An excursion to the waterfalls near Teschuka, to Boa Vista, and the Botanical Gardens, is one of the most interesting near the city; but it requires two days, as it takes a long time to see the Botanical Gardens alone.

Count Berchthold and myself proceeded as far as Andaracky (four miles) in an omnibus, and then continued our journey on foot, between patches of wood and low hills. Elegant country houses are situated upon the eminences and along the high road, at short distances from each other.

When we had walked four miles, a path to the right conducted us to a small waterfall, neither very high nor well supplied, but still the most considerable one in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro. We then returned to the high road, and in half an hour reached a little elevated plain, whence the eye ranged over a valley of the most remarkable description, one portion of it being in a state of wild chaotic confusion, and the other resembling a blooming garden. In the former were strewed masses of broken granite, from which, in some places, larger blocks reared their heads, like so many Collossi; while in others large fragments of rocks lay towering one above the other; in the second portion stood the finest fruit trees in the midst of luxuriant pastures. This romantic valley is enclosed on three sides by noble mountains, the fourth being open, and disclosing a full view of the sea.

In this valley we found a small venda, where we recruited ourselves with bread and wine, and then continued our excursion to the so- called "Great Waterfall," with which we were less astonished than we had been with the smaller one. A very shallow sheet of water flowed down over a broad but nowise precipitous ledge of rock into the valley beneath.

After making our way through the valley, we came to the Porto Massalu, where a number of trunks of trees, hollowed out and lying before the few huts situated in the bay, apprized us that the inhabitants were fishermen. We hired one of these beautiful conveyances to carry us across the little bay. The passage did not take more than a quarter of an hour at the most, and for this, as strangers, we were compelled to pay two thousand reis (4s.).

We had now at one moment to wade through plains of sand, and the next to clamber over the rocks by wretched paths. In this laborious fashion we proceeded for at least twelve miles, until we reached the summit of a mountain, which rises like the party-wall of two mighty valleys. This peak is justly called the Boa Vista. The view extends over both valleys, with the mountain ranges and rows of hills which intersect them, and embraces, among other high mountains, the Corcovado and the "Two Brothers;" and, in the distance, the capital, with the surrounding country-houses and villages, the various bays and the open sea.

Unwillingly did we leave this beautiful position; but being unacquainted with the distance we should have to go before reaching some hospitable roof, we were obliged to hasten on; besides which negroes are the only persons met with on these lonely roads, and a rencontre with any of them by night is a thing not at all to be desired. We descended, therefore, into the valley, and resolved to sleep at the first inn we came to.

More fortunate than most people in such cases, we not only found an excellent hotel with clean rooms and good furniture, but fell in with company which amused us in the highest degree. It consisted of a mulatto family, and attracted all my attention. The wife, a tolerably stout beauty of about thirty, was dressed out in a fashion which, in my own country, no one, save a lady of an exceedingly vulgar taste would ever think of adopting - all the valuables she possessed in the world, she had got about her. Wherever it was possible to stick anything of gold or silver, there it was sure to be. A gown of heavy silk and a real cashmere enveloped her dark brown body, and a charming little white silk bonnet looked very comical placed upon her great heavy head. The husband and five children were worthy of their respective wife and mother; and, in fact, this excess of dress extended even to the nurse, a real unadulterated negress, who was also overloaded with ornaments. On one arm she had five and on the other six bracelets of stones, pearls, and coral, but which, as far as I could judge, did not strike me as being particularly genuine.

When the family rose to depart, two landaus, each with four horses, drove up to the door, and man and wife, children and nurse, all stepped in with the same majestic gravity.

As I was still looking after the carriages, which were rolling rapidly towards the town, I saw some one on horseback nodding to me: it was my friend, Herr Geiger. On hearing that we intended to remain for the night where we were, he persuaded us to accompany him to the estate of his father-in-law, which was situated close at hand. In the latter gentleman, we made the acquaintance of a most worthy and cheerful old man of seventy years of age, who, at that period, was Directing Architect and Superintendant of the Fine Arts under Government. We admired his beautiful garden and charming residence, built, with great good taste, in the Italian style.

Early on the following morning, I accompanied Count Berchthold to the botanical gardens. Our curiosity to visit these gardens was very great: we hoped to see there magnificent specimens of trees and flowers from all parts of the world - but we were rather disappointed. The gardens have been founded too recently, and none of the large trees have yet attained their full growth; there is no very great selection of flowers or plants; and to the few that are there, not even tickets are affixed, to acquaint the visitor with their names. The most interesting objects for us, were the monkey's bread-tree, with its gourds weighing ten or twenty-five pounds, and containing a number of kernels, which are eaten, not only by monkeys, but also by men - the clove, camphor, and cocoa-tree, the cinnamon and tea bush, etc. We also saw a very peculiar kind of palm-tree: the lower portion of the trunk, to the height of two or three feet, was brown and smooth, and shaped like a large tub or vat; the stems that sprang from this were light green, and like the lower part, very smooth, and at the same time shining, as if varnished; they were not very high, and the crest of leaves, as is the case with other palms, only unfolded itself at the top of the tree. Unfortunately, we were unable to learn the names of this kind of palm; and in the whole course of my voyage, I never met with another specimen.

