South America Today - Rio de Janeiro
( Originally Published 1911 )
THE Orissa is an old coasting steamer of the Pacific Line, which calls at the western ports of South America, beginning at Callao, and passing through the Straits of Magellan, pushes as far as Montevideo, whence Santos and Rio de Janeiro are reached on the way to Southampton, the end of the journey, with a halt at La Palice. The Orissa is not a rapid boat, but she is very staunch, and if her internal arrangements, of the oldest description, be not more than rudimentary, the voyage I made in her was very agreeable, thanks to the company of the captain, who I found knew India well. A heavy sea and a head wind made us a day late—a fair record in a journey only supposed to cover three days. The greatest trial on board was the music that played at mealtimes, when, without any provocation, three old salts, of pacific aspect as befitted servants of their Company, made daily distracting attempts to draw piercing discords from instruments which proved a cruel test of the harmony of our constitutions. One blew wildly into the little hole of a metal rod which shrieked in response; the second scraped furious sounds from his strings; while a piano, built probably about the time of Columbus, vainly endeavoured to bring the others into tune. It took an alarming quantity of ginger and Worcester sauce to settle the nerve-cells so cruelly exasperated by the rapid absorption of food in the discordant tumult of this orchestra. We know the ancients believed in the soothing influence of divine harmony. I wondered whether the Orissa's fife might not have had something to do with the saraband of the wild waves we encountered. I lay the doubt before the directors of the Company.
One thing is certain; at dawn, with no music at all, and (remarkable concidence) with a sea that had suddenly calmed down, we entered the Santos River. A long arm of the sea between low-lying shores ending in a vast bay framed in high mountains; marshy plains covered with a tangle of tropical vegetation, or a low line of hill buttresses; all that is visible of the land seems to be sending upwards to the blue sky its tall shoots of foliage, which testify to the effect of the vivifying orb on the quivering sap of the tropics. On all sides, under the swaying lacework of green leaves, there appeared brightly painted cabins, which set a note of bold colour in the sea of verdure. Pirogues made from the hollowed trunks of trees and painted in the crude tones beloved of savages glide up and down the transparent waters. Nothing here that recalls Europe. This is where the curtain rises on the New World. Shadowy forms, in strange draperies, pass to and fro before the little cabins whose colouring gives them a strong resemblance to children's toys, and then suddenly disappear as though swallowed up in the luminous mystery of all this foliage. The relative proportions of all things are new here. Nature has broken her usual limit in these countries and developed immoderately, leaving man, by comparison, dwarfed and insignificant. Too small, he appears in a world too large. But already he is engaged in taking a revenge, as is shown by the disappearance of the yellow fever from the marshes of Santos. We know that no other town has been more cruelly tried. The simple fact of drying up the marshes when the harbour was building sufficed to destroy the scourge. The low shores of Santos Bay are still covered with salt marshes where little scarlet crabs clamber amongst the brushwood, but every trace of fresh water has disappeared, and we know that it is only in fresh water that the dangerous mosquito can live.
The Orissa moored alongside the quay, amongst the large cargo-boats down whose yawning holds long lines of porters were flinging bags of coffee. Each in turn advanced with alert step along the swinging plank, and as soon as the man in front of him had deposited his sack the same movement of the shoulders, repeated immediately after by the man behind, gave an uninterrupted cascade of yellow bags, falling from the docks, where were heaped the mountains of berries, to the vast bosom of the ship. You, who, like me, have heard Creole laziness abused a thousand times, learn that the " lazy " Brazilian only relaxes this hard labour for the period strictly necessary for rest; and not even in the hottest part of the summer, when the sun is at its fiercest, does he indulge in so much as a siesta. In Brazil, indeed, the siesta is unknown. I do not mention the fact in order to reproach Europeans. My only intention is to do justice to the toilers whose reputation has suffered at the hands of the ignorant and foolish.
To return to Santos. We are impelled towards the quay in the first place by a strong desire to penetrate to the very heart of the marvellous landscape, and scarcely taking the time to shake the French hands outstretched to us on the landing-stage, we set out for the beach of Saint Vincent. Oh, surprise ! A French hotel, all white, and redolent of the modern watering-place, where there awaits us a table decorated with orchids. But behold a tramway that runs to the end of the beach ! In these countries to be in a tramcar is to be in the open air. So we follow the wide curve of silvery sand, bordered with villas whose gardens are enchanting with flowers and unexpected plants, whilst on the rocks of the small wooded islets, a cable's length from the shore, high waves are breaking stormily to melt softly away at our feet. The first impression is one of vigorous vegetation. In my first delightful surprise it seemed this could never be surpassed. We stop at Saint Vincent, and then return.
