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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.
We saw no wheel-carriages of any fort in the place, which
One reason, perhaps, why art and industry have done fo
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
fingular curiosity of another kind; a small chapel, the whole
We visited the good Fathers of this convent on a Thursday
a turkey roasted for you.” This invitation, which shewed
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
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