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fort of despotic power, which they have acquired in cona fequence of their number, wealth, and influence, over the minds of the ignorant people. It is amazing that fo large a body of idle clergy can be maintained in such affluence by so small a number of laborious laics; but so it is, the poverty of the latter exactly tallies with the riches of the former; and as wealth ever implies power, the clergy have engroffed almost the whole prerogative of the island, the governor himself being little more than a cypher.
The inhabitants of Madeira always bury their catholic dead in their churches and consecrated grounds. The corpse is dressed out with great magnificence, but feldom inclosed in a coffin ; on the contrary, they mix lime with the dust, the sooner to consume it; so different are their manners, in this particular from those of the Guanches in the neighbouring islands. This mixture of burnt lime, and the warmth of the climate, have so sudden an effect, that we are told a grave may be opened in the space of fifteen days, by which time the body is wholly reduced to duft.
The bodies of hereties are forbid Christian burial, and regarded as the carcasies of brutes. Even the most confiderable English protestant merchants are treated with the most ignominious contempt, and forced to throw their dead bodies, as if they were on ship-board, into the fea, unless they pay an extravagant price to the clergy for the liberty of breaking groundb.
Marvellous Some writers, and particularly Linschoten, in their de-
don, or Porondon, about a hundred leagues from Ferro,
b. Vide Gramay, lib. ix. Sanut. cap. 8, Davity, p. 625. Oving. ton, p, 10, & feq. Aikins, p. 23, & feq. Hackl. tom. iii. p. 578. La Croix, tom. iv. par. iv. p. 509. Prevost, tom. iii. liv, v. chap. 1,
never fail of refreshments of every kind. They moreover add, that it is peopled by Christians, who have a language of their own, apparently combined of a variety of modern languages; for, say they, whoever understands the Enropean tongues, may make shift to hold conversation with this people. It is remarkable, that no fhips, expressly fent upon this discovery, were ever fortunate enough to fall in with the island of St. Borondon, though the Spaniards have made several attempts from the Canaries. Hence it has been called the Marvellous Island; and hence, indeed, we may conclude, that it exists only in imagination.
The island of Puerto Santo lies in the Atlantic ocean, Porte opposite to Cape Cantin, in the kingdom of Morocco, Santo. and under 32 deg. 30 min. north latitude, and 5 deg. 29 min. west longitude from London. Some writers, and particularly Ortelius, are of opinion, that ihis, and not Madeira, is the Carne of Ptolemy, while others affirm it, instead of one of the Canaries, to be the Ombrio, or Pluvialia, of Pliny: but most probable it is, that Puerto Santo is the island called Palma by Ptolemy, as the latitude exactly corresponds with his position of it, and with no other. According to La Croix, and the relations of voyages given by Ramusio, this island was discovered several years before Madeira; and yet, what is strange, they make Gonzalvo Zarco the discoverer ; and Ramusio relates the very fame circumstances of the one voyage, which Alcaforado does of the other. Other writers again affirm, that it was not known before the year 1428 ; and indeed it is probable, that the discovery both of it and Madeira was still of later date. The Portuguese fleet fell in with this island by accident in a storm, and gave
on account of the protection it afforded them. It was then uninhabited; but has ever since continued peopled by the Portuguese, and in their poffeffion. The island of Porto Santo is but small, not exceeding five leagues in compafs, according to Cadamosto; though Sanutus makes it somewhat larger. It has good harbours, and only one bay, where ships may ride securely against all winds, except the south-weit. It is in this bay that thips going or returning from India stop to rest and refresh, which is all the trade the inhabitants enjoy. The iland produces wheat and corn in great abundance ; also cows, wild-boars, and rabbits; the latter in incredible numbers. But its most valuable productions for export are dragon's blood, honcy, wax, and fish. All the inhaMOD. Vol. XII.
it this name
bitants are bigotted Roman Catholics, under the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishop of Madeira, and the civil power of the governor of that island. In a word, the people here enjoy enough of all the conveniences of life to be extremely happy, were they not frequently molested by the incursions and depredations of pirates, who frequently plunder the villages, and carry off the inhabitants
E shall close this chapter with an account of the
Azores, which some geographers describe as belonging to Africa, others to America, and some others, upon better grounds, to Europe. However, as they lie in the same fea with these we have been just describing, we think this the most convenient part for them, especially as it is a disputed point to which of the above three quarters of the globe they belong. Robbe ranks the Azores among
the African islands; De Lisle, among the American, as being nearer that continent; and most of our English geographers, for the same reason, among those of Europe. These islands had the name of Azores, or Azoras, from several flights of hawks which appeared to the first discoverers; they are also called Terceras, from one of them which goes by that name, and though not the largest, is yet the chief and most considerable.