We did not leave the gardens before noon: we then proceeded on foot four miles as far as Batafogo, and thence reached the city by omnibus.

Herr Geiger had invited Count Berchtholdt, Herr Rister, (a native of Vienna), and myself to an excursion to the Corcovado mountains; and accordingly, on the 1st November, at a time when we are often visited by storms and snow, but when the sun is here in his full force, and the sky without a cloud, at an early hour in the morning did we commence our pilgrimage.

The splendid aqueduct was our guide as far as the springs from which it derives the water, which point we reached in an hour and a half, having been so effectually protected by the deep shade of lovely woods, that even the intense heat of the sun, which reached during the day more than 117 degrees, (in the sun), scarcely annoyed us.

We stopped at the springs; and, on a sign from Herr Geiger, an athletic negro made his appearance, loaded with a large hamper of provisions - everything was soon prepared - a white cloth was spread out, and the eatables and drinkables placed upon it. Our meal was seasoned with jokes and good humour; and when we started afresh on our journey, we felt revived both in body and mind.

The last cone of the mountain gave us some trouble: the route was very precipitous, and lay over bare, hot masses of rock. But when we did reach the top, we were more than repaid by seeing spread before us such a panorama, as most assuredly is very seldom to be met with in the world. All that I had remarked on my entrance into the port, lay there before me, only more clearly defined and more extended, with innumerable additional objects. We could see the whole town, all the lower hills, which half hid it from my view on my arrival, the large bay, reaching as far as the Organ mountain; and, on the other side, the romantic valley, containing the botanical gardens, and a number of beautiful country-houses.

I recommend every one who comes to Rio Janeiro, although it be only for a few days, to make this excursion, since from this spot he can, with one glance, perceive all the treasures which nature, with so truly liberal a hand, has lavished upon the environs of this city. He will here see virgin forests, which, if not quite as thick and beautiful as those farther inland, are still remarkable for their luxuriant vegetation. Mimosae and Aarren baume of a gigantic size, palms, wild coffee-trees, orchidaen, parasites and creepers, blossoms and flowers, without end; birds of the most brilliant plumage, immense butterflies, and sparkling insects, flying in swarms from blossom to blossom, from branch to branch. A most wonderful effect also is produced by the millions of fire-flies, which find their way into the very tops of the trees, and sparkle between the foliage like so many brightly twinkling stars.

I had been informed that the ascent of this mountain was attended with great difficulty. I did not, however, find this to be the case, since the summit may be reached with the greatest ease in three hours and three quarters, while three parts of the way can also be performed on horseback.

The regular residence of the imperial family may be said to be the Palace of Christovao, about half an hour's walk from the town. It is there that the emperor spends most of the year, and where also all political councils are held, and state business transacted.

The palace is small, and is distinguished neither for taste nor architectural beauty: its sole charm is its situation. It is placed upon a hill, and commands a view of the Organ mountain, and one of the bays. The palace garden itself is small, and is laid out in terraces right down into the valley below: a larger garden, that serves as a nursery for plants and trees, joins it. Both these gardens are highly interesting for Europeans, since they contain a great number of plants, which either do not exist at all in Europe, or are only known from dwarf specimens in hot-houses. Herr Riedl, who has the management of both gardens, was kind enough to conduct us over them himself, and to draw my attention more especially to the tea and bamboo plantations.

Ponte de Cascher(four miles from the town) is another imperial garden. There are three mango trees here, which are very remarkable, from their age and size. Their branches describe a circle of more than eighty feet in circumference, but they no longer bear fruit. Among the most agreeable walks in the immediate vicinity of the town, I may mention the Telegraph mountain, the public garden (Jardin publico), the Praya do Flamingo, and the Cloisters of St. Gloria and St. Theresia, etc.

I had heard so much in Rio Janeiro of the rapid rise of Petropolis, a colony founded by Germans in the neighbourhood of Rio Janeiro, of the beauty of the country where it was situated, and of the virgin forests through which a part of the road ran - that I could not resist the temptation of making an excursion thither. My travelling companion, Count Berchthold, accompanied me; and, on the 26th September, we took two places on board one of the numerous barks which sail regularly every day for the Porto d'Estrella, (a distance of twenty or twenty-two nautical miles), from which place the journey is continued by land. We sailed through a bay remarkable for its extremely picturesque views, and which often reminded me vividly of the peculiar character of the lakes in Sweden. It is surrounded by ranges of lovely hills, and is dotted over with small islands, both separate and in groups, some of which are so completely overgrown with palms, as well as other trees and shrubs, that it seems impossible to land upon them, while others either rear their solitary heads like huge rocks from the waves, or are loosely piled one upon the other. The round form of many of the latter is especially remarkable: they almost seem to have been cut out with a chisel.

