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1768. September.

then, having taken off their stockings and jackets, get into it, and with their feet and elbows, press out as much of the juice as they can: the stalks are afterwards collected, and being tied together with a rope, are put under a square piece of wood, which is pressed down upon them by a lever with a stone tied to the end of it. The inhabitants have made so little improvement in knowlege or art, that they have but very lately brought all the fruit of a vineyard to be of one sort, by engrafting their vines: there seems to be in mind as there is in matter, a kind of vis inertia, which refifts the first impulse to change. He who proposes to assist the artificer or the husbandman by a new application of the principles of philosophy, or the powers of mechanifm, will find, that his having hitherto done without them, will be a stronger motive for continuing to do without them ftill, than any advantage, however manifest and considerable, for adopting the improvement. Wherever there is ignorance there is prejudice; and the common people of all nations are, with respect to improvements, like the parish poor of England with respect to a maintenance, for whom the law must not only make a provision, but compel them to accept it, or else they will be still found begging in the streets. It was therefore with great difficulty that the people of Madeira were persuaded to engraft their vines, and some of them ftill obstinately refuse to adopt the practice, though a whole vintage is very often spoiled by the number of bad grapes which are mixed in the vat, and which they will not throw out, because they increase the quantity of the wine: an instance of the force of habit, which is the more extraordinary, as they have adopted the practice of engrafting with respect to their chesnut-trees an object of much less importance, which, however, are thus brought to bear sooner than they would otherwise have done.


1768. September.

We saw no wheel-carriages of any fort in the place, which
perhaps is not more owing to the wantóf ingenuity to invent
them, than to the want of industry to mend the roads, which,
at present, it is impossible that any wheel-carriage should
pass: the inhabitants have horses and mules indeed, excel-
lently adapted to such ways; but their wine is, notwith-
ftanding, brought to town from the vineyards where it is
made, in vessels of goat-skins, which are carried by men
upon their heads. The only imitation of a carriage among
these people is a board, made fomewhat hollow in the mid-
dle, to one end of which a pole is tied, by a strap of whit-
leather : this wretched fledge approaches about as near to
an English cart, as an Indian canoe to a ship's long-boats
and even this would probably never have been thought of
if the English had not introduced wine vessels which are
too big to be carried by hand, and which, therefore, aré
dragged about the town upon these machines.

One reason, perhaps, why art and industry have done fo
little for Madeira is, Nature's having done so much. The
foil is very rich, and there is such a difference of climate
between the plains and the hills, that there is scarcely a
fingle object of luxury that grows either in Europe or the
Indies, that might not be produced here. When we went
to visit Dr. Heberden, who lives upon a considerable ascent,
about two miles from town, we left the thermometer at 74,
and when we arrived at his house, we found it at 66. The
hills produce, almost spontaneously, walnuts, chelnuts, andi
apples in great abundance; and in the town there are many
plants which are the natives both of the East and West In-
dies, particularly the banana, the guava,, the pine-apple or
anana, and the mango, which flourish almost without cul-
ture. The corn of this country is of a most excellent

lity, large grained and very fine, and the island would produce





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it in great plenty; yet most of what is consumed by the inhabitants is imported. The mutton, pork, and beef are also very good; the beef in particular, which we took on board here, was universally allowed to be scarcely inferior to our own; the lean part was very like it, both in colour and grain, though the beasts are much smaller, but the fat is as white as the fat of mutton.

The town of Funchiale derives its name from Funcho, the Portuguese name for fennel, which grows in great plenty upon the neighbouring rocks, and by the observation of Dr. Heberden, lies in the latitude of 32° 33' 33" N. and longitude 16° 49' W. It is situated in the bottom of a bay, and though larger than the extent of the island seems to deserve, is very ill built; the houses of the principal inhabitants are large, those of the common people are small, the streets are narrow, and worse paved than any I ever saw. The churches are loaded with ornaments, among which are many pictures, and images of favourite faints, but the pictures are in general wretchedly painted, and the saints are dressed in laced clothes. Some of the convents are in a better taste, especially that of the Franciscans, which is plain, simple, and neat in the highest degree. The infirmary in particular drew our attention as a model which might be adopted in other countries with great advantage. It consists of a long room, on one side of which are the windows, and an altar for the convenience of administering the sacrament to the fick: the other side is divided into wards, each of which is juft big enough to contain a bed, and neatly lined with gally-tiles; behind these wards, and parallel to the room in which they stand, there runs a long gallery, with which each ward communicates by a door, so that the fick may be separately supplied with whatever they want without disturbing their neighbours. In this convent there is also a 3


1768. September.

fingular curiosity of another kind; a small chapel, the whole
lining of which, both sides and cieling, is composed of hu-
man sculls and thigh bones; the thigh bones are laid across
each other, and a scull is placed in each of the four angles.
Among the sculls one is very remarkable; the upper and the
lower jaw, on one side, perfectly and firmly cohere; how
the oflification which, unites them was formed, it is not
perhaps very easy to conceive, but it is certain that the pa-
tient must have lived fome time without opening his mouth:
what nourishment he received was conveyed through a hole-
which we discovered to have been made on the other fide,
by forcing out some of the teeth, in doing which the jaw
also seems to have been injured.

We visited the good Fathers of this convent on a Thursday
evening, just before supper-time, and they received us with
great politeness; “ We will not ask you, said they, to sup.
“ wiih us, because we are not prepared, but if you will
« come to-morrow, though it is a fast with us, we will have :

a turkey roasted for you.” This invitation, which shewed
a liberality of sentiment not to have been expected in a con-
vent of Portuguese Friars at this place, gratified us much,
though it was not in our power to accept it.

We visited also a convent of nuns, dedicated to Santa Clara, and the Ladies did us the honour to express a particular pleasure in seeing us there: they had heard that there were great philosophers among us, and not at all knowing what were the objects of philosophical knowlege, they asked us several questions that were absurd and extravagant in the highest degree.; one was, when it would thunder; and another, whether a spring of fresh water was to be found any where within the walls of their convent, of which it seems they were in great want. . It will naturally be supposed that our answers to such questions were neither satisfactory to



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1768. September.

the Ladies, nor in their estimation, honourable to us; yet their disappointment did not in the least lessen their civility, and they talked, without ceasing, during the whole of our visit, which lasted about half an hour.

The hills of this country are very high; the highest, Pico Ruivo, rises 5,068 feet, near an English mile, perpendicularly from its base, which is much higher than any

land that has been measured in Great Britain. The sides of these hills are covered with vines to a certain height, above which there are woods of chesnut and pine of immense extent, and above them forests of wild timber of various kinds not known in Europe; particularly two, called by the Portuguese Mirmulano and Paobranco, the leaves of both which, particularly the Paobranco, are so beautiful, that these trees would be a great ornament to the gardens of Europe.

The number of inhabitants in this island is supposed to be about 80,000, and the custom-house duties produce a revenue to the King of Portugal of 20,000 pounds a-year, clear of all expences, which might easily be doubled by the product of the island, exclusive of the vines, if advantage was taken of the excellence of the climate, and the amazing fertility of the foil; but this object is utterly neglected by the Portuguese. In the trade of the inhabitants of Madeira with Lisbon the balance is against them, fo that all the Portuguese money naturally going thither, the currency of the island is Spanish ; there are indeed a few Portuguese pieces of copper, but they are so scarce that we did not see one of them : the Spanish coin is of three denominations; Pistereens, worth about a shilling; Bitts, worth about fix pence; and Half bitts, three pence.

The tides at this place flow at the full and change of the moon, north and south; the spring tides rise seven feet per

pendicular, 7

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