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pending/1723: We want to give you a check for your opinion Friend (pendi
pending/1723: We want to give you a check for your opinion Friend (pending)
Sat, 10 Jan 2009 23:16:39 -0600 (CST)
>Synopsis: We want to give you a check for your opinion Friend
>Arrival-Date: Sat Jan 10 23:16:39 -0600 2009
>Originator: "Alexis" <address@hidden>
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<But the stump of caes, or jetty, which was dashed to pieces more than a score
of years ago, remains as it was; The landingplace calls loudly for a Theaded
pier of concrete blocks, or a gangway supported upon wooden piles and metal
pilasters: one does not remark the want in fine weather; one does bitterly on
bad days. There has been no attempt to make a port or even a débarcadère by
connecting the basaltic lump Loo Ilheu Fort with the Pontinha, the curved
scorpions tail of rock and masonry, Messieurs Blandys coal stores, to the west.
Big ships must still roll at anchor in a dangerous open roadstead far off
shore; and, during wet weather, ladies, well drenched by the surf, must be
landed with the aid of a crane in what should be the inner harbour. The
brokendown circus near Reids is to become a theatre, but whence the money is to
come no one knows. The leper hospital cannot afford to make up more than nine
or ten beds. The jail is in its old disgraceful state, and sadly wants
reform: here the minimum of punishment would suffice; I never saw the true
criminal face, and many of the knickknacks bought in Madeira are the work of
these starving wretches. The Funchal Club gives periodically a subscription
ball, to ameliorate, if possible, the condition of the prisoners at the Funchal
jailasking strangers, in fact, to do the work of Government. The Praça da
Rainha, a dwarf walk facing the huge yellow Government House, alias Palacio de
Sao Lourenço, has been grown with mulberries intended for sericulture.
Unfortunately, whatever may here be done by one party the ins is sure to be
undone when the outs become ins. There has been no change in the Palace, except
that the quaint portraits of oneeyed Zargo, who has left many descendants in
the island, and of the earlier CaptainsGeneral, dignitaries who were at once
civil and military, have been sent to the Lisbon Exhibition. The queer old
views of Machims landing and of Funchal Bay still amuse visitors. Dail
observations for meteorology are here taken at A.M. and and P.M.; the
observatory standing eighty feet above sealevel.
As our anchor rattles downwards, two excise boats with the national flag take
up their stations to starboard and port; and the boatmen are carefully watched
with telescopes from the shore. The wiser Spaniards have made Santa Cruz,
Tenerife, a free port. The healthofficer presently gives us pratique, and we
welcome the good monopolist, Mr. William Reid, and his son. The former, an
Ayrshire man, has made himself proprietor of the four chief hostelries. Yatess
or Hollways in the Entrada da Cidade, or short avenue running north from the
landingplace, has become a quasiruinous telegraphstation. Reids has blossomed
into the Royal Edinburgh; it is rather a tavern than an hotel, admitting the
casuals from passing steamers and men who are not welcome elsewhere. One of
these, who called himself a writer for the press, and who waxed insultingly
drunk, made our hours bitter; but the owner has a satisfactory and sovereign
way of dealing with such brutes. Miless has become the Carmo, and
chlaffs the German. The fourth, Santa Clara, retains her maiden name; the
establishment is somewhat collet monté, but I know none in Europe more
comfortable. There are many others of the second rank; and the Hôtel Central,
with its cafébilliard and estaminet at the cityentrance, is a good institution
which might be made better.
We throw a few coppers to the divingboys, who are expert as the Somali savages
of Aden, and we quit our water prison in the threekeeled boats,
Magno telluris amore Egressi
Tellus, however, is represented at Funchal by chips and pebbles of black
basalt like petrified kidneys, stuck on edge, often upon a base of bare rock.
