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The first, composed exclusively of men, presented a fine appearance. The second, composed of women, children, and infants at the breast, did not present so good an aspect, however, as would be desirable on such an occasion. A feitor first called the roll, and then the inspection began. The fazendeiro silently passed along the lines, stopping before each slave with the grave and scrutinizing gaze of an old sergeant inspecting his company. The negro, with bare head, his gaze bent downward, and his arms crossed upon his breast, stretched out his right hand for the benças as soon as his master arrived before him, instantly replacing it in its former position, and waiting with the greatest anxiety for the inquisitive gaze that was fixed upon him to be removed to his neighbour. The only reproofs I saw were administered to those negresses who had neglected to extract the bichos (the jigger, or pulex penetrans) from the feet of their little ones.
After the review, my cicerone re-conducted me to the room where mass had been performed. A new metamorphosis had taken place. The chapel had become a store-room, and the altar served as a counter. "All these goods that you see," said he, pointing to the stuff's-woollen caps, shirts, pipes, foulards, calicoes of all kinds, &c.--"are for my slaves. Like most planters in Brazil, I give my slaves their Sundays to work on their little fields, and devote the product to their wardrobe. But the negro left to himself, buys nothing but cacheça, and always goes in rags. I therefore undertake to buy their crops, and pay for them in such articles as they need. That explains why I am every Sunday a merchant. I have thus the double advantage of assuring myself of their morality, and of looking after their personal neatness. Besides, I let them have everything at cost, as you may convince yourself by examining the accounts. A feitor keeps the register while I distribute the required articles myself. The goods most in demand are pipes and red foulards. Notwithstanding all the attention of myself and my secretary, there seldom passes a Sunday without my missing some articles, so much does theft seem to be the element of those rogues."
THE BRAZILIAN CUISINE.
At length the breakfast hour arrived. It was difficult to find places around the long table arranged in the immense hall, for all the numerous guests who had come to congratulate the senhor. The service, which presented at once the most luxurious comfort and the greatest simplicity, permitted me to study at leisure the culinary resources of the country, and the taste of the in
Like all his congeners of the torrid zone, the South-American is temperate in eating. Rice boiled in water, beans cooked with lard and manioc flour, compose his food the year round.
On holidays he kills a hog, which is stuffed and served up whole. His most habitual food, and that of which he is most fond, consists of a sort of cake which he extemporizes on his plate by covering his beans with a thick layer of manioc flour, and mixing the whole. Bread and wine are alike unknown to him. His knife serves him instead of a fork, and a large glass circulat ing around quenches the thirst of all the guests as in the days of the heroes of Homer.
Such are the customs still practised in the interior of Brazil; but among the rich planters who have been received at the court of the Emperor, Don Pedro II., or who have travelled in Europe, silver plate is found upon the table, and the best wines of France, Spain, and Portugal are freely circulated. Rice, feijão, and manioc are placed at the foot of the table, as if to satisfy the national custom, while cutlets of fresh pork, quarters of mutton, splendid fish, luscious fowl, excellent bread and cheese, and all the legumes of Europe are served up. Two black cooks, who have served their apprenticeship in the French hotels of the large towns upon the coast, take their turn each week, the better to resist the heat of the furnaces, which becomes insupportable under the tropical sun. A crowd of little negroes, especially remarkable for their untidiness, dance like imps around the furnaces, scouring the warming-pans, stirring the fire, strangling the fowls, paring the legumes, and stopping from time to time to extract a bicho or a carrapato (acarus americanus) from their naked feet; then again taking up the food without washing either hands or knives, for time presses, and the chief does not wish to be late. I must nevertheless confess that the black cooks appeared to me quite as skilful as the white ones; yet beneath these fiery skies, and in this hot and moist climate, meats and vegetables are much inferior to those of Europe. The rapid development of plants renders them ligneous, and therefore very tough. If eaten before they are sufficiently matured, they are watery and insipid. It is the same with animals, which, nourished by herbage that is juiceless, $0 to speak, furnish a meat flat and without savor, The only exception is the flesh of the pig and the lamb. The same may also be said of fruit. That which constitutes the delicacy of the peaches, prunes, figs, raisins, &c., of Provence, and the two neighbouring Peninsulas, is the slight predominance of an acid savor in a sweet pulp. A dry climate is necessary for the development of this aroma, and to prevent the excess of sugar from overpowering it. Unfor tunately, this is not the case in the tropics. The enormous quantity of water conveyed in the sap, and which vegetables absorb through every pore, in an atmosphere constantly loaded with vapors, swells the fruit, neutralizes its acidity, and changes the pulp into a sweet paste (mélasse). In justice, however, it must be ob served that the creoles appreciate the sweet juice of the pulp better than ourselves, and with them, therefore, their fruit has the advantage. The doces (sweetmeats) which they form from
them constitute the principal merit of the Brazilian table.
