithstanding all the ill fortune which had 
attended us as seafarers at the outset, we were neverthe- 
less proceeding on the track which I, as a thorough sailor, 
had for years been longing to pursue. A seaman who has 
never made his way across the line is but a novice, as he 
who has never landed on American soil is but a tyro. 

Before our departure, to the great amusement of the 
whole vessel, I threw our poor botanist into a state of 
terrible alarm ; for I told him that in order to make an offer- 
ing to science, he would be obliged to relinquish the voyage 
to America, so long looked for ; and to remain during our 
absence on the Cape de Verd Islands to botanise and to 
search on the sunburnt rocks for some new weed. The 
good innocent man, looked as though he were struck by 
lightning, and his little sharp eyes blinked piteously ; but 
he was obedient ; he packed his knapsack, took his ' Genera 
Plantarum ' on his back, and came on deck like a quondam 
Staberl ready for his journey of adventure. He looked as 
though he had received a new life when he became aware 
that it was a joke, and blessed the moment of our safe 
departure. 

H.M.S. < Elizabeth,' January 3. 

The day was fine and cloudless. It passed quickly for 
us in the work of writing accounts of the delay in our 
voyage, and in the numerous preparations already be- 
ginning for our life and doings in the New World. The 
freshly blowing trade-wind enabled us to make nearly 



ACROSS THE LINE. 83 

twelve knots an hour ; and revived by it, we found the 
heat endurable. The sea was rather rough, and we felt it 
so all the more because the 'Elizabeth' has a habit of 
dancing unnecessarily. The only living objects were the 
faithful sea-swallows which followed unweariedly in our 
wake; these birds must possess a peculiar organisation, 
for apparently their unceasing flight leaves them no time 
for sleep. 

H.M.S. 'Elizabeth,' January 4. 

The horizon was slightly overcast; the air in conse- 
quence heavier; and the heat oppressive, especially 
towards evening. We were approaching the regions of 
calms in which the beneficent trade-wind would forsake us. 
To-day the sea was animated by numerous shoals of flying 
fish. We could clearly distinguish two classes ; the older 
fish, flying singly and often rising two hundred yards above 
the mirror of the ocean, had dark, almost black wings, and 
allowed their bodies to droop : the young ones always 
moved in dense shoals, did not rise so I igh above the 
water, and had clear, glistening wings. They were often 
frightened by the rudder of our vessel, and this showed 
them to advantage. A pretty Swedish barque in full 
sail was the first vessel we had met since leaving St. 
Vincent. In the evening the clouds were of a golden 
colour and shed a warm glimmer over the lightly-stirred 
waves. 

H.M.S. Elizabeth,' January 5. 

With morning, a flying fish came on deck, so that we 
were able to examine the pretty animal at our leisure. I 
was astonished to see how small its winged floats were, 
and cannot understand how the fish can keep itself so 
long above water by these means. We preserved the 
curiosity carefully in spirits of wine. In the course of the 
day the trade-wind sprang up from the south-east and the 
heat increased in intensity. In the evening a tropical 

G 2 



84 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

shower fell, of which the crew, taking advantage of the 
opportunity, made use to obtain a cooling, purifying, and 
very necessary bath. 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' January 6. 

It was evident to-day that we were advancing into 
equatorial regions; the heat was at intervals really in- 
tolerable, although it did not amount to that of our dog- 
days. At noon the thermometer showed a temperature of 
35 (Reaumur) in the sun ; and in the shade 22 4', which 
is certainly moderate in comparison with Mirarmar, where 
during the summer of last year it stood at rather above 
29 in the shade. 

During the day preparations were already begun for the 
grand historical festival of the morrow : some scraps of 
uniform peeped out, and some tools of martyrdom for the 
work of torture were to be seen. Apprehension and 
conscious qualms might already be read in various faces 
expressive of anxiety about the morrow. The evening 
was lovely, and the moon shone brightly in the deep 
blue sky. 

With the exception of a multitude of flying-fish that 
flitted back and forwards, we were the only living beings 
on the whole vast expanse. The larger fish that one so 
frequently sees on a voyage were, I imagine, scared out of 
sight by the rushing of our paddle wheels. 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' January 7. 

The whole forenoon was spent in making preparations, 
the lively activity, characteristic of a joyous festival, reigned 
everywhere, together with that eagerness of combination 
with which everyone, no matter what his age or rank, finds 
pleasure in working when a common object is in view. 
The crew had already had their dinner about eleven o'clock, 
that they might be in readiness at the right moment. 
Towards noon everyone put on an appropriate costume ; 



ACROSS THE LINE. 85 

the principal actors in the coming ceremony vanished 
behind a linen screen stretched before the forecastle, that 
they might put on their showy garments at leisure. 
Although jocularity pervaded the whole of the enlivened 
vessel, and the festival almost exclusively monopolised 
every thought, yet my heart was chiefly absorbed by a 
sort of consciousness of victory, tempered with real grati- 
tude that, notwithstanding all obstacles and difficulties, I 
had attained this position, and could now graduate as a 
sailor on the line that divides the two hemispheres. At 
the same time I heartily enjoyed the celebration of the 
day, and as a sailor, honestly complied with all the old 
sea customs. 

It was half-past eleven o'clock when suddenly the 
mighty voice of Neptune thundered from the forecastle. 
The sea-god enquired of the first lieutenant whether he 
could visit the vessel. His wish, thus haughtily and 
terrifically roared forth, was answered in the affirmative, 
and we hove to on the plain of waters. The curtain 
fell, and the grand train of the water-god moved aft with 
majestic, measured steps. In advance, and first in the 
glittering procession, came the grand master of the cere- 
monies, a tall, strong, broad-shouldered sailor of Herculean 
build ; on his head an immense cocked hat of black paste- 
board with gilt ornaments, and a monstrous wig made of 
horsehair, yellow bathing trowsers, and his whole body 
painted so skilfully with lampblack and vinegar, that he 
might have vied with the handsomest negro of Darfur. In 
his hand he carried a large porter's staff. The musicians, 
dressed fantastically, followed him, playing lively airs : 
then came the god in his triumphal car, drawn by eight 
demons with gilded horns, also attired in bathing trowsers 
they likewise shone in perfect ebony : a gun-carriage, 
bedecked with flags and gewgaws, formed the triumphal 
car. But in the family of the god was found the centre 



86 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of attraction, composed of his majesty Neptune, the queenly 
Amphitrite, and their first-born, nurtured in heaven. The 
point of the joke consisted in this, that the monarch of the 
ocean and his wife were two stokers from the engine-room, 
and therefore rather belonging to Pluto. The sea-god was 
a sturdy fellow with a gilt crown and flowing white beard ; 
his athletic form clad in a sailor's dress; hold ing a harpoon 
in his strong right hand, to represent the ocean-ruling 
trident; in his left, the thundering-speaking trumpet. 
But gigantic beyond measure, large beyond description, 
the paragon of the non-existent, the superlative of colossal 
charmers, the pearl of the ocean, the image of a sea- 
enchantress, was foam-bedewed, wave-rocked Amphitrite; 
an old lean being, six feet in height, from Southern 
Dalmatia, with flowing wefts of horsehair encircling the 
bald, crowned head, throat and breast bare as those of a 
goddess, enveloped in a crinoline thirty yards in circum- 
ference, carrying the child of ocean-love, our youngest 
cabin-boy wrapped in swaddling clothes, a coronet on his 
head, and a prince's mantle thrown round his shoulders, a 
charming little creature who was made to utter dismal 
baby-cries by a series of continual pinches. But whoever 
fancies that the brown leather- skinned Amphitrite was 
not altogether feminine is quite in the wrong. She 
was a languid princess grown old in ambition and evil 
passions, a mother of many children ; yet the characteristic 
of woman, undying coquetry, still to be seen in these 
haggard features, this tottering frame. In my experience 
of the court and the world I have met such women, and 
well recollect a princess who exactly resembled this Am- 
phitrite from Southern Dalmatia. Neptune's retinue 
were gaily and showily dressed, and presented more or less 
a witty parody on my own household. There was a 
physician with his prescriptions ; an apothecary, wearing a 
pair of large spectacles to aid his penetration ; a secretary 



ACROSS THE LINE. 87 

with Neptune's orders ; a treasurer imitating the original 
in dress and demeanour ; an artist, with an enormous 
palette and brush, who roguishly offered a picture of the 
' Elizabeth ' in a storm, caricatured from its prototype ; a 
master of the horse in a rich uniform, on a stalking horse, 
with bells hung on it; and a private cook, in clothes 
borrowed from Clerc, with a gigantic punch-bowl ; besides 
some admirable masks represented with much humour. 

When Neptune approached us, he made us poor crea- 
tures, who were in an agony of apprehension, a speech 
that had been prepared for him, and this also was not 
deficient in wit and point. He enquired for the comman- 
dant, and presented his followers with piquant remarks, in 
which a little poetical satire was not wanting, and which 
were received with peals of laughter. For instance, when 
the boatswain, dressed in fantastic uniform, was presented 
as ' colonello dei morti ' (colonel of the dead men), the 
water-god added, e che scampa subito quando la guerra 
incomincia' (who runs away directly a fight begins). 
Next came our turn ; we were, to the agreeable surprise 
of Neptune, presented to him as neophytes by our com- 
mandant, who had himself already crossed the line, and 
were invited to receive baptism. We approached in the 
appropriate white dress. I bowed my head ; the com- 
mandant took a sessula of salt water and bestowed on me 
a seaman's baptism, accompanied by the following words : 
4 Al primo arciduca che traversa i regni del Nettuno, il bat- 
tesimo del marinaro ! (To the first archduke who has sailed 
into the kingdom of Neptune, a sailor's baptism !) The 
whole proceeding was so kindly, the words were responded 
to by such a thundering ' hurrah ! ' that I felt this a 
thousandfold dearer to my heart than many other ova- 
tions. We all understood each other's feelings at this 
moment ; it was a bond of sailorhood twining around all 
alike. The commandant then turned towards Neptune 



88 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and addressed him in the following words : f re dei pro- 
fondi abissi, ordina ai tuoi venti, ordina ai tuoi mari abbian 
ad essere propizj al Principe marinaro ! (0 king of the 
fathomless abyss, command thy winds, command thy waves, 
to be propitious to the sailor Prince !) The old boatswain 
of the * Elizabeth,' with whom I had for years made so 
many voyages, was selected to be my godfather. Dressed 
in an enormous white cravat and long blue coat, and car- 
rying a cylinder hat, he laid his sinewy right hand upon 
my shoulder during the ceremony of baptism. I then 

resigned him as godfather to T and to the doctor, 

who were likewise clad in the robe of innocence. As I did 
not desire to subject myself to the process of shaving, I 
ordered my tribute in liquidation to be handed to the 
water-god. The treasurer in a white robe, its long train 
borne by a page, and with an enormous pasteboard shirt- 
collar, approached for the purpose of taking it, with all the 
gravity suitable to his exalted office, and received the gold 
and silver for the crew in a large bowl. Behind him 
came a gaily ornamented wine-cask, drawn along on 
barrels, and on the cask, to complete the joke, sat the 
short, broad-shouldered, large-headed, flat-nosed professor 
of botany in red bathing trowsers, a garland of vine leaves 
twined around his head and shoulders, the smoking bowl 
of a pipe at his sweetly smiling lips, a well-filled flagon in 
his right hand the representative of Bacchus. I have 
never seen so perfect and so successfully depicted a character 
at any masquerade. The treasurer said a few feeling words 
to the god Neptune, and then knelt for baptism; but 
scarce had he bent his head, when all at once the hose 
poured forth a pitiless flood of salt water over him till, 
like the Leda at Versailles, he was utterly lost in foam and 
clouds of water. This was evidently the signal for the 
real jokes of the sailors to begin, and now the mad, wild, 
watery war commenced with full energy and with reckless, 



ACROSS THE LINE. 89 

even-handed justice and disregard of rank. A confused 
assemblage rushed to and fro, struggling against the 
torrents ; from the admiral to the lowest ship-boy, no one 
had a dry thread upon him. The barber's shop presented 
the most pitiable scene. The smallest of the ship's boats 
had been turned into a lavatory, and Neptune's barber, a 
non-commissioned officer who had taken the voyage round 
the world in the ' Novara,' covered the various victims with 
a lather of lampblack or tar ; and then, holding a tin 
plate, shaved them with an enormous knife for a razor. 
The first persons on whom the operation was performed 
were the three innocent cadets. All three sat, objects of 
compassion, immersed in salt water, blackened with tar, 
in the amply-filled boat ; their clothes clinging to them 
like those of the ancient statues, their once well-curled 
and well-oiled locks hanging dishevelled and looking like 
skewers ; these three youths formed a companion picture 
to that of the three Jewish youths in the fiery furnace. 
With the exception of those who had purchased their free- 
dom at the right time, almost everyone was shaved ; but 
for those who had the imprudence to hide, special search 
was made. They were dragged from their lurking-places 
with joyous triumph ; and, if possible, increased torments 
were inflicted on them. When the external man of every 
one on board was thoroughly drenched, the crew began 
to think of refreshing the inner man, and punch and wine 
were called for with energy. Although towards evening 
some of the sailors were considerably elated, yet one cannot 
but say in terms of praise, that during this period of author- 
ised lawlessness, no one drank too much; the men invariably 
confined themselves within their self-imposed bounds, and 
evinced a general feeling of gaiety and good-humour. 
With Englishmen such a day is always dangerous, and 
seldom closes without some rough and unpleasant scene. 
The northern is an admirable seaman, but he is also a 



90 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

man of vigorous nature, as one might perceive on this day 
among our excellent Grerman sailors, who indisputably 
approach most nearly to English hardiness. The Germans 
are also mighty in their powers of drinking, and can take 
a good long draught. 

I invited the whole staff to dinner, and to spend the 
evening of this interesting day in sociable mirth. The 
4 Elizabeth ' is the first Austrian steamer that has crossed 
the line since steam has ruled the world ; and though a 
lady of my country has shown us the road to the New 
World, I can rejoice in being the first man of my house 
to enter the southern hemisphere. 

% H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' January 8. 

Our first night south of the equator was so oppressively 
hot, that all peaceful sleep was disturbed. The day was 
bright and clear, the glistening blue sea rather rough. In 
the course of the morning we noticed a large flock of 
stormy petrels flying with rapidity around one spot on the 
ocean. In the afternoon the first sea-gull made its appear- 
ance, that true citizen of the world, that, as civis orbis, may 
take, in its fullest sense, the motto, Ubi mare, ibi patria. 

About four o'clock we again met with an object of in- 
terest. We beheld, for the first time, land geographically 
considered to be a part of America, and belonging to the 
Emperor of Brazil, the island S. Fernando di Noronha. 
This large island seemed to be distant about twenty miles, 
and presented a very picturesque appearance ; the confor- 
mations of the blue mountains possessed no longer the 
characteristics of the Old World ; we already saw sharp 
pyramids and sugar-loaf hills, from the centre of which 
the celebrated pillar-like cone ascended to the sky like a 
fantastic monument. Never before had I seen so strange, 
so unusual a form of rock; and I regretted very much 
that I was unable to examine this marvel of nature more 



ACROSS THE LINE. 91 

closely. The island of S. Fernando (which possesses its 
own governor, much to be pitied) serves the Brazilian 
empire for a convict colony. The men employed in the 
whale fisheries assemble in this bad roadstead to take in 
water and fresh provisions. In the evening, a most re- 
splendent, beautiful full-moon reigned supreme in the 
firmament, shedding her silvery rays over air and ocean. 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' January 9. 

After a shower of rain had, in the morning, brought 
with it a cool freshness, we rejoiced in a lovely day bright 
as summer. The air was mild and balmy, the billowy 
sea of a heavenly blue. By the large vessels which 
during the day cut merrily and swiftly through the azure 
waters with their full-spread sails, we perceived that we 
were approaching the continent and its ever animated and 
extensive track of commerce. These meetings on the 
high seas always excite pleasing emotions ; one feels that 
one is not alone and deserted, and delights in conjuring 
up a whole chain of adventures with the appearance of 
each sail. That which is unknown and far-off interests 
man, and when he views life from a distant point, he is 
immediately attracted thither. It was a grief to me not 
to greet one Austrian vessel among all those of various 
other nations. 

H.M.S. ' Elizabeth,' January 10. 

Land ! land ! resounded like a song of triumph from 
the freely, deeply drawn breathings of my heart, when, 
with early morning, I came on deck, and beheld the sun- 
lit, wave-washed shore of the new continent, of that quarter 
of the globe discovered by the power of science, extended 
in the distance before me. It is nearly four hundred years 
since the same rapturous cry, ' Land ! land ! ' burst for 
the first time from the mast of a small, fragile vessel, on 
which moved one noble, ardent spirit; since after the 



92 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

lapse of thousands of years the iron persistency of one 
man gave to three united sisters, a fourth, and she the 
greatest, the most important of them all ; since, by the 
struggles of one mighty genius, the cradle of the future 
was presented to the human race. It seems now like a 
fable that Europe should already have made such advances 
in the arts and sciences, that the invention of printing 
should already have diffused light, that the first thunder 
of guns should have resounded, that so many of the 
greatest men should have passed away, whilst one-half of 
the globe still remained undiscovered. It seems to me to 
be a legend that I should be the first lineal descendant of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, to whom from childhood upwards 
it has been a daydream to visit this Continent, now hold- 
ing so important a place in the history of mankind. 

The coast appeared to be extensive and flat : some few 
pyramidal mountain forms alone were visible in grey tints 
in the far distance : dark foliage gave evidence of rich 
vegetation, and with the glass one could distinguish the 
straight bare stems of the palm forest as they stood closely 
together. This forest extended down to the sea, consisting 
apparently of the cocoa-nut palm which strikes its roots 
even through the salt water. Gigantic specimens were to 
be seen rearing themselves above the rest ; and the crowns 
of these palms were clearly outlined against the sky. 

At about half-past nine o'clock we passed the town of 
Maccio. We had already seen its large, dazzlingly white 
churches with their lofty towers gleaming in the distance ; 
next, the houses below became visible neat, pretty build- 
ings, between which palm trees were waving. In front of 
the little town, in the harbour surrounded by cocoa-nut 
trees, lay some fine merchant vessels and two steamers ; 
immediately on the coast we saw long rows of huts, which 
must have been either the dwellings of slaves or warehouses 
for goods. On the blue waters near the town, the noted 



ACROSS THE LINE. 93 

Sangada were cutting through the waves. These little 
craft made of bark, with lateen sails and a primitive rudder, 
and managed by one man who sits on a sort of stool, are 
the sole means of communication on the coast of Brazil. 
The Sangada rather lies in the waves than floats on them, 
and is sa d to be very dangerous : passengers use these 
boats for short transits. Navigation is rendered difficult, 
even for. small craft, by reason that around the entire shore 
there is a girdle of coral rocks, called by the Brazilians 
Eecife. 

Amid the verdure of the monotonous, continuous shore 
we could see frequent levels of a glowing red or of a vel- 
low hue ; these must have formed the termination of plains 
of stone or sand. Here and there columns of smoke as- 
cended from the primeval forest, giving evidence either of 
settlements or of districts brought under cultivation. We 
could also distinguish the place at which the river San 
Francisco runs into the sea by the extensive sandbanks, and 
by the colour of the water which suddenly becomes green. 
The long banks of golden yellow reminded me vividly of 
the wastes extending to the sea round Alexandria. Towards 
evening the first American island gradually faded from 
our view. The brilliai ce of the stars on this genial night 
was more beautiful than I had ever beheld before : they 
sparkled like diamonds in the dark blue heavens, in 
countless multitudes ; and for the first time I admired 
the clouds, which, against the glittering sky, appeared like 
a ghostly vapour or a fog of starry exhalation. 

Bahia, January 11. 

At sunrise, the long, streaked coast and its banks covered 
with vegetation, were quite close. With the telescope, and, 
indeed, even with the naked eye, we could clearly distin- 
guish the regularly-trained cocoa-nut trees, which grew 
side by side as if in artistically-planted avenues. 



B A H I A. 



97 



BAHIA. 

Bahia, January 11, 1860. 

BENEATH a rich blaze of golden sunlight, and a blue and 
gleaming sky, we entered the large, extensive Bahia de 
todos os Santos at about ten o'clock in the morning, in 
high and cheerful spirits. 

This was one of those happy moments in which a new 
world, in the fullest sense of the word, opens before one ; 
when one. would wish to have a hundred eyes to take in the 
unknown wonders which are continually unfolding them- 
selves on all sides, when in the midst of delight a feeling 
of sorrow arises that one cannot grasp everything, cannot 
preserve everything in remembrance. The mind, alas ! 
can only transiently enjoy the beautiful picture ; thus its 
reflection in written words is but as a faint photograph, 
founded indeed on truth, but weak and colourless com- 
pared with the original. This is especially true in a new 
quarter of the globe where nature in her wild luxuriance 
reigns supreme, where nothing created by the hand of 
man, nothing trained by him, attracts attention to itself. 
Architectural beauties, works of art, imprint themselves 
on the memory, and admit of being described with some 
accuracy; but wherever nature wields her sceptre in 
solitude, there she permits herself to be hailed with rapture 
a.t the moment at which the eye rests upon her beauties, 
but does not permit them to be repeated either by memory 
or description. The exact sciences can indeed dissect them 
anatomically, and can describe or model a dead body as 
well as a dried flower ; but the living wealth of nature, as 

VOL. III. H 



98 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE 

it lavishes its profusion of beauty on the soil of Brazil, is 
indescribable. Therefore no one has yet been able to 
depict its marvels ; even the brush of the painter is at a 
loss when attempting to paint pictures from these latitudes. 
Brazil stands yet fresh from the hands of the .Creator ; on 
the day of creation, the primeval forest was the same as it 
now is, even in the vicinity of the capital. Man has not 
yet vanquished this land : true, he has begun the conflict, 
but he has not yet conquered nor formed the estimate for 
this great undertaking. Rome, with all her marvels of 
art," with her monuments of human intellect, is more easy 
to describe intelligibly than is a glimpse into a real 
primeval forest. I write these words that they may 
obtain pardon for me if I fail fully to attain my object; 
for this first day on the soil of America has already 
impressed me with her grandeur. 

But to return to the ( Elizabeth.' We sailed round the 
lighthouse with its battery ; vegetation was to be seen in 
masses ; from the bright verdant ground rose columns of 
palm, rich forms of giant-leaved trees, together with all 
the wondrous plants with which we had until now only 
been acquainted in the pining, languishing specimens of 
our vaunted hot-houses ; at the sight of each new plant, 
here a picture of unrestrained luxuriance and vigour, we 
joyfully shouted its name, with a feeling of triumph at 
having made a new conquest. There were two moments 
in which my expectations were surpassed, even at my first 
glance. One, when I beheld the fresh green like that of 
May, so grateful to the eye, which prevailed everywhere ; 
and which, notwithstanding the high temperature of the 
hottest months of the year, shone in unprecedented brilliance 
beneath the burning rays of the sun : the other, when I 
beheld the profuse vegetation which poured down like the 
waves of a giant waterfall to the deep blue briny flood. 
As the steamer proceeded, the walls of hill parallel to the 



BAHIA. 99 

sea displayed themselves ; on their heights and slopes the 
large, gleaming buildings of this commercial town lay 
extended like a panorama. At the extreme point, behind 
the lighthouse, surrounded by palms and by an immense 
pine, that looked like a large umbrella, and bordered by a 
terrace in good architectural taste, we saw one of the most 
ancient churches of Bahia, with two ornamental towers, the 
walls of which were of dazzling whiteness, whilst the walls 
of the edifice were of dark granite. Next, upon the 
elevated plain, we saw the handsomest portion of the 
town, called Vittoria. The roofs peeped cheerily from 
among the shady gardens, whilst a number of flagstaff's, 
amounting to the ludicrous, gave evidence that in this spot 
exclusively, as though united in one settlement, dwelled 
the Consulate body. On every part of the steep declivity, 
from Vittoria down to the bay, luxuriant vegetation was to 
be seen in all the wild profusion of its pristine growth. 
Crests of palm reared their graceful forms above the dark 
sea of foliage; and groups of bamboos, with their deep 
shadows and bright lights, com pact, yet of feathery lightness, 
fringed the shore like clouds : whilst detached houses, 
together with boats and small coasting vessels, gave a 
very animated character to the scene at this point. The 
air was bright, pure, and clear, as though one looked 
through crystal; so that, to us Europeans, every object 
was presented in outlines of peculiar sharpness, and in 
unusually clear perspective, while the colouring in its ex- 
treme brilliance glowed, and indeed one might say reflected 
dazzlingly the beams of the equatorial sun. The whiteness 
of the houses glittered from amid the foliage of the leafy 
crowns, whilst again the turf contrasted like a bed of 
sparkling emeralds with the red and yellow tints of the 
soil, and the sky glistened like an enormous diamond tinged 
with azure, but the waters of the bay were blue as the 
sapphire. 

H -2 



100 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Between Vittoria and the houses in the actual town, on 
a high terrace which looks as though supported by the 
crowns of the trees beneath it, stands the celebrated 
Passeo publico, with its obelisk and its statues of pure white 
marble, beneath groups of gigantic trees. The town itself is 
wide-spread and presents an imposing appearance ; one per- 
ceives its great age, its solidity, its prosperity ; the numerous 
houses are of a bright, cheerful colour, so that all looks 
smiling and gay; there are also some buildings of con- 
siderable importance, but they lack architectural beauty : 
however, various towers and domes give character to the 
scene. The town is divided into upper and lower. The 
lower fringes the sea-shore; the upper crowns the ridge 
of hill that runs parallel to the sea ; at different points the 
steep hill-terrace communicates with the mass of houses 
below. The gardens and fields which are mingled with 
these, present, with their proud groups of trees and grace- 
ful palms, all the foreign attractions of the tropics. In 
the lower town, the eye is caught by the works of the 
Marine Arsenal, and also by an ancient church with rich, 
dark, granite ornaments; as in the upper town by the 
Theatre Square. The theatre, a very lofty, spacious 
edifice, overlooks an immense terrace adorned with trees, 
around which rise large buildings ; a broad steep street, 
like a Jacob's ladder, leads up the precipitous hill. Amid 
the blue waters in front of the town stands a semicircular 
fort, bristling with numerous guns: around and far out 
towards the west into the bay was grouped a forest of 
masts. 

The town on this side terminates gradually amid the 
bright green of the tropical forest, with the exception of 
one strip of houses extending along the curve of the shore, 
until at length that portion of territory peculiarly belong- 
ing to Bahia finishes with the luxuriantly overgrown spit 
of Bomfin, and with the loftily situated and resplendently 



BAHIA. 101 

white church of Nossa Senora di Bomfin. From this 
point to the entrance to the bay, the panorama is very 
extensive ; the immense bay reminds one of the expanse 
of the Bodensee ; only in the far distance can one discern 
the blue hilly coast and confused outlines of detached 
islands. Nearer to the shore lies the island of Itaparica, 
forming the opposite coast at the entrance to the bay. 

The panorama of the town reminds one vividly of 
Lisbon, as does also the character of the buildings, es- 
pecially that of the numerous churches and monastic 
edifices. One clearly recognises the endeavour of the 
architect to impress a stamp of home on the colony. In 
its full official title, the town is properly called, ( A Cidado 
de San Salvador na Bahia de todos os Santos.' The 
tendency to lengthen names endlessly is a genuine charac- 
teristic of Brazil, and extends to both persons and places. 
I know people who have four or five surnames, and at least 
twenty Christian names ; in my opinion it is the true sign 
of a small mind ; bombastic names are meant to put meagre 
intellect out of remembrance. The town is now shortly 
called Bahia, and certainly the least appropriate among its 
many names has been selected. 

Bahia was founded about the year 1549, by King John 
III. of Portugal. A short time previously, the same King 
had enfeoffed Don Francisco Pereira Cutinho with the 
whole of the country from Cape San Antonio to the river 
San Francisco. The custom of bestowing boundless terri- 
tories on the nobles and favourites of the court was certainly 
both generous and cheap, but the development of the soil 
of Brazil is even yet suffering in consequence. The owners, 
who in olden times had whole kingdoms at command, have 
only energy and inclination to cultivate a portion for them- 
selves ; yet are too proud to divide and sell the remainder 
of the land inherited from father to son. This serves in 
part to explain why the primeval forest is still so extensive 



102 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE, 

and reaches as far as the very gates of Rio. Cutinho, the 
first owner, crossed the ocean to take possession of his new 
country with its uncertain limits. In the Bay of Todos os 
Santos (which probably derived its name from this, that 
the saints of all countries and centuries might find space to 
swim in it at the same time) our hero found, to his no small 
surprise, a Portuguese, Alvares Correa by name, who had 
remained on shore there after a shipwreck and had married 
the daughter of a chief of the powerful tribe of the Tubin- 
ambas. Correa had, through his wife, the lovely Paraguasu, 
great influence over the Indians of the district, and resisted 
the claims of his Christian countryman ; the dispute was 
decided in favour of the transatlantic claim by the arbitra- 
tors, and Correa was captured. The youthful Paraguasu, 
mindful of her duty and of her warlike descent, summoned 
her red-skinned people and attacked Cutinho so valiantly 
that he was compelled to retire to Itheos with his Portu- 
guese followers. But he carried the captive with him. 
The Tubinambas now took refuge in diplomacy, and in- 
vited Cutinho to quit his strong position in Itheos and to 
return to the bay. Cutinho accepted the invitation, was 
wrecked on the island of Itaparica and was, with his com- 
panions, destroyed by the lovely Paraguasu and her friends 
the Tubinambas. Correa was free. As to the source by 
which intelligence of these events reached King John III, 
history and her authorities are silent ; but it is an histo- 
rical fact that upon hearing of them, John resolved to 
establish the capital of all Brazil in the Bay of Todos os 
Santos. He sent five large vessels with 500 volunteers and 
1,500 criminals to the colony, under the command of the 
Viceroy Tome de Souza. Correa was still alive at the 
period of this expedition, and proved himself very useful 
in arranging friendly relations between his country people 
and the Tubinambas. For her rapid advance, Bahia has 
to thank the Jesuits, who exerted only too energetic an 



BAHIA 103 

influence in the colonisation of the vast empire of Brazil. 
In the year 1588, the Order defended the town successfully 
against the English. At the close of the sixteenth century 
Brazil, in which the work of colonisation had, in the mean- 
time, made rapid progress, became divided into two 
provinces, Bahia and Eio Janeiro. The Portuguese spread 
themselves more and more widely around Bahia, so that 
the warlike Tubinambas were forced to retire to the inte- 
rior ; other tribes in the country were either gradually 
annihilated, or became merged by degrees among the 
colonists and negroes. 

When, after the fabulous disappearance of the brave 
King Sebastian, the haughty and calculating Philip 
seized on the Portuguese throne for himself, a bitter 
period of neglect arose for Brazil, still in her infancy : so 
that it was an easy thing for that active enemy of Spain, 
the Dutch Willekins, to expel the kindred race so hated by 
the Brazilians. But the Dutchmen behaved like the 
Spaniards, oppressing one foreigner by means of another, 
and the egotistical greed of the cold mercantile people 
was so detested by the now more civilised Brazilians, that 
they rose in a mass ; and the Spanish Admiral Don Fre- 
derique de Toledos succeeded in reconquering Bahia in 
the year 1625 ; this was a circle of events such as is com- 
mon in history. 

The renewed independence of Portugal under the house 
of Braganza was hailed with joy by this important colony ; 
and with it the rule of the Spaniards came to an end for 
ever. The bitter hatred of race, so deeply implanted in 
the Iberian peninsula, which has excited a mortal enmity 
between the Spaniards and the Portuguese, took root 
with redoubled strength in the lands on the opposite 
side of the ocean. Bahia quickly increased in extent, 
population, and importance. The great Pombal, who 
possessed a genius for pressing on reform, as well as a 



:04 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

spirit of restlessness and love of change, and who, like all 
upstarts, pushed ancient tradition on one side because he 
was in a hurry to make an historical name for himself, 
decreed, with the thoughtless hate of an innovator, the 
removal of the original historical capital of this immense 
colony from Bahia de todos os Santos to the distant shores 
of the quiet river called Rio Janeiro, to whose banks the 
primeval forest extended. In Bahia this measure gave 
rise to extreme discontent, which shows itself even in the 
present day in an invincible antagonism towards the im- 
perial city. 

If we examine Pombal's measure in a political point of 
view, we see it to have been a mistake ; for, besides that 
a statesman ought never to cast aside old traditions, but 
rather to make use of them, Eio lies much too near the 
southern boundary to serve as the metropolis of so im- 
mense an empire. To the present day, Bahia and her 
provinces will not acknowledge the supremacy of Eio. 
This jealousy could not have been displayed more strongly 
than it was at the moment of independence, when regal 
majesty in the elder city held out for three years against 
the rising empire. Since then, the wishes of the northern 
provinces, with Bahia as their centre, have tended rather 
towards republicanism; and Eio is too weak and too 
remote to make her authority felt. It was, therefore, a 
wise resolution of the Emperor to visit Bahia and her pro- 
vinces ; and, by his personal presence, at least to defer 
the foreshadowed catastrophe. Whilst still on the subject 
of history, I must mention another peril which threatens 
Bahia and her free, white population. It is told in a few 
words, but it has produced an uncomfortable feeling of 
depression, which weighs mysteriously upon the town like 
a visitation of yellow fever. Bahia numbers 80,000 
negroes among her inhabitants, and only 40,000 whites. 
In these words an arithmetical problem is contained, which 



BAHIA. 105 

finds its answer in the disquietude recurring from time to 
time. I say nothing of the germs of decay which slavery 
inevitably brings with it. On this point I could at this 
moment adduce particulars, and therefore proofs, close at 
hand. 

But let us leave historical data, and return to the reali- 
ties which smiled their welcome to us by the fulness of 
their beauty. The whole vessel was in a state of feverish 
excitement. We were standing at the gates of Paradise, 
and yearning for admission with an indescribable, almost 
childish, impatience : for this was the very day on which 
that dream of years, the treading on the tropical soil of 
America, was to become a reality. In making my arrange- 
ments, I felt anxious to escape all the ceremony and eti- 
quette appropriate to my rank, and to be left to myself to 
enjoy my first visit to the tropics in freedom, with im- 
pressions undisturbed by the presence of a gold stick in 
waiting, acting as guide. For this purpose it was necessary 
to leave the ' Elizabeth ' early, and before the announce- 
ment of the arrival of a prince should have penetrated 
within the confines of the government circle. 

At length the boat of the health officer, rowed by dirty 
mulattoes, made its appearance, and the first Brazilian 
stepped on board in the form of a European dandy, 
bringing us the much-desired permission to go on 
shore. The amiable youth looked as though he were 
employed as a sort of sample of Brazilian capability for 
civilisation, and for the purpose of giving a favourable 
impression to transatlantic travellers. He spoke French 
fluently, could twist and turn about, and was dressed 
almost exactly like one of the figures in the patterns of 
Paris fashions ; only the youngster was oblivious of the 
seasons. He adhered strictly to the costume for the 
month of January, and was therefore dressed in cloth and 
velvet, with the sombre cylindrical hat on his well-curled 



JOG RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and well-oiled locks. That the January of Brazil falls in 
July our fashion-figure had quite forgotten. 

From a want of regard to heat and cold, an utter con- 
fusion as to dress reigns in the tropics ; which among the 
upper classes is productive of complete slavery. In the 
burning heat of the dog-days, the ladies sweep the dust 
off the streets with their heavy velvet dresses ; and the 
gentlemen imagine that they can make no pretensions to 
civilisation, if they do not pant beneath the scorching rays 
of the sun in black coats and Parisian hats. The European, 
who has fortunately reached the happy point of acknow- 
ledging comfort to be the first and only law in dress, is 
guided by the thermometer, and breaks through the bonds 
which would keep him in slavery. Notwithstanding Bra- 
zilian etiquette, we were dressed in light white clothes ; 
on our heads, the plebeian Panama hat ; in our hands, the 
protecting umbrella. 

In a fever of impatience we sprang into our boat ; and, 
with beating hearts, made our way amid ships and barques, 
over the azure waves, to the transatlantic shore. To 
express my feelings in words would be impossible. This 
was one of those happy days so rare in the life of man ; the 
enthusiastic feeling of triumph in grasping securely that 
which has been attained with difficulty, is combined with 
the indescribable delight of investigating and contem- 
plating an entirely new world. My soul and intellect 
were quickened for the reception of all that was new and 
wonderful with an eagerness of happiness which, until 
now, I had only known in imagination, or from books. 
My heart throbbed with anxiety, and with the sweet 
uncertainty whether the reality would come up to my 
previously-formed ideas, or even surpass them. To a 
lover of nature, and an enthusiastic traveller like myself, 
that moment is never to be forgotten in w r hich we enter 
a new world ; in which all that we have learned from 



BAHIA. 107 

books becomes imbued with life; in which the objects 
contained in our limited and laboriously- formed collections 
stand before us in the fresh vigour of existence ; in which 
the pigmy growth of our confined glass-houses becomes 
expanded into forests and giant forms, and the animals 
with which we are only acquainted through the forlorn 
specimens in zoological gardens, or as stuffed objects in 
museums, surround us in the freedom of life, in beauty of 
colour, and gladness of existence ; that moment in which 
the book gains life, the dream reality. 

We had selected for our place of landing a green spot 
on the coast to the right of the town beyond Vittoria, 
where bamboos grew in luxuriant profusion down to the 
shore. I could not summon resolution to mix with the 
throng in this noisy American town. In moments of 
deep feeling, the excited soul ever flees from the troubling 
hum of man. Does not the bridegroom desire to see his 
destined bride for the first time in the stillness of solitude ? 
Does not the son who hopes, after years of separation, to 
press his mother again to his heart hasten in advance of 
his friends and acquaintances? In moments of excite- 
ment, the overcharged heart needs seclusion, because, in 
order to grasp his full happiness, man must be able to 
concentrate his powers. 

At a quarter to eleven, on January 11, our boat grounded 
on the shingle, and it had scarcely touched the landing- 
place, when, with feelings of joy rarely experienced, I 
sprang on the soil of the new continent. With a stroke 
of the magic wand I was placed in a new world ; all around 
breathed life and beauty. If during our voyage we had 
in those winter months found spring, now the warm, 
delicious, perfumed air of luxuriant summer was shed 
around us. The atmosphere had that elasticity, that fra- 
grance of vegetation, that balmy softness, which is only 
accorded to us Europeans in the very height of summer. 



108 EECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

It was necessary to strain every nerve, in order, beneath 
the blissful influences of the glowing sun, in the sudden 
reawakening to life and warmth, to leave nothing unseen, 
nothing unappreciated, among the wonders presented by 
nature. 

At the landing-place, we saw on our right, on the 
threshold of a ruined house, a troop of negroes and 
negresses, who in their light cotton garments were mauling 
the linen of the Bahians, by way of washing it, amid noise 
and jokes ; whilst on our left the profuse verdure of the 
tropics surrounded our ascending steps in wild growth of 
weeds, impenetrable thickets overspread with numberless 
creepers, green of every shade and hue through which 
brilliant blossoms pressed themselves ; all was in the full 
vigour of nature up to and over the hilly streets. The 
bamboos overhanging the mountain-slope formed dark, 
shadowy masses like thunder-clouds. By means of the 
knowledge we had gained in our hot-houses, we every 
moment recognised some fresh plant or bright blossom 
which had here grown to the size of those in the fabled 
gardens of the giants. Our company carried on an eager 
war of bets as to who would be the first to discover some 
marvel of the tropics and proudly announce his discovery 
to his comrades. The air was filled with the hum of 
insects peculiar to the soft, warm south; grasshoppers 
revelled in the sunlight, and the ardour with which they 
played on their winged instruments seemed to increase as 
the sun advanced to the zenith ; timid lizards of unfamiliar 
form glided into the shelter of their dark-green leafy 
homes at our northern appearance ; from amid wondrous 
masses of emerald plants, giant butterflies with indented 
wings of gaily gleaming hues fluttered gently like the 
visions in a peaceful dream. And all this burst upon us 
during our first five minutes of life in America ! 

In order to give a little information, as becomes a 



BAHIA. 109 

pupil of Nature, I will here mention that the butterflies 
which we admired during these first moments, were 
the golden Papilio Thoas, and the Papilio Dardanus, 
which was black, ornamented with red and light yellow 
spots. 

With ever-increasing rapture, we ascended the heights 
up to the plateau on which Vittoria is situated. A broad 
straight street brought us to the large square of Vittoria. 
In front of the very first villa on the right, we saw some 
tall specimens of the cocoa-nut palm (Cocos nucifera), 
the genuine type of the tropical American world. It 
ranks next to the date palm in beauty ; and, as this 
latter, with its straight stem, and proud perfect crown, is 
the picture of symmetry, and the model followed by grave 
art in Egypt, and glowing art in Greece, so is the cocoa- 
nut palm the untrained representative of the uncultivated 
hemisphere. It lacks the beautiful proportions and the 
symmetry of the date-palm ; its stem is thin as though 
stunted, it does not rise straightly, and only becomes 
large towards the crown ; and, while the golden fruit of 
the date palm gleams in wondrous beauty of form, the 
far-famed cocoa-nuts hang irregularly, like excrescences ; 
the crown is ragged, and bent in all directions by the 
wind. How magnificently, on the contrary, do the palms 
of Memphis and Kamleh rear their forms ! 

The large square of Vittoria is like an immense parade- 
ground ; a broad, level space, round which are some few 
melancholy trees, and on which the grass peeps out in 
patches. The squares in all the towns of Brazil are of a 
similar description, and might with more justice be 
named Campo, than the Campo of Venice. Vienna has 
a similar Campo in the celebrated Lerehenfelder ; as in it 
boys, tramps, and hucksters, gain a living, so dirty negro 
children, and screeching negro washerwomen scuffle in 
dusky confusion over the Brazilian field. The Campo of 



110 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Vittoria is surrounded by pretty and cheerful villas, with 
lovely little gardens : these villas are built for the most 
part in the graceful Grecian or Italian style, and are 
so slight and fragile that they 'look like pretty toys, 
and bear the impress of dwellings hurriedly erected by 
migratory upstarts. Numerous little pillars, statues, 
and all sorts of ornamental work, are intended to prove 
the importance of the owner; the thin pasteboard walls 
testify to the short occupancy of the possessor; the 
numerous windows, verandahs, and terraces, are tokens of 
unbroken summer. 

The inevitable flag-staff, pointing towards heaven, stands 
before every house in Vittoria which shelters a consul ; 
and, whenever a feast day recurs, all the banners of 
Europe and America may be seen floating merrily to- 
gether. There is no prince, nor the smallest pigmy re- 
public, that has not an official representative at Bahia de 
todos os Santos. It might not be uninteresting to en- 
deavour to discover who in Bahia is not a consul. All 
these consuls are Germans, and either from their own 
birth, or from the gradations of rank among the two-and- 
thirty states, are tenacious of their position ; it may be 
imagined what a nest of chattering daws fair Vittoria 
presents. 

The lovely little gardens that border the square and 
the neighbouring streets, and cluster round, and almost 
within, the houses, are truly fairy-like. One sees luxuriant 
plants behind richly worked lattices, their splendid colours 
bathed in the golden sunlight, their thousand varied 
blossoms glowing and gleaming ; the appearance that of 
baskets of flowers, or caskets of jewels. Well arranged, 
and contained within narrow limits, these parterres seem 
to be so many winter gardens, aroused into the life of 
summer ; the sun develops and warms them, brightening 
the pale colours into a glow which would charm an artist. 



BAHIA. 1 1 1 

Here, in this world of flowers, all is true life, overpowering 
delight : indeed, nature seems to have exerted herself to 
find something distinctive of a garden; she has succeeded 
in placing side by side the rarest specimens of all that is 
rare, and in causing every colour of the rainbow to gleam 
within a narrow space. For the benefit of those who 
possess some knowledge of botany, I will mention a few of 
the plants. The lovely and fragrant Plumera, growing in 
this tropical climate to the size of a large shrub, with its 
splendid blossoms, which unite a silvery shimmer and 
golden glow with tints subdued as those of the even- 
ing twilight ; the Bougainvillea, which showers its red or 
violet blossoms in brilliant cascades over wall and terrace ; 
the Lagerstromia, with which Europe has indeed some 
acquaintance, but only as it were in a pale photographic 
copy of the splendid original ; the deep-blue Petrea 
volubilis ; the Poinsettia, with its coronet of leaves glow- 
ing like tongues of flame ; besides numerous Bignonias, 
acacias, cassias, and others. The astonishment of new- 
comers in beholding this world of brilliance and of tropical 
light may be imagined. And all blooms and flourishes 
throughout the entire year ; and, when one colour fades, 
a yet brighter succeeds. It is a pity that these gardens 
have been disfigured by numerous banks, paths, and walls 
covered over with glazed coloured tiles, supporting sta- 
tuettes of similar material. 

The low state of Brazilian art, resembling a childish 
toying with things not yet understood, is evinced by the 
way in which Hebe, Cupid, and Apollo are grouped in 
countless repetition in the alleys and parterres ; this 
absence of taste runs like a red thread throughout the 
whole empire of Brazil, giving it an unpleasing stamp of 
parvenuship. Immediately in front of the windows of the 
Sardinian consulate, we saw the first palanquin hurrying 
past a Brazilian means of locomotion that owes its 



112 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

existence to slavery. Viewed as a mode of conveyance, it 
has a very comical appearance. Two powerful blacks, 
dressed, horribile dictu, in heavy gold or silver em- 
broidered antique livery, with pitch-black leathern hats 
and cockades on their heads, barefooted (for such is the 
official mark of these human beasts of burden), and 
moving at a quick trot, were carrying, slung on a pole 
upon their shoulders, a sofa that hung close to the ground, 
and was surrounded by a dark-blue curtain worked with 
gold. As one sees so imposing a mass approach, one is 
tempted to suppose that something sacred is borne within 
this mysterious waving curtain ; presently the curtain 
moves, and one sees a large stout senhor, in black dress and 
hat, flirting his fan, and thus becomes aware that the 
exertions of the liveried negroes are bestowed on some- 
thing much less sublime. 

Each house has its own palanquin, for which these 
inexpensive and intelligent black horses are not wanting. 
There are also, in addition, palanquins for hire, which 
stand in readiness in certain parts of the city, but these 
are not the property of free negroes ; they are let out as 
a means of making money for the impoverished owners 
who have no property but negroes. Their master feeds 
them ; therefore their gains belong exclusively to him. 
With an inheritance of two or three negroes, a free, con- 
stitutional Brazilian citizen can remain idle, can obtain a 
respectable competence, and can talk of the rights of man ; 
for, be it understood, the Brazilian makes a distinction 
between the rights of white, and working, men. This 
is but a gleam of light shed upon the hideous question 
of slavery, of which I shall have opportunity to speak 
further. 

Passing through the square, in which the noonday heat 
was by no means so intolerable as one might have ex- 
pected, we bent our steps round the old granite fort, in 



BAHIA. 113 

the street leading up the heights to the original town of 
Bahia. On the right we perceived a large garden, from 
which the first casuarina stared at us amid palms and all 
manner of trees. Man everywhere loves that which is 
peculiar, and is never satisfied with that which nature 
lavishes so profusely upon him ; and thus the Brazilians, 
with great want of taste, send to Australia to fetch these 
frightful plants, these withered flowers, to their own country. 
The casuarina rises in the air like an immense witch's 
broom, or like an old dusty bunch of rosemary, with parched 
leaves and blossomless boughs, planted out of reverence 
for the dead. Like the dragon-tree and the camel, it is 
an extravagance of nature ; the most fanciful imagination 
cannot call it pretty. 

Along the garden wall by the side of the trottoir, a 
group of negresses was squatted, selling fruit an in- 
teresting group to strangers among which were most 
original specimens for size and age. Old negresses in light 
loose garments, complete hags in their rough sturdiness 
and horrible ugliness ; their black leathery skin wrinkled 
into a thousand folds, like a piece of india-rubber ; with 
dark grey hands, and feet baboon-like in their lissomeness ; 
their small heads, like those of tortoises, covered with 
short white wool ; their long white teeth, and, as a con- 
trast, their piercing eyes swimming in the redness pro- 
duced by spirits, were shouting with jeering glibness at every 
stranger, offering him bargains of guavas, bananas, cocoa- 
nuts, and all manner of other fruits with which I was still 
unacquainted. 

Close by, sunk in calm repose, lay prodigies of black 
youthful rotundity, the dark flesh exposed to the gaze of 
passers-by, in soft masses that might truly seem impossible, 
and that were truly enormous in circumference. One 
woman especially attracted our notice, from her remarkable 
figure. She wore the peculiar and picturesque costume of 

YOL. IIL I 



114 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the Brazilian negresses, which bears some resemblance to 
that of their more eastern native country. A grey, 
flowered, calico gown hung carelessly around her slender, 
delicate form ; a white chemise without sleeves floated, as 
an accidental supplement, around the upper portion of 
her person ; a shawl worked in gay colours, fell in pic- 
turesque folds over her shoulders as an addition when 
walking in the town; beads with a heathenish amulet 
hung over her breast : while her head was encircled by a 
turban of white or pale-blue gauze. Bright colours are 
very becoming to the bronze hue of the skin, whilst the 
figure is still young and rounded ; and therefore even in 
this country, and with this dress, coquetry is possible. 

The woman of whom I speak, and who sat complacently 
enthroned in the centre of the group, had a neck and 
throat that would have done honour to the Emperor 
Vitellius ; and her bared bosom was in perfect harmony 
with them ; whilst, owing to the velvet texture and bronze 
colour of the skin, there was a certain degree of splendour 
in her foreign appearance. The lady evinced her own. 
conviction of this fact by a very self-satisfied smile. 

The thing that struck me particularly in the group was 
that the negresses should have snow-white hair, which had 
an indescribably hideous effect ; also that even among the 
women the hair should be like short wool ; we are so 
accustomed to consider the length of the hair to form one 
of the differences between the sexes, that at first it seems 
very strange to see the sparsely covered heads of these ne- 
gresses. As among the various tribes of animals we keep 
the principal features in our eye, and scarcely notice the 
different peculiarities of their individual members, so that 
all ostriches, asses, pheasants, look to us alike ; so (sad to 
confess) is it with our black neighbours who, as one may 
perceive, are merely considered as belonging to the genus 
man. 



BAHIA. 115 

One finds almost universally among negroes the same 
type of face, merely differing in shape and size. The 
figure of the negro is generally slender and well-formed, 
and nature never produces a cripple. Among the men, 
splendidly athletic figures may be found, especially among 
the noted porters, who remind one of antique bronzes; 
the neck and shoulder-blades are strikingly well-shaped ; 
the legs, on the contrary, are universally slight, and the 
calf entirely wanting, as with the baboon. The women 
are also for the most part slender as the pine, have a 
remarkably beautiful walk, very pretty, small hands, and 
exquisite busts ; but the pendant bosom, pressed nearly as 
flat as a board, is a hideous characteristic of the race. 

Both men and women have universally bright eyes, in 
which lurks a sly humour, but in which one may also read 
the easily excited tiger nature ; in vain does one seek in 
the dark orbs for any sign of high intellect. 

The black children are like pretty toys, and in their 
movements remind one of the free forost and the graceful 
cocoa-nut tree. The old people, on the contrary, are 
frightful ; they lack all that renders old age venerable and 
beautiful ; and in looking at them, I involuntarily recalled 
to mind the hoary apes that I saw lamenting in the Jardin 
des Plantes. In childhood and old age, the blacks resemble 
wild beasts ; it is only in the season of youth and of full 
strength that they seem to rise temporarily to the level of 
humanity. The negroes generally wear nothing but white 
trowsers, and an open white shirt, on their heads a tattered, 
round, straw hat. The slaves of a higher class add a 
spencer of blue cloth. 

Proceeding along the trottoir our road led us alon a 
path raised like a rampart, and parallel to the fort men- 
tioned before. Looking down from the height on our 
right, a wonderful scene, far surpassing description, pre- 
sented itself to us. Far out into the country at the back 

I 2 



116 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of the town behind the hill skirting the bay, was a deep 
valley which displayed the perfect splendour of primitive 
tropical vegetation in a wondrous vision of loveliness. 
As though by a stroke of enchantment, we beheld the 
emerald richness, the impenetrable and fantastic wreaths 
of flowers of a paradise. A green sea of leaves, its 
sunlit waves undisturbed by any trace of man, was 
spread before us beneath the deep-blue, equatorial sky ; 
brilliant yet calm, strange and mysterious in form and 
feature. If, on the one hand, we looked with feelings of 
astonishment and gratitude at the grand, overpowering 
whole, on the other hand we sought, though for the most 
part in vain, with that strange curiosity peculiar to man, 
for familiar forms, and sought to divide the wondrous 
picture into isolated groups. We could indeed distin- 
guish gigantic trees with dark, rich crowns ; could see lianas 
creeping from bough to bough, and we also discovered and 
welcomed various orchids; but ever again lost sight of indi- 
vidual objects in our rapture at the grandeur of the scene. 
Whilst we were thus standing like strangers at the gates 
of Paradise, revelling in this vision of beauty, we suddenly 
heard something rumbling and clattering behind us ; the 
rapid trot of a pair of horses in double harness resounded 
on the dusty road. They were two lean greys, driven by 
an old negro in a silver-embroidered coat who rode pant- 
ing upon one of them ; behind these horses a dust-covered 
box, with a pale white cross painted on it, rolled along on 
two large cabriolet wheels. It was grim death who held 
his course and whose black jockey was thus merrily con- 
ducting the empty casket of the soul to its last rest. Thus 
are the dead borne to the grave in Bahia, thus rapidly and 
gaily are the victims of the scourge, yellow fever, that 
carries them off with so little warning, taken to the grave. 
We remained standingon the dusty road in astonishmentand 
with outraged feelings ; Paradise on our right, on our left 



BAHIA. 117 

Death, and his equipage a la Daumont. The little vehicle 
driven by the black livery servant rolled past, and we 
pursued our way. 

At the gate of the fort whence Turkish music was sound- 
ing, we saw a small triumphal arch, erected by the faith- 
ful garrison to their Emperor ; it was a work which would 
scarcely have done credit to a village schoolmaster. Be- 
neath the large trees in the square we met with some 
soldiers of the imperial army ; large black clowns or mon- 
key-like mulattoes who were lounging about in a melan- 
choly manner in their gay uniforms which had evidently 
(in consequence of the impoverished state of the treasury) 
not been made for them ; they seemed to have got into them 
by accident, and their dress hung about them as though 
put on hap-hazard ; on their woolly heads they had caps 
like the tent of Soliman Pacha, the oppressor of Vienna ; 
and in order to make this headgear more useful and 
becoming, two scarlet baubles, like signal lanterns, were 
suspended from the crown, which dangling back and for- 
wards, made, when the sun was in the zenith, a sort of 
shadow dance over the noses of those who wore them. In 
wet weather these ornaments would serve to quench the 
thirst of the warrior, for he need only open his mouth to 
receive the concentrated stream. These men, springing 
up like rockets, with these tent-like hats on their sleepy 
heads, with their dark-blue spencers and red facings, for 
which, to judge from the shape and scantiness of material, 
they must have been measured in their sixth or seventh 
birthday, with their tight white trowsers, and feet bare of 
any constraint, present a very ludicrous appearance. 

These soldiers carry no arms ; what need has a soldier 
of arms ? his appearance and military bearing are sufficient. 
I commend all military men, and all in Europe who have to 
do with soldiers, to reflect seriously on the advantages of the 
Brazilian spencer. P^or the rest, the Brazilian army looks 



118 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

like a body of civilians practising on the sly ; yet even in 
this point of view there is a bright side to the picture. 
Brazil is, thank Heaven ! still so uncivilised as to need no 
array ; with the exception of the little garrison in the town 
pro forma, there is but an insignificant number of soldiers 
in Kio Grande do Sul, just to watch the adjacent republic, 
and to fight in case of need. 

We now entered the original town, and advanced to- 
wards the rows of houses which extend along the shore on 
the height, running parallel to the bay. The farther I 
penetrated into the town, the more was I surprised at its 
striking resemblance to the mother city, Lisbon. There is 
the same disposition of the streets, the same description of 
houses, with numerous glass doors and iron balconies, the 
same irregularity of ground, the same primitive shops and 
signboards, even the churches are in the same style, having 
similar proportions, though less of luxury and ornament. 
At each step, at each turn, we recognise the Portuguese 
model. It is interesting when travelling abroad, to notice 
how every nation impresses its own stamp on its colonies, 
and seeks to imprint on them the image of the mother 
country. Even in the Moorish city of Algiers, the French 
have formed a mimic Paris. Nature alone will not allow 
herself and her beauties to be trained into strange forms, 
except in a very partial degree. 

The population in this country also has its peculiarities. 
One sees negroes, and ever negroes ; there are no white 
people in Bahia, except on the steep steps, where one 
meets sailors from every land. The owners of property 
are white, or rather of a pale-yellow complexion. Charac- 
teristic figures, such as the towns of Asia and Africa present, 
are wanting, for the aborigines have been driven back into 
the depths of the primeval forests. They who inhabit Brazil 
are strangers, and still bear the impress of an uncertain, 
migratory population. From the emperor down to the 



BAHIA. 119 

lowest negro boy there are very few who can reckon three 
generations in the country; therefore the repose of his- 
torical association has not yet fallen upon it. The firm 
cement of memory is wanting, and no one thinks of quiet, 
well-regulated improvement; all are disturbed by the 
passions of the moment. Brazil has not yet ceased to be 
a colony, has not begun to establish herself as an empire, 
firm in her own strength. 

The white population in the streets of Bahia are of the 
same type as the people of southern Europe ; and never 
evince any national characteristics except when, like our 
ripe fruit, they hang on the poles of a palanquin, or trot 
through the streets on their well-shaped, long-eared mules. 
Their dark -coloured, would-be French costume is a proof 
of the obstinacy and love of appearance born in our race. 

One scarcely ever sees white women in the streets ; only 
on the rarest occasions do they tear themselves from their 
balcony windows and from the rocking-chairs in their 
verandahs. A Brazilian lady in the town is the very im- 
personation of weary idleness. There, the stranger only 
meets negroes and negresses. 

It seemed strange to me to see large monasteries every 
five minutes, mysterious buildings looking like prisons, as 
in Palermo, the thickly-grated windows of which told of 
the durance of their inmates. Lofty towers, like those of 
a fortress with latticed galleries, permitted a distant view 
of the noisy town, of the broad blue ocean, and of the 
green country. One travels to learn ; I could never have 
imagined that in the democratic state of Brazil, with its 
poverty-stricken government, such numerous monastic 
establishments could exist, nor that such could be needed 
in the vicinity of primeval forests. In Europe, one might 
find personal freedom beneath their calm protection ; the 
sacred walls might prove to be the longed-for defence 
against intrigue, against evil passions, against temptation ; 



120 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the cloister might be the grave enshrining the moral suicide 
immuring himself therein from noble motives. 

But what need is there of such in America, where the 
trackless primeval forest, with its walls of verdure, offers 
a secure refuge from the griefs of the world, and affords 
repose for the soul ? There were indeed a multitude of 
persons in the middle ages who fled to the cloister, but 
similar spirits can now emigrate to America. America 
presents an admirable asylum, specially for those who have 
come to a resolution to break with the stormy past, and to 
work their way to a blameless future ; for the ocean is 
wide, very wide, a lake of oblivion, and whoever sails 
across it can, as by a second baptism, wash even the stains 
of blood from his hands. As in a monastery, so also in 
America, no one asks a new comer whence or wherefore he 
has come ; let him have been ever so wicked in Europe, he 
may by diligence and perseverance become in America a 
thoroughly respectable man. Useful as monasteries 'may 
be and are in other countries, here they are plainly mere 
toys, which no one has the courage or the right to suppress. 
With the exception of the Franciscans and Capuchins, 
who, as we afterwards had occasion to observe, send forth 
very low, demoralised missionaries, the monasteries of 
Brazil are abodes of luxury which can in no way be 
pleasing to the Almighty. Lukewarmness, and a total 
want of spiritual activity, prevail within these numerous 
edifices ; and the Pope, who has ordered such wise 
austerities in the degenerate European monasteries, would 
render eternal service to religion if he, for he only can do 
it, would suppress the great number of those in Brazil, 
and would reform the Capuchin and Franciscan monasteries 
and restore them to their original intention. The nu- 
merous convents are now merely dirty shrines in which 
people lay up old booty : but a more minute description of 
these another time. 



BAHIA. 121 

Our mountain-road now conducted us to a grand church, 
near which the rows of houses became more extensive ; the 
ground sloped upwards, and led to the central point of 
Bahia, and to the large Theatre Square, or rather Terrace. 
The buildings were handsome, and resembled those of 
Lisbon. Some of them were, like those on the banks of 
the Tagus, ornamented with glazed tiles. In front of them, 
wherever the space from the street would permit, there 
were little terraces, on which various plants, such as rose 
and camelia trees, made a droll appearance, springing 
from between the tiles like bouquets of flowers on a cake. 

The Theatre Square is very remarkable : the declivity of 
the hill is raised by an embankment into a wide terrace ; 
from this terrace rises the spacious theatre with its 
yellow walls and its countless windows, looking like an 
immense warehouse ; opposite to it stands a strikingly 
large building, containing coffee-houses and shops ; while a 
sea of houses is spread over the declivity. In front of the 
theatre, the square is adorned by some trees, an exquisitely 
clear fountain rising from a basin of Carrara marble, and a 
beautiful statue of the great Columbus. 

The view from the parapet of the terrace surprises one 
by its beauty. Around and below lies the picturesque 
town ; before one is the ocean, forming itself into a road- 
stead, studded with countless vessels, from mere boats 
up to every rig of trading vessel. The hour noon; the 
sun in the zenith, casting a brilliant shimmer over the 
sea, in whose waves of wondrous blue the reflected light is 
condensed into a silvery vapour ; the verdure of the forest 
gleams in the haze of the noonday beams ; beyond, the 
distant island of Itaparica, the isles and mountains are 
dimly outlined far as the Paraguasu. On the right, gleams 
the bay with its palm-shaded peninsula of Bomfin, its 
smiling villas and bright white churches, all looking 
strangely near. Large boats, with enormous sails, merrily 



122 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

traverse the azure waters like swans. These bring the 
fruits of the island, the sweet superfluities of nature cut 
sugar-canes, bags of coffee, and cocoa from the distant 
plantations to the metropolis of trade. Below us the life 
of the harbour is concentrated, midway between the fort 
(erected in the midst of the waters of the roadstead) and 
the arsenal with the neighbouring custom-house. The 
general outlines of this remarkable scene might easily be 
met with in Europe ; there is nothing novel in its features ; 
but the beauty of colouring, the richness of glow and 
glitter, belong to a hot climate only. 

It was but natural that amid all our ecstasy we should 
feel the necessity of feeding the fire of enthusiasm by 
material means, and therefore sought for an hotel. Fol- 
lowing some vague directions received on board, we dis- 
covered in a side street, by means of the notices on the 
shop-windows, something resembling an eating-house. We 
rushed towards it, and passing through passages and up 
steps we reached a large hall, with a long verandah facing 
the sea, from which we again had a beautiful bird's-eye 
view. But these continual feasts for the eyes had a very 
exhausting effect upon the frame. From our elevated 
position we could even see without any special pleasure 
butterflies of extraordinary size chasing merrily over the 
mounds and [clusters of weeds on the declivity. Little 
tables, figures belonging to French romance, and a some- 
thing resembling a c&rte-a-manger, showed us that we were 
in a place of refreshment. An oppressive silence reigned 
everywhere, no attendant sprites appeared, all looked as 
though everyone in the house were dead ; could the yellow 
fever by possibility have desolated the place? At length 
we gave full vent to our impatience, and some mulatto 
servants of various shades of colour, who had evidently 
been idly taking a siesta and looked like weary spirits 
recalled from the grave, made their appearance. 



BAHIA. 123 

But now our real perplexity began. In the thoughtless 
tumult of delight we had brought no interpreter, and no 
one could understand us ; so the men only made grim 
dismal faces, quite forgetful of their mission as servants of 
the public. At length in a strain of heart-rending melan- 
choly, I stammered forth ' Cha ! Cha ! ' This word, which 
I had read on the shop-windows in Lisbon, aided the 
benighted wits of the languid creatures to a glimmer of 
light, and other signs borrowed from the monkey tongue 
likewise had their effect. Miniature cups appeared with 
pale-coloured tea (cha), pounded sugar dingy as the dust 
in the streets, and even a sort of beefsteak which, judging 
from its dried condition, must have been imported from 
England months ago. My poor teeth could not make their 
way through this steak. By means of pantomimic milking 
we requested milk for our cha, but were only laughed at 
by the coloured people. By a similar use of signs they 
gave us to understand that the white fluid was only to be 
had early in the morning. We were obliged to make a 
fight to obtain fruit, or rather a woody pineapple, which 
however we received with gratitude as the American fruit 
par excellence, bananas, which at least satisfy the appetite, 
mangoes, fruit of a greenish-yellow colour, with a pulp 
yellow as the yoke of an egg, and the turpentine flavour of 
which was not palatable, and finally the celebrated cashew, 
that much-lauded fruit which the Brazilians devour in 
large quantities. 

The form of the cashew is very peculiar ; a soft pulpy 
mass in shape like a pear, covered with a shining red and 
yellow peel like that of a Borsdorffer apple, hangs from the 
stem ; within it lies the strange kernel looking like a large 
dark bean. This kernel is called the cashew-nut. The 
tree which bears this fruit is of the form and size of a 
moderately large cherry-tree, the Latin name isAnacardium 
occidentale. The leaves are oval, and of a bright glossy 



124 RECOLLECTION'S OF MY LIFE. 

green : the pulp has a bitter-sweet taste, is astringent, and 
is said to be very quenching to the thirst. Without any 
addition the juice affords a beverage, in colour white tinged 
with yellow ; it tastes like bad orangeade, consequently is 
not palatable. An oil is extracted from the cashew-nut. 
What will one not eat when tormented by hunger and 
when entering inexperienced into a new hemisphere ? 

In the course of his voyages round the world our artist 
had eaten the cashew-nuts roasted, and he maintained that 
they tasted like sweet almonds. On the strength of this 
information, he and T., from thirst for scientific knowledge 
and love of discovery, ate the fresh juicy beans with 
eagerness. But repentance followed upon the act with 
lightning speed; for the bitter caustic oil exuding from 
the roasted nuts burned their inquisitive tongues and 
curious mouths to such a degree that they broke forth into 
moans and laments ; and the artist, who had evinced the 
greatest eagerness, felt the pain for some days, and was 
annoyed by little blisters in his mouth. These two pioneers 
of the road of science were often tormented afterwards by 
the rest of our party about these cashew-nuts, and the 
artist would be attacked with St. Vitus' dance if he did 
but see a cashew-tree in the distance, or descry the 
ominous fruit in the basket of a negress. Setting aside 
jokes, we were really surprised at the vigour attained by 
everything beneath the tropical sun; not only in the 
brilliancy of colour, but also in the strength of poisonous 
effect developed by it. 

