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ON the 12th of December, 1843, the members of a special mission from the court of Louis Philippe to that of the Emperor of China, sailed in La Sirène from the port of Brest. The minister plenipotentiary employed on this distant service was M. de Lagrené, there were also five attachés, four delegates from the chambers of commerce, inspectors of customs, secretaries and interpreters, and even an historiographer-M. Xavier Reymond; but it is to the doctor-Yvan, a genuine Provençal— that we are indebted for a peculiarly amusing, graphic, and naïve account of the travels, doings, and impressions of this extraordinary mission.

Dr. Yvan had, like the generality of his countrymen, never before quitted his native soil, and it may be imagined how great was his astonishment as each successive picture in the panorama of the world developed itself before him. First came Teneriffe, with its bigoted beggarly inhabitants, who horrified the mission, by calling its members" Dis Donc;" two expressive words by which the Canarians always designate a Frenchman. Here they also met with what was still more unpleasant to contemplate-a perpetual eye-sore to the jealous Frank-several very happy English families-the head of one of which is ludicrously enough described as having an especial mission to make perpetual ascents of the Peak!

We met English at our very first stage, and from that time forward we met them wherever there was a bifteck to eat, the presence of a beautiful site, and a mild temperature. The English race is the only one in the present day, which, thanks to its riches, enjoys all the good things disseminated over the earth's surface, there is no known part of this vast globe that does not contribute to the enjoyment of some child of foggy England. How is it, that the people who are pre-eminently artistic, who are the most apt to appreciate the wonders of creation, who know best how to identify themselves with the genius of other nations, resign themselves to being confined at home, and do not dispute with their jealous neighbours, the possession of a happiness that God created for the entire species, and not for the satisfaction of one nation only?

Why, indeed? we would also ask. Because they individually, although not collectively as a nation, want the enterprise of Englishmen. There was a Frenchman, however, at Santa Cruz, and that a fellow disciple of Galen too, but he complained bitterly of the extreme salubrity of the islands, where he positively declared it was an act of stupidity to die. There was also a fair Canarian, tall, handsome, well made, who led our doctor-evidently as much devoted to adventure in that particular line which is so much more characteristic of his countrymen than the research of unknown lands-a fruitless expedition by night into dangerous quarters. The doctor was lucky enough, however, to escape, but not without the sacrifice of some sentimental rhapsodies.

The next stage was Rio Janeiro. To our provincial traveller every harbour was a gulf, every river an arm of the sea, every grove a virgin forest, and every tree was a hundred feet high. The streets were invaded by

* Voyages et Récits par le Docteur M. Yvan. De Brest à Bourbon. Six mois chez les Malais. Un an en Chine.

a negro population, the shops were filled with Parisian goods, with wines from Bordeaux, and comestibles from Marseilles and Nantes.

The following is an account of a Rio dinner served up by a brother professional:

A soup was first served up, the aromatic odour of which excited my palate to a remarkable degree; this was followed by an enormous piece of beef, which was accompanied by flour of tapioca boiled in broth, and a sauce of allspice to communicate to it a flavour. This again was followed by eggs and a dish of cooked herbs, so tremendously spiced that I thought I had by mistake swallowed a live coal. Luckily a salad of cucumber and onions, which outflanked an enormous fowl, came to temper the ardour of these dishes. Bread was not served, yet I prefer this article of diet, common though it be, to the insipid taste of tapioca. Pure water is drunk in large hollow cups, and the wines of Madeira and Lisbon are drank in foot-glasses, without water. At the end of this repast bananas, mangoes, guavas, and an exquisite preserve of cocoa were served up, and made me forget the too tropical character of Brazilian dishes.

Then there was the theatre, sanctified like a church-San Pedro d'Alcantara—which, but for a negress at the back of each box, and a few heterogeneous figures here and there, might have been taken for the stage of some province of La Belle France; there was also the presentation to the emperor, young, light-haired, intelligent, but pensive; there were also actually French cabarets and guinguettes in the suburbs. But even a Frenchman did not come all the way to Brazil merely to see France travestied, so a journey into the interior was resolved upon. The objects more particularly proposed in this excursion was a visit to the Serra dos Orgaos, the banks of the Macacou, and Novo Friburgoas its name indicates, a Swiss settlement. A steamer took the party to Piedade, beyond which they were reduced to the mules of the country, which, however, soon led them to the establishment of Mr. Marsh, an eccentric Englishman, according to our author quite rich enough to live upon his income, but who being fond of society keeps an open house in the cool "mountains of the organ," and leaves visitors to settle with the maître d'hôtel. All Englishmen are more or less eccentric in a Frenchman's eyes; but the following portrait, if not coloured, would certainly warrant the individual who sat for it being classed among the world's decided eccentricities. The doctor, let it be understood, was roving about in the Organ Mountains:

Weary with exertion I sat down by the banks of a rivulet, when I heard a voice above my head evidently addressing itself to me, for I was alone in the midst of this vast space; I do not count as any one the negro who accompanied me. The voice addressed me in English. Not knowing a word of that language I contented myself with answering, without turning towards my interlocutor.

