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Title: Uruguay
Author: Koebel, W. H. (William Henry), 1872-1923
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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(This file was produced from images generously made


THE SOUTH AMERICAN SERIES



URUGUAY



_BY THE SAME AUTHOR_

  ARGENTINA, PAST AND PRESENT.

  PORTUGAL: ITS LAND AND PEOPLE.

  MADEIRA OLD AND NEW.

  MODERN ARGENTINA.

  ETC., ETC.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL: MONTEVIDEO.
Frontispiece.]



  URUGUAY

  BY
  W. H. KOEBEL

  AUTHOR OF
  "ARGENTINA, PAST AND PRESENT," "PORTUGAL: ITS LAND AND PEOPLE,"
  ETC.

  WITH A MAP AND 55 ILLUSTRATIONS

  T. FISHER UNWIN

  LONDON LEIPSIC

  ADELPHI TERRACE INSELSTRASSE 20

  CMXI



(_All rights reserved._)



INTRODUCTORY NOTE


The author has to tender his cordial thanks for the extreme courtesy
and for the invaluable assistance rendered during his stay in the
country by the Uruguayan officials, and by the British Minister
Plenipotentiary, Mr. J. R. Kennedy.

He is desirous of expressing the obligations under which he has been
placed by Mr. C. E. R. Rowland, British Consul at Montevideo, for
general assistance and information on the seal fisheries; Señor José
H. Figueira, for the description of the aboriginal tribes; Señor Ramos
Montero, for the commercial technicalities of the pastoral industry;
and Mr. V. Hinde, for the paper on the British railways in Uruguay.

Thanks are due to a number of British residents, both in Montevideo
and the Campo, greater than it is possible to enumerate individually.
The author would more especially acknowledge the courtesy of Messrs.
Stapledon, W. J. Maclean, H. Hall-Hall, C. W. Baine, Temple, R. Booth,
Piria, Adams, R. B. Harwar, L. L. Mercer, Warren, and J. Storm.

Mr. R. A. Bennett, who accompanied the author for the purpose of
photography, displayed an unremitting zeal that must be gratefully
recognised. He is responsible for much of the information on Mercedes,
the Swiss colony, and the frontier town of Rivera.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I

             PAGE

  SURVEY                                                    27

  Geographical situation of the Republic--Boundaries and
  area--Uruguay as an historical, commercial, and
  financial centre--The respective positions of Uruguay
  and Paraguay--Disadvantages of a buffer State--A land
  of sunshine and shadow--The history of Uruguay--The
  blending of industry and warfare--Vitality of the
  nation--Instances of self-sacrifice--A South American
  Switzerland--A freedom-loving folk--Deeds of arms and
  the undercurrents of commerce--Montevideo in the eyes of
  the casual traveller--Factors that make for the progress
  of the Banda Oriental--Influence of railway--Coming
  cessation of the North American beef shipments--
  Temperament of the Uruguayan--Distinction between
  Argentine and Uruguayan politics--The clans of the
  Banda Oriental--The birthright of party convictions--
  Education in Uruguay--National points of honour--Liberty
  accorded the foreigner--The courtesy of officials--An
  incident at the customs-house--Popularity of the
  English--A gratifying situation--Satisfactory international
  relations--The work of Mr. R. J. Kennedy, the British
  Minister Plenipotentiary--Uruguay's pacific foreign
  policy--Careful finance--Army and navy--General
  progress of the nation.

  CHAPTER II

  HISTORY                                                   37

  The discovery of Uruguay--Reception by the Indians--Juan
  de Solis and his fate--Navigation of the River Plate--
  Serrano and Magellanes--Rivalry between Spaniards and
  Portuguese--The first settlement in the Banda Oriental--
  Aggressive tactics of the Indians--Forts destroyed by
  them--Colonisation under difficulties--The introduction
  of cattle--A prophetic move--Intervention of the
  missionaries--Jesuit settlements established--Uruguay's
  isolation comes to an end--Influence of the livestock--
  Cattle-raiders--The first Portuguese invasion--Victory
  of the Spaniards, assisted by native auxiliaries--Treaties
  and their attendant troubles--The indecision of old
  Spain--Partial extermination of the Indians--The town
  of Colonia as a bone of contention--Introduction of the
  first negro slaves into the provinces of the River
  Plate--Unrest on the Spanish Main--Moreau, the buccaneer--
  The fate of his expedition--Portuguese invaders expelled
  by the Spaniards--A fort is constructed on the present
  site of Montevideo.

  CHAPTER III

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                     48

  Founding of the city of Montevideo--Its first
  inhabitants--Inducement offered to colonists--The early
  days of the town--Successful rising of the Indians in
  the neighbourhood--Victory of the natives--Montevideo
  saved by Jesuit intervention--The Portuguese invade the
  northern provinces--The first Governor of Montevideo--
  Treaties and territorial cessions--Dissatisfaction of
  Jesuit Indians--Their defeat by combined Spanish and
  Portuguese forces--Vicissitudes of Colonia--The danger of
  hostile residents--A concentration camp of the old
  days--Expulsion of the Jesuits--Some incidents of the
  wars with the Portuguese--The foundation of urban
  centres--The English occupy themselves with the whaling
  industry on the coast--Discouragement of the enterprise
  by the King of Spain--A corps of "Blandengues" is
  created--The British invasion--Political effects of
  the occupation--The War of Independence--Montevideo
  as the seat of the Spanish viceroyalty--Commencement
  of the agitation for freedom in Uruguay.

  CHAPTER IV

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                     57

  The advent of Artigas--First revolutionary movements in
  Uruguay--The appointment of leaders--First successes of
  the Uruguayans--The germs of future jealousies--Montevideo
  besieged by the patriot forces--An incident of the
  investment--Spain appeals to Portugal for assistance--
  nvasion of Uruguay by the latter--The Buenos Aires
  Government concludes a treaty with the Spanish Viceroy--
  Raising of the siege of Montevideo--Position of Uruguay--
  Discontent of the Orientales--The exodus of the nation--
  Incidents of emigration to the Argentine shore--Montevideo
  in Spanish hands--The country overrun by Portuguese--Buenos
  Aires effects a treaty with the latter--Resumption of the
  campaign against the Spaniards--Dispute between the
  Argentine and Uruguayan leaders--Montevideo again besieged--
  Some battle incidents--Artigas reappears on the scene--
  Drastic measures towards an ally--A national Congress
  convened--Oriental deputies rebuffed by Buenos Aires--
  Artigas withdraws from the siege of Montevideo--Price set
  upon his head--War declared between Uruguay and Buenos
  Aires--The Argentine littoral provinces adhere to Artigas--
  Fall of Montevideo.

  CHAPTER V

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                     69

  Conclusion of Spanish rule--Situation of the victors--
  Rival claims--Alvear defeats a Uruguayan force--
  Montevideo remains in possession of Buenos Aires--Rural
  Uruguay supports Artigas--Alliance of the Argentine
  littoral provinces with the Orientales--Some intrigues
  and battles--Success of the Uruguayans--Departure from
  Montevideo of the Buenos Aires garrison--The Uruguayans
  enter into possession of their capital--Some crude methods
  of government--Trials of the inhabitants--Growth of
  Artigas's power--The Buenos Aires directors undertake
  a propitiatory measure--A grim human offering--Attitude
  of the Uruguayan Protector--Negotiations and their
  failure--The civil progress of Uruguay--Formation of
  departments--The Portuguese invade the country once
  again--Condition of the inhabitants--Fierce resistance
  to the invaders--A campaign against heavy odds--The
  Portuguese army enters Montevideo--War continued by the
  provinces--Invasion of Brazil by the Oriental forces--
  Crushing defeats suffered by the army of invasion--Final
  struggles--The flight of Artigas--Uruguay passes under
  Portuguese rule.

  CHAPTER VI

  ARTIGAS                                                   78

  The human product of a turbulent era--Historical verdicts
  disagree--Opinions of Uruguayan and foreign historians--
  High-flown tribute--The cleansing of Artigas's fame--
  Prejudices of some local accounts--Uruguay at the time
  of Artigas's birth--Surroundings of his youth--Smuggling
  as a profession--Growth of his influence--His name becomes
  a household word--Artigas enters the Spanish service--The
  corps of Blandengues--Efficiency and promotion--Quarrel
  with the Spanish General--Artigas throws in his lot with
  the patriot forces--His success as a leader of men--Rank
  accorded him--Jealousy between Artigas and the Buenos
  Aires generals--Conflicting ambitions--The Portuguese
  invasion--Artigas leads the Oriental nation to the
  Argentine shore--The encampment at Ayui--Scarcity of
  arms and provisions--Battles with the Portuguese--The
  subalterns of Artigas--Otorgues and Andresito--Crude
  governmental procedure--Arbitrary decrees--The sentiments
  of Artigas--His love of honesty--Progress of the war--
  Complications of the campaign--Artigas as Protector--The
  encampment of Hervidero--Revolting tales--The exaggeration
  of history--Artigas refuses honours--His proclamation--
  Simple life of the Commander--Some contemporary
  accounts--The national treasury--Final desperate
  struggles against the Portuguese--Rebellion of Ramirez--
  Fierce battles--Extraordinary recuperative power of the
  Protector--Final defeat of Artigas--Flight to Paraguay--
  The Protector in retirement.

  CHAPTER VII

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                     97

  The Spanish colonies as nations--The first-fruits of
  freedom--Uruguay beneath the heel of Portugal--The
  advent of a second liberator--Juan Antonio Lavalleja--
  The forming of the league of the "thirty-three"--Opening
  of the campaign--The patriot force--Rank and its
  distribution--The crossing of the River Plate--Commencement
  of operations in Uruguay--A first success--Spread of the
  movement--Rivera embraces the patriot cause--The march upon
  Montevideo--A daring siege--How the army of occupation was
  deceived--Timely reinforcements--Lavalleja establishes an
  independent Government--Incident at the opening of the
  Senate--Argentina comes to the assistance of Uruguay--
  Beginning of the rivalry between Rivera and Lavalleja--
  Dissension in the Uruguayan army--Temporary disgrace of
  Rivera--His acquittal--Lavalleja declares himself
  dictator--Uruguay's independence acknowledged by Argentina
  and Brazil--The national authorities enter Montevideo.

  CHAPTER VIII

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                    107

  Foreign war succeeded by internal chaos--Warriors
  as statesmen--The dictatorship of Lavalleja--His
  methods--The first open breach between Lavalleja and
  Rivera--A temporary reconciliation--Establishment of
  the Constitution of Uruguay--Lavalleja and Rivera
  candidates for the president's chair--Differences
  in the temperament of the two--Rivera is elected
  first President of Uruguay--Jealousies and intrigues--
  Attack upon Rivera--Narrow escape of the President--
  Lavalleja's party temporarily occupy Montevideo--Defeat
  of the insurgent general--His flight into Brazil--
  Intervention of the Argentine dictator Rosas--His
  support of Lavalleja--Combined forces beaten by
  Rivera--Lavalleja's second attempt proves unsuccessful--
  General Oribe succeeds Rivera as President--Lavalleja's
  party again in the ascendant--Rivera heads a revolution--
  Civil war--Intervention of France--Resignation of Oribe--
  Rivera elected President--His alliance with the French
  and Corrientinos--Declaration of war against Rosas--Defeat
  of the latter--On the withdrawal of the French Rosas
  resumes the aggressive--Severe defeat of Rivera and his
  allies of the littoral provinces--Oribe besieges
  Montevideo--The services of Garibaldi--The Uruguayan
  forces decimated--Further incidents of the war--The power
  of Rosas broken by Brazil, Uruguay, and Entre Rios.

  CHAPTER IX

  HISTORY (_continued_)                                    118

  Condition of Uruguay at the conclusion of the war
  against Rosas--Measures for the relief of poverty--
  Juan Francisco Giro elected President--The arising of
  antagonistic elements--Giro resigns in favour of
  Bernardo Berro--A revolution ends in the formation
  of a triumvirate--On the death of Lavalleja and Rivera,
  Flores becomes Dictator--Rebellion against his rule--
  Brazil sends an army to the assistance of General
  Flores--Further revolutionary movements--Manuel Basilio
  Bustamente succeeds Flores--The policy of General
  César Diaz--His exile and return at the head of an
  army--Defeat and death of Diaz--Two interim Presidents--
  Continuous civil war--General Flores enters the
  Republic in command of a strong force and is declared
  Dictator--The Paraguayan war--Causes of its outbreak--The
  policy and military strength of Paraguay--Strategic
  errors--Uruguay's share in the campaign--Flores returns
  to Montevideo from the seat of war--His assassination--
  General Lorenzo Batlle elected President--The continuance
  of political unrest--Various presidents and dictators--
  The Government of the present day--Don José Batlle y
  Ordoñez--Doctor Claudio Williman--The Uruguayan
  battlefields in tabular form--Progress of the land.

  CHAPTER X

  URUGUAYAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS                            128

  The temperament of the Oriental--Some merits of the
  race--The Spanish Main as treated in fiction--
  Distinctions between the villains in print and in
  actual life--Civility as a national trait--Courtesy of
  officials--The Uruguayan as a sturdy democrat--A
  land of equality--Some local mannerisms--Banquets
  and general hospitality--Some practical methods of
  enjoying life--Simplicity _versus_ ostentation--Some
  consequences of prosperity--The cost of living--
  Questions of ways and means--European education and
  its results--Some evidences of national pride--The
  physique of the Oriental--Sports and games--Football--
  The science of bull-fighting--Eloquence and the
  oratorical art--Uruguayan ladies--Local charm of
  the sex--South American institutions--Methods by which
  they have been improved--The advantages of experiments--
  The Uruguayan army and navy--Some characteristics of the
  police--Honesty of the nation--Politics and temperament.

  CHAPTER XI

  ABORIGINAL TRIBES                                        138

  The population of Uruguay prior to the Spanish
  conquest--Principal tribes--Paucity of information
  concerning the early aboriginal life--The Charrúas--
  Warlike characteristics of the race--Territory of the
  tribe--Stature and physique--Features--The occupations
  of war and hunting--Temperament and mannerisms--A
  people on the nethermost rung of the social ladder--
  Absence of laws and penalties--Medicine-men--A crude
  remedy--The simplicity of the marriage ceremony--Morality
  at a low ebb--The prevalence of social equality--Method
  of settling private disputes--The Charrúas as warriors--
  Tactics employed in warfare--Some grim signals of
  victory--Treatment of the prisoners of war--Absence of
  a settled plan of campaign--Arms of the Charrúas--Primitive
  Indian weapons--Household implements--Burial rites--The
  mutilation of the living out of respect for the dead--Some
  savage ceremonies--Absence of religion--A lowly existence--
  Desolate dwellings--Change of customs effected by the
  introduction of horses--Indian appreciation of cattle--
  Improvement in the weapons of the tribe--Formidable
  cavalry--The end of the Charrúas--Other Uruguayan
  tribes--The Yaros--Bohanes--Chanas--Guenoas--Minuanes--
  Arachanes.

  CHAPTER XII

  MONTEVIDEO                                               151

  Population--Attributes of the city--Situation of the
  Uruguayan capital--The Cerro--A comparison between the
  capitals of Argentina and Uruguay--The atmosphere of
  Montevideo--A city of restful activity--Comparatively
  recent foundation--Its origin an afterthought--Montevideo
  in 1727--Homely erections--Progress of the town--Advance
  effected within the last thirty years--The Uruguayan
  capital at the beginning of the nineteenth century--Some
  chronicles of the period--The ubiquity of meat--Dogs
  and their food--Some curious accounts of the prevalence
  of rats--The streets of old Montevideo--Their perils
  and humours--A comparison between the butchers' bills
  of the past and of the present--Some unusual uses for
  sheep--Methods in which the skulls and horns of cattle
  were employed--Modern Montevideo--The National Museum--An
  admirable institution--Theatres--Critical Montevidean
  audiences--Afternoon tea establishments--The Club
  Uruguay--The English Club--British community in the
  capital--Its enterprise and philanthropy--The _Montevideo
  Times_--A feat in editorship--Hotels--Cabs and public
  vehicles--The cost of driving.

  CHAPTER XIII

  MONTEVIDEO                                               161

  The surroundings of the capital--Pleasant resorts--The
  Prado--A well-endowed park--Colón--Aspects of the
  suburbs--Some charming _quintas_--A wealth of flowers
  and vegetation--European and tropical blossoms side by
  side--Orchards and their fruits--The cottages of the
  peasants--An itinerant merchant--School-children--Methods
  of education in Uruguay--The choice of a career--
  Equestrian pupils--The tramway route--Aspects of the
  village of Colón--Imposing eucalyptus avenues--A country
  of blue-gum--Some characteristics of the place--Flowers
  and trees--Country houses--The Tea Garden Restaurant--
  Meals amidst pleasant surroundings--An enterprising
  establishment--Lunch and its reward--Poçitos and Ramirez--
  Bathing places of the Atlantic--Blue waters compared with
  yellow--Sand and rock--Villa del Cerro--The steam ferry
  across the bay--A town of mixed buildings--Dwelling-places
  and their materials--The ubiquitous football--Aspects of
  the Cerro--Turf and rock--A picturesque fort--Panorama
  from the summit of the hill--The guardian of the river
  mouth--The last and the first of the mountains.

  CHAPTER XIV

  FROM MONTEVIDEO TO THE NORTHERN FRONTIER                 172

  Leaving Montevideo--General aspects of the Campo--The
  Rio Negro as a line of demarcation--Growing exuberance
  of the scenery--Flor Morala--Blue lupin--Camp flowers--A
  sparsely populated countryside--Absence of homesteads--A
  soft landscape--Humble ranchos--Cattle and horses--Iguanas
  and ostriches--Deer--Cardoso--Influence of climate and
  marriage upon the colonists--A cheese-making centre--A
  country of table-lands--A Campo road--Some
  characteristics of the way--A group of riders--Some
  contrasts--A country of rocks--Stone walls--Crude
  homesteads--Kerosene tins as building material--Camp
  stations--The carpets of blossom--Piedra Sola--Tambores--
  Landscape and nomenclature--Increase in the height of the
  table-lands--Scenes at a country station--Aspects of the
  inhabitants--Some matters of complexion--The train and
  its transformation--Influence of the country upon the
  carriages--Northern passengers--Metropolitan and local
  costume--Some questions of clothes and figure--Relations
  between mistresses and maids--Democratic households--A
  patriarchal atmosphere--Things as they seem, and as they
  are--Conversation no guide to profession.

  CHAPTER XV

  FROM MONTEVIDEO TO THE NORTHERN FRONTIER (_continued_)   183

  A remarkable transformation in nature--The Valley of
  Eden--The gateway of the garden--An abrupt descent--From
  bare plain to sub-tropical forest--Picturesque scenery--
  Eden station--Some curiosities of nomenclature--Beggary
  as a profession--The charity of the Latin lands--The
  cliffs of the valley--Varied aspects of the vegetation--
  The everlasting sweet-pea--Some characteristics of the
  mountains--A land of tobacco--Negro cultivators--Appearance
  and dwellings of the coloured population--Some ethics of
  climate and costume--Tacuarembo--A centre of importance--A
  picturesque town--Scenes at the station--Some specimens of
  local humanity--A dandy of the Campo--The northern
  landscape--The African population--Nature and the hut--The
  tunnel of Bañada de Rocha--Paso del Cerro--On the Brazilian
  border--Rivera--A frontier town--Santa Ana--The Brazilian
  sister-township--A comparison between the two--View from
  a neighbouring hill--The rival claims to beauty of the
  Uruguayan and Brazilian towns.

  CHAPTER XVI

  HERE AND THERE IN URUGUAY                                195

  Uruguayan roads--A comparison with those of Argentina--
  The benefits of stone--Some fine metalled highways--The
  road to San José--On the way to Pando--The journey as
  effected by motor-car--A smiling landscape--Distant
  sand-dunes--A spotless range--The mountains of Minas--
  The town of Pando--A typical minor urban centre--The
  ending of the macadamised road--The track beyond--An
  abrupt change in the order of going--The bumps of the
  Campo--Piriapolis--A budding pleasure resort--Completeness
  of the enterprise--Eucalyptus forests--A vehicular wreck
  by the way--Unsuccessful Samaritans--The work of Señor
  Piria--The Castillo--An imposing home--View from the
  spot--The Pan de Azucar--A landscape of mountain, valley,
  forest, and sea--Architecture of the Castillo--Piriapolis
  Bay--A centre of future bathing--Preparations already
  effected--The hotel and casino--A wonderful feat of
  private enterprise--Afforestation--Encouragement of the
  industry by the Uruguayan Government--The work of Mr.
  Henry Burnett--The transformation of arid soil into
  fertile land--Commercial success of the venture--The
  Maldonodo sand-dunes--Fulgurites--A curiosity of the
  sands--Discoveries by Mr. C. E. R. Rowland.

  CHAPTER XVII

  MERCEDES AND THE SWISS COLONY                            205

  The journey to Mercedes--The outskirts of Montevideo--
  Santa Lucia--A pleasant town--Native quince and gorse--
  San José--The terminus of a great highway--Some feats
  of engineering--The urban importance of San José--A
  modern flour-mill--Mal Abrigo--Character of the soil--A
  country of boulders--Some animals of the Sierra de Mal
  Abrigo--The surroundings of Mercedes--A charmingly
  situated town--The terminus of the line--Some
  characteristics of Mercedes--Urban dwellings--The
  delights of the _patio_--The disadvantages of economy in
  space--Streets and plazas--The hospital--A well-equipped
  institution--View from the building--An island in the Rio
  Negro--The Port of Mercedes--River craft--Some local
  scenes--An equine passenger--Formidable gutters--The
  industries of the town--The Hôtel Comercial--Colonia
  Suiza--Situation of the Swiss Colony--Uruguayan Campo
  dwellings--Method of construction--Simplicity of
  household removals--Aspect of deserted huts--The houses
  of the Swiss Colony--Habits in general of South American
  colonists--The range of nationalities--Liberty accorded--
  Population of the Colonia Suiza--Its industries--A dairy
  farming community--An important butter factory--An
  instance of a rapid rise from poverty to riches.

  CHAPTER XVIII

  COLONIA                                                  215

  An historical town--Rarity of mines in the River Plate
  countries--Specimens at Colonia--Situation of the town--
  Past antagonism between the capitals of Argentina and
  Uruguay--Present aspect of Colonia compared with the
  former--A sleepy hollow--Periodical awakenings of the
  place--Impressions of the old town--Its colouring and
  compactness--Fortifications of the city of discord--A
  warlike history--Nations that have warred together at
  the spot--The reddest corner in a bloodstained land--
  Surroundings of the town--Crumbling masonry--A medley of
  old and new--A Colonia street--Old-times scenes of peace
  and war--Some pictures of the past--Cannon as road
  posts--The Plaza--An episode in the wars with Portugal--
  The eternity of romance--Real de San Carlo--A modern
  watering-place--Its buildings--The bullring--A gigantic
  pelota court--Popularity of the spot--A miniature
  tramway--Attractions of Real de San Carlo--Vegetation
  on the sands--A curious colour scheme--Pleasant
  lanes--Buenos Aires as a supplier of tourists.

  CHAPTER XIX

  THE URUGUAY RIVER                                        225

  A great waterway--The river compared with the Paraná--
  Some questions of navigation--The lower stretch of the
  Uruguay--The stream from Montevideo upwards--
  Montevideo--The docks--An imposing array of Mihanovich
  craft--Breadth of the river--Aspects of the banks--Various
  types of vessels--The materials of their cargoes--The
  meeting of sister steamers--The etiquette of salutations--
  Fray Bentos--The Lemco factory and port--A notable spot--
  The Paradise of the eater--The islands of the Uruguay--
  Method of their birth and growth--The responsibility of
  leaves and branches--Uncertainty of island life--The
  effects of flood and current--Sub-tropical bergs--The
  vehicles of wild creatures--A jaguar visitation in
  Montevideo--Narrowing of the stream--Paysandú--The
  home of ox-tongues--The second commercial town of the
  Republic--Some features of the place--Variety of the
  landscape--The _Mesa de Artigas_--An historical table-land--
  A monument to the national hero--Salto--A striking town--
  Pleasant landscape--The Salto falls--The ending of the
  lower Uruguay--A rocky bed--Some minerals of Salto--
  Alteration in the colour of the water--The beauty of the
  upper Uruguay.

  CHAPTER XX

  THE URUGUAYAN CAMPO                                      237

  Formation of the land--A survey of the country--Features
  of the soil--Types of wild flowers--A land of hill,
  valley, and stream--The glamour of the distance--"The
  purple land"--Breezes of the Campo--An exhilarating
  country--The dearth of homesteads--The Uruguayan Gaucho--
  His physique--The product of the blowy uplands--Matters
  of temperament--His comparative joviality--The Gaucho as
  worker, player, and fighter--The manipulation of feuds--
  A comparison between Argentina and Uruguay--Warrior
  ancestors of the Gaucho--His sense of dignity and honour--
  Conservative habits and customs--Costume and horse gear--
  Strenuous _bailes_--Some homeric feats of dancing--
  Stirring revelry--The Uruguayan landowner--Foreign
  elements in the land--Negro inhabitants of the Banda
  Oriental--The numerical status of the Africans in the
  north and in the south--Absence of a racial question--The
  slavery of former days--The employment of black troops in
  war--Lenient treatment of negro slaves--Harsh measures
  applied to aboriginal Indians--A lesson in human economy--
  Testimony of a contemporary writer--Immigrant colonies.

  CHAPTER XXI

  ESTANCIA LIFE                                            246

  Similarities between the farming routine of Uruguay
  and of Argentina--The Banda Oriental a pastoral rather
  than an agricultural land--Viticulture an asset in
  Estancia affairs--Wheat, maize, and linseed--Scarcity
  of alfalfa--Excellence of the natural pastures--The
  possibilities of private agricultural colonisation--
  Favourable outlook for grazing countries in general--
  Lemco estancias--The estancia San Juan--A comprehensive
  enterprise--Cattle, cereals, and viticulture--Stone
  quarries--A Campo stretch--The cutting out of a
  bullock--A Gaucho meal.

  CHAPTER XXII

  URUGUAY AS A PASTORAL COUNTRY                            254

  Origin of the live stock of the country--Influence
  of the climate and pastures upon the first animals
  introduced--Live stock census of 1909--Importance
  of the breeding industry--Various ramifications--
  Principal items of home consumption--Articles of
  export--Quality of the first herds introduced--Type
  of original sheep and horses--Goats and pigs--The
  introduction of a superior class of animals--The
  _criollos_ and the _mestizos_--Breeds imported--Durham,
  Hereford, Polled Angus, and Devon cattle--Dutch,
  Norman, Flemish, and Swiss cattle--Growth of the
  dairy industry--Popular breeds of sheep and horses
  and pigs--Principal countries from which the animals
  are derived--Growing value of the local-bred live
  stock--The manipulation of an _estancia_--Well-found
  estates--Uruguayan agricultural societies--Work
  effected by these--Government support--The Rural
  Association of Uruguay--Financial results of
  agricultural shows--Side products--Tallow--Hams--
  Tanning--"La Carolina"--A great dairy farm--The
  factory of Breuss and Frey--The _saladeros_, or
  meat-curing establishments--Number of animals
  slaughtered--Method by which the meat is cured--
  _Tasajo_--Countries to which it is exported--The
  frozen-meat trade--"La Frigorifica Uruguaya"--
  Important growth of the new industry--Shipments
  of frozen meat.

  CHAPTER XXIII

  DEPARTMENTS, CLIMATE, AND NATURAL HISTORY                265

  The nineteen divisions of Uruguay--Their populations,
  areas, towns, and industries--Canelones--Florida--San
  José--Durazno--Flores--Colonia--Soriano--Rio Negro--
  Paysandú--Salto--Artigas--Tacuarembó--Rivera--Cerro
  Largo--Treinta y Tres--Rocha--Maldonado--Montevideo--
  Climate--Favourable conditions throughout the
  Republic--The Atlantic coast line--The summer season--
  Pleasantly tempered heat--A land of cool breezes--Its
  attractions as a pleasure resort--Climates of the
  interior and of the north--Drought--Locusts--Comparative
  immunity of a pastoral country--Uruguayan fauna--Some
  common creatures of the Campo--Bird life--The ostrich--Its
  value as a commercial asset--The trade in ostrich
  feathers--Measures for the protection of the birds.

  CHAPTER XXIV

  INDUSTRIES AND NATURAL WEALTH                            276

  England's financial stake in Uruguay--British capital
  invested in the Republic--Its monetary importance
  compared with that of other South American nations--
  General commercial development of the country--A
  satisfactory outlook--Progress of grazing and
  agriculture--Marked increase in commerce--Uruguay's
  exports--Cured meat and frozen carcasses--Diminution
  of the former trade, increase of the latter--Reasons
  for the transformation of industry--An outcome of
  Brazilian protection--The breeding of fine cattle for
  the European markets--Present situation of the world's
  meat market--The British Isles as importers of meat--The
  position in the United States--A change from the rôle of
  exporter to that of importer--The increase in River Plate
  shipments--Closeness of touch between South American and
  English markets--Probable admission of foreign meat into
  European countries--Intervention of the United States
  Beef Trust--Purchase of _Frigorificos_--Possible effects
  of a monopoly upon the producers--South American views
  on the subject--Favourable general position of the River
  Plate--The balance of power in beef--Extract of meat--
  The Lemco and Oxo Company--Ramifications of the
  enterprise--The town of Fray Bentos--Agriculture--
  Wheat--Maize--Barley.

  CHAPTER XXV

  INDUSTRIES AND NATURAL WEALTH (_continued_)              286

  Minerals--Past obstacles to the proper working of
  mines--Gold--Auriferous prospects--Situation of the
  goldfields of Uruguay--Past and present workings of
  the mines--Influence of politics on labour--The
  Corrales mine--Manganese--Districts in which iron ore
  is met with--Mineral centres--Minas--Maldonado--Silver--
  Copper--Marble--Gypsum--Slate--Sulphur--Asbestos--Precious
  stones--Diamonds and rubies--Jasper--Agate--The amethyst
  and topaz--The water-stone--A peculiarity of Uruguay--
  Viticulture--Date of the introduction of the vine--
  Vicissitudes at the start--Consequent rapid progress--
  Vineyard area of the present day--The introduction of
  suitable plants--Countries of origin--Production of
  grapes and wine--Departments most suitable to the
  industry--The seal-fisheries--Originally carried
  on by the Indians--Habits of the seals--Development
  of the industry--Government grants--Conditions and
  concessions--Number of skins obtained since 1873--
  Islands inhabited by the seals--Method of killing
  and curing--Waste of seal life--Suggestions for the
  improvement of the industry--Scientific measures
  necessary--A diplomatic incident in connection with
  the seal-fisheries.

  CHAPTER XXVI

  COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMERCE                              296

  British enterprise in South America--The various
  industries controlled--The railways of the southern
  continent--A remarkable record--The opening up of
  new lands--Some possibilities of the future--Sound
  basis on which the extension of the lines is founded--
  Products and transport facilities--Probable influence
  of communications--Uruguayan railways--A high standard
  of enterprise--Comfortable travelling--Some comparisons
  between Uruguay and Argentina as railway countries--
  Level country _versus_ hills--Stone _versus_ alluvial
  soil--Question of ballast--Importance of the new
  ramifications--Railway construction in Uruguay--History
  of the lines--Government obligations--Mileage and
  capital of the companies--Interest paid on capital--
  Various railway systems--Areas served--The Central
  Company--Sketch of lines and extensions--Important
  developments--The communication with Brazil--Financial
  position of the Company--Midland Uruguay Railway--
  Development and extension of the line--Receipts and
  expenses--The North Western of Uruguay and Uruguay
  Northern Railway--Montevidean tramways--Local, British,
  and German enterprise--Steamer service of the River
  Plate--The Mihanovich line--Ocean passenger traffic--
  Montevideo the sole port of call--The Royal Mail Steam
  Packet Company--The Pacific Line--The Nelson Line--Other
  British companies--Position of British exports--Sound
  consular advice.

  CHAPTER XXVII

  POLITICS AND REVOLUTIONS                                 311

  The Constitution of Uruguay--Government of the
  Republic--Deputies and senators--Their duties--The
  civil code--Marriage--Rights of foreigners--Law--The
  Commission of Charity and Public Welfare--Hospitals--
  Orphan asylums--Infirmaries--The charity hospital
  lottery--The distribution of political parties--The
  _Colorados_ and the _Blancos_--Policy of either--Feud
  between the parties--Old-standing strife--Explanation
  of the nomenclature--Origin of the feud--Rivera and Oribe--
  Inherited views--Attitude of the foreigners--Revolutions--
  Manner of the outbreak--Government precautions--The need
  of finance and arms--Some rebellious devices--Rifles as
  Manchester goods--The importance of horses--Difficulties
  that attend a revolutionary movement--The sweeping up of
  horses--Equine concentration camps--A powerful weapon
  in the hands of the authorities--First signs of an
  outbreak--Sylvan rendezvous--The question of
  reinforcements--Some desperate ventures--Their
  accustomed end--Chieftains of the north--Effect of
  a revolution upon local industries--Needs of the
  army--Estancia hands as troopers--Hasty equipment--
  Manner in which actual hostilities are conducted--"The
  Purple Land that England lost"--The spirit of Modernism
  and the internal struggle--Tendency to localise the
  fields of strife--Power of the _Colorado_ party--Whence
  the restrictive partisans are drawn--Distinguishing
  Insignia--Some necessary precautions on the part of
  the foreigner--Adventures derived from colour in
  clothes--Some ludicrous episodes--The expense of
  revolution.

  INDEX                                                    343



ILLUSTRATIONS


  CATHEDRAL: MONTEVIDEO            _Frontispiece_

                                      FACING PAGE

  A RURAL INN                                  28

  COUNTRY COACH AT LA SIERRA STATION           28

  INDIAN MACE HEADS                            38

  INDIAN STONE AXE                             38

  A GAUCHO RACE: THE START                     44

  A GAUCHO RACE: THE FINISH                    44

  RUINED COLONIA                               52

  ARTIGAS' MONUMENT                            52

  MONTEVIDEO AND THE CERRO HILL                88

  "AFTER CATTLE"                               88

  LAGO DEL PRADO: MONTEVIDEO                  124

  THE PRADO: MONTEVIDEO                       124

  THE PRINCIPAL PLAZA: MONTEVIDEO             130

  THE HARBOUR: MONTEVIDEO                     130

  ANCIENT STONES EMPLOYED FOR NUT-CRUSHING    140

  NATIVE "BOLEADORAS"                         148

  SOLIS THEATRE AND NATIONAL MUSEUM           156

  THE CERRO FORT                              156

  THE BEACH AT PARQUE URBANO                  162

  THE SAN JOSÉ ROAD BRIDGE                    162

  EUCALYPTUS AVENUE: COLON                    166

  OXEN DRAWING RAILWAY COACH                  186

  BEFORE THE FAIR: TACUAREMBÓ                 186

  FRONTIER STONE AT RIVERA                    192

  TUNNEL AT BAÑADA DE ROCHA                   192

  EUCALYPTUS FOREST: PIRIAPOLIS               198

  THE CASTILLO: PIRIAPOLIS                    198

  THE PAN DE AZUCAR MOUNTAIN                  202

  THE NEW HOTEL: PIRIAPOLIS                   202

  MERCEDES: FROM ACROSS THE RIO NEGRO         208

  RIO NEGRO BRIDGE                            212

  ON THE RIO NEGRO                            212

  COLONIA: RUINED FORTRESS WALL               218

  A CAMPO GRAVEYARD                           218

  THE BULL RING                               222

  ON THE URUGUAY RIVER                        230

  A URUGUAYAN STREAM                          230

  CATTLE ON THE ROAD                          234

  A CORNER OF THE FRAY BENTOS FACTORY         234

  A PASTORAL SCENE                            238

  THE BICHADERO ESTANCIA                      246

  HEREFORD CATTLE ON THE BICHADERO ESTANCIA   246

  ESTANCIA HOUSE: SAN JUAN                    250

  CHÂLET AT COLONIA SUIZA                     258

  THE VINTAGE: ESTANCIA SAN JUAN              258

  STREAM ON THE SAN JUAN ESTANCIA             272

  THE CATTLE DIP                              280

  DRYING JERKED MEAT                          280

  A SEAL ROOKERY                              292

  BASKING SEALS                               292

  OX WAGON ON THE CAMPO                       316

  CROSS-COUNTRY TRAVELLING                    316

  PEDIGREE CATTLE                             320

  OVEN BIRD'S NEST                            320



URUGUAY



CHAPTER I

SURVEY

     Geographical situation of the Republic--Boundaries and
     area--Uruguay as an historical, commercial, and financial
     centre--The respective positions of Uruguay and
     Paraguay--Disadvantages of a buffer State--A land of sunshine and
     shadow--The history of Uruguay--The blending of industry and
     warfare--Vitality of the nation--Instances of self-sacrifice--A
     South American Switzerland--A freedom-loving folk--Deeds of arms
     and the undercurrents of commerce--Montevideo in the eyes of the
     casual traveller--Factors that make for the progress of the Banda
     Oriental--Influence of railway--Coming cessation of the North
     American beef shipments--Temperament of the
     Uruguayan--Distinction between Argentine and Uruguayan
     politics--The clans of the Banda Oriental--The birthright of
     party convictions--Education in Uruguay--National points of
     honour--Liberty accorded the foreigner--The courtesy of
     officials--An incident at the customs-house--Popularity of the
     English--A gratifying situation--Satisfactory international
     relations--The work of Mr. R. J. Kennedy, the British Minister
     Plenipotentiary--Uruguay's pacific foreign policy--Careful
     finance--Army and navy--General progress of the nation.


Uruguay may be described as a republic of comparatively small
dimensions sandwiched in between the great territories of Argentina
and Brazil, and bounded on the south by the Southern Atlantic Ocean
and the estuary of the River Plate. Its actual area, 72,100 square
miles, is less than that of the British Isles, and thus the Banda
Oriental, to use the name by which the State is locally known, enjoys
the distinction of being the smallest of the South American republics.
But, although this distinction applies to actual area, it serves for
remarkably little else in the country. Indeed, an astonishing amount
is packed within the frontiers of Uruguay. In the first place it is a
land where much history has been made. Secondly, to turn to its
industrial assets--although I do not intend to deal with the
commercial side of the Republic more fully than can be helped--it is a
country where many cattle are bred. Lastly, it is a place in which no
less than fifty million pounds sterling of English money are invested.
Thus the small Republic, as an investment field, ranks third in
importance amongst all the States of South America, a fact that is
realised by remarkably few outside its own boundaries.

Uruguay and Paraguay are frequently confused by those quite unfamiliar
with South American affairs, owing to the similarity of the
nomenclature. In actual fact the two countries have very little in
common, save in their political situation. Both separated themselves
from the River Plate Provinces in the course of the War of
Independence, since which time both have served as buffer States
between Argentina and Brazil. The position of such is seldom enviable
at the best of times. Upon Uruguay it has worked with an especial
degree of hardship, since even before the days of her independence it
was upon her suffering soil that the too frequent differences between
Spaniard and Portuguese were fought out.

[Illustration: A RURAL INN.]

[Illustration: COUNTRY COACH AT LA SIERRA STATION.
To face p. 28.]

As to the international jealousies of a later era, they have not been
without their influence upon the domestic affairs of the central
State. Thus on not a few occasions the result of foreign diplomacy has
been civil war within the boundaries of Uruguay, with consequences
that were necessarily disastrous to the nation. The Banda Oriental is
a land of sunshine, it is true, but one of shadow too, which is
logical enough, since without the former the latter cannot obtain. Its
metaphorical sunshine is represented by the undoubted merits of its
inhabitants, its temporary shadows by the circumstances in which they
have found themselves placed.

He would be no real friend of Uruguay who strove to show that the
march of the country has not been rudely arrested on innumerable
occasions. Indeed, were it not for the conditions that have prevailed
for centuries, the actual forward steps that the Republic has effected
would be far less remarkable than is in reality the case. The history
of Uruguay reveals a continuous medley of peace and war. Its swords
have been beaten into ploughshares and welded back again into lethal
weapons ere the metal had cooled from the force of the former
operation.

Each series of such transformations, moreover, has occurred at
intervals sufficiently short to destroy utterly the hopes and
prosperity of an ordinary people. Over and over again the Uruguayans
have strewn the battlefields with their dead; yet during each interval
they have continued to plant the soil with its proper and more
profitable seed. An extraordinary vitality on the part of the people
joined to the natural wealth of the land have been the factors by
means of which the small Republic has brushed away the results of its
wars as lightly as though such convulsions were summer showers.

The history of Uruguay reveals an admirable amount of pure heroism.
Apart from the fighting merits that are inborn and natural to the
race, the most unsympathetic reader of its past pages cannot deny to
it the innumerable instances of self-sacrifice that were the fruit of
loftier ideals. Of the many vivid battle scenes that were painted in
too deadly an earnest against their neighbours and even amongst
themselves, there are few that are not relieved by some illuminating
act of heroism, for all the utter ferocity and courage by which these
conflicts were wont to be marked. Uruguay, in fact, was something of a
South American Switzerland; but a Switzerland bereft of the lofty
peaks and mountain tops that assisted the men of the Cantons against
the Austrians, endowed, moreover, with a more restless and
undisciplined folk of its own. Yet in many respects the resemblance
holds good, and for one reason most of all. The Orientales rested not
until they had won their freedom. Not once but several times they were
forced to wrest it from the stranger ere it finally became secure.

At later periods, too, it is not to be denied that the greater bulk of
the neighbouring nations has stood out remorselessly between Uruguay
and the sunlight. There have been times when the small Republic has
been ground between the great mills of Argentina and Brazil. Thus her
progress--steady and all but continuous in spite of the civil wars and
revolutions that have torn her--has been achieved all but unnoticed
and entirely unapplauded. Europeans, and many South Americans too,
read of the Uruguayan battlefields and deeds of arms, yet they learn
nothing of the undercurrent of industry that has flowed onwards all
the while beneath the turbulence of the wild warrings. Nevertheless,
this progress has been very real, and that it must become apparent to
the world before long is certain. Even to the present day Uruguay
amongst nations has remained "a violet by a mossy stone, half hidden
from the eye." To the ordinary person who passes between Europe and
South America, Montevideo represents little beyond a whistling station
between the two important halts at Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
In justice to the Banda Oriental's neighbour be it said that this
ignorance does not apply to the actual resident in Argentina, and
least of all to the dwellers in Buenos Aires. To them the commercial
importance and general attractions of Uruguay and its capital are well
enough known. This interest, however, is merely local, and fails to
extend beyond the familiar radius of the pleasant little Republic's
influence.

Commercially speaking, it is difficult to understand how the factors
that have now arisen to drag the Banda Oriental from its undeserved
oblivion can well fail in their task. The linking of the country by
railway with Brazil, the influence that the imminent cessation of the
North American beef exportation is bound to exert upon a
stock-breeding country, to say nothing of the internal progress
already referred to, must undoubtedly result sooner or later in
bringing the gallant little nation into the light of publicity.

A fusion of warring parties, an end of civil strife, and a strict
attention to the less risky and more profitable business of the day
should follow in the natural sequence of events. Very hale, hearty,
and jovial though he is, it must be admitted that the Oriental is in
deadly earnest when engaged in civil battle--as is the case with all
who pursue a hobby to the detriment of a more lucrative occupation.
Yet the substitution of gunshots for the suffrage is not only
expensive, but, from the polling point of view, unpleasantly devoid of
finality.

The distinctions between the political arrangements of Uruguay and
Argentina are curiously marked. For generations the latter country has
been governed by a succession of groups that have respectively formed
and dissolved without leaving any marked cleavage in the society of
the nation. Strictly speaking, Argentina possesses neither faction
spirit nor party. Uruguay, on the other hand, is concerned first and
foremost with these very matters of party.

The history of the Colorados and the Blancos--the reds and
whites--would in itself suffice to fill a volume. Probably in no other
part of the world have the pure considerations of clan triumphed to
such an extent over the general political situation. Until the present
day the line between the rival camps has been as absolute as that
between life and death. The position of either is immutable. Neither
argument, mode of government, nor the vicissitudes of state are among
the considerations by which they are affected. A man is born one of
two things--a Blanco or a Colorado. This birthright, moreover, is to
be exchanged for no mere mess of pottage; it is valued above the price
of life itself. Such, at all events, has been the creed of the past,
and to a large extent it still holds good, although the stress of
modern influence is just beginning to leave its mark upon the
cast-iron prejudices that are the relicts of another age.

At the same time, it must not be inferred from this that the Uruguayan
is ignorant or small-minded. Far from it. Education enjoys an
exceptionally high standard throughout the country, and a most liberal
breadth of view is typical of the nation. This is readily admitted,
and even insisted upon, by foreigners whose dealings with the
native-born dwellers in the Republic have placed them in a position to
render an accurate judgment. In internal politics, however, there are
prejudices, considerations of clan, and points of honour that are not
to be gauged from a purely commercial standpoint.

The foreigner in Uruguay is accorded a most complete liberty, and
there are few of these who have resided for any length of time within
its frontiers who have not become very truly attached to the land and
its people.

It has frequently been my lot to pass over from Argentina to Uruguay,
arriving at one of the minor ports that dot the middle reaches of the
great river. But it so happened that I had never landed, bag and
baggage, at the capital until the time came for a regular and
organised spying out of the land. An incident at the start lent a very
pleasing aspect to the visit. The customs-house officer, in whose
hands lay the fate of the interior of my baggage, gazed from where it
lay piled upon the official trestle in the direction of its owner.
"Inglez?" he demanded in the curt tone of one in authority. When I had
signified assent he smiled cordially, sketched with rapid fingers the
magic chalk marks upon the impedimenta, and then motioned me to pass
through the portals with all the honours of customs, locks unviolated,
and straps in repose.

I have not introduced this incident from any personal motives. It
merely affords an instance of a very genuine courtesy rendered to the
nation through the medium of one of its most humble units. Yet it is
from such attentions to a stranger that the trend of the general
attitude may be gleaned. The English are not a little addicted to a
frank confession of their unpopularity amongst the South Americans in
general. The attitude may be the result of a certain pose, since they
claim full credit for the respect that is undoubtedly theirs by right.
Nevertheless, whether imagined or real, the idea obtains.

In Uruguay at the present moment the Englishman is so obviously _not_
unpopular that it is gratifying to be able to proclaim the fact.
Whatever the fates may have in store the existing understanding
between the Uruguayans and the British is very cordial and complete.
In words as well as in deeds it is perhaps advisable to let well
alone. Yet it is satisfactory to reflect that innumerable practical
proofs show that this mutual esteem which has existed for centuries
has never been more firmly grafted than at the present day. There can
be no doubt, moreover, that the present satisfactory phase is very
largely due to the efforts of Mr. R. J. Kennedy, the British Minister
Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, whose tact and conscientious
ability have won for him respect and popularity on the part of
Uruguayans and resident British alike--a consummation to which it is
the lot of sufficiently few ministers to attain.

Although internal disturbances may continue to arise from time to
time, the position of Uruguay is now undoubtedly consolidated to a far
greater extent than has ever been the case in former years. The nation
that sprang into being at the commencement of the nineteenth century
had to contend with indefinite frontiers at the best of times, and
with the frequent waves of turbulence that swept inwards over the land
from the greater centres of disturbance without its borders. Now for
many decades an undisturbed peace has characterised the foreign
affairs of the nation, and such differences as have occurred from time
to time with the neighbouring republics have been settled in an
essentially pacific and reasonable spirit.

A striking instance of this has occurred quite recently in the case of
the vexed question concerning the delimitation of neutral waters in
the River Plate. The rights affecting a great inland and international
highway are naturally most delicate and difficult to adjust, as the
past history of the entire river system here has proved on numerous
occasions. In this particular instance had either Uruguay or Argentina
shown any other but a fair and conciliatory spirit, the consequences
cannot fail to have been serious in the extreme. As it was, the
dispute was brought to a satisfactory and amicable conclusion, much to
the credit of the respective diplomatists concerned.

For many years now the policy of the Banda Oriental Government has
been practical and deliberate. In matters of finance extreme caution
has been exercised, and economy in expenditure has been rigid. The
result is now evident in the very favourable financial position of the
Republic, since it is now endowed with more solid monetary sinews than
has ever been the case before. The nation, moreover, is free from any
excessive expenditure on its army and navy. Both branches of the
service are on a small scale, and in this moderation Uruguay is
undoubtedly wise; since, although the race possesses its fighting
instincts to the full, the population and resources of the Republic
would not allow it to compete either in numbers, guns, or ships with
the armies of the neighbouring countries, or with the great naval
armaments that are being brought together.

In the past there is no doubt that matters in Uruguay have been
regarded with a certain amount of pessimism--a gloomy view for which
the alleged instability of the Government was chiefly responsible.
Were all that has been said on this head strictly accurate, there is
no doubt that the condition of the country would be parlous indeed. On
numberless occasions, however, the reports that have prevailed have
been remarkable merely for their exaggeration. Frequently, moreover,
such highly coloured--or rather darkened--pictures have been depicted
to serve interests in Europe rather than in Uruguay. Commercially
speaking, it is surely a matter for congratulation that even such a
disturbing element as civil strife should have left the financial
solidity of the Republic unimpaired.

This point of view, however, is merely the financial one--important
enough in its place, but not sufficiently overwhelming to eliminate
all the other interests at stake. The spirit of progress has been
abroad, not only in the ethics of the pastures, banks, and business
houses, but in the more subtle fields of science, literature, and art
as well. This, however, is not the place in which to introduce details
or statistics concerning the improvements in the various ramifications
of the nation's existence. For the present let the statement suffice
that in no direction has a retrograde movement been perceptible: on
the contrary, a continuous progress has been evident in almost every
matter from the curing of beef to the making of scholars--two products
that are equally essential to the welfare of the land.



CHAPTER II

HISTORY

     The discovery of Uruguay--Reception by the Indians--Juan de Solis
     and his fate--Navigation of the River Plate--Serrano and
     Magellanes--Rivalry between Spaniards and Portuguese--The first
     settlement in the Banda Oriental--Aggressive tactics of the
     Indians--Forts destroyed by them--Colonisation under
     difficulties--The introduction of cattle--A prophetic
     move--Intervention of the missionaries--Jesuit settlements
     established--Uruguay's isolation comes to an end--Influence of
     the livestock--Cattle-raiders--The first Portuguese
     invasion--Victory of the Spaniards, assisted by native
     auxiliaries--Treaties and their attendant troubles--The
     indecision of Old Spain--Partial extermination of the
     Indians--The town of Colonia as a bone of
     contention--Introduction of the first negro slaves into the
     provinces of the River Plate--Unrest on the Spanish main--Moreau,
     the buccaneer--The fate of his expedition--Portuguese invaders
     expelled by the Spaniards--A fort is constructed on the present
     site of Montevideo.


The early history of Uruguay needs but cursory recapitulation, since
its episodes form part and parcel of the general discovery of the
River Plate. Juan Diaz de Solis, the famous explorer of the great
river, was the first leader in the Spanish service to set foot on
Uruguayan soil. The precise point of his disembarkation is unknown,
but it is certain enough that the spot lay somewhere just to the north
of the island of Martin Garcia. His reception at the hands of the
hostile Charrúa Indians, who at the time inhabited the district, was
fatally inhospitable. Solis and many more of the landing party of
fifty who accompanied him were slain by these natives almost as soon
as they had landed, and the disheartened expedition returned to Spain.

It is supposed that Rodriguez Serrano was the first to sail the waters
of the Uruguay River proper. In 1520, when anchored in the mouth of
the River Plate on his way to the South, Magellane is supposed to have
sent this subordinate of his some distance up the Uruguay. There is
much, however, that is vague in the history of these particular
waterways at this time. A certain material reason obtained for the
mystery. The rivalry between the Spaniards and Portuguese tended
towards a concealment on the part of each of discoveries that affected
comparatively unknown and debatable areas. Thus there is no doubt that
various Portuguese expeditions sailed the Uruguay River at this
period; but the details of these are uncertain.

In 1527 Spain, fearing the possibilities of Portuguese influence,
turned her attention once more to the great river system of the South.
It was in that year that Cabot founded the fort of San Sebastian on
the Uruguayan coast. This, at the confluence of the San Salvador River
with the Uruguay, was the first Spanish settlement in the country. Its
existence was short-lived. Attacked by the Charrúa Indians in 1529,
the fort was destroyed and many of its garrison slain.

After this little was heard of the Uruguayan coast until, in 1552,
Irala, the famous Governor of the River Plate, ordered Captain Juan
Romero to found a settlement on that shore. Juan Romero set out with
an expedition of 120 men, and founded the settlement of San Juan at
the mouth of the river of the same name. This attempt was likewise
unsuccessful. The Charrúas had to be reckoned with, and two years
later the place was abandoned on account of their incessant attacks.

[Illustration: INDIAN MACE HEADS.]

[Illustration: INDIAN STONE AXE.
To face p. 38.]

In 1573 another noted _conquistador_, Zarate, on the completion of his
voyage from Europe, arrived at the island of San Gabriel. He founded a
settlement on the neighbouring Uruguayan mainland, and the Charrúas
for once received him with comparative hospitality. Nevertheless it
was not long ere hostilities broke out, by reason of the Spaniard's
own arrogance, it is said. In the end the Europeans were completely
defeated by the famous chief Zapicán, losing over one hundred soldiers
and various officers. The Spaniards then retired to the island of San
Gabriel, leaving the aboriginal tribe in possession of the new
township, which they immediately destroyed.

A short while after this Juan de Garay, afterwards famed as the
founder of the modern Buenos Aires, arrived near the scene of the
disaster. With a diminutive force (it is said by some that his
expedition comprised no more than twelve cavalry and twenty-two
infantry) he attacked Zapicán's army of a thousand men. The result was
the rout of the Indians, in the course of which Zapicán and many other
leading caciques perished. This action was fought in the neighbourhood
of ruined San Salvador, and Zarate founded a new settlement on the
ruins of the old. Triumph, however, was short-lived, for the Indians
remained as fiercely persevering as ever, and three years later their
aggressive tactics caused the establishment to be abandoned once
again.

In 1603 it is said that Hernando Arias de Saavedra, the first
colonial-born Governor of the River Plate, led an expedition of five
hundred men against the Charrúas. Hernandarias, by which name the
Governor was popularly known, was a famous warrior of whose prowess
and feats of arms much is told. For all that, according to report, the
defeat of the Spanish force was so complete that only Hernandarias,
thanks to his tremendous personal strength, escaped from the field
alive. It is probable, however, that this version of the fight is, to
say the least of it, exaggerated.

The next move of Hernandarias in the direction of the Banda Oriental
was of a more pacific nature. With a rare touch of wisdom and
foresight he shipped from Buenos Aires to Colonia across the river one
hundred head of cattle, and a like number of horses and mares. These,
sent adrift to roam at their own sweet will in the new country,
multiplied at least as fast as had been anticipated. The animals in
question undoubtedly stand as the nucleus of the pastoral riches of
to-day. Thus Hernandarias sent out wealth to the land that was closed
to his men in order that it should seed and multiply until the time
came for the European to take it over with the country itself.

In this earlier era of River Plate history the march of civilisation
had been arrested at the first step in Uruguay on each occasion on
which it had been undertaken. It was not until the beginning of the
seventeenth century that success attended the endeavours of the
Spaniards. In 1618 the first missionaries entered Uruguay. The
Franciscan fathers Bernardo de Guzman, Villavicencio, and Aldao landed
in that year at the mouth of the Rio, and converted to Christianity
many members of the more peaceably disposed tribes. In 1624 Bernardo
de Guzman founded the first Uruguayan Jesuit settlement, Santo Domingo
de Soriano, and a little later the missions of Espinillo, Viboras, and
Aldao were established in the present provinces of Soriano and
Colonia. Larger and more important missions were shortly afterwards
founded in the north, and formed a more or less integral portion of
the great Jesuit field in Paraguay. At one time there were no less
than thirty-seven of these stations existing within the frontiers of
the old Banda Oriental as they were then defined. In consequence of
the later Brazilian encroachments, however, the sites of only seven of
these--San Francisco de Borga, San Nicolas, San Juan Bautista, San
Luis Gonzaga, San Miguel, San Lorenzo, and Santa Angel--lie within the
boundaries of the present Republic.

While in the north of Uruguay the Indians, taught by the missionaries,
were now beginning to occupy themselves with agriculture and grazing,
in the south the herds introduced by Hernandarias were multiplying
amazingly. These were responsible for the visits of many who came over
from Argentina to slay the cattle and to collect their hides. They
were licensed by the Cabildo of Buenos Aires, who received a third of
the profits. In order to facilitate this traffic in hides, these
_Faeneros_, as they were termed, gradually established themselves upon
the banks of the Uruguay and its tributaries, and upon the ocean
coast. Thus the names of Cufré, Pavón, Toledo, Pando, Solis,
Maldonado, and many others have been bequeathed to the soil by the
merchant adventurers who trafficked in those spots, since each named
his settlement after himself.

No little competition was afforded these Faeneros by the
_Changadores_, adventurers of a more reckless order who made their
incursions into the country without licence and against the law.
Corresponding precisely to the buccaneers of the farther north, they
slew where opportunity offered, taking refuge in Brazil when pursued,
until their growing numbers enabled them from time to time to offer
armed resistance to the officers of the Crown sent to chastise them.
Attracted by this commerce, pirates, whether of Portuguese or other
nationality, would occasionally make descents, and would raid and
harry the cattle in their turn. The Indians, for their part, were not
slow in availing themselves of this new and convenient source of
livelihood, and, according to a Uruguayan writer became "carnivorous
from necessity and equestrian from force of imitation." In 1680 a more
serious danger threatened the Banda Oriental. At the beginning of that
year a Portuguese fleet came to anchor off the island of San Gabriel.
Eight hundred soldiers and a number of colonist families were
disembarked at Colonia del Sacramento on the mainland, where they
founded a township. On learning of this invasion the Governor of
Buenos Aires, José de Garro, immediately demanded the evacuation of
the place. As a reply to this request, Lobo, the Portuguese commander,
triumphantly produced a map on which Colonia was represented as in
Brazilian territory. A strenuous geographical discussion ensued, at
the conclusion of which Garro, having failed to convince the intruders
of the inaccuracy of the chart by more subtle arguments, resolved to
expel the enemy by force.

With this end in view he obtained the loan of three thousand Indians
from the Jesuits, who were by this time becoming accustomed to the
lending of men and arms for such patriotic purposes. With this force,
stiffened by the presence of three hundred Spaniards, he captured the
hostile settlement, taking prisoners the Portuguese Governor and
garrison.

It is related that the Spanish general had prepared a striking _ruse
de guerre_ that was to serve in this assault. Four thousand loose
horses were to be driven to the front of the charging forces, and upon
these animals the first devastation of the artillery fire of the
defenders was to expend itself. The Indians, however, whose destined
place was in the vanguard, raised some powerful objections to this
scheme of attack. Considering with reason that a backward rush of the
wounded and terrified beasts--like that of the elephants of a previous
age--would promise greater disaster to themselves than to the enemy,
they protested against the living bulwark with its many possibilities.
Thus the town was captured without the aid of the horses, and the
first of the many combats that reddened the shore of Colonia ended in
favour of Spain.

This triumph was short-lived. In 1681 Carlos II. of Spain in a weak
moment signed a treaty by which Colonia was given back to Portugal, to
be held by her until a definite decision could be arrived at
concerning the vexed question of ownership. In the meanwhile it was
arranged that the geographical arguments should be settled by the
pontifical authorities, whose expert knowledge upon the point was
doubtful. The Portuguese, moreover, in order to obtain an added salve
to their dignity, stipulated that Garro should be deprived of his
post. This was complied with; but the result did not in the least
coincide with the Portuguese expectations. Garro himself must have
smiled broadly when he learned that he was deprived of his command at
Buenos Aires in order to take over the superior governorship of Chile!

In 1702 a campaign was waged against the Indians. The tactics of the
majority of the tribes had remained consistently aggressive, and their
predatory interest in the commerce of hides and dried meat had
developed to a pitch inconvenient to the settlers. The war, although
its scope did not include the entire aboriginal population, was one of
extermination so far as it went, and at its conclusion the sections of
the Charrúas, Bohanes, and Yaros in the neighbourhood of the River Yi
had practically ceased to exist.

In the meanwhile Colonia, in the hands of the Portuguese, had become
the centre of contraband operations by means of which merchandise was
smuggled into the sternly closed port of Buenos Aires. As a point of
vantage it served so admirably for this purpose, and so greatly to the
profit of both the Portuguese and of the more unscrupulous residents
of Buenos Aires, that in 1705 Philip V. of Spain ordered its recapture
in earnest.

For this purpose two thousand Spaniards and four thousand Jesuit
Indians assembled. After a six months' strenuous siege of the place
the Portuguese garrison fled in a fleet that had been sent to their
rescue, and Colonia passed back into the hands of the Spaniards. But
the vicissitudes of the spot were not yet at an end. Oblivious of the
past, Philip V. by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 ceded the town to the
Portuguese. Garcia Ros, the Governor of Buenos Aires, was of sterner
mould. Taking advantage of a loosely worded clause in the treaty, he
limited the Portuguese ownership of the soil to the radius of a
cannon-shot from the plaza of the town. By this means the
inconvenience of the occupation was to a certain extent neutralised.

[Illustration: A GAUCHO RACE: THE START.]

[Illustration: A GAUCHO RACE: THE FINISH.
To face p. 44.]

About this time negro slaves were first introduced from Africa into
the provinces of the River Plate. This measure had been originally
urged by the famous Father Bartolomé de las Casas with a view of
augmenting the local force of labour, and thus of alleviating the
condition of the aboriginal races that in many parts were becoming
exterminated on account of the excess of toil imposed upon them. This
state of affairs, as a matter of fact, did not obtain in the Banda
Oriental, where Indian and Spaniard stood entirely apart. Nevertheless
an influx of negroes occurred in the province, and--though nothing can
be said in favour of the morality of the proceeding--there is no
doubt that, once arrived, their presence tended to benefit the
industries of the land.

The period now was one of considerable unrest throughout the Spanish
main. For some while the adventurers of other nations, seeking a share
in the great riches of the South American provinces, had been knocking
loudly at the gates that remained closely barred to them. Privateering
and raids upon the coast had become more and more frequent, while the
Spanish galleons, in continuous dread of attack, only put to sea for
the purpose of long voyages in imposing numbers and beneath weighty
escort. The River Plate, owing to the practical absence of the mineral
traffic from its frontier, suffered far fewer depredations than fell
to the lot of the gold and silver bearing countries to the north.

