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troduced they got into general use. The ladies at church are all handsomely drest in silks of various colours, and black veils over the head and face: twelve months before this time, these same persons would have gone to church in petticoats of Lisbon printed cotton, and square pieces of thick cloth over their heads, without stockings, and their shoes down at the heels.'
It is gratifying to perceive with what hospitality and kindness the first English traveller who has visited this part of Brazil was treated by the Portugueze, both in their individual and official characters. The governor dissuaded Mr. Koster from proceeding, because of the drought, representing the attempt as in some degree dangerous; but the young Englishman was unwilling to return, thinking that it might never again be in his power to accomplish a journey upon which his heart was set. The governor then furnished him with letters, and insisted upon his leaving his own horse, that it might be in good condition when he returned. Having purchased another beast, he crossed the river upon jangadas, -the jangada is merely a raft; those which are used at sea have a sliding keel let down between the two centre logs, a paddle for the rudder, a seat for the steersman, and carry a large latine sail: those upon the small rivers are of still ruder construction; this volume contains good representations of both; the name is said by Castanheda to be of East Indian origin, but the thing itself was in use among the natives when Brazil was discovered. It is probably the earliest and rudest kind of embarkation, and, though the least commodious, the safest.
The first stage was to a place called Lagoa Seca, the dry lake, so called because in ordinary years it is too wet to be cultivated, but during the drought Natal was supplied with farinha from hence. Many people had removed there from the high lands and erected small huts with merely a roof to shelter them and their families, till the first rains should render their own country habitable, and mundate the ground where they now found subsistence. Here Mr. Koster purchased one horse load of farinha and another of maize he had provided himself at Natal with water skins, and from hence he entered upon what with little impropriety may be called the Desert. Starting at morning from the Lagoa Seca he intended to sleep at a hamlet called Pai Paulo. At noon his party rested by a cacimba, or well such wells are formed by digging two or three feet: if the person who depends upon its water is nice he makes a fence round it, but more generally it serves for beast as well as man. Thus far there was plenty of grass though it was much burnt, but in the afternoon their party came upon stoný ground, very painful to horses who had come from the
sandy soil of Pernambuco; this was succeeded by a long narrow plain bounded by brushwood. Here they overtook a white man on foot, with twelve horses, each carrying two bags of provisions. In general a convoy has as many men as beasts; it was therefore remarkable to se see one man, and that a white one, in this situ ation; Mr. Koster observed, that his horses began to spread upon the plain, and seemed inclined to take the brushwood, upon which he rode on one side to front them, and sent the guide to do the same on the other. This brought on a conversation; and the stranger, finding that they intended to sleep at Pai Paulo, told them the wells there were all dried up and the houses deserted. He himself meant to halt for the night about two leagues onwards; there was no water there, but his slave was coming with a skin-full from a well which they had past, and this would contain enough for the whole party accordingly they joined company, a fortunate meeting for the English traveller, who might otherwise have had reason to repent that he had not taken the governor's advice.
The person whom he had thus joined was the son of a man of property, who resided in the interior upon the banks of the Açu where he possessed several cattle estates, the father was a colonel of militia, and this son major of the same regiment. In conse quence of the severe drought, and the famine which it was apparent must ensue, he had gone down to the coast to purchase farinha, upou which the lives of the family absolutely depended. But there were no full granaries at Natal as there were in Egypt when Joseph's brethren went there upon a like necessity. The governor had prohibited the exportation of flour; the major however purchased what he wanted, and learning that a guard would be sent to Lagoa Seca to take it from him, stole a march in time, leaving all his people behind, (to avoid suspicion,) and even his clothes. His dress consisted only of a shirt, drawers and sandals, he had his musket upon his shoulder, his sword at his side hanging from a belt, and his long knife in his girdle; he was a stout handsome man, with a skin as white as that of an European Portugueze, where it was not exposed; but the face, neck and legs, were of a dark brown colour.→→→ The sandals, or alpargatas as they are called, are universally worn by those Brazilians who live at a distance from large and improving towns: they are leathern soles something larger than the foot; there are two loops in front of each, through which two of the toes are past, and a ring of leather round the ancle, through which are drawn two thongs proceeding from each side of the hinder part. They halted for the night upon a wide plain, where the grass was all gone, and even the leaves of the Acaju and Mangaba, hardy as those trees are, had begun to fall.
