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On the following day, Good Friday, the decorations of the churches, the dress of the women, and even the manner of both sexes were changed, (from the flare of gay finery on Holy Thursday;) all was dismal. In the morning I went to the church of the Sacramento, to witness a representation of our Saviour's descent from the Cross. The church was much crowded. An enormous curtain hung from the ceiling, excluding from sight the whole of the principal chapel. An Italian Missionary Friar of the Penha convent, with a long beard, and dressed in a thick dark brown cloth habit, was in the pulpit, and about to commence an extempore ser
After an exordium of some length, adapted to the day, he cried out, “Behold him;" the curtain immediately dropped, and discovered an enormous cross; with a full-sized wooden image of our Saviour, exceedingly well carved and painted, and around it a number of angels represented by young persons, all finely decked out, and each bearing a large pair of outstretched wings, made of gause; a man dressed in a bob-wig, and a pea-green robe, as St. John, and a female kneeling at the foot of the Cross, as the Magdalen; whose character, as I was informed, seemingly that nothing might be wanting, was not the most pure. The friar continued with much vehemence, and much action, his narrative of the crucifixion; and after some minutes again cried out, “ Behold they take him down;" when four men, habited in imitation of Roman soldiers, stepped forward. The countenances of these persons were in part concealed by black crape.
Two of them ascended ladders placed on each side against the Cross, and one took down the board, bearing the letters I. N. R. I. Then was removed the crown of thorns, and a white cloth was put over, and pressed down upon the head; which was soon taken off, and shown to the people, stained with the circular mark of the crown in blood. This done, the nails which transfixed the hands, were by degrees knocked out, and this produced a violent beating of breasts among the female part of the congregation. A long white linen bandage was next passed under each arm-pit of the image; the nail which secured the feet was removed: the figure was let down very gently, and was carefully wrapped up in a white sheet. Al this was done by word of command by the preacher. The sermon was then quickly brought to a conclusion, and we left the church.'
The entrance of a novice into the Order of St. Francis, an occurrence now very uncommon, attracted Mr. K. and a multitude of other persons, to a town at considerable distance. • Formerly,' She says, of every family at least one member was a friar; but now this is not the custom; children are brought up to trade, to the army, to any thing rather than a monastic life, which is fast losing its reputation. None of the convents are full, and some are near
ly without inhabitants.' This is attributed to the scandalous conduct of these gentry. The utmost levity appeared in the behaviour of the fraternity, during the ceremony, and it was followed by much eating, much drinking, and much confusion,' appropriately concluded in the evening with hubbub and fire-works. The secular priests are represented as much more respectable, and some of them considerably cultivated. Their great politeness to Mr. K. and the various other English heretics then at Pernambuco, would seem to evince, from what cause soever arising, a degree of liberality for which they would probably be little ap
plauded by their sacerdotal brethren of the mother country and the contiguous kingdom, whom we have enabled to resume their ecclesiastical tyranny.
Our author seems to have been more pleased with the society of the Brazilians, (the denomination by which he distinguishes the white natives of the country,) than with any thing he was admitted to see or hear among the Portuguese at Pernambuco. A chief cause was the interest and vivacity with which the ladies take part in the conversation: they would allow,' he says, of “subject into which they could not enter;' they asserted in every way, their just claims to social rank and consequence; and they did not, as among us, retire after dinner, to leave the gentlemen perfectly free for ribaldry. It is, however, to be acknowledged, that instances are mentioned of festive parties, in which their presence did not restrain the high and rational lords from some excess of potation and noise.
He agrees with other reporters in asserting the superiority of the women of colour to the Brazilian ladies, in the graces of form and in activity of mind. The mixed race, he says, seems more congenial with the climate.
· Their features are often good, and even the colour, which in European climates is disagreeable, appears to appertain to that in which it more naturally exists: but this bar to European ideas of beauty set aside, finer specimens of the human form cannot be found than among the mulatto females whom I have seen.'
