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at a very great elevation. No doubt many have been deceived by the promises held out of Madeira, and now rest beneath the cypress and orange grove. But who were they ? Patients whose cases were so utterly hopeless that not a chance remained for them; and, besides the domestic inconveniences, the effects of their removal were such, that some died upon the voyage, and others immediately after landing. I am happy to say, professional men do not now yield to the importunities of patients, whose cases they look upon as irremediable, by sanctioning their removal to Madeira—an advice as cruel as it is useless.
It would be unnecessary, in an unprofessional work of this kind, to enumerate all the diseases for which a residence in this climate would be useful; but I may observe, that for general debility, affections of the chest, the throat, and the wind-pipe, and cases of loss of voice from public speaking, it will be found most desirable; though I must say, that for all complaints in which humidity is to be avoided, when relaxation and increased secretion are present, the Canaries, especially Teneriffe, are preferable, owing, I should think, to their highly volcanic soil, more scanty vegetation, and extreme dryness.
It is no bad test of the mildness of the climate, that swallows do not migrate from the island ; the swifts, however, do, as in other places.
Those cases of threatened consumption, either owing to heredi. tary predisposition, or the sequel of inflammatory attacks, which are sent here with the lung congested, or advanced to solid tubercle, will derive benefit, but not by the mere visit of a few months : in such cases I should say patients ought to continue their residence for a very much longer period, even for years; diversifying their sojourn in this latitude with occasional visits to other parts, of the island, or to the Canaries, which will give them the stimulus, in all cases most useful, of amusement, change of climate, and of scene.
The beauty of the scenery upon the northern side of the island has not been yet fully described, nor the value of its climate as a summer residence for invalids duly appreciated. Beyond the Coural and the Serra d’Agoa, which I have already described, lie many sequestered valleys, rich in vegetation, commanding some of the wildest and most romantic prospects in the island, and with a temperature mild and equable. Of these may be men
tioned the lovely valleys of St. Vincente and Santa Anna, in both of which accommodation can now be obtained. I am unable to speak from personal experience of these places, but of the latter writes the graphic author from whom I have already quoted :“ The plantations, and gardens, and vineyards form a paradise of rich and graceful scenery ; and the beauty of the place, like that of the valleys of St. Vincente after crossing the mountains, is the more striking from the contrast with the wild and gloomy grandeur of the scenes through which the day's journey has lain.” It is about four hours' ride from Funchal. I may likewise remark of the climate of this island, that it does not exercise that injurious influence upon the health of young children, so frequently experienced in the East and West Indies.
That Madeira can prolong life, even under the most unfavourable circumstances, the case of the late lamented Dr. Heineken is a proof. This gentleman came to the island when his case was pronounced, by some of the most acute physicians in Britain, as rapidly approaching to a fatal termination ; yet, under those circumstances, but certainly with the greatest watchfulness, he lived nine years in Madeira ; until going one day to collect some fossils on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, a storm overtook him, and he suffered all its hardships in an open boat; he returned next day to Madeira, and died that night. He requested a professional friend to examine his lungs after death, and Dr. Renton, the most esteemed English physician in the island, who performed the autopsy, informed me that bis astonishment was, how he could have sustained life with so small a portion of respiratory apparatus; hardly a vestige of one of his lungs remaining, and the other being in a condition such as could not exist in any other climate that we are as yet acquainted with. The death of this gentleman is the more to be regretted, as he had done much to investigate the climate of the island. His life was spent in the furtherance of science—he died in her cause, and bequeathed to her the most interesting legacy he or any mortal can bestow, the tenement of his immortal spirit, that his fellow-man might be enlightened and benefitted by a knowledge of that fatal malady which had hastened him to an early death, as it has but too many of his countrymen.
Of the salubrity of this volcanic island, Sir James Clark has well said, “When we take into consideration the high tempe
rature of the winter, and the mildness of the summer, together with the remarkable equality of the temperature during the day and night, as well as throughout the year, we may safely conclude that the climate of Madeira is the finest in the northern hemisphere;” and again, he adds, “The steadiness of temperature from day to day also exceeds that of all the other climates. In this respect it is not half so variable as Rome, Nice, or Pisa, and is only about one-third as variable as Naples. The degree of variableness from day to day at Madeira is 1° 11'; at Rome it is 2° 80'; at Nice 2° 33' ; and at London 4° 11'. Nearly the same quantity of rain falls annually at Madeira as at Rome and Florence; but at Madeira there are only 73 days on which any rain falls, while at Rome there are 117.” Compared with the climate of our own island, we may form some idea of the moisture from the circumstance of its having rained in the city of Dublin upon 465 days in two years, or 232.50 days in a year. And in the same meteorological observations it is shown, that during the two years from June, 1839, to June, 1841, only three weeks occurred in which no rain fell.*
The prevailing wind is north-east, but southerly winds generally accompany the rain. In the winter of 1837–8 Madeira suffered, in common with all other places of which we have any account, from the unusual severity of the season; these years are not, however, to be taken as a fair criterion of its salubrity. Last winter also, that of 1842–3, was likewise, for Madeira, remarkably severe; in fact, from all I have been able to collect, it does not appear that the climate has yet fully recovered the shock it received in October, 1842. Yet of this most unusual and untoward winter writes Dr. Andrew Combe-“ After having myself spent three winters in Italy and the south of France, as an invalid, I have no hesitation in affirming that the winter just ended here, bad as it is said to have been by all who have resided some years in the island, was, with all its imperfections, incomparably superior to the best of the three I spent in the south of Europe, in the great requisites of mildness, equability, and general fitness for the
* See the Special Sanitory Report upon the Mortality of Dublin, and table of Meteorological Observations in the Irish Census, for 1842, by the author.