It will easily be understood that our party were, in a culi- 
nary point of view, very much irritated against the hotel, 
so-called. My poor teeth trembled in their sockets from 
their efforts upon the beefsteak ; the mouths and tongues 
of the others were burning at the remembrance of the 
cashew-nuts, and all appetites acknowledged themselves un- 
appeased. But our just indignation reached its climax 



BAHIA. 125 

when some Brazilians entered the dining-saloon and ordered 
choice and savoury dishes before our eyes. Boiling over with 
anger, we quitted this hotel, in which, though in a large 
commercial town, no human being spoke either French, 
English, German, or Italian. There was something both 
naive and conciliatory in the obliging disposition of one of 
the waiters who stammered to us the name of a better hotel 
where foreign languages were spoken. Native courtesy 
prompted him to give us this information. 

Fortune now guided us to a real and consolatory blessing 
in the Hotel Fevrier, which, however, presents a very insig- 
nificant front in the Theatre Square, and bears a very un- 
attractive sign. But here we were in Abraham's bosom. 
Delicious iced-water ; splendid fruit ; the choicest dishes, 
adapted to the climate by a judicious use of the spice-box ; 
everything prepared in a clean and tasteful manner ; at- 
tentive and respectful servants ; European ideas, and, above 
all, two grand personages, the manager of the hotel (a quaint 
old Frenchman of the good old stamp, a true republican 
figure with a white beard, and a short clay pipe in his 
loquacious mouth), and the super-excellent Henry, the first 
and only garcon, who came in at every door at the same 
moment, waited upon everyone at once and left nothing 
undone. 

The old man was a genuine French 'blagueur' of 
humble rank, such as I greatly prefer to the self-important 
charlatan. He was possessed of a peculiar rough but re- 
spectful good humour, behaved like a benignant father to 
his family, had seen everything, knew how to advise every- 
one, was full of sound original ideas, and, which was of es- 
pecial importance to us, knew the country from end to end 
owing to his long residence in it. He was one of those 
characters moulded by circumstances with which we had in 
America so many opportunities of becoming acquainted. 
Born years ago in the Isle of France, he had led a life 



i26 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of continual excitement in the world, and had formed his 
opinions from the practical realities of life ; a self-taught 
man, he had for long years traversed the forests of Brazil in 
botanical and hunting excursions. He now seems to have 
cast anchor for life in the Bay of All Saints, manages his 
hotel thoroughly well, and is at the head of a lively French 
society who gladly assemble around him. Such is the 
history of the man to whom Fate sent us, and to whose 
sound advice we were indebted for the pleasantest part of 
our expedition. 

At first, like all new-comers, we besieged him with 
childish questions ; enquired where parrots were to be seen, 
where mo'nkeys could be found, where we could meet with 
humming-birds, where penetrate into the forest, where 
find wild beasts, real wild beasts ? It was our first day in 
America, and he who asks nothing never makes any pro- 
gress. He gave us information as to where we could find 
some humming-birds ; he mentioned the celebrated lake 
of Bahia, already spoken of by other travellers, near which 
there is a spot where one may see their nests. An excur- 
sion to the lake was resolved upon for the next day. 
Things looked less promising for the moment as regarded 
the primeval forest. He said that it would be necessary 
to travel far, far away from Bahia to see a real, undese- 
crated, virgin forest. In the country around Bahia every 
forest is what the Brazilians term Capoeira; namely, already 
cut : man has already built therein. Inexperienced tra- 
vellers find virgin forests everywhere ; but few Europeans 
have ever seen one. It was chiefly for the sake of seeing 
these that I had crossed the ocean, and therefore I would not 
give up my enquiries, which at last elicited the information 
that, on the coasts of Brazil, there is only one point at 
which a virgin forest extends to the sea. This locality 
was then the sole and single goal of my most eager desires. 
The old man frequently laughed at our questions. How 



BAHIA. 127 

often before must he not have been teased by similar mere 
book-learned Europeans ! But he was a man of sense and 
of practical knowledge, and gave willing replies : for to 
bestow information is ever pleasant. 

Whilst we were sitting in his cheerful verandah (a long 
gallery, one side of which consisted of windows always 
open) and were refreshing ourselves with fragrant and de- 
liciously sweet pineapples, and enjoying the magnificent 
and animated view over the broad blue bay, he related to 
us a number of interesting facts respecting the Imperial 
journey which had just caused great excitement through- 
out the whole of Brazil. He could not sufficiently, in his 
quiet way, laud the affability of the Emperor ; how he was 
a beau garqon ; how unweariedly, in exact contrast to his 
country people, he had wandered about from early morn- 
ing until evening ; how he had walked and ridden alone in 
the streets in plain clothes, and thus had seen everything 
like any other man : how the poor Empress was f une bonne 
femme; mais, ma foi ! ni belle, ni jeune, et boiteuse.' 
He described to us, from the elevation of his verandah, the 
entrance of the Imperial cortege ; but remarked, with a 
satirical laugh, that it had been made in a very disorderly 
manner ; and altogether his observations on the subject 
were uttered in the tone of compassion employed by the 
children of elder civilisation in allusion to that which is 
Transatlantic. But when his glance, in wandering over 
the bay, fell upon our ' Elizabeth ' that made a royal figure 
amid the other vessels, he enquired of us about the Prince, 
whether he had arrived, or whether he would come in 
some other vessel, or would not come at all, as it was said 
that he was afraid of the yellow fever. 

This conversation in the third person about my humble 
self delighted me much. Altogether we derived great 
pleasure from our intercourse with the intelligent old man 
who had traversed the world in so many different directions, 



128 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and had struggled so long with the storms of life, and 
had freed himself at last from all that was useless, and 
had formed for himself a pure, practical, all-sufficing world 
from which he looks down with a pitying smile on the 
petty life and doings of the ambitious. Men, who like our 
old Frenchman, have by time and perseverance weathered 
the tempests of human passions, may be frequently found 
in America : they are the most agreeable and most interest- 
ing companions. With them frank and intellectual con- 
versation may be held : they belong to no party, but create 
a self-sufficing existence for themselves. The various ex- 
periences of the irretrievable past have given them a keen 
insight into political and social relations. One seldom 
meets men of this class in Europe, where no man possesses 
perfect individuality ; but owing to the necessity of work- 
ing for his livelihood, to political, religious, and social 
causes, is, even under the most favourable circumstances, 
only a cipher, merely a spring- wheel in a machine. Here 
one finds the complete machinery united in one individual 
who, unchained by any enthralling notions to his fellow- 
men, is in himself an entire state, a power worthy of 
respect. 

Amid the interesting and attractive scenery of Brazil 
one ever finds that all that is historical is carefully pre- 
served. One has not occasion to weigh one's words as in 
older Europe ; for here the rough angles of men's minds 
have been smoothed by their having made the circuit of 
the earth : they have been rendered reasonable, an excellent 
quality which one seldom meets with in civilised coun- 
tries. 

Some of the rooms in the Hotel Fevrier look out upon 
the Theatre Square ; and from the balcony of the billiard- 
room there is a view of the more inland portion of the 
lovely bay, and uf the streets which lead straight from the 
Square in the direction of the Arsenal to the lower portion 



BAHIA. 129 

of the town. This view has many attractions, as these 
steep streets form the principal arteries of Bahia, and the 
disposition of the ground affords time for those looking 
down them to study each individual figure. 

In the afternoon, the German colonists make the chief 
stir in returning from their business to Vittoria: one 
then sees white faces, already rendered sallow by the 
climate, and sturdy forms that come panting up the 
hill, finishing off their business by the way. A solitary 
palanquin passes swiftly through the crowd of Germans : 
it contains some Brazilian of importance, who is being 
carried to his siesta. Ere long he will rest peacefully on 
his gains, and sink into slumber in his network hammock 
in his cool verandah, the balmy sea-air playing around 
him ; and be encircled by faithful slaves. Do you ask 
how he has obtained his riches ? how he has amassed the 
millions that have purchased the downy couch on which he 
reposes ? The answer meets you in the public street : by 
trading in human flesh ; by measures heaped up and over- 
flowing of black men ; by coining false money. 

Notwithstanding this, the man passes for a very respect- 
able person, bears some grand title of nobility, goes to 
Court, and attends the Emperor on state occasions ; and 
sleeps as tranquilly as the saints in Paradise. Why should 
he not ? Conscience is altogether wanting in these warm 
climates : in this ever-genial temperature this monitor 
seems to be unknown. In consequence of its absence, no 
true religion can exist; though that the want is quite 
unfelt is a self-evident truth. But one thing these rich 
Brazilian nabobs cannot abolish ; that is, the gloomy, evil 
impression of their hard, restless, black eyes, beneath 
whose glance one shudders uncomfortably. 

It is interesting to see the black people passing through 
the streets with baskets full of the most splendid fruit, 
always crying it for sale as they go. They evince a comic, 

VOL. III. K 



ISO RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

prating disposition, and a cheerfulness that contrasts 
strangely with the notion of slavery. The blacks possess 
a remarkable feature not easily to be described, their 
uniform nose ; through which their hoarse tones roll forth 
without intermission like those* of a rough mill-wheel. 
The women have universally such deep voices that one can 
scarcely distinguish their sex by them. It is not to be 
denied that, even in their voices, there is among the 
blacks something very animal. The voice does not come 
naturally and in full tones from the chest, but appears 
rather to be an artificial acquirement, lacking modulation. 
From our balcony we could also see, by looking down a 
straight street, a number of officers of the National Gruard 
and of the Line going to parade. I could not resist a 
smile, nor avoid a feeling of curiosity. I had already left 
my conscience on the other side of the tropic, or I should 
have been compelled to feel only regret and compassion at 
this scene ; for all the unfortunate officials were assembled 
on the glowing sand, beneath a noonday sun, to give me a 
state reception. Whilst they were panting at the landing- 
place in their laced and buttoned uniforms, the President 
at the head of his officials went on board the ' Elizabeth ' 
to welcome the Transatlantic Prince in the name of the 
Brazilian Empire. They found the casket empty; and 
the President had, to no purpose, sought in his French 
dictionary for complimentary phrases. I felt myself un- 
commonly comfortable on the balcony of the hotel ; 
although, according to Brazilian notions, dressed in an ex- 
ceedingly plebeian manner. The officials of Brazil seemed 
to be very much annoyed at the disappointment; and 
shortly afterwards the newspaper of Bahia issued some 
biting articles which amused me exceedingly. The good 
people ought to have felt flattered that the impulse to rush 
to their shore should have been so strong ; such haste was, 
in itself, a sort of ovation. 






BAIIIA. 131 

Whilst we were still making our observations from the 
balcony, delighted with the wooden temple erected by the 
Bahians out of compliment to the Emperor, we suddenly 
heard a fearful clatter, and saw the heads, as it were, of 
eight lances making their appearance : we soon recognised 
these to be the immense ears of mules drawing a carriage. 
Four mules in rich trappings, driven by a negro in livery, 
dashed proudly over the ground. They were drawing a 
caleche at full speed ; and in the caleche was enthroned 
the Commander of the { Elizabeth,' together with a German 
in a black coat who introduced himself as our Consul. 
Both were engaged in the chase after the Prince, and (not- 
withstanding the heat of Brazilian noon) had, in this mule 
equipage, been scouring the town in all directions. At 
length, in the course of their adventurous chase, the com- 
mander had come upon the track of the fox, and a shout 
of joy concluded the hot pursuit. What must the Consul, 
a native of Hamburg, have thought of such a rococo Euro- 
pean Prince ? On beholding me in the tobacco-scented 
billiard-room he was completely thunderstruck. He had 
expected some sign of the ermine ; some little adornment, 
at least, upon the princely brow : he had hoped to find 
somewhere the shadow of a large cross : he sought timidly 
for a golden key among the inferior portion of the suite, 
or for some sash which might, like Ariadne's thread, be a 
guide to him in the princely atmosphere. Instead of all 
this, he found himself suddenly bec-a-bec with the object 
of his search, who was surrounded by a circle of men 
attired in a costume which would render it very trying to 
the feelings of a precise consul to have them for his 
companions in the streets of Bahia. 

Herr L , a native of Hamburg, twenty-nine years of 

age, the son of wealthy parents, already, owing to his own 
diligence and energy of mind, become a highly respected 
merchant, was presented to me by the Commander as the 

K2 



132 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Austrian Consul. In him I became acquainted wth one 
of those estimable men who unite the characteristics of an 
English man of business, his active industry in trade, and 
composed and determined air, with the kindliness and the 
joyous temperament of an honest German. At nineteen 

years of age L was well-portioned by his parents, and 

crossed the ocean ; at twenty-one he might already have 
been deemed wealthy ; two years ago, he brought a rich 
and very amiable wife from England ; and now, at twenty- 
nine, he is what merchants call a made man. His large 
business is thriving, his position in the commercial world 
of Brazil is high, and he is much esteemed. It would be 
quite possible even now for him to retire into private 
life. 

At his last visit to Europe, he selected Vienna as his 
future haven of rest. He affords a pleasing example of 
the way in which a man may, on this side the ocean, by 
energy and indefatigable industry, speedily become fabu- 
lously rich. But this success proves that he could not 
originally have been poor. He who travels to America 
with some capital, and brings with it also intelligence, 
energy, and perseverance, may always reckon with cer- 
tainty on a golden future beneath this beneficent sky. 
But he who has been in trouble at home, and who enters 
on his travels from despair, may as certainly reckon on 
being even more miserable than in his own country; 
forsaken by Grod and man, he becomes ruined. In- 
stances of adventurers with empty pockets who have 
in a short time risen to be nabobs, are very rare ; 
and as in Europe, their successes may be attributed to 
underhand means. One might advise strong young men 
with small fortunes to take the voyage to America ; but 
could not do less than warn those who are poor (so-called 
emigrants) against so foolish a step. Later on, I shall 
have frequent opportunity to speak of the melancholy, 



BAHIA. 133 

pitiable specimens of this class whom I have beheld with 
feelings of compassion. 

When our Consul had recovered from his first feelings 
of astonishment at the sight of the prince and his court, and 
we, in return, had bid him never more appear in a black 
coat and black hat (which merely served to concentrate 
the rays of the sun), we resolved forthwith to make use of 
the grand mule-carriage for an excursion. With wise 
foresight, and wits sharpened by the horrors of a Brazilian 
breakfast, we ordered an excellent repast of our old 
Frenchman for the evening ; took with us the botanist, 
who was burning with scientific ardour, and at a merry 
pace passed back, along the same road by which we had 
come, to the Passeo Publico in the neighbourhood of the 
fort. 

The public promenade of Bahia consists of two large 
terraces on the oft-mentioned slope of the hill, erected in 
the southern style of architecture in which nature and art 
are happily mingled. The terraces are adorned with 
balustrades, vases, and statues of Carrara marble in quaint 
Italian taste. Fountains and terraces with sloping banks 
adorn the central point of attraction ; flower-beds filled 
with the most fragrant flowers of all brilliant hues fringe 
the paths and open spaces, whilst the choicest of creepers 
twine themselves over the balustrades and steps. But to 
the eye of a stranger the most striking ornaments are the 
immense Jacca trees (Artocarpus incisa), with their lofty, 
mysterious, leafy domes, with their thick giant stems, on 
the bark of which the colossal fruits hang like rough- 
skinned melons, and with their profusion of branches, so 
great that a single tree suffices to arch over a vast extent 
of ground, and to bestow a shade such as no eye ever 
beheld in Europe, its mysterious depths forming a perfect 
protection from the rays of the tropical sun. 

The mango tree, which is very similar to the Jacca, 



134 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

presents the same appearance in this respect, that the 
intensity of its shade is so great as to be like that of a 
sharply-printed photograph. Just as the sunlight has a 
peculiar shimmer of its own, so this depth of shadow has 
its own peculiar haze : in twilight such as this, Sakuntala 
was rocked during her exquisite dreams. Surrounded by 
architectural beauty, and admitting occasional, exquisite 
views of blue, sparkling ocean, these trees appear to 
double advantage on this spot; whilst beneath their 
shelter one forgets the oppressive heat of the tropical air. 
The fruits that I have mentioned contain a white, mealy 
pulp and numerous flat pips, like those of the melon, 
which, when lightly roasted, the negroes use as a principal 
article of food. They may be very nutritious, but remind 
one of tasteless bread ; just as the much -lauded milk of 
the cocoa-nut does of tepid and much-diluted milk of 
almonds. . 

The view from the Passeo is, like all the views from the 
heights around Bahia, very beautiful in the rich glow of 
the warm sunlight ; but it also possesses a peculiar interest 
because one looks at it from amid a bower of flowers set 
in a framework of most luxuriant verdure. I regretted 
that we had not time during our stay in Bahia to see the 
promenade by moonlight. When the moon sheds her 
silvery rays over the broad bay from distant Itaparica; 
wlien her beams dance along the marble balustrades, play 
upon the statues, and peep into the fragrant cups of the 
flowers ; when dark, cool night is only permitted to linger 
within the leafy vaults ; to wander here at such an hour 
must be like wandering in a dream of the thousand and 
one nights. 

Our mule-carriage conveyed us from the Passeo, past 
the extreme outskirts of the town, to the immense Fran- 
ciscan Monastery. This enormous building is a complete 
fortress, quadrangular in form and with two towers. Three 



BAHIA. 135 

of its fronts, erected on deep foundations, face the sea, 
whilst the fourth looks towards the town. The sombre, 
grey colour of the ancient building is in harmony with the 
gravity of the cloister. Its extent would suffice to contain 
a complete army of monks : its position is admirably 
chosen. In this new country, where all the works of man 
have existed but for so short a time, this edifice, with its 
stamp of venerable antiquity, aroused within me a pecu- 
liarly homelike feeling, and awoke the consolatory reflec- 
tion that even here the landmarks of time, the corner- 
stones of memory, have begun to exist. This monastery 
was evidently founded in the early days of the Portuguese 
conquest, when various orders were richly endowed, with 
the double intent of promoting spiritual and agricultural 
progress. They are even yet among the chief landowners 
of the country. These monasteries are admirable as 
models of domestic management, and as nurseries for the 
cultivation of fruits and other horticultural products. The 
religious orders, with their views of improvement, attend 
to the clearing of extensive districts. 

We quitted the town by the declivity which we had 
already traversed, and now luxuriant, genial nature gave 
us a cordial welcome. Mango trees spread their cool 
shade over the sloping road; bamboo branches pressed 
over the paths; thick vegetation and graceful creepers 
formed picturesque groups; and thus, by her ever-increasing 
splendour, did nature entice us from Bahia to the shores 
of the justly-famed Tich. Our first view of the extreme 
portion of this lake was, I might almost say, European in 
character. We beheld it in its every-day garb. It winds 
very much, as I afterwards had occasion to observe ; and 
therefore, at the first glance, looked to us merely like a pond 
surrounded by swamps, in which the negroes swim their 
horses, and in which the gentler portion of the black race 
labour, partly in and partly out of the water, amid fearful 



136 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

chattering and noise, at washing linen. But we did not allow 
ourselves to be frightened by these domestic scenes, which 
would have done credit to a Bohemian village, but sprang 
from the carriage with the intention, notwithstanding the 
heat of the noonday sun, of wandering along at least some 
poriion of the Tich. 

Herr L ordered our black muleteer to go to the 

other end of the lake. Wherever water is to be found, be 
it fresh or salt, there I am ever in my element. I have 
always had a passion for ponds, lakes, and rivers, not to 
speak of the sea. In the water, nature developes fully, 
and in unbounded richness and splendour, her mysterious 
attractions, her wondrous might. Even in my own country 
I was always attracted by brooks, by the trees around the 
waterfalls, by the verdant shores of our lakes. What 
inward rapture, what absorbing curiosity, must not have 
taken possession of me on the wooded shores of the 
Brazilian lake, where every plant was new, every tree 
wonderful, every flight of birds a subject for admiration, 
every insect a novelty ; where behind each glossy leaf of 
the water-plants a snake lay concealed : where any hurried 
motion of the waves might disturb an alligator (Jaccare) ! 

I strained every nerve with renewed energy, and was 
all eagerness of eye and ear whilst listening attentively for 
the slightest sound. The farther we proceeded along the 
bank by a narrow footpath fringed with brilliant green, the 
more completely did we, to my delight, lose sight of the 
human adjuncts of washing and bathing negresses with 
their appendages of soldiers and lazy, swarthy street-boys. 
With increased eagerness we penetrated farther and far- 
ther into the treasures of tropical nature. On the right 
were the banks with their green, mysterious water-flowers ; 
and numerous plants, among them the immense Arum, 
and the rare Aubinga, which our little botanist greeted 
with veritable feelings of delight as though it formed the 



BAHIA. 137 

goal of his aspirations, the wondrous flower of legendary 
lore. On our left, we saw on the neighbouring declivity 
lofty trees and thick shrubs of every kind. In front of us, 
the reaches of the large lake and the heights that sur- 
rounded them lay extended before us in their full beauty. 

The impression conveyed by the scene was that of a 
large pool situated in a park ; such as the imagination of 
a painter might create, taking merely his outlines from 
nature: the delicious perfumes, the tropical brilliance, 
were rather those of dreamland than of this world. The 
hilly ridges, the outline of the lake, the colour of the 
ground, might have been borrowed from those English 
parks where art so judiciously aids nature ; the splendour 
of hue, the gigantic forms, the deep shadows, the impene- 
trable density of the vegetation, were all such as one could 
only suppose to exist in imagination. Examined indivi- 
dually, everything is new, all is found to belong to a 
different world. The plants of the forest press down the 
declivity into the lake like waves of various colours ; the 
enormous groups of mango and jacca trees form as it were 
swelling billows ; the tall, bending palms seem like lofty 
waves amid the sea of green ; whilst the dancing, sparkling 
foam is represented by the countless creepers which, now 
rising, now falling, play among the trees. The little 
creeks of the lake wind amid this wealth of vegetation ; 
here and there one sees the palm-leaf roof of a negro hut 
among mangoes or amid a group of green branches. 

On the hilly boundary towards the south, outlines of 
towers and roofs of houses are visible behind the thick 
green of the forest, telling of the vicinity of the large 
town and yet not marring the picture of natural beauty. 
Some few houses are scattered at intervals on the heights 
and slopes ; around them the forest is cleared for the com- 
mencement of cultivation. But for these tokens of life 
one might fancy oneself transported into an enchanted 



139 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

island far from the tumult of the world. The only thing 
which does not correspond with such a paradise is the 
dirty, brown, earth-coloured water, which one finds every- 
where in the tropics and which is ascribed to the rankness 
of the vegetation. One can easily understand that alli- 
gators may live in these brown floods ; their number in the 
Tich is said to be very considerable ; and from time to 
time they prove their presence by the disappearance of 
some negro child whilst bathing, or by a bite in the foot 
bestowed on some foolhardy washerwoman. But such 
accidents seldom occur ; and hence the fearlessness of the 
people who disport themselves in the Tich. With our 
botanist, thirst for knowledge was stronger than dread of 
the alligators : every moment he would insist upon going 
into the water to fish up an Arum for his lord and master 
in Schonbrunn. 

Filled with wonder, we proceeded along the path on the 
bank. Now it was a Lantane of glowing hue that charmed 
us ; now the picturesque form of a tree dipping into the 
water, on the boughs of which the creepers were hanging 
in festoons : or again we observed lovely little birds, with 
black bodies and exquisitely white heads, catching insects 
on the water-plants. Behind a perfect forest of Arums on 
the banks of one of the creeks, we discovered by the side 
of a brook which wound its way to the lake amid a grove 
of mangoes, a group of black washerwomen in a costume 
which, from its scantiness, defied description. They were 
occupied, amid jests and hoarse chattering, in washing 
linen, and flourished their broad wooden implements in 
their strong right hands. They were true Amazons of 
their race, whom one might have taken rather for demons 
than for harmless washerwomen. There was something 
disgusting, although comical, in their manners and appear- 
ance. They had with them two pretty children, black as 
beetles, with large sparkling eyes, and scarcely two years 



BAHIA. 138 

of age. One of them came to meet us in a friendly 
manner, and, smiling, passed his little jokes with us; 
whilst the other fled from us howling and lamenting, 
carrying his complaints to his athletic mother. It was 
' Fenfant qui rit ' and ' 1'enfant qui pleure ' translated into 
black characters. The crying child excited universal 
laughter from the black Amazons, who made even more 
friendly noises to us in their guttural tones than they 
had done before. These blacks are certainly very good- 
humoured, and, by their almost dog-like dispositions, 
acknowledge the superiority of the white man. The whole 
scene, including the primitive black forms by the side of 
the cool brook shaded by the dark mango trees and sur- 
rounded by vegetation of a thousand brilliant colours, 
presented a truly southern and foreign appearance. 

Farther on, our path led us to a deep creek where the 
vegetation grew in profusion down to the water's brink. 
I, as the youngest and most impatient of our party, was 
the first pioneer in this expedition. With shouts of joy 
and in an ecstasy of triumph, I hailed the most lovely 
wonder of the animal world now presenting itself to our 
view. Was it an hallucination ? an illusion of my over- 
strained eyes? A scarlet object flew out from amid the 
sea of leaves, glistened like a jewel against the sunny sky, 
and then vanished again behind the shadowy fantastic 
plants. The apparition was of such astonishing beauty, 
was so new to European eyes, that at first I could not 
permit myself to believe in the reality of what I had seen. 
Yet it was no dream; it was in very truth that enchanting 
bird to which I give precedence above all the winged 
inhabitants of earth. The rough Brazilians, with their 
practical turn of mind, name it, with reference to its colour, 
Sangue do boi (ox's blood). Its scientific name is Rham- 
phopis brasilicus. It is of the size of a starling, and has a 
lovely and well-proportioned body ; its head is small ; its 



140 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

wings are broad and beautifully formed ; its feet are tiny 
and pretty. But its great beauty is in its colour, the 
intense red of which almost deepens into purple ; its 
wings are tipped with black ; its beautiful beak is sur- 
rounded by white down ; its little eyes sparkle like black 
diamonds. Whether flying across the deep-blue sky, or 
diving amid the tender leaves of the palm, it alike re- 
sembles a gleaming ruby. All colours that the tropical 
sun can kindle as everything is illumined by its glow, 
exist in this lovely bird, which no one has ever yet suc- 
ceeded in catching and bringing to Europe. It would be 
the gem of any aviary, and the exquisite ibis alone could 
approach it in beauty of hue though not in that of form. 

In the female birds of the Sangue do boi the red is 
strongly intermixed with brown ; they are therefore, though 
more to be admired, much less brilliant. This strange bird 
allured us into the copse in the neighbouring ravine. We 
pressed on our way beneath trees with giant crowns, through 
thick underwood, amid Musacea, Scitaminea, and all man- 
ner of luxuriant creepers, to a lovely spring which welled 
forth at the foot of a tall handsome tree. In its branches 
numerous pretty Passarina were fluttering and twittering ; 
their lovely bodies were sometimes of a blue-black, sometimes 
varied with brown, grey, and white ; but they threaded the 
green labyrinths so quickly that there was unfortunately no 
time to examine them closely. As I broke a path through 
the underwood some immense grey moths, measuring a 
foot from wing to wing, aroused themselves from their mid- 
day repose, only to disappear again as quickly with a flight 
like that of a bat. 

There was a complete rivalry among us who should be 
the first to draw the attention of his friends to some marvel 
or to some brilliant apparition in this new world. We were 
still unable to arrange our ideas ; all was so new, so over- 
powering ; and as the tropical sun gleamed and sparkled 



BAHIA. 141 

amid the countless plants, so did the images called by it 
into life chase each other through our excited brains. We 
were very happy by the side of the clear cool stream. The 
heat was intense and some moments of rest indispensable. 
A calabash was lying by the natural basin formed by this 
stream, one of those gourds used as drinking cups by negroes 
and savages of all kinds : we preferred to form our cups 
from the soft green leaves of the Musacea, and to sip from 
them the delicious, pearly drops 

In the neighbourhood of the stream we saw a beauti- 
ful specimen of the clove tree (Caryophillus aromatic us) 
similar in form to the Lagerstromia : the leaf reminded 
me by its gloss of that of the myrtle ; the jasmine-like 
blossoms are red as coral outside and are white inside. 
The scent of the flowers is the same as that of our clove. 
Mounting an enclosure of bamboo, we at last again reached 
the bank, and soon afterwards came to a field of manioc. In 
its centre stood a large tree with a thick, dark crown; 
the first from which the cries of parrots resounded : un- 
fortunately, however, we could not distinguish the forms 
of the chatterers : they were concealed too closely in the 
dense foliage of the lofty crown. We now quitted the path 
by the shores of the lake and climbed the height through 
fields of manioc and yams. The plant of the manioc resem- 
bles our flax in form and colour ; the portion that is used is 
the knotted root, which is in its natural state a rank poison, 
whilst when ground, soaked, and lightly roasted, it affords a 
nourishing, farinaceous food, the chief diet of the negro 
race. The yam is a species of the familiar Arum with large 
green leaves ; its bulb is eaten as a sort of potato. 

An eminence which we now ascended was cultivated ; 
and the clearing hand of man had only left some large 
specimens of the Jacca, or here and there some lofty palms 
and broad-leaved bananas. The view over the cairn lake, 
with its creeks bordered with verdure, its palms, and its spits 



142 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of land covered with shrubs, was so striking from this point 
that our artist sketched it with the rapidity of lightning. 
The waving leaves of a banana and the yelping of dogs gave 
unmistakeable tokens of a human habitation at hand. We 
soon discovered, in the midst of fields shaded by large trees, 
one of those wretched negro huts which are made of brush- 
wood, mud, and palm-leaves ; and found ourselves sur- 
rounded by a host of miserable, howling dogs. 

A black hag with a little child made her appearance at 
the door of the hut, which was filled with a collection of do- 
mestic utensils, or, one might rather say, trash. L , 

who had become a little tired by so unwonted a walk, en- 
quired of this black woman, who was employed in silencing 
the dogs, in what direction we ought to turn; for we had 
been walking at random, guided only by our own fancy, 
and the worthy Consul, like all the resident merchants of 
the place, was merely acquainted with the Exchange and 
the streets of Vittoria. 

The woman directed us back from her hut to the lake ; 
and thus we had to thank our ignorance for the pleasure of 
being obliged again to force our way through the brush- 
wood, and of obtaining a foretaste of the primeval forest 
with its wild mass of vegetation. We found ourselves in the 
midst of the world of nature as it sprang fresh from the 
hand of the Creator in vigorous profusion, without a road, 
without a path, in the heart of the forest, surrounded by 
flowers, where all grows, blooms, and dies uncared for; where 
every plant and every tree thrives in peace, according to its 
will and undisturbed ; neither stem nor fruit touched by 
child of man. 

The forests of Brazil are the free republics of the vegetable 
world, in which the despot Man only appears as guest, and 
has not yet brought his iron sceptre. They are the true 
emblems of Paradise, where every child of the Creator may 
live and labour for itself, where all may nourish side by 



BAHIA. 143 

side, where nature knows no restraint. It were vain to try 
to give a description even of the smallest of one of these 
forests, although it might possess none of the oppressive, 
overpowering influence of those that still remain in their 
primeval state. No author has had courage to make the 
attempt ; none could succeed. Photographs may be made 
of St. Peter's or of the Louvre ; and authors can build up 
these edifices pillar by pillar, stone by stone, for the satis- 
faction of the inquisitive reader ; he can sketch the colours 
of the buildings ; he can relate who lives and who has lived 
therein ; but neither a photograph of the Brazilian forest (I 
possess some feeble attempts at one), nor any description, 
can present at all a satisfactory likeness of it to a stranger : 
both lack grandeur. He who wishes to obtain any idea of 
it must pack up and travel thither. 

That which we beheld and enjoyed in such rich profu- 
sion, that which our eyes sought to devour, that which we 
strove to imprint on our memories, was an ever-changing 
and most brilliant kaleidoscope in which new colours and 
forms unceasingly appeared, only to vanish again in the 
surrounding verdure. Eegarded in a botanical point of 
view, we had before our eyes a most gorgeously arranged 
hothouse; but it had outgrown all European size; the 
blue sky formed the glass roof, and the rays of the tropical 
sun cast their shimmer upon the gloss of the leaves. 

The component parts of a forest are naturally numerous : 
there are slender trees striving to rise towards heaven, 
with fantastic branches and lofty crowns, consisting gene- 
rally of glossy leaves in shape like those of the laurel or 
camelia, whilst the stems are slight and almost always 
smooth : pushing their way among these groups of trees and 
towering above them are some old giants of the forest, 
with tall, thick, firm stems and immense limbs, monarch s 
of the wood, patriarchs of centuries, colossal mementos of 
antediluvian vigour. Around and among these (as ever 



144 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

happens with the lofty ones of earth) are entwined a world 
of parasites those wonders of tropical nature that ever 
excite one's astonishment anew. 

The beautiful broad-leaved Broraeliacea hang among 
the branches of these forest-monarchs as in a nest formed 
for them by nature : sometimes their coral-like roots suck 
a wound in the venerable weather-beaten stem; sometimes 
a coquettish orchid (that gay denizen of the vegetable 
world) smiles from the lofty crown as it seeks the sunlight 
that is to give a rich glow to its brilliant hues, or casts its 
bright blossoms to the earth, in order to draw the atten- 
tion of the traveller to its joyous existence. Then the 
delicate Tilandsia cradle themselves in the slender lower 
branches, or the Philodendron with its sharply-indented 
leaves climbs up the thick trunk to an immense height. 
Though the tops of the trees are the portions preferred by 
parasites, as struggling towards heaven they drink in 
the warm beams of the sun, yet every portion, down even 
to the ground, has its own share of vegetation. Below 
the crown, and around the stem of the patriarch, the 
smaller Lianas twine their entangled tendrils. The under- 
wood consists of large shrubs with oval-shaped leaves, also 
of young trees which cannot reach higher. Below these, 
on the damp leaf-bestrewn ground, are ferns, aroidea, and 
a hundred other luxuriant plants. 

But the most beautiful spots are those where an opening 
in the forest permits the sun to enter, and nature rejoices 
in the life-giving light. Here the turf gleams with double 
beauty; here a wondrous growth of plants blooms and 
thrives, and the graceful palm bends beneath the blue sky ; 
here the lovely leaves of the Musacea unfold themselves ; 
here the regal Scitaminea gleam and glow ; here the 
rattan luxuriates ; here the bamboos, gently sighing, rise 
like fairies from the virgin soil, and the sun in the azure 
vault greets his free, joyous children with warm kisses. 



BAHIA. 145 

Man alone stands an astonished stranger ; and while ad- 
miring this paradise in rapturous excitement, feels that he 
does not belong to it. He is like a child who has made 
his way stealthily into a strange garden. 

The delight of our little botanist at these specimens of 
tropical growth was indescribable : his rapture was as 
great in a scientific point of view as ours in the mere 
pleasure of gazing ; in his excitement he did not know 
what to seize upon first ; he rushed about in all directions ; 
he cut or tore every plant, and was sometimes so com- 
pletely lost in the thicket that the luxuriant vegetation 
closed over the little man like waves. He would then 
reappear gaily from the verdant flood, bearing with him 
some new prize. When one remembers that (ever since 
he had begun to reflect) this man had worshipped all these 
plants only in isolated specimens of stunted growth, and 
had guarded even these like jewels, and that (all at once 
transported into the midst of their full, luxuriant, natural 
growth) he became intoxicated by the effects of the lavish 
profusion of nature, and revelled in all that to him was 
most enchanting, then one may understand how (notwith- 
standing the tropical summer which makes its heat power- 
fully felt even when it does not actually enervate) he 
pursued his way laden like a reaper returning from an 
Alpine harvest. Lianas, palms, the green fan-like leaves 
of the Musacea and Scitaminea were drawn by him through 
the bushes like a train, whilst his pockets were filled with 
seeds and fruits ; even his crumpled hat which had seen 
so many storms must needs serve as a receptable for his 
tropical collections. To me, such zeal in the pursuit of 
scientific objects is praiseworthy; it is the first step to im- 
portant successes. 

When we had made our way out of this portion of the 
forest, we found ourselves in a lonely valley in which was 
a stream (overshadowed by splendid bananas) that turned 

VOL. III. L 



146 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

a mill. Black figures, with no garments but their trowsers 
and high straw hat, whose athletic forms, like antique 
bronzes, shone from the exertions of labour beneath the 
scorching rays of the sun, were occupied in agricultural 
work. It was a Brazilian idyll, so calm, so peaceful, so 
verdant ; whilst the warm balmy atmosphere was filled 
with a delicious perfume. 

The glassy lake was visible in the distance ; the forest 
covered the peaceful heights that surrounded the valley. 
Notwithstanding their variety, these masses of vegetation 
presented an unbroken harmony of outline : they mingled 
exquisitely with each other ; were linked together by 
Lianas; and produced, in the brilliant sunshine, most 
magnificent and really enchaDting shadows. By the side 
of the cool brook in the valley we saw green meadows, 
worthy of notice because one does not expect to see such 
in the tropics. On the other side of the valley we found 
the path mentioned by the Consul ; a tolerably broad road 
conducted us past a little deserted villa, up a hill into the 
opposite forest, the trees of which arched over the road. 

The beautiful and mysterious path led, as it were, into 
the depths of the grotto. At the entrance some beautiful 
Scitaminea were in bloom ; scarlet blossoms, such as 
one may occasionally see in the bouquet of a lady of rank 
or at a flower-show. We plundered a whole bush in our 
delight, and then dived into the forest-path which (with 
the exception of its wonderful details) reminded me 
forcibly of our quiet wood-walks in the heights above 
Vienna. This was a forest fresh and green like one in 
Germany, the trees arching over and meeting ; but, on 
closer examination, it seemed to be a wood of laurel 
showing us in what quarter of the globe we were. 

That which struck me much was the very withered un- 
derwood with its lack of foliage, unable, from want of 
sunshine, to thrive even in this zone. The very Lianas 
are bare until high up in the crowns of the trees, and look 



BAHIA. 147 

more like cords than like creepers. Owing to the false 
impressions conveyed by ill-compiled books, we, in our 
country, imagine that they are twisted round the boughs 
like wreaths of leaves. Thus also, until now, I imagined 
the palm to be the principal tree of Brazil ; instead of 
which one but rarely sees it, although then the specimens 
are particularly fine. Foliage trees, with bare sterns and 
small, dark green, glossy leaves, are the most common. 
In this dim shady path we found it as fresh and cool as 
in our groves in summer. We found some very beautiful 
Philodendrons. 

As I was hurrying through the green avenue in advance 
of the rest of our party, suddenly a vision passed before 
my eyes. In the eager excitement of this day nothing 
escaped me, not a sound, not a movement ; and again I 
beheld it flash through the air, rising and falling with the 
speed of an arrow. At last the wondrous apparition settled 
on a liana, quite close to me, fluttering with strange and 
wondrous rapidity. This floating, trembling form seemed 
to be an embodiment of happy thoughts. I had not 
deceived myself: I saw it with my own eyes and recog- 
nised it at once. I stood still in surprise and admiration, 
gazing at this first humming-bird, named by the Brazilians 
in one of their rare poetic moods, Beja-flor (Flower-kisser). 
I was able to make a sign to my companions, and imme- 
diately we stood in a circle around this marvel of beauty, 
enjoying to the full this much-longed-for and oft-talked- 
of vision. Ihe reality surpasses every description, every 
expectation ; and its attractions are enhanced because the 
little bird cannot be caught nor its motions described, and 
because it is impossible to keep it in captivity, so that one 
can but speak of it as of a vision that vanishes in a 
moment. Only in death may it be touched by the hand 
of man, when it has lost the real charm that makes it so 
lovely in a bed of flowers. 

L 2 



148 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

The humminor-bird defies all prosaic examination ; like 
the perfume of flowers, like the breath of poetry, like the 
vibrating tones of the ^Eolian harp, may not be de- 
scribed. It is so small, so lovely, so swift, that it cannot 
be included in ideas of corporeal matter. It seems absurd 
to class it in any one kingdom of nature ; one would rather 
deem it a relic of Paradise accidentally left in the forests 
of Brazil. As though combined in some rare essence, the 
three kingdoms of nature are blended in this exquisite 
creation ; the vigorous life of the animal kingdom, the 
form and hues of a flower, with a spirit breathed into it, 
and the sparkling, mysterious brilliance of a jewel gleam- 
ing from its own inherent light. Even the heavy Portu- 
guese language has a wonderfully lovely name for this 
being, and has adopted the poetical idea of the legend, 
which supposes the Beja-flores to be the souls of departed 
children : thus even this unimaginative people could not 
banish the idea that the humming-bird was a higher and 
supernatural creation of Heaven. In its domestic habits, 
its flowery nest, its pearly eggs, it seems to have discarded 
all that is material, and to live in a world of poetry. 

The movements of this bird as it floats in the air and 
sips the fragrance of the flowers, are peculiarly gay and 
belonging to itself alone. Wherever an aromatic blossom 
gleams, there suddenly, as by enchantment, how and 
whence no one knows, this winged being appears, flies 
merrily hither and thither some few times, flutters in the 
sunbeams surrounded by the sparkle of its jewelled hues, 
searches out with its diamond eyes the flower that it will 
kiss, and trembling, and poising its gleaming body, lights 
on the chosen bud, dips its head in the purple cup, and 
sucks thence the honey. One now fancies that one could 
examine it quietly ; but hush ! it is off again, and soaring 
playfully in the blue ether. Yet it soon returns to the 
fragrant flower, repeats its merry game again and again ; 



BAHIA. 149 

and then, satisfied, vanishes in the green sea of leaves, 
gone home to its nest. 

The bird that enchanted us at this moment was so 
tame, and remained so long at its frugal meal, that we 
were able to enjoy the beautiful sight in some degree at 
our leisure. It was green as an emerald, with throat and 
breast gleaming like that exquisite stone, a white body 
and dark-brown back. Its body was at most two 
inches long; its wings measured about three inches, its 
long beak was sharp as a needle. When it fluttered, its 
movements exactly resembled those of our honey-sucking 
moths. I look upon it as most fortunate that we should 
have seen a humming-bird on the very first day that we 
passed on Brazilian soil, for they are not so common as 
people in Europe suppose. 

The view from the deep, dark forest out into the country 
brilliantly illumined by the noon-day sun, was unusually 
beautiful. From the duskiness of our forest twilight we 
saw the golden beams of day dancing on the fantastic 
plants, whilst some rays penetrated even into the dark- 
ness. 

We mounted the ridge of a hill in the open ground. 
Far below in the banana wood on our right, flowed the 
last tributary of the Tich ; on our left, was a green valley, 
the entrance to which we had previously crossed near the 
mill. Beyond the valley, in the clear distance, stretched the 
hills with their thick, richly gleaming masses of vegetation. 
In front of us, the hills extended to the town. Some 
immense Jacca trees and cocoa-nut palms, richly laden 
with fruit, and their crowns covered with creepers, grew 
around a cool shady spot encirclirg a villa, the verandah 
of which faced the green valley, catching the sea breeze, 
whilst the front towards the lake was covered by blooming 
shrubs and fragrant flowers. The owner, a Frenchman, 
(who is said to have come up here from interested motives, 



150 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and is now as a punishment obliged to descend again,) had 
the good taste not to enclose his villa too much, and 
therefore can contemplate the whole surrounding country 
as though it were his own property. Nature here combines 
her beauties to form an immense park ; the waters of the 
lake complete the prospect. The hand of art could not have 
planted the groups of trees at the entrance of the forest 
more picturesquely, nor have opened the views into the 
green valley with more taste. One is tempted to believe 
that the English must have learnt in the tropics how to lay 
out their gardens and parks so artistically ; for these have 
only attained perfection (in the disregard of original 
formation, and in the use made of tropical adornments) 
since the great spread of the English into foreign climes. 

The first ' tropical ' garden in Vienna was planted by 
Baron Hugel ; his villa presented, in the height of sum- 
mer, a charming miniature picture of the luxuriance of 
tropical vegetation. Fairy-like as is the beauty of the 
villa near Bahia, enchanted as the eye cannot but be by 
the profuse verdure of nature, yet a breath of melancholy, 
sweet though poisonous, pervades the whole scene ; this 
melancholy, which often overwhelmed me, first took a 
decided form in after days. It floated around me in 
strains of sorrow which only swelled into chords of sadness 
when the time came 'for reflection upon the past ; that 
time in which their distant echo resounded in my ears in 
old and much-abused Europe. 

At the villa we at length found the mule-carriage so 

much longed for by L , which took us to Vittoria at 

the pace peculiar to these animals. To-day, to the credit 
of our botanist, the carriage was more than full with the 
verdure of our rich harvest. The road was excellent, 
broad and park-like, fringed for the most part with over- 
hanging bamboos and mango trees mingled with palms 
and araucarias, from amid which villas occasionally gleamed. 



BAHIA. 151 

The houses increased in number, were placed in rows, and 
this was the entrance into gay Vittoria. This spot, with 
its villas and gardens, with its surrounding park-like roads, 
its masses of bright green, its gigantic trees, its luxuries 
of both nature and art, reminded me of the charming- 
country round Kichmond on the banks of the Thames, and 
of the numerous cottages, covered with flowers, in Clare- 
mont and Twickenham. 

It may cause surprise that I, who wage a crusade against 
the countries of the North, should make such a comparison ; 
but in order to do me justice, it would be necessary to see 
the luxuriant vegetation of England on a bright sunny 
day, to see the profusion of foreign plants carefully 
collected around the cottages, and also to see the wonder- 
fully good taste displayed in aiding nature. England 
forms an exception to northern countries in general ; the 
comfort which exists there causes the cold weather to be 
unfelt, and the strong principle of vitality compensates for 
the genial influences of the South. Vittoria now became 
endeared to me, since it recalled to my mind the loved 
country around Olaremont. In the houses, and especially 
in those of the street at the extremity of which our Consul 
resides, one sees (in the attempt at a superior style of 
architecture) much that is German, and even an occasional 
Swiss gable. 

L , like most of those who make the pilgrimage to 

America, has not built his own house, but hires a hand- 
some, spacious villa. We proceeded to his residence : it 
is situated, as has been mentioned before, at the western 
extremity of Vittoria, having one front towards the bay, 
and the other facing the wooded hill. This house bears 
the stamp of a luxurious modern Brazilian dwelling ; white- 
washed walls ; lofty, cheerful rooms with walls of light, 
simple colours ; and numerous windows opening to every 
point of the compass ; thus producing a fearful draught, 



152 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

which the Brazilians recklessly allow to blow over their 
heated persons, but which threw me into a state of silent 
despair. The boarded floor is covered here and there 
with rush mats ; the furniture is of solid and handsome 
wood with spring seats on which one may be comfortable 
in English style, but generally plaited over with reeds in 
adaptation to the tropical climate : here and there is a 
mirror in a golden frame, or a bright sparkling chan- 
delier. 

The idea of a little, secluded world within itself is un- 
known in a Brazilian home : the climate is opposed to it ; 
there is nothing rough to be guarded against and no 
illusions to be created ; the climate and vegetation present 
so many fascinations that no one thinks of the home attrac- 
tions so much needed in those countries in which the 
difference between summer and winter is marked. Thus 
the home of the Brazilian is no centre around which his 
world is grouped, it is merely a place of refuge alternately 
from sun and rain ; a couch where at night he may, 
undisturbed, disencumber himself of his clothes and enjoy 
the cool, invigorating breeze. That a man's home can 
never, from the very nature of circumstances, possess 
any memories, is the curse of tropical countries ; impart- 
ing, as it does, an inconstancy and love of change to the 
character which are destructive of all notions of real 
domestic life. For when the home is a transitory one, 
the family ties formed in it are also of a fleeting nature. 

There are four causes, three of which may be termed 
negative, that contribute to destroy domestic life and 
society in Brazil : the want of an old long-established 
home belonging to the head of the family in which gene- 
ration after generation lives in the same style and with 
the same habits : the total absence of all idea and all feel- 
ing of conscience ; a peculiarity which has arisen from the 
equable climate and the luxuriance of nature, and from 



BAHIA. Io3 

which has sprung the third cause, namely, the entire want 
of a religious principle, yearning for something higher 
than mere nature (nature is, alas ! on]y too beautiful); the 
fourth, and the most hideous and never-sufficientl3 T -to-be 
deprecated, is that of slavery, which it is the duty of every 
Christian man, be his nation and his rank what it may, to 
wage war against, both by word and deed. Slavery unites 
within herself, and, alas ! reproduces the three former evils. 
How can the blessings of home dwell side by side with 
slavery ? How can conscience exist when there are men 
beyond the pale of the law, when beings who have souls 
depend exclusively on the arbitrary power and caprices of 
some few of their fellow-creatures ? Is not religion a 
mockery, an empty jest, when the white man arrogates the 
right to treat those who are, equally with himself, born in 
the image of the Creator, like beasts of burden or like 
bales of goods ? How can he deem religion to be true and 
necessary for man when he excludes a portion of mankind 
from any individual rights in it, and makes of flesh and 
blood an object for ill-treatment ? 

How a Catholic priest can have the courage to preach 
the Grospel in Brazil I cannot understand : he must reduce 
it ad usum Delphini. As I afterwards became convinced, 
there are no true Catholic clergy in Brazil, except the 
excellent Nuncio, who, in his holy zeal, is mortifying 
himself in vain. There are only substitutes, who wear a 
black coat, and read Mass just because it is the custom. 
Foreigners in Brazil are, unfortunately, only passing guests, 
imbued with the natural longing to sail back again across 
the ocean as soon as possible. 

L - conducted us to his house, where a Brazilian 
rocking-chair proved .very acceptable, and even more so 
was some excellent champagne frappe a la glace, the real 
value of which one only learns in the tropics; we were 
delighted to refresh our wearied spirits with it. Whilst we 



154 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

were thus resting, and were becoming invigorated in mind 
and body, we for the first time saw the Brazilian sun set- 
ting, in a sea of purple and gold, behind the leafy masses 
of the primeval forest. This is the most beautiful sight 
of the tropics ; the clear firmament is still illuminated 
with golden light by the parting orb of day ; the hues of 
the luxuriant vegetation are still gleaming brightly; whilst 
already the mysterious fragrance of evening is rising from 
the deep cups of the flowers ; already the sweet cool breath 
of night floats on the air, the repose of night has begun ; 
the leaves flutter gently in a delicious tremour ; the dark- 
ening shadows fall more deeply ; whilst in Heaven's opal 
vault star after star peeps forth, and, with advancing night, 
all brilliant insects flit from flower to flower. 

Every house is now opened wide ; the pale Brazilian 
ladies, in their light muslin dresses, their black hair fall- 
ing unrestrained, glide out on the balconies and terraces, 
and rock themselves in their rocking-chairs, looking like 
wearied flowers, and guarded and attended upon by charm- 
ing men. 

Champagne raises the spirits, but it does not restore 
strength to the bodily powers, when fatigued with the labour 
of traversing a tropical forest. We therefore threw ourselves 
once more on the cushions of our carriage ; and, in the 
cool evening air, we proceeded to the Hotel Fevrier. Our 
Frenchman now knew the rank of his guests ; but had 
sufficient good sense and tact to evince this knowledge 
merely by the excellence of the repast prepared in the 
saloon adjoining the verandah. The table was adorned by 
a basket of most beautiful fruit, with the regal pineapple 
in the centre, and a number of savoury dishes, to which 
we addressed ourselves with unusual satisfaction : for, in 
the first place, the expedition, which had lasted for some 
hours, had sharpened our appetites ; and, in the second, 
owing to all sorts of culinary misfortunes, we had for a 



BAIIIA. 155 

long time had nothing on board that was very palatable. 
The dishes at our present repast were (following the 
French plan) adapted to the climate, and were therefore 
strongly flavoured with spices. I remember with special 
gratitude an exceedingly savoury lobster, which afforded 
confirmation of the assertion that the sea is alike every- 
where ; for it was in no way behind its Adriatic brother in 
excellence. I must also note a dish of delicate crevettes, 
bright as rose-leaves, that surpassed all imagination, and 
tasted no longer like fish, but like a sweet fruit of the al- 
mond species. The Brazilian pickles, however, made of a 
bitter-sweet fruit, with a taste of turpentine, did not at all 
meet my approbation ; they reminded me vividly of cer- 
tain medicines that were given to us when children. 

The conversation during dinner was cheerful and plea- 
sant ; we related our various doings, and L - gave us 
many interesting and instructive particulars respecting this 
remarkable Empire, of which so little is known. He assured 
us that it was high time for the Emperor (so affable and 
so winning in manner) to come to Bahia and the pro- 
vinces. Dissensions are said to have been very rife at that 
time, and a revolution on the point of breaking out. 
L is satisfied that all danger is past for the mo- 
ment ; since the Emperor excited great enthusiasm, and 
his energy and kindliness of heart made a very favourable 
impression. He was always the first person astir, and 
therefore was the dread of the officials. One morning, at 
sunrise, he made his appearance, quite unattended, at the 
Custom-house, one of the most important institutions in 
a commercial metropolis, most important of all to the Go- 
vernment, since all the receipts of the imperial revenue 
arise solely and entirely from the duties levied here. He 
knocked energetically with his own hand at the door ; was 
forced to wait for an hour ; made a great stir, and was 
heartily cheered by the public. 



156 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Whether it be in general wise for the Sovereign himself 
to act the police sergeant without any aid from the execu- 
tive, we will leave an open question. In my opinion, a 
man should only take notice of faults when he has in his 
own hands the power of prompt and rigorous punishment : 
not when, like the Emperor of Brazil, he can neither 
change the rank of nor quietly dismiss his officials. This 
being exclusively the prerogative of the Minister, and one 
that is but too often exercised, the people must soon see 
through the farce, and those who are found fault with, but 
are left unpunished, will even laugh. It was certainly 
very wise of the Emperor to visit the manufactories 
frequently, and to examine them carefully, and thus to 
evince his interest in this source of national wealth : his 
diligent and assiduous attendance at the schools and at 
their examinations was also judicious. The visits to each 
individual monastery and presence at the numerous pro- 
cessions and Te Deums were not in accordance with the 
character of the Emperor, and were merely traditional 
customs, handed down from the ostentatious time of King 
Joao VI., which would have been better omitted. 

The progress of the Monarch had, amid all its cere- 
monies, a tinge of poverty ; the exchequer is so ill supplied 
in Bahia that the Emperor is often obliged to contract 
debts which however, unlike those of other mortals, have 
in them nothing dishonourable. For the expenses of this 
journey the Emperor had already for years been setting 
aside a small sum. His Majesty, being president of every 
possible scientific institution, and having regard to the 
thirst for title (which is here, as in all new countries, 
insatiable), hit upon the inexpensive and wise expedient 
of bestowing scientific titles of honour upon all those who 
incurred expense on his account during his progress, or 
who rendered him personal service. This new substitute 
for more costly acknowledgments may well be commended 



BAHIA. 157 

to the attention of European Princes, for they exempt the 
royal donor from the expense, the tinsel, and gilding 
occasioned by splendid decorations, fti Europe, the cus- 
tomary taxes cover all outlay of this kind, but the Prince 
of the primeval forest probably asks for nothing in addition 
to his empty title. 

The Emperor, ever mindful of the wild primitive state 
of his Empire, disclaimed every unnecessary comfort whilst 
oh his journey ; and thus on his entrance into Bahia his 
consort gaily ascended the steep path from the shore to the 
Theatre Square on foot, beneath the scorching rays of the 
noonday sun (a path reminding one rather of the Eighi 
than of a principal thoroughfare inacommercial metropolis), 
which exploit threw the lazy Brazilians into a state of 
blank astonishment; whilst the Europeans felt that it 
would have been a pleasure to have lent her one of the 
palanquins that were following. But no especial attention 
was paid to the Empress ; for she is looked upon as a 
foreigner by the Brazilians. 

The moon stood high in the tropical sky, and the stars 
were sparkling like gems when we strolled down the 
street to the shore. The botanist remained in the rear, 
dragging along his prizes, the boughs of which rustled like 
the branches of a wood. In our eagerness to get on shore 
in the morning, we had forgotten to order a boat for the 

evening. L , as Deus ex machina, helped us in our 

need : he conducted us to the gate of the arsenal, which 
was opened (after we had been a long time hammering at 
it) by some sleepy soldiers. An old porter, who smelled 
of brandy, stared at us in astonishment, and gazed at the 
bush-clad botanist with genuine curiosity. L - spoke 
to the Captain of the Guard, a very polite old gentleman, 
who (notwithstanding the lateness of the hour) threw on 
his blue coat, put his cocked hat on his head, and welcomed 
us invaders into his dominions. He immediately ordered 



1.-58 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

a boat to be manned, and most politely endeavoured to 
amuse us during the intervening time before the boat 
should be ready. * According to custom in this Brazilian 
climate, we were invited by him to seat ourselves on the 
jetty (on which was a pavilion intended for guests of rank 
on occasions of launches) and to inhale the sea-breeze. 
Beneath the moonbeams the cool air blew from the broad 
ocean over the calm bay, rising and falling like the regular 
breathing of a peaceful sleeper ; it was most deliciously 
refreshing. 

This delay had its advantages ; for in the arsenal we 
had an opportunity of seeing the first large firefly no 
longer a glowing speck, a floating gem, but possessing the 
dimensions and brilliance of a small lamp. It flew quietly 
round and round, but baffled every attempt to catch it. 
It was sufficiently remarkable that one should see even 
this denizen of the air in the very centre of a town : but it 
is said that even Beja flores have been seen in the gardens 
in the town, gracing them with their lovely ethereal 
forms. But these airy forms, these exquisite ornaments 
of Bahian life, have their fearful contrast in the snakes 

that creep everywhere. L told us that a few weeks 

ago he discovered a cobra capella close by his child, who 
was at play on his terrace ; this is the most poisonous of 
all the tropical snakes. A few days ago a cry attracted 
him to the window, and he saw, beneath the shrubs 
opposite, a large snake that had just been killed by some 
blacks. Snakes, alligators, and yellow fever, are unplea- 
sant adjuncts to this paradise : but ' one becomes hardened 
to them,' as Bauernfeld truly says in his ' Deutschen 
Krieger ; ' and this hardening is one of the first principles 
of existence when one is travelling. 

The boat was now ready; we floated over the silvery 
waves, bearing with us a rich freight of pleasant memories 
in addition to our flowery spoils ; and at length, safely, 



BAHIA. 159 

though very tired, we reached our old tub, which, despite 
all our grumbling, had conveyed us so surely across the 
ocean. 

One of the happiest days of my life had passed away ; 
a new world had opened its beauties before my eyes ; and 
even on this first day its choicest wonders had been 
displayed to me. As I lay on my couch in luxurious 
languor I mentally recounted all that I had seen ; the 
gleaming forests rose mistily before me; lovely palms 
waved in the distance ; the silvery sea encircled me ; large 
butterflies beat the air with their downy wings ; wondrous 
flowers emitted a delicious perfume from their purple 
cups ; I was on the point of grasping one when I saw the 
sparkling eyes of a gold-streaked poisonous snake glaring 
at me ; I shrank back, and tried to utter a cry ; but once 
more the beauteous palms waved peacefully over me, 
lianas drew their green network around me, the leaves of 
the anone and banana rose above me like swelling waves, 
and from amid a distant wreath of orchids, a humming- 
bird fluttered its emerald wings, and poured forth a lay of 
such thrilling beauty that it was to my ear as an echo 
from a far-off land, while softly and yet more softly its 
tones were borne on the summer air 

The brilliant morning sun rose from the ocean waves, 
and shed its rays into our cabins. The travellers awoke 
from their blissful dreams to yet more blissful realities. 

It was the 12th January, and one of the bright summer 
days of the tropics, where one can always reckon on days 
of equal length. There is something satisfactory in this 
equal division of twelve hours : and if the daytime be 
rather short, yet it never becomes shorter ; thus the in- 
habitants of tropical regions are spared that season which 
to me (perhaps with some little exaggeration of feeling) 
seems to be an annually recurring misfortune. October, 
November, and December, are three months to which I 



160 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

have an antipathy ; they fill me with feelings of melancholy 
and of sorrow, for they are the parting months of the 
dying year. The fortunate Brazilians are spared these 
pangs of adieu, and the chill cold of winter. To see the 
sun rise in a genial atmosphere at six o'clock in the 
morning on January 12, is a real heaven-sent blessing; 
and I can but think with emotions of mingled horror and 
compassion of cold, snowy Europe. 

Man is only really happy in a climate in which he could 
dispense with clothing if he wished, for there alone is the 
body free ; there his intellect and his dress have a refining 
influence. But how is the soul chilled, how sickly and 
dejected does it become in those countries in which dress, 
instead of being a pleasing ornament, is a sad necessity ! 
There, the soul does indeed become frozen ; for fur and 
wadding are unavailing to warm it. When I think of 
these poor chilled spirits, a picture rises before me that I 
saw some years ago in the Schwartzenberg Grallery in the 
feudal Castle of Kruman. It represented the soul as em- 
bodied in the form of a little misty miniature man, a 
photograph, so to speak, of the fleshly covering. But as the 
dress of a man can never clothe his spirit, how must this 
suffer in a cold climate ; and how bright and happy must 
it not be, on the contrary, in the tropics I 

That which foreigners relate respecting the rapid coming 
and departure of day in the tropics is quite wanting in 
truth. Travellers delight in exaggeration, although in 
that which really exists they have ample material for 
exciting interest in the minds of men. Before steam 
lessened the distances of different parts of the globe from 
each other, one little lie still found its account in the 
astrological mysteries with which the few who had tra- 
velled delighted to shroud their mystic tales of wonder, in 
the pious hope that no one would come after them to test 
what they said by the standard of truth. There was a 



BAHIA. 161 

secret bond between those who were travellers, and a sort 
of esprit de corps forbade them to unmask each other. 
Now all is altered, and no one, in any part of the world, 
is safe from detection. According to the general account 
given by visitors to the tropics, one must believe that the 
sun suddenly illumines the darkness of night like an electric 
light, and is extinguished with equal rapidity : yet there is 
in the tropics a period of twilight ; and this twilight is very 
beautiful, and its gradually fading very perceptible. Still 
a Northern cannot fail to be struck by one important dif- 
ference between these countries and his own : for in the 
North, and especially in the north of Germany, there is a 
perpetual twilight, not to speak of Kussia, where the light 
can never become really bright. 

With early morning we went to the arsenal, which we 
selected as the most convenient spot for landing. It 
stands between the Custom-house and some large ware- 
houses that have iron roofs in the English style, and 
serves principally as a place for the repair of Northern 
shipping ; it is small and has no dock, merely the most 
unsightly, old-fashioned wharves. In former times, be- 
fore steam and machinery were in vogue, this arsenal was 
probably one of importance ; but it is much too small for 
present requirements, and its arrangements are imperfect. 
The entire establishment is kept in good order ; and I was 
particularly pleased with the idea of interweaving natural 
vegetation, wherever space would permit, with the artificial 
stiffness of order. 

There are pretty gardens in the midst of the iron and 
wood-work, and lofty trees afford an agreeable shade. 
Among these shrubs I for the first time examined closely 
the Flor dalndependencia ( Codiaeum chrysostictum, Spr.). 
It grows like a laurel, and its leaves are of light yellow 
and bright green, the colours of the national flag; thus in 
civil tumults, the branches serve as party tokens ; hence 

VOL. III. JI 



162 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

the name of the plant, which I have never seen in 
Europe. Whether the shrub derives its name from its 
colours being those of the modern flag, or whether the 
colours of the flag were originally taken from the plant, I 
do not know. For the credit of the free Brazilians as re- 
gards good taste, I will hope the latter ; for the frightful 
combination of colours in the Brazilian flag could only be 
excused on the ground of some association of ideas. Such 
combinations of colour are possible in nature, but should 
be carefully avoided in all works of art. The colours pre- 
sented a very gaudy appearance on the Brazilian corvette 
stationed in the roads as guard-ship. On a field of 
spinach-green was a canary-coloured cube, in which was a 
blood-red cross, with a blue globe and a tall imperial 
crown (looking like a nightcap) above it. On each side 
of the globe (the proper Imperial arms) was a bough of 
the coffee plant and one of the tobacco plant, both in 
bloom, emblems of native wealth. These symbols, chosen 
from the botanical world, were derived from the primitive 
country which had no historical memorials to show ; and 
they may serve as a type of all that is American. 

The Empire makes no pretence" in its arms ; but the 
republics of Central and Southern America adorn their 
standards with a complete rebus, not easy to decipher, and 
better adapted to the signboard of a travelling menagerie, 
or the door of a cabinet of curiosities. The globe in the 
Brazilian arms has (as I had an opportunity of observing 
when in Lisbon) an historical origin. It is the proud and 
venerated symbol of the great Portuguese King Em- 
manuel. When the Brazilian flag is new, it is gaudy and 
Chinese in its appearance ; when it becomes old and faded 
it reminds one of a bad egg in colour. The guard-ship of 
which I spoke carries at its mizen, as the flag of the Ghefe 
d'Esquadra do Bahia, a dark-blue standard, with the 
Southern Cross picked out in white stars, fantastic but 



BAH [A. 16.J 

not unpleasing. The corvette, an old bark, does not look 
out of kelter so far as one can judge by her exterior; but 
the crew were not smart-looking men, on the contrary, 
they were dirty and unseamanlike, and were also, for the 
most part, very plain, even ugly men ; reminding one of 
the monkeys in the forest, and (like the soldiers) strongly 
tinctured with black. The Chefe cTEsquadra in Bahia at 
this time is William Parker, an Englishman who has 
served the Brazilian Government for thirty years, and is 
much lauded as a clever and estimable man. 

On leaving the arsenal on the land side, we immediately 
enter the most lively street in the town ; in it are the Custom- 
house and all the best shops ; it extends along the shore 
as far as the uncleared country. Here also issues the cele- 
brated hilly street which slopes from the Theatre Square. 
At the junction of these two streets, on a terrace on the side 
of the hill, stands the handsomest and probably also the 
oldest church in Bahia. The fapade, with its two towers, is 
of white marble, and is built in that ornamental style in- 
tervening between the Eenaissance and the Periwig period. 
One recognises the hand of the Portuguese master ; and is 
pleased, amid all the new modern buildings, and all the 
luxuriance of nature, to find at least one monument ren- 
dered grey by time. Those peculiar treasures in which 
Venice is so rich, and around which the aroma of history 
hangs, are sorely missed in Brazil, which has only be- 
longed to the world for three centuries and a half, and 
whose people are still in their infancy. 

Hard by the arsenal, in front of the gate of the Custom- 
house, is the grand place of rendezvous of the noted Ba 
hian porters ; these are characteristic figures that must 
not be left unnoticed. They are stalwart negro slaves, who 
(so long as their strength lasts) are let out for hire by 
their owners ; thus forming a source of wealth that brings 
in a larger return than does the letting out of oxen. These 

M 2 



164 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

black beasts of burden, whom their master provides 
merely with food, are scarcely covered by their linen rags ; 
they go barefoot and bare-headed, and carry the heaviest 
loads on their broad shoulders by means of long poles. 
They work in gangs of four, six, and even eight. The 
burdens are slung on the poles ; the bearers proceed with 
a swinging, and always rapid motion ; and they hum, or 
rather howl, a melancholy ditty as they toil along at their 
quick trot. Their eyes sparkle with excitement; their 
muscles swell ; their monotonous chant is accompanied by 
a regular motion of the body, which nothing disturbs. 

One involuntarily shrinks with horror from these sad 
trains of human beasts of burden ; the sight of them sends 
a thrill through the heart of an European, and makes his 
thoughts turn from this paradise back over the broad 
waves of ocean. I saw trains of these porters, panting 
beneath the scorching noonday sun, and softly murmuring 
their monotonous song, as they mounted the hill at an 
even trot. I could not but stand still to watch them; 
long after they had disappeared I could still hear the echo 
of their melancholy tones, coming from the mountains ; 
and these were men ! And they who thus degrade their 
fellow-men call themselves free citizens, of a free country, 
which is said to prosper with such institutions ; and they 
never suspect the disgrace, the shame, that lie in these 
words! 