Among some of the families of Brazilian planters removed from the interior to reside at Recife, there are customs brought from the woods, which will soon vanish in the refining process of the town. For instance, at a dinner party at one of their houses, our author ( was complimented with pieces of meat from the
plates of various persons at the table. The manners and habits of the city population had as yet no settled standard; but they will probably not be long in attaining the enviable subjection to an authoritative mode, by the amalgamation of the varieties, under the ascendency and prescription, possibly, of some deputed models of dignity and grace from the Brazil Court. At present the chief operator of changes is growing wealth, which inspirits the competition in luxuries and splendour, accompanied, according to our author, with some little increase of mental cultivation, which may chrow a slight grace of literature and taste over the heterogeneous elements, while they are mixing and moulding into form,- and by an incipient sense of somewhat more of political consequence, since the acquisition of royality and a court on the Brazil shores.
He notices two inconveniences which Englishmen had to encounter, at their influx, a few years back, into Pernambuco. The established custom required them to take off the hat in passing a sentinel, or meeting in the streets a military guard; and to fall on
their knees on meeting the procession of the Sacrament, carried to dying persons, and so to remain till it went out of sight. The first was intolerable, and was uniformly and firmly refused, as an improper submission, we suppose for freemen: but as to the religious affair, the act of idolatrous homage, that was far too trifling a matter to be worth a scruple or an effort of spirit in Protestants: • here Englishmen,' says Mr. K. in some degree conformed, in proper deference to the religion of the country. In plain terms, they repelled the one demand because it was insulting to themselves; they acquiesced in the other, because it was insulting only to God. Has this unhappy nation, at this late and calamitous period, yet to learn, that the worst of all omens for a people's liberties, is a prevailing contempt of the claims of the Most High? To a religious man, deeply sharing in the zeal for freedom and political melioration, it affords but a melancholy presage to see so little hold of religion on the national mind, so little recognition of the Governor of the world, so little perception, in many of the advocates of a righteous cause, that the oppressive evils of which bad men are the immediate inflicters, are, all the while, the inAlictions of his justice; and that something more is required in order to the effectual vindication of rights, than the mere energy of re-action against the instruments of oppression.
When growing wealth' is mentioned among the circumstances of the settlement, it is not to be understood that the mass of the people partake in any such privilege. No; in striking contrast with the social economy in Europe, there is a large privileged and official class enriched at the expense of the general body. It is not often that so brief a description as the following, will suffice to explain perfectly a state of things in no one respect similar to any thing within the previous knowledge of those who read it.
• The number of civil and military offices is enormous: inspectors innumerable-colonels without end, devoid of any objects to inspect, without any regiments to command: judges to manage each trifling department, of which all the duties might be done by two or three persons: their salaries are augmented, the people are oppressed, but the state is pot benefited.
• Taxes are laid where they fall heavy on the lower classes, and none are levied where they could well be borne. A tenth is raised in kind upon cattle, poultry, agriculture, and even salt. All the taxes are farmed to the highest bidders, and this among the rest. They are parcelled out in extensive districts, and are contracted for at a reasonable rate, but the contractors again dispose of their shares in small portions: these are again retailed to other persons: and as a profit is obtained by each transfer, the people must be oppressed that these men may satisfy those above them and enrich themselves. The system is in itself bad, but is rendered still heavier by this division of the spoil.' p. 31.
The account ends with a curious fact, that' a tax is paid at + Pernambuco, for lighting the streets of Rio de Janeiro, while
* those of Recife remain in total darkness.” As to the multitude of persons enriched by offices, it is remarked, that many of them would remain poor enough if they had only the regular and authorised receipts, but that other ways are found of making these offices productive. The conduct of the governor, at the time of our author's visit, is pronounced an honourable exception; he stood unimpeached in every part of his administration; the more is it to be regretted that his power should not have been competent to the punishment and reformation of all the inferior tribe of functionaries.
