תמונות בעמוד
[blocks in formation]


the dead, the nightingale of the hills* would tune her evening lay, and sing a requiem to the setting sun as she nestled in the lemon tree above

my and when night had wrapped her mantle o'er the scene, and no unhallowed sound disturbed the cathedral stillness of the hour, I should have those mystic lamps that light a world, hung in the vault of my sepulchre, to smile upon the sod that covered me.

* The Tinto Negro.



Visit to Teneriffe-- View of the Peak-Fishermen--Santa Cruz-Dromedaries

The British Flags—Vegetation-Cochineal - Volcanic Rocks--Birds—Inhabitants-Museum-Guanches-Scenery-Laguna—Oratava-Beauty of the Landscape-Port of Oratava–The Botanic Garden—The Dragon Tree-Ascent of the Peak-Guides—Spartium Plains-Pumice-stone Plains--Magnificent Scenery Estanza des Ingleses-Extreme Cold—View of the Sunrise - The Cone— The Crater--Smoke Holes—Sulphur-Prospect from the Summit- The Regions of Vegetation-Descent-Climate-Return to Madeira.

[ocr errors]

To afford me an opportunity of ascending the peak of Teneriffe, our vessel was got under weigh, and we left Funchal roads on the 5th of November.

On the morning of the 6th, we had a momentary glimpse of the peak; but the weather becoming hazy, we were unable to distinguish it perfectly until three o'clock, when its bold, rugged outline became accurately defined against the azure of an African sky

I must confess my disappointment at its first appearance. It did not at all come up to the expectation I had formed, of an immense spire shooting into the heavens, and piercing the clouds, as I had always been led to suppose by description and delineation ; and this disappointment I find that I

[blocks in formation]

share with most Europeans who have seen it. From our present position, approaching Santa Cruz from the north, the figure is not that of a cone, but rather of a block of mountain rising to a great height out of the sea. The sun set gloriously behind it, throwing that peculiar roseate tint around his golden locks so very different from that in more European climates. As we neared the island, the wind fell off, and left us rocking in the heavy swell that generally surrounds this iron-bound shore. When the darkness set in, a number of lights suddenly started up around us, flitting like meteors over the swollen waters. Presently a light breeze sprung up, and we gently pursued our way into the midst of this singular illumination. It arose from a number of fishing-boats, in each of which a fire of the canary pine was lighted to attract the fish. Around these were seated the fishermen, their furrowed faces grimed with the smoke, and habited in their long scarlet caps and jackets, looked, as they sprung to view on the crest of a mountain wave, and then as quickly sunk from sight in the gulf below, like so many spirits of the mighty deep brewing the tempest.

About ten we cast anchor. People may talk of clanking chains and rattling bolts; but, to me, one of the sweetest of sounds is the clanking of the chain-cable as it is hove up on deck, or runs swiftly through the hawse-hole.

7th November.- Santa Cruz Bay.--Every thing

[blocks in formation]


around has the most arid, parched, and burned up look that can possibly be imagined. The neatly white-washed town looks well, but around it all is barren and desolate. This peculiar appearance, common to all volcanic islands, is now rendered more striking by the season, there not having been any rain here for the last six months. Even the large succulent plants springing here and there amongst its rocks, had lost whatever of

greenness they may have originally possessed. Immediately

our right the land is high and broken into ravines, running down to the water's edge, with nothing to relieve the eye but the white line of the aqueduct that supplies the town, as it winds its serpentine course half-way up their sides. To the left, the shore slopes away in one gradual swell to southward, barren of everything but stones, lava, and basalt.

After breakfast we landed at the mole, where Nelson lost his arm in the unfortunate affair of 1797. If the lovely verdure, the wavy palms, and green bananas of Madeira remind the English traveller that he is out of Europe, how much more do the numerous camels, which he

first landing here, slowly trudging their way into the town-gate, with their burdens of pinewood or lime-stone, or patiently kneeling down to be loaded, and moving their long necks from side to side, tell him that he is approaching the region of the Zahara and the Siroc.

[ocr errors]





[blocks in formation]

The dromedary, improperly denominated the camel, of the Canaries, and supposed to have been introduced by the Norman conquerors, is a large variety ; they thrive well in those islands, but from want of care and cleanliness, and being almost devoid of hair, they look badly. So silently do these animals tread the ground, that the owners are compelled by law to furnish each with a bell, to give warning of their approach. It is remarkable with regard to the natural history of these animals, and to show how few climates are adapted to the procreation of the species, that, with rare exceptions, they will not breed in Teneriffe, but are transported for that purpose to Lancerote, which is only a few leagues distant to the southward. They are landed at the proper season in great herds from all the neighbouring islands, and become so ferocious during their stay, that it is dangerous to land upon the island. A camel-fight is not an uncommon amusement among the people ; on these occasions they are muzzled, and evince the utmost fury in their engagements.

In a small place like this, one of your first visits is to your consul ; who, assuming all the importance of office, parades you in succession to all the governors and persons in authority, civil, military, and marine. This raises his own consequence not a little, and, to believe himself, vastly contributes to the honor of old England.

The town of Santa Cruz is clean, that part near

« הקודםהמשך »