The sun is warm, the sky is clear, 
   The waves are dancing fast and bright, 
   Blue isles and snowy mountains wear 
   The purple noon's transparent light.

Friday, August 18th. - The clouds still hung heavy on the hills, or rather mountains, which surround the bay, occasionally descending in the form of torrents of rain, and hiding everything from our view.

Early in the morning we weighed anchor and steamed up the bay to the man-of-war anchorage, a much pleasanter situation than the quarantine harbour, where we had brought up last night. About 9.30 a.m. the health officers came on board, and half an hour later we had a visit from the custom-house official, who required Tom to sign and seal a declaration upon oath that he had no cargo on board, and not more coal than we absolutely required for our own consumption.

About eleven o'clock we put on our mackintoshes and thick boots, and, accompanied by an interpreter, who (together with several washerwomen) had suddenly made his appearance on board, rowed ashore, pushing our way through crowds of boats laden with fruit and vegetables. The landing-place was close to the market, at some broken-down steps, and was crowded with chattering negroes, of every shade of colour. The quays seemed covered with piles of fruit and vegetables, discharged from the boats, the principal produce being sugar-cane, bananas, and oranges. Each side street that we came to was a little river, which had to be crossed, or rather forded, after paddling through the mud in the main thoroughfare.

Our first visit was to the post-office - 'no letters' - then to the British Consulate - 'no letters' - and finally to the Legation, but there was nobody at home there; so we set off for the Hotel des Etrangers, to breakfast. Our way lay through the straggling suburbs of the city for about two miles, and as we drove along we could see and admire, despite the heavy rain, the magnificent groves of palm-trees, and the brilliancy and beauty of the tropical vegetation in the various private and public gardens that we passed.

After breakfast we returned to the Legation, where we were most kindly received, but, much to our regret, no letters were forthcoming. We next paid a visit to some of the shops in the Rua do Ouvidor, for the sale of imitations of flowers, made from the undyed feathers of birds, and a large number of the more expensive varieties of ordinary artificial flowers, each petal consisting of the entire throat or breast of a humming-bird, and the leaves are made from the wings of beetles. They are very rare and beautiful, their manufacture being quite a specialite of this city. The prices asked astonished us greatly; the cost of five sprays, which I had been commissioned to buy, was 29_l., and the price of all the others was proportionately high. But then they wear for ever. I have had some for nine years, and they are as good now as when they were bought.

Saturday, August 19th. - Though far from brilliant, the weather improved, and we were able to enjoy occasional glimpses of the beautiful scenery around us.

Mr. Gough and Mr. O'Conor breakfasted with us on board, and we afterwards proceeded in a 'bond' to the Botanical Gardens, about seven miles out of the city. These 'bonds,' which are a great institution here, are large carriages, either open or closed, drawn sometimes by one, sometimes by two, sometimes by three mules. They go at a great pace, and run very smoothly. Ordinary carriages are dear; and as tramways have been laid down in almost every street and road, driving is a rather difficult affair. On our road we passed several delightful-looking private gardens. The railings were completely covered, some with white stephanotis and scarlet lapageria, others with a beautiful orange-coloured creeper and lilac bougainvillaea, or passion-flowers of many colours and variety. Inside we could see large trees with green and yellow stripes, croton-oil plants, spotted and veined caladiums, and dracaenas, the whole being shaded by orange-trees.

Along the edge of Botafogo Bay there is a delightful drive, beneath a splendid avenue of imperial palms, extending to the gates of the Botanical Gardens. Each specimen rises straight up like the column of an Egyptian temple, and is crowned with a feathery tuft of large shiny dark green leaves, some thirty feet in length. The clumps of bamboos, too, were very fine, and nearly all the trees seemed to be full of curious orchids and parasites of every sort and kind.

We had an agreeable drive back in the cool evening to dinner at the Hotel de l'Europe. The food was excellent, and included some delicious tiny queer-shaped oysters, which are found on the mangrove-trees, overhanging the water higher up the bay. We afterwards went to a pleasant little reception, where we enjoyed the splendid singing of some young Brazilian ladies, and the subsequent row off to the yacht, in the moonlight, was not the least delightful part of the programme.