According to the legend, it was in the little Bay of Saint Vincent that Calval with his warriors and monks first landed on these shores, thus discovering Brazil, which it only remained to conquer and convert. Naturally the event has been commemorated in stone and bronze. But Calval himself has reminded us that, if we would land in time, we must first catch our boat. A hasty lunch, and we are again on board the Orissa, which to-morrow at sunrise will enter the bewitching Bay of Rio.
The entry is triumphal in this inland sea encircled by high mountains, with bristling summits like rocks in battle array, but relieved by sunny shores, with flowery and mysterious islands, where the dazzling lights of sky and sea are blended under the sensuous sunlight in the clear shade of lofty leafage. At four o'clock I was already on deck. Haze, a fine rain—there will be nothing visible at all. Jagged rocks emerge from the mists, which all at once conceal them from view. We are moving through a cloud. Two forts, the Sao Joao and the Santa Cruz, guard the entrance for the sake of appearances. In one of the recent revolutions they bombarded each other for a whole month for the entertainment of the inhabitants of Rio, who used to come out to the quays of an afternoon to criticise the firing. At the moment they are in a spasm of peace. Farther away, we are shown the soft outline of the Minas-Geraes, the redoubtable Dreadnought which—but we must not anticipate the story. Then come the hideous steeples of Gothic sugar-icing which the Emperor Dom Pedro II. felt himself called to place on the most ridiculous palace that ever disgraced a small island. We stop here, for the quays are not sufficiently extensive for us to draw up alongside. Now we can see the town, with its spots of bright colour on the misty background of swelling green hills. We have reached Rio de Janeiro—the January River—so called by the first comers from Portugal, who took the bay for a river as the Spaniards had done for the La Plata estuary. Perhaps in January—that is, in the height of the summer—these explorers had like us the excuse of a fog, for tropical vegetation is only possible when there are alter-nations of rain and sunshine such as the climate of Rio abundantly supplies. It is the rarest of phenomena to see the horizon perfectly clear. The distance is invariably wreathed with a light haze which softens the violence of the colours. After the fierce sun, a refreshing rain; after the shower, the joy of warm light. For the moment we are enjoying a fog. A bark hails us, the national flag flying at her bows. She brings a delegation from the Senate, with their Speaker at their head, come to offer a brotherly welcome to their French colleague. Next arrived the brother of the President of the Republic, who acts as his chief Secretary, and who was accompanied by an officer of the military household of the Minister of the Marine. Many complimentary speeches were made as usual, and a handful of brother journalists followed, having among them M. Guanabara, editor of the Imprensa. What touched me most was the way in which they all spoke of France and her role of high civilisation which she plays in the world. The President of the Senate, M. Bocayuva, whose son is just now Brazilian chargé d'affaires in Paris, is a Republican of the old school and unanimously respected by all parties. One realised as one listened to the heartiness with which he called up a picture of the moral authority of France that he was in close harmony with the traditions of the French Revolution. In this way are we in full communion of mind and heart with the main currents of thought and feeling which are carrying the nations of the world towards the better forms of justice and liberty. Here in Brazil, too, I shall find once more my country, as I quickly discovered in the course of the conversation I had with Senor Bocayuva during our drive from the Farou Quay to the handsome house which the Government has done me the honour to place at my disposal.
