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said a lady in company very eagerly, so my husband says. He dined among a whole heap of 'em the other day, and he says you may talk of their fasting as much as you please, but he never saw people eat such dinners in his life."'-pp. 211, 212. `
Now, unfortunately for Miss Plumptre's veracity, as well as her pleasantry, we believe we may venture to assert that the Catholics of Ireland never were, never are, and never will be called Romans. One wonders how the poor woman could have fallen into so gross a blunder; but we suspect that some person had acquainted her that the Roman Catholics were in Ireland universally called Catholics only, (such is the fact,) and that out of this information ill remembered, she contrived to make the blunder, and out of the blunder, the facetious story.
But Miss Plumptre, unfortunate in all things, is most unfortunate in her attempts at pleasantry-she misquotes a famous distich
He who saw these new roads before they were made,
and then says, that she had noted it down as an Irish blunder from an Irish finger-post; but was much disappointed to find, from Miss Edgeworth's Essay, that she ascribes it to England. See how ingenious ignorance is in betraying itself! We thought that every school-boy and school-girl knew that, after the Scottish rebellion, Marshal Wade was employed in making roads through the Highlauds; and it is in reference to these roads that the two lines above mentioned are quoted, we believe, by Grose.
But Miss Plumptre is not more happy in her personal experience, than in her recollections. The following story, of which she assures us that she was an eye and ear-witness, we are constrained to say we do not believe.
'Once in the pit of Drury-lane theatre, when Mr. Kean was performing his favourite character of Richard the Third, I observed a sailor not far from me uncommonly attentive; every look, every word, was eagerly devoured by him, till at last he could contain himself no longer, and exclaimed aloud, "God bless the man, I declare he deserves a whole pint of grog." A higher compliment I believe the son of Neptune did not think could be paid, and I never witnessed one that seemed to come more truly from the heart.'-p. 237.
A sailor was no more likely to decree, as an extraordinary reward, a thing so common and familiar with him as a pint of grog, than Miss Plumptre would have been to exclaim, in like circumstances, Bless the man, I declare he deserves a whole dish of tea.'
This leads us to observe, that the most wonderful wonder which Miss Plumptre encountered in all her travels was Mr. Kean. She has the good fortune to meet him every where, and every where with
increased admiration, and a new volubility of gossipping applause. She does not tell us by what mathematic process she measured the height of mountains, whose heads are very much rounded, but Mr. Kean is the barometer by which she seems to measure the abilities of all other men and women; and she rates mankind exactly in proportion to the admiration they may feel towards this god of her idolatry, whom she distinguishes from all other actors by the figurative cognomen of Nature Restored.'—p. 237.
As Miss Plumptre is a scientific lady, and as her book is a gravelooking quarto of 400 pages, she of course thought it worthy of a copious index to guide her readers to the various valuable matters and learned observations which it contains. A reference to it will shew the share which Mr. Kean has in the work, and the paramount importance which she gives to all that concerns this great man.
The number of references in this index to the city of Dublin, with all its objects of art, science, or polity, is 17-to the Giant's Causeway 12-to the cities of Cork and Kilkenny 12-to those of Belfast and Limerick 8 and 5-while Mr. Kean has 17 distinct references appended to his name, which is more than any other topic in the work has obtained, except the Lake of Killarney, which has 19, one of which, however, is about Mr. Kean. Nay, Miss Plumptre so far forgets her love of mineralogy, that she does not think a gentleman sufficiently distinguished by being ‘a great mineralogist, unless she can connect him in some way with Mr. Kean. Thus we have:
'MAC DONNELL, Dr. of Belfast, a great mineralogist, 97-his different collections, 98-his inquiries concerning Mr. Kean, ib.'!
We must now take leave of Miss Plumptre and (which is nearly the same thing) of Mr. Kean: with all due respect for this gentleman's talents, we do not think they ought to faire tous les frais' of Miss Plumptre's journey; and we assure our readers that this subject, as it is the most frequent, seems to be one of the most useful, important, and satisfactory which is to be found in the whole work.
ART. IV. Travels in Brazil. By Henry Koster. 4to. pp. 501. London. 1816.
THE HERE is, perhaps, no part of the Christian world with which the English public are so little acquainted as Brazil, both as to its history and its present state. Mr. Lindley, the master of a trading vessel, who was arrested when carrying on a contraband trade there
in 1802, published an account of the treatment which he experienced, with such observations as he had an opportunity of making. The narrative was not uninteresting, and would have deserved praise had not the author committed the unpardonable fault, or rather crime, (for it deserves no gentler qualification,) of exposing individuals to the displeasure of the government, and the Inquisition,-in return for the confidence which they had reposed in him, and the kindness which he had received at their hands! Porto Seguro and Bahia were the only places which he saw, and these under very unfavourable circumstances. Mr. Mawe's work is better known, as it ought to be: no foreigner had seen so much of the country before, or been allowed to enter the prohibited mining district. Mr. Koster's travels have been in a different direction; he had the advantage of being naturalized in the country, not indeed in the legal sense of the term, but by several years residence, and a perfect knowledge of the language which he had acquired in childhood at Lisbon, as his nurse's tongue.
