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indeed, the fact of their acquiring a language so different to their own in a very short time, is a sufficient proof of this. They are very cunning, and excel in all sorts of duplicity, the arm of the weaker against the stronger power. A short time previously, I accompanied an Englishman, who possessed an estate at some distance from the fazenda, to which he only paid periodical visits, being chiefly occupied in the city. On these occasions he generally found his respectable household napping, — taking care to arrive unexpectedly. When we reached his abode, the owner clapped his hands, and a slave appeared, -a cunning-looking fellow, and as fat as a pig. He acted in the double capacity of house-steward and cook,-a clever fellow, but an arrant rogue, as appeared in the sequel. In about an hour after our arrival he produced a capital dinner ; and moselle and claret soon made up for the fatigue of our morning's route, over a country the wildest of the wild. At breakfast next morning, my friend felt a desire for some champagne, and desired me to descend with him to the cellar, as he had some little misgivings that his iron locks and bolts had been tampered with. At first it seemed all right; but, on lifting a bottle of champagne, it was found wanting; and to his great horror, he discovered that no less than thirteen dozen of wine, besides liqueurs and spirits, had evaporated, the bottles being carefully sealed up again. All the slaves were examined, and the crime was traced to the housesteward, who was condemned to be flogged. The culprit was accordingly stripped, and tied up in the garden, several cords being attached to his body, arms, and feet. Before the signal was given, he was asked if he had sold the wine, or reserved it for home consumption. “I drank it every drop," he answered. A muleteer acted as executioner on the occasion; and when about six lashes had been administered, the culprit begged as a particular favour that the cords might be removed, as he was suffering great pain from the pressure. On their removal, off he darted sans culotte as fast as his legs could carry him, and off also went all the other blacks“ full chisel,” as the Americans say, leaving us alone, not sans culottes, but sans diner, a far more indispensable thing in these sunny climates. Our cook was gone, so was our champagne and curaçoa. The affair began to look most unpromising, when several of the blacks returned from the pursuit.
Dinner did at last make its appearance ; but the steward was missing till the following morning, when he returned fortified with a " padrinho.” When a slave is convicted of an offence, he frequently makes his escape, and takes refuge at the house of some neighbour, who, in conformity with the code of hospitality, gives the offender a letter to his master requesting his forgiveness. If it be a first offence, a full pardon is generally granted, but in this case the letter or “ padrinho" was of no avail, and a hundred lashes were inflicted, with the prospect of two hundred more in a week's time.
The mares in this country are seldom broken in. The finest are from Mecklenburgh and the Cape, and all are quite wild. They are turned into the pastures, and when their assistance is required they are caught with the lasso, and conveyed to the fazenda.
The Buenos Ayres stirrups are much used on this estate. They are made of brass, and are so small, that there is only room for the tip of the foot. The lassadors seldom wear boots, but thrust the big toe of each foot through the narrow aperture. If you give a gaucho a pair of boots, the first thing he does is to cut off the tips. In Buenos Ayres, they frequently kill the mares for the sake of the flesh; and whenever foreigners have attempted to ride the mares, in common with the custom of every other country, they have invariably been ridiculed for the barbarism. Horses in this country are seldom broken in before five years old. In rainy weather they use a curious stirrup, each foot being inclosed in a large wooden box, which has a very uncouth appearance, but answers the purpose in a primitive manner.
There had been great rejoicing lately at the death of a celebrated bandit, who has long infested the estate. The name of this Fra-Diavolo was Monsieur Charles, a native of Switzerland, who had many years lived at Trieschal, at the foot of the mountain. He made a good deal of money by stealing mules and slaves, and had frequently been under sentence of death for murders committed on the Serra ; but, as money in this country will easily buy over the judges, Senhor Carlos was no sooner under arrest than he was at liberty again. A few days before, he stole some blacks belonging to a neighbouring fazendeiro, and hid them in his house at Trieschal. He was tracked, however, by the injured party, who called loudly for admittance, to which Carlos turned a deaf ear, whereupon they fired upon his house. Here he secreted himself for two days ; but on the third day he mounted his steed, and was about to ascend the mountain, when he was called upon to desist, and, on his refusal, the plaintiff took the law into his own hands, fired, and wounded the robber, and on coming up, quickly despatched him. The man openly boasted of the deed ; and the authorities suffered the matter to pass by unnoticed, being glad enough that Carlos had finished his marauding career. He was a tall handsome fellow; and the fazendeiros all made a point of saluting him most courteously, not knowing on whom he might pounce next to levy his “ black mail.” Another bandit of renown had been slain in the same manner six months previously. He was a Portuguese, and had stolen and murdered blacks in a wholesale manner.