The sun had scattered some of the fog by the time we reached the Avenida Central, a magnificent highway which would be the pride of any capital city, and as the motor-car sped swiftly down it or along that equally fine promenade above the quays jutting into the bay, whose features now grew gradually visible, and the gay villas with their frame of gorgeous foliage, we got a highly attractive view of the town, softly caressed on one hand by the luminous waters with their ever-changing horizons, and on the other, ever threatened by invasion of the tropical forest, struggling with the eagerness of the builder, whose efforts are ever hemmed in by parks and gardens and trees of all sorts that spring up from the soil at haphazard, evidences of the irresistible force of life that is here in Nature. Since the day when the sea brought man to the country, the struggle for existence has continued between the encampment of the bud-ding city and the impenetrable thickets that ever repelled the invader. On the spurs, the ledges of the round green hills, everywhere the painted cabin has obtained a footing facing the bay, cutting out for itself with the axe openings through which may enter the daylight. Below, the town, which spreads out to the beach, would appear to be cut up by the farthest buttresses of the mountain range, and, pending the time when they will be tunnelled, the Flumineuse will still be obliged to make many a long detour to reach any given point. But why linger in the city, except to mention the Municipal Theatre, which cost far too many millions, and the pleasing Monroe Palace built for the Pan-American Congress? Even the parks, whose extraordinary trees draw loud exclamations of surprise from us every minute, cannot compete in interest with the forest. We can never get tired, however, of the wondrous promenade on the quays, seven kilometres in length, and presently to be doubled. Following the graceful lines of the sea front, with its array of flowers, whence at every moment we get a new view of the bay, we drink in the ineffable light that makes the sea palpitate and the mountain leap in a single voluptuous rhythm. In the distance a white line, Nicterchy, the capital of the State of Rio (40,000 inhabitants) ; at the entrance of the bay the tall cone of granite known as the " sugar-loaf "; then the green islets, the rocks, the mountains that melt in the blue gauze of the horizon, and if you turn round, the high " Corcovado," hovering over the city, from whose summit the whole expanse of the bay will be revealed to us—rapidly changing scenery whose excess of living quality defies pen or pencil. The infinite variety of the Rio Bay (140 kilometres in extent 1) with all its hidden indentations in which lie screened from view so many richly wooded shores, where new forests are in process of formation, is beyond all possibility of description. I have said enough : I have seen it, and my dazzled eyes will not soon forget the picture.
My first visit was, of course, to the President of the Republic, who was about to yield his place to Marshal Hermès da Fonseca, whose visit to Lisbon, planned in all ignorance, was destined to coincide with the Portuguese Revolution. A warm reception from Senor Nilo Peçanha, who showed me round his fine park, where royal palms which are one of the glories of Rio de Janeiro form a gorgeous avenue down to the very shores of the bay. The Baron de Rio Branco (a family ennobled under the Empire), Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1902, was at one time Consul-General in Paris. He knew many of our public men and received me with the cordial simplicity of a friend. " The Baron," as he is commonly designated, enjoys sovereign authority in all matters pertaining to the external policy of the country. Friends and foes unite to leave him a free field in this respect, and all unite, too, in praise of his remarkable talents as diplomat. He does not conceal the fact that his sympathies are with France, though his admiration is reserved for Germany. The German Military Mission to Brazil was his idea, but it came to nothing. Some one in his immediate entourage told me he considers the German instructor to be specially capable of instilling into Brazilian troops the sense of military duty. Too many instances of insubordination—some very serious—have indeed shown the urgent necessity for such teaching. But can Senor de Rio Branco really think it possible to instil into the mind and manners of a democracy the doctrine of absolutism in military duty such as William II. has laid it down in repeated public utterances? If such absurd stress had not been laid upon the supposed rivalry between the States of Saint Paul and Rio de Janeiro, I believe that Baron de Rio Branco must have admitted like every one else the merits of our admirable French Military Mission to Saint Paul, of which I shall have occasion presently to speak again. If I may speak freely, I do not consider it diplomatic for France to leave so important a post as Rio for more than one year in the hands of a simple chargé d'a ffaires, no matter how experienced.