The songs of the negroes are deserving of notice. They 
are improvised upon a melody that runs throughout; 
and though, for the most part, they treat of farinha or 
cachapa, yet they often throw a very remarkable light upon 
the relations of master and slave, and upon the treatment 
received; mingled sometimes with laments for the free 
home on the other side of the broad terrible ocean, that 
insurmountable wall which stands between the rights of 
man and the sale of souls. When they have improvised a 



BAHIA. 165 

stanza, it is repeated continuously, in a regular rhythm. 
The following lines will serve as a sample of one of these 
songs : 

'Men Senhor me da paneadas 
Isto nao esta na sua razao : 
Com gosto he beijaria a mao 
Se so me desse bofetadas.' 

These few words tell a tale of arbitrary power ; and one 
might imagine that such complaints could not fail to have 
an effect : but slave-owners have rhinoceros hides, and are 
utterly impervious to shame ; and to them the language of 
blacks is only that of beasts, possessing nothing intelligible 
to their ears. . 

At the gate of the arsenal a fashionable equipage was 
waiting to conduct us to a religious festival, which is annu- 
ally solemnised on this day by the negroes, at the shrine 
of Nossa Senhora do Bom Fin. I drew back on seeing the 

carriage, and all L 's persuasions were needed to induce 

me to enter it. It was a light and very handsome caleche, 
with four greys, that pranced as though this were a state 
coach. On the box sat two men, black as ink, but dressed 
in handsome green coats, with silver lace and embroidery, 
in velvet breeches, and white gaiters, cravats, and gloves ; 
large whiskers surrounded their grinning faces, and on 
their woolly heads they wore black hats with long silver 
tassels, which flapped now against their backs, now in 
their faces. The carriage with its concomitant luxuries 
reminded me of that of Madame Pompadour in the play. 
In this carriage was I to exhibit myself to the inquisitive 
mob of Bahia ! Many countries, many customs ! 

By all accounts, I got through it very well ; the desire 
of the Bahians, who delight in sights, had been to prepare 
a sort of triumphal procession for me ; and an Austrian, who 
had become a wealthy man in Bahia, in his patriotic loyalty 
himself ordered this gilt carriage expressly for my use. 
This showy equipage, and especially the silver-bedecked, 



166 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

liveried negroes, were most distasteful to me, and I wished 
myself back in my mule-carriage. 

We went at a quick pace down the long street on the 
coast, in which I could have fancied myself again in 
Lisbon, and even in the very street leading to Necessidades. 
I saw the same houses and balconies, the same disorderly 
shops, the same vehicles in the street, yes ! even the 
same Southern odours ; all was like Lisbon. I saw far 
more portraits of the King of Portugal in the print-shops 
than of the Emperor of distant Kio. This appeared the 
more remarkable, because the Emperor was said to have 
been so well received here only a few days ago. 

The eating-shops of the negroes struck me particularly. 
Old negro women kneaded farinha in large metal vessels 
or in the calibashes before mentioned ; while sometimes 
beans disappeared in the meal, or grains of rice rose to the 
surface. The usual substitute for bread is found in the 
bread-fruit, or in the fruit of the jacca, roasted. When the 
repast is to be luxurious according to the notions of the 
poor slave, it is increased by the addition of carne secca, 
pressed meat from Buenos Ayres, of the consistency of old 
leather ; it is softened with hot water, but can only be 
bitten by the thirty-two teeth of a negro. The ragged 
negroes squat like monkeys round these improvised 
kitchens ; and dive with their long paws into the mass of 
farinha of which they proceed to eat their fill, and which 
they afterwards digest, amid hoarse chatterings. with the 
heavy appearance of a camel when ruminating. When 
their means will permit, all, young and old, men and 
women, pass on to the corner of the street to the old white- 
headed negro who sells the fiery cachaca, that burning 
poison which excites such a grateful, pleasant feeling of 
semi-intoxication in these unhappy beings that, under its 
influence, they can more easily bear the blows of their 
masters. 



BAHIA. 167 

Another curious spectacle in the streets of Bahia is 
presented by the negresses who offer their wares for sale 
in long, large, glass cases, which they carry on their heads. 
The first time that I saw one of these glass cases, I supposed 
it to contain either the body of a child or some relics. In 
these transparent receptacles are offered for sale pastry, 
ribbons, thread, linen, and all other requisites for domestic 
purposes. What the object of this excessive care is, I 
cannot tell. The origin of these little boxes is ancient ; 
probably they are intended as protection against flies, for 
dust there is none in Brazil. The skill with which the 
strong negresses balance the glass cases on their heads is 
astonishing ; they traverse every portion of the town with 
their burdens. 

The long street through which we passed was close to 
the sea ; on our left, the houses gradually diminished, and 
we proceeded along the edge of the coast. On our right 
the town rose on the slope of the hill; but already we 
perceived how the profuse vegetation pressed on all sides 
of the houses, and among them. This drive reminded me 
forcibly of Posilippo. Here, as there, the road is washed 
by the peaceful waters of the bay ; the houses peep forth 
from among moist verdure ; the view extends far over the 
gleaming sea with its vessels to the houses on the other 
side : and as in the Parthenopean gulf, so here the town, en- 
circled by the blue waves and the green vegetation, melts 
away into a suburb of villas, with brilliant gardens, in which 
are exquisite specimens of the jacca and orange. An old 
mango tree in front of a villa is an inestimable treasure ; 
one obtains from it, in the open air, the shade and cool- 
ness of a second house. In these gardens we found some 
large and beautiful Plumieras. 

L ordered the carriage to stop in front of a pretty 

villa ; and the negro coachman, with unusual dexterity, 
turned it, and drove us, over some planks and between 



168 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

wooden huts, to a roughly cleared piece of land, where heaps 
of earth and hollow paths were intermixed, and where the 
rich yellow of the original soil lay exposed to the light of 
day. In this scene of confusion were some iron rails and 
trucks, giving evidence of the commencement of a railway. 
The Bahians show these pigmy beginnings with immense 
pride, and talk of nothing but the Caminho do ferro. 
However, at present, it makes but a ridiculous appearance 
and is a disgrace to these tropical people, who think too 
highly of themselves. They lack two things to make 
them resemble their European brethren of the Northern 
continent energy and money. They hold grand discus- 
sions in their Chambers, fill their newspapers with articles 
on the necessity for an iron road of communication, and 
their grandiloquent expressions are applauded by the 
public : but whilst in North America enormous distances 
are really traversed by the locomotive, in Brazil all ends 
as it began, in a multitude of words and a quantity of 
scribbling. The Bahians labour at their railway arrange- 
ments as though they had ten Semmeringe to steam over ; 
yet they never advance beyond one spot ; but lose year 
after year and spend untold millions of money. 

Meanwhile the wealth afforded by the vigour of nature 
decays in the interior of the country for want of means of 
communication. Brazil, above all countries, needs rail- 
ways. A few iron rails laid down wisely and expeditiously 
in this magnificent country would bring every material 
blessing, and with but little trouble ; as the plough prepares 
the earth for produce, so would colonisation on a grand 
scale, communication and intercourse between isolated 
parts of the country, the building of towns, extensive 
trade, an immense increase of revenue and increased 
wealth of private individuals, all follow the track of the 
steam engine. Railwa} 7 s would even alleviate slavery, 
that ruin and curse of Brazil. Money is wanting ;but 



BAHIA. 169 

why is money wanting in a land thus abounding in wealth? 
Because the government is weak, and those who are 
governed possess an undue amount of self-esteem ; because 
freedom in Brazil really conceals within it excessive des- 
potism. The constitutional, chattering oligarchy under- 
stand by freedom, protection from any attacks upon 
slavery ; and by government, non-payment of taxes for the 
good of the empire. If a requisition were made for an 
exceptional tax for laying down the railway, it would 
bring a return of a hundred per cent. ; and indeed would 
make the Brazilians rich, those who now retire from the 
coast into the forest would cease to do so, and a solid 
empire would be established. Up to the present time the 
railways have been merely fashionable amusements, 
expensive toys, serving as hobbies for men to talk over in 
their chambers. 

So long as Peter II. cannot proceed by railway into the 
interior of his empire, so long will he remain not an 
emperor, but only the master of some custom-houses in 
a few seaports and lord of the small districts around them. 
For, in the interior of the provinces of St. Paul and Minas 
(only a day's journey from the coast) no more is known of 
the Emperor and of the great Empire of Brazil, than we 
know of Dalailama and its cloud-covered theocracy. 
Peter II. might have made many discoveries on these 
subjects if the slave-oligarchy that surrounded him had 
allowed him to investigate for himself. In vain do 
English engineers trouble themselves about the direction 
the railway should take. 

As regards the currency also all goes on badly : and I 
experienced a feeling of melancholy when I saw the whole 
of Bahia overwhelmed with paper, and that even these 
splendidly illustrated bank notes with their handsome 
pictures were taken from this drowsy empire to England. 

After we had, for the amusement of the Bahians, 



170 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

mounted a few mole-hills and admired the ballast waggons, 
we re-seated ourselves in the carriage, quitted the coast, 
and drove through a lovely country, in which nature and 
cultivation go hand in hand, in the direction of Bom Fin. 
The wide, level, well-kept road was bordered sometimes 
by fields of sugar-cane or of velvet-leaved yams, sometimes 
by little gardens with a profusion of flowers, sometimes by 
groups of large trees with an undergrowth of bushes and 
shrubs. The sky was slightly overcast ; and small genial 
rain for a short time refreshed the grateful earth. Though 
Dr. Wirrer maintains that in Ischl the rain is an infusion 
of lime-blossom, that is merely an imaginative illusion of 
the old enthusiast; and he would have found it diffi- 
cult to say exactly on what three days in the year it 
does not pour down in hogsheads. But in the tropics one 
really learns that rain may be a genial greeting, and a 
positively agreeable sight. Here, one scarcely defends 
oneself against it; people pursue their way quietly and 
undisturbed ; and even if one should get wet through, 
one takes no cold, and has no uncomfortable sensations to 
dread from it ; for the warm air of this delicious climate 
dries one rapidly, and destroys all unpleasant feelings. 

There is none of the chill produced by rain in our 
own country, and especially in Ischl, which is so pecu- 
liarly painful to sensitive persons. Here the moisture 
evaporates like the drops of a perfume, and therefore no 
protection is required against them. However, we Euro- 
peans put up the hood of our caleche, which I should very 
much have regretted, on account of the beautiful scenery, 
only that, as in Egypt, the hinder portion of the carriage 
was completely open ; which is a pleasant arrangement for 
the admission of air, and one that was particularly appre- 
ciated by me on this day, as it enabled me to see the 
country behind us, as though I were at the window of a 
balcony ; and just now the view was especially beautiful. 



BAHIA. 171 

We were passing through an avenue of tall, slender, cocoa- 
nut palms, whose feathery crowns waved over the road ; 
the most exquisite creepers were twined around them and 
hung from them in light festoons ; round the stems was a 
thick undergrowth of lovely shrubs, and on the grass the 
pretty Vinea rosea bloomed profusely. This flower seemed 
to smile its greeting like an old friend from our home 
hothouses where the plants bear beautiful white and red 
blossoms ; and here, the much-prized flower was to be seen 
blooming, wild and unnoticed, by the side of a country 
road. 

The view through the avenue of cocoa-nut palms with 
the ever-changing lights that gleamed behind the silvery 
veil of genial rain, the green outlines vanishing in per- 
spective, and the fresh glow of the bedewed plants and 
flowers was enchanting, and mysterious as the sacred halls 
of flowers which lead through the groves of the Brahmins 
to the mystic Indian temple. 

The road brought us to the hill of Nossa Senhora do 
Bom Fin, which is surrounded by palms and watered by the 
spray of the sea. Our four horses dashed across the square 
in front of a church of brilliant whiteness in the rococo 
style, standing on a broad handsome terrace, up to which 
was a wide flight of steps, and on which were some houses. 
In the square and round the church all was confusion, as 
though it were a fair-day ; black people in their gayest 
holiday attire were passing to and fro, and chattering 
noisily ; carriages filled with well-dressed senhoras and 
inquisitive citizens were endeavouring to steer a path 
through the human waves to the terrace near the church ; 
glass cases, filled with eatables, hovered above the heads of 
the crowd ; little groups of people selling cachapa formed, 
as it were, islands in the sea of people ; a wooden stage 
similar to that erected in the Theatre Square for the Em- 
peror, announced marvels for the coming afternoon. 



172 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Our chariot was drawn safely by its four foaming steeds 
through the thronging crowd ; we alighted and were 
borne along by the stream to the large building; we 
pressed through a side door as though passing the lock of a 
canal, and found ourselves in a long, cheerful, handsomely 
ornamented gallery; beautiful copper engravings in gilt 
frames were suspended against the walls, and the light 
which streamed in through the large windows danced on the 
sparkling lustres. Mirth and gaiety pervaded the hall. 
Many young damsels were seated in rows by the wall ; 
their dusky charms not concealed, but enhanced by 
kerchiefs of transparent light-coloured gauze. In the 
most graceful and becoming attitudes, and amid incessant 
chattering, they were selling all kinds of reliques, amulets, 
torches, and eatables, partly from their baskets and partly 
from glass cases. To a good Catholic the whole of this 
proceeding could not but appear most blasphemous ; for 
at this festival the blacks mingled heathen notions to a 
most improper extent with their ideas of pilgrimage. All 
went on merrily in the hall : the negro crowd pressed 
round the saleswomen, laughing and joking ; the latter 
jested in return, behaved in a very coquettish manner, 
and ogled at the black clowns. The whole scene presented 
a wild, oriental appearance, though mixed with a certain 
amount of civilisation. That must have been a very simi- 
lar scene in the temple when our Lord took the scourge 
and for the first time destroyed the profane trafficking of his 
country-people. To any one who could forget his righteous 
indignation, the picture would have been both cheerful 
and pleasing ; and an artist might have found many beau- 
tiful studies from nature. 

We fought our way on, and reached a spacious apart- 
ment filled with rich ornaments ; the furniture of which 
showed it to be a sacristy. A jovial, yellow-faced clergy- 
man was leaning on a chest, with a chasuble and chalice 



BAHIA. 173 

close beside him, and was talking to some senhoras in a 
lively and agreeable strain. It was indeed a most comfort- 
able, pleasant sacristy. 

The stream of people again carried us on, driving us 
forward, and pressing us with ever-increasing force, into 
a spacious hall, from the ceiling of which various chan- 
deliers were hanging, filled with lighted tapers ; the walls 
were of white and gold and were adorned with gay 
pictures. An atmosphere of festivity seemed to pervade 
the place ; a joyous expectation ; as though nothing 
were wanting in this brilliant hall but the drums and 
fiddles for the dance. It was crammed with black, 
brown, yellow figures: with lovely women, sometimes 
complete giantesses, whose bare necks and beautifully 
formed shoulders were ornamented with beads, coral, 
gold chains, and amulets. These women all had shrill 
voices, rendered mirthful by the influence of cachapa ; and 
for festal trophies, they carried ornamented brooms. 

This was an excellent opportunity for studying dusky 
complexions and negro costume. The negroes were hold- 
ing their saturnalia ; slavery had ceased for the moment ; 
and by the unrestrained movements and the wild merri- 
ment of both blacks and mulattoes, by their rich and 
picturesque attire, one could see that they were, for this 
day, perfectly happy. There were specimens of every size, 
every form of the negro race : from the matron, with her 
gilt ornaments, her almost portly figure and proud gait, to 
the graceful, joyous, gazelle-like maiden, scarce yet deve- 
loped : from the white-headed, ape-like, good-tempered 
old negro, to the roguish chattering boy. 

All moved hither and thither in a confused mass. Here, 
were two acquaintances greeting and kissing each other ; 
there, two negro slaves from distant parts of the town 
were shaking hands ; here a matron shouted ' Good day,' 
over the heads of those around her, to an approaching 



174 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Amazon ; there groups of people had collected and were 
chattering merrily over the events and love-adventures of 
this happy day. Mirth and unrestrained happiness reigned 
everywhere : one could see that it was a long-looked-for 
festival, at which the negroes felt quite at home. The 
whole company were unanimous on one point ; namely, 
the pleasure of keeping up a loud unceasing chatter. 

We pushed forward into the hall in gay spirits, and 
likewise talking loudly. I was gazing here and there with 
curiosity, anxious to impress on my mind, as clearly as 
possible, all the scenes of this black witches' sabbath ; 
when at the farther end of the hall my eye was attracted 
to a figure on a dai's, who continually looked anxiously 
up and down in a book, then cast a glance around him, 
vanished, and re-appeared again. I could not believe 
my eyes ; I fixed them on him once more and saw him in 
the same place. Suddenly a light flashed across my mind 
and a thrill of horror succeeded. It was the yellow-com- 
plexioned priest, who was going through the ceremony of 
the mass (I cannot call it celebrating mass), as though he 
were giving an oration at this public festival. I could no 
longer doubt; we were in the church ; the large, mirthful, 
dancing-hall was a Brazilian temple of Grod, the chattering 
negroes were baptized Christians, were supposed to be 
Catholics, and were attending mass. 

The Brazilian priests maintain that it is necessary to 
lead the negroes into the paths of religion by these means : 
that they understand nothing higher, and can only be 
brought to the church by mirth and gaiety and when 
plied with cachaca. This is certainly a very convenient 
view of the question for slave-owners to take ; for it 
stamps the negro as being half a beast, and gives a sort of 
sanction to slavery. We spent only the morning in the 
church ; but in the afternoon, and especially towards 
evening, when the cachaca has raised hilarity to its height, 



BAHIA. 175 

every bound of pious reverence is said to be broken 
through, and a wild bacchanalia celebrated, in which vice 
remains victor of the day. 

The proper object of this festival is a pilgrimage of the 
women to this church in order that by washing the en- 
trance on the terrace and the stone pavement, they may 
obtain the blessing of children; hence the ornamented 
broom that each woman brings with her, and the emptying 
of water and careful sweeping which, to our amusement, 
we noticed everywhere among the crowd. Whether this 
washing and sweeping be of much avail, I do not know. 
In any case the miracle is not always worked, but appears 
to be confined to some isolated instances ; for (to the des- 
pair of the slave oligarchy) the statistics show that the 
negro population diminishes considerably every year. The 
principal reasons probably are the ill-treatment of the 
slaves, their immorality, the necessity laid upon the expec- 
tant mother to continue her work as long as possible, and 
the excessive use of cacha9a. There are also the fearful 
instances of slave women committing child-murder in 
order to revenge themselves on their cruel masters, and to 
rob him of valuable capital. These saturnalia are really 
only occasions of public rejoicing, like that of the dearly- 
prized feast of St. Bridget in Vienna. 

Whilst listening to these joyous exclamations from the 
mob, we were attracted by two large frescoes below 
the choir ; one representing the death of the sinner, A 
morte do peccador ; the other, the death of the just, A 
morte do justo. peccador is rolling on his couch of 
pain in all the agonies of sickness, and horned messengers 
are waiting to take his departing soul to eternal flames ; 
whilst justo is passing away calmly and peacefully, 
and angels are ministering to the soul on the point of its 
new birth to a life of happiness. The pictures were so 
absurd that they would have suited a punch-bowl better 
than a church. 



176 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 






We made our way from this wild bacchanalian orgy to 
the broad terrace, whence there is a splendid prospect. 
We stood on a peninsula formed by the terminations of 
the roads near the town ; hence the name ( Bom Fin,' good 
end. From this spot there is a fine view of the large, 
wide-spread, commercial metropolis, of the broad, beauti- 
ful bay, of the numerous gaily-dressed vessels, of the 
grand masses of vegetation which border the town ; of the 
groups of magnificent trees in the immediate neighbour- 
hood, of the verdant hill, and also an extensive prospect 
of the distant heights and islands which surround the bay 
like a fringe of green. The sun was now shining with 
tropical warmth and splendour, and imparted to the hues 
of nature the brilliant glow, peculiar to this zone. 

With some difficulty we regained our carriage which 
was standing in the midst of the crowd. The horses had 
become restive, for the stupid people (I may be forgiven 
for using this appropriate epithet) were continually 
sending up rockets though it was noonday, according to 
Portugo-Brazilian custom. To carry coals to Newcastle 
would hardly be so senseless as thus to let off fireworks in 
the very face of a tropical sun. One hears a crackling 
and whizzing, scarce sees the smoke, hears the shouts of 
the crowd, and then sees a broomstick fall ! But it is not 
left to negroes only to amuse themselves in this way ; it is 
a genuine, national pastime. 

On our return, we saw unceasing streams of negroes and 
negresses carrying glass cases on their heads, of carriages 
filled with white people, and of white men riding on mules 
whom curiosity had attracted to Bom Fin. So long as 
the negresses wear their own peculiar costume with its 
gay, picturesque colours, they look very well; but woe 
betide them when they adopt European dress ; they are 
then exactly like monkeys. Crinolines that catch the 
dust, mantillas of brightest hue, and exquisite Parisian 



BAHIA. 177 

parasols to protect the ebony of their complexions ; and 
with all this, bare feet! The sight is too comical. A 
slave woman may by some chance perhaps obtain permis- 
sion to wear silk and velvet; but I never saw her feet 
covered. The negro gentlemen in black hats and coats also 
look most absurd, and yet one cannot but feel melancholy 
when looking at them. The mulattoes have longer hair, 
but it is still woolly ; their ill-advised ladies wear it 
dressed in the modern style, and remind one of curly 
poodles. 

As the procession of pilgrims passed through the street 
the windows and balconies of the villas were crowded with 
spectators. Most of the ladies had their heads dressed. 
On this occasion I became acquainted with a lady's toy 
that was quite new to me, a most beautiful live vistiti 
which, tied by a silken cord, played gracefully in the 
street by the side of its coquettish mistress. These pretty 
Lilliputian monkeys are so tiny and so clean that it is 
impossible to connect the idea of anything that is disgust- 
ing with them. But these pretty animals, with their 
small faces, sharp teeth, sparkling eyes, and glossy fur, are 
rare even in Brazil. The vistiti, like the humming-bird, 
defies all description. 

From the town we wended our way into a green valley, 
where L - showed us the large building, erected by 
shareholders, for the new waterworks. The water is 
pumped up by steam engines, and is conveyed to the most 
distant parts of the town, situated on all the various hills. 
An inscription is placed on a white marble tablet in the 
house to inform posterity of the visit paid by Peter II. and 
his consort. Such inscriptions, in commemoration of 
events so unimportant, are absurd ; since their origin can- 
not always be explained, as in this case, to have arisen 
from the novelty and rarity of an Imperial progress, and 
to the exuberant spirits of a romantic people. 

VOL. III. N 



178 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

From the waterworks we proceeded to the more distant 
portion of the town, lying on the hill. Our horses could 
have told of the un evenness of the streets ; for sometimes 
we descended into the very depths, sometimes mounted to 
the skies ; our eyes and noses could have told of Portuguese 
dust and dirt : in the town itself there is nothing worthy of 
notice. Numerous monasteries, various churches, frequent 
and very pretty fountains from the new waterworks, with 
alligators, fish, and young boys as water-gods, irregular 
streets, dirty houses and poor shops, form the component 
parts -of this thickly-populated town. Near the houses I 
found a number of Carica papaya, the mealy fruit of which 
provides nourishment for the poorer inhabitants. The 
town is devoid of interest, except in the squares ; in the 
square in front of the theatre all the principal buildings 
are grouped. Here are the fapades of the gigantic 
Franciscan Monastery and of the Jesuits' Church before 
described ; here also is the large, new, iron fountain (on 
which all the rivers of the Empire are represented in 
allegorical figures) and the old cathedral with its 
ornamented exterior ; this is, also, the square on which 
stand the imperial palace and the town-hall, which has 
really an historical appearance. 

We went to- the Hotel Fevrier to order our breakfast, 
and again found a merry and noisy group of strangers in 
the verandah. A small live deer with a dark, glossy coat, 
and gazelle : like eyes, was offered to us in the name of a 
French traveller ; also a water-bird, resembling a cormo- 
rant, with dark-green plumage ; both of which the owner 
had brought with him from the forest. I contented myself 
with examining the interesting animals, but declined them 
with many thanks. 

Here we found our botanist surrounded by bushes and 
flowers ; he had taken with him some sailors with large 
bags, and had spent the whole morning at the lake, botan- 



BAHIA. 179 

ising with great success. Tbe sportsman of our party had 
gone with him, and had likewise brought back rich booty; 
with natural pride he emptied before us the brilliant and 
glowing contents of his game bag. Here were treasures 
with which a mere closet naturalist would weary himself 
for years, and which, though mangled and dirty, he would 
preserve in glass cases. Here were specimens from almost 
every kingdom of animal nature; beautiful emerald- 
coloured, and still more beautiful topaz-coloured humming- 
birds, whose throats and chests gleamed with a golden 
glow like that of jewels, whilst in the sunlight the small 
head and neck emitted rays like those of a ruby. Here 
were lovely little doves of the size of a quail, of a soft, 
glossy grey, with spots of blue like lapis lazuli on their 
wings ; a species of blackbird which lives by the side of 
streams ; a brilliant kingfisher, an immense green lizard, 
together with butterflies of exquisite hues, admirable con- 
tributions to my increasing museum. 

To European eyes such spoils thrown down carelessly in 
rich profusion appeared like lavish waste; whilst a murdered 
humming-bird formed subject for repentance. The trophies 
of the botanist and of the zoologist were so brilliant on 
this their first attempt, that they might well be pardoned 
for endeavouring to magnify the value of their expedition, 
and to excite our envy by their wonderful stories. They 
had already held conversations with parrots ; the botanist 
had greeted the monkeys in the forest as equals ; they had 
saluted snakes with hisses and claps, and indeed the 
botanist maintained that in his hunt for the famous annga 
he had even seen the tears of a hungry crocodile. But the 
greatest treasure that the eager man of science had brought 
with him was a beautiful humming-bird's nest, fastened 
by slender fibres to a tender bough, and lined with soft 
wool ; two lovely eggs lay within. That such a marvel of 
beauty should spring from so tiny an egg is one of those 

N 2 



180 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

metamorphoses of nature that we wonder at but cannot 
understand. 

When we had ordered our breakfast, and had held a 
long conversation with Monsieur Henry respecting the 
purchase of some live animals, I left my travelling com- 
panions to rest, hired a negro as my guide, and employed 
the spare time in looking leisurely with the Doctor at the 
principal buildings in the neighbourhood. The imperial 
palace has one front in the adjoining street; its principal 
facade is in the square in which is the town-hall, and the 
third side fronts the bay. The building looks like a 
hospital, and is of the greatest simplicity. It displays 
none of the luxury of a private mansion, and is only 
remarkable for its size and situation. The numerous 
windows are all made to open like doors, and have iron 
balustrades. In the entrance-hall there was, as I after- 
wards found out, a guard of honour placed at my disposal : 
and, notwithstanding all my protestations, and my desire 
for the strictest incognito, all possible officials and servants 
were awaiting my arrival. The town-hall is a large, 
ancient, venerable building of the bye-gone days of the 
Portuguese kings, and is raised above the level of the 
ground on short, massive pillars. 

On proceeding a little farther we arrived at the cathe- 
dral, a sombre building, bearing the grey marks of time, 
and affording proof that, in the early days of colonisation, 
a certain regard was felt for beauty and art. Unfortunately 
our old grey-headed negro (who did not very well under- 
stand our language of signs) could not obtain admission 
for us. The principal gate of the Jesuits' church was 
likewise closed. At the Franciscan monastery opposite, we 
made our way into a sort of vestibule, on the walls of 
which the miracles of the saints of the Seraphic order 
were immortalised in genuine rococo taste on white and 
blue tablets. One finds similar pictures in all the rnonas- 



BAHIA. 181 

teries and churches in Brazil : they remind one of the 
edifices of southern Italy and of Sicily. The cool, dimly- 
lighted vestibule, into which all the old beggar-people 
glided, also awoke recollections of Italy. But here again 
we could not penetrate farther ; for it was the hour for 
the siesta, doubly needed in this tropical climate. I 
regretted very much that I was unable, during my stay in 
Bahia, to examine this Franciscan fortress. 

In the square we again looked at the large bronze- 
coloured fountains before mentioned, which appear to 
fulfil their real destiny only on festive occasions. To-day 
the water gods did not pour forth their treasures, nor was 
there a drop of water in all the broad channel within the 
grating. From one solitary pipe^ dirty, untidy negroes 
were drawing water; and, to judge from the appearance of 
a little house close by, they were obliged to pay even for 
this. That each nymph and water god should bear the 
name of the river whicii he or she is intended to represent 
is an instructive and very necessary arrangement. Certainly 
the people might by this means be led to expect water of 
a different taste from each river; but without such re- 
corded names who could guess the deep meaning of these 
lightly-clad figures? One now has the opportunity of 
learning that these are the modern servants of the gods, 
Para, S. Francisco, Paraguasu and Parana, who stand 
thus broiling in the sun. 

We once more tried to storm the Jesuits' church, and 
at last succeeded in rousing a mulatto bellringer or sexton, 
who led us up some very rotten and steep steps through 
the bell-tower to the choir. The gorgeously gilded high- 
altar and a handsome flat roof of cedar wood alone deserved 
notice. Our guide, a comical fellow, did the honours of 
his church in the drollest manner possible. He painted in 
glowing colours and with very amusing vehemence the 
hatred of the Brazilians towards the Jesuits, and told us 



182 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

in hoarse tones of approbation how the great and wise 
Pedro I. had ordered them to be flogged. This heathenish 
act, recorded in the history of his country, he thought 
very grand, and he only lamented that the venerable 
Fathers should have buried large treasures in their 
church before their departure. The fact is very well 
known, though the spot has not yet been found. His 
indignation against the Jesuits was most absurd, the ex- 
pression of genuine Brazilian sentiments. 

But whether the people were gainers by the sudden 
removal of the Jesuits, is quite another question. Casting 
aside all prejudices, one must arrive at the conviction that 
the weak, intolerant government of Portugal permitted 
them to hold the reins of power much too exclusively and 
too completely : but, on the other hand, they were in the 
far west the guardians of knowledge and of all culture, 
now fast disappearing. They carried roads deep into the 
forest, erected model buildings far in the interior, and by 
their powers of self-adaptation knew how to attach the 
wild Indian tribes. All this has vanished with the Fathers. 
Had the government but understood the difficult art of 
upholding its own authority over the Jesuits, and of 
making use of their activity, tact, and scientific know- 
ledge for the spread of cultivation, probably the present 
wild state of things would never have existed. Whether 
religion is now more zealously practised than formerly, the 
Archbishop of Bahia can best decide. But the narrow- 
minded government has cast from it a useful instrument, 
and now stands powerless before the primeval forest, not 
knowing how to advance, and seeing itself deserted by one 
tribe of Indians after another. 

I received these details partly from Protestants, partly 
from some old Brazilian atheists who show themselves in 
this point to be more impartial, more discriminating, than 
those who call themselves Catholics. Little as the habits 



BAHIA. 183 

and manners of the Jesuits and other religious orders are 
adapted to the steam-machinery of modern Europe, the 
more for that very reason they are, when skilfully led, 
and when incited to action by proper supervision, useful 
in countries that are but semi-civilised. 

The portion of the town that slopes down to the sea by 
the fruit market rewards one for the trouble of inspection. 
An entire town of booths, looking like a bazaar, with 
streets intersecting each other and encircling the whole, 
forms the fruit market of Bahia, which resembles exceed- 
ingly that of Gibraltar, but it is larger, and the interior 
incomparably more interesting. To European travellers 
there is indeed a real, scientific interest in the fruit 
market at Bahia, because here rich specimens of the mar- 
vellous products of the soil are collected within a small space. 
London has a similar town of booths in the neighbourhood 
of London Bridge, in which I have wandered with interest, 
but it is still larger, and there both earth and sea lay their 
tribute at the feet of the Queen of the Ocean. Yet even 
this lacks the marked, foreign characteristics that dis- 
tinguish the fruit market immediately on the shore of the 
Bay of All Saints. 

Civilised life and the inner life of the forest find here, 
on the quay before this town of booths, a point of unLon. 
Here, boats in full sail come down the giant river from 
lands uncleared by man to discharge the rich cargoes sup- 
plied by the hand of beneficent nature. On entering this 
peculiar town one feels (as in the bazaar at Cairo) con- 
fused, bewildered. One does not know what to look at 
first, whether at those who are selling or at what they sell ; 
whether to devote one's attention first to the plants or to 
the animals. If one wish to linger for a little while 
before any object, one is immediately surrounded by a 
crowd of negroes, who, by their hoarse chattering, render 
it impossible to examine anything minutely. Here also, 



184 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

on pressing through the streets, one sees, instead of Ceres 
and Pomona, the most hideous n egresses, mulattoes, and 
white people all mixed up together in confused groups, 
sitting on the bare ground behind their piles of fruit. On 
the right is a heap of rose-coloured yams ; near by, are 
baskets filled with manioc, just fresh from the ground, 
and therefore still poisonous; on the left, the juicy, aro- 
matic, golden pineapple ; by its side the famous tropical 
oranges, varying in colour from green to deep yellow, 
large as cannon-balls, and without pips, delicious in taste 
and having a well-marked eye opposite to the stalk. 

Here also are long branches of bananas lying regularly 
side by side, presenting every degree of ripeness, from 
green to yellow ; the negro who is selling these bananas 
has also before him a heap of cocoa-nuts of the colour of 
brown wood, some of which are already opened, in order 
to attract the public ; the kernel sparkles like saltpetre, 
and the whey-like milk has not yet fermented, for the 
fruit was only cut this morning from the tree near the 
negro's hut. Farther on we see a plaited basket filled 
with cashews, which shine with red and gold, like our 
Borsdorffer apples at home ; within it, like a poisonous 
insect, lies the treacherous cashew-nut. Near by, were 
some guavas, which fruit had become familiar to us in 
Madeira, and some anones, a fruit that I praised when 
writing of the Canary Islands. Among these we perceived 
the fiery glow of the pimento, the principal spice of 
Brazil, of which I shall unfortunately have further occa- 
sion to speak. 

The cry of parrots attracts us to the next booth ; it is a 
complete nest of beautiful parroquets, green as emeralds, 
but that can scarcely be tamed ; close by, the large green 
and yellow parrot (Psittacus ochrocephalus), already com- 
mon in Europe, chatters to us in rough Portuguese. Now 
shrill, sharp tones draw our attention to a group of lovely 



BAHIA. 185 

vistiti (Hapale lacckus) of which we find two species ; the 
finest and most delicately formed is streaked brown and 
grey, and has little eyes that sparkle like a topaz ; the 
commoner species is also very pretty, with dark ears, and 
dusky, grey fur. These have only just been brought from 
the forest, and still crouch closely together, with their 
little heads stretched out from the mass of fur with looks 
of curiosity ; whilst in their Lilliputian anger they show 
their dazzlingly white teeth, the bite of which scarcely 
leaves a mark the size of one's nail. In other booths we see 
exposed for sale grey cardinals with red heads ; canaries 
with red spots on their heads ; blue, white, black, brown, 
large and small fancy birds, and various sorts of shaded 
plumaged blackbirds which are common in Brazil. 

We saw an old red and blue arra sitting among the 
fruit, and on the ground a beautiful guati (Nasua rufa) 
was disporting itself; it resembles a badger, has a long, 
projecting, flexible snout, little piercing eyes, thick, glossy, 
brown fur, and a long ringed tail of brown and yellow. 
This animal is also a denizen of the forest, and destroys 
everything that he meets, be it fruit, flesh, or plant. He 
is especially fond of eggs, which he brings from the trees 
with great dexterity. The guati can be made as tame as 
a dog ; but even then, if provoked, one is not safe from 
the sharp bite of his pointed teeth. His fits of anger are 
very comical to those who escape being bitten ; he puts 
up his tail, bristles his fur, and utters a shrill cry, whilst 
his little eyes sparkle and look as green as those of a cat. 
This pretty creature unites the droll dexterity of the 
monkey with all the grace of the feline tribe. On my first 
voyage to Cadiz, in the year 1851, I purchased an intelli- 
gent little guati which lived in my house for years ; but 
at length, through the carelessness of his keeper was un- 
happily frozen to death one night in the garden ; and 
notwithstanding the warm fomentations applied by a 



186 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

tender-hearted domestic, and most careful nursing in the 
arms of the much-afflicted cook, he expired, peacefully, 
but, according to human calculation, prematurely. Thus 
we see that the fruit market at Bahia affords perfect speci- 
mens from the zoological and botanical world ; and dis- 
plays an excellent field of study to the student. 

Hunger now drove us to the Hotel Fevrier, to our excel- 
lent lunch. Our old Frenchman seasoned the repast with 
interesting stories and instructive observations. From 
him, indeed, one might glean many clear and useful 
statistics regarding the country and people. He it was 
who had advised our interesting excursion to Bomfin ; and 
now he laughed at our astonishment and surprise; but 
he also regretted that we should have quitted the spot 
where we saw the black Bacchanalians, so much too soon. 

In the hotel there was a constant passing to and fro of 
the most varied figures, chiefly European. The verandah 
was the favourite resort of these noisy visitants ; there were 
also some few European ladies ; who, being rarities, were 
always surrounded by a troop of lions, so-called. These 
exiled Europeans strive to banish the feeling of banish- 
ment, and to fill up the blank which the yearning for 
home makes them feel keenly, by this public, hotel life ; it 
would seem that they have a great deal of time at their 
disposal. But all these people were more or less deficient 
in an appearance of respectability for which they sought 
to make amends by noise and boasting ; however, to us, 
they served to enliven the scene. By adopting the wise 
maxim of the English (who have elevated travelling to a 
science), always to remain a stranger among strangers, to 
take care of oneself and no trouble about one's neigh- 
bours, to pass through all circumstances with the frigid 
composure of a somnambulist, one may live peaceably 
and undisturbed even in the midst of eccentric, trans- 
atlantic society. 



BAHIA. 187 

After we had refreshed ourselves, we proceeded again to 
the lovely Tich. The afternoon was magnificent ; and this 
day had already taught us that the beauties of nature 
form the sole and all-sufficing charm of Brazil ; and that 
all that has been brought hither by the hand of man 
(more especially by the hand of European man) has little 
to offer that is either interesting or instructive when com- 
pared with the luxuriance of nature. 

We began to-day where we had left off yesterday, and 
ordered our carriage to convey us direct to the house of 
the Frenchman, where it was to wait for us. Although 
the first excitement of tropical enjoyment had by no means 
passed away, we were able to-day to examine everything 
with more method, and to introduce a certain amount of 
plan into our arrangements. Whilst still in Europe, and 
also in the course of our journey, we had laid down the 
following rules of duties in America : Each of the party 
to be bound to collect for the common object ; each bound 
to recount to the others everything that he may see ; 
everything collected to be delivered to the assembled 
body of travellers, and to be for the common good. 

Each of the travellers also had his own duties assigned 
to him ; and was obliged to contribute, according to his 
abilities, something (however small) for the public benefit. 
Our amiable painter possessed his art which he practised 
with great affection and equal skill, flashes of genius ever 
appearing in all that he did. The doctor undertook to 
direct our efforts, to check all undue zeal, and to arrange 
everything systematically ; also, from his superior know- 
ledge, to give us explanations of many of the mysteries of 
nature ; and, above all, to make researches into various 
works on Brazil. 

As I could not resolve to take away life for the purpose 
of examining and admiring nature, and thus throw myself 
into a state of mental excitement, the master-hand of our 



188 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

sportsman was deputed to kill the animals destined for my 
museum, with my weapons, and generally under my 
directions. Firearms were given to all the chivalrous 
young men, even down to the youngest cadet, that every- 
one might be able to lay some offering upon the altar of 
our expedition. To me fell the onerous task to examine 
minutely all that we should see, as far as possible to seize 
upon the most just view of everything, to make notes of 
all, and to arrange the sketches of travel now presented to 
the reader. If the result be feeble, yet the will was strong 
and my industry unflagging. But the palm is due to the 
assistant-surgeon of our vessel and to the botanist, who 
were unwearied and beyond all praise in their diligence and 
ardour in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The results 
of the botanist's labours afford brilliant proof of what 
a man may accomplish by means of a strong will and 
steady perseverance, even in a short time and when 
making merely hurried excursions. 

We separated, taking different directions so that we 
might find the more prizes. The sportsman advanced 
with gentle steps into the forest ; the doctor, the artist, and 
I prepared ourselves for but slow progress, as we wished 
to admire the wonders of nature in individual specimens. 

But before we quit the house of the Frenchman, I 
may observe that there were in his gardens, rich with 
flowers and fragrance (or, I might rather say, in the 
grove of blossoms in front of his house) two species of 
plumiera : the bracteata, which (as has been already men- 
tioned) seems to have borrowed its rosy hues from the 
dawn ; and the alba, similar to the bracteata in its bushy 
appearance and in form of blossom, but the colour is 
that of pure ivory, and its delicious scent is, if possible, 
even more fragrant than that of the bracteata. 

Among the luxuriant plants in this charming garden, 
I must also mention the beautiful Petrsea volubilis, that 



BAHIA. 189 

half-creeping, half- twining plant with exquisite clusters of 
deep-blue blossoms growing like those of our elder. As I 
have mentioned some Latin names, I may be permitted 
also to mention some of the principal flowers of Bahia 
which I am unwilling to notice too often in my descrip- 
tions of the scenery as a whole, lest I should by these Latin 
appellations cause too many interruptions. I have already 
spoken of the thick, wild hedges bordering the roads in 
tne country round Bahia and growing in profusion ; but 
without any individual or generic names, such as, according 
to the etiquette of science, they ought to possess. 

In my researches into botanical works, I find the fami- 
lies of Myrtacea, Bamboo, and Malvacca cited as the 
principal representatives of these plants ; the last, with its 
white and yellow blossoms, is frequently found in our 
botanic gardens. Twined among and over these shrubs 
we continually find the momordica with its large, red, 
gourdlike fruit of the size of a pigeon's egg, an exquisite 
creeper for a garden : abrus praccatorius with a red and 
black seed, in shape like a bean, which is much prized by 
the Brazilians as an ornament: beautiful and graceful 
thuiibergia, the strawcoloured blossoms of which have a 
black eye of soft down. 

Among the oft-mentioned Scitaminea I must yet spe- 
cially note the heliconia with leaves like those of a 
plaintain, and lovely scarlet flowers. The foucroya, 
which much resembles the aloe, is also a striking object 
amid the beautiful vegetation of Bahia. The artocarpus, 
under its Brazilian name of jacca, has already been men- 
tioned ; we found here two species of this tree the inte- 
grifolia and the incisa. The latter is properly the bread- 
fruit tree, it never attains either the size or beauty of its 
extraordinary brother, but is much more useful on account 
of its fruit : this is like an egg-shaped gourd in appearance, 
with a rough peel, and affords an excellent and nutritious 



190 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

food, which is used especially by the slaves. It is not 
indigenous to Brazil, its native home is in the South Sea 
Islands, where it serves almost as the only food of the 
degenerate people. 

Among the palms, next to the cocos nucifera, I must 
mention the tall and lovely elaeis ; for form it ranks 
between the former and the phcenix ; the fruit grows in 
clusters close to the stalk, and often attains the size of a 
man's head. This palm is particularly remarkable for its 
regularity of form, and possesses a double interest for the 
botanist, because in its large, luxuriant crown he finds the 
most exquisite orchids embosomed as in a soft nest, while 
around its ribbed stem are the most interesting parasites. 
Among these last we discovered a vanilla with bright- 
green J eaves and light-yellow blossoms, and a licaste also 
with large yellow flowers, having an aromatic perfume 
and long, thick, bulbous root. 

Apropos of the vanilla, I must narrate a joke of our 
botanist. He promised an immense quantity of the rare 
vanilla fruit to the party whom we had brought to carry 
the plants, if they would help him to obtain some. 
Scarcely had the heated sailors heard the promises of the 
facetious rogue than a giant among them placed himself 
beneath the palm, and made an active ship-boy mount by 
his aid to the region so alluring to the botanist. But as 
soon as the poor boy began to detach the fruit from the 
crown of the tree with his knife, the whole mass of 
splendour, together with a quantity of primeval dust, 
descended upon the face of the sailor acting as ladder. 
He loosed his hold, and the boy slid down the prickly 
stem of the palm, tearing his hands as he went. The 
botanist seized upon the only two ripe fruits and put them 
into his sacred box, and the sailors were obliged to pocket 
their disappointment. 

We again took the forest path, the beauty of which 



BAHIA. 191 

brought to my mind the conviction that theologians puzzle 
themselves in vain respecting the condition of our lost 
paradise. What need is there to indulge in subtle en- 
quiries when we have evidence to teach us ? Let them 
take one single walk in the maiden forests of Brazil, and 
they will no longer have any doubts on the subject. 
Beneath a similar sky, surrounded by the perfumes of 
similar flowers, in a similar scene of verdure and of peace, 
our father Adam lived unfettered and free during his 
period of happiness, without anxiety and without clothes. 
The choicest fruits, luscious anones, cooling bananas, 
golden apples, hung on the boughs to satisfy his hunger ; 
the poisonous reptiles which now make the forest danger- 
ous had not yet suffered beneath the tyrannical power of 
man, and therefore left their weapons against him unused. 
Peace reigned over wood and plain. Adam revelled in 
the unconscious happiness of freedom from care and en- 
joyed the privilege of being untroubled by his fellow-crea- 
tures, and undisturbed in his repose. Yet, since he was 
human, there slumbered in his soul the ruinous instinct of 
love of progress, suggesting the idea that the world around 
him might be improved. From that moment began the 
strife between the Creator and the creature. The woman 
at his side was sent to fill the blank ; and in the anxiety 
to gratify her, lay concealed the ambition close upon which 
followed sorrow. With Adam's first sensation of weari- 
ness entered the thirst for knowledge. Eve at once drew 
his attention to the necessity for a covering ; and now 
the gastronomic idea occurred to him that the fruits 
might be improved upon. Freedom from anxiety had 
now given place to wishes for something unknown ; the 
good people began to speculate ; nothing went on as 
formerly ; godless thoughts of change, and longings for 
something better succeeded ; they went to districts where 
fruits no longer dropped into their mouths ; where the air 



192 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

played coldly over their unclad bodies ; with the increas- 
ing number of their family came the care of providing 
for them ; in a word, misery had entered, their paradise 
had vanished, and a state of society, with all its require- 
ments, had begun. Yet paradise still exists in all its 
pristine beauty, blooming in the forests of the magnifi- 
cent tropics. Man alone has overstepped his bounds and 
has plunged into the strife of the elements, into the 
feverish life of human passions ; he has closed the door of 
untroubled peace behind him and now wanders restlessly 
on, perpetually at warfare with himself and his fellows. 

We took the cool, shady path to the mill, as we did 
yesterday. In the tall trees, covered with lianas, the 
merry inhabitants were carolling their evening song in 
melodious tones ; and, although the voice of each indi- 
vidual songster differed from those of the birds of our 
bush and fir-woods, yet they were all chanting the same 
wondrous song of praise that grateful nature suggests 
throughout the whole wide world to greet the warming, 
vivifying sun on his coming and departure. As in music 
there is a difference between stringed and wind instru- 
ments, so one is tempted to seek for a similar difference 
between the songs of the European and South American 
birds. Every tone here has a ring like that of metal, 
and vibrates with the sharpness and clearness of a 
bell, or of brass resounding beneath blows. Everything 
in the tropics has more vigour, a greater depth of colour 
and tone ; just as the humming-bird has the brilliance of 
a jewel, so in Brazil one finds even the smallest bird 
endowed with a wonderful power of voice. One may often 
hear powerful tones echoing through the wood : one seeks 
in astonishment for the songster, searches amid bush and 
tree for a length of time in vain, and at last finds a pretty 
little passerin, from whose throat pours forth this stream 
of sound. Here again we come on the track of falsehoods, 



BAHIA. 193 

in which travellers so much delight ; it is generally said 
that the forests in South America are indeed large and 
beautiful, but are perfectly silent by day, and that it is 
only at night that they are animated, and then by hideous 
sights and fearful sounds. The latter, as we shall see, is 
partially true ; but the fores^ of Brazil has its exquisite 
songsters, who trill their cheerful notes as well as our 
birds, only much more loudly and more continuously. 
The markets in the towns also prove my assertion, for 
there one can buy the most beautiful singing birds in 
little bamboo cages ; the gem of them is the tinagra vio- 
lacea, a small, pretty passerin with canary- coloured body 
and blue-black back and wings. I brought a specimen of 
this bird back to Europe in its bamboo cage. I fed it 
with bananas, and afterwards with oranges. 

The forest which we traversed conceals a wonder of 
another kind, namely, as people say, a large number of 
rattlesnakes. This most poisonous of all reptiles is a new 
visitor to the country round Bahia, for this much-feared 
reptile has wandered from North America, its proper 
home, ever farther and farther south, and has now pene- 
trated some little distance beyond Bahia. Naturally, no 
obstacle lies in the way of the progress of this murderous 
creature, and the more southern regions of Brazil tremble 
before the new invader. We saw on our journey, thank 
Heaven, no member of this awful family. To-day I felt 
very glad that I had in Schonbrunn killed two of these 
beasts, brought thither by a traveller for a menagerie ; 
since, if by any want of care they had escaped, which might 
easily have happened at their feeding time, we might, in 
consequence of the rapidity with which their numbers 
increase, have had a settlement of them in my own 
country. 

Past the mill we pressed through the thick grass to the 
sea-shore, where we found a narrow path but little used, 

VOL. III. 



194 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

which, following the windings of the beach, led from the 
shore to the hill. We were obliged to force our way 
through the splendid plants which overgrew our track ; how- 
ever we obtained a view of the real home of nature where 
it grows and thrives, where whole woods are developed in 
a small space, where the sun can scarcely break through 
the verdure, and the insects buzz from bough to bough, 
where brilliant beetles rock themselves on the leaves, and 
shy caterpillars creep on the grass, where everything beams 
in the sunlight, and nature carries on her works at her 
own sweet will and undisturbed. The wealth of turf and 
shrubs, the cheerful play of gay little animals, the soft 
motion of the rushes, the hum cf the gleaming dragon- 
flies on the mirror of the waves, afforded me, who am 
such a worshipper of nature, no common pleasure. 

On the cool, damp shore we found generally the bright 
green vegetation of herbs and shrubs ; the trees rose step 
by step in ever-increasing height and thickness, until at 
last, towering over the world of plants, they no longer 
stood alone or in groups, but became massed into a forest. 
Some few trees dipped into the water, and, as though the 
union'of water and air were doubly genial, they were always 
peculiarly richly covered with parasites of all kinds; in 
this tract between the path and the sea we saw (its broad 
crown picturesquely hanging over the waves in which it 
was mirrored) a splendid specimen of the elseis, and a 
ficus with large branches and rich foliage thickly over- 
spread with lianas. Such specimens of trees, with their 
parasites from the world of flowers, are perhaps the most- 
interesting objects offered by Brazil. What value would 
not attach to a winter garden in our own country if it 
were possible to place within its artificial space one such 
specimen of tropical splendour ! Eound the roots of the 
giants grew ferns, lycopodia, and all manner of grasses 
unfamiliar to me ; the stems, to the height of a fathom, 



BAHIA. 195 

were surrounded by the clinging philodendron ; on the 
boughs were the tendrils of the blooming liana, reaching 
high up into the* crowns; at the junction of the boughs 
with the trunk, one might say at the joints, where the 
moisture and dust collects, were bromelicea with their stiff 
yet graceful stalks, and wondrous flowers ; on the boughs 
themselves hung lovely tilandsia, whilst the net of lianas 
covered the whole of the branches, and connected them by 
graceful festoons ; and, last of all, high up in the crown 
gleamed the luxuriant colours of fantastic orchids, which 
have the privilege of appearing foreign even in the tropics. 

The insect world also presented some interesting speci- 
mens to us in the course of this afternoon ; we found a 
large caterpillar, spotted with various colours of beautiful 
hue ; wonderful black and brilliant wasps ; some exquisite 
moths and beautiful beetles. In the neighbourhood of 
the Frenchman's villa, we, with the parting daylight, 
pressed up through bushes and green fields to the edge of 
the forest. The sun had already sunk behind the moun- 
tain range of Minas into the vast primeval forest, and a 
lingering light, such as seems in the tropics to be doubly 
melancholy, filled its place ; the masses of plants gleamed 
in tints of peculiar sadness, the shadows became deeper 
and overcame the daylight ; a sweet melancholy took pos- 
session of nature, which, but a few moments ago, was 
rejoicing so gaily. The last beam of parting day presented 
to our view a wonderfully beautiful, violet orchid. We 
looked at it for a long time with greedy eyes, but to obtain 
it was impossible, so securely was it surrounded by an 
impenetrable phalanx of plants. This impenetrability is 
the principal reason why the numerous botanical treasures 
of America, and most of the trees of the primeval forest, 
have not yet been scientifically arranged. 

We were obliged to wait rather long at the house of 
the Frenchman. Our carriage was not at the place 

o 2 



196 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

appointed, and the ardour for research, had led our friends 
so far that all calls for them were useless. The splendid 
evening had collected a gay company on the green turf 
from the villa which yesterday had appeared uninhabited ; 
ladies dressed in white moved about gaily, and a very 
pretty child, white as a lily, was carried about in the 
cool evening air by a black nurse. Our artist rapidly 
drew a beautiful sketch of a jacca. At last the rovers 
returned ; their trophies consisted of a passerin they had 
'shot ; the greatest marvels of their prowess had been left 
in the copse. We got into our carriage and sped back up 
and down hill in the cool, balmy air, through green 
valleys and over verdure-covered hills to Campo Santo. 
The sky had a deep-orange hue, the green of the vege- 
tation was, in the twilight, doubly rich but more sombre 
and darker. The outlines melted away by degrees in 
mysterious shadows ; in a deep, park-like valley the masses 
of bamboo had a weird and yet lovely motion as though 
rolling like waves towards us ; the light was changed into 
a melancholy twilight filling our souls with that painful 
enjoyment, partaking of both fear and sadness, in which the 
heart feels itself enraptured yet subdued. That incom- 
prehensible feeling of pain stole over me which in such 
moments of anticipation one cannot shake off. 

As we descended into the valley a procession met us. 
It was a gilt car with four black horses and a velvet 
canopy of golden tassels and black ostrich feathers ; on the 
handsome box sat an old negro in Spanish livery ; in the 
triumphal car lay a black and golden covering ; behind 
rolled a procession of state carriages ; this time it was a 
rich man who had been laid to rest in his dreamless sleep; 
and the heirs were returning home at full gallop to a 
merry feast. Other carriages, sometimes full, sometimes 
empty, sometimes meanly, sometimes richly appointed, 
traversed the verdure of nature on this lovely evening. 



BAHIA. 197 

My thoughts became more and more anxious, more wild ; 
we crossed yet one more hill and then stood before 
the city of the dead. The last ray of parting day, the 
last broken gleam of light stole over the gardens of the 
dead. We entered a large space with regular avenues of 
beautiful plants amid the quaint and cold marble graves ; 
among them were parterres of fragrant flowers, little paths 
and large pools of water. It seemed as though these 
empty, silent gardens, in which no monuments are put up 
were intended as pleasure-grounds for the dead. No jet of 
water played from the fountains in the marble basins ; per- 
chance even the motion of the water would have disturbed 
the mute forms around. For do not the attendants often 
miss roses, and are not these plucked by the dead and 
carried back by them into the grave with the first grey of 
morning? 

This contrast of death with rich pleasure-grounds and 
with the fresh influence of nature made one shudder, and 
the overpowering effect was increased by the entrance of 
one of the guardians of the place, a merry priest in a 
loose robe (with a square, high cap, and long white ends 
to the cravat below his yellow, distorted face) who de- 
scended upon us shouting and gesticulating with an energy 
that became greater every moment. He informed us in a 
self-congratulatory tone that he did the honours of this 
place of his own creation ; during a visitation of yellow 
fever some few years ago an inspiration came upon him to 
make this pretty cemetery ; he tormented the Bahians with 
his shrill tones until he succeeded in obtaining the com- 
pletion of this expensive work, and he himself, as he assured 
us, passes his days cheerfully and happily in the midst of 
this scene of his labours. He lives in the house in the 
centre of the gardens. With tones ever becoming louder, 
and with vehement gestures, he related to us the details 
of the imperial visit to Campo Santo and how his Majesty 



198 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

had expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the arrange- 
ments: The thought of ever being obliged to rest here 
became particularly disgusting to me, on account of the 
annoyance caused by this excited man, who seemed to have 
been drinking. With horror I quitted this pretty place, 
the marble graves and gardens of which, though arranged 
with so much want of skill, reminded me of the beautiful 
cemetery at Naples, lovely beyond description. Over the 
whole country there now lay the heavy, oppressive vapour 
of yellow fever ; and with a shudder I turned away from the 
jovial guardian of the dead and all the coarse appendages 
of his cemetery. 

On the other side of the road they showed us con- 
temptuously the wall of the churchyard in which the poor 
German heretics lie ; thrust out from the religion of love, 
they have been obliged to buy a piece of ground for them- 
selves, on the gate of which they have often tried to plant 
a token of peace and of reconciliation, but it has always 
been torn down again in the night by the mob. Yet this is 
a nation professing to be ' mui illuminada,' and wishing 
for the immigration of Germans. Whether the slaves also 
have a cemetery of their own I could not learn. This 
separation among the dead is the most loveless and sense- 
less thing that religious zeal has ever suggested ; how will 
all wonder when on the day of judgment in the valley of 
Jehoshaphat no wall or partition shall be erected, but all 
men side by side will tremble alike, without difference of 
rank, before the stern Judge ! These thoughts increased 
the deep melancholy which had fallen upon my heart ; 
and it seemed to me as though amid the deepening 
shadows the poisonous breath of the yellow fever was 
spreading its vapour alike over plain and valley. 

But the incubus fled before the sharp trot of our lively 
horses, although my freshness and elasticity were not fully 
restored until our merry banquet at the Hotel Fevrier 



BAIIIA. 199 

brought back all my old spirits. This was one of those 
pleasant moments when, in the friendly circle and amid 
lively conversation, the wonders and experiences of the 
day are recounted. We also found our good commander and 

the amiable L at the table ; the former had remained 

true to his resolution of joining in no excursion, for our 
youthful and rapid pace of locomotion alarmed him ; the 
latter had not accompanied us in the afternoon, partly 
because I had expressed a wish that he should attend to 
his affairs, partly that he might hire a steamer to take us 
to the very interesting and little-known island of Itaparica 
and to a celebrated sugar plantation on the Paraguasu. 

According to L 's account, the whole of Bahia was 

in excitement to-day; it was the great day dreamed of 
by every one, which makes hearts beat, which places every 
mind in a fever of excitement ; for which Europeans look 
in a storm of agitation, and which shakes even the heavy 
Brazilians out of their apathy ; in which conversation 
receives a new impetus, in which the activity of the 
merchant reaches its summit, and the politician anxiously 
hopes to collect something new ; it was the day for the 
European mail, which only arrives once a month, and 
which, by the revolution it causes in all the seaport towns, 
affords the most convincing proof that old, much-abused 
Europe is still the centre, still the ruling continent of 
the world ; that all other countries on the wide globe, 
China and Japan excepted, are but colonies ; in China and 
Japan alone has the human race succeeded in attaining 
an independent, self-sufficing state of development. Hence 
the indignation of the proud European against these pru- 
dent Chinese who need nothing from Europe, but who 
prove that man can build a fortune for himself within 
himself and can exist by himself. How much America 
leans upon Europe is shown by the inland newspapers 
which give an account of the news received by each 



200 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

4 

European mail with every possible minuteness of detail, 
whilst our newspapers scarcely make mention of the 
colonial continent. 

Again loaded with a rich booty of plants and animals, 
although in some cases with torn clothes and forlorn 
appearance, our merry party went to rest on board our 
floating palace. 

January 13. 

The sun stood high, our impatience yet higher ; we had 
already been long on deck in travelling dress, with fire- 
arms, hunting-knives, pouches, boxes of flowers, nets for 
catching butterflies, instruments for killing beetles, pro- 
visions for our own refreshment and for the moistening of 
our throats, counting the moments in anxious expectation, 
when, at length, a little steamer, the ( Cachoeciras,' worked 
her way out of the forest of masts and neared the 
e Elizabeth.' Boats were lowered and the steamer, which 
had made her appearance late (in Brazil, where so many 
casualties take place, the word punctually is quite un- 
known), was boarded by us in due form. The deck was 
soon filled with men and provisions. On board the little 

vessel we found our good L , and a rich planter, Senhor 

Gr , whose property we were to visit in the course of 

the day. It was not our fault that at first the modest and 
retiring man was little noticed ; we did not know his 
rank, we had no idea of his princely position, and it was 
only on his own territories that his importance became 
manifest We also took with us several officers, cadets, 
and sailors, from the ship, all armed to the teeth, and all 
bent on accomplishing great things in the hunting field. 
We quickly traversed the broad bay, we seemed to our- 
selves to be like conquerors ; it was as though we passed 
from victory to victory, for every moment we encountered 
new wonders. As the coast of Bahia, with its sun-kissed 
town and green Bomfin, vanished in the blue distance, so the 



BAHIA. 201 

form of the richly-wooded island of Itaparica became more 
clear. Before us on the blue ocean lay a panorama such 
as imagination might anticipate in America ; a landscape 
taken as it were from ' Paul and Virginia,' the glowing 
descriptions in which foster youthful imagination so 
pleasingly. Long chains of hills were outlined against 
the blue sky, their heights covered with forests from 
which some giant trees here and there raised themselves 
above the rest ; on the glowing sand, cocoa-nut palms 
reared themselves aloft like phantoms ; white spots like 
gleaming pearls betokened the presence of villas and huts, 
which were surrounded by green fields of sugar-cane. 
Imparting to the scene a still stronger impress of a 
foreign country, little islands on the right of the long- 
coast appeared above the waves (like the play of the Fata 
Morgana) with lofty, waving cocoa-nut palms, among them 
Sta. Barbara, a powder-magazine, and S. Eoque; whilst 
barques richly laden with the products of nature (the 
morning breeze swelling their tall, lateen sails) passed us 
merrily. Boatmen of all shades of colour, crammed in 
gay groups in the boats, gazed with curiosity at our 
steamer proceeding in so unusual a direction and at so 
unusual an hour. 

The whalers make large and extensive captures on the 
coast of Itaparica, and present to the Bahians the stimu- 
lating sight of sea-conflicts carried on with intelligence 
and vigour ; the monsters when caught are immediately 
drawn up on the sandy shore, and used for various purposes. 
We found in and around the little town of Itaparica, 
remains of the bones of thes$ useful leviathans. A different 
characteristic of Itaparica is degrading to the human race. 
At a remote, little-inhabited, and little- watched portion of 
the coast, a smuggling trade in human beings is carried on, 
notwithstanding the law. A short time ago, a mysterious 
vessel, of a build and rig easy to recognise, sailed suspi- 



202 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

ciously round the coast ; it was not until after a considerable 
time that the eyes of the lazy authorities were opened, 
and the heavy guard-ship sailed in the direction of the 
island. All the telescopes in Bahia accompanied it, the 
exciting sea-fight quickly came to an end; the slaver 
threw 300 of its living cargo overboard, and being well 
acquainted with the navigation of these waters, slipped like 
an eel out to sea. The poor slaves, with their aptitude for 
swimming, soon reached the neighbouring coast, and became 
the property of his Brazilian Majesty's Government, and 
to the secret joy of the rich owners of Bahia they were 
employed on the new railway works. And now a strange 
thing occurred. Government had taken possession of 300 
strong, young, fine slaves of both sexes, but in a few weeks 
the party was transformed into old men, cripples, and 
invalids ; a wonder in a negative sense. The affair may 
be easily explained thus ; all the proprietors of the neigh- 
bourhood exchanged their worn-out slaves for the younger 
people on the railway ; the number of heads remained the 
same on the government lists, and the slave-proprietors 
replenished their property admirably; similar secret ex- 
changes of slaves are not uncommon. The government is 
too weak, and has also too little inclination, really to make 
way against this evil ; most of the officials are themselves 
large slave-owners. It is true that many, influenced ' per 
P honor della firma,' will hold a little enquiry on the 
subject of smuggled slaves, but it leads to no results. 
The slave-owners compel the suspected individuals (who 
naturally do not yet speak Portuguese intelligibly, either for 
good or evil) to answer every question of the judge by the 
word ( Minas.' ' What is your name ? ' Answer, ' Minas,' 
which is a very common name among slaves. ' Where 
were you born ? ' Answer, ' Minas,' one of the chief 
provinces of Brazil, but also an important negro tribe of 
Africa which provides the Brazilians with the best slaves. 



BAHIA. 203 

( Where do you work ? ' Answer, ' Minas.' Minas are 
the diamond and gold mines from which is derived a 
principal source of wealth of the country. The judge, 
who is naturally also a slave-owner, notes the three ' Minas,' 
shuts the protocol, and the affair is settled to the satis- 
faction of all parties. 

Our steamer stopped at the town of Itaparica, and our 
party hastened into the small and very slight boats to 
proceed quickly on shore. Town ! a small town ! village 
is the real word that describes this place, but in Brazil 
everything is called villa. I can therefore place no faith 
even in the best German and English maps ; we ourselves 
found an inconsiderable group of houses on a little creek 
marked as a considerable seaport, and some Indian huts 
in the forest represented with the pompous Portuguese 
name of a city. On these geographical points, the Brazilians 
have imitated their northern republican brethren, but they 
find much more bombastic names than the Yankees ; still 
they lack the wonderful energy of the northerns, that 
supernatural activity which (in districts where only the 
stag and the Redskin had since the Creation striven together 
free and undisturbed beneath giant pines), in the short 
period of twelve years, a period almost unparalleled in the 
history of the world, has created the large nourishing town 
of San Francisco with its wealth of luxury and refinement, 
now filled with beautiful churches and gay theatres, where 
the richest warehouses afford all the luxuries of ancient 
Europe, where large hotels accommodate visitors in English 
style ; where the iron will of man, which knows no obstacle, 
works wonders. One does not find such works in 
Brazil. The races inhabiting this country lack energy 
and activity ; they cover it with their population and live 
here in idleness ; they lack the vigour and inclination 
necessary to develope and increase its treasures; indeed 
they are obliged to call in the aid of another race of men 



204 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

to work for them. Itaparica presents a genuine picture 
of Brazilian negligence. Some unmounted fortifications 
of granite show that the town existed long before the 
independence, but it is still only a collection of little houses 
all built on the ground-floor, without any distinctive 
character; not unlike the houses of the peasants in our 
villages, forming streets which become lost partly in 
gardens, partly in wild country, and in which the grass 
grows undisturbed, affording forage for mules and asses. 
There is on the shore a solitary, one-storied, ruinous house, 
a sort of seat of authority, These Brazilian towns look as 
though a child had sought out for itself a spot in a 
garden, had cut and torn away the grass with vehement 
impatience, and then had taken its little wooden house 
out of its basket of toys, and ,had, in its childish obstinacy, 
put it down straight or crooked, right or wrong, in the 
midst of the grass and reeds, with a little church and a 
little tower in the centre of the best cleared spot, ex- 
claiming, ' Now I have my town, and all that it requires.' 
The chaos of vegetation, the romantic confusion of plants, 
begin close to the town ; cultivation is only to be found 
in isolated spots, and this large island, which might form 
a principality in itself, is overgrown with wood, is scarcely 
known by the neighbouring inhabitants of Bahia, and in 
certain portions is still unexplored ; so that here, in the 
immediate vicinity of the commercial metropolis, we suc- 
ceeded in finding a completely new species of plant. 