“You see, senhor," said he, with a profound sigh, "the occupation to which a man of my condition is reduced! In the time of the King Don Joās VI. we had more masses than we
ORIGINAL CHARACTERS-THE PADRE.
The description of the fazenda would be in-wanted; but since the independence, all is complete, if we did not describe some of the changed. There are still some senhoras who original characters one meets with on all the have them performed occasionally, but their large plantations. First in order come the padre husbands prefer to employ their money in cattle and the doutor, then the mascate (the muleteer) or mules. That is why you see me as a and the formigueiro (the ant-killer), of which we tropeiro. Did you chance, anywhere upon the have heretofore merely mentioned the name. road, to meet any fazendeiro who wished to reThe padre is the almoner of the country. plerish his horned stock, or needed a priest?" Let not the reader picture to himself the dark I had heard of a lady in the neighbourhood, figure of an inquisitor, enveloped in black gown recently deceased, and who, wishing to set herand wearing a three-cornered hat. No; the self right with her conscience, or conform to South-American padre is a hale apostle. Clothed custom, had placed in her will four hundred in linen like a worldly mortal, he wears his hair milreis (two hundred dollars) to be devoted to as short as a layman, dances, smokes, and plays but I informed the padre in what village she masses. I did not recollect the lady's name, lived, which was only a few leagues distant. I added, to prevent any mistake, that the death had occurred several days before, and that this sum was probably destined to the padre of the neighbouring frequezia or parish.
and converses like the rest of the world.
mass glosses over the Sabbath, and that suffices
for all the week.
will take care of the affair. Moleque!" he cried 'Never fear, senhor; if it is not too late I to his chief herdsman, "bring me my mule, quick!"
A muleteer generally serves him as sacristan, and his music consists of a choir of negroes. After mass he baptizes the little negroes who are brought to him from various parts of the neighbourhood. Of these he takes possession in the name of Heaven and the Catholic religion, and to this effect inscribes their names in a register, under a rubric taken from the Roman martyrology. This duty performed, the new Christian returns to the hut, goes into the field as soon as he is able to walk, works as long as his strength permits, till at length he one day falls exhauste 1. A few hours later he takes his way to the grave upon the shoulders of four of his comrades, who form the entire funeral procession. The padre does not trouble himself to visit him in his dying moments, unless he is a free negro, and can pay the expense; for he thinks the sufferings of servitude are sufficient to redeem the faults of the poor slaves, and open to them the gates of heaven. Of what use, then, is the catechism, and instruction, and masses, and sacraments? The cleansing of baptism is enough; slavery will do the rest.
