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winds which are frequent in the northern parts of Europe, in clear weather, in the months of March or April.
In afcending the highest part of the mountain, called the Sugar-loaf, which is very steep, our hearts panted and beat vehemently, fo that, as I obferved before, we were obliged to reft above thirty times, to take breath; but whether this was owing to the thinness of the air caufing a difficulty of refpiration, or to the uncommon fatigue which we fuffered in climbing the hill, I cannot determine; but believe it was partly owing to the one, and partly to the other. Our guide, a flim, agile, old man, was not affected in the fame manner with us, but climbed up with eafe, like a goat; for he was one of those poor men who earn their living by gathering brimstone in the Cauldron and other volcanos, the Pike itself being no other, though it has not burned for fome years paft, as may be plainly understood by the nature of its fubftance; and indeed all the top of the island shews evident marks of fome terrible revolution that has happened in Teneriffe; for the fugar-loaf is nothing else than earth mixed with afhes and calcined ftones, thrown out of the bowels of the earth: and the great fquare ftones, before defcribed, feem to have been thrown out of the cauldron or hollow of the Pike, when it was a volcano. The top of the Pike is inacceffible in every way but that by which we went up, viz. by the eaft-fide. It's steepest part is on the north-weft, towards Garrachica. We tumbled fome loose rocks down from that quarter, which rolled a vast way, till we loft fight of them.
Having furveyed every thing worthy of obfervation, we returned to the Eftancia, where our horfes were left; the whole time spent in defcending from the top of the Pike to this place was only half an hour, although the ascent took us up about two hours and a half. It was now about ten in the morning, and the fun fhone fo exceffively hot as to oblige us to take shelter in the cottage; being exceedingly fatigued, we lay down there, intending to fleep, but could not for the cold, which was fo intenfe under the fhade, that we were obliged to kindle a fire to keep ourselves warm.
After taking fome repofe, we mounted our horfes about noon, and defcended by the fame way that we went up, and came to fome pines, fituated above the clouds: between these pines and the Pike grows no herb, fhrub, tree, or grafs, excepting the forementioned retama. About five o'clock in the evening we arrived at Orotava, not having alighted by the way to ftop, only fometimes to walk where the road was too fteep for riding. The whole diftance we rode in the five hours spent in coming down from the Eftancia to Orotava, we computed to be
about fifteen English miles, travelling at the rate of three miles an hour: suppose we then deduct five of these for windings and turnings, the distance from the fea to the Estancia, in a strait line, will be about ten miles; which, if carefully compared with the afcent of the' road, I reckon will make the perpendicular' height of the Eftancia to be about four miles; to which add a mile of perpendicular height from thence to the Pike, the whole will be about five English miles: I am very certain I cannot be miftaken in this calculation above a mile either way. There is no place in the world more proper for an obfervatory than the Eftancia: if a commodious warm houfe or cottage was built upon it, to accommodate aftronomers while the moderate weather continues, viz. all July, Auguft, and September, they might make their observations, take an account of the wind and weather of the region above the clouds, and remark their nature and properties. But if any perfon intends to vifit the Pike, I would advise him to wait for fine clear weather, carry a good tent, plenty of water, and fome provifions along with him, that he may be enabled to remain at the Eftancia four or five days; in which time he might go twice or thrice to the top of the Pike, and make his obfervations at leifure.'
The island of Hierro has been long famous in hiftory for a tree, which diftills water from its leaves. This phoenomenon is by fome reprefented as miraculous, while others deny the exiftence of it. Our author tells us that there is actually fuch a tree in the island, and that its leaves conftantly diftil a quantity of water fufficient for every creature in the island. It is fituated on the top of a rock, at the extremity of a narrow gully or gutter, about a league and a half long, which commences at the fea. This famous tree is about three feet in diameter, thirty feet high, and the circumference of all its branches one hundred and twenty. The latter are remarkably thick and extended, and the longest about an ell from the ground. Its fruit resembles the acorn, and taftes fomething like the kernel of a pine-apple *, but is fofter and more aromatic. The leaves refemble thofe of the laurel, but are longer, wider, and more curved; they come forth in a perpetual fucceflion, fo that the tree is always green. On the north fide of the trunk are two large cifterns of rough ftone, each twenty feet fquare, and twelve deep one contains water for the drinking of the inhabitants, and the other that which they ufe for their cattle, &c. Every morning, near this part of the island, a cloud or mift arifes from the fea, which the fouth and easterly wind force againft the steep cliff, fo that the cloud having no vent by the gutter already mentioned, gradually afcends it, and from thence ad
Not the anana, but the fir, or pine-apple.
vances flowly to the extremity of the valley, where it is flopped by the front of the rock which terminates the valley, and then refts on the fpreading branches and thick leaves of the tree; whence it diftils in drops during the remainder of the day. Other trees, feveral of which grow near it, perform the fame office, and the inhabitants fave fome water from them, though much less than from the fountain tree, which they call Till. This tree yields moft water when the Levant or eafterly winds have prevailed for fome time; it being only by these winds that the clouds or mists are driven to it from the fea.
We shall conclude our account of this performance with the defcription Mr. Glas has given us of the manners and customs of the prefent inhabitants, referring the reader to the work itself for a more particular account of these celebrated islands.
The natives of thefe iflands, although their deportment is grave, are extremely quick and fenfible. The women are remarkable for their vivacity and fprightly converfation, which far exceeds that of the French, English, or other northern nations. This agreeable lively humour is not peculiar to the inhabitants of those islands, but is common to thofe of the temperate countries, particularly the northern part of Africa.