Whatever happens, two features in the Brazilian character will to my thinking remain predominant. They are democratic idealism and a consequent innate taste for French culture. This was brought powerfully home to me at the official reception with which I was honoured by the Senate. This demonstration was carried by a vote that was almost unanimous, there being only one against. In a public sitting, the speaker chosen for the occasion seated me on his right hand and then made in French a noble speech, in which after the usual compliments he declared that his country also upheld the glorious traditions of the French Revolution. Then a senator from the Amazon, Senor Georges de Moraès, got up to speak, and, also in French, delivered an admirable harangue on the role of French culture in the general evolution of civilised society towards social justice and liberty. This oratorical effort was frequently interrupted by the unanimous applause of an audience quick to grasp the crisp outlines of our splendid dogmas of Latin idealism. This magnificent homage to my great country, coming from the highest representatives of the noble Brazilian democracy, itself invariably attuned to the realisation of humanitarian justice, touched me profoundly, and I could but say how great was my joy to hear my nation spoken of with the respect and gratitude due to the grandeur of its action on the world. I wished I had at my disposal the same eloquence to express, in my turn, the deep gratitude I felt for this movement towards France, whose history has, by some fate, been so grievously checkered by many painful conflicts. What encouragement there is for us in this brilliant demonstration of disinterested cordiality ! What hopes for the future may be founded on this bond of union between peoples working equally in the cause of democracy, and towards a great and universal peace based on the rights of man in all civilised continents ! I endeavoured to make this clear, and the simple words of brotherly friendliness that sprang to my lips roused unanimous applause from the benches of the august assembly. I wish I could have done better. I trust my good intentions will speak for me. Never did I feel so strongly the influence of the loftiness of human nobility and its power to raise our minds to the highest aspirations after justice and liberty. Before bringing the sitting to an end the President called for three cheers for France, for President Fallières, and for the guest of the Senate. And all the assembly on their feet, with the gravity of suppressed emotion, gave three times the cry of " Five la France!" amid the applause of the spectators.
I am sorry to say I cannot speak of Brazil in the way I should like. I was there only three weeks, just long enough to recognise how great an interest is attached to all the developments of this marvellous land in the different departments of human intellectual and physical activity, but far too short a time to warrant any opinion of the prominent men I met there, or on the multiple questions which are raised by the political and social progress of this democracy. I was able to converse with only a few politicians, and in my anxiety to see everything, I touched on too many subjects in too brief a space to have succeeded in assimilating the very complex impressions which might have enabled me to speak with some degree of authority. I can therefore only offer to the public a few rapid impressions for which I claim only the merit of sincerity.
When I said that the ancestor of my friend Senor Acines de Mello had given a performance of Voltaire's tragedies in his home, 1400 kilo-metres from the coast, in 1780, it sufficed to show that neither general civilisation nor French culture is a new thing in Brazil. The Republic of Brazil is an " ancient " Latin community which can show titles of intellectual nobility and lofty social ambitions. Its economic development, if less sudden in origin than that of the Argentine, is none the less remarkable in all respects and holds out no less hopes for the future. Coffee, india-rubber, timber, sugar, cotton, rice, and mines are a source of wealth that the future will reveal. There are immense stretches of country that are and must long remain unexplored. The effort of a fine race has too long been held in check by slavery, but its incessant activity has already produced astonishing results. For numerous reasons, one of the principal being the domination of theocracy, neither Spain nor Portugal has up to the present been able to give in modern Europe the full measure of their force. In South America they are making ready a magnificent revenge, which, however, will not, I hope, prevent their taking and keeping in Europe the position that is their due. If I may venture to make a hasty judgment from what I was able to see, the distinctive traits in this people would appear to be an irresistible force of impetuosity in an invariably gracious guise, and every talent necessary to insure the fulfilment of their destiny. I have spoken of the crossing of the race in the Argentine, where the black element has been reabsorbed. It is not the same in Brazil, where at every step one comes across the African half-breed amongst the masses. The Portuguese woman and the negro seem to get on well together, as is evidenced by the innumerable young half-breeds to be seen in their serene bronze nudity at the doors of the cabins. It is difficult to estimate the general results of this mixture. The negro has the reputation of being idle, childlike, and kind except in his out-bursts of rage. As I have said before, the vice of laziness cannot be imputed to the Brazilian.
It may be that African blood is partly responsible for the demonstrations of emotional impressionability and unexpected violence that sometimes take hold of the populace. I dare not carry this argument too far. Yet, to my mind, the mutiny of the crews of the Saint Paul and Minas-Geraes, as of the troops of marines in barracks in the island of Las Cobras, was largely due to the excitable African blood. The "governing classes" seem untouched by this in-fusion of blood. But for some reason or other, their virtues and their defects seem remarkably well adapted to the corresponding characteristics of the masses. Idealists with a cult for intellectuality, equally ready for higher culture as for the hard labour without which nothing is ever achieved, gentle and violent by turns, or even simultaneously—the variable sons of this soil, less disunited, however, than one might sup-pose, may invoke in their favour with a just pride a work already grandiose though but a feeble embryo by comparison with what it must in time become.
