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Funchal has been a thousand times clared impossible. Our landlord drew described, and is well worthy of it. ghastly pictures of the state we should Lying as it does in a long curve with be in, declaring we did not know what the whole town visible from the sea, as we were doing ; he called in his wife the houses grow fewer and fewer upon who' lifted up her hands against our the slopes of the lofty mountain back- rashness and crossed herself piously ground, it is curiously theatrical and when we were unmoved; he sumscenic in effect. It is artistically ar-moned the owner of the horses, who ranged, well placed ; a brilliant jewel said the thing could not be done. But in a dark-green setting, and the sea is my friend was not to be persuaded, amethyst and turquoise.
declaring that Englishmen could do I stayed in an hotel whose proprietor anything, and that he would show was an ardent Republican. One even- them. He explained that we were ing he mentioned the fact in broken both very much more than admirable English, and I told him that in theory horsemen, and only minimized his own I also was of that creed. He grew tre- feats in the colonies by kindly exaggermendously excited, opened a bottle of ating mine in America, and finally it Madeira, shared it with me and two was settled gravely that we were to be Portuguese, and insisted on singing the at liberty to kill ourselves and ruin the “ Marseillaise" until a crowd collected horses for a lump sum of two pounds in front of the house, whose open win- ten, provided we found food and wine dows looked on an irregular square. for the two men who were to be our Then he and his friends shouted “ Viva guides. In the morning, at six o'clock, a partida dos Republicanos !” The we set out in a heavy slower of rain. charges at this hotel were ridiculously Before we had gone up the hill a thousmall — only three and fourpence a day sand feet we were wet through, but a for board and lodging. And it was by thousand more brought us into bright no means bad ; at any rate it was sunlight. Below lay Funchal, underalways possible to get fruit, including neath a white sheet of rain-cloud ; the loquats, strawberries, custard apples, sea beyond it was darkened here and bananas, oranges, and the passion- there ; it was at first difficult to distinflower fruit, which is not enticing on a guish the outlying Deserta Islands first acquaintance, and resembles an from sombre fog-banks. But as we anænic pomegranate. Eggs, too, were still went up and up the day brightened twenty-eight for ten-pence; fish was more and more, and when Funchal was at nominal prices.
behind and under the first hills the But there is nothing to do in Funchal sea began to glow and glitter. Here save eat and swim or ride. The cli- and there it shone like watered silk. mate is enervating, and when the east The Desertas showed plainly as rocky wind blows from the African coast it is masses ; a distant steamer trailed a impossible to move save in the most thin ribbon of smoke above the water. spiritless and languid way. It may Close at hand a few sheep and goats make an invalid comparatively strong, ran from us ; now and again a horse or but I am sure it might reduce a strong two stared solemnly at us; and we all man to a state of confirmed laziness grew cheerful and laughed. For the little removed from actual illness. I air was keen and bracing; we were on was glad one day to get horses, in com- the plateau, nearly four thousand feet pany with an acquaintance, and ride above the sea, and in a climate quite over the mountains to Fayal, on the other than that which choked the disnorth side of the island. And it was tant, low-lying town. Then we began curious to see the obstinate incredulity to go down. of the natives when we declared we All the main roads of the Ilha da meant going there and back in one day. Madeira are paved with close-set kidThe double journey was only a little ney pebbles, to save them from being over twenty-six miles, yet it was de-washed out and destroyed by the sudden violent semi-tropical rains. Even and even yet it was far below us. But on this mountain it was so, and our now the path pitched suddenly downhorses, with their rough-shod feet, rat-wards; there were no paving-pebbles tled down the pass without faltering. here, only the native hummocks of The road zigzagged after the manner of rock and the harder clay not yet mountain roads. When we reached washed away. The road was like a the bottom of a deep ravine it seemed torrent-bed, for indeed it was a torrent impossible that we could have got when it rained ; but still our horses there, and getting out seemed equally were absolute in faith and stumbled impossible. The slopes of the hills not. And the Eagle's Cliff grew bigwere about seventy degrees. Every- ger and bigger still as we plunged down where was a thick growth of brush and the last of the spur to a river then trees. At times the road ran almost scanty of stream, and we were on the dangerously close to a precipice. But flat again not far from the sea. But at last, about eleven o'clock, we began to reach Fayal it was necessary to climb to get out of the thick entanglement of again, turning to the left. mountains, and in the distance could Here we found a path which, with see the ocean on the north side of the