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sharp than Canary. As it is but in little esteem in Europe, they export it chiefly to the West Indies, where it keeps well for a long time in the hottest climates. Besides Malmfey, Verdona, and the common Canary wine, Teneriffe island so abounds in all kinds of grain, wheat, maiz, and barley, that great quantities are shipped off to other countries ; nor is it less prolific in quadrupeds and birds of all kinds. In a word, exclusive of some inconveniences from earth quakes and volcanos, the universe presents not a more delightful spot for contemplation, ease, and all the felicities of quiet life f.
East-south-east, and about ten leagues distant from Teneriffe, stands the island of Gran Canaria or Great Canary, between 27 and 28 deg. of north latitude (G). It is twelve leagues in length, and nearly as much in breadth. Prevost calls this island the chief of the Canaries, without afligning any other reason than its name, and the residence of a bishop ; from which last circumstance we may collect, that either this prelare has palaces in the different islands, or that all the larger ones are distinct fees. The truth we believe is, that though the viceroy, the bishop, and all the people of distinction live in Teneriffe, yet the island of Canary is a bishop's fee, suffragran to the archbishop of Seville in Spain ; for, besides this, there is here a court of inquisition, and the sovereign council of all the Canaries is held here occasionally. Nay more, in Nicolls's time it is certain, there was only one bishop of the Canary Ilands; and no alteration in this particular is positively mentioned by any author. The capital of this ifland is called Palma ;' in Latin, Civitas Palmarum ; in Spanish, Cividad das Palmas, a name by which it is specified in all the public acts and particular contracts, or procedures of justice, yet do some authors call it Canary. It stands on the north part of the island, at a small distance from the sea, and is celebrated for its temperate climate, extent, neatness, and other particulars. It is adorned with a
* Sprat's History of the Royal Society; p. 209. La Croix, p. 675, & feq. Prevost, tom. iii. liv. v. cap. 1. Purchas's Pilgrims, lib. xii. cap 3. p. 788. Davity, tom. v. p. 610. Sanut. Jib. iii. Linschot, cap. 97. Cadamost. apud Ramus. cap. 7.
(G) Some writers, and in teen leagues ; but we have particular Davity and La fixed upon the authority of Croix, make the distance be. Nicolls, who had long been an tween these islands about four- inhabitant of the Canaries.
magnificent cathedral, several convents, and a number of elegant buildings, which render it little inferior to Laguna; and it is perhaps superior in point of police, all the principal men of wealth and credit acting in the capacity of civil magistrates.
The country is more level, and as fertile as Teneriffe, yet the soil is light and sandy, covered over by a coat of rich mould, about sixteen inches thick. Every year produces two crops of all kinds of vegetables, except fruits the one in February, and the other in May, and both plentiful. Their flour-bread in this island is especially ex- ! cellent, both in taste and colour; in which last it rivals snow itself. Sugar-canes are raised in such abundance, that there are no less than twelve sugar-works, each so large as to be mistaken by strangers for little towits; and the abundance of this commodity constitutes the principal wealth of the island, incredible quantities of coarse sugar being yearly exported. Le Maire specifies four convents of different orders; viz. the Franciscan, Dominican, Bernardine, and Cordelier houses, all of them rich and well built.
The island of Fuerte, or Fuerte Ventura, stands about Fuerte fixteen leagues north-north-east of Canary island, one end Ventura. of it lying under the 28th, and the other extending almost to the 29th degree of north latitude, being about fifty miles in length, and variable in its breadth ; in some parts ten leagues, in others no inore than as many miles. The foil is in general fertile in corn, roots, and fruits, and beautifully diversified in hills and vallies, well watered and supplied with a variety of timber. This island pro- | duces, belides the other fruits common to the Canaries, a prodigious abundance of dates, mastick, and olives, with orchel for dyeing, and a species of fig-tree that yields a medicinal balm as white as milk; but the virtues of it are wholly unknown in Europe. An incredible quantity of goat-milk cheese is made in Fuerte Ventura, as may be easily conceived from that island's breeding upwards of fifty thousand kids every year. The flesh is fat, better coloured, and sweeter, than in any other country; each of them weighing between forty and fifty pounds. Dapper says, that here are three considerable sea-port towns, Langla, Tarafato, and Pozzo Negro, with two good roads besides for shipping, where they may ride secure against all storms. We find in Herbert, but in no other author, that this island was taken in 1596 by the English; but has, since
that time, been better fortified. On the north coast of Fuerte Ventura, about a mile farther in the sea, it is that the little island of Gratiofa ftands; with a particular account of which it would be unnecessary to trouble the reader.
The last island of the Canaries we shall describe is Lancerota, or Lanzerota, formerly Centuria, as we find it in all the ancient geographers. It lies under 29. deg. 30 min. north latitude, and 12 deg. 31 min. west longitude from London. In length it is thirteen leagues from north to fouth, nine in breadth, and about forty in compass, taking in the bays and creeks. It is parted by a ridge of mountains which afford nothing but pasture for cattle, though the vallies are fruitful, but fandy, and thin in the soil. It abounds in grain, fruits, horned cattle, hares, camels, and afles. In Nicolls's days it was the property of Don Augustin de Herrera; but ships crews had an appeal, in all judicial cafes, to the viceroy of the Canaries. One great branch of the trade of Lancerota consists in dried goats flesh, which the inhabitants fell in great quantities io the neighbouring islands, under the name of tussineta.
