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position, but saw nothing of it, although the sea was running sufficiently high to have made a heavy break on it, if it did exist. On the 15th, as we were making sail, George Porter, one of our maintop-men, in loosing the top-gallant sail, was caught by the buntline, and dragged over the yard, where he was seen to hang, as it were quite lifeless, swinging to and fro by the neck. On the alarm being given, two men ran aloft to his assistance. It now became doubtful on deck whether they would not be all dragged over by the weight of his body, until several others gave assistance and relieved them. It caused a breathless anxiety to us all to see a fellow-being in the momentary expectation that he would be dashed to the deck. He was fortunately rescued and brought below yet living. Here he speedily came to his senses, and recollecting that the drum had rolled to grog just before his accident, he, sailor-like, asked for his portion of it. It was truly a providential escape. This young man died on our way home, in the China Seas, of an inflammatory fever. On the 16th we made the island of Madeira, and having a strong westerly wind, I determined to pass to Funchal, on its southern side. This may be done at this season, but vessels bound to that port usually prefer going round the eastern point of the island. When off the western point of Madeira we experienced a very long heavy swell, which gave me an opportunity of trying the velocity of the waves, by noting the time the same wave was passing between the vessels. The result gave twenty-three miles per hour, but I was not altogether satisfied with it. It was difficult to measure the correct angle subtended by the Porpoise's masts for the distance, on account of the motion of both vessels. The measurement of the height of the waves I found still more difficult, and the results varied too much to place confidence in them, principally owing to each succeeding swell or wave being less than the preceding one. The different observations gave from twenty-five to fourteen feet; the width of the wave, from the same causes, was equally variable, and each successive result varied from that which preceded it. Before sunset, we cast anchor in company with the Porpoise and Sea-Gull, and were the next morning joined by the Peacock and Flying-Fish. Shortly after coming to anchor, we were boarded by the health officer, with the captain of the port, who, on being assured of our good health, gave us permission to land. The United States' Consul, Henry John Burden, Esq., also came on board, and kindly offered us all the attention that lay in his power.
At night, there was a general illumination of the churches, and the constant ringing of the bells added much to the excitement of many on board, and told us we had reached foreign shores. The first appearance of Madeira did not come up to the idea we had formed of its beauties from the glowing description of travellers. It exhibited nothing to the distant view but a bare and broken rock, of huge dimensions, which, though grand and imposing, is peculiarly dark and glopmy, and it was not until we had made our way close under the land, that we could discover the green patches which are every where scattered over its dark red soil, even to the tops of the highest peaks. The mountain verdure was afterwards discovered to be owing to groves of heath and broom, which grow to an extraordinary height, aspiring to the stature of forest trees. In addition to these groves, the terraced acclivities, covered with a luxuriant tropical vegetation, change on a closer approach its distant barren aspect into one of extreme beauty and fertility. The most striking peculiarity in the mountain scenery, is the jagged outline of the ridge, the rudely shaped towers and sharp pyramids of rock, which appear elevated on the tops and sides of the highest peaks as well as on the lower elevations, and the deep precipitous gorges, which cut through the highest mountains almost to their very base. The shores of the island are mostly lofty cliffs, occasionally facing the water with a perpendicular front one or two thousand feet in height. The cliffs are interrupted by a few small bays, where a richly cultivated valley approaches the water between abrupt precipices, or surrounded by an amphitheatre of rugged hills. These narrow bays are the sites of the villages of Madeira. As we sailed along from its western end, we occasionally saw, in these quiet and peaceful situations, small white-walled villages, each with its little church at the outlet of the gorges. We were particularly struck with that of the Camera de Lobos, a few miles to the westward of Santa Cruz hill. This is the largest, and is the most interesting of any, from its having been the first point settled by Europeans. The high precipices were new to us Americans: so different from what we are accustomed to in the United States. The scene was still more striking, and our attention was more forcibly arrested, when passing under cliffs of some sixteen hundred feet above us. We were so near them that the sound of the surf was distinctly heard. The whole effect of the view was much heightened by a glowing sunset in one of the finest climates in the world. Off the eastern cape of the island, many isolated rocks were seen separated from the land, with bold, abrupt sides and broken outlines. The character of these rocks is remarkable: they stand quite detached from the adjoining cliffs, and some of them rise to a great height in a slender form, with extremely rugged surfaces, and broken edges. Through some, the waters have worn arched ways of large dimensions, which afford a passage for the breaking surf, and would seem to threaten ere long their destruction. Similar needle-form rocks are seen off the northern Deserta, an island lying some miles east of Madeira. One of them is often mistaken for a ship under sail, to which when first seen it has a considerable resemblance. It stands like a slender broken column, several hundred feet in height, on a base scarcely larger than its summit. Funchal has a very pleasing appearance from the sea, and its situation in a kind of amphitheatre formed by the mountains, adds to its beauty. The contrast of the white buildings and villas with the green mountains, forms a picture which is much heightened by the bold quadrangular Loo Rock with its embattled summit commanding the harbour in the foreground. The island throughout is rough and mountainous, but the steeps are clothed with rich and luxuriant verdure. Terraces are visible on every side, and every spot that the ingenuity of man could make available has been apparently turned to advantage, and is diligently cultivated. These spots form an interesting scene, particularly when contrasted with the broken and wild background, with the white cottages clustered at the sea-shore, and gradually extending themselves upwards until the eye rests on the highest and most striking building, that of the convent of Nostra Señora de Monte. Through the western half of the island runs a central ridge, about five thousand feet high, on which is an extensive plain, called Paul de Serra, which is mostly overgrown, and is used especially for breeding mules and horses. The eastern portion of the island, though quite elevated, is less so than the western. The valleys usually contain a strip of land of extreme fertility, through which winds the bed of a streamlet, that becomes a mountain torrent in the rainy seasons, but is nearly or quite dry in summer. The landing at Funchal is on a stony beach, and is accompanied with some little difficulty, partly on account of the surf, but more from the noise, confusion, and uproar made by the native boatmen in their efforts to drag their boat up on the beach. This operation they however understand, and are well accustomed to, and those who desire to land dry, will be wise to employ them.
