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nothing but a desert, in which there was no trace of man or quadruped, but a multitude of birds so tame, as not to fly at the approach of a person. The year following the king sent out sixteen ships with animals of every kind to be left on the islands.' This account agrees very nearly with that of Candido Lusitano, quoted by our author from the Quarterly Review, which fixes the period of their discovery August 15, 1432, and St Mary as the island first discovered. We think these two authorities sufficient to establish the fact, the first for the reasons before given, and the last as that of the biographer of prince Henry, under whose direction all the voyages of discovery of that day were undertaken, who must have looked into the original documents which relate to these events, for the materials of his biography. We would here remark, that the writer, of whom we speak, who is named Candido Lusitano in the Review just mentioned, was a friar of the order of the Oratorio, whose real name was Francis Joseph, and that his Vida do Infante Don Henrique,' which was first published in the Portuguese language, 1758, has since been translated into French and German, although it is there supposed to exist only in the original. It now remains to reconcile this account with that of Dr Robertson and others, which fixes the discovery of the Azores in the year 1449. This apparent discordancy vanishes upon a close examination of the passages which record the event, some of which evidently refer to the time of colonization, and others to the first discovery; and it is through inattention to this circumstance, that the early history of these islands has been involved in obscurity. Antonio Galvano is commonly quoted among the authorities in favor of 1449, and with what truth the following passage from his account of the discoveries of the world, will decide.—In the year 1449, the king Don Alphonso gave license unto his uncle Don Henry to inhabit the islands of the Azores, which were long before discovered.' This is fully explained by a reference to that period of the history of Portugal. King Edward, who succeeded John, his father, in 1433, had but a short and inefficient reign, during the whole of which his brother, prince Henry, was engaged in extending his discoveries along the coast of Africa, and therefore nothing was done for the settlement of the Azores. At his death in 1438, his successor, Alphonso V, was in his minority, during which no decisive measures could be taken in re
gard to them, and it was not until he came of age in 1449, that a formal
grant of them was made to Don Henry, nor is there any reason whatever for believing that a colony was permanently established there before that time. It is however quite probable, that Van der Berg, the Flemish captain, may have touched at one of these islands in 1439, as he is reported to have done by some historians, and that they may have been visited by many adventurers between 1432 and 1449. the account of Thuanus, which says that they were discovered by Bethencourt sixty-eight years before Columbus sailed for the new world, and consequently in 1424, it is too plainly erroneous to need an answer, the Bethencourt of whom he speaks having been dead sixteen years at least.
The error arose, without doubt, from his confounding these islands with the Canaries, of which Bethencourt took possession the beginning of the fifteenth century. It would be equally easy to remove the uncertainties from the history of the other islands, but our attention at this time will be more properly directed to our author, and we will refresh our readers and ourselves with something from him, as soon as we have noticed one more error in the earlier accounts, which is, that Martin Behaim was the discoverer of Fayal. This island, it is universally agreed, was discovered as early as 1460, and inhabited in 1466. Job de Huerter, whose daughter Behaim afterwards married, planted the first colony there, who were all Flemings, and from them the Azores were often called the Flemish isles. Martin Behaim did not leave Nuremberg, the place of his nativity and of his business, which was traffic, until after 1479, as appears by a letter of his own of that year, and consequently could not have discovered Fayal in 1460. The mistake comes from his connexion with Huerter, and was so clearly proved to be such by Murr, whose book appeared in 1778, that we were much surprised to find it persisted in by Mr Otto in his memoir on the discovery of America, written eight years after, and published in the second volume of the American Philosophical Transactions, especially as he claims the attention of the learned, on account of the researches he had been making into the German and Spanish Chronicles. If this were the only error Mr Otto had made in his memoir, it would be trifling, but when he follows Riccioli, and Cellarius, and Stüven, in tearing the laurels from the brows of Columbus to place them on those of Behaim, we should be
glad if he had found some other sanction for the deed, than the name of the oldest scientific society in our country. But with this we have nothing to do at this time.