Sunday, August 20th. - At last a really fine day. We could now, for the first time, thoroughly appreciate the beauties of the noble bay of Nictheroy, though the distant Organ mountains were still hidden from our view. In the morning, we went to church on board H.M.S. 'Volage,' afterwards rowing across the bay to Icaraky, where we took the tramway to Santa Rosa. On our way we again passed many charming villas and gardens, similar to those we had admired yesterday, while the glorious and ever-attractive tropical vegetation abounded everywhere. In spite of the great heat, the children seemed untiring in the pursuit of butterflies, of which they succeeded in catching many beautiful specimens.

Monday, August 21st. - After an early breakfast, we started off to have a look at the market. The greatest bustle and animation prevailed, and there were people and things to see and observe in endless variety. The fish-market was full of finny monsters of the deep, all new and strange to us, whose odd Brazilian names would convey to a stranger but little idea of the fish themselves. There was an enormous rockfish, weighing about 300 pounds, with hideous face and shiny back and fins; there were large ray, and skate, and cuttle-fish - the pieuvre of Victor Hugo's 'Travailleurs de la Mer' - besides baskets full of the large prawns for which the coast is famous, eight or ten inches long, and with antennae of twelve or fourteen inches in length. They make up in size for want of quality, for they are insipid and tasteless, though, being tender, they make excellent curry. The oysters, on the other hand, are particularly small, but of the most delicious flavour. They are brought from a park, higher up the bay, where, as I have said, they grow on posts and the branches of the mangrove-tree, which hang down into the water. We also saw a large quantity of fine mackerel, a good many turtle and porpoises, and a few hammer-headed sharks. The latter are very curious creatures, not unlike an ordinary shark, but with a remarkable hammer-shaped projection on either side of their noses for which it is difficult to imagine a use.

In the fruit-market were many familiar bright-coloured fruits; for it is now the depth of winter at Rio, and the various kinds that we saw were all such as would bear transport to England. Fat, jet-black negresses, wearing turbans on their heads, strings of coloured beads on their necks and arms, and single long white garments, which appeared to be continually slipping off their shoulders, here presided over brilliant-looking heaps of oranges, bananas, pineapples, passion-fruit, tomatoes, apples, pears, capsicums and peppers, sugar-cane, cabbage-palms, cherimoyas, and bread-fruit.

In another part of the market all sorts of live birds were for sale, with a few live beasts, such as deer, monkeys, pigs, guinea-pigs in profusion, rats, cats, dogs, marmosets, and a dear little lion-monkey, very small and rather red, with a beautiful head and mane, who roared exactly like a real lion in miniature. We saw also cages full of small flamingoes, snipe of various kinds, and a great many birds of smaller size, with feathers of all shades of blue, red, and green, and metallic hues of brilliant lustre, besides parrots, macaws, cockatoos innumerable, and torchas, on stands. The torcha is a bright-coloured black and yellow bird, about as big as a starling, which puts its little head on one side and takes flies from one's fingers in the prettiest and most enticing manner. Unfortunately, it is impossible to introduce it into England, as it cannot stand the change of climate. The other birds included guinea-fowls, ducks, cocks and hens, pigeons, doves, quails, &c., and many other varieties less familiar or quite unknown to us. Altogether the visit was an extremely interesting one, and well repaid us for our early rising.

At eleven o'clock we started for the Petropolis steamer, which took us alongside a wooden pier, from the end of which the train started, and we were soon wending our way through sugar and coffee plantations, formed in the midst of the forest of palms and other tropical trees. An Englishman has made a large clearing here, and has established a fine farm, which he hopes to work successfully by means of immigrant labour.

After a journey of twenty minutes in the train, we reached the station, at the foot of a hill, where we found several four-mule carriages awaiting our arrival. The drive up from the station to the town, over a pass in the Organ mountains, was superb. At each turn of the road we had an ever-varying view of the city of Rio and its magnificent bay. And then the banks of this tropical high-road! From out a mass of rich verdure grew lovely scarlet begonias, and spotted caladiums, shaded by graceful tree-ferns and overhung by trees full of exquisite parasites and orchids. Among these, the most conspicuous, after the palms, are the tall thin-stemmed sloth-trees, so called from their being a favourite resort of the sloth, who with great difficulty crawls up into one of them, remains there until he has demolished every leaf, and then passes on to the next tree.