Our bark was manned by four negroes and a white skipper. At first we ran before the wind with full sails, and the crew took advantage of this favourable opportunity to make a meal, consisting of a considerable quantity of flour of manioc, boiled fish, roasted mil, (Turkish corn), oranges, cocoa-nuts, and other nuts of a smaller description; indeed, there was even white bread, which for blacks is a luxury; and I was greatly delighted to see them so well taken care of. In two hours the wind left us, and the crew were obliged to take to the oars, the manner of using which struck me as very fatiguing. At each dip of the oar into the water, the rower mounts upon a bench before him, and then, during the stroke, throws himself off again with his full force. In two hours more, we left the sea, and taking a left-hand direction, entered the river Geromerim, at the mouth of which is an inn, where we stopped half an hour, and where I saw a remarkable kind of lighthouse, consisting of a lantern affixed to a rock. The beauty of the country is now at an end - that is, in the eyes of the vulgar: a botanist would, at this point, find it more than usually wonderful and magnificent; for the most beautiful aquatic plants, especially the Nymphia, the Pontedera, and the Cyprian grass are spread out, both in the water and all round it. The two former twine themselves to the very top of the nearest sapling, and the Cyprian grass attains a height of from six to eight feet. The banks of the river are flat, and fringed with underwood and young trees; the background is formed by ranges of hills. The little houses, which are visible now and then, are built of stone, and covered with tiles, yet, nevertheless, they present a tolerably poverty-stricken appearance.

After sailing up the river for seven hours, we reached, without accident, Porto d'Estrella, a place of some importance, since it is the emporium for all the merchandise which is sent from the interior, and then conveyed by water to the capital. There are two good inns; and, besides these, a large building (similar to a Turkish Khan) and an immense tiled roof, supported on strong stone pillars. The first was appropriated to the merchandise, and the second to the donkey drivers, who had arranged themselves very comfortably underneath it, and were preparing their evening meal over various fires that were blazing away very cheerfully. Although fully admitting the charms of such quarters for the night, we preferred retiring to the Star Inn, where clean rooms and beds, and skilfully spiced dishes, possessed more attraction for us.

27th September. From Porto d'Estrella to Petropolis, the distance is seven leagues. This portion of the journey is generally performed upon mules, the charge for which is four milreis (8s. 8d.) each, but as we had been told in Rio Janeiro that the road afforded a beautiful walk, parts of it traversing splendid woods, and that it was besides much frequented, and perfectly safe, being the great means of communication with Minas Gueras, we determined to go on foot, and that the more willingly, as the Count wished to botanize, and I to collect insects. The first eight miles lay through a broad valley, covered with thick brambles and young trees, and surrounded with lofty mountains. The wild pine-apples at the side of the road presented a most beautiful appearance; they were not quite ripe, and were tinged with the most delicate red. Unfortunately, they are far from being as agreeable to the taste as they are to the sight, and consequently are very seldom gathered. I was greatly amused with the humming-birds, of which I saw a considerable number of the smallest species. Nothing can be more graceful and delicate than these little creatures. They obtain their food from the calyx of the flowers, round which they flutter like butterflies, and indeed are very often mistaken for them in their rapid flight. It is very seldom that they are seen on a branch or twig in a state of repose. After passing through the valley, we reached the Serra, as the Brazilians term the summit of each mountain that they cross; the present one was 3,000 feet high. A broad paved road, traversing virgin forests, runs up the side of the mountain.

I had always imagined that in virgin forests the trees had uncommonly thick and lofty trunks; I found that this was not here the case. The vegetation is probably too luxuriant, and the larger trunks are suffocated and rot beneath the masses of smaller trees, bushes, creepers, and parasites. The two latter description of plants are so abundant, and cover so completely the trees, that it is often impossible to see even the leaves, much less the stems and branches. Herr Schleierer, a botanist, assured us that he once found upon one tree six and thirty different kinds of creepers and parasites.

We gathered a rich harvest of flowers, plants, and insects, and loitered along, enchanted with the magnificent woods and not less beautiful views, which stretched over hill and dale, towards the sea and its bays, and even as far as the capital itself.