The character and present condition of the inhabitants of these islands, which is the next view to be taken of them, is one of comparatively little interest. They have no original features; of Portuguese origin, and catholics in religion, they preserve all the manners and customs of their nation and religion with a few modifications, which their insular situation bas produced. Colonial life is generally the infancy and childhood of a portion of the species, but little more than mere animal existence, and the events of its history are for the most part about as important and as diversified, compared with the great history of nations, as a mother's account of her children's daily sports and occupations, compared with the perfect development of minds like Milton's and Newton's. We do not introduce this remark by way of complaint against our author for making us so thoroughly and intimately acquainted with the modes of life and habits of the people of the island, which he has so ably described, but in justification of ourselves for passing so lightly over this part of his work, as we are compelled to do. The island of St Michael, he informs us, is the largest of the Azores, being forty eight miles in its greatest length, and eleven in breadth ; its population in 1818 was eighty thousand, of which twelve thousand were in Ponta Delgado, its chief city. It has a military governor and a principal civil officer, called Corregidor, both of whom are sent out by the crown, and hold their offices for three years only. The people in general are represented as ignorant, the institutions for instruction being few and miserable-acquainted with no science but music, and passionately fond of this—superstitious and consequently narrow-minded, and illiberal in religionthe richer class idle and inactive in their habits, slovenly in their dress, given to games of chance and like amusements, formal in their manners and fond of show in the highest degree. This trait in their character is very pleasantly and graphically described by our author in the following passage:
• Visits of ceremony are usually made soon after dinner, which among the Portuguese is at twelve o'clock, and the party is composed of most of the members of the family. The ladies are dressed in silks and satins of the most gaudy colours, with a profusion of gold ornaments, jewels, &c. and are always attended by
one or more gentlemen in laced coats and embroidered waistcoats, with cocked hats and swords.
* As soon as notice is given of their arrival, the master of the house descends to the street door to receive and conduct the lady to the drawing room, where she is handed to the sofa, left vacant for her, and to which no one else dare approach; the lady of the house takes a chair on her right, the other members of the family seat themselves on her left : and in this manner the visit is continued from one to three hours.
• Evening parties assemble about five in the afternoon, and are conducted with equal formality. The ladies are arranged on one side of the room, the gentlemen on the opposite, little or no conversation takes place, and they often occupy the same seat till the time of departure. Whenever any lady crosses the room all the gentlemen rise and remain standing, till she resumes her seat.” p. 54.
We may infer from this account that politeness to ladies is one of the characteristics of their manners, and it is almost the only commendable quality they possess. The condition of females in some other respects is not the most pleasant; they are immured almost as much as in Mahommedan countries, and are not allowed to be governed by their own choice in forming their matrimonial connexions. It seems, however, that they have learned, as ladies always do, by the exercise of vigilance and their natural ingenuity, to go where they please and marry whom they please, and settle the affair with husbands and fathers afterwards. These are the principal features in the characters and manners of the inhabitants of St Michael, and it will be seen on looking at them that they are not much unlike those which their native country exhibits. Three chapters of the work are devoted to the topics of which we have given an abstract; the four next treat of convents and religious ceremonies, which we pass over without remark to come to the eighth and ninth, which furnish some highly interesting information in regard to the climate, agriculture, and commerce of the island. It is really enough to make one discontented with the blessed land in which we live to list our eyes from Dr Webster's account of the climate of the Azores, and look abroad upon our leafless trees, our snow clad fields, and our shivering men and women, whom all the furs and cider down of Russia and Sweden cannot warm, to know that there is a spot where the thermometer ranges from October to March between 50° and 75° of Fahrenheit, and at the same time to
feel that the most we can do by the aid of furnaces, and pipes, and double windows, and double doors, and Turkey carpets, is to raise the atmosphere of our habitations a few degrees above freezing. Equally inviting is his picture of the appearance of vegetation at the same season. In the months of December and January the air is perfumed by the geraniums, myrtles, and roses, then in full flower—the orange and lemon trees blossom in the months of February and March. At this time the deep and glossy green of the old leaves, the light, fresh tints of those just shooting forth, the brilliant yellow of the ripe fruit, and the delicate white and purple of the flower are finely contrasted with each other, presenting one of the most beautiful sights imaginable. How can one read of such things, and not exclaim with the song of the harper in Wilhelm Meister :
Knows't thou the land which boasts the lemon's bloom,
I might with thee to that bright realm repair.' Whether those, who dwell continually among these enchanting scenes of nature retain any sensibility to their beauties we will not pretend to decide, but we doubt not they value them less for the delight they afford the eye, than for the wealth they bring. The usual produce of a good tree in common years,' says our author, 'is from six to eight thousand oranges or lemons. Some instances of uncommon productiveness have occurred; a few years since twenty six thousand oranges were obtained from one tree, and twenty nine thousand have been gathered from another.' This last, he adds, has never been exceeded; but it has been considerably in the Cape de Verds, -forty thousand being there not unfrequently produced on a single tree. Ashe, with his usual correctness, gives sixty thousand, as the maximum produce of one tree in St Michael, and fifty thousand as the average ; and estimates them at two and a half dollars the thousand, by which rule he makes every tree yield the owner one hundred and twenty five dollars annually, and consequently an acre of land certainly not less than ten thousand dollars. After such an absurd statement as this, Ashe does not venture to mention the quantity exported, but Dr Webster does, and from unquestionable authority, the