The pace of the mules, up the steep incline, under a broiling sun, was really wonderful. Half-way up we stopped to change, at a buvette, where we procured some excellent Brazilia coffee, of fine but exceedingly bitter flavour. Our next halt, midway between the buvette and the top of the hill, was at a spring of clear sparkling water, where we had an opportunity of collecting some ferns and flowers; and on reaching the summit we stopped once more, to enjoy the fine view over the Pass and the bay of Nictheroy. The descent towards Petropolis then commenced; it lies in the hollow of the hills, with a river flowing through the centre of its broad streets, on either side of which are villas and avenues of noble trees. Altogether it reminded me of Bagneres-de-Luchon, in the Pyrenees, though the general effect is unfortunately marred by the gay and rather too fantastic painting of some of the houses.

Tuesday, August 22nd. - We were called at half-past five, and, after a hasty breakfast, started on horseback by seven o'clock for the Virgin Forest, about six miles from Petropolis. After leaving the town and its suburbs, we pursued our way by rough winding paths, across which huge moths and butterflies flitted, and humming-birds buzzed in the almond-trees. After a ride of an hour and a half, we entered the silence and gloom of a vast forest. On every side extended a tangled mass of wild, luxuriant vegetation: giant-palms, and tree-ferns, and parasites are to be seen in all directions, growing wherever they can find root-hold. Sometimes they kill the tree which they favour with their attentions - one creeper, in particular, being called 'Mata-pao' or 'Kill-tree;' but, as a rule, they seem to get on very well together, and to depend mutually upon one another for nourishment and support. The most striking of these creepers is, perhaps, the liane, whose tendrils grow straight downwards to the ground, twisting themselves together in knots and bundles. Occasionally one sees, suspended from a tree, at a height of some fifty feet, a large lump of moss, from which scarlet orchids are growing; looking like an enormous hanging flower-basket. All colours in Brazil, whether of birds, insects, or flowers, are brilliant in the extreme. Blue, violet, orange, scarlet, and yellow are found in the richest profusion, and no pale or faint tints are to be seen. Even white seems purer, clearer, and deeper than the white of other countries.

We had a long wet walk in the forest; the mosses and ferns being kept moist and green by the innumerable little streams of water which abound everywhere. Owing to the thickness of the surrounding jungle, it was impossible to stray from our very narrow path, notwithstanding the attractions of humming-birds, butterflies, and flowers. At last we came to an opening in the wood, whence we had a splendid view seawards, and where it was decided to turn round and retrace our steps through the forest. After walking some distance we found our horses waiting, and after a hot but pleasant ride reached Petropolis by twelve o'clock, in time for breakfast. Letter-writing and butterfly-catching occupied the afternoon until four o'clock, when I was taken out for a drive in a comfortable little phaeton, with a pretty pair of horses, while the rest of the party walked out to see a little more of Petropolis and its environs. We drove past the Emperor's palace - an Italian villa, standing in the middle of a large garden - the new church, and the houses of the principal inhabitants, most of which are shut up just now, as everybody is out of town, but it all looked very green and pleasant. It was interesting to see a curious breed of dogs, descended from the bloodhounds formerly used in hunting the poor Indians.

Wednesday, August 23rd. - At six o'clock we assembled all on the balcony of the hotel to wait for the coach, which arrived shortly afterwards. There was some little delay and squabbling before we all found ourselves safely established on the coach, but starting was quite another matter, for the four white mules resolutely refused to move, without a vast amount of screaming and shouting and plunging. We had to pull up once or twice before we got clear of the town, to allow more passengers to be somehow or other squeezed in, and at each fresh start similar objections on the part of the mules had to be overcome.

The air felt fresh when we started, but before we had proceeded far we came into a thick, cold, wet fog, which, after the heat of the last few weeks, seemed to pierce us to the very marrow. Eight miles farther on the four frisky white mules were exchanged for five steady dun-coloured ones, which were in their turn replaced after a seven-mile stage by four nice bays, who took us along at a tremendous pace. The sun began by this time to penetrate the mist, and the surrounding country became visible. We found that we were following the course of the river, passing through an avenue of coral-trees, loaded with the most brilliant flowers and fruit imaginable, and full of parroquets and fluttering birds of many hues.

We stopped at several small villages, and at about 11 a.m. reached Entre Rios, having changed mules seven times, and done the 59-1/2 miles in four hours and fifty minutes, including stoppages - pretty good work, especially as the heat during the latter portion of the journey had been as great as the cold was at the commencement. The term 'cold' must here be taken only in a relative sense, for the thermometer was never lower than 48 deg., though, having been accustomed for a long while to 85 deg., we felt the change severely.

