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there is a large supply of fat men: and as fat men are not often spare livers, am I not justified (though knowing but little of the appetites of the Azoreans) in supplying the deficient link? *
The women in easy circumstances have the same tendency to amplification. Plumpness in them is said to be extremely admired; but I know not the general opinion as to the next stage into which, unhappily, plumpness so readily and so insensibly glides, that of decided fat. I have seen some women here who would have been Venuses among the Hottentots, and one, (she was a quondam nun) who looked as if she must be "strangled in her waste fertility."
They say that men, who when they arrive at the Furnas look like huge hills of flesh, after soaking an hour a day in the very hot water, and
*The Portuguese," says Mr. Beckford, of the class he mixed with, "had need have the stomachs of ostriches to digest the loads of savoury viands with which they cram themselves. Their vegetables, their rice, their poultry, are all stewed in the essence of ham, and so strongly seasoned with pepper and spices, that a spoonful of peas, or a quarter of an onion, is sufficient to set one's mouth in a flame. With such a diet, and the continual swallowing of sweetmeats, I am not surprised at their complaining so often of head-aches and vapours."
EFFECT OF THE WARM BATHS.
encouraging dissolution and thaw, for an hour or two afterwards, by lying upon a board covered with thick woollen cloaks, with towels wound round their heads and necks, return so slim as to be hardly recognized by their nearest friends: the baths using up their spare materials as a winter's starvation does those of a hybernating dormouse. There are now a few portly individuals, sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights, who seem to be here for this reducing process.
As a remedy against obesity these baths may be highly useful, for they are means likely to be employed, as they require no self-denial. Order a sensual man to take hard exercise, little sleep, and less food, and you are sure to be unattended to; but direct him to use a luxury, and he may, in following his old habits, take the advice.
The delicacies which the valley affords are not numerous. Scarlet strawberries, tender greenhouse water-cresses from the pure fountain of "gloria patri," and eels that have attained perfection in warm mineral mud, are the chief of them. Insipid rabbits, also-to which the common people here have the same aversion that we have to rats-may generally be bought of the villagers.
Full many a glorious morning have I seen.
Avaunt all specious pliancy of mind
In men of low degree, all smooth pretence!
And self-respecting slowness, disinclined
To win me at first sight: and be there joined
For matched with these shall policy prove vain,
Scenery and walks of the Furnas valley. Ride to Povoaçaō.Fighting.-Sunday mass.- Character and dispositions of the
THE FURNAS VALLEY.
islanders.-Field labour by women.- ·Curs, flies, and jewels. -Hopes of invalids.
TUESDAY, JULY 2.-The sides of the mountains which encircle this valley are traversed in all directions by narrow paths, winding among the green bushes of tree-heath,* bilberry, bay, and mountain grape, with which the ground is covered; and thus pleasant walks, with fresh views and new glimpses of the valley, may be found at every turn. But the paths are so numerous, that it would take a summer to know each lane and every alley green, dingle, or bushy dell. To-day, whilst strolling among them, clouds of mist rolled up from the ocean into the valley, (although the sky above them was blue and cloudless,) through a deep ravine, and in a few minutes shut it out entirely from sight; but as suddenly they racked off to the northward, and there again at our feet, encircled by its green mountains, lay the deep, quiet, sunny vale, with its single church tower and smiling village,—a picture of the most undisturbed yet cheerful tranquillity. Cloudless weather is not the most favourable for mountain scenery: mists, showers, vapours, and clouds are
WALKS AND SCENERY.
wanted, which, by veiling and then exposing, magnifying and again apparently diminishing, by colouring in a thousand different ways, and by shifting incessantly the lights and shadows, produce an infinite variety which never tires. But such changes as are most delicate, and, therefore, most beautiful, are too evanescent to be preserved. What painter has ever seized them? and that poet, who, were it possible, might have described them, (for he lives among mountains, and loves their scenery as intensely as he has deeply observed it,) confesses the task to be beyond the reach of art.
"Ah! that such vapour, varying in the light
But is the property of him alone
Who hath beheld it, noted it with care,
And in his mind recorded it with love."
Lanes deeply cut in the loose pumice hills and mountain sides, having a beauty peculiarly their own, are characteristic of the volcanic scenery of these islands. The steep and high banks of such as are very narrow are clothed with a dark-green lichen, growing close to the soil,