all my experience of western America island. “Fayal is there,” said our mountain travel, seemed very hard to guide, pointing, as it seemed, but a beat in point of rockiness and steeplittle way off. Yet it took two hours' ness. We had to lead our horses and hard riding to reach it. Our path lay climb most carefully. But when a at first along the back of a great spur quarter of a mile had been done in this of the main mountain ; it narrowed till way it was possible to mount again, there was a precipice on either side and we were close to Fayal. I had on the right hand some seven or eight thought all the time that it was a small hundred feet, on the left more than a town, but it appeared to me no more thousand. I had not looked down the than the scattered huts we had passed, like since I crossed the Jackass Moun- or those we had noted from the lofty tain on the Fraser River in British spur. Our object was a certain house Columbia. Underneath us were vil- belonging to a Portuguese landowner lages — scattered huts, built like bee- who occupied the position of an Enhives. The piece of level ground glish squire in the olden days. Both beneath was dotted with them. The my friend and I had met him several place looked like some gigantic apiary. times in Funchal, and, by the aid of an The dots of people were little larger interpreter, had carried on a conversathan bees. And soon we came to the tion. But my Portuguese was dinnersame stack-like houses close to our table talk of the purely necessary order, path. It was Sunday, and these vil- and my companion's was more exiguous lage folks were dressed in their best than my own. So we decided to camp clothes. They were curiously respect- before reaching his house, and eat our ful, for were we not gente de gravate lunch undisturbed by the trouble of
- people who wore cravats -- gentle- | being polite without words. We told men, in a word ? So they rose up and our guide this, and as he was supposed uncovered. We saluted them in pass to understand English we took it for ing. It was a primitive sight. As we granted that he did so when we ordered came where the huts were thicker, him to pick some spot to camp a good small crowds came to see us. Now on way from the landowner's house. But the right hand we saw a ridge with in spite of our laborious explanations pines on it, suggesting, from the shape he took us on to the very estate, and of the hill, a bristly boar's back; on plumped us down not fifty yards from the left the valley widened ; in front the house. As we were ignorant of loomed up a gigantic mass of rock, the the fact that this was the house, we Eagle's Cliff, in shape like Gibraltar. sent the boy there for hot water to It was nineteen hundred feet high, 'make coffee, and then to our horror we saw the very man whom we just vociferous expostulation came from our then wanted to avoid. We all talked host. He talked fast, waved his hands, together and gesticulated violently. I shook his head, and was evidently bent tried French vainly ; my little Portu- on keeping us all night. We again guese grew less and less, and disap- called in the interpreter, explaining peared from my tongue; and then in that our reputation as Englishmen, as despair we hailed the cause of the liorsemen, as men, rested on our getwhole misfortune, and commanded him ting back to Funchal that night, and, to explain. What he explained I know seeing the point as a man of honor, he not, but finally our friend seemed less most regretfully gave way, and, having hurt than he had been, and he returned his own horse saddled, accompanied to liis house on our promising to go us some miles on the road. We rode there as soon as our lunch was finished. up another spur and came to a kind
The whole feeling of this scene - of of wayside hut where three or four this incident, of the place, the moun-paths joined. Here was congregated a tains, the primitive people — were so brightly clad crowd of nearly a huncurious that it was difficult to think we dred men, women, and children. They were only four days from England. rose and saluted us; we turned and Though the people were gentle and took off our lats. I noticed particularly kind and polite, they seemed no more that this man who owned so much land civilized, from our point of view, than and was such a magnate there did the many Indians I have seen. Indeed, same. I fancied that these people had there are Indian communities in Amer-gathered there as much to see us pass ica which are far ahead of them in as for Sunday chatter. For English culture. I seemed once more in a travellers on the north side of the island wild country. But our host (for, being are not very common, and I dare say on his ground, we were his guests) was we were something in the nature of an most amiable and polite. It certainly event. Turning at this point to the was rather irksome to sit solemnly in left, wc plunged sharply downwards his best room and stare at each other towards a bridge over a torrent, and without a word. Below the open win- here parted from our landowning dow stood our guide, so when it be- friend. We began to climb an imposcame absolutely necessary for me to sible-looking hill, which my horse make our friend understand, or for me strongly objected to. On being urged to die of suppression of urgent speech, he tried to back off the road, and I had I