After a capital breakfast at the inn near the station, we got into the train and began a very hot dusty journey over the Serra to Palmeiras, which place was reached at 4 p.m. We were met on our arrival by Dr. Gunning, who kindly made room for Tom and me at his house, the rest of our party proceeding to the hotel. The view from the windows of the house, which is situated on the very edge of a hill, over the mountains of the Serra, glowing with the light of the setting sun, was perfectly enchanting; and after a refreshing cold bath one was able to appreciate it as it deserved. A short stroll into the forest adjoining the house proved rich in treasures, for in a few minutes I had gathered twenty-six varieties of ferns, including gold and silver ferns, two creeping ferns, and many other kinds. The moon rose, and the fireflies flashed about among the palm-trees, as we sat in the verandah before dinner, while in several places on the distant hills we could see circles of bright flames, where the forest had been set on fire in order to make clearings.

We were up next morning in time to see the sun rise from behind the mountains, and as it gradually became warmer the humming-birds and butterflies came out and buzzed and flitted among the flowers in front of our windows. We had planned to devote the day to a visit to Barra, and it was, therefore, necessary to hurry to the station by eight o'clock to meet the train, where we stopped twenty minutes to breakfast at what appeared to be a capital hotel, built above the station. The rooms were large and lofty, everything was scrupulously clean, and the dishes most appetising-looking. Our carriage was then shunted and hooked on to the other train, and we proceeded to the station of Santa Anna, where Mr. Faro met us with eight mules and horses, and a large old-fashioned carriage, which held some of us, the rest of the party galloping on in front. We galloped also, and upset one unfortunate horse, luckily without doing him any harm. After a couple of miles of a rough road we arrived at the gates of the Baron's grounds, where the old negro slave-coachman amused us very much by ordering his young master to conduct the equestrians round to the house by another way. Beneath the avenue of palm-trees, leading from the gates to the house, grew orange, lemon, and citron trees, trained as espaliers, while behind them again tall rose-bushes and pomegranates showed their bright faces. Driving through an archway we arrived at the house, and, with much politeness and many bows, were conducted indoors, in order that we might rest ourselves and get rid of some of the dust of our journey.

Santa Anna is one of the largest coffee fazendas in this part of Brazil. The house occupies three sides of a square, in the middle of which heaps of coffee were spread out to dry in the sun. The centre building is the dwelling-house, with a narrow strip of garden, full of sweet-smelling flowers, in front of it; the right wing is occupied by the slaves' shops and warehouses, and by the chapel; while the left wing contains the stables, domestic offices, and other slave-rooms.

By law, masters are bound to give their slaves one day's rest in every seven, and any work the slaves may choose to do on that day is paid for at the same rate as free labour. But the day selected for this purpose is not necessarily Sunday; and on adjoining fazendas different days are invariably chosen, in order to prevent the slaves from meeting and getting into mischief. Thursday (to-day) was Sunday on this estate, and we soon saw all the slaves mustering in holiday attire in the shade of one of the verandahs. They were first inspected, and then ranged in order, the children being placed in front, the young women next, then the old women, the old men, and finally the young men. In this order they marched into the corridor facing the chapel, to hear mass. The priest and his acolyte, in gorgeous robes, performed the usual service, and the slaves chanted the responses in alternate companies, so that sopranos, contraltos, tenors, and basses, contrasted in a striking and effective manner. The singing, indeed, was excellent; far better than in many churches at home. After the conclusion of the mass the master shook hands with everybody, exchanged good wishes with his slaves, and dismissed them. While they were dawdling about, gossiping in the verandah, I had a closer look at the babies, which had all been brought to church. They seemed of every shade of colour, the complexions of some being quite fair, but the youngest, a dear little woolly-headed thing, was black as jet, and only three weeks old. The children all seemed to be on very good terms with their master and his overseers, and not a bit afraid of them. They are fed most liberally, and looked fat and healthy. For breakfast they have coffee and bread; for dinner, fresh pork alternately with dried beef, and black beans (the staple food of the poor of this country); and for supper they have coffee, bread, and mandioca, or tapioca.