Yet the homelier riches of the pastoral districts were becoming known
and appreciated to a certain extent. In consequence of this the waters
of the River Plate from time to time had many unwelcome visitors.
Privateers of all nationalities, although their enforced ignorance of
the navigation forbade them to penetrate for any distance up the
waters of the great streams themselves in the face of local
opposition, harassed the coast-line, and occasionally landed in more
or less formidable parties. One of the most notable of these was a
French adventurer of the name of Moreau, whose buccaneering ideas were
considerably in advance of those of the majority who were wont to
harry these particular districts. Moreau's plan of campaign, in fact,
savoured rather of regular warfare than of the more usual methods of
the rapid raidings and retreats. Thus in 1720 he disembarked with a
body of men and four cannon at Maldonado, where he fortified himself,
and began to amass a great store of hides. Surprised by the Spaniards,
he was forced to take to his ships in haste, with the loss of his
guns and of his stock-in-trade. A few months later the Frenchman
returned, accompanied this time by a force of over a hundred
well-armed men, and prepared to settle himself for an extended stay in
the country. Curiously enough, it appears to have been the unfortunate
Moreau's fate to reverse the fighting rôles of the buccaneer and local
resident, since, instead of surprising others, it was he who was
caught unawares on either occasion. The termination of his second
visit was more fatal than that of his first. Attacked when in an
unprepared condition by the Spaniards, the defeat of the buccaneer
force was complete. Moreau himself was slain, together with the
greater part of his company, while the remainder were taken prisoners.

Freed from this source of danger, the inhabitants of the Banda
Oriental were not long left without anxiety on another head. The
Portuguese had never ceased to covet the rich land that might be made
to serve as such a valuable and temperate pendant to their torrid
northern areas. The River Plate stood to them in the light of a Rhine,
and at the end of 1723 they awoke once more into aggressive activity.
An expedition then left Rio de Janeiro consisting of four ships with
three hundred soldiers. The force sailed to the point where the town
of Montevideo now stands, at that time a lonely spot whose commercial
and strategic importance was then for the first time discovered. Here
the expedition landed, and in a short while its leaders had negotiated
with the natives whom they found in the district, had supplied them
with arms, and had founded a settlement. On learning of this
aggression the Buenos Aires authorities determined to resist the
attempt in earnest. Gavala, the Spanish Governor, collected a powerful
fleet, and sailed in haste to the spot. The Portuguese, ascertaining
the strength of the attacking force, abandoned their new settlement,
and made off to the north without awaiting its arrival. Gavala then
took possession of Montevideo in turn, and took measures in order to
prevent a repetition of the incident. To this end he constructed a
powerful battery on the spot, and supplied the fort with a garrison of
a hundred Spanish troops, and with a thousand native auxiliaries.



CHAPTER III

HISTORY--_continued_

     Founding of the city of Montevideo--Its first
     inhabitants--Inducement offered to colonists--The early days of
     the town--Successful rising of the Indians in the
     neighbourhood--Victory of the natives--Montevideo saved by Jesuit
     intervention--The Portuguese invade the northern provinces--The
     first Governor of Montevideo--Treaties and territorial
     cessions--Dissatisfaction of Jesuit Indians--Their defeat by
     combined Spanish and Portuguese forces--Vicissitudes of
     Colonia--The danger of hostile residents--A concentration camp of
     the old days--Expulsion of the Jesuits--Some incidents of the
     wars with the Portuguese--The foundation of urban centres--The
     English occupy themselves with the whaling industry on the
     coast--Discouragement of the enterprise by the King of Spain--A
     corps of Blandengues is created--The British invasion--Political
     effects of the occupation--The war of independence--Montevideo as
     the seat of the Spanish viceroyalty--Commencement of the
     agitation for freedom in Uruguay.


On the 24th of December, 1726, was founded the city proper of
Montevideo. Its inception was sufficiently modest. Indeed, the spot
commenced its urban existence on a human diet of seven families
translated from Buenos Aires for the purpose. A little later twenty
families were brought from the Canary Islands to add to the humble
population. It is not a little curious to read how, even in those
early days, the spirit of colonial enterprise was already manifest in
the way that is now considered most up-to-date. Intending immigrants
to Montevideo were each offered free transport from Buenos Aires,
plots in the city and holdings in the Campo, two hundred head of
cattle, one hundred sheep, and free cartage of building material. They
were offered, beyond, tools, agricultural implements, and a remission
of taxes for a certain period. The whole savours strongly of a modern
immigration department. In any case, the inducements offered were
considerable.

Two years after its foundation Montevideo received an important
reinforcement of citizens, when thirty families from the Canary
Islands and from Galicia were introduced into the place. Thus the
small town was already beginning to make its mark upon the surrounding
country, and at the end of 1728 it could count over two hundred
inhabitants, four hundred troops, and a thousand Indians employed
principally in the works of fortification. A couple of years later it
was deemed worthy of a corporation.

Nevertheless, in this very year the growing settlement all but came to
a bloody and untimely end. A rising of the Charrúa Indians in the
immediate neighbourhood of Montevideo resisted all the efforts made to
subdue it. Over one hundred Spaniards were slain and the royal forces
put to rout. The natives, drunk with success, were on the eve of
entering Montevideo and of slaughtering the inhabitants, when a Jesuit
missionary, Padre Herán, intervened, and prevailed on the Indians to
desist from their purpose.

Scarcely had this danger passed when another, and remoter, came into
being to take its place. The restless Portuguese having given peace to
the Banda Oriental for ten years, doubtless considered the period
unduly prolonged, and thus invaded the Rio Grande on the northern
frontier. Lavala's successor, Don Miguel de Salcedo, a ruler as
impotent as the first had been strong, contented himself with
besieging Colonia as a counter-stroke, while the Portuguese forces
were left free to complete the conquest of Rio Grande. This they
continued to hold, despite the terms of an armistice arranged in 1737
between Spain and Portugal.

For ten years after this no historical event of importance occurred to
disturb the progress of Uruguay. In 1747 a rising of the Indians was
utterly crushed at Queguay, and two years later Montevideo, now
acknowledged as a town of importance, was accorded a Governor of its
own. Don José Joaquin de Viana was the first appointed to the post.
His opinion of its urgency is evident from the fact that he only took
office in 1751.

By the treaty of 1750 King Ferdinand VI. of Spain ceded to Portugal
the northern stretches comprising the Jesuit Missions of Uruguay and
the present province of Rio Grande in exchange for Colonia. As a
stroke of commercial diplomacy the bargain was undoubtedly a failure,
since by its means Spain not only lost for ever two flourishing
provinces, but, in addition, the Jesuits and their Indians were
obliged to forsake the field of their labours, and to migrate in
search of fresh country.

This, however, was not the case with all alike. A large number of the
Indians, deeply attached to the neighbourhoods wherein lay their
homes, refused to follow the missionaries, and in the end resisted the
unwelcome decree. Pitted against the combined forces of Buenos Aires,
Uruguay, and Brazil, their cause had not a momentary chance of
success. After suffering various defeats, they were finally routed and
almost exterminated at Caaibate in 1756, when the native loss amounted
to 154 prisoners and 1,200 dead, at the very moderate Spanish cost of
4 dead and 41 wounded. The character of the action is sufficiently
evident from the butcher's bill. A certain number of the surviving
Indians were taken to Maldonado, and, settling there, formed the
nucleus of the present town.

In the meanwhile Colonia, whose inhabitants by this time must have
been rendered giddy by the continuous substitution of bunting, had
again passed into the possession of the Portuguese. The recurrence of
war between these and the Spaniards gave Pedro de Ceballos, an able
and energetic Governor of Buenos Aires, an opportunity to act. In 1762
he surprised Colonia, captured it, and was in the act of invading the
ceded territory of Rio Grande when the Treaty of Paris came
inopportunely into being to stay him in his path of conquest, and to
give back Colonia, that bone of contention, to the Portuguese once
more.

This occurred in 1763, and Ceballos was powerless to struggle further
against a fate that caused victory to be followed by the loss of
provinces. Nevertheless, he took various measures towards the
preservation of the remaining territory. One of the most important of
these was concerned with the numerous Portuguese families that were
settled along the eastern frontier of the country. Having reason to
believe that these were hatching further warlike schemes in
conjunction with the authorities across the border, Ceballos caused
them to be taken south, and to be collected together in a small
settlement in the neighbourhood of Maldonado, where they could remain
under the watchful eye of the Uruguayan officials.

In 1767 the expulsion of the Jesuits from South America by King Carlos
III. of Spain proved of no little moment to the Banda Oriental, since
many of the Indians, wandering shepherdless and at a loss, came
southwards, and became part and parcel of Uruguay. It was by means of
twelve of these Indian families that the city of Paysandú, amongst
several others, was founded, while the fields of Montevideo and
Maldonado derived many new cultivators from this source.

It was but a very few years later that the trouble with the Portuguese
broke out once again. Indeed, it would seem that indulgence in border
feud had now become an ineradicable habit on the part of both sides.
By the year 1774 the inhabitants of Brazil had once again passed over
the north-western frontier, and had spread themselves over the country
in such numbers as to render their presence a menace to Uruguay. In
order to remedy the situation, Vertiz, the Governor of Buenos Aires,
crossed from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, from which city he sallied
out northwards with an army of four thousand men. Meeting with the
Portuguese forces in the neighbourhood of the Santa Tecla range, he
routed them and pursued them as far as the River Yacuy, depriving them
of the lands they had usurped.

On the return of Vertiz to Buenos Aires, Portuguese aggression burst
forth once again. Advancing from the east this time, they were
repulsed in an attack on the town of San Pedro; but in 1776, returning
with an army of two thousand men, they captured the place and
possessed themselves of the district. The inevitable counter-stroke on
the part of the Spaniards was to follow. Indeed, the scale of the
struggle waxed steadily with the growth of the respective countries.
Brazil was already the seat of a viceroyalty, and immediately after
this last invasion the provinces of the River Plate were raised to the
same status. Ceballos, then on a visit to Spain, was created first
Viceroy, and was dispatched from Cadiz with a powerful fleet and with
over nine thousand troops to avenge the incursion.

[Illustration: RUINED COLONIA.]

[Illustration: ARTIGAS' MONUMENT.
To face p. 52.]

With such forces as these at his disposal the task of Ceballos was
an easy one. The Island of Santa Catalina was captured without a blow,
and that bone of contention, Colonia, surrendered perforce after a few
days of siege. Above its walls for the fifth time the flag of Spain
was hoisted afresh. On this occasion the ill-omened place was destined
to pay for the memories of the past, and its walls suffered in place
of the garrison. In order to remove temptation from the minds of the
northern enemy, Ceballos razed the elaborate fortifications to the
ground and destroyed the more pretentious houses, amongst these being
some of the best architectural specimens of the River Plate.

Having effected this, Ceballos was passing northwards with the
intention of bringing back the Rio Grande Province once more within
the fold of Buenos Aires, when his march was stopped by the news of
another of those treaties between the mother-countries that seemed to
materialise with unfailing regularity at moments so ill-timed for the
interests of the Spanish colonies. By the terms of this Spain was left
with the mines of Colonia, while the Island of Santa Catalina and the
greater part of Rio Grande were ceded definitely to Portugal.

After this ensued an exceptionally lengthy era of peace, which was
marked by the immigration of many families from Galicia and from the
Canary Islands, and by the foundation of numerous towns, amongst these
latter Canelones, Piedras, Rosario, Mercedes, Pando, Santa Lucia, San
José, and Minas. As to the capital itself, by the year 1788 Montevideo
had become a fairly important place, and could count a population of
6,695 Spaniards, 1,386 negro slaves, 562 liberated negroes, and 715
half-castes and Indians. A few years later the population was much
augmented by the introduction of important numbers of negro slaves, a
traffic that continued intermittently until 1825, when its
continuance was prohibited by law.

At the end of the century an industry was initiated that might have
led to important commercial results but for the action of the Spanish
home authorities. The waters off the coast of Maldonado had long been
famed as a whaling-ground, and at this period permission was given to
the Englishmen engaged in the traffic to found establishments both at
this place and at Punta de la Ballena. The result was a rapid but
fleeting prosperity at both these points, since after a while the
attitude of the Court of Spain changed. Fearful of the influence of
the English upon the Uruguayans, the authorities offered to the new
colonists the option of becoming Roman Catholics and of swearing
allegiance to the King of Spain, or of abandoning the settlement. The
latter alternative was chosen by the whalers, and Maldonado and Punta
de la Ballena, in consequence, sank back into the lethargy of
industrial torpor. The instance is only one of the many in which the
mother-country satisfied its conscience at the expense of its colony.

       *       *       *       *       *

A corps of _Blandengues_, or Lancers, was formed in 1797, whose
duties, beyond their military performances, were varied to a degree.
Thus, in addition to the occasional brushes with the Indians that fell
to their lot, they were employed as excise officials against the
smugglers, as escorts of high officials, as ordinary police, and as
official messengers. The corps was composed of picked men, and in its
ranks served José Gervasio Artigas and José Rondeau, both bearers of
names that were destined to become famous in Uruguayan history.

This body of cavalry was destined to be employed on active service
very soon after its formation. In 1801 the Portuguese became active
once more, and the first year of the new century was marked by their
occupation of land in the north-west of the Banda Oriental. After
various actions, Rondeau, with a force of Blandengues and dragoons,
defeated the invaders and won back the greater part of the lost
territory.

In 1806 occurred the first of the British invasions which, although
materially fruitless in the end so far as our own country was
concerned, were destined to influence the minds of the colonials and
the future of the River Plate Provinces to a greater extent than is
generally realised. The circumstances of the invasion that won to the
British Crown for a very short while not only Montevideo, Maldonado,
Colonia, and numerous lesser Uruguayan towns, but Buenos Aires in
addition, afford bitter reading. Thanks to the colossal incapacity--to
give his conduct no harder name--of the British Commander-in-Chief,
General Whitlocke, the last troops of the British army of occupation
had sailed away northwards from Montevideo by the beginning of
September, 1807.

Although the matter ended for the British with the departure of the
troops from the River Plate, the aftermath of the event took very
definite shape in the Spanish colonies themselves. Not only had the
inhabitants of the provinces learned their own power, but--more
especially in the case of Montevideo--the seeds of commercial liberty
had been sown amongst the local merchants and traders by the English
men of business who had descended upon the place beneath the
protection of the army. That the final leave-taking between the
English and the Uruguayans should have been accompanied by actual
cordiality and regrets is surely an astonishing circumstance that
affords great credit to both sides. There can be no doubt, however,
that this mutual esteem was in the first place fostered by an
appreciation on the part of the residents of British laws and methods
of trading.

Whether the germs thus left behind would have fructified so rapidly
but for the chaotic condition of the mother-country is doubtful. As it
was, scarcely had the smoke of these actions cleared away when it
became necessary for the patriots of the River Plate Province to look
once again to their primings in view of still more vital occurrences.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not propose to tell here the full story of the rebellion of the
River Plate Provinces and of the revolution that ended in the complete
overthrow of Spanish power in South America, since I have already
roughly sketched these events elsewhere. So far as the main events are
concerned, the transition from the colonial stage to the condition of
independence was slower in the Banda Oriental than was the process
upon the eastern bank of the great river. In Julio of 1810, when the
Junta of Buenos Aires had already established itself to cast off the
yoke of Spain, Montevideo still remained faithful to the
mother-country, and rejected the advances of the Argentines.

Thus at the beginning of 1811 Montevideo found itself, if only for a
short while, the seat of the viceroyalty of the La Plata Provinces,
and from that point of vantage Elio, the Viceroy, declared war upon
Buenos Aires. Almost immediately, however, the spirit of independence
became manifest in Uruguay itself, and it is at this juncture that
occurs the name that has perhaps stamped itself most deeply of all
upon the history of the Banda Oriental.



CHAPTER IV

HISTORY--_continued_

     The advent of Artigas--First revolutionary movements in
     Uruguay--The appointment of leaders--First successes of the
     Uruguayans--The germs of future jealousies--Montevideo besieged
     by the patriot forces--An incident of the investment--Spain
     appeals to Portugal for assistance--Invasion of Uruguay by the
     latter--The Buenos Aires Government concludes a treaty with the
     Spanish Viceroy--Raising of the siege of Montevideo--Position of
     Uruguay--Discontent of the Orientales--The exodus of the
     nation--Incidents of emigration to the Argentine
     shore--Montevideo in Spanish hands--The country overrun by
     Portuguese--Buenos Aires effects a treaty with the
     latter--Resumption of the campaign against the
     Spaniards--Disputes between the Argentine and Uruguayan
     leaders--Montevideo again besieged--Some battle
     incidents--Artigas reappears on the scene--Drastic measures
     towards an ally--A national Congress convened--Oriental deputies
     rebuffed by Buenos Aires--Artigas withdraws from the siege of
     Montevideo--Price set upon his head--War declared between Uruguay
     and Buenos Aires--The Argentine littoral provinces adhere to
     Artigas--Fall of Montevideo.


The personality of Artigas, the central figure of the Uruguayan
revolutionary era, is fully described in a later chapter. It is
necessary here, therefore, merely to give the record of historical
occurrences, without laying stress on the individuality of the
Oriental leader, a matter that is not easy of accomplishment, since
the figure of Artigas seems to have dominated the field of action in
whatever direction it lay.

Shortly after the outbreak of the revolution Artigas, who at the time
was in the Spanish service, joined the patriot ranks after a violent
quarrel with his brigadier. The Oriental fled across the river to
Buenos Aires. Here he received a warm welcome, and was supplied with
armed men and financial aid in order to foment the movement in his
native country. Beyond this he received the official rank of
lieutenant-colonel in the Army of Independence.

In the meanwhile the first stirrings of the war that was to come had
already shaken Uruguay. With its capital, Montevideo, now the seat of
the viceroyalty, the small province had remained more or less
quiescent, lying, as it were, directly beneath the eye of Imperial
Spain itself. But the awakening, when it occurred, was followed by a
strenuous outbreak of activity. The first important rising took place
at Paysandú, on the banks of the Uruguay River. This was crushed by
the aid of the Spanish war vessels that lay in the stream. But the
inhabitants, not in the least discouraged by this first check, rose
again in greater numbers than before. A body of one hundred gauchos,
ill-armed as it was, captured the town of Mercedes, and then, with
augmented forces, marched on Soriano, which surrendered to them.

This success was the signal for a general rising throughout the
country. At the beginning of 1811 the Spanish garrison found
themselves in the midst of a definitely hostile population. From one
frontier to another bodies of men were gathering together, forging
weapons from agricultural tools, and arming themselves as best they
could in order that they might take their share in the struggle for
liberation that was already in active being. In March the towns of
Maldonado, San Carlos, and Minas rose, and the country just to the
east of Montevideo itself threw off the Spanish authority and came
into possession of the insurrectionist companies.

On the 11th of April, 1811, Artigas returned to Uruguay in command of
150 men of the regiment of Patricios, and disembarked in the
neighbourhood of that hub of all strife, Colonia. Here he was welcomed
by a great number of armed countryfolk, who acclaimed him as chief of
the Orientales. The movement now fairly under way, he established his
headquarters at Mercedes. In the meanwhile the germ of future
combinations had already been created by the appointment on the part
of the Buenos Aires patriots of Rondeau as commander of the
Uruguayans. Belgrano, first named for the post, had, disgraced, been
deprived of it since his defeat by the Paraguayans.

Artigas's first collision with the royal forces occurred at Paso del
Rey, the Spanish army being completely defeated. Reinforced by a
second victorious column, under Benavidez, the Uruguayans followed up
the retreating regulars, and forced them to surrender.

Artigas, the _Jefe de los Orientales_, had now at his disposal a force
of over a thousand men. Meeting at Las Piedras with a royalist army of
1,230 men, the valour of the new levies was soon put to the test.
Although the Spaniards possessed the advantage of artillery, they were
in the end, after a desperate and prolonged fight that endured for
half a dozen hours, defeated and forced to surrender.

The doings of the patriotic force came as a blow to the Spanish
authorities at Montevideo. Urged by the first tremblings of the
viceregal throne beneath him, Elio cast about him for an inducement to
turn Artigas from his victorious course. To this end he sent
messengers offering the chieftain a heavy monetary bribe to desert the
patriot cause, and to take service again in the royalist cause.
Whether any offering of any kind would have tempted Artigas is
doubtful. But in any case the tender was eloquent of Elio's want of
acquaintance with the Gaucho temperament, to which the possession of
mere cash constitutes a matter of utter indifference. As it was,
Artigas treated the offer with angry contempt.

The hour of the patriot leader's triumph was not without its sting.
The battle of Las Piedras had won him the rank of colonel in the
revolutionary forces, it is true; but Belgrano, after Suipacha, had
risen to that of a general. And, although both the Buenos Aires
Government and the official _Gazette_, using the soft soap of courtesy
titles, referred continuously to Artigas by the honorary term of
"General," the bitterness remained to give rise to future strife.

Three days after his victory Artigas marched to Montevideo, and laid
siege to the headquarters itself of the Spanish régime. As a
preliminary to the operation an exchange of prisoners, wounded and
whole, was effected. Artigas then formally demanded the surrender of
the garrison; Elio responded by various sorties, all of which were
repulsed. The beginning of the siege was marked by a dramatic episode.
Suspecting the revolutionary sympathies of some Franciscan monks
domiciled in Montevideo, Elio decided to expel these from the city.
The Franciscans were led through the streets with the utmost silence
at the dead of night. Arrived at the gates, the officer in charge of
the escort pointed with his sword at some sparks of light that
twinkled faintly in the distance. "Go you with the butchers!" he
commanded, and the priests passed out silently into the darkness to
join the forces of Artigas. Their influence was doubtless exhilarating
to the patriot cause, but there is no evidence to show that it was
employed in the cause of mercy. A few days later forty Uruguayan
families suffered a similar fate.

In the meanwhile Benavidez had laid siege to Colonia, the garrison of
which, after a month's resistance, escaped by river to Montevideo. It
was upon this latter place that the fortune of the Spanish dominion
now hung. The scale of warfare was increasing in proportion to the
importance of the issue. Shortly after the arrival of the
reinforcements supplied by the Royalist fugitives from Colonia,
Rondeau, in command of the Argentine troops, arrived to take charge of
the attacking force, that now amounted to four thousand men. Artigas,
now one amongst many, dropped in rank from commander to leader of
horse.

Rondeau had contrived to drag two heavy guns to the spot, and with
these he opened fire upon Montevideo. Galled by a continuous
bombardment, Elio took a more desperate step than was justified even
by his situation. Carlota, the Queen of Portugal and the sister of
Ferdinand VII. of Spain, had been established in Rio de Janeiro since
the invasion of the peninsula by the Napoleonic armies. To her the
Viceroy, seeing the last foothold of power slipping from beneath him,
sent an urgent message for assistance.

Ere the response to this appeal became evident the condition of the
beleagured town had changed. Discouraged by the serious defeat at
Huaqui of the army of Peru, the revolutionary leaders of Buenos Aires
were already contemplating a retirement from before Montevideo, when
the blow engineered by Elio took effect. A swarm of Portuguese, under
command of General Diego de Souza, entered the Banda Oriental from the
north with the purpose of overrunning the country. The Buenos Aires
Government, appalled by the new turn that affairs had taken, made the
utmost haste to conclude an armistice with Elio. By the terms of the
treaty the patriot forces were to retire from Montevideo, and Spanish
authority was to be recognised throughout Uruguay in exchange for the
return of Souza's forces to Brazil. Thus Elio's unscrupulous move had
succeeded for the time being, and the first siege of Montevideo came
to an end. A month after its conclusion Elio retired to Spain. The
command he had left was now no longer worthy of the highest rank, and
the departed Viceroy was succeeded by Vigodet in the minor capacity of
Captain-General.

Artigas had from the first bitterly opposed this treaty, by the terms
of which the Orientales were to be left at the mercy of the Royalists.
That he had right upon his side from his own point of view is
undeniable, although it is difficult to see by what other means the
Buenos Aires Government, caught between the Spaniards and the
Brazilians, could have extricated themselves from their dilemma. The
treaty once concluded, however, Artigas initiated a move that in
itself proved the greatness of the man.

A general assembly of the patriotic Oriental families was sounded.
Obedient to the call, they mustered in numbers that amounted to over
thirteen thousand men, women, and children. Then followed the exodus,
ordained by the stress of events, of which Artigas was the human
instrument. Escorted by three thousand soldiers, the march of the
families began. Carts filled with women and children, herds of cattle,
troops of horses, companies of pack-mules, to say nothing of the
riders themselves--the tragic procession toiled its long length
northwards through the summer dust clouds struck up by the hoofs and
feet from the crude earth roads. Mingled with the slowly advancing
ranks, and lending still greater variety to the whole, went four
hundred faithful Charrúa Indians, armed with bolas and spears.

Over the rolling hills of Uruguay struggled the human thread of
emigrants. Death waited on the column in the shape of heat and
hardship. But, though many children and many aged folk fell by the
way, the great majority won through in safety to Salto, on the banks
of the Uruguay; crossed the great river in boats, and took up their
abode on the Argentine shore, awaiting with anxiety the hour that
might permit their return to their native land.

In the meantime matters were passing from bad to worse in Uruguay.
Once within its frontiers, the temptations of the promised land
overcame any scruple on the part of the Portuguese concerning a too
rigid adherence to the terms of the treaty. Under the convenient
pretext of pacifying an already deserted country, Souza's army overran
the smiling Campo, capturing towns and plundering where they might.
The Spanish royalists, for their part, remained passive, and the sole
opposition with which the Portuguese armies had to count was that
rendered by the forces of Artigas, sent by him across the river. But,
although they won a victory or two, the slender patriot bands were
unable to stem the tide of invasion to any appreciable degree.

It is a little curious to remark what an endless wealth of
complications appear to have attended every political move at this
period. In this particular instance the introduction of a new element
was productive of unexpected results. Thus, when the Buenos Aires
Government, realising the gravity of the situation, proposed to send
reinforcements to the assistance of Artigas, the move was checked by
Elio, the Spanish commander, who, forgetful of the ties of blood,
threatened to join cause with the Portuguese in the event of any such
intervention. As an appropriate climax to the chaotic situation, the
Buenos Aires powers turned to Paraguay for assistance. The latter,
inclined to assent, began negotiation with Artigas direct, and, since
the Argentine Government resented this slight upon its authority, and
the negotiations themselves failed to fructify, the only outcome of
importance was an increase in the mutual jealousies that already
existed between Artigas and the Argentines.

Shortly after this, however, the tables were turned upon the
Spaniards. An able stroke of diplomacy on the part of the famous
Argentine, Belgrano, supported by British influence, resulted in a
treaty with the Portuguese. Thus the Royalists, hoist by a second
edition of their own petard, lay without allies at the mercy of the
patriot forces.

Preparations for a fresh siege of Montevideo were at once begun. Don
Manuel Sarratea, appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Army,
marched to the Entre Rios shore to join his columns with those of
Artigas. The inevitable jealousies between the Argentine and Oriental
leaders came to a head almost immediately. Apart from a deep personal
antagonism that separated the pair, a yet more potent reason made the
rupture inevitable. Sarratea, representing the triumvirate of Buenos
Aires, was determined to deal with Uruguay as a province of the new
Republic of Argentina. Artigas, on the other hand, although willing to
acknowledge the authority at Buenos Aires from a federal point of
view, insisted upon the independence of the State.

It was in these circumstances that Sarratea descended upon Artigas's
mixed camp of soldiers and Uruguayan emigrant families upon the banks
of the Uruguay. The results of the meeting were soon evident. Artigas,
complaining bitterly that Sarratea had seduced from his allegiance
not only his troops but the civilian elements of the settlement,
resigned his colonelcy, and separated his division from the Argentine
forces. The troops now remaining to him numbered rather less than a
thousand men, under the command of Otorgués, Rivera, and Manuel
Artigas.

In the meanwhile Sarratea, anxious that the credit for the capture of
Montevideo should fall to his lot, had dispatched a force under
Rondeau to lay siege once again to the town of contention that
represented the headquarters of the Royalists. Arriving at the spot,
he found that his task had already been forestalled to a certain
extent by an independent Oriental, José Eugenio Culta. The latter
_caudillo_, spurred onwards by the numerous examples of reckless
initiative offered by the period, had collected a band of three
hundred Gauchos. With these kindred spirits he was busily occupied in
harassing the garrison to no little purpose.

With the arrival of Rondeau, in October of 1812, the siege of the
devoted city began on an imposing scale, the army employed for the
purpose soon amounting to two thousand men. Destined to drag out its
length for almost two years, the first few months of the siege were
marked by two events of importance. Vigodet, having received
reinforcements from Spain, made a vigorous sally on the last day of
the year. At early dawn sixteen hundred men burst out from the gates
of the city, surprising and routing the besieging forces as they went,
until they won the summit of the Cerrito hill itself, the headquarters
of the American forces. With the yellow and red of Spain flaunting
from this the Royalists forgot all but their success, and expended
their energies in a jubilation that cost them dear. For Rondeau,
gathering together his fugitive troops with an amazing rapidity, fell
like a thunderbolt upon the cheering crowd, whose joyful clamour
turned to groans and death gasps as the stricken mass went reeling
back into the city.

An event of still greater importance occurred during the first month
of the following year. Sarratea himself then journeyed to the camp
before Montevideo. But he had company behind that he could not have
failed to regard with considerable unease. Notwithstanding his late
check, Artigas still remained a power to be reckoned with. Indeed, his
vitality had risen to the occasion; he had flung out his summons far
and wide, and his power was now infinitely greater than before. Thus,
when Sarratea set out for Montevideo, Artigas followed grimly in his
wake, having now no mean instrument by means of which to assert his
rights--an army of five thousand men.

Arriving on the heels of his enemy at the point of hostilities,
Artigas was not slow to act. Taking full measure of his advantage, he
sent peremptorily to Rondeau, demanding the immediate dismissal of
Sarratea from his office of Commander-in-Chief. The order thus given
to a subordinate to deal with his superior was quite in accordance
with the spirit of the times.

As Rondeau, however, did not immediately comply, Artigas took a very
simple measure by which to prove that he did not intend to ask in
vain. His Gauchos dashed full gallop into Sarratea's camp, and drove
off with them all the horses that they found within the establishment.
Seeing that a Gaucho army, unhorsed, is as a collection of fish on dry
land, the matter was definitely settled by the act. Sarratea retired
with the best grace he could muster to Buenos Aires, Rondeau remained
in command, and the Oriental and Argentine leaders sat down to
continue the investment of Montevideo, one jealous eye of each upon
his fellow-chief, the other fixed more casually upon the beleaguered
town.

During the comparative lull in active hostilities that followed
Artigas busied himself in the affairs of the State that he was
determined to see fully created. To this end he convened a national
Congress of Uruguayans, of which he was, as a matter of course,
elected President, in addition to being created Military Governor of
the country. One of the first acts of the new Congress was to
advertise its existence by the mission of deputies to the Junta at
Buenos Aires. But, the Junta refusing to recognise either an
independent Uruguay or its agents, the deputies returned home to
spread the tale of the rebuff, and to increase the bitterness that
already lay so deep between the Buenos Aires authorities and Artigas.

In January, 1814, the long series of incessant disputes was brought
abruptly to a head by Artigas. In the dead of night he struck his hide
tents, mounted his men, and his entire force rode away over the hills,
leaving Rondeau and his army to continue the siege of Montevideo as
best they might. The Buenos Aires authorities, furious at the
defection, placed a price upon Artigas's head; and the Gaucho leader,
equally incensed at this personal ultimatum, retaliated by declaring
open war upon the Junta. Storming against the Buenos Airens, this born
leader of men took his body--valued by his enemies at six thousand
pesos, alive or dead--along the coast of the great river. So
successful were his denunciations and the missions of his ambassadors
that not only the littoral provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes, and
Santa Fé came spontaneously to his standard, but the comparatively
remote province of Córdoba, following the example of the rest,
proffered its allegiance.

It was not long ere the news of the rupture reached the ears of
Vigodet in Montevideo. Thinking to derive profit from the occasion, he
made a final appeal to throw in his lot with the royal forces. The
Gaucho leader in his refusal is stated to have said that "with the
Porteños [Buenos Airens] there was always time for reconciliation;
with the Spaniards, never!" That the time for the former consummation
was not yet ripe was evidenced by the almost immediate outbreak of
active hostilities between the rival South American parties.

In the meanwhile Montevideo was giving out the last gasp of its
imperial existence. The Spanish fleet that had assisted in its defence
had been destroyed by Admiral Brown, the famous Irishman in Argentine
service. Hunger and the lack of general necessaries both of livelihood
and of war completed the work of arms. On the 20th June, 1814,
Montevideo, after suffering intense privations, capitulated, and with
its fall passed for ever the last vestige of Spanish power from the
provinces of the River Plate.



CHAPTER V

HISTORY--_continued_

     Conclusion of Spanish rule--Situation of the victors--Rival
     claims--Alvear defeats a Uruguayan force--Montevideo remains in
     possession of Buenos Aires--Rural Uruguay supports
     Artigas--Alliance of the Argentine littoral provinces with the
     Orientales--Some intrigues and battles--Success of the
     Uruguayans--Departure from Montevideo of the Buenos Aires
     garrison--The Uruguayans enter into possession of their
     capital--Some crude methods of government--Trials of the
     inhabitants--Growth of Artigas's power--The Buenos Aires
     directors undertake a propitiatory measure--A grim human
     offering--Attitude of the Uruguayan Protector--Negotiations and
     their failure--The civil progress of Uruguay--Formation of
     departments--The Portuguese invade the country once
     again--Condition of the inhabitants--Fierce resistance to the
     invaders--A campaign against heavy odds--The Portuguese army
     enters Montevideo--War continued by the provinces--Invasion of
     Brazil by the Oriental forces--Crushing defeats suffered by the
     army of invasion--Final struggles--The flight of Artigas--Uruguay
     passes under Portuguese rule.


The defeated eagle was fluttering slowly homeward with broken wing.
But its departure did not leave the battlefield empty. It was the turn
now of the victorious hawks to rend each other. Alvear had arrived
from Buenos Aires, and was now in charge of the newly won city.
Scarcely had he begun his work of organisation, however, when
Otorgues, Artigas's chief lieutenant, appeared at Las Piedras in the
neighbourhood of the capital, and in the name of his leader demanded
that the place should be handed over to the Uruguayans. Alvear's
answer was unexpected and to the point. Marching his army through the
darkness, he fell upon Otorgues's forces in the middle of the night,
shattering them completely.

Thus the Buenos Aires authorities remained for the time being masters
of the city. As for their sway, the Montevideans broke out into bitter
complaints that the Spanish dominion had been liberal and lenient by
comparison. However this may have been, it is certain that those
families noted for their allegiance to Artigas were subjected to
severe penalties and restrictions.

Nevertheless the situation of the advocates of centralisation had now
become critical. By a curious irony of fate the position of the Junta
was exactly identical with that formerly held by the Spaniards.
Montevideo lay in its power; but the remainder of the Banda Oriental
as well as the Argentine provinces of Entre Rios, Correntes, and Santa
Fé were completely subject to Artigas. Alive to the growing power of
the Protector, the Buenos Aires Government opened negotiations for a
treaty, flinging out in the first place an olive-branch in the shape
of a degree not only relieving the head of the Gaucho leader of the
dollars set upon it, but in addition proclaiming him to the world as
_buen servidor de la patria_--"a worthy servant of the country." A
meeting at Montevideo resulted in the evacuation of Montevideo on the
part of nearly the entire Buenos Aires garrison. These departed by
river; but, instead of returning to Buenos Aires, the troops landed at
Colonia, marched inland to Minas, fell upon Otorgues, whose camp lay
in that district, and completely routed the force of the unsuspecting
lieutenant.

This achieved, the victorious army set out in search of Rivera,
another of Artigas's commanders, who had recently surprised and
destroyed a Buenos Aires column. In this latter leader, however,
Dorrego, the Junta general, met with more than his match, and,
suffering many casualties, was forced to retire to Colonia. Sallying
out from here with reinforcements a little later, he was utterly
defeated, and fled in haste to Corrientes, accompanied by some score
of men who formed the sole remnant of his entire army.

Just as the fall of Montevideo crowned the doom of the Spanish power,
so this final disaster marked the end of the occupation of the town by
the Buenos Aires Government. A little more than a month after the
event the troops of the garrison sailed across to Buenos Aires. The
following day Fernando Otorgues entered the place at the head of his
troops. The advent of the new Military Governor was hailed with
enthusiasm by the inhabitants. The unfurling of Artigas's blue and
white standard with its red bar was answered by illuminations and
fireworks by the citizens.

For the first time in its history the capital of Uruguay lay beneath
the command of a Uruguayan. By one of the first acts of the new régime
a national coat of arms was instituted, and a flaming proclamation
promised nothing short of the millennium. All this would have been
very well had it not been necessary for this new benignity to be put
immediately to the test. It then became evident to the depressed
Montevideans that with each change of rulers their load of evils had
increased. With his talents essentially confined to the field of
battle, there was probably no man in Uruguay who possessed less of the
lamb in his disposition than Otorgues. The temperaments of his
subordinates, reckless at the best of times, had been further excited
by merciless warfare. Thus the inhabitants, at the mercy of the
utterly licentious Gaucho soldiers, continued to groan for relief in
vain.

Artigas himself had not approached the city. From points of vantage
along the great river system he had ceaselessly harassed the forces of
the Junta, until Alvear, its director, goaded to exasperation,
collected into an army every soldier that he could spare, and,
determined to put all to the hazard, sent the imposing expedition
against the Gaucho leader. The adventure involved complete disaster to
the director. Ere it had passed the frontiers of Buenos Aires
Province, the army, encouraged by Artigas, revolted, and its chief,
Colonel Alvarez Thomas, returned to Buenos Aires to depose Alvear,
with whose office he invested himself.

The power of the famous Oriental chief had now reached its zenith. The
new director, Alvarez Thomas, acutely conscious of the Protector's
power, thought of nothing beyond conciliation. Among the measures
employed was one that redounded very little to his credit. Not
satisfied with the public burning of the various proclamations hostile
to the _Caudillo_, he bethought himself of a stake that should win for
ever the regard of Artigas. To this end he arrested the seven chief
friends of Alvear, and sent them as a combined sacrifice and
peace-offering to Artigas's encampment. As a specimen of grim and
sycophantic courtesy the callousness of the offering of seven bodies
can scarcely have been exceeded in the world's history. But Artigas,
contrary to the Director's expectation, failed to make the intended
use of the gifts. Indeed, he treated them with no little
consideration, and sent them back whence they came, bidding them tell
Thomas that the General Artigas was no executioner.

The next move was of the legitimately political order. The voluntary
acknowledgment of the independence of Uruguay was offered in exchange
for the abandonment of the protectorate over the provinces of Entre
Rios, Santa Fé, Córdoba, and Corrientes. This was also refused by
Artigas, who maintained that the provinces of the River Plate should,
though self-governing, be indissolubly linked.

During all this time Artigas remained at his encampment at Hervidero
on the banks of the Uruguay River. From thence by a system of
organisation that, though crude, was marvellously effective, he
manipulated the affairs of the extensive region under his command,
jealously watching the moves of doubtful friends and open enemies, and
keeping his armed bands of remorseless Gauchos ceaselessly on the
alert.

This continual state of minor warfare, however, did not altogether
exclude the attention to civil matters. In addition to some tentative
measures of administration in Córdoba and the Argentine littoral
provinces, Uruguay was partitioned off into six departments, to each
of which was allotted its Cabildo and general mechanism of government.
These attempts naturally represented nothing more than a drop of
progress in the ocean of chaos; but there is no reason to doubt that
Artigas undertook the new and peaceable campaign with no little
measure of whole-heartedness. In any case the new era proved as
fleeting as any of its predecessors. It was the turn of the Portuguese
once again to set in motion the wheel of fate upon which the destinies
of Uruguay were revolving with such giddy rapidity.

It was in 1816 that the Portuguese invaded Uruguay for the second time
since the natives of the land had started on their campaign of
self-government. Their armies marched south from Brazil with the
ostensible object of putting an end to the anarchy that they alleged
was rampant under the rule of Artigas. The condition of the country
was undoubtedly lamentable. Harassed by hordes of marauding soldiery
or acknowledged bandits, the safety of lives and homes without the
more immediate range of Artigas's influence was even more precarious
than had been the case during the recent period of wild turmoil.

It is true that in the districts bordering on the headquarters of the
Gaucho chief at Hervidero matters were very different. Indeed, so
severe was the discipline imposed by the Caudillo, and so terrible the
penalties following on theft, that it is said that beneath his iron
rule a purse of gold might have been left on the public highway with
as little chance of its removal as though it lay within the vaults of
a bank.

But notwithstanding the disorder that prevailed in so many quarters,
the disinterestedness of the motives that caused the Portuguese
intervention need not be taken too seriously. There can be no doubt
that the real object of the invasion was territorial possession rather
than the amelioration of a state of turbulence that concerned Brazil
to a very minor degree. To this end an imposing army of twelve
thousand men marched southwards, striking Uruguay at the central point
of its northern frontier.

Artigas braced himself for a desperate struggle, the final result of
which could scarcely be doubtful. In order to distract the attention
of the advancing army he became in turn the invader, and sent a force
northwards to invade the Misiones territory that, lost to the Banda
Oriental, now formed part of Brazil. The manoeuvre, though adroit, was
rendered futile by the preponderance of the foreign troops. In a short
while the scene of the conflict was transferred to the home country.
Here the entire collection of Artigas's mixed forces made a stand. Men
of pure Spanish descent, Gauchos, Indians, negroes, and a sprinkling
of emigrant foreigners beyond--all these fought with a desperation
that was in the first place rewarded by several victories. No human
effort, however, could stave off the final result. Andresito, a famous
Indian leader, Rivera, Latorre, and Artigas himself were in turn
defeated, and in February of 1817 Lecor, at the head of the Portuguese
army, entered Montevideo in triumph.

The fall of the capital did not end the war. Throughout the provinces
the resistance continued unabated. On the water, too, the Uruguayans
asserted themselves with no little success, and it is amazing to read
that one or two of their privateers with the utmost hardihood sailed
across the ocean to the coasts of Portugal itself, making several
captures within sight of the Iberian cliffs. Indeed, that the
authority of Artigas was still recognised to a certain degree is
proved by a treaty between his Government and Great Britain that was
concluded several months after the loss of Montevideo.

It was not long, however, ere the inevitable complications arose to
render the situation yet more hopeless. The perennial disputes with
Buenos Aires became embittered to such a degree that Artigas, in
sublime disregard of the Portuguese forces already in the country,
declared war against the Directorate. The primary outcome of this was
the defection of several of his leaders, who, as a matter of fact,
foreseeing the reckless declaration, had espoused the Buenos Aires
cause just previous to its publication.

The sole hope of Artigas now lay in the provinces of Entre Rios and
Corrientes. Even here had occurred a wavering that had necessitated a
crushing by force ere a return to allegiance had been brought about.
With these and the remaining Oriental forces he continued the
struggle. But the tide of his fortune had turned. The beginning of the
year 1818 witnessed the capture of two of his foremost lieutenants,
Otorgues and Lavalleja, who were sent by the Portuguese to an island
in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro. As a last effort, Artigas, daring the
aggressive even at this stage, hurled his intrepid Gauchos and
Misiones Indians once more over the frontier into Brazilian territory
itself. A brilliant victory was followed by the inevitable retreat in
the face of immensely superior forces. At Tacuarembo, in the north of
the Banda Oriental, fell the blow that virtually ended the campaign.
Here Artigas's army, under the command of Latorre, was surprised and
completely routed with a loss that left the force non-existent for
practical purposes. Shortly after this Rivera surrendered to the
Portuguese, and with his submission went the last hope of success.

Artigas crossed the River Uruguay, and took up a position in Entre
Rios. The hour of his doom had struck; but even then, with his forces
shattered and crushed, he refused to bow to the inevitable. With
extraordinary doggedness he scoured Entre Rios, Corrientes, and
Misiones in an endeavour to sweep up the remaining few that the
battles had spared, and yet once again to lead them against the
Portuguese. But on this occasion there was no response. Sullen and
despairing, the majority of the remnant turned from him, and in the
end his officer Ramirez, Governor of Entre Rios, threw off his
allegiance, and came with an expedition to expel him from the country.

Devoting themselves to this narrowed campaign, the two Gaucho leaders
assailed each other with fury. Victory in the first instance lay with
Artigas, despite his diminished following. Ramirez, however, received
reinforcements from the Buenos Aires authorities, who had thrown the
weight of their influence against their old enemy. It was against the
allied forces that Artigas fought his last battle. When it was evident
even to his indomitable spirit that all hope was at an end he marched
northwards with a couple of hundred troops who remained faithful in
the hour of adversity to the once all-powerful Protector.

At Candelaria he crossed the Paraná, and sought the hospitality of
Gaspar Rodriguez Francia, the dreaded Dictator of Paraguay. The latter
first of all imprisoned the fugitive--probably more from force of
habit than from any other reason, since Francia was accustomed to fill
his dungeons as lightly as a fishwife her basket with herrings.

After a very short period of incarceration, however, the autocrat came
to a definite determination regarding his attitude towards the
fugitive who had sought his protection. Releasing him, he treated him
with a certain degree of liberality as well as with respect. Artigas
was allotted a humble dwelling in the township of Curuguaty, far to
the north of Asuncion, and in addition he was granted a moderate
pension upon which to live. Here the old warrior, enjoying the deep
regard of his neighbours, ended his days in peace, while the tortured
Uruguay was incorporated with Brazil and passed under Portuguese
rule.



CHAPTER VI

ARTIGAS

     The human product of a turbulent era--Historical verdicts
     disagree--Opinions of Uruguayan and foreign
     historians--High-flown tribute--The cleansing of Artigas's
     fame--Prejudices of some local accounts--Uruguay at the time of
     Artigas's birth--Surroundings of his youth--Smuggling as a
     profession--Growth of his influence--His name becomes a household
     word--Artigas enters the Spanish service--The corps of
     Blandengues--Efficiency and promotion--Quarrel with the Spanish
     General--Artigas throws in his lot with the patriot forces--His
     success as a leader of men--Rank accorded him--Jealousy between
     Artigas and the Buenos Aires generals--Conflicting ambitions--The
     Portuguese invasion--Artigas leads the Oriental nation to the
     Argentine shore--The encampment at Ayui--Scarcity of arms and
     provisions--Battles with the Portuguese--The subalterns of
     Artigas--Otorgues and Andresito--Crude governmental
     procedure--Arbitrary decrees--The sentiments of Artigas--His love
     of honesty--Progress of the war--Complications of the
     campaign--Artigas as Protector--The encampment of
     Hervidero--Revolting tales--The exaggeration of history--Artigas
     refuses honour--His proclamations--Simple life of the
     commander--Some contemporary accounts--The national
     treasury--Final desperate struggles against the
     Portuguese--Rebellion of Ramirez--Fierce battles--Extraordinary
     recuperative power of the Protector--Final defeat of
     Artigas--Flight to Paraguay--The Protector in retirement.


The name of Artigas stands for that of the national hero of Uruguay.
Within the frontiers of the River Plate countries and of Southern
Brazil no such introduction would be necessary, since in those places
have raged controversies as fierce as any of the battles in which the
old warrior took part. To the average English reader, however, his
name is necessarily unfamiliar, although it crops up now and again in
the records of travellers who visited South America during the first
quarter of the eighteenth century.

Artigas was essentially the product of a turbulent era. Born in 1764,
he had remained comparatively obscure until forty-six years later,
when the outbreak of the South American War of Independence sent him
aloft with dramatic rapidity to a pinnacle of prominence from which he
ruled nations and armies--with a result that is yet the subject of
considerable dispute.

Perhaps never did the memory of a man meet with more honour in his own
country, and with less favour without it. Argentine historians and
European travellers of all nationalities have included him within the
dark fold of the world's great criminals. From the mill of their
analysis Artigas emerges as a bandit, murderer, traitor, a criminal
who seized with audacity each of his thousand opportunities to outrage
the laws of morality and decency. Apart from the testimony of the
noted historians, two Swiss naturalists, Rengger and Longchamps, who
penetrated to his country and whose report should be unbiassed, speak
of him as one "whose life has been only a tissue of horrors, the great
instrument of all the calamities which for ten years fell on the
provinces of the confederation of Rio de la Plata." These convictions
are echoed by a score of other authorities.

For the other side of the picture it is necessary to turn to the
Uruguayan writers. Their views are at least as definite and unanimous
as the others. According to one, Eduardo Muñoz Ximinez, "the austerity
of Cato, the purity of Aristides, the temperament of the Gracchi, the
nobility of Camillus, the generosity of Fabricius--these virtues,
allied to heroism and determination, have been found united within
the breast of none but Artigas." This represents but a solitary note,
typical of the great chorus of praise that goes up from Uruguay.

Artigas, living, had little concern with compromise; dead, his spirit
seems to have infected his historians with the same dislike of
half-measures. In other respects this particular strand of history is
as flexible as all the rest. For generations the feathers of Artigas's
fame remained of undisputed black; now the active protests of the
Uruguayans have initiated a cleansing process that promises to change
the plumes to too blinding a white. Such impartial judgment as is
possible induces the persuasion that the Argentine and foreign
chroniclers, though writing in all good faith, have erred a little in
relying too much upon the testimony of men who bore bitter personal
enmity towards the Uruguayan leader. Artigas, in fact, reveals himself
from out of the cloud of conflicting authorities as an essentially
human being, swayed by the passions of the age and knowing many of its
faults, wild as the age itself, but less sordid and more picturesque,
and the author of some deeds, moreover, that, worked in the light of a
more central and populous field, might well have sent his name to
posterity with more assured honour.

Artigas was born at a time that, by courtesy, was termed one of peace.
A treaty of the previous year had for a short while changed the open
warfare between the Spaniards and Portuguese into an unofficial series
of aggressions and frontier skirmishes. Scarcely, however, had the
future Protector of Uruguay attained to his twelfth year when the war
broke out again, thus adding fresh fuel to the ceaseless minor hatreds
and private feuds. Brought up, as one of his own apologists admits, in
an atmosphere of rapine, revenge, and violence, the early
surroundings of Artigas were sufficient to prepare him for the grim
part he was destined to play. He could, moreover, lay claim to an
especial sentimental stake in the country, since forty years before
the date of his birth his grandfather had formed one of the heads of
seven families who were sent from Buenos Aires in order to found the
town of Montevideo.

Artigas, attained to manhood, became noted for physical prowess. As
was inevitable in such a land, his unequalled tricks of horsemanship
and feats of strength soon gave him an ascendency over the companions
of his own age. Since Artigas himself vouchsafed little information on
the subject, the details of this early career are at best vague. His
enemies assert that he turned brigand, and captained a band of
desperadoes. It is now practically certain that this was not the case,
but that he devoted himself to smuggling there is no doubt. It must be
remembered that in those days contraband was not necessarily a
commerce of reproach. Although its active agents were essentially of a
reckless type, there were others of considerable standing who were
more or less directly interested in a traffic that they held a
legitimate and profitable protest against the repressive fiscal
measures of Spain.

It was in the sparsely populated hill country of the north that
Artigas first learned to control men and to command expeditions. Once
fairly settled to the work, unusually numerous convoys of laden horses
and mules passed stealthily southwards from Brazil through the
valleys, forests, and streams of the frontier districts, for the
daring ventures of the Uruguayan leader met with phenomenal success.
As a result his influence steadily increased among both the men of his
own race and the semi-civilised Indians of the neighbourhood. The
personality of the man with the hawk nose, blue eyes, and fair skin
possessed the rare faculty of inspiring his followers with personal
affection as well as with admiration. As the years went on his name
began to ring in every mud cabin and reed hut, and the numbers of his
adherents attained to formidable proportions.

In the meanwhile the general disorder of the country had increased to
a pitch that demanded active measures for its repression. In 1797 the
Spanish authorities raised a special corps of Blandengues, whose
duties were fairly comprehensive. Picked men, they served as cavalry,
police, as guards against Indian raids, and as a force to repress the
smugglers. Imbued with a wholesome respect for his power, the
Montevidean Government approached Artigas by way of the line of least
resistance. The Uruguayan accepted an invitation to join the corps,
and soon proved himself its most capable and efficient officer.

Thus we see Artigas in the blue-and-red uniform of the Blandengues,
armed with a lance that sported a steel crescent below its point,
chasing smugglers instead of being chased, arresting criminals,
fighting with intruding Brazilians, and slaying rebellious Indians
with the precautionary enthusiasm of the period. His vindication of
justice was now as thorough as had formerly been his evasion of the
fiscal laws. In 1802 a rapid series of promotion created him _Guarda
General de la Campaña_, or guardian officer general of the rural
districts. We next hear of him as taking part with his regiment
against the British invaders of the country in 1807. Then, in 1810,
began the South American War of Independence, and with its outbreak
dawned the true career of the Uruguayan popular hero.

It was not, however, until nine months or so after the commencement of
the campaign that Artigas threw in his lot with the patriot forces.
The immediate cause was a quarrel with his superior officer, the
Spanish General Muesa. Artigas, whose spirit was not tempered to
verbal chastisement, gave back word for word, until the incensed
general threatened to send him in chains to the neighbouring island of
San Gabriel. That night the offended officer of Blandengues crossed
the broad River Plate in a small boat, was received with acclamation
by the Argentine leaders, and with their aid prepared an expedition
that should free his country from the Spaniard. The motives that
brought about this sudden adherence to the party of independence have
been much in dispute. Hostile critics assert that the change of front
was merely vindictive, and that it was the revengeful fruit of wounded
pride that sent him to the patriot ranks. His supporters declare
positively that the dispute was of importance only in so far as it
gave him reason for the long desired severance of the link that bound
him to the Spanish service.

Be this how it may, the figure of Artigas now looms with vastly
increased bulk from the field of River Plate history. He is in command
of armies now--which is the lot of many--winning battles with them,
moreover, which is the luck of few. His official rank is that of
Colonel, but the title of General is accorded him by all alike,
whether his superiors or inferiors in grade. As for his own folk of
Uruguay, they have grown to regard him as a being of almost superhuman
power, and follow him with a devoted affection that speaks well for
the temperament of the leader.

Indeed, it was at this period that the famous Uruguayan was first
enabled to show his true mettle. His armies knew little of the pomp of
war. The ragged companies looked up to a chief whose garb was little
more warlike and pretentious than their own. The goodwill, however,
that prevailed in the midst of the Uruguayan armies was not shared by
the leaders of the united forces. Jealousy between Artigas and the
Buenos Aires generals had already caused a breach that political
dissensions rapidly widened. Nations were in the making, and the
process was attended by an almost inevitable bitterness. Buenos Aires
urged a united republic, with its own town as the centre of
government. Artigas strongly opposed this plan, proposing in its place
a bond of self-governing provinces. Recriminations and threats were
bandied to and fro between the rival patriots while the Spaniards,
though closely besieged, yet retained Montevideo, and even while the
Portuguese were moving from Brazil to the assistance of the
monarchists.

At length the Portuguese peril loomed sufficiently large to outweigh
every other consideration. With a view to stemming the foreign tide of
invasion, the Buenos Airens patched up a treaty with the Spanish
troops in Montevideo. The despairing measure was doubtless one of
necessity, but it aroused deep passion in the mind of the Uruguayan
leader, who protested that his country was forsaken, and given over
once again to the mercies of the Spaniards. Collecting every available
man, woman, and child, he led them to the north-west, and passed the
great exodus over the River Uruguay to a haven of safety at Ayui, upon
the Entre Rios shore. Meanwhile, Uruguay was overrun by the invading
Portuguese and by the released Spaniards, who eddied out in all
directions from Montevideo.

Artigas was now encamped for the first time with a translated nation
and an independent army of his own. The condition of both was grimly
tragic, pathetically humorous. For fourteen months almost the only
shelter, that served for all alike, was afforded by the branches of
the trees and the boards of the carts that had brought them. As for
the army, it was composed of strangely heterogeneous elements. Honest
countryfolk rubbed shoulders with professional criminals and
cut-throats; Indians from the destroyed Jesuit missions went side by
side with fierce-faced Gauchos; while townsmen, negroes, and a few
adventurous foreigners made up the mixed gathering.

The men were in deadly earnest, since the example of Artigas seems to
have inspired even the most depraved with a spark from his own fire.
Had it been otherwise they would undoubtedly have succumbed to the
disadvantages with which they had to contend. Arms were scarce. A
certain favoured few were possessed of muskets and swords; but the
weapon in chief use was the lance, the national arm of River Plate
folk, the point of which, here at Ayui, was usually fashioned from the
blade of shears or a knife, or from the iron of some other
agricultural instrument. Many, however, had perforce to be content
with a long knife, with the lasso and the sling--the _boleadores_--as
subsidiary weapons. Yet even these proved by no means despicable in
the hands of the men whose sole garment was the ragged remnant of a
poncho tied about the waist, and who exercised with poles in
preparation for the time when a musket should be in their hands.

It was with the aid of an army such as this that Artigas would cross
the river to make his incursions among the hills of his native
country, and would engage Portuguese and Spaniards alike in battles
from which the desperate and motley companies of men would frequently
emerge victorious. Artigas was now assisted by numerous minor chiefs,
many of whom were of a character quite unfitted to stand the light of
day. Otorques and Andresito were the most noted of these. The methods
of the former were utterly brutal. Although the fact is contradicted,
he is credited by many with the order to a subaltern officer to "cut
the throats of two Spaniards a week in order to preserve the morale.
Failing Spaniards, take two Buenos Airens for the purpose"!

Andresito was an Indian from the deserted Jesuit missions who
commanded a considerable force of his own race. He appears to have
interspersed his dark deeds with some evidence of better qualities and
even of a grim humour. A coarse instance of this latter is supplied
when he entered the town of Corrientes in the heyday of Artigas's
power. On this occasion the Indian troops behaved with no little
restraint towards the terrified inhabitants, and contented themselves
with levying contributions towards the clothing of the almost naked
army. This accomplished, Andresito determined to exhibit the social
side of his temperament. He organised several religious dramas, and
followed these by a ball in honour of the principal residents of the
town. These, however, failed to attend, their reluctance to dancing
with Indians overcoming their prudence. On learning the reason from
some crassly honest person, the enraged Andresito caused these too
particular folk to be mustered in the main plaza of the town. There he
obliged the men to scour the roadway, while the ladies were made to
dance with the Indian troops.

Although no merit or subtlety can be claimed for such methods,
they at all events stand apart from the rest in their lack of
bloodthirstiness. Compared with the sentiments revealed in a
proclamation of Otorgues in taking possession of Montevideo, the
procedure at Corrientes seems innocuous and tame. One of the clauses
of this document decrees the execution within two hours of any
citizen who should speak or write in favour of any other government,
while the same fate was promised to one "who should directly or
indirectly attack the liberty of the Province"! The humour in the
employment of the word "liberty" is, of course, totally unconscious.

Such proclamations, naturally, served purely and simply as a licence
for convenient murder. Employing lieutenants of the kind, it is
little wonder that much of the guilt of their accumulated deeds
should be undeservedly heaped upon Artigas's head. Not that the
Commander-in-Chief himself was inclined to put a sentimental value
upon human life; indeed, a delicacy on this point would be impossible
in one who had passed through the scenes of his particular calling. In
any case his hatred of robbery was deep-rooted and sincere. After the
execution of three criminals of this type, he proclaims to his people
at Ayui: "My natural aversion to all crime, especially to the horrible
one of robbery, and my desire that the army should be composed of
honourable citizens ... has moved me to satisfy justice by means of a
punishment as sad as it is effectual." A little later he makes a
similar appeal, adding, "if there be remaining amongst you one who
does not harbour sentiments of honour, patriotism, and humanity, let
him flee far from the army he dishonours"! Here we get the flowers of
the south, earnestly thrown, but alighting in too earthy a bed! The
poor army, with its impoverished, ragged loin-cloths, and with its
lassos and slings, undoubtedly valued the occasional luxury of a full
stomach at least as highly as the abstract virtues. Yet they probably
heard the words with sincere admiration, feeling an added pride in
their beloved leader who could employ such phrases. In any
case--whether as a result of punishments or proclamations--the crime
of robbery soon became rare almost to extinction within the sphere of
Artigas's influence.

The war itself was each month growing more savage in character. Such
virtues as the Uruguayan army possessed were recognised least of all
by the Spaniards. Elio, the Viceroy, had erected a special gallows in
Montevideo for the benefit of any prisoners that might be captured,
while Vigodet, his successor, endeavoured to strike terror by measures
of pure barbarity. By his order a body of cavalry scoured the
countryside, slaying all those suspected of Artiguenian leanings, and
exposing the quartered portions of their bodies at prominent places by
the roadside. Each patriot, moreover, carried a price upon his head.
It is not to be wondered at that the Uruguayan forces made reprisals,
and that corpses replaced prisoners of war.

A renewed campaign waged by the Buenos Aires forces against the
Spaniards was the signal for the abandonment of the settlement at
Ayui. Once again the Royalists were shut up within the walls of
Montevideo, and at the beginning of 1813 Artigas, with his men,
marched down from the north to take part in the siege. The Uruguayan
came now as an assured ruler of his own people; the Buenos Aires
commanders regarded him as a unit in a greater system. The result was
the inevitable quarrel, and a year from the inception of the
operations Artigas took the most decisive step in his career. He gave
no warning of his move. The evening before had witnessed his
particular portion of the field covered with horses and men. The next
morning saw the ground bare and deserted: Artigas and his army were
already many leagues away.

[Illustration: MONTEVIDEO AND THE CERRO HILL.]

[Illustration: "AFTER CATTLE."
To face p. 88.]

From that moment Artigas became virtual king of a torn and struggling
realm. The Buenos Aires authorities, incensed at his defection, placed
a price of six thousand dollars on his head, continuing meanwhile
the siege of Montevideo. Artigas retaliated by a formal declaration of
war upon the central Government. The hostile ramifications were now
sufficiently involved to satisfy the most warlike spirit. Artigas was
fighting the Buenos Airens and Portuguese, and was only prevented from
coming to close grips with the Spaniards by the fact that the
intervening Buenos Aires armies had already taken that task upon
themselves. As it was, the influence of the national hero spread out
to the west with an amazing rapidity, passing beyond the Uruguay
River, and holding good upon the remote side of the great Paraná
stream itself. In a very short while his dominions in Argentine
territory assumed an extent four times greater than that of his native
country. The provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes, Santa Fé, and
Córdoba welcomed his new tricolour standard with enthusiasm.

