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but whether it was the appetite or the fruit
that was so superior, I know not.

The fruits, the flowers, the birds exposed
for sale, were all magnificent; but the city of
Rio is much dirtier than, and very inferior to
Bordeaux, Havre, or Marseilles.

On the following day after a very bad
dinner on steaks, which it would be a libel to
compare with English horseflesh, I went to
the celebrated Madame Finot's for some of
her feather flowers, one of the few manufactures
established in Brazil. In a long lofty
room, opening on a verandah, I found the
mistress of the establishment, a well-dressed,
coquettish Frenchwoman, seated in the midst
of at least forty girls, of all ages, from ten to
twenty, and of all colours, from jet black to
the palest shade of mixed blood; some of them
extremely pretty, and all attired in very
becoming costumes. Baskets full of feathers,
each of some colour and shade of the richest
dyes, were arranged down the centre of the
room. From these their nimble fingers were
engaged in fashioning exact representations
of the most gorgeous tropical flowers, as well
as roses, carnations, tulips, camellias, and all
the garden favourites of Europe. Beside the
baskets of feathers, all around hung perches
and cages containing parrots and other birds
of great value even in Brazil; numbers flew
about the room like tame pigeons, and every
now and then there was a regular chase and
flutter, when the little mulattoes had to pluck
some feather from a living subject to finish
the wreath of a queen or a princess. In a
detestable country, Madame Finot's bright birds
and merry girls are almost my only pleasant
recollection.

"CAPE" SKETCHES.

THERE is an old Cape proverb which is not
at all encouraging to new comers. It
pronounces it to be a land of "flowers without
scent, birds without song, and rivers without
water." It is indeed true that the indigenous
flowers, varied and beautiful as they are, are
almost destitute of odour; though of course
those which have been transplanted from
other climes retain their original perfume.
The varieties of birds of lovely plumage and
of every size, are almost innumerable; but
while their chirping is incessant, not a song is
ever heard in a Cape wood. With regard to
rivers, immense channels are to be seen in all
parts of the country, which, if filled with
water, would form noble streams navigable
for hundreds of miles, yet many of them have
never a drop of water in them (except what
may collect from the rain in hollows), and
others are mere bubbling brooks at ordinary
times, though enormous roaring torrents after
a thunder storm in the distant mountains,
from whence they take their rise.

We, in England, have not much to boast of
in the way of navigable streams; but we
know little of the want of water for agricultural
or manufacturing purposes. "A never-
failing spring" of water on a Cape farm is a
great attraction in an auctioneer's advertisement,
and though, probably, the said spring
may be a miserable little affair, it will at least
double the value of the farm that possesses it.
Artesian wells are much talked of, but I
never knew of one being sunk. Even common
wells are rare, though in almost every place
water is found, when bored for, at no great
depth below the surface. On a great
proportion of farms, the stock and their master
depend entirely on the supply of water from
the clouds, collected in the " vleys," or ponds
dug on their farms. A glass of this water is
exactly the colour of pea-soup, and if you are
"a freshman" in the colony, you will feel
considerable hesitation in putting it to your
lips; yet, when you come to travel much in
the land, you will often have to long in vain
for the luxury of such a draught.

I was travelling over towards the north-
east of the colony, and for eighteen hours my
oxen had tasted no water. The poor brutes
were, consequently, so faint and weary, that I
began to fear for their lives. Still it was
necessary to urge them on that we might
come to some oasis in the desert. Suddenly,
the whole span of a dozen set up a roar, threw
their tails straight up, and dashed along with
the waggon at a gallop. My first thought
was "a lion," and I seized my double-barrelled
gun to make ready, but in a few seconds my
fears were allayed, for right a-head of me lay
a large "vley" of water, to which the cattle
were making at their best speed, and into
which they dragged the wagon, and slacked
their thirst without waiting for the ceremony
of being outspanned. They had scented the
water long before they could see it. We had
previously passed several empty "vleys," dried
up from the long drought.

A compensating provision of nature gives
to the part of the colony most exposed to
drought, a succulent little birch, growing in
tufts, like the knots of hair on a negro's head.
It is called "Karoo," and is a substitute for
grass. Cattle which feed on this herb, scarcely
require water: but animals coming from the
grass country do not relish it, and will not
touch it for a long time. I have lost cattle
in consequence of this want of education on
their part.

The PRICE OF LAND varies in different parts
of the colony according to its situation in
reference to the markets. Perhaps the
average price may be stated at about eight to
ten shillings per acre. Thus, a farm of two
thousand acres is worth from eight hundred
to one thousand pounds. It is generally sold
at a credit of one, two, and three yearsthe
purchase-money in the meantime bearing
interest at six per cent (the legal interest of
the colony). Farms are seldom of a less
extent than two thousand acres: occasionally
they are much larger. They may also be

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