In every department of modern activity Brazil need have no fear of the criticism of Europe, for she possesses men comparable with any of our chiefs of industry. Even a short visit suffices to show that there is no lack of either intellectual quality or business method. But the field is so vast that it would need innumerable legions to fully occupy it. Considered in this light, every effort appears totally inadequate in comparison with its immense possibilities. Admirable labourers they are, none the less, hard at work, in their modesty and perseverance, with no wish to spare themselves, and asking nothing from the struggle with inanimate Nature but ground for fresh hope. Does this imply that in certain directions of public action there is no wavering visible? How happy would modern society be if this could be said only of Brazil ! Politicians are never in very high favour with the intellectuals of a country. I will say nothing against either the one or the other. The celebrated retort : " ' Nothing' is a wide field: reign there ! " may with some slight modification be applied to the most gifted of men when they persist in riding the eternal hobby of the ideal heedless of earthly conditions. Some of the problems with which humanity has wrestled for centuries have been solved by a single illuminating word uttered in calm authority by men who would not have shone in roles that call for a gradual development of character. Politicians, on the other hand, whatever their shortcomings—and I must acknowledge that, in a moment of trial, they are frequently disappointing—have yet this merit, that they play the labourer's part. They have to handle every kind of problem, not to find a graceful solution that will delight the intellectuals, but to extract therefrom certain conditions of private and public life which ac-cording to events may make the fortune or misfortune of the public. It may be that in Brazil they are too much attached to the higher culture always to give sufficient consideration to the common necessities of our daily life. It may be that they are too intrinsically Latin al-ways to be able to resist the temptation of rushing events. These defects, if they really exist, are being cured. The politicians with whom I had an opportunity of exchanging views, both at Saint Paul and at Rio de Janeiro, would bear comparison, whether as regards culture or systematic firmness in action, with any in the world. An aristocracy had grown up around the person of the Emperor, the last remnants of which are now being fast submerged in the current of democracy. I shall mention no names, for I do not want these hasty notes to bear the smallest resemblance to a distribution of prizes. Let me only mention one case—a very rare one in Latin nations—of a leader who is universally obeyed. I have no doubt that Senor Pinhero Machado possesses all the qualities of a leader deft in handling men, but it is less his talents that astonish me than his self-abnegation, which has brought into line so many politicians of Latin temperament.
The more momentous political questions of the day relate to organisation, there being no room for any serious attacks on principles that have been proclaimed and incorporated in the Constitution of the Republic. It is in practice that difficulties are apt to occur. The Empire showed a marked tendency towards centralisation. The Republic, being, like the United States, a federation of States, is based on the theory of pure autonomy. But if the autonomy of these States is to be more than a vain word, some way must be found of constituting in each province of a territory which is eighteen times as large as France, and contains twenty millions of inhabitants unequally scattered over it, a sufficient force of intelligent determination to create a select governing body which will express the intellectual and moral capacity in the masses; otherwise democracy becomes only tyranny disguised. In some States, notably in that of Saint Paul, there is obviously a superabundance of energy. In others there is not enough. Time and community of effort can alone remedy this condition of affairs. Meantime, the balance is destroyed, and the Constitution en-joys principally a theoretic authority. It is inevitable that the result should be some confusion in Press and Parliament, although the strife is rather one of dogma than of action, and lies principally between Federals and Unionists.
Religious questions are practically outside the public domain. The separation of Church and State in Brazil goes with a papal nuncio, by means of whom South American innocence sup-poses the fact adds a distinction which should dazzle the outer world. I fancied that some of the public men viewed the activity of the religious Orders with apprehension, but I will say nothing further on the point.
Laws for the protection of agricultural and industrial workers are here unknown. The Brazilian Republic will want to place itself on an equality with other civilised countries on this head as soon as possible, for already a number of colonists in lands where the administration has shown itself slow to take action have pro-tested so loudly against the grave abuses that result that some Latin countries have been obliged to forbid emigration to Brazil. Take heed lest the States invoke their sovereign rights, which would be tantamount to declaring the central authority void. This throws light on the obstacle which now confronts progress on these vital questions—namely, the lack of an adequate Constitution in some of the States for the work of self-government, and of balance between those which have already a highly perfected civilisation and the districts theoretically on a footing of equality, but whose black or Indian population can only permit of a nominal democracy stained by those irresponsible outbursts which characterise primitive humanity.