Thus Artigas was now ruler of 350,000 square miles, with the exception
of the various odd points of vantage held by the remaining three
contending powers.

The fall of Montevideo and the final ejection of the Spaniards from
the soil was followed by the retirement of the Buenos Aires armies to
their own country. Thus to Artigas's realm was added the necessary
complement of a capital and some seagoing ships that served as the
nucleus of a national navy. The ex-smuggler was now at the zenith of
his power. It is at this point that he affords by far the most
interesting picture, since the amazing medley of sentiments for which
his character was responsible were now given full play. Caring nothing
for pomp and ceremony, he sent Otorgues to rule Montevideo, while his
other chiefs assumed control of the various districts throughout the
provinces. He himself, true to his Gaucho upbringing, avoided all
towns, and finally settled himself in the north-west of Uruguay. On a
tableland by the banks of the great river, some score of miles to the
south of Salto, he established a camp from which he directed the
policy of the five provinces that owned to his rule.

In the neighbourhood of this encampment of Hervidero was another, in
which were confined those prisoners whose offences were not considered
worthy of immediate death. Serving as it did to cleanse doubtful minds
of rebellion, it was christened by the euphuistic name of
Purificacion. There is no doubt that the methods employed for this
exalted purpose often ended fatally for the unfortunates experimented
upon. The popular tales of the deeds done at both encampments are
extraordinarily revolting. Two phrases of jocular slang then much in
use throw a lurid light upon the callousness of the period. "To play
the violin" referred to the cutting of a human throat; "to play the
viola" signified the severance of a live man's body--both gruesomely
accurate similes. Men are said to have been flung wholesale into the
river, attached to stones, and a peculiarly agonising form of death
was engineered in the sewing up of a living victim in the hide of a
freshly killed bullock, which was then exposed to the sun. The result
was shrinkage, and suffocation for the miserable wretch within the
reeking covering, an ending that was dubbed "the waistcoat" by a touch
of similar humour. Numerous evidences of individuality, moreover, were
evident in the various forms of punishment. Thus a certain Colonel
Perugorria, who lay under a charge of treason, was, until his
execution, chained to a post, as though he were a dog, by means of an
iron collar round his neck, to which the steel links were attached.

Many of Artigas's supporters roundly deny the perpetration of these
horrors; yet there is little doubt that many such acts were committed
throughout the various provinces. To what extent they received the
sanction of Artigas is far more uncertain. The probability is that he
strongly discouraged wanton torture, although it lay beyond even such
powers as his to hold back the Gaucho passions when they were fiercest
and to prevent the merciless acts of revenge. Many eye-witnesses have
related that he exhibited emotion and pity at the sight of a humanely
conducted execution.

Indeed, there is no reason to suppose that Artigas, for all his errors
and limitations, was not a true believer in the very lofty sentiments
he used to express. One of the many examples of these is to be met
with in his letter to the local authorities of Montevideo, when in
1815 they endowed him with the title of Captain-General, with the
addition of that of "Protector and Patron of the Liberty of the
Nation." Artigas, refusing the honour, which, nevertheless, remained
attached to him, says: "Titles are the phantoms of States, and the
glory of upholding liberty suffices for your illustrious corporation.
Let us teach our countrymen to be virtuous. For this reason I have
retained until now the rank of a simple citizen ... the day will come
when men will act from a sense of duty, and when they will devote
their best interests to the honour of their fellow-men."

The simplicity of Artigas was innate and genuine. One of his own
nationality, on a visit to Hervidera, describes the costume of the
dreaded leader. On that occasion Artigas was content with the plain
costume of a countryman--plain blue jacket and pantaloons, white
stockings, and a skin cloak, all rather shabby. The paraphernalia of a
meal was of similar quality, and in addition lamentably scanty.
Broth, a stew of meat, and roast beef were served on a couple of
pewter dishes with broken edges; a single cup took the place of
non-existent wine-glasses; no more than three earthenware plates could
be mustered, and, since the seating accommodation was restricted to
three chairs and a hide box, the majority of the guests had perforce
to stand. Such were the clothes and household goods of the lord of
five provinces, whose armies were battling with Portuguese Peninsular
War veterans and with Argentine battalions, whose vessels had borne
his flag to Europe to harass hostile vessels off the coasts of
Portugal itself, who made treaties with England and other powers, and
whose name was all but worshipped by a hundred thousand people!

J. P. Robertson, an English chronicler of the period, gives an
interesting account of a meeting with Artigas. Assaulted and robbed by
a band of the noted chief's adherents, he boldly set out for
Purificacion to claim redress. His words deserve quotation at some
length. "I came to the Protector's headquarters," he says, "of the
so-called town of Purificacion. And there (I pray you do not turn
sceptic on my hands) what do you think I saw? Why, the most excellent
Protector of half the New World, seated on a bullock's skull, at a
fire kindled on the mud floor of his hut, eating beef off a spit, and
drinking gin out of a cow horn! He was surrounded by a dozen officers
in weather beaten attire, in similar positions, and similarly occupied
with their chief. All were smoking, all gabbling. The Protector was
dictating to two secretaries, who occupied, at one deal table, the
only two dilapidated rush bottom chairs in the hovel. To complete the
singular incongruity of the scene, the floor of the one apartment of
the mud hut (to be sure it was a pretty large one) in which the
general, his staff, and secretaries, were assembled, was strewn with
pompous envelopes from all the Provinces (some of them distant some
1,500 miles from that centre of operations) addressed to 'His
Excellency the Protector.' At the door stood the reeking horses of
couriers arriving every half hour, and the fresh ones of those
departing as often.... His Excellency the Protector, seated on his
bullock's skull, smoking, eating, drinking, dictating, talking,
dispatched in succession the various matters brought under his notice
with that calm, or deliberate, but uninterrupted nonchalance, which
brought most practically home to me the truth of the axiom, 'Stop a
little that we may get on the faster.'... He received me, not only
with cordiality, but with what surprised me more, comparatively
gentlemanlike manners, and really good breeding.... The Protector's
business was prolonged from morning till evening, and so were his
meals; for, as one courier arrived another was dispatched, and as one
officer rose up from the fire at which the meat was spitted another
took his place."

The General politely took his visitor the round of his hide huts and
mud hovels, where the horses stood saddled and bridled day and night,
and where the tattered soldiery waited in readiness for the
emergencies that arose so frequently. When Robertson submitted his
financial claim, Artigas remained as amiable as before. "'You see,'
said the General with great candour and nonchalance, 'how we live
here; and it is as much as we can do, in these hard times, to compass
beef, aguardiente, and cigars. To pay you 6,000 dollars just now is as
much beyond my power, as it would be to pay you 60,000 or 600,000.
Look here,' said he, and so saying, he lifted up the lid of an old
military chest, and pointed to a canvas bag at the bottom of it.
'There,' he continued, 'is my whole stock of cash; it amounts to 300
dollars; and where the next supply is to come from I am as little
aware as you are.'" Notwithstanding this, Robertson then and there
obtained some trading concessions that, he says, repaid him the amount
of his claim many times over.

Surely this picture reveals Artigas more truly than all the
long-winded polemics that have raged about the famous Uruguayan. It is
given by one whose sympathies were against the aims of the Gaucho
chief, and who has proved himself no lenient critic. Yet the
description fits no mere cut-throat and plunderer. On the contrary, it
reveals a virile personality, a thinker and worker of a disposition
that goes far to explain the adoration accorded him by his troops.
Artigas, at the hands of the visitor who had sufficient cause for his
ridicule, comes to light as a _man_--contemptuous of poverty, misery,
and sordid surroundings so long as his goal remained as clear and
distinct as it ever was to his sight.

The picture is not without its pathetic side. It shows Artigas in the
heyday of his power, yet even then hard put to it to supply his men
with clothes and the common necessities of life. Imagine the calm
force and philosophy of a being capable of governing more than a third
of a million square miles of territory with the assistance of a
treasury of three hundred dollars! Nevertheless, these _opéra bouffe_
conditions represented the highest point of material prosperity to
which Artigas ever attained. For five years he ruled thus, grappling
desperately with the invading Brazilian armies, and resisting the
efforts of the Buenos Aires forces to regain control of the four
Argentine provinces that had espoused his cause.

With a prosperity thus frugally marked, it is easy to conceive the
circumstances of the adversity that was to come. To their credit be
it said that the Uruguayans faltered not in the least in the face of
the ultimate doom that must have appeared inevitable. As their ranks
became steadily thinned, the invading hordes of Portuguese soldiers
swelled in numbers, while the Buenos Aires attacks on the river
provinces became yet more determined. Yet, wanting in everything, its
more capable and intelligent officers prisoners of war, the Uruguayans
fought on to the very end--gaunt, haggard men who gave back blow for
blow, though their courage was often sustained by no other means than
the chewing of strips of hide. One of the officers of a regiment of
lancers, once the pride of the army, describes the condition of the
men in the last days of the struggle. At reveille, on a chilly
winter's morning, each trooper would supplement the loin-cloth that
alone remained to him by a whole cowhide. Thus when their backs were
turned as they retired to their quarters, the number of men could only
be judged by the quantity of moving cowhides!

Even then the final hour might have been indefinitely postponed but
for the revolt of Ramirez, one of Artigas's own chieftains. After a
homeric struggle, Ramirez obtained the victory over his old leader,
and pursued him relentlessly through the provinces of Corrientes and
Misiones. It was by this incessant chase alone that the victor
retained his superiority. For such was the popularity of Artigas that
a few days' halt sufficed for a number of fresh Gauchos and Indians to
join him. When he had escaped from his penultimate defeat, accompanied
by only twelve men, his pursuer lost touch with him for a week. At the
end of that time the veteran had collected over nine hundred men, and
was besieging Cambay, one of Ramirez's strongholds. A division was
sent off post-haste to the spot, and it was here that the old warrior
fought his last fight. Artigas, leaving most of his men dead upon the
field, fled northwards and passed into Paraguay.

The later years of Artigas present the strangest contrast to his early
life. Received and sheltered after some hesitation by Francia, the
dreaded tyrant of Paraguay, he was first allotted a dwelling in the
north of the country, and was afterwards permitted to dwell in the
neighbourhood of Asuncion, the capital. Here he lived in complete
retirement and peace until his death occurred, at the advanced age of
eighty-three. Both his time and the small pension allowed him by the
Paraguayan Government were spent in relieving the wants of his
neighbours, by whom he was regarded with affection and veneration. The
keynote to the true Artigas undoubtedly lies in these last years, when
in humble tranquillity he had leisure at length to practise the
benevolence and charity that he had so often preached from a
corpse-surrounded pulpit. Difficult as it is to withdraw the
personality of Artigas from the sea of blood that flooded his age, he
was surely a product of an anarchical period rather than of anarchy
itself.



CHAPTER VII

HISTORY

     The Spanish colonies as nations--The first-fruits of
     freedom--Uruguay beneath the heel of Portugal--The advent of a
     second liberator--Juan Antonio Lavalleja--The forming of the
     league of the "thirty-three"--Opening of the campaign--The
     patriot force--Rank and its distribution--The crossing of the
     River Plate--Commencement of operations in Uruguay--A first
     success--Spread of the movement--Rivera embraces the patriot
     cause--The march upon Montevideo--A daring siege--How the army of
     occupation was deceived--Timely reinforcements--Lavalleja
     establishes an independent government--Incident at the opening of
     the Senate--Argentina comes to the assistance of
     Uruguay--Beginning of the rivalry between Rivera and
     Lavalleja--Dissension in the Uruguayan army--Temporary disgrace
     of Rivera--His acquittal--Lavalleja declares himself
     dictator--Uruguay's independence acknowledged by Argentina and
     Brazil--The national authorities enter Montevideo.


The end of the year 1824 witnessed the extinction of the last vestige
of the power of Spain in South America. With one solitary exception,
each former Spanish colony had now raised itself to the status of a
nation. It is true that in the majority of cases the inhabitants of
these countries suffered not only the wildest of anarchy, but in
addition a degree of despotism that had been unknown during the
Spanish régime, for all the selfishness of the Peninsula Government.
Yet since the flock of tyrants that rose up, each like a grim phoenix,
from the ashes of the Spanish Dominion were conceived of the tortured
countries themselves, the South Americans took such small comfort as
they might from a dim reflection that in their own hands lay the
possibility of the improvement in the rulers born from their own bone.

Of these States thus freed from any other despotism but of their own
making Uruguay formed the sole exception. For years she had remained
beneath the heel of Portugal, writhing uneasily, but unable to remove
the weight of the foreign occupation. When the time came for the full
independence of the rest, however, Uruguay's longing to acquire their
State was no longer to be repressed, even at the cost of the expulsion
of the second European power that had fixed upon the land.

The man whose name stands out as the liberator of Uruguay for the
second time is Juan Antonio Lavalleja. Ceding place only to Artigas as
a national hero, Lavalleja had fought in many actions against the
Spaniards, and had distinguished himself not a little in the original
revolutionary wars. Alternate military and civil occupations have
nearly always fallen to the lot of South American public men, and
Lavalleja formed no exception to the rule. At the time when the
victory of Ayacucho in Peru crowned the entire campaign against the
Spaniards he held the comparatively humble and prosaic post of manager
of a meat-curing factory in the neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

The rejoicings that the victory of Ayacucho aroused in the capital of
Argentina stirred to the depth both Lavalleja and a company of
fellow-exiles from the Banda Oriental. A meeting of these patriots was
held on the spot, the result of which was an enthusiastic
determination to place their own country upon the same footing as the
rest. Doubtless many hundreds of similar gatherings had already been
effected--and concluded by vapourings of thin air. But the spirit of
these men who had thus come together was of another kind. Having sworn
solemnly to free their country, action followed hotfoot on the heels
of words. A couple of their number were sent at once to Uruguay to
prepare the minds of a trusted few, while the rest made preparations
for the expedition that was to follow.

The mission of the two deputies proved successful. They returned to
Buenos Aires, the bearers of many promises of support and
co-operation. Nothing now remained but to take the first irrevocable
step in the campaign that was to bloom out from this very humble seed.

"Treinta y Tres" has now developed into a proper name in the Banda
Oriental; for the number of men who started out from Buenos Aires for
the sake of Uruguay was thirty-three. The name has now been locally
immortalised. Among the infinite variety of objects that it endows may
be counted a province, a town, innumerable plazas and streets, and a
brand of cigarettes.

There is certainly nothing that is intrinsically humorous in the
adventures of these noble men who set out for their patriotic purpose
in the face of such terrible risks. Yet as a specimen of the
constitution of the armies of the South American factions at this
period a survey of the grades held by the small gathering is
illuminating. In the first place the diminutive expedition had for its
Commander-in-Chief Colonel Juan Antonio Lavalleja, who had beneath him
three majors and four captains. These in turn were supported by three
lieutenants, an ensign, a sergeant, a corporal, and a guide. The
remaining eighteen constituted the rank and file of the force--in
fact, the Army proper.

The little expedition so overwhelmingly officered set out from Buenos
Aires, proceeding northward along the Argentine shore. Reaching a
point where the river had become comparatively narrow, they embarked
in small boats, and launched out on the Uruguay at dead of night. A
gale obliged them to seek refuge on a friendly island, and caused a
day's delay. But the next evening they embarked once more, and reached
in safety the beach of La Agraciada on their native shore. There they
unfurled their chosen tricoloured banner, and swore once again to
attain liberty or death.

The expedition was now actually on the scene of its mission, and
shortly after daybreak it began its march to the north. During the
course of a few hours they collected _en route_ reinforcements of
forty able-bodied and armed Orientales.

Proceeding steadily onwards, the gallant little army, officers and
all, found itself in the neighbourhood of the small town of Dolores,
better known formerly as San Salvador. This was held by a garrison of
eighty men in the service of Brazil. Determined to inflict a first
decisive blow, Lavalleja led his men onwards to the attack. The moment
chanced to be especially propitious, since the officers and principal
men in the town had attended a dance on the previous night. So great
had been the delights of the _baile_ that the principal men had found
it necessary to continue their repose long into the morning--a
circumstance that is not unknown even to this day.

Had it not been for an error on the part of the patriot guide the town
would undoubtedly have been captured by surprise and taken almost
without a blow. As it was, the official chanced to mistake the
situation of a ford in an intervening small river. This necessitated a
lengthy march along the banks ere a place suitable for the passage was
found, and the presence of the small company with the tricoloured
flag was discovered with amazement by the inhabitants.

Thus ere Lavalleja's expedition had succeeded in crossing the stream
there had been moments of wild bustle in Dolores. Officers sprang out
of bed to gird on their swords in haste; soldiers ran to assemble with
uniforms even more than usually awry, while the municipal officers
doubtless ran to and fro in aimless confusion. Nevertheless by the
time that the turmoil was at an end the garrison had had an
opportunity to muster, and to sally out against the advancing band
that had not yet gained the town.

Since the Portuguese forces were under the command of an Oriental,
Colonel Julián Laguna, a parley took place ere the two forces met. In
the end, Laguna deciding to remain staunch to the foreign cause, the
thirty-three and their allies charged, routing the enemy completely.
Thus in the course of their first victory they won not only the town
of Dolores itself, but a number of Uruguayan volunteers who joined
them from out of the beaten force.

The thirty-three with their companions, delaying a very short while in
the captured town, continued their march. A more pressing danger now
menaced them. General Rivera, the Oriental who, having so
distinguished himself in the former wars against the Portuguese, had
entered the latter service when the Uruguayan cause became lost, was
sent out with a force of seventy men to annihilate the daring
aggressors. Here, again, when numbers and rank are compared, it will
be seen that the regular forces of the country were more or less on a
par with the thirty-three in their generosity in the matter of titles.

Nevertheless, however it was commanded, the thirty-three were destined
to gain yet further support from the force detached against them. On
his near approach to the devoted band, Rivera's patriotic instincts
overcame all other considerations. At a meeting contrived between him
and Lavalleja the pair embraced, and Rivera forsook the Brazilian
service on the spot to join the cause of his country. The addition to
their ranks of the famous fighter and his men was naturally greeted
with enthusiasm by the patriots, who advanced filled with renewed
confidence. On the other hand, the news of the defection created no
little consternation among the Brazilians, who set a price upon the
heads of both Rivera and Lavalleja, valuing the former at five hundred
dollars more than the fifteen hundred offered for Lavalleja, although
the latter remained the actual commander of the expedition.

The thirty-three had now abandoned their cautious north-west fringing
of the coast. With their numbers increasing as they went, they struck
for the south-east, making boldly for Montevideo itself, and defeating
the various Portuguese forces that strove to oppose them.

Arrived at length at San José, some three score miles distant from
Montevideo, Lavalleja determined on an especially daring move that
proved his appreciation of the value of prestige. From there he sent
all his prisoners with a strong guard under Rivera to Durazno, and at
Canelones, farther on, he detached another party to obtain recruits
from the neighbourhood of Maldonado. He himself, accompanied now by no
more than a hundred men, continued in supreme unconcern his march to
Montevideo. Arriving upon the outskirts of the spot, he encamped on
the Cerrito de la Victoria, whence, employing a colossal piece of
bluff, he set himself to besiege the city.

It is surely not often that a hundred men have sat down to invest a
fortified town garrisoned by nearly two thousand soldiers. Yet it was
in the amazing effrontery of the proceeding that success lay. On the
very next day a strong force of the enemy, numbering over fifteen
hundred men with four guns, sallied out from Montevideo. The hundred
besiegers must doubtless have thought that all was lost; but,
continuing the grim farce to the end, they opened fire to the best of
their ability upon the advancing columns. The result more than
fulfilled their most sanguine expectations. Convinced that the furious
fusillade emanated from a powerful army, the Portuguese columns
retired into the town, while the hundred men sat down again to
continue the siege of Montevideo.

But their number did not now long remain at this ridiculously
inadequate total. By twos and tens and even by hundreds the Orientales
escaped from the city, flocking to the tricolour banner until the
patriot army had swollen to a degree that rendered it formidable in
fact as well as in fancy. So successful, moreover, had proved Rivera's
mission in the Campo that in a few days almost the whole of Uruguay
was in arms against the enemy's forces in its midst.

The work of the thirty-three had been extraordinarily rapid. So
successful, indeed, had been the campaign that, in the place of
disputing against another's authority, the moment had arrived for
setting up their own, against which it should be treason to contend.

In order to effect this Lavalleja withdrew personally from the siege
of Montevideo, and established an independent government at the town
of Florida to the north of the capital. Moved by a truly lofty sense
of patriotism, he handed over his leadership to the new authorities,
who responded by creating him General-in-Chief of the Army of
Liberation, and by endowing Rivera with the rank of Inspector-General.
On this occasion the titles conveyed some material significance,
since the Uruguayan Army now amounted to two thousand five hundred men.

The opening of this new Senate was attended by a dramatic incident. In
order to be present at the assembly it was necessary for Lavalleja to
leave the front of hostilities and to ride through rain and mud to
Florida.

Ere entering the Hall of Assembly he was met by several ladies,
amongst whom was the wife of Rivera, who begged him to change his
dripping costume before he proceeded with the official business.
"Thank you, señoras," replied Lavalleja, "I will attend to that as
soon as our country has its government." Within a few minutes the
consummation had been achieved, and Lavalleja was in dry clothes. The
story affords only one more instance of the numerous inevitable
satellites that attend the passage of a notable name through the ages;
but here the ingenuous simplicity of the tale is almost sufficient in
itself to vouch for its truth. At this point, properly speaking, ends
the story of the thirty-three. Beneath the national edifice that they
had built up the minor members of the devoted band had already become
lost to view. The control of affairs was now vested in a Senate and
Corporations, and Argentina, hastening to recognise the existence of
the independent Government, sent her armies to its assistance,
stipulating that in exchange for the alliance Uruguay should become
one of the provinces of the River Plate.

With the survival of the first perils, moreover, the cohesion of the
leaders of the famous thirty-three passed away. During the course of
the final battles against the Portuguese a rivalry sprang into
existence between Lavalleja and Rivera that gradually deepened into a
jealous antagonism that has left its mark of bitterness upon the
country to this day.

With the growing certainty of the success of the cause, and,
consequently, of the honours and power in store for the chosen few
among the patriot ranks dissension and suspicion became rampant. One
of the more immediate outcomes of this regrettable state was the
falling under suspicion of Rivera. Accused of opening up negotiations
with the Portuguese, he was sent to Buenos Aires for trial. Acquitted
by President Rivadavia of traitorous intent, he was, nevertheless,
held in prison owing to his outspoken federal views, which were in
direct opposition to the unitarian doctrines of Argentina. After a
while, however, he escaped from captivity, and, collecting an army,
completely re-established his reputation by invading and conquering
the Misiones districts that were then in the power of the Portuguese.
Although the territory was in the end ceded back again, the invasion
was of material effect in concluding the war.

When, moreover, after the rout of the Portuguese fleet by the
Argentine Admiral Brown, and the series of victories that culminated
in the battle of Ituzaingo, it became evident that the expulsion of
the Portuguese from Uruguayan soil was now inevitable within a very
short time, Lavalleja did not wait for any definite conclusion of
peace. In October of 1827, when, as a matter of fact, the terms of an
armistice were still in dispute, he deposed the national Junta, and
without further ado declared himself Dictator of his country. This
office he held until July of the following year, when he voluntarily
resigned from the post.

August witnessed a formal acknowledgment of the independence of
Uruguay by both Argentina and Brazil, and in November a provisional
Government was established. On May 1, 1829, the national authorities,
amidst no little pomp and ceremony, made a formal entry into
Montevideo, and Uruguay was at last definitely left to the care of its
own rulers.



CHAPTER VIII

HISTORY--_continued_

     Foreign war succeeded by internal chaos--Warriors as
     statesmen--The dictatorship of Lavalleja--His methods--The first
     open breach between Lavalleja and Rivera--A temporary
     reconciliation--Establishment of the Constitution of
     Uruguay--Lavalleja and Rivera candidates for the President's
     chair--Differences in the temperaments of the two--Rivera is
     elected first President of Uruguay--Jealousies and
     intrigue--Attack upon Rivera--Narrow escape of the
     President--Lavalleja's party temporarily occupy
     Montevideo--Defeat of the insurgent general--His flight into
     Brazil--Intervention of the Argentine Dictator Rosas--His support
     of Lavalleja--Combined forces beaten by Rivera--Lavalleja's
     second attempt proves unsuccessful--General Oribe succeeds Rivera
     as President--Lavalleja's party again in the ascendant--Rivera
     heads a revolution--Civil war--Intervention of
     France--Resignation of Oribe--Rivera elected President--His
     alliance with the French and Corrientines--Declaration of war
     against Rosas--Defeat of the latter--On the withdrawal of the
     French Rosas resumes the aggressive--Severe defeat of Rivera and
     his allies of the littoral provinces--Oribe besieges
     Montevideo--The services of Garibaldi--The Uruguayan forces
     decimated--Further incidents of the war--The power of Rosas
     broken by Brazil, Uruguay, and Entre-Rios.


For the purpose of a self-contained romance with a popular ending, the
adventures of the leaders of the thirty-three should end at the moment
when the liberation of the Banda Oriental became a dawning certainty,
but history has an unfortunate knack of continuing where fiction
ceases. The fiercest enemy of a hero is longevity.

In this case the phase is especially lamentable, since although daring
deeds of arms persisted, the feats were wrought, not in a joint cause
against a common enemy, but amidst a turbulent confusion of sudden
alliances and yet more rapid breaches between friends and neighbours
that rendered impossible speculation whence the tide of battle would
flow next.

The three names that stood out from the very midst of the chaos of
events were those of Lavalleja, Rivera, and Oribe. Since the three had
fought shoulder to shoulder for their country's redemption this
prominence was only fitting and just. Yet the rôle of each of the
three differed widely now from his previous methods. Cohesion had
departed with the enemy's forces: not so the tale of the battlefields,
that multiplied until they stained the soil of the country a deeper
red than ever before.

The first few months of complete independence gave no inkling of what
was to come. After one or two politicians had held interim offices,
General Rondeau, who had rendered great services to Uruguay, was made
Governor. A disagreement, however, arose between him and the
constitutional assembly. As a result he resigned his post, and
departed to Buenos Aires, shaking the dust of the Banda Oriental from
his feet.

Lavalleja was now invested with the chief office of the land. Alas for
the difference between the striver after liberty and the sitter in the
goddess's chair! Viewed from the lofty pedestal, freedom became
distant far below and lost to sight. In short, Lavalleja became a
dictator of the most arbitrary type from the very beginning of his
authority. He muzzled the Press, such as it was, disbanded various
battalions suspected of loyalty to his private interests, and then
turned upon Rivera, his old comrade-in-arms. Not satisfied with
depriving the latter of his office of Commandant-General, Lavalleja
raised an army, and, intent upon destruction, marched against the man
whom he feared as his most dangerous rival.

The despotic Governor was not mistaken in his estimate of Rivera's
power. Indeed, the result of a battle would have been extremely
doubtful, had the two forces come into conflict. But the strenuous
efforts of several peaceful commissions ended in a reconciliation
between the leaders--a mere loose patching up of differences, it is
true, but one that served for the time being. In the meanwhile the
Constitution of independent Uruguay was established and sworn to, the
event being greeted by the populace with wild enthusiasm.

The new State was, of course, endowed with a President, whose chair
remained to be occupied. As was inevitable, the two candidates for the
high post were Generals Lavalleja and Rivera. Both were, perhaps,
almost equally secure in the admiration of the nation. Nevertheless,
the distinctions between the temperaments of the two were marked.
Rivera was a democrat, a friend of the populace, whom he captivated by
his intimacy and easy manner. Lavalleja's tendencies were, by
comparison, aristocratic; yet it is doubtful whether he lost much in
influence from his loftier pose.

The first legislative act of the National Assembly came as a bitter
blow to Lavalleja. In October of 1830 that body elected as President
General Rivera. As a nation Uruguay had now blossomed out into a
full-blown Constitution. But the youthful constitutional flower was
destined to suffer an almost continuous winter of frosts. It was
beyond the limits of Lavalleja's forbearance to sit quietly by and to
see his rival comfortably installed in the coveted chair of state. It
was not long ere the machinery of plots was set in motion. The first
attempt proved all but successful. Rivera, accompanied only by a few
men, chanced to be in the small town of Durazno, suspecting nothing,
when a force of five hundred of his enemies descended suddenly upon
the place. Their object was the capture of the President, who only
escaped by leaping through a window and by swimming across the River
Yi. A rising of the Charrúa Indians was the next material fruit of the
campaign of intrigue; but the rebellion served no other end than the
practical extirpation of the remnant of the aboriginal race that had
survived until then.

Very shortly after this a revolutionary movement was instigated in
Montevideo itself. Headed by Colonel Garzon, who held in his pocket a
commander-in-chief's commission from Lavalleja, the rising was
temporarily successful. The National Assembly, intimidated, had
already confirmed the appointment of Lavalleja as President, when
Perez, the Vice-President, resisted, and the rest, encouraged by his
example, made a firm stand. As a result, Lavalleja himself made his
appearance in Montevideo, and, with his followers, occupied the
municipal buildings. After an exchange of shots, however, he and his
band were forced to retire.

During the course of these events Rivera had been absent from the
town. On receiving the news he hastened back from the country, and,
placing himself at the head of an army, set out in strenuous pursuit
of Lavalleja. The latter was overtaken at Tupambay. A battle ended in
the shattering of his company, and, closely pursued by the President,
Lavalleja fled across the northern border and sought shelter in
Brazil.

In the meanwhile the famous Rosas had come to power in Argentina, and
the policy of this dictator was destined to awaken very material
echoes in Uruguay. Lending support to Lavalleja, he sent a force of
three hundred men across the river. In order to create a diversion,
these captured the town of Melo from the Government party. Their
triumph was fleeting. Beaten shortly afterwards by Rivera in person,
the invading force fled to Brazil.

But the end of the tide of invasion had not yet come. At the beginning
of 1834 Lavalleja, aided by further contingents furnished by Rosas,
descended once more from the north into his native country. On this
occasion the events of his former attempt were repeated with equally
disastrous results to himself. Beaten once again, he sought Brazil,
the sheltering spot of all the atoms of Uruguayan turbulence.

A little after this the four years of Rivera's term of office expired.
It was now the turn of another of the thirty-three, General Manuel
Oribe, to enter the arena. Oribe was a warrior as well seasoned as the
others. He had fought strenuously under Artigas's standard; but at the
coming of the crisis, declaring that he could no longer serve under
such a tyrant, he joined the Buenos Aires cause. Later, he had formed
one of the most prominent members of the thirty-three. Becoming
embroiled in the disputes of the period, he had found himself in
opposition to Rivera, although he had to thank the President for
promotion in rank.

In March of 1835 General Manuel Oribe was created the second
constitutional President of the Republic. One of his first cares was
to undermine the weighty influence of Rivera, in whose power he saw a
menace to his own office. The new President began the campaign by
summoning back to their country all those _Lavallejistas_ who had been
living in forced exile in Brazil and Argentina. Then, in order to
deliver a death-blow to a rival's prestige, he deprived the late
President of his rank of commandant-general.

Exasperated beyond endurance at this latter move, Rivera immediately
made his appeal to the only authority that was understood at the
period--that of arms. The insurrection attained almost immediately to
formidable proportions. Indeed, there is no doubt that the malcontent
cause would have been successful almost immediately had not Rosas
intervened. As it was, the Dictator sent over from Argentina to the
assistance of the Government five hundred troops, under the command of
Lavalleja, who had thrown in his lot with Oribe against his
arch-rival.

As a preliminary to the actual hostilities Oribe sent forth a
thunderous proclamation, in which Rivera was branded as a traitor to
his country. The first battle ended in favour of the Government, the
forces of the rebellion leaving over two hundred dead upon the field.
The chief historical importance of the contest, however, lies in the
fact that on this occasion were used for the first time the red and
the white colours that distinguished the respective forces of Rivera
and Oribe and that have ever since remained the emblems of bitter
strife.

The fortune of war varied for a while. After numerous indecisive
skirmishes, Rivera won an action at Yucutuja, while a month later
Oribe was successful in a battle on the banks of the River Yi. Then
followed the decisive battle of Palmar, from which the Government
forces emerged no longer as an army, but merely as a scattering of
fugitive stragglers.

In the meanwhile foreign influence, in addition to the lot of war, had
veered in favour of the revolution. The arbitrary methods of Rosas,
extended to foreigners resident within the land, had caused him to
become embroiled with France. Thus the northern power, in addition to
the institution of a blockade of Buenos Aires port, was only too glad
of the opportunity of frustrating the plans of the Argentine despot in
Uruguay. Allying their forces with those of the revolutionists, they
captured the island of Martin Garcia from the Government troops, and
were preparing further active measures of aggression when Oribe
realised the hopelessness of his plight. Adopting the sole course that
was left him, he resigned his office of President, and sailed for
Buenos Aires, accompanied by his late ministers, and a considerable
following of private friends.

Rivera's road to the return of power was now clear. In November of
1838 he made a triumphal entry into Montevideo, and in due course the
National Assembly elected him President for the second time. One of
the first acts of the new chief of the State was the avenging of
Rosas' late interference in favour of his rival. Allying himself with
the French Government and the Province of Corrientes, he declared
war--not against the worthy Argentine nation, as was carefully
explained in the proclamation, but against the "tyrant of the immortal
people of South America."

Rosas was never slow in responding to a challenge of the kind.
Scarcely had the declaration of hostilities been made when he sent an
army of six thousand men to invade Uruguay. Rivera, his forces
strengthened by a thousand French volunteers, marched to meet the
enemy, and at Cagancha he obtained a signal victory, the Argentine
troops being defeated with heavy loss, and thus forced to abandon
their campaign in Uruguay.

It seemed as though the event had put the seal upon Uruguay's success.
But the fortunes of the period were as erratic as the period was
turbulent. Very shortly after the Battle of Cagancha the differences
between Rosas and the French were settled, with the result that an
armistice was effected. With the raising of the blockade of Buenos
Aires and the departure of the French troops from the country, it was
the turn of Rosas to laugh, for his enemy now stood before him
single-handed.

On this occasion the first aggressive steps were taken by the naval
forces. In 1841 the Argentine fleet, under Admiral Brown, made a
practical end to Uruguayan sea power. Some minor vessels that were
subsequently collected were given in charge of the Italian Garibaldi,
and the famous guerilla leader carried on with them a war of
privateering, without, however, meeting with any material success.

In a desperate attempt to stem the formidable tide of Rosas's power,
the three provinces of Corrientes, Entre Rios, and Santa Fé allied
themselves with Uruguay. From the joint States Rivera raised an army
of seven thousand men. But even this heroic effort did not suffice.
Boldly marching through Entre Rios towards Buenos Aires, Rivera found
himself brought to an abrupt halt by the unexpected appearance before
him of his old enemy, Oribe, at the head of an imposing army of
fourteen thousand men. The ensuing battle, fiercely fought, ended in
an overwhelming victory for the superior forces, nearly a thousand of
Rivera's men being massacred in cold blood on the conclusion of the
fight.

The beaten President retired from Entre Rios with the remnants of his
army, while Oribe likewise crossed the Uruguay River, and marched
leisurely southwards from Salto towards Montevideo. In due time his
armies arrived before the capital, which they forthwith proceeded to
invest, thus commencing the great siege of the place that endured for
nine years.

The circumstances of the beleaguering are too numerous and complicated
to bear recapitulation here. One of the most notable features of the
earlier days was a proclamation issued by Oribe to the effect that he
would spare no foreigners whose sympathies lay with the "rebels," as
he termed the Government of Rivera--or rather of Joaquín Suárez, who
had taken the defeated President's post in Montevideo. The result of
the proclamation was exactly the reverse of that anticipated by Oribe,
since the foreigners responded by raising legions of their own and by
flocking to the active defence of the town. The capital, however, was
closely invested by sea as well as by land, Garibaldi's flotilla
finding itself unable to make any headway against Admiral Brown's
blockading fleet.

In the meanwhile Rivera had not been idle. With the amazing
recuperative power that was characteristic of so many of the noted
leaders of the period he had scraped together from the countryside a
force of nearly four thousand men. With these he harassed the rear of
the besieging force to such effect that the Buenos Aires Government,
in order to leave the blockade undisturbed, raised a fresh army, and
sent it, under the command of General Urquiza, to cope with the
unexpected source of danger.

Urquiza came up with Rivera at India Muerta, and the result was fatal
to the Uruguayan force. The end of a desperate conflict saw nearly a
thousand of Rivera's men lying dead upon the Campo. In accordance with
the drastically conclusive methods of the age, the number of prisoners
was small by comparison. As to the surviving remnant, it was scattered
to the four winds on the face of the downlands.

The terrible defeat of India Muerta deprived Rivera of his military
prestige and Uruguay of her last hope of aggressive warfare. Cooped up
in Montevideo, the Government appealed in despair for foreign
intervention. England and France, viewing the policy of Rosas with
dislike, complied with the request. But in the end their interference
proved futile, although the combined European forces went the length
of blockading the Argentine ports, and of defeating Rosas's troops on
the banks of the Paraná.

Rivera in the meanwhile had fallen upon evil days. His last defeat had
involved him in straits that went beyond even the loss of men and
power. The fatal day won for him, unjustly enough as it proved, the
active suspicion of his own people. Doubtful of his loyalty, the
Montevideo Government applied to Brazil for his banishment to Rio de
Janeiro. The petition was acceded to; but the Uruguayan leader seemed
a veritable human phoenix in his ability to spring undismayed from the
ashes of each successive disaster. With the ultimate object of taking
an active part once again in his country's defence, he succeeded in
getting himself appointed by Montevideo as Minister Plenipotentiary to
Paraguay.

Rivera, however, had no intention of proceeding to take up his office.
Once free of Brazil, he sailed boldly down the river to Montevideo,
and raised the popular opinion of the capital so much in his favour
that, after a short period of disturbance in the beleaguered city, he
was once again endowed with trust and command. He took himself
forthwith to the Campo, where he resumed his warlike operations with
varied success.

Nevertheless, it was many years ere this particular period of
Uruguay's strenuous vicissitudes came to an end. The year 1851 marked
one of the numerous dawns in the fortunes of the land. Then an
alliance was concluded between Uruguay and Brazil, while the famous
General Urquiza, revolting against the Buenos Aires tyrant, brought
the forces of Entre Rios to join the league that was now formed
against Rosas. The result was the Battle of Monte Caseros, in which
the combined forces made an end to the dictator's power, and caused
him to flee to Europe.

The soil of Uruguay was once again free from hostile troops. During
the fleeting period of peace that followed, it is necessary to take
leave of two of the three Orientales who had ridden to such purpose on
the breath of the whirlwind. A little more than two years after the
Battle of Monte Caseras, Lavalleja died at Montevideo. In harness to
the end, the liberator of his country ended his career just as he had
once again been elected to take a share in its government. Three short
months later Rivera followed his old comrade and enemy to the land
where the cavalry lance is unknown and where no gunshot crashes echo.



CHAPTER IX

HISTORY--_continued_

     Condition of Uruguay at the conclusion of the war against
     Rosas--Measures for the relief of poverty--Juan Francesco Giro
     elected President--The arising of antagonistic elements--Giro
     resigns in favour of Bernardo Berro--A revolution ends in the
     formation of a triumvirate--On the death of Lavalleja and Rivera,
     Flores becomes Dictator--Rebellion against his rule--Brazil sends
     an army to the assistance of General Flores--Further
     revolutionary movements--Manuel Basilio Bustamente succeeds
     Flores--The policy of General César Diaz--His exile and return at
     the head of an army--Defeat and death of Diaz--Two interim
     Presidents--Continuous civil war--General Flores enters the
     Republic in command of a strong force and is declared
     Dictator--The Paraguayan war--Causes of its outbreak--The policy
     and military strength of Paraguay--Strategic errors--Uruguay's
     share in the campaign--Flores returns to Montevideo from the seat
     of war--His assassination--General Lorenzo Batlle elected
     President--The continuance of political unrest--Various
     presidents and dictators--The Government of the present day--Don
     José Batlle y Ordoñez--Doctor Claudio Williman--The Uruguayan
     battle-fields in tabular form--Progress of the land.


With the Battle of Monte Caseros and the fall of Rosas the range of
episode enters comparatively modern times. Although the war had ended
successfully for the Uruguayan cause, its conclusion left the country
in an utterly impoverished and desolate condition. Through the
terrible stress of events in a land of such infinite natural resources
the population was roofless, and in many districts actually at the
point of starvation--an unheard of situation for such a country. As
for the treasury, it was virtually empty, and the harassed Government
found itself under the necessity of seeking for loans from without
its frontiers on any terms that it could obtain.

On the 1st of March, 1852, Don Juan Francisco Giro was elected as the
fourth constitutional President of Uruguay. The newly elected chief of
the State made desperate efforts towards ameliorating the financial
condition of the country, but political complications were destined to
work against success from the very start. A fortnight after he had
assumed power the Uruguayan army that had borne a brilliant share in
the victory of Monte Caseros returned home from Buenos Aires. Its
commander, General César Diaz, was acclaimed as a popular hero, and
was promptly created Minister for War and Marine, although his
sympathies were directly opposed to the Government.

It was not long ere the antagonistic elements that now surrounded him
led to the resignation of Giro, who in October delegated his authority
to Don Bernardo Berro. The latter, however, was able no more than his
predecessor to restrain the tide of partizanship, and in July of 1853
an open revolution broke out, headed by General Diaz and Colonel
Palleja. The outbreak occurred during a review in the centre of
Montevideo, and, dramatically conceived, proved definitely successful
within the course of a few minutes. In the first instance Berro was
forced merely to appoint a fresh set of ministers, whose views were
hostile to his own; but very shortly afterwards the President was
obliged to vacate his post in haste, and to take refuge in the French
legation.

At the end of September, 1853, a triumvirate was formed of Generals
Lavalleja, Rivera, and Colonel Flores. The deaths of both the former
occurred ere the new regime could be adopted in practice, and thus the
survivor, Colonel Venancio Flores, was elected to complete the term
of the presidency that Giro had vacated. He had scarcely taken charge
of the reins of government, however, when his authority was rebelled
against, this time by the party who had lately been in power. Leaving
General César Diaz in charge of the Government, Flores himself headed
a successful campaign against the revolutionists, at the end of which
his military rank was raised to that of General.

The unrest did not long remain quelled. Indeed, so threatening did the
situation become that Flores appealed to the Brazilians for aid. In
response the northern republic sent an army of four thousand men, who
occupied the principal cities of Uruguay. The result, as may be
imagined, was a yet more marked seething of discontent. In 1855,
despite the presence of the foreign troops, the Colorado, or red
party, now definitely formed, revolted, and by force of arms obtained
possession of the capital for a while.

The success of the revolutionists was short-lived. General Oribe and
many other members of the Blanco, or white, group, came to the
assistance of Flores. In the end a compromise was effected. The
revolutionists retired; Flores resigned his post, and Don Manuel
Basilio Bustamente was elected as temporary President. At this stage
of Uruguayan history, however, space does not permit a detailed
description of the various revolutions that followed the one upon the
heels of the other, and that were separated by intervals of merely a
few weeks or months.

An event of striking importance, however, occurred in 1858, during the
presidentship of Don Gabriel A. Pereira. The latter had been opposed
by General César Diaz, who had stood as an unsuccessful candidate for
the office, and the inevitable jealousies soon became embittered once
more to the point of active explosion. The policy of Diaz was now to
incorporate the Banda Oriental with the Argentine Provinces, and thus
to form a single country that should be known as the United States of
La Plata.

On the discovery of his plan Diaz was exiled to Buenos Aires, and with
him many of the more prominent members of the Colorado party. Diaz,
however, soon made his way back across the river, and, collecting an
army of eight hundred men, marched upon Montevideo, his forces
swelling in numbers as he went. Unsuccessful in its attempt upon the
capital, the revolutionist army retired, and, after an indecisive
battle or two, met with total defeat at Cagancha. Diaz was taken
prisoner in this action, and was shot in company with fifty of his
followers.

The remainder of Pereira's term of office passed in comparative
tranquillity. He was succeeded in 1860 by another representative of
his own party, Don Bernardo Berro, who was elected in constitutional
fashion. Three years later, however, General Flores entered the arena
of politics once more. The pretext under which hostilities broke out
was slight enough in itself. A refusal on the part of the Government
to permit the celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of
Quinteros had enraged the Colorados, and Flores, espousing their
cause, led an army into the field. A lengthy series of battles ensued,
in the majority of which Flores was successful. While the war was
still raging, Berro, having completed his term, was succeeded as
President by Don Atanasio Aguirre. Flores, however, having now
obtained the active support of Brazil, was carrying all before him,
and in February of 1865 he entered Montevideo in triumph, and was
proclaimed provisional Governor and then Dictator of the Republic.

In recapitulating the history of Uruguay at this period the incessancy
of the stream of warlike events is amazing. Scarcely had Flores seated
himself upon what was virtually the throne of his dictatorship when
an event of international importance, the Paraguayan war, occurred
that was destined to convulse three republics and an empire.

The pretext on which war was declared was the armed intervention of
Brazil in the affairs of the Banda Oriental, and the support lent to
Flores by the Brazilian army--an interference that Francisco Solano
Lopez, the tyrannical Dictator of Paraguay, took upon himself to
resent hotly. Yet, even had not this particular bone of contention
come into being, the war was undoubtedly inevitable. Paraguay's
distrust of Brazil, and the latter's dread of the really formidable
military forces that the inland republic had gathered together, had
piled up a situation that only the faintest flame was required to set
ablaze.

The military strength of Paraguay at this period was considerable.
With an army of eighty thousand men of wild courage, backed by an
adequate number of cannon, she might well have bidden defiance to any
other single republic of South America. But her strength was exceeded
by her confidence. Desirous of sweeping all before him, Lopez divided
his forces, and dispatched an army to the north in order to invade
Brazil, while another corps was told off to strike in a south-easterly
direction. In order to effect this latter move it was necessary to
obtain Argentina's consent to cross her province of Corrientes. This
permission, which would have involved a breach of neutrality, was, not
unnaturally, refused. Incensed at this check to his plans, Lopez
declared war upon Argentina, and occupied the province of Argentina by
force of arms. In the meanwhile Flores, in return for the support he
had received from Brazil, threw in the lot of the Banda Oriental with
that of the northern empire.

Thus Paraguay found herself face to face with the allied powers of
Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, and a struggle ensued that cost the
lives of tens of thousands ere the death of Lopez ended the long and
desperate fight, at the conclusion of which Paraguay stood all but
bereft of her adult manhood. Flores assumed command of the Uruguayan
forces that took part in the campaign, and the Oriental division
distinguished itself on numerous occasions in the course of the
arduous conflict.

Fifteen months after the beginning of the war Flores found it
necessary to return to Montevideo, where, in spite of the foreign
campaign, symptoms of internal unrest had again become evident. Here
in 1868 he met with the fate that had passed him by in the course of
the Paraguayan war. Learning that a _coup d'état_ had suddenly come
about, and that a body of men had taken the Government House by
assault, Flores without delay started out in his carriage to gain the
scene of action. This move, as a matter of fact, had been foreseen by
the conspirators, and a broken-down wagon blocked one of the streets
through which he had to pass. As the General's carriage came to a halt
in front of the obstruction, a group of men rushed out from the
neighbouring doorways, and a minute later the body of Flores, mortally
wounded by gunshots and knives, was left lying in the roadway.

This tragedy, however, was of little material assistance to the Blanco
party. Indeed, the sole result, so far as they were concerned, was the
execution of one or two of their leaders. The power remained with the
party of the dead Flores, and General Lorenzo Batlle was elected
President, ruling with no little determination despite the frequent
revolutionary movements that continued to occur. On various occasions,
it is true, the situation of the Government became critical enough,
and in 1870 the capital itself was besieged by the insurrectionists;
but in the end Batlle prevailed, and the insurrectionists were
repulsed, at all events for the time being.

Beyond these warlike episodes much of importance occurred during the
rule of this President, which lasted until 1872. Two distinct
catastrophes marked the years 1868 and 1869. The former was darkened
by a terrible visitation of cholera, while during the latter a
financial crisis arose that caused the ruin of many thousands of
Oriental families. Nevertheless, the year 1869 is to be marked in
white among the milestones of Uruguay's progress; for it was then that
the railway was inaugurated, and a line completed between Montevideo
and Canelones that marked the first falling into line of the Republic
with the more advanced countries.

The next President, Doctor José Ellauri, failed to complete his term
of office. In January of 1875 a military revolution forced him to take
hasty refuge in a Brazilian warship that was lying in the port of
Montevideo, while Don Pedro Varela was acclaimed by the army as chief
of state. Raised to power at the point of the bayonet, Varela found it
necessary to sustain his post by the same force. Although his armies
succeeded in suppressing the numerous popular risings, the
dissatisfaction in the end became so general and a condition of
monetary crisis so pronounced that Varela was forced to resign.

[Illustration: LAGO DEL PRADO: MONTEVIDEO.]

[Illustration: THE PRADO: MONTEVIDEO.
To face p. 124.]

Colonel Latorre next assumed power as Dictator. His handling of this
dangerously powerful office was liberal, and after three years of
office he was elected in 1879 as constitutional President of the
Republic. Almost immediately after this, however, the political
situation became too complicated for his patience, and he vacated his
post, declaring, it is said, that the Uruguayans were ungovernable as
a race. Doctor Francisco Vidal, who succeeded him, was replaced in
1882 by General Santos. Although no marked internal disturbances
occurred during the presidentship of this latter, the Blanco party
were making strenuous efforts just outside the frontiers of the
Republic to organise a revolutionary campaign on a serious scale. In
1886, when his office was completed, Santos caused Vidal to be elected
once more, meaning to succeed him again, as he had already done on a
previous occasion.

No sooner had Vidal occupied the presidential chair than the
threatened revolution broke out. General Santos, at the head of the
Government forces, effectually suppressed the rising, whereupon Vidal
resigned in his favour. A governmental crisis ensued; the Ministry
resigned in a body, and Santos was wounded in the course of an attempt
upon his life. Efforts towards the keeping of the national peace were
now made on both sides, and by means of strenuous endeavour a mixed
Ministry was formed. Known by the title of "the Ministry of
Conciliation," the new Government was acclaimed with enthusiastic
rejoicings throughout Uruguay. Shortly after its formation Santos
proceeded to Europe in order to obtain a complete recovery from his
wound, and General Tajes was elected President of the Republic.

During Tajes's term of office and that of his successor, Doctor Julio
Herrera y Obes, matters remained fairly quiet. In 1894 Don Juan
Idiarte Borda became chief of state by election, and three years later
a revolution on the part of the Blanco party broke out afresh. At the
end of six months' fighting Borda was assassinated in the streets of
Montevideo, and the tragic event was followed by the patching up of a
temporary peace.

Don Juan Lindolfo Cuestas, who next assumed control of the Government,
was successful in bringing about a treaty with the Blanco party, and
in September of 1897 the revolutionists laid down their arms. We now
arrive at a period that is practically that of the present day. In
1903 Don José Batlle y Ordoñez was elected President. For the first
year of his rule he had to contend with further risings of the Blanco
party, in the course of which numerous battles were fought. In the end
the Government forces were signally successful, and in September of
1904 peace was signed and a general amnesty declared.

In 1907 Doctor Claudio Williman succeeded Señor Batlle. The first
years of his tenure of office passed in tranquillity; but at the end
of 1910 the Blancos became active once more, and various actions were
contested ere the Government troops once more obtained the mastery of
the situation in January of 1911.

Having thus brought this rough sketch of Uruguayan history to its
conclusion at the present day, it must be admitted that the trend
revealed throughout is distinctly warlike. Indeed, the battles that
have reddened the soil of the Banda Oriental since its first
colonisation are amazingly numerous. I have compiled a list of some
120, and were minor skirmishes included a volume would be needed to
contain the list. It is, indeed, the militant portion of history that
must necessarily stand out chiefly in a cursory survey such as this.
The progress of industry, education, science, and art by the side of
the roar of strife is necessarily a silent one. Its course has been
none the less forceful for all that; and universities, schools,
national institutions of every kind, port-works, and the general
paraphernalia of commerce testify to the fact that Uruguay has not
permitted her numerous internal struggles to divert the nation from
its true forward march. In at least one sense the situation renders
tribute to the virile qualities of the Uruguayan. For there are
surely few nations that can exhibit a battle-roll such as this, and
yet at the same time produce convincing evidence of prosperity and
progress. With a proper manipulation of the great national energies,
and their devotion to the pursuits of peace alone--tendencies that are
becoming each year more marked--the prospects of the Banda Oriental
would excel even the present fair promise of her future.



CHAPTER X

URUGUAYAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS

     The temperament of the Oriental--Some merits of the race--The
     Spanish Main as treated in fiction--Distinction between the
     villains in print and in actual life--Civility as a national
     trait--Courtesy of officials--The Uruguayan as a sturdy
     democrat--A land of equality--Some local mannerisms--Banquets and
     general hospitality--Some practical methods of enjoying
     life--Simplicity versus ostentation--Some consequences of
     prosperity--The cost of living--Questions of ways and
     means--European education and its results--Some evidences of
     national pride--The physique of the Oriental--Sports and
     games--Football--The science of bull-fighting--Eloquence and the
     oratorical art--Uruguayan ladies--Local charm of the sex--South
     American institutions--Methods by which they have been
     improved--The advantages of experiments--The Uruguayan army and
     navy--Some characteristics of the police--Honesty of the
     nation--Politics and temperament.


Life in Uruguay is perhaps best described by the German word
_gemüthlich_, an untranslatable adjective that savours in its
birthplace just a little of light beer, easy-chairs, cigar smoke,
steaming coffee, and an atmosphere of _camaraderie_. After which it is
necessary to come to an abrupt halt in this task of translation, since
the danger of dragging in a foreign word becomes evident when it is
necessary to introduce another in order to explain it. In any case,
this good-fellowship of the Uruguayan is of a far lighter order than
the Teutonic, and is only remotely concerned with the material matters
of life. Like the majority of the races of Iberian descent, the
Oriental is essentially sober in his tastes, and frequently of an
ascetic temperament. Such traits are inborn and natural, and by no
means the result of a campaign of schooling and self-repression. He
has not, for instance, found it necessary to undergo an outward
treatment of badges and blue ribbons nor to devote himself to a
special era of self-protection from the like of which the chastened
Anglo-Saxon is only just emerging.

For generations the Spanish Main has afforded a lucrative field to the
writers of pure sensationalism--if the word be allowed. Their choice
has undoubtedly been a wise one, and a judicious compound of fair
creoles, satanic dons, swashbuckling pirates, and heroes of the
tenderest age has proved an almost inexhaustible gold-mine of really
lurid fiction. Yet it cannot be said that this fervid literature has
led to a complete understanding of the South American character by the
British youth. As to the popular and stirring villainies, I will not
attempt to deny that in the past deeds have been enacted that were as
terrible as those which have shuddered in print between gaudy paper
covers. There were many beyond, infinitely worse, and altogether
unthinkable. But the perpetrators of these were seldom enough of the
stereotyped temperament as portrayed by the blood-and-thunder authors.
Alas for the double-dyed deceit that lurked between the terrific
drunken orgies! The real chief organisers of such colossal outrages as
have obtained went about their business with a directness that was
worthy of a better cause, and reddened the pages of history with a
strictly methodical and painstaking industry. Moreover, they were as
sober as an infant of eight at a Band of Hope festival.

But all this has very little to do with the present-day dwellers in
Uruguay, and their habits and customs. The atmosphere of the country
is essentially one of civility. If you would learn the temperament of
a nation, mark the behaviour of its humbler public functionaries! In
fact, one of the first steps that a student of national character
should take is merely to ask a policeman the first question that
enters the mind. In order to apply the severest test the query should
be a crassly foolish one. In France may be expected vivacious
expostulation, in Germany an explosion of imperative military sounds,
in Holland a placid non-comprehension, in Portugal a pathetic
eagerness to satisfy at all costs--I have tried all these, and more
beyond than would stand inclusion here without the risk of wearying.
The Uruguayan policeman, in his uniform of British pattern, is
essentially courteous, while the manners of the tram conductors,
railway guards, and those other genii of transit in whose hands the
fate of the traveller lies are equally to be commended.

[Illustration: THE PRINCIPAL PLAZA: MONTEVIDEO.]

[Illustration: THE HARBOUR: MONTEVIDEO.
To face p. 130.]

The absence of sycophancy that is characteristic of nearly all South
American Republics is especially marked in Uruguay. A sturdy democracy
is evident here even amongst those whose menial service is of the
nature to evoke professional obsequiousness in other parts of the
world. The waiter, for instance, will serve with brisk attention, but
at the end of the repast he will as often as not pocket the customary
tip as a matter of course that is unworthy of comment, to say nothing
of thanksgiving. At the same time, it is certain that he would bear no
grudge against a well-acquainted patron who had omitted the ceremony
altogether. At a genuine Uruguayan hotel the returning guest who has
been fortunate enough to win the esteem of the hall porter will find
his hand cordially grasped in greeting by that official. The Banda
Oriental is a country of discrimination and individuality where
personality counts and where popularity is a very material asset.
Such a land as this is undoubtedly a home of opportunity.

The hospitality of the higher classes is proverbial. Indeed, reputable
conviviality of all kinds is at a premium. In Montevideo the occasions
for the giving of banquets are numberless. Thus if a man has achieved
something in particular it is necessary that a banquet should mark the
event, if he has expressed his intention of achieving anything in
particular, a banquet forms the appropriate prelude to the work, and
if he has failed to do anything in particular, there is nothing like
one of these selfsame banquets to console him for the disappointment.

It is, in fact, much to the Uruguayan's credit that he contrives to
extract a vast deal of enjoyment from life in a comparatively homely
and unostentatious manner. The race meetings here, for instance, are
most pleasant functions, although the horses are not burdened with the
responsibility of those tremendous stakes that prevail in some other
parts. The theatres, too, although they obtain the services of
excellent companies, are moderate in their charges--moderate
considering the usual scale that prevails in South America, that is to
say.

The advent of a prosperity, however, that now seems more definite than
ever before has produced a similar effect upon household expenditure
as in the neighbouring countries. The cost of living has risen by
leaps and bounds during the past two or three years--a fact that
salaried foreigners resident in the country have found out to their
somewhat acute inconvenience. In the Campo, naturally enough, this
phenomenon of ways and means has not occurred. When live stock and
acres are numbered only by the thousand such annoying matters as
house-rent and the butcher's bill fail to carry any significance.
Nevertheless, in Montevideo the former has practically doubled itself
within the last half-dozen years, and all similar items have followed
suit as a matter of course. But the rise in the price of land
signifies prosperity, and is at all events welcome enough to those
directly interested in the soil.

South America, taken as a whole, is a continent whose inhabitants are
not a little addicted to ostentation. The phase is natural enough in
view of the conditions that obtain in so many of the Republics. In the
case of the pastoral countries, even in quite modern times the broad
lands had lain comparatively valueless until the introduction of the
freezing process for meat and the opening up of the great wheat and
maize areas sent up the price of the soil by leaps and bounds. Yet
even prior to this era a certain amount of prosperity had prevailed,
and young South Americans had become accustomed up to a certain point
to wend their way for educational purposes to France and to England,
and thus to assimilate European ideas with those that prevailed at the
time in the republics of the south.

The sudden advent of overflowing wealth thus found them to a great
extent prepared to introduce the most high-flown of modern ideas into
the life of their own country. No doubt the very consciousness of
these riches that, head for head, undoubtedly far surpass that of the
dwellers in the old continent, caused the South Americans to fling
aside the last vestige of pastoral simplicity and to make the roots of
this great wealth of theirs bud out into residential palaces and
entertainments of a rather fabulous order. Since they had shown
clearly enough that their material gains had surpassed those of
Europe, what more natural than that they should endeavour to prove
with equal conclusiveness their ability to outshine the continent of
their ancestors in the ornamentation and luxuries that follow
automatically in the footsteps of fortune! Surely the trait is nothing
beyond the proof of a healthy rivalry.

The Uruguayan is curiously free from all evidence of this ostentation.
The life he leads is well supplied with comforts, but its tendency is
simple. Thus, although a very fair number of well-turned-out carriages
and motor-cars exist in Montevideo, they are seldom to be seen
parading to and fro in imposing processions along an avenue or street
specially adapted for the purpose, as is the case in many other
cities. Rather less rigorous tenets, moreover, obtain in the case of
the costume of the male city dwellers, and the whole atmosphere of the
country, in fact, is one of plain comfort that has little concern with
outward display. Uruguay, for the present, at all events, has retained
its democracy. Whether it will continue to do so when the national
wealth has become more consolidated is another matter.

The physique of the Uruguayan men is of a distinctly high order.
Well-set-up and fresh-complexioned, they represent a favourable
testimonial to the climate of the country. In all equestrian exercises
they are, as may be imagined, past masters, and they have proved
themselves apt pupils at sports and games of all kinds. As is general
throughout almost the length and breadth of South America, football is
much in vogue here, although, owing merely to the scarcity of the
population, the ubiquitous game is less played in the country
districts than is the case in Argentina.

The art of bull-fighting still obtains in Uruguay, notably at Colonia,
on the banks of the river, where a large new edifice has been erected
for the benefit of this, I think, regrettable sport. _Espadas_ from
Spain frequently come out to perform here; but with the exception of
Colonia, that attracts the tourist class from abroad, the haunts of
bull-fighting lead only a precarious existence in the Republic.

The Oriental is undoubtedly a man of deeds; but in his case the
tendency to action is not effected at the expense of speech. He is,
indeed, a born orator, and on the slightest provocation will burst
forth into a stream of eloquence that can be quite indefinitely
continued. In any case, it is pleasant enough to listen to the
resounding periods in which the customary lofty sentiments are
couched, but it is as well to bear in mind that the oratorical effort
may mean very much--or very little.

Uruguay, more especially its capital, is well-found in the matter of
femininity. Indeed, ever since it became a full-blown city Montevideo
has been celebrated for its pretty women. This fortunate state of
affairs has now become a well-recognised fact, in which the masculine
portion of the community takes an even greater pride than does the sex
more directly involved. Should a patriotic Montevidean be engaged in
conversation with an interested foreigner, the chances are that it
will not be long ere the confident question is asked: "And our
señoritas, what is your opinion of them?"

In such a case there can be only one opinion--or expression of
opinion. Conscience may be salved by the reflection that it is as
difficult to find a woman without some stray claim to beauty as it is
to light upon a dame of sixty without a grey hair. In both cases the
feature may be hard to see. If so, it must be taken for granted. In
the case of the Montevidean señorita no such feat of the imagination
is necessary. To the far-famed graces of her sisters throughout South
America she adds the freshness of complexion and the liveliness of
temperament that are characteristic of the land.