There is little other manufacture at Recife, than that of gold and silver trinkets, and gold and thread lace. The public institutions are stated to be excellent, though rather few. At the neighbouring city of Olinda, once the more important station, but now in a great degree deserted for Recife, is a college for the education, chiefly, of young ecclesiastics, of which the professors are praised for knowledge and liberality.' Free schools are also established in most of the small towns in the country,' principally for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. In both these and the college, the instruction is free of expense to the pupils. It will appear surprising to English persons, as Mr. K. justly says, ' that in a place so large as Recife there should be no printing press or bookseller.' That branch of the polity which respects the punishment of criminals, is represented as emphatically bad, especially in the article of transportation: the small isl. and of Fernando de Noronha, where a crowd of criminals are kept under a military force, for a term of years, or for life, being a den of most flagrant and execrable depravity.-On the whole, our author pronounces a strong condemnation on the government of this portion of the Brazilian states, as administered down to the period of the removal to America of the chief government, and not as yet corrected by that transfer; but he ventures or professes to hope that the measure must have its good effects in due time.
After enjoying for the greatest part of the year, at Recife, the convivialities, the amusements, the pleasant alternation of sea and land breezes, which attemper the climate of a spot so near the equator, to the constitution and almost the case of an Englishnan, Mr. K. set off upon a northward journey, into the captaincy of Seara. The progress and incidents are minutely related, indeed a little too much in detail; but many of the particulars are entertaining, and they give a long and disagreeable picture of the physical quality of the country. Large tracts of it are an absolute eternal sand, only not quite so burning and volatile as in the African de. serts. Other parts are covered with thickets, completely impervious but by some narrow path which has been cut through the dense substance with bill hooks and hatchets. We transcribe the description of one of the vegetable productions which contribute to render them so.
• The cipo is a plant consisting of long and flexible shoots, which twist themselves around the trees, and as some of the sprouts which have not yet fixed upon any branch, are moved to and fro by the wind, they catch upon a neighbouring tree, and as the operation continues for many years undisturbed, a kind of net-work is made, of irregular form, but difficult to pass through. Several kinds of cipo are used as cordage in making fences, and for many other purposes."
Animal nuisances were furnished in quite the due proportion. With one of them he made an early acquaintance.
• I laid down in my clothes, but soon started up, finding myself uneasy. The guide saw me, and called out, “O Sir, you are covered with carapatos.” I then perceived them, and felt still more their bites. Instantly throwing off part of my clothes, but with the remainder upon me, I ran into the water, and there began to take them off. The carapato, or tick, is a small flat insect of a dark brown colour, about the size of four pins beads placed together; it fastens upon the skin, and will in time eat its way into it. It is dangerous to pull it out quickly, when already fixed; för if the head remains, inflammation is not unfrequently the consequence. The point of a heated fork or penkuife applied to the insect, when it is too far advanced into the skin to be taken out with the hand, will succeed in loosening it. There is another species of tick of much larger size, and of a lead colour, this is principally troublesome to horses and horned cattle, that are allowed to run loose in lands which have been only partially cleared. I have seen horses that have had such vast numbers upon them, as to have been weakened by the loss of blood which they have occasioned.'
The face of the country is so‘ partially cleared,' that in an extensive landscape, seen from the city of Paraiba, through which his route was directed, he says, ' the cultivated specks were so small as to be scarcely perceptible:' the general expanse was nearly a continuity of evergreen woods.' But this he expressly distinguishes as the best kind of Brazilian scenery;' wider spaces of the vast tract denominated Sertam, the Desert, presenting the dreary view of a sterile waste; with just here and there, perhaps in the vicinity of a marsh, a spot which has permitted the kinder operations of nature. In the wet season these marshes are pools of very brackish water. Salt was often visible in the mud. dy places, and was offensively perceptible to the taste in some of the very few springs that were found. After being parched with thirst for a whole day and night, the delight with which the travellers came to the long desired well, was liable to pass off in some such manner as the following:
• The next morning, about nine o'clock, we reached a well to our great joy, but, fortunately for us, the water was so baie hat we could not drink much; it was as usual dirty and brackish, but of the first draught I shall never forget the delight; -when I tried a second, I could not take it, the taste was so very nauseous.'
The horses suffered so severely, that several times there was some cause to fear they might sink, and leave their loads and their riders immoveable in the desert The destitution of water was also necessarily that of grass; and they had sometimes to la