Mr. Koster sailed for Pernambuco in the winter of 1809. It is remarkable that the five principal ports of Brazil should each have exchanged in common use their original and proper names for those of the captaincy to which they belong-St. Sebastian's, St. Salvadore's, Recife, St. Luiz, and Belem being now so generally called the Rio, Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham, and Para, that they would scarcely be recognized by their former appellations. The original seat of the Pernambucan government was at Olinda, a town finely situated upon high ground a league to the northward of the port. This, which is one of the oldest settlements in Brazil, suffered greatly during the Dutch war, and as, under the occupation of the invaders, the port became a place of great strength as well as importance, the governor fixed his residence there after the recovery of the province. The name Recife signifies a reef; a natural opening in the reef which runs along the coast having formed there a harbour. The situation of this remarkable place is much more clearly shewn by a plan in the present work, than by that of Barlaus or of Nieuhoff. To the Dutch, Recife must have had a peculiar charm, for, like one of their own cities, it has the appearance of being built in the water. It was greatly enlarged, strengthened, and beautified by Prince Maurice of Nassau, a man of enlarged and liberal mind, worthy to have founded an empire in the New World. The princely gardens, into which with characteristic grandeur he had transplanted full grown trees, have disappeared, but others of his works remain, and among them the two bridges which connect the different quarters of the city, and were the first erected in Brazil. The population is estimated at 25,000; and it is increasing so rapidly, that new houses are building wherever space can be found.
The greatest disadvantage to which Recife is subject is the want of fresh water, which is brought by canoes either from Olinda or from the Capibaribe as no people delight more in good water than the Portugueze, it may be supposed that one of their first public works will be an aqueduct. The place much resembles one of the provincial cities of Portugal,-unglazed windows, balconies, and lattices,-shops without windows, the houses lofty, and the ground floors occupied as warehouses, or stables, &c. Squares, churches, and convents in abundance. Olinda stands upon much ground, but contains only about 4000 inhabitants: it has never recovered the injury which it sustained during the war. The bishop resides here, and here also is the Seminary or College. The view from hence is magnificent; and justifies the exclamation of the first settlers, from which the city is said to have taken its name, 0 que linda situaçam para se fundar huma villa! Oh, how beautiful a situation for a town!
Increased wealth and an intercourse with strangers are producing a rapid change of manners. Articles of European manufacture, which were only obtainable at an enormous price, have, since the Emigration, been poured in upon them in such abundance, that English goods have often been sold at less than their prime cost; and the people have readily acquired new wants which are operating beneficially. There was neither inn nor lodging-house when Mr. Koster arrived at Recife; both are now to be found there. Tea, which in 1808 was only sold as a drug at the apothecary's, is now in great and increasing use ;-coffee and tobacco found their way more quickly over the civilized and semi-civilized world; but tea is now becoming more extensively used than either, and where it once prevails it is not likely to be superseded. Certain refinements are wanting which will soon be introduced: two or three knives serve for a large dinner party, the guest cutting the meat upon his plate into small pieces and passing the knife round; it is a compliment to transfer meat from your own plate to that of your friend: and the presence of ladies at a convivial meeting does not prevent the guests from becoming riotous in their mirth, and breaking bottles and glasses. Here, as in Lisbon, the card-tables are occupied in the morning, and scarcely deserted during the day, except at the dinner hour. The state of religion is curious: the friars, by their profligate conduct, have brought themselves so completely into disrepute, that the mendicant orders, at least, seem in a fair way to be extinguished. None of the convents are full, some of them are nearly without inhabitants. Formerly at least one member of every family was a friar, but now, says Mr. Koster, children are brought up to trade,-to the army,-to any thing rather than to a monastic life. There is little hope that the Romish church will
give up the three great points which render it most injurious to society,—its Infallibility (from which intolerance follows as a necessary consequence)-its Auricular Confession-and the Celibacy of its Clergy. It may, however, easily rid itself of many minor evils and gross abuses; and of these the mendicant orders are not the least they are the morbus pediculosus of the Catholic church. But it must not be inferred that there is any abatement of superstition in the Brazilian people, because the cord and the scapulary are out of fashion. Mr. Koster describes the service of Good Friday, which was any thing rather than spiritual.
The church,' he says, was much crowded, and the difficulty of getting in was considerable. An enormous curtain hung from the ceiling, excluding from the 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 sermon. 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 several young persons, all finely decked out, and each bearing a large pair of out-stretched wings, made of gauze; 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 forwards. 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 shewn to the people, stained with the circular mark of the crown in blood; this done, the nails which transfix 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. All this was done by word of command from the preacher. The sermon was then quickly brought to a conclusion, and we left the church.'-pp. 18, 19.
The traveller also attended the festival of St. Amaro, the healer of wounds', at whose chapel are sold bits of ribbon which many of the lower order tie round their naked ancles or their wrists, and wear until they drop off. This personage is the St. Maurus, who was the friend and disciple of Benedict, and who is in great odour