Indeed, to conceive these lighter virtues, added to the natural
Spanish stateliness, is to picture a very bewitching feminine
consummation. Much has been written concerning the señoritas of
Uruguay, and yet not a line too much. Their own kith and kin have sung
their praises with all the tremendous hyperbole of which the Spanish
tongue is capable. White hands, bright eyes, raven hair, and a
corresponding remainder of features that resemble all pleasant things
from a dove to the moon--the collection of local prose and verse on
the subject is justifiably enormous.

The Montevidean lady has now, of course, become essentially modern.
She rides in a motor-car, plays the piano instead of the guitar, and
has exchanged the old order in general for the new. Yet the same
vivacity, courage, and good looks remain--which is an excellent and
beneficial thing for Montevideo and its inhabitants. Indeed, the beach
of Poçitos or the sands of Ramirez shorn of their female adornment
would be too terrible a disaster to contemplate even on the part of
the most hardened Oriental. And at this point it is advisable to
forsake for the present the more intimate affairs of the people,
leaving the last word to the ladies, as, indeed, is only fitting--and
frequently inevitable.

The majority of South American Republics--or rather of those in the
lower half of the continent--are keenly alive to the benefits of many
of the European methods and institutions. Although each of these
countries possesses a strong individuality of its own, the generality
of these younger nations have almost invariably shown themselves eager
to graft to their system foreign methods of organisation that have
stood the test of time and that have not been found wanting.

Indeed, in matters of practical progress the citizen of the more
enlightened South American Republics is blessed with an unusually open
mind. This condition has naturally borne fruit in experiments, and it
is this very tendency to receptiveness that has frequently laid these
States open to accusations of irresponsibility. Often enough the
charge has proved entirely unjust, since it was based on nothing
beyond a too fervent outbreak into an experimental region from which
it was hoped to extract remedies and innovations that should tend to
the betterment of the Republic.

The direction of the public services affords striking instances of the
kind. The navy, army, and police of the more progressive of the
republics are usually modelled on European patterns. The navy is
usually conducted on the English system, the army follows German
methods, and the police copies as closely as possible the
time-honoured principles of what is undoubtedly the finest force in
the world, the English constabulary. Uruguay follows this procedure
only in part. The kit of the troops here is of the French, rather than
the German, pattern; and although the naval uniforms throughout the
civilised world are all more or less alike, that of the Uruguayan does
not resemble the British as closely as do some others, notably that of
the Chilian. The costume of the Oriental police, however, helmet and
all, is almost exactly the counterpart of the British, although it
boasts the additional adornment of a sword and of spats.

The work of the Uruguayan police, moreover, is to be commended for a
lack of officiousness and fussy methods. They are little concerned
with larceny, and with the similar forms of petty dishonesty, for the
nation, as a whole, is endowed with a strict sense of the sacredness
of property. The trait is to a large extent inherent in all the
nations of the River Plate; but in this instance it may well be that
it has become even more accentuated by the drastic methods of General
Artigas at the beginning of the nineteenth century, whose abhorrence
of theft and whose exemplary castigation of the crime may well have
left an impression that has endured for almost a century.

I have already referred to the sobriety of the Uruguayan. Perhaps for
the reason that he is of a more openly jovial temperament he is
slightly more addicted to looking upon his native wine when it is red
than is the Argentine or Paraguayan. But the cases where this occurs
are isolated enough. Indeed, in the matter of sobriety the Uruguayan
can easily allow points to almost every European nation. The majority
of crimes that occur to the east of the River Plate are neither those
brought about by dishonesty nor drink. They are far more frequently
the result of differences of opinion and of old-standing feuds that
are avenged by the knife and revolver, for the Uruguayan, though
courteous to a degree, is quick to resent offence, more especially
when the umbrage given is brought about in the course of a political
discussion.



CHAPTER XI

ABORIGINAL TRIBES

     The population of Uruguay prior to the Spanish
     conquest--Principal tribes--Paucity of information concerning the
     early aboriginal life--The Charrúas--Warlike characteristics of
     the race--Territory of the tribe--Stature and
     physique--Features--The occupations of war and
     hunting--Temperament mannerisms--A people on the nethermost rung
     of the social ladder--Absence of laws and
     penalties--Medicine-men--A crude remedy--The simplicity of the
     marriage ceremony--Morality at a low ebb--The prevalence of
     social equality--Method of settling private disputes--The
     Charrúas as warriors--Tactics employed in warfare--Some grim
     signals of victory--Treatment of the prisoners of war--Absence of
     a settled plan of campaign--Arms of the Charrúas--Primitive
     Indian weapons--Household implements--Burial rites--The
     mutilation of the living out of respect for the dead--Some savage
     ceremonies--Absence of religion--A lowly existence--Desolate
     dwellings--Change of customs effected by the introduction of
     horses--Indian appreciation of cattle--Improvement in the weapons
     of the tribe--Formidable cavalry--The end of the Charrúas--Other
     Uruguayan tribes--The
     Yaros--Bohanes--Chanas--Guenoas--Minuanes--Arachanes.


At the time of the Spanish Conquest the territory which now
constitutes the Republic of Uruguay was peopled by about four thousand
Indians. These, however, did not form a single nation, but were
divided off into a number of tribes. The most important of these were
the Charrúas, Yaros, Bohanes, Chanas, and Guenoas. Each of these
groups possessed its own territory, and each was wont to exist in a
state of continued hostility with its neighbours.

Nothing is known of the history of these folk previous to the arrival
of the Spaniard, and even during the earlier periods of the conquest
information is scanty enough, since contact between native and
European was confined almost entirely to warlike occasions, and since,
even when opportunity offered, the early colonists were neither
sufficiently adapted nor especially educated for the purpose.

The Charrúas constituted the leading tribe of these aboriginal people.
They owed this ascendancy to their warlike spirit, and to their
comparatively large numbers. It was they who murdered Juan Diaz de
Solis, the discoverer of the Rio de la Plata, together with many of
his companions, and it was they, moreover, who offered the most
strenuous resistance to the colonising attempts of the Spaniards.

The Charrúas, to the number of a couple of thousand, inhabited the
coast of the River Plate, and carried on a semi-nomadic existence
between Maldonado and the mouth of the River Uruguay, occupying a
region that extended inland for about ninety miles, its inner
frontiers running parallel with the coast-line. The stature of these
natives attained to middle height; they were robust, well built, and
usually free from that tendency to obesity which is the characteristic
of the Guarani Indians. As a race they were distinguished by rather
large heads, wide mouths, and flat noses. Their skin was unusually
dark, and in colour approached the complexion of the negro more nearly
than that of any other South American race. Peculiarly adapted to
resist hunger and fatigue, they were agile and swift of foot as became
those who existed principally on the deer and ostriches that they
hunted. It is said that their health was such that many attained to a
very advanced age.

The character of these Indiana was essentially warlike and turbulent,
and they were remarkable for their passion for revenge and deceit. Of
a taciturn and apathetic temperament, they refused to submit to
discipline of any kind. They were, moreover, peculiarly averse to
outward display of any emotion. A laugh, for instance, would be
noiseless, signalled merely by a half-opening of the lips;
conversation was carried on in a low and unmodulated tone of voice,
and a true Charrúa would run a considerable distance to gain a
comrade's side rather than be under the necessity of shouting openly
to him. The sole occasions on which the exercise of patience would
seem to have come naturally to the race were those of hunting and of
scouting. A child of nature, with the faculties of hearing and sight
marvellously developed, the Charrúa became reticent and morose when
brought into contact with civilisation.

[Illustration: ANCIENT STONES EMPLOYED FOR NUT-CRUSHING.
To face p. 140.]

In social ethics these dwellers on the coast ranked low; indeed, their
place was amongst the lowest in the scale of tribes. Division either
of labour or of the spoils of war was unknown. Each hunted and fought
for his own hand alone, while the wife constructed a few rude utensils
and performed the duties of a slave. Their system knew neither laws,
punishments, nor rewards, and the only services that were wont to be
recompensed in any way were those of the medicine-men, whose natural
cunning was doubtless as superior to that of the rest as is the case
elsewhere. Nevertheless, these leeches seem to have been acquainted
with only one remedy. This was to suck with might and main at that
portion of the body beneath the surface of which an inward pain was
complained of. The marriage ceremony was confined to the obtaining of
the consent of the bride's parents. The state of wedlock, however, was
considered of some importance in the man, as it conferred on him
the right to go to war, and to take part in the councils of the tribe.

Morality, as understood by the more advanced sections of humanity, was
at a low ebb. Wedlock was permitted an unnaturally liberal range and
licence. Not only was polygamy general, but marriages between brothers
and sisters were permitted, although it is related that their
occurrence was rather rare. Cases of monogamy, however, were not
unknown, and, whenever the opportunity offered, a wife would desert a
multi-spoused husband in order to take up her abode with a man who was
willing to accept her as his only wife. Conjugal faithlessness was
held to be an excusable failing; indeed, on the arrival of the
Spaniards, the men would frequently offer their wives to the Europeans
in return for some material advantage.

Some evidence of that social equality that is so strongly a
characteristic of the tribes of the River Plate is to be met with
among the Charrúas. Such chiefs as existed were almost altogether
lacking in real power or authority. A leader, as a matter of fact, was
elected by the people merely in order to act in cases of emergency,
and his chieftainship, held on sufferance, was liable to be taken from
him on the coming to the front of a man held more suitable for the
post. It is a little curious to find that in so fierce a race private
quarrels were not adjusted by means of the crude arms of war that they
possessed. These disputes were fought out with the fists, and after a
satisfactory exchange of blows the matter was ended for good and all.

Notwithstanding this sensible method of settling their individual
differences, the Charrúas were merciless in the wars waged against
neighbouring tribes or Spaniards. On the first outbreak of hostilities
they were wont to hide their women and children in the woods, after
which spies were immediately sent out to locate the position of the
enemy. This determined, it was usual to hold a council of war in the
evening, and to make a surprise attack at the first glimmerings of
dawn. The method of their onslaught was one calculated to terrify.
Dashing out of the semi-obscurity, they would make a furious charge,
uttering loud cries, the fierceness of which was supposed to be
accentuated by means of the warriors striking themselves continually
on the mouth.

Women and young children captured in their attacks were taken back as
prisoners to the rude encampments of the conquerors, where they
afterwards received complete liberty, and became incorporated with the
tribe. No quarter, however, was shown to the men of the beaten force.
It is said by some of the early European adventurers who came into
contact with this fierce race that they were not only wont to scalp
their fallen enemies, but that each was accustomed to cut an incision
in his own body for every dead foeman whose body lay to the credit of
his prowess or cunning. Some doubt, nevertheless, is thrown upon the
existence of these habits, although they are affirmed by three rather
notable authorities, Barco, Lozano, and Azara. Fortunately for the
Spaniards, who discovered in the Charrúas by far the most dreaded
enemies that it was their lot to encounter in this part of South
America, these Indians were easily turned from a settled purpose or
plan of campaign. Thus they would lose many opportunities of pushing
home success, halting in an advance in order to celebrate a first
victory, and remaining on the ground for the purpose of marking the
occasion at length.

The fact that these rude savages should have obtained victories over
the Spaniards by means of the crude arms that were known to them
speaks wonders for their bravery. Their choice of warlike implements
was no whit greater than that enjoyed by the lake-dwellers of the
Stone Age. Arrows, spears, clubs, and maces--all these were made up of
stone heads and wooden shafts. That which might be termed the
characteristic native weapon was the _bolas_, the pair of stone balls
attached to ostrich sinews or to some other contrivance of the kind.
These--as remains the case to the present day in other lands--were
employed as slings, and, for the purpose of entangling an enemy, were
the most dreaded implements of all.

For the purposes of peace as well as for those of war the sole
materials available to the Charrúa for the fashioning of implements
were stone, wood, bone, and clay. Thus the household equipment was
wont to be confined to the most primitive types of knives, saws,
punches, hammers, axes, mortars, pestles, and roughly baked pottery.
It is certain that they used canoes, since they used to cross over to
the islands facing Maldonado, but nothing is known concerning the
particular build of these humble craft.

Waged under such circumstances existence knew little glamour. Yet even
here certain ceremonial institutions obtained. The women, for example,
on attaining to adult age were accustomed to tattoo three stripes upon
their faces as a signal of the fact, while the men wore a certain kind
of headgear to bear a similar significance. On the death of a male,
the warrior was buried with his arms, usually on the summit of a small
hill. Later, when the luxury of domestic animals became known, the
rites grew more elaborate, and the dead man's horse was usually
sacrificed on the grave.

In any case the occasion of a man's death was marked by
self-mutilation on the part of his wives and female relatives. These
would commence by cutting their fingers, weeping bitterly all the
while, and afterwards would take the spear of their deceased relative,
and with it would prick themselves in various parts of the body and
more especially in the arms, which were frequently pierced through and
through. Azara was privileged to witness a number of these painful
ceremonies, which must have been carried out with conscientious zeal,
since he remarks that of all the adult women that he saw none was
without mutilated fingers and numerous scars on the body.

These methods of accentuating sorrow, however, were light when
compared with the tortures that adult sons were wont to inflict upon
themselves on the loss of their father. It was their duty first of all
to hide themselves, fasting, in their huts for two days. This
effected, it was customary to point a number of sticks and to transfix
the arms with these from the wrist to the shoulder, with an interval
of not more than an inch between each. In this porcupine-like
condition they proceeded either to a wood or to a hill, bearing in
their hands sharpened stakes. By means of these each would dig out a
hole in the earth sufficiently deep to cover him to the height of the
breast, and in this custom demanded him to remain during a whole
night. On the next day the mourners rose up from their uncomfortable
holes, and met together in a special hut that was set apart for the
ceremonial purposes. Here they pulled the sticks from their arms, and
remained for a fortnight, partaking of only the scantiest nourishment.
After which they were at liberty to rejoin their comrades, and to
resume the comparatively even tenor of their normal existence.

The Charrúas afford one of the rare instances of a race who knew no
religion. They neither worshipped a benevolent divinity nor
endeavoured to propitiate a malignant spirit. They were, nevertheless,
superstitious up to a certain point, and dreaded to leave their huts
during the night. There is no doubt that some vague belief in an
after-existence must have been implanted in their lowly minds.
Although they do not seem ever to have referred openly to the belief,
the sole fact of the burial of the dead man's arms in the same grave
as the corpse is sufficient proof of their supposition that the
weapons would be needed in some half-imagined and dim place beyond.
But neither priest nor magician was in their midst to stimulate their
wonderings on the point.

The highest degree of science or intellect, as a matter of fact, was
represented by the medicine-men with their simple and mistakenly
practical remedy. The race had no acquaintance with either music,
games, dancing, or with ordinary conversation as understood amongst
more civilised beings. In matters of personal adornment the Charrúas
were equally unsophisticated. A few ostrich feathers in the hair
constituted the beginning and the end of the men's costume; the sole
garment of the women was a loin-cloth. Of too dull a temperament to
discover even the simplest pleasures that the majority of races
contrive to extract from their existence, the sole luxury in which
these folk indulged was the bathing in the streams of the country. But
this recreation was limited to the midsummer months: during all the
other periods of the year they refrained entirely from ablutions.

The point as to whether these benighted Indians were cannibals has
never been definitely cleared up. The charge of eating human flesh has
been brought against the tribe by a certain number of authorities. It
is stated, for instance, that the body of Juan Diaz de Solis, the
discoverer of the River Plate and one of the first victims of these
warriors, was consumed by the attacking party after his murder. But
the evidence is not clear in either this case or in any other of the
kind, although it is likely enough that they partook of the taste that
was shared by various tribes who inhabited the country to the north.
Their ordinary food, in any case, was the flesh of the deer and
ostrich, as well as fish. Their meals were frequently demolished in a
raw condition, doubtless of necessity, although they understood the
means of producing fire by the friction of wood. Vegetable food was
unknown to them, but they contrived to produce an intoxicating liquor
from the fermentation of wasps' honey mixed with water.

A glance at the more intimate domestic life of these wild possessors
of so many strictly negative attributes may well complete a rather
desolate picture. The home of the Charrúa was on a par with the
remainder of his few belongings. A few branches, stuck into the earth
and bent towards a common centre, constituted the foundation; one or
two deer-skins placed on top of these formed the superstructure. These
dwellings, as a matter of fact, were no more crude than those of the
Patagonian natives, and little more so than the huts of the Chaco
Indians to the north-west, although the structures of both these
latter were--and still remain--thatched with grasses and vegetation in
the place of skins. In the case of the Charrúa the inner accommodation
was limited to a few square feet; but the confined space sufficed to
hold an ordinary member, although if the human units increased unduly,
a second hut was erected by the side of the first. For furniture,
there were the few crude household implements already mentioned, the
weapons of the men, and the deer-skin or two spread upon the ground to
serve as couches.

It was in this manner that the Charrúas were accustomed to live when
the Spaniards, much to the rage of the original inhabitants, landed
upon their shores. From that time onwards their method of existence
underwent a change. With the introduction of horses they adopted the
habit of riding, and soon became extraordinarily proficient in all
equestrian arts, although their natural fleetness of foot suffered
inevitably during the process. The cattle that now roamed the Campo in
great numbers afforded them ample and easily obtained meals. Indeed,
although they may have had some legitimate cause for grievance, the
material benefits that the influx from Europe accorded the Indians
were enormous.

Yet the hatred with which these fierce warriors of the Campo regarded
the white intruders tended with time to increase rather than diminish.
As a foe the Indian was far more formidable now than at the time of
the first encounters. Behold him on horseback, careering like the wind
across the pastures, armed with a deadly iron-tipped lance some
fourteen feet in length! For he had obtained the means now to fight
the _conquistadores_ with their own weapons, and even his arrows were
pointed with metal, although he still retained the homely stone in the
case of his ever efficient _bolas_. Thus he remained, immutably
fierce, alternately winning and losing the endless fights, but never
conquered nor enslaved for three centuries. At the end of that period,
in 1832, came the end of his race, and the small remnant was
practically annihilated. The fate of the last four of the Charrúas is
pathetically humorous, as illustrating what unsuspected ends a wild
community may be made to serve. Two men and two women, the sole
survivors of the unconquered warrior tribe, were sent across the ocean
to Paris, where they were placed on exhibition, and doubtless proved a
profitable investment.

Having concluded with the Charrúas, the remaining aboriginal tribes
of Uruguay demand very little space by comparison. There were,
nevertheless, half a dozen minor groups that inhabited the other
portion of the land that is now Uruguay.

The Yaros Indians occupied a small district on the south-western coast
of the country, and were a warlike race whose customs and manner of
existence much resembled those of the Charrúas. With this latter race
they were on terms of hostility, and only allied themselves with their
aboriginal neighbours for the occasional purpose of a joint attack
upon the Spaniards. At the beginning of the eighteenth century they
were to all intents and purposes exterminated by the more powerful
Charrúas, the few survivors joining the ranks of their conquerors.

Little is known of the Bohanes, who occupied the coastal territory to
the north of the Yaros. They were likewise enemies of the Charrúas,
and in the end suffered partial extermination at the hands of the
latter tribe. It is said that a certain number escaped into Paraguay
and became absorbed amongst the Guarani inhabitants of the north. It
appears certain that, although this insignificant group could not
number much more than a hundred families, their language differed
entirely from the tongues of the neighbouring tribes.

[Illustration: NATIVE "BOLEADORAS."
To face p. 148.]

The Chanas were island-dwellers whose character contrasted rather
remarkably with that of the inhabitants of the mainland. When first
met with they were occupying the islands in the River Uruguay to the
north of the point where the Rio Negro joins the principal stream. A
race of peaceable and rather timid folk, they suffered not a little at
the hands of the more warlike tribes. Thus, when the Spaniards
occupied their native islands, the Yaros endeavoured to obtain a
footing on the western coast-line; but, driven from here by the
Charrúas, they found shelter in a collection of islets to the south
of those that had formed their first abode. They were more or less
expert fishers and watermen, and possessed a language of their own.
Many of their customs were akin to those of the Guarani Indians. Thus
when the bodies of their dead had been buried for a sufficiently long
time to lose all flesh, the skeletons would be dug up, painted with
grease and ochre, and then entered once again in company with their
ancestors. In the case of a dead child it was their custom to place
the body in a large earthenware urn which they filled with earth and
ochre, covering up the vessel with burnt clay.

The Chanas lent themselves readily to civilisation. Towards the middle
of the seventeenth century they became converted to Christianity, and
in the beginning the Jesuit mission station of Soriano was peopled
almost entirely by members of this tribe. Of an intelligence and
temperament infinitely superior to that of the remaining tribes, they
mingled freely with the Spaniards after a while, and adopted European
manners and customs. The race disappeared eventually merely from the
force of absorption by marriage with their civilised neighbours.

The Guenoas existed in the north-western portion of the country,
leading a semi-nomadic life. They were to be distinguished from the
Indians who dwelt to the south of their territory in that they were
amenable to discipline in their natural state. At their head were
recognised chiefs, or caciques, who appear to have exercised no little
authority. They were endowed, moreover, with a certain amount of
superstitious belief, and witch-doctors were to be found among them.
They had also learned the art of signalling from a distance by means
of bonfires. Although a warlike race, they were far more susceptible
than the Charrúas to outside influence. A portion of the tribe
eventually found refuge in the Jesuit missions, and the majority of
the males took service in the Spanish and Portuguese armies.

The Minuanes occupied a territory to the east of the Guenoas, and in
physical appearance, manners, and customs closely resembled the
Charrúas, to such an extent, indeed, that the two tribes have
frequently been confused by writers. An error of the kind is natural
enough, since the two groups were wont to bind themselves in
hard-and-fast alliance in order to combat the Spaniards. The Minuanes,
however, were a trifle more advanced in some respects than their
southern allies. They were accustomed, for instance, to wear
loin-cloths, with the frequent addition of a skin flung across the
shoulders. Moreover, their hostility towards Europeans was undoubtedly
less deep-seated, since the Jesuits succeeded in incorporating them
for a while in one of their missions. The majority, it is true, soon
returned to their own wild life, but a certain number remained.

The last tribe to be noticed is that of the Arachanes, a people of
Guarani origin who lived on the east coast between the ocean and the
great Lake Merim. Practically nothing is known of these folk. They
were dispersed and exterminated at the commencement of the seventeenth
century by the Brazilian mamelukes in the course of their raids from
San Paulo.



CHAPTER XII

MONTEVIDEO

     Population--Attributes of the city--Situation of the Uruguayan
     capital--The Cerro--A comparison between the capitals of
     Argentina and Uruguay--The atmosphere of Montevideo--A city of
     restful activity--Comparatively recent foundation--Its origin an
     afterthought--Montevideo in 1727--Homely erections--Progress of
     the town--Advance effected within the last thirty years--The
     Uruguayan capital at the beginning of the nineteenth
     century--Some chronicles of the period--The ubiquity of
     meat--Dogs and their food--Some curious account of the prevalence
     of rats--The streets of old Montevideo--Their perils and
     humours--A comparison between the butchers' bills of the past and
     of the present--Some unusual uses for sheep--Methods in which the
     skulls and horns of cattle were employed--Modern Montevideo--The
     National Museum--An admirable institution--Theatres--Critical
     Montevidean audiences--Afternoon tea establishments--The Club
     Uruguay--The English Club--British community in the capital--Its
     enterprise and philanthropy--The _Montevideo Times_--A feat in
     editorship--Hotels--Cabs and public vehicles--The cost of
     driving.


It may come as a surprise to many to learn that Montevideo, the
capital of Uruguay, possesses a population of almost four hundred
thousand inhabitants. By no means one of those centres that are
remarkable only for population, it holds almost every conceivable
attribute of a modern city--from boulevards and imposing public
buildings to plazas, statuary, and a remarkably extensive tramway
service.

Montevideo is situated at a peculiarly advantageous point on the
Uruguayan shore. No student of geography, it is true, could point out
the exact limits of so immense a stream as the La Plata. Yet for all
practical purposes the capital of the Republic sits just beside this
very phenomenon. Thus it may be said that the eastern side of the town
faces the ocean, while the southern looks upon the River Plate. To
enter more fully into the geographical details of the spot, the chief
commercial and governmental districts cover a peninsula that juts well
out into the waters, thus forming the eastern extremity of the
semicircular bay of the actual port. Upon the ocean side of the
peninsula the shore recedes abruptly northwards for a short space, and
it is here that lie the pleasant inlets that are not a little famed as
pleasure resorts.

At the riverward extremity of the port bay is a landmark that is
indelibly associated with Montevideo, whether viewed from sea or land.
The famous Cerro is a conical hill, surmounted by a fort that
dominates all the surrounding landscape. But of the Cerro, since for
various reasons it is a place of importance, more later. The capital
itself claims the right to prior notice, and to the rendering of a few
introductory facts.

Since the distance between the chief town of either republic only just
exceeds a hundred miles, a comparison between Montevideo and Buenos
Aires is almost inevitable. Indeed, it has become something of a hobby
on the part of the Oriental who has visited the Argentine city, and
vice versâ. Fortunately, the comparison can be made without the
engendering of bad blood, since to a great extent that which the one
town lacks is possessed by the other. Thus, in the first place
Montevideo, although astonishingly thriving, is without the hastening
crowds and feverish hustle of the city across the waters. Again,
although its sheltered bay is yearly accommodating more and larger
vessels, the Oriental town is innocent of those many miles of docks
teeming throughout with steamers. Yet, on the other hand, it possesses
its rocks and shining sands of pleasure that draw the Argentines
themselves in shoals across the river.

Indeed, the atmosphere of Montevideo is restful, and at the same time
free from the slightest taint of stagnation. Even the more modest
thoroughfares are comparatively broad, while the many new avenues are
spacious and well planned to a degree. Perhaps the keynote to the town
in these respects may be found in the fact that, although the absolute
dominion of the priests has long been a thing of the past, the sound
of the cathedral and church bells is audible above the hum of the
traffic. Even in the ears of the most ardent Protestant the effect is
not without its soothing and tranquillising properties.

It is true that there have been some who, deceived by its peaceful
appearance, have altogether underrated the actual activity of the
city. As a matter of fact, the progress of Montevideo deserves far
wider recognition than it has obtained. The town represents something
of a babe even amongst the roll of comparatively youthful South
American cities. Its foundation, in 1726, indeed, was due to an
afterthought, following an expulsion of Portuguese who had landed at
the solitary spot and fortified it in the course of one of their later
expeditions. Thus Colonia had long afforded a bone of contention
between the two nations, and even Maldonado had provided several
battlefields ere the present capital was colonised or thought of.

In 1727 the panorama of Montevideo could not well have been an
imposing one. At that time the place possessed no more than two
buildings of stone, although it could count forty others of hide. But
the erections of this homely and odorous material that in the
colonial days were made to serve almost every conceivable purpose
could have added very little to the æsthetic properties of the budding
settlement. Once established, however, the city grew apace, and in due
course the natural advantages of its position raised its status to
that of the premier urban centre of the land.

But, although Montevideo flourished and increased for rather more than
a century and a half, its leap into complete modernism has only been
effected within the last thirty years. In this respect it has only
followed the example of the important cities of the neighbouring
republics. Thus, in 1807, when its ninetieth birthday was marked by
the British occupation, the accounts of numerous foreign visitors to
the place testify to its primitive state, although all agree that in
the main the capital was a pleasant spot.

That the streets of the period were badly paved it is not surprising
to hear, since, owing to many obstacles, the art of accurate paving is
one of the very last that has filtered through to South America in
general. On the other hand, it is admitted that the thoroughfares were
well lit. Amongst the more disagreeable peculiarities were some for
which the butcher's trade was responsible.

In a country of oxen the superabundance of meat was made only too
evident. "Oftentimes," says an English chronicler of the period, "when
a particular piece of meat is wanted, the animal is killed, and after
cutting out the desired part, without taking off the skin, the
remainder of the carcass is thrown to the dogs, or left to rot in the
streets." After this the author proceeds to make a startling
statement: "Almost every animal is fed on beef: from this circumstance
pork and poultry bought casually in the market, and which has not been
purposely fattened, are tinctured with a very ancient and beef-like
taste." The first part of this piece of information is undoubtedly
accurate; but to what extent the latter is the result of imagination
or of fact it is perhaps best not to investigate too closely.
According to this theory, some of the plainest of joints must have
contained in themselves the elements of several courses, with a
species of menagerie meal as a consequence!

In any case, it is well known that the effect of this abundant meat
diet upon the prowling dogs of the town was to render them savage and
dangerous to the casual passer-by, who frequently had to defend
himself as best he might from their attacks. The extraordinary
prevalence of rats from similar causes is confirmed by other authors,
Uruguayan as well as English. The brothers Robertson, who are
responsible for such an excellent description of Paraguay at that
period, have some curious experiences to relate concerning this
visitation. Both received much hospitality at the hands of their
Uruguayan friends. "The only drawback," writes one of them, "upon the
delightful way in which I now spent my evenings was the necessity of
returning home through long, narrow streets so infested with voracious
rats as to make it perilous sometimes to face them. There was no
police in the town, excepted that provided by the showers of rain,
which, at intervals, carried off the heaps of filth from the streets.
Around the offal of carrion, vegetables, and stale fruit which in
large masses accumulated there, the rats absolutely mustered in
legions. If I attempted to pass near these formidable banditti, or to
interrupt their meals and orgies, they gnashed their teeth upon me
like so many evening [ravening?] wolves ... sometimes I fought my way
straight home with my stick; at others I was forced to fly down some
cross and narrow path or street, leaving the rats undisturbed masters
of the field."

No doubt had a militant vegetarian of the period found his way to
Montevideo he might have pointed out many object-lessons in favour of
a lesser carnal devotion. On the other hand, it is lamentable that the
cheap value at which carcasses were then held has not continued to
prevail to this day. To the small population of a hundred years ago
meat seemed to grow as easily as grass-blades, and the uses to which
it was wont to be put seem astonishing enough in an era of butchers'
bills and shilling steaks.

Since until comparatively recent years in the River Plate Provinces
mutton has been held unworthy of even a beggar's acceptance, the
carcasses of the sheep suffered the most ignominious end of all.
Amongst the other means they were made to serve, the animals were
driven to the brick-kilns, slaughtered upon the spot, and their bodies
flung into the ovens to feed the fires. As for the cattle, their
skulls and horns were everywhere. Prepared by the foregoing for
revelations of general utility, it is not surprising to read that
houses as well as fence-lines were frequently constructed from such
tragic material.

Such reminiscences of the past, however, have drawn the trail too far
aside from the modern city of Montevideo, where dogs are subject to
police regulations, and the rat is scarce, and meat as dear as
elsewhere. As for the town itself, it has sprung up afresh, and
renewed itself yet once again since the colonial days. Indeed, the
sole buildings of importance that remain from the time of the Spanish
dominion are the cathedral and Government palace.

[Illustration: SOLIS THEATRE AND NATIONAL MUSEUM.]

[Illustration: THE CERRO FORT.
To face p. 156.]

The national museum at Montevideo is both well represented and amply
stocked. It is a place into which the average foreigner enters with
sufficient rarity, which is rather lamentable, since a very varied
local education is to be derived from its contents. Uruguayan art,
natural history, geology, literature, and historical objects all find
a place here. The collection of primitive Indian utensils, and of
_bolas_, the round stones of the slings, is unique. It is said that in
the case of the latter, which have been brought together from all
districts, almost every species of stone that exists in the country is
to be met.

The historical objects here, moreover, are of great interest to one
who has followed the fluctuating fortunes of the country. The early
uniforms and weapons of the Spaniards, the costumes and long lances of
the first struggling national forces, and a host of other exhibits of
the kind are assisted by a considerable collection of contemporary
local pictures and drawings. Many of the earlier specimens of these
are exceedingly crude, but none the less valuable for that, since the
battle scenes are depicted with much the same rough vigour that
doubtless characterised their actual raging.

In the gallery devoted to Uruguayan painters there is at least one
picture that is remarkable for its power and realism, the work of a
famous modern artist, representing a scene in the great plague
visitation that the capital suffered. It is a little curious that in
the rooms where hang the specimens of European art the biblical
paintings of some of the old Italian masters should be hung side by
side with modern productions of the lightest and most Gallic tendency;
but it is quite possible that this may have been done with intention
in support of the propaganda against the influence of Church and
religion that has now become so marked throughout South America. In
any case, the custom is one that does not obtain in Montevideo alone.
The taxidermic portion of the museum is exceedingly well contrived,
and the entire institution, with its competent staff, under the
direction of Professor José Arechavaleta, is worthy of all praise.

With social institutions of all kinds Montevideo is amply provided.
The theatres are well constructed, well patronised, and frequently
visited by some of the most efficient companies in existence. It is
true that, owing to the difference in the size of the two towns,
Montevideo usually obtains the tail-end of a visit the most part of
which has been spent in Buenos Aires. But such matters of precedence
do not in the least affect the merits of the various performances.
Both actors and musicians here, moreover, have to deal with an
audience that is at least as critical as any that its larger neighbour
can provide.

One of the evidences of Montevideo's modernity is to be found in its
afternoon-tea establishments. Unfortunately, the name of the principal
one of these places has escaped me, so that it must receive its meed
of praise in an anonymous fashion. It is certainly one of the
daintiest specimens of its kind that can be conceived both as regards
decoration and the objects of light sustenance that justify its
existence. As a teashop it is a jewel with an appropriate pendant--a
tiny coal-black negro boy official at the door, whose gorgeous
full-dress porter's uniform renders him a much-admired toy of
humanity.

The chief and most imposing of the capital's clubs is the Club Uruguay
that looks out upon the Plaza Matriz, the main square. The premises
here are spacious and imposing, and the club is quite of the first
order. The membership is confined almost entirely to the Uruguayans of
the better classes, although it includes a small number of resident
foreigners. The English Club is situated on the opposite side of the
same square, and is an extremely cosy and well-managed institution
that sustains to the full all the traditions of the English clubs
abroad.

The English community in the capital is fairly numerous, and is in
closer touch with its Uruguayan neighbours than is the case with the
majority of such bodies in other South American countries. The
enterprise and philanthropy of the colony are evident in many
directions. It has long possessed a school and a hospital of its own;
but subscriptions have now been raised for the erection of a larger
and more modern hospital building, to be situated in pleasant
surroundings on the outskirts of the town. A great part of the credit
for this, as for many other similar undertakings, is undoubtedly due
to Mr. R.J. Kennedy, the British Minister.

The English Colony is represented journalistically by a daily paper,
the _Montevideo Times_, a sheet of comparatively modest dimensions
that is very ably edited and conducted. Indeed, the record of Mr. W.H.
Denstone, the editor, must be almost unique in the history of
journalism all the world over. For a period that, I believe, exceeds
twenty years the production, in journalese language, has been "put to
bed" beneath his personal supervision, and not a number has appeared
the matter of which has not come directly from his hands. As a
testimony, not only to industry but to a climate that permits such an
unbroken spell of labour, surely the feat is one to be cordially
acclaimed in Fleet Street!

The Montevideo hotels, although there is much to be said in their
favour, are comparatively modest in size, and somewhat lacking in
those most modern attributes that characterise many in other large
towns of South America, and even those in the pleasure resorts on the
outskirts of the Uruguayan capital itself. The best known is the
Lanata, situated in the Plaza Matriz. But I cannot recommend the
Lanata with any genuine degree of enthusiasm. The Palacio Florida, a
new hotel in the Calle Florida, is, I think, the most confidently to
be recommended of any in the capital. The tariff here is strictly
moderate, the service good, and the place is blessed with the distinct
advantage of a very pleasant lounge on each floor.

In many respects Montevideo, although its scale of expenses is rising
rapidly, still remains a place of cheaper existence than Buenos Aires.
But not in the matter of its cabs and public vehicles. The hooded
victoria of the Argentine capital is frequently replaced here by the
landau, and on a provocation that may not have exceeded half a mile
the piratical driver will endeavour to extract a dollar--the
equivalent of four shillings and twopence--from his victimised
passenger. The reason for this ambitious scale of charges no doubt
lies in the fact that the Montevidean is very little addicted to
driving in cabs, of which vehicles, indeed, the very excellent tramway
service of the city renders him more or less independent. Thus, as the
solvent person is said to bear the burden of the tailor's bad debts,
the economies of those who ride in Montevidean tramcars are visited
upon the pockets of those others who patronise the cabs.



CHAPTER XIII

Montevideo--_continued_

     The surroundings of the capital--Pleasant resorts--The Prado--A
     well-endowed park--Colón--Aspects of the suburbs--Some charming
     quintas--A wealth of flowers and vegetation--European and
     tropical blossoms side by side--Orchards and their fruits--The
     cottages of the peasants--An itinerant
     merchant--School-children--Methods of education in Uruguay--The
     choice of a career--Equestrian pupils--The tramway route--Aspect
     of the village of Colón--Imposing eucalyptus avenues--A country
     of blue gum--Some characteristics of the place--Flowers and
     trees--Country houses--The Tea Garden Restaurant--Meals amidst
     pleasant surrounding--An enterprising establishment--Lunch and
     its reward--Poçitos and Ramirez--Bathing-places of the
     Atlantic--Blue waters compared with yellow--Sand and rock--Villa
     del Cerro--The steam ferry across the bay--A town of mixed
     buildings--Dwelling-places and their materials--The ubiquitous
     football--Aspects of the Cerro--Turf and rock--A picturesque
     fort--Panorama from the summit of the hill--The guardian of the
     river mouth--The last and the first of the mountains.


The Uruguayan's appreciation of pleasant Nature is made abundantly
clear in the surroundings of the capital. The city, as a matter of
fact, is set about with quite an exceptional number of pleasant
resorts both inland and upon the shore. Of the former the Prado park
and the pleasure suburb of Colón are the best known. The Prado is
reached within half an hour from the centre of the city by means of
tramway-car. Situated on the outskirts of the town, the park is very
large and genuinely beautiful. Groves of trees shading grassy slopes,
beds of flowers glowing by the sides of ponds and small lakes, walks,
drives, and sheltered seats--the place possesses all these commendable
attributes, and many beyond.

The Montevidean is very proud of the Prado, and he has sufficient
reason for his pride. He has taken a portion of the rolling country,
and has made of the mounds and hills the fairest garden imaginable.
The place would be remarkable if for nothing more than the great
variety and number of its trees, both Northern and subtropical. But
here this fine collection forms merely the background for the less
lofty palms, bamboos, and all the host of the quainter growths, to say
nothing of the flowering shrubs and the land and water blossoms. One
may roam for miles in and out of the Prado vegetation, only to find
that it continues to present fresh aspects and beauties all the while.

The expedition to Colón is a slightly more serious one, since, the
spot being situated some eight miles from the centre of the town, the
journey by tramcar occupies an hour or so. As much that is typical of
the outskirts of Montevideo is revealed by the excursion, it may be as
well to describe it with some detail.

[Illustration: THE BEACH AT PARQUE URBANO.]

[Illustration: THE SAN JOSE ROAD BRIDGE.
To face p. 162.]

It is only when once fairly launched upon a journey of the kind that
the true extent of Montevideo and the length of its plane-shaded
avenues proper become evident. Nevertheless, as the car mounts and
dips with the undulation of the land, the unbroken streets of houses
come to an end at length, giving way to the first _quintas_--the
villas set within their own grounds. The aspect of these alone would
suffice to convince the passing stranger of the real wealth of the
capital. Of all styles of architecture, from that of the bungalow to
the more intricate structure of many pinnacles and eaves, many of them
are extremely imposing in size and luxurious to a degree. A moral to
the new-comer in Montevideo should certainly be: Own a quinta in
the suburbs; or, if you cannot, get to know the owner of a quinta in
the suburbs, and stay with him!

But if you would see these surroundings of Montevideo at their very
best, it is necessary to journey there in October--the October of the
Southern hemisphere, when the sap of the plants is rising to
counterbalance its fall in the North. The quintas then are positive
haunts of delight--nothing less. Their frontiers are frequently marked
by blossoming may, honeysuckle, and rose-hedges, while bougainvillæa,
wistaria, and countless other creepers blaze from the walls of the
houses themselves.

As for the gardens, they have overflowed into an ordered riot of
flower. The most favoured nooks of Madeira, the _Midi_ of France, and
Portugal would find it hard to hold their own in the matter of
blossoms with this far Southern land. Undoubtedly, one of the most
fascinating features here is the mingling of the hardy and homely
plants with the exotic. Thus great banks of sweet-scented stock will
spread themselves beneath the broad-leaved palms, while the bamboo
spears will prick up lightly by the ivy-covered trunk of a Northern
tree--a tree whose parasite is to be marked and cherished, for ivy is,
in general, as rare in South America as holly, to say nothing of
plum-pudding, though it is abundant here. Spreading bushes of lilac
mingle their scent with the magnolia, orange, myrtle, and mimosa,
until the crowded air seems almost to throb beneath the simultaneous
weight of the odours. Then down upon the ground, again, are
periwinkles, pansies, and marigolds, rubbing petals with arum-lilies,
carnations, hedges of pink geranium, clumps of tree-marguerites, and
wide borders of cineraria. From time to time the suggestions of the
North are strangely compelling. Thus, when the heavy flower-cones of
the horse-chestnut stand out boldly next to the snow-white circles of
the elder-tree, with a grove of oaks as a background, it is with
something akin to a shock that the succeeding clumps of paraiso and
eucalyptus-trees, and the fleshy leaves of the aloe and prickly-pear
bring the traveller back to reality and the land of warm sunshine.

But it is time to make an end to this long list of mere growths and
blossoms. The others must be left to the imagination, from the green
fig-bulbs to the peach-blossom and guelder-roses. Let it suffice to
say that a number of these gardens are many acres in extent, and that
you may distribute all these flowers--and the far larger number that
remain unchronicled--in any order that you will.

As the open country appears in the wider gaps left between the remoter
quintas, and the space between the halting-places of the tram is
correspondingly lengthened, the speed of a car becomes accelerated to
a marked degree. The cottages that now appear at intervals at the side
of the road are trim and spotlessly white. They are, almost without
exception, shaded by the native ombú-tree, and are surrounded with
trelliswork of vines and with fig-trees, while near by are fields of
broad beans and the extensive vineyards of commerce.

Along the road a rider is proceeding leisurely, a large wooden pannier
jutting out from either side of his saddle. This bulky gear, that
lends such a swollen appearance to the advancing combination of man
and horse, denotes a travelling merchant of humble status. What he
carries within the pair of boxes there is no outward evidence to tell.
Their contents may be anything from vegetables or chickens to
scissors, knives, or sweetstuffs. Since, however, he has now drawn
rein by the side of one of the white cottages, his wares almost
certainly do not comprise the first two, for the market for such lies
within Montevideo proper. By the time, however, that the lids of the
panniers have been raised and the bargaining has commenced the car has
sped far onwards, and has dropped him from sight. Thus the business of
the travelling merchant--like that of the majority of passers-by--remains
but half understood.

But here, at all events, comes a group of riders of another kind,
whose purpose is clear. Half a dozen small boys and bareheaded girls,
mounted upon disproportionately tall ponies, are jogging along on
their way to school. Uruguay prides itself, with no little reason,
upon the efficiency of its system of education, and the humblest hut
now sends forth its human mites to absorb the three R's and to be
instilled with patriotically optimistic versions of their country's
past. These rudiments mastered, they need not necessarily halt in
their scholastic career, since, according to the laws of the land, a
professorship is open eventually to the most lowly student who
persists for sufficient time. And Uruguay is undoubtedly a nest of
opportunities. An embryo statesman or learned doctor may be
represented by each of the urchins who are now plodding onwards with
serious intent through the dust!

In the meanwhile the car has won its way fairly out into the open
country, always green, smiling, and thickly shot with the pink of
peach-blossoms. The rails have now drawn well away from the centre of
the road, and are separated from the actual highway by a grassy space.
Stirred by the importance of possessing a track all to itself, the car
is undoubtedly aspiring to the rank of a railway train, and goes
rushing at a really formidable pace upon its verdure-embedded lines.
Swaying over the shoulders of the land, past plantations, lanes, and
hedges, it plunges onwards in grim earnest to the terminus of the line
at Colón itself.

The actual village of Colón gives little indication of the nature of
the district. The railway-station, shops, and houses are all
pleasantly situated, it is true, and the restaurants and
pleasure-gardens are unusually numerous. The attractions of the place,
however, lie well outside the central nucleus of buildings. From this
some remarkably imposing eucalyptus avenues lead outwards into the
favourite haunts of the Montevidean when on pleasure bent.

Undoubtedly the most salient feature of Colón is the eucalyptus.
Indeed, the place primarily consists of mile upon mile of these
stately avenues, fringed by blue gums of an immense size. Bordering
these magnificent highways, that cross each other at right angles, are
country houses here and there that are reproductions of those in the
suburbs of Montevideo. In between the avenues, again, are clumps and
small forests of eucalyptus, whose tops soar high up in tremendously
lofty waves, that enclose vineyards, peach-orchards, and olive-tree
plantations.

Here and there are lanes walled in by mounting hedges of honeysuckle
and rose, while many of the private grounds are guarded by the
impassable lines of aloe. Add to this basis all the other trees,
shrubs, and flowers that have already been passed on the outward
journey, and you have the main attributes of Colón.

[Illustration: EUCALYPTUS AVENUE: COLÓN.
To face p. 166.]

Since the topic of the inner man appeals at least as much to the
Uruguayan as to any other mortal, there are some very pleasant
restaurants set in the midst of this land of eucalyptus. Perhaps the
best and prettiest of these is one known by the very English name of
the Tea Garden Restaurant. One of the chief peculiarities of the place
is that tea is actually partaken of there from time to time, as the
modern Oriental is beginning to accord this cosmopolitan beverage a
recognised place by the side of coffee and his own native Yerba Maté.

At the Tea Garden Restaurant it is possible to lunch by the side of a
lake, with ripening grape-bunches above to throw their reflections in
the soup, and with the falling petals of orange-blossom floating
daintily past the steaming cutlets, while the music of the ducks
blends admirably with the clatter of the table weapons. With really
good cooking and attentive service added to these side attractions,
what more could one want!

But the proprietors of the restaurant are nothing if not enterprising.
They give the wayfarer something even beyond an excellent meal. At the
end of the repast each guest is presented with a ticket that entitles
him to a free cab-ride to the tramway terminus. The idea is admirable.
Nothing is wanting but the cabs! At all events, when I had concluded
lunch there the surface of the fine avenue was innocent of any
vehicle, and continued so until the walk to the car was accomplished.
But the courtesy of the offer had been effectual, and a certain sense
of obligation remained.

The bathing-places of Poçitos and Ramirez are akin in many respects to
these inland resorts. By the side of the sea here are fewer blossoms
and rather smaller eucalyptus groves, but a greater number of open-air
restaurants and one or two quite imposing hotels. Indeed, Ramirez, the
nearer of the two, is endowed with a really fine casino, that faces
the shoreward end of the pier, and that has by its side the spacious
and well-timbered public park.

Poçitos occupies the next bay, and is notable for its lengthy
esplanade and for the very pleasant houses that give upon the
semicircular sweep. This bay, moreover, is the first that has, so to
speak, turned its back upon the river and has faced the open ocean.
As a token, the waters are tinged with a definite blue, and the air
holds a genuine sting of salt that rapidly dies away when passing
up-stream away from here. To the Buenos Airen, who enthusiastically
patronises the place, Poçitos is delightful, if for no other reason
than the sense of contrast to his own surroundings that it affords
him. Not that he has any reason to grumble at the river frontier of
the rich alluvial soil, from out of which his fortunes have been
built. But here, in place of the soft, stoneless mud, is bright sand,
and genuine rocks, piled liberally all over the shore, that shelter
crabs, and pools that hold fish of the varieties that refuse to
breathe in any other but guaranteed salt water. So it is that the
summer season sees the long rows of tents and bathing machines crowded
and overflowing with the Uruguayans and the host of visitors from
across the river.

Both Ramirez and Poçitos are within the range of the ubiquitous
tramcar. But this very efficient service, not content with its
excursion of half a dozen miles and more on the ocean side of
Montevideo, runs in the opposite direction completely round the port
bay, and performs the yet more important journey to Villa del Cerro,
the small town that lies at the foot of the hill that is so closely
associated with Montevideo and its affairs. A far shorter route to
this latter place, however, is by the busy little steam ferry that
puffs straight across the bay, and that starts faithfully at every
hour, as promised by the timetable, although, if that hour coincides
with the one specified, the event may be accepted as a fortunate
accident.

Its most patriotic inhabitant could not claim loveliness for Villa del
Cerro. The existence of the spot is mainly due to the presence of some
neighbouring _saladeros_, or meat-curing factories, and thus the
small town presents the aspects of the more humble industrial centres.
There are two or three regular streets, it is true, that contain a few
houses with some faint pretensions to importance. Upon the balconies
of these the local señoritas are wont to gather of an evening. They
are obviously a little starved in such matters as romance, and a
little fearful lest their eye language should lose its eloquence
through too long a disuse. Thus the advent of any passing stranger
whatever suffices to cause a certain flutter and excitement in the
balconies above.

Outside these main streets the pattern of the town has been left much
to the discretion of its most lowly inhabitants. Buildings composed of
unexpected material sprout up from the earth in unexpected places.
Earth, boards, tin, and fragments of stone are amongst the commonest
of these, although there are a certain number, stiffened by bricks,
whose comparatively commonplace exterior looks smug and respectable by
the side of the rest.

Mounting upwards, the architecture of the outskirts comes as something
of a relief, since its simplicity is crude and absolute to the point
of excluding any jarring possibilities.

The ranchos here are composed of nothing beyond loose fragments of
rock piled one on top of the other, with an odd hole here and there
that serves for window or door, frequently for both.

At one point in the midst of these primitive stone dwellings a small
group of scantily clothed boys are playing football, the implement of
their game being an old sheepskin rolled into the nearest imitation to
a globe to which its folds will consent and held together roughly with
string--one more instance of the spreading triumph of football, that
wonderful game that seems to conquer its surroundings and to implant
itself firmly throughout the world entire.

The turf slopes of the Cerro itself are all about one now. From the
distance they had appeared of an unbroken green, but when actually
approached the broken patches of bare rock upon their surface become
evident. The last of the stone shanties are not only contrived upon
one of these, but constructed from the very site upon which they
repose. The result is a difficulty to distinguish between the natural
rock and the habitable flakes.

The short turf of the wind-swept Cerro is innocent of blossoms save
for the ubiquitous verbena, a few stunted tobacco flowers, and some
other lowly blooms. Upon the very summit, where the rock breaks out
boldly and piles itself in jagged heaps, is a picturesque fort, from
the midst of whose walls of solid masonry rises the dome of the light
that guides the ships into the harbour below.

The panorama that opens itself out from this point is not a little
remarkable. On the one side lies the bay of Montevideo, thickly dotted
with its steamers and sailing vessels, with the towers and streets of
the capital spreading far inland upon the opposite shore. Beyond this,
again, are the undulations of the hills, the coastline, and the ocean
that shines brilliantly, although it is only dimly blue. On the other
hand stretches the River Plate, whose waters are deepening their
yellow as they extend towards the landless horizon, beneath which lies
Buenos Aires and Argentina.

The Cerro guards the entrance to the great river. It is the first true
hill upon its banks--and the last, for over a thousand miles. For the
next of its kind signals the approach to Asuncion--beyond Argentina
and far beyond the Banda Oriental--in far-away Paraguay. And much
water flows between the tropical heat of Asuncion and the cool
freshness of this Cerro. Therefore the place is worthy of mark as the
southernmost of the two widely separated sentinel hills that guard
such different climes.



CHAPTER XIV

FROM MONTEVIDEO TO THE NORTHERN FRONTIER

     Leaving Montevideo--General aspects of the Campo--The Rio Negro
     as a line of demarcation--Growing exuberance of the
     scenery--_Flor morala_--Blue lupin--Camp flowers--A sparsely
     populated countryside--Absence of homesteads--A soft
     landscape--Humble ranchos--Cattle and horses--Iguanas and
     ostriches--Deer--Cardoso--Influence of climate and marriage upon
     the colonists--A cheese-making centre--A country of
     table-lands--A Campo load--Some characteristics of the way--A
     group of riders--Some contrasts--A country of rocks--Stone
     walls--Crude homesteads--Kerosene tins as building
     material--"Camp" stations--The carpets of blossom--Piedra
     Sola--Tambores--Landscape and nomenclature--Increase in the
     height of the table-lands--Scenes at a country station--Aspects
     of the inhabitants--Some matters of complexion--The train and its
     transformation--Influence of the country upon the
     carriages--Northern passengers--Metropolitan and local
     costume--Some questions of clothes and figure--Relations between
     mistresses and maids--Democratic households--A patriarchal
     atmosphere--Things as they seem, and as they are--Conversation no
     guide to profession.


A journey from south to north through the heart of Uruguay reveals an
infinitely greater variety of landscape and humanity than is suspected
by the dwellers in the better known littoral districts of the land. It
is true that for the purpose the employment of the homely and
convenient railway train is essential. Although it has been my good
fortune to drive for day after day and for league upon league through
lesser areas of the Uruguayan Campo, to cover such a lengthy stretch
as this by means of coach and horses is only possible for him who can
afford the supreme luxury of ignoring time.

The first portion of the journey, moreover, although far from
wearisome in the circumstances, is effected across a landscape almost
every league of which presents the exact replica of its neighbours.
Once clear of the woods, fields, vineyards, orchards, and flowers that
lie so pleasantly to the landward side of Montevideo, the rolling
grass waves of the Campo come to stretch themselves from horizon to
horizon, rising and dipping with a ceaseless regularity of sweep until
it becomes difficult to believe that the entire world itself is not
composed of these smiling folds of land.

It is not until nearly three hundred kilometres have been traversed,
and the train has rumbled over the long bridge that spans the Rio
Negro that the first symptoms of a changing scenery become evident.
The undulations have become less regular, and the hill-tops are
soaring higher into the sky-line. Indeed, the tendency throughout is
towards an exuberance that has been hitherto lacking. Thus not only
the outbreaks of stone that scar the hill-faces at intervals are
bolder in character now, but the wealth of field flowers, too, has
grown in extent and brilliance.

A broad, glowing bank of the purple _flor morala_ lines the railway
track on either hand, pricking across the landscape in twin unbroken
bands of colour. Where the loftier flower ceases, the red, white, and
mauve of the verbena clings closely to the turf. At longer intervals
sprout clumps of blue lupin blossom, while the white mallows,
harebells, and tobacco flowers lurk thickly in between the groves of
thistle, and large yellow marguerites and daisies mingle with a
variegated host of blooms.

The countryside is as sparsely populated as elsewhere. League upon
league of the great rolling sweeps of the land spread their panorama
unflecked by a single homestead. So far as the mere picturesque is
concerned, the result is admirable. The soft, dreamy landscape is at
its very best when unburdened by human habitation. Yet in such cases
the picturesque becomes a luxury won at the expense of the practical.
Undoubtedly from the green background of the pastures should shine out
the white walls of estancia-houses and ranchos. The time is now
probably near enough when such will actually be the case; but in the
meanwhile the land waits in complacent patience, sprouting out its
grassy covering with contemptuous ease.

Yet it must not be imagined that the landscape, however lonely, is
altogether deserted. Now and then may be discerned the clump of trees
that stand out like islands from the sea to shelter the dwellings of
the owners of these great areas of soil. At long intervals, too,
springs up a hedge of tall cactus that flanks the humble rancho, whose
tin roof, as often as not, is held down in its place by means of small
boulders--a feature of architecture that recalls the châlets of
Switzerland, although it is certain enough that the respective
buildings have nothing else in common.

Here and there graze the dumb supporters of the homesteads--herds of
cattle, troops of horses, and flocks of sheep. These districts of the
centre have not yet attained to the standard of breeding that
characterises the lands that fringe the great rivers to the south and
west. Thus, the cattle, although sufficiently fat and sleek, lack the
finish of the more aristocratic Hereford. Shaggy of coat, long of
horn, and exhibiting an utter lack of restraint in the strangely
varied colour scheme of their bodies, they are essentially of the
_criollo_, or native, order.

In the neighbourhood of these licensed occupiers of the pastures are
others whose existence is more precarious. These are hares who race
away at the advent of a train, and iguanas whose long tails stream
behind them as they depart in a flurry. As for the ostriches, they
have obviously come to the conclusion that their life is too short and
their neck too long for any excitement of the kind. They are plainly
bored by the advent of this noisy invention of man, and regard it
languidly from the height of the two long legs that repose in a
supercilious attitude.

On through the undulating Campo, where the rain pools lie like dew
ponds upon an English South Down, and where the banks of the
intermittent streams of the cañadas thread in and out of the green
grass for all the world like the bodies of black snakes. A company of
deer are feeding peacefully in the distance, intermingled with the
bulky members of a herd of cattle with whom the wild creatures have
condescended to associate for the time being.

The train has pulled up at Cardoso now, the centre of a district that
is considerably more populous than the majority. The place was once
the site of a German colony, and indeed the sole reasons why it does
not remain so to this day must be laid at the doors of climate,
surroundings, intermarriage, and the influence of all three. As it is,
chastened by the all-powerful atmosphere of the spot, Teutonic
features, customs, and language have already become modified almost to
the extinction of the original type.

The phenomenon affords only one more of the innumerable instances of
the tremendous power of absorption that is latent in the South
American continent. In contrast to the mutability of all things
intrinsically human, the industry of the community remains the same as
when the first colonists, strangers and foreigners, introduced it to
the spot. Cheese-making is still the staple trade of Cardoso, and the
district is not a little famed for the art.

This particular neighbourhood, however, is to be noted for something
of more enduring importance than cheese. It is here, indeed, that the
soil of the land, after many tentative swellings, each more ambitious
than the last, takes upon itself to change its outline in a determined
and conclusive fashion. The universal, gentle swell of the undulations
has given way to steeper walls of green surmounted by curiously level,
flat surfaces. Thus the face of the Campo is now dotted, so far as the
eye can reach, with a collection of table-lands, each separate and
differing slightly from the rest in the details of its pattern, but
each marvellously distinct and clearly cut. The feature is
characteristic of central northern Uruguay, and is continued well
beyond the frontier into Brazil.

Obeying the sociable instinct that so frequently links the railway
line with the highway in these parts of the world, the main road runs
close alongside the locomotive track. Where it goes the dark, rich
soil gleams moistly in every dip, and each cup in the land holds its
pool, for heavy rains have preceded the brilliant sunshine of the day.

For many leagues the broad surface of the way has been broken by
nothing beyond the inevitable attributes of such thoroughfares--the
occasional pathetic heap that stands for the dead body of a horse or
cow, or the bleaching framework of bones that gleam out sharply after
the vultures' and caranchos' feast. But here at length comes a body of
riders, half a dozen Gauchos, enveloped in ponchos of various
patterns, who are pricking onwards at the easy canter that renders the
conquest of any space whatever a question of mere time.

Thudding over the hill-tops, splashing through the mud-holes below,
the progress of the grim, silent centaurs is as inevitable and
certain as the presence of the knives at their belts or the maté-bowl
slung by the saddles. Then the train has sped ahead, dragging after it
a world of its own as remote from the atmosphere that surrounds the
six diminishing horsemen as is the clank of the engine from the light
jingling of the silvered bridles.

The crop of stone upon the land has become more prolific. The rock has
come to adorn the sides of the table-lands more especially, breaking
out with precision at the spot where each slope of the green eminences
starts out abruptly from the level, after which it continues,
unbroken, to the summit. The material, however, has been made to serve
for purposes of utility, and here and there are corrals and walls of
loosely piled stones, a novel sight to one who is working his way
upwards from the south.

The scarce ranchos, however, continue on much the same pattern that
has characterised them throughout the journey. The crudeness of many
of these is scarcely to be excelled in any part of the world. To
imagine an edifice composed of the lids and sides of kerosene tins,
roofed and finished off at the odd corners by straggling tufts of
reed, is to picture the abode of by no means the most humble settler.

One or two are embellished, it is true, by a rough trellis work from
which the vine-leaves hang thickly, while others are decorated by
nothing beyond a variety of multi-coloured garments that hang out in
the sunshine to dry. Clustered together, the modest homesteads would
appear sordid and mean. As it is, the open solitudes of which each
stands as the human centre lend it a certain dignity that is not in
the least concerned with the pattern of the structure itself.

The train has halted at a couple of small "Camp" stations, and has
puffed onwards again, leaving the respective brick buildings, with
their scatter of outhouses, to sink back into the lethargy that the
passenger train disturbs but for a few minutes every other day. In the
neighbourhood of Achar, the latter of these halts, the surrounding
country has broken out into an exceptional blaze of flower. The purple
of the flor morala stains hillsides entire; the scarlet verbena glows
in spreading patches that from a distance might well be mistaken for
poppy-fields, while all about are other flower carpets of yellow,
blue, and white.

The wealth of blossom continues unbroken as far as Piedra Sola, or
Solitary Stone--a spot aptly named from a curious square block of rock
that reposes upon the top of a mound in so monumental a fashion that
it is difficult to believe that it is the work of Nature rather than
of human beings--and beyond it, adorning a country that grows ever
bolder until Tambores is reached.

All the attributes in these primitive parts savour of Nature and of
its simplicity. The very nomenclature is affected by this influence.
Thus no historical significance is to be looked for in the name of
Tambores--drums. The origin of the word lies in the surrounding
table-lands that have grown loftier and more accentuated here than
their brethren to the south, and whose shape resembles not a little
the instruments of war.

Tambores is a place of comparative importance. It is true that no
architectural beauties are to be looked for at the spot, since the
quaint collection of edifices that are scattered in the neighbourhood
of the station are almost without exception the tin and reed
structures common to the district. Such rare exceptions as exist,
moreover, hold out merely minor claims to aristocracy in the shape of
an entire sheet or two of corrugated iron. Yet these modest precincts
guard a really important cattle and wool centre, and even now many
hundreds of bales are lying in readiness in their wagons, while cattle
stamp impatiently in the trucks that will bear them southwards to
Montevideo.

Passing to and fro by the honeysuckle hedge that flanks the platform
is a motley collection of folk. The majority of the men are in
sad-coloured ponchos, and in _bombachos_ that frequent staining has
imbued with an earthy hue. In addition to the railway officials,
beshawled women, children, dogs, and hens complete the gathering. A
feature that is especially noticeable here is the number of dusky
complexions that have come to assert themselves in the midst of the
fresh-coloured Uruguayan faces. Quite distinct from the swarthiness of
the Indian, the tint here savours undoubtedly of the African. It
becomes, moreover, steadily more marked as the Brazilian frontier is
approached.