Christmas Eve is an event of much rejoicing here, as in Europe. All the blacks came to the fazenda, and executed the movements of the Creole dance to the sound of violas, played by their most skilful musicians, who also mingled in the figure from time to time. This dance is by no means so barbarous as might be supposed. Some of the figures are even graceful, and form a striking contrast to their usual hum-drum dance to the sound of the tom-tom. They continued their performance the whole night; and early on the following morning a distribution of clothes took place, consisting chiefly of articles of Manchester manufacture, such as handkerchiefs, turbans, cloaks, trousers, and dresses. All these find their way into the interior of Brazil, as they do, indeed, into all parts of the globe. I remember an Englishman bringing home a South American poncho, as a curiosity of the land, and making a present of it, to a friend who rejoiced in such foreign specimens as Indian tomahawks, hookahs, poisoned arrows, and ugly little Japanese idols with wide mouths. Unfortunately, the first thing that struck the friend's eye was the name of the particular manufacturer at Manchester, who had made the identical poncho, which had thus returned to its native country!
The children danced the Creole dance on the Christmas morning, and all seemed highly delighted with their Terpsichorean labours, from the white-headed huntsmen of eighty to the yearling children. An ox was slain, and distributed amongst the slaves, whilst we, the
family, ens per the pažinterior of Bir
fairer part of the population, partook of a Christmas dinner, consisting of turkey, beef, plum-pudding, and champagne, at one of the cottages on the estate, tenanted by an English family. We then played vingtet-un till one in the morning. The cottage was not far from the fazenda, and, returning on foot, each was fortified with a lantern, and wrapped in a poncho.
Throughout the interior of Brazil I found few houses where the daughters of the fazendeiros, or indeed any of the female part of the family, made their appearance. I spent a day with one of the most hospitable men in the neighbourhood, and father of a large family, but none of the young ladies were visible. Every now and then I saw two laughing faces peeping through a hole in the door ; but the moment I glanced at the aperture the faces vanished. This custom is general, and leads to a marriage system à la Chinoise. Marriages are arranged in the following manner. The patient bent upon marriage hears that a certain father has daughters to dispose of; whereupon he calls on the papa, tells him of his inclination to become his sonin-law, and that he possesses so many slaves and coffee-trees. If the papa thinks they have enough “ coffee and blacks” to live upon comfortably, he accepts the proposal, and introduces the aspirant to his future wife, who perhaps sees her “ future” for the first time. I am speaking now of the society in the interior, principally amongst the smaller fazendeiros, or farmers; for in Rio you find little difference from any other civilized country. People in the interior are nearly uneducated ; reading and writing, especially the latter, are looked upon as Herculean acquirements; and amongst the women the greatest ignorance invariably prevails.
A few days ago, a large cavalcade appeared at the gate of the fazenda. The party consisted of an old Caçador, or in plain English a Nimrod, the mighty hunter of these woods and forests, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, besides children innumerable. Now, a dame blanche at the Fazenda de St. Anna is indeed a rare occurrence,-a ptarmigan amongst the black game,-so we all hastened to the yard to receive our new guests; and a most extraordinary looking group they were. The old gentleman wore a long white beard, and looked as if he had been born and bred in the woods, and was in point of wildness equal to the beasts of chase. But the costumes of the daughters were unique. In spite of the rainy season, they wore very thin white dresses, embroidered all over, and hats of the masculine gender, but of dark green, with gold bands, and artificial flowers. The shoes were of a pale rosecolour, with extremely thick soles, and covering the instep. At dinner I tried to “discourse" the young ladies. They were going to Rio for the first time, to be present at a christening; but beyond this piece of information they evinced great taciturnity, and contented themselves with sprinkling their meat with flour, using both hands for the operation. The hunter eat enormously. To be as hungry as a hunter is an expression often heard ; but on this occasion our guest out-Heroded Herod, or rather out-Nimroded Nimrod. When the cheese was brought on the table, several huge pieces were cut off, and deposited in a plate, according to custom. The plate was handed to the Caçador, who, not understanding this homeopathic way of taking cheese, quietly accepted the whole of the contents, and devoured it with perfect ease, to our no small astonishment. The whole family yawned awfully after dinner,-I scarcely thought the papa had room for a yawn; and the
next morning after breakfast they donned their hats, mounted their steeds, and we wished them a very good journey. A mulatto, who dined with us the next day, met the party at the bottom of the mountain, completely soaked, and I thought of the hats and the rose-coloured shoes.