Lack of employment is not unknown to the padre; but he knows how to remedy this by the aid of some light employments with which his transatlantic brethren are unacquainted. If a fazendeiro thinks himself neither sufficiently rich nor devout to pay for a mass every week, he
A few years ago the officiating priest of Santa Ana, a village situated thirty or forty miles from Rio Janeiro, on the road to Novo Friburgo, de
The padre then alternates week by week with one estate after another, till he comes around to the one with which he commenced. If his cure
makes an arrangement with his neighbours.clared from his pulpit, in a moment of goodhumour, that one might boldly refuse to believe there was a hell! Good souls with us would have hid their faces at hearing such frightful
is too ungrateful, he ekes out a supplement by raising cattle or keeping a venda.
blasphemy. The Brazilian is more calm; he reserves his severity for the African bondsmen, and shows the most evangelical indulgence for his own race. The congregation smiled at each other at this singular declaration, and contented themselves with exchanging a look, as much as to say, Esta bebádo (he has been drinking).
AN ITINERANT PADRE.
I one day met, in the province of Minas, one of these reverends who was traversing the estates with a herd of cattle, performing mass as occasion demanded. Being overtaken by a shower, we had both sought shelter at the same rancho. Seated upon a bench, we soon engaged in conversation.
A few minutes later our reverend set off at a
brisk trot, in spite of the rain, which still fell in torrents. Leaving the herd in charge of the negro, he went straight to the testamentary executor, and frankly proposed to give him a receipt for four hundred milreis, on payment of half the sum. The proposition was too seductive to be refused, and the executor, making the mere necessary conditions, counted out the two hundred milreis.
Being generally the head of a family, the padre acquires through his domestic sentiments a kindness of heart, which too frequently exists Old World. His parishioners seem to like his only upon the lips of his austere colleagues of the free way of living, and willingly excuse his peccadillos.
A PRIEST OF EASY DOCTRINES.
The doutor is, in the eyes of the fazendeiro, a more important personage even than the padre,
Since the slave-trade has been interdicted upon the coast of Africa, the price of negroes has advanced to ruinous proportions. An adult slave, at the present time, represents a capital of two contos de reis, or one thousand dollars, and sometimes more. The loss of the negro is therefore a serious one to the planter, and he neglects nothing to restore him when he falls sick. A spacious and well-ventilated hospital, with medical stores from Paris or London, an attendant who never leaves the patients, and who prepares their medicines, sufficiently attest his solicitude. Nevertheless, notwithstanding all these ample precautions, notwithstanding the real skill of the Brazilian physicians, my observation tells me that a negro seldom goes into the hospital except to die there. But this is easily accounted for. The negro never complains of sickness, and is never supposed to be sick till he is at the very end of his career and his strength is gone. Besides the plantation to which he is attached, the doctor, like the padre, has to attend upon the small proprietors of the neighbourhood, who are not rich enough to keep a private physician. Formerly medical men were scarce, for there was no faculty in the country, and young men were obliged to get their education in the schools of France or Portugal. Since the emancipation, things have completely changed. Schools of medicine have been established in the large towns, and professors are found there who would do credit to the first institutions of Europe. The greater part of their medical works are written in French. All are acquainted with the language, and many speak it. Some also are acquainted with the German, and have libraries partly French and partly German. With such elements one need not be astonished to find that most of the physicians upon the coast possess real merit. We cannot say as much of those in the interior. It is not unfrequent to find among them a mulatto, who, having learnt in a negro infirmary to prepare mercurial pomades, administer purgatives, and dress snake-bites, styles himself a doctor. Sometimes a Frenchman comes over as cook upon some vessel, goes ashore, and sets himself up as surgeon-dentist. But as a set-off to this, it must be confessed that one sometimes meets with excellent black physicians at Bahia and Rio.