Returning to the house, we sat down, a party of thirty, to an elaborate breakfast, the table being covered with all sorts of Brazilian delicacies, after which several complimentary speeches were made, and we all started off to walk round the fazenda. Our first visit was to the little schoolchildren, thirty-four in number, who sang very nicely. Then to the hospital, a clean, airy building, in which there were happily but few patients, and next we inspected the new machinery, worked by water-power, for cleaning the coffee and preparing it for market. The harvest lasts from May to August. The best quality of coffee is picked before it is quite ripe, crushed to free it from the husk, and then dried in the sun, sometimes in heaps, and sometimes raked out flat, in order to gain the full benefit of the heat. It is afterwards gathered up into baskets and carefully picked over, and this, being very light work, is generally performed by young married women with babies. There were nineteen tiny piccaninnies, in baskets, beside their mothers, in one room we entered, and in another there were twenty just able to run about.

Cassava is an important article of food here, and it was interesting to watch the various processes by which it is turned into flour, tapioca, or starch. As it is largely exported, there seems no reason why it should not be introduced into India, for the ease with which it is cultivated and propagated, the extremes of temperature it will bear, and the abundance of its crop, all tend to recommend it. We went on to look at the maize being shelled, crushed, and ground into coarse or fine flour, for cakes and bread, and the process of crushing the sugar-cane, turning its juice into sugar and rum, and its refuse into potash. All the food manufactured here is used on the estate; coffee alone is exported. I felt thoroughly exhausted by the time we returned to the house, only to exchange adieus and step into the carriage on our way to Barra by rail en route to Rio de Janeiro. After passing through several long tunnels at the top of the Serra, the line drops down to Palmeiras, after which the descent became very picturesque, as we passed, by steep inclines, through virgin forests full of creepers, ferns, flowers, and orchids. The sunset was magnificent, and the subsequent coolness of the atmosphere most grateful. Leaving the Emperor's palace of Sao Christovao behind, Rio was entered from a fresh side. It seemed a long drive through the streets to the Hotel de l'Europe, where, after an excellent though hurried dinner, we contrived to be in time for a private representation at the Alcazar. As a rule, ladies do not go to this theatre, but there were a good many there on the present occasion. Neither the play nor the actors, however, were very interesting, and all our party were excessively tired; so we left early, and had a delightful row off to the yacht, in the bright moonlight.

Monday, August 28th. - We have all been so much interested in the advertisements we read in the daily papers of slaves to be sold or hired, that arrangements were made with a Brazilian gentleman for some of our party to have an opportunity of seeing the way in which these transactions are carried on. No Englishman is allowed to hold slaves here, and it is part of the business of the Legation to see that this law is strictly enforced. The secrets of their trade are accordingly jealously guarded by the natives, especially from the English. The gentlemen had therefore to disguise themselves as much as possible, one pretending to be a rich Yankee, who had purchased large estates between Santos and San Paulo, which he had determined to work with slave instead of coolie labour. He was supposed to have come to Rio to select some slaves, but would be obliged to see and consult his partner before deciding on purchase. They were taken to a small shop in the city, and, after some delay, were conducted to a room upstairs, where they waited a quarter of an hour. Twenty-two men and eleven women and children were then brought in for inspection. They declared themselves suitable for a variety of occupations, in-door and out, and all appeared to look anxiously at their possible purchaser, with a view to ascertain what they had to hope for in the future. One couple in particular, a brother and sister, about fourteen and fifteen years old respectively, were most anxious not to be separated, but to be sold together; and the tiny children seemed quite frightened at being spoken to or touched by the white men. Eight men and five women having been specially selected as fit subjects for further consideration, the visit terminated.

The daily Brazilian papers are full of advertisements of slaves for sale, and descriptions of men, pigs, children, cows, pianos, women, houses, &c., to be disposed of, are inserted in the most indiscriminate manner. In one short half-column of the 'Jornal do Commercio,' published within the last day or two, the following announcements, amongst many similar ones, appear side by side: -

VENDE-SE uma escrava, de 22 annos, boa figura, lava, engomma e cose bem; informa-se na rua de S. Pedro n. 97.

FOR SALE. - A female slave, 22 years of age, a good figure, washes, irons, and sews well; for particulars apply at No. 97 rua de S. Pedro.

VENDE-SE ou aluga-se um rico piano forte do autor Erard, de 3 cordas, por 280$, garantido; na rua da Quitanda n. 42, 2 andar.