They were afraid of eating much salt meat, because their allowance of water was not large; the wind rose and scattered their fires; thus, after a night of little rest, and less comfort, they gave the horses a feed of maize at four o'clock, and pursued their way to Pai Paulo, which stands on a rising ground above the river Seara Meirim, opposite to the termination of the plain. This was, without exception,' says Mr. Koster,' the most desolate place I ever beheld. It was totally deserted; the roofs of some of the cottages were falling in; the walls of others had fallen, but the halfsupported roofs remained. The trees had mostly lost their leaves, not in the ordinary course of nature, but from an unnatural and destructive drought; and the course of the river was marked by nothing but the depth of its bed in a sand which was now loose and dry as that upon the soil above. At noon the travellers halted by a well dug in the bed of the same winding river; the water was brackish and dirty, so that the horses did little more than taste it. Another day's journey brought them to another pool in the river, and the fourth day's was still through the same desert. At one of the watering-places a miserable cow was drinking, which the major recognized, by her mark, to belong to his own estates,—she had strayed at least four hundred miles, in search of pasture and water. Here they overtook a party of Sertanejos, as the inhabitants of the interior are called. Towards evening the guide expressed a wish to turn back, and said that the Indians were afraid of proceeding; however imprudent it might have been to undertake the journey at this perilous time, there was now far more danger in returning than in pressing forward, and Mr. Koster made him proceed by a threat of shooting him if he should attempt to desert; he apologizes for this startling conduct by the necessity of the case, and his perfect conviction that the threat would be sufficient. The fifth was a dismal day, the pool where they expected to find water at noon was dried up; the few lemons which were left were distributed to the great relief of all, and as they proceeded, Mr. Koster learnt from the major a Sertanejo practice, not unknown to pedestrians in England, of putting a pebble in the mouth, to prevent thirst. On the following forenoon, however, they reached a well: the first draught was delightful, the second nauseated them, so dirty and brackish was the water,--fortunately for them, as the effect of indulgence might otherwise have been injurious, or even fatal. Some goats were seen here, and this led to the joyful discovery of an inhabited cottage. An elderly woman and her two daughters were at home, the father was absent. A present of some farinha, a few handfuls of maize thrown to the poultry, and above all some of those expressions of courtesy, which, when they come from the lips of a supe
rior, seem to carry with them kindness as well as condescension, won the good will of this poor family, and they directed the travellers to a dell at some distance, where dry grass and leaves might, perhaps, still be picked up. It sometimes happens that lonely persons, like these in this lawless country, are insolently robbed by travellers, who take advantage of their houses, eat their poultry, and leave them without paying; but, as Mr. Koster justly observes, the wonder is that greater enormities are not frequently committed. In the evening they crossed the river for the forty-second and last time, and came to a hamlet, estimated at forty leagues from Natal, the league being never less than four miles.
Mr. Koster and the Major had by this time become very intimate,-men must be strangely unsocial who would not during such a journey. Like the French, among whom horsemanship has a saving virtue like charity, the major was pleased with his new friend because he could ride; for he had supposed that there were neither horses, cows, dogs, nor churches, in England. The information which he received upon these points raised the character of the nation greatly in his estimation, and he said he should no longer believe that the English were Pagans. Four days after this, as the drought still continued, Mr. Koster judged it best to strike towards the coast, from which he was about 200 miles distant. Having parted company with his friend, he missed the watering-place,-a serious misfortune if a herdsman had not turned back four or five miles to shew it him,—an instance this of the kindness which is shewn to strangers in Brazil. Mr. Koster on one occasion offended some goat-herds by offering payment for some milk; they sent the milk, but refused the money; three of them then came up to him, and when he thanked them they asked if he had intended to insult them by offering payment, as such things were not customary in their country? they were put into good humour when the traveller informed them that in his country, the people were obliged to purchase the sand with which they scoured their houses. They then said the lad had told them there was an Englishman in company, and they wished much to see him, as it was a bicho-an animal they had never seen. Their disappointment was very great when the guide assured them that the man who conversed with them in fluent Portugueze, and whose countenance was deeply dyed by a tropical sun, was, in reality, the bicho concerning which they were so curious.
In the course of this day's journey the traveller observed many rocks of remarkable form, one in particular which he describes as ' placed upon another of much smaller dimensions, and the resting point so small as to render its removal apparently easy, but on trial
it had not the slightest motion.' It would indeed be curious if the rocking-stone should be found in Brazil; and it is not unlikely that this may have been one, for Brazil also has its antiquities of this kind, though the fact, perhaps, has never before obtained notice. In the year 1641, Elias Herckman made a journey into the interior, under the Dutch government, in search of mines; and in a part of the country not far from this, he found such monuments as, had they been discovered in Europe, would be assigned to the Druids. The account is of such importance that it should be given in the original words of Barlaus:- Devitatis montium acclivibus, incessere per planiora, ubi duo lapides molares exactæ rotunditatis et stupenda magnitudinis visi; quorum diameter sedecim erat pedum, crassities vero tanta, ut è terræ superficie vix media lapidis pars attingi extremis digitis ab erecto posset ; alter alteri superincumbebat, major minori. E centro, miro spectaculo, frutex se attollebat, karawata. Quo fini hos congesserint Barbari, in tantâ harum rerum ignorantiâ, non facile dixerim.' The Dutchmen certainly believed this to be a work of art; and if any doubt existed upon this subject, it would be removed by what they found soon afterwards: Visi iterum magna molis lapides humano labore congesti, quales etiam in Belgio Drantia regio habet, quos nulla vectatione, nulla hominum vi illuc deportari potuisse ob magnitudinem credas; eá formâ ut Aras referre videantur. In connection with this curious subject a passage may be noticed which occurs in the present volume.
In the month of November there arrived a priest upon a visit to the vicar, whose exertions are incessant on every subject which relates to the improvement of his country. He had now been staying with a friend in the province of Paraiba, aud had made a drawing of a stone upon which were carved a great number of unknown characters and several figures, one of which had the appearance of being intended to represent a woman. The stone or rock is large, and stands in the middle of the bed of a river, which is quite dry in the summer. When the inhabitants of the neighbourhood saw him at work in taking this drawing, they said, that there were several others in different parts of the vicinity, and they gave him the names of the places. It was his intention to return again the following year, and seek them out. I should have brought with me a copy of this curious drawing, if my departure from Pernambuco had not been hastened from unavoidable circumstances. pp. 319, 20.
It would be idle to offer at any guess concerning these sculptures, their existence is certain, and in all probability an accurate account of them will be obtained ere löng. Suffice it to observe that the facts thus brought together afford strong indications that the Tupis and Tapuyas were not the first inhabitants of Brazil.
On the second day after leaving the goatherds, Mr. Koster reached