They are preferred to the slabs of Trieste and Northern Italy, which here, with
the sole exception of the short Rua de Bettencourt, are confined to flights of
steps. The surfaces are greased by rags and are polished by the passage of cars
or coachsleighs, which irreverents call cowcarts; these vehicles, evidently
suggested by the corsa, or common sleigh, consist of a blackcurtained
carriagebody mounted on runners. The queer cobblepavement, that resembles the
mosaics of clams and palmnuts further south, has sundry advantages. It is said
to relieve the horses back sinews; it is never dusty; the heaviest rain flows
off it at once; nor is it bad walking when the kidneystones are small. The
black surface is sometimes diapered with white pebbles, lime from Porto Santo.
Very strange is the glare of moonlight filtered through the foli
ge; the beams seem to fall upon patches of iced water.
We had not even the formality of a visit to the Customhouse: our unopened
boxes were expected to pay only a small fee, besides the hire of boat, porters,
and sledges. A cedula interina, costing reis d., was the sole expense for a
permit to reside. What a contrast with London and Liverpool, where I have seen
a uniformcase and a cocked hatbox subjected to the perfect politeness of
certain unpleasant officials: where collections of natural history are
plundered by paid thieves, When we last landed at Liverpool May , the top tray
of my wifes trunk reached us empty, and some of the choicest birds shot by
Cameron and myself were stolen. Since the days of Waterton the Liverpudlian
customhouse has been a scandal and a national disgrace. and where I have been
obliged to drop my solitary bottle of Syrian raki!
I was hotelled at the Royal Edinburgh, and enjoyed once more the restful calm
of a quasitropical night, broken only by the Christmas twanging of the machete
which is to the guitar what kit is to fiddle; by the clicking of the pebbles on
the shore, and by the gentle murmuring of the waves under the window.
NOTE.The Madeiran Archipelago consists of five islands disposed in a scalene
triangle, whose points are Porto Santo miles, northeast, Madeira west, and the
three Desertas miles, southeast. The Great and Little Piton of the Selvagens,
or Salvages miles, south, though belonging to Portugal and to the district of
Funchal, are geographically included in the Canarian group. Thus, probably, we
may explain the Aprositos, or Inaccessible Island, which Ptolemy
The great Alexandrian is here iv. , §§ sadly out of his reckoning. He places
the group of six islands adjacent to Libya many degrees too far south N. lat.
°°, and assigns one meridian ° to Aprositos, Pluitana Pluvialia? Hierro?,
Caspeiria Capraria? Lanzarote?, and another and the same ° to Pintouaria
Nivaria? Tenerife?, Hera Junonia? Gomera?, and Canaria.
includes in his Six Fortunates; and the Isle of SS. Borondon and Maclovius the
Welshman St. Malo. The run from Lizards Point is laid down at , miles; from
Lisbon, ; from Cape Cantin, ; from Mogador ° west long., ; and from Santa Cruz,
Tenerife. The main island lies between N. lat. ° and ° ; the parallel is that
of Egypt, of Upper India, of Nankin, and of California. Its longitude is
included within ° and ° west of Greenwich. The extreme length is thus /
usually set down as to miles; the breadth, / popularly /; the circumference, ;
the coastline, about ; and the area, nearly the size of Huntingdonshire, a
little smaller than the Isle of Man, and a quarter larger than the Isle of
Wight. Pico Ruivo, the apex of the central volcanic ridge, rises ,, feet, with
a slope of in .; the perpetual snowline being here ,. Madeira is supposed to
tower from a narrow oceanic trough, ranging between , and , feet deep. Of days,
there are of northeast winds, of north, of east, and of west
The rainfall averages only . to . inches per annum. The overhumidity of the
climate arises from its lying in the Guinea Gulf Stream, which bends southward,
about the Azores, from its parent the great Gulf Stream, striking the Canaries
and flowing along the Guinea shore. White and Johnsons GuideBook, and Du Climat
de Madère, par A. C. MouraoPitta, Montpellier, , the latter ably pleading a
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