Upon the large fazendas the infirmary is open to all the sick of the neighbourhood. Alongside of plantation negroes treated for incipient elephantiasis or a wound, you find a tropeiro arrested on the road by imprudent exposure to the sun; or agregados from the neighbouring forests stricken with fever, or poor colonists of the district who have left their mud-cabins to seek a healthier asylum and more efficacious medicines. Separate apartments are provided for the two sexes. Sometimes a negress who has fled from slavery, having become a mother, and
being unable, through fear and privation, to nurse her child, comes at night and lays it be hind the door of the infirmary. The rest is evident. The padre baptizes the little black, and forthwith delivers it to the director of the hos pice, who is charged with bringing it up. In years of epidemic, when pestiferous breezes sweep over the country, and death carries his terrors into the plantation and the rancho, the infirmary of the fazenda is a godsend to the people. The creoles then suddenly throw aside their nonchalance, and rival each other in zeal and sacrifices. The force of physicians, attendants, and nurses is doubled. A physician from the cidade is brought at great expense, while a caravan goes to bring from a distance a supply of all the pharmaceutical ingredients that can counteract the plague. Poor people who do not wish to leave their families, come at all hours of the day or night to obtain consultations or advice. Sometimes a free man, kept back by fear or false pride, permits himself to waste away in fever upon his bunk rather than apply to the neighbouring fazenda. Whenever the planter hears of such a case, he instructs a doctor, who forthwith mounts on horseback, and goes to persuade the sufferer to allow himself to be treated. These outbursts of spontaneous philanthropy, which gave birth to such noble devotion, are not rare in creole life.
KINDNESS TO STRANGERS.
The hospitality so generously practised to ward the sick extends to every thing and to every body. It may be said that the fazenda is the caravanserai of foreigners who are travelling in Brazil. If it were not for them travel would be impossible. It is true that one finds near the coast a few vendas smelling of putridity, cachaça, and decaying fish; but they become more and more rare upon advancing into the interior. The plantation, on the contrary, rarely disappoints one. Whenever a stranger arrives at the door, a negro shows him a rancho for his horse, and then conducts him into the house, where are the rooms allotted to travellers. At the dinner hour he sets himself at the senhor's table, takes part in the conversation if it interests him, and retires when he likes. The next day he sets out immediately after breakfast, in order to reach the next fazenda before nightfall. If he needs rest he can remain several days in succession. No one would even think of asking his name. This is ancient hospitality in all its grandeur and simplicity, Many fazendas are famous for the heartiness of their reception. Among them may be mentioned that of the Baron d'Üba, known throughout Europe ever since the sojourn made there by the French traveller, Auguste St. Hilaire, half a century ago, and which has never ceased to be the privileged halting-place of the savans and artists who visit the provinces of Minas or Rio Janeiro.
PEDDLERS, MULETEERS, AND ANT-KILLERS.
As there is no good thing in this world which does not, by its very excess, engender an abuse, the hospitality of the fazenda has given birth to the mascate. The mascate is nothing else than a peddler, and he generally comes to Brazil from France. But he has nothing in common with those poor wretches who are still encountered on the inaccessible summits of the Alps and Pyrenees, with a pack upon their shoulders, and selling red handkerchiefs to the peasant-girls in exchange for a few pounds of rags. He understands things better; he gives himself less trouble, and takes bank-notes in exchange for his wares. He leaves Havre with an hundred pieces of gold in his pocket, disembarks with a compatriot, who gives him his lesson, buys a mule for himself and another for his pack, hires a guide to whom he pays a milreis (fifty cents) per day, and traverses the fazendas, offering jewelry, calicoes, perfumery, etc., according to his specialty. This employment, which a few years ago insured a rapid fortune, has fallen off in consequence of the monstrous abuses which were practised. I have known mascates to realize one hundred contas de reis (fifty thousand dollars) in a single campaign, and return to France the same year with an income of twelve thousand francs (upwards of two thousand dollars). It was the golden age of peddlers; but abuses were carried too far, and the Brazilians have at length opened their eyes.
A PEDDLER'S ESTIMATE.