Indeed, the evidence of variety is everywhere. Even the conventional
aspect of the train itself and of its passengers has undergone no
little alteration since the start. As it pulled out from Montevideo
the train was undoubtedly a model of its kind that took no little
pride in its well-ordered level line of day coaches, and sleeping and
restaurant cars.

Once well out into the country, however, the democratic influence of
the land has overcome its patrician make-up. A passenger coach or two
has dropped away at one station; some trucks and goods-vans have been
added at another, until its appearance has become as heterogeneous as
that of a Uruguayan volunteer soldier in a revolution. In fact, the
farther from the capital it gets and the nearer to its destination,
the more _négligé_ and doubtless practical does its appearance
become. Like to a man who starts out for a walk on a hot summer's day,
it is metaphorically trudging along bareheaded, with its coat slung
over its shoulder.

In the case of the passengers the same may be said without the apology
of metaphor. It is in the occupants of the first-class coaches that
the transformation is most evident. Many of the men remain in at least
portions of the same clothes of metropolitan cut that served them in
Montevideo. But ponchos have now been brought out and donned to hide
what lies beneath--ponchos of fine texture, these, that stand quite
apart from the meaner drapings of the _peon_, but nevertheless
essentially national and of the land.

As for the women, the few who have remained constant to the train
since the beginning of the journey remain in much the same trim as
when they first entered the carriage. The persistence may be due to
the vanity that is alleged by man to be inherent in woman, or merely
to the laudable desire of giving the country cousin an object-lesson
in costume.

It must be admitted that the garments of these latter tend to comfort
somewhat at the expense of appearances. The loosest of blouses, wraps,
and skirts are wont to make up a figure in which a waist may at times
be suspected, and even occasionally hoped for, but is never seen.
Decidedly the procedure savours of rigid honesty on the part of the
country cousin. For frankly to promise nothing is surely more
admirable than the transient advertisement achieved by the manufacture
of merely temporary space in the position rightfully sought for by
superfluous material.

Many of these country ladies with the honest and unaccentuated figures
are accompanied by their maids, these latter for the most part
negresses. The bond between mistress and maid is very close here.
Indeed, in Northern Uruguay such episodes as a "month's warning," a
demand for an extra "night out," the right to "followers," and all
other similar bones of contention that arise in more populous centres
between employer and employed are unknown.

Here the maid, whether she be negress, mottled, or white, obtains an
assured, if minor, footing in the family circle. Not only her love
affairs but her appetite will call forth the ready sympathy of her
mistress. Seated together, their meals will be shared in common, as
indeed is occurring in the case of sandwiches and wine in the railway
carriage even now. To complete the patriarchial atmosphere, the
railway guard has joined one of the groups in question in order to
assist, purely platonically, at the impromptu meal, and his manner is
equally courteous towards señora and maid.

It is certain that he who travels in the remoter parts must put aside
all preconceived notions of degree and appearances. Close by is seated
a group of young men who are discussing the opera in Montevideo with
critical fervour. After a while the conversation, as is inevitable,
turns upon politics, and the arguments and views are bandied to and
fro with the eloquence common to the race.

But there is original philosophy here, whether sound or otherwise.
Schemes for alleviating the lot of the humble worker follow hard upon
the heels of topics of municipal reform, parliamentary procedure, and
the vexed and intricate question of where the Uruguayan-Argentine
frontier floats in the broad dividing river. The phrases are
wonderfully apt, the proposals astonishingly daring. During a pause in
the political discussion one of the debaters explains his own walk in
life. He is a jeweller's assistant. Another is head waiter in a
Montevidean hotel. These products of the land are undoubtedly
bewildering. Each has been talking like a prime minister.



CHAPTER XV

FROM MONTEVIDEO TO THE NORTHERN FRONTIER

--_continued_

     A remarkable transformation in Nature--The Valley of Eden--The
     gateway of the garden--An abrupt descent--From bare plain to
     sub-tropical forest--Picturesque scenery--Eden station--Some
     curiosities of nomenclature--Beggary as a profession--The charity
     of the Latin lands--The cliffs of the valley--Varied aspects of
     the vegetation--The everlasting sweet pea--Some characteristics
     of the mountains--A land of tobacco--Negro
     cultivators--Appearance and dwellings of the colonial
     population--Some ethics of climate and customs--Tacuarembo--A
     centre of importance--A picturesque town--Scenes at the
     station--Some specimens of local humanity--A dandy of the
     Campo--The northern landscape--The African population--Nature and
     the hut--The tunnel of Bañada de Rocha--Paso del Cerro--On the
     Brazilian border--Rivera--A frontier town--Santa Ana--The
     Brazilian sister township--A comparison between the two--View
     from a neighbouring hill--The rival claims to beauty of the
     Uruguayan and Brazilian towns.


Tambores has been left behind, and the train is speeding once again
through the undulations and table-lands of the pastures. Although the
new-comer is unaware of the fact, the climax of the journey is drawing
near, and one of the most remarkable transformations in Nature is
about to reveal itself with the suddenness of a pantomimic
stage-shifting.

That the stranger to the land should remain unaware of what lies
before him is not surprising. The rolling downs have encompassed him
in unbroken sequence from the moment that the outermost suburb of
Montevideo was left behind. They are about him now, sinking and rising
until their smooth green sweeps upwards in long waves against the blue
horizon. Never was a fresher, blowier country, with its every inch
open and bare to the sunlight and breeze. It is difficult to imagine
such a land rubbing shoulders with a landscape less frank and
guileless. Its only fitting boundaries are white cliffs, and, beyond
them, the wide ocean.

Yet if Nature aspired to human ideals of consistency the hills would
go hopping to many a queer tune. After all, it is best to leave it to
arrange its surprises in its own way. The first symptom of a coming
change is afforded by the appearance of a growth that has remained a
stranger to the landscape until now. Rock plants, with thick, heavy,
silver leaves and snowy blossoms rise up thickly of a sudden to whiten
the ground. Then without warning the train is speeding downwards
through the rock walls of a cutting that seems to have opened out from
the ground at the call of an Open Sesame steam-whistle. Two or three
hundred yards of a steep descent that makes a precipice out of the
stone side on either hand, then a rapid widening of the barrier to the
view--and the thing is done! The train has entered the Valley of Eden.

Just as Adam in his fig-leaf gasped in dismay at his eviction from the
garden, so does the modern traveller in boots and buttons exclaim in
surprise as he passes through the stone gateway of this later Eden.
The two or three hundred yards have made an incredible memory of the
open downland. In its place are rugged cliffs to right and left, at
the base of which dense sub-tropical forest sends its waves upwards to
cling to the stone sides as far as they may.

In the centre of the valley is a stream that goes rippling over its
rocky bed, overhung with a curtain of flowering trees that hold
strange nests within their branches, and the festoons of the lianas
that plunge thickly downwards towards the earth. The scene, in fact,
holds all the enthusiastic variety of the sub-tropics. Nothing is
wanting to the picture. The rock, leaves, flowers, palms, and the
vivid patches of smooth green by the edge of the stream have as
accessories the turkey-buzzards and black vultures carving their lazy
circles above, and the brilliant host of butterflies beneath that
float airily to and fro as though to outflash even the wonderful
feathers of the local woodpecker.

The train, as though itself entirely taken aback by these new aspects
of Nature, has been proceeding at little beyond human walking pace.
Now it has drawn up by the side of a modest building and a few
surrounding huts that are almost smothered in the verdure. Eden
station! The sight of the place is far less incongruous than the
sound. As a matter of fact the valley itself is well named. No spot
could better endow with its glamour the simple life that endures until
the inevitable boredom leads to the death of innocence. Nevertheless,
the railway company should reserve special accommodation for the
garden. Let the traveller proceed to Margate or Southend as he likes.
But a third-class ticket to Eden! The thing is inconceivable, yet it
is done every day.

The advent of the train, however, affords a harvest to at least one
inhabitant of this secluded and fair corner. An aged negro, who was
undoubtedly born a slave across the Brazilian frontier, is slowly
hobbling the length of the train collecting toll from the passengers
as he goes. In South America are two professions that stand apart from
all the rest. Failing the status of a millionaire, become a beggar by
all means! As regards a profitable occupation, not one of the
intermediate walks of life can equal the extremes at the social poles.
That of politician is perhaps nearest akin to both; but,
intrinsically, the phrase is transitory, since a rapid absorption at
one end or the other is practically inevitable.

The aged negro is collecting his dues with grave complacency. A
general dealer in receipts, his profits are by no means restricted to
mere cash. Business in centavos is amazingly brisk; but so are the
transactions in cigarettes, cigars, fruit, and morsels of food. Ere
the train starts the benignity has grown deep upon the old man's face.
When the place is lonely and still once more he will totter back to
his tiny reed hut, with its insignificant patch of maize, and will
smoke, and eat, and drink, in senile enjoyment of the lengthy holiday
that separates his tri-weekly half-hours of work. He may thank the God
of beggars that he was born in a Latin land.

The train is moving onwards once again, and the bold grey cliffs and
bluffs recede as the valley widens. Although the first full beauty of
the scene has lost by the expansion, the wealth of colour remains. The
forest trees for the most part are flecked with brilliant yellow,
while the surface of the swamps that now cover the centre of the
valley are thickly spangled with the pure white of their own broad
blossoms.

[Illustration: OXEN DRAWING RAILWAY COACH.]

[Illustration: BEFORE THE FAIR: TACUAREMBÓ.
To face p. 186.]

But an attempt to describe the various growths would be the task of a
botanist. One alone must be described for its striking propensities if
for nothing beyond. In all directions are bushes of glowing mauve
flower--or, at least, so they appear at the first glimpse to the eye.
The sight is not a little amazing, since many of the shrubs, a dozen
feet in height, are covered from top to bottom with an unbroken coat
of petals. A nearer inspection solves the mystery some while after.
The flower itself is a parasite, an everlasting sweet pea, that goes
the length of concealing from sight the bush on which it depends.

In the meanwhile the valley has widened until the well-defined cliffs
that hemmed in its beginning have disappeared altogether. But the
country remains entirely distinct from the open Campo that preceded
the gate of Eden. There is pasture here, it is true, but it is pasture
broken and intersected by woodland, river courses, ravines, and
mountains. It is curious to remark that among the latter, although
many are bold and lofty, there is not a peak to be met with. In
obedience to what appears to be a hard-and-fast law of the hills, the
top of each is shorn evenly across, leaving a flat and level summit.

The country is one of tobacco now as well as of maize, and the aspect
of the cultivators coincides to a great extent with the popular
notions of the _mise en scène_ of the tobacco-fields. The population
of the tiny mud huts that decorate the land is almost entirely negro,
and the inevitable piccaninny is much in evidence, having apparently
escaped in shoals from the London music-hall stage. The costume of the
younger boys, however, would scarcely pass muster in a more
conventional neighbourhood. The sole garment of many of the younger
ones consists of a shirt, and a very frayed one at that--a costume
that is eminently suitable to the palm-tree, but criminal beneath the
oak.

The next halt is at a place of importance, one of the chief features,
in fact, of the Far North. Tacuarembo numbers a population of almost
eight thousand, which, although the figure may not impress the outer
world, renders the spot something of an urban giant in the
neighbourhood. As though to compensate for its lack of imposing
buildings, Tacuarembo is exceedingly picturesque. With its avenues of
tall trees, and its houses peering everywhere from beneath the shade
of an unusual richness of vegetation, the place is sufficiently
delightful and striking in its own fashion.

The station itself gives the keynote to the aspects of the place.
Within half a dozen yards of where the white steam goes hissing
upwards from the engine the green young peaches hang in thick clusters
from their branches. To their side is a hedge of blossoming roses that
continues until the flowery architecture changes abruptly to a wall of
golden honeysuckle. At the rear of this, surrounding the outer yard of
the place, are poplars and eucalyptus, while the heavy scent of the
purple paraiso-tree overpowers the fainter colours of the mimosa.

A dozen or so of the local "coches" are waiting in the shade of all
these and in that of the vines that clamber upwards by their side.
They are crude affairs, whose lack of paint and polish is more than
counteracted by the dictatorial attitudes of the brigand-like drivers
who lounge at ease upon the boxes. It must be admitted that the
manners of these latter are far less formidable than their appearance.
Indeed, they smile far more graciously than the corresponding
metropolitan tyrants of South America as they drive off one by one,
bearing away their patrons beneath the shady avenues.

The majority of folk, however, remain for some while to chat together,
since in these parts the railway station is an accepted centre of
sociability. The queer medley of the crowd possesses its own charm. A
group of officers in dark uniforms and red kepis rub shoulders with
Gauchos and peones in dark clothes and black or blue _bombachos_.
Beyond is a knot of women in the homely and loose costume of the
district, bare-headed, and with hair drawn tightly back to be wound
into a plain knot at the back of the head. An elaborate dandy, dressed
ostentatiously in the favourite black from head to foot, is extracting
a few centavos from the pockets of his shining velvet waistcoat with
which to endow a couple of dissolute-looking beggars who have drawn
near.

Although the jet-black faces of the negroes and the browner tints of
the half-castes are much in evidence, the countenances of the true
Uruguayans remain remarkably fair and fresh. Indeed, the features of
many are unusually handsome, and curiously untouched by the stress of
heat and climate.

Perhaps the most striking of all in the neighbourhood is the tall
figure of one who has detached himself from a group of friends, and is
walking toward where a line of tethered horses is waiting. Like the
other who has been distributing alms to the beggar, he is clad from
head to foot in black. Nevertheless, the aspects of the two are as
different as night and day. The one is a walker of the streets, this
latter a true lord of the Campo. Unmistakably a landed proprietor of
no little consideration, his costume affects the Gaucho to a marked
degree. With scarf wound negligently round his neck, loose jacket, and
broad bombachos, the spotless black of the finest material is finished
off by the light boots of the man whose life is spent in the saddle.
In his hand the _rebenque_--the inevitable riding-whip--glistens with
its silver carving, a work of art.

None could deny the coquetry of his appearance; but this is the stern
coquetry of the warrior and hunter, as a glance at his grave, rather
hawklike features will confirm. A strikingly handsome figure of a
man, he stalks with assured tread, raising his sombrero with a simple
gesture to acquaintances, until he reaches the spot where the line of
horses are tethered. His mount is a magnificent bay, whose leathers
and bridle are silvered as thickly as they may be and yet remain
flexible, while the saddle and stirrups are heavily coated with the
same material. He has swung himself into the saddle now, and is riding
away, forcing his horse with consummate ease into a series of curvets
and caracoles that evoke admiration even from the numerous
professional centaurs in the crowd. But the rider never once looks
back as he swings away in the shade of the trees. The romantic figure
is either unconscious of admiration or too accustomed to the tribute
to be concerned. In any case, he is a product of the land, a veritable
paladin.

To the north of Tacuarembo are grass hills overshadowed by the
inevitable tall table-lands. Where the rock juts out from the side of
these the fronds of many varieties of fern sprout thickly, and by
their sides are clumps of evening primrose, everlasting pea, and a
wealth of far more brilliant blossoms of the tropical order. In the
hollows the vegetation of the wooded streams grows ever more
luxurious, and here the flowers star the banks in the wildest riot of
profusion.

Seeing that it is springtime, all this is as it should be. But there
cannot be many parts of the world whose inhabitants are permitted such
a striking reminder of the season as is the case just here. In the
neighbourhood of one of these enchanting streams is a very humble mud
hut. Its dwellers are pure Africans, and they are just without,
enjoying a sun-bath with all the zest of the race.

But the interest of this particular spot is not concerned with them at
all; it is centred upon the modest homestead itself. The mud walls
have responded in an amazing fashion to the call of the year. Not
content with a background of lichen and moss, they have flung out
lengthy streamers of fern, from amidst which peer shyly the blossoms
of various plants. Obedient to the impulse of spring, each of the four
sides has garbed itself thus. In less exuberant parts the effect would
be strained for with toil and achieved with triumph. But here the
black inhabitants regard their eloquent house as a matter of course.

Just after leaving the small station of Bañada de Rocha is a tunnel.
This fact may appear totally unworthy of mention--anywhere else but
within the countries bordering on the River Plate. Here a tunnel is an
object to be paused at, and to be inspected with not a little
curiosity. Although it is possible that some minor burrowings may
exist, to the best of my belief the three republics of Argentina,
Uruguay, and Paraguay can count no more than two regular tunnels
between them. The wonderful shaft bored through the heart of the Andes
is one--the other is before us here at Bañada de Rocha. As the only
specimen of its kind in Uruguay, therefore, it is not without
distinction, and is worthy of at least a passing remark.

After passing through the tunnel the line drops down into a fairly
wide plain, hemmed in by numerous low ranges of the inevitable
flat-topped hills, while a few elevations of the same curious nature
dot the country in the nearer neighbourhood of the track. In a short
while, however, the more broken country has surged up all about once
again, bearing upon its surface quaint rocky projections, some shaped
exactly as tables, others in the form of sugar-loaves, while yet
others resemble giant mushrooms sprouting cumbrously from the soil.

Ere reaching the station of Paso del Cerro a great grove of
carolina-trees rises majestically, and in the grateful shadow of the
branches a long line of bullock-wagons, each vehicle loaded with the
wool for which the region is noted, goes winding its way towards the
station in the stolid fashion of such processions. Paso del Cerro is
delightfully situated, facing as it does a range of hills whose
surface is dotted with ranches that appear picturesque enough in the
distance. Beyond this point lofty cliffs of rock soar aloft, pressing
near to the line. In the nooks and crannies of the great walls are
dwarf trees of fantastic shapes that make pleasant breaks here and
there in the bare rock of the surface.

A little farther on the colour of the soil begins to undergo a
transformation, and soon the red sandstone--the colour that is typical
of the same, as well as the more northern, latitudes in the
surrounding republics--is stretching everywhere to join with the green
in dominating the landscape. A few more wayside stations, and then
Rivera and the Brazilian frontier are drawing near, while the mountain
ranges that mark the Brazilian territory are already in sight.

Rivera is a town of no little local importance, small though its
extent may be as it nestles in a hollow in the midst of the hills. The
soft pink of its buildings and the red of its roads and hillsides
contrast delightfully with the green foliage and brilliant flowers
with which the spot is so liberally endowed. Rivera, moreover, is a
place that can lay claim to some quite notable characteristics of its
own. It possesses, for instance, a magnificent avenue, the Sarandi,
that stretches for over a mile, shaded by trees for all its length,
from off the central portion of which lies the pretty little plaza.

[Illustration: FRONTIER STONE AT RIVERA.]

[Illustration: TUNNEL AT BAÑADA DE ROCHA.
To face p. 192.]

The best view of both the town and of the surrounding country is to
be obtained from the solitary hill near by that marks the boundary
between the two republics, and that bears upon its summit an old and
battered boundary-stone. Viewed from here the panorama is fascinating.
To the north, and immediately below, lies Santa Ana, the Brazilian
sister-township of Rivera, that sends out its buildings almost to join
walls with those of the Uruguayan. Santa Ana itself presents a
picturesque enough prospect with its white houses and luxuriant
gardens, its wide, unpaved, shadeless streets, its rambling barracks,
and its red-bricked bullring. As a background to this bright, sunlit
picture, and one that throws it into strong relief, rise range upon
range of the dark hills with their shaven summits, starting up
abruptly in the first instance from the confines of the town itself,
and fading away gradually into the misty distance of the province of
Rio Grande. Skirting the base of the hill to the east is a short
avenue devoid of buildings that serves as the frontier line, and marks
with no little emphasis where one town ends and the other begins. The
significance of the spot is accentuated by the sight of the
sentry-boxes of the frontier guards and custom officials. To the
south, reclining in its own hollow, lies Rivera, with its shady
avenues and its conspicuous round-towered church.

The aspects of the two towns are curiously different, considering the
fact that from their absolute propinquity they form to all intents and
purposes a single city. In the first place the difference in the tint
of each is marked. The general colour of the Rivera houses is red,
while that of Santa Ana is pure white. The distinction is merely the
result of differing national customs. The houses of both places are
constructed of precisely similar stone, but the Brazilian prefers to
face his walls with plaster. _Autres pays, autres moeurs_; but it is
seldom that the contrast may be viewed from so near at hand. The
architecture, moreover, of the Santa Ana buildings is of a much
squarer and older design than that of those in the Uruguayan town. The
former city, as a matter of fact, is considerably more ancient than
the latter, to which not only the growing timber but the buildings as
well bear witness. In Santa Ana the trees, although not nearly so
numerous, have attained to far grander proportions than has been the
case with those across the border.

If one should not judge humanity from outward appearance, the
procedure is even less wise in dealing with a collection of human
habitations. Feminine powder and rouge are as mere toys in the matter
of guile compared with the alluring scenic effect that a city is
capable of producing by means of bricks and mortar. Judged from the
summit of the hill without, Santa Ana presents an even more inviting
appearance than that of Rivera. Once within the walls the aspects of
the situation alter abruptly. Santa Ana possesses one spot of beauty,
it is true. Its luxuriant and shady plaza where the date-palms
flourish is an oasis of delight set in the midst of sordid
surroundings and dusty heat. With this exception, it must be admitted
that the place is shadeless, dirty, and evil-smelling.

The streets of Rivera, on the contrary, are clean, well paved, and
sheltered from the rays of the sun by the innumerable green branches
that stretch so pleasantly above. The townsfolk, moreover, differ less
from those of Montevideo than might be imagined, although the heat of
the climate has been responsible for a rather sallower and swarthier
type.



CHAPTER XVI

HERE AND THERE IN URUGUAY

     Uruguayan roads--A comparison with those of Argentina--The
     benefits of stone--Some fine metalled highways--The road to San
     José--On the way to Pando--The journey as effected by
     motor-car--A smiling landscape--Distant sand-dunes--A spotless
     range--The mountains of Minas--The town of Pando--A typical minor
     urban centre--The ending of the macadamised road--The track
     beyond--An abrupt change in the order of going--The bumps of the
     Campo--Piriapolis--A budding pleasure resort--Completeness of the
     enterprise--Eucalyptus forests--A vehicular wreck by the
     way--Unsuccessful Samaritans--The work of Señor Piria--The
     Castillo--An imposing home--View from the spot--The Pan de
     Azucar--A landscape of mountain, valley, forest, and
     sea--Architecture of the Castillo--Piriapolis Bay--A centre of
     future bathing--Preparations already effected--The hotel and
     casino--A wonderful feat of private
     enterprise--Afforestation--Encouragement of the industry by the
     Uruguayan Government--The work of Mr. Henry Burnett--The
     transformation of arid soil into fertile land--Commercial success
     of the venture--The Maldonado sand-dunes--Fulgurites--A curiosity
     of the sands--Discoveries by Mr. C. E. R. Rowland.


A feature that is not a little remarked upon by those who have entered
Uruguay from the stoneless Pampa of Argentina is the excellence of the
roads that surround Montevideo, and of several, indeed, that penetrate
for a considerable distance inland. The highway to the town of San
José, for instance, that extends for ninety-six kilometres is
macadamised throughout its length, and is, moreover, excellently
constructed and sustained.

The benefits of convenient deposits of stone are strikingly emphasised
here. Now that a start has been made, there is no reason why
efficient roads of the kind should not pierce the countryside in all
directions. For, notwithstanding the natural fertility of its soil,
there is scarcely a corner throughout the whole length and breadth of
the Republic that is not seamed to a smaller or larger extent with
these layers of useful stone, the eruption of which frequently marks
the surface itself of the land.

The road to San José, as a matter of fact, is by no means the only
important one of its kind. There are various similar specimens,
equally well constructed if of less imposing length. A very admirable
road leads from the capital to the small town of Pando in the
neighbouring province of Canelones. The journey by motor-car is an
easy one, and renders an admirable insight into the nature of the
country in this particular district.

Curiously enough, the least smooth portion of this highway is
represented by a mile or so of its length on the outskirts of
Montevideo itself. This point once passed, however, the undulations in
the surface of the road die away, and the broad grey thoroughfare
stretches with remarkable smoothness over hill and dale. The car can
snort along at the utmost speed its power will permit, since the grey
band opens out ahead with a refreshing openness that is totally devoid
of secrecy, and only at the lengthiest intervals is its surface
darkened by the form of a rider or of a lumbering country cart.

The progress is of the switchback order, with long-drawn-out rises and
falls that are effected with alternate exuberance and strainings,
while on either hand the fields, verdure, and masses of fruit blossom
speed by in very pleasant sequence. For a spring shower has laid the
dust, and when the Oriental landscape smiles, its countenance is
supremely fascinating. As though to add just the tinge of sombreness
that is requisite for the accentuation of the delightful scene, a
dark forest of eucalyptus stands out here and there by the way, the
massive serried trunks and branches painting the landscape with a
heavy splash of gloom.

For the first few leagues the aspect of the country--although the
great variety of its attributes preserves it entirely from the taint
of mere monotony--remains much the same. After a while, however, the
skyline to the right becomes lightened in a rather remarkable fashion.
The foreground is a medley of green, brown, and purple--rendered
respectively by the hills, trees, orchards, and a patch or two of
ploughed soil. At the back of these rich colours a range of very lofty
snow-white sand-dunes has risen up. The gleaming barrier marks the
frontier-line of the land; upon its farther side, invisible, of
course, from inland, are the breakers of the South Atlantic Ocean.
Indeed, the effect of this spotless range, when viewed from the
shoreward side, is doubly curious, since the verdant landscape that
leads right up to them gives no other indication of the propinquity of
the sea.

To the north-east elevations of quite another kind have been slowly
rising upwards from the horizon as the car speeds along. As the town
of Pando itself is more nearly approached, the distant mountains of
Minas have swollen into view to assert themselves in a fashion that is
not to be overlooked. Great rounded masses piled in dim purple against
the horizon, their aspect presents a sharp contrast to that of the
dunes close by. The latter are shadowless things, clear-cut and
wanting in depth for all their purity; the inland mountains are deep
and secretive, with an outline that confounds itself mysteriously with
the sky.

The town of Pando itself is remarkable for little in the way of
commercial or industrial development beyond forming the centre of a
very flourishing agricultural district. The place possesses a quaint
red-brick church, the walls of which are adorned with a curious number
of balconies. With this exception the buildings are unpretentious; but
almost every one is lent its own particular charm by the wealth of
gardens and shade-trees with which the spot is endowed. Pando, indeed,
is one of those very pleasant minor urban centres with which Uruguay
is so plentifully besprinkled, with its delightful surroundings of
orchards, vineyards, and cultivated land planted here and there with
eucalyptus forests and with groves of other trees. In the near
neighbourhood of the town runs a typical Uruguayan stream, its banks
thickly lined with verdure, more especially with the weeping willows
whose branches droop downwards in a thick green curtain over the
water's edge.

[Illustration: EUCALYPTUS FOREST: PIRIAPOLIS.]

[Illustration: THE CASTILLO: PIRIAPOLIS.
To face p. 198]

It is at this placid rural centre that the macadamised road ends.
There is no mistaking the terminus of the metalled highway. One turn
of the wheels of the car has left the smooth, hard surface behind--and
then begins quite another order of going. The progress of an
automobile over a representative local road of the country partakes of
many elements, amongst others of those of steeplechasing, toboganning,
and of the switchback railways common to those centres less well
provided with natural forms of excitement. The mounds and valleys of
the way provide an unbroken succession of surprises to which the car
responds by lurching and dipping wildly, although the dexterity of the
driver keeps it staggering upon its four wheels. Nevertheless, a very
little of this goes a long--or an incredibly short--way. So after a
while the nose of the car is turned--a manoeuvre that demands as much
caution as putting a small boat about in a gale--and the vehicle
bumps its way back again through the smiling outskirts of Pando to
come to rest, as it were, upon the hard, grey road again.

The sand-dunes of which a glimpse has been obtained at Piriapolis are
characteristic of almost the entire length of the Uruguayan coast that
gives upon the Atlantic Ocean. There are many spots along this open
shore that are well worthy of a visit. Not the least of these is
Piriapolis--a place that is in the act of making a very bold bid for
popularity as a pleasure resort. Piriapolis is a spot of no little
interest. Situated a little to the west of Maldonado on the southern
coast that faces the open Atlantic, the place is a budding town, and
is noteworthy as much for what it promises in the future as for its
present aspects, interesting enough though they are. Piriapolis is
remarkable in being a one-man place--by which no connection is implied
with the one-horse epithet of tradition--in that it has emanated from
the mind and pocket of a prominent Uruguayan, Señor Francisco Piria.

Piriapolis lies to the coastward side of the railway line that is
being prolonged in the direction of Maldonado, and, as matters at
present stand, it is necessary to board a construction train, and to
proceed soberly along the unballasted track to the point where the
coach, with its four horses abreast, waits in readiness to complete
the journey. It must be admitted that the road that goes rising and
falling over the hilly country is not good. The future will doubtless
endow the district with a network of highways of quite another kind.

But Piriapolis is young. Hence the unfortunate wagon that is lit upon,
shortly after the start, stuck hard and fast in the deep mud of a
hollow. In the way of good Samaritans, horses are detached from the
coach to assist in the struggle; but the tenacious mud clings in
unyielding obstinacy to its wheeled prey. In the end the contest is
abandoned for the time being; the lent horses return to their place in
front of the coach, and the driver of the wagon departs gloomily to
scour the neighbouring country in search of oxen.

As the coach proceeds, the way lies through a wild and mountainous
country that bears not a little resemblance to portions of the South
West of Ireland. But here in the place of the whitewashed Irish cabins
are mud ranchos, almost every one of which reposes beneath the
sheltering branches of its own particular unit or group of ombú-trees.

After a little more than an hour's drive the aspect of the country to
the front changes abruptly, and presently the coach enters the cool
shade of a great forest of eucalyptus and pine. It is difficult to
conceive these stretches of giant trees as not having covered the soil
for generations. Yet less than twenty years ago the face of this
particular district was as bare as any of that of the surrounding
country, since it is only eighteen years ago that Señor Piria planted
the first sapling that went to form this present forest land.

Roads of a better order now prick their way the length of the woodland
aisles, and after a while a lonely little store and post-office stand
out from amidst the trees. A little beyond evidences of civilisation
appear quite unexpectedly. A pair of fine wrought-iron gates are to
the front. Once through these an avenue, adorned by statues at
intervals of a few yards, leads to a square turreted building that is
known as the _castillo_, or castle, of Señor Piria himself. The
dwelling is a pleasant one, with its broad stone terraces that
overlook pretty grounds, covered with semi-tropical trees, shrubs, and
flowers, laid out after the Italian style.

The view obtained from the upper terrace here is decidedly beautiful.
Beyond the gardens spread broad orchards and vineyards, and at the
back of these again on one side is a belt of forest that covers the
ground for seven miles and more until the edge of the sea itself is
reached--a sparkling line of blue that is visible in the distance from
here. On the opposite side rises a rugged hill of immense queer-shaped
boulders, from the interstices of which grows a dense tangle of scrub.

By far the most conspicuous object, however, in the whole panorama is
the aptly named Pan de Azucar, or Sugar Loaf Mountain, that rises to a
height of some two thousand feet on the west of the castle. The hill
is a bare mass of serrated rock, and represents one of the highest
points in the Republic. It is the dominating feature in a landscape
that affords a wonderful combination of mountain, valley, forest, and
sea.

The architecture of the castillo itself is somewhat original. The
ground floor is almost entirely occupied by the guests' bedrooms,
apartments with great vaulted ceilings that open promiscuously the one
into the other. The living apartments are on the first floor, and the
walls of the central hall are hung with many old Italian paintings.
Above this again is the square tower that stands as the summit of the
house. I mention the architecture more particularly, since it is
entirely unusual, the ordinary country houses of Uruguay being almost
without exception constructed on a single floor.

The seven miles of eucalyptus forest that intervene between the
castillo and the sea afford a delightful drive to the shore of
Piriapolis Bay. This portion of the coast consists of a shelving sandy
shore eminently suited for the purposes of bathing, and is backed by
an imposing vista of forest and mountain. The hill immediately behind
the bay, by the way, is locally known as the Sierra de los Ingleses,
having been employed, it is said, for the purposes of smuggling in the
old days by English sailors.

It is at this point that the future town and pleasure resort of
Piriapolis is to be situated. Some considerable start in this
direction has already been made, as will be evident when it is
explained that a great hotel has already been constructed, and is now
complete, and ready for the day when it shall be officially opened.
The place is of quite a palatial order, and is provided with no less
than 120 bedrooms, as well as with a magnificent dining-room and very
spacious apartments and lounges. A broad terrace runs the entire
length of the building on the seaward side, and the tide, when at its
highest, reaches to within twenty yards of the hotel itself. A very
useful addition to the place is a large vegetable and fruit garden
that holds everything of the kind that is needed. The plants and trees
flourish amazingly well here, although, curiously enough, their roots
are planted in no more satisfying a soil than sand.

The enterprise, however, has not contented itself with the erection of
the hotel. In the neighbourhood of this building is a small casino,
destined to be employed for the purpose of games of chance, and almost
the entire margin of the bay is dotted by little, square, four-roomed
châlets. At some distance from the hotel a stone mole is in the course
of construction, and it is here, of course, that the pleasure steamers
will land their passengers when the place is once in the full swing of
its active life.

[Illustration: THE PAN DE AZUCAR MOUNTAIN.]

[Illustration: THE NEW HOTEL: PIRIAPOLIS.
To face p. 202.]

At present the place stands empty--a prepared shell awaiting this
influx. As a feat of private enterprise Piriapolis must take a high
rank; for the difficulties of transport have added vastly to the
labour of the undertaking. It is a beautiful spot, in any case, and
the pleasure resort should meet with all the success it deserves.

The topic of Piriapolis brings us to the question of afforestation. On
this portion of the coast the science is undoubtedly one of supreme
importance, and one to which of late years a fitting amount of
attention has been paid. The Government of Uruguay has very wisely
done much towards the encouragement of tree-planting and the
transformation of apparently arid areas to regions of genuine
fertility.

As an instance of this liberal and progressive policy it may be
mentioned that in 1909 Mr. Henry Burnett, the British Vice-Consul at
Maldonado, was awarded a gold medal and a bonus of three thousand
dollars for having been the first to plant a collection of over ten
thousand maritime pines. The labour in the first instance of inducing
these young trees to grow was arduous, and time after time the budding
plantation was buried beneath the masses of driven sand. With the
eventual survival, however, of the first screen the remainder of the
task proved easy, and Mr. Burnett has now in his possession over one
hundred thousand maritime pines.

Encouraged by this example, numerous other landholders of the district
have succeeded in cultivating similar plantations, and the result has
proved highly beneficial, not only in the transformation of the
country but from the commercial point of view as well. For districts
that until recently were absolutely worthless are now valued at
anything from ten dollars to forty dollars the hectare.

A peculiar characteristic of these Maldonado sand-dunes is to be met
with in the fulgurites that are found there--the vitrified sand-tubes
caused by the action of lightning that are referred to by Darwin on
the occasion of his visit to the spot. Similar phenomena obtain in a
few other corners of the world, but those found here are by far the
largest in size, some extending to no less than five feet in length.
Owing, however, to their extremely fragile nature, it is impossible to
extract these larger specimens in any fashion but in comparatively
small fragments.

Mr. C. E. R. Rowland, the British Vice-Consul at Montevideo, has taken
especial interest in these fulgurites of the Maldonado Sands. The
British Museum contains some very fine specimens sent by him, and he
has supplied the national museum at Montevideo with its first
specimens of these curiosities. This same gentleman, by the way, quite
recently discovered two distinct species of Uruguayan lizards that,
sent for classification to the South Kensington Natural History
Museum, were discovered to be of kinds that until then had been
perfectly unknown. They remain in the museum to which they were sent,
dignified by the name of their discoverer.



CHAPTER XVII

MERCEDES AND THE SWISS COLONY

     The journey to Mercedes--The outskirts of Montevideo--Santa
     Lucia--A pleasant town--Native quince and gorse--San José--The
     terminus of a great highway--Some feats of engineering--The urban
     importance of San José--A modern flour mill--Mal
     Abrigo--Character of the soil--A country of boulders--Some
     animals of the Sierra de Mal Abrigo--The surroundings of
     Mercedes--A charmingly situated town--The terminus of the
     line--Some characteristics of Mercedes--Urban dwellings--The
     delights of the patio--The disadvantages of economy in
     space--Streets and plazas--The hospital--A well-equipped
     institution--View from the building--An island in Rio Negro--The
     Port of Mercedes--River craft--Some local scenes--An equine
     passenger--Formidable gutters--The industries of the town--The
     Hôtel Comercio--Colonia Suiza--Situation of the Swiss
     Colony--Uruguayan Campo dwellings--Method of
     construction--Simplicity of household removals--Aspect of
     deserted huts--The houses of the Swiss Colony--Habits in general
     of South American colonists--The range of nationalities--Liberty
     accorded--Population of the Colonia Suiza--Its industries--A
     dairy-farming community--An important butter factory--An instance
     of a rapid rise from poverty to riches.


The railway journey from Montevideo to the town of Mercedes, on the
Rio Negro, is of ten hours' duration. The first portion of the run is,
of course, through the pleasant suburbs of the capital that have
already been sufficiently described. At Juanico, some forty kilometres
distant from the starting-point, the denser plantations and orchards
have already fallen away, and the country has definitely assumed its
natural grazing character, broken into here and there by large areas
of alfalfa. The place, as a matter of fact, is an important dairy
centre, from which Montevideo obtains a considerable proportion of its
butter, milk, and cheese.

Santa Lucia, the next halt, is another of those smiling Oriental towns
embowered in gardens and orchards, and surrounded by tree-dotted
pastures. Close to the confines of the town runs the Santa Lucia
River, with its banks thickly bordered by willows and poplars that at
one point give way to a wide avenue of the popular and gigantic
eucalyptus. The spot is much patronised in the summer for the purpose
of picnics; for--to his credit be it said--the Uruguayan is a great
connoisseur of the _al fresco_ and its charms.

On leaving Santa Lucia the railway line makes a sweeping bend, and
then crosses the river by an iron bridge that proudly claims the
distinction of being the longest on the system. Upon the farther side
of the stream the country is brightened by the innumerable blossom
sprays of the many wild quince-trees, and by the broad clumps of
glowing gorse. Soon, however, the aspect of the landscape alters
again, and the train is speeding once more through the open Campo of
pasture-land and of wheat and barley fields.

San José, the next town of importance to be reached, is remarkable as
being the terminus of a splendid macadamised road that runs a distance
of ninety-six kilometres from Montevideo to this point. This excellent
highway is constructed in a really imposing fashion, and is engineered
with a lordly disregard of all obstacles. Just before reaching San
José, for instance, it crosses the river in the neighbourhood of the
town by a magnificent bridge no less than 360 metres in length. This
work was commenced by an Uruguayan engineer in 1906, and was completed
in 1909, at a cost of nearly two hundred thousand gold dollars. The
Uruguayans take a vast amount of very just pride in this structure,
which is probably one of the finest road bridges in existence. It
forms a fitting conclusion, moreover, to the best road in lower South
America.

The town of San José itself is fairly important from the point of view
of population, since it numbers thirteen thousand inhabitants--a fact
that places it in the first rank of the country towns of the Republic.
Its chief church dominates all the remaining buildings, and affords a
notable landmark for many miles around. With the exception of this,
San José contains little of interest. It is, in fact, merely a typical
"camp" town that serves the surrounding agricultural area. A most
up-to-date mill that turns out daily twenty-one tons of flour is,
however, worthy of remark, since from the moment that the wheat is
dumped into the granary to that when it emerges as fine flour and is
mechanically poured into sacks, the whole process is effected by
machinery.

Beyond San José the line climbs gradually to the summit of a small
sierra, whence a spreading panorama of the surrounding country is
obtained. On leaving Mal Abrigo, the next station, the character of
the landscape alters. The rich, black, vegetable soil has given way to
a rocky surface. Huge boulders of all shapes are strewn everywhere as
though flung by some giant upheaval into their tremendous confusion.
In the intervals of these great rocks grow thorny trees and shrubs.
Indeed, this Sierra de Mal Abrigo differs from anything that has gone
before. Hares abound in the neighbourhood, and at the approach of the
train great numbers of the animals speed away behind the sheltering
boulders. The armadillo, too, is especially plentiful in this region,
which seems to favour the partridge and martineta almost equally
well.

Bizcocho is the last point of call before reaching Mercedes, from
which it is distant some twenty kilometres. From here the ground--once
again an open, treeless plain--slopes continuously as it descends
towards the valley at the Rio Negro. At the near approach to Mercedes
itself the country assumes the smiling aspect that seems the
inevitable attribute of the environs of the Uruguayan towns. Gardens,
orchards, streams, plantations, vineyards--all these flit past in
rapid sequence, until the train pulls up at Mercedes station, the
terminus of the line.

This terminus of the line is well defined in more senses than one. The
station is situated on a bluff that hangs immediately over the Rio
Negro. It is merely necessary to proceed to the end of the rails, just
beyond the platform, in order to look sheer down upon the water of the
river some hundred feet below. A thoughtful act on the part of the
railway company to halt on the very brink, and thus to supply a
panorama in the place where the rails can no longer travel!

[Illustration: MERCEDES: FROM ACROSS THE RIO NEGRO.
To face p. 208.]

As a town Mercedes is attractive to a degree. The place can boast of
no great size, it is true, since its population does not exceed ten
thousand. Yet it is exceptionally fortunate both in its situation and
in the style of its buildings. The main portion of the city consists
of some half-dozen streets running parallel to the river, crossed by a
rather greater number of thoroughfares that lead directly from the
water's edge. The houses are almost without exception of the older
style of architecture--rather low, spreading buildings, each of which
encloses one of those charming patios that, alas! are now growing
steadily fewer with each year. Surely nothing is more delightful than
this verdure-filled courtyard set in the midst of the house--the small
stone-bound garden with its flowers, shrubs, and palms, on to which
give all the lower rooms of the establishment! They would doubtless
continue to exist for centuries were it not for the growing power and
insistence of their chief enemy, economy of space!

The streets and plazas of Mercedes are fairly animated, for the town
is the centre of considerable social life. The majority of folk here
are of rather darker complexion than those of the capital, but the
women are almost equally good-looking. _Coches_ are plentiful in the
town; each of the two-horsed buggies will seat six people with ease,
and even then will speed along at an exhilarating pace, for the steeds
of these public conveyances are both willing and well cared for.

The highest point of the town is occupied by the hospital. This, like
so many other Uruguayan institutions of the kind, is a very fine
establishment, well appointed, and provided with large, airy rooms and
corridors. From the roof of this hospital is revealed a magnificent
view of the town and its surroundings. The entire panorama is one not
easily to be forgotten. So far as the river itself is concerned, it is
possible from this point of vantage to follow its windings for miles
in both directions. The river here, by the way, attains to very nearly
a quarter of a mile in width--no despicable stretch of water even for
a tributary of the mighty Uruguay.

In mid-stream just opposite Mercedes is an island--a gem of an island
embowered in luxurious vegetation, and completely fringed by large
weeping willows, whose drooping festoons of green all but touch the
waters. In conformity with the utilitarian spirit of the age, a scheme
is on foot for the construction of an hotel in this place, and surely
no more alluring spot could be lit upon for the purpose--although the
danger to the landscape from the erection of an unsuitable building
would be very real.

Between this island and the buildings of the town is the port. Here
the topsail schooners and the various river craft of all descriptions
lie at anchor, including the small stern-wheel steamers that serve for
the passenger traffic into the far interior of the land, and a few
large barges piled high with the bones of cattle. Jutting out into the
stream near here is a small mole, from which point a small motor-ferry
is wont to ply to and fro, and thus give connection with the Fray
Bentos road upon the opposite shore. Just to the left of this,
anchored in mid-river, lies a large houseboat, which serves as the
headquarters of the local rowing and swimming clubs.

It is, of course, in this neighbourhood that the river life is at its
busiest. Upon the rocky shore are groups of women in bright-coloured
dresses busily employed in washing household linen and various
garments--a sight, as a matter of fact, that may be anticipated with
certainty upon any populous Oriental river bank. The motor-ferry, too,
has by no means the monopoly of transit, and numerous smaller craft
are continually passing from one shore to the other. Their occupants
are not necessarily limited to the human species. Here, for instance,
is a horse being brought across in a small rowing boat. The animal
appears quite unconcerned; he is doubtless accustomed to the aquatic
excursions in so tiny a skiff.

Returning from the riverside, a peculiar characteristic of the
Mercedes streets should attract the eye, or, failing this, stumblings
will ensue of a certainty. On either side of the roadway is an immense
gutter of over a yard in depth and width. These portentous channels
serve to carry off the rainfall of the heavy storms that occur from
time to time, and on a dark night constitute formidable obstacles in
the path of an unwary foot-passenger.

Mercedes possesses a fairly important _saladero_, and, in addition,
constitutes a centre of the charcoal-burning industry. A couple of
hundred tons of this commodity is frequently shipped from the place in
the course of a month. So far as hotels are concerned, the Comercio is
distinctly to be recommended. The establishment is well above the
average of those that the ordinary provincial town can boast, being
clean, airy, and comfortable, and provided, moreover, with a very
genial host.

Colonia Suiza is situated, some twenty miles inland from the coast,
midway between Mercedes and Montevideo. In order to reach this very
picturesque spot from the former town by rail it is necessary to hark
back to Mal Abrigo, from which junction the run to the Swiss Colony is
a short one. The country through which the journey is made is of the
usual grazing order, sparsely populated, the ground being marked only
here and there by a typical Uruguayan rancho.

The modest establishments of this particular district are worthy of
special mention. Each is contrived from square blocks of turf,
carefully cut, and placed one on top of the other with the grass edge
downwards. The exterior of the walls is left without any attempt at
facing or adornment, and thus presents a distinctly crude and peculiar
appearance. The dwelling, however, is rendered snug and waterproof by
being plastered from within. These walls are extremely well made,
considering the fact that their composition is not assisted by any
additional material. The roof is made of wood, cut in lengths, and
thatched over with wood or straw.

Household removals on the Uruguayan campo are not necessarily matters
of weighty thought, whose occurrence is to be anticipated with dread
for many months beforehand. When the family who owns one of these mud
ranches decides to move, the procedure is very simple. The roof,
doors, and windows of the home are taken down and collected. After
which it is merely necessary for the party to pack these along with
them on horseback, until a suitable site is lit upon for a new
erection of turf into which the portable finishing touches may be
inserted. That effected, the owners are once more at home. As for the
discarded dwelling, it remains much as before, save that it is minus
roof, door, and windows.

Many of these skeleton huts are to be met with on the rolling face of
the country. They possess this in common with birds' nests, that from
a distance it is difficult to ascertain whether they are occupied or
to let. If deserted, there is no reason why any chance family on the
move should not take possession by no more formal means than that of
affixing roof, door, and windows in the gaps that await them. Many of
these ranchos, by the way, are surrounded by very pretty gardens, and
hedged in by tall hedges of geranium and rose.

Once arrived at the Swiss Colony, however, the aspect of the dwellings
becomes altogether changed. The houses here resemble strongly the
châlets of the Swiss mountains, for, like the remaining colonies of
the kind throughout the River Plate republics, the immigrants have
introduced their own ways and fashions of living. Indeed, the
existence of such bodies provides an ample testimonial of the
conditions of freedom under which life is conducted in these
countries.

[Illustration: RIO NEGRO BRIDGE.]

[Illustration: ON THE RIO NEGRO.
To face p. 212.]

The number and strange variety of these self-contained colonies in
this part of the world is scarcely realised. They are, of course,
totally distinct from the ordinary, scattered immigrant dwellers.
When surveyed _en masse_ the result is not a little extraordinary. In
the three Spanish-speaking republics of Argentina, Uruguay, and
Paraguay that, together with Southern Bolivia, formed the old River
Plate provinces, exist distinct and important settlements of Swiss,
Austrians, Poles, Australians, Welsh, Boers, and Jews, besides
numerous lesser groups of many nationalities beyond.

Within the frontiers of each perfect liberty obtains to continue
existence as it is led in the country from which the immigrants came,
and thus each is provided with its own churches and institutions. In
the case of the more recently founded it is almost as though a portion
of the foreign land had been translated bodily to South American soil,
while those of older standing have invariably yielded more or less to
the influence of their surroundings. But the choice of remaining
entirely aloof, or of assimilating the customs that prevail outside
their own frontiers lies entirely in the hands of the immigrant
communities. It is, of course, only natural that each section should
carry on that particular branch of industry to which it has been
accustomed in its country of origin.

The Colonia Suiza constitutes an important body, containing, as it
does, no less than four thousand inhabitants. Here it is not
surprising that the staple industry should be that of cheese
manufacture and dairy produce. In addition to this a fair amount of
agriculture is carried on. The soil of the district is well adapted to
linseed, and numerous vineyards are responsible for the production of
a local wine of very fair quality.

Consisting for the most part of small dairy farms, no regular township
exists in the colony, although a small village has sprung into being
in the neighbourhood of the railway station, and three hotels are
distributed at wide intervals across the area occupied. The community,
first established in 1862 by the arrival of seven Swiss families, is
flourishing, and its members have clung to their national habits with
more tenacity than is usual.

The largest and most important butter factory in the place produces in
the springtime a daily quantity of no less than a ton of butter. Its
proprietor, ere he emigrated, played the rôle of a small shopkeeper in
his own country. His house was burned to the ground, but, fortunately
for himself, the property was insured. He employed the money derived
from this source for the purpose of the voyage to South America, and,
arrived at the Colonia Suiza, he found employment in the carrying
round of the milk. In a very short while he was employing others to
perform this service for himself, and is now a wealthy man, thus
affording one more example of those rapid rises from poverty to riches
that are so characteristic of South America.

The general aspects of this colony are peculiarly agreeable. Situated
in one of the most pleasant districts of a smiling land, it is well
watered and timbered. The verdure of the place, moreover, is enhanced
by the numerous green lanes that intersect it. Indeed, no more
delightful situation could be imagined than that occupied by many of
the châlets of Swiss design.



CHAPTER XVIII

COLONIA

     An historical town--Rarity of ruins in the River Plate
     countries--Specimens at Colonia--Situation of the town--Past
     antagonism between the capitals of Argentina and Uruguay--Present
     aspect of Colonia compared with the former--A sleepy
     hollow--Periodical awakenings of the place--Impressions of the
     old town--Its colouring and compactness--Fortifications of the
     city of discord--A warlike history--Nations that have warred
     together at this spot--The reddest corner in a bloodstained
     land--Surroundings of the town--Crumbling masonry--A medley of
     old and new--A Colonia street--Old-time scenes of peace and
     war--Some pictures of the past--Cannon as road posts--The
     Plaza--An episode in the wars with Portugal--The eternity of
     romance--Real de San Carlo--A modern watering-place--Its
     buildings--The bullring--A gigantic pelota-court--Popularity of
     the spot--A miniature tramway--Attractions of Real de San
     Carlo--Vegetation on the sands--A curious colour scheme--Pleasant
     lanes--Buenos Aires as a supplier of tourists.


The small town of Colonia stands quite alone in many respects. Not as
regards situation, climate, and a reputation as a pleasure resort. In
all these three the spot is especially favoured; yet in each of these
it possesses a number of formidable rivals along the Uruguayan coast.
Excursionists flock to Colonia, it is true, but such flighty nomads
are more concerned with beaches and bathing than with the subtler and
deeper interests of the spot.

To the historian and to the antiquarian Colonia represents a gem. It
must be admitted that the values of such treasures go strictly by
comparison. Uruguay is rich in the amethyst and topaz, but poor in
architectural ruins. Indeed, these romantic features are
distressingly--or pleasingly--rare throughout all the lands that made
up the provinces of the old River Plate. So far as I am aware, almost
the sole examples of any real antiquity are to be met with in the
Jesuit ruins of Paraguay and the Misiones Province, and in the few
fragmentary Inca relics upon the Andes slopes. Beyond these there is
Colonia. Therefore if the gem lack the full brilliance of some of the
specimens that an older continent can produce, its importance must not
be under-estimated, since it possesses the rare merit of being all but
unique in its own country.

From the Uruguayan bank of the great river Colonia faces Buenos Aires.
The one is not visible from the other, since almost forty miles
separate the two cities--a distance that has frequently been found too
short for the peace of mind of both. For, although they now sit on
their respective banks in undisturbed peace, the past has only too
many instances to show of how the pair opposed each other with an
active hostility that worked its share in the building up of the
warlike history of Colonia.

The present fate of Colonia is much akin to that of many of those
spots that serve as the decayed shells of old-time battles and
terrific alarums. In short, it is a sleepy hollow. There are certainly
times when a large river steamer comes to rest for a while against its
wooden jetty, and disgorges a crowd of tourists who wander aimlessly
about the quaint streets. But such spells are short, since the
interests of the spot can compare in the minds of very few of such
visitors with the great bullring and pelota-court, recently erected
some half-dozen miles up-stream, to which they are on their way. Thus
the place has barely time to shake its old walls, and yawn with its
blank windows, wondering at this sudden new life that has sprung up
within it, when the spasm has passed away, and Colonia sinks back from
its semi-conscious state into full slumber again.

The first impressions of the old town, when viewed from the river,
present a rather strange medley of brown, yellow, grey, white, pink,
and green. Thrown together as abruptly as this, the colour scheme
doubtless sounds perplexing. Yet in reality the tints blend with
consummate harmony. The brown is rendered by the rocks that hem in the
little bays and inlets of the foreground, while the lichen that clings
to the stone accounts for a strangely brilliant yellow. The grey is
produced by the most important asset of the town, the ruined walls and
battlements of the fortifications that pile themselves sullenly upon
the rocks along the river bank, penetrating the waters at many points.
The pink and white gleam very softly from the more modern houses in
the background that mingle with the old, crumbling erections of grey,
while at close intervals the verdure of trees and shrubs sprouts out
thickly from amongst the masonry. To conclude with all this colour, so
far as possible at one fell swoop, the town is dominated by a
brilliant white lighthouse shaft and the twin red towers of a modern
church.

Undoubtedly one of the most curious effects for which Colonia is
responsible is that of its compactness. There is scarcely a town in
Uruguay, or in Argentina either, whose outskirts do not straggle far
away from the centre into the Campo. To one who has inevitably become
accustomed to these architectural loose-ends the accurately defined
boundaries of the riverside town are not a little striking. The reason
is a very simple one. In the old days the city of discord was
completely surrounded by fortifications and, since it has performed
the feat--almost unique in the country--of failing to grow in extent
since that time, its original abrupt boundaries have remained. The
result, from an artistic point of view, is undoubtedly far more
imposing than that produced by the stress of modern development.

Colonia is not a town to be skimmed over lightly. It is worthy of
almost as careful a reconnoitring as it has frequently suffered in the
past. For the place can boast of half a dozen regular sieges, and
pitched battles, sallies, and skirmishes galore. Indians and
Spaniards, Spaniards and Portuguese, Uruguayans and Spaniards,
Uruguayans and Portuguese--all these have fought together here on
countless occasions, and yet the list of the warring companies is not
ended. The red ponchos of Urquiza's Gauchos have charged up to the
grey walls, staining the brown earth crimson as they went; buccaneers
of all nations have come and gone, and the scarlet of a British
garrison has gleamed out against the background of stone. Colonia is
the reddest spot of all in a sadly bloodstained land.

But, however much the aftermath of battles may brood, the aspect of
the place is as fair as could be desired. Just opposite its site are
the first green islands of the river, the oceanward outposts of the
lengthy series that rest in the midst of the waters upstream. This
shore of the mainland itself is picturesque in another fashion. Bright
semicircles and crescents of sand fringe the rocks of the innumerable
small bays. Upon the natural boulders, and ledges, and heaps of
masonry above are clusters of green leaves starred with blossoms. Here
and there a growth of more artificial kind is spread upon the stone;
for the sole figures upon the foreshore are those of two washerwomen,
busily engaged amongst the pools, whose variegated harvest is
increasing in area as it is spread out to dry.

[Illustration: COLONIA: RUINED FORTRESS WALL.]

[Illustration: A CAMPO GRAVEYARD.
To face page 218.]

In places the surface of the old masonry is level and wide; in others
it is necessary to leap from point to point just as it is in the case
of the rocks below. Scrambling and walking thus for several hundred
yards, the way lies past a collection of ruined houses, the massive
walls of which prick upwards in gaunt desolation. Beyond these again
is a narrow passage, paved principally by the chance falling of the
masonry, that leads into one of the actual streets of the town.

The medley here is fascinating from the mere force of its quaintness.
The first houses that flank the slender thoroughfare as it winds its
way uphill are a few pink erections, fairly modern, with windows
plainly barred, and open doorways, through which is visible the
foliage that decorates the patio within. Side by side with these is a
building of quite another type, an old grey house, stately and
imposing, though now little beyond a shell of ruins. Its front is
thickly set with the remnants of graceful balconies, and with broken
shields and coats of arms. Upon the massive doorway is an ancient
bronze knocker in the form of a human hand. But the hapless instrument
has been silent now for many a generation, since at the back of the
doorway itself is nothing beyond a confusion of tumbled stone into
whose crevices the roots of the intruding shrubs and flowers have
pressed themselves.

The street is quite deserted; the temptation to raise the bronze hand
and bang out the echoes is almost irresistible. It is certain that one
could arouse nothing beyond the ghosts of the past. Yet the answer to
such an appeal might prove a little too intense for the modern
tranquillity of mind. Confined to the days of peace, the vision would
be well enough. The house, the walls, the patio, the fretwork of the
balconies, the carving of the coats of arms--all these would be
intact and hung about with humanity. In obedience to the most
commonplace demands of the all-pervading romance, breeched men, whose
long-draped cloaks hid the lace and buckles of their costume, would
send out their voices and the tinklings of their guitars towards the
señoritas, whose soft eyes glowed beneath a tremendous headgear, and
who wore their filmy wrappings and short skirts with true Iberian
grace.

Within the courtyard the negro slaves would lounge at their ease,
while near them would repose the great guardian dogs of the house. Now
and again would sound a heavy rumble from the street without that
signified the advent of visitors in a cumbrous coach of state--an
interruption that would still the notes of voice and guitar string,
and that would excite the negro attendants into sudden life and the
dogs into a delirium of barking. After which many grave bows and deep
curtseyings would prelude the quiet ceremony of entertainment.

But if instead of this peaceful scene the wrong half of the past were
to appear! For there were times when the heavy booming and uproar drew
ever nearer from without, and then the faces of the señoritas as they
peered through the elaborate bars were ashy pale. There were moments,
too, when the last doubts had turned to a bitter certainty, when the
forms of fleeing men passed the house, and those of others, who
stayed, reddened the ground before the door. And last of all!--the
apparition of the strange men in hostile garb, the lust of slaughter
in their eyes as they rushed on, making another place of the once
familiar street. Thirsting for blood, hungry for booty, and for all
things beyond--the cheeks of the shuddering señoritas have not paled
without reason. After all, perhaps it is better to leave undisturbed
the knocker upon the old door.

Such mental apparitions, moreover, could be multiplied indefinitely,
for there are a dozen houses of similar design, if of varied ruinous
importance, in the town. Indeed, the place breathes strongly of the
past. At a street corner here and there is an ancient cannon, buried
muzzle upwards into the ground, that serves to fend off from the
sidewalk such wheeled traffic as exists. After a while the narrow
street falls away, and the wide sweep of the plaza extends to the
front.

The place was once the site of a rather peculiar feat of frontier
delimitation. The occasion was that of one of the numerous cessions by
treaty to Portugal of the town that the Spaniards were wont to win by
force of arms. On receiving the order from the Court of Spain to
evacuate the province in favour of the temporarily reconciled enemy
the staunch old Spanish Governor lost patience. The town, he knew full
well, he must surrender, but he refused to give up more even at the
command of his royal master. So he raised the muzzle of a cannon in
the plaza, fired a shot to right and left, and told the Portuguese
that the land within the range of the balls was theirs, but no more.
And with this they had to be content.

There are now no cannon in the plaza, where, indeed, the wild shrubs
and grasses alone thrive. Passing across it, the river is approached
again, for Colonia covers a small promontory. Ere reaching the water
on the farther side, however, it is necessary to pass by far the most
imposing ruin in the place. By the side of the white lighthouse tower
a tall fragment of grey fortress wall rears itself aloft. Some four
feet thick throughout, its crumbling embrasures are strongly lit up by
the blue sky behind.

From this point the ground slopes abruptly downwards towards the
shore. Here are more rocks, more mounds of ruined masonry, more
washerwomen--and the forms of a girl and of a man seated apart from
the rest upon the stones. The girl is flaming in all the pride of red
skirt and kerchief and yellow blouse. For all I know the latter
garment may not technically be admissible within the strict category
of blouses, but, failing a more intimate knowledge, it must pass as
something similar! By comparison with the very brilliant butterfly,
the man looms a dusky moth, whose only glitter lies in the great,
round, silver spurs that protrude from his high heels. Yet the
business of the pair is the same as ever! Though wrought out more
frequently when Colonia really lived, it obtains still amongst the
ruins. It is comforting to reflect that even the most simple of these
rural chains of the affections continues with links far less unbroken
than those of war!

Some three miles distant from Colonia, and situated likewise upon the
banks of the river, is Real de San Carlo. Although such close
neighbours, it would be difficult to find two spots that differed more
widely from each other. Real de San Carlo is a mushroom of a place
that has only known existence for some two or three years. Since it is
planned as a pleasure resort pure and simple, the nature of Real de
San Carlo is to a certain extent artificial, and the brand-new
buildings have yet to be toned down by the softening process of age.

So far the new bathing-place is deficient in the private
dwelling-houses and châlets that characterise the majority of such
spots. On the arrival of the steamer at the imposing pier, the eye is
arrested at once by the sight of two very large buildings, and by that
of one of a more moderate size. Beyond these there is little in the
way of architectural development, with the insignificant exception of
the cottages that house the labourers upon the place.

[Illustration: THE BULL RING.
To face p. 222.]

Of the two great buildings the bullring is the more notable. Indeed,
the enormous circular erection of white concrete is visible for a
distance of many miles in all directions. One side of the ground
beneath, sheltered by the rising spread of tiers that hold the seats,
is occupied by an open-air café, while the appointments within are of
the usual order to be met with in bullrings. It is here that the
periodical bullfights are held, and it is here, moreover, that many of
the noted Spanish fighters perform.