called to Joao and bade him inter- some difficulty in persuading him that pret. Then calm ensued again until he could not kill me without killing wine was brought. Then his daughter, himself. But a slower pace reconciled almost the only nice-looking Portuguese him to the road, and as I was in no or Madeirian girl I ever saw, came in. great hurry I allowed him to choose his We were introduced, and, in default of own. Certainly the animals had had a the correct thing in her native lan- hard day of it even so far, and we had guage, I informed her, in a polite Span- much to do before night. We were all ish phrase I happened to recollect, that of us glad to reach the Divide, and stay I was at her feet. Then, as I knew for a while at the Pouso, or Governher brother in Funchal, I called for the ment House, which was about half-way. interpreter and told her so as an inter- One gets tolerable Madeira there. esting piece of information. She gave It was eight or half past when we me a rose, and, looking out of the came down into Funchal under a moon window, she taught me the correct which seemed to cast as strongly marked Portuguese for Eagle's Cliff — “ Penha shadows as the very sun itself. The d'aguila." We were quite friends. rain of the morning bad long ago passed
It was then time for us to return if away, and the air was warm — indeed, we meant to keep to our word and do almost close — after the last part of the double journey in one day. But a the ride on the plateau, which began at night-time to grow dim with ragged | Charlotte and Emily Brontë and Mrs. wreaths of mist. Our horses were so Browning make up the perfect trinity glad to accomplish the journey that for England of highest female fame." they trotted down the steep, stony Mr. Bayne pronounces Emily Brontë streets, which rang loudly to their iron " one of the most extraordinary women hoofs. When we stopped at the stable that ever lived," and adds that “ many I think I was almost as glad as they ; grounds might be shown for believing for, after all, even to an Englishman her genius more powerful, her promwith his country's reputation to sup- ise more rich than those of her sister port, twelve or thirteen hours in the Charlotte." His examination of the saddle are somewhat tiring. And poems written by the three sisters though I was much pleased to have leads him to a conclusion proclaimed seen more of the Ilha da Madeira than by Charlotte herself, and now accepted most visitors, I remembered that I had by competent critics, that Emily's not been on horseback for nearly five are beyond measure the best. In years.
his “Life of Charlotte Brontë” Mr. | Wemyss Reid passes the same judgment on Emily's poetry, while its abso
|lute merits are attested by its finding a From Temple Bar. I place in Ward's anthology of English EMILY BRONTË.
| verse. Charlotte Brontë would have WHEN Mrs. Gaskell wrote her “Life joyed over such testimony to her sisof Charlotte Brontë," general opinion ter's kinship with “the breed of noble justified her, as it would still justify bloods." her, in regarding Charlotte as undoubt- Emily Brontë was born at Hartsheadedly the most gifted of the three sisters cum-Clifton, near Leeds, in 1819. In
- Charlotte, Emily, and Aune Brontë. 1820 her father removed to Haworth, But the position thus assigned by the and in the parsonage there Emily spent many to the elder sister has not been nearly her whole life. Mrs. Gaskell approved by the critics, and would not has used all her artistic skill to deepen have been accepted by Charlotte her the impression of the gloom that hung self, who was fully alive to Emily's over Haworth parsonage. In the openextraordinary powers, and keenly sen- ing chapter of the life, as she takes sitive to any recognition of them. Of her reader with her on the way from Emily she writes that “under an unso- Keighley to Haworth, she is careful to phisticated culture, ivartificial tastes, strike the key-note of the composition and an unpretending outside lay a se- 1 - a note of utter sadness. The neighcret power and fire that might have borhood of Haworth is so described informed the brain and kindled the as to induce a feeling of depression veins of a hero,” and a regret ever that never leaves the reader. The picwith her was that, with rare excep-ture of Haworth parsonage confirms tions, critics failed to recognize the the mournful impression made by greatness that Emily revealed in the the landscape. That cold, grey house, few compositions swift-coming death overlooking the terribly crowded permitted. With eager gratitude, there- churchyard, seems a fit habitation for fore, did she accept Sydney Dobell's the nervous, timid woman Mrs. Gaskell praise of “Wuthering Heights.” It presents to us as Charlotte Brontë cheered and revived her, although by a woman suffering from ill health, the time the words were written Emily troubled by depression of spirits, was “ chill to praise or blame.” She haunted by superstitious fancies — all would have rejoiced greatly if she aggravated by the intolerable burden of could have so forecast the years as to her unhappy brother's misdoings ; but know what of praise for Emily the this is not the Charlotte Brontë of her future held in store. In emphatic lan- novels — the fastidious, painstaking guage Mr. Swinburne has declared that artist, the fearless, self-reliant woman.