pulmonary invalid. Even here prudence is no doubt required. But no where that I know of will a rational-minded patient find a residence so free from objection, and combining so many advantages to reward the self-denial and sacrifices incurred by him in his search after health. So far, then, as climate alone is concerned, I give a most decided preference to Madeira over Italy for the pulmonary invalid.” The weather register, in the accompanying note, * which was accurately kept at the Deanery (not quite within the town, and therefore somewhat colder, being four hundred feet above the level of the sea), from the 10th of October, 1841, to the 23rd of April, 1842, exhibits an equality of temperature such as no European locality could afford. I introduce this table here the more readily, as it thus at a glance affords invalids and their friends an opportunity of judging of the description of climate they may expect at Funchal, even in the worst of winters.
The hospitality of the princely merchants of Madeira has been
# Weather Table.
S. Much rain. [night.
S. Much rain.
S. E. Fine, windy.
Fine. 13701 71 71° 70 Very fine.
|| 13 69 70 68 8. E. Very fine. N, E. Very fine.
E. Very fine. 1572 N. E. Very fine. [night.15 68
8. E. Very fine. (winds. N. E. Very fine, 70 at mid-16,68
S. w. Very fine, light N. E. Very fine, do.
w. Very fine. N. E. Very fine.
w. Very fine. N. E. Showery.
67 66 w. Very fine. 201
20 68 168 167 s. w. Very fine, light wds. N. E. Showery.
68 663 w. Very fine.
68 67 S. E. Very fine.
66 S. E. Very fine, windy. 24 7 S. E. Fine, 68 outside at 24 67 68
66 $. E.
Very fine, windy.
Very fine. 28 67 Very fine.
Very fine. 29 67 16731 w. Showers.
Very fine. 30 67 68 68 67 W. Rain.
w. Very fine. 31 653) 653/ N. E. Very fine.
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often dwelt upon as a source of great enjoyment to the invalid and traveller, and deserves a repeated expression of thanks from those who have experienced it. The English are not only the principal wine merchants, but the proprietors of the best houses in Funchal. This favoured spot wants now but one blessing to make it an earthly paradise—a free and enlightened government.
There is very little of what is properly termed amusement in Funchal. There is no theatre worth visiting, even if such a place could be visited with impunity by invalids. There are no caffés, but a library and reading-room, with a billiard-room attached to it, have been lately established by an association of British merchants, and here every English publication and periodical of merit, besides newspapers, are constantly supplied. Two papers, the “ Defensor,” and the “Impartial,” are published weekly at Funchal. Some few years ago, two or three visitors endeavoured to establish an English “ periodical journal of literature and
Rain forenoon, fine w. Much rain.
Fine. (afternoon w. Much rain.
N. E. Very fine.
N. E. Very fine.
N. E. Very fine. 665
N.w. Very fine.
N.w. Very fine,
N. Very fine.
E. Very fine.
S. W. Showers. 65, E. by s. Cloudy.
IX. E. Fine. afternoon. 4 s. e. Fine.
w. Fine forenoon, rain 11365 X E. | Very fine.
61 N. w. Very fine. N. E. Very fine.
62 N. w. Very fine.
N. w. Very fine.
N Very fine.
N. E. Very fine. 64 w. Cloudy. [evening,
E. Very fine. 11964 64 s. w. Fine morning, rain
N. E. Very fine. 2063 Fine, cloudy.
| Very fine. 2161 | Fine foren, raineven.
B. Very fine. 2261 x. W. Wind and rain.
Very fine. 23621
Very fine. 2461
N. E. Very fine. 26 60
N. E. Very fine. [squally. | N. E. Fine, few drops rain.
63 61 E. byn. Fine, blowing hard, 28. 61 61 N. E. Fine, few drops rain.
Little rain, do. do. 129 61
29 62 64 63 603 E. Little rain foren, fine 30 591 63
30 62 624 61 E. Very fine. (aftern. 31 61 62 62 60 | . E. Very fine.
31 62 63 62 61 N. E. Very fine.