The leisure hour

(…) The islanders are fond of music, but the art has attained little perfection among them. A little instrument, the machete, is peculiar to the island; it has not much power, but great sweetness and liveliness of note. Some of the natives handle the guitar with skill. Generally after a festival, or market-day at Funchal, large bands of the country people are met returning to the mountains, headed by the musicians of the party, who relieve the toil of the march by the inspiring sound of well know native airs. In Funchal, during the bright soft moonlight evenings, the air is filled with melody, floating from the gardens and terraces, where the higher classes often enjoy themselves after the heat had kept them within doors during the day; often, too, the dead stillness of the night is broken by the soft sweet notes of the machettinho accompanied by the measured tread of some mountaineer, returning to his far home among the hills. (…)