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Farmer and his daughter going to Town in Madeira

Ancient traditional costumes of Madeira


A farmer and his daughter going to Town in Madeira around 1820 - engraving reproduced and restored by © Norbert Pousseur
Madeira - ~1820 - A farmer and his daughter going to Town


engraving and text extracted from
History of Madeira - 1821 (from my library)
Madeira was then under British domination

A farmer and his daughter going to Town

The rent which a farmer in this island pays to his landlord is a third of the produce of his farm, and he pays frequent visits to Funchal to make his proportioned offerings to the proprietor of the land which he cultivates. According to their quantity he is generally accompanied by his wife or daughter. The plate is supposed on this occasion to represent the latter. The agricultural tenure is of a peculiar character in Madeira : when the farmer dies, his son inherits the tenancy or occupation of land, which continues in regular and heritable succession.
The females of this class are fond of dress, and particularly disposed to decorate their persons, not only with flowers, but with chains, ear-rings, buttons, etc. Whenever they can make a reserve of money, they never fail to purchase such articles ; and when money happens to be wanting, they are represented as being equally ready to sell them.

The cottage, plac’d beneath the hill,
The bridge that stretches o’er the rill,
The rock that lifts its head on high,
And blends its stature with the sky ;
While groves and woodlands intervene
To form the charming pictured scene ;
From these the farmer's steps are bent,
To seek the town, and pay his rent ;
To bear the produce of the soil,
Rear'd by his busy, daily toil,—
To feed, by his laborious hands,
The wants that smiling wealth demands
But ’tis to wealth that labour owes
The comforts its own lot bestows.
Joy oft depends on little things ;
The farmer’s happy when he sings ;
And feels as he returns from town
All his arm’s burthen is his own.
His fond girl, too, in smiles appears,
When ringlets decorate her ears.
And who knows but the dangling chain,
May give her pride its pleasing reign,
And wake her to a sprightly strain.
Perhaps he feels, when he was young,
He tripp’d with lighter steps along ;
But now, if he should want her aid,
Close by his side the duteous maid,
Or with her arm, or with her lay,
Now helps him on, or cheers his way :
Thus do our pleasures and our cares
Go hand in hand, and march in pairs.


Previous : Paesants cultivating the ground
Traditional costumes Next :
Women grinding corn

This engraving of Madeira people can be enlarged by zoom,
the original measuring 17x22 cm



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