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a good road for the whole distance. The less abrupt
declivities of the Head are covered with rose-bushes,
ivy, fig-trees, and numerous wild flowers, and the
curious dragon-tree may be seen here and there.
It is joined on the western side by a lofty cliff,
from the summit of which the village, fort, and
bridge in the ravine below seem like mere toys,
and the cacti which spring from the ledges of the
rocks below scarcely appear stouter than blades
of grass.

Between Brazen Head and Machico is the town of
Santa Cruz, lying in a broad valley with Pico Camacha
to the west, and the wooded Pico Moraynya and the
more lofty Pico de Neve, with its bald summit,
behind. The town, which has a population of some
2,000 souls, is one of the oldest in the island, and is
said to have been formerly of some importance. With



348 WEST AFRICAN ISLANDS.

tlie exception, however, of the picturesque ruins of
a convent, there are no signs of Santa Cruz ever
having been more extensive than a,t present, or having
suffered a diminution of former state. The high cliffs
which extend alonoj the coast from Brazen Head to
the point where the valley of Santa Cruz opens upon
the shore, are marked ever)'' hundred yards or so with
rude crosses, which record the fate of peasants who
have fallen and been dashed to pieces while endea-
vouring to ascend or descend. As the cliffs rise
generally sheer out of the w^ater it might be wondered
what object any person could have in trying to scale
them; but their precipitous descent is frequently
broken by ledges and shelves which have arrested the
fall of soil from above, and which, being fertile, are
cultivated by the indefatigable and poorer peasants.
At almost any hour of the day some of them may
be seen clambering down the almost impracticable
precipices — clinging here to a bush, there to a rock,
moving along sloping projections which hardly appear
to afford a foothold, and at every moment risking
their lives for the sake of some vegetables, worth at
the most a few shillings. Here and there ropes hang
from projecting rocks to assist them in their passage
to and from their little terrace gardens ; and as, no
matter how worn these may be from rubbing against
the rocks, they are never renewed until they have



MADEIRA. 319

been broken, they are a very common cause of acci-
dents, and a new rope is usually a sign that a neck
has been recently broken.

From something that I once witnessed at Funchal,
I should say that the gratification of being a public
man has many compensating drawbacks. I arrived
there, during a year that shall be nameless, in a
steamship which boasted amongst its passengers the
Governor of one of our miserable West African
colonies ; and the hotel " tout " who boarded the
vessel informed us, among other things, that a certain

political personage — say, for instance, Lord C n

— was staying in the island. No sooner did the
Governor hear this than he ran about the deck,
saying to each passenger in turn : "I say, my old
friend Carny is stopping here."

When he made this remark to me, I said : " I beg
your pardon, whom did you say ? "

*' Carny; my old friend Carny. Lord C n,

you know ! **

" Oh, really ! You must be very intimate with
him to call him Carny."

" Oh, yes ; I know him very well. We are great
friends."

Now, as we afterwards learned, this man had no
acquaintance with the exalted personage at all ; but
he seized the pretext of the latter having once been



350 WEST AFRICAN ISLANDS.

Secretary of State for the Colonies to go and hunt
him about, and deprive hini of that peace and rest
from political turmoil which he had come to Madeira
to enjoy. The Governor raged round from hotel to
hotel in search of his prey ; and then, having
casually heard that the illustrious statesman lived
up the mountain, he mounted a weedy steed and
went off in full chase. He had not been gone long
before his unconscious victim sauntered into the
club, where he was at once told of the search that
was being made for him. The victim expressed great
surprise, declared that, to the best of his recollection,
he had not the honour of the Governor's acquaintance,
and, after a short interval, went out again.

Then some wicked wags thought they would have
a little amusement at the expense of the statesman
hunter, and, when he returned from his fruitless ride,
they had the intelligence conveyed to him that the
man he sought was in the reading-room of the club.
The Governor at once hurried into the room, and,
discoverino- a middle-asfed and bearded man readiuQ-
The Standard, rushed towards him and commenced :

" How do you do. Lord C n ? I have much

pleasure in paying my respects to you in person, my
lord. My name is Blank, my lord, and I received my
appointment during your tenure of office as Secretary
of State for the Colonics. For many years, my lord, I



MADEIRA, 351

have watclied with much pleasure, not unmixed with
awe, your wonderful career ; and — and, my lord, can
only say that my opinions coincide with yours in
every particular. As a servant of the State myself,
my lord, I trust you will allow me to express the
great satisfaction with which your appreciation of my
capabilities has been viewed by the inhabitants of the
colony which you have entrusted to my care. My
lord, I trust that in venturing to follow the illustrious
example which you have set me, I may also hope, at
some future day, to reap a reward proportionate to
my more humble merits. My lord, I again greet
you with the most profound respect."

During the whole of this harangue the middle -
ao-ed man with the beard had been reo;ardino; the

O CI CD

speaker with a look of blank amazement, till, hearing
at its termination a half-suppressed titter from a
young man who was intently studying The Times
newspaper, held upside down, he seemed to grasp the
situation. He smiled, and said :

" I am afraid, sir, that you have made a
mistake."

" Oh ! I trust not, my lord. I trust from my soul,
my lord, that my zeal and profound respect for your
great qualities have not led me into committing any
indiscretion, such as the — er — er — violation of an
incognito, my lord."



352 WEST AFRICAN ISLANDS.

"No, I mean that you have mistaken your man.
I am not Lord C n."

" Ha ! ha ! yes. A very good joke indeed. Capital,
capital. I quite understand your lordship's meaning."

"And my name, sir, if you care to know it, is
Brown." And the middle-aged gentleman got up and
walked out.

As for the Governor, when he learned the trick
that had been played him, I never saw a man so
crestfallen in my life. He left the club like a whipped
cur, and at once slunk on board the steamer ; where
the passengers heard no more about " my old friend
Carny " from him again.



THE EXD.



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