"What do you want, sir? I do not understand English."

"Oh! These Frenchmen are such funny fellows," replied the same voice, with a perfect Britannic accent; "they think that every one knows their language; they never speak any other but their own!"

"You are right," I replied, rising up to confront the stranger. "Frenchmen have the folly to believe that their language is the universal language, but they are well punished for their vanity the moment they put their nose out of their country."

My interlocutor stood upon the top of a rock, like a chamois hunter on the border of a precipice, with a firm limb and foot, in leather gaiters, a round jacket and cap, a cutlass by his side, his fresh ruddy countenance framed ia a

red beard, and altogether a frank open appearance that spoke in his favour. After having cast an exploratory look upon me, the son of Albion said,

"I am Mr. Braone (I write his name as he pronounced it), will you com and rest yourself at my house? I like Frenchmen very much."

I gave my name in return, and using the same formula that was employed by my host. I added,

"I will willingly go and rest myself at your house. I like the English


I thought that the strange manner in which our acquaintanceship begun would excuse the exaggeration which is manifest in the latter assertion.

I got up to Mr. Braone's domain by a corkscrew staircase cut in the wall, the modern Prometheus receiving me with outstretched hands. It was easy to be seen, by his rosy countenance, that but slight chains bound him to this solitary rock, and that no vulture gnawed at his heart. A madman or a philosopher could alone have chosen such a site; it remained to be seen with which of the two my new acquaintance was to be ranked.

Mr. Braone introduced me into a little room neatly furnished, it was long and narrow, having three windows, loaded with stores, a divan, and sundry chairs. He placed me at a table, on which were bottles of port, sherry, brandy, and rum, and a great bound book.

As soon as I had seated myself, Mr. Braone begged me to excuse him for a moment, and he disappeared, returning about a quarter of an hour afterwards with a young negress. This girl, apparently about eighteen years of age, was dressed in a white gown with an immense cape, such as English ladies only wear; upon her head was a blue bonnet in similar fashion; upon her feet heavy black leather shoes, laced in front; upon her hands gloves of black thread; and she appeared little at her ease in these accoutrements. The poor creature had the stolid look and foolish countenance of the negroes of the coast; and three deep cicatrices marked her forehead above the nose. The negroes newly introduced into the colonies are almost always marked, so that their identity may at any time be established, whilst the creoles no longer practise that barbarous custom. Mr. Braone placed himself before me, with the negress leaning on his arm, and both bowed to me at the same time; the Englishman said to me, pointing to the young negress :

"C'était, Madame Braone!"

I returned the salutation of this strange couple as seriously as I could; but I must acknowledge I could not find a word wherewith to address them. So the gentleman having made a second bow turned on his heels and once more disappeared, taking with him Madame Braone.

I had not recovered from the state of surprise into which this singular presentation had thrown me, before Mr. Braone reappeared, conducting another negress. This one, much younger than the former, had on evidently the very same garments, and as she was much shorter they trailed along the floor after her. Mr. Braone, rigid in the performance of those customs of his own country which concern presentations, once again bowed before me, saying at the same time:

"C'était une autre, Madame Braone."

At this strange declaration I could no longer refrain from laughing outright. My rudeness, however, in no way disconcerted my host, he merely lifted up his eyes to the ceiling, exclaiming,

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Oh, these Frenchmen; they are astonished at everything!"

No, net precisely at everything, my dear Mr. Braone; but at that which would appear impossible if one had not seen it. I pray you tell me who is the priest who blessed your double marriage? he may be useful upon a similar occasion."

"I am the priest," answered the Englishman, "I married myself."

"My dear Mr. Braone, you will be hung like a dog, and damned as a Jew, if you go on this way. Polygamy is a hanging and damnable crime."

"Oh, oh!" replied the gentleman. "I might be hung in France or England, true; but not in Brazil. No, nor shall I in any way be damned; I live here as did Abraham and Jacob."

"But you are a Christian, I suppose?"

"At London or at Paris, yes; here I am a Patriarch. I know the Bible better than you, my dear. It is the only book that I read for now six long years," he added, pointing to the great volume that lay on the table. "I find in it the rules of my conduct!"

The introductions did not terminate here; there were six little chestnut-coloured beings still to be called in-they were the little Braones! And on going out our traveller was conducted through the kitchen, where an Aunt Chloe was busy roasting two gigantic monkeys.

"If you will only stay," said M. Braone, pointing to the gastronomic apparatus, "there is our dinner!"