FOR SALE, OR TO BE LET ON Hire. - A splendid trichord pianoforte by Erard, for $280, guaranteed; apply at rua da Quitanda No. 42, 2nd floor.

VENDE-SE, por 1,500$, um escravo de 20 annos, para servico de padaria; na rua da Princeza dos Cajueiros n. 97.

TO BE SOLD FOR $1,500. - A male slave 20 years of age, fit for a baker's establishment; apply at rua da Princeza dos Cajueiros No. 97.

VENDE-SE uma machina Singer, para qualquer costura, trabalha perfeitamente, por preco muito commodo; trata-se na rua do Sabao n. 95.

FOR SALE. - On very reasonable terms, a Singer's sewing-machine, adapted for any description of work; works splendidly: apply at No. 95 rua do Sabao.

VENDE-SE uma preta moca, boa figura e de muito boa indole, com tres filhos, sendo uma negrinha de 6 annos, um moleque de 5 e uma ingenua de 3, cabenda cozinhar bem, lavar e engommar; na mesma casa vende-se so uma negrinha de 12 annos, de conducta afiancada e muito propria para servico de casa de familia, por ja ter bons principios, tendo vindo de Santa Catharina; na rua da Uruguayana n. 90 sobrado.

FOR SALE. - A good black woman, good figure, good disposition, with three children, who are a little black girl 6 years of age, a black boy of 5, and a child 3 years of age; she is a good cook, washes and irons well. At the same house there is likewise for sale a little black girl 12 years of age: her character will be guaranteed; she is well adapted for the service of a family, as she has had a good beginning, having come from Santa Catharina; apply at No. 90 rua da Uruguayana, first floor.

VENDE-SE o Diccionario portuguez de Lacerda, em dous grandes volumes, novo, vindo pelo ultimo paquete, por 30$, custao aqui 40$; na rua do Hospicio n. 15, 2d andar.

FOR SALE. - Lacerda's Portuguese Dictionary, in two large volumes, quite new, arrived by the last mail, price $30, costs here $40; No. 15 rua do Hospicio, 2nd floor.

VENDE-SE uma preta de meia idade, que cozinha, lava, e engomma com perfeicao; para tratar na rua do Viscande de Itauna n. 12.

FOR SALE. - A middle-aged black woman, who is a first-rate cook, washes and irons splendidly; for particulars apply at No. 12 rua do Viscande de Itauna No. 12.

VENDEM-SE arreios para carrocinhas de pao; na rua do General Camara n. 86, placa.

FOR SALE. - Harnesses for small carts for delivery of bread; apply at No. 86 rua do General Camara.

VENDEM-SE 20 moleques, de 14 a 20 annos, vindos do Maranhao no ultimo vapor; na rua da Prainha n. 72.

FOR SALE. - 20 young blacks from 14 to 20 years of age just arrived from Maranham by the last steamer; No. 72 rua da Prainha.

We had many visitors to breakfast to-day, and it was nearly two o'clock before we could set off for the shore en route to Tijuca. We drove nearly as far as the Botanical Gardens, where it had been arranged that horses should meet us; but our party was such a large one, including children and servants, that some little difficulty occurred at this point in making a fair start. It was therefore late before we started, the clouds were beginning to creep down the sides of the hills, and it had grown very dusk by the time we reached the Chinisi river. Soon afterwards the rain began to come down in such tropical torrents, that our thin summer clothing was soaked through and through long before we reached the Tijuca. At last, to our great joy, we saw ahead of us large plantations of bananas, and then some gas-lights, which exist even in this remote locality. We followed them for some little distance, but my horse appeared to have such a very decided opinion as to the proper direction for us to take, that we finally decided to let him have his own way, for it was by this time pitch dark, and none of us had ever been this road before. As we hoped, the horse knew his own stables, and we soon arrived at the door of White's hotel, miserable, drenched objects, looking forward to a complete change of clothing. Unfortunately the cart with our luggage had not arrived, so it was in clothes borrowed from kind friends that we at last sat down, a party of about forty, to a sort of table-d'hote dinner, and it continued to pour with rain during the whole evening, only clearing up just at bed-time.

