these heaps was placed a large dish of boiled black French beans (Feijaens), with a large piece of fat pork (Toucinho) in
the midst of them; while on the other was laid a dish of stewed fowl.
We had also roast pork and blood sausages. From these dishes and heaps
every one helped himself. As a vegetable we had a dish of cabbage-palm (Euterpe edulis), which
is very tender and delicious, tasting not unlike asparagus. During
dinner we were each furnished with a cup of Lisbon wine; and after it
we had various kinds of sweetmeats. Besides ourselves, there were only
our host and two of his sons. Indeed, his wife and daughters I did not
see till I had been several times at the house. The two girls were
rather pretty, but they could neither read nor write. The father would
not allow them to learn either, from fear that they would take to the
reading of novels, and the writing of love-letters. He was himself a
most inveterate huntsman, being almost always in the woods in pursuit
of game. He was a capital shot, and had killed more tapirs with his own
hand than any one in the vicinity.
also visited occasionally a coffee plantation called Constantia, about
fifteen miles distant from Mr. March's, belonging to M. De Luze, a
Swiss, who had been many years in the country. It is situated in a flat
valley surrounded by sloping hills, and is one of the most lovely spots
I have ever seen. In the neighbourhood of it there are two other coffee
plantations belonging to Germans, but they have all ascertained that
the elevation is too great for the successful cultivation of coffee.
Since then M. De Luze has sold his estate to Mr. March, and bought a
larger one, in a fine coffee country on the banks of the Rio Parahiba.
In the latitude of Rio, coffee does not succeed at a much greater
elevation than 2,000 feet. At Mr. March's the bush grows well, but it
never ripens its fruit properly.
most distant journey I made, was to an estate about twenty miles north
of Mr. March's Fazenda. About the middle of April, Mr. Heath received a
note from the lady to whom it belongs, Dona Rita Thereza da Roza,
asking him as a great favour to ride over and take me along with him to
see her little daughter, who a few days before had been attacked with
apoplexy and paralysis.