We wandered through the deserted little town, and 
hastened into the kingdom of nature. Here and there we 
saw some mulatto faces gazing with curiosity after the 
strange cavalcade. As we approached the garden sur- 
rounding the town, a little man appeared in a sort of 
comical uniform of the National Guard with his staff of 
office in his right hand. Full of eager zeal, he buzzed 
around us like a bee, and did not know rightly how or on 



BAHIA. 205 

whom he ought to bestow his attentions. At length he 

devoted himself to L , for he knew that he was the 

principal officer of police, and deputed by our chief to be 
our guide and companion, and to undertake the office of 
our protector and Mentor, Oh, unhappy century in which 
we live ! Police even in the primeval forest ; the watchful 
eye of the law even on this side of the ocean ; patriarchal 
protection against snakes and tarantulas; watchful eye 
over monkeys and parrots ! Unhappy Brazil, canst thou 
copy nothing better from our civilised Europe ? Police 
in uniform in the forest ! I could scarcely help laughing, 
but made the strongest protest, as a citizen of the world, 

against this pressing guardian. L , in his German 

good-humour, brought up in the school of the thirty-seven 
paternal governments, was quite uneasy, and thought we 
should be obliged to submit to the city official with the 
Spanish cane ; but I let loose my whole eloquence in 
English fashion, our party joined in chorus, and we 
staunchly declared we would not proceed a step farther 
until the eye of the law should have vanished. To go 
into the free forest on a search for parrots and butterflies 
followed by one of the imperial police, would indeed have 
been impossible. After a long discussion, our firmness 
gained the day ; our protest was accepted, and the liveried 
servant of the law disappeared. 

Immediately on reaching the termination of the village 
the vegetation became interesting; they were indeed only 
weeds which grew in the streets and squares ; but they 
were Brazilian weeds, such as we preserve in hothouses ; 
the despised food of mules, here trodden down by hoofs, 
or, in an excess of industry, rooted up by the inhabitants, 
adorn many a bouquet at home, and are nurtured and 
admired by the fair sex. The idea of what is unusual is 
then the real charm which ever allures man, who always 
sighs for what is new ; in order really to understand this 
one must scale the partition wall of ocean and pass from 



206 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

one continent to another. Why does the Brazilian, sur- 
rounded by the most beautiful forests, spend labour and 
money on faded roses and stiff dahlias ? If he succeed in 
obtaining the luxury of a languishing apple-tree or a sickly 
vine, the whole country talks of it. How many of the 
princely hot-houses of Europe might one not fill with 
plants here daily trodden under foot, or burnt in making 
new gardens ? What fabulous sums of money would not 
be paid for the palms cut down in these forests to build a 
hut to last for a few hours ? And yet even this desire for 
that which is new is a source of happiness to the human 
race ; it is the regenerator which gives a zest to life, though 
it has its ludicrous side. 

Before we left the houses our botanist already began to 
tear up plants, and manoeuvring with the butterfly nets 
went on in all directions. The gardens were marked by 
wonderful palm trees thickly grouped, and by high im- 
penetrable hedges, amid which rare creepers bloomed. 
Among them we found a half-climbing papillonacea with 
violet blossoms, scarcely inferior in colour to the bougain- 
villea spectabilis ; there was also a large, fine grey vinea 
growing at the foot of this hedge which would have done 
honour to the most carefully-kept English park. When 
we had left behind us the last house of Itaparica, a long 
low building lying near the road, and belonging to a French 
settler, the wild country began ; cultivation only appearing 
in some few spots. The beginnings of future clearings were 
indeed perceptible, for the forest was in places almost cut 
down and the earth lay ready for the service of man. This 
country has its peculiar characteristics throughout, some 
of the hills are covered merely with weeds and low bushes ; 
on others the new forest is again rising ; here and there large 
trees of ancient date rear their forms ; wondrous groups 
of creepers and bushes surround them and look like pictures 
arranged by an artistic hand ; amid them the arid earth 



BAHIA. 207 

peeps forth, parched into dust by the scorching sun. This 
was the real land for the botanist and the sportsman, it was 
indeed adapted in some way to all, one might see this even 
from the distance ; it swarmed with birds, and almost every- 
where there was opportunity for shooting. 

Our large party now dispersed over the undulating 
country : the sportsmen turned in all directions, like skirm- 
ishers on a night-post attack ; the botanist made a battle- 
sound on his leaden box, and quickly disappeared with his 
attendant sailors into bush and grove, like the diver who 
plunges into the waves to bring up their pearly treasures. 
The artist also vanished with his sketch-book, on his 
search for prospects and picturesque effects. I joined the 
doctor, and the interesting amiable L from whose intel- 
ligent stories of land and people so much was to be learnt. 
The sportsmen remained with us during the first part of 
the way ; whilst like a faithful hound, earnest and attentive 
in his silent admiration, followed the noted Spatz, by birth 
a tough Styrian, by office a cabin-boy in His Majesty's 
steamer ( Elizabeth,' four feet high but broad-shouldered 
as a little Hercules, and full of delight and eagerness to 
see far-famed America. Among people without education 
the thirst for knowledge is doubly praiseworthy. 

We had scarcely advanced a few steps into the country 
over a cool, thickly-wooded hill, when the view-halloa was 
heard on all sides and at all distances, as though a conflict 
were going to begin. To count the numerous shots that 
the light-hearted young men fired in their eagerness would 
be an impossibility; but it was by no means much noise 
about nothing, for even the report of the powder and the 
shouts of the sabbath-day sportsmen had the effect of 
exciting a rebellion among all the creeping and flying 
animals in Itaparica, and of gratifying our inquisitive 
eyes, as the sportsmen drove out many interesting speci- 
mens. The shots which rattled through the leaves, only a 



208 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

few steps from us, were indeed profuse. Providence had 
compassion on the tyros ; but at this moment I wonder 
how we all escaped with whole skins during this onslaught 
in Itaparica. We went straight to a pool, richly overgrown 
with shrubs and creepers, and were standing beneath a 
lofty palm when our best sportsman delivered his first 
well-directed shot; it brought down a bird like a black- 
bird, with an orange breast, a brown back and the inside 
of the feathers of the head of a bright red ; when, oh, mis- 
fortune ! the feathered booty so well hit fell straight into 
the pool ; there was no dog on the spot, but the courageous 
Spatz undertook the commission of saving the rare game ; 
at first it appeared to him to be a rather critical undertaking, 
the brown water excited in him suspicions of alligators, and 
besides he was afraid of sinking. By persuasive arts, pro- 
mises of devoted sacrifices to save him, and advice to 
inform us of the moment when the first alligator should 
grip him, we at length got the worthy Alpine boy to venture 
into the water, which he only entered after he had taken 
off his long boots. 

Whilst we were occupied with this water hunt, in which 
our faithful Spatz really secured the prize, the scattered 
members of our party, with new expenditure of powder, 
were killing on all sides, and shouts of triumph echoed 
from hill to hill. But my strained ear, now doubly atten- 
tive to every sound, caught the shrill scream, the sharp, 
piercing tones of parrots ; as I glanced up I saw the novel 
spectacle of a flight of bright emerald parroquets, which, 
scared by the mad chase from the crowns of the trees, were 
traversing the dazzlingly bright sky with cries both shrill 
and deep, of every tone and cadence, and were endeavour- 
ing to reach some thick foliage at a distance. Thus again 
a new link was formed in the chain of American conquests ; 
real parrots flying in the open air, as sparrows do at home, 
this was a great step in advance. How many hundred 



BAHIA. 209 

times had I, in my warm room at home, read descriptions 
of these flights of brilliant birds, and each time with a 
silent longing to see them with my own eyes. Now they 
were here, and our joy at the sight may easily be under- 
stood and pardoned. The appearance of these flights is, 
owing to the splendour of colour, most brilliant ; the bright 
green of the plumage of these birds has a wonderfully 
good effect against the deep-blue sky, and not less beau- 
tiful are the movements of the birds. The motion of their 
wings is short, quick, and eager ; they only fly in flocks, 
and never without giving notice of their presence by 
piercing cries. One would like to oil their throats to 
soften their harsh tones. A heavy discharge followed the 
poor frightened flock, and amid the numerous shots one or 
two took effect : the bird that lay before us was one of 
those small green parrots with long tails, that are gene- 
rally seen in European rooms, and which of all parrots is 
the most easily tamed. 

As we passed on, we continually scared away every 
description of passerin. To describe these would be im- 
possible, on account of their variety and speed; they 
were for the most part dark in colour ; either black with 
white heads, or brown and black, or entirely of a blue 
black ; more than this one could not not distinguish. In 
this profuse vegetation, in which everything vanishes, 
leaving no track behind, one can only describe that which 
one either kills or is able to retain in captivity. Our path 
now led us up a hill overgrown with low weeds. We soon 
repented the direction we had taken, for both our clothes 
and our skins came into most unpleasant collision with 
hideous thorns, and strong, tropical, stinging nettles. We 
took to flight, and turned towards a broad plain in the 
midst of which stood one solitary hill, like a throne, 
crowned by immense trees of splendid form ; to this 
interesting spot we bent our steps beneath the scorching 

VOL. III. P 



210 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

heat. The plain was uncultivated and uninhabited, and 
was bordered by palm-crowned woods ; it extended so far 
as the eye could reach. We now perceived how large this 
island must be. Itaparica, if well cultivated, and its rich 
soil made to yield adequately, would form a little empire ; 
it now remains fallow, like almost all the excellent soil of 
Brazil, because this chosen country has too extensive 
territories, and too few occupants ; lacking the poor to 
cultivate them, the finest and best-situated countries 
become neglected and rank. The Brazilians try in vain to 
help themselves by hired labour ; but now that an open 
traffic in slaves is forbidden, even this precarious means is 
becoming exhausted ; the negroes diminish in number 
considerably every year. Then Brazil is also fast retro- 
grading, and if the government does not soon organise a 
system of immigration, if it does not give up its hatred of 
foreigners, and does not trample over the slave-party, this 
large empire will fall in pieces, and the primeval forest 
will become victorious, and will again cover the country. 
It sounds very well to say that Brazil is larger than 
Europe, ten times as large as Austria; they may puff 
themselves up with this proud idea, but how far does the 
authority of the Emperor extend ? Not even so far as the 
axe of the colonist has cleared the forest ; for the more 
important colonists live much more unfettered in their 
little states and possess much more power than the great 
Emperor in Rio. 

If one were to count the square miles in Brazil that are 
really under cultivation, this giant empire would be found 
to shrink considerably. True progress and real prosperity 
can never be spoken of in it so long as slavery exists ; 
slaves and respectable immigrants cannot live side by side ; 
slave-owners cannot be just. To break through slavery, 
therefore, should be the first act of modern Brazil ; it 
could not be done without some pain, but all natural 



BAHIA. 211 

vigour begins in pain ; and certainly it is preferable to 
idleness and sickliness. What revolting reasons do not 
cold-hearted sophists give for a continuance of slavery, 
sanctioned by the State; they maintain that if slavery 
were abolished by law a large number of owners would be 
ruined, as they could not till their immense territories 
without their human machines ; in order to leave the idle 
luxury, the moral indolence, of a large number of pro- 
prietors untouched, generations of unhappy beings must 
pine away in slavery. The blacks are men and Christians, 
and by the law of God they are born free ; that they are 
regarded as such is proved by their being baptised, also by 
the fact that their owners frequently have negro wives and 
children, whom they themselves sell again in the market. 
What an insult to morality and logic ; what a denial of 
every human principle lies in this circumstance ? Why 
do not liberal newspapers, the courageous champions of 
right, comment upon such deeds? Perhaps because the 
traffic in slaves is concealed in a liberal, democratic 
constitution ; and the government by pure force of re- 
petition is deemed enlightened. But who compose this 
government ? The owners of black slaves; and the Emperor 
himself possesses a large establishment of them in Santa 
Cruz, near Eio. 

Why do not the people who uphold such institutions at 
once return to the worship of heathen gods ? It would be 
much more consistent and convenient ; slavery might then 
be more easily established, as a pious right, and heaven be 
provided with a saloon and a vestibule ; the saloon for 
white people, the outmost hall for the blacks. I begin 
now to understand why slaveholders retain in their demo- 
cratic constitution the article, that the Emperor and the 
heir to the throne shall never leave Brazil : outside the 
empire, some different light might dawn upon them. That 
immigration should take place under such laws, that free 

p 2 



212 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

whites should be able to convert their toilsome labour into 
money, when the neighbouring landowner makes his black 
machine work gratis, or at least only repays him with 
blows, is impossible ; if Brazil would thrive and prosper 
among the empires of the world as an equal, it must have 
an iron-handed regenerator, a white despot basing his 
principles on justice, who will treat with no party, and who 
will interfere with iron austerity in case of need. His 
would be the melancholy lot not to be understood by the 
men of his time, to be hated by his Brazilian contem- 
poraries ; but history would accord him a high rank among 
those who work for the future ; his name would be inter- 
woven with the advanced opinions of Brazil, and would 
be blessed by future generations. Article 1, in his consti- 
tution, should run thus : ' All men in a free empire are 
born free.' Article 2, ( The heir to the throne must travel 
for several years in the civilised world in order by his own 
observation, and by comparison with foreign countries, to 
learn statesmanship.' 

We approached the height with the giant trees ; it rose 
softly and regularly from the broad plain like an immense 
grave. It was thickly covered with brilliant scitaminea, 
from the beautifully-formed leaves of which the glowing 
blossoms gleamed brightly. From this thick covering, 
growing as closely as rushes, and through the rustling 
leaves of which one was obliged actually to break a path, 
rose the sacred banana, the sign of colonisation, with its 
large leaves. We hastened over the green carpet to the 
plateau of the hill and stood in astonishment at one of the 
greatest wonders of nature; for even nature erects her 
monuments, and when she erects them they are grand and 
sublime, far grander than those of men. Thus she per- 
mitted the plane tree of Hippocrates to remain for centu- 
ries a witness of the period of the greatest, most flourishing 
cultivation, of the triumph of human intellect and human 



BAHIA. 213 

harmony, as also of the period of most melancholy decay ; 
thus she placed the dragon tree of Octavia as a mysterious 
monument of times which have already passed away into 
the fog of fable. Thus on the square in Brunswick stands 
the oak of a thousand years as a monument to prove to 
living generations that G-erman oaks existed before Ger- 
mans lived. Thus in California the Wellingtonias take 
heaven as it were by storm to prove to those who go thither 
the vigour of their new country: not to speak of the holy 
cedars of Solomon and the sacred olives of Grethsemane. 

The six mangueiras of Itaparica are monuments of 
nature such as in all my travels I have never seen. They 
are trees of dimensions for which we have no measure ; a 
little world, if arched over by these six colossal forms, 
would be shaded in a cool, sacred twilight. The stems 
spring forth from the damp, fragrant earth, strong and 
healthy as the swelling form of an athlete. Of immense 
extent, sometimes horizontal as a bridge, sometimes 
bending to the earth in gentle curves, sometimes rearing 
themselves to heaven, these strong shady boughs extend, 
each in itself a large tree. The human eye is neither keen 
enough nor sufficiently skilled to grasp the full density of 
such immense forms. One moves far from the stem in 
quite a different direction and is astonished by one of 
these colossal boughs bending to the ground and imagines 
it separate, with an existence of its own, but looking at it 
more nearly and following the sinewy limbs and the inter- 
secting boughs, discovers that it is only a branch from the 
distant trunk. What power, what vigour of sap, must not 
such a tree possess to be able to support such heavy boughs 
in a horizontal position and at such a distance ! We build 
tubular bridges and are astonished at the adhesion of the 
iron over so broad a span ; how much more wonderful is 
one of these trees, the main support of which is only in 
its centre. The height of the tree corresponds with its 



214 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

circumference; beneath it men dwindle to dwarfs: all 
measurements fail, all that generally appears large is 
surpassed, surrounded, concealed. A whole population 
could lie beneath the shadow of this tree, unseen from the 
plain. 

Beneath this leafy vault I experienced that sensation of 
desolation, that pleasing awe which overpowers one in the 
twilight of an immense cathedral ; that feeling of sacred 
surprise that one feels in standing before monuments 
which tower over the usual visions of the imagination. 
And this extensive hall of nature's forming was only 
supported by six pillars, by six massive stems : one was 
tempted to speak in whispers as within the sacred precincts 
of a church. It was natural that instinct should lure art 
into this temple of nature, and that in its centre we should 
discover our artist engaged in some pretty sketches. The 
world would not quickly again afford such beauties. 
Numerous bromelia and tilandsia hung on the boughs high 
and low, large and small, like lamps in a cathedral, or like 
banners from the lofty beams of a knightly hall. Several 
of the boughs were bent so close to the ground that one 
might use them as seats or as ladders. 

Alarmed by our approach some negro children rushed 
through the scitaminea ; it was not until after some time 
that we discovered in a side hall of this temple a complete 
farm-yard. Lofty carica papaya surrounded the huts 
concealed amid the thick foliage like signals or flagstaffs 
in a camp ; their straight stems, their leafy crowns, the 
fruit which hung below, gave to the whole scene a beauty 
all the greater from being in the immediate neighbourhood 
of human habitations. The houses were mere shells made 
of wood, clay, and palm leaves, only used from incli- 
nation in this equable warm climate, in which one knows 
neither rheumatism nor frost. Black pigs, plainly the 
negroes among the bristly herd, disported themselves 



BAHIA. 215 

gaily amid the picturesque disorder of the fazenda. Let 
us devote a few words to these animals, deemed lowest in 
the category of beasts. The blessing of the pig, gem 
among the beasts of the farm-yard, is said to have been 
first brought to the new continent by us Europeans, proof 
of the pride of the European. But this useful domestic 
animal must at the period of the conquest have made 
acquaintance with an antediluvian companion ; wiser than 
man, he must have entered into an alliance with the 
primitive race, the free and venerable peccary, and must 
have improved his characteristics by the historical tradition 
of the natives ; in this way alone can the shape and merits 
of the present race be explained. The Brazilian pig is 
much smaller but much more active and pretty than the 
European pig, its colour is darker, it is more lively : both 
remind one of the free life of the forest. The flavour of 
the meat also far surpasses that of European pork ; whether 
owing to the food or to the cross in the breed, or to the 
balmy air, the meat is here more than excellent. A rich 
merchant in Frankfort, who spent his apprenticeship in 
Brazil, is said always to send hither for the pigs to supply 
his luxurious table. 

We found it cool and shady beneath the large trees ; 
beyond, on the plain, the sun was scorching ; a light 
breeze stirred the air within the green dome like a breath 
of peace. From beneath the boughs the eye could gaze 
far and wide over the picturesque plain, over the verdant 
forests, over the distant, sparkling ocean softly blending 
with the sky on the horizon. High in the leafy crown, 
removed from sight, the parrots which had been so rudely 
scared a little while before were now chattering again 
in calm security. A spirit of blissful, calm serenity per- 
vaded the sacred temple of nature, stones for an altar of 
incense were alone wanting on which to present an offering 
of gratitude and wonder from the creature to the Creator : 



216 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

thus even here one meets with disappointments and im- 
perfections. Where now are the priests of this sanctuary ? 
The poor negro slaves of the fazenda, where were they? 
According to what our artist said, they were lying in 
their huts all attacked by a malignant fever. Thus even 
on this hill, in this secluded paradise, wasting sickness 
intrudes itself. The causes of this are, above all, misery ; 
next the chill of the shade side by side with the most fear- 
ful heat of sun ; and also the evaporation, which rising to 
the hill from the swamps, is engendered by the waters 
encroaching on the island. 

Our investigations allowed us no long repose ; we left 
the painter at his interesting work and went down to the 
plain in the interior of the island. In a short time the 
activity of the sportsmen began anew; in the woodless 
plain, amid the confused masses of bush, large black birds 
hopped about on the withered boughs merrily and uncon- 
cerned ; in form and size they were like the magpie, in 
their glossy, black plumage they resembled the raven ; the 
motion of their long tails was like that of the water wag- 
tail ; the pretty creatures uttered that varied cry which 
belongs to the peculiarities of Brazil, and meets the tra- 
veller at every turn, and which he hears long afterwards 
resounding in his ears. One generally finds these useful 
birds in the neighbourhood of the fazendas, where they sit 
quietly pecking the horses and killing the noxious insects 
which are in these countries destructive of life. The scien- 
tific name of this bird, which really belongs to the same 
family as that of our raven, is Ootophago anu. We knew 
the customs of the country too little to be aware how 
sacred this useful bird is to the Brazilian, and that, from the 
position it holds in society, it obtains confidence and ap- 
proaches man fearlessly. The men with the rifles relent- 
lessly fired in the direction of the bushes and two of these 
poor birds fell, whilst a troop of other birds, amongst them 



BAHIA. 217 

the beautiful doves with which we were already familiar, a 
handsome woodpecker, and various sorts of passerine, flew 
forth ; we should have liked to have brought them home 
for my museum, but they fell into the thorny bushes and 
we did not know how to obtain them : behold ! suddenly 
there appeared unexpected help; the police officer re- 
turned, this time in plain citizen's dress ; probably attracted 
by the continual fire ; as the police have especial skill in 
bringing to light that which is concealed, we requested 
their representative to seek our prize for us. He certainly 
showed some degree of aptitude for his new office ; but 
after he had vanished a little time in the interior of the 
thorn bushes, an enemy appeared over whom his rank had 
no influence ; an angry swarm of yellow, unamiable bees 
compelled him hastily to vacate the field, without having 
found the birds; yet, like a genuine police officer, who 
when he cannot attain one object immediately discovers 
another, he brought with him a trophy in the shape of the 
pretty nest of the dove mentioned before ; ample remu- 
neration rewarded him for his trouble and for his semi- 
success. The nest was unusually small; prettily and 
artistically filled with light twigs and soft feathers ; two 
pretty little eggs lay in the warm, downy bed. I must 
further mention regarding these black birds that, probably 
in consequence of their mode of life, they are said to pos- 
sess a very unpleasant odour. 

The plain now narrowed and was covered with rich 
verdure ; groups of palms raised themselves aloft and even 
some tokens of cultivation were to be seen here and there. 
As we sauntered along the picturesque road, soft rain drew 
a cool, fragrant veil over the fresh green of the earth. I 

was delighted; but our friend L , an old resident 

in the tropics, insisted that we should seek shelter in a 
neighbouring hut ; for, he observed, that one never could 
tell how heavy tropical rain might not become ; and as he 



218 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

was really pressing, we went across the fields at a fast trot, 
and soon reached a lonely hut which stood among cocoa- 
nut and bread-fruit trees, overshadowed by a large mango. 
The walls were made of dark wood ; the interstices scantily 
filled with clay and earth ; the roof consisted of dried palm 
leaves, the floor was of earth firmly trodden down. 

At our approach we frightened some thin fowls from the 
silent hut, which showed us that it was inhabited ; we 
stepped beneath a projecting roof, a sort of rough veran- 
dah ; very soon a clean, little negro boy in a loose shirt, 
appeared from the inner network of the house ; he opened 
his large eyes at us in astonishment and then disappeared 
again in the interior, to fetch his black great-grandpapa ; 
a hideous and almost naked negro, with white woolly hair, 
tottered from his dark corner to meet us ; it was a miser- 
able sight, a figure weary of life, bent to that of an animal, 
and still more disfigured by elephantiasis, that fearful 
disease which so frequently attacks the negroes, and which 
had swelled his feet into shapeless masses of really ele- 
phantine proportions ; he could scarcely move and could 
only push himself along by the help of a great stick as 
far as the trunk of a tree which was bent over ; on it, as 
master of the house he seated himself between us. The 
hut was but a refuge for the moment ; its furniture con- 
sisted of some blocks of wood, some hurdles and some 
calabashes ; more primitive it could not have been, and a 
worse could not have been found among the huts in the 
distant native country of the blacks. Poor old man ! alone 
and forsaken ; no one near him but a little child, beneath 
such a roof as this, he ends his miserable life of slavery like 
an old dog that has become useless and that they have for- 
gotten to kill. To judge by the age of the old negro he 
must have been one of those who had known home and free- 
dom ; and who had traversed the ocean packed like a bale 
of goods. Nature is kinder and more just than her degene- 



BAHIA. 219 

rate children ; and she at least bestows on the poor slave 
trees to surround his hut and to give him nutritious food 
throughout the year. Besides, the old man was, notwith- 
standing his lonely and miserable existence, in a position, 
even in the midst of his poverty, to show us hospitality in 
what, according to European ideas, was a regal fashion. 
He disappeared for a moment into the inner portion of his 
airy dwelling, and returned with an old, torn basket full of 
splendid pineapples for our refreshment ; according to 
our home ideas, it was an extraordinary contrast to receive 
the regal pineapple, in a miserable hut from one of the 
poorest of men. But here it was only as though a peasant 
in Germany were to offer one a basketful of sour pears. 
We threw ourselves like harpies on the golden gift, and 
revelled in the delicious fruits. 

Among the fables that my predecessors in the trade 
have related in their descriptions of travels is this, that 
the pineapple of European hothouses, artificially grown 
and ripened by artificial heat, is sweeter, more juicy and 
better than the natural fruit of the tropics ; I cannot 
agree to this ; one may find hard, sour pineapples in 
America, but none of the artificially grown, European 
fruit possesses the aroma, the fresh perfume, and the 
delicious taste of the Brazilian pineapple; the comparison 
between nature and art is incomparably more favourable 
to the former in the case of the pineapple than in that of 
the strawberry ; and yet every one will allow that garden 
strawberries, with all their excellence, have not the natural 
aroma of the wood strawberry. Since I have enjoyed the 
pine-apple in its original state, the artificial European 
fruit has seemed like a sweet prepared by a confectioner. 
The pulp here is of a pale straw colour almost white, 
whilst that of the hothouse pineapple is almost of the 
colour of ochre ; I might say that it is of a gloomy hue 
throughout ; which probably may be attributed to the 



220 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

extreme artificial warmth used in Europe which also causes 
the juice to have a taste like a liqueur, or as if it were 
fermented. 

Thanks to the hospitality of the slave, the short time 
during which the rain lasted could not have been more 
pleasantly spent ; with patriarchal composure and not 
without some of that apathetic nonchalance peculiar to all 
old slaves, our host seated himself by our side, extending 
his afflicted feet ; the boy and the clucking hens looked on 
in astonishment to see how the pale men from the distant 
East devoured the refreshing fruits. The rain now had 
shed small gleaming pearls on the revived grass, and we 
cheerfully pursued our researches, accompanied by the 
heartfelt thanks and congratulations of the black patriarch. 
The ground fell gently, and the soil changed into an 
alluvial sand ; the path which was pointed out to us con- 
ducted us to new marvels in this land so rich in natural 
beauties. The usual vegetation ceased and extended in a 
wide circle to the left into the interior of the island, whilst 
near us a different sort of vegetation prevailed. Thickly 
pressed together, half dancing, half floating, half like a 
stork or a heron standing in calm repose on their spindle 
legs, half like a fata morgana, hovering by enchantment in 
the air, rose this new vegetation, spreading itself over 
a broad plain of fine, firm, white sand which the sea (as 
at high tide the foam dashes over it) makes level and 
shining. 

We were standing before a mangle swamp, one of 
those tracts where the fresh water running from the 
shore blends with the inmost line of sea water, where 
frequently the whole marsh lies under water; or where 
the sand is frequently visible and the water only re- 
mains in isolated spots and in small interstices. On the 
brink between the bright fresh verdure, bathed by the 
fresh water and the salt territories of the foaming sea this 



BAHIA. 221 

extraordinary mangle bush reigns exclusively. The mangle 
wood that here overspread the broad basin of water was 
still young and consisted rather of shrubs than of trees ; 
such a landscape is to an eye through which imagination 
looks as through a window, delightful in the extreme ; this 
confused growth of boughs and of roots, this eagerness of 
lofty stems to bedaub themselves in the damp mud ; this 
wonderful intertwining, this moistened picture of the forest 
with its mysterious comers ; this life in various stages from 
the marshy cave inhabited by crabs to a bed like that of 
the Venetian pilot-fish ; with the green splendour beyond, 
where the merry passerine and the shy kingfisher lead 
their free sunlit existence, how could I describe it all to a 
European? Imagine an alder wood in our German 
meadows taking root in black earth, gravel, and streams ; 
imagine these modest bushes swollen with pride and 
transplanted into the tropics ; imagine our good alders 
attacked by an anxiety to touch the mud, learning 
how to walk on stilts from the water-birds, raising their 
stems in the air and shooting forth their roots into the damp 
earth ; but in order not to lose their equilibrium, and 
well aware that pride goes before a fall, anxiously extend- 
ing their branches, balancing themselves on either side, 
and casting forth fresh roots into the moist ground. Thus 
we see a grove of alders, by a stroke of enchantment, 
hovering suspended some feet in the air. 

The mangle tree, Ehizophora mangle, spreads over the 
whole tropical world. At every spot where the tropical 
sea kisses the land, in America, in India, on all the 
thousands of islands, this amphibious plant is found, and 
fever with her poison is generally its companion. To press 
through a group of mangle presents one of the greatest 
difficulties that the traveller has to overcome ; for already, 
in the middle of the water, without any sure footing, 
must he begin his work. To this green girdle which en- 



222 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

compasses so many islands may be attributed the fact that 
many districts are still unexplored by science. Thus in 
the Nicobars, the walls of mangle form the principal 
obstacles to research. 

This floating forest has its own animal world, as we also 
discovered on our first entrance into it. There are here 
three species of crabs of different sizes, according to age, 
and varying from an inch to half a foot in diameter. The 
three species that we saw here, and later on in the 
course of our journey, differ decidedly and manifestly in 
colour. One is bright red, shining like the most beautiful 
sealing-wax ; another is bright yellow, and the third (of 
which we found the largest number) is blue, becoming 
lilac at the extremities. These animals are the lords of 
the mangle forests, and lead therein a most delightful 
existence. Well protected, in deep holes beneath the 
roots, they make their cool, roomy dwellings ; again by 
these roots they mount up as by a convenient staircase, 
and find pleasant banks and terraces on the trunks and 
boughs, from which in their noon-day repose, sunk in 
philosophic dreams, they can contemplate the country and 
rejoice in the sun and light. But should anything un- 
usual or new approach their vicinity, an extraordinary 
excitement arises in these pleasure-grounds, and with a 
sidelong amble the wise epicureans retire during the short 
period of danger to the doors of their secure dwellings ; 
there they seat themselves, I might almost say provokingly, 
on the bank at the entrance, rear themselves often aloft, 
and with eager curiosity await for the monster. When 
the dreadful object approaches, the prudent master of the 
house vanishes like lightning behind the door, and con- 
ceals himself in the bosom of his family. But sometimes 
it happens that one of these old philosophers falls into a 
peaceful sleep on some of the high mangle balconies, in 
consequence of a sumptuous repast, and that the sun has 



BAHIA. 223 

not had time to waken him before the noise of the coming 
danger suddenly startles the sleeper. Help him, ye gods ! 
What is now to be done ? The old gentleman sees no 
way of escape ; his sidelong amble is no longer of use ; 
steps and bridges are cut off; all his friends are fled from 
the park and have retired to their inner and safe apart- 
ments. He sighs so deeply that his tones of anguish are 
heard from a distance ; stretches out his fat limbs, makes 
a desperate resolve, and throws himself over the balus- 
trade of his gloriette, headforemost down below ; from the 
distance one hears the splash as the fat animal strikes the 
watery plain ; but, Fortuna audaces juvat, like a flash 
of lightning the patriarch has disappeared, and much 
frightened, but saved, returns in peace to his family. It 
is true that the old crab who no longer has strength to 
hobble up to the gloriette on a fine afternoon, grumbles 
with just jealousy at the youthful tricks of the venturous 
grandfather ; but grandpapa is safe, and the youthful crabs 
are rejoicing and triumphant. The danger past, the 
young masters of society carefully put forth their heads 
from their holes, look about them far and wide for some 
time, give information to the ladies and the children, and 
again they emerge into the lively park, until late in the 
evening, when the moon has risen, they relate with shud- 
dering feelings of congratulation how great the danger 
was, how they were hardly able to drag the children 
along, how the cramp had fearfully cut short the amble of 
one of the ladies, and how even grandpapa, to the anguish 
of all, was obliged to save himself in an unseemly 
manner which had disturbed his digestion, and how 
grandmamma was not yet without apprehension. 

Is not this a sweet existence ? These little animals live 
free and unfettered as in an Arcadian republic ; they have 
near their rooty homes plenty of oysters for food, and 
disappear so cleverly, so boldly, so quickly into their holes 



224 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

that we wearied ourselves in vain for a long time in the 
heat before we could obtain any specimens for my museum. 
However, we succeeded, but only with trouble and imper- 
fectly ; for we merely obtained some heedless young ones, 
and those not of every variety of colour. One fat old 
grandfather we could not catch in spite of our most des- 
perate exertions. It was not until afterwards that I learnt 
that these animals are killed with small shot. It is said 
that they are often found at some distance in the 
interior of the country, far away from the marshes. Their 
colour is always bright, and may be seen shining at a 
distance in brilliant hues amid the green of the mangle 
woods which swarm with these creatures. The speed of 
their movement at the approach of danger is the more 
remarkable, because up to that moment they have been 
lying stiff and motionless ; their flavour is excellent when 
eaten, thus they are consumed in large quantities by the 
inhabitants of the neighbourhood. 

Among the mangle trees which extend over the tracks 
where the salt and fresh water unites, numberless small 
oysters are found, which serve as food for the crabs, and 
are also, and very rightly, much eaten by human beings. 
The strange life and habits of these animals detained us 
longer than was reasonable. The heat on the white sand 
was considerable, yet not more oppressive than at noonday 
in July with us. At the other extremity of the swamp 
there stood as a sentinel on the boundary on which the 
forest vegetation began again, a large and very picturesque 
tree with wide-spread boughs hanging down to the ground 
surrounded by almost impenetrable bushes, from which 
was climbing a beautiful liliacea, unknown to me, and a 
sort of bean with deep purple blossoms, and brown, hairy 
pods ; we made a struggle to obtain some of them in the 
hope of seeing them thrive again in our garden. On the 
knotted stem beneath the boughs and between the bared 



BAHIA. 225 

roots on the worn earth, some really gigantic specimens of 
the blue crab were sitting in crowds like gnomes. In the 
distance they looked as though they were fossilised; but 
we had scarcely approached them, before they disappeared. 
With them, some large lizards also took fright, and were 
lost with the speed of lightning among the bushes. 

There are certain things that always imprint them- 
selves especially on the retentive memory of a traveller ; 
and this tree of crabs, with its surrounding flowers, and 
the beautiful inhabitants of the animal world, was of this 
number. Could one take everywhere with one a photo- 
grapher, which unfortunately is still impossible, he would 
have been obliged to make a shadow picture of this group 
(with the spot in which the gnomes disport themselves) for 
my album ; it would make a very pretty illustration for a 
legend of the primeval forest. From this tree the path 
took a bend directly into the forest, the edge of which 
derived increased interest from an unusual number of 
palms. No gardener in* the world, no Hiigel, nor science 
supported by wealth, though even that of the Duke of 
Devonshire, could produce such a group as nature here 
offers with her lavish profusion, in this place which is 
scarcely ever visited ; scitaminea and aroidea, with delicate 
bamboo, form the light and airy fringe ; beyond them, the 
myrtacea and capparidea rise with their mysterious sha- 
dows and dark glossy leaves ; among them the gay children 
of the sun, the bright palms with their lofty outspread 
crowns, and golden wreaths of blossom, rise proudly and 
majestically. Their summits appear to attract the sun's 
rays with special power, so brightly do they gleam, like 
favoured beings, on the dark background of the forest. 
The lower portion of the wood was so impenetrable that, 
for the first time, I received some idea of a primeval 
forest ; and I began to understand that, amid such a class 
of plants, the bright axe alone can be of any assistance, 

YOL. III. Q 



226 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

while even that would involve difficulty, and labour in- 
describable. 

The outer edge is magnificent beyond conception. I 
might call it the outside of the forest ; where the crowns 
of plants meet the sun, the forms increase and extend, 
and the colours receive a warm and glowing light. 
Beneath these rows of trees all is dark and confused ; the 
eye must be satisfied with bare stems, with shrubs that are 
intertwined together, with branches closely pressed, and 
with coils of leafless lianas. Some solitary slight gleam 
from the more sunny region can alone make a track for 
itself through the twilight. 

This wood is like a dream : its first visions are sweet 
and golden; the transition between falling asleep and 
sinking into the fantastic mysteries of night is delicious ; 
but the light fades, and with dark wings sleep draws on, 
and all becomes less bright and more confused ; memory 
loses itself; while only now and then, from the far 
distance, does the sun of life shine upon the leaden un- 
consciousness. 

On this occasion we were fortunate. We had no need 
of the clearing axe. The path which we were following 
led us between impassable walls which spread their boughs 
and crowns over us in rich arches ; the fantastic adorn- 
ments of the tropics grew in profusion in the dusky vaults 
which enclosed our path, and we might have imagined 
ourselves in a silent track in our own home woods. With 
us also, tnere is the same impenetrable bush in which the 
leafless tendrils of our clematis are entwined; also with 
us there is the perfume of moist vegetation thick and 
green, as here ; through the leaves play the beams of the 
same sun, shining in our beloved home, as in free Ita- 
parica ; the earth on the silent path, the slopes of the 
hollow way are brown, mingled with vegetation ; the 
breaks in the wood have the same form, the same degrees 
of shade as at home ; I turned to L and exclaimed, 



BAHIA. 227 

6 Here in the thick forest shades, beneath the green arches, 
all has the same appearance as at Thiergarten.' I ex- 
pected to hear a crackling and breaking of the trunks of 
the trees, a rolling noise on the damp earth, and the 
sudden appearance of a defiant boar, so completely did it 
seem to me like home in the heat of a summer's day. 
Suddenly there was a flicker, as of phosphoric light, in the 
twilight ; a second nicker, and with the speed of thought, 
noiseless, fairylike, now rising, now falling, now gleaming in 
the splendour of colour, now lost again in shadow, touched 
by the inquisitive rays of the sun, flew two immense butter- 
flies, indescribably beautiful specimens of the morpho merie- 
laus ; their backs were light blue, the lower portion of the 
body dove colour ; sometimes they looked like night-birds 
speeding wearily through the twilight, sometimes the 
beaming rays from the sky were reflected in them in the 
midst of the darkness of the forest, like a vision of beauty. 
It seemed as though the silent forest had understood my 
words, had felt itself aggrieved by the comparison with 
Germany, and had suddenly sent forth two of its most 
beautiful children to instruct the new-comers. We were 
enchanted, and so lost in astonishment that we unfortu- 
nately only took up our butterfly net when, notwith- 
standing all our exertions and wild pursuit, it was too late 
to catch these visions of the fairy world ; they disappeared 
noiselessly as they had come, in the fathomless depth of 
the forest ; but the remembrance of this lovely scene, of 
this exquisite surprise from tropical nature, will ever 
remain imprinted on my heart. 

The beautiful sort of palm of which I have just spoken 
is the attalea funifera ; its slender stem attains a height of 
from twenty to thirty feet ; the crown is composed of 
large feathery leaves. The fibres of this plant are used for 
various purposes. To the envy and delight of the bota- 
nist, our sportsman found a wonderfully beautiful orchid 

Q2 



228 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

(epidendrum), with deep orange flowers. In the under- 
wood was growing the pretty anthurium affine, with its 
large, stiff, glossy leaves. On the more marshy ground 
our delighted botanist discovered, amid attalea and astro- 
caryum, the rare aroidea, urospatha desciscens with its 
pointed, wedge-shaped, long, glossy leaves, together with 
many other flowers. We were the first people to bring this 
plant alive to Europe. The forest path conducted us to a 
roca (a broad, open space, here forming portion of a de- 
clivity) on which the forest, with a view to cultivation, 
has been partly burnt and partly felled ; it was a wild scene, 
but has its counterpart with us in the Alps among the 
woodcutters and charcoal-kilns. The ground lay v bare. 
Scattered around were some few trees ; on various spots on 
the barren ground we saw the broad giant stumps of the 
monsters that had been felled ; on other places lay some 
stems from which the branches had been cut ; among them, 
ashes from fires. In spite of man's efforts, nature endea- 
vours again to become mistress of the soil, but in many 
places man has gained the victory, and the manioca or 
some bananas (here called plantains) would suffice to 
announce the beginning of his rule, even if there were no 
deeper marks. 

In the centre of this roca, on a declivity, a negro-hut 
already rose amid the palm branches and wood. Dirty 
slaves were sitting round a large pot filled with manioca, 
and were devouring their scanty meal. On the edge of the 
roca along which our path led, and by the side of a little 
stream, grew a profusion of beautiful grasses and weeds, in 
which green lizards were gliding hither and thither, to- 
gether with myriads of buzzing insects. A slender negress 
in light attire came with a graceful walk along the path ; 
in a large basket on her head she was carrying plantains 
and oranges in the direction of the harbour. We stopped 
the merry-hearted girl, and purchased some of her fruit to 



BAIIIA. 229 

our very necessary refreshment, and to her joy, which she 
evinced by a gurgling sort of chatter. Never had a plan- 
tain tasted to me so delicious, and after this forced march 
in the heat of a tropical noon-day I learned to bless the 
reviving and refreshing fruit. Each of us put some in his 
pocket for consumption at a future time. 

We had still a portion of the ropa to traverse, but we 
were compelled, owing to the advancing hours, and out of 
consideration for the rest of our companions, to halt at a 
most beautiful spot of the valley, and to think of return. 
We stood half in the forest, half on the open hill ; the 
golden sun shone majestically in the open scenery. The 
valley was still and uninhabited, no trace of the hand of 
man had imprinted on it the stamp of common life ; in 
its calm, unchanging splendour, it appeared to be a de- 
serted fairy garden ; amid luxuriant grass and rashes shaded 
with flowers and weeds one could hear the cool babbling of 
a brook. To increase the beauty of this wonderful land- 
scape, some exquisite plants rose from the fragrant turf 
towards the azure sky. In the distance, various breaks in 
the valley, shady openings in the forest, gave irresistible 
invitations to the enchanted beholder to make further 
journeys of discovery. 

To complete the scene of this fairy garden, beautiful and 
unknown birds flew unconcernedly around us from the 
copse, and carried on their merry but noiseless game from 
bough to bough by the side of the stream. There was one 
of golden yellow and black; near to him soared a large 
brown bird, like a cuckoo, with a long beak like that of a 
water-wagtail: another was a most splendid blue: all 
these flew joyously in their native paradise, free and unre- 
strained, unconscious of the dangers with which man would 
threaten them. Fortunately for these birds our sportsman 
had taken another direction; we could therefore watch their 
games and their various colours quietly and undisturbed, 



230 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

without troubling ourselves about their names, which were 
unknown even to L . 

With longing eyes we gazed down into the valley, 
beautiful beyond description : so peaceful, so rich in variety 
of colour, and yet so still. How willingly would we not 
have penetrated farther into this dreamland of tropical 
nature ! but necessity compelled our return. 

We took the same road back, and it was only now, when 
the excitement was not so great, that we began to perceive 
how tired we were, and how extreme was the heat of the 
unclouded sun. But in general the sky in the tropics is 
not cloudless and blue: this favour belongs only to the 
privileged coast of the Mediterranean. The horizon in 
the tropics is generally cloudy, and there are places, like 
Petropolis, where scarcely a day passes in the year without 
rain. The clouds are caused by the moisture of the vege- 
tation, the moisture by the clouds; they form together 
cause and effect. According to my taste, which has been 
formed in South Italy, in Spain, in the sacred land of 
Egypt, and in the classic land of Greece, these clouds in the 
true sense of the word form a shady side to the beauty of 
the tropics ; it is only beneath a perfectly cloudless sky 
that the soul is elevated and attuned to the pure enjoy- 
ment of true beauty. The clearness of the heavens, the 
unclouded brilliance of the sun in all its beauty of colour, 
is to me above all things necessary. Only one feeling can 
make the sadness of a grey country to be forgotten in the 
soul of man, and that is quiet domestic comfort. 

The English, who know and appreciate the south in all 
its splendour of sunlight, also know how to represent the 
idea of comfort artificially at home ; therefore England is, 
in my opinion, the only northern country in which one can 
for a moment forget the south. In Germany, in gloomy 
Holland, and in France, so deficient in natural beauty, one 
is miserable: these countries offer nothing which can 



BAH I A. 231 

compensate for the discomfort of a bad climate, or give 
that tone to the body which produces an enlivening effect 
on the mind. I shall never forget the overpoweringly 
melancholy impression that I once received at the end of 
June on the Scheldt, We were sailing in the yacht of his 
Majesty the King of Holland : the sun sank red in the 
steaming fog; a cold, comfortless wind blew over the deck. 
I had just put a thick Scotch plaid over my winter 

dress, when my good friend Admiral T came up to me 

and said, with patriotic enthusiasm, how delighted he was 
that fate had just accorded me such a beautiful summer 
evening in this country, such as they saw at most once in 
four or five years. I was frozen in every limb, and replied 
with a melancholy dubious smile and a languid nod of the 
head, and immediately sought the protection of the cabin. 

In Amsterdam, called by the Dutch the northern Venice, 
to my great joy, I found on my arrival a cheering fire in 
the large chimney of the magnificent castle ; this was the 
end of June ! In the last days of July, I travelled to my 
good uncle, the Emperor, to his summer residence at 
Reich stadt, in 1;he fertile fields of Bohemia ; and here 
again, on my arrival, a fire was blazing in the large stove ; 
this was the beginning of August ! In far-famed Ischl 
(where I must acknowledge, in justice, that there are 
three or perhaps four completely fine days in the year) I 
remember very well having once gone out in a sledge in 
the middle of July, which the Germans call their hay- 
making month. In England all these wretched feelings 
of internal discomfort are obliterated by the arts of comfort 
displayed in every-day life ; but happy are those countries 
where one has no occasion to cultivate such an art, where 
life is passed in unceasing harmony and in an unchanging 
climate. On our return, we did not forget to collect both 
flowers and animals as far as possible. 

As I have already said, Itaparica afforded us severa 



232 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

new species for our botanical collections, and various 
specimens the names of which were known to us in 
Europe, though we had never seen them. All this afforded 
a proof that Itaparica is still a tewa incognita, and that 
most travellers, in their desire to penetrate quickly to the 
interior, leave this beautiful and interesting island un- 
noticed. When we had again passed the mangle swamp, 
we examined one of the primitive negro-huts more closely. 
It was round ; the wails consisted of branches closely 
woven together ; a roof of palm-straw like a sugarloaf, 
together with the circular shape, gave it the appearance of 
a large beehive; one solitary opening served for door,, 
window, and chimney. This negro-hut reminded me of 
home, because it carried me back vividly to our childish 
years when, on our beautiful bowling-green at Schonbrunn, 
similar huts were erected for us in a scientific manner ; 
for each of us brothers such a primitive hut was built, and 
a piece of garden added to it. It is now twenty years 
since, on my birthday, my empire, as I called it, was 
formed, and the reins of government were given to me. I 
see now (as though it were to-day) the thatched hut 
standing beneath the shade of large trees, surrounded 
with stakes, and adorned with weapons imitated from 
those of savages. In front was a sort of forum for councils 
of war, and for purposes of worship, ornamented with an 
immense idol, and with the skin of a boa-constrictor 
which hung from the trees to the ground. On the side, 
surrounded by shrubs, and near the waterfall, was a 
hammock slung between two strong slender trees, near to 
which sat a handsome and intelligent green parrot, pre- 
sented to me in those merry days by the widow of 
Napoleon. To complete the happiness of a cheerful even- 
ing, and in imitation of the scientific sketches in the court 
library, there gleamed in the kraal a charcoal fire ; while 
there was placed, on an immense spit, a large toad, carved 



BAIIIA. 233 

in wood, and destined for the repast. This was a childish 
amusement, but an omen from destiny. It gave to the 
young mind a liking for that which was distant and un- 
usual ; and now that I have travelled over the ocean, and 
that the gay visions of childhood are changed into reality, 
I can rejoice in their fulfilment with the same childlike 
pleasure as that with which I formerly rejoiced in my 
imaginary scenes. I now see with my own eyes that a 
negro family really lives from generation to generation in 
one of these airy dwellings, sheltered from the wind by 
logs of wood, sheltered from the sun by palm leaves. One 
sees how these people have no fear of rheumatism or 
toothache; but also that their existence very nearly ap- 
proaches that of apes, and, as regards comfort, is far sur- 
passed by the sagacious and skilful beaver. 

As we drew near the harbour, adhering to the hour 
and place appointed for the rendezvous, our numerous 
companions emerged from bush and valley in the strangest 
condition ; some in parties, some alone. None came with 
empty hands ; everyone brought more or less booty with 
him, as a proof of good intentions. The harvest was 
a rich one, and presented a beautiful and wonderful 
appearance when heaped together. There lay all the 
wealth and wonders of nature peacefully, side by side, 
from the egg still warm from the nest, to the richly 
plumaged bird ; from the seed, scarce fallen, f;o the 
fragrant flower and ripe fruit. There, in gay confusion, 
were parroquets, a love-bird, humming-birds, coloured 
woodpeckers, pretty doves, woodcocks, handsome butter- 
flies, exquisitely formed beetles, wonderful orchids, bro- 
meliacea and philodendrons, new grasses and aroidea, and 
countless seeds which will only receive a name at some 
future day. We might well be content with this first 
grand success of our energy ; the thirst for knowledge, the 
proud joy of collecting, had made a path for themselves. 



234 RECOLLECTIONS OF MF LIFE. 

As I wandered back through the grass-grown streets 
which form the town, the inhabitants of this place, pre- 
viously so lifeless, had already (probably owing to the 
curiosity caused by the continuous sound of our fire) come 
to their doors and windows to stare at the strange people 
from the civilised world. 

At one of the houses I bought a very pretty black and 
yellow bird, which had been caught in the forest only four 
days before : we kept it on board for a long time, feeding 
it with bananas. At the harbour, the principal authorities 
of Itaparica were, to my horror, assembled in pleno ; 
among them, the clergyman, a dark-brown and very ugly 
mulatto. It is not easy to converse for long with the 
authorities in this place ; they know no language but 
Brazilian, and although strangers might be acquainted 
with seven languages, they would never forget themselves 
so far as to learn Portuguese. But let us be just. In the 
opinion of our sarcastic painter, there is an evident utility 
even in Portuguese ; for as one can only speak it through 
one's nose, one may at the same time speak in some 
Christian-like tongue with one's mouth. 

A much greater alarm than any that had gone before 
awaited us when we reached the shore, and perceived that 
the ebb tide had set in ; indeed, according to the view that 
our captain took, there seemed never to have been any- 
thing else. Our steamer was stuck fast in the mud, and 
on board her, in calm repose and stoical impassiveness, was 
Herr G , the wealthy planter, the lord of many sugar- 
canes and slaves. In consequence of his extreme modesty 
(or rather of his quiet calculation), he had with good- 
tempered patience remained in the vessel, unnoticed by 
us, knowing well that the time was approaching in 
which he should be able to display himself in the pleni- 
tude of his princely grandeur. If this complete dis- 
appearance from our party were a matter of calculation, 



EAHIA. 235 

it was a proof of the wise and business-like mind of the 
rich Brazilian, who (like a true diplomatist) knew how to 
hold back his valuables when nothing was going forward 
that concerned him. 

In calling Gr a planter, I must, in order to be 

understood by Europeans, explain what, in ordinary phrase, 
is meant by the expression. Planting (the Brazilians use 
the pretty word ' Engenho ') is accompanied by genius, and 
this is shown principally in the preparation of that wonder- 
fully luxuriant crop, Engenho de Assucar. Thus generally, 
when wishing to convey the idea of property, the expression 
6 t Engenho ' is used, and the name of the landowner is 
added. The phrase, as usually connected in Europe with 
Brazil, I have never heard here ; perhaps it is confined to 
the French colonies. 

The French seem to have a particular talent for con- 
fusing words and ideas. Thus, in their romances, they 
have given quite a different meaning to the word Creole 
from that which it had originally. Fashionable people 
now suppose a Creole lady to be a fascinating, ethereal 
being, with a brunette complexion and gazelle-like eyes, 
uniting all the refinements of education with a wild, 
excitable temperament: in short, a child of European 
parents, whom fate has deemed should be born within the 
western tropic, an interesting combination of the refine- 
ment of Europe and the untutored nature of America, an 
admirable heroine for the unnatural mould of a French 
novel. How astonished would these worthy Parisians and 
their admirers be if they were to see the real, genuine 
Creole ! In the New World the expression refers to all of 
the negro race who are born in Brazil. It is applied 
exclusively and solely to such persons ; and woe betide the 
new-comer who should venture, in the faltering accents of 
love, to bestow it upon a white person born in Brazil : 
I suspect he would in that very moment be precipitated 



236 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

over the verandah, into some thorny bush below, by the 
real Creoles. 

Senhor Gr - exactly answered in appearance to the 
idea that I had formed of the owner of an c Engenho.' 
Small, but strong and muscular, corpulent (a characteristic 
of wealth), and with a short bull neck token of strength, 
and of a strong will he had the round well-set head of 
the more intelligent portion of the Roman race, a head 
that in form and feature reminded one of the busts 
of the Roman Emperors : his smoothly shaved face, and 
short, curly hair completed the impression. From his 
broad shoulders extended a pair of powerful arms, and, 
notwithstanding his fat, two well formed hands of iron 
strength. The key to the inner history of this extra- 
ordinary man, who is the richest and most prosperous 
landowner in the whole of Bahia, the Lord of Brazil in 
the fullest sense of the word, was to be found in his deep, 
dark eyes. In their restless, unquiet motion lay the whole 
history of the Brazilian aristocracy : these eyes could be 
soft, intellectual, amiable, and even have a look of 
humility; but whilst sparkling with apparent friendliness, 
they sought with eager restlessness to spy, from behind 
their dark fringes, whether all was going on right, 
whether each inferior was doing his duty; and deep 
within there seemed to lie tiger-glances ready at any 
instant to dart forth in anger upon some victim. At 
these moments his firmly clenched hand answered to the 
electric flash of his eyes. 

The owner of numerous slaves, raising himself to 
affluence by their means, must, in order to reign supreme 
over such turbulent elements, live in a state of continual 
uneasiness ; he must be incessantly on the watch, and be 
ready at every moment of day and night (so long as he 
lives) to quell the slightest symptom of insubordination 
with the lightning flash of his eyes. If this glance fail 



BAHIA. 237 

of effect, the strong arm must be raised, and the chicoto, 
the sole sceptre of Brazilian aristocracy, must do its stern 
duty. 

Be it observed, in passing, that the chicoto is a long whip 
made of two pieces of ox-hide, which the keen observer 
may see lying close at hand in the principal apartment of 
every Brazilian house. 

There is also another instrument which is sometimes 
shown jokingly to strangers by the master or children of 
the house ; this is the palmatorio, made of wood, in shape 
like a kitchen spoon, and with a long handle, with which 
they give the slave a certain number of blows, according 
to the extent of his crime. I tried the effect of this 
instrument several times on my hand, and can therefore 
bear witness that the effect is not very pleasant. What is 
most repulsive is the shamelessness and the mirth with 
which these instruments are shown and talked of. In the 
eye of this wealthy man ooe may see (as I have before 
said) the necessity for these things at the same moment 
that one reads in it the most courteous amiability ; the 
searching glance resembles a shuttle ever hurrying from 
one extreme to the other. 

In the dark mirror of the master's eye one could also 
read a history of the past ; a past that concerns the origin 
of the empire, telling of times when these black eyes 
gazed frequently over the ocean with eager anxiety, as 
though their longing looks could hurry the vessels expected 

from Africa. Now Senhor Gr is the most amiable of 

men, rich as Crcesus, of importance at court, possessing 
influence in the province, owner of the handsomest of 
country-houses ; in short, a pattern nobleman, a firm sup- 
porter of the aristocratic element, and to foreigners the 
most agreeable host in the world, one whom in this respect 
cannot be praised too highly. 

But we have still left our steamer in the mud, and there 



238 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

we also sat immovable ; but it was indeed a misfortune to 
spend so much valuable time in the mud. The captain 
shouted, and hastened hither and thither ; the dirty mulatto 
and negro sailors threw out hawsers, manned boats, foamed, 
swore, and laboured. At length, after long pulling and 
tugging, there came one jerk, then another, and the old 
machine slid, creaking and groaning, off the mud. We 
were afloat, the rudder worked in the water, and we 
crossed the bay to the mouth of the mighty Paraguasu. 
We returned from our expedition with a keen appetite, and 
levied a contribution on everything that was eatable in 
the ' Elizabeth.' The tokens of our expedition were laid on 
one side, and the long table on deck was spread with a 
luxurious repast of fruits, champagne, and other exhilarating 
beverages. 

The refreshments began with steaming coffee, the en- 
joyment of which is only an act of prudence in strange 
and unknown climates; for coffee strengthens, invigorates, 
restores the wearied powers of life, and possesses the virtue 
of frequently averting many evils. In countries in which 
fevers are prevalent, this Arabian beverage is a real, 
necessary of life, without which no traveller can exist. 
Senhor Gr - sat beside me, deep in gastronomic study, 
and allowed the electric light of his tiger glances to rest, 
whilst his black eyes rolled complacently from beef- 
steaks to capon, from Strasbourg pasty to veal, instead of 
from slave to slave. Our conversation was limited, owing 
to the invincible barrier of the Portuguese language, and 
thus we were able to devote ourselves entirely to our 
gastronomic duties. Suddenly I perceived a certain rest- 
lessness in the usually impassive slave-prince ; he moved 
about in his seat, and fixed his eyes anxiously on a dish of 
pounded sugar that stood not far from him, ready to be 
eaten with the excellent, juicy melons. When he thought 
me absorbed in a conversation with L , he suddenly 



BAHIA. 239 

seized like a cat upon the pyramid of sugar, hastily ate 
some of the sweet dust, made a still more fortunate essay, 
and hurriedly put some of it into a folded paper. Deep 
thought now took possession of the great man, a look of 
melancholy overspread his features, strong feeling pervaded 
his spirit. Such might have been the expression of coun- 
tenance of our father Adam after he had eaten his half of 
the apple ;. or of Socrates, when he had emptied the cup of 
poison. 

The sudden change in Gr - did not escape L ; 

and he explained what was to us a mystery. Senhor Gr 

had, for the first time in his life, met with his deadly 
enemy. That of which he had dreamed during hot 
tropical nights, the vision which had caused beads of 
agony to stand on his brow, had become a reality. The 
owner of broad, unfailing, sugar plantations, whose wealth 
consisted in slaves and in the sweet pulp of the green 
cane, had tasted of the imperial, free-grown, beetroot 
sugar. One may imagine the blow it was to him. That 
with which wicked newspapers had so often threatened him 
the hideous nightmare had sprung into veritable exist- 
ence ; and that which endangered his wealth had traversed 
the ocean to meet his lips in mockery, and must, indeed, 

have tasted to him most bitter. Gr was so skilful in 

his business that his eye at once perceived the difference, 
and his taste was equally discriminating. He confessed 
to us afterwards that this was the first time that he had 
ever tasted the imitation article of civilised life; he 
thought our beetroot sugar very white, and was aston- 
ished at the small size of the powder. Monsieur Alex- 
andre le Clerc, our cook, or rather Maitre de bouche, 
proved himself a great rogue for having provided this 
dish of beetroot sugar expressly as a satire on Gr . 

During lunch our steamer glided quietly over the 
broad, beautiful bay, past the enchanting islands of Santa 



240 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Barbara and San Roque. The dazzling mirror of the 
sea was continually traversed by gay canoes and larger 
boats. The soft, blue lines of the coast drew nearer ; the 
undefined colours of the distant prospect changed their 
misty hues for an ever-brightening green, the unceasing 
spring attire of the tropics ; a small hamlet amid gently 
waving palms, gleamed on the lagoon, reminding one of 
the island of Lido at Venice. On the south and west the 
lines of coast extended to the horizon, our steamer passed 
in safety the bar so much dreaded by the captain on 
account of the shallowness of the water at ebb tide, and 
we gaily entered the mouth of the great river, the grand 
Paraguasu. 

These bars play a sad part in the history of Brazilian 
rivers, and prevent their navigation by large vessels, so 
necessary for the development of the country. What the 
bars are to the rivers, so are the rocks, or rather reefs, to 
the coasts of the empire. A line of breakers runs uninter- 
ruptedly along the coast at a little distance from the shore, 
leaving only in some few places narrow, and unfortunately 
too often but shallow, passages to the excellent and well- 
protected harbours. The extensive view of the immense 
bay, bounded by a broad bright horizon, vanished gradually 
like a picture on a folding fan, and we were enclosed within 
the banks of the mighty river. We glided tranquilly up 
the wide solitary stream, with its wooded shores, and a 
new and overpowering vision rose before my mind. I was 
sailing upon one of the rivers of America, gigantic in its 
proportions as are her forests. I had dreamed of this 
scene just as it now lay before me. We were moving along 
one of those lonely tracks which lead to the mysterious 
centre of this wondrous continent ; following one of those 
arteries which extend noiselessly from the unexplored, un- 
desecrated interior of the boundless forests to the glad ocean. 

This river, broad as the Danube, with banks verdant as 



BAHIA. 241 

those of the Po, has continued its undisturbed and silent 
flow for thousands of years ; its waters, coloured by rich 
contributions from the primeval forest, have rippled on 
untroubled and noiselessly between their still and lofty 
banks, on which no dwellings smile, no cheerful village 
gives a friendly greeting, but nature in her wild grandeur 
sits enthroned in impenetrable forests, and groups of palms. 
All was a dense mass of green so far as the eye could 
reach ; the imposing uniformity which nature has set, like 
a ponderous seal, upon this land was only broken by the 
palms on the banks, by the crowns of gigantic trees, and 
by some projecting masses of granite. On the waters of 
such a river one cannot feel gay, or in a mood for conver- 
sation. The individual unit becomes dumb before the 
sublimity of nature, and can scarce resist a feeling of 
complete isolation. But the sun was still high in the 
heavens, and where he sheds his golden rays man cannot 
be utterly forsaken by life and warmth. 

We proceeded up the river, filled with these overpower- 
ing emotions excited by nature ; at every fresh turn she 
seemed to admit us into new mysteries. The general 
features of the scene reminded me vividly of the Danube ; 
that river must have presented a similar appearance when 
the Germans first traversed its oak forests, a wild though 
free people. What will be that of the Paraguasu some 
centuries hence, when civilised man, with his levelling 
propensities, shall have hewn down the trees on the banks, 
and have built houses on the bared heights ? 

During the first part of our voyage, the only trace of the 
existence of man consisted of a ruinous granite fort, which 
has remained unused, a pretty ruin, since the days of the 
War of Independence. After we had sailed for some 
distance between two silent banks, the river widened, and 
was broken into various streams by green islands. It was 
a picture such as might be seen in some splendid park, 

VOL. III. R 



242 RECOLLECTIONS OP MY LIFE. 

arranged by a master-hand. The first real sign of life 
gleamed from amid the foliage on the high bank on the 

left; it was the Engenho of Gr , his charming villa 

standing in the centre of his extensive plantations ; below 
it the sugar manufactory appeared from behind the rocks 
immediately on the shore. The situation of the house 
could not have been better chosen ; the rocks, which formed 
a terrace, and were overspread with bright green, rose 
straight from the water. On this natural foundation, and 
commanding the river like a watchtower, stood the pretty 
house, covered with roses and a hundred other flowering 
shrubs. The terrace widened behind, and on each side of 
the house, into a broad, fertile plain, extending to the 
ridge of hills, on which were situated the farm buildings, 
the large garden, the coffee and cotton fields. There were 
some few groups of palms and avenues of jacca near the 
house, and o mato (the Brazilian for the forest) formed an 
impervious boundary to the lovely scene, as it does in every 
part of America. 

The situation of the house recalled the Lake of Como 
to my mind, its form and its large verandah reminded me 
of the east ; but the brilliant light and the bright hues 
of the tropics admit of no comparison with those of other 
places. At the foot of the rocks to the right, as one 
approaches, and in front of the sugar- mill, a sort of harbour 
has been formed, and a wooden quay has been made for 
trading purposes. 

The impression was striking, for we here made ac- 
quaintance with quite a new phase of Brazilian life, 
our notions having been only of the Fazenda and its 
master. 

In silence Gr effected a transformation. He has- 
tened to his harbour in one of the boats of the steamer, 
which had now anchored, in order, as a prince to receive 
a prince in his own barge. It was true that we still had 



BAHIA. 243 

confused notions about the Empire of Brazil, but we 
entered with surprise into the unlimited territories of 

GT , an unfettered, independent prince. On the bank 

all was activity and motion. The stern master had arrived, 
and, with natural pride, wished to have honour done to his 
guests. The negroes pressed forward in gay crowds and 
with joyous expressions ; flags and pendants waved merrily 
in the gentle breeze ; everyone hurried to the quay to 
look at the visitors ; but yet everywhere order prevailed, 
and a certain decorum was maintained by two or three 

unpleasing white figures, who exercised in Gr 's name 

the harsh duties of slave-drivers. 

In a beautiful barge (in which a rich carpet was laid 
down, and which carried the flag of the empire), rowed 
by six stalwart blacks in a rather theatrical costume, we 

w r ere conveyed from the steamer by Gr with the calm 

composure and self-possession of one used to authority. 
A few vigorous strokes of the oars, a graceful turn, and we 
lay alongside the quay, and were received by the white 

members of Gr 's household. To the left of the ascent 

stood the large sugar-mill, which is worked by steam, the 
only factory of the kind in the whole empire ; on the 
right stood a large warehouse for the precious products of 
nature, which were already packed ; it also serves as an 
arsenal for the whole colony, or rather, I should say, for 
the little kingdom. The steep road to the house and 
farm lay between these two buildings. 

Gr took us first to the sugar-mill, a large enclosed 

space. Here the wheels of the engines whirled and clapped, 
the water roared, the boilers hissed and steamed, the over- 
seer shouted his words of command ; the feverish excite- 
ment, the bewildering noise of these modern days of 
steam, prevailed everywhere. Large numbers of negroes, 
chiefly women and children, were divided into gangs ; 
some competent negroes were placed as overseers; the 



244 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

men of the colony were for the most part at work out in 
the fields. As the dog comes fawning to meet his master, 
when expecting either bread or blows from his hand, so 
these negroes grinned at the appearance of their owner. 

G - seems to be very popular with the blacks of all 
ages, who, dressed in light loose gowns, and with a kerchief 
wound round their woolly heads, looked hideously ugly, 
and very like monkeys. Among the young men there 
were some well-set, powerful figures ; but the old men, with 
their short white woolly hair on their little round heads, 
were repulsive. The chocolate-coloured children who were 
grouped round the noisy wheels looked very comical; 
but, droll as they may be, there is something very melan- 
choly in the sight of them, when one reflects that their 
only protection and defence is in the capital that they 
represent. 