Tuesday, August 29th. - After all the fine weather we have had lately, it was provoking to find, on getting up this morning, that the rain still came steadily down. Daylight enabled us to see what a quaint-looking place this hotel is. It consists of a series of low wooden detached buildings, mostly one story high, with verandahs on both sides, built round a long courtyard, in the centre of which are a garden and some large trees. It is more like a boarding-house, however, than an hotel, as there is a fixed daily charge for visitors, who have to be provided with a letter of introduction! The situation and gardens are good; it contains among other luxuries a drawing-room, with a delightful swimming-bath for ladies, and another for gentlemen. A mountain stream is turned into two large square reservoirs, where you can disport yourself under the shade of bananas and palm trees, while orange trees, daturas, poinsettias, and other plants, in full bloom, drop their fragrant flowers into the crystal water. There is also a nice little bathing-house, with a douche outside; and the general arrangements seem really perfect. The views from the walks around the hotel and in the forest above are beautiful, as, indeed, they are from every eminence in the neighbourhood of Rio.

During the morning, the weather cleared sufficiently for us to go down to 'The Boulders,' huge masses of rock, either of the glacial period, or else thrown out from some mighty volcano into the valley beneath. Here they form great caverns and caves, overhung with creepers, and so blocked up at the entrance, that it is difficult to find the way into them. The effect of the alternate darkness and light, amid twisted creepers, some like gigantic snakes, others neatly coiled in true man-of-war fashion, is very striking and fantastic. Every crevice is full of ferns and orchids and curious plants, while moths and butterflies flit about in every direction. Imagine, if you can, scarlet butterflies gaily spotted, yellow butterflies with orange edgings, butterflies with dark blue velvety-looking upper wings, the under surface studded with bright owl-like peacock eyes, grey Atlas moths, and, crowning beauty of all, metallic blue butterflies, which are positively dazzling, even when seen in a shop, dead. Imagine what they must be like, as they dart hither and thither, reflecting the bright sunshine from their wings, or enveloped in the sombre shade of a forest. Most of them measure from two to ten inches in length from wing to wing, and many others flit about, equally remarkable for their beauty, though not so large. Swallow-tails, of various colours, with tails almost as long, in proportion to their bodies, as those of their feathered namesakes; god-parents and 'eighty-eights,' with the figures 88 plainly marked on the reverse side of their rich blue or crimson wings. In fact, if nature could by any possibility be gaudy, one might almost say that she is so in this part of the world.

From 'The Boulders' we went down a kind of natural staircase in the rock to the small cascade, which, owing to the recent rains, appeared to the best advantage, the black rocks and thick vegetation forming a fine background to the sheet of flowing white water and foam. Our way lay first through some castor-oil plantations, and then along the side of a stream, fringed with rare ferns, scarlet begonias, and grey ageratum. We returned to the hotel, too late for the general luncheon, and, after a short rest, went out for a gallop in the direction of the peak of Tijuca, past the large waterfall, the 'Ladies' Mile,' and 'Grey's View.' The forest is Government property; the roads are therefore excellent, and are in many places planted with flowers and shrubs, rare even here. It seems a waste of money, however; for there is hardly any one to make use of the wide roads, and the forest would appear quite as beautiful in its pristine luxuriance. To our eyes the addition of flowers from other countries is no improvement, though the feeling is otherwise here. More than once I have had a bouquet of common stocks given to me as a grand present, while orchids, gardenias, stephanotis, large purple, pink, and white azaleas, orange-blossom, and roses, were growing around in unheeded profusion.

Wednesday, August 30th. - Once more a wet morning; but as it cleared towards noon, we ordered horses and some luncheon, and went up to Pedro Bonito. The ride was pleasant enough at first, but as we mounted higher and higher, we got into the clouds and lost the view. Finally, there seemed nothing for it but to halt near the top, under a grove of orange-trees, lunch in the pouring rain, and return without having reached the summit.

Friday, September 1st. - At three o'clock this morning, when I awoke, I saw at last a bright, clear sky, and at five, finding that there was every prospect of a beautiful sunrise, we sent for horses, ate our early breakfast, and set off for the peak of Tijuca. Step by step we climbed, first through the grounds of the hotel, then through the forest, till we reached 'The Bamboos,' a favourite halting-place, by the side of a stream, near which grow, in waving tufts, the graceful trees which lend their name to the spot. It was very beautiful in the hill-side forest, with a new prospect opening out at every step, and set in an ever-varying natural framework of foliage and flowers. There was not sufficient time to linger, however, as we would fain have done, in the cool and shady paths, occasionally illumed by the bright rays of the sun, shining through the foliage of noble palms, the fronds of tree-ferns, and the spiral stems of many-coloured creepers.