In the neighbourhood of the bullring is the pelota-court, which is
only just now being completed, in which the famous Basque game is to
be played. This is likewise constructed of white concrete, and,
although its magnitude cannot rival that of the bullring, it is of an
amazing size for a building of the kind, holding galleries above, as
it does, that must be capable of seating several thousand spectators.
Compared with these two tremendous affairs, the hotel is of modest
dimensions and of unpretentious appearance. Nevertheless, were it to
stand apart from such overwhelming neighbours, it would doubtless
appear imposing enough.

Real de San Carlo is well equipped to cope with the crowds of visitors
that the steamers already bring to its shore; it does things, in fact,
in a certain elaborate style of its own. A narrow-gauge steam tramway
runs between the jetty and the bullring, although the distance does
not exceed a quarter of a mile, and behind the miniature engine a
number of cars are in waiting, each containing a row of seats facing
outwards on either side. At the moment of the visit the bull-fighting
itself is undergoing a temporary lull--a fact that, from one's own
point of view, is very little to be regretted. So the tramcars,
crowded now, roll merrily onwards to a ring devoid of espadas, bulls,
horses, and blood, and for the majority of the tourists the chief
business of the day is confined to the precincts of the café in the
shade of the great building.

Apart from these more artificial attractions, Real de San Carlo will
undoubtedly prove popular as a bathing resort. The fine white sands
and rippling waters here possess an invaluable auxiliary in the
delightful air with which the place is blessed. In this springtime of
the year, moreover, the sands themselves are decorated in rather an
unusual fashion. From them sprout masses of silver-white, thick, silky
leaves, and stems that support blossoms that exactly resemble small
sunflowers. The effect that the great stretches of these present is
distinctly striking. Thickly spangling the white sand is a silver
glow, topped by the yellow of the blossoms above--a colour scheme that
gives a strangely fairylike and unreal impression. As though to lend a
touch of warmer colour, thousands of butterflies, all of a variety of
the painted-lady species, are hovering in clouds about the blossoms.

Just inland, where the undulations of the real country begin, the
lanes are ablaze with passionflower and honeysuckle--but the steamer
is whistling impatiently in the distance, and the tourists are
flocking back to the tramcars. It is time to return, and to mingle
with the crowd once more, the great majority of which are returning to
Buenos Aires. For it is on the inhabitants of this city, within a
couple of hours' steam across the river, that Real de San Carlo
depends for its popularity, and consequent welfare.



CHAPTER XIX

THE URUGUAY RIVER

     A great waterway--The river compared with the Paraná--Some
     questions of navigation--The lower stretch of the Uruguay--The
     stream from Montevideo upwards--Montevideo--The docks--An
     imposing array of Mihanovich craft--Breadth of the river--Aspects
     of the banks--Various types of vessels--The materials of their
     cargoes--The meeting of sister steamers--The etiquette of
     salutations--Fray Bentos--The Lemco factory and port--A notable
     spot--The paradise of the eater--The islands of Uruguay--Method
     of their birth and growth--The responsibility of leaves and
     branches--Uncertainty of island life--The effects of flood and
     current--Sub-tropical bergs--The vehicles of wild creatures--A
     jaguar visitation in Montevideo--Narrowing of the
     stream--Paysandú--The home of ox-tongues--The second commercial
     town of the Republic--Some features of the place--Variety of the
     landscape--The _Mesa de Artigas_--An historical table-land--A
     monument to the national hero--Salto--A striking town--Pleasant
     landscape--The Salto falls--The ending of the lower Uruguay--A
     rocky bed--Some minerals of Salto--Alteration in the colour of
     the water--The beauty of the upper Uruguay.


As a waterway the Uruguay River is of infinite service to the Republic
whose western coastline it serves. It is true that, compared with the
Paraná, the stream suffers somewhat both as regards length and
navigable facilities. Both rivers have much in common, in that either
has its source in the mountain ranges that fringe the coast of Brazil,
and either flows first to the west, then southwards until the junction
of the pair forms the broad River Plate. But, whereas the Paraná rises
in latitude 22° south the first waters of the Uruguay do not come
into being until 28° south. The latter, in consequence, has to
content itself with a course of a thousand miles, rather less than
half the length of its neighbour.

The lower stretch of the Uruguay holds an obstacle to navigation that
is unknown in the corresponding waters of the Paraná. At Salto, some
two hundred miles above the mouth, falls extend from the one bank to
the other, and thus bar the passage of all vessels. Above this place,
however, is the starting-point for the lighter draught steamers that
continue their northward course for many hundreds of miles.

As though to compensate for the barrier, the first two hundred miles
of the Uruguay represent a particularly noble highway of waters, far
broader and more imposing, indeed, than the equivalent stretch of the
Paraná. Ocean-going vessels here penetrate to Paysandú, and beyond it
to the Lemco port of Colón on the Argentine shore, while the really
magnificent steamers of the River King, Mihanovich, produce their
finest specimens to ply to and fro here. But, as the banks of the
stream contain not only some of the most fertile lands in the Republic
but much of interest beyond, it is worth while to follow its course,
beginning at Montevideo itself, which, as a matter of fact, is
somewhat to anticipate the waters of the true Uruguay.

By the quayside of the capital are grouped three or four of the
Mihanovich craft, large, two-funnelled vessels with an imposing array
of decks surmounted by an unusually spacious promenade that crowns the
whole. One of these is bound for Salto--or rather for the Argentine
town of Concordia that lies opposite that port--but just now it is not
advisable to be tied hard and fast to her broad decks, since she must
call at Buenos Aires on her way, and at many other spots outside
Uruguay and the scope of this book.

We will therefore perform the strange feat of making a break in the
trip ere it is begun. In any case it is necessary to leave the quay
over whose broad, paved surface of reclaimed land the cabs are
rattling, and where the policeman and porters stand, and where,
moreover, a strong group of Salvationists are singing lustily,
surrounded by a motley but attentive group such as the precincts of a
port attract. But the graceful _Triton_ shall churn her way out into
the open without us, since we will cling so far as possible to the
Uruguayan shore, forging upwards through the yellowing waters, to halt
at Sauce with its willow-covered lands and Colonia with its rocky
beach, until Carmelo is passed, and at Nueva Palmira the River Uruguay
has been fairly entered. Even then, however, it is necessary to accept
the fact more or less on trust, and to confide in the accuracy of the
map rather than in that of the eyesight. For the faint line that has
recently appeared on the horizon to the left might as well stand for a
distant streak upon the waters as for the low-lying Argentine shore
that it actually represents.

To the right, the Uruguayan bank is well defined. Here the undulations
of the land swell boldly out from the edge of the river, while in many
places rocks and boulders strew the sloping foreshore as though to
accentuate the frontier between stream and land that is so faintly
defined upon the opposite coast. Here and there the verdure of the
hills is broken by the darker green bands of the eucalyptus
plantations, through which from time to time gleam the white walls of
an estancia-house. At intervals the chimneys of a saladero prick
upwards from the nearer neighbourhood of the bank. About these centres
of their doom the speck-like figures of the cattle dot the surrounding
pastures, grazing in fortunate ignorance of their end.

The traffic upon the river itself is by no means inconsiderable.
Native topsail schooners laden with jerked beef, fruit, and timber
come gliding serenely down the stream beneath their spread of sail.
One of these craft is especially indicative of the main industry of
the land. The vessel is laden as high as the booms will permit with
horns of cattle, the bleaching mounds of which must represent the
sacrifice of many thousands of animals. There are smart Government
tugs, too, that hold the official guardians of the mighty stream, and
great dredgers of queer and monstrous shape that steam slowly along to
find an anchorage where the bottom is shallow, and there remorselessly
to bite out mouthfuls from the unduly lofty bed.

At rarer intervals appear the ocean-going craft and sailing vessels.
It would be safe to wager that there is not one of those passing
down-stream that is not laden with some portions or other of the
bodies bequeathed to humanity by the unconsulted yet generous bovine
souls. Nevertheless the exact species of cargo would be more difficult
to predict. It might be beef itself, or hides that will make leather
upon which to sit while consuming the meat, or horns which will
provide handles for the necessary complement of knives, or indeed many
other products useful for similar purposes. There never was such a
creature as the ox for the provision of a variety of articles that all
eloquently urge the benefit of his death!

A tall and majestic structure has come into sight from round a bend in
the stream now, and is sweeping rapidly downwards. With grey hull,
white upper-works about her rows of decks, and twin black funnels to
cap the whole, she is one of the proud fleet of steamers that ply
throughout the entire system of the great rivers. If the vessel upon
which you may be found bears a corresponding =M= upon its
funnel--which in the case of a passenger craft may be taken as a
practical certainty--you may be assured that you will not be passed
without recognition, even if sheltered by a mere paltry stern-wheeler
that is bound for one of the small tributary streams. Combining
affability with size, the whale will blow out three deep roars of
salute from its great horn, that will be echoed by a like number of
shrill notes from the treble whistle of the minnow. Such is the
etiquette throughout the entire length of the rivers. The six blows
are sounding throughout the day from the tropics of Brazil downwards
to where the La Plata and the ocean meet.

Upon the right-hand side Fray Bentos has come into view, marked in the
first place by a great collection of tall black chimneys glistening in
the sun. Beneath is verdure, and massive white buildings, and streets
of dwelling-houses, while to the front is the Lemco port with a small
forest of masts rising from its waters. The place, in a double sense,
represents the very incarnation of Uruguay's trade. A greedy spot that
swallows live cattle by tens of thousands to render them up again in
the pathetically diminished form of extract! Even now the odour of
soup floats heavily in the air from across a mile of water--a proof
that Fray Bentos is busily occupied in turning out its brown rivers of
fluid.

The factory, the most notable in the country, is indeed strongly
symbolical of the land where starvation in ordinary circumstances of
peace has never yet been known. Havana may be the paradise of the
smoker, Epernay that of the champagne lover; but the eater's heaven is
undoubtedly situated in Uruguay, a paradise in which the spirits of
departed and honest butchers might well revel in perfect joy.

Just above Fray Bentos the islands dot the river more plentifully
than in almost any other part of the great stream. As is the case on
the Paraná, it is difficult enough at times to distinguish between
these and the true bank on the Argentine shore; both are equally lowly
and each covered with the same density of willows and native scrub.
Amongst these larger islands, however, whose surface may comprise
several square miles, are numerous smaller pieces of land, and some
quite diminutive specimens that can lay claim to no more than a few
yards of area. These are baby islands--young territories that have
only just succeeded in raising their heads above water. For an island
here is conceived, grows, and dies in a fashion that is vegetable
rather than purely earthy. The fact is not really curious, seeing that
vegetation is directly concerned in their birth.

The conception of one of these is evident even now. A tangle of the
thick leaves of the camelota--the water plant with its mauve
hyacinth-like flower--has in its downward floating course fouled the
earth of a shallow in mid-stream. The arrested clump of green has
already inveigled other objects to keep it company in its trap. A few
sticks and branches and tufts of grass are already fast in the embrace
of the powerful stems and green leaves, while at the end that faces
the stream the water-driven sand has risen at the obstacle, and has
shyly protruded a small round hump or two above the ripples. The life
of the thing is as uncertain as that of a seedling or of a human
child. Under favourable conditions it will grow and solidify year by
year until from the few leaves and sticks will have extended some
square miles of tree-covered soil. On the other hand, it may be swept
remorselessly away in its earliest days ere the tentative formation
has had time to secure sufficiently firm hold of the earth.

[Illustration: ON THE URUGUAY RIVER.]

[Illustration: A URUGUAYAN STREAM.
To face p. 230.]

In any case the life of these islands is comparatively short, and
fresh floods and currents are forming some and destroying others all
the while. During these periods of flood many of them would seem
possessed of the characteristics of icebergs. Detached by the
irresistible force of the currents, great fragments of the vegetation
and camelota plant that cling to their sides go swirling down the
stream. Though they can boast no polar bears, they are occasionally
freighted with other beasts whose neighbourhood is equally
undesirable. On such occasions snakes and many four-footed specimens
of northern creatures form the unwilling tenants of these frail rafts
of vegetation. It is said that many years ago one of unusually large
size struck the shore of Montevideo itself, disgorging four jaguars,
who entered the town as much to their own terror as to that of the
inhabitants.

With Fray Bentos once left in the rear, the river becomes distinctly
narrowed, and, where no islands intervene, the features of either bank
begin to be clearly distinguished at the same time. The Argentine
shore has broken away from its dead level now, and is rising in gentle
undulations; the Uruguayan coast, too, as though in a determined
endeavour to retain its physical superiority, has taken to heap itself
in far loftier and more imposing hills than before.

The next town of importance at which the steamer halts is that of
Paysandú, the great centre of ox-tongues. Indeed, were one to adopt
the popular figurative methods of certain magazines, amazing results
might well be extracted from the commerce of the place. Thus,
supposing a year's accumulation of Paysandú ox-tongues were able
jointly to give forth the notes that they were wont to render in life,
the effect of the combined roar would probably be to deafen the entire
populace of the Republic, and to blow every atom of water from the
river! The number of men they would feed, and the distance they would
cover if extended in a line I do not know; but it may be taken for
granted that the export of these preserved instruments of bovine
speech is very considerable.

Paysandú ranks as the second commercial city in the Republic. It is
true that, so far as size is concerned, it is altogether dwarfed by
Montevideo, since the inhabitants of the smaller town number only
twenty thousand or so. Yet, the centre of a rich pastoral and
agricultural province, the place is of no little commercial
importance, and, although its architecture remains largely of the
pleasant but old-fashioned Spanish style, not a few new buildings and
boulevards have already sprung into existence. Like the majority of
towns of its kind, it is well equipped with electric lighting,
telephones, and other such modern appliances, although its tramcar
traction is still effected by the humbler methods of the horse.

To the north of Paysandú the stream narrows, the islands become few
and far between, and the course of the river is distinct and
well-defined. The landscape, too, is more varied now than that of the
lower reaches. Among the Uruguayan rounded hills a few well-marked
tablelands spread their broad, level surfaces in the way that is
characteristic of so many parts of the Republic. Both the inland
valleys and river banks are covered with an added density of
vegetation, while beaches of shining white sand jut out at intervals
from the shore. As for the Argentine bank, it has quite suddenly
assumed a marked individuality of its own. It is covered with a
reddish yellow rolling soil, tinged only lightly with green, from
which close groves of palm-trees sprout upwards for mile after mile.
It is as though a portion of Africa on the one shore were facing a
rather wooded and broken portion of the South Downs on the other!

The water itself has been growing more limpid all the while, now that
the dead-flat, soft, alluvial soil of the Argentine bank has given way
to a harder and more stony surface. It has become shallow in parts,
too, and the nose of the steamer often gives a tentative turn to the
right or left as she cautiously feels her way. The craft has
penetrated almost to the limits of the lower stretch of the great
river now, and the rising bed is a premonitory symptom of the end.

On the right has now risen the loftiest bluff that has yet marked the
Uruguayan shore. It forms one of the walls of a striking and bold
table-land. The place is now known as the _Mesa de Artigas_--the table
of Artigas. It was upon the summit of this hill that the Uruguayan
national hero had his chief encampment, and it has been described as a
desolate and lonely spot, haunted by murdered spirits and by the
memory of horrors, that no living being cared to approach. The
description cannot be said to hold good at the present moment. The
green slopes are dotted with grazing cattle and sheep, while at one
point the distant figures of two mounted Gauchos are careering to and
fro, and the cattle in the neighbourhood are wheeling together and
lumbering forward as a result of their manoeuvres.

On the summit of the tableland is a peculiarly tall stone pedestal
that rises from a great pyramidal base to soar high upwards against
the sky-line. The shaft is surmounted by a bust that represents
Artigas himself. The entire structure is on the colossal side, and the
effect of the bust poised on high against the blue of the air is
curious rather than effective. Viewing it from far below, it is
difficult to avoid the impression that the head and shoulders, placed
half-way between earth and heaven, are pleading with mute eloquence
for a body and legs with which to grasp more firmly the summit of the
sustaining shaft. In any case the monument is bold, and affords a
strikingly conspicuous landmark for an area of many leagues.

To the north of the Mesa de Artigas the landscape of the river
continues bold and hilly. A score or so of miles up-stream from the
monument lies the town of Salto, the last place of real importance
upon this stretch of the Uruguayan frontier. With its buildings rising
to cover the hills of its site, the panorama of Salto is more imposing
in its way than that of any other town on the banks of the stream.
Indeed, piled on the summit of cliffs and bluffs, the white masses of
masonry, crowned by a few steeples and towers, are visible from far
inland upon the Argentine territory as well as from the remoter
neighbourhoods of its own soil. The river just here is exceptionally
populous, since facing Salto from across the waters is Concordia, a
large and thriving Argentine town.

The population of Salto is slightly in excess of twenty thousand, and,
like every other town along the length of the stream, it serves as a
storehouse for the pastoral and agricultural industries of the
district. In many respects, however, the situation of the town gives
it a commercial scope greater than that of the more southern towns.
Although the climate lacks sufficient heat for the production of the
banana and similar sub-tropical growths, the variety of fruit is very
great. The orange flourishes in exceptional abundance here, and its
cultivation forms a valuable addition to the wealth of the district.

[Illustration: CATTLE ON THE ROAD.]

[Illustration: A CORNER OF THE FRAY BENTOS FACTORY.
To face p. 234.]

Pleasantly situated, with shaded plazas and avenues, and with the
orchards, vineyards, orange-groves, and well-timbered country of its
outskirts, Salto lies at the end--or, to be more accurate, the
beginning--of the lower Uruguay. Just above the town a white foaming
line stretches from bank to bank during the periods when the river is
low. But these lower falls are navigable during a considerable portion
of the year, and not until Salto Grande, at a point considerably
higher up, is the permanent barrier to navigation reached. Between
Salto itself and Concordia the river is plentifully strewn with rocks,
and, although the channels are deep, it is necessary on this head for
vessels to use considerable caution, more especially as the tide races
fiercely just here. Indeed, the fluctuations of the stream at this
point are very great, and account for the tremendously lofty wooden
passenger pier that serves the town.

It is in the neighbourhood of Salto that is found the curious water
stone that is referred to elsewhere in this book. It is in this
province too that exist the topaz and amethyst mines. The visitor,
however, need not trouble his head to start out upon any expedition
with the object of picking up any of these curiosities. The topaz and
amethyst fields are well-defined private property, while the
water-stone is as shy and elusive as a four-leaved clover at home. If
in quest of these objects, it is wiser to restrict the field of
adventure to the Salto shops.

It has been noticeable all the time whilst ascending the river that
the water has steadily become less tinged with yellow. Above the
falls, however, the distinction is far more marked. The stream here is
peculiarly limpid, and the effect at a northern spot such as Santa
Rosa, almost on the Brazilian frontier, is entrancing. Here the river
is at times of a brilliant blue tint--a broad azure ribbon winding
between swelling banks covered now with dense folds of vegetation.
Viewed from the rising ground in the neighbourhood, the conviction is
inevitable that, although the northern waters may have lost a little
in commercial importance, the Upper Uruguay can lay claim to a degree
of beauty with which the lower reaches, for all their charm, cannot
compete.



CHAPTER XX

THE URUGUAYAN CAMPO

     Formation of the land--A survey of the country--Features of the
     soil--Types of wild flowers--A land of hill, valley, and
     stream--The glamour of the distance--"The purple land"--Breezes
     of the Campo--An exhilarating country--The dearth of
     homesteads--The Uruguayan Gaucho--His physique--The product of
     the blowy uplands--Matters of temperament--His comparative
     joviality--The Gaucho as worker, player, and fighter--The
     manipulation of feuds--A comparison between Argentina and
     Uruguay--Warrior ancestors of the Gaucho--His sense of dignity
     and honour--Conservative habits and customs--Costume and horse
     gear--Strenuous _bailes_--Some homeric feats of dancing--Stirring
     revelry--The Uruguayan land-owner--Foreign elements in the
     land--Negro inhabitants of the Banda Oriental--The numerical
     status of the Africans in the north and in the south--Absence of
     a racial question--The slavery of former days--The employment of
     black troops in war--Lenient treatment of negro slaves--Harsh
     measures applied to aboriginal Indians--A lesson in human
     economy--Testimony of a contemporary writer--Immigrant colonies.


The Uruguayan Campo is not to be described without a certain amount of
hesitation. It would be simple enough for one who had caught only a
distant passing glimpse of the land of the pastures to put down the
country without further ado as rolling grass upland watered by many
streams. That such is the foundation of the Campo is undeniable.
Nevertheless to begin and end with such a phrase would be equivalent
to a description of the peacock as a bird who wears coloured feathers.

The subtle charms of the Uruguayan Campo are not to be discerned
through the medium of the bioscope-like glimpses that so many
travellers obtain of it. Very rightly, it refuses to reveal itself
fully until a certain amount of familiarity has justified a nearer
acquaintance. From an æsthetic point of view it certainly holds far
more than might be expected from a country of such comparatively
limited attributes.

If you desire to watch the moods of this rural Banda Oriental, ride
out to mount one of the higher shoulders of the downland, and wait
there, either in the saddle or out of it. You will obtain little
sympathy in the task. Eccentric to the mind of the estancieros,
frankly mad in the eagle eyes of the Gaucho--a calm survey of the
Campo is worth all such merely human depreciation!

The aspect of the country in the immediate neighbourhood of where the
observer has taken his stand will be green in the main, although the
unbroken verdure by no means obtains throughout. Here and there the
ground is strongly marked by the occasional heaps of stones that come
jostling to the surface, and that recline in the fashion of small
bleak islands in the midst of the green waves. But, should the time be
spring, these latter are themselves flecked frequently almost to the
extinction of their own colouring. The great purple bands and patches
of the _flor morala_ lie thickly upon the land. These, however, stand
apart, since where they glow the serried ranks of blossom permit no
others to raise their heads.

[Illustration: A PASTORAL SCENE.
To face p. 238.]

But these, though the boldest of their kind, are by no means the sole
occupants of the landscape. Indeed, one of the chief characteristics
of the Banda Oriental Campo is the wealth of beautiful and
comparatively lowly plants that grow amidst the grasses. They are of
the type of English blossoms, peering out shyly from between the
green blades, blowing purely and sweetly in their innocence of the
heavy sickliness of the tropics. It is where the ground is chiefly
dotted with these fresh flowers that the smile of the Campo is most
brilliant.

So much for the immediate surroundings up to the point where the more
intricate markings become merged in the broader tints of the
landscape. Down in the hollows are bands of dark, close green formed
by the trees that shade the streams. With scarcely a break in the
narrow walls of verdure they run from valley to valley, accurately
defining the banks of the small rivers whose waters they conceal.
Within these leafy lanes lurk the only spots upon the Campo, save for
the rare woodland, that do not stare frankly upwards, exposing all
their earthly soul to the blue sky.

Away in the far distance there is a magic glamour. There the lands are
no longer green to the eye. The soft waves, as they rise and dip in an
accumulation of folds towards the final horizon line, are bathed in
warm purple. The Banda Oriental has been called "the purple land" by
one who knew it well, and never was a name better applied. Without the
foreground--that is itself strongly purpled by the banks of the _flor
morula_--all is purple and mystic. The land has its ordinary mirages
as well; but here is one that at all times confronts the
traveller--that wonderful land of the horizon that, unattainable, dies
farther away as it is approached.

Yet, notwithstanding its soft romance, the place is essentially alive.
It is a blowy haunt of clean fresh airs that sweep the slopes and open
valleys to billow the grass tops and to refresh mankind. It is amidst
such surroundings that the Oriental of the country dwells. His type is
not very numerous, it is true, and--although the dearth of houses
suits the landscape itself most admirably--the scarcity of habitation
is a little lamentable in so wealthy and pleasant a land. It is
practically certain, as a matter of fact, that the pastures will bear
more roots in the near future than they have ever known in the past;
but in the meanwhile it is necessary to take them as they are, and
their inhabitants as well.

Of these inhabitants the true _paisano_, the Gaucho, decidedly claims
the chief share of attention. The Gaucho of the Banda Oriental is not
to be confused with his brethren of the neighbouring countries. In
appearance he presents perhaps the finest specimen amongst the various
kindred families of his race. He is taller in stature, and, if
possible, even more athletic in his lithe frame than his neighbour.
His complexion, moreover, though frequently dusky and invariably
tanned, is peculiarly wholesome and fresh. It was inevitable that the
blowy downlands should have produced a fitting and appropriate breed
of amazingly healthy, hardy, and fearless men to whom the art of
horsemanship has become second nature, while the occasional enforced
spells of pedestrianism have degenerated into a mere unwelcome
accident of life.

The temperament of the Uruguayan Gaucho shows corresponding
distinction from that of the rest. It goes without saying that he is
strongly imbued with the grim dignity of the race. Silent austerity
here, however, is modified by lighter traits. In the same way as the
higher social member of his country, he is more easily moved to
laughter than his neighbours, and indulges from time to time in frank
outbursts of joviality.

For practical purposes it is necessary to regard this child of the
Campo from three standpoints--from that of the worker, the player, and
the fighter. It is rare enough that one of them is not called upon to
fill all these three rôles on a good many occasions during his
lifetime. As stock-rider, he has proved his courage, fidelity, and
honesty of purpose to the full; his moments of recreation are taken up
by equestrian sports, guitar-playing, and chance affairs of the heart,
whilst in warfare he has had only too many opportunities of displaying
his reckless brilliancy--frequently, it must be admitted, at the cost
of discipline and order.

In his private quarrels the Argentine Gaucho will bottle up his wrath
until his overflowing passion culminates without warning in the rapid
knife thrust or revolver shot. The conclusion of a serious dispute
between his Uruguayan brethren will almost certainly be the same; but
the tragic climax will be approached in quite another fashion. The
atmospheric effervescence of the Banda Oriental will enter into the
case. There will be shouting, vociferation, and not a little abuse.
Not until a fair exchange of all this has been bandied to and fro will
come the flash of steel or flame--and the red stain upon the grasses
of the Campo.

That these dwellers upon the downlands should prove themselves born
fighters is no matter for surprise. For the dusky side of their
ancestry they claim the Charrúa Indians, the fiercest and most warlike
of all the tribes in the neighbouring provinces. With this strain
added to the blood of the old Spaniards, and the mixture fostered and
nourished by the breezy hills, the result has been a being whose keen
sense of dignity and honour were ever in the very active custody of
knife or lance.

As is perhaps natural enough in a land whose interests--as compared
with the agricultural development of the neighbouring countries--are
almost purely pastoral, the habits and customs of the Oriental have
remained unusually conservative. His poncho is a veritable poncho,
often of a bizarre and daring hue; his spurs are weapons that glitter
in huge circles at his heels, while his horse furniture is frequently
silvered to the very last degree.

When the Gaucho undertakes a dance--a _baile_--moreover, he enters
into the performance with a zest that puts to shame the human products
of a later civilisation. In order to witness one of the most homeric
of these exhibitions it is necessary to suppose the revellers in the
peculiarly reckless and irresponsible mood that from time to time
falls to their lot. On such an occasion their wonted strict sobriety
is abruptly melted beneath the flow of the native spirit, caña, and
perhaps that of wine, and of beer. Then upon the open sward of the
Campo they will dance their _tangos_, stepping it manfully for hour
after hour.

Indeed, strengthened by the intervals of rest, refreshment, and sleep,
it is not unusual for them to continue these tremendous terpsichorean
feats for two or three days on end. At the conclusion of which, having
danced themselves out and drunk themselves in, these astonishing
mortals are perfectly ready for their strenuous work in the saddle!

Having concluded with the Gaucho, it soon becomes evident that the
main features of individuality that distinguish the Uruguayan from his
neighbours are very nearly finished with as well. The landowner, it is
true, still clings in parts to ancient customs and the remnants of
national costume rather more closely than elsewhere in the Southern
republics. But the distinctions here are less marked, and in the case
of the townsmen have disappeared altogether. An important factor in
the population is now provided by the large foreign element that has
settled itself permanently in the country. By far the most numerous
communities of these are those of the Italians and Spaniards; but in
addition there is scarcely a European country that is not more or less
strongly represented by its emigrants.

The negro race, although its presence is more marked than in the
republics to the West, is quite insignificant numerically in the South
of Uruguay. Towards the north, however, the numbers of the Africans
are much increased, and as the Brazilian frontier is closely
approached, the black people tend rather to predominate over the
white. It is only in these remote districts that the possibility of a
racial question could be involved. As a matter of fact, such an
eventuality is quite undreamed of, and nowhere in the world is it less
likely to occur. In the absence of any drawn distinction the negro
appears to exist in more or less complete peace, and only meddles with
the affairs of the country during troublous times when instructed by
the true lords of the soil, whose actual superiority would seem all
the greater for the fact of its being unexpressed.

Considering the number of slaves that were imported directly into
Uruguay as well as those that filtered southwards through Brazil, it
is perhaps somewhat a matter for astonishment that these blacks are
not numerically stronger than is the case. The explanation lies
largely in the numerous wars by which the country has been harassed in
the past, and in the policy that prevailed under the old Spanish
regime. Black troops were freely employed then, and it must be
admitted that they met with far less consideration than the rest. If a
desperate situation arose, they were wont to be sent out in search of
a glory that was very remote and of a death that was very near, not
necessarily because the Spaniards feared for themselves in the
attempt, but rather on account of the science of racial economy, and
on the principle of sacrificing the pawns before the more
aristocratic chessmen. And it is to these wholesale gaps in the black
ranks that the existing scarcity of the negro population in the South
is largely due.

Not that it must be inferred from this that the general treatment of
the African slaves by the Spaniards was severe. Their fate has always
been entirely distinct from that of the unfortunate native Indians.
The blood of these latter, slain by the first generation of
adventurous _conquistadores_, flowed in red rivers almost the length
and breadth of South America, while tens of thousands more sank and
died beneath the superhuman tasks imposed upon them.

Nevertheless they were not sacrificed from mere wanton love of
slaughter. Held as soulless instruments from whom the last possible
ounce of labour was to be extracted, these fearful slaughterings were
instigated as acts of discipline that should make more pliant and
serviceable material of the general body, while the cowed met their
slower, toilful death in order that their masters should obtain wealth
ere the advent from Europe of further competitors who might desire to
share their wealth with them.

After a while the limitations both of the continent and of the labour
capacities of its natives became evident, and the first spasms of the
remorseless and feverish lust moderated. It was then that the
introduction of the negro occurred. With the maturing of the continent
came a milder and more settled form of civilisation, of which the
dusky imported labourers obtained the full benefit. That they were
well cared for in times of peace is testified to not only by the
native historians but by perfectly unbiassed English travellers. One
of these, who visited Uruguay during the last years of the Spanish
dominion, is particularly emphatic on the point.

"There is one trait," he writes, "in the South American Spaniards
much in their favour. I mean the mild, humane, and gentle treatment
which their slaves receive. This one would scarcely expect from the
cruelty they manifest to animals. The condition of the Africans here
is without doubt happier than in any other part of the world where
they are held in slavery, and I will even venture to say, more so than
in their native country. A severe punishment is seldom inflicted; the
tasks imposed on them are light, and such as they can easily execute.
Indeed, they scarcely seem to be slaves."

If any palliation for enforced human labour were possible it might be
looked for in evidence such as this. Nevertheless, since nothing of
the kind is admissible, it is well to remember that the slave era in
the River Plate countries is now a matter of comparatively remote
history. Moreover, as though in compensation for a former servitude,
however light, the lot of the African here is now undoubtedly happier
than almost anywhere else in the world.

In addition to the ordinary foreign landowners and residents in
Uruguay are a few of the regular immigrant colonies the establishment
of which has now become so popular throughout the Southern republics.
Of these the most important is the Swiss Colony in the neighbourhood
of Colonia, to which reference has already been made.



CHAPTER XXI

ESTANCIA LIFE

     Similarities between the farming routine of Uruguay and of
     Argentina--The Banda Oriental a pastoral rather than an
     agricultural land--Viticulture an asset in estancia
     affairs--Wheat, maize, and linseed--Scarcity of
     alfalfa--Excellence of the natural pastures--The possibilities of
     private agricultural colonisation--Favourable outlook for grazing
     countries in general--Lemco estancias--The estancia San Juan--A
     comprehensive enterprise--Cattle, cereals, and viticulture--Stone
     quarries--A Campo sketch--The cutting out of a bullock--A Gaucho
     meal.


The Uruguayan estancia life resembles that of Argentina very closely.
And of this latter so much has been written in recent years that a too
lengthy description of the routine of one of the great cattle farms
would almost inevitably savour of repetition and superfluity. The
duties of both estanciero and his major-domo are, indeed, almost
identical with those of their brethren upon the other side of the
great river. There are similar rides of inspection in order to "revise
camp," similar great _rodeos_, or gatherings of cattle, and a general
method of life that is distinct from the other merely in minor
details.

[Illustration: THE BICHADERO ESTANCIA.]

[Illustration: HEREFORD CATTLE ON THE BICHADERO ESTANCIA.
To face p. 246.]

In the main ethics of the farming itself, it is true, there are some
differences. Seeing that Uruguay is a pastoral rather than an
agricultural land, the system of setting apart a certain proportion of
a private estancia for the purpose of colonisation by crop-raising
tenants is almost unknown. On the other hand, as it happens that
the soil of a portion of almost every province is suitable for
viticulture, a great number of the Uruguayan landowners throughout the
republic cultivate vineyards--an industry that in Argentina is
confined almost entirely to the two great grape-growing centres of
Mendoza and San Juan. In many districts of the Banda Oriental,
moreover, fruit-growing forms part and parcel of the industrial
programme of an estancia, instead of necessarily forming an entirely
separate branch of commerce, as is the case in Argentina.

Although I have referred to Uruguay as an essentially pastoral
country, it must not be inferred from this that the cultivation of
cereals and the like has no existence in the land. On the contrary,
many districts--notably that of Colonia, the most fertile in the
Republic--produce really important quantities of wheat and maize, and
a certain amount of linseed beyond, although this latter is grown in a
minor degree. Very few districts in the country are adapted for the
favourable cultivation of alfalfa, a fact that is undoubtedly to be
regretted, since the merits of this lucerne for the purposes of
fattening cattle are supreme. Yet this disadvantage is to a great
extent counterbalanced by the excellent pastures of natural grass with
which Uruguay is so plentifully endowed.

It is likely enough, too, that the system of private agricultural
colonisation referred to above will in the future be seriously
undertaken. At the present moment experiments in this direction are
being undertaken, and, should the landowners become impressed with the
success of the departure, it is quite possible that the system will
spread with the same rapidity as was the case in Argentina.

In the meanwhile the supreme interest of Uruguay remains pastoral; and
the bulls and the rams continue to be lords in the land. In a sense
this is undoubtedly just as well, for in all probability never was the
outlook for grazing countries more favourable than it is at the
present moment, when the exports of North America are rapidly dying
away, and the markets of Europe are opening their metaphorical mouths
in a clamorous demand for further supplies.

Some of the largest and most imposing of the Uruguayan estancias are
situated in the western districts of the Republic. Many of these, such
as the Bichadero, Ombú, and others, are owned by the Lemco Company,
and constitute most imposing estates, stocked by pedigree cattle.

The San Juan estancia is situated in the neighbourhood of Colonia,
and, under the able management of Mr. J. Booth, affords one of the
best possible examples of an estate whose lands have been aptly
utilised to serve various purposes. The estancia is noted in the first
place for the quality of its live stock--and with no little reason,
since it harbours over a thousand head of pedigree shorthorn and
Hereford cattle.

But the energies of the San Juan estancia are not confined to the
raising of cattle and the production of maize. Viticulture is a matter
of great importance here, for the place enjoys a great repute for the
quality of its wine. Its vineyards, as a matter of fact, repose on a
subsoil of iron-stone rocks, which lends a particularly pleasant
flavour to the vintages. In addition to the great vineyards that
spread themselves over portions of the estate, the cellars of its
bodega are well worth a visit. The building is specially constructed
for the purpose, and contains air-spaces between the inner and outer
walls, thus rendering the interior to all intents and purposes
damp-proof.

The cellars contain forty-two large casks, each with a capacity for
holding 3,600 litres, and, beyond these, twelve giant specimens, in
each of which eight thousand litres of wine may be stored. The extent
of the vineyards on the place is thirty hectares, and from this area
an average 250,000 litres of wine are produced annually. Thus it will
be seen that the vineyard industry of San Juan is of no mean
importance.

Among the other branches of general industry in which San Juan is
interested is that of stone-quarries, the quality and extent of the
deposits here being considerable. A large bee-farm is also attached to
the place. In addition to this comprehensive programme there are, of
course, the ordinary side-issues of estancia production in the way of
both live stock and agriculture. Among the horses bred are not a few
racers of pedigree stock that have given a good account of themselves
in the neighbourhood and elsewhere.

The estancia-house of San Juan is delightfully situated amidst orange,
wattle, and paraiso trees, from whose trunks and branches hang
festoons of air-plants and masses of yellow orchids. From the
picturesque, shaded building itself the view embraces miles of
undulating country on all sides, with a few distant peeps of the
waters of the River Plate to the south-west. It would be difficult to
conceive a pleasanter or a better managed spot.

Such estancias as these, of course, represent the cream of the land,
and Uruguayan "camp" life must not be judged as a whole by such
particularly favourable examples. Even the foreigner in the Republic,
whose life is wont to be rather more fully surrounded with comfort
than that of his native-born brother, must perforce make a beginning,
and, as in all else, it is always the first steps that are the
roughest. It is said that one of the first requisites of a gardener
is a cast-iron back. In the same way the primary needs of the budding
estanciero are undoubtedly health and a good horse. In these respects
he is likely to be well suited, for the climate will attend to the
former and his _patron_ to the latter.

I have already said that the scenes upon the Uruguayan estancias are
much the same as elsewhere, but the following sketch may serve to show
a little of the local colour with which the rural Oriental landscape
and life are imbued:

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ESTANCIA HOUSE: SAN JUAN.
To face p. 250.]

The bullock is grazing in the midst of his fellows, plucking stolidly
at the spring grass, whose close blades paint the undulations of the
Uruguayan Campo in soft green. No pedigree animal this, his lengthy
horns, rather pointed nose, and shaggy mottled coat being redeemed by
various features that tend to raise him from the mere ruck of the
disappearing country-bred. There is a trace of Hereford in the compact
form, straight back, and in the symptoms of red-brown and white that
endeavour to assert themselves from out of the confusion of his other
markings. Representing one of the earlier stages in the forward march
of the local breeds, he is of the type known to experts by the cryptic
word "useful"--a meritorious physical condition whose reward is wont
to fructify in an earlier death than that accorded to those of his
brethren who are less liberal in meat. At the present moment the
bullock is supremely content, although profoundly unconscious of the
charm of his surroundings. This is perhaps just as well, since his
ribs would undoubtedly emerge from their plump covering were he to
waste the precious moments of mastication in favour of less material
delights. As it is, he tramples carelessly on the patches of scarlet
verbena, and crushes the life from the white tobacco blossom and
the blue lupin flower with a ponderous impartiality. It is enough for
him that the warm sunlight beats down upon his back, and that the
plentiful grass rises to his cud in a ceaseless green stream.
Moreover, the few score of companions that surround him lend a
dimly-felt but comforting sense of comradeship.

From the green of the foreground to the blue and mysterious distant
swellings of the horizon the face of the Campo has been devoid of
humanity. Near by a humble rancho, it is true, raises its diffident
walls from the earth, a lowly erection of turf and reeds, enlivened
here and there by a small auxiliary patch of corrugated iron, that
catches up the sun-rays to flash them back in brilliant defiance. But
there are no signs of life about the place beyond that afforded by a
couple of hens of worn and frayed appearance that make rapid and
spiteful passes at the dust with their beaks. Only when the sun is
falling near to the horizon does the first sign manifest itself of
more active stirrings. The figures of two horsemen have emerged from
behind a distant clump of eucalyptus that stands out like a green
island from the midst of a rolling sea.

As the riders draw nearer it is plain that they are Gauchos--Gauchos
in a workaday mood, and consequently in attire far less picturesque
than that which lends colour to their feast days. Yet they afford
striking enough figures of men in their sombreros, kerchiefs, white
shirts, broad trousers, horse-hide boots, and giant spurs. Each part
and parcel of his horse, they come loping easily along with that
curious air of careless alertness that is characteristic of the
Gaucho. With the first warning of human approach the cattle have
raised their heads in the wary and rather resentful stare that the
presence of such visitors demands. When no doubt longer remains that
the grim-faced riders are heading directly for their own company,
doubt turns to active alarm. There is a flinging up of heels and
tails, a bunching together of scattered units, and a surging to and
fro, while the horns wave in a panic of indecision. The bullock with
the traces of Hereford markings has run to a common centre with the
rest.

A moment later the horses are cleaving the ranks of the cattle, and
the cumbrous bodies of the horned creatures go floundering to right
and left just as they have floundered a dozen times before, with
precisely the same degree, moreover, of dread and confusion. Dodging
and twisting ponderously, they rush to and fro for a while, then flee
with a thunder of hoofs from the impact, ending up in a breathless
halt at length to turn their horns upon one another in a fury of
terror. All but the bullock with the scanty Hereford markings. He has
raced and charged with the rest, only to find on each occasion a
horse's flank or chest barring the way to safety, and a threatening
human arm raised on high that sent him without further ado to the
right-about. And now the situation is doubtless quite inexplicable,
since the rumbling of his companions' hoofs has died away, and he is
racing across the Campo quite alone save for the horseman who gallops
remorselessly on either flank--fatal attendants who are no more to be
shaken off than the hairs of his hide. A lasso circles lightly in the
air, uncoiling as it goes like an aerial snake: the noose falls with a
gentle rattle on the hurrying animal's horns. A terrific jerk shakes
him from tail to nostril. But the bullock has kept his legs, and
stands firm now, pulling with all his might against the strain that
follows, heaving from side to side in his fight with the rope that
never slackens. There is a thudding of horses' hoofs at his quarters
now. Enraged at the presence of a second foe, the bullock kicks
wildly, and the action is the signal for his doom. Another rope has
whistled through the air, and has encircled his fetlock in some
demoniacal fashion. In consequence, he gives a strenuous jump into the
air--his last, for ere his feet have touched the ground his legs are
wrenched away from under him, and the heavy body of the creature,
flung full upon its side, strikes the earth with a crash. Ere he can
move the beat of galloping horses' hoofs has drawn near, and ceased.
Two men have sprung to the ground, and are securing his legs with
ropes; then one rises to draw the blade of a huge knife from its
sheath at his belt. A minute later there is a pool of darker crimson
by the side of the verbena patches. A couple of hours later there is a
log fire upon the Campo, and the beef is being cut into long strips
from where it is spitted above the blaze, and eaten wholesale as
Gaucho appetite demands. In the meanwhile the carancho birds are
gathering thickly above, for meat is cheap upon the open pastures, and
they will be economically-minded Gauchos indeed who do not leave them
the greater share of the carcass.



CHAPTER XXII

URUGUAY AS A PASTORAL COUNTRY

     Origin of the live stock of the country--Influence of the climate
     and pastures upon the first animals introduced--Live stock census
     of 1909--Importance of the breeding industry--Various
     ramifications--Principal items of home consumption--Articles of
     export--Quality of the first herds introduced--Type of original
     sheep and horses--Goats and pigs--The introduction of a superior
     class of animal--The _criollos_ and the _mestizos_--Breeds
     imported--Durham, Hereford, Polled Angus, and Devon
     cattle--Dutch, Norman, Flemish, and Swiss cattle--Growth of the
     dairy industry--Popular breeds of sheep and horses, and
     pigs--Principal countries from which the animals are
     derived--Growing value of the local-bred live stock--The
     manipulation of an estancia--Well-found estates--Uruguayan
     agricultural societies--Work effected by these--Government
     support--The Rural Association of Uruguay--Financial results of
     agricultural shows--Side products--Tallow--Hams--Tanning--"La
     Carolina"--A great dairy farm--The factory of Breuss and
     Frey--The _saladeros_, or meat-curing establishments--Number of
     animals slaughtered--Method by which the meat is
     cured--_Tasajo_--Countries to which it is exported--The frozen
     meat trade--"La Frigorifica Uruguaya"--Important growth of the
     new industry--Shipments of frozen meat.


The great numbers of the live stock which to-day constitute the chief
wealth of Uruguay owe their origin to the animals introduced by the
Spanish _conquistadores_ at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

These animals, which, of course, were drawn from the breeds that
existed in Spain at that period, found themselves surrounded by
conditions that were eminently favourable. Thus, beneath the
influence of a temperate climate and of the rich and nourishing
pastures that cover almost the entire surface of the Republic their
numbers rapidly multiplied. It is for these reasons, moreover, that
the breeding and traffic in these animals constitutes at the present
day the principal industry of the inhabitants.

The live stock census organised by the Government in the year 1909
gave the following results concerning the numbers of the live stock
that are now in existence in the Republic:

  Sheep    16,608,717
  Cattle    6,827,428
  Horses      561,408
  Pigs         93,923
  Mules        22,992
  Goats        20,428
           ----------
  Total    24,134,896

These figures might reasonably be increased, since it was necessarily
impossible for the census to deal with the complete numbers of the
animals that exist throughout the country. Thus, without danger of
exaggeration, it may be supposed that some thirty million head of live
stock actually graze upon the pastures of the land. These figures
suffice to show the enormous importance to which live stock breeding
has attained in Uruguay.

The ramifications of this industry are naturally numerous. For home
consumption and internal commerce meat, milk, and tallow form the
principal items. For the export trade the list is considerably more
comprehensive. Live cattle, frozen, chilled, tinned, and dried meat,
beef extracts, wool, horns, hides, tallow, fat, guano, and the various
other products now make up a commerce of an annual value of thirty
millions of gold dollars, or of rather more than six million pounds
sterling. Chilled or frozen beef and mutton form the principal items
of this export trade, after which hides and extract of meat rank next
in importance.

The main breeds of animals introduced by the Spaniards at the time of
the conquest, although they served their purpose well enough at the
time, were by no means of the type which the exigencies of modern
times require. The cattle of former years were wanting in many
respects. They were wont to possess, for example, a superabundance of
bone, were badly built, and were notably backward in development. The
sheep were possessed of the same faults, and, in addition, were wont
to yield inferior wool.

The horses, on the other hand, although of light build and lacking
somewhat in shape, have proved themselves particularly well suited to
the country. Hardy and of great power of endurance, they have adapted
themselves completely to the natural conditions of the land. From this
stock a breed has sprung that fulfils admirably the equine duties of
the Campo. The tendency of these horses has been to improve and to
increase in size. Both the pigs and goats that were imported from
Spain were of an inferior order, although the latter showed favourable
results in the yielding of milk.

By the aid of these breeds alone it is certain that the live stock of
Uruguay could never have attained to that degree of excellence in
quality such as it can legitimately boast to-day. From these, for
example, cattle could never have been produced of the class that the
freezing works now demand, nor the valuable wool that is
characteristic of the day. The beginning of this later progress dates
from the middle of the last century. It was then that the more
progressive breeders became aware of the limitations of the _criollo_
races, as are termed the breeds imported from Spain that have
flourished and taken root in the land. To this end these were crossed
with others of a superior type, and thus the much-improved _mestizos_,
or cross-breds, were obtained. These now preponderate in many regions
of the Republic, in which, by the way, no true criollo animals now
remain.

In order to effect this improvement in the cattle various English
breeds have been introduced. Of these the two most important are the
Durham and the Hereford, both of which are excellently adapted for the
production of meat. By the crossing of these with the criollo a
mestizo steer is obtained, capable of turning the scale at six hundred
kilos and more, that provides excellent meat whether for the purposes
of live shipment, freezing, salting, or extract. In addition to these
more important breeds others have been introduced, such as the Devon,
Polled Angus, and a few further varieties--all these, however, in a
lesser degree.

It will be evident from this that the improvements in stock have been
effected chiefly with the view of increasing the quantity of meat
produced. Nevertheless, there are others that have been imported for
dairy purposes alone. The chief of these are the Dutch, Norman,
Flemish, and Swiss. It must be remarked that the popularity of these
is rapidly growing, on account of the progress and extension of the
dairy industry.

So far as sheep are concerned, the breeds that have been found most
suitable for the country are the Merino, Lincoln, Shropshire,
Hampshire, Romney Marsh, and Southdown. The Merino race amidst its new
surroundings provides an especially fine class of wool that is
appreciated throughout the world; from the crossing of the Merino with
the English breeds animals are obtained that provide the best meat
for the purposes of export, and those types of wool that are most in
demand for general commercial purposes.

The horses principally employed for saddle purposes and for light
draught are the thorough-bred, Yorkshire, Anglo-Norman, Irish, and
Russian, while for heavy draught the Percheron, Clydesdale, and Shire
strains are the most popular.

The improvement in pig-breeding has been effected by the introduction
of several English species, such as the Yorkshire and Berkshire, the
French animals of the kind being rarely employed.

It is by means of the crossing with all these above-mentioned breeds
that the general live stock of the country has been raised in degree.
The result has been distinctly favourable, since the healthy climate
and the pastures are eminently suitable for the finest strains as well
as for the cross-breds.

The annual importation into Uruguay of sires, bulls, and of the
remaining stock is now large. The countries whence they are derived
are England and other European lands, Australia, Argentina, and North
America. Amongst these many valuable animals are to be met with. Thus
recently two champion rams have been imported from Australia, various
champion bulls and rams from England, while from France came the noted
Durham bull "Tamarin."

[Illustration: CHALÊT AT COLONIA SUIZA.]

[Illustration: THE VINTAGE: ESTANCIA SAN JUAN.
To face p. 258.]

Uruguay, however, does not now depend entirely upon importations from
abroad for its pedigree stock. It already possesses a number of
_cabañas_, or breeding establishments, from which emerge cattle and
sheep of a grade sufficiently high to meet with success in the
agricultural shows of other countries. These are to be distinguished
from the estancias, the farms of larger area upon which the general
live stock of commerce thrives.

The ordinary estancia consists of a number of paddocks, separated the
one from the other by wire fences, of the natural pastures that abound
in Uruguay. The advance that has been effected in these great
enterprises is on a par with that of the rest. They are as a rule well
provided with sheds for the housing of the pedigree stock and with
plantations of trees for the shelter of the less valuable type of
animal, as well as with cattle-dips, water deposits, and stockyards,
and, in fact, with every installation that is requisite for the
purpose of the industry.

In every department of the Republic societies have been founded in
order to encourage scientific breeding, and to organise the
agricultural shows that are now held throughout the country. These
agricultural meetings have served a most useful purpose in fostering
an interest in breeding and in the various other branches of the
general national industries. This fact has been recognised by the
Government, which, in consequence, has done its utmost to stimulate
the holding of such functions. It has thus during the past few years
spent an annual sum of fifty thousand dollars in the subsidising of
these events, an outlay that has undoubtedly borne good fruit. In
providing these subsidies it is stipulated that at least a third part
of the sum provided shall be expended in cash prizes, and that the
chief attention in this respect shall be devoted to those particular
branches of industry that appear in a less advanced condition than the
rest, and that, therefore, are the most in need of encouragement.

Many of these agricultural societies possess extensive grounds of
their own in the near neighbourhood of the provincial capital. In
these places permanent buildings are frequently to be met with that
are employed for the annual shows. These usually owe their
construction to private enterprise, assisted by the Government. In
Montevideo, too, there is a ground specially set apart for this
purpose. Here the Rural Association of Uruguay holds the great annual
championship meeting, and the Government has just allotted the sum of
a hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of improving the spot, and
for the introduction of the very latest innovations. These
agricultural shows have proved highly successful in facilitating the
actual commercial transactions having reference to live stock of all
descriptions. Thus during the past few years the principal meetings
alone have been responsible for an annual sale of over half a million
dollars' worth of animals.

Although, as has been explained, numerous products of the pastoral
industry are exported in their natural state, there are others which
require special treatment and preparation in their country of origin
ere shipment, and which are daily gaining in importance. The most
important institutions that deal with these are the meat-curing
factories, the freezing works, and the establishments for preserving
meat and for extracting its essence. These chief industries we will
deal with at some length later, enumerating first of all some of the
side products of lesser importance, such as the manufacture of tallow
and of hams, and that of tanning.

Another industry that bids fair to be of supreme importance in the
future is that of dairy-farming. At the present time this is worked on
a comparatively modest scale, since the great majority of farms are
content with the breeding and selling of the cattle. Nevertheless,
there are several important establishments that produce milk, butter,
and cheese for the purposes of both home consumption and of export.

The chief amongst these establishments is that of La Carolina,
belonging to Don Francisco Fontana, which occupies an area of eight
thousand hectares in the department of Rocha. No less than five
thousand milch cows graze on this property, which is provided with
steam-driven machinery of the most modern type. In the department of
Colonia, too, exists the colony of Swiss, who devote themselves
especially to this particular branch of industry. The principal
factory here is that of Breuss and Frey, which deals with thirty
thousand litres of milk daily, and can turn out twenty-four thousand
kilos of butter in a month. This factory likewise contains the most
up-to-date machinery, and is provided with freezing and sterilising
apparatus. This concern exports cheese as well as butter.

These few facts will give an idea of the point to which the
dairy-farming industry in Uruguay may develop in the near future,
since there exist several millions of cows of a type eminently
suitable for the purpose.

In the Republic there are actually twenty saladeros in existence, of
which thirteen are situated in Montevideo, seven on the banks of the
River Uruguay, and one at Paso de los Toros, in the interior of the
country.

The number of the animals slaughtered at these saladeros will give an
idea of the importance of the industry. During the years 1904 and 1908
the total amounted to no less than 2,763,855 head of cattle, thus
making the average for the year over half a million head. During these
five years 223,872,000 kilos of _tasajo_, or dried meat, were
prepared, which represent a yearly average of forty-five million
kilos. The average yield of the steers was ninety kilos of tasajo,
that of the cows sixty kilos.

The manner in which this dried meat is prepared in the saladeros is
fairly simple. After the cattle have been slaughtered and the
veterinary examination has proved the absence of any taint or disease
the bones are separated from the meat, which is then shaped into
various portions known respectively as _mantas_ and _postas_. Once
dried, these are placed in brine-pans, and piled up, well covered with
salt. According to the state of the weather and the condition to which
the meat is required to attain, it is placed in special vessels in the
sun for a period varying between four and six days, until it is
perfectly dry and ready to be baled.

As will be seen from this, salt and sun heat are the two principal
agents that enter into the manufacture of tasajo, two powerful agents
that, it is claimed, perform their task in the simplest and most
hygienic fashion possible. The slaughtering season in the saladeros
generally begins in the month of November, and is continued until
January of the following year.

Tasajo, when its manufacture is completed, is classified into four
grades, in accordance with the fatter or leaner propensities of the
meat. The former kinds are exported principally to the markets of
Brazil, while the latter are for the most part destined for
consumption in Cuba. Beyond these, however, there are various other
fields in which tasajo plays a popular part. It is, for instance, sent
in fairly large quantities to the Portuguese colonies, to Puerto Rico,
and to Spain and Portugal themselves, as well as to numerous less
important places whose inhabitants have learned to appreciate this
particular form of dried meat. The product contains certain advantages
in that its treatment is simple throughout. Thus, when once in the
hands of its actual consumers, the salt has merely to be dissolved
from the meat in order to render it in a condition prepared for the
oven.

It is several years now since Uruguay has commenced to export frozen
meat. Six years ago an important freezing establishment, La
Frigorifica Uruguaya, was founded in the department of Montevideo on
the bank of the River Plate. The place occupies a large extent of
ground, and is capable of slaughtering daily two hundred head of
cattle and two thousand sheep. This establishment is fitted up with
the most recent inventions that have been brought to bear on the
freezing process. The frozen beef is classified into three qualities,
according to type and weight, and is packed in quarters in a double
covering that completely preserves it from the danger of contact with
other substances. The carcasses of the sheep, following the usual
custom, are shipped entire, and covered in the same way.

The Frigorifica Uruguaya began operations in 1905. The rapid increase
in the extent of its shipments may be judged from the following
figures. Thus, in 1905, the year of its inception, the establishment
exported two thousand tons of frozen meat; in 1906 the shipments had
increased to four thousand tons, whereas in 1907 the total amounted to
seven thousand and in 1908 to nine thousand tons. This increase has
continued unchecked during the past couple of years, and the shipments
for 1910 are estimated to have amounted to no less than twelve
thousand tons. The machinery has now been added to, and the result
will certainly go to swell these figures considerably more in the near
future.

The benefit that this concern confers on the pastoral industry is of
course very great. Not only does it increase the facilities for sale
of the cattle, but its existence tends in addition towards the
improvement of breed in general, since only the animals of a superior
class are suitable for the purpose it serves.



CHAPTER XXIII

DEPARTMENTS, CLIMATE, AND NATURAL HISTORY

     The nineteen divisions of Uruguay--Their populations, areas,
     towns, and industries--Canelones--Florida--San
     José--Durazno--Flores--Colonia--Soriano--Rio
     Negro--Paysandú--Salto--Artigas--Tacuarembó--Rivera--Cerro
     Largo--Treinta y
     Tres--Rocha--Maldonado--Montevideo--Climate--Favourable
     conditions throughout the Republic--The Atlantic coast line--The
     summer season--Pleasantly tempered heat--A land of cool
     breezes--Its attractions as a pleasure resort--Climates of the
     interior and of the north--Draught--Locusts--Comparative immunity
     of a pastoral country--Uruguayan fauna--Some common creatures of
     the Campo--Bird life--The ostrich--Its value as a commercial
     asset--The trade in ostrich feathers--Measures for the protection
     of the birds.


A list of the nineteen departments of Uruguay with their more salient
features will go far towards explaining in detail the various areas,
populations, and resources of the Republic.

Canelones, situated in the midst of the departments of Montevideo, San
José, Florida, Minas, and Maldonado, with a coast-line upon the River
Plate, possesses an area of 4,751 square kilometres. It is one of the
most populous departments, containing over ninety thousand
inhabitants. Three railway-lines connect the district with Montevideo.
Its chief towns are Guadeloupe, Santa Lucia, Pando, and Las Piedras,
each of which contains some eight thousand inhabitants. Canelones is
mainly devoted to pasture, agriculture, viticulture, and general
fruit-growing.

Florida is situated directly to the north of Canelones. Its area is
12,107 square kilometres and its population fifty thousand. Two lines
of railway connect it with Montevideo. The chief town is Florida, the
capital of the department, a city of ten thousand inhabitants. Until
recent years Florida has been almost altogether given up to the
pastoral industry; but of late agriculture has made great strides.

San José is situated to the west of Canelones, and likewise possesses
a coast-line on the River Plate. Its area is 6,932 square kilometres;
population about fifty thousand. The department is connected with
Montevideo by two railway lines. The principal town is San José de
Mayo, with a population of just over twelve thousand inhabitants.
Rather more than half the department is made up of rich pasture-lands,
although the agricultural districts are increasing. In addition to
fruit-growing and viticulture, the timber industry of San José is
important, consisting of wood both for building purposes and for fuel.

Durazno, to the north of Florida, is the most central department in
the Republic, and contains a population of fifty thousand inhabitants.
It is connected by a railway line with Montevideo, and its chief city
is San Pedro del Durazno, whose inhabitants number eleven thousand.
The department is essentially a pastoral one, and is especially well
watered, being served by the Rivers Negro and Yi, and by countless
tributaries and smaller streams.

Flores, situated to the west of Durazno, contains twenty thousand
inhabitants. Almost half this number are residents of the capital,
Trinidad. Flores is not yet served by a railway, and it is probably
for this reason that so many of its districts, admirably adapted for
agriculture, still remain essentially pastoral. In Flores is a very
curious grotto, sustained by natural arches and columns, that has
been the source of much geological controversy.

Colonia is the richest and most important department of all in the
Republic. Lying to the west of San José, it has the advantage not only
of railways but of a lengthy coast-line on the River Plate.
Agriculture here has attained to a high pitch of development, and
dairy-farming constitutes one of the most important industries of the
department. Fruit culture and viticulture are in an equally advanced
condition, while the quarrying of building stone is now being
energetically carried on. In Colonia is situated the Swiss Colony, the
inhabitants of which apply themselves to agriculture and
dairy-farming.

Soriano lies to the north of Colonia, and its western boundary is
likewise washed by the waters of the river--no longer the River Plate,
but the Uruguay. The area of the department is 9,223 kilometres, and
its population rather exceeds forty thousand. Soriano is connected by
railway with Montevideo. Its chief town is Mercedes, the population of
which amounts to ten thousand inhabitants. The principal industry is
pasture, although agriculture and general fruit-growing is carried on
to a certain extent. Timber, charcoal-burning, and stone-quarrying are
responsible for a certain amount of labour. A fair quantity of
minerals such as iron, silver, copper, and lead is met with here.

Rio Negro is situated on the Uruguay River to the north of Colonia.
Its area is 8,470 kilometres and its population twenty thousand. The
department is now in the act of being linked up with the main centres
by railway. Its capital is Fray Bentos, a town celebrated as one of
the chief centres of the manufacture of meat extract, with a
population of seven thousand inhabitants. Rio Negro is essentially a
pastoral province, and is the chief centre in the Republic for the
breeding of live stock, which attains here to an exceptionally high
grade of quality. Rio Negro is one of the most favourably situated
departments as regards water communication. In addition to its 120
kilometres of coast-line on the Uruguay it possesses 200 kilometres of
river frontage on the River Negro.

Paysandú bounds Rio Negro to the north, with a lengthy frontage on the
Uruguay River. Its population is forty thousand, of which twenty-one
thousand inhabit the capital, Paysandú, the second town of importance
in Uruguay. The area of the department is about 14,000 square
kilometres. Paysandú is connected by railway both with the capital and
the northern centres. Its industries are chiefly pastoral and
agricultural, and a number of meat-curing establishments exist.

Salto is the neighbouring province to the north upon the River
Uruguay. It contains an area of 12,500 square kilometres and a
population of rather over fifty thousand. Its chief town is Salto,
that in actual size is said to exceed that of Paysandú, numbering as
it does rather over twenty-two thousand inhabitants. The department is
served by railway. The principal industry is that of pasture. The
department, moreover, is one of the chief wine-producing centres of
the Republic. Salto is rich in minerals, and quartz and precious
stones are met with in fair quantities here.

Artigas is the northernmost province on the Uruguay as well as in the
Republic. Its area is 11,300 square kilometres, its population thirty
thousand. Its capital is San Eugenio, situated on the Brazilian
frontier, a town of nine thousand inhabitants. The railway runs as far
as this point, and thus serves the length of the province. Artigas
contains many districts notable for minerals, and is well endowed
with precious stones such as the amethyst and topaz. Owing to the
northern situation of the department grazing and agriculture are
carried on to a lesser extent than in the majority of others. The
variety of timber is important here, hard woods being found as well as
the softer varieties.