Frequent truppas, {34a} driven by negroes, as well as the number of pedestrians we met, eased our minds of every fear, and prevented us from regarding it as at all remarkable that we were being continually followed by a negro. As, however, we arrived at a somewhat lonely spot, he sprang suddenly forward, holding in one hand a long knife and in the other a lasso, {34b} rushed upon us, and gave us to understand, more by gestures than words, that he intended to murder, and then drag us into the forest.

We had no arms, as we had been told that the road was perfectly safe, and the only weapons of defence we possessed were our parasols, if I except a clasp knife, which I instantly drew out of my pocket and opened, fully determined to sell my life as dearly as possible. We parried our adversary's blows as long as we could with our parasols, but these lasted but a short time; besides, he caught hold of mine, which, as we were struggling for it, broke short off, leaving only a piece of the handle in my hand. In the struggle, however, he dropped his knife, which rolled a few steps from him; I instantly made a dash, and thought I had got it, when he, more quick than I, thrust me away with his feet and hands, and once more obtained possession of it. He waved it furiously over my head, and dealt me two wounds, a thrust and a deep gash, both in the upper part of the left arm; I thought I was lost, and despair alone gave me the courage to use my own knife. I made a thrust at his breast; this he warded off, and I only succeeded in wounding him severely in the hand. The Count sprang forward, and seized the fellow from behind, and thus afforded me an opportunity of raising myself from the ground. The whole affair had not taken more than a few seconds. The negro's fury was now roused to its highest pitch by the wounds he had received: he gnashed his teeth at us like a wild beast, and flourished his knife with frightful rapidity. The Count, in his turn, had received a cut right across the hand, and we had been irrevocably lost, had not Providence sent us assistance. We heard the tramp of horses' hoofs upon the road, upon which the negro instantly left us and sprang into the wood. Immediately afterwards two horsemen turned a corner of the road, and we hurried towards them; our wounds, which were bleeding freely, and the way in which our parasols were hacked, soon made them understand the state of affairs. They asked us which direction the fugitive had taken, and, springing from their horses, hurried after him; their efforts, however, would have been fruitless, if two negroes, who were coming from the opposite side, had not helped them. As it was, the fellow was soon captured. He was pinioned, and, as he would not walk, severely beaten, most of the blows being dealt upon the head, so that I feared the poor wretch's skull would be broken. In spite of this he never moved a muscle, and lay, as if insensible to feeling, upon the ground. The two other negroes were obliged to seize hold of him, when he endeavoured to bite every one within his reach, like a wild beast, and carry him to the nearest house. Our preservers, as well as the Count and myself, accompanied them. We then had our wounds dressed, and afterwards continued our journey; not, it is true, entirely devoid of fear, especially when we met one or more negroes but without any further mishap, and with a continually increasing admiration of the beautiful scenery.

The colony of Petropolis is situated in the midst of a virgin forest, at an elevation of 2,500 feet above the level of the sea, and, at the time of our visit, it had been founded about fourteen months, with the especial purpose of furnishing the capital with certain kinds of fruit and vegetables, which, in tropical climates, will thrive only in very high situations. A small row of houses already formed a street, and on a large space that had been cleared away stood the wooden carcase of a larger building - the Imperial Villa, which, however, would have some difficulty in presenting anything like an imperial appearance, on account of the low doors that contrasted strangely with the broad, lofty windows. The town is to be built around the villa, though several detached houses are situated at some distance away in the woods. One portion of the colonists, such as mechanics, shop-keepers, etc., had been presented with small plots of ground for building upon, near the villa; the cultivators of the soil had received larger patches, although not more than two or three yokes. What misery must not these poor people have suffered in their native country to have sought another hemisphere for the sake of a few yokes of land!

We here found the good old woman who had been our fellow passenger from Germany to Rio Janeiro, in company with her son. Her joy at being once more able to share in the toils and labours of her favourite had, in this short space of time, made her several years younger. Her son acted as our guide, and conducted us over the infant colony, which is situated in broad ravines; the surrounding hills are so steep, that when they are cleared of timber and converted into gardens, the soft earth is easily washed away by heavy showers.

At a distance of four miles from the colony, a waterfall foams down a chasm which it has worn away for itself. It is more remarkable for its valley-like enclosure of noble mountains, and the solemn gloom of the surrounding woods, than for its height or body of water.

29th September. In spite of the danger we had incurred in coming, we returned to Porto d'Estrella on foot, went on board a bark, sailed all night, and arrived safely in Rio Janeiro the next morning. Every one, both in Petropolis and the capital, was so astonished at the manner in which our lives had been attempted, that if we had not been able to show our wounds we should never have been believed. The fellow was at first thought to have been drunk or insane, and it was not till later that we learned the real motives of his conduct. He had some time previously been punished by his master for an offence, and on meeting us in the wood, he no doubt thought that it was a good opportunity of satisfying, with impunity, his hatred against the whites.