The Baron de Montefquieu has been very particular in telling us what effect the air and climate has upon the temper and genius of the inhabitants of different countries; but although no attentive traveller can be perfuaded to agree with him in his notions of these things, yet we may venture to affert with truth that the natives of the temperate climates are naturally endowed with more fenfe, penetration, and quickness of apprehenfion, than those of the countries fituated to the fouthward of them: for, to whatever caufe it may be owing, it is certain that the northern nations, Blacks, and Indians, are a heavy, phlegmatic, and ftupid people, when compared with the Libyans, Arabs, Spaniards, and Canarians: but this difference cannot be fo well obferved as in fuch of thefe people as have not had the advantage of education, but are left entirely to nature.
The great families in thofe iflands would be highly offended if any one fhould tell them that they are defcended from the Moors, or even the ancient inhabitants of thefe iflands; yet I imagine it would be no difficult matter to prove, that most of their amiable cuftoms have been handed down to them from those people, and that they have inherited little elfe from the Gothic fide but barbarity. Yet the Canarian gentry, and all the Spaniards, are proud of being thought to have defcended from the Goths.
The gentry of thefe iflands boaft much of their birth, and
with reason; for they are defcended from fome of the best families in Spain. It is faid that the Count of Gomera is the true heir to the honours of the house of Medina Cæli, but is not able to affert his just title, because of the great influence the prefent Duke has at the court of Madrid, from his immenfe fortune. The gentry here have fome privileges, which I cannot Specify, but they are trifling. I remember when a Scots gentleman of family, a phyfician in Canaria, wanted to obtain the rank of nobility in that ifland, he was obliged to produce a certificate from his native country, that there had never been a butcher, taylor, miller, or porter in his family. This was not very difficult to procure, as he came from a remote part of the Highlands of Scotland, where very few follow any handicraft. It is not to be wondered at, that the trade of a butcher fhould not be esteemed, or that of a taylor, which last is a profeffion rather too effeminate for men to be employed in, but why millers and porters fhould be held in contempt, is hard to imagine; efpecially the former, who are an inoffenfive fet of men, and abfolutely neceflary in almost every country: it is true, indeed, that here they are great thieves, for each family fends its own corn to the mill, where, unless it is narrowly looked after, the miller generally makes an handfome toll. I have been informed, that when any perfon is to fuffer death, and the proper executioner happens to be out of the way, the officers of juftice may feize the firft butcher, miller, or porter they can find, and compel him to perform that difagreeable office.
I remember, that once when I touched at the island of Gomera, to procure fresh water, I hired fome miferable, poor, ragged fifhermen, to fill our cafks and bring them on board: fome time after, I went to the watering-place to fee what progress they had made, when I found the cafks full, and all ready for rolling down to the beach, with the fishermen ftanding by, converfing. together as if they had nothing to do. I reprimanded them for their floth in not difpatching the bufinefs I employed them in; when one of them, with a difdainful air, replied, "What do you take us to be, Sir? do you imagine we are porters? no, Sir, we are fcamen." Notwithstanding all my intreaties, and promises of reward, I could not prevail on any of them to put their hands to the casks to roll them to the water-fide, but was obliged to hire porters.
In another voyage I happened to have feveral Canarian feamen on board, among whom was a boy from Palma, who had been a butcher's apprentice or fervant; the feamen would not eat with him for a long time, until I came to understand it,
when I obliged them to mefs all together, though my order was not obeyed without much grumbling and difcontent.
Another time, a patron of one of the Canary fifhing-boats came aboard our fhip, on the coaft of Barbary, and breakfaited with us; befides ourfelves, there were theri ar table a Jew (our interpreter) and a Moor; when the patron (or master of the bark) took me afide, and gravely reprimanded me for bringing him into fuch bad company; "For (added he) although I am obliged by neceffity to earn my bread by the fifhery on this coaft, yet I am an old Chriftian of clean blood, and fcorn to fit in company with many in Sancta Cruz who are called gentlemen, yet cannot clear themselves from the charge of having a mixture of Jewish and Moorish blood in their veins."
The gentry of these islands are commonly poor, yet extremely polite and well bred. The peafants and labouring poor are not without a confiderable fhare of good manners, and have little of that furly rufticity which is fo common among the lower kind of people in England; yet they do not feem to be abafhed or afhamed in prefence of their fuperiors,
The fervants and common people are exceffively addicted to pilfering, for which they are feldom otherwife punished than by being turned off, beaten' when detected, or imprisoned for a fhort time. Robberies are feldom or ever committed here; but murder is more common than in England, the natives of these iflands being addicted to revenge. I do not remember to have heard of any duels among them, for they cannot comprehend how a man's having courage to fight, can atone for the injury he hath done his antagonist.-The confequence of killing a man here, is that the murderer flies to a church for refuge, until he can find an opportunity to escape out of the country: if he had been greatly provoked or injured by the deceased, and did not kill him premeditately, or in cold blood, he will find every body ready to affift him in his endeavours to escape, except the near relations of the murdered perfon. Neverthelefs quarrels are not fo frequent here as in England; which may in part be owing to the fatal confequences they are attended with, or the want of coffee-houses, taverns, or other public houses; and also by reafon of the temperance of the gentry in drinking, and their polite behaviour, with the little intercourfe there is among them.
The common people do not fight together in public like the English; but if one perfon offends another, fo as to put him in a violent paffion, the injured party, if he is able, takes vengeance on the aggreffor in the best manner he can, without regard to what we call fair play, until fuch time as he thinks he This is ftrange, if as Mr. Glafs fays, the common people are fo addicted to pilfering.
REV. July, 1764.