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the ague, and considerable inconveniences from temporary torrents and inundations; but these, he says, were far less intimidating grievances than the former dread of perishing for want of water. It was pleasing to observe, in the sudden effect of the rain, the wonderfully sensitive state of a soil in all appearance utcerly burnt up.
• The rapidity of vegetation in Brazil is truly astonishing. Rain in the evening upon good soil will, by sun-rise, have given a greenish tinge to the earth, which is increased, if the rain continues on the second day, to sprouts of grass of an inch in length, and these on the third day are sufficiently long to be picked up by the half-starved cattle.'
The ordinary course of seasons brings pretty constant rain from May or June to the end of August; but there are not many days of absolutely incessant rain. From August or September there is not usually any rain till the beginning of the year, when it is expected, for a continuance of only two or three weeks.
A more comprehensive description is given, in this part of the work, of the Sertanejos, as the inhabitants of the Sertam or desert are denominated. Some of these are the proprietors of the cattle-estates on which they reside; but the greater number are Vaqueiros or cow-herds, who manage the estates for rich owners who reside in the towns upon the coast, and are at the same time sugar-planters, denominated Senhorse de Engenho. Between the large share of the animal stock and produce assigned by regulation to these resident-managers, and the una voidable indefiniteness of the whole account of the numbers, the situation is a very advantageous one; but it requires considerable courage, ' and great bodily strength and activity;' the necessity for which is partly shown in a very amusing description of the half-yearly collecting of the cattle, some of them not unfrequently from a distance of twenty leagues from the residence. There is a curious account of the modes of mastering with impunity the violence and wildness of the cows and oxen, the way of breaking in horses, the distinctions of quality in horses, and the sort of economy preserved by each separate party or lot' of these animals. The divisions of property in the Sertam, will require ages to bring them to any approach tu precision. The size of the fazenda is estimated by a mere computation of leagues, or, in some instances, by the yearly number of hundreds of calves. • Few
persons take the trouble of making themselves acquainted with 'the exact extent of their own property; and perhaps could not • ascertain it if they made the attempt.'
The Sertanejos are of various colours, from what would be white but for the heat of the climate, down through the mulatto mixtures and gradations. Being courageous, generous, sincere,
and hospitable,' they would, our author says, be a very good sort of people, were it not for their wretched coudition with respect lo government, their scanty portion of which is of such a quality, as to make it doubtful which would be the greater evil-the mischief it would do by a more effectual interference, or the crimes which, in its non-interference, are committed by a people abandoned to their own passions and their own means in maintaining and avenging their rights against one another. Their ignorance is extreme, • few of them possessing even the commonest rudiments of knowledge. Their religion is confined to a few ceremonies, relics, and charms; some of which last are the resource of persons bitten by serpents; and as all serpents are be. lieved by these people to be venomous, while in fact many of them are not, there will be plenty of reputed proofs of the efficacy of the charm. There was an amusing instance of fantastic credulity, at a house where the travellers were answered by a man from within the door, but who did not open it, nor in any way venture to look out.
This I thought strange, and began to suppose he might be afflicted with some contagious disorder, and had been forsaken by his friends, or rather, that his family had been advised to remove to some neighbouring cottage. But the guide explained, that the man had been bitten by a spake, and that the bite of this species only became fatal if the man who had received it saw any female animal, and particularly a woman, for thirty days after the misfortune.' p. 160.
A voyage from Pernambuco to Maranham, a position on the coast still further to the north-west than Seara, was made within sight of land nearly all the way. The account of the people there, includes some anecdotes of slaves, one of which we transcribe.