Tacuarembó is situated in the northern centre of the Republic. That is
to say, its frontiers extend from the centre to within a comparatively
short distance of the Brazilian frontier. The department is the
largest in Uruguay, its territories extending over more than
twenty-one thousand square kilometres. Its population, however, does
not exceed fifty thousand, and it is thus the most sparsely inhabited
department of the country. It is served by a railway. The principal
town is San Fructuoso, which possesses eight thousand inhabitants.
Tacuarembó is for the most part devoted to agriculture. Tobacco
flourishes in the province, and recent experimental rice plantations
have met with a fair amount of success. Gold and manganese are met
with in various districts.

Rivera is bounded on the south by Tacuarembó and on the north by
Brazil. It is a fairly extensive department containing comparatively
few inhabitants, but the precise figures of neither the one nor the
other seem available. The chief town of the department is Rivera, a
city situated on the Brazilian frontier that has a population of ten
thousand. The industries of Rivera are similar to those of Tacuarembó.
The gold mines here are of considerable importance, and are in active
working. The department is served by railway, Rivera being the
northernmost Uruguayan point of the line from Montevideo.

Cerro Largo is situated on the south-east of Rivera, and is bounded on
the north-east by Brazil. The area of the department is nearly fifteen
thousand square kilometres; population about forty-five thousand. Its
capital is Melo, a town of fourteen thousand inhabitants. It is the
terminus of a recently constructed railway-line, the entry of which
into the country has had the effect of benefiting local commerce to a
considerable extent. The principal industry is pastoral, but, in
addition, a certain amount of agriculture is carried on.

Treinta y Tres, which lies to the south of Cerro Largo, possesses an
area of 9,550 square kilometres and a population of thirty thousand.
It has not the advantage of being served by any railway, although this
will shortly occur. The principal town is Treinta y Tres, whose
inhabitants are about eight thousand in number. Up to the present time
the pastoral industry predominates here, that of agriculture being
scarcely known. It is anticipated, however, that the coming
development of the province will alter this condition of affairs. The
department is well wooded, and the timber industry here is an
important one. Treinta y Tres is bounded on the east wholly by the
great Lake of Merin, upon the further shore of which lies Brazil.

Rocha, to the south of Treinta y Tres, is also bounded for the great
part of its eastern frontier by Lake Merin, although a small portion
of Brazil and a long stretch of Atlantic Ocean complete its boundaries
in this direction. The department contains an area of eleven thousand
kilometres and a population of forty thousand. It is not traversed by
a railroad. Its chief industry is grazing; but in some districts
viticulture is in an advanced state. The seal fishery affords an
important revenue, and the mineral products of the country are
considerable. Copper, gypsum, alabaster, marble, and jasper obtain in
considerable quantities. The chief town is Rocha, a centre of
unimportant size.

Maldonado is situated on the Atlantic Ocean, to the west of Rocha.
Its extent and population are not officially given. In a short while
the department will be adequately served by the railway, which has
already entered its frontiers. Like the great majority of the
departments it is principally devoted to pasture. A certain amount of
agriculture and wine-growing obtains, and in the southern districts
much timber has been planted. The seal fishery in the neighbourhood of
Lobos Island, off its coast, is important. The capital of the
department is Maldonado, a small coastal town.

Minas, to the north of Maldonado, has a population of about sixty
thousand. In addition to its pasture and agriculture, the department
is exceptionally well endowed with minerals. The capital is Minas, a
city of fourteen thousand inhabitants, that forms the terminus of the
railway-line from Montevideo.

The department of Montevideo constitutes the small extent of territory
in the neighbourhood of the capital itself, a considerable portion of
which is taken up by the outer suburbs of the main town. The country
in the neighbourhood here is very fertile and highly cultivated.

There is probably no climate in South America that offers greater
attractions than that of Uruguay. Throughout the Republic the
conditions are favourable; but it stands to reason that those which
obtain upon the coast-line facing the Atlantic are the most ideal of
all. The climate in these neighbourhoods is essentially temperate, and
may be likened to that of the Riviera of France, without, however,
suffering from the occasional winter frosts and intense summer heat
that characterise this latter seaboard. Nevertheless the winter
temperature of the Uruguayan littoral when a southern wind is blowing
can be quite as keen as is compatible with comfort.

As is the case in the majority of temperate countries, there is no
accurately defined rainy or dry reason, although the rains are wont to
be far more abundant in the winter months. The heat of summer in the
south-eastern provinces is very seldom oppressive; indeed, one of the
most striking characteristics of the warm season is the continuance of
the refreshing and bracing airs that temper the heat, and that render
midsummer itself as enjoyable as the delightful spring months. The
climate of Buenos Aires is distinctly pleasant, but, so far as the
summer season is concerned, the difference between that of the
capitals of Argentina and Uruguay is curiously marked, when it is
taken into consideration that not more than 120 miles of water
separate the two. The exceptionally pleasant conditions that prevail
on this portion of the Oriental coast are acknowledged by none more
readily than by the Argentines, who flock there in great numbers for
the purposes of bathing and general climatic refreshment in January
and February.

The wind-swept uplands of the interior are favoured in a similar
degree when compared with the districts of the other countries in
corresponding latitudes. In the northern provinces upon the Brazilian
frontier the increase in the normal temperature is, of course, very
distinctly perceptible, and for the first time the vegetation gives
undoubted evidence of an approach to the tropics.

[Illustration: STREAM ON THE SAN JUAN ESTANCIA.
To face p. 272.]

In consequence of this temperate climate that it enjoys the natural
plagues of the Banda Oriental are few. Drought, although it occurs
from time to time, cannot be looked upon as a genuinely characteristic
chastening influence of the land. The visitations of locusts
constitute a more serious matter. These, as in the case of the
neighbouring countries, occur in cycles, and the periods marked by the
presence of the small winged creatures with the insatiable
appetites are unpleasant enough for the agriculturalist. Owing to the
great pastoral predominance in Uruguay, however, the country in
general suffers far less than one more devoted to the production of
cereals. With the spread of agriculture that is now in progress the
question is likely to become more serious. But by the time that a
reasonable proportion of the Republic has been brought under
cultivation it is possible that one of the many plans that are
continually being brought forward for the extermination of the locust
curse may have taken effect. Nevertheless, too much reliance is not to
be placed upon this very desirable consummation.

The great majority of Uruguayan fauna are identical with those of the
River Plate countries in general. The animals most commonly to be met
with in a journey through the Campo are the carpincho, a large,
tailless water-hog; the nutria, a creature that closely resembles a
gigantic rat, although its hind feet are webbed; the skunk, the
opossum, the iguana, and the armadillo.

In the region of bird life the larger varieties most in evidence are
the carancho, a cross between a vulture and a hawk; the chimangu, a
smaller carrion-hawk, and a kestrel-hawk with brown body and bright
grey wings. Far rarer are the large grey eagle, and the cuerbo, or
black vulture. Heron of various species are very plentiful.

Of the smaller birds the teru-tero, a variety of crested plover, is by
far the most numerous, although certain districts exist in which the
duck and teal run them a close second in point of numbers, while
partridge and martineta are to be met with in abundance in others.

Amongst the more gorgeous winged specimens of the country are the
flamingo, parrot, woodpecker, humming-bird, and the little black
pecho colorado with its brilliant scarlet breast. Both the scissor
bird and the _viuda_ (window) bird are aptly named. The former
rejoices in a very long, divided tail; the latter is of a pure white
colour with a well-defined black border to its wings. The "bien te
veo, bicho feo" is a mocking-bird whose call closely resembles the
phrase by which it is known, and the ornero, or oven bird, is so
called from the curious structure of its mud nest. The small owl, too,
is a notable inhabitant of the Campo, as are the dainty miniature
doves. But to enter fully into the animal life of the Banda Oriental
would require a book in itself; therefore it is necessary to be
content with a list of the varieties most commonly to be met with.

In dealing with the category of birds I have purposely left the
ostrich to the last, as that particular biped stands, as it were, in a
class of its own. The _Rhea Americana_ represents a commercial asset
of no little importance, and the grey companies of these rather
awkward-looking creatures are carefully watched now as they strut
solemnly to and fro over the pastures. The feathers, it is true,
cannot as a rule rival in quality those of the African bird, although
occasionally some very fine specimens are to be met with. Indeed, it
is said that the large, specially selected feathers are sold at prices
that range from fifteen dollars to twenty-five dollars the kilo. The
great majority of the coarser feathers are of little value, and are
employed for dusting brushes and such similar purposes.

That the commerce in these ostrich feathers is of no little importance
becomes evident when the shipments of the article are considered. In
1908 the exports of these to France, the United States, Spain, and
Germany amounted to fifteen thousand kilos, while in 1909 they had
increased to twenty-five thousand kilos. The numbers of the ostriches
themselves, however, have tended to decrease of late years, and it is
estimated that at the present time there are not more than fifty
thousand in the country. Realising the danger incurred by this
diminution, the Government is now taking measures towards the
protection of these very useful birds, and there is no doubt that
judicious legislation will cause their number to increase once more.



CHAPTER XXIV

INDUSTRIES AND NATURAL WEALTH

     England's financial stake in Uruguay--British capital invested in
     the Republic--Its monetary importance compared with that of other
     South American nations--General commercial development of the
     country--A satisfactory outlook--Progress of grazing and
     agriculture--Marked increase in commerce--Uruguay's
     exports--Cured meats and frozen carcasses--Diminution of the
     former trade; increase of the latter--Reasons for the
     transformation of industry--An outcome of Brazilian
     protection--The breeding of fine cattle for the European
     markets--Present situation of the world's meat market--The
     British Isles as importers of meat--The position in the United
     States--A change from the rôle of exporter to that of
     importer--The increase in River Plate shipments--Closeness of
     touch between South American and English markets--Probable
     admission of foreign meat into European countries--Intervention
     of the United States Beef Trust--Purchase of
     Frigorificos--Possible effects of a monopoly upon the
     producers--South American views on the subject--Favourable
     general position of the River Plate--The balance of power in
     beef--Extract of meat--The Lemco and Oxo Company--Ramifications
     of the enterprise--The town of Fray
     Bentos--Agriculture--Wheat--Maize--Barley.


The financial interest that England possesses in Uruguay is not
generally realised. As a matter of fact, the amount of British capital
invested in the Banda Oriental amounts to over forty-four millions of
pounds sterling, and there are thus only two nations, Argentina and
Brazil, that possess a greater share of the total of those funds
invested in the South American continent. To the ears of the majority,
it must be admitted, the names of Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and
Colombia sound more familiar than that of the country with which we
are at present dealing. Yet in the matter of these investments Chile
alone can approach the status of the small Republic on the River
Plate, and, indeed, falls behind it only to the extent of a few
hundred thousand pounds. Peru, however, is interested to scarcely more
than one-half of the extent, while Venezuela, the next in order,
cannot lay claim to one-sixth of the amount.

A comparison such as this will show the real financial importance that
Uruguay represents to England, and, such being admitted, the condition
of its commerce must be a matter of proportionate interest. To deal
first of all with the general commercial development of the country,
the outlook is undoubtedly satisfactory. In order to obtain the
broadest possible survey of the situation it is necessary to lump
together the national imports and exports. Taking a recent number of
five-yearly periods, the results obtained are:

                       $
  1862-68         109,886,156
  1869-73         158,468,043
  1874-78         148,443,857
  1879-83         195,757,038
  1884-88         234,618,354
  1889-93         261,877,934
  1894-98         274,137,052
  1899-1903       286,580,824
  1904-08         338,009,777

The dollar quoted in this table--and wherever this unit is employed
throughout the book--is, it should be explained, the Uruguayan gold
dollar, the rough value of which may be estimated at four shillings
and twopence.

This steady development of commerce is not a little striking in view
of the fact that up to the present only a very small percentage of
the resources of the country have been brought to bear. It is true
that the chief national wealth is likely, in the future as in the
past, to remain centred in the rich natural grazing lands. But the
progress of agriculture is now such that this branch of industry
cannot well fail in the course of a few years to rank as a moderate
second in importance to the business of grazing. Moreover, the
development of this latter itself is only now being proceeded with in
a manner worthy of the great resources that exist. The marked increase
in the general commerce that is evident between the years 1899 and
1908 is due to a very large extent to the introduction of modern
methods into the estancia life of the country.

It is necessary now to turn to a more detailed consideration of
Uruguay's exports. The chief of these, as has already been explained,
is represented by live stock, and by meat in various forms. Of recent
years these particular branches of industry have been undergoing a
certain amount of transformation. For generations, indeed for
centuries, Uruguay has represented the chief source of Brazil's supply
of animal food. Not only were the herds of cattle and flocks of sheep
driven northwards with ceaseless regularity across the frontier, but
the millions of bales of dried beef flowed along the same channels
too.

Recent events have caused a certain diminution in this commerce. With
the course of time Brazil has become more and more desirous of seeing
her own southern and comparatively temperate provinces more liberally
stocked with cattle. With the idea of fostering the local grazing
industry, the northern republic has increased the duties upon both
imported cattle and meat. The immediate result naturally proved
unfavourable both to Uruguayan graziers and saladero owners. In the
end, however, the outcome has proved beneficial rather than
detrimental to the landowner. As may be imagined, for the manufacture
of tasajo a high grade of cattle is not necessarily required. The
secret of the actual quality of the meat is to a great extent lost in
the dried and hardened bales of the preserve. Moreover, in order to
suit the taste of local consumption in Brazil a far slenderer class of
animal was necessary than the fattened type that the colder climates
demand.

Thus, when it became necessary to make up for the deficit in these
neighbourly exports by the opening up of fresh markets and by catering
for the overseas demand, one of the first means to be taken in hand
towards attaining this end was a yet more close attention to the
question of a quality of meat suitable for European consumption. There
were many who foresaw numerous difficulties in attaining to this
standard, principally owing to the comparative absence of alfalfa in
the land. It is true that this fattening lucerne thrives only in
limited areas of Uruguay. But to what extent the excellent pastures of
the land have made up for this disadvantage is plain enough from the
amount of frozen carcasses now shipped to Europe. The situation as
regards the export of pastoral products has, in consequence, become
improved. Less dried meat and fewer live cattle are sent to Brazil,
but the deficiency is more than counterbalanced by shipments of a
superior order to the new markets now established in Europe.

The present situation of the meat markets throughout the world has
reached so vitally important a stage that a few comments on the
position cannot well come amiss in view of its inevitable direct
influences upon Uruguay, and the similar stock-raising countries.
Naturally enough, the primary centres of interest are to be found in
the United States, and in its Beef Trust. Ere coming to this point,
however, it would be as well to review the general situation.

Until the present moment the British Isles have been the chief
importers of frozen and chilled meat from both North and South
America. The demand has, naturally enough, shown an annual increase
corresponding with the growth of the population. A similar state of
affairs has, of course, existed in North America, but here the
increase of the inhabitants has been so rapid and so overwhelming that
the breeding of cattle has been entirely unable to progress in the
same ratio. The result of this is that the United States can now
produce only a comparatively insignificant surplus over and above the
quantity of animal food that is required for consumption by its own
inhabitants. Of late, therefore, the shipments of North American beef
to the British Isles have decreased with a rather startling celerity,
and there can be no question that in the near future the trade will
have ceased altogether. Exactly when this will occur--whether in two
years or half a dozen--it is impossible for even the experts to tell,
since so many elements of the unexpected enter into the question. But
that it will come about is certain, and it is, of course, equally
inevitable that the conclusion of the period of exportation will mark
the beginning of another era when it will be necessary for the United
States to import her animal food supply from countries outside her own
frontiers.

[Illustration: THE CATTLE DIP.]

[Illustration: DRYING JERKED MEAT.
To face p. 280.]

In the meanwhile Argentina has stepped into the gap that North America
had of necessity left vacant, and the establishment of its frigorifico
will now enable Uruguay to take a hand in this business of shipping.
The River Plate countries are undoubtedly in a position to cope with
the situation for an indefinite period of years, although its effects
are already evident to a certain extent upon the local markets of
Argentina. In the latter country I have been present at the
stockyards in November when the herds of cattle that had arrived from
the Campo were being sold. The faces of those estancieros who were
present were beaming, for prices were ruling quite exceptionally high.
The reason lay in the demand for the London Christmas beef that had
sent its stimulus all this distance--an emphatic proof of the
closeness of touch that now obtains between the River Plate and the
British Isles.

Were the position to begin and end at this point it would be simple
enough. Some developments, however, have occurred of late that render
the outlook for the future far more complicated. There seems very
little doubt that the time will come when England will no longer enjoy
the practical monopoly of imported beef. The desire for the admission
of this commodity in several of the great European countries is
becoming more and more accentuated, and it is highly probable that the
agitation that is now being carried on in favour of this new departure
will eventually result in the breaking down of the barriers that at
present oppose the trade. It is, of course, impossible to estimate the
full extent of the consequences of a move of the kind, but that it
must cause a rise in the price of beef in the English markets is
inevitable.

In the face of these possibilities the prospects of the River Plate
countries are, of course, more favourable than ever before. With the
markets of Europe open to their cattle and meat, the added stimulus to
the industries of these countries cannot fail to be enormous. But here
again an element has come into being that, although it will have no
effect upon the industry, taken as a whole, must necessarily threaten
many of the interests involved. The Beef Trust of the United States
has been keenly alive to the great pastoral developments in South
America. Accurately foreseeing that the importance of the present day
is merely a prelude to what is to come, the great corporation has now
descended wholesale upon the shores of the River Plate, has already
bought up a number of frigorificos, and it will be through no want of
endeavour of its own if it does not sooner or later acquire the
remainder.

I have no desire to tilt against the Beef Trust, which is very
probably an excellent institution, but one that, since it openly lays
no claim to a purely philanthropical policy, cannot be expected to
safeguard the welfare of concerns that do not tend towards its own
advancement. Should this corporation, therefore, attain its present
object of securing the frigorificos, and the consequent monopoly of
the purchase of cattle for export, the actual producers of the live
stock will find themselves face to face with a situation of which they
have previously had no experience. It is quite possible that it will
suit the corporation to buy the cattle at prices similar to those
which now obtain--or it may not, since it is well known that the
estanciero continued to exist in a more or less affluent fashion when
his cattle sold at lower rates than is the case at the present day.

In any case the matter seems to be taken fairly lightly in the South
American countries most concerned. The prevalent idea is that, should
the danger be realised, it is easy to legislate against trusts--a
theory that may, or may not, be correct. Putting aside for the moment,
however, these possible complications, it will be clear that the
position of the River Plate countries as regards the shipment of their
beef is quite exceptionally favourable. So much so, indeed, that it is
not without the bounds of possibility that the spread of agriculture
may at some future period receive a check in favour of the purely
pastoral industry. For the wheat and maize-producing lands are
considerably in excess of those that raise cattle in sufficient
quantities for serious export. Fresh areas suitable for wheat-growing,
moreover, are continually being lit upon, whereas the discovery of new
grazing lands is obviously more limited. It is true that our own
colony of Rhodesia promises to take an important share in the
cattle-breeding industry--a promise the fulfilment of which may be
anticipated with confidence. With this exception, the countries of the
River Plate will undoubtedly hold the balance of power in all matters
appertaining to that very, very important article beef.

In addition to that of the carcasses themselves, another very
important product of Uruguay is the extract of meat produced by the
Liebig (Lemco) Company. Fray Bentos was the original home of this
industry, with which the place has been associated since 1865. Of late
years the Lemco interests have spread far beyond their original
frontiers, for of the total of nearly five million acres at present
owned by the concern many hundred thousands of acres exist in
Argentina, Paraguay, and even in Rhodesia. As a matter of fact, the
working power of the recently constructed factory at Colón in Entre
Rios, upon the Argentine bank of the river, exceeds that of Fray
Bentos. Nevertheless, the importance of this latter place will be
evident enough when it is explained that in 1910 over one hundred and
seventy-nine thousand head of cattle were slaughtered there in order
to provide the necessary extract of meat.

The Lemco town of Fray Bentos is by way of being a model specimen of
its kind. The establishments of the managers here, and the dwellings
of the workmen are each admirable of their kind, and very replete with
the comforts and luxuries that appertain to the various walks of
life. The streets, moreover, are broad and well-engineered, and the
schools and various institutions denote a liberal spirit on the part
of the directors of the concern.

To turn from the meat industry to that of agriculture, we come,
naturally enough, to a far less imposing condition of affairs, but
one, nevertheless, that is increasing in importance each year. The
chief cereal of Uruguay is wheat. At the present moment nearly three
hundred thousand hectares have been devoted to the raising of this
crop. Although the discovery of fresh lands suitable to the production
of wheat has caused this particular area to increase, the main centres
in cultivation up to the present have been rather strictly localised.
The provinces that contain the really important wheat districts are
those of San José, Colonia, and Canelones. The lines of railway,
however, that have recently been constructed to the east and west of
the Republic are opening up much land that is undoubtedly admirably
suited for the production of this cereal. Wheat, it may be explained,
is a crop the nature of which renders it more immune than the majority
from the attacks of the voracious locust. By the time the
all-devouring insect is wont to make its appearance, the ears of the
wheat are as a rule hardened to a sufficient extent to render them
unpalatable. Wheat therefore, frequently escapes, wholly or in part,
where the maize crop suffers severely from the ravages of the locusts.

The production of maize is only very slightly less than that of wheat.
The yield of this commodity in 1909 amounted roughly to one hundred
and seventy thousand tons, while that of wheat fell just below two
hundred and thirty-four thousand tons. Generally speaking, it may be
said that the districts where wheat is grown are suitable for the
cultivation of maize, and thus in Uruguay the two are wont to
flourish to a large extent side by side. It is worthy of note,
however, that whereas the wheat area has remained more or less
stationary, although its development is now practically certain, that
of maize has increased to a marked extent--from one hundred and
forty-five thousand hectares, in fact, in 1900 to over two hundred
thousand hectares in 1909.

The production of oats and barley--although that of either still
remains comparatively insignificant--has increased rapidly during the
past decade. In 1900 the output of oats only just exceeded thirty
tons, whereas in 1909 it had amounted to nearly seven thousand tons.
Barley has a similar, although a somewhat more gradual, tale to tell,
since in the corresponding period its production rose from four
hundred to three thousand tons.



CHAPTER XXV

INDUSTRIES AND NATURAL WEALTH (_continued_)

     Minerals--Past obstacles to the proper working of
     mines--Gold--Auriferous prospects--Situation of the goldfields of
     Uruguay--Past and present workings of the mines--Influence of
     politics on labour--The Corrales mines--Manganese--Districts in
     which iron ore is met with--Mineral centres--Minas--Maldonado--
     Silver--Copper--Marble--Gypsum--Slate--Sulphur--Asbestos--Precious
     stones--Diamonds and rubies--Jasper--Agate--The amethyst and
     topaz--The water-stone--A peculiarity of Uruguay--Viticulture--
     Date of the introduction of the vine--Vicissitudes at the start--
     Subsequent rapid progress--Vineyard area of the present day--The
     introduction of suitable plants--Countries of origin--Production
     of grapes and wine--Departments most suitable to the industry--The
     seal fisheries--Originally carried on by the Indians--Habits of the
     seals--Development of the industry--Government grants--Conditions
     and concessions--Number of skins obtained since 1873--Islands
     inhabited by the seals--Method of killing and curing--Waste of
     seal life--Suggestions for the improvement of the industry--
     Scientific measures necessary--A diplomatic incident in
     connection with the seal fisheries.


It is quite possible that Uruguayan minerals may yet cause something
of a sensation throughout the world. In the past her deposits of the
kind have lain comparatively undisturbed, owing to similar reasons
that have hampered the industry in Peru and Bolivia--want of transport
facilities. With the rapid spread of the railways, however, these
disadvantages will shortly become minimised, when no doubt
considerably more will be heard of the mineral wealth of the country.

Let it be clear that I am not making the following remarks in the
character of a mining expert. The latter profession, according to
vulgar report, is at times not averse to fiction; but the gap that
separates an author from a goldfield is uncomfortably wide. This
apparently frivolous foreword is not altogether uncalled for, since to
speak with undue optimism of the presence of the yellow dross is
dangerous to the layman writer, and profitable only to the expert.
Nevertheless, the auriferous prospects of Uruguay, so far as such can
ever be assured, give no small promise of success.

The chief goldfields of Uruguay lie in the northern province of
Rivera, and are situated in the neighbourhoods of Corrales, Cuñapiru,
and Zapucaya. A district here of from thirty-five to forty miles in
length and of about seven miles in breadth is thickly interwoven with
auriferous reef. The knowledge of the wealth in this particular spot
is no new thing, as ancient superficial workings on the part of the
Indians prove. From that time the mines had apparently fallen into
disuse until comparatively recent years, when they were in a sense
rediscovered by a French company. The concern, it is true, met with a
consistent lack of prosperity. The actual working is said to have been
carried on in a fashion that was both half-hearted and old-fashioned.
The period, moreover, was a peculiarly disturbed one from a political
point of view, and the province of Rivera has always been famed as the
birthplace and chosen haunt of revolutionary movements. An English
company, however, has now assumed control of the mines, a modern plant
is at work, and gold is actually being yielded.

Such are the bare historical facts of the chief mines at Corrales.
According to the experts, reefs have been met with that will yield
five ounces to the ton, and, should the reefs prove deep, the
prospects are practically limitless. But this remains to be seen. In
the meanwhile the earth has promised! But its promises, like its crust
in parts, are sometimes of pielike material. In this case, should the
anticipations be realised, there will be no little stir in the
province of Rivera--and elsewhere.

In the neighbourhood of these mines are enormous deposits of manganese
that are just now beginning to attract special attention. The
quantities of iron, too, that are to be met with here are rather
exceptional. Rivera, however, constitutes by no means the sole mineral
district of Uruguay. The provinces of Minas, Artigas, Maldonado,
Salto, Paysandú, Montevideo, and San José are all more or less well
endowed with the various species.

Of these remaining centres Minas is probably the richest. Traces of
gold are to be met with here, although in a minor degree, and silver,
copper, marble, gypsum, slate, sulphur, and asbestos would probably
all repay organised handling. Minas also produces lead, but this, too,
has suffered from considerable neglect. Indeed, I believe that one of
the very few ransackings of the mines that have occurred was for the
purpose of manufacturing bullets for the armies during the
revolutionary and civil wars at the beginning of the nineteenth
century.

The province of Maldonado contains copper, iron, marble, gypsum,
sulphur, and slate, and here, too, the mineral field has remained
almost unexploited up to the present. Montevideo holds manganese and
iron, Salto copper, Florida iron, Paysandú copper, and San José
asbestos. These, at all events, constitute the principal centres of
the minerals specified, although there are others of comparative
insignificance in many other districts.

Uruguay, too, is by no means without its precious stones. Odd rubies
and diamonds have been met with from time to time, and the jasper and
agate are fairly common. The stones, however, that obtain in really
considerable numbers, and that are consequently of the chief
commercial interest, are the amethyst and the topaz. Of both these
some magnificent specimens are to be met with in the Province of
Artigas. These very handsome stones are now attaining a distinct
popularity amongst the visitors to Montevideo. To those who have not
the opportunity of visiting the remote province of Artigas itself, it
may be mentioned that Agosto Wild, in the Calle Veinte Cinco de Mayo
in Montevideo, is a most trustworthy and reliable dealer.

A peculiarity of Uruguay is the water-stone that is met with in the
neighbourhood of Salto. This consists of a rounded portion of stone,
more or less knobbly and opaque or smooth and transparent as the case
may be. In the latter the water that is enclosed within it is almost
as plainly seen as though it were held within rather dull glass, and
with every movement of the crystal-like material the motion and
bubblings of the water are very clearly evident. There have been some
mental gymnastics ere now concerning the advent of the apple within
the dumpling: but the presence of this water within the stone suffices
to puzzle the more scientific minds. So far as I am aware, no adequate
explanation of the phenomenon has yet been vouchsafed.

Viticulture is one of the more recent industries of Uruguay. It has
now, however, obtained a firm hold, and the future of the commerce is
distinctly promising. It was as late as 1860 that the first tentative
plantings of the vine occurred, and it was not until 1875 that a
couple of really important vineyards were established, one at Colon
and the other at Salto, in the north-west of the republic. Even then
the undertaking did not meet with immediate success, and it was some
while ere the type of plant was discovered that would lead to the most
favourable results in the local soil.

This, however, once discovered, the progress of viticulture has
proceeded almost without a check. The rapidity of its increase may be
gathered from the following figures. In 1880 the number of vineyards
in Uruguay was 16; in 1890, 181; whereas in 1895 the total had swollen
to 748. Since that time the industry has continued to spread. Thus in
1897 the vineyards had increased in number to 824, while in 1905 the
viticultural census showed the very respectable total of 1,453.

It is only natural that this great increase in vineyards should have
been accompanied by the introduction of a greater variety of suitable
plants. The types of vines that now flourish in Uruguay hail from
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany, the importance of the
various kinds being in accordance with the seniority rendered them in
order here. Of the French species introduced the most popular are the
Sauvignon, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Castel, Merlot, Verdot, Semillon,
Sauvignon blanc, Clairette blanche, and some half-dozen others; of the
Italian the Piamonte, Grignolino Negro, Asprino, Docetto, Leonarda,
Lambrusca, Cipro Negro, and Verdea. The favourite Spanish varieties
are the Cariñana, Morrastel Bouchet, Murviedo, Malvosia Blanca, Pedro
Ximinez, while from Portugal have been introduced the black and the
white grape, and from Germany the Riesling.

The cultivation of the vineyards is attended by the greatest expense
in the south of the country, where the comparatively humid climate
lends itself more readily to the propagation of the various diseases
to which the vine is subject. Here the American grape, owing to its
immunity from phyloxera in a great degree, flourishes admirably. The
departments in which viticulture is chiefly carried on are at
Montevideo, that possesses a vineyard area of 1,426 hectares; Salto,
719 hectares; Canelones, 699 hectares; Colonia, 490 hectares;
Maldonado, 330 hectares; Paysandú, 177 hectares; Florida, 132
hectares; Soriano, 125 hectares; and Artigas, 97 hectares. In the
remaining departments the viticultural industry is of small account.

The later increase in the actual production of grapes and wine will be
evident from the following table:

  -------------+---------------------+-------------------
               | Kilos of Grapes.    |  Litres of Wine.
  -------------+---------------------+-------------------
  1904         |   16,387,738        |    10,458,119
  1905         |   20,304,850        |    11,569,314
  1906         |   16,408,077        |     9,469,674
  1907         |   19,385,569        |    11,461,817
  1908         |   28,753,259        |    18,563,496
  -------------+---------------------+-------------------

The sealing industry of Uruguay is of considerably greater importance
than is generally supposed. Mr. C. E. R. Rowland, the British Consul
at Montevideo, is the leading English authority on the subject. The
following article, then, which he has kindly supplied, may be taken as
authoritative:

       *       *       *       *       *

The aboriginal races of this part of South America were known to have
resorted to the coast-line during the summer months for their fishing
expeditions, the Indian race of the Charrúas occupying the coastline
from above the river town of Colonia to the borders of the Brazilian
frontier at al Chue, on the Atlantic.

Traces of their encampment grounds are still to be found along this
coast, principally from Maldonado to the Brazilian frontier, where
many of their primitive weapons and utensils are still to be met with,
and also the remains of what must have been their watch-fires, mounds
of burnt bones, containing amongst the rest bones and teeth of seals
which crumble under touch.

This coast in these former times evidently abounded in seal life, as
the natural conditions offered every attraction to these now timid
animals. A storm-beaten coast, with plentiful havens, in the mouth of
a large estuary abounding with fish, enticed the seals to the shore
and made them an easy prey to the Indians, but time has driven them to
the present rookeries which now afford them protection.

The first record of the sealing industry on the coast of Uruguay
having been put to practical purposes is that in the year 1834 they
were rented by the Government for the period of ten years to Señor
Francisco Aguilar for the sum of $80,000. The condition was imposed
that he should erect a suitable edifice to be used as a public school
in the town of Maldonado. This latter condition was altered insomuch
that the building, when completed, was used as a chapel, and has
remained so ever since.

[Illustration: A SEAL ROOKERY.]

[Illustration: BASKING SEALS.
To face p. 292.]

From the termination of this contract up to the year 1858 this
industry was worked by various tenants, but in this latter year the
Government passed a Law imposing a tax of 20 centavos per skin and 4
centavos per 10 kilos of seal oil, to be paid in equal proportions to
the municipalities of Maldonado and Rocha Departments, on whose coasts
the islands are situated. A further Law in the year 1896 doubled
these taxes, which were destined by the said Law to be applied by the
municipal authorities to the public works and the creation of
artificial parks.

The following tables will show the number of skins produced from these
islands since the year 1873:

  Year.                 Skins.

  1873                   8,190
  1874                   9,449
  1875                   9,204
  1876                  11,353
  1877                  11,066
  1878                  14,493
  1879                  14,093
  1880                  16,382
  1881                  14,473
  1882                  13,595
  1883                  12,483
  1884                  14,872
  1885                  12,245
  1886                  17,072
  1887                  17,788
  1888                  21,150
  1889                  15,700
  1890                  20,150
  1891                  13,871
  1892                  15,870
  1893                  14,779
  1894                  20,763
  1895                  17,471
             _____________|__________________
             |                              |
             Island Coronilla      Island Lobos
  1896           11,096             12,543
  1897            9,091             10,143
  1898            8,908              8,778
  1899            9,339              7,796
  1900            8,983              9,845
  1901            8,023              8,215
  1902            9,785             11,468
  1903            5,899              7,929
  1904            5,114              5,765
  1905            2,246              3,387
  1906            4,871              7,212
  1907            2,880              7,612

The islands inhabited by seals on the coast of Uruguay are:

  Castillos Rocks        4 small islands
  Polonio                3      "
  Paloma                 2      "
  Lobos                  2      "

The Castillos Rocks are very difficult of access on account of the
heavy swell breaking on them. The Polonio group consists of three
small islands lying directly off the cape of same name, and are called
Raza, Encantado, and De Marco.

The sealers' huts and boiling-house are on the mainland in a small bay
to the north-east of the lighthouse. The seals when killed on these
islands are skinned with the inside lining of fat attached and are
brought on shore, when the inside lining of fat is taken off and
boiled down. The dead carcasses are left on the island, and in my
opinion the presence of so many dead seals destroyed by human agency
must have some effect upon those animals frequenting these islands,
making them wary and cautious in returning again to a place where the
remains of their companions are so visible.

Coronilla Islands consist of two large islands, covered with herbage,
and one small "_islote_," or reef, generally awash with the sea.

On the largest of these islands the sealers live during the season for
the purpose of salting the skins and boiling down the carcass of the
seals for oil. At the end of the season the skins and oil are brought
into Montevideo by tug-boats.

On Lobos Islands the killing is carried out in a different manner. A
large corral is erected on the middle of the island, and, when seals
are plentiful and the wind and weather are specially favourable, a
drive is made by about fifty men with clubs, who, getting between the
seals and the sea, drive them gently towards the corral. This is done
without much difficulty, and perhaps two thousand may be enclosed in
one day. Once enclosed they are allowed to wait until all preparations
for killing are complete. They are then driven out in batches of
twenty or thirty to the skinning-shed and boiler-house, where they are
dispatched at leisure.

By this mode of killing I am inclined to think that there must be a
great waste of seal life from an absence of a proper knowledge as
regards the animal killed. No selection is made from those driven
down, and every animal is killed even if the skin is worthless or
mangy. The majority of the animals slaughtered are females,
consequently the stock of production is gradually lessened. Were a
skilled sealer employed for the proper classification of the animals
before killing, it would do away to some extent with the extermination
of seals whose skins at that season were practically worthless.

On the Paloma Islands very few seals are killed.

The seizure of the Canadian schooner _Agnes G. Donohoe_ in the year
1905 on the alleged grounds of sealing in jurisdictional waters--that
is, within the three miles limit--caused the intervention of the
British Government. The master and men were under arrest for a period
of ten months, but the case, diplomatically handled at that time by
her Majesty's Representative, Mr. Walter Baring (Minister), and Mr.
Robert Peel (Chargé d'Affaires), was finally settled with satisfaction
to both Governments by the tactful procedure of his Majesty's present
Representative, Mr. Robert J. Kennedy, Minister Plenipotentiary and
Envoy Extraordinary.



CHAPTER XXVI

COMMUNICATION AND COMMERCE

     British enterprise in South America--The various industries
     controlled--The railways of the Southern continent--A remarkable
     record--The opening up of new lands--Some possibilities of the
     future--Sound basis on which the extension of the lines is
     founded--Products and transport facilities--Probable influence of
     communications--Uruguayan railways--A high standard of
     enterprise--Comfortable travelling--Some comparisons between
     Uruguay and Argentina as railway countries--Level country
     _versus_ hills--Stone _versus_ alluvial soil--Questions of
     ballast--Importance of the new ramifications--Railway
     construction in Uruguay--History of the lines--Government
     obligations--Mileage and capital of the companies--Interest paid
     on capital--Various railway systems--Areas served--The Central
     Company--Sketch of lines and extensions--Important
     developments--The communication with Brazil--Financial position
     of the Company--Midland Uruguay Railway--Development and
     extension of the line--Receipts and expenses--The North Western
     of Uruguay and Uruguay Northern Railway--Montevidean
     tramways--Local, British, and German enterprise--Steamer service
     of the River Plate--The Mihanovich line--Ocean passenger
     traffic--Montevideo the sole port of call--The Royal Mail Steam
     Packet Company--The Pacific Line--The Nelson Line--Other British
     companies--Position of British exports--Sound consular advice.


British enterprise throughout South America is admittedly remarkable.
If one except the retail and local trades that are carried on by the
native-born inhabitants of each republic, or by the Spaniards,
Basques, Italians, and Turks, each of which have taken some particular
trade under their own protection, there is probably not a single
branch of industry in which the British are not interested in a more
or less important degree.

From mining and banking to farming and general commerce, the scope is
sufficiently broad. In no other kind of enterprise, however, has
intelligence and skill been so freely lavished as upon that of the
railways. The British have not the sole monopoly of these great
undertakings, it is true. There are the local Government lines,
numerous French railways, and others of various nationalities that are
ably served and administered. Yet almost every one of the most
important lines throughout the entire Southern continent owes its
existence to British capital, and is managed by British officials. The
record is a remarkable one, and the full tale of its magnitude has yet
to be written. It is true that in many branches of industry the ratio
of British increase has not been in proportion with that of other
countries--a falling off that may be inevitable, but that in any case
is regrettable. Fortunately, this is not the case with the railways.
Indeed, when the progress that is now being made is taken into
consideration, it becomes evident that the results that must ensue
within the space of a few years cannot well fail to affect the entire
world.

Of the feats of this kind that are at the present moment being
achieved some of the most important are concerned with Bolivia,
Paraguay, and the hinterland of Brazil. The opening up of many of the
hitherto inaccessible regions of these countries means more than the
enclosing within the fold of civilisation vast areas of rubber,
timber, and general agriculture. It promises, in fact, some
revelations in the way of minerals and mines that, although the
possibility of a disappointment must never be lost sight of, are
likely enough to prove of an astonishing nature.

The tales of gold in the untravelled lands where the Indian still
holds sway do undoubtedly not emanate merely from the imagination of
the few travellers who have penetrated within certain of the
districts. The reluctance of the aboriginal to disclose the spots from
which they derive the precious metal is an acknowledged phase of his
character. But it is not solely upon the unwilling testimony of the
Indians that such hopes are based. It is well enough known that when
the expulsion of the Jesuits occurred, and when many of the remoter
districts in which they had established precarious missions returned
to a state of savagery and seclusion, numbers of the mines that were
even then known were abandoned when in the full flush of their
yield--a yield that the primitive native implements could never make
complete.

But it is not in anticipation of such developments as these that the
railways have been built. The ordinary products of the countries in
question are more than sufficient to demand their existence. The
possibility of greater mineral fields than are at present suspected is
merely a side issue in the general scheme. The influence of steam
transport, however, upon many of the silver-mines cannot fail to be
marked, since the utter want of transport facilities now renders
imperative an astonishing number of mines of this kind the productive
power of which is very great indeed.

The Uruguayan railways form no exception to the prevailing South
American rule. The three companies in existence in that Republic are
all British, and the standard of each is as high as that of the others
in the remaining republics. Although the enterprises naturally enjoy
lesser advantages in the way of skilled labour and technical
conveniences than those here at home, there can be no doubt that the
degree of comfort enjoyed by the traveller on a Uruguayan line
compares very favourably with that experienced on an average British
railway. The service and observation of punctuality are both to be
commended, while the dining and sleeping cars are not only admirable
of their type, but extremely well adapted to the needs of the country.

The natural facilities that the Uruguayan country offers for railways
differ considerably from those of the Argentine. In the central
provinces of the latter many hundreds of miles may be travelled
without any gradient whatever becoming apparent. The absence of
streams here, moreover, obviates almost entirely the necessity for
bridge building. It has already been explained that the
characteristics of the Uruguayan Campo are entirely different.
Although it possesses few hills of any really imposing height, its
stretches of dead level ground are equally rare. Thus, although the
gradients may be gentle and sufficiently easy, they are almost
continuous. In some places, moreover, the rise and fall of the line is
necessarily accentuated, and even abrupt--at all events, compared with
the neighbouring areas.

Although, however, Uruguay may not be quite so favourably situated for
railway purposes as regards its levels, it possesses one very
important advantage over Argentina. In the central and richest
provinces of the latter one of the most serious drawbacks lies in the
total absence of any local material with which to ballast the track.
For hundreds of miles on all sides no stone--not even the merest
pebble--is to be met with, since the land consists of nothing beyond
the rich, alluvial soil. Thus, if stone be required for the perfection
of the tracks, it is necessary to import it from afar, and the haulage
of the material inevitably forms a weighty item in the cost and
upkeep of the line. In this respect Uruguay is far more favourably
provided for. Stone abounds, not only in certain districts but
throughout the country--although, of course, there are many centres
where the quality of the material is far superior to that of others.
Thus the question of ballast and embankments is solved in a very
simple fashion here, and in a land of numerous rivers and streams the
construction of stone bridges is made possible.

As regards the present position of Uruguayan railways, it is
impossible to over-estimate the importance of the new ramifications
that are now spreading through the country. Uruguay contains no
mysterious hinterland, it is true. But, although every corner of the
Republic is known, the resources of many of its regions have of
necessity remained quite untapped for want of the railway
communication that was essential for the transport of the produce in
whatever shape or form it might emerge from the soil.

I am indebted to Mr. V. Hinde, the secretary of the Midland Uruguay
Railway, for the following information concerning the railways of the
country:

       *       *       *       *       *

The construction of railways in Uruguay may be said to have commenced
in the year 1866, when a concession was granted for a line from the
capital (Montevideo) to Durazno, a distance of 130 miles. The
construction of this line was followed by the building of a short line
from the city of Salto towards the frontier of Brazil. In 1877 an
English company, the present Central Uruguay Railway Co., Ltd., was
formed to take over the former and complete the line to the town of
Rio Negro, which extension was finished in 1886.

In the meantime the Uruguayan Government had devoted considerable
attention to the question of railways, and in the year 1884 a law was
passed by the Chambers embodying a definite scheme of railway
communication with various parts of the Republic, the executive being
authorised to contract for lines as outlined, and to guarantee an
income equal to £560 per annum per mile of line for a period of forty
years. A result of this enactment was the formation of several
companies in England, and railway construction was rapidly proceeded
with. By the year 1891, 1,000 miles of line were opened for traffic.
In respect of which some 670 miles enjoyed the Government guarantee,
equal to 7 per cent. on a capitalisation of £5,000 per kilometre.

At this point, however, further development received a check by the
Government finding it necessary to rearrange its obligations. This
rearrangement took the form of a reduction of the interest on the
External Debt, including railway guarantees, from 7 per cent. to 3-1/2
per cent., the service at this reduced figure being secured on 45 per
cent. of the Custom House receipts specially hypothecated. Punctual
payment of guarantees at this rate has always been made.

In 1889 the Central Uruguay Western Extension Railway Company was
formed to construct a line from San José to the towns of Mercedes,
Sauce, and Colonia. This line does not enjoy a Government guarantee,
and reverts to the Government in the year 1862.

The railway system of the Republic to-day amounts to some 1,432 miles
of line opened for traffic and 78 miles in course of construction.

The following shows the capital of the respective companies and length
of lines:

  --------------------------------------------+-------+---------------------
                                              |Mileage| Capital.
                                              | Open. |    £
  --------------------------------------------+-------+---------------------
  Central Uruguay Railway, including Western  |       |
    Extension and North Eastern of Uruguay    |       |           } Worked
    Railway Co., Ltd.                         |  482  | 5,403,018 } by
  Central Uruguay Eastern Extension Co.,      |       |           } Central
    Ltd.                                      |  277  | 2,033,400 } Uruguay
  Central Uruguay Northern Extension Co.,     |       |           } Railway
    Ltd.                                      |  182  | 1,627,150 } Co.
  Midland Uruguay Railway Co., Ltd.           |  229  | 2,378,462
  North Western of Uruguay Railway Co., Ltd.  |  111  | 1,435,517
  Uruguay Northern Railway Co., Ltd.          |   73  |   855,562
  Uruguay East Coast Railway                  |   78  |   309,980
                                              +-------+---------------------
                                        Total |1,432  |14,044,089
  --------------------------------------------+-------+---------------------

The amount of interest, &c., paid on the above capital may be seen in
the table on the following page, which is equal to rather over 4-1/5
per cent. on the whole capital of £13,444,089.

The railway system of Uruguay may be said to be represented by the
following companies:

The Central Uruguay Railway and its allied lines.

The Midland Uruguay System, which joins that of the Central and forms
a means of communication with the cities of Paysandú and Salto, with a
branch to the town of Fray Bentos, now almost completed.

The North Western of Uruguay, continuing the railway from Salto to the
frontier of Brazil at Cuareim.

In addition there are the short lines in the nature of branches--that
of the Northern Uruguay Railway Company, branching from the
North-Western system at Isla de Cabellos connecting with the frontier
of Brazil at San Eugenio; and the Uruguay East Coast Railway from a
junction with the North-Eastern Uruguay system at Olmos to Maldonado,
a distance of seventy-eight miles.

  ------------+-------------------------------------+----------+---------
        £     |     Interest paid on Capital.       | Per Cent.|    £
  ------------+-------------------------------------+----------+---------
    2,000,000 | Central Uruguay Ordinary Stock      |   5      |  100,000
      400,000 |    "       "    Preference Shares   |   5-1/2  |   22,000
      953,018 |    "       "    Debenture Stock     |   6      |   57,181
    1,000,000 |    "       "    Western Railway     |          |
              |    Extension Debenture              |   4      |   40,000
      250,000 | Central Uruguay 2nd Debenture Stock |   6      |   15,000
      400,000 | North Eastern of Uruguay Preference |          |
              |    Shares                           |   7      |   28,000
      400,000 | North Eastern of Uruguay Ordinary   |          |
              |    Shares                           |   7      |   28,000
      775,000 | Central Uruguay Railway Eastern     |          |
              |    Extension Ordinary Shares        |   3-3/4  |   29,062
      775,000 | Central Uruguay Railway Eastern     |          |
              |    Extension Preference Shares      |   5      |   38,750
      483,400 | Central Uruguay Railway Eastern     |          |
              |    Extension Debenture Stock        |   5      |   24,170
    1,000,000 | Central Uruguay Railway Northern    |          |
              |    Extension Ordinary Shares        |   3-3/4  |   37,500
      627,150 | Central Uruguay Railway Northern    |          |
              |    Extension Debenture Stock        |   5      |   31,357
      600,000 | Midland Uruguay Railway Ordinary    |          |
              |    Stock                            |  nil     |    ----
      600,000 | Midland Uruguay Railway Prior Lien  |          |
              |    Debenture Stock                  |   5      |  300,000
    1,179,462 | Midland Uruguay Railway Debenture   |          |
              |    Stock                            |   5      |   58,973
      120,120 | North Western of Uruguay Ordinary   |          |
              |    Stock                            |  nil     |    ----
      293,172 | North Western of Uruguay 2nd        |          |
              |    Preference Stock                 |  nil     |    ----
      583,850 | North Western of Uruguay 1st        |          |
              |    Preference Stock                 |   2      |   11,677
      400,000 | North Western of Uruguay 1st        |          |
              |    Debenture Stock                  |   6      |   24,000
       38,375 | North Western of Uruguay 2nd        |          |
              |    Debenture Stock                  |   6      |    2,302
      100,000 | Uruguay Northern Railway Ordinary   |          |
              |    Shares                           |  nil     |    ----
      250,000 | Uruguay Northern Railway Preference |          |
              |    Stock                            |   1      |    2,500
      449,400 | Uruguay Northern Railway Debenture  |          |
              |    Stock                            |   3-1/2  |   15,729
       56,162 | Uruguay Northern Railway Prior Lien |          |
              |    Debenture Stock                  |   5      |    2,808
      125,000 | Uruguay East Coast Railway Ordinary |          |
              |    Shares                           |  nil     |    ----
      184,980 | Uruguay East Coast Railway          |          |
              |    Debenture Stock                  |  nil     |    ----
  ------------+-------------------------------------|          |---------
  £14,044,089 |                                     |          | £599,009
  ------------+-------------------------------------+----------+---------

_Central Company._--By far the most important system is that of the
Central Company, including leased and worked lines. The lines of this
system extend from the capital to the frontier of Brazil at Rivera,
with branches to the city of Mercedes in the west, and the towns of
Melo, Treinta y Tres, and Minas on the Eastern and North-Eastern
Extension. The railway from the capital passes through a
well-populated agricultural district for a radius of about thirty
miles; this radius is gradually extending, stimulated by the
increasing importance of Montevideo and the gradual breaking up of
lands in the fertile regions of the western and eastern extensions.

The extension now finished to Melo opens up another district suitable
to the cultivation of cereals, from which considerable traffic is
being derived.

An extremely important matter in connection with the future
development of these lines, and, in fact, all the railway interests of
the Republic, is to be found in the completion of the port works at
Montevideo. Until the port works were taken in hand the embarkation of
cargo at this principal outlet of the Republic had been greatly
hampered by natural difficulties, and consequently heavy charges in
connection with the lighterage from the railway wharf to the ocean
steamers. The deepening of the inner port and the construction of
extensive wharfs and piers at which ocean steamers can berth will
doubtless lead to an increase in traffic, not only from Uruguay but
the neighbouring State of Rio Grande do Sul.

An important connection with the railway system of Rio Grande do Sul
is made at the terminus of the Central Uruguay Northern Extension
Railway at Rivera, and by the completion of a connecting link between
the Sao Paulo Rio Grande Railway System and the lines of the Cie
Auxiliare de Chemins de Fer au Bresil, a Company which controls
practically the whole railway system of the State of Rio Grande do Sul
(now almost completed), direct railway communication will be
established between Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro.

The following table shows the result of working of the Central Uruguay
Main Line, exclusive of extensions, which, as far as expansion in
receipts is concerned, may be regarded as indicative of those lines:

  --------------------------------------------------------
   Year.  | Receipts. | Expenses. |  Profit.  | Dividend. |
  --------------------------------------------------------|
          |           |           |           | Per Cent. |
   1904-5 |  414,228  |  190,165  |  223,572  |   4-1/2   |
   1905-6 |  442,083  |  212,465  |  229,618  |     5     |
   1906-7 |  493,682  |  244,922  |  248,760  |     5     |
   1907-8 |  508,044  |  272,104  |  235,940  |   4-1/2   |
   1908-9 |  557,122  |  287,505  |  269,617  |   4-1/2   |
   1909-10|  577,489  |  287,959  |  289,530  |     5     |
  --------------------------------------------------------

The increase in gross receipts is perhaps not quite so marked as in
the case of neighbouring lines in the Argentine Republic, and a reason
for this is to be found in the fact that, favoured by magnificent
grazing camps, cattle raising is still the principal industry of
Uruguay. Agricultural development, although more marked of recent
years, has been slow, but an increase in this is probably due to
efforts which are being made by the Government to promote colonisation
and the extension of lines in the Eastern provinces.

_Midland Uruguay Railway._--This Company's line passes through an
entirely pastoral district, and its traffic is principally derived
from the carriage of cattle, wool, and general merchandise. An
important extension is now practically completed to Fray Bentos, the
headquarters of Liebig's Extract of Meat Company. The River Uruguay at
this point is navigable for large ocean steamers, and a pier has been
erected to accommodate these, which will put the railway system of the
north of the Republic in a more favourable position to handle the
various products of cattle-killing establishments, both in Uruguay and
on the Brazilian side of the frontier of Rio Grande do Sul, an
industry of increasing importance.

  -------------------------------------------------------------
    Year.  | Gross Receipts. | Expenses. | Profit. | Dividend. |
  -------------------------------------------------------------|
   1905-6  |     60,533      |  50,304   | 10,229  |           |
   1906-7  |     75,887      |  60,833   | 15,054  |           |
   1907-8  |     72,172      |  67,153   |  5,019  |           |
   1908-9  |     81,503      |  71,114   | 10,389  |           |
   1909-10 |     88,165      |  67,479   | 20,686  |           |
  -------------------------------------------------------------

At the present time a considerable tonnage is transported by river
from Salto for shipment from Buenos Aires. It is possible, therefore,
that the extension of the Midland Company to Fray Bentos will play an
important part in the development of its line and those of the
companies north of Salto, and Fray Bentos should very shortly become
the second port of the Republic.

The receipts in Uruguay of the Midland Company have shown some
expansion of late years, having increased from £55,000 in the year
ending June 30, 1904, to £88,165 in 1909-10 (see opposite page).

_The North-Western of Uruguay Railway and Uruguay Northern
Railway._--The remarks with regard to the nature of the country and
the traffic of the Midland apply also to these lines. At the terminus
of the North-Western Line at the River Cuareim arrangements exist for
the interchange of traffic with the Brazil Great Southern Railway, and
the respective Governments have sanctioned a project for the
construction of an international bridge to connect the lines at this
point. It is probable that this bridge will be constructed within the
next few years, as the interchange of traffic due to the extension of
the Brazil Great Southern Railway to San Borju is likely to be
considerably enhanced.

The excellent tramways with which Montevideo is served are
administered by three companies, local, British, and German. The local
enterprise is considerably the smallest of the three, the extent of
its lines not exceeding twelve miles. The concern, moreover, is
dependent solely upon horse traction, with its attendant
disadvantages.

The British enterprise, the United Electric Tramway Company, is the
most important in the capital. It possesses eighty-two miles of line,
195 passenger-cars, and sixty-eight trailers. By the terms of the
concession at least two-thirds of the employees must be citizens of
the country. The Compania Alemania Transatlantia is a German Company,
with a length of seventy-five miles of electric tramlines.

The steamer service of the River Plate and Uruguay is almost entirely
in the hands of the Mihanovich Company, as, indeed, is that of the
entire system of these great rivers. The Company is an extremely
powerful one, possessing a very large fleet that comprises all classes
of steam vessels from the small, puffing tug to the largest and most
modern liner of the fresh waters. Many of these latter are peculiarly
fine specimens of their type, graceful in build, powerfully equipped,
and provided with broad and roomy decks. Although the larger of these
craft will carry between two and three hundred passengers, the cabin
and saloon accommodation is contrived on a most liberal and imposing
scale. Indeed, there is no doubt that the Mihanovich boats are a
credit to the broad rivers on which they float.

So far as the ocean passenger traffic is concerned, Montevideo is the
sole Uruguayan port at which the liners call. The capital affords a
port of call for the magnificent vessels of the Royal Mail Steam
Packet Company that, notwithstanding their size, are now enabled by
means of the recent harbour improvements to enter the inner waters of
the port. Of the other British lines concerned, the most important are
the Pacific (that is now incorporated with the R.M.S.P.) and the
Nelson Line, that possesses a fine new fleet of ten-thousand-ton
boats. The other great British shipping companies whose vessels call
at Montevideo are the Lamport and Holt, Houlder, Prince, Houston, the
New Zealand Shipping Company, and the Shaw, Savill.

Thus it will be seen that in all monumental undertakings of the kind
the British are holding their own in a satisfactory fashion. As
regards ordinary commerce and the exports of manufactured goods, the
progress, unfortunately, is by no means so evident. I have so
frequently laid stress upon the narrowness of the home commercial
ideas in this respect that still obtains in so many quarters that I am
glad to be able to quote the words of another that admirably fit the
case. The following is from the Consular Report on Uruguay issued in
1910, and the sentences undoubtedly sum up the situation with a
commendable accuracy: "It has been pointed out to me that careful
investigation into the commercial methods of our competitors reveals
several reasons why British trade has failed to retain the proportion
of the imports it held a few years ago. For instance, greater
attention to detail is paid by the foreign merchant than by his
British rival, who, as a rule, adheres in catalogues and invoices to
British standard weights and measures and prices, without giving their
equivalent in terms of the country. In tenders for public works German
firms study the specifications with minute care, and tender for every
item, leaving nothing in doubt, besides drawing up their applications
in so clear and simple a manner as to give the minimum labour in
examination, and the maximum of facility in comparison to the
authorities who deal with them; whereas British tenderers sometimes
merely quote a lump sum, ignoring all details, and often, when details
are given, the price of many items is left vague, 'As may be agreed
upon.' When goods are imported into the country from Germany, France,
the United States of America, &c., a detailed statement in Spanish of
the contents of each package is generally furnished, with metric
weights and measures, which facilitates their rapid examination and
dispatch, whereas British firms as a rule content themselves with the
brief statement, 'Case containing machinery' or 'hardware,' &c.,
leaving to the Custom House official the task of working out details
and calculations.

"Then, again, as regards languages, the British commercial traveller,
armed with British catalogues and price lists [although I note with
pleasure that some are now printed in Spanish], knows no language but
his own, but the German invariably speaks Spanish and English, and he
has carefully studied beforehand the needs of the market which he is
visiting and the financial position of merchants. This gives him a
great advantage over his British rival, who rarely has previous
knowledge of his would-be customers, and is dependent on such chance
information as he may pick up to be subsequently confirmed by
inquiries at the banks. Time is thus lost, and irritation is caused to
respectable buyers, who resent what appears to them impertinent
suspicion."



CHAPTER XXVII

POLITICS AND REVOLUTIONS

     The Constitution of Uruguay--Government of the Republic--Deputies
     and senators--Their duties--The Civil Code--Marriage--Rights of
     foreigners--Law--The Commission of Charity and Public
     Welfare--Hospitals--Orphan asylums--Infirmaries--The charity
     hospital lottery--The distribution of political parties--The
     Colorados and the Blancos--Policy of both--Feud between the
     parties--Old-standing strife--Explanation of the
     nomenclature--Origin of the feud--Rivera and Oribe--Inherited
     views--Attitude of the foreigners--Revolutions--Manner of their
     outbreak--Government precautions--The need of finance and
     arms--Some rebellious devices--Rifles as Manchester goods--The
     importance of horses--Difficulties that attend a revolutionary
     movement--The sweeping up of horses--Equine concentration
     camps--A powerful weapon in the hands of the authorities--First
     signs of an outbreak--Sylvan rendezvous--The question of
     reinforcements--Some desperate ventures--Their accustomed
     end--Chieftains of the north--Effect of a revolution upon local
     industries--Needs of the army--Estancia hands as troopers--Hasty
     equipment--Manner in which actual hostilities are conducted--"The
     Purple Land that England lost"--The spirit of modernism and the
     internal struggle--Tendency to localise the fields of
     strife--Power of the Colorado party--Whence the respective
     partisans are drawn--Distinguishing insignia--Some necessary
     precautions on the part of the foreigner--Adventures derived from
     colour in clothes--Some ludicrous episodes--The expense of
     revolution.


The Constitution of Uruguay has now stood the test of eighty years,
and thus claims to be the oldest in South America, or, at all events,
the one that has suffered no modification for the longest period of
time. The basis on which this is composed is liberal in the extreme,
and the laws undoubtedly concede to Oriental subjects an amount of
freedom that can be surpassed in few other countries.

The Republic possesses two chambers, one of deputies elected by the
direct vote of the people, the other of senators. In addition to their
legislative functions it is the duty of these chambers to elect the
President of the nation, whose term of office lasts for four years.
The chambers also nominate the judges of the High Court, who, in turn,
select the magistrates of the lower courts.

The civil code is largely based upon the Napoleonic model. It may be
as well to note rapidly a few of its more salient features. From the
point of view of the resident foreigner it is admirable in at least
one respect, since it makes no distinction between the civil rights
accorded to Uruguayans and those to foreigners. Civil marriage is
obligatory, the offspring of a union contracted solely by the Church
being considered illegitimate. In commerce the system of arrest for
debt is not admitted, the only cases of the kind in which imprisonment
is imposed being those in which an element of fraud has entered. In
criminal law the death penalty has been abolished, and the various
modes of punishment consist of solitary imprisonment, exile,
deprivations, suspension from public employment, ordinary
imprisonment, and fines.

On the whole, there is a satisfactory absence of red-tape in Uruguayan
administrative and municipal affairs. It is true that in litigation
the delays are occasionally lengthy; but the popular idea on this
point has been much exaggerated, and the dispatch of legal business is
far more satisfactory than is generally supposed. The great majority
of officials, moreover, discharge their duties in a reasonable and
fair-minded fashion that has been heartily acknowledged by many a
resident foreigner.

Uruguay possesses comparatively few paupers. Indeed, it would be
strange were this otherwise in a land the resources of which are in
excess of the population. Nevertheless a certain proportion of the
lame, blind, halt, and indigent is inevitable, and these unfortunate
human elements are well cared for. Public assistance towards this end
is chiefly in the hands of a Commission of Charity and Public Welfare,
formed of twenty-one members, two-thirds of whom must be citizens of
the Republic.

The powers of this Commission are considerable, and they control a
number of important institutions, such as hospitals, orphan asylums,
and establishments of refuge for the infirm, indigent, and insane.
These are, almost without exception, exceedingly well-organised, and
conducted on the most modern humanitarian lines. The financial support
necessary for the upkeep of these charities is derived to a large
extent from rates and taxes. In addition to this a special lottery has
been instituted that is known as the "Charity Hospital Lottery."
Twenty-five per cent. of its proceeds are devoted to the institution
in question. The support at present derived from this source is not
inconsiderable, as will be evident when it is explained that the
amount it rendered in 1809 exceeded eight hundred thousand dollars.

