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Ye sons of Indolence, do what ye will.


Watering-place insipidities.- The Tank.- Warm baths.-St. John's Day.-Ceremonies of the "Holy Ghost."-Furnas lodgings.- Patriarchs of the Valley.-Climate.-Fat Azoreans.- -Indigestion and vapours.

JUNE 23.-It is the end and aim of every visitor at the Furnas, just as it is for a loiterer at any other watering-place, to spend his time in listless indolence, and in this respect the occupations of one day among the loungers and bathers at the Caldeiras, are like those of a whole season, and probably will be as those of a hundred years; unless, indeed, this quiet and healthful place should by means of transatlantic steamers and other consumptive luxuries be transformed

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into a second Madeira or rather into another Baden-Baden, and blow its pleasant bubbles like those from the Brunnens of Nassau. The order of the day is uniformly this :

As early in the morning as five o'clock the operations of bathing begin, and they continue until nine, ten, and eleven o'clock. A company of four or five persons from Ponta Delgada, who have taken lodgings or own houses in the valley, assemble at their door wrapped in cloaks and provided with umbrellas, under the ample shadow of which they saunter down to the baths followed by their bare-footed or liveried servant with his gaudy bag of towels. Another set from Villa Franca similarly dressed, or wearing strangefashioned hats and bonnets, such as now are only to be seen in the Ladies' Magazine, (of the date of steel-buckled hats and tall crowns,) may choose to ride on asses; and these, accompanied by their noisy driver, splash through the ford and hurry and scuffle in the same direction. A pale soldier

and his young wife who cannot afford to ride; obese shopkeepers from Allagoa, abdomine tardi ; merry children piled two and three upon one ass; a helpless paralytic in his palanquin; a wasted invalid whose heavy cloak hangs about

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him as if he were merely bones; an aged countryman buried in his carapuça; a sad woman and a melancholy boy, both afflicted with leprosy; the handsome, well-fed, sleek mistress of the civil Governor, with her array of gaily-dressed servants; a pot-bellied morgado; a good-tempered and wellfavoured Nun from Villa Franca, and her many friends and single attendant; an amaurotic man, led by his mother and staring at the morning sun; waddling priests from the same place; meagre, yellow young men, with short linen jackets and recent English trowsers; fat lads in blouses, and weakly village girls in blue cloaks and full grey petticoats, may all be met with, on one day or another, wending their way from the village to the Caldeiras in quest of their one thing needful-health. Having arrived at the springs, they either take their bath at once, or, if the bathing-houses are occupied, sit in the small verandas in front of them, or lounge about the boilers, take snuff, smoke, and gossip according as they may feel inclined.

The choice of baths at the springs lies between sulphur, iron, and the mixture of both. There are four bathing houses: one belonging to the Baron de Laranjeiros, which is the

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168 best; another open to the public, which is the worst; a third, the property of the American Vice-Consul Mr. Hickling; and a fourth, which contains the iron and sulphur waters mixed, or the cold iron water alone, and called the Misturas,* the property of I know not whom. In each bathing-house there is a reclining board; and the custom of many of the Azoreans is to take their baths at a high temperature, to get into a profuse perspiration, dress, wrap themselves in a huge cloth cloak, and lie their lengths on the board for a period varying from a quarter of an hour to a whole one after this, to envelope their mouths and neck, and occasionally the entire head, in a pocket-handkerchief or napkin, that they may imbibe no breath of cold air on their way home; and sometimes on their arrival there to lie down once more and perspire again. But in neither of these habits have we followed them in our daily baths.


The most agreeable temperature for the sulphur baths is from 92° to 95° Fah.; hotter than this they are debilitating, and much cooler, chilly. The mixture of sulphur and iron as it is more

* See the Appendix under the head Misturas, for the chemical analysis of these waters by Professor Graham.



stimulating, may be made somewhat cooler; but a temperature between 90° and 95° is the most pleasant.

Never has it been my good fortune to bathe in so luxurious a bath as the unmixed sulphurwater. If anything could possibly be found to reconcile one to earthquakes, it is assuredly to be found in the baths of the Furnas. Here they are, whenever you may choose to enjoy them, by night and by day, in cold and in heat, summer and winter, always the same, welling from their source in never-failing abundance; open at all hours, free to all, and free of cost. But let it not be supposed that we are in a Bath pumproom, with its marble luxuries. Nothing can be less inviting than the appearance of these bathing-houses, which, for the most part, have a subterraneous aspect; but, except to the fastidious, they are all sufficient for the one purpose for which they have been built,—that of amply enjoying the waters. And let a rheumatic and sour-tempered Englishman, exercising his national privilege of grumbling to its fullest extent, and whose every word and work, complexion, gait, and temper, whose very clothes, hanging on the pegs of the bath-room, indicate bile, after despising

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