As might be expected, the same remarks could apply to public instruction. There is in certain States—as, for instance, Saint Paul—a magnificent group of schools which respond to the general consciousness of a pressing need for the spread of higher education; in other parts there is a lamentable deficiency.
It was, moreover, inevitable that the Federal Government itself should suffer from the unequal distribution of its military effectives. The State of Saint Paul is justly proud of an armed force which it owes to French instructors. I need not criticise the Federal army, which is officered by men of fine public spirit; but all agree that the force needs reorganising. There is no question, of course, of preparing for war; but the public interest requires that a military force should be at the disposal of the Government, capable of enforcing obedience to the laws. To me it seems more urgent than the acquisition of Dread-noughts, which swallowed up millions of money and gave nothing but mutiny in return. Naval discipline necessarily suffered by the amnesty imposed by men who had just massacred their officers. As we know, this deplorable incident was followed by a mutiny amongst the marines stationed in the island of Las Cobras, which, however, for once, was severely put down. I inspected this body of troops at the manoeuvres arranged for my visit. The young officers gave me an excellent impression, and the barracks certainly left nothing to be desired; but there were far too many coloured men in the ranks.
Who can tell the effect produced on these impulsive natures by the capitulation of the public governing body before a military rebellion? The rebels cruelly expiated the faults of others by adding thereto their own.
As regards municipal administration, the greatest services have been rendered to the city by the Prefect, who interests himself especially in his schools amongst a long list of other duties. But the man who deserves the most from his country is Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, who has devoted himself to the improvement of the sanitary condition of the city and has instituted a service of sanitary police stationed at every point of contamination, and who, by dint of unwearying labour, has freed Rio of yellow fever. The Government has lent him generous pecuniary assistance in his work, but what is money without the man's perseverance and zeal? As we know, the disease is propagated by the sting of the female mosquito (the Stegomya calopus) just before the egg-laying season. In 1903 Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, having obtained from Congress all the necessary powers, began his fight with the fearful scourge. A body of sanitary police, organised by himself, was charged with the mission of getting rid of all stagnant water in the streets, houses, courtyards, gardens, roofs, gutters, and sewers, and from all other spots where the larvae of the stegomya could exist. In this he found material assistance in the scheme of public improvements then being carried out in the city—the building of the quays, the drainage of marshy land, destruction of insanitary houses, cutting of new avenues, etc. In the course of the first year of these sanitary works there were 550 deaths from yellow fever; in the following year the number fell to forty-eight, and for the last three years not a single case has been recorded. Needless to say, the sanitary police brigade are continuing their duties, and in all parts of the city and in all the houses every trace of standing water is swept away. This constitutes a never-ending tyranny; but the result is the complete purification of a city which was once a den of pestilence, and is now one of the loveliest ornaments of the planet !
Dr. Oswaldo Cruz was making ready to go to the Amazon, which is in a specially whole-some condition; he had already fulfilled a mission there last year. He will now complete the task of general sanitation already started, for which the Congress has furnished the necessary funds. This, perhaps, is the most important part of his project, for it will throw open an immense region of unlimited productiveness to every sort of civilised activity.
Such a work would suffice to the glory of any one life, but Dr. Oswaldo Cruz is one of those men who are capable of continuing indefinitely their labours. The ex-pupil of the Pasteur Institute was anxious to endow his country with a similiar school of therapeutics and prophylaxy. In a picturesque loop of the bay there stood a small building which was used by the engineer of the prefecture in the burning of rubbish. Dr. Oswaldo Cruz has transformed it into the Institut .Manguinhos (Institute of Experimental Medicine), with the. special mission to study infectious and parasitic diseases in men and animals, as well as hygiene, and to prepare the different serums which modern therapeutics has adopted. It was hardly necessary, perhaps, to add all the fioritura of Moorish architecture to a building intended for studies that call for no flourish of trumpets; still, there is something about these fanciful lines which harmonises agreeably enough with the natural arabesques of the prodigal learage. The institute aims at supreme perfection, and supplies having been furnished without stint, the results place it beyond comparison. Vast laboratories, comfortable studies, fitted up with all the latest appliances; operating-rooms for animals, with the most complete surgical outfits, disinfecting-rooms, vacuum machinery; lifts everywhere, gas, electricity, pipes for water and for compressed air; library and magazine-room, with all foreign periodicals properly classified; separate buildings for the study of infectious diseases and the preparation of the corresponding serum. Each building has its own stable, so constructed as to be readily sterilised, with boxes permitting a close watch over the animal as well as feeding him without opening the door; and its own hall for experiments and laboratory, a furnace to destroy all refuse, electric generating engines, etc.