Before reaching the top of the peak, there are twenty-nine wooden and ninety-six stone steps to be ascended, at the foot of which we tied our horses. An iron chain is hung by the side to assist you, without which it would be rather giddy work, for the steps are steep, and there is a sheer precipice on one side of them. Arrived at the top, the scene was glorious; on every side mountains beyond mountains stretch far away into the distance, and one can see as far north as Cape Frio, and southwards as far as Rio Grande do Sul, while beneath lies the bay of Rio, with its innumerable islands, islets, and indentations. All too soon we had to scramble down again, and mount our horses for a hurried return to the hotel, there being barely time for lunch and a scramble to the yacht.

Monday, September 4th. - We were all up very early this morning, superintending the preparations for our eldest boy's departure for England. The yacht had been gaily dressed with flags, in honour of the anniversary of the Emperor's wedding-day; but it must be confessed that our own feelings were hardly in accordance with these external symbols of joy. Breakfast was a melancholy meal, and I fear that the visitors from the 'Volage' were not very well entertained. After breakfast, we went ashore to the market, to get a couple of lion-monkeys, which had been kept for us, and which Tab was to take home with him to present to the Zoological Gardens. At one o'clock the steam-launch from the 'Volage' came alongside and embarked the luggage and servants. Half an hour later it returned for us; then came many tearful farewells to the crew, and we set off. We knew the parting had to be made, but this did not lessen our grief: for although it is at all times hard to say good-bye for a long period to those nearest and dearest to you, it is especially so in a foreign land, with the prospect of a long voyage on both sides. Moreover, it is extremely uncertain when we shall hear of our boy's safe arrival; not, I fear, until we get to Valparaiso, and then only by telegram - a long time to look forward to. Over the next half-hour I had better draw a veil.

At two o'clock precisely, just after we had left the steamer, the starting bell rang, and the 'Cotopaxi' steamed away. As she passed the yacht, all our flags were dipped and the guns fired. Then we could see her rolling on the bar, for, calm as the water was in the bay, there was a heavy swell outside; and then, all too soon, we lost sight of her, as she sank,

    ' ... with all we love, below the verge.'

We heard to-day that, the Saturday before our first arrival at Rio, the bar was quite impassable, even for a man-of-war, and that, although she succeeded the next day, the sea was extremely rough.

On our return to the 'Sunbeam,' I went to bed to rest, and the remainder of the party went ashore. A great many visitors came on board in the course of the afternoon; some remained to dine with us. At half-past nine we all went on shore again to a ball at the Casino, the grand public room in Rio, to which we had been invited some days ago. It seemed a splendid place, beautifully decorated in white and gold and crimson, with frescoes and pictures let into the walls, and surrounded by galleries. It is capable of containing fifteen hundred persons, and I believe that there were even more than that number present on the occasion of the ball given to the Duke of Edinburgh some years ago. The arrangement of the large cloakrooms, refreshment-rooms, and passages downstairs, and the balconies and supper-rooms upstairs, is very convenient. The ball this evening being comparatively a small affair, the lower rooms only were used, and proved amply sufficient. There were not a great many ladies present, but amongst those we saw some were extremely pretty, and all were exquisitely dressed in the latest fashions from Paris. The toilettes of the younger ones looked fresh and simple, while those of the married ladies displayed considerable richness and taste; for although Brazilian ladies do not go out much, and, as a rule, remain en peignoir until late in the afternoon, they never fail to exhibit great judgment in the selection of their costumes.

The floor was excellent, but the band made rather too much noise, and the dancing was different, both in style and arrangement, from what we are accustomed to at home.

The time had now come when we had to say farewell to the many kind friends whom we have met here, and who have made life so pleasant to us during the last three weeks, in order that we might return to the yacht, to complete our preparation for an early start. The last leave-takings were soon over, and, with mutually expressed hopes that we might ere long meet some of our friends in England, Tom and I drove off, in the bright moonlight, to the quay, where our boat was waiting for us. The other members of our party found the attractions of the ball so irresistible that they were unable to tear themselves away until a much later nour.