We now arrive at the political affairs of Uruguay--a subject that
calls for explanation at some length. So far as the distribution of
parties is concerned, the matter is simple enough. Shifting parties,
fusions and splits between contending sections, and the general
complications that attend changing political programmes are to all
intents and purposes absent here. The rival parties of Uruguay are the
Colorados (reds) and the Blancos (whites). The policy of both is
equally well-defined, and, indeed, is amazingly simple. It is to
govern! The national programme would almost certainly remain exactly
the same whichever were in power. Thus the aim of the party that is
"out" is to obtain power in the first place, and to declare their
policy of government afterwards.

The feud between the parties is one of old-standing. It commenced with
the final wars of liberation, became strongly marked with the
establishment of the Republic over eighty years ago, and has continued
without intermission from that day to this. The origin of the party
terms dates from the war of liberation. General Oribe was the founder
of the Blanco party and General Rivera that of the Colorado. The
former was wont to ride a white horse, the latter a bay, and the
distinguishing colours of the lance pennons of their followers were
respectively white and red.

It is a little curious to consider that the present-day party strife
in Uruguay is the direct legacy of the disputes between these two
generals that broke out in the first instance ere the Banda Oriental
had even been proclaimed a nation! In 1830 Rivera was elected first
Constitutional President of the Republic; he was succeeded on March 1,
1835, by his rival, Manuel Oribe, and in 1838 there broke out what is
known as the _Grande Guerra_, which lasted, with varying results,
until 1852. In 1853 a triumvirate was formed, consisting of Rivera,
Lavalleja, and Flores, and in the following year the last named, on
the death of his two colleagues, was elected Constitutional President.
Since that time there have been no less than twenty-three presidents,
constitutional and provisional, of whom only two, Perreira and Berro,
from 1856 to 1864, have been Blancos. In that year the Colorado party
got into office, and have maintained themselves, in spite of the
forcible efforts of the Blancos to expel them.

It will be seen that no political principle divides the two parties;
men are simply Blanco or Colorado because their fathers and
grandfathers were so before them, but they cling to their respective
parties with a strange courage and high sense of honour. In the case
of foreign immigrants whose sons, born in the country, become Oriental
subjects, but who have no Blanco or Colorado traditions to inherit,
what happens is this: the youths go to school, form boyish
friendships, and by pure accident become ardent supporters of one or
other of the two parties. Two brothers may thus chance to become
bitter political opponents, and when a revolution breaks out they are
to be found fighting on opposite sides. The situation may savour a
little of the Gilbertian, but it is sufficiently serious for the
families involved. It must be admitted that many revolutions in
Uruguay are curious affairs. To one not in close touch with the
national movements an outbreak of the kind may appear to burst forth
spontaneously, whereas it has probably been anticipated by the
Government as well as by the revolutionaries for months beforehand. In
these days even the most casual insurrection is not to be effected
without a certain amount of forethought. First of all financial sinews
are indispensable, and, these once obtained, it follows that a supply
of arms is equally essential.

The introduction of these is the most difficult feat of all to
accomplish, since the Government adopts methods of precaution, and
keeps a sharp look-out for any possible importations of the kind. Thus
as a rule the weapons are either smuggled across the Brazilian
frontier or over some of the more lonely stretches of the River
Uruguay. Occasionally a device is tried similar to that which met with
success in the Transvaal Colony previous to the South African War.
When I was in Uruguay at the end of 1910 many indications were at
hand that went to prove the imminence of a revolution, and the
authorities, not only in Uruguay but in the neighbouring countries,
were on the alert for any development that might arise. At this period
a large number of innocent-looking packing-cases, purporting to
contain Manchester goods, were in transit through Argentina destined
for one of the northern Oriental ports on the Uruguay River. Through
some cause or other the cases came under suspicion, and they were
opened ere they had crossed the Argentine frontier. In place of the
Manchester goods reposed thousands of grim Mauser rifles and millions
of cartridges! The discovery of these weapons must have dealt a bitter
blow to the insurrectionist cause; nevertheless, as anticipated, the
revolution broke out a few weeks later.

I have said that both weapons and cash are essential for the purpose
of a revolution--which is obvious enough in almost every country as
well as in Uruguay. But there is a third requisite that is quite as
indispensable as either of the former. The Uruguayan is a born
cavalryman, and a horse is necessary to him, not only for the
partaking in the actions but for the covering of the lengthy distances
that have to be traversed. A score of leagues and more frequently lie
between a man and his appointed rendezvous. A pedestrian in the midst
of the hills and valleys would be a lost and negligible unit.

[Illustration: OX WAGON ON THE CAMPO.]

[Illustration: CROSS COUNTRY TRAVELLING.
To face p. 316.]

It might be imagined that the matter was simple enough, and that all a
revolutionist had to do when the time for the outbreak arrived was to
mount his horse, and to ride away over the hills to join his fellows.
In actual fact a rising is not to be started in this fashion. It is
inevitable in the first place that numerous preparations must occur
ere the time for active operations has ripened, and it is equally
inevitable that an organisation of the kind, with whatever attempt at
secrecy it may be conducted, cannot proceed without becoming known to
the Government.

The eve of an outbreak is, in consequence, marked by tremendous
vigilance on the part of the authorities. Troopers and police are
dispatched to strategic positions throughout the country, and then for
a while the nation waits in anxious expectation while the tension
increases. With the first hint of the actual banding together of the
revolutionary companies the authorities strike a blow--not at the men
themselves, but at their means of transport. The troopers and police
ride hastily in all directions, and scour the countryside in search of
every horse that is available. When the districts have been swept
quite clear of their equine population the horses are driven together
to the various headquarters, where they remain, strongly guarded.

This very practical measure naturally provides the authorities with a
power with which it is difficult for the revolutionists to cope. It is
distinctly fatal to a premature or to a belated move on their part,
and even should they chance to strike upon the most favourable moment,
the horse-gathering policy militates strongly against any likelihood
of eventual success. Should the malcontents determine to proceed with
the affair in the face of this discouragement, they, of course, follow
the lead of the Government, and endeavour to annex all the mounts that
the authorities have been unable to carry off in time.

So far as the militant programme of the revolutionists is concerned,
the first sign of an outbreak is invariably the riding away of a
number of men from townships and estancias to the woods in the remoter
and more lonely districts. These sylvan rendezvous are, of course,
known to the party in general beforehand, and here the leaders of the
movement lie hidden in order to await the advent of reinforcements.
The first move is simple enough; but it is the arrival of the
necessary reinforcements that is frequently frustrated by the
precautionary measures of the Government.

Should the matter appear quite hopeless, it is even then possible for
the insurrectionists to disperse and to return to their homes ere the
shedding of blood has occurred. The Uruguayan, however, is not noted
without reason for his spirit of reckless daring. It frequently
happens that a forlorn band, once gathered, will refuse to disperse,
and then the result of the campaign is usually short and sharp. In the
ordinary course of events the adventurers will lie hidden until a
sufficient force has come in, one by one, or in parties of three and
four. Then they will ride out and commence active operations, of which
the end in these days is invariably the defeat of the party.

Many of the attributes of these revolutions are not a little quaint
and picturesque--reminiscent, in fact, of the times when personality
counted more and system less. In the remote country districts, more
especially in those of the north, are many prominent men who occupy
more or less the position of chieftains, or that of the old Caudillos
who have left so great a mark on Uruguayan history. Each of these is a
power in himself, according to the extent of his following; for each
can count upon his own particular body of armed men just as surely as
could the feudal knights upon their mediæval retainers. These
personalities are naturally marked, and their movements are closely
watched in a period of unrest.

A Uruguayan revolution, even when in full blast, has this to be said
in its favour, that it does not in the least interfere with the
liberty or with the movements of a resident foreigner. If he be an
estanciero, however, and should the tide of campaign flow into his
district, it is likely enough that it will affect him materially in
much the same fashion that a strike influences the fortunes of
dwellers in industrial districts. It is obvious enough that when the
Government is in need of recruits the claims of neither the pastures
nor the shearing-shed can rival those of the cause. Unfortunately for
the estanciero, there is almost certainly not a man in his employ who
is not admirably adapted for a trooper, and none are more alive to
this fact than the Government recruiting-officers. Thus, when the
official party arrives its members will be polite but firm, and a
short while afterwards the station hands will be bearing rifles
instead of lassos, and a _capataz_ or two--the foremen on the
estate--will find their heads raised a little higher in the air
beneath the support of a military title, although it is possible that
this may be effected a little at the expense of their pockets, since
the pay is not in proportion to the temporary rank.

In the circumstances of haste that obtain at such moments it may be
imagined that, with the exception of the Government regular forces,
the equipment on both sides knows little of the accepted insignia of
military pomp. Indeed, a rifle and a badge in the majority of cases
alone distinguish the militant from the ordinary civilian. But at such
periods it must be admitted that, putting aside the foreigners, very
few ordinary civilians are left in the disturbed areas, since, when
the tide of warfare rolls his way, it is practically impossible for an
Oriental to remain neutral. Even were he so inclined, it is doubtful
whether he would be given the opportunity.

In order to obtain an insight into the manner in which the actual
hostilities are conducted no better means could be adopted than the
perusal of a novel, "The Purple Land that England Lost," from the pen
of a great authority on the River Plate, Mr. W. H. Hudson. It is true
that the descriptions deal with a period when the present prosperity
of the Banda Oriental had not yet come into existence; but the vivid
local colouring must hold good for all the contemporary softening of
the national methods.

The spirit of modernism that is now evident in Uruguay has entered to
a certain extent into the waging of these internal struggles that
themselves by rights should belong to the past. The Oriental is
perfectly willing to acknowledge that the dispute concerns himself
alone, and the tendency to localise the fields of strife and to
respect private property is becoming more and more marked. A certain
amount of inevitable damage, however, ensues. In districts where fuel
is scarce fence-posts and even railway-sleepers are apt to be employed
for the purpose of the camp fires.

So far as the parties themselves are concerned, the tenacity of the
Uruguayan character is clearly evidenced in the continued struggles of
the Blancos. In view of the fact that this party has not been in
office since 1864, it might be thought that forty-seven years of
unsuccessful attempts would have cured it of an ambition that has been
so costly both in life and purse. Nevertheless, whether openly or
covertly, the contest continues with much the same amount of
bitterness that characterised it from the start.

[Illustration: PEDIGREE CATTLE.]

[Illustration: OVEN BIRD'S NEST.
To face p. 320.]

Broadly speaking, it may be said that the Colorado party is made up of
the dwellers in the towns and more populous centres, while the Blancos
are represented to a large extent by the dwellers in the Campo and the
clerical party. Of course, no hard-and-fast rule can be laid down on
the subject: there are Blancos in plenty to be met with in the towns,
and numbers of the opposing section to be found in the country; but
in the main the distinction applies.

The districts in which the Blancos are most strongly represented of
all are those of the northern provinces of Tacuarembó and Rivera, more
especially the latter, since it offers in case of need the refuge of
the Brazilian frontier. Party feeling at all times runs high, and in
these districts that are almost altogether given over to the Blanco
cause a certain amount of caution is necessary should a revolution
actually be in progress. Much stress, for instance, is laid on the
insignia that--in the absence of regular military uniforms--distinguish
the adherents of one side from those of the other. In a Blanco
district, when trouble is seething, it may be laid down as a
hard-and-fast maxim that the traveller should wear no trace of red
about his person. The precaution may seem grotesque, yet many
ludicrous mistakes have occurred through a failure to observe it.

One of the numerous instances of the kind was provided me by a mining
engineer, who had himself undergone the experience. Appointed as
manager to a goldmine in the far north of the Republic, he happened to
arrive, a stranger to the country, during the period of unrest in
1904. Nearing his destination, he had left the railway-line, and was
completing the last few leagues of his journey by coach, when he
stopped for refreshment at a small _pulperia_, or rural inn.

The place was fairly well filled with _peones_, and with the various
types of the local labourer, and no sooner had he entered the doors
than it became obvious to the traveller that his advent had caused a
deep sensation amongst these folk. The landlord served him with
reluctance and a visible show of embarrassment, while the black looks
of the rest grew deeper, until the demeanour of a certain number
became actually threatening. The mining engineer turned in amazement
to the _pulpero_, who in mute accusation pointed a finger at the tie
he wore. It was a vivid red! The traveller had learned sufficient of
the country's situation to enable him to understand something of the
situation. The group of Blancos were fully under the impression that
one of their hated political enemies had defiantly come to beard them
in their very midst. Explanations produced only a minor result, since
these hardy dwellers in the back-blocks were wont to judge by deeds
rather than by words. So, perceiving that no other remedy remained,
the wearer of the hated badge hurried out to his coach, unstrapped one
of his bags, and entered the pulperia once more, bearing beneath his
collar a standard of neutrality and peace in the shape of a black tie!
On this the local patrons of the inn expressed their entire
satisfaction, and profound peace reigned in the pulperia.

It would be possible to mention a number of similar episodes. There
have even been cases when the colouring of surveyor's poles has given
an unpleasantly political significance to instruments that were never
more misjudged. But even such ludicrous side-issues serve to show the
amount of bitterness that exists amongst the humblest members of
either cause. Such determined struggles, it is true, are not a little
eloquent of the virility and energy of a nation. Nevertheless, it will
be a bright day for Uruguay when the country can look upon its
revolutions as past history. As I have said elsewhere, these minor
wars have not succeeded in arresting the forward march of the
Republic. Yet their cessation could not fail to produce an even
greater acceleration in the present rate of progress. Since every
thoughtful Uruguayan admits this to the full, and openly deplores
these periodical outbursts of unrest, it is to be hoped that the days
of internal peace will not be much longer delayed.



APPENDIX

FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL STATISTICS

     The increase in Uruguay's trade with foreign countries since
     1862--Trade with foreign countries in 1908--Imports of articles
     destined for commercial purposes--Imports of articles destined
     for industrial purposes--Ports to which Uruguayan wool was
     chiefly exported during 1908--Values of imports from foreign
     countries--Values of exports to foreign countries--Values of
     goods handled by the various ports since 1909--Proportion of
     cultivated soil compared with the area of departments--Live stock
     census of the Republic in 1900, showing the amounts owned by
     Uruguayan and foreign proprietors--The distribution of live stock
     in the various departments--Principal articles exported from
     Uruguay to the United Kingdom in 1909--Principal articles
     exported from the United Kingdom to Uruguay in 1909--Uruguay's
     Budget--Distribution of expenditure among the various
     departments--Services provided for by special revenues--Principal
     sources from which the revenues are derived--The development of
     the State Bank during the years 1897-1909--Balance-sheet--Cereal
     production in tons--Cereal harvest for the year 1908-9--Cable,
     telegraph, and telephone systems--Postal service.


TABLE SHOWING THE INCREASE IN URUGUAY'S TRADE WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
SINCE 1862

  ------+-------------+-------------+------------+
  Year. |  Imports.   |  Exports.   |   Total.   |
  ------+-------------+-------------+------------+
   1862 | $8,151,802  | $8,804,442  |$16,956,244 |
   1864 |  8,384,167  |  6,334,706  | 14,718,873 |
   1866 | 14,608,091  | 10,665,040  | 25,273,131 |
   1867 | 17,657,918  | 12,077,795  | 29,735,713 |
   1868 | 16,102,465  | 12,139,720  | 28,242,195 |
   1869 | 16,830,078  | 13,930,827  | 30,760,705 |
   1870 | 15,003,342  | 12,779,051  | 27,782,393 |
   1871 | 14,864,247  | 13,334,224  | 28,198,471 |
   1872 | 18,859,794  | 15,489,532  | 34,349,256 |
   1873 | 21,075,446  | 16,301,772  | 37,377,218 |
   1874 | 17,481,672  | 15,244,785  | 32,426,455 |
   1875 | 12,431,408  | 12,693,610  | 25,125,018 |
   1876 | 12,500,000  | 13,727,000  | 26,527,000 |
   1877 | 15,045,846  | 15,899,405  | 30,945,251 |
   1878 | 15,927,974  | 17,492,159  | 33,420,153 |
   1879 | 15,949,303  | 16,645,961  | 32,595,864 |
   1880 | 19,478,868  | 19,752,201  | 39,231,069 |
   1881 | 17,918,884  | 20,229,512  | 38,148,396 |
   1882 | 18,174,800  | 22,062,934  | 40,237,734 |
   1883 | 20,322,311  | 25,221,664  | 35,543,975 |
   1884 | 24,550,674  | 24,759,485  | 49,309,559 |
   1885 | 25,275,476  | 25,253,036  | 50,528,512 |
   1886 | 20,194,655  | 23,811,986  | 44,006,641 |
   1887 | 24,615,944  | 18,671,996  | 43,287,940 |
   1888 | 29,477,448  | 28,008,254  | 57,485,702 |
   1889 | 36,823,863  | 25,954,107  | 62,777,970 |
   1890 | 32,364,627  | 29,085,519  | 61,450,146 |
   1891 | 18,978,420  | 26,998,270  | 45,976,690 |
   1892 | 18,404,296  | 25,915,819  | 44,356,115 |
   1893 | 19,671,640  | 27,681,373  | 47,353,013 |
   1894 | 23,800,370  | 33,470,511  | 57,279,881 |
   1895 | 24,596,193  | 32,543,643  | 57,279,881 |
   1896 | 25,530,185  | 30,403,084  | 55,933,269 |
   1897 | 19,512,216  | 29,219,573  | 48,831,789 |
   1898 | 24,784,361  | 30,276,916  | 55,061,277 |
   1899 | 25,552,800  | 36,574,164  | 62,226,964 |
   1900 | 23,978,206  | 29,410,862  | 53,389,068 |
   1901 | 23,691,932  | 27,731,126  | 51,423,058 |
   1902 | 23,517,347  | 33,602,512  | 57,119,859 |
   1903 | 26,103,966  | 37,317,909  | 62,421,975 |
   1904 | 21,217,000  | 38,485,000  | 59,702,000 |
   1905 | 30,778,000  | 30,805,000  | 61,583,000 |
   1906 | 34,455,000  | 33,402,000  | 67,857,000 |
   1907 | 37,470,715  | 34,912,072  | 72,382,787 |
   1908 | 36,188,723  | 40,296,367  | 76,485,090 |
   1909 | 37,136,764  | 45,789,703  | 82,946,467 |
  ------+-------------+-------------+------------+


URUGUAY'S TRADE WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN 1908. A COMPARISON WITH THAT
OF SOME OTHER CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAN STATES

  Uruguay           $76,485,090
  Peru               49,585,000
  Bolivia            33,837,000
  Columbia           28,512,636
  Venezuela          26,540,905
  Ecuador            15,296,627
  Santo Domingo      14,613,807
  Costa Rica         13,386,930
  Guatemala          12,567,729
  San Salvador       10,028,237
  Panama              9,563,946
  Haiti               8,180,008
  Paraguay            7,661,468
  Nicaragua           7,500,000
  Honduras            4,664,039


URUGUAY'S IMPORTS OF ARTICLES DESTINED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

  ----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------
                        |   Yearly    |            |            |
                        |average from |    1905.   |    1906.   |   1907.
                        |1898 to 1902.|            |            |
  ----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------
  Various foods         |  $4,938,000 | $5,293,397 | $6,966,500 | $6,530,700
  Beverages             |   2,359,000 |  1,724,185 |  1,808,500 |  2,097,000
  Tobacco               |     218,000 |    306,142 |    280,109 |    697,000
  Cotton manufactures   |   3,265,000 |  4,900,000 |  4,400,000 |  4,555,000
  Woollen    "          |   1,203,000 |  1,523,600 |  1,814,000 |  1,879,800
  Thread     "          |     155,000 |    170,086 |    166,000 |    226,100
  Silk       "          |     276,000 |    303,286 |    364,000 |    521,500
  Other      "          |     344,000 |  1,727,492 |  1,587,000 |    955,000
  Chemical and          |             |            |            |
    pharmaceutical      |             |            |            |
    products            |     507,000 |    751,993 |    718,000 |  1,178,000
  Musical instruments   |      61,000 |     93,873 |    106,800 |    116,600
  Paper and cardboard   |     496,000 |    615,617 |    675,100 |    709,300
  Manufactured metal    |     707,000 |  1,072,426 |  1,078,100 |    593,600
  China and earthenware |      84,000 |    163,000 |    186,800 |    185,400
  Jewels, crystals, &c. |     373,000 |    494,815 |    546,000 |    724,000
  Various articles      |   1,271,000 |  1,635,203 |  1,948,800 |  1,384,315
                        |-------------+------------+------------+-----------
                Total   | $17,271,000 |$20,775,651 |$22,645,700 |$22,353,615
  ----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------


URUGUAY'S IMPORTS OF ARTICLES DESTINED FOR INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES

  -----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------
                         |   Yearly    |            |            |
                         |average from |   1905.    |   1906.    |   1907.
                         |1898 to 1902.|            |            |
  -----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------
  Livestock              |  $1,388,000 | $1,822,452 |   $990,000 |   $754,000
  Machine oil            |     533,000 |    691,860 |    781,400 |    841,400
  Coal                   |   1,128,000 |  1,366,564 |  1,723,000 |  1,879,000
  Paints and inks        |     139,000 |    224,784 |    223,000 |    320,000
  Timber                 |   1,112,000 |  1,605,410 |  1,526,000 |  1,620,000
  Wooden manufactures    |     134,000 |    308,175 |    349,000 |    418,700
  Tanned hides           |     211,030 |    310,756 |    379,000 |    258,000
  Iron and steel         |     420,000 |    684,959 |    883,000 |  1,688,500
  Agricultural machinery |             |            |            |
    and instruments      |     235,000 |    299,146 |    241,300 |    180,300
  Industrial machinery   |             |            |            |
    and implements       |     149,000 |    247,116 |    338,000 |    847,600
  Wire fencing           |     506,000 |    976,490 |    721,000 |    793,700
  Manufactured iron      |     403,000 |    619,749 |    737,000 |    470,000
  Portland cement        |     103,000 |    237,437 |    347,000 |    479,600
  Tiles                  |      41,000 |     59,601 |     73,000 |     74,500
  Railway and tramway    |             |            |            |
    material             |     490,009 |    275,889 |  2,089,000 |  3,194,000
  General factory        |             |            |            |
    material             |      72,000 |    275,564 |    407,600 |  1,295,700
                         |-------------+------------+------------+-----------
                 Total   |  $7,064,000 |$10,001,952 |$11,808,300 |$15,117,100
  -----------------------+-------------+------------+------------+-----------


PORTS TO WHICH URUGUAYAN WOOL WAS CHIEFLY EXPORTED DURING 1908

                            Bales.
  Marseilles                94,418
  Hamburg and Bremen        28,003
  Dunkirk                   21,901
  Ambères                   17,926
  Havre                     12,953
  Liverpool                  7,003


VALUES OF IMPORTS FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES

  ----------------+-------------+------------+-------------
                  |   Yearly    |            |
                  |average from |    1907.   | Difference.
                  |1898 to 1902.|            |
  ----------------+-------------+------------+-------------
  Great Britain   |  $6,447,764 | $11,572,152| + $5,124,388
  Germany         |   2,932,965 |   6,079,498| +  3,146,533
  France          |   2,290,174 |   3,924,069| +  1,633,885
  United States   |   2,091,209 |   3,439,445| +  1,348,236
  Italy           |   2,218,844 |   2,898,391| +    679,547
  Belgium         |   1,456,469 |   2,688,520| +  1,232,051
  Argentina       |   3,151,345 |   2,563,186| -    588,158
  Brazil          |   1,518,800 |   1,743,731| +    224,931
  Spain           |   1,837,603 |   1,725,198| -    112,405
  Holland         |       3,625 |     233,968| +    230,343
  Paraguay        |     145,431 |     187,989| +     42,558
  Australia       |       --    |     130,559| +    130,539
  Cuba            |     105,932 |     121,040| +     15,108
  Chile           |     106,608 |     108,342| +      1,734
  Portugal        |      15,087 |      32,668| +     17,281
  Austria         |       3,071 |      22,178| +     19,107
                  |-------------+------------+-------------
         Total    | $24,324,927 | $37,470,615| +$13,145,688
  ----------------+-------------+------------+-------------


URUGUAYAN EXPORTS TO VARIOUS COUNTRIES

  --------------------+-------------+-------------+-----------
                      |   Yearly    |             |
                      |average from |             |
                      |1898 to 1902.|    1907.    |   1908.
  --------------------+-------------+-------------+-----------
  Germany             |  $3,401,642 |  $4,647,866 | $5,454,661
  England             |   2,592,613 |   2,954,529 |  2,987,759
  Argentina           |   5,194,663 |   7,295,195 |  8,143,029
  Australia           |         --  |      12,750 |      4,400
  Austria             |         --  |     116,880 |    528,568
  Belgium             |   5,084,554 |   5,551,763 |  6,138,059
  Brazil              |   6,908,427 |   2,759,863 |  3,467,283
  Cuba                |     439,040 |   1,092,966 |    848,858
  Chile               |     282,015 |     289,239 |    170,924
  Scotland            |         --  |      38,625 |     58,846
  Spain               |     531,793 |     533,674 |    524,066
  United States       |   1,886,372 |   1,603,330 |  2,336,201
  France              |   5,137,192 |   6,441,631 |  7,699,927
  Italy               |     663,097 |   1,155,704 |  1,310,811
  Holland             |      34,977 |      11,910 |      6,071
  Paraguay            |     192,024 |       9,343 |     21,618
  Peru                |         106 |         --  |       --
  Porto Rico          |         --  |         --  |     51,070
  Portugal            |         --  |     101,784 |    133,170
  Prussia             |      18,911 |         --  |    100,002
  Barbadoes           |         816 |         330 |      1,570
  Canary Islands      |      14,234 |       5,971 |      2,475
  Falkland Islands    |       3,739 |       1,483 |        511
  Trinidad            |       2,051 |       3,794 |      1,541
  South Africa        |       2,760 |         --  |     12,195
  Provisions for      |             |             |
    vessels           |     164,400 |     293,502 |    291,150
                      |-------------+-------------+-----------
             Total    | $31,555,422 | $34,912,072 |$40,296,347
  --------------------+-------------+-------------+-----------


VALUES OF GOODS HANDLED BY THE VARIOUS PORTS DURING 1909

  --------------+-------------+------------
                |   Imports.  |  Exports.
  --------------+-------------+------------
  Montevideo    | $34,251,069 | $32,685,267
  Paysandú      |     924,112 |   2,933,884
  Salto         |     571,371 |   2,000,038
  Fray Bentos   |     272,535 |   2,538,870
  Colonia       |     513,684 |   2,770,862
  Mercedes      |     226,789 |   1,547,081
  Maldonado     |      21,404 |        --
  Rocha         |      45,800 |        --
  Cerro Largo   |     155,000 |     780,000
  Various       |     175,000 |     533,700
                |-------------+------------
         Total  | $37,156,764 | $45,789,703
  --------------+-------------+------------


PROPORTION OF CULTIVATED SOIL COMPARED WITH THE AREA OF DEPARTMENTS

  ---------------+-----------+------------+-----------
                 |           |            | Portion of
                 |  Area in  | Cultivated | Cultivated
   Departments.  |Kilometres.|    Area    |  Area to
                 |           |  Hectares. | the whole.
  ---------------+-----------+------------+-----------
  Montevideo     |      664  |     1,074  |    1·61
  Artigas        |   11,378  |     1,321  |    0·11
  Canelones      |    4,751  |   139,721  |   29·40
  Cerro Largo    |   14,928  |    11,129  |    0·74
  Colonia        |    5,681  |   107,815  |   18·98
  Durazno        |   14,314  |     5,100  |    0·35
  Flores         |    4,518  |     3,842  |    0·85
  Florida        |   12,107  |    33,382  |    2·75
  Maldonado      |    4,111  |    11,530  |    2·80
  Minas          |   12,484  |    31,079  |    2·49
  Paysandú       |   13,252  |     5,707  |    0·43
  Rio Negro      |    8,470  |     1,727  |    0·20
  Rivera         |    9,828  |     3,986  |    0·40
  Rocha          |   11,088  |     7,662  |    0·69
  Salto          |   12,603  |     2,202  |    0·17
  San José       |    6,962  |   102,866  |   14·77
  Soriano        |    9,223  |    21,487  |    2·33
  Tacuarembó     |   21,015  |     2,385  |    0·11
  Treinta y Tres |    9,539  |     6,329  |    0·66
                 |-----------+------------+-----------
       Total     |  186,929  |   500,347  |    2·67
  ---------------+-----------+------------+-----------


LIVE STOCK CENSUS OF THE REPUBLIC IN 1900, SHOWING THE AMOUNTS OWNED
BY URUGUAYAN AND FOREIGN PROPRIETORS

  -----------+---------+-------+----------+-------+-------+------+----------
             | Cattle. |Horses.|  Sheep.  | Mules.| Goats.| Pigs.|  Total.
  -----------+---------+-------+----------+-------+-------+------+----------
  Uruguayans |3,135,152|304,381|10,782,057|  8,952| 15,059|54,877|14,301,378
  Argentines |  126,796| 10,963|   347,271|    168|    219|   508|   485,925
  Brazilians |1,968,188|131,733| 2,370,920|  7,812|  2,522|10,755| 4,492,230
  Paraguayans|      609|    112|     4,887|    -- |      4|    54|     5,656
  Chilians   |   11,338|    140|     3,550|    -- |    -- |    13|    16,041
  Mexicans   |       65|     13|      --  |    -- |      2|   -- |        80
  North      |         |       |          |       |       |      |
    Americans|    6,990|    337|     5,989|    -- |      2|    27|    13,345
  Spaniards  |  823,226| 58,905| 2,769,364|  4,080|  1,276|15,351| 8,672,242
  Portuguese |   23,122|  1,434|    36,848|     43|      6|   159|    16,612
  French     |  240,494| 17,223| 1,141,881|    564|    382| 2,339| 1,402,883
  English    |  275,183| 15,055|   514,835|    410|    119|   257|   806,859
  German     |   39,544|  3,488|   121,747|     90|     54|   297|   165,220
  Swiss      |   15,033|  1,146|    23,181|     12|     12|   555|    39,939
  Italians   |  158,310| 16,226|   479,122|    836|    771| 8,631|   663,896
  Austrians  |    1,955|    203|     4,445|     21|    -- |    89|     6,713
  Dutch      |       25|     13|       550|    -- |    -- |   -- |       586
  Danes      |       15|     12|      --  |      4|    -- |     6|        37
  Belgians   |       10|      3|      --  |    -- |    -- |     5|        18
  Norwegians |       25|      8|       180|    -- |    -- |   -- |       213
  Russians   |        6|      4|      --  |    -- |    -- |   -- |        10
  Arabs      |        2|      9|      --  |    -- |    -- |   -- |        11
             |---------+-------+----------+-------+-------+------+----------
      Total  |6,827,428|561,408|18,618,717| 22,992| 20,428|93,923|26,134,896
  -----------+---------+-------+----------+-------+-------+------+----------


THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIVE STOCK IN THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS

  ------------+---------+-------+----------+------+-------+-------+----------
  Departments.| Cattle. |Horses.|  Sheep.  |Mules.| Goats.| Pigs. |  Total.
  ------------+---------+-------+----------+------+-------+-------+----------
  Artigas     |  514,328| 43,489|   791,969| 6,060|  1,296|  1,501| 1,358,643
  Salto       |  614,806| 45,819| 1,076,878| 3,234|  1,622|  2,957| 1,746,316
  Paysandú    |  686,159| 44,685| 1,071,382| 1,881|    330|  1,734| 1,806,171
  Rio Negro   |  525,086| 22,346| 1,060,344|   769|    419|    934| 1,609,898
  Tacuarembó  |  560,406| 38,468|   922,081| 1,683|    874|  4,406| 1,527,918
  Rivera      |  292,704| 28,993|   207,236| 1,063|    983|  3,234|   534,213
  Treinta y   |         |       |          |      |       |       |
    Tres      |  382,803| 29,160|   892,815|   384|    265|  4,158| 1,309,585
  Cerro Largo |  591,007| 30,999|   662,184|   629|     67|  5,247| 1,290,133
  Minas       |  369,172| 34,074| 1,334,916|   290|  3,184|  6,314| 1,847,950
  Rocha       |  336,426| 36,735| 1,257,495|   314|    918|  8,483| 1,640,371
  Maldinado   |  121,176| 17,894|   695,833|   182|  1,629|  5,472|   842,186
  Durazno     |  429,451| 31,762| 1,978,391|   950|    140|  2,217| 2,442,911
  Flores      |  154,776| 16,719| 1,474,664|   154|    104|  1,346| 1,647,763
  San José    |  142,130| 12,518|   482,436|   517|    158|  1,799|   639,558
  Florida     |  338,012| 25,037| 1,654,940|   536|    186|  2,723| 2,021,434
  Soriano     |  407,037| 35,968| 2,056,795|   688|    229|  1,170| 2,501,887
  Colonia     |  225,475| 28,868|   785,697| 1,039|    422|  4,499| 1,043,209
  Canelones   |  112,651| 20,808|    99,152|   917|  1,935| 29,355|   264,818
              |---------+-------+----------+------+-------+-------+----------
       Total  |6,827,428|561,408|18,608,717|22,992| 20,428| 93,923|26,134,896
  ------------+---------+-------+----------+------+-------+-------+----------


PRINCIPAL ARTICLES EXPORTED FROM URUGUAY TO THE UNITED KINGDOM IN 1909

  Meat (chilled, frozen, extracts), &c.            732,125
  Wool                                             173,738
  Hides and skins (including sealskins, £8,440)     62,703
  Bones                                             10,089
  Tallow                                            76,688
  Wheat                                             20,054
  Maize                                              7,160
  Flax seed                                         26,721


PRINCIPAL ARTICLES EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM TO URUGUAY IN 1909

  Coal                                         699,260
  Coke                                          11,339
  Woollens, Manchester and Bradford goods      712,067
  Galvanised iron                              141,184
  Drugs, &c.                                    70,460
  Machinery                                    337,304
  Hardware                                      26,614
  Glass and china                               39,105
  Jute goods                                    63,209
  Cement                                        16,000
  Stationery                                    14,000
  Paints, &c.                                   19,140
  Metals (excluding iron and steel)             23,675
  Hats and millinery                            11,335
  Woollen articles                              29,737


URUGUAY'S BUDGET. DISTRIBUTION OF EXPENDITURE AMONG THE VARIOUS
DEPARTMENTS

  ----------------------+---------------+---------+---------------+---------
                        |   Budget of   |         |   Budget of   |
                        |    1908-9.    |         |    1910-11.   |
  ----------------------+---------------+---------+---------------+---------
                        |Dollars. Cents.|     £   |Dollars. Cents.|     £
  Legislature           |   541,476  61 |  115,208|   558,864  33 |  118,907
  Presidency of the     |               |         |               |
    Republic            |    77,938  21 |   16,582|    76,471  40 |   16,270
  Ministry of Foreign   |               |         |               |
    Affairs             |   473,280  50 |  100,698|   534,898  37 |  113,808
  Ministry of Interior  | 2,997,013  36 |  637,662| 3,412,250  88 |  726,011
  Ministry of Finance   | 1,371,455  84 |  291,799| 1,523,842  57 |  324,222
  Industry, labour, and |               |         |               |
    public construction | 1,572,257  46 |  334,523| 2,308,793  75 |  491,232
  Ministry of Public    |               |         |               |
    Works               |   283,887  20 |   60,401|   374,321  91 |   79,643
  Ministry of War       |               |         |               |
    and Marine          | 3,057,377  67 |  650,506| 3,580,739  89 |  761,859
  Administration        |               |         |               |
    of justice          |   445,286  54 |   94,742|   323,353  80 |   68,800
  National obligations  |10,255,357  35 |2,181,991|10,639,723  80 |2,263,771
                        |---------------+---------+---------------+---------
               Total    |21,075,330  74 |4,484,113|23,333,260  70 |4,964,523
  ----------------------+---------------+---------+---------------+---------


SERVICES PROVIDED FOR BY SPECIAL REVENUES
                                               $
Municipal Budget }                         1,520,000
Montevideo       }
Interior                                     930,000
National Commission of Charity             1,850,000
University, application of special revenue   140,000
Port works, application of additional duty 1,400,000
National Council of Hygiene                   33,000
Miscellaneous                              1,200,000
                                          ----------
                        Total              7,073,000


PRINCIPAL SOURCES FROM WHICH THE REVENUES ARE DERIVED

  -------------------------------------+------------+----------
                                       |     $      |     £
  -------------------------------------+------------+----------
  Customs Revenue                      | 13,620,000 | 2,897,872
  Property tax--                       |            |
      Montevideo                       |  1,090,000 |   231,915
      Provinces                        |  1,720,000 |   365,957
  Licensing taxes--                    |            |
      Montevideo                       |    783,000 |   166,595
      Provinces                        |    571,000 |   121,489
  Profits of the Bank of the Republic  |    770,000 |   163,829
  Internal taxes on home               |            |
    manufactures--_i.e._, alcohol,     |            |
    matches, beer, artificial wines,   |            |
    tobacco, &c.                       |  1,408,000 |   299,574
  Stamps and stamped paper             |    830,000 |   176,596
  Post and telegraphs                  |    570,000 |   121,276
  Consumption tax on imported produce  |    380,000 |    80,851
  Consular fees                        |    233,000 |    47,449
  Lighthouse dues                      |     85,000 |    18,085
  -------------------------------------+------------+----------


TABLE SHOWING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE BANK DURING THE YEARS
1897-1909

  -----+----------+------------+---------+----------+---------+-------+---------
       |          |   Notes    |         |          |         |Reserve|
  Year.|   Cash.  |    in      |Deposits.|Advances. |Capital. | Fund. |Dividend.
       |          |Circulation.|         |          |         |       |
  -----+----------+------------+---------+----------+---------+-------+---------
       |     $    |            |    $    |    $     |    $    |   $   |
  1897 | 1,659,098|    892,430 |  524,982| 2,849,586|5,000,000|   --  |  2·649
  1898 | 3,095,343|  2,691,652 |  834,339| 3,418,435|5,020,303| 20,303|  2·762
  1899 | 4,431,313|  4,551,419 |1,604,669| 4,527,312|5,037,633| 37,633|  3·273
  1900 | 4,739.788|  5,010,388 |2,427,891| 5,936,920|5,058,243| 58,243|  4·030
  1901 | 4,633,957|  5,223,569 |2,704,441| 6,353,506|5,083,713| 80,713|  5·504
  1902 | 6,541,015|  6,008,603 |3,345,939| 7,012,434|5,118,692|118,692|  5·410
  1903 | 7,616,593|  6,862,538 |4,111,762| 7,352,943|5,153,302|153,302|  5·596
  1904 | 6,120,185|  5,256,811 |2,472,016| 5,460,727|5,223,118|223,118|  7·044
  1905 | 9,382,287|  8,195,477 |4,109,257| 6,608,587|5,255,118|255,118|  7·107
  1906 |10,339,651| 10,396,740 |4,730,672| 8,971,758|5,281,626|281,626|  6·736
  1907 |11,362,879| 12,323,869 |5,032,657|12,483,812|6,326,600|326,600|  9·209
  1908 |13,080,825| 13,773,633 |5,455,804|15,345,513|6,399,425|399,425| 12·754
  1909 |17,598,920| 15,936,961 |8,001,301|16,223,624|6,857,901|501,446| 11·217
  -----+----------+------------+---------+----------+---------+-------+---------
  NOTE.--Rate of Exchange: $4.70 = £1.


The following is the balance-sheet of December 31, 1909:

ASSETS.

                                                     $
  Cash                                          20,036,564
  Advances                                      18,921,606
  Foreign correspondents                         2,927,139
  Capital not realised                           5,045,947
  Sundry stocks and discounts                      940,007
  National savings bank                            400,000
  Stocks, &c., for guarantees of judicial and
      administrative deposits                      842,671
  Properties                                       540,596
  Branches                                       4,657,167
  Stocks and shares deposited                   22,798,736
                                                ----------
                                      Total     77,110,433

                                                     £
                     Equivalent in sterling     16,406,475
                                                ----------


LIABILITIES.

                                                     $
  Authorised capital                            12,000,000
  Judicial and administrative deposits             703,641
  Notes in circulation                          16,692,413
  Deposit certificates and silver cheque
      "conformes"                                1,633,000
  Reserve Fund                                     597,599
  Deposits                                      11,000,423
  Supreme Government                             6,047,270
  Dividends (payable to State)                     769,221
  Branches                                       4,807,854
  Sundries                                          60,276
  Depositors of stocks and shares               22,798,736
                                               -----------
                                      Total     77,110,433

                                                    £
                     Equivalent in sterling     16,406,475
                                                ----------


CEREAL PRODUCTION IN TONS

  -----+---------+--------+-------+-------+---------+--------
  Year.|  Wheat. |Linseed.| Oats. |Barley.|Birdseed.| Maize.
  -----+---------+--------+-------+-------+---------+--------
       |  Tons.  |  Tons. | Tons. | Tons. |  Tons.  |  Tons.
       |         |        |       |       |         |
  1900 | 187,553 |  1,009 |    33 |   424 |    518  |  77,093
  1901 |  99,719 |  2,313 |    68 |   438 |    709  | 141,647
  1902 | 206,936 |  8,757 |   115 | 1,016 |  1,103  | 128,539
  1903 | 142,611 | 20,767 |   149 |   658 |    323  | 134,335
  1905 | 205,888 | 14,046 |   525 |   588 |  1,745  | 121,862
  1906 | 124,344 | 10,782 |   543 |   786 |  1,908  |  81,956
  1907 | 186,884 | 21,930 | 1,752 | 1,576 |  1,638  |  13,613
  1908 | 202,208 | 18,372 | 3,467 | 1,889 |    223  |    --
  1909 | 233,910 | 13,259 | 6,710 | 3,072 |    119  | 169,464
  -----+---------+--------+-------+-------+---------+--------


CEREAL HARVEST FOR THE YEAR 1908-9

  ------------+------------+-----------+------------
              |Amount Sown.|   Area    |Total Yield.
              |            |Cultivated.|
  ------------+------------+-----------+------------
              |   Kilos.   | Hectares. |   Kilos.
              |            |           |
  Wheat       | 18,915,529 |  276,787  | 233,910,034
  Linseed     |    592,959 |   18,341  |  13,259,821
  Oats        |    458,156 |    6,891  |   6,710,645
  Barley      |    238,089 |    3,487  |   3,072,202
  Canary seed |      5,319 |      141  |     119,130
  Maize       |  2,534,739 |  203,268  | 169,464,099
  ------------+------------+-----------+------------


CABLE, TELEGRAPH, AND TELEPHONE SYSTEMS IN URUGUAY

CABLES.

                                                      MILES.
  Western Telegraph Company                              470
  River Plate Telegraph Company                          180
  Telegraph and Telephone Company of the River Plate     205
  National Government cable                               10
                                                      ------
                                               Total     865


TELEGRAPHS.

                                                       MILES.
  National Government Telegraphs                        1,740
  Oriental Telegraph Company                            1,030
  River Plate Telegraph Company                           328
  Telegraph and Telephone Company of the River Plate      300
                                                       ------
                                               Total    3,398


TELEGRAPHS (RAILWAY SYSTEM).

                                                       MILES.
  Central Uruguay Railway Company                       2,138
  Midland Railway Company                                 198
  Northern Railway Company                                 71
  North Western Railway Company                           112
  Eastern Railway Company                                  32
  Local companies                                          39
                                                       ------
                                               Total    2,590


TELEPHONES.

                                                       MILES.
  Montevideo Telephone Company (British)               10,845
  The Co-operative Telephone Company (Uruguayan)        4,375
  National Government lines for police service          2,188
                                                       ------
                                               Total   17,408


SUMMARY

                         MILES.
  Cables (Telegraphs)       865
  Public service          3,398
  Railway service         2,590
  Telephones             17,408
                         ------
               Total     24,261


POSTAL SERVICE

The Revenue from the Postal Services for the year 1909 amounts to
£132,307, and the expenditure as authorised by the Government
£106,085.

[Illustration: URUGUAY
London: T. Fisher Unwin]



INDEX


  A

  Aborigines (138-150);
    various tribes, 138;
    character of, 139;
    ethics, 140;
    marriage, 141;
    warfare, 142;
    weapons, 143;
    burial, 143-4;
    superstitions, 144-5;
    question of cannibalism, 145-6;
    introduction of horses to, 147;
    hostility to whites, 147

  Administration, 312-3.

  _Agnes C. Donohoe_, Canadian sealing-schooner,
        seized, 295

  Agricultural societies, 259

  Agriculture (_See Estancias_, _Industries_, _Cereals_);
    proportion of soil in cultivation, 331

  Alfalfa, 205

  Alvear, defeats Otorgues, 70;
    deposed by Thomas, 72

  Amethysts, 235, 289

  Aguirre, President, 121

  Arachanes Indians, 150

  Architecture, 193-4, 201, 208, 216

  Argentina, provinces, occupied by Lopes, 122

  Argentine, the, relations with Uruguay, 30, 63-4.
    See _Buenos Aires_, _Rosas_

  Artigas (78-96), central figure of the Revolution, 57;
    joins patriots, 58;
    defeats Spaniards at Las Piedras, 59;
    besieges Montevideo, 60;
    superseded in command, 61;
    heads exodus to Argentine, 63;
    insists on Uruguayan autonomy, 64;
    separates from Argentine, 65;
    elected President, 67;
    raises siege of Montevideo, is outlawed by Argentina,
          but raises revolt in provinces, 68;
    demands surrender of Montevideo, 69;
    ruler of Uruguay, 71;
    returns hostages to Thomas, 72;
    defeated by Brazilians, 75;
    declares war upon Buenos Aires, 75;
    deserted by leaders, 76;
    escapes to Paraguay, 77;
    history of, 78-96;
    character, 79-80;
    early life, 81-3;
    ruler of Uruguay, 88;
    expels Spaniards, 89;
    horrors committed in camp, 91;
    simplicity of manners, 91-4


  B

  Banda Oriental, 27;
    subject to Artigas, 90

  Barley, 285

  Bathing-places, 167

  Batlle, President, 123, 126

  Beef Trust of United States, 280-1;
    attempt to capture South American refrigerating
          industry, 282

  Belgrano, makes treaty with Portuguese, 64

  "Blancos," or Whites, the, a political clan, 32;
    assassinate Flores, 123;
    assassinate Borda, 125;
    origin of term, 313, 314-5, 321-3

  Bohanes Indians, 148

  Borda, President, assassinated, 125

  Brazil, relations with, 30-1;
    invades Uruguay in 1817, 75;
    annexes Uruguay, 77;
    alliance with Uruguay against Rosas, 117;
    sends troops to assist Flores, 120;
    alliance with Uruguay in Paraguayan War, 122

  British: capital, 276;
    popularity of, 33;
    enterprise, 296-7;
    invade Uruguay and evacuate it, 55.
    _See England._

  Brown, Admiral, destroys Spanish fleet, 68;
    destroys Uruguayan fleet, 114

  Budget, the, 335

  Buenos Aires, taken by British, 55;
    Junta of, 56;
    action of Government during revolution, 62, 64;
    refuses to recognise Congress of Uruguay, 67;
    evacuates Montevideo, 70, 71;
    sends forces against Artigas which revolt and depose
          Alvear, 72;
    offers to acknowledge Uruguayan independence
          in return for Transplatine provinces, 73

  Bull-fighting, 133-4, 223-4

  Burnett, Mr. Henry, British Vice-Consul, 203

  Bustamente, President, 120


  C

  Cabildo, official, 73

  Cabot founds San Sebastian, 38

  Campo, the, 72, 114, 175-7, 137, 237-45

  Canaries, immigrants from, 48-9, 53

  Canelones, 265

  _Caudillo_, severity of, 74

  Carlos II. of Spain, surrenders Colonia to
        Portugal, 42

  Carlota, Queen of Portugal, 61

  Casas, Padre de las, recommends introduction of negro
        slaves, 44

  Cattle, introduced by Hernandarias, 40;
    superabundance of, 153, 247-8, 250, 254-264;
    census, 332;
    distribution of, 333

  Cereals, 284-5

  _Changadores_, or early buccaneers, 40

  Charity, Commission of, 313

  Charrúa Indians, kill de Solis, 37;
    destroy S. Sebastian, 38;
    attempt to sack Montevideo, 49;
    practically exterminated, 110, 139-47

  Cheese, 175

  Chilled meat. See _Refrigerating Industry_

  Cholera, 124

  Civil War, 28;
    after War of Independence, 108;
    Rosas intervenes, 112;
    the French intervene, 113.
    _See Revolution_, _Revolutions_

  Climate, 272

  Clubs, 158-9

  Colón, 166

  Colonia, foundation of, 42;
    in hands of Portuguese, 43;
    captured by Spanish, 44;
    given back to Portugal by Philip V., 44;
    besieged by Salcedo, 49;
    exchanged for Jesuit missions, 50;
    again becomes Portuguese, is retaken, and again
          falls to Portuguese, 51;
    captured by Ceballos, 53;
    siege of, during Revolution, 60

  Colonia, department, 267

  Colonia Suiza, 211-5

  Colonies, 212-3, 220-244

  "Colorados" or Reds, a political clan, 32;
    formation of, 120;
    origin of, 313, 314-5, 321-3

  Communications, 296-308. _See Railways_, _Shipping_

  "Conciliation Ministry," the, 125

  Constitution of Uruguay, 109, 311

  Coronilla, seal islands, 294

  Corrales, goldfields, 287

  Costume, 180

  Cuestas, 125

  Culta, besieges Montevideo, 65

  Customs revenue, 336

  Customs service, 83


  D

  Dairies, 214, 261

  Darwin, discovers fulgurites at Maldonado, 203

  Departments, 265;
    budgets of, 335

  Diamonds, 288

  Diaz, General, revolt of, 119;
    policy of, 120;
    second revolt and execution, 121

  Dolores, taken by the Thirty-Three, 101

  Domestics, 180-1

  Durazno, department, 266


  E

  Eden, 185

  Education, 32, 165

  Elio, appeals to Queen Carlota for help during siege
        of Montevideo, 61, 88

  England, intervenes during Rosas' invasion, 116;
    exports to, 334;
    exports from, 334.
    _See British._

  English colony, the, 159

  Estancias, 246-53

  Exports, 277, 329;
    general, 330;
    to England, 334


  F

  _Faeneros_, early trafficking in hides by, 40

  Fauna of Uruguay, 273-5

  Ferdinand VI. of Spain, cedes northern Uruguay and the
        Missions to Portugal in return for Colonia, 50

  Feuds, 137.
    _See Politics_, _Revolutions_

  Finance, a crisis, 124;
    increased cost of living, 131-2;
    English capital, 276;
    imports and exports, 277;
    the Budget, 335;
    special revenue, 336;
    principal sources of revenue, 336

  Flores, Dictator, 120-1;
    assassinated, 123

  Florida, department, 205

  Football, 133

  Foreigners, position of, 32

  France, blockades Buenos Aires, 113;
    forms armistice with Rosas, 114;
    intervenes during invasion by Rosas, 116

  Francia, Dictator of Paraguay, 77

  Fray Bentos, 229

  Frigorifica Uruguaya, 263

  Frozen Meat trade, 263, 280-2

  Fulgurites, 203


  G

  Garay, Juan de, defeats Zapicán, 39

  Garibaldi, as privateer, 114

  Garro, de, Governor of Buenos Aires, expels Portuguese
        from Colonia, 42;
    removed from post and promoted, 43

  Gauchos, 240-2, 251-3

  Gems, 288-9

  Giro, fourth President, 119

  Gold, 287

  Government, policy of, 35;
    established by Lavalleja, 104

  Guarani Indians, 149

  Guenoa Indians, 149


  H

  Hares, 207

  Herán, Padre, Jesuit, 49

  Hernandarias, defeated by Charrúa Indians, 39;
    ships cattle and horses to Colonia to breed in
          wild state, 40

  Hervidero, headquarters of Artigas, 90

  Highways, 195-6

  History, 37-127

  Horses, introduced by Hernandarias, 40, 256, 258

  Hotels, 159-60


  I

  Immigration, modern methods in use in eighteenth century, 48

  Imports, 277;
    commercial, 327;
    industrial, 328;
    value of, 329

  Independence, War of, 28.
    _See History_, _Revolutions_

  Indians, Charrúas, 37;
    become carnivorous and equestrians, 42;
    campaign against, 43;
    rising crushed, 50;
    they resist treaty of 1750, 50.
    _See Aborigines_

  International troubles, 28

  Irala orders Romero to settle Uruguay, 38


  J

  Jesuits, in Uruguay, 50;
    expelled by Carlos III., 51


  K

  Kennedy, Mr. R. J., British Minister Plenipotentiary, 34


  L

  Landscape, of Uruguay, 173-5, 184-7, 197, 206-7, 222;
    of the Campo, 238-45, 251

  Latorre, dictator, 124

  Lavalleja, Juan Antonio, liberator of Uruguay, 98;
    head of the Thirty-Three, 99;
    takes Dolores, 100-2;
    besieges Montevideo with 100 men, 102;
    sets up Government, 103;
    General-in-Chief of Army of Liberation, 104;
    deposes Junta, 105;
    character as ruler, 108;
    turns upon Rivera, 109-110;
    enters Montevideo but is forced to retire;
    appointed President, the appointment is refused by
          Assembly, 110;
    takes refuge in Brazil, 111;
    supports Oribe, 112;
    death of, 117

  Law, 312

  Lemco, 229, 283

  Liebig. _See Lemco_

  Livestock, census of, 255;
    cattle census, 332;
    distribution, 333;

  Lopes, Dictator of Paraguay, declares war upon Brazil,
        Uruguay, and Argentina, 123

  Lottery, 313

  Luxury, Uruguayan free from common South American
        habit, 133


  M

  Magellan, 38

  Maldonado department, fulgurites in dunes of, 203, 270-1;
    mines and mineral products of, 288

  Manners and customs, 128-137

  Marriage, laws of, 312

  Meat, dried, 261-2, 278-9.
    _See Tasajo_

  Meat, frozen. _See Refrigerating_

  Meat trade, the, 261-2, 278, 279, 280-2.
    _See Beef Trust_

  Mercedes, captured by Gauchos, 58, 205, 208-9;
    port of, 210

  Minas, department, 271

  Minuanes, Indians, 150

  Monte Caseros, battle of, 117

  Montevideo, city of, 46, 48-9;
    a Governor appointed, 50;
    seat of Viceroy after the revolution of Buenos Aires, 56;
    siege during revolution, 60, 62;
    a fresh siege 64-5;
    capitulation, 68;
    occupied by Alvear, 70;
    evacuated, 70;
    entered by Otorgues, 71;
    captured by Brazilians, 75;
    besieged by the Thirty-Three, 103;
    entered by provisional Government, 106;
    in revolt, 110;
    the Nine Years' Siege, 114-5;
    revolution of 1851, 120;
    seized by the Colorados, 121;
    population of, 151;
    description of, 152-60;
    surroundings of, 161-2;
    port works, 304

  Montevideo, department, 271

  Moreau, French adventurer, 45

  Museum at Montevideo, 157

  Mutton, despised, 156


  N

  National Assembly, confirms and then vetoes appointment
        of Lavalleja, 111

  Negroes, first introduced into Uruguay, 44, 243;
    troops, 243;
    treatment of, in slavery, 245


  O

  Oats, 285

  Oribe, General, 108;
    second President, 111;
    deprives Rivera of command, 112;
    resigns upon intervention of France, 113;
    joins Rosas, 114, 120, 314

  Ostentation, common South American failing, not found
        in Uruguay, 133

  Ostrich, the, 275-6

  Otorgues, enters Montevideo, 71;
    captured, 75


  P

  Palomas, seal islands, 295

  Pan de Azucar, 201

  Pando, agricultural centre, 197-8

  Paraguay, 28;
    appealed to during Revolution, 64;
    the Paraguayan War, 122-3

  Paysandú, centre of meat industry, 32, 58, 321-2

  Paysandú, department, 268

  Pelota, 223

  Pereira, President, 120-1

  Philip V. cedes Colonia to Portuguese, 44

  Pines, 203

  Piracy in eighteenth century, 45

  Piria, Señor, 199-200, 202

  Piriapolis, 197

  Plata, La, River Plate, delineation of boundaries,
        34, 45

  Police, 136-7

  Politics, 311-23;
    conduct of revolutions, 316-17

  Portuguese, rivalry of, with Spain, 38;
    founders of Colonia, 42;
    attempt to obtain Uruguay, 46;
    invade Rio Grande, 49;
    trouble with, 50-55;
    invade Uruguay during Revolution, 61;
    again invade Uruguay, 73.
    _See Brazil_

  Posts, Telegraphs, Telephones, 340-1

  Prado, the, 162

  Privateering, 45;
    Uruguayan privateers in European waters, 75;
    Garibaldi, 114

  Progress, 36


  R

  Race-meetings, 131

  Railways, 176-80, 206-7, 297-308;
    companies and stock, 302, 308

  Ramirez, deserts and defeats Artigas, 76

  Ranchos, primitive, 177, 211

  Rats, in Montevideo, 155

  Real de San Carlo, 223

  Refrigerating industry, 263, 280-2

  Republican Constitution, the, 312

  Revenue, tables of, 335-6

  Revolutions: the War of Independence commences at
        Paysandú, 58;
    Portuguese intervention, 64;
    independence proclaimed, 71;
    independence recognised after expulsion of the
          Brazilians, 103;
    revolution of 1853, 119;
    military revolution of 1875, 124;
    lesser revolutions, 311-23

  Rhodesia, 283

  Rio Negro, department, 267

  Rivera, department, 269;
    goldfields, 287-8

  Rivera, General, joins the Thirty-Three, 102;
    jealousy of Lavalleja, 104;
    accused of treason and imprisoned, 105;
    attacked by Lavalleja, 109;
    elected President, 109;
    escapes from Lavalleja's attempt at capture, 110;
    chases Lavalleja into Brazil, 110;
    deprived of rank by Oribe, 112;
    returns to power assisted by French, 113;
    attacked by Oribe and defeated, 114;
    further defeat, 115;
    appointed as Minister to Paraguay, 116;
    return to power, 116;
    death, 117

  Rivera, town, 193

  Rondeau, defeats Portuguese, 55;
    at siege of Montevideo, 61, 65;
    made Governor, 108, 314

  Rosario, 53

  Rosas, Dictator of Argentina, 110;
    supports Lavalleja, 111-2;
    invades Uruguay, 113;
    armistice with French, 114;
    nine years' siege of Montevideo, 114;
    final defeat and flight, 117


  S

  _Saladeros_, dried meat factories, 261

  Salto, department, 268

  Salto, town, 234

  San José, 207

  San Juan, department, 266

  San Juan, estancia, 248-9

  Santa Ana, 193-4

  Santa Lucia, 207

  Santos, 125

  Seal fisheries, 291-5

  Sheep, 258

  Shipping, 308-9

  Sierra de Mal Abrigo, 207

  Slaves, introduction of, 44, 243, 245.
    _See Negroes_

  Solis, Juan Dias de, discoverer of Uruguay, killed by
        Indians, 37-8

  Soriano, department, 267

  Spain, turns attention to Uruguay, 38;
    during Revolution, 38-68;
    fall of Spanish power in Uruguay, 68;
    fall of Spanish power in America, 72;
    State Bank, 337-8

  Steamer traffic. _See Shipping._

  Suárez, 115

  Swine, 258

  Swiss Colony, 212


  T

  Tacuarembo, department, 269

  Tacuarembo, town, 187

  Tajes, President, 125

  Tambores, 178-9

  _Tasajo_, dried meat, 261-2, 278-9

  Tea-Garden Restaurant, 166-7

  Theatres, 131

  Thomas, General Alvarez, deposes Alvear and becomes Director
        of Buenos Aires, 72

  Topaz, 235, 289

  Trade, 277;
    exports, 277, 329;
    general, 330;
    to England, 334;
    table of increase, 326;
    comparative trade in 1908, table, 327;
    table of commercial imports, 327;
    value of, 331

  _Treinta y Tres_, the "Thirty-Three," set out from Buenos
        Aires, 99;
    capture Dolores, 101;
    win over Rivera, 102;
    besiege Montevideo, 102;
    obtain general support, 103

  Treinta y Tres, department, 270

  Triumvirate, the abortive, 119

  Tunnel, Bañada de Rocha, 191


  U

  Urquiza, General, defeats Rivera, 115;
   defeats Rosas, 117

  Uruguay: general description of, 27-36;
    history of, 37-127;
    manners and customs, 128-137;
    continued warfare in the past, 29;
    present conditions, 34;
    War of Independence, 38, _et seq._;
    independence proclaimed, 71;
    evils of new regime, 71;
    partitioned, 73;
    invaded by Portuguese, 73;
    annexed to Brazil, 77;
    Lavalleja sets up National Government, 104;
    independence recognised, 105;
    alliance with France, 113;
    at mercy of Rosas, 116;
    alliance with Brazil and defeat of Rosas, 117;
    warlike history of, 126;
    life in, 138;
    landscape, 174-5;
    the Campo, 237-246;
    departments of, 265

  Uruguayans, heroism of, 29;
    fighting qualities, 31;
    character as troops, 94-5;
    character of people, 128;
    hospitality and democratic feeling, 115, 130-3;
    physique of, 133;
    honesty, 136;
    sobriety, 137;
    types of, 181-90;
    a Paladin of the Campo, 190


  V

  Varela, Dictator, 124

  Vidal, President, 124-5

  Vigodet, 65

  Villa del Cerro, 168

  Viticulture, 289-91


  W

  War of Independence, 58.
    _See Revolutions_

  Water-stone, 235

  Whale fishery, 54

  Wheat, 278

  Whitelocke, General, incapacity of, 55

  Wild, A., dealer in gems, 289

  Williman, President, 126

  Wines, 289-291

  Women, Uruguayan, 135, 180


  Y

  Yaros Indians, 148


  Z

  Zapicán, famous Indian chief, defeats Zarate,
        is defeated and killed by J. de Garay, 39

  Zarate, founds a settlement, and is defeated by Zapicán, 39

  Zavala, captures Montevideo, 47


  The Gresham Press.

  UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED

  WOKING AND LONDON



_THE SOUTH AMERICAN SERIES._

Demy 8vo, Cloth.


VOL. I.--CHILE.


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MID-AFRICA." With an Introduction by MARTIN HUME, a Map and 39
Illustrations.

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VOL. VI.--URUGUAY.


By W. H. KOEBEL. With a Map and 55 Illustrations.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

=M= indicates a bold letter "M".

Variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been retained
except in obvious cases of typographical error.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the
transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

The ad page has been moved from the beginning to the end of the book.

The images on pages 38 and 192 were rearranged to match the list of
illustrations.





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