On the 17th, we paid our respects, with a large party of officers, to the civil governor the Baron de Lordello, field-marshal in the army, and administrator-general of the Province of Madeira and Porto Santo; and also to the military governor Jose Teixcera Rebello, colonel in the army, and commandant of the district. The civil and military governments were formerly united in the same person, but since the restoration after the reign of Don Miguel, they have been divided. The military governor is now obliged to consult, and is under the control of the civil governor. I was informed that on the appointment of the military governor this was expressly intimated to him, and that the arrangement was made in order to avoid placing too much power in the hands of any one Inan. His Excellency Baron Lordello resides in the government house or palace, which is a large quadrangular building, occupied in part as barracks. His suite of apartments fronts the bay, and enjoys a beautiful view of it; they also have the enjoyment of the imbat or sea-breeze. They are very large, and but meagerly furnished. Around the large anteroom are hung the portraits of all the civil, ecclesiastical, and military governors, which form an imposing array of hard outline, stiff figures and faces, with a variety of amusing costume. Those of later years which have been hung up, are not calculated to give very exalted ideas of the standing of the present Portuguese school of portrait painting. His Excellency the Baron Lordello received us very courteously. Our audience, however, was extremely formal: the whole furniture and appearance of the room served to make it so. We all found it difficult to school ourselves to ceremonies, having been ushered as we were through dilapidated and impoverished courts and vestibules. His Excellency the Baron speaks English remarkably well, which I understood he had acquired while acting as interpreter to the British staff in Portugal, during the Peninsular War. He had been no more than a week in charge of the government, having just arrived from Portugal. After a few monosyllabic questions and answers we took our leave, and he did us the honour to see us through the anteroom to the hall of entrance, where we parted with many bows. Our next visit was to the military governor, Señor Rebello, who occupied a small apartment at the opposite end of the building. This was not large enough to accommodate us all, and chairs were wanting for many. The manner and ease of the occupant made full amends. Ceremony and form were laid aside; he seemed to VOL. I. 2
enter warmly into our plans and pleasures, and evinced a great desire to do us service. Colonel Rebello was one of the proscribed during the reign of terror of Don Miguel, and was concealed for four years, all of which time our consular flag afforded him protection. During this whole period he did not leave the apartment he occupied, or even approach the window. The streets of the town are very narrow, without sidewalks, and to our view like alleys, but their narrowness produces no inconvenience. They are well paved, and wheel-carriages are unknown. The only vehicle, if so it may be called, is a sledge, of some six feet in length, about twenty inches wide, and only six or eight inches high, on which are transported the pipes of wine. Two strips of hard wood are fastened together for runners.
This sledge is dragged by two very small oxen, and slips easily on the pavement, which is occasionally wet with a cloth. It is no doubt the best mode of transportation in Funchal, for their wine, on account of the great steepness of their streets. Smaller burthens are transported on men's shoulders, or in hampers and baskets on the backs of donkeys.
The middle gutters are now for the most part closed, and made subterranean, no longer the stranger's nuisance. Funchal may compare with most places for the cleanliness of its streets. Little improvement has as yet taken place in the cleanliness and discipline of its prisons.
I was surprised to learn that all misdemeanours are referred for trial to Portugal, and that persons having committed small crimes are kept for years without any disposition being made of them by those in authority. They are maintained at the expense of the complainant, consequently crime is scarcely noticed or complained of. On the one hand it makes the punishment very severe, and on the other, persons are inclined to take the law into their own hands against petty thefts. It is impossible to avoid many painful sights in passing the prisons. Caps on sticks are thrust through the iron gratings. Ind requests are made for alms, first in beseeching tones, and afterwards,