The operation of refining sugar is interesting to wit- 
ness. The cane is put up in heaps, and is crushed by the 
machine ; the husk falls on one side, and is used as food 
for the pigs, whilst on the other side the thick syrup 
pours forth in a stream into the boiler. This grey mass 
is then carefully washed, is passed through various ducts of 
water in the building, then heated and boiled so that the 
water may evaporate, and at length a sort of partially 
refined sugar is obtained from the molasses ; but the chief 
refining, and that which gives it its beautiful appearance, 
takes place after it is taken to Europe. 

But Senhor Gr also extracts two injurious articles 

from his canes : rum, and the strong, unwholesome cahaca. 
With this latter he keeps his slaves in good humour. The 
principal power employed in this factory is water power ; 
the splendid stream flows from the neighbouring forest 
through an aqueduct, and even the sound of its cool 
babbling quenches one's thirst. The steam-engine, of 
which the owner is so proud, is only used as an auxiliary. 



BAHIA. 245 

The sugar is packed in the mill, and is either stored in 
the warehouse, or placed by means of a crane on board 
one of the vessels which ply between the Engeuho and 
the seaports of Bahia. The activity, the order, the specu- 
lative talent, the sagacious calculation, all would afford 
pleasure, but for the compulsory labour exacted from the 
negroes. 

We climbed the hill in the scorching heat. The steep 
path was bordered by an avenue of the broad-leaved, 
dark-green bread-fruit tree (artocarpus incisa). On the 
right were the cowsheds, like those in our farmyards ; and 
on the hill were the negroes' cabins, with their little par- 
titions inside ; in front of these walked a large black sow, 
with a dozen of pretty little pigs that seemed to be 
merrily enjoying the pleasures of existence. 

Half-way up we crossed the aqueduct, and saw a 
delightful bath-house with three large marble baths 
overshadowed by cool trees ; a luxury and also a necessity 
which cleanliness demands, and which, to their praise be it 
spoken, one finds in every fazenda in Brazil. 

The Brazilian is generally very cleanly in his habits, 
quite unlike his Portuguese ancestors ; he seldom goes to 
his midday meal without having taken his cold bath ; and 
the custom of bathing is so natural to him, that the first 
offer made to a guest is to conduct him to the bath-house. 
The theory peculiar to the southern countries of Europe, 
that bathing produces fever, is not in vogue here. It 
would appear that this wholesome practice was adopted 
from the Indians, who never partook of a meal without 

first dipping themselves in the river. Why Senhor Gr 

has placed three baths side by side I cannot tell. 

At length, passing a spacious court, we reached the 
house. Traversing a hall in which stood the gilded palan- 
quin of its lord, and mounting a beautiful, antique, wooden 
staircase, we came to a sort of gallery where the palma- 



2i6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

torio before mentioned lay on a prayer-book. From this 
we went into the light, airy verandah, the centre of attrac- 
tion in every Brazilian house. This is a long, lofty 
apartment, resembling a gallery, with a floor of choice 
wood, and with walls painted with some light colour. 
When I use this expression I do so only in a partial sense, 
for the chief charm of the Brazilian verandah consists in 
this, that according to European notions the back wall, so 
to speak, can alone be called a wall, in it are the doors 
of communication with the rest of the house, and also a 
sort of window communication with the kitchen. The 
other three sides consist entirely of large windows, sup- 
ported and divided by wooden pillars, with wooden lattices 
as a protection against the sun, and for the admission of 
fresh air, and supported only at the corners with a small 
portion of the wall-work. Thus, in this delicious, climate, 
where the curse of different seasons does not exist, the 
room is merely an immense sunshade. The fresh air and 
the perfume of the flowers are admitted everywhere, and 
the rippling of the water lulls the soul into pleasant 
dreams. 

If the style of building give one delightful impressions 
of tropical life, these are still enhanced by the comfort of 
all the arrangements within. A light hammock finely 
worked with a gay fringe, and an enticing pillow, is slung 
between pillars, serving as an airy cradle for its occupant ; 
rocking chairs of fine cane stand ready to rock him gently 
in the dolce far niente ; comfortable although uncushioned 
furniture is arranged tastefully in the hall ; in the centre 
is the dining table, continually tempting the guests with 
its dainties. An excellent telescope, and the engravings on 
the wall, chiefly sea-pieces, remind one of the ocean, and 
of Gr 's former profession. One generally finds French 
pictures in the Fazenda, and usually also the portrait of a 
wealthy senator, or of the head of some party. An old piano 



BAHIA. 247 

gave tokens of a dawning love of art, and a large sideboard 
near the glass door through which the dinner was brought 
bore evidence of good living. Some slaves of a higher 
class, dressed in white inexpressibles ' and blue cloth 
spensers, but barefooted, like all of their race, moved to 
and fro in this part of the room, as quietly as cats. 
Everything betokened a well-arranged strictly-ruled estab- 
lishment, abounding in solid luxury. 

The good taste of the owner was proved by the fact 
that everything was adapted to the climate, and that 
there were no useless additions. The Brazilian houses in 
the Mato are suited to the requirements of active life; 
they are spots for repose after a day of labour, and contain 
none of those objects of art or science which excite an 
intellectual mind, and which could only have a troubling 
effect upon one in a primitive life. The house is a 
delightful resting-place, where one can rest almost in the 
freedom of the open air. There is in this arrangement 
something healthful and refreshing, contrasting agreeably 
with the effects of a European house. Our Senhor owns 
many such residences in the coffee and sugar districts 
round Bahia. 

But turning from the apartment to the large window, 
and gazing through it at the prospect, the beautiful 
panorama fills us with surprise. The giant river, its source 
in the mysterious depths of the forest in the far west, 
flows past the rocks on which our verandah is placed, 
calmly and untroubled, on its way to the ocean ; at our feet 
the waters extend themselves into a large, still lake; 
richly wooded islands rise in beauteous forms upon its 
silvery mirror ; the masses of green, ever verdant as in our 
springtime, are only varied by occasional blocks of granite, 
or by the sharply outlined crowns of the palms. No 
human dwelling with its cheerful column of smoke breaks 
in among the green forms of the vast forest, no sail gleams 



248 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

on the distant waters, no sound of life echoes through the 
wide expanse of country. Far as the eye can reach, it meets 
only the majestic repose of nature, except on one spot, 
on the opposite coast, where the outlines of the lonely 
old monastery of St. Francis rise amid the world of green. 
Vegetation is everywhere, and in picturesque forms presses 
down even into the water : it also climbs to our elevated 
verandah, wreathing it with a garland of fragrant roses 
and jasmine. 

I remained in silent delight, in that state of blissful 
peace which nothing but the sublime wonders of God, in 
His world of silent nature, can bestow. I could have 
remained for hours, sunk in reverie, my limbs rocked to 
repose, my heart satisfied, my thoughts wandering to the 

fair and distant horizon. The verandah in Gr 's house 

is a spot that I can never forget : and I shall ever think 
it a proof of good feeling in the owner that he should have 
selected such a spot for the central point of his home. For 
the verandah is the principal apartment of the Brazilian : 
here he eats his meals with his family and guests ; here he 
takes his rest after the fatigues of the scorching day. 

Our party again separated. The botanist and the sports- 
man were struggling through the forest for spoil. Gr 

now invited us to walk round his property. Engaged in 
lively talk, chiefly regarding life in the Fazenda, we 
began with the garden. Here, as in Vittoria, we were 
astonished at the richness of the flowering shrubs. 
Plumiera, lagerstromia, roses, jasmines, and, which was 
the most interesting of all, tall coffee plants in full bloom 
with blossoms white as snow, filled the garden. Two 
humming-birds danced in the air, sucking honey, and 
seeking for midges from the cups of the flowers. The 
botanist was surprised by finding large trees, with long 
eggshaped leaves, and fruit like a palm, with a sour taste : 
he called them Terminalia catalpa. 



BAHIA. 249 

But, with all its wealth of beauty, G 's garden has 

left one painful remembrance behind. Its master showed 
us the famous pimento, a shrub resembling our paprika. 
In my misguided curiosity, I seized one of the scarlet 
fruits which the Brazilians use largely in their dishes, and 
bit off a small piece. Oh ! if I could have foreseen the pain 
it would give me ! A fire had begun in my throat ; only 
small sparks at first, but the glow quickly increased, and it 
burnt wildly, till it made me dizzy, and took away my 
breath. It was one of the most miserable feelings I ever 

experienced. If Senhor Gr had not, with a mischievous 

laugh, offered me a glass of water, I believe my very 
heart would have been burned away. Now at least I 
know that in purgatory there will be American cooking, 
pimento and cashew nuts. 

A gate in the shady garden led into the fields they 
were chiefly cotton fields : in the trees I saw with delight 
how the finest cotton was hanging on the husks; the 
fields and paths were bordered in regular lines with orange 
trees, and various European fruit trees, and the boundaries 
were formed by avenues of jacca. Every part of the 
grounds displayed great order and industry. The extreme 
limit was formed, as usual, by the forest. 

The sun was near setting, and as we were strolling along 
with the master of the place (gaining instruction from his 
industry, and feeling overpowered by the amount of his 
wealth), suddenly a brilliant flock of parroquets whirred 
in the air, as though they had come to scream their fare- 
well to the parting orb of day ; soaring now higher, now 
lower. Pursuit was immediate; the young men came 
panting from all directions with their guns, and delivered 
a fire as though they were in action. But the birds were 
quicker than their pursuers ; and half from fear, half from 
fun, made most graceful evolutions in the air, and a terrible 
noise. They then vanished in the thick crowns of the 



250 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

trees, to escape their persecutors ; but again rose gaily in 
the golden sunbeams, in which their plumage sparkled 
like jewels. A second flock appeared, and now the air was 
filled with them, and their wild shouts of joy resounded 
everywhere. The air seemed to be filled with rockets ; 
but our Nimrods could only fire salvoes, not murderous 
shots. How must the parroquets have laughed in the 
midst of their evening chatter, at the Europeans, who 
might fire at them, but were unable to do them any harm ! 
Some small humming-birds were frightened from the 
crowns of the jaccas, the favourite tree of the Brazilians. 
There should be a strict prohibition against shooting 
this pretty little bird ; as a relic from Paradise, the preser- 
vation of its life should be included among the laws of 
religion. But it would be difficult to control the sports- 
man in the primeval forest. 

The doctor and the botanist made search for rare beetles 
and wasps : but were not more successful than the sports- 
men, and the insects escaped merrily from them. Bevelling 

in the enjoyment of tropical life, I wandered with Gr 

and L beneath the jacca trees (the fruit of which is 

gathered throughout the whole year) to the ruins of a 
little chapel standing on the rocky bank of the river to 
the east of the farm ; it was shaded by palms, and over- 
grown with creepers. 

The sun sank in the depths of the forest, but its last 
beams still painted the broad mirror of the water in purple 
and gold ; cloudless and bright was the sky, far as the 
broad horizon ; the outlines of the silent, uninhabited 
islands were clearly marked ; each palm stood out from the 
background with its feathery crown. Just as the ebb tide 
recedes noiselessly but surely from the sandy shore, so 
did the sunlight little by little fade away from the forest 
and hilly ridges ; the golden hues softly tinged the green 
plains, then rested on the lofty crowns of the palms, yet ere 



BAHIA. 251 

long the golden tints vanished, and twilight shed her mantle 
over the broad plains and vast forest. The river shone like 
silver, every sound was hushed, no oar plashed in the 
waters, no voice of man was heard ; the stars lighted up 
their gleaming rays, but no hut sought to rival them with 
its beaming light. Far as the eye could reach, far as the 
ear could hear, there was no sight or sound of aught to 
make the heart thrill with human woe ; and I was over- 
come with a feeling of the awfulness of the solitude and of 
the desolation of Nature's paradise. I could never have 
supposed that I should have felt such yearning for some- 
thing like home, such oppression amid beautiful and 
magnificent scenes ; and it gave me the key to the sensa- 
tions of weariness common to American life, yet this was 
only the third day of my stay in a continent separated by 
the wide ocean from Europe. 

I gazed for a long time at the water and at the forest, 
and sought again and again for some sign of human life ; 
and again and again my eye fell only on the dimly gleaming 
walls of the distant, solitary monastery. 

Our young sportsmen returned, but without success : 
parroquets and humming-birds had alike escaped the 
dangers of European invaders. In the boughs of the 
jacca tree near the ruins, we found a large nest made by a 
small bird : it looked like a bagpipe filled with air, and 
was formed of thousands of little twigs and broken pieces 
of plants. Some of our party broke off the bough to 
which the nest was attached, and thus bore away the 
curiosity for our museum. 

The Senhor invited us to a repast, in the course of 
which my melancholy was dispelled. A princely table 
was spread in the verandah with every sort of gastronomic 
luxury that Brazilian art could invent. All the dishes 
(and the Brazilians always have a great many) were, 
according to the custom of the country, placed on the 



252 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

table : there were also delicious fruits, from the delicate 
juicy melon to the royal pineapple, and an array of the 
choicest wines. Kespectable-looking slaves of all ages 
(who might vie with any garpon in Paris for skill) were in 
attendance, but, according to the old patriarchal style, it 
was the Senhor himself who, in the pleasantest and most 
amiable manner, really did the honours of the table, and 
who took especial care to refresh the weary traveller with 
large draughts of champagne. It was painful to me to be 

served by him with his own hands, for Gr was no 

longer the little insignificant man that he had appeared to 
us in the morning, but a man of the world, and a personage 
of position and importance. The Brazilian dishes were 
all very delicate and well-prepared, and rendered savoury 
with pimento and all manner of spices ; their strong 
flavour is admirably adapted to the hot and enervating 
climate : the spices are reviving and invigorating. 

The strong point of the Brazilian lies in dressing 
meat and fish, particularly in making savoury ragouts, and 
other dishes of crabs and similar fish. At our luxurious 
banquet of this evening I enjoyed especially a dish of 
minced meat, crab, and other fish flavoured with pimento ; 
also a dish of stewed fresh-water oysters. This fish does 

not naturally thrive in fresh water : near Or 's house it 

is found in the mangle bushes. The tide rises nearly to his 
property, so that the water at this point may be said to be 
brackish. Of this fish is made the most delicious dish that 
I ever tasted in the whole course of my gastronomic ex- 
perience in the two hemispheres, especially when, accord- 
ing to Brazilian custom, it is mixed with roasted farinha. 

The farinha is dry but well tasted, the oysters are juicy, 
so that the two form a combination such as I can recom- 
mend strongly to any connoisseur whom fate may send to 
this country. Farinha plays an important part here : it is 
continually placed on the table in one or two forms. In 



BAHIA. 2.53 

its roasted state it serves as an excellent adjunct to all 
rich dishes, and is especially excellent with pork ; it is also 
made into a jelly, which in my opinion reminds one of 
millet, and has a very insipid taste. In both forms it 
serves in Brazil as a substitute for bread, which is unknown 
at the tables of those who live in the country, and is eaten 
with satisfaction by high and low, rich and poor. It is 
much to be regretted that farinha will not keep long, and 
will not bear a sea voyage ; otherwise, in its dried state, it 
would be a desirable addition in European symposia. 

As there is no bread on the table of a Brazilian, so also 
there are no dishes that require wheat flour; neither is 
there a very good supply of vegetables. However, on this 
occasion, there were two that were interesting to us : yams, 
already spoken of, which to my taste are rather dry and 
insipid ; and a plate of excellent palm-cabbages, a luxu- 
rious dish worthy of Lucullus. In order to place this dish 
on his master's table in mats, the negro must kill at least 
from ten to twelve cabbage palms ; the tender heart in the 
centre of the crown, when boiled, forms this delicious dish. 
But the Brazilians will not be able much longer to indulge 
in this favourite vegetable, which costs them a dozen trees 
on each occasion ; it is a luxury that must die away with 
the progress of colonisation : it has a flavour something 
between asparagus and cauliflower. The negroes, who 
attended admirably upon us, took a secret delight in our 
good appetites, and in our admiration of all that was new 
to us. 

When seated in the cool verandah, at this well spread 
table, Freiligrath's song ' Scipio ' occurred to my mind, 
and as I looked at the Senhor, and then at his head slave, 
with his grey woolly hair, involuntarily I seemed to hear 
the words, 

Massa, du bist sehr reich ! -wer zahlte die Geri elite, 
Womit man dich bedient, den Wein, die saft'^eu Fruclite 



254 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Axis deiner Kiiche tont den ganzer Tag Gerausch, 

Doch ein Gericht, o Herr, fehlt dir dein Mahl zu kronen : 

Kein anderes kommt ihm gleich an Wohlgeschmack ; die Sehnen 

Starkt es ; o ziirne nicht ! ich meine Menschenfleisch ! 

Whilst we were at dinner, the botanist and sportsman 
returned. Their diligence had been rewarded. The bo- 
tanist had, deeper in the forest, found a feather palm with 
large green nuts that hung in clusters, in numbers of from 
forty to fifty, and were of the size of a goose's egg ; but, 
notwithstanding all his wisdom, he could not tell the name 
of the tree ; he also brought a large bromeliacea, the balls 
of which glowed bright red like hot iron. 

The sportsman's bag was well filled : four kinds of 
humming-birds, topaz-coloured, amethyst, and two little 
birds of emerald green ; a small pipra, snow-white, with a 
black head ; parroquets, green, with red wings and yellow 
heads ; love-birds, tiny little things, green, with blue spots 
at the beak and on the tips of the wings (of these last, 

Cadet J killed two with one shot, and, in his pride and 

delight on the occasion, fell into the aqueduct) ; two species 
of snipe, long-beaked and dingy as their European 
brothers ; the female of a wonderful kind of pipra, which 
gleamed with the colours of the tricolor, and a paraoria 
cucullata, grey and white, with a scarlet tuft. They had 
shot a black water-hen with scarlet feet, but had not been 
able to find it ; and had seen a Brazilian witwe, a pretty 
bird with long feathers. The deepening twilight, and the 
restlessness of our captain, compelled us unfortunately to 
return. I cast one more glance over the magnificent 
panorama, so majestic in its repose; and then went down 
to the shore with the rest of our merry party, accompanied 
by our friendly Amphitryon. 

At his arsenal, Gr - showed us a large handsome 
canoe, fifty feet in length, which had been hollowed in 
the Indian manner from the trunk of one immense tree. 



BAHIA. 255 

These canoes are the best and indeed only craft for use on 
the river, which abounds everywhere with dangerous rapids 
and rocks. Twelve persons can be accommodated in one 
of these canoes, by sitting one behind the other : but the 
width is only sufficient for one person, and even he must 
not be very stout. The cost of such a canoe is consider- 
able, for even in the primeval forest there are not many 
trees to be found large enough to make one. 

The inhabitants of the Fazenda crowded down to the 
landing-place to witness the departure of their master's 
guests. We were much struck by only seeing three, or at 
most four, white faces among all this assemblage. The 
entire management of the slaves, and the whole of the 
arrangement of the work of all their families, are 
carried on by two white men. What strength of character 
must not these possess, to be able to keep such a number 
of these dark spirits under control by means of their 
moral influence, which can receive but slight aid from the 
palmatorio and chicoto. Woe to the whites if their black 
brethren should once eat of the tree of knowledge, and 
thus raise themselves to the rank and privileges of thinking 
men ! The black does not know his own power, nor suspect 
the strength given to him by Heaven, fortunately for the 
owners of property here. Emancipation of the negroes, 
and an exertion of self-help on the part of these oppressed 
beings, would ruin all these rich nabobs, for their property 
is only a burden to them, and it would very soon be again 
overgrown by the surrrounding forest. 

Among the dark faces, scarcely to be seen in the twilight, 
I was struck by the appearance of two pretty boys, 
mulattoes, or rather half-castes : they wore fine blue 
spensers, and even shoes. In their chocolate complexions 
I detected a strange mixture of white and black, and 
their shoes afforded me subject for all sorts of speculations. 
If it be that high and low, freedom and slavery, can be 



256 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

united, why should not Senhor Gr have formed such 

ties ? When I, naturally enough, asked the boys about 
their parentage, their answers were rather confused. Such 
mixtures of colour are only too frequent in the fazendas. 
What hideous pages in the history of slavery are opened 
to us in this, that the children of white and black parent- 
age are half slaves, half free, according to the discretion 
of the father and owner ! 

The Senhor accompanied us in his state barge to our 
impatient, snorting steamer ; and then sent us, with patri- 
archal hospitality, an abundance of cocoa-nuts, sugar- 
canes, refined sugar, rum, cahapa, and a bag of farinha 
and fruit from his own gardens. 

With feelings of heartfelt gratitude for the warmth with 
which we had been received, and delighted with the 
interesting scenes which the Fazenda had presented to us, 

we parted from the amiable Gr with cordial farewells. 

If this man had no slaves in the present, and no dark 
story of slavery belonging to the past, I should esteem 
myself fortunate in numbering him among my friends. 

Our steamer pursued her course down the river amid 
the shades of night. The wooded banks on our right and 
left now looked doubly imposing ; brilliant stars shone in 
the firmament ; and when we reached the broad bay the 
moon was already rising from the ocean. A fresh breeze 
blew over the sea, and a heavy dew watered the earth. 
Stretched on a bench on deck, I covered myself with my 
plaid, and half dreaming, half waking, returned, after a 
happy and eventful day, to the seaport. The gravel- 
portion of the party slumbered soundly surrounded by 
their sporting gear, and their rich booty of fruit and 
flowers. The never-wearied youngsters took advantage of 
this moment of freedom (under pretext of scientific ex- 
periments) to begin a mad chase between the decks for 
moths, and for such moths as the most glowing imagi- 



BAHIA. 257 

nation in Europe could not picture. Some of these were 
an inch and a half in length. Fortunately some of them 
were caught for our museum. 

It was not until late in the evening that we returned to 
our secure sea-castle and to our downy beds. 

Bahia: January 14, 1860. 

When travelling, even in a new continent, beneath a 
tropical sun, and in the confines of the primeval forest, 
one must (although possessed of the most eager zeal and 
curiosity as a tourist) have leisure days in which no 
special object presents itself, in which one wanders about 
in town and country : lost days, so to speak, which one 
spends in all sorts of trifling occupations, such as executing 
commissions, making purchases, and strolling about. Yet 
one frequently sees more during these seasons of repose 
than when hurrying to and fro. Such a day was this. 

We began by beating up our quarters in the Hotel 
Fevrier. Our old Frenchman and the talented Monsieur 
Henry had been commissioned to bring some of the curi- 
osities of the country to the hotel, where we could examine 
them closely, and make purchases to take home with us ; 
but what could one take from Brazil ? Art does not flourish 
here ; industry as little ; therefore nature, living or dead, 
must supply the want. If we had wished to follow Bra- 
zilian customs, we should have been tempted to purchase 
slaves, in preference to anything else. Indeed, for a 
moment I had an idea of taking home a little negress as a 
surprise ; but reflecting on the difference of climate, and on 
the sad effect that it might produce on the health of the 
child, I changed my mind. 

My old Frenchman brought me a long list of prices of 
parrots, monkeys, fancy birds, and all sorts of creatures. 
One cannot but be amused in casting one's eye over such 
a list, and thinking of the large prices asked in Europe 

VOL. in. s 



258 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

for such curiosities a green parrot, tame and well-taught, 
for a gulden, and a pretty vistiti for a gulden and a half 
The pipras, with their varied and beautiful colours an( 
charming song, are also very cheap, and may very well be 
brought to Europe, notwithstanding all that is said to th( 
contrary. I bespoke a perfect menagerie, which was to 
ready for shipment by the time of my return to Bahia ; th< 
Frenchman gave me some interesting information respect 
ing all these, animals. Above all, he promised me a tapij 
for our menagerie in Schonbrunn, that fine beast peculiar 
to the Mato Virgem : an alligator was also to be procured 
before our return ; a guati was already named on the list. 
Vistiti were bespoken in considerable numbers, and I was 
fortunate enough to bring home some fine specimens, to 
the great joy of those to whom I gave them ; parrots 
belonging to all the principal species in the district were 
also included. 

I also learned, on this occasion, to correct an error ; 
the word f arras,' familiar in Europe, is not correct. The 
large bird with the beautiful scarlet-and-blue plumage is 
called arra ; its canary-coloured and blue brothers are 
called ararun ; their scientific names are Psittacus macao 
and Psittacus rauna. To this same family also belongs a 
wonderful green bird with red-tipped wings, but the 
original bird of the race is the Psittacus hyacinthinus, 
the largest of its species, with blue plumage, and canary- 
coloured round the eyes and beak ; it is very rare, even in 
the forest, and only some two or three specimens have 
been brought to Europe alive. It is far superior to all 
others in intelligence and docility, and its beauty induced 
the Indians to worship it as a god. All these birds build 
their nests in hollow trunks of trees, and it is very droll 
to see the long tails hanging like a flag from the tree, 
whilst the body is completely hidden. 

According to Brazilian notions, the name ' parrot ' is only 



BAHIA. 259 

properly applied to the green-and-yellow species so com- 
mon in Europe the Psittacus ockrocephalus ; all other 
species are included in the name 'parroquet.' To enume- 
rate all the little birds that belong to the pipra family 
would be impossible; they are of every colour and size. 
The most beautiful, indisputably, are the azulaos, in shape 
like our finches, and of a blue like lapis-lazuli. It is 
always said in Europe (probably from a feeling of envy) 
that all these lovely feathered beings are mute ; but, as I 
have before observed, there are, on the contrary, in Brazil 
many exquisite songsters which are much valued, and for 
which even here one is obliged to give a high price in the 
market. The notes of the American birds are soft and 
delicate, but clear and silvery in tone. There are also 
Brazilian canaries of a bright yellow with dark orange spots 
on the head ; but, like all birds of this species, they moult 
once a year, and then become of a dirty green like our 
siskin ; most of the canary tribe are brown in colour. 

Henry brought some feather-flowers for our inspection, 
but these are very roughly made in Bahia, and only suited 
to the woolly heads of the blacks. We reserved our pur- 
chases in this branch of industry for Rio. Hammocks 
also were offered for sale, but they were only of the coarser 
kind, and were exceedingly dear. 

At length we went through the town down to the street 
on the shore, with the intention of looking at the shops 
ourselves. There we visited the shop of an old French- 
man, who had a large number of insects and stuffed 
animals for sale, and who had really brought his traffic 
in these goods to perfection. Everything here was well- 
arranged ; the animals were in condition for the voyage, 
and chests and boxes were prepared in which to pack 
them. On entering his shop, one might almost have 
fancied himself standing in a jewelled vault, so brilliantly 
did everything around gleam and sparkle. It is only 

s 2 



260 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

in such a place, where there are stuffed humming-birds in 
thousands, that one can, by quiet examination, form an 
idea of their beauty. They possess every shade of colour, 
and a rich brilliance such as one only finds elsewhere in 
polished jewels. What it is that imparts the radiance to 
the feathers is an unsolved mystery ; and one must deem 
it among the greatest of nature's marvels, that these ex- 
quisite colours should be developed with such rapidity, as 
is the case, from an egg of the size of a pea, and containing 
a very fluid yolk. We also saw some fine specimens of 
the woodpecker and thrush, with which Brazil everywhere 
abounds. 

Of mammalia there were very few, as the southern 
continent is deficient in these. The only interesting 
specimen of this class that we found was an armadillo, 
common in all forests a disgusting beast, which must 
have had its origin in the pre- Adamite times, when mons- 
trosities ruled the world : notwithstanding its repulsive 
exterior, the Brazilians eat it with satisfaction. 

Among the insects were many brilliant butterflies and 
curious beetles. A large collection of shells formed an 
object of interest, and even the vegetable world was 
represented by orchid bulbs prepared for travelling. I 
was in my element, but could not enjoy these treasures of 
nature undisturbed ; for an impertinent and inquisitive 
crowd, attracted by our primitive but convenient travelling 
costume, began to besiege the shop in large numbers. 
Now nothing in the world is more painful to me than to 
brt stared at ; the criticising gaze of strange eyes exercises 
a magnetic influence over me, and makes me feel uncom- 
fortable ; and, notwithstanding my Anglomania, I have not 
yet attained the art of receiving this moral cannonade 
with proud composure and impassiveness. 

I left the Frenchman standing in the middle of his 
curiosities, and meanly took to flight, climbed the steep 



BAHIA. 261 

hill, and took refuge within the cool precincts of the hotel, 
where I complained bitterly to its old master. He was 
indignant at the want of courtesy shown by his towns- 
men. 

We had still one other plan for this day. We ordered 
our sailors to bring three tropines to the Tich, that we 
might traverse its waters. But here an explanation of 
the tropine is necessary, in order to make the feasibility 
of our undertaking clear. The tropine is used at home 
on our beautiful and interesting Marenta, and serves the 
people who live on its banks as a means of communication 
upon the river, and in the canals branching from it. It is 
the very smallest boat that can be constructed ; one inch 
smaller or lower, and the man in it must sink. The tropine 
is made of the slightest planks possible, is easily carried, 
and is most convenient for use if one but know how to sit 
still, and possess the art of guiding it ; but a violent 
breeze, or the slightest motion of the body, suffices to 
make the tropine till with water, and to lead to an inevi- 
table upset. To travel in a tropine is certainly venture- 
some, but he who ventures wins ; and when once master 
of it, one has the advantage of being able to go any- 
where where there is water; the narrowest passage, the 
most shallow river, becomes navigable, and he who 
possesses the art of sitting still may pursue his way very 
comfortably ; with his double paddle, he can speed quickly 
over the mirror of the water, and has space in his tiny 
craft for his gun, his ammunition, and his game. 

I saw this pretty little boat for the first time in the 
autumn of 1853, when I anchored in the corvette 'Minerva' 
at Kleck ; I purchased one, and took it to Trieste. As 
time is required for the development of whatever is good, 
so years passed on before anyone paid any attention to 
this invention. However, all at once, several tropines 
made their appearance ; they were to be seen traversing 



262 EECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the roads of Trieste, flying down the Canal Grande ; the 
admirable idea was adopted, and the pretty tropine 
became the fashion. Improvements were made in 
its construction, and a graceful appearance given to it. 
Everyone now was eager to possess a tropine no one 
could be content without ; the Saxenburg Lake was 
covered with boats, and the astonished Viennese beheld 
even the court-ladies with their immense crinolines tra- 
velling over the brown mud. The tropines were sent to 
all the Italian lakes, and no wealthy Englishman or 
American thought of leaving Venice without taking one 
home with him ; this southern invention even found its 
way to the lakes of the Alps. All hail to the tropine ! 
But history has not yet disclosed to us how many colds and 
fevers have been the result of the use of these graceful 
boats. It was exactly suited to our present excursion. 

After partaking of some refreshments, we once more 
mounted the caleche with its four snorting steeds, and 
drove along the familiar road to the Tich. In gay spirits, 
and fearing no evil, we were traversing the lively streets, 
when suddenly, near Vittoria (just at the spot by the 
fort where is the beautiful prospect over the green valley), 
we perceived the botanist and sportsman, who had hurried 
in advance on foot, engaged in a warm argument with a 
mean-looking person in the dress of a civilian. I imme- 
diately augured no good ; a mouchard is easily distin- 
guished from other people, even beneath the hot sun of 
the tropics. When our annoyed countrymen perceived 
our four horses galloping towards them, the sportsman 
shouted with all his might to our black driver. I gave 
orders to stop, and now the mouchard, though burning with 
anger, began, in a state of the greatest excitement, to ask 
us for our firearms and ammunition. His dispute with our 
sportsman had threatened to proceed to extremities. In 
his nasal Portuguese, which sounded ten times more ludi- 



BAHIA. 263 

crous when uttered at this high pitch, he tried to make us 
understand that there was a prohibition against carrying 
firearms without the permission of the President. Some 
of the servants flew into a passion, and said the man was 
insulting us, which ought not to be allowed ; the sportsman 
snorted with rage the botanist began to philosophise 
about Brazilian civilisation. I took out my ' London- 
smoke' spectacles, and looked at the fellow for a long 
time with German composure and calm, which seemed to 
disconcert him completely. After I had shown him that 
he could not succeed in disturbing my equanimity, I 
quieted my own people, and told him that law certainly 
was law, be it ever so senseless or uncourteous, and that 
everyone was bound to submit to give an explanation of 
the facts of the case. 

Three points presented themselves to my mind. First, 
that the Brazilian order did not apply to the present 
circumstances ; for in those pails in which the forest 
extends to the town, and the monkeys come to pay visits 
to the palace of the governor, the arms of every free- 
man are required for defence and for the chase. Secondly, 
that the institution of the police had found its way from 
across the ocean, and therefore there need be no 
alarm. Thirdly, that this proceeding was a mean trick 
played upon us by the piqued authorities ; they plainly 
could not forgive us that, on a point of etiquette, we had 
ignored them, and that they had not found us on board 
the ' Elizabeth ' on the first day. This measure was plainly 
one of petty revenge, for we had already been going in all 
directions for three days quite unmolested ; and it was no 
secret fron anyone in Bahia.who were the four men, in a 
peculiar dress, who drove about the town with four horses ; 
the narrow passage by the fort had not been unintention- 
ally selected as the post of the mouchard. 

As neither our Consul nor a native interpreter was with 



264 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

us, and as I did not desire to enter into a longer dis- 
cussion with this ignoble placeman of the tropical empire, 
I gave orders that the arms should be delivered to him, 
once more took measure of the excited mannikin through 
my ' London-smoke ; ' and with a benign smile, as a proof 
of our entire submission, offered him our butterfly-nets, as 
being most dangerous and illegal weapons within the realm 
of the democratic empire. The worthy looked ready to 
burst with passion, and the people, who had assembled 
round us, chuckled with delight at this acknowledgment 
by Europeans of American laws. We had the laugh 
on our side, and the foreign mouchard, who had ap- 
parently calculated upon resistance, went away amid jeers 
and jokes. 

As there are differences between continents, so also there 
exists a feeling of continental patriotism ; and I was really 
annoyed that, during this argument, a hot-blooded Italian 
entered into the dispute, and unasked, and with ex- 
pressions of the greatest indignation, took upon himself to 
act as our partisan. He even accompanied the mouchard, 
who, with the sportsman and the corpus delicti, proceeded 
before the imperial authorities. This solemn promenade 
occupied three hours and a half; but the official intelli- 
gence reached the Great Mogul earlier than he expected, 
or than perhaps he desired : for in the course of the day I 
sent the youngest officer of our vessel to the President, 
desiring him not so much to express my surprise at the 
circumstance, as to demand why we had not been made 
acquainted with this law earlier, and why the necessary 
permission had not been sent to us, when we had already 
passed through the imperial arsenal several times, carrying 
our firearms? At the same time, I ordered that he should 
be informed of my intention to acquaint the Emperor with 
my astonishment at what had passed. This had an electrical 
effect ; the Great Mogul laid aside his dignity and his plans 






BAHIA. 265 

of revenge together, and made the most ample apologies. 
Poor mouchard ! 

We drove to the Frenchman's house, laughing heartily 
over the whole affair. The botanist accompanied us in the 
carriage. 

Our party again separated. The painter found a beau- 
tiful little spot, surrounded by arums and bananas, under a 
tree, where he could exercise his art in peace ; the doctor 
kept him company, enjoying the stillness of tropical life ; 
and both, together with an old negro whom we had hired 
for the day for fifty kreuzers, kept watch over the pro- 
visions which kindness and liberality had provided for us. 

T , the botanist, and I went to the shore to seek 

for our tropines. We shouted loudly, but no one replied ; 
the sailors had evidently passed : at length we found our 
three boats among some water-plants in a secluded creek. 
A little instruction in the management of the tropine 
was given to the botanist, who was courageously occupying 
one for the first time ; and then forth darted the three 
swans, with the speed of an arrow, into the sunlit flood. It 
was indeed delightful to glide over the broad glassy mirror, 
we the only travellers on the waters of the vast, gorgeous 
lake. The tropine gives one a feeling of free inde- 
pendence ; one sits there alone and undisturbed, ruling the 
watery element. Except in such a boat as this, it would 
be impossible to see the individual beauties of the Tich. 

Viewed from the lake, the whole prospect was much 
grander and more interesting than when seen from isolated 
points on the shore. The outlines appeared more beautiful, 
the deep creeks doubly enticing, the hills surrounding the 
unequalled panorama more rounded, the expanse of water 
larger, and its various branches, overshadowed by the rich 
vegetation on the banks, became more plainly visible. 
Everywhere this vegetation grew to the very brink of the 
water, where it joined the aroidea, canea, and waterlilies. 



266 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

Amid all the monotony of these masses of green, there was 
such a variety of shade and form, such powerful contrast 
between the deep shadows and the brilliant sunlight, that 
the eye could not become weary. Besides, in these lay 
a grandeur peculiar to nature in the tropics. Man, in 
his lonely palm-huts, appears only an object accidentally 
placed in the landscape. 

After crossing the broad plain a few times, and discover- 
ing how one creek ofter another disclosed itself, like fairy 
visions in a dream, I began to follow the windings of the 
shore, keeping close to the bank, and gliding beneath the 
drooping foliage of the overhanging trees, through the 
narrow passes between lianas and mangle-bushes. We 
were often completely hidden in the leafy grottoes, and 
stopped to rest beneath shady boughs, with no eye to see 
us save those of the flowers. In these secluded spots one 
might fancy himself within the regions of enchantment: 
below, was the clear water rippling around the tiny bark ; 
overhead, were the waving branches of the palm, or the 
drooping boughs of a wide-spreading ficus ; while the 
golden sunbeams strayed between the feathered foliage of 
the palm, and gleamed upon the leaves of the ficus. 
Orchids and Bromeliacea dipped into the lake, and around 
the little boat the large leaves of the giant aninga fluttered 
with a fan-like movement. Mangle-roots either rose like 
natural columns, or were interlaced like lattices, around 
which twined the tendrils of the lianas ; brilliant insects 
flew hither and thither among the shady groves, dragon- 
flies circled over the cool waters, whilst ever and anon 
some rare bird would rise from its nest into the air. 

I could not tear myself from these scenes of still life, 
and whenever I perceived such, I immediately guided my 
little bark thither. I discovered several inlets so richly 
endowed by nature with a profusion of vegetation, that it 
seemed to me that the heart of man could dream of 



BAHIA. 267 

nothing more delightful than to build a house in such a 
spot, on the verge of this lonely lake ; but the Bahians 
have no taste for these beauties of nature. 

With the exception of a few miserable negro-huts, I 
found no human dwellings on the shores of the lake ; 
indeed, the majority of the inhabitants of Bahia have never 
even seen the Tich. Money, and the means of increasing 
it, may be needed in this land, but no addition is wanted 
to the splendour of nature. 

The Tich lay in the calm repose of noon : not a sound 
was to be heard, save the splashing of the washerwomen, 
and an occasional exclamation of surprise from the black 
labourers on the banks at the sight of our tropines ; or, if 
we approached any spot where the hideous women were 
employed with their washing, they would begin to chatter 
with delight, and to laugh at the unexpected apparitions, 
which also caused great delight and excitement among 
some negro boys and girls the former of whom swam as 
boldly as fishes, whilst the latter bathed their pretty, 
dusky forms more timidly. The daring of the boys con- 
vinced me that the alligators cannot here be so ferocious 
and dangerous as was said. 

As we advanced into the more open portion of the lake, 
the view was enchanting, but the heat most intense. I had 
been thoughtless enough to shorten my trousers (which 
were of white linen) to the knee; and my bared legs 
received so severe a sunstroke, that I suffered very much 
from it for a long time afterwards, and for a year the 
spots on which the sun had struck with the greatest force 
were as brown as though I were a gipsy. It was true that I 
felt pain during our expedition, and a burning like fire, 
but I was too much interested to pay any heed to it. The 
sun in this tropic is not so dangerous as in the South of 
Europe or in the East, because it is frequently clouded 
over ; yet it is very necessary to protect oneself from it ; for 



268 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

where it shines it does so with great power, and it is 
prudent to follow the maxims of the wise Orientals, and 
defend oneself from its beams by thick covering. 

We sometimes regretted that the over- watchful eye of 
the law had deprived us of our guns on this day's excur- 
sion ; for, besides various species of prettily- coloured pipra, 
we saw some curious water-birds among them a peculiarly 
large kingfisher (Ceryle torquata), like- our kingfisher in 
shape, but as large as a wild duck, with bright-blue back, 
reddish-brown breast, and white throat its head covered 
with a long dark plume. As is always the case when one 
has no gun, the birds perceived the want, and at every turn 
of the creek, from behind every bush, they continually re- 
appeared. 

The botanist was in ecstasies ; the tropine was a godsend 
to him ; notwithstanding the alligators he could make his 
way everywhere, and the boat served him also as a recep- 
tacle for his collections, which he was usually obliged to 
carry in his tin box, or even upon his back. But he was 
not always quite successful in the management of his boat. 
As an old gentleman who has an attack of paralysis has 
not full command over his powers, but must leave his 
limbs to their own discretion, so was it continually with 
the man of science : some rare plant enticed him to turn 
to the right ; he became eager, and a false pull at the 
paddle turned the tropine to the left. . I was therefore 
obliged constantly to come to the rescue. 

The disciple of nature received from my hands, with deep 
emotion and sparkling eyes, the large fruit of an aninga, 
which, with no small trouble, I succeeded in obtaining for 
our respected superintendent of gardens Schott. If I had 
presented the botanist with a nugget of Californian gold, I 
do not think he would have felt such delight as at this 
fulfilment of his most earnest wishes ; and as for the last 
three days he had viewed the mere plant with heartfelt joy, 



BAHIA. 269 

the obtaining of this large specimen of the fruit formed the 
crowning-point of his boldest aspirations. The Montri- 
chardia (aninga) with its ivory-white stem, its large heart- 
shaped leaves, its yellow blossoms, and its fruit, resembling 
the pine-apple, has long been known to scientific men, but 
no living specimen has ever been brought into Europe. 

Among the aningas we found shrubs of Anona palu- 
dosa, with dark-green leaves like the camelia ; the fruit is 
much smaller than that of the common pine-apple, and is 
not palatable. On the edge of the lake were also a com- 
bretum with lovely red flowers, and a schrankia, resembling 
the Mimosa pudica, with delicate pink blossoms. Here 
and there an exquisite waterliiy lay extended, rising from 
the depths of the lake, and its white flowers and large 
red-veined leaves floating on the surface of the water. 

I was still buried in foliage, when I heard T ex- 
claim from the centre of the lake. I glided quickly 
from my lurking-place, and distinctly saw him shoot down 
the lake, after some object, with all the speed and skill of 
a practised sailor ; a few quick strong strokes, and I was 
near him. He called out to me that he had seen some- 
thing swimming in the water, which, owing to his being 
short-sighted, he took for an alligator. What joy ! the 
animal was still free : now I perceived that he was making 
attempts to catch some object with his paddle, and very 
soon he triumphantly raised aloft on this paddle a long 
hideous snake, and thoughtfully threw it into the forepart 
of his tropine, maintaining that the creature was dead, 
although I warned him, and drew his attention to its known 
tenacity of life and to its poisonous teeth. 

The horror that I have of snakes is, as with most men, 
invincible. Whether this arises from the ideas associated 
with it in my mind, or from mesmeric causes, I do not 
know ; but its restless creeping, its long smooth body, its 
icy skin, its hissing noise, the spreading of its head, and 



270 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

nervous motion of its cloven tongue all these give me a 
cold shudder. A greeting from such a form must have 
been repugnant from the beginning, and one cannot com- 
prehend how Adam, or rather Eve, could have allowed 
herself to be tempted by a serpent. However, the serpent 
would appear to have had a totally different nature at the 
beginning, otherwise how could this be recorded in the 
Bible : ' Be ye wise as serpents/ a characteristic which, in 
modern times, we attribute to the fox. Cleopatra, daughter 
of wisdom, far surpassing our first mother in civilisation, 
knew how to form a just estimate of the serpent ; this 
queen of life and love caused the treacherous poisonous 
animal to be brought to her concealed in a basket of 
fragrant flowers, and covered with delicious buds, in order 
by its bite to find death amid sweet perfumes. 

The horrid creature that T drew out of the water 

was certainly a fathom in length, if not more, light-brown 
with black spots, and must, from what the people said, 
have been poisonous. What I foresaw took place : after 
a little while the warm rays of the sun revived the snake, 
which was only numbed : it began to move, and suddenly 

it hissed, and raised its head at T , between whose feet 

it was lying in the boat. A few inches, and the poisonous 
fangs would have seized the bold fellow ; his position was 
an anxious and a critical one ; ninety-nine men out of a 
hundred would have precipitated themselves into the 

water. But T , endowed with rare courage, did not 

for a moment lose the presence of mind so necessary in 
foreign travel ; he took a steady aim with his paddle, that 
he might crush the head of his foe. We had hastened to 
his aid, and the botanist was already so much at home on 
the water that he inflicted several blows on the reptile. 
At length he was really dead, and was carried off as a 
trophy. In such moments as these, a man shows of what 
he is really made, and the coolness, composure, and 



BAHIA. 271 

presence of mind displayed by T , filled me with 

astonishment. 

The sun and long paddling tried us ; and as soon as we 
had explored the whole of the lake, we returned to the 
quiet creek around which the aroidea and bananas grew, and 
ran our tropines on land, at the spot where the painter 
and doctor had remained. Here a large tree afforded us 
most agreeable shelter ; and, spreading our plaids on the 
grass, we rested amid luxuriant plants. The painter had 
been diligent, and had made a lovely sketch. The spot 
on which we found ourselves was well chosen. Bordered 
in the background and on the right by the forest, the 
ground before us (the sun shining full upon it) fell in 
gentle undulations to the lake : these, partly cultivated, 
partly covered with turf, or with groups of green bananas, 
offered a pleasing variety to the eye. The bank was 
fringed with the choicest plants ; the lake glowed like 
molten metal in the noonday sun, till it was lost in the 
soft outline of the distant creeks. On the opposite bank 
rose the ridge of hill, richly covered with masses of wood 
presenting beautiful lights and shadows ; whilst some 
single giant palms rose on the loftiest point against the 
deep-blue sky. No park in the world could present so 
fair a picture, and the unbroken repose was in harmony 
with the scene. The surgeon had been dreaming away the 
hours on the turf, calmly philosophising in a reverie of 
enjoyment: the negro whom we had hired stood still in 
the cool shades, and occupied himself in wondering at the 
doings of his masters. 

A ' dejeune a la Friihstiick,' as history calls it, was 
spread to refresh our exhausted frames ; excellent salmon, 
well-seasoned pates de foie gras, and a magnificent pine- 
apple, formed a very invigorating repast. The company 
were all exceedingly lively and merry. The negro also had 
his share, after bringing us some deliciously cool water 
from a neighbouring spring. 



272 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

It was with some astonishment that I saw skeleton 
heads of cattle raised on long poles in the fields near us. 
on which were some negro dwellings. They may have 
been scarecrows, but I am inclined to think that they 
were traditionary relics of the Fetish worship on the 
other side of the Atlantic ; which survives strangely and 
silently among the imported negroes, and preserves a 
mysterious bond between them. 

After we had finished our meal, and were revived by 
rest, we turned our steps towards the beautiful forest, from 
which resounded a long shrill whistle, such as one hears 
on the railway ; three times these strange tones are heard 
in the tropical forest at early morning, at noon, and 
eveningtide. We called this the ' noonday train.' The 
creature that heaves these long sad sighs is the Cicada 
manifera, never seen, and never to be discovered ; it gives 
its regular and unerring signal, which echoes through the 
forest, and troubles the silent air by its harsh discordant 
tones. Nothing is to be seen, nothing is audible : not a 
bough stirs, not a leaf moves ; yet, on a sudden, the shrill 
whistle resounds, now close to one's ear, now in the far 
distance like a watchman's call : the stillness of morning, 
in which even the hum of insects is scarce heard, is at an 
end, and in every variety of tone a gladsome lay is poured 
forth, to greet the sun as he rises to the zenith. The long 
cry is followed by tones like the notes of an instrument ; 
these increase into a melody, until in full accord bursts 
forth the volume of sound that fills the halls of the grand 
dome of nature. The effect is overpowering. Man has 
felt himself isolated amid the solemn beauty of the vege- 
table world, and has wandered in silent awe amid its 
splendours, when lo! on all sides unseen minstrels pour 
forth their lays ! The fragrant forest, the mysterious 
shades, beneath which strange plants took their midday 
repose, and above all, this wondrous harmony, awakened 



BAHIA. 273 

again within my breast the rapture of admiration which 
had made me happy from the first moment in which I 
had placed my foot on the new continent. Hours of 
enchantment such as these I had indeed occasionally ex- 
perienced before, but never in such perfection. 

As I wandered through these verdant halls of nature, 
visions of former travel passed before my mind, and I came 
to the conclusion that he who admires nature should be- 
hold three grand scenes, in order truly to know what there 
is of sublime upon earth : namely, an early morning in the 
Alps, amid the clear atmosphere of one of their mountain- 
chains, far from the noise of the world, surrounded by the 
splendour presented by the flora of the Alps by the deep- 
blue gentian, the lovely Alpine rose, by pansies and forget- 
me-nots, by pinks and violets a morning in which the rays 
of light beam forth, before which the silvery stars pale one 
by one, before which the mists of the valley roll away, 
while the eastern glow deepens, the glaciers and snow- 
drifts sprkle in the rosy dawn, and the boughs of the fir- 
trees rustle, when suddenly the sun bursts forth above the 
giant mountains, shedding his beams (like glad tidings of 
joy) over the green valleys and gleaming lakes ; while from 
every hollow rises the grateful cry of birds, the gladsome 
sound of matin-bells. Next, the hot noonday in the para- 
dise of the tropics, with its wealth of fragrance and of 
colour, of life and sound, its joyousness of existence 
awakened by the culminating sun, and kindling a feeling 
of gratitude, as it ever does within my breast. Again, and 
lastly, an evening in the desert, when the fiery ball dis- 
appears beneath the vast horizon below a glowing sea of 
sand, when the sky is clothed in purple, and the broad 
plain in gold and silver sheen, when the tints gradually 
fade, when the firmament becomes clear as a diamond, 
when the circling vultures float through the shimmering 
air, when the camel moves along like a phantom, a 

VOL. III. T 



274 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

wandering ghost, when the faithful turn towards Mecca 
and chant their monotonous hymn, when the star of the 
east sheds its light in the deep-blue sky, when a cool 
breeze, the balsam of the night, sighs with reviving breath 
over the gleaming sand, and when the moon, rising at first 
in giant form, shines bright and full in the holy east. To 
him who has beheld these three scenes the worship of 
nature is no longer merely permissible, it has become his 
bounden duty. 

To-day we found a very fine specimen of the ficus 
dolearia ; the stem is tall and strong, as with all tropical 
trees, the large crown so covered with a world of parasites 
that one can scarcely distinguish the form of its leaves ; 
the large gnarled roots rise above the ground and join the 
stem: from these the settlers make wheels, and cut excel- 
lent planks. I have never before seen anything like it in 
nature ; it is the strangest thing that meets the eye, and 
looks as though made expressly for the service of man. It 
is impossible for people in Europe to form an* idea of 
such wonders of nature ; for what are here large trees, are, 
in the specimens in our hothouses, mere petty plants. 

We were fortunate to-day in our discoveries of plants ; 
we proceeded more systematically ; the botanist had par- 
tially recovered from his first excitement, which had pre- 
vented him from distinguishing accurately the trees of the 
forest. He began to introduce some plan into his in- 
vestigations ; in arranging the various families, the names 
suggested themselves, and each individual plant became 
familiar. Among those which we particularly noticed 
to-day was a large buhinia, one of the immense lianas 
of South America, of which we afterwards saw beautiful 
specimens in the primeval forest. 

Among the aroidea we found the moncterea with its 
symmetrical dark green leaves and large white blos- 
soms. These leaves, which are notched as though cut 



BAHIA. 275 

with a penknife, have so peculiar an appearance, that one 
is tempted to believe that Nature created them as a 
fantastic ornament. We also found the philodendron 
pedatum, with its slender leaves and long roots, which are 
as smooth and bare as the cable of a vessel hung from tree 
to tree, from bough to bough together with anthuria, 
some with pointed, some with heart-shaped leaves, true 
fairy forms of luxuriant nature. 

If science should ever advance into America (which 
will not be for some time to come), she will find a pro- 
fusion of models for ornamentation, which will leave the 
acanthus leaf far behind. Here were grasses of different 
kinds, the blades of which were so fine and sharp that one 
could not pluck them with the hand also grasses growing 
from one to three feet in height, which would be lovely 
ornaments in a winter garden. There were also in the 
forest some of a species of palm called desmonus, with a 
fragile, thorny stem ; the fan-like crown feathery, and the 
leaves te/minating in split points like whip-lashes ; the 
fan also has hooks at the extremity, alike dangerous to 
one's skin and one's clothes. We also found, here and there, 
a morsea with light-blue blossoms like those of the iris. 

Botanising as we proceeded, we arrived at the opposite 
extreme of the forest, and at the mill. We traversed the 
fresh fragrant meadows by the side of the peaceful stream, 
went round the hill, and came to a long, large, marshy, 
grass plain, forming a pretty valley between the forest and 
the wooded declivity opposite, and extending to the house 
of the Frenchman. Notwithstanding the scorching heat 
of the sun, the grass in the meadows was as fresh and 
bright as with us in May, and the entire of the wooded 
valley, with its calm, its sweet repose, had the peaceful 
character of our native country ; we might have fancied 
ourselves in Germany on some open spot in a large forest, 
on the boundaries of some ancient chase. The principal 

T2 



276 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

forms, and indeed the prevailing tone of colour, was Euro- 
pean ; the palms alone, and the deep shadows, recalled our 
thoughts to the tropical world. 

I had often formerly tried to paint in fancy the splen- 
dour of the equatorial regions ; I had made some approach 
in my imagination to the luxuriance of plants and blossoms ; 
but that such beautifully green meadows could exist 
beneath the burning heat of a sun that never becomes 
less scorching throughout the whole year, was to me quite 
a new discovery, and can only be explained by the vigour 
of the virgin soil and the moisture produced by the vege- 
tation itself. 

Beside a stream which we found in the meadows, we 
again met some Brazilians ; merry-hearted negro maidens 
were busied with their washing, and were joking and 
chattering on the bank ; they amiabty presented us tired 
wanderers with draughts of fresh water in their calabashes. 
Loose horses and mules were galloping about the meadows, 
and were so erratic in their movements, that in avoiding 
the swampy ground we came into uncomfortable proximity 
.to them, and could only proceed on our way by paying the 
greatest respect to their rights of freedom. In the marshes 
we found some beautiful light-blue angelonia,and some very 
interesting insects, which were disporting themselves in 
the grass. 

The sun was so strong (although not hotter than with us 
in the dog days) and we were so tired, that, forcing our way 
through everything, we took refuge in a thick part of the 
forest, to stretch ourselves like heated dogs after a day's 
hunting. It was the first time that I had really felt the 
full strength of tropical heat ; even among the shades in 
which we were lying it was very enervating. The ex- 
pression ' as hot as a baker's oven ' would be correct. In 
Egypt and Syria, where the sun strikes upon sand and 
bare rock, the heat is dry, but here it rather reminds one 



BAHIA. 277 

of a hothouse of a high temperature ; there is the same 
scent of moist vegetation. We rested among scitaminea 
and aroidea, damp ferns and herbaceous plants, reposing 
on flowers which would have enraptured a gardener at 
home ; and the leafy dome above us was formed by 
numerous unfamiliar trees, with here and there a grace- 
ful palm. The noisy concert of the birds continued, and 
would have been our cradle song if we had had time to 
lull ourselves to sleep. 

Some of the gentlemen devoured oranges that they had 
brought ; I sent the negro to fetch me some water. The 
poor old man obeyed all the orders of the men, who were 
in his eyes such strange foreigners, with exactness and 
punctuality. We felt ashamed to make this white-haired 
negro toil in the heat for us. Despite our weariness, his 
journeys to and fro gave occasion among us to a dis- 
cussion on slavery, the evil to which one involuntarily 
recurs. By many it is defended as a necessity ; to me the 
sight of our old black was very melancholy. We had hired 
him of his owner for fifty kreuzers ; he was for this day our 
beast of burden, and we had a full right, by law, to do with 
him as we would. He must needs comply with all our 
caprices without murmur or hesitation ; and all that would 
be allowed him would be to thank Heaven, at the close of 
the day, for having sent him kind masters. 

In my opinion there is nothing so bad in society as a 
contract that supersedes free will. No institutions that 
have not free will for their basis can exist for long; they 
must produce wounds that will fester, and consume the 
strength. Even Europe has some similar contracts, which 
have in them too much of moral slavery, and these form 
the bases of discord. With us, at least some form of law 
is found, and such contracts are with us justified by their 
universality and what is termed the common good. 

In this capital military service is required, as in the 



278 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

old continent. I have ever deemed it one of the greatest 
excrescences of our times. But with us at least the lot 
decides who shall serve, and the welfare of the state may 
almost be held as sufficient excuse for inveigling the mass 
of the people out of the best years of their youth. On this 
point England appears to have arrived at a better prin- 
ciple, owing to her natural energetic instincts. And why 
should not the principle of expensive armies be given up, 
and be replaced by an universal Landwehr, established by 
patriotism, and worked by a few skilful and well-educated 
officers? Time and the financial necessities of Europe 
will, sooner or later, form something of this kind from the 
unnatural state of things at present existing. It is one 
of the imperfection^ of men, that they bind themselves to 
the faults of their times, and imagine that things cannot 
be otherwise, and indeed are alarmed at the mere sugges- 
tion of change. 

Another grievance in Europe, reminding one much of 
slavery, is the manufactories. Steam works according to 
mathematical rules, and man becomes secondary ; his ener- 
gies are as limited as the involuntary motion of a shuttle ; 
he is no longer the controlling power ; he is but a stop- 
gap in the great mechanical power, and his intelligence is 
kept down. This is but a refined slavery, a separation 
between the sort of intelligence of the machine, and the 
untutored mass of half-starved subordinates, who transmit 
their curse from generation to generation. But here, at 
least, it is possible to separate, and the power to rise 
exists, even if seldom exercised. This power is completely 
absent among slaves, and herein lies the germ of destruc- 
tion. 

When we had refreshed our wearied spirits with some 
oranges, I offered the poor old negro my snuff-box to 
cheer his heart. It was strange to see the astonishment 
and uneasiness with which he received an act of kindness, 



BAHIA. 279 

such as probably had never been shown to him before : 
after hesitating for some time, he took the box, and 
seemed much revived and rejoiced by his prize. 

Whilst thus resting, we suddenly heard a cry in the 
forest ; the voice sounded familiar. The botanist shouted 
in return, to give notice of the direction of our retreat ; 
the branches and lianas were parted, and the sportsman 
appeared with his gun on his shoulder. We rose and pro- 
ceeded to the edge of the forest, and along a well-beaten 
path, to the declivity on which stood the charming villa 
of the Frenchman. It was the most perfect, park-like 
road imaginable, winding and shady. In one of the bushes 
we found a pretty little nest, with two eggs buried in the 
down ; we were barbarous enough to take it with us for 
our collection. 

To us accustomed to the regular succession of the 
seasons in Europe, it seems strange, that in the tropics, 
the birds should build their nests throughout the whole 
year, that their song should never cease, and that flowers 
also should be ever in bloom, fruit ever ripe. This disre- 
gard of seasons exists in everything all blooms and ripens 
according to its own sweet will. In our country man 
alone possesses this privilege, because he can warm and 
clothe himself, and hence he fancies himself the lord of 
the creation. Here, in Nature's home, he ceases to be 
supreme, and must share his privileges with all around 
him. Thus the tropics bear some resemblance to Para- 
dise, and Adam is as suited as in ancient times to the 
verdure around him. Why did he ever seek for colder 
climes ? Why did pride make him desire raiment ? 

The road and valley led to a steep hill, which, owing to 
the loftily situated house and some care bestowed on the 
ground, had an appearance of civilisation. Here man had 
really laboured to some purpose. Yams and cotton trees 
were planted in regular rows over a portion of the ground, 



280 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and presented that park-like aspect that the English so 
well know how to create ; so that one does not know 
where art ends and nature begins, beauty and utility are 
so artistically combined. The owner of this villa is a man 
of taste, as one may see at the first glance ; he has pre- 
served all the large trees and has followed the soft and 
beautiful outlines of nature. He has also improved nature 
by planting flowers and rare and fragrant shrubs around 
his house, has strewn buds and perfumes over his daily 
existence, has wisely retained the view over the valley and 
towards the hills, and has advantageously made use of the 
swampy meadow. 

A man with a long dark beard and a straw hat was at 
work in the field ; he was likewise a Frenchman, a genu- 
ine strong-built son of the Faubourg S. Antoine, appa- 
rently tamed here by hunger and tropical heat. There 
was a peculiar interest in seeing such a figure on this side 
of the ocean, and in imagining the circumstances which 
had combined to bring such an one, whether voluntarily 
or not, to a resolution to emigrate. His blue blouse, his 
stern, dark features, plainly indicated him to be a ( cha- 
racter ' in the most literal sense of the word. His coun- 
tenance wore no expression of cheerfulness or happiness ; 
but was that of one who has learned the necessity of 
labour. The sight of Europeans was evidently a pleasure 
to him ; possibly it reminded him of his loved Paris, and 
of the bustling streets of that gay metropolis of the world. 
And what could have been the crime which had stamped 
his character upon him, and had driven him across the 
salt ocean to sun-scorched Brazil ? Born in a wild dis- 
trict, brought up in godlessness and ignorance, grown to 
man's estate amid cries in favour of the restored republic, 
perhaps he forgot himself, and, in some hour of want 
and excitement, shouted ' Vive la Republique ! ' in the 
Champs Elysees or on the Boulevard des Italiens. Poor 



BAHIA. 281 

man! He greeted us in a friendly manner, said a few 
words, and returned to his work. 

We climbed the hill, which was very pretty, and from 
which the prospect was fine. The broad expanse along 
which the road wound was shaded by a great number of 
large jaccazeiros trees. Their giant stems rose like steps 
of a ladder against the hill. The moist ground was 
covered with ferns and low underwood ; only some occa- 
sional sunbeams broke through the leafy roof, and trem- 
bled on the verdant carpet below. Above, in the crowns, 
waved the bright green tilandsia, that wondrous plant, 
which scarce touches the boughs over which it droops, and 
which finds in the humid atmosphere sufficient nourish- 
ment for its splendid blossoms. 

This sight possessed such attractions for the botanist, 
that he could not resist the temptation of trying whether 
something of the monkey nature were not in his compo- 
sition, as, only a few hours before, he had displayed his 
amphibious powers so well. Providence seemed to have 
formed him to live in the forest, and to have decreed 
that the efforts made by his iron will should always be 
crowned with success. He mounted the stem with the 
skill of a chimpanze, and ran gaily along the flattened 
branches, on which he looked like a pigmy. This 
manoeuvre succeeded, but the tilandsia are not so easily 
obtained as the aroidea, but rear their heads high aloft. 
Our botanist is active, but bony and heavy, and, in order 
to advance farther, he ought to have had the long tail of a 
monkey, to give him some support in addition to his hands 
and feet in case of a sudden, break of the boughs. In conse- 
quence, therefore, of the imperfection of the formation of 
man, the bold pioneer of science was compelled to turn 
back, and to leave the sportsman to try to shoot down a 
specimen of the plant. 

Before the house of the Frenchman a humming-bird 



282 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

was fluttering on abignonia ; it was of emerald green, with 
a white breast, and one would never have grown weary of 
admiring it. 

Our four horses brought us back, tired and sunburnt, to 
the Hotel Fevrier, the standing rendezvous for the tra- 
vellers from the ' Elizabeth.' To-day, after our no small 
exertions, we had still to make the greatest that can fall to 
the lot of a traveller of rank ; namely, to attend a soiree at 
the house of our good Consul, on which occasion I was to 
make the acquaintance of all the Germans in Bahia. I 
was obliged to summon up all my powers to enable me to 
endure this storm with dignity and good temper. There- 
fore, knowing my own nature, and that of a southern 
climate, I resolved to pass the remaining portion of the 
day during which I should be free in the grand dolce far 
niente on the one hand ; and on the other, in refreshing my 
powers with an excellent repast. 

I lay in a balcony looking on the Theatre Square, and 
allowed my mind to revel in the magnificent prospect of 
the extensive deep-blue bay, with its lively sails, with its 
forest of vessels at anchor, with its glow in the evening 
sun ; I seemed to myself to be like the ruler of blessed 
Samo on the lofty battlements of his palace. 

An open view over a broad expanse, when enjoyed un- 
disturbed, affords the best refreshment to the mind and 
spirits. But that life should not be wanting in the scene, 
I also amused myself in my watch-tower by looking at the 
coloured people in the Theatre Square. A fat, hideous 
old negress, with her turban twisted jauntily round her 
head, her bosom, shoulders, and arms bare, gave me quiet 
amusement : quiet, because I looked on without speaking ; 
but loud, nasal, and unceasing was the chatter of this 
dusky daughter of Eve. No brother in colour could stand 
or pass near her that she did not overwhelm him with her 
jocose hilarity ; it was like a thunder-shower in summer. 



BAHIA. 283 

She never ceased gabbling for a second, and must have 
been esteemed by the blacks as wonderfully witty, for her 
husky tones were always interrupted by the laughs of the 
bystanders, in which she joined heartily. 

She was selling dainties for her lord and master, who 
had sent her out to earn money : but in this line she did 
not seem to be very successful ; her master would drive a 
better trade if he employed her to make public orations or 
theatrical representations. If some negro, in passing, pur- 
chased a sort of marcipan of the old witch, and some few 
coppers fell into her apron, she would waddle like a hippo- 
potamus, as quick as her legs would let her, across the 
square to old lago the brandy-seller, and pour a glass of 
caha9a down her leathern throat. Presently she would 
return, and begin her chatter with renewed energy. I 
watched her for a long time, both astonished and amused, 
and could not repress a regret that I was unable to under- 
stand the flashes of wit of this untiring talker. Such 
people are very happy, and spend their lives in unbroken 
gaiety. Shall not one own, then, that the Brazilians are 
right when they call cahapa the balsam of slavery ? 

The movements of the rest of the crowd also amused 
me. I was struck by the excess of the black population 
over the white. The very few white people visible 
belonged to the higher classes ; in them one perceived 
hurry, and a restless anxiety for gain. Their motto is 
here, as everywhere in America, ' Time is money,' an axiom 
which I also approve in theory, for it is the foundation of 
all effort, the spring of both mental and bodily activity ; 
it is that which makes society a possibility, and improves 
the human race; for when all agree, jealousy is ba- 
nished, and justice is even-handed. But this principle is 
not suited to slaves, and thus the subject presents a diffi- 
culty which is ridiculed by the people of Southern Europe, 
the Italians and Spaniards. According to this practical 



284 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

principle, man must labour with unceasing energy in the 
sweat of his brow, as the angel at the gate of Paradise com- 
manded him ; he must weary himself with work, scarcely 
allow himself any recreation, and in restless haste increase 
his possessions. But although fortune may smile upon 
him, and the bag of gold swell ever more and more under 
his hands, yet he can never find the moment for rest and 
enjoyment of life ; he only ceases to labour when his back 
becomes bent with age, and joy can no longer dwell with 
him. 

I was struck at seeing scarcely any clergy among the 
passers-by ; the appearance of one of the servants of the 
church is quite an event. Is this occasioned by the piety 
of the good men, who would fain shun the world and its 
tumult? Alas! one is not justified in making such an 
assertion in Brazil. 

It was pleasant to look at the southern fruits carried by 
the n egresses in the baskets on their heads. One of these 
baskets, filled with pineapples, guavas, cocoa-nuts, and plan- 
tains, would, if brought into the market at Vienna, create 
a sensation among young and old ; they present, both in 
form and colouring, some of the prettiest pictures of still 
life that can be imagined. 