One of these adept peddlers one day made me the following estimate: a ring mounted with brilliants costs one hundred francs at the manufactory; the exporter who sends it places it at two hundred; the expense of commission, box and transport, brings it up to one hundred milreis (two hundred and fifty francs, or fifty dollars); the duty, estimated at eighty per cent, makes it cost nearly two hundred milreis; the store from which we obtain the ring makes one hundred per cent, and it therefore costs us four hundred milreis. Certainly we, who have all the trouble, cannot make less than an hundred per cent, and we are obliged to sell the jewel to the senhoras of the interior for eight hundred milreis. As they generally buy on credit, their husbands give us a bill of exchange for a conto of reis (five hundred dollars), in order that we
may not lose the interest.
The Brazilians long since knew that they were paying many times the true value of their wives jewelry, and they have at last stopped patronizing the mascates. The Jews of Alsace and the Rhine provinces, are those who most excel in this species of trade. The Parisian prefers to sell perfumery and other small merchandise. The Italians bring small plaster saints to ornament the chapels, or hand organs. Sometimes the mascate becomes bankrupt by
having his pack-mule carried away by the current in crossing a river, or by losing it among the precipices on the road. Some of them make journeys of eight hundred leagues, or to the extreme limits of civilized settlements. Few of these escape the fatigues of the route, the arrows of the Botocudos, the teeth of the tiger, or the tortures of hunger. I have frequently, during my travels, met them without mules, shoes, or clothing, and consoling themselves in their poverty by contemplating a box of small grains of quartz, which the natives of pretended diamond-bearing districts had given them as diamonds, in exchange for their merchandise. Those who return to life and civilization, having no longer any capital, seek a less rude employment, becoming comedians, gardeners, professors, dentists, photographers, &c.
One day, on the way to Rio, I was stopped by a person whom I did not recognise; it was one of those poor wretches whom I had found, half dead with hunger, fatigue, and destitution, on the Upper Parahyba. I had given him a shirt, thinking it would be his winding-sheet. He survived by a miracle, dragged himself from tavern to tavern, and had established himself as a dentist at Rio Janeiro.
A very original native character, sometimes met with upon the large fazendaz of Central and Northern Brazil, is the muleteer. He is large in person, with a sunburnt complexion. Long, glossy locks and a certain shade of the skin indicate that he has a large preponderance of Indian blood in his veins. His origin is unknown. The plantation people saw him arrive one day at the lead of two or three hundred mules. He came from the most distant portion of the empire, made five or six hundred leagues through unexplored forests, sleeping in the open air, and having scarcely anything for his daily nourishment beyond a handful of manioc. He stopped to ask the master of the fazenda for a lodging, and to refresh himself after his three months' journey; but being charmed with that liberality which is only found among the rich planters of the New World, and by the immense unoccupied pasture-grounds that surround the fazenda, he asked the planter to let his animals profit by this neglected wealth. From that time he established his head quarters on the plantation, where he raises his mules. From time to time he makes a trip through the neighbourhood, and sells those that are trained. In his spare moments he makes himself useful about the fazenda by giving instructions how to throw the lasso, and to subdue stubborn animals; he also serves as squire upon journeys and as sacristan to the padre. When all his mules are sold he goes away by the road upon which he came, makes new purchases, and reappears the next year with another herd. This traffic is very lucrative. Having no expenses to pay with the planters who entertain him, as well as his negroes and animals, buying young mules in a country
where money is scarce, and re-selling them ready trained in the wealthy provinces, he realizes enormous profits. And hence, sometimes, he becomes carried away by pride, and makes his son a physician.*
After the mascate and the muleteer, the formigueiro has also, as we have said, his allotted place among the useful guests of a fazenda. The formiga is a pest to many of these habitations. The ants of the tropics do not resemble the timid insects of our cool climate, which avoid mankind, and content themselves with making their nests in the trunk of a tree or under a stone, and at most cheating the domestic fowls of a few particles of grain. They are a hardy set, confident in their strength and intelligence, and make themselves inaccessible retreats. Before the arrival of the white man, the formiga was the true queen of the forest. The savage beings, who then represented humanity in this region, had rather a vague instinct of congregation than the true spirit of association. The idea of labour and solidarity, for example, was entirely wanting with them. A prisoner was to them only a victim condemned to serve as a feast. The ant early learned to cultivate higher notions.