I heard of a mulatto slave who ran away from his master, and in the course of years had become a wealthy man, by the purchase of lands which were overrun with cattle. He had, on one occasion, collected in pens great numbers of oxen which he was arranging with his herdsmen to dispatch to different parts for sale, when a stranger, who came quite alone, made his appearance, and rode up and spoke to him, saying, that he wished to have some private conversation with him. After a little while they retired together, and when they were alone the owner of the estate said, “ I thank you for not mentioning the connexion between us, while my “people were present.” It was his master, who had fallen into distressed circumstances, and had now made this visit in hopes of obtaining some trifle from him. He said that he should be grateful for any thing his slave chose to give him. To reclaim him, be well knew, was out of the question; he was in the mau's power, who might order him to be assassinated immediately. The slave gave his master several hundred oxen, and directed some of his men to accompany him with them to a market, giving out among his herdsmen that he had thus paid a debt of old standing for which he had only now been called upon. A man who could act in this manner, well deserved the freedom which he had resolved to obtain.'
From St. Luiz, the port of the island of Maranham, where the blessings of despotism, slavery, and bigotry are enjoyed in a high degree, Mr. K. had a fancy to take a little trip to see his English friends, and landed at Falmouth, in May, 1811. In the last week of that same year he was again in the full gayeties of Pernambuco;
where a period of less than twelve wonths had sufficed to produce a very visible alteration in the style of dress, and even in the manners of the people, in the exterior and interior appearance of the houses, in the sedan chairs, and in the equipment of the horses.The impulse of this change is represented as mainly given by a few families newly imported from Lisbon and England. It seems a pity that a people so easily rendered dissatisfied with themselves and their customs, should not have had the good fortune to obtain from abroad exemplars that would have prompted and attracted them to changes in inuch more important matters. How many diversities of the cut of their clothes, and the colour of their house fronts, and the shape of their furniture, and the regulations of their promenading, will they be maneuvred through, at the caprice of the adventitious dictators of fashion, before any detachment of the European community will disturb them into innovation, by examples of judicious education, extensive and useful reading, genuine religion, and an adjustment of manners at once liberal and systematically moral?
Our author amused himseif with an excursion among the su. gar plantations, with a particular attention to the economy of slave employment, and observant also of the characters and habits of the proprietors, and the free labourers. He was struck with the contrast between the almost solitary appearance of the country, on a geneal view, and the large assemblages of people drawn together at the churches at particular times, and at the planters' residences on occasions of sport or festivity. Frolic and riot are quite as necessary against the tedium of existence to the superior people, as to the meaner tribe; and on some of the days before Ash-Wednesday, Mr. K. and an accompanying friend were regaled quite to satiety, and something further, with a sport called in. trudo. Before a meal is well ended, the partakers, the family, (that is, the men of it) guests and all, fall to pelting and bespattering one another with the eatables remaining on the table, commonly no small quantity. At one house, even the blackened pots and pans from the kitchen were introduced, for the purpose of a mutual besmearing of the gentlefolks' faces. Here, even the ladies were induced to join in the war, and the slaves were delighted to be admitted to a share. It is all taken in perfect good humour; or the utmost contempt assails any one that becomes angry and resentful.
Among the various plantations the author visited, he distinguishes one, but without giving either local or personal name, as horribly infamous for cruelties perpetrated on the slaves, with a systematic, continued, wanton enormity.'
“The estate was inherited by the person in question, with sixty good! slaves upon it; fifteen years have elapsed since that time to the period of which I speak, and there were then remaining only four or five individu. als who were able to work. Soine have fled, and have escaped; others
have died, God knows how; and others again have committed suicide in sight of their masters' residence.'
Mr. K. says he did not hear any other of the planters charged with a conduct so systematic and atrocious:-might it not be expected then, that the miscreant in question would often have to encounter the most unequivocal and intentional signs of detestation from what is accounted the respectable part of the society of the country? No such thing:
The conduct of the owner toward his slaves is often spoken of with abhorrence, but yet he is visited and treated with the same respect which is paid to an individual of unblemished character.'