To these seven great islands may be added the small ones of St. Clair, Gratiofa, Rocca, and Alegranza, situated at the north-east end of Lancerota ; but they have nothing so peculiar as to merit a description. We shall therefore close these observations on the Canaries with remarking, that the natives of these islands enjoy a clear, serene, temperate air; for though they lie in a warm climate, they are so constantly refreshed with breezes from the fea, that the noon-day heats are very tolerable, and the mornings and evenings inexpreslibly pleasant. They never feel pinching colds or scorching heats, nor do the poorest people know the want of cloathing, firing, fruits, or wine. In a word, if fields covered with the finest and richeit verdure, hills with a variety of woods and fruits, great abundance of all the necessaries and conveniencies of living, and, in short, a scene the most rural, fimple, and elegant, can render people happy, the inhabitants of the Canaries cannot fail of meriting the name given to them by the ancients, of Fortunate.
W E come, in the last place, to describe the islands of Madeira,
Madeira and Porto Santo, from the lame and defective materials furnished us from voyagers and geographers.
Some imagine, that Madeira was known to the ancients by the names of Juno and Antetala ; but it is probable the Portuguese were the first discoverers, unless there be truth in the following relation of Ovington. This gentleman says, that though the discovery is attributed by all Europeans to the Portuguese, yet there is a tradition among the natives, which gives the whole honour to the Englith. They affirm, that an English gentleman, who had married a lady of immense fortune, embarked at Bristol, in the year 1342, for France, and was driven by a storm to the island of Madeira, so called afterwards by the Spaniards, on account of the incredible quantity of trees and prodigious forests it produced. Here he landed, and finding it uninhabited, fell into melancholy and defpondency, which foon put an end to his life; but the failors ventured again to sea, and happily arrived on the coast of Barbary. There they met with a Portuguese squadron, to whom they related their adventure, and promised to conduct the admiral to the island they had quitted. Immediately notice was sent to the court of Lisbon, and the proposal appeared fo advantageous, that instructions were given to an admiral, with whose name we are unacquainted, to go in fearch of the island; in which he fucceeded, and, in the space of a few years, rendered it one of the most delightful spots in the universe. However, the most probable and best attested account is, that the Portuguese did not become acquainted with Madeira before the year 1431, when Don Henry first fent a colony thither, under the conduct of Tristan Teflora and Gonzales or Gonzalvo Zarco, who were nominated governors alternately, or, az others affirm, of different parts of the island. Upon this partition of power, it was divided into two provinces, Machico and Funchal: the new colonias immediately set to work in clearing the ground, and, for this purpose, fet fire to the forests, which burnt with such violence, that the governor and people were forced to feck protection from the
flames in the fea, in which they had almost perished, before they were taken up by a ship. So abundant was the fewel, and fierce the flames, that this fire continued, we are told, for near seven years ; in consequence of which, the soil was so enriched by the wood-afhes, that, for a long time, it produced one hundred fold ; though we are told, this increase is diminished to twenty-five times the quantity of grain fown, or sugar-canes planted (H). At first the colony consisted of no more than eight hundred souls : now, if we may credit Atkins, the island of Madeira can raise eighteen thousand able-bodied men ; nor were they much inferior in strength in the year 1640, when, by that surprising revolution, Portugal threw off the Spanish yoke.
This island, Barbout is of opinion, is the Carne of the ancients, lying in 32 deg. of north latitude, and 17 of west longitude from London, seventy leagucs north-west, or, according to some authors, north-east of Teneriffe,
(H) Atkins and Ovington other of a reddish colour, and both affirm, upon the testimo- from these are made two sorts ny of the Spaniards and na of wine, one of which is called tives, that the ashes, and their tinto, from its high colour. falts, occafioned, for a while, This, they say, is, in the opi. an amazing fertility, particu- nion of some perfons, actually larly in sugar; but that a coloured by certain ingrediworm, which had crept in, ents, with which they five it ; the destruction of the cane, but this the inhabitants conobliged the Spaniards to con- ftantly deny; and we shall see vert their sugar-plantations in- in the text four several diitinct to vintages, which proved e kinds of Madeira wine. Ovingqually advantageous, from the ton adds, that so far has Ma. excellency of the grape. deira degenerated from its
The malmsey wine made wonted fertility, that some here is, according to them, an years are so barren as to enadmirable cordial; and the danger a fairine, the inhabitbest vintages in this kind be ants being forced to rely for longed to the Jesuits of Funchal. bread on the supplies brought They gather their vintages in by the shipping. This was September and October, mak- the case in the year 1687, ing every year no less than when he was on the island (1). twenty thousand pipes. The Captain Uring goes farther, fame authors affirm, that Ma- and affirms, that it seldom prodeira produces only two kinds duces more grain than supplies of grapes, the one brown, the the people for three months (2).
(1) Atkins, p. 23.
(2) Ovington, p. 10. Uring's Voy: p. 10.