A group of young Brazilian savants were at work under the guidance of Dr. Oswaldo Cruz and two German bacteriologists. One of them, Dr. Chagas, a Brazilian, is well known in the world of science for his studies in bacteriology and parasitology. There is an immense field open, for tropical diseases are still uncharted, whilst in the field of marasitic diseases of men and animals there is fully as much to learn.
The Memoirs de l'Institut de Manguinhos are published in Portuguese and in German. I was struck by the effort that the Germans are making to draw towards themselves the medical corps of the country. The heads of the laboratories and their assistants had all been brought from Germany, and their scientific method had been cordially accepted. At the Berlin Exhibition a first prize had justly been awarded to the Manguinhos Institute. Of late years two French savants, MM. Marchoux and Salimboni, of the Pasteur Institute, have been charged by the Brazilian Government with a mission to study yellow fever. To-day two of our army veterinaries are investigating the morve at Rio.
But it is time to leave the abode of the Mosquito Killer (mata mosquitos), as Dr. Cruz is nicknamed. The sun is mounting above the horizon. In the enchanting light of the bay there are now revealed to our gaze the serrated outlines of the soft shores where the intensely profuse vegetation runs riot, the glowing masses of bare rock which rise high above the water to meet the sun against the filmy background of the distant mountains, and, lastly, the islands with their rippling masses of rich verdure, which spring skywards like an offering from the sea.
Impossible to pass the Island Viana by in silence. On the neighbouring island Senor L. the descendant of a French family, has set up his dockyards for naval construction, which he took us to see with a modesty that was not without a point of legitimate pride. I shall not describe what is well known. There was a surprise in store for us, however, in the form of a colony of Japanese labourers working in wood and metal, and learning in this distant land a trade to be practised later in their own. Most diligent of workmen, remarkable by their gravity and steady application. Amongst them, tool in hand, one of those small boys whose oblique eyes we have learned to know by heart through the picture-albums of Nippon ; dumb, motionless, the whole of his mind concentrated with intense force on the work in hand, this child of some ten years is taking a demonstration lesson in technical work that, as you see by his attitude, he is determined to profit by. I would rather have seen these little chaps playing at ball. I seem to see them as they show themselves to us, gathering up all their powers, even at the threshold of life, in order to take possession of the future. I was told that in the evening schools they accomplish wonders.
The day's work ended, Senor L— crossed a short arm of the sea and landed in his own island of Viana, where he has laid out a large park which at the same time satisfies his love of the beautiful and of comfort. Each member of the family has a house to him- or herself—and what a house !—English, or perhaps American in style, with the finest supply of light and air provided by great bay windows opening upon that immense expanse of sea framed in be-flowered shores and broken by high blue peaks which lose themselves in the sky. Kitchen-gardens, flowery meadows, lawns, groves, woods —there is nothing wanting, and each in turn is planted in the best possible way to take advantage of the splendours of the views. And to make Viana a world in itself, all the loveliest birds of Brazil are to be found in this earthly paradise; and the supreme magnificence of the Brazilian types of winged and feathered creatures repays in beauty what man's munificent generosity daily distributes. Here within reach of my hand a large yellow bird is pouring out its mad and merry song, while two toucans, with their exaggerated beaks, light up with gold and clear sapphire hues the sober green of the thicket. I pretend to try to catch them; they barely feign a retreat. Eden before the Fall ! I congratulate Senor L- - on the artistic way in which he spends the money he succeeded in making in business—two talents that are seldom found together.
" It is all very well," he murmured in reply, " but you see what happens. My wife prefers Paris, and my children, who might have found here, at twenty minutes' run from Rio, a worthy occupation for their time, have elected to try their fate in the unknown. My eldest son is in New York. Ma parole! I believe he sells seltzer-water there, or something of the sort. What do you think of that? "
I said nothing. But I thought to myself that in the pursuit of happiness not even the most favoured escape some setbacks.