The arrival of the much-desired dinner hour summoned 
me from my post of observation. I passed through the ve- 
randah, rendered gay by numerous French ladies and 
gentlemen, where champagne was sparkling, and strange 
figures were laughing and talking, to the cool dining-room, 
where an excellent dinner formed a cheerful point of union 
for our vagrant party. All that the ocean, all that civilised 
life, all that the forest could offer that was dainty and 
delicious, was collected here by the hand of French science, 
and set before us with artistic taste. 

Whilst we were spending our time very pleasantly in 
German fashion, the ' blagueurs ' in the neighbouring hall, 



BAHIA. 285 

elated by the foaming wine, carried on an unceasing talk 
about nothing, genuinely French. Some of the gentlemen, 
with their bright watch chains and rings, bore a strong 
resemblance to ( chevaliers d'industrie,' whilst the French 
ladies present reminded one of the ' dames aux camelias ' of 
the Eue Juubert in the Quartier Breda. There was abun- 
dance of champagne and ice. To refresh themselves with 
these is the principal occupation of the wealthy Brazilians ; 
so soon as these languid personages have risen, the Vene- 
tians of the verandahs are opened, and the cool sea breeze 
brings a fresh air blowing beneath the starry sky. 

After dinner it was necessary to make the giant resolve, 
and (in spite of the lassitude produced by the tropical day 
and the consequent weariness), to dress in a black coat, to 
put on a dress waistcoat, and to exclude the air by a stiff 
white cravat, en regie. If these inflictions of etiquette are 
difficult to endure in ceremonious Europe, they become 
real miseries on the borders of the forest, on the free soil 
of America. But L had a large party, and the swallow- 
tail was indispensable. 

But there was a mystical significance in my reluctance 

to go to this entertainment. L had told me that I 

should meet at his house the representatives of the various 
German states and their families, and I fell into a train of 
thought too grave to conduce to a comfortable siesta. As 
regards individual distinctions and general union, the sons 
of the great mother, politically, are as opposed to each 
other as cats and dogs. If one touch in general terms 
on these peculiarities, wonder is expressed why Germany 
has not long ago been one powerful and united country; but 
let one touch on personal questions, and all is changed ; 
each man thinks his own state the best and most im- 
portant, for the interests of which all others ought to be 
sacrificed. Whilst other nations fight and struggle, barking 
and biting at each other, the German holds sentimental 



286 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

discourses, philosophizes, and sings lays of lamentation, 
with which, in the end, he lulls himself into the sleep of 
patience. 

A feeling of grief came over me here on my balcony, a 
quiet sorrow, such as I have ever felt when travelling in 
various directions in Germany. Such a mosaic of states as 
Germany presents needs to be cemented together firmly, in 
order to possess a powerful influence over the politics of 
this century, in which railways penetrate everywhere, and 
the telegraph unites continents. When one travels in the 
world, one sees, with regret, how little the German race is 
respected, how it lacks everything that has regard to ex- 
tended policy, and how the German everywhere plays an 
inferior part ; indeed, how often he is the servant of others, 
and stands at the footstool of more sagacious men. The 
German will never rule fate so long as he remains a mere 
philosopher, wearying his spirit with unpractical theories, 
and lulling his heart in sickly sentimentality instead of 
stirring it up with pride and enthusiasm. 

The Germans are the best poets, drawing, as it were, the 
most touching strains from the ^Eolian harp of the world's 
sorrows. Unsurpassed as musicians and as sages, they 
shine in lays of love and in poetic strains, and excel in all 
that makes life attractive ; but they neglect higher things, 
and, when once they meet in numbers to hold council con- 
cerning their political existence, they generally become 
purely theoretical. But that Germans, when unfettered 
by political conditions, show practical sense, is proved by 
the success which has ever attended them in commerce ; 
in this school of activity they have always met with 
approval. The German merchants in Bahia are great 
people, and have raised themselves to a position of 
importance. 

This being premised, no one will wonder that I went to 
L 's party with a beating heart ; a select number of our 






BAHIA. 287 

travellers accompanied me. It was a fine calm night ; all 
was excitement in that part of Vittoria in which the con- 
sulates are situated. Palanquins were to be seen in the 
streets, gentlemen in black coats were walking, and that 
we saw one of the fairest flowers of the aristocracy of 
Vittoria, with her waving plumes and large crinoline, also 
on foot, shows that manners in Bahia are less stiff than in 
Europe. It was the 14th of January, but the degrees of 
warmth here must have been high in proportion to the 
cold in Europe. Our carriage passed these groups, so 
that we were the first to enter the hall. 

The lady of the house was charmingly dressed, and 
would have graced any company in either London or Paris 
by her appearance and fascinating manners. There was 
no difficulty in keeping up a conversation until the com- 
pany arrived, for the characteristics of Bahia afforded 
ample material, although the knowledge that the fashion- 
able world possesses of them is very limited, since pro- 
bably not one of these fair ladies had ever seen the Tich. 

Meanwhile the hall filled ; the men were, for the most 
part, well bred and manly specimens of the German race, 
who certainly did not spare me on the point of com- 
pelling me to listen to all their individual opinions ; but 
I heard much that was interesting. The ladies belonged to 
the order of fair-haired and blue-eyed beauties, yet one 
Brazilian among them took the highest place. She was 
pale as ivory; slight as a Hindoo ; her large, dark, sparkling 
eyes were veiled with a beautiful expression of melancholy ; 
her hair shone like a raven's wing. Her beauty was en- 
hanced by the simplicity of her dress, which was without 
ornament; her figure was that of a sylph, and she pos- 
sessed that lovable timidity bestowed often by nature. 

A pair of Brazilian twins, children of a Brazilian father 
and a European mother, also interested me much; so 
young, that with us they would still have been in the 



288 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

schoolroom ; yet the girl was already a bride, and the boy 
a gentleman in a black coat and white tie. There was 
one most remarkable difference between them. He was 
black as night, with all the characteristics of tropical 
nature she fair as a lily, and yet both the offspring of 
the same mother, born on the self-same day. 

At last, amid the presentations, came the moment when 
the musicians from the ( Elizabeth' warned us of the next 
duties of the evening. We entered the spacious oval 

dancing-room, which L had had tastefully decorated. 

The musicians did their best. The ball opened with a 'quad- 
rille d'honneur,' which I naturally danced with the lady of 
the house ; but instead, as is our custom, of finishing as 
it began, it changed into a lively roll of the drum, having 
in it something Indian, and presenting some movements 
of interest, but never ending without some injury to the 
crinolines. But Bahian civilisation has not kept pace 
with the speed of our German waltz, which is danced at a 
measured pace, and when I led forward the pretty lady 
with the ostrich feathers, whom I had seen on my way* 
hither, and would have danced a rapid waltz with her in 
Viennese style, she remained, almost fainting, in my arms. 

I must here notice another fault which I found with 
these ladies. I maintained that, according to European 
notions, their crinolines were much too small, as large 
expanse was esteemed above everything in Europe. If, 
by these means, I should have prepared a grievance for 
the men of Bahia, yet the modistes will bless me. One of 
the ladies immediately seated herself on the sofa with 
such dexterity that the air swelled out her crinoline and 
made up for all shortcomings. Remarkable, indeed, was 
the appearance of a lady, of whom I enquired from what 
country she had come to Bahia. She replied, 'From 
America.' I heard afterwards that the Bahians do not call 
themselves Americans ; but indulge in the belief of be- 



BAHIA. 289 

longing to a separate continent; just as, on the other 
hand, the citizens of the United States claim the exclusive 
privilege of being called Americans. One hears America 
spoken of here in the same way as Australia or Japan. 

It gave me sincere pleasure to make the acquaintance 

of Dr. W , among the people assembled here on 

this evening, a noble man, in every sense of the word, 
whose skilful and successful study of the symptoms of 
yellow fever have deprived it of a portion of its terrors ; 
and who, last year, with rare self-sacrifice, saved the lives 
of the sailors of our corvette ' Caroline.' His amiable 
wife, who had the extraordinary courage, when every one 
fled from our sick countrymen, to go to their bedsides, 
and herself daily to take them food, was also at the ball ; 
and I was delighted to dance a quadrille with this bene- 
volent and unassuming lady. An incident that occurred 
at this moment was interesting to me, as characteristic of 

life in Bahia. I remarked to Madame W , that I did 

not any longer see her husband among the company ; she 
replied, quite gaily and naturally, ' He has been sum- 
moned to the harbour, where some sailors are lying at the 
point of death from yellow fever ; he will return imme- 
diately.' It is with the yellow fever as with snakes : 
people become used to it. 

A pause took place in the dancing, during which time 
a lady played the piano, whilst the others rested them- 
selves, and only set their little tongues in motion. The 
gentlemen became thirsty, with real German thirst, in- 
creased still more by the Brazilian climate. In a side 
room was a whole battery of bottles containing inspiriting 
beverages, and here the six-and-thirty representatives of 
Germany were quite at home, and found occasion for 
continual toasts which, according to Brazilian custom, 
were proposed unceasingly. My poor treasurer was one of 
the victims that Austria was compelled, nolens volens, 

VOL. III. U 



290 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

to sacrifice at these mighty potations ; his stoical compo- 
sure, his cool temperament, aided him in these great 
dangers. 

The thirst of the Grermans in Bahia is worthy of record. 
They would seem to possess some peculiar barometer 
marked with degrees of the various grades of hilarity, with 
the hundred names which may be found in the German 
dictionary to represent the different degrees of excitement. 
Even the grand Exchange is only visited for a short time 
by the Grermans in order that they may find themselves 
all the more speedily in the * sharp corner,' a snug nook 
where they can discuss their affairs amid libations of beer 
and champagne. This ' corner ' is the peculiar rendezvous 
of the Grermans in Bahia, and there they gave a sump- 
tuous breakfast to a portion of our wandering colony, to 
which all went, though all did not return in gay spirits. 
The treasurer, a complete stoic, requested leave to remain 
away for a day during our stay in Bahia. I thought the 
worthy man wished to go into the forest to gratify himself 
with the sight of humming-birds and orchids, and to learn 
something of the wonders of the new continent ; but lo 
and behold ! he lost his way ! in the ' sharp corner,' where 
he passed the hours with his boon companions in a cool 
cellar. There must needs be such people. 

I sank down upon a soft leather-covered sofa, and had a 
very agreeable conversation with a gentleman who wore an 
emblem which has found its way even across the ocean, I 
mean the oak leaves. This gentleman appeared to have 
travelled a great deal and to be a man of talent. True, 
he expressed himself in set phrases, and talked of pri- 
vileged ideas ; but he also had much that was interesting 
and instructive to say respecting Brazil, regarding Grer- 
many, and upon commercial subjects. The short time during 
which I was talking with him formed an agreeable portion 
of the evening, and also aided to bring me to the conclu- 



BAHIA. 291 

sion that a journey into tropical countries is far from a 
disadvantage. 

All the windows and doors were opened wide, and warm 
as it was, we continued to dance in the fresh evening 
breeze. The large hot moon rising from the forest beamed 
in through the windows ; and below, in front of the house, 
the palanquin-bearers were dancing their wild, primitive 
dances, accompanying them with nasal songs. An excel- 
lent supper with every kind of luxury, every delicacy that 
the five continents of the world can produce, was served 
in a large room on the ground floor, and formed the last 
portion of the evening's entertainment. 

I left the company still occupied in dancing, and 
thanked my amiable hostess, in a foaming bumper, for 
her cordial hospitality, threw myself into my caleche, 
and drove home through the summer air of this January 
night, amid the perfume of flowers, and beneath the 
gleam of brilliant stars. 

Tired to death, and already feeling great pain in my 
legs (the uncomfortable consequence of the sun-stroke), 
I returned, partly in the carriage, partly on foot, from the 
Hotel Fevrier to that spot on the shore on which I had, 
three days ago, first set my foot on American soil. 

A few hours later, the { Elizabeth ' was steaming and 
rolling along the coast towards the south to the real 
home of the sacred, undesecrated, primeval forest. 



U 2 



MATO VIRGEM 



295 



MATO VTRGEM. 

Sno. Jorge os Itheos: Jan. 15, 1860. 

I WAS aroused from a heavy sleep by the uncomfortable 
pitching and rolling of my hammock, and by violent pains 
in my shins. The disagreeable motion of the hammock 
showed me that the old ' Elizabeth ' had taken our place 
in the amusements of the previous evening, only that the 
dance in which she was engaged on the ocean, was still 
more unconstrained than the German waltz of the worthy 
Bahians. The intolerable pain, half pricking, half aching, 
in which I was, reminded me only too forcibly of my im- 
prudence in not having protected myself from the sun ; 
and made me feel not only sorrow and repentance, 
but even despair; for I feared lest the condition I was 
in, should prevent my expedition into the primeval 
forest. My visit to America was now to be reckoned by 
days and hours, and for one who, like myself, had a 
mania for travelling, the slightest loss of time from indis- 
position was intolerable. One cannot cross the broad 
ocean every day, and when one has once tasted the sweets 
of paradise, every hour within it becomes more precious 
than gold. A due apportionment of time (such as I have 
systematically endeavoured to make) is indispensable in 
travelling. If all fits well, then (I speak from experience) 
one can see an incredible amount in a short time ; of 
course for this, one must, in addition, have energy, nerve, 
and will. 



296 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. * 

Thus I wandered over Rome grand, eternal Rome in 
three days ; and in the course of these three days, was three 
times in the Coliseum, three times in the Vatican, three 
times in St. Peter's, visited all the churches, museums, 
and monuments, examined the chief books in the splendid 
library at the Vatican, and have now a vivid recollection of 
the individual .gems among the statues and pictures. 
Some years afterwards, I also enjoyed the triumph, at an 
exhibition of photographs, of being able to correct a lady 
who had lived in Rome for more than thirty years. 
During these three days I visited the holy Father twice, 
and received the Holy Communion from his hands ; accom- 
panied him twice to mass, and breakfasted with him after- 
wards ; attended a long high mass in the Sistine Chapel, 
and also went to several large dinner-parties, and found 
time to pay and receive a multitude of official visits. 
Certainly my labours began about five o'clock in the 
morning, and, thanks to the full moon, were continued 
until one o'clock in the night. 

On the present occasion, even amid my pain and 
anxiety, I still had faith in my good star, which has ever 
shone kindly upon me during my journeyings. It was 
already late in the morning when I came (as well as my 
lameness would permit) on deck ; a heavy vapour such 
as the sirocco produces with us lay upon the broad 
surface of the ocean. Grey was the sky, grey the leaden 
sea, which rose and fell, not in waves, but with heavy 
sobs ; and with that motion which we term mar vecchio, 
and which is so peculiarly unpleasant. On our right lay 
the coast, which, throughout the whole day, presented one 
unbroken appearance of monotony. And yet I felt no 
small interest in gazing at it; the never-ending masses of 
forest covering the gently-swelling hills; the walls of 
cocoa-nut, growing to the very brink of the ocean, all 
presented a fascinating picture to a new comer. Occasion- 



MATO VIRGEM. 297 

ally the colour of the water betokened the presence of 
some river which, flowing from the interior of the forest, 
and mingling its dark waters with those of the ocean, 
renders possible the advance of the lonely settler into the 
unexplored country. 

Among the rivers (the mouths of which we passed to- 
day), the Rio Contas is of some importance ; it flows from 
the first chain of mountains, directly behind which lies the 
province of Minas. A few towns, as they are called (in 
reality nothing more than little settlers' villages), may be 
seen at intervals along the shore, as also the following 
places ; Cayru, Camaru, Marahu, and Contas. All these 
make an imposing figure on the maps; but they are 
really, for the most part, only composed of a few miserable 
houses, grouped at the mouths of the rivers, which render 
trade feasible between the larger seaports, and the settle- 
ments in the interior. At home, such towns would be 
called fishing- villages. I only mention their names, 
because they are generally of Indian origin. It was not 
until later times that the names of saints were introduced, 
and mixed with those of earlier date. The government is 
now endeavouring to search out the ancient names, in 
order, as I was told, to avoid the great mistakes that 
arise from the too frequent repetitions of those, especi- 
ally of favourite saints. The Indian names have a pe- 
culiar sound, and are harsh when pronounced by Portu- 
guese tongues; their meaning is generally not without 
poetry. How pretty is the Indian name Nighteroy (still 
waters) for the large town of Kio Janeiro; how absurd, 
on the contrary, is the Portuguese name, Rio Janeiro, 
which bears, in truth, the meaning of Incus a, non lucendo ; 
for at this point no river runs into the bay. 

When these hamlets disappeared from view, a long, 
green, uninhabited expanse of boundless forest succeeded. 
As on the ocean the gleam of a distant sail awakes in 



298 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the mind of the sailor a longing desire to reach the spot 
where his unknown fellow-men are living and moving ; so 
is it also with the white columns of smoke rising high to 
heaven from the green sea of forest, and telling the traveller 
how yonder, among the distant leafy willows, some fellow- 
man is leading a self-sufficing existence, and, unknown, 
is fighting the battle of life. The gaze of the passer-by 
lingers enquiringly on these signs of lonely existence ; and 
not without melancholy does wild imagination paint the life 
of those who, far from the world, separated from all whom 
they love, thus seek an asylum in the impenetrable forest, 
from motives indefinable. 

These columns of smoke are the landmarks of civilisa- 
tion in the forest ; they are the watchfires of the out- 
posts, provided by the though tfulness of courageous 
pioneers, who have exchanged the griefs and sorrows of 
the old world for the axe of the settler ; and who, though 
unconsciously, are the tools of ever-advancing civilisation. 
But when we reflect on the causes that have driven so 
many of these struggling spirits into the lonely wilder- 
ness, the sight of these pillars of smoke fills one's heart 
with sorrow, and an involuntary feeling of sympathy turns 
the eye once more in the direction of this hidden life ; 
and when one has seen these settlers and conversed with 
them, this sympathy gives place to a deep melancholy, 
which causes one's glance at parting to linger long on 
these heavenward directed signs of life. 

There are in nature mute and lifeless forms which speak 
powerfully to the reflective heart, on which the eye rests 
with an enquiring gaze, and which fill the soul with 
memories and with poetic imaginings. They who look at 
the wonders of nature by rule, and, according to a pre- 
scribed plan, never return to these images they require 
constant change of object: they would exclaim at the 
monotony of the scene if they did not behold groups of 



MATO VIRGEM. 2S9 

trees, pretty huts, a church tower (wherever possible), a 
stream fringed with flowers and shrubs ; and, to enliven 
the whole, some well-dressed and well-fed people. I, on 
the contrary, who have not moulded my taste by any set 
laws or rules, find these monotonous scenes very inter- 
esting and attractive. A pretty landscape of prosperous, 
civilised life merely excites in me a sensation of peaceful 
enjoyment, gives an impression of prosaic happiness. 
But in more extensive pictures, the imagination can exert 
itself; in these, everything is not arranged and in order, 
but poetry and feeling have a wide field open before 
them. 

The coasts of Brazil present such a field. Here, an im- 
pression of vastness overpowers one, on beholding the 
boundless forest, like an ocean, sending forth its mighty 
waves into invisible space ; all power of thought is lost in 
gazing at the wide expanse, whether the gaze rest on the 
foam-covered plain or on its kindred image both alike 
unchanged since the days of creation. Memory travels back 
to the world of books, to the descriptions of the splendour 
of America, the historical records of the discovery of 
the new continent, and the gradual opening of the new 
world. Once more the tales arise before us that excited 
us in early youth, and that implanted in us the germ of a 
desire to travel, and gave a spur to noble aspirations. At 
these moments we paint a picture in fancy ; we see the 
wearied wanderer following the buffalo, working his way 
with his knife through the thick vegetation ; we see the 
settler as he fells the giant trees with his axe, and makes 
his lonely hut ; the Indians, as with bow and arrow they 
traverse the hunting-field which is theirs by long inheri- 
tance, bringing down with their poisoned barb every 
enemy, from the howling ounce to the white invader. 

These visions of the vast, free forest, create a new feel- 
ing of immortality in the soul; and the thoughts they 



300 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

suggest, serve to elevate and strengthen us in our first 
entrance into the world of the Mato Virgem. 

Mato Virgem (or, for short, Mato) is the name used by 
the Brazilians for the real, virgin forest; and to this we 
were now proceeding. As before mentioned, it extends in 
this district to the coast. But all that is forest is not 
Mato Virgem. properly so called, although the new-comer 
is inclined so to name all the forest that he sees ; and not 
without reason. There are forests which are so impene- 
trable, so netted over with lianas, that the European looks 
upon them as virgin forests ; but they are, in reality, only 
4 capoeiras ; ' that is, districts which have, at some time, 
been cut, but which have in later days become again 
overgrown. Long practice alone can distinguish them. 
Those who are really well acquainted with both the mato, 
and the capoeiras, know the difference. In the virgin forest 
there are gigantic trees, thousands of years old, and speci- 
mens of underwood of immense size, which are peculiar to 
those forests. The practised eye also discerns a great 
difference in the age and thickness of the lianas. 

Our course, as we proceeded, lay rather more in-shore 
than otherwise, until about five o'clock we anchored, by 
the direction of the pilot whom we had brought from 
Bahia in the roads of Sao Jorge dos Itheos, outside the 
reefs, near two small islands, and within sight of the town, 
which is really nothing more than a village. 

The country was of the same character as that which 
we bad seen all along the coast; on the gleaming sand 
before us stood a group of houses crowded together, with 
a church in the centre, and forming a small line of build- 
ings along the shore. The coast on the right was undu- 
lating, and there were some low groups of rock covered 
with verdure. In the distance, the white foaming waves 
marked a long, bright line ; above the general mass of 
vegetation, some palms reared their graceful crowns, 



MATO YIEGEM. 301 

whilst near the town, on the hilly ridge, was a small, old 
church, half in ruins. On the left was a tongue of land, 
covered with beautiful and luxuriant vegetation, which, 
with the reefs beyond, formed the enclosure of the har- 
bour. The sea broke over these reefs, roaring and foaming. 
The islands of which I spoke also terminate in rock ; they 
are richly covered with verdure, and crowned with palms. 

In Ttheos, a place that looks as though deserted by God 
and man, the sudden appearance of our large steamer 
made a great sensation ; a white flag, floating from a lofty 
flag-staff, greeted us. The moment in which we anchored 

was a glad one for our poor friend L . He had 

suffered so much during the whole voyage, that he had 
not ventured to quit his cabin for an instant. With his 
usual kindness he had accompanied us, notwithstanding 
his large amount of business, that he might himself con- 
duct us to the entrance of the Mato Virgem. He had 
entered into our views, and had carefully calculated the 
time required. His plan was, to conduct us to the fazenda 

of a friend of his, Herr St , a German Swiss, situated 

on the confines of the forest. St , a man full of energy 

and of talent, who had been living in this part of the 
country for fifteen years, was indisputably our fittest 
guide in this expedition. 

Immediately on our arrival, L took a boat, in order 

(accompanied by a local pilot) to enter the inner harbour. 

He had two objects in view: one, instigated by his 
friendly zeal, to push on this very evening, if possible, to 

the fazenda of his friend, St , and to advise him of the 

coming of his guests and of their wishes ; the other, to 
escape as quickly as he could from the watery element, 
so hateful to him. In this latter respect L - was very 
judicious, for the ( Elizabeth ' rolled most relentlessly in 
the roadstead. 

I passed the evening in my hammock in great pain, 



302 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and longing impatiently for coming events. My whole 
being was on fire with the desire to begin the adventurous 
essay, to push my way into the virgin forest, and thus 
attain the chief aim of nay travels. It was not without 
vexation that I found how the slightest movement pro- 
duced torturing pains in my feet, in consequence of the 
sun-stroke ; and it was with feelings of melancholy that I 
anticipated the moment when I should probably be obliged 
to stop in some settler's hut, or in some corner of the 
forest. 

Fazendado Vittoria: Jan. 16, 1860. 

Already with early morning that feverish excitement 
reigned on board which is peculiar to those sons of man 
who are endowed with strong nerves, at a time when they 
anticipate great events. There was that restlessness which 
betrays itself in making all kinds of small preparations for 
the expedition. Feelings and hopes then mingle together ; 
one image chases away another; one generation follows 
close on the other. Each man animates the other; specu- 
lates whether anything will be forgotten by his friends ; 
reckons up what will be wanted ; bespeaks help in emer- 
gencies ; and yet, notwithstanding all this activity, no 
one can patiently await the expected moment. 

Such seasons of anticipation are, according to circum- 
stances, the sweetest or the most dreadful of our lives. If 
they precede some great banquet at which one must 
appear, and where one will have the misfortune of being 
obliged to make a well-expressed speech, or to propose a 
toast ; or if they precede a solemn examination, when in 
well-chosen words one has to show that one really knows 
nothing, then the moments of expectation, the morning 
hours, are the most dreadful trial of the nerves to which 
a man can be subjected. If, on the contrary, we expect 
something pleasant, something that will enrich our store 



MATO VIRGEM. 303 

of enjoyments, which will add another triumph to our list, 
then these moments are above all things sweet, although 
they often put our patience severely to the test. 

But nowhere does one experience such delightful mo- 
ments of expectation as on foreign travel ; and with feel- 
ings of gratitude and happiness I now recall such minutes, 
standing forth as landmarks on the roads of my experience. 
How exciting was my first journey to the sea-coast, my 
visit to the sublime Acropolis, to that mountain of the 
Gods, where the fire of Greek genius still burns in ever- 
enduring memory, living, inextinguishable ; with what 
anxious expectation did I climb Vesuvius to view the awe- 
inspiring activity of the never-wearied earth ; with what 
eagerness did I enter Florence, the sanctuary of immortal 
art, to gaze in rapture on all her wonders, from the days 
of Phidias down to the brilliant era of Eaphael Sanzio ; 
how did I speed me through the woodland, amid bowers 
of roses, and amid fountains to the Alhambra, to admire 
the dreamy vision of Arabian enchantment ; how did my 
heart throb when I passed beneath the Porto del Popolo 
of eternal Rome ; when I mounted the steps of St. Peter's ; 
when, beneath the beams of an Italian moon, I first en- 
tered the Coliseum; what ardour of curiosity burned 
within me when I visited the vast desert, and flew on my 
courser over the hot, glowing sand, to view the mysterious 
Pyramids ; how endless seemed the hours that I spent in 
wandering over the mountains of Judah, a pilgrim to the 
Sepulchre of the Redeemer ; how overpowering that mo- 
ment in which I crossed the last kne of rock, and in which 
the domes of Sion first rose before my eyes ! 

Moments such as these belong exclusively to travel; 
they are among the purest, the noblest, in the life of man ; 
they are the sweet recompense for fatigue and struggles. 
With eager expectation we were thus waiting impatiently 
on this morning. All were ready ; everyone was recalling 



304 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

to mind what he had read of the primeval forests. 
The botanist prepared boxes and baskets, and packed 
up blotting-paper for drying his new specimens ; the 
sportsman put his gun in order, ready to wage war 
on all living creatures, from the humming-bird to the 
tapir. Indeed needles, corks, bottles of spirits and chemi- 
cal preparations of all sorts, were not forgotten, by means 
of which to preserve all that creep and fly. The painter 
fresh-pointed his many coloured pencils, arranged his 
sketch-book, but took very little with him ; this experi- 
enced traveller had been in forests before; the doctor 
cleaned his lancet, ready to open a vein ; and mindful of 
the bite of the snakes, he put all sorts of antidotes into 
his pockets, and arranged a complete little apothecary's 
shop, in order to do his best to bring us alive out of the 
Mato Virgem. 

I employed myself in arranging a store of European con- 
trivances, costumes of white merino, light as air, made after 
suggestions of my own ; an immense straw hat with a veil, 
such as I had seen worn in Egypt by the English ; an 
immense knife in a blue case, to cut down lianas, and, if 
need be, to scalp some audacious wild-cat ; two revolvers 
were loaded, to enable us to fight to the death, and a 
pretty toilet cover contained every possible requirement, 
from razors to a looking-glass. A lantern was not missing, 
books and writing materials were packed, rugs and plaids 
rolled up. In addition, we were to take coffee, chocolate, 
sugar, biscuits and wine. That which we should need 
above everything, experience the great teacher of all 
travellers was yet to show. 

Three of the ship's officers were invited by me to share 
in our projected excursion; each had his private stores, 
which were principally filled with requisites for the chase. 
We limited our servants to the lowest number possible ; in 
addition to a sailor who had sailed round the world in the 



MATO VIRGEM. 305 

( Novara,' and who was said to be acquainted with the 
mode of preparing and stuffing animals, and who was 
loaded with everything necessary for mummy art, we only 
took one man, skilled in shooting, a servant of one of the 
gentlemen. European servants are torments in such un- 
dertakings ; for it is only when taking the deepest inter- 
est in that which he sees, that the traveller can cheerfully 
endure the attendant fatigues ; and as these inevitable 
hardships are not included in the agreement made with 
one's servants, so the principle of never requiring from 
anyone that which it is not his duty to do and bear, 
becomes grievously violated. 

In such expeditions each man is simply a man ; whilst 
they last, rank and position must be set aside. Amid the 
scenes of primeval nature, man also must return to a 
primitive state ; and ardent zeal, not orders, should prompt 
those who share in them, to endure their dangers and 
toils. He who would attempt these undertakings, must 
make it clear to himself that all personal distinctions must 
cease, that the individual must depend on his own courage 
and prudence, and that cold egotism must reign supreme. 
He who will not depend on himself, or protect himself, but 
seeks aid from others, should remain at home ; he who 
would penetrate into the mysteries of nature, undisturbed 
since the creation, must have two strong arms and legs, 
and a clear head, must set his object steadily before him, 
and trouble himself about nothing on the right hand or 
left, ' Forward ! ' must be his watchword, and s I ' his parole. 
If a man have the disadvantage of being born in a rank 
in which he is, as a necessity, ever surrounded by atten- 
dants, in which everything is arranged and prepared for 
him from the cradle, in which his movements are regu- 
lated by etiquette ; then it is especially pleasant to him, 
if he possess freshness of mind, to find himself in circum- 
stances in which he has to depend on his own will, and on 

VOL. in. x 



306 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

his own energies, and to visit countries in which no gen- 
tlemen-in-waiting are to be found, in which he must cut 
away the lianas with his own hand, and take his chance 
of being bitten by poisonous snakes. 

In perfumed drawing-rooms this would be termed seek- 
ing for adventures ; but I believe that such a life is very 
good for the mind, and is indeed that which is needed 
to form a strong character. If a man who never has 
had opportunities of enduring fatigue and danger, find 
himself in some circumstances unusual in ordinary life he 
is, without any fault of his own, unable to cope with 
them. Europe has unhappily reached such a pitch of 
refinement, that a man is seldom in a position to rely upon 
himself. Hunting in the inhospitable heights of the 
Alps, is perhaps the only way in which to see real hard- 
ship and danger. Since the era began in which the pig- 
tail emerged from an aureole of powder, and swords 
became toys for ladies' drawing-rooms, since tournaments 
and passages of arms gave place to pretty speeches and 
courtly frivolities, the man who wishes to learn self- 
reliance, must himself search for adventure, and thank- 
fully embrace every opportunity of meeting with it. 

Whilst the final preparations were being made, Cadet 

J made his appearance on the shore in front of the 

houses of the little town, making signals to us with his 
handkerchief. He had been sent on shore on the previous 

evening with L , and had been unable to return at 

night between the reefs. Everything was quickly stowed 
in two boats, and we made our way through the rough sea 
to the opening of the harbour, though not without some 
difficulty. As we, with some little anxiety, approached 
the reefs, the cadet's boat made her appearance with the 
local pilot on board. They stationed themselves behind 
the reefs, and made signals to us with a flag ; following 
their directions, we passed the breakers in safety. It was 



MATO VIRGEM. 307 

not until, rising and sinking over the large waves, we 
entered the harbour, that we became aware (by seeing it 
for ourselves) how narrow was the entrance between these 
dangerous and deceitful rocks. It was only when close to 
them that the weird white foam betrayed their presence ; 
and, as the waves retreated, we could see the dark forms 
of the granite peaks below. If the pilot had not corne at 
the right moment we might very easily have been thrown 
by the turbulent waves on one of these rocks, and at least 
have had to swim for a considerable distance. We had 
scarce passed the breakers before we found a difference ; we 
passed into the calm, still waters of a large pool surrounded 
by verdure. 

The view of the harbour was very pretty; it was the 
realisation of one of those quiet pictures which fancy 
creates, of tropical bays, into which the discoverer enters 
with wonder and admiration. The little town, with its 
wealth of human life, covered the peninsula, and was sur- 
rounded by palms ; the whole scene was one of fairy en- 
chantment. On all sides the rich luxuriant vegetation, of 
every shade of colour, dipped into the very water ; lofty 
palms, and thick mangle bushes formed the more distant 
ornaments of the landscape, in which we tried to trace the 
windings of the river that was to guide us to the mysteries 
of the interior. As our boat glided round the peninsula, 
the houses of Sao Jorge dos Itheos gradually appeared, a 
picture of poverty. 

We landed on the inland side of the peninsula (where 
the vegetation grew in rich, picturesque masses, remind- 
ing me vividly of the lovely peninsula of Traunkirchen), 
passed by a wooden bridge to the mainland, and then 
walked along the sand to the town. At the landng-bridge 
we were addressed by a kindly-disposed man in tolerable 
German. 

Don Pedro K , a sort of manager at the Fazenda 

x 2 



308 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

St , had been sent to meet us, and to accompany us 

up the river to his master's estate. This good man from 
the forest spoke with some shyness ; he was not accustomed 
to converse with people from the eastern hemisphere ; and, 
as he himself said, found considerable difficulty in ex- 
pressing himself in German. Don K is a citizen of 

the new world; he has already cast aside some of his 
German nature. His parents remembered their German 
home ; they crossed the ocean and settled in Sao Jorge 
dos Itheos, where Pedro was born and brought up. The 
German element has died away in him, and his descend- 
ants will become completely Brazilian, and will have no 
idea of their real origin. 

It is interesting to study these changes of nationality. 
The transition is perceptible in K - 's light-brown hair 
and dark eyes. He, naturally had no acquaintance with 
Germany, or with our connection with Europe. With his 
Panama hat, and his light jacket, he is completely the 
free son of the Mato Virgem, grown up among palm-trees, 
the man of the undeveloped country. Such men are 
happy; they have a grand task before them, and their 
minds are not agitated by a yearning for the continent 
left behind. His parents must certainly have brought a 
bad character with them from Europe; their only excuse 
for their entire separation from their native country ; and 
must have been anxious to avoid arousing suspicion in 
their children as to the cause. Therefore the new genera- 
tion look with indifference on the old country. 

We were much indebted to the kindness of Herr K ; 

from him we collected a great deal of information ; and 
he related to us with innocent naivete, much about which 
many travellers among his people have been silent. 
K - is beginning like all young men in America; he 
has to work under a principal for a certain number of 
years, and in carrying out orders, seeks for an opportunity 



MATO VIRGEM. 309 

that he may deem favourable, of making a footing for 

himself. K conducted us to the houses fronting the 

harbour ; he then took us straight into a sort of watch- 
house, for rain was pouring down from the grey sky. 

The houses in Itheos resemble very much those in 
Itaparica; there are the same unglazed windows, the same 
style of building, reminding one of a child's toys. All 
the houses in Brazil bear the marks of a migratory people ; 
they are merely places of shelter against sun and wet. 
The delay caused by the rain was, owing to my burning 
impatience to hasten on, very annoying to me ; not so to 

the practical K , who employed the time in making 

arrangements for the packing of the canoes by some sturdy 
slaves. 

I occupied myself in looking at the coloured figures on 
the shore, and at the houses. The painter repeated them 
on his paper. Among the children were every colour of 
skin and tribe ; one could perceive every variety of shade, 
from the white complexions of our race to the coal-black 
of the sons of Africa. There were yellow Brazilians, 
hideous mulattoes of every hue ; and, for the first time, we 
also saw copper-coloured Indians with broad features, and 
black piercing eyes. As in Bahia, so here, though with less 
of coquetry, the negresses were dressed in a loose white 
boddice, and coloured calico gown, with kerchiefs twisted 
round their heads ; they had generally fine figures, but 
hideous faces, with white mouths, from which their dazzl- 
ing white teeth gleamed with an air of impertinence. The 
negro boys wore short linen trowsers, blue shirts, and 
finely-plaited straw hats on their woolly heads. 

I was particularly struck by the thin, pale children, 
with eyes blue as forget-me-nots, and fair yellow hair, who 
reminded me of our Grerman villages. I went up to two 
big boys, and spoke to them in German ; they looked shyly 
at me, and were unable to reply; it was with difficulty 



310 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

that they could even pronounce their own German names. 
They were the children of German emigrants, of whom 
there are many in Itheos. But it was not without a feel- 
ing of indignation that I found them complete Brazilians, 
who, together with their parents, were quite unable to 
speak their mother-tongue. . And yet the Germans wonder 
that they cannot anywhere maintain an independent 
footing ; that, instead of ruling, they must submit to be 
something between slaves and freemen. What a disgrace 
to German parents to converse with their children in a 
foreign tongue; how must family ties suffer when the 
parents have a language unknown to the children, when 
the sick mother speaks in unfamiliar accents to her own 
offspring ! 

These ever-prevalent causes may afford one great reason 
for the look of melancholy which always overspreads the 
countenances of German colonists. I have never, in the 
course of my travels, seen a really light-hearted German 
emigrant ; there is a look of secret sorrow in all. The 
children alone sometimes benefit by the changed exist- 
ence of their parents, whose want of individuality confers 
on them a different nationality. Such is the source of 
the sorrowful expression of these foreigners who prosper 
by the dependence of their own children, and see them- 
selves surpassed by the new generation. Things are 
different when the immigrants marry prudently with the 
people of the country ; there is then a warm and close tie 
between the races, and the new generation do not then 
behave so rudely to their parents. 

Amongst the living pictures that here excited our atten- 
tion, I was especially struck with a strong negress, as black 
as a coal, who was carrying a very pretty, but very pallid 
little child, fair as ivory. The contrast was so strange, 
that the painter did not fail to sketch them. The whole 
place gave evidence of poverty ; it is merely an ephemeral 



MATO VIRGEM. . 311 

town, built to serve the necessities of the moment. Fate, 
and its situation, alike deny it any promise for the future ; 
and the people only continue to vegetate here, because the 
place exists. 

The harbour was discovered, and the river consequently, 
which, owing to its numerous rapids, is called Cachoeras ; 
intercourse with the interior was then plainly feasible. A 
clue was given to the emigrants ; they naturally made their 
first settlement at the harbour, and kept it as a depot for 
unloading, and a spot from which to make expeditions for 
further discoveries. If the colony should nourish, then 
there might be another use in the depot ; it would serve as 
a mart for the goods from the interior, and might look for- 
ward to a bright future. But colonisation has not thus ad- 
vanced here ; there is nothing prosperous in Itheos ; merely 
some few tradespeople, an apothecary, and some counting- 
houses, belonging to the owners of the few fazendas in 
the interior, are to be found, and intercourse between 
them and the forest is carried on by means of canoes ; whilst 
every month a melancholy steamer makes her way into 
the harbour, giving the good people the impression that 
they hold communication with the great world. 

This little place has one church, and one clergyman, 
who performs all the duty required, even in the forest ; 
but according to the ideas prevalent here, churches and 
clergy are only luxuries, not necessaries ; so that the office 
of the padre is by no means an onerous one ; indeed, it 
may almost be called a sinecure. His sole duty is to 
baptise; this is the only sacrament acknowledged, and 
it only on this spot, so that the newly-born children in 
the districts around are brought down here in canoes for 
the purpose. All other religious ordinances have fallen 
into disuse, and, indeed, owing to the long distances at 
which the people dwell, it would be v,ery difficult to observe 
them. It is impossible that religion can exist under such 



312 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

circumstances; the mass of the inhabitants have been 
collected too much from different parts of the world, 
and are too much occupied with their worldly affairs. 
The white people from Europe belong to every variety of 
creed, or have no creed at all ; the blacks are slaves, in 
whose minds their lord and master is the representative of 
the ruling spirit, good or bad; the redskins, who are 
numerous in these parts, have no religion at all; if an 
opportunity offer, they show zeal in receiving baptism 
from the hands of the padre ; but this done, they wander 
back to the forest, wild as ever. Unfortunately also, the 
clergyman here is ignorant, and is employed in trade, 
thus rendering any observance of the rites of religion 
almost impossible. The distances from the fazendas to 
the church are enormous, and the padre himself, from the 
moment at which he comes to this station, is, as it were, 
lost; and as he can have no assistance from any other 
clergy, he can hardly fulfil his duties. 

When the canoes were packed and partially pushed off 
the shore, our impatience overcame the difficulties of 

rain and K 's representations. Armed with umbrellas 

we were carried by our sailors and by the negroes to 
canoes in which seats from the neighbouring houses had 
been placed. Before we start on our journey, and the 
last push of the negroes sends us forth on the waters, let me 
explain what a canoe is, and how it is worked. To anyone 
who knows the Alps and our blue lakes, the explanation 
can be quickly given. He has only to recall to mind the 
long slender 'Waidzille' and he has before him a true 
picture of the Indian canoe. The trunks of immense 
trees, such as grow in these forests in full splendour, are 
stripped of their bark, and hollowed; and then guided 
over the waters of the river with small, short paddles. 
The craft is so narrow^that each person has to sit behind 
the other, and even so is crowded ; the goods are packed 



MATO VIRGEM. 313 

in front of, and behind, the passengers; in the larger 
canoes two men stand at each end to paddle ; it is under- 
stood that those who paddle are not to talk. When the 
canoe is heavily laden, the water rises to within a few 
inches of the brim, and any hasty movement is (as in our 
tropines) much to be avoided; in passing the rapids one 
is kissed by the foaming waters. Even when provided 
with seats one sits but uncomfortably in a canoe, and 
patience is very needful in this mode of travelling. 

The canoe is characteristic of the whole of the new conti- 
nent, wheresoever the red-skin has penetrated. As I entered 
our canoe, the accurate and fascinating descriptions in 
Cooper's Novels rose before me, and gave me a feeling 
of satisfaction and poetical enjoyment. I was floating in 
the slender means of communication between the ocean 
and interior, the only one existing in this wild region. 
The canoes diminish in size and length the higher one 
proceeds up the river, as the rapids become quicker, and 
the water more shallow. Though the negroes possess con- 
siderable skill in guiding these canoes, the Indians show 
very much more dexterity. 

A few strong pushes, and the giant trunk that formed 
our canoe grated over the sand ; the negroes swung them- 
selves into it like cats, dipped their short paddles into 
the glassy mirror, and the pale sons of the east started 
forth on their voyage to the mysterious forest. 

In spite of the rain, I could not help feeling triumphant 
and joyous. There we sat under our umbrellas, like mush- 
rooms, and looked round us with curious eyes. The air 
was hot and humid ; but we scarcely felt either rain or 
heat to be a grievance. We only regretted the loss of the 
sunshine. 

We crossed the harbour quickly, and entered the broad 
mouth of the river. The scene which presented itself to 
us was one of silent, peaceful nature ; mangle grew around 



3!4 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the silvery flood, extending into the water, and only per- 
mitting one to imagine the real line of the bank ; behind 
the mangle bushes rose slender cocoa-nut palms, with 
fruit-laden crowns ; beyond, gently rising hills formed a 
basin filled with beautiful, gleaming, and brilliantly green 
foliage, on which the lights and shadows were playing, a 
picture of solemn repose. 

At the mouth of the river there was not a house to be 
seen; no open space betokened a settlement, and there 
were but two canoes (laden with natural produce) to give 
any sign of life. According to the current, the negroes 
took a course, sometimes near the right, sometimes near 
the left, bank. I was always delighted when we passed 
close to the mangle bushes, and I was enabled to admire 
the peculiarities that they display, and to glance into 
the mysteries of the vegetable world. Following the 
course of the river, we looked attentively into the shady 
groves, to descry new plants and animals. So long as the 
water was brackish, the mangle bushes occupied the banks 
almost exclusively, in specimens of various sizes from 
bushes to trees. Wherever the roots and stems of the 
mangle were bathed in the water, the crabs mentioned 
before made their homes in the hollows ; they were of all 
three colours, yellow, red, and blue, large and small, old 
and young. In many places where the roots beneath the 
water were covered over with mud, these animals were in 
swarms, and the sight was as interesting as it was droll. 
In vain did I peep in the nooks of the mangle wood for 
snakes. 

Among the Rlryzophora mangle we saw the malpighia, 
with its bright yellow flowers, both as a shrub and as a 
tree; and here and there were specimens of the inga, 
with its long- pointed leaves divided into five, and its 
short-stemmed white blossoms, from which the stamina 
hung in rich tufts. These flowers, strewn amid the dark 



MATO VIRCJEM. 315 

foliage, are very pretty and picturesque, and the richest 
fancy of a skilful gardener would fail in presenting so 
exquisite a combination as nature offers in this tropical 
soil. 

Advancing up the river, beyond the point to which the 
tide rises, the masses of mangle give place to a more 
varied and richer vegetation ; shrubs and flowers of all 
kinds grow down to the water's edge. These shrubs, 
covered with a mass of leaves, bend their boughs into the 
very water to participate in its coolness. Above these, 
waving palms rear their stately forms, overtopped again by 
the giants of a thousand years. The various kinds of vegeta- 
tion, from the ground up to the dark foliage of these giants, 
were here linked by a profuse growth of lianas. On the 
moist green banks, where the water covered the rich soil, 
playing with the broad leaves of the aroidea, crabs were 
disporting themselves, whilst around the gently-bending 
flowers, beneath the leafy groves above, large butterflies 
were dancing from blossom to blossom, their beautiful 
wings gleaming in the sunbeams. The plash of our canoe 
frightened many gaily-plumaged birds, among them a 
splendid sangue-do-boy, with its exquisite ruby hues ; also 
a considerable number of black and yellow weaver-birds 
(Cassicus icteronotus, Brazilian Japu-y\ whose artisti- 
cally-formed nests we saw hanging like bags from the 
lofty boughs. 

As we crossed the centre of the river, in passing from 
one bank to the other, we had lovely views of the forest, 
which extended to the very banks, and unfolded its beauties 
in the bright sunlight. It is -only from the. river that one 
can obtain such views. We also beheld, for the first time, 
the glowing sea of colour produced by the lavish luxu- 
riance of the tropics : there were whole masses of deep, 
gorgeous purple ; the brilliance was so great, the colouring 
so rich, that even the botanist could not decide whether 



316 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the blossoms were those of creepers or of trees. Near 
these were silvery masses of cecropia, glistening like snow 
in the sunshine. And these beauties of nature have 
bloomed and nourished for thousands of years, after their 
own wild will, and to the praise of their Creator ; and yet 
man imagines himself to be the sole legitimate lord of 
creation, and fancies that the Creator's works during the six 
days were for him alone. Thoughts such as these vanish 
before the primeval forest, and there man feels how he 
is but an unit among the thousands and thousands of the 
works of Grod, and that, alas ! to him only was given the 
power of bringing destruction into the world. 

As we pursued our course up the river, gazing around us 
from beneath the umbrella which protected us now from 
the rain, and now from the sun, we perceived an open 
spot ; cocoa-nut palms and banana trees (certain tokens 
of the presence of man) rose from the turf. There was 
a cut made in the moist earth and among the wild bushes ; 
a canoe, drawn halfway up the bank, lay in the shade ; 
musk ducks were quacking merrily in the water; the 
green wall opened for a moment, and we saw the palm- 
leafed roof of a settler's hut. The slaves in our canoe 
shouted a joyous greeting towards it, and a pale, white 
man, in a plaited straw hat, stepped forward to the open- 
ing and nodded gravely to his white brethren from the far 
east. In a moment our canoe has shot past, the walls of 
the rich vegetation have closed again, and the transient 
vision has disappeared. 

I have mentioned the musk ducks. We Europeans 
have seen them in the gardens of the rich, where they 
generally divide with the swan the task of stirring up the 
mud in the ponds. By us they are improperly called 
Turkish ducks, and it is supposed that they come from the 
East. The large musk duck, half white, half dark green, 
with scarlet -coloured flesh round its beak, and the same 



MATO VIRGEM. 317 

round its eyes, is the only domestic duck of Brazil, and is 
peculiar to that country. It affords an example of how 
various animals may, without trouble, become acclimatised 
among us. 

The river became narrower, the vpgetation more luxu- 
riant ; large trees grew down on the very banks, and their 
crowns even waved over the water, bestowing a cool shade; 
the bushes became larger, and fell from the high banks into 
the water, like cascades ; some beautiful groups of bamboo 
climbed again from the water up the bank ; the scarlet 
blossoms of the heliconia rose, glowing like fire, from the 
grass ; here and there the mucuna urens, depending from 
the trees, dipped into the water, and with few blossoms 
and as few leaves, and chiefly recognisable by its pods, 
like those of the bean, had an appearance like pieces of 
rope ; the pods are covered with a quantity of stiff hairs, 
which are very prickly, and cause a burning sensation if 
touched. 

Still as the river narrowed, the more lovely was the 
scene that unfolded itself, the greater the feeling of lone- 
liness, the more isolated the position of our Indian canoe. 
I was more and more struck with the truthfulness of 
Cooper's descriptions ; although we were travelling beneath 
the sun of the tropics the characteristics were the same as 
those described by him. There was the same overpower- 
ing sense of loneliness, the same feeling of the supremacy 
of nature. Each moment presented something new ; one 
picture succeeded the other, an all without the inter- 
vention of man, all preserving that wildness of character 
presented by the grand work of the Creator when un- 
touched by man. 

We stopped at a shady portion of the river beneath the 
overhanging boughs of trees covered with lianas, and were 
resting amid the splendour of Nature and blessing the 
shades that protected us from the increasing heat, when a 



318 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

little noise attracted our attention ; a small canoe appeared 
round the bend of the stream ; a large strong man, in a blue 
blouse, with a flowing beard and with the indispensable 
straw hat shading his face, was guiding the slender craft 
with his sinewy arm ; behind him, sheltered by one of the 
large umbrellas of the country, sat a lady, with a fair 
complexion and light hair, in a simple blue dress ; amid 
the verdure around, the dancing sunbeams, and the perfect 
stillness, the picture was one of peculiar beauty. When 
they arrived close to u?, the fair lady looked up and fixed 
two large, melancholy eyes upon us ; she seemed to be 
astonished to see white men amid these dark shades; 
astonished at the blue eyes which on the banks of forest 
met hers like an echo she smiled mournfully, nodded in 
a friendly manner, and a ' Guten Morgen ' in the purest 
German broke from her heaving breast. Its tones as they 
floated over the still waters, thrilled through our German 
hearts ; a hearty ' Guten Morgen ' burst forth from every 
voice in cordial tones of thanks. This interchange of 
greeting in our own language on the still waters of the 
primeval forest, between people who had never seen each 
other before, who would never see each other again, made 
a powerful impression on me. Here, far from home, I first 
learned the depth of meaning contained in these kindly 
words, this homely greeting. And how had this poor grave 
lady, this lonely settler in the distant Mato Virgem re- 
cognised her countrymen ? By the inexplicable force of 
home-sickness; for in the tones of this simple ' Guten 
Morgen,' the ear of the heart could distinguish a strain of 
joyful recognition mingled with the trembling melancholy 
of a spirit broken by fate. The man with the paddle 
remained silent, and did not greet us ; one could read in 
his grave features that he was overpowered and stupified 
by the same feelings. The canoe proceeded, and vanished 
behind the thick green walls of the overgrown bank ; it 



MATO VIRGEM. 3l9 

went towards the colony. But should I live for eighty 
years to come I can never forget that ' Gruten Morgen ' in 
the forest ; the trembling accents of the poor German 
emigrant still vibrate in my soul. Why are all these 
emigrants so sad ? To give up one's own country for ever 
must then be very painful, that the strongest heart either 
breaks or becomes ossified. 

After waiting for some time in the pleasant shade, under 
the united influence of the breeze and the water, until 
the temperature became so cool as to make us forget that 
we were in the tropics, we proceeded in our canoe. 

Nothing is pleasanter than a river under all circum- 
stances. As with the Thames which when near and in 
London bears whole fleets of trading vessels on its bosom, 
and which above London at pretty, peaceful Eichmond, is 
a still, lovely stream fringed with gardens, which charms 
us by its gentle windings, by its verdant, shady banks; 
and which is looked upon by all the inhabitants of the 
cottages on these banks as their own property, so was it 
here with the Cachoeras. But a short distance hence it 
had flowed a gigantic river ; and though calm, wide as a 
lake, imposing in its broad expanse of water as it traversed 
a fruitful plain ; now its stream was narrow, winding, its 
strong restless currents speeding between lofty banks, and 
giving warning of rapids and cataracts. 

The banks were no longer green, level boundaries, be- 
tween which the water rippled gently; they were now 
bolder objects, and the immense plants formed dams com- 
pelling the river to flow according to their will, to turn 
its course around the large trees and to narrow its track 
between the masses of bush and shrub. Lar^e blocks of 

O 

granite half concealed by vegetation, half covered by spray, 
stood on the banks; the water lost its mirror-like appear- 
ance, and became of the dark hue peculiar to the Mato 
Virgem : that strange dusky brown which one only finds in 



320 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the tropics, and which is produced by the fertility of the 
.soil and richness of the vegetation. The effects of the 
lights and shades on these dark waters are wonderful : the 
bright sunbeams dancing on the water, the brilliant green 
of the foliage and the colours of the fragrant flowers, all 
produce an exquisite glow ; beside and mingled with these, 
and deep down in the water, are the trembling shadows of 
some magnificent, leafy crown hanging far over the river, 
while the cool dark depths of thickets of shrubs press 
down the banks and even into the water; here bright, 
equatorial day stands side by side with dark, mysterious 
night. 

He who wishes to study the effects of light and shade 
should seek them on the rivers of America ; whether with 
his dead colours he could ever succeed in repeating the 
glow of the sunny rays, and the brilliance of the colours, 
or the weird darkness of the deep shadows, is a question. 
I believe that many an artist would fail in the attempt. 

One more bend in the river and we reach the first 
cataract, which from its regularity of formation looks as if 
it were made by the hand of man rather than by that of 
nature. The river is here narrowed by blocks of granite, 
and a chain of these blocks crosses the stream obliquely like 
a barricade. The river runs on each side; it dashes angrily 
against the obstacles opposed to it, foams with impatience, 
and hurls itself against the blocks of granite, puts forth 
its whole strength against the impediments, is here and 
there forced unwillingly to retreat, but finds openings and 
passages, and forces a passage for itself in roaring, foaming 
waves to the bed below. In some places it pours forth with 
lightning speed in large troubled masses ; at others it falls 
from rock to rock in cascades ; again, at other points, the 
lofty granite walls are so high that the waters cannot rise 
over them, but divide and flow right and left foaming 
beneath the dark barriers, or forming still deep pools 



MATO VIRGEM. 321 

among them. It is beautiful to see how the luxuriant 
vegetation, unchecked by any obstacles, plants its wave- 
washed sentinels in the midst of the white foam, and in 
the hollows and clefts of the black granite. We see the 
most beautiful spots amid the spray of these cataracts ; 
small islands, on which large trees have grown up, arching 
over the cool flood, linked together by lianas, and their 
drooping boughs covered with bromeliacea and orchids. 
One sees the most delicate shrubs, fair ornaments of our 
hothouses, growing in profusion from the refts in the rocks, 
and bathing their boughs in the torrent. In the midst 
of this luxuriant vegetation, and amid these leafy groves 
in the centre of the stream, brilliantly-plumaged birds 
make their nests. 

Where the space between the walls of granite is the 
broadest, and where the streams flowing around unite in 
one, there is sufficient water for the canoes to shoot 
through. 

At the first and inconsiderable cataract that we passed, 
it was not necessary for our conductors to spring into the 
water to drag the canoe between the masses of granite ; 
the paddles were sufficient, and this first impediment in 
our road attracted our attention, particularly for this rea- 
son that, although so skilfully guided, we bumped against 
some of the rocks covered by the water. These rocky 
passages are great obstacles to all attempts at colonisation 
on the Cachoeras, as they naturally render steam-power 
useless ; and without the intercourse which this facilitates, 
successful colonisation is not to be thought of in our times. 
The slender canoes cannot bring the raw produce into the 
market in large quantities, or quickly enough, and pro- 
ductive agriculture is not practicable here ; the European 
settler must make his profits by the export of sugar, 
coffee, and cocoa, destined for the European market ; but 
as he cannot live in the trees, and feed himself on cocoa, 

VOL. III. Y 



322 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

he must also, in return, supply his own wants from distant 
countries. If, therefore, he have no stearo -power avail- 
able, he will be beaten out of the field, by those who have 
settled in a district in which the rivers are already navi- 
gated by steam, or soon will be so. Emigrants, such as are 
to be found beginning a struggle with nature on the banks 
of the Cachoeras, may be compared to soldiers in the 
front ranks in a bloody conflict, whoni their leader has 
called to self-devotion, that over their bodies the advanc- 
ing columns may win their way to victory. In this case 
Fate is the commander, and the broken spirits of the emi- 
grants the corpses. If ever a time should come when, as 
in North America, railways shall be laid down, then the 
hard labour of these pioneers will be appreciated. In 
these districts, in which progress is kept back by want of 
means of communication, only the owners of large fa- 
zendas can carry on a profitable business. They are able, 
with their number of slaves, to trade upon a large scale, 
and have the means of triumphing over circumstances. 
Such fazendas, with capital laid out upon them, and under 
good management, cannot but prosper. But settlers on a 
small scale and such are most of the emigrants cannot 
thrive. One individual can perform but little work ; the 
small plantation of coffee or cocoa does not repay the 
trouble expended on it ; fields cannot be cultivated here as 
in Europe ; and the sad result is that men here drag on as 
melancholy an existence as they did in Europe, and in 
addition mourn the loss of their beloved country. If 
they attempt a trade, their success is still but small, for 
trade depends on the numbers and prosperity of inhabi- 
tants. These inhabitants must first be provided, and money 
there is none in these primitive places ; it is only to be 
found in the seaports. 

With a few strokes of the paddles we passed the second 
rapid ; after this the river became wider and calmer, 



MATO VIRGEM. 23 

and the thick wall of vegetation on our left less dense ; 
a little farther on a broad open green meadow, like one 
of our pasture-grounds at home, lay before us. The large 
trees, affording shelter and shade to the shepherd, were 
not wanting, and the cattle were here wandering peace- 
fully over the grass in search of their sweet food. It was 
quite a home scene. The expanse of forest in the distance 
had an appearance like the dark rounded forms of our 
mountain-woods, and it required the signboard on the 
landing-place, with the words ' Porto da Vittoria,' to re- 
call to us the fact that we were in Brazil. 

K announced our arrival to his master, the canoe lay 
at the landing-place, near to which was a warehouse much 
like a cart-shed. We gladly sprang on shore, delighted to 
escape from the cramping position necessary in the canoes. 
These were drawn halfway up the bank, and our packages 
were taken out by the sturdy blacks under the direction of 

K . We ourselves proceeded by the pathway through 

the meadows to the fazenda. We could have fancied our- 
selves in one of those farms which hold a medium position 
between a really large farm and an Alpine hut. 

Among our beautiful mountains there are loftily-situ- 
ated plains, with extensive meadows intersected by streams, 
their banks overgrown with rushes, and enclosed by the 
high walls of the evergreen fir-woods; these afford a beau- 
tiful prospect over the surrounding hills and valleys. 
Cattle feed in these meadows, the several graz ing-grounds 
being divided by strong fences. The entrance from the 
brown muddy road leading to them is formed by the wood, 
a bough serving as an archway. This rudely-constructed 
gate groans as the traveller opens it, and closes it again 
quickly after him, to keep in the cattle and horses that are 
roaming about. The farmer to whom the ground belongs pre- 
serves some few large trees, such as ash and maple (fine spe- 
cimens, which rejoice the lover of nature), when the forest is 

Y 2 



324 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

cleared ; they serve either as boundary-marks, or for the 
cattle to stand under in the heat of the day and during 
storms. In places where giants of a similar kind have 
been felled, the fibrous roots are still to be seen among 
the grass. Higher up on the hill stands the house, built 
of stone and wood, together with the stables, granaries, and 
sheds. As the farm is some distance from any village, and 
is surrounded by thick mountain-forest, there is a peculiar 
repose and calm pervading the activity of everyday life, 
very invigorating to both mind and body. Assuredly man 
should be less wicked when leading so tranquil a life. 
Self-reliance here reigns supreme. It is a world within 
itself, with its own joys and sorrows, knowing little of 
what goes on beyond it. Such is our home-picture ; and 
such, transplanted to the tropics and enlarged to a grander 
scale, is a picture of the Fazenda da Vittoria. Even the 
duplicates of the crows and ravens that frequent the pas- 
ture-ground were not wanting; for here there was the 
Crotophago anil, which, similar to our crow, also performs 
the same useful services for the farmer. As we were 
traversing the meadows, admiring the grasses and various 
wild flowers, and looking for butterflies and beetles, our 

friend L came hastening towards us accompanied by a 

gentleman, dressed in white with a large panama hat. It 

was St , the fortunate owner of the large fazenda, far 

surpassing many German princes in territory and power, 
notwithstanding his deficiency in title, etiquette, and court 
attendants. He advanced frankly and cordially, and re- 
ceived us hospitably. He is a man of merit, and one of 
those prepossessing people whose characters one can read 
at first sight; of middle height, broad-shouldered, strongly- 
built, with well-cut manly features, fresh healthy com- 
plexion, fair hair, and honest blue eyes ; his appearance is 
imposing, and at the same time pleasing, from its expres- 
sion of kindliness. He is one of those men whom in our 



MATO VIRGEM. 325 

hurrying, bustling, over-refined Europe, one seldom if 
ever meets, because it is only in the New World, and in 
the struggle with nature, that such characters become 

fully developed. St is one of those men whom Cooper 

has drawn so well. With such, we quickly become 
acquainted, and intercourse with them is ever instructive 
and pleasant ; in their society the over-civilised mind 
recovers its natural tone. There was a link between us 
and St ; he called himself half- Austrian, for his vener- 
able father, although having property in Bohemia, had 

spent the greater portion of his life in Austria. St 's 

elder brother, who served in our army, and who made a 
rich and good marriage in Prague, has settled in Bohemia 
with an uncle of his, Colonel of the Kaiser-Jager, an excel- 
lent and talented soldier I had been well acquainted ; 
and a cousin of our host had fallen in the Austrian ranks 
on the mournful day of Solferino. There were therefore 
sufficient reasons, both of joy and sorrow, why we should 

meet as friends ; and St , familiar with the present state 

of Austria and all connected with her, evinced an undis- 
guised and hearty pleasure in welcoming and extending 
his hospitality to natives of the country in which so many 
of his relations are residing. St himself was a lieu- 
tenant in the Prussian Guard, and he related (pleased at 
the remembrance) how he was on duty on the lovely banks 
of the Ehine, on the occasion of the visit of Queen Victoria 
in August 1845. Shortly afterwards (to th by no means 
agreeable surprise of his father, and excited, as he said, by 
Humboldt, to take up the idea), St decided upon quit- 
ing civilised Europe, and seeking his fortunes across the 
ocean in the New World. His relations, and also numerous 
old prigs, shook their heads in disapprobation, and lamented 

over the lost son. But who that sees St in the full 

vigour of his strength, surrounded by a blooming family, 
the owner of a considerable property, possessing authority 



326 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and talent ; who that looks attentively, and sees how he 
receives deference from all around him, how his word is 
respected, how he lives so completely the lord of the 
fazenda, how, living in freedom and independence, he is 
responsible to none, save to Grod and his own conscience, 
how he is, so to speak, a king without the weight of the 
purple : who that beholds all this must not applaud the 
clever and persevering man for having discarded his uni- 
form, changed his shako for a panama, and resigned the 
honour of perhaps obtaining the command of a regiment, 
after forty or fifty years' service ? Under such circumstances, 
it is right to quit one's native country and to form a future 
for oneself, by one's own energy, will, and perseverance. 
And St has the right, when standing in his own domi- 
nions, to ask of astonished strangers how all is going on in 
' fossilised ' Europe ? an admirable expression, which I 
learnt from him, and which pleased me by its aptness. 

But he has not yet succeeded altogether in giving up 

old ways in the school of the New World. When L 

announced our sudden visit, to my delight, St could 

not find excuses enough for having no black coat or white 
tie in which to receive the Prince in proper order on the 
boundary of his dominions. Having a misty recollection 
of the journey of Queen Victoria, he probably expected 
that we were making our visit to the primeval forest, de- 
corated with crosses and stars, accompanied by chamber- 
lains, plumed adjutants, and a gorgeous retinue. L 

reassured him from his own experience ; but it was not 
until St actually beheld us walking in our primi- 
tive attire that the load was removed from his breast, and 
he breathed freely. 

Slowly advancing through the unshaded meadows, be- 
neath burning heat, he conducted us to his fazenda. Be- 
fore we reached the house, we passed through a short but 
beautiful avenue of jacaran da-trees, which gave a cool 



MATO VIRGEM. 327 

shade, and formed the approach to the inner fence of 
shrubs. The gate was opened, and we entered a valley in 
which the fazenda was situated. On our left, on an open 
space on the eminence at the termination of our path, 
stood the mansion, with a verandah at the back ; and with 
its kitchens and servants' rooms on the edge of the forest, 
in front of which the accustomed verandah was not want- 
ing. On the right, at the opening of the valley, was an 
old disused sugarmill, with its wheels and wooden chan- 
nels, reminding one in form of our mountain-forts. The 
water for working it was turned on from a pond at the 
extremity of the valley, which derived its supply from the 
neighbouring forest. On a hill on the left side of the valley, 
stood a long narrow row of buildings on the ground floor, 
reminding us in form and situation of our cattle-sheds at 
home ; these were the abodes of the slaves, partitioned off 
according to the size of the families ; all the windows and 
doors were placed directly facing the mansion ; at the back 
the dwellings were inaccessible, to prevent the escape of the 
slaves. Between the mansion and the pond, and forming a 
path to the Mato, were some beautiful specimens of cocoa- 
nut palms and bread-fruit trees, which over-shadowed a 
pretty bath-house, in the cool basins of which flowed a never- 
ceasing supply of cool water. The character of this little 
log-house was more than simple ; it was utterly devoid of 
all ornament, and quite uulike that which I had imagined 
would be found attached to the houses in these forests. The 
realities of life, with which these men who contend with 
nature are occupied, repress all poetry and all ideas of com- 
fort. Hence the universal custom of leaving the houses 
unencircled by the slightest token of vegetation : no beau- 
tiful trees to afford shade, no flowering shrubs, none of the 
countless beautiful creepers twining round the supports of 
the verandahs, not the slightest possible sign of a garden ! 
And why should there be this want of taste ? There are 



328 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

two reasons for it. The danger of poisonous reptiles, 
which might conceal themselves in the shades ; and the con- 
stant life out-of-doors, amid the luxuriance of nature which 
overpowers the owner by its profusion, and leaves him 
only the night-time in which to seek the shelter of his 
home. 

The fazenda itself, therefore, cannot be described in 
anyway as pretty or poetical in appearance, but, on the 
contrary, is bare and prosaic. The view of the surrounding 
country is, however, magnificent, as are the masses of the 
cloud continually towering over the far-extending forest. 
The whole atmosphere in this country has in it something of 
poetry, as has also the free unfettered life of struggle, the 
seclusion from the world at large, the complete dependence 
on individual vigour, on individual mind ; all these ele- 
vate the soul, even though the details be insipid and 
devoid of attraction. 