About four leagues from the fazenda resided one of the red men, the aborigines, and rightful owners of the soil, from which they have been driven more to the interior, the few that remain being more suppressed than incorporated with their ancient invaders. He was a squatter, — that is to say, he established himself upon the estate about ten years ago, cut down some virgin wood, and built his house upon the stumps, in spite of all the efforts made to expel the intruder. He threatened to shoot any one who molested him, and, under those circumstances, nobody did molest him. Having roofed in his house, he made himself a little plantation, and there he was established for life, living entirely by the fruit of his spade and his gun. I heard so much of this Indian, and of his primitive way of living, that I resolved to satisfy my curiosity, coute qui coute ; but no companion could I find. So I saddled a mule, poncho'd myself, and bent my steps, or rather those of the mule, to the habitation of my red friend, feeling very much as if I was going to pay a morning visit to an ogre or the giant Cormoran. I scrambled through the forest, leading my mule with one hand, and cutting down branches with the other, armed with a huge knife for that purpose. Roads are frequently made in this manner, which answer the temporary purpose of pushing on very well, although it would hardly serve as a sample for paving Oxford Street. At last I found myself near a small plantation of Indian corn and potatoes, varied with beans, and twelve little coffee-trees, on the top of a bill, like the tuft of hair on Thersites' head. A single horse was grazing in the distance, which, with a few cackling fowls, comprised the whole of the farm-stock.
I was now at the door of the cottage, and having no letter of introduction, was rather at a loss for an excuse ; but I knocked at the door with my knife, and two girls came out. They wore nothing but a very short blue petticoat, and their hair was streaming down their backs. They were as dark as mulattos, but with a slight tinge of colour, large black eyes, and teeth as white as snow, arch and gipsy-like in the extreme, but without very pleasing faces. I told them I had lost my way, and begged them to point me out the shortest road to the fazenda. The youngest answered me directly in Portuguese, making a thousand gestures, and speaking with much volubility. At this moment the thunder rattled amongst the mountains, and the rain descended in torrents, and the young ladies insisted upon my taking shelter. They told me that their father was in the woods hunting; but they thought he would soon come back to eat. I thought of the ogre again. The youngest told me that her mother died some time ago, and was buried in the wood. I asked her if she had ever been out of the wood. “Never," was the answer. It will be allowed that to sustain a very long conversation with a couple of damsels who had never quitted their native shrubbery, was somewhat difficult. Presently I saw a red man running down the mountain with the agility of a tiger-cat, and in another instant he sprang into the cottage. His skin was quite red, with black glossy hair, and a long beard ; his gun was slung behind him, and he was dressed in a monkey-skin jacket, with a cap and continuations of the same material, or rather abbrevi. ations, for they only reached to the knee. His nose was curled, and very prominent, and his large black eyes rather deep in their sockets; his arms, breast, and feet were bare, the feet small, and delicately formed. I explained to him that I was the nephew of the Senhor, and had lost my way; upon which he brought me a sack of Indian corn to sit upon, apologised that he had no wine or cachaça (the common spirit of the country), but that his feizao would soon be ready. He then talked about his plantations, and the success of his day's chase. He complained that he had only killed an armadillo and a capivara ; but had seen a deer, and missed her. He then said, “ If you like to come and hunt porcos de mato (wild pigs), and will bring powder and shot, I will lend you a gun." I answered, that nothing would give me greater pleasure, and asked him what countrywoman his wife was. He replied, that she was a mulatto, which accounted for the daughter's nondescript complexion. The feizao now made its appearance in the skin of a large gourd, and we got round and helped ourselves with our fingers. The second course consisted of a large pail of cedar wood, with a huge peeled pumpkin inside. The eldest daughter took a quantity of Indian corn and threw it into the pail with both hands, and in went our fingers as before. At the conclusion of the repast they brought me some water and a banana leaf, which made a very good towel. One of the girls took a great fancy to my white cotton gloves, and put them on several times. I was glad to repay their hospitality at the price of a pair of Berlin gloves, so I presented her with them, to her great delight. I then shook hands with the red man, and, after another invitation to come and hunt wild pigs, I took my departure.
If liberty, independence, and à quoi vivre, can render a man happy, my red friend ought to be perfectly so.