So base a betrayer can politeness be to the cause of justice! Yet it perhaps never occurs to the thoughts of these civil gentry, that they will stand accountable, and will be joined in retribution, for so much of the wickedness as the honest manifestation of their opinion might have prevented. And our author's delicacy, too, in so carefully suppressing the name, was it in return for being regaled with pine-apples and oranges,' at the plantation? If so, we wish that, however hot the day might have been, he had declined swallowing so sweet a bribe to protect the entertainer's name from infamy by concealing it.
This tour among the plantations, was preparatory to our Author's becoming, in connexion with a friend a sugar-planter him. self, by repting, in 181%, an estate called Jaguaribe, with the slaves, cattle, and other requisites upon it, four leagues from Recife, and one league from the coast. He relinquished it, however, towards the end of the following year, and became a resident and co-planter on the island of Itamaraca, where he remained till some time in the year 1815, when he abandoned, for reasons not assigned, the planter's vocation, to which he confesses he was become partial, and returned, perhaps finally to Europe: perhaps finally, for he seems willing to contemplate a possibility that he may be destined to accomplish, what he earnestly and vainly wished while in South America, a journey of discovery quito across that continent.
The proceedings and incidents in the course of these planting speculations, furnish a considerably lively and diversified narration, which is followed, toward the close of the volume, by a large assemblage of descriptions and observations of a more general kind. The natural appearance of the country, so different from the Sertam or desert, is largely displayed, with all its diversity of landscape, vegetation, and soil. The description of the whole economy of the plantations, is enlivened by a very great number of anecdotes and little personal adventures, for the most part illustrative of the state of the country, and the characters and habits of its heterogeneous population. The distinctive characteristics of each class and race, are marked; their moral effect VOL. IV.
on one another is rendered apparent; and the fantastic spectacle formed by the jumbling of so many sorts of human beings together, is brought out in a striking light.
The picture of a planter's life, is perhaps less repulsive in our Author's work, than in any former representation given on respectable authority; and it is so because he constrains us to believe, even though we should make some allowance for the circumstance of his being a native of Portugal, that the great majority of the Brazilian planters, have a much less oppressive and cruel system of management, than that which has loaded with so much infamy the slave-owners of the Dutch, Spanish, and English colonies. He deliberately and constantly declares, that, in the tracts of Pernambuco, at least, the condition of the slaves is not generally severe, and that any savage infliction, or systematic intolerable oppression, would render a planter infamous even among his class, notwithstanding the polite attention with which, as in the instance above quoted, he might be hypocritically treated among them.
Nevertheless, Mr. K. is a most decided enemy to the whole of the slave-system; and this, not because it would be disgraceful or unfashionable to be its advocate, but because, together with a conviction of its intrinsic iniquity, he perceived, in observation and experiment, the many practicable evils inseparable from its operation. These he has pointed out; and at the same time he has shown the advantages attending the employment of freemen; -advantages on the mere trade account, besides all the satisfactions of a moral kind. Happily, the various rules and modes of manumission, have rendered this class of negroes and mulattoes sufficiently numerous for an extensive diffusion of the prac. tical evidence of the benefits of freedom.
An extended account is given of the methods of cultivation, with the annoyances and disasters to which it is liable, and of the process of preparing the sugar. Mr. K. judges the Brazilian planters to be quite a century behind those of the West Indies, or, to use his phrase, “the Columbian Islands,' in all the mechanical expedients for saving the labour of men and cattle. He anticipates that this incuriousness or dread of innovation cannot continue among them very long; but thus far, nothing can exceed the stupidity with which they have retained all the clumsy, tedious, toilsume, and unthrifty methods of their forefathers. A gross ignorance, indeed, on all subjects beyond the most contracted routine of accustomed practice, is quite general among the inferior order of planters. Some of the richest class are beginning to come in contact, in their visits or residence at Recife, with the knowledge of Europeans.
With respect to religion, if it may be so called, all classes seem nearly alike the slaves (or rather the dupes, for as a burden, it is tolerably light upon their consciences) of the most ridi