A life of activity prevails among the buildings, with 
the bustle inseparable from large property. Overseers go 
to and fro ; the mechanics repair the tools and set them in 
order ; slaves move in various directions, mutely following 
the sharp look of the master ; slave-women carry back and 
forwards all that is needed for the kitchen, fetch water, or 
wash the linen ; negro boys amuse themselves with the 
games allowed ; neighing horses ascend and descend the 
hill ; pigs with rings in their snouts poke about in the 
ground round the house, looking for food ; everywhere 
there is life and activity, with a certain air of prosperity 
and good order. Everything is, directly or indirectly, a 
part of the great machinery of the fazenda. 

Before we reached the mansion, we and St were 

the best of friends. In these secluded regions, where all 
moves in one groove, where the outer world causes no dis- 
traction, acquaintances are quickly formed ; and here, in 
the mato, one feels none of that embarrassment which cha- 



MATO VIRGEM. 329 

racterises a first interview in Europe ; that reserve which 
is rendered necessary by the distrust engendered by cir- 
cumstances in Europe does not exist in this country 
where interests do not clash, where there is room enough 
for everyone to move at will and to go his own way 
without jostling his neighbour. 

Passing through the verandah, St led us into 

the principal apartment, the chief room of the house, 

and presented his family to us. Senhora St , a 

genuine specimen of a Brazilian, refined and delicate in 
figure, but endowed with a strong determined spirit, 
womanly and retiring when she ought to be so, full of 
courage and decision when these are required, is the 
daughter of St "s neighbour, an old Brazilian, Colonel 

Egidio Luiz de S B . Gothic blood flows in her 

veins, and she belongs to one of the few families forming 
the historical nobility of Brazil ; their ancestors are men- 
tioned in connection with the ancient history of Portugal, 
and were presented by the Queen with extensive grants of 
land on the discovery of the country. But few of these 
old families settled in the New World, most of them re- 
turned to their native country; of the few that remained, 
the larger number are to be found in the province of 
St. Paul. 

The family S is one of the best among them. I 

shall hereafter have occasion to relate the romantic cir- 
cumstances under which they came to the virgin forests 
of Bahia. Born of high-souled parents at a period of 
stormy excitement, the Senhora possesses that firmness, 
that calm imperturbable cheerfulness, so indispensably 
necessary in life in the Mato. Simple in her habits (as 
the wife of a fazendero ought to be), she knows nothing 
of the luxuries of the great world, and the whole aim of 
her life is to help her husband, by her industry and 
activity ; to rule her house well, even to the most minute 



330 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

trifles ; and to bring up her children to be useful men in 
their position in life. On first glancing at the slight 
figure, dressed plainly in a simple cotton dress, one could 
never suppose that it was this modest black-eyed lady, 

who (during St 's absences on business) lives in the 

fazenda, in the midst of the forest, ruling a hundred and 
fifty slaves with despotic power; that her strength of 
character enables her to keep these blacks diligently at 
work, without their uttering one mutinous word. The 
Senhora has five fine children, three boys and two girls. 
Amalie, the eldest daughter, is a very intelligent child, 
and already accompanies her mother when engaged in 
household duties. Next to her come the three boys, 
Fernando, Alberto, and Gerubino ; the first named after 
his father, the two latter after their grandfathers, living at 
the Antipodes. The youngest girl (a baby) was carried 
about by her black nurse. Little Amalie is like her 
mother, and is a complete Brazilian ; in the fresh com- 
plexion of the boys, their fair hair and black eyes, one 
sees the mixture of German and Lusitanian blood. 

The open-hearted children soon made friends with the 
strange guests, and showed their undisguised pleasure at 
all that was new to them. The one child who causes 
anxiety to his parents is the little Gerubino, who, appa- 
rently in consequence of intermittent fever, is some- 
times quite lively and gay, and full of merriment ; then 
suddenly he is seized with convulsions, and hovers for a 
certain time between life and death. 

Immediately that the Senhora had extended to us her 
unembarrassed and cordial welcome, she returned, like a 
true housewife and anxious hostess, to her duties, and 
especially (to our great joy) to the kitchen department. 
Our long journey made her attention in this direction 

doubly acceptable. Meanwhile, St took us over his 

plain and simple home, to me an interesting type of a real 



MATO VIRGEM. 331 

Brazilian fazenda. The large apartment, of which I spoke 
before, runs across from one front of the house to the 
other, dividing the building into two parts, the dwelling- 
rooms opening into it. At each end of it doors and win- 
dows open into the verandah, which is simply a wooden- 
covered passage, supported by pillars like those of our 
Swiss houses ; through the verandah, which affords shelter 
from the sun and wind, and protection against the en- 
trancej of animals, we pass into the house. This 
principal apartment is simply whitewashed, without any 
ornament ; long wooden couches run along the walls ; a 
large clock is placed against the wall on the right ; cup- 
boards occupy the space between the windows and the 
glass door on the wall opposite to the chief entrance, and 
are filled with bottles, cups, and various miscellaneous and 
necessary articles ; a long table in the centre of the room 
serves the family and guests as a dining-table. More 
simple the room could not be ; a healthful tone of fresh- 
ness pervaded it, which one might seek in vain in our 
Parisian salons. There are three rooms on each side. 
The Senhora and her children occupy the first two rooms 
on the right ; the third is the special room of the master, 
his writing-room, library, collections of seed, little armoury, 
receptacle for various tools, in a word, the all-in-all of 
this active-minded man. The writing-table was covered 
with papers, apparently referring to business connected 
with his coffee and sugar plantations ; in the library was a 
selection of excellent books, adapted to strengthen his 
mind in the solitude which enforces self-help. The col- 
lections of seeds consisted of very valuable specimens, 
which in these countries promise grand results ; every- 
thing affords proof that here man, be he ever so refined, 
must attempt everything himself, must manage everything 
for himself. The weapons are essential to a secure and 
comfortable existence in the Mato. They afford protection 



332 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

against wild beasts, are useful in the pursuit of game (so 
necessary here), and also are a defence against the Red- 
skins, who make their dangerous raids as far as this point. 

Only a few days ago, so St told me, to my surprise and 

pleasure, the Indians appeared before the fazenda. St 
prudently avoided any altercation with them, but by his 
firmness prevented them from carrying anything away 
with them. The Redskins are said to be particularly de- 
ficient in all clear idea of the difference between meum 
and tuum. Such visits naturally throw the whole fazenda 
into a state of feverish excitement, for one never can be 
sure how they may terminate. On this occasion the free 
sons of the forest were very civil, and only asked for 
cahaca, the password in South America. St - ordered 
the coveted beverage to be brought, and hilarity speedily 
reigned among the elated savages ; the danger evaporated 
in a national dance, in which they expressed their thanks, 
performing, in a very primitive attire, a pantomime 
with their bows and arrows. But these visits do not 
always terminate so pleasantly ; and it not unfrequently 
happens that the unfortunate white man, when engaged in 
hunting, is suddenly disturbed by a poisoned arrow dis- 
charged by some man-hunter, and may consider himself 
fortunate if, by his prudence and courage, he escape with 
a whole skin. In my ardour for adventure these state- 
ments excited in me renewed resolutions, as may easily be 
supposed. 

We were now in the vicinity of the sacred walls of the 
real primeval forest ; we were within the haunts of the 
Botokudes and the Bataihos, who live here wild and free, 
levying their tribute by hunting and fishing. I was by 
degrees approaching the full realisation of my traveller's 
dreams. 

A black table near the entrance-door of St 's apart- 
ment attracted our attention ; on it were recorded the 



MATO VIRGEM. 333 

extraordinary and romantic Christian names of his slaves. 
This table forms a sort of primitive guide-book, which 
must cost him not a little trouble, and make the study of 
martyrology essential to him ; for the superstition of the 
blacks demands that the name of one who has died shall 
never be given to the newborn child. One finds names 
such as Ida, Eosalie, Prudentia, and Clementina, which 
are in direct opposition to the looks of the hideous owners. 
Men and women are placed in different columns, and, in 
addition to the name, each has a number, which marks 
them at once as saleable goods. 

Simple as everything was in this house, yet every step 
afforded some fresh object of interest to us newcomers ; on 
every side we obtained a glimpse into forest-life, around 
which ever lingers the aroma of poetry. 

Opposite to St 's apartment, and opening on the 

other side of the hall, were two rooms which were prepared 
for us. I selected one, with the doctor for my companion. 
In accordance with the custom of the country in which we 
were, the entire furniture consisted of two low bedsteads, on 
which were spread coarse linen instead of mattrasses. Near 
these rooms a small staircase led to a room in which were 
some other bedsteads. The apartment on the left of the 
entrance was our host's dispensary ; amongst his other 
acquirements as a settler he is also a surgeon. He has 
obtained the very necessary knowledge of this art by his 
own diligence and self-dependence, by careful study of 
books, and by bold experiment. He had scarcely opened 
the door of his dispensary, and shown my doctor all the 
yellow, red, and blue bottles, phials, and cups, with their un- 
pleasant odours, before the power of habit and the instincts 
of the profession led them into conversation, in which the 
self-educated surgeon, the man of practical learning, was 
able to take his own part. St has so great a reputa- 
tion as a surgeon, that he is sent for from great distances, 



334 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

and is often obliged at night to mount his horse and 
hasten through the Mato, in spite of all difficulties, to 
some distant plantation. To a noble-minded man like 

St there must be great satisfaction in such labours, 

even though sometimes they may be a little severe. 

Added to this, by his knowledge of surgery, he possesses a 
prestige throughout all the country among the blacks, and 
even among the Indians ; this is the privilege of a superior 

mind. From his medicines it was easy to see that St 's 

is sharp practice. He thinks strong measures the best in 
this country. 

In front of the verandah, on the spot where the garden 
should stand, was an enclosure in which the children had 
some of the forest animals as pets. On taking leave, 
St presented me with two wondrously pretty phea- 
sants, dark-green, with scarlet round the eyes, and with 
red feet. I was the first person to bring such birds alive 
to Europe, and I placed them in the menagerie at Schon- 
brunn. A very lively little pig, which he had brought 
home not long ago from a hunting expedition, and a land- 
tortoise, were also living happily here. In a cage in the 
verandah we saw, for the first time, a native of the Mato, 
whose melancholy lay everyone knows who has passed 
but twenty-four hours in its sacred groves namely, the 
tukan, or pepper-bird, an extraordinary creature, with a 
beak that resembles the snout of a tapir ; it may indeed, 
and not improbably, be a remnant left from primeval 
times. The family of the tukan (Rhamphastus) is di- 
vided into three or four species, and may be found in 
almost all parts of South America. In its wild state it 
lives almost entirely on the fruit of various sorts of cap- 
sicum, and from this it has doubtless derived its name. 
In captivity, this bird does honour to its snoutish beak, 
and devours food more greedily than any animal I ever 
saw ; so that this beak resembles a large sack, in which 



MATO VIRGEM. 335 

edibles of every kind (for he refuses nothing) disappear. 
The bird that we saw here belonged to the species Tem- 
minckii, was as large as a jackdaw, and its hooked beak 
(which was black, with yellow feathers round its root) 
was very sharp, strong, and about half the length of its 
whole body. Its back and wings were black, its throat 
and breast bright orange, and its short tail purple. The 
most remarkable point in this strange bird is its eye, 
the large iris of which is of a delicate blue like turquoise, 
forming a beautiful combination with its brilliant plumage. 
The restless movements of the bird, and its immense beak, 
have a curious effect, and, notwithstanding its beauty of 
colour, give it a droll appearance. It looked to me as if 
masked, and ready to play a part at the carnival. St 
did me the favour to present me with this bird on a future 
occasion, and I brought home two of them, alive and 
tamed. One of them remained for a long time in Europe, 
and when our store of farinha was exhausted, it was fed 
with potatoes and oranges. The peculiar cry of the 
tukan is (like that of the mountain cock with us) a pleasant 
forest-sound to the ear of the traveller ; once heard, it is 
always recognised when it resounds amid the solitudes. 

But to return to the description of the fazenda. The 
situation of the mansion is fine, and has been selected with 
an obj ect. From it the whol e establishment, and indeed the 
whole portion of the forest around it that has been cleared, 
is distinctly visible ; nothing can move in or out without 
being seen from this central point. This overlooking is very 
necessary under the circumstances in which a man lives 
in this country, the owner of so large a number of slaves, 
and surrounded by forest, in which both wild men and 
wild beasts abound. The first duty of the fazendero is 
never to allow himself to be surprised, and never to forget 
that he must rely upon himself alone to resist all opposing 
events. He is on continual outpost duty, which, however, 



336 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

when well-performed, has in it less of danger than one 
would suppose. Whilst we were inspecting the house 
and its immediate surroundings with some curiosity, 

St , ever thoughtful of his guests, ordered beer and 

some other invigorating beverages to be brought. Beer 
finds its way even into the forest ; indeed, one may say 
that, wherever German lips are to be found, thither ex- 
tends the empire of the mighty Grambrinus. In Brazil, 
however, it is the custom to drink brandy at all hours of 
the day, under the idea of modifying heat by heat. No 
one ever dreams of using water here for any purpose but 
the bath; and I certainly think that to drink a large 
quantity of water would be very injurious in these climates. 

According to the excellent Brazilian custom, St 

offered us the use of his cool bath-house, in which to take 
a cold bath before lunch, which I, who am not yet fully 
acclimatised, declined with thanks. 

The botanist and sportsman, who had followed in the 
second canoe with the heavy baggage, now arrived at this 
hospitable house ; each, according to his vocation, laden 
with booty. The botanist was quite unlike himself in the 
silent rapture which he evinced on finding himself so un- 
expectedly on ground that seemed peculiarly his own. 

Meanwhile the Senhora and her attendant black 
maidens were not idle ; and a sumptuous lunch was spread 
on the long table in the hall. When all was ready, our 
kind host invited jis to be seated; the Senhora, after she 
had hastily seen the final arrangements made in the kitchen, 
took her seat at the head of the table in the good old 
fashion, and with a certain aristocratic dignity of manner. 
She summoned me to sit on her right hand, and all the 
rest of the company, and every one of the family, great 
and small, ranged themselves around the well-spread 
table. She then coquettishly addressed some few lively 
words of apology to me, in the prettiest manner possible,, 



MATO VIEGEM. 337 

respecting the repast she had prepared for us. In a 
house in which order and good manners prevail where 
each one, from highest to lowest, is obliged to work to 
earn his bread where industry is rewarded by cheerfulness 
where everyone brings a good appetite to the table ; 
in such a house there ever rests the blessing of an atmo- 
sphere of peace, of good temper, of contentment, which 
cannot fail to refresh and invigorate even a stranger. 
Among people who are labouring diligently to maintain 
their existence, according to the first principles of nature, 
one immediately feels oneself a better man, and also 
obtains the blessing of calm and restful happiness. Such 
was the case now ; and a tone of gladsomeness pervaded 
this company, assembled together from different quarters 
of the globe. The merriment of the children was as 
enjoyable to us as though we had seen them growing up 
from babyhood ; very attractive also was the amiability of 
the young mother .of the family ; and everyone was all 
attention to the pleasant and instructive words of the 
father, who had so much that was interesting to tell to us 
new-arrivals. 

The Senhora had a right to be proud of her repast. 
Primitive, simple, but admirably dressed, it was really 
excellent; and our hearty appetites best expressed our 
thanks, and gratified her. Every description of bird 
was seasoned with pimento and herbs; delicious palm- 
cabbages cooled our heated throats; yams appeared as 
an excellent vegetable, and the indispensable farinha was 
mixed with rich meats. But the crowning achievement, 
the best thing of the sort that I ever tasted, was a 
tender, fat, sucking-pig, dressed in the old Brazilian 
manner. My mouth waters even now when I think of 
this delicious dish. It is to be premised that the Brazilian 
pig is very superior to the European in excellence. Imagine 
then, this animal, quite young, brought up in the fresh 
VOL. in. z 



338 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

forest air, fed on the delicate roots and plants of the Mato, 
and then dressed in a manner worthy of its early nurture. 
The inside is filled with spices of every kind, fresh from the 
plants ; spices which only find their way into an European 
kitchen after having been dried and packed, and after having 
undergone a long sea-voyage, are here the natural products 
of the forest; to this mixtum compositum is added some 
of the useful farinha, which, by its dryness, takes off some 
of the richness ; and thus one has the most savoury dish 
upon earth, in the enjoyment of which there is but one 
cause for regret that it is only attainable in the primeval 
forest, and that all the culinary art of Europe, directed 
by the most minute recipes, can never produce anything 
at all resembling it for the fragrance of the Mato would 
still be wanting. As this stuffing is roasted with the pig, 

the whole of the meat has the delicious flavour. St 's 

cellar also was well-stocked; the best European wines 
graced the table ; I confined myself to that most popular 
in this country a sort of lisbon, new to me a deep red 
wine, almost black, something like port, which is very 
quenching to the thirst, and is a very pleasant beverage. 
It is the only home-made wine that one meets with. Some 
absinthe was also brought, intended to be mixed with 
water ; but I do not like these compositions. 

During our repast, plans were arranged for our expedition 
into the forest. My object was to make as much as possible 
of the short time, to penetrate as far as I could, and to 

travel over the greatest possible distance. St would 

not comprehend that we wished to explore as much of the 
forest as we could : he probably thought that this was the 
privilege of the colonists, and that we Europeans had no 
claim to it. According to his powerful descriptions, the 
labour was indeed not light ; for through the forest one 
cannot be said to go one must jump, vault, and lose half 
one's skin. His wish was that we should make short ex- 
cursions from his house, taking it as our central point, 



MATO VIRGEM. 339 

and returning after each to his hospitable roof. I suspect 

that the instigator of this plan was our good friend L , 

who, with hib comfortable habits of life, dreaded pressing 
his way into the forest. But these walks did not answer 
my purpose ; I had already taken such in Bahia, and other 
such awaited me, in endless number, in the country round 
Eio. I had bent my steps hither in order to see some- 
thing of real adventure, and to earn my impressions of the 
sublime Mato with toil and hardship. I therefore urged 
that a plan of advance should be traced ; but, since no 
precedent for. this sort of thing existed, and other Euro- 
peans had limited their search for plants and birds to the 
vicinity of the settlement, the good people seemed quite 
unable to understand what it was that 1 wished to do in 
the heart of the forest. Probably this seemed to them as 
strange as it would seem to us, if an inhabitant of some 
inland country were to come to the seaside for the first 
time, and to express his wish to go out many miles to sea 
in an open boat : or if, at Cairo, a stranger should ask 
to mount a dromedary, and ride out into the desert, with- 
out knowing the track, and without any plan, merely for 
the sake of seeing the desert. 

At length we came to a compromise, and agreed for 

to-day to yield to the wishes of St - and L , and 

only to make a short afternoon visit to the entrance of 
the Mato Virgem ; and to begin our real excursion on the 
morrow, under the direction and guidance of a German 
settler, the most noted hunter far and wide. My great 
desire was to avoid all inhabited districts to see the 
various portions of the forest, its dry and its swampy soils 
to come on the track of wild beasts, and, if possible, to fall 
in with them also. 

As soon as we had refreshed ourselves, and the great 

heat of noon had subsided, we prepared, under St -'s 

directions, and armed with all sorts of murderous instru- 



340 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

ments, for our visit to the Mato. Passing down the short 
avenue, we went part of the way down the road by which 
we had come ; we then turned through a sort of fruit- 
garden with the ubiquitous cashew-tree ; the path was 
bordered with pine-apples, which make a great impression 
on the European eye, as they prove the luxuriance of nature. 
The pine-apples were of a reddish colour, and of various 
degrees of ripeness. The path led round a wooded hill, 
down into a valley, and the fruit-garden terminated in a 
coffee-plantation, which covered the whole of the low 

ground. Five years had not elapsed since St had 

cleared the forest in this part with axe and hammer, and 
had made a ' roca ; ' and already coffee-bushes, five feet in 
height, were growing thickly in large numbers. There 
was nothing of a regular plantation, and it was only by 
careful observation that one could discover it to be a field 
of coffee-plants ; it looked like a sea of green glossy 
leaves, and it was only by the white blossom that one 
could recognise the plant. Already wild shoots of the 
original vegetation were visible between the coffee-plants, 

and in no long time, so St assured us, the ground 

will be left to itself; the capoera will be formed, the soil 
will put forth its strength, and a fresh piece of forest will 
be turned into a ( roca,.' These instances of the immense 
power of the soil have in them something almost incredi- 
ble to the European. 

For cutting the forest the fazenderos generally employ the 
half-tamed Indians, whom they hire from time to time, and 
who perform their work with wonderful skill and rapidity. 
That must be a grand sight when the axe is brought for 
the first time into these spots, untouched hitherto since 
the days of the Creation when the giant of the forest 
begins to totter, and when its immense crown, as it bends 
and falls, brings masses of vegetation with it to the ground. 
At first a rushing sound is heard, and then, as with the roar 



MATO VIRGEM. 341 

of thunder, the monarch of a thousand years lies low, and 
in his fall brings down a vast number of flowers, lianas, 
shrubs, and palms. 

The view which lay before us in the valley was very 
beautiful, and brilliantly lighted up by the rays of the 
sun. The lowest part was full of coffee-bushes, inter- 
spersed with flowering shrubs and bright blossoms. The 
boundary of the valley on the hill-side was formed by the 
forest. This rose in towering masses, clearly outlined by 
the gorgeous sunlight ; in some parts there was a golden 
shimmer on the leaves ; in others, the dense foliage pro- 
duced deep shadows, among which the silvery cecropia 
gleamed in the stray sunbeams. Next might be seen the 
giant form of some ancient tree, with its massive crown 
ornamented by brilliant bromeliacese, and by lianas hanging 
in festoons from bough to bough. Beneath the crowns, 
through which the rays of the sun could not penetrate, all 
was deep shadow, amid which we could only distinguish 
some few silvery stems ; thus there was an endless variety 
of light and shade, of darkness and brilliance. Over the 
whole scene lay peace and repose. To complete its beauty, 
the sky towards evening became cloudless, so that every 
outline was marked sharply against it. When we gaze 
on these fortresses of forest, we are lost in wonder and 
admiration at the grandeur of nature, and at the fertility of 
the soil that nourishes so gigantic a mass of vegetable 
life; we seem to stand at the entrance of an unknown 
world of mystery and enchantment; we are filled with 
wondering of what dwells within, of what goes on in 
this vast world. We know that trees grow and bloom, 
and bear their fruit, within these spacious halls ; that 
bright birds with gleaming plumage trill their lays in the 
leafy domes; that imperial butterflies of brilliant hues 
float in the perfumed air ; that shy lizards and glistening 
snakes glide through flower and bush. We know that 



342 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

such as these have lived and dwelt here from the days 
of Creation, have sung and bloomed, and yet the forest 
is a mystery which man wonders at and admires, yet may 
not understand. 

As we descended into the valley, two different kinds of 
pipra flew from the bushes near us. From the way in 
which they flew, one might know that they had no fear of 
man. Why, indeed, should the inhabitant of the forest 
shoot these innocent creatures ? Powder and shot are such 
necessaries of life to him, that he reserves them for 
moments of danger, or for real use. The practical resident 
in the Mato only shoots a fat boar from some herd of 
swine, or a woodcock from a bough ; or in firing at a 
dangerous ounce, he may perhaps shoot down an Indian 
woman. To-day the poor beasts had peace not so the 
birds ; the eager eye of the lover of curiosities was fixed 
on them, and many of them fell in their paradise beneath 
the fire of the sportsman. In the lower portion of the 
valley, where the ground was swampy, the path was over- 
laid with loose sticks (as in our Austrian forests), to pre- 
vent our sinking. A bridge (made of pieces of wood put 
roughly together), over a piece of narrow rush-covered 
water, reminded me vividly of the salt districts. These 
reminders of the beautiful mountain-country at home 
were very pleasant, and awoke in my mind many happy 
reminiscences of the peaceful hours that I had spent in 
that land of poetry. It is remarkable that, even in the 
remotest depths of the primeval forest, I discovered a 
similarity to our Alpine scenery. Its districts only, in the 
whole of Europe, bear any resemblance to the wildness of 
nature in this country. In them only can we find the 
same repose, the same half-entrancing, half-awful stillness, 
the same brilliancy of vegetation ; and in the beauty of 
their wild flowers, the gentian and the liliaceae, something 
of that luxuriance which prevails in the primeval forest. 



MATO VIRGEM. 343 

One finds a hundred trees, which fall merely from old age, 
giving nourishment in their decay to new vegetation ; one 
sees nature existing for herself, and for the glory of her 
God, and not blooming exclusively for man. Thus, in my 
wanderings in Brazil, the Alps frequently recurred to my 
mind, from the similarity presented in form, in colour, 
and in general character. There is a great resemblance 
between different portions of the great creation ; and where 
the hand of man has not interfered, the likeness is very 
marked only varying in detail, according to the varieties 
of climate and soil. 

We had scarcely passed the bridge, before we reached 
the boundary of the valley. By a cut, which is plainly 
intended to be a forest- path, we entered the Mato filled 
with that sweet awe which takes possession of a man when 
mysteriously surrounded by that which is both new and 
grand. When this feeling of reverence and wonder pervades 
the expectant soul on entering a large Grothic cathedral, 
or in the vast Catacombs, or amid the granite halls and 
passages of the Pyramids, when the heart beats more 
quickly, then does one ever aspire to press forward more 
boldly. If the eye rest in wonder on the bold columns, 
the beautiful vaulted arches, the splendour of ornament of 
the vast minster, what emotions must not stir the soul 
when one enters into the world of giants created thousands 
of years ago ! and when one sees them in their pristine 
image, and beholds the living pillars, the green sunlit 
vaults, and nature's wealth of form and colour ; as with 
the monuments in the interior of the cathedral, so also 
with the forest, the view is limited; but although bounded 
to the eye, both are replete with suggestive thoughts to the 
mind. Here the mass of vegetation rises on all sides of the 
spectator in endless variety, and meets high over his head 
in a thick shady roof, from which depend lianas and 
creepers of every kind. The eye cannot discern whence 



344 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

each plant springs, or where it terminates. Around the 
roots of the trees is an immense growth of these creepers ; 
when the crowns begin to spread, there is again a 
fresh world of these plants thickly intertwined ; and the 
brilliant sun can scarcely penetrate through the rich 
verdure of these vaulted roofs, and only sheds a dim 
mysterious light into the halls below, in which the atmo- 
sphere is ever cool. The eye, not yet accustomed to this 
splendour, is lost among the thousands of individual 
plants, and seeks for some arrangement among them; 
the impression, as a whole, is overpowering. Here and 
there some blossom of more than usual splendour attracts 
attention, or some novel form excites admiration ; but one 
has scarce gazed at either for a moment, before the waves 
of verdure meet above the vision of beauty. These are 
moments which cannot be described, and in which one 
can only admire in silent joy, not unmixed with reverence. 
The space over which the eye can wander is very small ; it 
cannot penetrate more than a few fathoms into this chaos. 
How vast, how varied, how boundless, must not that world 
be, which has the power, even in such a limited space, of 
thus affecting the lord of the creation ! 

St , our kind and talented guide, respecting our 

emotion, announced to us, in a subdued tone, that we were 
now in the real, genuine, undesecrated, undisturbed virgin 
forest, visited by but few Europeans. There was not a 
word now of Capoeras ; here the empire of man ceased 
here that of immortal nature began ; here was the grand 
reward of my Transatlantic voyage; and with just pride 
I, a zealous pilgrim, could enter the sanctuary of which 
so many talk, but which so few have visited. Here one 
discovers, from the few inhabitants, how many false state- 
ments are connected with the Mato Virgem. Every 
traveller who has set his foot on the soil of America, and 
has seen a couple of palms who has seen the immediate 



MATO VIRGEM. . 345 

vicinity of one of the seaports, fancies himself entitled to 
talk of this sacred land, and to trumpet forth his raptures 
to the world ; but if one question him minutely, as regards 
the details, his grand descriptions end in nothing. 

St did the honours with much tact ; the forest is in 
truth his world, in which he carries on the struggle of life, 
as though he were its owner. He drew our attention to the 
beauty of the vegetable, and to the wonders of the animal 
world. It is not until one becomes a little accustomed 
to the splendour, that one begins to feel enjoyment ; new 
visions of wonder succeed each other with such rapidity. 
There were three species of plants, that rose one above the 
other in three divisions : on the ground, the luxuriant and 
beautiful aroidea, with their variety of form, and beauty 
of hue ; the scitaminea, with their gorgeous blossoms ; 
the musacese, with their large folding leaves ; graceful 
ferns, reminding one of home ; and mingled with these, 
rich fantastic philodendrons, which, as their name im- 
plies, seek the friendship and support of the trees. 
Amid this profusion of luxuriance, there is an immense 
growth of plants (thriving and nourishing in the cool 
shades, on the moist rich earth), which the eye hardly 
notices individually, although in Europe they gleam as 
stars of the first magnitude in the firmament of flowers. 
I will only name the bignonia (with its exquisitely-formed 
and beautifully-tinted leaves) endless varieties of grasses, 
and dwarf palms. From this mass of splendour and 
richness, peculiarly the home of the insect world, rises 
the more slender growth of the next stage. This consists 
principally of trees with feathered and broad leaves ; here 
large quantities of cecropia are found, and here also some 
few light palms unfold their leaves, and expand their 
delicate crowns. Above these, the lofty trees with slender 
stems, and crowns of laurel-like and camelia-like leaves, 
thickly twined around by lianas, form the first portion of 



346 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the densely-leaved roof. Philodendrons, or beautiful 
creepers, frequently twine in luxuriance around their 
stems ; others are bare, displaying the hard, smooth, red 
or yellow bark; these are generally trees, the wood of 
which is used for dyeing, or is invaluable in shipbuilding. 
This region of the vegetable kingdom is the least known 
to the botanist ; most of the trees have glossy leaves, and 
bear delicious fruit, on which the birds and monkeys feed. 
At this stage of vegetation we find, immediately beneath 
the leafy roof, beautiful bromeliaceae, those curious plants 
which lie on the boughs and stems like birds' nests, and 
display some of the most exquisite and perfect blossoms 
known in the vegetable creation. Highest of all, the 
giants of the forest rear their proud forms ; their growth 
of a thousand years has enabled them to force a path 
through the leafy world below, and to reach the light, 
where, stretching forth their patriarchal arms, they shelter 
and protect all beneath them from the rays of the sun. 

These are the monuments that give evidence of the 
antiquity of the forest ; these great landmarks form the 
chief attraction of the Mato ; but, like all that is grand 
and sublime, they are removed so far above our everyday 
life, that we can only dream of not fully understand 
these wondrous forms. They are a mystery to the botanist, 
for they bloom and bear fruit in a region to which he 
cannot approach by any ordinary means ; he is still un- 
acquainted with them, and has not ventured to name 
them. Just as the ornamentation of the loftiest part of a 
building differs from that below, so in this exalted region 
there is a new world of plants quite different from ours. 
Here it is that the orchids generally unfold their splen- 
dour that the tilandsia bloom and flourish. All these 
various stages of vegetation are united by countless lianas, 
which, taking root in the earth, twine their bare tendrils 
from bough to bough, from stem to stem, often extending 



MATO VIRGEM. 347 

across considerable spaces, and at length, when attaining 
the highest point, and meeting the air and sunlight, burst- 
ing forth themselves into leaf and flower. The struggle of 
all plants towards the light, throughout the whole forest, 
is very remarkable ; hence the straight slender form of 
the stems of those trees that support the leafy domes, 
through which one sees the sunlight as from a far-off land. 
In the cool shades below, the atmosphere is peculiar; 
having, from the moisture of the luxuriant vegetation, 
a most fragrant perfume, which is quite overpowering. 
The earth, never kissed by the rays of the sun, is always 
damp and soft, yielding under one's tread ; in the course 
of centuries, the withered leaves, the peeled-off bark, the 
dropped-off fruit all these have combined to form a rich 
soil ; so that, from the decay of nature, new life is ever 
springing. In the limited space between the ground and 
the layers of vegetation where man may wander, the air 
is ever still ; there is no great heat, }^et no breeze can ever 
penetrate. It is this strange twilight of the daytime, 
this silence in the air, this absence of sunbeams, these 
never-rustling leaves all this it is that excites in man a 
feeling of oppression, of strange loneliness. 

As the plants have their world, in which they must 
remain, bound by the law of nature, so is it also in the 
animal world. On the damp earth, beneath the arches 
formed by the large leaves of the aroidea and scitaminea, 
amid the various grasses, snails, and a sort of crab have their 
abodes ; and here lizards disport themselves, here snakes 
lurk, and armadilloes wander. The deer of the forest speed 
over the lower vegetation, pursued by the hungry jaguar ; 
the heavy tapir noisily breaks a path for himself; whilst 
above these, beneath the vaults of the lower growth of 
palms, humming-birds fly from flower to flower, and giant 
butterflies merrily chase each other ; in the crowns of the 
trees, the tukan wets his horny beak, and utters his 



348 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

peculiar cry, and the mutun sleeps during the noonday 
heat; high in the vast domes above, live the monkey 
tribe; lovely vistiti and nimble squirrels bound from 
bough to bough, whilst the air is filled with noisy flocks 
of parrots. The traveller- can only see the lower and 
middle portions of the forest ; that which stirs the loftier 
part he can but hear, for his eye cannot reach so far. It 
is only near the bed of a river, or on some rare occasion, 
that he is able to look at the inhabitants of the heights. 
Animals and plants both live free and unrestrained as 
they were on the day of their creation. 

Pressing on, we came to a spot where the trees grew 
less thickly, and we could see to a greater distance ; here 
we were able, for the first time, to examine the lianas 
more closely ; in both size and strength they greatly sur- 
passed our expectations. They sometimes hung in festoons 
from tree to tree ; some depended from a single bough, 
like ropes for gigantic bells, and sometimes hung down 
from some lofty crown to the ground, looking like the 
ropes and cables of a vessel. Two kinds particularly 
attracted our notice the first, a species of bauhinia, 
which the countrypeople call the ' monkey-ladder,' be- 
cause it aids this animal in mounting the immense trees ; 
it looks like garlands of roses, is brown in colour, and has 
little balls of blossom*; the second, a rope-like creeper, 
which was wound round and round like a thick coil of 
rope. We obtained specimens of both, which I have 
preserved in my museum. 

As we proceeded sometimes speechless from astonish- 
ment, sometimes shouting with delight St - pointed 
out to us a narrow opening not more than a crevice in 
the thick wall of green looking like the track of a tapir. 
This he told us was the Emperor's highway a track in 
the vast forest, by means of which, travellers, following 
the instinct of its natives, may avoid going astray. This is 



MATO VIRGEM. 349 

actually the only means of communication between the 
provinces of Brazil; it leads direct to the province of 
Minas. Messengers use it when running through the forest 
with despatches and imperial orders, perhaps carrying at 
the same time a bag of diamonds. Occasionally a small 
party of soldiers traverse it, in going from province to pro- 
vince ; but usually this royal road is only used by the wild 
Indians, or by some bold hunter from a distant fazenda. 

We had scarcely turned from this sign of Brazilian 
civilisation, when we met with an unwelcome resident in 
tropical regions our first snake : it was not a long one, 
its skin was brownish-yellow, and it did not move quickly. 

St , who instantly perceived that it was of a poisonous 

species, went quietly up to it, and killed it with his stick. 
We remained at a respectful distance, remembering that 
the snakes of the forest must be treated with deference. 
The European, rendered apprehensive by numerous de- 
criptions of this animal, cannot repress a shudder, though 
the man of the forest looks at it with indifference. Here 
again we see the truth of the proverb in Bauernfeld's 
'Deutschen Krieger,' 'One becomes used to it.' We 
soon began our own experiences. Stories of snakes and 
other poisonous reptiles contain great exaggerations. 
There are many snakes in this country that cannot be 

denied; but accidents seldom occur. St told me 

that in his neighbourhood there are not more than three, 
or at most four, cases of persons bitten by snakes in the 
year. 

We had but just secured the snake, in order to preserve 
it in spirits of wine, for the museum, when we perceived 
a large odious-looking tarantula (My gale nigra), an im- 
mense spider, which, including its legs, measures two 
inches and a half in diameter ; the whole of the body is 

covered with hair. St wished to catch the horrible 

creature, and made several attempts to do so ; but it dis- 
appeared hastily among the foliage. 



350 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

The path now led us out of the Mato, to one of those 
open plains called in this country 'roca,' and which are 
prepared for cultivation by burning. The stumps of the 
immense trees were visible through the ashes, and already 
the young vegetation was springing up in various places ; 
plants were everywhere to be seen, and the fertile ground 
had within it the germs of future life. It is scarcely a 

year since St had this place cleared by fire ; and if 

he does not take care, it will soon be covered with what the 
Brazilians call ' capoeras.' In this reproductive power of 
the soil consists the wealth and beauty of this land ; at 
the same time, such fertility gives endless labour to the 
colonist. 

This open space, bordered by charred trunks of the 
forest, and lighted up by the rays of the setting sun, 
recalled our Alps to my mind. 

We forced our way with difficulty through the sprouting 
vegetation, in order to press on farther into the Mato. 

On this occasion St had to cut a way for us with his 

knife (fa$ao\ a sort of hunting-knife, which the settlers 
always carry by their side when making expeditions into 
the forest. It was not until the bushes and lianas were 
cut that we could follow him. Here, in the thicket, in 

the midst of the rank vegetation, St pointed out to 

us the calm still waters of a disused canal, flowing be- 
neath the eternal shades of the forest. It is a remnant 
left from the early days of the colonisation begun by 
the Jesuits. When these wise fathers made these distant 
lands their own, they set before them a double object 
the salvation of the Indians, and the establishment of 
colonies on a large scale. Wiser than the present govern- 
ment, and belonging to a disciplined body, they began by 
making good roads and canals, the only means by which 
to rule a country well, or to develope its resources. By 
means of canals, the produce of the country could be con- 



MATO VIRGEM. 351 

veyed to the rivers, and thence to the sea-coasfc. Pombal's 
decree banished the Jesuits, but provided nothing to com- 
pensate for their loss; and from that time, it must be 
owned, that everything has gone back considerably. That 
this is the case, the disused canal, which is now almost 
lost in the thick growth of vegetation, affords a proof. 

All endeavours after improvement, in the present day, 
lack method and good direction ; they are left to the in- 
clination of individuals, and will therefore take a much 
longer time to carry out. 

A fortunate shot of our servant now brought down a 
magnificent woodpecker (Picus flavescens), rather larger 
than our European woodpecker, with a rich golden crest, 
and spotted red back a handsome and rare specimen for 
our increasing collection. During our wanderings on 
this day, we often heard, in the lofty crowns of the trees, 
the peculiar noise made by a bird called in Brazilian 
* rendeira' a small brown bird, with a white head, whose 
powerful voice in no way corresponds with its delicate 
form, an anomaly that one often finds in the tropics. 
We also heard the cry of the ' nao ten agua,' which follows 
the traveller, with its mocking tones, during the hot sunny 
hours of the day ; one hears him on all sides, from every 
tree, but can never see him. The loud notes of his voice 
resemble the sound of the name given to him by the in- 
habitants of the Mato, which means, ' Have you no water ?' 
a question often distressingly ironical during the heat 
of noon. 

Among other insects, we saw a beautiful butterfly of 
sapphire-blue ; it escaped our nets, and was soon lost in 
the thicket. 

The profusion of the vegetation was too great to admit 
of any detailed enumeration of plants. I will only name 
a few, which have dwelt in my memory from their great 
luxuriance. I leave it to some scientific work to mention 



352 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

all the new and beautiful objects with which our little 
expedition abounded. I have already spoken of the bau- 
hinia : in addition, we saw some creeping apocinea, and 
splendid cucurbita, besides wreaths of combretacese, and 
numerous other creepers not yet named. In the interior 
of the Mato we found numerous bombacea trees ; among 
them, the lovely carolinia, the anda pisanis a large tree, 
with a smooth slender stem and pointed leaves ; bixacea 
trees with heart-shaped leaves ; the jacaranda (the wood 
of which is beautiful), with large leaves like those of 
the mimosa, from one to two feet in length ; the lecitis, 
a sort of small tree, the fruit of which is used for 
various purposes ; cacolobea, of the family of the poligonea, 
with leather-like leaves ; lasiandra, belonging to the me- 
lastomea tribe a species of tree, the blossoms of which 
resemble the rosy blossoms of the Indian azalea or pontin 
rhododendron, and which, rising above other trees, at- 
tracts one's eye at a distance by its splendour; various 
solanea and asclephs, all twining and intertwining in a 
bright confusion, which forbade minute inspection. 

Here was, indeed, superabundant happiness for our 
botanist ; he was in a heaven of rapture, and in an Eden 
of flowers ; he had not hands enough to collect, to cut, to 
pluck as he wished. He very soon vanished completely 
from our sight, and did* not return to the fazenda until 
late, laden with treasures. 

With the setting-in of twilight we came to an open 
space, where the hand of man had already made a track ; 
various forest-paths intersected each other near an immense 
tree, which the good feeling of the settlers had left un- 
molested in its splendour ; straight, firm, and strong, the 
giant trunk rose, like a grand column, towards heaven, till 
high over the other trees it spread out its giant crown into 
a broad vast canopy; in it flourished whole generations 
of parasites, and from its summit, hanging from bough 



MATO VIRGEM. 353 

to bough, parallel with the trunk, and reaching to the 
ground, were the smooth tendrils of a liana. 

We rested at the root of the giant, and watched the last 
rays of the sun as they played in his leafy crown; the 
evening was lovely, and the balmy air had the elasticity 
peculiar to the twilight hours in the tropics. We were 
very happy; we were enjoying that peaceful calm which 
is the reward of an eventful day spent among the beauties 
of nature. In a short space of time we had become rich 
in experience ; our eyes had seen that for which we had 
longed. Our friend St was delighted at our happi- 
ness, which he was able to understand, because he also 
had once crossed the ocean, in the vigour of youth, and 
with a soul filled with ardour. 

Whilst we were lost in contemplation of the beauties of 
nature, the hot blood of the youngest of our party, Marine- 
Cadet Gr- , could no longer be restrained ; and suddenly, 

thinking of his ship, he seized one of the liana ropes, and, 
imitating the monkeys, swung himself up with un- 
common dexterity. I turned giddy at this boyish frolic, 
for no one knew what was the strength or the toughness 
of the plant : a peremptory order brought the youngster 
down again. By this acrobatic performance we were able 
to form some idea of the immense height of the tropical 
vegetation ; and it is no exaggeration when travellers say 
that the eye cannot distinguish the form of the leaves on 
the separate portions of the crown. 

We heard the sound of shots: St listened atten- 
tively to them, and then turned to give us the information 
that they were probably fired by a runaway negro, a 
murderer, who was roving about in the forest, and sup- 
porting himself by hunting. The man is known to the 
whole neighbourhood ; but as he has not committed any 
more murders, and has known how to excite a certain 
amount of respect towards himself, so a sort of quiet 

VOL. III. A A 



354 RECOLLECTION'S OF MY LIFE. 

neutrality is preserved towards him,, and a certain social 
position has been accorded to him. He is now the wild 
hunter par excellence, and affords a striking proof of the 
primitive condition of imperial Brazil. Looking candidly 
at the existing state of things, one sees that a man may 
do what he likes here; no real government exists, still 
less any justice ; criminals can only be punished by Lynch 
law. 

The sole restraint upon a man is the loss of his bodily 
strength ; his protection is his personal courage; his 
means of protecting his rights, or of persuasion, are on 
the one side his rifle, on the other, his bow and arrows ; 
with these a man may live very happily, but he must of 
necessity possess strength and courage. 

As the population of the country is so small, this state 
of things may continue; it is a decided advantage to 
intelligent and clever men that they should be unmolested 
in their undertakings ; the burdensome restraints that 
exist in over-populous and over-civilised countries are 
unknown here. The power of the government is limited 
to the narrow circle in the immediate vicinity of the 
towns ; its arm cannot reach into the forest. Here taxes 
are unknown; here are no courts of justice, and the 
wealthy fazendero, with his army of slaves, is absolute 
ruler and master over all his broad lands; the emperor 
in distant Kio is to him only the lord of the coast, the 
receiver of dues, who has no power to trouble him in any 
way. This state of society has its romantic side, and one 
can easily understand that it is a good school for forming 
strong characters, as well as an excellent scene for exer- 
tion to those to whom civilised Europe, with its luxuries, 
is too confined. 

The shades of evening stole over tree and hill, the sky 
looked like opal, and stars were already beginning to 
twinkle in the dim light ; the air was soft and cool, and 



MATO VIRGEM. 3J5 

the calm of night fell over the whole country. We passed 
over the same bridge by which we had entered the Mato ; 
in the coffee -plantations, and around the golden pine- 
apples, lovely humming-birds were dancing, like gleams of 
poesy, and were sipping the first sweets from the opening- 
buds of night. 

The stillness of evening reigned also in the fazenda; 
the negroes were already shut up in their own huts ; axe 
and saw were silent in the workshops ; the old mechanic 
of the fazenda, a venerable man, eighty years of age, who 
had come across the ocean from Suabia, a true vassal and 
faithful assistant to our energetic friend St , was sit- 
ting before his workshop, quietly eating his evening meal ; 
and only the lady of the house, and her black hand- 
maidens, were still all activity, preparing the evening 
repast for the returning travellers, and scarce finding time 
to say a word of cordial greeting. 

Night had set in ; night in the vast-forest : more and more 
fully did the dreams of my youth become realised. I was 
now the guest of a fazendero, in the real Mato Virgem ; 
far from the civilised world, far from all relations and 
friends, surrounded by boundless forests, which stretched 
from the foaming ocean far as the snow-capped Andes. 

The watchman of the forest-night already made his 
voice heard; the fereiro, that extraordinary frog (Hyla 
palmata), which is the never-absent companion of Brazilian 
night, and which marks the hours with as much regularity 
as the cicade, with its railway whistle, before-mentioned. 
The people of the Mato call it, on account of its peculiar 
tones, the hammersmith. In a short time the forest-lights 
began to appear; a large beetle kindled its phosphoric 

rays in the open space before St 's house, and with its 

brightness illumined the entire space. We went to the 
door to look at the phenomenon. I had often heard of 

AA2 



356 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the phosphoric rays emitted by this insect, but had never 
believed that they were so powerful. 

At nine o'clock we travellers united in a cheerful meal 

with the amiable St family, Consul L , and Herr 

K , St 's man of business. The agreeable lady of 

the house presided, and, with friendly curiosity, made 
enquiries about our wanderings. Like a true daughter of 
the Mato, she was delighted with the raptures which it 
had excited. The table was again spread with excellent 
dishes ; but unfortunately, true to my hygienic system, I 
could not indulge in them according to my wishes at so 
late an hour of the evening. Among the delicacies, a 
savoury dish of red crabs (the lively animals we had seen 
in the mangle bushes) especially attracted my attention. 
After supper, we sat in the verandah with our fragrant 
cigars, and enjoyed some friendly conversation, to which 

St 's talent and knowledge mainly contributed. The 

night was mild and calm, and refreshing in its coolness. 
The principal subjects of our talk were the negroes, with 
questions about slavery. None could give us better in- 
formation than St , a well-educated man of intellect 

and strength of mind, who had now for fifteen years been 
toiling in the midst of the primeval forest. 

St has made the blacks his study as a philosopher, 
from every point of view, which has been the more easy 
because of his knowledge of medicine, so that he attends 
his own slaves as a doctor. In this way he has a double 
interest in the life of the negroes, and also obtains a great 
moral influence over these human wares ; indeed, he has 
from experience come to the conclusion, that every 
fazendero of importance ought (on account of the great 
number of his slaves) to be able to act as their doctor on 
emergency. To our question whether the negro were 

rather man or beast, St answered rationally, that he 

was altogether a man. He is a man, but it is evident 



MATO VIRGEM. 357 

that he stands much lower in the scale of creation than 
the other races of .the earth; indeed, the supporters of 
slavery maintain that he is born to servitude, and ease 
their consciences by recounting the mysterious curse 
pronounced upon wicked Hani. This inevitable necessity 
for slavery is also proved by the capability of the negro for 
labour beneath which the white man would sink ; such 
as the cultivation of the sugar-cane, beneath the burning 
rays of the sun, in which the white man could neither 
bear the heat, nor the sharpness of the canes. That which 
goes on on the opposite side of the ocean, does not 
enter into the arguments of slave-owners ; they do not 
trouble themselves with the source whence the negroes 

O 

come ; they only think of the useful results. The kidnap- 
ping in Africa, the fearful voyage across the ocean, are 
not among their responsibilities; they only become an- 
swerable for the black after he has set foot upon their 
territories. Taken at this point, they maintain that the 
negro, properly treated as a slave, is a happier man than 
if he had remained free; and that in most cases, those 
who are set free, die immediately. But these gentlemen 
do not reflect why it is that such an one dies. It is either 
because there is some notion of crime connected with his 
breaking of his former bonds, so that he wanders into the 
forest to support himself by hunting and theft, and is 
driven by want to robbing fazendas, and to drinking ; or 
else, because suddenly presented with his freedom, and 
without any means of subsistence, he does not know how to 
provide for himself, and, like a deserted child, falls a prey 
to idleness and vice. Two principal causes lead to these 
results; known or unknown persecution on the part of 
the slave-owners, and also the want of even a very small 
amount of education and distinctive character. Were 
these remedied, there might be hope for the future ; for 
the blacks in Liberia are intelligent people. But it is 



358 RECOLLECTIONS OF }IY LIFE. 

unhappily true that, under present circumstances (all think- 
ing men, from the emperor downwards, are slave-owners), 
all negroes who become free are very much to be pitied. 
An instance that occurred lately will suffice. A slave 
woman in the province of Minas, found an immense 
diamond; she brought it honestly to her master, who 
obtained a fabulous sum of money for it. The value of 
this stone is so great, that a joint-stock company has been 
formed, who have hitherto endeavoured in vain to find a 
purchaser at a high price in the European market; all 
purchasers have been refused, for no one has sufficient 
money to buy this costly gem. The owner thought it 
incumbent on him to give some substantial token of 
acknowledgment to the finder, and presented the unfortu- 
nate being who had thus largely contributed to his wealth 
with her freedom. The poor woman died a short time 
ago, a miserable beggar, a victim to her own incapacity, 
and to the heedlessness of her master. 

The slaves form the wealth of the fazenderos ; with 
their numbers his prosperity increases ; it is therefore to 

his interest that these should multiply. St takes 

care that his slaves are married as soon as possible. 
He performs the ceremony himself; to wait for the 
clergyman would make too great a delay. A banquet fol- 
lows the ceremony, and appears to possess greater attrac- 
tions than the blessing of the church, which, in their 
ignorance, is a matter of little importance. The increase 
in their numbers is of the greatest consequence to their 

owner, and is therefore much encouraged. St gives 

considerable premiums to his negresses for every child 
after the sixth. Ill-disposed negresses will sometimes kill 
their children to spite their master. Such crimes incur 
the most severe punishments. The frequent, and often 
terrible fights among the negroes and negresses (with 
these latter generally arising from jealousy), also bring 
serious punishment, as being injurious to the master. On 



MATO V1RG!-::-. 350 

such occasions the chigota (the ox-hide) acts as the olive- 
branch of peace. According to St 's statements, it 

not unfrequently happens that the slaves hang themselves, 
on purpose to injure their masters. This has happened to 
himself. Strict discipline prevails in the fazenda indeed, 
one may say, an unlimited despotism. The master can 
punish when and whom he will, the only limit is found in 
his own conscience ; the only restraint, consideration for 
his own interest. If he should punish, too severely, he 
injures himself in his subjects. A negro who is once ill- 
treated, becomes weak, or his body is scarred ; and then, 
even with the best food (and such generally precedes a 
sale), he cannot be brought into good condition. The 
lightest (and that almost a daily punishment) is blows 
with the palmatorio, on the flattened hand. 

More severe punishments are found in chains, labour 
on Sundays, and blows with the chigota. The number of 
blows amounts to a hundred. On these occasions the 
negro is bound to a ladder, which is leaned against a 
wall. Very heavy punishments are divided and admin- 
istered according to circumstances. A hundred blows 
generally costs a man his life, which is a great loss to his 
master. The severest punishments are for mutinous con- 
duct and insubordination. St said, * What could one, 

two, or even three white men do among hundreds of slaves 
without moral superiority ? I have often been alone at 
such moments, and have either brought out the ringleader, 
or ordered the trembling and fearful men around me to 
bring him out, and to bind him. I have then made an ex- 
ample of him.' The tronc, also, a block of wood in which, 
according to circumstances, feet, hands, and head are 
made fast, and in which the slave is compelled to lie for 
the whole day, is very painful punishment to the black. 
If the slaves commit great crimes, their masters are often 
the sufferers. 



360 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

A married couple had two slaves, by whose labour they 
lived. These slaves killed their master, and were hanged 
for it ; but the widow was charged with the law expenses. 
Thus she had to pay the costs, lost both her husband and 
her slaves, and was reduced to beggary. 

In St 's fazenda, the slaves are all awoke at five 

o'clock in the morning, by a shrill call. Herr K , in 

his morning deshabille, takes down the chigota from the 
peg, puts on his most stern expression, and descends the 
stairs with the air of a despot ; at the foot of the staircase 
he is respectfully greeted by a tall slave, who accompanies 
him. He assembles the slaves beneath a shed, and 
apportions their work ; they then go to the door of the 
kitchen, where they receive their rations. With the 
exception of their time for rest in the middle of the day, 
they work as long as they can see; for, according to 

St 's practical calculation, one minute of idleness 

among one hundred and twenty slaves, is equivalent to two 
hours, and that is at the rate of one day in every twelve. 
At the end of their day's work, they are again counted, 
and defile past their master's house, each humbly extend- 
ing his hand towards his owner, with the words ' A ben9ao ; ' 
the despot then stretches forth his right hand with a 
gesture of benediction, and murmurs, ' Deos te ben9ao.' 
This custom appears very patriarchal ; the slave asks for 
a blessing, and his gracious master replies, ( God bless 
you ! ' Only the chigota seemed to me to be out of har- 
mony with the scene. So long as I remained in the 
Fazenda da Vittoria, I was, according to St 's hos- 
pitable notions, the supreme power, and therefore I was 
invited by him to speak the words of blessing, which I 
did willingly and with all pathos. This benediction is very 
convenient, for it stands in the place of our presents, and 
is an assistance to the traveller in a hundred ways : at last 



MATO VIRGEM. 361 

it became a by-word among us, used in Europe on many 
occasions, to certain personages. 

When this blessing lias been pronounced, men, women, 
and children all go again to the door of the kitchen to 
receive what is needful for their bodies. Each one has a 
definite but ample ration of carne secco, farinha, and 
biscuit. The whole of the black community then retire 
by divisions to their stable-like cabins, where they cook 
their food, and have the evening to themselves. Among 
their home occupations, they make little baskets and 
spoons, and all sorts of things of cocoa-nut, and these they 
are allowed to selL Sunday, the day of rest for man and 
beast, is their own entirely. 

One can scarcely imagine a more unhappy life than that 
of the negroes ; they are treated like convicts. Two things 
in their melancholy existence are, and must ever be, fear- 
ful. First, the principle that the anger of the owner and 
the punishments he inflicts are only mitigated by the 
necessity of care not to diminish the value of his slaves ; 
and next, the thought that let the man be ever so talented, 
he can never rise higher unless by the favour of his master. 

A longing for the rest we had so thoroughly earned 
terminated our interesting conversation, and each one 
retired to the sleeping apartment prepared for him by the 

hospitality of St . To novices in forest-life the modest 

questions were permissible whether undesired guests, 
such as vampires, scorpions and snakes, and mosquitoes 
(not to be forgotten) would disturb our rest, and whether 
one might venture to sleep with the window open. St 
laughed, and calmed the fears of our European imagina- 
tions. He was also so kind as to give me, in his capacity 
as a doctor, a zinc lotion for my legs, which were very 
painful. Our couches were hard, adapted to the heat of 
the climate, but very clean and comfortable. Yet the 
doctor and I very much missed our high bolsters. Tired 



362 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

with the labours of the day, and lulled Tjy the fresh cool- 
ness of the night air, we soon fell asleep, and the noise of 
the zealous fereiro became fainter and fainter to our ears. 

Im Mato Virgem, Jan. 17, 1860. 

Delight at the prospect of pressing more deeply into 

this forest, the abode of wild life, and St 's desire that 

we should be ready to begin our expedition early, roused 
us with the beginning of dawn. We made a rapid toilet 
by candlelight. I had scarcely put on my long useful 
boots of Eussian leather, and a light linen dress, when our 
friendly host appeared, and with a hearty, cheerful ( Good 
morning,' brought us a cup of coffee, the exhilarating 
beverage with which the Brazilian day always commences. 
The travellers assembled by degrees in the verandah at 
the back of the house, whilst the careful lady of the house 
was engaged in preparing the breakfast of which we were 

to partake before beginning our excursion. St and his 

black servants were occupied in driving in the horses on 
which we were to make the first portion of our journey. 
I was lost in contemplation of the magnificent scene 
which presented itself to us from the verandah : the silvery 
dawn tinted the broad forest that surrounded the fazenda 
in verdant circles ; the stars had vanished ; the last night 
sounds were dying away in the distance ; a light white 
fog hung over the pond and drew its curtain over the 
slopes ; a cool air breathed through the still valley, like 
the peaceful breathings of the sleeper just ere he awakens ; 
the morning silence was only broken in upon by the rush 
of the water for the mill, as it poured foaming through 
the wooden channels, and by the pensive step of the 
cattle as they sought their food among the aromatic wild 
flowers. In the east, the golden tints of morning appeared 
in the sky, and coloured the highest summit of the 
forest ; the twilight brightened by degrees ; the mists 



MATO VIRGEM. 363 

cleared away ; the buildings gleamed in the opening day ; 
the vast picture was divided into light and shade ; the first 
sunbeam fell on the crowns of the trees in the green Mato ; 
the gladsome day was born, and stillness gave place to 
joyous life and activity. 

I shall never forget the impression made upon me by 
this sunrise in the fazenda ; in its simple grandeur, it 
reminded me of our Alps. There we also have pas- 
tures through which the mill-stream wanders merrily, 
which are surrounded by walls of forest-trees, thousands 
of years old, excluding the outer world; there, too, we 
have our farm-buildings scattered over the meadows, like 
St 's fazenda. 

When the sun bursts forth with his bright clear light, 
then indeed we behold the marvel of the tropics, and the 
green masses form themselves into shapes such as are 
unknown in our land. But Nature, wheresoever she may 
display her full splendour, is ever grand and sublime ; and 
she is so wherever she treads the broad girdle of the beau- 
teous earth. 

St came to summon me to breakfast. I shared my 

thoughts with him, and when I spoke of the Alps, he 
smiled with a melancholy pleasure, for his Swiss heart 
throbbed at the name. The comparison that I made was very 
welcome to him, it gave some consolation in the yearning 
for home which ever lingers in the heart of the emigrant. 

Our breakfast consisted of fish, meat, and farinha, 
flavoured with spices ; the remains of the excellent pig of 
yesterday also appeared; and notwithstanding the early 
hour, draughts of cahapa and lisbon were indulged in, an 
evil practice of tropical life which probably enervates the 
system more than does the heat. 

Although we had been requested to be ready so early, 
it was not until nine o'clock that the horses were ready 
and were brought round ; we were obliged to wait for some 



364 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

of them to come from the distant fazenda of St 's father- 
in-law. Taking a cordial leave of Fran St - and the 
children, we swung ourselves into the saddle, put our feet 
into the shoe-stirrups, and started off in high spirits for the 

Mato : St in front as our experienced guide. Our road 

led us first through some cleared ground, on which were 
groups of handsome trees ; this was the hitherto unused 
property of our leader. 

We heard a melancholy note resounding in the distance 

at regular intervals ; St told us that it was the peculiar 

cry of the tukan or pepper-bird, which does much mischief 
to the planters, especially in the winter months, by its 
enormous appetite, which appetite did not fail with the 
two tukans that I brought with me to Europe. Next to 
it, the greatest eater is the green parrot, which, being 
gregarious, causes great devastation in cultivated spots. 
Both are birds of passage, and at this season are chiefly to 
be found in the interior of the country. 

We were able closely to examine another wonder of the 
feathered world, a large humming-bird which flew un- 
easily from a bush. Of the size of a sparrow, in colour 
dark-brown, and with a long sharp beak, it had, notwith- 
standing its size, the shape and rapid restless movements 
of other humming-birds ; but, so far as I could see, it 
seemed to lack their brilliance. 

From some dark-coloured water overgrown with green, 
close by the path, an Incaris amazonica rose in great 
beauty, with exquisitely formed leaves, a tall stem like a 
lily, and large white blossoms of delicious fragrance; a 
really wonderful flower, which among the many beauties 
of the vegetable world that we have seen here, stands pre- 
eminent. 

Passing an enclosure we came to where the path divided ; 
here, among plantations of coffee and manioka, we saw a 
little house built of wood. In front of it we were greeted 



MATO VIRGEM. 365 

by a stately figure in a blue shirt, a high cap on his head, 
white linen trowsers fastened in at the knee, bare feet, a 
rifle on his shoulder, the never-failing cypo-knife at his 
side ; a genuine type of Brazilian forest-life ; he was An- 
tonio do N , a vassal of St 's. As in the commence- 
ment of our civilisation at the period of the middle ages 
the powerful possessors of large territories made grants of 
enfeoffment under certain obligations, so is it now in Brazil. 

Antonio is, in the fullest sense of the word, St 's vassal ; 

St has granted him a piece of ground upon certain 

conditions. 

Antonio has built a little house for himself, has cleared 
a portion of the forest, and now plants his own coffee and 
manioka. Antonio do N is the son of a white Brazi- 
lian and of a pure Indian woman ; he is of an olive colour, 
with rich black hair and a luxuriant beard; he is married 
to a mulatto. By this marriage he has one son, who assisted 
us afterwards on our journey in taking care of our horses ; 
he is seventeen years of age, tall as a pine, with delicate 
features and bright eyes. In colour, this young boy is 
neither red, nor black, nor olive, nor bronze, nor fair, nor 
dark, but all imaginable colours seem to blend in his com- 
plexion, which is, nevertheless, a very good one; the 
Corinthian metal must have been like it copper, gold, 
and bronze mixed. There was something of each race in 
his appearance, perhaps least of our own. 

Antonio joined the train of his liege lord, as in duty 
bound. 

We were now approaching the large river, the Cachue- 
ras. The forest became clearer, the path more beaten, 
large trees stood alone, the sound of the water was audible. 

St - called our attention to a silver-grey parasite 
which, growing on the crown of an old tree, hung down 
like a beard, waving in the slightest breeze ; it is called 
by the natives Barba di Macacco, or ape's beard. 



366 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

In the neighbourhood of Rio it bears the name of 
6 Barba velha ; ' its Latin appellation is Tilandsia usne- 
oides. On the Lofty pines in our Alps there is a similar 
plant used by the peasants as an ornament. We advanced 
through plantations to the bank of the river, and for the 
first time beheld, amid cocoa-fields, the detached houses 
of a German colony. 

The cocoa-plantations are very pretty. Tree after 
tree rises at a regular distance from the rich black earth 
to a height of about eight feet. The crown is round, 
like that of the orange tree, with long, glossy, and 
rather large leaves ; the fruit, in shape like a pear, and 
the pretty yellow blossoms both grow close to the stem ; 
and, as with the orange, are both to be seen on the tree 
at the same time. The brown kernels are contained in 
the pulp of the fruit ; they are called cocoa beans : from 
these chocolate is made, and an oil is also pressed. The 
plants are compact and well -trained, and the trees, with 
the shade they afford, look cool and refreshing. These 
trees, which I now saw for the first time, summoned up 
visions of my youth. I thought of the cocoa which we 
used to drink for breakfast every morning when children ; 
and the cocoa cream that was applied to our hands in 
winter. Trivial as such incidents are, they remain firmly 
fixed in our memories, and when recalled in after years are 
pleasant reminiscences. 

We arrived at the settlers' houses, little wooden build- 
ings partially plastered, and nearly all provided with veran- 
dahs. In front of one or two of the houses stood some 
large trees left from the forest, but most of the huts were 
half-buried in the cocoa-plantations. Two pale men, with 
wasted features, were walking along the road. A few 

words in German spoken to them by St , told of 

their Transatlantic origin. They answered in their native 
tonTie, but its ring had lost its richness and clearness and 
its tones were those of weariness and melancholy ; the 



MATO VIRGEM. 367 

figures had lost their energy and elasticity; thesemen looked 
like people who had missed their vocation, who did not 
feel themselves at home, to whom the French 'depayser' 
was most applicable. Most of the Grerman settlers present 
the same forlorn appearance ; the worm is gnawing at the 
root with all. Still more miserable looked the pallid 
children, with their flaxen air and clear blue eyes, and 
over-rapid growth caused by the hot climate and tropical 
air. They wanted a breath of wind from the bright snow- 
drifts to tint their cheeks with a rosy hue. 1 spoke to 
several of these children who came out from the houses, full 
of curiosity, to stare at the travellers, but not one of them 
could answer me ; the mother- tongue of their parents was 
unfamiliar to them, they could only speak Portuguese. 
Unhappy parents, who in the toils of the new existence 
they have created for themselves have not even the conso- 
lation of being able to talk to their children in their own 
language ! 

Most of the men were absent at work ; some few came to 

their doors, and welcomed St with a cordial greeting. 

Many of the houses close to the high banks of the river 
were prettily situated and well shaded ; but most bore 
marks of the uncertainty and unhappiness of the tenants. 
The whole colony looked to me like an attempt to plant 
where there is no root; and without professing to be a 
prophet, I may say I much fear that no good will come of 
this Suabian colonisation on the banks of the Cachueras. 
At the end of the hamlet next the river, surrounded by 
cocoa-plantations, covered with roses and jasmines, and 
half-shaded over by fruit-trees, was a little house built of 

logs, like our Alpine huts, and to this St turned. It 

was the farm of a friend of his, Heinrich B , a very 

honest man, and one of the most interesting persons I have 
seen on this side of the ocean. Heinrich was born in 
Suabia, and at seven years old, crossed the sea with his 



368 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

parents; he is one of the few who make themselves as 
happy as they can in a Brazilian home, and cultivate the 
land judiciously. He does not try to make Brazil Ger- 
many; he perceives with a true instinct that here it is 
quite necessary to lead a wild, primitive life. He cultivates 
his cocoa, his small plot of coffee and farinha, and has 
two slaves, whom he compels to work for him. But his 
own favourite duties are in the wide Mato ; his delight is 
in hunting, his great pleasure in adventures such as the 
forest and its dangers afford. He has gained a position 
for himself, and has made himself a name far and near by 
his skill in hunting, his cool courage, his perseverance, 
and his knowledge of the hunting grounds. In him, the 
colonists respect a true-hearted, straightforward land- 
owner, and the Indians admire the bold man who, fol- 
lowing the stars and his little compass, traverses the forest 
in all directions as the experienced sailor traverses the ocean. 
A thin, sinewy man, in white trowsers, with bare feet, and 
a woolly night-cap, he goes out, provided with some farinha, 
dried meat, cahapa, a little tobacco, and his compass in 
his pocket, his rifle on his shoulder and accompanied 
by his dogs (marked with the scars of many a fray) into 
the forest for the whole day in the gayest spirits: he 
knows none of the wants, the fancies of luxurious life ; but 
he is well acquainted with every tree, every bush, and with 
the depth of every piece of water ; he understands the noise 
made by every animal, from the monkey to the terrible 
jaguar ; free and unfettered he follows his own will ; and if 
it be a life of excess of independence, yet it is that which 

B leads. 