But the Frenchman beat a hasty retreat; so closely did the roast resemble the juvenile Browns, that he involuntarily thought of Saturn devouring his own children, and the English patriarch assumed in his terrified eyes the appearance of an ogre.

"When travelling," says M. Yvan, elsewhere, and apropos of another subject," the days are so short, and the hours fly so swiftly, that one has not time to select and to seek elsewhere than in one's notes and reminiscences facts to relate, sites to describe-and little lies most innocent to invent; for what traveller does not lie more or less? I at least do not know any." The above, we suppose, is a specimen of these petits mensonges fort innocens a inventer !

This little invention at the expense of one of the large family of Browns is, however, a mere trifle compared with what our intrepid traveller relates of the wonders of the Serra dos Orgaos. There also was he benighted at the house of one Don Patricio Tejeiro y Campillo, the terror of the neighbourhood. In this man he found-and to the doctor's credit we must say he expresses horror and detestation at the fact-a true disciple of Voltaire, Volney, and Fréret. There also did he contemplate, in a not very dignified manner, through a key-hole, a beautiful naked foot, and another eye met his at the opposite side of that key-hole, which lit up a fire within the doctor's ardent bosom not to be extinguished for nearly twenty-four hours afterwards. There also did he first learn the art of propagating slaves-the fazenda of this Voltarian being, in fact, in the doctor's strong expression, un haras infâme! The doctor, on starting, did try to rebuke the villanous fazendiero, but the latter retorted by a well-administered cut of his whip, inflicted on the traveller's horse, accompanied by the following pithy remark:

"My dear doctor, you pursue impossibilities. It will be just as easy for you to persuade the Brazilians that they ought to emancipate their negroes, as it will be to arrive at good fortune through the key-hole of a door!"

The horrid slave-breeder-he had then seen the learned doctor in his undignified exploration! Worse than all, the inhabitant of this mysteterious fazienda, the proprietor of the infamous haras-Don Patricio Tejeira y Campillo-was found out afterwards to be a Frenchman, whose real name was simply Durand; and the pretty foot belonged to the daughter of a former partner of the same man, whose ruin the monster

had first effected, and he had then availed himself of slave legislation to make victims of his daughters!

If these are further petits mensonges, they certainly are not forts innocents a inventer; for the blood boils before the very thoughts of the dark and infamous crimes that are shrouded under the great cloak of slavery, embracing as it does in its hideous proportions creole, mulatto, and white, as well as negro blood-horrors, not one hundred thousandth part of which ever come to light, but are buried with their victims in their graves, to rise up one day in judgment against their inhuman authors.

As to the good Swiss who came some twenty years back to form a settlement in this land of heathens, they have not prospered much. Novo Friburgo now contains a mixed population of some 1500 Swiss, Brazilians, French, and English, and they have all alike adopted the Portuguese language. The only school is kept by an Englishman. The parish priest was also master of ceremonies in this primitive colony.

On the return of the party to Rio, the Brazilians were in full carnival, which was suceeeded on Ash Wednesday by a procession before the royal family. Everything was conducted with strict regard to etiquette. When the first wooden saint, with spangled robes and powdered hair, arrived before his majesty the emperor, he made as graceful a bow as his ankylosed joints would permit him to do; the next did the same thing, and after nearly forty saints had passed in succession, the great figure of our Saviour came at the end of all to do similar homage to imperial power!

The gorgeous and exuberant vegetation of Rio, its great rivers bordered by gigantic forests, its wild scenes, and population brutalised by perpetual contact with slavery, were exchanged at the Cape of Good Hope for a red, arid soil, with here and there a flower or a tuft of shrubs; but art indeminified the traveller for the loss in natural gifts, and even our Frenchman was struck with the care and attention bestowed by a provident administration upon the streets and walks of Cape Town:

The streets, well paved, are adorned with large and handsome shops; excellent carriages, drawn by capital horses, pass along them. We find here, indeed, a city quite European in aspect, as well also as by its resources to satisfy the thousand demands of a refined civilisation. Here everything reminds us of France, everything brings to mind the order and security that reign in our country, and we find it, as with us, personified in the serious policemen, of whom our sergents de ville are but clever counterfeits. Certainly, we saw nothing like it in the ragged population of Teneriffe, nor in the confusion of Rio, in the midst of that young society, which has all the defects inherent to its age. We saw nothing but the decrepitude of a society brutalised by misery and debauchery in the one, and a feverish, disordered activity in the other. Here we see life in its most normal manifestation, life, laborious, grave, sensible, with all the joys and all the satisfactions that are obtained by the development of our faculties when well employed.

The purity and simplicity of manner and the religious tone that pervades society at the Cape, notwithstanding the number of opposing sects, also struck our traveller forcibly. "Above all," he says, "civil and religious liberty had united to make slavery disappear from the Cape!" Very different was it at that time at " Ile Bourbon;" at that island-a French island, too-one of the first things seen on landing was a female

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