At the present day it remains in Brazil one of the most perfect illustrations of those strange laws which introduce into the world of nature, under the form of instinct, certain forces of the moral world. The habitation of the formiga of Brazil is a citadel closed in on every side, communicating with the outer world only by secret passages. If there are any wood-lice in the vicinity, the formiga pursues them, takes them to its habitation, and thus forms itself a sort of farm-yard. A regular distribution of fresh leaves
A BRAZILIAN STUDENT.
suffices to render captivity supportable to the prisoners, and no attempt at escape is henceforth to be feared. Some species of ants, given to idleness, commit raids upon the more feeble races, and seize their eggs. The larvae which are hatched from these, become so many slaves. These slaves with mandibles accept their fate, and perform service to the aristocratic race. It is a veritable subterranean fazenda, equally based on servitude, but without chicote or feitor.
One of these rich muleteers, whom I had frequently seen at a planter's in the province of Rio Janeiro, came one day to show me a letter from his
who was a student at the Brazilian University of St. Paul, and who asked him to send a few books. I kept the list of works which the muleteer's son named, as an index of the literary taste of the young Brazilians. It comprised Brantôme, Alexandre Dumas, La Fontaine, Paul de Kock, Parny, Eugène Sue, Piron, Boccaccio, Parent Duchâtelet, &c. Among these names, so strangely associated together I vainly looked for the name of some writer on law. The student was doubtless postponing more serious reading to the second year. However that may be, in order to procure the books he selected, the father had to pay for commission, exportation, customs, &c., two contos de reis (one thousand dollars). He had to sell twenty five mules to cover this sum, and the honest muleteer thought his son might educate himself without going to so much expense. He would rather have arranged the matter with two or three mules, he said, and I perfectly agreed with him,
RAVAGES OF THE BRAZILIAN ANT.
When the workers go to forage in the fields, and the task is hard or pressing, the column is divided into two sections. The most active climb the trunk of the tree which is to be plundered, run out upon the branches to the base of the leaves, and cut off the stems with their serrated teeth. In an hour the folliage has disappeared. The tree seeins as if blasted by lightning. In the meantime, those that remained upon the ground seize the leaves as they fall, and carry them away. If the burden is too heavy, this column separates into two groups, one of which separates the leaf into segments, while the other takes it away and stores it. Gardeners especially dread their ravages. If they neglect to surround their fields with a ditch filled with water, or if the latter dries up, good-by to flowers, fruits, and legumes-all disappear in a night. A wellfilled ditch does not always suffice to kerp such watchful and enterprising marauders at a distance. It is necessary to see that the current does not occasionally bring down a dead branch, which lodges and forms a communication between the two sides. A gardener told me that one morning he found one of his beds completely devastated by a nocturnal visit of ants, though his ditch, which was a very broad and deep one, full of water. Curious to know how the enemy had gained access to a place he supposed so well protected, he set himself to watch their manoeuvres and observe the route they took on their return. The workers having finished their night's task the column soon formed, and proceeded to a tree that stood on the edge of the ditch. Climbing the trunk of this they advanced to the outer branches, and passed over to an orange-tree that was situated on the other side of the ditch. The victimized gardener had not observed that the branches of the two trees touched each other, and formed a bridge in mid-air. A few weeks before, he had been obliged to re-dig his ditch to twice its former depth, in order to intercept the under-ground galleries which his indefatigable enemies had tunnelled under the water.
CLEARING OUT THE ANTS.
In the houses, things are very different. Ordinarily no attention is paid to these inconvenient neighbours, which run through the rooms, over the tables, and even into the dishes. If too numerous a tribe happen to penetrate the wainscoting and get into a room, they are