Not without reason do I give him the name of the Forest- 
king ; for he possesses unbounded influence over man and 
beast : the first fazenderos in the land follow his advice ; 
negroes and Indians bow to his will. To such a character 
I accord my fullest esteem, and I soon formed a friendship 



MATO VIRGEM. 369 

with Heinrich. St and Hemrich cause the German 

name to be honoured in these remote lands ; from them 
one may learn how really to live as a free man, relying on 
one's own strength, and not depending on any other mortal 
for anything; but one would need naturally to possess the 
character for such a life. It comes up to the very ideal of 
vigorous man. 

Heinrich welcomed us joyfully : it flattered him that 

St should bring strangers to him, the Forest-king, 

to ask his advice, and to request him to act as pilot in this 
sea of verdure. Heinrich invited us to make a short halt, 

and we gladly refreshed ourselves with some of St 's 

cold provisions, on which occasion the indispensable cahaya 

once more made its appearance. The inside of B 's 

house was more than simple ; it was quite in the style of 
our summer-houses, with very little room in it, and with 
benches and tables of bare wood ; a pretty clock in a case 
of a black wood, which he had brought from home, was the 
only ornament. In this little house lived Heinrich, and with 
him a female friend a tall stately woman, of mature age, 
who had a peculiar expression of melancholy and a peculiar 
power of sympathy. Wilhelmina (for such was her name) 
has her history, as indeed have almost all Transatlantic set- 
tlers in this strange land. A native of Potsdam, either from 
folly or (as she says) from love, she ran away from the house 
of her parents when in her sixteenth year, and went to 
Hamburg. The love of a captain of a vessel took her from 
there ; he brought the pretty young lady with him to 
Brazil, but died off the tropical coast from yellow-fever. 
Wilhelmina, alone and desolate, separated from home by 
the ocean, became the wife of a German doctor; they 
were married for some years, and had children ; but one 
morning the doctor disappeared for ever, with everything 
belonging to Wilhelmina, leaving her and her children 
destitute, a prey to misery and despair. She then became 

VOL. III. B B 



370 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

acquainted with Heinrich, whose wife had died, leaving him 
childless, and they now live together as firm friends, help- 
ing and encouraging each other. 

All these occurrences suffice to account for the melan- 
choly expression of the poor woman, who must be a wonder- 
ful person, and who still knows how to win regard by her 
amiability and pleasing manners. One might write a ro- 
mance on the history of the various persons one meets in 
the forest, without indulging in poetical license. 

According to the decisions of St and B , we 

were to leave all needless packages in the house, and 
only to take that which was absolutely necessary ; for to 
be encumbered even with a little bag in the forest, where 
one can sometimes hardly force one's way, is not to be 

thought of. In accordance also with B 's suggestions, 

an alteration was made in my dress, and I exchanged my 
linen coat for a blue woollen blouse from B 's ward- 
robe. Even this was but too soon torn by the thorns. Our 
horses were sent back, and we proceeded to the bank of 
the river, where we were to get into a little boat. At this 
point the river is broad, and affords a fine view ; the bank 
near the settlement is rather high ; luxuriant shrubs and 
a profuse growth of creepers dip down into the water; 
large trees with their companion parasites are outlined 
against the sky; the undulating ground is ornamented 
with cocoa-plantations, amid which houses are scattered ; 
here and there a house stands close to the river, and the 
busy inhabitants form pleasing and cheerful ornaments 
to the landscape. Taking advantage of any favourable 
spot close by the water, are chattering groups of black 
washerwomen. From the bank the eye wanders over a 
broad expanse of water, divided near a waterfall into two 
arms by an island, covered with the most exquisite and 
luxuriant vegetation. The waterfall breaks over a large 
group of granite rocks, the spray dashing over them like 



MATO VIRGEM. 271 

silver spangles. Numerous little islands of earth are 
formed among them, on which most beautiful plants grow 
from a bed of green. Peaks of rock near the waterfall 
also break the glassy mirror of the water, and form foaming 
rapids. The opposite bank rises gently to the height of a 
hill ; an extensive pasture-ground, on which are some few 
small groups of trees, forms the last vestige of the cleared 
forest. On the table-land on the top of the hill, removed 

from all vegetation, stands the fazenda of Baron P , 

which it was our intention at this time to visit. 

The towering walls of the impenetrable Mato form the 
boundary of the beautiful panorama. 

When St spoke to me of an Italian settler who had 

arrived in the forest some three years ago, when he men- 
tioned the familiar name of P , I felt my heart prick me. 

Beautiful Milan, the Lake of Como, the yearning for fair 
Lombardy, thoughts of exile, of parting, all rose before 
my mind in a moment ; the scarce-healed wounds burst 
open afresh, sadness overspread my heart, and with keen 
emotion I crossed the river to the small plain, accom- 
panied by St , and guided by some negroes. 

On the opposite bank, on the boundary of his lands, dressed 
in a summer dress of the newest fashion, and with his panama 
in his right hand, stood a tall aristocratic figure, bowing low; 

it was Baron P . It was not without embarrassment 

that I approached the emaciated man with long grey beard 
and haggard features. Whom, then, was I visiting ? A na- 
tive of Lombardy -an Italian a republican an exile ? 
Was he a friend or a foe? a contented or a dissatisfied man? 
All was a mystery to me, and remained so for some time ; 
but he formed another character in my gallery of strange 
personages. I addressed him in Italian ; he answered me 
in the purest and best German, greeted me ceremoniously, 
but very courteously, and invited me to his fazenda. Be- 
neath scorching heat we walked up to his house. In 

B B 2 



372 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

the verandah we were received by the Baroness, dressed 
simply, but also in the newest style, like her husband ; 
between forty and fifty years of age, with fair hair and 
marked features. She was a Frenchwoman"; therefore, in 
addition to a cordial greeting, she made as many pretty 
speeches as though we were in the heart of the modern 
Babylon. The primeval forest had evidently not become 
a home to her ; she had arrived too recently, and would 
have liked still to play her part in Europe, and indeed 
in France. The interior of the fazenda resembled the 
lady. Her drawing-room was filled with ancestral por- 
traits in antique handsome frames, with various other 
beautiful pictures and miniatures, and with a multitude 
of useless nicknacks. Choice furniture stood in all parts 
of the room a mass of relics of past days of luxury ; 
but, with all this, there was no ceiling, and no boarded 
floor nothing but the battened earth all uncomfortable 
all unpractical. Similar to the drawing-room was the 
apartment which served the Baroness for a sleeping- 
chamber and boudoir : an ornamental bed, a writing-table 
covered with useless trifles, an aristocratic toilette-table 
and all this in the Mato ! The whole thing was mys- 
terious ; but at length, thanks to the loquacity of the lady 
of the house, the mists cleared off. I was told that they 
were not Italians, but a family of the old Swiss nobility ; 
on the other hand, they had a portrait hanging against 
the wall of an ancestor in a handsome uniform, who was 
said to have been Governor of Grenoa. They came here, 
with all their effects, from Europe three years ago, the 
Baron jsaid, from disgust and anxiety, in consequence of 
the increase of democratic principles. They had pur- 
chased jthe fazenda, with its extensive domains, and with 
about 100 slaves, for 60,000 florins, and wished to play at 
aristocracy in the forest. But the lady is already pining 
for home, for ( La Belle France, 1 and is wasting her life in 



MATO VIRGEM. 373 

painful reflections and in deep-seated melancholy. She told 
me that she would struggle on bravely for another year ; 
but that if in that time she cannot overcome her depression, 
her husband has promised to take her back to Europe. 
They have two fair boys, of thirteen and ten years of age, 
full of life and spirits. From another source I heard the 
darker portion of the mystery. The Baron had already 
been in Brazil some years before, and had, with a com- 
panion, made a large clearing, and carried on trade in 
timber, but suddenly parted from his companion, winding 
up affairs with him. He then became a trader in cattle, 
on a large scale, in St. Paolo ; there he is said to have 
had a family. This occupation was also given up, and 
suddenly this knight of adventure appeared at the Grerman 
baths, remained there for some time, lived very expen- 
sively, took a house for a while, and next reappeared in 
the Brazilian forest with a French wife and two hopeful 
heirs. 

No one can fathom the mystery, and he is avoided in 
the neighbourhood, although he gives himself out to be 

St 's cousin. He has the name of being a harsh man. 

Madame is said to have been formerly in a convent hence 
it would appear that she herself is part of the mystery. 

My sentimental emotions, at the first mention of the 
name, were then all wasted ; curiosity would have been the 
more appropriate feeling. The poor lady overpowered us 
with kindness, and would have given us abundance of 
refreshments ; some choice Khine wine we could not refuse. 
The joy of the unfortunate lady, at being once more in 
a company composed entirely of Europeans, was very 
evident. I talked to her of the surroundings among which 
she now found herself. She praised the beauty of the 
forest, the brilliance of the vegetation. With French 
courage she often mounts her horse, and goes alone to all 
accessible places to inspect the workmen, or to fetch her 



374 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

husband ; but all the while her heart is breaking she 
cannot forget civilised life. For the education of her sons, 
whom this wild life suits very well, she has a sort of tutor, 
a good-looking young man, but one who does not under- 
stand French. Two white servant-maids a cook and a 
parlourmaid both natives of Germany, render her exist- 
ence supportable. The house is prettily situated, with an 
extensive view over the river, the edge of the forest, and 
the pasture-land on which the cattle graze ; but the entire 
want of shade, and of all vegetation near the house, is very 
uncomfortable : a dread of insects and reptiles causes these 
ornaments to be banished. In the lattice of the wooden 
verandah we saw a nest of wild canary-birds, which build 
here with the same familiarity as our martins. The Ba- 
roness told us that a humming-bird flew into the room a 
few days ago, as little alarmed as a butterfly would be. The 
Baron was at this time very much occupied in cutting down 
a portion of his forest, for which purpose he had, like 
other landowners, sent for some Indians, who perform this 
labour with great skill. His plantation is quite in its 
infancy, but he has grand ideas in his mind, and hopes 
with time and .diligence to make it very profitable. I only 
fear that the projects and notions which he entertains are 
not suited to the circumstances in which he is; and I 

imagine that St , with his happy method and calm 

energy, and with his power of self-adaptation to the state 
of the country, may augur a brighter future for himself. 

It cannot be denied that the country possesses an abun- 
dant fund of wealth this one may see from the raw 
material ; but two difficulties lie in the way of its cultiva- 
tion the want of hands, and the want of an established 
currency. So long as she lacks these, Brazil will profit but 
little by her treasures ; the empire is therefore dependent 
in every way upon Europe. Thus, as we had opportu- 
nity to observe at every step in the Mato, one sees the 



MATO VIRGEM. 375 

most magnificent trees for shipbuilding purposes trees of 
a size such as the world cannot produce elsewhere, of a 
hardness and toughness that defies every sort of worm ; yet 
all along the coast there are no dockyards, and even the 
men-of-war are all built in England. Means of transport 
are also wanting in the country. Brazil has splendid iron- 
mines in the province of St. Paolo; magnetic ironstone 
with 90 per cent, of iron, so that it needs not to be molten, 
but only to be hammered into the requisite form. Not- 
withstanding this, nails can be procured more cheaply 
from Europe. The paving-stones of Rio, which is sur- 
rounded by masses of granite, were all brought ready-cut 
from Portland. Coal has been found, but remains un- 
worked for want of labourers. Up to the present time, the 
Government has taken no pains to promote colonisation, 
or any means of communication; and the whole empire, so 
far as one can see, consists of coffee, sugar, and cocoa plan- 
tations. He who owns an abundance of these natural pro- 
ducts (for the cultivation of which he requires a large 
number of slaves), and who finds himself in the vicinity 
of a river, rendering transport by canoe possible may 
become a rich man. As I have already made mention 
of rare woods, I will here observe that P , when prais- 
ing the beauty of the different sorts of wood, presented me 
with a specimen, of the colour of the finest rosewood ; it 
is unknown in Europe, and is the wood of a tree here 
named acariba. 

I had opportunities in my travels of seeing trunks of 
trees that were beautiful in colour, even on the exterior ; 
I saw one that was quite yellow, and one of a hue like 
porphyry. The smoothness, thickness, and hardness of 
the wood also surprised me ; but only of the broad-foliaged 
trees, be it remembered, for the palms are always soft. 
There are certain woods in Brazil that will not burn; these 
are generally used by the negroes for the flooring of their 



376 KECOLLECTIOXS OF MY LIFE. 

huts, and on these floors they daily make their fires ; even 
after the lapse of years, the place where the fires have been 
can only be distinguished by a slight mark. 

Whilst we were still deep in an interesting conversation 
about the country, and whilst various preparations were 
going forward for our advance into the forest, a negro 

from St 's fazenda appeared in great haste, bringing 

to his master the sad intelligence that his favourite child, 
little Gerubino, had been suddenly taken very ill. The 
father was much alarmed, and we compelled him to return 
immediately ; he spoke a few hurried words to our doctor 
concerning the best remedies to be applied, and then hast- 
ened to the riverside, followed by the sympathy of our 
whole party. 

Madame P explained to us, with friendly solicitude, 

that our panamas would be very inconvenient in walking in 
the forest, for that it would be impossible to make way for 
them ; she therefore provided us, from among her inex- 
haustible stores, with some white woollen nightcaps. We 
made a most comical appearance, and even the amiable 
Parisienne could not avoid laughing loudly. Imagine my 
tall figure in a blue blouse, in white inexpressibles (already 
the worse for their adventures), in long red leather boots, 
with a flowing beard, and high on my head, like the vane 
on a church-tower, a nightcap, like those of the German 
peasants, in my right hand a knotted stick a disreput- 
able-looking individual such I looked to perfection. For- 
tunately, there are no gendarmes in the Mato ; otherwise I 
and my companions would certainly have been arrested, 
for greater vagabonds in appearance one could not see. I 
felt very comfortable in this dress ; it aroused a feeling of 
self-confidence, a certain honest pride, and I felt as 
excited as though going into battle. 

We started : the lord of the neighbourhood, Baron 
P , was so kind as to accompany us to the portals of 



MATO VIRGEM. 377 

the vast forest. We had to cross a considerable piece of 
'roca' that had only just been burnt, and on which the 
trunks of trees were still lying in confusion. The noon- 
day sun was intensely hot. We took leave of our mys- 
terious host on the borders of the forest, and pressed 

forward, Heinrich B , the Forest-king, in front. The 

vegetation closed over us like the waves of the sea ; far 
behind us lay the world of man's life and strife ; the blue 

vault of heaven vanished. The enchanter B led us 

into a new world, a very dreamland into a paradise in 
which man could only enter as a guest, with timid and 
hesitating steps. Every link with the outer world is 
broken here there exist not so much as the smallest path 
by which to communicate with it. The spot on which 
the foot of man rests is unmarked, for the vegetation closes 
her network over it again immediately ; no imperial 
road affords a clue here to the swift-running messen- 
ger no hut sends forth its column of smoke towards 
heaven ; and if the bold traveller meet the eye of man, it 
is that of an Indian hunter, wriggling his rude body 
through the bush like a snake, for we are now in the 
regions of Kamakans and Pantachos. The thick bush 
compelled us to walk one behind the other like geese; 

B (as has been said) foremost, his rifle on his shoulder, 

and his hound by his side. I walked immediately behind 
him, tormenting him with continual questions. After me 
came the rest of our numerous party, most of them with 
guns, and looking eagerly for opportunities of enriching 
our museum. Notwithstanding the oppressive heat, we 
moved at a quick pace, for Heinrich B - wished to press 
forward to a considerable distance before nightfall. To 
him this accustomed road was an easy one, and he pro- 
ceeded with elastic steps, notwithstanding his bare legs, 
and the obstacles in his way. We Europeans were put 
severely to the test, and only our enthusiasm and excite- 



378 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

meat carried us through it : for in the forest one not only 
has to force one's way between trees, to break through 
bush, to allow oneself to be torn by thorns, and to make 
one's way by force through the lianas ; but one must also 
climb over fallen trees that block up the path, clamber 
with hands and feet over them, or creep under them on all- 
fours must swing oneself over the large roots, or grope a 
way through the branches of the fallen crowns to say 
nothing of the water that one has to wade through, which 
is, however, rather refreshing. The forest may be divided 
into three portions the Mato proper with its giant trees, 
its undergrowth, and its luxuriant vegetation below 
according to my description of yesterday, and such as we 
have wandered through from the first ; the deep and damp 
forest, where one constantly meets with streams, pools, and 
swamps, and in which the vegetation is the richest, the 
most profuse, and the most fantastic the grass the most 
brilliant in colour, and the hues of the flowers the gayest ; 
where the immense trees grow with redoubled strength 
and beauty, wound around by the richest lianas, and where 
there is less of the underwood which bounds the view so 
effectually; and, thirdly, the dry hill-forests, growing 
on the declivities where the luxuriant vegetation is almost 
absent, but where the underwood grows so thickly as 
almost to form a bare palisade, so that the traveller not 
only finds it most difficult and laborious to pass through it, 
but, when he has done so, is less rewarded than elsewhere 
for his toil. The damp forest affords the richest field for 
the botanist, as also for the collector of insects and hum- 
ming-birds ; but one must also take the poisonous animals 
into account. In the more open forest the hunter and 
the ornithologist are most at home ; the hill-forest is only 
adapted to the rare class of wood-fanciers, who seek for 
hard and coloured woods. 

Every step presented new wonders to our view: we 



MATO VIEGEM. 379 

pressed on through a host of scitaminea, musaceae, aroidea, 
through a thousand species of graminea, among countless 
trees unknown and unnamed, around which were twined 
philodendrons with their strangely-formed leaves, which 
were connected by rattans, and linked by wreaths of liana ; 
whilst beautiful bromeliacese and tilandsia rested on them, 
looking like birds' nests. There were also some palms of 
different species, which drew our attention, sometimes from 
the beauty of their form, sometimes from their unpleasant 
prickles. Grolden-coloured orchid-blossoms strewn on the 
ground, showed us that in the crowns of the lofty trees 
there were some rare specimens of this plant. We were 
wandering through a sea of verdure ; the golden sunlight 
was subdued to a mysterious twilight. 

Transported into unknown regions, and severed from all 
living beings except my fellow-travellers, I revelled among 
the visions of Nature's Eden of enchantment. Some few 
objects rose to connect the present with the past, and to 
remind me of what I had already seen ; such were those 
plants which are brought to our European hothouses, but 
which here appeared in their fully-developed beauty. But 
there were also many that I had never seen before, and 
these among the richest that surrounded us, on which we 
gazed with astonishment but could not describe. We be- 
come silent with rapture in such scenes ; the impression is 
too strange and too overpowering for us to be able give an 
account of individual objects. There, where nature dwells 
in the plenitude of her beauty and in all her vigour, man 
can but gaze in astonishment. Even our botanist could 
do nothing else ; he did not know where to begin, or how 
to arrange his ideas. Science with him had become dumb; 
that which he had reared with careful pride in his hothouse 
here grew in vast masses ; but, being a practical man, 
he soon recovered himself; he hung his Latin vocabulary 
on the peg, and threw himself into bodily exertion. Being 



380 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

a pachydermata, he tore the plants, seized the green stems, 
and said to himself, ' I can think over everything when 
we rest at home.' This was the wisest plan he could 
pursue ; he collected courageously everything that he 
could, knowing well that here there were no weeds. The 
result was brilliant, and Baron Hiigel's advice, 'Put 
everything into your pocket,' most excellent. 

The zeal of this man of flowers detained us several 
times ; for he must needs search every corner, and like a 
weasel or a squirrel, creep up every trunk of a tree; 
the poor negro who attended us was heavily laden, and 
could not understand what was the use of this plunder of 
the pale-faces. The botanist himself looked swelled to 
the size of a balloon, for his pockets were filled with fruits 
and seeds, and he had some specimens even in his shape- 
less cap. Among the most beautiful of these that I 
remember, was the Xantosoma nigrum, the large leaves 
of which spread out like an umbrella, and beneath their 
shade we found the lovely marante. There was also the 
proud cystus, with its blossoms of purest white ; monstera 
and anthuria, with their strange leaves ; beautiful orchids, of 
various forms of leaf and flower ; the gay dichorisana, 
with its striped leaves ; the Aroidea (zomicarpa), also with 
variegated leaves; gesneriaceae sometimes creeping along 
the ground, sometimes twining like parasites, often mixed 
with paperonia, and winding themselves round the ferns. 

In spots where the sun penetrates, the traveller is struck 
by the strong sweet perfume of the Clerodendron fragrans ; 
the perfume of the blossom is so powerful that it destroys 
the unpleasant odour of the leaves. On the high pyra- 
midal anthills, which are chiefly found in the dry portions 
of the Mato, we found an interesting aroidea (spathi- 
carpa) with small pointed leaves and peculiar green blos- 
soms ; we were fortunate enough to be the first to bring 
these plants, and many others also, to Europe. 



MATO VIRGEM. 381 

Among the undergrowth, I would especially notice the 
Erythrociton brasiliense and the theophrastes, half-trees, 
half- shrubs, their crowns formed of strong glossy leaves. 
The palm is, and ever must be, the king of the vegetable 
world ; it is here less common than other trees, and one 
generally finds it standing alone, and rarely among under- 
wood ; the stem is never thick. The most useful and, at 
the same time, the most graceful palm is the Euterpe 
oleracea, with light-green feathery leaves and tall slender 
stems ; it is a precious treasure in the primeval forest ; it 
affords the palm-cabbage, that most delicate of vegetables ; 
the stems and leaves are used in the construction of huts. 
Next in usefulness stands the species of palm called Cy- 
clanthus, the leaves of which, while young and not yet 
divided, are washed and boiled by the settler, and serve as 
a substitute for farinha ; and are also even used, like the 
papyrus of old, for purposes of writing; the inhabitants 
of the Mato call them 'patijoba.' 

The least serviceable palm is the beautiful and graceful 
Astrocaryum, with its feathered leaves, which are dark- 
green above, and silver-white underneath ; its bare, dark- 
brown, fibrous stem is armed with fine prickles, as every 
visitor to the Mato discovers in the course of events. This 
palm never grows to any great height ; it is called ' Espin- 
hero.' As we have mentioned the plants by their Brazilian 
names, it may be well also to mention the names used in 
the forest for some of the most interesting plants, such as 
one hears every moment from the lips of the inhabitants. 

The cecropia, met with everywhere, is called, in the lan- 
guage of the country, Embahuba ; the bamboo, Tacurosu ; 
the lovely Caladium brogniarti, Tinherao ; the fern, which 
the people think a sign of the dry soil, Sanbambaja; a cu- 
rious arum, not yet known or named in Europe, which we 
brought home with us as an offering to the scientific 
world, is called Tajoba braba; whilst the arum that is good 



382 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

to eat, is called Tajoba mansa. The beautiful Chorisandra, 
that curious flower with blue blossoms, and dark-green 
leaves shaped like those of a lily, which we only found in 
the depths of the forest, is called Pia9abeira. The splendid 
Melastomea, that I have spoken of by the name of Lisi- 
andra, which sheds a violet gleam around it, is called Flor 
de quaresima ; whilst a sort of creeper, the choice blossoms 
of which are like a bean both in form and colour, is 
named Jasmin de Viuva (Widow's Jasmine), a play upon 
its sombre hues. 

The tree already mentioned by me at Bahia, from the 
wood of which carriage-wheels are made, is also found in 
this forest and is called, by the Brazilians, Tondaiba. A 
very peculiar, rare, and (as I believe) generally unknown 
tree, of which I only found one single specimen in the 
forest, the immense trunk of which is smooth and hard, 
and which bulges out like a flask a little above the roots, 

St called Barigud ; it was in form the strangest tree 

that I ever beheld ; and, as a curiosity, would rival the 
dragon-tree of Orotara, 

The ground became more and more heavy ; it began to 
rise and fall, and quick walking in the hot, humid atmo- 
sphere became very fatiguing. But our love of travel 
made us follow Heinrich through all. We now came to 
water, and were obliged to jump across or wade through 
streams, the still waters of which were overgrown with 
vegetation. Often large trees with their wealth of parasites 
lay across the water like bridges, and afforded beautiful 
studies for the painter. New pictures ever rose before us, 
which we were never weary of admiring. 

At a point in the forest where the sunbeams broke 
through the crowns of leaves, and played over verdant 
aroidea, purple scitaminea, and twining * lianas, on an 
immense fallen tree lay a large gecko, at least two feet in 
length, and green as malachite, sunning himself dreamily. 



MATO VIRGEM. 383 

The gecko is a sort of lizard, with a body of brilliant 
green; its head is like that of the chameleon. One of our 
sailors, who had earnestly entreated to be allowed to join 
the expedition, courageously seized the apparently lifeless 
animal at the back of the head, and put it into his pouch. 
Another surprise awaited us, at a dark part of the forest, 
in the sudden flying forth of a large nocturnal moth of a 
grey colour; it was so large that at first we took it for a 
bird, and then, on account of its silent flight, for a bat. 
Unfortunately, it did not come within reach of our nets. 

As we advanced towards a little eminence where the 
forest became lighter, we heard deep, wild tones resound- 
ing at intervals through the forest. Heinrich immediately 
recognised the cry of the roaring ape, an unmistakeable 
sound peculiar to the forest. The sound is half mournful, 
half roaring, and at night very wild ; it is caused by a 
peculiar formation in the throat; its power is extraordinary, 
for one can hear the cry at an almost incredible distance. 
I was struck with one characteristic of the animals in the 
Mato that their tones are not at all in accordance with the 
size of their bodies. Who would ever expect to find a 
shrill whistle proceeding from the delicate cicada ; or a 
ringing hammer-like sound from the throat of a frog ; or 
the clear echoing note that fills the air from the breast of 
the araponga, a sort of thrush ? 

Scarcely had the apes begun their chorus before a shot 
was heard ; whence it came was the question which sug- 
gested itself to us all in a moment, and which was not 
without importance. Here in the vast forest, where the 
reign of man is unknown where, like the keel of the 
vessel through the waters of the ocean, he treads, but 
leaves no track behind here, any token of the presence of 
man excites even more curiosity than does a sail on the 
horizon, after a long voyage, in the breast of the sailor. Our 
question was destined soon to meet with a reply. We 



384 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

heard voices, the thicket opened, the leaves parted, and 
there stood before us a group of wild figures ; at their 
head, to the by no means agreeable surprise of the Forest- 
king, the negro murderer a proud, savage, stalwart figure, 
with piercing eyes, dressed in a fanciful sailor-like style, 
a blue shirt, striped white-and-red trowsers, a scarlet 
girdle in which was stuck the sharp cipo-knife, a gun on 
his shoulder, and his woolly head bare, according to the 
custom of the people of the forest. He was accompanied 
by another escaped negro (dressed like himself), and by 
two Redskins (not at all calculated to inspire confidence 
by their appearance), whose little sharp eyes stared at us 
with an expression of half-frightened amazement: the 
whole group was one quite in keeping with the primeval 
forest, and one that it was more agreeable to meet in good 
company than alone. 

The murderer affected great cordiality ; but in his 
demeanour one could read surprise at the unexpected 
intrusion of the pale-faced strangers into his forest-haunts, 
into the protecting wilds which he shares with the Red- 
skins. 

Heinrich, the legitimate Forest-king, and this black 
usurper exchanged greetings with cold and jealous embar- 
rassment. The black had in his arms the animal he had 
shot, a handsome ape, which was lying in its last agonies, 
and raised its dying eyes to us with such human-like 
expression as to excite our sympathy. The dying look of 
this poor animal would have afforded Darwin a subject for 
one of his instructive lectures. 

The ape before us, Mycet es fuscus (in Brazilian Barbado) 
measured two feet, was lean and attenuated in form, its 
coat of a colour between red and brown, with a dark beard, 
long arms, and a very long and sinewy tail, which these 
animals use skilfully to aid them in their long leaps from 
bough to bough. We purchased it from the dusky hunter 



MATO VIRGEM. 385 

who then vanished quickly with his companions into the 
thicket. 

Heinrich B , the celebrated hunter, acknowledged 

the skill of the black, and said that his shots rarely 
miss. We now halted at a rather more open space on 
an eminence, to rest ourselves, and a slave whom we had 
brought was desired to bring the basket of provisions. 
Some moments of rest were necessary, for the damp, hot 
air and the unwonted exertion had exhausted us. My 
legs also were very painful, especially my right shin, which 
I had bruised very much in climbing over the trunk of a 
tree covered with lianas. Our numerous party were now 
grouped on the grass ; and, consisting principally of young 
and inexperienced travellers, they devoured the provisions 
with keen hunger and insatiable thirst ; not reflecting that 
in these arduous undertakings, in which a man has to rely 
upon himself, he ought to use moderation in all things. 
Notwithstanding all my expostulations and representations, 
the provisions vanished, even to the last morsel, with 
alarming rapidity. What was now to be done during the 
coming days, far from any settlement, dependent on our 
own rifles ? In this recklessness, in this uncontrollable 
greed, I foresaw a speedy aad disappointing termination 
to our interesting expedition ; not so the light-hearted, 
sanguine young men, who dreamed grand results from our 
hunting labours, and who, probably, also hoped to meet 
at every ten steps with pine-apples and streams of water. 
The needed discipline came surely enough ; and it was 
with true prophetic alarm that I witnessed the emptying 
of the basket. Painful and unpleasant as it was, I there- 
fore proposed (on the true forest principle ' all for self,' or 
rather with a very lawful feeling of justifiable egotism) 
that the company, who were blessed with such appetites 
that to feed and satisfy them without the Mosaic power of 
working miracles would be impossible, should be broken 

VOL. III. C C 



386 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

up into small parties. This apparently uncourteous but 
really necessary proposal was accepted. To the wise and 

energetic guidance of our friend T we made over the 

difficult task of conducting the younger and most hungry 
members of our party, leaving them two slaves and all 
the remaining provisions, except a flask of lisbon and 
a handful of farinha. I, the doctor and painter, the 
sportsman and botanist, formed another party, with the 

Forest-king for our leader ; with us went Marco, St 's 

personal attendant and factotum (now transformed into 
valet, cook, and hunter), a negro boy belonging to Hein- 

rich, and the bold hound. Our friend L (who had 

already tasted quite enough of the pleasures of the forest) 
thought it more prudent to return with the sailors men- 
tioned before, and with a slave as guide, to St 's fazenda, 

where, as we afterwards learned, he arrived at a late hour 
of the night, half dead, and almost torn to pieces. Much 
as I disliked this separation, much as I wished to retain 
the merry companionship of the others, yet this step was 
necessary : we therefore parted and took different direc- 
tions. The object that each had in view was the same ; 
to explore the forest, to see its wonders, and to make the 
greatest possible number of additions to our collections : it 
was simply that our tastes led us to different spots. Mine 
was all for the vegetable world, to admire the luxuriance 
of nature, and to collect specimens of still life : the other 
party thought more of adventure and of hunting, and pro- 
mised to shoot food sufficient for themselves. 

Our little company followed Heinrich in silence, but 
well-pleased, down the slope to a stream with which he 
was acquainted ; while the merry, happy youngsters 
ascended the hill. Before parting we engaged to meet at 
St 's fazenda after a certain number of days. 

When we reached the stream, B , shaking his head 

thoughtfully (for he knew by experience the great paucity 



MATO VIKGEM. 387 

of food in the forest) advised us to select a place in which 
to rest. We gladly acceded to the proposal : first, because 
we wished to yield to the authority of our leader, and to 
show our acknowledgment of him as our chief; and 
secondly, because we were thoroughly wearied with the 
exertions of the day, and this spot looked exceediogly in- 
viting. On the border of the forest, which here covered a 
gentle slope, the underwood was thinner, and a cool brook 
of crystal water flowed winding down the hill, from its 
source in the dark wood ; it was arched over by beautiful 
plants, and making a bend it formed a small, cool, lovely 
little peninsula, our place of rest. This peninsula was 
covered by a copse, not too thick, in which were some 
graceful palms, and here and there was a large tree over- 
grown with lianas and parasites, beneath the deep shades of 
which the glimmer of daylight was visible ; there was also 
a profusion of flowers of every form and hue. It was a 
little spot redolent of peace and calm, such as I would 
willingly have brought with me back across the ocean, that 
I might show my friends a fragment of Paradise. The 
sparkle of the brook could be seen here and there through 
the bushes ; in other places it was completely hidden 
among the trees. It had the most picturesque appearance 
at one point, where it flowed under a large tree, which bent 
over it like a bridge, and was covered with parasites : 
among them a magnificent bromeliacea with scarlet blos- 
soms ; a beautiful scitaminea, also with red flowers ; there 
were besides young, tall palms, with graceful crowns, and 
the slender trunks of various other trees, around which 
were twined exquisite specimens of philodendrons. On the 
opposite side of the stream all was impenetrable forest. 
One might have studied natural history to advantage by 
the side of this brook. 

Whilst we rested on the grass, the Forest-king ordered 
preparations to be made for the night ; a place was cleared 

C C 2 



388 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

for a e rancho;' beautiful specimens of the ' euterpe edulis* 
were destroyed by the cipo-knife ; each time that a palm 
fell a rushing sound echoed through the forest, for an im- 
mense quantity of vegetation always fell with it ; but in the 

primeval forest these plants are no rarities. B 's negro 

boy made a fire of moss at the foot of the tree beside the 
stream ; the palms were dragged to the spot selected for 
the * rancho ; ' their stems made side and cross beams ; 
their rich crowns a protecting roof, whilst lianas afforded 
the necessary means of uniting them ; thus in a short 
time the c rancho,' was skilfully completed. Even now, as 

St has told me, my halting-place in the forest is 

remembered, and is called ' Rancho de Principe.' 

The work interested and delighted me ; it bore the im- 
press of forest-life, of that unceasing self-reliance which is 
so needed in these wild regions. Our house was built, and 
it was dearer to me than many a gorgeous palace in which 
I have staid during my travels in Europe. A Turkish rug 
which I had brought from my Africo- Asiatic wanderings, 
was now spread on American ground ; and a very light 

hammock which the amiable Baroness P had lent me 

was slung between two trees, and served me for a bed. 

When we had arranged our quarters and had made them 
so far habitable a la sauvage, we quitted them in order to 
enjoy the beauties of Nature in the balmy evening air. 
The botanist with unwearied industry was again eager to 
make his collections; he dashed among the bushes, creeped 
up the trees for parasites, and tore and hacked with all his 
might ; the painter, with his exquisite talent (almost rival- 
ling the photographer in his power of rapid delineation), 
made pretty sketches of some of the lovely scenes, and, with 
a few masterly strokes, gave to the creations of his pencil 
the peculiar characteristics by which anyone familiar with 
the forest may at once recognise the fantastic forms and 
peculiarities of the various families of plants in this coun- 



MATO VIRGEM. 389 

try. The sportsman, excited by the continual re-appear- 
ance of a black bird with a yellow beak, a species of thrush 
or of sparrow, strolled about with his gun. But all his 
efforts were in vain ; and who could wish to shoot any 
living creature in such a forest, the peculiar territory of 
Nature, the rightful home of the lower animals, in which 
man is an invader ? The inhabitants of the Mato are pro- 
tected on all sides ; neither eye nor shot can pierce the 
confused mass of green. To man it is but permitted to 
claim a spot of a few feet in extent ; and it is only when 
accident favours him that he can attain even this wished- 
for spot : to discover it, to make it his, requires great 
favour with Fortune. 

I sauntered about the grass and rejoiced in the peaceful 
luxuriance of Nature. A ' Kef in the forest belongs to the 
pleasures of the dolce far niente, and imparts a feeling 
of genuine happiness, the memory of which can never fade. 

But I was not quite idle. I made an addition to my 
museum, of a beautiful specimen of mantis religiosa, four 
inches in length ; it is a long, thin insect, of a pale-green 
colour, very difficult to distinguish from the plants. Its 
name has its origin in the peculiar movement of the front 
legs, and of the rocking body, supposed to be like that of 
a nurse. 

B went with his dog into the thicket, in the hope, 

during the evening hours, of finding some animal fit for 
food. The negroes, with triumphant looks, brought a 
hideous, red, long snake. Marco held it, with his fingers 
firmly pressed on the back of its head. The reptile, which 
was of a poisonous kind, was still alive, and beat his tail 
about violently. The blacks, accustomed to these monsters, 
tied it up to a bough near the fire. 

We perceived the sun setting over the distant forests of 
the west ; the twilight creeped slowly on, the twinkling 
stars gleamed through the crowns of the trees, the 



390 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

shadows deepened and lengthened, the various hues 
of colouring were lighted up for the last time, the 
lingering light rested on the leaves of the gently waving 
crowns of the palms ; a rosy tint was fading on the grass ; 
the cicada sent forth her melancholy cry, and the cool 
twilight air played in the forest. In the words of Scripture 
we could say, ' It was evening.' Evening in the primeval 
forest ! 

If sunset be everywhere sublime, here its influence is 
overpowering; one feels something of what that period 
must have been when everything bloomed, flourished, lived, 
undisturbed by the presence of man. Far from one's 
fellow-men, in a wild forest region that extends over a whole 
continent, the heart of the wanderer becomes, at sunset, 
filled with a nameless feeling of oppression ; there is some- 
thing of desolation and pain mingling with the sense of 
unfettered liberty. 

Night followed quickly on the footsteps of the twilight. 
Our fire, diligently fed by the slaves, burned brightly ; 
and by the side of the stream, beneath the leafy vaults, 
fire-flies shed their phosphoric rays in the darkness of 
night. We caught some of them, and discovered that there 
are two points in the body from which they emit light. 

The small remnants that remained of our provisions, 
including some lisbon, afforded us but a scanty meal ; and 
a most unpleasant sense of hunger, which we all felt, justi- 
fied my prophetic warnings. Heinrich B came back 

with a rueful countenance : he had found nothing ; there 
was therefore no very bright prospect for the future. 
Fortunately, instinct had suggested to me to bring some 
chocolate, which at least mitigated our griefs. . 

B now took precautions for the night : the fires were 
fed, and a watch set over them, in order that we might 
have some light in the darkness, and also to frighten away 
wild beasts. A large store of wood was collected ; and 



MATO VIRGEM. 391 

Heinrich's faithful dog stretched himself close to the fire : 
arms were inspected and watches were told off. The 
duties of the watch consisted in feeding the fire, and in 
giving the alarm quickly in case of approaching danger. 
We had two special enemies to guard against wild beasts, 
and a raid of wild Indians. 

There was something romantic in our position ; and my 
thirst for adventure was fully satisfied. I lighted my little 
travelling lantern that I might inspect the situation of the 
' rancho ' once more, hung my long boots on a palm branch, 
drew the woollen night-cap closely over my ears, rolled my- 
self in rny plaid in the comfortable hammock, and laid my 
head on a pretty little embroidered pillow belonging to 
the Baroness, a grand luxury in a Brazilian household, 
often covered with the finest battiste with a blue or rose- 
coloured covering underneath, and trimmed either with 
embroidery or lace. Below me, and protected by me, lay 
the representatives of medical science and of the fine arts ; 
the rest of the party lay in groups, some within the 'rancho,' 
some round the fire. 

The night air was cool and pleasant, lulling the wan- 
derers into sweet repose. 

I gave myself up to pleasant dreams ; sometimes 
joying in the great achievements of the day, sometimes 
congratulating myself in thought on my first night spent 
in the forest, sometimes recalling the past, and delighting 
in recollections of similar nights, also passed in a hammock, 
on the shores of the Adriatic, in will, distant Albania. 
Past and Present mingled in sweet visions, the outlines 
became more and more faint, and at last were on the 
point of being lost in the mists of sleep, when the exquisite 
concert of the forest began. The hammer of the un- 
wearied 'fereiro' began its Cyclopean work; the melancholy 
note of the wild-fowl was heard; the Uh-uh-uh of the 
immense toad, called in Brazilian ( Bufo agua,' resounded 



392 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

like a death-knell ; the deep tones of the apes had a 
weird effect ; and all these sounds united, amid the dark- 
ness of night, to form one grand chorus of threats and 
of lamentations, one ghost-like strain, in which each voice 
seemed to endeavour to overpower the rest. The whole 
forest was, as it were, in a state of mutiny ; and seemed, 
for miles and miles round, to be doing battle with the 
night. How mournfully must such a chorus ring in the 
ears of a lonely and solitary wanderer ! To us, in our 
secure ' rancho,' lighted by the flickering fire, this concert 
of sounds was replete with interest and pleasure. I 
looked upon it as a serenade, welcoming the wanderers 
to the New World. It was not until midnight, when the 
mutun poured forth his mournful notes, that the noise 
suddenly ceased, and a death-like stillness ensued, which 
gave place again to re-awakened sounds at the repeated 
cry of the mutun an hour before sunrise. 

For a few hours we were refreshed by a delicious sleep. 

In the Mato Virgem, January 18, 1860. 

A light rain dropping through the leaves, and the 
freshness of the air, announced that morning had come ; 
and the cicada manifera gave the signal for active life. 
When I awoke from the sweetest of slumbers, the morning 
twilight was gleaming on the crowns, boughs, and trunks 
of the trees with a silvery light, such as I had never before 
seen. At first I thought it was moonlight, and it was 
only by the ever-increasing brightness that I perceived it 
to be the dawn of day. 

The sleepers awakened by degrees, and recounted their 
several impressions of the noisy night. Heinrich gave us 
some interesting information on the subject. He said that 
the various sounds of the Mato are heard at such regular 
hours that they serve to note the exact time of night to the 
backwoodsman. The notes of the birds are especially sig- 



MATO VIRGEM. 393 

nificant to these sons of the forest : thus the peculiar call of 
the partridge towards sunset is a sign of rain, and warns 
the traveller to erect his ( rancho ' with speed. The flight of 
the parrots at regularly returning periods, is also an omen 
to be watched. We had an example of this ; for just 
before sunrise we heard a rustling in the crowns, and three 
large green parrots of the common kind (psittacus guia- 
nensis), the first and only specimen of the species that we 
saw during our excursion, flew over our heads ; a pleasur- 
able proof of the distance that we had travelled from the 
scenes of ordinary life. 

Heinrich was very much annoyed, and indeed very 
anxious, at our entire want of provisions, and railed at our 
absent travelling companions for their outrageous appetites 
yesterday. He learned from a slave that another party 
had erected a 'rancho ' on an eminence not far from us; 
he therefore proceeded thither, to try, if it were possible to 
get some provisions from them ; and he actually brought 
us some farinha, and a part of the poor ape that we 
had yesterday seen dying, and which was now roasted. 
All the rest of the food was completely gone; indeed, 
the reckless boys had even, in their kindness of heart, 
abundantly provided for the slaves with the remains of 

meat, fruit, and wine, which made the disciplinarian B 

exceedingly angry. Marco and B 's little negro boy 

gathered some not yet divided leaves of a young palm, 
tied them together with blades of grass, in the form of a 
kettle; filled these vegetable pans with clear water from 
the brook, and hung them on boughs over the fire : in a 
time the water and the farinha were both boiling. 

On the leaves of the same palm, which were to serve us 
for plates, Heinrich presented to us the sticky pap-like 
farinha, which, without either salt or spice, was very un- 
palatable, hungry as we were ; it had an insipid taste, and 
could only be deemed just better than nothing. Some 



39.4 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

palm-cabbages, cut down in haste, afforded rolls of pith, 
something like stalks of asparagus. We in vain tried our 
teeth in attempts to eat some carne secca from Buenos 
Ayres, a preparation of the Pampas. Equally tough, and 
almost nauseous was the black, dried flesh of the ape (our 
cousin, according to Darwin's theory), to eat which seemed 
almost wicked ; but to what crimes will not hunger drive 
one? 

B 's friend Giacchini, a handsome mulatto and ex- 
cellent forester, who paid our party a visit, brought us the 
result of his search, a heath-cock, which we also ate with 
some difficulty, having no salt ; the whole meal was shorter 
than short, and was far from satisfying our good appetites. 

The doctor and the painter consoled themselves with a 
refreshing bath in the clear, cool stream. We were now 

to begin our further explorations. B consulted his 

faithful friend the compass, in order to determine which 
direction we should take. 

As I felt myself responsible for my countrymen, and as 
the reflection that the reckless party of young men, without 
provisions, without any knowledge of hunting, and, above 
all, without any skilled guide, might seriously suffer from 
hardship, and perhaps meet with even greater calamities, 
began to be very painful to me, I begged to have a mes- 
senger sent to bring them. Once more, all together again, 
we began our goose-like march, crossed the brook, and 
entered the thicket towards the west. The ground rose, and 
we reached the region of the dry forest ; the profuse vege- 
tation, with its interesting forms and colours, disappeared, 
and -the middle growth, with its rope-like lianas gained 
the ascendancy. On the borders of the damp and the 
dry forest, our sportsman shot a lovely humming-bird ; 
one of the most beautiful kinds, glowing in colours of 
topaz and ruby. We found the ascent of the hilly portion 
of the forest particularly tiring; creeping up steep places 



MATO YIRGEM. 395 

in this damp hot air, frequent sliding along the ground, 
strenuous efforts to force a way between the hard stems of 
the copse that grew closely together, climbing over the 
harsh lianas, all this was very hard work, and there was 
little to repay one for the labour. 

The forest was less interesting here ; there was little to 
be seen but brown stems twined around with parasites ; the 
earth was the colour of common mould ; the vegetable 
world offered only one object of interest ; a sort of palm 
(which we found here for the first time), the fan of which 
grows immediately from the ground, without any stem, 
and is thickly covered with sharp prickles. The whole of 
this portion of the forest only afforded some ten kinds of 
large trees, which we met with again and again, in large 
groups. However, the botanist found his account in them, 
for they were almost unknown, and had not yet received 
scientific names. But it was impossible for him to study 
them during our hasty excursion ; as, to make any proper 
classification of them, he would have required to examine 
leaf, blossom, and fruit. It was necessary, for this, that he 
should either have time to have the trees felled, or else, 
like his cousins of the forest, first acquire the art of 
climbing ; and even then, the seasons for blossom and 
fruit are not the same. 

An expedition for exclusively botanical purposes, having 
for its main object a study of the Brazilian trees, would 
be very interesting, and would repay the labour expended. 
Many of these trees have magnificent blossoms, others, 
choice and delicious fruits, with which the apes are well 
acquainted. A considerable number of these trees, as well 
as of Brazilian plants with their nutritious fruits, might 
with advantage be brought to Europe ; some might live 
in hothouses, some, in the southern parts of Europe, 
might live in the open air. From this suggestion it may 
be perceived, that in the more loftily situated parts of 



396 KECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. . 

Brazil, as in New Freiberg and Petropolis, the air is, at 
seasons, very cool ; indeed, almost every year there is in 
the early morning a slight coat of ice on the water, and 
yet in Petropolis one sees Nature in the plenitude of her 
luxuriant beauty. 

In the animal kingdom the only subjects of interest 
were the immense nests of the termites, with their brown 
pyramids, and the countless holes of the armadillo. The 
former are so numerous and so strong, that it is said that 
they are used as baking-places by the people of the country. 
The fat armadillo (dasypus, Brazilian tatu) can only be 
drawn from his hole with great difficulty, as he is pos- 
sessed of immense strength ; he either ensconces himself 
in his hole, or holds firmly on to the earth and roots 
with his paws. The armadillo, which is very common 
in Brazil, is found even in the forests in the vicinity 
of Eio Janeiro ; its appearance is repulsive, it is about two 
feet in length, half a foot in height, and its sharp head 
and upright ears remind one of a rat, its little crooked 
legs of a mole, or even of a tortoise, in common with which 
it has a sharp pointed tail ; its fat body is covered with 
rings, which lie close together, and sparkle like scales ; 
in colour it is something between ' cafe au lait' and flesh 
colour, and reminds one of an immense bug. The Bra- 
zilians think the meat, which has a flavour like that of 
pork, a great delicacy. 

We found a curiosity on the dark earth some speci- 
mens of bulimus ovatus, from three to four inches in 
length, of a spiral form, and of a pretty white and pink 
colour. How they came so far from water, on this dry 
hill, and on what they can feed, is a mystery. 

We were so exhausted from the labours of the ascent, 
from want of food, and from the great heat, and, even more, 
were so tormented by thirst, that we expressed to the 
Forest-king a most earnest desire to rest ourselves. Our 



MATO VIKGEM. 397 

spirits began to flag, and for the first time, we were 
seized with a loss of physical energy. In this hot forest 

we longed for something to drink. B consoled us by 

telling us of the vicinity of a large river, and compelled us 
to mount one more hill. Here he at length yielded to 
our importunities, and granted us a short rest. We un- 
rolled our rugs and plaids on an open space, and stretched 
our wearied limbs. Heinrich would have sent two slaves 
down the hill to the river, to obtain a draught of water to 
quench our thirst ; but we had neither cups nor bottles ; 
suddenly the happy thought suggested itself of making 
science subservient to our wishes. The botanist was 
obliged to part with his curiosity-box ; the whole of the 
choice contents, the germs of future vegetation were 
thrown remorselessly together in his knitted cap, and 
the blacks brought us the^ longed-for refreshment. 

During this time of rest, another terrible event in our 
Transatlantic history took place ; a strange pricking caused 
the horrible discovery that I was covered with the notorious 
Brazilian insect (called by the Brazilians carapatos, by 
scientific people ixodes), an acquisition made in forcing a 
way through the bush. This was more than I had bar- 
gained for ; but I must say it was the only really insuper- 
able horror of the forest. I had become accustomed to 
the snakes ; I had borne up against heat and fatigue ; I 
had never felt any fear of the poisoned arrows of the 
Indian : nothing of danger or exertion would have made 
an impression on me ; but the dreadful idea of being 
covered with insects, and with foreign insects, did fill me 
with horror and disgust. 

My cup was full. All the terrors of hunger suddenly 
stood before me ; I felt real alarm at the scarcity of 
provisions; visions of discord among our travelling party 
came before my mind ; I longed for the companionship of 
St . In a word, my good spirits were gone ; a little 



398 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

insect had worked a revolution, and had excited in me a keen 
desire to return. In vain did Heinrich try to calm and to 
console me; in vain suggested remedies, assured me that the 
enemy should be completely banished. All was useless. 
Thoroughly out of temper, I declared that I would, at any 
rate for the present, quit the Mato, an announcement which, 
to my surprise, was received with universal approbation by 
all of our party. As in my case the carapatos, so with the 
others some annoyance or another, had called forth a feeling 
of dissatisfaction. Harmony was gone ; and therefore it was 
better to change our position, that we might unite again 
under other circumstances, in new exertions. However, 
before we started to return, I submitted to one of the 
remedies prescribed by the Forest-king for getting rid of 
the carapatos. One must either wash oneself in tobacco 
water, or call the services of a negro to one's aid. Some 
slaves possess wonderful skill in extracting this insect from 
the skin. I submitted to this tedious and unpleasant 
operation. The great Marco was more skilful than anyone 
in this art. The carapatos are really dangerous ; for they 
bite deeply into the flesh, and should they chance to lay eggs 
there, very poisonous wounds result, which are exceedingly 
difficult to cure. The Indians, who are very much afraid 
of these insects, say that the wounds are mortal : they 
may be so to cattle, which have no means of helping 
themselves; to horses also these insects are very prejudicial : 
strangely enough, the blood of the ass appears to be too 
ignoble for them. They are most troublesome during the 
damp spring season. Marco was tolerably successful in 
his operation; but some few insects were still left for a few 
days, and caused me a great deal of annoyance. The other 
members of our company also suffered from these insects 
afterwards. But it was remarkable that, during the whole 
time of our travels in Brazil, neither in the Mato nor on 
the rivers, neither by day nor night, did we ever suffer 



MATO VIKGEM. 399 

from mosquitoes. From the accounts given by many 
travellers, we might have dreaded to have been com- 
pelled to live beneath a perpetual cloud of mosquitoes. 
In Europe I have often been driven to despair by mos- 
quitoes, especially in Italy, and in the south of Spain ; 
and also frequently in Schonbrunn and Luxemburg ; but 
in the tropics these insects have never stung me. 

I afterwards became acquainted with another annoying 
insect, the sandfly (pulex penetrans), a little black animal, 
scarcely visible, which works its way through one's shoes, 
and has an especial fancy for hiding itself under the nail 
of the great toe. If it be not quickly expelled, it swells 
itself to a considerable size, and lays numberless eggs. 
The wound then begins to fester, and instances have been 
known, especially among careless and dirty negroes, in 
which amputation of the foot has been necessary, lest the 
patient should die from the spread of the poison through 
his blood. As they are the negro men who are the most 
expert in removing the carapatos, so they are the negro 
women who are considered the most skilful in the fazendas 
in removing the bichos. But although these insects may 
produce real injury to those who are careless and uncleanly 
in their habits, still, with a little attention, one finds 
nothing productive of more annoyance in this way than one 
does in European climates. If we remember the bugs and 
other insects that are found in our inns (and I must 
here remark, that bugs were first brought to Brazil by the 
European conquerors), we must allow that civilised Europe 
may well hang down her head. 

One must regard the annoyance caused by the carapatos 
as the toll which the traveller of inquisitive mind must 
pay if he will penetrate into the mysteries of the primeval 
forest. 

Heinrich also appeared to be glad at heart that we had 
resolved to return. Our party evidently appeared to him 



400 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

to be too large, and the idea of exploring the forest, simply 
for the sake of exploring it, he, the hunter par excellence, 
could not understand ; besides, the Mato, his second home, 
had now no novelties for him. 

After we had rested and had refreshed ourselves from 
the botanist's case, we returned back in the same manner 
and direction in which we had come. We had then made 
a march of about a day and a half in the true, vast, virgin 

forest ; a grand undertaking. Had I started with B , 

and at most only one or perhaps two friends, nothing 
would have deterred me from penetrating farther ; we 
should have husbanded St 's store of excellent pro- 
visions, and should have had sufficient farinha, bananas, 
and lisbon for several more days. My desire to share the 
enjoyment with my friends was well-meant, but obviously 
not judicious. For an expedition into the forest, the 
members should be few, they should be under good guid- 
ance and good discipline, possess strong bodily powers, 
ardent minds, an enthusiasm for travelling, moderation 
and self-control. They who have not these qualities, or 
who will not strive to obtain them, had better remain 
quietly at home, and enjoy themselves in polished boots 
and kid gloves. 

When we reached our little Paradise, the ' Rancho de 
Principe ' by the lovely stream, our party again separated 
and some went to their ' rancho ' on the hill. Heinrich 
made improvements in our ' rancho ; ' palms again came 
rustling to the ground beneath the cipo-knife, and with 
their leaves the roof was made more perfect ; also three 
side walls were erected, and that side which was next the 
fire was the only one left open. On witnessing the fall of 
these palms, this rifling of the treasures of nature, I thought 
of our palms at home ; of the delight of our gardeners, if 
they could but possess one of these fallen trees in the ful- 
ness of its beauty : whilst here these gems of nature are 



MATO VIRGEM. 401 

cut and hewn, merely to serve the purposes of the moment. 
I put our botanist into a state of mixed amusement and 
horror, when, on seeing these proceedings, I told him 
that, on my return to Schonbrunn, I would (in order to 
give my brother some real idea of forest-life) propose that 
the cipo-knife should be used among our palms, and a 
* rancho ' be built, and that beneath the palm-leaves we 
should] enjoy a real forest-dinner of palm-cabbage. The 
botanist with secret horror pictured to himself the righteous 
indignation that would burn in the breast of the Director 
of Gardens, his chief, at such a proposal ; and, although 
separated from his master by the wide ocean, our collector 
of plants grew pale at the very thought. Thus far can 
the influence of a sagacious and energetic mind extend ! 

To the real salvation of our exhausted frames, a slave 

brought some few provisions from the Fazenda P , 

which were hailed with delight : there was some roasted 
carne secca, some of the indispensable farinha, and, to 
our special joy, some bananas ; also some pimento, very 
reviving to our wasted energies. The fire was made up 
the palm-leaves again put in requisition, the carne secca 
softened, the farinha mixed with pimento, the bananas 
partially roasted on little sticks, and scattered over with 
farinha ; and, stretched on our rugs and plaids, we partook 
of a genuine forest-meal with renewed spirits, this being 
the first opportunity we had had, for a long time, of 
satisfying our hunger : a flask of cahapa was emptied on 
the occasion, with feelings of real gratitude. 

True cheerfulness now reigned again in our little circle, 
as we lay peacefully among the beauties of Nature, enjoying 
the luxury of food, and a sweet sense of satisfaction, which 
we seasoned with merry conversation, sometimes of the 
forest and forest-life ; sometimes vaulting across the ocean, 
we conjured up bright visions of home, doubly delightful 
in these solitudes, and at this distance ; and the hardships 

VOL. III. D D 



402 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

so lately endured now appeared almost in a comical point 
of view. When evening set in with her splendid hues, 
her balmy air, her peaceful repose, I took my n(*te-book, 
wandered amid the luxuriant verdure on the banks of 
the stream, and gazed with silent rapture at the individual 
beauties of Nature, and the grandeur of the total they 
formed. My grateful heart beat high with a delightful 
sensation of calm content produced by Nature, as she sur- 
rounded me with her vigour, her most wondrous charms, 
her all-victorious magnificence. 

My feelings of peaceful happiness strove to clothe them- 
selves in words ; to break forth into poetry, though that 
were but feebly to echo the grand rhythm of Nature's en- 
circling voice. If a man have any poetic feeling in him, 
the fount of song must well forth in the grand world of the 
Mato ; as it will in the Alps, in the exquisite scenery of 
golden Italy, in the blue atmosphere of the Greek moun- 
tains, on the vast expanse of the boundless ocean : in all 
such scenes Nature compels poetic feeling to burst forth 
into life. 

The primeval forest is worthy of a great poet, such as 
Lenau, alas ! too early lost ; for only the majesty of poetry 
can give an idea of- those beauties which the brush of the 
most skilful artist, checked on all sides by the very rich- 
ness of the scene, must ever fail to paint. 

During my quiet wanderings through this wood of grasses 
and wild flowers, I had an opportunity of watching at my 
ease the gay movements of the beautiful beetles, and of the 
flies that sparkled with the brilliance of emeralds. The 
beetles bear so peculiar a resemblance to jewels that they 
form an article of trade at the seaports : whole bottles of 
them, green, blue, and red, are offered for sale to the ladies ; 
ear-rings, necklaces, and brooches are made of them, and 
they are strewn over artificial flowers. I took some of 
these bottles back to Europe with me : its contents were 



MATO VIRGEM. 403 

destined to give to a ball-dress of white tulle the appear- 
ance of being covered with stars or with sparks of fire. To 
complete the rare costume, I purchased a wreath and bou- 
quet of humming-birds' feathers, which have the peculiar 
effect of appearing, when viewed from one side, likefeuiUes 
mortes, whilst, rapidly turned, they gleam with the splendour 
of jewels. 

The botanist made diligent use of his time in adding to 
his collections, and after great labour brought two giant 
specimens of fern (all covered with prickles) back to the 
* rancho.' He had long wished to find some of the old tree- 
ferns which are not very common even in the virgin forest, 
and, if possible, to plant them in our hothouses in Schon- 
brunn : this idea pursued him as hotly as the finding of 
the aninga ; he wished to achieve these triumphs for him- 
self, and for science, and to surprise his master with these 
wonderful relics of primeval times. He was now actually 
in possession of two large specimens, with stems of from 
eight to ten feet in height, quite perfect and regular in 
form. Throughout the whole of the rest of the journey, 
they were treated like little children, with a care that was 
almost touching ; but alas ! they died on our return 
voyage across the equator : all that warmth and moisture 
could do to revive them was tried in Schonbrunn, but in 
vain. Yet, to prove that zeal in the cause of science is 
not thrown away, I may here observe, that an immense 
quantity of vegetation and some quite new plants grew from 
the stems themselves, among the dark wool that covered 
them. All that one can collect in this country repays one 
for the trouble, so that I would recommend travellers to 
bring home with them pieces even of decaying stems and 
branches, as in the warmth of the hothouses they will pro- 
duce most beautiful parasites. Sacks filled of earth are 
also invaluable, for the chance of various plants being 
raised from it; our botanist obtained many in this way. 

D D 2 



404 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

The ferns are among the most interesting plants cha- 
racteristic of the vegetable kingdom of Brazil. They 
spread their graceful, feathery, green crowns, like large 
sunshades over a brown taper stem of twelve feet in 
height, and covered with wool and prickles. They are 
indisputably among the most picturesque and loveliest of 
plants for a winter garden. 

The painter again worked assiduously. With immense 
labour he transferred studies of all the creepers, lianas 
and other parasites, to his paper. He was afterwards 
very successful in sketching portraits of us in our forest 
costumes. The picture of the little botanist was inimit- 
able, in his reflective, philosophic mood ; his knitted cap 
(that shapeless article, which had, in the course of our 
expedition, served for every imaginable purpose), on his 
Socratic head ; his linen blouse, in which every colour of 
the rainbow was united, hanging loosely around him, his 
turned-up trowsers and high boots, he was indeed a ve- 
ritable antediluvian figure such as Ham, even in his most 
hilarious moods, could not have dreamed of. 

When we again assembled in the c rancho ' with advancing 
twilight, the humming-birds were dancing near us, and 
one of these lovely little creatures played round about the 
scarlet bromeliacea mentioned in my yesterday's description 
of the scene of our ' rancho.' 

When evening was beginning to draw her shades around 
us, we suddenly heard a noise of rustling and breaking of 
branches, and of men's voices descending the hill. The 

sounds proceeded from some negroes from St 's fazenda, 

who were bringing baskets filled with provisions, a joyful 
surprise prepared for us, owing to the representations of 

L , by the hospitable and attentive care of St . 

We divided the eatables into two portions, and sent one 
half up to the hungry youngsters in the ' rancho ' above. 
As for ourselves, we soon retired into our palace, to seek, 



MATO VIRGEM. 40-5 

some on the ground, some raised in the air, the rest we 
all so much needed. 

The fire blazed merrily, the watches were told off in the 
same manner as they had been yesterday, and the palm- 
shadowed dwelling seemed quite home-like : now that we 
no longer felt the pangs of hunger, our little resting- 
place afforded us a feeling of satisfaction, of contentment 
with our position, which is perhaps best expressed in the 
words of Scripture, f Here let us build our tabernacles.' 

At the prescribed moment the sounds of the grand con- 
cert again filled the halls of Nature ; but as one becomes 
accustomed to anything and everything, I fell asleep 
peaceably, amid all. We were, however, disturbed in the 
night by the rain which rattled on t*he withered leaves 
that covered the ( rancho ; ' and the air became so per- 
ceptibly cooler that our plaids were very acceptable : the 
fire was extinguished more than once. In giving an 
account of a night in the ' rancho,' it may be as well to 
remark, for the benefit of those who have a desire to 
explore the Mato, that a hammock of fine netting (such as 
are made to perfection in Brazil) is a positive necessity. 
When folded up tightly, the traveller can easily carry it, 
the weight is scarcely felt ; and on arriving at a resting- 
place, if even in the middle of the day, he can unroll his 
hammock, and sling it for himself between two trees. By 
these means he obtains a cool and elastic couch, in which he 
is safe from all vermin ; and if he like to rest in the day- 
time, he can rock himself gently, enjoying his cigar, and 
revelling in comfort of body, and in sweet reverie. 

The hammock also serves as a sofa, if he turn on his side ; 
his weight presses down the elastic net on one side, whilst 
the opposite side rises in proportion, and affords a support 
to his back. 



406 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 



In the German settlement on the Cachueras, January 19, 1860. 

I slept well, so that I was refreshed both in mind and 
body. I awoke in good spirits, just as the twilight again 
shed a silver gleam like that of moonlight into the 
' rancho ; ' the rain had ceased, and the drops that were scat- 
tered here and there over the leaves sparkled like diamonds 
in the morning light. Day quickly chased the shades of 
night from the beautiful, leafy masses below, and the beams 
of the sun gleamed through the giant vaults of foliage above. 

The provisions sent by our good friend St afforded us 

a delicious breakfast, in which some excellent cold bacon 
played a conspicuous part. Even black coffee was accept- 
able; what could one desire more in the forest? Whilst 
we were thus according his rights to our inner man, the 
little humming-bird of yesterday came again to visit us, 
and fluttering gracefully around the blossoms of the bro- 
meliacea presented to us an attractive spectacle of beauty. 
The large parrots also made their accustomed flight, 
chattering and rustling in the air. 

B , whose whole thoughts were absorbed in hunting, 

whose every talent was concentrated in it, suddenly called 
our attention to a noise quite close to our ' rancho.' We 
heard a heavy mass breaking through the undergrowth, and 
perceived that the aroidea were crackling and snapping 

beneath the tread of broad, heavy feet. B , who is 

acquainted with every sound made by his prey, commanded 
silence; and whispered, in an excited tone, 'They are 
tapirs,' and he instantly followed on the track with his rifle 
and dog. But unfortunately in vain : the tapirs were 
quicker than our Nimrod ; they had a good protection in 
the damp forest with the thick vegetation. But Heinrich 
showed us the real and true track of the tapir, and the broad 
marks of his feet quite close to our hut. We could distin- 



MATO VIRGEM. 407 

gui&h the footmarks of two tapirs, both going towards the 
river. 

The tapir (tapirus suillus; in Brazilian, anta) is very 
common in these forests; it is favourite game with the 
hunter, and is much sought for on account of its excellent 
meat. Belonging to the same family as the elephant and 
rhinoceros, the tapir is the largest animal of the new 
continent, and is peculiar to it : like its kindred, it has an 
antediluvian character. In form it reminds one of the pig, 
only it is much larger and stronger ; about three feet and 
a half in height, its length is from four to five feet: it is 
heavy and fat ; and its thick, dark-brown hide is covered 
with short, close hair ; its head, which terminates in a sharp, 
flexible snout, springs almost immediately from the trunk ; 
its eyes are small, like those of a pig, and have a good- 
tempered expression ; its sharp ears, like those of a mouse, 
as well as its short, smooth tail, are in continual motion, 
which has a very droll effect, as every other part of its 
body evinces the immovable, phlegmatic temperament of 
the pachydermata. Its short feet are like those of a pig. 

Heinrich was very much disconcerted at the escape of 
these animals. On this occasion he told us, in his broken 
German, rendered peculiar by the introduction of the 
Portuguese idiom, that only a short time ago he had killed 
a strong tapir quite close to our halting- place. Pressed 
by the dog and driven to defend itself, it had wounded the 
poor dog frightfully with its teeth, an accident that seldom 
happens, and indeed never, unless the tapir is so pressed 
against some dense portion of the vegetation as to be unable 
to find any outlet. In general, the animal is very good- 
tempered ; and when caught, is easily tamed. 

Though less interested in the success of Heinrich's shot, 
yet I was exceedingly sorry to have lost the opportunity of 
seeing this animal in its wild state. My eagerness and 



408 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE. 

excitement, when B told me the cause of the noise in 

the wood, were indescribable. What could the European 
sportsman imagine to be more interesting than to see a 
genuine member of the family pachydermata breaking 
a path through the deep thickets of the primeval forest ? 



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1233 Recollections of my life 



1868 
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