At the same time the story of the lured out blossoms; they loved them Brontë family is full of a pathos not most of all when autumn brought the to be mitigated by auy merely human dusky glow of the heather. Their af. consolations. The three sisters passed fection for each other was a source of through a motherless childhood, un-intense happiness; it proved, indeed, cheered by any large amount of kindly a' source of deep anguish when first sympathy. Their father, to whom they Emily and then Anne was wrapped might naturally have looked for some from loving eyes in death's chill mist; compensation for their great loss, was but not death itself could destroy the a cold, selfish man, who, even in his memory of loving intercourse. Their wife's lifetime, took his meals apart intellectual pursuits were another from his family. Their aunt, who source of delight; they found real and came to Haworth after Mrs. Brontë abiding pleasure in writing their poems died, did her duty nobly, so far as and novels, and in discussing with each concerned everything connected with other the subjects and the plans of housekeeping; but she had no power their compositions. of entering into or even conceiving the Emily's earliest education was got at workings of the active minds around home from her aunt, Miss Branwell, her. Tabby, the faithful servant, was and from her father. Miss Branwell probably the most appreciative and was an excellent housekeeper, and she sympathetic of the grown-up people in succeeded in passing on her skill to that Yorkshire parsonage. And so the her nieces. Charlotte Brontë and her girls grew to womanhood, drawn ever friend Harriet Martineau refute the nearer to each other by similarity of popular generalization that intellectual pursuits and aspirations, and by a women are poor housekeepers. Every strong family affection. The shatter-woman that strays beyond the limits of ing of the family circle was terribly housewifery is not necessarily a Mrs. sudden and complete. Their brother Jellyby. The Rev. Patrick Brontë Patrick, whose conduct had so dis- gave his children lessons, and at the graced and pained his friends and rela- same time looked after their physical tives, died in September, 1848, Emily well-being according to principles in December of the same year, Anne strictly Spartan. Not least important, in May, 1849. Thus, in the short space as a mind-forming influence, were the of eight months Charlotte Brontë was amusements of these precocious chilleft the sole survivor of the Brontë dren. From a very early age they read family, the lonely occupant of the room indiscriminately, wrote, and got up where in days gone by she and her plays ; the interaction of minds so keen sisters, their duties done, discussed and so early active was bound to be their plans and ambitions, as they highly formative. Of school education paced backwards and forwards in the Emily had exceedingly little. Her flickering firelight. Only a few short home yearning was such that frequent years were to pass before Charlotte or prolonged absence from Hawortlı herself was called away, and laid was a physical impossibility — only on
the open, breezy Yorkshire moors By the lone church that stands amid the
could her wild spirit find a congenial moors.
atmosphere. Charlotte has told what Yet it was not always winter on these an effort it cost Emily to spend some sweeping moors. The girlhood of the time with her at a Continental school. three sisters was not without happiness - She was never happy till she carried - quiet, doubtless, but real and whole-her hard-won knowledge back to the some. They found deep joy in the remote English village, the old parsonmoors; they loved them when the age house, and desolate Yorkshire snow lay deep, and the winter winds hills.” The records of her schooldays rushed from the hills ; they loved them testify to her strength of intellect, her when the kindly warmth of summer stubborn tenacity of will, her strong,