The Azores, Terceras, or Wiftern Illes, are seven in number ; namely, St. Michael, St. Maria, Tercera, Gratiofa, St. George, Pico, and Fayal, besides those of Flores and Corvo, which are now included among them, as they are under the same government, and but feventy leagues diftant to the westward. Formerly they were called the Flemish Iflands, because they were fuppofed to have been discovered by a Flemish merchant, a native of Bruges, who, in his voyage to Lisbon, anno 1445, or as others think, in 1449, was driven so far to the west by a storm, as to fall in with the Azores, which he found uninhabited. Upon his arrival at Lisbon, he gave such hints, in relating his adventure, as were sufficient to engage that then enterprising court in a farther discovery, which succeeded to
a Davity, tom. v. p. 621: citat. ibid.
Croix, p. 707. etiam auct. fupra
their with Antonio Gonzalo, in his History of the Difcoverers of the World, says, that the great Don Henry, prince of Portugal, thought this so conliderable an acquisition to the former discoveries he had made, that he went in person to take posseflion of the Azores, in 1449. Da. vity affirms, that the Flemish merchants, on the part of their countryman, fent a colony thither, which fettled in Fayal, where their descendants continue to this day. In proof of this assertion, it is urged, that a river in this island is called by the Portuguese, Rio or Ribera dos Flamingos. All the others are undoubtedly inhabited by the Portuguese, under a governor of that nation, residing at Angra, the capital of Tercera, and indeed of all the Azores. In spirituals, they are under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the Azores, whose capital residence is at Punta Deglada, in the island of St. Michael.
In the year 1457, the inhabitants had a grant from Alphonso V. exempting their trade from all duties to any of the ports of Spain and Portugal; and several other immunities and privileges were granted to this favourite colony. They lie between the 36th and 40th deg. of north latitude, and between the 23d and 32d deg. of west longitude, about three hundred leagues to the west ward of Portugal, nearly the same distance to the eastward of Newfoundland, and not much excecding it to the northwest of the island of Madeira, or the African side of the Streights of Gibraltar. Ortelius has given a map of them from Texeira, the king of Spain's geographer, acquainting us at the same time, that, as foon as the ships bound from Europe to America touch here, they are immediately freed from all the vermin that before infeited them; no species of noxious or poisonous animals being able to live above a few hours in the Azores.
Besides the Azores, including Flores and Corvo, there are several smaller islands to the north-west, which merit no particular description; one only excepted, which Kircher affirms, emerged all of a sudden out of the sea, at a place where fishermen used to found a hundred and twenty feet water. At first this isand appeared in form of a group of rocks, filling up a space of live or fix acres of ground; but afterwards enlarged to as many miles in extent. This event was preceded by horrible earchquakes for near eight days; after which a violent fire broke out through the surface of the sea, flaming up to the clouds, and vomiting out prodigious quantities of fand, earth, ftones, and minerals, appearing at a distance like large
fleeces of wool, and falling down again to the surface of the water, upon which they swam in a concrete form. This was followed by the emersion of the rocks we have mentioned, and by fome others of greater height, which were broke in pieces by another shock of an earthquake, and then united into one folid mass, with the scum swimming on the top of the water. Such is the account of Kircher, which we will not attempt to defend, though that might poslibly be done by well attested similar instances; particularly of an island in the Archipelago, mentioned by Santorino, and some other writers of unquestioned veracity.
The Terceras, or Azores Islands, are discovered a great way at sea, thirty leagues, says Frezier, by a high mountain called the pico, or peak, of the Azores, of a conical form, like the peak of Teneriffe. All writers allow, that the Azores enjoy a clear serene sky, and wholsome pleasant climate ; and that they are fertile in corn, wine, fruits, and quadrupeds, both wild and tame. Their greatest inconvenience is their being subject, like the Cam naries, to violent earthquakes, as well as to the fury of the surrounding waves, which frequently do an incredible deal of mischief to the inhabitants, by overflowing the low grounds, and sweeping off whole fields of grain and folds of cattle, breaking down their fences and overturning their houses.
31. Michael. The first island in order is St. Michael, or, as the Por
tuguese call it, San Miguel, it being the most eastern and largest, computed above twenty leagues in length. St. Michael has several considerable towns and villages, extremely populous, and driving a large commerce in corn, wine, and cattle; but the harbours are bad and dangerous for shipping. It stands about eight leagues southeast of Tercera, and abounds with arable and pasture ground; though these advantages are more than compenfated by the constant terror in which the inhabitants live, every moment expecting earthquakes and volcanos that will swallow them up. This is a misfortune to which St. Michael is more liable, and oftener exposed, than any other of the Azores illands. Kircher gives an account of a dreadful earthquake which happened here on the 26th of June, 1638, that continued for eight days, without intermiflion, and fo terribly shook the island, especially the canton of Vargen, that the people abandoned their houses in the utmott terror and perturbation, living all